Thursday, 31 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Racer X – Big Black

Another loud, angry band I’m rather fond of.

Lost & Found

I’m (surprise, surprise) working on building my hopefully last, meaning the perfect, bushbumming set up. So, my setup is in a bit of disarray as things are taken off their usual setups so I can figure out where things need to go, etc.

I went for a wander in the woods with my nephew last weekend to teach him some stuff about navigation and fire starting. I took all my usual kit, and some loose, small pouches just got put inside my Kifaru Express. Came home, and couldn’t find my Leatherman Wave 2004. During a break during the hike I took off my pack and noticed that the bottom zipper was open a little bit. At the time I didn’t think it was large enough for any thing to have worked its way out. When I couldn’t find the Wave, I reconsidered. Was it big enough for it to have come out through that gap? Curse words were uttered. Got up at 05:00 and hauled ass back there. The chances of finding back a small olive drab pouch on a forest floor with a lot ground cover over a route I wasn’t step for step certain about, was slim to nil, but I had to try. No luck. More curse words. I know it’s replaceable, but I haven’t much money, and would rather spend it on something else. Curses!

This morning I found it in my bedroom behind another pack. I had never taken it in the first place. I squealed with joy. I held it to my cheek. I kissed it.  I’m not ashamed to say that. I love my Leatherman Wave.

No worse feeling than losing something, and no better feeling than finding it back.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Inside The Termite Mound – Killing Joke

One of the mellower, thought no less great tracks, off of 1990s Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions LP. Not into a whole lot of loud, angry music, but Killing Joke I totally love.

Bibliophilia: The Afghan, Avenger, The Cobra – Frederick Forsyth

He’s been at the thriller game for a long time, and he still knows how to spin a really engaging yarn.

For my money, he’s better than all the other writers mining this genre. Better than Clancy, Higgins, Thor, Flynn, Coes, etc.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Wolfgang Press Jacket

Found some old, old stuff the other day in the bottom of a film box. Had a jacket and painted the cover to The Legendary Wolfgang Press and Other Tall Tales on it. Something to do, and I was and still am a big fan of Wolfgang Press. Got rid of the jacket many years ago, but did cut the painted part out, stuck it in a film box, it got covered in print job samples, and more or less forgotten about.

S.o.t.D. - You Drummers Listen Good – Keith LeBlanc

If money was no object and I wanted to put together a group of musicians to get all the track ideas I have in my head out, Keith Leblanc would be the first person I would call up for drumming duties.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - What Time Is Love – The KLF

More than anything else, the track that turned me on to the potential of that wacky “techno” I was hearing about in the late 80s. If this is it, count me in.

Amsterdam Tattoo Convention Posters

Absolutely love these posters!

Buxom dutch girl with Delft Blauw tattoos. Awesome. And the chipped/damaged tile where the goodness is - very clever.

Done by an artist “Veni Vidi Vince

Saturday, 26 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Pale Shelter – Tears For Fears

This song hasn’t lost any of its luster for me even thirty years later.

Weekday Waterfront Wander

Superb weather last week, so after taking care of a bunch of things, and getting into a proper frame of mind, I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon walking around down by the lake shore.
High Level Bridge in the left/center of photo
Lots of yachtage about.
Lots of plumage about.
Lots of underwater foliage about.
But only one example of domeage about.

Cootes Paradise at Dawn

Got up early a few days ago and went for a walk down by Cootes Paradise.
Looking towards Dundas from the High Level Bridge.
High Level Bridge on the left.
Well hello Mrs. Goose. How are you and the goslings this fine morning?
Bald Eagle habitat. Ever since Bald Eagles have graced us with their presence again, a pretty sizable chunk of the RBG lands have been closed off to humans. 200 years ago they had undisturbed swathes of land around here that they could set up a nest and raise their chicks in peace. Now everything is very fragmented.
Stuck around for a while in hopes I might see a chickadee, or anything for that matter, get snatched out of the sky by an eagle, but no luck.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Incredible Coffee Table 1

Incredible Coffee Table 2

No idea who the artist(s) behind this is (would really like to know). A friend took these photos in Amsterdam about 5 years ago, and I found them on a CD recently. So good I just had to show them. I recall him telling me that it was actually fairly reasonable priced. The design was computer generated, laser etched and then carved by a group of artisans in Indonesia.

