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The banged up emotions, banged up car, and big boom finale

As we left off the quest, I was on the back roads of southern Ontario, with the Spotify music pumped. I was taking the back roads partly because it was taking everything to keep myself together, and partly because the 410, 407, and 401 scare the hell out of me.

It was at this point, I decided that seeing Niagara Falls wasn’t going to happen with the gloomy dark cloud of depression. It was also raining and cloudy too. After close to 2 hours, I arrived in Kitchener and the sun came out there. I managed to find a convenient little parking spot and walked down the Festival street. I have written before about Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest but there is something about this festival that in it’s own special way brings it over the top. There seems to even be a much higher percentage of people in traditional dress than you even see in Munich.

The Rogers Hometown hockey was there and there was a beautiful smell in the air that brought nostalgia back. Like most things however, the second time is just not the same and the depression came back. I grabbed a sausage and water and then went to the gift shop to buy a new pin for Oktoberfest hat and Bavarian suspenders. Then got in my car turned on my “Sadness” Spotify playlist and hit the 401.

As I entered Toronto after supper time the only suitable thing to do was to stop and grab some Popeye’s. There was no way after the nerve wrecking of the 401 so far that I wanted to deal with downtown Toronto traffic lights and lanes. I then after eating the meal continued on my way to Oshawa where I was so tired that I pulled over to a Tim Hortons and rested for an hour before proceeding to the ONRoute in Port Hope.

I slept very well that night even for sleeping in my car. The next morning I woke up refreshed and continued towards home. On the way back I detoured a few times the first was to take a photo of the First Railway tunnel. The second was to go to Kingston ON Wal-Mart to buy new shoes because my old ones were so far gone my numb feet hurt.

After Brockville, I dove the side road along the waterfront and found a beautiful little stop in Prescott ON where there is a historic site that was the location of the Battle of the Windmill where rebels were stopped by the Royal Navy in 1838. This was my last detour in Ontario before I stopped for lunch at Denny’s. I gas the most incredible pancakes with a Dolce cream to pour over them and soak in them to make a moist wonderful pile of goodness. Which would be the last goodness of the trip.

I gassed up and hit the road. After the panic of Toronto, I was destined to skip Montreal and take the toll bypass road. Or had wished I did. Instead out of nowhere it seemed I entered Montreal. It was a particular sunny but not too sunny day. From Kingston to Montreal it was “mainly sunny”. I entered the tunnel to leave Montreal and thought well that’s it I made it.

This is when Siri started giving weird directions that made no sense, and I decided to follow signs instead. I was in the 2nd of four lanes and couldn’t lane change due to a transport truck and was forced off on exit 90 of the 20. Well crap… I now had to figure out getting back on the highway and was all frustrated, I was so depressed and just wanted to get home.

I looped back on Boulevard Marie-Victorin and proceeded back to the highway, went to check my blind spot and missed one of two yield signs and the middle on-ramp of two on my left and out of nowhere my fender makes contact with the door of another car! I pull over on the ramp from hell and cars keep proceeding by my car was able to move and my airbags didn’t go off, but my anxiety is through the roof. The bigger fear then the accident, how I was getting home, or even talking to the stranger, my mind went to “what if the guy doesn’t speak English?!” I get my insurance and papers and place them in my pocket and get out of the car taking pictures of the damage and the scene.

The guy started saying something in French and I asked him if he spoke English and he did. Not to get into much detail but the guy has a history in HR and was super calm with a “shit happens, let’s move forward” approach asking if I was alright. After taking the obligatory driver’s license and car licence plate photos we agreed to proceed off the highway and to a nearby mall parking lot. In the lot was spent about 20 minutes exchanging information and then proceeded on our way.

My tire was rubbing on the wheel-well a but on bumps but it was not too bad. I pumped up a Spotify playlist and continued home as fast as I could. Around midnight, I was so tired and a bit low on gas and pulled into the Irving in Saint-Antonin. I slept kind of well until about 6:30 am, got gas, and headed back to New Brunswick on a beautiful, sunny, Thanksgiving Day morning.

