Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Slack-assed Blogging Made Easy for Lethargic People

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

It is done — I am a Level II Occupational First Aid Attendant. It was a gruelling week with little sleep and too much information, but I made it and did well too. Actually, my practical exam was 1% higher than my written exam. One error really clipped my mark: I gave glucose to a type I diabetic in shock with a decreased level of consciousness (DLOC) while still conducting a primary survey of the patient. It is considered to be a non-critcal intervention at a critical stage of assessment. I just have one more thing to do and I have my certificate.

Current Attire: Zoot suit with a tanda hat and calcos shoes. Malcom X apperently described the zoot suit as, "a killer-diller coat with a drape shape, reet pleats and shoulders padded like a lunatic's cell."

Current Inner Cacophony: I have two songs clashing in my head. The Police song "Rehumanise Yourself" and The Jesus and Mary Chain's "Snakedriver".

Current Beverage: Dr. Pepper.

What I Plan to do on 06.05.30: Sleep soundly. Maybe grab coffee on Commercial Drive. Maybe. I do think I will either watch the original Insomnia or Ghost World at some point.

Current thought: Start sleeping now.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Misfiring Neurons

Cd in Play: Kevin Ayers, The Best of...

Articulate This

My friend Doug sent me these two articles of interest. The first is by Chris Standring, "Defining the true artist - do you have what it takes?". Obstensibly, it applies to musicians but I would say it applies to anyone engaged in creative endevours. There is a real push bythe music and entertainment industry towards homogeneity. Look at all the so-called punk bands of today. Bands like The Clash, The Ramones, Dead Kennedys and Black Flag all had their own identity - that is why they still stand apart from the crowd to this day. Today punk bands seem to just follow a formula in terms of dress, sound and even in style of performance. Maybe they don't sound exactly the same as each other, but only in the way that a stack of carbon copied sheets tend become fainter the farther you get away from the original source. Then you the Theory of a Dead Nickle Creed bands. (Theory of a Dead Man, Nickleback, Creed) These bands not only have legions of clones, but their own material is unbelievably indistict from one another and from album to album.
The second link from Doug is a response by living Jazz legend, Pat Metheny, to the audacity of Kenny G's overdubbing himself onto a classic Louis Armstrong song and his banal bleatings on the saxaphone in general.
One of the reasons I listen to people like Kevin Ayers is because he is his own artist, following his own vision regardless of the days tatses and fashion. Songs I really like are Butterfly Dance, Soon Soon Soon, Rheinhardt and Geraldine/Colores Para Dolores, Irreversible Neural Damage, Clarence In Wonderland and Song From The Bottom Of A Well.

A Freak Out about OFA

I flipped last night while trying to do my OFA homework. I just couldn't remember anything that I had read. The course is essentially a 3rd year University course condensed into one week. I used a number of expletive deletives chastising myself for my hubris. I came close to putting off the course for the next session so I could have more time to dive into the book and become familiar with everything in there. The instructor talked me out of it and I am glad she did, though my kness are killing me despite the padding I bought after class yesterday.
It is intense. People always tell you how hard a certain course is and you take the course, which usually turns out to be much lees intense than people have made it out to be. My supervisors stressed how hard it is to be in very definite terms, "Magnus, it is a fucking - hard - course! It is brutal and intense." That turned out to be an understatement.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Boot to the Head

CDs in Play: Tom Waits, Bone Machine. Wilco, A Ghost is Born.

Fear and Loathing in South Burnaby, Chapter 2

I need to write a manual for people on how not to attract the attention or suspicions of security personel. People who aren't actually doing anything wrong can find themselves being watched just because they start acting skitish when we arrive. Or then there are the people who get defensive when an innocuous comment is made:

Me: Beautiful car.
Nervous Nelly: What? I'm not doing anything... Is my car parked illegally?"
Me: No...
NN: So why are approaching me?
Me: To tell you that you have a beautiful car, she's in fine condition.
NN: Oh...?
Me: Is there a reason you are so defensive?.
NN: No!
Me: Okay, well just accept the compliment and have a good day.

