Sunday, August 31, 2014

A sick day in the back yard

Had coffee with Lori at Chapters to wish her a happy birthday. My cold has started towards my ears. I'm not really really sick, but as it is Sunday and tomorrow is a holiday and I've got no other commitments, it seems like a good idea to take a sick day. Loaded up on meds and sitting in the back yard with a cool drink (sun is shining) feels good. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

William to doctor wearing new Blundstone boots

William's cough has persisted over two weeks now so I took him to a clinic for a once over to make sure it isn't something beyond a cold and to make sure he isn't contagious before returning to school this week. By what I overheard in the waiting room, this cough is everywhere and some people have had ti for 3-4 weeks. William wore his new Blundstone boots for the first time (bought yesterday). Afterwards we went to the mall and bought him a couple of new shirts and a couple of James Bond movies I didn't already have, spending some of the prize-winning gift card from the Living Pictures show on Aug 19. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Canister and Friends, a "new" video on vhs

My new upload to Youtube is "Canister and Friends", the last known fragment from the 1979 Saturday morning cartoon. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lumsden Beach

As summer comes to an end, we made our first (and probably last) trip to the beach today. At the last minute, we turned off course from Regina Beach and went to Lumsden Beach which had been recommended by Donna Krieke. Thinking we'd not know anyone, we were there barely five minutes before Mike Burns walked by and invited us to tour his cottage (it is really great).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Made sushi for our first time

William will be needing to take a lunch to school this fall but, not liking sandwiches, we have only a few choices. He can either take hot lunches in a thermos (such as chili or stew) or some sort of cold meal (such as fruit) or sushi. The only problem - we have never made sushi before and I don't want to have to buy it from the store. A few weeks ago we purchased the ingredients we needed but it took until today to put them together. We made California roll with smokes salmon, cucumber, and avocado. Only after we'd eaten did I discover that we have sesame seeds in the freezer so I rolled the outside of the leftovers in them. I think this will be quick and easy enough for us to make and William already has a hang of making them. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Disassembling Connaught School

William and I walked around the old Connaught School today, which is now completely fenced off including the playground. There are crews removing architectural details from the walls.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blog limits my life story

I discovered today, while slipping another piece of "history" into my blog, that I cannot alter the posting date of my blog beyond 1970. This means that I'll not be able to falsify my entire life, only those dates from Kindergarten on. What a shame. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dude! Second annual "Big Lebowski" fundraiser

Last night we attended John Kennedy's charity fundraiser on the Big Lebowski theme. Due to rain, he moved it to the church basement. Great food and company. Of course the group of 40-50, which was an uncontrollable mob in John's back yard, were more sparse in the larger indoor space. I killed three White Russians and won a door prize, FOLGERS COFFEE! Margaret shared second prize (as one of the two Maudes) which garnered her not only applause but also a half a blue ribbon.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Daniel's Bar Mitzvah

Congratulations to Daniel Bell who conducted himself in an amazingly confident and mature manner during his Bar Mitzvah today. This was the first such event I've ever attended. We'd been warned that it would be 2.5 hours long and it was, but the seats were more comfortable than the plain wooden pews I'd encountered in Christian churches, so it went by painlessly. The lunch at the end was fantastic. Had nice conversations with Charlie and Loretta as well as Steve and Penny.
William and Daniel are basically the same age and when they were younger would play together often. Perhaps this will happen again. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pacific Fresh Fish

We are really lucky (for Regina) to live close to a really good fish store where we can get a variety of excellent quality fish and other sea food. Pacific Fresh Fish on 13th Avenue recently finished their expansion/renovation and had an excellent party there today. They had chefs frying up free samples of salmon and shrimp with a delicious wine/cream sauce. There was also cake and face painting. I indulged in everything but the face painting. We also purchased a fillet of char farmed from Iceland which we baked for supper tonight before watching Stephen Chow's new film "Journey to the West". 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cabela shopping experience is deadly

William, Paul, and I went to the Cabela hunting store to find a Stanley brand thermos. The store looks like a giant hunting lodge from the outside but that is nothing compared to the interior which is decorated with over $2,000,000 worth of taxidermy. Dozens of dear litter the aisles as well as many elk, moose, wolves, bears, mountain lions, beaver, and other animals too numerous to mention. In many cases they are presented more realistically than some museum displays, but the context is unnerving. The staff that we talked to were surprisingly un-red-necked and we couldn't help but have a nice, welcoming experience there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

William turns 13

Today was William's birthday. To take some pressure off of the day and to maximize the fun, we have been spreading out birthdays to "birth weeks", which is part of the emphasis on the activities of the past few days; the play in Saskatoon, the bbq with both families on Monday, the art in the part on Tuesday. Today was a bit lower key. I dropped William off at his friend Emma's house and they played a game and finished the birthday cake. This evening he went to Dessart Sweets for his free birthday ice cream cone (sparkler usually not included; this really made it special).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gerald Saul as Professor Delusia, Live! Today in the park!

