Sunday, January 31, 2010

Enough with the snow

So, the best laid of plans and all. We had planned to hit some of the Haiti benefit shows last night, but then a blizzard hit town, killing that idea. It was still bad enough this afternoon that my plans to head down to the curling club to play a game against the new Nunavut Arctic Winter Games team went by the wayside. So it's been homeward bound most of the past 24 hours. No cabin fever yet, although I am watching the Grammys right now, always a sign that perhaps my mind is starting to go a bit.

I've been assured that I'm not losing my mind when it comes to the snow, though. For the past few years we lived "downtown" and there were times when the city shut down for weather when we were looking out our windows and going "why?"

So I wasn't sure if Iqaluit was actually getting hit with more snow this winter or if where we're living in a new part of town we're just getting exposed to a different kind of weather. And yes, that's entirely possible in Iqaluit. Some parts of the city get hit harder during storms than others.

However, this winter we're getting a lot more snow than in previous winters. This is a delightful experience for me as I'm decidedly out of practice when it comes to shovelling snow. I've done more in the past two months than I have in the previous 4+ years of living in Iqaluit. We also have to clear most of the snow away from the front of our houses not just for our vehicle, but also for the water truck and the sewage truck.

So that isn't getting annoying at all. Now, we could hire someone to come and plow our driveway, but that's about $100 a month and we're not really at the point where that's a good idea for our bank account.

Although I do find myself in an interesting new quandary. I always said I would take the cold over the snow any day of the week, just because I hate shovelling that much. However, now that I have oil bills to deal with, I might have to reevaluate that idea. I might take snow over $400 oil bills.

This house keeps changing my experiences in dealing with things, I must say.

And yes, in case you couldn't figure it out, I didn't really have much to write about this evening. However, I haven't lost my ability to ramble, which is good to know.

Last Five
1. Can't help falling in love (live) - U2*
2. Still crazy after all these years - Paul Simon
3. It's raining on prom night - Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies
4. It's a hard life - Queen
5. The darkest one - The Tragically Hip

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Maybe not such a clever idea

I've given some more thought to the pie incident involving the PETA protester yesterday. Now, I supported it yesterday and, I will admit, when I first heard about the incident happening it did put a smile on my face. My only regret at the time was that it was a cream pie and not a seal flipper pie.

However, there is a world of difference between cathartic release and a good idea. And yes, after the outrage from earlier the week with the protester slamming a pie in the fisheries minister's face it was certainly good to get some kind of revenge, even if it means sinking to your opponents level.

Here's the thing, though. I will call PETA many, many nasty things. I think they're assholes, scumbags and liars. I will call them a fairly unethical bunch of people. And if, for some reason, the organization went bankrupt because the gullible stopped giving them money or the US government shut them down for fraud reasons or something along those lines, well, I will be a happy man that day.

However, I will never call them stupid. Because they're not. They're devious shits and it is always a wise thing to remember that when you're going to set out to play ball with them.

So, for example, in a week where they attacked a federal cabinet minister with a pie and a prominent Newfoundland MP calls for them to be investigated for terrorism, do you really think they didn't know what was going to happen when sending a protester to St. John's? Of course they did. The protester even had her speaking points ready for when she was interviewed by the media. She didn't curse, she didn't cry or be upset. Instead, she neatly laughed it off and turned the issue back to the seal hunt.

So what would have been a non-story, a protester in a seal costume representing PETA trying to give the prime minister a hard time, gets a lot more media attention. It's not even a line buried at the back end of a CP wire story. However, now it's splashed across newspapers and websites across Canada and probably went international as well.

PETA will take pies to the face all day long for that kind of free publicity (well, minus the plane ticket to send the woman from Vancouver, which is pretty damn weird, really). They get more attention drawn to the seal hunt and after a week of Newfoundlanders howling for blood and criminal charges about a minister being pied, they resort to the exact same thing when given the chance. Which makes people look a bit like hypocrites

PETA gave them the chance. A seal protester in St. John's is like pour a couple of gallons of blood in the water off the coast of Australia and wondering if sharks are going to turn up.

The guys that planned this stunt in St. John's will probably never have to buy drinks on George Street again. They're going to be heroes. I just don't know if in the long seal war that it was the smartest thing to do. You get down in the dirt with people like PETA and they will win most times. Simply because they're smarter at being lying scumbags than most of us ever will be.

That's not something most of us would be proud of. I'm sure most of us would hope our kids don't grow up to be the best little devious, lying scumbags they can be. However, it is something to consider when you're going to go and pick a fight with them. You sink to their level, they will win, every time.

Last Five
1. Run for your life - The Beatles
2. Monster hospital - Metric*
3. Together - The Raconteurs
4. For the money - The Editors
5. Leather (live) - Tori Amos

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Friday assortment

A quick assortment today, I think, rather than the full blown post.

1. If you are in Iqaluit and have nothing to do tomorrow evening you should go to this fundraiser to help Haiti. For that matter, if you do have something to do, cancel and do this instead. It's a great cause and, once again, my hat is off to Jordan. This was his brainstorm and he's been organizing most of this. Awesome job, my friend.

You can also go here and here.

2. The Learn to Curl has gone well so far this week. We've had a lot of kids out during the day time that we've been giving a taste of curling. Most, of course, will never step on the ice again. However, we hope we've planted the seed with a few of them. And hell, some of them were hitting the button on their first shots. I might try and recruit some of those 10 year olds to play on my team. Or is that child labour?

We have one more session open to the general public, which is from 1-3 on Saturday afternoon. Come on down. And for those who are really curious, we also have a set up that will tape your slide and a coach who will analyze it for you and give tips on how you can improve it. I did it Thursday night and spotted a few quirks in my delivery that I hope to fix.

3. It's nice being employed again. And yes, some of it is for the simple, pragmatic reasons of being able to contribute to the mortgage and the bills again in a significant way.

On the other hand, it's also nice that after six months to finally cut loose at Chapters, which I did last night. I have a huge order coming and I do not feel the slightest regret about it. I have a wish list six months long to get through.

4. I don't know why I find this so amusing, considering people put houses for sale up on the bulletin boards at the post office and NorthMart worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, or vehicles up worth tens of thousands. However, someone has stuck up on the boards tickets for the opening and closing of the Winter Olympics. And it's not just a pair of tickets, but something like seven tickets for each ceremony.

Oh, and the person wants $1,500 for each ticket for the opening, $1,000 each for the closing. Just stuck up on the board with some phone number tags you can tear off. And somebody must have money to burn because several tags have been ripped off. So I guess some people are heading from Iqaluit down to for the ceremonies. And with some serious money to burn. I mean, I wouldn't drop $150 on a ticket for the opening ceremonies, let alone $1,500 each. But hey, that's just me.

5. I take no credit for this happening, but I still laughed when I first saw it pop up on Facebook and Twitter. Alas, of course, the more publicity you give groups like PETA, the more they love it. I mean, obvious, the girl was prepared for something like this to happen and had her speaking points ready.

6. And finally, for all those stories out there talking about Avatar is the biggest movie of all time, here's a little perspective. In terms of ticket sales, which is probably a better measure, it's actually 26th worldwide. Yes, a movie like Gone With The Wind didn't face as much competition in theatres, let alone things like TV and the internet. However, it never hurts to put things in perspective.

Last Five
1. Face of the Earth - Joel Plaskett Emergency
2. Where do you get off - Ron Hynes*
3. After the gold rush - Neil Young
4. Summer in Siam - The Pogues
5. Fortune faded - Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Review: Republic of Doyle, Ep.4

So this week on Law & Order, torn right from the headlines, the Randy Druken murder case....

Oh, wait, sorry, it was an episode of Republic of Doyle. Seriously, I know Randy isn't hurting for money these days, what with the cash he got from his wrongful conviction settlement, but did he get a kickback from the producers on this episode?

For those of you not from Newfoundland hunting out for reviews, seriously, type Randy Drunken into a Google search and you'll get an idea. So yes, not a lot of hard writing required from Allan Hawco and the boys on this one. The reference to one of the brothers having a place up on Shea Heights was just the icing on the cake (again, for those of you not of the St. John's persuasion, Randy Drunken was from Shea Heights. So was the rest of his....charming, family. Let us just say the Heights has a certain...reputation).

Anyway, yes, a recap. After Randy Druken (oh let's just call it as it is) is released from prison he decides to hire the Doyles to figure out who really killed Brenda by stabbing her to death. He's pretty sure its his brother (let's call him Paul, just cause) and offers Jake $100,000 to solve the crime. He's flush, after all, with a $4 million settlement. And even after the house, the hookers (clearly he did not find those girls down by the courthouse) and buying Walter a dozen beer, he still has money to burn. Jake's gung ho for the case, what with him thinking he might be a father after finding a pregnancy test at Nikki's. Malachy would just as soon throttle Randy. Hmmmm...

Back at the homestead, Tinny is still being a brat, having moved out of the house and in with her boyfriend Dwayne, in an obvious attention grabbing move. Who knew 16 year olds were so high maintenance? Rose would like to strangle her, but tries to deal with the situation in a manner pretty much doomed to awkward failure. Not so much with Cst. Bennett this week, other than an unsubtle remark to to Jake if he'd really like to get a look at "her files". Jake is with Nikki at the time, trying to awkwardly look for information on her possible pregnancy and completely muffs it.

