Lonely Santa and other random snapshots

12/03/06 | by silverso | Categories: Photos

I don't want to come off sounding like an old fart, but when I was a kid the Eaton Centre's Santa Castle was truly something to behold. The only thing more impressive than Santa's five story tall home was the mile long line of kids waiting to sit on his knee. As you can see above, these days Santa seems to have fallen on hard times. Santa even lost his big chair and now has to make do with a crappy little white bench. Who can blame kids for ignoring him?

While on the subject of how much better Christmas was when I was young, let's take a look at the display windows outside of the Bay. I still remember when my grandmother would take my brother and I down to Simpsons (now the Bay) this time of year just to look at the cool animatronic Christmas dioramas out front. Some time ago, the store sadly decided to do away with this tradition. Well it appears that this year they are back! Well, sort of. Instead of Santa and Rudolph the displays now feature characters from the pseudo-Christian movie Narnia. Apparently this is actually the second year the Bay has been schilling for Narnia. Bah humbug.

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Stuff I've seen over the last 3 months

11/18/06 | by silverso | Categories: Photos

Baby goats and tractors

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Vlog #16: Maybe Tomorrow

11/17/06 | by silverso | Categories: Videos

Remember way back when this used to be one of the first "Video Blogs" on the net? No? Well I guess it has been a while since I uploaded a new video. I really didn't shoot much footage over my last year in Japan that wasn't wrestling related, so making this video was a bit of a challenge. Anyway, for better or for worse, here is my very last video from Japan. Enjoy!

Click here to download this video to your computer (Windows Media)

In addition to the usual Noheji & Hirosaki stuff, this one features footage from my travels to Shanghai China, The Great Wall, Vietnam and Cambodia. I really had the time of my life during my three years in Japan, and if I could have stayed longer I probably would still be there. Alas, my job is done and much like The Littlest Hobo it's time for me to move on to new adventures. Special thanks to Kate for filming much of this footage, and thanks to everyone in Japan past and present for putting up with me for so long. Gokoro sama deshita y'all!

Monkey Business

11/07/06 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts, Novelty Music

Link: http://www.myspace.com/toomuchmonkey

Many moons ago when I was a student at the University of Toronto I had a short lived morning radio show at the Erindale campus. It ended abruptly one day when co-host had a dispute with one of the managers at the station over some dumb fee DJs had to pay for the privilege of working there. Because my co-host was also my girlfriend, that ment that I had little choice but to resign as well, though I secretly wanted to stay. Radio Erindale was terribly run and I couldn't blame her for getting fed up and quitting. For one thing, the room with all the CDs in it was always locked because management was worried about DJs stealing CDs. As a result, the only music available to DJs was what they brought with them and a small stack of "Canadian Content" tapes kept around to comply with broadcast regulations. Since I graduated, the old studio was torn down to make way for a fancy new multi-million dollar student center, complete with a new high tech home for the radio station.

A couple of weeks ago my brother Andrew and his friend Geoff (Jeff?)
resurrected their old college radio show from McMaster/Western, but at my old campus. From what I've heard the new home of Radio Erindale (now called CFRE) isn't much different from the place I once occupied, and is anything but high tech. The equipment in the studio is mostly the same junk I was using 10 years ago, and DJs don't even have headphones available to them. If a DJ wants to put a caller on the air then only thing he or she can do is hold the mic up to the speaker phone. If the caller wishes to request a song, they'd better be looking for Canadian content because the CD room is still locked tight. Anyway, if it's Tuesday night and around 9pm Eastern time then click here and check out Too Much Monkey.

Speaking of monkeys, Luke Elliot in Aomori has posted a great new video titled "Monkey Wars: Episode 1" featuring scenes from my classic comic Let's Aomori.


10/04/06 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts



I couldn't have been more surprised or happy when Kate made this wonderful gift for my birthday last July. We both first learned of Tarako from the blog of Michinoku pro-wrestler Mango (now Bear Fukuda) who would post on his blog daily photos of the adventures of his own Tarako doll, his mysterious disappearance and their tearful reunion.

Goodbye Michipro

08/15/06 | by silverso | Categories: Videos, Photos, Pro-Wrestling

If YouTube is having trouble, or you want to save the movie then try this direct download link (Windows Media)

For our last weekend in Aomori Kate and I decided to check out not one, but two wrestling shows! First we saw an All Japan show in the same Hirosaki gym that we witness the infamous bloodbath between Gosaku and Mr. Pogo some time ago. Then we drove to Daisen City in Akita to say farewell to our friends at Michinoku Pro.

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Last Day in Japan

08/08/06 | by silverso | Categories: Photos

When in Japan, Richard Gere stays at the Dandy House.

I had a couple of days to kill in Tokyo before my flight home, so I did my best to get in as much "wacky Japan" as I could before landing back in "boring Canada".

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08/07/06 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts

From Akihabara

A Journey to the Stars

08/07/06 | by silverso | Categories: Novelty Music, Pro-Wrestling, Trains

A little while ago I wrote about a bullet train themed pro-wrestler in Japan named Hayate. One reason I did this was because I liked the idea of using both my train and pro-wrestling blog categories for the same post. Well, when I was in Tokyo killing time before heading home I found this Japanese wrestling theme CD which among other things contained Hayate's groovy theme song! Now that I've achieved the train-wrestling-music trifecta all that's left to do is to somehow find a way to combine those three things with McDonald's.

Here are the two tracks that make up Hayate's song:

Preamble (Sounds from the Tohoku Hayate shinkansen train)
The Song

While I'm at it, here's a funny version of Taka Michinoku's theme song for those of you that like your shamisen music laced with obscenities.

Bye bye!!

07/31/06 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts

This is my last post from Japan. Tomorrow morning I'm off for Tokyo, and then my status of local celebrity will be no more when I return to the mean multicultural streets of Toronto. What will I do now? What will become of Avoidinglife.com? Well, I guess you'll just have to wait and see.

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Avoiding life and teaching English in Noheji, Aomori, Japan


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