Friday, May 31, 2013

Bluetooth keyboard arrived from Hong Kong

I ordered a keyboard and case, built specifically for the Nexus 10, from Amazon on May 17, not knowing that it was being shipped from Hong Kong. I'd assumed that it would be in a domestic warehouse since the shipping was free. It arrived today and looks great. Need to charge it for a few hours before trying it out. 

X-Ray car window?

Last night I was talking with William about getting a new windshield installed in our car. It has been cracked for about half of his life, so he has really been wanting this. He says he dreamed that it should be all tinted orange like funky sunglasses. I suggested that it should be like x-ray specs but if it was installed backwards, then people looking in would see us as skeletons. How come no one every puts x-ray specs together backwards so that people could see into the brain of the person wearing them? 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

More Bumblebees

We've found a total of three live bumblebees in our basement this week. Margaret found the second and when I went downstairs to try to figure out how it got in, I found a third. Unlike the first which stung Margaret as she was turning on the washing machine (which it died inside of) the second and third were captured and released. We are now thinking that our damaged back screen door is the culprit. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Camera obscura images

Geremy Lague with his small camera obscura, testing lenses
view inside the camera obscura of Geremy standing outside of it
Worked with Geremy on further developing the camera obscura, testing lenses, purchasing a mirror, and viewing some research material. I captured the image above y simply putting my point and shoot inside the box. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Biscotti with real flour

I baked biscotti today, my first batch in about 3 months. We ran out a while back but I hadn't baked because Margaret had gotten rid of the regular flour (which I use 10 cups full) when we wanted to figure out if the gluten was bothering William (the test is still ongoing although I'm convinced it is not a factor). I've noticed that the cookies I bake with the alternate flours tend to get progressively softer as they age, resulting in a cookie jar of crumbly nonsense after a week. This happened again with my most recent batch, even though I purposely over-baked them as far as I dared. Biscotti need to be crisp and dry and they are too much work for the recipe to fail over the ingredients. Margaret apparently misses them as well because she bought be a bag of regular flour especially to get back to baking. 

Ginny Flatbed, image

Ginny 16mm flatbed, composite photo putting detachable screen back on
Yesterday I was trying to figure out the Ginny flatbed. It was late and I didn't figure it out. I've not figure it out yet today, but basically for lack of trying. This is what it looks like. When I was trying to find instructions on line, I could find nothing, not even an image, so perhaps they are a rare breed. It would be a shame to junk it. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Flatbed in my basement

I have a 16mm Ginny brand flatbed in my basement. It is heavy and takes up a lot of room. I wish I had a different home for it. I've been wanting to rearrange my basement for years but between this machine and the need for a new cabinet, I can't seem to do it. Tonight I partially disassembled the flatbed but cannot figure out how to tilt it to conserve more space (it is built to do this but the mechanism is either jammed or its operation method eludes me. The internet seems to not even acknowledge the existence of this machine, so there is no help from there. The paper instructions are at the office so I'll need to get them tomorrow. If I can't figure out how to reduce it's size properly, I'll probably do it improperly, which would clear me even more space. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Filmpool Annual General Meeting

We got a good turn out for the Filmpool AGM today; probably 25 or so people. Lots of interest in the Board so it is full again, including about half of them being new members to it. Pizza afterwards. Talked with Janine for a while; she has come off the Board for the first time in six years. Lowel, Terry,  Luke and Amber are all moving away this year so won't return. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Photos from Cathedral street fair

William and Margaret headed up the parade along 13th Avenue through the middle of the Cathedral Village Arts Festival this morning. It ended at the park where the society for creative anachronism staged their annual fights. Weather was great. I got out of control, shooting about 350 photos. Here are just a few:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Screening Under the Steeple

This evening the Filmpool is showing films at the lovely Artesian including a couple of my Mr. Saul videos.
Chad and his Artesian establishment
Chrystene Ells introduces films
Sunny and Eric
William, John, Ian and others at screening under steeple

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Photos at Paper Umbrella

William and I did a bit of an art walk this evening, hitting two garage art shows, a pop up gallery at a nearby insurance office, and a photography exhibition at the Paper Umbrella where we ran into Colby Richardson, Allan Dotson, and Mike Rollo. We also had supper at the Mercury and have just returned home for milkshakes and tv. Good weather, good art, good people, good evening. 

