Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Japanese Website Pirates Kardinal Sinners"

Hey Friends, funny adventure in social media experimentation last week for us...because of Google Alerts we found a Japanese website that has pirated our premier episode to Kardinal Sinners (our TV series about professional wrestling). As an ironic revenge, I requested people on my Twitter network ( @HemmingsHouse ) to click on the site and write random jibberish. The results are hilarious!

We had over 50,000 words written in 24 hours, it went viral. So much content went on the site that it completely slowed their server down and they caught on top it and deleted our comments. Comments still are showing up, please do your part in supporting irony by clicking on the site, watch a few minutes of our show, then write a random piece of knowledge.

Here are some stats...


How many comments?  - approximately 252
How many words?  -  49,525 words
How many lines?  - 5,431 lines

Example of silly comments:

Biography of former Premier Frank McKenna
“Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto!” references
The Seventh Draft of Dune by David Lynch – December 9, 1983
Definition of a supernova
A series of courses in the program “Renaissance and the Invention of Modern Europe”
Dubious Advice from Copyright Lawyers
Appreciation of British Columbian natural beauty
Seinfeld style “Super Terrific Happy Hour” references
Application and assessment forms for government agencies
List of actors in a leading Finnish comedy film
Biblical texts from revelation
Instruction on the construction dynamics of Martello style towers
An advertisement for Snuggie™ blankets
Someones grocery list
Instructions for exiting Charles de Gaulle airport
A consumer complaint regarding Linksys routers
King Richard the Third
Definitions of Existentialism
Bathtub Gin!
“These are not the droids you are looking for.”
the Romanian Penal Code

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Gone Phishing - A few journals from my trip into nostolgia"

Following is a collection of a few journal entries I wrote while connecting with old friends, old passions, and old vibes on a short 2 day Phish run.


Friday Nov 27th, 2009
“The bus, Brian Borcherdt, a small bottle of wine and a Mac Book.”

Brian Borcherdt
“The Remains of Brian Borcherdt”

“What type of drugs are you on now, when you came here with your friends, danced till the morning came” – Brian Borcherdt

Brian’s music puts me into that place, the place that brings me down to a place of truth almost, that sounds far too pretentious, but its not…listening to his music is so sad and truthful, the builds the builds the builds. What can I say, it makes me want to hop on a bus and travel alone across the country with no destination in mind, just nighttime reflections on the inside pane of the window from the light of my computer screen as I write this blog post. The other side of the country is a million light years away on this bus, but Moncton is only another 2 hours, I have been on the road for 38 minutes and my pizza and travel bottle of wine are now in my bus seat traveling belly.

The bus has its downs and its ups, one of the ups is that I don’t have to drive; the other up is that there is a plug beside my seat to power my laptop. The real country is in the bus; the real country is in the train. Sucks that the bus is so hard on my ass, the train at least has the bar car, I had to pack my own wine on this short leg. VIA Rail, if you are listening, open up the lines! Get me from not only Halifax to Vancouver, but Halifax to Saint John, and then what about Saint John to Portland Maine to hop the new Obama train from Maine to Miami? From Miami I could take a rowboat to Cuba and get away from the race. The mountains the surf, the honesty.

The bus, Brian Borcherdt, a small bottle of wine and a Mac Book. In a few hours I will be waking up on a couch in Moncton, hoping in a cab and catching a 4:30am cab to hop into an airplane to pay a visit to New York, Albany fashion…

”HARRY! HARRY! HARRY, Where do you go when the lights go down?!?"


November 28, 2009
“Bouncing Around the Room”

Emmylou Harris
“O Evangeline”

My bus arrived in Moncton last night around 9pm, Tidby picked me up and we joined Moncton’s Progress Group fundraiser at St. James Gate. The fund raiser was based on beer sales, so I had a beer, I am these days a 97% red wine drinker, 2% Scotch drinker, and 1% beer drinker…weird, I do love beer, but that’s the way my jib is cut these days I suppose.

After a late night I grabbed a few hours on Tidby’s sweet girlfriend Jocelyn’s couch. I woke up this morning at 4 am to make my 5:30 boarding time, made the flight, fell asleep, woke up at YYZ. I’m off to Albany New York today (to reach way back to one of my roots of inspiration from an age gone by). I’m hitting a couple Phish shows! I used to follow Phish a lot; I was what some could call, a bit of a Phish head. After the band took a handful of years broken up, they decided to regroup and now they are tour again reviving a touring culture that is probably younger than the one I was involved with, and my assumption is that there will be harder drugs on Shakedown than back in my day (I am old now see.) Oh to do a documentary on this culture! Hmmm, I could call it A Head’s Tale maybe?

