Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Chronic Pain and the Atkins Diet: By Christine

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Chronic Pain and the Atkins Diet

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Dr. Art Hister, from CKNW radio, is my self-appointed health guru. One of the reasons I proclaim this is because he constantly urges listeners to counter whatever he is presenting. As well, he doesn’t jump onto medical bandwagons, preferring to critically filter all incoming claims.

Imagine my surprise when Dr. Hister had a pro-Atkins speaker, Jay Workman, on the air with no callers to challenge the Atkin’s diet. In contrast, numerous Atkin’s testimonials were called or emailed in.

For those not in the know, it has been 10 years since Dr. Robert Atkins re-introduced his 1970's low carb diet program (known in the 70's as Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution). The book, now known as Dr. Atkin’s New Diet Revolution has flooded the market, producing what can only be termed "low carb mania".

Aforementioned Jay Workman works with British Columbia’s First Nations Health Program and was on CKNW to explain that the Atkin’s “diet” has been a diet naturally followed by the Inuit First Nations prior to any European contact. He also noted that rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes were conditions not noticeable amongst the Inuit.

For those still Atkins unaware, the diet urges a low carbohydrate diet - no white anything (sugar, pasta, rice, etc.) and good carbs are those vegetables grown above the ground rather than below (such as potatoes). As well, protein and fat consumption are encouraged.

The medical community has decried the Atkins diet as being unhealthy and not heart-friendly, but Workman insists it is a relevant and suitable diet for those in chronic pain. As well, the Australian Medical Journal released a report encouraging people with rheumatoid arthritis to give the diet a try (under physician guidance).

For those who are Atkin’s rebounders (tried diet, and failed) Workman compares the diet to quitting smoking and urges those interested to keep on trying.

Sounds like there’s nothing to lose - except weight and pain - in giving this regimen a try.

Tom Ford - the King of Cool: By Lezah

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Tom Ford is some kind of man. A former model, in his late 20s, Ford was hired by the nearly bankrupt House of Gucci and within a short time was almost fired by Maurizio Gucci for being too 'trendy'. However, in' 94 Ford was named head designer at Gucci and has since turned the company around.

His first collection was brought out in '96, and there was an immediate 89% jump in profits. That year the company made $169 million. Since then, Ford and Gucci has blasted off into the stratosphere. Gucci has acquired the YSL line from Louis Vuitton, been named head designer of that organization as well, and today the Gucci name is worth $4.3 billion.

A native of Austin, Texas, who spent many of his formative years growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ford is something of an anomaly. I can think of no other Texan who has turned fashion into an art form.

His understanding of lines and proportion are reflections of what he learned at NYU and Parson's School of Design, where he studied art history and architecture respectively. The ability to capture the momentary quality of fashion, and the bravado to inject a sexualized aspect into it possibly harken back to his days as a Studio 54 regular, where he was an acquaintance of Andy Warhol. However, it is the fact that his clothes become instant classics; the understated style, the appreciation of luxury, the hard-edged, jet-set look that is so often presented in a monochromatic palate - that is what has made Tom Ford a fashion superstar.

In the spring of 2004, Ford left Gucci to pursue a career in film.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Alito Vote

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By The Political Heretic

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Alito Vote

Samuel A. Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court regrettably is all but assured when the senate votes on his nomination early next week. Fifty-three Republicans (including three moderates) say they will vote for his nomination as will at least three Democrats. Two moderate to liberal Republicans and at least two Democrats who represent conservative swing states have yet to commit one way or the other. Senator John F. Kerry and Edward Kennedy know they do not have the votes to sustain a filibuster since even those who oppose his nomination (Ken Salazar, for instance) say they will oppose a filibuster.

Mr. Kennedy's grandstanding is particularly maddening. The senator from Massachusetts squandered his opportunity to challenge Mr. Alito about his judicial philosophy when that nominee appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Kennedy repeatedly bombarded Mr. Alito about his involvement (minimal it turns out) with a racist, homophobic and sexist college organization 30 years ago and hypocritically lambasted the judge for his failure to live up to his promise to hold himself to a higher code of ethical standards and excuse himself from all court hearings concerning the Vanguard companies which held his mutual funds. Mr. Alito's name was not mentioned in the documents which the senate judiciary committee reviewed and the strategy backfired. His wife cried and Mr. Alito presented himself as the rational being that he is.

To filibuster now, after having done little of substance to draw Mr. Alito's judicial philosophy out into the open to justify the maneuver, is politically suicidal and wrong. The senators had their chance to make that case in the committee and they failed. Mr. Bush will rightly brand senate Democrats who vote for the filibuster as obstructionists and the Democrats, having failed to lay the groundwork for such a filibuster by providing a reason to oppose this nominee, will look stupid. Wrong because it lets the Democratic senators on the judiciary committee off the hook for their failure to make the case for it in the first place.

Not that I disagree in substance with the New York Times'editorial board. A filibuster could have been justified on grounds of principle had the senate Democrats made the case during the hearings. Mr. Alito's conservative views may, if buffered by a third Bush Supreme Court appointee, bring our country back to the oppressive 1950s.

In his opening statement statement to the judiciary committee, the appeals court judge gave what can only be described by those who value liberty as chilling motivation for his entrance into law - his disgust and reaction to war protests and the cultural breakdown in social mores then conducted at college. This is not a statement of a judge whose temperament will lead him to be wary of excessive war power claims made by the president nor is it a statement of a man who will look beyond the literal text of constitutional law to inquire about the higher principles for which it was designed to enforce. It was a statement coming from a man who blindly follows the literal text without the acknowledgment that the laws on the book are only as good and unbiased as the ones who pass and enforce them.

The originalist constitutional interpretation favored by the conservatives of today would not have saved African Americans from slavery (Dred Scott in fact required states to accept the decisions made by other states) or the infamous "separate but equal" decision (Plessy v. Ferguson) that protected the institution of segregation. Slavery and segregation were protected by law but would the conservative priority on social mores, law and order have saved the African American?

Would it now save the very fetal beings conservatives have grown fond of protecting? Today those who would abort their children are protected by a Supreme Court precedent which a majority has to date been unwilling to reverse but if and once it is overturned by a conservative court majority the matter will return to the states. Massachusetts, California, and New York may subordinate the fetal being's liberty interest in life to the needs of the woman who on a whim may change her mind on the desire to carry it to term. South Carolina, Kansas, North Carolina and the Dakotas may force a woman to carry her baby to term even if it all but kills her. A constitution which is designed to protect the rights of those who reside within the land for which it is sovereign must by necessity grant to the federal authorities which enforce it the right to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Senate Democrats repeatedly and pointlessly insisted that Judge Alito say Roe was "settled law," something which he could not do without undermining his claim to be a fair and neutral judge, but they could have asked him how an overruling of Roe would affect the privacy rulings that came before it (Griswold, Eisenstadt, and Carey). Hypothetically, Roe can be distinguished from the other three cases provided that the Court relies upon the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses to strike abortion rights down as a violation on the fetal beings equal liberty interest in life.

