I Feel It All, I Feel It All

So today was a pretty slow dat at work and on slow days I read news articles. You know what I came to realize today? (Well, I suppose I realized it before today, but am just now formulating an opinion). Some people are way to sensitive. I don't mean like sensitive as in crying when you see a cute puppy. I mean like getting all worked up because someone isn't politically correct.

I read today about how a MLA posted something in his facebook status about girls needing to have more babies or we will never be able to support our future. Now, to me this is a sort of satirical comment, not meant to be anything more than a joke. Of course it wasn't taken that way y another politician who took the comment to mean that MLA whatshisface actually believes that a young woman's only role is to procreate to contribute to the economy. Seriously people, lighten up a little. Yeah, maybe there was a lack of judgement on his behalf to post anything on facebook when you're in a political leadership position, just because of the chance that someone will misconstrue whatyou wrote and use it against you.

Can you imagine the kind of posts Winston Churchill would put up if he had facebook? "Got wasted last night, but have come to realize that the lady really is ugly." or something to that extent maybe. Ok, so Churchill may have been a little to far the other way, but the point is that we need to lay off and stop being so politically correct. You can't say anything now without someone chewing you out about it. Is the day soon coming when the Prime Minister is asked to resign because he wished everyone a "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays" in a public address.

Stop worrying about stepping on people's toes unless you're standing on a bus. Cheers.

Like Punching Under Water

Man am I a slacker. I haven't posted since Nov 15, oops! Anyway, here's an update.

 I'm starting to get used to Halifax now. We still don't know anyone, but I've stopped caring. I'm good with it being me and Sarah. We have new landlords now and they're much easier to deal with than Sandra. The apartment is still a little cold, but it seems like they are trying to fix the rads or whatever. So that's that.

 I think I need some more direction for my blog instead of the random musings that tend upon me from time to time. Any ideas? I don't know what I'm asking, it's not like I ever get comments. Early on I was going to make the blog mostly about guitar tips and whatnot, but I don't really have all that many tips. Maybe I can make it more about music in general. Speaking of music, Sarah bought me the new John Mayer album last week. I'm sad to say that I"m not totally in love with it. It feels like blasphemy to say that, but I think John is a little bit off the mark with this one. To be fair, I haven't really had a chance to give it a good listen and sometimes it takes a little bit more to get used to a new sound. He's gone back to a poppier sound again, but I think he left a little too much of his guitar behind. But whatever, he's John freakin' Mayer, he can do whatever the hell he wants at this point.

 On a related note, guess where Sarah and I are going for valentine's day? TORONTO! For what you say? Well to see John Mayer! Yep, pretty much the best valentine's day I could ask for. Music I love and the lady I love. Well that's it for today. I make no promises to blog any more frequently, but here's hoping that I can.

I Really Can't Stay

Ah Sunday morning. Today my lady and I are being heathens and stayed home from church. I know, I know we are horrible people, but we were just so dang tired. Not that we ended up getting anymore sleep than usual. The pipes in our apartment start clanging at 5:30 in the morning, making the most awful racket that no one could sleep through it. After about 10 minutes of this clanging we are able to fall back asleep only to be woken again at just after 10:30 by the Church Bells ringing. Well at that point we had to get out of bed, lest we be roused by construction or something out of sort annoyance. No bother though, we enjoyed a cozy morning on the couch watching Bridget Jones' Diary, drinking hot chocolate with toast, and getting in an all together Christmassy mood. Do you guys realize just how close to Christmas we're getting? I'm aching, nay, yearning to be home for the holidays. I want to sit on my couch and watch a Muppet's Christmas Carol and drink eggnog and have the fire roaring. I want to eat quality street candy at my Nan's house and visit my old pastor and his kids. I want Christmas! Is it too much to ask? My favourite part about christmas is the music. I love jazz, and christmas is pretty music pretty much has to be jazzy because of it's warmth. Baby It's Cold Outside is a great song (Zooey Dechanel does a great rendition of it in ELf). Well here's me starting my countdown to Christmas. T-40days.

Why Why, Tell 'Em That Its Human Nature

Hello fellow bloggers. I've been neglecting my blog as of late, but here I am blogging once again. Man, being dedicated to this thing is hard eh? Anyways, on to the good stuff.

Michael Jackson

Before I start, I am not writing this to say that his life was any more important than anyone else's. In the end he was just another man. I am writing this as I would write about any other musical influence of mine as I have about Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix (stay tuned for John Mayer).

So last night Sarah and I went to see "This Is It." I was very impressed. Michael Jackson was such an amazing performer. He took complete control over the rehearsal and commanded the respect of his dancers, the music director, lighting, all that jazz. So yeah, he may have been a nut job, but damn it he made good music. I'm probably way behind on the honouring or bashing of MJ since his death, but seeing the film made me re-realize how much I love his music. As soon as I got home I picked up my guitar and figured out the melody to Human Nature (my all time favourite MJ song). Granted he hadn't made any new music for a while before he died, but there's no denying that his catalogue of songs is mighty impressive. Throw whatever thoughts out there about his alleged child abuse, eccentric behaviour, cosmetic surgery, whatever... It does not take away from the talent and professionalism of the man when doing what he did best - making an audience sit on the edge of their seat in awe of his stage presence, making us try endlessly to learn how to moon walk, and making us hum/sing Beat It while waiting for the bus. Seriously, who of you out there hasn't tried to moonwalk (or claim that your can moonwalk without ever providing proof)? So here's to you Mike, you weird talented little man. Thanks for the music.

