Movin Agin

Yes, I’m off to new digs once agin. We’ll splain it all when you get there. Please adjust your set.

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Of course, the word tidbits (see title) began life as titbits, but modesty, at least in North America, prevailed. That reminds me of my prim and proper buddy of times past who would say conking instead of caulking because … well … you figure it out.

It was National Grammar Day on Sunday. This point isn’t really grammatical, but it is related. I say nyooz, not nooz (for news, in case you are wondering). I think the great majority of Americans say nooz and, from what I can tell, so do most Canadians nowadays. I guess I was brought up in the British tradition. Please tell me that the Brits still say, “nyooz.”

As brought up by KGMom on Facebook, I also pronounce theatre/theater as three syllables. I had no idea that some people only say the two, not pronouncing the “a”.

As I write this, we are having a cold blast. Although it has been a relatively mild winter, it is almost down to 0°F this morning. It was mighty cold waiting for the school bus with Nikki Dee this morning let me tell ya. Brrrr!

That being said, daughter saw about two dozen robins on the neighbours’ lawn, which at present is not a lawn but a snowfield. They’re either back here mighty early or they stayed through the winter. In either case, they are silly birds!

We went on a little drive yesterday with the thought of taking some pictures, but it was cold, and I am losing my enthusiasm for taking winter photos anyway — so I didn’t. It was bright and sunny (if you’ll pardon the slight redundancy), so we enjoyed the drive followed by coffee and a sandwich while sitting by the river in the car. (I’ll leave that phrase as is, but speaking of usage, can you picture the river being in the car and us somehow sitting beside it?)

Our new beds will be coming tomorrow. Hopefully, they’ll be just what the our backs require in order to be a little more comfortable. Cuppa also told me this morning that she found herself rolling towards me all night, which we only find pleasant in short bursts (he said winking). No wonder, I tend to find myself a wee bit cramped. Hopefully, a king-sizer will be just the ticket.

In the event, we’ve had quite a rigamarole moving beds about lately. Our guest bed went to Nikki Dee. Her’s went to Zach, who is pleased as punch to be sleeping in a big boy bed. Our bed went to the guest room. The changes have necessitated much cleaning and also a certain amount of shifting of furniture as each move exchanged a smaller bed for a larger one.

Next week is March Break hereabouts. The grandkids’ parents have surprised us by planning to take some time off work, so it will be a bit of a break from babysitting for us too. I don’t imagine we’ll do too much that is grand and glorious, but hopefully, we can do a few nice things that we otherwise wouldn’t, including enjoying lazy mornings.

Since I’ve mentioned National Grammar Day, I wish to declare that I understand that there should really be a comma after hopefully (see italics in above sentence), but it seems a little precious (see fourth definition of precious if the usage is new to you) to do so on an informal blog.

I suppose my use of precious is a little precious … as is my mentioning of precious being precious … as is … oh fuggedaboudit.

Posted in Lightheartedness | 6 Comments

More on Introversion from TED

A stranger shared a link to the following video after reading my Rise of the Introverts post. It’s a TED talk (so you know it’s good) that’s only 19 minutes long. It’s worth it if you have the time.

Due to the power of modern technology this introvert, yours truly, had Susan Cain’s, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking in his library within minutes. Having just finished Hitchens’s, God is Not Great, I needed a new non-fiction to go along with my usual stash of mysteries. 🙂

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The Rise of the Introvert

Beware! We introverts have had it with being misunderstood and are coming out of our reclusive hideaways, however briefly: for briefly is all we can manage before we scurry back into our restorative sanctums because we can only stand exposure to you tiresome extroverts for so long.

I have decided to revisit this topic which I first blogged about five years ago, here, here and here, because doggone it, it seems to be gaining some traction. I am coming to this conclusion because within the past month or so, I have come across two posts on Facebook, each linking to a different article on the topic, the latest being “Caring for your Introvert” in Atlantic Monthly.

I suppose the main ideas from the three articles and one book that I have read on the topic that introverts’ brains simply work differently than extroverts’ brains utilizing different chemicals and different and longer neural pathways (see the final paragraph and accompanying diagram). The result is that we behave differently.

Introverts, for example, find small talk difficult and large social gatherings draining. After a certain amount of social exposure, we need to withdraw to recharge our batteries before the next onslaught. Despite widespread opinions to the contrary, we are not necessarily shy although we may seem to be because we have less to say in social situations. We like to think before speaking, and we therefore frequently don’t get around to contributing to a discussion because the conversation will have moved on to other topics by the time we have thought a notion through to our satisfaction. Conversely, extroverts often think by talking rather than before talking. I have seen the thinking process in extreme extroverts and have been able to witness their thought process as they adjust and modify their ideas during a discussion, sometimes seeming to almost contradict themselves.

