30 September 2010

Street Cred (and pictures)

Time/Date: 30-Sep-10
Location: F'ton

Relationships revolve around street cred. It's not about the rap game or anything like that. Whether in social situations or a business settings, everything you do can affect your credibility with others.

I strive for positive street cred. Every time I step behind the bar at Lava Vodka Lounge or contract myself out under Cloudbreak or write a post here or Twitter or even go fly fishing (river cred?), I want it make a positive impact on someone. For example:

  • In Lava, I aim to have people say the drink they're served is the best drink they've ever had. Whether it's a simple dirty martini or a classic Caesar or a Lava-exclusive Snowbird, I want people's minds to be blown. That goes for music played at Lava, too.
  • My duties while working under Cloudbreak as a geologist or logistician boil down to the following: get shit done, find stuff, mitigate fuck-ups. As efficiently as possible. That's it.
  • on 411#3 or Twitter, either as @CloudbreakELS or @FOAprostaff, I aim to entertain and/or inform. It might not always be positive, but readers will learn something from it.
  • While fly fishing, the river cred I'm striving for is that I'm not a fair-weather fisherman, nor am I a weekend warrior. I forego sleep to fish.  I've turned down jobs & shifts & contracts to fish. I volunteer or fundraise for conservation groups. I write a blog & take pictures for fly fishing. I just want to go fly fishing.
Side note: Conversely, someone may be a fairly successful business person, drive a nice car and have money to spend, but if they spend their weekends all coked-up, picking fights downtown, or being a slutty train-wreck drama-queen, that person has no street cred with me. Their rep is douchebag or drunken whore, and I won't recommend their professional services to anyone. Or serve them in Lava.

What do you guys do to build up street cred? Fire some examples in the comments section.

Now for some tunes & some pics from yesterday's trip to the upper SW Miramichi. No fish, but lots of fall colours. Yay! Fall colours! 

(I'd rather have pictures of fish than fall colours)

I wasn't gonna let a staph infection keep me down. River cred points? I think so

28 September 2010

One month in...

Time/Date: 1430, 28-Sep-10
Location: F'ton

Ok, it's been a month since I started this, so I decided to ask Daisy, my longest-running subscriber for feedback. She's the Head Librarian 'round these parts, so it can be safe to say she knows a little about writing. As a special thanks to Daisy, there's a little somethin'-somethin' for her to listen to below.

What does everyone else think so far? Hit me up in the comments section.

Here's the interview:

daisy, it's been a month since i started writing, i need you to fill out a comment card via FB chat for me...
unless you're busy
FYI - like the canoe pic you posted. Must blow up and frame
what do you like so far?
canoe pic can be done in hi-res, leave it to me
I like the witty writing, hyperlinks and the length of the posts. My only complaint is you should blog every day ;)
k...what about content?
more or less of something?
No, I like how it is.
music selection: A, B, C, F?
B+ but I listen to folk, so what do I know?
ha..k. Point taken
Moving forward, is there anything you would like to see added or taken away?
No, I think it's great! Keep blogging about your world, that's what people like to read
Thanks, Daisy!

27 September 2010


Time/Date: 1650, 27-Sep-10
Location: F'ton

Election day in New Brunswick (NB Votes on CBC here). Very nice & sunny out. And I'm still really friggin' sick.

I was browsing my photo library a few weeks ago & picked out a few to share. I'm not a pro by any means but I'm learning. I currently just use iphoto to do basic touch-ups but planning to buy LightRoom 3 within the next week or so. I have thousands of pics that need to be sorted.

Becoming a proficient photog & fly tier are my tasks for this coming winter after fishing season end, so that's what will be frequently on tap on 411#3. As well as the usual fare of music, vodka & simplifying, of course.

Hope you enjoy the pics...

