Book review - A Strange Little Place - the haunting and unexplained events of one small town · 2.09.16 by colin newell
Revelstoke: Where the worlds of the living, dead, and extraordinary collide.
Brennan Storr, of Revelstoke, British Columbia, a rustic, rugged and alpine town in Western Canada, considers his hometown something of a magical place. But that was not always the case.
Brennan was not a believer in much of anything in the spirit world apart from what he could see in front of him and hold in his hand. Slowly but surely he would be converted to a new reality.
On the rare occasions when Brennan Storr’s family, on his mother’s side, would get together, they would tell ghost stories about the house where they all grew up.
He did have a few personal stories of the unexplained. Nothing dramatic, really, apart from a small collection of inexplicable things that had happened throughout his life. Brennan offered “Understand, I didn’t believe in ghosts or the paranormal, but I got a lot of mileage out of those stories – both my family’s and my own – at parties.”
But in his debut book, A Strange Little Place – the haunting and unexplained events of one small town – Brennan reveals, in 33 succinct chapters, the unusual fabric of time and space that permeates Revelstoke.
“I’ll be straight with you – If you believe that UFO’s, Sasquatch and the like are all nonsense of the highest order, I have no intention of trying to convince you otherwise. Before starting this book in April 2012 I was in the exact same boat.”
Revelstoke, an internationally recognized destination for winter sports and becoming increasingly popular in the spring and summer for its cultural and outdoor activities, harbours something of a dark secret. If the examples within this 240 page paperback hold any greater meaning, it could be that this little town lies in the focal point or nexus of some mysterious force.
The history and progress of Revelstoke plays a very important role in this tale and Brennan thoroughly documents this relationship while unveiling 70 years of the town’s paranormal fabric. In A Strange Little Place Brennan offers several explanations for these odd events. There are a lot of unusual phenomenon here. There may be some inexplicable connection that links these events together. Clearly, Revelstoke has a quantity of spiritual baggage because of its very colourful and, initially, optimistic future.
Tales of missing time, shadow people, spectral light and sound, UFOs and ghosts spill from the pages in a jaunty kind of way that will leave you questioning your own reality and looking over your shoulder a little more often.
“Assuming he had fallen asleep without turning off the kitchen light, Nelles sleepily rose from bed and returned to the kitchen where, sitting at the table in front of him, was none other than the recently deceased Louis Bafaro.”
Brennan’s style is at once charming, folksy then gritty with a 1940’s gum shoe sensibility.
Perhaps coming from a similar upbringing to the author, I found his stories of the unexplained resonated with me. I was left reanalyzing some of my own experiences. I was opening chapters of my own life that I had often dismissed as “false memory”. I liked Brennan’s book because it made me think about the world around me – and had me squinting more objectively at things I might have not given a second look.
A Strange Little Place is a frisky and fast paced read on a subject that I have always been fascinated with. These stories left me wanting more and asking more questions.
Brennan Storr, now a Victoria area resident, is an active story teller, researcher and journalist who has written on many subjects including pop culture, pro wrestling, his own itinerant life and his fascination with dark places. He works in a haunted office building in one of the most haunted cities in North America. His book is readily available on Amazon online (in Canada) and a growing number of small book stores in Western Canada.
You can meet Brennan in person and buy an autographed copy or two of his book at Chapter’s book store, 1212 Douglas St – downtown Victoria on Friday, September 30 from 2 to 4 pm.
Colin Newell is a Victoria area resident and long time writer of non-scary stories about coffee and pop culture.
Long lost Gibson Guitar Les Paul Gold top stolen from ago · 2.06.16 by colin newell
A very long time (1985) I was a Gibson guitar player – they are awesome for Rock, Blues, Jazz, pretty much whatever you want to play. And I played it in a few pick-up bands and a couple of outfits that played a few shows… in a life a long time ago.
That said, I was not a big fan of this for some reason. Might have been the colour or the weight.
Ah, the weight! It was like carrying around a large dog draped around your shoulder – like a Lab or a Bull Mastiff -
And the sound of the Gibson Les Paul is unmistakable – it snarled like a cornered tiger and commanded any musical performance it was involved with.
But the weight got me down… literally… and one day I sold it to a notable and currently successful musician. That was in 1990 or so.
The new owner traveled the World with it – and took on a new life of its own.
Then one day: It was in the locked trunk of of the owner, “Sean’s” 1980 Buick in underground, gated parking beneath the Seagate Apartments on Esquimalt Rd. He came home after an afternoon practice and had left it for around two hours before he had to head out to another practice. Two hours in a locked basement garage. It could have been an inside job, an unscrupulous neighbour… someone that clearly did not appreciate the fact that this particular guitar playing fellows livelihood depended on those 6 stringed instruments. Guitar be gone.
