dateline : 10.12.1998
driving me crazy, with no miss daisy


You may ask yourself, where have I gone?

   G ads, where do I even start? It's been a while since I last updated, so, after weeks of "you, you rotten monkey, update your damn "a muse", its been since July 27th, I am finally getting down to it. I'll decide by the end whether or not I should do two separate ones or not, there is a lot of ground to cover when I look back on August and September and half of October, so perhaps I'll just start at the beginning? nah...I'll save a couple of stories for the next one, which SHOULD be in less than three months...a couple of changes to the "a muse" section include actual galleries that open up if you click on any of the pictures. They are resizeable and contain further commentary on the stuff described below, so do check them out, and located on the ape, the pic of me and the paragliding story. Have fun reading this, and send any fan mail or gripes to Finally, if you want an automagic email update when I update this section, send an email to with the phrase "subscribe monkeypals" (no quotes) in the message itself and you will find out what happens next time...thanks and enjoy.

A Tale of Two Stages

   O nce upon a time, there was a band that played some shows, and this will be a brief look at the astounding differences between two of those shows. Roots Roundup once again did a few shows in late september. One of these, the first, was held at UBC. It's their annual "AMS Barbecue", which is sort of a "welcome back" event that they hold every september. We had played it before, many years ago, as the opening band. The party itself is held outdoors, in a field. It is rather large affair, complete with a rather large stage and a rather large crowd. A rather drunken crowd, but, more on that later. This time out, Roots was the headlining attraction, thus we got the pleasure of being the only band that got a soundcheck. For those of you unaware of what a soundcheck is, here's a quick explanation : It's merely a case of setup all your bands stuff, the techs put mikes on everything and make sure that the massive PA will actually work without howls of feedback and other nasty squeals. On a stage of this size, the band becomes so spread out that its rather tough to hear much of anything past what is happening in your own little corner of the stage world, so, there is also a complete PA that simply functions as a monitor system for the band. As the soundcheck progresses, each band dork gets to state what they would like to hear in their particular monitor. Example, Greg (the monkey brother) sings, thus, he needs to hear his voice, the other voices for harmony purposes, and perhaps whatever else he can not hear. Same goes for anyone else. A further example, me, being as always on the far stage right area (stage right and stage right is defined by the musician perspective, as we are easily confused...), and Mark, the other roots guitarist, is stage left. I can not hear Mark on a stage like that no matter what we do, (which is somewhat astounding, given that Mark and I play at extremely loud volumes, the kind of volumes that would implode a small animal's hearing for eternity) thus, I get a bit of Mark in my monitor and Mark gets a bit of me in his monitor. And thus, everyone in the band gets their very own little custom mix in their very own little monitor and the show proceeds swimmingly. At least from that perspective. There is a point to all of this, so, bear with me. Also, at such a large event, its catered, meaning, people bring band members food, drinks, merriment etc. And security! Ya better have a backstage pass or some 300 pound gorilla will show you to the frontstage area. So, all told, its just about the most relaxing kind of show a band could hope to do, everything is accounted for, and it's somebody else's job to make sure it all runs smoothly. And, that show went exactly like that. Smooth, no hassles, no worries, and we did a pretty good show as a result. All told, approx. crowd size was somewhere between 3 and 4 thousand very drunk university students. So, to conclude day one, 1st stage, we leave feeling like little roots roundup rock stars.

Cut to the NEXT day's show.

You know, after having Greg as my brother for 33 years, you would THINK that I would learn a few things about dealing with him, but, no, I fall for some things every time. Lesson relearned again :

If Greg is being vague about show arrangements, this should alert me to the idea that he is perhaps not telling the entire story because he knows I will kill him swiftly should the entire truth be known.

A sample dialogue :

monkey - So, where is the show?

monkey bro - somewhere near Quesnel.

monkey - where and what are we playing?

monkey bro - an outdoor private party.

monkey - properly prepared and planned for of course...

monkey bro - um, i think so...

monkey - how long is the drive?

monkey bro - about 6 hours or so.

