Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Interesting thought

I am sure many of you have thought about this before...But I have mostly chosen not to pick through the details of everything and as result I am much less paranoid. But the thought that was brought up today at work was related to cell phones.
Now many of us have cell phones with clocks in them. One of the men at work then noted that when you cross the border of Quebec the clock on you phone changes almost immediately.
My thought, well it is keyed into some signal somewhere which give it the time. His thought was that the people at the phone company know exactly where you are, cause they can change the time on your phone.
A little more thought too, is that when you are in any given city you don't have to pay long distance. I would not be surprised if you could be tracked by the phone and perhaps there are people with better knowledge than me. My thoughts on this however are more related to the signals from the phone company towers and your phone is keyed into them and no one actually knows where you are.

By Sabrina - 4:44 p.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday Night / Early Sunday

Sorry for the delay in writing about the rest of the weekend, but I usually write posts when I'm up late and can't sleep, so here we are. Saturday I took a break from the No-cases and decided to go to see Mark Bragg at Baba's with Sabriina, since she really likes him, having spent a couple of years in St. John's. After hanging out and watching Loony Tunes cartoons at her roommate's brother's place, the three of us who went out were originally going to try and see Nikkie at the 72 Hour Jam, we even made sure to give ourselves about 40 minutes to get there early just in case, but the Myron's staff were keeping people lined up outside even though they were letting people into the supposedly free jam if they would pay the money for a ticket to the main show downstairs. This is pretty scummy behaviour on their part, but scummy was a good word to describe that place all weekend.

So we went straight over to Baba's and came in in time to hear the last bit of Midnight Auto Supply, a local rock act with a fairly good guitarist, Thomas Mears, playing with them. We grabbed ourselves a few seats in the back that were perfect for being quiet enough to hear the people you're talking to without them having to shout. Next up was Yellow from Cape Breton. They're as far as I know one of the best kept secrets of Cape Breton's musical offerings, they don't seem to tour much and aren't big self-promoters, it seems. But Allicia, the guitarist, was as good as anyone else that night on her instrument and seemed to be able to put a level of subtlety and depth into her loud playing that is very hard to come by for a lot of players. The vocals were also very good but seemed to take a back seat, or were simply too low in the mix that night, not sure which since this was my first time seeing them.

Rock Ranger were up next. I can't find much info on them online aside from a couple of badly written articles on music websites that are convincing me that I could write music reviews for a living if these chuds can get paid for it. Basically they're a power trio from Cape Breton who's sound is as close to pure 80s rock as you can get. Probably their closest musical brethren would be C'Mon (who are going to be playing in Charlottetown in March according to the rumour mill). We were moving from being in back to making forays up to the front to watch. Fortunately the crowd wasn't too thick to move in. People really seemed to be getting into the music by this point, dancing and hopping around and cheering loudly. None of the bands did much talking between songs which I always hope for, they're up their in front of an audience but so often when they will muster up some words, the singer will sound shy and timid and will use as few words as he or she can.

The transitions between bands was the smoothest I think I'd ever seen, especially for that many bands in that small a place. Baba's is just extraordinarily well-run all around, though. You never hear any drama or bullshit from any of the staff, all the business matters are taken care of away form the customers and as far as anyone is concerned the place just runs itself. Compare that to some other places where you seem to always see someone running around putting out fires and handling crisis after crisis and you can really see the difference that experience makes.

Up next was Pat Deighan and the Orb Weavers. They're becoming such a regular fixture there that it's hard to think of new things to write about them. They were very well placed on this bill, though, with all the other traditional rock'n'roll acts.

So next up after that was Mark Bragg. And even though I had seen him a few weeks ago and he did mostly the same songs (but a shorter set and not as many rarities.) of songs from his latest album, Bear Music, it was still really enjoyable and the crowd was totally into it, which is nice since me and Sabrina were almost the only ones up front last time around.

72 Hour Jam

After that Sabrina and her roommate went home and I met up with some other people who had been out at other various places and we wandered into the 72 Hour Jam which had moved back down to the main floor again. One of the funnier bits was when one of us who was there was on her mobile phone talking to some other people we know and we got them to go to the webcam that was set up and we waved and made gestures at it. Then we had the rap-type group that was up there give shoutouts to them which was hilarious and enough to get them to come out.

Musically it was hit or miss that night, with some rather odd hiphop type acts mixed in with some pretty good rock bands like Annapilla and Shelter With Thieves. A surprisingly large number of people even stuck it out long enough to see Chara at 7am, the only metal band on the Jam's schedule. Maybe it was the lack of sleep but I was totally into them when they got going, bouncing around and making tons of noise and just generally rocking out. Thankfully there weren't any idiots trying to hardcore dance or any of that bullshit. I felt way safer in the middle of Chara's crowd then anywhere else, considering the massive amounts of glass everywhere and the disgusting bathrooms that were definitely not cleaned the whole weekend.

One of the members of Chara apparently had to work an 8 hour shift at his job at a convenience store right after their set, which makes them doing the 7am thing even more heroic.

After they were finished there was the most hilarious change of pace ever, with a woman named Kelly Bellamon coming up on stage in a 19th century-looking white dress and acoustic guitar all by herself. I stuck around and watched and really enjoyed her set, probably the only person there who was equally enjoying her and Chara and might just as easily have either of them in my music collection.

The funniest part about Kelly's set was when I turned to walk away from the stage and apparently caught my foot on the patch cable which cut off her guitar. This is after the madness during Chara's set in which nothing like that happened at all. I was pretty embarrassed but it gave me an excuse to talk to her after she finished, and she seems very nice and appreciated that someone was listening attentively. She gave me a CD with three songs of hers on it and it's quite good as well for a demo.

I missed most of Andrea MacDonald's set because I was over sitting with someone whom I hadn't seen since we were kids and doing some catching up. What's really funny about that is that she was apparently using my jacket as a pillow and I had to wake her up to get it, and it took us a little while before we recognized each other.

After Andrea finished there was the rather forgettable 'Tom and Mary' duo (I think that's what they were called.) Pretty much your stereotypical aging hippies who put way too much naive idealism into their songs. My favourite line was "peace will come when greed is gone." Which, if true, means I should probably just kill myself now, if you've ever seen the way children play with each other I'd say we're doomed. But I don't think he meant the line with any dark humour at all. But hey, at least they played a couple of John Prine songs at the end which made me happy before finally leaving to go home and crash for the rest of the morning.

