Sarah and Dave gave us tickets for our anniversary to see “Motown- the Musical” and I am glad they did.

We went to the show yesterday at the National Arts Centre. Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I was wondering how Barry Gordy – who wrote the musical book – could fit a storyline around 60+ Motown classics but it didn’t take long to find out. There were actually three storylines:

  1. How Barry Gordy founded Motown Records, how he developed it from a “black artist” label to a worldwide success, how he moved to LA, how the major record companies stole his performers away and left him bitter and disillusioned.
  2. How Motown and specifically Marvin Gaye reacted to, and interacted with the turbulence in American society in the ’60s and early ’70s.
  3.  Gordy’s long term romance with Diana Ross.

All the hits were there. All the major players were portrayed – Marvin, Smokey, the Funk Brothers, Mary Wells, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Contours, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Holland Dozier and Holland etc. etc.

Chester Gregory (Barry) and Allison Semmes (Diana) were standouts. Both had show stopper numbers, as did the precocious 12 year old who played Michael Jackson (right down to the Moonwalk moves and uptempo vocals.)

The story begins with young Barry in 1938 and ends with the Motown 25th anniversary celebration in 1983. They used lots of actual film footage of the historical events as a backdrop to the music.

Barry Gordy is now 87. All his fans are getting old too. But we had a good time yesterday.


Television in the Digital Age

Remember back when you dialed up one of the 4 VHF channels you could get on your 21 inch B&W TV, and then went outside to pull the wires to rotate the antenna? I do too – but nowadays ain’t your grandpa’s TV era.

Last weekend my wife went down to visit her mother – and noticed that MIL’s 10 year old LCD TV was a mess. It had double images, shadowy figures and jumpy behavior- all bad. I checked online and this was symptomatic of display failure. Not worth fixing.

Maria’s mom is 87 years old and mostly watches Italian TV shows. She doesn’t stream video, has no DVD player. All she needs is a simple dumb LCD TV the same size as the bad one. So it was off to Amazon where we got a new 32 inch Vizio – decent specs, good price. In a couple of days it was here and then we were off to Kingston to install the beast.

After disconnecting the old TV and putting it in the car to recycle later, we took the old SDTV cable box to the Cogeco store and swapped it out for an HD model – new TV, no point in watching crappy old standard def shows. I got everything hooked up. Then I had to wait an hour for the box to initialize – which it did NOT do. I had to call Cogeco tech support, then wait another 45 minutes. I was 2 hours into the install and still didn’t have a picture.

Finally I got some action out of the box. Then I had to reprogram the remote so that it would switch the TV off and on, and finally switch both the box and TV off and on in sequence. This activity was slightly more complicated than installing a wifi computer network – but I digress.

After the remote was working I then had to deal with Cogeco’s archaic high definition programming. Unlike Rogers Cable – which just broadcasts HD on every channel if it’s available – Cogeco is still in the late 20th Century. You have to dial up the HD channels in the range of 700-800 and none of the channels have numbers remotely similar to the old SDTV ones. Maria’s mom will have to relearn her channel surfing I guess.

It was worth it though – at least her TV picture stays in one place and looks great in HD. She’s happy. And I am longing for that rotary dial and wires on the antenna.


Thanks a Lot, Photobucket!!!

The photos displayed on this blog mostly come from a photo sharing site called Photobucket. I have used Photobucket for a decade and I even pay them for the privilege. I don’t abuse their storage capacity or bandwidth.

Photo sharing sites have three basic uses:

  1. To store your photos safely in the Cloud.
  2. To provide a means to link your stored photos back to the photo site from a blog post or forum.
  3. To actually embed your photo in another forum or blog post. This is called 3rd Party Hosting.

Like 75% of Photobucket’s customers I used it for option 3. But Photobucket didn’t make any money this way. They decided the best way to rid themselves of these troublesome clients was to extort money from them so they would pay or disappear. A month or so ago, they changed their Terms of Service without telling anyone via email or clearly in a notice on their site. All they did was make a cryptic post on their blog about it.

Then in early July they replaced millions of embedded photos in blogs, sites, forums and eBay with the above image.

Nice, eh? Looks like a Wannacry notice.

PB broke uncounted eBay auctions, blogs and websites. Unless you pay $400 per year you won’t be able to do 3rd Party hosting and get your photos back online. Unless you pay $100 per year you won’t even be able to link. Your account is useless. Get lost, Dude.

Now to be fair only free users got the roughest treatment. As a paid subscriber my hosting still works – and I get 18 months to ante up the $400 per year to continue what used to cost me $30. The value isn’t there, since I can simply host my own images here at for no cost, no bandwidth nor capacity issues.

I thought I was helping Photobucket out – apparently not. So now I have 300 blog posts here I’ll have to edit one at a time to remove the Photobucket links and upload the graphics to my own site. You wanna believe I’ll be doing this.

Thanks a bunch, Photobucket -NOT!!!!




cww trust seal