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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve

We were going to a party this evening but it was canceled due to the hosts becoming ill. Instead I made ginger beef. Mike and Paul dropped in afterwards and I cracked open the expansion kits for Settlers of Catan and we played the seafarers until about 1 am. I made lemon sherbet which we had mixed with champagne. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Scopa with Mike

Mike came over with a card game called Scopa! Had fun. Earlier we ate at Margaret's parent's house and opened a package from the cousins which contained gifts, many of which had come from Italy when they were travelling there earlier in the year. We also attended "The Talkies" at the RPL where they roasted "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians". In many ways, the jokes they made did not enhance the inherent humour we could all see in the ridiculously bad movie. I prefer when they do a movie which is more of a boring waste of time; that's when this comic routine works best. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

House party crashers


Tom and Veronica are in town and were able to dine with us this evening. I was finally able to introduce him to Allan and Jana and they were able to talk about gaming and Portland. William's gingerbread house saw demolition by Fiona in a shockingly rapid fashion. Mike and Paul joined us after supper and we played Psi Run,.a storytelling game that Allan brought over. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Designated driver needed... for William's computer

I'm trying to reload William's OS on a fresh hard drive. My big hang up now is that I can't find the driver for his video card and without it, Minecraft doesn't want to run correctly. I can't shift him over to it without Minecraft! Time is also an issue as he likes to use this computer when he's home but I need another few hours to try to complete this (the house is just too cold late at night to work on it). He went to the Hobbit again this afternoon, giving me a fair slot of time. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

First game of Carcassonne of the season

It has been a bit of a strange Christmas season without much of our usual game play sorts of socialization. Tonight Paul was over and we played the new shepherd expansion of Carcassonne, which was very satisfying. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas dinner with grandma and grandpa


 Mike visited in the afternoon. Mostly just hung around since we were in the last minute planning for the evening, including making perogies, so game playing will have to take place another day. Went to mom and dad's new condo for supper. My nephew Sean was there as my sister and the rest of the family are vacationing without him. William got more choice gifts including socks from grandma and a TARDIS blanket from Sean (WOW!).

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas morning gift opening and breakfast






Lots of great gifts all around this morning. Margaret made potato pancakes for us after the opening was complete. Mike dropped in as well and had some cookies and watched Squid Girl. 

Christmas Eve at Omi's




As per tradition, we spent Christmas Eve at Margaret's parent's house, eating goose. Straying a bit from tradition, we brought lobster along, courtesy of the Bjerke-Clarkes who shipped us a live one today! It was a bit of a shock but between George and William, we got it cooked and served. William was very pleased with the generous gifts bestowed upon him, including new socks. George gave Margaret an I-phone. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

William upgrades gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve

We mixed up a bit more icing and William completed the pair of gingerbread houses he'd begun at school last week. While definitely clunky in parts, they how have abundant colour and flare and charm.

A live lobster arrived from Halifax with no name. It took a couple of hours before we found out that Bob had sent it. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Baking at full speed


Except for an hour break to repair Dad's reading lamp and a half hour taking William on a follow up appointment to the dentist, I spent the day baking and getting a few things ready for Christmas. Did a second batch of Nanaimo bars since the first batch got eaten before the holiday began (boy, that's sure familiar). The spacer they stuck into William's teeth for the past few days was removed and it looks like it created a 1/8 inch gap. If that stays, then the last molar will be able to emerge straight. If not, then there might be trouble at the mill. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hobbit 3

Hobbit 3: William was invited by Xander to go as part of his birthday. Terrri and Rudi both were along as well, so we made it a party. Erik is in town and joined up at the theatre and so we caught up a bit. He's in Calgary now. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Finally feels like vacation

Met with Kallie this afternoon. She has an interesting video using her ray-o-grams. My term is finished.
Kevin got back from Florida. Good to get together after three weeks. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

John Kennedy party

Great time at John Kennedy and Debra Bell's party tonight. William performed a number of pieces on the keyboard. It's all about confidence some days.
Richard was there, sans Gerda. Jack Hilkewich stopped in for a short visit. The place was hopping and I only occasionally got to sit down. They have some adorable kittens which need adopting.

We got most of the basement tv room together today. I replace windows with Linux on the computer so I'll have to see how that works for us. So far, so good. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

award winning gingerbread house?

Last day of school for William until after new years. The class, mostly in groups, have been making gingerbread houses. There was a judging of them today. William worked alone and with gingerbread I baked and with candy he picked out and with icing I mixed before he went to school. Humourously, in a Douglas Adams kind of honour, his work tied for second worst. Although we didn't see it, William told us of one group who made an homage to 19th C Paris, including a ginger bread Eiffel tower-- which also did not win first prize. What we didn't realize is that these days, you can buy pre-assembled kits, ready for the final decorating. It made us curious about the prize categories. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

(not so) hard days night

Margaret's brother George has deep memories of the Beatles movie "A Hard Day's Night" from grade school where one teacher was enthralled with it and showed it twice per year. A great looking restored version of it was just released so we all went to it at the RPL. I won the door prize, a cd of the album. I only remember smatterings of the movie as I either saw it on late night tv in the 80s. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

William at dentist - one crooked tooth

William has his last tooth growing in but the dentist is worried that it is crooked. The rest are straight so she doesn't want to do braces, but feels she needs to try everything she can. The first choice was "wait and see" but that wasn't productive. Today she put in a little rubber thing which might push it over the next few days. We'll be in again next week. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"The William Challenge" at Combat Improv

