Items in kura, inventoried: (scrapbook poetry, letters, wallets, records, map)

Rare hang out out in the kura barn (while wife’s band rehearses inside so a bit too much commotion for me) So instead, I’m putting away books and *trying to* tidy up stacks of scrapbook materials, ephemera, maps, passports, other treats / so much goodness! But first need space on the…


What follows are artifacts, mildly documented, in situ, with brief annotations.


Rec’d: Capital Reef/Fruita area map and guide from Larry Sensei at Dark Star Ranch, Torrey, UT


Exhibition cards:

Scrapbook’d: two exhibit cards from artist Noriko Miyake “start from myself” etc at Love Sanctuary Café
Continue reading Items in kura, inventoried: (scrapbook poetry, letters, wallets, records, map)

“was it worth it?” (talks, prezos, mentoring… so much)

at Northern Voice, Vancouver, 2009? photo by Kemp Edmonds?

“was it worth it?” Enjoyed a nice talk with a friend today who assured/reminded me i didn’t “waste my time and effort” by giving endless talks & presos *every single time* was asked – especially in those busy Vancouver start up/tech days of [mid-00 ~ mid 10s for me].

From small alternative schools and community college clubs and classrooms to TEDx, SxSW, Pecha Kucha, WordCamp, Northern Voice… played ’em all *and importantly* was Mostly not under the auspices of a corporate day job employer or other business venture… I was out sharing my spiels purely for art, education and inspiration.

And… *dang near every time* anyone/someone reached out asking for advice or mentoring over coffee (never lunch, lunch is alone time) plus so many times doing the “let me pick your brain” free consulting sessions. Basically for nothing… Well, sometimes a $10 Starbux gift card (no thanks) but really all I wanted is a handwritten thank you card, or in the case of speaking gigs, audio/video that didn’t disappear.

Of course, I thought would keep building a *cough* career out of public speaking, keynotes, even consulting or whatever – as well as a series of essays, books etc.

spieling “Crowd Sourcing Community Projects Like Tom Sawyer” at SXSW core conversation, 20212, photo by Kris Krug?

Instead, I transcribed many of these spiels & cobbled together audio/video where possible + paperpoint slides and posted at my creative life archive.

Yup, powerful knowledge hiding in plain sight #free

So many years later, realize much of the (so-called) tech industry and “business world” is barely catching up to things that I thought were basic ‘table stakes’ and foundational *obvious moves* (so much done on little/no budget). And I loved doing this, pulling off seemingly impossible projects like it was no big deal.

I’m not one to pump my own tires but my goodness!

{e.g.: Recently listened to an interview with CEO Adam of Instagram/Threads with guru producer Rick Rubin and was quite stunned at the naivety of their discussion of international markets for example}

Anyhow, a recent note from Jess Sloss mentioning how the inspiration I flowed out – openly, enthusiastically, willingly – meant a lot to him and others got me thinking about the late night bus rides and my obsessiveness in making a brand new presentation for every single riff… and asking myself (quite earnestly) “was it worth it?”.

So if you were one of those humans that came to one of my dozens/100s of talks from Victoria to New Orleans to Austin to Bellingham – community colleges, marketing whoop-de-doos, alternative media brouhahas – whatever however, thanks for showing up and I hope we had a nice time.

PS For the collectors, curiosity-seekers, biographers and fact-checkers // a semi-complete rundown of speaking/prezo gigs (many have audio videos/other artifacts):

[not to be confused with media appearances, media creation, media kit – listed and inventory under separate cover]

We Love Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

More outings to Stanley Park for picnics with pals and explorations including Earth Day excursions, aquarium visit, and horse carriage circumnavigation – after a few topsy turvy days – plus eats back at HQ with Ryoko, Ichiro, and free radical visitors before seaplane escape to Vancouver Island.

We <3 Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

Exceptional humans who followed our cryptic geo-coordinate dispatches to various willow tree hobbit camps included:

* Rebecca B, on Stanley Park Eco committee

* Mikala F, of Backstage Rider fame, etc.