Anyway – occasionally I make a shout out to the World about this missing guitar – likely in the wrong hands, maybe getting played, maybe not or in the hands of someone that is not aware that it is hot.
Anyway – here is the picture of the guitar stolen years ago – and somewhere out there, this guitar is waiting to come home to its owner. If you see it, please send it on its way.
The original owner thanks you!
This was a 1971 or 1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe with hard case stolen from the Seagate Apartment parking lot in 1992. The serial number is 171568 –
Any intel on this item would likely be rewarded with cash or whole bean coffee! Or both!
Hot Wheels · 31.03.13 by colin newell
Hot Wheels. Got my first one in 1968. Played with them for a long time. Loved them. So long ago. Eventually, one has to move from one set of toys to a newer, brighter and faster set of toys…
Which brings up to this blog – hosted on a server that I run myself… to serve you better.
Welcome to the Coffeecrew.com Blog on my own server cluster — administered by… me.
AND (whoops!) sorry for the brief black-out. Look who forgot to do some pointing and clicking and setting this and that!
And now that I am getting into some more stable hosting, please expect some more regular blogging! And to those that have been with me through the years… Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!
Shaming the forum/comment referral spammers - chapter 1 · 23.02.13 by colin newell
Forum spam and website defacement in the form of comment/blog/forum unsolicited shills and ads cost webmasters and editors millions of dollars a year.
I got so fed up with it on one of my websites that I instituted a new registration policy that requires an authentic e-mail address for the user to post anything on my site – As a result I have been regularly harvesting the most notorious of these vandals – with fresh e-mails ready to post to sites like: http://www.stopforumspam.com/ their mission to out these shameful crumbs and the large corporations that they work for.
Here are some examples of actual authenticated e-mail addresses that were used to register on one of my websites that would likely vandalize, deface and spam my forums with referral ads:
Forum and comment spammers cost us web folks millions of dollars in clean up every year – they are the lowest form of life on the World wide web and need to be shamed and stopped. They benefit by riding on the success of popular websites and are, sadly, a common method for large corporations to cheaply get their message out.
I have e-mailed hundreds of companies over the years asking why they roam the internet defacing websites to improve their bottom line: Quite often they respond with “We did not know this was going on…” or “We will definitely get to the bottom of this!” I have even been threatened with a law suit after outing a series of forum spammers on the very website they were spamming!
Like I said, they are the lowest form of internet life.
How can you help? Visit support sites like StopForumSpam and out these hucksters and their billionaire partners.
The fun of electronics and the bomb scare that never was · 2.12.12 by colin newell
I had a couple of 1st year students (apparently from the music department) come in to my shop a few weeks ago seeking advice on soldering some parts together to make a “pocket theremin” kit — a noise maker that is light sensitive.
Neither of them had much, if any experience in electronics or soldering things together. Their bag of parts included two integrated circuits, resistors, capacitors, a speaker, some light sensitive cells and a battery. They were missing several bits of modern electronics to hold it all together – a circuit board.
I gave them a primer on soldering and electronics and we all mutually decided that it would be in our best interest for me to assemble the circuit quickly using some modern technology. Which I did. I assembled the circuit successfully (and threw in a electronic engineering development circuit board) and much to my delight, it worked like a charm. In the dark, the little unit was completely quiet. As it was exposed to light it would squeal like a demon.
The gals reappeared within a few hours and checked out my creation.
They were delighted. Smiles and squeals all around, the gals vanished with the device (ostensibly for a project in their department…) and that was the last I heard of it. I never even got their name but I did leave them with a couple of personal cards if they needed any additional assistance – and I put the circuit in a cute little box… that had my shipping info on it.
The following Monday I got a call from a senior student in the music department that found the device outdoors near an entrance to one of the University buildings. Look at the video. It could have been mistaken for a small bomb – but it was not. The box that had the device in it I had provided for the circuit. It has some contact info on it – my contact info. Ironically, I recognized the University student who discovered the device and brought it to my attention. His 5 minutes of fame were from a recent viral hoax he and a friend had created. This whole thing started to smell like a fish market on a summers day.
I can just imagine a panicked call to campus security and the bomb squad – which was averted because a smart student found it first. Police. Bomb squad. Media. Yikes! Not good.
Moral of the story – be more careful about who you build and hand out electronic circuits out to. They seemed like good kids – and maybe the project was completed and they were discarding the product. Maybe they were trying to scare some friends. Maybe they wanted to create a viral video and everything went haywire. Who knows.
This was a perfect example of a University bomb scare that never happened because of some common sense responses from sensible people or foolish curiosity of a student or two. Still, I learned a lesson about giving out advice and technology that could potentially be misused.