Mixed Gems 02

Mixed Gems 02

Monday, Mar 29, 2021

Listening To: Little Sprout - Fake Cake
Photo: Stanley supervises Mr Merlot’s performance
Video: Mixed Gems TV Episode 2

Last show of the pandemic. Done. I was hesitant about this one as we are ramping into a third wave due to the slack pandemic response by both citizens and government locally (see: Slow Canada: Here’s How Badly We Muffed the Pandemic).

But we forged ahead with only three performers unmasked and a otherwise (distanced/masked) skeleton crew. This unit is going to stay isolated for a time to make sure it doesn’t spread anything, I hope the others do the same. Chances are low, but it’s better to be safe.

The show, while mostly comprised of pre-recorded submissions went well. A very savvy director and crew made it so that after initial show prep, it was smooth sailing. While the rough and tumble of less experienced staff learning the ropes is the intended goal of the production equipment, considering the timing, it was most welcome.

“STANLEY STOLE THE SHOW” was the overwhelming response. The bugger loves attention SO much that he stayed on stage for the entire thing. And even awake. I assumed he’d wander off for a nap at one point but never did. Even watching the closing act perform and loving the crew afterwards.

Everybody was masked for our bus ride home (I’d had a few :-), which was surprising, as the few other times we’d braved transit it was a nightmare, so bad that we’ve jumped off and walked home.

It’s starting to be nice out and with the wave upon us, expect a slow spring of solo expeditions. Unless we get to the “stay at home order stage” stage.

Well, then I win a bet…

2 minutes read
10 Degrees Centigrade

10 Degrees Centigrade

Monday, Mar 8, 2021

Listening To: Muncie Girls - From Caplan to Belsize
Photo: A Civia Halsted fitted with a open topped dog crate

It’s a warm summer afternoon today. A seasonal tipping point. And time to do something about it.

This year has been a bit different as many of us have become accustomed to driving. Normally it would be biking on good days and the bus during the cold and wet winter weather we have locally. But, despite the “masks mandatory” signs on the local transit, every one I’ve tried has a few to half a dozen no-maskers aboard. Fuck that. It’s not that I’m a weather wuss (and indeed used to bike year round) but hauling Stanley’s ass about has changed that up. I had two spectacular wipe-outs on black ice with him aboard and while we were both (eventually) OK, it’s taught me to be more cautious.

The cargo bike pictured was built to transport Stanley and I between cities (Vancouver to New Westminster) when I commuted to a film lot there. A couple of big hills were too much to ride a heavy bike up manually so the electrics were installed. It wasn’t a low-end job, at thirty three percent assist I could apparently make it a hundred kilometres. It’s my summer transport of choice, and that starts about now. Just needs a bit of regular maintenance and a wipe-down. If doofus isn’t coming along, there is a road bike presently hung on the wall. I don’t love it, truth be told. The Brodie Romulus had a cool name and does work well but my body has never loved the “swoopy” handlebar setup. Crap, they’re expensive now (I paid less than half MSRP), Perhaps trading across for a something with a more upright posture may be in order.

There are some restrictions to biking in general, Vancouver is a high-crime city which features a significant amount of bike theft, no matter how you secure them. Luckily our studio communal space is empty now so I can store it and go about my business. Otherwise it’s a lovely ride down to the waterfront and along it even all the way out to “Spanish Banks”, which is on a peninsula by the local university. There’s a dog beach that has shade and lets Stanley dig holes to his little heart’s content.

Just walked to the grocery store in shorts and a T-shirt. Awesome.

2 minutes read
Sun Posers

Sun Posers

Sunday, Feb 7, 2021

Listening To: Supermoon - Playland
Photo: A Sunny Day Out With Stanley

Minus fourteen (Celsius) in the forecast. Spent the day hanging in the sun.

1 minutes read
Fraser River Park

Fraser River Park

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2021

Listening to: Negative Scanner - Nose Picker

Photo: Fraser River Park

Stanley likes digging a hole at the beach, dropping his ball into it then barking at the ball for a spell. Dig another hole, move the ball, bark at the ball…

Brain the size of a pea, I swear.

1 minutes read
Shopping For Alternatives

Shopping For Alternatives

Sunday, Jan 10, 2021

Listening to: Girls With Knives - Handsome Men

Because they’re not advertised, lots of folks are not aware of free or open source software packages, often suitable as an alternative to commercial products. Not that they are copies, in fact some features of commercial packages are first developed in open source. It goes both ways.

Here’s a short list of packages for common tasks although there are far, far more:

1 minutes read
The Cast - Stanley

The Cast - Stanley

Monday, Jan 4, 2021

Listening to: The Shiverettes - Dead Men Can’t Cat Call

This is my “Oh, hey. While you’re up can you grab me a beer?” photo.

Stanley was born atop Chilliwack Mountain. Runt of the litter, it was hit or miss whether he lived. Lucky for us, he not only pulled through, but became largest of the bunch. Size AND personality.

If you met him, you’d know he’s rather outgoing. Assuming he’s welcome wherever he goes, whether you’re a stranger sitting quietly reading on a park bench or a family having a picnic. Welcome to Stanley.

We did a lot of training with him at first. A lot because he was considered “wilful for the breed” and had to stay after class. Even so we eventually won a trophy for “most improved” of the year. Though he immediately forgot everything. Probably my fault.

He’s worked as a support dog both in workplaces during crunch times and as an anxiety dog of sorts at other events. He’s even been asked to help children get over their fear of dogs. If you wander about with him chances are people won’t remember your name. Been called “Mr. Stanley” on more than one occasion. All good.

If you see him out in Vancouver, please say hi. His entire reason for being (besides food) is to love strangers. Walks are great as you’re never alone for long. Even those brief distanced conversations help a lot during these isolating times.

I love the bugger. He lives upstairs now because of pet number 2. Willy the attack cat. More on him in another post.

2 minutes read
New Years Eve 2020

New Years Eve 2020

Thursday, Dec 31, 2020

Listening to: SBDC - Bad At Sex

We (Stanley and I) were to depart this summer for a long awaited trip across Canada.

When he first came home I promised him the best life ever and, for the most part, it’s been a promise upheld. Travel, love and adventure. Snowshoeing on Seymour, swimming in Lynn Creek, Sunday morning “pizza crust hunting” on Commercial Drive, lots of friends and even a few concerts. He once expressed a desire to pee on Newfoundland. I’m not sure he entirely understands WHAT the maritime provinces are. PEI may indeed be a form of cookie. None the less, a plan was made.

The vehicle in question was a cheaply obtained 1987 G20 ‘Get-Away Van’ in need of repair. Even after finished those, the mechanic who inspected it gave us “at least a 50-50” chance of making it. With these odds are adventures made.

“The Thing” scuttled all those plans and will likely do so for next year as well. I hope Stanley lives long enough to pee across Canada see the other side of the country, he’s getting to be an old dog these days.

Ugg. Fuck 2020.

1 minutes read
Apocalypse on Main

Apocalypse on Main

Saturday, Dec 26, 2020

Listening to: Paddywak

Not a lot of photos in 2020. Not with my m4/3 cameras anyway. Going to get back into the swing of it in 2021 (though we’ve done a lot of video work at a venue, more on that later). This turned out to be my favourite this year, a pretty sad day…

I showed up for morning coffee, bright and sunny, only to notice a trickle of smoke pouring out of a chip shop down the street. It eventually burned out a few long-incumbent businesses and forced more to close due to water damage. Including a old friend of mine’s record shop. Bleh.

@ flay
1 minutes read

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