Monthly Archives: April, 2013

Lost And Found

No, not me, I made it safely back from the US just fine. Unfortunately my case didnt! No, dont panic, it arrived here safely yesterday, one day behind me, after having its own extra holiday at JFK. Thankfully it didnt take me long to realise this fact at Manchester, there werent many cases coming off the plane from Shannon, so the paperwork was soon filled out, and I was on my way home. Unfortunately my jacket was in the case, and it was more than 20 degrees colder here than it was when I left Rochester, so yes, I noticed it.

Therefore ironically, I wore my anorak to work yesterday, mind given the chill in the air when I left here (mid 40’s), I might have needed it, but not excessively so. But given that it was that, or a lighter coat, no contest really lol!

Apart from that, not much to tell really, yesterday was back to work, and as understaffed as ever, so yes, it was all pretty crazy on that front at least. Getting over the jet lag steadily, though not perfect yet, which explains the brevity, and lack of ideas in this lol!

Oh, and at present something else seems to be lost, not that anyone but bloggers would know it. All my stats here at WordPress seem to have gone AWOL, so though the dashboard still gives away the number of hits, I have no idea what people are reading, hopefully it will be cured soon.

The video, a very apt forgotten gem from the Kinks, 80’s version.

Its a long, long way

Well, its true, my flight home will certainly be that lol! And yes, its also the most used line in the song, Pandora’s Box as well, so the perfect climax to this weeks related blogs.

Yes, unless something surprising happens tomorrow morning, I’ve seen my last close up views of the city of Rochester, at least for a while, probably forever. A sad fact, as its a nice city, but there are a few more places I’m looking forward to seeing, plus, there isnt really enough ‘undone’ stuff here to warrant coming back, unless I get a good ‘live and work’ offer at least, and lets face it, thats not going to happen. Enough here though, that I never made it to Buffalo, thought there was more than enough here, and I was proved right.

Today, I ended up visiting the Museum of Play. Yes, I know, some might say I’m a bit old for that, given I dont have children, but I didnt feel I needed them. It might help, but…The ironic thing is seeing the amazing collection of dolls that they have there, literally through the ages. ironic of course, as thats one element of my life that I missed out on, because of things. For better, for worse, who can ever know? But yes, I felt a few pangs of regret when I saw all those dolls, I must admit.

It wasnt the only thing, one of the current displays there is for Sesame Street, which started over here at least in 1969. I remembered far too many of the exhibits, especially the musical ones from that year lol! The other thing was upstairs in the arcade section, more than a few pinball machines, which I always used to love playing. These ones in the museum are actually newer than the ones I would have played, just shows how long ago that was, doesnt it?

And then taking things to the opposite level, there was a Kinect golf game that you could play. Talk about new style gaming for someone like me. The camera makes the ‘person’ look a lot like me (skirt, not trousers, but otherwise…), and no buttons to push, or joysticks to twiddle, just the natural golf swing. I must say that version of me swings a far better golf club than I did in real life lol! But yes, it was great fun, even if my knees didnt possibly think so at the end of 9 holes!

And thats it! Next post will be back in England, sometime early next week. Thanks Rochester, its been a wonderful visit. Note to UK bus companies. The bus fare anywhere around Rochester for a single journey is $1. Yes, you saw it, $1! And it takes 20 minutes or so from here into town by bus, so its not short hop stuff. Guess what, the buses are busy, I cant think why lol!

The video, yes, its the pinball machines that win out

And all the photographs

Look at it positively, only one more lyric line from the song to go lol!

Today its very apt, as I went to Eastman House Museum today. Who, you say? Think Kodak, and then realise who I mean lol. yes, George Eastman, the man who brought photography to the masses back in 1888. Funnily enough, just inside the entrance, the first instamatic camera, celebrating its 50th birthday this year. And yes, my first camera, as a child, was a Kodak Instamatic 126, brought back memories. But oh my, hasnt photography changed since then? Nowadays you get your photographs instantly, back then you had to wait until you’d used up the film, then send it off for developing, and finally wait for it to come back to see if the pictures were any good!

Oh, and if you’re waiting for the Louise Brooks connection, here it comes. To quote Wikipedia

James Card, the film curator for the George Eastman House, discovered Brooks living as a recluse in New York City about this time, and persuaded her to move to Rochester, New York to be near the George Eastman House film collection. With his help, she became a noted film writer in her own right.

