Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Re-entering the Real World

Grad school is over in two weeks.

In two weeks I get my real life back.

This is what I want to do once library school is finished:
  1. Get-a-job-get-a-place-of-my-own-get-a-cat. Yeah, in a post-recession job market, this might take awhile.
  2. Read books. Real books, not just library related stuff (although library related stuff is ok too). I've got a stack of 2reads growing like mould on my floor. For three years I've been stocking up on must-haves and great-deals from Bookmooch. I suspect the hardest part will be trying to decide what to read first.
  3. Get in shape. I'm a stress eater, and the past three (nay, ten) years of my life have been very stressful. I rediscovered my love for cycling last summer, and I miss walking around Lake Beaumaris. I'm in love with my wii-fit, and have been hearing good things about the Couch 2 5K app and some sort of P90 workout program thingy. Anyways, winter is over too so at least I'll get outside a bit more...
  4. Go hiking. I really want to make a better effort to get outside and out of the city to enjoy Alberta.
  5. Get better at curling. Now that school wont be consuming my life, a practice session once in awhile will be quite welcome. The Saville Centre usually offers Fall training sessions, so as long as #1 goes according to plan I'll still be in Edmonton and can take advantage of those. I've been curling for three seasons, it's about time I stopped sucking.
  6. Volunteer more. Maybe one day I'll have a normal-person work schedule that can easily be organized around. If I stay in Edmonton (see #1), I'd like to volunteer for my curling club's junior program (I've already checked, it's ok if I suck as long as I like kids). It's been three years since I taught elementary school and I miss hanging out with the kids, so I'm looking forward to this opportunity if 'stuff' works out. There's also the Continental Cup of Curling coming to St. Albert in January 2011 that I want to volunteer for (and if anyone knows how I can get on the volunteer list for this, please let me know!). And of course there's non-curling stuff as well. Perhaps being unemployed for awhile wont be so bad.
  7. Learn to knit. So the 'thing to do' at library school this year has been knitting. It seems like a relaxing hobby so maybe I should take it up?! It doesn't seem too hard, although a friend recently pointed out a single-knitting-curling-librarian-with-cats isn't very marketable, if you know what I mean. Oh well. To each his own.
  8. Cook. I'm not very domesticated, so learning to cook would probably be a good thing to do. Actually, I can cook, I just need the time (and motivation) to try out some great recipes. And to find said great recipes. The first step is thinking about it, right?
  9. Go on a holiday. I really need a holiday. And my poor neglected travel blog needs to be updated. I'm graduating with a significant level of education, plus it's a significant birthday year for me (ug) so I want to plan a significant holiday. I'm love to 'go big or go home' and head to New York, but I'm not sure that'll happen. It depends on money and job stuff (well what doesn't in my life right now?!). Likely I'll head to Vancouver. Again. But at least that'll be relaxing.
  10. Write another Nanowrimo novel. November is a long time away, but I've missed out on Nanowrimo for two years in a row now, and I'm itching to do it again. I've even got an idea!
  11. Re-take up the fiddle. Back in the day, during the London Years, a friend and then a nice Irish man taught me how to play the fiddle. I took lessons for maybe a year, but didn't have any time to practice, what with all the work that went along with being an elementary teacher. At some point my fiddle and I had a marital spat and decided to separate. I haven't even opened the case in three years. Maybe the strings or bow hairs have disintegrated? A friend of mine plays the violin, so maybe my fiddle and I will make up and have another go at a happy relationship. We'll see.
  12. Re-unlock Guitar Hero. My Nintendo Wii broke last Christmas so I had to buy a new one. Unfortunately that also means I lost all my unlocked content on two different Guitar Heros (and a Rabbids game too). It's going to be a busy summer of rockin' out!
  13. Watch geek-tv. I think it's finally time I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica. So if anyone has the DVDs to lend...
  14. Sleep. Lot's. And often.
Sigh. It all depends on #1 right now, and regarding that, well I've never been more discouraged. At least grad school is over in two weeks!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Earth Hour Photos

I warned you in my Earth Hour post last week that this Saturday was Earth Hour, when everyone is supposed to turn off all their lights for an hour to raise awareness for environmental causes etc.

