Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2005

Almost settled

We're almost done decorating the new apartment. I've been here two months now -- Manda and our stuff arrived a bit after I did. 99% of the boxes are unpacked and most of the stuff is in its proper place, aside from the room I'm in now. I was going to do a full before-and-after tour using pictures from the BigAssSuperGallery, but I don't have the patience to make it look pretty through the Blogger interface. So, swing over to my flickr site and see for yourself . Compared to my old solo apartment, it's a huge improvement. If you've been there, you know. Manda's the hero for hanging pictures, making many decorative decisions, and possessing enough furniture to fill the place. Last big hurdle is the computer/guest room, which most resembles my old apartment. May make some progress on that today. Maybe. Perhaps. Sure. Also on flickr, snaps of last night's tree lighting ceremony at Grand Parade. We went to see the new movie version of Rent last night (tear-j

What, me worry?

Stats Can released a report yesterday indicating that my new home has more violent crime per capita than any other metropolitan centre in Canada. CBC reports: Statistics Canada surveyed 24,000 people in 2004 to find out if they had been victims of robbery, sexual or physical assault, breaking and entering, and other offences within a 12-month period. The data, released Thursday, shows residents of Nova Scotia reported the second highest rate of victimization, at 157 incidents per 1,000 population. Only Alberta was higher, at a rate of 160. Just a note to tell the folks back home not to freak out. It feels safer here, even if the numbers argue otherwise. There's plenty of domestic violence, and drug- and drunk-related violence, but not a huge amount of stranger-on-stranger violence. And they haven't reached the point of settling beefs with gunfire in public places yet, so I feel fairly secure walking around. If 50 Cent feels safe coming here (playing the Metro Centre, ac

As long as they spell my name right...

Alex J. Walling at wrote up a huge (seven-page) review of the new radio station's performance after the first month. Generally positive, including a brief mention of the PM show: The afternoon drive home is a pleasant one on the new News-station as Erica Munn and Scott Simpson deliver the news very well. In fact I think Munn has an exceptional read. The only better female that I've heard on reading radio news is Martha Cody who did the gig for Q104 many moons ago before she went over to MITV/Global. First impression count and I like the fact that this News station seems genuinely interested in delivering it. Still hoping to get access to the loggers or something so I can get audio samples to the folks back home. Perhaps I'll just record an hour or two and burn it to CD for everybody.

If people from the past had the technology we have today

A photoshop contest over at included this image: (Originally pictured: John Travolta .) BONUS: TV station KRQE News 13 has a look at the Scientology compound built into the side of a mountain in New Mexico, including a shot of what some have referred to as the "mothership recognition symbol": The story is about a compound hidden deep in a remote part of New Mexico. Among other interesting features are markings in the landscape that can only be seen from the air and a vault built into a mountain side. In the meantime, the Church of Spiritual Technology is doing all it can to stop this story from hitting the airwaves. They and their attorney sat down with News 13 to try to convince us this story should stay private. ( story ) ( video )

Barenaked on a stick

Toronto band Barenaked Ladies is releasing content on a USB memory stick later this month. Their official web site reports: the 128mg USB flash memory drive (about the size of your pinky finger) is a fast and easy way to share music, videos, pictures and other data. It is PC/Mac compatible, re-usable and incredibly low priced at $29.98 (close to the same cost of the device on its own with no special content). Makes ripping the music to your computer a lot easier, and you don't have to put sticky tape over holes on the device to record new stuff on it.

BigAssSuperstar meets Scott Simpson and Dr. Love

Its one thing to know there are other people with the same name as's something else to meet them. That happened this week when Manda and I went to Bearly's House of Blues and Ribs on Barrington St for dinner ahead of a planned karaoke night with some of the newsies. First to arrive (as usual), we met up with reporter Laura and her boyfriend, local film director Scott Simpson . We chatted about what it is to be one Scott Simpson among many Scott Simpsons (most notably a golfer who pollutes my google searches about myself ), speculations on family lineage, and thoughts on the differences between pizza in Halifax , Toronto and New York City. (And pizzas made by Lebanese, Italians and conglomerates.) I've had phone calls for other Scott Simpsons before, but IIRC, this is the first time I've met one. After dinner, Manda and Scott-two bowed out for sleep and the rest of the karaoke crowd filled in. The place got busy in a hurry. Reporter Laura kicked off the ac

