Monday, April 02, 2007

Gratuitous Other-Horn-Tooting

After many months of hard work and meetings, House-mate Robbie has laid his hands on his freshly minted books. He is now a bona fide book publishing machine, and the first three products look fantastic. Keep an eye out for them in local bookstores and an ear out for book readings, launches and other events around town soon.


House-mate Jadie sewed House-pet Scrapperton a pillow of catnip. I should have doubled up the fabric, because even with trimmed claws the little bugger managed to bite/claw through the thick cotton to get his fix. It took all of twenty minutes for the pillow to go from off-white to dark yellow. That would be his third substance abused.


New shelves were put up above our eventual bar in the dining room.


Recent recording activity by Rod has been recording an acoustic demo for Jadie's sister, Kaya, who visited last month, and some tracks for the Crimson Tides, which are ongoing.

Recent band activity by Rod has been intermittent with a new project, yet unnamed, and an old project, Pop Secret.

Recent band activity by Jadie has been continued guitar lessons, writing and the formation of a group with Leanne, a fellow North-Ender.

Scrappy has started to play the piano.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Gratuitous self horn tooting

I've recorded my first number one hit album. The Stolen Minks ep Family Boycott, of which I recorded five out of the eight songs and mixed two others, has reached the top of the Canadian campus radio charts this week.

I'm pretty excited about this, though I feel that honestly I can take very little of the credit--they would have gone number one no matter where they had recorded their album. Congrats, Minks!

It's also worth noting that Ranch alumnus B.A. Johnston has been doing very well on the charts as well, currently sitting at number 7 with his album Call Me When Old And Fat Is The New Young And Sexy. It's the seventh week on the charts. Well done Christian.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nothing like a half-assed handyman session... make me feel like I've stuck it to the man. The man in this case being the GE repair centre.

Backing up a little bit, I've had this GE washing machine for a little over nine years. It's endured thousands of loads, two moves, and a lot of loose change. In other words, it doesn't owe me a lot. Last week, I tossed in a load, set it and went about my business. When I came down a couple hours later, I opened the washer up to find that the agitator and come completely off the drive spindle in the centre of the tub. What. The. Not only that, but the top of it (the largely useless to me fabric softener dish. Really though, who uses liquid fabric softener during the wash cycle?) had been rubbing up against the edge of the tub so much that there are now massive knife-wound-like gashes in it, rendering it more useless than ever.

Okay, easy fix, I think. Just put it back on the spliney drive spindle, and we're up and running again, right? Right. It turns out that this particular model has a bolt that keeps the agitator in place. This bolt had come loose and was now rattling around inside the agitator. You'd think they would make the agitator in such a way that taking it apart would be easy, but no. There's a bottom piece that is held in place by eight very solid and not easily pressed tabs. The fin parts that spin around seem to be connected to the rest of the agitator by magic. After several attempts to open it up, I gave up, defeated.

Not having a washing machine presents a serious problem, particularly if you like wearing clean clothes. We're all pretty big fans of clean clothes here at the ranch. This had the potential to make the great shower repair incident of 2006 seem trivial by comparison. Hey at least back in February I could go to Jade's place to shower, and Robbie could go to Tiina's. But now...where could we find anywhere that has laundry facilities? NOWHERE! Really, somebody should get on that. I bet if you set up some kind of establishment where many people could do laundry for a small fee, it would be very popular. You could make a killing! I digress.

I called the GE repair service. I knew that it would be a simple repair given the right tool. Open up the agitator, get that damn bolt, and screw it back onto the drive, right? Done! Five minutes and we're in clean laundry again. It turns out that repairs for GE appliances are handled by a company called MABE. As in, MAyBE we can help you out. Upon talking with Mr. MABE, I learned that it would cost $80 just to have somebody look at it! And then on top of that is the cost of the repair itself! I doubt the washer is even worth more than $50 were I to sell it. And he said since it was so old, they might have to send a specialist over and order fancy tools! So old? Nine years is old? Has washing machine technology advanced so much in the past decade that my machine is now obsolete?

Forget you pal! That night, I went home, took some epoxy and glued that fucker back to the drive shaft. Problem solved. Total cost: zero.

Sure, I've pretty much guaranteed that if anything ever goes wrong with it ever again that it's unfixable, but who cares. Live for the moment! Wear clean clothes!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Our four-legged roommate "hunted" and then "devoured" a pear this morning. That crazy Scrapperton is out of control! At least his hunting intentions are right, even if he only goes after inanimate objects in our fruit bowl.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Welcome To The Ranch

You know what's better than writing about what goes on at Northwood Ranch? Being too busy having fun doing stuff that there's no time to write about it!

Well okay it's not like we live in like uh...some kind of magical land of nothing-but-awesomeness-24-7, but life is pretty good.

For starters, we have a new member of the household! Welcome to the ranch Jadie. After being a long-term welcome any time visitor, Jade has now gained full resident status. Hurrah!

