Tuesday, 26 October 2010

...Not With A Bang

Quote of the day: T.S Eliot -- This is the way the world ends,
Not with a bang but a whimper.
So that's the end of the holiday, ruined completely by the fact 
that my Internet connection was down for most of the day
I started to listen to The Beatles Universe -- a great radio 
program that airs on 94.9 The Rock every Sunday morning but the 
connection went down after fifteen minutes, and stayed down. FAIL

Here was the playlist for the day:
Walter Trout, No More Fish Jokes
Mark Knopfler, Shangri-la
Wazmo Nariz, Things Aren't Right
And i watched yet another episode of "Between The Lines."
And that's the end of a holiday 

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Day 6, Part Two

I've been reading this book (to my left there), Margaret Atwood's latest, all week, and i'm having a real problem with it.  I used to love her work, she began life as a poet and her first few novels had the poet's gift for le mot juste.  Now she just seems verbose.

I'm having a great deal of trouble absorbing what i'm reading, it's very disappointing, it's as though she aspires to be Canada's answer to Marcel Proust but without the gift for detail.

Anyway, i did, as promised, watch another episode of "Between The Lines," such a powerful one ("Manoeuvre 11" it was called) that i was weeping real tears at one point.  (The child dies.) (Ha, ha, now i've ruined it for you.)  And then i watched (most of) disc 2 of the 4-disc deluxe expanded extended exploded edition of "The Return Of The King."  Fabulous stuff.  Literally!

And now i'm doing laundry (no, really) and  listening to Bruce Springsteen's CD "Magic."

Vacation Diary, Day 6

Quotation of the day: Earl Wilson -- A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking.

This may be difficult to believe, but i've actually been productive today (shock, horror).

I am, as i'm sure you're all aware, a huge fan of Rory Gallagher -- the best blues-rock guitarist ever.  I'm also a member of an Internet discussion group devoted to him, The-Loop (named after one of his tunes).  For the past six months, i've been running a weekly series on The-Loop called "The Roots Of Rory," in which i will upload a song by one of the people (usually early blues singers) who influenced him.  But this week, because i had the time, i tried something different....

This week's song was "Tobacco Road," which was written by John D. Loudermilk, but which was a top ten hit for The Nashville Teens in 1964 (long before i was born, of course!) (ahem...).  Rory never officially recorded it, but sometimes, in concert, he would interpolate it into his own song, "Seems To Me."  So what i have just done, is, i put together a .zip file of four versions of the song:  Loudermilk's original, The Nashville Teens' version, plus two (bootleg) versions of Rory's Seems To Me" -- one with, and one without the "Tobacco Road" interpolation.  If you're at all interested, you can download the file (it's 19 MB) here: http://www.mediafire.com/?gf8cn747c0sps4z

Normally, i wouldn't have the time to organise something so relatively complicated (especially as i had misfiled one of the CDs i needed and it took me a while to find it).

Otherwise, today's playlist has been:

Kathy Mattea, "Roses"
Peter Hammill, "In A Foreign Town"
Rush, "Retrospective II" (sorry, Helen!)

And i'm just about to watch yet another episode of "Between The Lines" -- love that program so much...

More later, i expect

Friday, 22 October 2010

Vacation Diary, Day 5

Quotation of the day: Camille Paglia -- Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog vacation at the taxidermist.

Beer and clamato juice for breakfast -- well it is the most important meal of the day!

I watched "Lethal Weapon 2" last night.  Oh! There's its picture to the right, how did that get there?  Just sheer entertainment, nothing profound, but one can't -- or, at least, i can't -- watch Kubrick, Antonioni, Almodóvar or even Ridley Scott every day....

Well, i did a bit of cleaning, scrubbing 'n' scouring in my kitchen  today but i wasn't able to get terribly enthusiastic about it

Here's today's playlist:

I listened to the radio (94.9 The Rock) til 11 o'clock or so, then:
Roy Wood,  "Starting Up"
Jeff Beck, "You Had It Coming"
Paula Cole, "Ithaca" (her new one)
The Move, "Message From The Country" -- such a brilliant album that is!
 Kathy Mattea, Roses
Then i watched "Between The Lines" (series 2 episode 5)  but then:

Right, ABBA, and this may well be my favourite ABBA song and these harmonies break my spine.  These are the voices of angels, this is what i want to hear when i die and go to heaven.

