Category Archives: Personal Musings

sometimes i have something to say about me, life and the passage of time – schemes, ideas, holiday dispatches, thoughts and dreams that aren’t too private and other journalling

Tsuchida Cottage Art Gallery (in process)

New addition by Jean Smith (see also: Mecca Normal) / this lady reminds me of someone, somehow… do you know who?

Needs properly hung but wanted you to say “hello”.

Also, glimpses of:
* Miyake Noriko
* Grateful Dead pacific Nw box by Roy Henry Vickers  (thanks Trev!)
* Gravelly Beach series (me)

Elsewhere in house: Michal Korman & many others (this is a note to self to document further)

Note: There is another by Jean who is doing so many interesting projects to build an Free Artist Residency (FB)  somewhere in BC… check her interviews for more of her great story.

Diary: usual days / summer’s end 2020 (ophthalmologist, peanut butter, cats, coins, plans)

This summer was a splendid fog of humid waves of action welcoming baby Ichiro amongst *all the world*. Yet, remains tasks to do (esp as i am still getting settled as an immigrant in a new country and logistically removing myself from several other countries, so: make a list, check the items, repeat.

Anyhow, what follows are scenes of “usual days” in late-summer 2020 as we caught up on life after welcoming Ichiro and tending to various life admin tasks. In other words, the bits which don’t fit anywhere else yet i find somehow amusing. Minimally annotated, non-chronologically. Carry on. 

Note: I roll slowly (1 action per day and only 1 outing a week usually) so strategic planning and adjusting to my health and the baby’s need were/are key.

Sept. 1, an ophthalmologist visit (more spectacle related items throughout this archive) with Dr. Kobayashi (no relation to the goat farmer).  

Background: I have challenging/delicate eyes (astigmatism, wearing glasses since a baby) and need an awesome ophthalmologist (眼科医
Gankai) eye doctor – was hoping someone with english skills as some the vocab evades me but had a very thorough test and fresh prescription to take to an ace optometrist and/or optician + optical shop / Note: tricky eyes so the “cheap and cheerful” places aren’t right for me.

Also: for the eye chart, instead of “letters” it was circle shapes with an opening to the up, down, right or, left. Of course the circle shapes and the opening became progressively smaller. got to do it all in japanese to add the brain confusion / needed to be placed in a dark quiet room for the rest of the day to reset my brain / needed a quiet room after. Continue reading Diary: usual days / summer’s end 2020 (ophthalmologist, peanut butter, cats, coins, plans)

Diary: tasks (sundry = stereo, pickles, pre-school)

Today-ish (amongst laundry, salads, coffees, bath and vacuuming…) 

* Setting up stereo (need sturdy table)
* Making pickles (trying with kojo)
* Investigating pre-school (not pictured)

Evidence (brief): 

Note: from this photo, rather hard to gauge the *massive* size/heft of this turntable and amp. Next step is reconnect speakers with lower gauge wires trim for appropriate placement tbd / Really need a hi-fi master/buddy to help proper set-up

Note: got behind on the pickle assembly line but in the meantime, got a few more jars into the flow by consuming the exceptionally perfect peanut butter (formerly) contained within

Thankful: a Postcard to Pals

Hello You,

Having the best year somehow / full of gratitude for surprising treats, healthy lad, remarkable wife, poetry flowing, paintings regarded, a cottage abode, archives in a sturdy hidden fortress.

So many years lost/hiding in various wildernesses & now pure joy + wonder. (I live with pain but matters less). #grateful

Fondly, dvo/UW

Painting / Haiku ~ on exhibit in Shibuya (representing Okayama Design)

My painting of a haiku on a postbox is representing Okayama design and culture at an exhibit in Shibuya (Tokyo), ergo: 

Detail of the exhibit catalog and the stand ( No. 14) for Rural Caprine Farm & Market

My *post box painting* is featured in the physical exhibit in Shibuya, while the *painted post box* is featured no less than three times in the magazine, including on one of the introduction pages.

Note: The painting and the post box feature a traditional 5-7-5 syllable Japanese haiku poem in English. Deposit box accepts usual mail daily.

