flotsam/jetsam


Going Pro – The jimmycanuck/Flickr Update by jimmycanuck
November 9, 2006, 3:48 pm
Filed under: blog news, family, flickr, pictures

Happy Canada Day!

For those of you who like to peek in on my darling daughter on Flickr, I’ve got some good news – I’ve finally gone pro!

Earlier this week I bit the bullet and signed up for a pro flickr account.  Since then I’ve been slowly but surely taking advantage of the “unlimited sets” feature that was missing from the free version, so things are getting a little more organized.  Just thought I should update all of you who like to stay on top of my family life.

Check out all of my flickr photo’s here.



Music Review – Brats on the Beat: Ramones for Kids by jimmycanuck
November 7, 2006, 1:37 pm
Filed under: audio, family, links, music, reviews, shopping, youtube

No review I could write for this album could ever do it justice. As such, I’ve let my nearly two year old daughter Julia put together her own video review which you can watch above. As you can see, it’s rather danceable. 😉

In all seriousness, the reason I wanted to post this video was to show you that despite any skepticism you might have, Brats on the Beat is a fantastic addition to any child’s music library. Not only does the sound of the Ramones contain that same sort of high energy, bouncing off the walls madness that kids love, but it’s the kind of kick ass music that parents can enjoy just as much.

Containing 12 covers of classic Ramones tunes (as performed by a number of famous rockers), Brats on the Beat is surprisingly faithful to its source material despite the claims of being “kiddified.”

Rather than turning the songs into Raffi-esque nightmares, the kidification of the Ramones seems to be focused solely on some slight lyrical changes. Unfriendly lyrics like “shoot’ em in the back now” in Blitzkrieg Bop are now replaced with much safer ones. This doesn’t mean the songs have been mangled though – it’s the rare instance where a small child-friendly tweak has been made, and unless you’re listening for it chances are you won’t even notice.

The only strange decision by the producers that might call the the kid-friendly nature of the album into question is the inclusion of the song “I Just Want to have Something to Do,” about an individual who just wants to fuck to pass the time. Lyrically, there is really nothing inappropriate – a child would never in a million years figure out what the song was about. But still, it seems like a strange song to include. Considering that this is an allusion only parents would get anyway, hearing “I Just Want to have Something to Do” is about as harmful to a child as hearing Baby Bear say “Does a bear go potty in the woods?” during Elmo’s Potty Time. Still, considering the producer’s choice to include so many songs that completely avoid the possibility of uptight parent’s complaining, including this just seems like an odd choice to make.

Despite this bump in the road that might pose a problem for a small group of parents, Brats on the Beat is a solid disc full of some of the best tunes in the Ramones catalogue. Blitzkrieg Bop, California Sun – heck, even their cover of the Spiderman theme makes it in here. This is a fantastic cover album that, kid or no kid, you should have in your collection.

Also worth mentioning – by picking this album up, you won’t just be doing a favor for a kid you know. A portion of the proceeds from each sale will be going to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Last month in an interview with Greg Ross, founder of Go-Kart Records, it was suggested that they may be putting together an album to benefit those with Muscular-Sclerosis in the near future. If you can make it another children’s album, Greg, my daughter will thank you. 🙂

Brats on the Beat will be available in stores and online music services on November 21st, and can be pre-ordered on the Go-Kart Records website now.

More information, including sample tracks, can be found on the official Brats on the Beat myspace page.



Good Luck, Ty! by jimmycanuck
November 7, 2006, 10:03 am
Filed under: family, news

It’s election day for our friends south of the border, and my brother-in-law Ty Harrell is running on the Democrat ticket in the 41st district seat of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Just wanted to wish him the best of luck! I’ve been following the race pretty closely over the internet, and despite the neck-and-neck nature of things it seems that he’s a shoe-in to win.

I think this is only the first step on the political ladder for Ty – not because he won’t do a great job in NC, but because he has the potential to do so much more.

I look forward to my family being his Billy Carter. 😉



Happy Birthday, JimmyCanuck! by jimmycanuck
November 3, 2006, 9:49 am
Filed under: blog news, family, gaming, movies

birthday candles

Happy birthday to the sexiest, most charming, clever and dashing man I know – ME!

That’s right boys and girls, today is the celebration of the 26th anniversary of the first coming of Jim, your holy lord and saviour. I’ve only been awake for an hour or so, and already things are off to a fine start. My wife gave me a copy of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance for the 360 that I can’t wait to fire up, and I just recieved my preview copy of the new Sam & Max title from Telltale Games (review coming soon).