Overall I had a fun night, had some good conversations with people I only sort of knew casually before that, and enjoyed the music. But Myrons was so filthy and obnoxious even by their own standards that they probably ruined the ECMA experience for a lot of people. I know from checking out a couple of message boards that they probably went a good way to hurting Charlottetown's reputation as a whole. They never once cleaned the place, there was broken glass everywhere, a friend of mine actually cut her foot quite badly on it when a piece went through the soul of her shoe, and the whole atmosphere just shouted from the walls that they didn't care. This gave a lot of credence to the rumours floating around that the place is about to be closed yet again and they were just doing the minimum possible to keep the doors open and the lights on for the whole weekend without caring for their reputation or their customers' experience. It's as sharp a contrast as you can get with what a great and smooth operation Baba's has going or the open and friendly and casual atmosphere at Hunter's.
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By al - 4:52 a.m. | (3) comments | Post a Comment


I'll do a post about the last couple of nights when I get to it. For now here's some thoughts about the ECMA awards show.

Wow, CBC, fire your sound guys. That was terrible. Wintersleep sounded pretty good, they were the hilight of the show for me. I always love watching Loel drum and the backup vocals were a nice touch. Chucky Danger are cute but not all that interesting, I expect they'll have a fairly successful career getting token airplay on Magic 93 and playing at high school dances.

I was happy to see Slowcoaster win an award, but really disappointed that the 'alternative rock' award didn't merit being included in the main show presentation and was shuffled off to a 10 second segment in the 'awards given out earlier' sections. Those bands are the ones pushing new musical styles and actually doing something different, and if the ECMA people wanted to appeal to younger people by hiring the Trailer Park Boys to host they really dropped the ball by not making a bigger deal out of this category.

Natalie McMaster's talking about her uncle Buddy and then her performance were wonderful. I was happy to hear a slower, more soulful fiddle tune as opposed ot the stereotypical jigs you usually associate with the cheesiest of Maritime music.

The Trailer Park Boys bits weren't all that funny, and I'm getting sick of the characters rather rapidly, but to be fair it was definitely way better than the skits and canned dialog you hear at most awards shows.

By al - 2:24 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, February 26, 2006

10 things I still own from days gone by

1) the sweat shirt I made in grade 8. It is filled with wholes and paper thin from being washed too many times.
2) several dragons figurines. I have one that my friend Jessica gave me all in blue, One an old friend Russell gave me for my 17th birthday. Russell you should show your self. One dad pained back in grade 6, One Melissa gave me and many more.
3) a black shirt with a flower pattern on from and white pocket dots on the back. I have had this shirt since I lived in Chatham New Brunswick, meaning I have had this since at least grad 2. I cannot explain its survival but I love and still where it to day. Then it was like a night gown, now it fits as it should. My little sister absolutely hates it, but that's her problem
4)A series of scrap books I made in grade 9, 10, 11, and 12. I keep them at my parents, but I know mom will have me take them here soon. Not that I don't want them I just need to figure out where to put them. They capture the finest portion of my life.
5)A collage I made up of hundreds of pictures, all cut up. It still remains unfinished, but like the scrap books I have attempted to capture my life as a teenager. My sister always dislike the parts that included the swim team stuff, but as I said then it was my life not hers.
6)Binders and binders filled with a story Melissa and I were working on in grade 8 and 9. These binders include short out takes of the story, drawings Melissa drew, poems, and character sketch and about 4 or 5 attempts at the opening of the story.
More than anything it is filled with hundreds of memories.
7)An old pick knit blanket. This has been around since I can remember, it rarely get to the bed, but has been used as a wrap on cold nights.
8)A cross stitch of a dragon I started when I was in grade nine and finished in university. It depict a very colorful dragon wrapped around a castle. There was a lot of hours when into it and now it is hanging on the wall in the living room.
9)The Jogging out fit for the greenwood dolphins. The thing does not fit anymore. But I have kept this all these years and will probably keep it until it is moth eaten and beyond all hope of help.
10) A recorder (instrument). It seemed for a while I was destine to play the instrument. Being a military child we moved schools a lot. In grade 2 was my first introduction to it, grade three my second, grade four my third. By grade six I joined a record club and started to try and play more seriously. I don't' play much anymore, and when I do, I normally pick it up and play "hot cross buns" or "Mary had a little lamb".

By Sabrina - 4:13 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, February 25, 2006

No-Cases Day 2

Last night was stupendous. I didn't end up getting to the all-ages show, the venue is out in Sherwood and I didn't find a ride, which is too bad, but I did get a little work done instead so that's allright.

During the day Smothered in Hugs's song "Young Flare" came on my iTunes and stayed in my head all day, so it was lucky that I managed to catch them play that as their last song as I got to the show yesterday night. Damn, it's back.

Laura Peek and the Winning Hearts were up next, she plays the keyboard and has a bass player and drummer, the keyboard sounded excellent like a grand piano right in the room. And she's got a beautiful voice. Before she started she took out a huge bag of cinnamon hearts and gave them to the crowd to pass around, it was pretty funny.

Laura Peek @ No-Cases

The Danks played next and they were surprisingly good, they kept people on their feet and the place packed up as they were on. Apparently the place was at capacity and they had to stop letting people in for a while. Their second last song was a cover of "Where is My Mind?" by the Pixies which made me overjoyed. A lot of people are weenies about not liking bands playing cover songs but screw them, I love it when bands play the songs that they've listened to and loved for a long itme just like the rest of us. The Danks are one of the better island bands these days, I hope to hear more from them soon.

Next up was Tom Fun, I was at the back of the crowd talking to a friend and didn't want to elbow my way up to the front so I didn't get to see them, but they sounded really good. They had about 10 people on the stage playing different instruments and it all came together really well. I love when bands incorporate somehting new into their stage presence. They impressed a lot of people, hopefully they'll come back to Charlottetown some time.

Time basically flew last night, before I knew it it was 2AM and the last band, Gilbert Switzer, was settingup. I'v ewritten about them before and thye were as good as they ever were last night. The show wasn't as hilarious as the one at the Wave where we all got kicked out, including the band, but that one would have been hard to top. During their set a couple of them switched instruments which is always cool to see.

Gilbert Switzer @ No-Cases

After that a few of us wandered over to the 72 hour jam and just watched the bands for a while. Not bad, not nearly as good as the no-cases but there were a few hilights like the Holidays and Chamberlane are allright. Tonight's lineup is going to be better I think, I'm going to make sure to get ther ein time to see Nikkie with her new band at 11:25.
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By al - 1:31 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Friday, February 24, 2006

No-Cases Day 1

Well last night was a pretty fantastic kick-off to the ECMA weekend with the first night of No-Cases at Hunter's.

The show was bookended by a couple of away performers, the Hilarious B. A. Johnson from Ontario, whom I mostly remember as hearing from my tent as I was in a confused zombie-like stupor on Saturday morning at the Shoreline festival in the Summer. He sings songs about sitting on your couch watching Caddyshack on TV at 3AM and spontaneously named a song after the scuzzy bar across the street, the Velvet Underground. He also took his shirt off on-demand which is not something most performers will have the dedication to their fans to do.

