Sunday, March 25, 2007

moe. throws down at Lake Placid


moe. was certainly on their game at snoe.down 2007. The Friday night show was on fire. Of course this might have had something to do with the fact that I somehow managed to ride the rail on this one. Yep, my buddy and I were front row center. Thee best concert either of us have been to. Hands down.

Unfortunately cameras weren't allowed and unlike many others in the crowd I didn't bother trying to sneak mine in. The one you see above is from last year's snoe.down and should give you an idea of the moe.pit in front of the stage.

The "bootleg" of the show has already been posted. I had talked with this taper guy at some point during the night and as promised he has posted it in record time. Check it out here.

If any of you blog readers have been to Lake Placid, NY before you'd know that this place is not that big. Now imagine about 3,000 jamband fans, hippies, and moe.rons roaming around Main Street. Peace, love, and free hugs. You just can't find a friendlier atmosphere.

snoe.down 2007 hits Lake Placid
State trooper snoe.down ride checkmoe. at snoe.down 2007
Olympic Center signJagermeister tour bus

Other notables for the night were, Tea Leaf Green, Sam Kininger Band, Little Feat, and of course Kate Gaffney who stalked us all the way to Price Choppers at 5am. Or was that the other way round? It's all a blur.

Anyhow if you interested in getting the full weekend story you'll have to pour me a pint. Or three. It was a great time with lots of stories to tell (or not).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

snoe.down 2007

It's official, I am a moe.ron. There I said it. And being a true moe.ron I'm going to see moe. at snoe.down 2007! It's going to be awesome.

Don't get me wrong my love for the groove doesn't stop with moe. I like all kinds of music. From mainstream to small town grass roots, from jazz to jam and pop to thrash. In many ways music is my religion. In other ways it's my drug. Either way it's an addiction.

Wanna take a trip? Floyd, Steve Tibbetts, God Speed You Black Emperor. Need to vent? Speed metal or some heavy three chord riffs. Mellow out? Jambands or blues or a slice of guitar oriented jazz. Or maybe some solo guitar work from Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine or some Don Ross. Sundays is definitely a day for Chris Brown & Kate Fenner or Van Morrison.

Lately I'm back on the jamband wagon. You just can't beat a good 20-30 minute groove and the snoe.down fest will definitely give me that fix.

If you're looking for some good jambands to check out, here's a short list. Keep in mind that a jamband need not always sound like the Allman Brothers or the Dead. You can have psychedelic, jazz fusion, jazz funk, ambient, blues jam,... you get the idea.

The "short" list of jambands:
  • moe.
  • Umphrey's Mcgee
  • Phish
  • Trey Anastasio
  • North Mississippi Allstars
  • Steve Kimock Band
  • Garaj Mahal
  • Garage a Trois
  • The Word
  • Robert Randolph
  • Particle
  • Gov't Mule
  • Derek Trucks Band
  • Robert Walter's 20th Congress
  • Tea Leaf Green
  • My Morning Jacket
  • String Cheese Incident
  • Widespread Panic
  • Phil Lesh

The other great thing about jambands is that most of them allow and in fact encourage "taping". Taping is really just authorized bootlegging (not for resale). Bands will even set aside specific areas on the concert floor for tapers and some will actually let you patch in to the soundboard. How sweet is that?

You can download over 1100 live shows from moe. alone. Some of bands, such as Umphrey's McGee, even compile it for you into podcasts offered on their websites. An endless stream of tunes. For free.

After downloading and listening to some of these bootlegged shows it has convinced me to buy the studio CDs and DVDs and occasionally it even hooks me into making a trip down south to catch a live show.

Finally you can all catch me and moe. live via this webcam showing the arena where they'll be playing this weekend (last one on the page).
Herb Brooks Arena webcam, Lake Placid, NY
It'll kinda be like the "Where's Waldo?" game. Good luck with that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Ok ok, I agree the DQ Flamethrower commercial is funny.

