June 2004 to March, 2012

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Icy waters but not frozen solid

Canada goose on the icy waters of Ashbridges Bay

Locals are blithely plunging their skidoos through thin ice on lakes around here. We send helicopters and rescue teams to retrieve them. It’s sort of the Canadian version of the Darwin Awards, but we like happy endings.

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January 16, 2012   No Comments

Today’s walk to Carol’s Bridge

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To East Yorkers, it’s the Woodbine Bridge but to Danica and me it’s Carol’s Bridge. She was a close acquaintance who leapt to her death from this bridge a few years ago. Carol had “gone off her meds”, fearing the lithium pills she had been prescribed to help her troubled mind.

At the funeral service, I heard a very strange speech by the officiating cleric. Apparently the opportunity to alliterate was too good to pass up and she asserted that Carol had “jumped into the arms of Jesus”. I remember thinking, “He wasn’t a very good catcher”.

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January 15, 2012   No Comments

Now THIS is a movie short.

Made with too few frames and the iStopMotion app on an iPad2. Gizmo himself was a gift. Thanks, JR! High Definition

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January 14, 2012   1 Comment

What happened to Dollarama?

I found these long skinny tags hanging all over the place.

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January 14, 2012   2 Comments

Time for another Helen Andersen artwork

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Vancouver had very few distinctive buildings when Helen made this pastel drawing in the early 1960s. The dome of the old Vancouver Sun newspaper building caught her attention. She did quite a few pictures of the city’s best bits… beaches, tugboats, shoreline industries… in water colour and in pastel.

Sad to say, most of them are lost now, or at least in places unknown. If you have one (possibly signed “Andy”, her nickname), you have a little treasure. I know that the artist Floyd Joseph as a small number of them, because he and Helen traded some pieces. Mr Joseph came to Helen’s house while I was there and selected some small pictures of scenes he remembered from his childhood, when he was growing up in North Vancouver.

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Danica and I are pleased to have one of Floyd Joseph’s serigraphs hanging in in our living room. Helen gave it to us as a gift, perhaps after one of those art trades. It is a beautifully crafted piece, fully in the tradition of Northwest coast design, but original in its imagery,too. The circular shape derives from drum head designs.

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January 12, 2012   No Comments

Last chance for weather bragging

I hear that rain, snow and lower temperatures are on the way. The Danforth pigeons won’t have it so good for long… but isn’t winter getting a wonderfully late start?

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January 11, 2012   No Comments

Say what we tell you, says Open Media.ca

“TAKE ACTION!” says the Open Media email blast against gouging Canadian telecoms. OK, I will. If you guys want support, open up your process. Your protest form contains uneditable text. I don’t want to send words you put in my mouth. I want to use my own words.

Your blog allows comments but requires registration, a login and passing of a Captcha challenge to get in. Not very inviting, is it?

Sorry, Open Media. Much as I agree that Belusogers is screwing Canadians, I don’t trust you, either.

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January 11, 2012   No Comments

Hmmm… How to show you Colombo’s newest cover?

At John Robert Colombo’s bidding, I designed his latest book cover to wrap the title around the book, starting on the back and finishing on the front. Creative writers do this sort of thing… because they can. Earle Birney once described to me his project for writing scraps of poetry on kites, releasing them to the winds along Vancouver beaches.

Less of Light by John Robert Colombo

JRC’s new book contains poems and thoughts he has written over the course of 2011. His “dream diaries” are in there too. I like reading them. An excerpt:

February 13, 2011. Healthy sleep. One dream: I see the faces of two women, sisters, maybe identical twins, perhaps in their thirties. Their complexions are bleached clean of blemish (and character) and they both resemble somewhat Joan Rivers, the awful but awesome comedienne.[…]

No one else I know keeps a dream diary.

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John also suggested a bleak landscape for the background, lighter on the back cover, darker on the front. I ran a gradient from black to white through the title’s lettering, countering the change in the sky.

I will leave it to the author to explain his thinking about the title and cover design. When he writes up his blog entry, it will appear here.

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January 10, 2012   No Comments

Found art, a decade old

I came across this photo of beadwork today. It was loomed by my sister Joni, 10 years ago. We have it hanging on our wall, along with other examples Joni has given us.

The photo was part of a website Joni had up, presenting her beadwork necklaces, headdresses, fans and rattles. She was also making drums and full sizes tipis back then.

Nowadays, Joni is more into the music scene in her Kootenay district neighbourhood (Rocky Mountains, don’t you know). She has recorded videos of many of the talents who appear at local venues and sometimes she jams with them on her flute. Her YouTube Channel

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January 8, 2012   2 Comments

Want to keep a Canadian advantage?

In Canada, copyright lasts for the life of the creator plus 50 years. That’s the international standard. But the U.S. and the E.U. made a little boo boo and extended theirs by 20 years, impoverishing their public domains. So they want Canada to extend our copyright terms to match theirs, even though it’s not in our interest. The Harper government will probably do it.

YOU can write and tell them not to. Here’s the address.

consultations@international.gc.ca

They say they’re listening until Feb.14th.

More on the subject.

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January 7, 2012   No Comments