25 September 2010

Busy Week

Time/Date: 1600, 25-Sep-10
Location: F'ton

A lot of km's travelled this past week, not many hours of sleep to be had. Less than 15 hours from waking up Tuesday AM until bed at 4AM this morning, actually. Throw a doozy of a flu on top of that, too. Awesome.

But that's neither here nor there.

I'll be at Lava Vodka Lounge tonight. BTW, click the logo to check out the interview with Pauly Shore and Crash from The Fox. They throw me a little love and I even make a cameo appearance. A very unexpected cameo appearance.

Some of you might be wondering WTF I was doing with Pauly Shore. I'll tell you. Another time. I need to re-centre my Qi after 3 days of that (Qi pronounced "chee" for the unaware).

In between slinging out tasty vodka beverages and spinning some fun tunes (i.e., choosing a playlist & hitting shuffle), I'm going to try to pre-write a few posts I've been jotting ideas down for.

I will eventually be getting to post daily, or at least every second day, so that's what you're in store for at 411#3.

If you're coming to Lava tonight, this is what you're in store for:

21 September 2010

Digital Clutter

Time/Date: 2310, 21-Sep-10
Location: F'ton

An overflowing inbox and/or a desktop filled with files & folders can be causing unnecessary bullshit in your life, without you even realizing it.

I took the time a couple weeks ago to tackle my MacBook & rid it of digital clutter. This is what my desktop looks like now:

Any applications I use very regularly are kept in the dock, while others can be quickly brought up using the Spotlight keyboard shortcut (command + space on my MacBook).

My Finder & associated folders have been trimmed down and organized to be extremely convenient & easy-to-use as well:

I keep current projects in the root of the Documents folder; upon completion, I put them in the appropriate folders.

For email, I can proudly say there is only 4 emails in my inbox from 3 email accounts. I use the "OHIO" method (Only Handle It Once) as much as possible; if it can be responded to immediately, I do so (PS-I get frustrated when I send an email requiring a yes or no answer and end up waiting for hours or days for a response. Just sayin').

Whenever I fail on the OHIO-ing of emails, I usually take 5 minutes to go through and delete unnecessary or answered emails every couple of days or so.

I'm travelling the roads for the next few days so good road trip tunes are a must. One of my go-to bands for road trip playlists are Built To Spill. They have a newer album out called There is No Enemy that I keep forgetting to download from itunes but I'm fixing that really soon!

Here's one of their older tracks:

20 September 2010

Fishing Big Hole Brook

Time/Date: 2105, 20-Sep-10
Location: F'ton

Note: I won't be posting precise locations to public pools, only river names, etc. I will mention any sort of private water/lodge, etc that I fish by name, with contact information where applicable. Feel free to contact me directly for more specific fishing spots.

Bucky secured us another invitation to Big Hole Brook this past Friday, so after doing my cashout at Lava Vodka Lounge at 4AM Friday morning I went home and grabbed my gear and we hit the road.

Big Hole Brook pool is a jointly-owned private pool on the Main SW Miramichi; the half we fished on is owned by the same chaps who build Oak Ledge Canoes. It's a nice spot, and it's a deep-water holding pool where the salmon take refuge during the peak warm weather months.

View Larger Map

Weather was ok: minor drizzle, cool, with light breeze. In hindsight, I would have liked some lightweight long underwear as the water temps were cool, but it wasn't unbearable by any means. I was plenty warm up top with a Columbia fleece & my Arc'Teryx softshell (note: that softshell has seen 5 years of use & abuse and still is my go-to. Love it.).

Fish were jumping everywhere and had some size to them. We were told between 7-10AM was the best time; we weren't on the water too long after 7AM. Recommended flies were the General Practitioner, Ally's Shrimp and the Shady Lady.

And, of course, the only thing I caught was a damn cold...I had one solid take but didn't get the hook-set. Bucky didn't have much luck, either, hooking two chub.

Due to soggy weather, I didn't use my camera this trip, but some pics from previous trips to Big Hole Brook are below.

