Saturday, March 31, 2007

Looking at houses

I haven't posted anything lately partly because I started looking at my facebook account and actually using it. That was a mistake because apparently it gets addictive fast. Luckily it died down after finding every person I have ever known.
Anyway, the other thing I was busy with was looking at houses with my wife. We had thought we had found the deal of the century. An older house that could use some updating but with an awesome location. Perfect for flipping. But upon closer examination the structural issues with the house and the mildly creepy, on its way up, neighborhood outweighed the price. The completely unfinished dirt basement was a little unnerving too. You had to go down this tiny trap door to get there and once you were there it felt like a world war 1 trench. I mean, usually these dirt basements are at least quasi-flat.
At least it was a good experience and we still want to buy in that area. But as much as I want to live in a chic part of town with all the hip shops and awesome atmosphere and markets just outside your door I really don't want to give up the view we have every single day.
You clearly will not find this view from a lowly house in the middle of the city. That'll be hard to lose.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

An Awesome Show

Currently Listening To: I Saw You In The Wild by Great Lake Swimmers
From: Bodies and Minds

I took Irene up to Wakefield, Quebec for our 1 year anniversary. We had a great time. The town is beautiful (especially in the snow) and the music is sweet and harmonious.
I am blown away by amazing music once again. We saw the Great Lake Swimmers at the Black Sheep Inn. What a great band - even the opening act was amazing - and what an amazing venue.
I have been listening to GLS for a while after finding their link on 'The Acorn's myspace site it didn't take me long to find some of their music. But I was worried that they wouldn't be able to pull it off. Dekker's vocals are so pure at times that I felt that the cd had been a little to polished. How wrong I was. The guy has an amazing voice. When he was playing with just the acoustic guitar on songs like 'To Leave It Behind' I could not have been more impressed.
The other thing I loved about this guy was his slight awkwardness on stage during the between song banter. He wasn't there to pump the crowd or anything, he was just so real. And, although he started the band in Toronto, he is originally from Wainfleet (btwn Dunnville and Port Colbourne as he said). It got me thinking, could he be related to Crystal Dekker? I mean she is from around there somewhere..... anyone know? Anyway I never got a chance to ask him because it was 12:00 by the time we were leaving after the 3rd encore.
The opening band put on a great show too. This girl, Basia Bulat with her really skilled band really set it up for GLS. Completely loved it. You could tell she was blown away at the size of the crowd in a small town in the middle of nowhere none the less. She seemed really shy but all that went away once the songs started. Loved it. There is simply too much undiscovered good music in this world.And that is what this venue is all about. This was my first time there and after hearing so much about it (everything from 'its seedy' to 'its amazing') I am really impressed. This is clearly a real music venue. People don't come there to get high, mosh, scream or get trashed. They come for the music (and the great selection of local beers doesn't hurt either). I have never seen such an enthralled audience. During the songs everyone just watched and listened, soaking it in as much as possible. People are coming from all over for these indie shows in the middle of a quaint town on a lake. Overall - this place beats any venue in downtown toronto. Its so intimate. I mean, we ended the evening sitting on the floor against the side wall getting lulled to sleep by some soaring vocals and soft acoustic guitar.
What, I ask you, can be better than that?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Triple Washed...yeah right.

So we opened a brand new bag of baby spinach which was sold and described as 'triple washed.' To me, that means we can expect it to be clean. Maybe my assumption is too presumptuous but really what does 'triple washed' mean. Did they spray it 3 times with tap water?
Anyways we found this root structure that looks decidedly small to be from a spinach plant. (I could be wrong - I'm no botanist or gardener). After eating all this spinach without washing it I felt a little disconcerted. I guess it could be worse; at least it wasn't a finger or some other appendage. But still, what would you do...?
I was tempted to call the spinach plant and force them to give me triple washed spinach for life. But that plan was foiled when I couldn't find a phone number on the package.
Then I got to thinking, what if this root is from some drug operation that the spinach people are doing on the side. What if I had stumbled upon a massive grow-op disguised as a triple wash spinach plant. But that was shot down when I searched for marijuana root structures on the Google.
Too bad.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Well this just sucks....

Currently Listening to: >Similar Artists To Sufjan Stevens

I just came across this article online and if what it says is true, good music may become harder to find. Basically the recording industry is trying to shut down (or grab profits from) all those great internet radio stations.
In my experience, the best one is I have also tried iceberg radio and yahoo's launchcast. Iceberg was decent in the early days i guess but it is more for the mainstream crowd. Still, Launchcast is even better for mainstream stuff plus its rating system which works amazingly well throws new music at you based on similar artists, other users ratings and similar genres. I have worked up my ratings to the 'Fanatic' level. Ah yes, good 'ol college all nighters. Since college I have switched to which, although it has a tendency to crash, it has the best music selection and a pretty good listener community. One of the features I really love is that it tells you what bands are doing shows in your area.
Anyway, the point is, all these sites will probably die when the U.S. starts this new legislation. Even though the music industry probably makes more money this way they don't like it because they can't control it. I think the record labels would shut down Pitchfork if they could. Even though the website indirectly sells millions of cds because of it's reviews the labels don't like it because the reviews were not endorsed by them. There are actually only 4 record labels in the world that basically control the world's popular music. It sometimes feels very Orwellian so thats why I try to stay away from mainstream pop music.

Ok I am stopping the rant here before it dissolves into conspiracy theories.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Winterlude Pics

Currently Listening to:
Beck's Broken Drum from Guero

Winterlude has come and gone once again. Once again I missed out on a free indie concert which featured Amy Millan of 'Stars' among others. Ah well - there is always next year eh. Actually we are going to a concert in Wakefield with the 'Great Lake Swimmers' in March so my music fix should get satisfied. This year I went down to winterlude the most of any year. I was down at least once every weekend. The canal was ok but not amazing this year - thanks to global warming and hummers. Stupid hummers. They should be outlawed.
Ice Sledding - Mush! Lawren Mush!

Ice Mountie - Take that bad guys!
Cap'n Haddock looks eerily like my Dad.
Beavertails - anything will taste good when it's deep fried.
Look even the snow is jumping on the knitting trend.
Don't mess with this Care Bear!
Mmmmmm Tea.
Francine, Me and Tim on the Rideau.
Those lost children services are useful aren't they Tim?
Tim and Me enjoying the festivities.
PS I love the Nederland hat - almost as cool as my Peruvian Alpaca Hat.