Sunday, May 31, 2009

time passes

Today was the Filmpool AGM. Even though I was fully intending to not continue on the board, Jon nominated me and I accepted. It will be my tenth two year term on the Board. It looks like there are interesting new people on it, but mostly newer members. I think i can still be of some use, even though I can't shoulder as much of the weight as in the "old" days.

This photo is of our flower box, a painting Margaret did about five years ago that has been weathering very interestingly.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


This morning Margaret and I went to the farm and planted the four apricot plants I dug the other day. We put them part way down the tiny hillside where our old grain bin turned "cottage" is sitting. I also spent a couple of hours sweeping dust, cob webs, old grain, bird and mouse nests out of it in preparation for painting. We had to rush back to town and hit an art opening which I ended up missing so I could take my turn at watching the boys (William and his friend). A generally active and distracting Saturday.

The video on Keith Lee that William shot the other day has garnered more positive reviews than most of my work.
Robin Schlaht writes "A fine and thoughtful piece of work in my estimation. It references skill and experience ("how many years have you been fishing"), perception and representation ("I think I just saw a guy with a baby go by"), and the Canadian identity (flag and the rural/urban reference of fishing in a city back alley). A very complex and mature discourse."

Erin Gee writes "wow...what a soundtrack...!"

Kari Pederson writes "this changed my life."

Janine Bernat writes "Alley Fisherman is a lot like watching "Hooked" with Mark Krupa on Oasis HD!! .....with just an undertone of the Mobey Dick-Old Man and the Sea theme. The audience is constantly in suspense as we almost hope that Keith Lee is unsuccessful in his bid to find something or someone at the end of his fishing pole. Yet, ... Read Moresomehow, we envision him as the hero, and secretly long for a morbid find - a vengeful triumph for Keith Lee over the alley. William's natural talent as director and narrator shines through in this real life documentary drama of a man with his fly rod on a mission."

Friday, May 29, 2009


I am not whining because I did some wining. Eight or ten glasses seem to have done the trick. Little after school special at Leslea and Leif's that stretched through until ten. Margaret's off at Carlie's party where everyone who is anyone is going (you see I'm not there), so it must be time for Alphaville.


This afternoon Margaret and I finalized our colour picks for the house and went and bought some paint. This evening I painted the metal banister on the front steps. I used paint that I bought a year or two ago, not the paint we bought today.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


This evening I attended the Mayor's Awards for Arts and Business as acting department head. I knew a lot of the nominees. Sarah won her award. It was difficult, if not impossible, to predict who would win each award as very dissimilar individuals were nominated in the same categories. Very challenging. The event was at the Globe Theatre with a pretty nice reception at the start, the awards in the main theatre, then great cake in the after reception. The mandolin orchestra was playing the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly as I walked in.
I woke up at 2 am last night and took 3 hours to fall back asleep. I've got a pile of department head stuff waiting for me in the morning. Going to bed now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lego news

I'm the department head for the next three weeks. Usually that means you check with the office now and then, signing a travel form every couple of days. However, I seem to have a full plate of things to do; letters to write, counselling appointments, meetings, events. I wish I could spend all day working on William's blog instead of my own, it's more fun, even though I don't say much. Now that he and his friends can read everything I write, I need to be cautious about what I say on his behalf. This evening I went and dug up four apricot bushes; William's reward for helping out was a trip to Toys R Us (I thought the project was going to be more onerous that it was). Anyway, I was curious about the new Space Police Lego series. I discovered that there is a new Lego Agents (series 2.0) set out which includes Dr. Inferno in a battle-bot suit. I think we can build one of those out of Exo-Force Lego.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Boo hoo.

Do you ever have those days that you would rather be trick or treating?

