Loosely Speaking

By Ciel - About Me - E-mail this page - Add to My Favorites - Add to Blog List - See other blogs in Everything Else

Sunday, October 30, 2022


Yesterday Charlie and I sat down with ballots and the voter's pamphlet, and claimed our privilege as citizens to vote. It took around 40 minutes to read through all the fine print, discuss, decide, and fill in the little ovals. It's a long, two-page ballot this year with a lot of local and state issues as well as all the judges at state and county levels who basically are not running against opponents, but against their own records. If you vote no, do not retain, you are voting to fire them. And... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Long but worthwhile reading:

Why Are Finland's Schools Successful? | Innovation| Smithsonian Magazine The root problem in American education comes from the fact that Americans don't actually much like children. It's a nation so young compared to one like Finland, that the relationship of authority towards children is more like older sibling/adolescent to younger child than parent/adult to child. Underneath the surface where, at the privileged end of the spectrum children are spoiled with stuff and managed by 'helicopter'... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

The costs of forgetfulness

Roasted potatoes today... not intentionally! I found them in the veg drawer in the fridge, hiding under other things and forgotten: a small bag of small gold potatoes, and all still gold, no green to be seen. So with all good intent, I washed them and put them in the bamboo steamer basket over a wok half filled with water, put them on 'high' to steam. Then I left the room and sat down in front of the tv and laptop. Had I remembered them only a few minutes later, the bamboo steamer would have... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Distracted by Mole

Watching another one of those contest shows... The Mole. It's about teams of players trying to solve physical and mental problems to earn money in a pot that one of them will win at the end. Each success adds to the pot. But there is one person, the Mole, whose whole purpose is to sabotage the games, to reduce the size of the pot. Each episode, one player is eliminated. I'm also watching some other contest shows during the week: Survivor, Amazing Race, and the Great British Baking Show. The last... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

And next up: Halloween!

One of my Facebook acquaintances is a young Dutch woman now living and raising a toddler in South Africa, out in a wildlife sanctuary. She was asking for some sort of explanation of Halloween. This is what I wrote: "All Hallows Eve" was the mainly pagan festival before the mainly Christian "All Hallows Day," which is to say, "All Saints Day" so your lad was born on that day when "Good" reclaimed the world from Evil's Night Out. Here in the US it evolved into a trickster's fest which was... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Message to the kids

For kids, life is simple and clear-cut. You aren't responsible for anything but chores and homework. Remember when it was easy to believe that grown-ups had all the answers and to believe what they asserted was true...? And when ideals, as yet untested by confrontation with Real Life were the foundation of your emotional map of the world? Childhood is easy, looking back from adulthood. Adolescence, though, is a rough ride, with so many choices to make, so many things to decide, just when you... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Is it time to say farewells...?

This morning there was a headline from the NYTimes regarding Queen Elizabeth's declining health. Reading that she is now under particular medical care at her home in Balmoral, I wondered, Is this the end of the era of Elizabeth II? and just the though of it brings tears to my eyes. I am not English, she has never been my monarch... Yet, she is. I don't especially love the monarchy of Great Britain, I am not a follower/fan of the Royals. And yet... There are other monarchs in the world, but none... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

What courtesies do you miss?

Remember when it was always the thing to do, to use the paper towel you dried your hands with in a public restroom, to wipe down the sink counter where your hand-washing splattered? Remember when you'd just automatically say who you were when you called someone before asking any questions? And how about saying 'goodbye' before ending a call? Why doesn't live-chatting online deserve this same courtesy? Some courtesies have improved, in my opinion, over time. For example, I, a woman, open the door... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, September 5, 2022

The Sausage Making Machines

An unwritten rule forbids overt actions by the Justice Department that could affect an upcoming election. That is raising a dilemma for the department’s inquiries into Donald Trump. (NYTimes this morning.) Really? With all the piling up of evidence of blatant wrong-doing, of criminal and even traitorous activity, should not the DOJ settle these questons before the man is even allowed to run for any office at all? I still say this man is a test from God sent to see just how far we'll spiral down... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Legends and tales and coat-tails

For the past week, I have been re-watching GAME OF THRONES, as a prelude to the prequel now on offer: HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, set 200 years earlier. I imagine there will be some post pre-shadowing of events to come, so I wanted fresher memories of the later/earlier series. There is a new Tolkien-based show, too, just getting started: THE RINGS OF POWER. I watched the first episode. It claims to be based on the early history of Arda, of which Middle-earth is a part. There were other lands, long... Sign in to see full entry.

Headlines (What is this?)