Wednesday, 31 October 2007

"Monster Mash" - Bobby "Boris" Pickett & the Cryptkickers, 1962

HAPPY HALLOWEEN...from our house to yours!

(Click on either photo for a full-sized version!)


Tuesday, 30 October 2007

"That Smell" - Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1977

The song "Hotel California", by the Eagles, begins with the following lyrics:

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night...

I've never been sure what "colitas" are. I had always assumed they were some kind of flower from a plant or tree. However, a little research tonight suggests that perhaps it's a reference to the "little tail" of the cannabis plant.

Apparently, the term isn't known in Belfast either.

This evening, two of the guests on BBC One's "The One Show" were Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh of the Eagles. One of the things discussed on the show was how song lyrics are a type of poetry. As an illustration of this point, Adrian Chiles suggested that his co-host on the show, Christine Bleakley, should read some of the lyrics of the Eagles. Bleakley is from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

When she read the lyrics that begin "Hotel California", she read the word "colitas", unfortunately, as colitis. Frey and Walsh tried valiantly to not explode with laughter. I was unable to control my laughter quite as well as they did. The image it presented was just too much!


Monday, 29 October 2007

"Say You Will" - Wishbone Ash, 1991

Say you will....forgive me, please, for my long absence?

The latter part of my Singapore trip became more and more frantic as the week progressed. I picked up a virus from one of my students in the Thursday/Friday course and brought it back to the UK with me. So now I'm finally getting back on my feet again, after a week off work.

What's happened in the meantime which would have warranted comments here on Lord Celery?

What about Louis Hamilton. I really wish he could have won this year's F1 championship, but it wasn't meant to be. At least Alonso didn't either. What a big baby he has turned out to be.

And sadly, England lost the Rugby World Cup to South Africa...although the English team have nothing to be ashamed of given the way they played.

Continuing on a sports theme here -- although we have enjoyed getting to watch bits of the World Series games (in the middle of the night here in the UK), John and I were sad to see that the series ended so quickly with a sweep by the Red Sox last night. I'm sure the fans of the Rockies are gutted. I've been there.

What else? I got John a new iPod Nano while I was in Singapore, and I'm so impressed by its video quality! He's having a lot of fun downloading and watching all kinds of video podcasts. I'm delighted. It's a thank-you present for all his help, as my mentor and coach, getting me through the "Life in the UK" test.

And last night, one of the TV stations in Channel 4 group showed the final episode of "The Sopranos". It was on 'way past my bedtime, so John and I will be watching our recording of the program tonight. I'm dreading it a little. It'll be a little like losing track of friends. Friends with guns. though.

Finally -- and sadly the most important topic -- do any of you know anything about cervical disc hernias? Now we know that's what my poor John has been suffering with. No wonder he's had so much pain the past few months! He has finally gotten a diagnosis, though, and hopefully now we can get him some treatment ASAP. I just hope the non-invasive type treatment(s) will work, so that he doesn't have to go through any surgery.

I guess that's about it. I'll try to do better about my updates, now that I'm feeling better as well. And I need to catch up reading my favorite blogs.


Sunday, 14 October 2007

"Look Unto the East" - Johnny Cash, 2006

I'm feeling much more normal today, so I thought I'd post a few photos of Singapore for Lord Celery's readers.

First, here's a photo taken from my room at the Marriott...

(Click on any of the photos for full-sized versions.)
I'm on the 25th floor of the hotel, and my view is looking down Orchard Road.

In this telephoto view, perhaps you can see the Singapore harbor in the background. I don't think I've ever had a room high enough on this side of the Marriott to see the harbor from my room.

Here's the contrast available on Singapore television. During my breakfast, I could watch one of the US baseball playoffs live...

...or I could watch this program on one of the Malaysian channels!

Meanwhile, I got out and took a walk...and, of course, I did a little shopping. (After all, this is Singapore, where shopping seems to be the nation's favorite hobby.) This is a view along Orchard Road. It's so incredibly lush.

Here's a shot of a typically crowded Singapore sidewalk.

And finally, here's a shot of my hotel...with its distinctive pagoda-shaped tower.

More as the week progresses! Five days of training classes begin in the morning.


Saturday, 13 October 2007

"Bad Fruit" - John Wesley Harding, 2004

I got to Singapore safely last night. It has rained off and on since I've arrived, but it's not a big deal to me. I don't feel energetic enough to get out anyway. So far, I've been hit with a bad case of "the tireds". I guess that's understandable, after a 12-1/2 hour flight and a 7-hour advance in time. I'm sure I'll feel more lively tomorrow.

But I thought I'd post a quick item this evening.

I knew I was back in Singapore last night when I saw the following posted in my taxi from the airport to the Marriott hotel...

(You can click on any of the images for a larger version.)

My apologies for the poor quality of the photo. The light was low, and I had only my mobile phone camera available. What the sign on the seat says is that you aren't supposed to eat or drink in the cab, you should fasten your seatbelts, and no durian. Huh?

I realize that I haven't travelled extensively in Southeast Asia, but I've never been anywhere in the world where there's signage in taxis saying that you can't have any durian with you! If you'll read about durian fruit from the link in the previous paragraph, I think you'll see what the problem is!

Here's a better photo of a similar sign, since mine is such a lousy one...

And here's a photo of the Durian fruit itself...

And no, I haven't dared to try least not yet. If I do, I promise I'll send a report.


Wednesday, 10 October 2007

"Should I Stay or Should I Go" - Clash, 1982: Update #3


That's an important hurdle to get over, and I'm so relieved! And I have to give a huge thank-you to John for being such a big help in the process!

Tomorrow, I'm off to Singapore to run training courses all next week. I'll post at least one article while I'm there.


Wednesday, 3 October 2007

"It's All Your Fault" - Willie Nelson, 2006

I'm back in historic Greenwich again tonight, as I'm training tomorrow for a client in Canary Wharf.

I travelled to London on the train from Banbury, arriving in Marylebone Station. Today, as I'm travelling light (only a one-day course, so I don't have much "stuff" with me), I decided to make my way by "the underground" and the DLR down to Greenwich, where my hotel is located.

I love riding the Tube in London! There's no better way to see a cross-section of the population of London than to travel underground.

For the 7+ years I lived in New York City, I got to know the "subway" system very well. From my perspective, Londoners aren't quite as aggressive as New Yorkers. A former boss at Goldman Sachs in NYC (Leo, known by many of Lord Celery's regular readers) once taught me THE technique in Manhattan for grabbing a precious seat on a subway. Leo said that once you spot an available seat, you just put your head down and essentially hurl your body into the available hole. Any other competitors be d*mned. You just push your way in.

Today, I tried that technique on the crowded Tube at Baker Street station, when I changed onto the Jubilee line. No problem. I think my quick move simply scared away the others who had also spotted the seat, and two of them graciously smiled at me...and perhaps I even saw a little admiration for my skill in their expressions.

But all this is a prelude to my real story.

Sitting across from me in the car as we headed south on the Jubilee line, there was a 20'ish woman reading one of the more trashy of the gossipy women's mags. A really bizarre headline on the cover caught my eye. It read as follows:


(And for my non-British readers, here's some information about ASBOs.)

I gotta admit that I'm intensely curious about that one!

One more add to the entertainment factor of this e-mail, I direct you to one of my other blogs. You can see photos of my little travelling companion as he makes journeys with me. I've already posted one from this trip, if you'd like to see a shot of Greenwich.

More when I get back home...