Holes, Odds and Ends

I posted a photo of our beloved rescue mutt Ellie B attempting to investigate a hole in our neighborhood this week. Paul Curran commented that it jogged his memory. Indeed. Take it away, esteemed weekly Sunday guest columnist from Canada.

Paul Curran, our esteemed writer.

Our barrista Paul Curran.


Welcome to the weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here at Mark Bialczak’s Little Bitty in Syracuse, New York. Please come in and go through to the living room. Mark, his wife Karen and their pooch Ellie B, have prepared a nice, warm, comfy place for us so I can tend to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. The weather this morning is cloudy with showers and a high just over 50 F. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our worldwide readership and adult beverages for those who wish something stronger to warm up. We can relax with a cuppa while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. Ellie likes to be patted, so please indulge her when she greets you. How has your week been? Have a sweet – electronic sweets are all calorie free!

Calorie-Free Goodies

So today is May 1, and the students are all packing up here in Ottawa and headed home for the summer – to part-time jobs and family. Our street, just three blocks from the university, is lined with pickups, rental vans, trailers and trucks, all being filled with worldly possessions. For anyone staying, it is an ideal time to scoop up abandoned lights, tables, desks, and bookshelves. Since I hopefully will only be here a few more weeks before moving to Vancouver, I am refraining from looking. My good friend has appeared at my door a few times in the last days saying what a great furniture piece was here or there. Our new home in Vancouver is fully furnished and since all my possessions came from hand-me-downs, they shall return there, and I will travel only with a few pictures and clothes.

Roadside Furniture

Would you like another cuppa? Perhaps a sweet? Mark published a post this week where he commented on the holes left over from the winter. I mentioned that I was a connoisseur of holes. Since I was very young, I’ve always been fascinated by holes in the ground. When I was about 7 years old, a friend and I dug a huge hole in a vacant lot next to the church. The picture at the beginning of this post looks very much like the hole we dug. While we were having lunch at my place the minister came by and asked that we please fill in the hole as his elderly parishioners crossed that yard to attend mass. All I could think of was a Monty Python skit where people were toppling over the edge of a hole.

Grand Canyon

My favorite hole of all time is the Grand Canyon. I just lose my sense of self when I stand on its edge – it seems to swallow me up. The worst hole of all time was the one under the puddle where I drove my truck and rolled it over down in Texas – many years ago. I still, to this day, feel compelled to investigate any hole in the ground that I encounter – be it construction, burrow, or natural. It is a fun characteristic that I seem to have been encoded with from birth – no clue why.

Iraqi Protesters Tear Down Concrete Wall Around Parliament

So, in the world I see that the residents of Iraq are staging demonstrations in the green sector of Baghdad today. They are protesting the government’s refusal to enact reforms to reduce graft and theft of funds and resources by the members of the government. It is comforting to see they are doing this with protests even though the protesters are tearing down walls and destroying property – they are not harming people and they are not using weapons. This is a major step up from previous violent protests. That said, they are all Shiites arguing amongst themselves, so that is likely a major factor.

That’s about all we have room for this week folks, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and pat Ellie B. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Mark, Karen and Ellie B for their invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Mark’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week.

Fancy Coffee Anyone?

Coffee, Anyone

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26 thoughts on “Holes, Odds and Ends

  1. Thank you so very much for this opportunity to guest post Mark.I hope all is well with you and your readers this week.

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  2. Good Morning Paul-I’ll have a cuppa black this a.m. SO soon you’ll be in your new place in Vancouver-I know you’ll be happy for the change of pace. Not myself ever being duly interested in holes I did have to chuckle because as a toddler on the beach here in Florida my Mom will tell you I dug sand holes and watched it fill with water (at the Oceans edge) and giggle while my brother’s and Father boogie boarding, played frisbee and the like. I was wondering Paul, when you relocate in the very neat future will you still grace us with guest posts here with Mark? Gatorette

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    • Good morning Gatorette! Thanks so much for dropping by for a read and a comment. One cuppa black coming up! That’s neat that you got to dig in the sand when young. yep, I’m thinking that the move won’t change my bloggyworld commitments or participation. It might for a week or so when I travel but that would be it and the travelling will produce so many great posts.

