Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Young Dog and I have just returned from our third trip around "the circuit" for today.

That circuit takes us down some sidewalks, on the path through a park, and back home via the riverbank trail. The park was the site of a Tuberculosis Sanatorium from 1925 until about 15 year ago -- the buildings are long since gone.

It takes us about 15 minutes to make the trip of about one kilometer -- enough time for us to have as semi-brisk walk, but still allow YD to sniff around and do whatever. But having gone from little or no walking on a daily basis to three "circuits" per day has been a bit of a stretch -- particularly for my muscles. Fortunately, rest and meds have dealt effectively with the pain. (I know, I'm rushing things a bit -- but the dog won't wait.)

Last week, it was "tough sledding" through the snow. But above-freezing temperatures (in the range of 3°C to 5°C during the day), with good southerly winds, have been melting the ice and snow nicely, so the trek is a good deal less treacherous.Overall YD is doing a good job -- walking me regularly. (Yes, I've gone to the dog -- or, more correctly, with the dog.)

With this kind of weather, I hope to get my tree trimming done tomorrow. That would be nice. Then, my thoughts will start turning to the garden. But that's going to be a while.


I decided to have a shower today. Life has been a bit harried for the last few days, what with trying to mesh our family's schedule with Young Dog's schedule.

Anyhow, I thought today would be a good time for a shower. So did the dog. (You did notice that he is a Portuguese WATER Dog?) I got in the shower and turned on the water. Young Dog began immediately to bark, and whine, and wail. He wanted in.

Now I'm fairly open-minded (as even The Blog Fodder will attest, when he's in a good mood). But I'm not so open-minded that my brain has fallen out. The dog was NOT coming into the shower with me! Fortunately, I got out of the shower before YD could break down the shower doors. (He's only a 10-month-old pup; I don't think he understands his strength. Or maybe he does. Hmmmm. . . .) And, as the last bit of water drained from the tub, he was still thinking very seriously of jumping in.

After I dressed, we went outside to trim the daggum drattem rottem Elm tree. Previous owners of the house had installed two of them, before we had a problem with Dutch Elm Disease. One of the challenges with this disease is that you can't trim the Elms after March 31st or before September first, since that's when the elm bark beetles are supposedly active. (They're the bugs that carry the disease.) So there I am, almost knee-deep in snow at some spots, trying to trim this tree, while strongly doubting the beetles would be active in this year's climate. (BTW: I've decided this activity is my version of Winnie the Pooh's "stoutness exercises."). YD, who loves to chew on the small branches, was in his glory; I was almost in agony.

The problem is that this particular elm tree is right where the electrical and phone lines come into the house. If I don't trim the tree, and a storm comes along, and tree knocks down those lines, guess who pays? Right.

I quit earlier than I had planned. Young dog came in and wanted to play. I declined. Very clearly. So YD is sleeping, I am blogging, and I'm going to try to have some tea and a rest. I am determined to survive, and stay sane (or at least one of those two).

Monday, March 30, 2009


If your wondering what a Portuguese Water Dog looks like, there's a pic on the border. This one has long hair; ours has just been cut. Otherwise, this could be our dog's twin brother. (PWDs look very much like Poodles, but they're a bit shorter and a bit chunkier.)

I'd post a picture of our dog, but I don't know how to make the technology work -- from camera, to computer, to blog. I'll master the technology when I have time (which may, or may not, happen before H**l freezes over). As I explained to The Blog Fodder, I don't have the "luxury of doing nothing."

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Yesterday as a non-comedy of difficulties.

Young dog had us up much earlier than anticipated. He may have been hungry. I'm not sure.

At 7:30, we had him into the groomer's. G3 had called the day before, asking when we could get an appointment. Groomer thought G3 sounded desperate. Only partly true.

Truth is that YD is about 10 months old, but has never had a clip. His hair was matted in a number of places. He was almost as fluffy as one of Crystal Jigsaw's sheep. And just as cute, but in a different way.

We got him back at noon. By then he looked more nude than Lucky (of LIFE IS GOOD fame). And by that time, we are all off schedule. We slept a bit in the afternoon, which proved to be really fortunate. Then he decided his bed was a new toy and dragged it all over the basement. Eating and walking were all out of sync. He woke me up about every three quarters of an hour in the night. So in desperation, we gave him something to eat, and a big cuddle. That seemed to be enough.