Here are some tunes by Hot Hot Heat, who are coming to town on Oct. 13th. I saw them at FredRock this summer and they kick ass (event details, tickets).

Yes. Salmon were jumping.

17 September 2010

Cab Driver Wisdom

Time/Date: 2055, 17-Sep-10
Location: F'ton

"Ya gotta change it up, can't keep doin' the same thing or y'all go fuckin' nuts."
- cab driver on the way to work tonight on switching jobs.

Behold, the prophet has spoken. Amen, brother.

And now, witness a living drumming legend:

16 September 2010

A little NB fishing (& blues) love for y'all

Time/Date: 1710, 16-Sep-10
Location: F'ton

It's Harvest Week here in Fredericton!!

Big Hole Brook, Storeyville, NB
But more importantly, fall fishing is starting to heat up!!! I'm slinging cocktails & dreams at Lava Vodka Lounge this week, Thursday through Saturday, and doing some dawn patrol fly fishing action at  Big Hole Brook on the Main SW Miramichi, so I'm not planning on sleeping too much over the next few days.

Below are a few NB fishing links to help you find the info and/or gear you need to hit the water successfully this weekend. Plus some tunes from local blues legends (and fans of Lava Vodka Lounge), Ross Neilsen & the Sufferin' Bastards. Ross & the gang will be playing on Friday & Saturday of Harvest, check out his bio & schedule here.

Doug Underhill's Miramichi Fishing Report for 16-Sep-10

Wilson's Miramichi River Report

My current set-up
Fredericton Outfitters & Anglers: Orvis Authorized Dealer, also carries my favourites in my current set-up: Fishpond, Temple Forks Outfitters rods, Waterworks-Lamson reels and Scientific Anglers' lines. Also a very wide assortment of locally-tied flies.

(Disclosure: I do promo work for FOA on Facebook & Twitter. We did a kick-ass photo contest, check out the pics here and here!)

I'll give an update & some pics of tomorrow's fishing adventure in the next post.

Tight lines, everyone!

15 September 2010

The Purge Continues...

As I wrote last week (Going Stalin on Clutter), I had already crossed off clothing from the black list. The next item for this week was paper. Receipts. Instruction manuals. Geology journals. Books. Tax documents.

Books were easy. Any book I had no desire to read/re-read were donated to Stanley Public Library through Daisy (pseudonym), a.k.a., my roommate's gf and also conveniently the librarian at...Stanley Public Library. It works out well: books can go on the stacks or sold to raise funds for the library.

Instruction manuals were also easy: recycling bin. Everything can be found online nowadays.

High Plains Drifter, checking out the scene in Deadwood, SD
Geology journals mostly consisted of Gold Prospector and ICMJ's Prospector & Mining Journal back issues. These publications seemed important to me when I was running around with gold panning gear in the High Plains Drifter in the Western US back in Ought-Eight. But not so much at my current time & place. Gone!

Onto tax, student loan, receipts, bank statements, etc. I decided anything with my name, address or any sort of account number would get shredded. Six hours over the course of a few days later, I am finished. I almost fried the paper shredder.

Side note: Revenue Canada, please do not audit me. I will not retain my records anymore. Your tax laws coddle the balls of clutter, and I refuse to follow them. Next year I might scan them. Maybe.

After the purge on clothing and paper, my room is ~80% clutter-free. I now have approximately one laundry-load's worth of clothing to my name, which makes it really easy to decide what to wear. And my filing cabinet has the bare minimum of paper shit inside.

How about some music?

A band called Explosions in the Sky. I have 3 of their albums. All instrumental. All awesome.

14 September 2010

Sights & Sounds of Montreal

Time/Date: 2020, 14-Sep-10
Location: F'ton

My gf & I went to Montreal this summer for a few nights. After driving or flying through the city about 18 times in the last 16 years, this was my first actual trip to Montreal.

