Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rocket Man

Yesterday we also stopped in to see Chad Jacklin's retrospective at the Mysteria Gallery on 13th. We brought Chad some copper tubing that we found in the dumpster (20 feet of it, dusty but definitely not garbage).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First day of grade 5

William had his first day of grade five today. He has the teacher we expected, she is very good and he likes her. He came home quite excited about things that were happening so overall it was a great day. We took him out after school for new shoes and even that didn't dampen his spirits. He's moved up to size six shoes and he now is more comfortable running. He now admits that his shoes weren't comfortable which is why he kicks them off in the movie theatres (this has led to lengthy hunts during the end credits).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Angelos at the Dunlop

 I met up with Angelos and his family at the Dunlop Art Gallery this afternoon. His kids (with his wife Christine) are enjoying Jeff Morton's audio toys above. Belinda New, an old friend from film school who is now the RPL film programmer, popped by to chat as well (below).
Angelos Hatzitolios and Belinda New

Sunday, August 28, 2011


William and I have begun to watch Firefly. If anyone needs a reason to have a son, this is it. I've waited years for a good excuse to watch these again.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

same old story

I've had a film that I have the footage shot for and voice over written for a year now but have been feeling unable to finish it. Today I recorded William telling the story instead of me (after a significant rewrite). He is more able to perform but he has also become less controlable and insists on ad libbing lines throughout. He also has a continuous cough which I'll need to work around. I took him back to the doctor today and managed to see someone as a drop in. This doctor confirmed that he likely has a viral infection (like Christine suggested yesterday) and has given him an inhaler which should clear it up in a few days. Thank goodness, he has been having a hard time falling asleep or doing anything, it is so persistent.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sociable Friday

Angelos Hatzitolios and his wife Christine and two kids are in town. They all came over this afternoon. The kids got along very well, playing Wii and Lego. The pictures I snapped were very bad but I hope to see them at least once more time so I'll get something better. Ange's parents are having their 50th anniversary this weekend so his whole family is in town.
 This evening we started off by going to the grand opening of Rob Bos's new version of his Art Projects Gallery on 11th Avenue. It is so much bigger than before. He has multiple rooms set up and is featuring about 50 artists (including Margaret) for the opening.

 After the gallery, Paul took us to this new place on Dewdney which makes all its own baking and its own gelato. We returned to the art openings with the event at Creative Cities beside the Leader Building. It was buzzing with music and people, much of the art crowd were also there.
Back home, I finally found the last of the pieces (some substitutes) to complete this Lego Darth Vader ship from the Force Unleashed series. I've been tinkering with it for a week. It had some chucks together but at least half of it was missing. I am thinking it would be cool to restore a Lego set every week but I know I'll run out of steam very quickly on that.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

fishy photo

It's difficult photographing these fish, the are always moving and the glass prevents using a flash and the weight/fragility of the tank prevents moving it closer to the window. I finally got one shot with both of them basically in focus and in the frame together. It looks like the spots on the new fish are getting darker. Margaret thinks it might be camouflage. I don't know.
I updated my website today, added two more projects and numerous more links. The site is on a different server now but the www, has been reconfigured to reach it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Accept the substitutions

 This morning I went to feed the fish and could only see one of the two catfish. These are fairly large fish, about five inches long, and very active so I was quickly confused. Eventually we discovered it on the floor, it had jumped out through the opening in the lid beside the filter and suffocated. I buried it out in the front garden close to the cat. These catfish are very social and our last one died a few weeks after being left alone. William and I went shopping and found a new catfish. It is the same breed as the others but smaller. I guess they grow a lot in a year. We named it Jack.
This afternoon we went to the living pictures show in Victoria park. Here is the Warhol piece, quite lovely. This evening Christine and Ken came over for a glass of wine. Lailie Douglas, an artist currently installed at Neutral Ground, also dropped in for a while.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Jack Layton, head of the NDP and leader of the opposition, died today. Everyone is blogging and Facebooking about it. I don't have any favorite quotes to post but would feel remiss if I didn't post about him today. It is a shock and has me worried about the NDP as it had just gained more momentum under him than any other time in the past. I didn't spend the day in mourning though. I did manage to find a new needle for my suitcase-style record player, a Symphonic Electronic Corporation. After four of five stops, I found needles and lots of help at a place called Any Electronics on Scarth Street here in Regina. The guy pointed out that most of these machines are broken in one way or another, the record return or whatever. Ours, but for the $20 needle, works perfectly. William is enjoying playing it. The Any Electronics shop also had a showroom filled with older tech for sale including a couple of cb radios (see photo). I asked if they had any which were NOT functioning and thus cheaper (for props/play) but they didn't (and had been asked the same question last week).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

