Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Flow My Thoughts, The Blogman Said

Cd in Play: Fugazi, 13 Songs - Tricky, Nearly God.

I have been reading Philip K. Dick's Flow My Tears, Said The Policeman this past week. I am gradually approaching the end of the novel and finding that I have really enjoyed the work. I liked the ideas behind Man in the High Castle, but didn't think it was a great piece of literature overall. Maybe I need to read it over again, but the writing just seemed weaker. It was an earlier novel, true enough, but Dick's style just didn't do it for me. Tried to read Ubik as well, but couldn't get into it and never finished it.
As I have stated elsewhere on this blog, I have a tricky relationship with literature. Science fiction I usually very suspicious of. I have friends who devour the genre as greedily as piranhas in a feeding frenzy. One friend is about as discriminating as a piranha when it comes to science fiction. (sorry man) My friend Gavin is a different story. He's very serious, discriminating and passionate about the genre and that tends to loan more weight to his opinions. Anyhow, he has been pushing me to read up on Dick's books.
I have been writing a fair amount for myself about the inconsistencies in my memory lately. I seem to remember things differently. Not like how Homer Simpson remembers things or people in denial about their own assorted inadequacies remember things, but things that shouldn't be remembered incorrectly in such a short span of time. Stuff like the new tower going in on the corner of Granville and Dunsmuir. Last week Thursday, I seem to recall construction mainly going on around the ninth or tenth floors. Yesterday I looked up and the almost have all the windows in. They can't possible work that fast can they?
Then there were the shops that seemed to switch places. I could swear the Latin American knick-knack shop was on the north side of Audiopile on the Drive one day and had switched places with the linens shop two day later. Two days after that they were back in their current spots. When I talked to the owner of Audiopile he told me the Latin American shop was always on the south side.
There are other things, but they are too assorted and random to bother with right now. I mentioned this to Gavin and he told me to read Flow my Tears. Maybe it was this experience that allowed me to get into Flow My Tears... more than the other works. Of course, there are no drugs involved in my experiences nor am I schizophrenic as I have been told Dick was.
But hey, maybe this isn't the Earth I grew up on. Maybe it is but I have been living somewhere else and have only just returned. Hmmm....

*** The spell check employed by Blogger is completely useless. I had an extra "r" in piranhas and these are the words it comes up with (in order):
prank's, paranoiac, primness, prance, pranks, prank, paranoiacs, praying, pureness, firmness. (firmness?!)
It also failed to make the correct suggestion for "amout". I had meant to type in "amount" but the spell check didn't even come up with that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Slack-Assed Blogging Made Easy.

Current attire: Jeans, old grey socks, black military sweater.

Current mood: A bit blase. Just kinda there. Meh...

Current music: Wilco, A Ghost is Born. Just finished listening to PJ Harvey's Is this Desire.

Current annoyance: Lack of opportunities.

Current Historical Interest: El Cid Campeador.

Current song in head: "Kids Smoke (Spiders)" and "Muzzle of Bees" by Wilco, both from A Ghost is Born. Jeff Tweedy's tone and playing on the album are great. Also have PJ Harvey's "Catherine" running through my mind. I am capable of having an entire jukebox worth of music run through my headat thee same time.

Current book: None. Just finished Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said and quite enjoyed it. If I can't get a cheap copy of Burmese Days or Down and Out in Paris and London I might pick up a copy of A Scanner Darkly, before they release the movie cover.

Current Hope: The Lower Mainland blanketed in snow for the rest of the winter. A cold hard winter for all of BC that kills off the pine beetles.

Current Game: Age of Empires II. Think I need to upgrade before I can run Call of Duty II or Civ IV.

Current refreshment: None, but find myself craving tomato juice

Current worry: As per usual.

Current objectives: Get a new phone, get a new job, get back to school and teach.

Monday, November 28, 2005

One More Poem Over the Line.

