Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Can't hardly wait - part deux

OK, continued from a previous post, where was I? Grade 8, danced with my muse at middle school grad, Beatrix, thought about her all summer, lost games of Risk while nerdily defending Indonesia at all costs because I thought she was from there, carried a pic of her clippped out of the yearbook around in my wallet like a lovesick dork, etc..

So here we get to the part of the movie that mirrored my life somewhat. The main character in the film recounts a series of events whereby fate decreed that he was to meet this cute girl who was new to teh school that day. From them both being late that day, ending up in the same class, sharing the same taste in breakfast pastries, etc, but he didn't make his move and got un-seated by the high school quarterback, who eventually wooed this pretty young thing, played by Jennifer Hewitt(the girl , not the quarterback).

So here I am in grade 9, it must have been around 1983, first day of high school. I'm decked out in my rugger pants (or Rugby pants or whatever they were called) and I manage to find my homeroom. Gloucester High school is as big as an airport terminal and I quickly found out that you never ask seniors for directions to your class because you'll end up in some spooky place with a bunch of pipes with steam coming out of them.
If you're slightly nerdy like I was, there was also a chance you'd end up in the specimen cage which was this set of glass doors set into a glas wall behind the auditorium. When you propped these doors open it formed a glass triangle and seniors used to stuff some hapless grade 9 in there, kick the doorjamb in until it you couldn't get out and leave you there as the bell rang. Some teacher or janitor drawn to your cries would have to get you out.

So I'm in homeroom, kinda sitting near the back, and who walks in but Beatrix(not her real name)! I was floored! She was gonna be in my home room all year! This was amazing.. So the teacher walks in, looks at his class list, then us. He has decided to quit smoking this year and has a funny habit of putting chalk up to his lips like he is going to take a drag. He looks up and says "I'm going to seat you all in alphabetical order and this will be your seat for the whole year". Everyone grumbles except me. And I'm not grumbling because my last name begins with C and Beatrix's last name begins with B. So I'm looking around, seeing who might screw with fate and land between us, and &*%$# there he is, why the &%$* did Charlie-whose-last-name-begins-with-a-C-and-comes-before-mine have to be in my homeroom! So that screws the order up, he is seated between me and her. She is 2 seats in front of me (sigh). Thankfully Charlie is part midget and at least I can stare at her back kinda!

Then the teacher calls us out into the hall for locker assignments. He goes in alphabetical order and this is where I lucked out again. Beatrix is the first locker in the class, like 201 or something like that, and I am 203 with Charlie being 202, but like house addresses, they stagger the numbers back and forth across the hallway. 201(Beatrix) and 203 (me) are beside each other, Chuckie is across the hall! Woohoo! I could get used to this for a whole year.. I thought.

At first things went rather well. She introduced herself, she remembered me from the dance just before the summer, what did I think of the teacher, etc.. I'm sure she caught on that I was dumbstruck, cause after awhile she started calling me her "little buddy". Her girlfreinds would make fun of me, which I thought might be a bad thing, but could also be a good thing, (hard to tell with girls at that age). But throughout it all I DID NOTHING! I couldn't let her know, etc.. Not sure why not, but man was I stupid! The grade 9 girl of your dreams is right there, and I couldn't bring myself to say anything or do anything. So of course, the obvious happened.

At high school I quickly found that that male seniors were too immature and stupid to impress girls their own age, so they looked down a few grades where they could impress a younger girl with A) their age B) their driver's license and C) that's about it... (please see A and B). Female high school seniors dated college guys or something, and so on.. So it wasn't too long before one of the seniors came circling. It was at this point that I learned that all important skill on how to act nonchallant while getting your books at your locker as your fantasy crush girl is playing tonsil hockey with joe-cradle-robber the next locker over(grin).

And so on... She had a few Boyfreinds that year. We'd still talk, I hid everything well, she'd complain about her latest boyfreind and I'd stupidly stick up for them, trying to act like I wasn't jealous and didn't want a piano to fall on his head(grin). IDIOT!

