Tuesday, September 08, 2015

So Long, Farewell, Auf wiedersehen, Goodbye

WTF????  I can hear both my Faithful Readers (FR) say not so sotto voce!  But you just said that you were going to start boring us to tears with your silly drivel again.  What exactly is going on?

ME: Well as you may, or may not, know I'm going to be going on a cruise very shortly.

FR: Well yes but what has that got to do with it?  You want us to come down to the quay and catch streamers while the band plays "Nearer My God to Thee".

ME:  Don't be smart! No but I didn't want to travel with too much baggage (that tuxedo for formal night takes up a good deal of room) so I was thinking of just taking my iPad with me and posting on the trip using the Blogger App.

FR:  Okay, it would be nice to hear about those far-away places with strange sounding names but from the sounds of that title you weren't intending to post anything anyway.

ME: No I was!   That's why I gave it a trial run to see what I could and couldn't do - I discovered its been been almost a year and a half since they made any changes to the Blogger App.  So it was pretty much as it had been the last time I used it.  I went in and started to edit a post I had started on the Mac.  I spent well over three hours finding the right words and sequence of photographs.  Very proud of myself I saved it and went off to do something else.

FR:  So when does it appear?

ME:  Someone is looking for a sound smack!  It won't be because when I opened it on the Mac none of the changes had taken.  I went back to the iPad and same damned thing.  Three hours work lost never to be read by you my Faithful Readers.  I checked what they laughingly call a "support" site and found that the biggest complaint seemed to be that no one ever got back to anyone on their questions or problems. 

FR:  Oh!

ME: So as a result I am stamping my little foot, saying "so long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, goodbye" to Blogger and switching over to WordPress.  So bear with me on this okay?  I'm old mature and it may take me a bit of time to get use to their little programming quirks and quarks. And I have to decide if I want to import 8 years worth of posts over to their system.  But keep in mind I'm doing it all for you my faithful readers - both of you.

So if you're planning to read my blog I suggest you change the bookmark to www.willyorwonthe.wordpress.com. Or you can click on the Bobby below and he'll take you there and then you can bookmark it. 

As he so rightly says:  there's nothing more to see here.

September 8 - 1930: 3M begins marketing Scotch transparent tape.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Lunedi Lunacy

It appears that "concept albums" have been around since the 1940s: according to the Wikipedia entry Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads was one of the first.  But they seemed to have reached a zenith in the 1960-70s with Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Tommy, Dark Side of the Moon, and The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast.

The last named was based on William Roscoe's children's poem written in 1802 which reappeared in 1973 in picture book form.  Retold and expanded by William Plomer and illustrated in his signature graphic style by Alan Aldridge it reflect the temper of the psychedelic 70s.  In 1974  Roger Glover, late of Deep Purple, used it as the inspiration for his album and the subsequent rock opera that came from it.  Glover recruited a large cast of well-known rock musicians to perform on the album including Ronnie James Dio of, amongst other groups, Black Sabbath.  The one minor hit to come out of the album was "Love is All" with Dio on vocals.

In 1976 Halas and Batchelor, turned the song into a cartoon short using the Aldridge designs as their starting point.  The cartoon become a cult favourite in Europe particularly in France where a new TV channel used it as an quick stopgap anytime they experienced technical difficulties.  It's popularity in North American was the result of it being shown on children's programmes on several emerging networks including Nickelodeon.  As their unwary parents slept in of a Saturday morning a new generation was "tuning in and turning on". 

I rememeber the album being a particular favourite of my first roommate Ray and his friends when they would  wander into the apartment in a mellow mood from the clubs as the sun rose over St James Cemetary.  I recall having my early morning coffee before the start of a Sunday 0630 shift to the sounds of Saffron Dormouse and Lizzy Bee or Sir Maximus Mouse and running out the door to catch the 0615 subway with the sounds of Love is All echoing in my ears.

September 7 - 1911:  Guillaume Apollinaire is arrested and put in jail on suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre museum.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

So Where Is That Damned Muse?

I sat awaiting for my Muse
To descend from heaven.
I first sat down at two-fifteen
And now it's well past seven!
For some reason that little piece of doggerel I wrote for the school year book back in 19 some years ago has been running through my mind the past few days.  It may well be in response to messages from my friend David  at I'll Think of Something Later, a comment made by Spo when he was here in the summer or the rebirth of several blogs written by old friends from earlier blogger days.  

So why haven't I written anything on the blog in the past five months?  What's my excuse?

Lack of subject matter?  

Well life may not be as exciting as it was in those far off days of our days in Rome but no.  Since April there have been several visits to Toronto that included two remarkable productions at Soulpepper, the Canadian Museum of Inuit Art and Casa Loma; the opportunity in July to show Spo and Harper's Keeper the sights of Ottawa (many of which I have never bothered to visit before); a bucolic week in August to Prince Edward Island filled with music, glorious vistas and seafood; and coming up a cruise down the St Lawrence River into the Gulf and on to St. Pierre-Miquilon.

Lack of posts?

I just checked and I have 75 drafts of various lengths, sorts and subject matter.  Some go back so far I can't even remember why I started to write them.

Lack of visuals?  

Good lord no - I have enough photos and videos on the trusty iPhone to fill several albums.  And there is at least one music video that I have yet to publish.

Lack of time?

Well when you work five days a week and your primary job is writing it is a bit of a chore to then sit down at home and start typing.  But I'm able to write rants and short pithy comments on Facebook so wherein doth lie the problem?  And I won't even count the hours spend surfing the web for all manner of things - good and bad.  And I'm now amongst the unemployed/retired I have more than enough time to sit down and write ad nauseam

So what's the answer?

What was the question?  Oh yes, why have I not written a blog entry in the past five months? Well I'm going for the Muse thing.  And no it's not what's suggested in the slideshow by that last image by Edward Gafford.   She/He/It just hasn't motivated me strongly enough to take idea from brain to fingers to keyboard.  However as appears to be happening with Cowbell, Auld Hat and Yellowdog Granny I can feel the old urge coming back - oh grow up I don't mean that!!!.

Having said all that I starting to look at old drafts to see if any of them are still relevant and looking at new ideas particularly with the upcoming trip.  We shall see how this all turns out.

September 5 - 1840: Premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's Un giorno di regno at La Scala of Milan.