It’s Good To Know I Can Still Count On Jeeves


It’s comforting to know that in an unpredictable world, Jeeves is still there for us.

I’ve been Googling my new album to chart radio airplay and on a lark I though I would use the ancient search engine, Ask Jeeves. (it’s now apparently) 

And lo and behold, Jeeves told me the CBC North has been spinning some tunes!

Boo Google!

Yay Jeeves!

If only he were able to refill my coffee cup…

Long Live the CBC! Random radio playlists featuring my new songs.

It always make me happy when I see that one of my little songs has been played on the CBC.

This week it was CBC North.

Friday January 31, 2014

Music Playlist January 27 – 31, 2014

  • Strangers – Amelia Curran w/ Oh Susanna
  • I’ll Wait – Sweet Alibi
  • New Morning Sun – Blue Rodeo
  • She Got Kick – Charlie Musselwhite & Ben Harper
  • Treasure – Bruno Mars
  • Moon Shine – Tonya Kennedy
  • Candy – Wake Owl
  • Bitter Rain – Declan O’Donovan
  • Goodbye to Cowley – Kate Weekes
  • Sweet Dream Sleeper – Don Brownrigg
  • Grandpa’s Spells – Two Piano Tornado
  • Living a Long Way to Go – Del Barber
  • The Morning Light – Ron Sexsmith
  • Dreams Slip Away – Wendy Demos
  • Scar Tissue – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Are You Happy Now? – Trevor Rogers
  • How’d I Ever Think I Loved You – David Myles
  • Not Giving Up – Royal Wood
  • Turn, Turn, Turn – Pete Seeger
  • Into the Light – Danny Michel
  • Living Out My Dreams – Roch Voisine
  • Millhaven Bay – Harmony Gates
  • Green Icy Mountain – Blue Warblers
  • New Inheritors – Wintersleep
  • This Old Car – Pete Seeger
  • Ride On – Strumbellas
  • Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well – Jennifer Gasoi
  • Royals – Lorde
  • Black Mirror – Arcade Fire
  • Monday, Monday, Monday – Tegan & Sara
The Morning Edition Playlist for Wednesday, January 29, 2014The Retrievers – “Waiting For The Leaves Vol. II”Fionn MacCool’s GuelphStan Rogers – “Bluenose”
On this day in 1946, the Bluenose sank just off of Haiti.Meggi Faye – “Between Your Fingers”Trevor Rogers – “She Only Likes Talking to Me (When I’m So Far Away)”

CBC Radio Show Program Logs
Radio Show Index >  Radio Show Dates >  Radio Show Log
Date: 2014/01/28
Time: 15:05:00

RADIO ACTIVE THEME Duration: 00:00:52

WAIST DEEP IN THE BIG MUDDY Duration: 00:02:54


Local 107.3FM Top 30 For the Week Ending: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This Week/Last Week/Artist/Title

1 23 The Pack A.D. Do Not Engage
2 1 Dog Day Fade Out
3 24 Rebekah Higgs Sha La La
4 re Paper Lions My Friends
5 30 Esther Grey Collected Works
6 19 Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
7 27 TV Freaks Two
8 – Mode Moderne Occult Delight
9 5 Tough Age Tough Age
10 21 Wet Denim Wet Denim
11 3 Freelove Fenner Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner
12 9 Basia Bulat Tall Tall Shadow
13 17 Like A Motorcycle Motorpool
14 28 PUP PUP
15 26 Shooting Guns Brotherhood of the Ram
16 7 Sebastien Grainger Yours To Discover
17 20 Howl Howl
18 12 The Balconies Fast Motion
19 – Matt Andersen Weightless
20 14 Blackie And The Rodeo Kings South
21 – Trevor Rogers Are You Happy Now?
22 re Greg MacPherson Fireball
23 – Coeur De Pirate Trauma
24 6 Yamantaka // Sonic Titan Uzu
25 10 Haim Days Are Gone
26 2 Fiver CanCon Lost The Plot
27 11 The Sadies Internal Sounds
28 13 The Deep Dark Woods Jubilee
29 15 Sigur Ros Kveikur
30 29 SIRR Prize!

scop – Toronto
Top 30

For the Week Ending: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Other scop charts: Top 30
TW LW Artist Title Label
1 8 Club Thunderbolt CanCon Band Website City of Salt Chieftown
2 5 Trevor Rogers CanCon Are You Happy Now? Self-Released
3 re David and the WoodsCanCon David et les Bois Self-Released
4 9 The Stormalongs CanCon The Stormalongs Self-Released
5 re Corey Isenor CanCon Hollowbody Self-Released
6 6 Crissi Cochrane CanCon Band Website Little Sway Self-Released
7 2 The Belle ComediansCanCon Charlotte Nettwerk Label Website Label Twitter
8 re Nudie CanCon Remember This Self-Released
9 25 Old Cabin CanCon Old Cabin Self-Released
10 11 The Royal Oui CanCon The Royal Oui File Under: Music (FU:M) Label Website Label Twitter
11 re Mathias Mental CanCon Mathias Mental Self-Released
12 12 Blackie And The Rodeo Kings CanCon Band Website Band Twitter South File Under: Music (FU:M) Label Website Label Twitter
13 16 Downchild CanCon Band Website Can You Hear The Music? Linus Entertainment Label WebsiteLabel Twitter
14 re Makar Funeral Genius Self-Released
15 re Francois Couture CanCon Band Website After The Rain Self-Released
16 re Ocha La Rocha Ocha Lives Jaxart
17 3 Barzin CanCon Band Website To Live Alone In That Long Summer Monotreme
18 13 The Woodshed Orchestra CanCon Buzz Self-Released
19 4 Sugar Brown’s Sad Day CanCon Sugar Brown’s Sad Day Self-Released
20 7 A Montreal Paul CanCon Awaiting An Awakening Self-Released
21 re Wet Denim CanCon Wet Denim Self-Released
22 re Brendan Benson You Were Right Readymade
23 26 Ghosts Of Sailors At Sea The Skeleton Coast Self-Released
24 1 The Pack A.D. CanCon Band Website Band Twitter Do Not Engage Nettwerk Label Website Label Twitter
25 re Daedelus Drown Out Anticon Label Website Label Twitter
26 re The Pinecones CanCon Ooh! Reel Cod Label Website
27 15 First Base CanCon Band Website First Base HoZac Label Website
28 14 The Civil Wars Band Website Bare Bones Sensibility
29 Rueben DeGroot CanCon Rocket Surgery Apple Crisp Label Website
30 The Gories The Shaw Tapes: Live In Detroit 5/27/88

New Brunswick

Here are the latest Local 107.3fm charts for the week ending Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Following this link you can also find our top ten charts for Hip Hop, Loud, Jazz, and Electronic.

This Week/Last Week/Artist/Title

1 — Nap Eyes Whine of the Mystic
2 — Bad People Bad People
3 — Various Psych Pop 2
4 — Noise Level Dub Knowledge
5 — Reagan’s Rayguns Excellent Party @ Reagans Rayguns
6 — Cavern/Anthesis Cavern/Anthesis Split
7 — The Olympic Symphonium Chance To Fate
8 1 Wooden Wives Dead Peasants
9 re Cellarghost Troubles
10 — Walrus Glam Returns
11 — Pine Tarts Wolves Named The Moon
12 re Trevor Rogers Are You Happy Now?
13 — Kandle In Flames
14 — Thus Owls Turning Rocks
15 re The Balconies Fast Motions
16 re Hand-Drawn Party
17 — SIRR Robopocalypse
18 — Elephant Skeletons zazzerzaz vol II
19 25 Wet Denim Wet Denim
20 re Earthbound Trio Lettuce Turnip the Beet
21 2 Les Paiens Carte Blanche
22 3 Old Man Luedecke I Never Sang Before I Met You
23 — Ryan Hillier Midnight Revelation
24 22 Matt Andersen Weightless
25 — Zebra Pulse Heh, Vay Bae-Bays
26 — Sexy Mathematics Electronics
27 — Wildcat Wildcat
28 15 Sherman Downey And The Ambiguous Case The Sun In Your Eyes
29 28 Rebekah Higgs Sha La La
30 9 Mode Moderne Occult Delight

scop – Toronto

Top 30

For the Week Ending: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

TW LW Artist Title Label
1 4 Crissi Cochrane CanCon Band Website Little Sway Self-Released
2 5 Trevor Rogers CanCon Are You Happy Now? Self-Released
3 3 Club Thunderbolt CanCon Band Website City of Salt Chieftown
4 2 Barzin CanCon Band Website To Live Alone In That Long Summer Monotreme
5 9 Blackie And The Rodeo Kings CanCon Band Website Band Twitter South File Under: Music (FU:M) Label Website Label Twitter
6 23 Del Barber CanCon Band Website Band Twitter Prairieography True North Label Website Label Twitter
7 26 Middle Sister CanCon Middle Sister Famous Last
8 1 The Belle Comedians CanCon Charlotte Nettwerk Label Website Label Twitter
9 8 A Montreal Paul CanCon Awaiting An Awakening Self-Released
10 6 The Pack A.D. CanCon Band Website Band Twitter Do Not Engage Nettwerk Label Website Label Twitter
11 19 Cory Weeds Quintet featuring Steve Davis Let’s Go Cellar Live Label Website
12 10 The Woodshed Orchestra CanCon Buzz Self-Released
13 12 Sexy Mathematics CanCon Band Website Electronics Self-Released
14 11 Pete Mills CanCon Sweet Shadow Cellar Live Label Website
15 13 Sugar Brown’s Sad DayCanCon Sugar Brown’s Sad Day Self-Released
16 30 Matt Andersen CanCon Band Website Weightless True North Label Website Label Twitter
17 16 Countermeasure CanCon 14 Characters Self-Released
18 7 The Royal Oui CanCon The Royal Oui File Under: Music (FU:M) Label Website Label Twitter
19 17 Russ Dawson CanCon The Go On Self-Released
20 14 Load CanCon It’s True Self-Released
21 29 Jillian Rae Heartbeat Iron Bull
22 28 Molly Thomason CanCon Columbus Field Self-Released
23 Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues Total Treble
24 The Howlin’ Brothers The Sun Studio Sessions Readymade
25 re Mode Moderne CanCon Band Website Occult Delight Light Organ Label Website Label Twitter
26 20 Alden Penner CanCon Precession Self-Released
27 Sleepy Sun Band Website Maui Tears Dine Alone Label Website Label Twitter
28 Mason Porter Home For The Harvest Self-Released
29 The Perms CanCon Aberdeen Hugtight
30 25 Matt Watson CanCon From Riches To Rags Self-Released

The Mighty Chibi Deluxe!

Before I had my first “real” motorcycle, I had a cute little 60 cc mini bike called a Chibi Deluxe.

I had so much fun on that little thing zipping around the farm roads near my grandparents place in Ladner, BC.

I think I paid $75 for it.

I remember the second gear being busted so you needed to really rev it in first, then pop er’ down into 3rd and it would build slowly from there to a wobbly top speed of about 35 mph. That seemed plenty fast at the time.

Looking online, it seems that a lot of people have fond memories of these little machines that were made in the early 70’s. If you’ve got an extra $600 lying around you can find them on eBay!


MVC-047S copy


My First Motorcycle

She was a beaut!

A 1976 Yamaha DT 100 I think. I bought it in 1986 off of my friend Dave. It ran great!

The gas mileage was ridiculous and the feeling of freedom at that age? Amazing!

In those days you could get a licence by driving around a few pylons and insurance was less than $100 a year.

I moved on to a road bike after that but after a few close calls, due to no fault of my own, I put an end to my Fonzie days at age 19.

If I ever end up out in the country it would be fun to have a trail bike to putter around on.



I’m still on the 30 day free trial period and leaning towards paying the 10 dollars a month after that. All the music of the world at your fingertips for the cost of a couple of cappuccinos?

It is pretty amazing but it bothers me how little the artists get paid. At least they (me) are getting something!

Yesterday I listened to a lot of Pete Seeger and of course clean up time with the kids featured “Get Lucky”, the extended mix by Daft Punk. Usually I just dial-up a genre and try to discover something new.

Lots of African High-Life was listened to the day before.

There’s a funny little website called Forgorify.

It seeks to give all the songs on Spotify that have never had even a single play at least one!

Currently listing to “Life In The Finland Woods” by Calum MacLean – on the album “Scottish Accordion Hits Volume 2”………Just doing my part to make the world a happier place….

Pop The Cork!

My album is #19 at Ryerson in Toronto!

Meeting Jay Z and Beyoncé for lunch! Things are looking up!



The Stormalongs Self-Released


Faded Out Fundog


Old Cabin Self-Released


First Base HoZac


Can You Hear the Music? Linus Entertainment


Hollowbody Self-Released


Roar Self-Released


Mathias Mental EP Self-Released


David et le Bois Self-Released


After the Rain Self-Released


Funeral Genius Self-Released


City of Salt Self-Released


Occupation Nation Self-Released


We Were Right Readymade


Ocha Lives Jaxart


Charlotte Nettwerk


The Afterlife Blues Self-Released


Remember This Self-Released


Are You Happy Now? Self-Released


Lost & Undone True North


Buzz Self-Released


The Royal Oui File Under: Music


Wet Denim Self-Released


Somewhere Between Here and Nowhere Ernest Jenning Recording Co.


Mission Collapse in the Twin Sun Megaverse Self-Released


It’s True Self-Released


Little Sway Self-Released


South File Under: Music


Awaiting An Awakening Self-Released


Drown Out Anticon




From a scrap of paper in my drawer

Fingerpick e flat suspended (4 bars)
C sharp suspended (4 bars)

I would like a theramin
Such a pretty sound
Could I borrow your theramin?

Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!

Anyone remember that show?





It’s been taken to an extreme in Madrid, Spain.

It’s actually an art installation by an artist named SpY.

Over a hundred CCTV cameras  (not functioning) were set up on a wall, all trained at passers-by.

Yes, it’s true they weren’t functioning, but it gets ya’ thinking doesn’t it? Now go comb your hair!




It’s always fun to wonder where your music might get played after the writing/recording is done. And who might be listening in some far off corner of the world. Or over in Virginia…

Another Vegan December Draws To A Close

I don’t talk about it really, and here I am blogging about it…Oh well, the secret is out to the both of you reading:) (Hi Mom!)