B.A. Johnson @ No-Cases

After that were a few PEI bands clumped together on the first night. You could definitely tell that there's a shared quality to a lot of PEI bands, especially Stried who came on right after B.A.. They have a smoother sound, less jarring, and more danceable in a traditional sense of rock music. I'd go so far as to say Stride epitomizes the 'PEI rock sound'. Unfortunately I don't see bands that sound like that really making an impact off of the island or really pushing any musical barriers, but that's probably not their intention. They brought out a good contingent of local music fans who know the bands and filled out the crowd really nicely, so all is good. I'd say similar things about the Robots and Birmingham as well who followed. It was nice to see the Robots for the first time, I just missed them when they were playing at the Wave a few weeks ago, and I'd been enjoying their track on Well-Oiled.

Birmingham were up next. Honestly not my cup of tea musically, but when they move to Ontario and get rich and have throngs of 19-year old girls after them I'll be happy for their success. They play well and are good at what they do, and they were really professional about getting tuend up and ready to go before their start time.

The Bad Motels were the surprise of the night. No one I spoke to really knew them very well, so I had no idea if I should even stay out 'til 3:00am to see them, but I'm glad I did. Very very fast-paced rock. Here's their MySpace page: Link. But the music on there doesn't do their live stage presence justice. The drummer was phenomenal, kept up a super-quick pace all through the set and kept everyone moving and dancing and really raised the energy of the people who were left. I think a lot of people just assumed the night would be over at 2AM like usual which might be why the place seemed to empty out, or perhaps people just naturally get tired and want ot leave by then, who knows. They missed a wicked show-capper, though.

Bad Motels @ No-Cases

After that we went back to someone's house and played Nintendo and Poker as most people either passed out or went home, which I eventually did after seeing a really great run at Super Mario Bros. 2 by one of the visiting band members. g. and I were thoroughly impressed.

As for tonight, if I can get a ride in the soonish timeframe I'm gonna go see the All-Ages show at St. Pius X Church Hall, with the hilight there being A/V from Halifax and The Establishment. Then tonight I'm sort of torn between Hunter's (Gilbert Switzer & Tom Fun) and Brennan's. Brennan's line-ups here: Link. Hilights for Brennan's are Jill Porter, Double Ought Buckshot and Lenore, but I think I'll be able to see most of them at other shows, so we'll see. Then there's a pretty good chance I may wander over to the 72 hour jam and see what kind of freakss and weirdos don't know what a proper bed time is.
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By al - 5:05 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, February 23, 2006

10 things a guy could do for me, and would win my love

Okay I got a theme on the go...But hell, Al always says I don't post enough.

1) Never tease me about my not eating meat. It has been fifteen years, I have heard all the jokes, and statements, some that have even gone to far. I am not really amused by them anymore.
2) Come watch me coach. I know it looks like I am just standing there, but the suport would not go unnoticed.
3)Bring me a flower (any kind really), just because they passed by some in the street that day or picked it in a meadow. My mother is a florist. I have grown to love them.
4) Have supper waiting for me one day, when I got home from work, swimming, the gym or the additional activity I have been up to that day.
5) Sit next to me and chat while I have a bubble bath. Any conversation would be fine.
6) Be understanding if I have missed something going on in the world. It happens more then I want to admit but with 12 hours of my day being devoted to work and swimming.
7)Drop in to my place of work just to say hi.
8)Hold my hand throughout the scary movies
9)Do the dishes
10)ask Kim which earrings I want so bad and get them. ( okay a bit materialistic, but hey are so cute)

By Sabrina - 7:42 p.m. | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Nocase / 72 Hour Jam Schedule With My Hilights

OK, I'm going to handle hot coals yet again and link to cory and marsha's Nocases poster, but this time I've taken my virtual hilighter pen and marked the acts I especiallly want to see in Yellow. Nocases are going to be incredible all-around, though, and the energy of the place and the chance to see new bands are totally in addition to the ones I'm excited about beforehand.

Click for the full-size version. The unblemished original is of course at nocase.org.

I also did the same for the 72 Hour Jam, with checkmarks beside the bands that I am interested in, along with noting times listed as 'special guest', which means a band that has another showcase somewhere so they don't want you to know they're playing for free at the jam. (sshhhh...)

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By al - 9:28 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

ECUA / No-Cases Start Tonight

For the most up-to-date schedule go to nocase.org. The hilights will be the Friday and Saturday shows at Hunters, and the all-ages shows going on at St. Pius X church hall (on St. Peters Rd next to the Irving and before the graveyard.)

Here's as good an explanation as any of what the No-Cases are all about, from the home page:
"1. The No-cases (or East Coast Unauthorized –> ECUAs) are showcases that happen every year during ECMA week (usually the last weekend) but are not affiliated with the East Coast Music Association. They’re put on by local independent promoters who would like to focus more on the music and less on the industry side of things. 2. They exist for bands who: didn’t get into a showcase, didn’t apply for a showcase, just plain don’t want to play in one of the ECMA showcases, don’t want to give money to or be associated with the ECMA, or don’t really fit into one of those neat genre categories so beloved by such awards–unless you all really want to be featured at the “Alternative Showcase.” Most importantly, they also exist for bands in the up-and-coming category. You might be totally sweet but not “established” enough to be acknowledged by the association. We dig that. They also exist for the party. "
I've said this a few times before but this is where the really interesting stuff happens. There's a whole musical ecosystem happening in Halifax that is going unrepresented in the mainstream ECMA shows, doubtless put on by people who aren't plugged into the ground-level of a musical community, and who want the ECMAs mainstream appeal to be safeguarded.

I'll also be wandering up to the 72-hour jam which is also chock full of interesting acts after midnight tonight. The 72-hour jam schedule is here: Link.

I'm not sure how much I'll be doing in the way of writing about the individual shows, but I'll keep it in mind to write things down as I think of them, just so I'll remember to post something coherent when I have the opportunity.
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By al - 8:55 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

10 things I still don't under stand after 28 years of living

1) boys/men. They claim they are easy to understand. They are lying, they make no sense. They all claim they only want sex booze and food, but they are lying about that too.
2) cruelty I can't bring myself to kill a fly let alone pull of it's wings or try and burn it with a magnifying glass
3) the need to kill something and keep its head as a trophy. This just makes no sense
4)People who don't like chocolate. Something is wrong with these people (those with allergy excluded).
5) why anyone would want a dog over a cat. Cats can be so mean as a part of their personality, you can train a dog to be mean but they so loving and they tend to be happier cuddling than plotting.
6) Racism
7) not wanting to go to France, if the trip is free. (okay his is new, a guy at work is not willing to I just don't get turning down free travel.
8) Hatred. There are lots of people in this world that I dislike, and even more that I cannot understand their basic logic, but hating is something different.
9)The point between life and death. I know what life is, I know what death is, but its the transision that gets me. I don't try to explain this, cause I do understand what the science is behind it. But the loss of conscience.
10)Romance novels (the sappy ones, this maybe the result of never truly being in love can't say for sure.)

