Sierra’s 49th month

So here’s the thing about kites.  If you have one this big, it’s never really going to get up into the air.  I ran A LOT of times to try and get it up and it may have got up a few feet.

Enjoying some hot chocolate from the cup that Matante Vero dropped off for her birthday

A couple of days later the wind conditions were perfect to try out a kite another time.  Luckily this time we had another kite that she got from Uncle Ben and Aunt Krista.  This was a $3 kite and was light as a feather!  It went up with no issues.  After this day I promptly deposited my giant jet of a kite into the trash.  Funny enough, Sierra got the line all tangled up on the $3 kite that I had to go and fish out the old kite from the trash can and get the line off of it a few days later!

I’m not entirely sure why I took a photo of a smoked meat brisket that I did in the Instant Pot, but I’m pretty sure it was to send to Mom and make her jealous!

In the mornings when Ezra takes a nap I am always trying to think of an activity to do with Sierra.  I find that, along with figuring out what to make for meals is the hardest part because I’m not exactly planning ahead.  Luckily she received a necklace craft set for her birthday so we made a bunch of necklaces.

“Here’s Johnny!”

I had a good laugh when Sierra came up the stairs one morning and asked me what this was!

Vintage 1998 AUSTIN POWERS Swedish Made Male ENLARGER Novelty Pump ...

This is what it is!  Yeah baby, yeah!  I loved Austin Powers years ago.  I should rewatch them.

If the pandemic wasn’t around, we would probably have Sierra in some sort of dance classes.  But when that isn’t available, then a Frozen themed dance class on YouTube does just the trick!

Sierra quite likes the board game Trouble that she received for her birthday.  We realized that it’s a lot easier to just play with two pieces at a time instead of the standard four.  Here is her butterfly Alex playing with us.

Hanging out around the campfire

This is what I like to see when I come in after an hour of quiet time.  However, there have also been cases of crayon markings on the window and walls that I’m less impressed with!

Getting a  drink on a hot, hot day.  This was probably taken during an early heat wave of +40 degree weather.  You can’t have Ezra out in that weather for more than 15 minutes.  But Sierra quite likes it.  However, she decided she prefers this smaller sprinkler than the regular one.

Sierra can’t finish a cup of water if her life depended on it, but somehow she managed to gulp this entire smoothie down after running around in +40 degrees!  Smoothies remind me of Brazil.  There were tons of smoothie bars on the streets in Rio because it’s just so hot.

This must be some sort of butterfly superhero!

Sierra is quite helpful in the garden.  Here she is planting potatoes with Maman.

Here are the two gardeners for the summer of 2020.

Vero decided to plant one tomato plant in the middle of our yard because in theory it will get a lot more sunlight.  If it results in a substantial difference we may make raised beds the next year and put them in the yard instead of our fairly shady garden.

There is a fantastic forest in Russell that we go a couple of times a week.  Vero gets to come out with us on weekends when she is not working.

Pretty sure this creature is more annoying than a mosquito when you’re trying to take a nap!

Hanging out 

I’ll have to remember to take a video of our storytime routine but it goes like this.  I read Sierra a story, generally something from Frog and Toad.  Then Mr. Froggy joins us for question time.  I do the voice of Mr. Froggy who somehow sounds like Kermit the Frog.  Generally Sierra’s questions are “What do you want to do tomorrow?” and “What did you do today?”.  I then ask her things like “What was the most fun thing you did today?” and she replies with “Sleep.”  I then have to prompt her (as Mr. Froggy) to tell me about her bike rides, or her times playing with Ezra.  Then when Mr. Froggy goes to sleep she somehow has the same questions for Dad and I have to answer them before leaving the room.  Sometimes these questions go on for 30 minutes!  She is quite conniving when she wants to delay her bed time.

What a shot Maman took!  This was probably the day that we didn’t teach Sierra that she needs to hold onto the line and the kite went flying over into the trees in the park!  The neighbours across the street witnessed me hightailing it across the field trying to catch this kite!  Because the wind was so strong I did manage to get it out of the tree but it took about a half hour.  What an adventure!

I love this photo Vero took just because you can see the immense joy she is having.  Kite flying should be a mandatory class for all kids.

