107 – Vanquished Malware at N45.113 W75.347

201010_05_02 - Mushrooms in the Field

201010_05_04 - Photo Op

201010_05_21 - Jason Mraz XIII

201010_12_04 - Glancing Upwards

201010_17_01 - Gum Post

201010_17_04 - New Trick

Much has happened in the past month. I’ve been to two concerts, tried Geocaching, got an iPhone, cleaned my website, and got into following the municipal election.

Concerts:
Jason Mraz and Stars. Both were fantastic in their own way. I met Mr. A-Z (do people call him that? Shoulda asked), and fell in love with a few of his new songs, most notable What Mama Say. First concert at Scotiabank Place, to! Stars had fantastic lighting and a great crowd, and are really good live. Very impressed.

iPhone:
iPhone4. Is there more to say? It’s perhaps the best device I’ve ever owned.

Website:
It was attacked somehow recently, and unwanted script ended up on every page. So I cleaned it out old school, and now there shouldn’t be any malware warnings when people visit. Check it out: BenjaminWood.Net! My blog, as part of the site, had also been flagged, so I hadn’t updated it just because of that headache. Maybe I’ll write more often now.

Geocaching:
One of the results of having an iPhone. Now I can know exactly where I am (within 5 metres, or sometimes 10)… which means I can find caches! I’ve found 17 so far, with Jen, Susma, Grace, Jon, and Leo. Leo is so awesome by the way! I’ve never seen a dog do a handstand before. Just knowing that peole have hidden things all over really renews my sense of the world around me. the Geocaching App is the best app investment I’ve made so far (Cut the Rope being a close second).

Election:
Mayor, councillor… the bus strike really showed me how important this municipal thing is! I’ve been following websites, news, blogs, etc, trying to figure out who will hold my interests in transit and transit and, well, that’s mainly what I’m concerned about. I’ll write more tomorrow probably.

048 – Of Stamps and Secrets

200810_12_11 - Alanis IX

200810_13_05 - Curiosity Killed the Cat....

200810_16_03 - Meaghan Smith III

200810_16_06 - Meaghan Smith Sleeping

200810_16_12 - Ron Sexsmith VI

200810_22_02 - Pixie Glow

200810_29_02 - Roads Unploughed

200810_29_06 - Escalating

200810_31_02 - Joe Jonas

200811_02_03 - Checking the Computer

200811_11_01 - Brought to you by Buy N Large

200811_11_02 - Glad I Didn't Have to Lick These Stamps

Photos: Alanis, Chickens, Meaghan Smith and Ron Sexsmith, Pixie Hollow, Snow in October, escalator, Halloween Costume (Joe Jonas, Jonas Brothers), Pramod Dhakal, Wall-E and Eve art, someone’s parcel paid in a whack of 52¢, 96¢, $1.15, and $1.60 stamps.

I completed a huge project that didn’t involve school. I’ll reveal it very soon, as early as next week. It’s pretty awesome, but still a secret. That’s what I’ve been up to. I’ve also been working a lot and doing some school. Oh, and watching television shows! Stargate Atlantis, Dexter, and Pushing Daisies are impressing, and Heroes is getting pretty tricky. It makes me wish that there were two Bryan Fullers, one for Heroes and one for Daisies. And perhaps one for a new Star Trek as well.

Speaking of Star Trek, someone revealed the new original Enterprise (photo) for the 2009 movie. I must say that I really like it, except for how the nacelle pylons’ positions. But that’s enough geek from me for one day.

Recently, I’ve seen the following movies: Strange Brew, which I didn’t understand at all. It was too 80s Canadiana for me, I suppose. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which proved to me that not only is Kevin Smith pretty brilliant at creating a cohesive world and making it entertaining across various viewpoints and characters, but he can also create a spoof that isn’t of the terrible quality of spoofs post-Scary Movie. I must see Zack and Miri make a Porno, if only because it’s a Kevin Smith film.

Anyway, I must get back to preparing for a presentation for later this week. More later!

042 – Buck 65 Concert, Photoshop Experiments

200804_22_04 - Skratch Bastid II

200804_22_09 - Sound Board

200804_22_11 - Cadence Weapon II

200804_22_13 - Creative Lighting

200804_22_15 - Buck 65 II

200804_22_19 - Buck 65 VI

200804_24_01 - Adventurers

200804_24_05 - U-Haul

200804_25_01 - Compacted Corrugation

200804_25_03 - Toss

200804_25_05 - Lights and Buttons

200804_25_08 - Level Two

I like concerts. There’s something about live music, being in front of the people who make said music, being surrounded by people who are equally (or more) into the music than you are… something about that whole process that makes the music exciting. In contrast, I don’t really like live concerts on cd. There are a few exceptions (Great Big Sea’s Road Rage, for example), but the music without the atmosphere is only half the experience. Recently, I saw Buck 65 at the Bronson Centre, with Skratch Bastid and Cadence Weapon. It was a good show despite the mediocre sound and audience-not-at-capacity. Even though the venue is seated (it’s an ancient high school auditorium), I still found myself standing by the stage. My ears aren’t particularly happy when that happens, but it’s worth it.

