Tired of waiting

Well, I might have got tired of waiting for my case to arrive at Manchester Airport, if there had been a greater number of them arriving off the Shannon plane, but thankfully there werent more than a handful. And yes, as you might have gathered by now, mine wasnt amongst them! It managed to spend one more night in the US than me, finally arriving safely back here yesterday afternoon. No, its not admitting to partying in the meanwhile lol!

Beyond that, the whole journey back was quite smooth in fact, in more senses than one. The temperature difference was a bit more noticeable though, high 60’s when I left Rochester, mid 40’s when I ventured out at Shannon. Yes, funnily enough I noticed the difference. Unfortunately, my coat was in the case, and did I regret that fact on arrival back here. Ah well…

Anyway, beyond a crazy day at work yesterday which you dont want to know about, and the last remains of jet lag, which is why I’m cutting this short, there’s not much to tell. I hope to post something more meaningful tomorrow, but please dont quote me on that.

In the meanwhile, a 60’s Kinks classic, very apt

The end of the end

That title might get a few thinking, but to save on your precious brain cells, its the end of the holiday, in the city where Louise Brooks life came to an end. September sees the trip to the place from earlier in her life, Kansas. I know, the wrong way round, but I dont care. And of course, this time at least, the route is via New York City, the only other place she lived for a lengthy part of her life. Alright, JFK is hardly central NYC, but its as close as I can get lol! As close as I’d want to get to NYC in all honesty, but anyway…

Its funny, when I told people I was coming here, I tended to get 2 reactions, where, and why! The why, I knew, even if many didnt see it, was the obvious one, that lady buried out at Holy Sepulchre played a major part in the call. It was also going to be interesting to come back here after 25 years, though given I remember nothing of the city from that trip, that was only a side issue.

I must admit, there were a few times when I wondered if I would find enough here for a weeks trip, which was why I planned a return visit to Buffalo on one day of the stay. it never happened, there was enough here without that, as I soon discovered. Yes, its a nice city, I’m glad I’ve done justice to it, though I suspect I will never see it again, but thats not because I didnt like the place, I did. But there are other places to see, plus I pretty much covered everything, so unless I get an offer I cant refuse, I wont be back. And no, I dont expect that to happen lol! But yes, I’m so glad I visited Rochester, in so many ways.

Tomorrow, the long flight back to the UK starts, and thats where the next blog post will appear from. In the meanwhile, as promised, the obvious song. Not the official video, but a live version though, but yes, you can see images of Louise in the background. Hopefully I will get to hear it live next month, Andy, are you listening? 😉

Different DVD formats

Yes, this is a whine, so if you dont like that sort of post, walk away now.


Fine, you’re still here, nice to know. Well, I assume you are, but anyway…

Back in the old days of video recorders, when they first came out, there were 2 formats, VHS and Betamax. Both survived for a while, though Betamax was never winning the fight, and eventually was given up on. Of course, in time, VHS submitted to DVD’s, and that to a lesser degree has ended up battling blu-ray discs for sales.

But no, this whine isnt about that, its another issue. In the UK, we use the PAL system for all these things, in the US, they use NTSC. Allegedly non compatible, though nowadays most machines will play both, but not all. The other thing is, making these things regional. For simplicity sake, North America discs are Region 1, Europe are region 2. its more complex than that (there are actually 8 regions), but keeping it relevant to me… There are also region 0 discs, with no limitations, which is nice, but…

I went to the Eastman House Museum today, and in the shop was a DVD of Diary Of A Lost Girl, a Louise Brooks film I havent yet seen. Yes, I know, its on You Tube in full, but watching it on a laptop, and watching it on a 40″ TV, not quite the same thing lol! Snag is, the DVD was NTSC of course, I’m in the US, so its to be expected. But in all likelihood, it would work at home in the UK all the same. But…it was region 1, and that probably wouldnt! Aargh! Well, it wasnt marked as such, couldnt see any marking at all, but the staff were pretty sure it was region 1, so I left it behind. Not a happy bunny lol!

