Thursday, June 30, 2016

Last day of my sabbatical

As I sit down to write this blog entry and had to consider the title, I first thought I would call it the last day before the install of my exhibition, but then I realized that, as the it's the end of June, it is also the conclusion of the busiest six months of my life. I've come so close to breaking down on so many occasions I lost track. But there were always those shining lights, those people who helped me create and created things of their own and helped inspire. Today Franz stopped in with the last box I needed. Amid the many emails needing my time (I stopped answering email at noon today) I got some very cool ideas from Geremy that I'm excited to follow up with him on. Last night Heather Cline was over and gave me some much needed advice on how to get the best results from my panorama. I announced my workshop and it's practically full from people I know and would love to work with for a day. The list of cool stuff I've done over the past six months goes on and on. Tomorrow is a crazy new beginning. Thank you everybody who helped me in so many ways.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

William report card and award

William and his medal
William was on the honour roll today at the conclusion of his grade 9 at Sheldon. We took him for a greasy spoon diner breakfast as a reward (he's been asking for a diner breakfast for weeks so yes, that is a reward). I'm very happy for him.

Monday, June 27, 2016

SockVile progress

In a surge of forward momentum, in recent weeks I have re-cut the entire 150 minute Sock-Vile program, originally 15 episodes, into 3 shorter films of 28-30 minutes each. I then worked on cleaning up the sound so that dialogue was all from the clean original recordings. I have then taken the first of the the three episodes (they are not really numbered 1-3 but are actually concurrent episodes) and have made a first pass at putting effects into them. I made some big gaffs, mostly because I was working late at night and not always looking at the images in full screen (for example, the shot of Marsha and Simon below has a camera case behind the buildings that I thought was a dark building when I inserted it), but I at least have a program that we can watch. I'll probably try to do all three before I worry about fixing the first one, but this will need to wait until I am installed at the gallery (although I have ideas for a gallery tie-in... but that will be a secret for now).

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Birdhouse fundraiser for NDH

On Saturday New Dance Horizons installed their second annual birdhouse fundraiser. Margaret took the bat house that Willam and Gertrud built and I helped out on and did a cool paint job on, adding an elegant bat logo on the front and cedar shingles on top. The birdhouses and bat houses were all very cool; many of them were functional but some were sculptures. They can be seen over the next few weeks at the  The Double Tree by Hilton (Broad and Victoria) in the lobby. All available by silent auction. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

AGR Fundraiser

Saturday evening was the annual Art Gallery of Regina fundraiser party.  As usual, there were many social spaces and room to walk and talk. Great chat with Jana, Jo and Norm, George, Mike, and many others. The upcoming exhibition gives me a natural topic of conversation. I've been so busy working on it that I've dropped blogging for four days (I am typing this a few days after the posted date). Writing has become difficult as I'm in a fugue state, endlessly running through my lists of tasks I need to accomplish before the install begins on Friday. I've also decided to begin reading and creating new daily videos once the show is up (perhaps not "new" videos, but I will start putting video online that previously wasn't, starting with a couple of dozen pieces that are not included in this show).   

Friday, June 24, 2016

More renos in the city

Popped past the Chinese Bakery on Friday. I've worried that they have moved in beside a building that was falling to ruin, which never does any business any good. However, it now appears that it is being renovated. The image below is a composite of images I took reaching over the wall. Clearly there is equipment set up and they are working in there, so it is a matter of time that the bakery will have a real neighbours.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Slate opening

Slate Gallery opened its summer show today. We left as the crowd began to grow so we missed the buzz but I had a few good chats. I met Michael Hosaluk and we talked about Paul for a while (I've been listening to Paul's voice on Sockvile this past week). Eric and I talked about the Theremin. Heather Cline and I talked about woodworking. I got one of the invites to Sunny so that she can make it to see herself in the stereoscopes. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Allan and Jana by the fire

William "wrote" his last final this morning (it was in drama, so he actually performed it) while I got my hair cut (not part of his performance, these are two separate events). I spent the rest of the day reading grad papers. Allan and Jana came over for supper then hung out around a fire for the evening. Good conversations. Thanks for coming, it was a much needed break from my frighteningly long list of responsibilities. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

More Canister shooting

My days are getting more and more difficult to juggle. Even now that my woodcutting is done, the projects that have been on hold for the last week cannot wait any longer. My morning was filled with grad student meetings so I didn't return to my computer until noon, at which point I started putting effects to Sockvile. After an early supper, William and I met up with Geremy and we shot some images for a secret project. It's just as well half my projects are secret as that way the ones I don't have time to finish or that fall apart too soon can remain in the shadows. At the tail end of the photo shoot we got this "Space Polka" video. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

William's Social/English project

William's final project in Social Studies and English was a combined effort to create a museum display based upon his assigned novel (Three Day Road) and the issue of colonialism. He put together the ubiquitous poster (ends up that everyone else did as well) along with the skeleton of the poor schmuck who lit a cigarette when a sniper was nearby. He loves his WWI stories.