William Turns 10

It is William's tenth birthday today. William continues to not want a big party so again we continued to do small things. He had one friend over (who brought him some Egyption Lego) and they played a bit. Paul came over in the evening and we had a backyard fire and ate smores made from dark chocolate and dad's cookies.
Yesterday William went out with Margaret and Gerda looking for Oddities (based on his favorite tv show these days) and he found these cool steel heads. I've placed his new goggles on them.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Today I helped Paul with his drywalling in his garage for a while (top) then went to Spy Kids 4 in 4D with William and his friends Teagan and Brianna and ended up back at Leslea's house to see the renovations on her kitchen extension. Going well. The movie was okay. Rodriguez has been working with 3D for years now (since Shark Boy and Lavagirl in 2005). His effects are more for fun and fantasy than for realism. The fourth dimension, odor from a scratch and sniff card, was very very disappointing. Every one of the sents was candy-ish.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

William at home

The birthday activity today was to have a cheesecake (mocha) with Paul and put all the Lego onto the big new shelf. William has been coughing, flemmy, and been having a lung hickup lately and today he just wanted to stay home.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

shelve that Lego

Margaret's parents arrived home from Alberta this afternoon (we were out there together, they stayed to visit other friends). They brought home the Ikea stuff we bought including a new shelf for William's Lego corner.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

William's birthday week

This year William doesn't want a big party. Instead, he'd rather have small multiple play sessions with single or small groups of friends. Today Griffin (who is going out of town tomorrow) and Rowan and William went to Mr. Poppers Penguins and ice cream (with a candle and song). Popper was predicable but overall not bad. Rowan got stung by a wasp so went home a bit earlier. By the end, it was a 12 hour play date. I went to work during one stage of it, Margaret for another.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I got to keep the tie we bought for the film this weekend. Hand sewn silk and wowzers is it cool!
Margaret hung out with very pregnant Marla this afternoon. Any day now.....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Film Frenzy completed

Our group edited the Film Frenzy film this morning. I had a Filmpool board meeting this afternoon so the group finished it up without me, which was basically doing some scratching on film and selecting the music as the film works perfectly well as a silent film. The screening was packed and the work better than usual. We didn't win the best film but we were certainly in the running. On William's suggestion, the entire film was in Latin. We called it "Primo Impressionem" (first impression).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's Frenzy time again

Filmpool's 48 Hour Filmmaking Frenzy started today. William wanted to join in this year so he and I worked with four others to make a film about love, frustration, expectation, and Latin. It will screen tomorrow night at the Filmpool.

Friday, August 12, 2011


William played with his friend Rowan all day.

The new Dunlop Art Gallery exhibition is about toys. We went to the opening tonight. The clay piece that William made for the public display was removed from its platform and shattered horribly. Someone said it looked more cool this way but William didn't agree. We are looking at replacing it, more appropriately, with a Lego piece.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I'm still on vacation today so I stayed home and answered a few dozen work emails and didn't go anywhere. Very tired. Read a bit. Had  hoped to read Douglas Coupland's new book "Player One", which he read out loud in five, one-hour lectures, during this trip. I didn't find five hours of quiet so am still working on it. Paul and I watched Tim Burton's "Batman" (on my new tv). Looks good but it hasn't held up as well as I thought it did.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

15 hours of ...

