Everybody in Canada wears tight pants and lurks in the forest on their skis, shooting things.


Cigarette Ads are Back!



It's been quite some time since we've had the pleasure of cigarette ads in Canadian publications. I think I speak for all of us when I say we can all live with a lot more pictures of whisky flavored cigarettes in our lives. Hopefully lots of people buy this wonderful product so we actually HAVE more whiskey flavored cigarettes in our lives. This might've just relegated 'nuts and gum' (together at last!) to the second tier of amazing products. I really hope you can get drunk from smoking these cigarettes. And now that I know about their existence, well, maybe I'll buy some to see if you do!

But if smoke isn't your thing, how about smokes that don't smell so much like, well, smoke. Yes, just what we've been waiting for:


Can you imagine what the Less Smoke Smell technology (LSS) actually is? I figure it's a very fascinating technology indeed. Huh! You gotta hand it to technology! What'll technology think of next?

Thank you Quebec. Now I have more information on which is the most appropriate brand to purchase and give to children.



Finally. Thank you Quebec. Now I have more information on which is the most appropriate brand to purchase and give to children.


I promote whiskey consumption and Jack Daniel's, the liquid, is innocent.

Hot of the news wires:

Historic Whiskey Could Go Down Drain

By JOE EDWARDS – 10 hours ago

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Here's a sobering thought: Hundreds of bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey, some of it almost 100 years old, may be unceremoniously poured down a drain because authorities suspect it was being sold by someone without a license.

Officials seized 2,400 bottles late last month during warehouse raids in Nashville and Lynchburg, the southern Tennessee town where the whiskey is distilled.

"Punish the person, not the whiskey," said an outraged Kyle MacDonald, 28, a Jack Daniel's drinker from British Columbia who promotes the whiskey on his blog. "Jack never did anything wrong, and the whiskey itself is innocent."

Investigators are also looking into whether some of the bottles had been stolen from the distillery. No one has been arrested.

Authorities are still determining how much of the liquor will be disposed of, and how much can be sold at auction.

Tennessee law requires officials to destroy whiskey that cannot be sold legally in the state, such as bottles designed for sale overseas and those with broken seals.

"We'd pour it out," said Danielle Elks, executive director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

The estimated value of the liquor is $1 million, possibly driven up by the value of the antique bottles, which range from 3-liter bottles to half-pints.

One seized bottle dates to 1914, with its seal unbroken. Elks said it is worth $10,000 on the collectors market. Investigators are looking into whether the liquor was being sold for the value of the bottles rather than the whiskey.

"Someone was making a great deal of profit," she said.

Tennessee whiskeys age in charred white oak barrels, but the maturing process that gives them character mostly stops when it is bottled. A bottled whiskey can deteriorate over a long period of time, especially if it is opened or exposed to sunlight and heat.

Christopher Carlsson, a spirits connoisseur and collector in Rochester, N.Y., said old vintages of whiskey in their original containers are highly prized.

"A lot of these bottles are priceless," he said. "It's like having a rare painting. It's heavily collected."

The raids, prompted by a tip, were conducted at two warehouses and a home in Lynchburg, about 65 miles southeast of Nashville. Another raid was at a Nashville hotel room where drinks were being served and bottles were being sold.

For now, the whiskey is being stored in a Nashville vault.

Elks acknowledged that pouring out the whiskey would not be a happy hour for her.

"It'd kill me," she said.

I bought a jigsaw.




Let me know if you want anything jigged. My rates are reasonable and I'm reasonably experienced. Also, I will wear camouflage Crocs with wool socks. But that sort of treatment costs extra.


