Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Midwinter Madness

Well, it has been a hectic few days. The weekend was spent chez Miss Pinky, but we did not ski as we had planned. I have said for years that I am a fairweather skier, and sailor. This remains true today. The day we were considering skiing was Monday, and it was looking like crappy weather, so rather than drive up the mountain in heavy snow, we decided to stay home.
In other news, I have recently finalized the content for the Jack Velvet Barside Companion. More news on this as it becomes available. 178 Classic Cocktails for the Terminally Urbane.

I tried driving our uber riding mower in the snow on Monday. It ended up getting stuck in the snow on a minor slope! Maybe I can get some chains for the tires or something. Studded tires perhaps... In any case, I ran the engine for a while, and that is good. Good because: A) Running the mower may contribute to global warming, and could therefore lower my home heating bill over time, and B) It charges the battery.
Last year, I had to replace the $%#@-ing battery because I had not run the mower at all in 4 or 5 months. So this winter, I will try to run it every week or two. I may need to establish a men's winter riding mower racing circuit... The JVMWRMRC. How's that for a catchy acronym??

Today, I was unfortunately unable to do my radio show, as I had to be in New Westminster for a video shoot, and was otherwise racing around Vancouver all day on snowy roads. I will be back on air next Wednesday as usual.

Mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bachelor Cooking

With the departure of Barbie Velvet, who was here visiting for about a week, we are back to bachelor cooking. I am a lazy cook at the best of times, and I have to cook for myself and my father, Eddy Velvet Sr who generally has a good appetite. Tomorrow, Eddy Velvet and I will decamp to Miss Pinky's place for the weekend. There is talk of skiing.
I bought a few stocks today, at lower prices. Just wetting my toes here, but not fully back in for a while.

Most nights I can get a decent meal together, but alas, tonight I found myself a bit short of supplies, and had to resort to that old standby, bacon and eggs. I did them scrambled, with fried onion and mushrooms and spices, and of course, the bacon. It was good. Eddy Velvet happily gobbled them up.

Does ketchup count as a vegetable?

Sometimes I wonder.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Barber Shop

Am in Vancouver for the day. Sitting in a Starbucks which is currently being overran by a swarm of high school students who are obviously on lunch break. Drove in early as per usual. Dropped off Barbie Velvet at her swinging new bachelor pad in Van. Did the radio show 8-10, and then went to see my barber in Kitsilano. Nick the Barber, aka "swarthy boy". He is quite handsome, and is the only man authorized to cut my hair. Nick the barber is shown in the picture to the left, as is Eddy Velvet (file photo). I did not have to wait long to get into the chair. As usual, he only charged me the very reasonable fee of ten dollars, plus a tip.

I really like barber shops, especially old-school ones, where you look around the place and are not sure what decade you are in. I had a great barber in Montreal, Steve the Hungarian. He always had a copy of the latest Playboy in the waiting area. Priceless.

It is a gorgeous day outside, if a bit chilly. But it is sunny, dry and clear here in Vancouver.

The radio show seemed to go well, but I have yet to listen to the podcast. That is always the test.
Expecting to pack up Eddy Velvet and head south for the weekend, but not till Friday. We are talking of skiing on Monday again. Much to do between now and then. Like maybe start on those pesky income taxes... Grrr.

The financial markets are continuing to roil. Am glad I pulled the plug on my holdings before the worst of the panic took hold. This downturn will last a while, and I for one, am hoping things continue to drop in price, so that I can buy back in at a later date at much lower prices. Patience.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Night

The night before the radio show... Research is now done. Soon will hit the hay. GWB phoned me again recently, in the middle of the night, wasted. He wanted to know what to do about the subprime mess. I told him to pray. To slaughter a goat, and oh yes, to lower the interest rates by 75 basis points. Eventually, he got it. George really should not drink. He gets really slurry, and a bit irrationally exhuberant.

Barbie Velvet has been visiting from the city since last Friday. She has been very helpful as usual. And Eddy Velvet Sr. is always terribly happy to see her.

Miss Pinky and I made homemade pizzas on the weekend with pizza dough imported from Trader Joes in Bellinham. It was superb. Eddy Velvet loved the pizza. We watched the Bourne Ultimatum on DVD. It was egg-cellent as well. Also, I got 224 new pictures printed at Costco (about 2 years worth) from my camera memory card, and put them all into a new album. A bit tedious, but well worth the effort.

