Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Pipes - #138/365, originally uploaded by PJMixer.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I met Dan at The Toronto Downtown Record Show. What caught my eye was his collection of autographed albums, including quite a mix of artists, from Little Richard to Simple Minds and George Thorogood. But the last album in the crate was Wreckless Eric. The odd thing is that I'd downloaded one of their tracks called (I'd go the) Whole Wide World a while back because I heard it in a great movie. Dan didn't know this quirky little music tidbit, I couldn't remember all the details when I first talked with Dan. I made a point of going back to Dan and telling him it was Fill Ferrell who sung it in Stranger than Fiction Dan has a massive vinyl collection and got most of the autographs himself. Dan is also president of a record company called Flaming Cheese. Thanks for hamming it up for the camera Dan !

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour 2010

Earth Hour 2010 - #135/365, originally uploaded by PJMixer.


My son has an opportunity to do a two week school exchange next spring to Toulouse, France.  We had a meeting with the organizing teacher and the travel agent this week.  The travel agent was from Ellison Travel, based in Exeter, Ontario.  I hadn't heard of Exeter here in Ontario before, although I was pretty familiar with Exeter in England as they had a good speedway team back in the 70's (and I supported The Coventry Bees).

Later, the same evening, I started to watch Angels and Demons (which I'd PVR'd a few days prior).  In one early shot, Hank's character is seen standing in front of a large Exeter pennant in his Harvard office.

The Cars

My brother in-law is a massive music fan and loves vinyl (and he just bought a very old Dual turntable).  He told me about a second-hand vinyl show scheduled at a neighbourhood community centre tomorrow.  I'm thinking of joining him and on the drive home tonight I was thinking about some of the albums I have (to sell perhaps or to buy for nostalgic reasons).  I was recalling that The Cars' Candy-O was one of the first albums I bought when I frist came to Canada.

As usual, we were flicking around various radio stations on the drive home and as I'm thinking about The Cars, I switch to Q107 and they are playing You're All I've Got Tonight from The Cars' debut album.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kid's piano duet

Kid's piano duet - #131/365, originally uploaded by PJMixer.

Book extremes: Gladwell to Gaiman

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's third novel Outliers.  After reading all three, I'd say that Outliers is just as good as Blink, and better than Tipping Point, but as Outliers is most current in my head, it was just a fantastic, fascinating read and perhaps my favourite  non-fiction book ever.  I've been sprinkling in parts of the book into conversation with my wife, but find that it's rather difficult to summarize Gladwell's comprehensive life lessons into tea time digestives.  Sorry, you're just going to have to read it for yourself - but make sure we get together over a few drinks to talk about it afterward !  I've also been reading Gladwell's most recent book called What the Dog Saw, however it is a compilation of the his articles published in The New Yorker, as opposed to new material.  I have to say that Malcolm Gladwell is my favourite non-fiction author, his writing style is a simply a joy to read, full of colourful and interesting real world characters and he has just has an incredible knack of explaining very complex subject matter in a clear, entertaining and thought provoking way.  Needless to say, I'd highly recommend reading anything written (he also has a blog) by Malcolm Gladwell.

On the other side of the written-word coin is Neverwhere.  I found this book from my friend  Kelly who is a big fan and raved about the author Neil Gaiman on her blog a few months ago.  I'm only on chapter 3, but loving it already.  Again, the style of Gaiman's writing is easy to digest, but is also beautifully descriptive (and succinct at the same time) and the dialog does wonders for defining his interesting characters.  You may know a little of Gaiman's work becuase he wrote Coraline.  I recently watched this gem of a animated movie the other day with my daughter and really enjoyed it.  The fantasy genre, especially in a novel, is a little unusual for me, although I've read horror fantasy writers like Clive Barker in the past.  I do like some fantasy movies (like Pan's Labyrinth), but it's been a while since I've enjoyed escaping to wonderfully creative fantasy world every time a turn the page.  I mentioned the book and Gaiman to a friend from ultimate last night, and he was also a big fan and raved about his work.   Just as in the book, it turns out I've stumbled on a mysterious and marvelous new world - in my case the wonderful artistry of Neil Gaiman.  Time for bed and more Nerverwhere.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fairy light mall veil

Just before I was told by the security guard that I couldn't take photos in the mall.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

3 seasons in one

3 seasons in one - #121/365, originally uploaded by PJMixer.

