May
28

Music and my Bike

This is Memorial Day weekend, and I get Monday off.  So what are we doing you ask? No clue. If the weather holds we will be going on numerous bike rides on our new wheels, and possibly check out a couple short Spokane area trails.

My New Nishiki

My new bike.

If the weather refuses to hold, well I guess we will just have to find some people and hang out at the local watering hole, or maybe get caught up on home stuff.

But that is later, tonight we are going to watch what will be a very cool show that Colleen Rice (a Co-worker of mine) will be headlining at the Whitestone Winery Tasting Room, check out the Facebook invite for all of the info.

What are you doing this weekend? Anything cool/interesting?

May
24

Summer is here in Spokane…Almost

Enjoy the Sun

It would be a wonderful time reading in the sun.

I haven’t had nearly as much time as I would like to be spending just writing down my thoughts, however I thought that I should write a short update.

It is now coming on to June, and all of the great Tweeple that I am following back home are getting ready for the 2-4 Weekend.  I don’t get a long weekend until Memorial day.

So what have I been up to?

Well I have been following my belove Habs on there path to the Stanley Cup, this is harder than it seems since I don’t own a TV. The games start at 4pm (local time) and NHL.com doesn’t stream them if they are playing in your market (Versus or NBC have them all), so I have had to sneak out early a couple of days, or just catch the 3rd period.

As for actually watching the games, I have settled for the local pizza joint.  [rant]The reason being that one evening when I went to the only sports bar in walking distance they had ALL of the tables RESERVED for the UFC fights that night, which wouldn’t even start for another 2 1/2 hours.  Needless to say I was rather perturbed, and haven’t graced that establishment with my presence since.[/rant]

Anyway, The Avenue (the pizza joint) is great.  The guy that owns the place used to play Major Jr with the local team, and comes from a family of hockey players, so needless to say the game is always on.  We have become regulars over the last couple of months, basically spending at least an hour there every second day (maybe we will teach them about Donairs or at least Donair Sauce).

Shows

For some reason we can’t get the ambition to go to many shows.  We have gone to one female song writer circle that was decent and fun ( I think that I will write a short post on it too, even if it is a couple of months after the fact).  It was held at Sunset Junction which is very close to our place and seem to have shows semi-regularly.

Finding the shows have seemed to be an issue though.  There are a couple of places to look, but some of the better shows seem to advertise only on Facebook, and if you are not looking for it you will not see it.  There are little to no posters around downtown, and The Inlander is hit and miss.  As I get to know more people though I am getting better hints on where to check out and where to avoid.

On the plus side, we are heading west in a couple of  weeks to see Wintersleep, that’s right we are heading to Seattle to see a local band.  Kind of reminds me of the time that I went to NYC and saw Joel Plaskett open for The Hip.  It should be a blast, I have listened to some of their new stuff and it seems that they get tighter with every show.

I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride it where I like

Last weekend we hit up Craigslist and finially got a bike.  Both of us got Nishiki’s which are awesome.  They are similar to the rides that we had back in halifax, but need some work.  They have both been cleaned, but they need new tires, tubes, and such and I haven’t had the chance to find the 27″-ers that we need.  That is a chore for the next couple of days and I hope to be on it soon.

It will be great to be able to tour around town and some of the neat spots without having to jump in the car, find a parking spot, walk around, get back int he car, go home, etc.  Cars are such a pain in the ass in the middle of the city, which is one reason why I never bothered to get one when I lived in Halifax.

That is all I have for today.  I will be writing up more frequent, shorter (read better editing) posts in the next couple of months.

Cheers,

JeffM

Feb
16

My first update in the Caper-in-Spokane series

Well, I made it and have survived so far.  I joined the everyone else in North America and bought a car. Now that HURTS the pocketbook.  It was a necesscity, and if you talk to anyone that knows me you will find out how much I didn’t want to buy  car.  But I did go for a beauty, a 2006 VW Passat.

There are a lot of things about here that are different than home. I am living downtown and have a grocery store close, but the only shopping down town is for clothes.  For everything else you have to jump in the car and drive for 15-20 minutes to the big box stores.  There are no, or at least none that I can find, independant retail stores.  No Greenlyph computers, no Duggers, no Mac Store, no Biscuit, no Carsand.  I think that last one is the one that is bothering me the most.  I am trying to develop my photography skills and the only store that sells cameras here is Huppins which reminds me more like Wacky Wheatley’s than a Carsand Mosher. When I spoke with someone there, they seemed to only know what the description tells them, and not use the equipment themselves.