Everything is packed away and in storage. I have no hope of finding my other poems for a while yet. I did find this one. I still like it. (yes, I am still listening to Johnny Cash)

Praise the Laundry

St. Zotique, Sunday afternoons
awkward seating blocks the aisles
intercepting the penitent come to unload their burdens
to surrender their weekly offerings
of urban and domestic dirt
into the stacked, two-tiered confessionals.
Jumping, spinning, whirling – a Pentecostal revival
on the road to clothing Calvary, reborn and renewed.
Salvation in the sudsy blood of Tide, Cheer, and All
All praise be to Maytag.
In the name of the washer, the dryer, and the holy soap

Magnus Skallagrimsson 2002

Haiku You

CD in Play: Johnny Cash, Redemption Songs. (CD no.3 From the Unearthed Box Set)

A Small Haiku Collection by Magnus Skallagrimsson

Wind courses through trees
standing on the footpath bridge
salmon spawn below.
(Port Coquitlam, BC 1988)

The sky spans outward
a vast blue and white expanse
smell of fresh cut wheat.
(Caron, Saskatchewan 1989)

Bright gold horizon
games are played on the shoreline
of Buffalo Pound
(Buffalo Pound, Saskatchewan 1990)

I walk towards home
breath drifting in front of me
snow beneath my feet.
(Montreal, PQ 2001)

Poetry lingers
as people shuffle homeward
empty bottles fall.
(Montreal, PQ 2001)

Espresso machine
hisses behind the counter
blown foam on the table.
(Montreal, PQ 2001)

I have a thing for haiku. It has nothing really to do with my interest in the History of Japan or my love of that country's cuisine. Haiku speaks to me on some deeper level. Real haiku is a snapshot, a picture of certain place at a specific moment in time. The Narrow Road to Oku by Basho Matsuo (b.1644 - d.1694) illustrates my point; the book is a travelogue, but a travelogue relayed through haiku.
I have not written any haiku since coming back from Montreal.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Posting Comments

When posting comments I would appreciate it if you used the other function (as my friend Trent does) as opposed to anonymous, if you are not a member of Blogger. (or, like Thoth and a couple of others, leave your name after your post) You can even use a made up name like Moo-Moo Bunnylips or Larry the Intergalactic Warlord. Just leave a name.

And yes, I am still listening to Morphine - the band whose sound PJ Harvey referred to as the sound of sex. Needless to say, I'd really like to meet PJ Harvey someday. Not that she'd really be interested in meeting me, but a guy can dream can't he? Well, can't he? What? Look, I'm not some crazy stalker here, I've never even seen her in concert. A stalker would have seen her play everytime she came to town regardless of whether he liked the opening act. And she has never come to town with a performer I like. Ever see me get on a plane to the UK and hang around in Yeovil? Hmm? No. I go to the UK I have other things to do. So don't give me any of that stalker crap. Everybody's a critic I tells yuh. Man... Just so hard to make myself understood sometimes. No respect, I don't get no respect - no regard either...

Well that explains that

CD in Play: Morphine, Like Swimming.

I was wondering why I wasn't getting any comments on recent posts. I just figured everyone got bored and was avoiding my blog. Low and behold, the moderation option was enabled. I didn't do it, at least I don't recall messing around with those settings. So all the comments are up, you still care and my life is complete... sort of.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Cd in Play: Super Furry Animals, Guerrilla.

My Dad is obsessed with his health. That's good in a way, I should be more active and looking after these sorts of things. - loose weight, watch what I eat, exercise more, etc. My Dad gets into very particular things though. His latest obsession is with gut flora, probiotics, prebiotics, etc. I have taken Anatomy, disected frogs, fetal pigs and cats. Friend of mine works for the Pathology department in the University of Saskatchewan. I can get clinical with her (and with nursing students I knew in the past) with no problem. There is something in the way my Dad approaches these things, however, that just makes the whole subject seem entirely more repellent than it actually is.
Perhaps this also comes down to his persistance on the matter. It isn't enough that he sends me the links for these sites, he prints them out for me as well. It seems he wants to get me started drinking cultured cabage juice. Here is the skinny on c.c.j:

To implant friendly lactobacteria in the colon and heal damaged mucus membranes of the G.I. tract, you need to drink about 1 and 1/2 cup daily of cultured cabbage juice. Here is how to make it. Fill blender with chopped green cabbage and add distilled water until about 2/3 full. (Do not use well water or tap water). Beat at high speed in the blender for one minute. Pour mixture into bowl and repeat with two more batches. Cover with Seran wrap or similar material and let stand at room temperature. After 3 days, the cabbage juice solution is ready to use. Strain the mixture to separate the liquid from the pulp. Place the cultured cabbage juice in refrigerator. Drink 1/2 cup of this solution diluted with an equal part of water 2 or 3 times each day. When your supply gets low, make second batch just like the first one, except, add 1/2 cup of the juice from the first batch to the second batch. Your second batch will be ready just 24 hours.
This process may be repeated indefinitely. Each serving contains several billion friendly lactobacteria. The lactic acid in the culture cabbage juice will purify the G.I. tract and kill most strains of fungi parasites and other pathogens.
You should drink this mixture until your stools float in the toilet bowl and are odor free. When that happens, you may lower your dosage of cultured cabbage juice to one serving each day as maintenance dosage. You may eat one cup of raw cabbage as a substitute for 1/2 cup of cultured cabbage juice.
Excerpted from "
Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy" By Conrad Lebeau. 11th Edition

