Friday, December 30, 2005

What I Got For Christmas

Tidings to all! hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and didn't eat to much that they can't work off. Here's a run down of some of the stuff I received from people who actually like(I hear some might even feel affection for me!!).

Probably my most anticipated gift was the DVD movie Serenity, from my sister and brother-in-law. They knew I was going to buy it myself as soon as it came out, but told me to wait untill Christmas. I wanted to see it in the theatre, but it was released the weekend of our wedding, and by the time we got back from the honeymoon, there was too much stuff to do that we never ended up seeing it. Now anyone who knows me, knows I'm a huge Joss Whedon fan because of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. So of course I fell in love with the show Angel. Then along came Firefly. To say this show was groundbreaking and sooo different than what was(and may have ever been) on T.V. is and understatement. It was a space western. Yeah, I had the same reaction when I first heard the concept, but once I started watching the show, believe me, it makes more sense than you can possibly believe. Long story short, Fox cancelled the show(grrr, arghh!) but fan demand, prompted them to release all the episodes on DVD. DVD sales were amazing(got mine the day it came out) so Universal Studios got behind Joss in making a movie to continue the story. Now it had to be written to make the fans of the show happy, but being a major motion picture, bring in a fresh audience without having them feel lost(and also to make sure they make their money back!). Now I can speak only as a hardcore fan, but the movie was freaking awesome! My wife who is pretty hard to impress, even loved the story. What can I say? See this movie. Better yet, watch the 13 episodes on DVD then see the movie to really appreicate how great a story it really is.

Let's see what else? I got The Who Tommy/Quadrophenia Live Performances DVD set. Fantastic!! The Who Tommy CD(even I can't believe I didn't already own it). The Rush DVD set R30. Also got The Tragically Hip, Hipepyonomous set. Both sets were just what I wanted and I was probably going to purchase for myself at some point. And my beautiful wife got me The Ramones Box set, Weird Tales Of The Ramones. It comes with a special collectors comic book and 3D glasses!! How cool!

Also we went to see a really good rock show on Dec 27. The Pursuit of Happiness reformed for a few gigs in Ontario, and they were at The Underground in Hamilton. They were as good as they ever were. Moe Berg can still rock about sexual frustration and unrequited love better than anyone!!

All in all a pretty good Christmas. We're going to spend our New Year's with my wife's sisters family, which should be fun with 2 toddlers!! Have a safe New Year everyone!! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tis The Season

Well I guess, I like everyone else this time of year, I am running around trying to get everything done for Christmas(and my wife's birthday which is on the 22...no combining gifts, she won't let me!). I don't know about you , but I've had my fill of crappy mall Christmas music! They say it's supposed to put you in the mood to shop. Then why do I feel the opposite effect?
I'm pretty much done all my shopping but I was thinking for entertainment, I'd go to the mall Christmas Eve, grab a coffee, and sit down and watch all the last minute shoppers scurry around desparetly! Now that's entertainment!

Anyway, this is my last post untill after Christmas(too busy between now and then) so to everyone, a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone else who celebrate other celebrations this time of year. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Election Ramblings & Predictions

So the election is in full swing and I feel so underwhelmed at the choices. Tony Valeri is the M.P. in my riding so a vote for him makes strategic sense since this keeps this riding on Ottawa's radar. He also has helped bring some money to our troubled city regarding infrastucture through the GST and Gas Tax rebate programs for municipalities. But look at the Liberal party as a whole. There is not much substance there, never mind the Ad-scam scandal. But then again our economy has done relatively pretty good under their reign. Yes there are Healthcare issues and post secondary funding, but this is not just a Liberal problem. Regardless who is in power, it will always be a battle between the provinces and the federal government, unless someone wants to re-write the constitution regarding jurisdiction. Ottawa can give the provinces all the money they want and tell them to spend it on healthcare or education, but they has no legal power to make the provinces do so. It's like someone demanding you must give them money for something, but you can't tell me how to spend it. This is not to excuse the Liberals, who have cut , then re-instated healthcare money since they took over in '93, but to just highlight that this problem is beyond party politics.

