Friday, July 31, 2015

Goils arrive!

Kiki and Kristin arrived today. We lunched downtown with George then looted Margaret's closet for flapper dresses. I also picked up William's 20 dollar three piece wool suit from the cleaners. On the hunt for shoes now, then we'll be ready for Ogema tomorrow. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

William haircut

William needed a trim today and I took him in to Gerald. They talked about Ogama trains and piano and classical music for the most part (although I was trying not to listen in). He's ready for the 1930s.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New "Noodle King" video

Two weeks ago we returned to the Noodle King in Saskatoon where the parking lot has a white wall and the sunlight is very bright. When we were there three years ago, I shot a video of William, inspired by Warhol's undirected film portraits, of William. Doing the same thing this year seemed to have the same effect until I looked at them side by side and saw how much he has changed in so many ways. I decided to compare the two by dropping the old one behind him, using a luma key, as his "shadow of his former self". This is the future; we document everything about ourselves so we must always live in our own shadows.  Here is the video on Vimeo. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blow me down!

The lightning storm last night was amazing.Wind and rain continued today, but after a long list of email was written, I ran a bunch of errands. .I tried to go to Gales (which was closed early for no described reason) and the street sign was blown down. I got a visa bank card in the mail today. The butcher down the street refuses to take them so I took it back to the bank and insisted that they order me a regular one (they did). Got new plant for fish and tag for Nick at pet store. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Heavy rain, clearing the drain animated gif

William and I took a walk during a lull between rain storms today. I had a pitch fork and unplugged a drain at the end of the street. When I did this, the huge puddle on the other side of the street, which must have had a drain with a common air/water pressure issue going on, began to erupt like a mini-geyser.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

New window in "cottage"

William and I put a new window into the bin on the farm today. It slides up and down like the ones in our house and is is made from a matched pair of small windows As a result, we will again have openable windows on each of the four sides so I won't have to fix the large window which I cannot open and close easily. I picked up these windows for a dollar each at a garage sale. It took us three hours. As usual, it is wonky.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lego Brickspo in Moose Jaw

I took William and Xander to Moose Jaw for the annual Brickspo exhibit. I got to take my time looking at stuff as they went off together and I didn't see them until it was time to leave. One of my favorite items was a spread out area dedicated to the Flash. The builder had made a streak of coloured light running from a cafe to crime scenes and even intersecting with Superman at one point. When I first walked past it (there were others there blocking my view) I thought it was an inexplicable fence. When I had time to study it, I was surprised and amused.
Was at Kevin's tonight and decided on the end of a story by a roll of the dice. Again, surprising. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cottage deck preparation

For years, Margaret has wanted us to build a deck onto the bin/"cottage" on the farm. I'm trying to get more of it built over the next few days and this seems like the year to have the deck. We purchased a bunch of wood and will schedule the first day we can all be available to do the build. We delivered the truck load into the hut and left it there until we can move forward. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

William and jazz piano

Over the past couple of weeks, William has been learning some basic jazz riffs on the piano. Laura (his teacher this summer) had him videotape her playing as a guide. As the camera doesn't have an earphone and is difficult to hear, I've made him a dvd of the clips and rigged the portable dvd player to his piano. He doesn't reference the video very often, but he practices (in short bursts) multiple times per day without prompting - almost obsessively. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Beginning backlog of blogs (blog-log? backblog?)

For almost two weeks, my computer was broken. At the time it broke, I was already a couple of days behind on my blogging, It's been working for the past four days, but I'm still trying to catch up on things and my blog is only now becoming the priority. The dates July 3-21 will be posted over the next few days, pretending to be in present tense but are just back-dated.
Today I dropped off my revised budget to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for the grant I received. I started catching up on correspondences with grad students, I entered a film festival, and the plumber was in to replace the anode on the water heater and fix the temperamental Japanese toilet. Here is our crusty old anode.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I had a filling today from my new dentist, the wonderful Dr. Kristy White. Over the years I've become accustomed to a period of adjustment after a filling as I need to become accustomed to the new shape of my teeth. Not this time. The tooth is perfect. Very happy. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

microscope microbes

I worked on my new film today (no title) which will consist of swimming creatures captured under Tanya's microscope. It took me the first half hour to isolate some of them and get them onto my slide. After that, I got lots of footage but the semi-transparency of then creates a very low contrast image and will make manipulation very difficult. Note about image above: these creatures are very tiny, much smaller than a millimeter long, and I can barely see them without my reading glasses. Even then, they just seem like moving dust. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Emperor Zombie Pie

William's newest pie is carved with the iconic image of Emperor Zombie from "The Amazing Screw On Head". 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dad's birthday

We got together to celebrate dad's birthday. My sister and her family were also there at the condo. Nice evening with a chocolate cake. Margaret made lemon pie as well, using my mom's secret recipe. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Computer back from repair

I picked up my computer from the shop today. It wasn't booting up due to a couple of hardware problems, most notably one of my hard drives was failing (a 2 Tb drive which contains over 92 thousand of my photographs). I bought a hard drive cloner, which didn't work for that drive, but I did begin using it as a way to hook up an internal drive as an external drive and copy files that were not corrupted into my new 4 Tb drive (giving my about 8.5 Tb internal drive space). I also got a new video card as the old one, which was really great, had been running at 95 degrees C so was almost dangerous. The new one uses newer technologies to is slightly superior but uses one quarter the power (and therefore less heat). 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Teagan visits

