Monday, 30 December 2013

Kayak Update

Things have been quiet on the kayak front lately - wait for it, money issues - but the ball is rolling again. Although there will be another interruption as a 15 foot canoe will be built. That will occupy the strongback for a while. No matter, since there won’t be any kayaking for a few months anyway.

She has had the foot pegs installed, been varnished, the deck mounted and attached, ash rub rails attached.

The bronze stem band went on shortly after this picture was taken. And then the battery in my camera conked out. All that remains to be done is the hatches need to have a weather proof seal put on, blocks need to be placed on the deck for webbing and bunjee attachment and a seat put in. Oh and some Spectra line installed as carry handles. And I think that will be about it.
This is the back end.
And this is the front end.

S.o.t.D. - The Edge – Kaiben

The Edge – Kaiben

Another impressive track from Kaiben.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Bibliophilia: ​Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand – Rámon Pérez

Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand – Rámon Pérez

The story is...meh. Feels a bit like a “hey, I had a surreal dream. I should write it down.” I gather this was a screenplay for a proposed movie that predates his Muppets/Sesame Street fame.

The art, by South Western Ontario lad Ramón Pérez, is exceptional however.

S.o.t.D. - Lacan – Claro Intelecto

Lacan – Claro Intelecto

An artist that until a few minutes ago, I didn’t know existed.

The person who uploaded this, coincidentally enough has the same user name as yesterdays song.

Hitchcraft – Kifaru Pullout Lanyard Knots

Now that I’ve figured out that the lanyard knot isn’t actually that hard to tie, I’ve been looking for excuses to put them in various spots. Going through stuff, I saw that I never switched out the loop of paracord tied in an overhand knot on the Kifaru Pullouts I have.

I have a small Pullout in 525D in all the colours they offer. The foliage green one got a UCP zipper pull, the coyote brown one got a desert camo zipper pull, and the olive drab one got a woodland camo zipper pull.

I’ve been liking thinner cord lately, but for doing the lanyard knot, the chunkier 550 cord is preferable to work with.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Mango Drive – Rhythm & Sound

Mango Drive – Rhythm & Sound

Another of those tracks I heard way back when but never knew the name of.


Bibliophilia: ​Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation – Michael Pollan

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation – Michael Pollan

He is an author that I’ve read several books by, and always enjoy them a lot, including The Omnivore’s Dilemma, (highly recommended reading - the section on corn alone blew my mind) and The Botany of Desire, (where he posits the theory that instead of us manipulating plants for our own ends, plants manipulated us into manipulating them for their own ends. That they held out things we found desirable, and in so doing, they have been spread across the globe.)

The book is structured around the 4 “elements” and explores a cooking technique for each. Fire is explored through Barbecue. Water is explored through Braising. Air is explored through Bread. Earth is explored through Fermentation. He apprentices himself to various experts in each field in order to learn more about the culture and science behind different techniques. The book looks at cooking as a major part of what makes us human - that we manage to take things that are not digestible and use the cooking process as an external organ of digestion. But the book also explores cooking as a fun activity, one that makes us more self reliant and more appreciative of nature. It’s an eloquent and graceful treatise on the importance of bringing food and cooking back into the home.

If Pollan has a theme with some of the books that he has tackled so far, it’s the relationships between us and the food we eat - and how we seem to overlook how important it is on so many levels. Cooked isn’t so much a how to, but more of a why to – an anthropology of cooking.

Impressive Archery

Those Kansas fields look as though there wasn’t a lot for Heath Getty to do growing up except try to shoot moving clay targets out of the sky with a compound bow. Which he can now do with aplomb.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Mysterious Moments – Marco Zenker

Mysterious Moments – Marco Zenker

One of those tracks I’d only play about 2 minutes of in a set, but I do like it.