Personally, I sat home in the dark pottering on my computer (using the battery only of course - what else was I supposed to do, sit home alone in the dark and just...sit?). I figured this would be more environmentally friendly than driving my car somewhere or having tv on in the dark or whatever.

Well, the Edmonton Journal reported that Edmonton dropped its elecrticity consumption by 3%, which was actually down from last year, but still better than Calgary's 0.5% effort. I really like this quote from the WWF Canada Communication rep, Josh Laughren:
"What we've always said from Day 1 is measuring the power drop is beside the point. It isn't about saving energy during that hour; it's about an expression of support for the issue of climate change. It seems to me, in terms of participation in Earth Hour, people are as concerned or more concerned as any year in the past."
Check out The Big Picture website, which has a great collection of before and after shots of major cities. I personally think most of the cities look better without all the light pollution, but then, what do I know.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Curling Music Part 2: Hard Core Bonspiel

This week's curling music video is a tribute to Jennifer Jones - who along with Dawn Askin, Jill Officer and Cathy Overton-Clapham just won the bronze at the World Women's Curling Championship.

Unfortunately, there is no embed for this film, but check out the video from the Athletes in Motion page, and watch all the other short videos which include Canadian athletes and awesome music. They're all really fun.

Producer: John Kerr and Srinivas Krishna
Director: John Kerr
Athlete: Jennifer Jones (skip)
Writer: Douglas Coupland
Music: Gord Downie ("We're Hardcore")
Winnipeg athlete Jennifer Jones's curling daydreams become disco reality in this short from Calgary director John Kerr.

Music Monday: Jimmy Rankin Concert

Last Friday night, I saw Jimmy Rankin in concert.

It was just Jimmy and his guitar, and another guitar player who played acoustic guitar, electric guitar and banjo.

Jimmy's the one with only one head. Please will someone buy me an iphone so I can take better photos discreetly in dark venues? K, thanks.

I've been a Rankin Family fan since the 90's (I took a lot of teasing for that in high school, but it was for a good cause) and have since followed Jimmy Rankin into his solo career. I really like his voice, and he's one of the very few songwriters who's lyrics I actually appreciate. The Rankin Family Reunion concert was one of the best shows I saw in 2009, and I knew Jimmy wouldn't disappoint either.


Morning Bound Train (from Handmade) - every song should include a banjo, or a fiddle, or an accordion, or a harmonica, and some guitar dancing. I'm just saying.

It was a great show. He sang some old solo stuff, some newer solo stuff, some Rankin Family stuff and a previously unreleased song (FYI, new solo album sometime in 2011). Jimmy was also quite charming, chatting to the crowd in between songs, cracking jokes, asking for requests etc. I was a bit surprised at this because when I saw him some years ago he was pretty flat and kinda grouchy (though the music was great). Tonight was totally different, with rather enjoyable banter and music.

Slipping Away (from Edge of Days) - this video was actually filmed in Edmonton's Refinery Row district. Jimmy told us it was f-ing cold and the train was pretty darn close to him.

One thing that annoys me about his shows is that he is constantly tuning his guitar in between songs. Actually, he interrupted one of his stories Friday night by just randomly shouting "I tune because I care!" Makes sense, but it's still annoying. Good think the music is fantastic!!

Check out Jimmy Rankin on BT Television Edmonton singing 'Slipping Away' and 'Louisiana'.

I'll always take in a Rankin show. They're classic and I love them.

My most favourite Rankin Family song ever. I always get a bit sad watching the old videos because John Morris passed away tragically all those years ago. Jimmy sang this one on Friday, and we all got up and danced and clapped and sang along to the hey-hey-heys. Good times.

Jimmy Rankin Official
Jimmy Rankin Myspace
The Rankin Family Official
The Rankin Family Myspace

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Volunteering at the Dominion Curling Club Championship

For an A#1 curling nerd like me, today was a fun day!

I spent the day at my home curling club (Sherwood Park Curling Club) volunteering for the Dominion Curling Club Championship Playdowns (NACA division).

Huh?

