My office is an unusable mess at the moment. This is good. Since the water damage it has stayed in a pretty ugly state of disrepair. The walls had gaps and holes were unfinished and looked really bad. I’m no handy. That gene ended with my Dad unfortunately. But I do have some handy friends. Joeyjoe has been gracious enough to come over a few times last week to mud my office walls. The mud (henceforth called goo) is a pretty amazing product. It fills all the holes and cracks to create a nice flat surface. If you get it on the floor it rubs off. Add too much? It scraps off. It is very forgiving. We have applied three coats and many of the ridiculous imperfections have been fixed. And there were some incredible issues and sizable gaps to fill. Bdot and I are even starting to contemplate paint colours and desk options. Phew. A huge thanks to JoeyJoe, obviously nothing would have been possible without your guidance (and tools!). Thanks buddy!
We invited a bunch of friends over for a pre-Christmas gathering. ‘Tis a busy season and sadly only half showed up. It was a fun but fairly low key evening. The party goers ended up playing Cards Against Humanity. JoeyJoe won. Not sure what that says about him.
Sunday we were pretty bagged. I still feel tired but have a ton of errands to run today. So…. update y’all later.
Sabres got robbed against the Hawks. What an officiating joke the NHL is some nights. The game was virtually penalty free. But I guess the NHL darling Hawks can’t get beat by the lowly Sabres so the refs called TWO penalties with less than 3m left to give the Hawks a 5 on 3 powerplay. The Hawks pulled the goalie for a 6 on 3 and eventually scored. Seriously… how often are double minors called on the same play… let alone with under 3 left to play. Never. They aren’t. Sure the Sabres got a make-up call in OT and could have still won in the shootout… but IMHO they shouldn’t have even been there. Disappointing.
Saturday we ventured downtown to meet another couple and their kids at the Toronto Christmas Market. What a gong show. Every step of the way was tedious. Not surprisingly traffic into downtown on a Saturday afternoon is bumper to bumper, slow and dreadful. The Toronto Christmas Market (TCM) is held in the popular Distillery District of Toronto. It sure seemed like everyone knew about this event because it was ‘rammensteined“. First parking. Their website wisely recommends public transit to the event. Believe it. It’s true! We drove around for 30m before paying $15 to park. The closest pay meter was out of order so I walked across the entire lot to pay. No biggie…. but just another finger in the eye. So then you line up to buy tickets. Line up to get inside. Then line up buy another or go anywhere at the event. Sure it is interesting. The cobblestone roads and festive atmosphere… but it is really just about making money. Food was expensive. Beer was expensive. And sure they were trying to limit the number of people at the event… but it didn’t seem to help. It was wall to wall people half of which were standing around taking selfies and blocking traffic. We eventually got word from our friends that it was too much for the kids and that they were going home. Joy. We basically did the same. Had some curry fries, a beer, looked at some art then left. The highlight was Steak & Stout pies from Brick Street Bakery. While the TCM was interesting, it was waaaay to busy, I don’t think I’d do it again.
Monday we spent the day in Collingwood at the Scandinave Spa. It was surprisingly busy for a Monday. It was a mild day, no rain, so it was perfect to be outside at the spa. Wonderfully relaxing. This was a combo birthday/anniversary day for us. If we didn’t have to get home for the dog I’m sure we would still be there.
We returned to Rudolph’s to get our Christmas tree. The selection was really disappointing. We normally get a tree that is around 8 feet… there were none. The trees that were there were portly, none of them tall and triangular. So after search the entire lot… We found a single taller tree. We debated about trying another tree farm… but it was already getting to be a long day. So we took it. Miraculously it fit in the Subaru with the hatch closed. I wonder how long the car will smell like pine. Bdot is decorating it now so I expect I’ll have an finished photo soon. Unfortunately it sounded like this may be one of the last years for Rudolph’s. They are getting out of the business. There are other options but I enjoy returning to same place. Oh well. Who knows what next year will bring.
The Japanese have a probe named Akatsuki near Venus. They are trying to swing it in for a close look at the planet. Should know if they were successful within a few days. NASA page on the exploration.
Akatsuki has successfully been inserted into Venus’ orbit! Data will starting flowing in shortly. I’m hoping for some revealing photos of the planet.
One of my hobbies is music. This has led me to review music for many years. Here is my submitted list for 2015! So much Black Metal. No idea where it all came from… I think the Post-Rock offerings this year were a little weak… 🙁
01) Chelsea Wolfe / Abyss / Sargent House
There really wasn’t clear cut #1 for me this year. Really the top 10 are fairly interchangeable. That said… Abyss was monstrous. It was dark and brooding and black and really felt like a falling into a dark, grim place. Wolfe’s voice is the glue that holds this album together. It is emotional, bleak and beautiful.
02) Tempel / The Moon Lit Our Path / Prosthetic Records
I reviewed this and loved it. From the review: “The Moon Lit Our Path is a remarkable accomplishment. The album is intricate, emotional, uplifting, horrific, crushing, cathartic and just erupts with riff after riff of colourful and evocative metal. Tempel blend the creative zest and gorgeous textures of post-metal with the gut-wrenching passion and grim intensity of black metal to forge a wholly satisfy sonic juggernaut. The Moon Lit Our Path is something special. If you like metal it is the most rewarding seven bucks you can spend at bandcamp that I’ve seen in some time. An easy early AOTY candidate. Wow.” And here it is.
03) Ghost Bath / Moonlover / Northern Silence Productions
My first note after considering this album for AOTY was “has to be somewhere.” This album has staggering beauty beside all consuming darkness over and over again. It is exhausting. I don’t care where they are from. This is some good shit.
04) Wiegedood / De Doden Hebben Het Goed / Consouling Sounds
Soaring, unrelenting, melodic bombast with some incredibly subtle but beautiful instrumental accents. Unparalleled atmosphere.
05) Marriages / Salome / Sargent House
Weird and wonderful and oozing personality. A Marriages release is always worth waiting for. Emma vocals are in top form throughout.
06) Caspian / Dust and Disquiet / Triple Crown Records
07) Sannhet / Revisionist / The Flenser
08) SardoniS / III / Consouling Sounds
09) Locrian / Infinite-dissolution / Relapse Records
10) Panopticon / Autumn Eternal / Bindrune Recordings
11) Halma / Granular / Kapitaen Platte
12) Chasity Belt / Time to go Home / Hardly Art
13) Lanterns on the lake / Beings / Bella Union
14) Elder / Lore / Armageddon Label
15) Nechochwen / Heart of Akamon / Nordvis
16) Serious Beak / Ankaa / Art as Catharsis
17) Torpor / From Nothing Comes Everything / Head Of Crom
18) Ghold / Of Ruin / Ritual Productions
19) Ommadon / Empathy for the Wicked / Burning World Records
20) The Black Heart Rebellion / People, when you see the smoke, do not think it is the fields they’re burning / Smoke & Dust
In other music news was the sad passing of Scott Weiland, singer from Stone Temple Pilots. I don’t care for many male vocalists… but he was one of the few I did like. Sad news indeed. 🙁