As part of the Dunlop annual "Living Pictures" program, I portrayed the star of screen and print, Professor Delusia as he appeared on the Canister! concept album cover, "Assault and Battery". I hoped that all of my friends would come and vote for me in Victoria Park in Regina today between 4 and 6pm.

UPDATE: the event went well. We shut down at 5:45. I found the biggest challenge was the heat. Wearing the lab coat was a chore in 29 degree weather. I drilled two holes through the Canister head so will need to build a new one. I was given an award for best adaption of an independent film character. William stood by, giving me beverages and amusing the visitors with offers that they may also operate on Canister the Robot, just like Professor Delusia does, but on other body parts using the Canister the Robot Operation Game.  It was popular.

Monday, August 18, 2014

party in anticipation of William's 13th birthday

Prompted by my sister Sharon's short and unexpected visit to Regina, we hosted a dinner party this evening. I baked two cheesecakes after midnight last night. The Red Meat Wagon is closed Mondays so we had to make due with other butchers. Including ourselves, we were 14 people. The weather was turning hot and muggy so we set up the portable structure and also got the screens up around the gazebo (wasps are becoming a problem).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shakespeare On Saskatchewan: Taming of the Shrew

We did a whirl-wind trip to Saskatoon and back today. Drove through a couple of sizable rainstorms but it was mostly dry in Saskatoon where we connected up with Mike and took him along to the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan performance of The Taming of the Shrew in a 1960's style with musical numbers. It was really good even though we had rather poor seats, far to the side. Performances are geared 80% of the time to the front view

even though they've established a 3/4 semi-in-the-round stage. Afterwards we went to Keo's for fantastic Thai food then drove back home. Managed to miss most of the storms on the way back. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Government House action

After a coffee break with Gertrud, we went to Government House where an antique auction was taking place. We were too intimidated to attend the classic bidding part of it (having arrived so late, we hadn't registered and wouldn't have been able to get a spot to sit down). Instead, I put a bid on a stereoscopic viewer (identical to the one I got last year and with twice as many cards). We then went on a bit of a tour/performance in the museum. When we were finished there, I found that I'd won the bid and claimed my viewer.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Grain: Gas - world premiere in Ireland

Tonight my newest film in the "Grain" series, a chapter called GAS, premiered at the Underground Short Film Festival in Cork, Ireland. I shot it a while back but hadn't edited it until recently. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Old card table, new card game

With heat warnings and no air conditioning, we opted to eat and hang out on the deck when Paul came over this week. In my rearrangement of the living room, I found a couple of games I'd not opened including a card style game called "Chaos" which I purchased about two years ago in Calgary. It is a variant of Rummy in which you draw cards and try to collect sets of numbers. However, it also has a "Go Fish" element and "chaos cards" which result in players exchanging hands (a move my dad always liked to offer but never carry through on). We played on a card table that we've had my entire life that my mom gave me at the end of her last garage sale. It has a real sense of nostalgia playing on it. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Piano lessons end for summer

William had his last summer piano lesson this week. Laura has been his third piano teacher in six months.He's had good luck, liking/learning/enjoying the process with each of them. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

magnetic William

One thing I wanted to sell at mom's garage sale were my old speakers. I bought them from Grant's brother in 1981 and they've always sounded great. I've not really used them much in the past couple of years and when I have, I've not made good use of the volume they were capable of. When the first buyer took a look, it seemed that they have outlived their prime. The surfaces have dried out so much from age that I suspect the journey to the sale pushed them over the edge and they were ruptured. I took them out of the sale and have disassembled them for their magnets. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

William's first musical composition

William was assigned to compose some music this week. The rule was that he could only use five notes (key of G was chosen). This is what he made. It is nice to listen to. I'm insisting that he practice it so that he can actually play it easily when he hands it in (the teacher in me knows it is common sense that she will ask him to play it and it would look rather sloppy if he couldn't).
We watched Tampopo and went out for noodles. It is a cruel film to watch if you are hungry. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

moving a fish tank

 When I arranged the living room in its current configuration about six years ago, it was with the idea that William would have a little cubby are by the shelf to go and have his games or toys. The aquarium forced me to leave this all too small area unaltered for years, even as other furniture encroached on the space making it almost unusable. I've now moved the aquarium, cleaned it out to hopefully be rid of snails, and opened up more space to sit, talk, etc.

