Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Another shout out for music

I always know when I'm listening to a great song when it gives me goosebumps.
Kathleen Edwards - you rock!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Subliminal Messages

I had a dream last night that I was fighting the Taliban. I was in some kind of small town and no one seemed to know that the Taliban were about to burst out of the cellars of this one building (I'm not too sure how I knew this, but...). I went to the police station to warn everyone (unsuccessfully, of course) and then all this crazy fighting broke out as the bad guys emerged. When I woke up, the radio was on a news report about Afghanistan.
I drifted back to sleep, and suddenly I was dreaming about trying to explain Alberta politics (or lack thereof) to Stephane Dion. When I woke up that time, the radio was playing something about Dion being in the midst of a western Canadian tour.
Now what intrigues me is the thought of being able to plant some subliminal suggestions into certain people. The only question is how do I sneak into their room and disguise myself as a radio?

Friday, July 4, 2008


Do you ever find yourself driving somewhere and end up someplace else?
Like this morning - I decide I'm going to stop by my favorite coffee place on the way in to work which requires a slightly different route. But then my mind starts its usual strange pattern of random thoughts. When I come to, I see that I've just followed my regular route in with the coffee place no where in sight.
Subconscious driving. I guess the lesson is not to drive near me in the mornings. At least until I get my coffee.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hello world?

Some days, do you feel like the universe is ignoring you?
Pretty rude, if you ask me. Sure, I haven't written in a while, but still - it's not like it was on purpose. I was just really busy.
So 'yo - universe - still here - show a brother some love'.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Gods

Since I was praying to the A/C gods the other day (rather unsuccesfully), I was wondering who else would make it into a modern pantheon of gods?
Some of the old ones might still be around - like gods of war, love, carousing, the harvest - but I bet if we were making up gods today there'd have to be a bunch of new ones.
There would definitely have to be a god of the Internet. A god of the automobile. A god of cities. How about a god of cellphones and modern communication. You could text your prayers to him. Or maybe that would be a her. Probably the oil companies would have their own god. That one would definitely be a he. Can't picture a goddess being that evil or corrupt.
What else am I missing?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Early starts

5:30 AM. Why is there even a 5:30 AM? I really only need the afternoon version, yet for some reason, I'm awake at 5:30 in the morning these days. Doesn't seem to matter what time I've gone to be, 10, midnight, 1 - I'm wide awake and staring at those numbers on my clock radio the next day.
I remember when I was young, my dad was always an early riser. He'd get up about 6 and go sit in his chair and catch up on his reading. He'd always be there if I ever dragged myself up extra early to watch my cartoons.
Maybe it's just something with getting older - the body rebels against sleep. I used to love sleeping in till noon. Can't even remember the last time I did that. These days, 9 is sleeping in.
I guess this might be something to get used to. Oh well - at least I have plenty to read.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happiness is bad for you

Happiness is bad for the creativity. I think that's why I haven't been posting as much lately - I'm in too good a mood.
Take a look at the best music - isn't most of it angst-ridden, or speak about injustices or heartbreak. Happy musicians don't make good music!
Or how bout art? You think Picasso would have been so inventive if he hadn't hacked off his ear?
How many plays have been written about everything being wonderful? Not too many. Strife is what drives the human spirit.
Not that I'm complaining...but oh, my poor blog suffers for it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

More Quotes

From the wisdom of Abu Sa'id ibn Abi'l Khayr

Whatever you have in your mind, forget it.
Whatever you have in your hand, give it.
Whatever is to be your fate, face it!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Quote of the day

'I haven't failed, I've found 10000 ways that don't work.'

Thomas Edison

Not that this has sprung to mind because of any recent proliferation of failures - I just liked the quote.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A little more about the weather

Best quote about our recent snowy weather from a fellow depressed Edmontonian:

'It reminds me of a movie I watched years and years ago called “Gulag”. The only part of the movie I even slightly recall is a scene in which the unjustly convicted prisoner, who has been living in the hellish conditions of club Gulag is told that he is getting a visit by his family. He is allowed to change out of the rotting clothes he has been wearing for years, have a shower, shave, and given a clean suit. Once he’s all clean and dressed his captors tell him it’s all a lie, and make him change back into his filthy clothes.'

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Not your average smirk

If you see me smirking this week, please understand that it is with good reason.

'It's the Week of the Fabulous Smirk. Not the Week of the Arrogant Smirk or the Vengeful Smirk or the Hateful, Whiny, Passive-Aggressive Smirk. Rather, the Smirk that Passeth All Understanding. The Wise, Charitable, Forbearing Smirk. The Uber-Smirk that says, "I've figured out what everyone's hiding, and I love them anyway." You are ready, Scorpio, to explore the Divine Smirk that arises naturally when you have outwitted an obstacle that was obscuring the truth from you; when you have finally seen through the delusion you were under and guessed the secret you weren't smart enough to see before.'