We stayed at the Opus Hotel on Sherbrooke Ouest, and it was pretty swank. I knew of the one in Vancouver so I knew it was gonna be sweet. Plus we were walking distance to just about everything. A trip to Old Montreal & La Ronde was taken care of by the Metro. Was nice not driving for 3 days.

My awesome gf took me to Juliette et Chocolat multiple times. Her choice. Seriously. I wasn't that addicted to their milkshakes. And I finally got to hammer some smoked meat at Schwartz's, which was awesome!

This was also my first outing with my new Canon lens, the 55-250mm EF-S, so here are a couple shots (with some new Arcade Fire to go along with them).

A la prochaine...

09 September 2010

Crater Lake National Park

In my first year geology textbook, I saw a picture of Crater Lake National Park (Wikipedia entry here) in Oregon.

From that moment on, it was on my short list of things to visit. That something so naturally beautiful could come from a destructive volcanic eruption amazed me (btw, it's not really a crater, it's a collapsed caldera, but enough geo-nerd talk).

On May 31st, 2008 I visited the park on my drive back to Vancouver from the project site in Nevada. It was a little bit of a detour but one I readily made.

One thing I didn't count on was the park still being closed due to alpine winter conditions, with most of the roads & all of the campsites still closed.

Here are a few pics from my 30 minute tour of the place I waited 9 years to see:

Alpine conditions on the roads? I guess so...

Wizard Island on the left
Wizard Island
The trip was definitely not for nothing, however. I promptly left the park & hightailed it north to pick up my best (four-legged) friend from his foster home outside of Seattle. Awesome was in the care of American Brittany Rescue (though his dad is a greyhound) until we became a family (travelling circus?).

Awesome chilling out in Nevada
This is probably Awesome's theme song, but we're still working on changing that:

08 September 2010

Updated Web Address

After some hand-wringing and hair-pulling (not the fun, bedroom kind, either), I got the blog moved over to its new domain name, 411number3.net

There was a ridiculously helpful person with the user name nitecruzr on the Google/Blogger help forums that got me straightened out with some links to really complicated fairly simple instructions (once I read them 3 times).

Unfortunately the blogroll did not make the boat to the Ellis Island of 411#3, so that will be updated ASAP.

I promise, with all my heart, that I will post something informative, entertaining and relevant tomorrow.

Until then, how about some music?

A Scottish band my Cape Breton-born friend told me about while we were in West Africa that I'm sharing with you while I'm in New Brunswick. Get all that?

A demain, mes amis...

06 September 2010

Going Stalin on Clutter

Time/Date: 1745, 6-Sep-10
Location: F'ton, NB

I'm purging clutter out of my life & mind. As mentioned in an earlier post, I've been reading on simplifying & minimalism from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist and Everett Bogue of Far Beyond The Stars.

I will never claim that I am a full-on minimalist. Everett Bogue proudly proclaims he has 57 possessions. I have that many trout flies and I'm not giving them up (except to fish...or snags...in a river). And I can't really see myself biking to Juniper, NB to go salmon fishing in October, so my truck (the High Plains Drifter) is staying, too.
Stalin's expertise can be applied to decluttering?

But I do have a pile of crap that I don't use and/or need. I'm going Joseph Stalin on clutter.

First on the black list is my room. More specifically, clothes.

Phase 1 was a few odds & ends that didn't need to fly back across the Atlantic Ocean. This included 2 dirty t-shirts, a $4.50 pair of flipflops and torn socks. A few books & magazines also stayed behind to entertain the next wandering soul to find themselves in Ouagadougou.

Phase 2 occurred back at home and I did it quick, like ripping off a band-aid.