I share space with the remarkable Ohara museum filled with post/impressionist art, a coffee roaster housed in the 90-year-old former post office, a couple of brothers bringing youthful energy into the historic denim industry in the Bikan area of Kurashiki, swordsmith, fibre weavers and so on. Plus unique regional restaurants from Setouchi to Hiruzen to add to wishlist.(The magazine features most text in translation to English for your convenience.)

Additionally,.. t he catalog for the dDesign Travel exhibition sharing unique design and culture from my home Prefecture was released in glorious four-color bleed, mixed-paper goodness.

Features so many interesting artists, museums, artisan businesses & unique accommodations (& curious stats about school uniform + riffs about Momotaro legend) plus, you can do a “stamp rally” meaning collect a stamp from each of the locations featured on the map.

Sponsors include my beloved Uno Bus & Ryobi Group.

Hoping to share more of my poetic postal paintings with these institutions & more. Ideas for collaboration or exhibits? Let’s talk.
My thanks to Sempei Mac Kobayashi (in the magazine wearing a black sabbath T-shirt ;)) at the 4th generation Rural Caprine Farm for this chance to contribute to local culture/economy (and, really, life in general).

Really, do you go visit this pleasant hangout (let me know if you have any questions) where you can see more of my paintings amongst other delightful foods and goats.

Grateful to be part of HERE. Let’s enjoy.

Me and the exhibit magazine/map/catalog at Rural Caprine Farm

Diary: Spectacle update (part next)

Overview: Due to my absurdly complicated prescription, lenses are always fantastically expensive and, because I really wanted to have two fresh pair on the go, decided against new frames and instead reusing 2 existing frames. Details follow: 

As pictured above:

The top right pair (brown tortoise Clubman) are almost an antique, purchased in 1995 on Guam, with early days transition lenses. The frames are still in decent shape, well-made with machined screws and feel cool on my face. I remember purchasing this pair as there had been some recent advances in progressive bifocal lenses which significantly reduced the thickness of the lenses from “safety glasses thickness“ to something more dignified. The new lenses will have a brown tint – not gradient or transitions, just a light/medium brown for a general purpose out-n-about specs.

The other pair (rather clear + titanium with blue detail in the temples) were purchased around 3 years ago in Victoria, BC with hopes would be a *perfect* pair. Alas the lenses were not made to pro specifications (the focal point is wildly askew) and give me instant headache and nausea when trying to wear. As such, the frames are barely used and will now be basically remade as originally intended with a gray tint and blue light filter for screen time. Hopefully help in reducing headaches & twitches. 

Recap: So, saved a little bit of money by not going with new frames but still get a fresh-up on the face. Thoughts?

Also: Nishida-san at the optical shop with a good sport as a rolled in with a leather satchel with six different pairs of glasses (from my world to her at spectacles) to check which frames were serviceable / salvageable. I also learned about the “secret codes” that lensmakers embed into the lenses as an oracle of sorts to other opticians in optometrists to understand how the lenses were constructed.
Pick up in 10 days-ish.

PS Thanks to Tina T. for re-sparking idea about digging into the old stash. Everything new is old again.

Diary: Spectacle update (Ryoko’s new glasses)

Behold! Ryoko Olson with 1 of 2 new pairs picked and elegantly fitted by Nishida optical in Okayama.

Note: These specs feature blue filter for easing eye strain on screens. So very lightweight too.

PS She’s wearing the other pair now and I keep looking at her face and saying “wow“ as both pair really allow her eyes and smile to shine.

Diary: Spectacle annotations (re: dave)

Tried these, didn’t pass the awsum test, quest continues.

Notes:

Bottom: good shape but with the weird gradient coloring, found them distracting like an “reverse mono brow” hard to see in the picture but there was kind of a green color to them, also available in blue but just didn’t feel quite right

Top: like the quirkiness of them for sure but, I found that chunky/dark frames are tough on my eyes because of my astigmatism… the “lazy eye” gets *pulled* & i see the frames in my peripheral vision all the time so I tend to prefer lighter colored/translucent frames with kind of a wide lena area. But yeah, they were fun to wear for a minute, somehow felt like would be a good choice if I was hosting a TV show

Middle: fun but just tooo much for my lil face

Riffs:

I am really the best customer ever of optometrists/opticians (and ophthalmologists for that matter) > Have spent untold thousands over my lifetime. However, I didn’t buy any for myself this time because my lenses are so unbelievably expensive and complicated, unless the frames are “oh yes completely awesome“ I don’t pull the trigger.

