Wednesday, January 12, 2011


A while ago, a blogger had a post that included a moan about her husband's penchant for watching such shows as How It's Made and wondered if she was alone in having to endure such torture. Many of the commenters were in sympathy with her. But I happen to quite like such shows as this and Superstructures and their sort, though How It's Made is best for my short attention span. I like it for its brevity - short bursts of information that does not descend into the realm of far too much information and thereby killing my interest. It is just enough to fulfill my curiosity. It happens to come on television very early in the morning, too, which is just when I am getting home from work, so I often watch it while having my tea and breakfast. For a long time it became my default programme (right up there with House Hunters) when it seemed to be on every few hours on some channel.

Last Sunday, when a friend and I were heading out to a movie, I said that we should make a short detour to see the beer vats that were resting just a kilometre or two up the road. I thought she might be interested in seeing them (since it was all over the news) and she knew I would want to take pictures and was fine with that. When we got to the street and turned the corner, you could see the vats, gleaming in the brilliant sunshine. If anything, they looked even more massive surrounded by open field with the vista of the city off in the distance than they had the previous day when it was snowing and they were still in the city. I pulled up to the shoulder along with the dozens of other cars that had stopped to have a look and take photos and asked her if she wanted to get out and have a closer look. "No, I don't like beer" was her response. So I left her in the running car with the radio on, and wondered what not liking beer had to do with anything? Yes, they were beer vats, but if I hadn't told her that, she could have assumed they were for any number of purposes. Later, we talked about the vats and the amazing things that could be made and transported but I still wondered about that comment.

I was reminded of a time when I was young (and probably a royal pain in the tuckus) and after asking my one millionth question I turned to my mother and said, accusingly, "you don't know very much, do you?" My parents were not the hands on type who might engage you in your interests or questions. My mother would often just respond that she didn't know, usually followed by a "go look it up", signalling an end to the conversation. "Aren't you even the least bit curious about any of this", I would often ask. "No, not really" was her reply. It was not so much the lack of interest - lord knows there are many things I am not interested in - but the lack of curiosity that astounded me. I later noticed, like my friend, that she would often wonder out loud about things, but never had enough interest - or curiosity - to actually seek any answers.

Of course, the internet has been a godsend for seeking answers. It has become easier and faster than ever to get answers, whether detailed or in short, terse sentences. I can be derailed from almost any search into a realm that I had no previous interest or knowledge and become thrilled with what I found. My bookmarks of interesting subjects and websites has grown to an almost astronomical size. Of course, much of it I rarely look at again. But, every now and then, I will remember something... and can't find it in my bookmarks or favourites for all the other crap that is in there. I prefer to think of it as an example of my wide ranging curiosity.

...and if you are curious - the beer vats are sitting by the side of the road, a little bit closer to their destination, for a second day because of a snow storm last night making it impossible to lift the hydro wires and not get in the way of the snow plows.

Today would have been my mother's 94th birthday.
She would not have been curious about this blog. Not at all.


  1. I'm like you. Mi curiosity is often piqued by the smallest things. Which leads to the internet, which leads off on tangents and wow, it's amazing all the stuff there is to know.

    As for the vats, what does liking beer have to do with it, indeed. I'm not a beer drinker and I would've been out of the car in a shot.

    - Jazz

  2. I am a curious person by nature.
    The Internet is wonderful for getting the answers.
    I also like those How its made shows on TV.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  3. That sounds familiar to have a mother similar to that...and I made it a point to be a different one to my kids. It made my day when I once overheard my (then) teen son's reply to one of his friends, who was asking about me. "Oh, mom? You know...she's always into something"

  4. Jazz: I can be fascinated by one tiny aspect of something without being much interested in the rest of the details

    Maggie May: proving that television is not necessarily a wasteland

    Jeannette: my parents were very difficult to buy presents for due to their apparent lack of hobbies or interests

  5. I'm like you. I want to know how it works, when it was invented, who invented it and how they came up with the idea.
    I know some people who have little interest in anything that doesn't relate to them and their daily lives. I don't get that.

  6. Geewits: it must make their conversations very limited, too, I would think

  7. I like shows like how it's made and I also like actually seeing how things are made. One year I was in the county's leadership class and we got to tour farms and factories (car parts, aluminum cans, and beans!). I had a great time and asked questions every place. I like touring wineries (okay, the tasting is a nice bonus), and will happily go into those places where you can see cotton being made into yarn and so on. I find all that sort of thing endlessly fascinating.

  8. I'm a curious person by nature. I find a lot of my answers in books, because I'm curious about the behavior of human beings and the psychology of them. I'm also curious about politics and about what goes on around the world and watch the news a lot and commentary programs. I like discussion. I like analytics. I assume a lot of people know very little.

  9. Interesting post! I would have checked out the vats with you because I'm also a fairly curious person who likes new adventures! :)

  10. SAW: I would much rather see a thing being made than reading (or hearing) a description. and gatting to taste the results is, of course, sublime.

    Nora: I wish I was more interested in politics - that can develop into some pretty lively conversations! I am a bit of a news junkie, though and read 4-5 newspapers a day.

    Hanna: it is fun to get caught up in such things without getting all critical about it)

  11. Fascinating stuff. Would make any cocktail party conversation more interesting!

  12. Hmm, I never understood how people could choose to be ignorant...If you don't know, then find an answer! There are so many cool things out there, why not put in the minimal effort it takes to discover some of them?

    Oh, and hi! Nice blog you have here!


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