Rickys Random Articles

14 Hour Flight Review: Toronto – Calgary – Tokyo [2012, Air Canada]

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If you don’t know me by now (cue up Simply Red), you will know by the end of this post that I will pretty much write about anything. I basically have no ability to sleep on an airplane. It’s absolutely horrible. Friday morning I flew to Tokyo, and since I couldn’t sleep I decided to provide you an hour to hour update of how things went. One would argue that by making this commitment for an hour to hour update, I have basically sub consciously eliminated the idea of sleeping already those people don’t know how many articles I have started writing and abandoned half way through.

This post is not really that interesting, but maybe that’s the point. 14 hour journeys on a plane are not supposed to be interesting.

My never ending quest to sit beside an attractive girl on a flight (does this only happen in rom coms?) is once again foiled when I realized I’m about to sit besides Mistachio in row 32h. I find out he’s a bus driver from Sydney, Nova Scotia going to Jasper for seasonal work. He looked nervous and said he hasn’t flown in such a large plane before. I wanted to say this is just about the smallest plane I’ve been on for a cross Pacific flight, but I didn’t want to crush his soul.

I don’t know why I bothered downloading all those tv shows. The entertainment console has a host of movies including Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Artist, A Separation, Memento, Lord of the Rings and even Seven. Just to see what all the hype is about, I just watch the now defunct television series Community for the first time ever.

The women in the aisle seat in front of me is watching Captain America while eating watermelon and drinking club soda. I think she is living the American dream. The people in the aisle across from me just finished the extra large Tim Horton’s, I put the over and under on their bathroom trips at 4 for the rest of the journey.

I envy everyone who is sleeping. How do they do it? To just let it all go. Maybe they aren’t making hourly blog updates.

The first leg of my flight is almost over. I think I watched five episodes of Community. It’s pretty clever but not sure I’d watch it if I wasn’t stuck on a plane. I did make a mental note to revisit the Allison Brie GQ feature from awhile back.

Stopped over at Calgary’s airport (worse duty free) for an hour which gave my legs a much needed stretch. Was making conversation in Tim Hortons line with some kid. I don’t know if he appreciated the sound of my “ooohhhhhhh” when he told me he was going home to Saskatoon

My attempts to sleep are futile. I am reminded of Mariah Carey singing “can’t sleep, can’t sleeeep anymore” line from her cover of Without You

The stewardess gave me the Japanese version of the customs card. DO I LOOK JAPANESE TO YOU! I scream out at the top of my lungs in my head.

I am hoping the two mini bottles of wine I just polished off will help me sleep. I think I’ve watched like seven episodes of Community now, it’s definitely growing on me.

Watching No Reservations: Japan on my laptop. Sleep is not apparent for me. Why I watch this show, I don’t know. It’s not like my Tokyo trip will be anything like that of Anthony Bourdain’s. It does give me hope though. That’s all I have at this hour.

can’t sleep so I took another mini bottle of wine from the back. I’ve decided to do some coding in the meantime for work. It makes me wonder if I’m starting to become one of those people who think about work when I’m not on my job, but the I seem to be among the few who actually like my job so maybe it’s okay? deep stuff here.

First serious turbulence of the plane ride. in my opinion it’s not a real plane ride until you hit some turbulence. it’s fun for me but some people don’t handle it well. For example when we came back from England the other 3 people in my row threw up. Currently over Alaska right now, about to head over Siberia.

Picture break

Watching the second episode of Girls on the plane was not the best idea. The people in the row behind me probably think I’m a perv now.

Moneyball was pretty good. What would of been better was if they had Jason Giambi injecting himself with steroids in the background somewhere.

Spent the last 40 minutes trying to get some shut eye. fail. Why do I even bother.

meh. Much like Lebron James, I simply don’t know how to finish at this late stage of the game.

Almost there! fourteen hours, nine episodes of Community and five mini bottles of wine later, we are starting our descent into Tokyo. No sleep for 24 hours will be tough when me and my friends go out drinking tonight.

Well there you have it, roughly an hour to hour recap of what my flight was like. I am now in Tokyo. It’s pretty cool.

A Panic Manual: Stuck in an Elevator, May 7th, Toronto

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It only takes a second to materialize, but that second in time seems to take forever.

It’s the moment upon which you realize that the elevator you have entered, is malfunctioning. You are stuck.

If you are claustrophobic, it’s probably your worst nightmare.

If you have diarrhea, it is probably a picky dilemma.

Luckily for me, I suffered from neither of those conditions. I was however, stuck in the elevator for twenty six minutes yesterday and as you would expect, ran through a gamut of emotions and thoughts.

For those who have never experienced such an event, this will prepare you for the inevitable. For those of you who have been stuck in an elevator before.. well, we can hold hands and face the past together. I’ll bring donuts to the next survivors meeting.

Let me take you through the steps.

Step 1: Denial
As with all problems, denial is the first emotion you have to get past. I tried pressing all the floors, tried using my security card. Tried different combinations. Tried to pry the door open. All failed. It always fails. You have to accept the fact that of all the people the elevator has properly transported today, it has chosen you to be it’s passing victim. It’s a breach of trust, and you’ll never fully recover.

