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Steverino ex machina.

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Location: PEI, Canada

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Summer should bring me more time to blog, right? Right? Well, for many varied reasons, you'd be wrong.
What happened at Aerosmith, you ask? How was it? Well, dear readers, I shall save that for another time. Maybe later tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Whenever. I'll get to it. Promise. Just like those Plaskett and Feist reviews I have not forgotten about. To put you at ease, though, I present to you some pics I have taken since we bought the new digicam a wee while ago (Fujifilm S700). So, here you go... stuff around my place!

Some sunsets:

One of the wasps that resides under my deck:
Ah, now this one is interesting. We got new backyard neighbours, eh? I'll try and get a better pic of this later, but they're a couple of foreign ER doctors or something. They bought this place last spring for 300+ K, and haven't mowed the lawn yet. Not once. Nobody has. It's sad. It was such a well-kept property, and now it looks like Wild Kingdom. I hear way more birds of prey around the house now. True story.
One of the astilbes in the back yard:
Our kitty, in a comfy sexy pose:
A shasta daisy in the back yard:
Casa Steverino:
A lily in the back yard:

By the way, since the Aerosmith show, we've been tearing apart and re-building our building in the backyard. When it was, like, 30 in the shade every day last week. "Hot as balls" as an old roomie used to say. This is what's kept me from you of late. I'll do a post on that once it's done.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I really hope I don't see anything like this tomorrow...

You see, tomorrow's the really big shoe. Yes, shoe. If you don't know what I mean, you should look it up.
It's Aerosmith on PEI! It's pretty big. So, we've got Intoxicado (new local act with a dude I know from school), Serena Ryder, Wil, Ciara, 54.40, Christa Borden, Cheap Trick, and then Aerosmith. I would've left some of those openers out altogether, to give others more time (or open a slot for someone better), but whatever. Should be a good show anyway. Looking forward to seeing Ryder, Cheap Trick, and Aerosmith for the first time, and 54.40 again.

Sarnia's setlist last night was:

01. Love In An Elevator
02. Same Old Song and Dance
03. Cryin'
04. Eat The Rich
05. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
06. Jaded
07. What It Takes
08. Come Together
09. Baby Please Don't Go
10. Hangman Jury/Seasons Of Wither
11. Dream On
12. S.O.S. (Too Bad)
13. Livin' On The Edge
14. Stop Messin' Around
15. Sweet Emotion
16. Draw The Line


17. Walk This Way that's pretty decent. I imagine we'll get something similar. Hopefully longer. ;)

Now... how to get down to the CDPEC and back easily...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fighting my way against tooth decay takes everything I've got.
Getting a break from more cavities, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't I like to get away!

Since every time I go...

All of the workers know my name,
and they're always glad I came.
I wanna be where I can see,
my X-rays are all the same.
I wanna check-up that's cavity-less
and plain.

I wanna be where I can see,
my X-rays are all the same.
I wanna check-up that's cavity-less
and plain.

(dooo, do-da do-da doo-doooo...)

Had my scheduled check-up at the denist's today. Again, more cavities. I floss, I brush, I fluoride rinse. I don't ever recall having a cavity-free check-up in my life. From any dentist. EVARRR. I hate my mouth. Why can't I have a normal mouth, or a cavity-proof one like my wife? I would love the mouth part of one of those Extreme Makeovers. Just rip all the cavity-prone bastards out and screw in some falsies, Doc.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Have you ever been in a public place and seen someone do something you didn't approve of? I don't mean buying a Hinder CD at Future Shop. I mean something more like a parent being rough with a child, people talking at the movies, or someone mistreating a pet. You know, where you're just dying to say something to them, but you don't, leaving you bothered by the whole thing later. Well, Rob went to buy a can of corn chowder the other day, and experienced a child who was being very cruel and bossy to a parent. In his situation, though, he said something about it... with interesting results. What do you think?

Ever go for a screw under water only to be interrupted by dolphins? Me either, but it seems it's a problem for some.