It’s a fun little challenge I do every year-mainly to avoid holiday overeating, but being vegetarian the rest of the year it’s not that much of a stretch. The whole “nutrition thing” has been a work in progress the last 20 years or so. Avoiding certain foods does not necessarily equate to better health that’s for sure, but it doesn’t seem to be hurting any as far as I can tell. Protein comes in many forms and besides, humans don’t require much. The kids around here are ovo/lacto like their parents but I could see a shift towards veganism around our house over time.

At any rate, less cheese equals looser pants.

The real story is over in China where veganism is growing by leaps and bounds.

It seems that 5 % of a billion people is quite a few people.


Oh Happy Day! A New Router! I Love Apple Products! …



It’s the little things really…Or in this case, a fairly large router compared to what I was used to.

The time certainly does fly! I did the math recently and determined that my little Airport Express was 6 years old already! Not old for a parrot, but you know…technology changes quickly.

For some reason I missed the UPS person three times so I drove over to Albany to pick it up at the warehouse. Talk about a “King of Queens” moment…Just me, the baby and 50 or so Doug Heffernans loading their trucks.


What precipitated me doing the math is that our place here in Corvallis is quite a lot bigger than our apartment was in Montana so the wi-fi wouldn’t reach far enough to use the internet in the other rooms of the house.

So I picked it up, took it out of the box and 2 minutes later there it was: lightning fast internet.

Thank you Apple for being so easy to use!





The Summer of 2013! Moscow to Michigan, over to New York and back to Billings then over to Kansas City ending up in Denver then home to Vancouver and other places.

I am sitting in the passenger seat rolling down I94 just into Minnesota listening to the Carolina Chocolate Drops. What did we do before IPods? Oh yeah, I had a Walkman 4. Long live cassettes. It’s fun to see banjo player Danny Barnes releasing his albums on used cassettes. They are analog after all, and sound pretty good when they aren’t all garbled sounding…

I still remember borrowing my friend Conrad’s Midnight Oil cassette (10987654321) and leaving it on the dash of my 1970 VW van for the summer. It got a little melted but I think after all these years he has found it in his heart to forgive me. What a concert that band put on outdoors in Vancouver in the early 90’s on their Blue Sky Mining tour. I loved that band!

Now it’s time for Gordon Lightfoot. We’ve been skirting the Canadian border for a lot of this tour and I haven’t been listening to enough Canadian music. We were so close to Toronto and Montreal- both amazing cities to spend time. I’ve been living in Montana for a while but of course Canada will always be home. The Vancouver area specifically. And no, I don’t miss Tim Horton’s. I miss the people and the familiarity. But America is a pretty great place to be too.

So the trip from Idaho to Michigan was relatively uneventful. All 34 hours of it…We hadn’t been to The Ark in Ann Arbor for five or six years. It’s a pretty cool place to pay. So much history. Taking a look at all the performers who have played there is kind of a who’s who of the folk scene. We played a long set of tunes and it was nice to say hi to everyone afterward. In fact, I even had Michigan relatives come to the show!

One of the kids there was telling me about a 36 page illustrated book of original stories based on Thomas The Tank Engine. My 2-year-old Travis loves Thomas so I’m going to see about getting a copy for story time.

We’ve been driving through some incredible rainstorms lately, like right now near Minneapolis. It’s a great way to keep the van clean. (the outside at least…)

We had booked a hotel online so we headed there after meeting a few friends after the show. The area of the hotel where we were staying was cordoned off by yellow caution tape. Never a good sign. Was it a murder? Bedbugs? Raccoon infestation? The mind wanders…

But really it’s probably better not to know what went on in a hotel room the night or the weeks before. In the morning painters had arrived to continue their work so it was kind of a false alarm.

The last couple of years I’ve gotten used to being awakened by little kids through the night and usually pretty early in the morning so I’ve been enjoying a few extra z’s out here on the road with a wild and crazy rock & roll band. But it still feels good to get up in the morning before everyone else and find a treadmill, go for a walk, or read the paper with a nice cup of coffee. Obviously we aren’t getting rich out here, but it is kind of like being on a paid vacation, albeit a budget vacation. I miss the family of course but the boys seem to get a kick out of the fact that “Daddy is going over the mountains to play his guitar to earn money so he can buy us fig newtons sometimes” And I like getting the chance to see the American landscape, meet new people and play a guitar almost every night.

I just asked the guys in the van to describe the tour in one word stream of consciousness style right now and this is what happened:

Full tilt, Worthwhile

Baseball, Epic, Lotsofmilesandsmiles

Revealing? You tell me!

You can have fun guessing who said what if you want…or not.

We had a day off after the Ann Arbor show so we drove to Cleveland and went to the ball game versus Kansas City. It’s kind of an enjoyable way to spend an evening. Way more fun than watching Storage Wars re-runs at the hotel. OK, maybe that was a bad example…We love our reality TV!

I bought some peanuts and a couple of the guys enjoyed a few $11 dollar beers. Life is good in the music business apparently.

The next day I went for lunch with my friends Heather and Steve and met their beautiful baby daughter. It’s funny how the years drift by and before you know it people have been friends for 10 years or more.

We headed down to the Beachland Ballroom to set up for the show around 6. We’ve played at the actual ballroom as an opener in the past but we generally play the tavern that is attached to the Ballroom and holds a hundred people or so. That block is a real vortex for music lovers with the Ballroom and a bunch of record stores and cool vintage shops. I read that Polka King Frankie Yankovic grew up there in the Colwood area of Cleveland. I had a nice talk with a woman in a coffee shop who told me about the changing face of the neighbourhood. Apparently houses are still relatively inexpensive as the crime is still pretty high but that is slowly changing. And there are incentives and grants to get people back into the area to fix up some of the gorgeous turn of the century homes that need a little, or a lot of TLC.

The show itself? Fun. 18 years in and about three thousand shows later for me and it’s still fun. For me, the band and sometimes even the audience too! It’s not a huge place but it was full and there were road trippers and just like every night, there was someone there who first saw the band in Idaho.

One thing about the Clumsy Lovers is we can set up and unload our stuff quicker than any band I have ever seen except for the Red Elvis’s.

We did a few days in Texas with them a long time ago. They seemed to show up right at showtime and be unpacked and playing in about 10 minutes.

But we would come a close second.

Everything tucks away and fits nicely in our van. We traded a touring rig with a trailer that was fast becoming expensive and unreliable for a streamlined, fuel-efficient minimalist system. That factor, staying at friends places and stuffing into one or sometimes 2 hotel rooms, and sweet gigs continuing to roll in have put things back on an even keel again. But it’s still a work in progress after all these years with daily dilemmas out here on the road: “AC seems to have stopped working in the van. Better get that fixed. Better give that man $813 dollars…” First world problems to be sure but the money needs to come from somewhere. And a blown PA speaker and a flat tire in Brooklyn to add to the list…but it’s all manageable.

I’ve been listening to financial advice guy Dave Ramsey in the van recently. I agree with most of what he has to say, but I doubt that he would endorse a 44-year-old father of 3 being in a traveling band that exists pretty far beneath the radar. But that’s ok. I know a lot of artists and musicians that could make more money doing other things but for a number of reasons, they choose not to. There are the success stories in the arts, but they really are few and far between. But if you keep your expectations realistic things seem to fall into place. But maybe we should all dare to dream a little bit more?

So we headed to New York State the next day- a  big and beautiful state! And back to the wonderful world of tolls…We’ve played in and around NY a lot over the years but I don’t think we’ve ever made it to the Adirondacks. So pretty. And so close to Montreal! I saw a sign that said it was only 120 miles away.

We were here to play Jimmy and Whitney’s wedding. In another roundabout small world kind of way we had played Jimmy’s brothers wedding in Santa Barbara a few years ago so they asked us if we were available and we marked it on the ol’ calendar. We were going to fly in as it is one heck of a drive but we decided to build the current tour around it.

Play shows on the way there, then play shows on the way back.  A tried, tested and true way of doing things…

And what a beautiful place for a wedding! Wow! Very Great Gatsbyish! We played for 2 and a half hours straight through after the speeches and the people cut a rug and had a blast! Everyone was very gracious and the bride and groom were tickled pink and that’s all any band could ask for.

The next day we got up really early and drove into the city for a Yankees game. We bought tickets and starting climbing the stairs and kept climbing and climbing all the way to the last row! But the view was awesome and it was shady with a gentle breeze on a 90 plus day. NY lost to the Royals if anyone is keeping track.

We headed back to our hotel in Brooklyn and we all scattered in various directions. A couple of us went to the Rockwood Music Hall. That was fun. The next day Jeff and I walked around Williamsburg and I later met up with an old friend from Canada to watch game 6 of the Stanley Cup. (Chicago beat Boston to win it) Took the subway back to the hotel. NY is a pretty exciting place to be. Quite different from small town Montana. Both have their charm that’s for sure.

After New York we played shows in Indiana and Wisconsin and we eventually ended up in Billings for the inaugural Billings Grassroots Fest.

Overall, it was a really fun tour with lots of miles covered and hundreds of thousands of notes played!

So since those shows in June, July and August have happened and I am sitting here in Denver getting ready to play the last show of the summer.

Bozeman, Whitefish, Missoula, Red Lodge, Helena, Livingstone, Boise, Spokane, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Wichita, Lincoln and Vail and other forgotten places were all stops along the way too.

The Summer of 2013? Two thumbs up!

Missoula to Milwaukee

Six weeks on the road has begun! In the old days of the band, ten-week tours were the norm. But alas, things have changed and six weeks seems like a long time to be away from home.

Moscow, Idaho is where we kicked things off. John’s Alley has always been a great place to play, even after all these years. It wasn’t over the top crazy busy, but both Friday and Saturday brought out a lot of people. We had a practice Saturday with our new drummer Luke. He came out on tour early to catch a few shows and discuss drum stuff with Devin. So far it’s been a pretty seamless transition. It’s definitely a challenge to memorize all the various stops and starts and tempo changes so we hunkered down for a couple of days of practice in Missoula at our friend Steve’s house.

We’ve been trying to stay at friend’s places when hotels aren’t provided. Partly to save money but also to have more of a homey (not banjo player Jason) experience on the road.

Thursday evening we drove a couple of hours to Big Fork, Montana. It used to be a regular stop for us but we haven’t been there for 5 or more years. Jason was under the impression that it had burnt down but when we arrived it was still there. Ryan and Colin have done a great job renovating the place and we salute them for bringing live music back to the venue. We had a fun show- Luke’s first with the band, and we all stayed up afterwards socializing for a while before hitting the floor in the apartment upstairs.

The next morning came pretty early and we were off to Missoula for a radio interview on The Trail, 103.3. I connected with DJ Tracy via Facebook and she invited us to come down to be a guest on local lunch. Technically I’m a Missoula local! (at least for the next year or so)

Tracy has a really great presence on the air. Relaxed, soothing and knowledgeable. And they play great music. Sort of a mix between older stuff (REM, Nirvana…) and new stuff- The Decemberists, The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons…They also play local music too.

Missoula has a pretty vibrant music scene for such a small place. Some of the bands and songwriters I know and like: Tom Catmull, Larry Hirshberg, Britt Arneson, Josh Farmer, Stellarondo, Richie Reinhold, Amy Martin, Russ Nasset, Cash For Junkers, Aran Buzzas, Cold Hard Cash, Butter, Love Is A Dog From Nebraska and a bunch of others that I can’t think of right now.

So, back to the radio interview. We talked for ten minutes or so and Tracy spun a couple of our songs. It was pre-recorded so we were able to listen to it on our way back to my place in the van.

Friday night was our big show in my new hometown~ Missoula! I was actually pretty excited to be playing and I took it as an opportunity to reach out to my new friends in the community and invite them to the show. It was old -school promotion the way I used to do it with various bands I played with back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Postering, handbills, and a lot of what they call “social networking” although others might call it “wasting time.” Molly Laich over at the Missoula Independent was nice enough to do a feature on the band too.

Every Friday for the past couple of years, the Top Hat has had a free family-friendly show. Normally it’s local bands that play a variety of styles. It’s super fun and we try to bring the boys down there when I am in town. At first it was a little weird for me to see toddlers saddled up at the bar sipping a juice but it starts to feel perfectly normal after a little while.

I wanted to start out our night at the Top Hat by playing a show for the kids. Partly so my little guys and girl would get a chance to see Dad play, and also so that my Missoula friends with families would get a chance to check out the Lovers without having to hire a babysitter. Tons of people showed up and it made me so happy to see mine and all the other little ones dancing in the Toddler Moshpit!” (As my friend Britt calls it)

I had asked Cash For Junkers to open up the later show and they did a bang-up job getting the night started. We hit the stage around 11 and played until the wee hours. Good times and many familiar happy Missoula faces.

The band all crashed out on my floor and we left for Helena the next day.

The event was a Halloween themed benefit for a place called Exploration Works. We rolled in about 4 and were loaded in and sound-checked in about 30 minutes. We’ve got doing our own sound down to a science and everyone plays a role in getting us set up quickly and efficiently. After all, the less time we waste at sound check allows for more time watching COPS at the hotel!

The costumes were amazing! It seems to me that one is either a “I love getting dressed up for Halloween!” kind of person or the “Putting a costume together for Halloween is a real pain!” type. My default costume has always beenThe Lumberjack. Tuck your pants into your socks and put a toque on. Simple. Festive. Canadianesque. No muss no fuss. So that’s what us boys wore and Robyn donned a cowboy hat and tied a stuffed horse around her waist.

The show was super fun and everyone danced and danced and danced. We kicked into The Monster Mash at some point and that was a highlight from my vantage point.  We played pretty late and hit the hotel for a little shut-eye.

The next day we headed up the highway to Billings to play at the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company. Another benefit, this time for the Step foundation. We really love playing here.

When we first started playing Billings all those years ago the crowd was generally pretty sparse. Hasn’t been that way lately. (As he knocks on wood) Peopled showed up in droves! Well, cars actually to be more specific. OK, people showed up in droves in cars…

We’ve met so many talented and amazing people in Billings. This time we had an all female opening band called Maxie Ford featuring our friend’s daughter Katie. Excellent singing and instrumentation, and the icing on the cake was the tap dancer keeping time in the back. The crowd loved it! As I was watching them I was thinking that it sure would be nice if my little daughter Eve grows up to create something beautiful for the world.

Katie’s parents were nice enough to put us up at their place and the late night pickin’ and grinning commenced and went on into the wee hours.

A good start to the tour.

Currently driving through North Dakota on our way to Milwaukee.




The Nutcrackers

Our friend Britt brought back a bunch of hazelnuts from Idaho last summer.

I was curious to see how the guys would take to the challenge of breaking them open for the tasty prize inside.