The Conservatives. What can you say? The gentleman running under the Conservatives is a member of the parish we got married in, Frank Rukavina. He seems like a nice enough guy but he's with the wrong party as far as I'm concerened. I read in the Spec today how Stephen Harper understands the issues middle class families deal with since he and his wife go through the same things because he is not a shipping tycoon like Paul Martin. Is he kidding? As leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Oppostion he earns $213,500 a year. If that's middle class then I'm working poor!! He's offering nothing but carrots(but then again so are the Liberals) like the GST cut(woohoo a whole 2%) and $1200 a year for each child under 6 to help with daycare(that barely covers 2 months worth). How about some more substance than that!

Now for the NDP. Wayne Marston is the candidate for the NDP in our riding. Now philosphically they are a little more in line with my views of the world regarding social issues, but he is the President of the Hamilton and District Labour Council..read union man. That in itself isn't a problem per se, but the way unions in general behave nowadays I find it hard to support most of their beefs. Now I respect workers rights but I also see the other side of it too. A business shouldn't be hamstrung by unions and at the same time business' must respect and value their most valuable commodity...labour! Unions have brought the average worker(unionized or not) lots of benefits throughout their history, but now alot of them seem as corrupt or overbearing as the employers they fight.

Now who do I vote for? Well you already can tell from my tone it won't be Conservative. So it's down to th Liberals or NDP. I guess I'll have to wade through these next couple weeks of campaigning to decide.

Here's a prediction. Another Liberal minority, Stephen Harper will tender his resignation soon after the election and a Conservative leadership convention in March with Peter McKay as the leader, should he run. Paul Martin will resign as Prime Minister and Liberal leader within 18 months. You heard it here first!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Another Election! Make Your Voice Heard!!

Well the government has fallen. Time to decide which yahoo we should send to Ottawa to screw...I mean represent us. Now to those who say that's exactly why they don't vote, I say that's a cop out!!! And it's exactly why the system is so flawed. If only half(if we're lucky!) of the nation votes, and doesn't really pay attention, then no wonder they can get away with screwing us(Gomery anyone!)!! We let them!! There is a saying, "People get the goverments they deserve". Well I believe we deserve more!

Now I'm not going to tell you who to vote for. That is for every person to decide for themselves. Get informed about the party platforms and decide which one resonates with you the most. Think of your candidate and how they may represent you and your riding. Sometimes the party stands for what you believe but the candidate running for that party leaves you cold. Or vice versa. Hell even if you vote for the person at the bottom of the ballot, who you even haven't got a clue who they are, the point is you exercised your right to vote and by extention the right to bitch about whatever party is in power. If you don't vote, then I don't want to hear you complain about taxes, immigration, the economy, or whatever else because you didn't pay your 2 cents by voting. People in other parts the world spill blood for the privelege to choose their own goverment, and we just piss it away.

Now I realize this is going to be an election about who Canadians hate/fear the least, but let's not kid ourselves. When the opposition keeps hammering the Liberals about corruption, it is pretty funny. Because we all know they would have been sooo much more honest. Please!! Now don't mis-understand me as defending the Liberals and their scandals, just keep in persecptive where the critisism is coming from. Sometimes change for change sake is not a good thing.

I'll get my bias right out of the way. I don't trust the Conservatives or Stephen Harper one bit! Does that mean I trust the Liberals? Not a chance in hell, but for me the question is who do I trust less? With stuff like this, the Conservatives show why most Canadians are still wary of them and are not ready to give them a chance. No American style healthcare or government for me, thanks.

Anyway, enough rambling. Just please get out there and vote for someone. I don't care if you x out the entire ballot as a protest(they are counted by the way and if there is more of them than candidate votes, then these candidates know they obviously are not offering what the people want), just get out there and VOTE! If not for your self, then for them memory of our fallen soliders and veterens who fought to keep the privelege of living in a free country where we the people choose who governs us and not some dictator!

Comments?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Updates and Musings

Hello folks! A whole lotta of nothing going on so that's why I haven't updated in awhile. Just didn't want to bore everyone with a bunch of insignificant stuff, but if some of you are interested, here we go.

I had to change my private personal email this past week after getting hammered with so much spam email. (The Gmail address attached to this blog is still the same, this was my ISP email account, that those of you who know me already received an email updating the change) It was that stupid email worm that claims it's the CIA and they have found illegal stuff on my computer. I woke one morning and had 19 emails!! Thankfully since I have a Mac it wouldn't have affected me anyway,(the worm was designed for Windows and also would not have affected Linux machines) but I ain't no dummy and don't open attachments from people I don't know.

