Sunday, June 29, 2008

Remember When

Photos from March 9, 2008

The Swap Box Lesson

In which Logan illustrates the concept of the swap.

1. Logan enjoys a red ball he found on his morning walk:

2. But what's this -- a doggie swap box!!

3. Let's look inside:

4. The red ball is relinquished:

5. The new prize is enjoyed:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Logan & Mushrooms Don't Mix

Logan's been a bit under the weather recently. He may have scooped up a wild mushroom when I wasn't looking. Mushrooms upset the fragile balance in his well-tuned diet — a diet of Eukanuba Senior, Large-Breed, Dog Food ("premium food with Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene") supplemented with a smattering of dandelions, Kleenex, twigs, old coffee cups (preferably Starbucks), and crap from the ducks in the park. He just can't tolerate mushrooms.

What this means is that we have a few messy walks. I don't feed him for about 24 hours so he can dry out and then he gets to eat boiled hamburger meat and rice for a day or two until his tummy mends. It also means he's a bit lethargic and doesn't want to do much. I wanted to stay home to smoke cigars and play poker with him last night but I sensed he wasn't up to it. I went to the Fringe Festival instead.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Saving the bunnies

I was recently tagged by Zoom in a music meme. As a young new blogger, I'm not exactly sure what a meme is, except I know it has something to do with saving rabbits. Logan says I should participate because without rabbits he'd have to chase squirrels and perhaps big golden cats all day.

Zoom also knows, because I recently told her, that I love making music lists. In fact I may have been "bragging" a bit about all the lists and mixes I've made. Now I'm wondering if, similar to her most excellent challenge to Dan and Dwight, she is telling me to step up and do something for the betterment of bunnies. So, on Logan's encouragement, I accept the challenge.

Here are 7 tracks of musicians I'd like to see at the upcoming Ottawa Jazz Festival:

1. Madeleine Peyroux - Getting Some Fun Out of Life - 1996 (June 23)
2. Return to Forever - Light as a Feather - 1972 (June 26)
3. Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man - 1973 (June 22)
4. Molly Johnson - Another Day - 2002 (July 1)
5. Buddy DeFranco - Rose Room - 1957 (June 21)
6. Brad Mehldau - Get Happy - 2004 (June 29)
7. Lee Konitz (w/Marshall Brown) - Struttin' With Some Barbeque - 1967 (June 24)

That wasn't so bad! But part II of this meme is a problem because I have to choose 7 other people to tag. Logan and I are new to the blogging community and don't know that many people well enough to tag just yet:

1. JuliaR - the Demystification Guru - is doing an excellent job blogging about her trip to France. Perhaps 7 songs that she sang while sitting at the bars cafes in Arles may be appropriate.

2. BikeRider - Views from the Saddle - photographer/artist extraordinaire - must be humming something under his breath as he works away in his studio.

I could tag Zoom again but that may start an endless loop that could cause the complete annihiliation of the bunny population. Therein lies the problem, I'm 5 tags short of a meme complete. What to do? Logan suggested that perhaps if HE choose 5 songs it would be enough for a bunny offset. I thought that was a good idea and I can only hope this would be acceptable to the blogging community.

Here's Logan's list:

1. Frank Zappa - Dog Breath - 1972
2. Rufus Thomas - Walkin' the Dog - 1964
3. Patti Page - How Much is that Doggie in the Window? - 1953
4. Bette Midler - Skylark - 1973 (I told him to choose that one)
5. he couldn't think of another one but promised to turn a blind eye the next time he spotted a rabbit on our walks… but only ONE free pass he insists.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Buffy Sang to Me

I didn't buy a lot of records when I was a teenager, so the ones I had were played over and over and over again until the skips from the scars and scratches became part of the listening experience. Some of the early albums included Imagine (John Lennon), Hot Rats (Frank Zappa), Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II, Your Saving Grace (Steve Miller Band) and the Best of Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Lately I've been bummed out that I spend way too much time sitting at my computer OR sitting in front of a TV OR doing Kakuro puzzles and that I don't DO much of anything else (aside from the obvious -- working, sleeping, eating, doing laundry and Logan time). Then I heard that Buffy Sainte-Marie would be playing at Westfest AND it was a free concert AND that my weekend plans for a going to Montreal were canceled AND the weather was perfect for an outdoor concert. The stars were perfectly aligned… I had to go!

