Tag Archives: Writing & Publications

Background notes on Letters from Russia

In prep for a chat on “Write Now! The Art & Action of Letter Writing w/ DJ Snail Mail” on Free Radio Santa Cruz’s about my Letters from Russia project, i jotted down some a bit of backstory which i’m posting here lest i misplace and to share with others with interest.  So, … here ya go …
I started writing LfR while at an Evergreen College week long course “Poets and Philosophers Discuss Love and War” at Lake Crescent, WA. I had prepared with much reading about the historical context so i could make the story accurate. I then charted out the philosophical topics to address during Herni’s political transformation and personal journey.

I wrote each letter separately, handwritten on different papers and different writing instruments and only taking a piece or two to keep the letters brief and intense. Each letter was written while out on a walk/hike (so i could be in character a bit i suppose) and i didn’t edit from the original letters at all.

I also sketched/painted that summer to fill out the story and help me visualize his world and support the letters by replacing some visual narrative – and finally bound the original letters and paintings in a wood/hemp book. (a few are at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncleweed/tags/lettersfromrussia/)

I lived overseas (Japan, Micronesia) quite a bit pre-Internet so am an enthusiast of printed letters and papercraft (I collect paper ephemera from trips).

I’d very much like to find someone with some deeper historical knowledge to give a read to see if there are glaring historical
inaccuracies – though i am sure on the dates and locations – before distributing it more.

Oh Brother – this printer is mighty

brother in a mighty boxAlong with some other local blogger/indie media/creative types, I am testing one of Brother’s new laser printers. I am someone who loves making stuff since ditto machines to working at K!nko’s for three months so i could scam the colour copier after hours. 65lb, 4 colour, duplex laser printerThusly i am stoked to be testing a 65lb., full duplex(!), full colour(!), laser printer.

Among other projects, I’ll be making some photo wall collages (mounted on black museum board) me and the sweetie have been meaning to make for years.

Then (excitedly) make some bound and fully realized versions of my Letters from Russia (.pdf) war & love epistletory discourse book (which, incidentally, i’ll be discussing on Santa Cruz public radio soon) which included some drawings, painting and such which never made it to the digital version.

Campsite

If i get really productive, I’ll finally create a printed, illustrated version of the Uncle Weed’s Red rock Adventure (.pdf) – eco-minded edu-tainment for all ages.

Uncle weed illustration

Yes there is a book with pictures written in 1988 or so which is Uncle Weed’s adventure in the desert explaining tips and tricks for development sabotage with outstanding illustrations by the talented Mr. B.G. Kiggins of NYC.

Next step is to gather a killer stash of quality paper to ensure the finest results. Thanks to DB eh.




White Poppies for Remembrance rolls on with HD Thoreau and Gord Downie + more tasty tunes

Thanks to some new found energy resultant from some very agressive acupuncture (fortified with electrical stimulation), I rallied out another (part 6) of the White Poppies peace and war series on Postcards from Gravelly Beach (my spoken word literature podcast – Feed – iTunes).  Really enjoying crafting these and still have at least 3 maybe 5 more to go in this series – then maybe move onto the trees and logging conundrums in Calyoquot sound series (featuring lots of Gary Snyder and other essays).  Anyhow, in case you are a non-violence advocate and literature enthusiast, check out my wee programme.

Awakening to the Dawn of Potential – Postcard #45

This one continues with me at the mostly empty Victory Park on the 3 day Remembrance Day weekend last November discussing human value and potential and perception with a poem by Gord Downie (hear Gord’s day job in “Hip Night in Vancouver – Choogle on #31) from “Coke Machine Glow” and two stirring excerpts from Henry David Thoreau’s classic “Walden” plus a “Declaration” from my original Letters from Russia project (read in a hospital room in Logan, Utah).  Salty and missing sea captian Chris Jacobsen sings “Providence” and Rock Plaza Central sing “Children be Joyful” and me and Miss Sena lay down some percussion-scape from Steamboat Island to jam along with the city bus brakes and heavy thoughts.