And I know my Father quite well... he won't strain the pulp out, believing that it will be even healthier than drinking the juice by itself. Doesn't really get me excited. "Oh boy! Three day old, warm cabbage juice! You really care!" Some say it with flowers, others books and booze, my father says it with repulsive health food.


CD in Play: The Police, Ghost in the Machine.

Should I post more creative offerings, i.e. poetic offerings, (or the attempt at poetry) in my blog? Is this the place? Not that there would be much, I have been sorely blocked since leaving Montreal, while in Montreal and before arriving there. It's in me to write, I just can't seem to get it out of me.

BTW, I noticed that my blog's spell check does not, in fact, recognise 'blog' as a word. Odd?

The Son of Lazy Blogging

It is foggy outside. I watched it creep up on The Heights (North Burnaby) and then crawl across the landscape. It's cold and smells as though a skunk sprayed something outside, so I am closing the window.

Current attire: Jeans, old grey socks, plain black t-shirt.

Current mood: Reflective. I just spent and hour on reading up on cheese, the Crusades, the Kalevala, Hinduism, The Vedas, Bhagavad Gita . (I had a copy of that but lost it)

Current music: Good, Morphine.

Current annoyance: Where to start?

Current thing: Might be biting the bullet and taking a job I promised myself I would never take. But I always said you got give me the green if you want to see me in red.

Current desktop picture: An old family picture of High Street in Dowlais, Wales.

Current song in head: "Claire" by Morphine. haunting, I tells ya. Morphine are an all-time favourite of mine. I haven't listened to their first album, Good, in a while. "Claire" isn't my favourite song on the album - at least not the verses and chorus - but the middle section is just so beautiful. I find myself tracking back over and over again to listen to it.

Current book: I plan to read Philip K. Dick's Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. My friend Gavin said it bears a resemblance to something I have been working on. I also need to get a copy of Burmese Days by George Orwell and am wanting to read up on Meister Eckhart again.

Current culinary obsession: Korean

Currently speaking, films I am interested in seeing: Jarhead; The Constant Gardener; Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang; Curse of the Were-rabbit.

Current refreshment: I would have to go down and look at the bottle, but it is some kind of sugar cane booze from Cuba. My Dad's girlfriend bought it, hated it - so it is all mine. *hic*

Current worry: Same stuff - finances, schooling, etc.

Current thought: Too many to sort out. Damn brain.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Eating Crow (sort of)

CD in Play: Shellac, Terraformer.

I finally yielded a couple of weeks back and bought an Ian Rankin novel. My former roommate from Montreal, the serious minded poet and literary critic, is a big fan of Rankin's writings - most of which are detective/crime stories. I have a thing about reading current writers, I don't. At least not typically. It took a friend of mine a year to goad me into reading "Neuromancer". I read it, loved it despite its literary deficiencies and consumed Gibson's other works in short order. That said I am very leery of books that are popular.
I tried reading popular novelists like Stephen King, John Grisham and Tom Clancey in the past and just put the books down never to return. Bad writing that sometimes gets made into decent films. I also tried reading one of Anne Rice's abominations, which I threw across the room and cursed at after getting only four pages in. My ex-roommate had told me that one of Rankin's books had been named after a Cure song, which instantly set off the warning bells. I had this image of darkcast, mopey alabaster skinned girls in spider-web dresses, wearing too much eye make-up and black lipstick pouring over Rankin's work. Rankin, in my mind, had become the Anne Rice of crime lit.
I have, however, bought a Rankin novel. I was killing time in the Chapters in Coquitlam. My Mom lives in Port Coquitlam and I was going over to her place to have dinner. I wanted something to read, but wasn't seeing anything that I wanted. There was no Graham Greene in stock and no copy of Orwell's Burmese Days to be had either. Walking past the sales table I saw copy of Rankin's spy novel, Watchman. I looked at it, read the back cover and took it to the counter. It might have been crap, but at $5.99 it wasn't a huge risk.
It isn't flawless by any means, but I have to say that I am fairly engrossed by the book. I have attempted to read some of the pulpier spy novels out there, but only succeeded in finishing Fleming's Casino Royale. (Len Deighton's The Ipcress File is unreadable, though the film is excellent) Watchman is not pulp, it is a fairly realistic look at the intelligence game. It is an interesting period piece as well. Set in 1986, it makes me realise how much I have come to take technological advances for granted.
And yes, it probably means that I will be eyeing up one of Rankin's Rebus novels sooner or later, though I would be more interested in reading any other spy novel he has out there.

