Mahler

On Susan Werner’s album Midwestern Saturday Night the title song starts like this:

Thanks for the concert,
It was quite enlightening,
Although Mahler does tend to
make me want to do myself in.
Later on we come to the chorus:
I wanna knit you wool sweaters
with little deer all over
I wanna feed you from my kitchen
‘til your belt feels too tight
I wanna make love ‘til three
and never judge my performance
On a Midwestern Saturday night.
You can read the rest of the lyrics, but it’s a song that is much better when seen live, which I had the opportunity to do last month in New Bedford.

One of the things I lament about living in PEI is that it’s not on any sort of folk music circuit. Which means that as I sit here in Charlottetown tonight I can probably hop in my car and see all manner of fiddling sensations or celtic balladeers, but I have almost no hope of seeing anyone else from North America playing in the folk or roots genre on a regular basis. Folk music is one type of music that’s almost always better seen live, so that’s too bad.

As an aside, I once was forced to write a song called “Stephen Carter Elliott Hates Folk Music” about my friend Stephen (who had to change his last name to avoid association with the song) who, well, hates folk music. I believe it went something like this:

Stephen Carter Elliott hates folk music,
And he doesn’t really know why.
Stephen Carter Elliott hates folk music,
He says it makes him want to die.
As you can see, you need not be in any rush to hear my music played live, or recorded.

Kermit the Frog

You may recall a commerical for the late etailer eToys which involved an instrumental version of the song Somewhere over the Rainbow and a father and son going to the car wash.

This commecial implanted itself in my mind and as a result I somehow feel that it is my fatherly duty to take not-so-wee Oliver to the car wash on a regular basis. Happily, this desire syncs with my obsessive “you have a new car so must wash it regularly” feeling.

In the world of car washes, there are two camps: touch and touchless (although the ‘touch’ camp probably just thinks of themselves as ‘regular’). At the former your car is beaten and brushed by a variety of spinning, flopping, whirling brushes and at the later you car is simply pummelled with water.

The main selling point of the new-style ‘touchless’ car wash is that, as nothing but water touches you car, you are less likely to suffer damage to antennae, side mirrors and other appendages. The old-style regular carwash people appear to maintain that the spinning and whirling results in a better carwash, despite the possibility of maiming.

Oliver and I usually go to the touchless wash, either in Stratford (good wash; poor vacuums) or West Royalty (good wash; never used the vacuums), but tonight we went to the Iriving on St. Peters Road for a bona fide old-style wash and it felt just like the eToys commercial.

If any of my fellow parents want to experience for yourself, this is a good time to do so, as this Irving has the ‘Super’ wash on sale for the same price as the ‘Deluxe,’ a saving of almost two dollars.

Our Generous University Library

If you live in a place other than Prince Edward Island, try this: walk into the library of the biggest university in your province or state, and tell them that you, a normal everyday civilian otherwise unaffiliated with the university in any way, would like a library card. Dollars to donuts they will either laugh at you, or charge you $150.

Here on Prince Edward Island, at UPEI, they will charge you a one-time $10 fee for a photo ID card, and then give you a library card, for free, that will let you take out books from the Robertson Library.

I obtained such a card about 11 years ago, and I went in to use it for the first time in about 6 years tonight and checked out three books with no problems.

I laud UPEI for its inclusiveness in this regard: sharing your resources with the community at large makes sense, and makes we out here feel more apart of you in there. Thanks.

WWE

While we’re talking about acronyms with ‘w’ and ‘e’ in them: I’m not sure how I missed the news that the World Wrestling Federation, formerly known as the WWF, was forced to rename itself the WWE (for World Wrestling Entertainment) by the World Wildlife Fund. Amazing.

WWWE

When I was a kid, one of my favourite things to do was to listen to AM radio. Very early on I had a Radio Shack crystal radio — a magical device that required no batteries and that pulled in radio signals from all over the place. Later I got a bigger full-blown Radio Shack radio that pulled in the TV audio as well as FM and AM.

My most favourite thing was to lie in bed, after everyone thought I was asleep, with an earphone plugged into the radio. I would scan up and down the AM dial for far-flung stations, usually being able to listen for only 2 or 3 minutes until the cosmos shifted and the signal drifted out of range.

One of my more confusing finds was a radio station that identified itself, at least to my ears, as “threedoobee.” I had to listen for many months until I finally realized that their call letters were WWWE, and that they announced this as “three-w e”. WWWE was out of Cleveland, which was across Lake Erie from where we were, north of Hamilton. The mystery was solved.

Thanks to the insane obsessiveness of the web, you can now hear something like what I heard back then — an announcer for “The Monster on the Lake” doing a station check.

Sadly WWWE is now called a much more generic WTAM, so the pre-teen post-bedtime listeners of today will have no such mysteries to solve.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, then the K/W Call Letters in the United States page might strike your fancy.