Years later when I could actually talk to girls without having a seizure, we never ended up being single at the same time, so nothing ever happened. About 6 years ago (17 years after this story took place) I was looking up a freind's email address at a Univercity out west where he was teaching and I stumbled across, of all people. Beatrix! Couldn't be too many people in this world with that name so I dropped her an email. She answered back. It was her but she had no idea who the hell I was, and to have a nice day. Later that summer out of the blue, I get an email from her again. She had gone home to her parent's place for a visit and actually cracked open a yearbook to see who I was.

I was an idiot. She said she would have gone out with me in a second.

Fast forward to 3 years ago. Her and her same sex partner moved back to Ottawa from out west. It looks like she simply got fed up of guys, quit and moved on to the other team. Zoinks! Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I certainly didn't see it coming, and maybe being shy back then worked out for the better!

Lion Mutilates 42 Midgets in Cambodian Ring-Fight

"Spectators cheered as entire Cambodian Midget Fighting League squared off against African Lion"

Tickets had been sold-out three weeks before the much anticipated fight, which took place in the city of Kâmpóng Chhnãng.

The fight was slated when an angry fan contested Yang Sihamoni, President of the CMFL, claiming that one lion could defeat his entire league of 42 fighters.

Sihamoni takes great pride in the league he helped create, as was conveyed in his recent advertising campaign for the CMFL that stated his midgets will "... take on anything; man, beast, or machine." (read the rest of the article here)


Wow. 42 cambodian midgets versus a Lion! I was disappointed to find out it was fake though(sigh). At first I was like "Go Lion!". Read the explanation here.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Can't hardly Wait

A teen movie I saw for free at a midnight staff screening in 1998 when my brother was working for Cineplex Odeon. I think I saw it with my friend Darryl who was a rabid JLH (Jennifer Love Hewitt) fan at the time (and I quickly became one as well! Although since listening to a few DVD audio commentaries she's done, I'm starting to think that she's as smart as a rock).

Why post about it? Well, I'm playing in this show at work in a few weeks and it turns out the keyboard player I'm in a set with played for a rival band back in the 80's and after a noon practise session we started swapping stories of back in the day. For some reason, I was reminded of this movie again, only because a scene it in kinda happened to me in real life way back in the 8th and 9th grades.

I was 13, it was 1982 and I was walking across the snowy football field of Emily Carr Middle School in my white winter coat (I think my parent's were trying to tell me something, white coat, winter, zero visibility = no safety, etc..) and I caught this vision of a girl, walking far in front of me in the blowing snow.
I could only see her from behind, between gusts of wind and snow, but from that vantage I figured that other angles were probably just as good(grin). She was going in the same direction I was so I kinda ended up following her (it's not stalking if you're both going down the same route). At some point she crossed the street and disappeared into the condominiums dotting the South side of Blackburn Hamlet.
Wow.. That was something. It was a Friday so I kinda kept that image all weekend. It was like a girl-mirage.

On Monday and Tuesday I didn't see her, but on Wednesday - Pay-dirt! And visibility was better. She had blond hair. I was a pretty recluse kid back then. I had just re-discovered the guitar and my best freind had moved to Nova Scotia the summer before. Plus I had these thick glasses and ears that stuck out so I had this kinda Beatles Haircut to go with the zit farm I was growing on my face(grin). So talking to girls was not a developed part of my skillset. Better to admire from afar, I thought, and I followed her on my way home. A few weeks went by, then I actually saw her face! She was one of the cutest girls, I'd ever seen, well worth the wait(it's odd to think about some girl you don't know for weeks and never having seen her face). She was horsing around after school trying to stuff a snowball down this guy's coat I knew. Lucky &%$*&. He could be a bit of a jerk, but when you're 13 that makes you cool or something(grin). I had to stall until she hefted her Adidas bag(we all carried these god-awful things) and walk home about 80 feet behind her. I never crossed the street to she where she lived. That'd just be creepy..