* Jess and Stewart M, ”the Antlers” #KBO

* Simon, Barb and Roland – creatives all, coming by bicycle with cake in Tupperware carrier

* Jon, Michy with son A – we’ll see these brilliant folks again

* Marcus with wife K and son O – yet another kid from the same era as our Ichiro… I’m hoping they all start an international club/band

* John and Elena– with commemorative meta-mug 

* Vanessa T – with Weblos medicine

* Kei B – with New Town Bakery boxes

* Jess W & daughter L. – joining us on a horse carriage commentary circumnavigation

* Jason S. and Višnja M. – adorable brilliant newlyweds (among other qualities)

* Finlay – young poet, emerging hockey-ist and possible future pilot (son of Monique and James, met previously)

* David D. – modern classical composer

* Betty-Ann and daughter P. – from back in the olden Surrey days

* Jerry Kroll – super entrepreneur with a new book

BC Invasion, part 3, We <3 Stanley (and Harbour Air Seaplanes)
BC Invasion, part 3, We <3 Stanley (and Harbour Air Seaplanes)

Unsurprisingly, impossible to provide adequate commentary on each of the wonderful folks who took the time to commune with us, and my apologies to anyone who wasn’t able to find us or otherwise missed a snapshot in this dispatch. I’m doing my best, we did our best.

Topics & places, amongst others, include:

  • Food – so much gifted (thanks!), ordered, prepared etc & all savoured at 1234 Hornby HQ with flowers and sometimes hockey
  • Commemorative postcards preview
  • Earth Day excursions
  • Horse-drawn carriage ride with “plenty of commentary” about smallpox and horses
  • Reminisces of childhood birthday, teenage hi-jinks and adult sojourns
  • Sulphur pile (giant and unwavering in size) and floating gas stations
  • Glimpses of Rose Garden, Robbie Burns statue, Lumberman’s Arch, and other scenes before… 
  • Glorious Totem Poles, a homecoming of sorts
  • Japanese WW1 cenotaph, an important place of remembrance 
  • Zoo grottoes (abandoned & i wanna make a music video or concert here)
  • Vancouver Aquarium sidequests
  • Olympic torch assortment dealio
  • Postboxes and shoelaces, as usual 

And a riff about places we didn’t go: Gastown, Railtown, Chinatown, Seabus, as well as Vancouver’s bewildering lack of public restrooms & note to myself about “its about the future!” and reminder of theme “Family, Friends, Parks and Gardens” plus a special dedication to the memory of Darren Barefoot.

Finally cappuccinos and a flight via the wonderful Harbour Air from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Victoria with the glorious Gulf islands and Cascadia scenes flashing below the pontoons – with water taxis, Legislature building and Seattle Clipper in the inner harbour awaiting us on the sunny docks. 

BC Invasion, part 3, with cappuccinos
Continue reading We Love Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

Downtown + West End Vancouver and Stanley Park / #BCInvasion flashback, part 2

Moving north across the Fraser river to downtown/West End, Vancouver, settling into a kitchenette hotel for several days, enjoying tea ceremonies, hotel picnics, coffee times and pleasant times with friends, plus our initial foray into Stanley Park.

#BCInvasion, part 2 / Downtown Vancouver & Stanley Park

Part 2 of this mixed-media montage series includes:

* Construction site across the street from “1234 hotel”

* Friendly Maple Leaf deli reunion and picnic stash

* Crow attacks and rainstorms on 4/20 at Stanley Park

* Excursion to Kafka coffee shop for pal hang-out, hugs & tasty snacks

* Several waves of tea ceremonies at hotel with generational bowls & significant rattle

* Special thanks to book and record “mule” from OlyWa + waffles

* Rooftop tea at coliseum-inspired library ceremony with books

* Parallel-life experience with a fella with a vintage Volkswagen bus, selling Japanese inspired stickers and patches by Vancouver Art Gallery

* Coffee catch-up with punk rawk radio/photog/cat enthusiast

* Staring down dramatic demons at St Paul’s (and marking how far I’ve come)

* Scenes of life, building, trees, gardens and sidewalks strolling and observing

* Plus hotel picnics, Cherry Garcia ice cream, Whitewood Cider, bits of dispatches, flashes of hockey games with hidden messages, silk robe lobby lounging, Mae Maes on teevee

Special greetings to all who tracked us down – including, in this wave:

* Roland (by bicycle, by bicycle)
* Lance from OlyWa (with books & vinyl)
* Wayne (in midst of a move)
* James (with real talk)
* Monique (let’s enjoy tea!)
* Danielle and beautiful daughter
* Mark, community wrangler
* Chris, sundancer & deadhead
* Eric Flexyourhead (rawk, etc)
* Kemp (popping in here and there)

thanks for alllll your planning / logistical help and friendship Monique


“Blood’s Too Rich” by Luke Doucet (Whitehorse, Veal, White Falcon etc)

“Change of Scene” by The Matinée + new album:

Continue reading Downtown + West End Vancouver and Stanley Park / #BCInvasion flashback, part 2

OKJ to YVR + South Fraser / #BCInvasion flashback, part 1

Starting from our adorable local “Momotaro” airport in Okayama Japan, me (Dave) and my darlings Ryoko and Ichiro head to my former hometown of Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada aboard ANA (we’re shareholders but no big deal :)).

come on along with part 1 of our #BCInvasion

Part 1 mixed-media montage includes:

* first night in Richmond hotel with giant coffees and croissants

* off to “south of Fraser” for family times in Langley

* spontaneous barbecue with pals in Cloverdale and other variety of foods, more food and setting up a Japanese food corner

* making special packets of commemorative postcards with nieces and nephews

* White Rock beach for fish and chips and sunset

* Amtrak Cascades train chooglin’ through

* Surrey Eagles playoff hockey game with Zamboni

* mission to Mission for sight of Kamel Gill’s last stand with his brother Charlie (in which many mysteries are revealed)

* more food, presents, relaxing times with Grammy & brother/cousins/etc.

* plants, trees, nurseries, landscaping equipment, & spaces to run around

* stop for donairs while heading onto next “checkpoint” which is downtown Vancouver/West End for Stanley Park etc.

* finally, arriving at hotel with the sight of a construction site across the street to Ichiro’s amusement

Next chapter: exploring Vancouver downtown scenes and lots of meet up with friends – and variety of weather – in Stanley Park and spontaneous tea ceremony at hotel 

Continue reading OKJ to YVR + South Fraser / #BCInvasion flashback, part 1

Post’d: Cottage DIY to Taisho vibes

Nothing in particular, just three awesome postcards, two DIY – Tsuchida cottage signpost and Don Mee restaurant sign in Victoria + one by noted Taisho-era artist Takahisa Yumeji from Okayama.

Somehow the Blue ties them all together

Sending regards, gratitude and best wishes to various humans.

Oh, and three more three more to say “thank you for coming by the cottage” and other appreciation for gentle advice & creative goodness.

Each postcard of course includes extensive backstory… So simple but somehow some meaningful, to me at least

Dropped into an unfamiliar postbox near the hospital. I’m pretty sure they’re going to be all right although I put one “international” into the “domestic” slot by mistake.

Mending: sweaters and jeans with sashiko-style, kimono and obi + patches

Some sewing / mending projects with brief notes

Part one: handle cover for a hot water kettle (previously had kind of straw wrap cover which was burning out)

Now, brocade edging (used for tatami mats’ edging I think) with a sort of blanket stitch with sturdy waxed twine/thread

Update: looked super cute but fabris included synthetic which melted and so now is removed

Part two: a pair of #Uniqlo jeans, surprisingly lasted since *at least* 2016 Now repaired sashiko-esque style with repurposed kimono/OB cloth & embroidery floss {2 views}

Update: awesome! The fabric is very thick and a bit inflexible at first and is definitely stronger than the rest of the jeans but that’s how it goes, eventually the scraps and the patches become the clothes if you know what I mean

Part three: similar to part two, #Uniqlo jeans, – previously repaired, but with some parts using iron on tape :(

Continue reading Mending: sweaters and jeans with sashiko-style, kimono and obi + patches

Healing: hospital day with doo-wop, muffin, and a rock

At a café awaiting hospital appointment, scribbling postcards

// they’re playing doo-wop music which reminds me so much of dear dead Dad. I know all of these songs by heart even though I haven’t really listened since via 8-track in a Mercury station wagon driving to Utah in 1970s

{Visual imprint seems to get all the “obvious attention” but really it smells and sounds that take you right back to a place in time at whiplash speed}

Flowers stolen from kissaten (but I confessed to my crimes)

Dr says “shut it down, big time, you need rest, a lot of rest, all of it”

The above is determined by: physical examination on various ummm “nexus points” on my body // I’ve been running on adrenaline and fumes for a while (there were some reasons I had to shift out of second gear) and took a toll on my body.