I do have the best horoscopes!

Monday, April 14, 2008

What the hell was that?

As I get older, I find I am subjected to more and more of these 'what the hell was that' moments when it comes to random aches and pains in my body.
Like today - I stand up and for no apparent reason my right knee feels all wonky.
I mean, WTF? I'm presently in my off-season, in between indoor and outdoor soccer seasons. This is my rest and recuperation time. So how is it that my body is complaining about my taking some R&R?
Stupid body! I hate when things break just when the warranty is over...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fuck you, Tallguy!

Why is it that 5 minutes before the start of a show - everyone is standing around - happy where they are, waiting for the band to start. Then some tall fuck, shoves his way to stand pretty much directly in your line of sight?
Seriously - this happens at every show I've ever gone to. 99% of the people are happy to bounce around more or less where they planted themselves from the start of the show (now I'm not talking mosh pit here - up there - more bouncing is kind of expected). But there's always some idiot who needs to shove his way right in front of you.
Some days I need Darwin to work a little faster.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mental Break

I'm not sure why I've been so de-motivated, blog-wise, lately.
I think I'll blame the continuing lack of spring-time around here. Coming back from Austin, where it was 33 C out (resulting in my first sunburn of the season), and having another couple weeks of bleary cold weather is kind of depressing.
This Thursday though - I can feel the approach of spring. You can mark it down. Thursday is officially no-pants day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mental Note

Next time I go on holiday, must remember to book an extra day off when I get back to recover...

Also must remember - never come back from holiday on St Patrick's day...

Fucking Irish!

Friday, March 14, 2008

SXSW the third

With over 1500 bands and 80 venues it makes it hard to know who to try and catch here. That said - there's no excuse not to be listening to music pretty much from the time you wake up till the time you drag yourself back to bed.
Stand outs so far:
REM put on a very good show - not in my top 10 favorite shows of all time, but I'm really glad I've now seen them.
The Blow - more performance art than music - that girl was mesmerizing in a I-can't-believe-what-I'm-seeing kind of way.
Islands - fantastic, epic, theatrical. Not to be missed if you get the chance.
Tim Fite - like a maniacal baptist preacher, mixing performance art with rock and roll. Stunningly weird.
The Weakerthans - it's been probably 5 years since I've seen them and man are they sounding good now - some good ole canadian boys.
DeVotchKa - gypsy music done right. Looking to woo someone, this is the music for you.
Billy Bragg - his usually inspirational combative self.
Pinetop Perkins - a legendary Chicago blues man - still has the chops.

Countless others I've seen a song or two in passing walking passed the bars on 6th street. I'm definitely going to be busy on iTunes when I get home.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

SXSW part deux

Capsule movie reviews...coming soon to a theatre near you.

21: About some MIT kids and their professor who have a system to beat Vegas at Blackjack. I remember really liking the story when I first heard about it - unfortunately the movie didn't quite live up to my expectations. The action scenes didn't quite work for me and the movie's pacing wasn't quite right. Still - entertaining. 6.5/10

Run Fatboy Run: Simon Pegg trying to get back in shape to win back his girl. Although the filming got switched from New York to London, the humour only half got translated between american and english. Some parts were a little too 'hollywood' for me. Still - Simon Pegg is hilarious and makes up for any shortcomings in the script. 7/10

Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Another comedy along the lines of 40 year old virgin or Superbad - neither of which I thought were great, so I didn't have any expectations for this one but I was pleasantly surprised. One of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. Jason Segel does a great job - and if you like musicals about Dracula - well, this movie is for you. 8.5/10

Battle for Seattle. Unfortunately I saw this after Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Boy did I do that in the wrong order. This movie is a fictionalized account of the WTO riots in Seattle in 1999. Terrifically shot movie, but depressing when you realize how little has changed with the world since then. 8/10

Second Skin. A documentary look into people addicted to MMO (massively multiplayer online games). Amusing, but I just find the people in the movie who blame games for their problems kind of sad (not that that was the central thesis of the movie). Maybe I'm biased about stuff like this, but I think an addictive personality is going to find an outlet no matter what. I think the problem lies deeper than the games. 6/10

Frontrunners. An amusing documentary following a SU election in an elite high school in New York. It tried to mirror some of the issues you might see in the larger elections in the states - race, personality vs issues. Not a bad movie, but not as good or amusing as some of the other documentaries of this type from the last couple years (the movie about scrabble players, the movie about spelling bees). 6.5/10

Joy Division. A documentary looking back on the life of this seminal punk band. Quite good - kept me interested in a band I didn't know. The surviving members of this band went on to form New Order, if that name might be more familiar to you. A good period piece on Manchester in the late 70's. 6.5/10

Monday, March 10, 2008

SXSW part 1

The first half of SXSW is almost over. Music starts on Wednesday. I've made it to four movies so far with a few star sightings at some of the premieres. Contrary to certain unreliable french sources, Kristen Bell is not 'chunky' - still smokin hot.

