Monday, January 23, 2006


Raccoons and spelling H-I-N-E-S

Just finished my first session at my new gym - the UBC 'Birdcoop'. Not a bad gym, lots of equipment that is in good nick, lots of benches, lifting platforms, and most people in there seem to stick to the machines.

Anywho, I had my first encounder with a raccoon - a pair of them in fact, climbing up one of the trees outside the entrance to the Hennings (physics) building. All I can say is raccoons are BLOODY HUGE. I thought they were possum or cat-size. No way. Try more like the size of a decent-sized dog. Dusty, Jacqui's parents Smithfield (a stumpy-tail cattle dog, on the left, teaching a rubber snake a lesson) would size up pretty well to the two raccoons I saw.

The ringed tail and white face make them quite distinctive, but their size sure surprised me. Perhaps I should shelve my plans for my evil cat-army of the night, and replace them with raccoons. That is something to ponder.

Now I know American spelling is different to ours back in Oz, but c'mon, how hard is it to spell Hines, when
  1. You have it written in front of you on some form of official ID
  2. You're given an email address, spelt out, consisting of hines@ blah blah
  3. The bloke is standing in front of you spelling his name out.

Sounds simple? Not for some of these Canadians. So far, my Mount Seymour lift pass has me as Andrew Haines and now my new gym membership card has me as Andrew Himes! Both have my photo, so it now appears I have two aliases.

Well, at least its better than "Phonesy", as anyone who was on the last Tour of Duty pub crawl will recall.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Australia Day and Triple J

January 26th is just around the corner, meaning it's time to get out that singlet, put a carton on ice, put triple J on the radio and crack a XXXX gold at 10am to kick off Australia Day 2006, and the Hottest 100.
Of course, that would be the plan if I were kicking it back in Oz.

But being in rain-saturated Vancouver (we've had, in total, 17 hrs of sunshine in the last month!!) will not stop some Australia day celebrations. A big part of that is of course, Triple J's Hottest 100. Having been reminded by Mick's post, here's where my 10 votes went:

Catch My Disease - Ben Lee
Wish You Well - Bernard Fanning
Lounger - Dogs Die In Hot Cars
Do You Want To - Franz Ferdinand
Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz
I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
What's On Your Radio - Living End
Flame Trees - Sarah Blasko
Joker & The Thief - Wolfmother
Evie (Pt.1) - Wrights

There were some of hard decisions to make, but most of the songs above picked themselves for me. Some Reasons? Well...
I love Ben Lee's new album - pop music has never really been my thing, but there's just something so catchy about "Catch my Disease", I love listening to it and bopping down the street. It's got to be a hot tip for at least the top 5. Same with Bernard's solo effort - very catchy, very cool song, that's fun to sing along too.
My girlfriend Jacqui got me into Dogs Die in Hot Cars - they are one cool band, and this song rocks. In fact, the whole album, Please Describe Yourself, is awesome.

I had to give a vote for Franz - last year, they got me interested in new music and new bands, and their second album was a good follow up to their fantastic first album. I could have voted for all the Gorillaz songs off Demon Days - it really is a bloody good album - but I do like to spread the love around. This song though, Feel Good Inc. is by far one of my favorite songs of the year. The same goes for I Predict a Riot, by the Kaiser Chiefs - a definite sing/yell-along song.

Now anyone who knows me will have predicted this one. The Living End count have released Chris and Scott farting on a snare drum and I would have voted for it, that's how much I love this band. Incidentally, if this song sneaks in (it was released only recently) the Living end will extend there record of consecutive appearances in the Hottest 100 to 9 years. They are indeed the greatest Aussie band ever!

The original Flame Trees by Cold Chisel is a great song, but Sarah Blasko's version is something completely different, and I loved it the first time I heard it on the radio. The song gets a whole different feeling.

Wolfmother have given me a reason to dust off my tight black jeans, which is a good enough reason for a vote for this old Black Sabbath fan. This song especially for its use of " the NIGHT!", which is reminiscent of Eye of the Tiger.

Finally, a vote for the Wrights is a somewhat sentimental one. Firstly, I love this Aussie "super"-band. We've got musicians from the Living End, You Am I, Spiderbait and Jet. More importantly, my best mate Ben Herlihy, named his recently into the world, little girl Evie, which is reason enough. Of course, it's also a very cool cover.

So there you go. Now for Australia day itself. My plan is to spend it with the whole crew of Aussies working away from home up at Whistler-Blackcomb. Apparently, it is one hell of party up there, and I may take the day off. Coupled with some awesome snowboarding fun, I may just be able to enjoy Australia day away from home.

Oh and don't worry, the green wife-beater will be on, as will the Wallabies jersey!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


The Tiger in Jasper!!

Jacqui and I have been road tripping through British Columbia and the Rockies for the past week, and I intend to post a full picture summary in the near future. However, some things can't wait.

Close to the halfway point of our trip, we stopped off in Jasper (~3hrs north of Banff) to have some lunch/dinner at the Jasper Pizza Place, the home of some very nice wood-fired pizzas. Having ordered pizza, a burger and some poutine - I didn't realize chips and gravy could be made better/more unhealthy - we sat down in a booth against the wall. Just as I took a sip of my root beer, a familiar sound immediately caught my attention...

daadadadadaadadadadaadadadadaadadaDAH DAHdahDAH DAHdahDAH DAHdahdaaaaaaah

and those famous words

"Risen up, back on the street.."

That's right, it was Eye of the Tiger, heralding my arrival and pumping me up for the next leg of our journey. It was all I could do not to jump up on the table and start boxing the light fixings!

Unfortunately for Jacqui, this meant that I managed to make a song which is only 4 mins 7 secs long last the next 2 hrs!

My first Eye of the Tiger in Canada not emanating from my Creative Zen.

Good times, good times...

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