Its probably fair to assume that without this event, the revival of Louise Brooks, as both an actress, and a person probably wouldnt have happened. This was in the early 1950’s btw.

George Eastman was dead by then, of course, he died in 1932, at the age of 77. he loved technology, so I suspect he would have loved the digital camera concept, he might just not have been as happy about the result of that for his beloved firm.

The video, seriously, what could be more apt than this. Sorry, couldnt find a live video of just this song

Oh, yes, I know, no blog yesterday. Due to a wet weather forecast (and they were right), I went shopping at the mall, hoping to get souvenirs and things. Snag is, finding souvenirs in a non tourist town isnt easy, as I discovered lol! Ah well, sort of solved it today…

So with nothing terribly exciting to post, I didnt! 😛

The one who broke a thousand hearts

Hey, I’m keeping the streak going, whether it can last the week with nightly postings, I have no idea lol! Under any other circumstances, this would have been called ‘here comes the sun’ but staying true to form…

Today started the way that I spent a brief evening moment 25 years ago, standing by Lake Ontario, contemplating life, and other things. Well, alright, it was about midday that I did it, but strict facts should never get in the way of a good story, should they?

Oh my, havent things changed since then, and not just me getting 25 years older either! Though alright, that has happened, but…Again, I dont think it was the same lakeside spot, but if you seriously think I can confirm that, after 25 years, no chance! 😛

On that evening, a man, and a woman stood together by the lake, and admired the view, wondering if they were going to find a hotel room that night (it was Labor day weekend, and no, we didnt!), or not. And no, I have no idea where she is now, we split up nearly 14 years ago! Today, I went back there, by bus, and stood by the lake again, admiring the view. The only thing in common, a beautiful day, even by the lake, the jacket came off. No, 25 years ago, I wasnt wearing a blouse though, lol!

It was too early in the season for much to be open down there, but fortunately one delightful place was, for lunch at least. LDR Char Pit. Its a classic diner, probably not the sort of place regularly invaded by single women, but I did. Glad I did, decent food, at a very reasonable price, so dont be put off by the outside view, its worth going in, if you’re in that corner of the world.

After that, I headed for the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, back down Lake Avenue, to ‘meet up’ with someone. She took a bit more finding than I expected once I reached the section, confused by the fact that the map calls her Mary, but the stone says Louise. Even fooled the staff there for a couple of moments, then 2 and 2 were put together, and we found her. Well, the stone, and some flowers at least. I’d have loved to have had a quiet moment there with her, but the reason I had help was because men were working on cutting the grass in the area, so no, it wasnt quiet lol. Still, I said a few words, funnily enough, she didnt reply! After a short while, I said thanks, and goodbye, and just walked away. A perfect touch, on a beautiful day.

Back into town, I headed for a coffee house I’d seen yesterday, very art deco in style, though whether original, or just designed to look that way, no idea. Coffee was good though.

Then back here, still with my jacket over my shoulder. Yes, today definitely came the sun, sadly tomorrow almost certainly brings the rain, and maybe some thunder. Still, the rest of the week is fine again, so…

The song, a live version from a guy who produced, and indeed still produces some great music, even if this is a cover

Of ghosts of long ago

Yes, I said, I’d work on the lyrics this week, just hope Andy McCluskey doesnt let me down at all! Forgive the brevity, but its getting late over here!

Well, the day has been a much warmer one, I was actually carrying my coat around this afternoon, quite something after yesterday. Given that this years breaks pretty much revolve around Louise Brooks, one of this weeks challenges was to find the apartment where she lived here in Rochester. Its one that cant occur in Wichita, the Brooks house there is no longer standing. Cherryvale, yes it is, but need to get there for that one, and well…

Thankfully the address is findable on Google, and helpfully the Science Museum that I visited today is about 100 yards from that address. So having been there, I headed off to find it. Good job I knew the address, because otherwise there is absolutely no clue to be seen as to who lived there until her death. At least in the UK, you would get a plaque or something, but over here, not a thing!

Though to be honest, its a pretty ordinary apartment block, with no great redeeming features, just one famous resident in the past. No, knowing which apartment she lived in, no clue whatsoever. Tomorrow, I plan to visit her gravesite, and pay my respects, as least that is marked suitably.

Then, for me at least, another ghost from the past, a visit to Lake Ontario, to stand and admire the view, as I did 25 years ago. I’ll let you know if a ghost appears tomorrow, but I wouldnt put good money on it.

