Category Archives: Personal Musings

sometimes i have something to say about me, life and the passage of time – schemes, ideas, holiday dispatches, thoughts and dreams that aren’t too private and other journalling

Rabbit Holes of History: Norsemen, Dark Ages, Great War, War in Pacific etc.

*** Study Notes from Rabbit Holes including Norsemen, Dark Ages, Great War, and War in Pacific etc ***

Over the past while, whilst dealing with this illness, I’ve gone down deep into “rabbit holes” about various segments of history.

Went deep into Norse history from early viking expeditions to Orkneys and Hebredies in search of (literally) greener pastures, to invasions of Northumbria, East Anglia, Mercia, Francia and expeditions to Russia including trading with Middle East – Also their steel forging skills – All through to the Norman invasion with William the Conquero. Then Viking voyages to North Atlantic away from Europe and to North America. Also learned about new satellite archaeology techniques used for finding settlement sites in eastern Canada. There will be remarkable discoveries in the next decade which will rewrite books.

Then went deep into “dark” ages to the founding of what is now modern western Europe – roughly from post-Roman to Charlemange. I was specifically interested in how a culture grows up around the ruins of a much greater culture. Like you’re a dirt farmer in what is now England and you look around at lovely aqueduct and empty baths while you try to figure out how to get clean water. Makes me wonder if we’re living in a “dark ages” or we’re the Romans.

Then deep into the “Great war” and the unrest and revolutions which happened in the aftermath which broke down monarchies and gave rise to nationstates… But also produced situations which led to what we now call World War II through rise of fascism, totalitarianism, communism and showed the falls of capitalism through the depression. Each of these flavors contributed in away to the events that transpired. (Also Hitler’s home movies and i’ve already absorbed everything about art theft during this era).

Then deep into the relationship between Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchhill and Josef Stalin and how they had to jockey amongst themselves to convince the others of the importance of their different priorities… Also deep into the north African campaigns through the desert – especially the desert expeditionary unit (mostly New Zealanders) who lived for months at a time in uncharted areas in difficult conditions to gather intelligence. They did receive a rum ration though.

And also I am continually unpacking my knowledge of the war in the Pacific… Most recently started with “Fall of Japan” a massive tome which chronicles – in great nuanced detail – the events in Japan from the day after Nagasaki bombing to the signing on Missouri (Aug. 6-30 1945).

As you might expect, lots of efforts to raid the palace, people convinced the emperor was a body double or coerced, dozens of ritual suicide by high-ranking officials, people going into hiding, renegade bands of soldiers holding tough, and back channel diplomacy actions trying to smooth things over for an inevitable fate. Including all the secret communication machinations used to finally get messages back-and-forth between the right people to effectuate the surrender and peace and landing etc.

Then watched film called Emperor – this began as MacArthur and his crew were landing at Atsugi after the signing and follows the story of a General Bonner Fellows who was tasked with determining whether Emperor Hirohito would be held to trial or not. Of course he had to wrangle between Tojo (who just had tried to kill himself but was “saved” in time to be tried and executed, and Kanabe (?), the previous prime minister, and all the militarists and hard core zealots who insisted on vague answers and didn’t understand that really they didn’t *really* want to try Hito but they needed an legitimate excuse not to do so.

Also Tommy Lee Jones as MacArthur wasn’t too bad actually, and they dramatized the famous meeting between the Emperor and The Supreme Commander with only one dedicated translator between them. And they re-created the famous photograph.

Then, I’m onto a book called “Supreme Commander: MacArthur’s Triumph in Japan” which doubles back over the previous bit and starts with the planning of the signature ceremony on the USS Missouri and into his landing at Atsugi and motorcade (with thousands of Japanese soldiers turning their backs in respect) and starting to issue his edicts to manage the situation and deal with a starving population.

Still working on this one.

A few notes include (from a civilian peacenik perspective):

The rivalry between Army and Navy is far more vast than I realized. We civilians think of the Armed Forces as fairly unified and not completely discrete, or/and even rival, units. Of course this is most evident in the rivalry between MacArthur and Nimitz but also amongst the rank and file – especially jr officers seeking to climb the ladder.

The Tokyo firebombings must’ve been even more miserable way to go then the Atomic bombs further south. Both suck. Also glad Eleanor Roosevelt pushed so hard to spare Kyoto from the bombs.

