I sometimes wonder if I am more hesitant to discuss stats than you, the reader, might like. After all, they are about you not me. The odd thing is it may very well not be about me at all as yesterday saw a jump of 66% above average visits but not hits or total Kb flow, even though I was not posting preferring to…well, you don’t really want me to get into that. The refer logs were also not busier. Friday is usually a slower day than other weekdays but yesterday was the biggest day ever at GenX40HQ – 550 visits from 310 sites. While this may just mean more bots are stopping by, well, at least they’re stopping by here – better make sure there’s lots of dilly pickle chips and Fresca in the cupboard.

So Sick

Too sick to go to work, to open the new computer boxes from Dell, to get off my butt to make tea right now. So is herself. 442 visits yesterday – anyone want to head over to make tea? Milky, please.

Songbook by Nick Hornby

As I wrote about over at STG, I am reading Nick Hornby’s Songbook, which is essentially a non-linear autobiography in the guise of a discussion of some of his favorite pop music. I don’t know if I would be so interested if it was in the guise of a discussion of some of his favorite cricket players. This can happen. Richler’s last book, On Snooker, was somewhat similarly structured – his skill overcame his admission that snooker players are some of the most pathetic peronalities you will ever meet – as is often the case most single skill celebrities.

Anyway, I have gotten about halfway through Songbook and it is one of those experiences – like Football’s World Cup – that you wish the source were chained and required to put out everyday forever. But, then, I have that rule about not encouraging slavery. Writing about writing about music is not that far off dancing about architecture. But I’m going to add to this post as I think about the book more. It just came out in paperback so you may want to pick it up.

Singing Bridges

Summer of 2001, I travelled with the SOBs to Connecticut to conclude a bit of business, travelling in a camper van borrowed from this guys which I think had the license plate “DOT COM” or some such thing. I was reminded of that trip after 9/11 when I wrote at Steve’s site on the 17th:

…I thought about the road in Connecticut I drove down with Dan and Nathan after getting a bit lost one evening trying to find the sea from a place near Hartford. The road was parallel to the one we wanted as it turned out. It was fifty miles of large homes on forested lots – multi-car garages, guest houses. As we drove south cars passed us going north, going home for the night. When we hit the coast road, the commuter train station was full of people heading for what looked to us Maritimers as luxery cars, coming home from a workday in the City, in Manhattan. The next day, I bought a big Connecticut flag – like I like to wherever I travel. I flew it at half mast Sunday.

I remember thinking about one particular guy, just getting out of his car in front of one of those huge houses, bending over laughing as he saw the van and then the license plate, perhaps evidently lost.

As part of that trip, we went to Bill’s Seafood in Westbrook on the Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound. Had a soft shelled crab on a bun and marvelled at what must be the most excellent selection of hard liquors I have ever witnessed. The bartender, Jake, was a grey-haired pony-tailed master who, among other things took the time to take an interest in us, where we were from and why we were visiting. Bills is advertised as being by “the singing bridge”. Coming into work this morning in a downpour, I heard and was reminded that the causeway in Kingston is also a singing bridge and remembered one from twenty years ago when I used to visit Bridgewater, N.S, to hang out with the archibald boys. A singing bridge is just one of those open steel weave bed bridges – metal WigWag. I think that is one of the nicest nicknames for a purely utilitarian bit of civil engineering I have come across.

The US is not a democracy?

I am listening to the The Connection on North Country Public Radio this morning and their phone-in/interview of Roy Moore, the former Alabama Chief Justice who placed a block of stone with the Ten Commandments on it in a courthouse.   During one call, I heard a most extraordinary statement, that the United States is not a democracy but a republic. Quick recourse to Google linked me to this discourse on the distinction. I always considered a republic a sub-set of democracy just as is our Canadian constitutional parliamentary monarchy. Was I wrong?

Comparing Fears

I wrote this over at Reinvented just now:

How could you miss the nuclear fear? Terrorism has nothing on the propect of Leonid unleashing the 17 warheads aimed at your home town and making it a plateau of black glass to the horizon. Folks have been blowing up stuff and civilians since at least Joseph Conrad’s Secret Agent 100 years ago. How much is what has happened in the last few years really new? I still fear the rusting hulks of the Soviet nuclear fleet at Murmansk, Vlaidivostok and Kaliningrad far more than the guys play acting the very bad Bond script. [That is what I am starting to worry about quite seriously…how long will it take for the war on terror to be over if there are no more 9/11’s? How does it end?]