The weekend saw plenty of nice clear weather (though slightly chilly). We drove from the eco-pod complex into Vancouver on Saturday. Because it was clear and dry, we were able to take the big red car out several times. Luna still hates the big red car. We took the dog up to the dyke for a walk and threw the ball for her again and again. Chasing the ball like a mental-case is Luna's Happy Time. A fine time was had by all.

I saw some guy in a Prius in the parking lot at Safeway.
In the big red car, he may have seen me as the Antichrist!

All for now. Must get my beauty sleep.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Market Mania

Well this year so far has been a real downer in the stock markets. Blood in the streets so to speak... Much red ink on the TSX since January 1. Yesterday, I did something I have not done in many years. I sold ALL my stocks. I never sell all my stocks. But I did it anyway. The idea being to buy back in at lower prices in the future. I suspect that things could be pretty ugly till the fall or so. Hopefully not much longer than that. For now, I am on the sidelines, watching the carnage.

In fact, I thought of doing this 4 days ago, but was talked out of it by a broker friend.
As of yesterday, I just decided to pull the plug for a time.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Eddy Velvet Turns 80!

Well we had quite a weekend.

On Friday night , I packed up Eddy Velvet, and trudged off to Miss Pinky's ranch for the weekend. I was very pleased not to have to put up with the usual formalities upon entering the United States. Many thanks to those that helped this happen.

Friday night was uneventful. We watched "Best in Show" on DVD. More hilarity from the creators of "A Mighty Wind", and other mockumentaries. A fine time was had by all.

Saturday was Eddy Velvet's 80th birthday, and it was enjoyed in high fashion with the requisite dancing girls, hookers (just one actually for the birthday boy himself -kidding!), cake, drinks, guests, fireworks, and fanfare. Eddy kept asking whose birthday it was, and was always terribly happy to find it was his own!

On Sunday, we took our house guests and Eddy Velvet up to Mount Baker for a fine day of skiing. For those of you who have never skied at Mount Baker, you owe it to yourselves to try it out. Here is a link to their snow report:

Eddy Velvet last went skiing in the Laurentians, north of Montreal, in 1978. He spent most of the next 30 years in the tropics. Despite the fact that he is in a wheelchair, with significant memory loss, he is happy to tell everybody that he is a good skier! It is good that he still believes this. He probably gets as much out of being driven up to the hill, and sitting in the lodge with a bunch of skiers, as he would out of actually skiing himself.

He was all teary-eyed in the lodge all afternoon, saying "I haven't been to a ski lodge in 30 years!!" I had to keep reminding him that he was actually at the same ski lodge a mere 2 weeks ago. His amazement remained undeterred. After a fine day of skiing, we drove back to the ranch, and promptly fell asleep early after a fine home-made lasagna brought to us by our guests Lois and Allan.

Monday finds me still at Miss Pinky's place, but will return to the ecopod complex later today.

All hail a weekend well spent.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

825 pm - NH Primary Post Mortem

Watched Hillary's speech. She sounded pretty good. I suppose rumours of her death were a bit premature... When she said by listening to New Hampshire that she found her voice, it seemed a bit contrived. Did Hillary's much publicised tearing up yesterday help make the difference with NH women? Could be.

Is this some new better, stronger, faster "I am Listening" Hillary??

Only time will tell.

Over and out. Must do research for tomorrow's radio show.


750 pm - NH Primary

Well I guess I had it wrong on Hillary. She won NH after all. It seems the recent polls had overestimated Obamas strength in that state. Hats off to her for a fight well fought.
Barack is just starting his speech. Time for cocktail number 3. Eddy Velvet is in good form.


Blog is Created!!

Well here it is, my inaugural posting. What to say? A bit hungover today, as I got a bit carried away with my celebration of new computer monitor last night. Today is the New Hampshire primary. My prediction: Obama wins big for the Dems and Hillary goes into negative mode, and also tries to shed her Robo-Woman like campaign of recent days. By the end of February, expect Hillary may have exited the campaign. Expect John McCain to do well for the Republicans in NH today. More news later on.