Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Where The Log Driver Learns To Step Lightly

For your viewing pleasure, the greatest film ever made, by the National Film Board of Canada:

The Hek

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

Losing Love Is Like A Window In Your Heart

I do not wish to discuss Saturday's hockey game between the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens.

As a Habs fan, I will say this. It was, in one word, ugly. In two words, very disturbing. In three words, flat out ridiculous. In four words, the Habs were horrible.

I made up for the abysmal hockey game, by watching Notes On A Scandal. The plot is simple; they did a similar story on Dawson's Creek. However, what makes the film worthwhile is the performance of Dame Judi Dench. If you need a reason to view this film, if would be to watch Dench. She does such a great job, that you can't help feel creeped out and impressed at the same time.

Anyway, I am pumped up about the items I took out from the library today:

Paul Simon - Graceland
Leonard Cohen - Book Of Longing
Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
New Yorker - Nov. 2006

I am probably the only person who would get "pumped up" about the things he takes out from the library.

The Hek

*Be sure to check out Episode 27 of The Audio Circus*

Friday, January 26, 2007

Weekend Tidbits

I found this off a random blog:

"A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features.

However, if she is menstruating, or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected."


And now, the Maury Povich "You are not the father" moment of the week:

It's so horrible, it's funny.

Have a nice weekend.

The Hek

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Skype Experiment

I downloaded Skype, last night. So far, it's getting mixed results.

The Good: I can call anyone on the Skype network for free. I also liked how the website lays out and explains everything. It's very easy to use. Very clear sound.

The Bad: Uses a lot of bandwidth when a call is in progress. I recorded a test conversation; my voice came in perfectly, while the voice on the other line, was soft and very quiet. Unfortunately, there's no internal microphone. Therefore, the voice on the other line came through my speakers and was picked up by the microphone.

This isn't in too much of a problem because I can always fix it with my sound-editing program. However, it would easier if the conversation could be clear on both ends. What would be perfect is if I had two splitters; one for the mic input, and one for the speakers' output. I connect the two splitters with my audio cable and that way, I can listen to something coming out of my speakers while that sound, is also being recorded. A soundboard can also provide the same function.

*Disclaimer: The Hek is by no means, a "tech wizard." If you try what he's suggested on your own computer and it blows up, it's totally not his fault.

Meanwhile, I'm going to take my time and decide if Skype is useful for me, or not.

The Hek

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hek's Super Playlist

I think this might be the first update in 2007. As always, new entries are in red.

1. Kennedy Killed the Hat - Buck 65
2. I bought some books - Black Boot Trio
3. Watching the Wheels - John Lennon
4. Vacation - The Go-Go's
5. Like a Prayer - Madonna
6. Night Swimming - REM
7. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
8. Ring, Ring - Abba
9. Call on Me - Eric Prydz
10. November Rain - Guns N Roses
11. Cruel Summer - Bannanarama
12. Hung up - Madonna
13. 463 - Buck 65
14. Judy is a Punk - The Ramones
15. The Laws have Changed - The New Pornographers
16. Portland, Oregon - Loretta Lynn feat. Jack White
17. Suzanne - Leonard Cohen
18. The Card Cheat - The Clash
19. Canadian Railroad Trilogy - Gordon Lightfoot
20. Boys in the Bright White Sports Car - Trooper
21. Mandy - Barry Manilow
22. Let's Get Together - Al Green
23. Mickey - Toni Basil
24. Bodies - Drowning Pool
25. Folson Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
26. Bawitaba - Kid Rock
27. Losing Grip - Avril Lavigne
28. City of New Orleans - Arlo Guthrie
29. Pump it - Black Eye Peas
30. Lonely Old Eyes - Neko Case
31. Immigrant Song - Led Zepplin
32. Philadelphia Freedom - Elton John
33. Don't Walk Away Eileen - Sam Roberts
34. Bring the Noise - Public Enemy & Anthrax
35. Maneater - Nelly Furtado
36. Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves - Cher
37. My Immortal - Evanescense
38. Hips Don't Lie - Shakira
39. Welcome to the Jungle - Guns and Roses
40. Bad Habit - The Offspring
41. LDN - Lily Allen
42. Man I use to Be - K-OS
43. Lolipop - Aqua
44. Banquet - Bloc Party
45. The Sign - Ace of Base
46. Rise Above - Black Flag
47. Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band
48. Thank God I'm a Country Boy - John Denver
49. Hello - Lionel Richie
50. River - Joni Mitchell
51. Romantic Rights - Death From Above 1979
52. Knock on Wood - Amy Stewart
53. My Heart Skips A Beat - Buck Owens
54. Levon - Elton John
55. Use It - The New Pornographers

The Hek

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

29 Black Roses. One Red Rose

WWE's version of ECW, pales in comparison to the original ECW. However, there are some bright spots.

