Electric Spoon Instruments

Next post today is my review of Artis.

In a word: WOW! If you have a chance to see him perform, I would recommend it. I arrived a little late to Centennial Square, and he had already started. He is a master of the spoons. He was jumping, dancing, crouching, switching between “instruments”, and in general just going off. The sounds from his instruments was complex, rythmic, and just plain beautiful. Truly a treat.

Besides playing the spoons, he also recited some poetry he had written, entertained with songs, played with string figures (including this incredbile series of figures that accompanied a story).

He also played the electric spoons. He said that ever since he started playing spoons, he wanted to play the electric spoons, so he invented how. Don’t ask me how it works. I saw that his spoons had one wrie coming from each, and these went into a yellow control box. He sat on a stool, and with some background effects already going, he began to play. He worked a couple of pedals while whe was strumming along, and got some pretty intense sounds going. Very amazing!

He also played along with a Satriani song.

In all I really enjoyed his performance. His poetry, and songs are very in your face, and dealt with current topics (one being the war in Iraq, but also violence in general). He is a very interesting and unique individual and is not afraid to speak his views. It would be a treat to sit and have coffee with him and just chat.

There aren’t many professional spoon players any more.

I apologize for my pictures. I tried my best with everything I know about photography, but the stage was a pain to shoot. I was sitting in sun, Artis was in shade, but behind him was a sunny backdrop. These were all I could salvage.

Happy Bed

canadian flag flying on the ferryFirst off, Happy (belated) Canada Day everyone!

Yesterday was quite a busy day, I went and saw Artis the Spoonman, checked out the Folk Fest venue, wandered through a couple open air markets, went and watched Charlie’s Angels, then ended the night with the fireworks. I was pretty pooped by the time I crawled into bed. I will review more a little later.

Superunknown Festival

I just found out today that tomorrow, Artis the Spoonman is playing at the Folk Festival here in Victoria.

For those that don’t know, Soundgarden did a song about him on their album Superunknown. They even took him on tour in support of that album.

I am going to try and get out to that show. Tomorrow 1pm at Centennial Square.

On a side note, the festival’s website has a few issues with the year. Evidently someone wasn’t paying attention when the site was uploaded.

Considerable Vegging

I am back. Back at work. Hmm, it seems to me that when going away for the weekend, I always need an extra day to destress from travelling. Anyone else feel that?

It was a good weekend though. Friday I took half the day off to get the final prep done for the trip. I picked up Sue’s friend Holly, and we made our way to the campground. Leaving Victoria, the traffic was a bit of a nightmare, but, once past Goldstream it quickly thinned out.

We got to the campsite, started to unload, and I quickly cracked an ice cold beer. Mmmm, camping and beer is such a wicked combination. After setting up camp it was time to sit by the fire (and have a couple more beer).

Our camping group consisted of about 14 adults, 6 kids, 5 dogs, and 2 salmon (which were later barbequed), all spread across 4 campsites. Lots of legs running about the whole weekend.

Saturday was a scorcher. After relaxing around camp for half the day, a bunch of us headed down to the river. Jason and I each went for a dip, and Digger and Yoshi each spent considerable time in the water.

Saturday night after eating dinner (the salmon cooked over a fire), Sue and I prepared for Sunday. After prepping, doing dishes, and some campsite cleaning, it was time to relax and sit by the fire (and drink some beer). Sunday morning we had to get up, tear down camp, and be on the road by 8:45. I am proud to day, that we did it with no major hiccups! Amazing.

Sunday was Sue’s race, and she did great! She had an excellent swim (I saw her pass everyone in her lane except for one person), her bike was decent, but her run was pretty fast. To top it off this was her first triathlon where she placed in the top 50% of her race category. Congratulations Sue!

After the triathlon we had lunch in Qualicum Beach at Lefty’s, then it was time to drive home to Victoria. After arriving home I unloaded the truck, dumping bags any place I found room, then spent some quality time vegging on the couch. It was good to be home!

Alarm Maintenance

logsI started today off nicely. I set the alarm for 6:30, got up, made some coffee, then took Yoshi down to the local park for an off leash romp before work. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was already up, perfect blue sky, air warm enough to only wear a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. A half hour walk before doing anything else is quite nice. I don’t think I want to do it every day, but it certainly is a nice treat once in a while.

Tomorrow I head up island to go camping. Yippee! Unfortunately I still have a ton (or is that tonne) of things to do before I can leave. The least of which is take my truck in for its 90,000 km maintenance. I have groceries to buy, dog supplies to buy, a bike to retrieve from the shop, and the truck to pack.