In guy in that incident looked a little like Rick Green back in the 1980's from his Frantics/Four on the Floor days. That kind of interaction is not uncommon. Other people, whom I have seen from a distance, just stop doing whatever it is they are doing when I walk by. They weren't doing anything that I could see (or smell) but they just get nervous.
No doubt some guards are supreme assholes, but then so are many clerks and cashiers who don't get treated in quite the same way. I had some kids skating in one of the loading bays during regular shipping hours. I went to ask them to quit. They were really dissappointed that I hadn't come barrelling out at them in full fascist fury - they had a camera and were making there own skate tapes. They shut the camera off and said they were hoping for an asshole guard who they could use for video. We talked for a bit and everything was cool... which actually makes me think that teaching High School Art/History is a good idea for me.
Even the panhandlers and undesirables I try to be descent to. There is one place in Burnaby where the guards kick the crap out of them for just being onsite, so they expect it from the rest of us. Some peple get it and they keep off or don't hassle people and we get on fine. I am happy to report that one junkie I have talked to several times has been cleaning up. He also seems to have taken my advice about getting out of the Greater Vancouver area and gone to stay with an uncle up in northern Alberta, who is going to get him a job. The odds are stacked against him, but I really want him to make it. Another one I know has been talking about doing something similar.
Admittedly, however, there are people who I have taken a liking to busting. One is a junkie prostitute, who constantly comes on site despite being repeatedly tossed. She is a serious nuissance. There is no person there anymore, just a drug in skin and limbs. Her personality has been completely consumed by heroin and is erratic, nonsensical and singularly focused. Some of the dumpster-divers and older panhandlers have told me that she scares the hell out of them. I tossed her off on Saturday and she was back on Monday. She had arranged to either meet her trick or her dealer onsite and was begging me to let her stay on site.
I kicked her off and waited quite conspicuously near-by to keep an eye on her. Her ride arrived and she waved to him, he waved back. He then saw me and put his hand to his face, pulled out of the turning lane and sped away. A few minutes later he came back, still holding his hand to his face and avoiding her like the plauge as she ran after him trying to flag him down. Foiling her caused me to feel a certain sense of satisfaction at that moment.
The other is a male, early 20's meth-head panhandler. We catch him, he cries. He says if we beat him up, he'll stop coming around. No one on site is going to beat him up, we just arrest him and he gets to spend a few nights in jail for Criminal Trespass. He always comes back. He likes to follow women to their cars begging and badgering them for money. A couple of things I have overheard him say are:

"Come on, just a little more? Couldn't you just give me twenty bucks?"
"Look just go back, open up and grab some money out of the till, no one will ever know."

If he doesn't get any or enough he curses them out and tosses out racial slurs if they aren't white. I chased him once and he lost all the change out of his pockets. I made one of our more docile panhandlers in the area aware of loss so he could collect on it. Again, I felt satisfied - as thuggish as that makes me feel.
Still, I am about to get my OFA Level II and become a First Aid Attendant, so here is to better days.

Corporate Terrorism

I caught a BBC documentary on CBC's The Passionate Eye about the McLibel case, or McDonald's v Morris and Steel, in the UK. This case should be of interest to those of you who love Fast Food Nation and Super Size Me and to those of who don't. (or couldn't be bothered) If you care to check out the link to Wikipedia's page on the subject (which has a host of other links) you can read about how McDonalds filed a "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation" (making the acronym SLAPP) against two working class environmental activists using the United Kingdom's then draconian libel laws, which placed the burden of proof solely on the shoulders of the defendant(s) who were not permitted legal aid.
McDonald's had used to Britain's libel laws to threaten fifty different organisations during the 1980's, including assorted media outlets, into making public apologies and broadcasting/printing retractions. A Multi-National like McD's has deep pockets and access to top-notch legal counsel, apparently able to bully many people into silence and pacification.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Parsley, Sage, Cholesterol and Time.

CDs in Play: Metallica, Master of Puppets. John Coltrane, The Complete Africa/Brass.

Fast Food Nation

I've read the book so I may as well see the movie. Fast Food Nation: The Dark side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser is an engaging, investigative polemic about the business, marketing and labour practices of the American fast food, cattle and agricultural industries and the impact it is having on American society in terms of economics and health. (Click here for a sample of Schlosser's writings on the subject) The film is by Richard Linklater(Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, School of Rock, A Scanner Darkly. It isn't a documentary, but a fictional film inspired by Schlosser's book from the point of view of people who work in the fast food industry.
Perhaps this approach will work, since Morgan Spurlock's polemical film, Super Size Me, has covered similar ground to Fast Food Nation. (Spurlock interviews Schlosser in the DVD extras) Schlosser has a page on Wikipedia, which also has a link to his critics in the fast food industry. (also see this link)

