• October scary movie mini-reviews

    October is almost done which means we have a batch of horror films that we watched!

    What We Do in the Shadows poster.jpg

    What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – A mockumentary about how tough is for vampires living in present day?  5/5  This also spun off into a TV show which Vero and I find highly amusing.  Vero is also in love with the theme song for this show.

     

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    The Lighthouse (2019) – Imagine actually taking care of a lighthouse all alone with your partner in the 19th century.  That’s a horror story right there.  But couple it with some true weirdness and this makes for a disturbing film.  Not very scary, but the sheer horror of what is happening is worth the ride.  4/5

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    Vampire Circus (1972) – For the past few years, I have been adding a lot of the Hammer Horror films into rotation as they are fun to watch.  Not overly scary by today’s standards but you get some classic vampire tropes happening here.  This movie follows a travelling circus who just happen to be vampires.  No scary clowns here.  3/5

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    Happy Death Day (2017) and Happy Death Day 2 U (2019) – The elevator pitch: This is Groundhog Day about a girl who gets killed over and over again and then tries to figure out who the killer is as she keeps reliving the same day.  The first film was pretty good but the second one definitely lost of its scary elements and went into a science fiction realm where they explained the time loop that the girl was stuck in.  It felt much like Back to the Future 2 in ways.  Not that it was a bad film, but if you’re looking for October to be scary movie month, the second one felt as a waste.  4/5 and 3/5.

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    Twins of Evil (1971) – Look at that poster…One Uses Her Beauty for Love, One Uses her Lure for Blood!  What a killer movie this must be!  I have to admit that this actually was one of the better Hammer films I have seen.  You have to understand that a lot of these movies from the 1970s (and Hammer productions in general) move at a much slower pace than modern horror films.  I didn’t lose interest and it made for a good late night movie after everyone has gone to bed.  3/5

    Retro Poster

    It Follows (2014) – Vero didn’t know what to expect when I told her that the movie was about a sexually transmitted ghost (seriously!) and neither did I.  But what we found was a pretty original film which was pretty scary as well.  5/5

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    It Chapter Two (2019) – Meh.  We definitely enjoyed the first film better.  I’m sure if we rewatched the original mini series we would have preferred this one but it was a slow moving beast for us.  2/5

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    Us (2019) – A great movie has you talking about it for days.  This is what Us did to us.  If there was one film we would have to recommend it is this one.  I’m not even sure I want to talk about what the plot of the movie is.  Let’s just say a girl ends up disappearing for 15 minutes at an amusement park one night which is super stressful on the parents and in the future she is still on the edge of what she experienced in those 15 minutes.  5/5

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    The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) – I have never experienced the martial arts craze of the 1970s but I can only imagine that someone at Hammer Horror said “Hey, what if we combined a kung fu film with vampires?!” and this is what happened.  Yet another great late night, not much brain activity needed film.  3/5

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    The Vampire Lovers (1970) – When looking at Hammer Films to check out this year, I must have accidentally stumbled upon someone who really liked the erotic Hammer films and that’s how I came across all these classics.  I was going to type out the plot but honestly, what vampire movie is different?  Vampire infiltrates the village, sucks some blood and then the villagers rebel against the vampire.  I see this was the first film in the Karnstein trilogy and I’ve already seen the third film.  Maybe I can squeeze the second film in when Vero’s parents visit?  3/5

    Devil Times Five: Amazon.ca: Sorrell Booke, Gene Evans, Taylor Lacher, Joan  McCall, Shelley Morrison, Carolyn Stellar, John Durren, Leif Garrett, Gail  Smale, Dawn Lyn, Tierre Turner, Tia Thompson, David Sheldon, Sean MacGregor,

    Devil Times Five (1974) – I saw an interview yesterday where Quentin Tarentino gave this as his suggestion as a great Halloween film to watch this year.  Immediately I went to download it and I also see that immediately the bluray is going to be reissued in February.  Tarentino has quite the influence!  Vero and I watched this last night and it definitely was a fun film to watch.  1970s films definitely move at a slow pace but the last 30 minutes ramped up everything and it was quite wild to see five kids wreak havoc over a house full of adults.  4/5

