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Steverino ex machina.

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Location: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

Friday, March 30, 2007

Projekt Findelbaby: Die Babyklappe!

Apparently, this (the Babyklappe) has been around for years, but I'd never heard of it until a staff member mentioned it today. Some countries in the world (she saw it in Germany) have baby drop-offs. That is, if you have a baby, and you don't want it, you can go put your baby in the drop-off box. To be said with teenage sarcasm: "Fine, MOM, I'll go get some milk, drop off the DVD of Look Who's Talking at Jumbo, and while I'm there, I'll drop the baby in the slot. NOOO, I won't mistake it for the Canada Post bin again." Sure, this is way better than abandonment, neglect, or - even worse - murder, but isn't this just making it all the easier to make that fuckin mistake (heh heh) in the first place? Perhaps more prevention than enabling would be in order. All that family heritage, medical history, etc., gone... right into the bin. Still, I guess it's a good idea for some places. For example, in Berlin, 23 babies have been killed by their mothers already this year. So, while it may not be right for, say, Georgetown, it may save some little lives in other places.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

So... why is Sanjaya still on American Idol? Some people say it's stuff like Howard Stern trying to screw with the "honesty" of the voting process. Others, perhaps a site like Vote For The Worst.
While those two things have an effect, I think these two things have more of an effect:

Hi-res slo-mo gif.

Oh, and guess where she works?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What the Hell! Why is it snowing and blowing like a bugger and drifting all over the place? It's been springy and snowless here for ages! It sounds like a real storm at times. Could it be one token day off school, to make up for the lack of them this year? Doubtful, but I can dream, can't I? I'm just glad I'm not driving to school tomorrow. Just look at the difference from quarter to five 'til quarter to seven. It's that much more snowy now, at quarter after nine.

I still had to go out in it, though. I had to go to a Director's meeting for the upcoming school district drama fest. Another teacher at the school and I are working with our classes, creating an original play. It should be pretty good. There's some truly funny stuff in there from the kids, and you can imagine what my input may do with it. Ahem. Yeah. Hopefully they'll overcome my input! Just kidding. I think, all-round, we'll all come up with a cool end product. Anyway, it was a brief meeting that didn't tell me anything that couldn't have been emailed out to me. But, whatever. It was another time to see some other teachers and be around the backstage of the Confederation Centre, which is always cool, thinking of who's shared that space in the past, and thinking of my past musical performances there.

After it was over, I went home and did not much of anything, as I had to leave for town again rather soon. Myself and a few other people at school were meeting at a fairly new big-chain restaurant in town, which had a promotion / fund-raiser on for the Special Olympics tonight. 30% of any food and non-booze drinks would go to the S.O. After we ordered our food, and chatted for a while, a waiter slid over and was, like, "How would you folks like to be in the paper tomorrow?"

Now, I really don't like having my picture taken. It could be that I don't think I take good pics, or I have seen too many pics of myself I didn't like. It could also be from when I was six, and I sat on Santa Claus' knee at the Towers mall to have my picture taken by an elfish gringo named Pepe, whose first camera was a joke one which squirted me with water, before he took my pic with a real Polaroid camera. No wonder kids are crying in Santa pics. OK, so I made that up. It's more interesting than my legitimate, seemingly vain reason, though.

At first, I wasn't too worried. I kept my sub-zero beer hidden (ironically) behind an upright drinks menu, and when the photographer was testing the light, he seemed to be angling the shot at three of the gals, away from me. "Phew!" I thought, "no picture for me." I figured I'd just lean back, and omit myself from the shot. Slick.

So, after a while, the food comes out, with, like, 4 servers, a special olympian, and someone else, all at my end of the table, and the photographer snaps many rapid-fire shots. "Hmm," I thought, "I guess I'll be in this with everyone after all." The camera guy moved away for a couple of minutes, looked at the shots I guess, and came back to our table. He kneeled beside me, and asked for my name. Just my name. Nobody else's. Well shit. Now, I guess I may well be in the paper (front page? I dunno) with several servers, plates of food, a special olympian, and someone else, with a look like this on my face.

Whatever happens, however rotten my shot is, maybe I'll be good & scan it & throw it up here. Then people won't think I look like Weird Al... which has happened at least once. At least my nachos and beer were good.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Now, I don't know much about this story. All I'm going on is a piece CBC ran tonight. It was still enough to make me go "blech" and "grrrr" inside. Plus, knowing only part of a story has never stopped me from ranting here in the past. I'll give it to you short, you dig?

There's a gallery in Fredericton called The Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Basically, some dude that done made good for himself still loved his ol' NB roots, and gave them a little sumtin-sumtin in the form of this gallery. Apparently, Beaverbrook wrote at the time, and I paraphrase,

"I loves me my home, NB, and I'm going to give them all these paintings. The paintings will all be stored in the gallery that I'm having built in Freddy."