One such spot is Kevin Thorn and his on-screen girlfriend, Ariel.

Thorn and Ariel are devout followers of "vampireism" and they go out of their way to show their devotion. As someone who loves the spectacle of professional wrestling, I can't get enough of these two performers.

To be honest, Thorn is not a technically sound wrestler. He's good in the ring, but not great. He's also a bit stiff when it comes to speaking. What really makes this gimmick successful, has to be attributed to Ariel's work.

Here is one such example:

The Hek

*Whether that creeped you out, or not, be sure to catch Episode 26 of The Audio Circus*

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Weekend That Was

It all started Friday when I was on "mascot duty" at the Waxers' game. Not only did the Markham Waxers win the game, but they are also on a five-game winning streak. Yet for some reason, the arena was only 40% full.

But I digress.

On Saturday, my friends and I made our way down to the University of Toronto, to watch an improv competition featuring my old team, the Carleton Improv Association. Unfortunately, due to traffic on the DVP and a lack of knowledge about the UofT campus, we were actually late for the show and missed the CIA's performance. However, we did arrive during an intermission and sure enough, the CIA was standing outside and right in front of the door.

It was great to see my old teammates; especially Billy Ruffian who gave me quite the bear hug, and sported a "Dick Tracy" style of hat which he claimed would, "bring sexy back." It was also a chance for my friends to meet the improv team that I had been part of for four wonderful years. I always wondered what it would be like when my Toronto friends would meet my Ottawa friends. It happened once before when the Toronto friends met my Carleton roommate, Mark. However, this time, it was more then just one person. After witnessing the results of this meeting, I can safely say it was a great experience.

We did manage to catch the second half of the show. Some great performances from many of the performers, including Budman from McGill Improv. At the end of the show, it was announced that Carleton was moving on to the finals on Sunday. I have yet to hear the results. However, I am going to assume that Carleton won the competition; so congratulations to the CIA!

After the show, we all headed to a local bar and grill where we ate, drank and traded stories. Perhaps my favourite story was how members of the McGill team killed a wolf on the 401. No one was hurt, except the wolf of course.

It was a great evening and it reminded me of just how much I miss Ottawa. I miss the city, Carleton's campus, and more importantly, the things I was part of: CKCU and the CIA. The only thing I don't miss were the University classes and the homework.

The Hek

*Check out Episode 26 of The Audio Circus*

Friday, January 19, 2007

Need A Good Laugh This Weekend?

There is a weekend long improv competition with various teams at the University of Toronto, this Saturday and Sunday! The fun starts on Saturday at 7:30 at Hart House.

Admission is $2.

Come cheer on the performers. Also, the voting is audience-driven, so they could really use your support!

The Hek

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Changes To CBC Radio

Every decision will always have its pros and cons.

Yesterday, the CBC announced changes to their three English radio services. There were a number of changes. Two of which, I would like to write about.

1. The Cancellation of Freestyle

Freestyle will be taken off the air in mid March and will be replaced with a new arts-based program, hosted by Jian Gheomeshi. This is really no surprise. Freestyle was a good show; but, it wasn't a great show. I feel the program's downfall was that it tried so hard to sound "off the cuff." However, anyone who listened to the program, could tell the dialogue was heavily scripted.

There is a saying: "Great radio is something scripted, that's made to sound spontaneous." The quote represents a fine art that is very hard to master. Freestyle made a good effort. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. The conversations were grammatically correct and flowed too well, to be unscripted.

2. Radio 3 strictly on satellite

Radio 3 will no longer broadcast their weekend shows on Radio Two. The service will only be available on their Sirius channel and through a podcast. To me, that is a real shame. I don't own a satellite radio. I also only have basic-lite Sympatico service. So the Radio 3 website and the 30-60 minute podcast, will not be friendly with my bandwidth. Alright, I am being selfish; its just that I really enjoyed the content.

Here is what I feel the CBC is thinking with this decision: The majority of those who are 18-35 years old are consuming more of Radio 3's content, then of Radio One or Two. The 18-35 group is also into new forms of media. It's likely that they will be listening to satellite radio and downloading podcasts more then any other demographic. It just makes sense to put the content and the content providers together. It's a way to satisfy the group's demand in a form that is more favoured.

