Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tiny Tim!

Tiny Tim on the Laugh-In show. Classic stuff.
Special thanks to all the listeners who called into CITR's annual pledge drive during today's show. Let's keep those pledges coming in!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama's Victory Speech

Obama's Victory Speech - A big day for America!
This morning, just prior to my weekly radio address, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking on the phone with President-Elect Obama and relayed to him Miss Pinky and my most sincere congratulations on his stunning victory and our best wishes to him for a successful presidency.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sarah Palin's Greatest Hits

Priceless moments with the ever erudite Sarah Palin.
PS - For what it is worth, I am predicting a convincing victory tonight for Barack Obama in the US election. It may well be a landslide.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FPM - Beautiful Days

Am sitting in my favourite Kitsilano Starbucks, watching the world go by and decided to post this video by Fantastic Plastic Machine. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Video of Rumble by the Urban Surf Kings. Sorry for the lack of new posts lately as my dad Eddy Velvet has been in hospital, and this has kept me busy. He seems to be getting better now, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for this trend to continue.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thievery Corp - Sound the Alarm

A live performance of "Sound the Alarm" from Thievery Corporation's upcoming album "Radio Retaliation", set to be released September 23.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Am just back from a few days of camping at Golden Ears Park. It was superb, despite the rain. Luna the Wonder Dog learned to swim, a major accomplishment! Here is a nice video of pinups to the April March song Chick Habit. Cheers. JV

Monday, July 28, 2008

Engine Work...

I recently started working on my big old car, a 1965 Oldsmobile Starfire convertible. As this car gets poor gas mileage, it is not my main vehicle. It is a second car, and is only driven in nice weather. Despite generally running well, the car has burned some oil ever since I got it last summer. And being semi obsessive, I wanted to see what could be done to fix this. While I did not want to do a full engine rebuild, I was open to doing a "little bit of engine work." Wasn't there a saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions? More on that later.

Several guys I spoke to said to start with a compression test, so I bought myself a new compression meter and tested the big Olds 425 Rocket V8. Turns out 7 of 8 cylinders had 150 PSI compression, which is good. The other cylinder was showing zero compression, which is bad. That would explain the oil burning. I spoke to engine guys about the compression readings, and most said it sounded like it needed a "valve job".

Most engine shops said about $ 1500 for a valve job, if everything goes well and you don't need too many extra parts. I spoke to my local garage and told him to get started, and he said he would call back once he had removed the cylinder heads. The next day, he called back and said that two of the cylinders needed rings as well, and that they would have to remove the block. Ok I said, the repair bill moving up as we spoke...

A day or two later, garage dude called me back and said, "why don't you come down and take a look at this. It's really easier if I show it to you in person". Uh-oh. That did not sound too good.

I steeled my courage and dutily walked over to his shop, and he showed me the now de-constructed engine, in its many pieces. Looking at your car with the engine removed and taken apart, is a bit like seeing one of your best friends with his head removed and body parts scattered about the room. It is a deeply traumatic event.

He told me that two of the pistons were quite damaged, and the rings needed to be redone, cylinders honed... By the time you are finished with it, it is close to a full engine rebuild. He recommended changing all the pistons vs. just the 2 damaged ones. After all, this engine is over 40 years old. I had him give me a price on the piston set and said that I would look into finding some parts online. Ultimately I was able to find a guy in New Jersey, who specializes in engine rebuilding kits for old V8s, and had a very complete kit of parts at a very good price. Much cheaper than we could get in Canada. I told my garage guy what I had found and said that we pretty much had to order the parts through the New Jersey company as the savings were substantial. Ok then. Parts were ordered. We have been awaiting the parts now for just over 1 week.

Over the weekend, I went over to the garage and degreased the engine block as I want to get it super clean and then paint the block, so that it not only runs better but actually looks nice too. I also took the exhaust manifold home, wire brushed it, painted it with high temp engine paint. It looked really nice, and I noticed that the directions tell you to put the piece into a 600 degree non-household oven. They don't want you cooking the paint in your house because of the fumes. Hmmm, where was I going to find a suitable non household oven? Maybe my bbq would work. The more I thought about this, the more I found this to be a fantastic idea. So, the exhaust manifold paint got baked for 1 hour at 550 degrees in my bbq! I figured this was quite ingenious, and wondered if many other people have cured newly repainted engine parts in a bbq?