Levi being a bit older figured it out really quickly and went to town while Travis managed to crack a few on his own.

And nary a thumbnail was blackened during the process!



Oregano tea on a rainy day


A tasty beverage recommended to me by my friend Carla.

Even I was able to follow this recipe!

-Grab a handful of fresh oregano from the backyard

-Add boiling water


A handful of oregano
A handful of oregano
Ready to enjoy!
Ready to enjoy!

Very tasty and refreshing! And chock-full of health benefits!

It too me back to the 90’s when wild mint was growing in abundance at the entrance to my suite in Vancouver.

Mint tea was a staple for me for me and my friends that would stop by for a visit.

There is something truly amazing about the taste of fresh fruit, veggies and herbs straight out of the ground!

And not having to go to the store to get them…

Ray Manzarek

Wow! What a life this man lived passing away today at age 74.

To my mind, there was no band cooler than The Doors in 1986 when I was eighteen. I had a friend that had a couple of albums on vinyl and I had a couple on cassette. I pretty much wore out  my LA Woman cassette. Of course, it’s not very hard to wear out a cassette but you know what I am getting at…I listened to it all the time!

The “OK, I guess it’s time to find myself” trip to Europe the next year was that much sweeter as my friend and I took the obligatory pilgrimage to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris to see Jim Morrison’s tomb.

I wonder where Ray will be buried and if people will seek his grave out to?

The Doors had such a unique and instantly recognizable sound; Jim’s bluesy/haunting/maniacal vocals, Robby’s melodic jazzy/jammy solos, John’s sometimes mellow/sometimes frantic drumming and of course Ray Manzarek’s  quasi-classical keyboard playing usually utilizing a Fender Rhodes and a Vox Continental combo organ, oftentimes simultaneously. My preference was the mellower stuff but I liked it all.

Long live The Doors!

Now where’s my LA Woman cassette…



Article in the Missoula Independent!

Life after kids

The Clumsy Lovers’ Trevor Rogers keeps rollin’ on


Trevor Rogers, guitarist and singer for the Clumsy Lovers, is a displaced Canadian living in Missoula with his wife, two sons and infant daughter. For many touring bands, having three kids in as many years would be the end of the line, but Rogers isn’t letting family life slow him down. Beginning Oct. 19, he’ll set out on a six-week tour with fellow band members Jason Horney, Jeff Leonard, Devin Rice and Robyn Jesson. After a couple of shows in Idaho and Big Fork, the band will play the Top Hat in Missoula on Oct. 26, the band’s first show in town since Rogers moved his family here last year.

I first met Rogers last September on a crowded Saturday night at the Rhino. A mutual friend introduced us based on this thing we had in common: We were both artists from out of town, hoping to suck the marrow out of Missoula’s strange and eclectic scene. Funny how this town works—a year later I invited his entire family over for a vegetarian barbecue in my meat-eating roommate’s backyard.

Missoula Independent news

“We’ve toured in a lot of different vehicles over the years,” Rogers tells me, including a van with 400,000 miles. The band has been traveling together for nearly two decades, and they do all the driving themselves, so this latest stint is not their first rodeo. Rogers explains to me with elaborate hand gestures how the drums will be stacked into his family’s minivan (I forget to ask what the kids will be riding in while he’s on the road), how he’s taking just one guitar instead of two, and how they plan to “cannonball it” the 1,200 miles from their gig in Billings to the show in Milwaukee, Wis., two days later.

“What’s it mean to ‘cannonball it’?” I ask. I think I imagined a human slingshot, but no. It means the band will do the drive straight through, alternating pilots for all 19 hours of that flat, cow-sprinkled expanse through North Dakota and Minnesota.

This latest tour is in support of their ninth album, 2010’s Make Yourself Known. The Clumsy Lovers’ sound is a blend of rock and bluegrass, with some Celtic influence. The beat bounces and meanders and so, too, do its listeners. The music is designed for dancing, which means they have to get out on the road and play shows. Lots and lots of shows.

“We’ve played the Top Hat around a dozen times,” he says, “And maybe 25 times in Missoula overall.”

Those numbers represents a grueling tour schedule over nearly 20 years totaling more than 2,500 live gigs in 49 states and throughout Canada.

The Clumsy Lovers are a working band and have been for many years. These days, Rogers schedules tours around the family schedule. His sons are shy toddlers with tow-blond hair and a penchant for playing in the dirt. His three-month-old daughter looked around the backyard at everything with what I guessed was a knowing bemusement. When they first arrived, the two mini poodles I’ve been dog sitting charged the boys and made them cry, a natural reaction when you’re so low to the ground; imagine it: My little dogs arrived like snarling white lions.

The Clumsy Lovers started making records in Vancouver in 1993. Since then, they’ve gone through some personnel changes, but Rogers remains a constant. “The band is getting younger,” he tells me. Rogers left his day job to tour full time at 27, and now he’s a young-looking 44. Jesson, their latest fiddle player, is 24 and plays like a maniac. Rice, the 24-year-old drummer, joined the band straight out of music school, after a series of killer auditions on Skype. Such is the makings of a modern band.

We are busy talking about the group’s various adventures and I burn everyone’s veggie burgers. They looked like hockey pucks, but we decide they are edible. Inside, my roommate’s grilled meat goes cold on the counter next to him while he and Rogers talk about the election and war. It is deliciously old fashioned.

Many times throughout the night, we halt our conversation to take various things out of the kid’s mouths: a piece of dog food, lint, some BB gun pellets out of a box that looks to a two-year old like a milk carton. It might sound like I’m joking, but I mean it: The whole thing was very rock and roll.

It’s that time of the year again!

SPRINGTIME has arrived in Montana! It is unseasonably warm in fact. Up into the 80’s the other day.

So…it’s time to pull out my favourite warm weather jacket! It’s taken a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’!

I bought it at the Ladner Thrift Shop more than 20 years ago! For a dollar!

Awe yeah….admire the beauty! Long live my green jacket!

I thought I had a picture of it somewhere but…

Levi is 4!


Boy it’s been awhile since I posted here. Seems like it’s easier to email family and friends recent photos and happenings, or post something on good ol’ FB.

Life is good in Montana, Levi and Travis have a little sister now. The band is still playing about a hundred nights a year. The longest trips were to Florida and back and recently we went to the midwest for a few weeks. Things will get busy again in June with trips to New York and many other places.

The Mail

I prefer having the mail delivered in the morning. Somewhere around 10:30.

Since moving here to Montana the mail usually arrives at 3:30 or so.

It’s just different opening it up in the afternoon.

It feels like reading a day old newspaper.

The Great Canadian Band Sloan!!!

One time during a set break at a show in Salt Lake City, three members of my band came up to me and said excitedly “Sloan is here!”
I was like “Really? Cool! I like that band!”
I looked around and didn’t recognize any of the guys.
We started back up again and I thought to myself, I better sing and play well for the rest of the night.
We finished up and I was talking with members of the audience when a guy I know named Sloan came up and said hi.
We had met the last time we were in town.

Meat-Free McDonald’s: Fast Food Chain To Open Vegetarian Restaurants In India In 2013

I guess it’s kind of cool that McDonalds is is flexible enough to alter their menu in different countries with different dietary requirements, but something seems a little weird about it. What about 99 Billion Served? That’s a lot of sacred cows.

I’m sure there will still be dairy on the menu but that’s a whole different discussion. I’ll leave that part of it up to the vegans. And how nutritional are the new menu items in question? Apparently the most popular “burger” in India has a deep-fried potato patty. And what about the tremendous amount of consumer waste that goes along with fast food?

Would it be be novel to see one in North America? Perhaps in San Francisco or New York City? It might help their image that some see as tarnished. It is interesting to see massive corporations moving with the times.

Here’s the article~


Late Summer 2012

Started out the tour by playing high up above Spokane at the Arbor Crest Winery? Then over to play a benefit for the Montana Watershed Coordination Council in a 100-year-old barn in East Helena, Montana. How bout’ a club show at the Zebra in Bozeman, River Fest in Pocatello, Idaho then ending up on beautiful Lummi Island to play a super fun wedding in Washington State? Summertime, and the living is easy…

Road Diary~ Idaho/Montana

Well that was a fun run of shows!

Twelve in total. 3852 miles.

The list reads a lot like a Johnny Cash song: “I’ve been to Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota…” In our case it was mostly up and down the I90 in Idaho and Montana with a few other highways thrown in for good measure: “We went to Pocatello, West Yellowstone, Idaho Falls, Pray, Billings, Moscow, Schweitzer Mountain, Absarokee, Butte, Billings again, Whitefish, Helena.”

With a party in Missoula thrown in for good measure.

Summer touring is the best, although the heat can be a little daunting. It was a hundred degrees when we played in Billings! New fiddler Robyn was great, and the band was mostly in good spirits. Saw lots of old friends and met lots of new people too so that is always encouraging for the future.

I was a little stressed throughout the tour as we were due home on July 7th, the 7th being the due date of our third child. Labour started the day I got back and little Eve was born on July 9th! Such a cutie! Home now for a few weeks then we fire it up again July 28th at the Bainbridge Island Bluegrass Festival.

The Clapton/Harrison Duel

This would have been interesting to watch: “In 1973, Clapton renewed his ardent pursuit of Pattie – climaxing in an extraordinary ‘duel’ at the Harrisons’ home. “As Eric walked through the door George handed him a guitar and amp and for two hours, without a word, they duelled. The general feeling was that Eric had won.” I wish we solved all the worlds problems this way…


Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk

I cannot tell you how much I LOVED this album as a kid in the late 70’s! I wasn’t really a big fan of Star Wars but somehow I ended up with this and it received endless rotation on the Rogers family phonograph. One time I was watching the David Letterman Show and they had a sub bass player filling in for Will Lee. His name was Neil Jason. I read his bio online and it turns out he played bass on the Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk album! Living in the internet age, I found him on Facebook and wrote a little note telling him how much I loved it back in the day. He was kind enough to write back. What a world we live in!

Banning Bagpipes & Bongos?

How can the city of Vancouver ban two of the greatest inventions ever? Lame.

CBC News New rules quietly introduced through Vancouver’s city hall ban bagpipes, bongos and other percussion instruments from the city’s street busking program.

After receiving complaints about noise levels, the city’s street performance permits program began refusing applications for acts that included drums, bongos, tambourines, and bagpipes.

‘Instruments not permitted for street performance: percussive instruments and bagpipes.’—City of Vancouver busking permits, April 9, 2012

James McNair, a competitor in the BC Pipers’ Association’s 80th annual bagpiping competition on Saturday, was among many who were shocked to learn of the ban.

“That would be a cruel idea… [for] the citizens of Vancouver not to be able to hear the glorious bagpipe,” he said.

Simon Fraser University’s award-winning pipe band is playing a 30th-anniversary concert at the Vogue Theatre on Sunday, but the pipers might not be welcome to warm-up outside if they passed a hat during the performance.

The city’s street performance, or busking, permit information page was amended sometime over the past year to include the rule, which reads: “Instruments not permitted for street performance: percussive instruments and bagpipes.”

BC Pipers’ Association president Rob MacNeil said it goes against the grain of the city itself.

“This [area] has the highest concentration of world-calibre players and pipe bands outside of Scotland,” he said.

Scottish culture is entrenched in the city’s history, which became a magnet for Scottish immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Descendants of many of those Scots have stuck around and the culture has stayed with them, bagpipes and all.

“That’s what makes Vancouver such a vibrant city, being able to display the best of culture that we have in this area. And bagpipes and piping and drumming are top of the mind on this,” MacNeil said.

The city said the rules are there because music, no matter how good, can be disruptive.

MacNeil said the BC Pipers’ Associations understands and agrees permits should be handed out in a way that’s respectful to listeners and local businesses. But to ban an instrument outright is not acceptable.

“I think it’s not an informed decision,” he said.

Mayor Gregor Robertson — a proud descendant of Scots himself — was away over the weekend but he and his city staff have said they will be reviewing the policy.

Moscow, Idaho

February 17th/18th

Moscow, Idaho

With all of us currently living in different places, it takes a little more planning to get everyone together. The old days of all of us hopping in the van, in the same town and heading out together to take on the brave new world are over. It’s a new paradigm in so many different ways both personally, professionally and within the music industry itself. A couple of us read the musings of a music blogger named Bob Lefsetz to garner his take on the situation. He thinks that technology has leveled the platform for aspiring musicians and the world is your oyster. But there are no guarantees that you will ever get out of the basement, or to the next level no matter how often you tweet, post videos or update your website. He maintains that if your music is good enough, people will eventually notice. I agree with Bob that the one major thing a musician can control is getting out there and playing live and connecting with people who appreciate your music. So, amidst all these shifts, that’s what I think this band can continue to do if we are smart about it. We will never be U2, but we are The Clumsy Lovers. And we’ve survived this long and met thousands of wonderful people along the way. Why stop now?

So, where was I…

I loaded up my little car in Missoula and set off for Moscow, Idaho last Friday. About 40 miles up the Interstate 90 I had to stop the car as 3 large deer were crossing. That went fine but they sprinted into the eastbound lane and one of them was mowed down by a van going in the opposite direction. I had never seen that before. Pretty disturbing actually. I’m generally a cautious driver but I was about 10 mph more cautious for the rest of the journey.

Met up with the gang to set up at John’s Alley and afterwards went for Chinese food on the main street. Such a quaint little town and the band has had so many good shows there going back to the early 90’s. After that nutritional goodness, we were ready to rock! And we did! People seemed to be enjoying themselves. We were a little rusty but all in all I though we played pretty well. The venue actually records every show which is cool for posterity, but I think one really needs to be there in the room to get the true flavour of the experience. I was tired by the time we finished around 1:45. I was up with the boys at 5 a.m. after a short sleep, drove quite a ways and played all night. Not complaining, just a reminder to myself that I’m not 21 anymore.

Slept in a bit on Saturday at the mighty Royal Inn. That place certainly has a lot of character and is conveniently located near the venue. Old friend Jill bought me lunch at a new bbq place she is managing, had a little Mexican food later with my friend Storm for dinner and stopped in to see Brett at Nectar to swap child stories. By then it was 9:30 and time to play again. Again, I thought the band played well and we did some experimenting with songs and solos. The band is at it’s best when we are spontaneous for sure. Loose in a good way. But there is a fine line between loose in a good way and borderline terrible. Saturday night we were loose in a good way. (Just don’t listen to the recording…)


Nothing like a little road trip to cure the winter blues. Actually, I’m quite happy these days for the most part, but if you aren’t I highly recommend a little road trip. A change of scenery is usually a good thing. I had 474 sunny miles there, and 474 sunny miles back to contemplate life while listening to AM 750 Country Classics. Loretta, Merle, Willie, George…I lost reception through the 4th of July pass and switched over to talk radio from Spokane to Seattle. Romney, Newt, Obamacare, Iran…and just like that I had arrived in the magical place known as Seattle.