In addendum - Rankin is also a Graham Greene fan, which is a big plus in my books. Greene's work is a favourite of mine.

Monday, November 14, 2005


CDs in play: Blonde Redhead, Misery is a Butterfly. The Tragically Hip, Phantom Power.

When I left Montreal at the end of May 2002 I had every intention of returning. Unfortunately, through my own fault, I was unable to do so and have been living in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia ever since. I was born here and am geographically at home here. The mountains, the Fraser River, the local flaura all give me that sense of being home. Vancouver though, has a long way to go as a city - it needs to grow up. Unfortunately, however, this city shows no signs of really wanting to grow up.
Talking with a guy from Brooklyn recently made me acutely aware of just how much I don't fit in here. I start thinking about Montreal and all the things I like and miss about it. The fact that people really are much more relaxed there. Vancouverites play at being relaxed, but really we're pretty uptight. It's a fact that many ex-Vancouverites living in Montreal will atest to.
I'm frustrated I guess. I had a whole five paragraphs that I just erased. I'm spinning my wheels here and have nothing to show for anything. Vancouver is a hard luck town for me, it is for others as well. I need to get back to school, get my teaching credentials and get out of here soon.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

You know those albums you buy...

CD in Play: Slint, Spiderland

... and listen to for a day or so and promptly put away? For some reason you were consumed to buy the album, but for another reason you no longer desire it so much now that you have it. Then you have other albums that you buy and can't get enough of, no matter how much you listen to them. Elliott Smith's Either/Or is the later type of album for me. Melancholy with hooky pop sensibilities, I haven't been able to leave Either/Or off a player for more than two days without listening to at least a few songs since buying it a few months ago. "Cupid's Trick", "Speed Trials", "Alameda" and "Rose Parade" seem to be the ones I gravitate to the most along with "Pictures of You".
I just dug out Slint's Spiderland. Spiderland is the former category of album. I rushed out and bought it after a while of putting it off and then proceeded to never listen to it. I listened to their first album, Tweez, off and on and I listen to the two song, self-titled ep almost compulsively - but just ignored Spiderland for some odd unconscious reason. Nonetheless, I spent the entire day alternating between Smith and Slint today. Spiderland isn't the sheer genius that many people have claimed it to be, but the tracks "Breadcrumb Trail", "Good Morning Captain" and especially "Nosferatu Man" make for great listening.
Listening to Slint today made want to time travel back the late 80's and start all over again - or at least play similar kinds of music today.

Lazy Blogging, A Slight Return.

Current attire: Jeans and an old Soundgarden t-shirt.

Current mood: anxious.

Current music: Big Star, #1 Record.

Current annoyance: Money.

Current thing: Deep, relaxing breaths.

Current song in head: "In the Streets" - the Big Star song Cheap Trick does a hair rock cover of for That `70's Show. Also, "Rule Britannia". No idea why.

Current book: Watchman by Ian Rankin. Spy novel set in 1986 that was cheaply had at Chapters.

Current video in player: nada

Current DVD in player: nada

Current worry: money, being able to get on with my life, etc.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Dark Knight Am I

I guess obssessing over Batman comics as a kid was bound to have some effect on the results

You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Batman, the Dark Knight




Indiana Jones


Neo, the "One"


William Wallace


Lara Croft


Captain Jack Sparrow


The Amazing Spider-Man


El Zorro


James Bond, Agent 007


The Terminator


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Monday, November 07, 2005

One of My Favourite Things in the Whole Bleeping World!

