From the monthly archives:

August 2006

The Reluctant Matchmaker.

by Dave on August 31, 2006

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Congratulations to my friends Emily and Nick who got engaged last night – and that brings me rocketing into a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while. I seem to have developed a knack for setting people up, or at least being a peripheral catalyst in them getting together.

Nick and Emily are both former roomates of mine. Meredith and Seamus, also a building related connection, are getting married in June. Neither of those introductions were facilitated for the purposes of dating, though. I am a non-deliberate matchmaker. You could sell me a hot dog in Faneuil Hall next weekend and then probably meet the woman of your dreams in line behind me. Granted she’d be slathering mustard all over a footlong and drooling after 3 shots of Jaeger at Ned Devine’s, but Cupid doesn’t worry about overserving.

We’re talking about marriages here, not dating, which is why I thought it worthy of note. I don’t like to introduce people, because I’ve seen it go so horribly wrong many times in the past. The worst is when someone sets you up with a complete ditch pig because you’re then forced to ask yourself why the mutual friend went so far out of their way to connect the two of you. Is this what they think your league is? “Not to be a dick, but your friend has ridges on her back and I think I see a tail poking through in the back. Either that, or she’s crapped herself“. And then you get a little offended/hurt/a condom.

So I stay away from it. But if you want to meet that someone special come hang out in my orbit for awhile. I seem to have some sort of accidedntal magic power. And obviously the other major dating bulletpoint to take away from this is don’t crap yourself in line at the hot dog stand outside of Ned Devine’s.

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Can You Watch My Dog For A Second?

by Dave on August 30, 2006

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I am pleased to announce that I now have my own Watchdog Blog. For those of you scratching your head, here’s a definition:

“Watchdog journalism refers to forms of activist journalism aimed at holding accountable public personalities and institutions whose functions impact on the social and political life.”

So thanks very much, Jason. The world needs to stay current on how frequently I mention Eric Bana on PITF. We can sleep soundly now. I hope to see you at the lake this weekend.

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When I was living in Mills Hall at Guelph, back when it was still an all-male residence and absolute zoo, I had a videotape of the then fresh Woodstock 94 concert. This was my favorite clip, and I can’t count the number of times I watched it whilst polishing off 18 packs of Arctic Wolf with Nick Gordon and Steve Barry. Porno for Pyros was Perry Farrel’s dalliance in between Jane’s Addiction tours – and for the unfamiliar he’s the guy who perfoms the Entourage theme song (a 2002 Jane’s tune). So this is PFP at Woodstock 94 performing ‘New Rising Sun‘ which is a little known Jimmi Hendrix song, and it was an homage to the original concert.

Perry starts the song, the last in their set, by toasting the audience with a bottle of red wine which I’m sure was among several he had that day. A marked improvement from heroin, at any rate. I can’t believe this was 12 years ago now, and I hope you enjoy the dreamy way in which they cover this tune and completely hypnotize everyone in attendence. Again , not with heroin for a change. I remember looking obsessively for an audio recording of this for years afterwards, and now so many years on it’s as simple as pasting a code snippet.

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Empowered. Passionate. Dave.

by Dave on August 29, 2006

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A fellow blogger makes a nice TPB related comment about some of my fruitless Squidoo work. Thanks, pal. Here’s a link right back at ya. But he’s right – I’m going nutty at the moment in antici… pation. Doyle has just suggested a Season 6 marathon at my place in the North End on September 9th. So who is in? Pepperoni, Bacardi, chicken fingers (the $8 kind), Jiffy Wine, pickle chips and slow-fried baloney sammiches will be served. Come help me horrify my new roomate.