My illness is a neurological virus situation so activity plus stress plus other attributes “flare up” and cause neurological physiological crashes which feels like the worst flu and the worst hangover and the worst Jetlag all at once.

Continue reading Healing: hospital day with doo-wop, muffin, and a rock

Diary: dentist, ramen, trees, VW, Citroëns, shodo – completely usual activities

Cherry blossoms, not yet
But hooray ceremonial peach tree!

Wedding present from the city Peachtree – this one and it’s smaller friend both need moved due to impending construction

On way to dentist
First, drop Stan at school
See tree Ryoko trimmed up (with a variety of saws)
To the delight of the teachers

Ryoko trimmed this tree at the preschool to the amazement of all

Egg salad sandwich at konbini to take with medicine

Mailed a package with treasures – via Utah to Kyoto somehow, with evidence of four legends intact – from a different than my usual local post office. Somehow it felt like cheating / always remarkable how all #JapanPost employees are all so well put together, chipper & efficient

Postbox at the post office, first time at this location

Contents of the package containing evidence and artifacts from/of:

Edward Abbey
R. Crumb
Doug Peacock
Ken Sanders

(Not my photo, recent from Albuquerque, I made it into a postcard, yes the back is decorated but I can’t show you)

package via Utah to Kyoto with heroes x 4 inside
Continue reading Diary: dentist, ramen, trees, VW, Citroëns, shodo – completely usual activities

Post’d: tram in reflection, rec’d from Portugal

This photo is positively bristling with metaphor

A beautiful card and letter with poetic flourish and a stunning Portugal street car in reflection.

Came from an obvious sweet soul, another Artist dealing with the same absurd medical conundrum as me and millions other #MECFS

We connected through art (I won his collage in a fundraiser auction) and have sparked a correspondence, using Portuguese and English to share encouragement, grief, inspiration, frustration and of course, creativity across oceans and continents.

Everything is a detail and every detail matters equally

What a treasure! What a treasure from the photo to the poetry to the stamps to the cancellation // swoon

“smiling on the inside (holding on)” #poem

[poem about where i was, where i am, now – and not letting go, for various reasons & dentistry]
+ Smiling on the Inside (holding on) +

Dave Thorvald Olson

Closing loops of past lives
errors & eras alike
epochs – at the time
now, defunct addresses on file

Accidental safe houses
Each with a similar go-bag
Essentials: postcards, pens, inky stamps, pipe, various disguises
Importantly: toothbrush and floss

Despite all of that,
a goofy grin'd & metal-free mouth
now features a Grand Canyon
- verily, unwanted

“Oh nimble fingers of well-educated and highly-skilled women, patch me up with porcelain and drills"
Then maybe dust off the front
so i’m not biting my lip in snaps
[Yes I know: late night snacks, Chinese medicines, endless cappuccinos, something something]

Yes, I disappear from time to time
I pretend to share it all,
But I don't – this of course is obvious
There are parts of me unreconciled
“i'll assume you are the same, because assumptions are underrated”

For your correspondence:
“country by country”
Former ‘homes’ (mostly demolished), crash pads, storage lockers, mail drops, way-station, guest-houses & occasional warm-water bed-sits

I collect the items and artifacts
file into files
despite Buddhist insistence about "letting go"
Blerg! Ole Buddha, i’ve seen you on the currencies of temples and banknotes

Yay, I am a maximalist! A curator of ephemera
{justified by creating things from the materials cast aside}
*Everything* has many lives until reaching a perfected exalted state, ergo:

The hotel stationery, the coasters, the match packets, well-stamped postal covers with such dreams and intentions written in my native language yet a script which I can't quite figure
These were created with affection and I would be unaffectionate to cast them into a bin or decomposition

Amongst, most salient:
Notes to future self
The "when written, unaware"
When opened, the ringing of a bell
the thwack of a read stick imploring zazen posture
when legs are too numb to carry-on

So i composite
Substrates upon items
In reverse
though various, nothing is random
Everything is an intentional act

Little Bay, Pacifica, Olympia (Washington and Greece), Esquimalt, Alas Manis, Victoria Drive, Phitsanulok, Pokhara, Aqaba, Karapitiya, Thrippunithura
– all not lost yet certainly un-found
Until Tsuchida

So, paid the ferrymen the extra cargo charges
willingly, for safe return
of memories & materiel

Artifacts required to answer:

How well did you love?
How well were you loved?
How well did you let go (of the things which did not serve)?

