Sunday, 2 August 2015

S.o.t.D. - Lie – Manu Shrine

Lie – Manu Shrine

Apparently Sergei Deulin has passed away. I saw a mention of it, and now I can’t relocate it, or find any other mention of it any where. I hope it isn’t true, as the depth and passion on this track (and frankly this whole album) are stellar.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

S.o.t.D. - Victory – Gramatik

Victory – Gramatik

This is what all hip hop should aspire to.

Ruck’mups pt. 3

The yoke across the upper back, with 2" webbing that will connect to the shoulder straps and a tubular webbing carry handle.

State of the Blog: A to Z

There are 3562 posts on my blog.
They are tagged with 3173 tags.
265 books have been reviewed.
1969 songs have been featured.
I’ve received 648 comments.
Every letter of the alphabet is represented. There are 7 entries under Q, but only 4 under X.
Look hard enough and you’ll locate a Hidden Agenda and a Hidden Orchestra.
It wavers between extremes of Solid State or Fragile State.
The funky house of Motorbass and the metal mayhem of Motorhead rub shoulders.
J. G. Ballard & J. G. Thirlwell are neighbours.
Lake Ontario is more popular than Lake Erie.
6 Fenix flashlights are reviewed.
There are Wicked Plants and Wicked Bugs.
The rocking of Jah Rocker causes Jah Wobble to wobble.
You can find The Bees, The Cobra, The Eagles, The Flamingos, The Black Dog and The Wolf at the Door.
The subject of DIY is brought up 131 times.
There’s a Jarkko and a Jaakko.
Coldplay and Coldcut each get 3 entries.
Hod Lipson & Hol Baumann live near one another. 
Cootes Paradise is mentioned 31 times.
Nico appears 6 times, but not once is it the 60’s chanteuse.
Add up the Jon’s, John’s, Jonny’s, Johnny’s and Jonathan’s and it amounts to 26.
There are 24 Dave’s or David’s.
Michael’s, Mike’s, Miguel’s and Mick’s represent 18 entries.
Rob’s, Robert’s, Robin’s, Robyn’s, Bob’s also amount to 18.
Jesus Jones gets a mention, but Jesus Christ does not.
Graphic design is discussed 137, typography 109, type design 67, and logos 33 times.
There are 12 DJ something or others.
Both Bin Laden and Shakespeare have been killed.
Ten Madison gets 2 mentions, Ten Walls only gets 1.
Hamilton is represented 117 times.
There’s a Hardfloor and a Hardkiss. 
You can go Inside Combat Rescue or Inside Delta Force.
Decide between Big Bud or Bigga Bush.
Lego appears 39 times and tattoos 33 times.
You can be either Above the Smoke or Below the Boat.
Doc Scott, Doctor Rockit and Dr. Seuss will see you now.
I’m sweet on both Sugar Hill Gang and Sugar Shack Tattoos.
Of all the music featured, Bluetech is far and away the most popular, with 37 entries. Synkro is next with 22, Lusine with 20, Tipper 15, Phaeleh 14, Tom Middleton and Skinny Puppy tied for 13, Swans and Global Communication tied for 11, and Wolfgang Press, Coil and Burial in a 3 way tie for 10.
Locals and pals Legion of Green Men have 11 and Watershell has 9.
4AD is a record label that gets more mention than NinjaTune or On-U-Sound. 53 to 24 to 11. 
There are 27 products I’ve designed and made with the “-----------’mups” designation.
Pick a colour: Al Green, Big Black, Blue Haze, Red House Painters, White Stripes or Yellow Magic Orchestra.
Zero One and Zero 7 vie for some of the last spots.

Friday, 31 July 2015

S.o.t.D. - Orange Sunshine – Stakka & K Tee

Orange Sunshine – Stakka & K Tee

It’s those ominous “mwwaaaaaaaahh” sounds that appear in this every so often that totally make the track.

Yellow Submarine

Here I am, ready to embark on another thrilling voyage of discovery in my bathyspere.

Here it is before funding cuts to the Lake Ontario Submarine Exploratory Research Society meant we could no longer afford to paint it.

It’s located in Dunkerron, across from 1812 restaurant, at 1812 Highway 27. Beyond that I know nothing about the history of it, if it was indeed even capable of submerging to any great depth, etc.

Spot The Station

Get notifications when there is a good opportunity to view the International Space Station. Pretty cool to watch it zip over. And zip it does. If I remember correctly, it covers the distance between Windsor and Ottawa in a minute and a half.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

S.o.t.D. - Quit Me – Seers

Quit Me – Seers

A shimmering, haunting gem of exquisite beauty. Staggeringly good. Wow!

On The Crack

(Photo by Jason Irwin.)

Ruck’mups pt. 2

Stay pocket, front, closed.
Stay pocket, front, open.
Stay pocket, back.
22" aluminum stay.
22" stay, showing the curvature to exactly match my spine.


