↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ SUBSCRIBE:↓ ↓ ↓ Follow by Email↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

Friday, August 31, 2007

62

I used up my random encounters too early in the day. This morning I ran into David Gane who was a student of mine at one time (one of my first courses) and he now has a house which is the same design as a house I knew as the Taj-ma-hole that I rented with some party-types back in 1988, but David's house is across the street from the school and his daughter, who was born while his wife was in another of my classes, is just starting kindergarten at William's school. While William was in class, I had a meeting about the upcoming First Nation's End of Life conference that I overseeing video production around, and we walk out of the room and run into a couple of suits standing there, and of course I don't want to get close because I've got a biscotti in my hand that I grabbed off the table in the meeting room (it was left over and paid for, so why no...?) when one of the suits says "Hi Gerald" and it ends up being my old friend Kevin, looking unusually dapper in a nice suit and shined up shoes. I was a bit flustered to have caught unaware like that, but needed to rush off since the school bell was about to ring. So a few minutes later, I am picking up William from school and we run into one of William's friends, Ethan, and his mother. The two of them were in pre-school together and had lots of fun. They apparently live quite close to us now and Ethan is now also Kindergarten (due to a later birthday than William) at the same school and thus a classmate of David's daughter. That's all fine and dandy, right?
So then we embark upon the trip I'd been thinking about, but obviously not planning, all day. One of Chrystene Ells' last shooting days is around the mock-up, full size sculpture of ribs of the ship, built on the prairie, by Chris St Amand at his acreage near the village of Avonhurst, about a half hour from here. I had been promised instructions, but with production in full swing, these sorts of things are easily overlooked. So William and I cruise out of town, fighting traffic all the way as it is the beginning of a long weekend, and arrive at this 3 house town at a few minutes past five, just in time for the Co-op store employee to drive away and to our surprise, we can't find the location. Not only that, but we can barely find people, unless you count those driving combines on nearly every field. Up and down every road, but no random brushes with people we know were forthcoming. My cell phone eventually ran out of money as I called the director, whose phone was off, and whose number was the only one I brought with me (no real planning, remember). However, the town and surrounding roads offered up many treasures, including the title character from the old Loudon Wainwright III song (see below).
We also picked some flowers by a house that's not a house anymore. I'll probably come back out and shoot more film as there are many great old structures that are falling down without looking dilapidated.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Highway 61

William and I ate KD and pistachios in front of "The Flintstone Flyer" today during his lunch break.

I went down to the Filmpool and dropped off "Loose Screw" and also got word that "Mr. Saul's day at the Beach", "Mr. Saul's Definitive Portrait of His Family", and "Mr. Saul on How to Be a Father" are all to be screened at Festival 50, 104 in a couple of weeks. This is the first time multiple films from the Mr. Saul's Utopia series have screened at the same time, so it's a bit weird. They are super-8 films of my family at different times and places, aware of the camera, waving and posing in front of places we have gone or pretending to have fun. Accompanying the films is a voice over by a character called "Mr. Saul", a man of limited vision who is more than a bit certain that everything is does is correct. He is particularly proud of his prowess with the super-8 camera and the accompanying zoom lens. I've performed a number of these live, but the jury does not seem to have asked me to do a new work, and those are usually the only ones I perform with verbally.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

three score

Today was William's first day of grade one, the first day that he's stayed in school all day long. I walked down and picked him up for lunch, as I intend to do every day, and we ate sandwiches in front of the tv. I looked for Flintstones season 1 at the store the other day but they didn't have it, so I'll have to look around some more. I would like him to have at least one year that reflects my own childhood, and don't we all? I think a key to nostalgia is the desire to convince others to have the same nostalgic feelings we have ourselves. Today William made his own sandwich for the first time. It seemed a bit of a mess as the peanut butter was chilled and the bread was soft, but he made it and ate it, so who am I to criticize?