The Russians joining the war against Japan the day after Nagasaki and still expecting a seat at the negotiation table so to speak. Funny Russians.

The Chinese Reds filling the power vacuum left by Chinese army instantly after the bombs – even while the news was still travelling to POW camps around Asia. The commandants of the camps did not know quite what to think when Allied forces started parachuting in to demand release.

The two-men chosen by Japan to sign the surrender document: the diplomat with the wooden leg who had to get from the US Destroyer to a launch via a bosun’s chair, and then try to maintain dignity wall climbing up a ladder on the side of the Missouri while wearing a cutaway coat and a top hat.

MacArthur’s choice of guests to be on board at the signing was very specific and included the Canadian doctor (who signed on Canada’s behalf) who had done the surgery on the affirmation Japanese diplomat’s leg.

He also made sure to invite a bunch of generals who got their ass kicked in the war including the poor bastard who was left on the Philippines (Wainwright whom MacArthur greeted with a “Hey Skinny!”) when MacArther split to Australia, plus the British general who had to surrender Singapore when they were caught unaware.

As per above: Didn’t realize MacArthur had fcked up and ignored orders after Pearl Harbor. Stationed in the Philippines, he didntorder a full alert and, as a result, the Philippines was destroyed quickly by the Japanese who were well ready for the invasion.

MacArthur’s move of exiting the plane with no weapons was a powerful move. Oh also, MacArthur had Admiral Perry’s US flag expedited from the Smithsonian to have on display on the Missouri. Nice nuanced touch which was noted by the Japanese who, after the ceremony, discussed amongst themselves they would have treated their vanquished enemy so kindly and respectfully. They concurred that they would not have and that convinced them to cooperate with the victorious allies.

I’m interested to continue on with this work and to see how MacArthurs “Republican” views were instrumental in outline things like brewing and hemp production in Japan.

Pirate Looks at 45 – Birthday Musings 2015

DaveO looks at 45

This pirate is 45. No big ‪#‎UW45‬ shindig this year, but if you feel like giving me a present, I made a registry for your consideration:

1 visit someone having a tough time – mentally physically emotionally- give them no advice, just be with them. Calm

2 make me a wikipedia page with talks, publications & media – vain perhaps but also handy

3 buy megaphonemagazine.com from a street vendor. 2 bucks goes far – also quality read

3 give time music and/or tools to musicheals.ca

4 buy a soup and sandwich for ____

5 mail a postcard to a friend in a foreign land

6 share something you’ve made – paint, music, poetry — with me &/or everyone

7 go see a local band, pay the cover & buy a shirt

8 register to vote & help friends do likewise

9 call your nieces & nephews — tell them things their parents cant like “your parents are awesome”

10 climb a mountain, cross the sea with little or no money & tell me the story

Singalong with Dinosaur Jr., Freak Scene:

So fcked I can’t believe it
If there’s a way I wish we’d see it
Just dont let me fck up will you
Cause when i need a friend its still you

‪#‎lovewins‬ ‪#‎empathyplaces‬ ‪#‎affectionshows‬

Smoking jackets, pajamas and vinyl also accepted.

History of the early days of Mountain Biking and Racing in Utah

This article appeared in Utah Adventure Journal and shares narrative history from my pal and backlands mentor Ron Lindley, who taught me and others about how to organize races, events, rides, and participate in a scene. Also Martin Stenger who was the fastest rider and hardest toker and fcking coolest guy around, Cindy who was a badass lady on a Klein and Charlie who ran a ski/bike shop in Park City. All these folks were important influence on a 17 year old renegade.

Utah Mtn Bike Variety

I added some comments and may yet do a follow up piece but, in the meanwhile, here’s a chunk from Ron, Martin and some snaps of Utah Mountain Biking and Hot Springs circa 1987-9.

##

The Scene: An Oral History of the early days of Mountain Biking and Racing in Utah….