So. C and I "need" a digital camera. We have an old-fashioned camera that takes good pics (no zoom or anything fancy), and an old digi we were given by my inlaws which has, like, a resolution of 0.04 megapixels. I want something that's a pretty good all-round camera. I'd like something with better than average optical zoom (5 or more), and at least mid-range megapixels (7 or more). I'd like something small and super-slim, but it's not necessary. I'd like to spend in the $200 - $300 range.
Well, I may have myself narrowed down to this one: the Fuji FinePix S700. It's about $284 in town. What do you guys think? Any tips or scoop on a camera you have that's just awesome to use or a site that is reliable, cheap, and great to deal with?

This past week has been busier and more fun than usual (hence my absence). A cousin of mine is hosting/housing a friend from Norway. She was here in 2001 for one year of business, and now she's come back for two weeks+ of PEI fun. We've been out to "The Dublin" this weekend, saw Harry Potter last night (pretty good), gone to trivia, played some games, had some drinks, been to a friends' house... s'been fun! Too bad she has to go back to Norway. It's been nice having another fun couple to do stuff with.

This week should be full of work for us. My dad-in-law helped us (more the other way around, really) install a new vanity thing in our bathroom. Goodbye yellow sink with black tile counter and saggy shelves, hello taller white installation with white sink whose faucet matches other bathroom hardware, pull/slide-out tall side drawers, central cupboard, and a modern counter that matches the bathroom. Nice. Aside from some heavy lifting and cleaning, there wasn't much I had to do. That should change this week. We're fixing a building in our back yard. It's our outdoor storage place (mowers, bikes, chairs, junk, whatever), and is about... 24X16 or something like that. We have to rip off all the old abitibi siding, replace it with foam insulation and new vinyl siding, build a new ramp, get a real overhead garage door, find new or used windows for the building, take the whole entire old roof off, and build a new one. We ordered trusses a few weeks ago, and they should be getting dropped off sometime this week. I'm glad we'll have a nice-looking reno'd building on the property, but I hate having to shell out the bucks for it. It'll probably all cost 3-4 grand. I could think of so many other more fun things to do with that money. Sigh...

On a more positive note, it looks like we may both get to go on that trip to Italy next March Break/Easter for free (except for a couple fees, passport, spending and lunch money every day). Twenty-four kids have to go for it to happen, and 22 are signed up now. Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, July 09, 2007

We received this interesting little 1-piece meal of reading material while waiting for the fireworks to start on Canada Day. We were just stretched out on our blankets on the damp grass, on the edge of the cliff in the Stratford RV park, when a young lad in a Bill Cosby sweater came and handed us these. We were like, "What the Hell is this?"

Apparently, it's some sort of wee religious publication (the pic is about actual size). It's part late-life bio, part churchy advertising. Exactly what denomination, it's hard to tell. It says both "King James Bible Ministry" and "The Fishermen's Club" on the back. Rather than try to describe its white-meat innards to you, I will let it speak for itself. I'll give you, in order, the bolded nuggets of text from it. You can pop them back like popcorn chicken. It'll be much more fun this way, letting your weird little minds fill in the gaps as you wish.

at four dollars a month.
but it built a strong body.
but I'll go to hell.
the preacher's friend.
He had heard thousands of sermons. But he never met Christ personally.
How could a man know that his sins had really been forgiven?
He wanted to be free from cursing.
It marked him.
I knew then and there that the Colonel had experienced old-fashioned regeneration.
And no one loves the Church, regardless of denomination, better than Colonel Sanders.
- and not be saved. It happened in his life. There I was. I didn't have enough spiritual power in my life to keep me from cussin. I know there is an experience of salvation.
- but something was always lacking.
I needed a personal experience with Jesus Christ."
He knew that God saved me many times for a purpose.
precious blood
If you trusted Jesus as your Saviour, you have just begun a wonderful new life with Him.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

So, Friday night entailed a fine Gordie Sampson show... with Colleen! I don't think I've ever known of anyone who was such a travelling musical trooper. I can barely muster the get-up-and-go or out-battle my frugality to make a show in my own town (for example, not seeing David Clayton-Thomas tonight... stupidstupidstupid!). She, however, makes regular trips to other provinces and area codes to follow her favourite musicians. She's like a Deadhead, but for several Maritime / Canadian acts. You go, girl. You're an inspiration. By the way... did you ever listen to those tunes I sent? And I just remembered... you still owe me that beer. You didn't think I'd swell your head and not keep you grounded, did you? HA!

