Blogging…. From a jet!

•May 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So my buddy Dave just asked the stewardess and we are currently between 35,000 and 40,000 feet of altitude. Right now! It’s pretty crazy the I can pick up my iPod and log onto the Internet on a seat in the sky. I’m pretty impressed:) that’s it .. Just figured if I could .. then I had to blog from a Boeing:)

A Very Exciting Weekend

•April 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Considering the way news travels, if you know me I’m guessing you’ve already heard. If not I’m very excited to be the one to tell you! Tracey and I got engaged on the weekend! And get this.. I actually surprised her! If you know Tracey very well, you know she isn’t the type who can be surprised if she knows a surprise is coming. She just doesn’t handle it well, and gets very upset. Not angry upset, just generally frustrated and upset. I’ve come to learn this. Nevertheless I managed to surprise her.

We had talked about it before, where we were heading in life and we both knew that we wanted to be engaged and then married. She knew a proposal was coming down the pipes. I had her ring custom made, and I had told her it wouldn’t be back from the jewelers until Monday the 20th, on which date I was going to propose in a very “not big deal” fashion. The secret was, the ring was actually coming the previous thursday. Earlier in the week before I went to pick it up I suggested that since we both work on manday nights, why not spend a romantic day/evening together on the friday to make the weekend significant to us, and then follow it with the proposal and ring on Monday. She thought it was great, and had no idea I was actually going to propose on our day together. I borrowed this little trick from the pages of the book of my good friend Justin Morton.

My buddy Dave McMurray helped me make all the arrangements for the day. All his suggestions were perfect, more than perfect. After a bit of shopping (and McDonalds) in Barrie we headed up to a little town called Bracebridge. We went and took some photos at the dam/waterfall downtown (we love taking pictures together) checked out some local shops, then we went for dinner. The place we went was called “Wabora Japanese Fusion Steakhouse”. I was a bit hesitant since I had only been there once before in the main dining area. Dave suggested the habachi tables, where they cook the food on a grill that is literally part of your table, right in front of you. I had never eaten or even seen this done before. I was also hesitant since Trace is not a big fan of ethnic food. Despite my concerns the evening was more than perfect, and Tracey loved the food (minus 1 or two things). The server, named Magdalena, was awesome and the chef, named Eddie, was enteretaining and a very good chef. Some of the tricks he did while cooking were unbelievable! Try catching an egg on the side of your flipper! Eddie was also super sensitive about Tracey’s carrot allergy, using separate tools to prepare her dish.

In short, the experience was nothing short of perfect, and the staff had no idea of the importance of the evening. I phoned the manager, Steve, the next day to commend the staff that served us. I was very impressed.

After that we went to Huckleberry Rock Lookout in the hamlet of Milford Bay, another Dave McMurray Suggestion. We had the lookout to ourselves, and the sunset was amazing. Again, I couldn’t have asked for things to have been any more perfect. After a while of taking shots, I got down on one knee and popped the question. This whole time she had remained totally oblivious to the fact that I was actually going to ask her that day. She was so surprised.. it was awesome. It took her a few minutes, but she was finally able to spit out the word “Yes!” which was follewd by much hugging, twirling, jumping and me spinning her around. It was awesome.

Afterwards we went to McDonalds to use the washroom and while we were there picked up some earl grey, which was horrible. We dumped it out and got London Fogs from a Muskoka coffee joint called Olivers, which were amazing!

Everything was perfect, and even though I didn’t mention it, one of my favourite times of the day was the time we spent in the car just talking on the way there and back. I love those times. And I love you Tracey! I am so happy to have started this journey with you:)

Pray

•April 4, 2009 • 2 Comments

I love my sister. She’s had a very rough go of it lately. She’s had some very serious struggles with God, and feels like…well.. read on. I just can never seem to have the right answers, or even often any answers to questions like “Why doesn’t God give me SOME kind of help?” or “I pray to him from the bottom of my soul, and nothing.” . The typical christian brochure answers just don’t cut it, and I’m not sure what else I have to offer aside from prayer. The following is a note posted publicly on her facebook profile:

“Why? Why is this happening? What did I ever do to deserve this? Why do I get punished when all I do is try to put other people first? Why do I try to help and then just get shit on? I don’t understand.
I can’t be happy, its like I don’t deserve it. Its like I deserve being upset. I can be happy for a night, an hour, a minute, then its taken away. Why can’t You just let me live, be happy, be me? Is there something wrong with me? Am I not good enough for You? Have I done something wrong to make You upset with me, are You looking down on me and shaking your head? Why wont You help me.. You are supposed to be there, it is You who is supposed to carry me when I can’t carry myself.. and Your not there.. All my life I have been told to believe in You and trust that You will guide me and provide me with guardians that will help me along the way. Well You are failing. Your are letting me slip, and it seems You don’t care. I pray to You all the time, to help me, to guide me. Are you even listening? Why can’t You help me, some way.. any way? Do You like punishing me every day? Its just one thing after another. It just doesn’t seem fair. What have I done to deserve this, please tell me so I can just fix this..