At Combat Improv tonight, host Judy Wensel declared round two of the gorilla challenge (in which three of the improvisers are to act as directors of the improv in competition with each other) to be the "William Challenge". She then called upon William to say any word and that would be the theme of the round. He said "marrow". 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Over 250 cores

I've been winding small rolls onto large rolls, reducing the space that my 16mm film takes up in my basement. I'm also getting rid of soundtracks on 16mm mag stock. Not only is this stuff large and heavy, it isn't even very good. I hope to finish up this project tomorrow and then be able to clean up and re-purpose this basement room. With each rolls I reduce, I reclaim the core for future use. My drawer is now full with over 250.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Out takes from my 1986 project "GerFilm"


I'm combing through film elements this weekend and I've found a number of very interesting things. I'm trying not to pause at length as such distractions would stop me from ever finishing this job. However, one needs to look at things and feel that there is value in keeping this old junk. Look at this kid mugging perpetually at the camera. Angelos thought he could make an entire film based on shots he had of me lodged in peculiar places, just for a shot. I wanted to make a project of optical printed footage of me and my film school friends joking around in front of the camera, the one place we were really happy. I was going to call it "Faith" but in the end, perhaps because no one wanted to fund me to find my calling, I never got money for it (even from the Filmpool!) so I never made it. I wouldn't make it now. The footage has too many melancholy memories from me to look at for the number of hours the optical printer demands. I no longer have that faith.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Set up the tree

 William cut the tethers and the tree started to make a very unusually sound, a cross between a creak and a swish, as the branches unfolded and the tree became quite wide. We got him working much harder on the tree than previous years, sawing and securing the bolts. Sylvie always loves the tree but we don't know how Nick will respond yet.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Scarlet camera now a paperweight

I don't know what happened to it, but my scarlet coloured Canon camera that I've had two years and that I repaired earlier this summer has stopped working. No one can figure it out. I don't want to send it out again so I opened it up to see if it was anything obvious. It isn't. Looks cool though. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Slate Christmas party

Margaret Bessai at Slate Gallery in Regina
The only real commitment I had at work today was the Fine Arts pot luck party. Talked with Rae about migraines; she has also experiencing them this week. Must be the barometric pressure from the big temperature changes - it is above zero this week.
Tonight was the Slate Gallery party. Talked with Jason Cawood for a while about 16mm film. Didn't stay long as George was coming for supper and we had to pack stuff for him to take with him for the girls. Paul told stories about New York. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

migraine and nephew Chris and first snowman of the year


Bad morning with migraine today.
My nephew Chris is in town. Went to mom's to visit him this evening. Saw our first snowman of the year on the way. It was rather a disappointing thing with a store kit for the hat and buttons and only the the gloves added from real life. In the snow, it was signed - something Margaret has never seen before.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cassettes of Filmpool embellishment discussion

This morning I finished dubbing the last of the four cassette tapes we made of the special Board meetings we had in the spring of 2003 at the Filmpool as we discovered that the Filmpool was in dire financial trouble because of Brenda Owens. It was all very stressful and we were, in the end, very lucky that the whole place didn't close its doors. The tapes gave me a chill.
Went home, feeling under weather. Worked on grading. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

showing off the beard

Visited Ida at the General to show her pictures of Mike's beard in different stages. Quick chat as she was very busy. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

broken camera again!!!

I think I've broken my camera (the scarlet coloured Canon Powershot Elph 520) again. This time it is a bit more mysterious. It just won't turn on. The battery is charged. I don't know if I should bother fixing it again as that costs over a hundred bucks. hmm.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saint Nicolas Day surprises

Great that St. Nicolas day is on a Saturday this year. We breakfasted on chocolate and watched "Scrooged" on Netflix in bed. My cousin Julia was in town this evening and he had supper with her and her kids and mother-in-law at Lori's. It is Kian's fifth birthday and we brought him a Lego Hero Factory guy. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Supper with Mike

Mike and I opted for a Vietnamese restaurant at the last minute (on our way to some sort of loud Earl-like place which we'd settled on) and this was a good choice. Quiet and good food. I was very tired but needed to eat and at the end, Mike convinced me to work on a special project before leaving town.... 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Media School in Saskatoon


 I went to Saskatoon first thing this morning, having woken up 15 minutes before my 5 am alarm, and spent the day with Joel and his students at the Media School discussing photo emulsion, super 8 and 16mm film, shooting and developing two projects, watching Norman McLaren, and generally having a busy but not so stressful day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Robert's printing press

Had a great diversion in the middle of the day as I visited Robert Truszkowski's print booth in the middle of the Riddell Centre where he has helping people make cards on his old press. Great machine. It moves with such grace and silence. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Last day of classes, combing through old journals

 Last undergrad class of the term. Good turn out of students (all of them) and only one late project. Some big surprises in the mix. This evening I combed through more stuff in the basement, in specific I looked at journal I was writing in the late 80s to early 90s. Drivel.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Reel to reel tapes

My desire to preserve past project elements is becoming unhealthy. I've put together this box of reel to reel tapes from old projects. My cassettes are almost done (but for the 12 tapes I found tonight) so soon I'll need to connect up a Nagra to the computer and begin this stage. I guess it is an excuse to get more stuff out of my basement.