By Sabrina - 9:23 p.m. | (6) comments | Post a Comment

Sylvie and From Fiction @ Hunter's

This was a fantastic show. It's funny how on PEI all the best bands that come here do it on a weeknight since they're going to hit Halifax on the weekend. I'm glad they make the trip, though, since it's great to see bands from away as much as I can.

After hitting up trivia (questions and answers here) with Hedder and Mel and Sharlene we managed to walk into hunters without paying cover because someone was being kicked out for fighting and was bleeding all over the doors. I don't think they would have bothered with us if we had tried to pay cover at that point. I guess it was a pretty rough night before we got there, 3 fights which apparently is more than there's ever been at all since the place opened.

I love that I had no reservations about just getting up and scooting away from a conversation when From Fiction started up. I'd been listening to their songs on their MySpace page that day and was pretty pumped.

Their stage presence was fantastic, the drummer would get up and run around during pauses and the other players were all over the place. The temp changes in the songs kept my attention really well, and though their sound was very noisy I still liked it a lot, it fit their style very well. It was sort of a contrast to their recorded stuff which is actually pretty clear, despite the sound. But maybe my rock god Steve Albini doing the recording for them helped that out. Lord help me I had to ask them what it was like working with him, I'm such a fanboy.

Sylvie are fantastic as always. They've got the solidly indie rock sound down pat. The last time they were here they were playing with controller.controller and the crowd at Myron's was thin and dead and in a big room. I'm surprised they came back, to say the least, but the crowd was quite good last night so I hope they had a better experience. I was chatting with one of the guys in the band and he seemed to love it here on the East Coast.

This was a great way to gear up for the ECMA weekend and the no-cases. Though this kind of music will be a little thin on the ground at most places, but the Halifax bands coming for the nocases should be a real bright spot.

Sylvie @ Hunter's

Sylvie @ Hunter's

From Fiction @ Hunter's
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By al - 2:05 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stay Away from the US

OK, I'm not one to normally write a lot about US politics, since there are much more dedicated bloggers who don't mind the torture that comes from investigating the horror show that is the US these days, but this just pushed things over the line for me.

U.S. Ruling Dismisses Arar Lawsuit (TorStar)

So basically the US government has the right to kidnap you, send you to a foreign country to be tortured for a year, and then when you do get to take your case before an American court for recourse, they just laugh in your face and send you away.

The US does not think of you as human. They even treat their own citizens this way, and who knows how many foreigners.

This is a big deal. Attitudes and respect for individual people is the core difference between liberal democracies and totalitarian states. And they think they're on a mission from God the whole time.

My real fear is when the conservative christians and the conservative muslims realize theey're on the same side fighting the progress of humanity. That's when free-thinking people will be truly up the creek. Even if one gives Bush and his backer the benefit of the doubt that they are not seeking to create a fascist nation, they are definitely showing anyone coming in their wake how to lay the groundwork.

I used to think about studying or working down in the US but now I feel like even if I was able to be financially successful enough to live well, that I would then be guilty of benefitting from a system that creates so much poverty and inequality in their own back yards, becoming complicit in the economic machine that is killing the resto of the world.

By al - 6:45 p.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Quote of the Day

"Do you have recreational access to liquid nitrogen?"

By al - 8:25 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

10 things I loved when I was a teenager and still love in my mid 20s

Seemed like a good theme so I thought I'd keep it going.
  1. Cartoons. Bugs Bunny and Loony Tunes, The Simpsons and Futurama, and a few others. Everything about cartoons has a special appeal to me, the fact that anything that is on the screen was meant to be there, the fact that absurdity can crop up anywhere, since nothing is stopping the animator from drawing something completely different in the next frame, and just the way the world is created to serve and reinforce the plot rather than as a hindrance or constraint on it.

  2. Queen. The first tape I bought with my own money was Classic Queen, and they were my favourite band ever since. They had a certain lack of self-consciousness that might have hindered their enjoying themselves and doing what they loved.

  3. Long walks. I've always liked to just go out the door and just walk, without really knowing where I'm going or how long I might be. I used to daydream a lot and I think I still do. I read recently that sleeping on a big decision and letting your subconscious mind weigh it often led to better results, I like to think that just letting my thoughts stream around as I walked had a similar effect.

  4. Kitty cats. I'm definitely a cat person. I have a dog now, and she's hilarious, but I just don't understand dogs in the same intuitive way that I think I can grok what a cat is thinking at any given time. I've always said that if I found myself in the body of a cat I could see myself acting just as cats do and being perfectly happy.

  5. Listening to people talk. I'm bad at smalltalk, like extraordinarily bad. But if I can figure out what someone's passion is, or can get them talking about a subject that interests them, I love nothing more than to get them to share their enthusiasm and communicate what makes them interested in some subject. Part of that is learning a little bit about everything, so I can understand the basics and sound like I'm at least somewhat interested. I'm finding that I can engage in superficial chit-chat with someone for over a year and still feel like I don't know them well at all, but if I have the chance to have a nice, deep talk with someone maybe two or three times I feel like I really know them and understand them well enough to be totally comfortable with them.

  6. Cuddling and closeness. Not something I get to experience very often, and I'm really self-conscious about my body in a way that makes it hard for me to not be nervous around people, but if I'm with someone I'm comfortable with I can think of nothing nicer than leaning on someone on a couch and watching a movie or TV. It can be a guy or a girl, it really doesn't matter since it isn't anything other than just being comfortable.

  7. Coffee and Tea. Not the caffeine, but just the act of sitting quietly and sipping on a nice, warm drink.

  8. Playing and listening to music. Musical melodies and rhythms can take over my thought processes nearly completely sometimes. Listening to a song and trying to grasp the nature of it, figure out what part of the melody grabbed the composer's attention when he or she was experimenting and they immediately knew they wanted to make that series of notes into a song. Searching for a song's soul.

  9. Arguing. Not fighting or bickering, but the art of rhetoric and debate, as near as I had a grasp on the subject as a teenager. I probably have my parents to thank for being very clear and logical in the way they communicated when discussing topics like politics and the news.

  10. Breakfast. Mostly for the same reasons as I like coffee and tea by themselves. In University one of my favourite memories was going down the breakfast at the meal hall, usually getting the same food every day, and just talking to whoever happened by. The brainwashing people usually have that scares them to death from going to eat alone didn't seem to be in effect at breakfast time, and people would just sit with whoever was there. It was much more pleasant and spontaneous that way.

