Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't ever eat anything that looks like this: (Some village on the way back from Sevilla, Spain)

Trust me, you WILL suffer. Although I am happy that I have stayed true to a life long devotion to the try anything once philosophy.... I sometimes question the wisdom of such a course. That sometime is right now. bad bad bad bad.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Every once in a while, I get some not so subtle reminders that I am not in Kansas anymore.

Gas station coffee to keep me awake on the road - the strongest, smallest, sweetest espresso shot in the world.


I have never been in Europe before, aside from a week in Holland with Corina and Seyhan after finishing school. I've tried to actively avoid it as there are too many places to see and I felt that it would always be there for me (its also stupidly expensive). I think that mostly that is true, but this policy probably made me miss some pretty great times before Eastern Europe got all un-eastern like.

So I'm in Amsterdam. I like Amsterdam, i want to live here. but I liked Amerstfoort 10 years ago. I wanted to live there then too.

I took the obligatory trip to the Vangough museum, which I really enjoyed. I took the obligatory walk through the red light district. Bleh.

Its less about hot girls for hire for me, hell - most of them aren't even hot. Its more about trying to wrap my head around why it matters. I don't judge people who make the choice, I just have never really understood it. I've seen some pretty insane examples of prostitution and it is certainly a sliding scale, but I really don't think that Amsterdam is at the top in any way shape or form. So why do men choose to wonder into these little basement dens of sin simply because they are on vacation?
[EDITOR'S NOTE: this entire thought is solely John facing. The discussion on the sliding scale as it applies to the prostitute side of the equation is more worthy of a book, not a 300 word rant.. and its way too depressing. Even here. I have heard anecdotal stories that some women here take GHB every day. Essentially date raping themselves to get through each night... and one might think that from the prostitute's side this might not be a bad place to ply their trade. Depressing.]
Take a walk through the area during the day. Women talk on their cell phones. Smoke. Eat sandwiches and play with their hair in the little display windows. They glare at you through the window, its kind of like a dare. And maybe that's it in a nutshell - if everyone was jumping off a bridge...

So why do the legions of British bullies choose to dive right in? I guess its less seemly. No chance of cops interrupting your 5 minutes dalliance with the warm body of your choice (you'd almost hope that something exciting would cap it off, instead of the comely lass just getting back to that sandwich). Some idea that its safe I guess. Statically it is I would say. Compared to a place like Cambodia, where 50% of prostitutes test positive for HIV (those who are _tested_), but there is no guarantee to be sure. Is that part of the thrill?

And Jeez, you would still end up with that smell. Cheap perfume, smoke, half eaten sandwiches, stale sweat and sex. Its like scratch and sniff porn mags for Christmas. Good times.

I don't see anything different here than somewhere else. I guess a critical error on my part is assuming that guys are sleeping with women here and only here. That they somehow are just checking off an item on their Amsterdam walking tour, but really - these are likely the same guys who are negotiating Boom Boom in the back alleys of Vietnam, they just don't want to spend that long on an a plane. The sex trade here is still about power, loneliness and adrenaline... and sex. just like it is everywhere else. Whatever. Its just not worth the hype in my humble opinion, but then what the fuck do I know?

Iconic pictures are prized to me. They are not necessarily good pictures, but I get to attach all kind of meta data to them for the rest of my life. They encapsulate a whole area, a time frame, a feeling.. a friendship.. or a day when I go lost for hours on the streets of Amsterdam. [As an aside, I remember a seminar I took on memory... Haha.. I can still think of 3 word pairs that he gave me to remember off the top of my head. It was along this same idea: association. It was just that it happened in 1990... which was a long time ago for my little brain]. So these iconic pictures are little Hans Brinkers of my mind, this picture is holding a flood of a 100 memories. This is lame prose, but I promise not to make any dike jokes in recompense.

So pictures of slobbering dudes running in and out of basement brothels are kind of tacky. Pictures of the canal don't really mean anything to me, pictures of pot are what everyone takes, and well.. wooden shoes are kind of funny, but disjoint from the perspective of an icon from my time here. Disaster! And then you see it. it happens. and it makes me all a flutter. What it must feel like to be a real photographer and to capture a moment of real history... my god.

I'm not even sure that this guy is a panhandler. At least he didn't ask for any money from me.

