Archive | April, 2016

Spring

12 Apr

Spring is a complicated thing in Toronto.
It does not last too long.
We had 2 centimeters (a bit less than an inch) of snow yesterday.
It was followed by rain.
It will be 18 degrees (65 Fahrenheit) in a few days. Spring this year will last about a few hours this week. Enjoy.
From my experience, Europe has stupendous springs. They last a few months and are creep onto the land and people in a wonderfully enveloping way. Each day is incrementally more wonderous than the preceding day. It is a glorious way to shake of the dark dismal winter. Europe is further north than most of o0f the population centers in North America – New York is nearly on the same latitude as Naples, Italy. Dallas is very close, latitude wise, to Benghazi, Libya. And that is much more south of Europe. The fact is – Winters in most of Europe are darker than the ones we have in North America. So the incrementalism of the European spring is superb.
But their falls suck.

Night bridge

10 Apr

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It was night in Trois-Rivières, Quebec and I just needed to get this shot.
This bridge, the Laviolette Bridge that spans the St.Laurence river is very impressive.
It was pitch dark and I had no tripod. The shore was a bog as it was spring. I had no boots.
I leaned against a tree and hoped for the best.

Weekly Vinyl – George Michael

8 Apr

Listen Without Prejudice
George Michael
(1990)
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No idea why I have this.
I have no idea how I got this.
But here it is – in my album collection and now playing on my turntable.
I’m stuck trying to write something about this album. I have really nothing against George Michael from a personal or musical perspective. The thing is … the music, to me, is so fleeting. It is not memorable. It is background pop – inoffensive and forgettable. It is hospital broth – there but not there. There is nothing to hang on to in this music.
You can play this now on some MOR stations and you would not be able to tell that these tracks are over 25 years old.
Is that staying power?
No – it is the music industry churning out drivel.
Is this music bad. No. It is just nothing.
It is there – but not really.

Weekly Wine – La Croix

6 Apr

La Croix D’Azur Savignon Blanc
2011
France
750ml
11.5% ABV
$10.00 (LCBO)

This wine cost ten dollars. Right on the nose. I set out to review wines that cost under ten dollars. So this wine sets up a quandary for me.
To review or not to review?
This calls for some wine to ponder this dilemma.
Luckily this wine is quite excellent. It is very nice and light. There are some nice fruit flavours in the mix – I can kind of taste some apple and lemon if I really strain my senses.
It is a bit acidic, but I do not have a problem with that. The acidity actually reminds me of lemon rind that you get with cocktail drinks – not everybody’s cup of tea but I kind of like it.
It is a nice wine, but did the makers, did the LCBO, really need that extra penny, (or nickel – Canada does not have pennies officially), that makes this wine seemingly ineligible to be considered a sub-ten dollar wine?
With the Canadian dollar trading poorly – I’ll include this in my listings – plus it is a nice wine.

 

 

Tax

5 Apr

It is tax time.
Most people will be scurrying around filling these complex forms, or paying people to do this for them.
But along comes the news, the Panama Papers leaks, that many rich people have been avoiding tax by stashing money in overseas accounts.
This is nothing new.
Unfortunately.
Just a month ago, the Canadian Revenue Agency, the people who collect tax in Canada, gave an amnesty to a whole host of tax cheats that were hiding their money in the Isle of Man.
I liked the fact that thousands came out to protest in Iceland when their political leadership got caught in the Panama Papers.
In Canada – there is not a peep of protest about this or previous financial scandals.
We shrug and go on.
Filling the forms…
…and paying the taxes.

Beer freeze

3 Apr

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Cold beer is nice.
This beer got too cold.
It went straight into the drain without a detour.

Weekly Vinyl – Animals

1 Apr

The Best of Eric Burdon and The Animals vol.2
Eric Burdon and The Animals
(1967)

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This was a good garage sale find.
The album cover was in good shape – as was the disk itself.
The music is vintage 60s. The musicians were pushing themselves – mixing blues, rock’n roll, psychedelia and pop. It works on this album.
I was hoping that this album had The House of the Rising Sun on it but it does not – I guess that’s on volume 1. That being said, I loved the song When I was Young. It really holds up 50 years on.
I never really paid much attention to Eric Burdon and The Animals. That’s my failing. I love the interplay of the guitars and the organ. The bass lines are very cool. This is an excellent best of album from a very cool band.