Monday, July 30, 2007

The "Kill Carriere" game - circa 1982 - Emily Carr Middle School

I used to get 'lightly' beaten up on a semi-regular basis at EMCS. I dunno exactly why, maybe it something I said, maybe it was the glasses, but several guys had this game they used to play called "Kill Carriere" (maybe it was just the iteration ?) It started halfway through the school year in Grade 8 and by April I was pretty tired of it so I planned a little episode to put a stop to it.

So, the lunch bell rang. I was informed by my three tormentors that the Kill Carriere game was indeed on that lunch-hour, and it was off to the races. I was always a pretty fast runner so I could keep ahead of them no problem, but I had no long distance gas and eventually they'd catch up to me and blammo! KILL CARRIERE! They'd leave me semi-beaten on the ground and I'd be late for the noon return bell.

This day was a little different however. The ice had melted in the little outdoor arena just west of EMCS and in front of the outdoor pool. I ran into it, all the way to the back. It had high wooden boards and chainlink fencing on all sides and I figured it would hide what was about to happen. No witnesses, no questions, no reprimands, = no trouble!

So they pretty much had me cornered near the goalie net in foot-deep snow, (not easy to climb the fenced walls in winter boots). So they came in to get me, 20 feet, 15 feet, 10 feet - and then out came the bullwhip!

I had this bullwhip back then you see ( well, it wasn't really a bullwhip, it was a hunk of rope covered in hockey tape that I made after seeing a whip lady at the circus and a few years afterwards, the Indiana Jones movie came out.. nuff said) and I had this little holder I made so I could clip it to the armpit of my big winter coat and carry it concealed.

CRACK! I hit one of them in the side of the head, WHOOSH, missed the other guy but he fell in the snow. The third guy had already started to run so I laid one on the guy on the ground who was picking himself up and trying to run after the 2nd guy. I chased them as far as the arena door and stopped. Coiled my hockey tape bullwhip up, snapped it into place inside my coat and walked out. They were no where to be seen and no one saw us.

The funny thing was, the guy who kinda scrambled away first, had turned around because he had no idea what I had just pulled out and tried to hit him with. When he saw it was a whip-like thing, he actually started to laugh as it was hitting his buddies and he yelled "Way to go Carriere!". sorta like a compliment (the psycho!). Then I started after him and he ran too.

I carried it around all the time after that. Once when we were skating at the Blackburn arena I had taken my coat off and left it and the bullwhip on the benches in the lobby and the handle was sticking out. As I came around the endboards on my skates I saw some grade 6's had found it and were trying hard to smack themselves with the 'towel snap'. I popped right off the ice, went in, grabbed it from them (little bastards) before a teacher saw it.

Ahh memories!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Roleplay fun in Government French class

I'm learning french for the workplace these days. This afternoon we split up in pairs and did role playing, or Joue du Role as they say in france. In today's scenario, one guy got to play the rotten deadwood employee(that's me), and the other guy got to play the fine upstanding boss who has to use his skills of negotiation to get the rotten employee to see the light and "get with the frickin program" before we hoof his ass outta here! (not possible in real life due to union regs, but I digress).
You have to use the polite french mood "Le conditionelle" for this. The "Would you, could you, should you" stuff that implies that something may happen but several factors could intervene and cause you to doubt the certainty of the outcome. Also the "subjunctive!" the "Il Faux que tu fasse..." (You MUST do this!") kinda stuff... It's all good! BUT BORING! So I decided to spice it up a bit for the afternoon. I've had some pretty difficult employees over the years, so there's plenty of material to choose from, but in the end I decided to take a page from one of my favorite books and even better movie!

Classmate Chuck started his boss spiel "I've called you in to speak to you about something that has recently come to my attention concerning your spotty attendance. Can you tell me a bit about it?".
"Mais oui! Certainment!" I said as I grabbed the front of my shirt and pretended to punch myself several times in the face(I made a big clap in front of my nose and spun by head back). My chair went flying and I fell off it under the table, spilling all my textbooks, my Becherelle, my Larousse! My french teacher on the other side of the room bolted upright in her chair (she's obviously never seen fight club - and the first rule about fight club is : We DON'T TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB!)

