On the road again
I just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again ~ Willie Nelson.
King’s Highway 401, commonly referred to as Highway 401 and also known by its official name as the Macdonald–Cartier Freeway or colloquially as the four-oh-one, is a controlled-access-400-series highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. It stretches 828 kilometres (514 mi) from Windsor in the west to the Ontario–Quebec border in the east. The part of Highway 401 that passes through Toronto is North America's busiest highway, and one of the widest. Some 420,000 vehicles drive on its 500 miles every day, and there isn’t a single inch of it that I haven’t traversed. When I am on it, I often think of the very first moment I was introduced to it. It was August 18th, 1972, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
My father had moved here just prior, in the May. He had come ahead of us to find a job and get settled, and now on this day, my mother, grandmother and I, had also made the move from Scotland to Canada. Immigrants fresh off the....”Laker Airways” plane.
Laker Airways was a wholly private British independent airline founded by Sir Freddie Laker in 1966. It was originally a charter airline flying passengers and cargo worldwide. It’s head office was located at London Gatwick Airport, England. It was known for its low-cost, “no frills” service and believe me when I say they lived up to the no-frills approach. I am amazed they didn’t have holes in the floor for all of us to stick our legs through ( like the Flintstones) and all of us run fast to get us up in the air.
As a matter of fact, thinking back on it, it may not have been a plane at all, but rather, a giant Pterodactyl!! “Wiiiilllllllmmmaaaa.” The company did not survive the recession of the early 80’s and it operated its last flight on February 5th, 1982, the day it went bankrupt.
My dad and my brother Gordon were there to pick us up and when I saw my brother’s car, I thought I had stepped into an episode of “Columbo” or “The Fugitive” or any one of a number of 1970’s, American TV shows. You see, my brother’s car was a Pontiac Parisienne, a full-sized, rear wheel monstrosity of a vehicle, the likes of which I had only seen in movies or on television. It seemed more like a boat than a car and I remember thinking, “Ooooh, my brother must be rich!” And when we all piled into this tank and entered onto the 401 highway....well let me tell you, I seriously thought I was in the USA as opposed to Canada.
You see, American television was the Mecca of tv shows back then. Sure we had our own British tv shows, like Doctor Who, Blue Peter, Dad’s Army, & Monty Python’s but it was the U.S. shows that always captured my imagination; The Brady Bunch, The Monkees, The Flintstones, and of course, the detective and cop shows like, 77, Sunset Strip, The Streets Of San Francisco, Mannix, The Fugitive, Columbo and of course The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Two things always stood out to me when I watched many of these shows; 1) the sun seemed to always be shining and 2) the cars and the highways seemed enormous!!! And so here I was on this stifling, hot, Aug 18th, 1972 day, travelling on this enormous 401 highway, inside this equally enormous, 1970, Pontiac Parisienne tank, thinking, “What tv show am I in?”
Coming from Scotland, everything was tiny; tiny houses and cars, tiny streets and as for the sun? Well that was just something The Beatles sang about, but we all knew it didn’t really exist. As a matter of fact, summer in Scotland used to be my favourite “day of the year!”
Today’s routine was exactly as the other day. We all drove our own vehicles and I grabbed Carm to save her from having to drive the long highway alone. We “blether” well, (it must be the singer in each of us) and so time passes quickly and the three to four hour drive was over before we knew it. There is a part of the 401, just around the London, Ontario area, that is a true “snow-belt” but the snow managed to stay away on the way here and I can only keep my fingers crossed it will behave on the way back. You can tell though, winter is just itching to make itself known again.
Our hotel was still the best part of an hour away from the venue. Drag going and coming back to it late tonight but we will be thankful of that tomorrow because we will wake up with only 2hrs to go to get back home.
Chilled in my room for a bit and clever boy, managed to knock the crossword puzzle out lickety-split.
Everyone has their gig right? We ALL have our focus on what we deem important enough to spend the bulk of our lives working at or towards. For me of course, it’s music and entertaining; for you it may be running a business, or a store, maybe something health related, maybe it’s the hardest job of all in my opinion, being a full-time mom, raising your kids! Anyway one of a kajillion endeavours etc and of course when we get focused on “our” thing, we let a myriad of other “things” pass us by unnoticed. I say this because thanks to the newspaper today, that provided my crossword puzzle, I got to read about how scientists are going crazy, and I mean APE-SHIT, over the fact that the “kilogram” has finally been approved to be a new formula-based definition, as opposed to the precision-crafted metal lump that has set the standard for more than a century. OKAY YOU CAN BREATHE NOW!! I didn’t mean to get you all overly excited. But it’s actually fascinating. Scientists, for whom the update represents decades of work, clapped and cheered and even, “wept”, as the 50-plus nations one by one said “yes” or “oui” to the update.
Nobel prize winner William Phillips called it “the greatest revolution in measurement since the French revolution,” which ushered in the metric system of meters and kilograms. The so-called “Grand K” kilogram, a cylinder of polished platinum-iridium alloy that has been the world’s sole true kilo since 1889, is to be retired.
Now before you weight-watchers go crazy, relax baby birds. The change will have no discernible impact for most people. Our bathroom scales won’t get kinder and kilos and grams won’t change in supermarkets.
But it will mean redundancy for the Grand K and its six official copies. Unlike a physical object, the formula cannot pick up particles of dust, decay with time or be dropped and damaged. It also is expected to be more accurate when measuring very, very small or very, very large masses. So it seems that instead of being a solid mass that sits in a vault inside a jar against which all other kilograms are measured, the kilogram is now a formula.
“We future-proofed the system," said Martin Milton, director of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.
Okay gang that’s your scientific fact of the day. Don’t thank me now, you can thank me in person later. 😂😂😂
Carm and I arrived at the Mary Webb Centre around 7pm for an 8pm show start. I must admit I was skeptical about this gig going in but man, was I to be pleasantly surprised. You see up until 2010 it was still a functional church and today it still is a “church” that’s non-functional. 🤗 That is to say, everything about it screams “church” but it’s now a community centre, entertainment venue, and I have to tell you, for an acoustic or A cappella performance? IT’S FABULOUS!! Our audience sat in “pews!” I felt more like Joel Osteen than a Billy Joel!! But it was fantastic! The acoustics were superb and the audience fantastic. THANK YOU GUYS! Invite us back again anytime. Our little “dressing room” was the size of a small pantry and we had to take turns moving in order to do anything like put a shoe on, or boil the kettle, or tune a guitar. The best place to have a pee, was outside .......so I did.
Mary Webb Gosnell (for whom the church is named after) and her five children came from Ireland in 1832 and settled just down the road from what is now Highgate, carving a farm out of the thick forest. The first Orford church services were held in her log cabin in 1834. There are only two church or former church buildings like this one in North America, and perhaps fewer than 15 with a central ceiling dome and no supporting columns. This is why this heritage building, designed in 1897, is designated as a “round church”. It was one of those gigs ya just don’t forget......and I won’t.
Made the hour drive back to hotel and sat in Sam’s room with the gang chatting. Everyone left not long after and Sam and I sat just the two of us, planning the road ahead.
We feel Glass Tiger has a new, “original” album left in us. We know the way forward for new music is tough, especially for an older, nostalgic band. But who gives a flying fuck about “tough roads!” We have been going down tough roads forever. We ALL go down tough roads don’t we? So 2019, WILL BRING YOU a new GT album of original and unheard songs. Stay tuned.
Bed around 3:30a.m. for an 8:30a.m. lobby call.
You’re next, Oshawa. Until that time, goodnight all.
P.S. We captured the “Chocolate Thief” and after a short trial, executed him.