Vancouver Courier Newspaper article about the Canucks Outsider podcast

[Cross-posted from HockeyNW Vancouver Courier Newspaper Spreading the Canucks Outsider Mojo]

Vancouver Courier staff writer Mark Hasiak wrote a great article about the Canucks Outsider podcast and my history as a grassroots Canucks chronicler. The article breaks out a ton of references and anecdotes and really captures the vibe of what i/we are doing with the show and the international Canucks community.

Dan Toulgoet came by my office to take some snaps with me and some gear (including the obligatory headphones making my ears look like wee flaps). I hadn’t seen it yet when the CBC TV called today after seeing it and wanting to send a crew over – fun times for Canucks fans … and more to come tonight!

There’s a snippet below for your reading pleasure but be sure to visit VanCourier.com for the whole article (and again thanks for Mark and Dan for a pro-styley-work).

[UPDATE: The Vancouver Courier site moved their web presence so the original link at VanCourier.com no longer works. For archival purposes, I’ve included the complete article text via Archive.org version of the Courier arcticle.

Dave Olson is stoked about the Canucks and raring to podcast.

Photo-Dan Toulgoet

Hockey night in Canuck land a hit with overseas audiences

By Mark Hasiuk-Staff writer

As local fans catch Canucks fever, Dave Olson is connecting with faraway fans around the world who don’t want to miss out on this year’s playoff run.

During the team’s last run to the final in 1994, the 36-year-old North Vancouver resident recognized a need for an information source for far-flung Canucks fans.

“I was living in Tottori, Japan as a mushroom farmer, so I missed all the Canucks coverage,” said Olson, who bills himself as the Canucks Outsider. “Although I could see the box score in the paper, I didn’t have that feeling and camaraderie with the rest of Canucks Nation.”

Two years ago, Olson decided to offer a podcast, or recorded audio monologue, on his website. Recorded at his home using his personal computer, the podcast recaps Canucks games and provides general information on the team’s progress.

Averaging 20 minutes in length, the podcast has grown in popularity, and Olson regularly attracts up to 1,000 listeners in countries like Japan, China, Australia, the United Kingdom and Denmark, who download free versions from his website or from iTunes.

Olson, a marketing coordinator for a Vancouver software company, is a longtime producer of fan-based media.

“I’ve been doing grassroots Canucks media since I was a kid, writing little Xerox newsletters and distributing them around my neighbourhood,” he said. His oldest-and most prophetic-newsletter was written in 1979 and details former Canucks GM Jake Milford’s first scouting trip to Sweden.

He said the positive reaction he received from the podcast prompted him to stage live videocasts from his office’s employee lounge during this year’s playoffs.

While he doesn’t show the Canucks television broadcast, Olson and a rotating panel of guests-mainly friends and local hockey enthusiasts-provide typical “living room” commentary about the game and discuss topics like Trevor Linden’s peaks and valleys, the 1982 and 1994 playoff runs and the whereabouts of former Canuck tough guy Gino Odjick. Olson also showcases his collection of Canucks memorabilia, including a Pit Martin hockey card and the Canucks Family Cookbook from 1981 that contains a perogie recipe from Stan Smyl’s mother.

“It’s not exactly Don Cherry, but we goof around and add a little Wayne’s World flavour to it,” said Olson, adding that his audience includes many multitasking local fans who use his videocast as a complement to television broadcasts. Viewers also join the discussion by chatting online.

Olson said his wife, a Florida native, was caught off guard by his puck passion-but she has learned to share her man with the Canucks.

“When we first got together, I told her she would never be number two-she’ll be tied for number one,” said Olson. “And over time she has turned into a pretty big Canucks fan.”

Olson staged a videocast last Tuesday during Game 4 of the Canucks/Ducks second round series, and he hopes to chronicle a Canucks playoff run that ends with a Stanley Cup championship this June.

