Wednesday, 27 September 2006

"The Lucky One" - Alison Krauss & Union Station, 2001

Yes, folks, I was the lucky one.

I could have been in Row 20 on the Air Canada flight from Heathrow to Calgary yesterday. But I was in Row 22. Thank you, Lord!

Had I been in Row 20, I would have been right in the line-of-fire of the spew of projectile vomit coming from the boy in Row 21, just as we landed in Calgary. But being behind him, I was spared everything but the stench.

I hope the kid is all right. He looked ok as we "deplaned", although perhaps a little pale.

I thought I'd seen almost everything happen during a flight. But this was a new one.

Meanwhile, I'm safely in Calgary...and today I settled in and had a meeting this afternoon with the client for the course I'm running over the next few days. But I managed a few photos...

First, here's the view from my hotel room -- of Eau Claire Market:

(Click on this and the other photos for a full-sized image.)

I've always liked this bench, near the Eau Claire Market:

It definitely looks like "Fall" here in Calgary:

And last...a view from the +15 system, over Stephens Avenue:

I'll try to send a few more photos during the week.


Sunday, 24 September 2006

"Motorcycle Mama" - Neil Young, 1978

While John and I were on the way to The Netherlands last week, a great lady died back in the States.

Former Texas Governor Ann Richards was someone I admired a lot. She was a feisty, smart woman just full of personality and charisma. I'm sorry that we've lost her.

One of the lasting images in my mind of Ann Richards was of her on a motorcycle, and here's a copy of that photo (courtesy of the archives of the State of Texas):

Many of you won't know anything about Ann Richards. Take a look at the entry about her in Wikipedia. She was an original!


PS I'm off to Calgary, and then Singapore, tomorrow afternoon. With any luck -- and if hotel internet connections cooperate -- I'll have a little time to catch up on Lord Celery with stories from Cape Town and from Den Bosch, Holland...and I'll get more photos posted on Smugmug!

Thursday, 21 September 2006

"Dutch Blur" - Brian Eno, 2005

Hello Everybody!

Sorry for the lack of posts since the 11th. I've just completed a week of teaching in a very lovely city in The Netherlands, called "Den Bosch" for short by the locals. Its real full name is...

's Hertogenbosch.

(I guess it's obviously why the Dutch have given it a nickname!)

I had planned to post on Lord Celery while away, but unfortunately the hotel's wireless connection was on-again/off-again...mostly off.

John went with me on this trip, and we both took loads of photos. One of these days, we'll get caught up posting all these trip photos we've been taking...I promise! Den Bosch was a really wonderful place to have spent a week, and we'd like to share the images with everybody.

Anyway, we're back. And I'm not off again until Monday...when it's first Calgary and then immediately followed by Singapore.

No rest for the wicked, as they say!

I'll post more when I can.


Monday, 11 September 2006

"Five Long Years" - Yardbirds, 1964

For me, it seems like five short years. But for those directly involved in the events of five years ago today, in Lower Manhattan and other parts of the US, I'm sure it does indeed feel like five long years.

I taught a class in London today. My students seemed especially sensitive regarding the date today, especially when they heard that I'd once lived in New York City. I thought they were especiallly kind.

It was a tough day for me today, but staying so busy certainly helped.

I'm sure we all remember where we were when we heard and saw the events of five years ago which changed the way we will always think about our world.

God bless those who lost their lives on the 11th of September 2001, along with all those who love and miss them. And God bless all those who gave of themselves to help others. One of them was my friend (and Mac's Manhattan vet) Dr. Barbara Kalvig.


Thursday, 7 September 2006

"Happy Anniversary" - Little River Band, 1976

Eleven years ago today, a man in north London and a woman in Houston first corresponded via the UK Forum on CompuServe. I'll bet you can guess who the two people were.

John and I have three anniversaries...the day we "met" online (7 September 1995), the day we met for real for the first time, in New York City (4 June 1996), and our wedding day (4 January 2006).

Nobody can criticize us for taking things too fast, can they?

Anyway, here's a reminder of what "Janet & John" looked like in June 1996, a few days after we first met live and in person...

(Click on the image for a full-sized version.)

As the song goes, "Happy Anniversary you on my...miii-iiind!"

And Happy Birthday, Joe!


Listening To: The Feeling, "Twelve Stops and Home"

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

"Magazines For Entertainment" - Medication, 2005

I ran a training class in London today for an international oil company, in their headquarters office. As a result, I spent quite a bit of time on trains and on "The Tube". That's just paradise for a people-watcher like me!

On the Jubliee Line this afternoon, a young woman sat down beside me. She began flipping through a French magazine. One of the articles she was reading caught my eye, and I slyly snapped a shot with the camera in my phone...

(Click on the image itself for a larger version.)

Can somebody whose French is better than mine please confirm that this article is about blogging?



Monday, 4 September 2006

"Scarborough Fair" - Simon and Garfunkel, 1966's not actually "Scarborough Fair"'s Oxford's famous St. Giles Fair!

The fair has a very long history. Take a look here for the story of the fair at St. Giles.

I took some photos this afternoon, using my mobile phone (that's why the quality isn't so great), before heading for the makeshift bus stop on Broad Street. I hope you enjoy some of the contrasts between the historic city of Oxford and the flashy fair! Also, note some of the names on food stalls...funny to American eyes, aren't they?

You can click on each photo for a full-sized version. observed correctly...almost everything on offer at the fair can be served with "chips"!!!

Finally, contrast the snapshots I took today with a great old postcard of the St Giles Fair from 1909...


Sunday, 3 September 2006

"Miscellany" - Drunk, 1999

I'm finally feeling better, so let me catch up a little this evening, before I head back into the office tomorrow morning.

Last week, I missed out on writing about a couple of important events...both occurring on the 31st of August, by the way.

Last Thursday was the 9th anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana. I was actually in the UK visiting John at that time. In fact, the morning it was confirmed she was dead, John and I were headed north (in his beloved little Nissan Micra) for my first-ever trip to Scotland. We spent the next week touring that beautiful country, driving as far north as Inverness. I'll never forget the floral tributes to Diana in every single community we went through, even the tiniest village. And larger towns usually had a book of condolence located somewhere -- often just inside a supermarket -- for ordinary people to sign. And we drove back down to England on the day of her funeral. I'll never forget driving through an almost-deserted suburb of Glasgow, listening to the audio of the funeral on John's car radio. It was a surreal experience.

And was everybody aware that that same day -- the 31st of August -- was International Blog Day? Last week, BBC Radio Five, through one of their own blogs, asked Five Live's listeners for blog recommendations. If you care to look here (within the "Comments" section), you'll see that I responded with comments about 5 of my own favorite blogs. PLEASE don't be offended if I didn't choose yours. I picked blogs which I thought might have particular interest to UK readers.

I'll try very hard to get back into a writing routine again next week.

And to all of my American readers, have a wonderful Labor Day tomorrow!