Better Domes and Gardens – #BCInvasion, part 4

Better Domes and Gardens – BC Invasion, part 4

Our family adventure rolls on by seaplane to Geodesic Wonderland in Metchosin on Vancouver Island. We settled for some relaxing times, rejuvenation and loads of barbeque with wonderful hosts, Neal and Jo-Anne.

After a brief soliloquy about balancing between “stealth mission” and “waving flags” to say hello… we enjoy sojourns at the expensive grounds with dogs, hot tub and forest. Then the intrepid travellers also make an excursion to Butchart Gardens with carousel and peacocks where Ryoko documented *every single* plant and tree. 

original photo by Colin McTaggart tyvm – edit’d by dvo

We also savored an old-time photography experience resulting in cinematic Daguerreotype tinplate along with a few surprises, including Nick Bantock art (will meet him later in the series) and a book called “So It Is” featuring a creative water-soaked shot of UncleWeed and KK at a mural wall in Vancouver + David Suzuki and bev. davies.

Cameos include: 

More to Come:

from this checkpoint including a traditional Japanese Tea Garden (which was destroyed during the incarceration camp era and now serving tea again), an English High Tea for Ryoko’s birthday at another beautiful garden, more outing for burgers, and Mile 0, Terry Fox, and other high times with pals who took the time to convene with us. Very appreciated. 

Photos by: 

Dave, Ryoko & Ichiro &

Colin McTaggart [IG] including insta-snaps and cover art

Ken Miner [IG} & {including photo used for 2024 New Year card – see making of video}

screen captures from “So It Is” by Adam and Kev from media outlets credited in-line

Thanks to:

Geodesic Wonderland and Pals & all the good good dogs

Music by: 

* Tea Before Sake by DJ H.A-A of UAE

* Epiphany of the Saints, Cowboy Neal, Just as Long as You Arrive by Bocephus King

* Tokyo Shoeshine Boy by Teruko Akatsuki

More goodness

BC Invasion at Daveostory (you are here)

Youtube #BCinvasion Playlist (includes on-the-ground gazettes)

Fondly from Olsons of Tsuchida Cottage

original photo by Colin McTaggart tyvm – edit’d by dvo

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: *in character* mug on cards – for birthdays & farewells

Postcards, on watercolor stock paper – several for birthdays, a few for passings, many of gratitude for pals

Orig portrait photos by Trevor Williams @tdub_photo

Yes, I have audacity to make postcards with my mug in various characters – vague theme of archaeologists, anthropologist and/or explorers “between the wars” ergo: my usual Time Traveler schtick.

For the record: Scribbling at Gloss gallery & coffee after seitai appointment w/ cheesecake & house blend coffee

{strangely the tiny café was very busy with ladies taking photos of their exquisite desserts and chattering away about putting snaps on the Internet – I fit right in except that I only talked to busy master … seems like some magazine or noteworthy amplifier found my secret hideout}

Another 2 postcards featuring the ridiculously photogenic Ichiro – although shockingly, hiding behind a Yokai (spirits of a sword who drifted between both, or more, worlds in various forms) mask in 1 – while his cheesy dad poses beside a postbox in Shodoshima as though that’s normal behavior + a bonus payphone {in which I should say something clever like “dang kids, always on their phones”} I like the reflection and the spontaneity

Almost finished with cheesecake which means one more postcard, the “classic Tsuchida cottage fingersign” standard issue signpost // sending to a friend so she can always find where i am.

Note: Hiroshima-made, Sailor brand fountain pen for my 50th birthday

Do you know this place “Gloss Cafe & Gallery” ? (My pardons if we already discussed… I get a little bit foggy :-)) [map]

Continue reading Post’d: *in character* mug on cards – for birthdays & farewells

Sunken Jumbo, former Skyway, Portugal trams & “installations” + tender missives

Thank you to all the correspondents club

Current postcards hanging on the “string of honor” – (also stereo speaker cable) filled up so needs to be archived into dossier soon / It’s an incredibly pleasurable experience curating and archiving but also just receiving and enjoying.


Amongst postcards rec’d:

This one of – now mysteriously towed to open water and sunk – legendary floating restaurant “Jumbo” in Hong Kong.