More Champion

I heard a great Haiti charity song just this week on my friend's blog - it was a very gritty version of the classic, I Put a Spell On You.  As you may be aware, I'm a big of a band called Champion and I have all their albums.  As I was looking on iTunes for the track, on the first page of hits of I Put a Spell On You, I noticed Champion had a version of the song as a single.  Nice surprise coincidence.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wet street abstract

Wet street abstract - #120/365, originally uploaded by PJMixer.


A friend of mine in university once gave me the nickname Philthy.  For the record, she was a rather sloppy character herself.  I named a soccer team The Philthy Kickers and my first ultimate team I put together was called The Philthy Flyers.  My CKMS radio show was called The Philthy Show.  The name morphed into just Philth and some people still call me that moniker. My mom was never a fan of the name and today the name is perhaps a little like a poorly chosen tattoo you got when you were drunk once.  It's cool sometimes, but not really appropriate for someone who works in an office and has two children.  PJMixer seems much more my style these days.  Although I see the name quite often in my neighbourhood because there's a bar called Philthy McNastys, I was quite surprised to see that there are lots of references to Philth and Philthy on the internet.

I was at the Champion concert last night and DJ Champion (Max) was wearing a bright yellow t-shirt with Club Filth on it.


My wife was talking about music sensation Justin Bieber this morning.  I'd never heard of him before, it seems this young kid is just massive these days.  I guess my wife was doing a little research to find out what all the fuss was about, so she tells me about some stuff about him on a web site called TMZ.  Again, I've never heard of TMZ.

On the walk to the subway, I'm listening to Hedley's song Cha-ching (I saw their performance at the Olympics closing ceremony) on my iPod and he sings "watch TMZ".

Misstress Barbara

Mistress Barbara - #119/365, originally uploaded by PJMixer.
Opening for Champion and Beast at The Guvernment.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Andy - stranger #45 and daily photo #118/365, originally uploaded by PJMixer.

On my walk to the subway, I occasionally see this gentleman walking the other way wearing an Arsenal hat.  I'm an Arsenal fan.  Arsenal are one of the top football (you may say soccer) teams in the world.  I've been meaning to stop and talk to him and take his photo for my 100 Stranger project and today was a perfect opportunity as Arsenal had qualified for the quarter finals of the Champions League just yesterday.

He name is Andy and he's been an Arsenal fan for about 4 years which is about the same time I've been following The Gunners.  He remembers watching the 2004 World Cup and loving the game, not to mention the lack of commercial interruption !  He's originally from England too, but was only 3 when he came to Canada, although it seemed he hadn't really felt the football in his blood until 2004.  His family were Crystal Palace supporters and Andy wanted to support a London team, so he chose Arsenal.  We talked enthusiastically about Arsenal, football and sports in general for quite some time.

He hadn't seen yesterday's game, but reads a lot about football on the BBC's web site.  Andy loves the world of football, the UK newspaper headlines, the big business aspects, the politics, the personal rivalries, and the complexity of the various leagues (especially relegation scenarios - where would the Leafs be playing if the NHL had relegation?) and international competitions.  And of course, the passion of the fans.  He compared what he'd seen at a Univesity of Michigan (American) football game, the singing, chants and crowd participation with what is common with football (soccer) in most parts of the world.  He'd seen a lower league Colchester game a few years ago on a visit back to England and commented on the football way of life, traditions and importance of football at all club levels.  I couldn't help connecting his comments to some of by blog posting about
football, especially

He finds that hockey is full of chippy violence today and recalls there was far less violence when he used to watch the "original 6" play.  Another reason he now focuses his time on football.

