Rockin’ & Shockin’

(Now with photos)

Rockin‘: The return of the Rockin’ & Shockin’ columns
Shockin‘: Po1ntman beats me to it

Rockin’ or Shockin’, it’s certainly brave: An ‘Impeach Bush’ car seen driving round Kingston.

Rockin’: It’s Friday evening and we’re not on the Thruway from NYC
Shockin’: How quickly we’ve gotten used to not making that journey

Rockin’: Campbell’s school class up here has all of 13 kids
Shockin’: His 5th Grade friend back in Brooklyn’s class has 31 kids

Rockin‘: Campbell knows about the evils of smoking: 200 ingredients in cigarettes, 3 drops of nicotine can poison a grown man etc.
Shockin‘: They feel the need to unleash the D.A.R.E. program on 5th Graders.

Shockin’: After eight consecutive days (and nights?) it actually stops raining
Rockin’: The Esopus did not flood. Nor did our house.

Shockin’: How little truly great new music I heard during Peel Day
Rockin’: Most of it was truly great old music

Shockin’: BBC Radio DJs openly confessing to drinking wine while on air during Peel Day
Rockin’: DJing is one of the only professions in the world whereby you are encouraged to drink on the job

Rockin’: Drinking red wine supposedly fends off heart disease
Shockin’: Red wine drinker John Peel died of a heart attack

Shockin’: How little I drink when I’m preparing for a Marathon
Rockin’: Where’s that corkscrew?

Shockin’: The prices charged by Hudson Valley Wineries
Rockin’: The Vacqueryas Domaine de la Couroulu 1998 that I picked up for barely $10 in a Catskill store a year ago: tastes just like it should.

Rockin’: The quality of New Paltz-based Adair Vineyards’ Marcechal Foch Saturday night: full of earthy, jammy, spicy fruit flavors. A credit to hybrid grapes.
Shockin’: The wine is thin and weedy come Sunday night: this, presumably, is why so many frown on hybrid grapes.

It could be the old country…

Shockin’: All these years, we’ve never been to the Farmer’s Market in Kingston
Rockin’: We finally make up for it

Rockin’: The price and range of foods at the Farmer’s Market: home-made Greek dishes, artisanal breads, potatos, mushrooms, squash, and kale all fresh out of the (local) ground.
Shockin’: We’re officially now ex-members of the Park Slope Food CoOp.

Rockin’: The old buildings in Kingston are properly old – we check out a 17th Century church, 18th Century gravestones, and 200 year old stone houses
Shockin’: There’d be more of them if the English hadn’t burned the City down during the Revolutionary War

Dutch ReformedDamn Brits

Rockin’: Blues and Hats on Wall Street in Kingston: Purveyor of Quality Headwear and Blues Music
Shockin’: The Owner’s last name is Blue. Really.

Rockin’: Blues and Hats sells books on The Stones, Eric Clapton and Elvis Presley
Shockin’: No books on The Who

Rockin’: Blues and Hats’ small but stellar CD inventory…
Shockin’: …Includes The White Stripes. (Or is that rocking?)

Rockin’: The guy at a place called “The Mohican” who believes uptown Kingston could be “the next New Orleans
Shockin’: Ditto

Shockin’: Only four weeks till ski season
Rockin’: Swap sales at Hunter Mountain

Shockin’: Campbell agrees to take a whole season of snowboard lessons (This kids hates organized sports)…
Rockin’: …It’s all in the terrain park and half pipe

Shockin’: Paying for a season pass in October
Rockin’: The discounts

Shockin’: Seeing the bar at Hunter Mountain crammed to the gills with skiers and riders on a wet Saturday in October
Rockin’: It’s the annual Passholders Party – and open bar, to (ski) boot

Rockin’: Hunter has a new retro arcade machine in the bar, offering eight 80s games – including my old nemesis Space Invaders.
Shockin’: Did we really once think this was the ultimate in entertainment?

Rockin’: Me telling my video game whiz-kid son that I could once get through 23 levels on Space Invaders before losing a life
Shockin’: After six full games, I haven’t gotten past the first level

Rockin’: After twenty years, I can still remember the formula for the spaceship that comes whirling across the top of the Space Invaders screen: after the first 23 shots and then after every 13 shots.
Shockin’: I can’t hit the bloody thing!

Rockin’: The Hunter cinema is packed for a late night showing of Warren Miller’s Higher Ground movie full of extreme skiing and riding.
Shockin’: The number of parents who allow their 7-12 year old kids to stay up until midnight watching various high-speed ways they could kill themselves. (Myself included.)

That’s one way of skiing down a mountain

Shockin’: Watching someone leap off a mountain cliff on skis…
Rockin’: …Wearing a parachute

Rockin’: Hunter Mountain’s appearance in the movie is met by a large cheer.
Shockin’: This section features the worst skiing in the movie. (Admittedly, it’s a ladder company from NYC shown partaking in the NYPD/NYFD day, attempting to ski in full uniform, in formation, dragging a fire hose. Can’t be easy.)

Rockin’: Hele-skiing – where by a ‘copter drops you on the top of an Alaskan mountain, 10,000 feet of virgin snow all your own on which to carve your (free)fall line.
Shockin’: You’ll note I’m using the second person. It will likely never happen to me.

Rockin’: The guy who’s invented a bird costume and glides through the sky like an eagle
Shockin’: He’s frequently arrested for it

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Dave Barlia in his Flying Squirrel Costume!

Rockin‘: Tom Baker does not exist!
Shockin‘: So why’s he stalking me?

Shockin’: Only a week after running a Marathon, I set my alarm on a Sunday morning to run the Woodstock Classic.
Rockin’: The wife and kids take part in the accompanying 5k walk

Shockin’: Despite telling myself to take it easy, I find myself giving in to my uncontrollable urge to race
Rockin’: The other runners urging me on.

Rockin’: I run five miles in under 35 minutes – my best time in 15 years
Shockin’: Despite finishing 23rd, there are 7 men in my age group ahead of me.

Rockin’: The free food straight after the race courtesy of Taco Juan
Shockin’: It’s full on tacos, chili, rice, beans and guacamole – followed by chocolate cake – at 11 in the morning! (Which may be even harder on the stomach than the free beer that followed the Woodstock 15k on Memorial Day – at the same hour in the morning!)

Rockin’: The race is a benefit for cancer treatment
Shockin’: The emotional story in the Daily Freeman that explains the circumstances behind the (triple) race: read these details and see if you’re not stifling a tear.

Rockin’: Running so fast without training this past week…
Shockin’: …And, as a result, feeling more wiped after this 5-miler than after last week’s Marathon.

Rockin’: Relaxing on the bed on Sunday afternoon with Air’s classic album Moon Safari on the headphones
Shockin’: Falling asleep to its soothing sounds.

Rockin’: Noel is teething
Shockin’: Four times over

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.

Rockin’: Campbell hangs out with me to watch England win the World Cup. (Still working my way through that Goal TV special from 1984.)
Shockin’: He’s convinced Geoff Hurst’s disputed second goal crossed over the line

Rockin’: Crystal Palace winning, consistently.
Shockin’: Crystal Palace winning, consistently.

Rockin’: Apocalypse gets its first royalty check – 25 years on. Who says you can’t make money as a musician.
Shockin’: I’m still waiting for mine.

Rockin’: The Halloween decorations in this part of the world
Shockin’: Trying to find time to do our own

Rockin’: It’s Sunday night and we’re not in the car diving home to NYC
Shockin’: The wife has barely mentioned the City since we left

Shockin’: We haven’t taken a proper holiday in a year
Rockin’: We’re going to the Finger Lakes next weekend.

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September 2022