Archive for November, 2008
Friday, November 28th, 2008
Ah yes, it happens tonight. I’ll be donning the only suit jacket I own (bought it back in ’98 and yes, it’s a little small these days) in anticipation of the Rock 105.3 X-Mas party. Who will lip off the boss? Who’ll be making out in the coat check room? Who will be the one to kiss the porcelain god? So many questions and the answers will come forth in the hours to pass.
Being more than old enough to know when I’ve ‘hit the wall’, staff functions have never really bothered me, unlike some. I once worked with a guy who got so out of control at a X-mas party, after threatening to pick out the eye balls of our manager, he went in to work the next day, cleaned his office and we never saw him again. (yes, the manager still had his eyesight come Monday)
And so this crap miserable Monday, I hope to be able to share in the dirt and tell some tales of what went down. (note to Rock 105.3 staff, I will change your names to protect the not-so-innocent)
Hopefully we’ll see you Sunday at the arena for a chance to Skate with the Tigers and your last chance to pick up the limited edition Tiger’s Toque, with all net proceeds to benefit the Pediatric Ward at our hospital in town.
Thursday, November 27th, 2008
Just in case the paper boy threw your copy of the Medicine Hat News on the roof of your neighbor’s house, here’s the latest ramblings from my column.
Hurry Up and Wait
We have a tendency to surround ourselves with those who share similar interests and so working at a rock radio station, the office was abuzz this week concerning the new Guns and Roses album that dropped last Sunday. However, the flapping of the lips and gums surrounding Axl Rose and his latest efforts didn’t end at the water cooler (or in this case, the coffee maker) as I opened up my ears and partook in some mindless eavesdropping.
As an example, my neighbor was commenting to his buddy whether the new G’n’R album would be worth the wait. (Shouting loudly would be more concise due to the moderately loud idling of his truck)
While comparing toilet flappers in aisle 2 of the local hardware store, I stumbled on a couple of dudes in mid conversation. After separating their extremely colorful language from the rest of their shop talk, I could discern that not only did the store not carry his brand of ‘%*#, @#!$, #$&@ blade’ for his chop saw, he too was wondering if Guns’n’Roses would have the same magic after waiting so long to release new music.
And even while lollygagging in line at the grocery store with my milk and bananas, Karina the checkout girl put her superfluous powers of intuition to use, deducing that I like my music on the rock side of things. And when asked if I thought 13 years (15 depending who you talk to ) was too long to wait, I answered, ‘I really hadn’t thought of that’, until now that is.
Not the First
I’ll admit that waiting over a decade to release new material might be a little like buying that 4 pound can of tuna at the wholesale store; sure it can be done, but will it taste the same after you’ve been eating from it for a week?
AC/DC released a new album this year, their first in just over 8 years which is more than enough time to fill the bathtub. The Rolling Stones lived off their retirement fund for 8 years as well before releasing ‘A Bigger Bang’ back in 2005. And if you don’t include Metallica’s ‘St. Anger’, there was an 11 year gap before they released ‘Death Magnetic’.
And so to state that an entire generation could acquire their high school diploma without ever hearing a new Guns’n’Roses song is one way of putting things into perspective. Heck, it might almost be worthy of resurrecting the TV show, ‘That’s Incredible’, for a feature story but I think it runs deeper than the expectations of a rock album, albeit a very, very long awaited one.
‘The Times they Are a Changin’
I was reading that my parents’ generation would wait in line for approximately 7 minutes before showing signs of stress or frustration. My generation, (the X generation for what it’s worth) and our tolerance level, waiting in that same line, we cross the threshold of impatience at just over 3 minutes. And today’s youngest adults have less than 90 seconds of calmness before shades of red start to show.
In a world where e-mails have replaced letters, drive-thrus have replaced drive-ins and a day off means not starting work until noon, time has become skewed in terms of not ‘how’ we view it but ‘who’ views it. It’s the old tale of ‘City Mouse visits Country Mouse’ to a certain degree. (the cartoon wasn’t bad either). Ultimately, 13 years for an album is a long time to wait but wouldn’t those 13 years seem like an eternity, if say, you were waiting those years out a deserted island?
Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
After a morning of fielding calls concerning Guitar Hero, I’m proud to say that I’m not the only grown man who revels in such video game frenziness. I’m even prouder to admit that after speaking with some our listeners, I spend a paltry amount of time ‘rocking out’. Heck, we even heard from a dude who’s won money from Guitar Hero contests.
Tomorrow we’ll be examining our past, specifically, dream jobs and whether we’re living the life of a professional light bulb extractor or not.
And thanks again for contributing to our show. Without you, our conversations would suffer a serious lull. That number again is 403-529-1053.
Monday, November 24th, 2008
I’ve now had roughly 48 hours to adhere to ‘Chinese Democracy’, the new album from Guns and Roses and I like what I hear.
Sure it’s been over a decade since we’ve heard new material and its unfortunate that as time passes, so do our expectations. You have to ask yourself, ‘What am I expecting from this album?’ Personally, I could never answer that question which in hindsight has (hopefully) kept me grounded concerning music.
There’s no right or wrong answer with music, it is what it is and therein lies the magic. Kinda of like snowflakes, no two opinions are exactly the same and so why should our interpretation of music or in this case, a specific album, be any different?
Speaking of music, on the show tomorrow we’ll be discussing office rumors like the fact that no, I do not practice Guitar Hero: World Tour, four hours a day.
Friday, November 21st, 2008
As I prepare to buy Bullseye BBQ sauce for my chili this weekend and other ingredients that I won’t list here, its good see people pulling out their winter gear, specifically the toque. As strange as the word is, south of the red and white border, the ‘toque’ is almost non-existent, much like the Passenger Pigeon.
Of course, if moths have overtaken your supply of skullcaps, mark down Nov. 29th & 30th as an opportunity to restock. We’ll be spending a couple of days with the Tigers and if you spend 15 bones, you too can fly the limited edition Tiger’s Toque with our Rock 105.3 logo on the back of your newly acquired bean warmer. And we’ll be donating all net proceeds of these nifty numbers to MH General Hospital, Pediatric Ward.
And now if you’ll excuse me, the new G’n’R album is calling my name which makes for great music to pick up dog land mines to. (thanks a lot Dr. Jake)
Thursday, November 20th, 2008
As usual Thursday business goes, my column from the Medicine Hat news has been pasted below.
On a different note, I find it amusing that on the 2nd day in our digs, the men’s washroom is non-functioning, broken, out of order, incapacitated if you will. Of course this would never happen with the outhouse back at the trailer and therein lays the sour taste of irony. Fortunately for me, I always liked things a little sour.
The Good, the Bad and the 80’s
It’s been a very reflective week for me. After a weekend of rummaging through my old music catalogues, songs and bands that were forgotten were once again brought to the front of my medulla oblongata. Much like the way cassette tapes would rattle around on the front seat of my 77’ Volare (and later my 79’ Cutlass), it was a pleasant surprise to come across old diamonds in the rough, like Krokus and Cinderella. Of course, like finding old crusty cheese doodles underneath that bucket seat there were also less stellar gems, like Jack Wagner and 8 Seconds. (feel free to shudder along with me)
And then it hit me harder the time I was in the cross hairs of some blue hair’s Buick back on Portage and Main in Winnipeg (I actually rolled off her hood), Helix had brought their ‘Young & Reckless’ act to town last night. Faster than a 1980 Trans Am with an air induction sticker on the hood and Javex on the back tires, it was the return of a very interesting, intriguing and head scratching decade. You can forget about Crocket and Tubbs, the 80’s had a sight and sound of its own and while it’s neither good nor bad, it is what it is.
Lost without Imagination
Now I wasn’t able to attend Helix because of math, you see. The sprouting of grey hairs plus 3 AM work days equals the ability to bounce back about as well as a concrete block.
