Saturday, 19 August 2017

Rifleman’s Ration

I don’t condone firearms use under the influence of alcohol. But after some time on the range, this is a delicious beverage to unwind with.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Military Occupation at Burlington Heights

There’s a fairly new sign outside Dundurn Castle, with a photo illustration detailing what the area would have looked like during the War of 1812 and some explanations. (Hopefully you can zoom in and read it okay if you’re interested. And please excuse any wonkiness in the image. It’s cobbled together from over a dozen photos.)


Having wielded a few in my day, I can say, “now THAT’s a pulaski!”

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Bruce Trail Hike August 5

Went and explored a local section of the Bruce Trail, that for some inexplicable reason have only ever been on once. A long time ago. From Highway 6 towards Waterdown. Friends Michelle and Amanda came down from Toronto. Not too long of a hike, but time spent in the woods is always good in my books. And it was an opportunity to try out my new pack, the Squish’mups. Stay tuned for an update on it.
One side and the other of the underpass beneath Hwy. 6. Big improvement. Before you had the choice of trying to run across the highway and dodge traffic or make a long detour.

One of the first things you come across is the ruins of a homesteaders cabin. Not sure how old it is.
Some scenes in the woods.
A quarry has been turned into a managed wetland area.
Amanda and I in the underpass. (Photo by Michelle M.)

Monday, 7 August 2017


There is a legend about Queen Victoria offering a reward of 100 pounds sterling to anyone who could deliver to her the fresh fruit. Although this legend can be traced to a 1930 publication by the fruit explorer, David Fairchild, it is not substantiated by any known historical document, yet is probably responsible for the uncommon designation of mangosteen as the “Queen of Fruit.”


The Patch’mups, a panel I made for all my Velcro backed embroidered patches. There is loop Velcro fabric available, but it’s pricey. I took four lengths of 4" loop Velcro and sewed it to a piece of 420 denier packcloth, folded it in half, inserted a piece of HDPE, sewed it together, and then put paracord with button knots on the end through the 1" tube sewn into the top. (And 85 of those patches, I sewed hook Velcro to. By hand. Ugh...) 

(Suspending it in the centre like that, still makes it bow. A rigid tube through the top will fix that, or suspending it from two hooks close to the ends, rather than one in the centre, will also make it hang better. That’s the option I’ll go with.) 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

S.o.t.D. - Shadows – AIЯLIИES

Shadows – AIЯLIИES

Love how this genre has managed to turn the snap, crackle and pop of vinyl not into something integral to the sound.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

S.o.t.D. - Jade (Orphx Remix) – Svreca

Jade (Orphx Remix) – Svreca

Orphx are from the city I live in, and do a style of music that I’m not sure if it could be classified as techno or industrial.

Friday, 28 July 2017

S.o.t.D. - W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. – Front 242

W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. – Front 242

If I wasn’t already a huge fan, getting this album in 87, and reaching the 2 minute mark of this first track – yup...I’m a huge fan.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Sunday, 16 July 2017

S.o.t.D. - Planet – Four Tet

Planet – Four Tet

One of the only things I got excited about at the SuperCrawl 2 years ago was Four Tet. Super fun to dance to.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Thursday, 6 July 2017

S.o.t.D. - Cleopatra – The Lumineers

Cleopatra – The Lumineers

What I’d really like to show is the video of my nephew playing this on acoustic guitar and his girlfriend and her amazing voice singing this. But apparently I’m not allowed to since it was filmed in their school auditorium, and the school logo appears. Not sure I understand the reasoning, but hey.

So, in it’s place, I’ll show the original.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Sunday, 2 July 2017

S.o.t.D. - The Russian Are Coming (Take Five) – Val Bennett

The Russian Are Coming (Take Five) – Val Bennett

Took me a second to realize why this sounded familiar. It’s a rock steady cover of Dave Brubeck’s iconic Take Five. In a different time signature too.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

S.o.t.D. - Samurai – Bonobo

Samurai – Bonobo

Figured since it’s the first day of summer, and my birthday, something as juicy and effervescent as Bonobo should be the song of the day.