Usually when I hit the American customs officers at the international airports it’s a painful experience, they in many cases are very insecure people who were bullied all of their child hood. Typically the power trips get them really excited and they ask you questions that imply a certain guilt, I’m not sure what their real motive is? Well if its validation by having a teaspoon of power, then I guess it works for them, floats their boat almost. I have so many stories of funny interrogations! Not the least of them was when the prick face security official in Caracas Venezuela stole my Blackberry phone when we were filming El Sistema.

I get in line, I am very tired, I see American flags, armed officers, no smiles, I think to myself…”ok, here we go, what am I going to be made to feel guilty about this time?” I decided not to B-S where I was going, I was going to tell them I’m heading to a Phish show. Usually at the border the word “Phish” is the secret code word for: “That hippy terrorist has drugs, get out the gloves, we’re going in to strip him of his manhood and send him back to the communist country of Canada from whence he came!” I was ready to take the risk because I’m just a real bad liar to be honest, I cannot tell a lie to a border guard without looking obviously guilty, so I just take the huge risk of being honest.

“Good Morning” me says to the stern looking African-American border guard
“Where are you heading sir?”
Albany” me says
“What are you doing in Albany?
“Going to hit a Phish Show” me says smugly

Mrs. Border guard is a Phan!!! Ha ha, she told me that her kids take her to Dave Mathews shows. My faith was renewed that not all border guards are insecure annoyances, God bless America eh?

Live music has always stoked the fired in my soul to live, love and be creative. It is clear the God’s great spirit drives around in music to touch as many souls that held within bodies with ears open to hear. Music and my work has always been synonymous, everything I edit together has a strong soundtrack inspiring it, even if it doesn’t end up in the final edit. It is very exciting for me to tap back into what used to inspire me so much, the live show surrounding by such a unique culture. 

I will be seeing Phish in Albany tonight, then joining my old pals Chris Gorman, Andrew Butler, and Bruce Devlin on the road trip to Portland Maine where we will see another show Sunday night, Monday morning I need to hitch a ride back to New Brunswick with my other beautiful friends Ryan and Beth Edison, this is a reunion of reunions really, these are the friends that are friends through music. I need to get back Monday night to Moncton to be there for our DVD release party of the NBYO and Matt Andersen DVD. Its going to be a busy few days me thinks.


November 28, 2009
“November November!”

“Fire of Heaven / Alter of Earth”

Jewish Orthodox Jah Reggae, “One pair of eyes, but see 2 different things, one person cries, while the other one sings.” Matisyahu fills my headphones as I fly somewhere over upstate New York. We are flying in one of those ooober small Beech 1900 planes, I am pretty much in the cockpit with the captain and co-pilot, there are 4 other people traveling in what I am trying to pretend is my own private jet. The plane is very small, and we just broke through the clouds, ALWAYS my favorite experience while flying, coming up out of a dreary and grey day through a puff of white and then into a land of sunshine with billows of marshmallows and white cotton candy below! Its interesting I just took a few pictures out the window, the propellers are obviously rotating at a frequency that doe not align with my I-phone shutter! Very interesting patterns, you might say that the propeller is PAL video, my camera is NTSC, and my tired eyes are SECAM!

Change of musical grooves, The Sea and Cake are perfect cloud skimming songsters. It has been a busy month man, wow. Of course Jess, Kaiya and I moved cities for a few months we are back in Saint John, New Brunswick until February, great to be back home…maybe now I can watch our Chris Cummings music video with new perspective!

After enough travel to fit a lifetime for little Kaiya, when we got back from Vancouver I decided not to continue the travels with Jessica, but rather stay home and be a single dad for a bit. Jessica had conferences in Chicago and New York City, both fantastic locations, but I really needed to dig down and restructure the company. The times are tough in the industry right now, no one is working, no broadcasters are buying, its grim. The HHP team got together in October on the LaHave River at a rented farmhouse to drink some wine, jam some tunes, hear some strategic speakers, and figure out our future. We decided to keep being world class production players, but to re shift the business model to a contractor base instead of salaried employees, this will fix a lot of cash flow, and help us all in the long run get paid to do what we do best, create and tell people’s stories.

We had a great few screenings of Melting lands this month, one of them was at the Imperial Theater, very cool…basically it was a film night featuring all of Hemmings House Pictures. The marquee on the front of the Imperial read “NB Film Presents GREG HEMMINGS”! ha-ha, I was blown away! We had a great crowd, and we even had the honorable Lieutenant Governor Grayden Nicholas join us with Minister Ed Doherty and a four hundred other interested documentary fans! We screened our new demo reel, Papikatuk, El Sistema promo, and of course Melting Lands. All of the money raised went straight to Romero House food bank and kitchen, we raised about $1600. What a buzz!

