Snail Races

...where even the winners are slow and slimy. It's all a matter of degrees, really. Reality based since 1692.

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Location: Upper Canada

Saturday, March 25, 2006

post-friday protest song

Neddie relays Julia's suggestion that we all post up a favorite protest song. As memes go, not bad. Here's a favorite of mine. Click the link and read some of the commentary about the song.

Bruce Cockburn - If I Had A Rocket Launcher

Here comes the helicopter -- second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they've murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay

I don't believe in guarded borders and I don't believe in hate
I don't believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation -- or some less humane fate
Cry for guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher...Some son of a bitch would die

Friday, March 24, 2006

food of my people II

Wikipedia grows ever more indispensible, as it provides this concise entry on the Brown Bobby Doughnut Machine. A junior model now sits on the dinette table at my mum Alta's house, having been passed down from my father's mother Alta. That's right, his mom was an Alta and he married an Alta. I suppose, to be fair, the name was in the top 200 or so when they both were born, but still notable, I always thought...

Anyway, these triangular cake doughnuts were a prominent highlight of any visit to Grandmother Alta's apartment on Armour Blvd in Kansas City in the early Sixties. Growing up and inhaling the hot product with a glass of cold creamy milk that was delivered in bottles to the back porch of her 4th floor apartment - memories don't come much more vivid than those for me. The process consisted of mixing (at least) a double bowl of batter, and then baking them much like waffles, six at a time, for just a few minutes per batch, watching for the steaming to almost disappear before lifting the lid and popping them out. It almost always took several batches of six before the number on the cooling rack broke double figures, but after a couple of hours of sitting in the kitchen, there would be enough of a pile to wrap and put in an old Christmas tin to send home with us.

I have only recently become aware of the entrepreneurial aspect of owning a Brown Bobby. I don't know how she came to have it, alas, and I wish I had heard the story from her directly, but informed by Dad's genealogical research and the info about how Brown Bobby was marketed, I can imagine that a woman such as herself, twice divorced before 30 and with two young boys, would have been keenly interested in the idea of a home business. I wonder how it worked out for and her sisters.

I used to think of Grandmother (explicitly not Grandma) Alta as a Mary Tyler Moore-esque career woman, as she worked well into her seventies as an ambulance dispatcher at a hospital. Tallish, slim, and brunette, she wore the same polyester fashions that Mary could have worn, or maybe Rhoda, even though she turned 70 in 1973, as she travelled the world through her retirement.

Since Bobby Lightfoot liked it so much, here is a flashback to a holiday visit from 1957, with Grandmother and me.

Haven't looked lately, but there has been a lively market for the machines among collectors and I wouldn't be surprised if it was worth Cdn$1,000.00. Staggering, really.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

what I did on the weekend

bought some mason stains from a studio downtown that is downsizing and moving. Seeing the nice stuff Dave had on the shelves there inspired me, so I stole a few hours of time from getting ready for Mont Tremblant to make what you see here.

Still crude, as always, but it is therapeutic for me.

fresh ware Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

feral swine dining

this post from amuse bouche was too good not to note. a proper reverence for the old ways that the ancestors would appreciate.


Playing with the MP3 thingy has gotten me to haul out some of the old stuff from back in the day. One of the best afternoons I ever spent was as a roadie for Doug and the Slugs, a Vancouver band with several CanCon radio hits, when they played a Thursday afternoon gig at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, 1982ish. Interesting guys, interesting space. Arthur Erickson designed the campus atop Burnaby Mountain, with a prominent quadrangle raised on stilts allowing for open spaces below. There was a study/lunch area with tables, a stainless bar for sandwich or bottled beer service.

Glass all around, horrible acoustics. Lots of beer, though, and sunshine, rare in the lower mainland.

Doug Bennett died last year. Sucker could write a song Bobby L would be proud of.

"Tropical Rainstorm"

Two city savages were running from the rain, and
Seeking shelter in the bamboo-curtained room
Their clothes were drying on the back of wicker chairs
While lazing out the afternoon

We're nothing more than friends gone seperate ways
No longer on parallel lines
You've run the reasons for doing what was done
I can't deny that they're as good as mine

Oh, I remember conversations on my roof
So whiskey-fueled they had us howling at the stars
While laughing at the dark we finally closed the night
As reckless as we closed those bars

Oh, I could tell you from the coolness of my room
Of bonds broken and repaired
Forgotten points we made before passing out
Or carried drunkenly down those stairs, and

Swept away by a tropical rainstorm on the lower mainland
Swept away by a tropical rainstorm on the lower mainland

Now in the end you're just some poster on my wall
And passing by I can't afford the time that you steal
You heard your master call and finally turned to home
Back to what you think is real

Oh, I heard the small-craft warnings long before they came
Oh the gales were blowing for days
Clearing the pathway of the branches from the storm
I realized that you had made your place

Swept away by a tropical rainstorm on the lower mainland
Swept away by a tropical rainstorm on the lower mainland

From "Cognac & Bologna"

Friday, March 03, 2006

protest songs?

These all actually came up in the first fiteen or so after shuffling the ITunes library. I deleted the most embarrassing and/or holiday tunes, and found myself left with a list that jumps up in your grill and demands a snarky and/or political frame for current affairs as viewed nearing the end of the Winter Of Our Discontent.

Quiet Riot - Buddy Rich & His Orchestra
The Trouble With Normal - Bruce Cockburn
September 15th - Pat Metheny
Lies - Stan Rogers
Thanks - James Gang
Green Grass and High Tides - Outlaws
Les Allumeuses - Hugo Lapointe
She's Not There - Zombies
Rock Steady - Remy Shand
Welcome to Hell - Sum 41

I may have to update this later with commentary on some of those titles. And I didn't even include People See Through You.

Mr. Death - Bonus Bobby Lightfoot Track