But the more likely approach, the appeal to federalism and states' rights, could severely undermine those privacy rights decisions - decisions which Alito said he agrees with ‘in principle’. The Supreme Court nominee says he can safely commit to the rights implicated there because he believes they won't be challenged. So long as Roe and Casey remain "settled law" he is right.

A woman who can terminate her pregnancy at will most certainly can use contraception to bar conception in the first place but if the Court were to say that Roe was wrongly decided because there is no abortion right found in the Constitution the principles invoked to protect the contraceptive rights in the prior three cases would also be refuted. A conservative legislature in the midwest or south may test the Court's resolve to protect Griswold or Eisenstadt and pass a law banning couples, married or unmarried, from using contraceptive devices. And the very reasoning which Mr. Alito used to justify his silence in a re-hearing of the issues implicated in Roe would then be used to discredit his vote when it came time to decide a contraceptive rights case akin to the one publicly supported at the hearings.

Mr. Alito's justification for remaining silent on one but not the other privacy rights is itself troubling, for it had nothing to do with constitutional principles. One issue, he says, will be challenged before the Court of law while the other would not. In other words, Mr. Alito can endorse the use of constitutional principles used to protect the majority who will never have the need to appeal to them but once those same principles are invoked to protect the rights of an unpopular minority who use them in a disapproving way he must remain silent so he can appear fair and balanced should the issue come before the court. The Supreme Court nominee in effect said he values power over principle but for a man who values social order and "the law" over fairness and those things which our Constitution insists that the law protect that should not be surprising. Woe to the Democratic judiciary committeemen who failed to point that out during the hearings.

The Democratic senators could have asked him how a Supreme Court justice could theoretically distinguish between the privacy rights claim protected in Lawrence (gay sex) from those protected in Griswold, Eisenstadt, and Carey.

But no, they did not. Senator Feingold would only throw softball questions on gay rights issues that even Justice Antonin Scalia could say "yes" to and none of those would in anyway give us any clue as to how he views privacy or civil rights claims in general, or the abortion and gay privacy rights claims, specifically.

On searches and seizures the senators tried to nail him on a controversial but ultimately respectable dissenting opinion upholding a "warrant less" (I use that in quotes since there was something which indicated approval for the search); police search of a daughter residing within the home of a drug addict.

Issue after issue was pressed but the Democrats failed. I do not believe, as some editorial boards for center-left newspapers believe, that the president should have his Supreme Court nominee picked because he won.

Notwithstanding the arguments made by The Washington Postand The Philadelphia Inquirer, our constitution provides senators with an equally important role in the selection of justices and the editorial writers' respect for democratic principles, however noble it may be, cannot turn into blind obedience when a person who is selected to a position that would allow him or her to draw the lines between protected and unprotected speech; respected and disrespected privacy, and reasonable and unreasonable searches and seizures is nominated.

The senate will vote to confirm Senator Alito on Tuesday when they should be voting to reject him. The grandstanding has cost the people of this country dearly. But the Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee had their chance to win the public support necessary to get that "no" vote (or in the alternative a "yes" vote for a filibuster) and have failed.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Bay Area Blog of the Week # 30 : Becks & Posh

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By: Becks & Posh

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Today's featured food blog, is the KQED sponsored site, Bay Area Bites that features many of the food bloggers you may already be familiar with: Jen, Shuna,
Fatemehand Stephanie to name a few.

The reason I am featuring it this week is because Jen Maiser wrote extremely useful posts summarizing Restaurant Review Sites in San Francisco. They are a great reference. When somebody at work, yesterday, asked me for restaurant review site recommendations, I was simply able to point them in the direction of Jen's roundup. If you are confused about all the options available to you when looking for restaurant information online, be sure to check out these two posts:

1) MouthfulsFood.com, Egullet and Craigslist

2)Chowhound, Yelp and Citysearch

is the only truly local option amongst these sites, so Jen's posts will be equally relevant to those in other parts of the US too.

When looking for restaurant information online, don't forget to check the blogs collective as well. I often to a google search using a restaurant name + city + blog formula which does a good job of searching for bloggers' reviews.

PS - I am now working six day weeks and overtime so please forgive me if your emails go unanswered, I ignore your meme tags and don't enter your blogging events. It doesn't mean I don't care, I really do, I am just struggling to honour all of my commitments at the moment. Thank you for your patience and understanding over the next couple of months.

Editor’s Note Swanktrendz is receiving too many Meme spam as well, Please do not put us on your forwarding list

Shopping Without Leaving the House: Christine

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There’s nothing more satisfying (to a retail therapy kind of gal such as myself) than finding obscure online clothing/accessories sites. I often find these sites when I am looking for articles that have nothing to do with clothing. For example, I was looking for Billboard’s top 100 songs for 2005 when I came across the ‘Brand Name Bazaar’ site. Someone obviously designed the website using a variety of metatags so that people, such as myself, would be inadvertently diverted to it. Whatever the reason for coming across these sites, I’m always pleased when I do.

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Now some people are of the mind that if you are purchasing online designer bargains, you are wasting your money as the designer pieces are clearly out of season/style. I agree that there are some outfits that one shouldn’t buy simply because it is so obviously ‘dated’. An example would be tiered skirts. Although many runway designs, seasonal silhouettes and trendy fabrics may fall away after a few months, you can always find timeless well made pieces.

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‘The little black dress’ is a standby phrase often used in the clothing industry to define clothing that never ‘retires’. A simple houndstooth design (based upon the size of the design and the fabric used) is a classic example of a design that doesn’t retire. If it is too large, woolen, pink on black or anything else that makes it vary from the norm, than yes, it is out of style after a season. However, the subtle, downplayed basic black and white houndstooth on a chanel cut jacket - rarely goes out of style. Classic wool, fully lined, straight cut pants do not go out of style. Low-riding, brown/blue plaid wool pants will go out of style.

Well, onto the internet ‘finds’ and I will leave it to you to sift through the sites’ offerings and find your ‘little black dress’.

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Internet Sites

classic close outs
(zip dress pictured)

wholesale clothing
Wholesale Distributors that costs $1.00 to join You then get access to a variety of wholesale online outlets for clothing and accessories. (designer bags pictured)

This is an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of store. Dr. Martens (pictured) for $54.00 - gotta love it.

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cloze out
Everything from skirts to hats and have those hard to find larger sizes. (pantsuit, hat and duster pictured)

Home of the Heelys
Girls skateboard and snowboard styles as well as the hot spot to purchase those ever so trendy ‘Heelys’ roller sneakers (pictured). Cdn prices.

