Ink & Paper

Saturday, July 10, 2004

What to be cool? Like being a "big man on campus?" Scared you'll end up listening to Anne Murray? Have no friends and want to feel loved? Check out some tracks from my little brother's band sierra here. Now pretend that you are a rock star and groove that air guitar.

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Thursday, July 08, 2004

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." ~~
Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)

New CD Selection for the Beautiful, Pug-Nosed Blazer

1. sierra- self titled
2. The George Bushes- Handsome
3. Sarah Harmer- All of Our Names
4. Tom Waits- Blue Valentine
5. Nick Drake- Way Too Blue
6. Led Zeppelin- II
7. The Tragically Hip- Fully Completely
8. Leonard Cohen- Ten New Songs
9. Radiohead- Hail to the Thief
10. Pepesito Reyes- self titled

I had a nice day today, as nature sent us home early, rain chasing our vehicles down the misty highway, thoughts of Vancouver in my head. Home to a hot pot of coffee, the newspaper, and CKUA. Sometimes the greyest days are the best.

I seem to have repaired the comments section of the blog; however, if problems appear, please email me so I can get everything working. I actually missed your comments, honestly. So do write. I've also updated the links, something I really let slide lately.

I had a dip in the old self-confidence today, thinking of Kuwait and Megan. A dark cloud hung above me for a while, and I suspect it will be more present as the date draws closer. I guess this is how one gets life experience, but it sure isn't fun. I find I am procrastinating on things I need to get done, an avoidance response of sorts. It's just hard sometimes.

I don't really feel like writing anymore today, so here is a poem by Pablo Neruda, my all time favorite poet, as he describes the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s. Read it all the way through and analyze. It's good for you. Take care of those you love....

I'll Explain Some Things
By Pablo Neruda

You'll ask, Where are the lilacs?
And the philosophy dreamy with poppies?
And the rain which kept beating out
Your words, filling them
With water-specks and birds??
I'm going to tell you everything that happened to me.

I lived in a neighborhood
In Madrid with church bells
And clock towers and trees.

From there you could see
The dry face of Castille
Like a sea of leather
My house was called
'The house with the flowers' because around it
Geraniums exploded. It was
A beautiful house
With dogs and kids.

Raul, do you remember?
Frederico, do you still remember
Under the ground?
Do you remember my house with the balconies
Where the June light soaked your mouth with
The taste of flowers?
Brother! Brother!
The market place of Arguelles, my neighborhood
With its statue like a pale inkwell among
The fish stalls.
It was all
Loud voices, salty commerce,
A deep rumble
Of feet and hands filled the streets,
Meters and liters,
The sharp essence of life,
Fish stacked up,
The texture of roofs in the cold sun in which
The weather-vane grows tired.
Fine, crazily carved ivory of potatoes
Lines of tomatoes to the sea.

Then one morning flames
Came out of the ground
Devouring human beings.
From then on fire,
Gunpowder from then on,
From then on blood.
Bandits with airplanes and Moorish troops
Bandits with gold rings and duchesses
Bandits with black monks giving their blessing
Came across the sky to kill children
And through the streets, the blood of children
Ran simply, like children's blood does.

Jackals that a jackal would reject
Stones that a dry thistle would bite and spit out
Vipers that vipers would hate!

I have seen the blood
Of Spain rise up against you
To drown you in a single wave
Of pride and knives!

Look at my dead home
Look at broken Spain -
But from each dead house
Burning metal shoots out
Instead of flowers.
From every shell-hole in Spain
Spain will rise.
From every dead child a rifle with
Eyes will rise.
From every crime bullets will be born
Which will one day find a place
In your hearts.

You ask 'Why doesn't your poetry
Speak to us of dreams and leaves
Of the great volcanoes of your native land?'

See the blood along the streets
Come see
The blood along the streets
Come see the blood
Along the Streets!


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Wednesday, July 07, 2004


CD: sierra
(Self titled EP, 2004)

Aiming for the boy-band market, these playboys swoon and prance in a fashion that harkens back to the glory days of New Kids on the Block. Teeny-boppers, get those wallets out!

Led the by the melodramatic vocals of Jeff "The Sweet One" Archibald, one is instantly swept into a netherlands of syrupy love songs, with such moving lyrics as: "I want to double date with your and your parents," and "Say you'll date me until the end of the grade 7 dance this Friday afternoon." There is little doubt that Jeff is destined for poster status as the next superhunk. His rippling physique only adds to the allure.