I wonder if the sender knows of the important life lessons I learned at this very place (when it was floating of course)? #trust #crash

Since I’m here:

A postcard received from Gifu, Japan depicting a drive-in theater in Vernon, BC, Canada (with notes on the back with which movies were viewed there in decades past)

i still don’t understand why drive-in movies don’t persist

The name “Skyway” reminds me of a wonderful song by The Replacements


A beautiful card and letter with poetic flourish and a stunning Portugal street-car / tram, 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 via machine translation – to share encouragement, grief, inspiration, frustration and of course, creativity across oceans and continents.


Mailed a bundle of six postcards to Quebec, Utah, BC, New Jersey, Virginia Beach something something.

Somehow I didn’t take a photo so you’re going to have to believe me.

Continue reading Sunken Jumbo, former Skyway, Portugal trams & “installations” + tender missives

Annotations: fainting couch, fixing teeth, riding buses and trains, fading

Of late, it seems this is less of a “creative life archive” then a “documentation of survival”… Recently, obviously dental visits adding to the usual hospital appointments to decline a physical, emotional and mental well-being and vigor.

Regardless, so we go on with a few observations:

Acquired: Fetching new divan/Chesterfield/fainting couch/whatever… Looks particularly good with the rakishly thrown plaid blanket, picnic basket and power cord

Very loungeable – and at a staggering 5’9″ fitting onto a couch for an after dinner chill-out can be challenging so fortunately this allows me to stretch out :)

Somehow I think I need a Shisha and several books of poetry… Fortunately I have both at hand

And of course, the obligatory snap of me on the couch looking fantastically excited about going to the dentist, yes again…

I’ll wear my silky pajamas and velveteen robe… For starters ha ha

Seriously #PrettyWhenYouSmile

Route planning: Dentist requires a new bus route in which I switch from one of the three local regional franchisees which provide public/private bus service in the area.

A bit confusing but somehow I will survive {Previously went to a fellow closer to the house but it was antiquated equipment, grumpy staff and non-diligent dentist. We’ll see how survive the transportation…}

Next day:

My initial planned bus route was missed due to “several coffees” this morning… I’m on Plan B and I am 93% sure I am on the correct bus… It still gives me a bit of a walk to the dentist // think I’m gonna have to change dentists – this place is great but transportation is rough.

April 1 ~ May 2 (“project” started March 13)

Now: Slightly more pretty when I smile

One tiny note before I forget: I requested/used a private room, no TV, door closed, no interruptions & took noise canceling headphones, eye mask and of course my own slippers :)

I’m such a bus rider here in Japan that going to train stations still feel like a newbie (& for all the fancy /hectic commotion of the major stations, stumbling through sidestreets to shabby station run w/o humans or conveniences is always a bit surreal).

Views: 5 miscellaneous and etc observations from today

Annotations above (assign accordingly):

A train that looks like a paint job from the A-Team van

Rally point for a special scenic route train

Photo point for the same train La Malle de Bois

A tiny Shinto shrine, leaning roof, box for your coin offering

Rock monument leading to another Shinto shrine

{I don’t have a drivers license anymore (funny as I used to live behind steering wheel in a Volkswagen bus) so I savour all the public transport options. My conundrum is with my illness, I get sensory overloaded very easily so I need to keep it simple}

Following day: arrived home from train from unman station to a busy Okayama station (bought a Bento lunch and stashed in my backpack) hopped my usual city bus back home, arrived with wife’s band rehearsing in the front room, mouth still frozen, ate Bento chatting band on tea break then quite literally collapsed,… It seems so simple riding some buses and trains but completely delirious wiped out so,…

The next day, hung out with Ichiro (first day of “Golden week” holiday in Japan but Ryoko was catching up from some fieldwork mist from a rainy day) – grandma helped out loads as he whisked between our , and I hand washed some sharp shirts purchased in Indonesia.

Tidying up
I <3 laundry

Some other household tasks as well but I’m revealing how mundane… anyway, life is great except I am so blue when I’m not creating “big projects”… I want to make albums, books, pods, paintings… All of it, all of the time. And exponentially increased when I’m not sleeping well which is truthfully, all of the time.

I call friends to chitchat for my mental health purposes but don’t seem to be able to articulate a clear sentence and just ramble on about various topics.

{I’m sorry if you’re one of the friends I call and my chitchat has decreased in quality.}

The mental fatigue of *all of this* is getting to me (again) and I seem to be having a hard time getting medications dialed in as I’m crashing hard at in opportune times.

Fax me, will ya?