A few months later near the end of the school year a freind caught me staring at her again and actually told me her name. It was Beatrix(name changed to protect the Innocent). It became my favorite name. So the end of the school year was approaching, we had a graduation dance that you get in GR 8 before they throw you to the lions (high school, GR9-GR13), I'm in my bad suit and tie, actually out on the dance floor because some other girl I didn't really like had asked me to slow dance (easy enough concept to grasp, no way was I doing fast dancing stuff though! I'd look like a dork!) and I kept looking for this Beatrix girl. Every time I saw her she was dancing with someone else. A fast song would start and most of us guys would leave the gym floor and go back to holding the walls of the gymnasium up, venturing back out only when a slow song would come on. I think I danced about every slow song with a different girl, with one or two repeats, and by the end of the night I finally bumped into her. She didn't know who the hell I was, but I asked her to dance and she said yes.

And boys and girls.. It was Stairway to Heaven, (forever immortalized in that Bare Naked Ladies song). Eight minutes of slow dancing, even through that weird heavy part at the end after the guitar solo....

What I remember most is that she kinda smelled of sweat (guess she'd been dancing a lot). But she had some kinda perfume on that was great, and here I was actually slow dancing with this creature from the snow mirage several months ago and my freinds are giving me the thumbs up behind her back and all that. Before I knew it, it was over, she said thanks, I croaked something, the lights came on and I got the hell off the floor lest I make a dork of myself (which I probably did by taking off anyhow).

And that was it for the summer. I cut her picture out of the yearbook and carrried it around in my mostly empty wallet like a dork all summer. Someone had told me she was from Indonesia and when I'd play Risk(that game with the map where you occupy different countries) with Darryl I'd lose because I'd throw all my forces at Indonesia! I had to control Indonesia! It was a dutch colony wasn't it? Full of beautiful blond-haired blue eyed girls named Beatrix! (Ha Ha said Darryl, as he crushed me with his vast armies in Australia!).

So that's just some of the background to what happened next.

To be continued....

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Battle of the Planets

Rummaging through the DVD collection (online version is a tad out of date) today, looking for something to amuse the 5 year old on a freezing cold day and I pulled out one of my BOTP (Battle of the Planets) boxed sets. I started picking these up when they first came out to re-live fond memories of my childhood, back in 1978 to be exact. It's been awhile since I put one in, and it's STILL COOL! I didn't realize it at the time (I was like, 9 years old) and I only found out a few years ago when I was cruisin the net, that this guy in the states had bought up all this footage from a Japanese show 1970's anime cartoon called Gatchaman and then hacked it together , sometimes in different sequences, with English voice-overs and small bits of cheap US Animation add-ins, to create this show I ate up as a kid. That explained a few things. I used to draw like crazy back then and I could never figure out why the animation went from 1st-class stuff, to cheap crap from scene to scene (now I know!). I learned how to draw eyeballs from that show (and crotch buldges, it's a long story, but if you see the show, you know what I mean, suffice it to say that I used to daw crotch buldges upside down at first, when trying to re-produce cel frames from the TV show).

I think what really got me was the depiction of futuristic technology, and the whole Japanese Anime tradition of little frickin vehicles that all fit together in one big one, each of the parts contributing to the whole and making it better. They usually go off on this concept with big-ass robots, but in this case it was a space-ship. Another thing I didn't realize at the time were that these were essentially Ninja guys. The Ninja craze of the early 80's had not hit, but this sure set me up for it!
Speaking of the Ninja angle, they really edited the hell out if it in most cases, to remove the violence. Each of the 5 team members had a special weapon, and the leader had this sharpened sonic boomerang thing. Now I'm pretty sure when he let fly with that that thing, it was designed to hit you in the thoat and rip your larnyx out, but they never showed that(grin). And to make matters worse, the R2D2 rip-off robot they had on the show would always chime in with a re-assuring remark that the bad guys were only 'momentarily' rendered unconcious and still had their larnyxes and all that. Bummer!