A few days later I headed up to Freddy beach to the opening screening of the Silverwave Film Festival. Jeff Wheaton of SIM Video and myself had the chance to sponsor the night’s activities including the after party. Jeff and I got up and said a few words before the film American Sunset played. My bros down at the Postman (Marc Savoie and the lads) did a bang up job on the film, only great things for their company in the near future. I couldn’t stick around at the party for very long, Steve Nickerson of Rapid Mind Solutions, Terrie Riedley of Revolution Strategy and I needed to blast down to Alma for our monthly business strategy camp out with the Wallace McCain Institute. This program truly is a great expansion, it stretches and connects, breaks down and builds up, all on a lake and log cabins. After 2 days of “growing up” in the woods, I scooted back to Saint John to see my beautiful wife (I hadn’t seen her in 10 days). The next morning I drove back to Fredericton to present Melting Lands as the feature documentary for the Sunday series.

As it turns out Melting Lands won Best Documentary at the festival! And not only that, our short film called “Julie’s Story” won the honorable Errol Williams Award! (please click on the link to read about NB Filmmaker Errol, he will be missed). Julie’s story was a commissioned short film funded by an organization called “Healing and Cancer”. They are a group whose mission is to empower cancer patience to find healing in as many ways as possible. We recently filmed another one of these short films, the next one is called “Andrew’s Story”. We had a few other films in the festival, my brother Mark’s film “Japan” was another nominee and did really well. We screened Papikatuk, and forgot to submit “King Brand”, not sure how we forgot that film, oh well, next year right? Canadian Geographic just called me yesterday, they want to feature Papikatuk and Melting lands next month in honor of the International Polar Year. Lots of fun and great HHP evangelism opportunities popping up!

A few other cool notes, we just received the final DVD package for our Jessica Rhaye DVD, its beautiful on the inside and out. We recently filmed a new concert DVD for Matt Andersen at the Phoenix, we filmed a concert DVD for John Campbelljohn in Halifax, and we are still rockin' on the “Sistema” front. The story is developing in front of our eyes! I film as much as I can, but we still do not have a broadcaster on board for this VERY relevant film. Want to invest in it??? We just filmed the Moncton Sistema kids receiving their real instruments for the first time, VERY touching.

I was able to also attend the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for excellence in the arts; this took place at the Governor’s mansion, what a gorgeous building! Great to see my NB Arts Board Members and of course the Lieutenant Governor Nicholas again. I also got to eat fantastic food and drink red wine at this event, this was all prepared by my good ole pal Robby “Hegar” Egar, the Lieutenant Governor’s personal chef! Great part about this is that not only am I taking a selfish “Greg time” vacation this weekend to see Phish, so is Rob, well deserved breaks from the race I must say.

I’m about to land in Albany, The Shins just popped into my headphones, the cloud line is approaching, back to the dark and dreary day, goodbye sunshine! The wind is crazy because the plane is being thrown all over the place, it feels like I’m on a carnival ride. If I land alive (haha), my friend Penny (who I haven’t seen in over 10 years), Chris Gorman, Andrew Butler and Bruce Devlin will meet me in Albany to help me transition myself back into a care free parking lot Phish head once again, if only for two nights! GOTTA JIBOO!


November 30th, 2009
“Phish – Albany to Portland

Elisapie Isaac
“There Will Be Stars”

The chair I slept on last night was actually more comfortable that I thought it would be, maybe I was that tired? The Grateful Dead was blaring on my buddy Chris Gorman’s Stereo until about 7am. The Moncton Fryballs were all down in Portland to see the Phish show, and everyone ended up at Chris’ place afterwards, yes the party went all night. One hour after the music shut off and the place was lined with sleeping bodies, I packed my backpack, grabbed my chunk of Parma cheese, and started hiking in search of coffee. Portland is a great city, it has the charm of New England, the sea side appeal of Halifax, and the blue collar – meets – underground artistry of Saint John New Brunswick. My beautiful friends Beth and Ryan picked me up outside the coffee shop around ten after eight; I got into the car and crashed hard. I was very happy to get a ride so early because I had to pick Kaiya up from the baby sitters by 4:30, get her home, then drive straight to Moncton for our DVD release of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra and Matt Andersen. The event happened earlier tonight at the Delta. I got up and managed to gather the energy together to do a speech, show a few clips of the DVD and socialize with a glass of red before booting it home to finally get some sleep in my own bed.