Hey! You! Humanoid! Yeah you! I demand you deposit more of those delectable insectoid niblets into this enclosure so that I may hunt them and devour them. You have one job humanoid. Feeding me winged, hoppy creatures to gobble down and foliage to nibble. And you have not fulfilled my demand?! Is there a reason I am made to wait for my snacks?
My nephew has been asking for the last two years for a bearded dragon. He called him Dez. Kinda cute, in a cold blooded, scaly, bugavorian way. Got to lizard-sit a fortnight ago and watching him scurry around devouring crickets is quite entertaining.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

S.o.t.D. - Arête – Brambles

Arête – Brambles

Lovely. Cello for the most part. 


Ruck’mups pt. 1

I’ve been carrying around the Messenge’mups for a few years now. I’m about 98% happy with the design and how I built it. It’s held up really well, and there were only some very minor points I would change about it. But my main problem with it is that it is a bag that is slung over one shoulder. While it’s a convenient format, it’s just not good long term to carry any sort of weight that way. I’ve been mulling over a backpack design, one specifically geared towards my day to day life living in a city. It’s going to be a fairly large panel loader bag, with a lot of features, including 22" aluminum stays, and a detachable waist belt. It’ll be black but with an orange interior.

I’ll post photos as the build progresses.
Some half assed patterns for the straps, belt and back. Some done by hand, some on the computer. Was going to do everything that way, but the hand drawn ones were fine for now. Still a bunch more I’m drawing right now for the body itself.
This pile of patterns, stays, hardware, zippers, cut material, foam, mesh, webbing, etc. will just do the back with the aluminum stays, the straps and the belt. The pack design itself is still being tweaked and drawn.

Monday, 27 July 2015

S.o.t.D. - Got It – Marian Hill

Got It – Marian Hill

Marian Hill isn’t a person but a duo consisting of Jeremy Lloyd, who does the production, and Samantha Gongol , who does the vocals. And both take care of songwriting. Bassy beats with soulful vocals over top.

BBC Four Goes Slow “Handmade”

Came across these and thought they were great. And part of what I liked about them is that there is no commentary, no music, the artisan doesn’t even say anything. You just watch the process. Some might say an explanation of the process would be helpful, but personally I really enjoyed this approach.

If I have a criticism is that some of the shots are really tight, and might benefit from being panned out a bit. And the sound of some of the tools and process can be a bit jarring. The sound of the blow pipes in the glass making one is a bit nails on a black board. The sound of power tools starting up after several minutes of chisels working wood and birds chirping jars you out of your reverie. Turn the sound right off or just be aware of it.

The only name I recognized was that of Owen Bush, a noteworthy knife and axe smith.

Hope that they do more of these, showing other crafts. Basketry, leather working, etc.

Friday, 24 July 2015

S.o.t.D. - Another Time (Ft. Grimm) – Total Science

Another Time (Ft. Grimm) – Total Science

another day
another time
is what she said to me

and I’ll be ok
I’ll be fine
’cause with you is where I’m meant to be

missing you
yeah, I’m missing you
missing you

and I can’t go back in time now
but our future will come true

and I can’t turn back the time now
but the future will come true

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

S.o.t.D. - Sublime – Bipolar

Sublime – Bipolar

Growly bass and sax licks. Sexy.

Bibliophilia: Wraith – Joe Hill

Wraith – Joe Hill

Joe Hill is the writer behind the great, great Locke & Key. And while this wasn’t as quite good as that, it was a still a very satisfying, albeit very creepy read. The characters and their motivations were complex and well explored.

This appeared originally in novel form as N0S4A2, which I have not read.

Three jailbirds are being transferred when an escape attempt goes horribly awry. With two jail guards as hostages, one of who is badly wounded, they hole up. One of them knows someone who can help them disappear. Charlie Manx. 
Who takes them to Christmasland, the most unsettling theme park of all time. Manx, after a boyhood of trauma and an adulthood of crushing disappointments, is now an evil chauffeur, who kidnaps children and takes them to this demented funhouse, where they are transformed into something from your worst nightmares.

There is an epilogue, illustrated as well, but in a different format which deals with the grifter who unwittingly destroyed Manx’ life. It all circles round and ties it all together really well.

Lazy comparison: if Clive Barker had done The Nightmare Before Christmas.

If you like horror, this is definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Who comes up with these names?

Within the span of about three days I encountered two products that left me agog at the thought process behind naming them.

Seeing “Anarchy” welding gear, I felt pretty certain that the people in the board room rejected “Extreme” as too cliché. But “anarchy” was “edgy” and “hip”, so they went with that instead. When I hear the term “anarchy”, welding is one of the last things that comes to mind. 

But the one that really left me shaking my head was “Lynch Mob” duck calls. Uhhhh......what?! I guess if your target audience are guys called Bubba, they likely don’t see the problem. The rest of the world is left with a really bad taste in their mouths. This is not a term that evokes warm, fuzzy feelings in any thoughtful person.