Anonymously purchasing surprise pug t-shirts on eBay just ain't as easy as it used to be

So I'm in Montreal right now just finishing up some Quebecois book release promo stuff and gearing up for some US/Canadian book promo stuff and as my mood would have it, decided to purchase a lovely pug t-shirt for Dom. I'm not going to show it. It's a surprise. Anyhow, I bought it, filled in the address, paid via paypal, and was delighted when an email landed in my box saying the item had shipped. Out of curiosity I opened the email up and read what it said:

Dear oneredpaperclip,
Dear Kyle,

Thank you for your eBay purchase! I have received notice of your payment
and have shipped your Pug tee. You should be receiving it shortly. I appreciate
your business, and I hope you love the shirt, blah blah blah, but are you
REALLY the red paper clip guy?? Ohmigosh, you want to start again with my
Pug tee!!! It's going to be onepugteefromrachellesmith.com!! Too exciting!
You should totally do that! Either that, or you are really just buying
it to wear it, but it will probably be too small for you, or the other possibility
is that you are an imposter, since you are really supposed to live in Sask,
not Montreal, so something is fishy there. But as my husband says, why would
anyone want to pose as the red paper clip guy? Which you shouldn't take
offense to, in the off-chance that you ARE that guy.

Anyway, THANKS!!!!


Toronto, Canada

Hi Rachelle. I'm that guy. Please don't ruin the surprise for Dom by emailing her a picture of the t-shirt. Thanks.

ORP dot com

Lotsa stuff going on over at one red paperclip this week. Why not swing on over to enjoy the fun new updates!


Dom says thanks for all the birthday wishes.

And asked me to take her email off the post. But I've decided to leave it up. Just for kicks. Getting prepped for some big book release stuff this summer, in addition to big party in Kipling:

June 28 = Book release in UK/Ireland.
July 2-8 = be in London/Dublin promoting book.
July 10-16 = be in Kipling for red paperclip days.
Aug 17 - Book released in Quebec, en francais.
Aug 21 = Book released in USA and Canada.
Aug 21 - Aug ? = big book promo tour in USA and Canada.

And the book's gonna be released in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, China, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands - sometime this year, I believe. I honestly don't know all the release dates. If you can find them somewhere online and want to share them, that'd be snazzy! I'm really keen to find Saskatchewan's Brownest Van, then ship it to Japan for a big book launch tour. I can't explain how amazing I think a trip like that will be.

Yes, fun and busy.

It'll be pretty choice when all the book release stuff is wrapped up and I can get down to the business of getting something else on the go!


Another big day today

Yes, today was Dom's birthday. She's 27 now. Feel free to wish her a splendid birthday at domdoum@hotmail.com

Other than that though, let me just say, WOW! I painted a third coat of mint blue in the bathroom, applied a coat of wax to a 1990 Corolla Station Wagon, ate some Spitz sunflower seeds, but wait, that's not it! Nope, if you can believe it, there was more. Dom and I went for Dinner in Carlyle!

All in all, a great day in the greater Kipling region.



I ran 10 Kilometres today. Drove the van 5km west from 503 Main, pulled over to the gravel, dropped the clutch, turned the wheel left, pulled a peel-out "U-ey", and drove back home to place both feet in the eagerly awaiting pair of red Adidas. Then I ran to the tire mark. And back.

50 minutes.

Not bad.

Specially for a belly full of elk sausage. Cold wet powerful north wind blew hard perpendicularly to the road the entire time. From the right on the way there. From the left on the way back. No tailwind either direction. I tried to twist my back to get a bit of a sail-effect going on to help propel me down the highway. Not sure if it helped. I did get stomach cramps though, so maybe twisting wasn't the best idea. Probably the elk sausage's fault though. They always get up to stuff like that. Good old elk sausages. Digesting. Giving people cramps. Elk sausages. Nothing like 'em.


I'm so hungry I could

eat a bike. But since I'm on a fast, and can't eat solids, I just fixed a bunch in the backyard instead. So, I was working on bikes all day, and then this monster thunderstorm came along and we were about to drive out of town to watch it, in a place that in hindsight what was probably the most lightning-strike likely location, ever. But we never left town, cause there were two guys on bikes in front of the big red paperclip at 503 Main. These two guys:


Francois and Olivier. And they didn't look like they were just riding around town on those bikes. Nope, it looked like they were riding somewhere really far on those bikes. It turns out they're on their way from Victoria BC to St. John's Newfoundland. Pretty much as far as you can travel without needing to carry ID to cross a border. They've got a website. With a really easy to remember URL. You should check it out: www.olivieretfrancoistraversentlecanadaenvelo.com

We scored them showers, beds, cutlery, bike storage in the "Leprechaun" motorhome out back, etc. World's defintely collided around here last night. Yep, the world of Kyle and Dom sitting around the house doing as little as possible, shaking off stir craziness by obsessively collecting, fixing, and then not really riding bikes, with the world of Olivier and Francois: goal oriented and spandex fueled cross continental cycling...on bikes that weren't salvaged from attics in farmhouses.