Personally, and perhaps this also has to do with causes other than introversion, I find that I often process information akin to how a cow digests its food. It’s as if I absorb the information on one level but that I don’t actively do anything with it until later when it for some obscure reason wends its way back into my consciousness.

For example: one day last summer, my brother-in-law and I were discussing religion as we are wont to do. The notion of communion/mass/the-lord’s supper came up in the conversation, and he mentioned something to the effect that other ancient religions had their versions of this sort of ceremony. At the time I nodded rather blankly, but hours later in the middle of a concert in the park if you can believe it, the topic resurfaced in my brain, and I remembered that the cult of Dionysus had such a ceremony and that Saint Paul came from a main centre of that cult. I didn’t think it was, therefore, a coincidence that Paul had been the one to introduce the practice into Christianity. However, the appropriate moment had long since passed, and I was never able to convey this interesting and perhaps very relevant tidbit to the conversation. I mean to say that was rather late in the day in and at an inappropriate place and time to make any attempt to rescue my credibility in these matters.

Those are some of my thoughts and experiences. Following are a few excerpts from the Atlantic Monthly article although I recommend that you click and take a few minutes to read it for yourselves. It is written somewhat humourously and tongue-in-cheek as opposed to in a scholarly vein, but it contains some good thoughts and information.

Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people.

Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic … Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.

… after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating.

The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves.

Following is what I think is a helpful image that I scanned from The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney. It shows that the brains of introverts and extroverts operate with different chemicals and that the introvert’s pathway to processing stimuli is much longer and involves more steps — 7 long steps as opposed to 5 shorter ones. No wonder we find it difficult to keep up with small talk and rapidly moving conversations. I apologize for the quality of the scan, but I think you can see the steps, and you can click for a larger view if you wish.

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Henry’s Garage

I have already posted bird photos from our lunch at Wheelers Pancake House and Sugar Camp last week. Wheelers is quite an impressive family operation. Aside from the restaurant and boiler in the main building, there is a Maple Syrup museum, a blacksmith shop, various implements distributed here and there, a display of farm antiques, a new chainsaw museum, and Henry’s Garage. It is the garage that we turn our attention to today.

Here it is with a vintage car inside (I didn’t think to check the make) and an old fashioned gas pump outside.

Henry's Garage at Wheelers

A closer shot seems appropriate.

A Closer Look

As we move closer still, my eyes were drawn more to the license plates and shelf than the car. Whenever I return, I must make amends and focus more on the car itself.

Henry's Garage

Here is the same photo converted to black and white.

Henry's Garage

We now draw the lens back again to focus on the White Rose sign and pump. White Rose was a Canadian gas and oil company back in the day. In the sixties, my mother actually used a White Rose service station for both her gas and repairs although. Did sixties pumps, especially early sixties, look like this? I can’t recall. Perhaps these are more of a fifties look.

Henry's Garage

White Rose disappeared as a service station entity sometime in the sixties after being bought out by Shell. Therefore, it seems appropriate to add a black and white version of the photo.

Henry's Garage

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Wheelers and Birds

We drove out to the country to Wheelers Maple Sugar Camp on Monday, Family Day. Naturally, I took some pictures. Naturally. And naturally I assume that you naturally want to see them.

Maple Syrup and Pancakes

Pancakes on the grill

Tim Wheeler's Blacksmith Shop

The view from our table, including the bird feeder and the lines that bring the sap to the boiler in the other part of the building. More birds below.

The Birds of Wheelers

Downy Woodpecker

The Birds of Wheelers


The Birds of Wheelers


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I Think Maybe They Listened

Lately, Blogspot bloggers, including moi have been in a tizzy over the new double word verification. I posted about it yesterday, and many others have as well.

But, Google may have listened.

To wit: here is the graphic that I posted yesterday. Look how in each case one of the two words seems to have been deliberately mangled to make it difficult to decipher.


Now look at what the captchas have looked like since the masses spoke. Although still not the easiest, I see quite a difference. I don’t think I have squinted or made an entry error since.


This I can live with — especially since this two-word verification system seems to be aiding the planet. The gist of the following TED Talk video is that companies such as Google are using this systems to assist in the digitizing of books, especially older ones. I won’t try to explain it, but I will post the video below. Yes, it will take you 17 minutes to view, but it’s fascinating and time well spent in my, your most humble servant’s, opinion.

Knowing what I now do about the double captcha and seeing that Blogger has made it much easier on my eyes, I can live with it.

So … as you were. 🙂

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