I say rather, "how well did you hold on?" Or “did you *at least* hold on?”

Letting go is easy, I try often-desperately daily to "not let go”
(ignoring the incident at Royal Jubilee)

You've heard me scribble,
"We are the stories that we share"
As such, “through chisels in Tenino, pencils in Providence, scissors and glue in another hospital and so on” are all measured with the same weight

I've made a song and you have too.
Old Uncle Walt call it "a song of yourself”
Yet "letting everything go" means that even old Gautama's musings would've faded with
an unapplied patch, without indexing, without copying and pasting

Without required updates in communication medium,
The message is not for simply: Existing

So, well-stocked with what appears – at first blush – easily replaceable shoeboxes
Requiring labels, folios and drawers for sort-ganizing
I remind: I’m here forever, my address will remain unchanged
I'm not going to come visit, but turns out the ships and planes both go both ways


Last night before bath
I wrote shodo ink for wife
teaching beloved tea ceremony
in English (practiced several times exactly a year ago with folks who came to Okayama rather than just asking for "what are the best things to do in Japan in three days")

Accompanied by a tiny version of me
Rambunctious, swinging with thoughtful inquiry
[We eat cheese and crackers, warm milk and sit close together in the bath, 42° C]

Rocking gently, magnetic smile
“reminds me of his mother and his grandmother” the one he won't meet,
and reminds “me of me” as reminded by bold love
and packing a variety of poses which he declares as "Mine"
// off-limits to use without permission, only verbally granted

Now for me (and you in my satchel in a field notes book)
after oatmeal, comes a bus ride, earplugs and an eye mask


The items are sequestered
In a solid storehouse
Blessed by a Shinto priest
white robes and a fabulous hat
Awaiting katazuke
best with records and incense

Yup, less pretty for a minute
“nothing is temporary, nothing is forever”

Sure Love, be loved,
and – critically – “You Must Hold On”


53 years, a big goofy grin
A mouth, proudly full

Items: specs, sharps, notes, seals, pins, ashes, flag etc

* Stonehenge sketchpad which appears large but is actually small, red cover, watercolor paper

* Air mail stickers, some small, some medium

* Small envelope with small photograph of small people

* (beginnings of) a letter, or memo at least, to someone named Emma, “Dear Emma” // never finished, never even started. It’s all a mystery to me. If you remember who Emma is, please remind me. Dear dear Emma.

* Leatherman multi-tool with locking blades, all steel, no plastic (sorry RS)

* Spectacles (green, progressive bifocal, transition tint) no longer operational/current prescription – seen with Chums brand eyeglass retainer (from Hurricane, Utah)

* Incense burner/holder (unidentified hardwood)

* Letter opener, steel

* Ashes, mother

* Embroidered handkerchief, shamrock

* Pins, Vancouver-centric designs, 3

* Sri Lankan flag, small

Items: stamps, inky (via air mail, priority, confidential etc) + postcard to sortganize

Stamps, several
various (styles and texts), inventoried

Ink stamps, a variety, including:

  • Via Air Mail
  • Priority (Cantonese/English)
  • Priority (English only)
  • Draft
  • Urgent
  • Urgent (another)
  • Completed
  • First class mail
  • Note
  • flower petals, array
  • unidentified canine footprint
  • Peace sign (on string)


many stationery items to sortganize

Items: stationery tools, art-making materials, etc.

Entirely unnecessary – but somehow critical – inventory:

  • various: watercolor set, craypas, watercolor pencils, colored pencils
  • wood-carving tools (4)
  • mechanical drawing tools, set
  • triangular straight edge measuring tools (2)
  • whistle (steel, on lanyard)
  • ink stamp pad (3), re-inker (1)
  • serrated edge scissors
  • hole punch (single)
  • scissors (steel, black handle)
  • paper crimper (punch to combine papers in lieu of stapler)
  • charcoal (for drawing, not burning) in sliding box
  • green watercolor pencil, solitary


Shiba-inu notepad (woof bark)

mixed-media art library, global diary, project dossier and whole life documentation