Bibliophilia: A Game of Thrones (Volume 1): the Graphic Novel – George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones (Volume 1): the Graphic Novel – George R. R. Martin

I have not read the book(s), and do not own a TV, or even a DVD player. Curious what all the hoopla is about, I thought this was a relatively commitment free way to find out. I liked what I read, it’s well done, a very complex story (although I suspect it’s a “lite” version of the book) and a well developed alternate reality that totally pulls you in. And I thought the art was spectacular. Like a book version of an Iron Maiden album - swords and shields, monsters and meanies, fighting in fur capes, etc. Might read the actual book series one day. But you almost need a directory at the front - these are the hundreds of characters you will be introduced to, who will be decapitated, defenestrated, immolated, eviscerated, a few pages/chapters later. Just so you can keep them all straight.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Bibliophilia: The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks – Amy Stewart

​​The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks – Amy Stewart

Very enjoyable, like her other books, and very educational, like her other books.

Admittedly, I’m not much of a drinker, and I have never and likely will never drink many of the concoctions listed, but I really enjoyed learning more about the many and varied plants humanity has turned into booze. The whole way through I found myself saying “Huh! I didn’t know that.” or “Well, I’ll be.”

One of the sections was of course on rum. Like most every other liquor, it is aged in oak barrels. Since most of it is produced in the Caribbean, the heat there causes a fair bit of the alcohol to evaporate from the barrels, but the upside is that the heat causes the stuff to age more quickly. Which led me to wonder: Is there any advantage to aging scotch in a warm climate? Has anyone ever experimented with a few barrels of scotch down in Panama. Would the desired aging effect be achieved in 4 years rather than 12? What would leaving a barrel to sit for 12 years there do? Or would the ambient warmth give a whole different effect and flavour? Is the climate in a place like Scotland really required? Does that cold(er) temp contribute to the desired flavour?

I get the idea that the whole prospect is down right blasphemous, eliciting an “ahm gonna keel yoo!” response from Scottish diehards.

S.o.t.D. - Christmas Is Coming – Vince Guaraldi Trio

Christmas Is Coming – Vince Guaraldi Trio

I generally loathe christmas music, but I love this album.

Longitude: The True Story of A Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time – Dava Sobel

Longitude: The True Story of A Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time – Dava Sobel

I’ve always been in awe of clocks – mainly the thought and the trial and error that went into developing them. I come by this interest honestly, since my dad was (among other things) a watch and clock maker.

I also admit to having a thing for books about seemingly mundane subjects, or subjects that most people never give a second thought to. 

This book deals not only with horology, but also navigation, astronomy, sailing, science, history. Engrossing read (a popular history more than a scholarly work) about the problem of figuring out longitude. Latitude is easy to figure out from the position of the moon and the sun, but longitude was a very tough nut to crack. There were a variety of theories put forth as to how to calculate it (Galileo explored using the moons of Jupiter as a guide (fine if you’re on land; not so easy if you’re on a ship), another proposal was for a line of ships anchored from Europe to the Americas, that would shoot a pyrotechnic into the sky at midnight so ships could set a clock by them, etc.). None of them were practical. A mechanical, ie, a clock was the approach taken by John Harrison. Harrison was not a learned man, but a Yorkshire carpenter and a self taught clockmaker – who had never even been anywhere near the sea. He was an outsider to the scientific community, who were intent on winning the very lucrative £20,000 (comparable to £2.66 million/$4.25 million US in modern currency) prize that the British Parliament offered to solve the intractable problem. He spent 40 years of his life on it, produced some exquisite and very accurate time pieces, but had to battle long and hard to win the recognition and prize money he deserved.

Thanks to Ben Simon for the recommendation.

A PBS NOVA documentary about the subject worth watching.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Fell In Love With A Girl – The White Stripes

Fell In Love With A Girl – The White Stripes

Not my fave W.S. song by a long shot, but I love the Michel Gondry Lego animation video.

Bibliophilia: The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger – Marc Levinson

The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger – Marc Levinson

I’ve been writing an article on shipping containers as homes (condensed version: not worth the trouble), and as part of my research I read this book. I admit to having a thing for books about subjects that are almost invisible (salt, pencils, etc.) and I suppose shipping containers are one of those items that has become so ubiquitous as to be given little to no thought any more.