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  3. You know how to get into a subject deep, Paul, and holes is no exception. Ha! Happy Sunday, and I’m so glad you’re here for everybody to get their weekly Cuppa. And calorie-free treats, of course. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Willow! One Irish coffee ,heavy on the Jamison’s with a pan raisan,coming up! Funny video Willow – and that’s why I seldom criticize another man’s hole – you could end up at the bottom. ha! It can be very tempting sometimes and I have to bite my lip. I remember one time in the spring when there was flooding in Newfoundland. A culvert plugged and water washed out all the ground from under the road leaving just the pavement hanging in mid air. it so happened that the first vehicle along was a Department of Highways loaded salt truck/plow. It fell through the road and only the flashing blue light was visible at road level. This was the only road to the ferry and we had to wait for two days in a restaurant while they built a dirt detour through the brush to get around the missing road. i walked up and peered down at the highways truck in a failed Highway and I had to stifle my laughter. Thanks so much for dropping by with a hole comment Willow.

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  4. When he was little, my son Jacob was drawn to holes, too. He always wanted to see what was down there. I was sure that one day I would find him at the bottom of one, looking up at me!

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  5. great post, paul. my friend’s sons spent most of one summer digging a giant hole in their backyard. they spent the fall filing it back in. it was a great activity that keep them happy and busy.

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    • Welcome Beth! Thank you so much for dropping by. Indeed, 3/4 of any hole is where you choose to dig it. People are so picky where you put your hole – Ha!

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  6. A whole lot of smiles with that pup and cup!
    We went to the Grand Canyon one summer and stopped at every single lookout spot. Every single one – there are tons and tons of lookout stops. And dad had to take a picture of each sign with the lookout name on it along with some informations. My brother got pretty tired of it quickly and refused to get out of the car, even my mom became disinterested so 2/3 of the pictures are of little me posed by or on one of the signs. Pretty funny after they all got developed. (It was film back then…and few safety measures. Many of those places are probably blocked off now. I remember being really freaked out looking straight down into Bryce Canyon on one trail…it was straight down and a narrow ledge. Really. Not making it up. As a result much less of a canyon person than a mountain person. It is too a whole different thing!)
    Molly says she plans on digging a hole in the back yard in honor of your post…
    Great fun today, Paul!

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    • Ha! Please tell Molly that I’ve never had a memorial hole dug for me and that I am honored. Thanks so much for dropping by for read and a comment Phil.The last time I was at the grand Canyon, I did precisely what you described – stood with my toes hanging over the edge of the canyon so I could look down between my feet and see the next piece of ground over a mile below. Mind-bending. i did some quick calculations and figured that one could put all humanity that had ever existed and everything they had ever built into the Grand Canyon and there would still be space.

      Thanks so much for the visit Phil – y’all come back soon ya hear?

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  7. Whoa, do we ever have the holes here in Owensboro for you Paul. I’ve almost buried my power chair in some of them that I can’t get around. Holes in the sidewalk that extend across the street, the driveways, lawns, sinkholes that eat up the cars and buildings (Owensboro is built on quicksand), and I even have holes in my socks if you like all kinds of holes. Animal holes in the ground, holes the dogs dig, mole holes, big holes, minuscule holes found only when I drive over them, and gut wrenching holes that tear my chair and me apart when we creep across in lowest slowest gear that stops as we hit the cracks that break my back. Come to Kentucky and check out our holes if you are really interested in holes Paul. You can go down in some of them. They are called coal mines, then there are the infamous strip mines. Nasty ones that make the once lovely state ugly for years on end. Come see our holes, then see if you can add some voice to ours to get those holes fixed. No one listens to native Kentuckian now, so maybe they will listen to a Canadian.

