All posts by daveo

Paintings from a Juliet porch in a Barcelona 1-star flop

+ Barcelona Juliet Porch Views Painting Diptych + (2005, mixed media)

Vancouver – and BC at large’s – beloved intrepid creative reporter Justin McElroy {insta} (*technically* municipal affairs for CBC Vancouver but *really* czar of lists, compiler of ephemera, chronicler of present nostalgia, collector of the critically important but quickly forgotten) is on an extended traveling sabbatical and producing daily updates of his frankly absurd, capturing alleyways, archways, food of the day, the sublime and the mundane while switching between trains and planes, trams and probably a funicular whilst thwarting street schemers and managing a high-level view of cities well-being boots on the ground… Or maybe sandals.

Anyhow, while he was in Barcelona, I recalled some paintings I did sitting on a Juliet porch on an laneway off Las Ramblas – I’d lost my glasses on a train from France, my astigmatism causing headaches and flattening the world… And made these two scenes, one looking right from the porch in the daytime made with watercolors and soft pastels on paper, the other looking to the left at night time on canvas sheet with acrylic paints.

I was intrigued by the very personal views into peoples lives, watching their routines drifting by, lamps turning on and off, meals set out, coffees and teas and wines, hurried footsteps on cobblestones, the cats coming out at night and so on.

Continue reading Paintings from a Juliet porch in a Barcelona 1-star flop

Post’d: fragile slices of sanity

Scribbling postcards
In doctors office lobby
Questioning utility & sanity
Besides the price increase (Oct 2023), there’s only one style of ¥100 stamps currently available
Good news is: still cheaper than pretty much anywhere else but still, a drag for high volume mailers
A kind continuation


A trio of postcards + a certificate of importancy on the way to various parts of Canada + 1 domestic Japan

Two photos by Trevor Williams, one vintage Japan Tokyo Prince Hotel P


Satchel of letter writing supplies, toted here and there

All the pleasantness on hand

Portrait: lazy private eye

Meet: mostly-discount yet slightly-hard-boiled and certainly-unlicensed private eye nurses a vending machine coffee after an all-night stake out

“Thorvald Aronson, Private Lazy Eye” coming soon to an already-defunct or consolidated branded entertainment consortium nowhere near you – like The Rockford Files for a different sports-jacket or Magnum PI with a better mustache… the reboot is already in planning, title role to be played by an AI facsimile of Steve McQueen, astigmatism not included.

Bonus: from the inevitable spin off comes the international duo investigators in which are schlepply proto-protagonist is joined by a thoughtful and wise Japanese father figure with deep knowledge of strategy through years of Shogi.

Ichiro’s theme (on baritone ukulele)

{at further risk of embarrassing myself ;)} A song for my awesome kid – about who he is, where he is and what he likes:

It’s his theme song, poorly sung & lousy played on baritone ukulele

a special song for Ichiro he could watch while I was in Indonesia on a secret mission

(yes I do have a whole multi-identity life I don’t discuss publicly… wait what?) scratch that.

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.