No one in my home was interested in joining me, so I set out by myself, parked the car on the fringe of Westboro and headed for the mainstage (I think it may be the ONLY stage). I got there at about 8 pm. There was a fairly large crowd enjoying some of the earlier concerts (Holly McNarland, Lucie Idlout). I stood near the front of the stage but off to the side, just inside the crowd barrier. I noticed that two people had gotten up to leave, sitting about 5 rows back from the stage (centre) so I jumped at the opportunity and, trying not to appear too excited, made my way over and staked out a plot of land. The people in the immediate adjacent spaces were friendly and made sure I had enough space to be comfortable. The ladies behind me had been there since 3:30 taking in all the concerts waiting for Buffy's appearance at 9:30. To my left were a group of very animated Inuit, dancing to the music and cheering on the performers. One of them told me Lucie Idlout was her cousin and was screaming out to her on stage prompting Lucie to smile and answer back in her native tongue.

As I said it was 8:00 pm and I wasn't sure I could hold out until Buffy showed at 9:30 but I felt lucky to have such a great seat and the crowd was really starting to build, and I was so proud of myself for actually getting out and doing something that I had to stick it out.

Buffy came on stage and she looked fantastic. She didn't look much older than she did on the album cover I had from 1970. This morning I calculated she is 67 years and was surprised. She was bouncing around the stage to the heavy beats of her music and if I didn't know she was making music in the 60s, I'd have guessed she was in her early 50s. Her voice was a vibrant and crisp as her early records.

I wasn't let down. She played most of my favourites from the olden days… Cod'ine, Universal Soldier, the upbeat He's an Indian Cowboy in the Rodeo and others from her early albums that drew large approval from the crowd, Piney Wood Hills, and Cripple Creek. On my album, I always thought Buffy played a Jew's Harp on Cripple Creek and on a similar sounding song Ground Hog, but it turns out she used a Mouth Bow, which looks like a tiny bow from a bow & arrow (see photo). She also played a few tunes from an upcoming album. There is a kind of Reggae air to her music which I never noticed before.

As she spoke and sang to the listeners, Buffy scanned the crowd and because I was sitting so close, we actually made eye contact a few times. Because she has such a radiant smile when she looked at me I naturally smiled back. I imagined she was singing to me!

Can't wait to journey out again!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Grandma's Cheese Pie - The Recipe

3 to 4 cups corn flakes - crushed (not fine)
1 cup flour
2 cup brown sugar
1/4 lb. melted butter

Mix together and use 2/3 of mixture on bottom of rectangular pyrex dish.

1-1/2 lbs. dry cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 tbsp. sugar

Mix together and spread over mixture. Add remaining corn flake crumb mixture. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.

Grandma's Cheese Pie

Earlier this week my Mom called to tell me I needed to come to Montreal to change the ink cartridge on her printer. A little side fact about my mother. She has a BSc from Sir George Williams from back in the day when women rarely had Science degrees and she worked on computers in the '50s when they looked liked this — even before Bill Gates was born! My point is she KNOWS how to change an ink cartridge or she could figure it out, but this is her way of asking me to come visit.

So... I got a late start but I showed up at about 2:00 pm. Mom was just starting to make a batch of Grandma's "famous" cheese pie as I walked in the door. For those that have never tasted Grandma Rose's "famous" cheese pie, it's a crust of corn flakes mixed with brown sugar and a little butter. The inside is dry cottage cheese mixed with egg to bind. Then it's covered with more corn flake stuff. You bake it and serve it warm, topped with some kind of fruit (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.) and maybe some sour cream... you know... to die for!

My Dad joined us for some afternoon snacks and told me, as he's done so many times before, that it's a good thing I dropped by because Mom doesn't feed him unless I or one of my brothers comes by the house.

Before leaving, I checked the printer... the black ink was about half full and there was still plenty of colour left. I told Mom there was enough for awhile but I would have to come back in a few weeks and check it again.