Ron Lindley
Racer, promoter, trail builder, etc. Park City

After purchasing my first mountain bike back in 1985, I immediately started dreaming about racing. Not having any bike racing experience, I had grandiose delusions about how I would just get out there and set the World on fire. I started asking around about mountain bike race opportunities but there were virtually none at that time. One exception was a thing called “Bike and Tie” that I believe was produced by someone out of Park City. They had one scheduled for the Provo area in the summer of 1986, but it fell on the same weekend that I was immersed in studying for Physics and a Chemistry final and decided to give the competition a break by postponing my racing debut. Later that summer, I found out about a mountain bike race that was scheduled for the Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway and attended it with my riding buddy Brad Sorenson. Brad was literally the only other person I knew who owned a “mountain bike” at the time. I figured out early on during this race that I was not only a beginner at the sport, but that there were a whole bunch of really fast guys who were well equipped to leave me way, way back in the dust. I finished second-to-last in that first race (much thanks to my buddy Brad).

Even with that first dismal finish, I was hooked. I was also determined to get to a level where I could compete with all those aforementioned “fast guys”. My path to glory was made much easier the following summer as some really awesome people decided to promote some really awesome mountain bike races: most notably Tim Metos, Bruce Ewert, Charlie Sturgis and Brock (Hansen?). Tim started running the local Salt Lake City classic “Wild Rose” series, Bruce was responsible for promoting the unbelievably cool “Rustler Run” at Alta and Charlie and Brock put together Utah’s first really big-time mountain bike race Park City’s “Bonanza Bonzai”. These events really represent the starting point for the “golden years” of mountain bike racing in Utah.

Since I was a Utah County native, I naturally felt like there should be at least one race somewhere in the Utah Valley area that could draw the best Utah racers that these other events did. Working with Brad, I started looking for a good place to conduct a race. After lots of searching we found the perfect spot: a Boy Scout camp in Payson Canyon. Hence the “Bike-o-Rama” was born in 1988.

This Bike-o-Rama enjoyed a 4-year run and was a real turning point for mountain bike racing in Utah. After a so-so first year, the race just exploded in its second year and with that success a new partnership was formed. This partnership was between me and an opportunistic mountain bike enthusiast named Bob Walker. Bob’s vision was to develop and series of races in Utah that would rival the old C.O.R.P.s Series in Colorado. He got me excited about the idea and I joined Bob to help him create the “Utah Fat Tire Festivals” series. This was the first N.O.R.B.A. sanctioned, state-wide mountain bike series (which has eventually evolved into Ed Chauner’s very successful Intermountain Cup series). Bob and I promoted a few races ourselves but also formed a coalition of promoters from Logan to Cedar City to broaden the scope of the series. We even persuaded the Canyon Country Cyclists (mainly Bill and Robin Groff) to promote Moab’s first big time mountain bike race, “Moab Rocks,” and add it to the series. Things eventually fell apart with Bob and myself and Ed stepped in and saved the day…the rest is history.

My recollection of the “golden years” of mountain bike racing would not be complete without mentioning a few names of some really special racers who earned my respect and admiration for there incredible talent and strength. The top of the list would have to include the following: Martin Stenger, Glenn Adams, Mark Smedley and Jeff Murray. These four guys were the first super stars of Utah mountain bike racing. Other truly notable racers included Rich Perrier, Cyndi Schwandt, Todd Henneman, Tom Noaker, Scott Lung and Jeff Osguthorpe. I’m thinking of many others but they’re too numerous to mention here. These were the people who were making the podium not only at local races, but national races back when they involved thousands of athletes.

I hope this brief look back sparks some fond recollection for those who were there to witness the proud beginnings Utah’s mountain bike racing heritage. For those who weren’t there but love to race, just take pride in the fact that Utah has hosted some of the best local racing anywhere in the World, and it still does today!

From Martin Stenger (now a brewmaster in Sun Valley i heard)

Martin Stenger
Slingshot team rider, Salt Lake City, Moab, Boise…

On what was attractive about mountain biking early on:
“A lot of the community spirit and grass roots; racing was what you get, it was part of mountain biking. There was a lot of community spirit. Coming from a road racing community, where people were competitive and didn’t hang out much, there was a kind of camaraderie among good-natured people that attracted me.”

“There was no exclusiveness. Everybody was there together; the accomplishment was finishing.”

“That was part of the motivation, to get to the top before the beer was gone.”

My Comments: 

Really enjoyed this article. Scanned a few flashbacks from that era to share from various excursions around Utah circa 1987:

* Canyonlands Fat Tire Festival (1987, Moab)
* Ride to Diamond Fork hotspring
* Rustler Run (Alta)
* Time trial races in Park City
* Moab’s Slickrock trail before suspension (incl poker run at Fat Tire Fest)

Featuring:

Team White Salamander representing featuring Ron Legend Lindley, Gabe Alps W. and a young hippie named Weed with cameos by Brad Sorenson and Pyper.

