Things That Go Bump In the Night

February 15, 2008

My plan was to find a video of the great Philly Joe Jones so that I could tell my story of meeting him in 1966 or 1967. I found a good video, but then for some reason I wanted to see Joe Morello playing “History of a Boy Scout“. Instead I found a great video of him playing “Take Five” as part of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. I seemed to be satisfied with that, played it twice. But then I had an urge to see Buddy Rich and, in searching for that, I found this glorious Battle Of The Drummers gig featuring Buddy Rich AND Gene Krupa.

They don’t make TV like that anymore!


February 15, 2008

My wife and I courted in those days before the inevitability of email. In fact, I wrote her dozens of long letters, all in longhand, and mailed them off. We were emailing each other throughout this time, but hand-written mail still seemed more appropriate for intimacies and long stories. Anyway, letters there were — and lots of them — most of them written while I whiled away the hours at Fets Restaurant on Commercial Drive. I ate hundreds of pounds of burgers and drank an Olympic pool of red wine in the four months before she moved here.

FetsFets is still our restaurant of choice, our default option. We went there for Valentine’s Day supper and enjoyed it just about as well as the first time. They have just the best burgers in Vancouver, bar none, and any one of the different types is a winner. They also keep a great steak — better, I think, than any steak house, including Joe Fortes. Recently they introduced thin-crust pizzas that are to die for. If you like hockey — especially Canucks hockey — you can’t beat a game night at Fets.

I’m not a whiskey drinker but Eric, one of the owners is. In fact, he wrote a book about it, and I think he keeps a good bar.

The walls reflect Eric’s musical tastes, heavy on images of the Rolling Stones and dead rockers. They have all been drawn by Paul Archer (we have an Archer of Mick Jagger in our living room that I bought off the wall at Fets).

It is a warm and friendly place and Eric and Allura are fine hosts with a good eye for servers who are better than adequate. Their patio faces Grandview Park on perhaps the busiest section of the Drive. If you are new to the Drive, you can’t do better than a meal at Fets watching the walking cabaret.

Industrial Sculpture I

February 15, 2008

Industrial Structure I

Creating Collage

February 15, 2008

we sleep together,
for sure,
but mostly we share together,
cutting out our memories
from the bark of life’s tree

— like pieces of collage
laid out on the floor
before an exhibition
celebrating our anniversaries –

unhurriedly pasting them together

— refocusing colors and shapes
and forms –

until it is late again
and again
for sure
we sleep together

Whales, It Seems, Don’t Sleep Much

February 15, 2008

What is it that we don’t already know about whales? They have been the planet’s favourite cause for many years now. Well, it seems that they don’t need very much sleep; and the sleep they do get may only be in half their brain at any one time.

Sperm whales literally drift to sleep, but it’s a snooze like no other, according to a recent study that found whales perform slow, rhythmic dives as they slumber. Because these drift dives keep the whales in constant motion as they rest, scientists now think the seafaring mammals sleep with one side of their brain at a time. The two sides alternate until both are rested …

whale sleeping

The scientists observed two types of drift dives. The first, head-up drift dives, happen when a whale’s rear end slowly sinks into the water from a horizontal posture. During the second type, head-down, the whale descends slowly with its head directed toward the ocean floor. It travels downward about one or two body lengths in depth before flipping back upward toward the water’s surface. The researchers think the whale’s internal buoyancy causes this natural upward motion, similar to how a sinking apple eventually bobs back to the surface …

“Their bodies have found a way to cope, offering evidence that sleep isn’t necessary for development, and raising the question of whether humans and other mammals have untapped physiological potential for coping without sleep,” said Jerome Siegel, director of the Center for Sleep Research at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Interesting research, with more detail at Discovery News.