The man is brilliant.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

S.o.t.D. - Mumbo Jumbo – Quivver

Mumbo Jumbo – Quivver

Yesterday I mentioned that Skanna was an early 90’s drum & bass oriented project from one John Graham. Learned that he has since been doing stuff under the name Quivver. Totally different genre, and the name was new to me.

Checked it out and the first track I clicked proves that man is talented no matter what he decides to tackle. Will have to investigate more.

Monday, 19 June 2017

S.o.t.D. - The Greatest Thing (Summertime Mix) – Skanna

The Greatest Thing (Summertime Mix) – Skanna

Remarkable to me that Skanna was putting stuff like this out in 1993. Way ahead of its time.

Skanna was John Graham, who is now operating under the name Quivver.

Freaky Clouds

Jogged to a friend’s house last night, but had to stop a couple of times to photograph these clouds.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

S.o.t.D. - First In First Out – Front 242

Circling Overland – Front 242

Saw that it was the 242nd birthday of the U.S. Army a few days ago, which reminded me that that was a perfect excuse to play some Front.

Nerves connected to the center
We are tied to the machine 
Invisible and silent
Circling overland 

Signage: Authorized Personnel Only In Clean Room

Tightly kerned.

One of the more interesting aspects of my workplace is the clean room where sewing for the aerospace industry is done. You have to wear a Tyvek bunny suit, booties, surgical mask, the whole bit.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

S.o.t.D. - Careful What You Wish For – Coil

Careful What You Wish For – Coil

Still one of my very favourite musical acts of all time.

It shows their ability to be both accessible and off-putting all at once.

The film used in the video is Barbet Schroeder’s 1969 More.

“God please fuck my mind for good”

Bibliophilia: The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

Quite possibly my favourite book ever. If judging the number of times I’ve read it is any indication.

I bought the first edition in 1992, immediately realizing it as the authoritative book it was. That it was beautifully designed, and written with the sort of grace a poet is capable of, just made it more appealing. (Bringhurst is a remarkable man, and this exemplary treatise on the subject is just one of his many achievements.)

I read that book cover to cover, over and over. The section on the Golden Section was worth the price alone.

I’d bought more recent editions as gifts for friends over the years, but never treated myself. While I was in Swipe in Toronto recently, I grabbed the fourth edition. I may not be as involved with graphic design and typography as I once was, but given how much I’ve enjoyed and gained from this book over the years, a second copy 25 years on was worth it.

Anyone who works with type to any degree, needs to own this book, and put the teachings in to practice.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

S.o.t.D. - Infectus - Chris & Cosey

Infectus - Chris & Cosey

From the album released for their short stint with Nettwerk - before that label’s suckage really took hold. Nice Steven R. Gilmore cover too.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

S.o.t.D. - Spaceship – Garage Skills

Spaceship – Garage Skills

It’s got that spooky vibe, but catchy at the same time.

Undulatus Asperatus Sunset by Mike Oblinski

Mike Olbinski is a photographer that chases storms in the United States. Earlier this month he took a time lapse of an Undulatus Asperatus at sunset in Bowdon, North Dakota. Gorgeous stuff. Bet you’ll watch it more than once.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

S.o.t.D. - Black Horse And The Cherry Tree – KT Tunstall

Black Horse And The Cherry Tree – KT Tunstall

One of those songs, that I think is familiar (heard it in the grocery store or something like that) but since I rarely listen to commercial radio on purpose, I’m not certain. I gather it’s at least a decade old. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Barefoot Hiking (Involuntarily)

Well that was one of my more adventurous hikes.

My dear friend Michelle came down from Toronto to go for a hike. Decided to wander along the north shore of Cootes Paradise.

Opted to wear my old Bates M-6 boots. I think about 8 or 9 years old by this point. I’ve been really happy with them, and they’ve seen a lot of clicks. They’ve largely been relegated to back up duty, but decided to wear them today.
(The aforementioned boots about 5 years ago.)

Lake Ontario is at its highest level in a century. Several wooden board walks sink a bit when you walk on them, getting them wet. Couple that with old foam, some steep inclines and declines, 
I started to notice that they weren’t doing so well. By the halfway point it was obvious they were completely disintegrating. To the point of the whole bottom on the left one coming right off. The right one was well on its way to being there.

