A day in Montreal, One | Thursday, February 4th, 2010

It was a Tuesday morning, a couple of weeks ago, and it was one of the most beautiful mornings I can remember so far this winter. As I walked to Le Dépanneur Café, the biggest snowflakes you've ever seen were lazily making their descent to the ground. L'Esplanade street was mostly deserted quiet except for me and the crunching of the snow beneath my Columbia boots. Four or five hours of work fly by me like doves until my good friend Elizabeth walks in.

Benoit, the owner, convinces us to buy the CD of his newest musical crush - Erin Lang. I went ahead and paid the paltry $10 for it, while Elizabeth contents herself with a green tea cupcake, also made by Erin Lang that morning. I took a bite. It was pretty good.

I sometimes wonder what parts of my life I'll look back on with fondness in my later years. We tend to morph, twist and deform places, people and things deep in the recesses of our memories, warping proportions and exaggerating emotions. Whenever I listen to Erin Lang, maybe I'll somehow manage to remember the day where giant snowflakes fell on the plateau only to be destroyed under the heel of my even giant-er boot, worked on my laptop for many many hours and ate a dozen green tea cupcakes.

In Memoriam | Monday, December 28th, 2009

Hanna Z. Mansour, 1939 - 2009

Update: The Funeral will be held on Saturday, January 2nd, 12:30pm at St. George's Anglican Church (1101 Stanley).

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Today at 1:45pm, surrounded by loving family and friends, my Dad passed away peacefully at Sacré-Coeur Hospital in Montréal, at the rather young age of 70, following complications from a stroke he suffered in early November. Those of you who are close to my family probably also realized that 10 years ago - almost to the day - his wife, my mother passed away as well. The almost eerie timing of the situation has left us all with more questions than answers, but we're thankful for the time we spent with him and for all the lives he's touched in his time here. We're as grateful to him for everything he's done for us as we are saddened by his departure. He will be remembered as a good man who did good with his life to help others.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada will be greatly appreciated.

You may leave us a message below if you wish to do so (to be be published after moderation).

The Funeral will be held on Saturday, January 2nd, 12:30pm at St. George's Anglican Church (1101 Stanley).

Head shaving tip #117 | Saturday, December 26th, 2009

If you have a shaved head and want to keep it, don't let it grow out more than a few days or so. Shaving your head after it's grown out more than a few millimeters is almost as irritating as when you shave it for the first time.

That is all.

Swine flu vaccination | Thursday, December 10th, 2009

I wasn't planning on getting vaccinated against the H1N1 flu. I tend to take a laissez-faire attitude about this kind of thing, and even if I did catch it I'm pretty sure my immune system would manage to fight it off. Coupled with my irrational belief that people who live in colder climates are naturally hardier, I figured it was all just an orchestrated panic to scare the Walmart crowd into submission again.

However, my family situation has changed quite rapidly over the past month, and I've been spending lots of time around babies and toddlers, not to mention a couple of hours a day at the hospital. Seeing as how the young and ill are higher-risk candidates for complications due to the swine flu, I decided that I should do it not for myself, but to protect those around me. I didn't, however, feel up to going to one of the clinics here in Laval and waiting in line. There's a certain herd-ness to it that bothers me.

Come and take a ride with me... | Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

A short video of me taking the motorcycle around the barrio on a cold, windy, cloudy day - probably one of the last rides of the season. It's mid-October and I'm still riding, though, so I suppose that I should give thanks to the weather Gods.

The Kodak Zi8 is mounted to the GT250's handlebars with a clever combination of a mini-tripod, tie wraps and prayer. I need to build something better to resist vibration, and find a better mounting point that at least shows part of the front of the bike.

The video is sped up 2x for brevity's sake.

Go directly to the Vimeo page to watch it in 720p HD fullscreen.

Music: Bran Van 3000 - Supermodel

It's been a while. | Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Two and a half months, to be exact. How time flies. I've been out here in the real world, riding my motorcycle, going mountain biking, working out, eating amazing food, reading books, and hanging out with friends and family - all things that you can't really do very well from behind a computer.

I'm slowly coming back online now, if only to replace my last post about zombie gardening video games. Probably wasn't the most professional first impression to give to first-time visitors to the site.

The Motorcycle Diaries, Part I | Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

I've had my motorcycle license ever since I was 16. A decade ago, it was ridiculously easy to get a license - there were no different 'classes' based on the size or speed of the bike, and I never once had to pass a road test. I had to do a circuit exam consisting of riding a cone slalom in a crazy eight figure, doing a U-Turn, and braking in a short distance. I failed the first time, because my test bike sputtered out and stalled. The second time - two weeks and fifteen bucks later, if memory serves - I passed, and that same day I was able to go out and buy any bike I wanted, such as a 600cc (engine size is measure in Cubic Centimeters. Bigger often - but not always - equals faster and heavier) sports bike, which these days are basically racing motorcycle intended for the track but made street legal by the addition of turn signals and a license plate holder. Instead, though, I waited, and waited, and waited. Years went by, and while I almost bought the then-new Ducati Monster, I foolishly chose instead to put my hard-earned money into my then-girlfriend savings. In retrospect, Ducati is greater than savings, every time.

Ducati Monster