We were hired by a longtime fan of the band to play her 40th birthday party at a club in Pioneer Square. We’ve never played Amyfest before. It was fun. A full house of family and friends in a quirky little bar. One of the highlights for me was when one of the staff walked in front of me with a deli tray to put in the fridge behind the stage. I’ll bet that hasn’t happened to Pear Jam lately…

Jason’s Greyhound was late once again so he missed the first set. It’s pretty apparent how dependant we are on the banjo for the majority of our material. Things still sound good, just different. After the show we stayed up the road at a friend’s place. We felt really safe once inside as they had two pit bulls. The next morning Annette and Chris made us breakfast and we were on our way to the Knitting Factory in Spokane.

We’ve been playing “The Knit” on and off for quite a while. It’s a fantastic club that features a full on light show, massive PA system and even a couple of guys to help us load our gear in. I think they were quite happy when they saw the minimalism of our set up. Everyone takes a handful and bob’s your uncle, the Clumsy Lovers have loaded in their gear.  We set up and sound checked and had time to chill out. I had a bit of a Spinal Tap moment going from floor to floor in the elevator trying to find the green room.

Our friend Matt, who once played with Ten Mile Tide opened up the show with his new band Folkinception. Groovy tunes. Good musicians. We played straight through from 9:30 to close to midnight. Sound was good. Audience was festive. Band played fairly well for the most part. It was a high-energy affair. 500 or so came to see us so that was nice to see. Spokane has always been a little hit and miss for us. After the show we got to reconnect briefly with some friends in the lobby then it was off to bed. I got up early and made my way back to Missoula with the contents of our storage locker in my car to store at my place.

Anybody out there looking for a vintage Clumsy Lover t-shirt from 1996 or so? A 2 song Christmas CD? A Barnburner poster? A gas receipt from November of 2003?

Snow In The Front Yard

It was the first major snow storm of the season in Missoula this week. Apparently a record that had stood from 1970 was broken for single day snowfall. It was really pretty to see the snow piling up. I was happy that we didn’t need to drive anywhere. We towed the boys along in a sled behind us when we did go out and that felt rustic. So many vehicles got stuck, but there were so many people willing to help out so it all worked out. I helped our neighbour dig out his 4×4 that had gotten stuck over a snow plow berm. That was my good deed for the morning. Makes me want to do more good deeds. It feels good to help people.

Closet Industry

Closet Industry: Whereby and individual can fit everything necessary to run a small business within the confines of a closet.

*If this term has already been termed then I apologize

Our current closet

Vegan Christmas

Yes, it’s still vegan December only this time the whole family had a vegan meal. The boys and Amanda are already vegetarian so it wasn’t that unusual for them. What did we eat? Tofu sautéed with Olive oil and Soy sauce, mashed potatoes with veggie gravy and a big tray of roasted vegetables including yams, carrots parsnip’s, green beans and onions. It was good!

Followed that up with a nice walk in the snow on a windy night in Montana, and while we both missed our families it was quite a magical Christmas.

Halfway Through Vegan December

It hasn’t been much of an issue really. We went to a friend’s place and they made us Kale soup which was nice and Amanda brought along a Greek salad with marinated firm tofu as a replacement for the feta cheese. I’ve been eating a lot of tofu and spinach and if I feel a little hungry in the afternoon i might have a spoonful of peanut butter. For lunch today I had a whole wheat burrito with refried beans, spinach and diced onion with some really tasty tomatillo sauce. Sure, some sour cream and cheddar cheese would have been nice, but it was still quite delicious. It went well with a strong cup of coffee!

It’s That Time Of Year Again~ Vegan December!

This will be the third year that I’ve done this. It’s kind of a personal challenge that hopefully inspires me to make other positive changes in my life. Having a goal, no matter how seemingly trivial, and sticking to it just feels good. It may not compare to flying to the moon or walking a high wire across the Grand Canyon but that’s not really the point.

Winter Arrives In Missoula

It really was a magical summer in so many ways. It took us a few weeks to get settled but once we got our bearings it was time to explore the town. You really can’t beat Missoula in the summertime. We were mostly on our bikes with the boys in the trailer behind us checking out the river trail, concerts at Caras park, frequent trips to the carousel, bbq’s with friends, hikes up the M trail and over in the Rattlesnake and a nice visit with the grandparents. Almost every night after dinner we would go to the park and kick the soccer ball around and watch the beautiful sunsets.

Even though I could see the leaves changing colour and the days growing shorter it still feels like something shifted overnight. It is currently snowing and lows are expected to dip to -22 this weekend. I’ve spent a lot of time travelling in cold climates over the years but I’ve never actually lived in a snowy place. I am looking forward to bundling up the boys and having lots of wintertime fun followed by  cozy nights by the fire. Actually, we don’t have a fireplace so that Yuletide DVD will have to do…

My Old Apartment In Vancouver In The Mid-90’s

me & my friend dawn playing some tunes in the attic

Such a great place in the heart of Kitsilano.  2525 West 6th Avenue. Close to the beach. Close to the coffee shops. Not too far from the trails around UBC. And it was affordable back in the day. I was there for 14 years! Lots of good times. It would be nice to live in a character house in a funky neighbourhood somewhere in the world one day.

Montana/Idaho Fall Tour October 2011

staged rock & roll shot

Our first show was in Great Falls, Montana at Machinery Row. The owners are very supportive of the band after seeing us play 12 years ago in Las Vegas. They’ve been doing a good job bringing in regional and national touring acts. James McMurtry and Tony Furtado are two recent examples. Being a Friday night we were hoping for a good turnout and we were not disappointed. In fact, I would say we were pleasantly surprised that it was a full house and a fun night of music. Here’s to live music in Great Falls!

On Saturday afternoon we did the pleasant and beautiful drive over to Helena for a Halloween party presented by Exploration Works. We had played the same event back in 2008 and it was whole lot of fun. Little Orphan Annie, Sarah Palin, ghouls, goblins and pumpkins all made an appearance that night. We were looking forward to being back and reacquainting ourselves with our Helena friends. The event was held in the ballroom of the Best Western and the place was really well decorated.  We had a little time to mingle while they were doing the charitable auction. Dressed up as a bowler, Roy told us he dislikes Canadians almost as much as people from Iowa. We worked on him through the night and he eventually came around and big burly hugs were exchanged. A tip for next year’s party: If you dress up as a bowler you can keep a six-pack in the bowling bag!

We dressed up as lumberjacks, rockers, power rangers and the icing on the cake was the intriguing Nascar man. Show was a blast and everyone had a good time. For some weird reason the band was banned from the hotel when we stayed there in 2008. All I know is I went to sleep. Someone must have had a loud party or maybe staff thought someone in the band was having a loud party. I blame a former drummer…So yeah; we are a pretty badass band I guess. A badass band that plays “You Are My Sunshine” three nights out of four… So we set up a tent in the alley and caught our 40 winks.

Sunday was a short drive up to Pray, Montana where Chico Hot Springs is located. It’s a really charming historic lodge. We’ve been playing there a couple of times a year for ten years or so. It’s always a blast. Lots of people road trip from other places in the state to see the band, have a soak in the pool and spend the night in the lodge. Apparently room 349 is haunted. Jason stayed in that room and no paranormal activity was reported. However, he is a deep sleeper…

The show was the usual high-energy affair.  It was a pajama themed party so we all wore robes to fit in. Pale Canadians in white bathrobes. Worth the price of admission right there. Montana is a hotbed for celebrities. Almost as many famous people as grizzly bears at last count. We’ve seen Jeff Bridges and Dennis Quaid up at Chico. This time it was National Geographic bear expert Casey Anderson. Rebecca spotted him with her eagle eyes. One of the nice things about playing in the saloon is we get to sleep pretty much upstairs and we don’t load the gear until morning so we get to hang out with the staff and some of the friends we’ve gotten to know over the years. In the morning we loaded up and headed towards Billings. We stopped in Livingstone and I ran into the owners of Chico at the Subway. We played Mike’s 75th birthday party 5 years ago already. It reminds me once again how fast time is flying.

We got to Billings around 4 and checked into the hotel. Met a nice young woman from Bulgaria in the lobby. It occurred to me as we were talking that I really don’t know anything about Bulgaria. In fact I probably couldn’t point it out on a map. Just another place that would be incredibly interesting to visit. They appear to be a good-looking people based on my limited experience.

So we loaded in at the Yellowstone Brewery. It’s become a great place for us to play in Billings. George, Donnie, Randy and the others run a really great show there.  They make gin the good old-fashioned way along with really tasty brew. It’s an all ages concert so it’s nice to see a mixture of people having a good time together. On this particular evening it was a benefit for an initiative to build a new library in Billings. I don’t know much about it but encouraging people to read books can’t be such a bad thing. If I read more I’m certain my writing would quickly improve and I wouldn’t need to think so hard when called upon to spell a word like necessary or extra-terrestrial.  Speaking of reading, I’m back on the bandwagon with the Keith Richards bio and the classic On The Road. Quick Keith Richards’ factoid: He had a pet mouse as a kid called Gladys. See, reading is good. I never would have known that if I hadn’t dug into his book. It’s actually a really fun read. So many stories and anecdotes and hilarious British slang and wit.

So we played the show and it was fun. David Cleaves from local band The Sons of Billings joined us on mandolin for the second set. We finished up around 8:30. Lots of people were in costumes. We asked Wonder Woman to join us at a local pub down the street where some other friends were hanging out too. A couple of us went to Karaoke at the Crystal later. The Crystal is a bit of an experience on an ordinary day but seeing as how it was Halloween the interesting factor was tripled at least. If you haven’t heard Frankenstein, Raggedy Ann and Sarah Palin sing The Girls Just Want To Have Fun, well quite frankly you haven’t lived. It’s a must see in life. Kind of like seeing the Grand Canyon, The Pyramids or the Taj Mahal. Head on down to the Crystal in Billings, Montana next Halloween if you get a chance and you’ll see what I mean.

So we said goodbye to the Bulgarian, Billings and the Best Western and headed on down the highway to Butte America. We’ve been playing here a couple of times at year for the last ten years or so, normally at the Silver Dollar. There is so much character in Historic Uptown Butte that it’s off the charts on the character meter. I’ve had so much fun over the years and have met so many wonderful, earnest and humorous people. The shows are always fun too. Sometimes the place is packed, sometimes the numbers are a little thin but Butte people know how to have fun anywhere. Anytime.

For the show itself, we played a lot of up-tempo barnburners but we also tried 9 or 10 songs that we rarely play anymore so that was pretty fun. The energy was loose and festive and we kept her going pretty late. It was a cold walk back to the hotel. Fall is definitely giving way to winter temperatures in these parts. We got up and headed to the Dollar to pack up our gear on a gloriously sunny day and did the three-hour drive to our next stop: Idaho Falls.

We had a night off and posted on Facebook that we were looking for fun things to do. Lots of great suggestions but we ended up watching three hours of Storage Wars. I fell asleep at 11:30. Unheard of but I sure felt great in the morning. Karaoke in the hotel lounge will have to wait until next time. I took the van in for a wobbly tire and ended up with a whopping bill three hours later. The cost of doing business I guess. Can’t get to all these places with a broken down vehicle. This current van has been great. 520,000 kilometers and still going strong but I dream about a new vehicle almost every night

Back in the day we would play at DB’s in Idaho Falls a couple of times a year but they stopped doing live music for a time. But now the bands are back and the locals seem to be enthusiastically showing up. We did an epic four sets of music. Everyone had a sweet time and we played until the wee hours.

So then it was off to Pocatello for the weekend. We normally play every summer outdoors at Idaho State University, and once or twice a year indoors at The First National, or The First Nash as the locals call it. We’ve got our load-ins down to an almost perfect science. We can be unloaded, set up and sound-checked with our own PA system in 20 minutes or so. Unfortunately for the show itself, it was the first snowfall of the year and that seemed to keep people at home. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun crowd but not the crushing numbers we have come to expect. We made a few uncharacteristic blunders on stage but recovered to have an OK night.

Saturday was super relaxing at the hotel. Slept in, caught up on some computer work, ate a few slices of pizza, had a bath & a shower and left for the club at 7. Night was off to a much better start. Weather was mild and the town showed up. It was a nice surprise to have banjo player Jason’s family show up ready to throw down and party up a storm. Because the clocks were scheduled to fall back at 2 am, we determined that we would keep the music going until 3! That’s the latest we’ve played in a long time. Band was a little tired by the end of that odyssey but it felt like a fitting way to end the tour. 6:30 wake up came early the next day let me tell you…

montana sky

To Comment Or Not To Comment

That is indeed the question when it comes to news and music sites and especially the grandaddy of them all, Facebook. 800 million strong and continuing to grow. That little news feed is always there tempting me to comment. Often times I think about writing a comment before saying to myself “what useful purpose is this serving? I should pick up my guitar or wash the dishes or really do anything somewhat constructive…” But alas, like most people I can resist anything but temptation…

Missoula Independent
Street Talk! First question: What do you think of cross-dressing?
    • Trevor Rogers I think one should wait until they calm down before assembling their daily attire.

      2 minutes ago · Like

Old School Photoshoot

Last Saturday we went on a bicycle ride called “The Tweed Ride”. The idea was to dress up in vintage clothing and ride around the town. There were about a hundred or so people with several on vintage bicycles from the 1930’s. Along the route we stopped to get our picture taken.



What’s In The Box?

Levi loves his soccer ball. We forgot his favourite one at a BBQ a while back and our friends dog ate it the next day. We had purchased that one in Vancouver, a classic black and white foam ball made by a company called Poof. Couldn’t find one here in Missoula so I took to the internet and about a minute later had a couple of soccer balls on their way to being shipped to our house. In the description online the ball was black and white but we ended up with a couple of neon ones. Oh well, he loves them!

Getting Around To Finishing Some Songs

I’ve had ten songs on the go for over a year. My friend Tyler Thompson spent a week recording them at my parents house and are mostly finished. A guy I know in Vancouver said he would add some overdubs and finish mixing the rest this fall. This song, “Are You Happy Now” could be the most annoying song I have ever written but the melody has been stuck in my head for years now so it was time to write some silly lyrics and finish it off. I think it still needs bass guitar but it is getting close to being done for the masses (me and my friends and family) to hopefully enjoy.


