First Post (27FEB2005)       Previous Week      Next Week      comments       Most Recent Post

senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

getting caught up

Sunday, 16OCT2005:

went to a couple of waste management meetings in the afternoon. it was interesting to see the similarities and differences between the city's approach and the community-based approach. whoever said that politics was a blood sport wasn't kidding. however, if we can co-ordinate all our resources and efforts, something good may yet come out of this whole stinky mess.

afterwards i caught up with stef at fantasy palace before heading to the frob to split a pizza with odile. it was a treat to have them both back in town. odile sparked my envy when she mentioned that she had seen 'ted leo and the pharmacists' in concert while she was down south. i had put one of their tracks on my latest mix that i will post tomorrow to aotm.

i complained a bit today about feeling like i have too much on my plate and tried to figure out why i feel the need to be involved in so many things. some of it might be self-induced guilt that some things that need doing just won't get done if i don't step up. but then i have to ask myself what i get out of it. maybe they are just a way for me to meet interesting people. or maybe i just don't have a very interesting life and distract myself from that sordid fact by always being on the run ?

section divider

music on my mind

Monday, 17OCT2005:

i posted my latest mix 'perfect weapons' to aotm today. made a bunch of typos that i'll have to correct at work tomorrow - can't update from home because i'm still using netscape 4.08 and will have to keep doing so until i can re-install winxp so that my system gets stable enough to give mozilla a try.

i also booked a ticket for a concert in montreal on wednesday night, where josh ritter is opening for the frames. i'll step off the plane around 7, get down to the hostel in old montreal by 8 and then walk over to the club before the show starts at 9. beauty ! like my first concert ever (spoons opening for gowan), i'm mostly going to see the opening act. i've included josh's song 'harrisburg' on a few mixes this year, so i've burnt a copy of one of them and plan on giving it to him as i hand over some of my cash to buy one of his cd's in person.

  • ip idiocy link of the day: how long will ip protection stand up in the face of a flu pandemic ?

    paolo comments:
    It is a bit sad that we, the rich 
    part of the world, start recognizing 
    the problem of patents and drug 
    research only when it menaces to 
    affect us.
section divider

mail order bundles of joy

Tuesday, 18OCT2005:

received my comic book and amazon mail orders this week. the first issue of 'emily the strange' comic was almost a total disappointment. while the emily character was iconically kewl, the rest of the book looked like chicken scratches and the comments intended to be wry, were rather 'whatever' instead. however, this bitter stew was leavened by a double shot of joy from ted naifeh. first, the final issue of 'death, jr.' - you could tell that they were looking to kludge in the gaming tie-in elements in this issue, but it was still heart-warming. 2d, was the first issue of 'polly and the pirates', a tale of a young girl in an orphanage who gets kidnapped by pirates. it seems that they are missing a captain ... :)

honourable mentions go to the two must-read bendis books, 'daredevil' and 'powers' (anniversary special). this guy writes fabulous dialogue, and this is matched with amazing artwork from both maleev and oeming. also of note was the final issue of 'nyx', which has seemingly taken a couple of years to get completed. the josh middleton cover almost made it worth the wait.

as far as the amazon order goes, i've been distracted from packing for my flight to the south tomorrow by that darn world poker tour dvd set. i am an addict, no doubt about it. also looking forward to hearing the cd's and reading neil gaiman's latest novel when i get back to the north.

  • link of the day: joost smiers and marieke van schijndel imagine a world without copyright:
    Copyright was once a means to 
    guarantee artists a decent income.
    Aside from the question as to whether 
    it ever actually functioned as such 
    - most artists never made a penny 
    from the copyright system - we have 
    to admit that copyright serves an 
    altogether different purpose in the 
    contemporary world.  It now is the 
    tool that conglomerates in the music, 
    publishing, imaging and movie 
    industries use to control their 
    Cultural monopolists desperately want 
    us to believe that without copyright 
    we would have no artistic creations 
    and therefore no entertainment.  That 
    is nonsense.  We would have more, and 
    more diverse ones. 
section divider

culture shocks

Wednesday, 19OCT2005:

went into the office this morning to clear up a few final loose ends before fleeing to the south. some days you just feel like you're stepping on toes and then you find out that you were doing exactly what you were supposed to. anyway, it was a beautiful day this morning in iqaluit, with most of the snow melted from the streets. it's kind of a shame that i'm down in montreal now - by the time i get back, i expect that winter will have taken tenacious hold for the season.

the flight attendant on the first air flight was a familiar and oh-so-cute sight. it's such a temptation to test your charm on someone who's paid to be nice to you :p    on the leg between kuujuaq and montreal, we were treated to a beautiful sunset as the sun slowly sank beneath the horizon of clouds.

sun setting beneath clouds
sebastien behind the counter recognized me from my previous visits when i checked into the auberge alternative in old montreal. after i got settled in, i confirmed the location of club soda at the corner of st. laurent and st. catherine. and then set out on foot to get there in time for the show.