    Friday the 13th (1980 film) - Wikipedia

    Friday The 13th (1980) – Not only were we watching a great docuseries about the film franchise, but the bluray set I ordered for Vero’s birthday finally came in so we watched the first film.  What we can we say…it’s a classic and has a few good kills in it.  We look forward to rewatching the series.  3/5

    Final thoughts: As of October 28, we might be able to squeeze out one more film before Halloween night.  Hopefully it’s Wolf Cop 2 which I had purchased a few years back but haven’t found time to watch.  Those types of films deserve to be watched with a crowd but since that’s impossible these days maybe we will get around to watching it.  Happy Halloween!

     

     

     

  • Ezra’s 14th month

    How cool are these pyjamas?  The Rolling Stones and it has Tour 1978 on it which was the year I was born!

    Out for a hike in the Larose Forest

    Look who is starting to hold himself up!

    He’s even getting big enough to sit in his rocking chair!

    Clearly someone wants to go outside

    Happy Birthday Maman!  

    On Vero’s birthday he took four or five steps but once the video camera came on he didn’t want to have anything to do with walking!

    Standing with the help of his sister

    Touching some leaves

    Wow, you step outside for two seconds and the baby manages to lock the parents out and your daughter is too busy watching TV to notice!

    Enjoying a swing at the park.  I’m not sure if this was the time they lost the map but I remember walking through the park and Sierra was yelling at me about something on the ground and I kept telling her not to pick stuff up.  She had a meltdown because I didn’t realize she was pointing out that they had forgot the map in the park the day before and didn’t notice it gone!  What are the odds she stumbled upon it?

    Sierra teaching Ezra how to climb up to go to the slide

    He’s finally useful at something…mowing the lawn!

    Dogpile in the box!

    If the ability to eat my yourself is measured by the amount of yogurt on your face, I would say he’s excelling at this skill!

    Searching for leaves

    You can tell it’s starting to get a little colder out in the mornings

    Silly faces

    Sierra rolling Ezra down the hill

    He’s getting there!

    Hanging out in the wooden house…or is it the brick house?  We play the three little pigs and one of us is the big bad wolf

    Showing their pride

    Tandreane with a chipmunk

    8am and Andreane is already up with the kids!  I had a good laugh one day when she went for a nap one afternoon and told me “I knew that being a parent was tough but I never knew HOW tough until today!  I’m exhausted just doing little things!”

    Ezra likes sweeping things

    Hahaha!

    Playing games at the table

    I have been going through old video cassettes to see if there is anything amazing on them.  Sure enough, I came across one that was labelled “Nintendo accomplishments”.  Did I have the foresight to record me winning some video games like Ninja Gaiden II?  Why yes I did.  Was I dumb enough to tape over them?  Yes I was.  I managed to snag a few seconds here but I was pretty bummed thirty years later to not see that footage.

    Coucou!

    Ezra really enjoys playing with this house

    Nice walk to the cemetery

    The karaoke machine is a hit in our house

    Man, Facebook has some funny stuff sometimes

    Poor coronavirus

    Sporting my new hat!  Dad gave this to me years ago and I never really got around to wearing it until now.  I quite like it even though it’s a bit tight.

    If Ezra got any closer he would have ended up being raked away

    Slow motion leaves!

    Laughing with Maman after the bath

    I feel I have failed in my mission to not use devices too much around Ezra.  I feel I did a great job with Sierra but honestly with two kids, whenever I get a moment, I whip out the phone or the iPad to check email or the news.  Ezra has grown up seeing that so I feel he’s a lot more interested in touching the iPad.  Or perhaps he associates it with his grandparents on Facetime?  Who knows.  Here is Sierra showing him a game.  It was funny to see Sierra get frustrated with Ezra not touching the right spots on the screen…if she only knew that a few years ago I was seeing her do the same thing!  Practice makes perfect!

    An excellent Roger Waters blu ray to watch.  It was really neat to hear the helicopters fly overhead at certain points with my Atmos system.

    Sierra and Ezra (and their parents) do an exercise video every morning before school starts.  I love how Ezra is really into it!