Awesome guys, glad they dropped buy. They ate an entire bag of Chewy Chips Ahoy last night. I had some mini carrots. And such.









Lots more at the bottom of here.

Fasts are slow

I once read somewhere about this fast thing in Thailand where people drank tea for ten days and then all sorts of the "bad" stuff started coming out of their bodies, like a glass marble one guy swallowed when he was 6 years old. Yep, it popped right out of him. In Thailand. When he was 33. So anyway I don't ever remember eating a glass marble, and if I had eaten a glass marble I'm not sure if I'd want to get rid of it from the inside of my body anyhow. But that thought always stuck with me. What if there was all sorts of crazy crap inside my body I could only ever get rid of with a fast? So Dom, the nutritionist, decides to do a fast. Here in Kipling. And she asked if I was interested. And I said yes. And stopped eating. More than two days ago. And now I'm really hungry. Dom's been feeding me all sorts of tea and juices that are supposed to be good, and I have to say, they're pretty good. But I could really go for a piece of toast. Actually, I'm not as hungry as I thought I'd be. I'm sort of approaching it with a competitive spirit. Not eat for two days? Ha! I can not eat for three days. And if I don't sleep eat a few bowls of Cheerios tonight, that'll be day three. Just like that. But there's so much time in the day if you're not eating. I've realized that breakfast, lunch, dinner and all that snacking takes up a lot of my day usually. And for the past couple of days I've realized that I have literally no idea what to do with those hours of the day. Especially when I'm really hungry and in ultra low energy mode. Kinda just hanging around the house. Or pulling really old bicycles out of people's yards. At their permission/request. Yeah, so anyhow, that's what's going on around here in Kipling right now. Not eating, and being a bike magnet. I'm really looking forward to eating again. It's going to be awesome. I'll let you know if any marbles pop out.


Turn your speakers up

We've got a VW camper van. Having a bit of an issue with the auxiliary battery holding it's charge. Gonna go into Regina tomorrow and take it to the VW dealer to get their verdict. I hope the dealership has this music coming from it's service department.



So Scott, Dom, Teresa and I were siting around 503 Main today and for some reason I said I'd like to get a lot of bikes. Like a hundred. Quickly. Something like that. Since bikes are fun, it's pretty predictable that a lot of bikes will be a lot of fun. We'd just scooped up a $2 garage sale wonder down the road in Kennedy, and had four already on the premises. So only about 95 to go to hit c-note status. I posted up a message at the Kipling Motor Inn and the Co-op that I was looking for bikes, and we left it at that.

An hour later the door rang. It was Lloyd. Lloyd came in out of the cold rain. We sat in the kitchen and said the usual pleasantries. Then Lloyd said that he'd come over because he'd seen the notice about bikes at the KMI.

You have bikes?
Yes. I've got about 30 of them.

Just like that.

So ten minutes later Scott, Lloyd and I are on the road to his family's farmhouse 20 minutes down a muddy gravel road out of town towards Kenosee to scope them out. We pulled up the the ancient semi-abandoned farmhouse on their spread and walked inside. And sure enough, the house was filled to the rafters with bikes. A farmhouse filled with bikes. Just like that. He'd gathered them over the years and there they were. So we grabbed as many would fit on and in the Sun Seeker and headed back to town with the first load of bike loot. A quick stop at Lloyd's place in town netted a couple more to bring the total for the day to ten bikes. So about 15 bikes so far at 503 Main. And another 25 or so still at the farmhouse. That's about 40 bikes. I have no idea what I'm going to do with 40 bikes. But that's the sort of thing that'll pretty much work itself out. Vast amounts of bikes are like that.

So now I'm figuring out ways to score a utility trailer and go back for the rest of those bikes just waiting at the Warner family farmhouse. Then I'm gonna fix them all up and do something fun with them. Then maybe try to bring every single unwanted spare bike in Saskatchewan to Kipling. Who knows. This bike getting will either fade out quickly or quickly get right out of hand.

