Nengajyo / New Year’s Card 2022 – Adapters Ahoy!

Sharp peekers maybe caught the preview in “Post’d: New Years “nengajyo” in process” and now fresh from various post office trips with stamping goodtimes comes our best wishes to you for a pleasing 2022 in the form of a card from Tsuchida Cottage featuring us in ‘The Linda Lindas” shirts and swag. Note the details.

You may be shocked that I did not *accidentally on purpose* steal the post box/pen holder but I did use the stamps at the post office to decorate the postcards because, that’s what the stamps are for – specifically featuring the coming year’s zodiac sign, the tiger. Yep, cute tigers coming on your New Year’s cards.

130 out to foreign address and around the same in process to domestic Japan (with different back and includes Japan Post special “raffle” cards) as of this writing Dec. 27 (hurry hurry printers!)

I hope one of them is for you. I’m doing my best.

Fondly from Dave, Ryoko and Ichiro

PS On the back is a poem by me (naturally) with a few sentiments about adapting to situations and using the unexpected to reinvent as well as expressing empathy.

All the Time

Reinvent
Re-create
Replenish, even Rejuvenate or Rejoice

Adapters plant seeds 
and watch the trees tell time, 
over decades

There’s no hurry
We’re here forever
Go slow 
We’ve got all the time for you
Records, flowers and paints
Fresh coffee with a view

If you’ve had a hard year
We’re here with our ears

Pack your steamer trunk and be ready for queen tides, we’ll spark the woodstove

Ramble forth, possibly fret, maybe cry but 
know – even without *believing* – light is here as needed
	Always fondly.

By Dave Olson, Tsuchida, Okayama

“Meet the Beats“ ~ Upgrade your Heroes #1

A rapid-fire introduction to the “Beat Generation” focused on the story of “6 Poets at Gallery 6” reading Oct, 1955 SF CA when Allen Ginsberg, Phillip Whalen, Gary Snyder, Micheal McClure, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti et al were all in the room for a reading hosted by Kenneth Rexroth that would go into legend and launch a poetry renaissance in San Francisco and the world. Presented by Cannaverse Club.

Includes extended erstwhile members of the movement and “what happened” after that night as the poets and their friends scattered their influence globally (with, not surprisingly, a little bit of extra emphasis on Japan, Zen, India/Nepal) plus Merry Pranksters, Furthur bus, Grateful Dead and even the Simpsons. Whoa!

Lots of the usual ephemera, show & tell, couple of vinyl records, loads of books, various digressions and asides, hats & homework.

Note from UW: “If you’re curious *at all*, please share your questions and comments &/or “Replay live chat” at Youtube to catch some of the stuff I forgot to say during the premiere”

Continue reading “Meet the Beats“ ~ Upgrade your Heroes #1

Diary: Annotations on the Re-start (calendars, milk, beard, drums…)

Regrouping: Well yeah, I’m wiped out from all the last while but was able to spread so much love to family and friends which is truly an honour. I’m not good at the “pacing” so much – When I get my mind on something, I burn through the adrenaline and related neuro-chemicals to do it.

Anyhow blah blah blah, I made *a lot* of Internets and documentation, wrote some intentions for the year ahead, started some new traditions, closed some books, open some others, practiced much generativity.

Still in pajamas and robe but going to try to get up, filter some persimmon vinegar, put the miso into smaller containers (yes I made persimmon vinegar and yourself both from scratch!), maybe trim down the Santa Claus beard…

Stretch goal is un-trim the Christmas tree.

Just a note to say I am thankful for all of your comments, participation in my life, cards and letters, late night dispatches and affection in general. 

Christmas Tree down and replaced with 1-1/2 drum sets! left some twinkly lights up for Ichiro

Sending extra kindness to those who are feeling the blues, struggling with health conundrums, &/or loss of various kinds.

Postal Notes: PS Great cards yesterday – Like really fantastic, great details and I love love love a good family year recap newsletter. Thank you so much! ++  one “late but well intentioned” batch out today. Both foreign and domestic.