It was pretty much as clear as that. No doubt at all. Well, some greedy-head relatives foundation or some such nonsense are trying to rip as much as they can from the gallery, now that the Beav is dead, saying, "Uh, he only meant it as a loan." Way to speak for the deceased, skippy. Nice one. In any event, the gallery is going to get some money out of what happened, but they are going to lose some art, too. Get the whole skinny here.

In other news, I had more hits yesterday than any other single day (since I started tracking stuff in December). I also had my first recorded hit from Africa, giving me a hit on every continent now. Sweet.

Sadly, today, I did not win Compass' Coronation Street contest. I was pissed. I'm OK now.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

One would think that, when on break, I would post even more than when I am at work. Everybody else would be right. I don't know why, but my free time just seems busier when there's less real work to do. I guess I'm mentally ready (just not prepared yet) to go back to school. It's only one more week, then it's (to be said very fast) Aprilmayjune! This time of year really does fly by. So, how'd I round out the arse-end of my break?

I went to the Tai Chi Garden with C, had an iced/milky/whatever papaya drink this time, hot & sour soup, and the rice combo. I don't even know if it came to $10. It was all good, and it was the first time I ever ate non-processed seaweed. Great place to eat. Good food at a good price.

I watched Howl's Moving Castle last night. I'd wanted to watch one of these "serious" Japanese cartoons for a while. It was a very good, original movie. Lots of inventive stuff, and some of the art was impressively beautiful (just Google it). It was kind of a nice change to watch something that wasn't entirely computer-animated, too. Maybe I'll try Spirited Away next.

I played a couple of new games: Destroy All Humans! 2, and Sid Meier's Pirates! I am finding the latter rather addictive. It's the kind of game that you could play for days on end, and replay over and over.

I downloaded a few tunes. When I say a few, I mean a few. I'm on dial-up here, people! All of 'em are listed on the left. They're all good tunes, but I'm finding Amy Winehouse particularly captivating. It's like someone took a sweet Motown sister and plunked her in this decade. It still sounds modern, but its instrumentation and sound are dripping with an old-time feel. Her voice is a huge part of that. It's amazing. Try "Addicted" or "Rehab". Use The Hype Machine or (on the left) to find 'em!

I made a pretty good supper last night. Penne pasta with shrimp and asparagus in a cream (and a little butter) sauce, with a little fresh parmesan melted in it, and a little to go on top. That's right, I can cook, too, bitches! Although it doesn't happen too often...

So, what'd I see in the news today?

Well, the Habs won, which is good, but so did other teams, leaving them no farther ahead, which is bad.

Ever read Calvin and Hobbes? I always loved his demented snowmen. Apparently, so did these people who recreated some of their faves.

Apparently, Wal-Mart has a container arrive in the US, on average, every 45 seconds. Only 5 % of them are checked. I don't know which fact is scarier.

Ever wonder the history of the word "slut"? Wonder no more!

A Rotten Ronnie's in Utah is goin' all Starbucks or ski lodge. Weird. Nice, though. I still think it's scary that, behind the Catholic Church, McDonald's apparently owns the most land in the world.
This game is too funny. Everyone should look at it. Colleen, you may find it addictive.

A group of prostitutes in BC is thinking of starting a co-op. It's an interesting idea, on their part. The line from the article that really makes one think is, "Job training would be provided...". Hmm. It also makes me think of that commercial where that one is saying in that heavy accent, "I love(s?) the Cowop!"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Maybe I should just give up. After reading Chunks' blog on cha-chas yesterday, it's hard to think I could ever compete! Well written, and just like my dad - very frank (some of you will get that). I could write a long rant on peckers, but I think none of us here would like that. What I haven't done in a while is comment on the current slate of reality shows and whatnot. So, like 4 Non-Blondes once asked... what's up?

The Amazing Race. Thank the Big Giant Head that Rawb n Ambah are gone. That was sweet. I find Mirna and Shmirna hard on my big giant head. The big one's got a bad attitude this year, and she picks on the little one too much. A Dustin & Kandace win would be sweet. They play well, but mostly, I just like to look at them each week. Another Uchenna & Joyce win would be OK. I find the Spanish gay guys entertaining. Not so much the grody guidos.

Survivor. Rocky shoulda been sent home last night. I liked him up until about the last half hour. He's a little squirt himself, but his bossy bossing of the smaller, girlier Anthony was pretty harsh and unwarranted. That being said, I'm glad Anthony's gone. He was a spineless weakling, and his attempt at talking tough during tribal council was sad. I have no idea who I'd like to win. Maybe Yau Man. Maybe Edgardo. I don't really have a fave... not like Parvati. Hottest survivor ever? Perhaps.

