Friday, May 10, 2013
Thursday, August 09, 2012
My original guitar instrumental, Corkscrewed, is now available on CD Baby and shortly on Amazon and iTunes as well.
Will Ray & Sieg Pedde | Corkscrewed | CD Baby Music Store
Posted by The Atavist at 11:34 AM
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Will Ray has laid down his lead guitar track on my twisted, 'Corkscrewed' guitar instrumental. The guy is incredible. A teaser clip is below, to listen to if you're curious. There will be much more of Will on the final mix of Corkscrewed. Now, I am trying to book studio time to record my own guitar parts. Talk about an intimidating task, trying to play without embarrassing myself after listening to Will's brilliant guitar virtuosity! Thank you, Will, for being such a great sport and a true gentleman!
Listen to the Corkscrewed Teaser Clip with Guitar Leads by Will Ray
Posted by The Atavist at 9:38 AM
Sunday, August 21, 2011
My nephew Jessiah has started writing songs. I am impressed with his turn of phrase and the melodies he writes. He has one demo video and I want him to do more to get exposure for his music. Are you a hotshot performer (or know of one) looking for material that is original, honest, and relevant? He has several great songs now and maybe soon he'll have enough material for an album. Let's help make him famous ;-).
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Today we are launching “Living in Paradise”, Roca Milagro’s new newsletter. In this monthly publication we will be featuring news about our Roca Milagro development near Rovira Arriba and we will also tell you what there is to see and do elsewhere in Chiriqui Province and other parts of Panama. We will be sharing great Panamanian recipes and other interesting content that we hope you will enjoy.
If you have already signed up for email updates, you will receive the newsletter in your inbox. If you have not signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up now, at www.rocamilagro.com
Friday, April 08, 2011
It was September of 1968. I was in my second year at the University of Western Ontario. Lost in thought, I was walking across the lawn and up the hill leading to University College when I noticed a pretty girl coming down the hill towards me. I recognized her, having seen her a few times at the St. Catharines Collegiate Institute where I had attended high school. I didn’t actually know her, but I knew her name. We passed each other, but neither of us said anything. I don’t know if she even knew who I was. That chance meeting, however, was important to me. I’ll explain why, a bit later.
In April of 1968, I had completed my first year at Western. Like thousands of other students, I looked for a summer job to help me pay my bills. Jobs were hard to find and I found myself driving a cab for an independent owner who had his vehicle on the U-Need-a-Cab fleet. The cab owner was an understanding and cooperative guy and he agreed to allow me to spend time every day away from the cab. Most weekdays, between the hours of 10am and 2pm, I sat in the waiting room of the offices of Isard, Robertson, Easson & Co., Ltd., a local stock brokerage firm at the time, and watched stock symbols and prices scroll by on an electronic display mounted on the wall. When something caught my attention, I would place a small buy order, usually under three hundred dollars. I rarely held any stock more than three days because the third day was settlement day when the stock purchase had to be paid for. I made enough money to supplement my meager income as a cabbie and somehow managed to survive.
When I did drive my cab, I noticed that calls would come in from local businesses which needed something delivered right away. There were no messenger companies in London at the time. Local delivery or cartage companies would typically pick up whatever businesses sent out one day and then deliver it the next. I couldn’t imagine why a dedicated messenger company didn’t exist, so decided to start one. I gave up my cabbie job. I called my brother who was just about to leave Ontario for a job in Alberta, and asked him if he wished to be my partner in a new enterprise. He said yes and agreed to come to London, from St. Catharines. He was eighteen. I had just turned a ripe old twenty-three, having taken several years off during my high school years before being admitted to Western.
My brother Alfred manned the telephone at our new company and I continued at Western, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was bored and felt unchallenged but didn’t want to drop out of school. My biggest concern as I was walking up that hill at Western in September was trying to find a suitable name for our new company. I had been calling it Pedde Deliveries but wanted something ‘cool’ and memorable instead.
I have always liked the letter X. Xerox came to mind. What a great name that was. If only I could come up with a name that had an ‘X’ in it . . .
As I watched the girl come down the hill towards me, I thought back to my years in St. Catharines and remembered the great times I had there. I remembered founding the Club Unicorn, a weekend nightclub for teenagers that I started at age 17. I remembered my band, The Continentals, and the many happy hours we had spent playing together. I was just a bit homesick. With my mind on St. Catharines, I returned my attention to the girl and tried to remember her name. What was it? Penny. That’s it. Penny . . .
Penny Helis was her name. I had one of those moments when you get a chill and realize that something important had just happened. As soon as I said her name to myself, I thought of grade eleven physics and discussion of the double helix in DNA. I had a name for our new messenger company. Helix.
That was over forty-two years ago. Soon after that day, I decided to leave Western and to devote myself to my company. I bought out my brother Alfred’s interest eventually and today, Helix Courier Limited still provides local messenger services and overnight courier services to hundreds of customers.
Penny Helis, if you are out there somewhere, I never said thanks for your part in the Helix saga. Thank you, Penny. I wish you well, wherever you are, and hope that life has been good to you.
