Category Archives: THE CHEF UPSTAIRS


Posted: January 1, 2024

I am an optimist, that’s just how I am wired. But the events of the last few years really test that perspective. I am starting to just expect that there will be another bad event: floods, wildfires, wars, pandemic, interest rates, inflation, mass shootings. The list goes on.

Until the Russian invasion of Ukraine our news was dominated by the pandemic, both the virus and the social and economic fallout that flowed from it. All that got us off that virus fixation was the Russian invasion. And now, approaching two years into Putin’s war we have another terrible war that some like to neatly compartmentalize as a regional war.  Of course, Covid has not gone away, and the fighting in the Ukraine rages on, various parts of the world have been flooded or lost their communities to wildfires, and we have all just learned to juggle one more ball in our anxiety kit.  Yes, its true – I am not in Kiev being bombed directly, nor am under attack in Gaza city, so its true that my problems are a rather distant ripple from where those stones first hit the water but it is hard to not be somewhat paralyzed by the events of our times.

As the journalists turn from the immediate stats on casualties in different regions and what (lack of) progress has been made on trying to get these two invasions to end, and move to deeper insights, one topic bothers me more than others. The question of whether certain activities are war crimes.  Yes, I realize that War Crimes are a defined term by many groups and whether the definition flows from the Geneva Conventions in 1949 or the more nuanced ones at the U.N. coming from the experience in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, there is a measure of what is, and what is not,  precisely a “War Crime”.

But the whole notion of there being some acts of war that considered acceptable in this bloodsport seems quite strange to me. Yes, I understand the idea that one soldier killing another soldier is just fine in comparison with the rape, torture and murder of civilians.  But certainly, this is a spectrum that already starts at the wrong point – killing each other, and then tries to put measurement points on various acts from there.

Is it a war crime?    Well if you have to ask…..

A few nights ago I went to bed after watching some BBC coverage of the two regional wars. In both cases there was a lot of talk of War Crimes.

Yesterday I woke up at about 5:30 with a terrible poem going through my head and I got up before the sunrise to write it down. And yes, to my poet friends its not technically a haiku, but close.


                IS IT A WAR CRIME?                  

Is it a war crime

splitting hairs I think, even

clear glass casts a shadow.



This little poem needs some refinement and if anyone has suggestions, I would be pleased to receive them and will post them here.  Remember to contact me, it is


In looking back over my posts of the last year, it seems I am somewhat stressed about the world and as we go into another year in my future posts I am going to share some of my more encouraging thoughts as I have lots of that variety as well.

Enjoy the new year.  Twenty- twenty- four  will have some positives for each of us I am sure.




This section is about a cooking school that Janice and Jim built in the 1980’s. I want to do the story justice so it is taking a bit of time. So check back and hopefully I will have it to a point I can upload it soon.


In the meantime I have posted a little story about the background to the business. Its called JULY 7, 2005 & THE CHEF UPSTAIRS, and I posted it on July 7, 2020.