An Affair To Remember

Walking home through city streets
on a summer morning
Early. And late.

An early morning
could also be called a late night
But the sun is up, warming me
So I call it a morning

A late summer morning
could also be called early autumn
But the sun is there, warming me
so I call it a late summer

The morning is brilliant
turning water to gold, bathing hard stone in softness
speaks of the good day to come
Yet in the light
lingers the remnants of a wonderful night

The rays of sun, golden and warm
whispers about a summer so good
but also of autumn to come with leaves turning red

After the joyful bliss of summer
I don’t know if you are leaving of if I am
But we are
And we know
And it’s fine

I am ready for the changing season
for the change in life, our lives
I am happy with the summer that was
All the sun that will forever shine within me

We will always remember this summer
With fondness
Knowing that it was and will forever be
An affair to remember

– – – – –

(An old piece by now, from 2006 – I thought I had reposted it on this blog when I had to take my old blog down but I can’t find it here, so I don’t think so.)

This all came out of listening to one piece of music – “An Affair to Remember”, The Lynne Arriale Trio from their “Live at Montreux” album.

Of all places, in the car – in relatively solid morning queues on the Motorring 3 North, on my way to work.

I’d recognised Lynne Arriale’s piano playing and looked at the car screen to get the title. Half a minute into the tune the thought struck me “Bob! That is exactly what she plays!”

All the sights, sensations and emotions of the piece I put together above came out of that piano melody. I was furiously turning sentences over in my mind, lamenting the fact that I couldn’t get them down on paper – or screen – in the car.

Having parked and getting into the office, I just had to get it down in words – and there it is, as near as I could do it. And you can say that my experience with Lynne Arriale playing that song certainly is an affair I will remember 🙂

Photo courtesy of Felipe Gabaldón on Flickr
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Tuesday Motorway Music™, June 20 – Those Pesky Intentions

Sicilian “Sun’s over the yardarm” moment

Driving home from work yesterday, I had the list of songs all made out. I had thought about a photo. I sort of just needed a tiny glimpse of inspiration as to a topic to head off from.

And then – I don’t know. Monday happened. A nice sofa to sit in. Photos from our Sicily trip that my wife is keen to get into our shared photo album. As am I – and it requires some time spent in front of Adobe Lightroom. And there were some strawberries and some cream in the fridge that begged to be eaten.

What? You don’t think so? Well, of course there is this…

“May I urge you to consider my liver?” asked the animal, “it must be very rich and tender by now, I’ve been force-feeding myself for months.”

“A green salad,” said Arthur emphatically.

“A green salad?” said the animal, rolling his eyes disapprovingly at Arthur.

“Are you going to tell me,” said Arthur, “that I shouldn’t have green salad?”

“Well,” said the animal, “I know many vegetables that are very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am.”
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of The Universe.

…which sort of suggests that vegetables and fruit do not particularly want to be eaten. Nevertheless, we did.

And all of that took time. And efforts (of sorts). And brain waves. And so – no writing occurred.

Sowwy.

Contact High – Scissor Sisters
Jealous Guy – Bryen Ferry & Roxy Music
Good Times – Matt Bianco
You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth – Meat Loaf
Boogie Down – Al Jarreau
5 Minutes Past Loneliness – The Sandmen

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, June 12 – Why Potatoes Should Be Like BBQ Briquettes

That is an odd question, I know… But before I get to that point, the above is one of our more strange experiences from last week in Sicily.

We were driving from A to B (both small, beautiful and pittoresque towns) when we got behind an absolutley non-moving queue before a couple of bends on a country road. The bends meant that we couldn’t see what was happening – or not happening, as it were.

An ambulance coming the other way, though, hinted at an accident. So we had to find another way.

And that road up there? Is part of the alternative GPS solution. Apparently, when the roads are limited by mountain ridges and valleys, the selection gets rather slim. And this picture was when it wasn’t really small and rough yet! Shall we just say that I was a little bit sweaty from concentrating when I got out on hard surface again without having sacrificed tyres or the sump or anything. Not even scratches!

The potato thing, then? Well, when you barbeque, it’s always recommendable to use the same type and brand of briquettes so that you know how they burn and how many to use for what. Consistency is the key word. (Oh, and store them dry – not in the garden shed in the paper bag!)

It would be good if the same type of consistency could be had with potatoes. I’ve made pommes sarladaises a few times recently (or something similar – potatoes cubes, mixed with duck fat, garlic and parsley and done in the oven). The first time they weren’t done after an hour. Today? They were very done after 40 minutes.

