It always scares the shit out of me when someone arrives at my door up here in Ancram. I’m at the top of the hill and I never see them approaching, I didn’t hear a peek and the next minute there are two giant pickups at my garage door. The only thing scarier is the creepy Jehovahs that make the trek.
I think I must be financially supporting the whole local community. Three people from the caretaking service we use turned up to blow leaves. Big Jeff and his crew were on the job. All a surprise to me.
I watched for a bit out the top window and I thought maybe they just like the swirly effect of foliage in the air. I’m not sure the leaves are actually moving anywhere. Two hours blowing seems slow progress. They seem to be isolating leaves individually based on progress. My fucking head was ringing from the multi blower noise right outside the kitchen on the back deck. I was working. Try training half a dozen consultants in Bangalore on Zoom with that as background noise and the United Nations of accents to contend with.
So much for essential work in Columbia County.
They did a great job though and no more raking needed from me. I couldn’t see Big Jeff anywhere during the process. He’s not a man can hide easily.
At some stage during this crises I will actually remember to bring a reusable bag with me to the supermarket. They are coming out with a colorful collection in these stores though. Maybe they’ll be eBay collector virus days paraphernalia someday.
The first season of War of the Worlds, the new alien invasion series finished very interestingly on EPIX/Amazon Prime last night. The minimalist, modern version of the old alien invasion story spans multiple European countries. This updated version, starring Gabriel Byrne, is unsparing and realistic. It relies on story and character, not heavy FX, to carry the tense plot. The sparse use of FX in the series is hugely effective. It’s definitely worth binging these eight tight episodes. It’s one of the smartest and scariest series I’ve seen in a while.
I have a thing for movies set in the snow, and The Thing (1982) is my leading candidate for best group in isolation film. A team of researchers, in the Antarctic, discover a buried alien craft. An entity is released that can imitate any life form. The researchers start to get killed. Who in the crew is the alien? I jump a mile at the blood testing scene even after seeing this film 20 times.
John Carpenter made some of the finest cult movies of the 70s and 80s and this is a doozy. His movie scores are infectious. I saw him perform all his works on his Themes concert tour in 2018. That was a bucket lister for me. I scored an excellent Escape from New York tee shirt – which ironically I did four weeks ago.
Enders Game is the classic sci-fi novel about stopping an alien invasion. Children are drafted into Battle School and trained to fight the (unfortunately named) Buggers, an interstellar threat. Author Orson Scott Card won the Nebula and Hugo Awards, Sci-fi’s biggies, for both Enders Game and the thought provoking sequel , Speakers of the Dead.
Now I see why those leaf dudes were here as long as they were. Big Jeff, who owns the caretaking service, knows I will get into our swimming pool when the water is still unreasonably cold. I grew up in Galway and neither the bay nor the canals were ever warm.
Jeff opens up our swimming pool for me earlier than would be considered normal every year. Describing our giant tub as a swimming pool is generous . It’s a white trash above ground built into the top deck special. My visiting Texan friends mistook it for a hot tub a couple of years back. I’ve had two of these crappy pools collapse in the last decade, after severe freezing.
But even by my frigid swimming standards opening the pool In April is a tad early. It’s technically still winter.
I don’t mind the cold Jeff, but I’m not a fucking Eskimo .
Pussy has passed.
My friend Brian Geary just let me know that Honor Blackman died today, at the grand age of 94 (not Covid). Blackman played the iconic Pussy Galore in the 1965 Bond classic, Goldfinger.
Sean Connery in a rare statement said he was shaken by the news, but hasn’t stirred from his Bahamas home.