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Killam – A Cartographer’s Dream

Hello from Killam!

Here it is!

I know you’ve heard a lot about Killam, in movies, in Broadway musicals, and especially in 19th Century Russian literature, but prepare to forget everything you THOUGHT you knew about Killam.

It's important to enjoy the little things, like big ice cream cones.

Dubbed the “Ice Cream Capital”, Killam is actually more well-known for sorbets and other flavoured ice products, but in 1865, the original Killam Chamber of Commerce (a guy named Doug) decided (correctly) that dairy desserts looked better on road-side signage, and the decision has stuck.

Killam is now home to the Culinary Institute of Conical Dessert Accessories, specializing in the art and science of edible serving device preparation.  You might not be familiar with the Institute (student population 3), but you might be familiar with the Waffle Cone.  Well, so are they!  It wasn’t invented there, but it represents an entire semester of learning.  Fill your boots, foodies!

The town motto, confusingly, is “Drive safely, avoid accidents, Killam”.  (See town sign in picture, above.)  For over a century, it was, “Drive safely, avoid accidents, kill’em”, and residents loved it a lot.  When vehicular homicide was made illegal in 1946, they changed the name of their town from “Staplertown” to “Killam” so they could continue to use the motto at ceremonies, sporting events, and in singing the civic anthem “Killam Well, Killam All”.  Not just a catchy town motto, this phrase now serves as a reminder to NOT hit people with cars.  According to town’s statistical records, since 1946, there has never been a single vehicular accident in Killam (not counting accidents involving a man named Jeff, Geoff, Jef, Geff, etc…) which would place it easily in the Guiness Book of World Records, if the book included dumb records like that.

Killam was also the first town in the Western world to have the map of their entire town painted on the side of the biggest building in town (see picture, below).  This process is known as “pulling a Killam” and means a short-sighted, ill-advised waste of money on public art, because towns change size, and the sides of buildings don’t, generally.  Killam however, will never face this problem.


TRIVIA TIME: The building that the map was painted on... ISN'T ON THE MAP!

-Sandra Jacobavich, flute player in Augusto Pinochet’s personal traveling woodwind quintet, The Augustinotes (1974-1975).

-Fiona Reading, the first person from Killam to learn what reading is, and how it could be used in today’s society for the betterment of humanity (1983).

-The world’s 9th tallest three-legged cow on record, named Harvey (two-term Mayor of Killam, 1965-1976).

Well, I guess it’s back to the tour bus now, I hope the weather back home is mild.

Best regards imaginable,


Cave In: Youth Overrided guitar chords

I have never posted a tab, or chords, or anything, but I wanted to learn Youth Overrided by Cave In, and I couldn’t find anything, so I figured it out myself in hopes that someone else might have a similar interest.

I am, however, too lazy to write up a tab, hopefully you understand chords. Go find a chord dictionary if you don’t.

Also, I’m not 100% sure on the very first chord, the Eaug5th, if you can find a better chord, let me know. I think it might just be the 2nd guitar harmony that’s throwing me off, it sounds pretty close.

Try it out, let me know how it goes.


Youth Overrided by Cave In
guitar chords (hopefully)

Eaug5th * B * G#min * C#dim3

Same as verse, but play the Eaug5 and the B up on the 7th fret. I just think it sounds better.
Eaug5th * B * G#min * C#dim3

C#dim3 (strum the 7th fret E powerchord) * B * A * G# * E * B * F#

How Does it Work? Episode 14: Political Boundaries

Have you ever looked at a map before?  If you’re not a big dummy, you’ll probably say yes.  That’s because without maps, we would never know where we are.  The universe is a super big place, so it’s kind of hard to find your way around it without some sort of (smaller) diagram.  We call these maps.  But if you were looking at a map of the world without any lines on it, how would you know where you REALLY live?  This is why we have Political Boundaries.  See, there are billions of people balanced atop this great planet of ours, and they move around a lot, all the time.

Here’s a metaphor:  It’s like ice.  If you’re trying to organize ice cubes, you need trays and a freezer.  Notice trays aren’t just big bowls that let all the ice mingle around, they have strict, straight (or fancy shaped) lines.  The freezer is a harder metaphor to make sense of, but think of the freezer as a thing that keeps people from melting.  If you didn’t stay with me through that university-level metaphor, the walls in the ice cube tray are like political boundaries, making sure everyone has a spot in the “tray” or “planet.”

Political boundaries are the only way to make sure someone from the east side of Lloydminster is treated differently from someone on the west side of Lloydminster, for example.  Yes, it’s true, we’re all humans, but if we treated everyone equally all over the world, we wouldn’t have JEALOUSY.  And without JEALOUSY, we wouldn’t have a functioning system of CAPITALISM, and without CAPITALISM, we’d all be ANIMALS. Or maybe ice cubes.

Update from Cairo, Day 2

Day two, and the mood here is getting quite intense…. in a GOOD WAY!