Teagan was in town this week. Leslea and Leif were not here, she was staying with her grandmother, so we didn't have as much socializing as we'd usually have. She was in the Filmpool film camp. William didn't want to take it. We took them to the farmer's market and then to Korean BBQ (image above) and then Slate and then Desarte sweets. They made a movie about William gorging himself on food. As my computer was not yet back from the shop, they couldn't edit it.William edited it a few days later, with a conscious not to Godard. CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

house reno beside piano lesson

From the porch of the Music in the House studio where William goes for piano lessons, there is a good view of the next door renovations including the house lift and basement digging. I'd have thought that there was some sort of computer control on this, but actually there are four guys on the four corners who run the lifts manually. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Telecine of super-8 "Matchbox Weekend"

Even though I'll be sending out all of my super-8 for a proper 2K transfer in a couple of weeks, I needed a copy of "Matchbox Weekend" right away for a festival entry so I set up a makeshift transfer in my kitchen and captured this film along with William's film "Monster in the Dark" (you can watch his film on youtube). . 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Carmin's baby girl

Gerri Ann's daughter Carmin (and Mitch) recently had a baby. We went across the street for a wonderful shower yesterday. Great snacks, cute child, many friends. Big congratulations. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Secret Garden tour: amazing house models

 We visited most of the gardens in the New Dance Horizons event "Secret Garden Tout". The most intersting site was probably this house where the guy builds trains and models including a model of his own house. The large scale train was running in the back yard.
At another garden, a treehouse featured Rapunzel having a tea party while Robin danced below.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fringe Festival in Regina

William and I attended three plays at the Fringe Festival in Regina over the past few days. The one that most stood out was "Shylock", a one man play by/with John D. Huston where he plays an actor has just finished his performance and addresses the audience about what the role means to him. It was incredibly thoughtful, engaging and funny. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mike in Saskatoon

The day after the play, we kicked around Saskatoon for a while with Mike. We lunched at Noodle King where I shot a follow up video to the one I shot there in 2012 (will put it on line soon). We bought hats in preparation for the Ogema train trip in a couple of weeks. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan: Othello

We drove up to Saskatoon for the preview performance of Othello at the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival. The performance was excellent with the play adapted to contemporary day with Othello rewritten as Cree. It was very respectful - perhaps too respectful. I think it could have pushed the controversial aspects of it further. Of course I have no images of the performance, but they always have these corny photo things in the reception garden outside. Weather was hot, we stayed in a nice cool hotel. On our way there, we met a guy from norther Saskatchewan on the street who was trying to find a place to eat on his birthday, having been displaced due to the heavy smoke this week. Margaret gave him some and we had a great chat. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Saskatoon berries

William had his first summer piano lesson today. It is the first time since he began 1.5 years ago that he returns to a previous teacher (he has had four different ones. Laura, who runs the program, taught him last summer and is now teaching him again). They will focus on trying to do some jazz piano over the next six weeks. Afterwards we picked Saskatoon berries. The farm message warns us that the berries will likely be dry next week and the next few days the farm will be unavailable due to wedding bookings. We got five buckets and made pie. At one point, we found a bird nest nestled into the Saskatoon bushes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

smoke over the sun

This photo doesn't do it credit, but the sun was deep red from the northern fire smoke. We were out shopping for new kitchen chairs (no luck yet) and I snapped this picture from the store. William suggested we were on Krypton. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

William inoculation

Had William at the doctor today for a booster shot. Some waiting around, as usual, but uneventful. He's started reading "The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements" by Sam Kean. I read it a couple of years ago and it was very interesting. It mixes historical anecdotes about scientists with descriptions of the relevance of their science. He has such great retention that this sort of book will really change the way he enters science. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Computer problems

This is the day my computer stopped (July 5). Ug. It would occasionally boot up but then freeze after a few minutes. Most times it would just get stuck somewhere along the way and never get the OS running. It wouldn't even run in "safe mode", which tells me that it is likely not a driver. Eventually I pulled the C drive and patched it into William's computer and discovered that it booted perfectly, proving that it was a hardware issue and not a software issue. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Frankenstein storyboard

I'm trying to plan out a new film, a sequel to "Thomas Edison’s Stitchpunk Frankenstein". I keep stalling on it but William has begun drawing pictures for me. These are partially storyboards (I have more technical versions of the storyboards) but are more inspirational sketches. I'm loving it. He works with charcoal, some of which was from our own fire pit. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

more Bunuel

William and I watched Luis Bunuel's "Land Without Bread" today, a very early mockumentary. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Backyard supper with Bob, George, and Paul

Nice summer backyard supper today. Bob Bjerke is in town and called this afternoon so we invited him to join us. I convinced George that double fresh meat is better than leftovers, so he was here too. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Gardening on farm for Canada Day

It didn't really feel like Canada Day as we headed out to the farm to put in a bunch of punpkins and other veggies on the farm. George was already out there with Greg but ultimately the only conversations we had were about hoses, water, tomato cages, and drainage. It was ironic that the area is so flooded that water has to be pumped at least a kilometer but a stones-throw from the drainage pipe, the garden is dry as dusk and needs to be watered. Against my better judgement, we dragged ourselves to the Albert Street bridge later that evening and watched the fireworks. They were nice and without them, we'd probably not have felt like we even had a Canada Day this year for lack of beaches or barbeques or visiting friends and family.