Monday, 28 April 2008

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm to me

Well the birthday ended with a quiet, romantic meal at the Wellington Gastropub. Unlike the "McTon" the dinner was delicious culminating in a yummy ginger cake with a special message from Maryse!


Book: Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties by Robert Stone

Music: A Time To Remember - The Classic Years: 1952 by Various Artists

New Pop Records - Time - April 28, 1952

Mildred Bailey once admitted that "I couldn't sing big if I wanted to." But if her voice was one of the smallest around, it was also the sweetest and the sighing-est; and she had a natural rhythm to her phrasing that made her (with the Rhythm Boys—Bing Crosby, Harry Barris and her brother Al Rinker) one of the idols of the early '30s. Since those days, many of Mildred's old records have become collectors' items.

Out this month is the first album commemorating the roly-poly singer who died last December. Mildred Bailey (Decca, 2 sides LP) includes eight of her best-known songs, if not the best versions of all of them. Even so, Lover, Come Back to Me, More than You Know, and the song Hoagy Carmichael wrote for her, Rockin' Chair, are still outstanding. Recording: good.

Other new records:
Raminay! (Jo Stafford; Columbia) was a New Orleans chimney sweeps' cry. Judging from this song, neither the tunesmith (Sammy Fain) nor pseudo Blues Singer Stafford ever got within good hearing distance of the South's "Cradle of Jazz."

Jeannine (Louis Armstrong and Gordon Jenkins' Orchestra; Decca). An oldtimer, given a Hollywood nightmare of swooping strings, burning trumpet and gravel-voiced singing. Indian Love Call, on the other side, is even more unbelievable.

Blue Tango (Leroy Anderson; Decca). A sort of poor man's Third Man Theme, set to jolting Latin rhythm. This version by the composer triumphs over those by Xavier Cugat, Guy Lombardo, et al.

Runnin' Wild (Teddy Wilson and the All Stars; MGM, 8 sides). Old favorites such as Bugle Call Rag, Stompin' at the Savoy, I Surrender Dear, well played by the pixie-fingered professor (of jazz piano at Juilliard School of Music) and such cohorts as Trumpeter Buck Clayton, Vibraphonist Red Norvo. Not too well recorded.

Easy Does It! (Benny Goodman; Capitol, 6 sides). The lion of the licorice stick in some of the best of his more intimate work with the trio, quintet, sextet and septet. Includes Puttin' on the Ritz, Henderson Stomp, Makin' Whoopee.

What's the Use? (Johnnie Ray; Columbia). Sobber Ray restrains his tears but not his gulping and gobbling of the lyrics; the song, above an "Arabian" Latin rhythm, is thoroughly ordinary. For those who can stand larger doses, Columbia has also issued his first album (Johnnie Ray, 8 sides), including Don't Blame Me, All of Me.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

The Wind


It was a year yesterday that I began this blog. Doesn't seem like a year in some respects and in other respects it seems like ages ago. I'm thinking mostly of where things were at with my health a year ago as I embarked on my regimen of chemo treatments, x-rays, MRIs, blood tests and so on in May, culminating in my stem cell/bone marrow transplant in October.

Then, with my immune system virtually blasted away from a high dose chemo session, and down 75 pounds, I began the long road back to recovery.

The blog was a terrific way to pass the time and document my experiences. The feedback from family pushed me on in my blogging efforts and aided in my recovery - a recovery, by the way, that doctors told me was twice as quick as the average patient, achieving a state of wellness in January that most would have reached only in March or April.
Along the way - as you've seen from the blog content - I've read many books, listend to a lot of great music and passed on lots of humourous jokes and videos (hey, at least I thought they were funny!).

All this to say, a year into my journey I feel very grateful. Grateful for the love and support of my family and grateful for my good health. Life is good.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Lottery Win Results in Big Changes for Family!

Book: Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Music: In The Name Of Love: Africa Celebrates U2 by Various Artists

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Those Were The Days...

Book: Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Music: The Flying Club Cup by Beirut

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Earth Day

Yesterday was "Earth Day". Fascinating fact: were you aware that Earth Day has been around since 1970?! I find that amazing. This being the age of the internet, certain websites got in on the act. Like You Tube; look at it's logo in the uper left hand corner:
Here's what Google went with...
And here's a quick vid of what Yahoo! looked like...

Here's a photoshopped pic I found...
And here's a page from Wikipedia that explains the whole story behind Earth Day...

Book: Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Music: Mr Love and Justice by Billy Bragg

Monday, 14 April 2008

Monday Morning Mirth

Ford Focus

I bought a new Focus and returned to the dealer the next day because I couldn’t get the radio to work. The salesman explained that the Focus has Sync and the radio was voice activated. ‘Nelson,’ the salesman said to the radio. The Radio replied, ‘Ricky or Willie?’ ‘Willie!’ he continued and ‘On The Road Again’ came from the speakers. Then he said, ‘Ray Charles!’, and in an instant ‘Georgia On My Mind’ replaced Willie Nelson .
I drove away happy, and for the next few days, every time I’d say, ‘Beethoven,’ I’d get beautiful classical music, and if I said, ‘Beatles,’ I’d get one of their awesome songs.
Yesterday, a couple ran a red light and nearly creamed my new car, but I swerved in time to avoid them. I yelled, ‘Ass Holes!’ Immediatelythe French National Anthem began to play, sung by Jane Fonda and Barbara Streisand, backed up by Michael Moore and The Dixie Chicks and John Kerry on guitar, Al Gore on drums, Dan Rather on harmonica, Nancy Pelosi on tambourine, Harry Reid on spoons, Bill Clinton on sax and Ted Kennedy on scotch.
Damn, I LOVE this car.

The Anniversary

Rick was in trouble — he forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really angry. She told him, ‘Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in less than 6 seconds AND IT HAD BETTER BE THERE!!’
The next morning, Rick got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway.
Confused and curious, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, and brought the box in the house. She opened it and found a brand new…..BATHROOM SCALE!
Rick has been missing since Friday.
Please pray for him.

The Boss

The boss was complaining in our staff meeting the other day that he wasn’t getting any respect.
The next day, he brought a small sign that read:
“I’m the Boss!”
He then taped it to his office door.
Later that day when he returned from lunch, he found that someone had taped a note to the sign that said:
“Your wife called, she wants her sign back!”

Book: Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Music: Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Amazing Arctic

Last week Maryse departed the cold and snow of Ottawa for the colder and snowier Arctic. Her trip began in Edmonton and continued on to the Inuit communities of Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk and Paulatuk. Sponsored by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, 22 federal bureaucrats visited the communities, met residents and elders and partook in cultural feasts and events.


Their first stop was the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, thee hospital where northern Inuit go when they require hospital health services. That's "Doctor" Pesant on the right with several of her colleagues...


Then it was on to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Here's the local church - in the shape of an igloo - and school.

Then it was off to Tuktoyaktuk - a five hour drive via "ice road" stopping en route to visit a gas drilling site...


Maryse has wanted to visit Tuktoyaktut or "Tuk" for as long as she can remember. This trip was a dream come true. Here's a shot of the community from a distance, pics of the local housing, and finally of a special visitor...


And then the group flew to Paulatuk, the northernmost settlement of mainland continental North America...

Here, they witnessed a gorgeous sunset, saw the community church, help shovel out the elder's house and went ice-fishing!
(Guess who's the monkey in the middle?)
She had a fabulous time, loved every minute of her Arctic tour. In summing up, and repeating that well-worn phrase of those left behind everywhere, Maryse got to visit the Arctic and all I got was this T-shirt!!!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Gas Prices

Book: Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
Music: The Baroness by Sarah Slean

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