How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Flash in the Pan – Radio


“You like the Winking Judge, Georgie?”“Yeah.” The nine-year-old grinned and pulled a scarlet earlobe. “Sounds like an announcer. He said we can do it again next week. Please, can I?”

His father pursed his lips, squeezing back a smile. “I disappear for two minutes and you’re buddies all ready? He’s gotta be ninety or thereabouts, one of the oldest members.”

Georgie’s freckles faded into blush. “How come I never heard about amateur radio operators before?”

“You’ve been fixated on Xbox and iPhone games.”

“This is cool. You’ll teach me?”

“The boy scouts have programs for young people like you.”

“Yeah? I heard of them.”



His father cocked his head. “In a disaster or emergency, cell phones may die, but not these babies. Your mom used to be a YL.”

“What’s that?”

“A female amateur operator: young lady. Her voice caught my attention. That’s how we met.

“Seriously. My Mom?

~ * ~


Flash in the Pan – Football

Brutus shuffled, his knees stiff as crowbars and feet far apart. Harris poked him in the ribs, his eyes blazed and cheeks flushed. “Hey, hey, hey. Lookit. The lineup’s down the sidewalk. Good thing we arrived early.”

“Poor chumps in the rain.” Brutus stifled a low groan. “This standing is killing me.”

“Why’d you come if your knees are acting up?””

“Took Tylenol 3s but they haven’t kicked in. Damn wet weather.”

“You should drop maybe fifty or eighty pounds. Your doc never tell ya?”

An eye drooped, Brutus exhaled a gust of coffee breath. “You never played football, you don’t know. Once you’re crippled and can’t move, you end up like this.”

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“Yeah. Got an idea. It’s the playoffs, right? Say we buy at least six extra tickets.”

“To scalp?”

“Easy money, man. Provide and collect.”

“Could backfire…”

“One day tickets will be sold online.”

“Don’t do it, Harris.”

~ * ~

The Winter Quarter of Flash in the Pan is here. The theme: Boys and Their Toys. For the rules and how to join, click:

The word limit for Football is 150 words. I used every last one.


Curious Meets Crazy

I hate cold coffee and am forever reheating a cup in the microwave. Why does the mug handle end up in the back even when I place it facing out, or, no matter how long it spins to reheat?

My old washing machine ate socks; I became used to losing them and expected the loss. What changed? The new machine hasn’t gobbled any—even once—in four years. What gives?

When are you officially a senior? 50? 55? 60? 65? Businesses used to offer discounts on a wide range of products and services for customers age fifty and over. Once the demographic reports on baby boomers came out, perks dwindled, an inch at a time. Too many seniors are approaching age sixty-five. Why is this information a surprise?

McDonald’s offers seniors a coffee discount—size small only. Some ‘franchises’ don’t offer any reduction at all. Others give you the same price cut whether you order a small or a large cup. Why the differences?

Why do meteors fall through the atmosphere but don’t hit anything? I’m pleased not to hear of catastrophic damages, but why is it they never hit any cities or tall buildings? Why are burned remnants always found in remote areas? How lucky are we?

Why do I always want to do something else when I’m in the middle of any particular project? Even when I’m half-way into an absorbing book, another one catches my eye; I’m impatient to get into the new one no matter how exciting the current one I’m reading.

Why is my cat driving me crazy? I threw drop-sheets on my sofa to discourage her from playing Tarzan. She found an opening no matter how I draped, tucked or arranged the sheets to drag on the floor. She discovered a new game called ‘run under the drop-sheets and hang on the sofa underneath’. Alright! W-e-e-e-e. Will my sofa last until next Monday morning and her manicure appointment?


Is It Too Late To Follow The Dream?

I am pleased and honoured to share with you the following guest post.

Angela Ackermanis one half of The Bookshelf Muse blogging duo, and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression.  Listing the body language, visceral reactions and thoughts associated with seventy-five different emotions, this brainstorming guide is a valuable tool for showing, not telling, emotion. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, in the shadow of the Rockies, with her family, dog and one slightly zombie-like fish.

~ * ~

How many times have you run into someone, and when it comes out that you’re a writer, they say, “You’re so lucky. I would love to write a book someday.” Or maybe a spark lights up in their eyes as they tell you this great idea they have for a story, or their hands get all animated as they describe a novel they read, falling right back into that world.

