Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Recently I spent a weekend at home in front of the computer keeping a friend company while she was quarantined with a bad case of swine flu. It was the first time I'd used my msn messenger account in roughly a year; over the course of those 3 days I realized how many old friends I had on there, with whom I had no other way to connect.

intermission: FUCK FACEBOOK

ah, so, anyways, it occurred to me that there might be a way to get Kopete to connect with my primary medium of online conversation - GMail's GChat. I kind of forgot about it until today, but after only 10 minutes or so of searching, I found a great tutorial that worked for me right off the mark.

I present an excerpt from my groundbreaking first convo:

Barrett Jones  22:18:12
Yeah. On my phone.

k. v. m.  22:18:18
yeah you were my guinea pig

Barrett Jones  22:18:38
I see. What kinda guinea pig?

k. v. m.  22:18:39
i just spent a while trying to get my instant messenger client to recognize gmail

Barrett Jones  22:19:00
Ah. You are on gmail now.

k. v. m.  22:19:06
bbbbbboooo ya shaka son
hey does this cost you a lot of money or anything?

Barrett Jones  22:19:22
And msn too.
Nope. I've got plenty o data.

k. v. m.  22:19:39
yeah trying to consolidate my online persona

Barrett Jones  22:20:07
Word. I've got too many as well.

k. v. m.  22:20:25
or something
anyways thanks!
and btw you type amazinly fast on that little thing

Barrett Jones  22:23:08
Thanks. I've had a little practice by now.

k. v. m.  22:23:42
yo fingers is all up in that g-spot

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ignorance is NOT Bliss

Hot off the Internet, its the 9th Annual Year In Ideas!

Thus far I have learned:
-Cows with names make 6% more milk than anonymous cows...
-Google's search algorithm can predict ecosystem extinction...
-People who smile in their yearbook photos live happily ever after...
-Zombies typically take 7-10 days to overthrow humanity...
-Monkeys and I agree that The Grudge is the best Tool song evar...

... aaannnd there's plenty more. Kudos to the New York Times on the site design; the drop-down menus with the mouseover are great, and you have the option of browsing alphabetically or by category, all on the same page as the articles themselves.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another Incident

My inner nerd can now rejoice! According to Lostpedia, with the final season of Lost starting on February 2nd (and assuming that there are no weeks off, and the final episode will be a two-parter ... a few ifs), the Series Finale will be on May 18th, my birthday. Thanks JJ!

Now, if I can only manage to go 3-for-3 in landing my big day on an off-day of tree planting, all will be well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Astrology: Now Available In 13 Flavours!

Today I had an email with the following information:


...and, actually, that's all the information, there was no explanation. Talking to her later she attempted to explain that these were the signs from the old 13 month calendar. So - note the newest (or oldest?) in the family, Ophiuchus, which would be starting in about a week or so. It appears as though it is represented by the snake, and symbolized by the Staff of Aesculapius (which I thought was the Staff of Caduceus, though it appears that Caduceus was a showman who not only demanded two snakes, but also the Van Halen logo!).

Bah. An atypical vague, unresearched blog post, this one is. I'll try to do better next time.

Oh, something funny while talking to my friend and getting some background on it:
Me - ? at least im still a taurus..
Her - im a taurus now..... dun dun dunnnn

Sunday, November 8, 2009


My brains going booksbooksbooksbooks after a pretty good afternoon book swap with some couchsurfers. I handed out five of my own and threw a sixth out on Rhizome's trading post table. I also picked up four new books : Santa Evita, The Hottest State, The English Patient, and Freakonomics.

As a nice cap to all of this there's a new sensation sweeping the nation - the nation of Colombia, that is! It's ... ...... BiblioBurro!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

November Picks

New Month, New Fantasy Team:

Forwards - Gaborik, Zetterberg, Heatley, Sharp, Kopitar, Semin

Defense - Ehrhoff, Keith, White

Enforcer - Rypien

Goaltender - S. Mason

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Guess I'm behind the curve on this one but I only recently really got into podcasts; nowadays it's what I listen to most of the time at home.