Close Calls

I have had some close calls with skunks in the past. I have had a few encounters with nervous skunks coming around corners, barrelling out of peoples' back yards and out at me. Once, while driving fast along 10th Ave in New West a whole family of skunks came running out from a yard, padding across 10th and prompting me to quickly pump the brakes to a avoid a smelly accident that would likely have rendered my car undrivable for some time.
Today I saw a kid on his bike half-heartedly pursuing a skunk down a path bordered by chainlink fencing. The kid seemed to think it was funny to see a skunk running away from him. Perhaps he's just a half-wit? Anyhow the skunk cleared the fencing and came around the corner making a b-line straight for me and the front door. The door sticks and I almost didn't get inside in time. (no, I refuse to tempt fate with a creature equiped with an anal scent gland capable of spraying 7-10ft away)
When the coast was clear I left, only to encounter the little bugger a few houses down. It started to come my way again, but it was 20 ft away this time and I just make a clacking sound with my tongue causing it to run away.

Oh, Those Vikings

It is amazing the things you learn when you read a new book. I picked up The Vikings by Jonathan Clements last week. Unlike so many other scholars on the Norsemen, Clements looks beyond the typical scope of Viking investigation - the 793 AD raid on Lindisfarne to the Battle at Stamford Bridge/Battle of Hastings 1066 AD - to examine their earliest history and society up to about the 12th or 13th century.
There is a great deal about Norse mythology that I do not know. Books I had attempted to read as a kid were often the products of Victorian or Edwardian English authors, who seemed interested in presenting a vastly cleaned up and straight-forward mythology. I knew that much of it had been written down and relayed to us through Snorri Sturluson, (b. 1178- d. 1241) an Icelandic politician, poet and historian who was also a Christian. Sturluson pulled together an assortment of different myths (including some of Finnish, Estonian and Saxon origin) and created a somewhat cohesive mythology. (there are elements of the Norse creation myth that will have you scratching your head)
One of the thing I knew was that Yggdrasil, the World Tree, was tended to by the three Norns - Urd, (Fate) Verdandi (Being) and Skuld. (Necessity) I knew about the eagle, Viðofnir, and the hawk who sits between his eyes, Veðrfölnir. (why it does this is a mystery to me) The Eagle is the rival of Níðhöggr, or Malice Striker, a dragon who knaws at the roots of Yggdrasil. I seemed to have missed that there is a squirrel messenger named Ratatoskr (Drilling Tooth) in the World Tree myth, who couriers insults between the eagle and Níðhöggr.
I have also learned that the Valkyries may have been modelled after the typical Viking wife, urging their husbands on into battle and bloodshed so that they may maintain good standing in the community. A woman's worth was based on the worth her husband's, so Scandinavian wives often fiercely goaded their men on into action. As Clement states on Page 27, "The last bastion of Viking Machismo, it often seems, lay not with themselves, but in their wish to appease their women."
So the Valkyries have names like Battle Bright, Killer, Sword-Time, Drunken Brawling, Taunts, Extreme Cruelty, Blame, (a possible other personification of the Norn Skuld) Unstable and Bossy. War, Battle, Chaos, Devastation and Clash were all personified as female as well.
And Christianity gets labelled as misogynist...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Frog Emperor of Brigadoon

CD in Play: Kevin Ayers, The Best Of...

OFA Level II

Holy Crap. Just got the book I need for my course. My exam is on the 29th and classes run 9am to 5pm from the 24th to the 28th. The book is a leviathan in its proportions. Tonnes of info and so very little time to learn. Interesting fact: necrotizing fasciitis consumes flesh at a rate of 3cm an hour.
I have begun inqueries into whether or not Arctic and Antarctic stations require a full-time First Aid Attendant. I sent emails to the Canadian Polar Commission and the British Antarctic Survey. (Since I am eligible to work in the UK itself) I doubt that their medical staff would require someone at my moderate level, but it is worth a shot. Maybe these people would be worth a go? I'll be looking at domestic options too, quite obviously, but the idea of heading to the polar regions is pleasing to me.

Clustr Map Madness

Wow, the map on my side bar is becoming beautifully cluttered. Please, If you visit here, feel free to say hello and state where you are from.

Kevin Ayers

Why this man's music is not more widely know is beyond me. Ayers was a member of The Soft Machine in the `60's. He left around 1968 or 1969 and started releasing solo albums. I have been listening to his Best of... which shows him to be an extraordinarily gifted and unique musical talent. The man has been criminally ignored.