S.o.t.D. - Remember The Roller – Dr. S. Gachet

Oh, not only do I remember the rollers, I’ve never forgotten the rollers. What I wouldn’t give to hear this over a big system again.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Wentworth View

Had a gift certificate for Harvey’s I wanted to use up and the closest one to me was up the mountain, so I decided to hike out via the 500 step Wentworth Street stairs. 

S.o.t.D. - Threshold – Dillinja

Yesterday was a nice sweet love song and today we’re back to slow, ominous, drum & bass. Balance things out.

Bibliophilia: The Essential Principles of Graphic Design by Debbie Millman

The Essential Principles of Graphic Design – Debbie Millman  

I enjoy her books because they delve into thought processes and what fires the imagination of designers more than showing pretty pictures with no context.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Sometimes I like really dense music where every possible track in the studio is used, but sometimes I like really sparse music. The instrumentation in this is really subtle, breathing space between the notes, and then great lyrics sung by a great singer over that. Brilliant song.

Monday, 21 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Mental Universe – Bulb

Love the mmm, mmm bass in this, but it is a bit frustrating cause it feels like it should come to the fore a bit more, or get a little more rumbly or harder or something. Still really damn good though. 

Not that I mind one bit, but that Dr. Hoffman quote has become about as ubiquitous as the “Life moves pretty fast” quote from Ferris Bueller.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Thursday, 17 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Change Down – Bonobo

I think I could pick just about any song by Bonobo and it would be a fine choice.

Sandman’s A Hope In Hell

If I didn’t know it already, this was the point when I realized how sublimely awesome Sandman was, and what an amazing talent Neil Gaiman was.

As a bit of background, the story is that Sandman (Morpheus, The Lord of Dreaming) is imprisoned for decades by an occultist seeking immortality. When he finally manages to escape, he must recover his symbols of power, one of which is a helm. He learns that a demon in hell possesses it, so he has to go there to bargain for its return.

Choronzon: I assert reality.
Choronzon: I am a dire wolf, prey-stalking, lethal prowler.
Sandman:    I am a hunter, horse-mounted, wolf-stabbing.
Choronzon: I am a horsefly, horse-stinging, hunter throwing.
Sandman:    I am a spider, fly-consuming, eight-legged.
Choronzon: I am a snake, spider-devouring, poison-toothed.
Sandman:    I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy-footed.
Choronzon: I am an anthrax, butcher bacterium, warm-life destroying.
Sandman:    I am a world, space-floating, life-nurturing.
Choronzon: I am a nova, all-exploding, planet-cremating.
Sandman:    I am the universe–all things encompassing, all life embracing.
Choronzon: I am anti-life, the beast of judgement. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds...of everything. And what will you be then, dreamlord?
Sandman:    I am hope.

Choronzon and Dream, playing “the oldest game”, in Sandman #4: “A Hope in Hell

Monday, 14 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Avalon – Matt Lange

Avalon – Matt Lange

The production quality on this is stellar.

Paddle To The Sea

I think everyone should watch this film.

This has to be the most vivid recollection I have of being a young lad in a new country, not entirely fluent in the language, and sitting in class, the projector being set up, that whirr, and being shown this. It really drove home how fantastic being in Canada is. I don’t think it’s any exaggeration that this film had a profound effect on me. It helped fuel my love of being outside and exploring this land around me.

I especially love the fact that it features a boy, using sharp knives, around an open fire, using molten lead, roaming around outdoors without adult supervision. As if that would be allowed today.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Cosmic Interlude – LTJ Bukem

Cosmic Interlude – LTJ Bukem

Cosmic indeed.

