Archive | February, 2017

Robot writing

27 Feb

I have been writing a bit recently about automation in the manufacturing sector. This will, in fact, take many jobs away, including the ones in China.
But I got to thinking if writing was also in danger of going the automated route. There used to be a plugin for Quark Express called Jabberwocky that allowed you to generate dummy text when laying out a page. It was fun. You supplied the nouns and verbs and the thing would do its magic with hillarious results. I will have to reactivate my ancient Mac that still should have this software and run it.
But for now – we’ll just stick to manual writing.

Jamaica hut

26 Feb

Another hut in Jamaica.
It is strange how compelling this is – besides the wires that is.
We had a shack like this at the hobby farm my father kept for a while.
Would I trade this for where I live – no.
Would I like to hang out here for a week or two – probably.

Weekly Vinyl – Orff

24 Feb

Carl Orff: Carmina Burana
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Conductor

This album has the devil music.
You know – that bombastic score that is used on occasion to signify evil on screen. Real and menacing evil.
It, more specifically the final movement is well known to all. It was used in Excalibur, The Doors, Capitalism: A love Story, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, and so on. It has been called the most overused piece of music
The text is not evil. Although it is in Latin – and the fact that I had to take a year of Latin is evil.
This disk has lyrics – so you can sing along in Latin. You can even sing along in olde English as the Latin text is translated into the Language of Shakespeare.
From the Famous O Fortuna:
“O Fortune,
As the moon,
always dost thou
Wax and wane.”
Evil indeed.
The music is bombastic and brilliant.
I’ll have to play it for my kids to scare them.

Weekly Wine – Mediterranean

22 Feb

Rene Barbier Mediterranean White, Catalunya
Year: N/A
11.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

When I bought this wine I thought it was called  Mediterraneo – this is the name of one of my favourite movies. It is about a band of misfit Italian soldiers sent to occupy an Greek island.
The label reminds me of an iconic scene in the movie Shirley Valentine – again the setting is in Greece.
This wine is Spanish. From Catalunya to be precise. On the other end of the Mediterranean.
But it is good light white wine. A little acidic but quite pleasing on the palate. There are hints of citrus and sweet grasses. The wine is truly refreshing with a flavour that is light and sublime. I can imagine myself sitting by the Mediterranean on a chair as depicted on the label quaffing this wine.
There is no year or grape listed on the bottle and that is usually an indication of a cheaply made consumer wine. This may be under ten bucks but it sure don’t taste cheap.
It is quite impressive that you can get this good quality wine at this price.


20 Feb

When you are healthy you forget quickly what it is like being sick.
When sick – It is hard to imagine being healthy.

NY Van

19 Feb

Saw this van in New York.
I love it.
No one will let me paint the family car this way,
A shame.

Weekly Vinyl – Dance Disco

17 Feb

T.K. Disco
Fern Inney

This is a disappointing disk.
Not only is it disco, but it is bad disco.
It is formulaic.
It is bland.
It does not make me want to dance, dance, dance – like the cover promises.
One of the songs, Groove me, starts with a nice rhythm … but then it turns to shlock.
There are but two songs on this “Maxi-disk” so at least the listening regime is short.

Weekly Wine – Citra Sangiovese

15 Feb

Citra Sangiovese Terre di Chieti
13% ABV
$7.95 (LCBO)

I had no idea I had reviewed this wine before – in 2013.
The label is new.
My eyes are old.
The wine is now 50 cents more expensive and this bottle is from a vintage four years older.
I did not really like this wine then. It was harsh and unrefined.
Today … I don’t mind it at all.
It is acidic around the edges. It has a bark and a bite. It has a deep crimson colour. And there are cherries. You can taste the cherries, sour and the others, in abundance along with hits of other summer fruit.
I honestly did not think that there would be such a big difference in these inexpensive wines based on the harvest year. It is truly astounding. I have reread the old review and take everything back, although I do stand by my words. While the 2012 vintage left a lot to be desired the 2016 vintage is a keeper – well just buy it and drink it.


13 Feb

There’s a road not too far away from me that has had speedbumps installed on it.
There is a bit of a park and school there so I guess it makes sense.
The speed limit is 30 kilometers per hour – which is slow. But the speed is not the issue. It is the braking and accelerating that happens at each and every speed bump – there are about eight. I don’t like this breaking and accelerating, so I have been doing some experimenting to see how I can move the 400 or so meters without breaking and accelerating constantly.
The experimentation was over very quickly. I set the car to cruise control at 30 km/h and drove the street with no problem. There was a bit of undulation but it was quite smooth and not unpleasant. Who knew that the road works department were so good and that the speedbumps were engineered to reflect the posted speed.
The going does start to get a bit rough at 35 km/h, so I keep it to 30.

Summer in London

12 Feb

It was summer.
It was hot.
It was the weekend.
It was London.