I’ve got a lot of favourites.  But I hadn’t counted on relishing so many of them at once. Within the past 24 hours I have been unexpectedly overtaken by a collection of everything imaginable, things which by coincidence I happen to include in my list of personal favourites.  Now I don’t really have a list of favourites.  Well, actually I do, but the formalized list is limited to what I have fulfilled as my favourite music. Upon examination of that particular list I discovered this small insertion:

This is an eclectic selection of music derived from Apple Music “Listen Now”. It figures coincidentally many pieces which have been notable to me throughout my life. Otherwise there is no theme intended apart from what the algorithms betray.
L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B., Key Largo, Florida, Winter 2022 – 2023

Speaking of algorithms I notice too that under the heading of Playlists on my Apple Music there is blank collection called Favourite Songs (apparently a built-in drawer to which I have shamefully added nothing).  I have instead added my own drawer entitled “Favourites Mix Apple Music for L. G. William” (which is the collection first noted above) and I’ve also appended “Jazz Standards Essential Apple Music Jazz” (which no doubt I discovered already designed for me by Apple’s algorithms). Listening to these favourites (from any one of the drawers) is exceedingly stimulating.  Music is exceptionally stimulating for me. It is the one thing – literally – which makes me cry with uncontrolled exuberance. Especially when, as today and for the past several days, we’ve had perfectly clear blue skies and cool dry air. Which brings me to another of my favourites – cycling.

Our winter venture this year on Hilton Head Island taught me unequivocally that I can bear the deprivation of a bicycle.  I think if I we’re cycling only on an open beach, I’d think differently.  But if I have to slow my progress for any reason, or stop and start again, the tricycle is by far now the more apposite choice. I happen to have done a bit of research about tricycles while we were on Hilton Head Island (at a time during which I had only a bicycle at my disposal).  Anyway, we’ve determined that there are tricycles for rent from an agency which is located adjoining Low Country Produce & Market where we adore dining and which happens to be close by the house we’ve contracted to rent next year.  So my “favourite” in that department is taken care of next year.  More proximately I am thrilled to be back on my Evos tricycle here at home.

For the past number of days, with the inviting springtime weather and the honking of the Canada geese upon the nearby river, tricycling has been an effortless almost irresistible undertaking (in addition to being a purgative relief to appease my undying Protestant Work Ethic). I enjoyed gabbing with neighbours or saluting them as we passed one another, whether cycling, walking, running or strolling with dogs. Correspondingly the images of the flowing blue river and the sprouting greenery, the appearance of youth in their unique and sometimes preposterous clothing abouding their natural sylphlike beauty, and the ineffable perspective we have upriver across the limitless farmlands, all combine to pronounce the vastness of the human senses including those emotions of invention and drama which magically awaken and percolate from the erstwhile dormant inner resources.

Not the least of which sensual appetites to be enthused is that of food. By entire accident several days ago, when searching for chocolate croissants and finding none remaining in the bakery counter, we chose instead the unfamiliar but available Trail Mix muffins (about which I have previously eulogized). Today, upon reattending the bakery outlet at Equator Coffee in search of Trail Mix muffins and once again seeing none available, suddenly there appeared from the back a barista carrying a tray of freshly baked Trail Mix muffins.  I bought them all!  Of course they are only to be treasured the day they are made, so I could think of no more convenient resource for some of the extras than my sister (who is a late morning riser) and my brother-in-law in the city.  Not only would the donation exhaust some of the surplus; the occasion also afforded an acceptable excuse to travel a prolonged distance in my equally cherished Cadillac. It was in fact within its cabin that I first collided with so many of my favourite musical compositions (which by the way I continue to enjoy on my Bose® headphones even as I write).

But the gushing doesn’t stop here. Yesterday there arrived a package of goods I had ordered through Amazon.  We had previously harboured questionability about the goods, first because the shorts (3 of them, Roundtree & Yorke in-house brand of Dillards) which I had ordered may be too big for my current sphere; second because we were collectively uncertain whether the supplier (from whom directly the goods were to be delivered) would do so or whether we’d end having to make a claim for refund for undelivered goods to Amazon as has happened in the recent past.  Anyway, the shorts arrived.  Like the Trail Mix muffins, I had bought all three of that size that remained on the site at the time.  After opening the tightly packaged goods, I was instantly appeased.  The fabric, the pleats, the inseam were perfect.  And when I tried on one pair, they fit comfortably.  I have never preferred tight pants of any description – especially as I have always spent most of my time seated whether in school, at the piano, throughout my law career or now in old age at my desk while writing and pondering eternity.

