Archive | September, 2016

Ball game’s back

12 Sep

So the NFL season has started.
And not soon enough.
America needs this. The world needs this.
The distraction is great. Most regular season games easily top the 10 million viewers mark. The good games get well over 20 million pairs of eyes. Championship games get exponentially more while the last SuperBowl had 111.8 million people watching in America alone.
And the US need distractions from the inanity of the election coverage to the rantings of fringe lunatics who get offended at every and any slight.
You get these controversies in the NFL as well. A quarterback decides to not stand for the US anthem – and is criticized fiercely but is also supported. A meaningful conversation erupts – something that rarely happens in the political field. Now you have the US anthem being played and while most players stand, some kneel while others have their fists in the air. This latter is in some outlets erroneously reported as what Jesse Owens did at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. He saluted the flag while the black power fist in the air is what runners Tommy Smith and John Carlos did at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics after deciding not to boycott the games.
There are other distractions … the injuries, concussions, bad calls by the refs, bad calls by the coaches, bad calls by the TV announcers, deflate-gate, suspensions for substance abuse, suspensions for spousal abuse. There are many unseemly shenanigans in these “game” that are a microcosm of America itself. There is a lot of noise but not much substance. If you look at the graphic that I found, you will see that the game itself only takes up about 11 minutes of a three-hour broadcast.
To maintain its sanity America needs the NFL back to take the edge off of real reality.

Toronto Swan

11 Sep


This swan is braving the cold waters of Lake Ontario.
But at least the view is nice.


Weekly Vinyl – Ghost Schmaltz

9 Sep

Time Honoured Ghosts
Barclay James Harvest
This is a dreary album.
The reaper that’s graces the cover is symbolic for this album. The reaper here is lean muscular and is looking over the tiny knoll into the evening sky.
If you’ve ever wielded a Scythe you will know that it is incredibly hard work. If you are faced with even a hectare of land to reap you will know it is back-breaking dreary work.
This album…
It is mellow to the point of comatose. There’s a song called Sweet Jesus and when I heared it I asked myself, “Sweet Jesus, why am I listening to this.”
This defines easy listening 1970s “pop-rock”. This defines the thing that used to be known as AOR – adult oriented rock.
The only thing good about this album is that it was stuff like this that got the punks a thrashing and blew new life, an energy into popular music.

Weekly Wine – Fizzy Oggi

7 Sep

SONY DSCBotter Oggi Moscato Frizzante
Year: N/A
8% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

What a surprise.
I unscrewed this wine and it started to fizz.
I had no idea – it was a bubbly wine.
It is a Frizzante wine – which is a wine that has less carbonation, about half to a third, than that of a Champagne or sparkling wine. It has more carbonation than a Portuguese Vinho Verde though.
This is something new…
The initial taste reminded me of a semi stale bottle of ginger ale. The bubbles are there but not quite as strong. The sweetness was/is overpowering. This is a sweet wine. But much like a semi-stale bottle of ginger ale has something going for it.
There is flavour. It is quite a fruity wine which just enhances or exacerbates the sweetness – this depends on your outlook and tolerance of sweet wines.

A new year

5 Sep

For me Labour Day (today) has always seemed like the beginning of a new year.
I’m sure I’m not alone.
This concept is most likely associated with school. Labour day represents the last day of summer vacations here in Canada, possibly the US and elsewhere. It is the end – unofficially – of summer. It marks the start of cooler weather and a sense of getting back to the grind and doing work.
The summer season is notoriously difficult to get anything done. There are vacations, kids’ parties, adult parties, excursions, weekends, and so on.
I welcome this start to the “new year” as I was to undertake a few projects this summer and none really got off the ground.
With everything returning to normal – it shall be easier to get things done.


4 Sep


Few things in nature are symmetrical. This bruise comes close.


Weekly Vinyl – Hits

2 Sep

USA Hit Parade 1, 2, 3, 4
uHP1 uHP2I got these four albums in Switzerland many moons ago. There is very little information on who performs these songs or the year. I had to hit the Internet to get any information.
Now that that’s over… to the music.
These are old hits. Most I’ve never heard. This is post World War Two music. And there are lots of them on these four disks. 64 in fact. It makes for quite dreary listening though. The quality of the recordings is excellent. The vinyl, the physical disks are the heavy, high-quality, vinyl that is prized by collectors and record aficionados. (Although the obscurity of these disks probably means they are all but priceless – in the negative connotation of that phrase.)
I guess the music on these disks could have formed the music background of the TV series Mad Men, but I never liked that series.
One might also not particularly like this style of music, but you have to admit that the quality of the music contained here is excellent. If you close your eyes while listening to this music you can just imagine that you yourself are sitting in the restaurant/bar of a Holiday Inn just off exit 29 in the early 1970s. Can you just see that red shag carpeting and the faux Chinese lanterns.
Priceless indeed.
uHP3 uHP4