Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today was the last day for some of the staff at SCN. Margaret helped arrange an impromptu gathering of about 250-300 people to converge on the office at noon. It got lots of press. Margaret and William are pictured on the "SCN Matters" website, second image down. I don't know what went on the air though. I caught a clip on one station. William missed about a half hour of school but got back so that he could have a bit of an Easter party. He is off school for the next 11 days. Regretfully I am quite busy still, only getting Friday off but having to work late tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Robot

We had a lot of fun in class today. I'd had my doubts about it, as I think most of the class did, but we shot our sitcom pilot in the studio.


William asked me a hypothetical question. What if Bob and Jane married and then go divorced and then Jane married Mike. What do we call Mike's relationship to Bob?

Monday, March 29, 2010

the weekend

Wow, spring has come and made me forget to write in this blog! The weekend was busy. I took William and his cousins to "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" on Saturday. They liked it. It had some moments but I found the bits of stick man drawings a bit of a cop out. They were used as seques but actually I think they were used to cover up gaps in the story and resulted in making me lose track of various plot elements (such as they were). Most characters had no depth at all. On Sunday I found out that Kevin sold his house with only one day on the market. That's stellar. Instead of working yesterday, I wrote a page review on "Dungeon Crawl", the shoveled some of the melting ice off the street in front of my house. Results: I threw out my back - the nail in my coffin: I was already feeling apathetic, and now I've got pain to use as an excuse for not working. However, I've got a stack of grading to do and must be a robot tomorrow in class.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Today I got to watch my class, or more precisely I assigned Janine to teach the class as part of her term work so I just had to be a student and listen and learn. Always a nice change, although not necessarily as easy as I think it is. She did well, made them make talking sticks and to think about things differently.
After class, George brought William and his girls to the university. I showed them around and scanned their faces with the 3D scanner.
This evening I went to John Johnstone's new/first feature film "Dungeon Crawl". He asked me to mc the event. The crowd was big, almost a sell out (close to 250 people). Better yet, the film actually turned out! I laughed many times. The timing was good, the characters were good, the drama was good. It was a mockumentary about dungeons and dragons game players. While it did have some of the cheap shots at geekness that I expected, it also had a lot or real motivation and real life. We don't end up pitying or envying the characters for their game playing lifestyles, we just accept them as people doing what they are doing, and being friends.

want a date?

After class today, in a discussion with Joe about how people can't read calendars anymore, I realized that I have an extra class in Film 200 that I'd not planned for, that my term ends one day later than anticipated. I confirmed with the secretary and emailed all my students to extend their projects a week. That covers the last week, now I just have to devise material for the week before the last week when I had been expecting to look at their final project. Perhaps some rock-paper-scissors will pass the time...?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the cat came back

8:12 am: suddenly the cat came trotting up the front steps!!! No collar but no injuries or obvious mishap. Hungry but full of purrs.

Cat still missing

Our cat has been missing since Tuesday afternoon. SCN being shut down by the budget. Everyone in house is sick and exhausted.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

bad day

William had a bad night again last night, up until the stroke of midnight coughing. I got him to school in the morning (a bit late) but mid-afternoon Margaret got the call and came to pick him up. He just can't function when he's that sick and tired. I forced him to bed at 8:30 tonight, read a bit of "Hat Full of Sky" then turned everything off and lay with him until he fell asleep at an astonishing early time of 10:15! I hope that's enough.
The cat went out at 4:30 this afternoon and hasn't come home yet. She's never spent the night out or gotten lost before. It's still zero, but it'll be down to -6 later. Worried.

Monday, March 22, 2010

girls, girls, girls

Margaret's brother arrived with his two daughters today. William and they played for hours, including some good fresh air in the park. However, it was still only 5 degrees outside and they abandoned their jackets, so now William is coughing too much to get to sleep.
I heard "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" on the radio today for the first time in about 20 years. They even played the proper, uncensored version with "I told you once you son of a bitch..." rather then "son of a gun".

Sunday, March 21, 2010

weekend break?

William has been sick for a week now, as well as being awake until 11 or 12 each night. The only time I've been getting any work done is between 6 and 8 am, but it leaves me tired the rest of the day. I can't keep up. He's getting better but now Margaret is getting sick. We spent the majority of the day cleaning house because Margaret's brother and nieces are coming tomorrow. Not to stay with us, but will be here and might have a sleep over later in the week. We cleared about 6 boxes of old toys out of the attic; stuff that William never plays with. Much of it was just junk, although there are a few good things. All of it to my mom's garage sale later in the spring but right now it fills the back porch. I baked some cookies today for the visitors and to celebrate Sylvie's first birthday (see image above). William gave her a colourful toy that looks like a rainbow cat's tail. Not that she needs more toys either since I found ten more of her toys under the buffet in the dining room while looking for Lego (I re-assembled all the mini-figs again, but for three). I can't believe it's Monday again so soon, I can't catch up. I keep thinking I'm getting sick, which would explain why I'm feeling so negative about everything, but I just never get symptoms. Curse this lack-of-a-cold!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Due to a strange schedule and a holiday, I now have two more animation classes to teach this term, three more Film 200 classes, and four more Film 401 classes. In animation today we did some optical printing and discussed rear screens and their use in Jason and the Argonauts. Check out what we have been doing HERE.
William went to school after lunch today but came home at recess. He brought his report card which is generally quite good.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