CD in Play: CD? We don't need no stinking CDs! We got the Phase Toy!

As many people who know me know that one of my all-time favourite sites is - some members of whom belong to Tomato, the people who did the credits for Trainspotting that everyone loves so much. It seems to be slipping a bit as a time wasting site, but it still has one of my all time favourite things - the phase toy. This link should take you there - - if not, click on the name Allen Anderson at You will be re-directed to his site, pickled onion, and from there you can access the phase toy.
The phase toy is a little musical generator. You'll see three boxes with a series of rows and columns with plus and minus signs to control the number of columns in each box. (one column minimum to a maximum of 16) The music is creates sounds like minimalism, a la Steve Reich, or Javanese gamelan. Very hypnotic and I love playing around with it. Would love to make an album using antirom stuff as the base. Some of you know it already, others of you will find it irritating - but no one should it find too boring.

* I checked to see if the link worked - it did. that brought up a second set of boxes. Once I post this I am going to try opening three sets and play with that.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


As most people who know me will know by now, I had my phone stolen today in a coffee shop. I was editing a sales manual at J.J. Bean on Commercial Drive and I had made two calls before 5:30. I had been taking it with when I had to go to the bathroom. (I also have a discman, but it is held together by elastic bands so only a complete retard would steal it and hope to get any money for it) Around six is when it would have been stolen. I put it in my right hand jacket pocket, which was right beside the wall. I went up to refill my coffee so I was maybe away for a minute - it wasn't too busy at that point. When I returned I went right back to editing for the next hour.
Just before 7pm I decided to pack up and head home. Where was my phone? Not in the jacket, on the floor, on the table, or in my bag. I checked the washrooms and around the shop. Asked the staff, who offered to call my phone while I walked around. Nothing. A woman in the shop offered to call it as well - nothing.
I guess what really chokes me isn't the theft itself, but the inaction of the people sitting around me. One of then could have been the culprit, but the others could have said something. (everyone sitting around me the whole day were pretty lightweight and non-threatening types) If they were affraid of saying it while the theft occurred, they could have told me just after the fact.
The phone has been disconnected. My phone also had lousy reception, but that may have been Rogers failing to support the technology of an older phone. (my friend Pete has the same model of Nokia phone, but is with Telus. He gets full reception where I get "NO SERVICE" notices) Funny thing is, the jacket the phone was in is actually worth more than the phone. Arc'teryx retails my jacket (Theta AR) for around $675.

Friday, November 04, 2005

New BSG and Me

You scored as Capt. Lee Adama (Apollo). You have spent your life trying to life up to and impress your Dad, shame he never seemed to notice. You are a stickler for the rules. But in matters of loyalty and honour you know when they have to be broken.

Capt. Lee Adama (Apollo)


Commander William Adama


President Laura Roslin


Number 6


CPO Galen Tyrol


Tom Zarek


Lt. Sharon Valerii (Boomer)


Col. Saul Tigh


Lt. Kara Thrace (Starbuck)


Dr Gaius Baltar


What New Battlestar Galactica character are you?
created with

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Lazy Way to Blog

Well I have a bunch of things that need to be finished for my blog. I have time since I am hobbling around, unable to stand for long periods. However, I have decided to steal an idea from a friend's blog. Here we go.

Current attire: Brown t-shirt, sweat pants and a heating bag against my left hip.

Current mood: aggitated.

Current music: Boards of Canada, The Campfire Headphase

Current annoyance: The hip tensor muscle on my left side. I pulled it Monday and it has been keeping me from my job.

Current thing: DJ Spooky and Dave Lombardo's Drums of Death.

Current song in head: The one I am listening to "Sherbet Head".

Current book: Manga series - Samurai Executioner, by the same team the brought us Lone Wolf and Cub.

Current video in player: The Floyd "spank" video. Bootleg footage of Pink Floyd from European Television.

Current DVD in player: Disc one of the Led Zepplin double DVD set.

Current worry: When will the leg recover? Are they going to fire me? Will I find an apartment I can afford? How will I make enough money to go back to school?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"And I'm much obliged to you...

...for making it clear that I'm not here."

Just listening to "Jugband Blues", the Syd Barret song off of Saucerful of Secrets. Barrett wasn't much of a lyricist and his timing was pretty odd - which is to say it was quite off - but he did write songs that can grab hold of a person. Anyhow, I like the song felt like commenting to that effect.