Course, with my luck i'll probably die and go to Sebringville or something

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Vacation Diary, Day 4, Part 2

Today's Playlist:

The Beatles: "With The Beatles (alternate version)" (a --ssh! -- bootleg)
The Small Faces: "Itchycoo Park: The Best Of The Small Faces"
"The Best Of Roxy Music"
Robert Nighthawk, "Live On Maxwell Street"
Marillion, "Marbles"
Mike Oldfield, "Songs Of Distant Earth."

Oh, and i watched another episode of series 2 of Between The Lines this afternoon -- these DVDs have never been released in Canada but i now have all three series in digital format.  We have our sources (he says mysteriously.) (I have most of series 2 & 3 on videotapes taken from the TV broadcasts 15 years ago, but the quality is awful.  I don't think i'd ever seen any of series 1 until just recently.) (When it ran on TVOntario originally, they had to re-name it Inside The Line, because they already had a series called Between The Lines.)

Best police drama ever (IMFFHO)

I didn't do much else today, though.  Downloaded a really neat little app that will allegedly allow me to convert .m4a files to .mp3, but i haven't tested it yet.  Went to The Beer Store for lunch (i got take-out LOL). Um, er, otherwise it's just been a delightfully lazy day.

Vacation Diary, Days 3 & 4

Quotation of the day: Ray Davies -- Thank heaven for this holiday, holiday / I'm leaving insecurity behind me. / The environmental pressures got me down, / i don't need no sedatives to pull me round, / i don't need no sleeping pills to help me sleep sound.

Yay, Toronto, and the day began with a good laugh.  I had to pass my place of employment on my way to the train station and obviously the person who was doing my job in my absence, hadn't arrived:  he has the key to the place and two staff members and a repairman were standing outside waiting to get in.  Two staff members who annoy me hugely, btw.  If it hadn't been for the repairman i would have called down a torrential downpour upon them, but, alas, it was a beautiful morning, not a cloud in the wossname, and besides i don't have that much influence with the weather gods. (I certainly wasn't going to let them in, though!)

But then i got to the train station and learned that the train was going to be late.   In fact, when we arrived, eventually, at Union Station, i had to go straight to my lunch date at the Wolf & Firkin pub with Julian, Gloria, Paul & Imogen -- basically the only friends i'm still in touch with from when i lived in Toronto 25 years ago.  And lunch lasted a very civilised two hours.

I had the Chef's Mac and Cheese -- which was very good but really wasn't much more than macaroni and cheese with a couple of slices of bacon on top, plus garlic bread.  Oh, but the Wolf and Firkin is a really nice pub, i always visit it when i'm in the big city.

And then, and then, everyone else had to go back to work and Imogen and i went for a walk, and we wound up on the patio of The Black Bull -- Toronto's oldest pub (first built in 1833, although the original building burned down at some point so it's not Toronto's oldest continually operating boozer). (I think that honour goes to The Wheatsheaf.)

It was a perfect day for sitting on a patio -- quite mild, not a cloud in the sky.  Absolutely brilliant.

But then we had to split up and i looked at my watch and, oh shit!  I had only a couple of hours before the train home.  Where had the day gone????

 Well, it was, perhaps, Prometheus who said "tempus tends to fugit when you're having fun."  Well, maybe not Prometheus, but one of those classical lit. chaps -- maybe Paul McCartney...

And so, i headed east to Sherbourne Street, hoping maybe to find my friend Barbara's shop--she only just opened and i'd love to see it, but wasn't sure of the address, but gave up on that (i should have persevered -- i have since learned that it's only a little further east).  But then had to reverse course and head west for the train home. (Ultimately I would have found her shop but then said, hi, well bye GTG catch a train). I had hoped to spend some time browsing through book and CD shops -- and i did, with an air of desperation, but had to leave each one without making any purchases.  No time left.

Well, i did in fact have time for one more pint, in a pub called The Sherlock Holmes in The Esplanade -- it was horrible and noisy -- grabbed some street meat from a vendor (sausage on a bun) and made the train home with minutes to spare.

