Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Day Off! And A Rant.

Quotation of the day -- Douglas Adams: You have destroyed most of a small galaxy. Please pick your words with greater care.

 There, to my left, is a brand-new pic of my dear Cate. 

Today, i went to my friendly local CD shop, optimistically expecting that they'd have two albums waiting for me -- the new Kate Bush, and the new Rory Gallagher.  I've had them on order for a few weeks, and they were supposed to arrive today.

Wrong again.  The release of  Kate Bush's "Director's Cut" in Canada has been postponed for the third time, and the Rory Gallagher (a previously-unknown "lost" album) has likewise been delayed.

Now, consider this.  The record companies are constantly bewailing the fact that they're losing millions to free file-sharing sites and such.  I honestly believe that they are 100% responsible for the troubles they have.

Kate's album almost made #1 in the U.K. charts a couple of weeks ago.  She has a huge fan base in North America and this is bound to be a big seller.  Record company exec says, "let's not release it yet."  Brilliant move, Mr Executive. Meanwhile i already have it as a download (S.K.F., you know who you are!) but ... i want the damn CD!

On to Rory Gallagher.  He has a massive fan base in North America -- all of his albums have just been released in newly-remastered versions but ... the release of the "lost" album?  Record company exec says, it won't sell as much as Lady GaGa so let's leave it for a bit.  Meanwhile, i have already found it as a free download from one of my favourite music blogs (http://zinhof.blog.hr/2011/05/index.html#1629252614) and i could have downloaded it.  I didn't, though -- i want the damn CD!

Record company exec. says, "file-sharing is killing the industry!"  To which i reply, eff off, you are killing the industry by not releasing what the people want.

Okay, rant over. (And, to ease my pain, i bought the new album by The Strokes, "Angles."  Which is pretty good but it's not Kate or Rory...).

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Day Off!

Quotation Of The Day: Emmanuel Kant --  All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions: 1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope?

After a complete and utter bullshit week at work (i'll spare you the sordid details), i finally have a day off.  And what, i hear you ask, have i done?  Went to the beer store; two loads of laundry; scrubbed Cate's litterbox; started last night's supper dishes....

On a more cerebral level, though....

I bought two new CDs last week, and these are they:

The Paul Simon is really nice.  Not as groundbreaking as "Graceland" of course -- that was a once-in-a-lifetime deal --but pretty good for an old geezer.  (No, i'm not referring to myself, how dare you).  So i listened to that and then to Kate & Anna, and their "new" album is a real treasure.

It's a 3-CD set.  Discs 1 & 2 are remastered versions of their first two albums, which are and always have been utter magic, but it's disc 3 that's the draw here: previously-unreleased recordings & demos, which are invariably delightful.

But why, oh why, has their "The Logdriver's Waltz ever been released on CD?

Anyway, after all of that i was in a Rory Gallagher mood and watched disc 1 of the "Live At Montreux" DVD.  Funny how, when i'm in a crappy frame of mind, Rory always gives me the energy to keep going.  The Beatles have the power to do that, too, but Rory had so much energy himself that it inspires me.

I should probably finish doing last night's supper dishes now, and start on tonight's supper....

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


www.theadjsutmentbureau.com  Did i spell that right?  The Adjustment Bureau dot com

It seems that every once in a while, i become obsessed with a movie.  This time, it's "The Adjustment Bureau."  Here's a link to a featurette:  http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3122240281/

Just learned that the official release date for the DVD is June 21st.  That's soon! This is a must-buy DVD for me.


Can true love prevail when even the angels are opposed?  Well, for Emily Blunt.... yes, i'd fight for her, too (for that is she, at the left there).



As a further to my previous post on the subject, i have just discovered, by the innovative method of checking my AdSense account, that i have actually made $10.80 from this blog in 2 and a half years. Guess i won't be quitting my other job just yet.

Perez Hilton i'm not LOL


Knocks on head
sounds hollow
must be management

Monday, 9 May 2011

Don't Hire Me!

I came across this the other day and couldn't resist sharing it.  I hope the people at http://www.pinetree.net/humor/donthireme.html don't mind!