In it's second year, the Dominion Curling Club Championship is a national competition for club curlers. It gives club curlers a chance at representing their province at the national level. Check out the promo video from last year:


The championship is open to non-elite curlers - that means that teams who compete on the slam/world tour circuit are not eligible. However, an elite curler may play in the Dominion, but there can only be one elite curler per team. For example, Jamie King and James Pahl were playing today and they've competed at provincials and on the tour a couple times (heck, Jamie King is the alternative for team Koe and they just won the Brier and are off to Italy to compete in the World Championships!) but the rest of their team were recreational club curlers only. (Also of note, Jackie-Rae Greening, the self professed Lord of the Rings and radio show host was playing with her team, so technically I saw 3 semi-famous curlers curl. Very exciting.) I actually think no elite curlers should be allowed at all, but what do I know.

Anyways. So, there's 100 clubs that belong to the Northern Alberta Curling Association (NACA) and each club is eligible to send 1 team to the Dominion playdowns. This year I think they said there were 42 mens and womens teams, all from either Edmonton or small towns in the north/central area of Alberta. From this playdown, 3 teams will join 3 teams from the Southern Alberta Curling Association (SACA) and 2 teams from the Peace Curling Association - and the winner of that final playdown will represent Alberta at the Dominion Curling Club Championship later this year out east. I actually think it would be way less complicating if Alberta only had one curling association, but what do I know.

Most of the teams at the playdown today were club champions, but some had won a particular competition at their home club to get here. And now that you know the background, I'll tell you about my fun day.

I've sold 50/50s for a club even a couple years ago, so I was expecting much of the same. However, when I got there, the club manager introduced me to the NACA lady who was doing the scoring and I ended up helping her all day. I helped her score the games, input the data onto the website, update the draw schedules upstairs and downstairs, and sort out the signage for the next draw. Sounds boring but I only meant to stay for 3hrs, and ended up staying for 7hrs. I really enjoyed myself! And I learned a lot. Of course in between all of this I got to watch some good curling, and that's kinda my thing. The club even donated me a hamburger. What more can you ask for! I can't wait to retire, then I'm going to do this sort of thing all curling season.

I don't know who won yet, because the final draws are tomorrow, but I certainly hope the curlers have a great time at the banquet tonight, and on the ice tomorrow. They were a really great group of people (as all curlers are!). The Dominion is a great opportunity for recreational teams to play at the top level, and I hope they are successful and keep it up, because I know the curlers today sure appreciated the chance to play for the prize!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tomorrow = Earth Hour 2010

On Saturday, March 27, at 8:30pm, millions of people world wide will turn out their lights for one hour to mark Earth Hour 2010.

Canadian Promotional Video


Global Promotional Video

Please consider participating. If we all join together, the powers that be might notice and take action...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dear Blogger,

Your new Blogger-in-Draft template designer customization program is very cool. Finally Blogger blogs can compete with Wordpress in terms of prettiness. Well done on finally providing this service to your users. I was thinking about leaving Blogger and migrating to Wordpress, but I'll stay with Blogger now. I promise when I have a minute I will pimp up my blog to the max.

However, I don't like that once I converted to the new template, all my old posts now have missing paragraph breaks. Now a lot of my old posts run on as a big block of text instead of having white space in between (I suppose my hard returns which used to get converted to div breaks were all changed to br breaks). Boo to this. Now on the rare chance that someone actually wants to read an old post, it will look stupid and hard to read. Can this be fixed? How?

Anyways, thanks again for the new template designer. I guess it's a case of 'no pain no gain'.

Sincerely,
the curling librarian

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Local TV/Cable Debate vs A Paralympic Hero

The 'Local TV vs Cable Company' issue is back in the news (check out my older post - Local Tv vs Cable Companies Again for some background and older links other blog posts I've written about it).

Recently, the CRTC decided it will allow TV networks to negotiate fees for local signals with cable companies. Hopefully this means local tv and cable can work out a fair price. Likely it will mean a tv tax, blackouts and more profit for cable companies.

