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Steverino ex machina.

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Location: PEI, Canada

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

(as started on Tuesday, January the whateverth)
It figures, right? We get a couple of storm days, and I and C are sick. She's full-on, whereas I'm on pace to be miserable when we get back to school tomorrow (this proved to be true... I feel worse than ever, and it's Friday). Dandy.

SO why have we received this bounty of hometime?

I wish I had my camera with me last night. Some trees were touching the road, and some of the lighting of these icetrees was pretty awesome. Ah well.

Why was I going anywhere last night? It was the Trivia Host Challenge. Hosts from the Island take five people from their trivia night to play on their team, against all other hosts and their players. This was my 3rd year on Doc's team, and we finally won! Woot! Not everyone could show up, due to the weather, but we were on last night anyway. First round we had 10/13, where the next closest team had 4. Wasn't even close. So now Neal & I are current reigning Doc's and Island champs. Shweet. Enough gloating.

In stark contrast to those icy pics, is this. Pics of a once-booming town being reclaimed by the desert sands. Click on the pic to see more.


I saw this other site today (Tuesday). Pretty cool. It's 360-degree 3D photos. Turn around, look up, look down, zoom in, zoom out. Nifty.
http://www.panoramas.dk/fullscreen/fullscreen46.html

And, lastly... I saw this on Rob's site and I couldn't resist sharing:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tonight, on Jeopardy...

Alex - "Postal codes in Canada follow a 'letter-number-letter-number-letter-number' pattern. His is H-zero-H-zero-H-zero... Ho, Ho, Ho."

Stupid American Woman - "Who is the Prime Minister?"

I bet she was all glad she remembered we don't have a president.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

As I sit here drinking a Hobgoblin, and listening to the first band on the moon, searching for Life, I thought I would share a couple of things with you. It would be criminal not to.

Before we get to the unlawfal material, I give you this. It's old, but I know some of you wouldn't have seen it. It's enjoyable.

He looks cold. Maybe he should put on a Cardigan.

First, is from "town". Apparently, an old boy who wasn't too big broke into a local bakery, brandishing a big knife. Without begging, I bet, he beat it with a bundle of bread (the cash, not the buns). The bloke was wearing a blue jacket and blue baseball cap. By all means, if you know something, you should bellow to the authorities.
If you know the place, you know why this is funny.

In Kent, Washington, a guy made his own dummy (cloning, anyone?) to use in his car so he could drive in the car pool lane. The guy got caught because of the seat belt law. Cops noticed the dummy (the lifeless one) had slipped in its seat / had no belt on, and stopped the guy, only to find out what was really going on. I also suspect the cops stopped him 'cause he was driving with the Unabomber.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The best music of 2007? I know you're dying for me to tell you, whether you're musically challenged, or just bow to my tastes. Or not. I'll make it a brief one-post offering this time.

Songs of the year:
I'm not going to pick a single of the year. It'll take too long. I think my current (and surprising) fave is "I Want To Be In The Cavalry" by Corb Lund. Great song. It sounds like a pub classic.
If you want more of a list of great '07 tunes, then just ask.

Albums of the year:
My choice would be Amy Winehouse's Back To Black. However, it was released in '06. It's just that it got released / big over here in '07. Fantastically-produced classic-sounding album.

Some other good ones:
Bachman Cummings' 2-CD Jukebox
(good, but not fresh / remarkable enough to make it to the top)
Bedouin Soundclash - Street Gospels
(good, but kinda the same stuff as before)
Blue Rodeo - Small Miracles
(I've not liked their last two records as much. The big tunes aren't there.)
Colin James & The Little Big Band - CJ & TLBB Christmas
(It's good, but not that good. Besides, a Christmas CD can't be top five! Pfft.)
Feist - The Reminder
(Quality, with a few killer songs, but it seems to have lost some of the sincerity / innocence / cohesiveness of Let It Die)
The Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
(A few killer tunes, some not so killer. Just doesn't have the Colour & the Shape of their best)
Jim Cuddy - The Light That Guides You Home
(I swear, the only tune I really remember is "Married Again" with Kathleen Edwards. I didn't even find the title track that memorable. The first time Cuddy went solo was great. This one, not so much.)
Kanye West - Graduation
(Thank. God. That Kanye has stopped that retarded sped-up sampling of old tunes. It annoyed the Hell out of me and sounded like crap the 2nd time he did it. This is a fine album, with a few amazing tunes.)
KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic
(Nothing wrong, nothing overly remarkable. S'good.)
Rufus Wainwright - Release The Stars
(He's getting better again, but is still stuck in the post-great-debut slump.)

Good, but Disappointing:

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss -
Raising Sand
(Worth buying, for sure, but I find it sorely lacking in energy / interest. It's got its moments, but it leaves a bit of a bland taste in my mouth.)
Sloan - Never Hear The End Of It
(Ever hear of how too much of a good thing isn't good? I would've thought that more Sloan would mean more awesome, but it's not the case. Thirty songs on a single disc is too much. In there is a great, great, record, but it's hidden & mired down. They should've split this over a couple of records or each released their own simultaneously.)

So... that leaves the Top Six!
(It doesn't have to be five. Who said it does?)

Buck 65 - Situation
Secret House Against the World was good, but quite diverse. A little too much so. This record's got some variety on it, but it's a definite return to basic hip-hop. The beats and production (by Skratch Bastid and Buck) on this is great overall, and at times, superb. The whole concept of a record about 1957 is pretty cool, too.

C'MON - Bottled Lightning (Of an All-Time High)
When you just want some great, gritty rock-n-roll, and you're pressed for time, this is the one to pick. It's over far too quickly, but unlike the Sloan record, leaves you wanting for more. There's even strings on this one! Betcha Campbell's old band (Nashville Pussy) wouldn't be doin' that.

Jill Barber, Rose Cousins, Meaghan Smith - A New Kind Of Light
A Christmas CD? In the top six? Yes. It's too bad you can only buy this at Lawton's, but it's good that it's a Food Bank fund-raiser. The standards are refreshed, and the new songs are great. There's even a few tunes on here which could (if they catch on) be eternal Christmas classics. Meaghan Smith (who I'd never heard of before) has a new fan.

M.I.A. - Kala
I wanted to get it, 'cause I liked Arular, but I was cautious, because I found much of it sounded the same after a while. Kind of like Sitting in a strip club for hours on end. Or at least, so I've heard. I'd almost written Kala off before I got it. I was pleasantly surprised, though. It's more diverse in beats, styles, and sounds than the last one. Worth getting if you like this kind of thing.

The Top Two:
Joel Plaskett Emergency - Ashtray Rock
Two Hours Traffic - Little Jabs

I don't know if I can pick a favourite! I have different #1 reasons for each of them. Joel's is a fantastic record that's combined some way-old songs of his with some new tunes. He put them together as a story / concept album about two friends. They have a band, they party (at Ashtray Rock, a real place), they fight and break up over a girl... there's highs, there's lows, you'll laugh, you'll be touched, you'll rock out. It's solid.

Being a local band of youngins from UPEI, I'd pretty much do the local thing and write off anyone from your hometown as being really good. I thought it was pretty cool how Plaskett had taken these blokes under his wing for the past few years, though. Plaskett produced this full-length album for them. The lyrics and vocals are good (and surprisingly distinct for a younger fellow). In short, though, it's wickedly catchy pop-rock that doesn't lag or drop you the whole way through (that doesn't mean that every song is upbeat all the way to the end, though). It pops, it rocks, it's a perfect pop-rock record. Ideal for summer (or any season) listening.