I know, I know, some things have to be protected from certain markets, but seriously, a 1920’s silent movie?

Grumble, grumble, end of rant.

No, I’m not providing a link to the whole film, no point, no one would watch. So here is a 5 minute snippet, including the delectable Ms Brooks.

Anyone think that the eating style is pretty robotic lol, or is that just me?

A friend for life

I’ll give you advance warning, you almost certainly havent heard this song before, so please listen. This gentleman was a big star back in the 70’s, but is still turning out high quality, new music today, as this proves. Steve Harley, musical genius. Whether he was ever as arrogant as his 70’s persona, I have no idea, but it all seems gone now, regardless.

OK, stop pleading, and get back to the blog. Can you have a friend for life, who has been dead for 28 years? If so, I saw a friends gravestone today. If you cant, I saw the gravestone of a brilliant, under rated actress today. Alright, so maybe her antics led to that rating, by all comments, she was hell to deal with back then, and from the interview made in the 70’s, and her other antics, its not hard to doubt it was true.

Yes, amongst many things today, I visited the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, just outside Rochester. Her grave took a bit more finding than I expected, but of course you have to allow for the fact that she probably had little money at the time of her death, so no big stone. Finding the section was easy, the map printed off at the Cemetery clearly marked that, but once you get to that area, the fun begins! There were more than a few stones there lol!

Staff helped me, but confusion still set in, because the map shows her as Mary Brooks, but the stone says Louise Brooks, so the poor man trying to help me, didnt catch on immediately. Thankfully there was another, who knew who I wanted, and this regularly visited stone finally got another visit. A peaceful moment, it wasnt, the reason I had so many helpers was that they were cutting the grass in that section when I was there. The setting would have been beautiful, but for the noise though. Yes, I said a few words, and no, unsurprisingly, I got no reply. Finally, I touched the stone, said thank you, and walked away, a poignant moment.

I had earlier had another poignant moment, revisiting the shore of Lake Ontario after 25 years. I’m pretty sure it wasnt the same spot, but after 25 years, well, who knows? A lot has changed since then for me, but the lake looked much the same. A beautiful, warm day, I stood there, even by the lake, just in a light blouse, wow! Tomorrow, rain, possible thunderstorm, normal service is resumed lol!

I dont know if Louise can count as a friend for life, especially given her record for getting on with people over the years, but…as I said, a lovely song, a great singer

Her house, in the middle of the street

Oh come on, you know whose house I’m talking about, surely? yes, Louise Brooks, for the 1% who didnt know lol!

Thanks to Google, I’d managed to find the address given for Louise Brooks’s residence in Rochester. If you want to look it up, google it, its not hard to find! Dont try finding the Wichita one though, the house no longer is there. So what did I know, it was an apartment block, and I had the address. Beyond that, not a clue, but I thought there might be a plaque or something at least, to help in the search.

Actually, the search wasnt a hard one, as soon as I turned onto the street, there was a large apartment block there, and I didnt have to be a genius to work out that was the one, it was the only one in the vicinity. But beyond that, any landmark, no, not one. The only sign, one to say not to park in front of the building, and that was it. And certainly no helpful ghostly face looking out of a window either lol! Of course, unless she had one with a front view, she could have been doing so, I wouldnt have seen it.

No, no plaque, or anything. But I knew all the same. Yes, very boring apartment block, with one famous moment in history. Tomorrow, hopefully her grave is better marked than that.

The video, well you might work it out from the title, but if not, see below.

I found it, and its cold!

