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Small Talk: Out of Genoa

Late last night store management and select employees stayed after hours to do inventory (I was a participant) during it I was called into the office and informed I was being transferred to a much busier location and start Monday morning. Today was my last day at my old store, one friend in bakery cried all day. I hope I like my new store. The pace sounds exciting. 

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44 minutes ago, jewel21 said:

Yay, congrats, Petunia! I hope it goes well!!

Thank you Jewel. How are you and Steve? 💕❤️ I think of you both often. 

I hope this doesn't upload too huge but 😍(I cropped it). 

 

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Steve and I are doing well. Thank you for asking!

OMG, is that George?! So adorable!!

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9 hours ago, Petunia13 said:

Late last night store management and select employees stayed after hours to do inventory (I was a participant) during it I was called into the office and informed I was being transferred to a much busier location and start Monday morning. Today was my last day at my old store, one friend in bakery cried all day. I hope I like my new store. The pace sounds exciting. 

congrats petunia.....i guess that means you are a valuable employee who is up to a challenging new location....i mean, if they didn't think you were very good at your job i doubt you would be going to an even busier store...

will the new location be a longer or shorter commute for you?

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RIP George H.W Bush....you were one of the good ones.  A long life lived with dignity, empathy, service and love for family and country.

Salute to you, sir.....

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Ya'll know....I love cats.  Was petting Casper (the stray that came to stay) just now, he was staring at me with that half-lidded, enigmatic way cats have and I cupped his chin and asked him "What good are you, anyway?"...of course no response.  Then I got to thinking stray cats are like traveling troubadours.  They show up occasionally, entertain you and expect to be fed in return.  Then it's like "see ya later....I've got a circuit to run here, my other families are expecting me."

Makes me wonder...how many grey tabby tuxedo kitties are running around our vicinity....;-)

Saw a great show on BBC about the range of feral cats.  They put Go Pros and GPS' on them and it was amazing how far they range.  Up to a 5 mile radius....sometimes even further.  Cats are amazing critters.....

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That's fantastic news, Petunia! The management must really be impressed with your work if they're transferring you during the holiday season.

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George looks like he had a good day visiting Santa -- Very sweet picture.

Not everyone is so fortunate.

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Kate Linder's charity event is in Toronto this weekend.

Edited by pearlite.
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Congrats Petunia! I hope you love your new position and have much success there.

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40 minutes ago, pearlite said:

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Kate Linder's charity event is in Toronto this weekend.

are you going to it?

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On 11/29/2018 at 7:56 AM, Cupid Stunt said:

Paul Williams was everywhere, writing music for dozens of movies, TV shows and singers -- And still is.

I remember his turn as Bailey Masterson on the Bold and Beautiful.

 

 

A holiday tradition from the White House … Christmas Greetings from Melania Trump 

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this one is funnier

image.png.63139a0a9e774d8b4ad5f960359ad3e0.pngETA:   yip yip yip

Edited by valleycliffe. Reason: added
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1 hour ago, OhioSongbird said:

Ya'll know....I love cats.  Was petting Casper (the stray that came to stay) just now, he was staring at me with that half-lidded, enigmatic way cats have and I cupped his chin and asked him "What good are you, anyway?"...of course no response.  Then I got to thinking stray cats are like traveling troubadours.  They show up occasionally, entertain you and expect to be fed in return.  Then it's like "see ya later....I've got a circuit to run here, my other families are expecting me."

Makes me wonder...how many grey tabby tuxedo kitties are running around our vicinity....;-)

Saw a great show on BBC about the range of feral cats.  They put Go Pros and GPS' on them and it was amazing how far they range.  Up to a 5 mile radius....sometimes even further.  Cats are amazing critters.....

I enjoyed that documentary.

In college we had a cat in the neighborhood that would visit us for a few days and move on. At a street party I was telling a neighbor about "our cat," and she said she thought he was her cat, but had been told by a neighbor across the alley that they "owned" the cat. The fact of the matter was no one family "owned" the cat, though his vet bills were mailed to a family at the end of the block.

BBC Horizon - The Secret Life of the Cat is a documentary about a study done on domesticated village cats and their habits. There's a story about a similar cat like "ours" who lived and gravitated between two "owners."

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1 hour ago, valleycliffe said:

are you going to it?