It’s even better when you get a few good shots. My battery life was limited (and died eventually), so I enjoyed the music rather than try to capture it. I wasn’t particularly happy, but it was a good concert!

Michele accompanied me to the concert. A few days later, we had some work-related adventures including a trip to our offsite via OC Transpo and a trip to the mall’s garbage and recycling facilities. I like adventures, even the ordinary, ordinarily boring ones.

On another note, I’ve decided that I should probably learn how to use Photoshop. I have such a powerful tool sitting on my computer, and the most I use it for is resizing pictures. Today,I experimented with smoothing out skin tones, leaning how to, as Nelly Furtado would put it, “Make it look whiter than it seems / Paint me over with your dreams.” Not that I’m looking for a job over at Maxim or Cosmo or anything…


Before (click to enlarge)


After (click to enlarge)

Just don’t show her, because I might get hit. Or worse.

040 – Maple Music is the Simon Wilcox to my Tulip Festival

I love Maple Music. For the uninitiated, is a little online music retailer – one that specializes, or at the very least exclusively distributes Canadian music. Arrogant Worms, Billy Talent, Jill Barber, Sarah Slean <3. On top of music, they also have some merch: hoodies, posters, autographs, and even concert tickets.

I also love how my spell check doesn’t know the words Slean, merch, nor hoodies.

Anyway, I’ve made two orders with them so far, and they’re just awesome! The prices are what I’d call reasonable, at least prices that would sway me to buy stuff if I were at HMV or something like that. I bought Simon Wilcox’s newest, The Charm and the Strange and Kinnie Starr’s Anything. A few years back, I bought Simon Wilcox’s second cd, Smart Function, in part because the listening station had it and I was impressed (and in part because it’d give me something to see at Tulipfest). So a follow-up cd was a no brainer for me. Smart Function is a work of art. A slightly dark, highly-energized, low energy (if that makes sense) work of art. Kinnie Starr, I had heard a couple of tracks that I love (including the La Le La La that I had already purchased through iTunes), so I figure I’ll like the rest.

Sorry for all those brackets.

Anyway, I bought the cds thinking they’d take a good week to arrive (as indicated by my shipping method). I got them two days later. W00t!

And so far, I’m loving the Simon Wilcox. It’s actually pretty rare for me to buy a cd that I don’t like, even if I haven’t heard it before. Kinnie Starr is still in the shrink wrapping, but I guarantee that’ll change soon. Funny story about Simon Wilcox – after I bought her cd a few years back, I saw her at the Tulip Festival. She was wonderful! I remember Vivi thinking all of her songs sounded the same. I digress! After she performed, she went to the signing tent. And I hadn’t brought my cd jacket! I went in line anyway to meet her, and she was so nice, and enjoyed my little story of having bought her cd, but not having the jacket. I need to get it signed someday.

MyMusic.com is another Canadian music retailer, but they have all kinds of artists – it’s CD Warehouse’s online store (or at least they’re affiliated somehow, I think). I haven’t bought anything from it; while there’s lots that separates it from Maple Music, I prefer Maple. Though the idea of having a Desert 5 list is pretty awesome.

So yes, the whole point of this entry: Maple Music, brackets bad – at least for those who buy music and read, respectively. But seriously, who buys music and reads these days?

I miss the concert series at the Tulip Festival.

017 – K-OTIC

200709_12_01 - Shimmering Canal
200709_12_03 - Lioness I

200709_12_04 - Lioness II

200709_12_05 - Lioness III

200709_12_10 - You Say Party (yspwsd) II

200709_12_14 - You Say Party (yspwsd) VI

200709_12_17 - K-OS III

200709_12_22 - K-OS VII

Pictures: Ottawa Rideau Canal at night, in concert: Lioness, You Say Party We Say Die, K-OS.

I had never been to a concert quite like this one. Usually there’s a singer with a set list of songs and a word here and there, smaller, less exciting opening acts with a similar music style… This concert had two opening acts, both of which were very good. Their style was nothing if not tangibly in the same spectrum of what K-Os is all about; their music was a mix of electronic/house/dance/punk/everything else. And they were very energetic and interesting; they had everyone’s attention, unlike some acts where nobody ends up paying attention. I actually wanted longer sets from both Lioness and YSP WSD (check out their music).

Then, of course, there was K-OS. He just came out with his sonic crew and started playing and singing. Songs and beats just kinda blended into one another until it was time for a break, for him to talk to the audience, and for get us to wish one of his band mates a happy birthday. It was all very energetic. One woman spent the whole time dancing between the security gate and the stage.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stay for the whole thing! Being a Wednesday night and me having to get up in the morning (an early start to what would be a looooong day) – plus being all the way downtown, I decided to duck out after the performance of Sunday Morning. I like concerts!

A thanks goes out to Karen for getting tickets for Dan and I!