Aside from Metafilter's podcast - still probably my favorite site out there - New Jersey station WFMU has a pile of really great shows to offer. I've especially enjoyed Mudd Up! with DJ /rupture, as well as Coffee 2 Go.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the Water Tower

(that's nice) of them - back in 2007, just visiting Berlin for 4 days, I took a picture of the water+climbing tower in Cassiopeia, and put it on flickr. I use only a Yahoo email address for flickr and thus never check it .. today I did, and found a message from the tour guide that used this image in their book back then. It's on the iPhone! Yippee .. and on the Web as well!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Here are two unrelated yet fascinating reads pulled off the web. I'm linking these as much for my posterity as for anyone else's education. Enjoy.

Neal Stephenson's December '96 Wired piece MotherEarth, MotherBoard
Gore Vidal's September '01 Vanity Fair piece The Meaning Of Timothy McVeigh

Saturday, October 3, 2009

pontypool .. pontypool .. hockey pool?

For the first time ever I'm trying my hand at a hockey pool. My attention to hockey was kind of casually pulled back about 3 seasons ago; previously I hadn't particularly cared since watching the Leafs as a kid. Up until last season it was mainly Vancouver Canucks games, but being overseas last winter forced me to follow the stats and summaries more, so now I find myself with a bunch of somewhat useless information in my brain concerning an entire league's worth of athletes.

So, might as well put it to some sort of use.

My team (lets call them the Groin Strains):

1. Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)
2. Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit Red Wings)
3. Dany Heatley (San Jose Sharks)
4. Jonathon Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
5. Daniel Briere (Philadelphia Flyers)
6. Viktor Stalberg (Toronto Maple Leafs)


1. Christian Ehrhoff (Vancouver Canucks)
2. Jay Bowmeester (Calgary Flames)
3. Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings)


Jay Rosehill (Toronto Maple Leafs)


Nikolai Khabibulin (Edmonton Oilers)

Rules -> 1 point for either a goal or assist by forwards and defencemen, half a point for every penalty minute served by the enforcer, 1 point for every win by a goaltender, and two points for either a shutout or a goal from the goaltender. Plus once-a-month trade options, only exception being an injury or a demotion to a minor league. Let's go!!

***update : Name change to the Groin Stains.
.........also, my goalie, Khabibulin, just scored the game winning goal with ten seconds to go - except on his own net! not certain if I earn two points for that though ........***

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wake the Fuck Up


Around 2:20 in you get a close glimpse into his eyes. Eyes of a poet, junkie, b'balla and rock'n'rolla; the eyes of a Dead Man.

Its 2009 and we all seem to die repeatedly these days. I'm enthused about life by these exciting events.

Goodbye Jim.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Burned, Stretched, Tired & a little bit Snooty

notes from coastal island explorations, volume two :

Two weekends in a row, two wildly different festivals experienced. Dramatic entrances all around.

First, I spent three of the craziest days of my life on a hip-hop pirate ship. We sailed 5 hours down the coast of Vancouver Island to Comox, catching a ride to Big Time Out in Cumberland. Hopped the fence and promptly ran into half the people I worked with all summer, eventually camping out in my old boss' backyard - plus one of the best after parties ever. The festival itself was kind of hollow; I mean, Sam Roberts as headliner? Mother Mother, from Quadra, was an interesting new find though.

Just a few days of rest and then headed up early to do set-up for Carrington Bay Music Festival (no link available). It's remote, secretive, and grass-roots ... a long weekend electronic festival on the North coast of Cortes Island. Aside from a beautiful setting, there wasn't too much to it. Two stages of similar dj's and a lot of drugs. Again, the trip down there proved the most electric. We got waylaid by a friend of a friend on the second ferry out there, went to his house where some other guy fed everyone acid, and wound up being kicked out after we used his clothesline like a slingshot. I guess the guy doesn't like having martini glasses fired at his roof. Heading down to the festival location at 3am we ruptured the gas tank on a friend's car and I had instant flashbacks of Burning Man '06, leaving the 420mobile in Beaverton, Oregon.