The video, not Police’s best, but in a way quite apt

Just too blind to see

Yes, the first, but I suspect not the last title this week that will use the lyrics of a certain OMD song. I do promise this is the only time you get the video though. Well, unless I get demand to feature again the Chris Racine, Art of Noise mix which I love, at least lol!

No, before you ask, I havent got around to a Louise Brooks hunt yet, though I have plans to right that before the end of the week. The two obvious targets are her grave (a must), and an attempt to find the building where her apartment was (hopeful), but beyond that, I’m not sure there is much to hunt down. Eastman House, and the museum, but thats a public tourist spot anyway, so…After that, well, she didnt leave her apartment all that much once she moved here anyway.

As far as I know, her spirit hasnt attempted to track me down yet, I’ll let you know if I’m fortunate enough to have that happen. Mind, I did hear knocking at my door last night, and a womans voice outside, but I didnt investigate. Didnt sound like Louise anyway, I suspect it was just someone at the wrong door.

No, the one who was too blind to see sense, was me, today. Despite the temperature not hitting 45, I still decided to go to the baseball. Its not even like it was my only chance (evening game tomorrow), but all the same…To say it was cold, would be putting it mildly. In fact, when I was walking around town afterwards, it wasnt so bad, but just sat at the stadium, brr! Frontier Field, Rochester isnt Fenway, even if it was the Red Sox minor league team that Rochester were playing against today. They, the Redwings, are the junior team for the Minneapolis Twins, if you care? But the prices arent Fenway either. Seriously, front row view, between home, and first base, a whole $12. And yes, there were a good number of Major League names in the two teams too.

To be honest, and as a complete shock to someone who is used to most places being open on a Sunday at home, Rochester seemed shut! I saw a Subway shop open, but that was it! And yes, I was on Main Street too! Hopefully there will be more life tomorrow, thats for sure. And yes, it will be warmer too, a lot, supposed to be 63, according to the forecast at least.

Whether I can find a place doing total Louise Brooks makeovers, somehow I doubt it lol, but sign me up for one if there is!

Right, so endeth the day one report, and to the video,

On leaving Yorkshire

When I was young, back in the 60’s and 70’s, we Yorkshire folk used to have a joke about going over to the dark side, long before Star Wars came up with the term. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it meant we were crossing over into Lancashire lol! In fact, given that when visiting, the natural route south from the Haworth end was to head to the M6, rather than the M1, I did it quite often!

In those days, it was a different journey to today, when you’d pretty much just cross the Pennines on the M62, and leave it at that. There were sections of it at the beginning of the 70’s, but even then, it was just as easy to loop round under Manchester, through all the mill towns, and before that, that was your only option! Yes, not only does the M62 now make it a relative stroll, the mills are pretty much all gone as well, and definitely have as mills at least. Mind, all their pollution has gone with it, so…we have car pollution instead lol!

Well yes, I’m crossing over to the dark side tomorrow, though nowadays its called Greater Manchester, one of those metropolitan districts created in the middle of the 70’s. But to us Yorkshire folk, its still seen as Lancashire! I guess they are one up on us, they have an international airport, we dont! And yes, thats why I’m crossing over the Pennines tomorrow, or more strictly, going under them, through the train tunnel.

So yes, this is the last letter from Yorkshire for a while, it might be the last from England, but watch this space on that. Only tasks left for tomorrow is to pack, and get my hair cut, if I have time, everything else (I think) is done.

So, to the video. No, I dont expect to hear this announcement at Manchester Airport on Saturday, well, the full version at least. But given my love of OMD, I’m going for a new track, one it wont take you long to listen to,

The last day off before…

Well, alright, strictly it isnt, given that Thursday and Friday next week are regarded as my days off for the week, with my actual holiday starting on Saturday, but lets face it, I’ll have stopped working by then, so it will feel like I’m on holiday anyway. In fact, this time next week I’ll already be at Manchester Airport, though in the Radisson hotel there, not the airport lounges! Dont think I’ve ever stayed at an airport hotel in this country, even though I have stayed at a good number nearby to them in the US in my time. Quite simple, they are usually cheaper than the downtown hotels (especially the budget brands) which suits my pocket perfectly, and to be honest, getting into the big city from these sites is rarely tricky.

