Old Math – New Math – No Math


If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I am a semi-geezer who is chiseled from the stone of another era. I have a strong reverence for the 1950’s and 1960’s which polished my rough facets into a finished urban American.

I come from a time when the Three R’s were standard fare in public schools and I have benefited greatly from my education. While all three are woefully lacking in today’s education system, it is the third R – ‘rithmatic that seems to have been completely lost in its various manifestations over the years.

As you have probably guessed, I hail from a time when math was the old math: You know, the kind that made sense and was actually used on a daily basis. I was once a paperboy some six decades ago and I remember being able to make change for any dollar amount without employing…

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Make a wish!


East Ballard neighbor, Roxanne Baechler-Gill’s five-year-old really wants to be a wizard, and a wishing well somehow figures into this. Accordingly, they have posted a wishing well on a tree outside their house, just across from Gemenskap Park (near NW 59th on the west side). If you’re nearby, please consider dropping a coin and/or a written wish (for anything you want!) to assist a child’s wizardly wish-granting dreams! They’re checking the wishing well every morning, just in case there are any wishes to grant.

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La livraison vitale

You’ve heard of “smelly cat”. Well this is “fussy cat”.


The perks of online teaching: last week I met my Year 11 students’ cats and dogs. I loved them all but my favourite was Tobo (“like hobo but with a T, Miss”), a tabby point Birman so enormous and so fluffy that, when he was picked up, his human sibling disappeared in all the fur, and all you could see were his fingertips and the top of his hair.

In better news, I often start my posts with “Merci à Dieu et à tous ses anges” but, today, I mean it more sincerely than ever: LOUIS CATORZE’S LILY’S KITCHEN MARVELLOUSLY MATURE ARRIVED BEFORE WE RAN OUT.

No more will I be bullied and intimidated by a screaming, psycho hell-beast. Nor will I have to spend countless hours sifting … although I must admit I had enjoyed singing “Come on, let’s sift again like we did last summer, yeahhh let’s sift…

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The Blue Blouse

This morning I wanted to wear the long sleeve blue blouse that had been hanging in the closet for ages. When I tried to put it on I found that I couldn’t button it. The buttons didn’t reach the button holes! – by a considerable margin! Horrors. Have I changed shape sideways?? by 3+ inches?? I bought that blouse more than 10 years ago at Dunnes Stores in Cork. We were driving down to Cork for a funeral and I was trying to drink a cup of coffee in the car. We were easing into a rest area but we must have gone over a bump or something. And coffee spattered on my blouse. Fortunately we were early for the funeral and we found a replacement for my coffee covered attire.