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I don't care if it was political calculation, a slip of the tongue, or simply an uncharacteristic burst of honest feelings from a politician. But I am not pissed off that Macron is pissing off the people who piss me off by not getting vaccinated. As the controversy over Macron's statement concerning the last 10% of the French who are holding out against the jab plays out, anti-vaxxers are being interviewed by the media. And what those interviews bring to light, admittedly as anecdotal evidence, is that the anti-vaxxers have no problem purchasing fake vaccine passes or borrowing the passes of friends and family in order to go to restaurants and cinemas while unvaccinated. In other words, they have no problem breaking the law and endangering other people's lives, demonstrating that they are not merely criminals. They are sociopaths. 

Yes, such rants are becoming more and more common. Given that anti-vaxxers are such a small minority - in numbers if not in volume - that calling them names might not seem as edgy as it would have a year ago. But a year ago, I was calling them names too.


Friday night is Pizza Night. 

Isabella's Pizza outside of Bath made a fine pie just the way that we liked it back when we lived in Pennsylvania, USofA.  Isabella never appeared in person but her old man always welcomed me with a handshake and a grin. And on a warm summer evening, he would hand me a cold beer if I had to wait a few minutes for my pie to come out of the oven. For decades, Cathey could rest easy and enjoy someone else's cooking that one night a week. 

In France, it's been different. 

Every little town in France has a pizza joint. Some have full menus. Some just pizza. Sometimes. the pizzas are little more than crackers-with-toppings with thin, almost wafer crusts. Some of those cracker pizzas are better than others. I like the guy who parks his truck in the square on Wednesday nights better than I like pizza from the town's storefront shop that's only open on weekends, but the difference isn't that dramatic.

Crackers with toppings...

Recently, fate intervened. A new friend, and a foodie too, said that he heard that a pizza restaurant in a market town up the road made a good pie. So we went to the Sunday morning market in Saint-Chinian, lingered over a cup of coffee while we waited for Pizza Di Rosa to open, and the three of us ordered three different 8" pies. Wonderful. A fine cross between the full-crust American pie and the French crackers, with a thin but slightly bready crust, flexible enough to fold, but not so thick that the toppings were overwhelmed. 

Now, for a decent bagel...


When Liz Cheney said that 1/6 will be remembered by Americans in the same way that 9/11 and December 7th are, she was immediately castigated by the Trumpists in her party. So many people died when the planes flew into the World Trade Center, so many people died when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, that there can be no comparison, they said.

Well, Liz wasn't talking about deaths. No, Liz was talking about unexpected attacks on the soil of our USofA and its institutions. Liz was talking about events so previously unthinkable that they shook our concept of what is acceptable and normal. And she was right. A 21st Century insurrection to overturn an election that to this day still stands as free and fair, despite every attempt to brand it as stolen, will almost certainly be remembered for a long time to come. Let's hope that it's remembered in the proper context - a failed attempt to subvert democracy fueled by an ignorant, arrogant, and defeated President.


Putting together IKEA furniture? Wondering how to change a setting on an iPhone Xr? Carving a turkey or a rib roast? There are videos for that. There's a video for everything. No more mysteries. No professional secrets. 

Put malt powder in the water when you boil your homemade bagels. Intel or AMD? Add cinnamon to lamb shanks to sweeten them a bit. What's the easiest way to make pallets out of your furniture? (Wait a minute. Reverse that.) There are videos for that. 

 Clearly, it is more likely than not that we live in a simulation. We are engulfed in a digital world so interconnected and complex that almost certainly, the next step is to live in a virtual world of our own choosing, a virtual world in which such nuisances as COVID do not exist.

How's that for taking a sharp right turn that you didn't see 


Thousands of anti-vaxxers took to the streets in Austria to protest mandates. Millions stayed home, fully vaxxed. Guess which group earned the headlines.

Djokovic rightly expected to be able to compete in Australia. Money and power. What else do you need to be allowed to do whatever you want to do? Just ask Trump. And by the way, Trump will never go to jail. Why not? Money and power.

For the past week, lows at night have hovered between 28F and 39F with frost turning the vineyards white in the morning. In eastern Pennsylvania, such temperatures in mid January might be considered a blessing, especially if the daytime temps rose fo 50F as ours have been. I guess that my blood is thinning after eight years living within spitting distance of the Mediterranean. 


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