The same day we had high winds, a giant wind gust caught our sun shade and snapped one of the posts!  Sierra was on the deck and Maman had her run away in time.  Pretty scary stuff!  Luckily we had a spare post in the shed so it didn’t take too much work to repair it.  Nowadays, if there is a storm coming we take this shade down.

I was very excited to see that my favourite spot in Hull reopened!

Sierra insisted that Red Rooster comes to bed with me because my eye was hurting.  Vero wanted to use this photo as blackmail.

Another windy day, another kite adventure!

Checking out some worms

Sierra likes to go in the front lawn with Maman.  I believe they wait for the ice cream truck to pass by.  They’ll be waiting a long time!  But I did show up with a couple of bowls of ice cream one evening.

The new water pistols are working great!

With the hot tub broken Vero kept asking for us to buy a pool.  In my mind pools were a couple of hundred dollars.  Little did I know that a kiddy pool this size was $15!  This was the best $15 we have ever spent.  We had another heat wave and we went into this thing every day.

First swim of the year!

We found a bird house on our adventures to the Tweed forest.  It seems to move its spot each time we visit.

We had to ask Nanny Sybil how to make a cucumber sandwich.  It came out quite good!

Fun in the pool.  You will see that there’s a little more shade.  We just hung the tarp up over us which is great for the kids in the early afternoon when the sun is coming down.

Learning how to eat a Mr. Freeze


Photoshoot for all the Christmas calendars this year!

Vero recreated some favourite photos of her Dad and her for father’s day

When Sierra heard it was Father’s Day she thought “Well that’s the birthday of fathers so we need a cake!”

You can’t say no to cake on Father’s Day!

Milk and Bananas is destined to be a great song.

Early morning walk

Sierra has a good songwriting talent.  Here is her ‘Bumblebee song’.  I think it’s about the time when Vero was a kid and walked into a bush and a bumblebee stung her.

Sierra was very lucky to see one of the daycare providers when we were out biking one day.  She just happened to be visiting her sister in Vars!  We had not seen anyone from the daycare since early March.  Sierra was shy at first but asked some questions later on.

Just hanging out in a princess costume

Is this a dance routine or an exercise routine?

Enjoying a drumstick

Sierra received a funny video from her grandparents for her birthday.  So for Grandpapa’s birthday Sierra did another video which was a copy of exactly what happened in the the video they sent her.  She was really great at listening to direction and she did all of the parts in one take!  We were very impressed.  Vero did a great job editing it together.  The end part of alternate endings happened because Sierra thought it was so funny to have all of us be in the greenhouse at the end.


Orzo pasta salad

Herb-Lovers Lemony Orzo Salad


I did a variation on this salad and it was a hit.  It was a variation because I didn’t have some of the ingredients.  Listed below is what I changed for me to remember what I did!



  • 12 ounces uncooked orzo
  • 0.5 large handfuls fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 (398 ml) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 0.5 cup basil leaves
  • Lots of lemon juice (recipe asked for 12 lemons, zested and juiced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • 1 small can of sliced black olives


– I didn’t have the 2 cups of baby spinach they asked for.

– I didn’t have 1/2 red onion on hand

– The recipe asked for roughly cut basil leaves.  I didn’t have actual leaves on hand but I had some in a spice rack.  I ended up using 1/2 cup of basil leaves which I was worried about but I think it came out well.  On the other hand, Sierra didn’t like the ‘black bits’ on the salad and didn’t want to eat any so…maybe I should make her a non-basil bowl the next time?

–  The recipe asked for a 1 cup of roughly chopped mint leaves and I had no mint.

– I didn’t have any lemons on hand to zest and juice.  I added some lemon juice.  Then when we ate the salad we wanted more.  A lot more.  So I think if we had lemons on hand it would be great if they were zested and juiced.

– The olives were a great addition and I think would be even better if we added sliced kalamata olives the next time.

There is quite a bit left over.  Probably eat another meal.

Last night I experienced the future of concert watching and it was through a platform called JuJu Live.

I caught wind of this as Neverending White Lights were going to do a livestream on this website in a few weeks.  This was big news to Neverending White Lights fans considering Daniel Victor had disappeared from the scene for the better part of the past decade.  Rumours of a new album coming out would be squashed and that was that.