Which would be fun.

So I'm looking to get lots of bikes to 503 Main Street here in Kipling. If you've got one bike, or fifty bikes, I'm interested. Drop me a line at oneredpaperclip@gmail.com or better yet, just drop on by...with your bikes. We can make a deal!



Cradle to Cradle

Dear all citizens of planet Earth. I think you should watch this movie:

Then read this book:



Mr. J

Through the miracle of Facebook, the cyber stalker's ally, A now-teacher friend of mine named Kristen got in touch and asked if I'd like to do a presentation about one red paperclip at her school. When I found out where she teaches, I jumped at the chance: My old Elementary School. It's pretty strange to go back to your old elementary school and drink out of the same water fountains you used back in 1985. Yeah, they're really low to the ground, but what gave me crazy flashbacks was the taste of the water. And the fact that my grade 6 and 7 teacher, Mr. J's voice could still be heard while I bent down and lapped up the water. We went to Anmore Elementary from Kindergarten right through to grade 7. Eight years of busing up the hill to Anmore and back every day. Eight solid years of formative whatever-you-wanna-call-ems brought back with the sound of Mr. J's voice. We'd get him going on an amazing story and the hours would just pass by like we weren't in school at all. Day after day. Sometimes the same stories, but always good. The you lean forward to hear better. Yeah, those ones. Kurt Vonnegut often talks about that one teacher who made an impression on your life more than all others in his commencement addresses. That's you, Mr. J. Thanks again.


For the last month, and sporadically over the next little bit, I'll be going over through the final stages of the production process of writing one red paperclip the book. I grew up around manufacturing. And worked more assembly lines as a kid than you can shake a stick at. (FYI - My parents ran a sweatshop garment factory in the basement of our house and employed more than their fair share of child labor.)(Not kidding.)(Don't worry - it was all legal and safe.) Anyhow, despite thoroughly understanding the production stages of such wonderful products as cable joe or Fiddy's favorite, 1188s, I never knew books had a production process. Proposal, first draft, second draft, copy edit, second copy edit with pictures, pre-production mock ups, galleys (whatever that means) and then some other copy just before they go to "final" production. I always thought books were one of those things that somebody just wrote. Somebody else.

And now I'm that somebody else doing things other people did. Which is fun. And I think the sentence after the next is amusing, if not anecdotal. Here it comes. When I was younger I absolutely hated to write book reports. I'd put it off to the last minute and kick and moan. My favorite book report was for the 1988 Guinness Book of World Records. I just said I'd read "about" 300 pages of the sucker and then listed my favorite facts. I forget what those favorite facts are now, but I'm sure they were awesome. Facts are like that.

So after watching Allan Wills' videos, I've realized I have zero talent for video production. It's one of those things that I think everyone with a blog thinks we should be good at, because with youtube and cameras with video settings, we all easily can. The difference is, Allan actually can. And it's great to see somebody doing something he's obviously good at and has a passion to do. Maybe for most people getting better at stuff is just a patience thing. Take for example my approach to this graphic. No, it's not a dumbed down purposely-childish design developed by an avant garde graphics design collective to unilaterally appeal to the childish yearnings in all of us to play games like bigger and better aka one red paperclip and strike a chord with people in such a way that they're more likely to purchase the book and increase sales and make the writer or and publisher happy and give a guy with a blog to pretend he knows what he's talking about sorta like every single all night paper he wrote in university. Not that at all. I just cracked open photoshop and used the paintbrush to write the letters in with the trackpad mouse on my laptop. It's WAY hack, but I couldn't be bothered to deal with figuring out how to make it look nicer. And it took me five minutes to find the paintbrush button. But somebody else is awesome at that stuff. Being awesome at stuff is sweet. But until one red paperclip the book is read, and enjoyed, I'll still be editing with paranoia and be ultra unsure it's as good as I'd like it to be and will forever be re-writing sentences until somebody says stop. That sentence two sentences ago was great huh? Kyle

I always knew he had a secret!