Today, things went better.

We all woke up rather sleepless. (Well. at least the people did.) But overall, the day went well. Eating, resting, and walking in a normal schedule. To entertain YD, I did some tree pruning in the back yard, which he explored, played with the cut branches, and kept me company. We also played some puppy games on the floor, as I have done with our other dogs. Only instead of just getting growls and licks, I almost lost an eye, half of an ear, and parts of two fingers. (OK -- that's a bit of an exaggeration.) But, fancy this -- male dogs play rougher than females. Duh?! I should have expected that. But since we've only had females in the past, and because YD is a stronger animal than I anticipated, I didn't fare as well as usual. (Note to the Bear: don't try that again!)

Aside: Portuguese Water Dogs (PWDs) are working dogs -- historically, with Portuguese fishers. They are strong dogs, helping retrieve tackle, herd fish into nets, and carry messages from boat to boat. They need a lot of activity, and while they can be good family pets (as President Obama has apparently decided), they do tend to be closely attached to one member of the family, as their ancestors would have bonded closely to the person with whom they were working.

There was one major downside. Bear decided to get some rawhide chew bones from local pet store for YD. Dog sat with G3 while Bear was gone -- barking, howling and crying until Bear returned. The experience did not endear said dog to G3.

With any luck, we'll all get a good night's sleep tonight, and tomorrow will be a grand day. (I've got some night-time snacks ready for the dog, just in case.)

Oh, by the way, while I've been typing this, YD has been busy amusing himself. I offered him a rawhide bone -- he wasn't interested. But I left it in a place he could find it easily. After a while, he decided he was interested, and had a chewing good time. Then he started flinging the bone around, finding it, and racing around the furniture. Last step -- bring it to the Bear and have Bear toss it, for retriever dog to fetch and return. After all that, YD was totally tuckered out, and is lying at Bear's feet. Probably time for both of us to call it a night.

See you anon.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I have been working on a project which, sadly, has not come together for me. At least, not yet. So I've shelved it for the time being. I'd rather not do it than do it poorly. That's just the way I am.

In the meantime, something else come to mind.

"Writing Quiets the Voices in My Head" -- blog by Thinkinfyou
"Cheaper than Therapy" -- blog title for both Attila the Mom, and The Mom Jen (two separate blogs)

I'm quoting these people, partly for their wisdom, partly for their titles. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I really use writing partly as a form of therapy, an partly as a way of having fun, and partly as a way of meeting new people. (My problem is, as Aussies like Natalie would put it, I've got "a few roos loose in my top paddock." That's roos" as in kangaroos, "top paddock" as in head -- the image is pretty clear.) It is therapeutic in that I share my thoughts and feelings with others, as they share theirs, and some maintain some social contact beyond my house. And there are some really funny stories too. Like "The Blog Fodder" talking about "New Meds for Women" and Dana talking about her new toy. (WARNING: Dana's piece is SERIOUS ADULT STUFF -- open only if the kiddies are asleep in bed and/or you and your teen(s) are ready for some serious "educational" conversation.)

Lately, I've come across something interesting. It's on Christine Kane's Blog, and it's called
"Eleven Irresistible Reasons to Write Everyday." (I'm quoting it here with Christine's permission; thanks Christine.) It is something every blogger should consider; it is something most bloggers have considered, thought they may not have thought of it in precisely these terms.

What I find is that I spend about a third of my blogging time actually preparing posts. The other two-thirds, I spend reading and thinking about other peoples' blogs -- my friends I've never seen. And those blogs are, by and large, somewhere between good and exquisite! And often I add my comments (probably they're a bit long, sometimes; sorry if they are). So, even though I don't post every day, I write every day.

And it is an absolute joy to do so.

(I'm also just back from taking Young Dog for another outing. He's new to us, so I'm not sure what he's saying when he "talks" to me. But after three days of having this very enthusiastic, lovable, highly-energetic, 10-month-old Portuguese Water Dog in our home, I'm "dog tired.")

Friday, March 27, 2009


We have a dog. Temporarily. For a week.

Uni-gal (our daughter in law) is doing a presentation at a conference in California. Her first international presentation. (Not the kind of thing that hurts one’s CV.) So that’s wonderful.

She leaves behind Warlord, Celtic Boy and Celtic Girl. No major problems. Kids are pre-school; Warlord is SAHD.

