MONDAY MOANING BLUES: THOUGHTS ABOUT SILENCE

MONDAY MOANING BLUES: THOUGHTS ABOUT SILENCEI TOLD MY CHILDREN THE HORRIFIC TRUTH about life in the old days: “And at about 11.30 every night, they would play the national anthem and we would pretend to stand up and every screen went blank. And all screens in the land remained dead until the next afternoon.” They were shocked. “But what did…

Robert Parker The Wine Advocate – London Matter of Taste April 21 to May 3

Hard Cheese! Authentic is the New Luxe

Hard Cheese! Authentic is the New LuxeThe term ‘mass luxury’ is a contradiction. It makes no sense, except of course in marketing parlance, when it becomes potent. True luxury in the consumerist Edwardian sense – a Fabergé egg let’s say, comprising beautiful and supremely well-crafted objects of rare originality are probably something that common or garden millionaires today will never get…

Leading Vietnam Blogger Draws Five-Year Sentence

Leading Vietnam Blogger Draws Five-Year SentenceThe Hanoi People’s Court on March 23 sentenced prominent independent blogger Nguyễn Hữu Vinh, known also by his pen name Anh Ba Sam or “Brother Gossip,” to five years in prison for charges related to his work. Under the Vietnamese Criminal Code he was charged with “misusing democratic freedom to encroach on State interests [and] the…

THE DAY 16 WOMEN ESCAPED THEIR MARRIAGES

THE DAY 16 WOMEN ESCAPED THEIR MARRIAGESWIFE: “The house is on fire! Get the kids out first!” ME (Stuffing Star Wars figurines collection into pockets): “I’m on it! Really soon! Almost immediately!” *** Fortunately, it turned out to be a dream—or rather a nightmare. No husband/ father should ever be forced to make an impossible moral choice like that. *** The…

Smart pets harm my self-esteem

Smart pets harm my self-esteemA DOG HAS LEARNED TO READ. Fernie, a two-year-old Labrador from the UK, can read four words and is working on another 20, says his owner, a teacher. The growing intelligence of animals worries me, as I well remember the difficulty I once had trying to teach a two-year-old HUMAN not to throw herself off…

3 eyebrow-raising news items about pets treated as children

3 eyebrow-raising news items about pets treated as childrenWhile shaking hands the other day, I felt thankful that we evolved from apes. Had we evolved from dogs, we’d greet each other by circling around with our heads down saying: “Wow, your nether regions smell great.” Reply: “Thanks! Yours, too.” *** Nevertheless, I still like dogs, despite their being what my grandmother used to…

4 examples of knee-jerk reactions

4 examples of knee-jerk reactionsNow that my children are all on Facebook I don’t punish them for misdeeds any more. I just tag them on old family pictures of them pooping at the poolside etc. Mwa ha ha. *** But I was scolded by a friend named Kyra who said that the biggest cause of problems today was people…

Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration 2016 (Jan 28-30)

Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration 2016 (Jan 28-30)The Wandering Palate will be heading to Queenstown and the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration 2016 (Jan 28-30), one of the best pinot 'parties' on planet earth, or Middle Earth as it were. Indeed, I have been to almost every CNPN gig since the inaugural celebration back in 2001 and can assure you it is…

10 Daddy and child conversations

10 Daddy and child conversationsKids ask tough questions. Like: "Do fish get thirsty?" I replied that they do, and the most common cause of preventable fish death are the greedy ones drinking up all the water in their tanks. *** "And why isn't there a country called Old Zealand?" the child continues (questions rarely have logical connections). "It sank,"…