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brand name jeans (and more)
Includes designer designs as well as the all important sunglasses (pictured Diors)

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Dressy clothing
(For wedding dresses, prom dresses, etc.)

second hand savvy
Great vintage and second hand shops as well as tips and advice on rummaging through shops.

soular clothing
For the hip hop styles

save you cash

sp clothing Wholesale Designer Clothing

Imex corporate ideas
I threw this online site in because it just carried some interesting gift ideas. It is a company designed for corporate gift giving, but I found it interesting as well.

Elegance for less
Furniture deals! Great for those of us who are addicted to TLC’s home decorating shows.

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Physical Sites (Factory Outlets)

These are actually worth leaving the computer to go and shop. The first site is ideal for giving the physical addresses of some important wholesale outlets.

Best Buys

Deluxe Junk Co
A well known Vancouver staple for vintage clothing.

New Comics 1/6/06 ; Kenn

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Here's what I picked up at the comic shop this week.

Shonen Jump Feb 06

Seven Soldiers:Frankenstein 2 of 4

Ironman #5

Y The Last Man #41

Down #2

Down #3

The Contract With God Trilogy Hardcover

Dr. Slump Volume 5

Overall a pretty good week.

This Year's Comicbook Resolutions : Kenn

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This year's comicbook resolution is to spend less on comics. Nice, eh? Someone posted a similar resolution on The Pulse and got a snide remark for their trouble. I have to agree though. Last year I spent too much money on crap books. Last year's resolution was to try more new stuff. I found some neat books that way, but most of what I tried was just plain bad. Once again Sturgeon's Law is shown to be true. Ninety percent of everything is crap.

I dove back into Marvel to see what was happening there and was rewarded with a slap in the face. Hey Bendis, slow down a little. Take a few minutes to actually reread what you've written before you send it off to the artist. Maybe if you weren't writing half of Marvel's output you might have time to actually think about the words you were putting down. I did come to my senses early enough to avoid the Decimation nonsense, however.

Same thing goes with DC. Overall, I prefer DC books nowadays if I'm going to buy mainstream, but that covers a lot of territory. I mean, DC includes Wildstorm and Vertigo as well as the usual stable of men and women wearing their underwear out in public. And any company that gives Grant Morrison a license to go ape shit with a stable of second string characters, well, you've got to give them their due. Of course the whole "Infinity crossover let's restart the DC universe just one more time" thing uses up most of the credit they built up with Seven Soldiers...

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Most of the new books I tried were from independent publishers, which nowadays seems to mean anyone other than Marvel and DC. I found a few gems. Most of it was garbage and a few things were just plain offensive. They are gone and my lesson is learned. That's very sad. The only way to try so many of these books is to preorder them and hope for the best. There is some much out there that most shops just can't afford to carry them. Even if they could there just isn't enough shelf space.

2005 was the year I started really hunting down strips on the internet. The payoff was better there. Sure, it's still mostly crap, but you can sift through it pretty quickly to find what you like and it doesn't cost a cent. (If you're going to jump down my throat and start yammering about the time spent sifting or the cost of online service, you can piss off already. That's not what I'm talking about and you know it.) It was the year I discovered Apple Geeks and Sordid City Blues, just to name 2 that have become regular reading for me.

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So that ended up being more of a wrapup of last year than a look forward, but it sort of, kind of, maybe, shows where my head is at. Spend less money and have a better good stuff to crap ratio. Let's see If I can stick with it.

What the..? : Sashi

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The Blogger Word Verification feature that you find when you want to post a comment in Blogger-enabled blogs can really be mind-bogglingly frustrating to crack.

The randomness of not only the letters generated but shape, font and color of the letters as well can occasionally combine to defeat the brain’s ability to distinguish meaningful characters from rubbish.

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My guess was “lzzjijie“. I was wrong, for the comment pop-up refreshed and told me, rather condescendingly, that I was to type the letters as it appears on screen. Well, duh!

Take this one above, for example:

Luckily, the next random word was easier to read - but that still doesn’t mean it should have confused me in the first place. Stupid machines….

Well, on the bright side, at least I didn’t get insulted by Blogger - unlike poor Viewtru.

My Beef: Rob Williams

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Rob Williams

Last night I worked a banquet for a catering company I've temp'ed with several times before.

No big news with this one-- there were no elephants (like at the last banquet I bartended for), there were no pirate costumes, no chocolate fountain malfunctions.

There was a new 'captain' for this company. someone I had never worked for or seen before, so he didn't know me. He was very nice, though, and kept a fairly pleasant demeanor despite the stress of it being only his second party.  He did, however, forget my name at one point (but who can blame him? There are a half dozen of us wearing tuxedo shirts and pants and a black bowtie) and so he instead motioned to me and this other guy I was polishing glasses with.

"Who me?" said the guy next to me, a tan, blond, late 30s former-surfer looking tall guy who also could have been a model in the early 90s-- his teeth are pearly white.

"No," said the new banquet captain, "The beefy one... Rob... is it?"


I'm now being looked at (and known in the catering circuit) as "The Beefy One."

I'm going back on my baby carrots for lunch diet.

The other thing that happened, or rather, that I noticed at this party was that STRAIGHT men, (and I've noticed this at several parties)-- STRAIGHT men, when faced with a Madonna song while on the dancefloor, automatically pull out their INNER GAY.

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I'm telling you, this happens every time. A bunch of guys will be doing shots off of the bridesmaid's boobs, giving toasts about football games and hookers, and then they go out to the dancefloor and start attempting to move and shake to "Louie, Louie" or "Love Shack," but then when Madonna comes on something magical happens.

Be it "Into the Groove" (which it was last night) or "Vogue" or "Music"... all of a sudden these frat boys become sorrority sisters: shaking their ass and swiveling their hips and shimmying their shoulders. Flicking their heads back and forth, flipping their hair.  It's unbelievable.

Somebody should do a study on this.

ASP and valid XHTML output


Mark thristen

I hadn't realized until the other day that there are issues with ASP outputting valid XHTML strict. Apparently ASP 2.0 can do it, but 1.0 has a couple of interesting quirks that can cause issues that are rather tough to work around. Owing to time constraints, I'm considering switching our doctype to Transitional just to allow for the fact that ASP is throwing up a input of type hidden, and giving a form element a name attribute owing to our use of viewstate - a real kluge, but easier than the full-blown solution (extending the HtmlForm Control), or trying to find another way to maintain the viewstate.Ho-hum.

Ethnography... sitting and watching: Mark Thristen

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Mark Thristen

I really liked the following comment from a colleague recently. I had been along to Microsoft in SOHO to see Louise Ferguson speak on "Ethnography and how it can inform design", and was asked:

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"What's ethnography?... Isn't it just a posh word for sitting around watching people do things?"

