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May 10 2011


Rules of Engagement

Here are some simple rules that one should try to give heed to in life:


  • Never summon what you can't banish.
    • Which goes well with: Be careful what you wish for.
  • Don't piss off the gatekeeper.
    • ... because if you piss off the person you're asking for a favour, guess what you might not get?
  • Never think that what you do goes unseen.
    • ... and remember to close your blinds when you're walking around naked in your home.
  • No good deed ever goes unpunished.
    • That's for damned sure.

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May 07 2011


Burlington Sound of Music Festival schedule

Thursday, June 16

ArcelorMittal Dofasco Stage

7:30 p.m. — Opening Ceremony

8:15 — Yukon Blonde

9:45 — Bedouin Soundclash

OLG Stage

7 p.m. — Dave Featherstone Band

8:00 — The Stanfields

9:45 — The Resptectables

Friday, June 17

ArcelorMittal Dofasco Stage

7 p.m. — The River Junction Band

8:00 — Ladies of the Canyon

9:45 — Emerson Drive

OLG Stage

7 p.m. — Gentlemen Husbands

8:15 — The Reason

9:45 — Crash Karma

Cogeco Stage

7 p.m. — Kai

8:00 — The Nylons

9:30 — Michael Kaeshammer

Burlington Hyundai Community Stage

7 p.m. — Raising Atlantis

8:00 — All For Nothing

9:00 — Tonight Tonight

Saturday, June 18

ArcelorMittal Dofasco Stage

1 p.m. — Chasing Amee

2:00 — These Kids Wear Crowns

3:30 — Stereos

7:00 — Paper Lions

8:15 — Hollerado

9:45 — Tokyo Police Club

OLG Stage

1 p.m. — Harlan Pepper

2:15 — The Wooden Sky

3:45 — The Sadies

7:00 — The Heartbroken

8:15 — Jimmy Rankin

9:45 — Barra MacNeils

Cogeco Stage

1 p.m. — Sultans of String

2:30 — Samba Squad

3:45 — Mighty Popo

6:45 — Monkey Junk

8:15 — Shane Koyczan

9:45 — Luke Doucet & White Falcon

Burlington Hyundai Community Stage

1 p.m. — YouthFest band winners

2:00 — Inlet Sound

3:00 — Pic A Piper

4:00 — Parks & Rec

6:00 — Victory, Sweet Victory

7:00 — Weekend Riot Club

8:00 — The Ascot Royals

9:00 — Two Crown King

Burlington Art Centre

1 p.m. — Hamilton All Star Jazz Band

2:30 — James Brown

4:00 — Canadian Orpheus Male Choir

Sunday, June 19

ArcelorMittal Dofasco Stage

1 p.m. — Sandman Viper Command

2:00 — The Balconies

3:30 — Devo

5:15 — Men Without Hats

OLG Stage

1 p.m. — Koetta Black

2:15 — The Salads

3:45 — The Creepshow

Cogeco Stage

1 p.m. — Peter Katz

2:15 — Chic Gamine

3:45 — Le Vent Du Nord

Burlington Hyundai Community Stage

1 p.m. — Thought Beneath Film

2:00 — Tallulah Darling

3:00 — Dawn & Marra

4:00 — Adam Cooke

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The Box - My Dreams Of You (... and a little bit about the MAPL)

A long time ago the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission) instituted Canadian Content rules that (amongst other things) forced radio stations into playing a certain percentage of Canadian music per every hour of a broadcast day. They used the MAPL system to determine if a song met the broadcast guidelines. A song would need to fulfil at least two of the MAPL segments in order to qualify - music, artist, performance or lyrics. (The full rules can be found here) This was done in an effort to ensure our culture didn't completely drown in the various American and British musical invasions of the past (and future).

You might assume that this would force a lot of bad music onto the airwaves, but it has never been my experience that this was so, and it did ensure that a lot of music got exposure that otherwise might not have. It also meant that artists didn't have to flee across borders in order to make a career out of their art - they could stay home and do so. Bad music makes it on the air, of course, but it's bad as a matter more of taste than anything else - and bad isn't limited to my culture alone.