So here we are nearly two weeks after we started. The car is still in the shop, still in pieces. We are still awaiting parts from NJ which are expected in tomorrow. Hopefully the car is back on the road by the weekend, which would be nice. I have been experiencing "big red car withdrawal" for nearly two weeks now.

The moral of the story: "there is no such thing as a little bit of engine work". Once you get that puppy taken apart, you have no idea what you might find. As the boy scouts said, Be Prepared. Prepared for a big bill!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Latest Playlist

Playlist from July 16 Show:

Artist, Album, Track

ennio morricone, best of, good bad ugly
marlena shaw, verve remixed 4, california soul
nina simone, remixed & reimagined, aint got no i got life
ella fitzgerald, verve remixed 4, i get a kick out of you
doors rmx thievery corp, versions, strange days
johnny osbourne, truths and rights, children are crying
johnny osbourne, truths and rights, can't buy love
wayne mcghie, jamaica to toronto, fire
patrick hernandez, disco nights, born to be alive
dubmatix, renegade rocker, peace and love
herb alpert, rewhipped, whipped cream
jazzamor, euro groove, nuit magique
twilight circus dub sound, essential collection, rolling thunder
mouss et hakim, euro groove, mina
young holt unlimited, best of, soulful strut
Ray Charles , Anthology, I Dont Need No Doctor
monkees, best of, kicks
John Buzon Trio, Bachelor Pad Royale, Caravan
mariachi los camperos de nati cano, amor dolor..., flor de azalea
kiss, best of, i was made for loving you
donna summer, best of disco vol 2, i feel love
king khan & shrines, supreme genius of, outta harms way
eddie , pernambuco comp, pode me chamar
sergio mendes, encanta, somewhere in the hills
Dubmatix, Renegade Rocker, Happy dub
dubmatix, renegade rocker, burning fire dub
vanduras, big waves, la planche
ramblin ambassadors, vista cruiser, lonesome rambler
deadcats, cathouse blues, munsters theme
flight of the conchords, same title, fou du fafa

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Ride in the Country

A nice ride in the country in Jack's Urban Roadster. Fathers Day 2008 with Eddy Velvet Sr, Miss Pinky & her Dad, and Luna the Wonder Puppy.

Havana 3 AM - Reach the Rock

Havana 3 AM was a great band that made one or two albums in the early 90s.
I often play a track called "Hey Amigo" on my show.
Great stuff. Too bad they did not do more together.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jack Velvet's Aquatic Revue !!

My sister, Pavelka Velvet watched my recent Sip n Dip video and told me I reminded her of Esther Williams. I had no idea who this was. So I did a YouTube search and found the following video showing Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban in Neptune's Daughter.

Consequently, I am now thinking of producing a fabulous new show, Jack Velvet's Aquatic Revue. More to come on that shortly.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A New BBQ is Bought

Your Tired and Weary - My old BBQ

The New Model

For several years now, I have been lusting after a new BBQ. But being the cheap bastard that I am, I kept waiting to see a good sized bbq, in stainless, with side burner, for under $ 400.00. I have waited for many years, but I finally found it. For $ 299.99 at the Superstore, I have purchased a superb new stainless bbq with side burner and onboard storage.

My previous bbq has been serving me well since about 2001, but I must confess, as time has marched on, I have been feeling more and more sorry about the old Fiesta Regency 2000. Compared to todays much more fabulous stainless steel models, it looked so puny and out of date, and so lacking in stainless steel. Can you imagine me, Jack Velvet having to go through life without a stainless steel bbq? I can't. Eventually, I decided the old beast was bringing me down, and it was time to stop the insanity.

* Some Assembly Required!

Though I have many fond memories attached to the old machine, I was really looking forward to finally upgrading to the new. All this said, the old one is still a good bbq and probably needs a new home. I will be taking entries to find a deserving home for the old beast.

And now for the new bbq. 57,000 BTU, 3 main burners, side burner, and onboard storage for major bbq tools such as tank, brush, salt and pepper shaker on a stick, pellet gun, slingshot, etc... Mmmm, you can practically smell the meat cooking now.