Well, that's my pomposity well and truly pricked!

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Music From the Four Corners of the Globe: Lezah

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By Lezah

....not that I actually think the globe has four corners or anything - I'm no flatter-earther. However, working in the job I do, I am fortunate to meet a lot of people from all over the world, and when we talk, the conversation often turns to - you guessed it: music. Hmmm, I wonder why that would be?

Here is some input that has recently been added to my music-from-all-over-the-world file:

Japan - A guy I know, Aki, is a huge music fan from Japan. His favourite Japanese band is called High Standard. They sing in English, and a song they do that Aki recommends is called 'Stay Gold' (catchin' the reference there, Ponyboy?).

Argentina - Gabi and Lucia are a set of twins I know who hail from Argentina. They recently returned from a trip back to 'the old country' over Christmas, and were telling me all about Cumbia music, which is a form of salsa music. They tell me that a party isn't truly a party if cumbia music isn't being played, and that it's the music of the Argentinean youth.

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Scotland - Belle and Sebastian are the band to see these days. Currently on tour, when tickets went on sale for their March Vancouver show, they sold out in a matter of hours. So, I'm out of luck, but if you like great lyrics and can get in line early, maybe you'll be able to see them if they have your town on their tour agenda.

Canada - on the way up: Benny's Little Brother. Rumours are flying around about this yet-unsigned Vancouver band. They're currently getting noticed by some real notables, and introductions and hook-ups and CDs are in the works - and Robert Plant is one of the names that has sprung up in the rumour mill in connection with them. With a confirmed show at UBC's Pit Pub on Friday Feb. 10, they're soon to be a hit with the university crowd, and a tentative booking at the Orpheum later on will hopefully be confirmed soon.

We'll keep you posted - and remember, you heard it here first...

When Muslims systematically torture and murder Roman Catholics, it's America's fault?: Laurence Simon

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Laurence Simon

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Just like the world has warped the history of the Sabra Massacre to blaming Ariel Sharon and Israel for the massacre of Muslims when it was a gang of radical Christian militias going to the camps and doing the killing, it seems that the peace-loving Arab Muslim journalists are intent on blaming the United States and Australia for Indonesia's genocidal reign over East Timor:

The 2,500-page UN report, which took two years to compile and drew on testimonies from 8,000 witnesses, concludes: “The violations were committed in execution of a systematic plan approved, conducted and controlled by Indonesia’s military commanders at the highest level.” As to whom you want to believe, well, I’ll leave it to you.

There’s a lot of damning stuff there — against Jakarta, to be sure, but decidedly against Washington and Canberra as well — capitals whose least expression of remorse should be to pay serious reparations to the people of East Timor for all the suffering they were made to endure for three decades.

A Muslim dicatorship murders 180,000 Roman Catholics during a three-decade occupation before they are eventually liberated by Western diplomacy, and the Muslims respond by trying to blame the hundreds of thousands of murders on Americans and Australians.

Disgusting. Utterly disgusting.

I guess we should prepare for the Muslims of the world to blame America for the hundreds of thousand murdered, raped, tortured, and millions displaced in Sudan by the Arab Muslim regime there.

I'm just looking forward to Western Sudan eventually breaks free from Oroccan exploitation and occupation. That's Muslim-on-Muslim occupation. How will they manage to blame that on America?


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If Jimmy Carter was such a bastion of international human rights, why didn't he reverse Ford's alleged appeasement policy and take any kind of formal stand against Indonesia as he did with penalizing America's athletes over Russia's occupation of Afghanistan?

* In mid-1977, Carter Administration officials, led by then National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, blocked attempts (Document 23) by a U.S. Congressman, Donald Fraser (MN) to obtain a copy of the explosive cable transcribing President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger's December 6, 1975 meeting with Indonesian President Suharto in which Ford and Kissinger "went out of their way on the eve of the GOI move on Timor to assure Suharto of an understanding attitude by the U.S." Twenty four years later, in December 2001, the National Security Archive published the full text of this cable.

* In a May 10, 1978 meeting with President Suharto in Jakarta (Document 29), then Vice-President Walter Mondale discussed with the Indonesian President the Administration's desire for expanded arms sales to Jakarta and recommended "how to handle public relations aspects of the [Timor] problem" in ways that would "have a beneficial impact on U.S. public opinion."

Of Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, and Clinton - which has the Nobel Peace Albatross?

My heart goes out to Pixar employees today: Laurence Simon

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Laurence Simon

(Via Roger L. Simon (no relation))

Steve Jobs sold you out for over 7 billion dollars today. Be thankful that at least your new master isn't going to be Michael Eisner, and there's hope that Steve Jobs will tell Bob Iger to stay in his office and play with Legos until retirement.

Disney has a horrible record in the past decade or so with acquisitions and selloffs.

Disney choked long after the attempt to swallow Cap-Cities/ABC, demoralizing the network, O&O's, and newspapers. Buena Vista television went from producing a few hits to an endless stream of crap. ESPN took at least five years to stabilize the strong brand name for exploitation... one of the few success stories.

They turned Starwave into the miserable Go.com, hung Naughton out to dry. Then they farmed out inside business to iXL when they couldn't manage it, only to bribe iXL to crawl away before revamping their online strategy.

FOX Family cost billions to buy and hundreds of millions to retool into the inferior ABC Family product, earning Disney a big pus-filled boil of debt on its ass instead of valuable real estate on the cable lineups to use as a negotiating tool for ABC, Disney, and ESPN.

They lost the magic-touch Weinsteins with the takeover of Miramax, going from an Oscar-factory to a bomb factory.

Shedding the newspaper/publishing dinosaurs showed their inability to take moribund industries and revamp them for Media 2.0.

Dumping the radio network shows a similar inability to take existing assets and transform them to the new digital realities. (They're betting on iPods and satellite distribution)

The Mighty Ducks were a huge mistake in the first place. Nothing's more expensive than a mismanaged sports franchise.

My prediction with Pixar? They built up a horribly expensive inhouse animation team under Eisner to replace Pixar when Eisner stubbornly refused to negotiate with the vastly superior managerial talent and vision of Jobs. That team will be a nightmare to integrate with Pixar, and the rivalry can either be a good thing or a bad thing.

Good thing: a spirit of "co-opetition" is formed, getting the two groups to compete for projects and one-up each other Oscar and Emmy-wise. Or one is engineered for film and DVD production while the other is focused towards repurposing/re-envisioning film assets to television product for broadcast and cable.

Bad thing: Envy builds up between concessions to either group, duplication of effort, fighting over projects, one is forced to be the "gruntworker" of the other, etc.

We'll see how Jobs manages the transition and integrates the two units.