That part of the NB highway looks magical and very beautiful with the yellows, reds, and oranges of the autumn leaves over the many rolling hills and the river valley of the majestic Saint John River. I knew that as the water when I reached the end I would be home.

It has been a really long time since I last seen the world’s longest covered bridge, and Hartland also has a Tim’s so it was time to detour into town. Once I hit Fredericton, I was getting sick of Spotify and turned on CBC. This is when I learned that going home might not be as easy as planned. The news broke into programming that there may have been an explosion at the Irving Oil refinery that is only a short 3km away from my house. I texted my sister and she said she was alright and that they were not evacuating the area. As I was passing Grand Bay, I first seen with my own eyes the column would f Barack smoke rising from the refinery.

The journalist side of me knew that so needed to get a photo of it for the day that I wrote about my trip. I stopped at Wolastoq Park where I took my photos and then headed home. I was so exhausted that I went to my TV room and did nothing all day but work on cleaning out my PVR. Thus ended my Thanksgiving Day epic.

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StartUp Weekend Saint John

As most of you know I have volunteered at ROGERS tv for going on 19 years. Bi-weekly there is a talk show that I work on called What Matters most. A few weeks ago the had someone on as a guest from the Momentum Group to talk about a then-upcoming event for a Startup Weekend. Long story short that episode didn’t make it to air and was instead put on YouTube. Therefore you can watch the following 13-minute interview to get the idea of what it is about.

Or not… I guess I can tell you what it is about.

The premise is that you pay money for a ticket and choose if you are a Developer (can code), Designer (can design stuff), or Other (smart person, marketing person, money person, et cetera). Then on Friday you show up raid the buffet spread, socialize, network, and assess the competition.

Then you get to listen to speeches, “The is is how the weekend is going to go down”, “we love business”, “entrepreneurs are awesome”, “there are so many services you have never probably heard of that you are going to get a taste of”, “your community needs you”, and lastly “who has an idea!”.

This is the first taste of the opportunity where you get to line up and present and possible idea, everyone claps for you presenting your idea, then you walk off to write your idea down on a big piece of paper and stick it on the wall. After all the ideas are presented comes the fun. Everyone in the room goes an puts a post-it note on the idea they like. Then the top several ideas get selected and then they get moved around the room that the idea person stood beside their idea and if you liked their idea you could join their idea team. If an idea had at least 3 people it was then a team.

We then spent a few hours planning out the idea. Then we went to socialize at a special after-hours gathering at the new Saint John Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club.

The next morning we arrived to have a light breakfast. Then go off to work. It was this portion of the day where we got to choose the local business people and entrepreneurs we would talk to in a type of speed-dating to understand our idea and it’s potential best future best. Of course, we then had an amazing lunch. Then back to work on the afternoon working on the business plan, the supporting market research, prototypes of ideas, and to build a blow-away presentation for the next day. Then a large supper arrived and it was back to work into the night.

The next morning involves a lot of fine-tuning the presentation, and practice of the presentation. Our group used Prezi for the presentation and there were a few points where we had to add a few seconds of fill to transition the topics for the visual animations that done well, nails the presentation and, not appearing to be filler.

Then we got to do a test presentation and got some great feedback from the event organizers. Using the feedback it just made the presentation stronger. Then lunch arrived I think this one was from Toro Tacos and it was a rice bowl that was incredible.

Then it was presentation time. This was the first time I ever used a presenter button (or TV term GPI) it is so much better than hitting the arrow keys on a laptop and makes it easier to present. After the presentation, I was relieved that that was it. Now to listen to the other presentations. There were nine teams in total with prizes for the first, second and third place teams.

When the third place team was announced, I was a little surprised. The criteria I thought of that would make a great idea was not what the judges looked for. There were great but impractical ideas in the pack, some that when it went from the idea Friday night took a turn for the worst. Then there was some that got a whole thot better after research. The thirds place idea was one of those and in reflection well deserved and was championed by someone truly invested in the limitless potential of their idea.

