jarrett moffatt

down here in the campfire light.

Bonesy is really digging last night's snowfall.

I'm watching BBC's Walking with Cavemen. The first time I saw it was in an anthropology class in university, and every few years I watch it again because it's so fascinating. Just an interesting look at the beauty of human evolution.

Here's the episodes if you're interested:

Episode one. Episode two. Episode three. Episode four.

It's 4:30 a.m. I've been up since 2:00 a.m. “What's wrong Jarrett, can't sleep?” It happens. When I go to bed early I wake up in the middle of the night; when I go to bed late I sleep until 8:00 a.m. Is my mind punishing me because I turned the TV off to sleep instead of kept it on to keep me on? No good deed goes unpunished.

I ate two pieces of cinnamon raisin toast. Just a little bit of margarine and it's good to go. Nice, tasty toast at 4:30 a.m. My cat must wonder why I'm upstairs before she is. (She's curled up on a pillow in my room downstairs.) She's supposed to wake me up, not the other way around.

CNN is on. It's that special hour on CNN where it's the international edition and you realize things happen in the world that don't relate to a former reality television host. Italy has a second coronavirus spike— will the people sing from the balconies this time? No, because it's different this time. We have masks, we have an economy that needs to run and governments that think we're lazy. But the restaurants; how will they survive? How many restaurants do we need when we still have food banks?

it's friday at 10:52 a.m. and i'm almost done my coffee. i'm not an early-morning person, so this is my wake-up hour. (my bones are creaky, so it takes a bit of oil to get them going.) it snowed last night, which it hadn't done yet this fall, but it looks like sub-freezing temperatures are here to stay. right now a white cat ran up to my front door. beautiful cat. had a red collar on that contrasts nicely with its white coat. i hope it's not lost, and i hope the owner one day keeps it inside, because cats are our friends and shouldn't be left to the harsh realities of a winnipeg winter, or fall, or summer, or spring. keep your kitties inside. i have plans to read and write today, which i've been doing a lot lately, because reading and writing are one and the same and if you want to get better at both you need to do both as much as possible. this morning i finished a section of fiction featured in Harper's october issue. it's about a husband and wife having a conversation on a transatlantic flight from somewhere in europe to newark, new jersey. the husband keeps reading the flight details on the headrest screen in front of him while the wife writes thoughts about their european trip in her journal. if you like the psychoanalysis of two upper-middle class people fighting in subtext, grab this month's Harper's because it's a good story. ok, now i'm going to finish the rest of this coffee and read a bit more. then i need to get the outdoor taps winterized. (that's a fancy way of saying 'unscrew hose from tap'.)

OK last 'picture of a book I bought secondhand' series of posts. I promise. But what a mint copy of On Writing.

Now, I've never read a Stephen King novel. I also took On Writing out from the library last year and never finished it.

BUT, King is one of those writers I have to admire even though I can't seem to finish anything he's written. Some writers can only write in one genre, or only write a few books in their lifetime. King is neither of those. So much of his work has influenced pop culture and you might not know it. Take a look at everything he's written:


To write as much as King across so many genres is craft at its finest.

Today's secondhand purchase. (I needed some excitement these past few days and a book hunt always helps.)

I read Chatwin's The Songlines when I was traveling Europe in 2008, but might have stopped reading half way through because I got distracted by another book— a common thing with me.

I'd like to write more letters, so If you're reading this and would like a letter from me, send me an email and we can exchange mailing addresses— my email is on my website.

Today's secondhand purchase. Twenty-five cents.

Curling is a sport played every winter by hundreds of thousands of Canadians between the ages of eight and eighty. Age, sex, and physical strength have little bearing on one's ability to enjoy the game.

Some of the side effects enjoyed by all curlers are the camaraderie, fellowship and friendship in a league, your club, at bonspiels and in national curling championships.

Great episode from HBR IdeaCast on the fundamental human relationship with work, featuring an interview with anthropologist James Suzman.

For hunter gatherers, when times were good, these were times to relax the most. So, Ju/’hoansi for example, there’s a nut called the mongongo nut and they had this great quote, why should we farm when there’s so many mongongo nuts in the world? And during the prolific season of mongongo nuts, people worked less. So, when the season was great, people spent less effort working and more time playing and on leisure.

By contrast with farming, when the seasons are good, that’s when you work the hardest. You work the hardest to try and sustain and maintain that surplus. When you’re dependent on a crop of barley and some, you know, a herd of goats, you’ve effectively got eggs in one basket. And you live constantly, a drought, a flood, a frost, a blight and a plague away from potential famine.

Have a listen here or search 'HBR IdeaCast' wherever you search for things on the internet.

“I don't think everyone wants to create the great American novel, but we all have a dream of telling our stories— of realizing what we think, feel, and see before we die. Writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate. Think about it: Ants don't do it. Trees don't. Not even thoroughbred horses, mountain elk, house cats, grass, or rocks do it. Writing is a uniquely human activity. It might even be built into our DNA. It should be put forward in the Declaration of Independence, along with the other inalienable rights: 'Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness— and writing.'”

— Natalie Goldberg, “Writing Down the Bones.


A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Logical fallacies are like tricks or illusions of thought, and they're often very sneakily used by politicians and the media to fool people. Don't be fooled! This website has been designed to help you identify and call out dodgy logic wherever it may raise its ugly, incoherent head.