Archive | May, 2017

Cats and Fish

14 May


Every blog needs pictures of cats.
This is as fact that is written somewhere.
I don’t have cats.
But there are cats at the pet store near me.
They were looking to buy some fish.

Weekly Vinyl – Mancini

12 May

Theme From “Z” and other film music
Henry Mancini and his orchestra
(1970)

This is a strange album. As the title suggests, it is film music.
It is unmistakable film music. My wife heard the album and asked what film soundtrack I’m listening to.
It is cliché film music.
I remember seeing a book called “How to score film music.” I guess this is the album that should accompany that book.
Clever quips aside – there are a few problems with this disk.
The main is that the songs are quite indistinguishable in their blasé pastiche. It is schmaltz thinly spread on white bread (not toasted). The only song that stands out is Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head and I can’t get it out of my head now.
The other main problem is that the music is not credited – did Henry Mancini compose all this? Did someone else? It does say that he arranged all the music – so who is the original composer?
It is a well-produced recording that could be used effectively to stop teenagers congregating in certain places. Put this on a loop and you’ll have everybody fleeing the area.

Weekly Wine – Dragani

10 May

Dragani Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Doc
2015
Italy
750ml
12.5% ABV
$7.95 (LCBO)

I think I reviewed this wine last year. But it was a 2013 vintage and it cost a whopping 20 cents more.
Things don’t usually get cheaper – do they?
Imported wine usually does not get cheaper as the years roll by – does it?
Well this one, if it is the same and I think it is, did get cheaper – less expensive – more affordable.
I liked the 2013 vintage so is the 2015 up to snuff?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, indeed.
This is a very nicely balanced wine. There are no off flavours here just some nice indescribable fruit flavours – you get a bit of grape and cherry but you need to concentrate to pull these flavours out. It is quite pleasant and has a nice medium body that is perfectly dry.
At under eight bucks this is a fantastic value.

 

 

Tools and Stuff

8 May

Frequently, when starting a project, I look at the tools I have and the tools I allegedly need.
These are usually pretty hefty lists – sometimes in terms of volume and sometimes in terms of price. I tend to think this is to make my projects better or my tasks easier.
The desire to add to the tool collection is strong and irrational. One can say that there are few things better than a new implement to create project. But there are many better things and that is what stops me from purchasing tools willy-nilly.
One has to balance between want and need.
Do I need a chop saw to cut metal lengths? I use a grinder with a cut off disk now and it works OK. So, do I need this or want this?
Do I need a belt/disk sander to sand wood and metal bits to final size. I use a grinder, bench and hand. I use my Dremel or Foredom rotary tools. Do I need this? It would be convenient but can I justify it?
It is quite easy to justify new tools and equipment. Too easy.
And these are just the wood working and metal working tools. Let’s not talk about computer gadgets, other electronic gadgets, kitchen gadgets, car gadgets, gardening gadgets … and so on.

Camoflauged car

7 May


I am of two minds about this paint scheme on this car. I kinda like the camoflauge pattern, but it is quite a silly look for this and any car.

Weekly Vinyl – Newhart

5 May

Bob Newhart
Bob Newhart
(1980)

I like Bob Newhart. I still do.
But as I’m listening to this album I realize just how dated it really is.
It is still funny, but the pacing is very slow. The comedy is rather subtle. It is rather one-dimensional and lacks the big huge laughs that today’s comics must deliver. You really have to listen to this guy or you will miss the funny bits.
I love his bit Introducing Tobacco To Civilization. (This title, along with other bits in his comedy would not pass muster with some of the members of the Politically Correct Police.) The subtlety as he relays the phone call from Sir Water Raleigh back to England describing tobacco and its use is great. The comedy does dim in the age of email and text messaging though.
This is a great album from a great comic that I will have to force my kids to listen to some day.

Fire in the burbs

4 May


Was driving buy and saw a fire break out. There were other people on cell phones filming so I joined them.
The fire department came a minute after this shot and so I drove away.

Weekly Wine – Dalbray

3 May

Christophe Dalbray
Year: N/A
France
750ml
13% ABV
$8.95 (Quebec gas station)

At first I thought – not bad.
Interesting even.
Could I have bought a half decent bottle of wine at a Quebec gas station for under ten bucks?
I’ve never had that luck before – could it have finally happened.
Not quite.
The immediate flavour of the first taste is deceptive. The flavour, while not revolting, is sour and fruity. While the wine is dry, the fruitiness is quite pronounced and gives it a sweet flavour ambiance. I have to note that the fruit flavour that comes from within this wine is not of wholesome organic fruits from some sun-drenched meadow handpicked by vegan farmers. The fruitiness is the kind you get in an artificial fruit drink – a generic chemically enhanced fruit flavour. So … combined with the sourness you get a kind of wine based sour key think. Tolerable – but just barely.
No, I have yet to find a passable wine at a Quebec gas station for under ten bucks.

 

May Day

1 May

To celebrate May Day I am catching up with all the work that I have neglected for a while. There is a huge pile so it will take me a while. Hopefully not until Labour Day.