Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Griffin returns

William got back late last night after an exhausting day at the farm. He had a great time, as you can see from the totally authentic smile on his face in this picture Margaret took near sunset.
Today the girls stayed on the farm and William connected with his friend Griffin, just back from his vacation but moving to Edmonton next week. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

all dressed up and no place to go

I'm acting department head this week. Spent the morning at the office even though there was no real work to do. Instead, I did some cleaning in my office and most notably I assembled the platform to raise my art chair to make it more apparently a sculpture rather than a surface for me to pile crap on. I can now fill the area beneath it with stuff, getting the office one step closer to civilized.
This afternoon I was going to act in a film for Erik and Stephen but it fell through. Margaret and William are out on the farm so the house is very quiet. I'm working on the computer, updating the POW French SF website and feeling the half pound of product drying in my hair. I was so ready to be a sleazy landlord. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kiki and Kristen arrive

William's cousins, Kiki and Kristin arrived from Toronto this morning. We just had a short visit, ate some raspberry sherbet that I made, and showed off the various re-decorations in the house which should make visiting a bit nicer
Mike is in town for the Rider game yesterday. I was going to try to video the fans coming out at the end but the Spider Robinson event conflicted with it. Mike and Paul came by for a while this afternoon and Mike, Kevin and I got together this evening. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spider Robinson

After a long day of sorting the attic, creating a popcorn background for Sockvile, and shopping food and other stuff in anticipation of Kiki and Kristin's visit, we drove out to Lumsden and were able to listen to Spider Robinson read from one of his books. We were a bit late, so I'm not actually sure what he was reading, but I did get to talk with him for 15 minutes following the session. He was really nice. We talked at length about teaching and about seeing the world through children's eyes.  I've been a fan of his for many years and was very excited to hear he was coming. I had William read one of his stories (from Callahan's Crosstime Saloon) yesterday. He signed my first edition copy of "TIIME TRAVELERS STRICTLY CASH".

Friday, July 27, 2012

Getting ready for cousins

Met with David again this morning; reviewed his storyboards and discussed details of crossing axis.
I spent a lot of they day getting the attic sorted out so that William's cousins could stay up there. The futon mattresses are split apart so they can have separate beds. Also, I've put the toys away and replace them with the collection of cartoon books that have been in boxes for most of the last decade.
We stopped by Margaret's parent's house and helped George with some of his renos there. Margaret did some painting and I helped pull up some old carpet. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

bad 3D

I was very disappointed in the digital 3D system they used on "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter".  We all went in the late afternoon show with the anticipation that these higher end glasses would be superior to the other disposable ones, but far to the contrary, the smaller images and especially the distant images were often seemingly double and the smoke (almost ever present) felt muddy and confusing. I wish I'd seen it in 2D, although I'm unlikely to go the effort to see it again (on the same subject matter, "The Amazing Screw On Head" was far more inventive and entertaining.
Pictured above, one of the many t-shirts I painted in the late 80s or early 90s. They are taking up space that I want for other junk so I'm disposing of them. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

William's teeth

William got the space out of his mouth today. It's been in there for over a year, perhaps two, since he got some teeth out. Two new ones are finally coming in. He's pretty happy about that. This evening we went to "Hunger Games". It was better than I was expecting. I think it made a bit of effort to satirize and critique mass media. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

David plans his production

I met with David Gane at his house this morning to discuss his forthcoming shoot of his second project for the summer. He will be shooting in a small spare bedroom in his house (pictured above from the actual shoot which takes place on July 28). I'm concerned that the room, especially once filled with people, will get very hot if the heat of summer keeps up (which it does). 
William and I went to the new Woody Allen movie (Love in Rome) this afternoon. Not one of the best, but I like to be able to show William movies that he enjoys that do not follow the typical story structures that he has begun to be conscious of (he was complaining the other day that every film seems predictable). 

