Our meals/shopping system - breakfast

For breakfast every day we have a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, or occasionally sectioned grapefruit. Preparation is that Robert always squeezes the oranges except on the first of the month when I do it. For grapefruit I always do the sectioning. Occasionally it is oatmeal - expecially if we run out of bananas. Oatmeal is called porridge by Rutherford who helps make it

Robert has coffee - freshly ground beans - light/medium and dark (with a bit of cinnamon and cloves or nutmeg on weekends). I have tea - usually herbal of various kinds - On saturday it is rooibus and on sunday it is something spicy. On special occasions I have Earl Grey.

Weekdays we have cold cereal with homemade granola (Robert makes that), fruit - bananas except in the summer when fresh local fruit is available, and a bit of milk. 4 kinds of cereal - corn flakes, o's, flakes (tasty ones), and wheat squares. Rotated in exact order and since there are 4 kinds for 5 days a particular kind is not locked into a particular day (take from the left put back on the right).

On saturday it is cheese blintzes with yogurt and fruit and a bit of cinnamon and sugar on top. They are home-made. Robert makes the filling the night before, I make the crepes and fill them in the morning. 1 package of cream cheese and 1/2 container of ricotta + orange rind peelings makes about 10 - we eat 4 and freeze the rest; and the next week we use the other half of the ricotta and another package of cream cheese (used to use neufchatel but it is hard to find). So this means two weeks in a row we prepare, and then the following three weeks we just defrost and cook.

On sunday we rotate between pancakes, waffles, and french toast (in that order). The pancake recipe uses egg yolks, corn meal, a bit of soy flour, wheat germ, oil, baking powder, and fruit juice (not freshly squeezed) with beaten egg whites folded in. Got the idea about fruit juice and cornmeal from an inn in Vermont that we stayed in a long time ago. The waffles uses wheat flour, wheat germ, and some soy and rice flour, egg yolks, milk, oil, honey, and beaten egg whites folded in. The ritual for these breakfasts includes an extra egg yolk - the egg white is saved for Pisco sours that evening. The french toast is whatever bread we happen to be using - often challah - in eggs with a bit of milk and some spices. Maple syrup, yogurt and fruit and cinnamon and sugar for the topping for all of these.

We usually have some extra of these as well as crepes and have them several days later in the evening with icecream and sorbet on them.

For special occasions such as holidays - we make an egg dish - often a fritata or sometimes scrambled or fried - or very occasionally poached.

Generally speaking since each of us generally showers alternating every other day, the person who didn't take the shower does the preparation. So no thinking or negotiation is necessary. Whoever doesn't cook washes the dishes.

Our meals/shopping system - shopping/dishwashing

We have very regular system for meals: planning, shopping, preparation, eating.

Our shopping system is to usually go every four days - triggered by needing food for dinner. it is usually me (before the plague I often went shopping after I went to the gym) and these days often when Robert is practicing singing. We keep a list right by the dining table in the kitchen and add things when we notice them. We have a nice shopping cart/bag with wheels so it easy to bring the groceries home by foot for the few blocks from the store.

One problem with the list is that I have trouble writing bananananananananananas....and fitting it on the page. And today I put Maypole Spyrits on the list when I saw we are getting low on maple syrup. And I always have to decide if it yogurt or yoghurt.

For certain items like bottles of olive oil we have a spare bottle in the closet and when the current one is emptied and the spare is brought into the kitchen we add olive oil to the list so we never run out of important stuff.

We keep what we call emergency food in the freezer - such as pizza - for times when we don't have suitable food to cook or the schedule is bad - such as today with the SuperBowl starting at 6:30.

And there always canned soup and tuna fish in the closet plus a few other things.

Breakfast is when we get up - usually a bit after 8 - our people companions who are in bed try to persuade us to not get up so that causes a bit of delay. Normal lunch hour is 1pm. Cocktails at 6 and dinner at 7+ a few minutes.

Our dishwashing habit is to always wash the dishes after breakfast, not after lunch, and after dinner when cooking is done. The person who doesn't cook or prepare is the dishwasher. Washing in the sink, drying in the rack - never had a dishwasher. Occasionally if too many dishes are piled up in the sink an extra round of dishwashing is done at some point.

Martin Luther King

Today is Martin Luther King day. A couple of his quotes:

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

This picture was taken shortly after King, Ira Blalock (on the left), Gordon Gibson (on the right), and some others were released from the Salem jail in 1965. As it turns out I knew Ira Blalock because he was the minister in a UU church in Wellesley that I went to for a while with a bunch of friends. And Gordon Gibson was a minister in another Boston area church who performed my first marriage in 1966 (in the MIT chapel). -- and yes, I have posted this before.

