Tonight the CBC keeps interrupting my audio-lectures on the French Revolution to announce updates about some sort of election happening in Alberta, Canada. I don’t quite understand the details but it seems the long time conservative government was overthrown for something close to communism. I am told Alberta is the “Canadian Texas”. I was surprised to learn Canada has something even close to Texas.* It gives me hope though to think if The Canucks can tear down the Canadian Bastille* and throw out the royalist-conservatives perhaps we Yanks can do likewise. I fear the losing Albertans may emigrate south and form an alliance with the GOP. We have enough loony conservatives (pun intended) already and even more far right zanies and (worse of all) Texans. I am still cross with Canada for letting loose Mr. Cruz.  Spo-fans from the Great White North can elucidate any of my errors. I just hope the subsequent Reign of Terror isn’t so bad or long as to spoil my summer trip to Ottawa. I am looking forward to seeing the Sans-culottes nee Quebecians in their splendid tricolor hats.

* I thought Canadians are on the whole more sensible in their politics and government. So much for that theory.

* Canadian Tire, perhaps?

background-image_stilton-and-portI recently tasted for the first time some proper Stilton cheese. Spo-fans know I use the word ‘proper’ a lot but in this case the word proper is spot-on for the cheese is the authentic type imported from England. I was in awe by its complex flavor. My palate could discriminate a myriad of components. What a delight.
Whenever I have ‘real food’ it makes me realize what I am missing. Most of my meals consist of ‘fuel’ not ‘food’.  “Fuel” is inexpensive and uncomplicated. It is cheap. It is meant to sustain,  not to delight.  Most of the time fuel is wolfed down in a rush to get back to work or onto something else.  I can’t recall when I last sat at table for a leisurely endeavor.

In contrast “Food” nourishes more than the body; it nourishes the soul. Fuel is a delight to taste and see and smell. It is consumed slowly; it is never gulped. Food is often not fancy nor complicated. Indeed, some of the best foods are simple things like a homegrown heirloom tomato, or home baked bread made from good grains, or a carefully selected tea.  No rubbish indeed !

Having “food” makes me wonder why on earth I dont’ eat this sort more often. Answer: time, energy, and money. It is easier to eat literal fast food or something quickly prepared. Often I am too tired at day’s end to spend the time necessary to prepare a proper meal. It is no wonder why I like to eat out. There is more chance of getting ‘proper food’ this way.

I think Americans are so used to eating crap they have little to no experience of real food. When they actually get some it is looked upon as an object of suspicion. I remember making pumpkin pie from scratch using sugar pumpkins. No one liked it compared to the ‘canned version” I had a patient once who didn’t like vegetables other than out of a can. He grew up with that sort of food.. Freshly sautéed beans ‘don’t taste right’.  Americans don’t want to spend money on food. They look for cheap food, something easily heated and quickly consumed.  I suspect if I put my Stilton next to Kraft ‘Swiss” slices the latter would win by a landslide as ‘what cheese tastes like’.

I have an accordion file of clipped recipes taken from years or Gourmet Magazine and other cooking journals. Someday I want to make most if not all of them.  I would like to make my own bread. I would have a nonstop array of vegetables.  Someday. Meanwhile I consume fuel to survive to get to those infrequent times of more dimensional and delectable dishes.
The Stilton cheese will be eaten oh slow slowly in piecemeal until there is no more. I wonder what proper Camembert  tastes like?

Whenever the Muses (and everyone else) fails to provide a topic upon which to write, Urs Truly has to decide whether to compose something comic or something with gravitas. I realized at an early age people were laughing at me so I figured I may as well try to be funny; clowning comes naturally to me.  On the other hand the majority of bloggers whose work I read and admire usually write about serious topics like their inner thoughts and struggles. After reading them my desire for Attic wit deflates quickly.  The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections prefers the somber entries for these bring in more comments compared to the jolly ones. They prefer I write with pathos for they are along the line of Mrs. Danvers to wit if I destroyed myself they would be pleased as punch over the ratings.