Obama’s Tribute To Steve Jobs Upon His Passing At The Age Of 56

“Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.”

It’s The End Of The Band As We Know It (everyone is using this headline…) ~ R.E.M. Calls It A Day

Man did I ever love them from the first time I heard “This One Goes Out To The One I Love” way back in 1987. I loved the droning E string solo on the electric guitar that became one of their signature sounds along with Michael Stipe’s vocals and obscure lyrics. It was such a unique sound at the time. Peter Buck described a typical R.E.M. song as “”Minor key, mid-tempo, enigmatic, semi-folk-rock-balladish things.” They were soon referred to by Rolling Stone magazine as “America’s Best Rock & Roll Band!” I’m not sure that I would go that far but they did stand head and shoulders above most of the rest. Great shampoo by the way.

Like most people. I really got on the bandwagon in 1991 when they released ” Out Of Time.” I pretty much wore out that cassette. I remember a musician friend came over one time and we listened to it over and over until 6 in the morning. Of course “Losing My Religion” was the big single and the album sold over 12 million copies. “Automatic For The People”, “Monster” and “New Adventure’s In Hi-Fi” sold 10, 9 and 5 million copies respectively. They were huge! What today’s artists wouldn’t give for those kinds of sales. Then came the massive contract with Warner and things started to go a little downhill. Slowly but surely…

I was really hoping that they would stay in the mainstream like U2 has somehow managed to do. I saw R.E.M. on Austin City Limits a few years ago and they looked and sounded great with a bunch of killer new songs. But it didn’t really catch on with the masses for whatever reason. However, I feel pretty comfortable stating that I don’t think we will be seeing any of  the members of R.E.M. in a food bank line-up anytime soon.

Band statement:

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.” R.E.M.

Bocephus King Has A New Album Out!

I’ve known this sweet guy for a long, long time.

I think the first time I saw JP/BK play was when we were both still teenagers in a pub in Tsawwassen, BC that has long since shut down. The second time I was painting a house (poorly I might add) in the summer of 1991 in East Ladner and his band at the time was rehearsing a few doors down. I remember they played an amazing version of  Stevie Wonders’ “Superstition” among other classics. I guess I didn’t actually see him play that hot summer day but I could clearly hear the music.

I was really impressed those first few times and I still am now all these years later. So happy to see a friend loving life, raising beautiful children and continuing to play music!

iTunes link~

Here’s the newest video: (ps: that’s my dad driving the bobcat…)

Sincerely yours and no longer painting unless I am forced to,


Canadian Politician Jack Layton Passes Away

It doesn’t matter if you did or didn’t vote for the New Democratic Party, Jack just seemed like a cool guy who really cared about Canadians. He wrote a really beautiful letter several days before his death.

This was the last paragraph:

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

Here’s the entire farewell note:

August 20, 2011

Toronto, Ontario

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made a historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

A Pat On The Back

Today I was flying down Higgins Street on my ten speed. Somehow a wasp got in the back of my shirt and started doing what wasps are known to do. I started vigorously patting myself on the back.  And I really haven’t even done anything that particularly awesome lately. The scenario must have seemed amusing to people roaring by in their cars. The stinging eventually stopped. Montana wasps pack a punch.




Hockey Cards & Disco Lights

Man, did I ever love that disco light! I think it was $12.95 at Radio Shack. Now it’s where I keep my old hockey cards from the early 80’s. I’ve got a Messier rookie card but back in those days we used them to play with, or attach to the spokes of our bikes so they are all worthless in a financial sense. But from a nostalgic viewpoint, those tattered cards will be fun to look at sometime in the future.

Messier rookie card in primo condition

A Friend In Chicago’s Facebook Status Update

Julie D
A nice lady is sharing her umbrella with me while we wait for the bus. What a sweet small act of kindness.
  • You like this.
  • I think most people want to do kind things for others, it just seems that there is social pressure to not go out of ones way to offer assistance as it may be misconstrued, or seen as weird, or you might want something back…especially in the urban environment. It wasn’t the world’s greatest movie but I remember enjoying “Pay It Forward” with the “I see dead people” kid. That movie had a nice message.

Epic Resignation Letter

We’ve all worked in less than stellar work environments at one time or another, but I don’t think I could come up with a list this long…or be bothered to…Nevertheless, it’s a fun read:)

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Dear Whole Foods Market,

My experience at Whole Foods was like an increasingly sped up fall down a really long hill. That got rockier with every metre. And eventually, just really spiky … With fire, acid and Nickleback music. I was hired about five or six years ago. I appreciated and respected what the company said it’s philosophies were at that time. The “core values” essentially. However, it didn’t take long to realize what complete and utter bullshit they are:

Oh, you don’t recycle properly? (Caring about our communities and our environment)
Oh, you throw out enough food to feed a lot of hungry university students.(Caring about our communities and our environment)
Oh, you’re asking me to put latex gloves on the sales floor so customers can throw a pair out for every handful of gummy bears they take? (Caring about our communities and our environment)
Oh, you’ve installed massive television screens all over the store, sucking up energy and polluting the environment with tacky advertisements.(Caring about our communities and our environment, Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you waste an absurd amount of energy, ink and paper in your offices for useless bureaucratic nonsense. (Caring about our communities and our environment, Supporting team member happiness and excellence, )
Oh, you just write off 10-20% of the product that you buy for your bulk department because the bins look nice. (Caring about our communities and our environment).
Oh, you sometimes intentionally order too much just to guarantee a full shelf, knowing full well the product will most likely be thrown out? (Caring about our communities and our environment)
Oh, you don’t actually audit or evaluate each product you sell? (Caring about our communities and our environment, We sell the highest quality natural and organic products available)
Oh, you force team members to come in to work, on their day off, once a month, at 7 in the morning, knowing a lot of them live an hour away and the TTC isn’t completely running that early in the morning and then force feed them useless updates on the company and embarrassingly artificial pep talks ([Redacted] once compared Whole Foods Market to religion… had to throw that in there. That was definitely a “Did she really just say that moment.”)? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence, Caring about our communities and our environment)/
Oh, you buy poorly made, ugly t-shirts for your employees that will just be thrown in the trash and pretend they’re gifts when they’re really just advertising tools? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence, Caring about our communities and our environment)
Oh, the food here is really quite awful on average? Almost everything that prepared foods makes is terrible. The pizza used to be pretty good but the slices have shrunk, the toppings are sparser and it’s usually extremely overcooked. The sandwiches are the stuff of nightmares. (It’s amazing what advertising can make people think. It can even trick their senses.) (We sell the highest quality natural and organic products available)
Oh, you let some customers abuse your employees and then actually reward the customers for their behaviour and then trample on the integrity and honour of your abused employees? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you practice discrimination by offering “healthier” employees better discounts? And you think having different rules for new smoker employees versus old smoker employees is a good idea? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you purchase products from Israel (Or any distant country) if they’re slightly cheaper than local alternatives? (Caring about our communities and our environment)
Oh, you’ve somehow created the worst computer program I’ve ever used to run your entire buying system? IRMA is some Windows 95 era stuff, guys. I could design a significantly better interface in 30 minutes on a pad of paper. I know several students who could create a superior program in their spare time. Was someone actually hired to create that thing? Was it the Realplayer dudes? Even Captain Picard couldn’t facepalm hard enough to express the amount of failure in that… that, thing… (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you push employees into greater responsibilities without compensation? Often having them essentially do all the work of a higher position without the pay? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you ambush employee’s using two managers when you want to write someone up? No warning. No representation. All reasons and excuses fall on deaf ears. (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you’d rather attempt to create some sort of fake “culture” with signs and forced meeting than let it happen naturally by letting employees socialize lightly as they work? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you like to manage “systems” instead of people? You don’t hold critical thinking and discretion in high regard? You encourage blindly following rules? I.e., no recourse in challenging write ups. Employees given cold shoulder when they attempt anything like this. (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you want us to politely call and let you know if we’ll be late… but you’ll still write us up when we arrive? Kind of a dick move, guys. (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you actually think being 20 minutes late matters? You know Whole Foods Market is just a grocery store, right? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Oh, you don’t believe inflation exists? Cost of living raises aren’t given here? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)

I notice a trend… Honestly, I could go on and on and fill out the details but since most people will just dismiss this email I should probably not put too much effort into it. I should have kept a blog…

Now the employees have lost a lot of their former power and the store is being sucked into some centralized monster. Quality is being thrown out in favour of the people at the top having to do a little less work. Competition is being destroyed and you’re not even pushing that many healthy products. Every second endcap is potato chips or pop or some sort of salt filled snack (Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education). A lot of the stuff in Whole Body doesn’t even work or has absolutely no credible evidence to back any claims up. You’re kind a faux hippy Wal-Mart now. Great. Job.

How you haven’t been fired by now is a massive mystery to, not just me, but many people. You probably belong in a psychiatric ward. If you didn’t have such a constant negative impact on everyone around you I might just feel sorry for you. BUT, you’ve hurt too many people. You create a hostile work environment with your flashes of insane anger and passive (I hesitate to use the word passive…) aggressive behavior. Please, just leave and piss all over the patio at [REDACTED]’s again. Maybe [REDACTED] will help this time. Her childish, two-faced personality suits you quite well. The fact that you still have a job is also a massive failure by your department’s leaders as well. I’d be ashamed of being such push-overs who refuse to support good people if I were them. Quite ashamed.

I don’t think you could calm down enough and become a happy, tolerable person if you were to do yoga in a hot spring while high on ecstasy. Daily. For the rest of your life. Just wouldn’t happen. I haven’t met a single person working under you or who has worked under you who doesn’t loath the way you treat people. Your job doesn’t matter AT ALL. Get over it, relax and start treating people with a shred of respect. Chances are, you’ll improve a lot of lives. Possibly even your own. I do have a suspicion that you’re a sociopath though. Especially now, after seeing your reaction to you-know-who’s hospital visit. If that is the case, this was futile. May I suggest some acting classes? You’re not very good at pretending to be a complete, emotional, sincere human being.

You win a lot of awards in my book. Best at being a chauvinist. Least likely to realize he’s about to walk into someone. Just another sign that shows how inconsiderate and egocentric you are. Or, if you do realize you’re plowing through people… well, I won’t get into that… Best at ruining the entire meat department vicinity by blasting terrible music. Do you ever think about the people around you? By the way, how did you manage to spit on the back hallway’s floor with your head so far up your ass? I guess I can at least forgive you for never learning employee’s names because of that. It’s probably difficult to hear up there.

For the love of god, learn to respect women. You have no idea how insulting and aggravating it is to be around someone who is so condescending to all the women you work with. Stop calling them “mamma” don’t refer to them as “beautiful”… for christs sake, just keep all pet names off the table. You are NOT complimenting women, you are being open about not knowing knowing their names, and lazy enough to not read a name-tag. Lazy, or you are just that self centered? You have no clue. Take notice of people around you. If you are dumping work on them without real communication we are going to think you are a dick. Take the holiday table for example. You have nothing to do with it, take credit for it and can barely remember the people who run it so smoothly. Who do you think you are?

You confuse the hell out of me. Sometimes you seem like a reasonable person and then sometimes you refuse to support your employees and in some cases even treat them quite terribly. Unfortunately, you’ve been hanging out mostly in Terrible Person territory lately. You’re not welcome there! [REDACTED] owns it. You show little to no support for your team members and turn everything into a boy’s club. You rant and bitch and moan to the wrong people, because it always get back to the people you rant and bitch and moan about. Quit rolling your eyes and let people speak. You might actually like and understand more of your employees this way. Respect your employees and the precious time that they are giving up to work for you. Perhaps take some time yourself and relearn the core values you are supposed to hold so dear. Stop taking your personal life out on everyone and have some compassion for the team members you disregard so much.

Your dot idea was a really, really stupid idea. Try to learn how an operation works before trying to “fix” it. All of your suggestions so far have been outdated, time consuming, poorly thought out nonsense. You aren’t impressing anyone or increasing your chances of moving up in the company with these terrible attempts at seeming proactive and full of “ideas.” You’re just frustrating to work with. Also, I think you should stand a little further back from people when you talk to them.

We get it, we get it. You go to the gym. Nobody is impressed. In fact we all just laugh at your inferiority complex.

Stop being such a cowardly weiner, hiding behind your emails and that awful hallway grin. Try communicating with people under you. Face to face when it’s possible. If you’re overworked you need help. Especially if your lack of time is affecting other people’s jobs and the store/company.

Dear [REDACTED]/[REDACTED]/Anyone else who visits our store,
Do you guys realize that the store NEVER looks as good as it does when you arrive? When word spreads that you’re coming to inspect the store almost every team leader begins running around like Brampton teens on PCP. They whip their employees into a frenzy. They sweep anything under the bed that they think you won’t like. They attempt to make the store look like nobody ever shops there. This stops us and them from doing actual productive work which in turn impacts sales and creates a lot of pointless stress. Then you arrive, hand out your almighty advice. The team leaders grovel at your feet and follow your advice. Then you leave and they put everything back the way it was. Undo a lot of what you suggested. Oh, I’m sure there are things happening that I don’t see. But you really do waste a lot of time. Even making our efforts regressive sometimes. Meanwhile, if I’m awesomely efficient at my job and take a moment to chat with a fellow employee, I’m bitched at. Seems to me a costly double standard.

Consider checking some of the “stats” and “facts” used in your in store education. They’re often faulty logic, myths, misconceptions and lies used by so-called “environmentalists”. I agree we’re currently destroying our environment and I’m quite liberal and all for natural living. But evidence and credible sources very often disagree with the propaganda spouted to us at Whole Foods. It’s just a little too extreme and biased sometimes which I believe just discredits the environmentalist movement in general, sadly.

Dear everyone else,
As I’ve said above a few times: you work at a grocery store. Go ahead and relax. Also, Whole Foods will try to make you feel like they are doing you a huge favour by employing you. It’s really a mutual agreement or transaction. Don’t fall for the guilt trips. Call in sick if you need to, etc.. There are laws in place to stop them from taking advantage of you. And if you’re thinking “This is just the way it is. Suck it up!”. You’re the biggest part of the problem. I’m afraid we can’t be friends.

Just enjoy life. It’s pretty short, you know?

Good luck,

The Magic Of The Carousel

It must be amazing to ride on a carousel from the perspective of a 2-year-old. Heck, I’m pretty much a full-grown adult and I find it really stimulating and charming! It’s kind of like stepping back into a by-gone era.

