Archive | June, 2016

Whistler Spring

12 Jun

Whist01
The day before I took this shot, I was skiing. It was warm and the snow was a bit brutal. But we made up for that with a nice walk. It is hard to take a bad picture in this place.

Weekly Vinyl – Quadrophenia

10 Jun

Quadrophenia
The Who
(1973)

SONY DSC
This is weird. I’m listening to The Who’s Quadrophenia and mindlessly perusing the Interweb when this lands in front of my eyes… The Who criticise ‘ridiculous’ Quadrophenia sequel
What a coincidence.
What a horrible concept.
But … what a fantastic album. One of The Who’s best.
As a cohesive story, it works much better than the much more prominent Tommy. Musically it is richer and more refined. There are Who moments – Daltrey’s voice, Townshend’s guitar, Entwistle’s bass lines and Moon’s frantic drumming form a solid base but the songs are rarely urgent or forced. This is a true opera, a true concept. Ideas are allowed to grow and develop. Nothing is rushed and one can really lose oneself in this album.
As a kid I listened to this album multiple times and could imagine the action and the story. This was way before I saw the movie. It is a powerful album with a great story.

Weekly Wine – Unreserved

8 Jun

UnrezJPGUnreserved smooth white
Year: N/A
Canada
750ml
12% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

Do you get it?

This wine’s label… a dress unzipping.
Unreserved you say.
After this wine the world awaits.
Really?
How different is this from Bud Lights’ campaign: “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”
Well this is a tad more nuanced – but the message is more or less the same.
Cheap white wine and earthly delights will follow.
Were this wine as good as these earthly delights. This wine is perfectly unremarkable. I’m drinking it very well chilled and dreading the moment the “flavour” opens up. Even over chilled it has a bit of a bite to it though.
The back label has a big bold statement of the “Tasting Notes.” They are… Apple, Citrus, Peach and Full Moon.
Well, I hope it’s not the full moon you get when you unzip that dress that’s hinted on the label. Or are they pants?
A full moon indeed.
This is another cynical “Canadian” wine made from imported and domestic wines. It is passable but just that. It is uninteresting except that I can fulminate on the label and the marketing.
I feel that I need some decent wine.

Bussing

6 Jun

image

Bus travel used to be the way North America moved. It was the way the world moves.

I’m trying to find the statistics on this but it is quite difficult.
I’m on a bus. It is a nice bus with WiFi and a 120 volt connector so my IPod doesn’t run out of juice. The Internet connectivity is just ok, it is a little slow and for some reason YouTube does not work. Hmmm…. I’m reminded of that Louis C. K. bit where he gets apoplectic about people who do not appreciate the marvels of current technology. His bugbear is. Guy complaining Internet on a plane. I’m not complaining – just commenting.
But reading statistical info on an iPad on a bouncing bus is difficult. There are many tiny numbers referring to passenger miles driven in a light duty vehicle with a short wheelbase (don’t mention the car) and whatnot. I started to compile this in a spreadsheet to make the numbers more accessible for me and you but gave up when the iPod kept slipping off my lap. (There are no airplane style tables on the bus. A major over site and my only real complaint about bus travel.) I’m also resisting the urge to consult Wikipedia – it is a lazy way to do it.
While pure statistics won’t make it here – various articles and reports do state that bus travel is growing in North America. This is because it is inexpensive. My trip from Toronto to New York costs a bit over 40 bucks. The bus is full to capacity. I take this trip every once I a while and the bus rarely has spare seats. And why not – it is cheap, relatively comfortable, has WiFi and gets you there Ina reasonable amount of time.
It takes a bit over 10 hours for this trip. Where I to fly. The flight itself would be about an hour. Plus you have to be at the airport three hours before the flight. The flight lands at Laguardia or JFK and that is far from the centre of Manhattan where the bus drops you off. So in effect the bus journey is only twice as long and as I’m doing the night bus, I usually just sleep and peruse the Interweb.
But the bus rolls on and adventure awaits…

Bike Cafe

5 Jun

SONY DSC
I’ve seen a bunch of these in Eastern Europe. This one was the first I saw, on the boardwalk by the Baltic Sea in Gdynia, Poland. Later I saw a whole bunch more in Poland and Ukraine. The coffee’s good and reasonably priced.

Weekly Vinyl – Ummagumma

3 Jun

Ummagumma
Pink Floyd
(1969)

SONY DSC

Now this is a great album. I really like this album. I love the dreamy musical sequences. I love the overblown experimentation. I love the subtle moments. I like the harsh moments. I love the fact that it is not overproduced and still quite raw.
This album has nine tracks on its two albums. The first disk is recorded live and features tunes from previous albums. Each of the four members, Roger Waters, David Gilmore, Richard Wright, Nick Mason, has a solo composition, plus there are a couple of collaboration and one composition, the first, Astronomie Domine, by departed member Syd Barrett.
It is a great snapshot of the band as they were transitioning from a small psychedelic outfit to a massive. Listening to it now you can imagine what they sounded like back in the late 60s early 70s. It has a groove to it that I really like.
For some and many reasons, most fans and even the band members disliked this album.
Whatever…
It is one of my favourite albums.

Weekly Wine –L’Epayrie

1 Jun

lepBlancL’Epayrie Blanc
Year: N/A
France
1000ml
11% ABV
$9.45 (LCBO)

I had a bit of an adventure with this wine.
The first bottle I bought froze.
It was cold that evening and we left it outside or a tad too long. There were four of us playing Settlers of Catan at a cottage and after sampling it a bit we switched to other wine.
The wine was not bad but we felt that it was not at its prime after being frozen.
Opening a chilled, not frozen, bottle of this wine I was perplexed to find that I rather preferred the post frozen variant of the wine. My wife concurred.
The wine is not bad but it is sour and acidic. It is a little bit nasty and not really pleasant to drink.
It is quite cheap as it is under ten bucks for a full litre of this hootch.
You can better white wine for the same price as this, and that is what I would recommend.