I finished cutting my parts for my stereoscopic viewers. Some assembly still required.

Margaret painted one of the bat houses for the NDH fundraiser. The cats both tried to help.

There was a "strawberry moon", which is a name given to the full moon when it lands on the solstice. It looked nice but any colour shift is likely in the imagination.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day surprises

Having a wonderful Father's Day so far. I got a mochachino in bed followed by biscuits and Nutella for breakfast and Jello for desert. Afterwards, while doing some chores, the mini-fridge full of pop in the garage was revealed. Thanks William! You are a good son.  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dread line phone boxes delivered

Franz built me five of these boxes which will hide wires and secure the telephones that will be playing Dread Line material in the exhibition. Here is one along with the new red phone I bought in Saskatoon. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

New ways to torture students

Just when I think that the high school students have it easier than we had it, I'm blindsided by new bizarre types of torture. William is at his Phys-Ed final this morning. It is a dance. Starting at 9 am, their class are in a sock hop dance, being videotaped as they dance the various forms they've learned in the past five days, while also keeping up the pretense that this is a social event, complete with snacks and juice. To grade, the teachers videotape the entire event (so no mickies in back pockets).

Follow up on this story: William's exam also included a written component that he'd not told us about. His choice to wear a jacket, vest, and ascot won him the best dressed or "peacock" award which was in the form of a dollar store hat.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Deadlines for exhibition are looming

With deadlines coming soon, I met with Brent about the program design, I worked again until late into the evening with Brian building viewers, I got a quote on a stand up, and I tried to hang out with William a bit to celebrate the last day of classes. We ran into Gerry Ann and she says the exhibition is mentioned in the brand new issue of Canadian Art. That's mindblowing. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I learned to use a router today. Brian Gladwell helped me build the template I needed and I've moved forward on my viewers. Time is running out but I'm pretty confident that with tomorrow morning's session, I will have them close to assembly stage. I'd been thinking about an evening off to watch tv with William but instead I went to the Balkwill woodshop and left him to study his colonization (thanks for recommending the book Carmen).

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Prepping for big church sale

Margaret and William took a bunch of stuff from the house to my mom's church sale today. The sale begins tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon and there is apparently lots of cool stuff including a desirable Kimball Aquarius organ (it is a 1980 version, similar to this 1979 version in THIS VIDEO). That would be at the All Saints church beside Campbell on Massey Rd.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Wood that I could

I was back in the woodshop at the Balkwill Centre today, courtesy of Tim and Brian, working on my stereoscopic viewers. The design is modified slightly in a way that I hope will accommodate more users. They will also be entirely hardwood and more interesting as objects. Today I turned one big piece of rough wood into five useful pieces of cut wood with smooth flat surfaces and square corners. With any luck they will be in pieces that resemble the viewers tomorrow. I have only a week to get these done before I loose access for a week (which would make getting these done for the exhibition very difficult)..

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Can't wake up, can't sleep

I'm yawning so much, it is making my jaw ache. I've been re-editing "SockVile"and every cut and every decision exhausts me and I feel like I need to close my eyes to contemplate whether or not each choice was the right one. Looking for procrastination (and waiting for coffee to brew), found this image from 13 years ago of William and "Baron" our late cat, taking it easy on the couch.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday in Saskatoon and return for Malty National opening

Again, to fully appreciate the hotel as a type of mini-vacation, we had a great breakfast in the dining room at the Bessborough on Saturday morning before checking out. Traffic was completely mad out there between the miles of cars heading towards a Garth Brooks concert (there were six sold out shows) and a large chuck of downtown blocked for the Pride Parade (what a huge flag!):
We hit the Lee Valley Tools where I got a new saw and square to help me with my viewer building project. We also got to two antique stores and I purchased three "new" dial telephones (I now have six). Connected with Mike again and lunched at the food trucks beside the farmer's market. Back in Regina we rested for five minutes then went the the Malty National brew pub opening where Allan Dotson has created some designs for their labels. It was quite a happening but I was faint from heat and exhaustion (separate, not together) so we cut out after a couple short visits.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday in Saskatoon

