Oct 8th – Travel, Music and Old People Pt. Deux

This week has given me a few adventures. I went back to the Hub to see my new drummer’s band play. For whatever reason this bar loves me and I certainly love it. Aside from good music I became well acquainted with with a lovely girl that I met here the previous Tuesday. By some strange coincidence she just happened to be have been studying there all day and I came along just as the books went down and the pints were raised. I must say I was first drawn to her green sweater with a large Doe on it.  The key to a man’s heart that is. Anywho…(insert PG movie fade to window curtains).

Later that week I journeyed to Invermere. I get along quite well with the store here and so as per usual I stayed with my buddy Kuba (short for Jakub), one of the employees. The first thing we had to do was bike to the local baker’s house. Kuba had done some painting for Andy, the German chef, and needed to collect his earnings. Also, Kuba makes homemade yogurt and knew Andy liked it so we brought a tub. When we got there I was taken in by the spell of a warm and fresh scented basement bakery. There was free samples on the table and an attractive German girl (The Baker’s Daughter…new song?) to chat with. Andy paid Kuba too much so Kuba used $50 of it as a down payment on more bread. We tok one loaf that time and biked back to his house. When we got back Andy’s wife called and said she had some jam for us. This time we drove there and this time we were greeted by a pure bred Alaskan Malamute. Aside from the height of a Grate Dane this was the largest pooch I have ever seen. Upon our return we cooked a warrior’s dinner and then watched Jeff, Who Lives at Home. 

The next morning we had an early trail run. A group of about 8 of us ran for around an our on the twisty trails that Invermere offers. As a post run treat we went to Kicking Horse for the famous Bong Coffee. It’s just like an ordinary coffee but costs 3x as much and takes 20mins to brew. But it looks super cool. After that Kuba and I went to play 9 holes and a nearby par-3 course. Our green fee included the best burger I have ever tasted. With some pitter patter included those activities brought us to about 4pm. This was the perfect time to head to another account of mine’s cabin on Columbia Lake. Many drinks and giggles were had. I slept there that night and then headed back in the morning for a dinner at my cousin’s in the south end of Calgary.

I saw the same crowd at the Thanksgiving dinner as last year. I know not anyone’s name or relation. All I knew was that the same racist talk continued, which I found rather comical. Last year I had a debate on voting with many of the older folks. This year the hot topic was change and technology. I listened to talk of “the good old days” and the evils of technology for some time but then finally butted in. I have already ranted on the fallacy of auto respect for old people but to quickly reiterate I think it is important to evaluate the merits of a person’s arguments or actions and make judgements based on that rather than  simply give credit due to experience. Otherwise that would count as ageism.

My stance was that progress is not necessarily good or bad but that it would be beneficial to try and adopt a positive stance to change rather than waste energy resisting something that is going to happen anyway. For example, one of the gentleman was arguing that texting was bad because it takes away from actual social interaction and also has negative effects on driving skills. He said “In my day if you wanted to talk to someone you would pick up the phone and actually have a conversation with them. Now people just text one another.” I argued that an even older generation could have made the same argument against the phone in favour of face to face interaction and that it was all based on attitude and perspective. Furthermore, needless texting and texting while driving only demonstrates abuse of a tool and not faults in the tool itself.

I often discuss how I think people take way too many pictures. I see it often as a reflexive response rather than a conscious effort to preserve a unique moment. I feel that taking pictures can often take away from enjoying the real-life, present moment. As a result I choose not to carry a camera with me on my outings. However, I would never suggest that cameras are inherently bad or that a time before cameras was a better time for people. On the contrary I think cameras are amazing inventions that can greatly enhance the quality of people’s lives (especially photographers haha). I simply have evaluated the usefulness of this tool in relation to my own life and can recognize the abuse. Texting, or any form of technology with always have an optimal point of utilization. In my opinion it is a great way to connect to a large number of people instantaneously.

No matter what I said another old person would interject with some for of disgust at seeing a young boy with a cell phone or video game. Right in the middle of our table debate one of the daughter’s brought in her computer which had a video conference going with her sister and newly born niece (who were not able to make the dinner). Instantly the grandparents jumped up and excitedly chatted away with the screen for a good half an hour. Note: before dinner the grandparents all passed around a cell phone to talk with a son/son-in-law. I didn’t feel like being a know-it-all so rather than say anything in favour of my point I just took this picture, which I thought was delightfully ironic.

The Evils of Technology

Anyway, I had to leave shortly after dessert and gave no further thought to this conversation. Instead I turned my attention to packing for my Saskatchewan road trip, which I left semi-punctually for the next morning. I stocked up the Devil’s radio (i.e. my iPod) with new music, the most perfectly relevant audio book (On the Road), a Dane Cook sketch and a few podcasts.  7+ hours and infinite miles of passed wheat fields brought me to my hotel in Saskatoon. Recently, I have started paying more attention to what hotels I stay in. I now invest a few minutes on Expedia to find a cool hotel in the heart of downtown. One of my favourite things to do is stroll around a major city at night. This hotel is called the Senator and is right in the business district. It was built 106 years ago and is for sure haunted. Shortly after checking in I went for my stroll. I was soon approached by a man looking for $0.80 for the bus. I didn’t have any change on me so I got a $20 out of the nearest ATM and gave him that. As we walked down the road he began telling me of his newborn daughter and how he actually needed $30 for a bus to Prince Albert. I gave him a bit of sass for not telling me while we were at the ATM and then found another one at my actual bank (no service charge baby). I gave him another $20 as one cannot take out smaller intervals of money. He got all excited and said “You must believe in God.”  I assured him that I didn’t but also that I saw no reason why people couldn’t still treat other people nicely. We walked on a little further and then he headed to McDonald’s for something to eat. He told me “God Bless” but then paused and changed it to “No wait, People Bless.” We both laughed and then parted ways. Dougy 1, Jesus 0. After he left I searched for a local pub.

Over dinner I read the paper which informed me that Bob Dylan is playing tonight (sold out) but also Wide Mouth Mason is playing at the University pub on Wednesday. I will certainly be in attendance on Wednesday and I may have even convinced a professoress at said University to join me.

Upon my return I will be heading to Banff for a race this weekend and then Edmonton the following week for the PGA buying show. All in it will be about 2-2.5 weeks away from home.

In other news, I recently published my new studio demo. You can check it out here.

This was my second time in a studio but first time doing a formal recording. Though the recording itself is a tad stressful I was very happy with the way it came out. There was a large element of accidental additions, which I really liked. I used the engineer’s wall mounted bass to add thickness on courses, we used a digital distortion on my acoustic instead of an actual electric guitar for one of the songs and I hired a drummer who just happened to be in the studio during my sessions. Once I write a song I don’t mind surrendering control to other talented people. I enjoyed watching both the drummer and sound guy put their interpretations into the tracks. Other than a few small tweaks I didn’t have to ask for any changes. I also decided that I will not try and sell this music in any capacity. It will be available for free download on the above site, Facebook and perhaps a proper website one day. I just wanted something that I could listen to and use to book more shows. So a huge thanks to Grant at Outhouse Studios and Josh Nadeau on drums.

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