Have I ever mentioned that I love packing my truck with stuff. I like the challenge of taking a large pile of objects, and trying to get them all into a limited amount of space. I like to think that I am good at it too. Enough blabbering for now. I need to get some work done, then do some running around at lunch preparing for the trip.

Camping Triathlon

falls!This weekend is my first time camping this year! Woohoo! Sue is heading up to Qualicum to do the Qualicum Beach Triathlon, so we are camping at Englishman River Falls. This place is one of my most favorite on this earth. The river is so amazing.

There is a ton of things to get done this week before we leave. Unfortunately Sue is also heading to Vancouver for a requirements training course. Hmm, that leaves me and Yoshi to play the roles of bachelor for a few days! Party time!

South Ridge Seals

Sean on LogGreat weekend for riding. Saturday I was feeling really blah. I had a ton of things I wanted to get done on the weekend, but the problem was on Saturday I didn’t feel like doing anything. I forced myself to jump on my road bike and go for a spin. It felt pretty good actually. Riding usually perks me up, and lifts my spirits. I got out about 10 km’s, and realized that my rear tire was pretty low. Hmm, better turn around now and keep an eye on it. I got home just fine, but I was concerned.

Sunday Sean and I hit up the dump for a fun ride. Up and down, all over the park. We both rode pretty well. The picture above is Sean riding over a large log pile on South Ridge Trail. A couple hours later we emerged from the trails. Very fun ride. I was glad I got out.

Unfortunately for me the seals in my Boxxer are acting up. It is time to replace them. Good thing I get it done now since in a couple weeks Sean, Shane, James, and myself are heading out for a road trip. Bad thing is I don’t have the cash for it. Grrr.

Buccaneer Clown

WAKEY, WAKEY, WAKEY, IT’S TIME TO GET UP, GET OUT OF BED. Imagine this followed by blasts of sirens and horns. Gack! This is what woke me up this morning. It started at 7:15 got closer, then further, then closer, then further. Finally it drove right past our house. Some clown in a firetruck advertising the Esquimalt Buccaneer Days. I have go to assume that there is some kind of breakfast this morning.

Flawless Barrier

me dropping 4I decided a while ago that I needed to buy an armour jacket. I have done more shuttle riding lately, a few DH races, and this summer I plan to hit a few really good ski hills. It was time.

I bought the armour on Saturday, and Sunday was my first ride with it. The destination was Whistler. Click the picture to see the gallery from the trip, or read on.

My girlfriend was going to Vancouver to go see a friends newborn, so I thought that maybe I would come as well, do some bike shopping, then maybe sneak in a ride while I was there.

The trip got complicated really quickly when I found out that JimC and K’endo were heading to Whistler to hit the lifts. After my girlfriend decided to come with me, and just hang out in Whistler for the day, I started to get a little psyched. Riding in Whistler is not like anything else I have experienced. They have a wide range of trails to choose from, all mostly downhill, and all really fun.

When the group assembled in Whistler it was myself, JimC, K’endo, Alan, and Dave. We also ran into a bunch of other MTBR’ers, but we didn’t end up riding with them.

My day got off to an excellent start. Our first trail led to the jump park. There were 4 table tops of increasing size for people to learn on. Just past them was four drop platforms, again, in varying sizes. I practiced the 2nd table top a few times, but that wasn’t really my thing. I then went to the drops. I started with the 2nd one, then did the third one in quick succession. The fourth one was quite a bit bigger than the third. I wanted to do it. I knew I could do it. I had new armour on. All of this added up to a drive to do the fourth drop. I did the third one again, hiked back up, and lined up for the fourth.

I pedalled into it quickly. I knew that the slightest hesitation would make me walk away from this drop. I was approaching it quickly, and the thing that stuck out was that you couldn’t see that landing zone. My fingers moved to the brake lever. I was starting to chicken out! I moved my fingers back to the bar in a determined move to nail this drop. I was up on the platform, then in the air. I sailed for what felt like a long time, and then came the touchdown. Perfect! The transition was absolutely flawless. I had to do the drop again. I went up and did it a second time, and that one also felt great. I was all jazzed up over this. I knew this was the beginnings of a good day.

You see, one of my biggest problems in mountain biking is that I don’t give myself enough credit for the skills I possess. As a result, I have problems committing to a line. I had broken the barrier, and it felt great.

The rest of the day was a series of runs whose names escape me. I know that K’endo and I hit Dirt Merchant, Joy Ride, Schleyer, A line, and others.

On Schleyer that was a drop that reminded me of the 4th drop I had nailed earlier that morning. I did that one a couple times.

In all I have no idea how many runs I did. They were all great. My riding was awesome, the new gear felt great and certainly didn’t slow me down at all. My bike held up until the last run. It truly is a thrill and a half to ride trails that you see feature in MTB movies, and magazines.