Happy gun song


The theme for the tremendous HBO series “The Sopranos” is “Woke Up This Morning” by Alabama 3.  On TV, it’s a brooding, ominous song that fit the show’s theme very well.  Here’s the opening:

Performed live, it’s something completely different:

What transforms it for me is the incredible performance by Devlin Love.  You can’t watch her sing this without smiling.

The great Canada Day hangover



Good morning Canada.  Did you have a good birthday?  You’re looking very good for 140 but I’ll type softly because you’re probably a bit hungover today.

I’m sore today but it has nothing to do with raising a glass or two (or three) like some of the neighbours did last night.  I spent yesterday walking 27 holes of golf and I think I found muscles that don’t even have names.

The photo comes from my first try at capturing the local fireworks display with my Nikon D80.  It’s a lot harder than I thought to get decent pictures when you really don’t have a frame of reference. More fireworks pictures are available here.

An open letter to my neighbors


My neighbors' yard

Hi there!  Its your neighbor down the street.  Hope you’re enjoying the nice weather.  I’m pretty sure that you are based on the amount of time you and your friends spend sitting around in the front yard.  Too bad that its so hot that you have no energy to pick up the garbage that is quickly accumulating.

The heat must also be the reason you don’t appear until noon hour and really get up to speed around 11 at night.  You sure seem to be having a great time if the noise around midnight is any indication. It’s OK, we’ve learned to close all the windows and crank up the air conditioning.

I’m really sorry that I’ve had a little trouble avoiding your kids as they run wild in traffic.  Having no children of my own, I guess I don’t understand that today’s kids are being taught that the road belongs to them and that jumping out from between parked cars is the “in” thing to do.  It’s totally selfish of me to think that you would scold or warn them instead of glaring at me like I did it on purpose.  10km per hour is now my normal speed on the street – I promise.

Well, it’s been nice talking with you.  Go ahead and let the kids walk through our front garden whenever they want.  We really don’t mind.  The same goes for the kids toys and windblown trash we find in the driveway almost everyday.  We’re really getting used to your decorating style.

A beautiful day in the neighbourhood


Got a ton of things done today in preparation for my flight tomorrow.  So I decided to treat myself and grab the camera and head over to the park.  Spring is really springing.


A riot of tulips swaying in the breeze.


Closeup of a particularly striking tulip.


Trees in full blossom.

As well, the cats got to go outside for a while.


Sarah posing.  She always poses.


Maggie, on the other hand, just lays around.

An interesting day at the Museum



I went off to the Toronto Aerospace Museum today expecting to spend more hours blasting the primer off the brackets for the display stands.  Well, I did plenty of that but also saw some interesting things.  A new business has opened up across the road and I walked over to see 6 helicopters!  Here is an Aerospatiale AS35551 lifting off.  A lot quieter than I thought it would be.

Catching the news from above

Sitting out in the sun was the Global News chopper.  Another Aerospatiale, I’ve seen this one flying over the city but didn’t think I would get this close.  I guess I’ll have to make nice with our new neighbours and, perhaps, I can hitch a ride.

I bet it still has that new plane smell

Just as I was leaving for the day, this brand new Bombardier CRJ spooled up on the runway by the museum.  First time I’ve seen one at Downsview.  I imagine it was off to Montreal for the final paint job.

Another reason I didn’t get much done today was that it was time to move a few of the aircraft around.  They needed to reposition the little Ultimate stuntplane so the front section of the Lancaster had to be swung out of the way.  While not pushing a broom (you’re a volunteer, you do everything and the area under the Lanc needed sweeping) I managed to get this shot of the interior.

Where brave men worked

It’s a little hard to make things out because it was actually above me.  The mustard colored metal at the top of the shot is the windshield area and the clear area straight ahead is where the bombardier sat (or layed) as he guided the bomber over the target.  It doesn’t look like much now but in a few years it will be immaculate.  The work the skilled volunteers do is amazing.

More shots are available over at my Flickr page (see link on the right) or you can click on any of these to see a larger version.

Canada Is Better Than The US, China, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia WOOT!!!


Suck it China.  US, you’re our biatch.

 Great day for Canada as we best our southern neighbour and the world’s largest populous.  One small, insignificant point – though, these 5 countries are the only ones worse than us at fighting global warming.

Canada ranks 51st out of 56 on an environmental group’s ranking announced today at a UN conference held in Kenya.  We also tied with Australia for the “Fossil Of The Day” award.




No one has ever accused me of being good with my hands. I have about as much mastery over hand and power tools as I do over my golf clubs. In other words, not much.

Last year we decided that 2006 would be the year that the kitchen gets remodeled. Knowing my skill level, the decision to have it professionally done was simple. Our local Home Depot was chosen to handle the project and numerous design meetings ensued followed by the outlay of a large amount of money. A week ago the work started.

