Archive for March, 2006



The Royal Canadian Mint is issuing the 2nd coloured quarter soon at a Shopper’s Drug Mart near you with the support of the “Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation .”

This is the worlds second coloured coin according to a CBC news article on this subject. The first one having also been made in Canada. If you remember last year we had the red poppy quarter released through Tim Hortons. Apparently there was some controversy about it, (not that I heard about at the time however) about how the paint flaked off too easily.

I don’t mind when our money changes. I always like the novelty of the new bills myself. New, coloured coins? Why not! The penny is sure distinctive…

Drunk Driving,…No Problem!

This isn’t really a Toronto story but it relates to us as well so thought I’d share this story from the CBC.

One of the most notorious drunk drivers in the Ottawa area has been found not criminally responsible on his latest impaired driving charges because of a mental disorder that makes him believe female celebrities are controlling his actions.

Matt Brownlee was arrested last October after police spotted a pickup truck speeding along a busy street in downtown Ottawa.

The 33-year-old man told psychiatrists that he knew the legal repercussions of his actions, but believed singer Shania Twain was helping him drive.

On Monday, the judge drew on several psychiatric assessments in ruling that Brownlee was not criminally responsible for his actions because he suffers from delusions that celebrities such as Twain are communicating with him telepathically.

Ten years ago, Brownlee was given a seven-year prison sentence and barred from driving for the rest of his life after he killed an Ottawa woman, Linda Lebreton-Holmes, and her 12-year-old son while driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

Another assessment of how much risk he poses to the community could see Brownlee being detained in hospital, released under supervision in the community, or given an absolute discharge…

Read the rest here.

O Happy Sunshine

Spring has officially begun, a lovely way to say good bye to march. Its refreshing to get shimmering sunlight and happy faces, which are no longer hidden under grumpy looking scarves, hats and what-nots. T-shirts, flip flops, roller blades and ofcourse capris are next base:D

Happy (almost)April people:)

Our city’s time machine is nearly built

So, remember that we have all agreed on the date of our transference.

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, April 2nd at 2am. Remember to adjust your clocks ahead by one hour!

“At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves.” – Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks

All Cities Feed

Hey Everyone!

Many of you have been asking for this since the beginning of time, and now we finally have it. An RSS feed of all the posts from all the cities:

Slap that in an RSS reader and see the global coverage as it happens. We know the timing on it is a little weird but different time zones make that a touch awkward. But it works. And we love it.


P.S. Sorry about my absence of late. I’ve been out of town for a while.

Ontario Health Premium

So, I’m filling out my income tax return. The Ontario Health Premium is annoying. Is it helping? Is it ever going to go away?

Of Guitar geeks and and a whole lot of Petrucci loving

Sometimes, some things turn out so well that you can call them anything but surreal. Yes, Surreal is the only word that can describe last tuesday’s John Petrucci Guitar Clinic at Healey’s Night club (at Bathurst and Queen). I still can’t get over the ecstatic feeling of hysteria from tuesday night’s guitar rumble. The main and the only act was Sir Petrucci himself and along with him his teal coloured Music Man Axe (and of course countless wires, chords, amps, processors and pedals). His only posy was this mechanical marvel of a set-up, which supposedly “depicted a simplified version” of what he uses live. It leads one to wonder if this were simplified, the real thing would be unimaginably gigantic and more than a tinge of amazing ness.

The night started at 5:45 pm, with my sister and I jumping excitedly off the 511 streetcar at the intersection of Bathurst and Queen. Like two kids hyped up on sugar, we were all smiles. Following the intersection was the line up outside Healey’s and without even reading the board, we knew we landed at the right place (God bless the TTC). What followed was a 45-minute session of standing in the -3 degrees wind-chill surrounded by a crowd of almost 400 strangers who evidently shared the Petrucci-loving. It was a warm feeling to know people around you, for once, knew the music you were into and didn’t give you the ‘omg, what’s wrong with you to be listening to that trash’ look (yes, absolute un-holy words they).

After being in the toe numbing and teeth clattering and perpetually secondary smoking for 45 minutes, they finally opened the gates and everyone rushed in. The bouncer announced no video or sound recording was allowed and if anyone were caught doing so would be thrown out. My sister and I gulped at hearing that but no way in hell was I letting anyone touch my camcorder, and without handing it in to the bouncers, we walked right into the dark interior of the basement at Healey’s. The dim lights, the speakers pumping rock classics, the internal heating and the run towards the stage finally made us realise that was worth all that lining up in the cold and the hour commute preceding the queue. My sister and I found us a perfect place on the left side of the stage, from where the view was anything of the whole stage was anything but clear. After finding the spot to begin the gruesome wait for Petrucci to come out. About 15 songs, four watermelon and lemon tridents later, the L&M crew introduced John Petrucci on to the stage.

