Monday, December 15, 2008
Handsome Furs at Richards - I enjoyed their album. I like weasel boy from Wolf Parade. But holy shit is his wife annoying. I can't even begin to explain how annoying she is. Somebody attempted to point this out to me before the show, but I refused to believe that somebody could ruin a show just by being annoying. She did.
Radiohead at T-Bird Stadium - I pedaled out on my bike halfway through the set in a monsoon because my friend Marisa phoned me up offering me a free ticket. After hearing about it for weeks I figured I had better see what goes on. Perhaps my less than stellar experience can be blamed on showing up halfway through...but what the fuck, people? It was so wet. There were so many people. This is not what live music is about. If you need a giant light show to hold the interest of everybody, something is wrong. I'm sure this was one of the better stadium shows of the year, but it's the only one I went to and probably the last for me. And I really, really wish I had seen the Liars open, just to witness the animosity and confusion. Oh. Sincerely though, thanks for the ticket Marisa. It was appreciated. Really.
Fleet Foxes at the Media Club - This kind of feels like one of those "I was there when..." stories. But honestly. I'd listened to the EP a few times at this point and expected nothing but a bunch of hippies hacking away on their acoustics. They blew the shit out of me. I left two songs into Blitzen Trapper. There was just no point in staying.
The Dodos at both the Bourbon and at Richard's - The Dodos flat out kicked the crap out of Les Savy Fav when they opened for them, and the headlining show at the Bourbon was even better.
Sunset Rubdown at the Plaza - They all looked really stoned. And I was hoping the slow version of The Mending of the Gown would pick up. Other than that, it was a fantastic show. Plus, I really like the girl with the fro.
Thermals at the Doug Fir in Portland - Well. Not all that great a show, really. I saw them at Richards...when...last year sometime and they were bad-ass as could be. But the Doug Fir is such a cool place it needs a mention. Vancouver needs a Doug Fir.
There's too many bad albums to point out. These are the ones I looked forward to but kind of sucked.
Dillinger Four - Civil War - Biggest Piece of shit of the year. The band with all the edge lost it all. I can't even understand what happened. Jesus. About the only thing that remains of what this band once was is the interesting song titles.
Tapes 'n Tapes - Walk it off - I was kind of ruined on this band after I saw them live. But I expected to want to listen to this thing more than a few times. Didn't happen.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotional Trash - Wow. I was pumped on this. I will give it another try but I didn't think I would have to say that about this album.
Constantines - Kensington Heights - Shine a Light was brilliant and I'm learning that it was perhaps an anomaly in this bands history.
Things I Should Have Picked up on Earlier but Didn't Catch on to Until This Year:
M.I.A. - Kala - I though Arular was really boring, so I passed on this sucker last year. I'm sorry that I did.
White Rabbits - Fort Nightly - A nice beaty album to up your mood. This seems to be the odd little sleeper album of last year and a bunch of people seem to have coincidentally gotten in on the action at the same time. Weird.
Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam - Sung Tongs was a piece of crap and scared me off these guys. People comparing Animal Collective to the Dodos (which is a terrible comparison) made me check this out again though. I liked it.
Titus Andronicus - The Airing of Grievances - I really enjoyed this album until I saw them live. That spoiled things a bit for me. They're about 10 years old and it all seemed a bit silly. Give them a few years before you go to their show.
Department of Eagles - In Ear Park - Not super duper exciting. Pretty mellow. It will probably leave my playlist in short order.
Girl Talk - Feed the Animals - This didn't have the mind-blowing effect of Night Ripper, mostly just because it wasn't new this time around. But I'm constantly shocked at his ability to combine things that seem perfect and obvious. And a lot of the time his version becomes the real version for me. I think he must be one of those guys that's able to see music in colour or whatnot.
She & Him - Volume 1 - This has a few of my favourite songs of the year on it. I didn't want to listen to it at first because I thought it would spoil my Zooey crush. But Ruth played it for me in New York and I was surprised that I actually liked many of the songs. The back half is a snoozer though.
My Favourite Albums of the Year:
Oddly enough, nothing really worked for me as an album this year. Not much blew me away front-to-back this year. In no particular order...
Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common People - This is the new Dillinger Four.
Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer - It's no Apologies to the Queen Mary, but it's a solid-ass album. Oddly, this probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't a Wolf Parade album, but it's one of the only albums I truly enjoyed start-to-finish this year.
Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant - Fleet Foxes recorded is okay. If I hadn't seen them live I probably wouldn't have gotten hooked on this little sucker. I enjoy this EP more than the album.
Dodos - Visiter - This album is brilliant at times and not so brilliant at other times. But combine this album with their live show and I couldn't leave it off.
Deerhunter - Microcastle - I was never a fan of the last few Deerhunter releases so I was surprised to be so taken by this one.
The Walkmen - You & Me - I totally forgot about this album somehow. I think it must have the wrong year attached to it in iTunes or something. It's funny that nobody liked A Hundred Miles Off but I really did. Now everybody seems to really like this sucker, but I don't think it's as good. But it's still a good album.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Barry Tabobondung was a Native Canadian (Ojibwa) who was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers, but never played in the NHL.
