Monday, January 31, 2022
Sunday, January 30, 2022
These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).
I so love Neil Young.
It could be said just for his music, and honestly, that would be enough, but he's so much more. As a Canadian, he seems to care more about American than U.S. born people. Actually, I think he just cares about humanity.
I had planned to purchase his new disk, Barn, when it arrived in mid-December 2021, but you know....life got in the way.
But with his decision to remove his music from Spotify, damned if I wasn't going to give $1.24 to him and $8.75 to his record label. I'm assuming that is probably the split he gets.
For those not following, he gave Spotify an ultimatum: remove Joe Rogan for his mis/dis-information of Covid vaccines, or pull he'd pull his music.
Now.......any business person could have told you the outcome: a guy who is in the headlines most daily and has a fucked up, but massive, following; or the aging rock musician ? $$$$ are going to be one the wrongly relevant douche.
....and that's what Spotify did. But so did Neil. He pulled his music. And honestly, for what Spoltify pays artists per play ($0.00437 !!!! ), I'm not sure Mr. Young is taking a financial hit. But hopefully, the listening public will notice.
BTW - as of yesterday, Joni Mitchell is also pulling her music as well. Let's hope some bigger artists make the same demand. As much as I don't care for their music, where are you Taylor Swift, and......well.....let's be honest, I don't know many contemporary "artists".
Young had polio as a child and Mitchell has MS. I dare say they know more about medical treatments than Joe Rogen.
So, Barn is Young's newest disk with Crazy Horse - a band that he formed that occasionally records with him (14 times out of Young's 41 albums, over almost a 50 years period. The barn mentioned is one in Colorado that Young built and the band recorded this disk.
Crazy Horse rarely strays from almost Americana, acoustic, harmonica and accordion and then to their heavy electric guitars with distorted sound. No easing into it - just changes song to song. Young isn't known for his vocals, but that is his charm - at least to me. But I've always liked the way the guys in the band harmonize with him and make it sound warm and just great.
Barn isn't perfectly thought out. Actually far from it. While not written and recorded in real time (though some songs were), all are extremely recent songs, with the band getting together (safely) and recording quickly, often with no rehearsal. Most tracks are first or second takes.
"Canerican", which could be off Rust Never Sleeps, covers his Canadian to Amercian roots. I'm assuming that "Shape of You" is about his now wife - Daryl Hannah (who directed a documentary of this, also called Barn. Riveting!). Yes, you read that correctly. And without a doubt it is the weakest track on the record.
The album opens and closes with the longest tracks (6+ and 8+ minutes), but both songs really encapsulate Crazy Horse. Both "Song of the Seasons" and "Welcome Back" might be the strongest tracks.
I like the familiarity of a Crazy Horse infused Neil Young record. Have they done better? Sure, but they're still out there plugging away every few years. The playing isn't tight, but it's not meant to be. They play on instinct and the knowledge of each other.
I can work with nostalgia.
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Friday, January 28, 2022
- 1 ½ tablespoons red-pepper flakes (yes! you read that correctly!!!)
- 1 ½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like grapeseed or vegetable
- 6 tablespoons roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Rind of 1/2 orange, peeled into 2- to 3-inch strips
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 10 to 12 ounces ramen or udon noodles, preferably fresh
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think.
You know, often, this entry is more humourous than it is of help. Sure, now and again, there is actually something to show or recommend (like today), but more often than not I just like poking the bear.......so to speak.
Yesterday, I mentioned the coldness of the 216. It's not getting better. Quite the opposite.
As I write this, we have a warning of windchills of 15 below (or more), so............yay. Oddly enough, I have touched on what a freeze baby I am - and I'm finding out that is kind of a lie.
Kind of !
I actually do pretty well - for the most part - outdoors. With the right jacket, hat and mittens (yes, I have never found a pair of gloves have never kept me warm), I'm actually ok. I have flannel lined jeans, but rarely wear them. 710 wears the ones I got him 10x more than I do.