By al - 1:29 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Monday, February 20, 2006

10 things I loved when I was a teenager and still love approaching 30

1. Loud music. This is a must in my life. I love turning up the volume of a good song.
2. Swimming. Losing all the sound of the world to the gurgling sound of water as it passes over your ears. This is a fantastic centering point.
3. Dragons. They keep my imagination alive, with all the forms people have created for them and all shapes they have that I can create in my own mind.
4. Fantasy stories. See dragons
5. Hugs. As a teenager me and my friends hugged eachother freely, never worried about what others thought. I don't find this freedom in most of my adult friends...But I still truly love hugs.
6.Adventures. Again as a teenager, I would gather my friends and we would simply go do something fun...A hike to bloomiting or cliff diving at crystal falls..Something. Now it is harder but when it does happen it is still as much fun as it was when I was 16 or 17.
7.Dancing. good music and dancing foolishly around will always be part of me...Just deal with it.
8. Eating out. I love food and will always love food. Especially now I find someone else cooking your food when you have had a stressfully day is greatly appreciated.
9.Funky earrings and Necklaces. Jewelry has been and will always be fun.
10. Dying my hair. Admittedly I was a about 16 the first time I changed my hair color and the adventurous changes get more drastic as I get older.

By Sabrina - 6:53 p.m. | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Phrases That Have Affected Me the Most

This is a list of some of the things various people have said to me that has affected me the most, either positively or negatively, and that have had lasting effects on my personality.
  • "I see two versions of you, the one you're afraid to show people, and the one you put up to avoid getting hurt. I like the first one better." Said by a roommate whom I had had a fling with. I know I still do this. I don't know why, but surely it has to do with school and having classmates who would examine every aspect of one's personality looking for every possible exploitable weakness.

  • "You think girls who wear makeup are stupid." Said by my sister. Of course I don't actually think this, but I think maybe I believe that someone who is so conscious of their own looks as to spend time and effort making themselves look pretty must surely pay more attention to how I look, and (in my mind) must weigh my unattractiveness more heavily than someone who puts less energy into their own appearance.

  • "I've never heard you say you didn't like someone after you meet them. I think you just like people for being people" ... "But you're afraid to say hello because you think they won't like you." I still have this tendency, to enjoy meeting people but to be scared to death of doing it. It might have something to do with not being able to interpret body language, and with being primarily concerned with staying out of people's way in social situations rather than mixing and interacting the way most people can. I'm sort of slowly learning a way to combat this and it mostly worked when I was out last Friday. I've made it sufficiently known to people that I probably won't recognize them in a dark room or from any distance away. And when I got to the show on Friday I just stood in a fairly prominent area, made sure to not shy away from people if I saw them coming, and just sort of smiled and made it come across that I was enjoying myself. At other times very similar situations of being alone in a crowd have left me short of breath and needing desperately to get outside, so if I can keep up this other approach I should be much better off.

  • "Something doesn't have to be important or interesting for it to be worth doing to you." I forget who said this exactly but it was in response to my dismissing the idea of doing something because I knew I wouldn't end up being particularly notably good at it. I don't think I'm particularly competetive but I don't like displaying an obvious weakness. I think this was a gym teacher who was trying to get me to actually try and go after the ball during soccer games instead of just, again, keeping out of people's way. I ended up being actually almost decent at it, and people didn't begrudge my presence on the field like I thought they would.
These have at times been lessons quickly lost, but maybe I'll be able to remind myself a little more easily now that I've written them down.

By al - 6:08 a.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Wikipedia for Fun and Libel

If you look through a Wikipedia page's 'History', pay special attention to any entry just below an edit labeled as a 'revert'. These are almost always the funny ones.

This little bit was in the page for the Sesame Street character Barkly: Link.
Barkley is essentially gone from the show now, having not appeared in the past few seasons.
+ Original actor Toby Towson is now a third-rate magician skulking about the carnival circuit of central Maine with a heavy drinking problem.
From this:

To this:

How sad.
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By al - 4:44 a.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Johari Window

Go here and fill it out if you've met me. (takes about 30 seconds)


(stolen from the witty, accepting, clever, complex, intelligent Jenna.)

A little info on the test is at Wikipedia. Link.

Johari window

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A Johari window.
A Johari window.

A Johari window is a metaphorical tool intended to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic device to encourage people to open up to another in self-disclosure. The concept was invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingram, who combined their first names to create the name of the tool and has led to the spinoff Nohari window.


The test consists of a list of terms, each of which is an adjective relating to a personality trait. (For example, the list might begin with "accepting", "adaptable", "bold", "brave", "calm", "cheerful", and "complex".) First, the participant selects some of these terms which are most self-descriptive; the choices are not revealed to the peer group. Next, peers select terms which they feel describe the participant best.


The terms are then plotted in a square grid divided along two axes into four quadrants. One axis represents Known/Not Known (to self), and the other represents Known/Not Known (to others).

Terms selected by both the participant and their peers are placed into the Arena quadrant, representing the fact that everyone involved knows these particular pieces of information about the participant individual; they have been openly communicated.

Terms selected only by the participant, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Façade quadrant, representing information about the participant of which their peers are unaware. The choice is then up to the participant whether or not to self-disclose this set of information.

Terms that are not selected by the participant but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information of which the participant is not aware, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these "blind spots".

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By al - 10:33 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, February 16, 2006

PEI Is Shrinking

And pretty dramatically, according to this article on CBC: Link.
Population of school-age kids to drop dramatically by 2030
Last updated Feb 16 2006 04:14 PM AST
CBC News
The Island's education system faces a serious demographic challenge if a projected drop in the number of school-aged children holds true, says an education expert. The number of children attending primary and secondary schools is projected to fall by nearly 30 per cent over next two decades, said Richard Kurial, the chairman of the Task Force on Student Achievement. The task force produced a 46-page report, entitled Excellence in Education: A Challenge for Prince Edward Island. Kurial, who is also the Dean of Arts at the University of Prince Edward Island, has been raising the topic in addresses to various Rotary Clubs. He spoke to the Summerside Rotary Club this week. According to the report, released in December, the Island's population of young people aged six to 17 will fall to 15,624, compared to 22,082 in 2005, a drop of 6,458. In 2000, the student-age population was 24,127. "It's a serious demographic challenge," Kurial said an interview with CBC.ca. It doesn't mean class-sizes will just get smaller, but rather that students in the future will see fewer resources in the classroom. The biggest challenge will be how school boards decide to stretch existing resources over a decreasing number of students. "If a class gets to a size where there's just one student, the system won't be able to provide that student with equitable resources," said Kurial. Among the recommendations he made in the report was for the province to "abandon its commitment to the policy that it will close no schools in P.E.I." The report also recommended that school boards be given the authority "to examine changing demographics…and current school zoning with a view to enhancing and rationalizing programs and services."
So right now the actual population numbers are growing, ever so slightly, but the number of people who want to have children here is going to drop like a stone.

