Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Stryder Wolfe's Week Off Part 2

In case you missed it, I was on vacation last week and started a day-by-day record of what I did.  You can read part one here.  Now on to part two!

Day 6 (Wednesday):   Brian and I hopped in the car on a sunny morning and hit the road to the lovely city of Cleveland!  It was the first time either of us had been.  We wanted to check out the rock n` roll hall of fame and just see what the city had to offer.  Wednesday afternoon we checked into the Hyatt and started off.  Cleveland was very cool...super friendly people.  Mention you are from Canada and people tell you where all the fun is, where to go to hear some music, meet some girls, whatever.  They also seem to want to buy you drinks frequently.  Brian and I both soon realized that American beer wasn't gonna cut it and switched to whisky.  After that things got a little hazy but luckily I snapped a few pics.  
House of Blues...where it all began

Yeah, that`s a guy dressed like Scooby Doo.

Of note was the above bar, where we walked into a strange place full of British and American rugby players dressed as cartoons and basically drinking as much as possible as quickly as possible.  Captain America threw up all over the men's room.  Hilarious!  At the end of the night, which involved several other fine establishments, we managed to get ourselves back to the hotel room in time to catch a few hours sleep before....

Day 7 (Thursday):  The Main Event!  After a very shaky morning in which much aspirin was consumed, We make it to the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame!!!  The place is huge and had a marching band out front playing House of the Rising Sun in a both surreal and cool arrangement.  Baton girls were included!  However, what really caught my attention out front was this

The Bus in Black
Johnny Cash owned this tour bus!  Sadly we were not allowed inside but it was cool to sit next to the bus that was his home away from home for decades!  After admiring the exterior for quite some time we finally made it inside, where we were fairly promptly told that photos were not allowed.  Fortunately, before I was told to put the camera away, I managed to get a shot of the items that inspired this trip...

Hey Slash, you left something!  No worries, we'll take care of it!

There were hundreds of cool musical history pieces to see at this place and some truly amazing displays for the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Nirvana and so many others, but the thing that took my breath away the most was seeing this lovely Top Hat and Jacket belonging to Slash of Guns N' Roses fame.  Just so cool to see up close and personal.  

Of course Lennon's glasses and green card were super cool too, but the security guard was right there so no pics...sorry.

Anyway after walking around the RNRHoF for several hours it was time for a quick meal and then back to Toronto.  This was around the time that it started pouring rain in biblical amounts.  It was an interesting car ride home...there were several times I couldn't really see the road and once where we almost died.  Brian shot some video:

You know, the usual road trip fare...we decided to skip the casino on the way home and just head on back to get a little rest before...

Day 8 (Friday):   A laid back, fun day.  Went with Michael and saw Thor.  Great movie!  Took a character I could seriously not care less about and made him interesting.  Also you GOTTA love Natalie Portman AND Kat Dennings in the same movie.  That much hotness on the screen all at once was a little distracting but I ain't complaining.  After the movie it was back to my place to meet up with the guys (and girl) and actually take the new TV for a proper spin courtesy of XBox 360 and Rogers television, who proved that programming a PVR isn't so hard, even for a dork such as myself.  

So what are you ladies doing after the interview??
Day 9 (Saturday):  Darkness falls as I realize it's my last day before work and that the place is a wreck.  Thus commences a 6 hour cleaning binge on my apartment, complete with rearranged furniture and several thrown out, obsolete appliances.  I haven't done that much work since I helped my buddy Jeff move.  I have to admit though, the place looks good.  I am actually proud of it again, which I haven't been for a long time.  Apathy has given way, at least temporarily, to wanting to live in a nice environment.  I blame the TV...once one thing looks awesome, the rest have to match.

Once cleaning time was over, I grabbed a shower and decided to reward myself with a USB microphone that came recommended to me by internet superstar Danielle Fricke.  This inspired me to write and record a new song which I was pretty pleased with.  You can learn more about that in my last post.  Finally, I had my last little pre-work get together and many games of EA Sports NHL were played until it was time to go off to bed.  After all, I had to work in the morning.