Backing vocals are provided by Nick "The Misunderstood One" Bryant, whose shaved head is sure to attract the emo-girls. His tender, falsetto voice is a stunning compliment to Jeff's deep tones. He only adds to his appeal by also being able to play the snare drum like a pro. He has had his run ins with authority, but his boyish good looks and ability to sweet talk his way out of trouble have only furthered his street cred as someone who just needs a sweet girl to help him mend his good-intentioned ways.

Filling out the trio is the brooding Spencer "Brooding Boy" Poffenroth, who despite his ethnic-sounding name, is all Canadian, from his love of Anne Murray to his belief that John Candy is the greatest actor of all time. He provides the bass for this trifecta, a perfect instrument to compliment his dark eyed, brooding persona. Girls will no doubt fall in love with his distant, puppy dog eyes, and word is that he is just looking for a girl to reach his tender soul.


This is my brothers band, and it is their first ep. I found it to be quite musically diverse, as there hints of violin and solid, tight musicianship throughout. The vocals can get a little 'screamy' sometimes, but overall, I am rather impressed. I think what I enjoyed most was the pacing of the ep, as the band seemed quite able of slowing the ride down to a whisper, then all coming in together with a crescendo of sound.

As mentioned, the vocals get a little screamy, but in a good way. We all know shitty singers can't scream well, but both Jeff and Nick (The Drummer) can pull it of without feeling forced. It's not going to be a sound for everyone, but I do think the overall composition is solid, as the the layers seem to gell nicely. Backing vocals are well placed and compliment the songs

Jeff's guitar playing is almost flawless, and he doesn't hide behind noise, as occasionally he solos a quiet picking, alone on the CD. Nick and Spence provide a solid backing and their timing on the songs is damn near perfect.

I think, being the older brother, that I will look forward to future EPs, perhaps with a more melow sound. But sierra certainly knows what audience they are after and judging by the string of increasing show dates, they seemed to have found it. I'm biased, but I think this is a pretty solid effort for a first try.

4 David Lee Roths out of 5.

Read on......

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"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book." ~~ Groucho Marx

This is an appropriate quote for Megan's TV viewing habits. I gotta start locking out some of these damn stations. Sigh...

You may have heard of this already. In New Brunswick, a visually impaired francophone student has been denied entry into an English immersion program because his dog only understands commands when they are given in French. This is the reason that the university is officially giving, as the course requires that the students only speak English when in class. Interesting thing is, when the student applied for this class, he wasn't made to disclose his disability. He did so after he had already been accepted, and was suddenly informed that because his guide dog is French-language only, he was no longer welcome.

What a load of shit. Let this guy, who got good enough marks to qualify for a bursary to pay for this course, into the course, which is recognized as one of the best English-immersion classes in the country. Seems to me that it isn't the dog that is the problem, it's the university. Guide dogs take an average of one year to complete all their training, so it's not a quick fix to have this dog become bilingual. I suspect that we may see the UNB brass fold on their weak position, simply because they are getting a lot of bad press. Plus this student is making noise about launching a human rights complaint, something he ought to do if this crap continues. If anything is going to undermine the university system, it is this bureaucratic nonsense that weigh upon damn near everything that needs to get done at the universities. Garbage, nothing but.

On the worldwide political front, Tony Blair (aka Bush's Bitch) admitted yesterday that there was likely no weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq. He covered his ass a bit, suggesting that they may have been 'moved', but effectively his message was that the WMD thing was probably incorrect. No shit, Sherlock. But this is interesting for two reasons. Number one is that it is really rare to hear a politician come anywhere near an admission of fault nowadays. It's usually all spin, spin, spin until us weak-minded monkeys don't know which way is up. Number two and more immediately important is that this admission is going to put a lot of pressure on the Bush administration to follow suit, something they are super reluctant to do. I doubt we'll see it, but it may be necessary for Bush to admit his failure of intelligence so as to reassure the voting population that their only worthwhile ally (Britain) in this ill-concieved adventure is not turning away from the US.

And that, ladies and germs, is today's version of your favorite blog. Now "dance, dance, everybody look at your pants." (Homer Jay Simpson)

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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire." ~~ Aristotle

It was one of those days, those days that one wishes could be rewound and re-lived in bed, instead of at work. My door buzzer went off this morning at 4:34am. "Who the hell is that?" I mumbled through sleep-clogged consciousness.

"Maybe it's Kelly," says Megan, referring to my car-pool buddy.

"Aw shit."

So began a hectic morning, as I was 15 minutes late and counting. No coffee, so I was super tired and rather bitter. Made it to work at 4:59am. What the hell kind of life is it when you are late for something at quarter to 5 in the morning?