Tall Girls: The Documentary

Depresses the hell out of me that lasses would go to such a drastic step as to have surgery to stop growing. It makes me so sad, because there is nothing wrong with it. It’s not a deformity, handicap, disfigurement, etc. Its just who you are. It makes you stand out, clothes are a bit hard to find, people say the drippiest things imaginable to you..., and a myriad of other things, but I dont think there is anything so drastic as surgery and hormone injections to stop your natural growth called for. I could understand it if you have Marfan and youre going to end up to be Sandy Allen tall, side show freak tall. Then I could see surgical intervention maybe being necessary. But being projected to be 6'3"? That is just awesome, not a cause for consternation. I know its awkward for girls especially, but I hope they can learn to accept themselves for who they are. Its okay to be tall. Please. Grow tall. There aren’t nearly enough tall women in the world.

Friday, 11 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Love Light – Soul Clap

Rework of a Stevie Wonder track. All I know is it’s a sweet, sweet 10 minute track of funky, housy goodness.

Bibliophilia: Full Black – Brad Thor

Another one of those guilty pleasure reads. Doesn’t make me smarter, pinkos will likely be aghast to know that lines like “He tried to suck on a cigarette lighter and also managed to Tase himself before shooting himself in the knee, but he’ll live.” made me laugh out loud, but what can I say - I like books where psychotic religious fanatics get shot. Repeatedly. Brad Thor may be just a tad too heavy handed with his politics – he makes Vince Flynn look like an Obama supporter.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Flying North (Extended Version) – Thomas Dolby

Never paid that much attention to his stuff after the Golden Age of Wireless. Not really sure why. Sometimes the full impact of how good something was doesn’t hit you until long after.

Signage: Desjardins Canal

No you can’t use my knife

I like to think I’m a reasonably friendly and helpful guy. I like that whole aspect of random acts of kindness, etc. If I can be of assistance somehow, great.
I will lend you a CD, a book, $20, a shirt. 
My knife? 

After several negative experiences, I’ve decided not to let anyone use my knife.

I’ve had someone use my knife as a prybar, busting off the end. As a wise man once said “a knife is the most expensive and least effective pry bar you will ever own.” Or in this instance, what someone else owned. Me. They replaced it, but it still annoyed the hell out of me.

Some folks I’ve handed my knife to, have this look of fear on their face, and the way they handle it makes you think they regard it as a step down from a rattlesnake, that it is going to hurt them somehow.

Another time a guy asked to look at the knife clipped into my pocket. Reluctantly I handed it over. Immediately he starts flailing his arm around. I keep the pivot tightened down to a good degree. He told me that I should loosen it so it could be flipped out easier.
“Uh huh. Do you have a knife of your own? No? Didn’t think so. Tell you what. When you get a knife of your own, you can do that to your heart’s content. Don’t do that shit with others peoples knives.”

Others I’ve handed my knife to can often figure out how to open it, but then struggle to figure out how to close it. Watching them grab it all sorts of awkward ways as they try to deduce the “arcane mystery” of a liner lock, and one time someone almost closed it with their fingers in the way of the blade (averted just in time).

And then there was the prize winner who upon asking to use my knife, promptly ran his thumb over the blade. see if it was sharp, I guess. Guess what? I keep my knives sharp. Very sharp. His thumb promptly split open, blood started flowing forth. “Why didn’t you warn me it was sharp?” he said to me with a panicked look as he rushed off to find a bandaid.” I sort of knew this guy wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but in the annals of dumb things people have said to me, that one took the prize.

After these experiences, I just realized that if someone lacks the wherewithal to carry a knife on themselves as a matter of course, they invariably lack the wherewithal to use it safely or properly. That whole blend of discomfort with using it, awkward handling, inappropriate treatment, and just plain thoughtlessness.

I’m sure that makes me a jerk in some people’s eyes. So be it. I carry a knife every day.  Nothing big or scary. Nothing with any nefarious intents in mind. And I have for many years. I honestly don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t used it for something. Usually something utterly mundane - take the rind off an orange, open a recalcitrant package, cut a piece of cheese, etc. I don’t understand how any one gets through their day without using a knife.