All in all it was an awesome week.  I spent a lot less than you'd think from all the stuff I did and a good time was had by all. Thanks to the friends who made it all possible and to the City of Cleveland, who know how to party hard, even on a Wednesday night!

Wanna see my smilin' face...

Saturday, 28 May 2011


Oh you
Once told me violets are blue
Now there's nothing I won't do
To run away from you
It's true

And you
Told me that the sky was blue
So the only thing to do
Was try and forget about you

Yes you
You told me violence is blue
So I fell in love with you
There was nothing else to do
It's true
I'm Blue
I'm Blue
there's nothing else to do
I'm Blue


*Supplemental Blog!!!  I couldn't wait - had to show off my new microphone - it may not sound good but at least it sounds like me now.  Thanks Danielle for the technical advice!!  You're as helpful as you are talented and beautiful!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Stryder Wolfe's Week Off Part 1

So I've had the week off work!  It's been awesome.  This is the story of what has transpired....

Day 1 (Thursday night - Friday):  Drove up to Bobcaygeon with Jeff and Emily Thursday night.  It was a dark and foggy night and we thought we saw a werewolf in the moon lit fields.  It may also have been a skeleton army beginning to stir.  Or it was late and my perceptions were um...slightly informed.  Luckily we were in a car (that I was NOT driving) and in no danger.  Friday morning was rainy at first but quickly grew amazingly hot and sunny, leading to an afternoon of sunbathing.  We were all in awe of the strange glowing disc in the sky.  It'd been so long since we had last seen it!  Brian showed up after he finished work and jamming commenced! 

Day 2 (Saturday):  Still in Bobcaygeon.  We took an awesome boat ride.  Jeff jumped in the lake.  I was cloud gazing and saw a dragon hiding amongst the clouds.  When he noticed me watching him he winked at me.  I fail to inform the others as I do not want to wake the dragon's wrath.  Later, Jeff and Emily's kitten performed a trick with his leash and some stairs that, had we captured it on film, would have gotten millions of hits on Youtube.  Silly kitty.  Also of note, for the first time in my life I had good luck with cards.  I avoided being the asshole for the most part, and I also ended up as the Craziest 8.  Jeff wouldn't let me set anything on fire for this game, prompting me to proclaim, "This game ain't so crazy."

Day 3 (Sunday):  Spend most of the day in Bobcaygeon, returning home in the early evening.  I am thrilled to get to shower and sit in my favourite spot on the couch (0,0,0)!!!  Cartoons and then sleep. 

Day 4 (Monday):  Victoria day holiday celebrated with a viewing of the new ep of Game of Thrones and followed up with several hours of Rock Band.  We then watched some balcony fireworks and went to prepare for the next day....

Day 5 (Tuesday):  Time for some shopping!  I go back and forth to four different stores with Brian and Michael to shop for my Brand New Television!  After haggling for hours, pitting the various retail locations against each other I settle on the store where the salesman actually chased us out to the parking lot to offer a better deal.  He just wanted it more.  He showed me in the computer where his profit margin was on the deal he gave me.  Net Profit on the sale (and he worked HARD for this) was $11.00.  I feel justified in my hours of shopping and managed to get everything home in two cars.  End results:

Having purchased this amazing TV and learning the mighty power of having HD in my own home, I realize I never have to leave 0,0,0 again unless I am making money.  Of course, I left the house the next day anyway....stay tuned for what happens next.  Here's a hint - Cleveland Rocks!!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Emo Cliche and The Strangeness of Being

So when I sit down to write a blog I often go through my hand-written journal and clean up those entries to become blog posts.  Today I've been drawn to a journal I wrote on Sunday.  Saturday night, for reasons I feel no need to share, I fell into a very bleak depression that lasted about 24 hours.  Insomnia, nausea, the whole bit.  An emotional low point that I haven't experienced since at least last December.  This is what I wrote about it:

It's astounding how nine months of progress and healing are ripped to bloody shreds in mere moments, violently exposing the horrific putrid wounds underneath.  Wounds as fresh and painful now as they were when first inflicted.  

