The Beta Band: Underrated and Unknown

With the recent boom of many indie rock bands we must look back upon the bands that were ahead of their time. I am going to review multiple bands that I don’t think get their due in the music industry. This is part one of the underrated and the unknown. The first band is a band from Scotland that has had varied amounts of success. It’s one of those bands that the talent outweighs the sales. The band that I would like to feature today is the Beta Band.

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The Beta Band had a slight moment in the sun when the movie High Fidelity came out. There is a great scene when John Cusack leans over to one of the co-workers in his record shop and says “I will now sell five copies of The Three E.P.’s by The Beta Band.” You then see multiple people in the shop begin to slowly get into the groove of the classic hit “Dry the Rain.” This is the exact moment that I went out searching for this record. I was able to start my journey through the history of the band. At the point that I found out about this, they already had a stellar catalogue.

One thing about the Beta Band is that no two albums sound alike. The 3 EP’s is kind of a mish mash of sounds that has an unbelievable amount of songs that are single worthy. Steve Mason has a calming space voice that is able to cut through the sounds of the songs like butter. While listening to the 3 EP’s you can really hear the three different times that this album was compiled from. “Dog’s Got a Bone” has a soft sound to it, that could thrive in a Scottish pub after work. “Dr. Baker” gives a you a shot of insanity within the sound of a piano. The Beta Band have a certain weirdness to them that will put a smile on your face. Knowing exactly when to apply some pressure, and when to alleviate it. Almost to the point where they are weaving in and out of the best parts of your mind.

It’s extremely impressive on how different the two main albums are. Beautiful acoustics, and feel in the 3 EP’s, and then the calming space sounds of Hot Shots II. It’s almost as though they found multiple sounds that can mimic the sounds of an acoustic guitar. On this album especially, Steve Mason’s voice is able to be an instrument itself. Hot Shots II is produced with such grace. Background vocals that flow with Mason’s, and sounds that are able to match the feel that they would like to produce. It is almost as though that they want to transport you into this extremely particular area of your mind and this is the sound that will allow your brain to make it there.

The movement of this record is extremely important. They know the exact point of the album where they need to tune the guitars back in. “Human Being” is a perfect example of that. A guitar solo near the end of the song is executed perfectly. You can only layer space sounds so long without having people start to tune you out. They pull the chord directly after song, and put a parachute back onto the album to allow the album to land safely back onto the grassy bed of calmness.

It’s very hard to pinpoint the sound that the Beta Band is known for. They don’t sound like anything else that is out currently. The Caribou album “Andorra” is the closest to feel that I can get to Hot Shots II. Throw on “Squares” to really get a feel for this band, and see if they can be a fit for a sunny Sunday afternoon for you. I guarantee that you will be sold. Unfortunately trying to find any albums on vinyl is nearly impossible. I am just hoping that with the driving force that is indie rock; that we can find time for the space sounds of the Beta Band.

The Three EP’s – 9.2/10
Hot Shots II – 9.7/10

Hacksaw Jim Duggan and his Service Ontario Story

I have started a new job, it is a completely different life working from a desk and not having to deal with the general public. Also 9-5, Monday-Friday isn’t bad (hands behind head, feet up, basking in sun.)

If you would like to have a mixture of transportation back to the 90’s and shockwaves of remembrance of the movie American Pie – go to see Treble Charger play. It was like being in a mediocre time-machine.

If you have not gone to see the beer exhibit at the Museum on Homer Watson in Kitchener and are a fan of beer do it. Do it now. Halfway through the exhibit your mouth starts to water, and your car cannot drive fast enough to a local brewery. They give you a fantastic background of the history of beer in the tri-city area. I started drinking OV again and grew a ‘80s mustache within 26 seconds.

Sara and I have decided that we will not rub any contest wins in people’s faces on Facebook. I won $500.00 last week for tweeting about my favourite small business. Blogs were not included in this agreement.

We were gracious recipients of free Tragically Hip tickets from a couple of great people for their Monday show at the Aud. It was nearly a perfect Hip concert for me. Played everything from about ’97 and before. Gord Downey is a very strange man. There isn’t a drug that makes people dance quite like that.

I want to be involved in one of those strange car chases from the late ‘70s. You know the ones with the giant boats flying around corners, fish tailing, with no one ever really catching up to the other person. Well it looks like they are catching up, but the next scene they are still the same distance behind.

