Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Plaskett and his unique ' installation busking ' routine . Nearly starved to death , we did .

Either leaving or coming home . Both nice in their own way .

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Lorne ' Gump ' Worsley RIP . ( Reporter to New York goaltender Gump Worsley , " Gump , which team gives you the most trouble ? " , Gump , " The Rangers . "
First DENNY DOHERTY now the Gumper . Not to mention John
Allan Cameron and DUTCHIE MASON .
Sheesh ! A rough start to 07 .
Still , chin chin , drink up . Listen to some Marlene Dietrich . I am .

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chris , in training for the short flight to Australia ...
... shown here with his favourite lucky orange ( ol' Red ) , and its own travel cushion . Had to buy an extra ticket . ( where is Wilson ? ed )

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Keeping the world free from Communist aggression ...

...The Marsh twins ( including current Emergency Northern Nova Scotia area road manager and Donstock Promoter , Don Marsh , far left , and brother Ronnie next to him ) taking in a LOUIS ARMSTRONG gig , Hawaii , 1951 .

Farewell to a Halifax lad , Denny Doherty .

Monday, January 22, 2007

let's get political !!Courtesy (St. John's)The IndependentFriday, January 26, 2007By Rick MercerFor The IndependentPoor Noreen Golfman. She wrote in her Jan. 12 column (Blowing in the Wind ... ) that her holidays were ruined by what she felt were incessant reports about Canadian men and women serving in Afghanistan. So upset was Noreen that, armed with her legendary pen, sharpened from years in the trenches at Memorial University's women's studies department, she went on the attack. I know I should just ignore the good professor and write her off as another bitter baby boom academic pining for what she fondly calls "the protest songs of yesteryear," but I can't help myself. A response is exactly what she wants; and so I include it here. After all, Newfoundlanders have seen this before: Noreen Golfman, sadly, is Margaret Wente without the wit.Dear Noreen,I am so sorry to hear about the interruption to your holiday cheer. You say in your column that it all started when the CBC ran a story on some "poor sod" who got his legs blown off in Afghanistan.The "poor sod" in question, Noreen, has a name and it is Cpl. Paul Franklin. He is a medic in the Forces and has been a buddy of mine for years. I had dinner with him last week in Edmonton, in fact. I will be sure to pass on to him that his lack of legs caused you some personal discomfort this Christmas.Paul is a pretty amazing guy. You would like him I think. When I met him years ago he had two good legs and a brutally funny sense of humour. He was so funny that I was pretty sure he was a Newfoundlander. You probably know the type (or maybe you don't) - salt of the earth, always smiling, and like so many health-care professionals, seemingly obsessed with helping others in need.These days he spends his time training other health-care workers and learning how to walk again. That's a pretty exhausting task for Paul ... heading into rehabilitation he knew very well his chances of walking again were next to none, considering he's a double amputee, missing both legs above the knee.At the risk of ruining your day Noreen, I'm proud to report that for the last few months he has managed to walk his son to school almost every morning and it's almost a kilometre from his house. Next month Paul hopes to travel to Washington where he claims he will learn how to run on something he calls "bionic flipper cheetah feet." The legs may be gone but the sense of humour is still very much intact.Forgive me Noreen for using Paul's name so much, but seeing as you didn't catch it when CBC ran the profile on his recovery I thought it might be nice if you perhaps bothered to remember it from here on in. This way, when you are pontificating about him at a dinner party, you no longer have to refer to him simply as the "poor sod," but you can actually refer to him as Paul Franklin. You may prefer "poor sod" of course; it's all a matter of how you look at things. You see a "poor sod" that ruined your Christmas and I see a truly inspiring guy. That's why I am thrilled that the CBC saw fit to run a story on Paul and his wife Audra. I would go so far as to suggest that many people would find their story, their marriage and their charitable endeavours inspiring. Just as I am sure that many readers of The Independent are inspired by your suggestion that Paul's story has no place on the public broadcaster.Further on in your column you ask why more people aren't questioning Canada's role in Afghanistan. I understand this frustration. It's a good question. Why should Canada honour its United Nations-sanctioned NATO