All rather important bits of information, with nary an ACTUAL BONAFIDE FACT shared from the mind of the monkey brother. Was I worried? Nah, remember, I never learn this lesson. The drive portion was somewhat important, as I planned to take my car up there as well, partially to spread the load of band members out amongst two vehicles, as the rented van had no seats, partially because I had to RUSH home on Monday to get back for Garbage's show in Vancouver, partially because I have a CD player in the monkey-mobile and very comfy seats, and since I'd be driving I was GUARANTEED to have one of those comfy seats. So, off we trundle to "Quesnel Forks". Never heard of it? Funny, neither have I...When I start a long drive, I program the distance into my head and mentally prepare. So, I programmed my eeeeeensy weeeeeensy brain for a six hour drive. That became seven hours. Then eight hours. All in all, it was an ok drive, it was nice and sunny, and the route through BC is not one I am usually on, so, no major grumbling on my part, past minor whiney bits of "are we there yet?" So, Quesnel Forks is purportedly just outside of Likely, BC. Likely is one of those BC towns in the interior that you can miss even if you ARE paying attention. A mere blink and it's gone. So, when we passed through Likely, I knew we were getting close, and also knew that I was low on cigarettes and could probably use some more beer. So, when we turned onto a dirt road and started up a mountain I figured we would not go too far. Dirt road = vague , hence, I should have known better. But no, ever trusting of my brother's instincts and all that crap. Ever wondered what TWENTY miles of dirt road up and down a mountain is like? If I had anything loose on my car when we started that trip, it certainly was gone by the time we got to Quesnel Forks. Now, at this point, go find a map of BC. And find Quesnel Forks. Not Quesnel, Quesnel Forks. Off you go, I'll wait here before continuing.

(tap tap tap tap tap tap tap twiddle twiddle ho hum la dee dah, the sound of time elapsing)

Ok, now that you have given up...

Surprise! There is no longer a town called Quesnel Forks. The giveaway for me was all the signs saying "Quesnel Forks Ghost Town. So, as Greg's vagueness was becoming more apparent by the minute, I commenced into "mutter mode" .

mutter(shake)mutter(rattle)mutterrottenidiotbrother(roll)surelyIcouldhavehadamigraineheadacheorsomething(shudder)hebetterhaveenoughsmokesforbothus(shimmy)whyamIsostupid(clunk of tranny bottoming out)whinewailsob(bye bye loose side molding)

Oh yes! a most promising show for the band! We can play at a ghost town! Do ghosts pay cover charge? Are there ghost groupies? Will any ghosts buy me a beer? Will the bar even exist? No! wait! Greg -did- say the show was outdoors as well!

What do ghost promoters pay the band in, spirits? Hmm, well, that actually might be promising...

Rattling down this road, we went by numerous ghost town buildings, mostly fallen apart. You see, Quesnel Forks USED to be a huge town, it was a gold rush town, perhaps the biggest city north of San Francisco when it was actually a town. But, now, its a forest, and the BEST of the old buildings have been moved to Barkerville, the "known" BC tourist Gold Rush attraction. On and on we wound down the mountain "road" (term used loosely, much like how my car was feeling) and finally, we arrive in an apparent camp ground, or, at least there was a fair amount of 4x4 trucks parked there. And ta da! Here we are! Our own little stage, about a million miles from anywhere. I immediately dubbed the "concert site "Not Likely". I carped at Greg over not having enough cigarettes or beer, and took a look at the "stage". The previous day's stage could have easily had a couple hundred people standing on it, not even touching shoulders. This stage consisted of a trailer of the two wheeled variety. It had about enough room for a drum set on it, provided it was a small drum set. The rest of it was merely forest floor. Ah! And the light system! Imagine two trouble lights strung up from a tree and that paints THAT picture for you. Monitors? Well, what the hell would you want THOSE for, everybody is pretty much shoulder to shoulder on the "stage" anyways, if I could not hear everything on stage, I'd have to be deaf anyways. bathrooms? Oh yes! Outhouses with a particularly pungent aroma as I guess the sewage truck driver was far too smart to take his truck down THAT road.

So, with all of that whining, how did the show go anyways? Well, it was simply an excellent show regardless of the conditions. We had a great time and there is few sights in the world that can match looking up during a smoking guitar solo and seeing 100 foot trees surrounding you and stars all lit up in the night sky. The event was "Paddle Fest", an annual gathering of kayak nuts that happens every year at that location. From within those woods, about 300 people were present for the show, which ranked as one of our better efforts. One of the better moments was doing a simply slinky, blistering version of the classic Subhumans song, "Slave to My Dick" with Gerry Hannah, the guy that wrote it and now lives up near Likely. There actually was even catering, being that the local Subway provided a PILE of tasty little treats for us all to munch on. And, lucky for Greg, he had lots of cigarettes, so I managed to survive anyways...Triumph Through Adversity, that should be the Roots Roundup motto...