Got Yourself A Gun

Ahhhh October. Such a pivotal month in the year. For us Canadians it has thanksgiving, as well as Halloween, the beginning of the NHL and NBA regular season, the MLB playoffs, and apparently national boss day. It also means that applications for physiotherapy schools are out or about to come out. I started filling out the applications for the Ontario schools tonight. filling out the applications isn't too bad, it does make be reminisce about my MUN days though. I loved MUN. What else could one ask for in a university besides dirt cheap tuition and great profs. Ok, so not everyone had great profs, but I did (besides one or two). Some of former classmates may not agree with me, but I very much enjoyed my classes taught by Dr. Basset, I love that tiny french man. Anyway, enough about that. Having to apply for physio schools means that I have to ask for references again. I hate asking people to be references. Wondering if they'll remember me and all that jazz. I think I'll be okay though, I'm fairly confident the people I choose will know who I am and give me a good reference.

I was the trainer for a high school football game today. It was the first football game I've ever been to. It was really freakin' cold. My fingers were so cold that when I had to tape a kids ankle I could barely tear the tape. It sucked. Oh well, it's a little extra cash for me and it wasn't difficult. The physioclinic let me use the company car to travel to the game. The company car is one of those tiny smartcars. Interesting little vehicles they are. I kinda felt like a tool driving it, but it was fun to get to drive again. I really miss having a car, it was so convenient. Anyways, I'm off to watch some Sopranos. Cheers.

You Give Me The Electric Twist

It's been a few days since I've posting anything and I make no apologies. I don't know if you noticed, but blogging on a regular basis is actually a pretty difficult thing to do. Sarah is doing a fantastic job with her blog, probably because it's themed, whereas mine lacks direction. I have tried to include a few guitar tips, but they have been pretty sparse, so I figured that I would dedicated this blog to the closed-type tuning head.

Pictured below are the open-stlye (top) and closed style (bottom) tuning heads. I can't get them to line up on the page the way I want them to, but oh well.
Embarrassing as it is for me to say, I was unaware that many vintage guitars came stock with an open slotted tuning head. That's right, as much as I pride myself in knowing about guitars I seem to have overlooked the differing styles of tuning heads. This is mostly because I've only had the opportunity to play on guitars with more modern tuning heads. That was until I offered to restring Sarah's cousins guitar. I believe it was and '86 reissue of a '67 strat, but I could be wrong. Anyways, point is that it had old-school Kluson tuning heads like the ones pictured below. I tell ya, I had the damnedest time restringing the friggin' thing because of that. For the life my me I could not keep the strings from slipping out of the slot. With the tunings heads that I'm used to, the closed-type, you simply cut the string a couple of inches above the head you are to string through, place the end in the hole and tighten. This way takes all of five minutes to do. That's why I offered to restring his guitar, I just assumed it had the tuning heads I was used to.

Now, apparently, a lot of guitarist prefer the open-slot tuning head to the more modern style. I think that is mostly because they look cooler. I also discovered (through a quick internet search) that they are much easier to restring than I found them to be. If any of you out there reading my blog has a guitar with the open-slot style tuning head can you please tell me how you find them. Do you find that they don't stay in tune as well as the closed-style? Do you find them difficult to restring? Or do you just think that  they looked freakin' awesome ? I agree with the last point, but I much rather the more modern tuning head any day. Cheers.

Rainy Day Dream Away

I had a really good day at work today. Just enough clients to keep me busy so, but not so many as to overload my schedule. Yesterday I had to stay an hour later than I usually do because one of my clients couldn't get in until five. I did have a very pleasant conversation with the girl that works the front desk in the evening though, so that help the time go by a little quicker.

The last two days I've had to walk in the rain from work to the bus terminal. I really need to invest in an umbrella. I was drenched by the time I got to the terminal, and so was my backpack. It's a good thing I didn't bring my laptop to work today or I probably would have ended up with a water-damaged macbook. I just found out today that Hey Rosetta! will be playing at the paragon theatre here in December and Sarah just booked some tickets for us. I'm super-stoked. I haven't seen them play in a really long time. They freakin' rock. If any of you who read this are from Halifax then you really should go check them out if you haven't heard them before.

Right now I'm listening to A Fine Frenzy's newest album, Bomb in a Birdcage. It's pretty awesome. I love that chick's voice, it makes me so happy. I don't really know why. The song Rangers from her last album is one of my favourite tunes. I'm really digging this album a lot and I've only listened to like three songs. I wish she would make her way here to Halifax so I could check her out live. How bitchin' would that be?

I guess I'm off to get some supper and chill with my lady for the night. Who could ask for more than a chicken burger and my favourite chick? Cheers.

Let's Get Physical, Physical....

Slow days at work suck. Today I only had two clients - one at 10:00am and one at 12:15pm. While the clients are there time goes by pretty quickly because I get to chat with them, help them with their exercises, or whatever. When I don't have clients it's a whole different story, especially on mondays. Usually I'll have some paperwork to be doing to keep me busy, but on mondays there's never much paperwork or anything like that.