I guess I have to start looking into getting a satellite radio. Or, I could listen to more campus stations.

The Hek

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Good Day To Be Born

If today is your birthday, Happy Birthday!

I should also say congratulations.

I'm not sure what it is, but many well known cultural figures were born on this day. Usually on any given day, you get maybe 4-5 recognized names. However, the number triples. Celebrating today includes Jim Carrey, Kid Rock, Jacques Plante, Steve Earle, Shari Lewis, Andy Kaufman, Steve Harvey, Betty White and Vidal Sasson.

Two other people to note. First, Maury Povich was born on this day and apparently, he's celebrating by hosting "DNA Paternity Test Results - Part 86."

Second, Muhammad Ali is turning 65 today. According to TSN, in 2006, he earned $50 million. Not bad at all.

So Happy Birthday to everyone. I think I'll give the champ the last word.

"I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I'm so mean I make medicine sick."

The Hek

PS: Here's my latest entry from 'Hype'

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Year's Resolutions Redux, Part Two......Or, would this make it three?

I'm adding to the list, again.

I want to investigate and possibly download Skype. If it's what I think it is and will work without eating too much bandwidth, then I'm getting it. I'm hoping that I could do interviews for my podcast with the program, as long as the person I'm speaking to, also has Skype.

So to review:

1. Find a paying radio job before the end of the year, or start taking drastic actions.
2. Learn about electronic music.
3. Look into Skype.

The Hek

-Be sure to catch Episode 25 of The Audio Circus podcast-

Monday, January 15, 2007

Go Away, Snow!

Are you happy now? You got your #@$&ing snow!

Fortunately, there have not been any serious accidents. The only downside is that any travelling will be longer then usual. Normally, it takes me 45 minutes to get to CHEV. Today, it took a good hour and a half. If there is one thing to remember about a huge snowfall, it's to make sure you have lots of patience.

Case in point - I was on the bus and standing across from me, was a teacher I had back in high school. Now this teacher (who shall remain nameless) was rumoured to keep a bottle of hard liquor in her desk and consume it during classes (Hey, that's only what I heard). It's been close to ten years since I was in this teacher's class and I think she's still on the sauce.

Anyway, her stop is coming up but she, nor any other passenger, didn't pull the string to request the stop. Since no one was standing at the stop, the bus driver just kept going. This former teacher of mine literally freaks out. She starts to yell at the bus driver, who calmly pulls over and lets her off. I felt really bad for the driver. It wasn't his fault, nobody requested the stop and no one was there to board the bus. He was just doing his job, being extra careful given the weather. You would think that this teacher had been on a bus before; but, I guess not.

So remember. With this type of weather, always have extra patience.

The Hek

-Stay warm inside! Listen to Episode 25 of The Audio Circus-

Friday, January 12, 2007

Believe The Hype

You might have noticed a new link on the side of this page.

I am proud to announce that I am now contributing to a new blog called, Hype: Popular Culture, A.D.D and ooh look, Shiny. Part of the website,, the site is devoted to the world of popular culture. It's a great forum to discuss issues regarding television, film, music and literature. I should also point out that the name of the blog and it's URL might change in the coming weeks. If it does, I'll let you know.

Along with Hype, has a couple of blogs pertaining to music and fake news headlines. More importantly, the site is looking for writers for these blogs. If you think you are as talented as Errol Nazareth or Steven Colbert, head to, check out the blogs, and then send the webmaster an e-mail. Tell him The Hek sent you.

***The Carleton Improv Association has another improv show at your favourite campus coffeehouse - at an a completely new date and time! Come support your improv team, and get us riled up for our competition in Toronto that weekend!

Show starts at 6:45 on Monday, January 15th - there is really nothing better to do on a Monday night, friends.

Location: Rooster's Coffeehouse, 4th Unicentre, Carleton University, Ottawa***

The Hek

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Year's Resolution Redux

I have to amend the list.

I want learn about electronic music. More specifically, I want to read about the different styles and how to distinguish one style from another. Right now, it all sounds the same to me.

Let's see. There's Techno, Trance, Jungle, House, Industrial, and Hardcore.

Adding to that, each category has a sub-category.

Alright, off to Wikipedia.

The Hek

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thoughts On 'Little Mosque'

I admit it, I bought into the hype.

Maybe it was the name or the fact that it was covered by the New York Times and CNN. Nevertheless, I was in front of the television to watch the premier of Little Mosque on the Prairie. It's hard to form an opinion on the show after just one episode. However, I've decided to share my thoughts on the show, and then compare them after watching a few more episodes.