While he was in school I finally got a chance to watch Sylvie Blocher's "Wo/Men in Uniform" at the Dunlop Art Gallery (see July 14 posting). It's been up for 6 weeks and closes today but to date I've only managed to watch short clips of this 50 minute project that closes today. It was quite engaging, although perhaps both too short and too long. It could not impact with as its maximum potential audience because few gallery goers are prepared to sit for an hour during a stop at the library. However, I know that there were dozens of hours of footage and I often felt it was just skimming the surface. There are short portrait/interviews of about a dozen Regina police officers and her off screen (muted) questions must have been well delivered because each officer broke from his or her expected response and revealed something personal about their relationship to this job. I wanted more, but each was only allowed a few questions, a few minutes, and then fades away. I have to criticize the gallery, although I have a great deal of respect for it generally, for the quality of the presentation; the projectors and air conditioning created an annoying din that made it less than comfortable to listen to the voices. I ended up sitting on a chair, rather than the couch, so that I could sit next to the speaker and be better immersed into the program.

I finished "Loose Screw", a one minute video in a similar style to the five second video I have on YouTube from a couple of days ago. The Filmpool is having a screening of short videos with an open entry with the deadline in a couple of days, so I'll enter this. I will probably also kinescope it and work it into my Modern project.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

59

For William, today is the last day of summer vacation. That's not as traumatic as it will be when he gets older as he doesn't have that much freedom as it is, and the prospect of meeting a new teacher and new friends and having recess and all that is exciting. I'll miss having him around all day, although I admit I've been looking forward to having the time to accomplish other things, so I spent most of the day doing stuff with him, a dentist appointment because he's got an infection under one of his teeth that had major work on it a couple of years ago and may have to be pulled (its a baby tooth but one that should have stayed for another 3 or 4 years) so they had to do a casting of the tooth to put a filler into the spot until the new one grows in. They use a mint flavoured putty that, gaging from his reaction, was nasty. We did some clothes shopping at Please Mum where I had a hard time attracting assistance even though there were three staff and only two customers, I usually get good help being a man with a child, willing to spend fast and uninterested in extensive shopping. Rented "The Pacifier" (the duck on the cover sold it) and watched it with William, predictable and full of flaws, but passably amusing and befitting but aforementioned midlife crisis. This evening I worked on my "Loose Screw" video, getting another 15 seconds completed so that I just need credits and about 5 more seconds tomorrow, and then a soundtrack.

LVIII

Spent much of my day working on a new video while William played with Daniel, Leesa Streifler's son who is the same age as W. This is probably the first time in 2 weeks that I've been able to work for more than 15 minutes during daylight hours without an emergency (a missing Lego piece constitutes an emergency this week). I'm plodding along frame by frame and having wonderful results now that I've started making new brushes and extracting photo elements (such as my face) to do so. I had a great conversation with Leesa today, our first "sabbatical party" and I was able to show her what I've been doing (even though the program crashed - some sort of disc error - during my demonstration) and she's even cool with me doing a response to her style of work (I'm thinking about her "Normal" series) as a moving image piece in this style. I've been wanting to do this for years but never seen to have the energy and time to even start it. The image above is from this week's one minute animation project; I'm calling it "Loose Screws" and I'm trying to get it done for the end of the week for the Filmpool festival event.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

There's no better kinds

We were off to Moose Jaw again today, observing the production of "Sisu" at the Sukanen Village just south of there. We've never figured out how to communicate with William that when he is supposed to be quiet, that means NO talking, not just whispering. He loves to fill the silence, which is absolutely adorable except when you are on a film set. Anyway, the space was big so even though I could hear him, the odds are that he would be drowned out by the other abundant background noises such as distant (and not so distant) traffic and wind (it was really windy today). Today we watched as they shot a key friendship scene between Tom Sukanen (the main character) and Vic (another local farmer and Tom's only friend). Tom tells a joke which is as unexpected as it is not funny. The delivery was very well done by star the picture Don Wood. It is obvious how much Don has put into practicing the accent an mannerisms that make up this character. His body language, pacing, and delivery are extraordinary, he comes across as someone who seems to be struggling to speak and saying very little, not because he is unintelligent but because he has so much going on in his head that he cannot decide what words to pour out. In the image above is Don and Brian Dueck. I also had an nice conversation with Gerry Coulter who plays Tom's boss from Finland in a flashback to Tom's early life there. Gerry also played a roll in Deric Olsen's espionage film "The Phoenix Agenda" that was created as a graduate thesis film a couple of years ago. He might become a permanent fixture in my grad students' films if this goes on.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

