Wednesday, February 20, 2008

No Twittering

I heard that all the kids are into Twitter and this is my attempt to get in on the action.

I am sitting in the Crown & Anchor pub with Loren, ostensibly working "offsite". We have nearly completed the first of several pitchers of beer this afternoon (I hope.) The Arsenal-Milburn match is playing on the telly and the majority of the patrons are disinterested in the match.

It is mainly a dudefest in here, which is a mixed blessing. While the nubile coeds that are copious in these part of town are enjoyable to look at, listening to them is untenable and I don't have my earphones with me.

For a bar located so near campus, there are a lot of older guys in here. Fully 1/3 of them are older than me.

Oops, one of the younger patrons just tipped back on his chair smashing his noggin on the wainscoting that circumnavigates the perimeter of the bar. He seems OK, though his buddies are walking him to a car.

Loren has just returned to the table with a 2nd pitcher of beer. WTF? Red Hook has a Buffalo Breath Bitter. Well, DogFish beer exists, why not??? Yum! Actually very similar to their IPA. Hard to tell the difference.

Oh great, the bar "handyman" is in the middle of the bar repairing one of the dart boards and is making a god awful noise with that hammer. I can't believe this clueless dolt couldn't find a location away from paying customers to perform this work. Oh wait, he has biker gear on. That explains it.

Outside, I can observe 3 of the older regulars engage in, what I believe to be, good natured raillery. They are laughing, but have a certain edge to their quips. They all look homeless.

Its otherwise pretty dead around here. Just as well since I am "working."

Twittering sucks.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cherish the Cabin

I just finished reading Fibonacci's Lament (a dense, sprawling epic by Alan Kreller.) Briefly, it involves three friends, all in their mid 50's, who take a week long vacation to the Yukon to unwind with some fishing and relaxation. They rent the only cabin on a small island in the middle of Lake Yakima. Shortly after they arrive, a seismic tremor cripples the bridge that connects them to the main land and sinks their fishing boat. These friends (Anthony Fibonacci, Rudolph Dimrose and Colonel Tubman) are non plussed at first, but after it is clear that an immediate rescue is not forthcoming, they begin to plot against each other. It is four weeks before they are rescued. The soul searching that Daniel goes through after the rescue comprises the meat of the story.

Gripping. I can't recommend it, however. I found it fairly unrealistic. The knife fight by the hammock seemed contrived, for instance.

If you are truly interested in a riveting (and realistic) book on Canadian adventures, I recommend Vince Pullman's Dr. Bison. Mr. Pullman chronicles Randall Bison's bear hunting trips in the Northwest Territories in the Spring of 1921 and 1922. This book was an account of Dr. Bison's actual adventures and did not require a novelist handy turn of a phrase to capture the reader's attention. Dr. Bison went on to teach biology at Thunder Bay City College until his death in 1963.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Five Gears in Reverse

Yesterday, I stopped off at my favorite watering hole on my way home from work. I am known at this location and the bartenders consider me a regular. Often times, I am over served at this establishment. They think nothing of serving me 8 whiskeys and a bottle of wine and sending me on my way.

That wasn't exactly the case last night, but I had a few and headed home in a good mood. Luke and I walked over to Sun Liquor after I arrived home for some ice. He likes to tag along and is well received in the liquor store.

On the way back home, we passed Birds Barbershop. They are in the same strip mall which is located right behind my house. They were having an informal party at that location and the girl who cut my hair just the day before was near the entrance smoking a cigarette. She saw me and waved me over.

When Birds first opened, I felt about as welcome as a bowl of Moroccan applesauce at a Bar Mitzva. She remembered me because we talked a lot about my dogs and the neighborhood in general. I, however, have forgotten her name.

No matter, she invites me (and Luke!!) inside. Some guy is in the corner on a makeshift stage playing an acoustic set of indie favorites. I didn't pay much attention. What caught my eye was the full bar they had set up. They had plenty of refreshments available to succor the needy and enbrisken the spirits.

I lounged around for awhile chatting up some of the girls who worked there. Luke was especially popular and was able to draw most of the girls over that I talked to.

At one point, I noticed they had set up a miniature mechanical bull in the back of the shop. It really wasn't a bull, but a horse, and it was one of those rides that is anchored by a giant spring to a secure base. Those who ride it flop forwards, backwards and to the side. No one was around, so I hopped on and started flailing about. This proceeded to drive Luke insane and he started barking at the horse (and me to, for that matter.) This alerted some of the party guests who wandered back just in time to watch that toy horse buck me off onto my back. Some of the guests laughed, but the manager was not amused and asked us to leave.

I arrived home and realized that I left my bag of ice back at Birds. I returned to Birds and checked the front of the shop where I had left my ice outside. It was gone. Sun Liquor was closed. Guess which dog got a beat down last night.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


I just returned from Cheyenne Wyoming. It was not a business trip, nor a vacation. I was helping a friend take care of some family business and he needed some muscle in case things got dicey up there.

As luck would have it, a presentation of Pagliacci was scheduled at the Cheyenne Arts and Convention Center on our last night of the trip.

A traveling operatic troupe from the Ukraine performed and I must say, they were very faithful to Leoncavallo's original composition. You may think how could they be anything but faithful, but you would be surprised. I have now seen Pagliacci five times and twice, the director allowed for "interpretation" of his work that soured my experience on both occasions.

I saw Pavarotti at the Met in '91 and he was the best, but I would have loved to have seen Caruso.

I must confess something. When I saw Pavarotti, I didn't appreciate him at the time. I went to the performance to curry favor with a woman I had a keen interest in at the time.