Meanwhile, we also have a shoot out at the scrapyard between the two Drukens featuring more gunfire than an RCMP stand off at a Canadian Tire parking lot. Oh, and also a Druken sister who is a stripper that takes care of the senile mother. Des gets to follow her, until he runs out of money and they kick him out.

Oh, and I know I said I had a man crush on Sean Panting in my post yesterday about music, but I really didn't need to see him appear topless and being oiled in this episode. When I said I wanted to see more of Sean in the show, this isn't quite what I had in mind.

It was a fine enough episode. As I said, a little too "ripped from the headlines" for my liking and I managed to figure out the murderer pretty quick. The guest acting, mercifully, was pretty good this time. And the father/son stuff is sliding right into place, just as I hoped it would. It's also nice to get some background on why Malachy was so obsessed with the case the first time around, even though he didn't work on it. We're four episodes in now; it's all right to starting getting some background information on who these characters were before we met them.

What's not working? The women on the show, oddly enough. Rose was fine as always and got to deliver the line of the night - "Are you ever going to look at my computer or use the word 'GILF' in my house again?" while holding a knife to Des throat. Rose is the smartest person on the show, and the scariest. I just wish they'd give her a bit more to do. Cst. Bennett popped up long enough to give Jake information and flirt with him a bit, but not much more. Time to do some more character development with her as well.

Tinny veered over that line from sort of annoying into really annoying. Time to explain this better or give her less to do, because what they have going right now isn't working. And neither is the stuff with Jake and Nikki. Their scenes are inevitably the weakest part of the show. The whole "are they married or getting divorced?" is getting deeply old and we're only four episodes in. Thank god the pregnancy was a red herring, as I kind of figured it would be.

It was a fine enough episode and hell, I was glad to see the cast of CODCO didn't make an appearance again this week (one online wag said all that was missing last week was zombie Tommy Sexton). However, each episode was better than the one before. This one kind of feels like it was in neutral. A decent enough stand alone, but doesn't really feel like it advanced anything very much.

On the upside, next week has Gordon Pinsent. And dudes, if you can't put together a fun episode with Gordan Pinsent, pack it in now. Seriously.

Last Five
1. Presentation check - Sean Panting
2. A villa in Portugal - The Pursuit of Happiness
3. Viva la Vida - Coldplay
4. When the deal goes down - Bob Dylan
5. Frankfurt I'm sorry (live) - Spirit of the West*

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If I read one more iPad joke...

So, three initial thoughts about the iPad:

1. At first I was wondering what Steve Jobs was thinking when he named the damn thing the iPad because the internet is quickly filling up with tampon jokes. It gets worse when you realize one of the programs the iPad will run is called CoverFlow, which allows you to see the covers of albums on your screen. It's used in the iPods and iPhones, but it will also be used on this device. So, the sheer volume of jokes that are being made may well crack the internet in half before the day is over.

Because honestly, I figured Apple's entirely too clever for their own good marketing people would have been horrified by the name and would prefer the far more sterile iSlate or iTablet. I could just imagine the meetings where they begged Steve Jobs to change the name. However, as I look at Twitter's trending topics, six of the top 10 topics are Apple related. Seven if you want to throw in all the people talking about how this is going to kill the Kindle.

However, if you want to get into the "no such thing as bad publicity" theory of marketing, then it's actually a good thing. Very few people are going to not buy this because the name is embarrassing. In the meantime, the jokes only further promote the product and get it out there in the public eye. People might be chuckling, but they are reading about it and see if it's a gadget they want to buy.

There are times when I wonder if Steve Jobs isn't some kind of evil genius, really.

2. I wonder what this is going to do to the comic book industry. There have been other Pad-like devices out there, just like there were other MP3 players out there before the iPod. However, this is likely a game changer. Before major players like DC and Marvel have only dipped a toe in the water of online comic books. If the iPad takes off and becomes the device for reading books, magazines and newspapers, how long before comic books make the leap?

So what will that do to comic book stores? I think a healthy number of them are already living in fear. Out of curiosity when I was home at Christmas I went to both local comic book stores to inquire about selling my collection. It's a long story, but basically, they're sitting wrapped in tarp right now and I'm never going to move them up here, so what's the sense of keeping them where they are? One store expressed very luck warm interest, the other expressed no interest and is convinced his store and the industry as we know it is dead in five years.

I can't imagine a time when I wouldn't want to hold a graphic novel in my hands to read it. However, the prospect of downloading new comics onto an iPad if they were priced reasonably....I could be interested in that, I must admit.

And if enough people get interested, well, that's bad news for comic book stores everywhere.

3. Having said all that, I won't be buying one of these for several years. First, I don't think buying first generation electronic items such as this is a good idea. Both first generation iPod and iPhones were revolutionary, but still required fine tuning to work out quirks that frustrated new users. I'm sure it'll be the same with this device.

Next year the iPad 2.0 will be out, and the year after that the iPad 3.0 will come out. By then, maybe, I'll be ready to own one. Also, Jobs emphasizes how Apple is the premier mobile technology company in the world. Which is awesome and all, except I'm not as mobile as people down south (the tundra generally lacks wireless) and the internet we have has caps on it. So I question the usefulness of this device for me. At least for right now. We shall see.

Oh, in a completely unrelated note, I will be doing a review of Episode four of Republic of Doyle which I should have online either late this evening or early tomorrow morning. Hopefully with fewer really stupid mistakes this time.

Top Five
1. Unknown caller - U2
2. Tom Sawyer - Rush
3. Treat me like your mother - The Dead Weather
4. Brothers in arms - Dire Straits
5. Walter Reed - Michael Penn*

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Top records of the past 10 years

I noticed Clare put up on his Facebook status in the last 24 hours or so that his wallet had dodged a bullet because I had not put up a list of my favourite records of either 2009 or of the last decade. Clearly I don't want him to think he's dodged anything. Honestly, I thought best of the decade/year lists were a bit done at this point. It is, after all, nearly the end of January so I think people might be bored of them.

However, in the interest of wrecking havoc on Clare's bank account, I'll present my list of favourite records of the past decade. If I get around to it, I'll do songs, movies and TV as well.

These are not listed in order of best to worst. Honestly, I don't have the time of patience to do that. Instead, this is literally me scrolling through my iPod and looking at artists by alphabetical order and picking my favourites. Oh, and an asterisk is for a Newfoundland and Labrador act, just in case for some of you you're going "who the hell is that?"

A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder
Allison Krauss and Union Station - Live
Amelia Curran - War Brides*
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
The Beatles - Love (a total cheat, but it's a great little remix album)
Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
Colleen Power - Face and Eyes*
Corinne Bailey Rae - S/T
Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
The Donnas - Gold Medal
Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint - The River in Reverse
Franz Ferdinand - S/T
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
Great Big Sea - The Hard and the Easy*
Gorillaz - S/T
Green Day - American Idiot
Hawksley Workman - (Last Night We Were) The Delicious Werewolves
Hawksley Workman - Lover/Fighter
Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs*
The Hives - The Black and White Album
Hot Hot Heat - Elevator
Jenny Gear and the Whiskey Kittens - S/T*
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
Joel Plaskett Emergency - Truthfully Truthfully
Joel Plaskett Emergency - Make A Little Noise EP
Josh Ritter - Hello Starling
Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
Kathleen Edwards - Back to Me
Kings of Leon - Only by the Night
Leonard Cohen - Live in London
Lily Allen - It's not me, it's you
Lily Allen - Alright, Still
Mark Bragg - The Reckless Kind*
Mark Bragg - Bear Music*
Matt Mays and El Torpedo - Terminal Romance
Matthew Good - Avalanche
Matthew Good - Hospital Music
Metric - Fantasies
Neil Diamond - 12 Songs
Neko Case - Furnace Room Lullaby
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
The New Pornographers - Electric Version
Rilo Kiley - Under the Black Lights
Ron Hynes - S/T*
Ron Sexsmith - Retriever
Ryan Adams - Gold
Ryan Adams - East Tiger
Ryan Adams - Cold Roses
Sean Panting - Lotus Land*
Sean Panting - Pop Disaster*
Sean Panting - Receiver*
Sean Panting - Victrola*
Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
Tegan & Sara - So Jealous
Ting Tings - We Started Nothing
Tom Waits - VH1 Storytellers
U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind
Warren Zevon - The Wind
The Weakerthans - Left and Leaving
The White Stripes - Elephant
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's a Blitz!

So there you go, my Top 66 albums of the past decade. And yes, I have a deep bias towards Sean Panting. I love the man, in a deeply heterosexual way. Those are all great Newfoundland recordings, by the way, and I strong encourage you to seek them out and give them a listen. They deserve their spots on that list.

Last Five
1. Meet me at the equinox - Death Cab For Cutie*
2. Obstacle 1 - Interpol
3. Jackie's strength - Tori Amos
4. Pinball wizard - The Who
5. Country roads - Me First and the Gimme Gimmies

Monday, January 25, 2010


This is one story where I won't be insane enough to read the comments section. Because I have a pretty good idea that it will result in brain hemorrhages, homicidal rages and other unpleasant reactions.

However, here's the thing about some anti-seal protester assaulting a cabinet minister. Sorry, but I've always thought slamming a custard pie (or tofu cream pie) into someone's face was an idiotic form of protest. Even when it's people I don't particularly like, all I can think is "that's the best you can do?"

