Thursday, August 14, 2008
Pam, the owner, is not trying to compete with the coffee stores (Starbucks is there, and Borders has a Seattle franchise). So tea is the order of the day. I went there for some water to cool down in the 91°F heat.
After leaving I realised that a) I'd not seen Pimms on this trip (except a largely unused bottle in a bar where they serve it neat); and b) I really wanted some to refresh me.
So I went back for a cup of assam tea :-).
We discussed liquor licencing (sic) and $100,000 ought to cover a licence (ouch), but free samples are OK.
So I told Pam about the English Pimms types (No 1, 3, 6 cups) and how we drink it and how wonderfully refreshing it is. She loved the idea. So she might well use it in a promotion event as an "English" thing.
I do hope I return to Philly in a few years to find afternoon Pimms in the heat is fashionable!!
I have visited the third oldest working watermill on the Eastern seaboard previously. Why cannot "very old" suffice? Was the Eastern bit added to make it third and not 10th?
But to my point. Class in the UK is about status (see the Frost Report sketch with Ronnies Barker and Corbett and John Cleese - I'm sure it's on Youtube*). People gain positive or inverted pride in their relative status.
In the US this was deflected into racial equal rights and so on. Now I'm not saying those problems are gone, but is there some latent human need to classify and position yourself in a list?
* yes it is - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0DUsGSMwZY
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The evening started with a chat with Sid Smith again (Biography Person) included a filmed interview which I hope will be posted soon (http://www.dgmlive.com/news.htm). If you see me swearing gently mother, it was a quote from Friendy Person. !!
The show was a blast, but shorter than others. I found it strange finally having a gig where all I could see of Mr Fripp was the top of his head (as did the vast majority of the crowd)! Somehow his music was more present in the mix as a result.
Friendy person and I quickly moved the car post gig (we'd left someone with a tight exit) and returned to the bar opposite the venue where a Boddington's was welcome. Floyd's Comfortably Numb on the jukebox, and then back to the car. The venue was by now lights out, closed and dead. Very sad.
A quick run to the subway to drop friendy person off with a quick farewell (his train was waiting), and back to the digs. Nursing the car back to try to avoid refuelling before returning to the airport tomorrow.
And so to bed.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
A single is $5, the return is $6.50; oh but I'm coming back in the rush hour so that'll be an extra $1.25 please! And you get 2 tickets, one valid for non-rush, one valid.
None of theis poxy ex-BR stuff where you have to get a full return or avoid the blue saver Tuesday mid month special saver for those under 5' 3"...
Yes I know all that fare complication has mostly gone, but I mean, £3.90 for a half hour return run into town...
There's lot to dislike about America, but this "ain't" it. (and don't start me on that list!!)
The venue for tonight's gig was in a village area some distance away. And we gave an Israeli (staying at B&B with his wife for the gig) a lift up there.
Gig was in lovely old theatre without a balcony. Reserved seats meant no queuing, and we were in the right place to see Fripp. My friend's "shut up ****heads" shout to the whoopers and yellers was on standby, but instead he mocked by joining in :-)
A lift back to the station (through a slightly dodgy area) for friendy person, a not so quick splash and dash at Exxon (sorry Alaska!) made easier by presence of a uniformed copper and car, and made harder by unfathomable system - pay $10 to cashier first, then take nozzle, then lift the thing the pump nozzle sits on (the start button apparently) and $10 of fuel pumped.
Four miles to B&B and done by 10 ish. Now for some R&R having done about 1000 miles in 2 and a bit days.
On driving through the main Amish area town of Intercourse (I kid you not!!) we pulled into the store. Amish dressed staff served and I looked at a few things for my wife - decorative plates and bowls, and more pleasingly local custom "barn stars" in use now now of metal and left to rust (previously wood, before that painted on) from a German custom. These were modestly sized and would make a perfect addition to our minimalist Christmas tree.
Then I checked the labels. "made in China". I was outraged, and put them back. Leaves my "present for my wife" plans in tatters, but I'm not willing to play that game.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Our hire car has XM satellite. Having worked through X(M!) thousand channels we found we could sublist it to rock and found Top Tracks. loads of great music and "name that band" is a great distraction!!*
* I'm winning 9.5 to 5
PS I won 12.5 to 8
But you are not.
So you go 2-3 miles in each direction from the junction, nothing, zip, nada (as they say over here).
So. You ring and get directions and you canot understand them. In the meantime it's starts hammering down. You reference the Walgreens pharmacy on the corner. And then you find out... There is the I-80 and the business I-80 and they run parallel so you go back to square one and then find it.
And then I go and blow it by leaving my UK to US charger behind....
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Well worth $24!
Probably the most interesting and informative tour I've done in years.
Take the Hancock Tower. You can be at the top 2 minutes after going in.
If you want to go free, go to the café, buy a (relatively) expensive coffee.
The best view is from the ladies restroom, which has an all glass wall (the only privacy problem would be an enthusiastic helicopter pilot!) So I'm told
7:35 and we walk in remarking on the absence of a queue, but suddenly shocked to hear "The ConstruKtion of Light" playing. Damn, they were on at 7:30. Thanks Heavens we tok the Taxi!!!