Organización de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de Asia, Africa y América Latina (Organisation for Solidarity with the People of Africa, Asia and Latin America) has a listing on Wikipedia that stating that it "is a Cuban political movement with the stated purpose of fighting globalisation, imperialism, neoliberalism and defending human rights. It publishes the magazine Tricontinental.
OSPAAAL was founded in Havana in January 1966 after the Tricontinental Conference, a meeting of leftist delegates from Guinea, the Congo, South Africa, Angola, Vietnam, Syria, North Korea, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Chile and the Dominican Republic. Mehdi Ben Barka, the Moroccan leader of the Tricontinental, was murdered the year before, allegedly with complicity of the CIA.
One of the main purposes of the organisation is to promote the causes of freedom fighters in the Third World; for example, OSPAAAL strongly supports Hugo Chávez and demands that the Cuban Five be released. Social development is a recurring theme in OSPAAAL publications, it is called a human right by the organisation.
Curiously for a political organisation in a communist state, OSPAAAL has willingly cooperated with ecologists and religious organisations in the past."
OSPAAAL has been responsible for some very eye-catching propaganda posters in the past. (see this link) Whether you agree with the politics or not, one cannot help but admire the artistic talents behind them. They covered many areas, even tackling movie posters for films seeing release in Cuba. The following posters are by Rafael Enríquez, Rafael Morante and the film poster's artist is unknown to me. (It is a Japanese film directed by Keiichi Ozawa - Kaze no tengu (1971) or Duel in the Wind in English)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Homeboy on the Range

CD in Play: Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

The SkaVinci Code Under Fire

Carribean musicians of all stripes presented a united front at a press conference held in Kingston earlier today. The normally fractious groups, given to bickering amongst themselves as to which style of music is the truest form of Carribean music, pulled together to protest the upcoming film version of the novel by author Dawn Braun. Braun's novel, which follows the exploits of a musicologist who begins to question the true roots of Jamaican music and starts a dark and mysterious journey to uncover the darkest and most forbidden secrets of Ska and Rock Steady, has sold millions of copies worldwide and has brought with it heavy condemnation from the international Reggae community.
The Carribean Music Anti-Defamation League (CMADL) declared its intention to boycott the film and put pressure on their respective national governments to prevent the film from being shown anywhere in the Carribean. A spokeswoman for the CMADL has also asked all music loving peoples of the Earth to avoid seeing the film. In an unprecidented move, the World Hip-Hop Alliance has also declared its intention to join forces with the CMADL. The WHHA and the CMADL had been in a cold war of sorts when Dub pioneer Patrick Henry (AKA King Fatback) claimed that hip-hop artists ought to be paying him and other dub pioneers royalties for giving birth to hip-hop.
Dawn Braun has defended her work repeatedly and the film's director, Herman Hovelbrött, has stated that both the film and the book are works of fiction and are purely speculative in nature.

Yeargh! Me Achin' Feet...

I am on my feet about seven hours a day, five days a week at work. I have had one pair of shoes that did not give me blisters - this is no longer the case. Now I have to go and buy new shoes/boots this week. They smell horrific as well and are currently killing anything that moves living in the garage.

Awkward Moments and Happy Ones as Well

A former friend of mine has stopped communication with me altogether. Some of it is his family and some of it is me and perhaps it has been brewing for a while. Something is up, however, because I ran into two people today who we all used to hang around with. When they have encountered me in the past it was always firendly and easy. It was still friendly today, but guarded and a bit... carefully distant. No mention of parties, no mention of get togethers or how we should get together because it has been far too long - just a "maybe we'll see you around here again."
They say the older you get the harder it is to make friends, I have come to believe this is true. I did, however, run into an old friend from the music days, Don Webber. Don's still very much the same, though he is in the film industry as opposed to music. Still operates his own business, Electric Funnel Entertainment and is still the same basic guy I have always known. And if you know Don, there is something kind of comforting in that.


Conservatism is Anti-Christ. If you are conservative and cannot understand why I would say such a thing - then you need to re-examine what your Faith says about money, material goods, doing unto others and the poor and then give your political faith a sharp going over. More on this another time. Repent. No, seriously... REPENT.
The poster was done by Alfredo Rostgaard.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Embrace the Nerd Within

CDs in Play: The Police, Zenyatta Mondatta.

If you aren't from the UK and have to wait to watch the second season of the new Dr. Who then check out the BBC page. Some very cool stuff, including their presentation for the week's episode. I confess that I am actually quite eager to see the Cybermen episode. The Shockwave presentation for the Cybermen episode is good, make sure to click on the round dial on the cyberman's chest.

They still look kind of like Iron Man, though.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Write, Writer, Writerly, Writing, Writingly, Riiight...