At the 1981 entry draft, he was drafted in the 3rd round and was so excited to hear his name he attempted to make his way to the stage by climbing over rows and rows of seats. As he made his way to the stage his leg became caught in between two seats, where he remained for two hours until the maintenance staff was able to free him by removing an entire row of the seats (well...by one account anyhow. Another had the time stuck in the seats at less than 10 minutes and it only requiring the removal of one seat to get him out. But 2 hours is a better story).
Barry spent the next 10 years playing professional hockey in a variety of North American minor leagues. He retired in 1991 and moved back home to his reserve in Parry Sound.
After completing his hockey career, Barry became an important member of his community. He coached hockey for the local junior team and became a councilor for the local first nations. He even found time to have a son, Tommy, in 1992.
Barry resigned as head coach of the Parry Sound junior team at the end of the 1999-2000 season. A few months after his resignation, he was working as an equipment operator, running a road grader. On July 11, he had taken his son Tommy with him to work. At one point, Tommy fell out of the cab of the grader. Barry acted quickly and jumped out to save his son before he could be run over by the rear wheels of the grader. In the process, Barry himself was run over and trapped underneath the rear wheels. Barry was pronounced dead at the scene. His son survived with a broken leg.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I've also been extremely troubled that all the discussions over the past week have been about "who will win in this crisis." I realize it's a bit naive to suggest that nobody should "win" and things should happen that are in the best interest of the country. But don't you find it troubling that our media can't even define it in those terms?
I just finished reading about Stephen Harper driving across the street in a motorcade to meet up with Michelle Jean and how there were 50 "protesters" - mostly recognizable members of the Conservative party - with placards, shouting slogans. And really, this is the only thing that the Conservatives do well. They find one message and they hammer it home with a big, loud show.
Well, I hope this massive polarization of the country makes more people angry at the Conservatives than happy with them. At least they won't be able to do any more damage for the next two months. At least the Liberals will maybe be close to nominating somebody as their leader that is reasonably electable. This whole thing is ridiculous.
Update - This Slate article is pretty interesting. Nothing new in there and I think it's written by a Canadian, but sometimes it takes an explanation meant for people that have no idea what is going on is the best way to explain things.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
1) If John McCain had acted throughout the campaign like he had during his concession speech, this would have been a different election.
2) I can't believe how well the Republicans are taking this defeat. I honestly can't imagine lefties taking things this well if they had lost. No threats of moving away. No bitching that the election was stolen. Indeed, most Republicans seem to be rallying behind the result. It kind of makes you wonder what the hell they've been talking about for the last year.
Okay. That brings a third one.
3) Don't get all gloaty Democrats! Alright. Good job. You won. Things will most likely get better. I mean, they have to get better. But don't get cocky. It will come back to haunt you.
That is all.
Update: Okay. Perhaps I spoke too soon. This article in the Globe and Mail, while proving to the world what we all knew (that Sarah Palin is an imbecile) should have been titled "Actually. Your worst fears over the last few months have been unfounded. It's way worse than you thought." It scares me that it is somehow acceptable to lie so badly in the heat of a campaign. Anybody conscious of this sort of deception should be fired from a cannon at the moon.
Which reminds me of this article about John McCain, which I saw a few weeks ago but am bringing up now. It pretty much suggests that you'd be a fool to hire John McCain to mow your lawn. God help you if you decide to vote for him.
Which leads to the highlight of this addendum. First up, is the article in Newsweek highlighting the problems with Sarah Palin. It also points out some very interesting facts about the campaign:
- McCain's staff had pretty much given up before the final debate
- There were quite a few Obama death threats that we didn't hear about
...and so on.
That article is culled from an in depth article created by a team of reporters working behind the scenes with both campaigns under the promise that nothing would be reported until after the election was over. Wow. I've only read the first two chapters, but it reminds me of All the Presidents Men or other Woodward books. It's amazing that they had such access and it's a pretty eye-opening read as to what was going on.
Chapter 1 starts here.
Monday, November 3, 2008
A lot of people have been saying that they feel like it's the night before Christmas. I hear what they're saying, but I disagree. For me, it feels like it's the night before sentencing in my murder trial. I know I'm innocent. I know I wasn't even in the country when it happened. I know none of the physical evidence points in my direction. I know that my alibi is rock solid. But, I also know that the judge is the prosecutors brother and he used to play poker with the victim and I just have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow. That's how I feel.
Anyhow, on to more important matters. A few weeks ago I was talking to one of the sales guys. I'm not sure how it came about, but he offered to give me the keys to the Pil van for a couple of weeks. I've always wanted a VW van and I couldn't really pass it up. I haven't driven it much, as it feels like it takes forever to get anywhere. It drives fairly nicely, but it's a fair amount of work. Parking it is impossible, due to the massive blind spots and lack of power steering. But holy shit do people respond to this thing. Whenever I park it somebody tells me how awesome my van is. I saw a dude taking a picture of it with his camera phone before he hopped in his Hummer and drove off. I've always thought we should do more of this, as something like this attracts a hell of a lot more attention then some tarted-up 4WD. Check out my hotness.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I rolled in on the red-eye early Thursday morning. JD picked me up with Saija, his friend Delaney and his sister in tow. We went to downtown
From there we hit the beach at Dalvay in
It’s beautiful. And expensive. 20 bucks just to visit for the day, which seems a bit harsh. We had a quick swim, avoided the purple jellyfish and then I fell asleep on the beach and got sunburnt. It was worth it though. Not quite a
After the party we went back to the beach and lit a fire. JD’s sister went swimming and it didn’t seem to kill her. Other than that, it was pretty non-eventful. We went back to the campsite where we all jammed into three tents. Well. There were two people in two smaller tents and a shitpile of us in a 4 man. I lay down for about 45 seconds before I started to feel a bit odd. I started walking towards the bathroom and made it halfway there before I started barfing. I left a nice little trail of breadcrumbs/vomit all the way to the washroom so that I could find my way back easily.
