What the fuck is up with lawn mowers and me?! This mower has only been in use a little over a year. *grump*grump*
Finally finishing up Dark on Netflix and I gotta give a shout out to the main title designers (ARRI Media VFX and Lutz Lemke). I am a sucker for a great title sequence and I gotta say that Dark has one of my favorites. And, yes. I quietly judge people who skip title sequences.
Ben Frost has composed some wonderfully ominous music for the show … which you can sample below and purchase here.
Here’s the full version of Apparat‘s “Goodbye” which is used for the main titles.
Every time I go to the Biltmore Estate I absolutely have to listen to Cocteau Twins when driving onto the estate. I think it’s because I was listening to them when I first visited the place back in 1989. Something about the Cocteau Twins’ sound just seems to fit the place … especially their albums Treasure and Victorialand.
This past Sunday, I visited and just walked around the grounds and gardens as all the time slots for admittance into the house were full. It was a lovely day but the reminders of COVID-19 were everywhere with socially distanced lines, mandatory mask usage, and reduced capacity. That was a bit of a bummer since it’s one of my favorite places to go to try and relax and reset my brain.
So, yeah! A few weekends ago (July 11-12 to be exact), JR and I took off and hiked into the Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On the first day, we hiked up the road to Purchase Knob and then took the Cataloochee Divide Trail past The Swag to Double Gap. From there we went down the Hemphill Bald Trail to Caldwell Fork and Campsite 41. The next day we hiked down the Caldwell Fork Trail and back to JR’s truck. I am estimating that we did about 7 miles the first day and about 5 miles the second day.
This was a really awesome trip! We had perfect weather/temps and Campsite 41 was amazing. I really want to go camp there again. I have apparently become quite the master as getting damp wood to make a cheery campfire. Go figure. The only downside was the numerous water crossings on Caldwell Fork the second day. Thankfully, only one was challenging as there was a bit of guesswork to figure out where the trail was on the other side. All the others were pretty calm as far as rushing water and slick rocks are concerned … though I don’t think I would do this section of trail after a lot of rain since most of the crossing were already at least knee deep (and that was in good weather conditions). We didn’t see any wildlife in person but saw a lot of tracks in the trail. Oh well.
Here’s random assortment of pictures from the trip. Enjoy!
And now … the obligatory collection of trail signs. Double enjoy!
Yeah. Still alive. Plugging through life a day at a time. Blah, blah, blah
I bought four of those cool Bacardi red skull glasses we drank out of in Charleston last year. Alas, the eBay seller didn’t pack them the greatest. Bah! At least two of them survived the trip. Half busted seems to be a theme for life right now.
But, I did manage to find a copy of the way out of print Deluxe Expanded Edition (3 CD/1 DVD) of Prince’s Purple Rain. Yeah. I have been a bit Prince obsessed as of late.
Pandemic life continues. Daily I wonder when the national nightmare will be over. Ugh. David and I are somewhat seriously discussing moving to Canada if Trump is re-elected. I like to think that people will be smart this November. Then I remember that dumassery won the day on November 2016.
One of the most exciting things that has happened recently was the purchase of a vintage Federal Housewares Food Chopper thanks to eBay. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this thing. Seriously! They really designed things better back in the day. It chops like a beast and reminds me of my childhood at the same time.
I had bought a chopper at Walmart a couple of years ago but it’s made totally of plastic and is lame as fuck. The blades don’t move for even chopping and the cap comes off easily allowing the stuff you are chopping to spill all over the place. Ugh. Now I can kick this hunk of junk to the curb. Yay!
I guess you have become an old fart when you wax poetic about a vintage food chopper.
JR and I went on another camping trip this past weekend to the Caldwell Fork in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was a SUPER awesome trip. You’ll see those pictures soon. Yeah … that was a post tease.
Well … we are now half way through what is arguably the worst year ever. And there looks to be no end in site. Ugh.
Some things that have happened recently:
– Sat around in a really black depression for several days.
– Saw A&A for takeout pizza and fire pitting.
– Saw a few friends (less than 10) for a short, socially distanced July 4th cookout.
– Sat around the house a lot.
