Archive for March, 2009
Friday, March 27th, 2009
Oh, I had big plans this weekend. Working on the Road King at Lucky’s was priority #1. Checking out Mustang at Alabama’s tomorrow was priority #2.
Unfortunately, my age came into play when I stood up from my desk and did something to my back, something bad. That’s right, I stood. I didn’t attempt to bench press Ian’s ride nor did I partake in any cow tipping. I literally got out of my chair like any normal person and immediately realized that the back had frozen up.
So now my plans entail lying on my back all weekend, filling my Bug Bunny Pez dispenser with Robaxacet.
To quote Niki, “Poncho, you’re a wreck”.
Niki, you’ll rue the day when you’re my age. I just hope I’m around to enjoy it.
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
It’s what I was wearing yesterday though as I bought the re-issued version of Pearl Jam’s ’10′, one of the must have albums of all time and no, that’s no overstatement.
Depending if your wallet is full of loonies or twenty dollar bills, the new version of ’10′ comes in four editions, including the Super Deluxe Edition which boasts posters, vinyl records, compact discs and even the mighty cassette.
Pearl Jam, to me, was an awakening of sorts and along with Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone and Alice In Chains, would start a whole new music library for me. A library that still continues to influence my choices and picks of what I enjoy.
But back to ’10′. This is an album that can be played from start to finish and every single song has a story related to it, of which the abbrievated versions are below.
Once – was playing when my 79′ cutlass hit the ditch and the boys from Shady Oaks Hutterite Colony had to pull me out.
Even Flow – was the first song I ever heard from PJ after my very first girlfriend introduced me to their music.
Alive – a favorite of mine and the boys on the jukebox at the Central Hotel (and then it burnt down)
Why Go – the song that was in the cassette deck of the 84′ Bonnyville when the neighbor found the car in a creek at the bottom of his house.
Black – makes me think of the time I had to catch the Greyhound after missing a ride from buddy.
Jeremy – the song that makes me think of my first PJ experience, in the land of new vikings, Gimli, MB.
Oceans – the song that was playing when I woke up in the back of a stranger’s half ton, the morning after my first PJ show. (see reference for Jeremy)
Porch – tag team wrestling with my roomates back when I was flunking university.
Garden – You know what? I can’t think of anything for this song but it MUST HAVE been one grand time for me not to remember.
Deep – weekends spent at Little Gordon, near Kenora, ON with the boys.
Release – Lava lamps, incense and bead doors. ‘nough said.
Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Last Friday was the official first day of spring, and unofficially, I bought into what Mother Nature was pawning off.
Woodpeckers and chickadees could be heard across the neighborhood, the wafting aroma of Bullseye BBQ sauce kept the stomach growling, everywhere you looked dogs were reacquainting themselves with fire hydrants of days gone by, kids were already leaving the new version of banana seat bikes on front yards and adults were back into the habit of jaywalking.
The growl of ancy bikers’ exhausts could be heard ricocheting throughout the city and my hairy forearms were put through the test of retaining the dog from wreaking havoc on families of gophers. In hindsight, I should have (and will do so in the future) taken Dr. Jake off the leash concerning the over abundance of those furry, squeaky little rodents and yes, I’m willing to deal the with the backlash of my hate for gophers from any members of Peta.
And then I wake up this morning to snow, rain and snow-rain?!?! I’m not sure if this has anything to do with the eruptions stemming from Mount Redoubt but regardless, I’m not liking it.
At least I don’t feel like riding today because of the lovely weather and it’s a good thing too because the Road King is in a million little pieces right now, looking like a jig saw puzzle gone bad.
Thursday, March 19th, 2009
It was a very revealing show this morning. Not only did I find out that Niki is a Star Wars geek, it’s still under consideration that the Millemium Falcon is quite possibly the best space ship out there.
Han’s vessel was compared to the Starship Enterprise, Buck Roger’s space car and even the Klingon’s fleet of warships. Of course Darth’s Tie Fighter was brought into the verbal battle and is my personal favorite however there are some who think the crafts from ‘V’ are happenin’ while others are holding out for the space rides from Starship Troopers.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, we are solving the world’s problems one space geek fan at a time.
p.s. That is no regular Tie-Fighter by the way but the personal flying vehicle of Mr. Vader.
Monday, March 16th, 2009
Niki’s desk is right beside mine and as ‘Aqualung’ is blasting through the phone speaker, she asked my thoughts about Jethro Tull to which I replied, ‘you NEED to have this album in your collection, period.’