CD in Play: Elvis Costello, Girls Girls Girls.

I have had a couple of ideas for books, one is a time travel story and the other is an alternate realities story. After telling my ideas to Gavin, he suggested that I start reading Philip K. Dick's work. I have read Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, Man in the High Castle and just finished Ubik earlier this week. (I have just started in on Maze of Death and just finished re-reading Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) Interesting books all of them, leaving me feel like a bit of a rank amatuer.
My ideas definitely need to be refined and narrowed in scope. If I were to try and write a book based on the ideas I have now they would both probably be as voluminous Goethe's Faust. The most concise idea I have is for a Dalek short along the lines of the satirical shorts that Space has aired for the Klingon language school (very funny) and Aliens. (not so funny) Gavin bought the first three Dr. Who serials as well as The Green Death on DVD, which include satirical shorts such as The Kidnappers, (very funny) and Global Conspiracy! A Dalek sketch would be costly and Space doesn't run Dr. Who.
There is a stong impulse in my Mom's family to write, an impulse not unlike a salmon's impulse to spawn. None of us have been all that successful, though my Aunty Eleanor has downplayed her own abilities to me in correspondence. We'll see where it goes, if it goes anywhere.

Dog Days

CD in Play: The Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet. The Jesus and Mary Chain, I Hate Rock'n'Roll.

Fear and Loathing In South Burnaby, Chapter One

As you know, (or don't) part of the reason I took a job as a security guard was because it is a means of getting Level II, Occupation First Aid training for free. The best option to pay off my student loans in one shot is to try for a First Aid Attendant/Security job up North. This will allow me to go back to school and get my teaching certificate so I can begin a career as a high school history teacher, rather than a frequently unemployed grunt labourer or office drone/microserf. From the high school job, I should be able to save up for a Masters in Visual Art. From an MVA I can try for Post-Secondary or go back to high school and make more money. (I would not, however, consider an administrative position under any circumstance) In the mean time, I am a security guard at a quarter-dead mall crawling with addicts of all stripes, dealers, theives and packs of delinquent youths.
The past few days, tensions have been running high on my site. South Burnaby, British Columbia -particularly the area I work in - is a bad area. The mall next door to us is one of the largest in Canada and a major tourist attraction. (Why? I have no clue. I vacation I could care less about malls and shopping) this attracts scads of people looking for money, many of them with a habit to feed. Dealers, like free-range grazers or nomadic hunters, follow the heard wherever they go to feed. A pretty large heard of addicts and desperate people have set up in South Burnaby, the malls provide constant sources of spare change people to sell goods or steal.
Paradoxically, I find myself contemptuous of and genuinely concerned for the plight of these people. Like so many people in our society I'd like to kick them in the ass for wallowing in their own misery. I don't want to give them my money. I don't want them to talk to me, get close to me or appear anywhere within my line of sight. They hurtle insults at us because we are an impediment to their means. They belittle me for being a guard like being a drug-addled bum is something to be proud of. I begin to hate them, their shambolic walking, dirty clothes and scabby faces and arms.However, I know that those feelings are the basest ones I can feel. We should strive to be more than we are and compassion is part key to becoming more. My eldest step-brother was/is a junkie. He no longer needs heroin but as of a few years ago he was still using people just like a junkie. Somewhere instead him is a deep-rooted problem, something that needs to be discovered and dealt with. The same goes for the majority of addicts, I think. Some of the addicts that wander through aren't bad people. Talk to them and you get the sense of something driving them beyond the drug, beyond their own full understanding driving them into selfdestruction. I know that it costs money to treat people, but the rise in addiction in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia alone should show that we need to do something with all do speed and haste. I believe that drug addiction should be treated as a symptom of mental illness and that new approaches need to be considered if we want to make any progress an countering in this disturbing crisis. Tax dollars are needed to help these people, to get them treatment. Not a popular option in these self-centred days, where people care more about the few measely dollars they loose out at tax time than trying to create a better society for everyone. I, me, me, mine rules the day and in that sense how better are we than the people who inconvenience us on the street?

Another note of thanks...

to Trent for giving me and icon for the blog. He had a shot of me this winter where he only managed to get my ear, but must have deleted it since he has no idea what I have been talking about. Cookie Monster makes for an excellent icon.

Doctor Huh?

I am staying with friends. Gavin is a Dr. Who fanatic. He just bought a double DVD set of William Hartnell series episodes - An Unearthly Child, The Daleks and The Edge of Destruction. I have introduced him to Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

People in the Neighbourhood

CD in Play: Johnny Cash, The Man Comes Around.