There are very few jobs that you couldn’t tell people about. And wouldn’t know if you were proud or not proud to be in. Porn star is one of them.

We are thinking about joining a gym. What’s important to me about a gym? That they have a TV at the treadmill that plays sports or science fiction with closed captioning. That is all. Oh, and no grunting please.

The Missing is a brilliant British TV show about a child that gets abducted from a very public area, and the father is trying to piece together the case years later. Everything is excellent in this show. Give it a watch. 8.8/10

With certain people’s opinions about shows you should be able to stop them before they even begin to speak. Or something shocks their brain when they begin to give their opinion if they have watched every one of the Transformers or Twilight movies.

In the ‘80s the true American Hero was a dude that carried a two-by four of wood that had either had brain damage or had an extremely low IQ. He used to wave his two-by-four yelling “ohhhhhh.” This was who we identified America with. Happy 4th of July to our neighbors from the south.

hacksaw-jim-duggan

Many people have told me that they didn’t celebrate Canada Day because of the bills that have been passed recently. I don’t celebrate Canada Day because of our Government. I celebrate it because of the people that live within the country. That, and I like to eat and drink.

The most dangerous time to talk to a person and asking for a response, is when they have mouthwash in their mouth. Drink it, bad. Spit it out, bad. Allow a small amount to go down your chin, bad.

There is not an area in the city of Kitchener on Saturday morning that have people standing in line that look angrier than the Service Ontario line. These people are on the edge of a freak out episode. This is the main reason driver’s license pictures always look like prison pictures.

Top 3 nerve racking moments behind the wheel of a car that aren’t actually that dangerous of a situation, but we slow down anyways.

1. Plastic bag flopping through the air towards you like a bat out of hell
2. People in the next lane driving the exact same speed as you
3. Person off the side of the road with their four ways on urinating

Don’t ever use the words “hungry” for a joke if the person is from the country Hungary. It will never work. And you will look like a foolish man or woman with beef noodle soup running down your face.

Downtown Kitchener!

While reading the Record this past weekend it occurred to me that we might have an issue with something in Downtown Kitchener. You don’t notice it right away, but it slowly creeps into your mind the more that you think about things. You really notice it at the corner of King and Queen. Kitchener has an abundance of second hand stores, pawn shops, and pay-day loan stores within minutes of each other. These stores have little or no value to anyone. Their main purpose is to prey on the poor. Buying items for much lower then should be received, or giving you money for more money in the future.

This usually wouldn’t warrant any further discussion, but we just had a great restaurant have to close its doors because of rent increase; and we have a brewery desperately looking for somewhere to set up shop in the downtown. If Kitchener would like to shape up their central area and maintain the momentum that they have going from the tech district, they need to start removing the dragging-down- society retail shops. There is a need for these places, but these should be destination stores. Not in the central part of the city. The reason we have pawn shops and pay day cash loans is mainly because of alcohol and drug habits. By allowing businesses to thrive on the masses, Kitchener will always be doomed to live the cycle of a failing downtown district.

By watching first-hand how much trouble TWB Coop Brewery has had trying to find a way into the downtown, it’s been disheartening. Most businesses would have given up by now. Or would have gone to another city to begin their pursuit. They have been looking for more than a year for a place to call home; to begin to make some profit and build their brand. Zoning by-laws and high rent have come into play as well. TWB’s start up campaign was a huge success. Residents of Kitchener have shown time and time again that if you have a great product, you will succeed. Still nothing, it’s not for a lack of effort on their front. They have looked at multiple places to make this happen. Nothing has panned out as of yet.

Meanwhile, Imbibe was the absolute best place to go for a beer after work. Having multiple craft beer options daily. Laid back staff, and a very chill vibe. They were just starting to get into a groove of having regular customers. I thought they were going to have something special for years to come. The lease for their spot in the Museum was up, and the rent was hiked based on what the going rate was in the area. Another one bites the dust. It’s discouraging to see people with great ideas on how to enhance the downtown have such a difficult time making the dream become a reality. And if they have a sliver of success the rent then gets increased.

