Day 2 and 3 of Yoga Challenge

Day 2 and 3 of Yoga – Lessons Learned

Apologies to those who are new to my blog. I write for the ear. I will be recording them at a future date. More for my own practice, and I will be posting them up on Soundcloud. (You’ll be able to find it here, once I get it recorded.)

So I didn’t eat enough or late enough on Friday afternoon, so the Friday night Yoga class was interesting. The foundation series (not Asimov) was challenging, and I was getting a dull throbbing headache. I wondered what it was, then I recognized it from days when I haven’t eaten enough. Low blood sugar. It’s not one of the marketing strategies for yoga to eat healthy. It’s for your own safety! The last thing you want to be doing is passing out or stressing out from hypoglycemic shock. It’s not healthy! So yes, I will have to plan a healthy snack on those days when I will eat after the class in the evening, or in the afternoon and catch a late supper afterwards. Granola comes to mind, I may double up on my time saving egg/bacon breakfast burrito. No reason why I can’t eat that at any point of the day. I missed out on Tree pose, as my heart rate was up and was really dizzy by that point. I’m glad the second half of the class was on the floor.

Also, hydration, hydration, hydration. Tips that I’ve found that work for me so far, try them out for you, and let me know your own.
– Drops of lemon juice in your water, not only will this dechlorinate the water, but will give a little more flavor. So you aren’t just forcing water into your system.
– Coconut water is amazing for hydration after a yoga session, or after a workout. Try and avoid the stuff with sugar and other preservatives.
– Drinking throughout the day helps with energy level. And not just water… Green Tea has been a great refresher and concentrator for me lately.
– Get a huge drinking vessel, make it your own. Right now I have a 64oz coffee to go mug, I fill this with filtered water, and a couple of splashes of Ginger/Lemon juice.

Saturday class at Hot Yoga on 20th was welcome, minus 20 degrees celcius outside, add on a windchill and it feels like minus 37 degrees. But it was plus forty degrees in the studio. Hooray! Stepping in, finding a spot, I found my muscles loosening immediately. Didn’t have enough time to do a good lying still warm up. Still felt a little sore in few spots. Lower back, abs, inner thighs and the perpetual knot in my right shoulder. Got a little bit better rests in between poses, did more diaphragm breathing. That was working a lot better bringing heart rate down too. I’m still finding places of tension in my body, I did have a longer warmup time the other day, that may have also been a factor from the lower blood sugar and dehydration.

Finding my balance is still a bit off, I’m falling out, but it’s getting a little better each day. Surprised myself today as I got into bow pose correctly and didn’t faceplant. Tightness in my calves and feet, I have to shake out the stiffness afterwards.

Today I remembered to eat at the right time and brought my usual bag of stuff. Water bottle for those precious little sips in class, towel for shower afterwards, plastic bag to hold sweaty clothing/yoga towel/shower towel afterwards. I come to class in sweats, then change afterwards, regular clothing. Helps out a little. So when I reached into my bag looking for the coconut water that should be wrapped up in the jeans that I had currently on … I left in the fridge at home. No big loss. But it is another lesson.

And it comes up from something in my RSS subscriptions off of Cool Tools, it’s a survival guide, which I am thinking about purchasing just for research for Seekrit Project writing project.

No matter how much you prepare for a disaster, there might be something else that will be there to mess you up. Survival handbooks will get lost in the case of a disaster. The person with the most survival knowledge skill will get injured or disabled first in case of a disaster.

No how matter how much planning I do, there will problems ahead. And I am the cause and owner of these problems. But I won’t have to dwell on them, or flog myself onto the Guilt Train to Tokyo. (possible spoken word piece there) I’ll just learn, and do better, don’t plan, rehearse and visualize what I need to do. Then Do It. No hesitation, no fear, set aside ego and just flow. There, zen moment for the day. Got a little deep there.

Day 3 Yoga done, Ends on February 10th. 27 more to go. Hooray!

Now I must go back to my writers group, get more of Boom finished, and the NaNoWrimo. But with this blog, I have my 750 words per day done!

I’m still here,

Fiction pending/Beat Poetry and others…

Currently I have 3 wtiting projects on the go, and skipping between them seems to be working for me. For now. A constant pressure to keep writing is being generated from skipping between the three of them. And I know, that cardinal rule, ‘Stick to one project, finish it.’ Think I have my own procrastination under control using this method. Not in the mood to write on Project A? Then pick at Project B, later on just add a couple of scenes to Project C. Wait, that extra bit in the outline for Project A needs to be added.

