A1 Great! Part lies, part heart, part truth, part garbage.

three questions

What can I do when I run out of space on my desk? Gee, I don’t know, clean up your shit? For fuck sake.

How high should a man roll up his pant legs for summer? He shouldn’t. How can someone even think this would be acceptable?

Should I be mad that another dad took my son to Hooters? Jesus christ.

oh yeah mmm

Like you, dear reader, I have certain things that I never leave home without – wallet, phone, keys, gum. And since I am usually either riding mass transit, walking, or cycling while getting from point Home to point Wherever, headphones are an important accessory. Music is necessary, not only to make getting around more enjoyable, but also for its blocking-out effects – avoiding eye contact with people who’d love to talk to you about whatever while you share the bus is made easier with ears plugged.

I have always been one to use whatever came with my device du jour, or pick up a set of earbuds from the sale rack, or plug in whatever I find sitting around my house. I am currently rotating between some HTC-branded buds I found in a drawer (which is weird because I haven’t had an HTC product in forever), a discontinued Sony pair picked up at a discount at the Source, and some no-name things with a V on them. Not exactly discerning taste.

I have been thinking recently that I deserve better, given how many hours I put into using the things. And if not now, when, amirite? #yolo.

It was with this in mind that I strolled into my local Apple store, not because I am One Of Those Guys (though I cannot deny slowly turning into One Of Those Guys as I type this on my Macbook Pro, which I don’t love from an operating system standpoint, but the machine itself FEELS so GOOD on my FINGERS), but because they helpfully hang a bunch of their headphones on offer out for you to try on, listen to some music with, and look thoughtful about.

Sampler music for headphone testing purposes is found on iPhones connected to each pair. (This very obvious marketing ploy – make the potential customer handle the goods and they’ll want it – is the precise reason an Apple store exists in the first place.) As I scrolled through the various promotional tracks available on each device, I found absolutely nothing at all that resembled music I’d listen to, save for a few Beach Boys tunes (good lord) and some Sinatra stuff (which is fine, but not really my thing).

So, I gave Justin Bieber a try.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard Justin Bieber’s music before – I am in that middle-aged period of my being where I am old enough to make my own choices about consuming popular culture but not old enough for my kids’ own tastes to invade my personal space. Needless to say, top 40 music has absolutely no presence in my life and I am blissfully ignorant of what the kids are into these days, but no longer! For I can say, now, that I have listened to a Justin Bieber song.

It was… OK? He can sing. But if I judge him by his lyrics, I have to assume he has very few words in his vocabulary and is probably an idiot. Maybe that’s the point.

Anyway, I stopped in front of a half dozen pairs of headphones, giving each a couple minutes to make a new home on my head while contemplating the deeper meaning behind what Justin Bieber was singing. I dismissed the various Beats models right away, as I really can’t be seen walking around in something created to promote a celebrity rap person. I went back in forth with a couple Bose models before finally landing on the Bowers & Wilkins P3, which look good, feel right on my head, and sound awesome.

Not that I bought them – it’s my birthday next week, and they’re a priority item on my list of good gifts to give, so I was able to walk away from them pretty easily. The iPhone, on the other hand…


I moved over the winter, away from the southern end of the city to a more central, downtown-ish location.

I love my new place for a number of reasons, one minor one being added distance from the airport. Not that planes overhead really bother me all that much – it’s kind of cool to see those huge machines gliding in or blasting out, and a busy hub like Ottawa International has tons of people coming and going, plenty of opportunity to spot something small or large doing its thing in the sky. Still, it’s noisy business, and one day one of those planes is going to fail to defy gravity like it should, and the further away the better when that happens, as far as I’m concerned.

Not that all air traffic has disappeared from my life.

Living two blocks from the local general and children’s hospitals means that there’s a helipad in the very near vicinity, and though that particular circle of fenced-in concrete is nowhere near as busy as the airport, one can still hear and see the orange medical assistance helicopters doing their thing several times each day. When I see one emerging over the tree line or floating back home and precisely into place, I think it’s pretty damn cool how they do that.

Helicopter overhead

Then I remember what it is those people in that helicopter are doing, what their purpose is and what personal drama is beginning or ending for someone I don’t know in that aircraft, and it becomes just another thing I am grateful to have available, but would rather we could all just do without.

yours to photograph

Not quite as catchy as A1 Great, though I can understand why they’d want to cop my style.

A1 Secure, apparently yours to protect

young people

43 things that will make you feel old. 43, 38, 37, 32, 31, 30, 26, 25, 24, 22, 14, 13, 12, 10, 9, 8, 3, 2.

Not listed: having a weblog that you never post anything to any more. All of my not-young-people friends have those.