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Steph Cameron, whose Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady was one of the best new releases of 2015 (I said so somewhere over at No Depression, back when I could find things there) played a show at the Railway Club a few days ago. I’m a bit behind with getting an official review up, but suffice to say for now that it was excellent. In the meantime, here’s a few photos here to help prove that.
The summer of 2015 was a pretty stressful one all around for me. I’d been working on a major project at work for, frankly, too long. I was covering off most of the roles on the project (I wrote code, planned code, planned requirements and project managed it) and that all added up to a big bundle of stress.
So I took off and went to see three Wilco shows just before my birthday: Bend and Portland, Oregon were the first two and then Redmond, Washington was the last. They were outdoor shows, and I really wanted to see the outdoor show instead of Vancouver’s indoor Orpheum gig.
But this is the one I really wanted to go to and I missed it. It happened less than 2km from my niece’s house in Ottawa, and it was just after my birthday (and her father’s for that matter.) I’d have given anything to get there but I had to finish that project, and they had plans that weekend anyway.
One day, I’ll take Rose to her first Wilco show. Someone has to get that girl’s taste in music aligned and there’s nobody better than me for that job.
Sometimes, a walk around a small lake is what you really need.
I’ve actually resisted watching this before today, but I figured I might as well. A ticket has been ordered and, yes, my mother is coming out for vacation and I told her she’d have to plan around December 18th, 2015 when she came.
This one’s going to be good.Running Away
It’s been quiet here for a long time now, and that’s not been planned. The reality is that work got very busy trying to finish a project and consumed a significant amount of personal time and energy. Only time will tell if it was worth it: I launched the project finally and things are going well, but it’s still early days.
Regardless, I ran away—about as far as I could, as it turns out. I’m in St. John’s, Newfoundland some 5,031km from home, give or take a few. This is a place that I haven’t been for a very long time and I’ve never particularly spent time in St. John’s at all. I figured it was time to get out of Vancouver and spend time with friends in one of the oldest cities in North America. Half way through the trip it’s been endlessly relaxing and I’ve no regrets at all—even if it did snow last night. (It made the hike up to the perennially windy Signal Hill interesting.)
I’ll write more about St. John’s later, but for now suffice to say that life is returning to a more comfortable level and pace and things are good. I’ve barely even logged into Salesforce all week—though I couldn’t avoid it altogether.
My mother, her brother and sister grew up with Stan Rohatinski in her life from a very early age. Stan and Mary were living next door to my grandparents at CFB Trenton and, as often happens, the two families sort of blended into one. When my grandfather would be away, Stan and Mary were always there helping take care of the kids. Stan’s kids talk about my grandfather in the same way.
Edmonton was their home, but they moved to Abbotsford which is where Stan ultimately retired from the Air Force. Mom and I always made it out there to visit when she was here. They moved to Kelowna last year, and we got news in the middle of March that Stan wasn’t well. He was moved to palliative and passed away at the age of 90 on March 17th.
Ninety years is a pretty good run, Stan, and you had an impact on a lot of lives. Rest in peace.
On March 17, 2015, Mr. Stanley Rohatinski of Kelowna, BC passed away at the age of 90 years.
Stanley is survived by his loving wife, Mary and his family. Divine Liturgy Thursday, March 26 at 10:00 a.m. at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, Star- Peno, AB. Basilian Fathers officiating with interment in Church Cemetery.
From that sand swept crashed star destroyer to those words uttered by Han Solo, this is just so good. This is going to be a good Christmas.
I buy a lot of Patagonia gear and I take a bit of flack for it. The stuff’s not cheap,and the Patagucci moniker stings a bit.
The thing is the stuff is well made, and the company stands behind the product. I had a cycling jacket that I wore for at least 15 years and when the fabric started to delaminate I bundled it up into a tiny box and mailed it back, expecting…nothing, maybe? I figured it was worth a shot at the lifetime warranty.
Sure enough, three weeks later a new jacket showed up. No cost.
So I buy a lot of Patagonia products, because Patagonia products really are products for life and the company doesn’t just talk its values it stands behind its values. That’s important.
This is, to be quite frank, better than anything George Lucas has put out in the last 20 years.