Ferments: Bottling up housemade vinegar (Persimmon, Ume and Ginger) and Miso (in peanut butter jars) at Tsuchida Cottage. So much macrobiotic goodness!

Rather satisfying project bottling homemade vinegar (Persimmon, Ume & ginger) Of course, well documented, ergo:

Basically, halved persimmons – leave skin on, stack in a vessel, add some “living” vinegar, rocks on top, cheese cloth and wait 1-2 months. Keep an eye to make sure mold doesn’t develop, eventually “decant” the liquid into another vessel, cheese cloth back on, wait a while more, eventually filter it. Strain into clean vessels, add labels. Nice to have some vinegar “mother” to start but skins have natural bacteria.

Sign post (finally, slowly): Next/current project is making a sign post to point to familiar and/or loved places. Will go on this cut tree – mounted in concrete base (also has a weather station on top).

Using scrap wood left over from our construction project and just doing “cheap and cheerful“ quality level.

Sparks include: Got Woody’s Revolutions printed and on stand-by

via Billy Bragg + Lance and Jay

As well as Shawn Parkinson’s annual artsy one page calendar (see previous iterations in intentions video). Note decent colour match on the washi tape and meta snap of Mrs Maisel.

Ok, one more envelope to address *and* this month’s “postcard as a service” postcards are printed! Gotta figure another/different/better system than current though.

Scenes of Life from New Year (shrine, Osechi, cards)

Up the hill to the shrine
Various bells, 5¥ coins and claps
Greetings to neighbours 
Evidence follows

Here are the festive cards received so far arranged on a string with help from my miniature assistant. Expecting a load of New Year’s cards arriving today. Yes I love this arts and crafts part of the holidays.

Once I rode this train when I was Canadian.

Now I’ll always know what year it is. A year for making “a circumnavigation, of sorts” >> free verse poetry, snippets of diaries, fragments of letters, unspoken musings, lists and annotations, compiled and abridged – printed, bound, stamped and shipped #Intention

So, how’s your New Year’s day going? We ate osechi variety platters of (often mysterious) food but most is so tasty and all is elegantly and deliberately prepared (despite what the whiners say)

More to follow as we go along, as we go along… tigers roar meow

Schemes and Dreams for Year of the Tiger – Reiwa 4 / 2022

oh hai, just us talking about stuff like scrapbooks and schemes

+ Schemes and Dreams for Year of the Tiger – Reiwa 4 / 2022 + 

No surprise whatsoever, Dave, surrounded by scrapbooks, well-designed books, unfolded laundry, impressive selection of washi tape and a vessel of homemade miso – and feeling a little tired – looks ahead to 2022 with schemes and dreams including: 

  • compiling/creating a book called “a circumnavigation, of sorts” with freeverse poetry, snippets of diaries, scraps of letters, forgotten lists and possible scribbles; 
  • (the usual of) taking care of health and being a great husband and papa; 
  • making more scrapbooks and collages; 
  • maybe even some paintings of post boxes, payphones and portals. 

Plus tidying up digital odds and ends, stepping up some skills and figuring out how to space out and rest and relax (per Doctors’ orders).

Ichiro makes an appearance as Dave also sends a special *hello* to those who are dealing with some health challenges including uncle in Michigan, a young postcard maker in Sri Lanka, and Larry sensei, and possibly you. 

Finally, after reviewing a litany of scrapbooks of plans, poems, correspondence and other oddities from years past, offers encouragement to share your intentions for the year ahead and reflections on years past in whatever medium you fancy. 

Oh yeah, calendars and sweater thanks to Shawn P.

just staying alive, yup

Reiwa 3 / 2021 Recap of Intentions and Annotations (with my darlings)

On the big screen in Vancouver <3

Recapping my intentions and annotations for Reiwa 3/2021 with my darlings. Oversharing and whatnot but we’re all sorta friends, right? Lots of honestly and bits of laughter. Big dreams, tiny schemes, life admin to ukulele and most points in between.

