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Steverino ex machina.

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Location: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Can't post. Too busy. Looking for those Antonella Barba photos. Just kidding. I'll have lots to say tomorrow, post-fair.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Well, the science fair is almost upon us. I was a little nervous hearing some of the questions and seeing some of the work (or lack thereof) in past weeks. I mean, it's my first time organizing a science fair, and I'm the sole person responsible. It's a bit of extra pressure. I got the judges all lined up: some retired teachers (including mes parents), former staff of the school, a school parent, the province's elementary science curriculum consultant, and a friend of mine from Uni. who went through science and education at the same time as me (though now she's some sort of executive director for agriculture and education or something). A bit of pressure here, too, right? Family, former staff, a friend, an education official... I want them all to think the kids did a good job. What if the kids all under-achieved and people left questioning my abilities and what the heck I was doing at school? Oyvay.

Well, I got through all but five of the projects in the last two days. We did some trial runs in-class, to iron kinks out, get suggestions, etc. I've gotta say that I was pretty impressed. Of course, there's a range of quality within the group. There were a couple of surprises on both ends of the spectrum. Overall, though, it was better than I'd thought. The projects, on the whole, look really great. Some students have great presentations all set to go. Some students have really shown the scientific method, and shown some great scientific thought. Their homeroom teachers were all wowed by them as well, and often comment on how impressed they are with them. Our counsellor said he saw some projects at a larger city school (with some older grades, too), and they looked like shmutz (or something like that) compared to our kids'. YES!! I loved the compliments from the teachers, but hearing that kind of comparison was just like, "Booya! In your face city school with more resources!" The fair's on Thursday. I'll let you know how it goes and post some links to fair pics.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Don't forget to post some questions to me in my comments! I'll answer 'em all in a few days (some people need time to think and post, I see).

I wonder about this whole Talpiot Tomb thing. Do they - and the majority of people - really think they found the ossuaries of Jesus, his mom, his wife, and his son? Even if Jesus did escape crucifixion / dying on the cross, and even if he did marry and have kids, what are the chances that their remains would be found, and all in one place? It'd be a pretty big mindshift, though, wouldn't it? You can well imagine what the Catholic Church's response is:

I don't know what I'd think if this was somehow proven without a shadow of a doubt. If someone or some group could prove, undeniably, that all these remains belong to who they think they do... what would people do? Would Christian religion be essentially done for? I'd have to admit that I'd be giving the whole thing serious thought. How could someone follow words and beliefs that were obviously untrue? I guess I could just ask a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness, but it's probably better to figure out stuff like that on your own.

The whole removal of the remains is pretty touchy, though, too, isn't it? In 1980, while Han Solo was hacking open a taun-taun's steaming jelly gut to stuff a frozen Luke Skywalker into, some hands-on intellectual was hacking open what could be Jesus' final resting place. Even if it isn't his, it's someone's. Imagine if it is, for a second, Jesus' tomb. Do you want to be the guy that messed with it and dug him out? Holy crap, he'd be eternally fucked. Unless the whole supernatural part is bogus. But, still... I wouldn't want to be the guy that dug Jesus up.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Today saw my blog's 1,000th visit since I added Sitemeter about two months ago! So, let's learn a wee bit more about Visitor #1,000, shall we?

Domain Name - ? (Commercial)
Lat/Long - 41.6601, -74.1105
Language - English (United States)
Operating System - Microsoft WinVista (fancy!)
Browser - Internet Explorer 7.0
Time of Visit - Feb 25 2007 10:58:30 am
Visit Number - 1,000

The short version? Somebody from Modena, NY came upon my site through a Google image search. They were looking for this picture (or one like it) that I only linked to before. It was in reference to a party at Tim Wartman's in the summer of 2005.

Once they found the link or pic, they were gone. Didn't even register over 0 seconds for the visit. I feel so used... and I'm OK with that.

More on Modena, NY:
Part of a town called Plattekill, in Ulster County, NY.
Modena is one of its five official hamlets.
In the north part of the town, west of Ardonia on Route 44.
The town has a 0.03% population of Pacific Islanders.
11.6% of the homes have a female householder with no husband present.
Town site
Wikipedia entry

(Don't forget to send me some questions!)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Just look at him, all smug and cocky. Aside from Pierre McGuire (and maybe Bob McKenzie), Michael Landsberg may be the most slapworthy guy on TSN. I'd like to think I played a part in having him removed from TSN's "Sportsdesk". I have proof. Honest. Since he got his own show, though, he's more likeable... well... OK, maybe not likeable, but he and his show are a good match for one another. I like his "Next Question" segment, where he assaults people with a barrage of questions like, "What's the cab fare from the Belle Centre to Chez Paris?". If the guest doesn't want to answer it, they say "next question".

I say a lot of things on here, but maybe there's some stuff people would like to know. Maybe you want to know something about me. Maybe you want some of my professional, high-quality advice. Maybe you want me to find the answer to a query or make a decision for you. Whatever it is, ask it. Let's play "Next Question". Perhaps this'll get some of you frequently-reading non-comment-leaving people to post some comments / questions here. In the future, I'd like to turn the tables on some of you to find out some stuff, too! If you need some inspiration, I've always liked the questions in Exclaim!'s Questionnaire. Thanks for the inspiration on this one, Rox! Her blog has a great list of recent questions, too. Ask away!