josh ritter was outstanding. there was not a dud song in his entire set. amazing songwriting matched with folk/country/pop melodies and a self-deprecating stage presence. i ended up buying a copy of every cd that he had available at the venue. while getting them signed, i delivered a copy of my aur(or)al exposures mix to him - it includes a copy of his track 'harrisburg'. i was very impressed with the 'loud' rockabilly version that he played for us tonight and when i asked him if he was planning on putting it on disk, he suggested that i contact a person on his website who might be able to provide bootlegs in some kind of music exchange. yeeha ! josh was very personable, freely giving out hugs and making sure every one of his fans walked away happy from their encounter with him.

the frames didn't impress me much at first, but by the end of their set, they had grown on me. i think part of the problem for me was that the lead singer's voice sounds a bit like dave matthews (whose music i don't like). however, the tunes definitely picked up a notch whenever you could hear the fiddler. they covered an arcade fire track, 'ring of fire' (johnny cash rules !) and a song that sounded suspiciously like a pixies track. pandering to the montreal crowd, the lead singer related a tale from a summer festival. they were hanging out around the stage, pointing out what looked to be members of the arcade fire, when one of the arcade fire folks came by and asked them if they were the frames. there's no telling how far mutual admiration can take you.

and now here i am blogging from BattleNet.24, a 24-hour internet cafe. ah, now *this* is city living !

section divider

sparks of plenty for the palette

Thursday, 20OCT2005:

slept in until the afternoon today so i missed out on my planned shopping frenzy. guess i stayed up a bit too late playing online poker last night. hey, it was only for play money and i quit after only 3 hours (at 4:30 in the morning). i busted out so many times, i quit keeping track. it will take me a little bit longer to get up the nerve to try playing for real money. the most memorable beat was when i flopped a 5-high straight while holding a 2-4. another 5 came on the river and i bet into the other player's high bet. turns out he had a 3-5 and had made his full-boat !

after doing a bit of reading in the common room of the hostel for my saturday meeting, i checked out a few sushi places in montreal online. the choice was to find a place close by to quickly allay the hunger pangs, or to find a place closer to where i would be attending another concert tonight so it would only be a short jaunt over when i was done eating.

my stomach won out and i ended up at Nagoya, a nice spot less than a block west of Notre Dame. the unadon (unagi bowl) was superb - while the eel was not swathed in the usual teriyaki swirl, it nonetheless melted in my mouth. the other maki and nigiri that i ordered also went down well, with the tempura bits in the kamikaze rolls standing out with their bacon flavour. there was less energy at the sushi bar than my former sushi haunt, now sadly defunct, but they made up for it with the presentation of the rolls, which were wide enough to show off the variety of colours and textures.

'kamikaze' rolls from nagoya 
restaurant in montreal
after that huge stuffing, i could barely waddle out of the restaurant. however, i decided to wander back up to the internet cafe to play a bit more poker while i digested. in an hour, i played 50 hands, winning only 6, half of those with pocket rockets (including the very first hand !). the stack reached $2000 at its highest, but i busted out and ended up in the exact same place as i had started. i think that i'll try to get that stack up to $20k in play money before sticking any real dollars into the kitty.

then it was on to the sala rossa. the walk over was quite a bit more than i expected, but i still made it to the venue before the bands started. first up was whitey houston, a duo of drums and guitar who played what i would call 'monster rock'- loud and agressive, but not quite stadium-ready. the singer mentioned that the drummer's name was david granger so many times that i thought i'd note it here (he did play quite well). next up were the fembots, a sizable ensemble that included a whole variety of instruments in addition to the regular guitars and drums, including tambourines, a violin and some kind of tube contraption. they weren't really my thing, but i enjoyed the mix of flavours as much as i had enjoyed the sushi earlier.

last up for the night (for me anyway, as i had to skip out on the last band, 'shout out out out out') was luc doucette. he was all dressed up in suit and tie and played mostly tracks from his latest cd. he did play 'new york, new york' by request, so i got a chance to sing along to at least one song. it's funny, but on both nights, some of the band members have reminded me of other people that i know. tonight's violin player looked like a younger rhonda, and the female accompaniment to luc looked like paleah. yesterday, the lead singer of the frames looked like michael and josh looked like greg. i wonder if there's some kind of musician genetic type or maybe i'm just getting old enough and met enough people that every new person that i meet will look like someone else that i've met before ?

section divider

more montreal culinary delights

Saturday, 22OCT2005:

well, my work here in montreal is now done. 2 days of meetings and fine dining has left me stuffed, both in mind and body. now i have a few days pause to digest before heading on to ottawa where i will put on a third hat and continue my working road trip.

after thursday nite's sushi feast, yesterday's meal was italian, and tonight featured mexican dishes. we weren't too impressed yesterday when our set menu ended up taking over 3 hours to completely arrive. tonight's offering was much better, save for a spill on someone's leather jacket that was quickly fussed over and cleaned up. my meal of burritos was delicious and made the offerings of taco bell taste like cardboard.

afterwards, on the walk over to the internet cafe, i took a long detour to ben and jerry's, where i got a fix of sorbet to carry me until the next time i'm in town. while it was a bit chilly outside, the kiwi/strawberry and mango/lime combo made an excellent palette cleanser. for the rest of the evening, i plan on catching up on my news reading and then a couple of rounds of online poker.

First Post (27FEB2005)       Previous Week      Next Week      comments       Most Recent Post