So people apparently don't see themselves having enough of a future here to want to start families and raise children. Of all the people I regularly talk to under the age of thirty I can't think of any who don't have it in their minds that they are planning to pick up and move somewhere more exciting or promising as soon as they finish school or find an interesting job offer or just get tired of the place one day and split.

People I know who have good jobs here, ones that you need a lot of education for and that are considered high-skill, face the prospect of having to leave the island if the position they're in goes away. There isn't a critical mass of businesses here to support people who want ot make PEI their permanent home.

Speaking personally, I'm looking for full-time work now, since the computer consulting thing can certainly pay from time to time, and the lifestyle is sort of addictive, but the lack of a steady paycheque is making me shy away from signing an apartment lease and doing other things that require longer-term commitments. I've got an interesting bit of experience out of it working with a few various languages and systems, but I think I'm gonna try something new once again, and it's looking like that will include a move somewhere else.

PEI is a pretty place but there's a gloomy feeling among a lot of young people I know here. People either hope to leave, are losing hope or never had it to begin with.

There's another pretty strong force keeping me here, though, and that's that I have a couple of close friends here, and for me those are few and far between. I have a bit of a fear of ending up in a strange new place by myself and without any support. Maybe that comes from my first experience living alone in Saint John when I was on my first work term. I always said that having unlimited long distance calling and a girlfriend to talk to back in Charlottetown saved my sanity. But maybe it was what kept me from actually venturing out my door and looking to meet new people. I haven't really thought of it from that angle before.

Sorry, I'm rambling. and getting introspective, something I usually don't do on here.

I've been feeling a little aimless and empty for quite a while now. Other people's way of dealing with that seems to be to say that they'll be going somewhere else soon, to start their real life. I don't have as simple a ready-made bright spot.

Maybe I'll just have to make a change just to shake up the mental gears a little.

By al - 6:21 p.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

11 Secret Messages to 11 Secret People Who Read This Blog

  1. Thanks for the v-day card, I'll tell you as soon as it comes in the mail.

  2. I'm glad you're coming out tonight, I've missed you.

  3. When you said you were happy that I was in your circle that made my whole night.

  4. I hope this post title was descriptive enough for you to click on it, you should come on messenger more often. I've been listening to Air after you recommended them and they're great.

  5. I just scored as Tweak and Stan was my #2. AAACK!

  6. I wish things could have worked out better. I blame a lack of communication on all our parts.

  7. Now that you're famous I think I'd like to come visit some time. I'll bring a movie and you bring the noodles.

  8. You know I've never actually gotten to see your little baby, I guess it's not really even a baby anymore, is it? You know, when I was growing up you were easily the coolest adult I knew. Hands down.

  9. I hate that I don't know what to say on the phone when you call. It makes me feel like I'm just not all that interesting because I have nothing big to say.

  10. Congratulations on your scholarship, I knew I was right when I said you were way ahead of the rest of your class. There's no way they could all be working as hard as you.

  11. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone you don't actually mind being called by your real name.

By al - 5:02 p.m. | (4) comments | Post a Comment

Monday, February 13, 2006

A shot in the dark.

One of the things that I find interesting, is how me a simple chemist could have possibly grown so much attention on the internet.
If you simply type in Sabrina Giddings into google you start to see me all over. First there my blogger profile, some pages that are from some of my chemical research and various seminars I have given over the years, my coaching for the bluephins, some photo's I have taken of Nikkie, my flicker account and other places...In short I am all over the internet. I have manage to do this without trying.
What I can't figure out is how, me with little to no computer knowledge what so ever, and no real interest in being splashed all over the place can be found so easily, hell some guy from England, named Dan added me to his MSN list, but I cannot find some people because they have no internet presence what so ever.
I'll start with a few names, in hopes that they may have googled my name and read this blog entry, and maybe we can find eachother.
Justin Schwager and Melissa Noseworthy would be the two I would like to locate the most, no one seems to have heard from them in years, like they vanished from the planet. I don't know, I can't even imagine what might have happened to them. Though there are hints of Melissa I can't find anything for sure to say it is her. For those of you who have lived in the same place most of your lives or can return to where your parent's have a house and have a simple way of finding all your friends, you must feel so lucky, the life of a military child is so different, we go away from places and even when we return, those we left behind have also left.

If by any chance there are people our there who know me and read this blog and know these people let them know.

By Sabrina - 8:22 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Memos: This is how we ball

  • Tomorrow is Valentine's day and I don't know of a single person who's planning on skipping out on the usual Tuesday silliness in order to do something romantic, even the multitude of happy couples that seem to be popping up all over the place lately. Even the act of trying to sound bitter about the whole fake holiday seems like unnecessarily giving the day attention it wouldn't otherwise get.

  • Can anyone recommend some interesting and well-written French-language blogs? They can be about any topic, I just want to get back into the habit of functioning in two languages equally well, so integrating that goal into my existing daily activities would seem sensible. All suggestions in comments will be welcome, and I'm going to search out someon my own as well, and hopefully make a post about what I find fairly soon.

  • I've come to the realization that I'm really really bad at name-that-tune type trivia if it isn't a song I own and listen to more than just occasionally. The most frustrating part is bbeing able to sing along to an entire song, know the music front and back, and have no idea which one-hit-wonder pop group or generic 90's Creed-alike band actually made the thing. That said, Sunday music trivia at Hunter's is still loads of fun to go to, and the actual trivia round where the host asks regular trivia-type questions about music is probably my favourite part.

  • For some reason Mozilla Firefox will reliably crash whenever I try to access an individual message in Hotmail or go to a Google Image Search results page. Thank G-d for Opera, to be sure. It seems to only happen on my PC, and I've tried completely removing it and re-installing.

  • David Emerson is taking the Republican strategy to dealing with scandal: loudly proclaim support for new rules outlawing what you've just been caught doing, and try to label yourself a 'reformer'. American voters are generally stupid and entrenched enough to fall for that garbage, with the media's help, but it seems like the Canadian media's love affair with Harper ended the second they smelled blood in the water after the cabinet announcement.

  • Taylor pointed me to a wicked split EP by Small Brown Bike and the Casket Lottery. After giving it a few listens I'd definitely recommend it even if it didn't have an amazing cover of Queen / David Bowie's "Under Pressure", which just puts it totally over-the-top. Go grab it if you like to say you have good taste in music.

By al - 6:27 p.m. | (5) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, February 12, 2006

“Out of Purgatory” Art Show

I had the chance to go to the opening of the "Out of Purgatory" art show last night at my friend Donnalee's place. This was the second year for this concept and I think it's a terribly neat idea. From the announcement:

[M]embers of the Peake Street Studios Collective completed unfinished and emotionally abandoned pieces by fellow artists. Pieces were selected based on a random draw and so there are a number of interesting collaborations which are unlikely to happen again. Twelve artists participated in the show and the results are quite remarkable. It has been a challenging and emotionally charged endeavour for all artists involved so there is bound to be wonderful discussion on opening night.