Lee Majors

Yesterday William, in one of his endless yet charming "what if" questions, asked me about people with robot legs so I told him about the Six Million Dollar Man tv show. Coincidentally, this morning I was watching tv with him and I put on one of the season 2 "Wapos Bay" episodes that I'd recorded months ago but forgotten to watch. It ended up being an episode that guest starred Lee Majors as Steve from Austin (Texas) and his box Felix. They did all the slow motion running and sound effects, a good satire even though it's 30 years out of date. Dennis Jackson had told me about getting Majors to agree to it a couple of years ago and that he was going to Los Angelos to do the voice recording (Wapos Bay is a puppet-style animated series). Cool episode. I paused it to explain all the references to William, he really liked it too.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Keith Lee

Today was the last day of the Cathedral festival. A lot of people think it is the only day of the festival as it is the high profile event, the big street sale and the evening street dance. Margaret worked the Artist Trading Card tent most of the day while I ran around with William, eating mini-donuts and so on. We connected up with his friend Rowan (happy birthday) early on and took a break from festivaling to do some Lego time. What is a Saturday without at least three hours of Lego?

I assembled a video William shot the other day. William shot it with his still digital camera in video mode. He stopped and started the camera frequently. All I did was to put a title at the beginning and end and run the clips together. I've not altered any shot, nor shortened any, nor moved the order of any. I did shoot the clip that goes over the end titles. The music in the background was coming live from another garage where "Dorkbot" was performing 30-50 feet away.

More festival

Today I got back to work on my adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I didn't get much done, even though what I'm doing shouldn't be very hard. I'm reviewing tiny pencil notation from a copy of the play in a book and interpreting it into my version in a screenplay format. Even though I wrote the notes myself, they are often in need of significant interpretation and, more often than not, a magnifying glass. This evening I documented a new dance/play by Tanya Dahms where she performed with Michelle Biden. I didn't know what was going to be performed and the stage is very low so I set up in the front, otherwise I'd have had people in front of the lens. However, the two of them all too often performed far apart so I didn't know which to focus on. Sometimes I got interested in the intersticial zone between the two of them. William came with me. He clapped and yelled "Bravo" at the end. After the show he asked Tanya what would happen if you mixed human dna with fox dna (she's also a biochemist). She thought it was a good idea but we were certain we'd never get it the necessary ethics approval. Here is a clip from their show.

Later I went back to the festival and caught the screening under the stars. Filmpool always screens films from the vault. This evening they included the workshop film with the aliens and robots that I talked about 2 years ago in one of my first installments of this blog.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Garage Band?

The Cathedral Festival continued today. I only went out to see some of the art in garages in the neighborhood including Ryan Hill and his band Dorkbot playing/performing/creating music/sound in an alley garage (tonight only).

Toe update: it is less sore today, perhaps because I stayed home all afternoon, but the nail looks like it's loose and may come off any time. Still infected but might be subsiding.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Festival day

William has been enjoying Terry Pratchett, both in the books I've been reading to him as well as the movies we bought. He's been working on some Terry Pratchett Lego.
Today the Cathedral festival continued to swing. The kids painted the sidewalk in front of the Connaught Library.
We went to an open house at the school where we looked at, and participated in the creation of, art. William really got into the clay, he made a bunch of small birds.

And then we finished the evening with an opening at Mysteria which featured Ernie Klinger, Sally Hui, and Gerri Ann Siwek (no photos). Back at home I soaked my foot again and William and I watched half an episode of "Young Indiana Jones; the War Years". In the half episode of this series that the Regina Library has cataloged in their children's sections we did not seen Indiana Jones at all but rather we saw other young men fighting in trenches in WWI, dying of poison gas and flame throwers. It was certainly educational.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

updates on nothing

I actually had a couple of days off this weekend. I didn't have any work or meetings on Sunday or Monday. The Cathedral Festival began yesterday; Margaret was busy with it so I took William and his friend Rowan to the mini-parade and the picnic. It was cold out so the best time we had was inside drawing as part of the comic jam with Allan Dotson. Today I met with Chrystene to talk about her revisions and I was also part of a larger meeting with our department and the Journalism department to discuss possible future cooperative ventures. Then I went home to soak my foot in salt water because the toe I stubbed a few days ago is still very sore and now seems to be infected. I'm trying to remember all of the remedies for infections from back when my left hand was the subject of bi-monthly surgical procedures. Soaking a foot gives me a good excuse for sitting in front of the tv for an hour (or sitting with the laptop typing on my neglected blog).
This evening we went to Davin school and saw their amazing model train displays in their basement. I forgot my camera so will have to get the pictures from Paul I took with his camera. I'll post them later. After the trains we went to a very funny magic show. William loved it, but I really got a kick out of it too. A very comical and energized performance. William got to go up on stage for part of it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


This evening I went to Jirayu (Jane) Uttaranakorn's MFA show up at Neutral Ground. It consists of hundreds of photographs suspended in large sheets of plexiglass. You can remove them. Each of them has a hand written statement on the back as well as space for you to write on them in response.

