Archive | September, 2016

Weekly Vinyl – Debussy

30 Sep

George Copeland plays Debussy
George Copeland
I say this is from 1950 because looking through the internet I found and MGM record E-522 dated 1950 and E-530 dated 1950. Both are also 10-inch EPs, as is this one. This is a safe assumption.
Before we get to the music I want to say I love 10-inch EPs. It is such a nice size. I remember when they were all the rage in the 80s – we though that a new world was invented. And here I have an EP of a pianist playing Debussy.
The recording is excellent. Sharp and exact. It is like being in a concert hall. Well, at the back of one anyways.
Many times, piano recitals can be a bit draggy, especially if you are not familiar with the composer, are not in the mood, the room is too stuffy or you are just not into the genre.
But here, on this disk you really get the feel for the music, the excitement the passion. I had no idea what to expect as I am not familiar with Debussy. This little 10-inch disk has really got me interested in listening to more of this man’s music.

Weekly Wine – Santa Blanc

28 Sep

0928scsbSanta Carolina Sauvignon Blanc
12% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

This pale wine packs a bit of a bite.
You with think that because of the colour this will be some lame mild wine that has subtle flavours. It is quite a lively but soft wine.
There is a bite – and it comes from the dryness, from the crisp acidic flavouring (which is not overdone.) There are no off flavours. It works well chilled and room temperature. It is nice with some nibbles or just on its own.
Does it work with a meal?
I don’t know. I’m not hungry right now. But I suspect it will be a nice addition to whatever is on the plate.
The other bit of bite comes from the alcohol. At 12.5 per cent alcohol by volume this wine is no slouch. It’s pleasant yet intriguing demeanour does not offer any hintsto the alcohol content – so this wine, when consumed with aplomb, might lead you to where you want to be post haste.


26 Sep

There are morning people and there are people who are not morning people.
I’m not the best morning person. I get up when I have to but it takes a while for me to get into the mood of the day.
But this story is not about me. It is about my laptop computer. The one that I’m writing on now.
It used to be a perky little thing – starting up quickly in the mornings when I powered it on. The only problems where when it went to sleep in the afternoon – it would take a bit of prodding to get it going.
Lately this laptop has become groggy in the mornings. It takes about a good 10 to 15 minutes for it to be working smoothly. I’ve poked around trying to get it to work properly. I checked the internet, watched YouTube videos, upgraded good software and removed suspect software.
All too naught.
I’ve learned to live with this sluggish computer. I turn it on and have an espresso. It seems to help.

Desert boat

25 Sep


The juxtaposition of this motorboat on a drying/shrinking reservoir in Nevada is striking. We drove past a few marinas which were above the waterline and shut down. And people still think that climate change is a conspiracy. No facts, no evidence will get these people to change their mind.

Weekly Vinyl – Serious Uke tunes

23 Sep

Чoрнoбривцi – Tchornobryvci
(1960 – I’m guessing)
As a kid I remember studying the record covers while listening to albums. I seem to recall that they always had a date.
These are false childhood memories. I frequently rely on the internet to find dates. Some albums, like this one, refuse to be dated.
The music is dated though. It is over the top, melodramatic and vain. This is Ukrainian music for a big concert stage. It is solemn and serious. Even songs like “Chom Ty Ne Pryshov (Why Didn’t You Come?), which should be a light hearted ditty, is turned into a song of longing and despair. Ironically, this is probably my favourite track on this album. It is performed by the Veriovka choir.
The recording is rather muddy though. It seems it has seen several generations before it was put onto vinyl here in Canada.
This is an interesting fact because the liner notes at the back of the album cover list choirs and artists from Ukraine, back then part of the Soviet Union. How these tracks got to Canada to be pressed here, who were the Ukrainian Art Society and their “editor” Boris Dniprowy is a mystery to me.

Weekly Wine – Orange Rosé

21 Sep

0921lorroseL’Orangeraie Rose Vin de Pays d’Oc
12.5% ABV
$9.85 (LCBO)

This is a very nice sharp wine.
I was expecting a bit more of a sweet experience- but this is a very nicely blended and tempered wine.
It is a mix of four grape types – syrah (shiraz), grenache, merlot and cinsault. I’m familiar with the first three, but am drawing a blank on the last one. The last one, cinsault, makes up 50 per cent of the grapes used in this wine and it is a new one for me. I’m tempted to go to Wikipedia and search for this wine but it is late and this wine is quite good.
Here’s the link – I haven’t read it.
This wine is quite a delight – even as it warms up to room temperature. (It is quite warm in my writing den at the moment) There is a bit of acidity – but not too much. There are subtle flavours that dance around the palate but do not dominate. If needed, I could concentrate and determine what fruits and other flavours this wine hints at.
But that would be work.
This is a wine for enjoyment.
And I will enjoy it now.


19 Sep

I don’t believe anybody loves doing administrative work.
There are some people who loath it. There are those that hate it but do it because it needs to be done. There are people who understand what needs to be done and do it – with a modicum of enthusiasm. And then there are people who are very good at buckling down and getting it done.
It also depends if you are paid for the work. Being paid to be an administrator is actually great because you can organize at your discretion and prioritize what needs to be done. Usually. Sometimes your priorities do not mesh with the hierarchy but this can be resolved quickly. I’ve worked as an administrator and it was okay and occasionally enjoyable – I put myself down in the modicum of enthusiasm file.
The most complex and difficult time for administration is when you do it for yourself or when you are running a small business. You always have other things to do, especially when running a business or your life, and some administration gets prioritized down on the list.
I’m thinking about this because I have finally gotten to that list and am working diligently at crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s.


18 Sep

Occasionally displays of patriotism don’t really work. This restaurant’s flag in the window display is rather ackward.

Weekly Vinyl – Glen Miller

16 Sep

Remember Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey
Glenn Miller’s Modernairs
(year: 1970ish)
I was listening to endless “hits” for the last little bit and now I have the misfortune to draw this.
I’ve listened to this disk completely three times – it is now on its fourth rotation and I’m trying to find something positive to say.
Barring that -here’s a story… This album is from a defunct DJ service where I worked briefly back in the mid 80s. I had a small steady gig and it was OK but then I was sent as a substitute because the other DJ was sick. I was playing some event, it wasn’t a wedding some small little gathering, and most of the people were my age.
I was shocked that they were not appreciative of the current mid-80s music and instead insisted on this kind of music. I was way out of my depth for that gig – I was playing random selections of whatever disk I grabbed.

It was a bit of a disaster gig and only got worse. I also missed the last bus and subway. It was that kind of evening.
Perhaps this is why I, subconsciously, dislike this music.

Weekly Wine – Southern Shiraz

14 Sep

0914toshirazTwo Oceans Shiraz
14% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I didn’t like the first sip of this wine.
It was heavy and hit me like a ton of bricks.
It was sharp and cut my palate brusquely. My tongue was on fire.
I have to explain that I was working all day ripping apart my office/studio – cleaning every nook and cranny.
This shiraz was not what the doctor ordered.
However – I persisted in drinking this wine and was greatly rewarded.
Yes, it is spicy and harsh and full bodied – but it is a nice raw experience. An assault on the senses. It is saying – I might be inexpensive but taste the glory that I am. The flavour is simple and sublime and is in fact hidden by the sharpness of the wine.
No matter.
I have gone from not much liking this wine to contemplating this as a go to wine for the winter months in a mere two-and-a-half glasses.
Well done for this wine.