People will tell you that things will get better and that time heals all wounds.  These people are liars.  All the pain and self-doubt and crushing feelings of abandonment stay with you forever, constantly eating away at the tender flesh that was once your heart until all that remains is a gaping black hole filled with broken shards of glass and rusty razor blades.  Time heals all wounds.  Bah!  Things never improve with time.  All things break down, corrode and simply fall apart.  The only hope is that somehow you'll get used to the pain and learn to function with your new, emotionally maimed state of being.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
Please let me die before I wake
For one more day I can not take.

By Sunday night I was exhausted and emotionally drained.  I fell asleep early.  Monday morning I awoke fresh and upbeat.  I'd gotten all the rot out of my system and made my peace with it, at least as much as I ever can.  I was in a good mood and happy to see a cardinal and a groundhog in a field.  In other words, I took simple pleasure from my surroundings.  The person I was on Sunday when I wrote the above journal had simply vanished and a more well balanced personality had emerged.  Do I believe the above gloomy sentiment?  I'm not sure.  The person I am right now says no, there's always hope and life goes on.  However the  person I was on Sunday was certainly writing from a place of conviction.  It just amazes me how emotion can so severely affect the human psyche.  All the same data is present, but the conclusions drawn are vastly different.  It makes me wonder how well I can ever know another person when I'm constantly surprised by my own self.  Who am I, really?

Oh well I guess it keeps life interesting.  Sometimes I'd prefer a more even keel.  Of course, if I had that, I might have to rename the blog "Stryder's Sane, Rational Thoughts."  Doesn't have the same ring.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Wanna Podcast??

So last week when I wanted everyone to listen to Sminterview w/ Jamie Walton it brought up the question, what other podcasts do I listen to?  Well one person seemed interested.  Er...a little....

SO without further ado, and in no particular order, here's Stryder's list of Podcasts!

1.  Smodcast - The first and best podcast I've listened to.  Consistently entertaining, usually hilarious.

2.  Tell 'em Steve Dave - 3 guys from Jersey sit around a comic shop and talk a lot of nonsense.  If you let it it'll grow on you by leaps and bounds.  Funny and engaging.

3.  The C-List Podcast - recorded by Luke and Mike, two of my old toy buddies from the long defunct Palisades Toys discussion board!  They spend hours talking about C-List characters in movies.  It's a great premise and they get funnier every week.  Plus you gotta love Luke's Aussie accent!

4.  The Nerdist Podcast - Funny and geeky and weird.  Plus sometimes you learn things.  But not that often, don't worry.

5.  Hollywood Babble-On - Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman talk Hollywood news with hilarious results

6.  The Lavender Hour - Duncan Trussell and Natasha Leggero talk about all sorts of crazy things, often with a guest or two.  It's sort of a thinking man's podcast.

7.  The Joe Rogan Experience - When he's not talking about UFC he's awesome and much smarter and funnier than you'd think from watching reruns of fear factor.  Uh, I guess if you like UFC he's always awesome.

8.  Plus One - Kevin Smith makes fun of his wife, Jen Schwalbach, while she tries to tell us stuff about science and whatnot.  

9,  Jay and Silent Bob Get Old - Yeah, I listen to a lot of Kevin Smith podcasts.  You just can't shut that guy up.

10.  Puck Nuts - Some of the guys from Tell 'Em Steve Dave and some other guys talk about hockey, every once in a while.  Mostly they just gripe at each other.  It's amusing.

11.  Blow Hard - big fat gay guy Malcolm Ingram has big loud gay opinions.  Especially funny when he's co-hosted by Marja Lewis Ryan.  He's too over the top sometimes but often a riot and with a suprisingly large amount of heart.

