Saturday, May 11, 2013

Drum Interview Snared

At first, I thought I was the goat in a skit by Abbott & Costello, but Carmine and Vinny were perfectly serious! They’re brothers with the same last name, pronounced differently!

Carmine Appice pronounces his last name, “apiece”. Vinny Appice pronounces his name “AH-pissy”, like “apathy”. They told me their brother Frank Appice pronounces his last name, “AH-peachy”.

Between the two of them, the drumming brothers have played with such rock greats as Edgar Winter, Rod Stewart, John Lennon, Black Sabbath, Vanilla Fudge, Jeff Beck, Rick Derringer, Ted Nugent, Dio, Heaven & Hell and Cactus!

Uh, impressive a bit.

Carmine (left) and Vinny Appice
I had the pleasure of interviewing the Appice boys this week! As a young drummer, I would always take time to read the album jacket to see who was drumming on the records I bought. Carmine’s name was often listed.

They were in town to promote their touring show, “Drum Wars”, which features drum battles, solos and music from both of their careers.

While Vinny points out Carmine was the type to throw televisions through windows while out on tour, he says he was more likely to toss his ipod through a window.

After reading an article in which drummers Liberty de Vito and Kenny Aronoff talked about their drum-related injuries, I asked Carmine and Vinny, off-camera, about career-related aches and pains. Both admitted to serious shoulder problems and rotator cuff surgeries. Carmine, who wrote such hits for Rod Stewart as “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Young Turks”, confessed he no longer mounts his cymbals up high and has lowered them to a more physically manageable height.

As they were leaving the studio, I mentioned I was a drummer. Carmine asked if I could play “Wipeout” and when I assured him I could, they both invited me to go up on stage during their show to play.

Interviewing Carmine and Vinny was great fun and, from a drummer’s point-of-view, getting to meet them was a smashing stroke of luck!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Call Me Crazy

I refuse to accept the notion that “degrees” cannot be used when referring to the humidex! I hope someone is good enough to notify Edward Lear; nonsense runs rampant within our meteorological service!

Clearly, we invented humidity! The humidex was used in Canada before anywhere else in the world. The current formula was developed in 1979 by two scientists at Canada’s Atmospheric Environment Service. It allowed scientists to calculate what the temperature feels like to the average person once the effects of heat and humidity are taken into consideration.

Jessica, our weather specialist, got all preachy and finger-waggy last week as she argued the humidex is unit-less! It feels "like 40", she insisted, it cannot be and never will be, 40 “degrees”! There are no “degrees” of temperature when referring to the humidex! Almost vehemently, I argued, persisted and whined for good measure. She suggested, simply, I let it go.

Let it go.
I can’t!
Let it go.
I can’t!

If the temperature is 30 degrees Celsius and the calculated humidex is 40, then that, to me, means the humid heat feels approximately like a dry temperature of 40 “degrees” Celsius!


What else is there; 40 used tissues, 40 cows under trees? Of course in Canada it refers to degrees Celsius! I urge you, end the masquerade!

Call me crazy!

If I hear a number mentioned with the humidex, it obviously means “degrees”! There’s no point mentioning a number if it’s attached to nothing and is not calibrate-able! There is nothing else BUT degrees! Aargh! I’m afraid that logic defines the limits of my tiny universe.

Apparently, there are descriptive phrases associated with the unit-less humidex numbers! Less than 29 means “little or no discomfort”. Between 30 and 34, means “noticeable discomfort”, while a humidex of between 35 to 39, means “evident discomfort”. A humidex of between 40 and 45, means “intense discomfort, avoid exertion”, above 45 means “dangerous discomfort” and above 54, means “heat stroke likely”.

It actually reached 53 in Carman, Manitoba in July 2007! Yuck!

As we all know, summer forecasts in Montreal are humidex-heavy! When I hear the humidex number, like the wind chill in winter,  I hear “degrees” after it! It's understood. I can’t help it and it’s not likely to change. It’s the only way I can relate to the number. Without the “degrees”, the number is capital “P”, pointless! Don’t even talk to me about humidex number if we can’t talk “degrees”! Where humidex is concerned, I’m done with numbers! I’ll make do with descriptive phrases, thank-you.

If you mention a number, brace yourself, I will be forced to cluck and squawk!

Three steps after I’m out the door on humidex days, I break into an intensifying sweat and my clothes begin clinging to my odor-enhanced frame. No, not my favorite weather.

The idea that “degrees” cannot be mentioned when referring to humidex makes zero sense! The applicable descriptive term for "zero sense" would be, “dripping with stupidity”.