See the following news briefs for more:
Edmonton Journal: CRTC supports 'market-based' approach
CTV Edmonton: CRTC says TV networks can negotiate

The staff at CTV Edmonton have recently started a blog called Inner Tube. I thought today's post was brilliant. The news director, Glen Kubish, intertwined two stories: one about the recent CRTC decision, the other about Dave Mitchell (a sports guy)'s quest to meet local Paralympic hero Viviane Forest at the airport. Head over to Inner Tube and read the whole post titled #yeg.

His final comment was:
"I confess I don't understand all the intricacies of the different arguments over value for signal and all the other terms that orbit around the debate. For me, local television news is simply going to the airport and staying at the airport for a local Canadian hero."
I agree wholeheartedly. Well done CTV Edmonton. I love my local tv news team, and I hope to watch them for many years to come. Thanks for all your hard work CTV, I assure you it doesn't go unappreciated.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Curling Music Part 1: The Weakerthans

Time to kick off a Music Monday series that may or may not last until the end of the curling-on-tv-season depending on how many songs I can find...

'Tournament of Hearts' by The Weakerthans is, in my opinion, the best-curling-song-ever, and a most excellent way to start a Monday:


Today's post is very timely: The Weakerthans are releasing their new CD/DVD combo tomorrow. So here's the song again, in all it's live-in-concert glory:


And since you're ordering their new CD/DVD combo, you ought to order one of these nifty t-shirts too:



The Weakerthans official website
The Weakerthans myspace page

(Awhile ago I wrote about how I needed a theme song. Well, now you know my secret. Right off, no never ever never ever...)

UPDATE:

Here's another great video of John K. Samson of The Weakerthans singing the song to promote the new CD. And FYI, he's never talked to the curling community about what they think of the song...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Curling Bits

  • Congratulations to the Canadian Olympic Wheelchair Curling team - they've won gold at the Paralympics!! Since the tv coverage of the Paralympics was less than exhaustive, I only saw bits and pieces of the event. I've never seen wheelchair curling before, so it was quite interesting to note the difference between that and the other curling game. There are no sweepers, so it's more about precision shooting. I'll admit, I found it too quiet (one of my favourite thing about curling is listening to the strategy and the yelling), but it looked quite intense nonetheless!
  • The World Women's Curling Championship is on. It's kind of disappointing that TSN is only showing the draws when Canada plays. Like a lot of people, I suppose I'm not as big a fan of international curling as national events, but still, there are some great stories and matchups, and it would be nice to watch some of the other teams. I suppose there's some sort of big basketball thingy going on, and there's still hockey (for the non-Oilers fans anyways) for TSN to broadcast. Nevertheless, it would've been nice to turn the tv on this morning and watch some curling. 
  • Even more tragic - TSN will only carry the semi and the final of the Men's World Curling Championship in April. Yes, ok, it's in Italy and that's a big time zone difference - but my team is in it and I want to watch them whip the world. Oh well.
  • And so commences the curling-team-shuffle, starting with team Stoughton rumours. Kevin Park and Rob Fowler will no longer play for Stoughton, and Steve Gould is still on the bubble. Stoughton has picked up Reid Carruthers so far. It's going to be an interesting few months of curling-team-rumours!
  • It's my last curling game of the season this afternoon. Last year my team finished 6th (out of 8) but this year we're playing in the 3vs4 game. We're playing our favourite team so it'll be a game full of joking around, but it's going to be a bittersweet afternoon - I love curling (even though I suck) and I enjoy my team, but we will also do the curling-team-shuffle after this season, and I might have to move away from Etown depending on job circumstances (BOO!!!). Thus, this will be the last time I curl with my team, and maybe the last time I curl at the Sherwood Park Curling Club. So sad.
Well, good curling everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More Curling on TV: Women's Worlds

After the Olympics, I went into withdrawal. Following two weeks of inspirational sporting moments with crappy school and work - well it was inevitable.

And this week I'm in Brier withdrawal. It was such a great week filled with great curling capped off with a super great final - naturally I'm going to miss it.

But guess what? There's more curling on starting this weekend!!

It's the Women's World Curling Championship, located this year in Swift Current, Saskatchewan (yay for no time zone issues!). It runs from Saturday March 20 to Sunday March 28.