Then I was about as far away from the shop as you can get when one of the tires went flat on my club car. So I had to walk for about 20 minutes before I could steal a ride back to the shop, get some tools, go back to the club car, pull the tire off, bring it back to the shop so the mechanic could fix it/yell at me, go back to the club car and start back to work, an hour after I had stopped. Thus I was surrounded by golfers, slowing me down even more.

The one bright spot was that in the crowded lunchroom, where seats were at a premium, I took my lunch, walked over to Jamie (the new, 19 year old innocent) and told him that the boss wanted to talk with him. He got up, walked over to our surprised boss, and turned to find me comfortably in what was his seat. I'm an ass, but my luch was good, so I'm a happy ass.

Then I came home, slept from 3 until 8, watched Seinfeld and will soon be going back to bed. So at least the day is ending better than it began.

Kerry picked John Edwards as his VP running mate, so it looks as though we'll hve to wait until 2008 for Hillary to make a run. Edwards is a good choice: he is about 45-50 years old and thus appeals to the middle aged voter. He is from North Carolina, so the South is represented in the Democratic party. And finally, despite what the Bush administration is gonna say, he is less left wing that Kerry, a yin to Kerry's yang, which ought to help win over some right leaning Democrats.

And on a local note, I cannot believe the amount of 'we wuz robbed' right wing idiot letters that have been in the Edmonton Journal lately, bemoaning the Liberal minority and claiming how those damn Easterners have it in for us poor (hardly) Westerners. It is times like this that I am ashamed to be from such a foot-stomping, temper-tantrum-throwing part of Canada, especially since we do have it pretty good money wise. I'm rather glad that the East doesn't agree with Harper's theocratic vision of Canada. But that still doesn't make our moronic bitching any less of a pain to listen to.

Off to sleep, g'night.

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Monday, July 05, 2004

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." ~~ George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

In response to yesterdays post about where I may settle some time in life, be it in BC or Calgary, I would just like to clarify that if Kuwait is as good as I have been led to believe, I may be there a little longer than one year. I don't want to get anyone's hopes up. Or maybe I just did.

New CD Review (Jeff bought it for me cause he owed me $$$)

The George Bushes

A local Edmonton country/jazz group that is starting to get some recognition outside of Etown. It's a good little album, rocky and quiet. If you are looking for some non-Nashville, non-commercial country, pick this up.

Speaking of Jeff, and lord knows I don't like to, his band sierra has just released their 4-song EP. Looks and sounds real good and I must say I am rather proud of him. He does pretty much everything, from playing lead guitar to singing to writing lyrics to booking shows to consigning the EP at Megatunes on Whyte Ave. He is truly the extroverted son in this little branch of the Archibald family tree. I will get the interweb address where you can listen for free, but only if you promise to buy a EP. It's only $7 at Megatunes, $5 if you buy it from him personally. Or I can burn it for you if you pay me $5. I almost promise the money will be given to him. Anyway, that is a pretty good plug, so he'd better be happy.

Book Review

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

What a wonderfully written, excellent fictional story this book is. It is written from the point of view of a teenage boy who has autism. The world through his eyes, his perculiar habits, his gifts and his social struggle all make for a brand new perspective, one that is well-written and believable. It is unique and I cannot recommend this book enough. Do pick it up, it is refreshing to read something totally new.

My political ally in Calgary, T-O- Double D, is reporting via the email that John Kerry, the Democartic presidential candidate may be announcing that his running mate for VP will be Hillary Clinton. According to the Drudge Report, this is a possibility. I would be floored, abosolutely floored, if this turns out to be true, and I hope it does. Hillary is loved by the Democrats and would be the strongest ally to combat Bush. She is hated, abhorred, by the Republicans, but who except Halliburton isn't nowadays? I'd be more willing to think that it might be John Edwards, but who knows in this wacky world. In 2008 may be when we see Hillary make a run for the White House's top job, I think this is still too early for her to follow that path. Time will tell, we all know this election matters more than any other election in recent memory.

Okay, enough. I'm off to quaff a few brews with some ex-CaPS employees. I'll be nostalgic tomorrow, no doubt....