    I love this shot!

    Laughs!

    Helping out a brother

    Rest in peace Eddie!

    As much as we can, we have Sierra help out with the parenting duties

    Afternoons in the backyard are Maman’s favourite time of day

     

     

     

  • Sierra’s 52nd month

    One morning I popped Yellow Submarine in for her and I to watch.  Full disclosure:  I think I purchased this years ago and still have yet to watch the entire film!  This felt like the first time.  We didn’t get too far into it…30 minutes and then every time we went to rewatch it Sierra wanted to see the Blue Meanies take over Pepperland again.

    Sierra hanging out with some pals on a rainy day

    Check out those mud puddles!

    Sierra is quite the jokester.  Here she is putting her pull up on outside her pyjamas.  It was nice to have someone making me laugh as I was in the middle of taking care of the kids for the week on my own when Vero went back home!

    Hanging out on the rocks.  I find her shadow interesting in this photo.  It’s almost like it’s doing more movements than Sierra actually is?

    Muffins from back home

    Someone (Tante Andreane?) sent down a unicorn drying cloth which never really ended up in the bathroom but is now amongst the land of stuff toys in her bed.

    A beautiful sunset

    Watching the sunset on the front porch

    When getting a custom order puzzle for someone, keep in mind how hard it might be to finish off the all-black section on the top!

    Wow, I don’t even remember this moment!  Did Sierra and Maman hit up the ice cream stand while I was working in the basement?’

    A typical morning snack 

    Sierra was VERY happy to be able to go to the neighbour’s pool on Labour Day.  It was a wee bit chilly but I don’t think kids sense their legs going numb as much as I did.

    The next day I was smart enough to hang out on the floating mattress instead of venturing in!

    Grandma has an embroidery machine that she can do neat things like this on!

    Fetching some apples!

    As the summer wore on, we had to keep extending the length of this apple picking pole!

    I’m not sure where she got the idea from but she wanted to inspect some insects. 

    First day of class!  I’ve already written more on the subject elsewhere on the blog but we’re excited to see that Sierra has been enjoying her time.

    Part of virtual schooling involves us taking photos of her accomplishments and sending them to the teacher.  While time consuming, I have to say that I really enjoy seeing what Sierra learns in school every day.  I don’t think we will get the same experience when she goes to a different school.  She will get home and I will ask “What did you do in school today?”  “Nothing.”

    Nice stroll at Larose Forest.  We had never gone on this trail which I now dub the “Big Log Trail”.  Supposedly this log has been there forever.  Hilariously we went to the end of the trail thinking it would loop but nope, we had to backtrack all the way.  Not easy with a bunch of kids!

    I can’t remember what Jon was trying to do but it’s too hilarious not to put here.

    Sierra showing me how to play the song

    Boy, I hope that didn’t end up in supper one night!

    After the Yoda cake ‘icing is melting on his face!’ debacle, we smarted up and made a cake for Maman’s birthday a few days before!

    I went down a rabbit hole of research one night when I found out that Jimi Hendrix played in Ottawa one night and immediately after, he ran over to a spot called Le Hibou to record Joni Mitchell.  It was incredible to me to find out that some musicians of this calibre had hit up Ottawa back in the late 60s.  I then stumbled upon a book written about Le Hibou.  It is quite interesting so far.  I believe it must have been written by a local fellow as the book was ordered from Amazon but the postmark came from Cumberland!

    BIRTHDAY CAKEEEEE!!!!

    Yum in my tum!

    Sierra and Ezra made a photo book for Maman to remind her of her two week vacation this summer

    Reading some very important literature about a bear named Pooh

    Learning how to draw lines

    My favourite time of year with my favourite beer!

    Lot of apples to be picked up

    A glorious moment in any child’s life…the first time they play Legend of Zelda!

    Bring me to the drummer’s circle at Mont Royal

    It was nice to see some folks that we hadn’t seen for a few months.  Vero kept that fire roaring hot.  I also remember this was my first time really listening to Neil Young’s After The Gold Rush as it was it’s 50th anniversary.  What a killer album.