I don’t understand why I am always the one to get hurt. I try to be there for everyone, I try to think about other people’s feelings. I don’t like anyone to be upset with me. I hate it when I hurt people, why do they seem so intent on hurting me? Why whenever I let someone in, they end up screwing me over in the end. Everyone. One day, everyone will hurt me one way or another. No, we may not fight, we may not argue, we may stay in touch till we are playing shuffle board at the old age home. But one day you will leave me too. One day, you will be gone and that will hurt more than anything. Its all hurt, neverending and always painful.

I’m broken.. I’m so broken. I feel like a toy that repeatedly gets thrown in the trash, that gets rips and tears, and that eventually becomes useless and a nuisance. I don’t want to feel anymore. I’m sick of feeling anything, especially hurt. I’m sick of it. I’m so broken that I don’t know if I can be fixed. I don’t know if I have the strength to fix me. And I don’t want anyone else to fix me. I don’t trust anyone to do it right. No one can put me back together so I won’t hurt again. And You are probably the only one who can, but I feel like You have abandoned me.

I want to be able to care, I want to be able to love. My family, my friends. My pets, they all need me, but I just don’t know if I can do it. I love you all, or at least I want to. My girls, I love you, but I feel like I’m just going to let you down if I haven’t already. My family, you have seen me at my worst, helped me through the toughest times. I appreciate it more than you know but I just don’t know if you can help me with this one. I feel like I’m disappointing you too. If I just put the walls back up, put the armor back on, no one can hurt me and I can’t hurt them. If I don’t let feelings in, I won’t hurt, I won’t cry, and I wont have to worry why You don’t care about me anymore.

What have I done? Can’t you see I need You, now more than ever. I need You to help me, its all I’m praying for. And I will pray until I crumble completely, just please start listening.”

 

 I would appreciate any prayer you could offer. I want so bad for things to get better for her, for God to feel there and real for her. I just don’t know what to do.

Times, They Are a Changin’

•March 17, 2009 • 2 Comments

Sorry about the last teaser post, but I wanted to firm things up and have a few more phone calls before I posted anything.

I had some very exciting new’s last week. I got a text from a friend who I attended college with. After we graduated he managed to land a job with one of our instructors, Darius Szczepaniak. Before I say anything else let me say that Darius or “D” is one of the nicest and most honest dudes I’ve met anywhere, let alone working in the audio industry. From day one I identified with him and we came to be as close to friends as is possible in a professor/student role. D really is a stellar guy, a man of character and honesty who has never steered me wrong. I’ve often gotten his advice when purchasing new gear, and his input has largely helped to shape the construction of Feedback Audio, my own recording studio and audiuo production company. I’ve also frequently picked his brain while working on various projects and he’s never hesitated to take time out of his busy day to help answer my questions and help me deliver a great audio product. He is an all around down to earth nice dude.

Now that I’ve painted a picture let me tell you some other things about D, he’s no lightweight in the Canadian music scene. He’s produced and engineered among many, many others Big Sugar, Sum 41, and Edwin. But I would encourage you to think about his credits last, he is very accomplished, but it’s easy to get blinded by that. Above all that he’s a really cool guy.

My buddy that found work with him (Alex) has been very, very fortunate. There’s a few others who work at the same studio that I also admire, one being Steve Bedford, another great friend and very accomplished mastering engineer. We are all in touch with each other periodically so when I heard they were wondering how I was doing I couldn’t wait to give them a call. After a few turns of telephone tag I ended up grabbing D on the phone. After a few minutes of chatting he said something that I totally wasn’t expecting. He offered me some work in his studio down in Toronto! The studio is called “Rouge Valley” and they sport a full on SSL recording console. I was very excited, of course! 