RWS_Tarot_16_TowerMy Tarot Card for the month of May is The Tower.  This ominous-looking card usually portends disaster or dissolution of the status quo. It can also herald a peripeteia.  A less doleful interpretation is the card serves as a warning not to stay complacent, especially in one’s philosophy. It’s time to shake things, especially in how I see and do things. The card is a sort of cosmic Cher slapping you to ‘Snap out of it!”  It’s time to spring clean as it were the means and paradigms of my life.

And there are a lot of things I wish to shake up. Life as become too quotidian and lackluster. I go to work, I exercise, and I try to read something and it repeats. My daily meals are mundane and reflect the situation. While there is nothing wrong, there is little profound. I can imagine reaching the end of the year in a blink of an eye and realizing nothing much happened of a profound and spiritual nature.
So, if The Tower warns and encourages upheaval for the sake of growth, I should start to wonder what this means. Like most Journeys there is fear, fear of the path ahead.  I am a wise-enough counselor to know despite fear I must start down the path. The path always become more clear as you continue down it.


Finally. What feels like eons (although it is really only a week) I have some down-time to scribble out my thoughts. I am not dead, I feel fine, I feel happy, and I don’t want to go on the cart, despite work doing its best to toss me there. Work seems to have taken over my life, leaving me with no time to do much of anything else. I wish this trend would cease. Alas I see no end in sight for next week looks as busy as the last few. Stinko.


On Wednesday night while eating supper I spilled yellow curry sauce on my shirt. Thoughtlessly I used my burgundy paper napkin to dab away the spill only to have a purple blemish as big as Barney appear right in the middle for all to see. This happens frequently. I should swear off white clothing. I am quite disconsolate for I am rather fond of this shirt which was purchased in Mexico. Alas, washing and bleaching have been to no avail; my shirt seems ruined.

Besides being a schlemiel I am being ditz to wit I am more scatter-brained than usual. The past week is littered with misplaced or forgotten objects. Happily nothing is lost for long; it is more of a nuisance than a sign of dementia or the harbinger of my very own ragnorak.


Success! Success! After years of failed attempts at trying to grow tomatoes in Arizona I have done so! They are small, not much larger than cherry tomatoes, but they are homegrown. Each will provide two or three bites of what I hope is ecstasy.


Another bit of happy news: After three weeks The Viking is back from the repair shop and ready for action. I have several bags of projects waiting to be assembled.

It’s about 3PM. I really want to read and catch up on blogs, but I feel a need for a nap. I spent the morning dictating charts. Afterwards I went to the gym, which went well considering I haven’t gone in a week. On the way home I stopped at the store to get a bottle of Makers Mark for I was asked to bring such to tonight’s birthday party next door.  Someone will be cross for I came home with not one but two bottles of bourbon. A sweet talking salesman from Texan was peddling his wares and I was bewitched. The bourbon isn’t bad either. It is spicy, deep, and has a strong finish, like my men.


“D”, one of the secretaries at work, has invited me to her wedding. I am honored of course but I was a bit suprised; why on earth would she want co-workers at her wedding? In my experience (which is limited to insipid WASP ones) the price of the reception meal per guest is so enormous the bride and groom try to keep the wedding guest list down to only their nearest and dearest and a few ‘have to folks’ who would remonstrative if not allowed to attend. She relates her female relations will be bringing food as in pot luck. I asked where she is registered; she replied she isn’t. I was even more flabbergasted. I covered my curiosity with the joke what’s the point of getting hitched if you can’t get lovely booty? She laughed and said that is not the Mexican way. In her family people bring cash or gift cards. It is a quite open event; the reception hall is packed with family, friends, parishioners, and everybody else.

I am rather excited, not only for her sake but to experience my first Mexican wedding. My only knowledge of the rubric of such connuptials comes from another receptionist at work, “N”, whose daughter married last year. I hope D’s wedding goes more smoothly than that one.  “N” told me after she returned from the soiree some of the relatives threatened not to attend if there wasn’t a Mariachi band. “D” says while it is often the case to have such an orchestra, hers will be without one. She doesn’t want all that noise. I was quite shocked to hear from “N” a fight broke out at her daughter’s wedding reception. “N” tells me matter of fact this is not an uncommon occurrence. She hints too it wouldn’t be a proper wedding if there wasn’t a row. “N” tells me sometimes there is a bet who will be the instigator.