It’s mindless, lazy and frankly tactless.

According to the principles of product naming, sure, they check off the boxes in the legal part, (they can be trademarked), but as for appealing to a potential target audience, or implying or evoking a salient brand attribute, quality or benefit, or any sort of symbolic association, they fail. It’s appropriation, taking a name and applying it to something else. But it’s not evocative, and it certainly is not humorous.

S.o.t.D. - Saturnin Fire And The Restless Ocean – Floex

Saturnin Fire And The Restless Ocean – Floex


Love Your Mama

Graffiti on an electrical box near my nephew’s school.

Papaver Somniferum

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Survival Mess Kit

This was my main survival kit that I used for a few years. I went with this partly because it could hold more than some of the small and medium kits I have, and also because it was actually realistic to boil water or melt snow in this.

Tatonka tins. Morph between oval and rectangular. Meant as a mess tin. They don’t make it any more, but just for fits and shiggles, the info I have for it is Stainless Steel Box "M", Art. No. 4006. 14½ x 10½ x 5½ cm, weight is 340 g and the volume is 350 ml. Handle that folds over the top, and then latches down. Latch and handle spot welded on. I’ve wondered if those spot welds might not be the weak point on it, but so far they have survived just fine. Nothing to complain about after using it for 15 years.

For anyone interested in something similar, there are two options I can think of. They are aluminum though, not steel, and do not possess a handle. But the size appears to be about the same.
I spray painted the outside with high heat manifold paint. Too shiny for this uber stealthy ninja.
I didn’t bother putting a mirror in this kit because the underside of the lid is shiny enough.
The lid has a rubber (might be something else, can’t really tell you for certain exactly what the compound is) gasket, that I would say with almost certainty needs to be procured from the company itself if it needed to be replaced. It’s reminiscent of the gasket on a mason jar or on one of those glass flip top jars. But that’s where the similarity ends. Its unique shape makes it almost certainly a proprietary thing. I’ve in all honesty never needed a replacement, but I guess if they’ve stopped making them, I’m probably screwed. The thing that is kind of annoying about those gaskets is that they are loose in the groove for it. When you put it in you can pretty much get it to fit perfectly, but it’ll never stay put for that long. I suspect the reason for it is so that if you do any cooking with it, you can take it out, so the heat doesn’t damage it. I’ve thought of some sort of silicone caulking, but I’m just afraid of totally mucking it up.
I’ve largely given up on matches. Mainly because they are a very finite source of fire-lighting. I have them in here, but one of those things that should really be replaced by some more water purification tablets or a lighter.
Pair of nitrile gloves. Besides their use for administering first aid, they can also be filled with water, a hole poked in a finger and used to irrigate wounds, they can also serve as a vapor barrier. Under a pair of gloves they help keep your hands just a little warmer. Or if you have no gloves, these are better than nothing.
Unknown length of fishing line on a bobbin.
2 Breast Milk Storage Bags. (water storage, tinder storage, collecting food stuffs, transpiration bag, etc.)   
Fresnel Lens Magnifier. (fire lighting in day light hours, aid in removing splinters, aid in reading instruction sheet)
Bic lighter with a zip tie under the plunger to prevent the butane leaking out and a piece of cord taped on to tie a lanyard to.
1 #11 Scalpel Blade. (rudimentary back up blade)
Rolled up trash bag. Good for gathering leaves for constructing a debris shelter, keeping stuff dry, sitting on, a rudimentary rain poncho, a roof on a shelter, gathering water, etc. Very versatile bit of kit.
MicroPur MP-1 Water Purification Tablets
Fox-40 Micro whistle. (Signalling)
Vaseline soaked cotton balls in straws, the ends sealed with wax.
Length of hacksaw blade. (striker for flint, cutting)
15 meters (50 ft.) nylon cord. (shelter building, repairs, traps, fishing, etc., etc.)
5 Meters of 96 lb. Test Nylon Cord. (shelter building, repairs, traps, fishing, etc., etc.)
Suunto Comet Compass/Thermometer. (No longer offered.)
WetFire, pre-crumbled.
3 meters (10 ft.) of #18 68 kg (150 lb) test braided nylon cord.(shelter building, repairs, traps, fishing, etc., etc.)
5µ Silicon Carbide on a mylar backing (micro-abrasive for sharpening)
Folded up baking pan. (cooking, boiling water, melting snow)
Two pieces of Rite in the Rain Paper. (for leaving notes for rescuers, as a memory aid)
1 sq meter of aluminum foil. (cooking, insulation, signalling, waterproofing)
(Autocross, Tech3, and Compact Ballpoint Pen Refill). About the smallest pen refill out there.
Piercing needle. Lancing a blister maybe. Not really a necessary item, but I had one, it takes up no room really and weighs next to nothing. What the heck, throw it in there. Could find some use for it if the situation was truly that desperate.
And everything put back in.