I have never really associated Holland with Amsterdam, tulips, windmills (or loose laws for that matter). I have always associated Holland with Hans and Natasha.

They just bought a fantastic flat. Hans has a fish tank. I want to live there.

We haven't seen each other for 10 years, but the time didn't mean a thing. Hans and Natasha are those friends. Those friends that you would talk to about shit. Or sit down over a drink and tell them that you are expecting a child the day that the stick turned blue. They are good people and gracious hosts. They deserve happiness and they seem to have it, which makes me happy. Hans took me to some popular Dutch band (Let me tell you folks - the bike ride was fun there, but its a LOT harder to ride back.. and Amsterdam is flat flat flat). Natasha took me to see Technotronic and some other DJs (wow that was screwed up. Talk about 1990.. pump up the jam indeed).

Good laughs beginning to end. Stellar start to the latest walk about.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I read the news today, oh boy.

Looking forward to it. (sorry about that destructive to humanity thing though)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Palin gives thanks

Not really as gruesome as the website says, but still pretty funny. Thanks to Vinh.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This is a test post from my phone.

this is a picture

wait... There is no way to upload a picture. This is kind of weak. The typing is also incredibly laggy. Hmmm. Is there some sort of iPhone app to do this stuff? This kind of sucks actually.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"I'm kind of Bitter" - Hillary Clinton votes

(Also kind of saying nothing)

blahblahblahblah - Sarah Palin votes

(She flew to Alaska for an hour to cast her vote - and said nothing that means anything - GAD)

Hehehehehe - Homer votes


The market seems to disagree with me.

Major indecies seem to think that things are going to go smoothly.

Dow, Nasdaq and the S&P are all sharply up (around 3% at time of writing).

I don't know. If there isn't a winner declared tonight, I think its going to be a blood bath. Having never been what I would call a "successful" trader though, I think its safe to say that I have no clue of what I speak :)

Train wreck prediction - US Election

There are expected to be about 140 million voters in this election. (About 80% in some states. Historical national turnouts here)

Awesome!... but only if a candidate wins by a larg'ish margin... if not - there are going to be some problems:
Inconsistent rights: Some states (but not all states) will let you vote, as long as you are in line to vote come the cutoff (which I think is 8 o'clock). Some states (but not all of them) allowed early voting under state regulations which are different in each.

Delays in results: So (if its even close), I don't think they will be able to "call" states based on statistical samplings. i.e. how can you declare a winner when all the votes haven't even been cast yet?

Disenfranchisement: Some people inevitably won't be able to vote. There may be a huge number of them. Almost every state has, in part, deployed new touch screens (The Diebold debacle is well publicized, but I think this quote says it all: "In March 2007, it was reported by the Associated Press that Diebold was considering divesting itself of its voting machine subsidiary because it was "widely seen as tarnishing the company's reputation" - source). For that matter - check out here, here, here and here. Some have paper backups, some don't. If it is a close race (anywhere) expect lawsuits.

Lawsuits: Class action suits are going to fly as are cases from all candidates and all special interest groups. They have already started. McCain is suing Virginia to delay the election results for 10 days due to military votes not being sent out in time - source. Also in Virginia, the NAACP sued because (the republican state) didn't provide enough voting machines to neighborhoods that are predominantly black - Another source.
Some polling stations have already run out of ballots. Huge lists of voters get emails and letters that say they will have to pay parking fines before they are allowed to vote - don't even bother lining up. Misdirection, lies and dirty deeds from both sides are going to play out today.

I'm being a bit cynical here, but I think this is going to be a huge mess - at a time when the US needs anything but. Lets hope I am wrong.

I have a dream

No, not that dream.

My imagination has been running wild at night. I've been having the strangest, sometimes terrible and sometimes wonderful dreams. Some of my friends get married. Sometimes they solve immense social problems. Sometimes they die. Sometimes I die. They are epic and involved. The acts of the play meander on as I drift in and out of sleep. Last night I was part of a rally bumper car race that ended up at a farm. There I continued my pilots training and haggled over hay. I bought a good bale that didn't contain too much moisture (from this very crazy looking, multi level processing plant) and set it down on a huge hill. I sat on it and watched the sunrise while drinking something green and bitter. Odd.

