Thursday, June 29, 2006

Politics and Dentistry

I've been going to the same dentist since I was a toddler. Usually, the appointment consists of 20 minutes with the hygenist and perhaps two minutes with the actual dentist (which is part of a whole different rant).

Most hygenists are very social and the one I had was no different.

During my cleaning, this hygenist begins to talk about world issues since I told her I was pursuing a career in journalism and the media. She then selects a certain topic and goes on to discuss her view on this particular issue (and if you have lived in Thornhill, you know exactly what the topic would be as well as the viewpoint expressed about said topic).

As she gives her opinion, I began to put together my thoughts and views on the issue which, is slightly different then the majority in Thornhill. But before I opened my mouth, I decided not to speak about the topic.

Perhaps it was because I just don't like talking about this topic. However, it was also probably because as she was giving her opinion, my hygenist was scrapping my teeth with a very sharp tool which most likely, would cause major damage if she did not like what I said.

So, I simply smiled and said: "Its a sad situation but, I prefer to follow other things like the World Cup."

At least she was not the hygenist I had during a previous appointment who, talked to me openly about how her and her husband had been having trouble conceiving a child. I thought about offering to help ;-) but, as I mentioned before: Sharp tool, major damage

The Hek

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Grad Photos - Part Two

We start with yours truly in his gown. When you wear this gown and a suit and its a hot summer day, it gets a little uncomfortable.

Here is The Hek with his buddy, Simon. You might recognize Simon for his role as "The Doorman at Absolute Comedy."

(L-R) Simon, The Hek, Jen, Sandra, Corina

A nice shot of myself and another good friend; Chris.

I just could not leave without getting a shot of Leeds House. This is where I lived for the last three years. Despite its flaws, it was a great home.

Good-bye Carleton and thank you.

The Hek

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

You Want It? I Got It: Pictures from Graduation

We start off with a shot of the campus. You can see the mighty Dunton Tower in the background.

Okay, now the camera we were using had some problems with the flash button. However, thanks to some photoshop, you can slightly make out the images. Anyway, in the centre of this photo, I am shaking hands with Chancellor Marc Garneau.

Look "Centre-Right." Here I receive my diploma from Carleton's President.

Another shot of myself leaving the stage and going behind the curtain for a professional photo with the degree. I'll track that one down later.

Last but not least, I'm not going to lie, The Hek + suit = Money$$$$$

More photos tomorrow.

The Hek

Monday, June 26, 2006

Two Important Things

First: It is coming. Will you be ready?

Second: My photos from grad have come in. I'll be posting some of them tomorrow and possibly Wednesday. In the meantime, here's a self-portrait I took just for fun and to use up the last couple of shots. It actually came out pretty well.

The Hek

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Benefits of the Antenna

My house in Thornhill has never been wired for cable television. We use a simple antenna. It picks up the main Canadian networks and anything that comes out of Buffalo. Of course this means that there are certain programs that I cannot view as they are on channels that only broadcast with cable. Nevertheless, the antenna still has its benefits.

Take the World Cup for instance.

All the games (except for the final match) are broadcasted on TSN and Sportsnet. However, that's only for the English language.

Sportsnet is owned by Rogers which also owns the Onmi channels whose emphasis, is on multiculturalism. And what could be more multicultural then the World Cup? Not only do the Omni channels broadcast the games, but they also broadcast them in a number of languages. I find this to be a unique and worthwhile experience.

Don't get me wrong. I still love listening to the BBC commentators and their excellent way of building narrative. But there is something fun about watching a game in another languages. You get to hear the excitement from a completely different perspective.

Yesterday, I was watching Argentina/Mexico in Spanish. The commentator kept his voice at the same level for most of the match. But when, Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez scored the game winning goal in extra time, all one could hear was:


Gotta love the World Cup.

The Hek

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Hek's Super Playlist

As always, new entries are in Red.

