Thursday, July 31, 2014

Settlers of Catan with helpers

Mike is in town for another night. We went for Thai food (sent William in ahead of us to ensure that the place had air conditioning) and spent meal time reading through the instructions for the newest expansion to The Settlers of Catan; namely the helpers of Catan. We played one round of it when we got home; Mike had a solid lead from the start and won but William and I almost caught up near the end. Great expansion. It doesn't upset the balance but does give players options, even when they are far behind in the game (which quite often happens). 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thurza Cuthand at Artful Dodger

 This evening, with Mike in town, we went to Thurza Cuthand's storytelling performance followed by comedy improv inspired by her stories. This was a Dunlop Art Gallery event but it took place at the Artful Dodger, which is definitely a much more appealing venue than standing in a gallery for a similar event. It was raw and full of energy and quite entertaining.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Office coming back from the brink

Those who have visited my office at the university know it to be "busy", to the point of being a natural disaster. However, never before have I let it go so far that I think I am going mad ... until this summer. Usually at the end of term I take a day or two to put things away but this year, everything stayed too busy and all of the previous year's work was just left where it lay and I continued "busying" up the space. Today I began to put things in their places, get rid of junk, and return the room to its precarious state at the edge of madness. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Regina airport, my how things have changed

In the middle of scanning old photo negatives this morning, I got a surprise phone call from Kiki and Kristin who were supposed to have left the city some hours before. Apparently they were 2 minutes late and security wouldn't allow them on the plane, even though the people standing in front of them were allowed on. It sure isn't like the 80s when you could literally run across the tarmac and flag down your flight. Back in 1985 when dad was an auditor, he was reviewing the Regina airport renovations and had me shoot a series of photos of the progress. It was the first time I ever helped him with any of his work. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lego expo in Moose Jaw inclues Joss Whedon mini-fig

The Lego expo at Moose Jaw was jaw dropping again this year. While some of the basic stuff felt like a rerun from last year, there were more than enough pieces which excelled beyond. Kiki and Kristin came for the first time and got a new appreciation for the form. They liked a computerized lego machine which scanned then solved rubics cubes in about a minute. I liked the recreated set from an episode of "Angel" in season one, complete with Joss Whedon and the film crew shooting the episode.
The mini-figs bop up and down as the background moves past them

Lego Joss Whedon on the set of Lego Angel

Friday, July 25, 2014

Big party on farm with fireworks

George bought an ungodly amount of fireworks this summer. With only 36 hours remaining in his daughters' visit, it was now or never to set them off. He hosted a grand party at the farm, smoking ribs and bbqing sausage, corn, and other great stuff. The only thing he asked me to bring was lemonade. I was going to just mix up this container of it from the freezer and then looked at the ingredients. I've never seen glucose-fructose as the first ingredient on a product before. I dumped it and made something else.
For an appetizer, I ran past the Chinese Bakery for steamed buns. The storm last night made a mess of the already derelict next door space. It didn't appear to affect them. The buns were all consumed in the first hour we were there, along with the rice krispie cake. 
Once out on the farm, my first time there this year, I swept out the "cottage" which had kept fairly clean since my last trip (one dead mouse and a bunch of moths). Spent a few minutes in a hammock but otherwise hung out with everyone else in or around George's new trailer. 
The kids all took turns with the new 1953 tractor. William drove for the first time. It has two brakes, one for each side. There were no mishaps with that tractor, but the riding mower was introduced to George's truck in an unexpected way. 
The fireworks were all arranged according to some suggested plan/map. The only thing that didn't go perfectly was the lack of a reliable torch, resulting in some delays between launches. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Virginia Thompson at Slate Gallery

This evening Virginia Thompson and I finally crossed paths. She's been in town for the past few weeks producing the Corner Gas movie but I hadn't been fortunate enough to run into her. Had a nice chat at the Slate Gallery opening.
This afternoon the girls were over and they all helped Emma learn to play Carcassonne. The basic set only takes about 35 minutes to play (as it says on the box) which seemed impossible when we usually play with many extra sets.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Power outage and cable problems

1953 John Deer tractor
I'm writing this four days after the posted date of Thursday because I continue to have only intermittent internet access at home. There is someone coming to investigate/repair it tomorrow. I was on the phone three times before someone felt that it might be on their end. As I've had problems with every computer/device in the house at different times (or at the same time) and had trouble even when I disconnected the router and ran the cable direct, and have also changed every network cable that I could, I am left with few options. The girls went to the farm today to do various errands and to suprise Fred with old tractor George bought on the weekend (if it really was July 24, I'd not be writing this, but as it isn't, there is no longer a surprise to spoil). I picked up the damaged camera from repair (half the purchase price, but I liked it so it was worth it). 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Saskatoon berries at last

Without Margaret (for the first time) William and I went Saskatoon berry picking. Got four buckets, which is not really enough to make it through the winter for muffins, but it's a start. We froze 3.3 buckets and the remainder are in the frig for snacking. I just got back on line after an afternoon of frustration with my modem (which I just replaced with Access - it might have been a bad output port). 

