Whole Lotta Noise

Way back in 2016 I upgraded my hearing aids from these, to these.

Over the last few months I noticed my hearing had suffered a bit of a drop-off. Either because my hearing aids are nearing the end of their life, or I’m losing a few more increments of my organic hearing ability after three-score-years-and-two of wear-n-tear.

I took myself off to my local Costco Hearing center (where I got the last pair of hearing aids) and had a hearing test. Turns out my hearing loss was a combination of the two above-mentioned possibilities.

So, now I am getting new hearing aids, and a new phone, because my trusty old iPhone5 is as much of a dinosaur as my old computer was, and won’t support all the high-falutin’ tech that my new ‘hearables’ require to function.

Luckily our cell-phone contract ran out a little while ago and we were in the process of looking around for a new best-and-cheapest option anyway. Here in Canada, it’s possible to have the cost of a new phone, (or most of it at least) incorporated into a monthly-fee service plan … which is a good thing because with all the money we’ve put out of late this wouldn’t been possible otherwise. New phones are obscenely expensive. (one of the reasons why we upgrade only when absolutely necessary)

The audiologist said something that’s stuck with me though.

She noted that even when I could hear something clearly, being in an environment that is filled with complex (human generated) sound is not exactly my cuppa tea. (I may have paraphrased that a little)

I remember when I was a child growing up in a very unsafe environment, I needed to be hyper-aware of my environment at all times, all of my senses on full alert, if I was to keep myself safe. (there wasn’t anybody else around, certainly no other adults who weren’t in compromised situations themselves … which also explains why I don’t feel overly comfortable with locked doors, or anything that restricts my movement … I mean, I get a bit twitchy if I can’t even get my rings off my fingers when I want to)

It’s no surprise that there’s a part of my psyche that considers loud background noise to be, at worst downright dangerous, and an intrusive annoyance at best.

I don’t mind loud natural noises, the ones that aren’t ridiculously loud that is. (an Aussie summer filled with deafening cicadas is not to high on my list, or exploding volcanoes, etc)

Human noise is drenched, not only in sound, but the energy behind the reasons for making those sounds. An energy that is unpredictable and yet so easily manipulated.

Definitely not my cuppa tea.

Greenlandia Epiphination

I watched ‘Greenland’ the other night. It’s an ‘end-of-the-world-by-asteroid’ disaster film, starring Gerard Butler being all Gerard Butler-ish. It was a fun romp through every ‘disaster film’ trope/meme, with some above average CGI effects thrown in for good measure. I was entertained.

Some time later I was describing the movie to Mrs Widds which, even later still, triggered a bit of an epiphany.

Yes, my friends, I epiphed! … and what I epiphed about was this …

In all of these sorts of movies we see what I like to call the ‘noble sacrifice’. It’s where the, almost always, curmudgeonly elder, usually a disaffected parent of one of the estranged lead couple, dies. (who incidentally almost always have a child, who sports a vulnerability of some sort – in the case of ‘Greenland’ the kid is a diabetic)

The curmudgeonly elder who has survived for their requisite three-score-and-ten (or thereabouts) years quite well, thank you very much, must sacrifice themselves in order to save one or more of the primary characters, after one or more of the primary characters, (or their self-absorbed teenager) has put themselves in mortal danger by doing something breathtakingly stupid.

The curmudgeonly elder has to be sacrificed so the ‘young-un’s’ can live, presumably breed, (usually shown in epilogue, mid, or end-credits scenes – I’m looking at you Minority Report’) and ensure the continuation of the species.

Another perfect example of the curmudgeonly elder dying in order for the brood to survive is the curmudgeonly grandma in ‘Dante’s Peak’, who literally throws herself into an acidified lake to save her precocious grandchildren (another disaster film staple) who came looking for her, along with the lead characters who came looking for precocious grandchildren. (now that I think about it, that movie had another curmudgeonly elder, the senior volcanologist, who died sacrificially too)

Side note: – just because you’ve got a healthy ‘breeding pair’ doesn’t mean that’s necessarily a good thing. Just look at the intro to the movie ‘Idiocracy’ to see a prime example of how that can turn out.

This may have been necessary in a pre-technological/industrial world, when all the ‘rebuilding of a society’, by necessity, would have to have been accomplished by hand.

Young folks = lots of strong hands, and backs (and afore mentioned ability to self-replicate at an alarming rate) … old folks = a waste of scarce resources.

However, in our wonderful and terrifying modern era, it t’ain’t necessarily so.

What we have now is KNOWLEDGE. (and the technological know-how to render those strong backs obsolete)

Unless all life on Earth is reduced to the odd random microbe, (in which case, all bets are off) the most precious resource to be preserved is knowledge. Not the kind of ‘knowledge’ curated by the archiving of every tweet ever thumbed across the digital universe, but the myriad knowledge of how to construct a living breathing society/ culture.