Aerosmith. July 21st, 2007. CDPEC. Charlottetown, PEI. Cool.
(Not 100% confirmed yet, but pretty sure.)

Rumoured possible openers thus far: Nathan Wiley, Two Hours Traffic, In-flight Safety, The Guess Who

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Being the first of your friends to move out, and everyone comes to your place and crashes and wrecks it"

There's so much beer
in the carpet in here

you can fall face down and keep drinkin'

It's covered in dust
and red with rust
and smoke is thickenin' the walls

The beer bottle ashtray's
been full since Friday

I took a swig without thinkin'

And it tasted as bad
as the taste I must've left in your mouth

I'm losin' everythin'
but it don't mean nothin'
to me anymore

Oh, we're too broke to break up

so put on some make up
We'll spend what we don't have drinkin'

We'll do it, on credit
Do it and forget it
just to keep us from thinkin' of how we're sinkin'

I'm losin' everythin'
but it don't mean nothin'
to me anymore

They're placin' bets on whether I survive
and pull myself out of this nosedive
This nosedive
Maybe you should drive
I'll make it out alive
Video of Shaun Verreault chatting on a radio program, talking about solo and Wide Mouth Mason musical plans, and playing this new tune. Sounds like university. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Oh dear God. Just like the beat, it goes on. Britney Spears is out of rehab again. Here's a sample from the article...
"She thought lice were eating her hair extensions, so decided to get rid of them as soon as possible."

Feist has a new single! Wohoo! Let It Die was amazing. I hope The Reminder is as good.

Despite some injuries, the Habs have finally put together a couple of wins with their rookie goalie, Jaroslav Halak. Wohoo! Also, Chris Higgins wasn't hurt as badly last night as they thought he may have been. Phew!

American Idol is back on again, and the most annoying thing from last year has started at it already. That thing being Ryan Seacrest. Holy friggin' frig he's annoying. I just can't stand how cocky and self-important he seems, at least when trying to belittle Simon. What is his problem, anyway? That Simon looks better in his blacks and greys than Seacrest in his stupid grey vest? Whatever it is, if Seacrest doesn't stop his uber-childishness and shut the hell up, Simon my hire a Power Ranger or Teletubby to come lay a beatdown on him. I say, "Seacrest... OUT!" Maybe they should bring back Brian Dunkelmann from the first season.

On a brighter note, since I added Sitemeter, yesterday was my most-site-visits-in-a-day day yet! I could hit (since counting) 1,000 this week. Who will it be? Will they be from Waltham? Only time will tell...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Whew! What a flurry of visits since yesterday! Most of this is due to people searching about the ECMA broadcast, particularly Mary Walsh, Peter MacKay, and the Arse-lickers of Satan (which sounds like a biker gang). I think I've had, since yesterday, about 17 searches on this or so. I also got vistors from searches on Ron Hynes, sea shanty, "Kitties Are So Nice" Bubbles, and Denny Doherty Tribute. These I can understand.

Some others make sense, too, like searches on Emm Gryner and her tune "Almighty Love", steverino, steverinoland, vachibou, Grammy Awards RHCP, John Mayer, Matt Andersen, Robert Plant... these things are all things I posted about recently or are, well... me!

But... why did these two sites visit me?

And how did someone get here by searching "Katharine Mcphee" "panty line"? Why is anyone searching on her now, anyway? Most disturbing, though... I have someone who keeps coming here from an odd post on someone else's blog. Someone keeps arriving by clicking on a comment I made on a post on Rob's blog called "Katharine MacPhee's White Panties". Much like Katharine McPhee, I find this a little disturbing.

Monday, February 19, 2007

So, here's a blow-by-blow account of last night's ECMA gala. I can call it blow-by-blow, 'cause it was a hit!

Trailer Park Boys hosting again = awesome. Who else could call a cat Shitrock on CBC and get away with it?

Joel Plaskett rocks. Great performance of "Nowhere With You", and great awards for such musicianery. That's a new word. Like it?

Rex Goudie, go home. You're no good.

Jill Barber did "Hard Line". Good tune. Good looks. Good award wins. Good golly!

George Belliveau sang something. I have a major issue with this guy. He dresses like a trucker, sings country - in FRENCH - and sings in a SOUTHERN US ACCENT. How does this happen? Why do people encourage it? Make it stop, someone. Tell him what's up.

The Divorcees played "Boonies". Good old-style country you could drink to. This I liked. Plus, Rose Cousins sang backup again, after doing the same for Barber.

Next was a songwriter's circle, with some up-and-comers. My province's own Catherine MacLellan sounded good, but watching her perform is like watching a bowl of mini-wheats. Sweet, nice, wholesome, but not too exciting. David Myles was way more upbeat with "When It Comes My Turn". I liked him. Up next was Rose Cousins' "If You Were For Me". She sounded great but is only moderately more entertaining than Catherine. Her looks kinda throw me off, too. Not bad, just off-throwing. Ending the number was some young guy, looking like he's from some Dickens novel, called Old Man Luedecke (the guy, not the book). He did some fancy banjo-pickin', and I was won over.

