Category Archives: General

Putting it all together

This morning on the occasion of what I believe qualifies as one of the scheduled semi-annual conference calls with our financial advisor Stephen Brown, B.Com. (Honours), CFA®, CFP®, CIM®, FCSI® of BMO Nesbitt Burns (613-562-6533), we were reminded in a professorial manner of the coincidence of everything upon the stock market. Over the period of an hour, Brown methodically reviewed the changing face of the stock market and included throughout pointed (and intermittently detailed) references to the effect of politics, democracy and oligarchy, wars, immigration, birth rate, religion, pandemic, nationalism, isolationism and of course the weather.

In the result Brown (who joined the banking and investing collaborative in 2013 about the same time we did)

Breakfast at the golf club July 17th, 2024

Shortly before ten o’clock this morning we pushed off to the golf club in the Village of Appleton for breakfast.  Last evening I had sent an email to Chef Wendy MacDonald specifying our intention to do so; and she had thoughtfully replied that all was in order. I prefer to ensure we are not colliding with a scheduled clubhouse event. When we arrived we were set on the outdoor patio at an umbrella table overlooking the fairway.

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Christmas in July!

Who isn’t awakened by something new!  Today – two days ahead of schedule – my new prescription sunglasses arrived at Heritage Optometric Clinic on Lansdowne Avenue in Carleton Place. I was sent an early morning email notification to which I instantly responded. And as quickly I was able to arrange an appointment to collect them this afternoon.

It has been years since I have purchased a new pair of prescription sunglasses. The reason has nothing to do with sunglasses. Nor has it anything to do with economy.  Instead the disinclination arises from the lenses of both my eyes having been replaced several years ago.  The expectation at the time of the surgery (which proved correct) was that I would have 20/20 distance vision but still be required to have reading glasses.  As a result I ended purchasing a variety of sunglasses off the shelf without any prescription because predominantly I used sunglasses for driving or when cycling.  I could thus bear the deprivation of a prescription for distance or magnification for reading.

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Lazy summer days

Last evening following our exceedingly healthful seasonal dinner of assorted vegetables and mixed bean salad we lingered into the twilight and the mosquitoes upon the balcony overlooking the pastures and the gentle river. It is a hardship to withdraw from the summertime perfection in mid-July. The balmy air from the south completed the idyllic ambience. We departed the heavy black plastic armchairs on the balcony after having positioned them appropriately for our next visit, a sculpture set as a surviving reminder of the sublimity.

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“My other car is a tractor!”

It constitutes the height of lofty arrogance to proclaim, “My other car is a tractor!” Or so I quipped to my erstwhile physician earlier this afternoon while luxuriating in his meadow pool on his country estate. He and I had been carrying on an aimless conversation about Trump’s latest misadventure. There were as well idle references to the klan and the brotherhood (though importantly not in the same breath). Somehow the focus of our disjointed confab diverted to automobiles which I confess are routinely a point of inspiration for us both. It would be tarsome to track the convoluted process by which we jumped in a succession of unrelated topics to automobiles. But suddenly we were together sharing a belly laugh that, “My other car is a tractor!”

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Do you have a reservation (secundus)?

Previously I was forced to withdraw temporarily from my monologue concerning the subject of reservations.  At that time I had addressed the matter of dinner reservations in particular; and that only in a cursory and somewhat apocryphal manner. I am however more engaged philosophically and psychologically concerning the matter of personal reservations, that collection of skepticisms and reluctances which so forcibly govern one’s otherwise rampant behaviour whether intentionally or unwittingly.

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Do you have a reservation?

Reservations often attest a defining moment (such as a gathering) or a material qualm (such as a persona). In my experience reservations – whether bookings or scruples – mark engagement or disengagement of significant rank. A dinner reservation customarily signals a matter of especial social significance usually more than putting on the nose bag (“groups of ten or more should make reservations“). It is a practice we’ve frequently adopted over the years for family gatherings at the golf club when our numbers (with friends included) climbed surprisingly. Its substance clearly contrasts with those “dining” places which purposely do not accept reservations, itself a demur expressing an unqualified and vulgar dedication to retail advantage (not to mention snapping one’s fingers at those who are so equally selfish to abandon a commitment). In the result the dinner reservation is preserved for those instances which are anticipated to involve nutrition of more than the fleeting visceral imperatives.

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Horseback riding

When I was a youngster living in Red Deer, Alberta my sister Linda and I frequented the nearby farm of one Mr. Brandt for horseback riding lessons. We were initiated on bareback then graduated to Western and finally English saddle. Although I haven’t ridden a horse for decades, I recall that my preferred animal was a Quarter horse which was between 16 and 18 hands high, not insignificant to a wispy child. I also spent summertime vacations at so-called “dude” ranches where the horses tended to be less agile (though I recall on an outing to the hinterland having hobbled our team during a violent rainstorm so they didn’t evaporate into the bushes overnight).

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Muddling morning

Overnight during what was at times a restless and disturbed sleep marked by ephemeral interruptions of seemingly astonishing insight and creative flair, I forecast in my then inventive mind a production of indescribable consequence. One must always move forward; or, as my erstwhile physician is wont cryptically to observe, “Keep moving!” Period! There is simply no other way to calculate life’s productive motives whether physically, intellectually, psychologically or emotionally. Thus I too find the succinct denomination not entirely beyond relevance. It is a perfunctory mandate of the simplest instruction.

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Looking over the railing

I have just returned from my ritual afternoon automotive drive and purge. The car performed smoothly and reinvigorated my plaudits for General Motors. I’m now in our apartment blankly staring out the drawing room window. The black metal balcony railing is conspicuously covered in shimmering blobs of rain water. The railing is directly ahead of me as I sit at my desk, intermittently writing, glancing at the flourishing fields and the sallow river. It is a misty damp summer day. The railing is parallel the edge of the grey flooring of the balcony (the outer lip of which I can barely see); and, likewise parallel the upper edge of my mahogany desk. It affords a uniformity to the spectacle, framed by the triple perpendicularly configured balcony posts which are also black metal.  The balcony armchairs as well are black and covered in shiny blobs of rain water. Between the two chairs is a small grey foldable table smeared with pools of rain water and upon which we set whatever we wish when inhabiting the marvellous view.  I customarily frequent the balcony in the morning or early afternoon for a discrete moment of sunbathing; and, in the evening we foregather for dental flossing and cultivated private after-dinner conversation.

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