Knowledge is one thing, but then you’ve got to know what to do with it, and that knowledge, folks, resides within the life experience of … you guessed it … The Curmudgeonly Elder.

How apropos in this Entertainment Age, where Youth is eternally sought after, that the sacrificial lamb is actually mutton.

There are so many tangents this wee bit of an epiph could head off into. but this is after all, a wee little epiph, so I’m just going to stop here and leave the rest to your imagination.

Season Of Blah

For this last week I’ve been telling myself I have nothing to blog about … which is why I haven’t posted anything since the ‘eyelash’ incident.

Much has happened though … I finished the latest round of renovations to our trailer and back into storage it went on Saturday.

I have come to terms with my new computer taking several more steps to do just about anything than I grew accustomed to with Windows 7. I’ve hunted-and-gathered programs to replace the ones Microsoft deemed unnecessary in the new millennium, including an acceptable analogue desktop clock.

All the Autumnal leaves have fallen from the Autumn Tree, and she’s settling her Winter Tree mantle across her shoulders.

Autumn Tree in the Autumn Rain

Autumn Tree in the Autumn Rain

Even though infection rates are soaring in our province (as they are across Canada) as one would expect as Winter draws close, at least three Covid-19 vaccine trials have produced some favourable preliminary results.

Mrs Widds and I are both healthy. (apart from the usual ailments the living of many decades invariably produce)

I accomplish the day-to-day tasks running a household requires with a minimum of moaning and groaning. I appreciate the results, not necessarily the doing of them.

All-in-all, life is … OK, so I’m just going to call this in-between time, the days between the end of Autumn and the beginning of Winter, the Season of Blah.

Schrödinger’s Kitten – I may or may not be here

Schrödinger’s Kitten – I may or may not be here

Have You Ever …  The Eyelash Edition

(Sometimes it’s the little things that trip me up, so I started this series last year – when ‘normal’ wasn’t the punchline of a very bad joke)

Have you ever …

… put on your glasses first thing in the morning and have one of the arms break off …

… and you search high and low for another pair of the same lens strength, but you can’t see a bloody thing because your glasses are broken … so you wear the broken ones until you find another pair …

…  and you put the new ones on and they’re OK for a little while … but you think there’s something on one of the lenses, so you take them off and clean them …

… and then you realise that these new glasses sit higher on the bridge of your nose and your eyelashes on one, (and one only) eyelid are brushing against the glass, EVERY TIME YOU BLINK …

One eyelash …on one eyelid

One eyelash …on one eyelid

… and because you’re conscious of this now, you start blinking even more …

… until finally you can’t stand it any longer and you decide that the offending eyelashes need to be trimmed, so you get the scissors and peer at your eyes in the bathroom mirror …

… but you have to take your glasses off to trim the eyelashes, but you can’t see without your glasses … so you poke the scissors up between your eye and glasses lens, but your lizard brain tells you this is a DANGEROUS thing to do and your eyes tear up and you can’t see what you’re doing anyway …

… so in the end you take your glasses off, hold the scissors horizontally and when you feel them touching your eyelashes, you gingerly snip at something and hope for the best?

Nah, me neither

Happy Glasses

Happy Glasses


Back Among The Interwebs

Well, that was a weekend I hope not to live through for another ten years!

It only took a few hours all told, but first came the removal of the old, the cleaning of accumulated dust dragons from the tops of desks and the underneath-sess of desks where vacuum-cleaners feared to suck.

Then we unboxed …

The Great Unboxing - unboxed

The Great Unboxing – unboxed

… and began …

Useless instructions, a cuppa, and the new toy

Useless instructions, a cuppa, and the new toy

For every set-up stage I completed at least 5 dialogue boxes popped up asking if I wanted to ‘enhance’ my experience, and not inconsequentially, send all my ‘enhance experience’ data through to the Dark Side. Suffice it to say, I always chose the ‘no’ option.

Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 aren’t as horrible as I expected them to be, but why did they have to insert two or more unnecessary, dare I say irrelevant, steps, into every action? I suspect the answer is 42, just as it is the answer to why WordPress decided their Block Editor was the way forward.

Then, we have The Two Towers – not the second Book in The Lord Of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, no, more like the difference a decade of technology makes …

Size does matter - old tower on the left, new tower on the right

Size does matter – old tower on the left, new tower on the right

Finally, there was the light show. I suppose, from a marketing perspective, when you’ve innovated yourself into an evolutionary cul-de-sac, the only thing you can do is add the bling … (I’m actually going to keep on using my ergonomic keyboard and wireless mouse, but I thought you might enjoy this electronic pyrotechnic marvel)


The Great Unboxing – It Begins

(I was going to title this post, ‘The Last Post’, but given that it’s 2020, I didn’t want to scare anyone unnecessarily)

I’m about to undertake the most dangerous job imaginable – unplugging everything from my old computer hard-drive and setting up the new one.

