Pat Blythe – Technology vexations…..and a tune or two

This will be a very short column this week. I am facing serious technological challenges and limitations. To call the past few days frustrating is an extreme understatement! Being without my third arm (or second brain) is akin to a floundering fish gasping for water. In my case, I’m gasping for my laptop. I am lost and bereft without it, and the tiny screen of my phone doesn’t cut it. It sounds ridiculous I know, but when absolutely EVERYTHING we do is dependent on technology, when we don’t have access to it, it become a crisis of world proportions.

We are all “encouraged” to pay our bills online, access information through the internet, listen to music through our various devices, stream our favourite television shows and movies…..even our aging parents are gently forced into this world of bits and bytes. There are at least two younger generations alive, and a third on the way, that have never seen or heard of an RJ45 or RJ connection, CAT 5 or CAT 6 cable, a modem or USB hub, a LAN or Ethernet connection; let alone a Princess phone, phone booth, cassette tape or VCR. 

Our cars, with onboard computers, have a mind of their own these days. Order anything with the latest app for pickup or delivery. Tap and go. Documents that can be

“signed “with digital signatures. Use your fingerprint to read or open (fill in the blank). Retinal scans and biometrics in our passports…..the list is endless. Here in the wild west of technology, when we lose connectivity, we are disconnected from everything! It’s no wonder the baby boomers get a little nostalgic for the “good old days”. It really was a much simpler and freer way of life. We were connected to each other, not tethered to gadgets. It’s not always all about the music.

Going down…..

Saturday my laptop went down for the count. Now, I have two “spares” that cannot be moved, and are rarely used. However, they are backups of a sort. As they say in the Wild West…”not so fast”. Laptop one, at nine years young, is now looking for its operating system so it’s time to remove the HD and toss. Laptop two, a robust 14-years-old, boots and allows me to log in. Heaven! Press the little WiFi button and wait…..and wait…..and wait for it to join the world of the Internet. That’s not happening. Apparently I need to update my WiFi driver. Now, here’s the conundrum. I need to access the Internet in order to find the driver and download it. Who the hell designed these systems anyway???

….and don’t start preaching about “backups”. With the work that I do in the telecom field, and the thousands of photographs I have, I back up to external hard drives on a regular basis. In summary, I have no access to the specialized app I need for my telecom work, no access to the Internet, and no access to the documents I need from the laptop that now resides in sickbay at the computer shop. Sigh!


I actually made it out to a club and enjoyed a wonderful evening listening to live jazz. It is indeed a beautiful thing! The BTBs were performing at Hirut, a small venue on the Danforth in Toronto, close to home. These guys play some of my favourite music and it’s a joy to hear real instruments. The trio is comprised of Ed Kopla, who creates the sweetest guitar sounds, Robert Bilton on bass, who cruises those frets effortlessly, and the man in charge of the meter, Paul DeLong on drums (and cowbell).


Hirut, a family run business, has been extremely supportive of live music and local musicians for a number of years. Serving up homemade Ethopian food, Hiruit features monthly jazz residencies, comedy nights, and also hosts literary reading nights. Check their website for what’s coming up next.  A delicious G&T, a lovely catch-up visit with a girlfriend I haven’t seen in months, and a rather cozy atmosphere. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd

Mechanical World – Spirit

Song for Bilboa – Pat Metheny Group

Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell

Last Train Home – Pat Metheny Group

This week’s podcast features drummer/percussionist Sascha Tukatsch and composer/songwriter/guitarist Brian Hogue who together are C0ndu1t. We chatted in June 2021 at Soundhouse Studio and I found out at that time John Jamieson (who owns Soundhouse) worked on the album featured in the podcast. Sascha and Brian are currently working on a new album, with a number of other contributing musicians, which is scheduled to be released this year

P.S. How did I get this column done? A close friend very kindly loaned me their laptop. Currently there’s no ETA on mine!



Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.


“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto.


Together for 34 years, Pat also worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

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