Out of my price-range, plus it’s end of semester, up to my elbows in marking.

i once saw Jeanne Cooper from a distance while walking through a mall.

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yeah, the ones in vancouver are out rageous too...i think 3 different prices...if for just the general, one for tea and one for like a meet and greet i think..too rich for my blood tho.

but the money goes to a good cause..

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The Ghost of Christmas Past Family wish you a very Merry Christmas!

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Wags to Riches Shelter thanks you for your generous donations to no-kill shelters.

Merry Christmas!

Edited by Cupid Stunt.
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A Christmas Gif Card sent by a friend --

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From Christmas Tree Lane, Altadena, California, circa 1953

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Speaking of ducks, Cupid, because we live right near the lake, PearliteLite [walks 10 miles a day] has become a mad duck-fancier. In the parks that jut out into the lake there are ponds and inlets full of ducks. This year, it's buffleheads and long-tail ducks creating a stir amid the mallards.

This is a long-tail duck spotted just east of Toronto.

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Edited by pearlite.
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Ten miles a day! And here I am feeling all proud of myself for doing four km on an indoor walking track this morning 😄

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Just now, Capricasix said:

Ten miles a day! And here I am feeling all proud of myself for doing four km on an indoor walking track this morning 😄

She's worked up to this for years--I think it was part of what kept her sane in New Haven. Also, we're lucky in living where we do--it's outdoors or nothing.

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On 12/4/2018 at 2:26 PM, Cupid Stunt said:

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Wags to Riches Shelter thanks you for your generous donations to no-kill shelters.

Merry Christmas!

😍 adorable! 

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1 hour ago, pearlite said:

Speaking of ducks, Cupid, because we live right near the lake, PearliteLite [walks 10 miles a day] has become a mad duck-fancier. In the parks that jut out into the lake there are ponds and inlets full of ducks. This year, it's buffleheads and long-tail ducks creating a stir amid the mallards.

This is a long-tail duck spotted just east of Toronto.

ltd23feFBa6849-1.jpg

What an amazing duck!

Are they common in southern Canada?

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18 minutes ago, Cupid Stunt said:

What an amazing duck!

Are they common in southern Canada?

Nope, that's why PLL was so startled--and birding sites here are equally amazed.

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The PNW has such dull animals. Just regular Mallards, non sparkly hummingbirds, no Cardinals or brightly colored song birds or anything neat like that.

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21 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

The PNW has such dull animals. Just regular Mallards, non sparkly hummingbirds, no Cardinals or brightly colored song birds or anything neat like that.

You're on the Pacific Flyway and near the Puget Sound. You should have scores of birds migrating in and out of the area, and many are year-round residents. There are birding groups through the Audubon Society and a good book on the subject. Get your binoculars and sally forth!

 

Today is the 77th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

 

 

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Save Me From Santa!

Edited by Cupid Stunt.
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Pete Shelley, the lead singer of the punk band Buzzcocks, has died aged 63, his bandmates have said.

“It’s with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the UK’s most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks,” the band said on Thursday evening. “Pete’s music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades and with his band and as a solo artist, he was held in the highest regard by the music industry and by his fans around the world.” The songwriter died of a suspected heart attack on Thursday in Estonia, where he was living, the BBC quoted the band’s management as saying.

Born Peter McNeish in Leigh, near Wigan, in 1955, he began the process of forming Buzzcocks in Bolton in 1975 with Howard Trafford (aka - Howard Devoto, of Magazine), by organizing the Sex Pistols’ June 1976 gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall with his college friend Howard, McNeish changed the face of rock music forever. Hastily arranged by the two students who had no idea what they were doing, and sparsely attended (“I think there were about 42, 43 people there,” McNeish later recalled, “and I’m not sure whether that’s counting me and Howard or even the Sex Pistols”), it is nevertheless among the most influential gigs in British pop history. The question of who precisely was there drove so many rumors that an entire book has been devoted to tracking audience members down, but among those who did turn up were future members of Joy Division, the Fall and the Smiths, as well as Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, all of whom seem to have been immediately galvanized by the performance. “A friend who was with me said, ‘Jesus, you could play guitar as good as that,’” recalled Bernard Sumner. “We formed a band that night,” said Peter Hook.