Democstasy in action

I thought the city would only be interesting during the day, when the regular 9-5 protesters came out. Boy was I in for a shock. Every night in the club section of Cairo you can find protest raves just about everywhere you go. Sure the music is a little too, err… you know… Eastern for my taste, but man the beat keeps you dancing all night. And nobody’s on drugs here, just the natural ecstasy that comes from defending a wonderful politician against the vicious barbs of radical hate-mongers. BOOM! Blat! BOOM! Blat! BOOM! Blat! WAIIIILLLLLLLIIIAAAAAAAA—– HAAAASSHHHTAAACCHHHHHHH—- FAAALLLIIIIAAAAMAAAACCHCHHHH—- That’s my favourite new song. I think it’s something about murdering dogs or women or something.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of chances to meet the “locals” of Egypt, and I tell you they are just people like you and me. This here is a picture of David, he’s from Egypt. I used my new camera phone I got on the street. Man, the prices you can find here on everything are just out of this world. It’s probably because they don’t have all the stupid taxes we have back home. Could you imagine paying $40 for a totally real iPone in Canada?

He's just a guy, you can tell by the tie.

I thought David was a strange name for an Egyptian guy at first, because it’s from the Bible and stuff, but apparently they not only have the bible here, but lots of parts actually TOOK PLACE HERE! Holy cow! Anyway, this isn’t actually THE David from the Bible, and also he’s not a giant like David the Goliath. I should read that story again sometime.

David sells pipe welding equipment, which means he’s just as boring as any other white guy from Canada. But he’s not even white! David has multiple wives probably, but I didn’t ask him about that because I’m trying to be more ethnically sensitive on this trip. Sometimes people get offended when you point out how their cultures are wrong. He does have 3 pictures of children on his desk, and I asked if they were triplets, and he said no, the girl is several years older than the two boys.

The only food you can eat around here is something called Halal.

Food of choice for the Egyptians.

It tastes totally different everywhere you go, but you really can’t go wrong just ordering the Halal, trust me. I might see if they have bacon Halal tomorrow for lunch, I’ve just been craving bacon since I came over here, but being a bunch of health nuts over here, they don’t seem to be that into the stuff. GOOD FOR YOU, EGYPT!

Off to bed now, my ears are still ringing from all the rave music. Those crazy kids.

All my love back home, I can’t wait to show you some cd’s I burned at this rave. IN A FIRE!!!! GET IT?!!!!!

Update from Cairo, Day 1

Fighting the anti-government swine one rock at a time.

This is me in Cairo, day one. Flew over the pyramids on my way in, not much to look at when you’re above, just looks like a bunch of squares drawn in the ground with an X in the middle. Could this have been the plan all along? Historians will tell you no, and that’s why I don’t read books.

nothing special

Two lines away from making the little house, you fail.

Got a quick rundown on what was going on politically as soon as I landed by an angry Arabic-speaking taxi driver. Oh no wait, sorry, that was on my way to the airport.

Picked up a newspaper when I landed, watched the news for a bit, and found out that the old president Hosni Mubarek (Mubarek is the last name of 37% of Egyptians believe it or not) was doing JUST FINE. In fact, it seemed from the media that Mr. Hosni was as popular and stabilizing as ever, so I quickly sided with the pro-Mubarek camp, and made friends with a bunch of police officers. I knew I was on the right side because the police are always right.

Anyway, I headed downtown, but first stopped at the Al-Walimar (yes, Walmart is in Egypt too) to find some gear to fit in a little better. I already had the beard, which was lucky, but I needed a man-purse to carry my stuff around town (see above), and also needed some armor for the conflict. Luckily they did have man-bags, but all I could find for body-protection was a bucket. Actually, because of hording, all that they had left were man-bags and buckets (bunch of homophobes.) I couldn’t tell if they had lots of buckets left because Egyptians LOVE their buckets, or because nobody EVER buys buckets, but it turned out to be the right choice, once I made some clever adjustments that the wife recommended. Splitting the bucket down the middle, you see, gives it a lever to open and close like the old medieval helmets.

I think I came pretty close

I soon found my way downtown (“just take me to where all the shit is happening”) and tipped the guy what I thought was an appropriate amount of Egyptian currency, but considering the guy starting crying and massaging my feet and showering me with roses, I may have miscalculated. Anyhoo, lesson learned.

Once at the battlefield, I found my fellow pro-Mubarekians, and engaged myself in what seemed to be the world’s worst game of dodgeball, played with rocks, and if you hit someone, they aren’t out, they just shoot tear-gas at your face. SOME GAME YOU GOT GOING HERE, EGYPT!

After a long day of throwing stuff, I retreated to my hotel, the Al-Bestwestern, but they gave me two double beds instead of the single King-size that I had CLEARLY REQUESTED OVER SKYPE… ugh…. anyway, this is real life politics and stuff, so I won’t complain. It’s just good to help out.

More news as it happens, all my love to Canada,