I’m usually always really prepared on hikes. On longer trips I’ll have a pair of paddling shoes for wear around camp or for crossing streams. Usually have a repair kit. Today? “Meh. Casual hike, not too far from home. I’ll be fine.”

So...opted just to ditch the boots altogether and walked back to the car barefoot. (Not before saving the laces though, since they were fantastic.)

Kinda sucked, those little pebbles especially. But there was a margin of grass at the edge of the trails that made it doable. Just shy of 2½ kilometers.

Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.

I know what I’ll be buying with my next pay cheque.

S.o.t.D. - Broken – Lazarus Moment

Broken – Lazarus Moment

One to watch.

Monday, 22 May 2017

S.o.t.D. - Your Mind – DJ Boring

Your Mind – DJ Boring

Definitely not boring.

Thor’s Hammer Bracelet

I found an example of one of these in an Encyclopedia Britannica when I was a teen. Thought it as pretty neat. Found in Iceland, from around the time “pagan” beliefs were giving way to Christian beliefs. It combined elements of both. A few years later I saw ... I think it was one of the members of Coil wearing one ... or maybe it was Current 93 ... or perhaps it was Douglas P. from Death in June. Can’t remember for sure. Then I found one somewhere.

It’s pretty much sat in a box for a few decades. Came across it and even though I’m not Icelandic, Christian or Asatru, decided to use it as a closure for a bracelet.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

S.o.t.D. - The Hitman – Marvellous Caine

The Hitman – Marvellous Caine

Built around samples of Renegades’s “Terrorist”, Cutty Ranks’ “Limb By Limb” and the 1980 film Babylon, a classic from the early days of jungle.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

S.o.t.D. - Babylon – Splash

Babylon – Splash

The first minute and a bit of this are just lethal, but it loses focus after that. 

“All of the youth shall witness the day that babylon shall fall. I and I know that.”

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

S.o.t.D. - The Unofficial Ghost – Doc Scott

The Unofficial Ghost – Doc Scott

I thought this was yet another D&B track that sampled Japan (Ghosts, in this instance). But apparently this is a re-working of Ghosts Of My Life by Rufige Kru. Which is another guise of Goldie. Confused yet?

What I do know for sure, is that this track is just a monster.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

S.o.t.D. - Empyrean – Bija

Empyrean – Bija

Signage: A. G. Gaul

A. G. Gaul was a jewelry store that operated in downtown Hamilton for 50 years. A sign that had been placed over this ghostly remains of their signage was taken down recently, revealing it.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

S.o.t.D. - Find You – BLVCK MVK

Find You – BLVCK MVK

Apparently, this is “liquid witchhouse.” Okay. It’s pretty chillaxing, no matter how thinly parsed music gets.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

S.o.t.D. - Black Mask – Lowlands

Black Mask – Lowlands

A band not from my homelands, but a half hour’s drive from here, Guelph, Ontario. Really dig this, even though I don’t usually swing that way.

Monday, 24 April 2017

S.o.t.D. - War (EmoBoys Remix) – Julien Jabre

War (EmoBoys Remix) – Julien Jabre

April 7 Dusk Wander

Went for a walk down to the Valley Inn Road bridge and back on a Friday night, before stopping in the spot in the cemetery where I do calisthenics. Windy and cold, but the light was gorgeous. And other than about a half dozen people walking their dogs in Dundurn Park, didn’t see anyone. (Cars passing by don’t really count.)
The cockpit and Dundurn Castle.
Dundurn Castle and the promenade.
The promenade.
Burlington Bay.
Gnarly roots.
The coach house.
Burlington Bay.
Burlington Bay and Carroll’s Point.
Moon over Hamilton.
Moon over Hamilton.
Looking back towards the High Level Bridge. The restored turtle habitat on the right.
My phone takes lousy night time shots, but I kinda dig the weird scuz in the night sky it creates. Looking out across Cootes Paradise.