So did McNeish and Trafford: by the time the Sex Pistols returned to Manchester six weeks later, they had changed their names -- Trafford became Howard Devoto, McNeish Pete Shelley, tellingly the name his parents would have given him had he been born a girl -- recruited a bass player and drummer, and were acting as the Pistols’ support act under the name Buzzcocks. By the end of 1976, they had recorded their first release, the Spiral Scratch EP. It remains the essential document of punk rock hitting the provinces, of the Sex Pistols’ big idea being twisted into something else by people outside of London.

Spiral Scratch was packed with smart, witty, sardonic lyrics -- not least Shelley’s two-note guitar solo on Boredom, both a Fuck You to accepted mid-70s notions of musicianship and evidence of his love of Krautrock’s minimalism -- its four songs hurtle by, nearly stumbling over themselves, as if the band are consumed by urgency, a belief that their window of opportunity is about to pass. It was recorded live, its cover was a Polaroid photo and the band and manager, Richard Boon, released it themselves. It wasn’t the first independently released record in British rock history, but because it appeared when it did, it became the most influential. Its release inspired a wave of punk and post-punk independent labels, and, by default, an entire genre: what we now call “indie” music begins with Spiral Scratch.

Buzzcocks’ story should have ended there: in a very punk move, frontman and lyricist Devoto almost immediately quit the band, declaring punk “old hat”. Instead, Shelley became their lead singer, which changed the way Buzzcocks sounded entirely. Devoto’s voice had been a nasal post-Johnny Rotten sneer, but Shelley sang in an arch, camp north-western accent that seemed to drawl even when the music behind it rattled along at breakneck pace, and proved perfect for delivering withering put-downs when punk crowds became too tumultuous. “Oh my God,” he sighs as a Leeds audience erupt into violence on the live bootleg Razor Cuts, “you’re so bloody boring.”

At first, the band continued ploughing through the songs they had written while Devoto was on board, including their next single, Orgasm Addict, a gleefully vicious portrayal of a compulsive masturbator. But gradually, Shelley’s solo material began to mature. Despite a pre-punk background in experimental music – some Throbbing Gristle-ish electronic recordings he’d made in 1974 were released in the early 80s as an album called Sky Yen – he specialised in compact, perfectly constructed pop songs. And his specialist subject was love, almost invariably unrequited. Perhaps understandably, given the atmosphere of violence and machismo that quickly surrounded the punk scene, Shelley never came out as gay or bisexual, but something about his songs – always genderless, so his audience had no idea whether the subject was a man or a woman – and the way he sang them, let the sharper listener know about his sexuality. Behind I Don’t Mind, What Do I Get? or Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) lurked the distinct implication that he’d been spurned because the object of his affections was a straight man: “I always wanted something I never could get,” he protested on Everybody’s Happy Nowadays.

Complex, immediate, packed with melodic hooks and sharp humor, they were the kind of songs that artists spend their whole careers striving towards. Shelley just wrote one three minute pop song after the other as if it was the easiest thing in the world: Love You More, Promises, Fiction Romance, Sixteen Again, Get on Our Own, Nostalgia. In the process, he piloted Buzzcocks through perhaps the greatest run of singles of any punk band: by mid-1978, they were such a regular fixture on Top of the Pops that their sound could be the subject of a hit parody, Jilted John’s Jilted John. Indeed, his pop songs were so good that they tended to overshadow Buzzcocks’ more experimental side, where Shelley’s love of Can was given free rein: the tense repetitions of ESP, the stuttering instrumental Late for the Train and, especially, Moving Away from the Pulsebeat, the thunderous closer of their 1978 debut album, Another Music in a Different Kitchen.

This experimentation was more to the fore on their third album, 1979’s A Different Kind of Tension – on Hollow Inside, he pared his writing down to two cyclical lines – but the album was only intermittently brilliant and, by then, Buzzcocks’ star was fading: incredibly, what may be Shelley’s greatest pop single, You Say You Don’t Love Me, failed to make the charts at all. It was probably a mistake to invite Joy Division to be support act on the subsequent tour: things moved fast in the post-punk world, and their sparse sound and the unprecedented sight of Ian Curtis in full flight had the unfortunate side effect of making Buzzcocks look, as their erstwhile frontman would have put it, old hat. They soldiered on for three more ignored and underrated singles, contributed one final flash of concise pop brilliance, I Look Alone, to a compilation released by Rough Trade, one of the labels they had inspired into existence, then split up.