What I've done to help break-up the downtime was design a simple two-day split workout routine. We have this old-school plated exercise machine (something like the one in the picture above) made by what must have been medieval ironsmiths, but it has everything I need for a basic routine. Not having free weights really limits what exercises I can do, but her is my two-day split.

On days 1 and 2 I do a warm-up set (10 reps of about 50-60% of my 1 repetition max (RM)). After a short break I do as many reps as I can of 85-95% of my 1RM, usually between 5-8 reps.

Day 1 - Medium/Heavy - Push Exercises
1. Bench Press
2. Tricep Extension
3. Shoulder Press (military press)
4. Leg Press

Day 2 - Mediam/Heavy - Pull Exercises
1. Lat Pull-Down
2. Seated Rows
3. Bent Rows
4. Bicep Curls
The archaic machine doesn't have anything for a leg pull exercise so I need to find a way to do "good mornings."

I take a break on wednesday then I repeat the split but I lower the intensity to 50-60% 1RM and do 20 reps after a warm-up set.

The theory behind the split and doing medium/heavy exercises in one split while doing light exercises in the next is to build muscular strength and endurance respectively. www.exrx.net has great examples of similar Heavy/Light splits and a plethora of information of any other type of routines and exercises you could want to know about.

The whole routine takes about 30 minutes. Most of the time I'll do one exercises, do some paperwork, do another exercise, do some more work and so on. It really helps break-up my slow days and keep me alert. Anyway, that's it for today. Cheers.

And I Don't Need Another Kind of Green To Know

Usually I'd be in bed right now catching up on my hectic dream life, but not tonight. No, tonight I am kept up by our neighbours across the street who have a party every night (or so it seems). Usually they aren't bad, but tonight they must have invited some first nations tribe or something over to their house because for the past two hours all I've heard is bongos, tambourines, and random yelling. It's ridiculous. I don't really know what to do in this situation. I don't want to be a narc and call the police. Not that they would know who it was that called or anything, but there's always that stigma about being a tattle-tale. No one likes a tattler. I just can't believe how inconsiderate people can be sometimes. Yeah, so it's a saturday night and you want to have some fun, but seriously, do you have to play drums at 1:30 in the morning? I never had this problem in St. John's. Maybe that's because everyone had the good sense enough to go downtown when things started to liven up like that. I mean I've been to my share of parties, but I don't think we ever broke out some instruments and starting playing in the streets. This is just another strike against Halifax. If this were a game of baseball, Halifax would have stuck-out for me a little while ago. Oh to be at the Bambrick again with the roomies. Watching some hockey, playing video games, ordering pizza. That was the life. Meh, Halifax has some good points I guess, but I'm still looking for that something that will make it feel like home. Hey, looks like the neighbours put away their drums. I'll have to grab this opportunity to go to sleep ASAP. I have to save gotham city, since batman has the swine flu. Cheers.

Go Ahead Put Your Red Dress On

So I have this habit of looking at what song people are listening to when they sit down next to me on the bus. I don't know if anyone else does this, but every time someone sits down next to me on the bus I look at their ipod/mp3 player (if it's visible) and see what song they are listening to. It's really interesting to see if the music they listen to matches the way the person looks. Last week a girl sat next to me and she was dressed really nice and looked kinda... artsy (for lack of a better word). I was expecting to see her listening to Tegan & Sarah or Death Cab. Boy was I wrong, the three songs she listened to (my bus ride is really long) were:

1. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica
2. In Too Deep by Sum41
3. Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani

In this case the music did not match the way the person looked. I hate to use a cliche, but this kinda showed me that you can't judge a book by its cover. There are times the music matches the person exactly like you think it would. There are also times when you inspire the person next to you to listen to a different song. That's right, I was an inspiration to someone's bus tunes today. Well, I like to think I was anyway. Here's what happened. This girl sat down next to me, so naturally I checked to see what she was listening to. I didn't recognize the name of the band so I couldn't make a judgement call. Now, I took out my ipod to see if I could catch if she checked to see what I was listening to. I turned on a TV on The Radio song and when I did I noticed that she changed from the song she was listening to and turned on a TV on The Radio song herself. So there you go, I was an inspiration and I found out that I'm not the only creepy person who looks at bus goers playlists.

I'm The Blood Stain On Your Shirt Sleeve

Halifax was starting to look pretty good up until yesterday. I found myself a good job, got some groceries, bought the new batman game. Yep, things were looking up. Then we went to see a movie at Bayers Lake. Man what a drag. The movie itself (Jennifer's Body) was pretty good, but getting to and from Bayers Lake in the night time is horrible. We ended up getting a cab there because either the bus we got to the shopping center where we were to catch route 52 to Bayers Lake was really late or the route 52 didn't come. Had to spend $15 on the cab because of that. Funny how that kind of thing can ruin a place for you. Ok, so it really wasn't that big a of deal, except it was really cold out and the bus ride home was super long, but it made me miss how simple St. John's is. For starters, the movie theatre in the avalon mall gets all the movies and it's only a few minutes from where I used to live. Also, getting downtown, although sometimes annoying because the route 10 was notoriously late, was relatively easy and you always knew where to go to find a good show (like Chris Kirby every second Wednesday at the Fat Cat). Whatever, Halifax really isn't that bad, I'm just still getting used to it I guess. It doesn't help that I'm pretty broke, but that's neither here nor there.

