Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good Run Of Bad Luck + Apple Store = Awesome

Seriously, I had quite the unlucky weekend!

First, on Friday, my favourite lip gloss fell out of my pocket, likely on the road when I was getting into/out of my car. Maybe you're thinking this isn't a big deal. However, I only know one place in the city (Earth's General Store) that sells it, it's not close, and it cost $4. And I had just bought it. It was new and full and now it's gone. Bah!

Saturday, a magnet fell out of my clip-on sunglasses. I wear prescription glasses, and have sensitive eyes so I usually wear my sunglasses on a daily basis. So I can't just go to the store and buy a new pair of trendy sunglasses like most people. Remember last summer's glasses trauma? The last thing I need is to deal with broken sunglasses, especially with an upcoming trip to the mountains. Luckily I managed to spot the magnet and save it. I planned on gluing it back in later, and could still wear my sunglasses, as they were only loose on one side.

On Sunday, the other magnet fell out. Seriously! One freakin' day apart! My mom suggested I go to the place where I bought them to get them fixed. Like I have time to trek all over town. Anyways, I did go visit the glasses store, and they said since they were under warranty, they could order me a new pair of clip-on sunglasses. Unfortunately they wont come in until next week. I can keep my old broken pair until then, but if I glue the magnets in it voids the warranty. So I'll be spending my trip hiking in the mountains constantly adjusting and picking up my sunglasses when they fall to the ground. Yipee. Plus, remember last summer's glasses trauma? I don't have much faith in that store to order me the right pair of sunglasses. We shall see next week.

Then, on Monday, my macbook case cracked.

My beautiful, faithful, most favouritest possession was broken!

A quick Google search though revealed that this is a super common problem. Apparently, the plastic is defective. In fact, Apple will replace the whole top plate + keyboard regardless of whether you have warranty or not - indefinitely. I made an appointment with the Apple Store Geniuses and took it in today. They did replace the top plate, and I only had to wait an hour. 

The other good thing to come out of this, was that my glitchy iSight camera acted up for the Apple Store guy. My iSight camera has been glitchy since I bought my macbook in 2008. About 10% of the time, it turns on during start up and then can't be used until you restart. This is the reason I bought extended warranty, because I knew it would come back to bite me later. 

Fortunately, since I do have warranty, the Apple Store will replace my iSight camera!! How nice of them. I have to wait for the part to come in, and it'll take a few hours, but hey, it's like I'll have a whole new macbook!

The faceplate is so clean, and I can see all the keyboard letters again! Apple Store, I heart you!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Music Monday: Oysterband Concert

I've been home for three years, but on occasion people will still ask if I miss living in England. I usually say "No - Canada is awesome, but I do miss pizza fiorentina (no olives) from Pizza Express and the Oysterband's annual Big Session Festival in Leicester."

Well this weekend, the Oysterband came to me! (cue more blurry photos...)

Oysterband falls under in that elite group of bands whose songs I know all the words too and who I've seen live more times than I can remember. How do you describe them? I usually go with celtic-english-folk-rock. And really, y'all know who they are because they are the writers and original performers of "When I'm Up (I Can't Get Down", covered by Great Big Sea. 

I can't remember how I got so into Oysterband. I do know that they've been around for 30 years, thus I am sad I've only been a fan for five. They were at folk fest in 2005, and I saw them at a session but missed their mainstage show (regrets I have but few, and they were touring with James O'Grady that year and I do love that English piper!). I think I went to Big Session 2006 mostly because Seth Lakeman (who was the golden boy of English folk that year) was playing and I vaguely remember liking Oysterband back in Edmonton, plus my friend lived in town and any excuse to get out of the rat race of London deserved a bus ticket.

What's the best thing about the Big Session Festival? Oysterband puts it together, which means they get to close two nights in a row. And after two amazing concerts in 2006, I became an Oysterband convert. I saw them again at the 2007 Big Session (where James O'Grady made an appearance, and actually sat beside me on a hill while he ate his lunch!), then once more in the UK, back home in 2008, and this summer at folk fest (which was awesome, and I pronounced them my #1 of 2009 - link includes photos).

And this weekend they were back playing Festival Place in Sherwood Park.

And yes, it was significantly awesome. They even said so themselves on their myspace blog.