However, when it's anti-seal hunt protesters, my blood pressure does go up a tick, I must confess. So I think I shall pass along a suggestion I saw on Twitter earlier today. The best revenge for this sort of thing is to make up a bunch of seal flipper pies, find a bunch of PETA protesters, or better yet, some of PETA's board of directors, and give them a taste of their own medicine.

Now, I'm not an idiot. I know I said it's an idiotic form of protest. I said it in the previous paragraph. But, you know, just once, just fucking once I'd love to give these arrogant bastards a taste of their own medicine.

It's stupid, it's wrong and I should be above it. I guess I should feel bad they've driven me to this. But I think I'll manage to get over the feelings of hypocrisy if just once I could see the president of PETA with a nice gravy dripping off of his face. I think I could live with that.

Last Five
1. The old apartment - Barenaked Ladies
2. My name is - Eminem
3. Laughter - Josh Rouse
4. Cherry lane - Ryan Adams
5. Summer girls - Blue Rodeo

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Upcoming events

Not much to write about this evening, as you might have been able to figure out by the late posting time. Sorry, but occasionally the well runs dry on the idea front. Today was spent doing some tidying around the house and watching football. Oh, and I'm starting to rewatch Battlestar Galactica with Cathy. So far she seems to be enjoying it, but I guess it remains to be seen if she can hang in there when the series starts to get a bit weird.

I will point out a couple of events for the week coming up, however.

First, for those of you in Iqaluit with an interest in curling, this week is a good one to come out to the curling club. We're flying up Dan Kleinschroth, a nationally recognized coach from Alberta, to do some clinics. Now, he's primarily in town to work on the Learn to Curl program for kids and to work with some of the junior curlers. However, on Wednesday night he'll be doing a clinic for beginner curlers and Thursday night a clinic for more advanced curlers who still want to fine tune their game. Both clinics take place from 7-9pm. There will also be a clinic on Saturday from 1-3pm for anyone who wants to attend, regardless of skill level. You don't have to be a member to come out.

There's also no charge for this. So if you're at all interested in curling and want to have one of the best coaches in Canada give you some pointers, please come to the club.

Secondly, I really encourage people in Iqaluit to pay close attention to Jordan and Stephanie's blog during this week. Jordan has taken it upon himself to get heavily involved in an "Iqaluit Helps Haiti" fundraiser, which is taking place this Saturday, January 30. It's going on at multiple venues around town and I imagine there will be no shortage of posters going up over the next few days.

Still, check over there for the latest updates. I imagine we'll be heading out on Saturday to catch some of the local acts and to support a good cause. And good on Jordan for getting involved in this. I always knew he was a class guy....this just carves it in stone.

Last Five
1. Thunderclap - Eskimo Joe
2. Heart and soul - T'pau*
3. Kathleen (live) - Josh Ritter
4. Gonna make you love me - Ryan Adams
5. Four winds - Bright Eyes

Saturday, January 23, 2010


One of the rackets that happened while I was in Yellowknife that I simply didn't have time to write about, but that certainly caught my eye, was Fortis redevelopment plan for Water Street and Prescott. For those not aware of the geography of downtown St. John's, that's one of it's main arteries. I won't call it the heart of downtown, but any development that happens there fundamentally alters the appears of downtown. So it's something that needs to be looked at carefully and with due consideration.

CBC has stories here and here. The Telegram has an exceptionally intelligent editorial that can be read here that argues better guidelines need to brought into place to regulate development downtown.

However, because the curiosity got the better of me, I dove into the comments sections. Comment sections on sites such as the CBC and The Telegram are always fraught with peril. For every intelligent comment there is normally 10 who are either trolls or complete idiots. Still, I was curious to see what the reaction would be.

There were, of course, a percentage of people who just hate downtown St. John's and everything to do with downtown and want to ruined for little better than spite. There are some who argue that since downtown has already been compromised with buildings like the Scotia Centre and Atlantic Place, fuck it, go ahead and build. Some marginally sensible ones argue it could bring in new money and, during hard economic times, offer up a lot of jobs. Some argue that downtown has a false history because few of the buildings downtown are really that old anyway.

On the other side are those who argue about ruining their views, complain about lack of parking and say the building are hideous. One person made a Two Towers reference and referred to Mordor, which is kind of clever, actually.

Look, I'm going to err on the side of caution when it comes to new construction downtown every single time. Why? Atlantic Place and the Scotia Centre. Go ahead, find me the people that will argue those are attractive looking buildings that greatly enhance the appearance of the city. Try to see if I'm actually still alive when you do find that person.

People downtown have a right to be skeptical of new buildings because there hasn't been one attractive building over five stories tall built in St. John's. They tend to be ugly glass boxes. It's like architects in Newfoundland are smacked in the head so hard when the graduate school that the concepts of creativity and beauty just vanish.

Plus, and I know this hard for some people to grasp, the appearance of downtown St. John's is of provincial importance. Its appearance is a provincial landmark. It has a distinct visual appearance that should be messed with only after great consideration. Because once you start messing with it you alter something distinctive and unique. And it's very hard to straighten things up when you start slapping up giant glass boxes.

So how about a little thought and common sense. Because honestly, there's plenty of space in St. John's. It's a big ol' sprawl, and that's even before you get into areas like Mount Pearl, Paradise and Conception Bay South. If there is such a clamouring for more office space, then there are plenty of areas to build in that does not mess with something so distinctive and important as downtown St. John's appearance.

Don't get me wrong, the people arguing that they'll lose their view, sorry. That's a shitty argument. I lived downtown. I liked being able to see Signal Hill from my windows. However, nobody will have any sympathy for you. Seriously. That's going to get you a big boo hoo, followed by an even bigger "go fuck yourself" if that's your main argument against new buildings being put up downtown. Find a better one.

The appearance of downtown St. John's, and its skyline, is one of the most distinctive in all of Canada. Why would you mess with that? It's something that actually draws people in from across Canada. It's a distinctive culture downtown, and it's a good culture. I've been in places in Ottawa and Toronto where it's nothing but skyscrapers and glass towers. There is no life there. No culture. It's so antiseptic and horrible. Why would want to inflict that kind of sterile development on an area as alive and wonderful as downtown St. John's?

Develop downtown, but try to tap into that rarest of commodities when it comes to City Hall, developers and those trying to put downtown in a glass bottle never to be messed with....common sense.

Last Five
1. As much as I ever could - City and Colour
2. Don't go away - Oasis*
3. Time - Ben Folds
4. Heroes - David Bowie
5. This river is wild - The Killers

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thanks everyone

One of the last things I discovered before shutting down my laptop and bolting for the airport this morning was that I had won the Nunie award for Best Blog. I've got to say, if you're going to go and spend several hours on a plane, especially one where your ticket has one of those little green tags saying they might not be able to land in Iqaluit (again) and that you're on your own, knowing you've won a Nunie does make things much easier to deal with.

Oh, and I did make it home today. And the meat was fine, for those of you worried about such things.

So without going on too long and rambling all over the place, thank you to everyone who voted for me. For that matter, congrats to the other two winners - The Arctic Post and Newbie in the North. I might have expressed some envy at how tight the NWT blogging community is, but the one we have here in Nunavut is pretty snazzy as well, and it's come a long way over the past few years. Clare and I often joke about being the godfathers of Nunavut blogging, but I'm just happy to see that each year there are new and excellent blogs challenging in each of these categories.

Speaking of Clare, this win comes with an asterisk. Not because I'm taking steroids (although they don't do drug testing in curling. Hmmmmm) but because it's certainly easier to win Best Blog when the Best Blog disqualifies himself. Once again, a tip of the hat to Clare for coming up with this idea, for running the awards and for being just an all around awesome guy. We're lucky to have him around up here.

Last Five
1. This is your land (live) - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
2. Let's not play - The Pursuit of Happiness
3. Bank job - Barenaked Ladies*
4. No jokes - fact - Hot Hot Heat
5. A message - Coldplay

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review: Republic of Doyle, Ep.3

Sorry this is a bit late. And, honestly, probably a touch more brief than I would like. With all of the travelling yesterday my brain was not working at peak efficiency to do a lengthy and proper review.

So the long and short of it, The Doyle's are called in to investigate a bar that burned down on George Street, a fire where a young woman's body was found afterwords. An old flame of Malachy's, who runs a neighbouring bar, is convinced that one of her George Street rivals had something to do with it. Meanwhile Jake's ex-wife is a little less crazy this week, the good Cst. Bennett apparently has trouble holding her liquor (and don't mess with her boots), Des gets a brief moment to shine and Tinny is pretty much just a brat.

So, first the good.

See, we need more Jake moments like that. When a client hires you to check and see if his wife is shagging around on him and you discover she is by sleeping with her and get caught, that's funny. There needs to be more of that side of Jake. On the other hand, Jake not sleeping with the constable was another good thing. It's nice to see those sides of the character. He's a rogue, but one with a sliver of a conscience. It'll also be interesting to see where they go with the notion of Nikki maybe being pregnant and Jake becoming a father. I think it's a bit early to be playing that card, but it could be good.

Also good to see the father and son dynamic developing. The frustrating thing in the early episodes was that you knew it was there, they just weren't nailing it. Well, they nailed it this time. The bit where Jake is nearly run over and Malachy saves him, but complains about it produced a marvelous bit of dialogue. Also, Jake is right, Malachy did take the time to get a picture of his assailant, but didn't do anything about actually capturing him.

Malachy loves his son, I'm just not certain he likes him all that much. Which is a wonderful dramatic relationship. Keep working on it and that gold mine will pay off for ages.