NIC projector tests

NIC projector with record player on top
NIC filmstrip from Three Pigs
Yesterday Geremy and I tested out the NIC projector I was given years ago. I once tried to test it in a class in 2008 but became frustrated after knocking over the light source and breaking it in the process. My blog mentions the mishap but not the projector so I'm not sure when or where I got it (my blog now replaces my real long term memory for such things. If anyone can remind me where I got this projector, I'd really like to know.). Anyway, we threaded it, watched a Sinbad strip, restored the strip using 16mm splicing tape (the "filmstrips" are made of waxed paper and have become very fragile). The rotational disc on top would be for a record but the device is missing the arm and needle. I might look into replacing it in some way. Geremy took some measurements and might try to build a strip. The projector alternates between the top and bottom image, creating movement illusions by a sort of dissolving effect.
Note about three pigs strip: the first pig is labelled as being the eldest, which I don't recall from other versions I've collected. Will need to investigate further. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


by a bee who was just trying to defend itself...
bumble bee: camera wouldn't focus and then battery died.
Odd story. Margaret went downstairs to do some laundry. When she looked in the washer, she saw what she thought was some crud at the bottom. She reached in to pull it out and it ended up being a bumble bee. It stung her lightly but the stinger didn't come out and so she didn't swell up. 

Dream of Flatbed replacement

I had a very vivid dream where I realized that if I cut a hole into one of our 10 inch cork pads and put a sphere on top of it and wound film around it, I could use it to effortlessly replace a film flatbed. I woke up, drew a picture, but have not yet figured out how to do it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Free Improv!

William and I spent our evening doing Cathedral Arts Festival activities including the always wonderful train exhibition at the Davin school and a free show by William's favorite Combat Improv group (above). They did more shift on demand sorts of skits which are overly interactive (leading to more yelling from the audience and less actual comedy) but it was still quite good. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cathedral parade and the return of Canister the Robot

Neither Canister the Robot, nor his nemesis Professor Delusia, were in the parade to launch the Cathedral Arts Festival today, but both were in my comic book jam comic. William marched in a 1940s black wool coat from Germany and did some drawings. He also worked with Teagan over the past two days on a comic for the jam. It was 14 pages long but all in full page images. I shrunk it and moved frames around until it was 4 pages. I had to replace some hand written text with typed text because it got two small in the process. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Last night out power went out for about an hour. I think it was quite an area. Unlike the last time, tonight it was about as warm outside as inside so there was no stress. I walked around a bit, taking a few pictures, but oddly enough, pictures of the absence of light are not all that interesting.
I've been getting William to do a bit of running. I think with his growing and the long winter, his body seemed to have forgotten how. He's getting back into it although, as with most physical exercise, he resists the regular practice. With time, he'll bet more power.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pseudonyms and the Age of Miscommunication

Yesterday we were talking about Minecraft and usernames. Margaret, who has not been paying close attention to the game, asked William what his user name was to which he explained it to be "Gerald underscore Saul". He says that every other user seems to have a pseudonym, none of them use their "real" names. He then asked me why I set it up that way (it is my account he is using, but I bought it for him)?  I felt a bit stumped. No one has asked me why I DON'T use internet pseudonyms  In the past, reality and truth were the default, but that appears to have reversed. Margaret and I got thinking about the history of names. There are numerous cultural situations in which a person would change their name, perhaps when reaching maturity, perhaps when marrying, perhaps when changing social rank, but these would generally be names given to the person by the family or community. Choosing your own name was always less common. In some cases it was done to deceptively move up in society. More often it was done by authors or artists who either want to remain anonymous due to the controversial content of their work or to disguise their gender or to separate themselves from the possible social harm that someone might face if they were a lowly writer. The twentieth century saw a greater number of self proclaimed name changes for different reasons, some artistic, some political, some probably trivial, such as Man Ray, Malcolm X, Madonna, Mohammad Ali, etc.
And then the internet....
The need for unique names within the global village led to a natural drive for nicknames and pseudonyms  It became too easy to confuse JohnSmith976 with JohnSmith967. Additionally, we are constantly reminded that the web is not a "global village" but a "global metropolis-with-criminals-and-red-light-districts-at-every-turn". Children are told not to give any personal information to anyone. Truth is dangerous, even foolish. But unlike Woody Allen, Mark Twain, or Bono, these names are chosen with no regard for creating a permanent alternative identity but are fluid and more-often-than-not, meaningless. They add to a mass of strangers interacting with other strangers, never making real connections. In our glorious age of communication, they choose to live in an age of miscommunication. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

One Take Super-8 production complete

William and I shot our One Take Super-8 film today. It is called "Lebendiger Himmel". If you want to know any more than that, then be there for the screening on June 13. 