My team won second place and again I was in shock not because I didn’t believe our idea but because I had spent the last hour being won over by some of the other ideas.

Then when the first place was announced it was definitely the one I expected. I’ll link to a CBC interview on the winning idea.

After the awards it was a bit more, socializing, networking, and business talk on where the ideas can go from there.

There is going to be another one in Saint John hopefully in the Spring, and there is going to be one the first weekend of November in Fredericton.

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The Day I Killed the Town

This is another one of my memories while under good drugs in the hospital, most of it never happened but it is how I remember it happening.


I was brought for the morning after cleanup to this glass office building that was being used to house patients. As the day went on the nurse was having trouble moving me for cleaning and the brought in a lift thing to try that didn’t work out. However, as I was on the lift and couldn’t move it had me down near the floor and beside the desk. Then this snake came out from the desk and this guy used a spinning rope on a stick thing to kill it but there were dozens more everywhere.

The decided that I needed to get back to the main hospital so I was moved through the Indian spice store next door and they used a hose to dry and get the snake infestation out but it got too much and I got pulled under into the drain with some other dead bodies that were grossing me out. I managed to be pulled out and placed on another stretcher. This left us in a parking lot outside the mall. In the parking lot, they were shooting a running scene and as I was laying on the bed they were running as this Indian boy sewed and reupholstered a hospital bed. Then we just kept running and running like a stop-action scene that went on forever and ever.
While this happens my mother and step-father showed up and were discussing with the program director as special surgery to fix something. The hospital was down with it, as a special exception.

Eventually, it came to a point I couldn’t take it anymore but couldn’t stop to get out. Unless I gave in nothing was happening, if I opened my eyes it would resume. If I closed them it would reset. Then I started to float up in the air, and drop into the cold wet muddy ditch and be flowed down the river. My thoughts were to do nothing and wait for a nurse to come and get me as they did about twice a day.

Then the nurse came and she couldn’t get me. I just floated there. Then I started to float around this castle-like amusement park. Except all the people were socializing beer bottle men, with different New Brunswick town labels, and the women were cocktails with long legs. There seemed to be no escaping. I even tried breaking beer bottles on them to get them to throw me out and it didn’t work.

I kept hearing the hospital announcements and then found out that this castle was part of the Brampton hospital and the “Code” announcements could be heard there. I kept trying to escape and every now and then a nurse came and tried to get me to go back but not succeeding. I was getting cold and wet and tired and just wanted to leave.

Eventually one does, and I start to follow her to get out. I thought my tracheotomy device had broken and parts went into my stomach. As we were almost out. I thought going on a ride thing to see the exhibit was a good idea because I was getting tired of walking. It was an exhibit of histories of washrooms and racists. (Probably related to CNN news coverage on the TV)

After through the exhibit I couldn’t stand up. The GBS like things were happening in the legs. The seat on a string just kept moving and was headed to a woman’s section and no one would let my chair go there, and then they wanted me to buy a ticket and I had no way to and the chair kept doing repetitions.

The people rearranged the track and directed the seat to security for my bad behaviour as I pissed them off. As I was moving along the track I was getting worried that I was going to die as I was spitting up batteries from the implanted breathing machine. (I never had one of those in reality) Then this nurse guy comes to take care of me to try and get me off this chair. 

The end of the line is this bed rest area machine, that I have to win a game to proceed and I had no time for this and was getting frustrated and starting to blackout. It then released me into another room and it was filled with people playing bingo and eating a fried chicken buffet. I was trying still to get out of the chair.

The Bingo amusement started to rise up and the people eating in that section were crushed to death and there was blood everywhere, they then tried cutting the ropes and it went back down, and then it went up again and everyone in the room was sliced to death with stings. I was then being dragged across the town as the Black Lives Matters and hippy protesters were trying to mob me. I had no way of doing anything. The guy nurse was trying to prep me for the surgery and was hired by my mother.