I love Craigslist!


Date: 2011-07-18, 8:26AM MDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]


I am looking for anyone who has rhubarb growing in their yard and they are not going to use it. I would love to have it. I would come and cut it. I make a great sauce for meat with it and would give you some of the sauce in exchange for your rhubarb. Thank you so much. Let me know.

  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 2491762550


I’m back on the jogging bandwagon. Well for 2 days now. I sure wish somebody would pay me $1000 dollars a kilometre. Right now I can comfortably do 5k at a pretty good pace, but I think monetary motivation would have me up to 20k in no time!

I was really impressed that my Amanda ran the 10k Vancouver Sun Run this weekend. The boys and I were waiting for her at the finish line when she arrived. It was great to see so many thousands of people so jubilant to finish. It reminded me of being in Boston and watching the marathon at the 25th mile marker. It was truly amazing to see all the runners bearing down for that last mile.

Looking back to Boston, what I remember the most was that the spectators were so amazingly supportive to those that were needing a little, or a lot of encouragement as they made their way towards the finish line. A friendly crowd too. Towards the end of the marathon, a group of people walked by and asked me if I wanted to watch the rest of the race from their balcony. So I did.

9 Questions with Tim Readman

Name: Tim Readman [pronounced Redman ;-)]

Birthplace: Seaham, County Durham, England

Currently residing: Vancouver BC (East Side)

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence:

First paid gig at 15 years old in the brutal working men’s club circuit back home, then on the North-Eastern English folk club scene, then Hawkwind-style space rock then prog-folk and on to new-wave then up to Newcastle upon Tyne for northern soul/ska and political world pop and a quick burst with 80’s hitmakers The Kane Gang…to Vancouver BC all sorts of music including funk and dance leading me back to folk roots and Celtic/folk …Got Fear of Drinking twice in my beloved East Side haunts on Main Street…played with The Arrogant Worms…did some producing…released 2 CDs of songs about Newcastle United Football Club …Artistic Director at Vancouver CelticFest…writer for Penguin Eggs…recorded a few Beatles tribute songs and now on to 2 theme songs for Geordie charity runner Mark Allison’s historic sponsored run which will take him across the whole of the USA in 2011…with a bit of other random shit in between for good measure.


1.  Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

The Beatles, Steely Dan, Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Iris Dement, Bjork, Bob Fox, Jez Lowe, Vin Garbutt, Chick Corea and Return to Forever , Mahavishnu Orchestra, Chumbawamba (Acoustic), Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Elvis Costello, Free, Frank Zappa, Lunasa, Gentle Giant, Gil Scott Heron, Lindisfarne, Liz Carroll and John Doyle, Los Lobos, Massive Attack, Madonna, Was Not Was, The Streets, The Unthanks, Led Zeppelin, Sandy Denny, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, Wishbone Ash, Hatfield and the North…it goes on forever!

2.  Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

The Blaydon Races – by Geordie Ridley – The National Anthem of the Geordie Nation

3.  How would you describe your perfect day?

Newcastle United 5 Sunderland 0

4.  What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

Not drinking them under the table and then keeping them up all night anymore

5.  What is your most valued material possession?

My Larivée acoustic guitar

6.  Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

The devil at the crossroads

7.  If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?

St. James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne (when we are 5-0 up against Sunderland)

8. Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

Co-write songs with rich and famous pop stars

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

In my own private box with my rich and famous pop star friends at St. James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne (when we are 5-0 up against Sunderland)

Yesterday’s Experiment

I love the concept of putting something on the curb to see if someone picks it up. The boulevard is the last hope for old fridges, couches and bikes before they hit the landfill.

I watched for a little while and I noticed a small percentage of the cars passing by were hitting their brakes to take a quick gander before driving on by probably thinking “Wow! I miss 1976!”

I do think that if that love seat could talk it would be saying how much fun it’s had comforting the posteriors of all the friends and family who have stopped by the homestead over the years.

Or how fresh the air is in the great outdoors…

This Confirms It, I AM NOT Moving To Calgary

Not that I was planning to, but you get my point.

Calgary cafés hit by coffee price hikes

CBC News
Local coffee shops are struggling to keep java prices down as South American crops are hit with bad weather. The price of coffee has more than doubled in the last year, said Canterbury Coffee sales manager Gord Chester.

“And that’s just not good for coffee-bar owners, and it’s not good for us to be telling people, ‘We gotta raise prices,'” said Chester. “But unfortunately there’s such a supply drought right now of high-grade arabicas, this is the byproduct of it.”

“As supply shrinks or as there’s problems in the world like they had in Brazil this year … typically, the price goes up.”

David Hockey, owner of the independent Kensington café Higher Ground, has increased his prices twice in the last six months, so he decided to get proactive.

“Recently I just locked in my coffee [supply] prices for the next year because we’re anticipating even more increases,” he said.


Rainbows, Garbanzo Beans & A Twinkling Science World

I think this is the first rainbow I’ve seen since we’ve been living in this apartment. It reminds me of how amazing the view is from way up here.

One thing that cannot be denied when I look out the window is the abundance of cranes. Everyone wants to live in Vancouver it seems. I can’t really complain about the changing urban landscape as I live in a recently built building, I just hope that as Vancouver moves towards higher density structures, the charm of the neighbourhood isn’t completely destroyed. Can you trust city hall to make the right decision with all the political forces that must be at play?

There is a proposal for a 26 story high-rise right at the corner of Main & Broadway. It will dwarf the 8 floor brick building across the street that was built in 1912. We’ll see what happens.

On this day I cooked Garbanzo beans for the first time.

I normally use the canned variety but this way is much cheaper, there is no added sodium and there are no cans to recycle! Just doing my part to make the world a better place for future generations…

I am lamenting that our view of the ever-twinkling Science World will most surely be mostly obscured depending on how high up this new building continues to climb upwards.

Yes! The perfect opportunity to quote Cat Stevens from his classic Where Do The Children Play, from the album Tea For The Tillerman:

Well you’ve cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air
But will you keep on building higher till there’s no more room up there?

I listened to this album over and over again one summer on my Sony Walkman cassette recorder while I was painting a house for someone. They wanted their house painted pink for some reason. It looked OK when it was done even though I didn’t stir the paint well enough. The colour got lighter and lighter as I painted upwards as the stir stick I had wasn’t long enough to get to the bottom of the 5 gallon pails. I probably should have been listening to this classic album from The Band:

While sometimes it seems that life is standing still, there’s certainly a lot going on over here in Mount Pleasant. Things are good right now, and hopefully will be the same or better in the future but they will most certainly be different. I can’t help but think that by the time our view of Science World is obscured, some life changing events will have transpired.

When In East Vancouver Stay @ The Hotel Yorba

Facebook Check-ins.

Annoying and intriguing, creepy and fascinating all at the same time. Let me get this straight, you can post online for everyone to see where you happen to be? At any given moment? Facebook lets you call your location whatever you want: so and so is @ Home, Mom & Dads, Under A Rock, A Crossroads…

My new favourite song to play with The Clumsy Lovers is Hotel Yorba by the White Stripes. Our bass player Chris suggested we try it at practice and add some fiddle and banjo tunes afterwards. It sounded a bit rough at first, but it’s coming along. I imagine we will try it at our shows this weekend in Moscow, Idaho or Spokane. So I created a Facebook Check-in at The Hotel Yorba. Why? Not entirely sure…I’ll discuss it with Dr. Phil when I see him next Tuesday.

You can check-in to if you want, but I’ve heard The Hotel California has a nicer pool. But you can never leave! Not that you would ever want to…

The Hotel Yorba

A little piece of Detroit in the heart of Mount Pleasant!

This Is Difficult To Even Remotely Comprehend…

Vancouver sure is a big city!

Milky Way home to 50 billion planets: NASA

The Associated Press

Scientists have estimated the first cosmic census of planets in our galaxy and the numbers are astronomical: at least 50 billion planets call the Milky Way home.

At least 500 million of those planets are in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold zone where life could exist. The numbers were extrapolated from the early results of NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope.

William Borucki, who heads the Kepler project, says scientists took the number of planets they found in the first year of searching a small part of the night sky and then estimated how likely stars were to have planets. Kepler spots planets as they pass between the star they orbit and Earth.

So far Kepler has found 1,235 candidate planets, with 54 in the zone where life could possibly exist. Kepler’s main mission is not to examine individual worlds, but to give astronomers a sense of how many planets, especially potentially habitable ones, there are likely to be in our galaxy. They would use the one-400th of the night sky that Kepler is looking at and extrapolate from there.

Habitable zone

Borucki and colleagues figured one of two stars has planets and one of 200 stars has planets in the habitable zone, announcing these ratios Saturday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Washington.

And that’s a minimum because these stars can have more than one planet and Kepler has yet to get a long enough glimpse to see planets that are farther out from the star, such as Earth, Borucki said.

For example, if Kepler were 1,000 light years from Earth and looking at our sun and noticed Venus passing by, there’s only a 12 per cent chance Earth would also be seen, astronomers said.

To get the estimate for the total number of planets, scientists then took the frequency observed already and applied it to the number of stars in the Milky Way.

For many years scientists figured there were 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, but last year a Yale scientist figured the number was closer to 300 billion stars.

Either way it shows that Carl Sagan was right when he talked of billions and billions of worlds, said retired NASA astronomer Steve Maran, who praised the research but wasn’t part of it.

Scientists estimate there are 100 billion galaxies.


I wonder if ol’ Wolfgang ever thought that his music would be still be loved centuries later.

Or how it would be listened to in the year 2011…

Shifting Mediums

A family friend bought the little guy a cassette recorder.
Levi was loving pressing play and rocking out, but after a couple of minutes he went to the shelf where we have our last few remaining cd’s and grabbed one. I think it was “How To Learn Spanish.”
Didn’t fit.
Eventually went back to the Raffi cassette. At full volume!
He’ll probably try jamming in a flash drive tomorrow while he’s waiting for a viable alternative to legally stream online here in Canada.
Is it just me, or is the technology around here changing quickly?

The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

We heard this song in the apartment earlier today.

It really makes me happy when I see Levi, and now baby Travis hearing an iconic song for the first time. All these songs are so ingrained in our subconscious memory, but it’s hard to remember the first time we heard Get Back, Smoke On The Water, Dust In The Wind, Stairway To….

It made me kind of sad this evening when I saw this article on the CBC website:

CBC News

Terry Clements, a Detroit native who played guitar for Gordon Lightfoot for 40 years, has died. He was 63.

Clements died on Sunday, 10 days after suffering a stroke. A posting on Lightfoot’s official website acknowledged Clements as “an integral part of the signature Lightfoot sound.”

He plays the haunting guitar solo on The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and is a dexterous guitar picker onCarefree Highway. The two created more than 15 albums together.

They met in 1970 while Clements was working on the soundtrack to an early Burt Reynolds movie. When Lightfoot’s then-partner Red Shea wanted to get off the road, Lightfoot called Clements to ask him to join the band. He eventually accepted and the two played together since 1971.

“He was always so creative, yet never repetitive, his style inhabiting the music, never seeming to be added on as an afterthought, but instead always feeling like a part of the fabric of the song,” said a tribute on Lightfoot’s website.

Clements was born in Detroit and grew up in California, before joining the navy, where he hurt his hand. He always played with a flat pick and his ring finger.

In the 1960s he wrote and arranged songs for a group called Golden Sunflower, managed by Lou Adler, who also steered the careers of the Mamas & the Papas and Carole King.

He then got into working on film scores, where he met Lightfoot.

“Gord is personable and more down to earth than a lot of people I’ve been around, people who believe their own hype and have heads the size of watermelons,” said Clements. “Gord doesn’t have many airs about him. I guess to be in the business this long, you have some sense of decorum.”

He said Lightfoot often left it to him to hit on the right sound for a song.

“If Gord has specific idea, he’ll tell me. Otherwise, it’s, ‘Come up with something,'” Clements said.

Mr. Rogers (Not Related By The Way)

Friday night! Party time! It’s getting crazy around here!

“Say, I have an idea: Let’s eat popcorn and watch YouTube videos as a family before we play Twister!” Mr. Rogers took top honours tonight. (Great name by the way) Ok, it was a three-way tie with Polka Dot Door and the intro to The Friendly Giant…but I liked this one the best!


Don’t Worry, Bee Happy!

This was Amanda’s birthday gift from the boys and I. We all love it and it does seem to have magical happy powers!

Promo Material:

“Don’t worry, bee happy!  Our team of world-class scientists have achieved the impossible… guaranteed happiness!  Our Bee Happy Solar Dancing Flower just needs a little sunlight to become a dancing machine. Have some good, clean, solar-powered fun.  Pollen-free, portable and requires no extra care to keep it alive!”

Search Engines

It’s fun to check the WordPress statistics on my tiny little blog to see how random people arrived at my site. Today these terms brought people based on previous entires that I have written:


farsighted eye chart
dippity doo gel
how to type with only one hand


I wonder what the archeologists of the future will think about our society when they dig up our digital records!

Levi @ The Ducks

"I Wonder What I Should Do With This Bag Of Birdseed?"
"I Seem To Be Surrounded..."


Mom & Grandma Are Curious


"Good Thing A Tall Guy Came Along And Picked Me Up!"

"Feeding The Ducks Makes Me Sleepy..."

Observing The Process

It’s been really fun observing Levi’s fascination with the harmonica. I guess he’s been playing for about 2 months or so. It’s the perfect instrument for a toddler really as all you need to do is breathe in and out to create a melody. I usually play “Oh Susanna” before I hand it over to him. When the day comes that he can play it back to me, my work will be done and Amanda and I can retire to the Bahamas.


"Lil Mississippi" On The Harp



Too Tired To Take The Wheel

After a long day of running around chasing after a toddler, Dad can get a little tired. It was only a half-hour drive back into the city tonight so I just curled up in the backseat and took a nap. Woke up feeling über refreshed!


Levi At The Wheel





We’ve designated February as “practice month.” We are working on plenty of new tunes, medley’s, frenetic fiddle parts, banjo breakdowns, tear-jerkers, shanties & singalongs…at a practice space here in Vancouver. Looking forward to playing new material in the spring!

Is It Really The Year Of The Rabbit Again?

Boy, that was a quick 12 years.

Walked down to Chinatown in the rain with the family today and caught the tail end of the parade.

It was so cool to see so many people participating and celebrating such a rich culture.