They were in fine form, even poor Ian Telfer (the fiddler) who came out on crutches because his leg was in a cast - apparently he jumped off a stage in Denmark. The lead singer, John Jones, is almost but not quite in the Gord Downie league of emotive stagemanship, and as usual Alan Prosser (guitar) and new(ish) drummer Dil Davies did their best to pump up the crowd. My favourite member though, is Ray "Chopper" Cooper, who looks like a cross between Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn and Jim Cuddy (and we all know how I feel about Jim Cuddy, actually, I'm pretty sure I called Chopper the English Jim Cuddy on facebook once...). Not only does he play bass guitar and harmonica (two lovely instruments in my book), but he also cello dances, and carried his cello around the stage even though it must be awkward and heavy).

Regardless, Oysterband is awesome live. I tapped my foot and slapped my hand on my knee and sang and danced in my chair for the entire evening. Then, for the last song, they unplugged, moved to the front of the stage (except the poor fiddler), and sang "Put Out The Lights" to the crowd without microphones. And then we all joined in and it was magically. Take a look at footage from another show on this tour:

I will always go see Oysterband when they roll into Alberta. And one day I reckon I'll make it back to the Big Session Festival in Leicester. Until then, I'll always have the memories of past concerts, handily assembled onto this 25th Anniversary edition DVD, thus I'll leave you with a classic, awesome, gooder of an Oysterband moment...

You can find Oysterband at:
Oysterband official
Oysterband myspace

If you like this band, you might also like:
Show of Hands
Seth Lakeman

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Reading-For-Fun Finally!

Grad school is done. I'm only half employed and finally have some time to spare. Time to re-take up a hobby I haven't touched much in the past year: reading for fun!!

Oh goody. I'm so excited!!

I've got about 60 books piled up on my bookshelf that I've acquired over the years that need to be read. I have a to-get-out-of-the-library-and-read list a mile long. And I've got boxes of favourites I want to read again.

That should cover me for the rest of my life.

I'm on a Tolkien kick at the moment, which was spurred on by the Lord of the Rings marathon I watched with my very good friend last week. Thus I've decided to re-read some old favourites first, and am going to make it a Tolkien summer. I plan on reading The Hobbit and LOTR (all re-reads) and then The Simarillion, Children of Hurin, and Unfinished Tales (all of which I haven't read before).

First up: The Hobbit. Which I've never liked. So I reckon I'll get through it pretty fast so I can get to the good stuff!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

So what have I been up to all week? Here's the rundown...

Last Monday: Last two classes of grad school. Last two papers/assignments handed in. Sad "See you on facebook!" comments were said to fellow grad students who I will likely never see again. Sad.

Last Tuesday: Last Year End Party of grad school. More sad "See you on facebook!" comments were said to fellow grad students who I will likely never see again. Sad. Seriously. I just spent the last two years seeing all these people during my everyday routine and now it's over. Very anticlimactic. Very sad. Thank God for facebook.

Last Wednesday: Started a new job. I'm working at a college library, creating and editing a bunch of online subject/research guides. It's been good so far - the people are nice and the work is interesting. The only bad thing is I don't actually get to serve patrons, and that is, afterall, my favourite part of librarianship. Also, in hindsight, it might have been a good idea to take some time off after grad school. I'm really tired and my brain still hurts. The job is only a short contract until some time in June, so I guess I can sleep then.

Last Thursday: Did my taxes. Oh the excitement. Actually, it's kind of fascinating how it all works out. And I had to redo them once so that's extra practice. Thanks for helping Jay!

Last Friday: Spent the entire day visiting 3 malls with a very good friend from library school. Unfortunately in a week's time I will have to say "See you on facebook!" to her, so it was out (third) last adventure. Sad.

Last Saturday I: Law Day at work. My boss was kind enough to let me off for an hour to go on a tour - which was fascinating (even though I took the tour two years ago). I learned how to maybe get my speeding ticket fine decrease, and that the sheriffs often feel like their running a dating service in the basement where the holding cells are. Go to Law Day next year, you'll enjoy it!

Last Saturday II: Following that, a bunch of us went to the roller derby (check out this video for some background). Which was so fun. So. Much. Fun. I went last year to see the Oil City Derby Girls (the north side teams) but this weekend we saw E-Ville Roller Derby (the south side teams). It was a blast. If you have a chance, go see the roller derby. It's cheap and exciting and generally good fun. Oh, and we decided my derby name would be "Go-Go Goggles".

Last Sunday I: The last curling-on-tv event finished, with teams Martin and Bernard (our decorated Olympians) winning the mens/womens finals. That means the curling season is officially over. So sad. You know I'll be counting down the months/days to when it all starts up again in October, and I'll be following the curling-team-shuffle rumours online. I will most certainly miss watching the games with the curling tweeps on twitter. So sad.