Also good to see that Krystin Pellerin continues to progress as an actress. I think the first episode was just an aberration. She was more fun this time, finally had some real chemistry with Jake and had the line of the night with, "if you tell anybody about last night I will gut you from stem to stern." And she said it in a way that I certainly would believe her.

The Bad?
Ah well, it was pretty much inevitable that Codco people were going to show up at some point. Although Mary Walsh wasn't too bad. She was more subdued and not trying to light up every scene. I liked that she appeared as a character who was deeply damaged, knew it, and seemed resigned to the fact that no matter what she tries she's fucked.

Robert Joy did nothing for me, honest, which is a touch surprising because he's a good actor. But he just wasn't the right level of skeevy for me, for some reason.

Then there's Joel Hynes. People from outside of Newfoundland probably don't know Hynes, so they don't realize that this is the only character he's capable of playing, apparently. A smart mouth looking for a fight, with a short temper, a drugs and alcohol problem who is always getting into trouble, but who is ultimately deeply sorry for what the consequences of his actions. I look forward to him taking it on the road and doing the same character with CSI, Law & Order and many other shows.

Edit Note: I've been told that wasn't Hynes, but Steve Cochrane. So my bad. I apologize to Joel and Steve and clearly need to be paying more attention to these things when looking at them. Sorry.

Sorry, he's a good writer and an interesting personality, but I'm just tired of that character.

However, at least he wasn't as bad as Greg Malone. The worse thing is, that character is probably going to be reoccurring. We had none of Sean Panting's slightly scummy lawyer (who could have easily provided the information Malone was used for) and instead we get this...nuisance. This scene chewing twitchy abomination. Hideous. Not at all entertaining and purely annoying. If the Doyles want to investigate his murder in a few weeks time, that would be awesome.

So, over all, a good episode, despite my gripes about some of the guest acting. As long as the core, week in, week out actors are hitting their paces and the stories are good, I'll put up with the occasional disastrous guest star.

Last Five
1. I guess that's why they call it the blues (live) - Elton John and Billy Joel
2. Polythene Pam - The Beatles
3. Whatever it takes - Ron Sexsmith*
4. Ever time we say goodbye - Diana Krall
5. Dead in the water - David Gray

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back where I started

So the plan for today was to get up, catch a plane back to Iqaluit and be home by around 4:30. It was a good plan and I was looking forward to it. I normally don't mind a good jaunt outside of Iqaluit. I even like Yellowknife quite a bit. I think it's the trees, really.

The day, however, did not go according to plan.

It got off to a delayed start when the plane had mechanical problems in Edmonton. Which meant instead of leaving at 10 am, it would leave a little after noon. That actually worked out fine for me. The one place I hadn't had a chance to hit was M+M Meatshop, so I hopped in a cab, zipped on over and, $200 later, I had a big box of meat. Excellent.

Except when I eventually get to the airport I start checking Facebook and Twitter and there's word that a blizzard has hit Iqaluit. A quick call home confirms that things are shutting down.

Now, at this point I'm still not too worried because Iqaluit can be a real pussy place when it comes to blizzards. Stuff shuts down, you take a look around the place and go "Really? You're going to shut down for this?" So there was still hope. Although I found it fascinating to be sitting in a waiting lounge in Yellowknife and updating my fellow passengers about the odds of landing in Iqaluit, not based on the forecast, but what friends were telling me over Twitter. That's kind of cool, really. It made Twitter actually seem useful as opposed to this odd little thing I play with to say stupid things every now and then.

Anyway, we make to Rankin Inlet, I still have some hopes, which are promptly dashed about 10 minutes after I get to the terminal. No planes are landing, we have to turn around. (The best comment I saw on the weather at that moment came from Chris Windeyer on Facebook, which I hope he doesn't mind me robbing: "Here is the Environment Canada weather forecast for Iqaluit: repent.")

So yeah, the weather sounded very bad. So back to Yellowknife we go and as I type I sit in a different room, but the same hotel I left this morning. I'll be here until Friday, which is when the next plane leaves.

Part of me wants to grumble about this because I really did want to get back home today. However, I have an annoying part of my brain that likes to kick on these things. It's the part of my brain that goes:
1. You had a friend who spent nearly three months in Iqaluit and then, when finally flying home to Baker Lake, got diverted to Yellowknife, where he spent more than a week stuck there for different reasons.
2. A friend was on the plane with me today. Yesterday, he flew from Hong Kong to Edmonton and then today he was supposed to go from Edmonton to Iqaluit, only to make it as far as Rankin and then have to double all the way back to Edmonton. I think he was ready to cry.

So yeah, people had it worse than me, so I shall deal. Although I'll miss curling Thursday night and one of my players is leaving on Friday for good, so I'll probably miss him, which also kind of pisses me off. Grrrr.


So I'm going back into the office of the people I now work with to get a bit more familiar with how they do things. So tomorrow will not be a waste.

Oh, and I will do a review of the new Republic of Doyle, it just might be a little late getting posted. We shall see.

Last Five
1. Jim Rombolt's tune - Figgy Duff
2. What goes on - The Beatles
3. Sweet forget me not (live) - Great Big Sea
4. When anger shows - The Editors
5. Don't ask me - OK Go

New start

So I got to meet a bunch of the Yellowknife bloggers this evening. That was nice. Met them at a hotel, had a good supper and chatted with a bunch of them. I'm a touch envious of the community they have there, that they're friends and that they all manage to get together once a month.

I really think we need to work on that a bit in Iqaluit. I'm not entirely sure how, since the notion of going out for supper is a touch more expensive than in Iqaluit, but it's still nice to see them all getting along so well. It's a good community. I really am a touch jealous.

Oh yes, I am in Yellowknife. Did I forget to mention that?

I've known this trip was coming up for several weeks. However, I simply didn't mention it because it was possibly work related. I didn't want to jinx things. Plus, as regular readers know, I have a "do not talk about work" policy on this blog. However, I will allow a small crack in this policy as my status of being unemployed is certainly something I talked about here.

That's a status that is officially over as today. Without getting too much into it, a company in Yellowknife flew me out to talk to them. They interested in having me open a branch office in Iqaluit, which I've accepted. So I start working with them very shortly. Actually, in a twist, the job offer came at least partially because the owner of the company liked my writing on Twitter and this blog and offered me the position because of that. Which is cool. It's also a huge relief to know the blog can continue and that, as long as I'm not really, really, remarkably stupid about some of the subject matter, he's fine with it existing.

This dry spell went on a touch longer than expected, but I'm glad it's over now. Plus, this looks like it's going to be an interesting job. A nice, gentle stretching of my current skill set, which I think is always a good thing. A little stretching every now and then is a good thing.

Anyway, this is a quick jaunt. I'm back home tomorrow. Although I managed to cram in a day's worth of meetings, getting to meet some of the local bloggers and a Wal-Mart run. So I might have only been in town less than two days, but they've been action packed.

Then again, I imagine so will the next few weeks. Here's hoping my brain still remembers how to work after the lay-off.

Last Five
1. Rainbow connection - Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies
2. Another pilot - Hey Rosetta!*
3. Pardon me madam, my name is Eve - Elvis Costello and the Imposters
4. Fez - being born - U2
5. Baby mine - Allison Krauss

Monday, January 18, 2010


We had a big event happen here this weekend...the 60th follower of the blog. So a big welcome to Chantal over at My Paper Heart, who also just moved to Iqaluit. Welcome to the north. Sorry for the chilly reception on the weekend, but well, it's January. -50C is a bitch, but not entirely unexpected.

Oh yes, and I turned 40.

The big day was actually yesterday and I really did have every intention on doing a blog about it. However, when I sat down to write the curling post came out. Then I apparently decided I was done writing for the day, and spent most of enjoying sloth. I watched two football games (%$#@! Chargers), ate some birthday cake, enjoyed a homemade birthday lasagna cooked by my lovely wife, took some phone calls, enjoyed the many well wishes on Facebook and that was it.

It was perhaps not the most spectacular way to spend your 40th. My father, for example, fled to Toronto and dragged the family along in the new convertible Camero for his 40th, primarily, I suspect, to avoid what his co-workers at the post office would have done to him.

However, there was no new sports car or over the top compensations for turning 40. Cathy bought me the complete Battlestar Galactica, which I'm looking forward to watching. I haven't decided what I will treat myself to yet for my birthday. It will likely either be a massive Chapters order or perhaps Rock Band: Beatles. Or maybe even both, if I'm feeling very indulgent.

Turning 40 isn't so much the "oh God, I'm ooooold. Rather, it's kind of, "Well, I liked my 30s. They were nice. I'm going to miss them." My 30s are kind of where I figured things out. I met a nice girl and got married. I moved to a new place, decided we rather liked it here and decided to make it home and buy a home. I picked up curling again and discovered I'm actually kind of good at it.

I recall dreading my 30s when I was 29. I think that was the case for most of my friends. When I was 29 I was single, living in a damp basement apartment with a series of crazy roommates in Clarenville making a poverty wage. I was honestly beginning to wonder if this was going to be my lot in life. If, after all the big dreams in university, this is what I was going to do.

I wasn't alone in that regard. I know many of my friends took hitting 30 pretty hard. When in university, and in a student newspaper, there is the conviction that you were going out in the world and change it for the better. We hit 30 and things weren't going to plan. We'd scattered, and some of us were struggling to get things in gear. I certainly was.