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This is crazy-go-nuts week in the North End. As soon as St. Anthony’s Feast ends, people start moving into the neighborhood as their September leases begin. And with them come all kinds of service personnel with the accompanying trucks – movers, painters, cleaners, rug shampooers, handymen, etc. The blocks are like one big, mean Rubik’s Cube – Person A screams at person B to “move their fucking car”. Person B moves it 2 feet so person A can get by, then moves it back just as person C arrives and the process begins all over again. Remember, these streets were made for horses. And that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these streets are going to horse all over you.

OK – something else that comes to mind. Remember in Ghostbusters 2 they find the pink slime that reacts to human emotion? It apparently decided to build up under New York City in an old subway line because of all the attitude and distress located in the Big Apple. Somebody open a manhole cover on Hanover Street, pronto. This is obviously why they all blew up last year – forget that natural gas leak theory. We’ve been blaming NStar when we should have been blaming frigging Vigo. We may be in serious trouble – I need only quote the 20th century poet, and fellow Boston native, Bobby Brown for a more romantic explication of the situation:

Too hot to handle, too cold to hold,
They’re called the Ghostbusters and they’re in control.
Had ’em throwin’ a party for a bunch of children,
While all the while the slime was under the building.
So they packed up their group, got a grip, came equipped,
Grabbed they proton packs off their back and they split.
Found about Vigo, the master of evil,
Try to battle my boys? That’s not legal.

Indeed, Robert. Indeed. Listen, if anyone sees Gozer trying to order a puttanesca at Il Panino Express, get me on the phone. My sister had drinks with Aykroyd once, and I think I may be able to get his number.

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While the British Media initially dubbed Daniel Craig the “uglier than a bag of spanners, Bond” they eventually settled on the kinder “first since Connery who doesn’t look like a mincing fruitcake, Bond”.

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What is Web 2.0?

by Dave on August 27, 2006

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I really want to share some of these amazing new “Web 2.0” sites with y’all readers. If you’re uninitiated, Web 2.0 is defined as sites that “let people collaborate and share information online in a new way.” You’re all familiar with MySpace and YouTube – but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg is large, and hidden mostly under the ocean of wet webiness or something.

This is the ultimate Web 2.0 site list in existence, and here is a great Web 2.0 ranking list by marketing guru Seth Godin. Some of the sites I’ve been enjoying are Squidoo, Digg and Del.icio.us of which I’m attemptimg to learn the benefits as they relate to search engine marketing, SEO and SMO. I’ve just bought a desk microphone so that I can begin playing with Skype, and Wikipedia is an incredible resource that you may have already come across. But again – large piece of dangerous ice just out of eyeshot.

If I had to pick one that’s been flying under the radar I think folks will want to check out, it’s Meebo. If your company has a firewall, or IM applications have been disabled by your network administrators, stick it to them with this “web based IM that lets you log into your IM networks from any computer with a browser and internet connection with no firewall issues. It employs technologies that make it act more like a desktop application, which dramatically improves usability.” Improves, usability – yet is shockingly detrimental to office productivity. Still, very neat.

The internet is still in its infancy, and it’s only going to get more interesting and fun. This really is a great time to be alive, and I hope you click through and check out some of the next wave in web functionality. Even if it’s just so I don’t look like as much of a toolshed.

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Watch this immediately. The best news is, it looks frigging hilarious. In case you’re retarded, click the MEDIA link when you get there. UPDATE: Found it on YouTube. You’ve no excuse now, retard.

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Appetizer: If you could have a subscription to any magazine, which one?
I really like the British version of Loaded. It’s hilarious and extremely risquee. I used to buy them every month when I lived over there, and my favorite feature was called Porn-a-Likes. Readers would send in porn photos with ‘actors’ who resembled famous celebrities. Burt Reynolds was a frequent staple, as were various members of the Spice Girls. I think I once masturbated to a Scary Spice lookalike until I realized it was actually Terrence Trent D’Arby.

Soup: Describe your living room (furnishings, colors, etc.).
Filthy, yet large and extremely comfortable leather couches that used to be white. A tower of DVD shelves and the accompanying television and player. 2 PS2s and a big stack of games. Actually, this is a little silly. Click here if you’re really curious, and then immediately re-shuffle your life priorities.

