Friday, August 31, 2012


Cleaned the last of my summertime messes (above), did some paperwork, finished watching "Pi", watched "Requiem for a Dream", went to RPL and watched new Cronenberg film "Cosmopolis", and tested a camera at 6400 iso to see what sort of low light outdoor shooting it could do (poor). Missing my family. Watching depressing movies isn't helping. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

big movie day

I got my materials for class purchased today, especially the various elements needed for animation such as clay. I also did some last changes to the outline for a film that Erik suggested and then met with him (at the Imax theatre) about it (it's too outrageous and too structured for him). The rest of the time I watched films. I finished Jarmusch's Limits of Control this morning, watched The Punisher before supper, and went to Snow White and the Huntsman at its final screening at the cheap theatre this evening. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I spent all day at the Fine Arts retreat. This is the third or fourth of these but they are usually held on a day I teach so I miss the first half. Today I was at the whole thing. They are actually rather amusing at times, and it is good to meet together as a large group from time to time. My new colleague in music, Dominic Gregorio, took this picture of me after the far-too-many-jube-jube-sugar-high began to wear off.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Flight out

William and Margaret went to Edmonton this evening. We took the cousins along to the airport to see them off. I've got work to do so couldn't go, but this makes it the first time I've been left alone with the house in a decade. Had coffee with Nicole this evening until late so didn't really do anything out of the ordinary at home but check email and go to bed. They arrived all right, even though it was a small plane with no in-flight movie. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fire at the Galaxy Cinema

We went to Paranorman at the Galaxy this afternoon. There was some sort of fire/smoke in the theatre just before our movie began so they emptied everyone out. Saw Carmen Robertson who was at Dark Knight. We all go back into our films after a few minutes and also got free passes. That thrilled the kids. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nora at one

We attended the first birthday party of Marla and Jason's daughter Nora. She's almost walking. William and I connected up with his cousins Nicole and Quinn while Quinn was at the dog park. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Little things

Did little things today. The girls stayed over last night. I introduced them to Ren and Stimpy before they had to go off with their dad. William used measurement and math to make little sandwiches. I wrote a few little ideas towards a project that Erik suggested while William read a short story. This evening Margaret taught me how to text message and I sent my one to Nicole while Rowan came over for a short visit. Then we watched the final two episodes of Slings and Arrows. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

I've Got Blisters on my Fingers!

Daytime: William and I got groceries, made chili, and watched the original "Total Recall" (feels very 80s).

Evening: Everyone to our house. My niece Nicole is in town (first time in a couple of years), Veronica and her two daughters (not seen in about a year), Mike (down from Saskatoon to visit all these guests and to attend Riders game tomorrow), Paul, George and the girls, and Margaret's parents. We had a nice fire. William wanted to try to roast wagonwheels over the fire, treating them like premade smores. He tried it but the marshmallow just warmed and didn't expand. I took a try at it and after a number of minutes of careful roasting, I did get it to begin bursting out of the chocolate shell. However, it started to break off of the stick and when I tried to catch it on a pair of chocolate cookies, it landed on my hand like napalm giving my numerous blisters. Major pain, and to make matters worse, I didn't get to eat it (fell to the grass). 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wizard of Oz

Today I made the unbelievable mistake of going to the Bulk Barn on the north end of the Lewvan. There is some construction on the roads resulting in the service road which feeds that power centre to be restricted to one lane. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but the result was a series of line ups of cars throughout the entire centre. It took me 43 minutes to get from starting my car to actually reaching the Lewvan again, which is only a 100 metres away. There are no back or side or alternate exits out of this place. Avoid at all costs.