I want to support local businesses. But it has to be a business that has a value. Something that gives back as much as it takes from the community. Donates their venues to local events. Stays on top of all things Kitchener. We need the city to take a stand, and look at all angles when it comes to making this city a better place to live. I am personally in a competition with Waterloo. I believe that the city of Kitchener has more character, and can be a great landing spot for people that want to set up shop here. Let’s have a look at these zoning by-laws that are in place. Are they outdated? Maybe if you own a building take a look at the type of place that is going to be moving in to the spot. Will Imbibe increase the value of your property or bring in business for you? Yes, I think it will. Make it work with them so that everybody can be successful. We are almost there. This is already a city that I am proud to live in, but I want it to be a city where I can bring anybody to the downtown area and wow them with a unique experience. Which does not include a pay day loan. It has been a great run over the past five years or so seeing the central area of the city transform into an entertainment district. Let’s keep the ball rolling, and make this a city worth talking about.

Live Music in Kitchener

People seem to be in shock that Rod Stewart and Blondie didn’t have better overall ticket sales at Big Music Fest this year (I am not one of them.) They had to cancel the Sunday night of the festival. The organizer said that he had never seen anything like it before. That it just didn’t take. They advertised the performers at an insane level. If you listened to Dave FM or 570 news there were advertisements for the event every couple of commercial breaks. I am kind of dumbfounded why people thought those two in particular would work.
What do you think of when you think of a festival? You think of an intense crowd that is extremely into the music. They have passion for the music, and the band that is performing. What do you think of when you hear the name Rod Stewart? I think of the 70’s playboy that broke the hearts of multiple middle aged women. Or the crooner that softened up in his older age. I think of a casino crowd. As soon as I heard that Rod Stewart and Blondie were the headliners of Sunday night, I knew it would bomb.

I know the pulse of KW. What we are into, and what is going to sell out 10,000 people. Soundgarden and Jane’s Addiction have this ability. Rod Stewart does not. People that go to festivals have a certain vibe about them. And that vibe in Kitchener in particular, is rock music. The thing that is the most frustrating is that with the money that they spent on Stewart and Blondie; that they could have had a fantastic performance by a band that might not be back on tour when the time is right. Rush, Tom Petty, Foo Fighters, and AC/DC all would have been perfect headliners that would have been right near the same dollar mark of Blondie and Rod Stewart put together. Rush might be dreaming a bit, but it couldn’t have been that far off.

This reminds me of the people that used to run Centre in the Square. Bringing in acts that only made a small percentage of people happy. I have to admit that they have been much better over the past couple of years, but they were awful for the decade before that. As a rock fan in this city, you really have nothing to look forward to. You have to drive to Toronto or London to see a band that could have easily been supported in KW. The city just doesn’t have the right people pushing the buttons. Bringing in the type of acts that will have a chance to succeed. Kitchener is desperately trying to get the downtown back up and running. There are not enough places that have bands that aren’t just local acts. Starlight lounge does its best in Waterloo. They have indie rock. But with the small venue, they can only support certain bands. Maxwell’s have brought in a couple of decent bands recently in the Tea Party and the Headstones, but we are still missing that in between place. A place where you can draw in a couple of thousand people every so often. This is why Big Music Fest is so important. We need to show that we can support live music in this area.

The mistake of booking those acts is such a black eye on the city. It’s not our fault that you brought in the wrong artists. We are already paying huge dollars for a festival that in other cities would be half of the price. But we are willing to pay it, if it means that you can bring particular artists to the city, and we don’t have to drive into the parking lot called Toronto. After hearing the runner of Big Music Fest speak, it sounds like he has gotten it through his head that this city is a rock and roll city. We will not support acts just because they are big names. Kitchener really needs to rattle the windows for Soundgarden and Jane’s Addiction to show our appreciation for great music. And to also show the people that are bringing in the talent that this is the type of music that we want. At the end of the day I just want to enjoy the sunshine, and watch a performance from a band that I thought I would never get to see in my own backyard.

An Oath to better prepare math teachers at the buffet line

The multicultural festival was this past weekend in Kitchener. This is an event where you can go and enjoy food from nearly every type of ethnic origin in the area. The only thing we missed out on was the giant turkey leg. You really don’t want the meat sweats in 30 degree weather though.