More Trailer Park Boys tomfoolery before a commercial. Good stuff.

Next was a ginormous tribute to some recently-deceased local legends, Denny Doherty, Dutch Mason, and John A. Cameron. Shaye sang "Ocean of Sorrows" nicely. Angelo Spinazzola, Charlie A'Court, and JP LeBlanc did a too-short version of "Baby, Please Don't Go". Then, Dave Gunning, George Canyon, Doris Mason, and Shaye did a medley of "Monday, Monday", "California Dreamin'", and "Dream a Little Dream of Me". Again, with the country... why does George Canyon sing with that affected voice, sounding like he's from the Southern US? If a Brit or some non-English person can sing in plain unaccented English, how does this happen? Why? Someone fix it please. JP Cormier, Stuart Cameron, and Gordie Sampson did a little instrumental medley, followed up by the Barra MacNeils & Fiona MacGillvary, after which the newlywed Ashley MacIsaac came out to play with the JP, Cameron, and Sampson. Nice to see Ashley and Stuart play together again. Good stuff. Then they all did a grand finale of "Lord of the Dance".

Classified did some Atlantic hip-hop. It was OK. I liked the first tune with the accordion sea-shanty sample. A bit weird, but local. I liked it.

One of the eve's highlights was next. Bubbles did "Kitties Are So Nice", complete with real kitties, strings, and a choir. "I found Daisy in a storm drain covered in liquor and glue / I took her home and cleaned her up with baby shampoo." Does TV get any better than that?

Ron Hynes then won for best solo male performer. Awesome. Well-deserved. Everyone should hear his recent CD.

Then Peter MacKay forgot what town he was in, referring to the place as Tor... Ott... HALIFAX! He was swiftly and appropriately booed. Measha Brueggergosman said, "Someone should tell that guy to stick with the teleprompter." Then she made a couple of mistakes of her own, including mixing up a dead performer with her sister. Take your own advice, there, Measha! She did a song well, but opera's not my bag.

Just after this,Mary Walsh came on to introduce Ron Hynes. Along the way, she made reference to Peter MacKay's flub, and called his political party "arselickers of Satan up in Ottawa" that didn't know what town they were in. Classic.

Ron Hynes did a solo acoustic (the best way to hear Ron) version of one of the more powerful and autobiographical tunes on his recent CD. Great performance of "Dry". Wish I could have this and others on a CD!

George Canyon won something, and mentioned God first, just like the rappers. What is it with Country and Rap? They always thank deities first. Like, are they linked somehow? Maybe it's the gunplay. Or drinkin'. Maybe it's the drinkin', which leads to gunplay, which ends up with Fitty Cent getting shot for another nonoctonal amount of times, which makes Fitty mad, which leads to prayin' on both sides. Oh, Jebus, who knows?

In-Flight Safety, who are on ol' musical galpal Emm Gryner's label, and who are 50% from PEI, won a few awards, and got to close the show with a great tune of theirs I kind of know. Unfortunately for them, CBC fudged the sound, so it all sounded like it was going through some kind of underwater-vibrato-warble microphones. Unlistenable, which is sad. Good for them makin' strides, though.

Great show again this year! I saw some faves, saw some new stuff I liked, and got to watch my Sunnyvale Trailer Park neighbours ham it up.

AWESOME photos of the whole shebang can be found here. I just don't have enough vertical space to cram them all in!

(a sad - but good - read and scary pictures)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

How 'bout a couple of album reviews? I'll make 'em short. Promise.

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Had I owned this one before the end of 2006, this may have been my best of the year pick. This one totally surprised me. The art didn't catch me, and I'd heard nothing by them, ever. It made many best-of lists for 2006, though, including #1 in last month's Paste Magazine, so I figured I should check it out (thanks, public library service!). It's a great album, and it is an album. Not just a collection of short, independent tunes. Two songs go over the 11 minute mark. It's like a tuneful, progressive-folk jam. At first, it made me think of The Jayhawks... Wilco, a bit... then by song two, Pink Floyd (now there's a twist). A bit of The Grapes of Wrath, too. Maybe even a little Fleetwood Mac, folk-boogie style. I'd give it 4.5/5, maybe even 5/5. Surprisingly very good. Also surprising is that they're from Oregon. I had 'em pegged in the UK for sure.

Listen: Summersong, The Island: Come And See, The Landlord’s Daughter, You’ll Not Feel The Drowning (Yes, after Summersong, that's all one tune... it's awesome!)
Great link with more from this group to download:

John Legend - Once Again

It takes real talent to make something that sounds like it could stand side-by-side with some classic soul/pop/R&B from the 50s - 70s. Some of this album does just that, which impresses me. Other tunes have a definite modern production and flavour, and some are in between. Nothing really seems overdone or overproduced. Things are done right for each song. What also impressed me is the variety in sounds he layed down here. One song, "Show Me", really reminds me of Jeff Buckley, of all things. Right from the guitar to the voice. "P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)" is a fun and funky tune with an almost disco groove. "Slow Dance" almost sounds like it's got a Motown sample, or like it's a whole Motown original. Real nice. "Where Did My Baby Go" is another one that sounds like it's lifted right from some legendary cat from 30-50 years ago. The topic, lyrics, melody, and chorus really make your ears feel like you're in a moment, listening to something from "back in the day". There's a mix of other contemporary and standard fare that you'd expect from a piano dude like Legend, and most of it's good, too. I just find his classic-sounding stuff is where he really shines here. Overall, an album that's nice to listen to in its entirety. No real weak spots, nothing feels out of place. I'd give it a solid 4/5.