Last Sunday II: It was the (second) last adventure with my very good friend, so some of us from library school went to see "How To Train Your Dragon" in 3D Imax. Now, I've already seen the Dragon movie, and I really liked it a lot, but as it was our (second) last adventure, I forked over the $18 to see it again in 3D Imax. And I was not disappointed. It was awesome. Significantly fantastic. I had never seen a 3D movie before, and this one was a great initiation. The scenery was amazing! Highly recommended. But then the evening concluded with more "See you on facebook!" goodbyes. Sad.

Yesterday: I had my first post-grad school job interview for a librarian position. Regardless of whether I get the job or not, finally having an interview has really increased my confidence. Yay.

Today: My nomadic existence has come to an end (for now). I've been staying at my aunt and uncle's, though they had come back temporarily before embarking on a big trip to tour Europe and visit their son, daughter-in-law and grandkids, who live overseas. Unfortunately the volcano in Iceland snuffed out the dream trip they have been planning for the past 6 months. So sad. Since my fantastic house sitting services are no longer needed, I'm moving back to my parents house. So sad. On many levels.

And that's the last 7 days in my life. Which likely explains why I'm really tired and my brain still hurts

Monday, April 19, 2010

Curling Music Part 5: 2010 Season Finale

In today's final instalment of Curling Music, to inspire you to make a go at 2014 in Sochi, here's Jonathan Coulton's 'Curl':

If you missed Stephen Colbert's fun curling times with team USA, check out this fan made mashup with Coulton's song.

Still want more curling songs? Just put 'curling' into google or youtube, or check out the following resources:
Hopefully there will be more great curling music next year! 

Oh, and if someone finds the music video of Sarah Harmer and Gord Downie doing the 'Men With Brooms' song 'Silver Road' (the one where he pebbles the ice and she drives, not the live version or the one where he shows his ass) please send me the link!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Law Day in Edmonton: Visit the #YEG Court House!

Tomorrow is Law Day in Edmonton!

Law Day is organized by the Canadian Bar Association. The court house will be open to everyone from 10am to 3:30pm.

Activities include:
  • Public speaking contests for junior and senior high students
  • Poster contests on “What the Law Means to Me” for elementary students
  • High School Mock Trial competition
  • Family friendly demonstration trials 
  • Musical Trial: Jack and Jill
  • New citizens are sworn in as part of Citizenship Court 
  • Tours of the courthouses, including super courtroom and holding cells
  • Displays from Canada Customs, Alberta Fish & Wildlife, RCMP, Native Counseling, Family Counseling and Mediation Services, Legal Aid, and the John Howard Society
  • “Ask a Lawyer” booth 
See the event brochure for exact details and times.

I went a couple years ago, and it was really fun. The musical trial is a whoot, as some lawyers and judges can sing and some...can't but count on the costume to make up for this! It's well worth a visit. The tour is also pretty neat. Besides learning about the court house, you get to see the wired up super courtroom, the holding cells and can even sit in the transport vehicles. It's a great learning event for all ages.

I highly recommend visiting the court house this Saturday for Law Day!

 I'll be working in the library, so when you're up there on your tour, make sure you say hi!

Law Day also takes place in Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Fort McMurray, Drumheller and Calgary. For more information, check out the official Law Day in Alberta website.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Youtube Debut: The Librarian Hunter

It's official.

I am finished grad school.

I am a real librarian now.

Yesterday was our final year end party. It was certainly bittersweet. I get all sad and nostalgic when I think that I wont ever see some people again. *sigh*

Anyways, as has become the tradition at our library school (otherwise known as SLIS - School of Library and Information Studies) - a silly librarian parody was written and filmed by a group of students.

And this year, I got to be in it, thus marking my youtube debut. Check out my super acting skills about 5 minutes in (that's me sitting behind the desk, and it was a Snickers bar by the way).

Here is this year's fantastic video, a spoof on everyone's favourite Crocodile Hunter - The Librarian Hunter

See, I did a good job. Too bad you could barely hear my dialogue. It was super fun to film though! The patrons in the library were watching and laughing along - good times in the library. The whole thing came together in...like 24 hours, so it's totally professionally done, ha ha. It's also tradition to have a prof star in the video. This year they nabbed the library school director! Personally I think it's the best video yet. What do you think?

You can see the other SLIS year end videos too...

2008/09: Librarian Bounty Hunter part 1
2008/09: Librarian Bounty Hunter part 2
2007/08: I Want To Be A Librarian musical (this one has almost 17, 000 views!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Final #Curling On TV

And thus begins the last pro curling event of the season.


That makes me sad.

Anyways, it's the Grand Slam of Curling Player's Championship from Dawson Creek, BC, on from April 13-18th. This event has both a women's and men's competition, so there's lot's going on! Check out the event schedule, women's team list and men's team list.

