Wow! Hospital waiting rooms have changed.

I am at Michael Garron hospital, waiting for a friend who’s in for day surgery. Not only can I blog post from here, I can monitor my friend’s timetable on-screen.

A volunteer in the waiting room has given me the patient number to follow.

I see that he’s in the operating room, right now. He was in a waiting bay a while ago. The screen will update when he goes into the recovery room and his surgeon will come and tell me how things went.

[Update] The surgeon said everything went well. Friend is fine and gets a night’s rest in the hospital. Probably back home tomorrow.

Beefing up celestial signals

Rogers Telus Bell tower — Photo by Danica

The irresistible lure of cell tower dollars drew in the church at Woodbine and Kingston Road many years ago and I have long been impressed by the way ugliness has been minimized. The gear does not stick up above the tower and it has been painted to harmonize with the bricks.

Today, more moneymakers are being bolted on. This church is very hip to our worldly ways, capitalizing not only on mobile phone chatter, but monetizing the surrounding graveyard as a movie shoot location.

Modest examples: Cocktail (Tom Cruise), To Die For (Nicole Kidman), The Virgin Suicides (Kathleen Turner), Four Brothers (Mark Wahlberg) and Angel Eyes (Jennifer Lopez). The church interior got some play in Blues Brothers 2000 (Dan Aykroyd). Too bad it wasn’t the good Blues Brothers, but hey … a buck’s a buck.

Name that elf

Spotted in a Kingston Road store window on today’s walk. Everyone trying to name all 7 dwarfs forgets Doc, but who knew about the 8th elf … Moony?

Investigation reveals a rich tradition of elf-naming that I would never have looked up, had Moony not appeared. There’s nothing official about Walt Disney’s name set. [Source: Wikipedia]

1912 play
Blick, Flick, Glick, Plick, Quee, Snick, Whick

1937 animated Disney film
Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey, Doc

Schneewittchen (1961)
Huckepack, Naseweis, Packe, Pick, Puck, Purzelbaum, Rumpelbold

Mr. Magoo’s Little Snow White (1965)
Axlerod, Bartholomew, Cornelius, Dexter, Eustace, Ferdinand, George

Faerie Tale Theatre (1984)
Bertram, Bubba, Barnaby, Bernard, Boniface, Bruno, Baldwin

1987 film
Biddy, Diddy, Fiddy, Giddy, Iddy, Kiddy, Liddy

Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics (1988)
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

1991 film
Grouchy, Klutzy, Lazy, Sloopy, Smiley, Chubby

Whatever you call them, be careful. Some of them shoot back.

Happily Ever After (1993)
Blossom, Critterina, Marina, Moonbeam, Muddy, Sunburn, Thunderella

The Legend of Snow White (1994)
Boss, Gourmet, Woody, Goldie, Chamomile, Vet, Jolly

2001 film
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Sydney White (2007)
Terrence, Gurkin, Spanky, Embele, Jeremy, Lenny, George

Schneewittchen (2009)
Gorm, Knirps, Niffel, Quarx, Querx, Schrat, Wichtel

My Fair Godmother (2009)
Reginald, Percival, Cedric, Edgar, Cuthbert, Ethelred, Edwin

Once Upon a Time (2011-)
Doc, Grumpy/Dreamy (Leroy), Happy, Sleepy (Walter), Bashful, Sneezy (Tom Clark), Dopey, Stealthy

Mirror Mirror (2012)
Butcher, Will Grimm, Half Pint, Napoleon, Grub, Chuck/Chuckles, Wolf

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Keith, Coll, Duir, Gort, Muir, Nion, Quert, Gus. (All but Gus map to letters in the Ogham alphabet.)

The 7D (2014-2016)
Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy

La partie inférieure de la jambe … á terre

From its beginning, I have been following the builder’s lead, calling this lovely little home a pied á terre. Seeing the height it has risen to, I feel now that it is taller than a pied. What’s French for “lower leg”?

A Fiat will fit in the front parking space. That’s planning.

As you see by the title of the post, “lower leg á terre” comes out a bit long in French. Nevermind, it’s a charming thing that Rob and his son Josh have constructed, and a brilliant use of a quirky bit of land that used to hold a couple of modest garages.

The Banksy Question

Should I go to the unauthorized Banksy exhibit in Toronto next month? In the spirit of rebellion against authority, I guess so, eh?

Banksy is contradiction personified. Famous for being anonymous, he takes graffiti pot shots at capitalists, polluters and art snobs while collectors spend huge sums to acquire his witty propaganda. He has been called a counterculture hero, a political activist and a vandal. If you like his cause, you probably like his art. If he gores your ox, you probably don’t.

If you want to boycott Toronto’s Banksy ripoff, stay away from 213 Sterling Road between June 13th and July 11th. If you are going to buy or steal a ticket, maybe I’ll see you there.

Banksy was in Toronto a few years ago. Here are a couple of his leavings.

Chicken Sauce Piquant

This is the first time I have posted a second Royko Recipe in the same month, but this one was our dinner last night and I have a photo illustration.

Danica may comment on some recipe tweaks she made. She made cornbread to go with it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Chicken Sauce Piquant
Chicken in a tangy tomato-based sauce that’s so tender, it almost falls apart. Serves 6 to 8.

1/3 cup vegetable oil

4 large split in half whole chicken breasts – or use boneless breasts
2 medium coarsely chopped onions
4 coarsely chopped celery ribs
1 large coarsely chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 28-oz. can crushed Italian plum tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 large bay leaves
2 large cloves minced garlic
1 tbl. lemon juice
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
4 cup chicken stock
2 tbl. chopped green onions
2 tbl. minced fresh Italian parsley
12 pimiento-stuffed olives

Heat oil over moderately high heat in a large pot. Add chicken pieces in batches and
sauté, turning, until browned, 4-5 minutes on each side. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

Add onions, celery and green pepper to the pot and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened but not browned, 5-10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to another plate.

Whisk flour into the remaining oil in the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, until the roux turns a rich brown, about 10 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes with their juice, 1/2 cup of water, tomato paste, bay leaves, garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco, salt, pepper and stock. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken and sautéed vegetables and simmer, uncovered, stirring and skimming the top occasionally until the chicken is tender and the sauce is thickened.
The recipe can be prepared to this point the day before and refrigerated, covered.

A few minutes before serving, stir in green onions, parsley and olives.

Email from Burundi

Friend John McCready was born in Burundi, then as a 10 year-old child, moved with his parents to North America where he got his Phd and practiced his career in community development. Grateful for 30 years of success, John found himself in a position give something back and realized that his skills could be useful in the country of his birth.

Website photos: The label for the picture on the left … “Two goats named John”.

I just received word that John is over in Burundi right now, tending to the many employment projects he has initiated. As you may have heard, Burundi is a fledgling democracy, currently going through a lot of political turmoil. Civil war, basically, including terrorist attacks.

Sewing products for sale.

John has continued to make lengthy visits to Burundi through the period of strife, nurturing projects and starting new ones. He says he is safe and knows how to stay out of danger zones. I hope so.

One of the startups was a brick-making operation.

There is much to admire in John’s work. He is rigorous in sticking to his principle of offering assistance to grassroots businesses that have been conceived by the participants themselves. There is no need for yet another white guy telling Africans what do do. He is there to help, not to give orders.

Preparing fields and planting rice

John’s website has lots of photos of the new businesses that bring employment and income to impoverished Burundians. Raising goats and pigs, making bricks, sewing, welding and growing crops.

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