1. Kennedy Killed the Hat - Buck 65
2. I bought some books - Black Boot Trio
3. Watching the Wheels - John Lennon
4. Vacation - The Go-Go's
5. Like a Prayer - Madonna
6. Night Swimming - REM
7. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
8. Ring, Ring - Abba
9. Call on Me - Eric Prydz
10. November Rain - Guns N Roses
11. Cruel Summer - Bannanarama
12. Hung up - Madonna
13. 463 - Buck 65
14. Judy is a Punk - The Ramones
15. The Laws have Changed - The New Pornographers
16. Portland, Oregon - Loretta Lynn feat. Jack White
17. Suzanne - Leonard Cohen
18. The Card Cheat - The Clash
19. Canadian Railroad Trilogy - Gordon Lightfoot
20. Boys in the Bright White Sports Car - Trooper
21. Mandy - Barry Manilow
22. Let's Get Together - Al Green
23. Mickey - Toni Basil

24. Bodies - Drowning Pool
25. Folson Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
26. Bawitaba - Kid Rock

The Hek

Friday, June 23, 2006

Surveys are always fun...

Would you rather:

A. Watch a Walt Disney film about George Lucas


B. Watch a George Lucas film about Walt Disney

The Hek

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Hek's Podcasts

Thanks to all those who have listened to my experimental podcasts. It's now time to put the show together. The short term goal is to launch the podcast by late July, early August. Long term goal is to have it grow into a produced, half-hour program with interviews. I still might do some more experimental podcasts as well.

In the meantime, my friend and fellow CIA teammate, Dave, has put together his podcast. Check out the Queen's English.

The Hek

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Although I wanted Edmonton to win, I knew Carolina was going to take game seven, the series and the Stanley Cup. You do not lose 4-0 in game six and come to the next game playing the same way you did; you step it up and boy, did the Hurricanes ever step it up.

So congratulations to the Carolina Hurricanes for winning the Stanley Cup. Not bad for a team who moved from Hartford nine years ago to a place where, you would never expect to find an NHL club. Not bad for a team that could barley attract fans in their first two seasons. Remember those games with 2000 - 4000 fans? That was ugly. Not bad for a team whose previous Stanley Cup Finals appearance was a 4 games to 1 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. Not bad for a team who took a chance in the first round against Montreal and decided to put their rookie back-up goalie in after going down 2-0 in the series. Cam Ward has gone from back-up to playoff MVP and will no doubt, draw comparisons to Partrick Roy's performance in 1986.

Somewhere out there, Pat Verbeek is watching all this and smiling; at least I hope he is. Meanwhile, my buddy Andrew is probably still partying.

The Hek

Monday, June 19, 2006

I was walking in Centerpoint Mall after work and saw something that brought a smile to my face.
In front of an electronics store, a group of people gathered around a television to watch a World Cup game. There was something about this site that brought a sense of peace. Here was a group of strangers who gathered spontaneously to watch a game of Soccer.

There is a lot of people who feel that sports is filled with greedy athletes and corrupt owners. But then, there are things like the World Cup. The tournament brings nations and people together. Suddenly, all the troubles of the world are transferred to a soccer pitch where a dramatic and non-violent battle can take place. Passion and love are perhaps the best words to describe the World Cup. No can escape the realities of this world. But at least we can forget about it for ninety minutes or more.

*The only personal downside is that I don't have a team to cheer for. Canada has a poor Soccer team. The closest team I could support is Poland since I am technically 25% Polish.

The Hek

Saturday, June 17, 2006

***The Hek's Podcasts***

The goal of this new podcast was to make something that was planned, scripted and produced. Enjoy!

Experimental Podcast #10 MP3 file

Experimental Podcast RSS Link

The Hek

Friday, June 16, 2006

It's official, The Hek is a University graduate.

I was a bit apprehensive about going to my graduation. It just seemed like something that was in the way, a roadblock. It was something that was causing me to miss three paying days of work. I did not want to see the campus again after living there for four years. It was a finished chapter; it was history, and I just did not want to revisit it. I wanted to move on. I just wanted to grab that silly piece of paper that said I know something about some topic. A piece of paper where I spent large amounts of money for, had many sleepless nights and sat in classrooms learning about how people take life way too seriously; trying make a perfect society out of a forever imperfect world.
However, after going through the graduation a mere 48 hours ago, I am here to say that I am glad that I went, and that it was all worth it.