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Sunday, July 04, 2004

Raining In Baltimore
Counting Crows

This circus is falling down on its knees
The big top is crumbling down
It's raining in Baltimore fifty miles east
Where you should be, no one's around

These train conversations are passing me by
And I don't have nothing to say
You get what you pay for
But I just had no intention of living this way

Well it was a weekend, although not like it was planned out to be. It started out with a rather grisly bang, when outside of Edson we said a deer meet it's maker through the dense fog of a Thursday morning. It wasn't pretty, as the deer leapt from the scrub into the side of an oil tanker truck. The deer, hopefully dead upon impact, was cut completely in half by the ladders running up the side of the tanker. An unpleasant, nauseating sight greeted us, gaped-mouthed in the car, as we passed by the torso and then the upper neck and head of the deer as it was still sliding along the pavement. There was a collective 'holy shit' from all of us, as I kicked the car off of cruise and down to a more sobering speed. Ugh, I almost was sick to my stomach.

Mt. Robson was full, save for one site at the very top of the grueling 25 km hike which all of us were too out of shape to do in one day. Dammit. After sitting around wondering what we should do, we decided to move on. This hiking trip had officially become a road trip. Onward to Kamloops, past Kamloops to a little town called Logan Lake, where we found a campsite for the night. This was July 1st and as such we got entirely, completely smashed. A few of the hilights were:

- Jay getting yelled at by the fire fighter after Jay tried to steal ('borrow') a Slow/Stop hand sign from a pylon. Jay denies this ever happened, although he does remember yelling at the firefighter. "You don't know me!" a'la Jerry Springer guest-style. This incident is just further proof of Jay's pseudo-crimminal side that emerges when he has been drinking.

- Cadrin claiming to know where the bar was ("Up this hill") and wandering off into the night while Luie and Cross ran the gauntlet of sprinklers on the high school fields. After chasing Cadrin down and determining that he didn't know where his feet were, much less where the bar was, Cross and Luie were entertained as Cadrin and Jay got into two battle royale wrestling matches, which ended in a dirty-clothes draw.

It was a night that wouldn't have happened on the mountain, but as the plans had changed rather drastically, so does the behaviour. The campsite manager was Karen, who was rather cute, although not as cute as the lady at the tourist info centre in Kamloops. Boys will be boys, I suppose, although whatever pick up skills we had have long since rusted away, so don't worry ladies.

Next morning was okay, surprisingly few hangovers, although Cadrin looked a little worse for wear. Into the car and onward through the Shuswaps. Jay was nostalgically thinking of stopping in Sorrento and saying hello to his Aunt Barb and Uncle Pat, but it has been too long since I've seen that branch of the family tree to stop in unannounced with 3 friends in tow. So, if you are reading this Pat & Barb, know that I was thinking of you as I passed by the turn-off that takes one down to the lakeside road.

Onward to Revelstoke, stopping for cherries ("Fine Luie, we'll get you some god-damn cherries, jeezus") just outside of Salmon Arm. We passed a rather large RV towing a trailer that had a painting of a screw just above the words "Bin Laden." As in, 'Screw Bin Laden.' What the hell... as we passed this ultra right winger unit, the side of which was emblazoned with the words "Let's Roll." Sigh, I hope Kerry wins in November.

I had forgotten how scenic the Rogers Pass/3 Valley Gap drive is. We ended up in Golden, paying for an overpriced campsite and joking about how Cadrin in his cradle-robbing ways was going to mosey over to the high school graduation party campsites and smooze some ladies. He didn't, of course, as he claimed he was tired and went to bed by 11:00pm, I think, on Alberta time. It rained most of the night, Jay kicked ass at cards, and we drank too much again. Jay also saw a cat kill a squirrel, as our animal-death-trip continued on. That was July 2nd.

July 3rd saw us roll on into Canmore, another scenic drive as we moved out of Golden through Lake Louise. We stopped in Calgary for a two-hours or so, as Cadrin wanted to warp his little nephew. We then hit the hammer on highway 2, skirting the edge of a nasty looking thundershower, and making it into Edmonton by 5:30 or so.

Just a note to say that Jay was actively scouting towns out, as it is all but assured that Megan and him will be moving to BC once Jay returns from the Middle East. Calgary is also a strong possibility, just because we liked it there. Just so you know...

So that was our weekend and I'm bagged from all the driving I did. It will no doubt be the last one we all collectively do, as age, responsibility and travel is about to finally descend upon all of us. So that's the weekend story, I'm tired of blogging and will be back tomorrow to write more.

Oh and I'm sorry about the comments section, as it now seems like I have to pay to have the option. I haven't checked it out, but I'll keep you posted, as I do enjoy the feedback. Until then, if you have something to comment on, email me at

Just make sure that you title it appropriately so I don't delete it as junk. Until later, listen to the Vinyl Cafe, CBC One Radio, Sundays at noon.

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