As an added little bonus, if you click the link below and have an MP3 (MPEG) capable computer, you can hear a Roots Roundup song. The song itself is called "screamin" and was written by brother greg and i. I'll warn ya though, its a three megabyte donwload, full stereo, cd quality. You may have to right click and choose "save as" depending on your browser.

Screamin' by Roots Roundup, copyright protected of course and available on the CD "Rootrospective".

Fear and Loathing In Brazil With 12 Monkeys and a Jabberwocky.

   Ok , fess up time in Monkey-Land. My favorite director, by far, no competition, nobody else even comes close, is Terry Gilliam. He da MAN! Terry got his start with Monty Python, the somewhat skewed British comedy group. I was raised on Monty Python, which, if you know me well enough probably comes as no great surprise. But, once the Python boys stopped doing Monty stuff (no, no relation to the Full Monty), Gilliam continued on his directing ways. One of the first up of the Gilliam movies is Time Bandits, a thoroughly entertaining frolic thru time travel and pirates. But, after that, he really stepped into his own, and, produced what I still rank as his best movie ever. Brazil. A classic. A movie SO great that I actually own a copy of it, if for no other reason that to sort out the wheat from the chaff in the dating world. It's like a "test". "So, what do you think of 12 Monkeys came REALLY close, it's my second favorite Gilliam film. So, I was more than a little thrilled to hear recently that a new Gilliam film was coming out, that being Terry's treatment of the classic Hunter S. Thompson book, "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas". Read anything by Hunter? Well, he is certainly a unique individual, and, I have always liked his books. And, well, Johnny Depp starred, and, heck, he's a pretty good actor. So, my opinion? Well, I liked it a lot...The ex was less than thrilled, it had a few gruesome scenes, but, boy, if there was ever a director who could get a hallucination right on film, that would be Terry Gilliam. And, well, as per the book itself, its basically a two hour drug trip. Set in Las Vegas. What can I say, I enjoyed the movie, it reminded me of various chemically induced moments of high school, and, the film itself is lushly filmed, as is typical with Gilliam films, and, his sense of the absurd is intact...Two monkey thumbs up here...don't take a date if you can avoid it though...

Out Of Site

monkey friends    I never win any awards/prizes/accolades for the monkey site, and the prime reason is that I simply refuse to "apply" to win anything, and, since this site is merely a personal plaything, I do know real promotion of the site either. But, occasionally, nice things get said, this time from my great friends in Chicago, Chris and Marty from the GiggleCam and also from a great friend of mine in Washington, DC, the ever lovely Web Diva...

Giggle site, 9/30

Meet a friend of Chris & Marty Everyday I will highlight a new friend. I figure you would love to meet my friends. They are cool. Email them, ICQ them, become their friend.

Name: Monkey Boy
ICQ#: 273419
Quick Bio:

What a special friend. A great musician, fly's kites, he writes extremely well. This man is so in-tune with himself. Giggle, his site rocks and he has never been chosen as a site of the day from anyone. (Today, I name his site the GiggleSite of the DAY!!!). Yes, one of the best sites on the web. He talks about everything (Makes you wonder how he has any time to play?). Did I mention he has a webcam? Yep, definitely one of my best friends.J

Crayzee Site of the Week - July 19th

And da weeeeener is:

What will you find on this fascinating site you ask? Well its just FULL of goodies.

To begin with it's got a WAY cooooooooool design, and is easy to navigate assuming you can READ!

Then, there is the Monkey Cam where you can watch monkey boy play! OH what fun!! It's almost like being at the zoo! You may actually luck out and catch one of his 3 tigers, er cats on cam too! *smile*

The Monkey site has many links that range from computers to music to pages of his friends, and mine STILL isn't on there. *sigh* Be sure to check out the Sites of Note page, it's got a LOT of good links.

It seems the chimp boy does some web page design on the side like the rest of us, and he shows off his works here as well! You know how guys love to SHOW OFF! hahahah *grin*

If you are a KITE fan be sure to check out the chimp's Wind Power section. Lotsa info and pictures on his kite flying adventures. He is an avid fan of the Rev for those of you who know anything about kite flying.

There is a lot more this site has to offer, but one only has so much time to WRITE a review. So go check it out DAMMIT!!!



