holiday tunes

December 20, 2002 under Life, Music

By the end of today, I’ll be in Timmins so I probably won’t get the chance to update my .plan until after I return on the 31st. Dena will still be in Kitchener until Monday evening, when she’ll be in Crystal Falls.

At home I can look forward to a break from work, colder weather, more snow, the 2003 World Junior Hockey tourney and friends and family. I’ll also surely be treated to a haircut, as I’ve allowed the ol’ mop to become long and shaggy. My mom will definitely not let me be seen by family, neighbours or anybody else until she’s put her scissors away. What would they think…the Bellini kid has become a scraggly derelict? My stars 😉

As promised, I’ll offer my suggestions for tunes during the Christmas holidays. Let’s face it, you’re going to be eating a lot, somebody will be drunk and piss off a family member and you’ll have to put up with the odd fake smile staring back at you after you’ve given a gift that the receiver probably doesn’t like. Good tunes will make for a good holiday none-the-less. Warning, there’s no “Jingle Bells” or “Silent Night” in my list; you’ll hear those ad nauseum as it is. Instead I present some albums and songs, which you probably will not hear on commercial radio stations or music video channels, which I think compliment the season nicely. Don’t think of this as a “best of 2002 according to me” list. You won’t find The Flaming LipsYoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Interpol‘s Turn On The Bright Lights, Guided by Voices Universal Truths and Cycles or Coldplay‘s A Rush Of Blood To The Head” in my list. Nor will this be a listing of masterpiece albums of my day like My Bloody Valentine‘s Loveless, Nirvana‘s Nevermind, Pavement‘s Slanted and Enchanted, Radiohead‘s OK Computer or Sonic Youth‘s Daydream Nation…although you should give all of those a spin anyway 😉

During the holidays, you’ll probably see a few friends and family that you normally don’t see all that often. In those times, alcohol is usually consumed. For some good-time holiday sing-alongs, chase those drinks with Oasis(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, Frank Black and the Catholics’ Black Letter Days, Pavement‘s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, Modest Mouse‘s Lonesome Crowded West and it’s a toss-up between Guided By VoicesBee Thousand and Alien Lanes. For some reason, the Matthew Good Band‘s Underdogs reminds me of the now-defunct Champs Sports Pub in Timmins. Why? I dunno.

For those times when you’re sitting by the fire and staring at the lights on the Christmas tree without any conscious thought, Mercury Rev‘s All Is Dream, Sigur Rós( ) (when the day comes that Dena and I have a wedding shindig, I’d like this album’s third track played at some point), Yo La Tengo‘s I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, The Jesus and Mary Chain‘s Darklands and The Cure‘s live album Show are ideal companions. If you’re feeling a little conservative, try Ride‘s Nowhere. Conversely, if you’re feeling adventurous, fire up Kinski‘s Semaphore EP.

There will be times when you just want to rock…nay…RAWK around the Christmas tree. Surprisingly, 2002 produced some fine rollickin’ good time albums. Queens Of The Stone Age‘s Songs For The Deaf, Mclusky‘s Mclusky Do Dallas, Mudhoney‘s Since We’ve Become Translucent and even the Foo Fighter‘s One By One are great contributions from this year. From years gone by, the Smashing Pumpkins‘ double-album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and singles collection The Aeroplane Flies High (if not for “Set the Ray To Jerry”, “Pennies”, “The Boy” and “Transformer” alone), the Screaming TreesSweet Oblivion, Pearl Jam‘s Vitalogy and the Butthole SurfersIndependant Worm Saloon are my picks for pure rawk fun while your roasting chestnuts over an open fire.

Christmas is a time for traditions; songs about the holidays and snow-related frolicking and so on. However, the old standard carols are sounding tired. I would like to propose two new additions to the Christmas song rotation in malls, offices and anywhere else. For me, no Christmas holiday is complete without The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl’s “Fairytale of New York” and the Ramones‘ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)”. Avoid at all cost those cheesy Christmas albums from divas and teen popsters. And if for some twisted reason Creed or Linkin Park release Christmas-themed albums any time soon, the end of the world will be near.

From Dena and I, happy Christmas/Hanukah/Kwaanza/Festivus and we’ll see you in 2003.

PS: Barry thought that this dialog between him and Pat, concerning the day after Pat’s Christmas party at work, should be made for all to see in my .plan:

andelu (03:38 PM) : u hurtin?
pat (03:40 PM) : i am now.
pat (03:40 PM) : have been getting steadily worse all day.
andelu (03:42 PM) : ehheheh how much did u drink?
pat (03:43 PM) : shit….hmmm
pat (03:43 PM) : 3 bottles of sleeman silver creek before 1:30
pat (03:43 PM) : then four glasses of red until 3:00
pat (03:43 PM) : then two more pints up to 5
pat (03:43 PM) : then 2 bottles of keiths with dinner, actually..that was dinner.
pat (03:44 PM) : then 2 pints with erin at the Bow and Arrow

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controlling time

December 18, 2002 under Computers, Programming

Did you know that formatting dates in Visual Basic cannot be accomplished the same way in Visual Basic Script? It’s true. This Visual Basic snippet:

Dim strCurrDate As String
 
   strCurrDate = Format(Now(), "Short Date")

will not work with Visual Basic Script. The Format() function isn’t available to Visual Basic Script, but there is a FormatDateTime() function that appears to be identical. Instead, the VBS equivalent would be something like this:

Dim strCurrDate
 
   strCurrDate = FormatDateTime(Date, 2)

Why the need for a similar function but with a different name? I don’t know, but I guess you learn something new everyday. I learned this while working on a server-side script for our Microsoft Exchange Server at work.

Apparently, the funeral for Father Les _was_ a big event. Some pics of it can be found here.

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father les

December 16, 2002 under Life

It snowed a bit over night and, as usual, most drivers down here are clueless as to how to drive in it.

Another thing that peeves me…here’s a message to the world, or at least to those that I interact with (minus Dena):

Vous m’aimez seulement quand vous avez besoin d’aide.

On a sad note, Father Les Costello passed away last week. Now me and my family are not what you’d call religious people, but I have attended Father Les’ masses. They usually lasted approximately 25 minutes, were peppered with jokes (some of which you wouldn’t expect from a priest) and always ended with a “Go Leafs!”. The Toronto Star has a nice article about Father Les. According to an article in the Timmins Daily Press, his funeral will be a pretty big event.

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holidays looming

December 9, 2002 under Life

Not much new to report. Dena got a nice Christmas bonus so we did some Christmas shopping at the Cambridge Centre this past Saturday. We also got our tickets to fly north for holidays. For the fifth consecutive Christmas, I’ll be in Timmins and she’ll be in Crystal Falls 😐

Stay tuned; I’ll have my holiday tunes recommendations coming soon.

PS: Pearl Jam‘s Riot Act is a mighty fine album.

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i'm all about being smart

December 2, 2002 under Computers, Hardware

Maxtor‘s SMART technology is great. I got a SMART warning Saturday morning so I backed the drive up, took it out of my computer, and brough the drive down to Maximillion. Thirty seconds later, I’m back in the car with a new hard drive 🙂

Oh…yeah, it was my birthday on Sunday. I’m now 26.

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