Tuesday, August 31, 2010

one step ahead of me...

Before school today, as William was looking at one of the Amelia Rules graphic novels, I told him that the one volume we are missing is out of print and someone was asking $100 for it on line. William pointed out that we would pay $100 for The Codrex, the longest book in the world, filled with unspeakable information. I suggested that it would need to be a book since the information was unspeakable. William, without missing a beat, suggested that it could be mimed.

Monday, August 30, 2010

William to school

Today was William's first day back at school. He is on the big kids side now, which places him 90 seconds closer (at a slow walking pace) to home so his chances of getting there on time are up slightly. We got him there early and he was greeted by three friends (two boys and a girl) and they walked off together like some old Hogwarts friends, leaving us to ask ourselves if ours is to be the moody one or the temperamental one?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rainy Sunday

Kenneth pointed out the strangeness of the clouds over the lake yesterday. Leesa took some pictures. William stayed home all day today in in pajamas. Margaret went to Regina Beach for an all day retreat to work on collage with her group.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Leesa's cottage

William and I went to Leesa Streifler's cottage at Saskatchewan Beach today. I reshot my grains of sand film with William. He wasn't in the mood to do it and spent lots of time in the cold water. It ends up that the cold water was probably a bad idea as his chest cold seems to have resurfaced by the time we got home (which also suggests a reason he wasn't in the mood to shoot the film).

Friday, August 27, 2010


Today we met with William's new teacher for the fall, Jeremy Black. Coincidentally he studied intermedia at the UofR just a few years ago. William seems to like him and I am excited that he might bring new art to the classroom. He also knew what Monty Python was (the last teacher had no reaction to the name).This afternoon we stopped in to the Gale's Warehouse for props for our One Take Super 8 films. One woman there was familiar and when I talked to her a second time we both figured it out; we went to grade school (Grant Road) together over 30 years ago. She was Donna Taylor back then, perhaps she still is (I forgot to ask but now can't find her on Facebook). She was two kids over 20 but still looks a lot like her grade 7 picture. We had a nice chat. It occurs to me that we spoke more today than any time during our years in school. Being an adult is like that.

This evening I uploaded over a dozen new posting and probably 20 photos or videos onto William's Lego blog dating back to the beginning of May.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

running on empty

Kinescope attempts today, battery died and so did back up. Nudged it through. Project may or may not work but will revise idea until it does.
Celebrated with a fine Cuban anyway.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I made a decision this morning when I woke up and the house was cold and I could barely stand to make my first capachino of the day in bare feet. I needed more. I needed biscotti and it was now or never. I don't really think straight until I have my first biscotti of the morning. Now I'm not talking about some winkly almond cookie, nor about a chocolately flavored dunking confection. I'm talking about a full out triple chocolate delight, dunked, savored, loved. I ran out last week but it has been too hot or too busy to make more but today was the day. Tomorrow it will be hot again and without air conditioning we'd not survive the oven being on for two hours. So there I was, baking and discovering that I didn't have enough cocoa so needing to rush to the store for more. In the end I was able to create the initial loaves which are later to be cut into pieces and baked again by noon.
As a result of my chocolate needs, I did not get to work early enough to discover that I did not have all the equipment I needed to kinescope my microscope images today after all. Another non-productive day. This evening I helped my mom make 18 dozen perogies. I brought home one third of them. Another third will go to my sister Moe, unless she cancels her trip to Regina in which case I would lay claim to them.
While baking, I emptied the diswasher and discovered that our Bugs Bunny mug was not entirely dishwasher safe ("I'm blind Doc!!!).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

slow start to week

Yesterday I took William out to a movie but afterwords he wanted to come straight home where he lay on the floor moaning with pain. He'd been coughing a bit but now I discovered he had a chest cold. I bundled him up and we had a quiet remainder of the day. I felt I had a bit of it in my lungs as well so that was just as well.
Most of today was very frustrating as I had trouble trying to get my computer to do what it is supposed to do but it kept crashing the Adobe Premier session I was running. I think it is a memory thing although I've run much larger and much more complex sessions many times before. I'm annoyed. This afternoon there was a cool art thing in the park as a variety of performers posed or built installations to copy or reflect paintings.I did got to work in the morning and later this evening to connect up with Trevor Grant who is shooting his second photo project in the studio. I help out a bit with a reflector as she shot images of angels. Here he is in the reflector.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Party Party Party

As the title suggests, we had about three back to back to back parties today. Kids, family, grandparents. Three until about nine. Lots of food. Lots of noise. Rained in the morning but started clearing so we announced last minute shift to water slide party. I got the video with most of the invited kids done 30 minutes before the party and copied it for everyone, although we didn't have time at the party to watch it (the living room was not the right locale for 12 wet children to watch tv). I made a six layer jello with gummy spiders, gummy worms, gummy soldiers, and gummy teeth mixed in a different points; it was a hit of course. I couldn't bake due to the heat but Margaret picked up two rather good cakes from Koko. Tired but the house is warm so we watched the final episode of "Jeeves and Wooster" from the set I bought Margaret ten months ago and we've been working slowly through (we'd seen most of the episodes before but never in order). Such a delight. William enjoys them although I'm certain he misses a lot of stuff due to the rapid dialogue and his sometimes inconsistent attention while viewing. The final episode is about toilets and plumbing so we'd been looking forward to seeing it again.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Went to Jay Robertson's garage sale today. Also bought a whip and a hard cover first edition copy of the 1979 "Darkroom Dynamics", a great book that was recommended to me by hand processing guru Carl Brown for techniques on experimental hand processing motion picture film.