Yes, America. Well, Rochester at least is, didnt even reach 45 today, and yet some daft soul still went to the baseball, and got frozen to the marrow. It wasnt quite so bad walking around town at least, but just sat at the stadium, eek! Yes, I found Rochester, just where I expected it to be, though with a bit of a delay last night courtesy of Jet Blue. Made it finally though, and hotel seems fine. Strangely enough, no sighting of Louise Brooks as yet, ghostly or otherwise, but fingers might be crossed. Maybe she’s just waiting for me to visit her graveside, but somehow I doubt it. Did hear a knock on the room door about 3 this morning, and a womans voice, but it didnt sound like her lol! No, I didnt investigate lol, maybe I should have done?

Yes, I’m stupid, despite the low temperatures, I still went to the baseball today. Yes, I know, and yes, I got frozen sitting there watching. It was a double header, but one game was all I could take in that weather! Rochester seemed shut on a Sunday, a surprise to someone like me, who is used to pretty much all shops being open on a Sunday at home. Hopefully more life tomorrow, and it should be warmer at least, forecast to reach 63, which will be tropical after today!

No, sadly, I didnt find anywhere advertising full Louise Brooks style makeovers in town, but maybe that place was just shut too? Somehow I doubt it exists lol, but I can hope, until tomorrow at least!

Think thats about it for now, but I’ll save the obvious video for later in the week. So settling for an oldie, that some might say have mind control connotations…

To look for America

Yes, thats what I’ll be doing on Saturday, looking out for America. Snag is, at 35,000 feet, there arent too many signs to say that you’re entering US airspace lol! I know, they have that map thing on the planes, but lets face it, telling exactly when you cross into the US isnt quite as easy as that. I will know, clouds permitting when we reach Canada though lol. I’ll know when I actually land on US soil though, at New York, unless the plane has the most unique landing system known! Funnily enough, it will be a moment of deja vu, as the first time I left US soil, it was from JFK, and that was 25 years ago. And do you know, I havent been back there since, before Saturday. And of course, one week later, it will again be the last piece of US soil seen by me for a while. Who knows, I might even get back there again, in less than 25 years from now! I suspect I wont be travelling like that by then anyway, given I’ll be 80 by then!

Its a funny thing though, if my ancestors, just over 100 years ago had gone west from Ireland, instead of east, well, I wonder where I’d be now? Maybe I’d be holidaying regularly in England lol! Probably not, but…

Its fair to say that this year, not only am I looking for America, I’m looking for one specific person from America, and yes, its not hard for regular readers to know her name, Louise Brooks. Thats why I’m heading for Rochester on Saturday, and Kansas in September! Yes, I know, in her life sense, its the wrong way round, but anyway…I’m looking forward to it, a return to Rochester after 25 years too, though as far as I can remember, all I saw then was the route to Lake Ontario, and the lake itself, on the way out, and a motel just off the interstate on the way back. So saying its a return visit may be pushing it a bit lol!

Ah, the video, yes, as so often, the title is a giveaway. Finding an original live performance of this, no, I failed, hardly surprisingly. But this is definitely live, so…

Far, far away

Well, why not, it makes for a good title, and it will be true in just over a week from now? it also gives away the song in the video, but thats old enough not to be recognised by all, I suspect?

Just a week from now, I will have left home, to start the journey to America. I know, I could do the Simon & Garfunkel song of that name, maybe I will the end of next week, or while I’m away, as its certainly what I do. Even more so, as this time I will be going on a Greyhound bus, for the first time, for the day trip to and from Buffalo. Yes, I’d rather do it by train if I had a choice, but that doesnt work schedule wise.

Oh, and no, no offers of a dinner companion as yet lol, shock horror!

Yes, the social rush is about to start, as after the week after next, I have the OMD concert in early May, and the trip to Ireland for cricket in June. Then all goes quiet until September, when it will be Kansas (somewhere, over the rainbow?), though I’m not sure of the full details on that one yet. I suspect that will be one of the matters discussed when I either see Kate when over there, or more likely, speak to her on the phone while there.

Only thing I hope for, is reasonable weather, could do with some of that. Oh, and the chance to catch up on sleep! Beyond that, some fun, and some due respect too.