The box weighed about 140 pounds. Miss Pinky had to help me get it out of the trunk of the car, lest I get a hernia or otherwise harm myself. There were a lot of parts, and the instructions were a bit complicated, but eventually, along with my tools, I prevailed and a new bbq was born. It was glorious. I burned it in for 15 minutes to get any chemical residues out of the thing, let it air out, and then later on in the day, made some inaugural burgers on the fine new machine. A veritable Fiesta of Fossil Fuels! The burgers were excellent. Eddy Velvet Sr. enjoyed them very much. With a full 57,000 BTUs of heat, I can practically feel the global warming now!

Which brings us to disposition of my former bbq. What to do with the old beast? I was thinking that in the grand scheme of things, I am lucky to be able to purchase a fabulous new bbq. But what about those poor lost souls struggling without a bbq to call their own? I am therefore launching a grand new philanthropic endeavour, the Jack Velvet BBQs for Bachelors Project (JVBBQBP). The Jack Velvet BBQs for Bachelors Project is dedicated to donating used bbqs to deserving inner city bachelors who can't otherwise afford to get a decent bbq. This project promises to bring much meat mirth to many men, who would otherwise be shivering in the dark, without any means of properly browning burgers, steaks or other red meat. If you have recently purchased a new bbq, please consider donating your old model to the JVBBQBP to help some poor deserving bachelor in the inner city to get a working bbq. This along with the Jack Velvet Home for Unwed Fathers in Las Vegas Nevada, which sends deserving inner city bachelors to Las Vegas for a weekend of wine women and song, will form the centrepiece of Jack Velvet's philanthropic efforts for 2008.
Please help us make a difference for these forgotten souls.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sip n' Dip Lounge

Last weekend, Miss Pinky and I, and two of our friends, drove 1700 miles round trip to go to the Sip n' Dip lounge, a great tiki bar in Great Falls, Montana. The bar features a window looking into the swimming pool, and a mermaid show at night. It was great fun though I am still recovering somewhat from the long drive and late partying. There is lots to see along the way as well. We made stops in Coeur D'Alene ID, Wallace ID, Drummond and Helena Montana to name just a few of the places. Excellent outing.

Copacabana by Scopitone

Beautiful Scopitone video starring some German guy. Scopitone
was a line of video jukeboxes available in the 50s and 60s. There
were a huge number of early videos done by various stars
of the day.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Womens Roller Derby in Bellingham, WA

I went to see the Bellingham RollerBetties roller derby last weekend.
It was a great show and good fun. Bellingham is about a one hour drive from Vancouver. You can find out more about the RollerBetties at


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beware the Beret and other Tales

11:10 am - Starbucks in Kitsilano

Am sitting in my usual Kitsilano Starbucks having my usual beverage, and watching the world go by. A 50-something guy who looked particularly casual (perhaps on the way home from his yoga class) just walked by wearing a beret. Actually it was not really a full beret. More like a faux beret. In fact, it was really a cap that when worn backwards as this retrosporty fellow had it, gave the impression of being a beret. Either way. I digress, the point is it looked like a beret.

For some reason I have a distinct distrust or fear of men with berets, unless it is part of a military uniform. I suppose I do not fear them so much, as I figure they may somehow be more in touch with their feminine side or overly stylish, and therefore perhaps less potentially dangerous in any sort of physical altercation. I may not fear them, but I do distrust them. Why is this I wonder?

Could it be because I think they may be secretly French? This is possible. After all I do have some minor distrust of the French, as I did recently get stuck for 6 months in a French island in the south pacific, while I extricated my father from the avaricious tentacles of the French tax man, and myself from the Kafkaesque French bureaucratic nightmare that had me trapped. Eventually I did prevail and escape, but it colored me somehow. Some people fear the Americans. I fear the French.

Anyways, for whatever reason, I find the beret troubling. Just like people playing the flute, or riding unicycles in public. I distrust them all.

11:25 am
I checked online and it looks like the stock market is up smartly today. Always a good thing. A bunch of kids from the local High School are now streaming in. More girls than guys. Quite a gaggle of them. Some pretty, some not. All shapes and sizes, and many quite noisy.

Where do the high school guys go? Apparently not so much to the Starbucks. Are they eating pizza up the road? Playing video games? Chasing skirts? One can only hope. High school kids are funny. Some of them look nearly like adults, but typically speaking, it is an awkward age. Not one I would care to repeat myself. They have my sympathy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Jack Velvet Report - Episode 1

Inaugural episode of The Velvet Report. More coming soon.
Includes music and other video clips related to the radio show.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Ski Day

We had quite a day today. Were up at the crack of 8 am (actually a bit later than I usually rise), to get ready to go skiing at Mount Baker, the local capital of fresh snow.