The best way I could describe the program is Corner Gas meets King Of The Hill. C.G. in the sense of location and supporting characters; and K.O.T.H in the sense of the emphasis on stereotypes. There are two groups of characters; the Muslim population and the rest of the town of Mercy's citizens. Both groups can then be subdivided into two smaller groups: Those who think sensibly and those who think insensibly.

With the Muslims, you have those who think in a progressive way. This would include Amaar, the new Iman, and Rayyan, the daughter of Yassir. You also have Muslim characters who think in a very strong Conservative and traditional way such as Baber, the old Iman, and Fatima. The Conservative Muslims are the ones who refuse to let any type of Western influence into their life. Case in point, Baber's sermon when he exclaims, "How can the Desperate Housewives be desperate when they are only fulfilling their womanly duty?"

Then, there are the town's folk. Most of whom are paranoid and somewhat ignorant. This includes everyone from the Mayor to the local radio talk show host. Ironically, the only person who is actually open and respectful to the Muslims, is the town's Priest. There are also characters who have a presence in all the groups. Most notable of this is Yassir and his non-Muslim wife, Sarah.

The foundation of the program is having these groups and their respective sub-groups, clash with each other. The results of the clash can vary. Sometimes you'll be laughing (i.e.: cucumber sandwiches vs. goat curry); and other times, you feel very uncomfortable (i.e.: everything said by the talk show host).

Does Little Mosque live up to the hype? Again, only the first episode has aired. However, it did reach my expectations. Is it funny? You will certainly get a good few laughs. Personally, I was hoping for humour that was smart and bold (such as Arrested Development and The Newsroom). Instead, I would describe the humour as "safe." Is it the best Canadian sitcom? That remains to be seen.

I'll certainly be watching the next episode.

The Hek

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pinchuck's Law

Need a good laugh?

Yesterday, I read this hilarious short story by Woody Allen, in the October edition of The New Yorker.

It's called "Pinchuck's Law," and I highly recommend it.

Pinchuck's Law


If you excuse me, I'm off to watch Little Mosque On The Prairie.

The Hek

- Be sure to catch Episode 24 of The Audio Circus Podcast -

Monday, January 08, 2007

Triple H Suffers Injury At PPV

"The Game" will be spending the first half of the year, on the injured list.

Triple H suffered a ruptured quadriceps tendon at last night's New Year's Revolution Pay-Per-View. The injury occurred during his tag match with Shawn Michaels against Edge and Randy Orton. The injury is considered to be very serious and will require surgery as well as 4-6 months of rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, this is the second time Triple H has torn a tendon in his quadriceps. He suffered a similar injury in May, 2001, and did not return to action until January, 2002.

Triple H's injury has many implications for the WWE. First and foremost, he will have to miss Wrestlemania, which means any big payoff match will have to be scrapped. Second, the fate of DX is now unknown. The most sensible idea would be to put DX on hold, have Shawn Michaels go solo, and then bring it back when Triple H returns. Another idea would be to scrap the storyline all together. However, I doubt the WWE would do such a thing as DX's return has been very popular with the fans and has been very profitable for WWE's Merchandise division. Another option would be to have a new wrestler join DX. Of course, this leads to the question of who that wrestler can be? An obvious answer would be Ric Flair. However, one can also make the case for C.M. Punk.

Punk's "straitedge" style would fit perfectly with Michaels' "good Christian" values. It would also be a great way to elevate Punk's status. He has shown that he is great in the ring and can get the fans to support him. When Triple H comes back, there could also be a storyline where The Game turns on Punk for stealing his spotlight. A Punk/HHH feud would result in lots of dollar signs. However, if Punk were to move to the RAW brand, you have to wonder how this would affect ECW. Clearly, Punk is one of the stars on the "new" ECW. His departure could possibly lead to a drop in viewers.

It will be interesting to see how the WWE handles the situation. Meanwhile, I just want to wish Triple H the best of luck in his recovery. Get well soon, Hunter.

The Hek

- Check Out Episode 24 of The Audio Circus -

Friday, January 05, 2007

Shutting Out The Sun

This scared me a bit.

I was listening to As It Happens, and there was an interview with Michael Zielenziger, author of Shutting Out The Sun. It chronicles the lives of Japanese men, who literally vow to lock themselves in their rooms and not contribute to society. What's offsetting about this is that there are close to one million Japanese men (or "hikikomori"), who choose to live this life.