Sieg Pedde, President, Helix Courier Limited
Addendum, May 5, 2011: Last week I discovered that the girl's name was actually Penny Heelis, not Helis. It doesn't chnage the story, really, because it was the pronunciation of her surname that I remembered. I had never actually seen it spelled out. So, Penelope Heelis, wherever you are, hello, and thank you again!
Thursday, February 03, 2011
The Success primer - Financial Planning for Beginners is an ebook I wrote some years ago and it was published by my company Phoenix Accrual Corporation in our proprietary Omnipresents format. I have now updated the ebook and have made it available as a Kindle ebook on Amazon. I hope to have an iPad version available soon.
Check it out on Amazon: The Success Primer.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Friday, August 20, 2010
Photo by George Barnett)
I love playing my guitars. For about three years, I have been jamming most Wednesday evenings with Paul Pedersen, another guitar player. He responded to a Kijiji.ca ad I had placed captioned something like: Talentless Geezer Seeking Jamming Partner. He was still living in North Bay, Ontario, but had taken a job in London, where I live, and thought that answering the ad might help him get to know someone here and that as a lover of music he might have some fun as well.
The relationship has worked out well. We started playing mostly old songs from the thirties and forties with an occasional inclusion of something a decade or two younger. Once we got to be comfortable with each other and our respective playing styles, we started bringing original material to our sessions and found that we were each able to enhance the other's work and soon we played more original material than anything else.
We are slowly starting to record some of our original songs, all instrumental, at a studio of a new friend of ours named Kent Thorburn. Unfortunately, we all live somewhat hectic lives and getting the time to record is difficult.
Paul and I call ourselves Geezers with Guitars and I have created a website and a FaceBook page under that name. I will slowly be adding recorded material and to start there are a few representative compositions of both Paul's and mine and also our version of a song called Sweet Dreams by Don Gibson. Have a look/listen on the Songs page of the website if you are interested. Remember, we do this for fun, not with any great desire to wow anyone. If you like anything we do, send a comment to us from the Contact Us page of the website. That way both Paul and I will see your comment and will be (hopefully) encouraged. Don't forget that we are old and feeble and that any negative comments might be perilous to our health ;-).
Life is all about having fun and this part of my life is a lot of fun.
Monday, August 09, 2010
It seems that all I am writing on this blog these days is birthday posts. I certainly wouldn't want to pass up the opportunity to write about an occasion as momentous as my son's 18th birthday, so I think it is time for some reflection.
I was 47 years old when Zachary was born. Several months before he arrived, I had taken a solitary trip, at my wife's urging, to find my brothers in Germany. I have written about this before but here is a brief recap: In January of 1945, near the end of World War II, my mother, along with tens of thousands of other Germans who had resided in Poland, were fleeing towards Germany to the west to escape the advancing Russian army. She had become separated from my father through a series of misadventures and was alone with my sister Wanda, aged about thirteen at the time and my bothers Albert and Erwin, aged respectively 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. I was not yet born. My two brothers got sick and my mother took them to a clinic in Graal Muritz, a seaside resort in what would later become communist East Germany and there they died.
Because the refugees had no choice but to keep going, nothing was known about where my brothers were buried. I made it my quest to travel to Graal Muritz and find out. I needed the closure. The trip and the emotional turmoil I experienced are too much to address here in a few words, but I visited the clinic and was told that when the Russians arrived all patient records were destroyed. A receptionist at the clinic helpfully suggested I visit the local Lutheran Church to see if they had any records. I met with a kindly pastor there and he found an old ledger with my brothers' names and their times of death and where they had been buried. He also warned me that I shouldn't expect grave markers as so many children had died that the bodies were simply stacked one on top of the other.
I found the cemetery. I spent most of one day there, walking around, grieving and getting the closure that I needed. The rage I had felt for years was stilled and I felt mostly just emptiness and disappointment. Disappointment that I would never get to meet my brothers, disappointment that they had been cheated of their lives, disappointment in the human race for repeating the same insane behaviours century after century, seemingly never learning from experience that hate and violence breeds, not surprisingly, more hate and violence.
The photo above is of the church in the cemetery at Graal Muritz where my brothers were buried.
When I returned to Canada, I was very ready for something more positive in my life. A little over two months later, Zachary Alexander Pedde was born. For many years, I had been ambivalent about having children. I needn't have been. My son has been a source of joy and pride and has given me a sense of continuity that I needed.
As Zach grew up, I talked to him often about my brothers, about my family history, about history generally, about war and peace, about everything I could think of that would help him come to his own conclusions about the meaning of it all. At age eighteen now, I know that he is equipped to handle life's surprises, its frustrations and disappointments, and still be receptive to and grateful for, its beauty and pleasures.
Life is, as Thomas Hobbes first told us: "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." It is up to each of us to find joy and peace and meaning in our life. I think I have accomplished quite a lot in my life and I am proud of my achievements. But if I had never accomplished anything in my life but to be the father of Zachary Alexander Pedde, I would be proud to have that honour and distinction. He is a special young man and I am very proud to be his father.
I love you, son.
Happy 18th birthday.