Also, the cartoon girl, Princess, was hot(grin). They would purposly flash her panties on a regular basis just to play with young male viewer's minds (did I just mention cartoon panties in my Blog? I think I did.. Oh well, I was 9.)
The main characters wore these cool wrist radios too, I used to make them out of paper and cover them with scotch-tape(to form a lamination layer) and wear them to school. I didn't get beat up either(grin), everyone thought it was cool, and pretty soon I had to make them for everyone.

One memory I have is setting up to watch the show everyday after school and having a pencil and paper at the ready. The damned wrist radio on the show would change designs on the face when it did something special (this Transmutation thing). It looked like a real neat design but they'd only flash it for like 2 seconds once or twice an episode. It took me two weeks, but I copied that frickin thing down! It was like my secret. I was the only kid in Canada who knew what that damned thing looked like! (hehehehehehe). Years later when I was a teen and we had our first VCR I recall thinking how handy VCR technology would have been on that one.

This is getting long, I'll have to Blog more about this. Anyone else remember that show? Leave a comment! Or ridicule, I'll take either(grin)

Tail-end of Ketosis

I've got 3-4 days to go on my first foray into Ketosis in about 6 months. Had to get rid of that 10 pounds of Christmas fat! Man it sucks though. I was reading the paper today and a leaflet for Pizza Pizza fell out and it was like free pornography. I kind of stared at the pizza picture for a few minutes, remembering what carbohydrates tasted like... And for supper tonight , my wife orders....Pizza...

I ate some left over fish from yesterday...(sigh)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Snow construction

Weather was perfect yesterday - for building a snowfort! It was +7 so the 10 cm of snow sitting on the crust of the last freezing rain was ripe to be shovelled and placed into your freindy neighborhood rycycling bin for forming big blocks of snow. I only had an hour and a bit (we went snowboarding in the park after) but I made the 'Great Wall of Jade". Next time I'll make some kind of circular igloo thing with no top. It was frozen solid by the time night fell.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hockey stick snow shovel

We were talking about snowblowers today and my freind Slava commented that he had to shovel all the time when he was a kid. In fact, he told us that his father didn't used to buy snow-shovels, instead he used to make them out of a piece of 1/4 plywood and a broken hockey stick for Slava to clear snow with. I'm trying to imagine how that could work. Apparently it's like having to shovel with a picket sign, or those big platters on a stick they use to put dough in pizza ovens.

I've assembled a reasonable facimile in Photoshop just to grasp this particular invention(except I used a $300 Eason Synergy stick, and it isn't even broken!). Poor Slava. It must have been hard growing up in Mother Russia (I mean montreal)..

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Live365 Internet Radio

I remember a co-worker telling me about Internet radio 5-6 years ago. And I checked it out. And it was uhh, like uhh, boring radio stations, just like the ones we have in town, except on the Internet. Well, today someone told me about www.live365.com. A collection of Internet radio feeds. I went there, typed in "guitar" and was lambasted with a ton of Internet feeds that feature nothing but slashing, crashing shredding electric guitar music! AMAZING! Where has this been all my life! It's a small pain to set up at first. My collegue was able to listen through his browser (very simple) but that option seems to have disappeared for new users. I had Itunes on my PC so after I made a free account on live365.com I went into "My Account" into my listening options tab and set the feed to MP3 player (I use Itunes), then when I searched and clicked on a station, a .pls (playlist) popped up to download. I chose to open it with Itunes, and the tunes came streamin' down!

This is the greatest thing since sliced bread! Guitar Central is my fav channel so far! I'm gonna hook this up to my stereo at home! AMAZING!!!!

Even though I try to 'keep up with they times' I sometime miss the tech boat once and awhile. I'm glad I heard of this place though. Freakin Incredible! Vai, Satch, Johnson, Dream Theatre, Ynwie! Where does it stop!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Snowfall = no TV!

