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Archive for November, 2004

05 Nov 04

how to tell if someone voted for bush or not…

i’ve read a lot of discussions over the last couple days in which democrats have been looking for an explanation for the election results. one common question that piqued my interest: is there a relationship between intelligence/education and party affiliation? there is a (dubious) breakdown of election results by average iq, and you can take that for what it’s worth.

after reading these discussions, and using the men’s room in stauffer, a further question came to my mind: is there a correlation between the washing of one’s hands in the washroom and party affiliations? this came to mind as i correctly identifying a non-hand-washer in advance. i’m willing to bet that there is, but i’ll leave the actual proof as an exercise for the reader.

05 Nov 04

a new batch of movable type spam

does anyone have any insight into the latest batch of blog comment spam i’ve been seeing over the last week or so? they all seem to be coming from rogers IPs, and look like this:

IP Address:
Name: Andie
Email Address:



what makes them noteworthy is that the URL they provide never seems to work, although they do seem to have been registered:


Registrant Contact: – Ref# 13454639
Whois Protection Service – (
Fax: +1.2122952153
230 Park Avenue
Suite 864
New York, NY 10169
New York, NY 10169

the use of a “whois protection service” makes me a bit suspicious at the best of times.

i’ve also received links to (x2) and my suspicion is that they may all suddenly become active at the same time. seriously though, how much money do they honestly expect to make from a blog with traffic levels as low as chumptastic’s? geez.

update: as an aside, mt-blacklist blocked 38 attempted spam postings yesterday. good lord.

update 2: check out epiblog’s take on this new batch of spam.

04 Nov 04

mitch = me

highlight of my day: when someone asked mitch if she and i were related. now, we’ve been asked if we were dating in the past, which i can understand a bit, but related? my first question was whether the person who asked has SEEN us. (answer: yes.)

if you HAVEN’T seen us, here’s a side by side comparison:

note that i am the one who is NOT filipino. granted, i do tan well…i guess that’s the 1/4 irish in me.

perhaps he was basing his conclusion solely on our clip art?

01 Nov 04

a few reasons to dislike tim allen even more

what is up with tim allen and christmas movies? from a quick glance at imdb:

  • the santa clause
  • toy story
  • the santa clause 2
  • christmas with the kranks

i can understand an actor making one such movie – “i’m doing it for my kids”, i can imagine them saying. but 4? tim allen only has 21 acting credits on his resume – 4 are christmas-related, 5 are toy story-related, and 2 are video games. that’s talent.

next time: i’ll analyze tony danza’s resume.

01 Nov 04

that’s “lerche”, not “lurchy”

oh sondre.

saturday night/early evening was the much anticipated sondre lerche show at lee’s palace. his show a few months back at the horseshoe sold out, and i’m pretty sure that lee’s was to capacity by the time he went on.

we arrived late and unfortunately only caught the last two songs by the golden republic, which is a shame because they sounded like a band i would’ve enjoyed – nothing fancy, just lots of guitars and fun, poppyrocky songs.

after they finished, there was a long pause with no activity on stage. the show started at 6, and since it was nearing 7:30 i was getting a bit nervous about getting enough of a sondre fix before the 9 pm curfew. at around 7:30 he strolled out on stage by himself and hooked up his guitar (no small feat since, as he told us, his sound engineer who usually looks after such things was sick and had to stay in new york city). he immediately launched into track you down (the unaccompanied version was surprisingly solid), and played a number of tracks from both faces down and two way monologue with just a guitar.

i’d like to point out that sondre lerche is happily an exception to my claim that i tend not to enjoy solo performers as much as full bands – john hyde really should take a lesson from him. his voice is fantastic, his songs are varied, with differing structures and time signatures…he blew me away. a highlight was definitely modern nature, his “romantic duet” in which he had the multiple adoring girls in the crowd sing the female part, as well as an a capella version of a bing crosby song. it was amazing how rapt the crowd was while he was on stage – i mean, i’ve seen performers like hayden struggle to be heard over obnoxious crowds, but the only audible noise at lee’s was the server’s apron full of change. was the early hour and hence the lack of drunkenness to blame?

anyway, the golden republic joined him on stage about two thirds of the way through his set, and it got even better. it was fun to see him rocking out on stage while trying to not tangle himself up in his cables that his sound engineer usually looks after. and the between song banter was beyond endearing – i especially loved it when he said “gee whiz”, prompting each of the golden republic to trade mild curses. when sondre asked which one he should remember, he was told that “fiddlesticks” is the one that everyone uses – but only when really upset. his pauses while struggling to find the right word made me appreciate his lyrics that much more.

he finally capped off the set with two way monologue, a song i’ve been obsessed with for the better part of the last year, and when he announced that he was wrapping up the crowd of course shouted “fiddlesticks!” he didn’t have enough time for an encore, so he sang an a capella verse of nat king cole’s the more i see you. i managed to fight through the crowd at the merch table and picked up his new ep – and he signed it, thus officially making it the first autographed cd i own. clearly it will someday be worth lots.

01 Nov 04

memphis: like stars, except entirely different

friday night was exhausting. the initial plan was to head to toronto at between 5:30 and 6, and then head to the rivoli for the memphis CD release show at around 10 or so. the only problem with the plan was that 4 stops on the way to toronto = a very late arrival, so we didn’t make it to the show until after 10:30.

the first band of the night, torngat, were on stage when we arrived. i’d never heard of them, but they’re a 3 piece with french horn, keys and drums. part of me was optimistic, thinking it was a unique combination, but most of me thought that it could very well turn out badly. thankfully, the optimist in me was right – torngat were very cool, and the drummer/percussionist was pretty amazing. their songs were entirely instrumental, with complex time changes and some interesting experimentation – who knew you could make sounds like that with a french horn and some pedals and switches? i quite like the description on their website: texture based improvisation, melodic composition, simple yet intricate energy music. it’s quite apt.

now, if torngat had led into memphis, it would’ve been a perfect night. unfortunately, chris dumont (of memphis)’s old buddy john hyde also played a set. his music was exactly why i usually don’t like solo guitar players as much as a full band – his songs were essentially all the same, with no complexity or catchiness. by the end of his set i was struggling just to stay awake.

thankfully, memphis brought me back to life. they got off to a bit of a shakey start (in spite of torq’s cryptic yet endearing introduction), with 7 people trying to figure out how to align themselves on stage. apparently they’d had only one rehearsal ahead of time – memphis is officially just torquil campbell (of stars) and chris dumont, but they assembled a group of musicians from toronto, montreal, new york and vancouver to play the show. it turned out quite well in spite of their lack of experience (it was apparently one member’s first time on stage – torq closed the show by telling us this, and stating “she has no idea what she’s doing”).

seeing them live made me appreciate the richness and layeredness of their album even more. a lot of the songs were essentially dense soundscapes, and they even remembered to include the chirping birds from the album. what i hadn’t realized previously was how many of their songs have no drumming at all – i found that interesting, although i did find that john hyde was a far better drummer than he was a solo performer. the banter between songs was also quite funny, with a highlight being the story of how torq stole the suit he was wearing from a store in sweden – just for us. i was somewhat disappointed that they didn’t play the phone call from the good day sailing ep, but i guess that wouldn’t have been quite the same without amy millan – and hey, that’s what stars shows are for anyway. they did break out their pet shop boys cover of love comes quickly, so i guess it all evens out.

all in all, as torq promised, they sent us home with good dreams.

Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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