Imagine, never leaving your house, never getting married, never getting a job, and never making an impact.

It was scary because I have shown some similar traits to that of the hikikomori. Needless to say, the interview touched a couple of nerves.

Here's the interview. To view the book's website, click on the title.

The Hek

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Tip Of The Day

If your parents volunteer to take back library items for you, make sure you tell them which library the items are from. Otherwise, a copy of The New Yorker and a sound-effects CD will be returned to the Richmond Hill Public Library, instead of the Markham Public Library, where the two items were originally borrowed from.

Of course, you don't realize this mistake until a week later when you receive a call, telling you that you have outstanding items.

Such is the case when you live in a place with multiple library networks. It's not like Ottawa where everything is amalgamated and therefore, everyone from Kanata to Orleans, falls under the branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

Now if you excuse me, I must go clean up this mess.

The Hek

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Let's Get Controversial - Part Two


Quite the response from the quote I posted on yesterday's entry. At last check, there were seven comments on my site, and 18 comments on the blog where it was originally posted. In fact, here's a link to the 18 comments. Everyone brought in some great perspectives. Not sure if today's statement is going garner a similar response, but here goes:

Toronto has the worst hockey fans.

Last night, the AHL's Toronto Marlies (the minor league affiliate of the NHL's Maple Leafs) hosted the Syracuse Crunch at the Ricoh Coliseum. There were only 3128 spectators at the game. The Coliseum holds 9500 people for hockey, which means the arena was only 33% full.

That is unacceptable.

There is absolutely no reason why the Marlies got such a poor turnout last night. If anything, there should have been at least 8000 fans at the game. Here's why: First, neither the Leafs, nor the Raptors, were playing last night. Second, the World Junior Hockey Championship is taking place in Sweden, which means the games are played in the morning in Toronto. Third, Marlies' tickets are pretty cheap, with lowest price being $10. Fourth, the kids are off from school. And fifth, where else can you see the "future stars" of the Maple Leafs? I think my fellow CHEV co-worker, Dan Deeley, said it best: "Toronto is not a hockey town. It's a Maple Leafs town."

If the Marlies, Ice Dogs, Battalion, and Majors were to suddenly leave the Toronto area, then the majority of so-called "hockey fans" would not care because they still have the Leafs and that's all that matters. Hell, if the Blue Jays, Raptors, Argonauts, FC, and Rock were to leave the Toronto area, then the majority of "sports fans" would not care because they still have the Leafs and that's all that matters.

It just boggles the mind how most hockey fans in this city are content on paying enormous prices to watch a subpar NHL team, instead of watching young, entertaining hockey at very affordable prices. I've been to a number of Jr. A Markham Waxers games this year. They can barley attract fans; maybe 300-500 people and the arena can hold 2300. Meanwhile, the games are pretty entertaining and you get to watch some talented players. What's really funny is that there are some people in Markham, who want to bring in an expansion OHL team. With the support the Waxers get, there's no way that's going to happen.

Some might say that there is just too many hockey teams and it's impossible to support them all. In that case, I would like to point out the state of Michigan. There huge support for the NHL's Red Wings, the local minor league teams, and you should see the huge crowds that attend hockey games that involve either the University of Michigan Wolverines or, the Michigan State Spartans. Ottawa is a similar case as the fans there can equally support the NHL's Senators, the OHL's 67s, and the Gatineau Olympique of the QMJHL.

It's no wonder why Toronto is never listed as a "top sports city" by ESPN or Sports Illustrated. The majority of people only care about one team.


The Hek

- After discussing, catch Episode 23 of the Audio Circus -

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Let's Get Controversial

Welcome to the new year.

I found this statement on the following blog:

"IN the eighties, Saddam Hussein used poison gas against Iraq's Kurdish population. IN 1923, Winston Churchill advocated using poison gas against Iraq's Kurdish population. Only one of them got hanged. The other has a statue in Queen's Park."

Here's my two cents - Saddam used poisonous gas. Winston Churchill only suggested it. Although Saddam doesn't have a statue in Queen's Park, he did have a number of statues in Iraq.........until they got destroyed.

Seriously, Saddam was responsible for the deaths of innocent people. He struck back at these people because a minute percentage tried to kill him and/or disagreed with his beliefs. Churchill on the other hand, had no intention of wiping off an entire culture. He chose to strike back at the minute percentage.

Certainly something worthy of a response. I'd love to get your thoughts on the quote. Discuss.

The Hek

- Check out Episode 23 of The Audio Circus -