I always thought No Fear was just a brand of T-shirts and those things you were supposed to put on the top of your 1992 Z24 Cavalier windshield. I guess I was wrong. Way to go pops! Philosophy!


PS - That's my dad. He's nice.

Two things to check out

I've been holding out on promoting this until "the big launch", and the digg-fueled, server-melting big launch happened yesterday. The 1 Second Film is awesome. I can't accurately describe how much I like this idea, or how in awe I am of Nirvan's scope on things, so it'd probably be best if you check it out yourself, and become a producer! I'm a producer, are you? Become a producer! We can produce films together!

One Week Job is an undertaking that quite simply rules. There's no two ways about it. Sean Aiken grew up in the same hood as me and Scotty and Fiddy. We all went to Seattle together in the late 90s as part of a binge work/get kicked out of the go-karts excursion. So we've got history, you could say. Sean's off to a running start with One Week Job, and is doing it for all the right reasons. I expect only good things to come from this. I can't wait to see where this takes him.


Stream of conscience rambling

I write like this all the time in google docs, but never publish on a blog because it's really, well, rambly...and might "blow" my "image" of writing purposeful blog posts, or something like that.

My mom said to me the other week, "You know, you have lots of ideas, but if it's too much to do them all, why don't you write fiction? People like to read stories that they know are made up, as well, you know." And I know that. I'm reading Slaughterhouse-Five right now, which is fiction-ish, but it's quite obvious the "research" for Billy Pilgrim's character was pulled directly from Vonnegut's POW time behind enemy lines. Thankfully I've never been imprisoned in a POW camp before, and I hope things stay that way, but after getting into this book and watching the movie Capote the other night, I'm really fascinated with the idea that it could be a book of fiction based upon real events, as opposed to a factual memoir a la one red paperclip.

But I'm still not sure, I've only ever written stories memoir style, like these. I feel that a jump to writing fiction requires a total disconnect in ways I might not be prepared to do. If you write fiction, then you really have to be a writer. When you write about stuff you did, you're just a guy who did some stuff. Then wrote about it.

So that's where I'm at right now. I'm looking for that first step again. It's either going to be another idea that I get to "take to the streets" or something much more random and secretive that'll get developed in secrecy, perhaps using special code words and handshakes and stuff. The thing with all that secrecy is, well, that it's secret. And keeping things secret is really, really hard. I have hundreds of ideas, and I'm ready to make the move to get things in motion. (If anyone knows where these stores will be located, please let me know. I'll pre-order the first person to find that info a copy of one red paperclip!) And then there's this, which fascinates me to no end, including the fact that if I'm going to put forth a sophomore effort, it might be a nice idea to base it on the worst idea ever, as to flip the script on the whole sophomore slump thing. I'm not really sure what flip the script means, but I've been listening to a lot of early 90s hip hop lately and it seems to fit with what I'm trying to say. I think. We don't even use the word sophomore in Canada, unless we're talking about an "artist's" sophomore effort. A sophomore in Canada is just somebody in grade 10. Not tenth grade, grade 10. So that's deep.

If you peruse through the archives on this site, you'll see that this blog is much more of a rambling unstructured place of thoughts, ideas, and old pictures of Dom that look like North Korean dictators, than one red paperclip. i don't think there was a single picture of a North Korean dictator on one red paperclip, and that's how I'd like to keep it. The randomness will stay this-a-way.


Funny Blog Post

My mom wanted me to write a funny blog post today. How's this mom?




Selling In

Last December, the Volkswagen Polo TV ad opportunity came along. What sold me on it was the fact that the Spanish crew was prepared to come all the way from Barcelona to Kipling Saskatchewan and shot the whole thing on location. That, coupled with the fact that they probably dropped in excess of $40,000 into the Kipling economy for motel rooms, meals and assorted donations to local causes made it an offer I couldn't refuse. And Nolan Hubbard got to appear in his first commercial. And it was broadcast in Spain. And dubbed in Spanish. It was fun. It was good for Kipling. So I sold out and hawked ultra-compact German vehicles to Spaniards.