Put on some new winter rubber on my car(same as my wife's that I put on a couple weeks ago. See "The Wheels Have Finally Come Off" post). Man what a diiference driving to work Friday morning after that frigid Thursday night(-23 with the windchill...BRRRRRR) I had tons of grip where I knew I would have been sliding with the all seasons. Definetly worth the money and effort for dedicated winter tires!

Tonight is our annual friends Christmas party/dinner. I think we're going on 6-7 years with this annual tradition. We have a pretty large friend group(about 40 -50 people). With marriages, children/births and the general day to day stuff going on in everyone's lives, we don't hang out anymore like we used to in our single/childless days, and this is the one time a year we can all get together and have good time. These are people that are a second family to me, so it's nice to still have this tradition still going strong.

I 've been rehearsing with my band, still trying to nail down a set list. We've got a new lead singer now possibly, who sounds pretty good. We tried out The Verve's "Lucky Man" with me singing the harmony/background at the end of the song and sounded pretty damn good!! Now I remember stating we were gonna be a blues/r&b/rock band but things are still settling as to what songs everyone want to do.

Well I guess that's it for now. 'Till the next post!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I'm Handier Than I Realize!

Yesterday, I get home from work and go to continue the laundry I started Sunday. I open the washer, and find everything still sopping wet!! What happened to the spin cycle? So I set to spin and here this horrible noise. My heart sinks! This machine is just over a year old!! I thought these front loaders were more reliable! Then I realize that the water will not drain. Pissed off, and slightly panicked, I call a repair guy and set up an appointment for Friday. I'm going through my head the inconvenience of possibly bringing laundry to my parents or in-laws house just to get some clean clothes. I'm also right pissed at the money I'm going to have to spend!! After a shower and some thought, I figure, what have I got to lose by opening it up my self and see if I can figure out what is going on.(Some of you out there who know me are probably worried at this point...hell so was I!!) I try it again and I can hear that it's the pump that emptys the water from the tank. Sounds like something is caught. So I grab the the rubber piping leading to the pump and feel around. Something is in there. Feels like a paper clip or something. I'm pretty good about emptying all pockets before washing. So I get some courage, and tools, and start to take it apart at the pump. Don't worry. I do remember that water and electricity don't get along very well(or maybe too well, that's the problem!) and unplug the washer as well as the clip to the pump(can't be too safe). Lo and behold there is the culprit which is catching the pump. An underwire, you know from a bra. Needless to say, I re-assemble everything and it's working fine, cancel the repair call and from here on in check her bras carefully for loose wires(Hopefully while she's wearing them!!). Whewww! Saved some money and learned I can fix stuff. Who knew!!

After all that, it was time to go see Bad Religion in Toronto. I got there just to catch the end of Anti-Flag's set. These guys are a great melodic. protest punk band. Very political and culturaly aware. Bad Religion as usual put on a great show, dipping into a nice selection of their older stuff, which the crowd really appreciated. Too bad they didn't play the title track of their current CD, The Empire Strikes First! Amazing song!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Signs of Geting Older (Sad)

Just opened today's paper and saw an old school aquaintence had died. 31 years old, same age as me. My friends and I know most of his family, I'm sure they, as I do, feel for them now. I'd heard he had been in some recent trouble with the law and was involved with some not so nice people. I'd like to believe his recent rough and tumble lifestyle(again based on rumour) did not lead to his death. That's too high a price to pay for one's mistakes. My condolences and my thoughts go out to his family.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Wheels Have Finally Come Off!

No, sorry folks I haven't lost my mind yet (though my married friends tell me to give it time). No, I just finally took off my summer tires and put on the winters. I already put the wife's on last weekend (brand new ice/snow tires, her safety before mine! When did she take that life policy on me?) My usual winter car ritual. Yeah it is a pain in the ass, but there is a big difference between dedicated winter tires and all seasons.

Someone busted my passenger side corner light housing, so I drove home from work last Friday with it dangling on the highway drive home, unaware to me. So off to the wreckers to find a replacement. The good thing about an older car is there is usualy lots of old used parts in decent condition. Hey, when the car is paid for, free and clear, it's worth keeping it in good condition. I love cars, I just hate buying them. That's why I "baby" them, as some would say. I drive them 'till they die...or get far to expensive to maintain.(hasn't happened yet. Compare annual maintenence cost vs. car payment, I'm still ahead. And no I will not lease!!)