I guess this blog entry was a bit whiney. Next one will be more chipper. This week will be good, I can feel it.

Raise Your Glass And Drink WIth Me To That Island In The Sea

So I haven't posted in a couple of days, but I'm not apologizing. I don't really have that much interesting going on right now. Work is going good. There's a lot of downtime between clients, which means I've been doing a lot of reading. I found this website, www.exrx.net . It's pretty great. There are loads of examples of exercises, tips for a bunch of different things, articles, basically a whole website full of things to interest a kinesiologist such as myself. I'm not going to lie though, the downtime is a little rough, makes the day seem longer than it actually is. There is gym equipment right next to me, so when I get a little bit bored I do a quick workout and that seems to help me keep my energy up. I also designed this tracking sheet. Well, I didn't so much design it as I improved on the template. Ah the powers of Microsoft excel. I love macs, but the Microsoft office suite is definitely something that they got right.

It was really foggy here this morning when I got up to go to work and it made me think of St. John's. Yes, Halifax does apparently get just as much fog as SJ, but I don't care. Not only did it remind me of St. John's, but it also reminded me of going fishing with my pop in his old punt. I miss doing that. I don't think that I've been out in a row boat fishing since pop died. After he had his stroke he used to get me or my brother, or one of my cousins to go out fishing with him a lot. When he started to get tired from rowing he would say, "grab the oars and I'll learn you how to row." Never one to admit that he was getting tired, he turned it into a lesson. Of course, he and I both knew that it wasn't a lesson, I had been going out in boat with him for years, so rowing the boat wasn't anything new to me. I asked him one time after he had his stroke how did he row the boat since he couldn't move his left hand so well. The way I had it figured he would just row around in a circle because his right arm was stronger than his left. He just told me that he doesn't pull as hard with his other arm. Simple answer huh? I really miss pop sometimes. I spent so much time with him when I was growing up. Camping, fishing, setting snares, playing cards, everything. Anyways, I got a little of track there, it was foggy and I missed home today. Cheers.

I Stand Up Next To A Mountain And Chop It Down With The Edge Of My Hand

Tomorrow I start my first day of actual work, no training anymore, it's all me. That's not really what I want to write about, but I'm pretty stoked to not have to be training anymore and start getting clients of my own. Honestly, the training was kind of bull, I'm pretty sure the only reason I had 5 days of training with three different Kins was because they get paid an extra $40 a day for training. But enough about that, onto the good stuff.

So what is the good stuff? I need to find a freakin' record player. I used to have one back in St. John's, but I didn't bring it with me because it was so dang big. Well now I have all these great records (ok, some of them aren't so great) but nothing to play them on. I was going to buy a Jimi Hendrix album off some guy on Kijiji the other day, but I didn't because I wasn't sure when I would be able to get a record player. In hindsight I should have probably just bought it since I don't know if I'll have the opportunity again. I really, really want Axis: Bold as Love. That album is amazing. Some very innovative ideas and one of his most widely covered songs "Little Wing." Personally the title track - "Bold as Love" is my favorite song. It's pretty simple, but amazing none the less. John Mayer does an awesome cover of Bold as Love. Other than that I really want Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas Flood and Couldn't Stand the Weather. I'm not gonna lie, no matte how much I love Jimi Hendirx, I'll always think that Stevie's cover of "Voodoo Chile (slight return)" is better than the original (please don't kill me music gods). Jimi is a better showman though Here are youtube videos of both, make the decision for yourself.

Also, I have a chance to trade my digital recorder for a '79 yamaha RGX 211M guitar with a Floyd Rose bridge, or to sell it for $200 cash. Anyone know what I should do? Cheers.

She Works Hard For Her Money, So You Better Treat Her Right

This Friday will mark my first full day at work on my own. That's right, training will be over and I will have actual clients. I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty nervous about it. In theory I know exactly what I have to do, heck most of it is pretty simple. Designing an exercise program for someone with a shoulder injury, pfft, no problem. Functional assessments, nothing to it. What I'm worried about is all the timeline stuff with the Worker's Compensation Board and all the tiers of claims and motor vehicle accident stuff. But, like any new job, all that stuff will get easier with time.

You know what I love about the job? I pretty much get to pick my own hours, and I get all weekends off. I just have to fill 40 hours from monday-friday. I can work 9-5 everyday if I want, or 12-8, or... you get the picture. Sometimes I will have to come in a bit earlier or leave a bit latter to accommodate the clients schedule, but whatever, it's the best hours I could ask for from a job. It definitely beats working from 5:30-12:30 at the theatre, except now I don't get free movies.

One thing about being a Kinesiologist that sucks though are the fees for different certifications. I have to keep my First Aid up-to-date and renew my CPR annually to keep my CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) certificate- all of which cost varying amounts of cash, CPT being the most expensive. Also, with the clinic I'm required to be a CKA (Canadian Kinesiology Alliance) member, which cost me $78 to apply, $75 for insurance (2 million dollar policy) and a membership fee, which is quite hefty as well. Oh well, those are the brakes I guess. At least I get a discount at certain stores and info about conferences and stuff with the CPT and CKA. Yay for savings and continuing education. Cheers.