Other must have’s of any rock lover should have the including and following;
JETHRO TULL – AQUALUNG
PINK FLOYD – DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
JOE WALSH – BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS
EAGLES – HOTEL CALIFORNIA
THE DOORS – L.A. WOMAN
ZZ TOP – DEGUELLO
SANTANA – ABRAXAS
JIMI HENDRIX – ARE YOU EXPERIENCED
Now of course this isn’t even skimming the surface but a guy’s gotta start somewhere, right?
The mighty sized pic is that of my favorite Floyd album for the current time, ‘Animals.’
Thursday, March 12th, 2009
If you’re looking for some extra points for your rock army account, grab a copy of today’s Medicine Hat News. You’ll find that bonus at the bottom of an article that looks identical to what’s been typed below:
Canada, The Brier and Canadian Brier music.
Before I voluntarily got kicked out of the living room as I have no power of attorney over the remote control, I was flipping back and forth between the Brier and a documentary concerning the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Gordon Lightfoot’s tribute to the American vessel started bouncing between my ears while my thoughts were still focused on the back bacon I had for breakfast and wondering if straw brooms would be brought back to the art of curling.
Like a maple leaf shaped barrel of syrup landing on my already disfigured little toe, I had an epiphany which has now turned into a column, that of national treasures, of the musical nature.
A good reason of why I failed university probably had something to do with all the bonspiels I would enter and that’s where I was introduced to the music of the 13th greatest Canadian of all time, Mr. Stompin’ Tom Connors. ‘Gum-Boot Cloggeroo’ was listened to before a rock was ever thrown and years later while throwing skids on the pipeline in Wabasca (among many other interesting communities) it was there I became a fan of Tom, largely in thanks to ‘Bud the Spud’. It turns out I had been a fan of the Juno rejecting musician all my life and like so many others, probably didn’t know it. Sitting around campfires with family or sitting in a tractor working the dirt, Stompin’ Tom has always been there, wearing out those pieces of plywood one left stomp at a time.
I mentioned ‘national treasure’ earlier and that’s how Gordon Lightfoot has been described by his fellow toque wearers and I would have to agree. When you have artists like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley covering your work, you know you’ve knitted yourself one fine sweater. Now it’s not his fault Gordon was deemed ‘celebrity captain for the Maple Leafs’ so don’t hold that against him because the man lives and breathes what it means to be Canadian and you can literally hear it in his music. Personally, ‘Early Mornin’ Rain’ still makes the hair on my arm stand up. (And there’s a lot of hair there, not including the time I used Nair but that’s a different story for a later date)
Sure, Stompin’ Tom and Gordon may have been a little bit before my time but I did live the life to be able to watch The Tragically Hip become a representation of an iconic Canada. They may have never secured immense success in countries like the U.S. and the selfish part of me wants it like that. It’s like when you find the perfect fishing hole; you want to tell everyone one and no one all at the same time. Singing of prairie winters, monologues about the TransCanada and of course hockey, The Hip have made cool all those little Canadian idiosyncrasies that we’re too humble to take pride in.
And so the next time you’re waiting in line at the back of an 18 car line-up for your maple donut and double-double (I smell the 11 dollar list) and hear ‘Fifty Mission Cap’, or ‘Steel Rail Blues’, or ‘The Man in the Moon is a Newfie’, enjoy it because you won’t hear it anywhere else other than the Great White North.
Monday, March 9th, 2009
You’ve got plain ole’ karma, bad karma, friend karma, beer karma and now, snow karma.
I’ve got snow karma happening with one of my neighbors where we’ve been inadvertently taking turns shovelling each other’s driveway. ‘Great idea’, I thought, until I noticed that when my neighbor takes his turn, the snow could be whisked away with a Swiffer and that when it’s my turn, the snow seems to consist of properties very similar to that of lead.
Add to that, there’s a blue hair down the street whose driveway I also keep an eye on but that has now escalated to the point of where I’m shovelling her walk, her backyard, the driveway, the step and I also brush the snow off of her 08′ full sized cadillac.
I know what you’re thinking and I’ve had the same thoughts; “If she’s runnin’ the Caddy you’d think she could afford to pay some kid a wooden nickel to work that shovel”, however my fear of her having a coronary while shovelling her walk ensures that I maintain her driveway (and it doens’t hurt that she fronts me a bottle of Malibu every once in a while either)
Regardless, coming from the bearded long hair who has an affliction for winter I’m stating for the record that enough is enough. Bring the mosquitoes already.