But here he was, ready to do a livestream to the comfort of our own homes!  I have never had the opportunity to see him live so when the day came, I plucked down my $3USD ($4 CDN) to see his livestream.

I am no stranger to livestreams.  Every Friday night during the pandemic I would catch Adam Baldwin’s Cross Country Chin Up session and on Saturdays I would check out Matt Mays’ Mantle Music.  It was great to see an intimate performance but the quality of video has been a little lacking.  The audio was great though.  But was there somehow the ability for live-streaming to level up and bring us a high definition experience?

I suppose so and Juju Live did it right!

9PM rolled around and sure enough, the page reloaded with a play button to a video.  I clicked play, and you have the option to have it a smaller size so you can also read the chat comments flying by on the side, or you can choose full screen.

This was a 720p high definition stream and they explain a little about their magic.  They buffer the stream!  So people who are leaving comments are warned that there may be a minute delay because the entire performance is buffered!

It was great.  There were no hiccups to the feed, the sound and video were superb and I’m pretty sure I could have paused it if I wanted to.  What’s even better is that the next day I found that they have archived the video for people who may have come in late or missed it completely.  Gone are the days of buying a concert ticket and missing out on the show because of some emergency that pops up.

For years I have been saying that live concerts need to adopt the pay per view model.  I believe Juju Live is a very strong step in the right direction for this type of service.  It’s definitely a different type of experience.  As Vero put it, these livestreams are very intimate because there’s no crowd interaction so the performers spend more time talking in between songs and sometimes explaining things that you wouldn’t normally see in an arena.

– high quality audio and video

– probably the ability to pause for a bathroom break

– even if there is no ability to pause you can catch the stream again the next day (they say that they will keep it up for a few weeks)

– the price is right.  $4 CDN is a really great price point to get people to tune in.  Imagine a large band like Pearl Jam charging the entire world $4CDN to tune into an intimate concert.

Check out the service sometime, it’s fantastic!

Ezra’s tenth month

Helping out

All fun and games until something is about to hit a ceiling fan

Usually Ezra is standing up after his nap but this time around he was just lazing around

A typical morning

Blowing bubbles

Ezra is super excited when this toy comes out to play!

Sierra showing Ezra how to repair his car

Ezra loves his patio time

Dancing with Maman

Showing off the salad spinner

Sometimes we lose Ezra under the pile of clothes

Could his first word be “Wow”?

Ezra gets pretty excited when someone comes up the stairs and sees him

A typical scene before bedtime

Enjoying a snack together

The kids get to hang out with Maman after the work day is over

Ezra sometimes straddles the line between happiness and being tired

Ezra checking out the magnolias

I find this photo hilarious.  I swear he’s really concentrating hard to try and stand up but needed a break.

Future bricklayer just like Grandpapa

What kid doesn’t love peekaboo?

When there isn’t a heat wave we hang out on the swing set for awhile

Look who’s getting adventurous and standing up with one hand!

Ezra is not a fan of the sprinkler

Maybe he’s more a fan of the SS Rubber Ducky?  Nope.

A typical sight from the patio.  “Oh, if only I could walk!”  You will see to the right of him that we set up some lattice as a gate.  It has worked ok so far.  It’s a little flimsy but it does the trick.  Not sure if we need to build an actual gate considering by next summer he probably wouldn’t need it.

It’s not often we have supper outside because of the mosquitoes but this must have been an exception.  I can tell it’s suppertime judging by the beer on the table that is for Ezra.  If it’s nice out, we would generally have lunch outside to give Vero a break from the cold basement where she had her office set up in until mid July when she finally got a desk from work to set up in our bedroom.  Our bedroom now feels like my college dormroom with a computer in it!

I had a good laugh when Maureen sent me this letter that Abbey wrote her so she could stay up a little longer.

I’m currently on Month 3 of parental leave and I wish I could say I have a lot of time to spend with Ezra but to be honest, with Sierra in the mix it’s a tough gig.  Even without Sierra involved there’s a lot more to being on parental leave than playing with your kid.  Probably at this point I’m sitting on the couch thinking of what to make for lunch for the family.  So seeing him play in the closet is a common sight, followed by a sandal being chewed on!