I’ll be all right I guess or whatever. K bai.

unnecessary postcards for dentist + matcha & ramen

Today, yes another visit to the dentist… It’s a glamorous life :)

I made postcards for the dentist (27 years old) the skilled assistant (who did a homestay experience in Kamloops, BC) to thank them for their diligence and dealing with my complicated problem (some infected root conundrum)

The dentist is going to this Hot Springs town for Golden week, that’s me with the mayor of Misasa in 1993 in 1994 and in the outdoor pool with (then civilian) Cmdr Magnum in 1994 and then just me in 2018. Plus the sign on the signpost at Tsuchida Cottage


BTW because im chatty when nervous (also when not) i asked dentist plans for Golden week holiday

"Onsen" he said
Me "Where?"
"Yes, how do you know Misasa Hot Spring?"
"I went before," (doing math in head) "before you were born"
This postcard with Ichiro Stanley at the Totem Poles at Stanley Park in Vancouver is for the dental assistant who did a homestay in province of British Columbia, city of Kamloops

Before and after was Matcha and Ramen respectively

This door is held closed by a pair of scissors. This lingers with so much metaphor which I cannot begin to explain. Perhaps in the future poem.

Happy 40th to Ryoko, Queen of Tsuchida & our hearts

Happy birthday to my darling Ryoko

Not only did you change my life for the better, but you impact so many lives through your love of tea, singing & music, gardening & forestry, and a dozen more passions.

You always remember to bring flowers, spend some extra time to talk to elders & give sweetness wherever it’s needed – and have cakes or a chainsaw, or both, ready for action.

Incredibly patient, strong, kind, sweet and stunningly beautiful – whether you are elegantly rolling in a vintage kimono, rocking a black cocktail dress with Fluevog shoes, or covered in mud with your work clothes, you make my heart flutter.

The goodness you give out will be magnified and rewarded so much in the year ahead.

You are admired by so many people who often whisper to me about some unexpected kindness you showed them or some remarkable action which surprised them.

I’m always by your side, my pleasure to support you as best I can and always always always cheering for you.

(PS I will always try to find your keys, charge your phone, fold the laundry, and bring in the milk)

XO from the two boys who are always trying to get your attention ;)

PS Ichiro wrote this entire message

28/4/2024 (Reiwa 6)

Back of the card, for you collectors #nft

Family times (with previous artwork made into a postcard, of course :))

And… We got cake from the magic “cake box”


Cake is ordered from a fancy bakery who deliver the cake to the most wonderful invention: a “cake box” // refrigerated lockers out front nearby grocery store.

Bakery send a code to unlock and voila, there’s her perfect cake.

Diary: birthdays and cottages while waking from a hypnotic dream

Wife was teaching tea ceremony this morning, son was with grandparents for a bit…

They came home early afternoon, I stumbled out of bed ~ where I had folded laundry while watching Canucks win in a cool dark room.

Bit of lunch, back to sleep with headphones-in, listening to hypnosis.

Woke up, hearing people come to visit through the literally made of paper door (Monday comes estimate/proposal for adding a “caboose” to the cottage).

Everyone loves Ryoko and people have brought her Gifts for her birthday tomorrow. Yes tmrw.

Cake is ordered from a fancy bakery who deliver the cake to the most wonderful invention: a “cake box” // refrigerated lockers out front nearby grocery store.

Bakery send a code to unlock and voila, there’s her perfect cake.

Also sushi, there will be sushi (in-laws managing).

She is also going to tea ceremony.

{“Ceremony” is really a weird word for this… More like ritual salon to enjoy preparing and drinking matcha with all the right utensils, processes, movements and possibly outfits}

This is a big one at Korakuen with many *important* practitioners.

{As you may have surmised, she’s leveling up her skills, like many things, there is a test and certificate involved. Her sensei is 89 years old iirc so Ryoko is in line to carry on her traditions. But yeah a test and a certificate I don’t understand exactly but always support her}

I already gave her present, a sweet vintage Shure mic & heavy duty, perfect fit, black mic stand with round base (rather than tripod).

Hoping she can have more opportunities to keep singing – beyond her tea ceremony test as well as tree doctor test this year.

She’s been invited to sing “Mack the Knife” and another tune with a big band, like a really big band as in many instruments playing big band style… She would slay this.

The only problem is that – assuming she passes the first part of tree doctor test, then there is a week of classroom training/testing and a week of forest practical stuff in Ibaraki prefecture. The dates may or may not line up.