    Ha ha, here it is!  The extended apple picker!

    What other toy does a kid need when there is an empty box?

    Might need a bigger box?

    I had a good laugh at this

    Never do this in a Tetris truck!

    S for…super?

    Our neighbour’s tree has the uncanny ability of being the first in the neighbourhood to drop some beautiful leaves

    I walked into a time capsule when I entered my office building six months after I left back in March.  It was an odd experience…everyone’s stuff was just sitting there.  I did chat with Maria who was stuck there cleaning our offices for the past six months but is a pretty boring job when there’s no one there to clean up after!  I had WAY too much stuff to bring back home with me…imagine 15 years of moving offices in the same building.  I rarely brought anything home.  I even had some paystubs from 2001!  

    I did manage to sneak in a walk with my two walking buddies who met up with me when I was visiting the office.  I truly miss our walks along the river.

    What’s that on your head?  It must be Franco-Ontario day!

    Oh baby.  They have arrived!  Super7 has the Thundercats license and are churning out some great products.  This Lion-O was part of Wave 1 and they are already four waves I have pre-ordered.  It’s a costly venture at $50 a figure but I love this series so I’m going to support them in any way I can.  

    Look at the size of that thing!

    Some days we have lions riding cars

    A rare moment without the kids!  It was nice to take a walk with Vero in a part of the Glebe I had never been to before.  The area near Dr. Weiss’s offices are quite nice!

    Tandreane was nice enough to come for a visit to help us out for the first few days after my operation.  Here is Sierra and her taking in the Castor River.

    More apples!

     

     

     

  • Updates to the website

    I was getting annoyed that there wasn’t a search feature at the top of the page when I needed to search for ‘instant pot’ so I decided it was time to update my website.

    Of note:

    • Still playing around with text colours.  I’m not sure if Red colour font works on red colour background!
    • I am moving the music section to a timeline based style which is in ‘Music Archive’ which I’m quite fond of
    • Check out the music archive for a new song hot off the presses in time for Troy’s 50th birthday!
  • Thoughts on virtual learning

    We decided to try out virtual learning when Sierra started her maternelle class this year.  There were many questions on top of mind but the most poignant one was “Will this even work for our four year old?”

    In our case, virtual learning consists of having Sierra sit in front of an iPad for most of the day.  But let’s get into the actual details of her schedule:

    8:30 – 9:15am (recommended exercise videos and meditation videos which I’m assuming any parent can just blatantly skip since it’s not like anyone is monitoring us) – While I’ve never checked out the meditation videos, I have to say that I’ve been checking out the exercise videos for ten minutes and then let Sierra do whatever she wants until 9:15.  Vero sometimes even joins us in the living room to get some aerobics in!

    9:15 – 9:45 – school time!  Sierra has learned how to mute the microphone when she is not using it and she knows how to connect to the classroom via Google Meet when we are not around. Actually, a week into this, she INSISTS that she does this herself.  Generally around this time there is O Canada, the Lord’s Prayer, and some other things that I don’t pay too much attention to.

    9:45 – 10:00am – Break

    10-11am – School time

    11am – 12:15am – lunch break where I try and get Sierra outside doing stuff for awhile and then go back in and make lunch

    12:15 – 1pm – school time

    1-1:15pm – break

    1:15 – 2Pm – school time

    Then it’s all done for the day.

    It’s taken some work to adjust our schedules (our household generally ate around noon), but these are minor points to adjust to.

    After the first day, we felt comfortable that this wasn’t an utter trainwreck for our household.  Sierra generally had enough interest to listen and do some activities.  On the first couple of days, Vero and I (mostly Vero) were paying close attention via a monitor to understand what is happening and to help her understand what she needs to do.  But here we are at the end of the first week and while I do have the monitor on, it’s mainly to hear if she is calling for help…sometimes she has touched the wrong button on Google Meet and her camera has flipped, or something like that.