I'm not a super huge women's curling fan, but I've gotten so accustomed to just having a curling game on the tv that I'm really looking forward to it this year (plus, no time zone issues!).

The list of teams is here. Canada will be represented by team Jennifer Jones, who recently missed out on qualifying for a recent curling tour event playoff spot because they lost to a junior team. No kidding, the article is here. They'd better get it together and go for the gold though. Some of the other teams you'll recognize from the Olympics, but some teams (like Olympic gold medalists team Norberg from Sweden) will not be playing.

All games are on TSN, so check out their broadcast schedule. On 3-draw days (Sunday-Thursday) games are on at 8:30am/1:30pm/7:00pm Mountain Time. The final will be at 3:00pm on Sunday, March 28. Don't forget, if you miss a game they'll put it in the video-on-demand archive shortly after the broadcast is finished (yay TSN!).

That oughta alleviate my curling withdrawal symptoms!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Field Trip to a Book Depository

In my first year of library school, I got to go on a bunch of field trips as part of my publishing class (highly recommended!). Mostly they were based around the UofA: we got to see the University of Alberta's Espresso machine, and visit the University of Alberta Press. I've also been fortunate enough to visit the Atlas Book Bindery.

And today, to cap off my library school career, I finally got to go to the University of Alberta's Book and Records Depository (fondly known as 'BARD'). Don't tell the prof, but I mostly took that particular class because I'd heard they got to go to Bard and I've always wanted to visit.

And Bard did not disappoint.

Bard houses books and archival material from the University - it has room for over 3.2 million books! It's actually an old IKEA warehouse, and is of course temperature and condition controlled. Besides the offices and processing area, the best bit was the warehouse area, mostly because its tall cavernous expanse was full of shelves, shelves and more shelves full of books, books and more books.

The books are shelved as they come in, so complete runs or sets might not be together. They are organized according to size (not topic) and placed in particularly sized boxes, assigned a common barcode, and then placed on one of the shelves. When a request comes in (about 400-500 a day I think?), staff use cherry pickers to navigate through the aisles and up the shelving units to retrieve the box the book came from.

Photo from the About Bard page

There is also space designated for donations (in whatever state of processing they are in) and an archives room. The librarian who gave us a tour compared the archives room to a type of fungus that just grows and grows regardless of if you want it to or not. I figure that's a fitting analogy. More information about BARD is available here and here.

I would go crazy if I worked at Bard. Everything is everywhere. I am a compulsive tidyer and the disarray of some areas would drive me crazy. I would need to put everything back and make it all neat.

It was pretty neat to visit though!

When I was in Vancouver last year, we visited the University of British Columbia, which has a nifty ASRS (Automated Storage and Retrieval System) located right in one of the libraries. Basically it's like a mini-Bard with an automated retrieval robot thing that pulls out the books that some one might request. Also very neat to see.


And you thought all librarians did all day was check out books. Nope, some work in warehouses organizing mountains of books!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brier Final Wrap Up

Oh wow. Did you watch the Brier final?? What a game!

It was so tense. My pulse was racing the whole time.

The problem was I honestly didn't know who to cheer for - Howard and Koe are my top two favourite teams! On one hand I wanted to see Howard redeemed after the Olympic trials loss, but on the other hand this might've been Koe's only shot at the title with Martin returning next year as it's so hard to get out of Alberta.

And boy, that was some game, right down to the last stone in an extra end, and the Koe boys came out on top! They were so excited when they won, it was the cutest thing ever - not lying I almost cried. Check out the photos of their post-win celebration at the official Brier Gallery.

Photo via TSN - check out the Brier Final Highlights video, and their 1-1 with Koe post-game (I reckon he almost cried when Brian Mudryk mentioned they get to wear the maple leaf on their back.)

Aw. I'm so proud of my team. They've finally got a shot at the Worlds, and regardless of whether they split up after this season - they'll always be Brier champs.

Too bad TSN isn't show too many games from the Worlds: they are in Italy after all so we'll only get to see the semi and the final. I can't wait to cheer them on though! Go for the gold Team Canada!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Music Monday: Young Artists For Haiti

This is worth an early post - I've got to beat the announcement on CTV Late News!

