Silverware for the ‘Ton

What better way to celebrate the 1,000th post than a picture from after last weekend’s 2-1 victory by SFA Div. 2’s Greenock Morton over the hated neighbouring SFA Div. 1’s St. Mirren of Paisley (Ed.: acht, ptweie, spit). I have enjoyed watching a match at each of their home grounds but if your Dad’s from Greenock you ought to be a Morton fan. More photos here. Discuss the obsession here.

Expect lighter posting for the next while with holidays and the death of the Dell’s high speed access at home. We all need a wee kip and a nip for the 1,000th – have one for me.

One Ring Zero

I heard the band One Ring Zero earlier this month on NPR’s Fresh Air. Regular readers will recall my affection for the full range of plinky-plink music from the products one can receive in plain wrapped packaging from Electron in Toronto to the works of They Might Be Giants. What fits attacted me to the band during the interview was the attention to instrumentation – indeed members of the band met at the Hohner harmonica warehouse and instrument repair facility in Richmond Virginia and formed the band after the utter market failure of the claviola, an instrument which was reproduced only 17 times. Adding theramin, toy piano and other freaks at the back of the music closet, they sought to both preserve and explore.

Getting the CD As Smart As We Are in itself was a smal task as it is not a CD according to Amazon but a book as it is hard bound. I don’t know why in 20 years of CDs whether anyone has placed one and the lyrics in a small hardbound book before but it is neat. Then there is the short intro, a recording of a 1980s shortwave identification signal [300 KB .wma file] – a sound loop shortwave stations played over and over before their half hour broadcasts so that you could find them on the dial easily. I think this is Deutsche Welle from West Germany. I knew I was among friends. The CD is described as “Lit Rock” in the liner notes being a collection of the setting to music of 17 poems. It is good. Here is the treatment of one haiku entitled “Honku” by Aaron Naparstek [441 KB .wma file]. Its only 27 seconds long but it will give you an idea.

As always with my reviews of the art of others where I pinch off a bit of their copyrighted interest and share it among you, I implore you to buy this CD, run it up the charts and make the late summer of 2004’s Billboard charts look weird forever.

Cross-posted to the-growing-but-needing-more-authors-Canadian-music-blog Switching to Glide.

The Dream Lives On!

Readers familiar with my girth will know that there is some incongruity between playing fitba and being, let’s just say, north of 260 lbs. It is with some calming assurance, then, that I noticed the reintroduction of the Pro Belly 5000 into English Premiership League football recently as modelled by the chap at the left as noted in article on the BBS Sports web site.

There is hope of sports excellence yet for us all with the earlier amateur #1500 to #3000 range of bellies.


I am on a team this summer and really enjoying it. I got to wondering about how many teams or regular pick-up games I have played on:

  • Kingston NS, baseball, around 1974 – one summer in grade six or so. Having a pitcher pitch past me terrified and I swung quickly to get out of the batter’s box. Coaches telling me where to throw the ball but I could never remember. Big road trip to Middleton, NS, seven miles away.   Soon Dad had me learning the bagpipes on Friday nights instead.

  • Kingston, NS, West Kings Junior basketball, 1976-78. During grades 8 and 9 I played second string centre which is pretty bad as I was six foot two at 12 years old. Leg cramps were my best move. Once got into double digits for points during a game. Once had a small group of junior high fans chant my name after entire first five fouled out. Big road trip was to Middleton where we made fun of the other coach. Went to basketball camp at Acadian summer of 1978. During the fall of 1978 I tried out, made but never played for CEC basketball team. Saw Canada’s men’s team play Greece at Acadian University with my grandfather over from Scotland.

  • Kingston, NS, flag football, summer 1978 – conversely, I ruled at field goal kicker hitting 30 yarders regularly. Led team in points as I recall. Had one touch-down on a fake play. Dad saw a guy get his neck injured during a game and told me I was done with the sport. All games at the Greenwood airforce base field.

  • Truro, NS, C.E.C. soccer team 1979-80 – captain grade 11 and 12. Sweeper. We sucked. One win in the first season. Next year about 50-50 I recall. We partied with Swedish exchange student as he knew the rules and he also had his own apartment. Big road trip was to Pictou.  Played indoors though the winter of grade 11.

  • Halifax, NS, Kings College varsity, 1981 – played soccer only in my first year. Sweeper. Bars were more interesting soon thereafter. Big road trip was to Sydney Cape Breton when three of our team ended up in the hospital.  A mad Geordie made us run up and down Citadel Hill.

  • Truro, NS, town team, 1982 or so – played in the northern NS league during one university summer playing in Pictou and New Glasgow. Sweeper. Big road trip to Halifax to play on the SMU field against a team stacked with Swicks.

  • Halifax, NS, Crows, Sunday afternoon game at Jubilee Street, 1986 to the 1990s – half a field three hours of sweating out ales from night before. I played goal suck for the most part.   Best kick of my life from half at the beginning of the game when I realized my keeper was eating MacDonalds in the goal.   I strike a ball very hard at his head.   He had to dive, squeezing his burger and shake as he went down.

  • Halifax, NS, law school soccer, 1988 – first year was the best team I ever played on even though it was only intermurals. Sweeper. I faced a striker for medicine who played pro. Much fun.

  • Pembroke, Ontario, 1993 or 1994 – played soccer on an old timers team in a seniors league. Bad idea. Played the Airborne Division once before whole Somalia thing. I heard my leg muscle tear before I felt it. I also coached kids two years.

  • Charlottetown, PEI, Sirenella, 1998 – Provincial Senior Men’s B league. Player manager. I think I only kept the various players from driving each other mad. Two games a week and two practices. Big road trip was to Summerside when only 8 guys for us went. Got hammered. Played a couple of games indoors as well. Many former Yugoslavs and my Syrian barber. Team collapsed soon thereafter and I gardened my acre in 1999 and 2000 instead of tieing up the laces.

  • Stratford, PEI, Saturday morning game, 2001 and 2002 – Ten am to noon, May to October. Friendly and easy going…but I still knocked out the organizer and CBC reporter, Pat, when he played me too close on a header.

  • Golden Nuggets, Kingston, Ontario, Old Timers League, 2004 – Big road trip is to Belleville twice a year. Good guys and not a lot of nastiness on the pitch. We have a striker from Argentina.

I am quite surprised there have been so many.   No hockey.   Rare for a Canadian.    I have not included the great elementary school chess tournament where Kingston, NS, travelled to Berwick.   We each played three games.   My last game was the last in the tournament and if I tied, we won.   There was a time limit to get us back home which was earlier than my game would last if I took the maximum time between my moves.   Coach said stall.   I stalled.    Angry Berwickers.