Pearl got off to school around 845, and Miss Pinky got back to the country house around 905 am. We got Eddy Velvet ready for an exciting day of driving up to and hanging around the ski lodge. He always enjoys the ride. Left the house around 1015 am or so. The drive up was uneventful, but quite beautiful. As you rise, you go from warmish spring conditions with no snow, to major midwinter snow. Once up the lodge base, there is tons of snow, and fantastic scenery.

Baker is a great place to ski, as unlike Whistler, it is not so crowded, and they typically get lots of fresh snow all the time. The conditions were very good. Beautiful snow, no ice. Superb. As we got higher up the hill, the snow went from sticky to nice and fluffy.

We skied for the afternoon, and I tried once again to shoot some nice video while skiing. Tried my homemade steadicam for the first time skiing. Watching the video now, I can see it is still shaky. Next time I will try the steadicam on some flatter runs, that you can cruise at full speed for a smoother video experience. Maybe next time...

We had a lovely afternoon and skied till the end of the day, and then returned to the ski lodge only to find Eddy Velvet with a ski bunny in his lap... He wishes! Stopped in Glacier WA for a mocha at the local coffee shop and raced back to collect Pearl and Luna who had both been kenneled for the day.

730 pm finds us watching Pearl's new Spice Girls video for the umpteenth time and I am about to mix my second cocktail, or as the French say Le Deuxieme Cocktail.

The ski day is always quite tiring, and I may fade early tonight. Perhaps that cocktail will help me stay awake. Yes, and maybe purple monkeys may suddenly fly out of my ass. Hope springs eternal!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sponge Bob vs. Pump It

Sponge Bob mixed to the Black Eyed Peas. Well done.
I am a huge fan of Sponge Bob and have seen all of his movies!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Is Nicole Kidman turning into a Bat???

Nicole Kidman has used Botox injections so much she is giving the cosmetic medicine industry a bad name for creating a "bat face" look, a leading Canadian Botox expert has claimed.

The Hollywood star, 40, has denied using the anti-wrinkle treatment, recently saying her look is "completely natural".

But Dr Martin Braun, one of the largest proponents of Botox on the American continent, insists there is no doubt Kidman has been an "enthusiastic user".

When I look at the picture above, I can not help but note the incredible resemblance between the two pictures. In fact, if I cover one eye, I am hard pressed to tell who is who, or which is witch!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday Evening

715 pm:
Well as always, it has been quite a day. Got up at 505 am, and got ready to go into Vancouver to do the radio show. Got in on time as has been usual lately. But one never knows, as traffic can be very unpredictable. The show went fine, and I am now sitting on the couch with a cocktail, listening to the show, and typing my blog entry on the laptop. I always listen to the show later so that I can hear how it sounds each week... This is very important. The experience you get from listening to the show, is very different from how the show feels when you do it live. Some shows feel better than others, but it does not always affect the sound... So far, todays show sounds good. Phew.

Anyways, the show seemed to go well, and I then left the lovely UBC campus, around 10:20 and went for a meeting, in this case, to see my accountant to go over last years taxes. Well, what do I find, but that my new accountant who only recently took over from her then retiring husband, is now retiring herself!! This is deja vu all over again. Too many late early middle aged people having career changes and rediscovering themselves, if you ask me! Now I am being passed on to another new guy. I hope this guy sticks around for a while. Perhaps the key message is for me to get a really young accountant who wants to stay in the business for more than a few years! Maybe some sort of hot, buxom CGA in her twenties. Yeah, that's the ticket...

Exchanged pleasantries with the new accountant for a time, and then left into the spring-like conditions and beautiful sunny day in Vancouver. Went over to my standard Starbucks in Kitsilano, and drank overpriced coffee for a time, while checking stocks and stuff on the laptop, and read several newspapers.

Some 50 something guy shlumped into the place and was wearing sneakers with Velcro straps. At least he did not have toilet paper on his heel... I saw a guy with that classy look last week. Anyways, back to the Velcro sneakers, Pinky has promised to shoot me if I ever get to that point, as many consider Velcro footwear to be a Fashion Crime perhaps only one step above wearing sweat pants out in public, i.e. a statement that says "I can't even be bothered to dress myself". Normally I would be angry at such a person. For him, I only felt a deep sadness. I then had a brief moment of personal reflection, drew the appropriate lessons, snd settled back to my newspaper. After a slightly excessive amount of time at the Starbucks, I then headed off across town to drop off Barbie Velvet's latest pile of mail, prior to driving back to the EcoPod Complex.