I staggered around the campsite for a while looking for new and exciting washrooms before heading back to the camp. I decided laying down was a bad idea so I cracked the window in the car and tried to sleep in the front seat. This worked for a while but then I barfed all over the campsite. I was hoping that somehow (miraculously) nobody had heard me attempting to hack up my stomach but the next morning everybody seemed to be looking around trying to figure out who had gotten sick. The drunks all looked fine and were accounted for so I had to admit that it was me. Guess I’m allergic to mussels.
We were supposed to go deep sea fishing the next day and it was pretty much high fives all around once we found out it was too rough to go out on the boat. Krista and I went home and I passed out for a good chunk of the day. Oh. Ya. Krista. Krista is my friend that lives in
This also happened to be the night of the non-wedding. I didn’t think I was coming out here for a wedding, but I was surprised to find out that JD and Saija had gotten married 6 months previous. Regardless, they decided to have a party in
I didn’t drink all that much and ended up tending bar for a while. Dealing with people at a bar is pretty funny. My favourite conversation was when a 60-year-old woman came up and ordered a glass of white wine. We had run out of the smaller wine glasses so I took a 500 ml glass and filled it halfway. “Fill it to the top honey, I’m just about to head home.” There was also one guy that kept asking for Coors Light and seemed more surprised each time I told him it had run out. And JD’s sister who kept leaving glasses of wine all over the place and getting mad when they got dumped out. Good stuff.
The next day was decent. A bunch of people had to leave, so we slowly headed for
The vomiting and lack of sleep finally caught up to me that night and I slept really, really late. I talked Krista into taking me kitsch shopping and I was disappointed by the things on offer. We ended up at the Frosty Treat and I finally got to experience
The Frosty Treat is awesome. It reminds me of
My last day in
I asked the waitress about the sizing of the pound-and-a-half lobster. She said “It’s not too big. It makes a decent size meal. For a man.” Okay then. Pound-and-a-half it is! Oh. For my 38 dollars I also got salad bar, a bowl of seafood chowder, steamed mussels (which I swapped for a bigger bowl of soup), an amazingly fresh bun and biscuit and dessert. I was pretty full before the lobster came out and I felt kind of sick when she said “They gave you a two pounder.” I felt like I was in some sort of eating contest and first prize was retaining my dignity on the way out the front door. I ate it all and I don’t think I will ever eat a whole lobster again. It’s good, but whatever. I’ll take a claw next time and be happy.
I also spent a day in Moncton. Don't go to Moncton.
A couple of weeks ago my friend told me that she was taking a trip to New York and had tickets to the She & Him show. I pretty much lost my mind. I mean, a trip to New York is exciting enough...but a trip to New York and hanging out with Zooey (after paying for the privilege along with a room full of other people)? Almost too much. I told her that she would have to take some sort of present from me to throw at her on stage.
I'd kind of forgotten about it but my friend was leaving and asked me where my present for Zooey was. I kind of chuckled. And then thought about it a bit. And then thought "What the hell? Why not give her a Lumberjack shirt?" I dug out a small, Navy blue (should have been Royal, in hindsight) and dropped it off with my friend.
So. The show was last night. And this is what my friend had to say about it.
First of all. Excellent show. Zooey’s voice sounds even better live. Really crisp and clear and lilty. She’s also very pretty and charming. One of the guys I went with said she looked like a sparkly cupcake but I disagree. See attached pictures.
I finally got the nerve up during the encore and managed to toss the shirt on stage from 4 rows back and a rather big security divide as well. I was quite proud. Managed to get it about 1-2 feet away from Zooey who seemed semi-frightened by a largish object coming from nowhere through the light beams. Then she analyzed the situation, stopped talking, picked up the shirt, said “What’s this? Oh it’s a shirt, someone’s given me a shirt....I wonder if it’s for me or for matt? Well I’ll save that for later”...something very nice like that anyway. She seemed happy enough. Then she put it down next to her amp and then left it down there until the end of the encore when she walked half off the stage and then returned to pick up her very special t-shirt. In picture 19, you can’t see what she’s carrying in her right hand, but it’s actually your shirt. Because she’ll obviously treasure it forever.
So, I didn’t talk to her but I did get the shirt into her hands. I hope that is good enough. My friend is 5 foot nothing and she literally almost got beaten up by some hard-ass Jersey chick on our way up to the front. I would have gone down with her if it came to blows so I hope you appreciate the danger of the mission you set up for me.
Zooey, if you're out there, I've got a bike here with your name on it. Not, like free or anything. But it will be a good deal. I promise.
