Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Downloading music in Canada is now 100% legal

A Canadian court has rejected a motion that would have allowed file sharing netizens to be sued. Looks like it's open season (as if it wasn't already) on file sharing.

The original article on CBC.ca is here.

The Recording Industry Association of America has sued about 400 individuals in the U.S. for allowing others access to song files. Several people have settled out of court for about $3,000 US each. The Canadian Recording Industry Association tried to sue 29 Canadians earlier this year.

Monday, March 29, 2004

New photos

I figured if I was going to start posting more frequently, I would go out and actually take some new photos too. There are two new albums posted for your viewing pleasure.

One of them is my (albeit short) visit to Point Pleasant Park on Saturday, when they were letting the public into see what's left of the flora; and let me tell you, it's not much. The other was my visit to Ski Martock on Sunday for their final day of the season. They put on their annual "Slush Cup" where skiers and snowboarders attempt to make it across a 40 foot stretch of (muddy) water without falling in. Most were unsuccessful.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

A night of free drinking

Hold on just a minute, this isn’t something I’m offering to the general public; rather, it’s something I have just experienced. Some friends and I were at the Granite Brewery on Barrington Street and started to eat supper, continued drinking beer, and decided to stay for the currently-sound-checking entertainment.

Drinking, some old arguments were brought to the table, such as “Does a peanut butter sandwich imply jam or jelly?” and “What days of the week comprise the weekend?” We tried to engage our waitress in the conversation, but she didn’t seem appreciative.

Still drinking, we were the only clients in the bar. Waiting for the live music to start was turning out to be a bit of a chore. Simply drinking was not holding my attention. Eventually, more people started to roll in and around 10 pm, the two female singer/guitar players took the stage. At first I was confused by the fact that they were singing love songs about “she” and “her”, but upon scanning the audience and finding its constituents primarily mannish, and female, I understood the situation.

Nevertheless, it seems that I really like lesbian singers because I really liked the last band that I knew was lesbians (lesbian sisters, at that—Tegan and Sarah was their name) too. Some fantastic guitar playing and better than average singing was heard and enjoyed. They played very melodic, folk-like tunes that really spoke from their hearts. These girls were not afraid to lay their emotions down in song lyrics and you have to respect anyone who can sing their feelings to a crowd of strangers.

On my way home (I took the bus, because I’m too cheap to cab it when I’m just going home to Palmela Handerson), I was eavesdropping (is it really eavesdropping when they’re talking more loudly enough for you to hear them three seats away?) on this guy and girl coming from what sounded like a movie screening. Turned out they were digital arts students that were making short films and jazzing them up with special effects and such. If you think computer people can talk with the buzzwords, you have got to hear these digital media people going on. They were throwing around jargon like high school seniors with a freshman’s lunch money.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering, “When the hell am I going to find out about the free drinking?” Or maybe you forgot about that all together. Anyway, when I get to my door, in my mailbox is a mail-in rebate cheque for $50 for something I bought at a boxing day sale. Because of that cheque, my entire night out cost me $2.50.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

My bus is an elevator

That's right. On my bus, people get in, stare at the door, and do not talk to anyone else for the duration of their stay. Unless you're with friends, in which case talking is allowed. This is because the rest of us get to eavesdrop on whatever interesting conversations we care to. I figure a bus is just like an elevator that moves throughout the city and doesn't necessarily go up and/or down and you don't really press any buttons.

People get on an elevator with a plan and somewhere to go. I thought the same was true for a bus, but it appears not to be so. People get on a bus with time to kill.

On my bus, a complete stranger would not interrupt my listening pleasure to ask, "What the fuck are you listening to?". On my bus parents would not let their children run screaming up and down the aisle. On my bus, people would not pay in pennies and then argue with the driver (who won't move until the situation is resolved) that you're sure there was $1.75's worth in there.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

The "new" Merrill's

I'm worried about Merrill's. It's been an institution in my perception of the downtown scene for as long as I can remember. Since getting a job basically across the street from it, I've been there for lunch a number of times and I've brought nearly all of my pub crawls there. But recently it's changed hands. New owner, new chef, new menu, new name: the "new" Merrill's.

Since this change took place, I've been noticing a disturbing trend, fewer and fewer people are gracing the doors of this fine establishment. In my opinion, the menu is better than it ever was (except for the lack of nachos, but don't get me started on that), the chef is a nice guy (I was talking to him when I was there soon after the opening), and the atmosphere is pretty much identical. Because of those reason, I can't understand what is the deal with the declining patronage.

After J.J.'s closed, I started to get paranoid about losing the bars that were my old favourites. Everybody go down to Merrill's and have a drink. Show your support.

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