Yep. Quite the list of top teams. It should be an interesting competition for sure!

CBC will be streaming games online, and then will show the finals on tv on the weekend (Women's on Saturday, Men's on Sunday). Check out the CBC broadcast schedule for times/teams. I wonder if they will archive the games?

I don't even know who to pick to win, so I'll be watching the Edmonton teams: 

Sweeting (the young ladies team who made it to this season's Scotties)
Nedohin (Dave Nedohin's wife, wouldn't it be cool to see them play side by side?)
King (redeeming former glory?)

Koe (can they keep up the momentum from the Worlds?)
Martin (can they keep up the momentum from the Olympics?)
Ferbey (last game together as the Ferbey Four!)
Appelman (will they ever come out of the shadow of the Big 3?)

I'll also keep an eye on the Calgary teams:

Bernard (can they keep up the momentum from the Olympics?)
Kleibrink (crumbled after losing the trials and the AB provincials, and what's Nixon up to after the twitter snafu?)
Webster (another younger team to watch)

Gosh, Alberta's got a lot of great teams! Here's hoping one of them will win it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Curling Music Part 4: Olympic Edition

Here are two Olympic curling songs for you today...

First, a fan tribute to Canadian Olympic Gold medalist, Kevin Martin:

Tres clever, eh!

Next, not a curling song per say, but if you look closely you'll spot Olympic Gold medalists Anette Norberg and team Sweden in this video.

Next week is the last week for Curling Music posts, so this is your last chance to get in a request!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In Other #Curling News...

And in case you missed it, Ferbey is joining team Gushue.


I don't like it but I'll keep my big mouth shut about that. Whatever, it'll make next season interesting anyways. Check out this National Post article for the reactions of Middaugh, Hart and R. Howard.

So. That means team Ferbey, Middaugh and Stoughton are disbanding. Martin is together for at least two more years, Ferbey is on a new team, Stoughton is looking for a new team (although Carruthers and Mead are in), and no one knows yet what will happen to team Koe. Any rumours about Glen Howard's team next year? Hopefully the curling-team-shuffle rumours will keep us all intrigued this summer!

Kings of #Curling

Congratulations to team Koe - World Curling Champions!!

Photo via Reuters. Take a look at more from the Edmonton Journal Gallery.

They played well all competition, and beat the pants of Norway in the final by a score of 9-3. I don't care about all that 'Well so-and-so wasn't there because of the Olympics'. Team Koe won the Brier and the World's fair and square.

I predicted that one day team Koe would be kings of Canadian curling. And now they're on top of the World. I am so proud of my Edmonton boys!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Story of Bottled Water

From the people who brought you The Story of Stuff (highly recommended - stop buying crap people!) comes The Story of Bottled Water...

Did you know:

  • Bottled water costs 2000x more than tap water.
  • Aquafina and Dasani are actually filtered tap water anyways.

Stop buying bottled water! Buy yourself a reusable water bottle (BPA free please, I recommend Kleen Kanteen). Stop thinking you need to drink fancy water, there ain't nothing wrong with what comes out of the tap!!

See the rest of the videos on the official Story of Stuff youtube page. And check out Inside the Bottle, a Canadian based citizen action site.

Alright, rant over.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Curling Music Part 3: Bowser and Blue

How about some comedy this morning? Here's Bowser and Blue's 'The Curling Song'...

"In Canada more people curl than hock"

You should check out their other songs, they are very Canadian and very funny. I saw them at folk fest years ago. Too funny.

Bowser and Blue official
Bowser and Blue Youtube videos

Friday, April 02, 2010

World Men's #Curling Championship...

Guess what starts tomorrow?

It's time for the World Men's Curling Championship!!

This year it's being held in Cortina, Italy from April 3-11. Check out the schedule if you're in town. Unfortunately though, holding it in Italy means limited tv coverage. Boo.

TSN will show:

Saturday April 10
10:30am ET

Sunday April 11
10:00am ET

TSN will also be carrying the Canada games online via streaming video. The quality will be small and poor, but at least we get to watch the games!! Check out the TSN schedule.

Canada - Kevin Koe
China- Fengchun Wang
Denmark - Ulrik Schmidt
France - Thomas Dufour
Germany - Andy Kapp
Italy - Joel Thierry Retornaz 
Japan - Makoto Tsuruga
Norway - Thomas Ulrud
Scotland - Warwick Smith
Switzerland - Stefan Karnusian
Sweden - Per Carlsén 
USA - Pete Fenson

My picks? Canada/Norway, and well, the rest of the field, well, let's just say it'll be interesting...