Revolutions not Resolutions.

Fondly, us xo

Diary: Festive Goodtimes at Tsuchida Cottage (w/ drum set and banquet & pals)

3 of us, always

This re-cap *should* be a few days ago, but some things get squished between others and sometimes time for documentation to take a break. That said, a quick recap of a busy few days around Christmas time.

Note: Christmas is *sorta* a thing in Japan as a starting point for New Years (which is the big deal). Some people evidently order chicken from a chain resto, others exchange gift, there are Santa decorations around, not much of the religiousness and folktales. Anyhow, this is technically my 3rd straight here at Tsuchida Cottage. The first was pre-Ichiro and i ordered in food and stoked out M and F in law and wife with prezos and established some traditions of sorts with a tiny tree and a roaring fire.

Last year 2020 we had a strange errand to do in a nearby town (concerning an abandoned crumbling house, a missing uncle and other conundrums) coincidentally on Dec. 25. Me, wife and Ichi all got terribly ill :( and with the passing of F-i-L’s mother, the tradition dictated a sedate New Years as well. So this year, i wanted to set new traditions, and holy smokes we did (and of course i took on too much) and show my thanks to in-laws and buddy Mac and his lovely GF. We also invited some friendly ladies to join our festive board.

Anyhow, was several days of prep during which i was *struggling* and then Dec. 23rd was Mae Mae’s rehearsal at our home which was a great chance to use our unique floorplan to full effect with the whole band fitting in easily and i even sat in on drums!

Then Dec. 24th was a big one… i’ll let myself take over for re-cap.

stealth mode and not

Enter in blue, Exit in red #StealthMode #Santa

Just back from my naturalistic Santa Claus performance at the nursery school.

I’m so custom made for this. And at 5 foot 9 with a 32 inch waist, I am a “big guy” 🙂 I told the kids I eat lots of vegetables to keep trim (after i joked that I only eat reindeer)

Each of the students got their own bit of special attention with eye contact, a few kind words, and a present. lots of kids wanted to touch my uniform or my beard as well.

Of course many photos were taken but because of the kids in them, can’t really share them. Soaked in all the dopamine goodness I could.

method actor (and cheeseball)

A few kids cried, our little guy looked at me with a look of bewilderment, all the kids got a special Santa convo and a present & my 2+ months of beard growth allowed me to be truly authentic and bring some joy – indeed, I am truly a method actor :-).

The kids asked some questions but fortunately I had clever answers.

Yes, I will have this gig as long as I want it. #NeighborhoodSanta

Meanwhile back at home

front room, ready for goodtimes
Ryoko doing her elfing

Then on Christmas eve, we wrapped and laid out gifts for Ichiro (after a day of prepping food). He was noticing all the changes in the house with trees and lights and different foods and was wide eyed at it all – and doing the cutest hand gestures to emulate the blinking flicking lights.

calling baba and gigi

Christmas morning, in-laws came over and over hot bevvies with opened gifts. Ergo:

Ryoko and I received matching pyjamas! So warm and cozy and cute. Thrilled.

M-i-L received a puzzle of 4 generations of her (Fujii) family visiting the matriarch at an elder’s home with Aunt, Cousin from Nagasaki, cousin’s 2 little girls, wife and Ichiro in the middle of all the ladies. (recap of outing). We also made a puzzle for great granny, aunt and cousin.

F-i-L received an Adidas track suit made for lounging around (chilly) Japanese houses. We loves to hang at the computer and follow Shogi (a sort of complicated chess) matches and this will comfy and handy for forays outside to check weather and laundry etc.

Ichiro was loaded up but most importantly with a drum set (yeah it seems like i got it for me but really…)

Booking studio sessions tomorrow, pre-order to get signed copies of his debut EP “Flyin’ the Flannel” by Viking Samurai, Ichiro Stanley / papa will be at the merch table with fanzines & headbands

So much fun to set it up and now we have my sorta kit (floor top, high hat, snare) and his in the front room along with piano, baritone ukulele, electric keyboard, and basket of percussion.