Anyone remember this guy? I have a vaugue memory of him on Seasame Street, but cannot remember him completely. Wikipedia lists him as Same Sound Brown. SSB may have come in just as I was getting too old to watch, but something about him strikes me. I worked all weekend, including one 15 hour stretch, so I am still trying to get back into a right frame of mind. Something about this picture made me laugh hard upon seeing it. As did some of these others, including Don Music, The Two Headed Monster and the Yip-Yips. (oh and the those other two, whomever they were)
I also discovered Muppet Wiki, which acts like an online encyclopaedia for all of Jim Henson's creations and collaborators. Actually, It is quite educational. Check the entry for Anything Muppets, for instance.

Quite clearly, the Cookie Monster was someone with severe impulse control issues. The show toned down Cookie's tendency to eat just about anything and Kermit's harsh reaction to him. I happened to catch Cookie Monster on PBS talking about how "cookies only sometime food". I appreciate that the Children's Television Workshop is trying help combat childhood obesity in its own way, but it does kind of kill the point to the character. Perhaps they should have made more the way he was - a mildly scary, infantile monster who eats anything... because he is a monster.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Yadda Yadda Yadda

CD in Play: Captain Beefheart, Trout Mask Replica. John Coltrane, A Love Supreme.

No True Love Quite Like Your First Love

I was 11 years old when I met my first true love. But unlike Durante degli Alighieri, (aka Dante) who was nine when he spoke to her his and something like forty when he next spoke to her again, I was with my true love for six constant years. She may be the reason I have a soft spot for redheads. She may be the reason I have a softspot for Japanese beauties. I dream about her frequently. She could be found faithfully beside me or underneath me until I was 17. Her name was Maruishi, a 5-speed cruiser my father bought for me when in 1981 just before i started sixth grade.
Other kids had BMX's, Norco, Kuwahara, Mongoose, R&R, Diamond Back and Hutch. I really wanted one, but I was taller for my age and growing fast so there was no way I was getting a BMX. I would have outgrown a BMX in no time. I was still shorter than the average mountain bike being sold at the time (they were still pretty new at the time) and needed something I didn't have to grow in to.
Look up cruiser online and you will inevitably see either a bunch of likes that look kinda girlie or low riders that look cool but go slow. Mine was kind of like what you might get if a BMX had been able to impregnate a mountain bike. Or maybe it would have looked like one of those human evolution charts. I cannot find a picture of it online.
When I first got it it had red, foam grips and red, knobby tires. In 1982 I switched out the bars for motocross bars which were slightly wider across. When the knobbies wore down there were no more coloured tires to be had, the fad had died out. I took that bike everywhere. By the time Grade 12 rolled around I was just a bit too tall for it. My Dad kept at me to sell it to his neighbour's 12 year old daughter for $50.00. In return we went out and picked up a Nishiki Barbarian. It was a good bike, a solid and reliable 18-speed... but it never quite held me like the Maruishi did.
I would see Nicole riding it and I felt like a pimp. The Maruishi passed on to her little brother and then the family got rid of it. I know this because I tried to buy it back, once their son had a newer bike. I still dream about that bike and remember the times I had on it: The distances travelled, the places I visited, the races raced, the tumbles, scrapes and near-death experiences. I want my Maruishi back.

Don't Panic

I have been re-reading The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in addition to reading Philip K. Dick's very odd work, Ubik. It occured to me that the way Adams describes the Guide within the book itself, he makes it sound like a cross between Lonely Planet and Wikipedia. Both entities came well after the Adams' work on the radio plays in the 70's, but it is kind of uncanny.
Wikipedia, like The Guide, has its detractors who criticise it for inaccuracies and mistakes in reader input. Said people point out that the online Encyclopaedia Britanica does not share trhese problems, that it is a hallowed and respected institution. If you've read the book you will know that that is exactly how some people compare The Guide to the Encyclopaedia Galactica. Hmmmm.....

Fear and Loathing in South Burnaby, a Foreword

Why do I so enjoy frightening the hell out Mormon missionaries fresh out of Brygham Young University?

And Just One Last Item

I begin my First Aid training this month, OFA Level 2. Just need my WHMIS certification after that and maybe a Hydrogen Sulphate ticket and I am ready to rock. Hey... I should see if they could use a guy like me in Antarctica? I will be looking at jobs in Northern BC, the NWT, The Yukon and Nunavut.