Amidst all of the clanging of cymbals and crackling of firecrackers someone remained firmly in dreamland…

He must have been having some pretty cool dreams.

Chanterelle Ma Belle, Sont Des Mots Qui Vont Très Bien Ensemble

One of the nice things about living near a forest is that you can go off in search of edible mushrooms. The crown jewel in the mushroom category seems to be the chanterelle. They are really expensive to buy fresh in the store so if you like mushrooms, why not spend the afternoon in nature trying to find some?

We picked a few pounds of mushrooms on the Sunshine Coast last year and dried some of them for future use.

Amanda had a hankering for what the restaurants on Main Street like to call “comfort food” so we made mashed potatoes and vegan chanterelle mushroom gravy. That would look good on a menu somewhere.

The end result was quite tasty.

To quote Sir Paul McCartney:

I love you, I love you, I love you

That’s all I want to say

Give it a listen substituting Chanterelle every time Paul sings Michelle.

It’s really fun!


Levi loves to say “bye-bye” to everyone and everything lately. Every night he waves “bye-bye” to the water running down the drain after his bath for example. The other day he went into the spare room and flipped on the old school 10 inch TV. He scrolled up the channels to the closed circuit security channel in our building, sat back and waited for people to exit just to say “bye-bye.” It’s a virtual world we live in…

Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?

They wouldn’t have had to worry about getting caught back in the 16th century…

In Text Messages, Signs of a Rigged Sumo Fight

New York Times

TOKYO — It was a sumo bout like any other: two wrestlers grappled at each other at the ring’s edge, before one sent his opponent tumbling to the dirt in a move known as the over-arm throw.

Hanaregoma, chairman of the Japan Sumo Association, apologized at a news conference on Wednesday as new allegations of fight-rigging emerged.

But a text message exchange between the two wrestlers the previous day suggests that the match was rigged — part of a raft of evidence examined by the police that points to widespread match-fixing in Japan’s time-honored sport, prompting a public outcry.

“Please hit hard at the face-off, then go with the flow,” one of the wrestlers, Kiyoseumi, texted on the afternoon of May 10, according to a transcript of the messages leaked to local news media and published this week by the daily newspaper Mainichi.

“Understood,” Kasuganishiki, his opponent in the following day’s match, quickly replied. “I’ll go with the flow and put up at least a little resistance.”

Stage-managed bouts may be a staple of American professional wrestling, but sumo is Japan’s national sport, in a different league from World Wrestling Entertainment, many Japanese would say. Though allegations of match-fixing have accompanied sumo for decades, no wrestler has ever been caught orchestrating a match.

The police recently found text messages on confiscated cellphones that link as many as 13 wrestlers in match-fixing schemes, Japan’s sumo association said this week. Two wrestlers and a coach have admitted to fixing bouts.

“It is as if the heavens and the earth have been turned upside down,” said Hanaregoma, chairman of the Japan Sumo Association, who in the sumo tradition uses only one name. “I am very sorry.”

The scandal has outraged a public that considers sumo — which traces its origins to rituals of Japan’s indigenous religion of Shinto — a venerable tradition. Wrestlers, their hair in samurai-style topknots, have been seen not just as athletes, but as upholders of a stoic work ethic and noble public behavior.





Music @ The Biltmore

The other night I opened my apartment door, walked a dozen paces to the elevator and pushed a button that took me down to the lobby. I then walked another dozen paces to the front of the building where I met up with old friend Conrad. Together we walked another hundred paces. No we were not following a sunken treasure map, we were heading out to see music at The Biltmore Cabaret. Did I tell you we live close to there?

Having a popular bar nearby can get a little loud at closing time, but I think it brings a lot of vitality to the block. Especially a live music venue that brings in a lot of great music.

I had heard about the show a few days earlier when I bumped into a musician friend at the neighbourhood play gym. (The children were playing, not us.) First up was his band Maria In The Shower. They were very entertaining, and demonstrated a mastery of their instruments along with some great vocalizing.

On second was a duo who were celebrating the release of their new CD. I can’t remember their name and right now don’t feel like looking for it. Both children are under my care and are currently sleeping but may awaken at any time…

They sounded good but after such a high energy opener things felt a little too subdued. They did have some talented guests on auxiliary instruments but perhaps they should have gone first. Earlier crowds are normally more comfortable with the “sit down and be quiet” thing. Sure it’s their CD release party but does anyone really care about a new CD anymore? I think it all comes down to what makes for the best evening out for a patron that has a lot of other options as to where to spend their time and entertainment dollar. Perhaps you will recognize them from the picture and look online to purchase their new recording.

To close the show was the always charming and entertaining Carolyn Mark! She was playing with a full band and had local luminaries Paul Rigby and Ford Pier sitting in. Paul’s link is him playing with Neko Case on Letterman. Ford’s is his website. A beautiful homepage for sure, but it’s one of those pages where you need to randomly click on an image to get the information to pop up.  Yes, it looks artistic but it takes time for people to find the info they are looking for: Bio, Gigs, Photos…etc..

In todays world it seems the online masses are likely to click away if it takes longer than 5 seconds to find something or a page is slow to load. But I guess only a fan or interested music buff would actually take the time to type in the domain or follow the link, so they might be willing to wait or wallow through it. I’m not saying the new online paradigm is my cup of tea, but we are living in a WordPress world where web design is simple and easy to navigate.

Getting back to the music, the overall sound was a little loose but in a good way. Carolyn sang a song about playing a show or having a party where no one came and unfortunately it was appropriate. Most people had left by the time they got on to play. Believe me, after playing a couple of thousand shows all over North America with my band, I know what that feels like. Somewhat deflating. But they kept the energy level high and I really enjoyed the set.

Vegan December Update

All in all there is nothing much to report.

I had a few cravings for cheese.

I ate a lot of homemade hummus and a little peanut butter instead.

I lost about ten pounds.

Mid-January, Amanda suggested that I maintain my nearly vegan lifestyle at home but why not indulge in a little dairy now and again if I feel like it when I go out.

Sounds good to me.

Distant Memories~ Galiano Island

A long time ago when I was still eating fish, I went over to Galiano Island on my bike bringing along nothing but a can of tuna. I rode around all day exploring, eventually falling asleep on the beach in my clothes. I remember a bunch of raccoons woke me up in the middle of the night. The next morning I got up and took the ferry back to Vancouver. It was therapeutic.

This Land Is Their Land

Can you imagine owning this much space? I comfortably utilize 730 square feet in Vancouver with my family of four. If my calculator is correct, this guy is now going to have to get by with a paltry 91 476 000 000 square feet of land.

Tiny. Tiny. Tiny.

He can have the 30 square feet we rarely use if he starts feeling claustrophobic sometime down the road.

The New York Times

John C. Malone, a media mogul who is on the verge of buying nearly one million acres of timberland in Maine, could soon become the largest private landowner in the United States, catapulting him ahead of Ted Turner on the list of those who accumulate earth the way others accumulate, say, bison.

The Flying D Green Ranch near Bozeman, Mont., accounts for part of Ted Turner’s domestic land holdings.

Mr. Malone, who lives in Colorado, is chairman of Liberty Media and has extensive holdings in QVC, the cable channel;, the travel Web site; and Sirius XM satellite radio. Liberty Media also owns the Atlanta Braves, which Mr. Turner once owned. Last year, Forbes ranked Mr. Malone as the 110th richest person in America, and though he has been an aggressive media player for decades, he has operated largely out of the limelight.

He intends to keep the land as a working forest, aides said, and will continue to supply timber to local paper mills and keep the land open to the public for recreation. Environmentalists are “cautiously optimistic” that Mr. Malone will not develop the land, said Cathy Johnson of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Mr. Malone owns various parcels of land around the country, including more than 68,000 undeveloped acres in Maine and the 290,000-acre Bell Ranch in New Mexico. Once he buys roughly 980,000 acres in Maine’s North Woods and about 20,000 acres in neighboring New Hampshire, under a deal to be completed by Tuesday, he will own 2.1 million acres nationwide.

Mr. Turner, who is a longtime friend of Mr. Malone’s, owns about 2 million acres in the United States, much of it ranch land, and he also owns about 100,000 acres in Argentina. He raises more than 50,000 head of bison across his various ranches and has long reined as America’s No. 1 land holder.

“The odds are, when the tabulations are done and this transaction closes, Mr. Malone definitely will be America’s largest landowner,” said Eric O’Keefe, editor of The Land Report, a magazine that keeps track of such things.

When Things Get Quiet…

It’s time to check on the little ones…


Lo And Behold The Laundry Basket Somehow Emptied Itself. So Levi Made Himself At Home.


Anyone Want To Help Put The Clothes Back?
Job Well Done!





Compilation CD

The band has been on a lot of compilation CD’s over the years, but not as many lately as we’ve been taking things a lot slower. So it was nice to see we are going to be on a recording put together by The Milwaukee Irish Fest. We’ve played there several times in the past and it is huge! Just ask Wikipedia: “Irish Fest is the largest celebration of Irish music and culture in the world.”

We’ve met a lot of great people in Wisconsin over the years so it will be nice to be going back this summer!


Red Hot Chilli Pipers Crooked Bridge
Screaming Orphans Liar
More Power to Your Elbow Beautiful Bundoran
The Clumsy Lovers Waterbound
Peatbog Faeries The Anthropologist
Slainte Mhath Ox
Brother Take You Back
Seven Nations Infinity
Bad Haggis Rocky Road to Dublin
Seanchai & the Unity Squad Irish Catholic Boy
Kila On Taobhe Tuathail Amach
Black 47 w/Eileen Ivers San Patricio Brigade
Young Dubliners Waxies Dargle
The Prodigals The Sailors Return
Hothouse Flowers Your Love Goes On
Rawlins Cross Long Night
Scythian Technoccordion
Enter the Haggis One Last Drink

Darn~ I Think I’m Farsighted!

I first noticed things appearing blurry close-up about a year ago when I started doing the “old man giving a wedding speech who needs to almost extend his arms fully to clearly read the type manoeuver” when reading the paper.

Small print on things such as raisin boxes and shampoo bottles (who reads shampoo bottles? Hasn’t it always been lather, rinse, repeat?) were blurry unless I held them under a bright light at the right distance.

Farsightedness (hyperopia)A common vision condition in which you can see distant objects clearly, but objects nearby may be blurry.

According to my trusted sources,  (ok- the internet) this condition affects one in four people, is easily corrected and my faraway vision will still be perfect! Or  pretty close to perfect as far as I know…

Anyone have an eye-chart I can borrow so I can officially confirm?

Like several thousand people on the planet, I’ve always mixed up near and farsightedness. I think it’s a common phenomenon that one doesn’t really pay attention to the myriad of ailments and conditions out there until they affect oneself or a loved one. I’ve always mixed up nuclear fission/fusion and Laurel and Hardy too but that’s a different story…

I temporarily confirmed my self-diagnosis of farsightedness a few weeks ago when playing music with a couple of friends. While I was straining to look at a lyric sheet, Gibson strummer David reached into his pocket and pulled out some reading glasses. I tried them on and everything was sadly, chrystal clear.

It blows my mind to think that if I was a caveman living a million years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to properly enjoy “The Sun Also Rises” by firelight in a cave at a close distance as to the best of my knowledge, K-Mart was still on the fence as to whether or not they were going to stock reading glasses. They eventually caved-in about 400, 000 years ago. Wikipedia

Here’s to looking distinguished!

A Big Tub Of Gel

Certain items generally come in small containers, therefore the common convention is to limit the application or consumption of the material in question. For example, Dijon mustard, saffron, caviar, (although I have no interest in trying it) and of course hair gel. Unless my hair is really short, I need to apply more than the dime sized portion recommended by hair stylists. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to plunk down a meagre $4 dollars to purchase this mammoth sized container outside of Seattle last weekend.  I require about a half a handful after a shower or I end up looking like one of my old professors. But maybe looking like “this” isn’t such a bad thing. And I would save $4 dollars a week…

I’d Like To Be

Under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade
He'd let us in, knows where we've been
In his octopus's garden in the shade

I'd ask my friends to come and see
An octopus's garden with me
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade

We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus's garden near a cave

We would sing and dance around
Because we know we can't be found
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade

We would shout and swim about
The coral that lies beneath the waves
(Lies beneath the ocean waves)
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
Knowing they're happy and they're safe
(Happy and they're safe)

We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden with you
In an octopus's garden with you
In an octopus's garden with you

Wow! What A Massive Undertaking! And Good For The Planet Too!

Solar Power Rocks!

So cool to see that we as Canadians have gotten our priorities right for a change. By the look of these gigantic objects on the move that shut down the streets of Canada’s biggest metropolis, we will soon be saying hello to the most modern of the newest of  technologies! I’m guessing solar power? Satellite technology? Wind turbines? Wait a second…

The Canadian Press
A kilometre-long convoy of beer vats is on the move, shutting down roads and downing hydro and cable lines in its path.

Massive vats that can hold six million bottles of beer are being hauled from Hamilton Harbour to a Molson Coors facility near Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

The trip, which is expected to take four nights, began Friday night as the vats — loaded on six flatbed trailers — were slowly pulled out of the docks by transport trucks.

The beer vats are huge — 45 metres long, eight metres high and more than seven metres wide.

The company in charge of their transport says planning the journey has been no easy task.

Challenger Motor Freight Inc. has worked with 70 different organizations in planning the route.

Challenger had to plan a route that would avoid overpasses and then coordinate with police forces to close intersections, raise or cut hydro and cable wires to get the vats through, steer trucks by remote control through tight areas and remove metal poles then weld them back in place.

Sarah Sheehan, a spokeswoman for Challenger, said power, phone and cable outages are expected to last about half an hour.

The 40-vehicle convoy, which includes some 20 police cruisers, will wind its way through Burlington, Halton Region, Oakville, Milton, Peel Region, Mississauga, Brampton and York Region before arriving at its destination on Tuesday morning.

Challenger’s Frank DeVries said Friday night that he expects a lot of people will come out to see the convoy.

“It’s not every day something like this rolls through town,” said DeVries.

Today’s New Mothers

While there are dozens of different brands to choose from, I knew I needed to have the Snugli baby carrier when I went to their website and found the following: “Today’s new mothers need convenience and versatility to keep up with busy schedules and endless errands.”

It’s awkward to take on and off and not really that comfortable but the baby seems to like it and it gets us out and about and where we need to get to so thank you Snugli corporation!


A new mother

White Christmas At The Stanley Theatre

What kind of saintly friend drives an hour into the city in holiday traffic to look after two little boys on Christmas eve so Mom & Dad can enjoy a Christmas classic for a couple of hours? None other than the talented and warmhearted Aunt Rebecca!