Monday, July 23, 2012

summer showers

Raining. The weather has been unpredictable lately. Mostly very hot but thunder storms in the middle of the day or even near morning. Usually on hot summer days, I expect a storm at about 1 or 2 in the morning, but that pattern does not apply this year. I took my nephew Quinn to the afternoon screening of Dark Knight Rises at the Imax. I really enjoyed it and was especially interested in the way they shifted to the Imax aspect ratio for scenes shot in Imax. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

catching up on blogging 1

I've fallen behind on blogging by six days, which is a really long time for someone with as poor a memory as mine. My camera indicates that this day William got together with his friend Teagan for a bike ride which was really an excuse to go to the store and spend $15 on candy. I remember earning $20 when I was about 12  years old and going to the Golden Mile shopping mall and spending it all. I bought an 8 track tape which did not contain what I  had expected, and I bought a Planet of the Apes poster which I had on my wall for many years (but lost somewhere along the way). 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Biking and Dad's Birthday

 The morning seemed cool enough for a bike ride, but we didn't end up going very far before the heat forced us home. The graffiti on the "Lego" bridge is progressing quickly.
We celebrated dad's birthday today. Some great steak and cake.

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Bike

This morning we picked Saskatoon berries. We had to work fast because the farm was booked for w wedding and we had only an hour. Got lots.
I bought William a new bike. Went for a lower end model, figure he'll possibly grow out of it in two or three  years and we don't take it inside, so the idea of a 500 bike didn't seem practical. Canadian Tire has many bikes on half price right now. He's happy with it.
This evening we had dinner with Allan and Jana. Very nice. Afterwards, Allan was kind enough to run a short half hour session of the roll playing game that William was a part of designing. I played an elf who was a compulsive liar. We ran away from a bear.... or did we?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dog day heat?

heat resistance?

I think the heat has gotten to me. I thought I would have a better day today. While I did wake up at 5 with a headache again, I fell back asleep at 7 and got a solid extra three hours. Seemingly away, I still managed to not accomplish much. Met with David briefly, but my brain was still not entirely engaged. The house is warm, but the canopy of trees (see image looking from south to north towards my house) keeps our street at least 5 degrees cooler than the one to the south of us. Very unmotivated.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Went shopping, mostly looking for a new bike for William although he was more interested in being treated like Roman royalty.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer slipping past

Bad night last night, woke with a headache I couldn't shake at 5 am. Fell back asleep for an hour around 7. It seems that now what I have stopped making a video every day, my summer is slipping away a bit too quickly.. I met with grad students this morning, met with Erik about Sockvile and other stuff this afternoon, and went to "Ice Age 4" for the early evening show. When we got home we picked our raspberries and I built some Bionicles with William. I guess it sounds like a lot, but it doesn't feel like it,

Monday, July 16, 2012

William has a good day

After numerous phone calls to everywhere we thought it might be, we were fortunate to locate William's lost camera at the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan grounds (they didn't have it on Sunday but it was located Monday). Mike kindly picked it up for us. Yesterday I bought a sizable bin of used Bionicles for William (circa 2002-2003) and surprised him with them this morning (along with the news that his camera had turned up). He also started his afternoon camp on gaming with Alan Dotson. This evening William and I watched the final episodes of "Reaper" on Netflix.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Waxing around

The other thing I forgot to mention about Saskatoon is that after the movie, we crossed the street to the furniture and antique store where I impulse bought an $800 1917 Edison wax cylinder music player. I think the fact that the paper instructions were still included made it irresistible. William is very pleased.

Saskatoon Trip day 3 of 3

This afternoon we went to the beautifully restored Roxy Theatre and watched Wes Anderson's new film, "Moonrise Kingdom". Great film.
William's camera is missing. We've searched everywhere we can and now think that he left it at the play on Friday night. We've left messages.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Saskatoon trip, day 2 of 3

The rule is that you should never plan more than 3 things to do in a day. Well, we planned 4 and somehow survived it. Great active day.
 We began with a nice bakery then went to visit Denis and Melanie Jackson and tour the set of the forthcoming production "The Guardians", a science fiction puppet animated tv show. Amazing stuff they are building and planning.
 We then had lunch at the Taste of Saskatchewan downtown in the park. I had some Thai food and a cappuccino float. William had bratwurst and fried bananas for desert.