Lend Me Your Ears And I'll Sing You A Song, And I'll Try Not To Sing Out Of Key

Intonation is a really important thing to keep in mind. In a nutshell intonation means that you strings are in tune the whole way up and down the neck. Sounds simple right? Well it is, very simple. So if I play my E string ( or any other string) open then playing that string with the while barring the 12th fret should also give me an E, except an octave higher. Following me so far? Okay, so no one notices the difference if the string is a little sharp or a little flat right? Well maybe they do, especially if you're playing lead, and if all they strings have bad intonation then the further up the neck you go, the more out of tune the guitar will sound. So here's how to set up your guitar's intonation on an electric guitar. I'm not going to get into setting action or anything, maybe I will on a later blog. Just note that if you are going to change your action then do it before setting up intonation or you'll end up having to fix the intonation all over again.

First you have to tune up your guitar. Plain and simple, plug that sucker in and tune it up. I play in standard tuning (EADGBe), but if you play in something like drop D or DADGAD then tune your guitar to that. Whatever you play in most is what you should tune your guitar to.

Now that your guitar is tuned up find find out how bad your intonation is. This is where you'll really notice how bad (or good) your guitar is set up. play your E string open and the tuner should be dead in the middle. Next barre the 12th fret of the E string and pick the string. If the tuner is still in dead in the middle then congrats! your E string has perfect intonation. If the tuner is sharp (higher) or flat (lower) then you will have to adjust the intonation. Do not press to firmly when fretting the note to prevent from bending the string and giving a false sharp note, press just hard enough so the string doesn't buzz.

If the 12th fret gives you a flat note (lower than the E) then you have to make the distance between the nut and the bridge shorter. If you get a sharp note (higher than the E) then you have to make the distance between the nut and the bridge longer.



My picture shows the Tune-o-matic bridge that comes standard on Les Paul guitars. Chances are your bridge is very similar.

To do this you will need a small screwdriver to adjust the saddle


If the 12th fretted note is sharp, lengthen the string by turning the screw clockwise, if flat shorten the string by turning the screw counter-clockwise. Only turn the screw in slight increments, about a quarter of a turn, at a time. After each turn fret the note and check the tuning. If it the tuner is in the middle then voila, the string has perfect intonation. If it isn't just keep making tiny adjustments until it is. Now repeat the process for each of the five remaining strings.

Fixing the intonation for an acoustic guitar is more difficult and I would suggest leaving it to a guitar technician.

Hopefully this was helpful to someone out there in cyberspace. If you have any questions or comments just let me know.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

My fingers smell like guitar strings right now because I just spent the last half hour or so playing some Ben Harper tunes. That got me thinking that I really want to start recording again, and that I really need to change the strings on my guitars. For any of you aspiring guitar players, even if you don't play your guitar a whole lot, your strings should be changed at least twice a year. When I was playing at Chi Alpha every week I would have to change my strings much more often, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, I haven't changed the strings on any of my guitars in almost a year, that's really bad, for a couple of reason.

1. Every time you play your fingers end up with a metallic smell
2. The strings will not stay in tune as well
3. If you have coated strings (such as elixers) then the coating will be pretty much non-existant at this point
4. They lose the "crisp" and you end up with a dead sound (this applies more to acoustic than electric guitars)
5. The B and e (notice the lower case) get especially rough, making slides a little more difficulty
6. Eventually those suckers will break on you

That's about all the reasons I can think of for changing your strings on an regular basis. Also, make sure you check your intonation. I'll get into some stuff about that on my next blog. Cheers.
These are my babies (minus one) I named my guitars after my grandparents. From Left - Right: Clemie - Garrison AG500 Elixer superlight nanoweb strings, Ralph - GK2265 series "Strat" Ernie Ball super slinky light strings, Hughie - Epiphone Les Paul Standard Ernie Ball super slinky light strings. Missing from photo: Winnie - Dean Performer Archtop D'addario XL light strings.

Short Skirt and Long Jacket

I have inspired my girlfriend to start a blog! Actually, a combination of modcloth/shopping/fashion has inspired her to start a blog, but I'm happy to take credit. Of course, hers will not be as insightful or interesting as mine, but that's to be expected. You know what sucks, she'll probably get more hits then I ever will because it's fashion focused and she's a much better writer than me. I can accept that, I can jump higher than her so there.

Speaking of jumping, Michael Jordan was just inducted into the basketball hall of fame. Real shocker right? I mean, 6 championships, the highest scoring average of all time, most points in a single playoff game, 14 time all-star, 5 time NBA MVP, 3 time all-star MVP, rookie of the year, nine time all-defensive first team, defensive player of the year, 10 time al-NBA first team, 1 time all-NBA second team, and two-time olympic gold medalist. There's even more than that. The man was sick. Anyone who thinks Lebron will be the next Jordan will be disappointed. Don't get me wrong, he's a fantastic player, but I just don't see him acheiving that kind of greatest. He will probably break the all-time scoring record, but only because Jordan retired twice and broke his leg early in his career. Care to argue if he'll be better?