The Globe & Mail’s home page has been overrun with advertising from Via Rail lately. Two people have been on trial for a plan to bomb a Via Rail train. When those two meet, the only word that comes to mind is Oops.
Everybody loves Courtney Barnett right now, praising her deadpan lyrics and straightforward style. I’m not so sure but I do know one thing: Depreston is the most hipster song I’ve ever heard. From the theme of how depressing it is to live in the suburbs to the 23 dollars a week saved on latte’s, I think we’ve hit some kind of peak here.
I heard this on a drive down to Seattle for the first time as I was pulling into town. Maybe she’ll grow on me.
I met Rocco a few years ago in Hamilton briefly, and he’s been a frequent accompaniment to Daniel Lanois shows. Congregate closed the most recent show and it was stunning.
Beautiful video that shows a watchmaker disassembling a Rolex Submariner. Beautiful, and it takes me back to the days of my misspent youth in the back of a jewelry store in Trenton, Ontario owned by Jack Hadley. Jack used to do watch repair, a skill that’s rapidly disappearing in a world where fewer people wear watches and most of those are cheap and disposable.
Television without Tina Fey is just almost not worth watching.
Prince’s Purple Rain celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. That means I was 13 when the album and film was released, and holy cow do I remember that year: dearly beloved, Prince was everywhere. It was an electric thing this album called Purple Rain but I”m here to tell you there’s something else—the movie.
Purple Rain is probably the worst movie with the greatest soundtrack you’ll ever hear.
I haven’t written much about the Jian Ghomeshi situation that’s been unfolding at the CBC. To some extent, that’s because I didn’t have much to add. No sooner had the story begun to spin in Jian’s favour with his now infamous (and removed) Facebook post than it quickly turned and pretty much every social media network’s Canadian contingent was overwhelmed with stories about Jian.
This had a somewhat in direct effect on me: I had run a hulkghomeshi twitter account for a while before it got both boring and time consuming. When Jian’s Facebook post went up I reactivated it with a few posts that were arguably funny but as it became clear that the situation was anything but funny I shut it down for good after tweeting out some rape crisis links. (That account sort of peaked for me with my imaginary live tweeting of the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche was sitting in the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver at the time. It was kind of genius.)
The Jian Ghomeshi story was on my mind a couple of days ago: December 6, 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the death of 14 young and female engineering students at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. I was in school that day in Toronto—my last year of high school—and it was horrifying. It felt like it was happening just down the road. We knew what was happening to some extent: radio was a critical medium, tuned in on Walkmen. It was horrifying.
It’s not hard to draw a direct line from Jian Ghomeshi to the shootings. Both involve men who seemed to feel that they were entitled to women; that women weren’t the same as men in the workplace; that women were somehow meant to serve their needs, and not be equal. The specifics of the manifestation of that attitude may be different, the intent was not.
I work in tech, and it’s not an industry that’s known for welcoming women into the workplace. Google is fairly dominated by men, as is Microsoft. Those 14 women at L’Ecole Polytechnique were engineering students and they were entering a male dominated industry. It’s sad that 25 years later, not much has changed.
I think I’m respectful towards the women I work with—my last two employers have been women, and I’ve quite liked working for both of them on most levels. The Jian situation did make me realize that I’m not perfect though: jokes get told and comments are made, and I’m not immune from making them. More commonly I become a passive participant in the jokes that others make. That’s something that I need to stop, and I’m going to try even harder than I have in the past. Even jokes and comments that seem harmless have a sort of undertone that perpetuates the history of sexism in the workplace—I’m tempted to call my participation unwitting, but that wouldn’t be accurate.
Jian Ghomeshi created a workplace and a culture for himself that allowed him to, at the very least, exploit women. Whether some of his activity was consensual (The Guardian printed a particularly interesting article) it seems clear at this point that not all of it was. Jian Ghomeshi took advantage of women because he could.
Twenty-five years ago fourteen women died because they were pursuing an education, and because they were women. There was no other reason—there was no logic. The man who did this to them made that clear. It’s sad that twenty-five years later not that much has changed.
For my small part, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure the same thing isn’t happening in another twenty-five years. Here’s hoping.