Jurassic World – 8.2/10

Terrific movie. Really like that they just pretended that the last two Jurassic Park’s didn’t take place whatsoever. Chris Pratt again is solid. It’s a perfect movie for theatre going. Fun for the whole family. Dinosaurs eating humans is always entertaining.

When are the PC ads going to target the NDP? This has to be coming soon. They might have a hard time with the same ads. Tom Mulcair too handsome for politics?

Went to the horse races for the first time in about ten years on Friday. What a grand old time. Even by just having two dollars on a horse makes you yell like a lunatic at a window without the ability for anybody of importance to hear you. Except that seriously angry old-man that is here to win money. He gave me the newbie look at least three times.

As a young lad I thought I would always eat at buffets when growing up. I thought, well you have everything here. Why wouldn’t I always just get this?

Somebody needs to give Brett Cecil a hug.

Sara and I just started to get back into Helix. The show and the band. What a fantastic show this is. It has the creepy vibe turned to 10. Disease outbreak that starts on an island. Two stories run side by side thirty years apart about how the disease started, and how they are trying to stop the outbreak 30 years in the future. 8.9/10

How do psychics stay in business? I guess they don’t have any overhead costs. They don’t really need to sharpen their skills. Just a deck of cards and some candles. Can you be spiritual without table and the dark room? Or is this to show the spirits that you are serious, and you need answers?

Math teachers were extremely wrong about not always having a calculator with you at all times.

If you constantly have problems with underarm stains on your shirts there is an easy solution. You wear an undershirt. The last thing that you want is to give jerk-ass 13 year old kids firepower when you can prevent it by just wearing a t-shirt.

Throwing on Sportsnet 360 a few days ago I heard a WWE superstar Seth Rollins grab the mic in Cleveland. He is currently the champion. He had one of the best speeches that I have heard. “Johnny-idiot face over there isn’t going to bring you a championship. Neither is Lebron. This is the closest that you will be to a championship. You better enjoy it.” Johnny Manziel was in the crowd.

We are on a kick of trying to take advantage of everything for free. This caused me to go down to a known elderly person hangout to receive a hotdog and enter a ballot for a bike. One of the things that I had to do was guess what colour the quilt was that had the smallest pattern. I guessed it right off of the bat. It’s the one with the smallest shapes was my thought. They were shocked that I got it with my first guess. I was then forced to ask questions about what they were making so I didn’t look rude. At the end of this experience, I am not sure if I am any better or worse. But I did know that I wasn’t going to get those 28 minutes back.

I think I would still go to Jurassic World if they re-opened it back up in a week. I would just think to myself. They are for-sure ready for dinosaurs in cages now.

It seems to be tougher to be spiritual when you are sitting cross-legged in the snow instead of in the sun. Spirituality works a lot better when it’s a beautiful day.

People in the future are going to think that we were idiots for putting up with commercials for as long as we did. “You spent how long watching a guy from Toronto talk about jewelry while waving fistfuls of cash in your face?” Yeah, and that was one of the better ones.

When I see a grown man spinning around in circles on a lawn with his arms spread out wide, I cross the street to the other sidewalk. This is an oath that I have decided to take unknowingly.

Enlightened by Twitter about Downtown Kitchener

I have been enlightened by Twitter. It’s not the way that you would think that it would happen though. I have added everything in the area of KW. Anything from restaurants, social groups, board game cafes, and theaters. Each and every day I can scroll through the Twitter feed and find out what’s happening right around the corner. The internet is a scorched earth sometimes to find correct information. Companies don’t have time to put everything that is going on up on their website constantly. Twitter is a needed tool for local businesses to access as many people as possible in a short time frame.
The other day I found out that there was a produce market that was opening up in Belmont Village for one day. I had no idea that this was even happening until it popped up in my Twitter feed. This seems to be a market that hasn’t quite been discovered by every business. The amount of times that Sara and I have gone to a restaurant because we noticed a $5.00 pint deal at a particular place is astonishing. Downtown Kitchener now advertises $5.00 hump day specials at select businesses downtown. We don’t even look at the websites any longer. There are places that we have never eaten at or didn’t even know existed until we were notified by the hashtag #KWawesome.