Friday, March 6th, 2009
If you’ve ever wondered what the staff at Rock 105.3 does off air, I can tell you what went down this morning at the World Headquarters.
After talking about how much I’ve come to appreciate my Roomba to my peers, their interest was also piqued and so I brought my robotic vacuum in for a demonstration. Stephen, one of the dudes here, cut up some paper to represent dirt meanwhile Niki got on the speakerphone to invite the staff upstairs before the big event.
The demo went off without a hitch, the Roomba performed like a pro, even finding it’s electronic home when the room was clean. As it stands now, I have at least two of my colleagues going shopping for Roombas this weekend.
By the way, if you’re the CEO of Roomba and reading this, I will be expecting my commission cheque no later than the end of next week.
And now I feel greasier than the Sham-wow guy so I plan on having a long a shower to help cleanse me of any remaining infomercial germs.
Thursday, March 5th, 2009
Unlike the compiled CD’s you can buy from certain coffee stores that claim to make ‘songs for the road’, here’s some of the tunes that make me want to hit the highway. (and yes, this is my column from today’s Medicine Hat News)
Songs for the Road, Volume #2
The temperatures are warming and with the exception of my driveway, the snow is melting faster than a forgotten ice-cream cone in the back seat of an ’89 Winstar mini-van. You see, this was to be the introductory paragraph concerning my anticipation of the upcoming riding season and now that ‘Born To Ride 2’ is under way, I felt this would be a very timely topic.
However, ‘Stranglehold’ starting blasting through the Magnavox radio in the garage which got me thinking about songs built for the highway and here we are. Now I’m not an overly passionate dude for the music of the Motor city Madman but 8 and half minutes of ‘Stranglehold’ has got the Hays Maze written all over it. This is a tune when you and your ride are one with your surroundings and you’ll know it when the meld takes place. Potholes are avoided like a sixth sense, lane changes are seamless and the only chunk of the sky that isn’t grey and rainy is the piece right above you, following you like a 3 legged dog all the way to your driveway.
Now you could be driving through the snowstorm of the century, kind of like last week, and then ‘Woodstock’ hits and all is well in the world, unless of course Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young is nothing but an instigator for flashbacks as your years as a hippie. This little ditty can’t help but make you want to drive somewhere, anywhere for that matter before stopping to coat your VW van in rainbows and flowers.
Studies have proven that music from ZZ Top will add weight to your accelerator foot but for me the track, ‘I just wanna make love to you’, by Foghat is the creator of speeding tickets with my name on it. The combination of double tracking that oh so catchy guitar riff and how the beginning of the song fades from left speaker to right and back again makes me wish I owned a fast car or at least something with more than four cylinders.
Back in my hammer lane days I wore out two cassettes -see the 80’s – of Metallica’s ‘Orion’. I’d lower that air ride bucket seat to the bottom of my Peterbilt, adjust the Blublocker shades so that zero light was entering the retinas and inadvertently snarl because it seemed like the right thing to do. In my mind I was Mad Max as long as that metal instrumental kept on chugging.
It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a Le Car in your spandex pants and heating a pizza pop using the heater when ‘Sweet Emotion’ filters through the radio speakers because that classic Aerosmith tune can make anyone feel like Steve McQueen. One of the best bass lines in rock, it’s a song that wouldn’t shame you into giving your real name after being arrested for riding your fold-up 3 speed bike down a sidewalk.
Monday, March 2nd, 2009
It was announced today that Rock 105.3 is giving away not 1 but 2 sweet rides plus a combine full of great prize packs. Born to Ride Too is now underway.
How convenient it was then that over the weekend, Brad, German, Garnett and myself spent the majority of our free time discussing highways meant for bikes, over the course of a wobbly pop or two.
To date, my favorite highway to travel on the Road King has been 3A, just after Creston, home of the Kokannee Sasquatch. From there you’re only a ferry ride away from staying at Toad Rock MC, a camprgound built with the biker in mind and some of the finest people you’d ever meet.
And seeing how this is the beginning of March, I’m reminded of that old addage, “In like a sheep, out like a Harley’, or something to that effect.
You’re looking at the backside view of Horseshoe Canyon in Elkwater, taken sometime in the summer of ’08.