Much thanks to both of them, it does put a smile on my face that others beside me think something of the site and its part of what makes it all worthwhile to continue on with it. That being said, I am beginning to play with some new site features. More as this develops later on in some future "a muse".

fell on dark days...    

I had an interesting email exchange with a friend recently, which should reveal at least some of the weird thoughts of mine throughout the summer...not every day is rosey and shiney in the monkey kingdom. I am not even sure why I included this, past the fact that it was really a strange moment, and part of "real life" for me, thus, may as well include looks at all facets of day to day life.

>	So, how was your day? Filled with fun and excitement? Mine was good, I was

How was my day? Well, hmmm, may as well be honest, its been awful. I woke up this morning and I knew something was eating at my head. But, I couldn't pin it down.


However, I did a bunch of stuff, including finally getting through the backlog music site additions (which, when I had mailed you the FIRST time, represented two months worth of backlog). So, that was good.

Went flying at Vanier. Lousy, east wind. East wind at Vanier is a "bad thing (tm)", it gets all tangled and turbulent through the Burrard and Granville bridges, so, if its a weak wind, its really weak. So, SUL (super ultra light) kite out, nope, even that is a bit of a drag to fly, literally. But a pal was down, one of the people from work and she told me bad jokes and that helped pass time.

So, while I am flying, I notice the Indy is on. I used to go a lot, haven't gone in eons. Something else rang a bell.

But, still eluding my simian brain cells. Just out of reach now and it looks like a pretty dark cloud from that distance...

A bit later, a bunch of cars start honking away in the distance, on the bridge.

And it hit me, all at once.

That was a wedding procession.

3 years ago today, on an Indy Sunday, about 1/2 a mile from where I was standing, I was married, down at Granville Island.

You see, I am not anymore, separated for six months, my choice, long story, some other time, onwards into this tale.

So, the kite crashed, and crashed again and again, I decided I had had enough of THAT fun, so I went and ate a bunch of greek food with work friend and pouted, moaned, whined whinged and then went and lost 5 consecutive games of pool to top off the not-happiest day of the summer.

Back home now, listening to Pink Floyd's "The Wall", which I am following up with some happy Nine Inch Nails for dessert.

(a look at a dark monkey day, I am feeling somewhat better now, thanks, back to the regularly scheduled monkey mayhem...)

Fly my little pretties, fly!

wicked witches are go!    G uess the movie THAT line came from. Ok, ok, the picture was a dead giveaway. The Wizard of Oz, one of my all time favorite movies, not so much for the flying monkeys, but, anyways, back to the story. I recently was up on Grouse Mountain, a mountain just outside of Vancouver. Its about 5000 feet high, accessible by either the brute force method, known as the "grouse grind" where silly humans actually HIKE up the side of the mountain, or, the somewhat more leisurely and much more enjoyable tram trip up the side. You of course know the route that I took. But while up there, I saw perhaps one of the most amazing things that I have seen all summer. You see, I have been rereading "The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy" this summer, all five books of the trilogy, and, in the third book, when Arthur Dent is stuck in a prehistoric cave on Earth, he learns to fly. The secret to learning how to fly is leap into the air and miss the ground. Sounds deceptively simple doesn't it? Despite much practice and bruises and cuts on my part, I have yet to master this act. But, being very flight oriented anyways, I was stunned to look up and see someone flying down the mountain. Now, they were somewhat more prepared than I ever am, they actually have a kite-ish, parachute-like sail attached to their bodies. So, we ambled to the top of the mountain and, it's pretty much as Arthur Dent describes. They run off a cliff and throw themselves into the air and start down the 5000 feet, soaring much like a bird. This is a SPORT. A sport called Paragliding. I had vaguely heard about this before, becky had mentioned it when she saw some people doing it, but I have never witnessed it first hand. Of course, I was utterly hooked and entranced, I wanted to do it! Now, they do offer tandem paragliding trips, taking about an hours worth of training (I'd imagine that a stupid move on the part of your passenger could easily cause a somewhat disastrous problem, probably ending in DEATH) and then you too can throw yourself off of a mountain, after the liberal application of $125 dollars. TOO COOL! Now, since I did not have the time nor the money when I was there, I decided to do some research on the whole sport. Well, first off, its not a cheap sport at all. Once you are completely outfitted with your own gear, you are now about 6000 dollars lighter in the wallet. And the training required to throw yourself off of anything higher than an anthill takes about a year, if you rush along at a breakneck speed, no pun intended. However, the single biggest thing that kinda threw a wet towel on the whole idea was found in some rather chilling stats. Its a damn dangerous sport, ie, as in DOA potential here. It's not like everyone smacks themselves into mountains that takes this sport up, but, even hang gliders view it as a dangerous sport and hangliders seem to eat the mountain a few times every year. Reading the paragliding newsgroup was enlightening, one post detailed how they had been very pleased that theirs was the only country this year that had not had a paragliding death this year, but, they were very sorry to pass long the info that two people died that weekend. And, its not always rookies doing the big dive in the sky either, some of them are the best of the sport. Now, that being said, I do not mean to insinuate that everyone dies, because that is certainly not the case, the safety precautions taken by -anyone- in a paraglider are frankly very impressive. Its a well thought out sport, just rather risky overall. So, did all that take the wind out of my sail? No, not quite. It suppressed my immediate enthusiasm a little bit, but, I'll continue to look into this and keep you posted if I ever develop the balls to actually try this, it looks simply astounding, certainly one of the closest things to true flight available to monkeys. Go check this link out, there is a PILE of information on the sport, including accident reports, with tips on how to avoid the same accidents yourself....