Andy is #45 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Friday, March 05, 2010

Thursday, March 04, 2010

2 minutes to go - Ryerson Engineering 2010 Charity Bug Push for Sick Kids

2 minutes to go - #112/365, originally uploaded by PJMixer.

See the set Ryerson Engineering 2010 Charity Bug Push for Sick Kids for the full story.

I heard about this great charity event on the radio and made a point to go out and capture a few shots when they wrapped up their 24 hours on Thursday March 4, 2010.

Josh was the spokesperson for the group and the one in most of my photos. There was a large group of Ryerson University students on the committee and they had about 30 people help with the 24 hour push. They even got some people just passing by to help push for a little while. This was the 8th year Ryerson has done this and the 2nd year for this 1957 VW Bug. They had a pretty serious emergency this time around when the axle broke, in the last shot in the set you can see how they fixed it - the amazing thing, Josh fixed this while lying on his stomach as the guys continued to push it around the loop (and keeping with rule that the car had to keep for 24 hours).

Next year, they plan to have a bigger sound system. Well done lads. 

Concert announcement, Echo, PIL and Massive Attack

Just saw some very interesting concert announcements for Toronto.

Down beat electronica, hoping for more than just a DJ set, decent ensemble players and mix of singers (a la Thievery Corp.) would be nice

Massive Attack
Sound Academy
Toronto, ON
Fri, 05/07/10
more dates
On Sale  03/05/10

Johhny's back...

Public Image LTD
Kool Haus
Toronto, ON
Fri, 05/07/10

On Sale  03/06/10
Old time alternative...
Echo and the Bunnymen
The Phoenix Concert Theatre
Toronto, ON
Fri, 04/23/10

On Sale  03/06/10

100's and 1000's of strangers

I've been doing a photo project called 100 Strangers for about 9 months now and I'm up to over 40 strangers.  I  met Pam, #43 on Monday night before my ultimate game.  He talked about a lot of different things, including 100 Strangers and she told about her friend, Hilary Leung and his 1000 Stranger project.  Hilary takes photos of people in public spaces, then draws an illustration of that person.  He is exhibiting his work at a gallery starting this week on Queen West in Toronto - see his blog and website for details.  What a cool coincidence.

Heart of Glass

I have a playlist on my iPod that contains recently downloaded tracks.  Along with some new releases from Phoenix and The Courteeners (both great albums), I also just downloaded my 2 favourite hit tracks from Blondie's classic Parallel Lines album.  So as I'm listening to shuffled tracks from this playlist this morning on the way to work, I hear the line " all the girls singing Blondie with heart of glass"" from The Courteeners' Good Time are Calling.  Blondie had come to mind recently because of a few new bands that had some of that Blondie early new-wave sound.  So I had downloaded Heart of Glass and One Way or Another and those tracks were in the 41 song playlist.  Next track that my iPod automatically selected in the shuffle, Heart of Glass.  Beautiful.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


I was channel surfing the other night and paused briefly on The Rat Pack on HBO Canada.  I wasn't that interested, so I was ready to flick to another another station.  Instead if going through the on-screen guide, I was using the Info button so I could just scroll up and down to other channels.  Just as I heard one of the characters say something about "Spartacus", I hit Info and went to the next station and is showed Spartacus: Blood and Sand on The Movie Network.  Nice one Spartacus.

Oakville boats awaiting

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Monday, March 01, 2010

Dundas Street West March sunset

The importance of sport, The Olympics or your local footy team

Photo from
The 2010 Olympic Winter Games wrapped up yesterday with a massive party right across Canada as the Men's hockey team clinched the gold medal and put Canada in the history books with the most medals of a host nation in the Winter games.  After a fantastic, but stressful overtime win, I had tears in my eyes and joined my family for a quick walk along Yonge street to take in the party atmosphere.  I caught a few good photos and then finished off the evening watching the closing ceremonies.  I thought they were really good, especially with the comical, clever and heart warming opening in light of the mechanical failure during the opening ceremonies.  I thought the comedic segment was kind of quirky, but it worked for me (but not sure if the rest of world appreciated it as much).  The musical finale was ok and pretty representative of popular music here in Canada.  I managed to see many of the Canadian medals live and must say I'm very proud to call myself Canadian and proud of all the athletes wearing the Maple Leaf.

