Thursday, April 30, 2009

cold again!!!

On Monday I worked in the yard for a while. I felt certain that if I began each day this week with some useful, physical activity that I would get my mind and body and creativity jump started. Yesterday I woke up to snow. Derailed again. It melted but today still felt like it might snow.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mr. Saul

I'm not Mr. Saul, but I play him in the movies. My most recent, and likely last, installment of my "Mr. Saul" film series screened this evening with an assortment of other films at the RPL as part of the Filmpool spring premier. We also screened "Bonnie's Indescribable Predicament" with Eric Hill playing a live score on a keyboard. We had a question and answer thing afterward, no one asked me anything.

Monday, April 27, 2009


William was introduced to Warlords of something or other game on line yesterday so he played it last night and again tonight. Rather addictive, as all video games are. I guess it has begun.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Artist Trading Cards

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary for the Regina Artist Trading Cards collective. They had a party at the MacKenzie Art Gallery and put up a display of cards from various members. These will be on display in the activity room on the main floor for the next couple of months. They are really well presented, all the work looks good. Margaret poses here in front of six of her pencil sketches of coffee pots.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

riding a bike

With the help of Rowan's dad Ed, William got the hang of riding his bike without training wheels in only 20 minutes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

extracting video from dvds

One of my students put me on to a shareware/open source software package called Handbrake that is a free download. It allows you to take a dvd (so long as it is not copy protected) and extract the video from it and turn it into an mpeg or an AVI file so that you can edit it. I started pulling all of the files off of dvds that my students gave me of their projects so that I can, eventually, put together a compolation disc for the class. I did ask them to hand me in data files to begin with, but only one in five did that.

grading done

Yesterday it was really warm so I raked the yard. Today I finished and submitted my grading and also got two technical video things accomplished, although I have to deliver them tomorrow before I can say they are "done". I'll consult my list of things to do tomorrow and begin to attack it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Harry Potter

A week ago, at the beginning of William's spring break, we sat down and watched all five Harry Potter movies over three days. Now that I can't find any more Animorphs books for him to read, we're offering other things for him to try. On Sunday he suggested he wanted to read Harry Potter. We misplaced the first book but he decided he wanted to read the third Harry Potter book, the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

limited optimism

Feeling rather apathetic this week and therefore less blogging. I'm reserving all optimism for my grading, don't need my students to suffer for my foul moods.Here is a picture of my class from the last day of lectures. We shot a dozen then two people left, then I discovered that the camera was overexposing by 3-4 stops so I had the lab pull process 3 stops. This has resulted in sort of a bleached, painterly sort of image. They all screened their films on Saturday at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, it went well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


A few days ago we drove out to the valley (I don't need to say what valley sincethere is only one valley) to see the crocuses blooming. Margaret doesn't believe spring is here until she sees them. William climbed a hill. I didn't; see me down below.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


At the Cathedral Festival Info Night event a couple of weeks ago, Svetlana & Alf of Free Lense Photographic (737-9922) did a portrait party, taking lots of pictures. We brought dress-up stuff. (a few of William's hats, bats, and wings..) Numerous images can be seen on line HERE.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

still busy

The Easter weekend was fun but busy. My sister Sharon and niece Michelle came in. Michelle had a sleep over at our house one night. Yesterday we went to Gerda's for supper, I sat beside the overly serious councilor Fred Clipsham (see below) and talked about city property issues, schools, and Lego. There is always room in a conversation for Lego. I was wrecked and went to sleep last night before William. Today was full of meetings at work and now I'm trying to get all of the material ready for the BFA assessments but am discovering some problems that need to be overcome tomorrow morning to get the third and last set done.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jeannette Teece

Last day of classes today. I really like teaching, but I have to admit that I'm getting more than a bit tired and need a break. I won't actually get to sleep much over the next week; even on the days I can stay home, William will also be home and will want to do stuff. After class today, Janine did her end of term crit, it went well. She's moving towards completing her degree, one step at a time. The end is in sight.
After that, there was a retirement reception for Jeannette Teece. This was really important to attend, we have a lot of history. To begin with, I was good friends with her son Scott for many years, starting in 4th grade (1973-1974). She was always nice. When I got to university, she had just taken on her first job there: she was the secretary for the department of film and video! I took some classes there as electives and often stopped by her office to say hi. She often suggested that I should change majors. When my interest in computers wained, the seed she planted took root and I changed majors. 15 years later I was hired to teach there full time. Jeannette left the film department after a couple of years and eventually ended up in the faculty of fine arts where she became a cornerstone. During my three years as department head, I rarely made a move without consulting her. I don't know if I could have done that job without her, which is appropriate as I'd never have been in the position to get that job without her.
This evening I forgot about work for a while and played with Lego. I assembled Lego people for a couple of hours: see post on William's blog.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

nearly break time...