Most of this is very private of course, but one was just too funny to not share:

I had a very long and involved night where I dreamt that dinosaurs had enslaved the human race. Why? Because they were making us find a way to prevent them from going extinct. It was kind of the Matrix meets I Am Legend. It was very theatrical with protagonists and antagonists.. even had a love interest. There was a moment where the chief human scientist had a crisis of conscience... time was running short and she could have let them all die - The human race would be free! There was a big standoff with the head dinosaur and they somehow achieved a mutual respect. The (now not so evil) dinosaurs were safe and the human race went back to doing normal human things. I was quite proud of her. I guess that's why I loved her so much.

I have to get that dream diary beside my bed again. Crazy stuff.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm just Joe the Junkie

Thank GAD that this whole election thing is finally coming to a close. Every four years I become obsessed with what is going on south of the border. I always know more about the American political sphere than I do of my own, which kind of makes me angsty. This time around though I am simply exhausted. Tomorrow marks the close of the dirtiest, dare I say filthiest, campaign that I have ever seen. People who know me will already know that I am a huge supporter of the democrats, but I have to say that I am not proud of anyone in this election. Take a spin through www.factcheck.org and revel in the lies and misdirections.

The Canadian election wasn't all that full of integrity either. Harper really stuck it to the Liberals in an uncomfortable place. Its kind of depressing. The US is leaning left and Canada leans right. US citizens are going to turn out in record numbers to vote and Canada had the weakest voter turnout in for ever. Everyone lies to the public, everyone knows it and nobody gets there feet held to the fire. Iraq again anyone? Hell in a handbasket.

I hope that the white US voters don't leave Obama high and dry. I hope that this woman is forced to crawl back to obscurity where she belongs.

Lets get on with living our lives again.... right after I watch one... more... day of election drivel. Tell me how I think, American media.. just one more time for old times sake.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008


You know, I always plan on going to burning man. I think it it would be a hoot. Another year gone, another man not burned by yours truly. I have not burned the man... the man has burned me. Hardly seems fair.

The most compelling reason to go to this festival is that the people who _actually_ go, do nice little art bits that make me happy. Like this:

And I am a little bit perturbed that this thing has only been seen by a 1000 people at time of writing. If only there was a blond bimbo socialite seducing a 13 year old... then it would have been seen by 10 million folks. Really... 10 million views? Are you kidding me?

Something is gravely wrong ladies and gentlemen.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Living with Vinh isn't THAT bad

At first I was a bit worried about moving into Vinh's place. Things seem to be going pretty well, although I could use more room in my bedroom for my stuff and my computer is a little bit worse for ware.

Source. (Makes how Garth used to live look like an operating room!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

I was having lunch today... (Hell in a Handbasket - HIAH)

CNN was on. A pastor of a cultish thing near the mighty missisip was being interviewed. His ministry has been searched due to an investigation of sexual abuse (minors).
"In an interview Monday, Alamo spoke of the allegations with a mix of denial and defiance, saying he never promoted sexual abuse but that he believes there's a mandate from the Bible for young girls to marry.

"In the Bible it happened. But girls today, I don't marry 'em if they want to at 14-15 years old. Because we won't do it, even though I believe it's OK," Alamo said.

In an AP interview on Saturday, he had said that for girls having sex, "consent is puberty."

Source. Through Google News. Tried searching for it on CNN. Palin, Palin, Palin... no creepy dude who thinks that the bible is literal and that if the hormones of young girls start to change then its open season on a rape'y type of marriage.

Not that I expect much from CNN, but should this at least be reported above the No Gas or the snake stories (which, for the keen observer, was reported before the one about 9 Iraqi dead?)

Awesome article about the Palinator

"Pray for the construction of the $30 billion natural gas pipeline, Palin told them. Pray for the military men and women overseas, "that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for -- that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Later, senior pastor Ed Kalnin -- with Palin standing at his side -- spoke about tapping into Alaska's natural resource wealth to fulfill the state's destiny of serving as a shelter for Christians at the end of the world.

"I believe that Alaska is one of the 'refuge states' -- come on, you guys -- in the Last Days," Kalnin said, raising his arm to underscore his point. "And hundreds of thousands of people are going to come to this state to seek refuge. And the church has to be ready to minister to them."

Read it here.

The democrats could point out the fact that her religious upbringing does not "sit" with America (just like Obama's didn't), but the GOP will claim that they are picking on her children.

