Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Signage: Antigues

Once Again on Ottawa Street in Hamilton. Weird “Q” that reads a lot like a two storey lower case “G”. But that’s part of its charm for me.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Sosoetry: “Jah Rocco Jalapeño” or “The Epic of Jarkkowulf”

My pal Michelle and I are helping Jarkko finally establish some kind of internet presence. She asked me to write something about him. While I wrote a safe and boring bio, I also wrote this over about 4 days. I’ve known him for 30 years or more, and he’s a colourful character, so it was pretty easy.

A lad most affable
Talents admirable
Instantly disarming
Thoroughly charming
The essence of manly class
He’s beloved of many a lass
Canoe maker
Booty shaker
Hypnotic turn tablist
Nordic tale fablist
Carving axe sharpener
Starving artist carpenter
Dermagraphic enhancer
Funky acrobatic dancer
Early Lake Huron surfer
Frequent visitor at Caution Point
Assured cabinetry kerfer
Making many a fine dovetail joint
Totally devoted father
To his son & daughter
Even when not doing tattoos
He’s always foregone brews
Collector of many objects
Obsessed with all subjects
He sometimes tilts at windmills
Hates those turbines on the hills
Is runoff from Bruce nuclear power
Possibly a creativity endower?
That an invisible miasma atomic
Leaves imagination polychromic?
I’m almost certain he’s from another planet
Stranded when his spacecraft crash landed
Maybe that explains the affiliation
With Justin and Alien Visitation
He will answer to the name Bill
And seeks out any kind of thrill
Teenage punk rocker
Premier disc jockey
Chooses the beats
Eschews all meats
Rasta knotting dreads
Has ’em nodding heads
Laying down tasty rhythms
Playing with crazy precision
Sounds that heal herbally
Senses you feel verbally
A whirling dervish Finnish sensei
Gave birth to Scandinadian reggae
Slow speed dubbing
Best kind of clubbing
Collaborating with PostContemporary
Creating some tunes most extraordinary
Exclusive dubplates dropping
Spadina basement hopping
Spinning a gronky remix
There’s nothing he can’t fix
Locates gems in a huge record collection
His style is mellow bass and pulsing drum
Establishes quite an audience connection
Plays sexy beats that make the gals cum
No affinity for woodsy harmonica
Leans more to groovy electronica
Voluminous tinker
Prodigious thinker
Thought words verbose
Verbs carefully chose
Dispensing viking wisdom pearls
Theories that set the mind awhirl
The lad goes off rambling
Should really go camping
Capably piloting ships
Ably navigating trips
Finely honed crafts
Highly toned drafts
Contemplating designs
Conceptually quite fine
Able with tools powered or handheld
Can do many varied sorts of welds
Hammering steel in the forge
Whittling birch on the porch
Transforming a slab of oak
Transfixed in a lab by smoke
Fabricating truck frames metal
Skillfully crafting a wooden hull
Bends aluminum by the meter
Carves a canoe from red cedar
Vanquishes hardwood
Varnishes very good
Raised with arcane old world skills
Learned from fellas at the sawmill
Brush script hand letterer
Always strives to be better
Late nights at the Lettering Shop
Consuming way too much pop
When he pinstripes and signpaints
His creativity knows few constraints
He’s rarely not smiling and cheerful
Get ’em talking you’ll get an earful
He’s sometimes a bit hyper active
Always nervous about cyber practice
Computer wise he’s in the dark ages
Prefers moving pencil across pages
Cooking away at the Sugar Shack
Laying in lines curvy and black
Maybe he’ll get to my tattoo
Before we leave decade two
He’s not always so good at staying in touch
But when we do connect we discuss much
Comes across a bit awkward
Professes to be timid and shy
He’s really quite straightforward
Before long the words they fly
He’s always his humble self
Meekly denies he’s part elf
I’m convinced he’s a tundra gnome
Now calling Kincardine his home
Maybe his being a recluse
Is why he’s able to produce
Doesn’t always eat so well
Choices a dietitian’s hell
When Finland loses to Sweden
It’s a slice of crow pie he’s eatin’
Very capable in many a field
Save making healthy meals
A walking DIY encyclopedia
But a Luddite at social media
At making anything he’s a wizard
Thinks the self promo biz is hard
Rarely photographed
Piloting his soulcraft
Jumps on his skateboard
Gets right into his groove
Barely says eight words
Rides black lines smooth
Many trips winter motorbiking
Doesn’t matter if it’s just snowed
Like a crazed berserker viking
He loves roaring down dirt roads
Tearing through a valley
Driving a private car rally
Jarkko feels very much alive
Bombing around in 4W drive
He’s the purveyor of fire
Not much gives him a fright
Save surveying from a spire
Doesn’t like being at a height
Diehard child of the Bruce
Returned for sunset views
Decades of rooty dub dreads
Intertwined with a drum head
Kincardine hair farmer
Cardigan of plait armour
I suspect his folks still haven’t a clue
That he’s got more than one tattoo
He keeps his sleeves rolled down
To prevent his mom’s cold frown
Cheekbones finely hewn
Make all the ladies swoon
Despite the scruffy beard & girlish hips
Women all want to kiss him on the lips
Always looking natty & Snug
Never acting crassly or smug
Sets sights on modern makes
On nights by far Northern lakes
When in urbanity he’s always cordial
But he’s happiest in regions Boreal
Words tumble like an avalanche
Birds nesting on a pine branch
Words burst out like a flood
Wolf paw prints in the mud
Words flow out like a cascade
Deer in a sun dappled glade
Words gush out like a wave
Lapping at the edge of a lake
Words come forth in a torrent
Listen to sounds of the forest