See what I mean? Currently it seems to work, only because none of the projects are under any type of deadline. If this was pay copy I was writing, this is what they would call disorganized. For now, it’s a writing workout regimen that seems to be working.

In other writing news, I did not make the shortlist for the CBC writes short story contest. Hooray! This means that you will be subjected to a piece that is (in my opinion) different than my other pieces. I wrote this up in the beginning of November, had a bit of fun with it too. Listening to beat poetry prior to writing set the pacing, at least in the opening sequence. As well, it marks off a sort of transition point in my writing. After this, I earnestly began to write and get a good chunk of my organic writing out of the way, let those words flow, but stick to an outline. It also marks off a spot where I actively challenged myself to write in a genre that I am not comfortable in.

And in all honesty, it is the one piece of writing that I hate the least. I am my own worst critic, but I have decided that the critic will still blab even if I have put my work out there or not. It’s not going to get read if I delete it off my computer, or dismiss the story idea out of my brain.

And for those of you who have not ever heard of Lord Buckley, it appears that Slam Poetry is alive and well in Canada. I attended a haiku deathmatch last night, did not participate, but was a blast when average people off the street (okay mainly the university) can do deadly battle using haiku’s as words. Charles Hamilton hosted up, smacking cymbal with kendo stick. And we were also treated to Khodi Dill’s amazing and brutally honest words on First Nations rights and lack of media coverage. (Just remember, the genocide will not be televised.) It was a lot of fun, and proof that not only poetry, but spoken word is an art that with the help of the indie arts scene and the internet, is well on it’s way for a comeback. Check your local area for Poetry Slam competition, you won’t be disappointed.

I’ve also been looking up more recipes. Explody bottle fun?

Fiction is pending, will post this week, probably friday.


Rest assured if it’s not posted up, I’m still writing,


Violent Kin

One of Saskatoon’s best kept secrets include a brother and sister team bringing an amazing array of talent. When I first asked people about Violent Kin, they got excited and couldn’t wait to tell me about them. “Great stage show.” “, The cd is on constant play in my car.”, “They’re amazing.” “Such a good show.”

And then came the question that no one could answer, “Who are they like?” No one could answer me on this. Which is quite strange for most local bands, as they take on a distinctive style that most mainstream bands play, which makes them the most identifiable. (Sheepdogs = Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young + The Band + Folk pop of the late 70’s.) That basic template makes it easier for people to go and see. It makes it easily marketable.

Unless they are really good.

There is no equal to this duet team. Maygen and SJ Kardash have put in their hours to the craft, and it shows. Influences on People, (and from what I can relate to) include British pop UB40, Roxette, any John Hughes movie from the 80’s with teen empowerment as a main theme, and so many others. The music itself takes that slice of late 80’s and early 90’s where the majority of People (now currently late 30 somethings) were clinging onto Pop, before the harder edge of grunge rock became the norm. They are that lost summer where you wanted one more year of teased hair, neon shirts, and being radical. It takes quite a bit of talent to take this, and not make it cheezey or false with parody.

The message and lyrics are subtle, working your way into deeper meanings that make you want to relisten again and again. And surprisingly the meaning of the songs really reflect these current times of information consumption and channeling the human spirit through these artificial tools. “We’re losing our instincts and in a state of unconsciousness we’re more machine than man.”
(Ironic? I write this on a hunk of plastic, electronic circuit, WiFi signal, and liquid crystals being anonymous in a cafe, while checking my social feeds as to what everyone is doing. Tell me this isn’t the future.) I keep replaying the cd, as like a good book it listens a little different each time.

The stage show at the 220 grand opening was amazing. I had forgotten about huge light shows. Just huge bright light that seemed to creep into every corner of the room. Maygen Kardash on keyboard, clad in Sgt Pepper uniform jacket, leaving stark Patrick Nagel outlines on my retinas. Her voice, clean and sweet, jumping up and declaring to be paid attention. SJ Kardash becomes that guy. Axe hung low, working the crowd with a taught guitar string and smooth trained voice, reaching for those lower depths, still able to harmonize in the upper range. If you were a teen in the 80’s and wanted to play guitar and become a rock god? Yeah, SJ becomes THAT guy on stage. (And you can tell they are siblings, the banter between them definitely shows. But once it’s done, the show is on.) Talented range between the two of them range from the avant garde stage show to an unrelenting driving beat that will take you back to when mesh, leather ties, and Alf ruled. And still not making it cheezy. And still making it relevant to what’s happening today.