56

I'm trying to figure out YouTube today. I joined and I've uploaded a very short video (5 seconds) that I created in After Effects and Photoshop, using new brush designs to essentially stamp images onto a blank canvas to create work that has similar formal characteristics to that of Norman McLaren or Len Lye. I've called it something forgettable, but I think if you click here, it may take you there. Or perhaps here. It also features a random clip of my first recording with my Theremin (discussed previously). It's interesting to notice how blurry everything on YouTube gets with the compressions they use. Here is a still from my video, notice the (relative) sharpness of the screw on the left hand side of the frame under normal video resolution:

Friday, August 24, 2007

I can't drive to freedom

William and I went to see "Mr. Bean's Holiday" at noon today, basically the first screening in the city. It's been a few years since I've done that, but his summer vacation ends in a few days and we're trying to do something birthday related every day this week, fun stuff, you know. Anyways, it's not bad. It has a looser structure, more like the episodes, which is better suited to the humour than his first movie. However, it isn't always a dense with jokes as his show, so you don't find yourself squirming in your seat. Also, the character is rarely as mean or callous as the show, he actually has compassion for some people around him. Willem Defoe is really good in it, Margaret asked if he was funny and, with William listening, I had to say "no" but that I found him funny and so would she, although through William's eyes he could be, he's basically the straight man and as close to being the villain as any character in the film is.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

less -40

I visited the set of the second day of shooting for "Sisu", Chrystene Ells film about Tom Sukanen. Today they were in Estlin, a small town about 15 minutes south of here, shooting scenes in which old Tom, delusional and near death in a hospital, sees a vision of his mother he'd not seen in decades. It's being shot on a 24p HDV camera that the NMSL recently acquired. The weather was cool but the clouds were creating interesting patterns and pools of glorious light that should really pop.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Edmonton Crash Pad

William and I went for a big drive today, partially prompted by Elaine Pain giving me a heads up that a grain elevator is being demolished in Cupar, so we headed up there and I shot part of a roll of the crushing of the side building but when I went to change film, part of the pressure plate on the Bolex came apart and I couldn't fix it, so we continued on down the highway and found ourselves in Dysart where Pure Prairie Western Giftware same highway until we reached Fort Q'Appelle where Chrystene Ells was in the middle of her first day of shooting her feature film, one of the finest coffee shops in Saskatchewan happens to be, restful and full of rustic (real rustic, not hovel-rustic or tacky-rustic or worst of all "rustic"-rustic) furniture and items and very nice coffee and then we continued along the "Sisu", although we found out that the location was on the top of a rather high hill, or perhaps more accurately at the top of the valley but that can only be accessed from the bottom so it might as well be a hill, and that William, who complains about not being allowed to take the elevator to the second floor at the university, was likely not going to make it to the top, and therefore we did not visit the set and have only a photo or gardener/entrepreneur Rachel Ursulescu from the Dysart coffee shop to offer you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Deck

I'm a bit under the weather today, but mainly stayed home and watched cartoons (Space Ghost - original series) and fiddled with my Modern videos. I've been watching a few things of note: "Ryan", a very slick dvd out of the NFB featuring the Academy Award winning short film as well as "Walking" and the other short films by Ryan Larkin, the subject of this animated documentary, and other films by Chris Landreth, the animator behind "Ryan" and a documentary about Chris's process and relationship with Ryan by Laurence Green. It's all convoluted and worthwhile. The incomplete and fragmented 3D computer animated images are luscious to look at as well as conveying the idea that the portrait is incomplete and the subject is being deconstructed.
A must for animators. There is a dvd at the RPL (well actually it's at my house but I'll return it soon).