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Don’t Forget To Pop Your Tabs

I’ve been on a cassette digitization spree lately. Got to reminiscing with DJ friends about mixtapes and cassettes in general. It seems all of us were fans of Maxell tapes, and the ones we used most to make mixtapes to give out were XL-II’s. (The even better XL-IIS’s I usually reserved for my own mixtapes.) Looking around on the magical interwebs, where almost any subject is discussed, no matter how arcane, it seems others shared our favourable opinion of them.

I did a much rougher version of this idea years ago, but I revisited it by doing a much better illustration of this particular cassette. With some artistic liberties taken.

I don’t know that PostContemporary is even an ongoing concern any more, so maybe the only stickers of this to be produced will be the dozen or so I printed to give out to friends.

Friday, 23 September 2016

S.o.t.D. - Epirotiko Mirologi – Alexis Zoumbas

Epirotiko Mirologi – Alexis Zoumbas

A musician from northern Greece, who emigrated to the United States. Recorded in the mid 1920s. I think describing this as a “haunting lamentation” would be accurate.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Sunday, 18 September 2016

You call that a cleaver?

Now this is a cleaver!
Friend found it at an antique store. (I think it must have been used to separate an ox’ head from its body. Definitely a two handed device.) He’s going to have Brush Boys paint “Instant Tattoo Removal” on it.

S.o.t.D. - One Less Bell To Answer – Fifth Dimension

One Less Bell To Answer – Fifth Dimension

Classic. Can’t go wrong with Marilyn McCoo singing a Burt Bacharach and Hal David composition.

Friday, 16 September 2016

S.o.t.D. - Uitzicht – Bakermat

Uitzicht – Bakermat

Saxophones seem to be a bit out of style in popular music. This Dutchman brings it back. Throw in some Apollo 8 samples, and this is golden.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

S.o.t.D. - Double Crisp – Just Jungle

Double Crisp – Just Jungle

Still amazes me how much stuff from this genre and era I keep discovering. I keep thinking it’ll run out at some point. Nope. Huh...never heard this before. And it’s amazing.

I think that’s a term from now on to describe something really choice. “Now that’s just double crisp.”

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

S.o.t.D. - Technology – Octave One

Technology – Octave One

There’s a Detroit techno act of the same name, but I believe this is actually another guise of Doc Scott. Whoever it is, it’s a goddamn monster.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

S.o.t.D. - Slam – Plaid

Slam – Plaid

I like a lot of styles of music, but I think this sort of stuff, IDM, for lack of a better term, that evocative, trippy, soundtracky stuff, I like most of all.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Friday, 9 September 2016

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Monday, 5 September 2016

S.o.t.D. - In My Eyes – Best Coast

In My Eyes – Best Coast

Another track I discovered through the amazing Roxann.

Are water treatment methods what the manufacturers claim?

Interesting article about the claims made by water treatment manufacturers. It singles out Camelbak’s inline UV treatment (the AllClear), but it could also be applied to the SteriPen. Sawyer’s claims are also scrutinized. I’d been contemplating a Sawyer system, due to it being light and compact, but it hasn’t been readily available here, possibly due to it not being approved by Canadian regulatory agencies.

