Thursday, December 24, 2009

First Person Shooter Disease

This is so great.

I love the line "Rob can only move his arms in the barrel throwing motion from Donkey Kong". So awesome.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Great Canadian Songquest

If you regularly listen to CBC Radio2 you will have heard the show 'Drive' with Rich Terfry (aka Buck 65).
Over the past couple months they set up this contest where you could nominate and then vote on the top nominations for a place and the artist to write a song about it.
Well today those songs were revealed. I wasn't able to catch all of them but most of the ones I did catch were quite good. You can go here for the complete list.
Joel Plaskett's was a typically rough around the edges (he said he wanted to rerecord it with his band) and Hawksley Workman's was both clear and wild,
Of the songs I heard, the one about Tofino by Oh Susanna! was one of my favs. Martha Wainwright's song about the Black Sheep Inn was quite dark but I think it at least caught some of the secluded feel of Wakefield.

The coolest thing about this is hearing how the songs were written and how they came about. Makes you want to travel around checking out some places. As someone commenting on the CBC blog said "the list seems to include two bars, 7 parks or "natural wonders," three kind-of-obscure towns, and one road to nowhere. I think this list is representative of what I love about Canada"

Anyway, there is apparently a concert in the works and all the songs are available on Itunes if you want to give them a listen. I know I do.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Snake vs Wood Pecker

Here is a great battle in nature caught on camera. It isn't quite as good as the Battle at Kruger.
Let's just say you may not want to watch it if you don't like snakes or you love wood peckers.

Pretty good footage though. I just keep shouting 'Go for the head!' If only he went for the head or the eyes this may have ended differently and maybe the eggs could have been saved.
FYI: The attack is over by the 3:00 mark.

More Good News for the Skeptics

Thanks to my connections I am hearing about this. You know you can't rely on the regular media for these kinds of stories.

Apparently some hacker got into the servers of the Hadley Climate Research Centre and copied 62mb of emails and research data of some of the most prominent Global Warming alarmists in the world. It was posted on a Russian server and by now has spread all over the web. I'm not going to get into posting the stuff because I'm not sure how our police-state would respond and I also probably would not be able to understand most of it.

Here is a review of much of the data though.

Basically much of the data and emails have been confirmed by people in the know that they are real. If this ends up getting broadcast in the general media it could be huge. Already it has been posted by BBC and the Guardian albeit with no mention of the contents. It remains to be seen if the mainstream media (especially in North America) picks up on this and how. We all know they are intrinsically tied to the Global Warming propaganda that they have been pumping out for years now because catastrophe sells. But then again so does scandal.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hyundai Canada tries it's hand at Viral Marketing

You probably have seen the completely unbelievable video where a driver of a BMW SUV drives over two cars while trying to park and then backs up and instead of sticking around just drives away.
Here it is:

Well it turned out that the driver got caught after the video was aired on the news all over the world. One of the workers at the fitness centre (who's car was ruined) recognized the vehicle and called the cops.
The lady had returned to the scene of the crime!

Anyway, Hyundai Canada decided to replace one of the victim's cars with a brand new Hyundai Elantra. Pretty cool!

They must have had to do this pretty quick to try and capitalize on the viral marketing aspect. Kudos to them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sufjan Part Deux

For anybody who is interested you can find a good review of the aforementioned Montreal Sufjan Stevens show here.

And here is the setlist:

01The Mistress Witch From McClure (Or, the Mind That Knows Itself)
02 Impossible Souls
03 Jacksonville
04 Holland
05 All Delighted People
06 Casimir Pulaski Day
07 To Be Alone With You
08 The Dress Looks Nice On You
09 Age of Adz

Pause - when girl faints right behind me and concert stops.

