…and I am going to quit playing for a while. 11 days off. Drove for 4 of them. 3300 km or so. Other 7 full of cleaning out the house which appears to have sold pending closing. Some thoughts from between Kingston and PEI, the length of the St.Lawrence:
- The two best looking parts of Canada on the drive are both in Quebec: the Kamouraska areas between Riviere-du-Loup and Pocatiere on Highway 20 (huge granite mounds in the river and on the land, between which the river and the road flow respectively); and the waterfront road at the foot of the cliffs at Levis across from Quebec City (active working river, old rail bed used by hundreds as we watched for biking and roller blading, Chateau Frontenac in front of almost as many layers of mountains in the dusk as Montpellier, Vermont);
- Old car tapes are a minefield of emotions. Bought before my CD buying days began around 1993, I was brought back to a rawer time. Garnett Rogers is pretty damn good. Damn song about a damn pigeon makes me cry every time I hear it;
- Worst service in the world: The Kentucky Fried on the west 401 at Cornwall. Stood with wife and children at a till for five minutes as teen staff walked two feet past us setting up a fan for themselves to be told when we said we were leaving becuse the service was so bad, that the sign at the other end of the counter said “cash”. As there were five tills each with other families waiting, the meaning of this message eluded us. Please shun this establishment on your travels;
- Cars are amazing. For about 75 to 80 bucks (Canadian) you can go 1500 kilometres either in one day (my trip to PEI) or over three (the return);
- Best diners: the Irving Big Stop at Salisbury NB on the Trans-Canada (good diner food including a very respectable Ruben and 2 buck, 12 oz., large tomato juice), the Normandin at Levis (a favorite for over a decade – draft beer is a moslons ex and the waiting staff help you do the whole thing in our respectly poor english and french) – maple beans (aka “the bomb” in a couple of respects) with your breakfast; and
- Best hotel in the Maritimes – the Sheraton at Fredericton. Great waterfront location in what looks like a park. Staff are capable and relaxed. Room service is fast and the wine celler is respectable. In 1999, they had no rooms left in the class we had ordered and we got the Royal Suite. Literally the rooms the Queen gets when in NB. We could have played basketball in the livingroom. The dinner table sat 12. We paid the same as the basic room we booked. Somnewhere we have a photo of our daughter, then 11 months having a pee on the floor. Although in the the same room, she was too far to run to in time but the camera was not. You have to think way ahead if you want to embarrass the hell out of someone at their wedding reception.
- NPR – 90.1 Calais Maine; 106.1 Presque Isle, Maine, 106.5 Fort Kent Maine, 104.7(?) Vermont Public Radio St. Albans, 89.5 North Country Public Radio, Northern New York State.
Well, that is it for now. Thanks for stopping by during a slow posting week and a half.
Two cats. 1000 miles. How many Tims?
[Sorry, Brazilian guy – that last bit won’t make much sense to you.]
When looking through the web stats, I got to wondering why, outside of North America, Holland would be the hotbed of the greatest number of my readers when I realized it is the Google effect. Having used the word Nederlands and therefore been linked by a few Dutch blog trolling spiders or bots or whatever they are, I get a bit of a boost on Dutch Google and, bob’s your uncle, I stand tall in the low countries. So…can this be manufacturered?
My wife and I met in Ko³obrzeg, a resort city on the Baltic Coast of Poland where the Nazis met a well-deserved, nasty fate at the hands of the Red Army on the beaches after running out of both land and options in the spring of ’45. The ever patient Ellen and I both taught ESL there and, unlike most others who travelled to Eastern Europe to teach a decade or so ago, briefly enjoyed a rather splendid if corney luxury lifestyle – Bulgarian wines, tinned elk and boar, first walkman in the province, at $400 a month an income 3 times that of a doctor. A sense of the place can be seen in some of its websites for a sanitorium/spa, a hotel/spa, spa-tourism, spa-fishing-poets, spa-investment, yacht-spa, people at the spa town…I suppose I could go on…Anyway, this is an open invite for discussion of all things Ko³obrzeg. What the hell.
