Callum is pissed. I called him Cathal in last night’s posting. Cathal is a different nephew. Callum wouldn’t believe me when I claimed his name was changed by spellcheck in Word.
“Bullshit,” the angry ten year old yelled at me on FaceTime. “You’re a fucking disgrace. Darren is a much better Uncle.” Callum was furious. “You really expect me to believe that Microsoft Word would correct traditional Irish names? You’re a fucking liar Uncle Karl!”
I couldn’t argue with the kid’s logic. I’ll throw Callum a few extra dollars if I see him at Christmas. He’s small but he knows Kung Fu.
It smells like cow shit up here at the Ancram country house today.
For those that have not visited me in my Ancramdale weekend home (and I hope to see everyone for my next party soon) we are very fortunate to have 15 acres , mostly wooded and connected to my neighbors farm. They have hundreds of open acres. We have been coming here since 2002.
Our neighbors, The Millers, are cattle farmers but also plant corn and soy in the front field. A couple of times a year the Miller’s lay down some rank smelling cow shit fertilizer. Today is one of those spray days. My eyes are watering, my coffee tastes of poo.
I will not be sitting out on the back deck for brekkie today.
The Millers are known for having the best sweet corn in Columbia County. They run an honor’s system roadside stand selling vegetables in harvest season, on Route 82. I don’t eat yellow foods myself but it’s been a big success when I’ve barbecued.
Stinking Cow shit aside – its spectacular up here again today. I feel very fortunate that we have this isolated country home. I hate to work from our apartment in Manhattan at the best of times. I have a lady, in her late seventies, who lives in the apartment above me and has been learning to play the piano for years. She sounds like she might be missing a few fingers. It’s almost worse when she gets a few notes right because I just know she’s about to shit the bed again. We have been in that city apartment over a dozen years and the old dear upstairs is still learning to play the scales and Twinkle Twinkle Little Fucking Star.
The credit for tonight’s binge recommendation goes to my fourteen-year-old nephew Ryan, back in Ireland with the banjaxed ankles. He is obsessed with Peaky Blinders. His mother, Ana, had to buy him a peaked cap. That’s all grand, as long as there are no razor blades concealed in it.
Peaky Blinders follows the Shelby family, and their rise in the criminal underworld in Birmingham, England. Beginning in 1919, immediately after WWI, we follow big brother Tommy (Cillian Murphy) as he fights for criminal dominance and respectability. Tommy Shelby’s story is on many levels similar to Michael Corleones, but with a Brummie accent. Like Corleone, Tommy also has a hot-headed brother he cannot control in Arthur. The Shelbys are an equal opportunity crime family, their women are just as tough as the men.
Peaky Blinders gives the typical gangster period piece a cool modern dynamic and look. The use of a current musical score for this turn of the last century piece works. You’ll have Nick Caves Red Right Hand stuck in your head. I just put it on the Sonos!
You can see all 5 seasons/30 episodes on Netflix.
Sticking with Cillian Murphy, he’s on my great movies you probably shouldn’t watch now, but it’s great so watch it list- 28 Days Later. There’s a Zombie apocalypse unleashed on London. Some idiot animal rights activists are infected when they get bitten by the chimp they release from a testing facility. The ape is carrying a virus called The Rage and that monkey wound makes for some fast zombies.
28 Days Later was groundbreaking in that it was the first major film made completely on digital. This meant Director Danny Boyle could get some amazing guerilla style shots of deserted London (monkey pun). He’d have an easier time getting his filming done on the empty London streets these days.
I’m going to stick with the zombie theme for my book recommendation. World War Z by Max Brooks is the only zombie book I’ve ever read. The book is an oral history of humanities war for survival against the zombie apocalypse as told by survivors. Each chapter’s story is told by a different character acrosd various global locations. It’s a fast paced page turning read that was adapted into a very good movie, also called World War Z. It was produced by and starred Brad Pitt. Read the book watch the movie.
For you trivia nerds, author Max Brooks is Mel’s son.