Standing Here Freezin', Inside Your Golden Garden

My apartment is freezing! The radiators aren't working and I've called the landlord a couple times now, but she's never there. I've left messages, but she isn't responding. We're going to have to start using our fireplace soon if she doesn't get back to me. We're not really allowed because of insurance, but I'm damn cold. Seriously, my fingers are stiff and it's a little difficult to type, obviously I'm still able to, but that's not really the point. Anyone know how to fix a rad? or turn it back on at least.

My StayFurniture grippers finally came in the mail today. I'll keep you (and by you I mean Laura, since you're my only follower) posted.

Last Day At the Lodge

The title is an Amos Lee album, you guys should definitely check him out. Phenomenal artist. Anyway, that's not what I want to write about, I chose that title today is the last day that I will be unemployed. I officially start training tomorrow at the Physioclinic and I couldn't be happier. I met my co-workers and talked to the current kinesiologist at the clinic. Everyone seems really nice and easy going.
When I checked me email today I had an offer from Nubody's as well. They are looking for someone to do military testing. Since I have my CPT (certified personal trainer) through CSEP (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiologist) I am the only one they interviewed who would be qualified. I was tempted to see if I could do both, since the testing is only on Fridays and on one Wednesday in Truro every month. I just didn't know if I could handle the workload right now. Anyways, blogging may become a little less frequent because of work (not that I have any followers that are dying to read this). Cheers.

It's A Working Man I Am

So I finally got a job. I took the position with the Physioclinic in Dartmouth and I start on Tuesday. I'm pretty stoked. I was starting to get bored here, just bumming around the house and doing pretty much nothing but wait for phone calls from places I had applied to. Things are starting to look up. This job will look really good on my application for physiotherapy school, so that's a definite bonus. Now all I have to do is find a place to volunteer for a couple hours on Saturdays and I'll be all set.

Amelia Curran show tonight, should be awesome. Cheers.

Jimi Hendrix

If you aren't a fan of Jimi Hendrix I think that you should start listening to his music and become one. Ok, so he's not for everyone, butt the Experience was most definitely one of the greatest trios, shaping the beginnings of metal, and bringing creativity to a level that had never been seen before. Think about some of your favorite guitarist, 9 chances out of 10 they were influence by Hendrix- and if not Hendrix, then by another guitarist who was influenced by Hendrix.

I don't have much else to say about it than that. I've been listening and playing Hendrix a lot for the past couple of weeks and I just wanted to say something about. Even before I started listening to Hendrix I was listening to John Mayer (who has covered at least 3 of Hendrix's songs), Stevie Ray Vaughan (largely influenced by Jimi Hendrix) and Eric Clapton. Clapton was not so much influenced by Hendrix I guess, since they were both making music in the 60s, but he became friends with him and did pick up some of his quirks (bouffant hairdo, leaving the guitar on the amp to make feedback when he was leaving the stage) for a short time.

I wonder what kind of music he would be making today if he were still around. Hell, I wonder what kind of music he would have made in the 70s if he had the chance. Anyway, I'm off to get showered, or something. Cheers

100 visitors

So I was checking that counter on the bottom of my page and I'm up to 93 visitors. That's mighty close to 100. Maybe by the end of the day I'll be at 100. Now I know that like 15 of those visits were from myself checking in and seeing if there was anything I wanted to change, but at least I know someone else is reading/ accidentally getting directed to my page for a brief moment. I'm looking forward to my first comment. I don't really have much else to say today. Except Eastlink is refusing to answer/ return my calls. Damn them. Cheers.

Yellow Taxis

Whatever happened to Taxis being easily distinguishable because they were a nice bright yellow? I have yet to see a yellow taxi in Halifax (except for the ones that are Yellow Cab, but that's the company, not the color). Seriously, what the hell? The cabs don't even have decals on them, or anything that lets you know they are a taxi except for the thingy on the roof. It makes me miss St. John's and the Jiffy Cab man. For any  of you (if there is anyone actually reading this blog) who have been to St. John's and called for a Jiffy Cab, you know what I'm talking about.

So I had the interview with Nubody's on Friday and now I have a "technical" interview with them in a couple of days. I have to design and take the manager through a workout. I guess they want to really see if I have to goods to be a personal trainer. I'm not really sure if I want to be, but I needs the moneys right now, so I don't really have a choice. Anyway, off to watch the OC, cheers.

Locked Out

Ever lock yourself out of your house and have absolutely no way to get back in? Well I have. Today I took the trash out to the dumpster and didn't take my keys because it was just around the corner. What I didn't know is that the wooden door we have locks automatically when you close it, so I got locked out. So what did I do? I walked to King's College to get Sarah's keys. However, she was out with a group of her classmates working on an assignment where they had to do "streeters," interviewing people on the street like Rick Mercer does I guess. Well then I thought I was screwed. She wouldn't be back till noon and it was only 10:30. I walked back to the apartment and figured I would have to chill for a while until she came back.

It wasn't a total loss though, I ended up chatting with one of my upstairs neighbours for like an hour. We talked about all sorts of stuff. He moved here from B.C. his girlfriends is some kind of physicist or something with Dalhousie fixing a weather machine thingy, he recycles everything, and he told me about this bikeshare program where I can get myself a bike (to replace my stolen bike from St. John's). While we were chatting the landlord came so I was able to get her to let me in the apartment. So, all-in-all, it turned out much better than I though it was going to. The dude offer me a rocking chair, a hat, a camping stove, and a canoe while we were chatting. I would have taken him up on at least one of those if I had any place to put it or use it. I'll let you guess which one. Cheers.