10 Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)
11 Majesty Snowbird
12 Chicago

13 John Wayne Gacy, Jr

Unplanned Encore #2
14 There’s Too Much Love

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Sufjan Stevens in Montreal

This show was just so amazing I can't believe I haven't blogged about it. Possibly because I am so insanely busy. Kindof maybe.
I ended up getting the last ticket to the show (long story) and having to go by myself. It turned out I could not sell the ticket because it was set up to prevent scalpers which is cool I guess.
Anyway, I get there and it was this cool venue that is basically a huge cavernous basement. It was a pretty tight venue. I am horrible at guessing sizes of crowds but it couldn't have been much more than 500 people. No wonder it sold out so insanely fast.I joined the tight group of crazy Sufjan fans at the front of the stage. I met some cool people and swapped Sufjan stories. It was cool just feeling the vibe.I have never been the type of person who would get excited about seeing a famous person. The only time was when I wanted to kick Micheal Moore off the ramparts when we saw him in the south of France. But there was definitly something going on when he walked out on the stage and started to help set up instruments for the opener's opening band. I had to keep reminding myself that this is kind of crap that Sufjan himself would despise. Why are we worshipping him? So that was pretty much going through my mind in endless circles the first several minutes of seeing him. Am I a messed up indie-boy or what? I could have reached through the crowd and grabbed his ankle, I was that close to him. Weirdest. Feeling. Ever.

Anyway, it was a sweet show. The openers where Montreal band Shapes and Sizes who where a last minute add-on. Interesting but they need a bit of work live. Possibly because they were doing it at the last minute and where missing someone. The second band was Cryptacize who where pretty much awesome. I definitely want to check out more of them....When Sufjan started up you could have heard a pin drop in the epic quiet parts and the sound of everyone whisper-singing along for Casimir Pulaski Day was something I will never forget.The trumpets where a super nice touch that I wasn't really expecting. The trumpets simply "make" Chicago.And two crazy things happened at this show. Right in the middle of one of the super intense new songs a girl behind me fainted. The whole concert stopped. The lights came on, Sufjan and the band started asking questions, someone told Sufjan that he was too intense and eventually the girl woke up and was escorted out. Sufjan decided to skip the rest of that song and the show continued.The second thing was the encore. First the band went off and after the obligatory cheering some came back and they did a few more songs. But then the lights came on, the radio came on and it was pretty clear that the concert was over. But no one (and seriously NO ONE) was leaving. Everyone kept cheering at chanting 'One More Song'. This went on for probably 20 or 25 minutes and I had decided that since I was so close to the front and the venue was so small I was not going to leave. But sure enough Sufjan came back on (looked reluctant) and did another song. Everybody was going crazy but of course it quieted right down when he started to play. Gotta love indie folk-rock shows.Anyway, it was a fantastic time and I can now cross that off my list of Life Goals. Next is to do the El Camino de Santiago.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Something to Smile About

A few days ago while going through my podcast subscriptions I came across this awesome Radio3 Session from a live show featuring Jenn Grant and her east coast buddies Hey Rosetta!
Since I always love listening to Jenn and I have seen her live I gave it a listen. It really was a classic and I highly recommend everyone to give this a listen.

She is just so amazing live and she has these awesome little in between song rambles. So funny!
Here is a taste of what she is all about. This is a live session she did for Verge Radio.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Hockey Stick is Dead!!!!

In my opinion it took far too long for this to be acknowledged as junk science but finally the main graph that the global warming alarmists have been using to prove their point has been abolished.

Thanks to Fred (you can't rely on mainstream media for this type of news) I found out fairly quickly.

Basically the graph that supposedly correlated CO2 with the "warming temperatures" was taken off of Wikipedia after being posted by some random closet no-name environmentalist from Switzerland.

Just to refresh your memory, this is the graph that Al Gore basically used to prove his point in his money grab movie "An Inconvenient Truth".
You can read a good summary of the history and making of this graph here.