I didn't really talk about it much around here, or more precisely, at all, but the day after they filmed the VW commercial in Kipling, I flew to New York to shoot a Mastercard commercial. I guess co-opting the one red paperclip story to promote a credit card company pretty much spits in the face of hardcore bartering community. (and what I believe many people take one red paperclip to be all about.) But I really dug the ad agency's take on for the Mastercard commercial. There was no "Now you should trade up to an apartment building!" or "What are you going to trade for next, the president of the United States?!" It was just a fun, heartwarming corner store fable of a guy who bought a pack of gum and tricked people into a series of trades and walked home with a coffee maker.(In a positive way of course.) Simple, fun, and despite what others may be led to believe, not at all like my day-to-day corner-store-going life. I was sold. Everyone else in the ad were actors, playing roles. The casting director complimented me at the end of the shoot. "You're really good at this Kyle. So natural." I won't lie to you. It was the compliment I'd always been waiting for. It's been a long and hard road to become myself. I've practiced everyday for more than 27 years. I accepted the beer in his outstretched left hand and changed the subject to something totally different, like my new pink-striped shirt or the binge drinking of expense account beer. I know it's important, but I can't remember what I changed the subject to. I blame the long day of filming. And the free pink-striped shirt.

Also, I think now is a convenient time to mention the uncanny similarity between that got-it-from-Mastercard's-casting-van pink-striped shirt and the shirt my mom forced me to wear to school the day Jostens came in 1992. It's actually kind of creepy how similar Dom and I looked back then - even though we lived 4500KMs apart and didn't speak the same language. But thank goodness I never did anything like this. Or this.

Anyhow, I guess what I'm really trying to say is that opportunities to bring car-buying Spanish TV audiences to rural Canada or for a guy to do fake internet ad trades for giant corporations aren't exactly the sort of thing that come along very often. So as long as I can help the community that traded me a house for the movie role or create situations that will make easy segues into onslaughts of embarrassing pictures of me, or Dom, I'm in.

So hopefully after all this, I'm still edgy. Yeah, edgy's where it's at. If you don't say you're edgy, then your aren't. It's simple logic. So with edgy in mind, when my friend Evan and all around favorite person who wears foam-mesh Puerto Rico hats asked if I wanted to be part of something edgy, and most importantly, nice, I had to say yes.

This time I'm going to be in a Superbowl Ad. You can read all about that here.

Have fun - Kyle

I wrote a story in this book

Gold Tooth Cover.jpg

Click here to buy it!

The title of the book is "I Sold My Gold Tooth For Gas Money", and since it's a compilation of travel stories, I assume there's a story by the same name in the book. I haven't sold my gold tooth for gas money, yet, but I did hitchhike in a parade in Banff in order to promote Alberta Beef and score a ride to the beer store, then wrote a story about it and somehow it ended up in this book. If the other stories are anything like the gem of an afternoon we had in Banff, then you're in for a real treat with ISMGTFGM.

Matt Jackson put the compilation together. He's the head honcho of Summit Studios, and a writer. He wrote a book about a four year hitchhiking trip around Canada called "The Canada Chronicles". You can buy it here. I've read it. I liked it. A lot. The paperback version's out now too, so you won't have to sell your gold tooth for gas money to take in the chronicles.

Have fun - Kyle


Despite often spending 15 hours a day inhaling vast amounts of media over the past 18 months, I hadn't read many books lately. (like maybe one in all of calendar 2006) So it was nice to sit down and do some good old fashioned reading, free of continuous chains of addiction-satisfying hyperlinks. Yes kids, you can wean yourself off an internet addiction! Just read a borderline-unhealthy number of books over a six-week period!

-Planetwalker - John Francis
-Bringing Down the House - Ben Mezrich
-I don't Mean to be Rude, But... - Simon Cowell
-Around The World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne
-McCarthy's Bar - Pete McCarthy
-How to soar with the Eagles - Peter Legge
-The Road to McCarthy - Pete McCarthy
-Mr. Nice - Howard Marks
-Le Millionnaire - Marc Fisher
-Scar Tissue - Anthony Kedis
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Mark Haddon
-Life of Pi - Yann Martel
-Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
-The Closers - Michael Connelly
-The World is Flat - Thomas Friedman.

I recommend them all.

Or better yet, get a pair of camo Crocs!

Have fun, Kyle