Thursday, June 30, 2011

another door opens

Went out to the farm for a while and framed in the "cottage" door. The power was out from a storm lat night so I couldn't do much else (no power tools and my battery died after this job).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

heating up

My day was split between an array of acting-head duties (mostly budget review) and beating the heat at the beach in the late afternoon. George's girls arrived this morning for a lengthy visit.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

more changes

Today was William's last day of grade 4.
I bought a new video card and have not managed to crash my computer since putting it in, even while running multiple visual based programs at once. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back to work

I'm acting head for most of the next five weeks. Office was pretty calm, had one meeting regarding a conference on French comics and science fiction planned for next year. I also noticed that there is a Roger Ing Wikipedia entry which has a link to the public domain film clip I posted on a couple of years ago. The photo above is of Roger and a film 200 class from 1999 or 2000 when I had him come in as a subject for an in-class documentation exercise. I had Roger booked into a visual arts painting studio where he created a couple of canvases while the students, divided into three groups, needed to capture different aspects of the event (the actual paining, the reactions, etc). I can't recall if I ever even watched the tapes all the way through (they are on high-8) but I should still have them.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

too darn hot

William seemed sick last night, aching and shivering. I took his temperature and he was normal. Today he seemed okay until mid afternoon when he was shivering again. He had a temperature of 39,3 (about 103 F). That's pretty bad.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

appetite for fish?

The area around Rotary Park in Regina (where Rae Street meets the the creek), is flooded and the shallow water if full of small fish (minnows or something similar). The larger fish which have been introduced into Wascana Lake are hunting the minnows and are seen here clearly as they jump out of the water. Apparently the idea of introducing the fish came when they did the big dig a few years ago so that people could go fishing here but the fish were tested and deemed unsuitable for human consumption.

Friday, June 24, 2011

first burn

William got his first sunburn of his life: it was from a combination of a school outing and selling drinks at grandma's garage sale.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Marcel Duchamp "Fountain"
Spent the afternoon in the National Gallery. There were hundreds of teenagers around, going on end of the year tours with low supervision so the abundant security were less about me and thus allowing me the opportunity to  occasionally slip a camera out discretely.  There have been major cuts to the National Gallery, five the curators were let go and there were more cuts today. I guess Harper is unconcerned about looking like a red-neck buffoon when world leaders come to visit. Maybe Ottawa should start hosting a rodeo? Duchamp's class "Fountain" has never been a more apt comment on the state of the arts as it is now.
I took in the Caravaggio special exhibit; absolutely amazing. The light, the light, the light. The had a pleasant didactic portion where you could be photoed in costume as if in a Caravaggio painting, but the attention is on costume and not on light. I tried to situate myself as to catch a glint on my face but there is certainly not enough darkness. Fun though.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Woody Allen

I went to the new Woody Allen film, "Midnight in Paris" this evening. I enjoyed it, as I always enjoy Woody. I struck a nice balance of being very clever but allowing us to enjoy the cleverness of the situations equally with the character. The theatre was nearly full and a nice place to see it: huge with curtains that open before it begins (although not while it is starting as was the tradition).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011


rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain.

I walked a lot yesterday. Went to the museum and took lots of pictures along the way.  My legs ached afterwards. Still ache today.  I went to eat at a hole in wall Thai place, took some time, enjoyed it, and pondered where I am.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Early father's day

William and I took my dad to the Mercury for lunch today for an early father's day. Later we played lots of Lego Star Wars Wii.

Friday, June 17, 2011

rain rain...

Today's email:
As a result of domestic sewer backup caused by excessive rain water,
activity on the University of Regina’s main campus and College Avenue
Campus is closed until further notice.  All students who are not
residents on campus are advised to leave campus as soon as possible. All
faculty and staff other than those deemed essential service, are also
asked to leave campus as soon as possible. 

Victoria Avenue was washed out but William and I absolutely needed to buy a new nanchuk for the second Wii controller and I have a gift card for Bestbuy so we needed to take alternative routes to get there.
This evening we played Wii and went to the Club where one of Margaret's colleagues, Ashley Tuchscherer, was having an art opening (whimsical drawings and paintings of old stuffed toys haviung metaphorical adventures). William drew a picture of me which I think reflects how the fluids in my lungs are making me feel:

Thursday, June 16, 2011


William woke up, of his own account, at 4:59 this morning, got up, and started playing Wii. As my cold was particularly bad last night, Margaret got up with him and I got to sleep until 8.  I interrupted William's game only to give him a bacon and eggs breakfast but otherwise he played up until he needed to go to school. I went out and met with my Sockvile editing team and by the time I got back William had fallen asleep (around 9:30, early for him).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

speed is everything

Today I conducted a rather hasty animation workshop for 38 high school students from Davidson. They arrived a half hour late and needed to leave a half hour early for the 2 hour scheduled session. Overall it went okay, no uncomfortable empty moments.
This evening William finished his mega reading challenge I gave him; he completed 26 novels in less than 26 weeks (totaling over 7500 pages). I gave him the Wii I promised him. We played a couple of rounds of Mario Kart. I just went on line to see if the movie is available. It was released on dvd in 2003 and isn't on Netflix.It wasn't particularly good but I think William would like it. I found a copy on VHS about 10 years ago when I was taking care of my nephew Sean for a day but haven't seen it since.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A little less Dell every day

I swapped out the C drive in my computer today and installed Windows 7. Now all that remains of the original Dell is the monitor, the video card, and the dvd drive. It's running all right so far. I need to reinstall all of my software and figure out how to get the printer to work again.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

cough cough

I stayed home with William all afternoon. His cough has gotten much worse. We watched The Mummy 3, it didn't seem so bad this time (it's all about context). Last night we started watching Leverage season 3 but since Margaret was at work we didn't want to watch it without her.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'll show you the door