Friday, May 15, 2009


This morning I took William to the Science Centre where a new Lego display was opening. It was pretty cool; I put a couple of things on his blog and will post more later. This afternoon was meetings at work. I stayed up much much too late last night building Bionicles; it's the sort of thing I usually only allow myself to do when I'm on vacation but a break doesn't seem to ever come so I just let myself do it. I listed to the entire audio recording of Terry Pratchett's new novel "Nation" while I worked so it was a great pleasure. Now I'm a wreck. Margaret let me sleep in until nearly 9am, but that still didn't help much.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the sky

Wading through drifts of hail pounding from the heavens, June struggled with her 70 pound suitcase of Manga into the airport and returned to St. John today. .. .. .. .. well, I guess it wasn't that deep.

I've been posting more lego images and videos on William's site.


The street cleaners came to our street today. They hadn't posted signs so I had to rush out and move my car. It sure is nice to have a dust free street.

Two minutes later my next door neighbor had soil for his front yard delivered.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Chrystene screened her film Sisu at the Paradise Theatre this evening for cast, crew, and invited guests. June and I went. It was really good. Some pacing issues we'd discussed last week did not seem to be an issue when it was so big on the screen. I had a nice conversation with Don Wood, the star as well as Don List, a filmmaker I've known for 25 years. Don talked about the actor who'd played Tom in the NFB short film, an ex-Roughrider football player. I introduced the Dons to each other. Photo: Don Wood with co-star Brian Dueck.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day today. William and I gave Margaret some books, chocolates, drawings, and a vase of plastic flowers, all delivered with her double sized coffee in bed. The two grandmas (and others including Margaret's brother George) came for 11am brunch at our house. I made waffles and cheesecake, my mom brought quiche and deviled eggs. There was lots of food, we even froze a dozen waffles. A big group of us went to the 3:40 showing of Star Trek (like it) and then back to our house for more cheesecake and left overs. A big day for eating at our house. Once everyone was gone, I finished Terry Pratchett's "Wintersmith", the third and last Tiffany/Wee Free Men books that I've read out loud to William.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Grant and June

I saw my old friend Grant for the first time in over a year and had my first lengthy conversation with him in about five years. We go back to the 1970s. Here he is with June who led me to him through her Facebook contact (he's unlisted). June and Grant are two of my oldest friends. I could probably tell a lot of stories but, with June staying with me this week and Grant being a city cop, this might not be the best forum for it. We had a gas looking at old high school year books. Grant lost his at some point so his family hasn't seen any of that stuff.


Chrystene Ells, whom I co-supervised through her MFA in interdisciplinary studies over the past 3 years, successfully defended her thesis this morning. Rick Hancox came in as the external. He also spent a generous afternoon with us going through suggestions for changes in her film "Sisu". We all had dinner together at the Creek Bistro. Yum.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I've not been blogging because I've been feeling a bit out of touch with what I am supposed to be doing. My summer break is now on, but for a few meetings (six next week if memory serves) so I should be excitedly diving into my research. I've not yet begun anything. I have a list that I don't even want to read. That's not to say that I've been idle. The comic conference was quite thought provoking. If I could draw, I might just be excited about doing a comic myself. However, I cannot so will not. Today I did some painting of some window sills outside the house; that gave me some time to think which was very useful. If I paint for a couple more days I will probably have done enough thinking to get started. The weather forecast is for thunderstorms for the next two days. Chrystene's defense is the day after that, then the weekend, then a week of daily meetings.
Holding my breath now.

Friday, May 1, 2009

comic day

Tomorrow is comic book day, go to a comic store and see the wonders and get free stuff!
There is also a comic book conference at the university. My friend of over 25 years June Madeley is in town from St. John to speak at it about Manga. She is staying with us this week, will have lots of time to catch up on stuff. At the conference, there will also be presentations by local comic artists including my friend and neighbour Gerri Ann Siwek and an ex-student of mine Brent Braaten, pictured below.