We exchanged one of William's presents that he had a double of and bought Operation and Kerplunk games! I've never owned either of them before, and although they are both loud, they never fail to satisfy.

Monday, August 20, 2007

17 x 3

William turned 6 today and Margaret began a month long job as a full time temp admin position at the Dunlop, so I took William to "Underdog" which hasn't been getting good reviews but we both thoroughly enjoyed, him for basically everything about a super powered talking dog, live action with fur rather than the old animated version which is simplistic, hairless and "freaks him out", and me particularly for the performance by Patrick Warburtan whom I personally remember most for being "The Tick", although he was apparently in Seinfeld as well, but I have seen so few of those that I think I missed him but might go back and watch for him because he is certainly, in my mind, the perfect superhero, although technically he is a supervillain in this, or actually just a villain, or perhaps more accurately he is a henchman, but his hair is great, which makes this whole Underdog thing more about hair again as William will not watch even a minute of the old Underdog series but loves the live action, and loves the live Disney versions of Inspector Gadget far more than the original, even though he's been watching those finally as I can record them every morning, commercial free, off of YTV.

Gerda came to visit this evening and brought a card that featured images of the wood and wool sheep that she brought William as a birth present from Estonia, so we sang happy sixth birthday to both William and "Bricks" the sheep and had a great time until William overpowered Gerda, knocked her into the stairway, and darn near gave her a concussion. The boy is growing up fast.

Hawaii


After building a 1000 piece Lego batcave, I really get wondering about how someone who is retrofitting a crime fighting lair into an existing subterranean area could get so obsessed with symmetry?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

square week


Spent the day jumping between the kitchen and the computer, rendering "Modern" videos and preparing foot for William's birthday party; salsa, guacamole, cheese cake, chocolate cake, rice krispie cake, hummus, and chocolate chip cookies, and or course there is the wrapping of the Lego.
Huge storm sat on top of us, thunder that sounded like gunshots above our heads, but it's supposed to clear for tomorrow.

Friday, August 17, 2007

2 days

We just go back from Saskatoon, went for a couple of days to shoot film and visit a bit. The high point was visiting the studio where Dennis Jackson is shooting his Wapos Bay series. They are in hiatus right now, but will start shooting season three in a October. Season two will be starting to air on APTN this fall. It is a puppet animated series based around a fictitious first nations community in northern Saskatchewan. I was honored to be involved on the pilot episode (the one hour "Christmas at Wapos Bay") in 2001 at the same time William was born. He was given the nickname "Wapos Papoose" (FYI, that rhymes). They now have a much larger studio so there can be 10 scenes shooting simultaneously. The armatures are now much more sophisticated, I've taken extensive photos so as to be able to steal lots of their ideas. It's shot digitally now, rather than on 16mm as "Christmas" was, so there is much less tension about missing shots or errors. It was a great tour and they gave me a hand, yes, a hand, one of the new wire filled latex hands, soon we'll all be using them.

On the less happy side, I dropped a light meter with dire results...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

47

I've been writing about formalism in experimental film. What is formalism you ask?

It's everything!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

46

William lost his first tooth today. It was pulled actually. It was loose and then about a week ago the adult tooth emerged behind it so he ramped up the wiggling but to no avail, it still didn't come out. He had a dentist appointment today and he really wanted it out as the tooth fairy event weighs heavily on him, so she popped it out for him and let him carry it home in a plastic necklace shaped like a tooth. He has a special pillow with a pocket in it just for this event.


