Thursday, 30 October 2014

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Jazz Age – Poscheck

Jazz Age – Poscheck

I keep thinking that at some point I’ll stop discovering awesome new music. And then a new day dawns and I discover more awesome new music. Amazing how that works.

Monday, 27 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Catch The Sunset – nClear & Eugenics Eight

Catch The Sunset – nClear & Eugenics Eight

Seriously, if this doesn’t have you boogying, at least in your chair, if not full on, dancing around the room, arms in the air, hands clapping, smiling, booty shaking, foot tapping boogying, we can’t be friends.

Holy poopballs, is this ever creamy.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Piano – Terekke

Piano – Terekke

Not a piano to be heard anywhere in the track. What it is is a mid-tempo chugger that has been on repeat for a few hours.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Sunday, 19 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Stolen Generation – Ghostek

Stolen Generation – Ghostek

This track is insanely great! That bit at 3:00 - mmwwwaaahhh..... Can’t not have every joint in your body moving to this.

Bibliophilia: The India Ride: Two Brothers, Two Motorcycles, One Incredible Adventure – Colin & Ryan Pyle

I grabbed this book because a friend has mentioned the idea of taking his son for a trip around India when he is a bit older. He has a lot of experience in the country, but hasn’t been there in 15+ years. If the roads were nuts when he was last there, they’ve only gotten worse as more and more vehicles have piled on to the roads. He wouldn’t use motorcycles like these two brothers did, but their descriptions of their trip make me wonder about the feasibility of even an SUV. According to the Times of India, there were 196,000 deaths on India’s roads in 2012. That’s 1 in 10 road deaths in the world. Every 6th car crash in the world occurs in India. And yet, they only have 1% of all the vehicles in the world. The book is replete with descriptions of harrowing traffic conditions, and the fatalistic attitude exhibited by so many of India’s reckless drivers.

If I have a criticism of the book it’s that I wish there were a lot more photos. One of the brothers is a photo journalist and I think they should have played more to those strengths. A photo book interspersed with text. Not a book with a scant selection of photos in the middle. The idea I got is that the writing was done by someone more accustomed to writing segments for a TV production or a documentary - not necessarily writing for a book.

It’s not the greatest book ever written about traveling in a developing country, but they do a good job describing the highs and lows a trip like this involves. While an amazing journey, the frustrations experienced on the journey were not varnished over. Anyone contemplating something similar can learn a lot about the difficulties both in organizing such an undertaking, but also in actually achieving the stated goal.

And I had to tell my friend that he is nuts for contemplating this, and insisted he needs to read it for one perspective on it.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Loon by Doublenaut

Went into Mixed Media today and was smitten with the image on this postcard. 

Greetings From Canada is a series of 10 limited edition letterpress postcards with designs by 10 Canadian illustrators and graphic designers.

This one is called Loon and it is by Toronto studio, Doublenaut. More here.

S.o.t.D. - Get Down – Synkro

Get Down – Synkro

I’m almost certain there is a sample from a David Sylvian song in this, but I can’t for the life of me recall what song. It’s driving me a bit crazy trying to remember. It’s also driving me a bit crazy how awesome this song is.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Road Signs (Hugh Hardie Remix) – Zoë Phillips

Road Signs (Hugh Hardie Remix) – Zoë Phillips

I live with the hope that stuff this catchy is a big radio hit enjoyed by many, somewhere.

Bibliophilia: The Walkable City: From Haussmann’s Boulevards to Jane Jacobs’ Streets and Beyond – Mary Soderstrom

The Walkable City: From Haussmann’s Boulevards to Jane Jacobs’ Streets and Beyond – Mary Soderstrom

I discovered the term “flâneur” a while back, someone who explores cities on foot, and it is a fancy word to describe something I enjoy doing. I try to walk as much as I can, and I like to just wander around in areas I’ve never been in before.

So when I saw this book at the library I grabbed it. The author uses the examples of Georges-Eugène Haussmann and his radical transformation of Paris in the mid 1800s, and the influential writing of American transplant to Canada, Jane Jacobs, to delve into the many benefits of making walking an integral part of an urban centre. Paris and Toronto (and specifically the 1950’s planned community of Don Mills) are the two major cities discussed, but other examples of good urban planning and consequently, desirable places to live and work, are also included.

While I enjoy walking for it’s own sake, I also enjoyed this exploration of some of the broader implications of walking and how it relates to the urban centers people inhabit.

Plastics 101

It’s not like I haven’t realized for a long time how screwed up plastics are, but a recent clean up effort I participated in has made me even more conscious of what a toxic time bomb the stuff is.

And the original image can be found here if you would like to print it out.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Bibliophilia: All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming – Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, Robin Tunnicliffe

All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming – Rachel Fisher, Heather Stretch, Robin Tunnicliffe

An excellent introduction for anyone interested in farming. Several small scale farms in British Columbia are featured. Besides the usual stuff you would expect - how to raise livestock and grow crops, other important subjects are tackled like the financial aspects, and what children bring to the mix. This isn’t so much a starry eyed hippie manifesto as it is a pragmatic reality check for anyone looking to do this. The book will do much to inspire, but it will also lay out the practical realities of what farming all entails. The book is buttressed by superb photography.