A few years ago we didn’t do much with our garden but Vero was keen on resurrecting it this year.  This photo looks like we had just tilled the dirt.

It’s not all that often that I take the time to look at our house from the road.  

This was probably after a morning meal of oatmeal with some banana, or maybe some apple sauce.  A typical morning consists of a bottle of eight ounces, then around an hour later we have some breakfast and usually facetime Grandma and Poppa to chat awhile.

It’s taking him awhile to get the hang of this thing.

Ezra is always happy when Maman is around!

Ezra laughs up a storm when the zerberts come in!  Hilariously he is starting to give zerberts of his own!

Doug at work showed me his wife’s office setup and I thought it was hilarious so I told Vero she should use it.  Here’s my office desk while sitting down.

Here it is standing up!  Genius!

Ezra showing off a bruise on his cheek

Everyone loves the water wall

Ezra really loves listening to music and chewing on this speaker.

Teaching them some skills

And so started the month of him being able to hang off the desk and kitchen table.

A rare family photo

We took the plunge (heyo!) and bought a hot tub.  Unfortunately for us, our dreams of using it as a cool tub were squashed when we got word that we wouldn’t see it until August.  Ah well, it’ll be ready for the Fall!


I pulled this out of the fridge thinking it was a summer worthy beer.  I was completely mistaken.  I should read the label before cracking it open!

In honour of Bob and Doug on the SpaceX flight.

Snuggle time around the fire

Testing out the finger after wiping out a few weeks before.  Not too shabby!  Ezra really loves it when I pull out an instrument.

Yet another ride in the bike trailer.  It’s a tight squeeze.  Sierra has been saying it’s too hot in there so she doesn’t want to go as much anymore.  I will have to choose a cooler day.

This is a killer shirt!

Ezra seems to like his new car seat!

Still don’t know what these trees are in my yard nor do I really care?  But I’m sure someone with a green thumb will like this photo.

It’s getting warm enough to not have shorts on!  His knees take a beating on the wood though.  But any kid’s knees must take a beating I suppose.

Favourite beer of the summer?  Most definitely.

It’s great to have frozen strawberries on hand to whip up a smoothie

Mom sent up some masks she made for us.  A funny story about this particular one.  In this photo it fit great.  Then a few weeks later I grab one and I’m in the store thinking “Man, this is ridiculous, it’s tugging on my ears something fierce!”  I didn’t realize until later that Vero had shortened the straps because they were too long for her face!

The pandemic rules were being loosened and we could go out into the forests again!  This was taken from one of many visits of the Tweed Conservation Area.  We had never walked the entire trail until today and it’s a great 30 minute trail.

A new favourite game

Screams of laughter

Horsing around

Hanging out




Happy fourth birthday Sierra!

First off, let the record show that I found it very hard to wait until the weekend to celebrate Sierra’s birthday when her real birthday was during the week.  I thought it was a great idea at the time of planning but when her actual birthday came and we had to pretend it was a normal day…yeah that doesn’t work.  No worries though, we all had a fantastic birthday celebration on the Saturday where we went on a butterfly hunt, had some hot dogs on the bbq, opened some gifts, video chatted with family and had the most candy filled cake the world has ever seen!

The house had been taken over by butterflies!

Ready for the butterfly hunt

We found similar butterflies all over the neighbourhood which may or may not have been around our friends houses.  With a wave of the magic wand the butterfly escape the shackles of a tie-wrap and Sierra brought them home with us.

Some important wisdom on how to make a wish was being imparted on Sierra

Sierra had some help from her trusty butterfly helpers

There was some good birthday music playing at this butterfly stop

I believe the magic words used here was acabadra.  Pretty close!

On the move!

Found some butterflies across the street from our house.  I have video of all this stuff but at this particular stop all you can hear is the construction work across the street as a culvert was being replaced.

There were even butterflies handing out birthday cards!

This butterfly was pretty fast against me on the bicycle.  I’m thinking she was hoping for cake at the end of the journey.

Sierra had some help to find the final two butterflies

The treasure!

A successful hunt

butterfly flying

That’s a lot of butterflies we caught!

