Monday, 31 May 2010

Spriggsblog Goes To The Movies

I watched this a couple of evenings ago -- "Red Cliff" by John Woo and wow it's good.  Think "Lord Of The Rings" set in mediaeval China (but with a little bit less magic).

The problem that i had with it, though -- it was originally released, in China, in two parts.  Four hours long.  The DVD i bought was the condensed North American version ( two hours, forty minutes).  I found it a bit confusing at times, in the battle scenes i couldn't always tell who was who, plus there was a difficulty with all of those completely alien Chinese names.  But i have the same problem with the novels of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy.

An extraordinary film nonetheless and highly recommended

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Jane Siberry 2

I sent Jane the link to my previous post and she wrote back.

Her message consisted, in its entirety, of...  :o)

But at least she read it.  Hey, i know famous people!  I shook Peter Hammill's hand once, too.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Jane Siberry

Jane Siberry is a "quirky" -- perhaps idiosyncratic would be a better word -- Canadian singer / songwriter who's been performing since the early 80's (currently on tour in the U.K.).  She's perhaps best known outside Canada for her song "Calling All Angels," which she performed as a duet with k.d. lang (it appeared on the soundtrack to Wim Wenders "Until The End Of The World").
Now in her 50's, she remains as rebellious as ever.  She changed her name to "Issa" for a while (but has since reverted), and her current tour includes loads of performances in private homes.
I just received an e-mail from her -- well, not to me personally, i subscribe to her mailing list -- and she has now made all of her albums available as free downloads from, the only requirement being that you "pay it forward" -- i.e., pass the info on, which is what i'm doing now.
I downloaded a few of her older albums which i only had on vinyl -- i have most of her stuff on CD, and i just ordered her most recent album, "With What Shall I Keep Warm" (favourably reviewed in the February issue of Mojo, btw), from  
No, this is not spam, and i don't work for her LOL

Monday, 10 May 2010

The Golden Age Of Television

Quote Of The Day: David St Hubbins (Spinal Tap): "There's a fine line between clever and illegal."

I've just been watching the DVD of the first season of the television series "Cheers."  What a magnificent programme it was -- at least at the beginning.  Actually it fared well through several seasons.

It has been said that the Golden Age Of Television was the 1950's -- Thomas G. Aylesworth says that in his book "Great Moments Of Television," but i'm afraid i can't agree.

In the 50's, America was infallible, in the cop shows and westerns you could always tell the bad guy because he hadn't shaved, and in the sitcoms, no one ever had any problems that Dad wasn't able to fix in under 30 minutes.

The 60's -- i dunno, the only remarkable thing about 60's television was The Beatles' appearance on Ed Sullivan

Reality asserted itself when "All In The Family" was first broadcast (1971) -- but i was never a particular fan (although i did watch it).

But then came "M*A*S*H"  which was great for a while, "Barney Miller," "WKRP In Cincinnati" -- all very clever in their own way.

In England, we had "The Sweeney," "Van der Valk" and, later, "Minder" -- and "Monty Pyhton" --all brilliant.

After that, "Hill Street Blues" and, later, "Seinfeld."

After that i pretty much lost interest in television.  With the exception, of course of "Father Ted."

Just So You Know

Quote Of The Day:  Henny Youngman -- I bought my wife a new car.  She called and said there was water in the carburetor.  I said where's the car?  She said in the lake.

I've noticed an annoying trend lately.  Someone will tell me something, but preface it with "just so you know."  I mean, really.  Why else would they inform me?

Anyway, just so you know, i watched "Footlight Parade" last night.  Man, i love those old Busby Berkeley / Dick Powell / Ruby Keeler films....


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

My Day (As If You Care)

Just made it home (via Kelsey's) literally seconds ahead of a major thunderstorm.  It was sprinkling when i reached Spriggs Towers, and it's now coming down in sheets!
I had quite an eventful day, really.
We had a busload of 40 students booked at lunch -- and, thoughtfully, they faxed us yesterday to let us know what they were all ordering.  Unfortunately, when they sat down to eat, half of them changed their orders.  Duh!  The kitchen was cooking meals according to our copy of the fax, the waitresses kept taking the fax away to make changes, and they screwed up the changes so much that it was all pretty much a fiasco and no one (in the kitchen) knew who was having what and / or what we were supposed to be doing....
And then the waitresses who had customers who were not part of the bus were getting annoyed because we couldn't do their orders until we took care of the bus and the bus order was so hopelessly confused.
But then, after that, it quieted down enormously -- we had a 15-minute power outage at around 1:00 o'clock.  So everyone else in the kitchen went home, the power came back on, and we got busy again.  I was hopping!
And, as i was hopping, who should show up at Take-Out but Thomas, home on leave from Afghanistan.  He ordered shrimp and told me not to burn it; i replied "one raw shrimp coming up."
I wasn't able to chat with him much, but he handed me a mysterious envelope -- which turned out to be an invitation to his and Carolyn's wedding in August (when his contract in Kandahar is up).  (What the heck can i buy them as a wedding present????)  Anyway, we're meeting tomorrow after work at -- oh, hey, i get to go to Kelsey's again, woo hoo! 
At Kelsey's this afternoon, Mike didn't exactly buy me a beer but he charged me a lower price for the two i did have -- so instead of the usual $13.78 plus $2 tip, he charged me $9.18 (and i left a $2 tip).  But beyond that....
They used to sell Stella Artois on tap.  They no longer do, but they have loads of 20 oz. glasses with the Stella logo.  I am now the proud owner of a case of six Stella beer glasses.