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