Upon returning to the homestead, I found Monsoor Eddy Velvet Sr. in fine condition. Several of his girlfriends came in through the day to check on him during my absence.

Looks like Hillary is still alive in the primaries. Some talk today about a possible joint ticket. Who is on top?? Who is on bottom? Who pitches? Who catches? The age old questions...

Batman - The Gay Version!

What might have been, had Batman and Robin been just a bit more gay...
Very funny, somewhat profane... Enjoy.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ubelanga - California Coast Highway

Segment from Jack Velvet's epic cross country roadtrip film Ubelanga, a 3 week, 8000 mile roadtrip across America in a large open car. The original footage has recently been re-edited. Clip shows San Francisco and California Coast Highway to LA.

Ubelanga - Trailer

Trailer to the Epic film Ubelanga by Jack Velvet. Ubelanga was a gigantic 3 week, 8000 mile roadtrip across America in a large open car. The original footage has recently been re-edited. More excerpts from this modern cinematic masterpiece coming soon.

Ubelanga - Intro

Intro to the Epic film Ubelanga by Jack Velvet. Ubelanga was a gigantic 3 week, 8000 mile roadtrip across America in a large open car. The original footage has recently been re-edited. More excerpts from this modern cinematic masterpiece coming soon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Velvet Pussycat 1992-2008

Photo Taken Summer 2006 at Rancho Relaxo

It is with great sadness, that I have to announce the passing of a legend among cats. The Velvet Pussycat died Saturday February 23rd at approximately 1 pm. He lived a long and storied life, and was at least 16 years old. He and I had many great adventures together. He had an exceptional ability to predict weather, and would sometimes dress up as a Venice gondolier. He is sadly missed by all of us here at the Eco-Pod Complex.

I first met the Velvet Pussycat in May of 1993 at my mother Barbie Velvet's house in NDG, a district on the west side of Montreal. He might have been about a year or two old. He had recently taken to living under the front porch of the house. At first we thought he was just passing by and that he had somewhere else to live. After a time, we found out he was actually spending all of his time under her porch. So, we started feeding him, but my mother did not want him living in the house, as she was not ready to take on a cat just at that time.

I was about to drive across Canada from Montreal to a new life in Vancouver, and then start off in BC by living with my sister and her family for a short time. Her kids had some allergies, and because of that, I thought that even the possibility of bringing a cat along was a complete non-starter. I had tried to find some people to adopt the Pussycat, but had thus far not succeeded. I felt a responsibility for him because of the impending move, and because he was proving to be a very nice cat. So, I phoned my sister and asked what she thought of the idea of me arriving with a cat? To my great surprise, she said she was open to it.

And so, the die was cast. Rather than be a stray who was with me for a month or two, this was to become one of the two great cats of my lifetime, (one black one white - go figure). The Velvet Pussycat and I drove across Canada in August of 1993, and then lived together in several places in and around Vancouver over the next 15 years. He was an ideal companion and an exceptional gentleman at all times.

11 or 12 pounds in his prime, one of his many claims to fame was that he had slept with over 25 women!

This past Saturday, I had gotten up about 8 am and went up the stairs. As usual the Pussycat was sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for me to pass by, he would then wake up, immediately start meowing for food, and I would then go feed him. I fed him and went about my morning. Though he had been a bit sick earlier in the week, he had rallied and seemed in reasonable shape. Around noon, I left the house to go to the dentist and get a wisdom tooth removed. Miss Pinky and I were gone for about 1 and a half hours. I got the inflamed wisdom tooth removed (no small feat) and got back home highly addled and in extreme pain. Soon after we got back, Pinky called to me and said "Jack, come quick, The Pussycat is dead." I raced down the hall quickly, and found him lying on the bed, looking comfortable and lifelike, perfectly preserved. His eyes were open and clear. Even in death he still looked good. He must have died soon before we got back from the dentist as he was still warm. Pinky and I petted him for quite a while and both had a good cry together, and said how much we would miss the little guy. It was very sad. He has been buried in a choice spot just outside our bedroom window at Rancho Relaxo.