The Gordie show was good. I did wish he would've played more songs, especially ones with words. It was a nice, informal, entertaining show, but it did lack a bit in the songwriting/musical meat department. He did play a couple of my faves of his, though, like "Montreal" and "Fear of Flying". He only played one new tune, despite telling us at the onset that he'd be playing mostly new tunes. Ah well. The new tune was... good, albeit a bit weird. "Lullabye Noir" was its name. Pretty, but a little creepy. Seemed to be from the point of view of a stalker dude lingering outside some girl's balcony, asking her if she was sleeping. He did some "name that TV theme", during which I totally guessed "Simon & Simon". Hard one. Yeah right, Gord. Pfft. I challenged him with "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". He couldn't do it. Maybe next time. A couple of other highlights: he made "Jesus, Take The Wheel" sound good, and a guy I kind of know, J.J. Chaisson, (met a few times over the years, knows people I know, is married to one of them) got to go up on stage with Gordo and do some duelling guitars. Well, Sampson did the lead on a medley of a few high-energy jigs, and I dare say J.J. outdid him when they ended that one and J.J. got to take the lead. I'm pretty sure he impressed folks there who had no idea of who he was or his montrous musical chops. Good on ya, J.J.! Your missus must've been proud! At any rate, a grand show.

(Thanks to Colleen for the pic!)

I'm feeling the pull for the White Stripes show getting stronger and stronger. Reviews all along this tour have been fab, making the show sound fantastic. Is it $42.50 plus taxes fantastic, though? And who is this rockabilly Dan Sartain? Oh, it would be a good show... damn you, Scottish heritage!

Heard some not-so-cool news in church today. The author who I posted a poem by last time is not doing so well. He's had some poor health in recent years, but he was mentioned in the prayers-for-the-sick part today. Without getting into details, I guess he was (is?) doing very poorly. I wish him all the best, and a quick & comfortable recovery.

(BTW, Colleen, I'm joking about the beer. You've been more than giving over the years!)
(BTW#2 - Thanks for sticking around, people! I was genuinely impressed with how many people read and commented on my last post so quickly. Thanks! I'm slightly humbled. No, more like impressed with you.)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"I've been away
Yeah, I've been travellin'
I've been lost
I fucked around..."
-Joel Plaskett
Better shit or get off the pot, eh? Abandon the blog or keep it going. I choose, for now, to keep it going. I just hope everyone else who's ever stopped by hasn't chosen "abandon" as their option.

Well... what's been going on? Lots! Let me attempt to get you up to speed.

May 31 - June 1
Went to a local Boy Scouts camp with grades 3-6 from our school. It was a pretty nice place. Two cabins, an eating/cooking cabin, woods, open area with a campfire spot, etc. It was a good time, expecially the campfire. And making the kids who wrote on their bunks with pen clean it off with sandpaper we bought down the road, while other kids played.

June 6 - 8
Grade 7/8 trip to Halifax. This was awesome. In no exact order:
went to Fort Beausejour and Citadel Hill, went to and into the Springhill coal mine, saw Spider-Man 3 in an IMAX theatre, went to Peggy's Cove and the Swiss Air monument, went paintballing, had an awesome tour of Halifax, went to the Discovery Centre, shopped... that kind of stuff. Awesome trip. Took many nice pics.

June 8 - 30
I don't know what all went on. It's kind of a blur! Lots of school stuff. Grade 8 grad (making a slide show and a movie for it), packing things, saying "see you" & going to see the new school (more on that later), going on our end-of-year school trip to town (swim and bowl), hearing reports on my uncle (one of my faves) who's in his final days with cancer, and I can't bring myself to visit, yard work, finally getting our 1st-place trivia winnings from the year (but in a post-dated cheque), spending too much money on summer projects (fixing a building, getting a new door, etc)... it's been busy, believe me!