But the dogs are another story. Old Dog has beeen part of the family of ages. She is the essence of ”laid-backness.” Young Dog, however, is absolutely full of energy (he's only a year old -- what would you expect?). He needs to go adventuring at least twice a day -- 15 minutes is OK -- half an hour is a lot better. Moreover, his ability to "get into things" is legendary. Since Young Dog is really Uni-gal’s dog, she’s the one who walks him. Trying to walk two kids and two dogs all at the same time is a bit much for Warlord. And that's understandable (at least to the Bear).

So the agreement was struck. Young Dog would stay with us for the week, and the Bear would walk him -- or, perhaps more correctly, he would walk the Bear. (The Bear desperately needs to build up his stamina after hibernating all winter.) So this will all be just fine. Bear and Young Dog already have a strong bond; I always spend time with him when we visit the kids and grandkids.

Last night was his first night with us. We got home and let him thoroughly explore the house -- upstairs and down. G3 and I thought we had “dog-proofed” the house (like “childproofing”). Young Dog however demonstrated in short order that our planning was totally, abysmally inadequate. However, we sorted out the imperfections in our plan (mostly the Bear’s imperfections, to be honest).

G3 had made what we thought were appropriate sleeping arrangements for Young Dog. When it came to bedtime, however, Young Dog absolutely refused to settle. Finally G3 thought, “Maybe he needs to do out one more time." So the two of them headed to the back door. Did Dog go out? No, way, Jose! Dog came tearing downstairs and into my bedroom. G3’s plans notwithstanding, he knew where he was gong to sleep! (Did I mention that Dog and I have an attachment?) So we decided not to argue the point with him, and let him sleep in my bedroom. Even at that, it took him quite a bit of time to settle -- with all the strange sounds of a different house and different neighbourhood. But he did much better with me than in the previously-planned place.

G3, Bear and Young Dog all got a good night’s sleep, more or less (very more or less!).

The end (or as we journalists would put it, — 30 —).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Sometimes, I sit and think.
Sometimes, I just sit. -- Anon.

Lately, I've just been sitting. (That's not entirely true -- I've been reading what you've been writing. And adding comments. Sometimes.)

I'm sure my brain will re-engage at some point. But not tonight.

And it really didn't engage this afternoon, when I was in a research ethics board meeting -- the first I have been able to attend for several months. On reflection, I found that inability to really engage was troubling -- even frightening. I feel like I'm not myself right now; I also felt I wasn't doing my job (which I really hate -- because I'm letting down the rest of the team). Weird. Frustrating. But I don't think fatal.

At least I hope it's not fatal.

What it is, is "high nuisance value."

Please "bear" with me.

Friday, March 20, 2009


In response to some prodding by FF and others: a confession.

The piece on Autism isn't going as well as I had hoped. I'm having trouble getting the relevant video to play on my computer. It's about Autistic people, talking about their own situations. I thought it was very thought provoking when I saw it initially, but I wasn't making notes at the time. So I have had to go back and review it.

In the meantime, while I'm trying to master the technology, I've been sidetracked. In this case, it's been by two other writers, and their concerns about the demise of newspapers (particularly good newspapers). You'll find that little project on my «Bears Noting» blog. Once I get that written.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


No, I'm not really missing, I've just shifted -- re-located as it were. Moving brain. Whatever.

I'm working on a piece about Autism over at another blog of mine, "The Ethical Pilgrimage." (The link is on the sidebar, in "My Blog List," just beneath my picture and bio.)

(If I could figure out how to put the link right here, I'd do that. But I'm a techno user, not a techno geek.)

I'll be back here in a few days or so, after I'm finished there.


Well, 'tis the 17 of March -- St. Patrick's Day.

I'm not sure where it comes from, but a poem emerges from my addled mind:

Up a long ladder
and down a short rope
to Hell with King Billie
and God bless the Pope
And if that's not enough
we'll cut him in two
and send him to Hell
in his red, white, and blue.

I take no responsibility for the accuracy of the quotation; as I've said, my mind is addled.

I do need to be careful, though. My wife's family dates back to the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s -- when one of her ancestors came to the New World. So we mark the occasion. Did I mention that wife, daughter and granddaughter all have red(ish) hair?

