Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fall interlude and updates

Fall has definitely arrived. A few of my recent photos have focused on the changing leaves, and now the change has finally come to the neighbourhood. Here is the view from our back deck -- first the tree in the back yard and then some of the neighbours' trees.

Well, the biggest news is that the Cubs won the World Series.  So Back to the Future was only a year off!  It is really quite hard to believe, and they came so close to losing, but that just means it was an extremely hard fought game (and Series).  I'm not really a baseball fan, but this was pretty epic.  My wife is incredibly thrilled.  I'm sure she'll have her father bring up some Cubs gear in a few weeks.

The election has been nasty and far too long.  I don't quite understand why they can't keep the election cycle to 3-4 months, rather than 14 months or whatever it has stretched to now.  That is one area where Canada and the UK have an advantage over the US, though in both cases politicians have tried to stretch the election season.  I'm fairly confident Hilary will pull it out in the end, but it should never have gotten this close.  I do think a whole bunch of FBI staff are going to end up resigning (perhaps not voluntarily) if she wins.  As I already indicated, I do think the U.S. is basically teetering on the edge of being a dysfunctional state, mostly because the population has gotten so polarized and really nothing useful gets done.  I am feeling very happy to be watching from the sidelines for now.

Somewhat incredibly this blog has hit 70,000 views, with only a small handful related to me editing posts.  Not that many comments though, so feel free to drop me a line from time to time!

I'm back from a quite nice TSO concert where they did Milhaud's Creation of the World, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto #3 and Shostakovich's Symphony #1.  I'm fairly sure I'd heard the Milhaud, though it is possible I heard it on record.  The Prokofiev felt somewhat familiar, but it's unlikely I heard this in concert before.  I had heard the Shostakovich live previously.  All were somewhat jagged and a bit jazzy in places.  I feel I should read some jazz age literature (like Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise) but I also don't want to distort my reading list any further than I already have, so I may just settle for rereading The Waste Land and some other poetry by Eliot and Pound.

Curiously, Hart House Orchestra is doing the reduced score of the Milhaud piece next week.  It's hard for me to imagine this really working, but I might go just to find out.  There are a few other concerts of interest, though many are all on the same day, which is a bit frustrating.  I'll decide later on what I actually want to do, and then I'll try to post a quick update on that.

Halloween was pretty fun, but I'm glad it's over.  I took the kids out on our street and half of the next street over.  That gave them more than enough candy.  We also checked out the Riverdale Halloween Show over on Langley, since we know a few people actually in the show.

I think one of the toughest things about Halloween is that there is so much candy left over, and this is the time when it is so easy to start eating far too much junk food.  I've been doing a good job of staying off the soda, and I do think my blood sugar levels are starting to improve.  Maybe after another month, I'll try to get more serious about cutting back on sugary foods and snacking in general.  It's a long process, but I really do need to make a change.  I haven't completely given up on the biking, but there probably won't be too many more days that I consider cycling in until the spring.

That covers the main fall updates.  I'll see if I can get through a few more posts tomorrow, maybe focusing on the theatre reviews.

Edit (11/4): Just to add a few more photos of fall.  The first one was taken at the bus stop (while a bit difficult to see, the red ivy on the red brick wall was particularly nice) and the other two are taken from the subway crossing the Don River (using the Bloor viaduct).  That view is one of the few things that makes taking the TTC somewhat bearable in the morning.*

* I'm probably going to try to bike another week or two, but I'm pretty close to packing it in for the winter and will be on the TTC a lot more -- and generally more grumpy about it (and internet service remains poor which makes me especially grumpy these days).

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