Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Quote of le jour:  Woody Allen: Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go it's one of the best.

I've just begun to appreciate that i am one of the wealthiest people on the planet.

Unlike 90% of the population, i have shelter, i have so much food that when i open the door of my refrigerator's freezer compartment the stuff falls out, i have high speed Internet, and i have friends who love me.

But what makes me wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice, is that i don't need anything.  Oh, sure, there are loads of things i'd like to have, but i want for nothing.

I know people -- whether they make less or more money than i do is quite irrelevant -- who are constantly moaning that they need this or need that; they'll never be happy because they will never have all that they "need." What they really need is a swift kick and an awareness lesson or two.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Tal Wilkenfeld

Quote of the day: "Those who dream by day are cognisant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." (Edgar Allen Poe)

As my regular reader will know, i am a huge fan of Jeff Beck's, and today i bought  his new album, "Emotion & Commotion" (pictured above).And of course i had to buy the deluxe edition, which includes a DVD.

The CD is good.  Jeff's ability to make his guitar sing remains unsurpassed -- equalled by a very few (Terje Rypdal & Rory Gallagher spring to mind), bettered by none.  But it's Jeff at his most mellow, performing the likes of "Over The Rainbow" and "Nessun Dorma!" with full orchestra and there's none of the full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes music i love him for.

The reason to buy it, though, is for the DVD -- a live performance from the Crossroads Guitar Festival, 2007.

 I was close to tears (of joy) when the DVD ended.  It is -- and i'm not a huge fan of music DVDs -- the reason to buy.  (Or, at least, search "Jeff Beck Crossroads" on YouTube -- there are clips up.)

I saw Jeff in concert in 2001.  It was great but he really didn't seem to be enjoying himself all that much.  This is different -- he's obviously having a wonderful time.  Possibly because his band is better?  And in particular...

... Tal Wilkenfeld, his bassist.  (I'll bet you were wondering when i'd get around to her.)

That's her up there.

 She's one of the best bass guitarists i've ever heard!  And she looks like she's about 19 (although she was born in 1986, which means she was 21 when the video was made).  She's a Kiwi -- not her fault, of course!

Anyway, the rapport between her and Jeff Beck is pure magic and she plays her bass like it's a part of her body -- indeed, there are moments when one might think she has a sexual relationship with it.

Is there such a thing as a child prodigy on the bass guitar?  If there is, she must have been one.

www.talwilkenfeld.com -- but there's nothing much there yet

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Toronto, The Celestial City

I have just returned from two days in Toronto, i went to see Oysterband (www.oysterband.co.uk) at Hugh's Room and they were superb.  The last time i was in Toronto was two years ago, when i went to see, er, Oysterband, at Hugh's Room.  I think that they were more enjoyable this time. Here's the group, in a picture taken by my friend Eric:

I used to live there, of course, and it's a beautiful city -- what New York would be like if New York were run by the Swiss, as someone (Peter Ustinov?) once said.  I took a few photos and they're up on my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34806425@N02/sets/72157623852955868/

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Hockey Tournament, Day Two (Eeeeek!)

Yes, we took another good kicking today at ye olde shoppe.  I'm convinced that these people don't really understand the concept of "restaurant reservations."

We had a party of 35 who booked for noon, at least they booked, but they didn't show up until 12.45.  Duh!  And then we had parties of 20/25/30 people showing up all afternoon, unannounced.

Well, it wasn't quite as bad as yesterday, but as i was leaving, another party of 30 was arriving unexpectedly...

And there's one more day but i don't care because i am now on holidays for a week.  Freedom!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Hockey Tournament! (Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid....)

As you may know by now, i, for my sins, make my living as a cook. 
We had our little butts kicked at the restaurant today, wow, we were busy.  There's a hockey tournament in town all weekend, and it began today.  Well, "there's a hockey tournament in town" are words which strike fear into the heart of any Stratford restaurateur.  These people are Neanderthal! (Knuckles all scraped from walking).  We had two parties -- total number of people was about 50 -- show up unexpectedly at 1.30, after we'd sent half the lunchtime staff home.  These people, i don't know what the problem is, have they never been to a restaurant before?  They don't understand the concept of making reservations?  Just down from the trees?
And so i went to Kelsey's after work for a refreshing alcoholic beverage, and they were getting their little butts kicked, too....  But it was worse there, because Kelsey's has more of a bar style (booze sales at my shop are minimal) -- so Kelsey's had a load of boozed-up Neanderthals.  And these people were on their way to a game?
Jen said (in the brief moment we were able to speak), "i'm not enjoying life right now."  And then had to dash off.
Jill said (in the brief moment we were able to speak) "i wish i were somewhere else." And then had to dash off.  (Yes, i did note her use of the subjunctive -- she has an English degree, you know.)
Lucy said (in the brief moment we were able to speak) "hi, Rich" and then dashed off.
Vanessa said (in the brief moment we were able to speak) "i 'm very tired," but then dashed off.
And, oh, hey, we get to do it all again tomorrow.
And then i'm on holidays for a week.  Hurrah!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Catieboo Seal Of Approval

Ah, right, Cate-cat approves.  There she is atop the new PC -- so i guess i'll keep it.
And i've been keeping busy with it an' all -- configuring, downloading apps, and configuring some more, hampered no end by the fact that my Internet connection has been really wonky lately.  It always seems down on Sundays -- my only day off! -- i can't imagine why this would be but am willing to accept the possibility that i've screwed something up.

And i haven't had much time for watching films recently, but i've managed these:

I know....