A real butterfly showed up!

Happy after some bbq hot dogs

I tried a time lapse video of the cake.  I think it came out great!

Our two decorators

Somehow half the icing went missing

Some friends dropped by with some gifts.  Sierra is very lucky for a visit!

Even Matante dropped by!

I love how this captures every kid’s birthday when they are waiting so long for the cake to arrive.  Special thanks to Victor and Annabelle for making the banner!

Happy Birthday Sierra!

Her brother didn’t forget about her birthday!   Sierra was VERY excited to get some earrings.  She had been asking for them for months.  She was so touched by Ezra’s gift that she said “Ezra when it’s your birthday I will get you a truck.  No, TWO trucks!”

Thanks to everyone who sent along some fun videos, some gifts, and some great messages for Sierra!  She had a fantastic birthday!

Sierra’s 48th Month

Witch with her stick.  For future reference our lawn looked quite horrible after leaving the leaves on it all winter.  This was in the backyard only.

Fredo still gets some love

I’m on the best at maintaining my property but with parental leave and it being nice out, there’s a lot more time on my hands to chip away at it every day.

This hot tub hasn’t worked in a few years.  Here’s a photo of what it looks like two years later and just about to leave as we are ordering a new one.

I had a good laugh when this appeared while I was changing Ezra’s diaper!

Before the leaves came in

What kid doesn’t like playing with the hose?

I get dizzy if I dance with Sierra like a normal person would so this is my new go-to move to avoid dizziness!

Star Wars Day was an exciting time for us.  We went all out and it started with watching A New Hope.

Sierra and I attempted to make a Yoda cake

Was it the most beautiful Yoda cake in the world?  No.  But Maman was surprised when she came upstairs for lunch!  Note for next time: I need to let the cake cool before icing it!

Yummy, I look

We started introducing a quiet time hour instead of a nap in the afternoon.  I was very proud to see her re-enacting some lightsaber fights during her quiet time on Star Wars Day!

I noticed this buildup getting larger and the boiler guy told me just to scrub it off and keep an eye on it.  For the moment I have let it as is but will keep taking photos to see if it spreads.

Learning a skill that Nanny Ruth would be proud of…writing and mailing a letter!

We drove out to Russell because I wanted to teach Sierra that you can mail a letter from any mailbox but you can only receive mail at your own mailbox.  In this particular case, we had written a thank you note to some neighbours who gave Sierra a stormtrooper clock for her bedroom and a few days later we happened to be at the mailbox with those very same neighbours when they received Sierra’s letter!  What are the odds?

Sierra’s new clock.  She has been fascinated with asking to look at my watch each night before going to bed so we figured this was a good time to get her a clock.  I spoke with a teacher friend and she said that digital is an easier concept for kids that age to understand.

That’s a LOT of brush to burn.  Good thing the burn ban is finally over!

A good muddy cause and effect lesson!

An autograph from James Doohan (aka Scotty!)

Maple leaves are pretty neat when they are first growing.  I have to say that I have paid a lot more attention to my environment when on parental leave.



Some good slo-mo dance moves!


I must have messed up the edit points on this slo-mo video but the ending is great

We try and get the campfire going every night to burn down some brush!

Sometimes in the mornings we like our story time.  We were reading Cinderella here and then I introduced her to the movie.

Sierra was a great help at washing all the windows.  Unfortunately she hasn’t realized that touching the windows with her face and hands gets them dirty all over again!

I haven’t counted the number of rocks in the park parking lot but…there’s a lot!  

We hit a snag at one point with ordering a new hot tub because our air conditioning unit looked to be too close to the hot tub to be safe.  Bummer!  We had to get an electrician in to see what can be done.  In the end, we had to order a GFCI breaker for the air conditioning unit.  I will take that over having to move the AC unit any day!

I was running low on kegs of beer so it was time to support some craft breweries.  I tried my best to support the Ottawa breweries but they were always sold out of their product!  That made me realize that they really aren’t hurting so I decided to make an order from Cowbell Brewery which have fantastic beer.  Upon my second order they even emailed me to thank me for being a repeat customer!  Love these guys.