I tried to take the day off to rest. This morning I was to stay home but William's egg drop was happening at his school so I watched in the cold for an hour. It was pretty fun. His egg survived (see videos below) but there weren't enough prizes for everyone as promissed, so they gave out prizes by draw and he didn't get one. I had to go to work for a while to meet with a student and when I got home I took William for ice cream. He's starting his spring break; I'd sure like to have my break too but tomorrow is a very full day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Birthday ramble

My horoscope this year says that I am a born executive, which isn't bad, but not as good as last year's where I could control time itself.
It was the last day of Film 401 today, watched works in progress (or at least some of them). We did our own class picture with 35mm film, but I accidentally overexposed them all but a few stops so I'm not sure they are salvageable. I'm still sick, although perhaps not as bad as yesterday. Margaret is a fountain of illness, so we didn't do much after I got home except eat the cake I made yesterday and hang out a bit. William lost one of his upper front teeth finally, now he's waiting for the tooth fairy to come. He's got his Easter/spring break starting after tomorrow, so he made another really great card for his teacher. He also had his last day of swimming with the school today, parents were invited to come and watch although few did. I went. Mostly they did some lame jumping in game; Margaret says it was much less active than usual, no real show. He had fun.

Monday, April 6, 2009

rough day ends well

I've been feeling a bit depressed for the past few days. It seems the reason, as Margaret predicted, is because I'm getting sick. I had a rough night with a huge headache that kept waking me up. It subsided with enough advil this morning, but I felt generally nauseous all day. It was the last day for my animation course. They did great work, much of it being festival-worthy material. Not everyone finished, so I'll have a bunch of follow up in days to come. Actually, I was okay with the incompletes since I was feeling so sick I was dying to let them go early, which I did, and to come home. I ended up beating Margaret and William to the house by 10 minutes (to their surprise) as they returned from the store with a secret bag. William went upstairs and did some wrapping and card-and presented me with a gold wrapped early birthday present at supper time. I was going to try to resist it until tomorrow, but it's such a rarity that I ask for something so specific (Lego Shanghai Chase) and actually get it that I was in heaven. For and image of the built Lego, see William's blog.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Chrystene and I met for a few hours today, ate a lot of chocolate covered coffee beens (the food of choice with Sisu) and combed through her film in preparation for her thesis defense. If I were in Toronto today, I'd have attended the launch of the Fringe Film on line site, phase two, at the Images Festival. I'm linked on it now. Check it out. Between yesterday and today, William has watched 17 episodes of the Animorphs television series. This evening William is having a friend over for his first ever sleep over. We're going to watch "Bolt" now.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Eugene Lipinski

Paul downloaded the entire run of the Animorphs series off the web onto dvd for William. It's super corny with effects that weren't even top of the line in 1999. The main villain, Vissr Three, when he appears in his human form is played by Eugene Lipinski. This would have been areound the same time that Lipinski was in Regina acting in a local film and, while on set, worked with Nicolas Treeson on his student film, "Machine 11" (Nick, why aren't you on Facebook anymore?). Lipinski was also in one of the first episodes of the Jeromy Brett "Sherlock Holmes" series that I bought in October. He was also one of the leads in Robin Schlaht's first dramatic feature "Solitude", which we discussed when Robin came to my class a few weeks ago.

mini crisps

While I probably have other things to talk about, my life is pretty busy this week, I'm mad as hell that my favorite snack, sour cream and onion Quaker Mini Crisps, has got a new recipe. I had a bag a few days ago and I just thought I'd got a stale bag, so last night I opened another. Same crap again. It's not only different, it's downright vile! It's like eating dryer lint that's been left in the cat's litter box a bit too long. It was one of the few snack foods that didn't upset my stomach, it has no corn, very little oil (sunflower), and no msg, but plenty of the salt my body needs. Now they are ruined.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Margaret's busy day

I've been feeling overwhelmed but every time I look around, other people seem to be busier than I am. For example, today began with Margaret calling her mother to come right over to meet the plumber (who got the part in to fix our dishwasher but has failed in that duty, so we probably need a new one - dishwasher that is, he's the only guy who does the bosh in town) and then she had to drop me off at work, drive back to the swimming pool and help with William's swim day, take him home, quickly feed him, then take him to the dentist then back home where he was upset about having his lip frozen and pouted and read the last pages in the last Animorphs book we can find in the city (this is his 43 of the Animorphs books he's read, there are about 20 more but the Regina library doesn't have them, nor do any of the used book stores). Once he was back in school, Margaret got a licence for the cat, got William from school to his play date, went to the comic art opening at the Fifth Parallel gallery at the University where we met back up and came home.

I showed "Simon of the Desert" in class, then came home and worked on my taxes a bit.