PS – if your computer shows a small raised “3” between the two o’s of the name, it is spelled Kolobrzeg with a little bar across the “L” kinda pronounced “e-u”: “Ł” or “ł”
[Update in 2016: proof of the finding of Kay…]
I love web radio as I love radio. You don’t get the romance of the signal fading in and out but crappy buffering almost makes up for it. I love media that let you know they are there. I have recently switched to using the Windows Media Player – and it’s excellent listings pages – and so have had to give up BBC Live Five due to poorer BBC coverage, compared to the Real player, for improved NPR choices.
By the way, I understand there’s some flooding risk in New Jersey – have care if you are out and about there this afternoon.
The good lads at silverorange, my pals, former clients, former employers, wise buyers of my furniture and…umm…oh, yea…award winning web designers have listed me on their new development web log. The referral logs here at GenX at 40 HQ are a buzzin’.
One point. Establishing their web log as their playground is a disservice to their office round many days about 3:30 pm when the Snood-fest begins.
Have a go at anything you like at this thread.
Two little voices were on the phone at noon to wish me a happy Father’s Day from PEI where they are helping get the house ready for sale. They gave their gift in calling after my morning nap, required after a visit from my pal, now a teacher in Scarborough, Arthur (aka Art, Uncle Artie, RTJ or Tree – depending on the era of our now 22 year old friendship we are describing and the number of ales having been tasted.)
We started Kings together in 1981, he suffering from the bad luck of sharing common keys with our room, the room Wugg and I shared in Chapel Bay. Suffered in having us from time to time creeping in, lifting the bed where he lay between drunk and hung to two feet off the floor, dropping it as we screamed “wake up”. Rather than wallowing in glory days, we we toured the downtown pubs Merchant McLaim, Pilot House and the Kingston Brew Pub and talked about soccer, family and, well, some old friend talk . Home by taxi at a sensible hour watching a MLS game on Fox Sports World. Highlight – smoked cod battered and fried at the Pilot House with a Guinness.
Photo above: Not us but still… two at the Brew Pub to be admired for their foresight.
I am listening to WBZ radio 1030 AM here on the east end of Lake Ontario with pretty much the same signal strength I had most nights in PEI. WBZ is the oldest licenced station in North America operating now for 83 years. They claim they are heard throughout the continent east of the Rockies – which is probably true given they have a 50,000 watt licence and a clear channel without competition. Don’t judge the station by its terrible web site.
Paul Sullivan [who sounds exactly like Ray Romano except for a total lack of “duh, I dunno” schtick on Everybody Loves Raymond (they never asked me) that drives me nuts] hosts the 10 pm to midnight Eastern show following David Brudnoy – a Phd talking in the town where Harvard can be found – who starts at 7 pm. Both in their own way stake an interesting place in the talk-radio world as both are rightist libertarian without being republican right-wing a la Limbaugh. Brudnoy, for example, was merciless on the Clinton administration but not in the banal coarse way in which most US talk radio was – he was offended on principle. By way of contrast, one of the few real US liberal voices on any talk radio is Lovell Dyett evenings on the weekend. He also has the best voice on radio anywhere, making James Earle Jones sound watery and thin.
What is amazing to me is that the CRTC can’t block access to whatever radio waves on the AM band float over the border to be caught by a $9.99 Radio Shack transistor special. In Canada, we live in a veritable cultural police state when it comes to the control of access to television signals on the grounds of protecting Canadian values. If those nasty US values are conveyed by audio, somehow they don’t count.
Heck – on a good night you can hear Cuba on 600 Khz from most of eastern North America most nights on your car radio, especially in winter. Viva the old tech! Viva the low tech! Viva radio libre!
Aside from all the run-of-the-mill “surprises” about what has not been found in Iraq, what happened to all those virtually identical Saddams? I thought the place was rotten with them. If they found one, how would they know it wasn’t Saddam? If they found one, wouldn’t somebody squeal thinking they got the real one?
Or have they secretly rounded them all up and have a building somewhere with 157 identical guys in it. Wouldn’t that be weird to guard? Would you say “good morning” to someone when you couldn’t be sure that you hadn’t said it to the guy already?