Salad: What does the shape of a circle make you think of?
A flaming, stinking demon-infested vortex leading to the 12th sub-level of hell, donuts.

Main Course: Name 3 things in your life that you consider to be absolute necessities.
Food, water and shelter don’t count anymore? Alright… British television, Greek food and hockey. Strike what I said earlier about the re-shuffling. I’m obviously living in a glass Tudor mansion.

Dessert: What was the last really funny movie you watched?
Midnight Run was on a couple of weeks ago, and I watched it in its entirety even though it was edited-for-TV and I own the DVD. That’s a little strange. Regardless, it’s an under-appreciated classic which proved DeNiro had frightening comedy chops over a decade before Analyze This. Charles Grodin is also perfect as the mob witness Bobby is trying to take cross country. “Jack, you’re a grown man. You have control over your own words.” “You’re goddamn right I do, so here come 3 words for you – Shut the fuck up.”

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Being killed does not make someone Notable.” – Wikipedia

I saw this performance when it first aired in 1996 after the Cult of Ray came out. Frank Black and his annoying unwelcome twin, former MTV Matt Pinfield, chat mindlessly and strum respectively. I always wondered what this song was about, and dug this performance, so it seemed like opportunity knocking when I found it on YT. I also saw Frank live at the Beachcomber in Wellfleet Friday night, so all these factors collided into the first in a series of new and impwoved Wednesday Wadios – which will continue to ripple into the ether, like the opening chords of Hermaphroditos, week after week.

Shazeb was apparently an immigrant from Pakistan who moved to California with his parents around 1992. From the FrankBlack.net forum:

Shazeb Andleeb, age 17, attended Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California, where he was kicked and beaten to death in the hallway on May 18, 1995. Renee Nieves and Christian Bremmer (Both 18) were two students who took part in the beating.” A forum member tried to make a Wiki about Shazeb, but it was deleted by the admins because being killed does not make you important. I can’t say I disagree with that, but I’m glad to have finally solved the mystery after 10 years. And, as Frank says in the video clip, Shazeb spoke 5 languages. That alone might just be worthy of a Wiki. So I hope the Wiki man lightens up in between games of Unreal Tournament.

Frank plays the guitar like Neil Young – crazy adept knowledge of the most obscure power chords with an almost mindless confidence behind them. He also loves to alternate between minor and major, and will frequently announce the change while he’s playing. I have seen him do this a few times live, and Friday was no exception. “OK, I’m gonna play you guys a song now that doesn’t depress you by ending in a minor“. I wanted to tell him I really didn’t mind. Not even remotely.

Speaking of remote, did I mention where we frigging were? Big surprises for me at the Comba were a version of Western Star which flowed seamlessly into the Pixies’ Where is my Mind? – but the real treat was getting to see an acoustic version of Massif Centrale, which has flown to the top of my favorites in the last couple of years. Screaming “That’s the sound… of your love behavior” with a Harpoon IPA in my hand and the completely inaudible sound of the waves licking the shore just outside was an experience I won’t soon forget.

Watch the clip and then have a look at the Frank Black at the Beachcomber (a pause for SEO) gallery. I desperately wanted to get a photo with him, and upon entering the bar I saw him to my left playing Sopranos pinball with some yunguns. I chickened out, but really didn’t want to be ‘that guy’. Anyhew, I’ll wrap this up lest I begin to sound like I’m lusting after Lance Bass or something. I tend to only write anonymously on the TigerBeat or Out forums when I do that.

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Why Canadians Are The Best SEOs – Addendum.

by Dave on August 23, 2006

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Since I’m Canadian, and an SEO, I thought it only appropriate to weigh in with a few additions to this funny article entitled “Why Canadians are the Best SEOs“. Here are a couple of examples to set the stage if you don’t feel like clicking through:

– “Canadians are disturbingly clean, a trait that helps when it comes to coding, authoring content and sending emails. Plus, a virtual work environment is more natural, as it creates very little refuse.”