Listen: Sorry... couldn't find the best ones on anyone else's space... use The Hype Machine or on the left over there to find 'em!

Bonus: A good-lookin' set of best-of lists:
Oh, I hope this link works at school. So much good stuff to download!

On a different note (get it, music reviews?), I had my first visit from Australia in the last 24hrs. Now it's just Africa to go. Antarctica doesn't count. Penguins don't read blogs, and scientists down there are too stiff... or stuffy. Or both.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Now the drapes match the carpet. Britney has gone Sinead, and shaved her head.

Could this woman possibly get any more horrific in any sense of her self or life?
Check out an article here, and a video report down there.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I was going to post on one thing today, but I'll do two. Or so.

Some guy near Victoria, PEI, is complaining about dirt. You see, since it's cold, and there isn't much snow cover, topsoil from a nearby farmer's field blew around in the wind the other night, and some of it ended up on his property. If you don't experience this where you are, it ends up looking like snowdrifts that resemble wee sand dunes, or that it rained dirt. It does look quite dirty, but hey, what can you do... it's just dirt... blown by the wind! Well, some dink decided he's considering legal action against the province. He says the sand caused "thousands of dollars in damage" to his house, and that the province (due to land laws or lack thereof) is responsible. Thousands of dollars? From naturally-blown sand. Riiiiight. Good luck with that, Captain Stupid. What's next? Suing Captain Highliner for getting salt on your car from the road?

Read the whole story here.

The other thing I'll mention today sort of links back to yesterday, too, and invented words. In short, France offered a statue to Quebec City for its 4ooth birthday. It's basically a cow with caribou antlers... a "Vachibou". Oh, those nutty French. "Pour de 400th anniversaire de Quebec City, let's make un animal qui est formed from deux animals Canadien... le hmm... perhaps a vache... avec a caribou? Ha ha ha! Hon hon hon hon hon! Mais oui! Un Vachibou! C'est parfait! Commencer construction maintentant!" Funny... QC's residents aren't totally taken with it... I guess it's better than a large statue of a grenouille with a beret, anyway.

Read all about it here.

I went to school today, but really shouldn't have. I was miserable most of the day. Tired, aches, chills, sneezes, coughs, runny nose, stuffy nose... I'm not even 100% sure if I'll go to trivia. Just 99%.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I don't have much to say, so let's jazz... er, Japanese... um... Jazzinese(?) it up by dressing my day up in haiku.

PT interviews
Are what made me go to school
Today, I am sick

My nose is stuffed up
My body is tired, I ache
I want to stay home

The day was quite long
We had a one-hour delay
It didn't help much

I had a nose bleed
It came when I blew my nose
That was very rare

Getting home was slow
Some folks like to talk a lot
Plus, it snowed and blew

Again, tomorrow
We meet with students' parents
At least there's no kids

Get the drift? I imagine so. I also guess I just needed more of a challenge for such a blah day. I'm listening to the new John Legend CD right now (bless you, public library service). It's very good (so far, anyway). There is a song on it called "Where Did My Baby Go" which could be straight out of the 50s. It's about three minutes too long to have been, but it's got a great throwback melody and sound (& chorus). I also got new CDs from The Decemberists, Molly Johnson, Ziggy Marley, and Diana Krall. Gotta love the library.

On the way home, I also came up with a great invented word. I think it was kind of a compound / amalgamated word. I say I think it was, 'cause I can't remember it anymore, which sucks. I remember it was good. Like fucktard, but not vulgar. By a weird freakincidence, when I went to Rob's blog tonight, he was thinking of invented words, too. Ooooo-weeeee-ooooo... creepy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day
(if you celebrate such a day... we don't, really)

I found you some cards. You can pick which one you like best and pretend it's been specially picked out by me, just for you. Special!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Not much to bring up today. I'm sort of like Paige on this post-a-day thing. I'm OK right now if I at least average one post a day. If I miss a day, but do two some other day, then no biggie. What do you think?

I've got more readers these days. I think it's due in part to my blog being linked on some perhaps higher traffic ones (Cyn, Chunks, etc), plus that I'm posting about more current topics. I also like to think it's due to me posting more frequently. I'm on a roll with a side of coleslaw, baby! That's definitely got to help.

Have a look at my site visits (green) and page views (light purple) from Dec. 22nd to January 21st. A couple of high days (23, I think), but many in the 5-10 range.

Now, look at the chart from January 14th to today (Feb. 13th). The average low is about 12, and the highs (around 20) are more frequent. I even hit over 30 two days ago! Now, about 7-9 of those were from my mysterious Waltham reader(s), and this number may not seem like much, but I'm happy.