Various efforts had been tried to containerize goods over the years. Shipping had always been an incredibly expensive and time consuming endeavour. The effort to move towards a system of containerization was a tale of starts and stops, successes and setbacks. The system is a juggernaut now, but its implementation was held up by powerful longshoremen unions, the difficulty of determining a definitive size, centralized government control of (ship, train, truck) shipping, the difficulty in handling the containers in ports, fitting them on trains and trucks, etc.

Despite all the hiccups, from the very get go the cost of shipping goods via a container saved such a large ratio of money (both in terms of labour savings, time savings, but also in goods that weren’t being damaged or pilfered) that the writing was on the wall for traditional shipping methods.

In due course, and after much wrangling, sizes were decided on, cranes were standardized, trucks and trains were built to integrate with the containers, ships went from WW2 liberty ships to custom built ships specifically built for containers. Whole new ports were built to handle the ships (London and New York declined, sleepy fishing villages like Felixstowe and Port Elizabeth boomed). Entire economies shifted due to the possibilities containerization opened up. Manufacturing went into precipitous decline in Europe and North America and sky rocketed throughout Asia. A whole segment of the labour market (longshoremen/dock workers) essentially disappeared in a short period of time. With very sophisticated tracking software ever tighter schedules could be adhered to. In time even transcontinental canals will be enlarged to accommodate ever larger container ships. Containers are a perfect example of a disruptive technology.

It is a bit of a dry read, but I got a lot out of it. A history of both business and technology, and of something that I suspect many never give a lot of thought to. If you enjoy stories about entrepreneurs, the story of Malcolm McLean is a classic. From a lad driving a truck, to one of the richest men in the world, he was largely (some would say exclusively) responsible for revolutionizing the shipping industry as we know it.

Monday, 23 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Re-Uptake – Havantepe

Re-Uptake – Havantepe

Soaring and cinematic dub-tech.

End of the Line: The 1857 Train Wreck at the Desjardins Canal Bridge – Don McIver

End of the Line: The 1857 Train Wreck at the Desjardins Canal Bridge – Don McIver

This is now the second of two books I’ve read set in my neighbourhood. This one and then John Terpstra’s book, Falling Into Place about the Iroquois Bar. (The cover of which also shows a view of the canal and the bridge from the harbour.)

Neat little slice of history about Ontario, Hamilton, and railways. Allan Napier MacNab and Dundurn are featured prominently. Railway disasters and political corruption aren’t a new thing. Unbelievable to read how MacNab, the politician, voted for tax money to be funnelled to MacNab, the business mogul. The conflict of interest almost beggars belief to read about today. And his railway concern had an absolutely shocking list of safety violations that to read about today, again leaves one agog. Shoddy construction, flagrant disregard for safety, political corruption - it’s quite a tale. 57 people died in the disaster, and it remained one of the worst train disasters in Canada for some time, and I believe it is still Hamilton’s worst single loss of life. And in one of those twists of fate, one of the people killed in the disaster was Samuel Zimmerman, the corner cutting railway contractor, widely believed to be the richest man in Canada at that time. The accident was caused by a broken axle on the engine, and to a degree the bridge. The engineering involved in having a massive, heavy locomotive and freight cars move at speed over a bridge was still iffy at the time. They were making it up as they went along. 

Interesting to read also how rapidly Hamilton, as well as railways grew. At the time of the disaster, railways in any form were about thirty years old. And Hamilton 30 years before had been at best a few scattered log cabins, the start of a town.

One to recommend to anyone with an interest in local (if you’re local to me that is) history and railway history. Or if you’re one of those morbid weirdos with an interest in disasters.

Bibliophilia: Alan Bradley’s Flavia DeLuce Series

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – Alan Bradley
The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Alan Bradley
A Red Herring Without Mustard – Alan Bradley
I Am Half-sick of Shadows – Alan Bradley
Speaking From Among the Bones – Alan Bradley

After reading the first one of these, I enjoyed it so much, I immediately grabbed the second, and before I knew it I had finished all five.

It’s one of those books that both adults and young adults can get into. It’s a murder mystery, but not anything gory/scary.