    School activities range from singing songs, playing with blocks or play-dough, finding an object on an image on the screen, coming up with stories surrounding an image.  I find the most fun Sierra has are with the activities that has her running around the house.  “Go and get a red object and come back and show the class!”  “Now go get a blue one!”  I was on the way to the bathroom one afternoon and Sierra zoomed by me and I said “Whoa, what’s going on?” and she said “I need to get the toilet paper!” and I thought “Boy, I’m glad I wasn’t sitting down and she came in and stole the toilet paper!”

    I’m sitting here writing this on a Thursday and I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a Thursday and everyone feels like the week has dragged on after four days, but I noticed that Sierra completely missed an entire activity and read a magazine instead.  I was furious in my head but then I realized that at the end of the day, this is maternelle, it’s not like she is going to fail out of this program, and if anything, she stayed in front of the iPad and read a magazine in front of her teachers so I just have to remove myself from the situation more and more.  If she was in regular school, I wouldn’t even realized that this stuff happened.

    Vero and I are experiencing something that doesn’t happen all too often…it’s like we are sitting inside the classroom while the teachers teach.  We can’t help to want to give assistance to Sierra in understanding the activity or not to get lost sometimes, but I have to learn to pull myself away and just let Sierra and the teachers figure out how to do this whole virtual learning thing.  I can only imagine how hard it is for the teachers to try and keep an eye on 30 four year olds via a video conference.  It’s wild.

    After the first week, I think Sierra is enjoying class, and she does seem to pay attention to most of the class.  There are a few days where she will come out and show us stuff she is making and we prompt her to return and listen to what the teacher is telling her, but we can’t really complain about this virtual learning experiment.  In our household, it’s going good.

  • Sierra = The next Céline Dion?

    Yesterday I heard Sierra singing an original song she came up with.  The lyrics were something like “The sunnnnn…in the skyyyy!”

    Later on when she was getting dressed for bed she was singing another tune and singing it quite well and I thought “Wow, what does the future have in store for her?  Will I be traipsing her back and forth to Montreal for singing gigs?  Will she be the next Céline Dion?”

    Then she proceeded to sing ‘MACARONIIII, MACARONIII, MACARONIIII!” For twenty minutes and I thought “Yeah, there goes that idea.”

  • Ezra’s 13th month

    Enjoying a snack near the Castor River

    Enjoying some sun

    It’s always funny to watch Ezra walk around with this little elephant.  He always does it sideways!

    I think he got the hang of it

    I love how he already knew how to put the guitar on over his neck!  This is the gift that keeps on giving in our house.  Thanks Matante Vero et Uncle Marty!

    I’m now realizing that Ezra is becoming the master of all instruments in the house

    Hanging out with the dinosaurs.  No big deal.

    I always crack up when I see Ezra’s face in this photo.

    Enjoying some tunes before camping out

    Hanging out in the tent one afternoon.  Tents are AMAZING.  Kids can’t easily get hurt and they can’t escape either.

    Dance party!

     

    Matante Anne-Marie sent up this neat piano that you can play on the floor.  He quite likes it.

    When his sister gets tired of scootering, Ezra carries the load.

    I’m pretty sure I never got to eat a tomato off of this particular plant because the kids loved having a snack from it all summer long!

    Tent time!

    Tickle time!

    Strumming away

    It’s fun when I’m preparing lunch and I spy these two playing together and having fun without me prompting them to do so

    This bird loves his bath

    This might have been the first corn of his life!

    Hanging out at the Castor River

    It’s always nice when Grandmaman comes for a visit

    Reach for the stars kid!

    Maman trying to get Ezra to take a few more steps

    Playing with Grandpapa at the park

    These two LOVED their ice cream treat

    Enjoying a summer supper outside

    My pickling partner

    The final sprinkler of the summer

    Grandpapa

    I love how Sierra brought the Mr. Freeze in for the photo

    Tickle time!

    Swinging with the sister

    Always fun to have some lasagna!  You can see that Ezra is really getting the hang of using a spoon and a bowl.  Most days he will launch the bowl when he is done which is frustrating.  As long as you can sense the “I’m done eating” cues, you can grab that bowl before he throws it!

    We really enjoyed going to the Limoges park at the end of the summer.  It was one of the parks that were closed longer due to the pandemic so we only went at the end of the summer.