Anyhow. Other companies have team riders and expensive advertisements in magazines. Nope. Not us. Free t-shirts for indie goddesses!
There's an additional photo of Zooey picking up the shirt.
And, there's even Youtube footage of the whole thing.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Have you noticed how useless people are becoming? Everybody has a story about things their parents can do that they can't. Build a house. Make jam. Make bread from scratch. We're basically a useless bunch of tits (not that tits are useless) compared to our parents. Sure, we make up for it by accomplishing such meaningful tasks as:
- Using a cellphone
- Typing e-mails
- Playing video games
We don't even know how the things work that we use and feel all high-tech about and as soon as they stop working, we're fucked. So, getting to the point, if we're this useless, how useless are our kids going to be? Everybody talks about how competitive University is these days and all that. I call bullshit. I think the next generation of kids is going to be a useless bunch of mouth-breathing retards incapable of defrosting a frozen dinner entree. Prove me wrong, kids. Prove me wrong.
So, back to the bad day. Apart from the computers I:
- Almost exploded at work under fears that next weeks vacation was going to be taken away from me (it wasn't...but I still have a bad feeling about it)
- Spent $400 having my windshield wipers repaired. What the hell?
- Nearly T-boned a car that tried to turn in front of me.
- Almost got T-boned on my bike by a woman that ran a stop sign.
I don't know. There's other things. But, this story about peace-loving hippies beating eachother up with shovels made my day. Somehow. I'm sick like that.
And, in celebration of the upcoming Pemberton Festival, I have one final point. I've come up with the ultimate simile/metaphor/comparison for music festivals. Music festivals are the live music equivalent of a trip to Las Vegas. Or a cruise. Think about it. Live music is about so many things. Atmosphere. Proximity. Timing. Location. Vibe. Etc. These festivals basically discard most of what makes live music great (in my mind) and jam a whole bunch of bands and a whole bunch of people into one easy-to-experience watered-down weekend. Just like Las Vegas. Las Vegas has become the place where people that are too lazy to experience the real thing go to experience New York, Italy and Paris which a bunch of other fat, lazy tourists. Or to go get really wasted and fuck strangers. You see what I'm saying?
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I logged in and the first thing it asked for was my GPA from University. Shit. Now, just to defend myself, I did take Engineering in University, which (at the time) required a degree of competition to get in. And then, I took Mechanical, which also took a bit of competition. So, it's not like the rest of my class were brain-dead buffoons and I could drink my days away and expect to get "A's". I drank my days away and got "B's" and "C's". No matter what I did, I couldn't get my average above 69.3%. I calculated it four different ways (weighted average of all grades, average of all grades, weighted average of yearly averages, average of yearly averages) and the proper way to do it (weighted average of all grades) came out the highest. I just don't think 69.3% is going to cut it.
From there, it asked for a two page essay on why I want to be an astronaut. I can write this in my sleep. I'm thinking of writing "...because it's the coolest fuckin' thing ever." and leaving it at that.
From there it went to a page asking about professional experience. It wanted to know about experience in labs (well...I do put equipment into labs?), experience in production environments (I could have talked for a week about this), experience managing projects (fuckin' hell...why don't they just make me an astronaut now?) and then....oh....no...experience in the medical profession (I've been to the hospital a few times?), experience flying airplanes (I actually wrote out a paragraph equating the skills of ski racing and downhill mountain bike racing to flying an airplane, but I think I will take it out) and, lastly, experience in working with international science communities (I don't even know what this means, so I think I have to say no).
Okay. So far, so good.
The next page will allow me to present other skills that I think will be relevant to being an astronaut. A love of ice cream? A uniform fetish? I don't know what to put here. But I'll think of something.
So, on to the next page.
Oh. God. "Present your experience and expertise in the following:" and the list includes:
robotics (okay...I can BS something for this), astronomy (ummm...I know the big dipper), space exploration (what, is this open to past astronauts?), geology (hey! A degree in geology is good for something!), remote sensing (???), microgravity sciences (spellcheck doesn't even recognize this), meteorology, spacecraft design (what the fuck? Am I going to build the thing before flying in it?), orbital mechanics (once again...I'm a mechanical engineer...what does this mean?), thermodynamics (score!), materials science (score!) in a microgravity environment (wha? Is it different? Shit), applications of advanced industrial materials (okay...), payloads (okay. design it AND load the thing?), satellite communications (okay...there's just too many of these things to comment on), rocketry and propulsion, effects of high altitude, physiology or life sciences, biology (I hope grade 11 counts), space physics, planetary and earth sciences, aeronomy (seriously...what the fuck is that?), geodesy (once again...?), oceonography, aerodynamics (score!), navigation (okay...I can see the relevance of this) and avionics. They want a paragraph for each of these. So, basically, they want Jesus of science to come work for them. What the hell? This is embarrassing. Why wasn't there a disclaimer? If you are not Jesus of science, do not bother applying as you will just embarrass yourself.