The main character/heroine is a precocious/resourceful 11 year old called Flavia De Luce with a penchant for chemistry, poisons being her favourite subject. She is part of an eccentric and dysfunctional family and resides in a rambling and crumbling English country mansion. The year is 1950.

Like the characters (main and supporting), like the setting, the dialogue is brilliant. It’s a bit Agatha Christie, some Nancy Drew thrown in, with a dose of Lemony Snickett for good measure. The character is precocious without being precious, clever without being smarmy. There is a gravitas to her because of the fact that her mother died when she was a baby. Makes her believable. One of the best fictional characters I’ve encountered in quite some time.

After the cliff hanger ending of the 5th book, I am eagerly awaiting delivery of the 6th, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches.

The Nosebleed From Hell

A friend told me this story recently and I was in stitches from laughing so hard.

A bunch of years back he decides to take some LSD on a Saturday night. Now he is an experienced tripper, but this trip turned out to be quite an experience.

About an hour in, just as everything is starting to hum, a huge gush of blood erupts from his nose. Not a little drip, drip, drip, but a cup of blood drops out of his nostril onto his lap. Freaky at the best of times, but especially freaky at this juncture. He determines that he is not in fact hallucinating. And it won’t stop. This is the nose bleed from hell, and it comes at the worst possible time. It keeps bleeding – a lot. He is really getting freaked out now. He is by himself, so he calls a friend to come and drive him to the hospital. After an interminable wait in a brightly lit hospital waiting room with beat up drunks, fussy toddlers, and whiny hypochondriacs desperate for attention, with a nose that keeps on fountaining blood, all while tripping out of his noodle, a doctor finally sees him. Turns out he had a huge polyp in his nasal passage that ruptured. He got fixed up and went home to wait out the rest of his trip.

“Yeah...I love tripping and all....but that trip really sucked.”

Sunday, 22 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Everything Is Everything – Booker T. Jones (with The Roots)

Everything Is Everything – Booker T. Jones (with The Roots)

I was on the hunt for “The Hive”, and this came up instead. A worthy substitute. Then again, is anything he’s done not great?

A cover of Lauryn Hill’s song.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - April Showers – ProleteR

April Showers – ProleteR

This samples Ruth Etting’s “March Winds and April Showers” and the dancers are Al Minns and Leon James, doing I believe the Charleston. That combo of a languid hip hop beat and the 1920s jazz work so well together.

Friday, 20 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Power – Psychic TV & White Stains

Power – Psychic TV & White Stains

I never had the resources to keep up with the prodigious output of PTV, but the Live at Stockholm record was one that I snagged, and happy I did.

Earth Wind Map

A thing of wonder and beauty.

A visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers and updated every three hours.

Clicking and dragging allows the viewer to turn it to any part of the globe they desire. If you want to see some really wild wind patterns, rotate it so that Antarctica is centered.

Monday, 16 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - In Your Memory – Depeche Mode

In Your Memory – Depeche Mode

Some real gems are hidden on the B-sides of singles. I think this is one such instance. I certainly liked it more than the single it backed, People Are People. And it was also one of the things that shows to me now, (not sure I was in any way conscious of it at the time), that Alan Wilder’s tracks (like this one) were often the best ones of all.

Maps That Will Change How You Look At The World

I always find maps and infographics fascinating, and these are particularly interesting.

What Antarctica would look like without ice. You’ll be stunned to see what the most common highest paid public employee in America is. You’ll laugh at literal Chinese translations for European country names. Graphs showing the world’s population by latitude and longitude. Countries sized by how much oil they have. Selected U.S. cities renamed for countries with similar GDPs. Where there are internet “black holes”. Air traffic over 24 hours.

Some of these maps are works of art (rivers of America, earthquake frequency, airline routes all over the world {shown below})

What directions the rivers of the world flow in.
Lightning strikes
Airline routes all over the world.

(The second one has a few repeats, but the new one make it worth it.)

Warriors Day Parade

(Another case of tardy posting...)

The pipe and drum band of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders taken on Warrior’s Day, the day before Remembrance Day.

Remediation at Nicholson Resource Management Area

Photos I took on the weekend before Halloween and only now getting around to posting.

