Archive | October, 2013

Weekly Wine – Fontana di Papa

30 Oct

SONY DSCFontana di Papa Colli Albani
2012
Italy
750ml
11% ABV
$7.45 (LCBO)
I have partaken in the demise of many bottles of this inexpensive wine.
It is cheap.
It was always cheap.
It still is cheap.
The first swig of this wine, whether from a fine crystal wine glass, a proper water glass, a Styrofoam
cup or straight from the bottle, signals that it is cheap.
It is good cheap.
Honest cheap.
My head does not hurt in the morning after drinking this wine the previous night. While this might not be a factor in a mark of excellence it does give this wine a passing grade. Many wines in the inexpensive world do have questionable after-tastes.
This wine has a very distinct and strong initial smack on the taste-buds. The after-taste is fine.
This wine should be chilled. It does not go off to bad when it gets warm, but the initial flavour does get more bold and forceful.

Reality

29 Oct

There used to be a thing called reality.
It was nice.
I miss it.
We as a society used to agree that some things were real and some things were not.
And here I am watching reality in a hotel. Namely RU faster than a Redneck?
Is this better that Extreme Couponing? The Storage Wars?
Or anything with those celebrities.
This is unreal.
This is all unreal.
I miss reality.
I’m going to sleep.

Weekly Vinyl – Billy Bragg

25 Oct

Talking to the Taxman about Poetry
Billy Bragg
(1986)
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I bought this album in Ukraine.
The album cover proclaims that the buyer should “Pay No More Than £4.49.”
I did not overpay. I believe I shelled out about 20 cents for this album at the Universal Store (Univernah) on Kyiv’s main street Khreshchatyk. The currency crisis was insane in Ukraine in the early 90s.
I suspect that this album is a pirated copy, since it was made in Vilnus, Lithuania. Perhaps that company had the rights? It was one of several records that I picked up and is one of my favourites.
Many people dismiss Mr. Bragg by saying his songs are overtly left-wing political. There is a bit of that but it is really not much of a distraction – except for “There is Power in the Union” – that is a very overt signal but a very well executed and powerful song. Most people have not heard this song and should listen to this version.
Although there are some backing musicians on this album, notably Johnny Marr from The Smiths and Kirsty MacColl, Kenny Jones of the Small Faces and The Who, among others, the music is sparse on this album.
It has a great vibe.
It has great lyrics.
It is a great album.

Weekly Wine – Fuzion Alta

23 Oct

SONY DSCFuzion Alta Malbec
2011
Argentina
750ml
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

Is this just a marketing trick?
Is this just a cheap attempt at raising the price on an inexpensive wine?
Is this wine really that much better than the regular Fusion?
Is it worth the extra two bucks that it commands than the regular Fuzion Malbec?
No.
Not worth the two bucks.
If you are into the Math stuff that is a 25 percent increase in cost.
It is not 25 percent better.
Honestly it is very much the same. A good standard wine.
I like it – this Alta wine – but I will buy the regular one next time.

Not much musing

22 Oct

A casualty of this information age is that we rarely have time to think.
There is so much of interest going on in the world that I am consuming this information at a voracious rate.
And nothing of mine is coming out. There is a medical term for this but I forget what it is…
Professionally I have been immersed in the world of lasers, and manufacturing, and welding, and robots and steel. It’s not a bad place to be. I made it all the way to Mississauga.

Sea Storm

20 Oct

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I use this as the background image on my computer. I was on a ferry in the Baltic sea in the midst of a storm. It is funny that it really does not look too bad. I was on the top deck, at least five stories above the water and was getting sprayed when the ship hit the wave. This freighter sped past us early in the voyage. The bow of the ship, which is about two to three stories above the water is buried in the sea.

Weekly Vinyl – Slim Whitman

18 Oct

Songs I Love to Sing
Slim Whitman
(1980)
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I got this album for one reason only.
To protect myself, and my loved ones, from Martian attacks.
It was Slim Whitman’s yodelling voice that caused the Martian heads to explode in Mars Attacks! It was a very good movie and who was I to argue with the logic. I have listened to this album several times back to back and my head is about to explode. It is very romantic/shmaltzy music here.
This is an album of standards of the time. Reading the producer’s notes on the back cover of this album he explains that there are a few of Whitman’s hits and some other hits that he has admired.
The album has the sound of middle-of-the-road North American AM radio of the early to mid-seventies – just as rock-and-roll was taking over. The album was released in 1980 – as punk was breaking out. Timing is everything.
There is no doubt Mr. Whitman has a great voice. I love the yodelling. He does not do it enough on this album. I want more yodelling.

Weekly Wine – Spinelli

16 Oct

SONY DSCSpinelli Malbec 2012 Italy 750ml 13% ABV $8.10 (LCBO)
This is one of the least expensive wines on the shelves at Ontario’s LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario).
It is earthy. It has an interesting taste.
It is quite dry. It takes a while to really start liking it. The last statement is the most telling as I’m halfway through the bottle and am starting to get comfortable with this wine. It is not bad but it has certain peculiarities that will cause uncomplimentary reactions in the drinker.
It is tart, dry, heavy-ish, spicy, and has sulphites. The first couple of sips will make you wince like you are drinking something horrible. But it ain’t horrible. It is a proletarian Italian wine. It has to bite back when you drink it. I have encountered similar wine in Italy – I was confused by the taste but was told that this is the way it is. This is a taste of Italy. It is authentic I guess.
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Midnight selfie

13 Oct

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I was playing around with log exposures during a very dark night at a cottage and got this image of my shadow on a tree.

Weekly Vinyl – QE2

11 Oct

QE2
Mike Oldfield
(1980)
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This album was released in the midst of Mike Oldfield’s process of reinventing himself. Gone were the long album (even double-album) length compositions. The shorter and slightly more radio-friendly fare on this album is still infused with Oldfield’s music sensibilities – combining folk and classical elements and mixing it with rock and a dash of jazz.
There are longer pieces on this album as Taurus 1 clocks in at 10:17. This is a very typical folk infused Oldfield composition. It is followed by a nearly four minute song titled Sheba which features a vocal which is heavily saturated with a vocorder effect.
I loved this track back in the day. I still like it now. The album even has Oldfield covering an Abba tune – Arrival.
This album is a fantastic look at a great artist going through a transition phase. Oldfield always mixed genres of music and in this album he was most definitely taking everything that he has done before and moulding it into a new music.
Purists and fans of Tubular Bells might dismiss this album but it says more about them than Oldfield’s work.