And it doesn't stop there. Good lord no, it gets worse. The next page is certifications. Let's see:
First aid and CPR, lifeguarding, scuba diving, military scuba diving (I guess this is different? Maybe at the military courses they say "Now, here's what you really do"), commercial scuba diving, technical scuba diving (seriously, 4 different sections for scuba diving), amateur radio operator (okay...let's get some nerds on board!), parachuting, zero-g experience, high-g tolerance experience, pilot license, recreational pilot license, commercial pilot license (I get it...flying an airplane helps. So does scuba diving apparently), military pilot - transport aircraft (oh, not done with the airplanes yet), military pilot -fighter aircraft (fuck off with the airplanes!), test pilot (FUCK! Again?) and, finally, flight test engineer. Once again, a paragraph for all of these. I have none of these. Not a single one. I'm fucked.
And, finally, the last page, add your resume...well...I guess I can do that. They'll post it in the bathroom and laugh at me while they take their giant astronaut dumps.
Part of me just wants to fill this out and write what I really think. Part of me is hoping/thinking/praying that if I fill it out correctly they'll say "Fuck...this guy is a real loser...but he has heart! Let's send him up!"
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I sold Matt my old bike a month or two back and he seems to be enjoying it. He definitely wants to expand his horizons as far as bike trails are concerned and is riding things a lot more aggressively...which may sound counter-intuitive but aggressive riding = confidence = riding shit without killing yourself.
So I thought today would be a good day to pop his shuttle cherry. I had a nice trail on Seymour picked out (one of my favourites, actually, and one of the only things I like to ride on Seymour) and off we went. Me, Matt and Marty. We got about 30 seconds into the trail, no exaggeration, and Matt rode head on into a tree. I don't even know how he did it. I think he just panicked a bit on a wooden section and steered it right into a tree. I got a really bad feeling about things. His brake lever was twisted in a strange way and I was really surprised that we were able to bend it back (reasonably) straight. He seemed okay so off we went. Nobody did anything all that stupid for a while and we were having a good ride.
I will admit that the trail had some gnarly sections on it. We were doing okay though. I'd stop above them, point it out, tell them what to expect and generally leave it up to them to make a decision on whether to ride it or not. We got down a bit lower and reached a section that was quite loose. As I rolled into it I said "This is pretty gnarly up here. I'd think about it before you ride it."
Sure enough, I dropped in and it was pretty loose and took a bit of finessing to make it down in one piece. I got off my bike and yelled up to them that they should probably walk it. Marty smacked his nuts off his stem even before he got to the section so he hobbled around for a minute and then decided to walk it. I didn't think there'd be a question that Matt would walk it, but there he went...he seemed to be doing okay and then I saw him heading over the bars.
It was a pretty rocky section but I thought he would be okay. He was yelling as soon as he stopped but I thought it was the good kind of yelling. You know, "I'm okay, I'm okay!" But then he kept yelling and we ran up to see what was up. He kept saying "I think I broke my finger I think I broke my finger I think I broke my finger." I didn't take him all that seriously but then when he suggested we should take his glove off to make sure a bone wasn't sticking out I figured there might be more to it.
So he slowly pulled his glove off and...good lord...it was gruesome. Nothing poking out but it had a really unnatural kink to it. I'm alright dealing with injuries, I just don't really like thinking about it. I suggested we somehow bind it to his other finger and work from there. We had no tape, no knife, no nothing. We decided that we'd splint his good finger and then wrap the bad finger to his good one. This was an okay plan until I was about to touch his finger. He thought twice about it and actually looked like he might get violent if we tried to touch it. We decided to sling his arm up to his chest so that at least his hand wasn't moving around. Then Marty walked him out with his bike and I took on the job of getting mine and Matt's bike out of the trail. This didn't seem to be all that difficult.
We were at least a half hour hike into this trail. At least. So, I ended up riding my bike 15-20 seconds down the trail, running back up and then leap-frogging my bike with Matt's. I hate hate hate riding other peoples bikes but since his was mine only a few months ago, it seemed like it wouldn't be too difficult. Holy crap. By the time we got to the bottom I was ready to collapse. I didn't really think it would be all that difficult but I guess looking back it was the equivalent of a quick 10 minute rip down a trail, followed by running back to the top of it and riding right back down it again for 10 minutes. It was pretty steep so I was absolutely bagged by the time I got to the bottom. Matt made it out without too much difficulty and we had a quick little 10 minute ride out on a gravel hiking path to the car.
I had a few ideas for what we would do with the bikes but they all seemed to be coming up empty. We decided to ditch the bikes at Matt's boss' place down the street. Then we were going to go to the hospital, drop him off, drive over, get my car, pick up the bikes, go back to the hospital...and on and on.
Well, we took him to the hospital and holy shit was it ever bizarre. As we rolled in they were dealing with a couple that had been in a car accident. We saw their jeep later on (about 10 feet up an embankment leading onto the 2nd Narrow) in the evening and it was all fucked up. Apparently they were both wasted and we could overhear the nurses asking the firemen and paramedics how far they'd been thrown from the vehicle. Yikes.
There was also a 10-year-old kid with blood streaming from the top of his head. He was crying a bit, then he stopped, asked his mom why there were so many police officers there, and then started crying again.
Oh, and then there was the squeegee kid lookin' dude around the corner who had handcuffs on that he was gnawing on them(I didn't actually see the gnawing, but that's what they told me) telling people not to worry because they were his own handcuffs. He was sitting there rather peacefully an hour of so later without them on, so I tend to believe him.