commitments? Let's have the discussion. I would welcome debate on the idea that Canada should simply ignore its international obligations and pull out of Afghanistan. By all means ask the questions Noreen, but surely such debates can occur without begrudging the families of injured soldiers too much airtime at Christmas?Personally, I would have thought that as a professor of women's studies you would be somewhat supportive of the notion of a NATO presence in Afghanistan. After all, it is the NATO force that is keeping the Taliban from power. In case you missed it Noreen, the Taliban was a regime that systematically de-peopled women to the point where they had no human rights whatsoever. This was a country where until very recently it was illegal for a child to fly a kite or for a little girl to receive any education.To put it in terms you might understand Noreen, rest assured the Taliban would frown on your attending this year's opening night gala of the St. John's International Women's Film Festival. In fact, as a woman, a professor, a writer and (one supposes) an advocate of the concept that women are people, they would probably want to kill you three or four times over. Thankfully that notion is moot in our cozy part of the world but were it ever come to pass I would suggest that you would be grateful if a "poor sod" like Paul Franklin happened along to risk his life to protect yours.And then of course you seem to be somehow personally indignant that I would visit troops in Afghanistan over Christmas. You ask the question "When did the worm turn?" Well I hate to break it to you, but in my case this worm has been doing this for a long time now. It's been a decade since I visited Canadian peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and this Christmas marked my third trip to Afghanistan. Why do I do it? Well I am not a soldier - that much is perfectly clear. I don't have the discipline or the skills. But I am an entertainer and entertainers entertain. And occasionally, like most Canadians, I get to volunteer my professional time to causes that I find personally satisfying.As a Newfoundlander this is very personal to me. On every one of these trips I meet Newfoundlanders who serve proudly in the Canadian Forces. Every day they do the hard work that we as a nation ask of them. They do this without complaint and they do it knowing that at every turn there are people like you, Noreen, suggesting that what they do is somehow undignified or misguided.I am also curious Noreen why you refer to the head of the Canadian Forces, General Rick Hillier, as "Rick 'MUN graduate' Hillier." I would suggest that if you wish to criticize General Hillier's record of leadership or service to his country you should feel free. He is a big boy. However, when you dismiss him as "Rick 'MUN Graduate' Hillier" the message is loud and clear. Are you suggesting that because General Hillier received an education at Memorial he is somehow unqualified for high command? We are used to seeing this type of tactic in certain national papers - not The Independent.You end by saying you personally cannot envision that peace can ever be paved with military offensives. May I suggest to you that in many instances in history peace has been achieved exactly that way.The gates of Auschwitz were not opened with peace talks. Holland was not liberated by peacekeepers and fascism was not defeated with a deft pen. Time and time again men and women in uniform have laid down their lives in just causes and in an effort to free others from oppression.It is unfortunate, Noreen, that in such instances people like yourself may have your sensitivities offended, especially during the holiday season, but perhaps that is a small price to pay. Best wishes for the remainder of 2007; may it be a year of peace and prosperity.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The tour of Australia opening for local raves Augie March has been confirmed for march ... march , hmm , that's very augie . Anyways , that means we need our expired passports renewed . So , today we head for the office downtown and see how it goes . Got our photos , ID , book , walkman , coughdrops ,etc... Should be in and out in 20 minutes I reckon ...

Jesus ! Today is friday . Thought I got there early but I was only a Johnny-come-lately . The Good Dear Good Lady said it'd be a four hour wait , at least . She opens her basement door at 8 am every work day and today there were 80 peepholes there as early as 7:30 this morning . I was number A197 and they were still down in the A090's .
The Good Dear Good Lady patiently explained to me , as she had done to everyone in front of me and everyone in the next four and half hours later , that FRIDAY was a bad day . That's today , right ? Yes dear . Mondays are no picnic either but that FRIDAYS are the worst .