I wouldn’t quite say that this is an untapped market, but it’s the only way that advertising works on us. We are the new generation. If you are looking for ways to advertise as a business, and spoiling somebody’s YouTube video is not the answer. You might want to look at Twitter to drum up business. The Boathouse and Imbibe are the best examples in the area for things that seem to work. Word of mouth and social media is practically the only way that these two places have brought in customers. Imbibe unfortunately was forced to close because of rising rental costs at the Museum, but the Boathouse seems to be thriving. If you haven’t been there, check it out. It’s the only outdoor patio that has a view. There is something soothing about sitting by the water and enjoying a pint of beer.

In a city that has historically owned by the Charcoal group we need to help these smaller places. There are more and more places popping up each day in the downtown Kitchener area. Have you heard of La Guanaquita? It’s a brilliant El Salvadorian restaurant above Frankies. It has the best papusas in the city, and offer salsa lessons on certain nights. Want to try something different? Gilt is a sharing restaurant that pushes the boundaries of creative food. They have specials nearly every weekday night. Just want a burger? McCabe’s has one of the best. On Tuesday night they have a half price special for burgers. All of these places are within a 5 minute walk of each other.

When was the last time you went out to Boston Pizza and after the meal was over you said to yourself “That was delicious. That pasta dish was worth every single penny of the $18.95?”

Twitter is the catalyst to everything for me. If there is an advertisement for half price appetizers and $5.00 pints you will have my sights set on you. If you live in this area, add everything KW related to your Twitter feed. You can find things to do, places to go, and stuff to eat within minutes every single day of the week. This city is a difficult city to be bored in while living downtown. Most people think you have to live in Toronto for constant entertainment. I disagree, if we can start to get bigger live music here; which may happen in the near future with the tech district and craft beer boom. This city can thrive. It’s a very exciting time to be in this area. Hope to see everybody out and about. You can catch me enjoying the view from the patio at the Boathouse sometime between the hours of 3-6 on most weekdays.

Will Ferrell and his attempt at a fatality in Mortal Kombat

The Blue Jays have had quite the run recently. Does it remind anybody of a couple of years ago? This is the same pitching staff that they had at the start of the season when we were calling for heads to roll. Minus Aaron Sanchez. The team will come back down to earth. They can still compete, but don’t expect them to run away with the division. We will see what type of team that they have when they hit a rough patch.

A man with colitis wins $25.00 worth of toilet paper. This isn’t a joke, this happened to me.

The look of a teenager having to cut the grass of a huge yard in the afternoon of a beautiful spring day is the same look after Liam Neeson found out his daughter was Taken.

There are many local legends in downtown Kitchener. You already know about the guy with the shopping cart. Another fellow that is usually in the same area has a bucket and a drum stick. He usually has one pant leg pulled up. He plays this bucket with the same intensity of Neil Peart. He doesn’t even have anything to throw change in. Playing the bucket is his part-time job. He usually plays for a couple of hours at a time. This has been another segment of local legends.

Honeymoon – 8.1/10
Coherence – 8.7/10

Couple of beauties here. Both have the same intense build up without the gore or boogeyman tactic. If you can understand Coherence without having to look up some of the details online; you will receive a round of applause from me.

The PC ads that are currently out are even more dumbed down than usual. Ripping on Justin Trudeau about his hair and wanting to send jackets to Syria. Pretty soon it’s going to be that he orders daiquiris and dislikes Rush.

There is something out called the Sustainable Market. It allows you to order fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, flowers, herbs, and all things garden related online. You can then pick up your order from a place in Waterloo or Guelph. With people not really having time to shop properly, this is a great way to get your core ingredients. Wonderful idea.

http://sustainablemarket.ca/

Game of Thrones is done for another season. And with that, you can start to enjoy your summer. Something about that show makes me want to drink a giant stout, grow a beard, and learn how to sword fight.

At least 3 other people could have fit on that dragon.

Chicago Blackhawks won another cup. It’s really hard to dislike this team. They have the best leader in hockey, and are an extremely humble team. If I hear that Chelseadagger song one more time though…

In all my years of existence I have never thrown a dish with food on it before. It seems like this is a regular occurrence on TV. It seems fairly stupid to me. If you throw it at another person, it seems unlikely that they will clean up the mess. If you are just angry about something else, then you will have to clean up the mess. It seems as though any way that you slice it that you are have work to do.

I really enjoy driving slowly. Not to the point that you are angering the person that is behind you, but just a good pace where I am not stressing anybody out. I always envision people that weave in and out of lanes as people that sit in cubicles and throw footballs to each other in the office while taking other people’s money.