What you’re seeing is Passion. It might be only a glimmer, or a full-out flame, but either way, there’s something big going on inside them, if they only knew how to set it free.

I’ve run into a lot of writers-in-waiting:  people who love books and to read, who have big imaginations and who enjoy the lyrical nature of how words fit together. Maybe they journal, or fiddle with poems or haikus, or create jingles in their mind as they watch cheesy TV commercials. The point is, they are writers in all but name. Oh, if only they knew!

Sometimes when they tell me I’m lucky to be a writer, I’ll ask them, “Well, why don’t you become one too?”

Often than glow that lit them up only a second before clouds over. They say things like, “Oh but I couldn’t. That’s just a dream. I don’t know a thing about writing.” Or, “I don’t have time between work and the kids and the gardening and the house. In fact, did you see the peeling paint on the fence? I have to get on that soon or the whole thing will rot away…” and the conversation becomes a list of chores needing to be done, work waiting to fill the hours.

It makes me sad, because that writer-in-waiting is still inside, wanting to be let free. It wants to be more than a dream. It wants to make the journey.

Being a writer (or following any dream for that matter), takes courage. We come into it knowing little, but passion sustains us and then bit by bit, we learn and grow. Sometimes it’s about waiting for the right time, but mostly it’s about MAKING TIME.

Our world is so busy and frantic. There are bills to pay yes, and housework and meetings and kids circling like piranhas asking about dinner, but there is also passion. Make time for it. If you want to write, pick up a pen. Apply to paper. Let the words flow. No matter where you are in life, how old or young you are, it’s never too late to turn a dream into a reality.


IS a Picture WORTH a Thousand Words?

I started an overwhelming project last summer with no progress since. Today, again I begin to scan several generations of family memories from my mother’s photo collections. The goal is to finish before Christmas—I hope.

Why undertake this gargantuan task? My mom passed away a year and a half  ago; to be fair to everyone (we are five siblings), I believe everyone is entitled to her own DVD copy of our history in pictures. Whoever takes the originals once the work is completed is fine with me. I’m certain my mother’s grandchildren will also be tickled when a surprise DVD arrives.

Such an undertaking is an excellent idea (of course it is; it’s  mine), but, is not as straightforward as it sounds. I am dealing with photo albums consisting of cardboard pages with sticky backing to hold pictures in place and a clear (plastic) sheet, which is peeled back to insert pictures and pulled over top  again to protect them from air, dust and possibly sticky fingers.


  • Over time, between the  plastic cover and glossy finish on colour photos, a stickiness occurs gumming them together–separate gently
  • If pictures have been ‘attached’ for years,  they won’t unstick easily and must be removed deligently from cardboard backing as well
  • Do not mess up scanner bed with sticky photos
  • Clean first
  • What is the best product to clean gummy pictures without ruining them?
  • Vinegar with water doesn’t  work well
  • A careful dab of nail polish remover sometimes does the trick if sticky area is small
  • Sometimes Goo Gone works (in small areas)
  • Be obsessivelycareful: rinse cleaning product off and allow to dry well (wasting more time)
  • When gumminess is stubborn = frustration and waste of precious time
  • Patience is a virtue (So where is it?)
  • Have a directory tree planned for DVD
  • Lift up cover on scanner
  • Place photo inside; make sure it’s straight
  • Scan to organized directory
  • Open scanner, remove picture
  • Be careful not to scratch scanner bed with fingernails 
  • Use another photo corner to pop picture off the glass
  • Position back into album
  • If photo doesn’t stick, roll a tube of clear tape around a finger and mash onto back of photo to reposition onto cardboard in album
  • If clear sheet protector doesn’t stick back down again, ignore it and continue
  • Each step takes time. What? Only three pictures in fifteen minutes?  #@%>&.
  • Why are some photos taped together, corner to corner? Oh, I see: to keep them from sliding because the sticky backing isn’t sticky anymore. #@%>&.

 This scanning drudgery is not for the faint of heart.  After about an hour, in addition to developing a headache, I feel dizzy. The bottom line–and the honest truth–is I find scanning  monotonous, nerve-wracking and unfulfilling.

Ah–only 999,999,999 pictures to go. I believe I can do this. In the interest of chronicling our tribe for future generations, I can do this. I know I can. I think I can…

Wait a minute—did I mention which Christmas my task will be completed?

Who the heck are the people in this picture–must e-mail  to siblings…