America's Next Top Model. That redhead is useless! So junior high. I find the plus-size gals don't fit (heh heh) in so well. Especially the white one. Jael has got a looooot of problems. She talks like she just ate one of those DQ flamethrower burgers, or she just had both of her tar-filled lungs punctured. And, you just know she's a heroin addict like her dead friend. Enough of her. Jaslene? Too odd & skinny. None really stand out to me as a winner yet. None I can think of right now, anyway.

American Idol. I still hate juvenile Seacrest. Sanjaya is terrible. I'm no fanjaya. Sometimes he's got the same haircut as the mushrooms from Mario Brothers. His little crying girl fan was funny. Right now, LaKisha, Melinda, Jordin, and Blake are frontrunners. Who names their child LaKisha? You should read Freakonomics. It's got a long section on names (like the siblings Orange Jell-O ["Or-onjelo"] and Lemon Jell-O ["Le-monjelo"]). A good read. Phil is bad and creepy. Like a large infant cancer patient. Chris' looks will stop him. I was surprised to hear this morning that Timber-like was in the bottom two. He sang well... but, still... he does look like he just got off his shift at Burger King. And, last but not least, from Tuesday... Haley Scarnato... holy legs, Batman! She moved up a notch in my book.

LOST. It's still fucked up, but I still like it. Despite the sub getting blown up, it feels a bit more like we're getting somewhere lately.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bound for the Festival of Lights... or the Aerosmith show?

In fact, The White Stripes have yet to confirm their North American routing as of yet. But we are happy to say that it will include all 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada, as well as the remaining 16 states of the United States the band have yet to play. A few major markets that have been journeyed to in the past will be also be included.

Monday, March 19, 2007

It's March Break... what am I doing? We didn't win at trivia on Friday, but Neal and I (and sometimes Neil) are in first place for the year. This is good, because of the end-of-year cash prizes (we're talking hundreds, here!). I've played my share of NHL 07 on the ol' XBOX, as well as Dr. Mario and Tetris 2. I watched the Habs beat the Leafs (woo!) on Saturday at Neal's, and had a few beers along the way. On Saturday, C & I finally bit the bullet and bought a ride-on lawnmower at Sears. It was a good mower for a good price, a few hundred bucks off. It arrives later this week. I hate spending money, especially large amounts of it. Sunday saw church, dinner at the in-laws, taxes (I owe, of course) and a movie at home after The Amazing Race. We watched "Stranger Than Fiction".

A good movie with a very original script. I liked it muchly. I figured out the connection (well, not exactly, but pretty much) not too far in, but the ending and everything else was still mostly a surprise. Very good movie. Fresh, interesting, enjoyable. Recommended.

Also on Sunday, I started to read a book someone at our school loaned me to read a long time ago. I figured I should just get down to it during the break and finish it so I can return it. It's called Apathy And Other Small Victories: A Novel, by Paul Neilan. Holy crap, it's good! A very quick read (I find), with lots of conversation, description / comparison, and oddball rants that push things along and make the whole thing fly by. I'm not done yet, but I heartily endorse it, especially for Chunks and Shane. In fact, I like it so much, that I'm going to take the time to type a couple of select (and non-spoiler) excerpts out:

I'd never actually talked to a deaf person before but I'd been swimming and gotten water stuck in my ears lots of times, felt that underwater silence as I shook my head and watched people's mouths moving without hearing the words, so I knew what it was like for her. I could empathize. And I always used to watch reruns of The Facts of Life when I came home from school and I had vivid, uncomfortable memories of those episodes where Blair's stand up comedian cousin would mock herself to get laughs and teach tolerance to Mrs. Garrett and the rest of the girls. She had cerebral palsy but she talked like a deaf person, so the lesson was the same. I could sympathize, and pity.


He looked at me the way my mom did the time she caught me officiating the wedding of Mr. Potato Head and He-Man. I had just said, "You may kiss the bride," and when I looked up, she was standing in the doorway. I was fourteen years old, and I was not wearing any pants.

But it was good as far as stalls go, with those bars on the walls that make you feel like you're a quadriplegic learning to walk again, or a ballerina. And it was always empty because most regular people feel too bad to use it, like they'd be screwing some crippled guy who'd have to shit his pants because he's too handicapped to sit in a regular stall. But all the handicapped people are at home, being handicapped. They're not working at insurance companies. When was the last time you saw a guy in a wheelchair using the copy machine? Use your fucking head.


"I also don't know," I said, but then both of her hands were on the back of my head and she was stuffing me in her mouth like that little Japanese guy who eats all the hot dogs. It is a strange sensation, being devoured.