Step 2: Reaching Out for Help
I’m one of those stubborn people who hate asking for directions when on vacation and hate to ask for help from strangers. It might take awhile to realize that this is an issue you cannot solve on your own, and you just have to suck it up and press the little red alarm on the elevator door. From that point forth, your only contact with the outside world will be this anonymous voice. He’s your only hope. For me, I started thinking about the movie SAW. I also realized Dennis Hopper was dead. So I was safe from any Speed like shenanigans. I probably watch too many movies.

Step 3: Survival
While some might think it’s over preparing, you never know how long you will be stuck in such a situation. The anonymous voice on the other end might not have been your saviour, rather some random passerby having their kicks speaking to you. What if something were to happen to this man before he called the elevator technicans? What if he had a heart attack? Then you would be stuck a lot longer then you think. Preparing for the worse, I checked my man purse for any sort of provisions. Much to be my dismay, I was ill prepared for this sort of scenario. As record shows, this was all I had:

Which led to this

Desperate times calls for desperate measures, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to resort to this:

Lesson learned: Always keep food on you.

Step 4: All Hope is Lost?
Once all the logistical items are figured out (what you have to eat, which corner of the elevator to shit/piss in, etc), you will then have some time to reflect. You start to wonder..what if a nuclear war erupted when you were stuck? What about an alien invasion? I distinctly thought of the scene from the end of Terminator 3 when John Connor was stuck in some random place and the world ended.

In this time along, you may have many dark thoughts. Embrace it, you might learn something about yourself.

Step 5: Rescue/Salvation
Just when all hope is lost and you have just about given up, the technicians arrive and free you from your metallic prison. A wise man once told me “The night is darkest before the dawn”. I’m not sure if that’s true, but when those doors get pried open and you see the wide eyed faces of the technicians, you finally realize what freedom truly is. You are no longer bounded by those four walls. The sweet air will never smell so good. Food will never taste fresher. Cherish this moment forever.

I was one of the lucky ones. I was only stuck for twenty six minutes, but in that time, I learned a lot about life, myself and how I would handle future crisis. I also played a few games of Draw Something. Either way, I hope this article will help you deal the next time something unimaginable happens.

Great Music Moments in Movies: Kavinsky, Drive

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While its been a good few years since the French Valerie electro disco scene threatened (and failed) to take over the indie music world, the memories of that moment has remained in the minds of many. It’s certainly remained in Nicolas Winding Refn’s mind as the director chose to soundtrack his movie Drive with a strong sampling of this genre of music.

One of the tracks from that movie was the opening of the movie, where the Kavinsky track Nightcall is featured prominently as Ryan Gosling drives his car around night time LA. Given French electros tendency to sound like it should be played after midnight, the combination of this track, the neon retro style lettering of the opening credits and the stunning night time cinematography (LA at night is really dramatic for some reason) makes this a memorable movie moment in a rather memorable movie.

Friday Top 10: Top 10 Reasons to Make a Top 10 List About Random Music Stuff

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It’s Friday, it’s the end of the week. Can’t think, can’t analyze, can’t absorb new music. Am I getting old? Hell Yes. So I’ve decided that I’m doing a Top 10 list every Friday. How long will this last? Probably until February. Regardless, what matters right now is this: I’m about to start my first top 10 list, and you might be wondering why do this, Ricky? Well, here is why.


It’s easy – no story required, no in depth research and no need to think about how to frame something. Just 10 things – BAM!


It allows me to go through my music playlist, and then listen to songs I haven’t listen to in a while. Let’s say I want to make a “Top 10 Songs that have a Gospel singer” list. How am I going to find this out? I’ll have to navigate my albums folder and pick them out. along the way, you realize things like “holy crap, I haven’t listened to Shed Seven in a while” and then you queue it up.


Makes you think about music differently. I must not be the only one who listens to a track like Suede’s We Are The Pigs and think “I wonder what other songs have a child choir singing in it”. Then you compile a list of these songs, then you have a top 10 list!


Despite what real journalists think, People like top 10 lists. It’s moderately entertaining, light-hearted and finished by the time you are done taking a crap. Much like a sandwich.


It’s really the only way an indie blog can write about mainstream artists like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Black Eye Peas and other mainstream bands without losing indie cred. This doesn’t really work for the Panic Manual, since we have any indie cred to begin with. I just wrote that so Google spiders will index this article with those artists as keywords anyway.


Maybe one day the Letterman writers will stumble upon one of our lists and invite us to go read it on their show. Then Wade can fulfill his life long dream and go on Letterman.


All the other music sites do it, so it must be kind of cool. We want to be cool.


If I put each part of the top 10 on a different page, then you have to go through 10 pages to go see what’s number 1. That’s 10 page views AND 10 (or more) ad views. More money to us! (0.0001 cents instead of 0.00099)


Backlinks, baby!


Because sometimes, just sometimes, trying to come up with a new way to describe another chillwave or singer-songwriter song is just boring.

So next time you stumble upon a top 10 list of ____ and wonder why, those are the reasons.

Speaking of Top 10 lists, here is my friend’s website http://top10r.com/ it allows you to democratically decide a top 10 amongst your friends. It’s great.