What's the point? In both cases, the journey proved to be more of an experience than the destination. I knew from day 1 of BM '05 that my festival going experiences would never be the same. The trouble I run into is that whenever I attempt to explain this to people, I come across as snobby and elitist. But it's true. The balance and interactive experience found in Black Rock is unparalleled. Here's hoping for a theme of epic proportions for 2010!

So, back to semi-normal life tomorrow ... I'd be down & out if it weren't for this intriguing news from the North : Grizzly-Polar Bear Hybrid Found -- But What Does It Mean?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Weird

notes from coastal island explorations, volume one :

Good News
Met a guy who up and quit speaking 7 or 8 years ago. He apparently used to be a very angry, aggressive person. My impression of him was a gentle, friendly character, who communicates through charades and sound effects. Conveniently, his name is Bob, which lends itself perfectly to the nickname Silent Bob. He's got a small dog named Kiss Kiss, which of course is meant to be pronounced through a double serving of the kiss noise.

Bad News
After arriving late at night in Courtenay and heading straight to an abandoned mill party, came back after dawn to the party organizers house. Drank beer all afternoon; by 2am everyone had passed out except little old insomniac me. I decided not to sleep in the tent that had been set up out back for me and went to get my sleeping bag to crash on the couch. Some kind of weird shadow seemed to be moving in the tent, thought I was experiencing sleep deprivation hallucinations, but checked anyways by rolling a big medicine ball towards it. Whatever it was, it charged me - looked like some kind of black dog. But this was a totally sealed tent ... to date, one of the creepiest demon-type encounters I've ever had.

Ugly News
Tried a single, small bump of what passes for coke around here. It certainly wasn't, my guess would be some kind of freebase, baking soda concoction. Spent an hour of the mill party curled up outside by the van, with horrible stomach pains.

Just Plain Weird
Got dragged along to a Logging Sports Fair in Campbell River by my friend and host. Coincidentally, both her father and boyfriend (who hadn't met before) were in the beer gardens, getting wasted together. I proceeded to watch them get to the point of falling down, alternating between telling one another how much they loved them, and threatening to beat each other down. After the father left, she got mad at him for calling him 'Dad', they got in a huge fight, he started crying, and I was left for two hours on my own. Did I mention how little I care for logging sports?

Luckily, I was saved by the arrival of Crimson Reign, the blistering four-piece cover metal band. Evidently they know enough concerning synchronicity to wait three songs into their set before clobbering the crowd over its collective head with their take on The Ace Of Spades.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer Break (the eternal chaos)

Spent about a month now with the latest Sonic Youth album, The Eternal, in my life. Came during a brief respite from chaos, decided to stick around.

Seems there's plenty of accolades floating around for this album. I'll stretch the bandwagon and call it my favorite yet of all their records. I'm certain there are plenty of hardcores out there who will hate me for that - surely that should go to something like Daydream Nation or Goo !!! - but fuck it, I love it, and in an effort to go further in depth with that sentiment, and take it out of the realm of every other blog post, here's a point-form, stream-of-conscience evaluation of it, track by track:

1. Sacred Trickster - stumbling, dizzy, grinding, listless
2. Anti-Orgasm - smooth, descending, intentional, subversive, !orgasmic!
3. Leaky Lifeboat - sparkling, confident, insistent
4. Antenna - spacecrafts, comfort, unease, hope
5. What We Know - swinging, shuffling, bustling, bouncing
6. Calming the Snake - walking, crawling, running, fading, boiling, overheating
7. Poison Arrow -dirty groove, stabbing, rolling, sweet
8. Malibu Gas Station - dreamy, impulsive, inspired
9. Thunderclap For Bobby Pyn - harmonic.morepunkthanpunk.fuckyou.bestsong.morecowbell.
10. No Way - high, classic, more sweetness
11. Walkin Blue - funky, under construction, introspective
12. Massage the History - nostalgic, melodic, sexy, floating, familiar
13. Pay No Mind - oh, a bonus cover of my favorite Beck song? you don't say .. !Holy Fuck!
14. No Garage - go, goodbye

cum on' down, down to the river, cum on' down, i wanna feel you shiver

Sunday, April 19, 2009

this post's got the Devil in it..

