Coronavirus Days 17 – Cracking Toast

I have not seen a single person, in the flesh, in four days. It hasn’t been all that bad.

But I do think I’m getting addicted to coffee . I’m draining a ten cup Chemex daily and starting into a second pot.

My Latest Addiction

I am running out of bread , so I need to run out at some stage.

They have changed the state rules so that golf courses are now deemed social distancing safe and are open with restrictions. Don’t touch that pole, don’t touch anybody elses ball. Basic teachings of the Catholic Church really, and now New York State golf rules.

Even if the skies open up, I’m getting out there tomorrow.

In many circles I’m known as Karl the Toole Man. I’m really good at all types of manual labor. You need one of those white things people stick plugs into nailed into your wall, I’m your man.

As granny used to say, it’s always good to have a spare knob in the house. Fortunately I’ve a couple of spare knobs here. I locked myself out of the upstairs bathroom a couple of weeks back and destroyed the current lock opening the door with a screwdriver and hammer.

How difficult could it be to install a new knob?


There’s a 30 minute pick me up movie I watch whenever I need a bit of cheering.

The Wrong Trousers, from Nick Park of Aardman animation, was the second claymation short to feature eccentric inventor Wallace and his ever patient silent dog Gromit. The plot centers around a villainous bank robbing chicken, named Feathers McGraw, and a pair of wall crawling techno-trousers. That’s about all you need to know.

Wallace and Gromit are lauded British icons. Theirs are endearing and hilarious shorts and one of the few recommendations I can make for the whole family. Every time I rewatch I pick up another little detail inserted by fanatical genius Nick Park. Everything from bone themed wall paper to the titles on the book jackets to the tiniest of knick-knacks sitting on shelves .

I met and interviewed Nick Park for the premier of his full length Oscar Winner, Wallace and Gromit The Curse of the Wererabbit, in 2005. He is just like Wallace, a welcoming crazy inventor. Park has won four Academy Awards for his animation. Watch it all. Track down the hilarious short Creature Comforts – featuring the real dialogue of children and old age pensioners animated in claymation Zoo animals.

The Wrong Trousers gives this creature comfort. It’s got a lovely warm vibe that’s a real throwback to my own childhood in Galway. And everyone lives happily ever after. That jolly brass band theme just makes me smile. I played Euphonium for years. Cracking!

I’ve watched and enjoyed The Wrong Trousers more repeatedly than anything else in my viewing life.

I wrote a few full page reviews for the Brooklyn Rail back in the day. Here’s mine for Wererabbit. I was always full of shit.

And speaking of shit, The Millers sprayed a lot more of it today and it rained. Sweet!

The third W&G short film introduced the world to Shaun the sheep in another animated Oscar winner, A Close Shave. The plot centers around Shaun, a poor hungry little lamb who is struggling to keep his fleece. Silent Shaun, who communicates only in bursts of bleats, got his own series based on his Oscar worthy performance. Shaun’s shorts are only minutes long but comic gems. There are six seasons and a full length film (a second full length film was just released). Shaun’s Christmas shorts are a tradition of mine.

You have to watch these claymation masterpieces and marvel that it’s all done by hand.

“Its the Wrong Trousers Gromit!”

These are not the kind of recommendations you would typically expect from this dark souled Irishman. But they’ll cheer you and the kids up on a rainy Sunday.

Staying on an animation theme, my book recommendation is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. The Pulitzer Prize winning novel recounts the story of two Jewish comic book creators , before, during and after WWII. It was a critical darling in 2000.

Much as I liked Kavalier and Clay, I preferred another of Chabon’s novels, Wonder Boys. It takes place over a couple of days in the life of a creative writing professor, struggling to finish his second book and a mid-life rises. Wonder Boys, the movie adaptation is one Michael Douglas’ better roles and also features a young Spidey Tobey Maguire. It was directed by Curtis Hanson, who also helmed L.A. Confidential.

My Knob is in place. I feel so manly.


Shit – it’s in backwards.

This from Rollie & Steve, our friends in San Antonio, TX.

Hi! All this staying in is making us younger! Whoooo HOOO! We are good here, sheltered in , except for walking Ginger. Lots of cooking, painting, gardening, reading, movies.

Tell me Ginger is not a cat.

These cuties are my good friend Lauren Markowski’s two children, Kevin and Charlotte. These excellent artists also get to go play on nearby Hobart Beach near their Northport, LI home.
I’ve also seen some very good 80s Dance Videos by Kevin.

Second times a charm. I cannot begin to tell you how manly I feel right now. I find the new knob action very smooth. I’ve tried it both right AND left handed and it works equally well.


One thought on “

  1. AWH Wallace and Grommit… brings me back to when you introduced them to my babies!! Whats a chemed? As morning coffee at home has become big these days I’m in the market for something that makes a savored cup!


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