Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Uli’s Stairs pt.2

I’ve mentioned these before.

Possibly my favourite thing in Hamilton.

I’ve been there a bunch of times since I posted those photos (6 years ago already - yikes), but hadn’t bothered taking any more.

Took some friends and their kids there on Sunday. A few changes, but still the awe-inspiring combo of an amazing feat of one (in his 70’s [!] )man’s ingenuity and hard work, and a beautiful natural area.
When I take my millions, and build the giant theme park of my dreams, it will feature stairs like this leading up to all sorts of magical sites.
Uli has added his own whimsical sign to the official legalese sign.
The lookout as you walk up.
The lookout.
Top of the stairs.
And Uli’s warning sign at the top.
The reward at the top. The Red Hill Valley.
The Niagara Escarpment.
And then I was dropped back off close to home.

Monday, 4 September 2017

S.o.t.D. - Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart – Marc Almond & Gene Pitney

Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart – Marc Almond & Gene Pitney

I loved Nick Cave’s version of this on Kicking Against The Pricks, but this duet might even top that.

The geometric dance of Earth & Venus over an 8-year period

Signage: Adler’s

When you have to pee really badly and duck into an alley to do it, you sometimes find gems.

The lack of an area code before the number dates this to over 20 years old.

Anyone want some 3" foliage green / sage green 17337 nylon webbing?

A while back I saw that Princess Auto had some 3" 17337 nylon webbing. Hhhmmmhh... 3 inch is hard to find, I could use some for water bottle holders for the pack I’m designing. Kind of an odd foliage green / sage green colour though, not olive green, so strike against it. But ultimately, $45 for a 100 yards that I could only see myself using a small amount of sporadically ... I’ll pass.

I see my pal Andrew last night who has a part time gig there. We’re talking about the little treasures you can find at Princess Auto. Mention that webbing.

“Yeah it went on sale, half the price, manager slashed the price even more, I got an employee discount - $9. I’ve got them in the trunk of my car. I’ll give you one.”

It’s still not my preferred colour, it’s still way more than I can see myself using - but hell, a free roll of webbing is okay in my books.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

S.o.t.D. - Teeth Will Be Provided – Test Dept.

Teeth Will Be Provided – Test Dept.

A video that shows not just the theatricality of Test Dept., but also the intense physicality of that live show. Not to mention, awesome drumming.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

S.o.t.D. - Procession – New Order

Procession – New Order

There is so much New Order’s done that’s great, but this one...woooo boy.

One of the first things they put out after Ian Curtis’s suicide, and while it still has that incredibly propulsive bass and drum driven Joy Division sound, it isn’t quite as sludgy. That jangly guitar and the clearer higher vocals of Bernard Sumner – it’s one of Martin Hannett’s best production jobs. But there is also just a hint of what was to come in the next few years. Buoyant song.

Sept. 1st Sunrise and Sunset

One of the only benefits of waking up at way too early AM is catching a nice sunrise.
One of the benefits of having friends who live up high is catching a nice sunset.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - To Vanish – Mojoman

To Vanish – Mojoman

Another fairly recent discovery. Done right. Subtle, sweet elements, with smooth beaty bits.

The insanely gorgeous video is taken from footage produced for the 2011 Mexican centenary celebrations.

Monday, 28 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - Abseil – Technimatic

Abseil – Technimatic

There’s no abseiling in this song called “Abseil”. Although the terrain featured in the video looks like the climbing and abseiling would be out of this world. From a film called “Between Heaven & Earth” by Henry Jun Wah Lee taken in Zhangjiajie, China. Thousands of jagged quartzite sandstone columns, several hundreds of meters tall rise above the landscape, and caves sit below it. Song’s decent, but the video is what grabbed my attention. 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - One Touch (Technimatic Remix) – Macca & Los Contreras

One Touch (Technimatic Remix) – Macca & Los Contreras

Beats are a bit too hard and fast for my liking, but still a good tune. Everything else is smooth and lovely. That’s what the ladies call me too. Smooth and lovely. Yup.

Video is nice too.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - Up All Night – Beck

Up All Night – Beck

Another artist I’ve known about for a long time, but one I’ve shamefully not paid as much attention to as I should have.

Fun video and song.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - Paradise Lost – Doc Scott

Paradise Lost – Doc Scott

One of those artists who manages to capture both the hard and soft. A mellow intro to martial beats leading to a mellow outro.

Monday, 21 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - Being With You – Foul Play

Being With You – Foul Play

I never cease to marvel at how many artists from this genre and era I still have never featured here. And this artist I think I only really know as a remixer of an Omni Trio song. And for all I know, it’s merely a pseudonym of someone I am familiar with.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Signage: Doorbell Broken

In the transom of the door leading to an apartment above a store. Made me laugh. On Barton Street near Wentworth in Hamilton.