And I didn't even get to the weird sex stuff, the theft, the detectives, the guinea pig... and I'm not even halfway done of it! I'll be done soon enough, though. Great book.

Today was breakfast with the grandparents-in-law, Old Navy, bottle depot, picking out counters for the bathroom, cleaning, cooking, more video games, and general stuff. I think we'll watch The Ringer now. We got it last night with the other video. Should be funny, with some heart. Or so that staff member who lent me the above book said.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Can't post. Gone drinking. Won't really be celebrating St. Pat's. Too bad. Maybe some year, Tim. I'll go for a dayer with you @ the Dublin. Tonight, it's supporting the Habs against the Leafs. Go, Habs!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I could just effin' cry. My day started out OK, and now I feel like poor Eeyore, with some small-ass donkey-magnet rain cloud of gloom hanging over my head.

Our school got "the call" today. It was supposed to happen after March Break (which is next week), so I wasn't even thinking of it. What's "the call"? It's when the school district's human resources guy calls the principal to tell him or her how many staff positions we'll have next year. Us, who didn't even have eight full teaching positions to begin with, got cut by half a position. Now, we're down to 6.96 teachers. Happy March Break.

6.96 positions. Guess who's the seventh guy in? At most, now, unless someone transfers out, I'll have a 96% contract. That'd be pretty good, sure, but the contract I sign at the end of this year is my tenure contract. It's kind of like, whatever % I sign that at, I could be stuck at that % indefinitely. I'd like to have 100% at the end of the year, but that may now mean I'd have to move to another schools. Even that may be tough, as transfers could be in short supply since 17 schools got cut. Moving schools would suck, 'cause the kids are swell, the staff is great and gets along very well, I like what I teach, the community knows me better and whatnot now... all that could be gone. I really don't want to start all over at another school again. I just want to have my little place, stick there, and go about doing a good job. Is that too much to ask for?

Once again I feel professionally vulnerable and up in the air, at the mercy of things I have little or no control over. This morning, everything was A-OK. Now... I don't know what I'll be teaching next year, where I'll be teaching (this could affect where I live, for shit's sake!), or at what percentage. It's like my foundation's just slipped beneath me into the mud.

I'm sure everything'll be OK. Things always seem to go a certain way for a reason, and you can't get to where you're going without taking every step, good and bad. For now, though, it feels pretty rotten.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

One of the world's great secrets - the secret behind Baker's Secret bakeware - has been discovered... by me. It's shit. C got a couple of new Baker's Secret pans / cookie sheets for Christmas. Now, before I go any further, you need to know that I make some mean chocolate chip cookies. That's right... I can bake, bitches. Now, the last time I made cookies, I used these new sheets. I was not impressed. The cookies didn't really spread out. They got hard and black on the bottom and didn't cook as much on top. "Maybe the butter wasn't softened enough first," I thought. Plus, they made big dark spots on the pans. I was pissed. I did the work and all I got were some carcinogenic choco-chip hockey pucks. I still ate them though, as they remained preferable to the cookies from the "cookie-shitting plant". But that's another story. For a while, I made no cookies. I wanted something good tonight, and there's nothing sweet to snack on. So, I decided to try cookies again. No way was I going to use those crap pans. C said she saw no problem with them when she baked with them. So, against my instincts, I decided to give them another go, thinking maybe my previous experience was a one-off bad one. I decided to make sure the butter was soft, the blobs of dough were small and flattened down, the oven wasn't too hot... ideal conditions. I watched every second of their baking, as a teenager would watch a rising crust pizza in a TV commercial. Sure enough, like, halfway through, they were already starting to look brown and hard on the edges and soft and raw on top. Dammit! Sure, they evened out on top after their minimum cooking time was up, but the damage was done. Even the "good ones" are Cajun-style on the bottom. So, Baker's Secret, I say damn you, you so-called cookie sheet makers... you ruin my cookies! If your brains were chocolate they wouldn't fill an M&M. And even if they did, I wouldn't use your pans to bake anything with them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I hardly ever watch This Hour Has 22 Minutes anymore, but I saw it tonight. Gavin Crawford asked that people go to and search CBC for "Mansbridge heat vision". They're trying to get it to be the #1 search on CBC's site this week. It's not an Earth-moving challenge or outcome, but it's still pretty funny. Hey, I did it. It must be easy.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Poor Sergei Samsonov says he regrets coming to Montreal. I bet they regret it, too. He says he needs "a different, a fresh start". How about Hamilton, Sergei? That different enough for you? I thought he was a good addition, but I guess not, now. He's just sucking and whining all at the same time. Like he deserves more or something. He doesn't right now.