I'm also getting more worldly people. New Zealand, Iceland, various places in Europe, China, the US... so that's pretty cool. The only continents I haven't had yet are Africa and Australia. Perhaps I'll have to post something just for them, and see if people from there end up here from a Google search or something. You know, like how Laura Imbruglia and I sent a few emails back and forth a couple years ago when I first discovered her music. She's quirky, loves Degrassi, and yes, Natalie is her sister.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Well, I was 50% on my four guesses. It shoulda been 75%, anyway. That Dixiefest last night was just a bit too much. I'm not saying they didn't deserve to win some stuff... they just shouldn't have won all the stuff. Kudos to Rick Rubin on his success with diverse projects this year!

So, here's a chronologically mixed commentary on some performances and a couple of other things from last night.

I think the Corinne Bailey Rae / John Legend / John Mayer trio of songs was the best of the night, for me. What'd I tell ya, hunh? I said they'd be good, and they were great.

The D. Chicks' performance was good. I find Maines looks so odd, though. No neck... not ugly... just odd. Almost reminds me of a more normal version of Sloth from The Goonies or something.

The "Three R&B-ers" performance was weird. Smokey Robinson looks scary as hell. Like, if you took the eyes from that woman on that National Geographic cover, froze them, put them in SR's head, and stretched his face so tight that he couldn't blink... that's what he'd look like. Just creepy as hell. Still sounded good. Lionel Richie? No complaints. Low key and classy. Chris Brown? Useless garbage compared to the two less flashy vets. Brown tried too hard. A trampoline, smoke, fire, dancers, and he still sucked. A lot. He tried to make a big show of it, but next to the vets, he showed his musical uselessness. He can dance well, though.

Xtina's version of "It's a Man's World" right after the above three was pretty awesome. Better than those three. Girl can sing.

What. The Hell. Is Imogen Heap like, freaking insane? She's giving Bjork a run for her money with this garden 'do.

Justin Timberlake got a couple of performances. His regular one was pretty good. I'm OK with JT on his own. His handheld camera bit didn't work, though. His tunes with the contest winner were alright, too. She was pretty good, & pretty hot.

Gnarls Barkley were good. I'm glad they changed it up a bit. Gave the song more weight / emotion.

Why does anyone like Rascal Flatts? They don't sound great, and they look like doofuses. I asked a woman about them at school today. She said they had a big song about some girl who had cancer and went to her prom and blah blah blah... typical schmaltz to suck in country fans. Poor witless folks. I do think that the lead dude looks like a grown-up Wayne Arnold with a worse haircut, though. Also a bit like Al Frew from Glass Tiger.

Carrie Underwood. Perhaps the best current country-singin' fembot. Looks good, sounds OK, shows no emotion or connection to anything.

Ludacris, MJ Blige, and Earth, Wind & Fire wasn't bad. Verdine White, that bass player from EWF is scary in his unnaturalness. He and Smokey must have the same plastic surgeons. Maybe he hasn't had plastic surgery... now that's even scarier.

James Blunt was risky. That tune was played to death. It was just as good as it ever was, though. Kinda fragile, kinda pretty. Nothing showy. Just good.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were good, but I wish they woulda rocked out and funked it up a bit. You know, get nasty like they used to! Come out with socks on their... you know, or something like that. It was a good performance. Just a bit too respectable.

Oh, and how could I forget? Shakira made her first English Grammy Awards appearance, with Wyclef Jean. It was pretty good. I like Wyclef, and Shakira's alright. Musically, that is. When it comes to looks and moves, though, she's muy atractivo y caliente... (insert Spanish roll of tongue here)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's almost time for the 49th Grammy Awards show. Perhaps this one could even rival the 29th Grammy Awards, where David Crosby presented The Be-Sharps with the award for "Outstanding Soul, Spoken Word, or Barbershop Album of the Year". After all, The Police are playing, after being apart for so long. Plus, there should be sweet performances from John Mayer & John Legend & Corinne Bailey Rae, RHCP... maybe even Aguilera, G. Barkley, The D. Chicks, and Shakira w/ Wyclef may be good. I'm sure the performance with MJ Blige, Ludacris, and Earth, Wind & Fire should be... interesting. We'll have to wait & see!

I don't have the time or desire to give prognostications on all of the categories, but I'll do what most folks consider the top four. I'll give who I figure the top two'll be, then my choice, and then who'll win.

Dixie Chicks or John Mayer.
My choice: John Mayer
Their choice: Dixie Chicks

MJ Blige or Gnarls Barkley.
My choice: Gnarls Barkley
Their choice: Gnarls Barkley

Best New Artist
James Blunt or Carrie Underwood.
My choice: Corinne Bailey Rae
(better than either of the probable two faves)
Their choice: Carrie Underwood

MJ Blige or Carrie Underwood. Maybe Blunt.
My choice: Underwood ('cause of Gordie Sampson)
Their choice: MJ Blige

So, I finally picked up an FM transmitter for my Sansa yesterday. I got tired of searching online for what I wanted at a good price, so I just bit the bullet for once, went to Future Slop, and laid it down. $59.95 plus taxes. But, it does seem to work quite well. Easiest way to take dozens and dozens of CDs with me on the road! My only complaint is that it's a bit quiet (have to crank player and radio) and that some bass / low end seems to be lost. All-in-all, I guess I'm happy.