While it's not the case for everyone, I think for most of my friends, their 30s have been a good experience. So yeah, I think 40 is more a slight sadness at the ending of a really good decade. So here's hoping the next decade will be as good as the last one. If I can say at 50 that I'm really going to miss all the fun and good times I had when looking back at my 40s, then I think I'll consider that a success.

Last Five
1. Bone of song - Josh Ritter
2. Song for a winter's night - Sarah McLachlan
3. Istanbul (not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants*
4. A sight for sore eyes - Tom Waits
5. September Lily - Hawksley Workman

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Curling aftermath

No blogging yesterday as I spent pretty close to every waking moment at the curling club. I was down there by a little after 8:30 for the first game and got home around 10:30 pm last night. In-between all of that I curled four games - three with my team and one helping out Cathy's team which was short a player due to illness.

The game with Cathy's team was a loss, although it went down to the last shot. Considering Cathy's team is made up entirely of people who never curled before this year and they were playing one of the better teams in the bonspiel they were pretty thrilled to be that close.

The rest of the day went pretty well for the team I was on. We won all three of our games, including some mini-revenge by beating the team Cathy's gang lost to the in the morning in the final. Four victories (including one on Friday night) and we won the A final. And for this glorious victory, I got a 100 piece tupperware set. Could have went for the toaster oven, but Cathy thought she would get more use our of the storage stuff. My girl, queen of all things storage related.

Still, it was a fun weekend and we had a bunch of new curlers out and they all looked like they had a blast. I'm sure the booze and the chance to win plane tickets helped. Alas, while I can pull of a nifty curling shot from time to time, I can't make someone pull my name out of a hat for plane tickets or cargo. Oh well. Next time....maybe.

And while I don't want to be all "me" focused, I shot really well. Like probably in the 90%-plus range. I think I've had, to quote one of Cathy's friends from earlier the week, a "light bulb moment" with my curling. I can even tell you exactly when it happened. It was back in Toronto and it would have the Friday game against Quebec, so on the 27th. During the previous 12 hours we'd lost a heart-breaking game against Newfoundland, I'd played a really crappy couple of games against Newfoundland and PEI and the guys were picking apart my delivery to try and figure out why my shooting was off. Plus, I'd gotten no sleep the night before, a combination of snoring roommates and a drunken idiot.

So I'm sitting in the hack of the Quebec game for my first shot and remember thinking "to hell with it." At that point I figured things couldn't get much worse...I was sleep deprived, kind of wired (that weird feeling you get when you haven't slept, but have been mainlining caffeine) and pissed off. So I made some of the tweaks in my delivery and played really, really well that day. Against both Quebec and Nova Scotia.

I've been shooting really well since then, which makes me happy. Of course, we're bringing in a high performance coach at the end of this month to help out our junior players, beginning and more advanced ones. So he might take a look at my delivery and completely mess things up again. We shall see.

However, for right now, I'm curling well and I'm happy about it. That's good enough for me.

Last Five
1. Lake of Pontchartain - The Be Good Tanyas
2. If I ever lose my faith in you - Sting
3. Please, please, please let me get what I want - She & Him
4. On directing - Tegan and Sara
5. No Kathleen - Ron Hynes*

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bonspiel weekend

A brief post late in the evening. Today is the start of the First Air Bonspiel so that's taken up a chunk of my time today and will take up a chunk tomorrow. We're off to a good start, winning our first game pretty easily. Of course, the real prize isn't winning first at this event. Oh, there'll be some nice prizes on the table and some bragging rights. However, First Air gave us two return tickets to Ottawa plus three certificates for cargo (100kg, 75kg, 50kg) as door prizes. So that's what everyone is really gunning for.

Those are some princely prizes, by the way. With a return ticket to Ottawa costing around $1,500 and cargo going for $4/kg, you can do the math. I confess, when I heard Air Canada was coming to Iqaluit I was worried about whether or not the other two northern airlines would cut back on their sponsorship of local events. So it's nice to see First Air stepping up and donating those prizes.

Of course, even if I win the plane ticket, I don't win the plane ticket. Cathy has claimed dibs on the next ticket I win...apparently since I've already won one and got to fly to New York on it in 2008, she gets this one. I'm not entirely sure that's the way it's supposed to work, but we shall see. She's got her own team in this weekend, so perhaps she'll win her own ticket without having to steal mine.

So in the meantime, enjoy this website - Conan Yourself. Show your support for Conan O'Brien by putting some of his...interesting hair on your head. Simply upload a photo and you can then play with several different hairstyles. This is what I got when I did it this afternoon.

I do miss having snazzy hair sometimes. Of course, then I think about all the hours of my life I have back not having to try and take care of that much hair, and I feel a little better.

Anyway, feel free to go and play with that, it's a bit of fun. And anything that you can to do offer up a bit of support of O'Brien and make sure Jay Leno never comes back on air is all good with me.

Last Five
1. Black tambourine - Beck
2. I'm an animal - Neko Case*
3. All I need - Radiohead
4. Cry baby cry - The Beatles
5. Carnival town - Norah Jones

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Nunies are Go!

I guess it's time for the lobbying to begin. The first wave of the Nunies is over with and we have our finalists. You can go here to vote. This blog is in two of the three categories - Best Blog and Best Blog post. Alas, Best New Blog will be an award that will be forever out of reach for me.

Every blog listed here is an excellent one, well worth taking some time to take a look at. It's also interesting that each of the blogs come from a different part of Nunavut. I'm in Iqaluit, Babes and Bulldogs is in Cape Dorset, Way Way Up used to be in Arctic Bay, but is now in Alberta. Cindy, Matt and our Furry Friends live in Rankin Inlet and the Nedzeilski Family are in Kugaaruk.

That's a nice mix. I like the fact that not all of the blog are located in just one or two communities. Clare and I used to joke about whether Arctic Bay or Iqaluit was the blogging capital of Nunavut. However, I don't think there is one right now. The blogs are spread out, which is good.

I'm also in the Best Blog Post category. After a lot of soul searching I decided to put forward my post about my grandfather dying. It still feels a bit odd putting something that personal up for a Nunie, but it was my best writing of the year, I think. Time will tell if other believe it to be the same.

Voting will go on for one more week. Please swing by and vote. And hey, if you were to happen to vote for me, all the better. It sure would be nice to win the Best Blog after last year's nail-biting loss to Port Town Ghosts in overtime.

Last Five
1. The long day is over - Norah Jones
2. You love the thunder - Jackson Browne
3. Hold me now - Thompson Twins*
4. She kiss away - The Pursuit of Happiness
5. Two - Ryan Adams

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Review: Republic of Doyle, Ep.2

So let's be candid. I got a phenomenal amount of traffic coming through the blog last week looking for reviews or information about The Republic of Doyle. And while I don't think I'm going to see that level of traffic every time an episode airs, I'd be a bit silly to see if I can't bag some extra traffic reviewing each of the episodes as they come out.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do it every week. For example, I think I might be busy next Wednesday, but I'm going to try and we'll see what happens from there. Oh, also and apology. I didn't jot down some of the character's names, it's not on The Republic of Doyle website and my brain is a sieve for these kinds of things. So sorry in advance.

So what did we have on The Republic of Doyle this week? A decent enough open establishing a bit more about Jake and Malachy. That being Jake is the hothead who tends to rushing into things, shag things up, but whose heart is in the right place. Malachy is one who tends to roll his eyes a lot at what his son is up to and uses his brains to end up in the right place at the right time. Oh, it's a decent enough little scrap, but it does help to do a bit of character development. As I said last week, one of the show's weaknesses is getting me to believe the father/son dynamic. It still feels a touch forced, (although Malachy driving Jake nuts by saying "panties" was funny) but I wasn't expecting miracles in one week. We already have one this episode, let's not push it for two.

So this week's main story is a young woman showing up at the detective agency looking to find her missing father. She just has a photo, a nickname and a few other details. However, thanks to some technical wizardry from Malachy's better half, they quickly manage to track down the guy she's looking for...a man who made all of his money building strip malls in Mount Pearl. God help us all. I thing right there that's a nod to people from St. John's that you know this is a man "up to no good."

Except, of course, there's more to the case than meets the eye. The man denies having a daughter. Then the girl goes missing after being given the information about her father. And who is Bill, who shows up looking for the girl afterwords, leading to a marvelously silly foot chase across some fishing vessels?

Meanwhile, we have a couple of subplots going on. Rose s still trying to bond with Tinny, Tinny is flirting with Des, who decided to tag Doyle's car with graffiti, which means he's not exactly in Doyle's good books. Doyle is still trying to charm the good Cst. Bennett while dealing with his increasing erratic wife, Nikki.

So let's just say there's a lot of shit going down in this episode. But hey, it mostly worked. The story this week was much better. A lot more twists and turns to make it harder to figure out who the bad guys(s) were, and that had me guessing. If they can keep at this level and higher with the A level stories around the crime of the week to be solved, then that's good. Last week's mystery, come on, if bells weren't going off when you found out one of the characters was three months pregnant, you just aren't trying. So this is an improvement.

I like Rose as the technical wizard. One gets the feeling that Malachy and Jake are clever, but not exactly geniuses. So I like Rose being the clever one who digs up all the stuff they need online. Yes, it's skimmed over tech wizardry, but these type of shows are guilty of that all the time. Computers and the internet are the magic you need to get the information to keep the plot moving.