Sufjan Stevens new album is terrific. It might be his best. Illinoise is tough to beat, but have a listen to Carrie and Lowell, it might be Neo from the Matrix. 9.3/10

Mortal Kombat taught us that fatal ways to die are better than just dying regularly.

Everybody always had that cousin that loved to climb everything. They would go to the top of a tree and everybody would be cheering them on. “Yes, that small branch there. The one that looks like a twig. That should be able to support 94 pounds. Give it a shot.” Then you would hear the crunch of the branch, while they attempted to plant the first foot. “Oh maybe not, maybe you should come down.” They would try it again with a more tender foot, and hear a softer crunch. “Maybe go for it now. It seems to be stabilizing?”

Here’s hoping that Will Ferrell doesn’t become the new Adam Sandler. Sweat pants, fart noises, and Rob Schneider playing every ethnic origin. His last few movies have been awfully suspect. Is he getting into that dangerous old man comedian area where you have lost the crowd? You just keep going back to the dried up well. The next project due out is about a washed up ball player that becomes a mascot to try to get back in the good graces of the ball team that cut him.

Intentionally injuring yourself so you don’t have to go to a hockey game; to continue drinking at a buddy’s place seemed to be a logical choice made by an acquaintance at the time.

Limp Bizkit spotted at Wildcraft eating balls of all-dressed Chip seasoning

The Indians bullpen crew decided to hold Brandon Moss’ 100th career homerun ball ransom. They decided that they all wanted Apple products. They made a list, and the CEO of Apple came through and provided them with their demands. I am not sure if it was supposed to be a joke, but if not, it’s a pretty dickish thing to do.

Degrassi has been saved by Netflix. Once again the streaming service sees talent, and is going to reap the rewards from it. See Trailer Park Boys and Arrested Development for details.

Practically every single network TV show has limitations. It almost seems like they are writing like they don’t want to offend anyone. Only going so far. Every piece of dialogue that I hear on most shows has never been an actual conversation that two people have had. But just add a comic book character or two and you are good to go.

Preggoland – 5.6/10
Slow West – 7.1/10

Slow West stars Michael Fassbender as a jaded man from the old west that takes on a friendship to this kid trying to find the love of his life. She is being hunted by multiple people for a ransom.

When the Bruce Trail was just starting out they didn’t have a way to cross a major highway in the Hamilton area. So, to complete the section they would have to run across a 6 lane highway to get to the other side of the trail. Just envisioning a group of people in ‘70s tall socks and short shorts running across the 427 is amusing to me.

No-hitter thrown on the night that I put a picture of my no-hitter ball on Instagram a coincidence? I think not. The spirit of Legionnaires baseball, and the power of the mullet found its way to Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants. You are welcome my friend.

In my hometown we had a gentleman that would heckle players from all age groups from the beer gardens that were down the first base line. He would shout things about their lack of skill and their mothers constantly. Didn’t matter the age, 13 and up were fair game. Players from the other team would launch throws into the beer gardens during warm ups. The heckler would get on their nerves. This was the legendary Legionnaires 10th man.

Did you know that there is a group of men within the gaming industry that hate women gamers, and women that create video games? They actually go as far to threaten their lives. It is coined with the hashtag “Gamergate.” Who are these men? Where do we find them? Is this a secret society? And you think sports has a problem with sexism?

There is a new reality show that is in the works that will have the likes of William Shatner, George Foreman, and other veteran celebrities going to Asia to travel around to find the meaning of life. As long as there is $5.00 in it; William Shatner is on board.

Innocente is a brewery that has opened up in Waterloo. They have multiple beers on tap, and allow you to try every single one of them if you like. Very good guys, and very good beer. Go check them out. They will also fill up any growler. Regardless of the brewery. Just not 2L pop bottles. Yes, we did ask.

There are points in my life that I have missed Alpha-getti. I actually go down that aisle just to see what shapes that they come in. Oh, those spooky Halloween shapes always were the best. Also, my alphabet soup never spelled anything like they do in the cartoons. There are some adults that have eaten this at my work. I instantly think that they really need their pay-cheque to come in.

Top 3 spots where you can say “oh man, couldn’t you hold it in jokingly?”