Still no reply from The Waltham Reader... although I may have a lead in that post's comments.

It feels like I'm getting a cold. This is no good. Bad timing. Parent-teacher interviews are this week. Things need to be checked, testing must be done, children must be reminded of science fair projects!

Environment Canada's gone bonkers. "Periods of snow" used to mean a day off school. Tomorrow, it means 2cm. At least it's not like down in NY or wherever. They got, what... 200cm? That's alotta snow.

Got Neil Young's Heart of Gold DVD from the library. That should be a good one to watch!

Picked up Half-life 2 and NHL 2007 (3-night rentals) yesterday, too. So far, HL2 is OK, even though the controls are a bit fast and loose. NHL '07 is a bit disappointing in how similar it is to the last one. That, and the controls. As Noel Gallagher may say, "They're right fooked, they are!" Why must they change everything year after year with the controls? Even when I reconfigure them, they're not quite the same. Ah well. I'll get used to it. I was surprised at some of the rookie players they had and didn't have, though. For example... don't have: Malkin, Staal, Latendresse, etc. Do have: Maxim Lapierre. Go figure.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

This is a blatant attempt to learn who someone is.
You see, as I've mentioned before, I like to look at my Sitemeter stats. Sometimes, I know the people by location, or at least have a pretty good guess. Sometimes, I have noooo idea why or how this person got to my blog. And in the odd case, why they keep coming back! This is one such case. I have a fairly frequent American reader from Waltham, MA. Maybe this person got to me from someone else's blog (Chunks, perhaps). Maybe this person came by once, accidentally, and liked what they saw. I don't know. I thought I owed it to this person to learn a little more about Waltham, and do a post on it, though. You know, learn more about my readers! Plus, maybe I can flush them out of hiding. ;)

I used to go to Concord, MA, on March Break when I was young. We used to stay with my mom's aunt & uncle down there. I loved it. One of my favourite things to do, ever. Nothing but awesome memories. I assume it's not tooooo far away from Waltham. I'd like to think so, anyway (although they're probably on opposite sides of Boston).

So... prepare to learn! (thanks, Wikipedia!)

It's often called the true birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
Its population was 59,226 at the 2000 census.
The city is 8 miles west of Boston, Massachusetts on the Charles River.
It is home to The Sports Authority Training Center, which serves as practice facility/offices of the Boston Celtics.

Waltham is commonly referred to as Watch City because of its association with the watch industry. This is due to Waltham Watch Company, which opened its factory in Waltham in 1854. The American Waltham Watch Company, AWWCo Inc, was one of the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution. It was the first company to make watches on an assembly line. It won the gold medal in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Over 40 million watches, clocks and instruments were produced by Waltham Watch Company until it closed in 1957.

Settled: 1634 – Incorporated: 1738

Official site -

Waltham is some distance from Boston proper and the surrounding cities, and maintains a distinctly different flavor. A number of high-tech companies have taken advantage of the lower cost of real estate to set up shop in the ring of office parks that dot the highway exits in Waltham, and swank restaurants and business-class hotels have sprung up to serve their needs.

Downtown Waltham's Moody Street offers its own brand of entertainment with a colorful assortment of shops, restaurants, and bars, including the Watch City Brewing Co., The Skellig, Jake's Dixie Roadhouse, The Lincoln (L), and the Embassy Cinema. Moody Street's booming night-life, convenience to the commuter rail and lower rents have attracted younger professionals to Waltham in growing numbers in recent years. Moody St. is also referred to as "Restaurant Row". Waltham is also home to the original Chateau Restaurant. It is an Italian family-oriented restaurant that has become somewhat of a landmark in Waltham. The Chateau has been around for three generations and is now one of five locations in Norwood, Stoughton, Andover, Norton as well as Waltham. The Chateau was recently featured on Fox25's "Zip Trip" to Waltham.

Famous residents:

Carroll Spinney -- voice of "Big Bird" and "Oscar the Grouch" on Sesame Street.
Keith Aucoin -- Current forward on the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes
Shawn McEachern -- Boston Bruins forward
Paul Pierce -- Boston Celtics captain
Antoine Walker -- 3-time NBA All-Star forward currently with the Miami Heat, was captain of the Boston Celtics

As a side note, it seems Blogger's forced me to switch to the "new" (and not much different) Blogger. I don't like this whole "agreeing to terms of service" stuff before posting pics... it's enough to make someone nervous!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Oddly small me, flailing arms at a squirrel eatin' nuts in the cupboard.

It's retro time! Before blogs were journals. Who'd have thought that I used to not like writing? Well, at least write about different things. In this old journal, about half of the whole thing is monopolized with posts about Christmas and Halloween. There are some other good entries, like the ones about "Thriller" and the dump cats I posted in the early days of this blog. Classics, if you will.

I thought this one was appropriate for now.