Big Air Paragliding

Turn The Page

Various pages have undergone NO changes. Except for minor cam page tweaks. Again. What lazy dork I am! I have not written a single line of HTML past the marathon this weekend that resulted in the page you are reading now. However, I am beginning to contemplate some changes soon...

CDs of the moment :

Garbage, Version 2.0

Geeez, this CD is STILL in my CD player a lot. Also taken in this summer was the Garbage live tour. Highly recommended, it was great to see how they took a densely sound laden CD and translated it flawlessly into one of the coolest shows I have ever seen. Tremendously loud, truly great it was.

The Woodentops, Giant

Here's a roots trivia question for you, who did Roots Roundup open for in their very first show? A show at The Fabulous Commodore Ballroom, with The Woodentops and 54-50 in 1986. Sadly, The Woodentops are no longer around, but they were one hot band at that point. Very fast danceable music. I hereby offer a really nice dinner to ANYONE who can find me their second CD, Wooden Cops On The Highway, its simply brilliant and I only have a tape copy of it. PWEEEEEEESE!

The The, Infected and Mind Bomb

Matt Johnson's ability to paint a vivid picture in my head with his thick, crystal clear songs has always been something that I have truly enjoyed. The CDs are both from the late 80s, and Mind Bomb features great guitar work by Johnny Marr, formerly of The Smiths, who I utterly LOATHED except for the guitar work.

Book of the moment :

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

You know, I once thought that this book was actually serious? Of course, that was before I read it. Insanely funny, all five books of the trilogy are perhaps one of the funniest sci-fi books ever written, by Douglas Adams, who also wrote the two "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", which are ALSO worth a read. A classic quote from Ford Prefect, one of the major characters :

"My doctor says that I have a malformed public duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre and that I'm therefore excused from saving universes."
Ford on the suggestion he might help fight an ancient curse

Web sites of the moment :


I get the wierdest email sometimes from this site, including a long questionnaire from two engineers at Digital who obviously had nothing better to do than pour through the monkey site and ask obscure questions. Which, is fine by me, it brightens my day. In a non-weird piece of email, I got a note from the site above, which posts a picture of an ape/monkey/chimp every single day of the week. A worthy visit, it always gets a smirk out ta me and he will be building the site up further as time ambles along. I have no doubt he'll get it all done before I get another "a muse" together and online. The picture of the three monkeys higher up on this page came from there.

The Dr. Suess Purity Test

Have you done it on a boat, have you done it with a goat? You get the idea. Mail me your score for my own personal amusement.


Just a nasty page, but, of course, there are no pictures of me to be found there.

Lego Mindstorms

Very high on the geek christmas list this year. Imagine lego with a robotics module that you program with a computer. I smell a cat chasing robot in the works...

And that's that for now. Consider this an extra jumbo "a muse" for being SUCH a slacker this summer. I hereby promise to have another one sometime before I party like its 1999. cheers and thanks as alays for stopping by and send some email if you liked, disliked anything in this update. 8)

send some email and tell me how truly pathetic I am.

over and out, till next time... Previous "A Muse" Entries so that you can see if there is a pattern besides :

  1.    Prattles on WAY too much about kites
  2.    And music.

July 27th/1998

May 12th/1998

April 18th/1998

All of last year and some of this year