Ichiro with mouth fulla orange

Then back to the kitchen… for a final manoeuvres. Kitchen is not my wheelhouse but timely advice from brother Anders and buddy Lance alleviated the anxiety and fortunately magic wife had helped prep most of the stuff the day before (including gravy and eggnog!) and we laid out stuffing (made with homemade chicken stock, mushrooms, baguette, celery, carrot, onion etc), a turkey (which turned out perfect somehow), brussel sprouts (acquisition thereof chronicled elsewhere) with bacon from R’s alma mater, broc/cauli mix, a variety of bevvies, etc.

Snapshots of food follow – self-explanatory (for time being at least):

Buddy Mac came with wine and a pork belly (see above) from his freezer where i shipped the turkey, sausages, and ham. We cooked it on site for the almost-final course.

Ryoko had tracked down some fancy charcuterie too. It all turned out great with pleasing conversation and interestingness as most of the foods were “first time” for attendees.

Oh we used some of my Mom’s “fancy china” and had ordered silverware and cloth napkins for proper table service for 8-1/2 diners (^ see above gallery if curious).

The woodstove was cranking the whole time as was Charlie Brown Christmas music followed by a variety of Joni Mitchell, Cowboy Junkies and Iron and Wine.

Mac and Manami stayed over next door and had breakie (pork belly scramble) and fancy egg nog coffees next morning. Then i collapsed :) Fortunately most the dishes were done night before by elves while i was in bath with Ichi.

Was all so great which is why i am remembering it all here. Pardon brevity, good night.

Diary: New Years Eve – food & flowers / Eye of the Tiger ahoy!

Last hours before arbitrary mile post/time zones and calendar flipping – and while I’m not at my best I always have big schemes to make lists of intentions. I’ve made them before and yeah, I’ve made them again.

If all goes to plan I’ll sneak away while the wife and mother-in-law are cooking and flower arranging and make a recap video in the barn while listening to records. Plans? Ha ha :-)

But first, a few pre-snap shops and annotations, mostly of my wife in action and other sundry foods and flowers, starting with Ikebana in the genkon.

Made by magical wife (just before making turkey ramen) now tamagoyaki assembly in process… keep reading…

Here is an in-process snap (with a little boy who is a little bit grumpy because he wasn’t getting all of the attention :)) aside: Tea ceremony, music, flower arranging, it’s all possible for him. My brothers tease me that he’ll only be in the video games :(

The painting in the background really works out well too (by Michal Korman)

Somehow in between it all, we went to pick up a huge batch of tempura and of course she had a gift package ready for the proprietor / I just try to stay up with her.

For final holiday maneuver, must break down the last of this turkey to make broth.

I don’t really know what I’m doing but… guess take off the meaty bits by hand and then simmer the carcass for stock? With the leftover celery etc.? Strain it & bottle/bag it?

Behold, turkey ramen with garden veg & pork belly at Tsuchida Cottage. I made the stock/broth, the wife did everything else.

Oh, when I ordered the turkey, sausages, pork belly, there was also a 2 kg ham of some kind so while we were at it, cloves, rosemary and Pineneedles and into the oven it goes.

Good night you lovely folks. Hoping for a pleasant wind down of an interesting year. Year/Eye of the Tiger ahoy!

Note: Japan and (my) Amusement

Worth noting that Japan is loaded with great stationery, so many trains, a fantastic Postal Service with post boxes everywhere (plus diligent courier services, hooray kuro-neko, most anything delivered (so much more imported foods than my first time around in 1992-4), well-maintained but never used payphones, fruits and vegetables I don’t recognize, appreciation for poetry, and a constant struggle between minimalism and maximalism… In other words, seems custom-made for my amusement.

This is all.

Paintings & photos, framed (at last)

Did some framing, some legacy pieces from childhood, some by my Mom & my friend Marty‘s silk screen/block print creations, original Nick Bantock and signed/numbered prints – And 13 of my Gravelly Beach series painted in 2005.