And that, as they say, was that.

So, overall, a very good visit, but not all i had hoped it would be.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Vacation Diary, Day Two

Quote of the day: P.G. Wodehouse --  It must have been about one in the afternoon when i woke.  I was feeling more or less like something the Pure Food Committee had rejected

Well, P.G. notwithstanding, i awoke at about 4 a.m. -- my usual time, or thereabouts.

Having a very lazy day, too: i started to clean my kitchen but rapidly lost interest.  Went to Kelsey's for lunch, fish 'n' chips and a pint (yes, just one pint) came home and had a nap. Otherwise i've just been growing more and more frustrated over the fact that my Internet connection has been up and down like a yo-yo all bloody day -- why the hell can't they fix this?  The problem has existed for a while and i've complained many a time, had my modem replaced thrice, and now my ISP is blaming the phone line (and has allegedly placed a trouble ticket with Bell Canada, but they've done nothing AFAIK).

Here's today's playlist:
Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick, "Skin And Bone"
J.B. Hutto & The Hawks, "Masters of Modern Blues Vol 4"
Rob Hyman, "Largo"
Rory Gallagher, "The Beat Club Sessions"
Jimi Hendrix, "Axis Bold As Love"
Wazmo Nariz, "Things Aren't Right"
Howard Jones, "Ordinary Heroes."

Home-made burritos & store bought macaroni salad for my din-dins tonight....

Monday, 18 October 2010

Not As Domestic As I Thought (Vacation Diary, Day One, Part Two)

No, i didn't get the damn laundry done.  Stop nagging.  Jeez.  I got last night's supper dishes done, that must count for something. Here's Cate, weighing in:

Also listened to "Greatest Hits" by The Psychedelic Furs and "Henry The Human Fly" by Richard Thompson.

I think i'll go out now for some yummy KFC ....  No, no, sorry, that was a joke, and a rather vulgar one at that.

Vacation Diary, Day One

Quotation of the day: J.B. Priestley -- A good holiday is one spent among people whose notion of time is vaguer than yours.

Ah, at last, my long-awaited (and much-needed) week off.  And it's starting off very well indeed.  I'd be happier if it were about twenty degrees warmer, but at least there's no precipitation....  Also i've been up since 3 a.m., but that's not that unusual.

I watched one of my favourite films last night -- i've seen it umpteen times now, and it gets better with each viewing.

And now, thus far, i've had a very productive morning.  I went down to the Splatford train station and finally managed to buy my ticket for Toronto on Wednesday, third attempt in four days, third time lucky:  when i went down there on Friday and Saturday, the ticket wicket was closed -- a great shame because if i'd bought the ticket on Friday or Saturday i'd have been eligible for an early bird 40% discount.  Oh, well.  Here's the station (that's not me in the pic):

And then i had my hair cut, which i've been wanting to do for about a month, did some groceries and had a lazy late breakfast (two Sausage 'n' Eggers from A & W to be precise) (probably the only thing they serve that i find edible).

And now, although i'll probably toddle off to the beer store later on, the only thing i have left to do today, is laundry (i'm so domestic).  Dolce far niente!

And today's playlist?

Started off listening (online) to my favourite radio station, 94.9 The Rock (www.therock.fm) but when i switched to albums it was:

The Albion Band, "Natural and wild"
The John Kirkpatrick Band, "Force Of Habit"
Robert Nighthawk, "Live On Maxwell Street"
Genesis. "Brush Back Your Hair" (disc 2) (a bootleg)
Plus some bootlegged Beatles and Kate Bush stuff (oh, christ, don't tell the DRMA, i'll have the computer confiscated!).

And now, i'm going to watch another episode of "Between The Lines" -- the best TV police drama ever.

More later.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Happy Birthday, John Lennon

Today, October 9th, would have been John's 70th birthday.  Even though he was assassinated thirty years ago, he remains an inspiration.  Enjoy the video.

Friday, 8 October 2010


Oh, wow, clock this:

It's Australian, or Strine (as it's pronounced) and it's by GB3, of whom i'd never heard until today.  Marvellous!