I wonder if “D” and “N” are pulling my leg on all of this, for they are great spoofers. If they told me each wedding guest gets his or her take-home piñata I would have swallowed the story.

“D” will make a lovely bride; I wonder if I will cry.  I suppose two aged men sitting together at a Mexican wedding,  weeping while taking notes of what everyone is wearing may raise some eyebrows.  I hope not for “D”’s sake.  It is very bad taste to upstage the bride at her own wedding.

Ron likes to make silly videos using his nearest and dearest.* Yesterday he sent me an appalling e-card which I found rather amusing.  Here is the sweet thing:,26Apr201507:50:47-0700&utm_campaign=tx_jj_email_ecards_default_recipient_notification_2

I didn’t recognize the song but I found myself enjoying it. What was it I wondered and who was the singer?  I can hear Spo-fans all over the world aghast with their jaws dropped, wondering how on earth I managed not to encounter Ms. Spears up until now, but it’s the truth. I know of her of course, same way I know the capitol of Assyria was Nineveh**: a fact but no experience with it. Or her. Being unfamiliar with ‘pop culture’ is long time characteristic of Urs Truly. Someone says this is deliberate to wit I do a 180 if I think the majority of people are doing something. There’s some truth to this although I think it is more accurate to say I am just late to the party. When most people have ‘been there, done that” is when I discover something. Back to Ms. Spears. After the card (and several Youtube consultations to hear the original) it was stuck in my head. Imagine when Someone came home to discover Urs Truly dancing around the kitchen to “Baby one more time”. It’s like finding your great-aunt grooving to AC-DC. After assuring him I was not high or off the deep end he introduced me to some of her other tunes, which I found (to my chagrin) just as likable. Oh dear, I thought, I am becoming – dare I admit this – a Brittany Spears fan?  There goes my good Henley Street name. On the positive I hope this indicates I am still willing to try new and adventuresome things, even if these things are way past their prime. I guess I should now look up Lady Gaga…..

* Or the opposite?

** I would have gotten over “The Bridge of Death”.

This is a copy of a draft of a the letter I am composing for my summer trip to Ottawa, Canada. I am writing The Other Harper. There will be a CC to Mr. Mayer, the director of The National Gallery, The CSIS (the Canadian FBI), The Globe and Mail, and the President/CEO of Tim Hortons. 


Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I am a frequent visitor to your fair country. After a myriad of holidays to Stratford, NOTL, Toronto, and Vancouver, Urs Truly is visiting Ottawa for the first time in July. Two locals plan to take me to your National Gallery; I am much looking forward to seeing the sights, spending a lot of loonies, and stimulating the local economy.  The mentioned museum was to be the apogee of the trip but now this may be all canceled which is the reason for this correspondence.

It has come to my attention outside your resplendent gallery some miscreant has erected a monstrous black spider, whose ponderous presence makes it impossible to avoid when planning an ingress. I have arachnophobia; I doubt I can get in without going into a hysterics or having a myocardial infarction. While I envy your health care system I don’t wish to experience it directly. Alas, I fear my entire trip is now in jeopardy due to this awful and intrusive helicopter crash guarding the entrance.

This letter is a polite request to please remove this atrocity for the time I plan on being there.  Would you be a muffin and take it down? I will bless you, God will bless you, and I am sure many other visitors will be just as grateful as I. Said locals (who know these things) inform me the nasty thing even has a name: Maman. May and June should be plenty of time to disassemble and give Maman a better home, Yellowknife perhaps.

Our dog is also named Harper so we think of you as a friend in whom I can trust to grant this simplest of favors. I suppose I can’t send you a thank you bouquet and/or an election contribution. Perhaps when we are in town we can get together for some poutine? My treat.