But I still think the milk commercial posted earlier is a classic. It just catches you off guard being so out of character for milk. More like an SNL spoof.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Campaign for Real Ale

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (1667)

Stumbled upon an article yesterday in the Ottawa Citizen titled, "Pubs in Peril". On the front page was a little photo of the pub sign for Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub in London. It caught my eye because this is one of the pubs I visited when I was in London last December. I love historic pubs and this one had been on my hit list for some time. It was absolutely awesome. An authentic English pub. No music, no pool table, coal burning fireplace, and real English ale and bitters. You just can't beat the atmosphere.

Ye Olde Chesire Cheese Ye Olde Chesire Cheese

The article went on to talk about the very thing that has haunted me since even before my first visit to London, England - the closing of the historic London pubs. It nearly brings me to tears thinking of all the old (old as in as old as Canada) British watering holes converting to restaurants and gastropubs or worse yet facing the wrecking ball.

Pubs in Peril

Click here to read the article printed in the Ottawa Citizen.
(sorry about the poor photo cut and paste)

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (1667)

A shot of the front of the pub from Fleet Street with St. Paul's Cathedral in the background.

Anyhow, cheers and long live the English Pubs.

Monday, March 19, 2007

got milk?

This has got to be the most hilarious milk commercial ever. I still remember the first time I saw it on TV. Not surprisingly it seemed to fall out of rotation quite quickly but thanks to youtube we can all relive the moment. Cheers.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

March Break 2007

The Chalet, Blue Moon Retreat

We just returned from a trip into Central Ontario and considering that the weather forecast was rain for most of the week we made out all right. In fact we only saw a little rain the first morning and then the next two days reached a sunny 13 degrees. The sad part was that half the snow melted away leaving mounds of muck and brown grass. What with the mere dusting of snow we've had this year it didn't take long for the blue skies and shining sun to make it feel like Spring had arrived.

Day 1 we met up with our friends at the small town of Foymount, Ontario's highest populated point at 500m (1650') above sea level. It is also home to the Black Water Designs Factory Store open 7 days a week. Tons of deals to be had here on outdoor clothing and gear - always worth a stop.

IMG_6268 Papineau Creek bridge

Over the next few days we went hiking in the area and hit some of the nearby geocaches along the numerous ski-doo and ATV trails. Thankfully there was still snow on the trails and the mud had not yet poked through.
General Store, Maynooth, Ontario

We also checked out the Maynooth General Store and the Madawaska Art Shop. They were very different from each other but equally impressive. Obviously they make most of their sales during the summer when the campers and cottagers come zooming through here on their way to some weekend R&R.

Guinness time on Papineau Creek Pog Lake picnic

Thursday we did our annual day trip in to Algonquin Park. Checked out the visitor's centre, some more hiking, and then had a fire by Pog Lake and heated up a yummy lunch. On the way in we talked to one of the park wardens who mentioned that this winter has been especially hard on the deer and moose. The mild winter and lack of snow has brought out the tics in full force and the moose have been scratching and rubbing themselves down to the bare skin. Then when the cold nights hit and the temperature dropped below -20 the furless beasts were dying of exposure. Crazy but true. If they could I bet they would invest in authentic fur coats or even some fleece from Foymount. But alas, they lack the opposable thumbs required to zip up the jackets. Poor creatures.


Other than the outdoor activities there was some serious time spent in the jacuzzi hot tub and the sauna. Finally on the Friday we packed it up and headed for home but not before stopping in Combermere for our traditional goodbye breakfast.

Purdy Lake sunset view

Chalk that one up as another memorable March Break.

Friday, March 09, 2007

In search of the perfect coffee...

Photo of a freshly brewed Senseo coffee with cream - not yet stirred.