NHL Playoffs started earlier this week. Coincidentally, the same day they started I came across the Wikipedia page for the New Jersey Devil, from which the team derived their name. I'd never really thought much about the name the Devils and just assumed they were claiming to be 'a hell of a team to play' or some such play on words. Now that I think about it, that would be kind of strange for a team hailing from such a god-fearing place as the U.S. of A.

But so, it turns out the name stems from a local (not-so)-urban legend: a prehistoric flying creature still living deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

I came across this through another bizarre stroke of synchronicity. Last Sunday I had a horrid night of sleeplessness, passing out right after coming home and waking up at 4 am dehydrated (damn! those Sunday evening sponaneous park raves), then going on an early morning mission for rolling papers. I never did fall back asleep, and sometime around 8 am I suddenly got it into my head to rewatch the Blair Witch Project, which I hadn't seen since it was in theatres. No idea where the urge came from, but the movie was surprisingly as good as I remembered, making me think all the hate it received was nothing more than an ADD-inflicted mainstream backlash.

The next day, Tuesday, we went on a day-trip to Teufelsberg -German for 'Devil's Mountain'(!)-, an awe-inspiring abandoned American spy base outside of Berlin. To get there and back, one must take the S-Bahn twenty minutes, hike through some woods and over some hills, and finally sneak through one of the many holes cut into the fence. During the journey there and back, I noticed a lot of man-made weird stick statues/structures throughout the woods. Negin mentioned that Veronica made several Blair Witch references during their previous visit (was my first time). Having just watched it the day before, I came home and started reading on the making of the film. According to the wikipedia entry, the Blair Witch Project was criticized initially for it resemblance to the film The Last Broadcast, which told the story of a group of documentary makers heading into the New Jersey Pine Barrens in an attempt to film, you guessed it, the legendary New Jersey Devil.

Well, not sure if all that made sense. On a more straight-forward note, anyone interested in seeing my photography of Teufelsberg and the spy base? I must say that if there was any movie this place reminded me of, it was definitely another of the great 90's horror flicks - Session 9.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Sunday night we were over at Tom and Veronica's place on Karl Marx Str. after eating a quick dinner with Paraic and Fernelly. We figured there's not much to do on Sunday night ... but in Berlin you're nearly always proven wrong from such thoughts.

Since they live right around the corner from Karmanoia and there were rumours going 'round that they were about to be shut down by the Polizei, we blazed a quick J and headed over there. There was a small crowd out front and we learned that the Polizei had indeed shown up the night before and this was it .. the final night for the club. They were holding a private party but the word on the street (hehe, literally) was that the doors would be open to the public at midnight. The time was 11:56!...perfect for a quick spatkauf run for roadbeers. We get back and we're waiting, chatting and laughing. Oh, and outside the doors was a pile of scrap wood, possibly the first pieces of the soon-to-be-dismantled labyrinth Karmanoia was so famous for. All of a sudden the doors burst open - one guy outside was hit by a wayward piece of lumber - and a steady stream of people filter out ... there's music, interspersed with the single file line are orchestra members dressed as skeletons, a dog ... CHAOS, essentially.

What followed was an eerie silent street procession winding up through Kreuzberg and to the canal. The band played a lonely, sad tribute while the M.C. for the funeral said a few words and launched Karmanoia's front door key into a watery grave. Then ... the party started, with fireworks, firedancing, people on fire ... kinda. The walk back was much more enjoyable; everyone's mood seemed to have righted itself back to positive. Sensing this, Tom and I took a moment to duck into another spatkauf for roadbeer replenishment.