The video, is only depressing in that I remember it coming out, and thats nearly 40 years ago now. Ah well… where I will be a week tomorrow

Dinner companion

Its funny, I so often get the same reaction when I tell people I’m going to the US on holiday, they ask who I’m going with, and then look surprised when I say I’m going on my own! I mean, its not like I have a partner, I dont have that many close friends, so what do they expect? The amount of times I get that funny look, and the comment of ‘Oh, you’re brave’ is nobodys business! And I know its down to that, because last September, when teaming up with Kate again, no one even blinked at the idea of meeting up with someone I mainly knew through an Internet forum, and if they knew what it related to lol…

Alright, it was the second year running, but I got the same reaction the previous year, when I certainly didnt know who I was meeting up with, just amuses me. In fact that worked really well for me, I had a companion most of the time, but also got some private time, which was nice. Yes, people have to remember, I’m used to my own company most of the time, so on holiday, at times, its nice to have the same thing. To be honest, the first time, I wasnt sure how it would work out, being used to doing my own thing, but Kate and I worked well together, and when she suggested doing the same thing a year later, I jumped at the chance. And maybe in September, we will do it again, though not in New England, as regular readers know. And before anyone says anything, thats down to her work, and time issues, and nothing more. Indeed, she’s talked of coming up to Rochester for part of the week I’m there, though given the distance involved, I think she’s crazy if she does. But it would be lovely to see her all the same.

To be honest, there is only one period of time on holiday that I dont like being solo, and thats mealtimes, principally dinner. I know, I should be used to eating alone, and indeed am, but there is a difference between doing it at home, and eating out. Its just nice, at that point, to have someone to talk to about things, however inane, and just relax over a drink and a meal.

So, just saying, if anyone is in the area, or knows someone in the Rochester area, who wants to have a meal, and a chat with me while over there, then feel free to ask, it would be fun. No, I dont want a date, or for it to be treated as a date, just good conversation over a meal, even at Dennys, or Applebees or the like, I live on a budget remember! No, I dont promise to wear a posh dress, or high heels, but I will dress suitably, and hopefully be someone interesting to talk, and eat with, nothing more. No cost, other than your own meal, unless you’re offering lol!

Only thing to remember, for you, or anyone you suggest this to, I dont drive, so unless its on good public transport, or somewhere very close to the Airport (yes, I’m staying nearby), I will need a chauffeur! Given the area and things, I’d love to talk Louise Brooks with someone, but could happily chat on most things if pushed.

No, I wont wait to find a dinner companion lol, somehow.

The video, well it fits in slightly with this, and also as a reference point to Margaret Thatcher’s death this week, as the groups name is related to the unemployment crisis of that era

Call centre amusement

Well yes, yesterday at work we had a moment that for me at least, was unintentional irony! Being Grand National day, in a betting related call centre, we had a sweepatake on the big race. Normally with these things, you draw a piece of paper, with a horses name written on it. Yesterday, we were reduced to numbers! Yes, just like a machine, we were mere numbers lol! Mind, there are many that would say that was quite apt for call centre workers somehow. I did make a joke about the silver suit and helmet with my number on it, but it went over my supervisors head lol!

No, my number wasnt a winning one, and for those who know me from my writing, and my old identity there, it wasnt number 8!

We might actually have even more fun there tomorrow, as we are changing email systems then, and given the chaos in the setting up process, I’m not expecting the changeover to be smooth. Unfortunately for this, I’m on the escalated desk tomorrow, so suspect I will get inundated with queries about it, though that is just as unlikely to have email service as anybody else. As I havent been on it for a few days, I have no idea if the trial run worked for it, or not, but given no one was able to send, or receive emails during that period, the trial run didnt tell people much anyway!

Fingers crossed, but…

Oh, and our call centre is nothing like the first one here, even if some of our shop staff might think otherwise. What we think of the intelligence levels of some of them, is pretty unrepeatable, though the word bimbo could easily come to mind with some!