"One Animal I Don't Want forapet is a squrrel because hed get in the coberd and eat all the nuts."
You see, right at this moment, there is a squirrel or squirrels in our building (separate from the house, kind of a semi-respectable / semi-shoddy single-car sized thing full of summery and non-summery stuff). We've tried to poison the squirrel(s) (not my fave option), but it doesn't seem to have worked... unless these are new ones or perhaps zombie squirrels. Every time I go out there to put some empty bottles away or recyclables or something, I can see the footprints in the driftsnow from the cracky door. I can see the gnawed conebits. I can hear them rustling, and occasionally spy one. Every time I go out, I rustle some tarps, shake stuff in the ceiling, stomp, or some combination of the three. I usually say the same stuff, too. Sometimes the order is reversed, but before I leave and lock the door, I say, "Get out of my shed! Fuck you, squirrels!" Then I leave. I hope they know I mean business, 'cause if they don't... those poison-resistant fuckrodents are in for a snap-trap treat. I bet they don't know I spent weeks in 'Nam... I mean, the National Park, trapping small mammals for a Mammalogy class. If that doesn't work, I'll be calling Chuck Norris or David Carradine.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

There was a little item on the news tonight about a 9-year-old kid in Nouvelle Scotia who was attacked / nearly abducted by some psycho dude. The kid's mom was on, she looked like some strung out druggie mom or something (like on Kids in the Hall, when Bruce was playing the bad convenience store clerk... trying to justify pulling a gun on a customer who wanted a straw - "He had crack eyes. Man, this guy was a crack head!"). But that's not what I'm getting at here. Anyway, every time she'd refer to the assailant, she'd call him "buddy". Isn't that odd? Like, calling someone who injured your child (and almost stole him) buddy? I know it's just an east-coast term for a generic dude, but still. "Buddy was doin' this," and "I hope they catch buddy" and whatnot. It made me think... if The Fugitive was shot in the Maritimes, what would it have been like...? (cue blurring effect and harp music to simulate imagination)

Two other TV things. So, LOST started again tonight, which is great. If C wasn't watching CTV before it came on, though, we'd never have known. Where was the aggressive advertising to herald its return? And now, Survivor makes a quiet comeback (tomorrow is it?), as well as The Amazing Race (a week from Sunday, I think). Boo, Rob and Amber's return.

On American Idol (not exclusive to it, but seems pretty common)... jumpin' Jesus lizards, I cannot stand it when people put a hand up to one ear (or both!) like they've got headphones on in the studio. Why? Why?! WHY?!! Why must you do that? You're not a pro. You're not in the studio. You probably never will be in the studio! What you're doing changes nothing! Put your hands down fucktards.

Even though I don't loathe her, I think I blame this on people watching Christina Aguilera videos. Maybe Mariah Carey, too.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Very Sir Lord Stephen the Canine of Great Leering
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Picked this up via Paige's blog. Kinda fun.

Generators are muchos fun in general. This site has a huge collection of them. There's so much to do! For example...

Monday, February 05, 2007

I like looking at my sitemeter stats. A lot. I see where people are when they read me, when, how long, how they got here, how they leave. It's pretty cool (wee link @ bottom of page). The referrals / how they got here are the most interesting, perhaps. Like, what were strangers looking for when they got here? Well, a common one lately has been Emm Gryner and her song "Almighty Love" (my tune of the year), from her most recent (and excellent) album, Summer of High Hopes (nominee for my album of the year).

You see, Bono of U2 said in a fairly recent Q Magazine article that this tune is one he wishes he'd written. Right up there with Bob Dylan, you know? So, lotsa folks are searching about her, wondering who this gal (that I've known for over eight years) is. Fact - I was the first person to congratulate her on her first-ever Juno nomination in1999... true story. At any rate, the lyrics to this song are in the liner notes, but don't seem to be online anywhere. So... here. As a service to Emm and all her fans past, present, and potential, I give you the lyrics to this most excellent tune.

Emm Gryner - "Almighty Love"

You don't write back when you promise to
The moon has overdosed on nighttime
like me on you

I've got bars of your punk rock
Running through my veins
I've got symphonies and sirens
But no way to explain

You broke my life
in two different worlds
You move quicker than lighting
illuminates a girl

I've got the cigarettes you smoke
Burned into my brain
I've got sympathy and silence
But no way to explain

This almighty love
Can't deny it when it comes
But baby baby it's all wrong
This almighty love
Sometimes it seems enough
But baby baby it's all wrong

I saw a movie in your eyes
A long goodbye
I won't find a toxic angel like you
A second time

It's all wrong
It's all wrong
Just like this song
It's here for a minute or two
Then it disappears just like you (you can listen to this tune & others here!)

Still a bit stiff today, but not as much as yesterday. An odd sensation today, though. I think some of the thigh / stomach stiffness (although I can't really feel any stomach stiffness, I'm just guessing) is causing it. It kind of makes me feel a bit nauseous. When I move a certain way, or if I'm just stationary, even... it kind of feels like I was just kicked in the nuts 30 seconds ago. It's not cool... and kind of odd. Ah well, I'm sure it'll just subside.

I got some mail today! Yeeha! No Paste magazine yet, though, even though I saw it at a book store a week ago today. Grr. My package today was a little bit of a disappointment today, too. It was my autograped Sloan CD, which is cool no matter what. But, on the Yep Roc site, the pic showed it as autographed on the front (which is cool, 'cause it's an awesome cover). However, it's signed on the inside.