Not a whole lot on tap for today. Around four we’re having cake with my mother, and after that we’ll hopefully be heading out to an arcade in the Falls (because it’s the only place in 100 miles where we can find one.) Then we’re off to the movies to see Borat. All in all, a good day planned. Hopefully in the in between times I can just relax and game my heart out. That Sam & Max preview is calling my name.

Oooh! I almost forgot, we got our surprise electricity rebate cheque yesterday, so I’ll be getting myself a present too. I’ll be pre-ordering Gears of War as soon as I pass an EB. 😉

The line for happy birthday’s and paypal donations in lieu of presents start’s here, people;



Julia’s Second Halloween by jimmycanuck
October 31, 2006, 7:32 pm
Filed under: family, flickr, pictures

Little Lion 011

Our little lion. 🙂

It’s Julia’s second Halloween, but her first time trick-or-treating. We just got back from our candy collecting duties and had a ton of fun. On the walk between houses, everything was “trick-or-treat,” “pumpkin,” and “thank you.” But as soon as we got to a house she was as quiet as a doorknob. Still, we all had a great time. I can’t wait to do it again next year.

More pictures on flickr.



Our Pumpkins by jimmycanuck
October 30, 2006, 9:10 pm
Filed under: family, flickr, pictures

Pumpkins 019

Tonight was pumpkin carving night at the old Squires homestead.  Hailea did a very snazzy Pac-Man inspired piece mostly done via scraping, and I did my old pal Homestar Runner using a stencil I found on the official Homestar Runner site.  It was Hailea’s first time doing scraping, and my first time using a stencil, and I think for two rank amateurs we did a pretty kick ass job.

Pumpkins-take 2 009

If I have time tomorrow I may do a matching Strongbad  pumpkin.  This took a hell of a lot out of me though, so don’t go counting on it.  I think next year I may plan something a little more daunting.  Maybe using multiple pumpkins.  We’ll see – I’ve got about 366 days to think about it.

Pumpkins-take 2 015



The Weekend In Pictures by jimmycanuck
October 23, 2006, 11:16 am
Filed under: family, flickr, pictures, youtube

The Happy Couple

This weekend was quite the adventure for a shut-in like myself. Saturday was our second anniversary, and to celebrate Hailea and I took a trip out to Fort George. It’s one of the most important locations in the War of 1812, it’s in our own backyard, and yet we’ve never been. Definitely a very fun trip.

We now have oodles of photos of Fort George on flickr – unfortunately, they’re not sorted into a set. flickr only offers so many sets with the free account, and I’m all tapped out. I desperately want to upgrade to Pro, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Add it to my Christmas list, people! Here’s a personal favourite;

Cannon at Fort George

Later that day, we went to Jack Astor’s for dinner. The food was great, but I did have one major complaint that I should really pass on to you nice folks. As soon as the food arrived, I found hair in it. Not only that, but I found it twice more as I was eating. Now anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that, despite the teeth I may show online, I’m a big puss in person who doesn’t want to stir the pot. So rather than causing a scene like most would, when the manager came over to see how everything was I very politely said “I’m not one to complain, but I’ve been finding hair in my food. Like, A LOT of hair. Someone in you kitchen needs a hairnet and isn’t wearing one.” She apologized profusely and went straight to talk with the kitchen manager. Seems like a good solution, right? Then the bill comes.

They didn’t take anything off!!! Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting the whole meal to be comped, but seriously, at least don’t charge me for the meal that was tainted. I was very, very unimpressed. Won’t be going back there again, which is a shame, because the food is fantastic. At least I got my own subtle payback. As you can see from the Mario I drew below while waiting for dinner, this is the type of restaurant with recycled paper and crayons on the table.

Mario

So I did what any enraged patron with no balls would do – I wrote in big black letters “HAIR IN FOOD + PAYING FULL PRICE = UNHAPPY CUSTOMER :(” Hopefully a few customers saw that before they cleared away our table. 🙂

(And just to be clear, I still tipped pretty well – our waiter was excellent, the quality of the food was not his fault, and it was his manager we spoke to about the hair, not him – so remember kiddies, always tip well for good service!)

The Werner Ranch and Pumpkin Farm

Sunday was a little more family oriented. Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa and Julia all went out to the Warner Ranch and Pumpkin Farm for a hay ride. Lots of “no set” photos on flickr for this one too. It was a lot of fun – Julia went mental for all of the animals. She also got to go on her very first pony ride – god bless youtube for letting me share it with all of you;

I also have a great video of her dancing at the Ranch, but I need to rotate it 90 degrees without squishing it, thereby making them look like waterheads. Also – I’m having a nightmare of a time right now with any Microsoft-based video stuff jiving with new videos from my camera, so even if I knew how to fix it, I couldn’t. That being said, if any of you out there have any experience with video-related fiddling and would like to help me get that one all sorted out, please, drop me a line.