This sartorial triumph was in turn introductory only to the evolution and completion of a further advancement in the favourites department.  Many, many years ago I became enamoured of what are colloquially called “granny glasses”, the semi-rimless (pince-nez style) spectacles with rounded spring cable temples. As much as I adorned the frames, I had to abandon them because they were GF 10K (gold filled) but the alloy in the cable temples reacted unfavourably with my skin, causing an itich and a rash.  It was about the same time I had all my alloy tooth fillings removed and replaced with solid gold dental fillings instead. Over the years I attempted to find a spectacle manufacturer of similar style but always without luck.  Several years ago however I located a supplier Shuron (South Carolina) which turned out to better represented by its retail agency Essilor (based in France and Italy with at least one North American outlet in Texas).

Shuron has been an optical manufacturer since 1865. Shuron has survived almost 140 years within three centuries and two millenniums by producing quality, fashionable products that remain in style and demand. Very few companies in the world can make such a claim.

Co-founders (FramesDirect) Dhavid Cooper, OD and Guy Hodgson, OD are both originally from South Africa where they moved from to the United States in the 1980s. The two business partners had several optometry practices in Houston, Texas operating from 1986 until 1994 when they had an opportunity to sell their offices. After taking a year off, the two co-founded FramesDirect in 1996 and launched FramesDirect.com later that year. The company was headquartered in Houston until Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike forced their customer service representatives to relocate to Austin, Texas, and eventually the rest of the office followed. In 2010, Essilor, a prescription lens manufacturing company, acquired the majority stake in FramesDirect.com. Shortly after, Essilor partnered with FramesDirect.com to create and launch MyOpticalOnline.com, an online service that allows independent eyewear practices to sell their products online.

EssilorLuxottica SA is an Italian-French vertically integrated multinational corporation based in Paris and founded on 1 October 2018 from the merger of the Italian Luxottica with the French Essilor. The eyewear-focused group designs, produces and markets ophthalmic lenses, optical equipment, prescription glassesand sunglasses.

The curious feature of this story is that I already own two pair of what are specfically identified as Shuron Ronstrong frames, a small and a bigger width (though identical temple length and bridge size).  Sadly both are too narrow.  I have today – in a fit of retail profligacy – ordered the largest available size instead.  They are not particularly expensive so the two trial runs haven’t been overly costly.  And I am glad to have experimented with the alternate sizes.  The frames are such that they are meant to fit “tightly”.  It is not only part of their appearance but also part of their facility; the tightness preserves them from the customary movement one experiences with plastic rimmed glasses (forcing one routinely and repeatedly to push up the frame).

P3 Glasses have a shape known by many but a name known by few. They are a classic rounded shape, where the temples meet the front toward the top. Before the invention of p3 eyeglasses in the 1930s frames were generally round or oval. Since then p3 frames have become one of the most popular frames styles in the world. P3 glasses were was also known as Ful-Vue eyeglasses, the idea being that the temples meet the front at the top corner of the frames instead of in the center as was common until the invention of p3 Glasses. The “P” in P3 stands for Pantoscopic, or Panto in short. This refers to the tilt of the bottom of the frames towards the eye. The 3 refers to the 3mm difference between the height and the width of the lenses. Traditionally if the lens width was 44mm the lens height would be 41mm. P3 glasses offer a classic and sophisticated look and are suitable both for men and women for prescription lenses or sunglasses.

The final interjection to this monologue is to acknowledge what has been the moderate entertainment of having captured several photographs with my new iPhone 15 (which I suppose is also part of my favourites currency, notably technology).  Last evening’s address by USA President Joe Biden was part of it.  And this morning’s cycling in the neighbourhood.

I remark upon the Biden speech not because it is remotely counted among my favourites but because I see America upon a precipice, indeed one which is reflected by many others whom I know and love, including American citizens whom we’ve had the privilege to meet, acquaint and befriend over the past decade in particular when we spent 6-months a year there. As our interests and physical conditions change, and partly motivated by the changes of the face of America over the past 8 years in particular, we’ve currently resolved to spend less time in America and more in Canada. We have nonetheless preserved a lasting interest in the development of America. We have so many immuatable favourites which are the consequence of our American affiliations; viz., music, food, clothing, accessories, locale and people (among whom by the way are numerous members of my immediate family who live in Michigan and California). And I continue to count my time of residence as a child in Washington, DC as capital, a critical and insinuating thread of my life.