Because I already have a full time employer who has been very good to me and who has invested a lot in me I need to be loyal to him first, but between everyone we were able to work out that I can make myself available for sessions with Darius whenever I need to! I’m of course very excited (and a little nervous) to start and I see it as an amazing opportunity, but more than that I’m just looking forward to seeing everyone again. I miss those dudes, and I miss being around like minded professionals all the time. Barrie is a pretty isolated professional community for the audio engineer. Despite my nervousness I know that I’ll give 110%, I love what I do and I’m confident that things will happen just fine. Darius still teaches at the college, and I was touched to find out that despite all the students that have rolled through there since I graduated I was the person he called. I definitely had a big smile. Things are still unfolding at this point, but I’ll keep you updated as they do! Can’t wait to chill with D, Steve and Alex again!

Big News…..

•March 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

And I mean very big… check back over the next day or two, just waiting for some final details to firm up.

Smile!

In Love With A View – Trailer (HD!) and Update

•February 24, 2009 • 1 Comment

Hey Everyone! Check out this sweet trailer!

If that doesn’t work for you or if you want to watch the trailer in HD then click this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbCTYRF_3k0&feature=hd

For those of you who have been with me a while, you may remember that I went on a film shoot last summer. This is the first teaser of the end product. The film edit is done, and post production sound can begin. Stay tuned! It’s going to be great!

Tiny Terror

•February 19, 2009 • 4 Comments

I’ve been having one of the largest internal struggles I’ve faced in a while. I’m going to be honest. I’m a gear addict. I love shiny new audio gear. I can’t help it, I just do. Sometimes I wonder if it’s an actual addiction. My time at college for audio engineering took the addiction to a new level. I became a sound and tone freak! It became that if I could hear a difference, I wouldn’t be satisfied until I had the best sound out of my gear. As a result, I ended up with a very nice, and expensive, recording rig. I don’t regret it, I wouldn’t be satisfied with anything else. I don’t have a weak spot anywhere in my signal flow, from microphone to computer. The only thing thats left is the source, or what is creating the sound that’s being recorded. I got a really nice bass, since bass is my primary instrument, a 1977 Fender Jazz Bass. Then I got a sweet guitar, a swiss- made “Blade”  Telecaster, which is in my opinion a bit nicer than an american standard telecaster (Keith Urban played a Blade telecaster on his latest album).

Next comes a guitar amp, which I have held off on until now. Electric guitar is one thing where tone really matters, and the amplifier has a HUGE effect on a guitar’s tone. I already have a great guitar, so all thats left is the amp. Now, my schooling helped me to develop a discerning ear, and I’m not satisfied with any amp’s tone unless it’s all out tube, and a nice one at that. I like Vox AC15 and AC30’s, some Marshall offerings, but I really like ORANGE amps guitar tone. They just sound really good, and they have exactly the tone that I would describe as my “ideal” guitar tone.  The problem, their whole line of heads is insanely expensive, generally running 1500$ and up! Except for one head, the Orange “Tiny Terror”, a 15 watt mini head that sells for about 800-900 bucks since the Canadian dollar took a nosedive. Still expensive for a small head, but I’ve compared it directly with many other amps, and the tone amazing compared to other amps of similar range. And the portability is great for my back too!

I was doing ok, I was holding off. Then something bad happened. My boss decided to carry the Orange line at the store, and what is the first model he orders? The Tiny Terror. It came in on Tuesday this week and after really experimenting I’ve found it almost impossible to resist. I’ve already got a great cabinet awaiting re wiring (see a few posts back), and to top it off I get a SMOKING discount if I were to buy it becasue I’m an employee. I’ve been writing a lot of material lately, and have some recording I want to do with my lovely lady. I know I won’t be ready to record until I’ve got a killer amp to record with.

The problem is this: That same beautiful woman and I are planning to buy a house at some point down the road and I’ve been saving lots for a down payment. When I think of that amount of money going towards a house I know it would be better spent there. It just ….is so difficult. When am I going to get to record my material? I know I won’t be happy until I have something stellar at my disposal. Plus, I have to look at the thing every day at work! My employee discount is like a slap in the face! I’m doing my best to stand strong, but it is so hard! I think I can make it though… I just ask myself, “House…. or…. Guitar amp?” Ouch… sooo not rockstar.

I’m just glad I love Tracey so much… somehow it makes the decision a bit easier. It may seem silly, but for me this really is a big deal! Thanks Trace, know it or not your really helping me battle my gear addiction!