I'm not sure I'm going to like Tinny and Des, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of a doubt. And Tinny has a fine line to walk between being justifiably a bit annoying and just plain annoying. She's managing so far, but there have been a few wobbles on that tightrope.

As for this week's miracle, step forward Krystin Pellerin. I compared her to a zombie last week and yes, relatively speaking, she had nowhere to go but up. However, she was much better this week. The stunned eye glaze was nowhere to be found, but the smart cop who knows what Jake is, wants to avoid it, but is still kind of intrigued made an appearance. Thank god, because really, if her character continued to be a dud, the show was going to have a really problem. So yes, much better. More of this, please. I'm willing to believe what someone said last week, it might have just been bad writing and/or direction. There's considerable more spark in her performance this week.

The big worry this week Rachel Wilson's Nikki. It's not the acting, not like it was last week with Pellerin. It is, I think, the writing. Nikki is all over the place in this episode. Sexy one minute, crazy the next, rational for brief flashes. However, when you have all that happening in a 15 second span it just looks like the writers have no idea how to write crazy.

Look, there are some genuinely crazy women in Newfoundland. I know a few of them. It shouldn't be that hard to write a Catholic woman messed up by her failing marriage. In fact, the only reason I believe I know that is because I read the character bio on the Doyle web page. Might have been nice to have mentioned some of that a bit sooner on the show to explain some of this. And even so, it's still not a convincing crazy. It's an all over the place crazy. It needs to get more focused.

So yes, this is a step in the right direction for the show. They need to figure out Nikki, Jake and Malachy have to keep working on that father/son thing. Oh, and they need to figure out how to get more Walter (Sean Panting) in the show, because his scenes with Jake are always fun. The two of them have some of the best chemistry on the show so far.

Now let's see what they can do next week.

Last Five
1. Walnut tree - Keane
2. American Routlette - Robbie Robertson*
3. Emma J - Brandon Benson
4. What am I to you? - Norah Jones
5. The end - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

Bad day

It's been a day of almost unrelenting horror every time I've looked at things on line. The Globe and Mail has been filled with one bad story after another about the state of things, with some reports putting the death count into the hundreds of thousands. The Boston Globe have been putting up a series of devastating photos of the aftermath of the earthquake as well. I've been refusing to turn on the TV and flip over to Newsworld or CNN because I'm simply not certain I can handle it.

Then I made the mistake of following a few links I saw pop up on Twitter and hear Rush Limbaugh espousing bigoted insanity that I thought would be the low point of my day. That was, sadly, until I followed another link to Pat Robertson saying the Haitian people deserve this because they made a deal with the devil to get their freedom from the French.

There are days, honestly, when I don't understand how my computer doesn't end up flying through a window. So in the interest of trying to balance out some of the asshole karma floating around out there in the world today, please go to the Red Cross website and make a donation to help out.

In the meantime, I desperately needed a laugh, any kind of laugh, to keep me going until the Daily Show this evening when I hope Jon Stewart rips these two morons so badly that they are shamed from the planet (fat chance, but one can dream). Little did I suspect the source of my biggest laugh of the day would come from Adolph Hitler. H/T to John Gushue for the original YouTube link. Perhaps it's deeply wrong to find this funny, on today of all days, but sometimes you just need a laugh to keep yourself going.

Here's something I'd also never thought I'd see myself type...but Hitler is right. Jay Leno should just go away and play with all of his money. The time when he was funny was a long, long, long time ago.

Last Five
1. Almost rosey - Tori Amos
2. The bagman's gambit - The Decemberists
3. The end of the innocence - Don Henley
4. Heaven forbid - The Fray
5. Falling for the first time - Barenaked Ladies

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Disclaimer: This rant was formed before I noticed my mother-in-law has a considerable number of these things. It should be noted that I am not mocking Snowbabies or the people who collect them, but rather another target completely.

And yes, I put this disclaimer up top because I have no desire to have my mother-in-law pissed with me. She reads the blog. I am not a complete idiot, contrary to widely held belief in some circles. Thank you for your attention.

When I was back in St. John's last Christmas Cathy and I had to do some mad rushing around for a few days to try and get all of our shopping for gifts done. We had virtually nothing bought when we hit down, which was not all that bright, but hey, we just bought a house. We can be forgiven for being a bit distracted.

So one day we're both downtown and split up. I was wandering around feeling particularly hopeless. Not because I can't think of anything for Cathy; I had her pretty well covered. However, my mother is impossible to buy for. I was in Newfoundland Weavery and one of the sales clerks asked if she could help. I said only if she had a gun to put me out of my misery. That got a good laugh. She did try to help, but she recognized a lost cause and wished me well in my doomed quest.

I was wandering around the store looking for stuff when I saw them. Snowbabies. Well, to be honest, I wouldn't have noticed them even then. Figurines and knick knacks like this aren't my thing and my mother has enough that I can't even imagine where she would put one more. However, this one Snowbaby in particular leaped out at me. I can't find the exact one I saw, but this is pretty close.

Yes, it's a couple of cute kids riding a polar bear. The one I saw actually had the cute kids cuddled up next to a sleeping polar bear. I picked it up from the shelf, looked at it for a few moments and started to laugh out loud. It was disturbing enough to cause a few of the sales clerks to look my way. I put the item back on the shelf and, laughing and shaking my head, left the store.

Well, it was that or pitch the damn thing out through the window.

Those who know me know that I have...issues with polar bears. We won't get into they how and whys here on the blog. I just do. But what particularly drives me nuts is the notion that polar bears are these cute and cuddly things. Not to get all Stephen Colbert here, but are you people nuts? There are few things scarier on this planet than polar bears.

I remember being at the San Diego Zoo back in 2006 and we went to the polar bear exhibit. It's a bloody huge thing and there were massive crowds watching the bears swim around in the water, trying to keep cool. One little girl pipes up to her mom. "I wish I could go in there and play with them."

And I thought to myself "Yes, let's pitch little Suzy over the top of the wall to play with the cute, 1,000 pound killing machines. Then we're all going to get an educational experience."

The idea that polar bears are being sold and marketed as these cute, cuddly, harmless things just baffles me. They would eat you if they could. No problem. They have eaten people. We're just Happy Meals on legs to them. The closest I ever hope to get to a living, breathing polar bear was in San Diego, and even then I didn't feel comfortable being that close to them.

I've had these thoughts before and lord knows there are plenty of other examples of polar bears being marketed in that way. Coke is an expert at it. So what set me off about the Snowbabies? I think it was because I flashed on another image when I picked up the figurine. It's what I think would happen if three kids managed to get close enough to cuddle up to a sleeping polar bear and then it woke up. I think it would look more like this.

So, do you think they would be interested in making a Snowbaby that looks like that? No? Oh well...

Last Five
1. Little drop of poison - Tom Waits*
2. Merchants dub - The Idlers
3. Entering white collar Cecilia - The New Pornographers
4. Him - Lily Allen
5. The soldering life - The Decemberists

Monday, January 11, 2010


The main gift Cathy got me for Christmas this year was a portable photo scanner from Hammacher Schlemmer. It's a neat, portable little gizmo that converts photos to digital images. Yes, I realize we could use a flatbed scanner, but I've tried using a couple of different ones they've been slow, do crappy scans and then I have to mess around with cropping the images afterwords.

This scanner is lovely. I pop the photo through, it scans it to a SD card, I then load the pictures onto the computer and they're good to go. Plus, the scanner is small enough that I could pop it in a jacket pocket and go. So it's a nice little gadget. Yes, it can't scan pictures larger than 4x6, but as 98% of the pictures in my photo albums are that size or smaller, it's not big deal.

So I spent most of this afternoon going through photo albums and scanning pictures. I had the brief business idea of blackmailing my friends with some of the photos. One of the advantages of a university experience spent not drinking but hanging out with those who were certainly....very fond of it, is that you get some unique photographic memories. So yes, I may have sent out a note suggesting a monetary donation to me might help prevent certain photos from making it to Facebook.

Of course, some suggested that perhaps they would be willing to donate to pay for my funeral if any of the photos went up on Facebook. So, once again, a brilliant entrepreneurial scheme goes down in flames. Although I probably will send the individuals the photos anyway...just for their own amusement.

Of course, one of the disadvantage of looking at all those photos were the reminders of a time when I had hair. It's been easy for me to forget that I once had hair, since it's been that many years since I looked in the mirror and saw much. A touch sad, but oh well.

For those of you wondering, this is what I looked like back in the days.

This was me at King's back in 1994.

Me with my friends Colette and Mireille during cigar night. I'm guessing this is around 1997.

And this would be me in Busan, South Korea in 1997 as well.

Funny, when I had hair I had no idea what to do with it. It was nice to have and all, but kind of a nuisance to deal with. It's much easier now. Still, I kind of miss it from time to time.

Last Five
1. Baby one more time - Bowling For Soup*
2. Evidence of me - Sean Panting
3. You won't make a fool out of me - Flogging Molly
4. Le fantome, Denis - Colleen Power
5. Honey pie - The Beatles

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Yeah, no post yesterday. Pure sloth on my part, really. I had some ideas but every time I sat down in front of the computer to start writing, I couldn't get the concentration in place to get the words down right.

Even today, I have NFL playoffs and curling grand slam final distracting me. So nothing too detailed. Instead, a couple of reminders of things happening or about to happen.

