Most Islanders have no time for masks or social distancing”

My friend Allan Rankin is back in the Eastern Graphic after a long hiatus. This week he writes about the devil-may-care attitude of many Islanders toward masks and distancing, echoing feelings I’ve had.

I’ve identified a condition, perhaps unique to we over 50, I call “non-compliance rage syndrome,” characterized by irrationally strong reactions to violations of the social contract: ignoring the hand sanitizer at the entrance, heading the wrong way down the grocery store aisle, riding bicycles on sidewalks, without a helmet, and so on.

The reactions are genuine and rational; the rage, inasmuch as there’s nothing we can do about it, is irrational.

It’s not the ink

From Indie Magonomics, written by Kai Brach, just arrived in the post from Heftwerk in Berlin, a reminder that printing in colour isn’t expensive because ink is expensive, it’s expensive because of everything else.

I’ve printed thousands of pieces from the same can of black ink that I’ve been using for a decade; I rarely use more than a dollop per job. The setting of the type, the makeready, the setting of the type for a second colour, the cleanup: those are the things that take time and thus add expense.

Unrecognisable casualties of the growth cult”

I look forward to the arrival of the Dense Discovery email newsletter each week.

I am particularly fond of the subject line of this week’s issue:

Unrecognisable casualties of the growth cult

Although it was a reference to a notion in the editor’s letter about software, it’s a notion that has general application, and harkens back to a public meeting I was at many years ago, where the architect of a prominent Charlottetown megalomaniac developer stood up and, in support of his client’s development, exhorted that the city must “develop or die.” That is the mission statement for the growth cult, and it’s something we’re all wrapped up in, at our peril.

We are all of us unrecognisable casualties of the growth cult,

6 feet apart is more than you think…

We hosted the monthly Pen Night in our back yard tonight, our first non-Zoom meeting since February.

I wanted to make sure we did it right, so I got out the measuring tape and ensured that there was 6 feet between each chair.

It turns out that 6 feet apart is a lot more apart than I thought; if I hadn’t measured, I likely would have placed the chairs 3 or 4 feet apart, in error.

Makes me realize the people in the grocery store are a lot closer than 6 feet apart a lot of the time.

Home Improvement

One of the curious psychological effects of grief is that I am moved to accomplish household tasks that were either long-uncompleted or which I would have actively opposed while Catherine was alive. Hence, patio umbrella; a little bit in each column.

Kudos to brother Mike for remote guidance, and to my mother for the inspiration.


I have become a huge Phoebe Bridgers fanboy. She released a new album yesterday, Punisher. I love it.

When the speed kicks in
I go to the store for nothing
And walk right by
The house where you lived with Snow White
I wonder if she ever thought
The storybook tiles on the roof were too much
But from the window, it’s not a bad show
If your favorite thing’s Dianetics or stucco