1991 photos with Margaret and Jean Oser

I'm looking for a few old images to update my website but have been easily distracted when finding other interesting images such as these from December 1991. Margaret looks so young here. Jean Oser is at her parent's house on Christmas Eve, enjoying a brandy and some goose.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Japanese food with Arthur and Alison

Lovely Japanese meal with Arthur and Alison. They lent us a three part documentary, "Redesigning My Brain" about how to improve the speed, range, control of your thinking to allow you to accomplish otherwise amazing tasks. Among the many items was a suggestion of trying a food you have never tried every day. I'm not sure how many days in a row this is possible, mainly because opportunities come in clumps rather than one at a time. However, it begins. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Monty Python (mostly) Live

during 30 minute intermission (without gags) of Monty Python (mostly) Live
We went to the Southland cinema and watched the live broadcast of Monty Python's reunion performance, streamed simultaneously around the world. There was a big crowd including Tim Parsons, the first friend I can remember. He lived down the street and we played a lot when we were 3-8 years old. In the audience, there were certainly a few hard core fans, but many seemed to not to know the skits, trivia, etc by heart. I think they watched just the most well known bits on the internet and hadn't ever become familiar with the way episodes are constructed. Interesting new times. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Parties with friends

Last night, this morning, and this evening we spent great quality time (and food) with our friends Leslea, Leif, Bob, Tady,  Brianna, Teagan, Riel, Griffin, and Oona who have all moved away in the past couple of years, along with Martin, Barb, and Emma who fortunately are still here. I barbecued ribs for the first time, with some success, last night. Today we had coffee and cinnamon buns at the Green Spot then had supper with Bob to celebrate his birthday this week. They are all back on the road tomorrow. We'll miss them. Of course, William will especially miss his two friends Teagan and Griffin.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Margaret finds a husband at The Trial of Louis Riel

Last night we attended "The Trial of Louis Riel", the play which has been performed regularly in Regina for 48 years. I've not seen it since sometime in the mid-70s. I recall some of it clearly, but generally I've forgotten the arguments against Riel and remembered his impassioned speeches. When we arrived, Margaret was tapped to be a wife of one of the witnesses and to sit in costume as part of the performance. When she emerged pre-show, she recruited Kristin to also be part of it. This audience involvement made the play feel fresh and exciting again. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Visit to Corner Gas set

Zoom in to see Margaret's amazing contortionist photo move on the Corner Gas movie set
Out to Rouleau today and visited the set of Corner Gas the Movie. Was there at lunch so we could walk around but didn't see the actual shooting. Good to see people I knew; Peter Larouque, Sharon Eisbrenner, Penny Ward, Darryl Eberhardt, Dan Crozier, Jim Woodcock, Rory Dunn, Lucas Frison, and certainly others who I forget at the moment.  The power went out in the entire town for two hours. While the film primarily used generators, it still affected some aspects of the shoot resulting in 20 minutes of lost time and some very hot cast and crew (air conditioning was all powered off the grid).

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dinner at Night Market

We had a busy day running between art galleries (Dunlop show I'd not yet seen and an opening at Mysteria) and to the night farmer's market (where we ate). Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by mosquitoes, we skipped going to the outdoor park screening of Jurassic Park and hung at the house instead. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The return of Professor Delusia

I began a new artwork yesterday which includes the first photographic images of Professor Delusia since 2008, thanks to Kallie Garcia. This is a work in progress, more to come (in 3D!). 

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Grey Hair

Margaret took this photo of William and I at Geremy's wedding. I'm pretty aghast at the amount of grey that is showing in this light. I supposed it does me good to only look in the mirror first thing in the morning, half asleep and without my contact lens. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Secret Garden Tour

We attended a number of gardens of New Dance Horizons' "Secret Garden Tour" fundraiser again this year. Some of the gardens, including one with a really interesting studio set in the middle of it, were in Indian Head.  The tour of Indian Head also included a stop in the historic Bell Barn. The one by the NDH offices has a mushroom garden, which William is hoping to start doing himself. We managed to catch a couple of the dance performances as well, which is great for me as I'm much more interested in seeing performance than flowers.

William in Bell Barn

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Geremy and Ellen's wedding reception

The reception this evening was wonderful. The event was held at the Centre of the Arts in the main foyer. It was both elegant and fun, with nice table cloths, flowers, etc along with games on each table and a candy table with blue whales, gum balls, and various sours. Food was excellent. I had a number of great conversations with Zaul, Matt, Stephen, Erik, and an old friend Corey whom I'd not seen in years. They got rid of most of the sexist stuff like "obey" in the vows and throwing garters and flowers to gender specific, unattached groups. Instead they had a strange question and answer session where they faced away from each other and held up shoes in answer to questions about each other. Fun for all. 

Geremy and Ellen wedding day

Congratulations Geremy and Ellen. The wedding in the park was lovely and everyone looked great. The colour coding of blue/yellow/grey was quite striking.