Participating Artists:
P. John Burden
Katherine Dagg
Donnalee Downe
Karen Gallant
Ahmon Katz
Cloe Kork
Tyler Landry
Rilla Marshall
Laura O’Brien
Heidi Waterman
Joey Weale
Damien Worth

It was astonishing that, for the most part, you couldn't see where one artist's work ended and the other began. There were little photos next to the pieces to show their half-completed state and it further proved that the skills of each artist were such that they didn't intrude on the original work. It wasn't just paintings, either, there was sculpture and one who had a doll that, when it was given to Donnalee to complete, didn't have any arms or legs and had half-completed little hat. So some pretty serious craftsmanship had to go into finishing everything, but the end result was something that, last I looked, was among the highest-fetching items in the silent auction.

It's funny, the more I learn about the detail that artists put into their work and the amount of personal energy and frustration that goes into creating something the more I am just overwhelmed by what individuals are capable of.

I was visiting Donnalee's place a couple of weeks ago, when the project was ongoing, and she was talking about the panicked phone calls she was getting from people receiving works that they didn't feel worthy of touching, and how it was simultaneously uplifting and nerve-racking to see your own abandoned project be made into something complete while also having the creator of your piece be scrutinizing what you did to it. Luckily I didn't hear of any fistfights, so I think in the end it all went really well.
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By al - 4:22 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Cadre's “Bold” Move

I'm not referring to them publishing those stupid, racist cartoons that have bene all over European newspapers, but rather the headline they used:

Cadre Headline

Notice the scare quotes around the word "offensive". All high-mindedness about free speech aside, and there's plenty of that en an editorial later on, the quote marks are clear editorializing and, in my opinion, shoots down any position of neutrality they might claim about merely 'presenting' them.

Incidentally I cut out the actual cartoons when I made the above picture because I don't think someone's racist viewpoints deserve more light on them just because they served their intended purpose and are getting attention elsewhere.
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By al - 8:16 p.m. | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, February 09, 2006

ECUA No-Cases Poster

Everyone be sure to check these shows out. The EMCA's are for the tourists.

The two organizers and the other volunteers are so far doing a stellar job of getting everything together and producing materials for it like the posters / booklets, etc. This should be a great time.

Also, I've decided that this will be the official Gilbert Switzer fan blog, so I'll draw your extra attention to the Friday Night show at Hunter's. I don't expect to have everyone be kicked out by security again, but it should still be a solid ruckus.

(Click to enlarge. Poster by Cory Gavin and Qwyzzle genius Marsha Robertson.)


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By al - 3:13 p.m. | (10) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Hardest Trivia Outside of King William's College

I had casually added to my list of trivia questions to ask throughout the weekend, writing down random bits and pieces as I rifled through Wikipedia pages. I built up my arsenal of 20 regular questions and a set of more obscure bonus beer questions. I thought I was prepared but then about 20 minutes before I left I had a panic attack, and started thinking that my questions were way way too easy and that there'd be a 3-way tie for first place. Last time I hosted trivia I had forgotten to make up a tie-breaker question so I had to think fast on my feet to remember any number at all that I could.

But thankfully, and remarkably, my questions ended up being incredibly difficult. But at the same time, people were able to try and puzzle out some of the answers. They were obscure but not insurmountable, unknown but not unknowable, the kind of questions where you would get angry at yourself when you hear the answer.

Anyway, here's the complete list of questions: Link.

The scores ranged from about 5 to 10 points out of a possible 22 points. By contrast, the week before one team actaully scored perfectly. So I like to think this one really shows what the differences between the teams is.

I adore trivia.

Update: This is King William's College Quiz, pretty much the most difficult general-knowledge quiz in the English-speaking world. Link.
King William's College Quiz. Mefites, your mission: Collectively solve the hardest 100 year old annual quiz around. (Be warned, I think they're getting wiser to the appliance of google-fu science.)
posted by biffa at 6:43 AM AST (75 comments total) [!]

See previous years threads: 2002, 2003 and 2004
posted by biffa at 6:48 AM AST on December 23 [!]

Wow. "Difficult" isn't even the word for it. It's like some NYT crossword clues: so astoundingly obscure that researching the answer is an absolute necessity.

I like to think I have a lot of trivia jammed in my head, but...wow.
posted by zardoz at 6:53 AM AST on December 23 [!]

I always look forward to this time of year when I can be reminded of how good some pub quiz teams are.
And how crap mine is.

Q. "What was the result of arthropod larvae appearing en route for Tendra?"
A. "... anyone else for a pint?"
posted by NinjaPirate at 7:16 AM AST on December 23 [!]

By al - 2:51 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I'm Hosting Trivia @ Churchill Arms Again Tonight

That's right, kids, you get another chance to see me prove what a geek I can be and make fun of people and take their quarters when they get answers wrong, and dispense prizes like a merch-loaded Santa Claus.

I've got the questions all done up, and a couple of lists that have nothing to do with Billboard music charts. Hpoefully there'll be something everyone will know but nothing too obvious. Breaking ties can be kind of torturous and I don't think a dance-off as a tiebreaker would go over well with the participants.

To get a feel for the kinds of questions they have at this trivia you can look at my recaps at the trivia blog; especially the questions from the last time I was the host.

Come and bring a couple of friends and see how much you really know :)

By al - 11:34 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Monday, February 06, 2006

Dream Diary: America The Beautiful


Flying in a plane back to Charlottetown, we are approaching along the water, very very low, until trees and land approach and we nearly hit, then we swerve away at the lsat minute to follow the shoreline.

Then somehow I end up outside the plane, being held up by a harness and carried underneath the nose of the plane. My feet are barely above the water.

My Harness starts to come loose and I desperately try to cling to it. I have the realizatoin that I'm going to die pretty soon. The female pilot is yelling to me and I'm trying to explain that my harness is broken. Then I manage to get my arms up inside it and then whatever is holding the harness thing swings me back into the door of the plane and I go back to my seat.

I'm carrying a big black dufflebag and some random stuff that is hard to keep track of.

Now I'm flying through some kind of conveyor belt, having to hold on to the round rungs of a moving ladder. Shoes are shot onto this conveyor elt and end up in pairs being carried along a twisting route. I can hear a narrator's voice talking about how many modern processes can be automated, but not all. At this point I land on the floor of a boutique shoe store where the shoes that were being thrown around on the conveyor belt are being neatly arranged by a sales clerk who is also putting a price tag on each one, according to the general moods of the customers. She explains that they cut the price of the taxes enough to make the women customers (it's a ladies' shoe store) think they're getting a good deal, but it's just to entice them enough to buy. She then points at a PSP and an iPod on a shelf above the shoes and says 'we don't charge any taxes on these because people are afraid of them, but that will entice them to buy.'