– “Precision strikes in games like hockey and curling has given Canadians the uncanny, catlike reflexes necssary to identify links, keywords and crawl errors.”

… it continues in much the same predictible vein. Noticeably absent are eskimo, moose, poutine and Kraft Dinner references. But a solid effort none-the-less. And now, my bullets of addition:

– Canadians like to fight, and often pull their opponents’ shirt over their head to allow for easy pummeling. This is somewhat akin to an SEO pointing at page views as opposed to unique visitors during monthly reports to clients.

– It’s tough to manage client expectations in SEO due to the slow nature of measurable results. If you’re working with Canadian clients, build links in the fall and then allow rankings to gradually increase while you’re all in an hut ice fishing anyway.

– Search engines have a relevancy algorithm to ensure visitors will find the best products possible. Tim Hortons’ now has a clearly labeled menu at most drive-throughs.

– Link-baiting has become a major focus of SEO, namely including useful content on your site that attracts and encourages other webmasters to link to you. Canadians learn this strategy way back during childhood whilst trapping muskrats along the riverbank. Just substitute the word ‘useful’ for ‘tasty’.

– Canadians like to drink, usually prior to the fighting, which entails spending lots of money on a product (probably Labatts) that will leave them with nothing but a headache, a fat lip and remorse the next day. Again, very similar to most SEO shops.

After speaking so fondly of my industry of choice, you may be wondering – Dave, are you aware that there’s always work at the Post Office? Yes, I’m just kidding. Hiding from the sometimes awful truths of your workplace doesn’t do anyone any good. Unless you’re like a spy or something.

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Great Moments In Television.

by Dave on August 22, 2006

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As I try to catch up on work (we’re running with a skeleton crew right now and I’m way behind), the TV is on and I caught a few minutes of the new Flavor of Love series. Because that’s what you do when you’re behind on work. The first winner, Hoopz, rewrote the book on classy last year when she admitted she only wanted to spend time Flav for the publicity. Now, when you look the word ‘classy’ up in the dictionary, you just see a photo of her butt. Which is actually fine with me. Anyway, Foofy-Foofy is back on the market and his mansion is once again full of sort-of-attractive mental patients.

The girl Flav christened “Sumthin” was gathered with the rest of the girls for one of his elimination ceremonies near the end of episode one. Apparently she misunderstood the use of the word ‘elimination’ and, well, shat. She dropped one on the marble foyer floor, bent over to pick it up and by the time the others started remarking on the smell she was half way up the stairs with the awful offal. I sat here in complete and utter awe like I’d just seen a ghost. Where do I go with this description now? Watch this ridiculous kook for yourself below:

I figured I’d throw that out there as I was recently on the receiving end of an errant poop. I’m not going to be coy and pretend I don’t still love decent reality television. And Flavor of Love is tha shiznit – sometimes literally.

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Welcome To Earth, Madison Annette.

by Dave on August 22, 2006

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Centuries from now, if an alien race discovers this photo after the humans have been wiped out by bird flu and American Idol, what do you think they will say? This is way better than the standard quotelet – so have at it:



“Dave panicked a little when he realized evolution was rendering his fellow gigantor neanderskulls extinct.”

“Always a fan of Mike Meyers, Dave was thrilled when he was asked to join the cast of ‘So I Married an Axe Murderer 2′”.

In the meantime, you can ooh, coo and aah over little Madison Annette Harkins who was born 2.5 weeks ago, making a huge splash on the Newport scene. It took her roughly 30 seconds to crank out some tapioca onto my shirt, which would have been good luck were she a bird. Seeing as how she’s a human, it’s probably a good day for me to buy a lottery ticket.