The Velvet Pussycat, he was a prince among cats, and he is missed.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bush Proposes to McCain

Shown above, a love-struck John McCain, gladly accepts George W. Bush's recent proposal! A November 2008 wedding is planned. The newlyweds will live in either Crawford Texas or Washington DC, depending on how the election goes.

Said the jubilant McCain, "he likes me, he really likes me!"

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Long Lost Friend Calls

I came home a few days ago, and noted that there were a few voice mails waiting. Looked like they may have been there for a while. One was for my mother, Barbie Velvet, and I promptly forwarded it on to her in Vancouver. The second message surprised me. It said "This is Marcel Gagnon calling, I will call back another time". He did not leave a phone number. Luckily my phone has numerous space age features, including caller id, and I was able to easily get the number.

Marcel Gagnon was one of my father's best friends, top salesman, and also a business partner in his clothing manufacturing business in the 60s and 70s. The last time I spoke with him was about 20 years ago in Montreal. As one of my dad's best friends, he was basically like an uncle to me when I was growing up.

Eddy Velvet was a successful clothing manufacturer in Montreal for about 30 years. In 1978, he left Canada and his company behind in Montreal, and headed off to sail around the world with his girlfriend on the 42 foot schooner Belle Poule. He did not quite make it around the world. But he did get half way, ended up in Australia for about 5 years, and then moved to the French island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, about 1000 miles north east of Australia, where he lived for the next 18 years, and rebuilt his fortunes.

In 2003, we learned that Eddy was no longer able to manage his affairs, and it fell to me to go and get the old guy, and pull the plug on his independent life. He was 76years old. I had to travel to New Caledonia, sell off all his assets, pack him up, and return him to Canada. A huge job. He had been out of Canada for 27 years. He had two houses to sell, and the French system of property sales and transfer is a very slow moving monster. There are no firm closing dates as we have here. I thought I would be there for 1 month and I ended up having to stay for 6 months, to make sure all the sales closed properly!! Very slow system. Ultimately we prevailed and flew home to Canada. 6 months I had to stay there. It was hell. A lovely tropical hell, but hell nonetheless. In New Caledonia, you can not buy relish. 20 kinds of mustard, and no relish! How are you supposed to eat a bbq burger without relish? I dont even think the French have a word for relish. This is sad. I digress.

Eddy Velvet returned to Canada in 2004, and now lives at home with me. I have been taking care of him since that fateful day in 2003 when I was sent to get him. This works reasonably well with my lifestyle as I work from home anyways.

Some time soon after Eddy's return, I tried to track down his old buddy Marcel, as I was sure they would love to talk. I looked him up online and as you might imagine, there are a lot of Marcel Gagnons in Quebec... I called up a few of them, but to no avail, and I did not find him. I was not even sure if Marcel was still alive, as when I last spoke to him he was a big drinker and smoker. I had basically given up on finding him.

So when I got Marcel's phone message, I was naturally pleased to find out he was still alive, and that the two old buddies would finally be able to talk after 30 years. I phoned Marcel's number and got a machine, left a message. It was Super Bowl Sunday. He phoned back after the game, but I missed his call. So yesterday, I called him back. He was very happy to get my call. Turns out he gave up smoking and drinking years ago and is still super sharp mentally. A stroke or two have cost Eddy Velvet a fair bit of his memory. So it is always interesting to me to find people who knew Eddy Velvet in his prime, and can illuminate some of the darker corners of his adventurous life.

I brought Marcel up to speed on Eddy and my current situations, and then I put him on the line with Eddy. They were both very happy to talk. Eddy always gets all teary eyed at this sort of stuff. Turns out Marcel is quite a bit younger than Eddy. Marcel is 71, and Eddy is 80.

I asked Marcel about all sorts of stuff from back in the day, and it turns out his memory is as sharp as a tack and he still stays in touch with a lot of people from his old days in the "Schmata" business. His wife had died about 20 years ago. His two boys, Ricky and Paul both live nearby, and are doing well. Marcel is retired and lives in a condo in Montreal. He is also the administrator of the condo complex just to keep a bit busy at something.

Eddy and Marcel did a lot of business back in the day, and also got up to all sorts of crazy shenanigans. They had a great time catching up on old stories. Marcel even mentioned that he might want to visit some time this summer. That would be great. I will have to phone him back and capture more of those great old stories ad part of my ongoing research into the somewhat mysterious past of Eddy Velvet Sr.