I’ve been meaning (for a very long time now) to replace the Steri-Pen I have with a self made gravity filter. I have some misgivings about the Steri-Pen, but it still works, and as such have continued to use it. I think Katadyn will likely get my money for a Hiker Pro replacement cartridge. I’ll use it to make the gravity filter system. A bit heavier and more expensive perhaps, but they seem more trustworthy. 


Friday, 2 September 2016

S.o.t.D. - Lichen – Aphex Twin

Lichen – Aphex Twin

Love one of the comments. “It makes me think of giving some place you’ll miss one last look over before you leave.” Sums up the mood of this beautiful, but wistful piece perfectly.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

S.o.t.D. - 2808 – Nero

2808 – Nero

I don’t know if a song that’s just 1½ minutes long can be considered epic, but wow, does it ever sound epic.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

S.o.t.D. - Dubskit – Phaeleh

Dubskit – Phaeleh

Showing why Phaeleh is such a consistently great producer. This was apparently just a cast off, not really meant to be a proper track. Warm, dubby bass.

Shooting Range

Chris, one of the tattooists at the shop, brought in a Red Ryder BB gun, and we promptly turned one half of the basement into a shooting range. :-) 
The beer can is strictly for shooting at. No way any of us would combine alcohol and firearms.
My view as I prepare to deliver copper projectiles down range at 180 metres per second.
Not bad.
Selection of targets.
Take that, zombie nazi!
Shaggy doing some training for the zombie apocalypse.

Bloody Remains

One of the office towers here in Hamilton, the BDC tower at Main and MacNab, several times this year now, I’ve walked past one particular spot below it and found the remains of the bloody work of the Peregrine falcons who hunt from the top of it.
I’m not sure whether they’re ripped off as they swoop in to grab their prey, or they lose them as they’re ripping them apart after. Either way, it amuses me that they always end up in the same spot. And I don’t even go by there that often. Wonder if this is only part of their detritus.

And something else I contemplate is how important they might be to an entire eco-system with this “discarded” food. Other animals, not as proficient a hunter, might well benefit from
 this fresh meat that they would drop below the cliffs they inhabit. Sharing the spoils so to speak.

Signage: Cottage 13

I haven’t been so active on here for a few reasons, one of which is that the tattoo shop has finally moved to its fancy new digs. Long delayed, but we are now in a fantastic new building, with a much better shop. For a good fortnight, I was working almost a full day to get the shop ready, in addition to my job. But, more than happy to do so.

One of the most exciting things about it is the new sign, done by the fantastic Brush Boys. I was already a fan, but after meeting them, I’m an even bigger fan. Scott and his son Matt are super nice guys and gifted artisans.

The centrepiece of the sign – literally.
Carved from an ultra high density polyurethane foam, and mounted on an aluminum plate.
Some closeups.
The foam portion (which has many coats of clear resin sealing it) dismounted from the aluminum backing plate.
The Boys hard at work. The installation was a very involved process. The rest of it was fairly straight forward, but the lotus was the challenge. It was designed with the idea that it would sit away from the rest of the sign, with the possibility of light behind it, radiating out from behind. Given how tough it was to get it on, and that replacing the bulbs would require that much again, the idea was quietly, albeit reluctantly, discarded. (The fact that the two days were blisteringly hot, didn’t help either.)
The first night of our completed sign being up.
The building, at the corner of James and Wilson.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Monday, 22 August 2016

S.o.t.D. - Good Life (Magic Juan Mix) – Inner City

Good Life (Magic Juan Mix) – Inner City

I thought at first Magic Juan might have been a guise of Juan Atkins, but apparently not.

An almost text book example of house. The disco influences, the clear vocals, high up in the mix, and the whole hands in the air, warehouse party vibe.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Friday, 19 August 2016

S.o.t.D. - Meditation 5 – Melchior Productions Ltd.

Meditation 5 – Melchior Productions Ltd.

I think I’d want to dance to this more than meditate to it. Although, dancing can be meditative in its own way.