Things Not To Say at a Job Interview

We've all been interviewed for jobs. And, we've all spent most of those interviews thinking about what not to do. Don't bite your nails. Don't fidget. Don't interrupt. Don't belch. If we did any of the don'ts, we knew we'd disqualify ourselves instantly. But some job applicants go light years beyond this. We surveyed top personnel executives of 100 major American corporations and asked for stories of unusual behavior by job applicants.
The lowlights:
  • Said he was so well qualified [that] if he didn't get the job, it would prove that the company's management was incompetent.
  • Stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application.
  • Brought her large dog to the interview.
  • Chewed bubble gum and constantly blew bubbles.
  • Candidate kept giggling through serious interview.
  • She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to the music and me at the same time.
  • Balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later wearing a hairpiece.
  • Applicant challenged interviewer to arm wrestle.
  • Asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnel executive was qualified to judge the candidate.
  • Announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and French fries in the interviewer's office.
  • Without saying a word, candidate stood up and walked out during the middle of the interview.
  • Man wore jogging suit to interview for position as financial vice president.
  • Said if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.
  • Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific interview questions.
  • Wouldn't get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to call the police.
  • When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office.
  • Had a little pinball game and challenged me to play with him.
  • Bounced up and down on my carpet and told me I must be highly thought of by the company because I was given such a thick carpet.
  • Took a brush out of my purse, brushed his hair and left.
  • Pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me. Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him.
  • Candidate asked me if I would put on a suit jacket to insure that the offer was formal.
  • Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much.
  • While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest at the centerfold.
  • During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate's briefcase. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to leave for another interview.
  • A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was from his wife. His side of the conversation went like this: "Which company? When do I start? What's the salary?" I said, "I assume you're not interested in conducting the interview any further." He promptly responded, "I am as long as you'll pay me more." I didn't hire him, but later found out there was no other job offer. It was a scam to get a higher offer.
  • An applicant came in wearing only one shoe. She explained that the other shoe was stolen off her foot in the bus.
  • His attache [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled, revealing ladies' undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume.
  • He came to the interview with a moped and left it in the reception area. He didn't want it to get stolen, and stated that he would require indoor parking for the moped.
  • He took off his right shoe and sock, opened a medicated foot powder and dusted it on the foot and in the shoe. While he was putting back the shoe and sock, he mentioned that he had to use the powder four times a day, and this was the time.
  • Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one.
  • He whistled when the interviewer was talking.
  • Asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and wanted my phone number. I called security.
  • She threw up on my desk, and immediately started asking questions about the job, like nothing had happened.
  • Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if he was not hired, the bomb would go off. Disbelieving, I began to state why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. He then reached down to the case, flipped a switch and ran. No one was injured, but I did need to get a new desk.
  • Asked if I wanted some cocaine before starting the interview.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Oh, Demon Alcohol

Quotation of the day: W.C. Fields (attrib.) -- A woman drove me to drink and i never even had the courtesy to thank her.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, i'm a great aficionado of pubs.  Not bars, i hate bars, but generally a pub has an atmosphere that, even if i've never set foot in it in my life before, makes me feel at home.  Part of this may because, when i was growing up, i spent a lot of time with my uncle and auntie, who ran a pub on the island of Linsisfarne.  (I used to feel very much at home in record stores, but they don't really exist anymore, thanks to the record companies....)

I like to go into my two local pubs (Kelsey's & Bentley's) and do so probably once or twice a week (each). I have friends who work there, and i like to see them, but i also like to just enjoy the atmosphere, relax, have a couple of beers (usually two, occasionally more but never fewer) and read my book or newspaper, or take my laptop in and read the e-book i have saved to it.  But, why...?

Why oh why do drunks so frequently attach themselves to me like limpets?  I'll be standing (or sitting) there trying to read and -- it happens so often -- someone who has had a few already will decide that i must be bored and that i will benefit from his opinions on global warming/politics/Harry Potter.

It's almost -- almost -- enough to make me want to quit drinking; or at least, stop going into pubs....

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Quotation Of The Day -- Spike Milligan: Money can't buy friends but you can get a better class of enemy

See that little gadget i've just installed there, to my left?  It's called a page counter.  It shows how many people have looked at this blog.

Apparently, since i began, 5889 people have had a look. Or maybe one person has looked 5889 times?  But let's say 5889 different people have visited to see what all of the fuss is about.  If each of those clicked on only one ad, i would have made, er, let's see (dum-de-dum, + 5, carry the two, divide by the square root of eleventeen) over $58!!!  Not bad for 2½ years work....

Ah, well, i do it because i have to, not because i want to la la

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Holidays, Part 2 (Sunday)

Quotation of the day -- Ray Davies: Holiday, oh what a lovely day today, i'm oh so glad they sent me away to have this little holiday.

Sunday dawned cool and dank, but that was okay, i wasn't kipping in the park, i stayed at Terry and Ann's, and i couldn't have asked for better accomodation.  Terry had recorded a couple of Saturday's football matches on the DVR, and he and i watched Wigan (my team) play Everton (it was 1-1) and then Arsenal (his team) defeat Manchester United, in a game that was very exciting indeed. 

But then it was time to say my farewells, and off i wandered into the rain -- and went downtown and bought a new camera.  The old one was "NWR" (not worth repairing) (they told me at the shop) and so i bought a cheap one (rank amateur that i am) that is in fact much better than the old, expensive one.  10.1 megapixels, as opposed to 3.2, and with a 4 gigabyte HD card (as opposed to the six or seven 64 megabyte cards i had for the other one).  Oh, look, there's a picture of it just over there to the right --------->

But it was a crappy day for taking photographs, pouring with rain by this time and so i went for lunch at, oh, guess where?  The Wolf & Firkin.....

On Saturday, at the Wolf, i had mentioned to Julian & Andrea that one possibility for Sunday was a visit to the cinema (for the first time in a decade).  (I'm an avid movie-watcher, but not an enthusiastic cinema-goer.  The cinemas in Stratford rarely show anything other than moronic movies with a target audience of moronic teenagers.)  Anyway, they unaninoi, aman, unanymously they both said that the one to see was "The Adjustment Bureau" (Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Terence Stamp) and so, man of action that i am, i did, not really knowing what to expect, and i loved it.  Thanks, J & A!

