Archive | October, 2015

Weekly Vinyl – Sunday Concert

30 Oct

Sunday Concert
Gordon Lightfoot
(1969 – reissue)

This is early Gordon Lightfoot. He sounds the same but different.
It is the same voice but younger, more vibrant and expressive. The music he creates is compelling and demands attention.
This album predates his “hits” from the 70s so you basically just have the Canadian Railroad Trilogy as the most known cannon of Lightfoot’s vast portfolio. Diehard fans of Lightfoot would protest this statement but most of these songs have not had airplay for about 40 years.
The album is enticing as it is perfect listening for a Sunday afternoon – especially now in the fall, with the leaves changing colours. You have a brilliant troubadour plying his stories in a subtle yet irresistible manner that just makes you want to sit back and take in the beauty of life.

Weekly Wine – Blush

28 Oct

 French Cross Blush Tetra
10.5% ABV
9.95 (LCBO)

A Canadian wine. In a tetra pack. Under ten bucks. I have not had much luck with this combination but the tetra pack element is also a new one.
I opened this wine with trepidation. The first sip was a surprise. It is good. The second sip confirmed it. It is very smooth and pleasant. A bit on the sweet side. The wine is not as lively as some roses.
But it is very nice. I opened this with friends and this bottle, er, box, went quickly with everybody commenting on its pleasant characteristics. It had a bit of tartness which went very well with the chatrues meal we were having.
This is a surprisingly delightful wine which will go well for any occasion. The tetra pack option makes it great for picnics.



26 Oct

As someone who was born in July, my Zodiac sign is Cancer.
This is the best opening line I could come up with in response to the newest WHO study.
The World Health Organization told me, not just me – the whole world – that eating meat gives you cancer. I read one report comparing smoking tobacco to eating prepared meat, and bacon, stating that they were just as dangerous pursuits.
Should I give up meat and take up smoking?
I told my kids that eating meat will give you cancer and they will die. They said – everybody dies eventually. They had more sense than some of the journalists that are blowing this story all out of proportion. I would like to find the study and see what the research really says but instead I’ll put on Joe Jackson’s album Night and Day and listen to the song – “Everything Gives You Cancer.”

Metal Mariachi

25 Oct

At a resort in Mexico, these metal statues represent mariachi players that were silent. I was actually hoping to hear some music. But the only sound was of tourists cavorting gleefully.

Weekly Vinyl – Planets

23 Oct

Holst: The Planets, Op. 32
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, conductor

It is amazing how the memory works. I won’t remember where I placed the car keys10 minutes ago but I will remember the circumstances of a purchase that happened many years ago.
This album is a fair example of this phenomenon.
I was in a record store with a woman I fancied at the time and she went on-an-on about what a great composition The Planets by Gustav Holtz is. I distinctly remembering here tell me that she had the composition in here home but it was by another orchestra and conductor and she could not guarantee that this would be as excellent a version as the one she had.
I bought it because of the funky cover.
Listening to it now, the music is interesting and quite different as there are moments which are so quiet and subtle that they are barely audible over the hum of my computer`s fan. Then the music rears up and bites you.
It is funny but I hear strains of different film scores here, a part sounded like some of the Star Wars movies besides some others, even though it was completed in 1917 – I guess it is an influential piece.

Weekly Wine – Nobilo

21 Oct


Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc
New Zealand
12.5% ABV
$9.99 (Delaware, USA)

This is another find in the Delaware discount liquor shop on highway 13. This too costs $16.95 in Ontario’s LCBO. But this is a much better Sauvignon Blanc than the Cupcake wine that I had. This has more of a body. It is more refined. It has a bit of an acidic aftertaste but that does not really distract from the enjoyment of the wine. This wine is mature and it has more of a presence on the palate than the other Kiwi wine. I’m referencing the Cupcake wine because I had it the day before I had this Nobilo so it is in my mind and a frame of reference. At the same price point – be it in the USA or in Canada, this one wins hands down.

Lots of fish

18 Oct

I’m not sure where this image was taken. I found this image in a file called “to sort”. I would hazard a guess that it was under water, but most likely it was taken in front of a large aquarium. Perhaps in Disney World?

Weekly Vinyl – More Yes

16 Oct

Close to the Edge

Choosing albums at random from my stack is kind of like rolling dice. Sometimes a run of the same numbers happens.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Yes music lately. August it was Fragile and September it was Wakeman’s Six Wives of Henry VIII.
So now it’s Close to the Edge.
I like this album as it has only three songs and they are all long. The shortest being just under nine minutes. The music here is epic and is pure undiluted progressive rock. Each song is a sweeping opus more akin to classical music – but the mood is of jazz, rock and experimentation.
It is probably the best Yes album as the music is solid and focused and it is clear that the band eschewed any attempt of making a hit song but concentrated of creating an aural masterpiece.
It is a great album but I hope I don’t pull out any more Yes albums for a while.

Weekly Wine – Los Dos

14 Oct

13% ABV
$8.99 (USA)

This is a nice wine. Spicy. Tart. A pleasure to drink. This is because it is a nice blend of two great grapes – Grenache and Syrah. These are two lively and distinct grapes. The combination is excellent.
There is not too much wrong with this wine. It has a nice body. It has a pleasant taste and is crisp and dry. It goes down nice by itself, with snacks or a meal. It is a very nice wine.
That said, it does not have a very refined quality, so it will not fool many people that it is a very expensive or a very fine wine. This though will not be a problem as it is such a nice wine that most people will really appreciate this wine.

Road sculpture

11 Oct

A great Socialist Realism style sculpture on the road between Kyiv and Lviv.
The road used to go right underneath the sculpture. Unfortunately, unscrupulous metal dealers have helped themselves to some of the back end of this sculpture.
I waited for a while to get a soviet era vehicle to pass beneath it.