Since last Thursday the following has taken place:

  • the old kitchen cabinets were leveled in a fury of demolition.
  • – new outlets for a built-in dishwasher and under cabinet lighting were installed
  • – the fuse box was replaced by a modern circuit breaker panel (this included 9 hours without power last Saturday)
  • – 28 cartons of new kitchen cabinets arrived from Ohio and took up residence in our living room
  • – the kitchen and entry way floors were tiled and grouted. This 3 day project required gymnastics to get in the house, into the living room and up the stairs to the bedrooms
  • – the delivery of a new dishwasher and combination microwave/range hood
  • – a workout for the garbageman

Jan and I have been living with a fridge in the dining room, coffeemaker on the dining room table and a lot of take-out food. The cats go from abject terror to curiosity everyday. The neighbours are getting pissed off by the amount of traffic on the street – from tradespeople to semi-trailers delivering items.

Today, the installers arrive to move the new cabinets in. Then we wait 2-3 weeks for the granite countertops to arrive. Once they’re installed, we still need to have the backsplash tiled and the electrical work finished. Since we seem to love chaos we’re going to continue right along and have the living and dining room carpet ripped up and replaced by laminate flooring. Finally, paint the entire house including the ceilings.

I’ve been documenting the entire process and I’ll post the pictures as we get closer to the end.


Michael Moore chimes in on next Monday’s Canadian Federal election.

Oh, Canada — you’re not really going to elect a Conservative majority on Monday, are you? That’s a joke, right? I know you have a great sense of humor, and certainly a well-developed sense of irony, but this is no longer funny. Maybe it’s a new form of Canadian irony — reverse irony! OK, now I get it. First, you have the courage to stand against the war in Iraq — and then you elect a prime minister who’s for it. You declare gay people have equal rights — and then you elect a man who says they don’t. You give your native peoples their own autonomy and their own territory — and then you vote for a man who wants to cut aid to these poorest of your citizens. Wow, that is intense! Only Canadians could pull off a hat trick of humor like that. My hat’s off to you.

Far be it from me, as an American, to suggest what you should do. You already have too many Americans telling you what to do. Well, actually, you’ve got just one American who keeps telling you to roll over and fetch and sit. I hope you don’t feel this appeal of mine is too intrusive but I just couldn’t sit by, as your friend, and say nothing. Yes, I agree, the Liberals have some ‘splainin’ to do. And yes, one party in power for more than a decade gets a little… long. But you have a parliamentary system (I’ll bet you didn’t know that — see, that’s why you need Americans telling you things!). There are ways at the polls to have your voices heard other than throwing the baby out with the bath water.

These are no ordinary times, and as you go to the polls on Monday, you do so while a man running the nation to the south of you is hoping you can lend him a hand by picking Stephen Harper because he’s a man who shares his world view. Do you want to help George Bush by turning Canada into his latest conquest? Is that how you want millions of us down here to see you from now on? The next notch in the cowboy belt? C’mon, where’s your Canadian pride? I mean, if you’re going to reduce Canada to a cheap download of Bush & Co., then at least don’t surrender so easily. Can’t you wait until he threatens to bomb Regina? Make him work for it, for Pete’s sake.

But seriously, I know you’re not going to elect a guy who should really be running for governor of Utah. Whew! I knew it! You almost had me there. Very funny. Don’t do that again. God, I love you, you crazy cold wonderful neighbors to my north. Don’t ever change.

Michael Moore

Well put Mr. Moore but I’m afraid it’s looking like it’s not a joke.



Over at Fark there’s an interesting thread if you’re looking for a last minute holiday recipe. Some are legitimate and others are, well, not. By far, my favorite was submitted by a submitter named “Danger Mouse”.

2 dysfunctional parents

3 screaming children

5 bottles of wine

1 bottle Jim Beam

4 percocets

add a dash of in-laws

slowly mix with sexy neighbor with roid rage husband.
Serve in a small apartment.




Over at Flickr, someone has posted the 1979 Sears Wishbook.

Let’s assume that the young fellow in the red jacket and vomit-inducing slacks was 8 at the time this picture was taken. That would make him around 34 now. He married his high-school sweetheart who he impregnated during a wild party after the football team won the county championship and he’s now a father of a young teenager who feels that Dad doesn’t understand him.

Dad is a Republican and feels that GWB deserves another, hell a few more, terms in office so he can clean up the world. Kids today don’t know what’s good for them and it is reflected in how they dress. Back in his day, young boys were stylin’ and didn’t talk back. No Sir, if Mom wanted you to wear a tablecloth and the carpet in the basement, that’s what you did and you were happy to do it! Insanely happy! The fact that you resembled a ventriloquist’s dummy last seen at a seedy club in a rundown town in South Dakota didn’t faze you in the least.