Today I installed a door into my "cottage" out at Margaret's family's farm. This is the first time I've worked on it since the end of last summer. Most of my materials were out all winter but the door was inside and the windows look like they've survived well. Mice must have gotten into the bin since I was there last but none nested and the debrey was minor. I began with a full cleaning of the floor (still red from last summer) and the walls and celing. I filled some of the holes I'd not filled last year due to running out of spray stuff. William came with me and checked out the woods and hung mostly. I did some very poor work preparing for the new window using a reciprocating saw.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Running again

Janine came for supper this evening. Afterwards, while William and Margaret had the first marshmallow roast of the year, Janine researched possible problems with my computer. I'm not alone. The solution lay in the residual drivers which are associated with the old motherboard and processor which are no longer there. After we deleted a couple of them which thought that I still have an intel processor (the new one is the AMD Athlon II x3 450), it is working again. Hasn't crashed yet, even when I try. It still requires some word since much of the software also thinks it is in the wrong computer so I'll need to do lots of reinstalls.
Actually, I spoke too soon. At 2 am it crashed again. It really needs a fresh install of the operating system but the discs don't come with the Dell so I'll be out of pocket again.  

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Congratulations to the many students in our program who convocated today. I didn't sit on the stage (didn't book a robe and don't own my own) but watched from the audience.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Was an hour late to a meeting I thought I was two hours early for today. Was forgiven. Feel sheepish.
This evening there was a bbq at William's school.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

stil a bug

My computer still has a bug or two. It shuts itself down and reboots occasionally. I have heard it do it but did not see what it said before hand (Margaret said she saw it and there was a black screen then a blue screen with text that said something about the mother board).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Computer issues

On Friday night, after Margaret had finished her lengthy festival summary document, I continued to try to sort my files in an attempt to get the computer running better. It was getting hung up on various files, not wanting to move them between drives. I figured it likely needed a reboot so I turned it off and it wouldn't turn back on. I would get only a dell screen and no keyboard or mouse control and no processor running. I gave up for the night.
Chrystene Ells developing film
On Saturday I helped Berny Hi and his hand processing team develop some film at the Balkwill Centre for a while and then had kids all day. I managed to negotiate a break from kids (dropped them at the friend's place) and went to consult computers at OTV. They agreed with me that the likely culprit was the motherboard, which is now 3 years old and not keeping up with HD video so I'm inclined to upgrade it anyway. I bought memory, motherboard, and brought them home. When I removed the motherboard from my Dell, I discovered that the slot to access the built in ports on the back of the casing was not exchangeable. It was one solid unit and the motherboard can only be exchanged for an identical one. I made some calls and hit paydirt with Janine Bernat who had a broken computer (not sure what went wrong, probably the motherboard) and could drop it at my house. It seemed perfect at first but I quickly discovered that it had a riveted together internal section which accommodated an exchangeable drive (I don't know if they make anymore) and it would require hack sawing to allow me to put the hardware I needed inside again. I managed to make one more trip to the store before supper to buy a new computer case. Saturday evening was spent wiring it all together. It was sometimes difficult because the new case was slightly larger and my existing cables were stretched to, or beyond, their limits. Margaret went to the opening at Neutral Ground and hired a babysitter but I opted to stay home so William watched tv with the sitter leaving me to work uninterrupted. By eleven I had all the parts connected that I knew how to and put it away for the night. Mike once carried around a lottery ticket for weeks after the draw, showing it off and explaining that it might be winning ticket for millions of dollars. Until tested, anything might be true.
In the morning I discovered that I had successfully saved myself a sleepless night of disappointment. Sure enough it didn't work. The fans turned on but nothing else. I called Paul and combed through help sites until he arrived. Most of his suggestions I'd already tried by the time he came but he did feel that this one power cable, which would not possibly reach from the power supply to its spot on the motherboard, might be the issue. Janine's machine a power supply with a longer cable so we hooked it up. It did even less than mine. In fact, it did nothing. We concluded that her computer died because the power supplied failed. We then tested again with my power supply but holding it while it was plugged in and managed to get it connected to the motherboard (although not the c drive at the same time. Success! The monitor lit up and we had something going on again. All it would take now is a cable extension and bob's  your uncle.
inside computer
I went shopping for one this morning and discovered that the extension cable that I need doesn't exist. I'd be able to cobble together a makeshift thing but that didn't seem safe or practical, so I bought another power supply. After lunch (pizza that William made at school as part of his nutrition class) I set to putting this power supply in. The computer booted up and required a few driver updates but otherwise it is humming. I now know that I'm running 32 bit and not 64 so I won't be able to use the RAM I bought. I'll see if it works for William. I've still got the video card, one hard drive (the c drive with the operating system), and the monitor. Otherwise, the whole computer is new.

Friday, June 3, 2011

so sad

William had a track and field day today (not his favorite) and I had a meeting with the "End of Life" project which just received new funding. This evening we went to Seema's opening at the Dunlop and noticed this fallen woman on our way back to the car.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Worked with Trevor all day. He'll be working on the experimental film course for the rest of the summer while he travels but we did manage to cover the material I wanted to during the last six weeks. I bought a new 2 TB hard drive and a new keyboard for my computer. It is formatting right now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

size does matter

What gave me the idea that 2 terabytes would be enough storage for my home computer? I'm not in hell as my drives are getting too full for me to be able to sort files and have any chance of figuring out what I can delete. The only solution is to purchase more. More is always better.