I hate it when artists do that! It totally messes up display potential. I had this in my head as looking a certain way, planning how I may put it and a bunch of other covers and stuff in a framed display. Now it's just frigged. C'mon, Shane (I know you're reading this). Make some phone calls and get on your cousin Chris' case about this. In a way, I guess the autograph may resist wear better this way, but it would have been way cooler if the front cover was signed. Ah well... I'll still take it and be happy.

Superbowl shmuperbowl. The Habs game yesterday was way better. The reffing was once again ridiculous. Phantom calls, calls if someone just touched Crosby. In the first two periods, Montreal got six penalties, where Pittsburgh had none. Even the announcers made reference to the inequity of it. Luckily, tha Habs had a couple of power plays in the third, and made them count. Their star players are still sucking, but at least the "lower" players like Plekanec are picking it up and showing heart. The best part was in overtime when Plekanec stole the puck from Crosby who was wheeling all around with it. Plekanec went into the Pens' zone on a 2-on-1 with Souray, and he wisely passed it to Souray who blasted it home. What a great victory... even the refs couldn't hold 'em back. The Habs did catch a break when Bouillon accidentally hit Crosby in the face with his stick. Crosby went down and got up slowly, only to skate back to the bench even slower, all sullen and sooky. I know he's a teenager, but he can get "all Tiger Woods" sometimes - mouthin' off and poutin'. The whole wee story around it is kind of funny. Read about it here.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

It's Superbowl Sunday!

...and I couldn't care less. It's neat, I suppose, that two African American coaches are going toe-to-toe. Is this the first time any black coach ever made it to the big game? Maybe. I think too much has been made of this, though. Like, shouldn't we be way beyond the point where if a black person does something good we're all like "Whoa! Lookit blackie doin' all good for himself. Good for him!" It shouldn't be a novelty. Seems kind of patronizing to me. In conclusion, football is only good as part of the morning's highlight reels. A whole game of it is slow and boring as hell. Too much starting and stopping and running of the clock when nothing's happening. What a stupid-ass game. Habs game is on this afternoon, I think. I hope it's reffed better than Thursday's game.

On a lighter and brighter note, Led Zeppelin is apparently (not) gearing up for their first concert tour in over 20 years. Hopefully they're still good and can still rock as well as before. You'd hate for them to come back, stink, and have people remember them for stinking. When I saw Robert Plant's pic in that above article, it made me think of something...

Coincidence? Maybe Zep'll do an Oz-inspired set, including such hits as: "Somewhere Over the Stairway", "Whole Lotta Munchkins", "Black Witch", "When the Farmhouse Breaks", "Wickedwitch Breakdown", "Going to Oz", "Ozmir", and many, many more! Thanks to "RPF" (whoever that is) for pointing out that this article was from 2002. I thought the numbers didn't add up (22 years since they broke up, in 1980). Dang my rusty journalist insticts! Looks like my Led Ozzelin tribute concert has a better chance of happening. Cool!

Well, it went pretty much as I expected it would. Just like the real Eradicator. I didn't win a single game, I was slower, didn't hit the ball as hard, had my racquet closed or tilted often, hit the rim / frame of it a lot or missed altogether... you get the idea. I wasn't completely rotten, though. I did make some OK returns and got some points. Some of them may have even been genuine! At the risk of both complimenting and insulting Cyn at the same time, I imagine she was fairly... "gentle" with me. I mean, she's well practiced and has a racquet made out of a fancy light metal. I told her next time I'd bring one made from some other light element... like Einsteinium or rubidium.

It's funny how almost nothing has changed inside. The walk across the wintergusty campus was only different in that there are so many new buildings... it was still lacking in the snow removal area and still had a healthy amount of cold in-your-face wind. When I walked inside the sport centre's doors, it looked and smelled exactly the same. It was the smell that hit me. It hasn't changed a bit. Somehow, I also got in without paying. Maybe 'cause I was meeting Cynthia and not the other way 'round? Either way, free squash! Wohoo! I went to the locker room, no change there, either. It's exactly the same, except the fountain is missing its big push button on the front. I got changed and went to the courts, exactly on time. Cyn was waiting inside, warming up the ball. I went in, and we had a brief hi / introduction. The court smelled exactly the same, too. Different from the rest of the place. Warm and sweaty... or musty. Even the drops of dirt / paint / whatever on the floor were the same. I don't know why that surprised me, but I found that funny how even the court's blemishes haven't changed. It's like no time had passed there at all. Sort of like I went to Narnia, ate a lot while I was there, aged six years, and came out of the wardrobe only to find that a few hours had passed.

Afterwards, my face looked like a baby's after a crying fit. All red and puffy-like. Not patchy, just an even red. My right middle finger felt like it always used to, an almost blister on its right side. My shins were tight. So much so, it felt weird driving home, 'cause I couldn't really lift my feet. I felt more sore yesterday. Or at least, more places felt sore last night. Today, it's mostly just back down. Back's a bit stiff, as are arse and the legs only a little. My arm feels fine, really.

So, all-in-all, a success! Cyn's a nice gal, and she may even be able to find people at my level to play against. Cool. Hopefully I'll get to do it again soon!