S.o.t.D. - Eclipsed (LFO Mix) – H.A.L.O.

Eclipsed (LFO Mix) – H.A.L.O.

Remix of a Graham Lewis (He Said, Wire, etc.) project.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Nurture – LFO

Nurture – LFO

Saddened to hear about the death of Mark Bell.

Bibliophilia: Wolves in the Land of Salmon – David Moskowitz

Wolves in the Land of Salmon – David Moskowitz

The first thing I learned from this book is that I missed my calling. The author/photographer is a wildlife tracker, spending a great deal of time walking the mountains and forests of the Pacific Northwest following the evidence left behind by animals to help piece together a larger picture of their behaviour.

Anyone interested at all in wolves, will thoroughly enjoy this book. I found the writing to be engaging, and the photography, both of wolves and the landscape they occupy, beautiful. Anything you ever wanted to know about wolves is included here. Broadly covering their return to Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia (and to a lesser degree Montana, California and Alberta), after mankind did a very effective job extirpating them a mere 125 years ago. I found the book balanced, exploring the viewpoints of those who would prefer to go back to exterminating them, and those who see a value to their presence in the landscape. He explores their physiology, social structure, hunting strategies, reproduction, how different landscapes affect them, how they interact with other apex predators - including us humans, etc.

What I appreciated is the detail he went into explaining wolves as part of an eco-system. That all species, both plant and animal, all affect one another. An increase in one, has an effect on one species, that decreases another species.

One of the things I found most fascinating was this section:

Salmon host a parasite that canines (including domestic dogs) can contract from eating the fish. The parasite is usually fatal for canines if untreated. Neorickettsia helminthoeca is a bacteria-like organism that has a complex life cycle which includes passage through an intestinal fluke (Nanophyetus salmincola), an aquatic snail (Oxytrema species), various species of salmonids, and salmon eating mammals including wolves. Snails, infected with the fluke are consumed by salmon and trout. In fish the fluke is benign, found most abundantly in the muscle tissue and kidneys of the fish. When the fish is consumed by a mammal, the larvae embed in the intestinal tract and the bacterium is released, causing symptoms including persistent diarrhea and vomiting. Cysts of the infected flukes are expelled in the feces of the infected mammal. Foraging snails pick up these cysts and the life cycle begins again.


Gratitude on Thanksgiving

Went up to see my family up north yesterday. Somewhere close to Newmarket, I reached into my right front pocket and realized my knife, my much loved Spyderco Tenacious, wasn’t there.


Then it hit me.

I had received a $25 dividend from MEC a while back and still hadn’t used it. Went out to Burlington on Saturday and ended up with a Fenix E12. (Which is great BTW.) I sat on an embankment by Brant Ave. and used my knife to cut open the packaging. I rested it on my bag, checked out my new light, relaxed for a bit, had something to eat and drink and then got up to go. As I did, there was a near accident at the nearby intersection that got my attention. Observed this for a while, and the distraction meant I didn’t notice that my knife fell off my bag. And didn’t notice till about 16 hours later that it was missing.


As great a knife as it is, it wasn’t so expensive, and I could always replace it. But still, what a waste of money, and what a dunce for not noticing that I’d lost it.

Decided to see if I could find it. I figured there was a decent chance it might still be there. The spot was a bit out of the way, and given that it was a Sunday, and Thanksgiving, I figured there might not have been many people going past. I got off the train at Burlington GO station like a paratrooper exiting a Hercules, and hustled to the spot in question, used that new Fenix E12 to look around ...and...there it was. 30 hours later, and still there. Covered in dew, but my beauty was mine again. Hustled back to the GO station, grabbed the next train and headed home, content.

It’s ultimately a little thing to be thankful for, but it was something else to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Night Train – Dub Syndicate

Night Train – Dub Syndicate

Just learned Style Scott was killed at 58. Loved Dub Syndicate live. I’ll always cherish that night. Classic sound of Adrian Sherwood and On-U-Sound in this. His production is what drew me to dub.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Let Me Go – Heaven 17

Let Me Go – Heaven 17

I referenced it yesterday as the sample used. And to my surprise, I had never posted up a Heaven 17 track. As good a track as any they did to rectify that oversight.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Fooled Around and Fell in Love – Elvin Bishop

Fooled Around and Fell in Love – Elvin Bishop

Another track featured on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Another one of those songs that I have a passing familiarity with, but it’s not one I know really well. 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

S.o.t.D. - Come And Get Your Love – Redbone

Come And Get Your Love – Redbone

Bryce has been playing the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy pretty steadily at the shop. Familiar with this song, but not so familiar. Like it.