Nicholson Resource Management Area is an area that was donated to the Royal Botanical Gardens some time back by a private land owner. Not much was done with it by the land owner, and the RBG has had to devote their resources to other areas of concern. So they put out the call to some of their volunteers to do some remediation. And I answered the call.

It sits in area butted up against and just below the Niagara Escarpment. It’s one of the areas that will be encompassed in the Cootes To Escarpment Park System. One area in particular had become swampy - and wasn’t supposed to be. Just as much as draining wetlands is not a good thing, apparently areas becoming wetlands that aren’t naturally wetlands isn’t good either. Don’t know all the ins and outs, but this is what I was told.

On a cold and windy and rainy day, ten volunteers and four staff braved the elements to remediate the area. Those efforts included removing buckthorn, and planting 124 trees and shrubs, over a 100 dogwood stakes and nine liters of bur oak acorns.

I had hiked out there, and was already a bit damp when I arrived, but wading around in water up past my ankles for a few hours, with a driving rain the whole time, and I was completely soaked through. Despite all the rain gear. Still enjoyed the experience a lot though.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Nothing Gold (Todd Terje Remix) – Joakim

Nothing Gold (Todd Terje Remix) – Joakim

A few days ago I mentioned that a track by mister Terje reminded me of Matthew Herbert, and this remixed track (not sure how much the original track is responsible for it) has a bit of a Röyksopp feel to it. Again, just fine with me. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - With A Little Luck – Wings

With A Little Luck – Wings

Always liked Wings, but never pay that much attention to them. Listened to a greatest hits album recently and had a hard time picking a song I liked most.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Grand Canyon Inversion

The Grand Canyon, while mind boggling in and of itself, is slightly more amazing in these images. It experiences temperature inversions, about once or twice a year, where cool air rising from the bottom of the canyon meets warm air from above, creating a layer of fog in the canyon. 

S.o.t.D. - Day – Omar S.

Day – Omar S.

Funky booty shaker. Uses a sample from Come See About Me by The Supremes.

Made a NaoLoop

I commented on a forum post recently, where someone enquired about a NaoLab NaoLoop.
A minimalist wallet.

Now my problem with it was that the price for the most elaborate model, ie, one with more slots, was about the equivalent of $25 Cdn. For about 25¢ worth of elastic, 5¢ worth of seam tape, and 2¢ worth of thread, and a few minutes of sewing, one could achieve the same results. Minus the fancy metal crimp at the end, for which some lowly seam tape would have to suffice.

It wasn’t something I was really that interested in, but to prove a point, I dug out some elastic 2" webbing, and for a total of 19 minutes of time as I watched a documentary, I made this. I’m sure the people who came up with this product are lovely people, who paid a graphic designer some decent money to come up with a logo and slick website, and had a charming Kickstarter campaign. I almost feel a little bit bad in encouraging a DIY take on their idea. But like my problem with the outrageous money charged for the “Chairless”, the actual value of it versus the amount charged is way out of whack. Have people become so incapable that they can’t see that, show some gumption and save a quantity of money that could go towards food in the pantry, gas in the tank, etc.? Anyone with a pittance in supplies and tools, two opposable thumbs, some imagination and a modicum of patience could make this.

Stop being ripped off by flashy gewgaws that you can make yourself.

10 Commandments - Redux

I’ve been re-reading Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything in the last two weeks, and am about to delve into Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation for a debut read.

I’ve never been a “believer”. My grand father thought it was all an utter crock, and my father thought that if there was a God, he would never have allowed WW2 to happen. That his school chums were forcibly removed to extermination camps by people with ‘Got Mit Uns’ on their belt buckles just re-inforced it. My mothers felt the same. Not believing in a super-natural higher power, what were my parents supposed to instill in me other than a love for learning, an ability to reason and an open minded willingness to investigate all issues? If I wanted to become religious, they figured I could make up my own mind when I reached adulthood.

I’m well into adulthood now, and not only have I not had an urge to adopt a religious belief, my disbelief has only grown with time.

Hitchens in particular has recently been fueling my feelings that I shouldn’t just be passively a-religious, but to be actively anti-religious.