So, we got Matt in there and then ran and got the car. When we got back to the hospital they had him in a different waiting room and he'd befriended one of the paramedics that had been treating the couple in the car accident. Apparently one of them had started freaking out and had somehow pulled his IV out and jabbed it into her arm or hand or something. She said it was worse 6 months ago when a junkie on the downtown east side had pulled on out and stabbed her in the shoulder with it. Nice.
So, Matt was telling us to leave him there and he could take a cab home. We didn't think that was a great idea so we told him we'd run, grab some food, chill out for a bit and bring him back something to eat. Sliced brisket sandwich from Memphis Blues...oh man. I'm still feeling it. We grabbed Matt a pulled pork and got back just as the doctor came over to treat him. Incidentally, I've never seen somebody eat a pulled pork sandwich so quickly.
Honestly....that finger....it was pretty funny as when we had it tied to his body the finger poked off at a crazy angle from his hand so it looked like he was flashing a pretty bad-ass "Westside" hand sign. That's how fucked up it was. So, the doctor had frozen it up pretty good before we got there, just kinda marched over and started pulling quite violently on his finger. I couldn't watch. He was telling us that we could have, maybe should have tried to do this while we were out on the trail. We explained that Matt probably would have punched us each in the face if we'd tried to do that on the trail. So, he pulled it back straight, wrapped it to the other finger and then put this fiberglass thing on it, wrapped it and we were good to go. He decided to take another batch of X-rays.
Oh man...those X-rays....the before was gruesome. The bone was completely broken in two and the angle that finger was sticking off at...good lord. The after X-ray was impressive though. The finger was completely straight, just cracked in two. He suggested it might be alright just like that but figured a hand surgeon should take a look at it to make sure. They gave him some Morphine pills and we were off...to drive back over to Seymour to pick up the bikes.
I must say though, all in all, it was a pretty good experience. It was 3 hours at the hospital from check-in to check-out, which doesn't seem all that bad to me. And then, being at the hospital it was pretty nice to look around and think "Man...these people are fucked up. I'm glad we're only dealing with a broken finger." Ladder accidents. Gruesome car accidents. All kinds of shit.
And...I'm really glad that Adrienne (Matt's wife) seemed to take it all in stride as well. I was worried that we'd not only have to worry about the hospital and picking up the bikes and all that, but then we'd have to throw a hysterical wife into the mix, demanding an immediate pick-up to come out to the hospital. Calm and rational is always nice to deal with.
So, I'm definitely throwing some tape and tylenol into my backpack. Maybe some popsicle sticks too. And I've learned a bit of a lesson about riding alone. I mean, we probably would have been in trouble if there had been two of us. Anybody facing that alone would have problems. Three made it manageable.
I'll post the X-rays if I get a copy.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I can't remember exactly what we talked about but at one point he said something to me along the lines of "Only 2% of the acts on our label make money, the other 98% don't. In essence, 2% of the acts are subsidizing the other 98%." His point with this was twofold:
1) Look at how great we are by supporting all these bands that don't make us money.
2) Look at all these bands that don't make money, how can you take food from their mouths?
First up, I call total fucking bullshit on this stat. I was thinking about it today and I remembered this Steve Albini article from a few years back. Read it (if you have any interest in how labels handle bands).
So, maybe it is fair to say "98% of the bands on our label don't get a fucking cent from us" but I don't think it's fair to say these bands aren't making money for the label. And that, my friends, is the entire point. The OLD system was great for the major labels. The bands had nowhere else to go. They had to take what they could get from the majors or nobody would ever hear their music. The NEW system is great for the consumer. And I'm not even talking about free music. I'm talking about access to shit that we never, ever, ever could have accessed before. Freedom for bands to do things on their own or stick with a smaller label. Bands made and found through word of mouth and yes, through file sharing, that would never have stood a chance before. This system will never, ever disappear. These new laws will just create martyrs out of a few unlucky bastards that happen to get caught.
So, on to the fishing. This past week was the annual Ucluelet fishing trip. I was hoping the weather was going to be better, but at least it didn't rain. Ucluelet is a pretty interesting place filled with interesting people.
The first day was salmon fishing in the sound south of Ucluelet. This area is my favourite place to visit in the area. It's always a lot more interesting to have land on either side of you and to watch eagles flying around. Fishing for salmon is also a lot more interesting.
Things started out really slow. We didn't get a bite for a while. I caught the first fish, but it was just a little rock fish. The guides are always baffled by my dad when he wants to keep them. I'm not sure what the hell he does with them, but he likes them.
Eventually we caught some salmon. Poor Mike (my brother-in-law) had the first salmon on but he lost it. You can tell that my dad has to use all his self restraint to prevent himself from yelling at Mike when he loses a fish. Soon after that, my brother and Dad both hauled in a Spring each. One was 18, the other was 19 pounds. Then I got one on but it broke the leader. I was a bit bummed about that.
The next day we headed out to the open ocean for some halibut fishing. As I mentioned, this isn't usually as exciting as fishing for Salmon. There's a lot less to look at and when you do finally snag a halibut it's about as exciting as reeling in an old boot. The other problem with the halibut is the whole "open ocean" thing. Some people tend to get seasick.