First up, the deadline for the Nunies is Monday at 5 pm EST. You can nominate blogs in the Best New Blog and Best Blog categories. There are plenty of good blogs on the sidebar worth your time, so give them a whirl and drop Clare a line to let him know which ones you think should make the final five in each category.

Another blogging award reminder is that the Newfoundland and Labrador Bloggers Choice Awards are getting ready to enter their last week. Now, I'm not going to win this because the two blogs in the lead have something like 600+ votes and I have 15. And I haven't been begging for votes because I'm choosing to keep my powder dry for (hopefully) the Nunies. However, if you would like to pop over there and ease my humiliation over my current vote total, by all means please do so.

Reminder number three is for those living in Iqaluit. If you curl, the First Air Bonspiel will be taking place on January 15-16. You don't have to be a member of the Iqaluit Curling Club to take part, but we will ask for a bit more money from you. Members are $30 per person, non-members are $40 per person.

There will be games Friday evening and the most of Saturday. How many games depend on how many teams we get, but the maximum number will be 16. Oh, and there's a bar, likely food after the end of the games Saturday evening and a prize table with a variety of things. Oh, and since it's the First Air Bonspiel, there will be something from the airline.

I can't say what it is, because I don't know what it is yet. In the past we've gotten return tickets to Ottawa and vouchers good for cargo. So that's what we're hoping for this time, but we will see. Regardless of they give us, it will be a door prize. So no matter how well, or poorly, you do your name goes into the hat for the door prize.

This bonspiel is always a good time, there's some good curling and a lot of fun. So I encourage people to come out and give it a whirl. You can enter as an individual and we'll try and find you a team, or put your own team together. The deadline is 7pm on Thursday.

Hope to see you there...

Last Five
1. Fuck you - Lily Allen*
2. Right between the eyes - Garbage
3. We might as well be strangers - Keane
4. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
5. Southern man - Neil Young

Friday, January 08, 2010

Deep freeze

Ah, -50C...I'd almost forgotten what it felt like...that combination of numbing cold and the flesh burning off your bones. We've been spoiled most of the last month, what with the unusual mild snap in Nunavut and a green Christmas in Newfoundland. It's been a long time since I've felt that level of cold.

I can't say I've missed it, mind you, but this is what winter in Nunavut is supposed to feel like, so there's no sense of griping about it. Besides, it could be worse. This picture has been merrily making the rounds the past 24 hours. It's a satellite photo of Great Britain.

Now, there's no way they're getting the same level of cold that we're getting right now. However, we at least know how to dress for it, whereas I suspect most people over there are currently wonder what the hell just hit them. Well, probably in the south of England they're wondering that. I suspect parts of Scotland are very much use to this kind of weather.

So far the house is holding up with the cold. The first oil bill was not as evil as I thought, but that was during the relative mild spell. I am resisting, barely, to yell when Cathy opens the door to come into the house with a massive cloud of ice fog comes rolling in with her. Just the way things happen up here with the cold.

However, nothing evil has happened with the house. This paranoia will not abate anytime soon, I fear. Especially since one of my fears came though, albeit via a neighbour.

One of the things we didn't have to worry about much while staying in the 6-story or the NEU building were break-ins. Both were secure buildings. You needed a swipe card to get into the 6-story and the NEU had keys to get into plus security cameras around the outside of the building. We were feeling that safe in the NEU building that we actually never used to lock our apartment door. Probably stupid, but we knew everyone in the building and we never had any problems.

However, over the Christmas holidays one of the houses in our neighbourhood was broken into. I know this, because the RCMP came knocking on our door this week asking if we heard anything. Which we hadn't because the break-in occurred while we were in Newfoundland. Although I think one of the key differences is that house has all the appearance of no one living there right now (no shovelling done on the steps, lights not on during the evening), but we had someone staying in our house, so there were lights on, the truck was moved and we have a noisy dog who thinks he is bigger than he actually is.

Still, it is one of those worries. We do live in a nice neighbourhood in Iqaluit. We're going to be a target at some point, I fear, for a break-in. I don't like it, but I'm not sure how much more we can do about it other than making sure there are people staying here when we're away. I can look into an alarm system, but I honestly don't know how useful such devices are up here. I'll have to ask around.

I guess that gets added to the list of things that needs to be looked at for the house. It's getting to be quite a long list, I must say. It's also never going to end, is it?

Last Five
1. Yesterday's man - Madness
2. King of swing = Big Bad Voodoo Daddy*
3. He hide and seek (live) - Allison Krauss and Union Station
4. Be my Yoko Ono - Barenaked Ladies
5. Mrs. Robinson - Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Big numbers

Up until today I think the single highest number of page loads I've ever had on the blog in one day was about 450. Nothing to sneeze at, but I've just never had one of those massive link surges that occasionally happens to a blog, so that your stats go completely out of whack of a day or two.

Well, boy oh boy, did I get swamped today. It actually started shortly after Republic of Doyle finished airing. Then I put up my review and we were off to the races. As I write this, the number of page loads for the day just edged past 1,000 and the number of unique visitors is pressing towards 850. To give you an idea of how completely out of whack this is, the number of returning visitors on a given day is usually around 50% of the unique visitor total. The returning visitor count is around 150, or about 18%. So yeah, a lot of new people hit the blog today. They came mostly from Google searches, but a nice few also made their way over from Facebook.

I'm under no illusion of keeping any of that traffic. It was a quick in and out on the review page and that was that. But for those of you poking around, welcome. Feel free to read about the blog a bit...yes, I live in Nunavut, but I'm originally from Newfoundland, hence my interest in the show. Go and check out some of the Nunavut blog links on the sidebar. It's a nice little community we have up here in Nunavut, so please take a few minutes to read. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Speaking of which, I'm pleasantly surprised that most of the feedback has agreed with my comments. There's only been one that's taken a bit of exception.

Believe it or not, this was a bit of a concern when I was writing up the review. Let's just say from previous experience there are certain members of the Newfoundland arts scene that do not handle criticism well. I can think of a couple of incidents, including one time where someone essentially called me an idiot on CBC. Actually, that was a career highlight, now that I think on it.

My belief is that Newfoundland needs more solid, thorough arts criticism as there is precious little, if any. It's going to be a thankless job and that person is going to be solidly hated. However, I think the only way an arts community really grows is if you have someone standing up occasionally and telling people that they have not, in fact, created a heartbreaking work of staggering genius and instead have created a steaming pile of crap. Or not even that far...just tell people that there is room for improvement.

I stand by what I said about Doyle, by the way. It's a good show, but there's lots of room for it to get better. That's a great number they got last night...nearly a million people tuned in. Fantastic. I'm genuinely thrilled. However, if they want to keep that number, then they need to work on some of the weaknesses I mentioned. And I'm far from the only one who has noticed them. Those who are not fawning all over the show simply because they're happy it's made in Newfoundland have also pointed out many of the same weaknesses.

Great job, everyone. Now go and do better.

Last Five
1. Not one of us (live) - Peter Gabriel
2. Anything, anytime, anywhere - Bruce Cockburn*
3. My love (live) - Paul McCartney
4. All I am is all you're not - Sloan
5. Money worries - Bedouin Soundclash

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Review: Republic of Doyle

The most important thing to remember about the first episode of Republic of Doyle is that it's the pilot episode. So, in a sense, it means nothing. They're just hoping they've hooked you hard enough to make you want to come back the next week while they try to figure out what the hell they're doing. The pilot is as much a chance of the people making the show to see what works and what doesn't as it is for those watching it for the first time.

The pilot episode of MASH bears little resemblance to how the show eventually evolved. It also wasn't that great. On the other hand, the pilot for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is one of the best I've ever seen, and the show went catastrophically off the rails after that. I still get upset thinking about that show and want to punch Aaron Sorkin for managing to fuck it up so totally.

Anyway, back on track here. I liked Republic of Doyle, I did. There were times when I laughed out loud at stuff, it looks beautiful and from a pure Newfoundlander perspective it was nice to see St. John's look quite that good on national television. Plus the lead character of Jake Doyle is a fun guy to watch. And really, you need the like the lead on a show like this or you're doomed from the start.

I do have problems, though. I'm not going to complain about the story or anything like that. They've made it very clear from the start that the origins of this show are based on programs like The Rockford Files and Magnum P.I. I'm looking for fun, not high art. Yes, there were one or two awkward bits of editing, but that's easily over-looked. And all right, some of the writing needed to be tidied up. The story recap and important lesson learned towards the end was just a touch awkward.

My main problems are with the acting. Yes, some of the guest actors and bit players won't be winning any Gemini awards. However, there are two instances in particular that worry me. The first is the relationship between Jake and his father. Allan Hawco and Sean McGinley are both good actors, but in the pilot they don't seem entirely comfortable with each other. If that was meant to be the dynamic of their father and son relationship, that would be fine. However, it feel more like they're not entirely 100% in synch with each other yet. Like they're still trying to figure out the relationship between the two men.

I'm not too worried about that yet. That'll come with time, however it is the key relationship in the show. So you have to believe they are father and son in the way they play off each other. Right now it feels more forced than smooth.

My other big concern is Krystin Pellerin, who plays the RNC constable who gets mixed up with Jake as a possible love interest. She gets better, right? Because not only is there zero chemistry between the two of them, she showed all the acting range of a deep freeze. A very pretty deep freeze, but a deep freeze all the same. Seriously, she gets better, right?