Let's take a trip back to 2006.

It's the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. There's a name in the program, and the tarp girls are all like "Why is there a Somali hip hop artist playing the main stage. That is so not folk."

Later in the festival the sentiment was "Wow, that guy is amazing. We love him. Bring him back NOW!"



In 2007, I saw him twice when I was in London (once during a Canada Day concert, and a week later at an Anti-Racism festival). I also saw him shortly after returning to Edmonton, and I bet that was the only time people danced in the aisles at the Winspear Centre. And I've been waiting patiently for him to come back to Etown.

K'Naan is amazing.

His live show is heart felt and will get you dancing. His lyrics are poignant and powerful.

And Wavin' Flag is one of the best, one of my favourites. Rumours have been building for the past month. Well, look what he's done with it:

50+ Canadian artists have come together to record K'Naan's amazing song "Wavin' Flag" to raise money to help Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake that hit in January, with proceeds going to Free The Children, War Child Canada and World Vision Canada.


The following artists were involved:
Knaan, Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavigne, Sam Roberts, Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan), Tyler Connolly (Theory Of A Deadman), Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Josh Ramsay (Marianas Trench), Jay Malinowski (Bedouin Soundclash), Chin Injeti, Jacob Hoggard (Hedley), Red 1, Lights, Derek Whibley (Sum 41), Serena Ryder, Emily Haines (Metric), James Shaw (Metric), Hawksley Workman, Drake, Ima, Elisapie, Pierre Lapointe, Esthero, Corb Lund, Fefe Dobson, Jim Creegan (Barenaked Ladies), Tom Cochrane, Kevin Parent, Lamar Ashe, Colin James, Nikki Yanofsky, Suzie McNeil, Stephan Moccio, Aoin Clarke, Kathleen Edwards, Jim Cuddy, Shiloh, Stacey McKitrick, Jessie Farrell, Colin MacDonald, Justin Nozuka, Hayley Sales, Matt Mays, City & Colour, Arkells, Pat Kordyback (Stereos), Dave Faber, Brandon Lehti, The Canadian Tenors, Justin Bieber, Torquil Campbell (Stars), Broken Social Scene

I agree with Mike's Bloggity Blog: I'm not sure how Tom Cochrane and Jim Cuddy qualify as young artists, but I love Jim Cuddy so all are forgiven for the oversight.

Visit the Young Artists For Haiti facebook page or go directly to itunes to buy the mp3 or the music video.

Awesome.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Brier Updates By Nichols, Korab (& Fry)

If you're a curling fan, you need to go to the Team Gushue facebook page and watch their daily Brier videos.

Awesome.

Hilarious.

Watch for a Gushue cameo.

They should make all the teams do this. Rating would go through the roof!!

(Thanks to @bulechka for the link!)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Music Monday: It's A Shore Thing

Grad school is kicking my ass. Job hunting is not fun super discouraging. No time to blog.

No worries though.

The Brier is on!

If you're a curling fan, you know this song, as it seems to get resurrected every few years or so. But did you know you could download the whole thing on mp3? Now you can listen to it whenever you want!!


If that download link doesn't work, visit the Brier's main page and download it from the Audio & Video tab.

Speaking of curling songs, I'll put together a music monday curling song post before the end of the season, so please leave me some suggestions!!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Brier Time Again!! Part II

It's Brier time!! I'm so excited!

I think I'm extra excited this year. Here's why:

1. I'm going through Olympic withdrawal. I need to watch some sort of sporting event to make up for it.

2. Team Martin isn't there this year. Just to set the record straight: I am a big Team Martin fan, but it'll be exciting to watch a non Martin/Howard final for once. It'll be interesting to see who steps up to the challenge.

3. Team Koe is there this year. They're one of my favourite teams, and as they're likely splitting up after this season, I'm excited to see them make a run for the Brier title.

4. Realistically, Team Howard has another shot at the win and thus a trip to the Worlds. I like their team too, and would like to see Glenn and co. get another shot at greatness.

5. I'm had a bad week, perhaps the worst week of my grad school career. I need to sit back and watch some curling. Ah bliss.

Alright, let's get started. Bring on a week of fan-freakin-tastic curling!!