Because he forgets things so easily, I kept asking Eddy through the rest of the day if he remembered talking to Marcel. He said he did, and kept tearing up, and saying how good it was to see Marcel. I had to remind him it was a phone call, but in any case the old guy was really happy about it.

The Rubberband Man

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Midwinter Madness

Well, it has been a hectic few days. The weekend was spent chez Miss Pinky, but we did not ski as we had planned. I have said for years that I am a fairweather skier, and sailor. This remains true today. The day we were considering skiing was Monday, and it was looking like crappy weather, so rather than drive up the mountain in heavy snow, we decided to stay home.
In other news, I have recently finalized the content for the Jack Velvet Barside Companion. More news on this as it becomes available. 178 Classic Cocktails for the Terminally Urbane.

I tried driving our uber riding mower in the snow on Monday. It ended up getting stuck in the snow on a minor slope! Maybe I can get some chains for the tires or something. Studded tires perhaps... In any case, I ran the engine for a while, and that is good. Good because: A) Running the mower may contribute to global warming, and could therefore lower my home heating bill over time, and B) It charges the battery.
Last year, I had to replace the $%#@-ing battery because I had not run the mower at all in 4 or 5 months. So this winter, I will try to run it every week or two. I may need to establish a men's winter riding mower racing circuit... The JVMWRMRC. How's that for a catchy acronym??

Today, I was unfortunately unable to do my radio show, as I had to be in New Westminster for a video shoot, and was otherwise racing around Vancouver all day on snowy roads. I will be back on air next Wednesday as usual.

Mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bachelor Cooking

With the departure of Barbie Velvet, who was here visiting for about a week, we are back to bachelor cooking. I am a lazy cook at the best of times, and I have to cook for myself and my father, Eddy Velvet Sr who generally has a good appetite. Tomorrow, Eddy Velvet and I will decamp to Miss Pinky's place for the weekend. There is talk of skiing.
I bought a few stocks today, at lower prices. Just wetting my toes here, but not fully back in for a while.

Most nights I can get a decent meal together, but alas, tonight I found myself a bit short of supplies, and had to resort to that old standby, bacon and eggs. I did them scrambled, with fried onion and mushrooms and spices, and of course, the bacon. It was good. Eddy Velvet happily gobbled them up.

Does ketchup count as a vegetable?

Sometimes I wonder.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Barber Shop

Am in Vancouver for the day. Sitting in a Starbucks which is currently being overran by a swarm of high school students who are obviously on lunch break. Drove in early as per usual. Dropped off Barbie Velvet at her swinging new bachelor pad in Van. Did the radio show 8-10, and then went to see my barber in Kitsilano. Nick the Barber, aka "swarthy boy". He is quite handsome, and is the only man authorized to cut my hair. Nick the barber is shown in the picture to the left, as is Eddy Velvet (file photo). I did not have to wait long to get into the chair. As usual, he only charged me the very reasonable fee of ten dollars, plus a tip.

I really like barber shops, especially old-school ones, where you look around the place and are not sure what decade you are in. I had a great barber in Montreal, Steve the Hungarian. He always had a copy of the latest Playboy in the waiting area. Priceless.

It is a gorgeous day outside, if a bit chilly. But it is sunny, dry and clear here in Vancouver.

The radio show seemed to go well, but I have yet to listen to the podcast. That is always the test.
Expecting to pack up Eddy Velvet and head south for the weekend, but not till Friday. We are talking of skiing on Monday again. Much to do between now and then. Like maybe start on those pesky income taxes... Grrr.

The financial markets are continuing to roil. Am glad I pulled the plug on my holdings before the worst of the panic took hold. This downturn will last a while, and I for one, am hoping things continue to drop in price, so that I can buy back in at a later date at much lower prices. Patience.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Night

The night before the radio show... Research is now done. Soon will hit the hay. GWB phoned me again recently, in the middle of the night, wasted. He wanted to know what to do about the subprime mess. I told him to pray. To slaughter a goat, and oh yes, to lower the interest rates by 75 basis points. Eventually, he got it. George really should not drink. He gets really slurry, and a bit irrationally exhuberant.

Barbie Velvet has been visiting from the city since last Friday. She has been very helpful as usual. And Eddy Velvet Sr. is always terribly happy to see her.