Do you notice how the Gravelly Beach ones are “floated” in the frame? These pieces are painted (in various media) on canvas sheets and then mounted on wooden cradles then on matte board in a deep frame under acrylic/glass.

Going to take a little while to process as well as hang it all but so happy to check this off the list. Long time coming. (In a way i think) I found it hard to make new paintings when all these other paintings are just sitting in folios and boxes / Gotta respect the work.

Here are a couple more (the one on the left and the right, not the center) from my Gravelly Beach series. {These are on stretched canvases and rather large so didn’t put them under glass/acrylic}

Definitely don’t have the wall space for all of it at once, “there’s also a lot of other art already in the collection – but some will hang in the barn and I’m looking for a cafe/gallery that I can do a rotating exhibit at. Importantly though, they are now protected as a lot of those were moved around and getting smashed and deteriorated.

Diary: switching modes, miso & last trip to the post office

Well I’m pretty wiped out from the last bunch of days but glad I was able to step up for the family and friends for a good time despite a few setbacks with my health and too many projects.

Switching holidays from Christmas to New Year’s here at Tsuchida Cottage

(Don’t eat this orange, there’s plenty more inside)

Family outing to the post office because that’s how we are.

Still can’t decide which one is cuter. Guess it’s a tie. I’m completely smitten daily.

3 styles of nengajyo / new year post cards in the last batches (for this year).

About 300 total between international/domestic family & friends plus wife’s business and associates.

All handmade/stamped with affection. Grateful for an oddly fantastic year.

It’s the year of the tiger after all. Not sure the significance but I used the stamps liberally nevertheless. meow

For final holiday maneuver, must break down the last of this turkey.

I don’t really know what I’m doing but… guess take off the meaty bits by hand and then simmer the carcass for stock? With the leftover celery etc.? Strain it & bottle/bag it? Let’s try (Half in a big cooking pot and half in the slow cooker… Anticipating six hours)

We made Miso last May 4th and stashed in a ceramic vessel found when tidying up tool shed.

Holy smokes! Miso turned out great! No mold problem, not overly salty, great texture and mellow yet bright flavor profiles. Just took a little small sample but will try in larger quantities over New Year’s. I feel like I really earned a Japan merit scout badge today.

Meta Note:

Noting I’ll end up with about 216 posts at my mixed media creative life archive (you are here) this year (not including ones that were backfilled/backdated). Not bad for a Gen X slacker/new pappa – especially considering everything else that went on this year.

Hoping to review/recap my 2021 Intentions + Annotations soon (typed last year with coffee) – already have a few notes scribbled for 2022 (mostly less paperwork and big projects, more just creating)

This last year had the curious nursery school project, the hugely satisfying house reno project, and the (unsatisfying) emigrant tax project (including a complicated dominos of transactions). Plus did lots of work on my health situation (i deal with #MECFS).

Plus loads of mailouts, supporting friends and charities, but did take on at least 1 too many projects.

Should i give myself “grades” on the previous list?
i.e.
ukulele playing B+
Japanese writing C-
pickling/fermenting A-
postcard store C+
great pappa/hubbo A+ 🙂
etc ??

Diary: Closing Books with Errands and Dreams

If I can make it to 20 steps for my cozy bed to the kitchen, I can have a homemade eggnog and espresso + a ridiculous breakfast of fantastic leftovers – oh but it’s so cozy here! PS xo

Made it (with stollen)

Closing Books of sorts

i love making lists and *trying* to mop up everything nicely (of course never quite works out but hey…)

Over next few days, gonna hit up a seitai session, do some pick up/drop off paperwork for wife’s business, mail out some more New Year’s cards, hopefully drop specs off for new lenses (again), finish up this year’s misc scrapbooks, + release a new video (done). Close the book.

[Update, a day later]:

seitai – check
Kinome errands – check
new years cards – in process
scrapbooking – not yet
video release – done
mae maes video – almost
glasses – not gonna get there
closing books… sorta

Observed on Errands

On an errand to a community center. Where two phones are, where two phones once were & a really nice copier. 10¥.