My cars - Phase III

---not my car, but an inspiration: 1932 Chevy wagon ---

In 1967 it was time to get a more practical vehicle with room to carry things in it (like lumber from the lumberyard since we were doing lots of home renovations) so I bought a 1967 Volvo 122S wagon - silver/grey, not red. At some time we replaced it with a yellow Toyota Corona wagon. Robert also had a car - first something from his parents, then a Chevy Nova, and then a Saturn.

Since then we have had a series of Subaru wagons: a Loyale, a Legacy, an Outback (dont remember the years), and now a 2017 Outback - our current car. (All have been silver.)

It is very convenient having a wagon with lots of room to carry stuff back and forth between our two houses, sound equipment to dance camp, and brush to the brush dump (8 loads this year). And with the back seat down you can lie down on the floor - foam cushion of course - good for non-driver on long trips.

Operas we watched since July 6

One of the few good things about the current Pandemic is that the Metropolitan Opera streams a different opera every day.
This is what we watched since July 6:

Puccini: La Bohème
Mozart: Cosi fan Tutti
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Puccini: Turandot
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess
Berg: Wozzeck
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro
Wagner: Tannhäuser
Strauss: Der Rosencavalier
Puccini: La Fanciulla del West
Mozard\t: The Magic Flute
Mozart: Don Giovanni
Bizet: Carmen
Wagner: Die Walkure
Verdi: Aida
Wagner: Parsifal
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess
Weill: The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagony
Berlioz: Les Troyens
Wagner: Götterdämmerung
Puccini: Tosca
Verdi: Il Trovatore
Bizet: Les Pêcheurs des Perles

We also watched L'Orfeo by Monteverdi put on by the Boston Early Music Festival.
Us May 09

Where we danced in 2020

We danced on 23 days - many virtual - normally it is 90 or a few more

1 NewYear's eve and a bit after at the Scout House in Concord
3 Challenging Contras at the Scout House: Jan, Feb, Mar
2 Contras in JP
2 English Country dances in Harvard Square
3 English Country dances in JP
3 days at the Dance Flurry in Saratoga

1 VirtualEnglish in Harvard Square
1 Virtual English in JP
1 Virtual Contra at the Sout House
1 Virtual Contra at Vitual Fall Dance Camp
1 Virtual Contra in Bay Area
4 Virtual Contra in Greenfield

Where we slept in 2020

In our two houses in Cambridge and Gloucester

Morgan Hotel in London
Bannister Hotel in Johannesburg
Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town
Courtyard Hotel Arcadia in Pretoria
Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Victoria Falls
Zambezi River Lodge in Zimbabwe
Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe
BritishAir Johannesburg to London

Guana Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands
Hampton Inn in Saratoga Springs for the Dance Flurry

Of course we missed a lot that were planned: SanFrancisco; Dance Camps in Aptos, Woodstock, and Becket; Finland; Dublin; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia; and perhaps more. But we did get two international trips to Southern Africa with a couple of days in London and the British Virgin Islands.

My cars - Phase II - and my night in jail

After admitting the impracticality of my Simca Cinq and it ran into some severe engine trouble I decided to get a full-sized car. The '40 Chevy was still on my parents property in Stormville, ran and used there a bit, but wasn't licensed. So I bought a used 1953 (I think) Pontiac in about 1957.

During the summer ('57 or '58 I think) when I was working as a camp counselor in Maine one night I and a few other counselors drove into Lewiston, Maine (~ 20 miles away) for pizza. On the way home I got into a minor accident hitting another car in an intersection (not clear who was at fault). My car wasn't drivable so it had to be towed. The police took us to the Police Station and when we were done I called the camp but no-one answered the phone (it was close to midnight). The cops asked what we were going to do and our reply was we'd try to hitch a ride back to camp. They said if you do we'll arrest you since hitchiking is illegal, but you can spend the night in a jail cell and we won't book you. And so we did! As I recall there were four of us and there were at least that many cots and no-one else was there. The door wasn't locked. In the morning we called camp and someone came to pick us up.

The car got repaired and was drivable but the frame was a bit twisted so soon after I got back home I bought another car - a ~54 Dodge. My fuzzy memory says that it had some engine problems and I then used a spare car my father had - I think it was a Ford.