Let's ask Mohammed about Kanye West posting as Jesus: Laurence Simon

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Laurence Simons

Kanye West will appear as Jesus on the cover of Rolling Stone. Glenn Reynolds thinks if he had any balls, he'd appear as Mohammed.

If he really had any balls, he'd appear in a cartoon about Mohammed. So...

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Thank you, Mohammed. It's all downhill once they put that spear in your side.

If you have questions for Mohammed the Prophet, send them to askmohammed (at) isfullofcrap.com.

Meredith's crotch : Mike G

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By Mike G

Meredith requested that I make a post about her crotch.
I do not remember why.

But i'll oblige her anyway.

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So, for all you unbelievers out there, here is a short list containing all things currently known about Meredith's crotch.

• it is located just below her beltal region and her legs usually stem out symmetrically from either side of it

• she sometimes refers to it as "Xanadu"

• it makes a handy drink holder if you're in a fix
(girl, you so functional)

• it's quite photogenic

• it's usually covered in a thin layer of denim and another thin layer of whatever Meredith wears under her denim, if she does in fact wear anything under her denim

• it probably emits a pleasing warmth

• it's rumoured to smell of lilacs

And there you have it.
If anyone else would like me to endorse their anatomy in any way please don't hesitate to ask.
I'll be waiting.

Quick Survey: Mike G

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By Mike G

Quick Survey

Which would make a better, Awesome Band Name?
(Keep in mind that some of these ABN's will look even cooler when equipped with a Bitchin' Metal Font)

• Jeff Leppard

• Furious George

• Schindler's Fist

• The Sexy Peasants

• Vaginous Prime

Happy Birthday mUm!! : Becks & Posh

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To the Best Mum in my World...

Photograph of my mum taken many moons ago before I was even a twinkle in her eye. Mum has banned me from putting photos of herself on my blog, so I hope she'll forgive me for sharing this particular one. But it's so great, I just had to use it - and after all it is food-related, it contains a big cake! She can't really be cross with me, because back in the early 60s, when this photo was snapped, it was published in the local newspaper, so its already been on public display. And anyway, I am about to give her some good news...

Mum I have a surprise for you...!

Do you remember how I bought you a raffle ticket for the Menu for Hope draw? Do you remember how you didn't win? Were you disappointed? Well, be disappointed no more! Sandra, the winner of the gift I had hoped you would win, was unable to collect the Parisian part of the prize in person. She'd gotten wind of my hopes for your success in the draw so out of the blue she generously asked me if I might like to pass it on to you instead. Can you see where this is leading?

Dear Mum... I am sending you to Paris to eat Berthillon ice cream with David Lebovitz. Enjoy! (Watch out for David, he's a cheeky 'un). Oh, and will you blog it for us all, too? Please. You needn't be in the pictures.

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Syphilitic Viral Marketing: The Antagonst

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Photo from www.nillahood.net/

The Antagonist

Syphilitic Viral Marketing: Just like ordinary viral marketing, only this time you know you're really being fucked.

In the event of a major terrorist attack on a day like July 7th - for argument’s sake, let's call it 7/7 - when the battle to beat down stories of independently verified facts about train times, train numbers, the movements of the alleged perpetrators, non-existent drivers of non-existent trains - you know, all the sort of niggly little details that matter quite a lot to an investigation into such an incident - what would YOU do to reclaim lost territory in the information battle for hearts and minds?

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When all versions of the loosely tied-together 'official' story all fall apart from the very beginning of the narrative, and when this information is out there, in the public consciousness, solidifying and polarizing opinion and gaining greater and greater support from public figures that include film writers and directors, whistleblowers and those few high profile individuals that have the balls to tackle such things, what else is left in the great war of information suppression?
How would YOU go about increasing the noise surrounding an incident on the day of July 7th to drown out anything that vaguely resembles a signal?

Don something that resembles a thinking cap for a few moments, remember that 7/7 is the event that you now wish to bury in a dirge of unrelated drivel, shit and nonsense and see what clever little ruses you come up with.

If you're extremely wily indeed, one of those ruses might just involve a syphilitic viral marketing technique that revolves around making a whole series of normally quite sensible people waste valuable moments of their existences writing and publishing seven list of seven things that nobody - other than themselves - could ever really care about.

Seven lists of seven things. 7 lists of 7. 7/7.

From here-on in, all references to the events of July 7th, 2005 will be referred to as such, or in the abbreviated forms 'July 7th' or '7th July'.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Themes: Not Just a River in Southern England by Rob Williams

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Themes: Not Just a River in Southern England

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Had my first English Department meeting last night at the college where I start teaching next Tuesday. Overall a good group of folk-- and everyone's been very helpful, giving me advice, suggestions for teaching, samples of syllabi and assignments.

I'm also glad to note that many of the instructors, both adjunct and full-time, are also writers (poets, fiction, non-fiction, etc.). I don't know why it's taken me so long to realize that this (writing) is what many of these teacher types do-- teach, I mean--while they are writing their novel, working on their poetry, freelancing. I guess as I get further and further into adjuncting and further away from my MFA this becomes more apparent. For some reason I thought that being away from NYC and Columbia would mean that I was isolated from other writers, but after my meeting last night I'm feeling a little better. Met some nice other writers who are very involved in the San Diego writing scene.

Unfortunately the two classes that I teach (click here to see my name on the roster!) are brand new to me and very complex so I have some hefty prep work ahead. In addition, some of the instructors last night asked me, "So what is the theme of your class?"

"Excuse me?"

It seems that some instructors focus all of the readings and assignments around a theme: revenge, vampires, race, violence, etc.

I hadn't thought about that. What would my 'theme' be? And do I really need a theme? I like having a variety of readings, but maybe I should re-think it and look for some sort of theme.

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Glamorous stars of the 40s and 50s?



Decisions, decisions.

This, however, is my plan:

My teaching schedule is Tue/Thur from 8 am to 9:15 (YES 8 AM!!).

AND Friday from 9 am to 10:50.

Then I'll have my office hours from 9:30-10:30 on Tue and Thu (and from 11-12 on Friday).

After which I will go to the library and write/work on my book-- after lunch (oh, I'm going on a diet of carrots and water, so lunch will be very quick) that is.  I'm going to try to commit to at least four hours a day after teaching to working on my book. I'm going to be at school, close to a library, away from internet, away from (hopefully) distractions.

**By the way... yes, I know Thames is the correct spelling for the River in Southern England!

Thank You Book of the Month By Rob Williams

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Thank You Book of the Month

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Shelley Winters 1920-2006

I was ten when I found a postcard in my mother's Good Housekeeping for The Book of the Month Club. It was one of those 5 books for 1 penny offers. Naturally I signed up (what 10 year old wouldn't want 5 books for a penny--not to mention a sporty beige book bag). Of course I spent the next two or three years saving up my money to fulfill my membership and buy the 5 books back (I think my mom finally called BOMC and told them I was only 10).