See what I’m getting at? Potatoes that roast evenly in the oven every time. Wouldn’t that be great?? 🙂 Invent away!

 

Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys
Somethin’ Stupid – Robbie Williams w/Nicole Kidman
Dig og Mig – Dieters Lieder
Where Blue Begins – Sanne Salomonsen
Captain of Her Heart – Double Side

(some calm music for an easy start after a vacation!)

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, May 29 – One (!) Normal Week Ahead

 

Spent the long weekend last week with friends in Vienna – Ascencion Day is a national holiday here and it’s also always conveniently on a Thursday so that you can bridge it into a four-day weekend by having just one work day off.

Man, the Austro-Hungarian Empire had some serious money. The whole centre of Vienna with Hofburg etc almost reeks of fortunes spent and truly is quite magnificent. Just taking a walk along the Straßen and Gaßen of the most central parts of the city and looking up at the houses reveal a care taken in buidling that is splendid. And then, in the middle of all this stately, orderly magnificence – there is the Hundertwasser house 🙂

On top of all this, we also did taste our way through Vienna – can you say Wienerschitzel and Grüner Veltliner? 🙂

So, now we’re back for a week of normality (there’s a quote there from The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that I probably have used once too often, so we’ll skip it here) – next week I’m away again, so expect some radio silence.

Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meat Loaf
Cotton Eye Joe – Rednex
Good As It Gets – Beth Hart
Do You Wanna Touch Me? – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
A.C.D.C. – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Photos by me.
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Tuesday Motorway Music™, May 23 – Just Silence For Today

Today is not a day for music – not after the atrocity, as it apparently was, in Manchester.

Listen – I don’t do religion. Still, I try to have respect for people who do. And I will continue to do so. This simply cannot be seen – I cannot see it – as something any person of religion would be able to do. Deliberately target children and teenagers with death? How can anyone but the sickest of minds think that this can forward any case?

As someone wiser than me has said – if you have to hurt other people to prove your morals or faith, then you don’t have morals or faith to prove.

What does make me believe in people is the response of the people of Manchester. Opening their doors for strangers, offering to give people a lift to safety, even the simplest – but necessary – offerings of something to drink, a phone charge…

That is how humanity reacts. That IS humanity.

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Tuesday* Motorway Music™, May 16 – Fast Idaho Edition

Monday I didn’t really do any driving – I did ride shotgun with a couple of good colleaues but that was it.

On the other hand, or to compensate if you will, I did a few hours and well above 100 miles of it today. For Americans 120 or 150 miles is probably not that long – but as it’d get you across most of Denmark, for us Danes it is.

Idaho? Yep, Twin Falls to BOI via the Shoshone Falls. Very nice experience the falls was too!

And the fast? Yeehaaa – Idaho has a 80 mph speed limit on Interstates. And that’s nice!


Celebration – Kool & The Gang
Hero Takes A Fall – The Bangles
Bring Me Some Water (Live Solo) – Melissa Etheridge
Happy House – Siouxsie & The Banshees
I Cried For You – Katie Melua
Freedom – Beyoncé
Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins
I’ll Be Waiting – Adele
My Last Breath – Evanescence

Photos by me.
*This post was written on Tuesday – and almost finished when I ran out of WiFi access where I was. And it was very close to midnight before I got me some again. Hence posting on a Wednesday and claiming Tuesday. The fate of a road warrior 😉
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Monday Motorway Music™, May 8 – Illinois Motorways In Sunset

Actually, this is either cheating or at the very least maximally utilizing the concept of time zones – after flying CPH-ORD on Sunday, I drove to Wisconsin. Technically speaking, Danish time, that makes it a Monday Motorway session…

(and, this being 6:24pm Monday evening in Wisconsin, this technically is a Monday Motorway Music™ post!)

It’s very easy to make your way from ORD to Madison. Find the nearest Interstate on-ramp and follow the signs to I-90W. And … go!

When you’ve spent an un-Bobly amount of time trying to meet up with a shuttle bus for the Dollar rental cars, you are then, on an evening like yesterday, treated with a drive towards the most magnificent sunset.

2017-05-07 19.55.04

Dancing In The Moonlight – Toploader
I’ll Be There For You – The Rembrandts
It’s A Sin – Pet Shop Boys
The Power – SNAP!
Kokomo – Beach Boys
I’ve Got The Music In Me – Kiki Dee
Celebration – Kool & The Gang

Photos by me.
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Monday Motorway Music™, May 1 – Happy Int’l Workers’ Day

A reasonably normal Monday. Between coming home from work and leaving for a scout’s leaders meeting, I was home for about 25 minutes. Par for the course… 😉

Spring is also trying its best to return to normal – it’s delightfully sunny and temperatures are creeping up. The birds that visit the feeders outside our dining room window are busy – I do suspect that a lot of them already have small ones – if not, the cold weather must have kept them hungry. Because, man – they’re busy stuffing themselves!