(Even though this is still in the theatres and thus quite a few months away from a DVD release, i found a torrent download for it and am leeching  even as we speak.  I want to see it again!)

After the film (did i mention that i loved it?) what did i do?  It was still raining, so i walked a bit, through The Eaton Centre (i hate shopping malls except as shelter, don't know if i've ever mentioned that) and out again to a pub called The Duke Of Richmond, another nice little boozer i often visit when i'm in the big city.  And it was there, in their smoking section (i.e., outside) that i took my one and only Toronto photograph for this visit.

And there it is.  Well, i did say that i was a rank amateur LOL.

But then it was time to dash off for the train station, pausing only for some street meat (spicy sausage on a bun) i caught the train with minutes to spare.

So that's that.  My semi-annual trip to Toronto in a nutshell or two.

p.s., when i arrived home at Spriggs Towers, i watched "Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion" of course, but also played with the camera a bit.  And here's my dear Cate, preparing to attack my case of beer:

Monday, 2 May 2011


Quotation Of The Day: Billie Holiday: Don`t threaten me with love, baby. Let`s just go walking in the rain.

Yes, i'm on holidays, a five-day mini-vacation and the primary reason is this man here, to the right.  My friend Paul, whom i've know for about thirty-five years, celebrated his 65th birthday on Saturday, and i went up to Toronto for the beano (that photo, btw, was taken two years ago, when we went to see Oysterband at Hugh's Room). (Photograph © Eric Thom.)

But this post is going to be a diary of my weekend, so first things first.  Saturday was a beautiful day, mild (for April) and sunny.  My train arrived at Union Station bang on time (well done, Via Rail!) -- i had arranged to meet Julian & Andrea for lunch at The Wolf & Firkin pub in Elm Street (possibly my favourite Toronto boozer, known affectionately as The Pterodactyl & Firkin LOL, i never fail to pop in at least once on my Toronto visits), but i had my camera with me and wandered around a bit, hoping to take some photographs -- cityscapes, as Toronto really is a beautiful city -- but discovered that the %#!*% camera (which i'd been having trouble with for a while) was as dead as a doornail.  No it wasn't the batteries, they were new.  It was yet another example of technology failing.  Like i haven't had enough of that this year.

With my photographic aspirations in shreds, i wandered in to the HMV superstore on Yonge Street.

Twenty years ago, my trips to Toronto, i would always include about $300 in my budget, with which to buy obscure albums i was unable to get in Stratford.  The Internet changed all that, though.  Obscure albums i can't buy in Stratford, are now easily obtainable online.  This has made my visits to the big city immeasurably cheaper, but i usually drop in to HMV anyway, just to see what's what and what's new.  And i bought this:

 For $6.00.  Yes, i know, don't say it.  But i have dual-weaknesses for Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino.  Ahem!  Sometimes one needs some light relief from all those Bergman films....

So then headed for The Pterodactyl and had an excellent lunch with ....  It's funny, or perhaps not.  I moved away from Toronto about 26 years ago.  So many friends from the old neighbourhood have fallen by the wayside, those who remain are the bestest people and i love them dearly.  Anyway, i mentioned that i was thinking of going to the cinema on Sunday, and Julian & Andrea recommended "The Adjustment Bureau."  More about that later.  26 years of geographic separation and i feel closer to those two than ever.

After lunch, i walked, and walked, and walked, taking in old neighbourhoods and all of the freaks who were promenading (and Toronto, like any other city of 6,000,000, has its full complement of weirdos and freaks).  The traffic was heavy, Carlton Street was virtually a parking lot when i stopped in at a pub called The Spotted Dick to slake my thirst.  After a couple of pints there it was time to head north, to Yonge & Eglinton (where i used to live) and to Terry & Ann's house (where i was staying for the night). And from there to Paul's birthday bash.

Oh, my, what a super party it was, too.  I'm not an avid party-goer, as you can imagine, considering my incipient Asperger's and so on, but a splendid time was guaranteed for all.  The company was excellent -- i saw people i hadn't seen in 10 / 15 / 20 years (and was astonished to notice that so many of them had dyed their hair grey LOL), the food was brilliant and the drink flowed and the conversations were scintillating.  (I expect you'll be surprised to learn that i didn't drink too much, i was enjoying the social intercourse far too much -- although, as always at these occasions, some people overdid it, but who am i to criticise, i have been know to overdo it myself.) (Not this time, though.)

Also, oh deary me, Anne E. was there.  I had a crush on her 20 years ago and i took one look at her and realised that i still do.  And i told her so (thanks to either the courage or stupidity brought on by a couple of late-evening whiskies). My, she looked good. Sigh.  Or perhaps i should say "Urk!"  Crushes are most undignified in a man of my age.  Well, i haven't been able to think of much besides Anne since my return, but, realistically, nothing's going to happen.  (Although we did exchange e-mail addresses....)

And that was Saturday.  The party broke up relatively early (we geriatrics need our sleep, you know), and i'll write about my Sunday in due course.