So, anyhow, we have great sketches & plan for this house addition – the caboose // Ichiro getting bigger and now we’re able to be more social at home [insert comment about public health situation] I really need a private “wing” of the house with bed, door, loft, loo & coffee station.

Plus a Dutch door to a back stone terrace with a café awning so I can sit outside to drink beverage in my pajamas and robe at 11 AM without the neighbors walking by and gawking at me :) just wild boars will look at me and go “what a slacker” because they don’t know about #MECFS.

Problem is, the cost for the plan keeps ratcheting up due to the vagaries of macro economics and freelance labor shortages // CAD $ = 144¥ !

{I could really use a certain company to have a certain liquidity event breaking on Monday’s news } ha right!

Anyhow, I came here to say: I woke up from a foggy dream with sleep hypnosis recordings in my ear to hear voices and laughter and forks in the next room and remember “oh right, I live in Japan, I’m not in a weird dream where I’m climbing a muddy mountain – in the midst of a clearcut – without boots, although I brought boots but they’re locked in the trunk of someone else’s car” (really last night’s dream).

And my awesome wife turns 40 tomorrow and she is courageous, strong, sweet, creative, multidisciplinary and just a week ago was our wedding anniversary and our kid is now saying words in French besides the obvious Japanese and English + i am so tired but we’ll have cake and sushi.

Diary: 5th anniversary – w/ goats and ramen #dro420

It’s 4/20 so means 1 – well 2 – things:

It’s our 5 year wedding anniversary!

We’ve returned to scene of the fun // Rural Caprine goat farm for sandwiches and goat milk lattes.

Still amazed how lucky I am to catch the remarkable, multi-disciplinary, courageous, sweet & strong Ryoko Olson <3

Further Evidence (from Mac’s goat ranch):

The boss Mac Kobayashi (my pal for 32 yrs)

The dude Ichiro (turning his soft cream cone into a trumpet)

The panino (all handrafted from foccacia to pork roast)

The window (looking to the future)

Today’s listening:

  • John Prine
  • Jerry Garcia & David Grisman
  • Wilco

Oh hi goat mamas

Next Checkpoints:

Buy tickets for next weekend’s tea ceremony at Korakuen and then… Dentist! (maybe frozen mouth ramen afterwards)

Extraneous & Unnecessary:

Dentist doing serious biz on Sat. afternoon. Packed waiting room / super efficient tidy designy operation


{also no stooopid teevees in the chairs}

[regardless, not loving being here #blues]

Necessary Documentation:

I’ve heard rumors that Ramen only counts if there’s a photo of the bowl – strangely, post dentist frozen mouth Ramen has become a routine for me, 3 times in the last fortnight.

PS we purchased a vintage chaise lounge, or is a fainting couch, or divan? What’s the difference?

Since I’m here:

Usual shot of the haiku postbox (I like to track the de-evolution across years)

Me in my place, at peace

Amongst all the hospital visits and dental appts and other “stuff going on behind the scenes which not ready to discuss” had a few more visitors, fulfilling my objective last summer of:

more pals just ‘rolling by for coffee and records’

As such neighbor pal snapped this of me in kura:

Re: turntable // GT stands for “gigantic tremendous” you can’t make it up. Early 80s, peak bubble goods. Fully manual, nothing automatic. Has a bubble level, rpm changer, go/stop & a platen which could decapitate. It was comedy getting it up the stairs and then had to build a special shelf

And was just a spontaneous kind of stealth shot… No big deal, I am at peace, we’re listening to John Coltrane or Chet Baker and swapping stories of road trips in Cascadia and how we came to be in Japan and met at a goat farm // the gent lives quite close by and brought pastries

{I’m still amazed my life journey brought me here with my art supplies, creations and holy smokes, all of my records! Look closely and you’ll see a signed Billy Bragg, re-issued Modernettes, paintings by Jean Smith, Cat Leonard and Timothy Wilson Hooey ++ And of course, that’s Joe Strummer mounted on industrial steel shelving captured by @bev101 at the US festival in California & the turntable is 55 kg Yamaha GT 2000 (a gift from my doctor) – can hardly believe life worked out like this after I lost everything including myself}

Thanks Mr T Fast.

PS When I think about the guy in 2018 who stumbled back to Okayama to hide out at a goat farm with a life in shambles, everything seemingly lost, body mind soul all damaged goods – I take none of it for granted. Savor it all, everything is possible.

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