Friday, August 8, 2014

tires and garage sale

I noticed that one of my tires was low so I pumped it up with a hand pump and took it in to the Canadian Tire to fix. After dropping it off, I walked (in sweltering heat) to my parent's house where mom was holding her garage sale in preparation for her move. I'd helped her put up signs the other day and one customer remarked that this sale had sign EVERYWHERE. When I went to pick up the car, I found out that there was a nail in a place they couldn't fix and that all the tires were getting dangerously worn. I replace all four. Another huge rainstorm cooled everything off.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Parent's new condo

 My parents bought a condo. We took a tour of it for the first time. It's a really good size with two full bathrooms, a balcony, laundry room, and a spacious living/dining room. I had envisioned it being smaller and would bring to an end her ability to host holiday meals, but to the contrary, she's hoping to hold Christmas with all of us there. William likes it, I think more than he likes their house. She'll be painting and replacing all the carpet with hardwood before moving in.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

three hours in the dentist chair

To repair the tooth I broke a few weeks ago, I was at the dentist for three hours this morning as they drilled the remnants of the tooth, measured and 3-D scanned the remaining space, and sculpted a temporary crown. The teeth beside it seemed to loom in on the space causing the mold to break when they tried to remove it. As a result, it took them four tries to get the sculpted temp out of my mouth so that they could set it and put it back in. Lots of freezing. Just after I arrived, there was a huge thunder crash and an amazing rain storm began. By the time I was done, the sun was out.

Party with Bernadette

 On the weekend we went to an anniversary party for Bernadette Wagner, whom Margaret worked closely with on the Cathedral Festival over the past few years. With the event happening out at Regina Beach, I went with the expectation that I would know very few people, which was true. After a short while, William and I ended up at a table in a mostly unoccupied room, eating party mix, and assembling random Lego from our always handy "travel Lego" bag we usually have in the car. This ended up being a great idea as it attracted similarly detached adults (there were very few kids of Lego-desiring age) so we had some nice conversations, including a good chat with Laurie something who Margaret was in university with who was avid to talk about movies. There was some live music, good beverages, pizza, and cake.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Where to park?

The advantage to shopping malls has always been the abundance of parking. To my surprise, the first time I've ever tried to go to the Independent grocery near the Galaxy Cinema, there simply was no parking lot. One of my students shot a documentary in this story last semester and I've been curious to shop there ever since. I'm told that the lot has been in bad shape for some time.

Monday, August 4, 2014

"I think Doug Morton is a fink"?

When the large Douglas Morton painting "Continuum" was removed from the entrance way wall on Sunday, and the canvas was removed from the stretcher, a penciled message was revealed. This had to have been written by someone while the canvas was being attached, assumably before the painting was even painted. It reads "I think Doug Morton is a fink" and then is initialled. Based upon the "T" in the initials, the opportunity, and the opinion of people that it would fit his sense of humour, the working theory is that this was written by fellow Regina Five artist, Ted Godwin. This joke took 47 years to be revealed.
hidden message on Doug Morton Continuum painting "I think Doug Morton is a Fink"

Ted Godwin's signature

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Douglas Morton painting at RPL comes down for restoration

This morning the Douglas Morton painting which has hung in the entrance way of the downtown Regina Public Library since 1967 came down for the first time. It will be going back up after a bit of cleaning and the wall is repainted. Margaret was brought in as one of the 8 person team to unbolt it and lower it down carefully. It was rolled in plastic and transported to the MacKenzie for cleaning. I dropped by to snap a few pictures but got recruited in to document the process. It will be very strange to have this missing from that space.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Cat on a Water Tank

William thought we should call a film "Cat on a Water Tank". I have no idea what it would be about.
My internet started failing again this evening. I was on the phone with Access for a half hour. They could see something odd and inconsistent was happening. I'll get another service call later in the week this time to see if the outdoor line is the problem.
We went to Guardians of the Galaxy tonight. It was great fun. I've not read this comic since the incarnation in the 1970s, so very little was familiar. However, they chose not to spoon feed the back story, wisely intuiting that this would slow the film down beyond anyone's tolerance. Instead, aliens and characters who obviously have pasts and reasons for doing stuff just interacted in the story and the audience is just expected to keep up. Not difficult and much more fun that way. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

One month left to get some creative work done

As the storm approaches, I have been trying to put images together towards a few projects including Sockvile. I needed a background for the garage band so I went out to my garage which does not feel very stereotypical. My garden shed was closer to the mark. Then I decided to create a panorama of it and I think this might be the ticket.