What did Montreal expect, though? People don't score well in Montreal. They always do better before and after a stint there. LeClair? Last full season in Montreal = 43 points. First full season in Philly? 51 goals and 97 points. Mark Recchi wasn't too different, although he did fairly well there. For Samsonov, last year was a mediocre 53 points in 74 games. Why should he do better in Montreal? Now he's just got 26 points this year.

I say put him in the Youppi suit and let him perform every game that way. With his attitude, he's not much good for anything else. Either that, or pack little Samsonov in a Samsonite and ship 'im out of Montreal on the first thing smokin'.

I'm glad Corner Gas was a "Dallas-dream" episode. I figured that's what may happen.

If you ever go to Charlottetown on a weekday, and need some grub, go to the Culinary Institute downtown. It's not a secret, but many folks don't know of it (Paige, you'd love the place). You have world-class student chefs (including Ricky Fitz at one point!) make you one of two main entrees for almost nuthin'. For example... today, I had salmon with a dill & white wine sauce, a bean medley w/ carrots, chopped beets (Harvard?), and pommes croquette (whipped spuds, rolled into a nugget/finger shape, and breaded... I think they were the best part!). So, I had all of that, and a drink for $5.77. That's with taxes. $5.77! It's cafeteria / line style, and you seat yourself in a large room with lots of other folks. The view's awesome, though. The whole outside wall is windows, and is just a few feet from the water, at water level, overlooking the harbour and Victoria Park. So, yeah... if you're hungry and in town... now you know.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's 11:50. I'm trying to make sub plans for tomorrow (egad, I hate making plans for someone else! It takes so long!). It's mild outside. Damp.

I noticed earlier that the light in the outdoor building was on, left on by my Mrs. or her pa earlier in the day. Or a squirrel. So, I went out and turned on the outdoor sensor-light and turned off the indoor light. I could smell the smell of skunk seeping out of from below the building, from last year.
Ages later, the outdoor light still never turned off. Why? I dunno. So, I had to go back out and turn it off. That time, the smell of skunk was pretty strong out there. A Mr. Le Pew must have been out on the prowl. Great. I kept my eyes peeled, my feet quiet, and I made it back without incident. However, when I got in, I could still smell the skunk. When I went to see C, just going to bed, she could smell me from a few feet away! The bastard's scent must be just hanging in the air's moisture. It stuck to me! So, I had to remove my comfy clothes and throw them in the basement, due to this delayed phantom spraying. This better not be a sign of things to come... just in case it is, I'd better start making plans... how about this one?

Now it's 12:30. Damn you skunks! Damn you sub plans! Ah well, back to real work.

Rottweiler. Am I the only one that can't stand that arrogant woman in the Hyundai commercial? Someone with a vagina shouldn't be so cocky. Her husband needs to find some woman who will give her a smack on his behalf. Maybe a good tough Island girl... like "Vic Payback", of the PFL (Pillow Fight League). Who knew there was such a thing? I find it funny and scary that this woman is apparently from Montague.

It's no wonder the man isn't fuming with road rage. Maybe he's a rage-oholic at this point in his life and needs rage-ohol to function normally now. Hopefully his rage won't end up with roadkill. To avoid such roadkill, he may want to may want to give give these a try. You may want to as well! I'm thinking Chunks would love them!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Colleen said...

Well I wish you'd go back to The Festival of Lights! Have you heard of any possible acts coming in, Steve? Nothing too concrete yet. Just lots of discussion. You can see what locals are saying at PEI Talk and PEI Locals. A lot of people are saying RUSH, but I think it's just a local campaign to get 'em instead of people hearing about them actually coming.

Chunks said...

Talk about native vegetation in your area. Is the potato really all that will grow over there? :o)
Actually, from my house, you can't even see any potatoes. In my immediate area, around my house, there are a good selection of pine (white and red), spruce, fir, birch, alders, poplars, maples (Crimson King, Sugar, Manitoba, etc.), etc. Lots of brown-eyed Susans, daisies, wild strawberries and raspberries, grasses, rushes, goldenrod, apple trees, blueberries, Queen Anne's lace (daucus carota), pineapple weed, dandelions, rabbit's foot clover, other clovers, plantains, thyme... lots of variety! Need any more info? :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

There's lots of different things I could post about tonight, but none of them really tickle my fancy right now. The Festival of Lights, March Break, American Idol... lots of possible topics, but tonight, nothing really sticks out as an "Ooh! I should talk about this!" So, readers, what do you actually wish I would talk about?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Doppelgängers. Lookalikes. Call them what you will, everybody's got at least one. At the site MyHeritage, you can see who some of your celebrity twins are. With the pic I submitted, I didn't find it to be a cornucopia of canny outcomes. I've tried other pics, with less success. So far, out of the few digital pics I have of myself, the one this post is based on worked the best. You can select or omit some results, but I left one female in. I kind of thought, oddly, that Neko Case looked the most like me out of all these other folks. Just give her some more colour, shorten her hair, man her features up a bit, and it's me! We're even born in the same month... weeeird.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Signs that the world is progressing:

Disney re-animates theme park with no human in sight
Some of Disney's Imagineers in Disneyland have created free-roaming, free-thinking versions of Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. They scoot around the park on their own, talking and interacting with people, commenting on everything from the colour of their shirt to the sucker they're sucking. C'est cool.

