#899: Gathering

RECORD STORE TALES #899:  Gathering

It was a beautiful day today.  In the afternoon I got the ol’ laptop dusted off, and brought it out onto the patio to listen to some tunes and watch some YouTube.  The laptop is at least a decade old, probably older, and has served me well as my travelling machine.  Today, it could barely do two things at once.  Obviously it will not serve me well for live streaming this summer at the lake.  It did a stand-up job last year, with Streamyard and video editing.  This year it simply will not cut the tomatoes so I pulled the trigger on a new HP.  I didn’t want to go down in screen size so I ordered a 17.3″.  I always get nervous when buying a new computer, and I’ve never bought HP before.  I’m excited though.  Whatever happens, it cannot be worse than a decade-old Acer.  It could be here as early as Tuesday.  Wish me luck — this summer’s future LeBrain Train episodes will depend on this laptop!  Meanwhile the old one will be brought to Sausagefest — if there will be such a thing this summer.

The laptop is delivering by Purolator, which is totally safe.  Amazon unfortunately is not.  Their couriers leave the parcel at the door and that’s that.  Because there is so much theft of Amazon parcels in these parts, for the last six months or so, I have been having everything sent to my mom and dad’s address.  I am still working from the office and they are home all the time.  Jen has appointments that usually has her out of the house when Amazon come knocking.  As a result, I have to pick up my parcels from them about once a week.  And, according to Ontario’s current regulations, having an outdoor socially distanced visit with them is currently illegal.

“Hey, would you guys like to come out back for an illegal visit?” asked my mom.

“Sure,” I shrugged.

We’ve all been vaccinated with the first shot and are at 50% immunity.  We distanced.  Well, my dad got a little close as he sometimes does.  But it was nice.  Something almost normal.  I would like to go down into the basement and look for some of my old sketches from when I was a kid, but we aren’t taking any chances.  We stayed out.  Doug Ford can suck it.

Ironically, one of the things I was picking up was a cheap pair of computer speakers.  Every time Doug Ford goes live on TV to open his big mouth, I can’t hear him.  It’s too quiet.  Annoying.  So I ordered some cheap Amazon branded speakers so I can actually listen next time he opens his big yap.  And they’re my speakers, so if I want to use them for my new laptop, I’m good there too.

Some music also arrived.  We will be interviewing Paul Laine soon on the LeBrain Train, so I grabbed his Zokusho album by the Defiants.  Looking forward to that.  In a previous order, I received Long Distance Voyager by the Moody Blues.  Uncle Meat told us that it was his dad’s favourite album, and he would love if we listened to it or even reviewed it.  So I listened to it, loved it, and ordered a CD so I can listen properly for review.  I’m happy to do that for him.

I have also completed my set of Whitesnakes Red, White & Blue trilogy.  In hand are the recent compilation CDs The Rock Album, The Love Album, and The Blues Album.  All tracks have been remixed and updated, while unreleased songs are also included.  John Snow over at 2loud2oldmusic did a fantastic job of reviewing them all.  The Blues Album came from Encore while the other two are Amazons.

We talked current events, we talked family matters, we had a few laughs.  All is well, more or less.  This is the first pandemic for everyone present.  In the five stages of grieving, I think my mom is at the anger stage.  Last week on the phone, when I told her that us visiting would be against the rules, she said “I don’t give a damn about the rules!”  I don’t know the last time I heard her that angry!  Let’s face it, we the people of Ontario have been getting jerked around.  She has a lot to be mad about.  I love my mom.

My dad, on the other hand, decided to watch a documentary about Ozzy Osbourne on A&E.  Excitedly, he told me all about his history with Black Sabbath and as a solo artist.  “He had a lot of success on his own, when no one thought he would!” he explained to me.  But it wasn’t easy for the Ozzman either.  My dad told me all about Ozzy’s son Jack, and the role that Sharon played in his success.  It was one of those moments you cherish.  I love my dad.

My mom also loved The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which concluded on Friday.  We talked about Sam and the new Captain America.  To my dad, there is only one Captain America and it’s not Sam Wilson or Steve Rogers.  It’s someone I’ve never heard of — Grant Gardner, district attorney and the 1944 version of Cap that he grew up with.  He has no interest in the new Cap, while my mom was really drawn into the storyline.  Hopefully next time we visit illegally, my mom will have seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier which I told her to watch next.

I realize I have incriminated myself and my family with this story, and to that I say:  oh well.  We were safe and respectful of common sense.   When this pandemic eventually ends — and history has shown that eventually it will — I will have these chapters as a document of the weirdest times of our lives.  And that has more value than a fine.




  1. Another alternative to a large-screen laptop is to pair with an external display. I run a 15″ laptop and 27″ display. If the screen is used in extended mode, there is a large second desktop beside your laptop screen. External displays usually have their own soundcard and speakers. This also makes easier portability of a smaller laptop for travel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shame on you foe breaking the rules. I for one will not be breaking the rules. In fact, I’m legally off to Walmart to have both idiotic employees and stupid customers nudge right up beside me and breathe all over me while wearing useless face shields or no mask at all due to their “breathing problems”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your mom sounds awesome and so relatable (I’ve seen her on your show actually). The angry stage is totally understandable. Oddly enough, I started off in the angry stage (probably because the stadium tour was pushed back to summer 2021) and now I’m in the chill stage. I got my first shot this past Wednesday. I’ll get my second shot on May 12. Did you get Pfizer or Moderna?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m looking forward to when we both get our second shots!

        Hooray! I can’t wait to hear you and your mom tell more family stories, when she comes back on the show one day. Or she talk about the music that she listens to?


  4. Dude, we were doing distanced driveway visits with my mom and dad and now even that is a no-go. They haven’t hugged their grandkids in too long. I’m right there with you. Me, though, I’d be all for a brief stint of even stricter rules if it meant even those who don’t think the rules apply to them figured out that it applies to them too, and then we could all get vaccinated and past this and back to some semblance of normal. But with the weather getting nicer and folks feeling entitled, even travelling up here because they always have and they should be allowed to live, dammit, I despair of any progress soon. It wouldn’t really matter who was in that office saying whatever they say if folks don’t listen to it. Ford’s a muppet, sure, but people voted for him – like his brother, folks thought it would be funny, and now it’s consequence time.

    Congrats on the new laptop! That’s always exciting. I need to replace this old iMac, it’s from 2011. Still going, but won’t update any longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d be willing to endure whatever needs to be endured to get this under control. My grandma is dealing with it pretty poorly. We’ll go see her on the back porch next weekend, while she sits indoors. So if Doug wants to ticket me, he’s got all the evidence he needs.


      1. Yeah I think we need to go New Zealand on this BS and just shut ‘er down. Everybody. Stop caving to people who cry ‘cos they can’t do something for a couple of weeks. Big difference between want and need, suck it up buttercup. Time to put on grown up underpants and get past this BS.


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