Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cool-Aid: Catching up with Weezer

During grad school, I fell behind with friends, movies, music... math... the list is quite long.

I missed several albums by some bands I had previously quite enjoyed: Supergrass, Weezer, The Tragically Hip, Belle and Sebastian, and Of Montreal to name just a few.

Recently I've been playing catch up. Two weeks ago I caught up on the three most recent Belle and Sebastian albums (they're good). This week I picked up the two latest Weezer albums; Raditude, and Hurley. Last time I bought a Weezer album I was also playing catch up. I got Maladroit and Make Believe just before the Red Album came out. It didn't get much love from music mags but Make Believe is probably my favourite Weezer album. It's got at least three songs that should be on everyone's top-ten-Weezer-songs list. *

Anyway, the new albums keep up the quality. Check out Kenny G helping out with Raditude's best song:

The other George Michael joins them on Hurley's best track "Hang On." The only minor quibble I have with this song (and, I admit, the reason I wrote this post) is the lyrics. If you're a Weezer fan, you probably don't mind silly lyrics. Even so, this line is just not right:
Over and over we swore it was over
but just like wild clover
love grows at light speed

No, it doesn't. Not even close.

The song is still great though.

*(or top 11)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Life in Knoxville: terrible parking edition

I remember a winter's day in Montreal, when I saw a Quebecer park his car about a half meter from the curb. He got out, walked around, and evaluated his handiwork: "quel tabernac de stationnement." Then he walked away.

People in my neighbourhood aren't much more careful about their parallel parking. When a spot opens up, often the next car will park slightly further out than the surrounding cars... after a couple of cars have done this, you get a situation like the one in this next photo.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Life in Knoxville: Hiking in the Smoky Mountains edition

About a month ago I hiked Mount LeConte, and stayed overnight at the LeConte Lodge. (About a month ago, as of Oct. 17th... Apparently, since I started writing this post a couple of week ago, blogger has timestamped it from Oct. 4th.)

It was pretty amazing.

It threatened to rain on the hike up the Rainbow Falls trail, but fortunately we just got drizzled on. (This was especially fortunate as my water-resistant backpack managed to keep my stuff mostly dry - I'll be buying a proper pack soon.)

Once we got to the lodge, I drank a bunch of hot chocolate and we played some card games while we waited for the slower members of our party to arrive.

There's several cabins, most have queen size bunk beds. Mine also had a single bed (that I slept on).

At the start of the season a helicopter brings up supplies (or so I'm told), including canned beef, which we were served for our surprisingly good dinner.

I met some interesting people while hiking, including a guy that grew up travelling around the country "showing" cattle ... at cattle competitions, I guess? Maybe at rodeos and that sort of thing.

After dinner the clouds started clearing up a little, so a bunch of us ran up to the summit to catch a cloudy sunset.

I also took video of the sunset, and I'll try to post it soon.

The next morning I skipped out on breakfast to hike down at 7:30 AM. This time we got completely soaked. It was raining so much, that I didn't get a chance to take pictures - but it was by far one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever been on. We had the trail (the Alum Cave trail) to ourselves, and at the Alum Cave the entire rim of the outcrop had water pouring off it. I just rehiked part of that trail today with my parents. I will post some of today's photos shortly.