Now this is really cool. Thanks to Mr. Italo for the find. Retronaut is a web site that takes you back to any era of your choosing and shows you amazing images from that time. Try the ’60′s just for fun and have a look at what Martha Stewart looked like when she was a model (She was a model??). Yup, that’s her in the picture above. Thousands of great shots that will really take you back to things you thought you had long forgotten.
One of the great classics:
Overheard in a bar:
Lady to man: “What do you do”
Man: “I’m an artist”
Lady: “Oh my, what type of Art?”
Man: “I draw”
Lady: “What do you draw?”
Here’s a very useful site called, Quote Investigator. As its name states, the site is dedicated to investigating the origins of English-language quotes. I stumbled upon it trying to verify the origins of one of my all-time favorite quotes, usually attributed to either Oscar Wilde or Winston Churchill: “I am a man of simple tastes. The very best always satisfies me”.
It’s interesting to see how quotes are often distorted over time, even within thir own generation. This is an even bigger problem if the quotes weren’t in print, but attributed by others, as is the case with the one above.
Overheard today: ”The only way for someone to lose weight drinking green tea is if he runs up the mountain and picks the leaves himself”
I love discovering small bars, cafes, and restaurants that are out of the way, unadvertised, yet constantly busy by virtue of the quality of their food and ambience. Montreal has many of these, but they are difficult to discover as a result of their anonymity.
Yesterday, I did an interview with a participant in one of our research projects. He suggested the cafe Triangulo on Duluth Street, “Just above the bakery” as he described it. A long and steep flight of stairs led to a half-darkened room filled with large TV screens and packed with men (and a couple of women) watching soccer. It’s a Portuguese coffee bar, and on this particular day, Portugal was playing against Malta (I think).
We sat at a small table. My companion had risen late and ordered his “breakfast”, a cheese sandwich on one of those large, super-light, crusty Portuguese rolls, and a cafe au lait. The bar offers a daily lunch menu of two items only, varying with the day of the week. The choices were grilled liver or steamed cod. I went for the cod, served with boiled potatoes and chickpeas with raw onions. The ubiquitous miniature black olives were the accompaniment, along with a Portuguese beer. I would of course, never drink during an interview, but in this case it was de rigeuer.
The food was delicious in its simplicity and quality of ingredients. The beer went down beautifully, and I still managed to get the information I was looking for. A terrific find and one I’ll be sure to bring Messieurs Italo and Dario to on the latter’s next visit from the Big Apple.
It was my wife’s birthday last Saturday and my daughter had taken the reigns on arranging a marvellous surprise birthday party for her at our home. This was made easier by the fact that my wife had gone up to the yoga camp for a couple of days of yoga and food deprivation (as she said via text: “The food is so bad I can’t even bring myself to send you a photo”).
This gave me a couple of days to prepare my “present” to her: A video tribute consisting of a couple of dozen slides from our nearly 40 years together, stitched into a beautiful music-accompanied presentation. It’s quite a job sorting through 20 massive photo albums spanning such a time frame, selecting photos that would be au-point yet not too embarrassing, and finally scanning and photoshopping them into something workable. I used iPhoto to organize the images and then iTunes to assemble the album, music, pacing, etc.
The evening before people were due to show up, my daughter and I ran the presentation about a dozen times using Apple TV as the interface between the computer and the TV screen. It worked perfectly and seamlessly.
At 12:30 PM the next day, about a half hour before the guests were to arrive, we ran it again one more time to make sure everything was OK. Disaster! It refused to work, no-matter-what. I rebooted the computer, the WiFi and the Apple TV a half-dozen times. I reset the Apple TV completely, painstakingly re-entering the parameters using the Apple TV’s incredibly cumbersome letter-by-letter data entry system. Nada!
Now I was really sweating. People began to arrive and I couldn’t play host, my mind was in a tunnel: I spoke to them, but 90% of my mental energy was absorbed in trying to figure out why this thing wouldn’t work. After my wife had arrived to cheers of “Surprise!”, I managed to get it to work once, thank God! It was terrific and elicited many tears and some blubbering….precisely the effect one wants from such a presentation. But for the rest of the afternoon, I remained preoccupied with why I couldn’t get it to work again and would wander back to the computer at any lull in the conversation. Hell, I even missed the buffet, finally picking a few leftover scraps at the very end.
I went to bed that night, still irritated and flummoxed about why I couldn’t get it to work. Then in the middle of the night I had an epiphany. I heard the words of the Videotron (our ISP) technician from 6 months earlier when we had been having trouble with our cable TV. He had said, “If everything else fails to fix the problem, unplug ALL the wires, including power, HDMI, USB, etc., from both sides of all components”. He had gone on to explain that in modern “smart” devices, even if you turn them off and reboot them, any form of current or energy stored in cables, is enough to keep glitches ”alive”.
Next morning, I unplugged everything, gave it 20 seconds, replugged all the wires and tried my presentation once again. Worked perfectly! I tried it a dozen times, some on the computer and some on the TV. Perfect and seamless performance.
Moral of the story? When in doubt….unplug everything.
Thanks to Leisureguy for this find. I’ve never had a cat, although my wife had a few before I met her. So I can only vouch for the dog part. Still, the cat part looks pretty credible from what I’ve observed at other people’s homes. You be the judge.
My wife and I went shopping this morning. Within the first 10 minutes we had encountered at least a half-dozen bizarre drivers, including a young lady who stalled her car in the middle of an ilegal U-turn and had trouble restarting while blocking the road in all four directions; another who slowed down to a crawl on the highway merge; a third who blocked the left lane on the highway while going below the speed limit, etc., etc.
I fumed in silence, preemptively trying to avoid my wife’s admonitions that I should “Calm down” and that “We’re not in a hurry”. As I tried to maintain my good humour, an expression rolled uncontrollably into my mind: “Jesus Christ, all the paralytics are on the road today!”. Paralytics? Hell, that’s not even a term I grew up with. Where would I get such a spontaneous expression? I laughed out loud and told my wife what had happened. I suddenly realized where the term had come from: I’ve been watching WAY too many Victorian era dramas! Between Downton Abbey, Ripper Street, Copper, and the Murdoch Mysteries (all absolutely wonderful shows), terms even my grandmother wouldn’t have used, have crept into my vernacular
My wife laughed. She said, “Funny you should say that, but I caught a brief clip from a religious program on the radio the other day, and the whack-job being interviewed referred to gay men as “Sodomites”; an expression we had heard quite recently on several episodes of these shows.
So if you find yourself using any of the terms at this link, you’re probably suffering from Victorian Era Slang Syndrome (VESS). The only cure apears to be a steady infusion of wormwood absinthe poured over a sugar cube in a silver spoon. Keep it up and in no time, you’ll wind up in a “lunatic” asylum.