I've enjoyed many a fine cup of java over the years and can honestly tell you that there is no one answer to this question. Like beer and wine, there's the right coffee for the right occasion. Morning coffee, wake-me-up-in-the-afternoon coffee, after dinner coffee, and sober my ass up coffee. Whether you're looking for a java jolt or just a relaxing mug of warmth you can bet there's the perfect blend waiting for you. And then there's the size issue - a honking mug or a tiny tasse.

Lately I've been enjoying a well crafted brew from Philips Senseo. It makes a wicked brew. Here's a little video to show you how it works.

Now go get yourself one, they're only $59 US at You can buy the coffee pods there too - they come in an assortment of flavours.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Pino's Italian sausage... World's Best!

Pino's Famous Italian sausage

Yesterday was one of the coldest day's of the year reaching -43°C with the wind chill. Brrrr. Insanely cold as it was, it was not enough to stop me from stepping outside, starting up the BBQ, and throwing on the last of Pino's Mild Italian sausages that I'd been hording in my freezer since last August.

Pino's mild Italian sausage

These are by far the world's best sausages. Lean, no fillers, and full of flavor with lots of garlic.

Pino's mild Italian sausage

Ahhh, the last taste of summer. Now we'll have to wait until next year's annual trip to Sault Ste. Marie to restock our freezer.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Another Sunday family ski

This time we headed out to some of the Kanata trails. Weather was warm and the sun was just breaking through the clouds. Nice.

On the advice of a fellow skier that was just leaving as we were putting our skis on, we stayed right down the trails all the way. Good advice too. The trail wasn't trampled by dog walkers and the hills were all manageable. Don't get me wrong, there were some wipe-outs but nothing serious. Fun was definitely on the menu today.


And to think that I nearly left them at home this morning to join Mike and Kenmore at Huron cabin for Norway Day and free voffles. As long as I don't have to hear about a impromptu Norwegian bikini photo shoot with syrup and and and ... well I still think I made the right call. And as far as Karma goes, by staying home today I didn't feel guilty about buying tickets to the upcoming snoe.down music festival in Lake Placid, NY. Well maybe a little guilty.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Snow Day in the GAT

Today was a snow day here in the Ottawa/Gatineau region. Buses were canceled and some schools were closed. I was loving it. It's about time we got a good dump of snow.

Heedless of the falling white stuff, Mike, Ken, and I stuck to our original game plan and headed up to the GAT for some x-c skiing. We skied from P12 Meech up Trail 40, and then up the crazy steep Trail 2 to the Western chalet where we stopped for lunch. Click here to see this section of the Gatineau Winter Trail map.

Lunch consisted of some awesome toasted cheese bun sandwiches with basil chicken and garlic sauce. To wash it down I had a half pint of Guinness courtesy of Kenmore. I must say, by bringing beer and breaking the snow covered trails for Mike and I, Kenmore has most definitely ensured himself a spot on this GAT ski team. Thanks again buddy.

Signs on the GAT trail Western cabin, Gatineau
Western cabin, Gatineau Cozy fire at Western

When we finally got the courage up to leave the warm cozy hut it was officially a red alert blizzard. The wind was howling through the trees and the snow was literally blinding us as the storm blew it horizontally in to our faces. We loved it. Bring on the snow Mother Nature!

Kenmore, grizzlyG, Tripper

Oh I nearly forgot, what would a x-c ski trip in the GAT be without at least one wipe-out from the grizz?

Picture the scene... We were setting up to make the ski down to Western and grizz being the crazy daredevil screamed, "Me first!" and blasted by us. After seeing him round the corner I too took off down the hill. It's a short but steep descent with a couple of good corners but I was ready.

After scraping over the third patch of ice I was starting to get worried when BLAMO I see this pile of skis and poles off to my left. Mike had lost it and flew off into a tree. In spite of being doubled over with laughter I managed to make it down to the cabin safely and then quickly turned around to get the photo for all you blog readers out there. Thanks Mike.

grizz wipes out on the ride down to Western

And finally here's a little video for your enjoyment...