Slippery Couch

We finally got our couch yesterday. It took a long time, but it's here. So then came the trial-and-error of where it (along with the rest of the furniture) should be located in the room. We have a pretty small space, so this was a challenge - but after a bit of arguing and moving around we finally have our living/dining room the way we want it. We still aren't officially settled in- still some boxes to unpack, curtains to buy, etc...

One thing about the couch, it slips around on the floor like mad. For such a large object it sure moves easily. I found a product online that looks promising though. It's called STAYfurniture grippers. I had to order them, so it'll be a while before they're shipped.

I have myself a mini-dilemma right now. I have an interview on Friday with Nubody's, and they seem very interested in me. That is not the dilemma. This is: I had an interview with the Physioclinic a couple weeks back and it seems promising, except I won't know if I got the job until sometime next week. As the situation stands I could get both jobs and have to choose between them, so I'll have to weigh my options here. At the Physioclinic I will be working as a kinesiologist, but the job is in Dartmouth. At Nubody's I will be working as a personal trainer and the job is in Halifax. So do I pick the job that is closer to home or that is in a clinic. What if I don't get either job? That will definitely suck, that's a whole different kind of dilemma. Anyway, I'm off to find a public library so I can scan a document for email. Cheers.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus CD Review - March 2009

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Lonely Road
By Brandon Goulding
One part INXS + two parts Blink-182 + a quarter of Fall Out Boy = Red Jumpsuit Aparatus. Lonley Road, RJAs second studio album, blends solid guitars, distinguishable vocals, and catchy melodies into a enjoyable pop-punk mochachino, with just a hint of high-school targeted lyrics.
Let’s start right from the beginning with the first track, “You Better Pray.” With an intro that is reminiscent of “thunderstruck,” this song is definitely a good representation of the tone of the album – moderately heavy guitar licks, very solid drumming, and surprisingly good vocals.
One place where RJA has excelled where other pop-punk bands have failed is their diversity. At first listen most of the songs may sound the same, but the use of driving palm-mutes in songs like “Pen and Paper,” the ridiculously catchy melody in the chorus of “Step Right Up,” and the pinch harmonics in the intro of “Pull Me Back” help separate RJA from fall-by-the wayside bands like Boxcar Racer. The band also shows a more vulnerable quality in the title track, “Lonely Road,” which is soft but still has a great drive to it.
Don’t let the guitar licks and drums fool you too much though, these guys are still poppy, and seem to play to a highschool demographic; which is clearly evident in the lyric of “Senioritis,” a song about senior year of highschool. “Skip class, take chances, have fun. ‘Cause when it’s over it is done” – not the hardest hitting lyrics I’ve heard.
While RJA may have lyrics that are definitely to be taken at face value, Lonely Road as a whole is quite enjoyable. However, it does suffice to say that, in a world where bands like Good Charlotte or Simple Plan become immensely successful, RJA might just get thrown 2 for $10 bin alongside Blink.

Propagandhi CD Review - March 2009

Supporting Caste
G7 Welcoming Committee/Smallman Records
By: Brandon Goulding
Before you go any further reading this review know this, I am not an expert it this partical genre of anarcho-punk. I reviewed this album with an open mind and focused on musicianship and the feel of the album. Now, into the meat and potatoes.
Supporting Caste, Propagandhi’s fifth studio album, is a heavy sounding, upbeat, no-holds-bar album. Charged by politics, religion, and various touchy subjects, Propagandhi stays true to former works by being out-spoken. However, I found reading the lyrics more enjoyable than listening to them. The songs had a very disjunctive feel to them, which made following them difficult.
The album as a whole has a very heavy driving tone to it that, frankly, I did not enjoy. Right off the bat you are hit with a guitar hero reject song, “Night Letters,” which pretty much defines the sound of the rest of the album – loud guitars, aggressive drumming, a screaming vocals. Staying true to being heavy, loud, and aggressive, “This is Your Life” scared the piss out of me when it started playing. However, an album like this is not entirely a bad thing. You know what you’re getting from the get-go, and if you can get past the lack of diversity you might actually enjoy it. It’s like that episode of “How I meet your mother” where Barney makes a mixed CD that is all up, no downs.
Now I don’t want to come off sounding like I despised this album. In fact, there were a couple of gems that my old soul could handle. “The Banger’s Embrace” had good vocals, decent guitar licks and solid lyrics. “Last Will & Testament” provided something different than every other song on the album, good dynamics. A lengthy 3 minute into was perhaps the shining point of Supporting Caste for me. After those three minutes the song reverts to the driving beat and heavy guitars that defined the rest of the album.
While it may not have been my cup of tea, I can see Supporting Caste catering to the taste of many. It does have meaningful lyrics, intense drumming, and a consistent sound. Long time fans will not be disappointed, but those of you that are not heavy guitars and getting scream at might want to stay away.