It is inside cold that bothers me. When I can't warm up inside (no, not like where my heart is supposed to be!). I feel betrayed when I am inside and still have to sit on my hands to warm them up. We have four walls, a door, a window - and heat. I shouldn't still have to be cold inside.
The "new" house is better than the old, so that's part of it.
But 12 degrees (feels like 2) is still 12......or 2. And even in this weather, my hands can get chilled. Now, me, being me, would usually just power through it. Oh sure, I'd moan, but I'd do without and just get that dog walked or whatever I'm doing. (pssssst........it's a dog walk! It's always a dog walk!)
My sister-in-law bought these things.
They are a nice idea, but nothing I would have plunked down money for. Mostly because I'm cheap.
But, they're shareable. Once taken out of the packet and massaged / rubbed, they start to give off heat - and then do so for (allegedly) 7-8 hours. So, she can use them for her walks, and 710 or I can use them for ours.
They are toasty, but not overly so........but then again, it was 12 degrees out. Maybe at 25 they feel hotter.
You just take one per mitten and slip it in (that's what she said!)
They can go in boots, but that seems like discomfort waiting to happen. Not the heat, but the bulk that will invariably slide into the wrong place while taking stride.
In theory, these are probably good to have in your car in case of being stuck, or if you're out on longer hikes - or if you want to take longer hikes and it's colder.
Reading reviews makes it sound like each opened pair (2 per pack) can last weeks. You have to put them in an airtight container and you can take them back and and re-massage them back to life. We haven't tried that yet, but hey, why not give it a shot?
As the upcoming weekend still looks brutal, but Shep still wants to go out for longer hikes, why not use them there and there. For me, they wouldn't be an every day thing, but for snow blowing and shoveling and such - why not try them?
Oh - and again with the 'allegedly' - if you buy them off-season (read: summer) they're a lot cheaper. Now that IS up my alley.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Monday, January 24, 2022
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Saturday, January 22, 2022
We are back at it: Pets. Dog. Cats
Song by: Michael Penn
Friday, January 21, 2022
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
That's what we were, I tellz ya.
The weather service(s) were calling for the big storm to come from the South. Depending to which on you listened, we were getting 2-5", or 5-12". It's a big difference, of course, and while we live in 'the snow belt', we straddle the line of the hard hit area, and the disaster area.
You see, if Lake Erie doesn't freeze over, the wind coming off it adds moisture, which produces a lot more snow. So while the west side of Cleveburgh can get a dusting, by the time that same wind / storm comes over the lake, well........we aren't that lucky.
As usual, the meteorologists were wrong............because we got somewhere between 15-18" of snow. The area to get 12" got 27".
Honest to Yahweh, I honestly could not tell how much snow we got when looking out the window Monday morning. 710 had already decided to work from home. I shower, shaved, shinola'd and dressed. I took one step off the back porch and went mid-shin deep in the white stuff.
I knew then and there, I was going nowhere. Still I trekked to the garage to secure a snow shovel, knowing we'd need to make a path back to said garage for the snowblower, and another path for one Mr. Shep - or as I call him, Mr. Poopers.
Those strong, but short ,legs can certainly bound through drifts et al, but when you gotta squat to do your bidness...well, one needs solid ground of some sorts.
710 took an hour or so to clear the driveway and walk with the blower. This house isn't like the last. We had a massive yard on to which we could direct the snow. Now, we can only go straight down the driveway until we get to the front, and even then can only toss left, as it would be rude to direct it to our neighbor's front lawn.
Almost no one made it into work. I was worried, of course, but as it turns out, few patients showed as well. But due to Covid, we are adapt to flipping our appointments to virtual as needed - and if the patient has that capacity. I am pretty shocked how many do not have smart phones - which I just assume anymore is like the standard.
MLK Day helped and hindered everything. Less traffic on the roads, schools weren't disrupted because they were closed anyways, etc. But a lot of city workers are off on MLK too........including.....and wait for it...........snow plow drivers.
Oh, and there is a massive shortage of things like school bus drivers and......wait for it.......snow plow drivers. I guess they're not 'things', but people.