The world generated 161 billion gigabytes - 161 exabytes - of digital information last year. This counts copied info, though. Overall, it's really 40 exabytes of new info. Still, though. That's ridonculous. That's 12 stacks of books that each reach from the Earth to the sun. Or three million times the information in all the books ever written. The previous best estimate was five terabytes in 2003. Estimates are that the world had 185 exabytes of storage available last year and will have 601 exabytes in 2010. But the amount of stuff generated is expected to jump from 161 exabytes last year to 988 exabytes (closing in on one zettabyte) in 2010. We's in trouble.

On a related note, the AP put a ban on foolish Paris Hilton stories. That should be the reason for a bunch of those bytes right there.

A condom applicator is thought of as the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa. I heard of some spray-on condom thing recently, too. I think it was German. I'll search for it some other time.

Any other signs of progress?

Holly, you'd like this story in our local paper today:

Tired of getting dumped on
Residents fight back against people they say are dumping garbage by the roadside

Basically, a guy from New Annan got tired of seeing people litter (with whole bags of garbage) on his road, so he made a sign displaying the litterer's name, next to their litter. A couple of select quotes:

(after a Dept. of Environment visit) “They (the individuals) didn’t know how it got there, somebody might have stolen it from the house — garbage thieves. That’s the tragedy of it because if you say ‘I don’t know how it got there’, they (government) have no proof otherwise.”
“This case that I’m putting the sign out about, he had off the top in one bag two pieces of identification, a Schurman’s invoice with his name and address on it and there was a CIBC banking statement where he applied for overdraft protection. And I have his social insurance number, his driver’s licence, his signature. There were family photos in the bag and CDs, milk cartons, beer bottles.”
I like it! Rural justice! I wonder what else you could erect signs about... bad drivers, bad parents, bad dates... the possibilities are limitless!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

So, it was a pretty good weekend. Luckily, that "storm" (darn you Mother Nature for always scheduling these things for the weekend) on Fri/Sat didn't amount to much. Just messy overnight, leading into a warm Saturday. Friday night, we won at trivia. Woo! It's been a while. I don't know how far back Neal and I are, but we're probably still just a few points off the pace. Still, we do well to do to as well as we do (what an odd sentence). There's just two of us vs. the rest of 'em, some teams up to 12 or so... average team size is prob. around six.

Saturday, I scooped a bajillion pounds of snow from the driveway, so the warmth could melt some ice underneath. I listened to Sook Yin Lee on DNTO on CBC radio. It was an interesting show, all about numbers. My arms and shoulders are stiff / weak today, but that post-exercise feeling is good. That night, we had Jen and Steve over for some games. Good thing they were coming, 'cause it made us clean the house, plus they reminded us of the eclipse when they came in. I'd have missed it otherwise, and that would have really sucked. We played Blokus, tile rummy, and auction (the card game). All were learning experiences for Steve. We had some good snacks, a good story and laugh or two, and a nice little eve was had by all.

Sunday (today) had (and will continue to be) the usual. Church, eat, waste time, blog, cram work in during TV, sleep. I heard a cousin's new baby isn't so well, which isn't so good. Plus, I asked Father C. to add my uncle in his prayers. He went to the hospital about two weeks ago, I guess, with bad back pain. They ended up finding stage 4 cancer in his bowel and liver, I think it is. Later on, last week, they found it in his spine as well, which is what's causing the pain. I hope to get to see him this week. He's always been one of my favourite uncles / relatives. I just hope he's feeling well when I see him. I know it sounds selfish, but I hate seeing loved ones in the hospital, especially when they're not themselves.

On a brighter note, I'm listening to some new music again this weekend. You'll never guess what it is... Dixie Chicks! Hey, I've got an open mind! They're not always my cup of tea (modern country is often quite rotten), but I have genuinely liked some of their stuff. Their latest CD, Taking the Long Way, has won lots of praise, and it was produced by Rick Rubin, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. It's really good! I think everything Rubin touches must be gold. As long as the people have it in them, anyway. It's a great CD, with lots of highlights. There's the rockin' "Lubbock or Leave It", the lazy "Lullaby", folk-poppy tunes like the title track and "Voice Inside My Head", which could be a Sheryl Crow tune. One big standout for me is the second track, "Easy Silence". It's a really good tune, but the chorus is awesome. It almost sounds like something that should be sung in a round... like the lines sound so similar but are made of different words. Make sense? See if you dig the turnips I'm heavin'... er... understand what I mean:

Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

It's one of those perfect choruses. Great lyrics whose syllables just create the rhythm & flow. It's natural... they're inseparable and an easy fit. The melody of it is great, too. Uplifting, and not just a predictable progression of plain notes.