too early

I went to bed too early last night. It was late for William but he was sick and came to our bed and I read to him for a while. Then around 11 we all fell asleep and now I am away, crowded out of my bed and surfing around on facebook for the last hour. I guess I should just make coffee and do some real work, but the funny thing is, facebook use has no guilt at 5 am. Usually I am overly conscious of the time wasting nature of it, but not this early. It is like FREE TIME.
Yesterday I took William to the doctor. He was complaining of ears hurting and his cough is bad and said his chest hurt. The doctor says he doesn't appear to have anything beyond a cold. She suggested a shower to help clear his sinuses. I don't know what to think of a doctor (not our regular one) who gives advice that we are already doing. Common sense is just too unscientific.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

clinging to life

William was sick all day today. His cough is bad enough that even my cynical mind doesn't suspect him of faking it. Lots of stuff going around; a number of students sick too. He watched "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Howl's Moving Castle" today and now is starting "Ponyo" for the fourth time since Friday. Yesterday he watched "Kiki's Delivery Service". It's a Miyazaki festival at our house (I own all ten of his features).

Monday, March 15, 2010

sick day

William was home sick today. Luckily Margaret is on show change so there's no work for the next few days because he seems worse now than he did this morning, coughing all the time. I met with Brett today because he couldn't meet Wednesday and he didn't tell me it was his birthday. We only met for an hour so didn't even get into anything adventurous or unique.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

spring fever

William rode his bike and played outside most of the afternoon today.
The weather has been warm enough that over the past two days I chipped away the snow so that he could bike down most of our block on clear pavement.
This evening he has a nasty cough and spent all his time in the shower, but still didn't fall asleep until I got home at 11pm.
Here he is at 11:20.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

clear the deck

I got most of the snow off of my deck and barbequing is much easier now. We did some simple hot dogs today. I also hacked most of the snow and ice off our front walk. Dry cement is the only true sign of spring.

March 12

March 12 is a special day that Margaret and I celebrate in some modest ways every year. We talk and draw and hang out. Today also had two art openings; one of photographs at the faculty club and the other being the big BFA show at the MacKenzie. William had the day off so Margaret took him tobogganing and to the bookstore.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I was walking down the hallway at the university today, on my way to class and for a while actually feeling awake, and I heard someone ask someone else "If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?" and I thought to myself; if someone had all the money in the world, then no one else would have any money at all. Doesn't money work only if there is a mutual understanding and value of money and if no one, except one person, had money, wouldn't it loose all of its value?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

cat tales

I've got a loudly purring cat on my lap and she is drowning out all my thoughts of the day. Her tail is better, it must have been bitten or something about 5 days ago and was hanging mostly limp all weekend. She didn't seem to be in pain though, and it wasn't bleeding, so we held off on going to the vet. Here she is playing with "big grey", the cat from across the street. They play a bit rough but never hiss or get angry.

Monday, March 8, 2010

soft serve

Before supper today, William and I built some snowmen in the back yard. The snow is melting and getting very sticky and heavy. They mold together very easily, but are so heavy that unless they freeze hard tonight, they will fall over. This one has a "hand of doom" and weird candy teeth.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

movie night

Internet is really slow this weekend, putting me out of the mood to do things like this blog. I can't believe computers are getting slower every year, perhaps someone should write a book about that.
Academy Awards were tonight. I won a nice pot of cash at the party that Margaret went to while I stayed home with William. They say I'm not allowed to win next year if I don't attend, but I'm pretty certain they said that last year. Margaret went dressed as Julia Child. William and I watched Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks". I think he was a bit freaked out a few times but stuck with it. He is starting to appreciate the thrill of getting scared. Yesterday his friend T., whom we invited for a couple of long play dates due to her sister needing surgery on her broken leg, directed William to a site called scary maze game that concludes with a big shock (you've got to have the sound on your computer turned up loud for full effect) and now the difference between fear and shock is foremost in his mind. We've taught him that the most scary things in a movie are created in your imagination, not on the screen. This was really the case in Mars Attacks. The scariest part was the alien disguised as a beautiful human woman but you don't know when or how it is going to attack.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I started coming back up to speed with the New Media Lab's 3D scanner today. I also brought my animation class in to look and test it. We scanned everyone's face, but only from one angle since we just couldn't weave the multiple angles together in any expedient way.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Had a better day, was generally lucid in class. Barbequed some bison burgers for supper then went to the advertising awards at the library. In prepping for animation tomorrow and hoping to make the 3D scanner work, I pulled out a tape I shot of the process from 6 years ago. Unfortunately, I discovered that the camera had been set wrong and I had no audio. However, I also found a bunch of home movies after the media lab footage including a long take I did of William eating that I'm certain I wanted to include on my compilation that featured three videos of me eating my lunch (they are never screened anywhere). Here is a clip of today's find.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

not well

Woke up with a twinge of pneumonia this morning. Dragged myself to work and met with Brett for a few hours, discussed work of Alex MacKenzie. Worked at home with a hot water bottle at my side the rest of day, getting ready for class and so on. Had a nap. Now it's back to bed.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The new furniture arrived for our bedrooms today. I was getting very worried based upon the measurements that everything would seem too big and crowded, but it's basically just right. William has a new dresser and we have a new wardrobe. I also picked up some flats from the Theatre Department that are now our department's property so we can paint them and so on. Our studio will come alive.

shipping overseas

So I shipped my videos to Romania today. I went to the post office and found out that Romania isn't included in their express routes of Europe (which would have cost $51 for one week delivery) but could be sent Express via FedEx for about $61. I figured I was already buying into the $51 idea, so what's another ten? However, the only address I had was a post box and they won't send FedEx to a post box. Therefore I mailed it for $9 and just crossed my fingers.