So! I completed my weekend homework about an hour ago which means there isn’t any to do tomorrow. I will have a work-less day, the first one in over a fortnight. Certainly there is “work to be done” around the house. All the same, I just might not do anything at all (if that is possible). I will ensconce myself in a chair and (in the infamous words of Patsy Stone) announce “I’m not moving”.

I wonder if the gods are trying to tell me something about my blog to wit it’s time to take a break. I haven’t had any time to write anything decent; I haven’t a good idea in my head. I look around my life and there isn’t anything memorial upon which to compose. I lead a dull life. Perhaps the gods have dried me and kept me busy as a sign I should give it a rest. Sometimes writer’s block is a mercy.

It’s very quiet here at Spo-house. Someone is away again ushering some awful concert where the ushers are few and the patrons temulant and truculent. Here at home I’ve turned off the music and the windows are open. I hear the sonorous clanging of metal chimes .It is looking to rain soon. The light is fading; the dark of the house matches the serenity of the silence. This is the most at-peace I have experienced in a fortnight. I forget from time to time the preciousness of being still, both in action and in thought. Lovely.

Things need a shake-up. I want to better manage my time and energy for I have the sensation things must be improved ‘or else’. What ‘or else’ means I am not certain but I doubt it is good. I think I will sit down tomorrow with pencil and paper and get things down in order to clarify what I am not doing. My life lacks direction. I also wish to sit down with Someone and discuss Life, The Universe, and Everything. There is a gallimaufry of goals to go over, from when are we going to clean out the closet in the blue room to goals more lofty such as retirement (if possible).

That felt good to get out into words and onto WordPress.

It’s about 7PM. Harper her Highness won’t want a walk as it is beginning to sprinkle and she hates the rain. I think I will read blogs and find out what exciting things are happening in that world. Later I may have a snort. I can’t think of the whisky/bourbon equivalent to Wayne’s “I smell olives”, so perhaps tomorrow when I organize the world I will start with that simple but essential to-do.

It’s been a long week; I’ve had little time to do anything but work. It’s Friday night around 9PM; I am taking a break to do something, anything other than work. I feel wiped out from very long hours. Yesterday I took an evening off and went to a theatre show. Alas, as soon as the curtain went up I immediately fell asleep out of exhaustion. I lost in two ways: I didn’t see the show and I lost a night for work, so I have to do Thursday night’s work this evening.

I don’t have anything profound or witty to say; I don’t have anything newsworthy to report. I hope by Sunday I have something worthwhile to write and post.  I will try to catch up on my blog reads this weekend.

At times I don’t know how I made it through the day. Mind! I shouldn’t be too surprised given I’ve succeeded getting through over 19,000 of them but there it is. It’s 10PM and I have only a blurry sense what occurred today. It may be a case of too much information whizzing by. Perhaps my hippocampus did me a mercy and refuses to inscribe into memory any of the day’s happenings.  I recall I did a lot of running around, which is strange as I basically sit at a desk all day.  More amazing at the end of the day is the realization I still have all my possessions. I am usually forgetting things as the day progresses; I find it a minor miracle I have anything at all by vespers.

Going from my office to the waiting room often has the classic ‘now why did I come into this room?’phenomena. I pull up the patient’s name on my screen, skip along to the lobby and immediately pull a blank. Sometimes I just point at the person who (I hope) is the intended and say something inane like ‘you!”.  Often I have to stop by the receptionist and ask her where am I and whom am I seeing. Happily she provides information without wondering out loud how on earth do I remember what I do but I can’t remember what I was doing only a minute ago.

I used to think of my brain as an endless storage container but it is more like an attic in a small house: there is only room for so much. If I try to push something into it something falls out the other end, and usually something not useless. I can still remember the combination of my 7th grade locker but damned if I can recall my Medscape password. The human brain past forty years old is a curious thing indeed.

Well, it’s about 1030PM and I should retire for a brain rest. Rationalists explain dreamwork are not unconscious messages but the brain’s attempt at consolidating information into memories.  Small wonder then I don’t remember any dreams. It’s hard to make dreams out of dribble.  It is ‘perk’ having a hummingbird brain I suppose.

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