Years of Gigs, Diligently Recounted

Surrey (1975~1985)

  • Decorative candle maker and sales assistant (with my Mom)
  • Editor of Pig Express news
  • Columbian newspaper delivery
  • Surrey Leader newspaper delivery
  • Real Estate Weekly newspaper delivery
  • Associate Editor VOM fanzine

Utah Valley (1985 ~ 1988)

  • Pizza Feast – pizza making guy
    Pizza Beast – ibid
  • Supplement factory worker (Provo) – a string of super lame temp worker jobs, this one repacked cheap tea from Taiwan into fancy boxes and sold them as a miracle cure
  • Software packaging assembly line – another temp job packaging word perfect software
  • Phone surveyor for political and commercial interests (a rite of passage for all renegades in the area, worst job ever… but i had my revenge…)
  • Night librarian (Utah Valley Community college) possibly best job ever

Burnaby (1989)

  • Bicycle repairman and assembler (Sharpey’s Burnaby)

SLC (1990)

  • Land surveyor assistant
  • Cinematic newspaper distributor (Cinema in your face)
  • Word perfect class teacher (Univ. of Utah)

On the road (1991~~?)

  • Term paper writer
  • Grilled cheese maker
  • Beer seller
  • LSD merchant
  • Cannabis distributor
  • Car delivery driver

Logan (1992)

  • Bicycle repairman and assembler (Sunrise)

Europa (1992)

  • Rock band roadie (slacker)
  • Grape picker (Germany)
  • Chestnut gatherer and seller (Germany)

Japan (1993-4)

  • Mushroom farmhand (Saji, Tottori Japan)
  • Rice harvester
  • hitchhiking hippie poet/diplomat
  • “Flower stick” juggling stick maker and seller
  • Hemp bag maker and seller

Guam (1994-96)

  • Japanese Beach club host (Star Sand)
  • Bi-lingual tour narrator on submarine tour boat (SS Neptune) Gave tour in Japanese and Korean
  • High School teacher educating about Japanese and english in Guam JFK HS

Olympia (1996-2005)

  • Writer (essays for High Times, Cannabis Culture, Journal of Int Hemp Assoc, Menu etc)
  • Hemp bag designer and marketer (hempenware)
  • Film producer and marketer (hempenroad)
  • Maker of websites, Teacher of Internets (Internet adventures)
  • Marketing and business development guy for Olywa >ATG > Zhonka,

Vancouver (2006-2013)

Writer (articles in Heads, and many other outlets) Also podcaster of note

New school marketing communications community media maker and sharer at:

  • Elastic Path – mktg coord
  • Happyfrog – strategic advisor
  • Raincity Studios – community evangelist
  • Movieset – director community
  • HootSuite – marketing director > VP Community

NOTE: Loads of public speaking and community project ringleading in this era

Victoria (2013~)

  • Disabled poet and scrapbook maker

Healing Journey 11: Chubby’s Jamaican Bush Roots Brew

Uncle Weed visits Rasta friend Chubby over the course of making the Jamaican roots brew with knowledge passed on from the Maroons – the free people in the mountains.

First of, Chubby reviews all the ingredients and the related purpose; then breaks down the herbs and gives a rain water bath before moving into Fire Hut. While singing a song and listening to a futbol game on radio. After :45 minutes of boiling, the brew is removed and set overnight. Also comments about the hardwood fires of Jamaica.

Finally ready, Uncle Weed enjoys a long satisfying draw of fresh brew and expresses gratitude to Chubby who is eager to share his healing talents.

Bush herbs and roots include:

* Bur vine
* Soursop leaf
* Ram Goat regular (root, branch, leaf)
* Guinea Hen root
* Moringa
* Strong-back (bag?)

Festive Greetings: Fewer Resolutions, More Revolutions on New Year’s Day

While in “a redneck Brigadoon” Pe Ell visiting Hemp Ed, a healing me (dave) offers up New Year’s Day musings including encouragement for taking yourself beyond comfort zone and creating your finest work and digging into your essential self in 2014 while lounging in pyjamas and smoking robe.