For several years I worked for the Aylmer Express. While it was a small town newspaper, it was also a commercial printer. (The division I worked for.) The newspaper was bought by Arthur Hueston, after he came home from the war, and was its publisher for many years and turned it into a thriving printing company. By the point I got there, his son had been running the company for many years, and he was just writing a weekly column, some of which touched on his experiences in WW2. He served with the Essex Scottish Regiment, as a platoon leader, at Dieppe. He was quite open about his experiences and once we sat and talked about it. 

He was on a landing craft with a Churchill tank, that ground to a halt on the potato sized stones on the beach, leaving it half in and half out of the craft. They were meant to follow it, but with no way around it, they had to go over the sides. With no one having come ashore before the landings to ascertain the unsuitability of the beach for tanks, no one had bothered to check that there was a deep drop right at the waters edge, not a gradual incline. His platoon dropped over the edge of the landing craft and he lost about a third to drowning, because they were so laden down or unable to swim. The ones that survived had to ditch most of their gear to come up again. On shore without weapons, ammo, etc. they couldn’t do much. With a whole bunch of men wounded or dead, his superiors yelled at him to get back on a boat and get out. No one would have though any less of him if he had, but he called back “No. I have wounded men I need to look after.” And with that, he languished for years in a POW camp, hungry and bored.

It was a good thing he needed a really powerful magnifying glass to read, so he couldn’t see me wiping away the tears. 

The Germans found documents after the raid, from the Canadians, stating that German prisoners were to be handcuffed until they got them back to England. As a reprisal against the Canadians they forced any that were captured at Dieppe to wear handcuffs all day. At morning roll call they were put on and at nighttime roll call they were removed. Of course, as soon as they got back to their barracks they quickly picked them and as long as they were inside, they went without them.

And the city I currently live in, one of its regiments, the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry suffered casualties at Dieppe as well. Of the 582 soldiers who landed that morning, 197 were killed, 174 were captured and 194 wounded (including 85 also captured). Only 102 were not among the casualties.

Never forget.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

S.o.t.D. - Kinetic (Tom Middleton 2008 Remix) – Golden Girls

Kinetic (Tom Middleton 2008 Remix) – Golden Girls

Classic early 90’s track, reworked by the always fantastic Tom Middleton. Not entirely sure what the history of this song is. Originally by The Pied Piper, it was then remixed by Orbital....not sure beyond that. But this is just fantastic.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

S.o.t.D. - The Value of Nothing – Flux

The Value of Nothing – Flux

The unmistakeable sound of Adrian Sherwood, and the members of African Head Charge and Dub Syndicate helping to flesh out his ideas.

Friday, 5 August 2016

S.o.t.D. - Try Harder – Nordstadt Union

Try Harder – Nordstadt Union

I’ve been trying to find this one for ages, but at this point I’m not sure what the artist name is. This is what I’ve known it as for 15 years.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

S.o.t.D. - Sylph – Ochre

Sylph – Ochre

I recently discovered, and featured a bunch of tracks by Bola. Ochre is to my mind in the same camp. Incredibly sophisticated and evocative electronica.

Monday, 25 July 2016

S.o.t.D. - Poppin’ – Subjam

Poppin’ – Subjam

The image is freaky, but the tune is not.

Street Typography

Recorded by London, England designer Tom Williams in the early hours of the morning outside his apartment.

How much skilled work of this kind goes on in the world unnoticed, unappreciated and likely under-rewarded?


Usually I donate blood in downtown Hamilton, when one of their mobile clinics comes to the Convention Centre.

I’m working in Burlington now, so I decided to go to the permanent clinic there. Pleasantly surprised to see the whole sign in process is now entirely digitized. No more carefully shading square boxes. Quickly zoom through all the “have you had anal sex with intravenous drug users in a Zairean prison” questions. I already donate a pint in about 4 minutes, and this makes the whole process even faster.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

S.ot.D. - No Green Job – Sinob Satosi

No Green Job – Sinob Satosi



Got measured today.
203 cm (80") height
91 cm (36") inseam
198 cm (78") armspan
61 cm (24") head
43 cm (17") neck
117 cm (46") chest
35.5 cm  (14") biceps
30.5 cm (12") forearms
91.5 cm (36") waist
96.5 cm (38") hips
66 cm (26") thighs
43 cm (17") calves

Friday, 22 July 2016

S.o.t.D. - Terminal – S.A.M.

Terminal – S.A.M.

I fetaured a track by this artist a week ago and jokingly said S.A.M. could mean  lot of things. Turns out it’s a Danish producer called Samuel André Madsen.