Miss Pinky and I made homemade pizzas on the weekend with pizza dough imported from Trader Joes in Bellinham. It was superb. Eddy Velvet loved the pizza. We watched the Bourne Ultimatum on DVD. It was egg-cellent as well. Also, I got 224 new pictures printed at Costco (about 2 years worth) from my camera memory card, and put them all into a new album. A bit tedious, but well worth the effort.

The weekend saw plenty of nice clear weather (though slightly chilly). We drove from the eco-pod complex into Vancouver on Saturday. Because it was clear and dry, we were able to take the big red car out several times. Luna still hates the big red car. We took the dog up to the dyke for a walk and threw the ball for her again and again. Chasing the ball like a mental-case is Luna's Happy Time. A fine time was had by all.

I saw some guy in a Prius in the parking lot at Safeway.
In the big red car, he may have seen me as the Antichrist!

All for now. Must get my beauty sleep.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Market Mania

Well this year so far has been a real downer in the stock markets. Blood in the streets so to speak... Much red ink on the TSX since January 1. Yesterday, I did something I have not done in many years. I sold ALL my stocks. I never sell all my stocks. But I did it anyway. The idea being to buy back in at lower prices in the future. I suspect that things could be pretty ugly till the fall or so. Hopefully not much longer than that. For now, I am on the sidelines, watching the carnage.

In fact, I thought of doing this 4 days ago, but was talked out of it by a broker friend.
As of yesterday, I just decided to pull the plug for a time.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Eddy Velvet Turns 80!

Well we had quite a weekend.

On Friday night , I packed up Eddy Velvet, and trudged off to Miss Pinky's ranch for the weekend. I was very pleased not to have to put up with the usual formalities upon entering the United States. Many thanks to those that helped this happen.

Friday night was uneventful. We watched "Best in Show" on DVD. More hilarity from the creators of "A Mighty Wind", and other mockumentaries. A fine time was had by all.

Saturday was Eddy Velvet's 80th birthday, and it was enjoyed in high fashion with the requisite dancing girls, hookers (just one actually for the birthday boy himself -kidding!), cake, drinks, guests, fireworks, and fanfare. Eddy kept asking whose birthday it was, and was always terribly happy to find it was his own!

On Sunday, we took our house guests and Eddy Velvet up to Mount Baker for a fine day of skiing. For those of you who have never skied at Mount Baker, you owe it to yourselves to try it out. Here is a link to their snow report:

Eddy Velvet last went skiing in the Laurentians, north of Montreal, in 1978. He spent most of the next 30 years in the tropics. Despite the fact that he is in a wheelchair, with significant memory loss, he is happy to tell everybody that he is a good skier! It is good that he still believes this. He probably gets as much out of being driven up to the hill, and sitting in the lodge with a bunch of skiers, as he would out of actually skiing himself.

He was all teary-eyed in the lodge all afternoon, saying "I haven't been to a ski lodge in 30 years!!" I had to keep reminding him that he was actually at the same ski lodge a mere 2 weeks ago. His amazement remained undeterred. After a fine day of skiing, we drove back to the ranch, and promptly fell asleep early after a fine home-made lasagna brought to us by our guests Lois and Allan.

Monday finds me still at Miss Pinky's place, but will return to the ecopod complex later today.

All hail a weekend well spent.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

825 pm - NH Primary Post Mortem

Watched Hillary's speech. She sounded pretty good. I suppose rumours of her death were a bit premature... When she said by listening to New Hampshire that she found her voice, it seemed a bit contrived. Did Hillary's much publicised tearing up yesterday help make the difference with NH women? Could be.

Is this some new better, stronger, faster "I am Listening" Hillary??

Only time will tell.

Over and out. Must do research for tomorrow's radio show.


750 pm - NH Primary

Well I guess I had it wrong on Hillary. She won NH after all. It seems the recent polls had overestimated Obamas strength in that state. Hats off to her for a fight well fought.
Barack is just starting his speech. Time for cocktail number 3. Eddy Velvet is in good form.


Blog is Created!!

Well here it is, my inaugural posting. What to say? A bit hungover today, as I got a bit carried away with my celebration of new computer monitor last night. Today is the New Hampshire primary. My prediction: Obama wins big for the Dems and Hillary goes into negative mode, and also tries to shed her Robo-Woman like campaign of recent days. By the end of February, expect Hillary may have exited the campaign. Expect John McCain to do well for the Republicans in NH today. More news later on.