I scrabbled up from the floor begging Charles in french to stop hitting me! I grabbed my water bottle and sprayed water on my face and hit myself with it (not really, just pretend) and dragged my bag of stuff off the table on top of me onto the ground again. Charles looks a bit concerned and tells the teacher that "toute est correct!" then he proceeds to give me an excellent employee evaluation as I sit rocking in my now-righted chair trying to find a happy place.

No one wants to be my role play partner now(sigh).


I've resisted the urge to aquire this particular shoe until now, but the other night I finally caved and bought a pair. The word of mouth on these puppies is way too positive. On Sunday I blew out a pair of sandals again, replacing one of my muggled geocaches on the side of a small cliff, and needed some new footware. Plus, crocs are Canadian!
What remains to be seen is how my feet are going to react with this new type of foam rubber. Leather sandals fare better smell-wise but certain rubber ones coming into contact with my feet for an extended period of time can rival the scent of many a long-dead mammal I've found in the woods over the years. I've gotten much better about it in my old age, like, I don't wear desert boots without socks to work anymore (they used to have meetings at work about my feet)...

A word of caution. I walked out of SportCheck at first with the "Outdoor" version of Crocs. The ones with the adjustable velcro strap? They're crap! I walked out into the hallway at St-Laurent, threw my old sandals out in a nearby garbage can (I ran out of shoe goo at home to fix 'em up), and promptly blew out the velcro strap with one step. The velcro was cheaply sewn into the foam rubber - no thank you.

It was bad enough I had to dive into the damned garbage can in front of on-lookers to get my old broken sandals back, but now my almost 3 year old thinks it's ok to dig stuff out of department store garbage cans any old time you like. So I go back in the store, wait in line to have them say "Would you like to pick another pair?" Sure I said, but minus the velcro. I go look. Nothing but day-glo rave colours in my size. I had to get back in line, wait for the manager to issue a refund, and truck out to Orleans to the "other" sportchek who had one pair left.

Fast forward 2 days to tonight. I went sailing on a friend's boat. We tacked. The boat was pulled over on that 45 degree angle you get in a strong wind. I did some fancy footwork to stop from being thrown overboard - AND BUSTED THE STRAP my new pair of Crocs!

I can't win. I'm taking them back (but getting another pair still - I just won't go sailing with them)

Friday, July 13, 2007

STFU n00b!

I just like this picture...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


This is bad and I apologize in advance. I've waited an unknown number of days to blog this so as not to get caught(grin). Since completing my facebook registration a few months back, I've been adding people to my friends list and getting invites from people to add myself to theirs, etc., and sometimes I'll get an invite from someone and I don't really remember who they are at first. After a few emails, or a quick spin through their photo list, something usually clicks and I go "Oh yeah! Now I remember!". It happens with guys and girls, but in the case of the girls, it occurred to me that I could probably have my memory refreshed much quicker if there was a social networking website called "assbook" instead of facebook, because.. uhh.. well.. It was a part of the body I paid a lot of attention to in my female compatriots back in the day.

A pretty face and great personality aside, some guys like a women's legs, some guys like women's breasts. I know what I liked.

So I'll come clean, if you were female, and had a rear-end, I checked it out in great detail from varying distances. And I NEVER got caught. If there was an opportunity to get caught looking, I declined it and looked straight ahead. No way was I gonna let someone know I was doing it lest it be considered rude. I was a seripticious butt checker-outer (still am). I recall many a tight-jean-clad rolodex vision in my head. Nothing like 1980's tight denim. Loved those stirrup pants! I had some sort of remembered biological ratings system too! . WTF on that?

This thought comes about after being facebooked recently by an old female classmate, who I did not immediately recognize by her head shot(heck, it had been 20 plus years). After a few days it hit me and I recognized her. I also realized that had she sent a picture of her rear-end circa 1987 the recognition would have clicked immediately.