Sonny Tripp CD Review - February 2009

Sonny Tripp
Sonny Tripp
Alt Rock
By Brandon Goulding
What do you get when you mix three guys, a log cabin, and two days in late December? No, not some lame Jackass rip-off. You get a debut album of local band Sonny Tripp, comprised of Ryan Taylor, Dicky Stricklando, and Chris Donnelly. Personally, I had not heard of Sonny Tripp until I was browsing around CD Plus when an employee/friend recommended I'd give this album a listen. Since it was only six bucks I thought, "why not?"
I ended up being pleasantly surprised. With songs largely driven by drummer Dicky Stricklando, along with searing guitar riffs, and a groovy bass, this album is a great find. songs like "I can't imagine and "so long" are reminiscent of old school Collective Soul (back in the days "Shine").
"Police Car" showcases some of the band's best qualities - great drumming, a catch vocal hook, and fine guitar and bass performances that all compliment each other very well. "Low Key Flow" changes things up a little with a slow Deathcab-like song that is immensely mellow.
One downside of the album is the lack of diversity. All the tracks, with the exception of "Low Key Flow" sound very similar. After about five songs, Sonny Tripps sound gets a little monotonous and leaves you looking for a little something different. However, this does not take away from the bands musicianship. Some guitar licks are nothing less than brilliance, the vocals are solid, and the drumming is stellar.
Keep an eye out for these guys. Since forming in 2007, Sonny Tripp has developed a great sound and has great potential for local success. The next time you guys are in CDPlus or Fred's Records why not pick up "Sonny Tripp" and give it a listen for yourself. At only six dollars this is definitely a gem.

Ian Foster CD Review, March 2009

Ian Foster
Room in the City

By: Brandon Goulding

Ian Fosters second album Room in the City is a breathe of fresh air with creative lyrics, interested use of a variety of instruments, and a guest appearance by the legendary Ron Hynes. Teeming with folk, rock, and blues flavors, this album is brilliantly produced; no wonder it was nominated for a 2008 ECMA.

The songs, and the album as a whole, have great dynamics with Foster’s soft-raspy capturing the listeners attention and his lyrics bringing you through stories of long drives, dark nights, love, and love lost. Beginning with “A Lesson in Geography,” Foster introduces us to his folky side with a playful Jack Johnson like air and a bitchin’ xylophone solo.

Melanie O’Brien adds some sultry vocals to “Sodium” and “Berlin.” -- The former with a great rock feel and the latter having more emotion and great layering of the vocals with the slow guitar and string section.

“Without a Mark” is wonderfully dark with a carnival type sound give me the same feeling I get when listening to Euphoria by Sarah Slean. You’ll have to listen to both to get exactly what I mean, but it’ll be well worth it.

The last three songs of Room in the City return to the folky type sounds that started the album, leaving the electric guitar on it’s stand and adding a strings section to mellow things out a little. Ending the album with “Decisions,” Foster has reverted all the way back to the bare necessities – an acoustic guitar and a phenomenal voice. Co-writer by Ron Hynes, who also lends his voice to the track, “Decisions” is brilliant and thoughtful.

Room in the City is by far one of the best albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year. Creative, dark, rocky, and altogether brilliant this record has a little of everything.

The Killers CD Review, January 21, 2009

Baytown Connection CD Review - November 26, 2008

John Legend CD Review - November 19, 2008

The Verve CD Review - September 10, 2008

The Verve
By Brandon Goulding
Yeah, they were super cool in the ‘90s, but so were jean jackets and mullets.
Luckily, unlike some other relics of the decade, the Verve is as good today as they were 11 years ago.

Back together after a long hiatus due to “creative struggles” between band members, the Verve has blended solid drumming, funky bass, ghostly guitar licks, and warm vocals into a bittersweet collection of songs in their fourth album, cleverly named Forth.

The album's first single, “Sit And Wonder,” draws you in like a moth to a flame with funky drum beats, great guitar interplay, and the Bono-esque vocals of lead singer Richard Ashcroft.

However, at almost seven minutes long, you may be left sitting and wondering when exactly the song will be over.
“I See Houses,” with its eerie piano and creepy-ass lyrics, is hauntingly captivating and makes you want to put the song on repeat so you can just lie down and listen for hours.

For you blues junkies out there, listen to “Numbness” to hear some stellar guitar playing overlaid with simple vocals and driven by drummer Pete Salisbury’s uphill rhythm.

Dysfunctional as they were and are, the band has strung together a solid senior album. Forth is an eclectic balance of noise and musicianship revolving around a medium tempo that will keep your head bobbing.

Now, let’s just wait for them to break up and get back together again in about three years so we can enjoy yet another decent ‘90s throwback.

Halifax is noisy

So, Sarah and I have been living in Halifax for a little over a week now and do you know what we figured out? This place is noisy in the mornings. Every morning since we've been in our apartment we've been awaken by something going on outside the door. Last friday it was the birds chirping (yeah, sounds cool, but it's damn annoying), Sunday it was the church bells which rang for like 3 minutes straight, and today there was someone using a chainsaw or another such tool right outside our window at 8:00. Seriously, does anyone in this town sleep in? Perhaps I'll have to get ear plugs.

Oh, and Hurricane Bill? More overrated than Greg Oden. No power outage, no fallen trees. I was half excited to light candles and have a night of it. I mean yeah, it's great that it didn't do any damage, but come on, not even any lightning? Oh well. Tomorrow we should be getting our couch, then we'll both be able to sit down at the same time. Cheers.