I recall the thoughts of my friend Noel who, graduated with a Masters in International Affairs. Noel had nearly forgotten about his graduation. Amongst his job, his soon move to Washington, the daily grind, the wonderful bliss of marriage and the taming of a dog and cat, Noel's graduation was last thing on his mind. But when his ceremony occurred, it all came to the forefront. Noel was greeted with a great sense of relief and accomplishment. This was how I felt as well.

There is something about seeing all the friends you have made the last four years. We all started this journey together; and now, we all finish it together. There is something about standing in a line up for nearly forty-five minutes, decked out in a suit underneath a robe. You are boiling hot but ignore this feeling with anticipation and excitement. There is something about walking unison into a giant fieldhouse. It is then when it hits you. Everywhere you look there are proud parents, family members and friends. They are all smiling with tears in their eyes. Cameras go off so fast that you feel it is all coordinated. The room is filled with tears, laughter and most importantly, pride.

And then, you hear the bag pipes and a precession of dignitaries walks by you. I will never understand how the bagpipes are the only instrument to hit all my emotional points.

Finally, the ceremony begins and everyone is introduced. The most important man in the room in the Chancellor of the university. Carleton's Chancellor was none other then Marc Garneau, Canada's first ever astronaut. We are informed that for the moment we are simply "graduads" and once we shake hands with the Chancellor, only then do we become "graduates."

The ceremony was full of inspirational dialogue as well as the appropriate pomp and circumstance. I remember most of the ceremony. The only part that was fuzzy was when it was my turn to receive my diploma.

I remember going backstage.
I remember entering the stage.
I remember an official nonchalantly fixing my robe.
I remember being motioned to move the centre of the stage.
I do not remember moving to the centre.
I remember standing in the centre.
I do not remember having the hood put over my head.
I remember only hearing parts of my name and my degree; "Eric Ray Ro............High Honours."
I remember a little applause.
I remember my mother jumping up and cheering wildly.

As if time slowed down, I remember moving at a laid back pace to shake hands with Mr. Garneau. What impressed me the most was when he said: "Congratulations Eric. Job well done."
Garneau remembered every singel name that was read out. It was not like the President of the school who snuck a quick peak at the lable on the back of the degree folder. Don't get me wrong, the President's conversation with me was also sincere. But there was something about having the Chancellor speak to me that made the whole thing personal.

The ceremony will always be in my thoughts. I do have some pictures which I took with a disposable. One of these days, I will scan them in.

So to all those who offered me their congratulations and to all those who supported me throughout this journey of discovery, thank you. It all means so much to me.

To all those who will graduate in the future: Go to your convocation. Yes, it will be long and you will probably boil in that gown. But trust me when I tell you this, it is all worth it.

The Hek

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Hek is going to be out of town until Friday.

I'm off to Ottawa for my convocation and to pick up something that will look like this:

(Mad Props to Blake)

The Hek

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Thanks to my friend Brian, I have discovered that iTunes allows you to convert your audio files into MP3s. The most important benefit from this is that now, I can turn all my archived Thursday Blend material into MP3 files. This is crucial as some job applications ask for demos in the MP3 format.

On that note, I would like to share some of the archived material. This four minute segment is entitled "Voice of The People." It was recorded and aired in January before the election. I would describe it as a radio version of Speaker's Corner. From a personal standpoint, I was very proud of this piece because it allowed me to show off my editing skills. Enjoy.

Voice of the People MP3 file

The Hek

Friday, June 09, 2006

There's the Stanley Cup, the World Cup and the French Open. The Baseball season is heating up and football will soon get underway.

But this Sunday night....

It's baaaaaaaaaaacccccccccckkkkkkkkk...

The Hek

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hek's Podcasts

***BIG NEWS***

I finally purchased a proper microphone.

The sound is much better!