    Maman likes dressing as a princess for supper most nights

    It must have been raining one morning so Sierra got to choose which game she wanted to play on the Nintendo.  Here is Batman!  I had never played it before.  Quite hard.

    Whenever the music comes on, Ezra likes to dance around in his seat

    Rainy day

     

    The last days of summer

    I didn’t realize the tent had a ‘no pants’ policy in effect

    Mom went home for Grandmaman for the majority of the week so it was three three jokers on their own.  The first day was pretty hard because it was raining!  You can see that Ezra was in his sock feet…this was because his boots were too big and kept falling off!

    You know you have good friends when they ask if you can bring anything and I ask for chicken wings and beer and they show up with what you asked for!

    Proof that kids don’t care if it’s raining outside.  They just want to have fun!

    The garden had a good haul of veggies!

    Maman enjoying some time up North

    A common sight in the mornings during the summer of 2020

    Sierra is getting really good at taking photos!

    Going from a ride

    I think this was the day I realized that Ezra was ticklish

    On August 31st, the birth of the duck face!

    Near the end of the summer we were getting more comfortable letting the kids play at the playground.  Here was Ezra’s first climb up to the slide.

    I’m not sure if he liked the Lion King shirt Maman brought back?

    Seeing how life in the front seat is like

    We got a little adventurous with a birthday video for Troy

    I find it funny that kids like raw corn

    The new Costco gets my seal of approval based on this item alone

    The neighbours were super nice to offer up their pool on the Labour Day weekend.  We were floating in style!  The water was quite cold as I remember.  Much like the lake water around Labour Day!  We went both Saturday and Sunday and Vero suggested on the Sunday that I spend more time on this floating raft instead of in the water.  This may have been the highlight of the summer!

    I think near the end of the summer the tent was getting a little ridiculous.  I was always cold in it and they started bringing large toys inside!

    One last swing before the end of summer!

    The amount of apples from our tree is ridiculous!  Next year we will need to devise a netting system to catch all of them before they fall down.  Ezra and Sierra do like grabbing an apple from the ground and eating them.  You just need to check them in case they were already eaten by an animal.

     

     

  • Small leak in Kenmore dishwasher

    Vero started noticing some water coming out from under the dishwasher so one day we took a look at what it could be.

    Note for future reference: don’t forget to disconnect the actual electrical cable from the dishwasher!  We were hauling on the dishwasher for a good hour after taking out the screws and realized that it’s a really short electrical cable so it just wasn’t letting go without it being disconnected!  Rookie mistake.

    Once we got it out, we turned it over and took a look around and figured out that the leak was coming from something called a diverter and that research showed that it was probably a seal that had gone bad over time and needed to be replaced.

    What should probably cost in the $5 range to purchase ended up looking like a hundreds of dollars purchase from Kenmore because they didn’t sell you just the seal, they sold you the entire assembly that you would have to re-install.

    We were a little upset at this and so I got onto Ebay and did some digging around and found this listing:

    For $30 I was willing to take the risk.  A few reviews said it worked on their Kenmore dishwasher (which I found out is really manufactured by Whirlpool so if you’re looking for parts, you can add that to your search query.

    The instructions with this seal even told us we didn’t have to take out the dishwasher, we just had to take a screwdriver to the seal from within the dishwasher and then put some lubricant on the new seal and shaft, and bam, it should be good.

    As I type this it doesn’t look like we have any leaks so we’ll let it run for an entire cycle and see what happens!

    For $30 I am a happy camper and for future reference, I don’t even need to disconnect or pull out the dishwasher to replace this seal.

  • Thoughts on live-streaming…months later + Matt Mays Shore Club

    Live-streaming has currently levelled up in my opinion.  Gone are the days of dudes hanging out in their living rooms with subpar cameras and sound equipment…now it has become a really good experience from the comfort of my sofa.

    Case in point, I checked out the Matt Mays livestreams this past weekend which was put on by Sonic Records/Concerts.  For $20 I get a password which gets me access to a webpage to watch the livestream.  This livestream can be delivered in 1080p and I encountered only one minor hiccup in the feed near the end of the second night.  Actually, now that I think of it, I was watching on both my iPad and iPhone and the iPhone feed kept freezing for some reason.  Strange?