Without knowing that there were multiple Garth Brooks concerts this weekend, we still managed to get a room at the Bessborough hotel in Saskatoon and stayed the night after an appointment we had for William earlier in the day. Saw Mike for supper at a little Burmese joint that Mike suggested, then an evening in the pool and relaxing around the hotel. It doesn't look like anyone was bringing their kids along to the concert so the pool was quiet. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

One Take Super 8 Event

Tonight's One Take Super 8 Event couldn't have been more successful. Every seat was filled and there were a few stragglers on the edges sitting on the floor. The films turned out well with no big failures (for those who aren't familiar, these events feature a couple of dozen sight-unseen films, straight from the lab to the screen, so catastrophic failure is not uncommon). Highlights for me includes William's film "Attack of the Killer Balloons" which, even though the sound was consistently five seconds late, this only helped to evoke laughter at the campy humour. Eric Hill continued his participatory work, this time a mixture of the actions on screen and his live soundtrack; very fun. Mitch Doll, Mike Rollo, and Dianne Ouellette also delivered beautiful and well timed films; little gems. The best film (or at least the crowd pleaser) was certainly Jeff Meldrum and Amber Phelps Bondaroff's "Enter the Egg"; again with a live soundtrack performed with objects and voice. This took camp two more notches ups and had the audience roaring. Great work Amber and Jeff.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Jonathan Dyck at the Capital Jazz club

 Jonathan Dyck, whom I've known since the 25 short films recordings in 1998, and who is William's piano teacher, leads a four piece jazz trio who played at the Capital this evening. We've never managed to get to one of these performances before. Margaret called ahead and was told, as we'd expected, that it is 19 and over after 8:00, which is when the music starts. However, if we made 7:30 reservations to come and eat, then we'd not be kicked out right away. As a result, we had a nice meal and heard some crazy guitar/piano/drum jazz. Other than it being the loudest music William has thus far be subjected to (we were at the front table), it was very groovy.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Margaret's parent's bathroom renovation

I think they've been wanting to do an upstairs bathroom renovation for quite a while but apparently some complication around a replacement window has forced their hand to begin sooner, rather than later. George has gutted the room and the new window is in. Now to fill it back with bathroom stuff. I like the little landscape scene which accidentally got framed in that window when I built this image (click image to enlarge). 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Filmpool AGM and CVAF party

I had to run from one meeting (the Filmpool AGM) from 1 to 3:30 to the next (Catheral Village Festival volunteers party at Shannon's) which started at 3. All went as well as can be expected. Due to my overly full schedule with Caligari, I've not put my name forward to be on the Board. I think the new group has a lot of fresh ideas and will do well. It seems that I have finally reached that point where I am the old codger in the back row who knows too much to be ignored but whom most people would rather didn't start making motions in the middle of meetings. What a rush. Only took a half century to get here. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Planting pumpkins

Saturday. Met with curators and Brent regarding AGR exhibition. After that I ran William over to the vintage clothing sale and found him a trench coat that he likes and will wear, even though Margaret (who was still at work) though we should get the crazy used car salesman jacket (see below).  Picked up Margaret and went to the farm and planted pumpkins. Home to clean up and over to mom and dad's for supper. Tired now.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Gloria was glorious!

Friday night we attended the first of two nights in which Mookie performs as Gloria, a glamorous starlet clown. We had a gas. She mixed performance, audience interaction, projection, music, dance, and clowning into a really fun evening. She has moved into the neighbourhood so expect to see more of her. She was the host of the PuppetSlam a few days ago and gave such amazing energy to the gaps between performances that I needed to see her solo show. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Introduced monthly Caligari screening

With Christina away, I was the first of the summer replacement hosts for the monthly German Expressionist film screenings at the RPL. Tonight was Waxworks and Dark Shadows. As the first feature is short, I was asked to supliment it with an animation. I brought the Quay Brothers' "Street of Crocodiles" and spoke for a few minutes (about 3 minutes too long, according to the clock) but no one got restless.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

took a walk

I got myself so busy with working in front of computer today I almost forgot to leave the house. Allan stopped by for a quick card game but not until after supper did I start feeling a bit stir crazy. William and I walked down to see the progress on the school. Here is my image from the south side, which is mostly storage of dirt and materials.