In the spring term of 1962 I had gotten tired of grad school and my attempts to be a physicist and having taken a computer programming course in the fall term plus several that term I decided it was time to get a job in the computer industry. And with a job I could get a new car and decided on a 1962 MG-A. I had a great interview at Honeywell and got a verbal offer at the interview. On the way home I stopped at a bank and got a loan application. A few days later I received the written offer, accepted it and set a starting date in June. So I went out and ordered my new car. Took out the loan (better deal than financing through the dealer). And soon I had my bright red MG-A.

That spring term and during the summer I had been living in a rented room near MIT but often spent the night on the couch in a friend's room in Baker House at MIT - and had my own bed there during the summer. I and two other friends found an apartment in Belmont and we moved in late summer or September.

One of those people, Roger, had won an MG-Sprite in a contest, and the other, Doug, bought a Triumph TR-3. They were all red so in our backyard parking area there were 3 red sports cars. Several years later I replaced my MG-A (it was having not serious, but annoying and not properly fixable engine troubles) with a red 1964 MG-B. (An amusing thing ablout the MG-A was that the carburator and ignition control were on the left side of the engine and there was a linkage to the right side because it was a right-side drive car for England; the US verion had a linkage from the rignt side linkage back to the left side to acomodate the left-side drive version.) Roger moved away and his "replacement", Mac, had a green VW beetle. - so no more 3 red sports cars in our backyard.

Listening to records on Christmas day

We normally have WQXR or WCRB on listening to classical music in the background but since we were tired of Christmas music and too much talking so I decided to listen to some of our records. We have many of them. Last year we listened to one and for a number of years it was none. Of course we also have lots of CDs that we rarely listen to.

Yesterday it was 15 of them in a pretty broad range of genres. Not in the exact order but close:

Christmas in the New World by The Western World - North and Latin American Christmas music

Palestrina: Missa Hodie Christus Natus Est & Six Motets - King's College Choir

A Ceremony of Carols and other Britten - Robert Shaw Chorale

Long Time Ago - The Quadrivium, an early music group that I was a member of and one of the performers in this record.

Don Alfonso the Wise, Music of Medieval Spain -Trio Live Oak, a "spin-off" from the Quadrivium

A Coat of Many Colors , Songs of the Sephardim, Vol II by Voice of the Turtle, another Quadrivium "spin-off"

Musica Antiqua Slovac - Prague Madrigalists

Jacob Obrecht, Pierre de la Rue Motetten - ProCantione Antiqua

Harp of Joy - The Chancel Choir of Plymoth Church, Shaker Heights

A boy was born - The Boston Cecilia Chorus; Robert was a member and on this record

Turkey, songs and dances of Turkey - singers and ensembles of Radio Ankara

Goofing-Off Suite - Pete Seeger

Demolition Derby - Sandy Bull (only listened to a couple of cuts of this)

Greenhouse - Leo Kottke (side one only)

Abbey Road - Beatles

My cars - phase I

When I was a little kid my parents had a 1941 Buick; it was one of the last cars that you could buy before the war started. After the war they got a 1946 Buick and in 1952 got a Chevy station wagon.

In my junior year in High School - spring 1955 - I took Driver Ed and got a New York junior Driver's licence. You could only drive alone in daylight - otherwise a licenced driver was needed to be present and you couldn't drive in NYC at all. Although normally you had to be 18 to have a full licence but because I took Driver Ed I could get one when I turned 17. We lived in NYC, but had a summer house in Dutchess County. I bought my own first car - a 1940 Chevy and could drive it around there. And after I got my full license I drove it to school once in awhile and had it at the summer camp in Maine where I was a counselor. I did lots of maintenance on the car and painted it. I took Auto Mechanics in High School which helped.

My next car, bought in 1956, was a 1947 Simca Cinq - French version of the Fiat 500 called a Topolino. Part of my motivation was that my Physics and Auto Mechanics teacher, Ray Darby, had one it seemed to be a really cool car. A very impractical car. a trunk not big enough for a sutcase, and the space behind the seats was so small so that if you went grocery shopping and had a passenger there wasn't really enough room for the bags. But I really liked it. The windshield wipers were hand operated as were the directional signal flags and I don't remember if it even had a gas guage.. It wasn't very powerful and you had to shift down several gears when going up a hill. Once when driving on an uphill portion of the Taconic State Parkway a cop stopped me and said I was going too slow and should take another route. It did get 50 MPG. I did some maintenance on it also.

I don't seem to have any pictures of mine.