Wikipedia says this about the tooth fairy: "The most commonly accepted belief by academics is the fairy's development from the tooth mouse, depicted in an 18th century French language fairy tale. In "La Bonne Petite Souris", a mouse changes into a fairy to help a good Queen defeat an evil King by hiding under his pillow to torment him and knocking out all his teeth."
I'm not sure how the mouse was supposed to accomplish this task. The only version I've found so far, an English version on line called The Queen and the Mouse does not include the pillow and tooth part. This site contains better info on the tooth fairy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

45

Just watched the John Hughes penned film "Baby's Day Out". It was all fresh and exciting for William and, recall my midlife crisis of being 6 again, I got into it too. Where are the Adam Robert Worton twins now? All reviews point out how cute there where, but not another film in 13 years. Washed up at 9 months, very sad.

Monday, August 13, 2007

44

Work. Today I filmed myself working and thus have officially burned the candle at both ends, having made a one minute colour 16mm film created from over 1200 two second time exposures which should result in rapid ghostly movements, and I have painted the garage (just one end of it, yellow oil paint). It might be part of my "Grain" series as a reference to the black and white sequence of me smashing up a sidewalk beside my house in the first part of "Toxic", but it might just be a side project (I'm thinking that everything I do is a side project and that I've not started a real project yet).

age

Drove out to Moose Jaw today, shot 100 feet of colour print stock (mylar base, tungsten balanced, with filter need to be treated as iso 0.75). Left it in car while lunching at the fabulous Nitt's Thai Food on Main St (best Thai food in Saskatchewan) to run 2 second time exposures for part of the roll. A problem I anticipate with the roll is that this final time lapse/time exposure sequence was shot from the back window of the car, in direct sunlight, with a black coloured Bolex, over three hours. The camera was so hot that I could barely touch it. Colour film does not react well to being heated like that. Should I even bother storing it in the frig?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

THE answer

A few days ago I was giving William a bath. He wanted me to ask him questions so I was quizzing him on things like "what is 2+3?" and "what do you get when you mix blue and red?", but after a while I started to run out of interesting questions until I scooped a clear glass of tub water up and asked him "Is this glass half full or half empty?". He started to answer but was startled by the complexity of the question; he paused for a moment, staring at the the glass and then slowly said: "I think it's half full".

Friday, August 10, 2007

41

I sent an email to a local magician the other day, trying to book him for William's birthday party, and I'd not heard from him so I started looking through my junk mail to see if it got sent into there, and I found a misdirected email from the Antimatter Film Festival in Victoria accepting my film "A Spin in Turtle Park, after John Porter's Cinefuge" that I made on super-8 for the One Take Super-8 Event last year, in the style of John's film, created by spinning a camera around yourself, a technique John says he can do without a problem but that I was absolutely floored by, as I seem to be far less able to spin in circles than I thought I could, but therein lies the magic.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

40

This is the 40th day of my sabbatical. I turned 40 a few years back (3) and had anticipated it being a very traumatic event. Somehow it wasn't. I had a big party, which is very unusual for me, and invited lots of people. It was the last week of classes and I'd also just received tenure, so I pretended that was the purpose of the party so that no one would bring presents, but the cat was out of the bag when the cake came out. I hired one of my grad students to document it on super-8 film, I've not done anything with that film yet but am proposing a screening for this fall. I should have been working on the pitch today but instead I watched the late 70s cartoon series: Superfriends: the Legendary Superpowers Show with William for half the afternoon. Some great commentary tracks, more honest than previous seasons, in which the old writers and the DC historian point out the missing characters, limitations of movement due to the requirement that all movement in Hanna/Barbara cartoons is limited to left and right, the influence of Jack Kirby onto DC in the 70s with the Darkseid character, and the influence of Marvel onto DC shown through the introduction of the Firestorm character and his teen angst. Perhaps my mid-life crisis is reverting back to being 6 rather than 16 and enjoying all the shows I was too old and cynical for when I was a teenager.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