We caught up again just in time for the finale. A spontaneous dance party took place in the middle of Hermannplatz, including a hobo-ish guy (inexplicably wearing nice white pants) took an extended flute solo. Afterwards they convinced everyone to lie down there in the square, staring up while the finished with some gritty, smokey jazz tunes.

The cherry on top came right as the last composition faded out: a Polizei Paddywagon pulled up and emptied out - I really can't believe they can fit that many popo in there. There was a moment of tension as the final saxophone note drifted off, and then everyone sat up and started applauding. The Polizei didn't quite no how to react, and actually froze and started smiling bashfully. And appropriately, the crowd disintegrated, moving on to the next project.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Getcha Turkey On

(I'll let this one speak for itself - mostly because I have no idea what it's purpose is - but it needs to be viewed by more, more, more! internet citizens)

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Funniest thing seen today at the I.T.B. (International Tourism fair in Berlin): "Official Travel Korea Year 2010-2012"
Runner Up: a skinhead with a moustache.

Side Note - I got busted trying to enter with my friend's staff pass (apparently I'm not a Ms.). Security asshat wanted my passport or i.d. ..... Fuck! I didn't even want to go; was babysitting for my friend while she worked the Malaysian booth and she asked me to bring her son by since it was the final day of the fair. Anyhow I got in.

Side-Side Note - How bout that? I'm actually updating this blog regularly!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Lesser Known Star

Another late follow up ... In January my attention was captured - and haunted - by the story of a man found frozen to death in a Detroit warehouse. Specifically, it was the picture that stuck with me, one of the most subtly disturbing yet realistic pieces of photography I'd seen in years.

It's one of those things that will probably re-enter my mind from time to time from here on out, but tonight was the first that I thought to follow up on it. I discovered that just a few days later, this man was identified by his brother as one Johnnie, Johnnie Redding, of River Rouge. "But he wasn't homeless. Please don't call him homeless. He always had a place to go. He was loved."

Filed under worth remembering, and not just for the fact that a game of hockey was played around his corpse. R.I.P.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Supposed Fun (and but so)

In September, David Foster Wallace hung himself in his basement in California. I briefly wrote about it, mentioning how I felt I owed it to him to finally pick up his essay collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again.

And but so .... that plan was delayed when I couldn't find it in Ontario, and further limited by my present location in a non-English speaking country.
At Christmas, Paraic went to visit relatives in Ireland and we all gave him book wishlists. I didn't actually expect him to come back with this book (one and only entry on my list) but am pleasantly surprised to now have it in my possession. Of the seven essays within only one is previously familiar to me - David Lynch Keeps His Head,which I wrote about as well on LJ in 2007.

So far I'm especially impressed with the titular piece in Supposedly Fun.... as it details his experience on assignment from Harper's in 1995, relating the time he spent on a Caribbean cruiseship. As someone who experienced the luxurious horror one of these floating mobile vacations has to offer in 2000 - under very awkward circumstances I'd rather not get into - I can sympathize all too well. But it's the painfully accurate way in which DFW lays it all out that really tends to impress, as it always will with someone of his skill.
I'll take the time to copy out one passage that really hit home as I read it late last night.

"Here's the thing. A vacation is a respite from unpleasantness, and since consciousness of death and decay are unpleasant, it may seem weird that Americans' ultimate fantasy vacation involves being plunked down in an enormous primordial engine of death and decay. But on a 7NC Luxury Cruise, we are skillfully enabled in the construction of various fantasies of triumph over just this death and decay. One way to "triumph" is via the rigors of self-improvement; ..... There's another way out, too, w/r/t death. Not titivation but titillation. Not hard work but hard play. The 7NC's constant activities .... makes your existence seem noncontingent. The hard-play option promises not a transcendence of death-dread so much as just drowning it out."
A.S.F.T.I.N.D.A. - p.263-264

(several of the essays I've read so far contain snippets that really jump out to the reader re:DFW's depression and eventual suicide and would likely lead the reader to label them as 'cries for help', but this does seem irrelevant when one considers that his depression was lifelong and never intentionally concealed from those around him)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Math Rock in a new Millennium

Something to satisfy both the geek and the rockstar within:

Over at Music Machinery, Paul Lamere explains how he wrote a Python script that will analyze the waveform of a song and automatically detect whether or not the drummer used a click-track.