This evening we all piled into George's truck and went out to a farm near Edenwold (about a 25 minute drive) and watched an outdoor musical performance of "The Wizard of Oz". The singing performances were fairly good. They used a large bright LED screen behind the performers as the changing backgrounds, the storm, and the effects. I admire this as a concept, but the result was actually very distracting. Actors back lit by this screen looked pixelated themselves. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

All day ring day

William got up at 7:30 this morning and started watching The Lord of the Rings (I'd bought him the blue ray set for his birthday). We all sort of respected the concept of having a movie day and just brought him his breakfast and lunch to the tv. Finished off the third movie around 5:30 with plenty of time to go to Ommi's for supper cooked by his cousins. I didn't watch the movies, but did watch occasional scenes and more or less wasted most of my day too (reauthoring "Modern" dvd but didn't test it). 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

hot day in the city

Final meeting of summer with grad students this morning (a one day break from vacation). The house was full of kids again; the weather turned hot and I got back too late to take them to a movie so they watched Simpsons most of the afternoon. I met with Erik Sirke (who is now a projectionist at the Imax) in the evening to discuss a new film project. The only big outing was the "Living Pictures" exhibition in the park, held by the Dunlop. Above is Eric Hill taking the missing position in a reenactment of The Breakfast Club.

Monday, August 20, 2012

William's birthday

 William is eleven today. I started him off with pancakes. William's horoscope reads well:
After breakfast, he had his first Skype conversation with Griffin who moved to Edmonton recently.
Allan Dotson arrived at 11 am to run an RPG for William and his friends for a while. This was great, although the group was larger than first anticipated (sorry Allan, you were a real trooper).
After lunch and cake, we walked to Dessarts for ice cream. You get a free cone on your birthday, and your picture taken with the magical crown.
After most of the kids left, I'd hoped to take William and his cousins to the Mercury for supper but I forgot that it's closed Mondays. Luckily, the fish store reopened for us (they'd closed five minutes before) and we bought a great piece of fresh salmon to barbecue. The grandparents all came over with gifts after supper. We drank wine and ate the cheesecake I made this morning, along with my mom's peach pie. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pre-birthday fire

After some relaxing tv breaks (William and I finished "Angel", season 5) I ran a bunch of errands with William in preparation for his birthday tomorrow including Toys R Us where the new mini-figs are in. Xander and the cousins came over for a feast of marshmallows this evening, as did Patrick, our new next door neighbor. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Train in Ogema

We drove out to the small town of Ogema Saskatchewan today (about 90 minutes south) and took a train ride on a restored old train. George and the girls were supposed to meet us but they got turned around on the way back from Mount Rushmore and ended up an hour or two behind schedule, missing the first train. We did connect at the pitchfork barbecue after the train and we managed to transfer their tickets to the late train. We also booked on for a second journey. William and I dressed for the occasion. The car is from the 1920s but the engine is from the 40s. They have just been given the go ahead to run a proper steam train, so that will hopefully be working in a couple of years. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Shane Kurenoff

Today Shane Kurenoff (aka "Pukka-T"), a friend of mine from the 80's was in town. We were roommates for a few months in 1988. He brought a bottle of Kahlua to replace the long forgotten Kahlua of mine he says his friends drank back in the day. We uncorked it and had a nice afternoon. He still plays drums but surprisingly doesn't draw much anymore. He co-owns a restaurant in Toronto, so we'll have to add that to the reasons to visit there again. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Unusual night watching "Jaws"

I was William's age when I saw Jaws. I've been waiting two years to watch it with him and tonight was the night. Surprisingly, even though he tends to get scared by movies, this one didn't phase him at all. I waited with anticipation to see how high he'd jump when the severed head floats into view through the hole in the sunken boat, but he didn't even flinch. Instead, he commented on the dummy head in the water. Enjoyed it, but wasn't scared, a funny evening.
My copy of the dvd started skipping in the blue ray player. In an unusual twist, it played fine in the regular dvd player. The blue ray was released two days ago so I think I'll put it on my wish list. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

William and Teagan at tea time

William invited Teagan over for afternoon tea today. Afterwards, I put on "The Abominable Dr. Phibes", which they thoroughly enjoyed. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Am on holiday all week. William and I went to Dark Knight Rises this afternoon. Didn't take any pictures. The image above is from yesterday at the vineyard. Interesting the way they used a long piece of cucumber instead of a salad bowl. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Zip line