But my imagination was thriving and I had been transported back to the 80’s, courtesy to my copy of ‘Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge’, circa 1984. ‘Rock You’, ‘Animal House’, ‘Feel the Fire’, ‘When the Hammer Falls’ would play in due time and I could already smell the Colours cologne. If you weren’t running the Chip and Pepper tie dyed beach wear, there’s a good chance you were sporting the Zubaz pants. You remember those, they were basically leggings for men that came in two patterns, zebra white and zebra black.
If you really wanted to impress the ladies, temperature changing shirts were a big deal in times of big hair. It was a horrible idea if you sweated a lot, walking around with red armpits, an orange back and blue everything else. The blue however, would always go great with your grey Velcro shoes and it seems to me that in hindsight, no other footwear was available unless it required the use of Velcro. In cities all over North America during the 80’s, specifically Friday night house parties, conversations were being drowned out in mass due to people removing their Velcro sneakers. You this to be true if you’re a survivor and thriver of a decade that boasted TV shows like ‘Charles in Charge’ and ‘Airwolf’.
The Ultimate in Stylin’ and Profilin’ Fashion
I think what almost unanimously defines the 80’s however, (cue the dramatic pause) is the Mullet. Not since people used to wear wooden dentures has our society been so obsessed with a hair cut. And the Mullet (yes, I’m using a capital ‘M’ out of respect) was not biased my friends. Men, women, children, toddlers, teenagers, professionals, rebels, I mean everyone had one of these things.
The Mullet was so popular that several names were invented to even further the details of your specific Mullet. Hockey Hair, the Mud Flap, the Kentucky Waterfall, The Boz (check out Brian Bosworth in ‘Stone Cold’ if you dare), the Neck Warmer and Beaver Paddle are just a few of the variations. And if variety is the spice of life, you would have needed a warehouse to store the different kinds of Mullets that were so proudly manicured from back in the day.
Now with all this talk about a one of a kind decade, I don’t miss the fashion at all. (the 90’s however are a different matter) And with Helix indirectly re-associating me with some of the past, I’ve forgotten about a lot of the music that helped influence my life. (whether that’s a positive or not remains to be seen). I don’t plan on proposing a national ‘1985’ stat holiday although it does pose some interesting thoughts but might I suggest that the next time you’re cleaning out the attic or basement or garage, it could pay off to have a walkman nearby. (Walkman. Yet another piece of the 80’s puzzle)
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
To quote Hannibal, (from the A-Team, not the other Hannibal, ‘I love it when a plan comes together’.
I’m talking about Poncho’s Pawn Shop and my garbage bag of patio lights that I traded for a model rocket, a buddy’s model rocket no less that got caught in the power lines at EchoDale a couple of weeks back. True to his word, John appeared with ‘Goliath’, the pink rocket, we made the trade and all is well again in the world.
Tomorrow on the show we’ll be discussing workplace safety, after one of our own sliced open a hand while attacking a cardboard box with a steak knife. Go figure.
Friday, November 14th, 2008
It was a good edition of Poncho’s Pawn Shop this morning. Originally asking 5 flats of Lucky Lager for his non-functioning Harley Golf Trike, Cody got 300 bones for that baby. I also traded my patio lights for a rocket that I lost at Echodale that John found. Cool.
And with Mother Nature being ever so generous tomorrow, I’m heading out on the Road King with German and Navigator, Elkwater bound.
Of course the CFL finals continue but my season has come to a close until next year.
Thursday, November 13th, 2008
Aside from establishing that I have the corner on purchased infomercial products, we’ll be running another edition of Poncho’s Pawn Shop. Wanna get a crappy gift for the Uncle you can’t stand? The Pawn Shop could very well be what you’re looking for.
And like every Thursday if I don’t forget, here’s my column from the Medicine Hat News, cut and pasted for your enjoyment.
