Locksmith to the Rescue!

I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined I would need a locksmith.

In fact, the only people I knew that ever used one, was when a seemingly well to do family moved into my neighbourhood when I was a kid. They had the locks on the house changed, re-keyed or something to that effect. Odd I thought, my dad is a handy guy and took care of those things himself. He would of viewed hiring a locksmith as a total waste of money. Having a company come in a do work like that around my house was looked at as a luxury, and it only happened if it was something we absolutely needed and couldn’t do ourselves.

Before I go any further, I need to thank the folks at 24 Locksmith Toronto now!

This is why:

So there I was, Toronto plunged into another deep freeze with windchill in excess of -30 Celsius. I came home sometime after 11pm after a night out, out my key in the door and all I heard was the usual sounding click when the deadbolt exits its latch in the door frame. I turned the bottom door knob and much to my surprise the door didn’t open. It took three more tries for me to finally realize there was something wrong with the dead bolt.

Not the kind of thing you want to be facing on a cold winter night.

At first I was a bit panicked.

It was late and I had no idea who I was going to call, spending the night in my car wasn’t something that would be particularly advisable on a night with temperatures as low as these. Aside from this, I didn’t even have a blanket. Staying in a hotel, didn’t seem like a cost effective thing to do. Any decent hotel room in Toronto would run around two hundred dollars, and I still needed to get my lock fixed.

I headed over to a local coffee shop where it was warm and toasty and began looking for locksmith.

I asked the servers if they had ever used such a service and explained my predicament to them.

One of them suggested a local company that they had used before, but they didn’t have the phone number.

Thank the powers that be for smart phones and data plans!

I found the company that they had mentioned and gave the folks at 24 a call.

Low and behold, the technician arrived at more door within twenty minutes. I explained the problem to him and in under two minutes he had picked my lock and opened my front door!

Needless to say I was thrilled to be in the house and still shocked by the fact that this tech made it look so easy!

After some discussion I decided to let him install a new deadbolt and have the problem taken care of right there.

I could have saved a few bucks and bought the lock myself and put it in, but the logistics of making a trip to the hardware store in the morning and leaving my house unsecured while I did it helped me make the decision.

I never thought about it much before, but I am definitely thankful that these guys were there to save my bacon! Canadian that is!

 

Canadian Content

Tor SkylineAfter careful consideration and the guitar virtuoso article. I have decided that this site would best be served my having Canadian content.

Musings about Canada’s largest city, Toronto (which many people do not realize is the fourth largest city in North America) and the surrounding Greater Toronto Area.

Toronto itself is Canada’s version of New York City.

I once heard a Larry King interview in which he stated that Toronto today reminded him of New York City in the 1950′s. While this may or may not be true I will take his observation and comparison at face value. I wasn’t on the planet in the 1950′s!

Toronto has a great and vibrant multi cultural population. People from all over the world now call it home. If there is one huge difference between Canadian and American mindsets it is the fact that America is truly a melting pot. Immigrants become part of the nations fabric and consider themselves Americans first. In the Great White North, immigrants are encouraged to keep their culture as part of their identity. If you ask a native Torontonian what nationality they are you will often get the name of the country that they were born in. I think this fact makes this city a one of a kind meeting place.

No conversation about this city should exclude its favourite sons the Maple Leafs hockey club. This team is what the Yankees are to the U.S. The Leaf’s reach extends far beyond the borders of this city, you can find Leaf fans from the Atlantic to the Pacific in every town and city across the nation. Nothing can unite this city quite like this hockey team can. For those of you who may be reading this that don;t know, hockey in Canada isn’t a sport, it is a religion. Toronto happens to be the Mecca of the hockey universe.

T.O. Has also become known, perhaps infamously for it’s mayor Rob Ford. His escapades, right or wrong, I’m not going to judge, have put Toronto on the world stage.

I still subscribe to the idea that any publicity is better than no publicity at all, to a certain point!

Like any good Canadian, I’ll sit on the fence on this one!

If you are interested have a look at a brief history of Canada’s largest city.

Virtuoso Guitar

Virtuoso by definition – A person of great skill, often applied to musical performers. A name given to many musicians without proper merit or consideration.

In the world of rock guitar this title has been given to many, but for me one guitarist tops the my virtuoso list. That is none other than Steve Vai.

Vai’s accomplishments are many, and started at a very young age. He attended Beeklee College of Music, it is unclear to me as to whether he actually obtained an official degree. None the less his musical and particularly his transcription ability caught the attention of Frank Zappa. Zappa in his own right was regarded as a musical genius and seemed to be content to write music for himself and so it seemed other musicians. Zappa’s works were anything but popular amongst the general public. Radio airplay was not something that type or music garners. Music for musicians!

Vai apparently sent Zappa a transcription at the age of 19 and it definitely caught his attention. I can recall reading interviews where Vai explained that he had to invent rhythm figures and find a way to make them fit within the time signature of the songs. These figures and rhythmic groupings didn’t exist in classical, pop or any other genre of music and were Zappa’s own invention. By 1980 Vai was touring with Zappa’s band, no small feat for any 20 year old!

Vai’s transcriptions were published in 1982 and can be found in The Frank Zappa guitar book.

In 1983 Vai released his first solo album flexable. One of the albums tracks called The Attitude song is one of the most memorable and was imitated by thousands of guitarists in the later half of the decade.

High flying melodic lines many of which were in harmony, were difficult to re create for most guitarists. Add to this the fact that it was recorded on an 8 track makes this cut even more astonishing.

After a short stint in the band Alactrazz, in which Vai replaced Yngwie Malmsteen, Vai landed his first commercial gig playing for David Lee Roth’s solo band. Roth had recently left Van Halen and was embarking on a solo career. Imagine, replacing Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie after leaving Zappa. Pretty lofty company for anyone, forget the fact that this was in a span of 6 years!

With commercial success came other bands and opportunities for Vai, he also landed a gig with Whitesnake at the height of the 80′s hair rock craze. While some of that may seem laughable now, it led to a long and fruitful solo career.

In 1990 Vai released one of his most important works, entitled Passion and Warfare. This firmly established Vai as an entity all his own!

I have had the pleasure of seeing this master perform in every band he has been in aside from Zappa and Alcatrazz in the Early 80′s.

His most riveting performance that I have witnessed was with his solo band a few years back at Toronto’s historic Massey Hall.

I have never seen any musician, regardless of their instrument give a performance quite like that. It wasn’t as if he was actually playing the guitar, the guitar was just an extension of him. Part of his energy and aura. Each note seeming to come from him, not the instrument, as if the notes were popping out of his chest rather than through an amplifier.

It was obvious that this was not your normal guitarist with an average band. This was a complete connection with an instrument that was as much a part of the person playing it as every other part of his anatomy was. I feel truly blessed to have been present that evening. It is something I had never witnessed to that point, and I have never seen again. Perhaps I will, the next time I attend one of his masterful performances.

Hello!

Hi Everyone! Welcome to my website. This is my first attempt at “blogging” so this site will be about everything and anything that comes to mind. My very own Huffington Post.

Of course this site will include my thoughts and opinions on music, and a veritable smorgasbord of other topics. Sit back enjoy the ride with me as we explore the internet together. This is a big world, made smaller by the sheer mite of human ingenuity, This presently common form of media and communication is the stuff of dreams and sci-fi movies just a quarter century ago. Imagine stepping back a little further into the sixties and telling them about this little thing called the internet. Talk about a hot tub time machine! Here I am in the 21st century. I hope you like it!