¥1100 lunch / not sure how it’s possible to be this fantastic. Wife and kiddos lunch plates were great as well. File this under “lousy photos of usual food“.

Bonus of a happy lil boy (note injury by his eye from a table collision and on chin from a floor tom drum)

Been Meaning to Call you

Just to note that I’ve made a lot of phone calls to vocally express fond greetings of late ~ but also have run out of batteries #mecfs and trying to mop up a few projects by the end of the year… 

What I’m trying to say is, “I’ve been mean to call you” and eventually I will. Ergo:

One big question remains for this year “will I get all my browser tabs closed?“ I will not answer all lingering emails however, that’s assured.

Intentions, not Resolutions per se

Also: maybe watched my *beginning of the year type writing out of intentions, themes and musings* for Reiwa 3/2021? Going to try to recap in the next few days. “Let’s go so we can come back.” Weird to say (i guess) but really a mighty year overall. (I foolishly live streamed the session via Facespace and due to a little bit of incidental background music, the video is locked in a steel cage so I’m chalking that up to stupid lessons learned. Open source, open content, fair use ahoy!)

Kei Truck Project

Kei truck dealership guy came by the house today with brochures about a dump truck kei for wife (she’s an arborist and forking out big loads of trimmings every day is a bit much), but sadly dump truck models *only* come in white and with the same crappy seats.

Was hoping she could have a green color to do some branding for her business (Kinome) and comfy seats for sometimes long drives but no go. The “regular“ kei-trucks you can get the extended cabs, better seats and colors. The dump back is the critical part though. Sorta like below>>

Of course the aftermarket/specialty market has all kinds of customized models including colors, lift kits and fancy wheels and stuff but we’re trying to be cheap and cheerful and off the rack.

Oh, this is Ryoko’s business, Kinome. I’m super proud my wife is part of a small cohort of women-owned small businesses doing “rough“ work. Most is fieldwork, followed by teaching hands-on classes but increasingly more and more landscape design (which is great)

Food Annotations

Forgot to tell you that for dinner last night, took goatfarmer’s housemade focaccia bread, piled it with stuffing, turkey and gravy and made first hot open faced turkey sandwich ever for wife and kiddo.

A note from Christmas dinner: I loved making both moka pot and French press coffee at end of meal for folks to make custom eggnog/coffee/espresso/Bailey’s/Kahlúa concoction. Everyone was so confused/surprised/pleased :) I also explained how the humble mokapot is the *very pinnacle* of Italian design :)

Good Night, you are a marvel

Oh that’s bedtime for me. If I owe you replies, messages, notes, favors etc., I’m working on it… Please know I’m super proud & impressed with what you’re doing and especially glad for creators making interesting pods, vids, paintings and poems. Self expression is everything.

Open w/ care indeed (this scrapbook is an archive of 2021 inbound correspondence)

Good night the Internet, thanks for the amusement today.

HempenRoad Vancouver – extended mix with annotations and archives

Uncle Weed shares an annotated version of the HempenRoad: Cascadia Journey (imdb) film featuring the 1997 commercial industrial hemp symposium in Vancouver, BC, Canada / Cascadia.

Includes clips from notable speakers, an interview with HempWorld pub/ed/writer Mari Kane along with discourse about borders, eco-systems, harm reduction, and bits of transportation and sustainability mixed in.

Eiji and Dave on the HempenRoad with 16mm camera

Then an extended montage of (lousy early generation) digital camera snaps of important entrepreneurs diligently building businesses to utilize hemp in all forms. Along with the documenting is Ms. Kane’s report from the event, with UW”s comments – including the conundrums around organizing groups and importance of diversity. 

Includes loads of magazine, artifacts, ephemera, and anecdotes from California to Yap. Come along this Cascadia Journey. 

Continue reading HempenRoad Vancouver – extended mix with annotations and archives

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