I commute East 20 mins every day and the snow covered mountains in Eastern Washington is what I look to out the car window. This is one thing that makes the commute to work a decent drive in the morning.  I can’t wait for Spring and summer so that we can do some serious exploring and hiking.

And the weather, well I must boast and say that I haven’t seen snow, other than on the mountains in the distance, since I came here.  My folks have sent me many pictures of the white stuff, and it is nice coming down, but walking around in a sweater with no hat or gloves is really nice too.

The Beer Lovers Paradise

And the BEER, it is amazing, and there is a micro brew for every taste.  I really don’t understand why people out here still drink from the large breweries, there is really no comparison to the quality and taste.  I have talked to a couple of local “experts” and I have learned a lot about the different varieties.  @mysteriouswayz is another great resource as she has a much better memory than me, and had a 5 month head start on sampling the wares.  I still haven’t been able to find something similar to the Granite Breweries Peculiar, but I am sure to find something soon.

Right now my favorite is Arrogant Bastard, not only is the beer great the marketing is pretty good too.  Washington beer has some of the best graphic design that I have seen in Spokane.  With the large number of micro brews out here and the relatively small market (the majority still drink the coloured swill), they have to do everything that they can to be competitive.

I have been able to check out a few eateries and pubs that are in the area and I will be putting together some reviews in the next couple of weeks.  I am also hoping to get out to some live music, I work with someone who plays around the area and I am hoping that she will be able to help me out with finding some good tunes.

Jan
04

The Winter of Capebretoner

“So, has the summer of George begun? Or are you still decomposing?”
“Decompressing.”
- Jerry and George, in “The Summer of George”

121736-org

This is going to be the Winter of Capebretoner, this last few months have been the “Fall of Capebretoner”, and not in a good way.  Broke my hand, broke my glasses, gained weight, etc. So this is going to be the Winter and the year of Capebretoner.

First I am starting a new job, in a new country, on the other side of the continent.  I am heading to Spokane, Washington and loving it, in a nervous excitement kind of way.  I have been there a couple of times since August to visit and the area seemed like an interesting place to be.

On the suggestion from @VelvetCyclone I am going to document a “Capebretoner in Spokane” and why not do it on this very blog, its not like I was doing much else with it.  Along with that I have added a couple of new categories Hoser Music and Hoser Fitness where I am going to document all of the local Spokanish music that I find and my progress on getting rid of those pounds that I added to my frame this fall.

The music category is pretty self-explanatory, Halifax has an amazing music scene with Cousins, Room Doom, Mardeen, Superfantastics, Joel, Wintersleep, and I could go on and on (Check out The Coast’s Best of Music). So my goal is to find some great local acts in Spokane and get to some amazing live shows.  I know they have to be there somewhere.

Regarding the fitness category I am going to write a detailed post with my plans but it will mostly revolve around NOT EATING CRAP, and getting back to the gym.  I might even borrow @mysteriouswayz’s Nike+ and do some running.  The company that I am going to has a deal with a local fitness centre with a pool and gymnasium so maybe I can get a couple of basketball games in there too.  I will be checking out @untitleddesign‘s newish blog Your Inner Skinny (also on twitter @yourinnerskinny)

So if you are from Spokane and you are reading this blog, post a comment and let me know where I can find your music scene, or better yet is there any Pick-up Hockey that a guy can get into.  I had to fight to get my skates in my bag so I better find a game.

Cheers,

Jeff M

Apr
07

Aliant Hot-Spots Suck

Being that I am not an Aliant High-Speed customer I especially hate the Aliant Hot-Spots that sprung up all over the city.  This rant is probably a little on the late side, but it recently came back to the fore-front for me when I got my iPod Touch.

You see, a couple of summers ago Aliant went to most of the coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, etc around the city and installed their routers to allow free internet to the establishments patrons.  We all knew that this was going to end, and probably sooner than later, and really that didn’t bother me.  However when I got my Touch, I thought it was great, and was even thinking about switching my high-speed over to Aliant simply to have the ability to use their Hot-Spots that dotted the city.