The biggest news of the past week is that I formally submitted my resignation letter to the local theater. The entire staff got laid off at the end of March because of the COVID-19 induced shutdown. So, I have technically not been an employee since then. Last week I made it official that I won’t be returning as their graphic designer when they re-open (God knows when that will be). Today I went and turned in my keys and handed over all the art files. This has been a decision that’s been a long time coming (nearly five years). I have been feeling burnt out with the work and pissed off with the lack of appreciation from the higher ups. That being said, it’s been a depressing few weeks working up the nerve to actually go through with it considering I have been doing art for them for almost 30 years.
But, in fun “I spend too much money on shit considering I have officially quit my second job” news, I managed to find a copy of the 5 CD/1 DVD Super Deluxe Edition of Prince’s 1999 album for retail out of Canada. This is the second time that Sonic Boom Records in Toronto has come through. This set came out last November, went immediately out of print, and is already selling for $200+ on the secondary market. So, I consider this a real score as I got it for $70 shipped (the price tag is Canadian dollars).
Holy Christmas, Batman! It’s been announced that my favorite Prince album, Sign o’ the Times, will be released in an 8 CD/1 DVD Super Deluxe Edition this coming September.
The Super Deluxe Edition includes all the audio material that Prince officially released in 1987, as well as 45 previously unissued studio songs recorded between May 1979 and July 1987, and a complete live audio performance from the June 20, 1987 stop on the “Sign O’ The Times” Tour at Stadium Galgenwaard in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Also included is a brand-new DVD containing the complete, previously unreleased New Year’s Eve benefit concert at Paisley Park on December 31, 1987, which was Prince’s final performance of the “Sign O’ The Times” Tour stage show and his only on-stage collaboration with jazz legend Miles Davis.
The Super Deluxe Edition set also features a 120-page hardcover book containing Prince’s previously unseen handwritten lyrics for many of the songs from the era, including the hits “U Got The Look,” “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man,” and “Hot Thing,” iconic unseen images from the era taken by Prince’s primary photographer in the mid-1980s to early 90s, Jeff Katz, plus images of archive assets including original analog tape reels and studio tracking sheets.
It retails at a hefty $160 …. but, damn … I NEED THIS! *drools*
Yeah. I am feeling like I am stuck in the pandemic rut … just mostly hanging around the house watching movies and feeling depressed. I am currently only making trips out for supplies, the bank, and take-out. 2020, get thee behind me!
Here are some random thoughts and things:
– I have developed a real hatred of people who won’t wear a mask when in a store.
– I am hoping like hell we have competent government at the beginning of 2021.
– Father’s Day is coming up and I am not looking forward to it. Ugh.
– I am currently hooked on pimento cheese.
– I am on my way to alcoholism as drinking every day seems like the thing to do now.
– I am obsessing over Saint Etienne.
– I don’t understand businesses (four so far) that don’t respond to emails with questions about placing a special order. I guess they don’t need my money?
– In reality, I really shouldn’t be buying more things.
– I am very slowly working my way towards formally ending my employment as graphic designer at the local theater. I need to stick to my guns!
– If I weren’t too lazy, I would start an OnlyFans account to make up the money.
– I am really just joking about that OnlyFans account. Nobody wants to see that.
I was just shy of turning 29. I had just started shaving my head. I had the most unfortunate glasses on the planet. And selfies were a thing even with a digital camera that stored it’s files on a 3-1/2 floppy disk. Hello, 2000!
The trail guide lied to us about a few creek crossings that could be rock-hopped. The water was too deep and we had to take off our boots and wade. I was a bit annoyed by this and attempted crossing a tributary with my boots on. Needless to say, I fell and ended up with a couple of trail trophies and totally soaked boots. Hiking in wet boots and socks is not fun.
We ended up wading through a pool of water on the left (just out of frame in the above photo) and along the left side of the creek until we climbed over the root ball of a blowdown.
After nine miles, We got into camp early enough to have the pick of the best spot, get set up, and even take an afternoon nap. Heavenly! I always set my tent up close to JR’s so he can rescue me if there are any bear attacks in the middle of the night.
We had a relaxing, uneventful night and were up on the trail early the next morning. Five miles later we arrived at the lower trailhead outside of Bryson City.
And for no real reason, here’s a collection of trail signs along the Deep Creek Trail.