The Great Blog Post Archive Emendation

Yep, ’emendation’ is a real word! It means a ‘correction’ or a ‘change’.

As part of my idea of revisiting one post in each of the last 10 years of my blogging career, I also wanted to go through the posts and delete the deletable, and update the updateable … which I now have done.

How did it turn out, I hear you ask?

First the deletions – 165 posts are gone. There’s probably a cached version of them somewhere on the interwebz, but as far as I’m concerned the only copies of (some of) them are on my external hard-drive.

I had a tough time deleting them to start with, it’s like they were my babies and I was abandoning them, but the only ones that truly ceased to exist were things like movie trailers, or links to things that had been removed. I started in 2010, and by the time I got to the end of 2019 I was deleting without a qualm.

Then there was the updatings. I ended up doing some sort of updating to all the remaining 369 posts … mostly renewing links, revising categories, keywords, and endeavouring to make sure there were no links left to the posts I’d deleted. That could be embarrassing. (just like typos though, we can always bank on there being at least one that gets missed)

I came across a few posts that I’ll turn into short stories and … who am I kidding, I couldn’t keep a story ‘short’ if my life depended on it, (maybe if my life did indeed depend on it, maybe) so they’ll probably end up evolving into something bigger than I anticipate, but what sort of wordsmiths would we be if we didn’t occasionally bite off writerly things bigger than we could chew?

I came across some wonderful videos too, like the fabulous peanut diving ferrets … and this one, which for some twisty reason cheers me up no end when the world tries to drag me down …

A Perfect Ten – 2017

Previous years, HERE.

Because the 27th of September falls so near by Birth Day (30th Sept) I’ve noticed a trend of the nearby posts being variations on that theme. Who’da’thunk! … and while those are important to me, I’ve chosen to skip along to the nearest post that isn’t about my Birth Day.

Case in point, this one, on the 1st October 2017, in which we build our garden shed.

Storage has always been a premium here on Widder Island, because as I mentioned in the 2017 post we have a large farmhouse’s worth of equipment stored in a little two-bedroom cottage … and moreso now that we’ve shifted our ‘Wunder-Luster’ gears to focus on finding our ‘forever’ home and then travelling in our trusty travel trailer, rather than the other way around as we initially planned. Thank you Convid-19.

I’ve often thought throughout my three-score years (mostly during the second one-score of ’em anyway) that the fact that I didn’t have, nor need, many possessions to be a mark of independence.

Given my upbringing, it’s not surprising I felt that way. Permanence and security, safety and trust, were illusions that were inherently dangerous to my young self. It was best to carry as little with me as possible … a survival strategy that made for a quick getaway, when and if necessary.

But, that kind of ‘independence’ relied on the stability of a whole lot of social conditions which are no longer secure (if they ever were) Thank you, again, Covid-19

However, in order to live my life the way I yearned to do, (Mrs Widds too, by-the-way. That’s one of the reasons we get on so well together) which was to live sustainably and comfortably, it would require the gathering of certain possessions. Tools and equipment to be precise.

Since we’ve been on Widder Island (8 years, at last tally) we’ve been accumulating what we needed, when things came on sale, or good quality 2nd-hand or thrift-store purchases.

By the time September 2017 came around we just didn’t have enough room for storage and live our lives at the same time.

Hence the shed.

By the end of 2019 we were ready, finally.

2020 was going to be our year … we were going to put almost everything in storage, hitch up our travel trailer and head  off into the wild blue yonder. … and, recording it on our Wunder-Lusters YouTube channel, we would seek out strange and wonderful new places, meet all sorts of strange and wonderful new people, and if we came across our ‘forever home’ that was all the better … well, we all know how that turned out don’t we? … for everyone.

T’was a bitter pill. One that I still joust with on occasions … but then what’s life without a few jousts?

I don’t know when we’ll get there now. I’d like to think we will, but, there’s a giant gap between then and now. It’s funny isn’t it? I thought this series would be a bit of a celebration of my ten years blogging on WordPress.

Going back in time is enabling me to clarify going forward … which isn’t a bad thing at all.

The Troubling Dichotomy Of The Time We Live In

Last Friday I stubbed my little toe, (well it, and the one next it, as it turns out)  and now, they and that part of my foot, has turned a lovely purple/green colour and are very, very, sore … probably some cracked, if not broken, bones.

It’s funny isn’t it, that until we do even the smallest of damage to our appendages we don’t fully appreciate just how much we need ’em.

I’m not going to get my foot x-rayed, or go anywhere near our regional hospital at the moment. For one thing there’s nothing the medical establishment can do for my tootsies that, with a modicum of common sense, I can’t do for myself … and …a local outbreak of Covid-19 was traced back to the hospital and until they get a clean bill of health, I’m staying away.

In the early days of the known outbreak, I say ‘known’ because the more time goes by the more we learn that the virus was out in the world earlier than first thought. Current estimates have it hovering somewhere around December of last year.

What were you doing in December of 2019? I bet you weren’t social-distancing, or wearing a mask, or self-isolating if you felt a bit ‘flu-y’.

Anyway … In the early days of the known outbreak, I started keeping tabs on the global confirmed numbers registered on the John’s Hopkins website. In hindsight it was a way for me to make sense of the horrific tragedy that I knew was coming even back then. I check, every night, around midnight.

The first date was the 8th March – 103,369 confirmed cases, an increase of 3,923 from the day before. (those numbers seem almost like a fairytale now don’t they?)