The Stanley Theatre is an awesome old school theatre that’s been a fixture on Granville Street since 1930. I drove faster than usual to get there on time utilizing quick acceleration to arrive quickly at the speed limit. Oil producing nations recommend jack-rabbit starts by the way.

We miraculously found a free parking spot just off of busy South Granville, managed to wriggle past some people who really wanted to sell us a Christmas wreath, took a quick picture and made it inside to our seats with ten minutes to spare.

I guess you could say we were in the cheap seats beside the orchestra pit but who can quibble about sitting in the second row at any event? OK, maybe the running of the bulls in Pamplona…

But to be that close to such a talented cast was incredible. It was almost better than watching TV in high-definition if you can believe it. That’s how realistic they all looked!

I really got caught up in the story and I truly felt the spirit of Christmas.  I’ve been wanting to feel that Christmas feeling as much as possible this December. Happy to report that it’s happened several times. It was nice to immerse myself in a story without any distractions. But truth be told, I was thinking about the boys most of the time. Thinking about how nice it will be to see them find their passion, whether it be music, acting, chasing bulls in Pamplona or whatever.

Watching those actors singing so beautifully and dancing so incredibly, all the while I was imagining them as little children taking their first steps, learning to ride a bike, roasting their first marshmallows yet somehow eventually finding themselves onstage at The Stanley Theatre tap dancing on a grand piano? Excited to see what the future holds for Levi and lil’ Travis…

Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire

We went downtown today to pick up a few Christmas gifts. For some unseasonable reason we spent most of the time trying to find me a pair of pants, but that’s not the point…

Amanda stopped on Granville Street and picked up some roasted chestnuts from a vendor. I had never tried them before. They were actually pretty tasty and are apparently nutritious. When we got home, we put on the seasonal fireplace CD that we got at the Kingsgate mall for $1.99. All of a sudden it felt like Christmas~A Kingsway Christmas!

One Day I WILL Own A Collector Car!

Dare to dream…


Spotted Today In A Parking Lot
The Beauty & The Splendour



Check that~ according to the criteria listed here I’ve owned 7 or 8 already…

Collector vehicles

Collector plates are special licence plates that show your vehicle is a real classic—while letting you save money on insurance too!

To qualify, your vehicle must be

  • at least 25 years old, or
  • at least 15 years old and a limited-production model (1500 or fewer manufactured that model year), or
  • at least 15 years old, with no vehicles of any kind built by its manufacturer for at least five years.




Penny For Your Thoughts?

Not for very long in Canada it seems…

Nickel for your thoughts?

Penny should be scrapped: Senate panel

Canadians are hoarding the coins, not spending them

CBC News
The Senate finance committee is considering getting rid of the penny because it costs more to mint than it's worth. The Senate finance committee is considering getting rid of the penny because it costs more to mint than it’s worth. (Timothy Neesam/CBC)The Senate finance committee is recommending that the federal government remove the penny from circulation and that guidelines be established for rounding off purchase prices for cash-only transactions.

The committee also recommends that production of the penny for circulation cease “as soon as practicable” with 12 months notice, until the copper is no longer considered legal tender.

Canadians’ emotional attachment to coppers gathering dust in their jars, cars, pockets and cans “far outweighs their value,” said Senator Richard Neufeld, the committee’s deputy chair.

“The fact is, the penny is not much use anymore,” Neufield told reporters on Tuesday in Ottawa.

The report also recommends that the Bank of Canada continue to redeem pennies indefinitely, while banks could choose how long they’d redeem the one-cent pieces.

It also called for the federal government to encourage charitable organizations to implement fundraising campaigns that would assist in removing the penny from circulation.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty thanked the committee for its study of the issue and said the federal government looks forward to “carefully reviewing” its findings and recommendations.

Cost to make a penny: 1.5 cents

The Bank of Canada says the copper-plated coin has lost 95 per cent of its purchasing power since 1908, when it was first produced in Canada.

According to a Royal Canadian Mint survey released in October 2007, 63 per cent of small retailers said they were in favour of getting rid of the penny, citing efficiency as their prime motivation.According to a Royal Canadian Mint survey released in October 2007, 63 per cent of small retailers said they were in favour of getting rid of the penny, citing efficiency as their prime motivation. (iStock)It now costs more to produce the penny — about 1.5 cents each — than the coin’s actual face value, while items that cost a penny 100 years ago now cost 20 cents, the report said.

The Royal Canadian Mint has been forced to sharply increase penny production in recent years as more and more Canadians hoard, rather than spend, their one-cent pieces.

The committee recommended that the mint be allowed to decide whether it is profitable to continue limited production of the one-cent coin for direct sale to collectors.

The senators estimated that hoarding of pennies amounted to 600 coins per person across the country.


Santa’s Breakfast

Us & Santa

Santa’s Breakfast is one of those things that would only be fun with a little one in tow. This year we had two! It’s still vegan December so I had some kind of unidentifiable potato thing and a couple of cups of strong coffee to perk up.

It was a nice surprise to see old friend Shannon Saunders’s leading a fiddle group. They played Christmas carols and some old-time fiddle music.

Shannon's Fiddle Group
Levi & Hat

The Carol Ships In Ladner

We had a great day out in Ladner on Friday. There is so much fun stuff for Levi to explore around the house. Levi discovered the “perfect man” talking doll in dad’s den.

In the early evening we walked downtown to see the carol ships.

The Carol Ships In Ladner

But first there was a parade.

It wouldn’t be a parade without the bagpipes.

It was a great evening. We saw lots of old family and friends. We hung out for a little while at Grandma and Grandpa’s afterwards before we headed back into the city.





Easy Like Sunday Morning

There is something truly different about the way a Sunday feels. Whether one chooses to dedicate the day to football, church or sleeping in after staying out way too late Saturday night is their own personal choice, but most would agree Sunday has its own particular vibe. Quite different from a Monday. Take Lionel Richie’s take on a Sunday for instance:

I’m easy like Sunday morning

That’s why I’m easy
, I’m easy like Sunday morning

Because I’m easy,
 Easy like Sunday morning

Because I’m easy,
 Easy like Sunday morning

Nicely said father of Nicole. I’m guessing he meant relaxed. How’s bout you Kris Kristofferson?


Well I woke up Sunday morning

C              D7                                     G

With no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt


And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad


So I had one more for desert

G                              C

Then I fumbled thru my closet for my clothes

G       Em

And found my cleanest dirty shirt

C                 Am

And I shaved my face & combed my hair

C                 D                 G      C   G

Stumbled down the stairs to meet the day

I’d smoked my brain the night before on cigarettes

And songs that I’d been pickin’

But I lit my first & watched a small kid cussin’

at a can that he was kickin’

Then I crossed the empty street & caught the Sunday

Smell of someone fryin’ chicken

And it took me back to something that I’d lost

Somehow, somewhere along the way

G        G7            C…

On the Sunday morning sidewalks


Wishin’ Lord that I was stoned


‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday


That makes a body feel alone

G7               C

And there’s nothin’ short o’ dyin’


Half as lonesome as the sound


On the sleepin’ city sidewalks


Sunday morning coming down

In the park I saw a daddy, with a laughing little

Girl that he was swinging

And I stopped beside a Sunday school

And listened to the song that they were singing

Then I headed back for home & somewhere

far away a lonely bell was ringing

And it echoed thru the canyons

Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

I included the chords just in case you were inspired to pick up your guitar and sing along! Wrong chords courtesy of the internet unfortunately, so have fun with that one.

On this most recent Sunday, we set off walking to meet Elizabeth and Stephan for brunch and ended up trimming the Christmas tree later with old friends the Heltens. Ten miles or so through the streets of East Vancouver we ambled- Amanda and I and our little guys walking together on a clear sunny December day.

I actually carried Travis, and Levi was mostly asleep in the stroller but we won’t quibble over the details…just picture a family of four walking into the sun.

Travis & Elizabeth
Stephan & Cat Circa 1941
Levi Stressing About The Ten Pounds He's Gained This Year
Levi With Bottle Of Milk As Prop For Photo Shoot
Canadian Gothic
We Passed By A School On The Way To Christmas Tree Trimming
Forgot To Take A Picture Of The Beautiful Tree But Got One Of The Train Track

Loved Levi Coming To The Realization That Uncle Conrad & Dad Own The Same Ol' Guitar
Happy Boy

Me & Karly Down By The Schoolyard

A catchy title when sung to Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, but a more accurate title would be Me And Karly Warkentin & Steven Drake & Dave Devlin Down At The Biltmore Performing Together To Raise Money For Karly’s Walk Across Swaziland…

It was so much fun getting the music together for the show. Super casual but everyone was committed to the songs and to making them sound as good as we could get them sounding. Karly has a beautiful voice and has written some amazing tunes. Steven is super intuitive musically. David has a great vibe and an informed perspective on what serves the song. Not quite sure what I had to offer. All I know is that it was so much fun to just sit back, relax and enjoy the music as it unfolded.

Milk From A Cow

As a kid growing  up, I remember drinking milk from a 5 gallon bucket-still warm from a farmer’s barn. That was a  long time ago and unless someone has hacked my computer post-mortem, I still seem to be doing just fine. I generally lean towards veganism, but stories like this make me wonder if we are applying our collective energy in the right place.

B.C. farm defies court ruling on raw milk

CBC News

Members of a Chilliwack cow collective say a court injunction won't stop them from distributing raw milk.Members of a Chilliwack cow collective say a court injunction won’t stop them from distributing raw milk.(Home On The Range Dairy)Members of a cow-sharing collective in B.C.’s Fraser Valley say they will continue distributing raw milk, despite a court ruling. 

The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled the Home on The Range co-op in Chilliwack is “willfully causing a health hazard” by supplying its members with unpasteurized milk.

The collective was formed to get around a B.C. law prohibiting the sale of raw milk.

The 400 members own shares in 21 cows and pay the operator, Alice Jongerdon, to take care of them.

“The key point is that it’s not in commerce. It’s not for sale, it’s never for sale,” said co-op member Gordon Watson.

“Therefore we got around the idea in the Milk Industry Act [that] if milk is for sale in British Columbia, then the government has oversight over it. And so we just went ahead and took our property home and we paid Alice to look after the cows for us.”

However, the provincial government wants to stop the distribution, saying it’s against the law and dangerous.

“[We have seen] many, many, many, many, many cases of diseases ranging from tuberculosis to Streptococcal poisoning to E. coli, et cetera, associated with the consumption of raw milk,” said provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

But despite the risks of raw milk, Watson thinks the benefits are far greater. He said the pasteurization process kills vital enzymes in the milk.

Watson said he expects the court will order Jongerdon to stop distributing the milk. If that happens, Watson said he will take over distribution himself.

The Letter Of The Law

I guess the law needs to be applied equally to all, but come on…

81-year-old protester loses court appeal

The Canadian Press

Betty Krawczyk talks to reporters before entering B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver in March 2007.Betty Krawczyk talks to reporters before entering B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver in March 2007. (Richard Lam/Canadian Press)B.C.’s Court of Appeal has upheld a 10-month sentence for an 81-year-old environmentalist. 

Betty Krawczyk was convicted of criminal contempt for violating an injunction to stay away from logging crews in West Vancouver as they began work on the Sea-to-Sky Highway expansion in 2006.

Krawczyk, a great-grandmother who has been jailed before for her environmental activism, appealed both her conviction and sentence.

She had already lost the appeal of her conviction, and earlier this year the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the case.

This week, the B.C. Court of Appeal rejected Krawczyk’s sentencing appeal in a unanimous decision, ruling that although the 10-month sentence was high, it wasn’t unreasonable.

Krawczyk refused to be released while her appeals were heard, and has already served her sentence.

Krawczyk’s conviction for blocking the highway, which was being upgraded in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics, was the latest in a string of convictions and jail terms that began with her arrest for blockading logging trucks in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island in the early 1990s.



Ladner Parsnips

My dad picked these this morning from the back garden. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that food isn’t cultivated, nourished and harvested at the local Safeway. For me personally, I like to eat parsnips about as often as I eat Brussels sprouts but I still think it’s cool that seed, soil, sun and water can bring to the table fresh vegetables in the middle of winter.


Hanging Out On The Floor

It’s so much fun to spend time with the little guy. He’s really developing an interest in the world around him. He spends most of his day sleeping, feeding or crying, but the rest of the time he is full of smiles, cute expressions and baby talk.



I Wish Every December 1st Was This Pleasant

Let’s see. What happened…


Walked With Levi To The Library For Music Class


Lo And Behold, We Ran In To My First Babysitter Dee Dee and her Husband Mike. We Invited Them Back To Grandma's House For Tea
They Were Looking After Their Grandson
The Boys Had Fun Playing Together
More Fun



Travis Was Hanging Around So I Took A Few Pics

Prepared Some Potatoes
Vegan Scalloped Potatoes Using Homemade Almond Milk

Played Beautiful Music With These Two Until Midnight In East Vancouver



Vegan December

I quietly tried it for the first time last year. It took a few days to adjust but it really wasn’t that bad. I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time so it was only eggs and dairy that I had to say “so long” to for the month. It ended up being an amazing month for a long list of reasons:

-I set a goal and achieved it.

-I felt slightly kinder to the planet.

-I had extra energy for long walks and being that it was the festive holiday season, we tried to visit as many friends and family as possible.

-As a bonus, I was able to reel in my belt-buckle a notch or three and like Oprah before me, parade around in my “skinny jeans!”

Last year I made it until January 8th. I had a bagel with cream cheese and that opened up the floodgates.

I’ll keep me posted. And you too if you happen to be reading…


We drove down to Seattle yesterday for a show at the Tractor Tavern. We sure do love that place. It’s a great building for sure, but it seems to me and everyone I talk to that it’s the staff, the general vibe of the neighbourhood and most importantly the ghost-like musical echos of the thousands of awesome bands that have graced the stage that makes Dan’s living room special.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been playing there for about a decade already! Where did my 20’s go?…

OK, you caught me fibbin’. To be more accurate what I really meant was that it’s hard to believe we’ve been playing there for about a decade already! Where did my 30’s go? Perhaps I will go looking for them this afternoon…

Tonight the place was packed full of friendly people. The band was firing on all cylinders. Good times ensued. We wanted to rock and roll all night but to quote Leonard Cohen and the equally iconic Semisonic, all of a sudden it was Closing Time. We drove back to Canada after the show arriving home just in time for a tasty breakfast.