Plus, Patrick was originally from Wales, part of my ancestral homeland. The problem, in that regard, is that St. David's Day -- March First -- is virtually forgotten, except amongst the most fanatic of the Welsh (at least in the New World). «Quelle Domage» as French Fancy and a Woman of No Importance might say. (For those of you not aware, David is the Patron Saint of Wales.)

What is particularly unhappy now, is that a splinter goup from the Irish Republican Army is starting to kill people again, and de-stabilize the hard-won peace in Ulster. That brings great sadness to our house. Would to God that March 17 could be a date that all Irish could celebrate in freedom and joy, and peace.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I would really like to have another dog. Ours died about a year and a half ago. I miss her; I really do. At least there was someone around the house other than me. And she was an excellent, four-legged "door bell."

She was, of course, far more than that. We got her as a puppy, and trained her to work with my wife (G3) in a long-term care facility. She was very smart, and easy to train. And she was very good at working with people. Being a Standard Poodle, she was an ideal size to sit in front of a chair, stationary or wheeled, and let people pet her. Some didn't like her, but most did, and a few even kept dog biscuits for her. And she and I had great walks. G3 and I would take her to an open space, sometimes, and call to her; she would end up running back and forth between us until she got tired. Sometimes, she would get so much snow and ice between her toes that it was painful for her to walk; that's when I would pick her up (no small dog, at 35 pounds) and carry her home.

Sadly, as she got older, she became blind, and developed other health problems. Those conditions shortened her life.

We'd had several other dogs before her. One, a small poodle, had a particular habit. If I lay down in the afternoon for a rest, I would take off my glasses and fold them up. (Nothing unusual about that.) As the legs folded in, they would make a particular "click, click" sound. The dog, upon hearing that sound, would head for where I was. By time I was lying down, she would be curled up behind my knees. (No, she didn't get to sleep there at night.) That dog's primary task in life was to take me for walks on a regular basis.

I want another dog. Problem: being a bear in my sixth decade, there is a reasonable chance that the dog could outlive me, or that we would have to part with said canine because we might have to move into an apartment. (That would happen, should we not be able to keep up the house, or ourselves.) Both of our children have two dogs each.

Another problem: if we were to get another dog, we would want one that doesn't shed. That, sadly, limits our choices.

And, it would also have to be a large dog that doesn't shed. Meaning a Standard Poodle or Portuguese Water Dog. Still further limitation.

I wish (in some ways) I could just be irresponsible and have a dog just for fun. And not consider the long-term implications for the other creature of God. Sorry, I just can't do that -- do that and be fair to the dog.

But I still want another dog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


A delightful soul calling herself "A Woman of No Importance" had some thoughtful ideas to share. And where thoughtful ideas are shared, and the Rob-bear comes across them, well, . . .

She began by sharing thanks for those who had expressed concern about hurting friends. then she observed:

The world is getting smaller and smaller, mes bloggy chums, supported by our love and growing friendship and admiration shown and shared across our blogs, writings, and feelings, (Oh, my male followers are slipping away, whooooosh, there they go.)

My response was to assure her this is one male reader, was "bearing" with her and wasn't "slipping away, whooooosh," when she talked about "the global village," as per Marshall McLuhan -- to whom I referred in my post "I WRITE THE STORIES (2)." In his Understanding Media, McLuhan observes "the globe has contracted, spatially, into a single large village." (xii)

So the "Woman" is right on: "Indeed, the world is getting smaller and smaller, mes bloggy chums, supported by our love and growing friendship and admiration shown and shared across our blogs, writings, and feelings." Our global villageness is expressed in our concern for things like Grizz's mishap and the far more serious accident of Braja, her husband, Jahnu and their driver. (The Grizz is the Woman's son.)

In our "global village" live no more than a wire apart. It's as easy as leaning your head over the back fence and chatting up your neighbour.

Any woman -- any person -- who recognizes these very important realities is not "of no importance."

Friday, March 13, 2009


Well, its a new day. But not much different from yesterday.

Yesterday I was given the "definitive word." I am "not capable of returning to any regular work at this time." That is not surprising, given how I'm feeling. It's been almost three years, and it could be another year before I'm "well" (or a reasonable facsimile thereof). Then in about six months, I hit retirement age. As I said in my profile, "Too sick to work; too healthy to die -- you're stuck with me the way I am."