Motivational music is definitely required for this process. Try this:

I made two piles; one for donating, one for tossing out:

1 rain coat, 1 blazer, 1 fleece pullover, 1 hoodie, 3 polo shirts, 3 board shorts, 2 (barely used) synthetic workout shirts, gym shorts, cargo shorts, 2 dress pants, 1 chinos, 2 dress shirts, 3 t-shirts, 1 (unworn) cap, 2 belts, 1 pr dress shoes. And 1 John Lynch Tampa Bay Bucs football jersey :(

1 cargo shorts, 1 pr jeans, 1 shirt w/ ink stain, 1 l.s. t-shirt w/ holes, 7 t-shirts, 1 pr long-johns, 1 cap, 1 pr work pants, 1 pr North Face slip-ons (bad purchase!!), 1 pr of Blundstones (best boots ever).

I'm happy with the progress. So far.

But now, enjoy a picture of what J-Lo would look like as a tree:


Time/Date: 1355, 6-Sep-10
Location: F'ton, aka home.

Made it home after a very lengthy journey (29 hours total) and with only one minor meltdown. More on that in a future post, though.

I managed to successfully surprise my gf by coming home a day early with some co-conspirators in the form of her friends helping me out. It was fun and her reaction made me feel pretty damn good.

I'm in the midst of unpacking & starting my purge of clutter & getting ready to relaunch the fly fishing career & sorting pics from Burkina, so that's what's on tap for the next few posts at 411#3.

Enjoy some City & Colour.

03 September 2010


Time/Date: 0805, 03-Sep-10
Location: Ouaga. But not for much longer.

When I used to live & work in Vancouver, I told people my office had a view of the mountains and the water. I wasn't totally lying.

02 September 2010

Silly Signs, v1.0

Time/Date: 02-Sep-10
Location: Guess...

I like funny or odd signs. Here are a few from my photo library:
At least they didn't call the men lazy, too.
Thanks for pointing that out. Here I thought falling was always good times.
And...ummmm....ok then.

01 September 2010

Home Water: Nashwaak River Love

Time/Date: 1825, 01-Sep-10
Location: Still in Ouaga...

Seems my lovely Nashwaak River has been getting some press while I've been gone. Some of it is good (salmon counts), some of it is bad (littering. And more littering).

As a semi-active member in the Nashwaak Watershed Association, I spoke to the president regarding the issues of overuse & littering. I applaud the group's efforts of trying to educate users of the river system and putting forth the idea of designated access points.

I'm hoping this winter the NWAI will accept my offer of improving their website and online presence in a bid to increase membership & further raise awareness of the river system. But that doesn't mean I'm raising awareness of my fishing spots. There's 113 km of river out there, get a map, like we did.

I'm all for fun & shenanigans, but I hope some of the tubers will become active stewards of the Nashwaak. There is no place for littering anywhere in the year 2010.

Some pics of my home water & a musical interlude are below, enjoy!

Authors that Matter: Edward Abbey

Time/Date: 1440, 01-Sep-10
Location: Ouaga, BF

Ed Abbey is one of my all-time favourites. His book Desert Solitaire pretty much ruined me for any sort of normal, 9-5 Monday to Friday existence. A typical Abbey quote:

"Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards."

He left the following instructions for his remains after his death (from Wikipedia):

He wanted his body transported in the bed of a pickup truck. He wanted to be buried as soon as possible. He wanted no undertakers. No embalming, for Godsake! No coffin. Just an old sleeping bag... Disregard all state laws concerning burial. "I want my body to help fertilize the growth of a cactus or cliff rose or sagebrush or tree." said the message.

As for his funeral: He wanted gunfire, and a little music. "No formal speeches desired, though the deceased will not interfere if someone feels the urge. But keep it all simple and brief." And then a big happy raucous wake. He wanted more music, gay and lively music. He wanted bagpipes. "And a flood of beer and booze! Lots of singing, dancing, talking, hollering, laughing, and lovemaking." said the message. And meat! Beans and chilis! And corn on the cob. Only a man deeply in love with life and hopelessly soft on humanity would specify, from beyond the grave, that his mourners receive corn on the cob.

He was that cranky on national television as well:

I thought of Ed and his books frequently when I worked in Northern Nevada. He was one of a kind.