I've only ever caught two Halibut in my life. The first one was a couple of years ago and I think it was about 35 pounds. And then, this guy...
Holy crap! 52 pounds of halibut is tough to reel in. It took a lot of my energy to get it to the boat. I have no idea how the guide got it into the boat. Here's another shot from the wharf.
The other cool thing about the day was the whales. We usually see a couple of whales, but I think we saw at least 30-40 whales over the course of the day. Although this picture doesn't really come across as terribly exciting, it is pretty cool just to be able to see an animal that large.
On the way back in, Mike pointed one out to us and we were looking over towards it. All of a sudden it rocketed out of the ocean. It's head must have been at least 15 feet in the air. The only thing still in the water was it's tail. It was crazy. It looked like this Ted Leo cover. No joke.
The next day, we slept in and walked around Ucluelet. Shit is going crazy development-wise. There's lots being cleared and houses being built all over the place. It's nice there, but I'm not sure what you'd do with all your spare time.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Especially interesting is this nice little History of the Internet that they've put together. It starts out a little bit slow, highlighting the technical developments in the 50's and 60's that lead to it's creation. But once it gets into the history of start-ups, information dissemination, Monica Lewinsky, etc. it's both informative and hilarious. It's difficult to remember how things were back then. This is a good reminder.
The most important bit of info from that article:
The information is a force that will bring power to everyday people and it cannot be stopped.
So...Why the fuck is the Conservative government trying to create a copyright police state with this new legislation? Why is this story in the Technology section? Honestly, this will seriously fuck shit up. Think about these points:
1) File sharing has created a legitimate form of distribution for independent music. It has created markets for small, obscure bands. Yes, it has busted the monopoly of major label music. It has taken away their ability to sell millions of shitty albums just because that is all that is available. This is not a bad thing. File sharing takes power away from music labels and gives it to everybody else.
2) This law may make it illegal for you to rip CD's that you own onto your iPod or Computer. The music industry said this was okay a few years ago (before iTunes) but now it isn't. Fuck that.
3) This law will allow hardware manufacturers to dictate how their product is used. Want to buy an iPhone in the US and use it in Canada? Nope. Not allowed to break their software locks. Want to use your XBox for something other than video games? Nope. Not allowed to break their software locks.
4) This law will not allow you to download a TV show that you may have missed that week. I mean, you might watch it every other week and you couldn't get back in time and being able to catch up on the Internet might actually ENCOURAGE interest in said show. But fuck you, you can't do it.
5) Not really attached to this law, but the government is working in tandem to make this happen...They actually want border guards to be able to look through files on your laptop and ipod and if they determine that you have pirated content they will be able to fine you and take your ipod or laptop away. I mean, who the fuck knows how they'll decide what is and isn't pirated...they just will and you'll be fucked.
This is a terrible, terrible law. I can't even begin to explain how angry it makes me. This deserves a note to your Member of Parliament. This deserves a note to the douchebag trying to stuff this shitty law down our throats. This deserves telling Stephen Harper to go to hell. Do it.
Oh. To end this off on a positive note, I never imagined I would ever live to embrace Canadian Bureaucracy. Honestly though, going through the motions of Incorporation and all that was very easy. I was shocked to be able to phone the Government up and get relevant answers without too much difficulty. We take it for granted that you fill out a simple form, give somebody $100 and you have a passport in a month or so. Ya, you might have to wait in line a bit, but that's dieing down. I'm thinking about obtaining a Hungarina Passport...holy shit. It doesn't seem like the difficulty will be in proving my eligibility, the difficulty will be the bureaucracy. Tonnes of money. Tonnes of hassles. 8-10 months waiting time. Bizarre.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I think you could spend a good couple of weeks just touring the Met. There's so much to see, of so much variety. And it's absolutely filled with beautiful spaces.
You have your classical junk (I'm kidding, of course), which goes on for-ever-and-ever.
You have your modern stuff, which is not quite as expansive a collection as the MOMA, but pretty impressive in it's own right.
And I think the most impressive is the turn of the century European art collection. Oh. Look. A room of Van Goghs.
And a room of Monets.
I got soaked walking home and I didn't think there was any way the ball game was going to happen. We met up at Grand Central, had a beer in the Oyster Bar in the basement and then headed for the game. When we popped out of the subway tunnel it was a fairly nice night. We missed the top of the 1st and, unfortunately (not because I'm a Yankees fan, but just because it would have been nice to see an actual game), the score was already 7-0 before the Yankees even hit. Here's Ruth and Peter.
Here's the view from the cheap seats that I bought. They were supposed to be 35 bucks a pop, but I somehow got them for 5.
We then snuck down to some 80 dollar seats and it was much nicer and warmer.
And a bench clearing fracas ensued and people cheered like you wouldn't believe. There was no punches thrown though. Watching every run across the field from the bullpen to join in was pretty funny.
The ball game itself was actually kind of dull, simply because it was out of reach. But it was still a really fun time. There was so much going on. The peanut guys can throw peanuts about 50 feet up a steep incline and hit a lap with no problem. People busted out a genuine Bronx Cheer for the Yankees on numerous occasions. And, most importantly, I got to see Yankee stadium before it gets torn down. What a fuckin' dump.