In the meantime, I remember two of the books I initially got for that penny. One was a webster's dictionary, and the other was Shelley Winters' best-selling autobiography "Shelley, also known as Shirley."

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These two things (words-- and Hollywood/Movies) would be the two biggest influences in shaping my destiny as a writer.

I read Shelley's autobiography from cover to cover-- in fact, I was so worried about the cover-- with the lovely Johnny Engstead classic picture of her on it -- getting ripped or dirty, that I took the cover off and saved it in a scrapbook. I took the book to school, much to the dismay of my teachers and the puzzlement of my peers-- and read it on the playground at recess.

This was the first star autobiography (or biography) I had ever read, and I practically memorized it. I was fascinated by the tiniest, but important, facts:

Shelley was Marilyn Monroe's roommate and she is the one who taught Marilyn how to do her trademark 'open-mouth smile.'

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Shelley donated her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "The Diary of Anne Frank," to the Anne Frank Museum.

She took over the role of Ado Annie in the original Broadway production of "Oklahoma" (from Celeste Holm, I believe).

Before Bobby DeNiro and Charlize Theron made it just another acting exercise, Shelley gained 50 or more pounds to play the (Oscar nominated) role of Belle Rosen in (my favorite disaster movie) "The Poseidon Adventure" --where she also did all of her own stunts.

She studied with Lee Strasburg at the Acting Studio--and years later taught there herself.

She had numerous love affairs, including Marlon Brando (lucky girl!!).

She was one of the most versatile actresses of the 20th Century--going from pinup girl to two oscars-- and an activist for social change, marching with MLK Jr.

But what really astounds me is the number of classic films she has been in-- possibly more known and varied classic films than any other actress of her generation:

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The Great Gatsby (the 1949 version)

A Double Life

Red River

Meet Danny Wilson

Winchester 73 (with Jimmy Stewart)

The Night of the Hunter

The Diary of Anne Frank

A Place in the Sun

I Am a Camera  (Cabaret, without the songs)

Executive Suite




The Poseidon Adventure

Well... there's another of the great ones I'm not going to meet.

Thanks for the inspiration, Shelley.

*A fan's tribute page to Shelley

*More pictures/posters of Shelley

Monday, January 16, 2006

Concert Fashion - Swank or Skank?

Concert Fashion

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I didn’t know whether to file this under swank or skank because I was so overwhelmed by the getups that I realized if there are this many people dressing like this, perhaps it is ‘swank’ despite my personal reaction to some of the gear. One fellow actually gave me a good, solid, loud guffaw - an involuntary response to his absurd getup. In my view, many of these fashions are just retreads... but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.... so I shall just file it under swank, and let you draw your own conclusions...

Every one of these outfits were for the concert, Story of the Year at the Croatian Cultural Centre. As this was an all ages venue, I found it interesting to see what the young ‘uns were sporting. Here is a list of the accessories worn by the youth present at the concert:

• fingerless gloves - 80’s throwback
• mohawk - 70’s throwback
• vans sneakers - constant through the years
• t-shirts with band logos - constant
• hats with ear flaps - what the hell?
• tight, tight, jeans - ‘80s throwback, although in the ‘80s it was spandex over jeans
• the colour pink - be it hair, make-up, articles of clothing
• dyed black hair hair
• striped tights black/pink, black/white - Pipi Longstocking style
• jailees (low slung, baggie skater shorts) 90’s grunge
• button pins - bands, expressions, awareness every decade covered here
• converse hightops - again, long term stylin’
• studded black leather belts - ‘70s contribution and kept growing
• guys wearing more eyeliner than the gals - Thanks Bowie
• rainbow dyed hair - throwback to the ‘70s and ‘80s
• striped sleeves and wrist bands (similar to the aforesaid tights)
• lots of black outfits, but always with one bright splash of colour - pink being the number one preference and blue coming a distant second
• toques with small brims - no one appeared to know what they were actually called - definitely a current year’s contribution

Concert Review - Story of the Year by Christine

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Story of the Year Concert Review
Jan 8/06 Croatian Cultural Centre
Medium Capacity

Arena Thrash comes to the Croatian Cultural Centre

After numerous superficial fashion observations see here, we got down to reviewing the performances.

Story of the Year is presently on tour to promote their latest album, In the Wake of Determination, released in October of 2005; co-produced by Steve Evetts (Hatebreed, Cure, Saves the Day), and the band delivers an edgier, more thrash metal set - quite a separation from the emo-power rock of their last cd, produced by John Feldman.

Story of the year was supposed to be supported by two opening acts Every Time I Die and From First to Last. Singer Dan Marsala had to inform the crowd that Every Time I Die’s van flipped over and the band was unable to play for a few dates, but they would rejoin the tour shortly. In fact, Dan often stop and made announcements, observations etc - he was very audience aware. ‘If you see someone fall down, be sure to help them back up’. You heard his lament about crossing the border, and you heard him reprimanding himself for saying ‘ we have this little ditty’...

From First to Last had ... well ... they had great artwork on the merchandise they were selling. The lead singer, Sonny (whom for some reason had red paint down one side of his face), didn’t have a huge vocabulary when it came to addressing the crowd, unless of course, it had an ”F” sound resounding throughout the words. Nonetheless, the audience seemed to enjoy themselves - bodysurfing and dancing. The tunes were fine, just not great. However, hats off to Matthew and the other guitarist, Travis, as both were clearly talented and essentially carried the show.

When Story of the Year took to the stage, the theme to Star Wars started to play. This was hilarious, yet somehow appropriate - go figure.

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Right from the first strands of We Don't Care Anymore the band members came off as seasoned pros, and given that this is the 10th year together for some members, it all makes sense. When they launched into Jarhead you could definitely feel the shift in direction. Story of the Year was prepared to go down a much darker, edgier, thrash rock avenue.

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They played their requisite Until The Day I Die, Anthem Of Our Dying Day, and Falling Down with fans singing along. The singer kept an ongoing rapport with the audience - both spoken and physical. In fact the whole band enjoyed getting down the the fans’ levels.

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Story of the Year Had their own personal statements made in the form of tshirts. Adam Russell, the bassist, had a Pantera shirt on which Lezah noted was probably something to do with Dimebag Darrell’s death over a year ago. Ryan Phillips was wearing a Davidson t-shirt, Dan Marsala was wearing a Pitchfork.com shirt and the drummer had on a Celtics jersey. Another observance - each of the fellows in the band were definitely worth looking at/ watching.

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Story of the Year proved to be highly entertaining, and engaging. They all are quite the performers, both athletically and musically. Exchanging guitars in midair, body flips off of speakers while playing instruments, are part of the show for this band.