    You might think it’s odd that I am watching on two devices.  Well, how about three?  I had one iPad hooked up to the TV via an HDMI adapter.  Then I had another iPad recording the concert.  Then I had my iphone recording the concert as a backup if the iPad didn’t work.

    Both days had the iPad emerge as the victor over the iPhone in terms of recording.  It never dropped it’s connection.  Strange isn’t it?

    Anyhow, back to the livestream.  Great quality, great soundboard feed…live-streaming has become a really great experience for me considering I have no other alternatives at the moment.  The only issue I’m starting to have with livestreams is that there are starting to be too many of them!  I missed a Trews concert going on at the exact same time and this upcoming weekend we have a double header of Pearl Jam and Big Wreck.  So many choices!  But that’s not a bad thing is it?

    Two thumbs up for the livestream future.  I believe this will become a new alternate source of revenue for bands if the amount of people paying to watch offsets the costs of running the livestream.  I can only imagine a film crew is not cheap.

    A note about the Matt Mays concerts at the Shore Club

    I tuned in to both nights of Matt Mays because a) I want to support the band b) I didn’t have anything else going on and c) It’s Matt Mays.  Always a good time, he will deliver.

    But here’s the thing…the set list was pretty much the same except for one song.  This makes sense considering they got the band back together during a pandemic and were only playing four gigs at the Shore Club.

    Now, as a guy who spent money on watching the concerts, I was a little disappointed that the set list didn’t vary.

    But I can’t really fault a band on this…a lot of bands play the same set list night after night.  Look at U2!  It’s the exact same show for 200 dates in a year.

    Watching the same set list over two nights did give me a unique perspective into what I have theorized as the “ebb and flow of a touring band”.

    The ebb and flow of a touring band

    I theorize that most bands go through a cycle (maybe this even occurs in any live entertainment industry like theatre?).

    The first show(s)

    The jitters are there, they’ve been practising for awhile now and it’s showtime!  Issues do arise (hopefully minor!) like hitting a chord at the wrong time or forgetting the odd lyric but for the most part, it goes ok.

    The next show(s)

    This is when the band gets their groove on.  They are familiar with the material and all is good.  They are as we call it, a well-oiled machine.  This can either translate to a second show or if you look at a year long tour, the first third of the tour.

    The grind

    When you’re passed the first third of the tour, that’s when things get a little relaxed.  Maybe the band has grown tired of playing the same songs every night…it’s the same routine and they are getting tired of it.  Mistakes creep in, they laugh it off but it seems just a little bit more sloppy.  I feel this is what I witnessed when I saw the Matt Mays livestream of August 28th.  It was a great show but I felt sometimes they were going through some motions.

    The final night

    Considering I saw Matt Mays play both the 28th and the 29th, I would say that the band was a different beast on the final night.  They were tighter, everything was coming together and they had a force to them.  I think the final night can go both ways though…in the theatre world it’s quite common that the last night of a show is when things get looser…the actors have fun with the show and pull pranks and maybe have a few more drinks than usual.  In the music world, I can only assume that it can go either way…you’re either on fire knowing that this is the last hurrah of the tour and so you give it your all, or it’s the most loosey goosey concert there ever was.  I’ve seen both over time and they are equally great to watch.

    Even though I was watching the same songs as the night before, I was paying a lot more attention to the show on the final night because of the energy being put out on the stage.

    In conclusion, I was not overly disappointed with paying another $20 to see the same songs being played because a) I probably would have been paying $50 to see just one night in real life b) the show was the better of the two so I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

  • Grand-maman

    Vero’s grandmother passed away last Friday.  She was a fun woman which is evident in this photo from a trip to the Dominican Republic.

    My favourite memory of her involves one Christmas party where I decided to ask her for a dirty joke as a Christmas gift the next year.  Some members of the family thought I was crazy to ask but lo and behold, the next year, I got a dirty joke delivered on a piece of paper and we all had a good laugh!  She had a great sense of humour and I knew she would go for it.

    Rest in peace Grand-Maman.