Friday, August 20, 2010

William's Birthday

Today William turned nine. I didn't have much trouble taking the day off since they were waxing the floors in front of my office and in the hallway around the equipment room and edit rooms, leaving me no way to actually go to work. I took William and his friend Xander to "Nanny McPhee Returns". It was okay. I felt there wasn't much fresh, it was mostly a retread of the previous movie with more reliance on magic to solve the problems (why didn't she just end the war with her almost unlimited magical powers?), but generally good performances and the kids liked it. We came back to the house for a free for all play time. William built more Lego, starting on a huge Bionicle set that his Omi bought him. We had shrimp in butter and garlic for supper, one of William's favorites. A good day, one I am happy to see considering the event last night. I was up doing some email at about 1 am when suddenly the glass cover on the light fixture, which weighs about two pounds, wiggled itself loose and fell straight down, missing my head by about a foot. I've been reading a book called "Thinning Herd" by Cynthia Ceilan about strange deaths and it puts one in the mind of tragic random events such as a woman slipping on a wet kitchen floor onto the open dishwasher where she was stabbed and killed by a knife. After reading a hundred or so of these occurrences, you start to wonder how we make it through a day without be killed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

pre-party party

To shoot William's birthday film we have been connecting him up with his friends every day for play dates and clip capturing. Today Teagan and Daniel both arrived at the same time so it became an impromptu party and bar-be-que. After everyone else left, William opened the power miners exo-suit that Paul bought him. He built it while Paul and I restored the Crystal King. Who would win in a fight? No one knows for sure.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

prepare to par-tee

William's birthday is coming up and we'll be having a party this weekend. Today I worked on a video that will include his kid guests and should premiere at the end of the party. We went to Bulk Barn and got contents for the pinata as well as a couple of bonus items such as this life sized gummy snake.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a closer look

Today I finally got to try out the coupler I got through the NMSL to attach the Canon 5D to Tanya Dahm's Zeiss microscope. Erik and I shot photos and occassional videa for over two hours. Often we had to expose for 20 or 30 seconds (nicer effects with long exposures). Everything looks so good this way. My concentration is on the grain of the film images, in particular of film images of wheat grain. I will make these images into new videos which I will convert back to film.

Monday, August 16, 2010

old fashioned day

William went to a birthday party in the park this afternoon. He played baseball for the first time. He hit the ball on his first swing. I cut out for a while a finished a draft of my Ron Mein Splice article. This evening we visited with Michelle (below) and Sharon before they leave town in the morning. William wanted to get dressed up for the occassion. In old fashioned pictures, people were always serious.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scott Pilgrim

I don't know what this photo has to do with anything. It was my sparkly purple banana seated bike from around 1973. A shame it is black and white but if you saw the real thing, your head would explode. That is what Edgar Wright, director of "Scott Pilgrim vs the World" said about his new film if it had been in 3D. He was right, it was so intense and great that it couldn't have been improved by that extra layer of eye candy. Wow. A big group of us went this afternoon (Margaret, Paul, William, and my niece and nephews) and we had an awesome time (using awesome appropriately). We spent some time after the film (and after ice cream) at my parents where I leafed through some old photo albums and thus the image above emerged.

Friday, August 13, 2010

small stuff

I spent the day getting numerous errands done (gas, banking, email, post office, shopping, baking). I stopped at the Filmpool and sorted through some items in thier storage room including elements from the films "Jimmy's Game" and "Paper Wars". I found an answer print of "Dream Sequence" as well as the A/B rolls and optical sound track. I took home a couple of things such as on mag stock that has only been used once and the cutting copy of "Dream Sequence". Many out takes of these projects will be discarded after over 20 years in storage.
Image above is one of the artist trading cards I've made with William about Tiger. I will do some copies and will then work with him on some hand colouring.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

do the twist

Today we drove to Yorkton to look at Ruth Chambers' show at the Godfrey Dean Gallery. It closes tomorrow. We dragged William out of bed to go and he was grumpy until we finally got some lunch into him, then he was dancing (to Abba nonetheless). Had some ice cream and headed back home (Margaret had the twist cone after doing the twist).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

home work

I spent the morning writing and the afternoon visiting and playing with William and Veronica's kids. I helped them make a movie in the back yard.
I started doing research on the tv I want, a 37" LED set. I thought I found four choices but when I started looking for reviews of one I realized that my choices were from the UK. It appears that I might still have one choice, the Panasonic. It will fit into the space (it is 24.1 x 35.2 x 11.3) but I should look at how it is rated and what the price is. If it doesn't pan out, we simply stick with the crt until new models arise.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

coming together

I spent the morning working with Erik assembling the footage for my 35mm Grain film "Seeds". I've been creating this footage for three years and I finally have enough. Next thing is to trim it down a bit then do the a/b roll cut (I'm working with my original negatives).
This afternoon I lunched/coffeed with Chrystene Ells, finally catching up with her on all of the changes in her life.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Knock em down