  We checked out of the hotel and went for brunch at Diane Bessai's fantastic (and large) condo.
Fred Bessai and Diane Bessai

Carl had to get to the airport. Frank, Tom and John Bessai were all there. We got to talk more than we did at the other parties; less people, more about family
. Frank, Tom, and John Bessai
Diane has one of Margaret's watercolour snowman pieces from her 2001 show. We don't see it often. John bought it for her for her 70th birthday. 
 I thought we were going to leave town but we decided at the last minute to drive downtown and find the new Art Gallery of Alberta building (with no address but for some vague description from teenagers at a coffee shop on Whyte who don't drive and hadn't been there). Somehow we managed to find it and saw a very good Warhol show. It had four of his toupees and a lot of his early drawings. It also had a number of films showing that I'd not seen including "Kitchen Party".
Warhol silver cloud pillows at AGA

We arrived in Saskatoon around 8:30 and saw Mike Grzesina's new condo. It is a very good place. William had a swim in his pool. We drove home to Regina, arriving late.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

let's roll

roller-coaster at West Edmonton mall
We went to the West Edmonton Mall for the afternoon. William found some cool steam punk stuff at a goth store called Millennium. He also did some ice skating although he seems to have completely forgotten how. The trip there culminated in the riding of the huge roller coaster. He was just barely tall enough to ride. They measured every kid who wanted on but they didn't measure me (I was actually two inches too tall to be on it). It was very intense and I don't think William liked it very much. There is obviously no stopping once you've started though. It's difficult to tell from this photo, but William and I are in the front car.
This evening there was a big party for Diane Bessai at the UofA Faculty Club. We sat beside a nice couple with son a couple years older than William. Their boy and William had many things in common. Both had clipboards with them and drew throughout the appetizer course.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Margaret and Carl Bessai
We spent a bit more time at the aeronautical museum this morning (the B+B gave us a free pass) then we came into Edmonton and checked into the university tower hotel. It is very nice. The afternoon was spent wandering down Whyte Avenue looking for oddities. Most of the time seemed to be spent at the Junque Cellar which specialized in the 1970s. I think I either own or once owned 2/3 of the interesting stuff there. This evening we went to a big BBQ at Margaret's cousin Frank's house. Frank's brothers John, Tom, and Carl Bessai were also all there, as was their mother Dianne whose 8th birthday is being celebrated.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

mile high club

We drove north towards Edmonton today, stopping for the night in Wetoskiwin and the Reynold's aeronautical museum. The highlight was the open cockpit bi-plane rides we took (we didn't go to the exhibition this year so are spending our thrill money on this). It was excellent. We only did the 10 minute versions (William went once with me and once with Margaret) but very memorable.We spent the night at a B+B across the road.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lego store

We spent the day in Calgary, shopping at the Lego store and at Ikea. Shopped for William's birthday and for the bathroom reno. Michelle came home so we hung out with her this evening.

Friday, August 5, 2011


We drove to Calgary today. William played his new DS-I all the way; mostly with Plants vs Zombies. As we reached the city, it started to rain unbelievably hard. I only got a couple of snaps of it but it was far worse than it looks here. In fact, a man trying to move his car got trapped beneath it and drowned, even though numerous people were trying to help him. We stayed with my sister Sharon and spent the evening socializing. Michelle and Chris are both away today.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Amalie Atkins

Today I spoke at length with Saskatoon filmmaker Amalie Atkins (over the phone) about her films. I finally put a draft together of my Splice article about her two recent films; "Three Minute Miracle" and "Scenes from a Secret World".

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

one step at a time

I spent much of the day digitizing video documentation from the New Dance Horizons Secret Garden Tour performances, dividing the video into clips, titling them, and burning them to discs to give to the dance group.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Where there's smoke...

I'm trying to get some tasks completed before my trip. I shot some smoke, bicycle gears, catfish, and microscopic salt for use in Sockvile backgrounds over the past few days.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shield from the Heat

Holiday Monday; went to Captain America to get out of heat in late afternoon. It was fairly cool, although I do wish he went toe to toe with Hitler more often.