And.. well.. her religious upbringing appears to "sit" with America more than I want to admit.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cool Google RSS reader attached to my Blogger dashboard

I like the subscription thing that Blogger has added. (which apparently is just the Google Reader)


I'm spending 30 minutes a day doing research around why I think we are all going to hell in a hand basket. Mostly political messes, but not exclusively.

Anywho, couple of fascinating developments in the Palin-ator's quest. Here and here.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Dear Applicant:

Within the context of the Astronaut Recruitment Campaign, we made a first sorting in the 5351 applications we received. Following the information you provided, the pre-selection committee is pleased to inform you that further consideration is being given to your candidacy.

Therefore, for the continuation of the recruitment process, we will require additional information. We ask you to complete the second electronic form that will be available on our website on Wednesday, July 9th 2008 at 8:00 Eastern daylight time (UTC - 4:00)

You have until Monday, July 28th 2008 at 18:00 Pacific daylight time (UTC - 7:00) to complete your online application. It is in your best interest and your responsibility to answer all questions as best and completely as possible.

If you do not answer in the foretold delays to these demands, we will consider that you voluntarily withdrew your candidacy from the present selection process.

The pre-selection committee will review all candidacies and will identify high-ranking candidates for the astronaut's position. The results of this second sorting will begin to be disclosed by wave, from August to September. The selected candidates will be invited in September to interviews that will be held in October 2008.

We wish you the best of luck.


The Astronaut Recruitment Pre-selection Board

Astronaut Recruitment Campaign
Canadian Space Agency

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Anyone see anything wrong with this picture?

Me neither. I think that all officers should have monks robes. It was probably just Halloween.
[EDITORS NOTE: the LONG rant about the IOC, "most favored trading nation", the US govt, Clinton, Bushes, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Darfur, Cambodia, Cuba, Burma and Iran has been redacted]

[CHIEF EDITORS NOTE: Only half of that rant was actually written, but it was getting a bit "name call-y" and juvenile]
I know these are complex issues. I know that I don't know the whole story of anything around me. This picture might be photoshop'd. I have to say though (outside of the above), that I am sick and tired of duplicity: of doing the right thing as long as it doesn't cost too much; of deluding one selves and those around them by pretending to do the right thing, but doing only for personal gain; of defending blindness to the sighted, and of feigning righteous sight to the blind.

I cast this damnation inward at times. I am not above reproach and the principle is not lost on me. Its just the pure evil and grandiose scale of some of this shit is mind boggling to me at times.

What kind of world is this?

How do you solve a problem like Alison?

Alison made it to the top 10 of "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" on CBC!

This is a really big accomplishment for her and I think that it is incredible. I'll be spamming everyone to remind them on how to vote soon. Mark 5 minutes on your calendar for Sunday between 8:00pm and 3:00am EST to throw down some votes for a good cause. This is already a life changing experience for Alison, but if she were to be cast in this role it would be just about as good as it gets.

[EDITORS NOTE: Above is the CBC widget for the show and you can click around it to get more information on all of the Marias.]

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Funny email that Todd sent me

Dear Sir,

I recently purchased an xbox controller from your store.

During a particularly frustrating game of NHL 2K7 I became enraged and smashed my controller into this configuration:

Please advise the cost of repair.

Yours truly,

Todd Knight

And the reply:

Dear Todd,

Thank you for contacting GameStop.com.

We do not repair items. Unfortunately it sounds like you will need to
purchase a new controller to replace the one you destroyed.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Best Regards,
Customer Service Agent

bwahahahahahaha :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A quest for a good chicken wing (Duff's Wings - 558 College, Toronto)

I cannot deny.. I like the wing. I like the stupidly hot wing. Me and Pinto went to Duff's Wings. I had really high hopes that I would be running out of there with steam coming out of my ears and frantically looking for a wax candle to pour all over my tongue. I know that the equivalent of Guatemalan insanity peppers exist (awesome Simpson's episode by the way), but there has never been a suicide wing sauce that I couldn't eat. I'm going to be sorry one day, but I generally order suicide or hot with a side of suicide on the side that I liberally dip through.

So there is something called the Scoville Heat Unit and there is this place called Duff's. I'm calling bullshit.