And another annoyance is when I have let someone use it, shortly thereafter they ask again, and several days later, ask again. I’m one of those people that figures if I need something once, and then shortly thereafter have cause to use it again, and then a little while later need it once more, this is what a detective calls a clue. I figure that maybe I should carry that around with me. If you need to ask someone else to use their tools, a tool that to my mind seems like a common place, functional tool, maybe you’re being handed a clue. If you need to ask me more than once if you can use my knife, I figure there is a hint there you should take. Get your own knife.

I like to think I’m an accommodating guy. But for some reason, lending out my knife is no longer a way I choose to help people. Sorry, but it’s time for people to start carrying their own.

Bibliophilia: Carbon Grey: Sisters at War by Hoang Nguyen

I picked this up because I recognized the cover art from one of the Spectrum books. I have no idea what the hell is going on in this – an alternate universe, quasi-Europe set in a WW1 like era, and there are hot oriental-ish babes in tight leather with guns and swords, and flamboyant baddies, and some slight hints of manga, tinged with some non-nerdy steampunk. The plot....uhm... all the hot babes are sisters, and they’re sworn to protect the Kaiser, but he’s killed, and theyre accused of killing him, and there is a stone that has great power, very baroque bad guys, and nefarious schemes, and a lot of heads get hacked and exploded....and....I really have no idea what the hell is going on here. But there are sexy babes in tight leather and guns and swords. And the art is amazing. The story is incomprehensible. But the art is really fantastic. And then there is the all-important aspect of hotties in form fitting catsuits with boobage popping out with SMGs and katanas.

And mentioning this peeve might seem a little pointless, what with this being likely the dumbest review of a graphic novel ever, but...all the ships and costumes and swords, etc., are all very imaginative. But then the main character has an H&K MP5, and another piece of art has a character with a very tricked out M4 with an AN/PEQ-15 on it. Seems odd that everything else seemed to spring from the artists imagination, and then they would turn around and use something so obviously identifiable a being very much of this world.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - Spanish Fly (Flamenco Dub Pt.1) – Phutureprimitive

Yeah, flamenco dub sums it up perfectly.

National Orienteering Week

Late to the party, but still thought it was worth mentioning.

Caves of Mustang

Watched this documentary last night, and found it quite compelling. The ancient kingdom of Mustang, nestled between Tibet and Nepal, has been shrouded in secrecy for a long time. Few Westerners have had the chance to go there. A climbing/film-making team go for a month to investigate long abandoned, man made caves dotted throughout the land, housing ancient Tibetan Buddhist art and writings. Climbing, archeology, breathtaking landscapes, fascinating art. I enjoyed it.

First one will lead you to the others.

If you have any fear of heights....

....this video will make you poop your pants. I don’t think there is a word other than awesome to describe these guys. Wow! The jumping is fine, but the casually waltzing along the edge, in the fog, that has me clenching. Wow!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

S.o.t.D. - So Good – Introspect

So Good – Introspect

I first heard this track on what was pretty much a complete stinker of a movie. B.U.S.T.E.D., otherwise known as Everybody Loves Sunshine. Featured Goldie and David Bowie, as British gangsters and there are shoot outs, yadda, yadda. But it had this track in it. Only plays for a few seconds as one of the characters gets out of his car. Absolutely does my head in. Ridicilously simple. But that bass line, that almost stereotypical Garage bassline, that fat chugging bassline - sweet mother of gawd! I could listen to that for hours on end.


Love examples of fractals in nature. Numerical simulation showing the variation of salinity in the Atlantic Ocean near the mouth of the Amazon River over 3 years. Mesmerizing to watch salt and freshwater mix. Data provided by Mercator Ocean and animation by Mira Production.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Wij Zijn Vrij!

These photos make me unabashedly emotional. Taken two years before I was born, about a block from where I was born and lived for a decade. I think everyone was out for this auspicious day. In 1940 it was the route the Germans took when they invaded Amsterdam. Five years later it was the route the Canadians took when they liberated Amsterdam. The street is now known as Vrijheids Laan (Freedom Lane).

The bridge in the third photo is the bridge I mention in the second and third book reviewed here, the Berlage Brug.

Wij Zijn Vrij! We Are Free!