Shelley’s post-Buzzcocks career was frustrating. He made two strong solo albums that fitted with the contemporary vogue for electronic pop. The brilliant title track of the first, Homosapien, should have been a huge hit, but this time he went too far in tipping the wink to listeners and the song was banned by the BBC for “explicit reference to gay sex”. Today, its suggestion that gender and sexuality are fluid, malleable things – “I don’t want to classify you like an animal in the zoo” – seems less shocking than remarkably prescient. Heaven and the Sea, from 1986, showed his pop smarts were still intact, but he wasn’t suited to making a glossily produced mid-80s rock album.

Ironically, it arrived just as Buzzcocks’ 70s records had become hugely influential. In 1986, as “indie music” ceased being a reference to a means of distribution and became a description of an identifiable sound, you couldn’t move for bands trying to emulate their distorted guitars, Shelley’s terse songwriting style and air of perpetual romantic despair. Rather than capitalize on it, Shelley formed Zip, a band who attempted to meld drum machines and electronics with punky guitars: they only released one single – Your Love, a far better record than its muted reception suggested – before he conceded to the inevitable and reformed Buzzcocks in 1989.

Initially just a touring band, they resumed recording in 1993, with the album Trade Test Transmissions more or less picking up where they had left off. Their subsequent albums were far better than a reformed punk band doing the rounds in middle age had any right to be: 1996’s All Set co-opted Green Day producer Neill King, a sly acknowledgement of the band’s other vast influence on modern rock – they had effectively minted the pop-punk sound that made Green Day and Rancid millions. A project called Buzzkunst, in 2002, saw Shelley and Devoto reunited for an intriguing, angular electronic album, but the following year’s Buzzcocks came closest to matching their earlier glory, offering a noticeably darker, more mature take on their trademark sound.

Live the Buzzcocks always relied on their 70s catalogue. Pete Shelley had written songs that did the one thing no one at the time thought punk would do: they lasted, slipping their overtones of spittle-flecked confrontation to become universal, a beloved part of the musical landscape. These days, you’re never that far away from a DJ playing Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve), a notion that would have seemed unthinkable when it was written. As it turned out, the moment that seemed so fleeting in 1976 that Buzzcocks needed to document it before it vanished – “your time’s up”, as one chorus on Spiral Scratch predicted – was anything but.

Thank you, Pete. If it weren't for the Buzzcocks, my life and career choice would have taken a totally different path. A piece of my youth dies with you.

Edited by Cupid Stunt.
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The holiday calendar ticks along; we had a pizza party for Mr.Stunt's pond hockey club last night -- Jolly good fun with Rink Ratz!

Tonight Mr.Stunt's employees and their families take a party bus to Altadena for the Christmas Tree Lane Festival; The homes are decorated, there are food trucks, Christmas Craft Fair and Art Show, live music and entertainment. Mr.Stunt hands out year-end bonuses, and the employee's get cards for food truck purchases. Friends of ours are letting us use their home as a meeting place and party central.

 

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The Williams Family of Christmas Tree Lane wishes you a Beary Merry Christmas!

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Your DH sounds like a great boss and a very savvy business man, Cupid! That looks like a blast.

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3 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

Your DH sounds like a great boss and a very savvy business man, Cupid! That looks like a blast.

He has a great group of people working for him and he rewards their hard work.

The festival is a lot of fun. People bring their kids and you experience the occasion through their eyes.

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On ‎12‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 10:39 AM, pearlite said:

Speaking of ducks, Cupid, because we live right near the lake, PearliteLite [walks 10 miles a day] has become a mad duck-fancier. In the parks that jut out into the lake there are ponds and inlets full of ducks. This year, it's buffleheads and long-tail ducks creating a stir amid the mallards.

This is a long-tail duck spotted just east of Toronto.

ltd23feFBa6849-1.jpg

I'm insanely jealous right now. Long-tailed ducks and Mandarin ducks?! We just get mallards in the spring and summer and they've all moved on months ago. 

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2 minutes ago, jewel21 said:

I'm insanely jealous right now. Long-tailed ducks and Mandarin ducks?! We just get mallards in the spring and summer and they've all moved on months ago. 

Jewel, I think, and I'm no authority, that Toronto throws off so much heat along the lakeshore that ducks, gulls, and other water birds often stay through the winter. This only happens in small bays, inlets, and yacht-club basins in the parks along the [mostly western] GTA waterfront.

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