YouTube’s Skewed Priorities

I watched something yesterday about the controversy regarding the YouTube channel of one “Daddy O 5”. (For those of you not in the loop, white trash parents have five kids who they include in “prank” videos. From what little I saw, most sane people would regard what they do as being verbally and emotionally abusive to these children.) I’m not sure whether I found their treatment of those children more appalling, or that 3 quarters of a million people regard this as “entertainment.”

But my friend Ryan made a great point.

YouTube has recently been de-monetizing channels that feature weapons. Forgotten Weapons, a very informative channel that discusses old, rare, prototype, etc. firearms, takes them apart, shows what makes them interesting, was just one example. Joerg Sprave, and his always entertaining Slingshot Channel was threatened with a ban because he demonstrated how a supposedly stab proof vest was anything but, and that people shouldn't trust their life to it. The geniuses at YT claimed that this was a “training video” for terrorists.

Watch either example for a few minutes, and it quickly becomes apparent they’re harmless.

Yet a channel devoted to emotionally scarring children in a low rent attempt at reality TV stardom - that’s just fine.

Guns? They might harm children! Children being harmed? Meh, no big deal.

Friday, 21 April 2017

S.o.t.D. - Enjoy The Silence – DMK

Enjoy The Silence – DMK

I’ve been aware of the huge smile inducing efforts of Dicken Schrader and his two children, Milah and Korben, and their Depeche Mode covers for a while now. Can’t believe something this awesome has taken me this long to post.

Can’t not love this.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

S.o.t.D. - Beating The Retreat – Test Dept.

Beating The Retreat – Test Dept.

Had to laugh when I watched Children of Men for the first time and this was the intruder alarm when the Fishes approached Jasper Palmer’s (Michael Caine’s character) house.

Friday, 14 April 2017

S.o.t.D. - Fuck the USA – The Exploited

Fuck the USA – The Exploited

Never much of a fan of them, although I did get to see them live in, 1984 I think. Don’t agree with the sentiments expressed in the tile, but a fun example of the era and style.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

S.o.t.D. - White China – Ultravox

White China – Ultravox

My tastes by the time this album came out were already veering towards a lot of darker and more experimental stuff, but still loved this album.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

S.o.t.D. - Stillpoint – Orphx

Stillpoint – Orphx

Shocking that I haven’t had these home town favourites on. And also shocked that I only discovered them maybe a year and a bit ago too, when a friend in Toronto mentioned them. For an act with an enviable international reputation, certainly. Straddle the line between techno and dark industrial.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Damn Dirty Hippies!

I went into the bathroom at the library and recoiled in disgust.

There was an individual of indeterminate gender identity in there.

Is this what disgusted me?

No. Not in the slightest. Don’t care.

Was the fact that this person was wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt and had a bunch of predictably left wing buttons on their bag, what disgusted me?

Well, yeah, that generally disgusts me.

But what really disgusted me was this soap dodgers pungent, hit you from 5 paces away, quickly clamp your mouth shut, immediately expel all the air in your lungs through your nose, BO.

Holy hell, did this scumbag stink!

“Wash, you sack of shit!” was the not particularly articulate comment I gasped out, before quickly turning on my heel.

I can just imagine the conversations in the antifa, SJW, Marxist club house.

“Okay, our next attack on the foundations of civilization needs to be the tyranny of washing. This culture’s unrealistic hygiene standards need to be destroyed. Laundry is simply a conceit of the privileged white people. Poor people from marginalized communities can’t afford a bar of soap, so it’s unfair to make them feel bad with the micro-aggression of smelling nice.”
“Precisely comrade. This revolutionary struggle requires us to stand in solidarity with the downtrodden members of the great unwashed masses. Since we’ve bullied everyone into silence on all the other issues, our next campaign needs to be about wino rights.”
“Exactly! While some of them may well be from the unpeople class of white males, we should make an exception and include them on the intersectionality scale, creating a special victim class just for them. And of course, we should adopt their mode of dress and radical rejection of modern bathing habits.”

Fucking stinky hippies.

S.o.t.D. - Faux Monsoon – Giyo

Faux Monsoon – Giyo

It may have faux in the song title, but the appeal of this track is very real.