B-side to You're My Best Friend

I just found out that Michelangelo Antonioni died the other day, but it was the same day that Bergman died so he seemed to not have gotten any press. He's best known in America for "Blow Up", one of his two English language films. We saw it in film school, it is great and highly influential film. One film that I always think about is "The Red Desert" which I was asked, by my favorite professor from my undergrad days - Szymon Choynowski - to edit the commercials out of after he taped it off of French tv. He'd been looking for it for a long time and that was the first time he'd been able to get his hands on it. I was very pleased to do some work for Szymon, especially something as interesting as this. Unfortunately, the version was in Italian with French subtitles and I speak neither language, so I continue to be in the dark about the plot, but the images were beautiful. I'm certain I can find a copy easily now, we probably have one in our department collection, but my experience of it could never be improved upon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

XXXVIII

I'm not sure what to think about Facebook. I registered onto it a couple of weeks ago and log onto it now and then. Even on sabbatical, I get the feeling that I don't have the time to waste on it, but then on the other hand, it seems like an interesting little release/distraction and I wish I did have the time to dive into it, zombifying friends I've not seen in years, writing on their walls, and making up lists. I guess I'm feeling a little divided whenever I sit down at this machine, I have email that I want/need to do, I do this blog, I have a writing project I'm trying to do (a project that is still pretty early so I've not mentioned it here yet) and working on more computer animation for my "Modern" project. Sometimes at the university, I work with two, three, or even more computers at once with graphics rendering on one, dvds burning on another, and writing on one as well. In those cases, it sometimes is fun to have something trivial on the side, no one could accuse you of slacking off when you're running so many machines at once. On the other hand, it's not like I'm not wasting far more time than I possibly could on Facebook by watching tv, reading comics, and staring at the wall. So won't you be my friend?

Monday, August 6, 2007

signal vs. noise

.
We went to the farm today, Margaret's brother's family and ours. It's easy to find, you drive north past Southey then turn at the farm that isn't there anymore and onto the road with the tree that used to look like a chicken. See picture below.



Sunday, August 5, 2007

crucifixion

I stayed up late last night reading the seven issue comic book series The Eternals by Neil Gaiman (published between August 2006 and March 2007). I've not followed Gaiman's work for very long, I'd been buying comics in the 80s pretty much stopped in the early 90s when the collecting mentality brought cover prices up while my personal income was at an all time low. However, I was aware of his Sandman series and had glanced at an issue or two but had not been engaged enough to start buying them. However, a couple of years ago, Margaret borrowed the entire Sandman series in graphic novel form from the library and we both devoured them. Since then, we've looked at many of his stories and generally enjoyed them immensely. Earlier this year I listened to Stardust as a book on tape, read by Gaiman himself, again staying up half the night, unable to turn it off. Similar to Sandman, the Stardust story twisted and turned, it excited and amused, it drew from the long history of a particular genre (fairy tales) and took it somewhere fresh. Gaiman is a good writer and would have my vote for the best (English language) comic book writer, that is until last night. The Eternals was a comic book series written and drawn by Jack Kirby in the late 1970s, published by Marvel. It presented a new set of characters, new comic mythologies, and represented an important return of Kirby as a central creator for Marvel. I bought them all and still have them stashed in the attic somewhere. They weren't all that great, I think Kirby wanted to draw lots of "deviants", monstrous people each of whom had entirely different physical characteristics, fighting against the eternals who still dress like the Greek heroes they were many millenia before. In other words, it got stale very quick. Gaiman has proven himself very apt at reworking tired old ideas and bringing depth to minor or forgotten comic book characters. I had high expectations. They were not met. I'm not saying that these were bad comics, I was taken with them, they were page turners and I jumped from one to the next. However, I was never really carried somewhere new. They were a bit more sophisticated than the originals, and certainly more creative in the violence performed, but in the end we are left with the same problems and lack of conclusion Kirby left us with, the domination of the god-like celestials who stand in judgement over the world. Like so many traditional comics before it, character development ends when superherodome begins, the insomniac character struggles with overwork, loss of love, etc until he accepts his super powered existence, then he runs off like a testosterone filled teenager, racing around the world with his buddy. Gaiman does suggest a certain religious standpoint, but his characters spend too many pages discussing and concerning themselves with the trivial that they become trivial, human, and non-heroic themselves. When they transform back into eternals/heroes, I don't buy it.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