Then I looked into it, they say that is going to be limited too.  This amazed me, they are trying to sell me high-speed DSL, but I have to get the land line that I don’t want.  I already have a cell phone with them, so why would I want yet another number for people to call me at, and another bill to pay.  However for unlimited access to a large MESH of Wi-Fi Hot-Spots within the city I was going to forgo the naked DSL and jump to Aliant.  And when I saw that they were not planning to allow their high-speed customers access to the Hot-Spots for the long term I halted that.

Why would anyone ever want to work with these providers?  There is no advantage to stay with someone who simply wants to lock you in and FORCE you to use their services.  Don’t they realize that if they were more flexible and worked on cultivating a base of loyal customers they will be better prepared for the long term viability of their business?

Mar
31

Minimalist Update

I have started doing some very hardcore spring cleaning this weekend.  It started on Friday where I was able to easily fill one garbage bag worth of stuff.  Stuff that I am sure I didn’t own and didn’t need.  Then on Saturday I did the same, I went through only a couple of the closets that we have in the apartment and was able to fill another couple of garbage bags, and a bag of shoes and kitchen stuff to give away.

There is something rewarding about realizing that I can simply downsize and my quality of life will be better, not worse.  I don’t NEED this stuff and it really doesn’t bring me joy.

The Continued Plan

The tough part about going through this exercise is that there is a lot of "good stuff” that I am just throwing away.  I don’t mean that this stuff is worth anything, but simply that I am sure that if I had the room and was able to organize it properly I would find a great use for it in the future.  For example, coax cable connectors.  I had developed a minor collection of these over the years of moving and such, and I am sure that I would be able to use them again in the future…maybe.  The fact is that we are probably going to cancel our cable in the coming days and even possibly sell the TV.  So unless I take all of this type of stuff when I move, I am not going to find a use for it here.  On top of all of that it is not worth selling and I am sure that the Salvation Army will not have a use for it.  So it gets thrown out.  And good riddens.

My goal is to have all of the books that I am not going to read again out of the house, and given away, all of my magazine subscriptions cancelled and old magazines given away, by the end of the week.  From there it is more of the same.

How about you?

Do you try to keep your surroundings lean?  Or are you a pack rat? 

Do you have any suggestions or resources on ways to un-clutter your space, and I don’t mean ways to store MORE.

Cheers,

JM

Mar
17

Why St. Patrick’s Day?

Today I asked the question minus the drinking why you think everyone loves St. Patrick’s  Day?

 

My friends gave me reasons varying from lack of snakes, a reason to act retarded and even a question back of people like it without the drinking, and who knows?  To many Irish and Irish descendants around the world March 17th is a day to honour a Saint to many others it is a day to celebrate everything Irish.  And to many others they see it as just another excuse to drink and feel like a souse the next day at work.  There is something more to St. Patrick’s Day, today across the world there will be parades in Chicago, New York, Montreal, Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, Liverpool, San Francisco, Sydney and many places in between.  People in the thousands and millions will line the streets, the pubs and music halls, they are offspring of the Irish Diaspora, the millions who fled the Crown and the Famine for better lives around the world, whose culture has transcended time and avoided the melting pots of other nations, being separated from their home.

In many years there has been an ever-growing crowd of people with no Irish connections but who may proclaim themselves “Irish for a day” who are coming out to take part on March 17th.  So why do we love St. Patrick’s Day?  It isn’t the drink or the religion, St. Patrick’s day is one of the few days around the world where people who have nothing in common come together to simply have a good time with likeminded people, who only worry in the world is that you are having a good time.

A day of Religious observance, a day of foolish drinking has literally turned into a worldwide holiday and festival everyone loves to get behind.   I hope you all get out today and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, if you are Irish or not, we all need a little joy and happiness in the world and the Irish have done that.  We owe a lot to the Irish, they have taken something personal and spread it to us all, if anything St. Patrick’s Day should be a world holiday for everyone around the globe, what else around the world brings so many people together without prejudice.

So enjoy it, wherever you may be today

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh!

Mar
12

Raise a Glass for Water For People

image The local Water For People group is having a fundraiser supporting World Water Day at the Garrison Brewery.  There will no doubt be a lot of beer flowing.