Yesterday after the horse riding, we drove to Fort Walsh, did the tour (I got to be put on trial) and then on to Cypress Hills. We got a great room. George and the girls camped. We hung out at their campsite and cooked over the fire.
Today we booked onto the zip line tour. It was really amazing. I was totally freaked out at first, as was William, but everyone was totally satisfied. The wildest time was having the tether on your back and just letting yourself fall without anything to hold onto, flying across like superman. 
Later we drove to the winery and then home. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


As part of our Reeser ranch experience, we went on a really great horse ride. It began with introductions to the horses, brushing them, saddling them, an hour long ride in the country, and then returning them and brushing them again. Great experience. William was quite apprehensive but in the end had a fantastic time. I got a very large horse named Tonka. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's a ranch... dude!

We drove into the Cypress Hills area today, along with George and the girls, and are staying at the Historic Reesor Ranch just over the Alberta boarder. It's quaint and rustic. Main things we did was a short hike to look at some teepee stone rings and lying on the grass watching a bit of the Perseid meteor shower. Stars were amazing. The meteors are either just starting or just ending, so we only saw about one per minute rather than the usual flurry. Pictured above is a rare photo of the distant and elusive Saul nebula.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sockvile car crash

Erik and I shot a dozen or so shots we still need to fill in gaps with Sockvile. I think we have the first five episodes ready to assemble finally. Here is a behind the scenes of the car crash.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sock-vile Soup

Assembled and photographed Sock-vile soup cans today to create some store displays. Erik came over for a while, had a bit of food and a martini. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

BBQ at mom's

The girls spent the day with us. We took them to my mom's for a barbecue this evening. They played some bocci. Gertrud, Fred, and George joined us. We kept the girls for a second sleep over afterwards. They all clocked some solid tv time, working their way through season four of Leverage. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Modern Times?

Had a successful sleep over with the girls.  With no air conditioning, we can only invite them to stay in the attic on cooler nights. In the back yard, the fire pit blazed and I ran a 16mm print of "Modern Times" as we ate home made key lime sherbert. Griffin was also over, it being his last day in Regina. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

background details

Today I built a button chandelier for the Baron's castle in Sockvile, as well as the book cover for the opening of the series" "Book of all the Socks" in Thomas Phinney's restored Cristoforo font laid out on top of a cover made of the skin of a sock puppet (or more precisely, from an image of Matt's sock mask he wore in the puppeteer episode).
Our new individual garbage cans arrived today, replacing the large communal bins. More hassle remembering to get it in place every week, but no longer have to contend with Don filling it to the brim with his loose grass clippings (don't know how he does it, no one has a lawn that big around here). 

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Catching up on jobs-undone, I put a layer of gesso on the 32 panels we cut/built for Margaret to paint on about 5 or 10 years ago. The idea is for her to be able to paint on a moments notice when she has an idea, without having to go through all the prep which might cause her to lose momentum/inspiration. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012


It was finally cool enough to do some baking. Kristin and William helped me make biscotti. Should hold me until September. The girls returned to the exhibition with their dad. 

Friday, August 3, 2012


I seem to have accidentally deleted a bunch of photos out of a camera including some nice ones from the exhibition. I went with George, William, and the girls. We bought tickets, which are pricey but we figured it would limit the rides and be cheaper than the wrist band. When the kids were down to their last tickets, the ride guys seemed to stop paying attention and were just letting them on as if they did have wrist bands. In the end, the last round of tickets got them onto seven or eight rides, with one of them getting ticketed ever second ride (and subsequently we divided the remaining tickets into smaller and smaller denominations evenly between them). Rain finally came and pushed us out of the grounds. Had supper at Huston Pizza. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bjerke/Clarke going away party

Went to a pot luck going away party for Bob and Tady. The kids are around another few days but soon they'll all be gone to Edmonton and will be missed. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Anxious cat

I took Sylvie (our cat) for a car ride today. I always have good intentions of training cats to do things they don't like, such as going in the car, but I don't do it enough so they go crazy. I held her the whole time and her heart beat was like thunder against me.
I met with grad students this morning. This evening we finished season one of "Slings and Arrows". William has begun to ask to watch it, so the Shakespeare is really getting engaging.