So what are they like? They are a crazy talented band that you will tell your friends about. They bring an evening of amazing sounds and sights. This is Pop, perfected. And I’m not one for listening to much Pop. Go see the shows now. Bring extra cash to buy the albums from them. Check their tour dates.

Yeah, they are that good.

Don’t believe me? Please, see the show and prove me wrong.

All things Violent Kin can be found at their website at

I’m still here,

Beer! Innovation! Tasty!

Usually when one think of beer, the first image is of mass produced yellow fizzy stuff that large masses of people drink. Sponsors of so many sporting events, and more corporation than flavour. See a logo flash, you know exactly what the product is.

Then comes people who are curious, those who are willing to push boundaries for not only food, drink, art, technology. These are the innovators, the explorers, those who want to push the boundaries and get more out of life. Saskatoon is becoming more connected with these passionate people.

Call it a side effect from the recent boom in being the hottest economy in North America. Some would say it is a direct result of potash industry focusing on Saskatchewan. And some have been quoted as having sexier beer.

I call it momentum.

Innovation and passion for distinctive crafts are moving beyond the larger mainstream market. It just takes a matter of looking locally in the right places.

Saskatoon, downtown, and record breaking temperatures on a January evening. Mother nature getting confused if it was late March or January. There is a distinctive prairie brown dust and dirt that seems to coat all vehicles. Warm winds keep bringing promise of new change, people still have that little enthusiastic spring in their step. Strange considering that at this time of year, we should be getting through the coldest part of winter. A lot of people are smiling, there is something beyond the ordinary and routine happening everywhere.

Which is where I arrive. The comfortable Winston’s English Pub with its vast selection of beer. And the star of the evening, a new local crafted beer from Paddock Wood that has been produced for first tasting. Got in early as I wanted to get something to eat before the casking. Went with the crowd pleasing Sheppard’s Pie, not done to traditional recipe, but enough to satisfy my hunger. Happy to report that their menu has expanded since the last time I was in.

Met up with Rob from Paddock Wood, spotted him from the distinctive t-shirt as done by Hard Pressed Desk.  (Hope there will be more of these t-shirts available.) We talked about the craft and from being in a close community, the ‘I know you from’ conversation was inevitable. Definitely a sign of those who have grown up and lived on the Canadian prairies.

Some of the (un)usual suspects from Beer Lovers of Saskatoon group showed up, anxious to find out what the beer will be like. Some speculation, determination and investigation, brought forth that it was going to be a blend of Paddock Wood’s already two popular beers, the Loki and the 606. (Reviews per links, check them out!)

Tapping was done by the brewer of the distinctive barley wine of Mano’s in Saskatoon. He reported that it was the cleanest tapping that he had ever done and he had done hundreds. (I’ve got video of it, but it’s really dark, will post it up on this post later once I’ve fiddled with it. Stay tuned!)

Onto the brew! The aroma that I first picked up was pine nuts, other people reported that they could only get that distinctive citrus hop smell. Not much head at all, or large carbonation, but then realizing on quicker inspection, the bubbles were so fine you could not see them. Deep dark brownish mustard or a deep amber in colour. If you didn’t know, it could almost be considered a Red beer(link) upon appearance. Hops flower and sediment from the keg was very finely suspended, not noticeable at all at first. First taste, brought forth that pine nuts clean then kicked into the citrus spectrum moving from cool orange to pleasant grapefruit. The body and mouth feel was buttery creamy and gorgeous but not too heavy. The finish or back end taste switched from the Loki to the style of the 606. Malts came out, more mild warm tones of malt, but not caramel. No bitter end or dryness, just a hint of some sweetness. Definitely a brilliant transition from the double IPA of Loki into the English pale ale of the 606.

And that was the first sip.

As I thoroughly enjoyed my way down the pint, and the brew warmed with my hand. There was a little bit of change in the flavor. More of the 606 malt style became prevalent and less of the Loki character. This told me that the timing on this brew was absolutely perfect. Any more aging or waiting for this would have changed the overall character of the beer.

Managed to get a taste of what came off the bottom of the first keg, and it was super sweet in flavor. Almost Paddock Wood Pic-a-Pop. (Yes, I’m dating and regionalizing myself with that mention.) The second keg after the tapping from the brewer seemed a bit more carbonated and slightly different off the top, bigger lacing and cleaner sized bubbles. Seemed to be a bit spicier with the active bubbles than the first cask. Overall the distinctive characters were still there, the big hoppy creamy boldness of the Loki, finishing with the well balanced malt of the 606.