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    • Thanks so much for the read Angie. I know it may not seem funny but your comment about all the holes around your place made me grin. I’m sorry that you have to navigate around the holes with your power chair. We have strip mining here too but they are required to level and replant it when done. Thanks again for the read – am sorry it took so long to get back to you but I just got this in my nail today. There were about 5 comments from May that just popped up, so it wasn’t just yours. Thanks again for the read and great comment, please drop by again.

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  8. I’m a bit intrigued by holes myself. Have many a picture where I’ve stuck a camera up to the opening of a hole I’m too large to enter, and snapped away to see what’s inside. Intriguing world in those holes Paul!!!!! 🙂

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    • Indeed Colleen! There has to be something in there and something made it – plus as land dwelling creatures we basically live and work in a 2-D world, like your drawings. There are a few exceptions that require serious machinery – air and water – to operate in 3-D but that is not an option for an unaided human. Holes are are the exception to this and nicely display the third dimension for our viewing pleasure – what is inside the earth or other fixed object? Looking at the layers of rock on the far side of the Grand Canyon and realizing that each layer was the surface many millions of years ago is much like looking back in time.

      Thanks so much for dropping by with a comment Colleen. I’m pleased to find someone else who appreciates a good hole. Ha!

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      • Ha! 😉

        I am SO glad I am NOT the only one who looks at those layers and thinks….criminy…..what DID the world look like THEN. Curiosity does NOT always kill the cat. It often times lends to our imagination and willingness to learn.

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  9. I have always enjoyed your views on virtually any subject, Paul, and I was glad to see this one too. Although a shorter, (which I hope means you’e occupied with moving), It definitely still states you special brand of vision. Cheers to you, my friend…

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    • Thanks so much Robyn for dropping by and for the great compliment. It is funny that you should mention the length. I’m working to shorten things up to between 800 and 1,000 words. It is great to hear that you like the longer pieces because I prefer just writing until the topic is done. I do need more discipline in length though. I just did a piece for Cordelia’s Mom that isn’t published yet that is 1,300 words. I have so little to move Robyn that I could be ready in an hour easily.

      I am honored that you dropped by. Thank you.

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  10. Had to laugh, Paul! Texas can be a tricky place HA! As a teenager, I had an old 1967 Ford Galaxy – I mean this thing was like a tank & ran like a bat out of hell. It was raining real hard one night, and I pulled into a parking lot to pick up a friend. There were puddles everywhere, & as I started to drive through the biggest one, unbeknownst to me, the huge puddle was really a huge pothole filled with water – yep, I got that big ole car stuck right in the middle of the puddle. Since there was a party to go to, I left that car right there in the puddle, and off we went to find another ride. Pretty sure my dad had to get a wrecker to tow it out 🙂 I’ll have to ask him if he remembers that. Anyways, enjoyed the post!
    P.S. – Do you have a firm date on your move yet?

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    • Thank you for dropping by Sadie – i am honored. yeah, i found that out about Texas potholes – beware,there could be a Chinese speaker at the bottom. ha! That is a funny story about sinking your car – I don’t feel so bad now. The Vancouver thing is still as firm as before – but the date keeps moving back and forth as circumstances change. As it stands now, a construction crew will start this week fixing a foundation crack and replacing all the sewage lines to the street as Vancouver has changed their building code requiring a new type of drainage and sewage line – something to do with earthquake preparedness. The government requires a strict home inspection before renting – which is good. They found a foundation crack and so had to dig up the outside of the foundation – and once they did that they were touching the sewage/drainage pipes and so were required to upgrade them. The owner hopes the construction will be done by mid-June, late June at the latest. There was going to be another delay for city work, but that has been cancelled as the crews are going to Fort McMurray to help with rebuilding. I’ll be paying my June rent here in Ottawa and whenever the construction is done I will leave. The owner in BC has given us a rent break until September for the inconvenience.

      You have a great week Sadie and thanks again fir the visit. 😀

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