How did my Phishing trip go? Well after the turbulent landing in Albany Chris and Butler picked me up at the airport, it looked like they were still wired from the Albany show the night before. “It’s gonna be a shit show” I thought to myself. In the end it wasn’t, (am I growing up?!? I hope not!). We spent the day watching South Park and drinking a few beers, this is something that I literally haven’t done in years, I know that sounds unlikely for me, but seriously, I am on the go so much, to stick around a hotel room all day on a Saturday doing absolutely nothing is a complete novelty to me. I was happy to see my friend Bruce Devlin also in the hotel room, as there were 3 dudes in one room I decided to rent my own room for a good sleep after my first Phish Show since “IT” in Maine, maybe 5 years ago?

Let’s rewind a few years back to 1995, well I guess that was almost 15 years ago! Dang! I was in my first year of university at UNBSJ. I met a life long friend in art class, Shannon Armstrong. Shannon introduced me to her good friend Jason Tippet, the three of us became inseparable. We would climb building roof tops, see music, go on road trips, anything and everything, including tenting on the side of the 401!

One thing we ended up doing a few times was hitch hiking major trips. I remember hitching through Southern Ontario on the QEW, the 401, and the country roads down to London Ontario and across the border into Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and back home. Hitch hiking was just a thing I used to do back then. In fact I hitched to Florida a few times with a buddy of mine, we ended up sleeping in the dunes on Clearwater Beach for a few days then getting back home to Welland in time for class to get back into session after a week long march break.

Man those adventures are littered through my younger years. Maybe sometime I will be able to write more about these days of hemp necklace selling, sidewalk food cookin’, music festival goin’ care free adventures of days gone by. One of the hitchhiking adventures Shannon Jason and I hitched to a Christian music festival somewhere in Pennsylvania. We didn’t have tickets, but after selling our goods outside the gate, we raised enough money to buy tickets and get in. At this festival (I can’t remember what it was called) I met a young girl wearing a Grateful Dead long sleeve shirt, her name was Penny. We became really good friends and were in touch for a few years, I took her to her first Phish show…Clifford Ball. As years went by Penny and I lost contact, this was before the days of Facebook, email was pretty much a new thing for me at the time as well. We wrote letters, talked on the phone for a few years, but then life goes on. Of course 15 years later, when I finally give in to join Facebook, Penny and I reconnect! I was so stoked to be in contact with her again! As it turns out Penny makes a lot of very cool clothes and patchwork blankets and dresses. She made one for baby Kaiya…very special.

Penny called me and told me she had an extra ticket for Albany 2nd night, and this is why I ended up there. Chris, Butler and Bruce chilled at the hotel, and I went to meet Penny and her husband Mike to check out Shakedown Street. Penny and Mike had dresses, patch work pants and hula hoops to vend on the parking lot, I was more than happy to take it all again, it has been years since I took time to enjoy Shakedown. The “phatty” grill cheese, the fingers in the air looking for miracles, the sweet smell of ganj in the air, the police politely asking people to keep their drinks in cups…the sub culture always intrigues me. I am getting old now it seems, ha, Penny and Mike have 4 kids, I have a career and family that keeps me rockin the straight oath, partying and seeing shows non stop is only a memory for me now, but what a trip to get back to it.

The show was stellar, I drank more water than I ever had at a concert before! Ha-ha, seeing Phish completely sober is awesome! Ha-ha. We danced our asses off, highlight for me was the “You Enjoy Yourself” closer and the vocal jam. The show was great, I was in the best company in the world, Chris, Penny and Mike…what a perfect night. It was really sad to say goodbye to Penny and Mike, but a friendship has been revived, and for that I am excited.

After the show we got back to the Days Inn, the whole second floor was a big after party, I snuck into my room and went immediately to sleep…where do they get their energy? I think I know the answer. We got up early for a 4 hour road trip across the Appalachians into Massachusetts, New Hampshire then Maine. Chris has been living in Portland for a few years, so we headed to his house. It is the first of December and it was so warm! Chris let me take his Harley out for a ride…it felt sweet to get back on the hog…I get the motorcycle itch every once in a while, this helps!

When I drove the Harley back to Chris’ place, a driveway full of New Brunswick Fryballs greeted me with an Alpine beer! How incredibly loyal! A good crowd of old friends hung out at Chris’ before the show, we had a campfire, drank some wine, played some guitar then hit the Cumberland Civic Center for another stellar Phish show. At the show I bumped into so many old friends that I haven’t seen in years, following live music was my identity back in the day, lots of old “family” were here, it was just nice. Shakedown afterwards was filled with Burritos and way too many garlic grilled cheese, but were they ever good! The Party at Chris’s place went all night, I crashed as early as I could so I could meet Beth and Ryan to get a ride home to as I said earlier, pick up baby, drop her off to Jessica, drive 2 hours to Moncton, release our NBYO DVD, then drive back to Saint John to write this post…time for sleep, tomorrow is the H1N1 clinic...time to get stabbed.

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