After a long day with the kids Vero usually comes out and gives me a break.  At one point my break took me onto the floor of the deck for a rest.

Look who came for a quick visit!  This was our first visitor in two months.  It felt strange and exhilirating.

Marking our territory

Exercise time!  I also love how she put on my ballcap that I usually wear when on the elliptical

I think Sierra was eating some Cranberries and it made me realize that she might like to see some videos by The Cranberries!  You will also see that we were playing a modified game of Splendour.  She wants to play board games but they are too complex for her so I have to come up with some new rules.  I believe in this version, we each have a stack of cards, then we flip them and whoever has the largest number wins a coloured gem.  Then, when we are done with our cards, we pit all the coloured gems against each other in a battle arena.  If she has more red gems than I do, bam, mine get beaten and she gets a point.  If there is a tie we try rock paper scissors which she finds is hilarious.

Clearly Sierra is excited that we can run in the park again as pandemic restrictions have been eased

Special thanks goes to Jasco Games for this board game!  I kickstarted an Evil Dead 2 board game years ago and the company stole our money and ran off somewhere with millions of dollars raised.  I was personally out $100!  A few years later Jasco Games comes around and says they want to make a board game and will give a copy free to all the people who got screwed over with the original Kickstarter.  All we had to do was pay the shipping.  It looks like a neat game.  Too bad I need three players minimum to play it!  That doesn’t happen during a pandemic.

The scene: It’s a Saturday, I haven’t had a beer yet and I’m chasing Sierra around the yard with a water gun.  I see the neighbour bike by and I know it’s her birthday so I run to the road to spray her.  Somehow my mind didn’t account for the ditch and I trip coming out of it.  At one point I had flashbacks of 8th grade when I fell off my bicycle onto my face.  This time I had a choice…my hands or my face?  My hands got some bad roadrash.  Two weeks later as I type this I would say it’s 95% healed.  It was a hard first week trying to handle the baby with this war wound!  I would say the neighbour will always remember this birthday greeting when I was lying on my back groaning and saying Happy Birthday!

Living with a toddler who is going to the toilet themselves sometimes has things like this happen

Stuff like this happens as well!

A neat photo of my grandfather and his friends

Look at how high she goes!

Inspecting the magnolias

After two months I finally got the secret weapon to a great sandwich!

Preparing the butterflies for Sierra’s birthday butterfly hunt

I remember this being a very hot day.  Vero was attempting to work outside but I’m not sure if it worked all that well.

She was complaining she couldn’t see the laptop screen so I offered her a solution!

Here she is taking a break from work!  For historical note, this was the summer where I decided to be that overweight guy walking around his yard without a shirt on, hence where Vero got her excellent shade from.  It’s a freeing experience!

Vero decided she wanted the garden again so we cleaned it all up (especially after yanking out the vines that were growing near the dog house that we took down the year before) and here is Sierra helping out with the plants.

This thing took me 30 minutes to blow up!

Sierra playing Mixed Up Mother Goose.  It’s a really good kids game because there are no enemies or ways for your character to perish.  She’s pretty good at walking around on her own and clicking things.

Look who found Maman’s glasses.

Break time

We had a heat wave at the end of May which brought out the sprinkler!

Superfast Sierra!

For historical reference, my eyelid really took a beating during the heat wave.  I can’t tell if it was the heat or the bug spray that had a weird effect on it.  There was definitely a build up of pus in it before this.  Something to keep my EYE on.

I can’t stop laughing at how excited Sierra was to dance to this ‘Olaf’s Frozen Adventure’ soundtrack.  I love when she starts dancing with the measuring tape!

Special thanks to Etienne for getting me this piri piri sauce for a Christmas gift!  It’s the same stuff they serve at St Hubert.

I dropped off a tiller at Mike and Melanie’s place and got to chat with them over a beer.  I also got to play some soccer with Max.  I can’t remember if this was pre or post me sacking him with the soccer ball.  We were both a little surprised by it!  He survived!

All our garden is currently missing are eight crucifixes

The piggy back ride made an appearance!  It was a really hot day so we didn’t make it that far.