Mike Rollo and the drive in movie theatres

Beautifully evocative film (on 35mm!!!) last night, "The Broken Alter" by Mike Rollo at the RPL. Fantastic Q+A afterwards with eloquent answers, thanks Mike. I particularly enjoyed the Cinema 6 sign being the closing shot, an important connection to home. I'm really glad that we took William there. Although he was very young and slept through most films we saw, there was one event in the Cinema 6's last season that he stayed up and watched along with us.
The other films were wonderful also. I was particularly taken with the riveting "Perceptual Subjectivity" by Philip Leonard which had me at the edge of my seat. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hanging on 11th Ave

Grant Campbell and Gerald Saul
This afternoon, while loitering about, checking out some locations with the Filmpool gang, Grant pulled over his police car for an unofficial chat. It's been a few years, we definitely have more to catch up on.
Gordon Pepper

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mike Rollo photo of Gerald Saul pretending to watch his own film...

Dirty Cat

Don't know what she's been doing, but when I got home my cat was dirtier than I've ever seen her.
Worked with Geremy this afternoon, trying to figure out lenses. We went to my my optometrist and got a bit of help and context, but still somewhat stuck. Geremy should be updating the wiki soon ( 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My new "Grain" film

Gerald Saul with Film "Grain". Photo by Gerda Osteneck
My newest film, "Grain: Seeds" on 35mm with music by Erik Sirke arrived from the lab last week. I hope to be able to preview it tomorrow morning. Until then, I have to content myself with just holding it up to the light. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Iggy Pop vs Philippe Mather?

My Amazon delivery arrived today with Philippe Mather's book on Kubrick and Iggy Pop's first album with the Stooges in decades, "Ready to Die". I don't know which one to dive into first.

Last snow during heat wave

With a forecast of 27 degrees today, my next door neighbor still had snow in his yard when I left the house this morning. 

Spending Mother's Day on the computer

Margaret had to work this afternoon so I spent the day with William advising him on a school project. I taught him a bit about Photoshop and mostly just had to keep him on track working on his brochure to help people prepare for asteroid disasters. This evening we went to my mom's for bar-b-que. I got her a wireless router (TP-Link) and then spent an hour unsuccessfully trying to install it. Don't know why it didn't work. We should probably through out the new tech and go back to typing. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day breakfast in bed

I got to sleep in until 7am this morning before I had to slip downstairs and help William prepare for breakfast in bed. His coffee is certainly getting better. He picked her out a blueberry plant from the new Canadian Tire as well as a gel fuel firepot for the deck. Later we went to the Artful Dodger for brunch with Margaret's family. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lumsden Vodka in steampunk style still

I took a tour of the Last Mountain distillery in Lumsden today. They had a grand opening of their new, and vastly expanded, facility. The still is huge and shiny and described (appropriately) on the radio as steampunk-like. I wanted William to be able to see it but they could only let him look at it for a moment through the open door as you had to be 19 to go on the tour.  I bet there was a work-around for this but they are new and don't want to be taking legal risks. In fact, most of the tour was a discussion of liquor taxes and how they have limits on how they distribute if they want to avoid the high liquor taxes. 

Inspecting Brains at the University

We just got back from the science fair at the university. We took a tour of some labs, saw an air powered scooter, got close up and personal with a sea lamprey, played computer music with some celery, and inspected a human brain. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Huge Website Update

Today I finished adding over 150 pages to my website, primarily in the descriptions and photos from my films from last year. The Mr. Saul's Digital Utopia and the Sabbatical Videos are the most dramatically expanded. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

William silkscreen hanging in gallery

Silkscreen prints made in the workshop a couple of weeks ago, including some work William did, are now hanging in the hallways at the Art Gallery of Regina. We stopped by for the opening. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Camera Obscura with Geremy

Geremy and I met today to start planning his camera obscura projects for this summer. We tried to build a mini version on the fly but discovered numerous problems. The only good thing about these problems is that it is Geremy's responsibility to solve them, not mine (insert maniacal laugh). I set up a WIKI for the course.