I go over to another part of the store and there are porn movies featuring all women on the covers. One in particular had a woman with no hair on her head, and the title was 'spring of love'.

Scene switch to a strange house where my family and I are apparently moving to. The ceilings slope down in the living room so that the only thing that can be put in the far corner is a mattress going into where the ceiling meets the floor. Upstairs my room is at one end of a narrow hallway with a window at the end. I don't really see much of the inside of my room. I am still carrying around the same black bag from the plane.

I then go to another place that is supposed to be where I'm to start working. Before getting in I have to go through a complex security aparatus that I wasn't told about that included a metal detector. I said to no one in particular since no one seemed to be there to help that I had a set of keys in my pocket and I needed to put them somewhere, but no one listened and I was forced through the metal detector, setting off alarms. Someone comes along and grabs me and uses one of those wand things they have at airports on me, but says "this one can tell everything about you.

I ask if it can tell that the only thing I have on me is a key? And the person ignores me and sends me through several other doors and then up along another conveyor belt system that sprays jets of air at me and then dumps me on the ground. To get back to where I'm supposed to be I have to quickly go through a series of rooms with gates that raise and lower that one has to duck under and continue on the course.

As I emerge out into the front room again I realize they didn't give me my key back, and I shout a curse word. Someone quickly hushes me and says 'swearing will get you fired.'

Scene switch to another dark hallway at the top of a spiral staircase. A voice on a television overhead is explaining that we are voting for cutest kitten'. The consus is that one kitten is the only obvious choice and you'd have to be a monster to choose the other kitten for title of cutest. To vote you hold onto one of the other of the stairwell's handrails as you walk down in a line. In the line ahead of me and behind me are women in grey business suits all proclaiming their extreme preference for one of the cats.

As I get to the bottom of the stairs another wall-mounted television is reporting that the vote was about 51% for one of the cats, despite the seeming overwhelming preference for one particular cat (don't know if it was the winning one or not, they seemed identical.).
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By al - 7:03 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

The New Boss

Harper's New Cabinet (torstar link)

So a Liberal who just campaigned against harper and who's riding got 20% conservative vote just crossed the floor to get a cabinet post.. Stronach and Brison are traitors, but Emerson's "a man of great intelligence, a man with a stellar record in the private sector, who is clearly committed to public service."

Also I'd almost rather have had the old Reform Party nutcases in places where he's put Harris government veterans, like Tony Clement in health. The Harris people are expert at dismantling any good a public sector service can do without being too obvious about what they're up to.

Also, Diane Ablonsky is the new Shiela Copps.

By al - 5:49 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, February 05, 2006

These are lame, but I'm bored

1. Of all the bands/artists in your cd/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by?

Iron Maiden

2. What was the last song you listened to?

KMFDM - Revolution

3. What's in your record/CD player right now?

David Bowie - Space Oddity

4. Do you know what music the person before you is into?

Emasculated punk rock.

5. What's your favorite local band?

Provincally Out From Under or Lenore, Regionally Contrived or Gilbert Switzer.

6. What was the last album you bought?

Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me

7. What was the greatest show you've ever been to?

Pearl Jam in Halifax and Newfoundland, and after last night since I can say most of the crowd and the band got kicked out of the bar by security Gilbert Switzer at the Wave (sick)

8. What's the worst band you've ever seen in concert?

Our Lady Peace opening for the Rolling Stones. Lame attempt at a political rant that consisted of "george w. FUCKING bush", and during the sing-along parts you could hear a chorus of onlly female voices.

9. What band do you love musically but hate the members of?


10. What is the most musically involved you have ever been?

When I played guitar in highschool and took lessons and practiced for a couple of hours a day.

11. What shows are you looking forward to?

Gilbert Switzer and Windom Earle during the ECMA's probably some other shows during that week.

12. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?

Zombie Frank Zappa

13. What musician would you sleep with in a heart beat?

Nelly Furtado

14. Are you a stalker?

Too lazy

15. Sabbath or solo Ozzy?


16. 80's Madonna or Kabbalah Esther?

80s madonna was actually pretty brilliant

17. Punk rock, hip hop or heavy metal?

Heavy Metal

20. Name 3 timeless records.

Queen - A Night at the Opera
REM - Automatic for the People
Fear Factory - Digimortal

21. Name 3 artists that suck.

The Darkness
The Killers

22. Did you know that filling out this survey makes you a music geek?

Did you know answering surveys on MySpace helps marketing departments study the latest trends?

23. What was the greatest decade for music?

80s for new wave and post-punk and honest heavy metal

24. How many music-related videos/dvds do you own?

5 or 6

25. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?

Titan A.E. for how it fits into the movie so well.

By al - 5:25 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How many programming languages do I know?

I wonder how many computer languages I've actually learned over the years.. in approximate chronological order they'd be..

BASIC (Applesoft)
Turbo Pascal (!!! - I made a sweet Dr. Mario clone that ran in text mode and I turned into a BBS door game.)
Visual Basic
Modula-2 (if you've heard of this then you went to UNB and are older than me. They actually used it to run the system monitoring code at Point Lepreau. On OS/2 no less. I found this astonishing, but it was a damn solid language.)
Rexx (IBM scripting lanaguage that could basically control everything. I built an automatic network dialler aout of it.
COBOL (Just after I took this course it was dropped from the graduation requirements. Fuck. At least I'll never have to see it again if I'm lucky.)
Assembly (IBM Mainframe variety, and a bit of x86 but nothing useful.)
Bash / Unix shell scripting
Delphi (when I worked at DeltaWare. Using it again now.)
Javascript (Was able to hold out longer than I thought but eventually had to slum it and do some web work.)
Perl (oh the pain. Perl: devised as a language that could be written but not read.)
PowerBuilder (at Deltaware again, had to integrate some of the Delphi components I wrote into a powerbuilder app. head, meet wall.)
VHDL - for designing circuits. Ada-like in its anal-retentiveness.
HandelC - Also for circuit / FPGA design. Easy but hard to do anything non-trivial, sadly.)
Objective-C (for Mac OS X / Cocoa application programming. What I'd like to do more of as soon as I'm finished my current PC coding contract, which is soon)
TorqueScript (for building games using the Torque 3d engine.)
Python (very cool language for almost anything. Very underappreciated. Got to talk to its inventor when I was at WWDC.)
ColdFusion (workaday web server coding. I like that it looks like HTML.)
PHP (painful and awful web server language, makes me appreciate CF more and more.)

... wow.. I didn't realize it was that many. Yikes.

By al - 7:11 p.m. | (5) comments | Post a Comment

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