This is our first real big snow of the season. Everyone said it would happen, but the services weren't there, for whatever reason.
I still had to work, I just did it from home. But I made it to the office the next day. Life goes back to semi-normal. The snow had to go somewhere, and unfortunately for anyone elderly or disabled, if you needed those slight ramps from the street to the sidewalk you were fucked. I was climbing over 3' mounds to get to the street or sidewalk.
So, while we are technically a month in, Winter has actually begun.
Song by: Kate Bush
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Case in point: Red Notice, a movie not just made for Netflix, but is also its #1 watched film of all time.
I mean, it was alright and all, but that's about the highest praise it's gonna get from me.
No one - and I mean no. one. - is winning awards for acting, direction, writing or originality. No. One.
I think I was exhausted by it all from the opening action scene. This is not Indiana Jones or James Bond (Daniel Craig years). Those can be exhausting in, 'wow, need to catch my breath' kind ways in terms in action and ingenuity. This was just exhausting. Period.
I honestly considered hanging it up then and there, but, like the survivor I am, powered through the two hours (it seems longer) flick.
All of this is brought to you by, and starring, the Rock.
Sometimes he can be light-hearted and fun. This is all phoned in, wooden and lifeless. And I'm being kind.
Ryan Reynolds is by far the star here, but considering his co-stars, he didn't have to try too hard - and didn't. Yes, his character has "witty" repartee, but it's not on the Deadpool level. Far from it. The guy who wrote and directed this thing did it by the Film By Numbers for Dummies manual. To. The. Letter.
Gil Gadot seemed ok? Save an SNL, I've never seen her in a thing. Wonder Women is not my thing and if word of mouth is to be believed, Wonder Woman 1984 was no one's thing.
There are scenes close enough to National Treasure and Raiders of the Lost Ark where homage comes a little too close to plagiarism. I'm guessing they get off the legal hook when Reynolds starts humming the score to Raiders. Parody. Satire. Whatever you wanna call it - but you've seen it all before.
Oh - and some of the CGI was SO bad. This is 2021 (well when it was made). I'd says Netflix spared no expense, but then there is that CGI, and clearly they did.
Oh - and everyone is a Storm Trooper.
Not one life lost in this movie, no matter how many machine guns, shoulder launched missiles or explosives are used. No one can hit a thing. There might be one or two TBIs but going by the aftermath, people pretty much get up and shake their head in a 'what just happened' kind of thing.
It seems no coincidence to me that this is a Netflix movie and it happens to be their most viewed movie of all time. I guess that's easy to say so people might watch to see what all the hoopla is about (Guilty!). But like a good accountant might ask you: 'what do you want the number to be'?'
Netflix has been around for over a decade, but a movie released around Thanksgiving surpasses all else that has been seen for 10 years? Or is it just the most viewed filmed 'made by' Netflix? That number is a lot lot smaller.
I think the shittiest thing of this is all is: they wrote, directed and played it so it could (and will?) be a bunch of sequels.
Well, I learned my lesson.
2022 Movie Count / Goal: 02 of 15
Song by: Dasbboard Confessional
Monday, January 17, 2022
Up this week, the Decemberists. While more popular at some points in their career, they are still an indie band with a pretty much limited following - though I own about half of their output.
I'm not sure they made a more commercial (and that's relatively speaking) disk than 2011's the King is Dead. It is probably their most accessible disk - and the irony here is they utilize Gillian Welch on 7 of the 10 songs. Welch is more indie than the band themselves - though I love her.
As there are seven songs from which to choose, I could go for the one that is the most recognizable, but that's not usually who I am. So instead of "Down By the Water", you're getting "Dear Avery".
Sunday, January 16, 2022
Saturday, January 15, 2022
Song by: Tears for Fears
Friday, January 14, 2022
Thursday, January 13, 2022
So I'm doing my 141st 12 of 12.
Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.
Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Erik is back and I think he's picking up 12 of 12 again.
That's it. That's my day.