Other people reported that if this was available for the refillable growler sized jugs, they would be “fired up” for it. (You know who you are.) And it was funny to see the pattern. People lined up for the first pint, took a couple of sips, then suddenly everyone started texting or updating their status on Facebook or Twitter, or texting people they knew to get them to come for a taste. There was quite a lot of laughs and smiles after that first pint had been quaffed. A good groove had been set, and as someone mentioned, that was the hops flower setting the mood. The staff at Winston’s were equally happy and pleased to share stories and reviews of other beers that were not the standard. People who never met before jumped in and talked with complete strangers about how great it was. Definitely a distinctive friendliness and handshaking that the crafted brew put on the crowd.

For a first casking at Winston’s of a locally brewed beer, it’s is quite satisfying to see that the standards are being raised. Not only with the beer but local awareness.

So what was this beer called? Some called it a Super 606, which in some cases could be with the larger body provided by the Loki. But then again, it could be called a Super Loki as some of the characteristics of that brew were replaced by the malt finish of the 606. I called it a Chimera, a creature with multiple parts from different animals; a bionic brilliant brew of tastiness. (We have the hops, we can rebuild him… it… err…) Or overall Damn Good Beer, the DGB. For official information, ask at Paddock Wood.

But what is next? If anything I can see this as a regular event, as there was appearances from other brewers from Saskatoon. As for Paddock Wood, there was mention of a couple other different brews that may come about. Including possibly a barrel aged brew in the style of Innis and Gunn, and my suggestion of  my latest favorite  Red Hammer being aged in Dark Rum barrels seemed to be a great idea. Also mentioned possibly of batches featuring regional hops to show off their individual flavors. Definitely great ideas to further the experience of already seasoned beer aficionados.

Just keep your taste buds, palette and pint glass open and ready. And keep an eye on the websites and feeds for Paddock Wood and Winston’s There will be tastiness and smiles for those who are driving innovation and passion for craft brewed beer.

Aren’t we lucky?

I’m still here,


Saskatoon Artist : Natalie Struck

The first thing that you should know about Natalie Struck is that she maybe short in height, but she is taking giant strides towards becoming bigger talent. The second thing, you should know is that she has no fear. She puts her heart and soul into belting out her music. Her EP release Try Being Yourself brings 7 tracks which cross a year of her life and the emotional turbulence therein.

For a first EP, it shows her determination that she is going to be good at this. No matter what. The music is very pop, reminescent sometimes of a very young Lisa Loeb, playing around the beat and some soulful moments on some tracks. We’ve all been through the moments that she sings. Of desperation against monotony and wanting a change. The empowerment anthems we repeat to ourselves to make sure that no one can stop us. The little anticipation of waiting to see that special someone. Unfortunately the poetry of the lyrics sometimes gets lost in the candy floss of the pop. But given time this artist will grow and take on the industry.

No matter if you like it or not, she’s putting this music out there. Much like Seth Godin’s analogy of the Street Performer, she literally is out there performing her music. Putting her art out for all to listen to, and getting immediate feedback. Not many artists besides musicians can say they can do that.

If you haven’t caught her live yet, Natalie Struck is performing at the Saskatoon Farmers Market on Sundays, 11-Noon busking her clear sweet voice. Dec.11 and 18th. You can also hear her occasionally on open mic night at the Fez. The EP release party is Dec.23 at Mystic Java in Saskatoon.

For all things Natalie fit for the net, please go to

Buy her EP, tell friends, go to her website, support local artists.

I’m still here,

The Two Twenty + YXE Music

Some have the global recession, market slump and large unemployment rates to blame for all of the troubles of the day. Others would say that larger politics and corporations are to blame. I say it’s from a lack of realistic vision.

Saskatoon has always had a liberal arts scene. Sporting an accepting and open minded attitude to the new digital economy and media.

So it is no surprise that the emergence of the Two Twenty has come. So what exactly is it?

The Two Twenty is a community of social entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and creative industries defining Saskatoon’s urban and cultural scene.

Given the time and energy, the major brains of today are finding the need to drive their own entrepreneurial spirit and their peers. The current market for shared workspace, skill sets, and networking opportunities is huge. And those with the passion to succeed, will take steps to take advantage of shared workspaces.

