Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Hobbit vs. Peter Jackson

Quotation of the day ~ J.R.R. Tolkien: If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

Just finished watching, for the third time, the DVDs of Peter Jackson's “The Hobbit” trilogy, and i have a major problem with it.

Don't get me wrong: i love it. The action is exciting beyond belief -- i was sweating at times -- there are moments of great sadness that had me (almost) on the edge of tears, the attention to detail is impeccable, and the CGI is mind-blowing.

My problem is, “The Hobbit,” Tolkien's book, is a fairly slender volume (just over 300 pages in my edition) and a slender tale, yet Peter Jackson felt it necessary to stretch it out over three films, each of which was close to three hours long. To fill it out, he included many products of his own imagination. To be sure, he's a visionary, but ... he's no Tolkien. Some of his additions are fine, but some are simply stupid, for example when Thorin Oakenshield imagines himself being engulfed in a sea of golden quicksand. Yeah, yeah, we know: Thorin is obsessed with Smaug's treasure, already. Sheesh. About as subtle as an ingot in the ear-hole.

So, i think that possibly Mr Jackson forgot what Prof. Tolkien said and i quoted above, and was thinking of profit lines rather than artistic integrity: two films would have been more than adequate.

End of rant.

I haven't written a playlist in a while, here's a recent one:

The Beatles - Let It Be
Oysterband - Diamonds On The Water
Kim Mitchell - Aural Fixations
Peter Hammill - pH7
Peter Hammill - And Close As This
Various Artists - Morris On The Road
Trigger Hippy - Trigger Hippy
Jimi Hendrix - Band Of Gypsys, Live At The Fillmore East
Wishbone Ash - On Air
Rory Gallagher - The Beat Club Sessions
Fish - A Feast Of Consequences
Billy Joel - Streetlife Serenade
Linda Ronstadt - Greatest Hits
Jethro Tull - Benefit
Jethro Tull - War Child

Monday, 23 March 2015

Target Canada

Quotation Of The Day: Pablo Picasso --"God created the giraffe, the cat, the elephant... He has no style, he just keeps trying things."

OK, here we go, my first post in a while.

I just have too many distractions, that's my problem. Oh, Internet, what hast thou wrought...? And that's another thing, my connection was so unreliable for a while .... After many calls to tech support i finally went down to their office and was given a new modem and a new ethernet cable. It has been 100% solid ever since.

(You see, i listen to radio station[s] online every morning KSHE, K-ROCK and KOCI mostly, so i know whenever the connection fails for more than two seconds -- it takes the audio stream down with it.)

Anyway, the subject of this first post in yonks is ... tra la! ... Target Canada.

The American retailer opened in Canada with great fanfare, with nearly 200 locations, beginning in March 2013 (the one in Stratford opened just before Christmas of that year) and immediately started losing money. I'm not surprised, to be honest -- i think i was only in there twice, and wasn't happy either time. The goods i bought were shoddy (a three-pack of boxer shorts and the elastic was gone in all three within a trimester?), the salespersons  were either too busy gossiping to approach me when i was obviously lost, or invisible altogether, and the cashiers, whilst not exactly surly, were a long way from being friendly. So i never went in again. (I prefer Sears anyway.)

(Now, i have a friend who works at the Target in Thunder Bay, Ontario -- she loves her job, thinks Target is a great place to work, and, Christine, if you're reading this, i apologise to you, perhaps Thunder Bay is a nicer place than Stratford.)

In January 0f 2015, Target Canada declared bankruptcy and announced plans to close all of their locations. They handled it very nicely, too -- my friend in Thunder Bay learned of this when she saw it on the TV news. Nice one, Target Canada! (If Sheldon Cooper is reading this, that's satire.) The store in Stratford was one of the first to go -- it shut down last week.

And i can understand why they were haemorrhaging money. There couldn't possibly have been anyone in town who didn't know they were closing -- it was all over the local news and the big STORE CLOSING sign out front would have been another  hint -- yet they felt it necessary to hire a couple of men to walk up and down Ontario Street carrying placards with "Store Closing -- Up To 30% Off!" on them. What a waste of money. (And i felt sorry for the poor buggers, too -- the temperature was hovering around the -20° mark that week.) (I imagine that they were lamenting their career choices by the second day.)

(Another reason i like Sears: they invited all of the now-unemployed Stratford Target staff to submit job applications. Walmart remained oddly quiet on the matter -- well, i never go into Walmart anyway).

So it goes.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Still Here!

It's time to get this limping dog of a blog up and running again....