S.o.t.D. - Four – Insomnia

Four – Insomnia

Rifleman’s Ration

I don’t condone firearms use under the influence of alcohol. But after some time on the range, this is a delicious beverage to unwind with.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - Chinz n Grinz – J Laze

Chinz n Grinz – J Laze

Surprised I’ve never featured J Laze. (I’ve had another jungle artist, J. Majik on here. Another fella I suspect is actually called Jason.) Certainly given how totally creamy the first two minutes of this are.

Military Occupation at Burlington Heights

There’s a fairly new sign outside Dundurn Castle, with a photo illustration detailing what the area would have looked like during the War of 1812 and some explanations. (Hopefully you can zoom in and read it okay if you’re interested. And please excuse any wonkiness in the image. It’s cobbled together from over a dozen photos.)


Having wielded a few in my day, I can say, “now THAT’s a pulaski!”

Thursday, 10 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - Bankrobber – The Clash

Bankrobber – The Clash

The Clash are one of those bands that I’ve been familiar with forever, but haven’t really appreciated enough.

Listened to this the other night, and it gave me a renewed appreciation. Both in terms of their ability to broaden beyond any narrow confines, and in terms of how this sound would have hit people when it came out.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Bruce Trail Hike August 5

Went and explored a local section of the Bruce Trail, that for some inexplicable reason have only ever been on once. A long time ago. From Highway 6 towards Waterdown. Friends Michelle and Amanda came down from Toronto. Not too long of a hike, but time spent in the woods is always good in my books. And it was an opportunity to try out my new pack, the Squish’mups. Stay tuned for an update on it.
One side and the other of the underpass beneath Hwy. 6. Big improvement. Before you had the choice of trying to run across the highway and dodge traffic or make a long detour.

One of the first things you come across is the ruins of a homesteaders cabin. Not sure how old it is.
Some scenes in the woods.
A quarry has been turned into a managed wetland area.
Amanda and I in the underpass. (Photo by Michelle M.)

S.o.t.D. - Falling Up – Natus

Falling Up – Natus

Slick video that accompanies this.

Monday, 7 August 2017


There is a legend about Queen Victoria offering a reward of 100 pounds sterling to anyone who could deliver to her the fresh fruit. Although this legend can be traced to a 1930 publication by the fruit explorer, David Fairchild, it is not substantiated by any known historical document, yet is probably responsible for the uncommon designation of mangosteen as the “Queen of Fruit.”

S.o.t.D. - Lonely Thoughts – Craset x Sibewest

Lonely Thoughts – Craset x Sibewest

Super good atmospheric vibes.


The Patch’mups, a panel I made for all my Velcro backed embroidered patches. There is loop Velcro fabric available, but it’s pricey. I took four lengths of 4" loop Velcro and sewed it to a piece of 420 denier packcloth, folded it in half, inserted a piece of HDPE, sewed it together, and then put paracord with button knots on the end through the 1" tube sewn into the top. (And 85 of those patches, I sewed hook Velcro to. By hand. Ugh...) 

(Suspending it in the centre like that, still makes it bow. A rigid tube through the top will fix that, or suspending it from two hooks close to the ends, rather than one in the centre, will also make it hang better. That’s the option I’ll go with.) 

Friday, 4 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - Demon Seed – Exocet

Demon Seed – Exocet

Step into the void.

From back in 97, and I think this artist only did a few things. Shame. Could be just an anonymous guise for a known producer, but I don’t know.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

S.o.t.D. - UXB – Decoder

UXB – Decoder

An ominous yet perky tune, that sounds like it could be soundtrack for cops cruising through a decaying rust belt industrial area in a dystopian future.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Signage: Leon Furs

Overhanging signs like this were once very commonplace here in Hamilton. (And I’m sure many other North American cities.) Now they are a rarity. Regulations and insurance did them in. This derelict example on James St. N. is one of the few left. Curious how long it will be before it’s gone like the hundreds of others that used to exist.

S.o.t.D. - Pieces Of A Dream (Roger’s Raw Dub) – Incognito

Pieces Of A Dream (Roger’s Raw Dub) – Incognito

I’m guessing Roger is Roger Sanchez.

Soulful and funky.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

S.o.t.D. - Shadows – AIЯLIИES

Shadows – AIЯLIИES

Love how this genre has managed to turn the snap, crackle and pop of vinyl not into something integral to the sound.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

S.o.t.D. - Jade (Orphx Remix) – Svreca

Jade (Orphx Remix) – Svreca

Orphx are from the city I live in, and do a style of music that I’m not sure if it could be classified as techno or industrial.

Friday, 28 July 2017

S.o.t.D. - W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. – Front 242

W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. – Front 242

If I wasn’t already a huge fan, getting this album in 87, and reaching the 2 minute mark of this first track – yup...I’m a huge fan.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Signage: City Motor Hotel

The City Motor Hotel is gone. While the sign alludes to a 50’s retro future of hopeful optimism, by the end it was a squalid dump filled with addicts, dealers and hookers.