I mention all this only because sometimes, now, some bands are only ever played on the radio to fulfil these CC rules; and, it's too bad it's so, because this music deserves more respect than it gets.

Hence, this video. This is one of my favourite songs by a Canadian band - The Box. This song was originally released in 1982.

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Dear Fellow Canadians

You know I love you, but let me take this opportunity to take a verbal strap to your deserving backsides.

It is neither charming, nor funny, nor intelligent for you to spend so much of your time in your revilement of the American population. Your arrogant detractions are spiteful, juvenile, unsoundly based and racist.

You embarrass me, you shame this country, and you debase yourselves.

If you think the US are a pack of savage ignorants without the sense the universe gave a moose, consider how you sound when you talk of it - and reconsider who you claim as your objects of admiration and heroes, because I bet most of them weren't born on this side of the 49th parallel.

And, for the love of all that's sainted, holy, and made of maple sugar, Shut The Holy Fuck Up.

Addendum: Dear Co-worker: re: the above: Next time you spout off on this topic, try to at least make an attempt to keep your opinions to yourself until the co-worker who's married to an American has left the room ... you know, the co-worker you consider to be your second-best buddy in the office.

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Abortions: now a threat to national security.


I'm not sure if I should find this disturbing, or funny ... or both.

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Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule. ..

Thanks to my friend Diane for the link.

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May 03 2011


Splendor in the Grass

I really enjoy the film Splendor in the Grass, but so many parts of it are about as frustrating as parts of Rebel Without A Cause, and sometimes about as painful as A Taste of Honey (a movie I'll never watch again, because it's just too painful. It's so good, and so painful, I just can't put myself through watching it again).

These poor, frustrated teens trying so desperately to figure themselves out, and deal with the emerging storm of hormones in an era when women weren't even supposed to admit (or even know) they had them. "No nice girl has those feelings," and a girl who lost her virginity before marriage was considered "spoiled".

They struggle to communicate to their parents, to get answers, to talk to them about what they want and what they feel (about love, sex, future plans, current feelings, education, work, etcetera), and their parents cut them off, brush them off, treat their concerns lightly or not at all, talk over them, talk at them. These unfortunate kids come of age with no information except the consequences of actions they don't truly understand because of the simple fact that their parents didn't parent. They came looking for answers, got none, and ended up getting into all sorts of mad trouble that they get blamed for, when the fault is truly with the people who failed to give them a foundation.

But this was an era of girls didn't, boys did, and you didn't talk about it (any of the "its") with anyone at all. As sad as I am to see the eroding childhood now, the flapper era must have been a horror to the parents of the time - the first real era of open sexuality, alcohol consumption, and female liberation. This emerging culture must have been unbalancing in the extreme, with personal questions coming to the fore in an era that barely had any answers.

Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood are fabulous in this film, and Elia Kazan got some very realistic emotion out of them - particularly Wood. Mind you, the trick he played on her during the filming wasn't funny then, and sure as hell wasn't funny given the circumstances of her death. There's a scene where Natalie's character tries to commit suicide by walking out into the water. Natalie was terrified of the water, terrified of drowning. Kazan told her that as she was walking out on the platform that was not visible under the surface of the water, there'd be someone there holding her hand so she wouldn't fall. He lied. There was no one there, so that utter look of terror on her face during that part of the film is quite real.

If I'd been her, I'd have kicked Kazan in the yarbles for that one.

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April 30 2011


Bitter much?

I am amazed, I truly am, at the level and strength of the vitriol tossed at the wedding (and all the trappings thereof) of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Have some of you folks stopped to listen to yourselves, at the amount of venom and spew you're dishing at those two folks? It's about as charming as the level of crap some adults toss forth at the child that is Justin Bieber. Do I like his music? No. But I'm a big girl, and I can turn it off - about as easily as I can change a TV channel and watch something else if I'm not into someone else's wedding. You anti-Biebers realise that in any other situation you would be arrested for child abuse for the way you talk about that kid and his shot to stardum? He's a kid; let him alone with his luck.