Again I apologize for this admittance. I'm a guy. We're like this sometimes.. (makes caveman sounds). And thanks for all the great memories!

P.S. to put this thing in perspective, I'll toss out this example. In the summer after grade 10, I was standing on the sidewalk with my friends Rob and Darryl one afternoon in July, and about , I dunno 200 meters away (lets call it two football fields) we saw a girl get off the bus. We all looked but the other guys did not know who it was. She had her back to us (and something else), and was wearing very tight jeans. The guys went "Who is that?"
"It's (insert name here)." I said
"No it isn't. You can't tell from here. What makes you think it's her?" Rob asked.
"Her butt..." I said.

And I was right. They were impressed.

Good thing Lisa doesn't read my blog!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Foam sword fighting 101

When I brought 2 sets of foam play swords home on Sunday my wife was not impressed. She said (and I quote):
"When I saw those at Walmart I thought to myself, why do they make stuff like that? What kinda crazy person would buy something like that for their kids?"

She had a point.. I started to say..
"Uhh.." (I pointed at myself)
"It makes sense now" she said..

Let me set the record straight. I had been eyeballing these things for MONTHS! 3 years ago I made the same kinda thing out of duct tape and cut in half pool noodles! The kids and I would chase each other all around the house with them! It's F.U.N.!!! Try it!!!!

They're pretty well put together for a $4.97 sword. They can take a lot of abuse! And they do not hurt when you smack someone with them. Sure the neighbors look at me funny, especially the ones in the back that belong to that questionable quasi-cult religion on Innes road (just joking! I'm sure it's an actual cult.) when I'm charging around the grounds running after the kids poking them with my foam cutlasses.

But seriously! Check out the form and footwork on the kids! I took a bit of fencing in high school, Kendo in my 20's and read books about dual scimitar wielding dark elves , but look at them! They're naturals! The lunges, the crosses, the parries, the snaps! They rock!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Old "After the Fact" Band photos - Take 1

Since jumping on Facebook and reconnecting with people I hadn't seen in freakin ages, I noticed some of my old acquaintances in the music biz had put up old band photos of themselves back in the 1980's. They are hillarious! And so are mine!(god I was skinny back then!). I got the scanner out and popped a crap load on Flickr in various stages and re-incarnations of my 1980's 'serious amateur 'music career. Here's the first set. The photo up above was taken sometime in 1987 or 1988 at Ambiance Studios on Rideau street. It seems everybody recorded there back then. On this particular night the "Connection Band" had done the session before and the studio reeked of pot(they were obviously well-connected). Like I said before, a lot of people recorded there.

This one on the right is from 1985 on stage at Gloucester High School battle of the bands. The band is called "The Service"(they seemed to always let me name the band - the FOOLS!). Our singer looks like one of the guys from Duran Duran and we have no drummer, just a drum machine! Gotta love it! It never complains, gets drunk, throws fits or goes after people's girlfriends like the later version(grin). I'm in the early "Always look at my fingers" stage of my playing. That's my first electric guitar, a black Ibanez Roadstar Series II around my neck. At this show I believe we got a training bra thrown on-stage(the singer was very popular). I have some video of this show that I'll put up someday. It's something! (I can't remember if I vomited before this show)

This is a favorite pic of mine. It's my room circa 1985/1986. Check out the owl(you'll see him at every show) and my Boss pedals in my BCB-6 floorboard! I spent many hours sitting on the floor hunched over my guitar, practicing, because I did not take to it naturally like some people. If I didn't practice every day I would start to suck. I would also talk on the phone to people as I practiced, which didn't always go over well, but it could be done as long as you grunted and affirmed in the right places. I listened to many a disgruntled female complain about my male friends as I practiced my modes and just generally agreed with them(good advice to all men out there).