This excellent CD just reaffirms the fact, to me, that Rick Rubin has got to be one of the greatest and most diverse producers ever. "How so?" you say. Let me explain myself with some trivia, I say.

He had the stroke of genius of putting together Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith for "Walk This Way".
He was the original DJ of the Beastie Boys.
He co-founded Def Jam Records with Russell Simmons, and later founded American Recordings.
He executive-produced the Black Crowes' cover of "Hard To Handle".
He looks like he could be in ZZ Top.

A selection of albums/songs he's produced / is producing:

Licensed to Ill - Beastie Boys
Raising Hell - Run-D.M.C.
Reign in Blood - Slayer
Danzig - Danzig
Blood Sugar Sex Magik - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Wandering Spirit - Mick Jagger
Wildflowers - Tom Petty
Ballbreaker - AC/DC
The Final Studio Recordings - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Toxicity - System of a Down
Audioslave - Audioslave
De-Loused in the Comatorium - The Mars Volta
The Black Album - Jay-Z ("99 Problems")
12 Songs - Neil Diamond
Taking the Long Way - Dixie Chicks
FutureSex/LoveSounds - Justin Timberlake ("(Another Song) All Over Again")
The Saints are Coming - U2 and Green Day
Untitled Metallica album - Metallica
Untitled - U2
Untitled - Weezer

Plus, don't forget he's responsible for Johnny Cash's awesomely awesometacular American series (you know, the black-and-white-covered series). Those alone are enough to make you love Rubin. Along with Daniel Lanois, he's got to be one of my fave producers.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Time to play "Next Question"! I was disappointed nobody asked me any questions about Ralph's Place to parallel Landsberg's Chez Paris questions, but that's OK. So... let's see what you've gotten out of me...

How DO they get the sweet creamy caramel inside the Caramilk bar?

I didn't Google this or anything, but I imagine that the bar is done in a couple of steps. I figure that the top part of the bar is upside down on a conveyor belt, and then caramel is squirted into the depressions (probably by some mass-squirting pipette device or something). After this, it's either placing a lid (the bottom) on it, and melding them together, or pouring chocolate over the top, then shaving off the excess after. Something like that. Yeah, that's it.

Have you ever been "out west"?
I have never been past Toronto.

Where did the shih tzu go?
C's folks have it. They were offered it first, anyway, and he goes everywhere with them, and they're home way more. Mainly, though, our cat's quality of life went way down when the dog came. He wasn't himself and was miserable. I could go on on this. The dog was quite needy, too. Yappy for fun and whatnot.

Are you and Mrs. Steverino planning on having kids? If so, when?
I guess so. This is a hot topic. I think a "future me" would regret not ever having kids, but the "present me" doesn't seem to care if I ever have kids. C sometimes mentions how she'd always thought (years back) that she'd have had a kid by a couple of years ago, and that she doesn't want to be too old, yadda yadda... we're not even 30. I think we're good. But, yeah, this is a tough one. I guess I want to have kids... but... I'm really not feelin' it right now, and I don't know when I will. I'm also scared that I'd have a kid with some kind of disorder or disease.

What is the dumbest thing someone has ever said to you at Parent Teacher interviews?
I dunno... I don't actually recall anything dumb being said at P-T interviews.

Why do I never see you at any of the shows I go to in Charlottetown??? (just got home from seeing Matt Minglewood/Matt Andersen last night)...
'Cause even though I'm not old, I act more and more like a fuddy duddy all the time. I used to go alone to shows all the time, but I'd always see people I knew. That's just not the case anymore, and the people I could go to shows with are pretty much all gone. It sucks. I still go to shows, just not as often.

How do you buy most of your music? In store? On-line downloads? Mail?
Good question. It's my most common b-day / Christmas gift, so I get a lot that way. I do buy from eBay sometimes, and I do buy from, too. Sometimes Future Shop or Back Alley, and rarely somewhere else. I download a fair amount of tunes when I can. I also borrow a lot from the library. Overall, out of the ones I buy, in-store.

Have you ever had a crime committed against you? Have you called the police?
Yes, and yes.