The Comfort of Non-Musical Chairs
While driving home after a weekend with the out-laws, I had some time to reflect when not avoiding mule deer about how we can and often do become attached to items in our lives. I’ve talked about this before concerning certain songs and the memories they trigger and after witnessing a living room verbal fracas, it’s come to my attention that it’s not only music that waxes nostalgia.
The Big Comfy Couch
I was holding my head in my hands as my Blue Bombers threw away any slim chances they had chasing the Grey Cup from the confines of the in-laws rumpus room. Mama in-law wants some help relocating a recliner from the room to a different room, a room that Papa in-law never uses, much like the chair in question. (Please note that at this part of the delicate in-law dance, my intuition is telling me not to rise from the chair I was sitting in during the previous and following events, as to not create waves in the circle of in-laws, a very wise decision as I was to learn)
While lying on the couch, Papa-in law interjects that the recliner must not and cannot be moved as it’s his favorite chair in the house. The recliner he’s talking about, while not so ugly that it could camouflage itself in a botanical garden is far from comfortable, one of the reasons he’s using the couch while defending the chair. His avenue of defense translates into ‘just because he’s never seen in it doesn’t mean he doesn’t use it’ and it’s obvious the man has ties to this chair that run deep. Did I mention he’s pleading his case from the couch?
I’ve sat in this chair and I must say that pieces of plywood with rusty nails poking out are more comfortable. It’s roughly the size of a Chevy Sprint and weighs twice as much. Large stuffed swatches of fabric fool the untrained eye that this immense piece of furniture would be more effective as a bunker or possibly a cow catcher if you’re strong enough to release the mechanism that allows you put your feet up, should one be so foolish. Do you know when you visit the dentist and they arrange that chair and your head ends up at the floor, your feet point towards the sky and all the blood rushes to your noggin’? Compared to the behemoth of a chair that Father-in-law refuses to have removed, the dentist’s chair would be like floating on clouds, the white puffy kind too.
The Deep Aftermath
I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut when situations like this arise, especially when I’m caught in the middle. I was in a tight spot you see, Momma-in-law wants that chair gone and I don’t blame her. Papa-in-law shares some sort of emotional bond with the chair but since it creates it’s own gravitational force, I sure didn’t mind not re-establishing the chair with another room of the house, saving my back from coming out of retirement.
And so the chair remains, a permanent fixture in the corner of the living room and the three of us sat there, myself, Papa-in-law and the chair. It was during these moments that the real truth was revealed. This chair had history with Papa-in-law as I was about to find out.
It was his musical chair you see, a chair where he would sit on winter evenings or possibly evenings like this one and read and listen to music or more often, news radio. Chet Akins was heard from this chair, as was Casey Kasem and the tale spinning yarns of Paul Harvey, (a favorite of mine and of Papa-in-law as it was revealed to me). I was informed that he was sitting in this chair when the news of Mount St. Helen’s erupting came to be, as did other headlines that shook the world, like 911 and most recently, the American federal election.
This wasn’t a chair for resting easy, this was a timeline. And almost instantaneously, the chair that was saved from near extinction didn’t look nearly so bad. Still as uncomfortable as ever but now I understood and appreciated as to why. I can warm to that idea actually and so tonight will be an evening of Pink Floyd on the record player, sitting in a chair that hopefully one day I too will get to defend or at the bare minimum, my semi functioning lava lamp.
And if you’ve got an idea or want to chat, you can find me at Medicine Hat’s Best Rock, Rock 105.3 at 403-529-1053 every weekday morning starting at 5:30 or drop me a line at www.rock1053.ca. (chances are you know the website address if you’re reading this)
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
Aside from Niki losing money over speeding and parking tickets and with me losing my cell phone, we’re still in good moods. (let’s blame it on the outhouse)
Yesterday was a different story however as I found myself in Ian the Evening Guy’s bathroom, making it look all shiny and new after losing out on a CFL bet. Complete with toilet brush and a thick set of rubber gloves, 75 minutes, a good sweat and one throw up later, I had that loo looking good.
Kudos to Ian by the way for splurging on pizza and beer, sure appreciated that.