The Event is at the Garrison Brewery on Friday March 20, 2009.  Advanced tickets are $20 and can be received either at the CBCL Limited offices at 1489 Hollis St, or by emailing raiseaglasshfx@gmail.com.

moz-screenshotYou will be able to buy tickets at the door but they will be at $25, so be sure to save yourself the $5 and get them in advance.  Although they don’t say it, the $20 will get you a couple of the great brews that Garrison is famous for, and there will be a lot of fun people to hang out with.

For more information you can see the two attachments that I received in the work email.

Raise A Glass Poster

and

Information Sheet

Be sure to Twit This, Stumble It, Digg it and do what ever else you can to get as many people as you can out there. There are some handy links below.

Hope to see you there.

Feb
13

Cunt of the Month – February 2009

For this month’s CUNT I was intrigued by a new law that I heard come into place.  This new law involves giving fines to people who wait in their GADDAMNED Tim Horton’s drive-thru in the street.  OH you’ve got to be fucking kidding me, first of all I like to laugh at the mindless nine-to-five robots that are drug dependent on their shitty, watery, cigarette butt tasting redneck embraced coffee, but I love to pop forehead veins when the drive thru line spills out onto the public street.

MOVE YOUR FUCKING CAR CUNT!, go park in the parking lot, get your fat fucking bum-bum out of your comfort zone car and walk in the door.  HOLY FUCK.  Now this doesn’t happen where I currently live but I have seen it numerous times at a certain Tim Horton’s in downtown Fredericton.  Cunts and Douchebags make me angry kids!  I really really really want to see you get fined by waiting in the street because there’s no room in the parking lot at the end of the Timmy’s line.  I think where I live there’s 4 of them in a 300m radius.

“OO OO (monkey noises) look out everyone, gotta have my large triple triple so my breath will stink, and my teeth will yellow, and I’ll breathe my stinky gross coffee breath in my co-workers faces then have a caffeine induced diarrhea in the workplace toilet and spray brown splatter all over the toilet seat and back of the toilet bowl.”
YEAH, you guys know exactly what I’m talking about because it’s true.  Go and idle your engine for 15 minutes in the drive thru, then afterward throw your non-biodegrable cup out the window in the ditch ya fucking rednecks.

Now listen, it really doesn’t bother me THAT much that people drink their Tim Horton’s, but once assumed title of Cunt of the Month, I must rant regardless of my anger level.  And let us not forget the nucleus of the Cunt, not the coffee drinkers, but the fuckwads who extend the drive thru line out into the street… or the ones who take 2 minutes trying to make a left turn into Tim’s.  Now I may be a PRICK at times, with no filter who steals your alcohol and stinks up your bathroom, but I am not a pushy-in-public type douchebag.  AW GAWD their everywhere!  Push push, shove, mine, my kid is #1, we’re more important that you, i’m cutting in line, don’t give a fuck about the other 100 people here, I can park here and block traffic if i want, my truck ERRGGHH is bigger than your civic so i drive down the middle of the street, move! etc.  I have subtle courtesy, you probably would never notice but it’s there.

Bottom line, IF I WANTED A FUCKING TIM HORTON’S SHITTY GROSS COFFEE AND THE DRIVE THRU LINEUP WAS JUST ABOUT TO SPILL ONTO THE STREET I WOULD EITHER:

A: Park and walk in.
B: Go to the next tim horton’s 100 metres away
C: Go anywhere else
D: Tell tim horton’s to fuck off and go piss on a church.

And for all the reasons mentioned above, you fat lazy engine idling franchise-logo dependent pieces of shit who think you own the road and can just SIT there on the street truly are deserving of Feb. 09′s CUNT OF THE MONTH AND I HOPE YOU ALL GET FINED!!!

-L

Jan
29

Maybe it is the liquor…

Maybe it is the liquor or maybe it is the lack thereof, but as of yesterday I was convinced that Western Civlization was heading down the pooper.  In the cold and darkness that is Northern New Brunswick a little Acadian man heard me cursing very elegantly outside as my car would not start.  See it was minus 43 degrees here, I think I live on planet Hoth.  So a man I never met knocked on my door and offered to start my car, after some screwing about he did.  He told me how I looked like I was about to “put my fist through the window” (walking to class 6 times today in -43 makes you angry).  He shook my hand and told me if I ever need him come next door, and that we got to take care of our neighbours.

Suddenly I feel like humanity has redeemed itself.