Experimental Podcast #9 MP3 file

Experimental Podcast RSS Link

The Hek

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

As each day passes, it becomes more real....

Today, I received a letter from Ottawa. The writer stated the following:

"I am pleased to inform you that the Senate of Carleton University, at its meeting of June 1, 2006, granted you the following degree:

Bachelor of Arts
High Honours
Mass Communications
Minor in Film Studies

This degree will be conferred at the Convocation ceremony."

With a smile on my face, I celebrated with a close friend.

The Hek

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Somebody's playing with my Seal doll.

Blake and Billy has made some great insightful comments regarding yesterday's post. Please take time to read them.

The Hek

Monday, June 05, 2006


With the arrests this weekend of possible terrorists in Toronto, many people have become quite concerned now that it appears that Canada, is on the "target list." Unfortunately, this is not a surprise. As one expert said, its not about "if" it could happen but, "when" it would happen. We have always been on the list. We are allies with the United States and we have a heavy presence in Afghanistan. It was only a matter of time before the hard dose of reality would hit us Canadians in the face. Fortunately, CISIS was able to prevent this tragedy but, who knows how many other groups are out there. Of course, we cannot live in fear. However, it might be time for the Harper Government to consider boosting security in the areas where terrorist attacks could occur. It sucks that heavily armed personnel would patrol around areas like the CN Tower and Parliament Hill but, these are the times we live in.

The media has already condemned these suspects which means (as a friend of mine pointed out), the idea of a fair trial has been thrown out the window. There was one interesting moment I found in the media's coverage.

Global Television's Kevin Newman was speaking with Public Safety Minister, Stockwell Day. Newman grilled Day on why CISIS was withholding the sites that were listed as targets, from the public. A fair question as the U.S. Government always announces the specific targets when a threat occurs. Day, being a politician, danced around the question. However, I feel it is important to suggest that Canadians are smart enough to know which sites are targets. The specific targets will be announced eventually. But I do not feel such information is really as "secretive" as the media would make it out to be.

Certainly interesting times.

The Hek

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Without a doubt, downtown Toronto has some of the most interesting and intriguing people you can find. Today, my friend Kirsten and I met a man who called himself the "Multi-famous, Superstar Protester." You might have seen him standing on Yonge Street near the Eaton Centre, with colourful things taped to his clothing. He handed me a piece of paper which had contained his views on our society. His opening paragraph read: "Phone Crime Stoppers, 222-TIPS and say Canadian lawyers, police, politicians are bad, law breaking and snowballing problems." Say what you will, this man brings life to the city, no matter what his views are. He is passionate and outgoing and like him, there are lots of people out there who promote all sides of the political spectrum and strive for the good of there community.

Once I get the Podcast officially set up. These are the type of people I want to showcase.

The Hek

Saturday, June 03, 2006

My good friend Blake has sent another mind-blowing e-mail. Check this out:


Don't tell me your age; you probably would tell a falsehood anyway--but the Hershey Man will know!

It takes less than a minute. Work this out as you read ...

Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!

This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1756 .... If you haven't, add 1755.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this was your original number (i.e, how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are
YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)

The Hek

Friday, June 02, 2006

Those who live in Ottawa, are in for a real treat. On July 1st, a concert will be held featuring K'naan and Buck 65. Two great Canadian artists on Canada Day. Could it get any better then that?

Buck 65 is also going to be in Toronto for the local Jazz festival. In the meantime, he has released a new mixtape in MP3 format on his website. It's called Strong Arm and the material is awesome. The Hek recommends that if you never heard Mr. Terfry's work, you should definitely check it out.

The Hek

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Much love and thanks to all those who sent in their suggestion for The Hek's "X-Men" name.

Also, the situation with a certain comment board (see Tuesday's post) has been corrected. Much love to that as well.

The Hek's Podcasts

Lots of people write down their dreams and try to interpret them. Well last night, The Hek had the strangest dream. Find out what it was in this latest experimental podcast.

Experimental Podcast #8 MP3 file

Experimental Podcast RSS Feed Link

The Hek