The next two Mondays will be from abroad – I’ll still do what I can to have some quality time with a keyboard and WordPress in a browser. But don’t try and hold your breath to make normality happen – just sayin’…

I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Baby – Barry White
Waterfalls – TLC
Ain’t No Cure For Love – Leonard Cohen
If Leavin Me Is Easy – Phil Collins
Somethin’ Stupid – Robbie Wiliams (feat. Nicole Kidman)

Photos by me.
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“Whateverday” Motorway Music™, April 25 – Apparently, Blogging Drought Is A Thing

Yes, looks weird. And yes, I cannot draw for the life of me. But it does carry a meaning 😉

I don’t know if it’s related to the fact that the weather turned cold and at times miserable or what – but I haven’t really been in front of a WordPress window lately. Sorry ’bout that!

Some of it is pure and plain business – work’s been rather hectic and the downtime in the Easter was very needed – and actually, apart from the cooking thing that, after all, did go up here, included a lot of offlime time, too. Probably for the better.

So, what on Earth is that weird line drawing up there?

??

It’s a route sketch of the USA trip that I’ll be doing in just less than two weeks from now. 8 flights in 10 days – routing goes something like this (with stops and coming back to the same airport for onwards flights left out for clarity):

CPH-ORD-BNA-DEN-BOI-DEN-SAT-ORD-CPH.

Phew! All in 11 days or so. And I could have added a drive from Chicago O’Hare to Madison, WI while I was at it.

In other news, it is cold – we’ve been hovering between 0 and 7-9°C lately, with the odd morning below freezing. And the occasional, very quick, snow, sleet or hail shower. In late April, for Bob’s sake! Nevertheless, the spring is happening – as I alluded to in the last post that goes for anything like regular around here.

To witness:

Lady (Radio Edit) – Modjo
Please Don’t Leave Me  – Pretty Maids
Take On Me – A-Ha
Beautiful Ones – Suede
If God Is A DJ – P!nk
Twisting By The Pool – Dire Straits
Hey, Good Lookin’ – Backseat Boys
I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles

Photo by me. Map clipped from Google Maps.
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CFR Notes – United’s Front Desk Problems

 

I guess that anybody with just a passing amount of interest in air travel by now will have seen the debacle over United 3411 and the violently “re-alloctated” passenger. (If not, One Mile At A Time has a lot of coverage – this one will work as a starting point.)

I am not going to enter into the specific case – but for the record, I’ll say on the issues in it that –

  • I do believe United royally screwed up
  • I am happy to hear about the suggested analysis and revision of all their customer-facing policies
  • I think that the US consumer protection for air passengers stinks

But what I will say here – and it relates to the second point above – is that, in my experience, United simply does not empower their front line personnel to do much at all for their passengers.

Case in point: my experience from a cancelled LAN-ORD flight in September 2015 (read about it here).

What happened when we had received our text messages from various services that our flight would be cancelled and rushed to the airport was … nothing much.

The United lady behind the counter there flatly told us that she couldn’t do any rebookings, any information, anything at all – and on top of all of that, that we had to call United’s service center on our own (foreign plan = expensive) cell phones because her phose system was dead.

I mean… Anywhere else in the world when I’ve had a flight delay, a cancelled flight, any disturbance, the gate agents have at least been a pillar of professionalism. I’ve had rebookings done, I’ve had information on alternatives, I’d had status updates on the situation… in rare circumstances, I’ve had a professionally compassionate and excusing explanation as to why they couldn’t do anything right now – but then, invariably, advice as to how and when I might get help.

In fact, I will usually tell people that when you find yourself in dire straits while travelling, always remember that the gate agent is your friend and maybe the only one you have. But here? She flatly stated that in our sutuation, no help was going to be available for us because her systems did not allow her to help.

Whether that was “no help in general” or “no help because you are flying, ultimately, internationally” (and Lansing is a rather small, primarily domestic, airport) I don’t know. To state the obvious, I am not directing my ire at the specific lady in question but at the policies and systems that were so inadequate that they left her in a hopeless situation.

But I do know that I felt utterly let down by United’s lack of empowering their people – through systems availability and policies – to help their customers.

So I am not so surprised that they’d end up in a situation where lack of empowerment led them with only the bad options left. As we’ve all witnessed.

Photo from united.com
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