The space itself located on 20th street in Saskatoon, is highly functional and fluid. Open office designs, featured small businesses, artisans, robot makers, technical advisors, yoga space… It is an immense concept that cannot help to succeed. Check out their plans if you are a travelling business and need access to all the necessary office necessities. If you are a student and need that palce to get away to, just to finish off that paper or late night study, there’s a plan for you on it.

The Two Twenty is conveniently located at 220 20th Street West, Saskatoon. Along with a larger emerging arts community front for 20th street. Will have to stop by the aka Gallery and check their community of innovative networked artists. Saskatoon Techworks looks to be the emerging central hub for all you Tinkers, Inventors, Makers and Innovators. HardPressed brings custom apparel (Also featuring local Rogstad) and printing from just about everything.

At one point in time, I thought I was in BarcampYXE the sequel, but soon came to realize that the technical people and artistic go hand in hand. Ryan and Chris of Ominocity and BarcampYXE infamy were in fine form, checking the artists out, be sure to check their videos and info on their site. Hoover of the New Rockstar Philosophy was also in attendance. Chris de Jong also there to sample and bring big cheers.

After getting bodyslammed from Katrina German (also of BarcampYXE infamy) managed to snag some Paddockwood beer, and hung out with the ever elusive and exclusive Natalie Struck, discussed various subjects on music and influences, learning about new music and still one of the best ways for marketing is word of mouth. Tell your friends about her stuff. Also she is slated to do a show at Mystic Java closer to December. Stop by their for your last minute Christmas shopping caffeine fix and some great tunes. Keep an ear out for her, and rumor has it, she is This Close to getting her album out the door.

Great minds think alike. Great minds like to party alike.

And the Two Twenty was definitely opened up. Grand. Performances were scattered between three central areas, kept the crowd flowing. Saskatoon Slam  poetry and smaller duets in the front where the main office space is. Larger band performances in the back, and DJ beats and dance numbers in the downstairs events room.

Vaereo +Sarah Farthing both had qualities of a young Natalie Merchant, also if you were to throw some Lisa Loeb DNA in there. These two young ladies bring soulful and meaningful performances, guitars and violin. Some country influences also ring of east coast folk. A great duet team, follow them, tell your friends, buy their cd’s. Definitely a great collaboration that you won’t want to miss out on.

I was amazed and dumbstruck at the amazing dropped rhymes from EEKWOL. Suddenly I needed to wear neon. Slick transitions, amazing speed rants, sick rhymes, it wasn’t hip hop or rap. It was hip. It was hot. It was beat poetry 80’s style to the old school rhythm. You can find her on FB – Lindsay Eekwol Knight

Make Liars brought guitar rock, poetic lyrics, and a determined spirit to the stage. The guitar pickings were channeled through the roots of early surf rock into brilliant anthems. Close your eyes, don’t think and you are in a time where convertibles, poodle skirts, california coastlines ruled pop culture. Spatterings of influence can be heard from Rockabilly and some Heavier Alternative Rock. I’d like to know if the music comes first, or the lyrics. Or is it some kind of weird simultaneous occurance where one cannot exist without the other. Keep an ear out for them as well. Right now you can find them on Facebook.

Rounding out the night Violent Kin brought us the lost (and better) chapter of late 80’s and early 90’s rock. Great show visually, flash neon, high bulbs, and any stage show that has more than 2 mannequin heads is bound to be awesome. S.J. and Maygen Kardash fronted a great show, and easily blended synth with driving guitar riffs- Took me back to my high school days and felt like I found a new band on cassette. (Quiet you, I am that old…) Also got their full length CD entitled People. The live show was definitely more rock and heavier, but the CD does emerge a better portion of well used synth.

It was a brilliant night. The Two Twenty has definitely opened for amazing talent and already established brilliant companies in the heart of Saskatoon.  I’ve done my part, now do yours. Get over there and check them out.

I’m still writing,


(Also working on 3.5 hours sleep, if I missed something, I apologize, need something corrected, let me know, drop me a line. @pearcekilgour on twitter)

Ninjaspy in Saskatoon

Ninjaspy amazing performance last night in #YXE Brilliant combination of Metal and Ska.

In an hour, they will take you on a ride with head bobbing cool grooves to mosh stomping metal, to tender sincere moments, to the utter silliness. This is the clearest photo I took as they conquered the stage. They don’t stop playing, they don’t stop moving. They sincerely own and deliver their music.

I’m just hoping that they get nominated for the Junos this year. In the newly announced category of Metal. At least they now have, what, 20 years of catching up to hand out awards to great Canadian metal bands?

You can find their music and merchandise at