I approached the first opportunity to peg my diet in SHU's with trepidation and a kind of a strange giddiness. Duff's try really hard to scare the crap out of you about spiciness and without a reference point, I stupidly bought into their propaganda. We ordered "Hot" wings with a side of "Superhot". The wings themselves were pretty good in terms of meat and level of cooking, but the sauce was garbage. The hot sauce tasted like Frank's sauce and vinegar and the superhot sauce was like vinegar concentrate. Garbage. You could barely put your nose over it (like a saucepan of burning vinegar might smell, I imagine). So we skipped over "Death" and got a side of "Armageddon". My big chance to "see through time".

This was the only sauce of the three that we tried that actually tasted anything near what I would call "good". It was rich, not butter based and taste-eeee. .... and ouch-eeee. It was really hot. It kind of snuck (Snuck is one of those words that I look at these days and ask whether or not its right) up on me, but I couldn't stop eating it somehow. I was shoveling the stuff into my mouth and making stupid sweat stains on my hoodie as I wiped my brow. (well for 6 wings or so).

So they were the hottest wings that I have purchased from a restaurant, but this was not the hottest sauce that I have had by far. I guess thats where the BS call comes in. It would be almost impossible for me to eat a wing that was heavily doused with Dave's Insanity Sauce, for instance ("rated" far less than these sauces). Or read this review of a 300,000 SHU sauce - "Pour it on a buffalo wing and go for it! If your butt doesn't bleed the next morning, you didn't use enough."

So either Scoville units are so unreliable that "spicy" and "bleeding out your ass" exist on the same stratum, or I went on a bad night to the wrong location, or, or, or.

I'll go back, I will order the armageddon off the top and maybe find out that I think that I am cooler than I really am. ....

Or maybe Duff's is a lying sack of scoville optimism.

So I want hot, tasty wings in Toronto. Who's buying? Who's selling?

A note on west coast snowboarding

Wow. I had kind of forgotten about snowboarding. Historically the problem was partially due to my cheap and outdated equipment. Part of the problem (actually most of the problem really) was that the closest and bestest "mountain" from Toronto features long lineups and a staggering 720ft of vertical. It isn't all that inspiring and its easy for me to find something else to do with myself on any random winter weekend.

I boarded at Grouse Mountain, Whistler / Blackcomb and Cypress while I was in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago.

The first thing to notice is travel time. 15 minutes from Matt and Meghan's place (NorthVan) to the local hills and about a 2 hour drive to the resort. The second through seventh things to notice are the overall quality of terrain and breathtaking scenery (even though visibility was pretty crap by local standards). Then there is the snow. Its ridiculous. Grouse has a base of between 15-20ft (FEET!) of snow this year.

It was a powerful reminder of how easy it must be to take for granted the good things in life around you. I wish I was better at not doing that.

Anecdotal points in no specific order:

1. When the sign says "Experts only due to extremely bad visibility in Whistler bowl" - believe it. At times I couldn't see the snow below me and at times the powder would run up the face giving me a false sense of speed. Kind of scary. I caught some bad edges and banged my head (making the whole situation worse).

2. My favorite run on Grouse was "The Cut", a green run straight down the centre of the hill. You can bomb down it while watching the cityscape and the barges in the harbour doing whatever barges do on sunny Wednesday afternoons in Vancouver. "Or, if gentle slopes and easy-going turns are more your style, head for The Cut..."

3. Blackcomb? Ridge Runner. A beautiful and long blue run from the Blackcomb peak. "Ridge Runner, incidentally, is one of the best cruising runs on the mountain".

4. Whistler? Peak to Creek. Again, I tended to really like the long, intermediate style of run (mostly because it is so foreign to me when it takes an hour to go down a mountain once). “With over 5,020 feet of vertical and seven kilometres of variety, there are no other runs like Peak to Creek around.”

5. Cyprus? First Sun. We went down this a number of times. We went to Cypress when we did because they had just got 20cms of fresh snow overnight. It still seemed like we had the chair to ourselves on this side of the mountain and I didn't see another single person on this run all day. It was advanced and just about as steep as I could manage, but there was SO much snow that it didn't really matter. Cartwheeling in 3 feet of loose snow kind of makes me giggle. There where also lots of places that I could drop in through the trees and pretend that I was hardcore. "But I'm looking down beyond my boots and snowboard at the black diamond run called First Sun ..... The depth perception is so bad halfway down that I reach up and shove my frosty goggles onto my head without stopping. And this stuff isn't really powder, it's not that light and not that dry. But we score clean tracks 90 percent of the way and it's knee-deep, magical and mesmerizing, like riding an orca on a tidal surge." A little bit dramatic perhaps, but pretty accurate for the day I was there (although I missed "first tracks" by about 3 hours).

