Sat 6 Sep 2014
First, just to confirm that Ear Candy is experiencing technical issues and should hopefully be back online soon. Fern was in Italy for two weeks, we hope with no sunburns this time.
Second, I just updated the blog’s back end software ten minutes ago. The operation was rougher than usual. If you see something amiss, let me know!
It was a busy summer. Hernia operation at the beginning of July and two and a half weeks of watching tv and reading books. Followed by a week of work, which was pretty tiring. Followed by three weeks of vacation (usually I get two, but this year I took an extra unpaid week). My wife and son and I drove down to my parents’ house on Merritt Island in Florida. We stopped in New York City on the way down to see a baseball game. In Times Square on those huge TV screens, I saw jingju faces. Apparently it’s a Chinese public relations effort. We saw the New York Yankees at their new stadium… much nicer than the old one. The nosebleed section is in the shade, how civilized. And it isn’t as death defyingly steep as the old stadium. In Florida, we basically went to the beach in the morning and indoors from noon to end of the afternoon. Visited the Kennedy Space Center — that space shuttle hanging in the building is a marvel! Visited the Universal Studios theme park a second time (my 11 year old needed a Harry Potter wand). Also visited the Disney Hollywood Studios theme park which honestly was a bit boring — but it might have been the 40 degrees C temperature high which floored us a bit. Driving back up, we pit stopped in Charleston, South Carolina. A gorgeous town! We didn’t stop at the Floyd, Virginia music store (http://www.floydcountrystore.com/) or at Cooperstown, New York (http://baseballhall.org/) like I wanted to because of lack of time. It’s a looong drive! Maybe next time.
Then we had our roof replaced as well as new windows put in the front lucarnes. Fern should be able to Google Street View the results in a while (roof used to be brown, now it’s black). This week the suiding is being redone and new gutters will follow. Several houses on our block underwent the same overhaul, they were all built in the 1980s with material that was a bit substandard. It ended up being several thousand dollars more expensive because of bad air circulation in the front which required extra steps. Now we have urethane isolation with air circulation, it should not be as cold in the winter in the top room close to the chimney. Hopefully!
The window replacement in my den required me to move my comic book collection out of the way. My eleven year old son Ben has been bugging me to find that comic book with Captain America versus Modok…
and who is the Doctor Strange enemy, the Dread Dormammu?
I have been putting off sorting everything alphabetically by magazine title for over 25 years… Each of the dozen or so long boxes which were close to the window that needed to be replaced weighed about 40 pounds (20 kilos), and moving them right after the hernia operation was a bad idea. There used to be 18 boxes, but I sold off about a third when I moved to Vancouver late last century. I bought a couple of hard drives with the bucks back then. So, anyway, I special ordered 24 half-sized archival boxes and did the deed, I sorted everything. It only took days. To give you an idea, I have a complete first Volume of the Silver-Age Flash from about 1965 to the mid 1980s. By the way, there’s going to be a new live action TV series of the Flash starting in a month, and there is already a watermarked complete first episode video you can peer-to-peer if you are curious.
So… Am back at work now. And at home I have been setting up a new faster laptop to be able to make electronic music once again. Both my brother and I had serious computer issues and we have been dragging our feet for a year, but the den cleanup allowed me to reconstruct our working projects from about 50 backup DVDs — about 100 GB worth of files. And that doesn’t even cover the 50 or so audio test CDs along the way. You can listen to our more listenable rock noise at lunasam.com.
Beijing opera — always on my mind. Fern said we should try to meet up in Beijing some day soon — I’m just afraid I if go, I might not want to come back and pay my roofing bills!
For this blog, I’m hoping to write up a really neat post soon on “Red Lanterns”. There are a couple of motion pictures with that title, as well as a modern Beijing opera (dozen different productions or more). I just ordered the DVD for a silent movie thought long-lost by that title.
I’ve read the book on Nazimova by Gavin Lambert a while back, this will give me a chance to recap a bit.
Fern, if I post you a USB stick, can you copy me all the 2014 jingju competition videos? Vidown is just not cooperating and I can’t get started!
And Nikhi, if I post you a USB stick, can you copy me all your uncompressed translated videos? Or if you prefer, I could set up a ftp directory on this site for you?
Peace and Love everyone!