It's always good to be on the road. Didn't take me one day before vacation mode kicked in - the old 'have-no-idea-what-day-of-the-week-it-is' feeling. That coupled with exploring a new city has made for a fun few days.

Bring on the bands...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

17 days and counting...

I'm getting stoked. SXSW in a little over 2 weeks.

A festival that has been on my must do list for years, and now that I've got some friends living down in Austin - there's no excuse not to go.

REM and Billy Bragg are my top draws at the moment - but have a look at the lineup. If you see someone I really need to check out - let me know.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

VD + 1

Now that Valentine's day is behind us, I'll pass on the best quote on love I've seen in a while, courtesy of my horoscope.

'Love is a mystery. And the reason why it is a mystery and should remain a mystery is that knowledge of it would give us mastery over it - would enable us to manipulate it - and love, truth, God, cannot be manipulated. Hence the Prophet exclaimed, 'My Lord, increase my bewilderment in Thee'.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Seasons change

I've discovered a season between Winter and Spring...Winting?, Spinter? Let's just call it Slush. The temperature starts fluctuating between -5 and a little over 0, combined with some fresh snow from last week nad here we are. There are mountains of it at the moment.

Forget about trying to keep your car clean. Hell - forget about trying to get into or out of your car without getting the cuffs of your pants slimed by it. You track it everywhere you go, leaving little puddles that blind detectives could use to follow your movements. The mat at the entrance of every building you enter is a sodden mess that you squelch through as you go in.

Pretty much the only good thing about Slush is that at least it means that Spring is vaguely close. Close enough to glance sideways at (you don't want to look right at it or it will get scared and dissappear for another month).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ahh Sweden...

I think I have a Swedish problem...
I guess the first step is admitting it, right? And really...who doesn't have a little bit of a crush on the Swedes? It might be the blonde hair. It could be the accent. Maybe it's the fact that I've never met an out of shape Swede. Whatever it is - there's something about them that makes me long to meet a girl named Inga.

I'm not sure what's got me thinking about them lately - maybe it's because we're coming up on the 10th anniversary of the Swedish exchange student incident of '98. That's a long time to go without meeting a nice swedish girl for a guy with a swedish girl fetish.

Have I mentioned that the Swedish consulate happens to be across the parking lot from my new place? Probably entirely a coincidence. And I'm sure they don't mind that I spend some afternoons staring longingly at their door.

But just in case they do, maybe it's better if we keep that bit quiet.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Good old France...

Does anyone know if the French still have a 35 hour work week?
If you ask me, it's a fantastic idea - maybe a little hard for a company to schedule around, but personally, I love the idea of only working 4 days a week. I'd work an extra couple hours a day to get that extra day off.
The question is...if you only had to work 4 days a week - which day of the week would you not want to work?
I'm thinking Friday or Monday are the obvious choices. But which? If you weren't at work on Friday's you'd miss out on all that coworker bonding that happens at the end of the week - the post-work beer. But having Monday off almost seems kind of anti-climatic. What really goes on on Mondays other than laundry? Maybe a good Wednesday off. Two 2-day weeks.

My plan for world domination will have to wait until I figure this one out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


January has to be the worst month of the year. The funness of christmas is over. New Year's is done. When you finally detox yourself from the excesses of the holiday season you realize that it's still dark and freezing outside and winter is dragging on with no end in sight.

Stupid January - I'll be glad to see you die.

With that in mind - according to my horoscope, February is 'Clean Out Your Brain Month'. So if I see you before Friday, please excuse my excessive cursing. I blame January for pissing me off - plus now I have to get it out of my system.

Fucking January!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Project Quotes

Even during the darkest days of my last project, we could always depend on one thing...flippantness would get us through the day.

Here's some random quotes from the project that was...Mass Effect.

Names have been slightly abbrviated to vaguely protect the not-so-innocent

"I'm thirty-six. For me 'angry white music' is Duran Duran." - P
"BioWare has the fattest pipe in Edmonton." - JA, discussing bandwidth... we hope...

MT: "Wait, they’re doing something cultural..."
J: "...I better throw a grenade."

"We travel through space with PESSIMISM!" - JA, on the Alcubierre Drive's negative energy
"I just want to point out that all our mammals have six legs, and all our insects have four." - C

P: "Two words: Pla-gar-ism!"
CL: "That's three words."

"Man, if I had tenure here, I wouldn't be wearing pants." - D
"You suck at teh internet." - L

P: "I just got dinged by Kevin for a four-day, thirty-six-hour training session."
D: "Why don't they teach you how to avoid meetings so you can get actual work done?"