As well, during the set the band launched a medley of ‘80s/’90s tunes: Guns N Roses Sweet Child of Mine, Twisted Sister, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, More than a Feeling, and Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer. We were beginning to wonder if they had ever heard of the cover mastersThe Dan Band?

Half way through the set, Dan noted that, “Basically anything I say you will repeat?” He went on to throw out random sentences and sure enough, the audience chanted back some of the most ridiculous sentences. The bandmates also joked with each other frequently, teasing their soundman, comments to Ryan about being the unibomber. But throughout the jokes, and talking, the music remained unscathed. Definitely arena rock fellows in a small venue.

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Canadian Swank - Current Fashion Store

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Canadian Swank by: Christine

As Langley emerges as Vancouver’s suburban mini shopping mecca, ‘Current’s’ only outlet store has opened. Current is a clothing chain known for its Canadian focus as well as its finely made clothing and accessories mixture. The owner chose Langley because he always wanted to put a store where there is a lot of strip mall shopping and he felt the need to target more people in the Fraser Valley. He also plans to open a store in Calgary, Alberta.

Current fashions has been in the ladies’ retail clothing business for 12 years. Its parent company is Kudo’s Fashion Corp which was started 17 years ago by Frank Zaetler and Sandy Hayden.

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The first store opened in downtown Vancouver and then relocated to Broadway. Current has stores on West Broadway, Granville between 13th and 14th, Kerrisdale, Blundell Centre, Ironwood, Whiterock, Edgemont Village and Park Royal on the North Shore, as well as Metrotown.

With 11 stores in the lower mainland, this is Current’s official first outlet store. Imagine a reserved La Chateau mingling with a Holt Renfrew design (with the occasional Mexx, Mac&Jac, Kenzie, Jana, Jag and Donna thrown in) and prices marked down up to 75%!

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Initially Kudo's manufactured for Mr Jaz, Virani and Marjorie Hamilton. Current has its own in-house design team and factory in Vancouver. the company’s label is Current, but they also use Origins (one of our original labels) in their factory sale stock. Langley has our only Outlet store and its called The "Current Outlet Store".

As for my own ‘Current Outlet’ purchases, I purchased 3 pairs of slacks and 1 military style jacket for $140.00 as well as a timeless lightweight corduroy knee-length spring coat for 49.00 (from 129.00).

It is so nice to be able to shop Canadian and yet not pay an exorbitant amount. As well, the items on sale are not the styles of yesterday - there are many classic pieces that will last for eons in a suitable wardrobe. As for our American counterparts - come on up and take a look, you’ll be pleased with the bigger savings the dollar exchange will allow you.

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For more information go to www.currentladiesfashion.citymax.com.

A big thank-you to Lynne Ramsay who not only works at the Current Outlet store but also helped fill in the blanks for information I couldn’t locate.

Story of the Year - Interview Ryan Phillips and Adam Russell

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Interview with Story of the Year: Ryan Phillips and Adam Russell
By: Christine Albrecht

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Ahhh yes, faces only mothers could love...

Although our interview with Story of the Year occurred last Sunday (January 8, 2006) I am late getting it out for several reasons:

Reason number one - I generally like to give the band 48 hours to review and add to or correct misinformation, but I forgot to get the band’s contact email (as they’re on the road).

Reason number two - I enjoyed the interview so well, too well in fact, that it was hard to write from a more objective view. I felt as though I had known these fellows forever and I can honestly say that there were many questions I did not get to just because of our general ‘chit chat’.

Reason number three - I had difficulty getting their tour schedule through technology glitches (thoroughly of my own doing).

So, I apologize to Ryan, Adam, Dan, Philip, and Josh up front for not getting their final thumb’s up for the interview, but hey, Adam and Ryan were just as guilty of being too comfortable as we were.

Story of the Year consists of:

* Dan Marsala – Vocalist

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* Ryan Phillips – Guitarist #1 (Lead)

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* Philip Sneed – Guitarist #2 (Rhythm & Melody)

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* Adam Russell – Bassist
* Josh Wills – Drummer

The band was fresh off a busy summer and fall headlining tour, and now continues to support its latest cd release with a slew of new 2006 concert dates.

The interview was almost a ‘non interview’ as I could not get ahold of the Maverick label to supply Swanktrendz with the band’s contact number, press/publicity agent (Jim Baltutis), manager etc. I was even getting bounced from Maverick to Warner’s and back; I was beginning to wonder if Story of the Year even existed anymore.

At the concert venue (Croatian Cultural Centre) I managed to discuss the lack of label communication with SOTY’s road manager, Timmy; everything was set into place and within 20 minutes of their closing song, Lezah and I were discussing Story of the Year’s adventures with Adam Russell, and the oft quoted Ryan Phillips. What was to be a quick 15 minute Q & A turned into a 45 minute session with a lot of laughs. Without a doubt, this group is personable and humorous and was one of the more entertaining groups I’ve talked with.

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Whilst sitting in the back room waiting for our Q & A, Lezah and I managed to observe that Josh Mills (drummer) was extremely ‘aggravated’ with his performance as his thumb was swollen out of proportion and he felt he didn’t hit his stride until several songs into the set. However, this was completely unnoticed by the audience (including myself). Ryan was annoyed that a fan who body surfed right up and on to the stage was turfed by security. Ryan didn’t feel that was right. And of course, there was the obligatory fainted fan receiving first aid a few feet away from us. As she moaned and sighed while her vitals were being checked by paramedics, there appeared to be a miraculous recovery (or perhaps a lead in to another dead faint) as she excitedly received a signed poster and concerned condolences from Adam and Ryan. It was amazing to see the adoration factor kick in with the sincere and concerned acknowledgment of her situation, from two band members. This made me aware of a rarity with popular bands; unlike some other acts I’ve interacted with, Story of the Year truly appreciates and embraces their fans. Throughout our interview, they often expressed how much their fans and audience meant to them and they had no airs about why they were here. They recognize their audience and the fact that the band’s popularity continues as a result of the loyalty of the fans.

Another example of fan awareness was when our ‘15 minute’ interview stretched toward the 45 minute mark. Ryan was concerned about the fans waiting in the rain by the tour bus. He and Adam explained that they had to get out there soon, as that was ‘a long time to wait’ for the fans. ‘Our fans our loyal’, stated Ryan. ‘In fact, male fans in particular are loyal and always stick with the band’.

During the initial part of the interview, we recapped some of the milestones during Story of the Year’s climb to the top.

