Thursday, January 29, 2015

I Am Envious of New England


I am envious of eastern New England, which this week experienced a huge snow storm.  As usual, the Washington area, where I am, received under an inch.  

I would like the Washington area to have a giant blizzard.

I would also like the Washington area to have a giant lizard. 

But the giant lizard should wait for the summer, because I wouldn't want the lizard to get too cold.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In the News: Slash Is a Big Fan of the Tuatara


  Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise, but Slash is a big fan of the tuatara. And I don't mean the band of that name, but the actual rhynchocephalian reptile:
    If your name is Hendrix and you're a Hamilton-dwelling tuatara, a rock and roll legend would like to meet you.
    Slash, the former lead guitarist with 1980s/90s band Guns N' Roses, said he'd like to meet the city's resident tuatara when he's in town next month for his Claudelands show, alongside his band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The New Pink Floyd Album


I don't normally review music on this blog.  I am big music fan, but not a fan of reviews, because opinions about music are entirely subjective, and why is one subjective opinion any better or more useful than any other?  (And, perhaps more importantly, there isn't much music being released these days that I like.)  

I am making an exception, though, because Pink Floyd has released a new (and final) album, and Pink Floyd is one of my top three all-time favorite bands.  

The Endless River consists largely of tracks composed and recorded with late keyboardist Richard Wright during the sessions for their previous album, 1994's The Division Bell.  New material was added by guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason. (In case you're not up on current events, I'll inform you that bassist Roger Waters has not been involved with the band since the early Eighties, with the exception of one brief reunion performance.)

The Endless River is not as good as classic Floyd from the Seventies, but it is a very good album. In places I find the music to evoke the sounds of Wish You Were Here and Meddle, as well as David Gilmour's first solo effort. But my biggest impression is that, being almost entirely instrumental, and largely ambient, the album doesn't so much sound like Pink Floyd as it does the ghost of Pink Floyd, haunting some abandoned London recording studio late at night.

And, beyond this, I can't help thinking that, in our current horrible world of Sam Smith, Meghan Trainor, Nicki Minaj, and Justin Bieber, The Endless River might just be the ghost of good music in general. 

In Reference to My Earlier Parks and Recreation Question . . .


In reference to my earlier Parks and Recreation question, the next/final season of the show will in fact be set in the year 2017, at least according to the ad for the new season that I've been seeing on NBC.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Five Questions About The Hunger Games


Since the premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 a few weeks ago, I've developed some questions about the series.  (I could probably answer these questions by reading the books, or watching the movies, or just doing some internet searching, but I have no desire to read the books or watch the movies, and I am too lazy to do the internet searching.)

1. What is a mockingjay? Is it a mockingbird, or a blue jay (or some other kind of jay)?  Or is it some kind of bird that doesn't exist in our world, which would imply that the setting of The Hunger Games is an alternate universe which diverged from our own sometime after the evolution of anatomically modern Homo sapiens around 200,000 years ago, but still long enough ago to allow for the evolution of a novel species of songbird?

2. Why is everyone hungry? Since they live in an advanced technological society, shouldn't they know how to grow crops?  Did they lose the knowledge of how to plant corn?

3. Why is a brief period of gladiatorial combat between teenagers sufficient to distract an entire population from the fact that they're starving?

4. Why does everyone love Jennifer Lawrence so much?

5. What is a mockingjay? 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Year Is Suddenly Ending


It seems as if only a few weeks ago people were getting ready for Halloween, and stores were advertising candy and costumes and decorations.  And then suddenly it was Thanksgiving and now it is almost Christmas.  

I haven't done much blogging this year, even though I have a million topics about which to blog.  After spending most of my days at work, I don't have the energy, or the self-discipline, to write in my free time.

I'll be taking time off over the next few weeks, so maybe I can catch up on all my unblogged blogging.  

Or maybe I'll just end up sleeping and watching TV.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Stores Are Open on Thanksgiving


Today (or, more accurately, the day that just ended) was Thanksgiving.  The big trend in recent years has been for stores to open on Thanksgiving in order for people to start their holiday shopping. I'm not a fan of this trend, because people who are employed at the stores have to go into work, and I think that there should be at least a few days where as close as possible to everyone can just stay home and rest.  (I feel the same way about the longstanding tradition of people seeing movies on Christmas Day—other people have to give up their day off to run the theaters.)

I'm not even that big on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving on which people used to being holiday shopping.  I like the idea of people eating a lot on Thanksgiving, then sleeping through Black Friday entirely, waking up sometime Saturday or maybe Sunday.  

But then I like to sleep.