I’m sure I’ll tell her that story when she’s older, and I’m saving the shirt in a ziploc just to make it all the more awkward for her. Not really. She’s beautiful, Mom and Dad are overjoyed and there are many more pictures coming soon. Congratulations to Heather, Chris, Uncle Matt, Pappy Phil and the entire H-camp.

Otherwise, A zany weekend that I’ll piece together with photos when I get a moment to myself. Frank Black at the Beachcomber, Nausett naughtiness, Neo-nazis, crazy strippers, Newport Saturday night – I am brown, dehydrated and praying for death. But what a way to cap off the summer. The show Friday night was amazing and I am so glad we made the pilgrimage and met Madison, too!

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We Are Siamese If You Please.

by Dave on August 22, 2006

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When I think of Siamese cats, especially a pair of them, I think of the devious little jerks from Lady and the Tramp. But as a breed, they’re quite fun to own. A friend of a friend has just such a pair that she unfortunately has to unload. Taking on a pet is for life. If I got rid of my little orange bastard every time he did something to annoy me, I’d have dropped him off in a field back in 1998. But sometimes circumstances arise that force tough pet purging decisions. If you’re on the market for two cats, or live near dogs in love who keep eating all of your meatballs and have to be stopped, send me an email and I’ll hook you up with some good Siamese shit.

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Prince and Salem, Motherfucker!

by Dave on August 17, 2006

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Friends and I tend to meet up at the Pushcart in the North End every Thursday night. My NE boozer of choice used to be the Different Drummer, way back when, but that building was sold 2 years ago and now resembles the Parthenon. It’s yuppie bait. This neighborhood is being snapped up and developed quicker than you can say ‘gentrification’ – but the compensation is enormous. These buildings are lottery tickets, hold-outs are cashing in and post-Big Dig Boston’s downtown is about to become an incredibly beautiful and therefore yuppified place to live. The neighborhood flips every century or so. Ira gave it up to Seamus, Seamus split when Anthony arrived and now Anthony is passing the torch to Biff and Bunny.

As the affluent yutes move in, and the demographic collides like a gas truck into a Girls Gone Wild tour bus – there are bound to be oil and water type problems in the 02113. Never was that more apparent to me than last year when I wrote about a community meeting I attended which was called due to excessive late noise by the aforementioned yutes. But there’s actually a lot of yute-on-yute crime, which doesn’t involve the natives, that’s just as disturbing.

I saw what was perhaps the worst, silliest, non-fight I’ve ever witnessed 10 minutes ago as I was walking back from the Pushcart (awesome pizza, by the way) on the corner of Prince and Salem. A tall skinny white kid with longish hair was screaming at another 20-something on the opposite end of the as equally skinny street. “Do you know where I live? Do you know where I live?” The abusee responded “Why are you flipping out on me man?” To which hockey hair replied “Do you know where I live?”

Maybe he was lost, in retrospect. But just in case – can I jump in here?

Jerktown? A Wu Tang Clan video your older brother let you watch when you were 10? OK I give up. Where do you live? Let me guess – Brooklyn? Fuck off. As I walked away from the ‘fight’ I chuckled, remembering my 20s in Canada where knock down, drag out slugfests would start in front of a Slush Puppy machine over the last squirt of blue raspberry syrup. And that was the gay bar. I swear I just went in to use the ATM.

People who don’t want to fight make a lot of noise in hopes of getting a post-bravado smile from a passing skunt. People who really will fight will just walk up and pop you with little to no ado about anything. And I love watching that two second moment of facial realization before head meets concrete when the two worlds collide. Especially when it isn’t my face.

This is a great place to live. Don’t drag this late night pseudo toughguy horseshit into it. If you’re going to call someone out, hit the mutherfucker. I’d gladly grab a Buffalo chicken calzone and stick around to watch. Otherwise, let us get some sleep you silly Laguna Beach watching bastards. You ain’t gonna do a goddamn thing.

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