I pressure washed the deck for the first time.  For reference, I had purchased brown tinted wood and the year after, I applied some Thompson’s clear water seal advanced edition.  After working really hard on a few boards I talked with Vero and she made me realize that I may actually be stripping off the brown tint of the board.  Sure enough, I think that was what I did to a few boards which is a bummer.  It made the rest of my job a lot easier as I probably went through 10 boards over two hours in the morning and another 25 in about 20 minutes after lunch once I realized my mistake.  I have also noticed that when it rains, these particular boards don’t have the water drops bead any longer.  I may have to apply some water seal on these boards again.  It was a great day to be out with the washer though…40 degrees!

Vero loves this video

Sprinkler time!

It’s too hot in the house to use the stove!










Influence: Dazed and Confused soundtrack

How was I introduced to this album?

I’m not entirely sure how I was introduced to the album but I would think that I must have watched the movie before. Danny definitely introduced me to the greatest time capsule from the 1970s, Dazed and Confused.

While my love of music was firmly entrenched in all things alternative, a soundtrack snuck into my life and somehow was the genesis of my love of classiDazed and Confused: Chef: Musicc rock.

Why is this album influential?

I’m pretty sure everyone in Kapuskasing owned this soundtrack at one point and why not? It was a quintessential introduction to all things classic rock. I fondly remember one Christmas break jamming the entire album with John in my basement and we laughed at how well Jim Dandy by Black Oak Arkansas came out. It is now a staple in my songs that I play for a laugh.

The first half of the 21st century was ironically devoted to diving into classic rock music. I remember downloading something called Bacoben’s Top 500 classic rock songs and dedicated my musical journey to all things from this genre.

What do I love about this album?

With the knowledge I have now of the classic rock hits, I think I really love this album because it’s a gateway to a great era of music, without spoon feeding you any of the massive hits from the 70s. There’s no Pink Floyd or Zeppelin on this soundtrack. But it has such a great selection of tunes that say “Hey, if you like this, wait until you get a load of everything else from this era.”

Does it stand the test of time?

That’s like asking if classic rock has stood the test of time. Of course!

Influence: Bon Iver – For Emma Forever Ago

How was I introduced to this album?

It was 2008 and I was still taking night classes at University of Ottawa to get a degree in Communications. The majority of my classes consisted of students ten years my junior but they didn’t realize their was a thirty year old amongst them.

One evening I heard some guys raving about some new music and so I wrote a few albums down and one of them was by someone called Bon Iver.

Why is this album influential?

In 2008 I was already well past a decade of loving all things music related and I really didn’t have much time to check out new music. As in, I was Old Man Palmer not allowing new things to enter into my brain.

This album challenged me. I remember a lot of days and nights doing schoolwork and putting this album on and just not understanding it. But I was wise enough to realize that sometimes an album needs quite a few listens to unlock its mysteries and become one of my favourites.

It eventually did open up to me and I fell in love with this entire album. This album taught me I should open myself to new music and see where it takes me instead of putting up walls saying “If it’s not from before the year 2000, then I’m not really interested.”

What do I love about this album?

Once again, this entire album captures an emotion for me. It’s a pretty somber album, perfect for those cold winter days where it’s -40 outside.

Influence: Counting Crows – Recovering The Satellites

Why is this album influential?

Everyone’s introduction to Counting Crows was probably August and Everything After but mine was Recovering The Satellites.  Randy introduced me to this album as I was learning guitar.

This is the album that prompted me to learn guitar.  I still remember playing Daylight Fading a million times to figure out how to the guitar to it.  I also remember that while I had been jamming and playing tunes with Randy back home in apartment parties around Kapuskasing.  Daylight Fading was the first tune that I played in front of my extended family at Aunt Dinah’s and while it was a nerve wracking experience, it opened the doors to a bond between Troy and I to play guitar for the next two decades.

Where does this album stand in the pantheon of my favourites?

Still my favourite Counting Crows album and probably the best encapsulation of a depressing, depressing mood.  This is the album that made me realize that I prefer albums that capture a mood instead of varying the songs on it.  I point to Neil Young as an example of this…you can go from a rocking album to an acoustic album and I prefer this compared to a mix and match of songs on one album.

But has it stood the test of time?  Mmm…not sure if I would put this on my top 25 albums of all time.