We took a tour of the Synchrotron at the UofS. It is a huge machine, the only one in Canada, which accelerated light inside a huge circle and uses it to do specialized spectrographic and x-ray-like scans of objects. Soon they'll be able to do objects (or living things) the size of a bison. We did an unscheduled stop of the UofS campus to see the summer-long installation of Gordon Monahan's piano. We first saw this during the Grasslands Festival in 2003 or 2004.

After supper (which was not actually supper but just gelato since were were really too hot and tired to eat) we went to "As You Like It" in a steampunk style, opening night at the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan. Very fun evening with an after-party and good food. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos of the performance and the actors all changed before coming out to the party.This is a photo from the Star Phoenix newspaper:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Saskatoon day 1 of 3

After a morning with students, we headed up to Saskatoon. We had supper at Gibson's Fish and Chips where William ordered the calamari. Then we went for a swim in Mike's pool.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stormy weather

William and I had a wonderful sit down under some minimal cover while a huge thunderstorm took place above our house. Very loud.
Met the new neighbor, Patrick, today. Seems nice. He has a mouse and we should lend him Sylvie.
We ran a bunch of errands and shopping this afternoon.
Gertrud found me an old saw blade which I'd hoped to cut in half and turn into a pendulum for Sockvile, but I ended up creating the sequence digitally (with a scan of  the blade) instead of a practical. Hope it works.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Keep to the Shadows

Very hot day. Got into the air conditioned theatre and watched the late afternoon screening of "Dark Shadows". Then stopped at Margaret's parents' house to see the basement renovations. This evening we soaked our feet in a cold kiddy pool on the back deck then watched the first two Naked Gun movies until it was cool enough to sleep.

Monday, July 9, 2012


William and I went to "Battleship" then picked up Mike and Paul and went to the Ngoc for supper. William had the rather peculiar taro root bubble tea with leechie jellies.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

William animates

William has had a couple of very late nights and really needed some quite alone time. He opted to animate his Bionicles. I had a Filmpool Board meeting while he worked in out basement studio.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

BBQ at Leslea's

Leslea and Leif held their big annual BarBeQue today. Good time. Dianne brought her new dog (4 months old today)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mike and Carcassonne

I met with Erik for a while today over lunch at Ngoc to relaunch the edit of Sockvile. Mike came into town and we played a game of Carcassonne. We used all the tiles but set a timer because we realized we would take until 3am to finish (and William just couldn't keep going that late).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Devil's in the Details

Today was mostly spent reworking my twelve year old animation syllabus which was taught 4 hours per week for 13 weeks using 16mm film to be an 11 week at 3 hours per week course with primarily digital tools. I also helped William rebuild two more of the older Bionicles. I finally got Nivalk together, after a failed attempt six months ago (I fortunately found the core with about 20 of the pieces still together). Paul was over, we watched more of the tv show "Reaper", which is a Chuck/Ghost Rider sort of cross and moves a bit slow but William likes it.
I'm still not able to watch flash videos using Firefox (although it continues to work with Chrome).
We cancelled out milk delivery, which would come tomorrow. We've been getting it for years but I'm worried that the milk will sour in the heat. Also, we really don't need the service and I don't even know how much things cost through them anymore. We'll start getting organic milk from the store. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Helmut visits

Worked on my fall course plans (animation will only have 11 weeks this fall due to holidays so it is taking a bit of re-jigging). Helmut and Doris visited for a while, although Margaret had to leave for work and William was at a friend's.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Spiderman and Bionicles

I worked on my syllabi, sorted and built bionicles with William (restoring Gedunka, Spinax, Fenerak, and the Gukko Bird), and escaped the heat with the Amazing Spiderman in 3D.

Monday, July 2, 2012


We had a bar-be-que today, Margaret's family came over and William DJed with jazz on 78s. The cat has  a bad looking wound on her, probably from when she stayed out all night a couple of days ago.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canada Day

Had a great day at Gerri Ann's cottage for Canada Day. Came back to town for the fireworks but almost missed them because they started a half hour earlier than scheduled. We got to the close bridge and saw most of it.