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Scripturient: The Swimmer

The swimmer stood on the dock, contemplating the lazy current in the river. The warm spring, followed by the sunny days of early summer, had warmed the water enough to make the crossing less a challenge than a few weeks back, when he had first done i… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The Swimmer

Scripturient: Kanile’a Islander GL6

What a difference two strings make. Late last week, I traded my Jupiter Creek steel-stringed baritone, solid-body uke for one of these Kanile’a nylon-stringed GL6 “guitar-leles” which the company calls a “guilele.” It&#82… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Kanile’a Islander GL6

Scripturient: Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me…

Turning 64, as in the 1967 Beatles’ song, once seemed so distant that it it was as remote as flying cars and jet packs. By the time I reached that age, I thought, we’d have a moon base colony, orbiting hotels as in 2001, A Space Odyssey, an… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me…

Scripturient: Thank You and Happy New Year

To all my readers: Thank you, and Happy New Year for 2016. You made 2015 special for me. In this year, my readership more than doubled. I have had more visitors in 2015 than my previous two years combined. Each year, my stats have doubled over the prev… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Thank You and Happy New Year

Scripturient: The Tribulations of an Evil Mastermind

Some days it doesn’t pay to be an evil mastermind plotting to destroy the very fabric of our community. Seriously. It’s just too damned hard keeping all the bits and pieces together. Take today, for example. Here I was, out with my co-consp… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The Tribulations of an Evil Mastermind

Scripturient: Why I Still Watch M*A*S*H

The news of Harry Morgan’s death at 96, back in 2011, saddened me. I’m at the age when it seems far too many icons of my youth are dying off. Not from some misspent life or accident; from old age. And the process accelerates as I age. I n… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Why I Still Watch M*A*S*H

Scripturient: Is This Your Bar of Soap?

This is side five. Follow in your book and repeat after me as we learn three new words in Turkish: Towel. Bath. Border. So begins Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him, from the first album released by the Firesign Theater, in 1968 (on later … . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Is This Your Bar of Soap?

Scripturient: 1914: My Grandfathers’ Year

As I read further into Max Hastings’ book, Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914, I wondered, as I have done in the past when reading similar books about that time, what my grandfathers must have felt when that war broke out. What it meant to them… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: 1914: My Grandfathers’ Year

Scripturient: Read, Re-read, Repeat

I’m currently re-reading Mikhail Bulgakov’s fantasy novel of Soviet life under Stalin, The Master and Margarita. Since this is actually a newer translation than the original one I read many years ago, I’m not sure it properly qualifie… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Read, Re-read, Repeat

Scripturient: In Praise of Audio Books

Although I had listened to them in the past, I really discovered the joys of audio books several years ago, when my 92-year-old father entered hospital for his final months. As I travelled to and from the city frequently that summer, audio books kept me entertained and my mind from dwelling on the more serious […]

Scripturient: Digging and dying

About an hour after I started playing Minecraft for the very first time, I died. As game experiences goes, that sucked. Not exactly a “thanks for your purchase” ingame welcoming message from Mojang Not that I’m unaccustomed to dying. In most computer games I’ve died: Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, World of Tanks, World of Warcraft, […]

Scripturient: The Missing Frankenstein Movies

I was worried when I saw a new package for the Frankenstein films in WalMart recently. Labelled the “Complete Legacy Collection,” it offered eight original films on the Frankenstein theme, from 1931 to 1948. I snapped it up and read the back. I had to have it. (I always check the films they bring in […]

Scripturient: Anthony and Cleopatra

While Julius Caesar is my favourite of all Shakespeare’s plays, I think Anthony and Cleopatra is my second favourite. I know it’s hard to choose any favourites from his plays, they’re all so good, but this one seems to resonate with me more than most others, enough to encourage me to reread it this week. […]

Scripturient: Goodbye, Cleo

Cleo was an accidental member of the family. Twelve to fifteen years ago – long enough that the exact date is hazy in my mind – she came to us. Well, she was delivered, actually. And yesterday she left us. One late winter day, back then, I was at home, getting ready to go to […]

Scripturient: Reading Tennyson’s Ulysses

Last weekend, while watching the delightful movie, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I heard Bill Nighy make a wedding speech that included lines from one of my favourite poems: Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson. I recognized it immediately and it made me open the poem and read it again. The poem was written by […]

Scripturient: Two New Posts on the Municipal Machiavelli

I added two posts today to my blog about Niccolo Machiavelli, the 16th century political philosopher. These are: Machiavelli: The Graphic Novel – a short piece about the recent publication of Don MacDonald’s exciting new graphic book. and Atheist Machiavelli? A longer piece on the debate about whether Machiavelli was atheist, pagan or Christian. Enjoy! […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: May’s Breads and Pasta: 1

So far this month, I’ve made two loaves and one batch of pasta. But the month is barely started, so I have lots of time to make more. The breads so far were nothing spectacular – acceptable, reasonably tasty, but hardly exciting. I’ve made better. The pasta on the other hand, is getting quite good and […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Count of Monte Cristo

Many of us grew up on the stories of Alexandre Dumas; from cartoons to comic books, TV series and movies. And, yes, books, albeit often abridged for the young market, with drawings of swordsmen, women in flowing dresses, and the court of kings. Swashbuckling adventures, romances with honour and swordfighting. We may not have always […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Making Pasta

Last year I decided to start making my own pasta. Seems a natural extension of my bread making. But it took several months before I could get started, what with personal issues and, of course, the holiday season interfering. This week I finally took the step. As usual with me, I did a lot of […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Too Many Books?

Tim Parks* wrote an intriguing essay in the New York Review of Books last week with that title. My first thought on seeing it was to wonder if one can ever have too many books. But of course, Parks – an author himself  – is looking at the bigger picture, not the ever-growing collection that […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Rest In Peace, Mary Chadwick

Mary Bernice Chadwick passed away quietly in the morning of April 13, 2015 in her room in the Tony Stacey Veterans’ Care Centre. She had awakened that morning, and spoke briefly to staff, but nodded off shortly after. She never awoke. She was 95 years old and lived a full, rich life, one of remarkable […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Lovecraft’s Tales of Terror

No new horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace. Ex Oblivione, 1921. Along with Edgar Rice Burroughs, my teenage reading covered a lot of genres, but I gravitated to scifi and fantasy. Fantasy in those days didn’t offer the same overflowing bookshelves of cookie-cutter tales we find in today’s bookstores. But they […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Spring Breads

It’s been a while since I wrote about baking bread. During the election campaign last fall, my baking was sidetracked somewhat, but I did manage to get a few loaves in. Last month I got back to baking in earnest. However, along the way, I ignored my levain and it went off. I had to […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: ERB and Barsoom

Tara of Helium rose from the pile of silks and soft furs upon which she had been reclining, stretched her lithe body languidly, and crossed toward the center of the room, where, above a large table, a bronze disc depended from the low ceiling. Her carriage was that of health and physical perfection—the effortless harmony […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Thurber’s Writings & Drawings

Books of James Thurber‘s cartoons and writing were always on the shelves at my grandparents’ home, as well as on my parents’ bookshelves. I read them, as I did everything else on those shelves, when I was quite young. I still remember his odd, eccentric cartoons with their primitive lines but sharp and bizarre wit, although […]