Topics include: long saunas, exorcising demons, positivity, figuring oneself out, growing, evolving, reinventing, reflections on 2013, stories, notebook making, digging into archives, camaraderie of friends & co-workers, reflections of SXSW, sickness, gratitude, sharing sparks, plus Jamaica schemes of goat herding, banana porridge, and positivity, and personal revolutions to evolve yourself.

And a few reflections of what makes my core of arts and crafts which i’ll send out in exchange for your continued support and affection.

Japan Flashback – Tottori World

Wow what a surprise to see the enoki farm online.

Screenshot 2016-05-20 21.14.32

Map of Tottori World

View Larger Map

I feel so old thinking that when i was there, there was no internet access, no cell phones or other common communication tools. It seems like so long since i was in japan and i always thought i’d be back time and again. I still remember the smells, sights and feelings of the materials there – paper walls, tatami floors, kerosene heaters, heavy, overhanging ceramic roof shingles i’d always bump my head on!

I almost never get to use Japanese any more. There are heaps of Japanese ESL student here but they are all young kids trying to be cool ;-) and i have an urge to make friends but we picked up 2 lost japanese girls trying to go snowboarding and they were really surprised when i busted out the Nihongo and explained where i lived (Tottori is the lost Japanese province i think) and i still get excited when i find the REAL 20th century pears from Tottori (rare usually crappy Korean ones).

 

Davestock 2012 #UW42 #danimal39 – Roundup of Artifacts

Squaw Valley Daydream – Jerry Garcia and David Grisman Flashback

Squaw Valley Daydream


Jerry Garcia and David Grisman headlined a festival way up in the Gold Coast Concert bowl – sorta built out of a ski bowl area of Squaw Peak or something…

All the show details are curated for your inspection.

Other acts included:

  • Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
  • Booker T. & the M.G.’s
  • Neville Brothers

A favourite memory is Bela Fleck joining Jerry and Dave for a Ripple encore while the sun set in the mountains – a performance which changes lives.

Squaw Valley Daydream

These photos are the artifacts from Mr. W Knapp of Provo who has keep them safe for posterity. The folks therein are from the Pacific and Inter-mountain regions of the US and Canada and often rambled in various buses and vans to concerts – usually featuring some The Grateful Dead, or some permeation thereof.

Yeah, these were good times. If you see yourself, say hallo.

jerrygarcia.com/show/1991-08-25-goldcoast-concert-bowl-sq…

Squaw Valley Daydream

Squaw Valley Daydream

Squaw Valley Daydream

See the whole set at Squaw Valley Garcia/Grisman

SET 1

  1. Jack-A-Roe
  2. Spring In California
  3. Grateful Dawg
  4. Louis Collins
  5. Off To Sea Once More
  6. Friend Of The Devil
  7. Two Soldiers
  8. So What?

SET 2

  1. Russian Lullaby
  2. Dawg’s Waltz
  3. The Thrill is Gone
  4. Old Rocking Chair
  5. Arabia
  6. Eat My Dust*
  7. Ripple*

DaveO Storytime Series #idea

Have a notion for a new project to share my spiels:

“DaveO Storytime Series”

Gist: Interdisciplinary storytime lectures mixing history, culture, art, travel, socialness, literature, documentation, music, poetry, digressions, anecdotes and rambles etc. ~ with conversation.

Details: 1 per month at a friendly venue (preferably on North Shore) – 3rd Thursday of each month, 7-9PM.

Streamed to share anywhere
Filmed, recorded, documented, annotated
Participatory with all involved somehow, surprises encouraged

Topics: Order TDB, etc.

* Vancouver Counter-Culture Anecdotes
* Fuck Stats, Make Art
* Art and Tech are Old Pals
* Greeks to Geeks – History of personal media
* Varley in Vancouver
* Hitchhiking to the Boardroom
* Postcards from Elsewhere
* Letters from Russia
* Rock and Roll Photography
* Hemp Culture in Japan
* Roots and Branches of the Beats

Needs:

Venue (coffee shop with event space – comfortable and thrifty)

Someone to:

– produce each “episode” – keep me on track, motivated, help organize
– make a poster and promo materials
– manage door/ticket (brownpapertickets, eventbrite whatever)
– make high quality a/v recordings
– run livestream
– round-up artifacts coverage

Whatcha think? I’ll require a wee bit of help.