Paul helps build Jenga block buildings with Fiona and Miranda during our evening visit with Veronica. She prepared smores in the oven with pieces of banana added. Yummy but I got half of one on my shirt.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

round and round we go

Leesa and Kenneth brought Daniel over and we all went to the exhibition together this afternoon. We got in free for arriving before noon and I got off pretty cheap for the day, a $40 all day pass for William and $10 worth of tickets for me and $5 for mini-donuts. That's it! I brought some water and my mom, who was at plant world, put us onto the big secret of the polka playing seniors lounge with is open to everyone and has great air conditioning, lots of places to sit down, and free coffee, water, ice tea, and cookies. I forgot my camera so none of the ride taking was documented, nor was the demo of how to load a rocket launcher (bazooka) in the military exhibit. William stuck entirely with the big rides this year, we didn't even consider the kiddie rides as we did last year. He's got a good stomach for it all. Daniel didn't fair quite as well, but it was great that the two of them could share the ups and downs of the midway experience.
Margaret spent the day at the folk festival again. Today she came home with a pair of very cool hand made hula hoops. Unlike the store bought ones, these have the necessary mass to allow you to maintain the momentum and thus have them stay on your waist for more than one rotation. I tried, it was fun.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hot summer fun

Blog updates: this morning I went through the past two weeks of blogs during which I was on vacation and had been posting only photos and I have added text to fill in a few details.
This afternoon William and I went to Iron Man 2. Margaret watched much of it on the plane and worried that it was too melancholy for William but on the big screen it had enough momentum that such moments didn't concern him. This evening Veronica came over with her two daughters Miranda and Fiona. They didn't stay long but all had fun running around house and yard.

Friday, August 6, 2010

fill in the blanks

For those looking at the past two weeks of my blog, today, you've obviously noticed that it contains pictures but no text. I've been out east to New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia. We got back a couple of days ago and I've had too many distractions, commitments, or have been too tired to fill in the blanks as of yet. Will get to it. Today I was involved in a search committee at work and also mixed up film chemistry and picked up a new coupler to attach an slr camera to a microscope. I managed to work with William and his robot Lego a bit as well. He had a friend over this evening and savaged many assembled Lego sets as well as my ear drums. The Folk Festival began today but I'll not likely attend. Margaret will be there with ATC so I'll do William and dad stuff all weekend. The drawing on the shell above was done in the St. John market on a shell for three bucks. It doesn't look like us except my whiskers since I had one of those lazy vacation things going on my face.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

back to work

While I was busy at the office on a search committee, William opened his Lego robot and began to work on assembling and programming it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Many delays on way home

Someone vomited on the plane in Newfoundland before lift off so they took two hours cleaning it before connecting it to us in Halifax. The next flight, connected out of Ottawa, was also delayed so we eventually got home at midnight Regina time, which is 3 am Halifax time. Internet in airports generally weak.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

See everything in Halifax

We took the Harbor Hopper tour of Halifax in an ex-army amphibious vehicle. Got to go around the streets as well as into the harbor. Also got to the New Brunswick Art Gallery where an amazing show of the work of Maud Lewis was on display including her small house where she lived for decades and painted on most surfaces. They moved the whole house into the gallery!
On the way back to the hotel we stopped at Darrell's Amazing Gourmet Burgers and I had their award winning peanut butter burger.
To a small but appreciative crowd, I screened a collection of my work at the Roberts Street Social Centre. Amongst those attending, to my surprise, was Brent Braaten (below) who recently moved from Regina to Halifax and saw the screening listed on Facebook.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hitting the rails to Halifax

We got up early and returned the car to Moncton where June's brother picked us up and took us to the train station. The train was delayed so we had a coffee and a tour of the city. It's a holiday so we couldn't shop; everything closes or at least has limited hours here on Sundays and holidays.
On the train we connected up with Heather Harkins who programmed my screening in Halifax. She's on her way back from another festival. We played old maid. Halifax is a great city. We didn't do much since we got in two hours late but since we are staying in the Westin which is connected to the train station, we were able to make good use of our evening to go for walk in search of food then a dip in the pool.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hide aways

William has declared the sea caves to be the best part of the trip. Unlike the Fundy park, these caves are not roped off to protect people from harm and falling stuff, they are just here to explore. From inside one of them, you can hear yourself echo. Leaving the area, we found a lighthouse that was accurate but built as a tourist site; still cool. You can climb to the top. We also crossed one of the famous covered bridges and found out that they were built to keep snow off and extend the life of the bridge. A normal wooden bridge is expected to last 8-10 years. These covered ones are over 75 years old.
Here is June in her office at University of New Brunswick, St. John campus, the oldest BA granting university in North America. None of the original buildings from 225 years ago are still around but the campus is nice and has a great view of the river.