After slaughtering the majority of the town I almost die and get trapped against a fence by this old house. The whole remaining town wants me dead and starts a lynch mob. I sneak into the house and it turns out to be a very old protester fraternity with all these escape tunnels. The place is like a church so I decide to pray there, and rob their sacred symbols.

I then end up turning myself into a police officer, who then grabs me and we start running down the trail. The sound of the breathing machine I swallowed is making a repeating noise that sounds like their chant, so it starts the protestors in sync which makes my police officer more able to duck and shoot them in self-defence. When clear we keep running and running through the streets and run through a dinner where the cop gets a sandwich and I throw garbage on the floor that just further gets the town people more upset at me.

There is a cop car next to us progestin the run and propaganda on the buildings. I lose the cop when a car is set on fire, I climb onto a rail and try to jump and kill myself, I felt so bad even though I had no control of the situation. Unfortunately, there was a young girl’s graduation recital and they were upset they didn’t want the girls to see what I was going to do.

I then heard my mother and step-father in the car upset that it had come to this my mother was in tears. I then started to run along the power lines following them as they were on the phone with a relative local to the area. I really wanted nothing else but to see them one last time and tell her I loved her. That and grape pop, I really wanted grape pop. 

As I kept running, another guy my age started running with me and filming it, he also gave me a wi-fi phone since I lost my phone at the hospital. Mostly so we could communicate. Every time I stopped running the mob would find me. I just couldn’t stop to talk to my mother.

I then came across this grocery store that was having a party and was using my pictures and logo without my permission, and they had grape pop. So I trashed the place and pooped and slid on a sloped wall of ice cream. The called the police and the police came to get me and I started running again.

Until I found the convenience store that was identical to the first. So I trashed it again. This went on for a few times. I then learned that the guy that gave me the phone was working for the store and was a robot from the waist down. He and his friends were machines that worked to run the store efficiently and that all the items were perfectly and efficiently merchandised for profit. There was an alarm that sounded every time an inefficiency occurred. I rested there I was so tired but the owner wanted me gone, but for some reason, I stayed.

He sleeps next to me and I was so confused, and started questioning if this was really real and wanted out but couldn’t. I tried kissing him to piss him off but he shook his head that that wasn’t the solution.

The next morning I went to try to buy a Bell SIM card and a real phone but had no money. I then convinced the system to give me what I want and use a glitch to get unlimited credit. Then the mall we were in was attacked and so headed to the Sears that was made of paper and had paper people that set up the store for the holidays and was more elite than a real store. They then robbed the nurse that happened to be with me and wanted me to turn myself in. I refused and they started a demonstration inside. Looking out from the window, all you could see was smoke clouds from the city on fire. 

I managed to hide by there was a TV crew taping a show. Then I blacked out. When I woke up we were at the lake house and they were taping an antique roadshow. I couldn’t help myself and be bored so I started breaking things then trying not to break things. After the event, we went outside as others had wine and I tried to go swimming but there was ice on the water and couldn’t. Then the protesters started beating on the door for a long time than faster and faster for a long time. (This was a vibrator in the bed)

I was avoiding them so I hid in the woods and got lost, I found an amusement park. I tried to get A&W or McDonalds but couldn’t since I had no money, and barely any clothes. The 4 doctors that hung out together was at the McDonald’s and were plotting to make this sex documentary for CBC that followed these sex workers in New York that would be beaten for telling their story. Having never experienced that and wanting to make TV, I agreed.

We then went to NYC and I waited in the hot car forever. Trying hard to not blackout until my scene. It ends up getting cut and not happening. I then end up driving back with the crew and there are protests and fires along the highway, so we never get to stop for lunch and I am really thirsty and want water badly. I then wake back in Brampton at the store until the nurse comes to move me.

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CBC News – NB – Review Anglo Society flag motion: language chief

CBC News – New Brunswick – Review Anglo Society flag motion: language chief.