12.  WTF @ TFW - All things Transformers!!!!

13.  Canadian Slag - All things Transformers in CANADA!!!

There's also a new development this week where the Smodcast network has gone streaming radio - which you can then download in podcast form.  I haven't decided if that's too much for me yet or not but it's worth a listen.  There's only so much you want to hear, you know.  Anyway if you're interested in any of these just Google them...I was gonna link for you but most are part of the Smodcast network and the rest have their own web pages so you can't help but find them.  If you've got some time on your hands then check them out!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


So today being May the fourth, I really ought to write something about Star Wars.  Well, too bad calendar, you're not the boss of me!!  Today's blog is all about the Batman.  Use the force on that!


I've been wracking my brain trying to remember the first time I became aware of the dark knight, and for the life of me I can't recall.  I probably knew who he was before I knew how to talk.  I remember the first time I learned about the other super heroes, Spider-man and Superman and the X-Men and everyone, but Batman might as well have been implanted in my brain at birth.  He was my first super-hero.  From the old campy 60's show to Superfriends, a seemingly endless pile of comic books, the '89 blockbuster and it's less inspired sequels, Batman The Animated Series, the Arkham Asylum video game and finally the exceptional Chris Nolan movies, Batman has always been around.  I suspect that the morality of the Bat has influenced my interpretation of right and wrong more than any other single source (with the possible exception of my parents) up to and including the Bible.  Never mind WWJD, I'm more inclined to wonder WWBD???  I suspect that this is hardly unique among my age group and likely will continue far into the future since the caped crusader shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.  Perhaps in 2000 years there'll be a religion.  Stranger things have happened...

I've been thinking about Batman more lately due to a couple of trade paperbacks I managed to pick up.  "Cacophony" and "The Widening Gyre", both written by Kevin Smith and drawn by Walt Flanagan, have shown me a new side to my premier super hero, and really inspired me to think about him more as a human being.  The man behind the cowl.  Both books are excellent, and in particular "The Widening Gyre" left me both introspective and excited for what comes next.  I don't want to say too much for fear of spoilers, but the way that Smith and Flanagan dangle hope, like a carrot on a stick in front of the face of Bruce Wayne, and then whisk it away without warning...well, it's just something that I relate to on a level too deep to go into in this post.  If you get a chance, you won't go far wrong picking up these books.  Both story and art start out well in "Cacophony" and improve on almost every page until the end of "Gyre".  I particularly love the cameos and the little touches throughout the books that both elevate and ground our heroes.  My only complaint is the wait for a third part.  Of course, when it comes to comics and Kevin Smith, patience is a virtue...

Speaking of Kevin Smith and Batman, everyone's favourite writer/director has joined forces with a young lady by the name of Jamie Walton to create what I deem a most heroic effort of their own.  Named "The Wayne Foundation" (in tribute not just to Batman, but also to Wayne Gretzky, who is legendary for assisting others), this organization is a charity dedicated to stopping possibly the worst crime humans commit. Sometimes known as "commercial sex exploitation" or "human trafficking", what it amounts to is a bunch of scumbags who pay people to rape little children who've been enslaved for this purpose.  It is insanely wide-spread and needs to stop now.   Please check out the web site HERE and HERE for more information about the Wayne Foundation.  You don't have to do anything, although if you can it would be great, but more than anything I think that awareness of this issue is key to eradicating this lowest of human behaviours.  

Need more convincing?  I implore, nay, BEG everyone to listen to this podcast (Sminterview #2), in which Kevin Smith interviews Jamie Walton.  She's not just a concerned party, but also a survivor of the highest order.  I couldn't help but weep at the magnitude of her story, not out of pity but out of despair for humanity's wrongness.  Luckily, some good can be pulled from all the evil.  I have so much respect for Ms. Watson and the strength that she's shown.  Anyway, I'm not the one to convince you.  Please listen to the podcast and tell your friends to listen as well.  This is a story everyone in the world needs to hear.

What Would BATMAN Do???