Do you think the tide is finally turning in this Global Warming Farce? And before you jump on me for being all anti-environment etc. I just want to state that I am against the wasteful western society that we live in but trying to prove man-made climate change is the wrong way to go about fixing that. It is wrong on so many levels.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ok Go - Here it Goes Again

These guys know how to do a music video. What an ingenious (and cheap) way to make a video. The other amazing thing is that they did this entire thing in one take. That must have taken some serious practice.


Saturday, September 26, 2009


The Polaris Prize was awarded this week to a blegh heavy metal artist with an inappropriate name although maybe it is appropriate because I really don't like them.
My picks to win it were Great Lake Swimmers or Joel Plaskett's latest albums (both of which I own and listen to quite regulary.

Oh well there is always next year.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kitchen: Phase 1 is Complete

So we will finally be back in our kitchen just as soon as I can wrangle up some muscle to help me move the appliances back into place.
Here are some pics of the renovation over the past several weeks.

The orginal floor. This turned out to be a rather hard job to remove.
The original Dinette area. Very useless space - too small for any real use.

The new pantry/desk unit. Still a couple cabinets left to install here.

New ceiling. Yes it is curved.

Original pantry.

Original cabinets.
New Cabinets and larger openings in the wall.

New cabinets, window, tap, flooring and ceiling.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Fune

I have been thinking about getting a cellphone for a while so maybe this is my best option:

Seriously though, I have heard that by early next year we should have some more cell phone carriers flooding the Canadian marketplace due to some new rules. There is Globalive which is owned by a Middle Eastern company that also owns YAK and WIND Mobile (connected to an Italian company of the same name). Public Mobile and DAVE Wireless. are two other newcomers. Public will launch in Ontario and Quebec exclusively and DAVE will launch in all of Canada except Quebec.

So I think I will hold on until there is a little more competition.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our Kitchen Renovation

For the past week our kitchen has been under construction.

If you want the play by play commentary (with pictures!) you can go to Irene's blog:

The beginning.

The destruction continues.

And finally construction begins.

On Saturday my Dad and I continued the construction of the openings and running ductwork and electrical wiring.

This week the plumbing and electrical has to be done along with the final floor prep.

Friday, August 14, 2009

White people like Vespas recently did a post about Vespas. Per usual it is hilarious and carries a bit of truth to it.

Here is a little excerpt which many people have tried on me.

"see how many of the following justifications a white person will use (for buying a Vespa) during the ensuing rant: environment, parking, urban lifestyles, union labor(what?), writers, fuel efficiency, Roman Holiday, study abroad, and being into Vespas before other people."

I do get the urban stuff and the parking, even the Europe stuff but what about the union labor? What is that all about? And writers? Are writers supposed to ride Vespas? Maybe he is trying to describe the liberal elite. I don't know.

My own reasons are a little more on the practical side. (oh here he goes again - this is exactly what was predicted)
But seriously, there is no equivelant scooter on the market right now. Honda is releasing one next year but it will be more expensive than the Vespa albeit with newer technology. All the other scooters are made by cheap asian manufacturers and the quality is just not there. I am not a real engine/mechanic guy so I really didn't want to end up fixing it all the time.
The vespa is the only full metal chasis scooter in Canada. It is incredibly sturdy and durable for a small bike. And the engine is legendary for being reliable.
The other thing that attracted me to it was that there is reams of info on how to tweak and fix vespas online. Since it is basically the most popular scooter/motorcycle in the world there are a lot of people with a lot of answers.
Finally, why didn't I just buy a motorcycle with twice the engine, manual transmission, and for half the price? Well the last few things I said also apply here but really the main reason is the practicality of a scooter. People try to make their motorcycles practicle for commuting and quick
jaunts to the grocery store but they can never match a scooter for that. They are too big and too serious.
I was never really that into motorcycles but the idea of a scooter instantly appealed to me once I started to think about it.

Plus the Vespa is insanely fun to ride. And that is something I never really counted on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Front Yard: Why?