It snowed today. Like.. a lot! Got up and half the TV channels weren't working so the day started with a trip up the ladder onto the snowy roof to clear the Sat dish. This is a pic from the top of my garage. My old 1993 Civic looks great covered with snow 'cause you can't see the rust! Most of my neighbors had cleared their driveways and I thought it was funny that anyone walking by would see a trail from the front door, to a ladder up the garage, footprints to the roof and a clean sat dish. They'll know my priorities for sure!!

One good thing about waiting so long to clean the driveway.. The neighbor snowblowed it for me! (I was watching TV)..

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cookie Dough - Double Fudge Blizzards

I was going through some pics in my camera and came across this shot on the left. I'm addicted to these Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzards at Dairy Queen and decided that I would try and replicate one of the damn things at my house and save myself from having to drive halfway across Orleans a half-hour before Lost starts at 9:00pm on a TV night. So.. I got some cookie dough mix. Made it up with no intention of making cookies.. and went to the freezer.. No ice cream..

So what ya gonna do? I froze it for a few days, stuck a spoon in it soon afterwards and ATE IT ALL! It was scrumcious! I used to do this when I was a teenager(a skinny teen-ager- I wouldn't reccomend it nowadays though...)I still haven't calculated the caloric hit on this bowl of cookie dough, but a large double fudge choc Blizzard is 1320 cals(almost half of your daily intake should you go on a diet of Blizzards) according to DQ's nutrition chart.

I'm stil gonna try that home-made Blizzard test though. I'll need to pick up a special blender though, I took notes on the hardware they use Dairy Queen... (Mmmmmmm Cookie Dough)..

Friday, January 20, 2006

Pre-Ketosis Dave

Hey, an old neighbor of mine posted a link to a picture he had of me before I embarked upon Project Ketosis years ago! I'm the one in the middle! (thanks Mr. Lifto, ahh memories..)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Let's go fishin' in Brazil!

I don't know what you gotta do to make hundred's of fish to rocket out of the water like they've been shot out of a cannon and land in your boat (apparently you need to thump your hand on the gunwhale and shine a big light on the water at night), but it's pretty amazing.. It's a Brazilian fishing show called Pesca Rodonia.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

25 to life for Xbox

According to CNN (who know about these things right?), here's the latest controversial video game encouraging criminality among impressionable youth. You can play as a bad-ass gangsta or as a bad-ass police officer. I haven't played it yet (and I will) but I for one am looking forward to busting up that prison riot after watching so many episodes of OZ! (I hope I can play as adebizi! - he has a cool hat)

Here's a funny but bad review of the game from IGN. It rates a 3/10 from them.. Apparently the reviewer was disappointed that in the game world, one gang-banger can go out and shoot about 300 police officers and not one of them call for backup.

The tazer gun (see image at right) looks like fun!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Annie Brocoli

Both my kids, 5 and 1.5 are hooked on this crazy lady from Quebec. We now have 3 of her DVD's. Today I put one on while I collected the garbage and my 1.5 year old sat glued in her seat for about 20 minutes. This is unheard of. She is usually trying to blow the speakers on the surround sound, drink water out of the dishwasher or see how much Kleenex she can eat in one sitting when I'm not paying attention. As much as I hate using the visual teat (hey that's TV backwards!) it's nice to keep them entertained for 1/3rd of an hour while you do something fun like waste management.
You'd think songs about Germaine (not Michael's brother) the Vegetarian Frog would be kinda weird but in french it all seems to make perfect sense.. On the plus side, Annie is pretty cute, so.. uhh.. I don't mind watching it either.. For my kids that is...