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Arriving the check-in was quick and I was soon in a very palatial single room! Two queen beds, view over the front of the hotel; and a clear view of my old school friend's car gently emitting steam as it boiled over just before we arrived. Thanks Heavens he has a few days to get the AAA to sort it out.
We're back in a big (3rd in US) busy city, and a 1.8 mile stroll to and from the venue. After a day in the car I'm looking forward to it, but maybe tomorrow we'll take the bus.
Sears and Hancock towers beckon, and there's load of city walking to do tomorrow. Must look out for a cheap camera lens, and a book on the political development of the USA (when and how states were created and joined the Union)
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
And you could go right up to them! Even more interesting were the number of planes that were the only 1 left after the others crashed ! There were two vertical takeoff planes - a Harrier (British built - hurrah!) and a delta wing type that was strapped to a vertical launcher plate.
An early stealth SR-71 was there along with the test vehicle that was little more than the engine, cowling, and casing.
Strangely the museum freely intermingles Nazi and Japanese empires items amongst the allied equipment, I'm not sure but at home I think that'd be a no-no.
The only brief truly discordant note was the holocaust exhibition. In itself it's a really good thing to pull out and have it's own space and show kids and adults alike what happened and why it must never be repeated; but, and it's a big but, you entered through a toy sized replica of the Auschwitz gate "Arbeit Macht Frei". I found it so objectionable that I walked around it. The display was good, and informative, but for me it was tainted by what felt like a gimmick.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
Near the Hermitage is "Cooters" the famous Dukes of Hazzard museum with the General Lee on show. To me the show started just as I finished school and was naff, and not my thing.
Lose 10 years and it is a childhood icon, and orange and "01" is a childhood frienship renewed!!
I suppose my thing was Tom and Jerry, the original Adam West Batman and Robin, Deputy Dawg, though I doubt there's a museum for them!
I did not like to mentione that our home in England is older than this, and just simply lived in! Mind you if they want to spend a bit helping us restore it to more original style that'd be nice !!
Sunday, August 03, 2008
It was also the birth of a new Crimson, with Gavin Harrison joining the band for his first gig. A five piece again !
Belew was somewhat overheated in the middle and Robert decided to switch to stage left and thus hide behind his rack. We got a good sight of most of his guitar, his hands, and his forehead. Many did not even get that.
With the strictest camera/cellphone policy (you leave them outside the venue or get thrown out by the "polite but firm" muscle men on security you'd think Fripp would feel safe from people recording, but no. Yet Tony Levin (or TLev) had his camera on stage!!!
It's energy sapping and you end up plodding around slowly from air conditioned building to air conditioned building looking in shops you not really interested just to get cool. How on earth do the locals live with it? How on earth did the original settlers deal with it?
I know I cannot, and look forward to a lower temperature further north...
Saturday, August 02, 2008
The buzz (or at least the need to stay sharp!) on landing and getting through immigration (a very friendly officer - southern hospitality? I was in Charlotte); and then getting your bags; then customs and agriculture; then (today only) rechecking your bags through; and then rushing to the gate...
Well in a normal trip that ends in the delight of arrival at your place of rest, leisure and sleep. Not today. I end up knackered and grumpy and so on; but in a plane at 30,000 still travelling on. And then you stop. And then you drift off a bit.
And then you have to wind up to get your bags, get a taxi, correct the driver when he ignores his SatNav and...
But I'm here, it's too warm, too humid but King Crimson play for the first time in 5 years and I'm going. Hurrah!
Friday, August 01, 2008
The Daemons (sp?) especially the morphing ones for kids are really well done, although a speaking animal is never convincing on screen - think Mr Ed to Aslant...
The oily scumbag from the Magisterium is very much like one of the late John Ryan's (of Captain Pugwash fame) Jesuit priests in the Vatican; only not so stick insect like :-).
I read the books a few years ago, and it's pretty faithful to the ideals and sentiment of them. I particularly like the brooding menace of Derek Jacobi (that's where his Master in Dr Who came from!) - such a contrast from his loveable fools like Mr Pie. His brief scene wit Christopher Lee was excellent!
Heading for the USA for a 4 city visit to follow King Crimson on their US only tour (Robert Fripp has declared he won't tour UK or Europe because of the audients/audience manners and behaviour). Anyway I'm flying Gatwick to Nashville via Charlotte, and it must be about 3 hours into the flight, so it's time to check the time left.
My error (again!) is to somehow drop 2 hours from the rmaining time and think it's only 3 ish hoursand not 5 to go!! Mut be something to do with 2pm being 14 hours, but I can't see where I dropped the 2. Must be the.combination of 4 hours sleep last night, dehydration, and a living space that is probably a) less (pro-rata) than many tortured egg laying chickens and b) the space a prisoner gets in a prison van.
* The Hobbit - the battle of the five armiesd
* Northern Lights aka Golden Compass, people, daemons, ice bears, witches, goodies and baddies
* The Lion, the Witche and the Wardrobe - bad creatures, bad creatures, humans, witch, Aslan, fauns
* Lord of the Rings - elves, men, hobbits, orcs, dwarves, wizard, Sauron, Nazgul
That's from memory, but you get the point...