All hell broke lose when Mr Extraordinaire walked the line between the crowd and up to the stage. Devil horns were raised, some beer bottles followed and several ‘woo hoos’ later, he finally took the mic.
‘Hello everyone’
‘Its cold in Canada’
The ice was finally broken, no more nerves just a lot of Petrucci loving in the crowd followed. Larger than life was the aura of his presence yet his attitude so humble and honest that it made every one feel as if you were interacting with a laymen like yourself, not to a maestro like him. Dressed in a loosely fitted blue jeans and a black round-neck T shirt along with a grey toque on his head, he stood poised and perfect with the axe in his hand.

He talked to us about the layout of the clinic, which was going to include three songs, tutorials on guitar techniques he uses followed by a question answer session. Without further a-do, he went into Glasgow Kiss. It got the crowd pumped as hell, the jumping, screaming, head-banging crowd slowly quietened down, everyone was mesmerised. All eyes on his fingers, which were sliding, up and down the fret board with the speed and smoothness that defied friction. I think it made me shed a tear (of course privately) and I wiped it off before anyone including my sister had a chance to even realise what happened. The silence persisted but the ground seemed to be shaking now, the rooftop, the speaker above us, the pillar next to us trembled at the amplitude of the sound. Petrucci was surely in the house and everyone was fixated in his playing. Magic was happening in there because Glasgow Kiss and Curve (another track) aren’t surreal until you are three feet away from Petrucci and he is playing and improvising live.

Between the tracks, he showed us a few legato techniques, followed by e-Lydian, blues scale, and arpeggios and not to forget the wonders of the wah wah and the whammy pedal. John even did some sleazy guitar tricks to please the crowd by doing an aeroplane, the train and some Steve Ray Vaughan licks. His eyes were sparkling with joy as people shouted out questions regarding music he made years ago, music he hadn’t played in years. His passion for Hendrix, Steve Morse, and Rush showed in his answer about inspirations. His love and respect for Vai and Satriani and being part of the G3 was crystal clear in his smile and the brightness of his cheeks. But despite the madness of the crowd and the roaring of the fans, John kept his composure and tamed the crowd at the right time when he went into Damage Control (from his solo album). He talked about his custom made two-headed guitar that several people in the crowd were dying to buy. Of course his own signature line of Music Man guitars that shunned the crowd with the technical brilliance that complimented his own technique.

The clock said 9:15 pm, he had just finished Damage Control, one last shout out, rounds of screams and cheering later, a satisfied and happy Petrucci, said ‘good night’ and ‘thankyou’ to the crowd, to L&M and Healey’s. He left the stage with a warm smile on his face and I left the club with a pounding head and almost deaf ears. It was a night to remember, so close to a magician like him was a once in a lifetime experience for me. We all left with ear-to-ear smiles on our faces and the night just felt full of musical notes, guitar geeks, happy hearts and a whole lot of Petrucci loving.

The night belonged to JP. It really did. =)

Now if I could only upload pictures:S

All Smiles After the Gathering…

The%20Gathering.jpg Got my pictures back from Thursday’s show. I hadn’t seen THE GATHERING live before. They put on quite a show and was impressed with how tight the band were (great sound too – perfect guitar tone…). I was sad that the REVERB/Big BOP seemed somewhat thin but maybe it was a combination of a $31 price and bad promotion??? There was no shortage of enthusiasm though. Anneke even remarked that the crowd was “so loud” even though the club wasn’t packed (i’m told their last Toronto show at CLUB ROCK IT was almost full capacity).

In any case I hooked up their rarities and b-sides double CD for $12, shot tonnes of photos and rawked out straight through to the 3 song encore! It was cool to see the band playing EASTWOOD guitars too. I’ve noticed them at CAPSULE MUSIC. Dreamy… (But then most all the gear they have is!!!) I well I will shift from Rock to Rhumba by Sunday… YEAH!!!

Tim Hortons goes Live today

This morning Tim Horton’s stock will begin trading on the NYSE and the TSE under the symbol: THI.

Click here for a stock update for prices etc once the markets have opened.

Initially they were going to begin their IPO with a price of $21 – $23 per share but yesterday settled for $27, the upper end of their range.

“In 2005, Tim Horton’s earned a profit of $191.1 million on sales of $1.48 billion.” I want to ask where the rest of the money went. After making almost 1 and a half billion dollars they only had profit of less than 200 million? Maybe they’re involved in secret defense funding?

Another fact? There are apparently more Tim Horton’s in Canada than McDonald’s. Go figure.

Oh, and according to reports the Tim Horton’s in Afghanistan has not yet opened up, but is expected to “after weeks of persistent request from Canadian soldiers stationed” there. (1)

Can’t wait for more MUSICA!!!

Casa_Mar12 2006_03

Originally uploaded by swoononeone.

Off to see the GATHERING show tonight.

Got MUSICA on my mind as I have my pictures from the last show scanned. Can’t wait for this Sunday! It’s not everyday you can catch an eleven piece Cuban band!!!

feat. free Cuban salsa lesson w/SARITA LEYVA @7:30pm
BLACK MARKET CUBAN TIMBA BAND, DJ BILLY BRYANS, MCs OSIEL & KENIA, delcious CUBAN FOOD & the chance to win a basket of traditional Cuban item

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