Treasure State by C.J. Box

I waited months for the audio book to finally be available to me from my local library.

Unfortunately for me, this is the 6th book in his Cassie Dewell series. NOT another Joe Pickett, who I much prefer.

Montana Private Eye Cassie Dewell has two interesting sub-plots here:

  1. What happened to  J.D. Spengler, a PI from Florida who went missing in Montana?
  2. Where is ‘Marc Daly’, a conman who’s been swindling wealthy widows?

At the same time, folks are searching nearby for “Sir Scott’s Treasure” ➙ hidden gold. Treasure hunters are scouring the area based on clues in a poem.

Though it’s not Joe Pickett, this is a good read.

Despite the rather simplistic ending, I’d say it’s the best of the Cassie Dewell, so far.


I got TWO Shingrix vaccines

Not wanting to EVER badly suffer from Shingles, I finally got the treatment.

Two doses of Shingrix are recommended in Canada, which provides about 90% protection at 3.5 years.

It’s recommended for those age-50 or older. It may be less effective in those age-80 and older.

Shingrix is not free in Canada.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Visiting Seville, Spain 2022

This was actually my 3rd time stopping in Seville. It’s the essential transit point between southern Portugal and Andalusia, Spain.

I really do enjoy the city.

Seville got very, very rich after being named the royal monopoly port for trade with the growing Spanish colonies in the Americas and the influx of riches from them.

I’d walked the famous Cathedral in the past, so this time signed up for the rooftop tour. Very cool.

The technology in how they made this massive structure is fascinating.

I’d recommend rooftop over the regular tour as you actually do walk through the Cathedral coming and going to the top, as well.

My guide swears this is the REAL tomb of Christopher Columbus. But there’s another in the Dominican Republic. One or the other might be the brother of Columbus.

Wikipedia list of largest largest church buildings in the world:

  1. St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome)
  2. Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady Aparecida (Brazil)
  3. Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba
  4. Milan Cathedral
  5. Seville Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral is in the top 10, as well.

On this short trip I spent the most time at the magnificent Plaza de España and surrounding parks.

The building was built 1928 to showcase Spain’s industry and technology at the Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair 1929. What a legacy!

There are free Flamenco shows all the time at this plaza.

Another highlight of this visit was getting some fog, quite unusual in a city that has near non-stop sunshine.

I don’t shoot many creative shots, thinking myself more of a Fauxtographer than Photographer.

But I will try to play around more with urban black & white. I do like the feeling they give me.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Rick Mercer – an Autobiography

Talking to Canadians: A Memoir was published Nov 2021.

It’s recommended. Very funny.

One of the best lines (by Greg Thomey) …

Heavy is the head that wears the lampshade.

I’d rank Rick Mercer the funniest Canadian of my lifetime.

He is best known for his work on the CBC Television comedy shows This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Rick Mercer Report … which ended 2018 after 15 seasons.

Mercer’s two-minute “rants”, in which he would speak directly to the camera about a current political issue are what I remember best.

Like many of Canada’s best comedians, Rick is from Newfoundland. Understand?

I downloaded the audio book from the library — ideal, as Rick is the narrator.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

This Hour Has 22 Minutes

The legendary Canadian comedy has been on TV for 28 seasons.

But it launched with not much budget. No real plan.

It was to be a Mary Walsh project, but at launch she was in bed with terrible back pain.

The first episode was 1993 during Canada’s 35th general election.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. Episode 1, season 1.

It includes the first Rick Mercer rant.

Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths

Book #2 in the series featuring DS Harbinder Kaur, a badass murder detective.

Harbinder is in her 30s; still lives with her parents; and hasn’t come out to them that she’s Gay.

An interesting premise.

That said, I felt the second book was not nearly as good as the first.

Solving the Postscript murders was not Agatha Christie ingenious.

Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors. When Smith died unexpectedly, Harbinder felt obliged to investigate.

Help Help Me Ronda, Spain

Have you heard of Ronda?

Intensely scenic.

The oldest bullfighting ring in Spain is here.

Hemingway in his short story Death in the Afternoon:

“There is one town that would be better than Aranjuez to see your first bullfight in if you are only going to see one and that is Ronda.

That is where you should go if you ever go to Spain on a honeymoon or if you ever bolt with anyone. The entire town and as far as you can see in any direction is romantic background.” 

Ronda, Spain 1834 David Roberts 1796-1864

Today there’s a population of about 35,000 living in a cliffside town.

The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 100-plus-meter-deep El Tajo canyon …

I did get a bit of drone footage for myself. But it’s not nearly as good as this montage.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Olive-oil Mill in Spain

For the second time ever I toured an Olive-oil factory. And it was just as interesting the second time.

They are still making oil the way it was done hundreds or thousands of years ago. The traditional “First cold-pressed” system.

The olives are knocked out of the tree into a net. And physically “pressed”.

Strained through these cloths.

Then purified in a number of steps.

I’m not sure when glass containers were introduced. That must have been controversial! 😀

The leftovers come out looking like these chips. They are reused in many ways, including as fertilizer for the Olive trees.

Molino El Vínculo in Cadiz Province has been in the same family since at least 1755. And the family grew olives here since at least 1640.

It’s a colourful place with many old pieces of equipment displayed for tourists.

I did try the oil. But couldn’t tell the difference between it and every other olive oil I’ve eaten.

A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker

I’m addicted to the series of books with police chief Bruno Courrèges, in Périgord, France.

Everyone’s favourite cop is promoted in this book to chief of police of the entire Vézère Valley. And he’s not enjoying the greater responsibility.

In the middle of the mess an Englishwoman is found dead in Lalinde. Murdered. Perhaps killed by a stranger who seems to have committed suicide.

AND Bruno finds out that Paulette, a star of his rugby team with a decent shot at making the national squad, is unexpectedly pregnant.

Did I mention the love of his life drops in to town unexpectedly?


Canada Fitness Award Program

The Canada Fitness Award Program was subjected to Canadian school kids from 1970 to 1992.

I remember the annual challenge fondly, being something of a jock.

50 yard run, the 300 yard run, flexed arm hangs, the shuttle run, speed situps, and the standing long jump.

I can’t recall getting the highest Excellence rating — but always got Gold, the second highest.

Worst was the … PARTICIPATION ribbon. 😀

Unsurprisingly, it was finally cancelled due to being “discouraging to those who needed the most encouragement“. And sometimes resulted in “destructive eating and exercise practices” by the least fit.

I’m always leery of awards programs for kids. At many Gymnastics Clubs I tried to discontinue the annual “awards” night.

These memories came back after listening to Canada’s greatest comedian talking about how traumatized he was by the annual humiliation. Rick Mercer couldn’t do the flex arm hang.

As an adult Rick become surprisingly fit, trying many different sports for his TV shows.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It was related to another government program called ParticipACTION. We blamed the Swedes. 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ParticipACTION included a TV show, started 1988, with interracial couple Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod. Every Canadian of my age remembers BodyBreak.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.