So I just came in from cutting the lawn. I got eaten alive by mosquitos and nearly ran over the cord 3 times.
I still don't understand how I got myself into this predicament of owning a front yard. Is there any other situation where so much work and effort goes into maintaining a space that is so unused and pointless?
The whole concept of front yard seems so narcissistic to me. Are we just doing it to impress other people with front yards?
There must be a few people out there that actually enjoy their front yard. But the majority of people on our street evidently don't seem to care. Maybe all the people who like front yards should get together and live on the same street.
Our front yard is clearly one of the best on the street (thanks to my father-in-law who devotes a lot of time to it) but I can't help asking myself 'why?'. What is the point?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Huge Bat on the Loose in my Office

I totally missed this because I choose to work during the day but my co-worker Chris was working at his computer with headphones on. He apparently noticed some "wind" every once in a while but he finally took the headphones off when he heard a crash in the automatic blinds on the skylights!
He finally noticed and ran up to the loft and took this video.

Eventually he caught it with his shirt and took it outside.
Here are some pics of this huge bat! Does anybody know what kind it is? I have never seen such a huge bat in the wild.

Chris, you are insanely brave. I would have been afraid of getting rabies.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kitchen Faucets: Decision Time

So if you read Irene's blog you probably know that we are redoing our kitchen.

The latest decision we have to make is on the kitchen faucet and it has come down to these two choices.

The American Standard Arch:

It's cheaper and has a nice detail on the arch. Irene prefers this one (for those reasons). The side sprayer is made of plastic but it is a fairly decent fixture.

I prefer the Grohe Eurostyle:

I really like the minimalist style and the amazing engineering. There is no plastic on the outside of this fixture. It is a little more expensive though and that is the only thing holding me back.

What do you think?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Free Aerial Photography

A couple months ago Microsoft launched another attempt to take back from Google. Personally it is too little too late. At this point it is obvious that Google will be the most cutting edge company on the internet for the forseeable future.
However, one of their attempts is pretty cool. Bing tries to provide all the same services that Google provides but under Microsoft control. So of course they had to copy Google Maps but they did one better and added aerial photography to the mix. Yes, Google has Streetview which is cooler but it's only certain cities and not in Canada yet.
So firstly I had to check out what my house looks like. Hmmmm that's an old picture from before we did the patio and the garden and the cedar hedge. Yup, this is pretty much right after we bought the place.
How about my office. Hey I'm not at work yet. Looks like Simon and Brian are there though.
And Parliament Hill.
How about the ROM addition in Toronto.
And I really wanted to see how it works with a tall building so why not check out the CN Tower.
That was interestingly hard to find because of the size and when you rotate it is totally not in view anymore. Cool stuff.
Start exploring for yourself here.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I love xkcd!
This is a comic that everyone can relate to I think. But maybe I'm wrong.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Spring Concerts #4: Great Lake Swimmers w/ Timber Timbre

This last of the spring concerts (of which I can remember) was just two weeks ago. We went with a couple friends to see the Great Lake Swimmers perform at the First Baptist Church downtown. We arrived quite early and ended up being the first in line so we spent the time chatting on the steps of the church as the line grew behind us. The show was sold out and people kept asking us for tickets. We also chatted with a guy waiting in line with us and it turned out that he had been at many of the same concerts I had been at in the last year (including Radiohead in Montreal).
The opening band was called Timber Timbre and were more experimental than I had expected. They do have a song on rotation on Radio3 but they were definitely more intense than I had expected after listening to their songs online. The first song consisted of looping all kinds of sounds which ended up sounding like a marsh of crickets and other wildlife. Very interesting and it sounded quite cool.
When Tony Dekker came out it was just like the last time we saw him. He is so great in his timid/shy delivery. You do not expect his voice to be so powerful and dynamic. And as expected the church atmosphere just added to that.
We saw them about two years ago on our first year anniversary on a snowy March evening in Wakefield. This show was just as good. Not quite as intimate but great sound and a bigger band more than made up for it.
One of those new additions is Julie Fader who played a fantastic flute piece and provided amazing backup vocals. When we saw them last time Basia Bulat did some of those backup parts as she was opening for them.
We had a chance to chat it up with Tony Dekker after the show and ask him about Dunnville/Wainfleet since that is where he is from. He is such a nice and down to earth guy and quickly obliged our request to sign his set list that we had stolen from on stage after the show.
Definitely a highlight from all the concerts I have been to. But really there are so many fantastic artists out there. How can you chose between them. You just have to see them all. I want to go see Justin Rutledge again this Saturday but alas I may be getting 'redirected' to family time. Too bad, I hope I can at least catch him today since he should be playing somewhere downtown on Canada Day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Spring Concerts #3: Joel Plaskett w/ friends and family