I wrote it in response to two statements [thread here] which quite surprised me:

  • …who needs nuclear fear when we have terrorism (by a mid-20s person); and
  • I missed the Cold War and nuclear fear too — totally passed me by (by a late 30s person).

I found these points of view not so much unexpected as they are pervasive so much as bizzare in their utter focus on the history of the very recent. Far greater threats to the western world were almost commonplace throughout the 20th century, even just the last third I lived through. Are we now so sphincter-locked that we forget…forget how to be defiant and get on with it all when we were able to do so faced with far greater risks and fears?

I am not suggesting that either the threat or the fear isn’t real but I cannot shake the feeling I immediately had on that day watching the TV as so many died – this is like a very bad and very ugly Bond film script. There is something in the shallow dimensionality of where we are now [which I do think is largely unrelated to Bush or Iraq] that makes me feel there are new gaps showing in the culture… but I cannot say where they are or what they say about us.

Stinky Roo and Tijuana Bibles, Too

I live right inside radio when I listen…

Marshall McLuhan, 1964

like beer and soccer, is totally immersive. As Ian illustrates this
, the seduction of the immersive can lead to strange places and
thoughts. Indeed, as M.McL. went on to say,

Anybody who wants to moralize about radio has to
dump Gandhi and Hitler into the same pot.

One of my favorite
programs is Weekend
from CBC in the Maritimes
. Like Brent, the
music is eclectic, though, perhaps, they might not play the Tijuana Bibles, whose members dress like Stong
Bad. Band member Super Destructor and I exchanged emails last night as I bought
a CD via paypal:


Thanks Super Destructor,

Money sent.

That’s great. Brent Bambury was all over your music the other day on his
drive home show [CBC Ottawa afternoons] and said you were the greatest thing
since something…something like the Stampeders…and that is something.

He played a cut or two and I am sure going to whistle your tunes while at the

I am just so happy being able to write someone by the name of Super
Destructor I want this email to last forever. I’ll probably do a review on my
website (10,000 visits last month) [Ed.: you are always in my
]and you can come over there and brag me up. That’d be great.

Super Destructor:

thx for the kind words amigo. there’s a reason
europe keeps bringing us back for tours – forget about the masks and how we
look, just LISTEN – we have good songs! our next cd Fists Of Fury is gonna
smoke, we got 10 songs recorded, 5 more to go! pkg’ll be sent our mon or tues, i
have some other mail to go out…



The band’s name refers to slang for Mexican ’60’s
porn and their get up and names are a respectful homage to the
contemporaneous Mexican wrestling scene, cousins to Atlantic Grand Prix
Wrestling of ATV
of the 70’s and my love, the Cuban Assassin. Apartment
, their first CD will be mine soon.  Driving Mexicali
sounds.  Zounds.

The host of Weekend Mornings is Stan Carew, who our daughter at 3
dubbed Stinky Roo. The music is a bit corny and comfortable and aimed at seniors
laying in bed drinking tea and contemplating a tumble mostly without the
bibles. Stan and the crew play with the conventions of radio,
sometimes sounding a little like an old time dance hall live broadcast,
sometimes like Orsen Wells toying as a teen.

Playing with the knobs all around.

Group photos

My pals at silverorange had a great time with Sloan on the weekend in Toronto all arranged by Chip. I saw this picture in green this morning and was pretty envious but watching a lunar eclipse with my kids was a close second for a weekend night.

Chip drummed!
Chip is in the back left not on skateboard

The picture reminded me of other group photos in my life, often from that same early- mid-twenties age, people who are now professionals in distant cities or countries or lost to contact. The sometimes well haired Ian maintains the art well. Here is one of mine from 1987 at the Truro Ponderosa Steakhouse – as opposed to the Truro Ponderosa beverage room.

All hungover.
JP is at back left on skateboard

Haimy is in Japan, Maddy in California, a BC dentist, two Ontario doctors, a cardiac nurse, a municipal clerk, a hospital pharmacist, three I have know idea, me and Smed. Grouping is good.