{Aside: there are people who read my blog postings and comments, and have concluded that this bear will never be "well." They may be right. Depending.}

To tell the truth, the reason I started blogging on a regular basis was as a form of therapy. Writing is something I can do; I've been trained to do it, and I've done it for decades. Getting people to "do it on paper" (or the internet) is important, as I've told "The Blog Fodder." In this case, the "people" is me.

But this is different. This is about me. This is not "objective, fact-based" writing. This is risky stuff. Especially for someone who is "a conservative and introvert by nature."

I have absolutely no idea where this is going to take me. But "Musings from the deep" wants me to keep writing, bless her heart. (Of course, if things go wrong, it's her fault!) It's not that I'm irresponsible, as in won't take responsibility for my actions. I'm actually very responsible; when anything goes wrong around the house, people say I'm responsible. (Bears do not know how to lie; it is not in our nature.)

So you can all come along for the ride. If you get bored, there are a lot of other blogs out there, to which you can go.

And that's the news. I'm Rob-bear.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Stories. I've written and told lots of them.

I've covered court cases. I remember an agri-businesses which wanted to set up a huge feedlot (cattle station/livestock farm) a few miles upwind from a town of several thousand. People took the business to court, claiming the stink of the feedlot would fill the town. They won. Some years later (I understand) another feedlot was successful, in spite of the town's concerns. I'm also told that, may summer days, the smell is so strong you can't have a barbecue (barbie/cookout) in town, because of the overpowering odor.

I've been at train wrecks, with toxic chemical spills. I've sat through a lot of long, tedious, boring town and city council meetings. I've covered "mock" disasters -- emergency preparedness exercises. I've seem a "little guy" beat the tax man in court; it can be done. I've seen high school students, from good homes, convicted for vandalizing a church. I've written stories on budgets, on government programs (remember the phrase: "I'm from the government, I'm here to help you"?), on farmers attempts to get just and meaningful farm policies put into place, or keep them once they're established. I've been on the lines when a farm family was putting up a fight to try to save its farm (i.e., business and home) from a banker.

They're stories of joy, possibility, hope, fear, success, frustration, justice and real injustice.

For a journalist, there are five basic questions: who, what, when, where, and why. The "why" question is always an ethical question -- a question of meaning, purpose, goal, intention. It's a question of how we are going to treat each other, the world, or both. It was an easy step to move from the ethical questions of a journalist to the ethical questions of the medical ethicist (as well as the who, what, where, and when).

"And," to quote the late Paul Harvey, "now you know the rest of the story."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


"Tell the stories" -- Herbert Marshall McLuhan

Ever heard or used the words "the medium is the message," or "the global village."? Those are just two of many concepts expanded by Marshall McLuhan.

Born in western Canada, educated there and in England, McLuhan spent much of his life as a professor at St. Michael's College, which is part of the University of Toronto. (For more about him, see his official web site, http://www.marshallmcluhan.com)

Among other things, McLuhan converted to Roman Catholicism while in England. He was active in his local parish in Toronto.

In the mid 1960s, the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church brought major change, and controversy. Among other things, there was a new emphasis on better communication, particularly in homilies at Masses.

Subsequent to Vatican II, "the faithful" and the clergy in local parishes were coming to grips with all the changes. McLuhan was invited to have supper with the parish priests one night. The question at supper: "Dr. McLuhan, can you give us any tips on how to communicate better with our people?" McLuhan put down his knife and fork, thought for a moment, said, "Tell the stories," and went back to his meal.

In our churches, sometimes the teaching and preaching isn't that great. We preachers sometimes get wound up in explaining the transient vicissitudes of non-somnambulistic hypnopaedia. And people nod off -- mentally, if not physically. But tell a story -- a good story -- and everyone's "right there."

People understand stories. Stories from their family history. Stories from books, the theatre, and movies. Stories in the news media (if they're done well). Stories shared by bloggers -- the new media leaders. Stories that need no explanation (except some background, perhaps, to give them context). Stories are our life.

(To be continued)


"I write the songs, I write the songs." -- Barry Manilow

I'm writing in response to a question from "Musings from the deep" -- as in deep New South Wales, Australia. Natalie wanted to know what I wrote for these 30 years or so.

The answer -- stories. Not "the Great Canadian Novel." Just stories. And for ten years I read them on the radio. "Good (morning/afternoon/evening), I'm Rob-bear with the. . . ." Well, you know. The line doesn't change that much from time to time or place to place.