"You can never truly appreciate how smoothly a Saturn rides until you've ridden in the trunk." - JH

P: "Geopolitics wants us to change the name of the ship from 'Normandy.'"
G: "Why? Are they afraid Germans will be offended by the loss of France?"

P: "Everyone ready to hear the memory budget?"
L: "Did you bring lube?"

D: "My memory of Paris was the time I tried to go to a public bathroom, and I guess they locked them at night, because someone took a s--t right in front of the door. I was like, 'Ah... Paris.'"
L: "City of Lights."

JA: "You know what the world needs more of? Action Science!"
JH: "What's that?"
JA: "I don't know, but the world needs more of it."
This was shortly followed by an e-mail from J stating the following:"Boo. Real action science sucks, and has little or nothing to do with scientists being awesome."

"We've got the X-Box 360! We can do anything! It goes ALL THE WAY AROUND!" - L
"Remember, we make fun, we don't HAVE fun." - P

D: "Whoa! I can see a journal entry in the game!"
P: "Quick, get a screenshot before it crashes!"

"Light a fire for a man; keep him warm for a day. Light that man on fire; keep him warm for the rest of his life." - P

"I can't believe we had Pantless O'Clock and I missed it. But I'm kinda glad I did..." - M

"We don't have a work flow. We have a work WALL. Every day you pick it up and move it an inch forward, and every so often it falls over on you and you have to rebuild it." - KH

Friday, January 25, 2008

Robert Burns

It's time to let your inner scotsman out - it's Robbie Burns day!(

Robert Burns was the man who gave us Auld Lang Syne and is responsible for such poetic turns as:
'Gude ale keeps my heart aboon!' and 'Johnie lad, Cock up your beaver'.

Never one to shy away from slightly more risque material, he also gave us;

'Come rede me dame, come tell me dame, My dame come tell me truly, What length o' graith when weel ca'd hame will sair a woman duly? The carlin clew her wanton tail, Her wanton tail sae ready, l learn'd a sang in Annandale, nine inch will please a lady.'

So head out tonight and tilt a glass for that olde randy scotsman.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The B-Movie

Did you know that there's a new Rambo movie openning tomorrow?

God bless that Sylvester Stallone. 61 years old and still doing action movies. He's gotta be one of my favorite cheesy movie actors. Demolition Man (who can't appreciate Stallone knitting and a very perky Sandra Bullock), Cliffhanger (who was that girl from Northern Exposure? I always had a crush on her) - heck - let's go back to Death Race 2000 for the ultimate in cheese.

Got a favorite B-Movie?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Holy Grails

Has the Internet killed the thrill of the hunt?
Is there anything you can't find on the Internet these days? From clothes, books, dvds, dates - pretty much anything you're looking for - if you can't find it in a conventional way, all you have to do is turn on the old Internet and whatever it is you're looking for is only a click away.

Whatever happened to the thrill of the chase? The joy of finding something you've been looking for for ages.

Take Rock Band for example. If you don't know what that is - I guess it can be descibed as karaoke on speed. Guitar, bass, drums and vocals. As close to a band as us musically challenged will ever get. It was a hot item for the holidays this year and I've been checking for it for the last couple weeks and always managed to be at a store about an hour after they sold their last copy. Finally yesterday we were ahead of the game. We got a tip that Superstore had received a big shipment so a bunch of us skipped out on our morning meetings and got there just in time.
Now that's satisfaction. Take that Internet!

By the way, I'm now recruiting a singer for my band if anyone is interested...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Made in China

I'm not sure when China took over the world - it seems to have happened so slowly that I never noticed. Does anyone else find it funny that the bastion of the capitalist world is the last remaining communist super power?

Why is it so impossible to find anything that hasn't been made in China these days?
Salt and Pepper shakers. Blankets. Cookie sheets. Humidifiers. Seems like every shop I go to - Anything I would pick up, whatever it was I was looking at, flip it over and there was that little sign.

Maybe it's impossible to fight. Who can blame people for wanting to buy something as cheaply as possible? Who can blame corporations? They are but driven by shareholders who expect the most return on their money as possible.

2008 and I think this war is lost. I'm not giving up, though - I'm turning this into a guerrilla war. One purchase at a time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

In praise of older women

Well - christmas vacation is almost done so I guess it's long past time that I got back to my routine.

New Year's Eve in Vegas was its usual crazy self. Fremont street was packed with revelers. We were serenaded by a few bands, including the Bangles. Yes...those Bangles. I don't think they've done anything since the mid 90's, so I'm not sure what the comeback occasion was, but I must say - they are still looking pretty fine. I have fond memories of Susanna Hoffs from those days and I will just say WOW, she has aged well.

That's it for me and Vegas, though. I am Vegassed out. No more. 2008 - year of clean living, I tells ya! Hmmmm...I do have that trip to Austin coming up though. This may throw a wrench into my plans. I better go have a drink and think this over.