This next concert was really neat because I am a relatively new fan of Plaskett. I liked his solo stuff and the other stuff he did with his band 'The Emergency' but I never really got into it. It was too Canadian for me or something. Kind of like the Tragically Hip. I also didn't really care for his 90's punk band 'Thrush Hermit'. Whatever it was I became fast fan when I started listening to his latest 'solo' album called 'Three'. This album is a concept album consisting of three discs and many songs have a 3 word title. I think it is also a more mature shift for him with more complicated lyrics and better vocals but it definitely still has his trademark east coast easy going humor.
The album was recorded specifically with his father and two singer songwriters (who are also on his label) Ana Egge and Rose Cousins. Since their voices are so integral to the songs they had to go on tour with him.

At some points he brought his whole band out to do some of the songs and hammer out some of the classics. This concert was quite monumental because he was playing a concert with more people on stage than ever before.
We sat on the front row of the Balcony at the Bronson Centre. It was a pretty good view.
All in all it was a great show that made me into a much bigger fan of his than ever before. That is what a good show is supposed to do I think.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Spring Concerts #2: Miss Emily Brown w/ Mother Mother

The next concert that I went to (or that I can remember) was at the Black Sheep Inn. Best venue ever by the way.
We had seen Mother Mother before and a few friends were coming up so we decided to check them out again.

The opener was Miss Emily Brown from Iroquois, Ontario (south of Ottawa). She did this jazzy/folksy set that was a great counterpoint to the rock show that was to follow.
One of her songs from her latest project was basically turning letters from nurses in the Second World War into songs. I thought lyrically and musically the effect was quite emotional. Apparently she just needs some more money and she will be making an entire cd with those songs. Very intriguing.

Mother Mother are a pretty rocking band with fantastic and very unique vocals mainly from a brother and sister from BC. The band also includes another girl who also does back up vocals. They use the vocals of the girls and guy to the max. It is what makes this band unique and great to listen to.

Once again it was another memorable show at the Black Sheep Inn.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Spring Concerts #1: Metric, Malajube & Bedouin Soundclash

I realize that I have been neglecting the whole blog thing for the past few months but I really wanted to write a bit about several of the concerts that I went to during this time.
I am starting with the Metric show at the Civic Centre.

The Quebec band 'Malajube' who sing exclusively in french opened up the show and blasted through their set. I found them too loud and messy to enjoy even though they pulled off their radio hits fairly decently. For the rest it wasn't very memorable.

The next band, Bedouin Soundclash, I thought were a one-hit-wonder back a few years ago. However they have morphed into a powerful reggae rock band with a bit of Bob Marley feel.
I especially like the added touch of touring with a brass section. These guys were a really nice touch.
By the time Metric came out the crowd was pretty pumped. Emily Haines and her crew really know how to rock the place. They are one of the biggest Canadian bands right now and they really looked it. Their album was leaked online months before it's intended release and it was instantly a hit around the world. That is an incredible story for this small time Toronto indie-band.
Emily Haines was able to bring the place down and raise it up with her crazy on-stage antics and dynamic voice.
All in all it was a fantastic show and I really was blown away by Metric and Bedouin Soundclash. Both bands far exceeded my expectations.