For more information, see www.hockeynw.com.

published on 05/02/2007

Read the rest of “Hockey Night in Canuck land a hit with overseas audiences” … But here’s one more quote which sums up the Canucks Outsider Live shows perfectly,

While he doesn’t show the Canucks television broadcast, Olson and a rotating panel of guests-mainly friends and local hockey enthusiasts-provide typical “living room” commentary about the game and discuss topics like Trevor Linden’s peaks and valleys, the 1982 and 1994 playoff runs and the whereabouts of former Canuck tough guy Gino Odjick. Olson also showcases his collection of Canucks memorabilia, including a Pit Martin hockey card and the Canucks Family Cookbook from 1981 that contains a perogie recipe from Stan Smyl’s mother.”

Tokes on the Porch live at Heads marijuana lifestyle magazine

Regular readers know that i write stories and articles, sometimes ending up in magazines and usually having something to do with hemp cannabis and related lifestyle.

Heads and cannabis nugs

Most recently, i’ve fostered a relationship with Heads magazine (based in Quebec) who produce comfortably polished and enjoyable tome which i am pleased to be a wee part of (recent articles are “Zen Rambling in Japan” and “Rebagliati Positive for 2010.”

Continuing on my recent post about Longboard Hockey, i’ve hoisted a few article outtakes and some teaser samples of KK‘s tasty pics up to my shiny new Head’s blog “Uncle Weed’s Toke on the Porch.”  Bread the Producer made a sweet header from a snapshot from Palau on one of the finest days i’ve ever lived.  Fat doobs and palm trees in one of the remotest corners of the world (really, try to find Pelilui on a map).

Anyhow, here’s a snippet to get ya excited …

On the stuffed elevator ride to the 6th floor, before I can pull the fattie of Chocolate Jack Herer from behind my ear, a smiling chick in blond pigtails and a Team Canada jersey sparks a beauty doobie.

Turns out she’s The Bloods’ goalie Natasha getting in another run before playing her former team, the North Shore Slashers after they finish off the Shitmix.  She doesn’t seem insane yet she eagerly faces wildmen firing beer cans at her head, “It’s nuts out there, there are no rules, everyone should try it.”

BTW, The story of my Micronesian trips is underway (advance from a publisher is welcome) and i’ll likely fire up a podcast on those exploits soon too.  In the meantime, subscribe to Heads for the glossy nuggy pics and engaging reading for your head.

Cannabis Publishing Roundup ~ Heads, High Times, Cannabis Culture and more

Heads – the marijuana lifestyle magazine (think High Times without the sensationalized cheese), published out of Quebec (don’t worry franco-phobes, Heads is an english language magazine), relaunched their web site working in a few groovy features, trial downloads and yup, a blog… – they’ve tacked on a typepad blog onto their site to get some two-way communication rolling.

They kick it off thusly:

Welcome to the brand-new HEADS ON-LINE

Amanda_copy_1It’s finally here! Our new website is packed with awesome stuff for you to check out. Stop by the HEADShop to pick up some awesome HEADS gear, or take a peek at our Gallery for some stoney pics. We’ll be updating this site continually, so make sure to bookmark it as your homepage!

As a enthusiast of Heads magazine, publishing two HeadFirst articles this year (“Zen Rambling in Japan” & “Rebagliati Positive for 2010”) was a high point of 2006 to be sure.
Zen Rambling article in Heads magazine

Looking back, over 10+ years, I’ve published in High Times, Cannabis Culture (Hempen Culture in Japan issue #13 and Best of … #2), Journal of Internationl Hemp Association and was an article subject in the (now-defunct) Hemp World plus the infamous Evergreen College top counter culture college issue of High Times.

Evergreen in High Time cover

Besides the magazines and journals, my research and writingsappear in books including Hemp Horizons, Hanp, What the World Needs Now, Hemp for Victory (no, not the film) plus the booklet Practical Guide to Cannabis made for HempLobby.