He wrote a piece in Vanity Fair, about the 10 Commandments. Like so much of the Abrahamic religions, it seems like it is often accepted without any critical appraisal. Sure, some of them are perfectly reasonable. But I think 5 of them should be stricken from the list. (I thought Louis C.K.’s comment was spot on:
“It’s in the Ten Commandments to not take the Lord’s name in vain. Rape isn’t up there, by the way. No, rape is not a Ten Commandment. But don’t say the dude’s name with a shitty attitude.”)

Hitchens has come up with a revised 10 Commandments, as have two other atheists, the afore mentioned Richard Dawkins and Penn Jillette. While fundamentalists likely begin foaming at the mouth at the mere mention of these blasphemers, I think their suggestions demonstrate more humanity and common sense than the one Moses was supposedly given on Mount Sinai. As Dawkins puts it, “it is the sort of list that any ordinary, decent person today would come up with.”

Christopher Hitchens’ New 10 Commandments

  1. Do not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or their colour.
  2. Do not ever even think of using people as private property.
  3. Despise those who use violence or the threat of it in sexual relations.
  4. Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child.
  5. Do not condemn people for their inborn nature. (“Why would God create so many homosexuals, only to torture and destroy them?”)
  6. Be aware that you, too, are an animal, and dependent on the web of nature. Try to think and act accordingly.
  7. Do not imagine you can avoid judgment if you rob people [by lying to them] rather than with a knife.
  8. Turn off that cell phone.
  9. Denounce all jihadists and crusaders for what they are: psychopathic criminals with ugly delusions and terrible sexual repressions.
  10. Reject any faith if their commandments contradict any of the above.

Richard Dawkins’ New 10 Commandments (plus 4 suggested additions)

  1. Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.
  2. In all things, strive to cause no harm.
  3. Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.
  4. Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
  5. Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
  6. Always seek to be learning something new.
  7. Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
  8. Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
  9. Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
  10. Question everything.
  11. Enjoy your own sex life (so long as it damages nobody else) and leave others to enjoy theirs in private whatever their inclinations, which are none of your business.
  12. Do not discriminate or oppress on the basis of sex, race or (as far as possible) species.
  13. Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.
  14. Value the future on a timescale longer than your own.

Penn Jillette’s New 10 Commandments

  1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.
  2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let’s scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I’ll be there to help.)
  3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to god is now quite simply respecting yourself.)
  4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you’re religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you’re a Vegas magician, that’ll be the day with the lowest grosses.)
  5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)
  6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that “Thou shalt not kill” only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it’s all human life.)
  7. Keep your promises. (If you can’t be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don’t make that deal.)
  8. Don’t steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)
  9. Don’t lie. (You know, unless you’re doing magic tricks and it's part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)
  10. Don’t waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Cruising Detroit – PFM

Cruising Detroit – PFM

I have some interesting memories of crossing the border and cruising around Detroit on the way to techno clubs.

A smooth track from the masters of the ambient D&B genre.

Friday, 6 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Alothea – Zomby

Alothea – Zomby

Wow, 4AD isn’t the label of my youth any more. Love this shuffling beat, but it sure is different than what they had on the label in the 80s.

Monday, 2 December 2013

S.o.t.D. - Cold Blood – Total Science (feat. Riya)

Cold Blood – Total Science (feat. Riya)

Once again proving my theory that anything with Riya on vocals is going to be stellar. This pounding growler, is brought up to a whole other level by the addition of her lyrics and fantastic voice.

Science will trump pseudo-science every time.

Livraria Lello & Irmão in Porto, Portuga

Livraria Lello & Irmão in Porto, Portugal. I may just have to go there so I can experience this level of magnificence first hand.