(Part 1, including my picks and a link to the schedule is here.)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Brier Time Again!!

Guess what time it is?

It's Brier time!!!


Get ready for some awesome curling, March 6-14!

The Mens Canadian Curling Championship is probably the best curling event you'll ever see. I know we just had the Olympics, but the calibre of curling in Canada is so high that it's likely the curling you'll see at the Brier will be better than the curling at the Olympics, gold medal aside of course.

Team Martin wont be there, so it'll be...interesting to see who takes over. Here are the teams:

Alberta: Koe 
British Columbia: Richard
Manitoba: Stoughton
New Brunswick: Grattan
Newfoundland & Labrador: Gushue
Northern Ontario: Jacobs
Northwest Territories/Yukon: Koe
Nova Scotia: Fitzner-Leblanc
Ontario: Howard
Prince Edward Island: MacDonald
Quebec: Reid
Saskatchewan: McKee

There are some new names (to me anyways), some old names, and some favourite names. And yes, there are two Koes - it'll be so exciting to watch a brothers matchup, just like last year's Battle of the Howards. (That one's the Thursday March 11 morning draw - don't miss it!)

Here's the schedule, though TSN hasn't stated on the website yet which games will be broadcast. I'm betting they're covering Koe/Koe and Howard/Stoughton though. There will be 3 draws a day (9:30am/2pm/6:30pm ET), and those not covered by TSN will be covered by my favourite online company, CurlTV.com. It's also interesting that the final is so late (7pm in Halifax) as if I remember correctly, the finals are usually played in the afternoon.

Since I'm 2hrs behind - thank goodness for PVRs!

But don't worry if you miss a draw, they'll all be in TSN's Video-On-Demand Archive shortly after the game is finished.

My picks? Well if you're a regular reader you know that team Koe is one of my favourites (*sigh*), but I'm also a Howard fan, and have come to appreciate Stoughton over the years. So I'm picking Howard to win, but Koe and Stoughton to be close behind. Can't forget about Gushue though (looking for redemption after missing the Olympic trials perhaps?).

Gosh, it's gonna be a gooder!!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Music Monday: Corb Lund Concert

Another year, another Corb Lund show.

First up to open the show was Ridley Bent.

Come on, you know you love my blurry photos.

Meh. He was ok. I have seen him at folk fest before, and I find him just 'ho hum'. He is a clever song writer, and excels at the whole hip-hop-country thing (but the rest doesn't stand out). The only song that I really got into was 'Suicidewinder', otherwise it was just a waiting game.

I fell in love with Corb Lund's music while I lived in the UK. If I was homesick, I would listen to his CDs, and I would cry. If I wasn't homesick, and I listened to his CDs, I would cry too. I love his music because it's so very Albertan - he includes tons of references to my favourite province, and really captures the spirit of rural Alberta. I love it.

Oddly enough, this is one of the songs that always made me cry. (NSFW)

I've seen Corb Lund a bunch of times before...

In the UK, 2006 - also saw him open for Blue Rodeo a few months later.

In the UK, 2007 - a few days after they played Glastonbury, and there was still mud all over their gear.

Rexall, 2008 - the night they filmed the live DVD.

Technically I saw him in 2009 too - in a bar watching The Swiftys. He's really tall.

...and every time he puts on a fabulous show.

The songs chosen were great, the guitars rockin' and the crowd totally into it. I always worry that I'll bother those around me when I sing in theatre style venues, but I didn't need to worry because everyone was singing.

Gotta love the jersey (clearly I was able to get much closer in the UK, the Jub is great, but you've gotta love smaller venues)

During the encore (he came out in an Oilers jersey - which he always does - which I love) he sang his new Oilers song. Then he took off his jersey, put on a Canada hat/scarf/mitts and sang Stompin' Tom's Hockey song. Considering the Canadian women's hockey team had just won the gold at the Olympics that day, it was quite fitting.


Our poor Oilers need more die-hard fans like Corb.

Thus another enjoyable Corb Lund show. Even though I didn't like his latest CD (Losing Lately Gambler) as much as the older ones, I'll still always go to his concerts. Because they're awesome.

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