I shall, of course, take pictures, and  if you don’t hear from me in the next 48 hours … send chocolate!



… And Dessert

Wait for the end … wait for it …


Table Manners Too

Remember they guy who made that mind-boggling ‘pass the pepper’ machine?

Well, before that he wanted the salt …


Having My Head Examined – Part 2

Part 1 – HERE

Pumpkin pie notwithstanding, the actual visit was … an experience.

Have you ever seen the poster by Gottfried Heinwein, called ‘The Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, wherein he reworked Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks at the Diner’ with Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Elvis Presley, instead of the original characters?

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

I’ve been in and out of hospital, (takes off shoes and socks to count) somewhere in the order of fifteen times in my adult life. All of those visits have been for surgeries to my knee with a few tagged on the end there for my thyroid cancer.

Almost every hospital, (on two continents) had a large entrance or atrium, where there’s usually a coffee shop, a directory, the elevators, a few clusters of faux-comfy chairs, that sort of thing … I’ve always thought of these areas as a sort of ‘boulevard of broken bodies’, because inevitably there would be a smattering of all sorts of body’s, in all sorts of stages of repair and disrepair scattered throughout.

The energy of broken and mending people is hard to be around sometimes. When I think of the thousands of people who have moved through those halls and rooms, all with their fears and pain and terror, it’s almost possible the hear the walls themselves screaming to be released from it all.

This miasma isn’t noticeable to the casual observer, and if loins are suitably girded, one simply feels a sense of relief when one leaves.

My loins were not sufficiently girded. I was already emotionally off-balance. (for reasons mentioned in Part 1)

Throw into the mix, having to wear a mask, (being mid-range-deaf and everyone else is wearing masks too so I can’t lip-read as I usually do and I certainly can’t decode their mufflings without a universal translator) the whole ‘boulevard’ thing, and add an eerie dose of those halls of medicament being damn-near deserted just to top it all off.

I gotta tell you, I was so far out of my skin (read ‘comfort zone) I could’ve been orbiting Jupiter and I wouldn’t’ve been able to tell the difference.

Normally I’m easy-going, but nothing’s ‘normal’ anymore, is it?

By comparison, the CT scan itself was the epitome of horizontalised boringness.

On the way home I blathered on to Mrs Widds about all of the above, and as good listeners (and, hopefully, all spouses) are wont to do, she made supportive noises in all the right places and offered up her wisdoms when I finally ran out of steam.

12 days later, though, and the hospital STILL hasn’t sent its report to my GP. (as of today 22nd October)



On the up side, a cold front is dragging lots of chilly air down from the Arctic this weekend, so we might even see some early snow …. and we all know how I feel about snow!



Our road, January 2017 - Oh, how so long ago that seems

Our road, January 2017 – Oh, how so long ago that seems

Mrs Widds Bakes: Pumpkin Pie

As promised.

This is the recipe for just the filling, which is the most important part. The pie shell is (mostly) just to keep the filling from glooping all over your oven while it bakes.

Mind you, Mrs Widds pastry is spectacular all by itself, but, if you’re not a pastry person, or if you don’t have a Mrs Widds of your very own, a store-bought pie shell will suffice. (although, now that I read it, this recipe calls for an unbaked pie shell – I have no idea if such a creature exists in stores. You’re on your own there)

Herewith be the magic recipe book … (it’s been around the block a few times)

Published in 1960! I'm only two years older than this book. How wonderful is that!!!

Published in 1960! I’m only two years older than this book. How wonderful is that!!!

This recipe has been used so many times the page actually smells like pumpkin pie …

Can you smell that tantalising aroma from there?

Can you smell that tantalising aroma from there?

Pumpkin Pie filling:

1 1/2 cups of canned or mashed cooked pumpkin (we repurpose our Halloween pumpkin and once it’s all nice and cooked and mushy we freeze it in freezer bags with about 2 cups per bag)

3/4 cups of sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 to 1 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ginger

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cloves

3 slightly beaten eggs

1 to 1 1/4 cups milk

1 6oz can (2/3 cup) of evaporated milk

1 9″ (22cm) unbaked pastry shell


Thoroughly combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices.

Blend in eggs, milk, and evaporated milk.

Pour the mixture into the pastry shell. (crimp the edges high – filling is generous)

Bake at 400°F for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean.



Go back for seconds.

Possibly thirds.

As you become familiar with the recipe you can adjust the sugar and spices to taste, and if you want any of the other recipes on the page just enlarge the picture.