Plus I am investigating a new “migraine-prevention” lens called (rather mysteriously or just poorly branded) FL-41. My eyes change significantly year to year so I’m always having to spend the big bucks and there’s nothing worse than a substandard set of spectacles for me – if the focus point is even slightly off, I get intolerable headaches and eye strain.

I save money on lots of things and find good deals but I’m glasses, no time to scrimp. I look on with some enV when I see these “buy one, get one” or special prices because I am the guy that is excluded in the fine print.

That said, I celebrate all the advances in lens technology from my youth wearing heavy glass executive bifocals which left a semi-permanent divit in my nose. So glad I can get gradient tints, various filters and I’ve even had the transition lenses a few times.

Diary: Spectacle choosing (for Ryoko)

My super power is spectacle shopping (in this event, w/ endlessly adorable Ryoko Olson)

Q: which 2 did we choose?

~~

Update: Top right and middle left were the choices.

Reasoning/recap: Top right with the clear frames allow me to see her adorable face, and the side/temples are translucent blue for a nice accent without being distracting.

(The face is “the painting,” the frames are the frame not a “statement”, rather a complement)

Went back-and-forth on the middle and bottom left choices but ultimately she preferred the way the middle ones felt on her face – so light! I tease that she looks like a *serious German scientist*.

Again, allows me to see her face – especially her expressive eyebrows – so very happy with them.

The bottom left were fun but overall just a bit too big and clumsy.

We pick up in a week so will update at that time.

Worth noting / regarding “objective”:

For Ryoko, we wanted one lightweight pair with blue filter for indoor/screen use time and another pair that was a little bit more rugged (while still being cute and not “sporty-goggley”) which she can wear out in the field when working.

PS When doing her jazz performing/singing, she usually wears contact lenses.

The top left and bottom right are both good “all around-ers” if we were only buying one pair – both safe/solid choices but really happy with what we chose – nice utility & variety.

Memo:

The shop was a tiny boutique without the “endless walls of crappy frames” and the young gentleman diligently assisted us while I made a colossal mess of the place, and asked dozens of questions in my *rather unique* Japanese.

Painting / Haiku ~ catalog for exhibit in Shibuya

Artifacts from the Okayama design and travel exhibition in Shibuya featuring Mac Kobayashi’s magical goat farm & my postbox haiku / painting. 

In this case: first snapshots (by the farmer himself) of the exhibit’s catalog (or is it a “mook = magazine/book?) with pictures of the aforementioned farmer (shockingly) wearing a black sabbath rather than usual Grateful Dead T-shirt.

Nevertheless, the haiku post box looks splendid and, I am working on the right words for the opposite side. Stay aware.

Photos by Mac the goat farmer.

Update: now have the words for the other side of the post box… follow along for amusement  

Diary: Feeling Grateful for *possibly-accidentally-well-timed* kind words

Feeling grateful for a few very possibly-accidentally-well-timed kind words which reminded me that my personal archeology and creative arts n crafts projects are well, notable endeavours to others beyond me.

Fck Stats, Make Connection #fsma
“5x fans can’t be wrong”

(original snap by R. Scales at a record fair at Croatian Cultural Centre i think… maybe 2008, maybe 2010, maybe not)

 

Diary: “where i’m calling from” (re: creativity & endeavours + caramel apples)

* where I’m calling from *

{i} Diligently send out creative goodness all the time / is doing so a worthwhile endeavour? I mean I know “yes” but…

My point: I just hope items/musings/artifacts are enjoyed and care is noticed (so i don’t feel like the family who handmade caramel apples for Halloween just to have them all tossed out when kids return home from trick or treat).

Am i making sense? Didn’t think so

** Fck Stats, Give Inspiration