My G-string is misadjusted

Michael pointed me to this fancy new guitar tuner : All you do is hold the String Master robotic guitar tuner on each tuning peg and pluck the string. String Master listens to the sound and its powerful gear motor actually turns the peg for you until that string is tuned to perfect pitch. Nice idea, especially if you're in a hurry. Probably just a matter of time 'til a company like Line6 starts building them into guitars, since they've already put a ton of other electronic doo-dads in their axes. BigAssSuperstar got stuck a few months ago with a mistuned guitar. I went up on stage for a quick song, and in my rush to get set up, told my PodXT that "A" was not 440Hz, and proceeded to tune a string to that wrong information. Panicked, all I could do in a hurry was tune the rest of the guitar to the mistuned string by ear, as the audience looked on. Doh. I think I'd look just as foolish bringing something like a mechanized ratchet on stage to auto-tune the thi

Lerxt's nose worth "tens of millions"

UPI reports that the members of Rush (greatest Canadian power trio of all time, natch) are seeking standing in guitarist Alex Lifeson's (nee Zivojinovich) lawsuit against police in Naples, Florida: Zivojinovich's suit sought damages in excess of $75,000 while the amended complaint could result in damages reaching "tens of millions of dollars," the guitarist's attorney said. The musicians claim injuries the guitarist suffered at the hands of deputies caused a break in the band's touring and recording schedules, costing them millions of dollars. Er -- when the heck were they supposed to have been touring and/or recording? Last album I can recall was the EP of covers from a coupla summers ago. Alex always seemed to me to be the most mellow, cool guitarist around. 'Til I saw him on Trailer Park Boys, swearing up a storm. Rock on, Alex. But please give up the leather pants. Maybe the silk kimonos will come back in style.

Country drive to urban hell

There's no Sunday Shopping in Nova Scotia, so the week's worth of errands have to be crammed in to a Saturday. Last week, we endured a trip to Bayers Lake Business Park to pick up some necessary bargains at Wal-Mart and do the week's grocery shopping at the Atlantic Superstore next door. This place is like any other car-dominated big-box retail strip anywhere you can think of, 'cept instead of being surrounded by low-density subdivisions, it's surrounded by trees. It's familiar and weird but aggravating nonetheless. If you've been to Wal-Mart on a Saturday, you know. Imagine going to Wal-Mart on a Saturday when there's no Sunday. You dig? Parking was insane. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The inspiration for this post is the Armdale Rotary. Now, I'm not much of a driver. Straight lines are good. Right turns, I can handle. Left turns aren't too bad if there's a light. But Halifax has this thing called the Rotary. It's not like a t

Remembrance Day, Year of the Veteran

I grew up not having much interest in war or Remembrance Day. This was in the Reagan 80s , the days of 99 Red Balloons and Culture Club's The War Song -- when "war" meant only World War III, global nuclear annihilation. I sort of understood the "never again" message, but since that was the extent of my understanding of war, the whole November 11 thing got misunderstood as some sort of celebration of war. I didn't really feel compelled to investigate further. It kinda turned me off. I wasn't interested in learning more than I knew, which wasn't much. Then I got assigned a story for Remembrance Day in 2004. I was asked to do three reports summing up Canada's military contribution. Well, that ended up being a crash course in history. I forget who I interviewed, but I learned a lot in a short time. I started learning more as I learned about my girlfriend Amanda's family tradition of marking November 11. Her dad was dying, so she was heavily em

Leak soup

Heavy rainfall warning today for Halifax. About 80mm expected in some places. Got up this morning and heard a drip, drip, drip in the living room. Found water dripping in from the lip above the window. I've got the big soup pot below the dripping and have called the office to have the super come have a look. I can't figure out where the water's coming in from. Nothing got wrecked, just a little wet. So much for going to get a haircut before work! Gotta scram and get a taxi so I can get in on time and find some grub!

Treats 'n tricks

I'm having even more fun doing the news now that the powers-that-be have generously upgraded the microphone on my side of the booth. We've gone from having an Apex 185 (sold in pairs, a helluva bargain) to a brand new Electrovoice RE27 (which costs about ten times as much). No more popping, no more "I can hear the air conditioner behind me" ambience, no more having to hang back so I don't distort. I can get up close and intimate with this big beast of a microphone and sound as sweet and thick and rich as a melted Dairy Milk bar. I'm diggin' it. Another random Halifax observation: gas prices. They don't fly up and down all over the place from hour to hour. The Esso at the corner of Young and Robie sat at 98.9ΓΈ/litre for nearly a week before dropping today to 96.9. I don't know whether that's a good price or a bad one, but bad stable is somehow more comforting than good unstable. Taking the bus costs $2 cash, or $32 for 20 tickets, or $60 for