Stories. The basic building blocks of human experience and communication. Events captured in words, shared in verbal pictures. Sometimes cranked out like word-sausages from some infernal, deranged sausage machine. Sometimes crafted carefully, deliberately.

That is also the essence of blogging. We share our stories, our lives, our selves.

Same stuff; different day. But not entirely.

And that's the news. I'm Rob-bear.

(To be continued.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


"There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them."

That's the famous signature line from the American tv series "The Naked City" (based on the movie with the same title). Both were crime dramas; both were set in New York City. The film was done in 1948; the tv series on ABC was 1958-63.

In blogsphere, there must be at least eighty trillion stories (and counting). Some are hilariously funny. Some are painfully real. Some raise significant public issues. Some are simply telling us about the "nuts and bolts" (and poopy diapers) of everyday living. Some are just plain rants (as in, "There now; aren't you glad I got this out of my system?"). Some are "earthy" (a polite way of saying "obscene," or close to that).

Some of the writing is pretty bad (needs a good editor -- good editors can fix just about anything); some is scintillating. Indeed, some of the writing is good enough to be published. There are people can open their hearts and minds (and souls) to total strangers in such a way that we are drawn into their experience -- the experience they have created. There are lots of Garrison Keillors and Margaret Atwoods out there. You can trust the ol' bear on this. (I say that as someone whose work has been published regularly over the space of about 30 years, on radio and in print.)

Except for the worst stuff, I find I'm amused and inspired by what you write.

So keep on blogging, writing. Please.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


(NO, not those kinds of birds; the ones with wings. And feathers. Roger Tory Peterson would approve.)

I'm home alone. G3 and Dragonfly have gone to the opera. It's a mother/daughter thing they do from time to time. It's from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, but actually shows at the local theatre (cinema, movie-house). There's some kind of audio-visual link from MOH to here. Since I'm not responsible for the link, I don't think about it.

My attitude towards opera is somewhat like that of a certain Mr. Smorgus:

Mr. Smorgus went to the opera,
Where he sat and snored.
Mr. Smorgus hated opera;
Boy, was Smorgus bored.

Which is why G3 and Dragonfly go to the opera without me.

So, I'm home alone, except for the birds. We used to have a dog -- a standard Poodle. She got sick as she got older; very sick, actually. We did the humane thing for her. It's the thing you cannot do for people (at least not legally, in Canada -- but legally in a few other places). (If you want to see more about that, check my blog, "The Ethical Pilgrimage" -- with the story about the Latimers.)

As for the birds, "the regulars" have come to Rob-bear's B&B (Bird and Breakfast -- with all-day breakfast). There's a mixed flock of House Sparrows and House Finches. A few Black-Capped Chickadees. The Chickadees always give me "what for" when I go out to fill the feeder. But because they've figured out that my presence is somehow connected to a full feeder, they tend to not go very far when I'm out there. (They may be bird-brained, but they know a meal when they see one, or see the meal provider.) I'm hoping to see some "irregulars" -- Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, White Breasted Nuthatch. Or maybe something totally different. (I heard a Raven when I was out, but didn't get to see the "trickster.")

The birds we will not be seeing are "The Eagles." They're having a concert in town. After a few years off (say about 14), they're back to their old habits. Tickets are $200 each. That's way too much for our modest budget. Even if they are going to sing "Hotel California," which isn't guaranteed.

But G3 and I will be going to our local Theatre (as in live theatre) tomorrow afternoon, with our friends, the Couple from Out-of-Town. We've had season's tickets for the Theatre with COT for years -- the one luxury for which we budget. The ritual is the same. We meet at the Theatre. After the play, we come back to our place for supper. After supper and good chat, COT hits the road for home (a drive of about three-quarters of an hour, mostly on a four-lane highway).

Speaking of feeding, I'll need to go shopping for a few things. Then I'll come back and
a) watch the birds some more, or
b) read the book G3 and I are reading (we have our own, two-person book club), or
c) have a rest (which is usually part of my routine, especially when I haven't slept well at night, which is often), or
d) a combination of the above.

There's also a report for our Health Region's Ethics Committee (on which I have served for years). I probably won't get at that until tomorrow or Monday -- likely Monday, as tomorrow seems full already.

Tonight, I may meander through the blogsphere. Or may not. It will depend on how tired I am.