So I gots myself a paper and headed for Tribeca to have a cuppa tea . Like a lot of us , bars do not look their best before noon ( unless you're still at it ) and the ol' Tribe was no exception . I tried to read the paper , sitting in the jag-like car seat beside the window and the grey morning blah of the imminent winter storm . But between the kegs coming through the cold door and the gnashing of the lunch time staffs' teeth , I decided I belonged with the poor old passport peephole . They were my peephole now . Besides they just might be ready for me ...
I walked back to the Maritime Windtunnel , past the Old Flamingo stairwell ( been up and down those a few times ) and down into the pre Passport Office sorting area which was actually the FOOD COURT . A windowless paddock of hard plastic chairs and stifling humpday ness . The Good Dear Good Lady checked my ticket , adjusted her bifocals and like a geologist who's brought a marble by a hopeful schoolboy she gently but decidedly sent me to ' take a seat over there dear ' .
Anyhow , after about four hours perusing every page of two newspapers I eventually made it upstairs to the official waiting room from the FOOD COURT holding tank they were keeping us in . More chairs , more stares , but at least it was on the 15th floor and you could look up Spring Garden and watch the wind and rain play havoc with the hurrying citizenry . Hey , there's my house ! ... Looks bigger when you're in it . ONE EIGHTY FIVE ! NUMBER THREE ! the french customs man barked playfully . Going wons , goin tawice ! I was on the approach , only twelve more to go . Then ten , then seven as numbers nine and eight weren't there for their roll call . Who misses their number after four and a half hours down in the FOOD COURT holding tank ? Had to get home for Oprah ? Not my problem , I have three more snowbirds in front of me and then it's gonna be a fine display of efficiency and organization . I got my application in my inside breast pocket , complete with photos , ID , all that shit . NUMBER ONE NINETY SIX ! One more to go , better turn off the walkman , put the gatorade in my coat and get ready to get busy . ONE NINETY SEVEN NUMBER ONE ! Wicket number one , I shoulda expected .
So I goes up to the wicket and whip out me papers and lay them down . My wicket number one lady doesn't mess around either , she's a pro , like me . Probably been at it since eight this morning while I was still listening to the clock radio . Check , scan ,check , turn the page , check . It's going well . She appreciates my preparedness .The red ink is fairly flying off her pen . She's running down the page with her favourite pen like a teacher scanning the test of her best student . A mere formality before the inevitable a+ , when she stops . What's the hold up ? Is she stopping to admire my thoroughness ? Taking in my ' staying in the box ' signature on page two ? Is she fuck .
" Your gauranteur , what is their position at their work ?" ... She's a University teacher , just like it says on the elegibility list . " It Says College not University " Yeah , but NSCAD IS a University . Practically . ( Look ,Wicket Number One Lady . Don't get all sticklish with me , I've done my research . You and I are on the same team . Let's go , let's go . ) She says she'll look into it but it's probably OK . Probably ? She drops her ergonomic head down to my application once more . Ahh , back on track . Scan , check , turn the LAST page , and ... screeching halt . There's a problem with my request for an expedited process . We need work visas to go down and bring the thunder to the land down under , and we need 'em pdq . Well , did you bring proof of your urgent work ? ....WTF. Where does it say to bring proof anywhere ? She can see I'm being put off my game now . After four and half hours in the dead pub and the FOOD COURT holding tank , plus an hour and some upstairs on the fifteenth floor where I can see Spring Garden Road and my house which looks bigger on the inside , I'm starting to get a little edgy at the prospect of returning anytime in the next five years save for picking up my shiny new pass a port . I don't got no stinking proof ,( I'm thinking , in a Mexican accent ) . I even put musician SECOND on my application , right after labourer . Help me out missus , I don't wanna go to Chelsea , again .
But it's all a ruse . She's sussing me out . Doing her bit for the safety of all of us . Like I said She's a pro . And probably CSIS , too . They gotta lotta interperative leeway these Wicket Keepers . She had to check up to see if I was genuine in my predicament . The earlier buoyant air between us was now muddied unnessecarily . We blamed Osama Bin Laden and Canadian Bureaucracy . Mostly Canadian Bureaucracy.
That top heavy silly- servant filing cabinet ( do they still use those ) would not pin us down however . She understood now . This was more than a backpack and a pineapple machete . This was Rock and Roll and it would not be stayed . She was going to do her part for local music and get our asses the hell outta town . The stamps came out . Papers were signed and then she asked the name of the band .------ She was mine now . " Matt Mays and El Torpedo " I said ( having spoken to Jarret not an hour before in that very room ) . Oh wow , she said , in a I-think-my-daughter-likes-you-guys sort of way . " Well thats going to be a fun type of work then " . You betcha , sister .
It was getting dusky outside now . From the fifteenth floor of the Maritime Wind Tunnel I could barely see peepholes on the blustery length of lower Spring Garden . My tiny house had disappeared into the friday rush hour gloom but I had faith that it was still there ( hope I haven't lost my Francis Scott Keys ) . I wondered if Australia was really a surfers paradise and if their cricket team was continueing it's demolition of the English Tourists . And if Tasmania was like Beatlemania , only in reverse .
That'll be one hundred and seventeen dollars . I turned to face Wicket Lady and casually pulled out my old brown wallet . I slid the weathered bank card from it's worn place . Interac ok ? She took my card and began the transaction , the final countdown . Look out Bondi Beach ! I wonder what the stars will look like , first thing I'm gonna do is have cold Four X and have a look at this ' Barbie ' chick .
"Oh , it says declined ."
Few sentences in the English language piss in your pot like that one . It 's got a terminal quality to it .
But I didn't panic .
I could feel half a dozen heads lift from the floor to my back . The ears attune quickly in the Office and my fellow travellers en transit knew when one of there own was in trouble . Nothing to do but form a circle and watch the lions have their way .
Wow , that guy is fucked !
They musta been thinking that . I would have .
Damn you Le Chateau , you just put me over the top .
For a second I was gonna retry but thought better of it . I'd feel doubly the loser when it returned as I knew it would , DECLINED ! . So , I had no recourse and lost no time in whipping out the pestulent , bloated , sulphiric RBC visa card which has rarely seen the light of day since the RBC monster actually called me up and professed honest ( honest in an Royal Bank meets Satan sort of way ) concern for the grievous state of my finances . Apparently , I was the talk of the cubicle .They had a professional curiosity . I was a financial elephant man . They couldn't look away .
Even so , I wasn't so sure that the credit card from hell , the credit card that turned me into some sorta fiscal Gollum with 18.5% interest , was going to work either . What then ? Boggles the mind ; fifteen stories? The glass can't be that thick ...I could land on a awning . Maybe the Royal Bank awning in the foyer , and bounce into the arms of a evil though agile banker . The bastards won' t even LET you die !
As it was , the Card of the Rings gladly paid the government , it was full circle anyway , and Wicket Lady Number One told me I could pick up my passport in one week .
Next Friday .