Also, the visual effects used in her films, CGI, green screen, practicals, are very well done, all stuff I'm interested in, and are attainable on the home computer these days.
Did I mention she was cute?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tabbin' Tochigi

Tochigi is somewhere in Japan, home to a Mazda collision test center, and the name of my favorite tune off of Don Ross's new CD, 'Music for Vacuuming'. It's in DAEF#AE tuning, kinda odd, but beautiful. I have some video of him playing it unfinished in Canngington when I was down for his guitar weekend with Tony Mcmanus so I slowed that down to check the finger/fret postions. A pitch-corrected audio slow-down of the MP3 version of the song also helped(I used transcribe for this). Here is a link to a PDF of an early draft of the tab, check it out. It's just tabulature, no accompanying notation, I'm no Frankentab and I tend to agonize over that stuff so you're best off listening to the track for the timing (it's in 3/4). I still have to put in things like strum direction, add or move some of the augentation indicators around, fix some spacing, and PART F in the tab was rushed, so I'll have to test that and make sure it's ok. It's not perfect, he does so many little things different each time, but the tab allows me to play a reasonable facsimile of what Don does, and 'cause of the video, I know the fret positions, strums and fingering are right. It's funny, what he plays on my home vid is all of the parts of Tochigi, but improvised in totally different orders.

Send suggestions/fixes/corrections/insults/laughter to carrdav@gmail.com

For all you Gobyfishers!


Friday, January 13, 2006

Peter Jackson's King Kong

It was great to see it for a second time (with my wife this time around) and take in stuff I missed before. For a 3 hour plus film, it's amazing how the early scenes fly by to set the picture up. I can't wait for the 4 hour special edition DVD that is invariably going to come from this. The director left a lot of loose ends in there that he did not tie up that must involve story lines that hit the cutting room floor (what's up with feral cabin boy Jimmy anyhow?). One thing that was missing from the 1930's and 1970's Kong films was when Kong tries to disrobe the damsel in distress. I heard Jackson took it out to emphasis the uhh, freindship between woman and beast.. Ok.. I was thinking it was a Hungry Gorilla and food type relationship, but he's got the Oscar, not me! Great flick!!

I saw this flick a few weeks before with Tripper and some other folks over the Xmas holidays. I remember at that showing, it was a snow day, the buses were not running, and the theatre was crammed with disgruntled youth. We were sitting in front of a pile of obnoxious kiddies that I quietly went Tony Soprano on before the movie started. It was funny because I made a point of stepping over the back of my big comfy cinema seat instead of walking 3o feet down the aisle. They can chuck popcorn and yell at the screen all they want while the trailers roll, but when the flick starts they have to shut up. I think I ruined their movie experience because they didn't even laugh at the funny bits in the movie after out little meetin'.

I used to work at a theatre. Sometimes I forget that I don't work there anymore.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Well, this is a pretty cool Firefox extension. This site stores your bookmarks online so you can get at them from all of your PC's. Home, work, notebook, etc.. Very cool! They have a Firefox extension that lets you integrate it into the browser.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Garbage Pile

My friend Slava has been telling me stories about his bad neighbor for years now. Well, it seems those stories will be no more because the neighbor has moved (or the bank has foreclosed, no one is quite sure). In any event, the kind-hearted boyfriends of the owner's teenaged daughters were nice enough to come by after moving day and collect the garbage festering inside the domicile and skillfully pile it at the foot of the driveway for the city sanitation workers to collect. You know... that thing we do the night before garbage day? Collect the waste we've been saving up all week and bag it individually into acceptable garbage containment devices (like bags, trashcans) so the nice men that work the garbage trucks can hoist it effortlessly into the compactor?

This was their take on how that's supposed to work.

After that there were a few days of freezing rain, so I'm told it had this really nice layer of ice all around it for awhile. Someone phoned the city and they sent a bylaw officer by to see if it merited the $1500 fine you can get (apparently it did) but they're having trouble locating the previous owner. It looks like eventualy the city came by with a front-end loader and a garbage truck and they carted it all away.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Garmin GPSMAP 60CX

Well. The march towards the perfect Garmin GPS marches on. The 60 CX. External memory cards.. Kewl.. I feel like Mr. Smithers when Malibu Stacy comes out with a new hat.