From there it took 23 days to reach one million. Yesterday (Monday) the total was nine million, and only 7 days before it was eight million. The average infection rate, at the moment, is about 150,000. Per day. (the actual rate of infections is probably ten times those ‘official’ figures)

When you look out your window, does the world look normal to you?

The view from my desk is still of the Summer Tree, the green grass of our front yard, (which in this humid weather we’re having right now is growing like gangbusters, and isn’t going to get mowed any time soon – see above-mentioned broken toes), and the wee lad across the way who has progressed from trotting to a flat-out run-waddle.

The global climate crisis hasn’t gone away. Once things get back to ‘normal’, pollution, sea, and temperature, levels will continue to rise, and ecosystems will continue to experience catastrophic collapses.

I can walk out to the garden and pick strawberries that are sweet and juicy, and know that in a few weeks the blueberries too will be ripe for the picking, and we’ll go ‘hedge-harvesting for blackberries along our road (my toes better be all healed up by then!) after that.

Will we experience food shortages in Autumn and Winter? Not here, perhaps, but what about countries where people are already running drastically short of food, medicine, fresh water, etc?

This dichotomy troubles me. Not all the time, that way lies madness, and no-one can hold the enormity of what we, as a species, are facing, for long and stay sane.

It troubles me because there are times I don’t give a flying fuck about the enormity of what we are facing. All I want to do is nurse my broken toes, make something nice for dinner, read a book, write some words in my next story, and forget that anything else exists … but, thankfully those times don’t last very long either

Is this denial, grief?

We strive for balance in our lives, don’t we? Balance between things, whatever they may be, that are important to us. And yet on some level we know that that balance, once achieved, is fleeting. It never lasts, then we teeter off in another direction, perhaps far, perhaps not too far at all.

So, I teeter this way and that, and thus far, I haven’t stubbed my broken toes on anything else.

And The Sad Keeps Coming – Bon Voyage, Sir Ian Holm

Bon Voyage, Dame Vera Lynn

May we all meet again, some sunny day.

Can’t Talk Now, Busy Editing Previous Posts, However …

… here’s a little something I came across to brighten your day …

The Latest Discovery In The Penguin World

Table Manners in the Time of the Plague

A simple request … you’d think it would be simple to grant … but no … life is far more, complicated, than we mere mortals could ever imagine …

A Perfect Ten – 2018

Continuing my countdown to this blog’s 10th Anniversary on the 27th September by revisiting what I was posting at that time each year. (here’s the post forA Perfect Ten – 2019)

Today we hit 2018.

The nearest post to the date was 30th September – my Birth Day, my 60th in fact! The post itself is a little bit of a celebration, but in it I referenced a post I’d written about five months earlier, wherein I ponder the upcoming event and what, if anything it meant to me.

At sixty-one I still feel much the same about the passing of years, but I want to add a bit more about the Days themselves.

If you’ve announced your birth day on the interwebs (and we’re connected in some way), you might’ve noticed that I respond with’Happy Birth Day’, and not the more traditional ‘Happy Birthday’.

There’s a reason for that.

I’m rather fond of ritual celebrations, the ones that are connected in some way to Mother Earth or the deeper substance of our lives, and the day we’re born is probably the most important one. Although recognised in our diverse cultures, I thought it deserved its own upper-case ‘H’, and ‘B’, and ‘D’. … just like Summer Solstice, (coming up soon here in the Northern Hemisphere) the Queen, (there can be only one) and the Fraser Valley. (where I live)

Language, (particularly the English language) is a very fluid entity, and although there are occasional ‘fluidations’ that gets up our noses, (we all have our pet peeves … or several … or many. Go on, admit it) that fluidity is a good thing. It stops us, and our culture, from stagnating. And while a little stagnation is OK every now and then, if we do it for too long we end up smelling like bog-gas.

I also talked about getting into the final rounds of editing ‘Prelude’, (for those who are new to my blog is the tale of how I gained some rather fascinating wisdoms) which led me into a bit of a blue funk about my writing efforts of late.

“What writing,” I hear you ask. “Exactly,” I respond.

Along with our proposed Wunder-Lusters adventures, I feel like every other project I had in the planning stages was torpedoed by the Plague of the 21st Century, (the first one at least. I have a sneaky suspicion that these kinds of global events are just getting started) including my writing, fiction that is.

I have story ideas, I have outlines, (I’m mostly a pantser, but occasionally, when the mood strikes me, I do a serviceable rendition of a plotter) I have research, I have scenes – with dialogue and everything, I even have some fantastic mock-covers I created with Pulp-O-Mizer, (you’ve never heard of Pulp-O-mizer? Oh, it’s such fun, even if you’re not a writer, you need to go over there right now and have a play, I’ll wait) but what I don’t have is all the words lined up in the right order and formed into (coherent) sentences, paragraphs, pages, and chapters.

It’s a bit depressing really … and frustrating.

I was OK shifting gears away from my writing to focus on getting the Wunder-Lusters up and running, but I can’t seem to find the right combination of gears to get back to it. I keep on grinding the clutch. (which incidentally, is why I love that our truck has an automatic transmission)

Sometimes you just have to keep grinding the clutch until all those bloody little gears line up again.

The Bird Is The Word

What does a parakeet, a pierce of string, an empty soft-drink bottle, and a bit of PVC pipe, have in common?

You are so not gonna guess.

This is beyond cool

And my brain is already constructing all sorts of versions. I mean, what if I used several different types of string?

Or a stick instead of the pipe.

Oh, right, yes, the video.

Coming right up…


(I discovered this video via ‘Instructables‘, which is a truly fantabulous place for anyone who’s ever wanted to make, well, anything really!)

And now, you know why this post is called what it is …