Then there is the HempenRoad film, my bit in Go With the Flow, numerous radio & TV appearences and all non-weed projects (both creative and expository writing) on tech culture, hockey, winter Olympics, workplace drug testing, rehabilitative and restorative justice in the drug court model …
HempenRoad poster
All of this is groovy, but i would be stoked to have a regular “home” for my writing projects – though i don’t always fit into editorial schedules and topics – i’m no Hunter Thompson (I don’t care for Quaaludes and rarely trash hotel rooms anymore), but i’d really like a homebase like Rolling Stone was for him … complete with instructions like, “submit something compelling about political world affairs by this date and send us your expenses …”

Alright, alright, … but i can dream can’t i? What i wanna do is go places and write, paint, record, film or otherwise documents the research and hi-jinks along the trips and not have to sweat the filthy money part too much.

These days, I am keen to write more about military service evaders seeking refugee status in Canada (which i wrote about in 2004 and the situation is waaaay bigger now) and document the community that has aided them in the transitional phase (many Quakers and Vietnam era dodgers).

Also, Vancouver skater and artist Lee Matasi who was shot and killed last year when trying to bring some peace to a sidewalk argument in Gastown. The skater community has rallied to complete a skatepark and speak out against violence as so may easy going folk collectively said “that could’ve been me.”

Or travelouges about Palau … heading to the secret island of sweet pakalolo, diving with sharks and turtles, or Yap with loincloths and bare-chested women and stone money where i dove with manta rays and toked with locals in an ancient hut while drinking coconut wine, … or Belize scoring grass from rastas, drinking panty-rippers (coconut rum and pineapple juice) and eating crockpot chicken, beans and rice served from a fold up table roadside where the only traffic is golf carts.

backpack joints

Sigh… but the day job does get in the way of many of the big projects i’d like to do including releasing HempenRoad film as DVD for 10th(!) anniversary with the massive stash of bonus features i have despite no longer having the original footage (eiji where are you?).

Plus I’ve long wanted to go back to Japan to explore the Jomon-era cave-art near Shimonoseki more before JIHA’s Rob Clarke finds everything else out ;-). This could turn in to a book, a film a podcast or all three (think of Ewan Macgregor and Charley Boorman’s multi-media trip-o-louge “Long Way Round”). Ahhh, i forgot i gotta find a way to finance all of these hi-jinks.

Anyhow, Heads encouraged me write the articles the way i wanted – without much fuss and just enough feedback to keep it on track for their audience and word count (which i exceeded greatly each time). Rockin’ good stuff.

Heads also maintain a myspace page but this new site, while not ideal, is much more in tune with the high quality of the magazine. Consider subscribing to Heads magazine eh, you’ll get it in a plain envelope.

Writing Project Ideas – Feasthouse podcast

In my blitzkrieg of personal socialized publishing catchup, i came across a recording spontaneously spieled while riding the bus from North Van to Surrey in Oct. 2005 shortly after relocating to my beloved harbours, trees and parks. I talk about three big writing projects which are moving verrryyyy slowly but are moving (a couple of them anyhow).

DaveO Writing Project Ideas (.mp3, 12:17) [note update link]

Snacks from the Feasthouse- Writing Project Ideas

Specifically the ideas are:

* a collection of short stories about quitting jobs (many) in rather creative ways and heading out on adventures – tentatively called “Quitting Jobs” – i often recollect new ones i had forgot about too …

* a novel “Elsewhere” being a first-person narrative about finding a place and meaning for a generation between the cracks in the early 90’s – (loosely based on notes and scribblings from a summer on Dead tour including a hostage incident in New Mexico)

* “The Diamond Merchant” – a (funny) screenplay about the double-life of a owner of a chain of mall jewelry stores and his dubious, international exploits running both ends against the middle – add hoodwinked Nigerian spammers and Russian roulette in Thailand (wait hasn’t that been used?) and chaos ensues.