This does mean that we'll be saying goodbye to Christian, but he'll live on in our hearts. And all of his worldly posessions will live on in the attic for the next few months while he's on tour and looking for an apartment. So in a way, it's like he's never left. We're certainly going to miss B.A., but what we lose in dry cynicism and an endless supply of cheese pizza will be more than made up for by goodbye hugs in the morning, kisses when I get home from work, and a beautiful woman with whom I can fall asleep next to every night. As much as I like Christian I don't think he and I would have ever reached that stage in our relationship.

Unfortunately, we'll be saying goodbye to someone else soon as well. We've had the pleasure of looking after Uzi (Oozy? Oouzzee? I don't know), the feline member of Northwood East. Uzi is just a lovely cat and watching the shenanigans that she and Scrapperton have gotten into over the past week and a half has been nonstop entertainment. But the Stolen Minks are returning from their tour tonight, and I'm pretty sure those kids are going to want some kitty lovin' right away. Goodbye girl, come back and visit soon!

Robbie's been doing plenty fine as well. He's turned into a regular bicycle fixing machine, having done up a second sweet fixed gear bike for himself, working on a nice ride for Tiina across the street, and volunteering at Bike Again fixing bicycles up for people who could use a bike but don't have the cash to buy one. Rob: great all around guy, and awesome roommate. And, now he's working at the library in Spryfield! I'm pretty sure that within another week's time, every kid that goes in there will be treating him like a hero and worshipping the ground he walks on. They'll all be like, "when I grow up, I'm going to get tattoos and piercings just like you, Rob!" Congrats on the new job, and good luck subverting the minds of today's youth.

And the recording business continues to do well. The Stolen Minks cd was finished just in time for their tour, Cobrato's ep is in the vault (CD release date: sept 21st!), and Juan Love's full length (of which I recorded two songs) is now available for purchase. Yay me! Apologies to The Tragedies for not being able to fit them into the recording schedule. Next time.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Music For Relaxing

Tonight was to be the debut of Cobrato at Gus' Pub. But then I got a fever. And then Spencer got sick. I'm feeling not bad now, and Spen was willing to make a go of it, but then Dave came down with a wicked flu that has kept him in bed all day. So, we'll have to wait until next time to take the city by storm. Oh well, flus happen.

In other news, Rob's doing a-ok. I have been remiss in mentioning his new business on this page though. That's right, Rob is now a publisher. Basically, it just means that he now struts around in a snazzy pinstripe suit, bosses people around and has lots of money to spend. Oh sure, everyone thinks he's on top of the world, but you don't hear him talking in his sleep, all alone, late at night. "Rosebud....."

Oh wait, it's not like that at all. Check out Invisible Publishing to find out more.

Christian is still on tour. Or dead. Or maybe just dead tired. I'm going to assume no news is good news. Sadly, Laura's time with us is all too short. She accepted a job in Toronto and won't be coming back. Unless she changes her mind. You just never know with that zany Laura.

And Scrapperton is great. He's no longer a kitten, not yet a tomcat. More accurately, we got him neutered, like the conscientious dads that we are.

And in general, life is great at the ranch. Lots of recording going on, lots of practicing, and lots of bicycle repair. Robbie finished up Jaime's (of Northwood East) snazzy robin egg blue 1-gear ride, and he's been working on another one. For Tiina I think (also of Northwood East). And Jade and I painted up her free bike (courtesy of Young Phoenix). Gold. Solid freakin' gold. It looks awesome.

Friday, March 03, 2006

All the latest news

Here's a general update style post.

A warm welcome to the newest member of the ranch is long overdue. Everyone say hello to Laura! She flew across the entire country just to be with her man on Valentine's day. Très romantique, oui? I wasn't there when she arrived, but I can picture the conversation when she got here:

Laura: It's great to see you, but I've been on a plane for eight hours. I feel gross. What I could really use right now is a nice hot bath.
Christian: uh yeah...about that...

She and Christian aren't sure how much longer they'll both be staying at the ranch however; plans are up in the air at the moment. Will they stay? Will they find a place of their own? Will they just up and leave Halifax altogether and settle down on a commune in New Brunswick? Or will they decide to live on a Grayhound bus for the next four months? Stay tuned!

Rob has been sick the past couple of days. He is currently accepting donations of comfort food, juice, and other clear liquids. Poor little guy, all chilly and flu-like. Somebody get him some vegan chicken soup soon!

Scrapperton is awesome, but his popularity and good looks are starting to go to his head. Now he's all "Mew, give me food now! Mew, I want to sit on your laptop! Mew, I want to chew through every freaking telephone cord and guitar patch cord I can get my teeth on! Mew Mew Mew!" So demanding.

The bathroom is complete. We can shower again! Unfortunately, new tiles don't really match either the old tiles or the mauve paint on the walls. So a paint job is in order, maybe some more tiles. Funny how one renovation inevitably leads to three more. But screw that for now. I can handle clashing colours for a little while.