HP's first pocket calculator

On the topic of mini-series, I also just finished "Prehistoric Park", a 6 part show out of Australia (I think) by the creators of "Walking with Dinosaurs" that uses the fictional pretense of a time travel mission to retrieve extinct animals to create a contemporary animal preserve as a way of presenting engaging computer animation and paleontology and scientific theory about the lifestyles of numerous animals from 10,000 to 200 million years ago. It's got some funny moments although I can't quite recommend it to an adult audience. It was really fun to watch with kids as they get very engaged in it, William can't stop talking about it, even while it's on. I found the science rang true although it could have been denser. William seems to have absorbed almost all of the facts after a single viewing and he's not quite 6, so they certainly could have pushed the envelope more. My favorite moment is in the extra features when the producer, asked about time travel, says that Einstein often talked about how difficult time travel would be but he knew, as do the film producers, that all you need are a couple of sticks with lights on top of them. William never questioned the practicality of time travel which is good because none of the regular issues seem to be addressed. It's just a device, and its more fun that way.

POST SCRIPT REGARDING HP POCKET CALCULATOR: When I wrote this blog post six years ago, I began by numbering the posts based upon what day into my sabbatical the post was written on. After a while, I began replacing the number with references to that number. In this case, on day 35 of my sabbatical, I refer to this early calculator, the HP-35. In hindsight, I'd have been better served by naming the posts by something that I'm actually talking about. My apologizes to those people who  have hit about this post (and this has recently become a daily occurrence) under false pretenses. 

Friday, August 3, 2007

Selenium

I've been watching "Jekyll", a new BBC show that I've been downloading. It's a modern version/continuation of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", which begins with a stylish opening episode with some good dialogue but I initially had grave doubts about. It seemed to be a simple updating of the original, the haunted doctor trying to protect his life and the world from the monster within himself. However, by episode 3 it had become a very twisted, imaginative program that had me riveted. I rarely knew where it would turn. The ending episode, there are only six, was a bit disappointing, but episodes 3-5 are some the best TV I've seen.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

−2,147,483,648 through 2,147,483,647

William says that a hot summer is like spices in a frying pan.

The result of the heat is that we are already picking our apples which are too small and transitioning from green directly to over ripe. It will be apple sauce canning until midnight! Last year we did apple sauce for the first time. It was initially very difficult as we didn't have the right tools. I started to use colanders and sieves and Margaret wanted to go buy the proper device for straining the cooked apples but they didn't seem to have them at the economical places like the hardware and grocery stores, but only at the specialty kitchen boutiques for a price that makes you think very carefully about the price of each jar of resulting sauce. I did without, but when I was going to do a second round with Margaret's mother's apples, my mom asked if I wanted to use her saucer? It was the perfect, classic device, now highly overprices, with a strong metal cone and a solid wooden wedge, and my mom never uses it so now it's mine! The result is that we can process the apples much quicker and more usefully than making juice or cutting them up for pies/baking. We actually ran out of the vast amount of sauce we made last year. We need to sweeten them with some brown sugar because they are "challenging" without.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

10000

William and I did a drive-by radio appearance today. While coming home from swimming, we were listening to Margaret and Carle talking about the fair within their topic of "tight pants" on their live community radio show so we decided to stop in and give our two cents. While he's been on television a handful of times already, this was William's first radio broadcast. He talked about his favourite rides and introduced a Loverboy song (as they said, hasn't everyone seen Loverboy at the fair?). William declared that we should wear shorts that are loose so we can have lots of air in the summer and perhaps tight pants are for the winter because shorts are too cold then. Margaret paraphrased that "tight pants are to keep us hot". It will re-run Friday at 9am.