Week Five

by wjw on October 16, 2019


I think I’ve taken some pretty good pictures, but I’ve never been lucky when it comes to photographing my own pets.  Whenever any of our cats sees a strange object with a lens pointed at them, they tend to vanish over the horizon before I can snap the shutter.

Fortunately our ragdoll Mocha was too sleepy to flee when I tried to get her picture the other day. It’s a decemnt picture of her, except that it fails to show the lovely blue of her eyes.

I had my Week Five post-surgery evaluation today, and all restrictions are off!  I can drive, I can fly, I can play violin!  (Funny, I couldn’t play violin before . . . )

I can cross my legs, pick stuff off the ground, and enjoy my hot tub.

Life will be sweet from this point on . . .




From the Coffee Shop

by wjw on October 11, 2019

Xfiniti, my phone company, dug up my ground line the other day, I assume by accident.

I suspect malevolence, however.  My ground line now consists of nothing but splices.  The phone company has cut my phone line so many times that I have to assume it’s deliberate.  I mean, why would a public utility repeatedly expose their customers to incompetent service?

I no longer have access to the Internet from my home.  I’m posting from the local coffee shop.  News will be spotty for, let us hope, only the next few days.

But it may be weeks.  You see, I’m incompetent to diagnose my own phone problem.  They have to send a technician to analyze the difficulty, and he may decide it’s cosmic rays or something, anything but their own incompetent service.

UPDATE: Hey, the guy showed up on time, dug through some cold, soaked clay, and fixed my problem!  He also says it was AT&T that sliced the cable in the first place, though I could swear I saw Xfiniti painted on the truck.  Maybe AT&T is trying disguising themselves as a rival and wreaking havoc.


Hobbling to the Finish

by wjw on October 9, 2019

I’m trying to finish the next Praxis book, which I hope to do in the next few days, so I’m spending even less time here than usual.

In the meantime feel free to enjoy this interview with LD Colter, 2018 Taos Toolbox graduate and author of While Gods Sleep.

PS: I continue to improve four weeks after surgery.  Pain is down, mobility is up, and I can hardly wait till I’m allowed to drive again.



by wjw on October 2, 2019

Behold a pair of eider ducks, possibly in the process of settling into a new home.  These were encountered just outside Reykjavik back in June.

The female eider lines her nest with the down from her own breast, and this is collected for use in pillows or whatever.  The farmers do not, I am told, somehow trap the ducks and tear the down from their living breasts— the down is harvested after the chicks leave the nest.

If your living depends on the eider duck, you don’t want to mistreat her, because she won’t come back to nest on your property the following year.  If you get a whole colony of them going, you want to treat them well.

It’s now three weeks since surgery, and I remain pretty much in the nest.  I’m walking with a cane and taking about twelve times the daily steps I did with the walker, which is good.  Most days Kathy takes me to the park for a walk.  I am improving day to day.

I only experience real pain at night, and the meds take care of that.  Tylenol is all I need the rest of the time.

Kathy is amazed that I’m not more stir-crazy than I am, but then even if I get out into the world, there’s not much I can do.  You can take me to the mountains, but I can’t walk on the trails.  You can take me to the pool, but I can’t get in water.  You can take me to the strip mall, but there’s nothing I want to buy.

It’s dull, but then I’ve otherwise had a quite exciting year, and the year will get exciting again ere long.

In the meantime I’m imitating the eider duck, and trying to stay warm.


Just Add Butter

by wjw on September 28, 2019

IMG_0266So many thanks to my lovely wife Kathy for improving my recovery by making this taste from my childhood, Finnish pancakes.

Finnish pancakes are wide as a frypan and thin, like crepes, except they’ve got way more butter and eggs in them.  My mom made them throughout my boyhood, but like all her recipes, she was never able to give a recipe to anyone.  She didn’t know measurements and portions, it was all in her head.  Of my family, no one else in my generation had a recipe, either, and for the same reasons.  I thought I’d lost the taste forever.

Of course it’s different now, when you have this thing called the “worldwide web,” where you can look up any damn thing, and find a recipe like this one.

Or you can find the pancakes in the wild, which I did last year.  I was on vacation in Minnesota, where I planned to visit my family and then spend a week in the outdoors, doing a lot of hiking on Lake Superior Trail or whatever.  Except in the middle of that trip my hip began to act up, and I had to cancel all my plans because everything I intended to do was too painful.  So I was stuck with going wherever my rental car would go, and that turned out to be Thunder Bay, Ontario, because I’d never been there.

Now when I was a kid and lived in Minnesota, there was no place called Thunder Bay, there were two communities called Fort William and Port Arthur, who decided to merge, I suppose, and they got rid of their imperialist British names and adopted the coolest name they could think of, which I guess was Thunder Bay.

Anyway, it turns out that Thunder Bay had a large Finnish immigrant community, which I never knew about, and right in the middle of the Finnish neighborhood is the Finnish Labour Temple, an Edwardian-style building with a tower, for all your labour-organizing needs.  Because one of the things that laborers need is good food at reasonable prices, the Temple features a restaurant called the Hoito, which has been around for 98 years and is “is perhaps the oldest co-operatively owned and operated restaurant in Canada.”

So I went in and ordered the pancakes and this whole taste of my childhood arrived, and it was all quite wonderful, and I spent the whole day in a transport of nostalgia.  The next day I had the pancakes for breakfast and then drove back south through a rainstorm that poured down all day, creating a flood that later exploded out of my hotel toilet.

So now I’ve had my hip replacement and I’m stuck at home being bored and out of sorts, and out of the kindness of her heart Kathy has recreated one of the great lost tastes of my childhood.  Hurrah!

If you want to enjoy this taste for yourself, follow the recipe linked above, then serve with fruit compote (lingonberry is traditional) or with maple syrup, in either case along with enough butter to paint a barn.


Longing for the Hot Tub

September 25, 2019

This morning I went back to town to have 23 staples removed from my hip— remarkably painlessly, I should add.  I am hoping the staple removal will serve to accelerate healing and mobility.  I am now walking mostly with a cane. I’m still not allowed to use the hot tub, or in fact any tub. […]

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Getting Bored Now

September 21, 2019

I’ve been home now for eleven days after surgery.  I’m getting more mobile each day, though I often have trouble sleeping at night without the aid of pharmaceuticals.  There are only two positions I can sleep in, on my left side or flat on my back, and after a while my body, and most especially […]

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Six Days

September 17, 2019

So.  Six days at home after completing surgery. Today I was able to take off the surgical dressing and view my eight-inch scar.  I don’t want any of you to faint, so I won’t post a picture, but it looks was if I sat down on last week’s centipede attacker and it was somehow fused […]

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I Become Bionic

September 10, 2019

Behold my world for the next few days. Monday morning at 5:30am I reported to the hospital for total replacement of my right hip. Anesthesia came via a spinal, but I slept through the procedure anyway. The surgery was brief and trouble free, and I was alert and chatting in the recovery room, and on […]

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Highway in the Sky

September 8, 2019

I’m going to be intensely occupied for the next few days— so totally unlike me, right?— so I’m going to leave you with this lovely picture of the Kerry countryside.

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