This has to be one of the most overhyped stories of the month. It would be common practice for the City of Bathurst to fly this flag. I firmly believe that every group or person has the freedom to speak their thoughts. Just as much as it is everybody elses to consider to merits, then decide if it should be accepted or driven out-of-town with pitch-forks. In this case I think the City of Bathurst is committing censorship but the few deciding without the Anglo-Society having a chance to give the Anglo-Society their moment on the soap box.

Personally from the time I was in Fredericton I think the Anglo-Society should be driven out with pitch-forks but everyone should be given a chance to hear their points.

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Okay, or maybe Save Local that gives a $#!+

While in my last post I may have took the position that Saving Local is not important. That is not true. I am against CTV and Global who have for the last few years, mainly CTV, treated New Brunswick as a second class maritime province in terms of share of news coverage and local programming.

Now on to the main topic of this post, CBC Radio 1 in Saint John. In reality Saint John has about 4 main contacts for news CHSJ, CBC, CHNI, and Telegraph-Journal. However, only the Telegraph-Journal and CBC provide the depth of information and understanding of our community as a whole. Despite radio being close to a hundred year old technology. The style of the CBC just draws you in and is never shallow on good storytelling.

Technically speaking the CBC does have a trend on over staffing on productions on the TV end but with the radio it takes less people to technically produce the shows so that leaves cutting the staff as ripping out pages from the unpublished book, still there but more shallow. I definitely plan on attending the rally in King’s Square this weekend.

We Want Our CBC

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Why not to “Save Local”

Today I seem ads on CTVGlobeMedia stations that are urging the government to require cable/satellite distributors to pay for distributing the signal. I think this is just plain wrong. Here in Saint John there are 4 broadcast stations CBAT (CBC Fredericton but licensed and has its main transmitter in Saint John), CKLT (Has no programming differences from CJCH (CTV Atlantic) in Halifax, NS), CIHF-TV-2 (a semi satellite of CIHF-TV known as Global Maritimes from Halifax.), and CBAFT-1 which is a re-transmitter of CBAFT the Radio-Canada Moncton feed.
When it comes to local programming CTV is the absolute worst, as I have noted before at most has 2 stories from the Saint John area and 4-5 total from the entire Province of New Brunswick on a good day. Global TV despite their severe cut backs have managed to keep their news stories basically equal per province.
The basics is that all 4 of these broadcasters offer their signals for free over-the-air (a.k.a. poverty-vision). The cable company simply re-transmits the feed via an antenna to cables to the subscribers. Why should we pay to have something that we get for free anyway? In fact this even benefits the TV stations by making it more convenient to watch the stations resulting in more viewers rather than switching over to better content from away. Thus removing ad dollars.

In less dense markets like the Maritimes TV must come up with a different model in order to survive. Depending on a single news program is clearly not the way to go, but neither is alienating the viewers by making some pay, while others do not. Do we consider a TV tax like the United Kingdom? I don’t thinks so either but fees must not be duel standard. The CRTC recently made a decision that requires distributors to no longer require a bundle of channels. In this schema you can choose to not purchase stations, adding fees will just doom local programming to certain failures.

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A drop in the bucket… err… table

Who is left to tell the tail abount the drop. This may be just a little drop of coffee on the table, but who will tell the world.

It was interesting to learn the only part of CBC during these layoffs are the CBC.ca department.

The web seems to now finally be changing the directon of media. The idea that you don’t need huge television systems, broadcast transmitters, and printing presses to the people. To those ends there is now not a need for the content to suffe either.

The question however is how will interactive benefit the telling of the news? Can the local not be lost to a global voice? Can the web emerge as a primary source for news rather than current methods as regurgitation of the news reported by old media sour we and techniques?

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NASCAR vs. The Simpsons

This morning I was listening to CBC Radio 1 and one of the main stories today is that the local cable company cut off the final few laps of the Nascar race for an all new episode of The Simpsons. Let’s face it The Simpsons is one of the most important influinces of my generation.

The Simpsons, teaches that it is important to think for yourself and that one voice can make a difference. In retrospect this week’s particular episode was one of the best lately and I feel bad if an cable company didn’t cut off NASCAR for it.