He then goes on to have some fun analyzing Green Day, Led Zeppelin, Britney Spears, and a friend's band. I could never explain the process myself so take a look. Oh, and speaking of music plus technology, why not process the click detector concept while enjoying Kuriman's YouTube inspired-and-created mashups on ThruYou.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Thing vs. G.I. Joe

What we have here is, potentially, the finest art ever to grace the puke-stained armpits of YouTube with its presence.

I present Simon Gesrel & Xavier Ehretsmann's stop-motion masterpiece for Zombie Zombie - not to be confused with the also excellent Zombi.

Now drive that road til death sets you free!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February Ritual

February for me means my third time around participating in the Roll of 28 project, a photography community on LiveJournal. I haven't actually been on LiveJournal except for this group since June 2007, and since October I've been channeling my friends list through GoogleReader on my homepage ... so this is the only reason I have to visit LJ these days (I heard they were taken over by the Russian Mafia anyway ...?)

The basic idea here is to submit one picture every day throughout the month of February - so in reality last year became a roll of 29. Although I try not to dictate any kind of theme or pattern I do find myself straining for a variety of shots, composition, colours and subjects; this, I suppose, is the point, to get one out of their photographic comfort zone. And basically, to motivate regular snapping.

I think that projects like this have become increasingly common in the age of Flickr, with concepts like Project 365, or numerous individual works - for example my friend Euvie has been doing self-portraits for almost a year in her Euvie-A-Day series. I suppose this is my own little take on it, and look forward to the future and having a little snapshot of each year of my life, where I was, who I knew, etc ...

Speaking of Flickr, I keep all my Roll of 28 shots grouped under one set on my own page. Check it out in the month to come.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"It's all that T.V. - oh, and I got addicted to oxycodone"

Last summer I burned through all four seasons of Lost and have been waiting patiently for #5 to begin, which happened last night. Living in the future and relying on the internet, I'm just about to sit down to the first episode now.

But first I came across this rather funny (to show geeks like myself) YouTube clip, Previously On Lost:

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Over a year after I signed up at the encouragement of my roommate Allison, I'm just now starting to appreciate the pull of last.fm

I've got Amarok set up to auto-update the music I listen to on my computer, which I'm sure can be done from most popular media players - hell, if Songbird can do it, iTunes or WinAmp must be able to.

My profile there : kiisu_killen

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009, and onwards

SO! ... Happy New Years, says the man on the 14th.

After a low-key Christmas with a group of Americans and Colombians, I spent New Years playing three different shows at two venues in Prenzlauer Berg. The first, at Zu Mia Oder Zu Dia, was a bust due to a lack of items for me to hit. The next two, both at Intersoup, were much more succesful. The first set consisted of originals while the second was mostly covers (which we rehearsed once, in a flat, with a blanket over the drumset) and a few of our own that were left-out in the first set.

Between the two sets, my four couchsurfers showed up with a gift of cake for me. Part of the reason I waited to write about the night was that I had to wait for Julien to email me my only memento of the evening.

Et .... voila:

My guess is this photo was taken around 4 am. We wound up playing until roughly 5:30, and a few friends came by around 6. All in all, the night went to day and I came in from the cold at 9:30. To the best of my knowledge, that's the latest I've ever partied on NY's. What's next after the party's done? Perhaps at my age, I get the best of both worlds, because I wasn't tired, yet had no problem surrendering to sobriety.