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thanks to North Nova Education Centre for hosting the band last night , it was a great show for a great cause . No snowstorm is gonna stop the High School from rocking !
Also , thanks to 6522 for opening the show with a tasty set of rock and jazz , and all the staff , crew and stagehands from the school music program . And to Erika for helping out on Nowhere with You .
And not least ; Jennifer Gunn and Angela Cameron and whomever else got the ball rolling .

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The show is ON for tonight @ North Nova Education Centre . See you at 7:30 pm . Drive safely , it's slippery out there .

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Show Postponed !!!

Joel is like a lot of people around here this week - sick as a dog . I just talked with him in PEI and his voice donta work so good a lot . He wants the band to sound good for this special event and being able to sing will be crucial .

So , with apologies to everyone who worked so hard in preparation , the Thursday night show at the NORTH NOVA EDUCATION CENTRE has been postponed to next Tuesday , January 16th , same place , same time ( doors @ 7 :30pm ) .
Thanks , JPE .

Sunday, January 07, 2007

North Nova Education Centre will host the band , thursday evening , January 11th . This is a charity show for Breast Cancer Research . Doors are at 7:30 pm .
See ya' ll there . Bring yer earplugs and cool shades .
Thanks to Ms . Gunn .

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More photos darkly from New Years Eve , Marquee Club , HALIFAX

photos M.McAvoy

Monday, January 01, 2007