Just my stuff

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Only in Toronto…

assbackwards-01.jpg licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Click image for source.

Toronto sports fans are rejoicing that the Leafs finished dead last in the NHL season this year.


Because this dismal season made them eligible for a lottery to get the first draft pick for the upcoming season. And they won the lottery. So theoretically, Leafs get to choose the best new player. I say theoretically because there’s no guarantee their pick will actually turn out best.

Many fans actually wanted the Leafs to lose their final games so they could get this pick.

To me this is the same kind of ass backwards philosophy that runs through much of Canada: Keep the dollar low so we can attract foreign business and, especially, customers for exports like good ol’ Texas Tea (Alberta blend). Meanwhile, tax more so we can (supposedly) get better services.

It’s a loser’s game… in sports and life. Far better, I think, to always do your best rather than skulk around in the mud.



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Elton John’s – The One (1992)

I think this is one of the last really good Elton John songs. It’s not quite as memorable, say, as “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” but as the image in the video suggests, that sun is still shining and hasn’t set yet.

Digital recording was still fairly new when this cd came out in ’92. I remember noticing how clear the piano sounded, how great the arrangement was. But above that, it’s a really nice melody. And the lyrics are fabulous. In a way, it’s too bad the creator of this video has streaming lyrics. I think that takes away from this. I much prefer to just read the lyrics in their entirety, alone, rather than have them pasted over a video. But that’s just me.

So if you prefer, just listen to the tune, and then check the cosmic lyrics later..

“The One”

I saw you dancing out the ocean
Running fast along the sand
A spirit born of earth and water
Fire flying from your hands

In the instant that you love someone
In the second that the hammer hits
Reality runs up your spine
And the pieces finally fit

And all I ever needed was the one
Like freedom fields where wild horses run
When stars collide like you and I
No shadows block the sun
You’re all I’ve ever needed
Baby you’re the one

There are caravans we follow
Drunken nights in dark hotels
When chances breathe between the silence
Where sex and love no longer gel

For each man in his time is Cain
Until he walks along the beach
And sees his future in the water
A long lost heart within his reach


I was in love with someone back then, when this song came out. It was one of those long distance things, with furtive letter-writing (this was before email). I took a little trip to her country, soon after we became engaged but something happened. Today, we’re still connected in a spiritual way and both know that things worked out right.

Still, the song stands. Falling in love is a wonderful thing. Even if it doesn’t always last forever.

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A fun thing to do every month


Some folks like arts and crafts. Others, like myself, enjoy fiddling away on the computer, trying out new freeware and pushing it to the max. I find it not only relaxing but plain, simple fun.

Here’s a calendar I made for the month of May. I used Pically’s free online calendar creator.


Pically makes white borders a little larger than I’d like, so I loaded the finished product (a pdf file) into Photoshop Elements (which can read pdf files) and cropped the white edges out before sending to Staples.ca for a good, inexpensive laser printing.

Actually, it was a bit more complicated than that.

Because I wanted to get the entire photo in the calendar, I simply loaded a blank (no image) calendar template into PS Elements. Then I pasted the tulips into the blank area, adjusting that image’s ratio so as to fit just the way I wanted. Add a little text at the top right, and you’ve got a lovely little 8.5 x 11 inch calendar.

The reason I started doing this is because I usually get my Mom two calendars for Christmas. One, a store-bought calendar. The other, a free calendar from my local parish. But this year I didn’t see any calendars at my parish. Either they were all snapped up before I got to them, or the Church is cutting costs. Not sure. But my Mom likes to have one for events (she’s like a medieval chronicler … been writing in her calendars for decades) and one just to keep track.

So feeling a bit guilty that I didn’t get her her second Christmas calendar, I began searching online for the best calendar maker, where I wouldn’t have to download a whole bunch of stuff that might slow down my computer (which I keep mean and lean for music production).

The result… Pically. It seems the best free online calendar maker to me. Try it!


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Christmas in April


Funny story behind this one. I take my Mom up to Richmond Hill to get her hair done. It’s a small, quaint old town just north of Toronto—almost part of Toronto, with the incredible urban sprawl that’s going on.

Anyhow, as she was getting her hair done, I walked across Yonge Street (a busy street) to a Tim Horton’s. But the service was pretty slow at Tim’s, and I only had about 10 minutes before I had to pick her up. So I waltzed into a nearby variety store, feeling expansive and relaxed, having gotten out of the city core for a while. Deciding I needed a Coke, I grabbed this one. I laughed. Nice and fresh.

This can was sitting on the store shelf last Saturday. But I bought it anyway. Just had to. Love the Xmas design.!

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Watch Married to the Mob and other golden greats… free!

Image via dollskill.com

I’ve been restoring old computers and learning more about the ins and outs of software and especially hardware. I’ve always enjoyed software but never used to be a hardware person at all. And I thought I never would be. So the only “operation” I did with old computers was remove the HD before tossing them into the electronic recycle bin (we do that in Canada).

I regret that now. Recently a CR-ROM went on the fritz with one of my old computers. And I have thrown out 2 CD-ROMs in the past. One of them might have worked. But they’re gone… because I was stupid and didn’t foresee that I would become interested in hardware too.

I did, however, successfully upgrade some RAM from one computer to another. I was very pleased that I could do that, and it actually worked.

My hardware knowledge is limited, though. So most of my free computing time is spent trying to figure out new ways to get stuff for free, legally. Recently I discovered a Firefox add-on that enables you to do just that. It’s an add-on to watch older or second and third-rate streaming movies. It must be legal because the site that offers these streaming movies hasn’t been taken down.

Anyhow, I tested it out and found an old 80s flick that I never watched: Married to the Mob with Michelle Pfeiffer, who was one of the hottest stars of the 80s. I clicked on the film – via the add-on – and sure enough, it started streaming. Credits over railroad tracks, if I remember right. I wasn’t in the mood to watch the whole thing so clicked if off after a few seconds. But hey, if anyone is interested…



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Time is a river

Jorge Luis Borges – Image via Tumblr – Click for fullsize

In my neighborhood we have these cool little mini-libraries out on people’s front lawns where books are shared. They look like oversized birdhouses. I’m not sure if this is just a Toronto thing or if it happens all over. Maybe someone could enlighten me on that.

Anyhow, I was walking by one of these tiny libraries last summer and found a great little paperback called Labyrinths by the celebrated Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges. Borges is an interesting guy, speculating on just about everything from the Bible, ancient myth, East-West philosophy and, in this quote, time.

Jorge_Luis_Borges – Wikipedia

Borges apparently never wrote much more than fragments, essays and short stories. But he’s respected the world over. This fact affords me the opportunity to voice something that I’ve been thinking about for some time: Perhaps someday people will see internet comments as a potential art form. I’m not talking about blog entries but, rather, comments.

This certainly isn’t the case today. Most people are too pedantic and regimented to think that creatively. But when you do think about it, the internet is like a huge labyrinth, with layers of not only varying degrees of visibility but also privacy. So why can’t commenting on the web be a valid art form in itself?

I think it can. But let’s let posterity be the judge.

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Take Five

Further to my last post, here’s a pin I pinned at Pinterest last night. I was mesmerized by the sax player, especially. He seems to go into a trance during part of his solo… eyes sort of looking into his mind, where he’s visualizing each note. That’s how I imagined it, anyhow.


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