Beginning in 1996, ‘BigBlueMonkey’ made the club circuits in St. Louis, Missouri. The BBM name was dropped in favour of ‘Story of the Year’ back in 2002 because of a ‘Blues group having the same name’. However, Ryan also intimated that they simply ‘did not like the name’ and were glad to be rid of it (as well as the former singer). Swanktrendz had to agree with the name change - BigBlueMonkey is not the most spectacular representation of a thrash metal rock band. (Now, some of you may be wondering how a former emo-power rock band could be considered thrash metal, but their latest cd, In the Wake of Determination, released October 11, 2005, pulls away from their usual formula, offering hard driven chords and lyrics - ‘We Don’t Care Anymore’ and ‘Jarhead’ being prime examples.) Changing producers from John Feldman (The Used) to Steve Evetts (The Cure, Hatebreed) may be the reason why the album debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

When we asked when and where they write their music, Ryan replied that unlike others, he ‘enjoys writing on tours’ and that ‘it just comes to’ him. ‘I love seeing different cities and sights and I feel inspired to write’. Adam didn’t appear as enthusiastic as Ryan about writing while on the road, but does share lyric writing duties with Dan when motivated.

Dan (former SOTY drummer) became the lead singer and the present SOTY lineup remains cohesive and fresh. 2002 was a powerful year for the band due to the culmination of several events, beginning with the winning of a radio concert which allowed them to open for the Headlining Goldfinger on the second stage during Point Fest. (Coincidentally, Goldfinger had played the same Vancouver venue just days previously). They went on to saturate the crowd with SOTY merchandise at Point Fest; managed to be signed with Maverick Label and began to record their cd, play the Viper Room, and scoop the opening position for Linkin Park’s 2004 tour. Which reminds me - I never did get the chance to clear up the story regarding a fracas they got into with the roadies of Godsmack during the 2004 tour. The so-called ‘Went for Ice Cream together’ resolution that their press released was ... well, yeh right ... give me the real story.

Another issue I wanted to address with Ryan and Adam was the lack of proper promotion from their label, Maverick. As far as I could see, this was a band seasoned and prepared for arenas, large venues, etc. I heard of SOTY’s Jan 8 concert from a 20 year old, named Sam. (I had asked Sam if there were any good acts coming to Vancouver and he mentioned SOTY and talked about seeing them when they toured with Linkin Park.) Word of mouth is fine when you are a struggling new act, however, it can be a death knell for an established act. In fact, the Vancouver venue was not even close to being sold out and the lack of merchandising was lamentable. Merchandising is a huge source of revenue for touring acts, and although they did have enough t-shirts on hand, the lack of cds available for purchase was simply not acceptable. Again, Maverick dropped the ball with this arrangement.

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Adam’s birthday is Dec 8 (he recently turned 26) - being the same day that Dimebag Darrell was murdered in 2004. Adam pays homage to Dimebag by wearing his Pantera t-shirt while on tour. As Adam noted (when we were discussing fans’ loyalty to bands) if Dimebag were alive today, Adam would have no problem ‘paying thousands of dollars just to see him play’. Adam also gives a nod to the band, H20, with his lyrical tattoos ‘One Life, One Chance’.

The boys are a mixture of kickass rockers, bickering (in a been-together-long -enough way) buddies, a solid finish-each -other’s-sentences relationship, and basic, goofy pranksters. They find humour in just about everything and it was hard not to get caught up with their antics. They have a good sense of humour whether it be poking fun at their soundman or poking fun at themselves. As Ryan announced to the concert audience, ‘Dan’s mom is a MILF’, to which all band members agreed. I wonder if Carleen (Dan’s mom) is aware that she is part of tour conversation (albeit in a wayward complimentary fashion). That and simple statements such as, ‘I’m warning you, my feet smell like diapers - baby diapers that is, as opposed to... you know, adult ones’. Adam mentioned watching Brokeback Mountain and then went on to encourage me to write that Ryan likes cowboys, too. Ryan was oblivious to this, answering a separate question at the same time.

When I asked them if they honestly enjoyed touring the smaller venues (such as the Croatian Cultural Centre) they insisted they enjoyed the all ages forum as they believe that is their original fan base. We discussed some of the fans present who appeared young and a security guard interjected that there was a 6 year old in the audience. (Youngest I’ve heard of!) Adam and Ryan went on to explain how important music was to them at an early age (averaging 10 to 11 years old). At that age, they were listening to Megadeath and Pantera and they believe that whatever you’re listening to at that age, largely influences what you’ll be playing if you end up in a band of your own.

I also asked if there was ever a time that they hated being on the road and hated touring. Ryan laughed and said, ‘Are you kidding, we have the greatest job ever’ and the only time he was ‘sick’ of touring was when he had ‘104 degree temperature in Japan’. They both spoke with such earnestness that one had to believe them. I suggested that they stick with this present SOTY lineup as each individual is equally important to the band; they appear to gel/ interact well (at least when a roadie isn’t tossing guitars at them - Ryan will affirm what I mean) and their presence, as a whole, is commanding. They agreed that they felt this was the right lineup, and have no intentions of anything (or anyone) leaving for the duration.

I asked Ryan and Adam to mention some bands that they felt should have some media acknowledgment. Adam mentioned Monty from Providence Rhode Island - and Ryan made mention of He is Legend

Quick chat about Adam and Ryan’s communication style. As I was asking questions I noted that both Ryan and Adam had different ways of retrieving information. Adam, was a definite visual guy - the one that can “see” the big picture, whereas Ryan was more of a kinesthetic person and I jokingly said, ‘You were probably the kid in the class breaking pens and taking things apart to see how they operated while the teacher was teaching’, whereas Adam was staring out the window visualizing bigger things to come, perhaps including future lyrics. Ryan laughed and said, ‘Matter of fact, I was the kid eating the crayons and pissing on the radiator’. Yep, truly a kinesthetic guy. Thank God he plays guitar - who knows what mayhem he could cause.

When I asked what interview question annoyed the group the most, it was a definitive ‘So... what is the story of the year?’ Lezah and I just looked at each other as this was most asinine comment we’ve heard, and frankly, one that would never even venture into our line of questioning.

The guys were getting anxious about their waiting fans so we drew the interview to quick closure. It was a pleasure meeting them and I look forward to this cd breaking new ground (and new fans) for them. They were a pleasure to interview and gave us a laugh as well. Days later, I mentioned to a friend that I was concerned that perhaps the ‘thrash metal’ genre was coming to a close, when he responded it was quite the opposite. As music is cyclical, he figures speed metal music will be coming back to the forefront aka Dead Kennedy’s style. If that is the case, then Story of the Year still have quite a few years left in them.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Toque campaign for Homelessness February 7/06

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By Christine

Raising the roof

Helping put a toque on Homelessness

Our Annual Toque Campaign
gives people from all walks of life the opportunity to show their support for solutions to homelessness by purchasing a Raising the Roof toque and wearing it proudly!

Toques are $10 each, with proceeds supporting grassroots community homelessness agencies across Canada, as well as Raising the Roof's public education initiatives.

For more information about participating in the Toque Campaign, click here.

To order your toque NOW, click here!