As for the anti-wedding types: the several millions paid out to put on that wedding, were no doubt made back in tourist revenues of varying kinds; and, whether you like it or not (and you apparently don't), the royal family's existence brings millions of dollars a year into the UK. With their real political power gone, that is now their function - they keep money coming into the country by their continued presence, and keep various charities going by the same arrangement.

You're welcome not to like it, by all means, but lordy some of you are so juvenilely bitter it's laughable. Relax, kids. If you don't care for it all, here's a bit of advice for you: Stay out of England.

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April 29 2011


The New Sound of Music - 1979

The New Sound of Music is a fascinating BBC historical documentary from the year 1979. It charts the development of recorded music from the first barrel organs, pianolas, the phonograph, the magnetic tape recorder and onto the concepts of musique concrete and electronic music development with voltage-controlled oscillators making up the analogue synthesizers of the day.

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Mabona Origami


Taking paper-folding to the next origami installation level. This is a test of patience I would never pass, I'm sure. Beautiful work.

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April 28 2011


WHALETONE – music with style | WHALETONE – music with style


I am so not certain what to make of this. How's the lounge singer supposed to decorate this with her prostrate person and belt out a smoky torch song?

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Lost places by Sven Fennema


Sven’s pictures are stamped by extraordinary compositions with atmosphere, special light and mood but also by the play of light and forms. Himself he describes them as just “alive”.

Yet more of the world of the lost, abandoned, forgotten and forlorn.

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April 27 2011


End of the World Notification Service

We've scoured The Interwebs for the most accurate data on when the world will end and set up this useful notification service. Sign up to receive a handy email alert whenever the world is going to end; your alert will tell you when the world will end and who has prophesied it, giving you time to find shelter in a network of caves or say goodbye to your loved ones.

This is very handy! I plan to subscribe so that I can be fully prepared for the three times (so far) this year alone that the world is going to end - including Christmas Eve when the aliens come to get us.

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April 25 2011


30 Day Song Challenge - Day 11 - A song from your favorite band

I don't know that I have a favourite band, as such. There are bands I listen to more than others, and bands I think well of more than others. So, I'm going to cheat a little and pick a song from each of the bands that means something from me (though I'm sure I'll forget somebody).

  • Bad - U2 - Seeing them do this live in Montreal, was powerful for me at the time.
  • Eclipse - Pink Floyd - No matter how many times I listen to Dark Side of the Moon, this song happening is always a surprise. You forget it's coming, and are always delighted when it does.
  • Sit Down - James - Those who find themselves ridiculous, sit down next to me.
  • Exile On Main Street - Rolling Stones - I know, I know, it's an album; but, it's one of my favourite albums, and I can't think of it in pieces.
  • The Song is Over - The Who
  • You Are In My Vision - Gary Numan
  • It's All Too Much - The Beatles
  • Henry Needs a New Pair of Shoes - Lowest of the Low
  • Dead - The Pixies
  • Rudie Can't Fail / The Magnificent Seven - The Clash
  • Train Song - Tom Waits

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30 Day Song Challenge - Day 10 - A song that makes you fall asleep

There's nowt specifically that makes me fall asleep, to be honest. When I want to sleep, music is actually a poor companion: I prefer voices. So, if I need the lulling effect, I go for a TV show or movies. I like Jane Austen - they're placid stories; there's none of the noise of battle scenes (which makes Ivanhoe and Ben Hur poor choices).

I remember a friend once saying that when she was a child, she would fall asleep better (faster) when there were a group of adults in the house. She found the noise comforting, peaceful, and safe.

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When Old Taps Drip Liquid Light - 1-800-Recycling


Now that's something to do with leftover household items, dontcha think?

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Strange Geographies: Abandoned Belgium, Part I


When one ventures into the wonder that is an abandoned building (and we all know how much I adore abandoned places), one normally does not expect to find ... a cave.

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13 Exquisite Easter Eggs


See, what I want to know, is what's inside a KISS egg? Because, given the habits of some of these boys, it might be something other than yolk.

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