I made Ruth wake me up so that I had a full day in New York. I still somehow didn't get out of the house until 11:00. The sun was out so I headed straight to Central Park for my long awaited nap. I can't explain with words how wonderful it is to nap in Central Park. It's this monstrously happy place where everybody gets along. Kids run around playing. People just chilling out. It's fantastic. I had to use a lot of self control to not pick up Lenny's on the way there. I wish I had.
This picture is from last year, but you get the idea.
From there I decided to walk to the Whitney, which kind of sucks as far as New York museums go. They don't let you take pictures so I had to take a few from my pocket just to prove a point.
The permanent collection was fairly small. The Whitney Biennial was on and it took up most of the place. It was okay. There was some pretty cool stuff, and some pretty bizarre shit.
From there, I walked down to Bloomingdales and looked for some pants. Didn't end up buying any pants.
As my day wound to a close, I decided I would hit up the Museum of Natural History for its last hour. It's such a great place. I walked to Columbus Circle and caught the train. Unfortunately...I hopped on an express train that didn't stop for 60 blocks. I ended up in the bottom end of Harlem and decided to walk home.
Now, Harlem isn't actually all that bad a place. However, it's pretty much impossible to grow up with constant TV/Movie reinforcement that Harlem = The place where white people go to get killed, and not feel a little bit on edge. I know, I know. That sounds a bit racist. But I didn't perpetuate the stereotypes, did I? I just allowed my brain to accept them. So I made it out of Harlem and walked by the Seinfeld diner at 112th and Broadway. It's not super exciting.
Then I walked home and packed.
So, Ruth and Peter were flying home on the same flight as me. By the time we got to the airport, things were pretty crazy. Ruth and Peter checked in before me and managed to get seats together. By the time I got to the front there was only middle seats available. Was Cathay Pacific finally failing me?
I went and bought a couple of bottles of booze and approached the counter to see if my seat could get changed. They gave me a window seat and as I boarded the plane, I realized I'd gotten the prime 2nd from the back row seat, where there's 2 instead of 3 and a nice, long aisle up the side of the plane for my legs. Cathay comes through again. Except the woman that sat beside me farted a lot.
So. Now I'm home. How do I feel about that?
Well, I feel a bit inspired and a bit empty. It's hard to visit a place where there's so much going on and not feel a bit empty once you leave. But...it's also nice to leave a place where you're so obviously a nobody.
For me, the greatest thing about New York is the incredible feeling of discovery with each passing moment. You literally can't turn a corner without discovering something new. I think it would actually be kind of sad to live there and have all these wonderful things turn into pedestrian banalities. I think it's pretty special to be able to visit a place and completely disappear within it for a week at a time.
Sunday was rain. Lots of rain. So our plans for
First up, when you order, they give you a tiny little helping of meat to get the motor primed for some serious eating. The sandwich was 13 dollars or something like that, which seems a bit crazy, but you definitely have 13 dollars worth of meat on that sandwich. Throw fries into the mix…
I left my rain jacket on as a crude form of bib. And the root beer isn't mine. Peter's looks better than mine.
The look in our eyes is fear.
It took a while for us to hammer through the meal. We all felt pretty crappy afterwards. Nobody really wanted to do anything but I made them take me to Grand Central station. Then, I let Ruth and Peter go on their way and I wandered around the base of the Chrysler building. Grand Central is pretty crazy.
Originally we had planned on meeting up with Ruth’s friend Annie in
With a somewhat slow Sunday, I had some serious plans for Monday. There were a lot of things I hadn’t seen and wanted to see, and a few things I needed to see again.
I walked through a part of
I decided that I needed to see a bit more
I got to the Subway and none of my maps really detailed
So, on to Dumbo, which everybody seems to be talking about. I think I was in the right place, but it seemed kind of empty. I took a few pictures of
I decided that I couldn’t come this close to it and not visit hipster central,
I have to admit that, for a while, I felt a little bit out of my comfort zone. Not that it was scary or anything…it was just so empty. A little bit run down. Not very touristy. And I got a bit lost. I finally wandered out to 7th and Bedford (heart of
I stopped at a Whole Foods in
I finally made it home and got my pre-drink on for the Titus Andronicus/Los Campesinos! show. It took a few subways to get there. Never ride the J train. What a piece of shit. Especially from
I rolled into the Bowery Ballroom just as Titus Andronicus was starting up. There’s just kids! The album is super good, but I feel like their live show needs to be left to ripen a bit more. It was enjoyable, but I don’t think I would have hunted out the band on the strength of their live show.
I was pleasantly surprised by Los Campesinos! There album has a pretty strong annoyance factor to it. The female vocals are a bit too sugary. However…live…very good. Super high energy. The vocals are all pushed to the back a bit. And the girls in the band are kind of hot. I will see them when they come to
The ride home was no better than the ride there. Maintenance too the "J" train down and we sat there forever waiting for the train. I finally bailed out and bumped into some German dude that was doing the same. I promised him I knew where I was going and was reasonably happy to find a subway station more-or-less where I thought it would be. We had a good chat and was a bit bummed with myself when he displayed the multiple business cards he had scored from girls at the show. He'd even lined up some drinks for the next day. I wasn't that motivated, I guess.