Now, on to point of this blog post.  I believe that sport is the one thing we have in this world that consistently and unequivocally brings people together.  And I don't just mean at the global level of the Olympics or the Wold Cup.  In every town and city all over the world, people get together every week to play and celebrate sport.  For me, I have an ultimate (frisbee) game tonight.  Although sometimes it's a little hard to go out in the dead of winter for a late night game, once on the field, there are few places I'd rather be.  When I have to miss a game, it is very disappointing and takes a little chunk out of the valuable stuff in my life.

As I've stated previously, sport can bring a whole nation together for a common goal and we all share in the glory of victory or the agony of defeat.  When it's our local teams, the same rule applies, but on a smaller scale,  and after a hard fought game on your own sports field, the thrill of sport can create new meaningful, friendships.  There's a lot you can learn from the sports field, hey, that's why there's so many sports analogies for life.  But remember, life lessons also come from playing fair and having respect for your opponents.  I prefer team sports over playing an individual sport or working out at the gym.   One reason is the camaraderie, but the other is the feeling of commitment, the team needs you and you need them.  It's a lot easier to give yourself a break and not go to the gym when you're too tired or it's not convenient.  There has to be something pretty significant for me (family mostly) for me to tell my team I can't make the game. 
Could it be that sport in modern times has taken over the team building and fellowship of going to war ?  You may be able to say that world charities and coming together to help out victims of devastating disasters is a decent analogy to fighting evil and protecting those less fortunate, but you can't really count on (nor do you want to) have an natural disaster or deathly disease fundraiser every week.  That's just way too depressing.  But it's healthy and a valuable part of living, to fight for a common goal with our fellow men and women.  

In the closing official words on the Olympics, they ask for youth to reassemble in 4 years for the next games.  We need this regularity in our, often times chaotic lives.  We need to cheer on our local professional sports team throughout the season and follow all the highs and lows of the campaign.  We need to play with our teammates once a week to experience the unfiltered emotion of the playing field.  After each game, whether we win or lose, don't we always say "see you next week" ?  Take a photograph of a team after they've played together and you'll see a consistent look of joy, weariness, disappointment or relief.  You're rarely see hatred or loathing, or an expression on one face that differs to the expression of their teammates.  We're in this together and we'll bravely share the outcome.  Some people don't like the pressure of team sports, I feel that they just haven't found the right sport or group of players.  And a book or camera club just don't deliver the same things in your life. Take the worst guy on your team for instance.  You're not going to ostracize this guy, you need him to pitch in and play the best he can.  And you'll help him improve and yell words of encouragement from the sidelines.  What if your job was like that ?

But why stress youth ?  Maybe because we're in danger of losing the value of team sports in our society today as kids turn to more individual pursuits on their game consoles.  Maybe, the lack of team sports today is the cause behind the growth of gang violence ?  Gangs after all, fill the need to fight with your brother against a common enemy.  And this is perhaps why the line grays a little between team passion, national loyalty and bigotry, intolerance and hatred toward your opponent.  Occasionally we lose the plot and forget to acknowledge the skill and determination of the other team when they gain the upper hand one day.  And that unfortunately turns into violence on the field, nasty chants from the stands or post game hooliganism in our cities.  

Kids, join a team, it's good for you to play hard for your team, trust me.  But remember be as good a loser as winner, you can't win all the time.  And play fair. There are many kids in the world today that do want to play sport, but sadly many of them don't have the opportunity.  And that's why I contribute to Right to Play.

There is a lot more I think I could write on this subject, but that'll have to wait to another time.  Game on.

More photo sources:
Megapixel men of the mountain - photography at the Olympics.
Official photos from Vancouver.
Some spectacular Olympic shots from The Big Picture (