I'm going to see Bad Religion in T.O. next Tuesday. Should be a good show, real high energy as always.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sick, a.k.a. Feeling Crappy

The wife and I are both fighting a cold or something. We both have swollen glands in our neck, so our throats are pretty raw. I can barely speak, my throat is so rough. Our bodies ache so bad, we feel like bags of s... . She stayed home but I went in for couple hours to work. Being paid hourly is a hell of a motivator! Infecting people at work is just a bonus!(kidding!) The wife is salary so she has sick days to use. Oh the luxury!

Of course it sucks to be sick when we're having a warm November. I haven't even put on my winter tires yet. But alas, all good things will come to an end.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Sorry I Haven't Posted In So Long!

I know it's been awhile since I last posted. Most of you probably have stopped checking my blog for lack of new content. So a few updates.

I'm getting back to practicing with the band I was rehearsing with the past summer. I had to stop because of the wedding prep stuff. We're doing mostly blues/R & B stuff and hopefully looking to start gigging in the new year at Hess Village. Check back for hopefully some dates soon.

Friday night the misses and I went to the West Town Bar and Grill for dinner and check out my good friend and co-worker, Edgar Breau perform a solo acoustic set. For those of you who don't know who he is, his band from the 70's, Simply Saucer, were a local Hamilton band (way ahead of their time!) that went on to infulence people like Sonic Youth. His stuff is now quirky Canadiana folk, which is really different and quite good. If any of this stuff is up your alley, check him and Simply Saucer out!

I picked up a new guitar. A Squier Telecaster Standard. For a Squier, it sounds really nice. I got a hell of a deal. Being made in Indonesia, makes it pretty inexpensive to begin with, but because it was a floor model with a little scratch, I got $70 knocked off the price. For the money the guitar sounds fantastic! Why pay more for a Fender Tele if you don't really have to, to get that sound!

Keep the comments coming, it's nice to hear what everyone's feedback is. Execpt for you Lotion boy!! Keep it to yourself!! (inside joke)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Here's Some Pics!





Hey out there! Here's some pics from our honeymoon in Mexico.(Sorry folks, nothing x-rated!! We're smarter than most celeberties!) Yes it was as beautiful as the pictures show...and HOT!!! Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2005

It's Been Awhile But I'm Back!

Just got in from our honeymoon in Mexico. We were at the El Dorado Royale in the Mayan Riveria and it was fantastic! The resort is absolutley amazing! The service was top notch and the food!!!! I think between the misses and myself we gained 10 pounds! I'll post some more later on and maybe some pictures from the trip but for now I'm just tired and glad to be home.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Home Stretch

Tomorrow (Monday) starts the home stretch towards my wedding. Everyone keeps asking if I'm nervous. Whether you believe me or not, I am not nervous in the least bit. I love my bride and have no reservations about my choice of the person I plan to grow old with. As I have told anyone who has asked, I'm not nervous about saying I do, it's paying for it! Big weddings are a stress. I will admit my beautiful bride has done pretty much everything(along with her sister-thanks Paula!)and I haven't done too much. But just watching what she has done has stressed me out. I realize I may be miserable this week and my bride is prepared to keep me in line. To those of you reading this and who will be attending, hope you have a good time and realize the dreamy look on my face will be a result of arriving at the end of this road and my anticipation of a week in the Mayan Riveria! Woooohoooo!!!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Weekend

A pretty busy weekend for me. Friday was babysitting my niece and nephew while my sister-in-law and husband went to see U2. Saturday puttered around the house and went to see Hugh Dillon(former Headstones front man) and his band The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir. Excellent straight up rock show at The Underground. No matter how good a stadium/arena show is, nothing beats seeing a band at a small club. Sunday all day out for my niece's birthday party. I can't wait for a weekend to do absolutely nothing! Probably not 'till after the wedding.

Pictures of the new Honda Civic are out! The Si looks sweet! It don't look nothing like the previous version. My next car?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

U2 @ The ACC

Just got back from the U2 show at the A.C.C. Amazing!!!I'll admit I wasn't expecting to be blown away, but wow! just some relatively simple light effects/light curtains and a somewhat circular stage ringed in lights like those rope lights, a little like the Elevation tour, but man was it powerful! Extremely entertaining and almost spiritual. Now I get it when people say a U2 show is like a religious event. To anyone going Tuesday, Friday or Saturday, have a great time, I know I did!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I Survived

My buddies threw my stag Friday night and I lived to tell!! Mind you I'm a cheap date, so 4 beers and one shot did me in pretty good. Sorry if I offended anyone by refusing any drinks but anymore and I would not have been well(some say that's the point!). I didn't want to become the miserable drunk or end up in emergency, knowing my low alcohol tolerance. To all who attended, bought raffle tickets, or who didn't attend and bought a ticket anyway, thank you for your support.