Let me make this clear...I like this more than any of the other recent TV offerings out of Newfoundland. There's tons of potential for a lot of fun. I like a show with sharp, quick, intelligent dialogue and as long as they emphasize that and work on the main characters, I'll forgive the odd bit of clunky plot and supporting actors still learning the trade. There's also some smart people involved in the show and I'm willing to bet they already know the flaws. I've mentioned - plus probably a bunch I missed - and are working on the fixes.

It's good enough to get me to come back for the next couple of weeks to see how things progress. I just hope they keep on working to tighten things up. It's good, but it has to get better if it's going to last.

Last Five
1. Know your rights (live) - The Clash*
2. God, Part 2 - U2
3. The hardest part - Coldplay
4. You can't get what you want - Joe Jackson
5. The best is yet to come - Tonny Bennett and Diana Krall

Rambling from one spot to another

Of course on the day the CBC runs a story about all the mild weather we're having in Iqaluit and how its creating havoc at the airport the temperature goes into free fall. It's currently -23C with a windchill of -39C. I realize I can't reasonably blame this turn of events on Canada's national broadcaster, but what the hell, way to jinx things guys.

Speaking of the CBC, I hear there's some show based out of Newfoundland debuting this evening. Haven't read much about it, of course. Seems pretty under the radar and all...

That, of course, is why sarcasm is so hard to translate into print. Anyway, the CBC has been doing the full court press on The Republic of Doyle, to the point where I was actually getting annoyed with the volume of ads promoting the show when trying to watch "18 to Life" the other night (there's a CBC show I won't be watching, that's for sure. A few cute moments, but desperately formulaic and dull).

Obviously I'll be watching this evening and I encourage people to give the show a shot. I just pray it's good. Because given the amount of money I've heard the CBC put into the production of the show and the staggering amount of promotion they're giving it, if the show isn't a smash, hell will freeze over before the CBC gives money to another Newfoundland production again. Seriously.

So please be good, please. I'll do a review of it tomorrow.

Finally, and segueing along the TV theme, I caught only a few minutes of the junior hockey final last night. I realize opting to go and see "Fantastic Mr. Fox" instead of staying home and watching junior hockey probably means I'll have someone knocking on my door to revoke my Canadian citizenship shortly. However, I really wanted to see that movie and I could honestly care less about junior hockey.

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" was great, slightly surreal fun, by the way. However, I certainly understand why it's kind of bombing at the box office. It's a bit too weird for both kids and adults. It's a very expensive adult indy film. But it looks great and I laughed out loud several times.

Anyway, when I came back I caught enough of the hockey game to catch the absolutely idiotic new "chant" that Pepsi sponsored in a contest - "Eh O' Canada Go". Dear God, the horror. Anybody who actually chants that at a game deserves a smack in the mouth. Fortunately, there appears to be enough outrage over it that it's not likely to ever catch on.

There we go, weather, "The Republic of Doyle", "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and a stupid hockey chant all loosely tied up in one blog post. Mission accomplished.

Last Five
1. Our house - Madness
2. Winter (live) - Tori Amos
3. Up the bracket - The Libertines
4. Hang down your head (live) - Tom Waits*
5. Shoulders and arms - Tokyo Police Club

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


One of the things we picked up during our resupply/consumerist spending orgy in Ottawa was a pair of sonic toothbrushes. Now, I've had these things in my hands a half dozen times over the past year or so, but never picked them up. Simply, they're pretty expensive and, just as bad, the replacement heads are ridiculously overpriced. I liked the idea of them, but the cost just seemed a bit much.

So what caused me to change my mind? Blood, my friends. Copious amounts of blood.

When I was back in St. John's over Christmas I managed to squeeze in a trip to the dentist. I've been going to the same guy for 20 or more years and the routine is pretty much the same. I see him once a year, he makes some small talk about how things are up north, he then chastises me for not flossing enough and pointing out the dangers of too much plaque building up between my teeth. Sometimes there are x-rays. He's pretty much given up asking if I want to remove my wisdom teeth. Then there's about 30 minutes or so of him cleaning my teeth of the excess plaque. At the end, I get my free toothbrush, toothpaste and floss and head on my merry way.

All of that happened this time with the bonus of one addition....excruciating pain was also thrown into the mix.

I've had my teeth cleaned plenty of times. For whatever reason, even though I brush regularly, I get lots of plaque. Cathy goes to the dentist once every five years and her cleaning takes 15 minutes. I go once a year and if it's less than 30 minutes it's a miracle. It's never a pleasant experience...there is pain involved and my mouth feels weird for half a day afterwards, but I still think it's better than trying to floss. I hate flossing. It's a pain in the ass and I never manage to do a good enough job to make much of a difference the next time I see the dentist anyway.

So I don't know if he decided to teach me a little lesson about proper dental care by making the cleaning extra-special painful this time or if I'm becoming a wuss in my old age, but this bloody well hurt. You know you're it's been painful when you've sweated through your shirt and the dental assistant is wiping down the chair afterwards.

At one point there was that much blood being sucked out of my mouth from the cleaning that I nearly told him to stop and call the Red Cross. Because clearly there was a missed opportunity here. I could get my teeth cleaned and provide enough blood to keep a gut shot hemophiliac alive for quite some time.

(In an unrelated note, if I ever form a rock band, it's official name is now Gut Shot Hemophiliac.)

It was enough that I was still hurting for a couple of days. So I decided that was that. Flossing was out; I knew that wasn't going to work. So I decided to give the sonic toothbrushes a try. I'd heard good things about them, and seeing how white I was after the cleaning, the dentist suggested I might want to give them a whirl.

This will be an ongoing experiment, I guess, to see if I've just wasted a lot of money. I know it feels pretty weird on my teeth when I'm brushing. Cathy is still not sold on them and shoots me a look every time she uses hers to let me know she's not enjoying the experience of having her teeth, and most of her head, vibrating. Hopefully it works because I would genuinely like to never go through another experience at the dentist where I'm down a couple of pints of blood.

Last Five
1. Solomon's row - Sean Panting*
2. She is - The Fray
3. Something in me was dying - Keane
4. Come calling - Cowboy Junkies
5. Baggy trousers - Madness

Award Season: The Next Generation

The Canadian Blogging Awards were a few weeks ago and, unsurprisingly, I didn't win anything. Despite my little boasting yesterday, my blog traffic is minor compared to some of the blog in contention (although after weeks of slow numbers during the Christmas break, the numbers exploded yesterday, which confirms my belief that most people read this blog at work). Plus, nobody knows where to categorize my blog. It's kind of all over the place, which is the way I like it, but it is a pain in the ass during blog awards season. Is it a personal blog? A political blog? A cultural blog? Well, no, but I do touch on all of those things.

Anyway, we're now onto the next phase of blogging awards season. First up is the third annual Nunies run by Clare. And I will reiterate what I say each year when he puts off these awards - I call shenanigans on him for excluding his own blog, which is one of the most important in all of northern Canada.

As I know I'm going to lose that argument, I'll move onto to the rules. There are three categories. For Best Blog, you can nominate up to five blogs and send your nominations to nunavutblogs AT yahoo DOT ca. The blogger doesn't even have to live in Nunavut, as long as the blog is written primarily about Nunavut. You can also nominate up to five blogs in the Best New Blog category, however the blog did need to start in 2009. All of those nominated will be whittled down to five finalists. The voting on those will start next week.

Finally, there is the Best Blog post category, which each blogger is responsible for picking one from his or her own blog. I currently have no idea which one to pick. I was thinking about the one I wrote when I was in Toronto, but I think sleep deprivation made that one seem more clever than it actually was. There is the Moving to Iqaluit FAQ, but there's nothing funny or clever about that, it's just a lot of valuable information. So we'll see. I'm open to suggestions as I start to go back through 356 posts to find the best of the bunch.

I like the Nunies and won Best Post last year, and lost Best Blog in a sudden death tiebreaker with Port Town Ghosts. It was very dramatic. So we'll see what this year's awards bring. And yes, while I would obviously like to be nominated and win, I strongly encourage you to read the sidebar and check out the many excellent Nunavut blogs. It's a great community we have so go and explore.

There is also the Newfoundland and Labrador Bloggers Choice Awards. It's a bit different than the Nunies. I'm nominated along with 23 other bloggers. You can vote in the poll, which counts as one vote or say in the comments section who you're voting for and get two votes. And voting will be lasting for another two weeks.

It's an...odd way to do this. And I don't mean to be critical of Eli, who takes on the thankless task of herding Newfoundland and Labrador bloggers. I would have thought he would do something a bit more straight forward and just look for nominations in different categories and then pick a top 3 or so for voting. I can even think of a few categories, such as Best Blog, Best New Blog, Best Political, Best Cultural, Best Ex-Pat, etc. But this is his baby, and this is the way he wants to do it, so more power to him.

So go here if you want to vote for me. I doubt my chances as this already appears to be a three way race with Karen Chappell's Bitstop, Rock Recipes and Dot Dot Dot by John Gushue far and away in the lead. Still, if you want to take a minute to drop me a vote, I wouldn't say no. Although as Cathy pointed out last night when I was talking about this to her, it's not like this is really a pure Newfoundland blog anymore.

See, my inability to focus on one thing screws me again. Ah well...

Last Five
1. Brazil - Lloyd Cole
2. I hope I don't fall in love with you - Natalie Merchant
3. Someday you will be loved - Death Cab For Cutie
4. DIY (live) - Peter Gabriel
5. Where did the good go - Tegan and Sara*