Been in a fist fight? Won?
I sometimes got in fights in elementary school, but they didn't usually involve fists. I got into a bit of a tussle with a little toadie in grade nine, but I wouldn't hit him 'cause it's just not me, I guess. I did, accidentally, hit one of my best buddies in the face once, though. Phew... that was not a pretty sight / great night after that. I broke his nose & gave him two black eyes. I felt horrible. I still do! That's an accident I wish I could take back more than any other, I think.

Favourite concerts this year?
In 2007, I've been to none!

Has a student ever mentioned they've come to your site?
No, I hope none of them ever find this one. That's why you'll find me to be vague about names and places and such sometimes. I've shown them older sites, though, with music pics and such.

What would be your dream line-up at a concert?
Oooo... like a festival, or a one-eve concert? Please specify!

Which album do you most treasure? Why?
Oooo... tough one, too! Wow. Hmm. So, I'll approach it albums that aren't just my faves to listen to, but ones I have a different connection to. Wide Mouth Mason's The Nazarene is cool, since it's their indie release, and it's signed. Joel Plaskett's Down at the Khyber on vinyl is great. First album I ever bought new on vinyl. My signed vinyl copy of He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper is insane. I never thought I'd get to see DJ Jazzy Jeff on PEI and get to meet him. He's one of my faves all-time. A huge influence, too. My copy of Blurtonia, signed by Ian Blurton from the time I met him is pretty cool to me. So are many other signed ones... Emm Gryner, DaynaManning, Jeff Healey... people I've had or have real connections with. Strictly Commercial - The Best of Frank Zappa was the first CD I ever had. And, oh, holy frig... Shaun's CD, the daggerlip sketches! My numbered / first run copy, with his sig and message on the CD... that's way up on top, for sure.

Which album do you really want, but can't seem to get your hands on?
There's probably a bunch that I'd like to have. None are burning desires, though. Maybe Don't Talk, Dance... I'm going to have to think about this one and the previous one some more, I think. I really wanted Phil Sayce's CD for a while. It was a bugger to find. Eventually, I found someone that carried it online (Grooveyard Records). Other great finds: WMM's album above, and Jeff Healey's "Ariana" 45.

What's the best tax deduction you've discovered on your income tax?
You can get deductions on taxes?! I don't think I really have any good ones. Way back, student loans were probably a good one.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I'm going to branch off from a post Chunks made yesterday. She was talkin' 80s, and memorable tunes from that decade. When I started thinking about her post, and some memorable tunes, memorable ones of my own - from various decades - came to mind. It's funny how I can peg certain tunes with moments in my life. Sometimes totally mundane moments, but they're inseparably linked in my mind forever.

Neil Young - "Heart of Gold"
Early 80's, sitting in the car on Queen Street, with my folks (and maybe siblings). It was bright outside. Summer. I can remember crawling to the back seat from the front, and this song was on.

The Oakride Boys - "Elvira"
Listening to it at home and in the car, but especially from a TV commercial for a phone-order best-of cassette, vinyl, or 8-track set. I was totally stoked I/we convinced my folks to call and buy it.

Wide Mouth Mason - "Ease Your Mind"
Summer of 2000. Charottetown. Kent Street. Myron's. Watching Shaun sing a gut & heart-wrenching version of this right in front of my face was amplified by the fact that my then girlfriend and I mutually ended our whirlwind summer romance that day. Her going home to Germany was kind of a roadblock. Knowing Shaun, the general situation, and my own parallel event made a deeper connection here, I guess.

Bryan Adams - "Run To You"
1980s. Georgetown. Skating around the dimly-lit grey rink with my classmates. Feelin' pretty fast, and thinkin' of that overhead shot of his guitar sitting in the snow. Great song.

AC/DC - "Who Made Who"
Blasting this from his brother's stereo at Jason's house.

Sam Roberts - "Climb Over Me"
A great musical moment, with perfect lighting. Underneath dangerous lightning and a monstrous downpour. Silhouettes in the fan-and-cone shaped white lights coming from the stage through the rain.

Great Big Sea - "Wave Over Wave"
Rollo Bay Fiddle Fest grounds. Beautiful summery night. A threat of drizzle on a clear, starry night, with tall, swaying evergreens surrounding small, swaying people in a natural, outdoor bowl.

Pointer Sisters - "Neutron Dance"
Having to hang around in the car before going inside the school so that my bro and I could finish listening to this song.

Dire Straits - "Money For Nothin'"
Driving up my road, either from fishing or a scouts meeting.

Michael Jackson - "Thriller"
At my cousin's, in their living room, just after they got the album. I think this is the first album I actually remember coming out / being released. It was huge!

Scads more to tell, maybe even better ones. I want to keep this rather brief, though. I'm tired as heck after a hectic day. The science fair was awesome, though. If more good tune memories come to mind, I'll scratch 'em down for later.