July 1st
Went to see the fireworks in Ch'town and received a little religious booklet called "Colonel Sanders Begins a New Life".

So... about that "new school" stuff.
Before that very first event up there, I found out that some of the percentage of teaching position that our school lost would end up being me. I'd go from 100% to 60%, and I could get 80% if I taught 1-6 music every second afternoon, and 7-8 Health. Now, I love music, but when I subbed, elem. music is about the only thing... well, it was the only thing, that I said I'd never do to myself again. Painful. But, I had to do it. So, I took it.

On June 4th, the Monday before the trip, I had an interview for another school. It was a 1-year position, teaching all stuff that isn't my strength (LA, Math, SS, French), but it would give me my tenure... permanent status at 100%. I had to try for it. Well, long story short, and some funny stuff cut out, I found out that day that I got it. I was relieved about my future but sick about my present. How would I tell the kids? How would I tell the staff? "You seem anxious," Sheryll said the next day. When I told the principal she cried. She dropped the news on everyone by surprise (including me) during a recess break. She just came inside from her duty to do it! I couldn't tell the kids before the trip, but a parent chaperone asked me if I was going to be back next year during lunch one day. I couldn't lie. I had to tell her. She got some watery eyes, too.

So, when we got back, before the kids knew, the secretary threw my news into the bulletin. I didn't like it, but at least it forced me to go tell them before they read it. I went and told the 5-8 classes, and I was a bit watery-eyed myself this time. From then until the end of the year, kids'd ask why I had to go. I was honest, but it just doesn't sound like a good reason to a youngin' I suppose. It's tough when a little girl in grade three with blue eyes like Shrek's Puss looks up at you when you walk by in the hall and says, "Why do you have to go?" I think the best comment was from another boy in grade two. On the last day, he said, "Bye, Mr. McQuaid. See you in years!" in his little Elmer Fudd accent.

It was, and is, quite tough leaving my school. I've been there for almost 2.5 years. It's a wonderful community with kids that are, compared to other schools, idyllic. I wish I could just get to a school I like and stick there. Since I started out in the fall of '01, I've had a job at the Dept. of Ed., my old elem. school, VR, TC, SP, and now MS next year. I'm like the Littlest Hobo or Hank Williams. Anyway... I've been trying to play up the "not goodbye" angle to all my coworkers, a couple of whom (and there are only a few of us) were pretty teary when they gave me my card and present. if we just keep planning things for the future, it'll be like I'm not gone. I hope. It makes it easier right now, anyway. I'm glad about who is taking my time at the school, too; A friend who I got into the school to do some subbing. He'll fit in (he already does) really well. He'll be the token male, and has a diff. sense of humour, like me. In another way, I don't like it, though. I'm almost kind of jealous. It's like, I'm leaving, and he's taking my place, and taking my friends. But that ain't so. Then again, my carpool buddy (upon hearing he got the job) was on the phone to him to ask him about carpooling next year and to ask him and his gf over to her place sometime... while I was sitting right next to her! It was like I was already gone. I won't tell you how many times the secretary put her feet in her mouth that day and the next couple. At any rate, without going on and on, the point is that I had to leave and it's tough. Le sigh. (see, I'm practicing French already)

Anyway... I hope you'll all eventually come back and read me again.

As a gift to you (you loyal reader, you), as an introduction to you about the wonderful school community I had to leave, and as a plug for a member and former teacher of that community, who is also our province's current Poet Laureate, I give you a poem from Frank Ledwell's new book, The Taste of Water

Country School

The taste of water at our one-room school
was of Pine Brook that flowed
down under the Bay's thick ice,
our bucket lowered into a deeper hole
where smelts would later school
in their spring run, hauled up, carried up
the snowy bank into the porch to sit,
wooden-lid-covered, on its special ledge
among the coats and boots. I dippered up
my water with a small tin cup
that swung from a nail beside.
Unschooled about germs,
I drank; I tasted snow and arithmetic.