Hitchcraft – Leatherman WAVE

I mentioned in a recent post, finding some Atwood Microcord. Having also recently figured out the Lanyard knot, I wanted to do it a bunch more times to get better at it. So, I put a new sinnet on my Leatherman WAVE. Well, one of them anyway. I put a clip on it so that I can remove when needed. It’s handy for yanking out of a deep pouch, but if you have to do much screwdrivering, it’s a nuisance.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

S.o.t.D. - Rose Rouge – St. Germain

Rose Rouge – St. Germain

Still fantastic after all these years. Samples Woman of the Ghetto by Marlena Shaw and Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Friday, 29 November 2013

S.o.t.D. - Good Feelings – Tommy Vercetti

Good Feelings – Tommy Vercetti

Completely fun, hands in the air house. If I could find a place with little to no booze, filled with a few hundred groovy people who just want to smile and dance, playing this kind of stuff, I would love to spend an evening there. Not sure places like that can be found any more.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

S.o.t.D. - My Mind Was a Fog... My Heart Became a Bomb – Hammock

My Mind Was a Fog... My Heart Became a Bomb – Hammock

Don’t know too much about these guys. Two American guitartists, Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson, who used many other instruments in creating stuff like this gorgeously melancholy ambience.

I read a quote of Marc Byrd’s recently that I can totally relate to. “There are times when the need to create a thing begins to interrupt your life. And if you don’t give in to it, everything else starts to suffer.”

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

S.o.t.D. - Bluesette (AMyn Remix) – Toots Thielemans

Bluesette (AMyn Remix) – Toots Thielemans

Somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have never heard of Mr. Thielemans, or this song. Remix takes the original in a whole new direction, but I like that.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

S.o.t.D. - Run Away (Vortex Involute remix) – Yana Kay

Run Away (Vortex Involute remix) – Yana Kay

This is almost too much of a good thing. Certain things you can only eat so much of, before you get sick of it. Completely gonzo D&B. After about a minute, minute and a bit, I end it, but this is intense. Like I said, good, but only in limited doses.

Friday, 22 November 2013

S.o.t.D. - Piano Funk – Total Science & S.P.Y. (feat. Riya & DaM FunK)

Piano Funk – Total Science & S.P.Y. (feat. Riya & DaM FunK)

Pardon my language, but holy fuckballs is this ever great! I said a while back that anything Riya sings on is worth checking out. Her vocals, over top of Total Science and S.P.Y., and look out! That muted bassy horn sound, that “wahh-wahh” that punctuates the track good!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

S.o.t.D. - Perilous – Phaeleh (feat. I-Mitri)

Perilous – Phaeleh (feat. I-Mitri)

Some dubby, bassy goodness. I know gals who unashamedly tell me that the bass at parties makes them orgasm. This track will do that.

Monday, 18 November 2013

S.o.t.D. - The Life Machine – Tubeway Army

The Life Machine – Tubeway Army

I was really into the first three Gary Numan albums, and my interest waned after that. But it was one of the things that got me really turned on to electronic music. It wasn’t quite as pronounced yet on this, his first album, bu there were enough hints of what was to come.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hitchcraft – Microcord

When I first got into making sinnets and the like, I used 550 paracord. It’s what I had. But it is kind of bulky. The resulting fobs, zipper pulls and the like ended up a burly item. Which can be fine in certain instances, but I started playing around with thinner cord, and liked the results better. One in particular was Type 1 cord, but when I ordered it, the colour choices were very limited, and I only got OD and foliage green. I intended to order some more colour (now that the palette has increased) when next I put in an order.

While browsing around at the generally craptastic surplus store near me, I stumbled across a bunch of cord in different colours.

Atwood Micro Cord. Thinner than the type 1. For the price, what the heck, try out a few.
A not so great photo showing the difference in size between 550 cord, type 1 cord and micro cord.
I grabbed spools of black (which I think may actually be a very dark navy blue), dark grey, orange, purple and red.

One odd thing is that the purple and grey are fairly stiff, where as the other three are quite a bit more flexible.
A red and grey fob for my Victorinox Huntsman.
Purple zipper pulls on a purple fleece jacket. Nice and grippy.
Zipper pull on a pouch that holds all my cables.
Purple solomon bar over a light grey Spectra line core. With two lanyard knots at either end - the first time I’ve managed that one. The tutorials I had tried weren’t that clear, but finally found one that I could understand. That and a bit of perseverance.

That’s what I’ve done so far with this cord. I’m sure more will follow.