Matt kept saying, "You won't believe how big Whistler is". Whatever - I am a cynical bastard of late and it would take a pretty big mountain for me to be awed. I have to say though.... "You won't believe how big Whistler is". The sheer immensity and vertical there is awe inspiring and the stuff that dreams are made of. I now understand how people can live there for a winter and feel like they have not truly explored the pair of mountains. One guy we met there was talking about a book he has that charts 200 runs that aren't included in the 200 published runs. I get the feeling that this is just the beginning.

I'm back to loving boarding, but somehow its been wrecked for me. Blessed and cursed... again. Crap.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Small maintenance note

Not that it really matters, but anyone can post comments now - not just people with Google accounts. We shall see how that goes :)

D. B. Cooper: Imagination spark and general bad ass of the day.

Fascinating little piece of history here:
I remember hearing about this guy a long time ago. I found it quite entertaining to read the history again / for the first time? Who knows. The mind is the first to go. Read the "suspects" section if nothing else.

This was triggered by an article that I read in the newspaper. It was about the kid who found some of the ransom money, who is now auctioning some of the $20 bills.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Darth Vader aka Dick Cheney

Just reading the latest Michael Moore newsletter. "Darth Vader". Rich.

Excerpt from an interview with the Dick:

CHENEY: On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked. That’s been a major success.

RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.


RADDATZ So? You don’t care what the American people think?

CHENEY: No, I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.

Take a look at it or check out more of the interview here.

God help America indeed.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Just a quick note on "construction".....

If you are doing plunge cuts into sawdust and glue composite molding with a skill saw that has a dull blade in a space that has a fire alarm tied into the adjoining stores and the condos above your working space...... heed this warning as told to my "friend" by the fire department: "you should really cover the smoke detector while doing construction. Get a new blade. This place smells."

The last piece. "My friend" was so close. The condo folks seemed nice though?

Seriously... things that I know... and you should know if you help a friend doing light construction:

  • Know whether or not you can disable the fire alarm through your electrical panel (generally you can't)
  • There will be a central panel for the building - know where this is (I did not know that this mattered, but I should have; we had tonnes of alarms at 90O).
  • When your neighbors talk about sprinklers going off and wrecking their "X" thousands of dollars of goods... tell them to relax (sprinklers are heat activated - no flames? no problem).
  • Call the fire department to let them know that there really isn't a fire. No reason to get priority over someone who actually matters (dumb construction guy should always take back seat to "there is a fire in my house" guy).
  • Only fire people can make the loudest alarm on the face of the planet stop being the loudest alarm on the face of the planet by waving their magic wand at the central panel (you might be tempted to forget the stated rule above).
  • Smile to the crowd of displaced condo folks. Try to stop kids from crying if possible.
  • When cocky 25 year old fireman points out the one gap in the recently put down laminant flooring and smiles.... punch him in the arm and call him a jerk. Laugh.... he lays flooring for a moonlighting gig... and is a jerk.
  • When the business owner you are helping comes back from shopping trip - smile... its not your problem any more.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Its been a bit "full circle" for me of late. I had my one year anniversary of leaving for Peru (March 5th) last week. The fact that I was in Vancouver (the first trip I took by myself when I was 18) was somehow just; that trip marked a whole bunch of firsts for me. The fact that I realized it while getting a sunburn on a mountain top made me smile. It was the first time I had been snowboarding in 5? years. Maybe less, but a long time. [EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm splitting hairs for effect in this statement. "Myself" is literally by myself. Todd and I went to Key West when I was 16. Go liberal parents!]

I'll be here for another week. I still feel shame. I will be missing Garth's bacon party. The bacumentary will not happen which I am actually pretty sad about. It was going to work out to $1000 and missing a weekend in Whistler to make it happen. I don't love bacon that much. I really should have got my act together on the return flight sooner.

Matt and I have sampled a bit of the night life. Its pretty rough in parts of this town which I have always known, but never fully been immersed in. Its odd to want to get back into the sketchy club where things make sense and away from the East Hastings fringe. The scene is small, but people are FRIENDLY. Its kind of refreshing and fun.

