Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Spread of Covid (10 lines ? F)

(with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

Hello virus, not my friend
You’ve come to infect me yet again
Because a version newly creeping
Through all the friends that I am keeping
And the variant that is worrying my brain
Still remains
Within the spread of COVID

Through empty malls I walk alone
Without a mask I still will roam
‘Cause of course it remains my Right
Against a shot I intend to fight
When it’s clear the vax still ain’t tested and it’s all just
A Liberal plot
I’m not gonna die of COVID

And on Fox News I’m sure I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without knowing
Repeating Facebook without fact checking
People thinking that the starlet is smarter
Than any PHD
And they will not catch COVID

“Fools” said I, “You surely know
Compliance is how that COVID grows.
Forget what Science could teach you
Your bible tells you all you need to
Stay pure, while those unfaithful fall!
Only seniors are getting COVID “

And the people bowed that prayed
To the orange haired god they made
And twitter flashed out his warning
In the text that he was forming

And Facebook said, “The cure for COVID
Is found in horse diet pills
Or by drinking Draino, still
Maybe we all, will still get COVID

Photo by Sergio Flores/Getty Images 

Not sure if this strictly counts as part of the '10 lines' exercise?

Spawned by the second to last verse...

Image stolen after a general internet search :


Thursday, December 23, 2021

Snow Plow (10 Lines E)

There are sounds that always seem somehow Canadian, winter sounds.

Not the joyful yell of ‘Car!’ from street hockey players, which in truth can be heard in spring and fall, and sometimes well to the South, where backyard rinks are known.

It is that low grumble, as much felt as heard, slowly building in the far distance, the groan of the snow plow.

It is understood that those American states bordering the 49th also know this, but outside of perhaps those confined in apartment blocks, there will not be a Canadian who does not know what that grinding noise means.

It wakes you, in that grey partial light of early dawn, a warning that you had better plan for the time getting the driveway clear and give yourself extra for your morning travel to work.

You can hear that distant rumble, growing ever louder, which always seems to happen only when you have just spent a back breaking hour to finally get all that snow cleared away from your drive way, and always coming towards your side of the road.

Just as well known, if not sonic, is the line of traffic crawling along, behind a man made blizzard from trucks clearing highway lanes, which always seems to happen when you are already running late.

Paradoxically, the lack of that crunching reminder can mean cancelled trips, signifying ‘It must be bad, even the plow hasn’t been around yet’.

As much as resigned annoyance may be cast their way sometimes, those drivers are the un-recognized backbone to travel over our long winters, allowing drivers to (mostly) forget they still do live in a landscape otherwise covered in snow.

As much as I try to remember this, I too often exhibit that most Canadian of attitudes, questioning why they still have not come around to my rural back road, then cussing the snow plow that re-buries the end of my drive.


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Running Quiet ?

 Regular readers may have noticed a lack of new commentaries here over the last month.

There has been a lot of 'desk work'. Which has been using up (limited?) brain power.

The first major project underway is consultations with Parks Canada on mounting a 10 day training program for the (manly new) staff at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC. This includes preparing a working budget, session timetable with individual descriptions, at least outlining the logistics details of getting out there, time on the ground, then returning. The program involves three experienced members of DARC, and will cover general material culture and history of the Viking Age, living history interpretive methods, plus a slate of hands on skills.

Related to that project has been preparing recommendations and costing for replacement / extended replica woodworking and blacksmithing tools for use in the Encampment presentation there.

Readers will have seen the number of separate semi academic articles generated over the last six months detailing the ongoing experimental archaeology based on the bloomery iron site at Hals in Iceland (a series started in 2007). I was asked to contribute a paper to the upcoming volume 'Can These Bones Come to Life? : Insights from Reconstruction, Reenactment, and Re-creation'. The full text came to some 13,000 words, from which a second (slightly) smaller version was also prepared. The due date here was Dec 15. 

Earlier in the Fall, I was asked to become one of the chapter leaders for another book under preparation, 'Visiting the Past, A Reenactment Handbook', specifically the section dealing with 'Crafts - Making Objects'. Here I am working with two other well experienced interpreter / artisans as co-writers (this itself a new method for me). Although all that has been physically generated to date is a 500 word abstract, the process of working with a widely spread international team of writers has involved a large amount of raw discussions. Drafting out how to cover artifact to object,  through personal work, demonstration, to public participation while considering the huge range of possible mediums is a daunting task. Especially since our contribution limit is 5000 words.

In there earlier this month was undertaking my regular task of reviewing contributions to the EXARC Journal.

Just today, finished layout for the next quarterly issue of the Ontario Artisan Blacksmith's newsletter, the Iron Trillium. 


'We now return you to your regular programing...'

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Pulling Out (10 lines#4)


The cell phone pinged, showing a text message : ‘Time to pull the plug’. 

Not the ‘Alas Babylon’ code phase, now considered passé, if not outright quaint, by the Millennial cohort. 

So not the Collapse of Civilization As You Know It disaster of burning buildings, lawlessness in the streets, and Every Person For Themselves.  

”This is how the world ends, with a whimper, not a bang”, at least that was the stark warning behind those five words on the glowing screen.

Growing up, the family had just rolled their eyes at father’s Doomsday preparations, even though he had laughed about how his own Cold War upbringing had well proven ‘If I’ve got it, I’m sure never to needed it’.

How he had often repeated hat never utilized advice from a writer even a further generation back : ‘The best way to avoid an atomic blast in a city - is to have been well gone from the cities before it ever happens’.

So here it was - announcement of yet another virus strain, ominously named Omega, at least as infectious as the most transmittable earlier versions, and looking to be twice as deadly. 

Looking up through the plexi sheet ‘protection' at the retail sales job at the mall, and thinking of the roommate that still insisted on going to the clubs so many nights.

Watching a gaggle of teens passing, masks pulled down, laughing and sharing a coke, oblivious in the blind armour of youth. 

And knew we had brought this on to ourselves, picking up the backpack and heading out the door for home, and hoped for protective isolation.


image found on the internet : New York Times


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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