The first day of winter has arrived. I awoke at 5:00 a.m., wandered into the living room, turned on the Christmas lights, and fired up the laptop. It was still dark outside at 6:30 a.m., and I assume it will be another dreary, grey day. Now that people have moved into the rental units, we have streetlights behind the house as well as in front of the house. This affects the interior lights and shadows, and will take a bit of getting used to. No nightlights needed to see our way around after dark.
Attila and I went grocery shopping last night. The store wasn’t that busy, which was surprising, considering how close to Christmas it is. We bought a few wee treats for Christmas Day, a bit of chocolate, a few light crisps, fresh fruit, and fruit juices. Hopefully it won’t be necessary to venture out again until late next week.
The sun came out in the afternoon, and the temperature rose just above freezing, so the snow on the roof drip, drip, dripped down.
Attila decided he wanted to do BBQ chicken, his favourite. I won’t be eating it, it isn’t my favourite. While he has the charcoal BBQ fired up, he will also cook a package of sausages. Attila loves his meat, and he is very fond of processed meats. They aren’t really good for anyone, but they relieve stress for him, after a miserable day’s work, so there is an indirect health benefit. Of course, I rarely eat processed meats, although I do find them tasty, they make me feel crappy, and they are very high in sodium and saturated fats, two things I have to watch carefully.
Since Attila was cooking his own dinner, I cooked my own. I love Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice and Mixed Vegetables, so that is what I made for myself. I used the Instant Pot, and water from cooked green beans for the water in the recipe, and it was oh so good.
This autumn a local retail outlet was selling 2 kg bags of french cut green beans for $1.99, which is an excellent price in our area. It turns out they are a little bit tough. Attila decided to have them with his BBQ chicken, so I offered to cook them in the Instant Pot for him. That is a YES, they were tender and tasty and almost like fresh green beans from the garden. I cooked them for 4 minutes, after putting one cup of water in the pot, then adding the butterfly steamer, then pouring in the green beans. After pressing the pressure cook button, it was just a matter of waiting until the pressure button dropped and opening the lid.
The Instant Pot can take less than top grade vegetables and meat, and turn them into something delicious, something to look forward to.
I was thinking today about the popularity of twitter and instagram and youtube, short on language, high on images. I used images and icons to teach people who could not speak to communicate. However, learning from images and icons does not necessarily provide the thinking skills needed to read and understand written language. Communication skills had to be taught independently of written language. It seems that the general population is focusing on communication skills, almost to the exclusion of written language. I feel sad about that.
This online writing of mine is becoming less and less mainstream. I thought about videos, about twitter, about Instagram. But I like it here. I like the written word. I like reading it. I like writing it. I’ve never been much of a follower, and I don’t think I’ll be following the trendy visual and truncated language route to communicate. I will continue to write full sentences, as many as I would like.
Then I was thinking that eventually no one would be reading what I write. That the written word, my written words in particular, will sink into obscurity, as the population loses its ability to effectively read prose. Then I thought, well, there will be some who continue to read the written word, and they will probably be the kind of people I would respect. That isn’t so bad, that what I write might be read by a literate soul, even if the majority of souls have no access to the written word, having lost the ability to atrophy.
In the now though, I enjoy writing, and that, above all else, is why I do it.
Date: 2:00 PM EST Saturday 22 December 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.5 kPa
Dew point: -5.4°C
Wind: WNW 24 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -8
Visibility: 24 km
“He felt about books as doctors feel about medicines, or managers about plays – cynical, but hopeful.”
Dame Rose Macaulay
1881 – 1958