How embarrassing! I'm wearing the exact same sweater/jeans combination from Ambiance studios but this time in in the Men's John at the Trebas school of recording. There's good reverb in toilets and I tried to record there whenever possible(mainly at home). At the time we were slightly affiliated with a "manager lady" named Helen who taught at Trebas. She was very 'interesting' and had genuine expertise in the broadcasting and radio industry. She "managed" bands as a hobby and helped us get organized a bit but we generally didn't see eye to eye and disagreed a lot(I could do a whole blog post on her. What reminded me of her in this pic is that in one of the stalls there was some graffiti which mentioned her by name. It said "Helen (last name) is a big fat rhinoceros bitch!!". She must have failed the guy on some exam..

This is in Chris Williams basement(me and Chris actually). His sister was always taking photos of us, and she was really good I thought. This is our Billy Sheenan Steve Vai pose. Those guys did the same pose in an ad from D"Adarrio guitar strings.
Around the time this photo was taken we were practicing and the lights started to flick on and off (that was his parent's way of telling us to knock it off for a bit). Chris's sister raised Bunnies and her freind had brought a male bunny over to mate and they wanted us to shut up for about 20 minutes so they could get to it. The mal ebunny pole vaulted out of it's owners arms, landed on the female's head, straddling her the wrong way around (butt to head) and started jackhammering away. He soon realized his mistake, switched around before the female bunny knew what was happening (she had been minding her own business and suddenly this fucking rabbit falls four feet out of the air onto her head out of nowhere) and was done in about 15 seconds. When they say " Screw like bunnies" etc.. they mean it.. Oddly enough I recall similar stories from female human friends(grin)

And speaking of photos, soon after this one was taken, we did a show somewhere and I drove our light guy home that night, a guy from Canterbury High School named Dave. Dave was infatuated with our lovely girl lead singer Vanessa (whom you'll see in later blogs - we had a girl and a guy on singing duties). When I got to Dave's house he talked me into coming inside his parent's house to check out his new "Black Widow" speakers in his room, bla bla bla. When I was in his bedroom, I turned around and he was holding a camera and quickly snapped a photo or three of me "for his little sister". With the flashbulb popping and homophobia starting to set in, he assured me that she would get a kick out of me being inside their house at 2:00am because she saw me at a show we did at Cantabury and mentioned something to Dave. Awww.. A 14 year old with a crush on me!(blush - that or Dave wasn't what he seemed and the photos were for god knows what).

I jokingly suggested we take a photo of me at the foot of her bed as she slept to be really funny and he thought that would be great! (he was quite disapopinted when I told him it was really just a joke and I had to get the hell home).

Ahh Light man Dave. He sent Vanessa flowers the next show we did. I'm gonna look him up on Facebook!

Canada Day 2007

Canada day 2007! We went down to the hill and waited in line a lot! Got the kid's faces painted! We caught Don Ross on the main stage, got to see the Snowbirds go screaming by in the sky for a few passes and headed home for lunch to return to our secret spot that night near the old city hall to watch the fireworks!

Here's my Canada Day 2007 Flickr Photo page.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Brooke Miller concert - June 30th 2007

My friend Warren put on a cozy house concert featuring Brooke Miller and Don Ross the day before Canada day. What a great frickin idea that was! There were in town for the July 1st celebrations on the hill, why not take the opportunity to do a small show for a few of their biggest Ottawa fans! It turned out to be a sort of CD release party because she just received retail copies of her new CD and does it ROCK! I think it's gonna sell like BEER!

Don was there of course and played a few tunes, which is like going to a Sheryl Crowe concert and having Eddie Van Halen show up and do a few numbers just for fun(in my world at least(grin)). I took the oppertunity to practise my "sans flash" concert photography. I took about 300 pics of which only 17 or so turned out ok. You can see them here.

She did full band workups of most of the tunes which I ended up really liking. My favorite somg of hers is "Country from the Dome car", a tune she wrote while attending a music festival that took place on a train doing a cross Canada tour(Music on the rails or something). The dome car is the one with the big overhead windows on it.
Another tune I like a lot on there is "Hold on to it".

Go to her website and buy a pile! She rocks!