I also found out who anonymous was. Thanks Luis for getting me! I guess I'm that easy to set off on a rant! LOL!!

Also anyone who would like a Gmail web mail account(1GB storage for free!) email me for an invite. Google is not allowing anyone to sign up, they have to be invited, and I have 98 to give away. If interested just drop me a line

"Till next time.

Friday, September 09, 2005

New iPod

If your into gadgets (like I am) check out the new iPod Nano. It's thinner than a #2 pencil and holds 4gb. How cool is that?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My Response

This is my response to Anonymous in the comments section the Dear Anonymous post. Yes I'm opiniated. And I thank the stars above that this great, but not perfect, country that my parents chose to start their new life allows me that freedom, with out fear the government will censor me...or worse. My mother said it best. While she still adores and cherishes Sao Miguel, she has been in Canada longer than the was "home" back in Sao Miguel. This is why she got her citizenship because Canada is her home now, and she is as proud of it as her native homeland. As I said, here is what I posted in response to anonymous' previous comment about being an American in the comments section:




said...

How do you figure? Because I refuse to let my heritage dictate who I am, that makes me a candidate to be an American? Listen, I have my Portugal national team soccer jersey, because I am proud of where my parents came from. But how many of you out there have a Canadian one? Not many, if any! I do because this is the country of my birth so it is MY homeland. That's the problem with too many first generation Canadians(from all backgrounds), they are so busy being proud of their heritage they forget what country is their home!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

You Gotta Hear This

Check this interview with the mayor of New Orleans. He takes everyone to task for failing to help the city. He pulls no punches. This is powerful.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Dear Anonymous

Yes I'm eating every single word I ever said about "big weddings", and it is bitter! So you can enjoy my suffering with glee from behind the anonymous label. Hell after all the preperation even the misses now wishes we had had a simple wedding, say down south. And by the way, it's a Port/Croa wedding not Yugo. And yes there is a difference. If you disagree, my father in law can set you straight! LOL!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Also, An Explanation

My blog is called The Room Above The Garage because my office/studio/playroom/(adopt hunchback tone) sanctuary, is... you guessed it...above the garage in my house.

Also check out the links on the side to Garageband which is an independent music site for musicians to upload their own music to. Tons of free mp3's there and some really killer tunes you'll probably never hear on the radio in ALL genres. I will be uploading some of my songs which I've been recording at home to that site sometime after the wedding.

Also 2 really good blogs. One by Matthew Good who is super politically aware and quite insightful (at least I think so) and the other by Bob Mould, one of my favourite songwriters.

Enjoy!

Just Another Day

I was downtown getting my passport paperwork in when I stopped in at the bookstore in the mall. They had the Gene Simmons book "Sex Money Kiss" in hardcover for $6.99!! After having read Kiss and Make-Up, and really enjoying it, I figure at that price I'd be a fool not to pick it up. In true Gene fashion it's straight to the point, honest, and downright hilarious.He pulls no punches and states the truth of the matter, even if it isn't pretty or politicaly correct. Even if you don't agree with his point of view on sex, money, and Kiss, you can never say the guy is not honest. He's always after more of everything and is unashamed about it. Hell, at that price, go and pick it up for a "different" take on the world.

Other than that, just another day of work and home... not that's a bad thing!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On My Way

Got my replacement birth certificate today so I can now get my passport. We're leaving Oct 2 and it usually takes 6-8 weeks to get another one! Luckily if you can prove need they will expidite in Ontario, thankfully! Man what a panic attack I had when I lost it! Can't wait until our honeymoon! Relaxing in a 5 star resort for a week after our big wedding. Still I wish we had just gone down and got married in Mexico and skip all the big wedding stuff. Anyone who really knows me, I like things simple.

Be Gentle, I've Never Done This Before


So this is my blog. Hopefully I can really make use of this to share my thoughts with anyone who cares. I'll probably cover anything from music, to politics, to computers or whatever else comes up. We'll see how this goes. Comments are always welcome!