3 – Going on 85 North practically anytime during the spring
2 – Traveling through the city, and getting that faint whiff of the skunk
1 – When somebody shits their pants regardless of the place

There are some bands that I listen to now that I used to really be into, and think “what was I thinking?” Limp Bizkit is one of them. Have you listened to the lyrics of Nookie? I like to pretend that I did it all for the Nookie, but really I was just a sensitive boy that always craved long-term relationships. I was a fraud.

Did Rocky not have time to cook the eggs? Eating raw eggs at 6am is a terrible idea.

I enjoy Dad’s root-beer. It is not available all that often. When it is, and actual beer is available; I will need a few more minutes to decide what I want.

My Mother took me to Wildcraft yesterday. It was a very pleasant lunch. We are both currently retired. Our server was extremely nice. She did dump all of the silverware onto my crouch while trying to clear away all of the plates. The awkwardness of the waitress, the greeter, and my hands picking up silverware from my crouch didn’t go unnoticed.

Sara and I really want one of those bikes that have the basket on the front. The extremely comfortable one. The one where you are sitting completely upright, and looking like you are going to the market to get French baguettes.

I have eaten a ball of all-dressed seasoning before out of a bag of chips on a dare. I don’t regret it.

My dream of a tiny house

I have a dream. That dream is to live in a house on wheels that is 200-300 square feet. Put that house on the water somewhere in an area where it’s close to a decent sized town or city. Without having the hustle and bustle of city life. Have it powered by solar panels, and use a composting toilet. Getting out of the rat race and just having a seasonal job. Maybe even working for myself. Having a small bed and breakfast or writing part-time. Seems pretty simple. Except it’s not. The Ontario government makes it extremely difficult to make such a simple dream come true.

The government doesn’t want this. Not paying into them on a consistent basis. They want you to be in debt every single year. Working until you are 67 years old. The average person twenty years ago put 20% of their pay cheque into some type of savings. Whether it was stocks, RRSP’s, or just a general savings account. Now, it’s under 2%. How do people save money now? They purchase a home. Hoping to sell it for a huge profit in the future. People are buying houses while making $15.00 an hour. They are being approved for $300,000 houses. Unstable jobs, sometimes having to take on a second job to pay off this mortgage that they maxed out. Having to go home to their house as entertainment; because they can’t afford to do anything else.

The newest trend now is to purchase houses, and rent out part of the household to basically pay the mortgage. It’s actually an extremely smart move. Especially in a booming market. While looking for our apartment this time out we noticed a huge increase in this. This might again become a watered down area to try to get ahead of the system. It hasn’t yet, but we are seeing an increase in incentives to move in. One thing that I am noticing in Ontario is that it’s difficult to exit the matrix. Anything that the government can do to reduce ones independence they will do. The reason that people can’t have a tiny house in Ontario is the danger of having squatters? Squatters?

Now you can have a tiny house in a trailer park in Ontario. The regulation on that is that you need to vacate that tiny house for at least 2 months every year. And the trailer parks charge you anywhere from $400-500 a month to just park it there. You are still not much better off than renting an apartment. We are at the mercy of the Ontario government. Just pumping money into the system. One thing that may become more popular is shared households. Having a beautiful common area and then each person that lives there has their own bedroom. That could become a big thing in the future. People are sick of living pay cheque to pay cheque, and having to worry about job security constantly. We just want a cheaper way to live. Inflation has taken its toll on the majority of the population. Getting paid the same or less, and being charged more.

I have kept a keen eye on the tiny house movement. It seems to be gaining momentum. We are not the only ones out there that are thinking this way. Most of the people that I know in their 20’s seem to striving for life experiences over houses and cars. You look at the baby boomers and see that a whole generation at some point in the next twenty years will start to be moving into retirement homes and selling their houses. You then look at the younger generation that is supposed to be buying up these homes, and where their heads are at as far as how they want to live; you see that there is a disconnect between the two.

The housing market bubble is going to burst. You will always have your high value areas such as Toronto and the areas around Toronto. Everybody wants to live in the mecca of a province, but the other areas further away are going to be a tough sell. The days of over paying for homes and land should come to an end. We want nothing to do with any of these issues. All that we want is a tiny house on a body of water in an area that we can get our groceries. Why is this so difficult to achieve?