Building, building, building. The store is starting to look pretty good.

Why I would never make money building out retail space (Vancouver, BC)

It takes me a long time to build things. This wall shouldn't take anyone a day plus to cut and assemble. There were some things that were not in my favour, like the lack of any real tools, slot wall that is only sold with the slots running the wrong way (why is that?), a million little measurements, random electrical and mechanical bits of unknown purpose that needed to be abandoned or moved or remounted or buried, metal stud construction that is mysteriously off centre and at weird intervals. Did I mention the 1 by 3 inch level that I had to work with? Still. Frustrating. Long. I again am shocked at how heavy sawdust and glue can get in big sheets.

The good news is that I have stricken another potential job off of my list. The bad news is that this day happened.

Friday, January 11, 2008

"I haven't fucked much with the past, but I've fucked plenty with the future." - Patti Smith

I always kind of wondered about her and I am embarrassed that I know absolutely nothing other than she was a formative force in music and off the rails for most of her career. Looked up her rant which was on the Natural Born Killers soundtrack today. I didn't realize that it was actually a truncation of something she did called Babelogue.
"I haven't fucked much with the past, but I've fucked plenty with the future. Over the skin of silk are scars from the splinters of stations and walls I've caressed. A stage is like each bolt of wood, like a log of Helen, is my pleasure. I would measure the success of a night by the way by the way by the amount of piss and seed I could exude over the columns that nestled the P.A. Some nights I'd surprise everybody by skipping off with a skirt of green net sewed over with flat metallic circles which dazzled and flashed. The lights were violet and white. I had an ornamental veil, but I couldn't bear to use it. When my hair was cropped, I craved covering, but now my hair itself is a veil, and the scalp inside is a scalp of a crazy and sleepy Comanche lies beneath this netting of the skin. I wake up. I am lying peacefully I am lying peacefully and my knees are open to the sun. I desire him, and he is absolutely ready to seize me. In heart I am a Moslem; in heart I am an American; in heart I am Moslem, in heart I'm an American artist, and I have no guilt. I seek pleasure. I seek the nerves under your skin. The narrow archway; the layers; the scroll of ancient lettuce. We worship the flaw, the belly, the belly, the mole on the belly of an exquisite whore. He spared the child and spoiled the rod. I have not sold myself to God."
You can listen to it here, but close your eyes cuz someone spliced photos of their friends into a video around it.... kind of lame, but this is the only mainstream outlet that I can find for it. *** Not work safe for obvious reasons *** Sounds like that night around 1978 was pretty out of control. I was 5 though, so I probably wouldn't have been allowed to go.

I can't really find out what the "Log of Helen" is. I found it in a book from 1929 called Magnificent Obsession, and they were actually talking about a log of Helen (as in a historical list of sequential events). It might be Helen of Troy, but it sounds biblical somehow. I can't seem to find in a search against 5 different versions, so maybe not. Gotta get on to my fairly critical pursuit of reading that thing. Reading the God Delusion at the same time was a bit unfair to the project though.

Anyways... Go Patti Smith... I like people who are out there these days.

Choke on it.

Talk about paralysis. I'm trying to sum up the last year of my life. I'm trying to be poignant, poised, insightful and succinct. I've got several thousand words of snippets and thoughts and memories and fear and hope and promise and delusion and wonder and you name it - can you say "not succinct"?

Life moves on though and I'm setting aside my grand wrap up for the sake of random pulp. An attempt to dislodge the furball of despair that has been preventing me from writing.

I love LEGO. My mom knows I love lego. She sent me some pictures of what a crazy lego person can accomplish to, in part, express their faith.

  • How long to build it? It was about a year and a half of planning, building and photographing.
  • How many pieces of LEGO to build it? more than 75,000
  • How big is it? About 7 feet by 5 1/2 feet by 30 inches (2.2 m x 1.7 m x .76 m)
  • How many LEGO people does it seat? 1,372
  • How many windows? 3,976
  • It features a balcony, a Narthex, stairs to the balcony, restrooms, coat rooms, several mosaics, a nave, a baptistery, an altar, a crucifix, a pulpit and an elaborate pipe organ.
Its funny you know, this kind of makes me feel better of myself for not accomplishing more in my 2 months in hell. That being said, anyone want to join the "Adult Lego building community" with me and build something spectacular? I'm serious.... unfortunately :)