The difference this time, is that the Radisson is literally within the airport building, you enter it from the skywalk running between the terminals, instead of my usual site, with a short shuttle bus ride to the hotel, from where you can usually see the airport, though generally not hear much, these places are well insulated for good reason! Still, it will be nice, though slightly strange, just to have a very short walk to the terminal on Saturday morning.

But anyway, more on that next Friday I suspect, including a room review if you’re unlucky lol! I think everything is as sorted as it can be, including the rail ticket there.

So, as I say, in a sense, today was my last day off, got 5 days in a row after this at work, so used it as a chance to get things sorted. Oh, alright, I got the need for some air this afternoon, and headed into town. Didnt look like I was going to end up with anything for a while, but in the end…I cracked! All charity shop stuff, all a bargain price. 2 tops, 2 pairs of shoes, total expense £19 in a total of 3 charity shops. One things for sure, they cost more than that originally! Happy day…

So yes, as you’ve guessed, this is the last blog for a while. Indeed, it might be next Friday at Manchester Airport before you get another one, though you might be (un)lucky and get one before then, but certainly not before next Wednesday. You can stop cheering now lol!

The video, maybe I should have saved this for next Friday, but then if I dont get time to do one, you’d miss it, so…

I want my free school milk back!

Alright, that sentiment is so old that many wont get it, but when I was at primary achool, we used to get given free school milk, until an Education Minister called Margaret Thatcher came along and took it away! I assume it was a cost cutting exercise at the time for the government, but back then, for me, it was a case of she stole my bottle of milk from me!

Then, in good time, she became the leader of the Conservatives, and eventually Prime Minister, a role she seemed to fill forever! No, generally I wasnt a fan of hers, her abrasive style of rule really didnt appeal to me, and some of her policies (poll tax being a fine example) just annoyed me no end. But equally, I admired her stand over the Falklands, and the way she took down the strike happy unions at the time appealed to me, but that was as much down to their attitude to ordinary people, as what she did to them.

Finally, in 1991, the Conservatives saw the light, and ousted her in the manner that she had treated many people over the years, pretty shabbily. But still, at the time, I was glad she was gone, even if her replacements since havent really inspired either. Yes, my main amusement with John Major in charge was at checkpoints in Ireland, and at airports while he was in charge. I’d hand over my passport, or ID, and I’d nervously be asked if I was any relation? No, I’m not, and I did once ask at the airport if it made any difference if I was, and they just said possibly! I still told the truth though lol! Before anyone asks, yes, I know I’m a Nicholls, I changed my surname too when transitioning, given the bad family blood when I came out as such. Ironically, its my mothers maiden name, but given its nice Haworth connection, it fitted in, in so many ways. Yes, now, I’d go for Meredith Brooks, but hindsight is a wonderful thing lol!

The point of this, I think you all know, Margaret Thatcher died earlier this week.

The video, is a musical sentiment relating to one of the main problems of her rule, unemployment. The group name relates to the unemployment form of the time, the song title to the number unemployed!

Its getting closer!

To what? That much needed holiday of course! Two weeks from now, well, I’ll be several thousand miles from here in Rochester, New York. Yes, I’m looking forward to it a lot, and hopefully spring seems to be arriving there at last, and reputedly is about to arrive here too. What, just in time for the cricket season, something must have gone wrong there lol! Normally its the snow arriving again to celebrate that landmark lol!

Well, dont say I didnt warn you the Grand Natiobal tips were rubbish, because they were! And no, there was absolutely no chance of me picking that winner out, thats for sure! Yes, I can tell its getting closer, just been checking out the advance train fares to see the best option for getting there on the Friday. I need to get it sorted out in the next week or so, and finishing time tomorrow makes it a good bet for not facing a queue at the station for doing so. Well, in theory at least… Anyone fancy taking a lady out to dinner in Manchester on the 19th? Thought not lol! Staying overnight at an airport hotel because of early start, as I will only get a lift back this time around.

Rochester will be fun, no real idea what I’m setting myself up for, but it looks a good place to visit. Well alright, Louse Brooks’s grave is a reason for going there, but plenty of other things too. Looking forward to going back to Lake Ontario, about the only part of Rochester I really saw 25 years ago, as well as all the new things. A return to Buffalo on a day trip is planned too, but nothing really pencilled in beyond that, other than a baseball game, weather permitting.

Ah well, just 8 more shifts to get through…

Oh, the video, as ‘The Boss’ says, its terrible! But its him performing in Rochester, so…lets do the mash…