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

Guam Dossier Part 1 – S.S. Neptune

SS Neptune tour: Guam, Micronesia
SS Neptune tour, some staff: Guam, Micronesia

So wanna hang out while i share a load of artifacts from #Guam? The unincorporated territory of the US is in the news what with global sabre rattling… I lived and worked on Guam in the early 1990s in various tourism endeavours and have much knowledge of the place as i stay sorta up to date with news of various Micronesian islands (#hideawayplans).

First artifact is me with co-workers at S.S. Neptune which is an undersea viewing boat which plied Apra harbor amongst US Naval vessels, Japanese sashimi-fetching boats, various pleasure crafts, the wreckage of John Wayne’s old yacht and a couple other tour operators doing scuba diving or similar tours to our 6or7/day tour.

Basically, i’d greet the guests (pax) coming from hotel by coach bus (all booked by tour operators) and check off names – keep in mind, most of the guests were Japanese and most of the rest Korean – get them onto a shuttle boat (twin outboard, 26 ft or so) and give em safety briefing with the life jacket, tell em about mangrove and ww2 incidents in the harbor, few jokes blah blah and then tie up alongside the glass hulled Nepture “sub” and move em over and down into the viewing pod, put on a cassette of oceany sounds and hang out with the people while the boat came up off reef, tied off to a buoy and divers went down and chummed all manner of interesting and colourful fishes, and brought various sealife (namako, hitote…) and posed for photos through the portholes. I took many photos (analog) and learned many strange vocabulary words. Sometimes when slow, i’d go dive for the last tour of the day which was a blast cause most all was under 20ft, a (relatively) prime location and freedom to bend normal dive rules with flips and tricks and goofballery.

Then get em back on the shuttle, cruise harbor a bit, flip off other boats, listen in a radio chatter and maybe do some flowerstick juggling and then always this trick with a rubber snake which scared the sh!t outta people everytime.

Related: Somewhere is a photo of me in the Pacific Daily News (Guam’s paper of record whose web traffic i suspect has increased exponentially of late) when the ship was dry docked and we were all marshalled into industrial, chemically, grunt work. Remember: Got my hair fulla toxic paint so went and shaved except for a Tintin-esque flair upfront. I was wearing a white jumpsuit and facemask.

I added marketing tasks to my duties. All tourism is/was basically package tourist coming for short stays and would book “optional tours” from their provider at each of the dozens of hotels – mostly along Tumon beach which is Guam’s main tourist area. I’d go chat up the desk tour agents (all Japanese), restock brochures, help at signup events, industry events etc.

Lost touch with all the folks i worked with there – we did put on an engaging tour and had some good party times together.

Update: reconnected with one co-worker from this time (not pictured above) and found a photo of my Grandpa and his wife visiting the tour (can see the “viewing pod” & found the newspaper article about cleaning the boat on July 4th. 

Guam Dossier part 0 – Jerry Day

Pacific Daily News Guam: Article about Jerry Garcia's death with quotes from Dave
Pacific Daily News Guam: Article about Jerry Garcia’s death with quotes from Dave

#Guam (and me) and Jerry Garcia were in the Pacific Daily Newspaper on this day in 1995.

Personal Archeology of Diligent Creative Endeavours

The things we make in the rapid pace of creativity, often fall judgement to our own perfectionism and subjectivity at the time,… But, one stashed away and preserved, they can become artefacts that show us how we became ourselves. Additionally, by preserving output made by our co-conspirators and collaborators, we can help fill in the gap’s of their stories.

In this case, videos made by my dear pals:

Brandon G Kiggins (Formerly of Utah, now of Brooklyn/NYU) “the environmentalist” (award-winning)

Eiji Masuda #RIP Japan who was my collaborator on the pioneering digital doc Hempen Road (20 years old this year) “Mistaking the shadow” #Experimental

A documentary about the Russian revolution “The beginning of our troubles” made by my Uncle Mark Bannatyne while at USU doing graduate studies

A film by my Mom Lauralee Elliott #RIP with significant assistance from the aforementioned Brandon Kiggins, while at #UVCC “Tattoo”, note: long before everyone had a tattoo :-)

A public TV show which broadcast clips from the previously mentioned Hempen Road on “Master Weed theater”

The one labelled “Giggling Piglet Co-op” features me and the Japanese girl on the island of Guam demonstrating flower sticks and talking about the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia who had recently died on a show called “Buenas”, and might… also contain a similar juggling stick performance from Tottori, Japan which appeared on the nationally broadcast morning show “Zoom in Asa”.

In some cases, these might be the only remaining evidence of these diligent creative endeavors. Eventually they will be digitized and shared an archived so the hours that one into them and the inspiration which comes out of them, can pass on to others.

What do you have in your closet or shoe box which Will surprise and inspire your friends and strangers?

Diary: Butterworth > Penang > Kathmandu #notes

I walked across the border, a confusing frontier, from Thailand to Malaysia and now sit at a train station – so alone – waiting to be whisked southwards – deliberately ignoring any detail, plan or expectation. Drifting, floating, swept away to elsewhere, savouring deliberate pages while stroking my beard with Viking oil.

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Now in Penang, Malaysia… i came to there by a train to Butterworth (sadly devoid of pancakes), lurched by my boots aboard a ferry (which missed you mostly but i snapped the van Gogh green ceiling of metal paint), then wandered to a colonial outpost  — now a mix ethnicities and religions – skipped the temples and went to a dusty stationery store to acquire dried-out stamps with barely useful phrases, watercolour paper, scissors / glue, envelopes and and stamps / all so sumptuous.

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Post office frolic and then early morning to Bangkok then to Kathmandu! Dream of my youth when in a tent reading exploits of mountaineers and Sherpa tigers and Yeti.

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Now in a vast room with a balcony and yellow walls, i transcribe from journals so i can mail them elsewhere (though i do plan to return, i am not committed to t he plan) and lighten load (i am carrying 4 notebooks at this point).

Listening to Jerry Garcia and only missing one thing. No, i have tea so that’s not it. Guesses?

Mementos: Authour Nick Bantock (of Griffin & Sabine etc fame)

Mixed Media Artist + Author Nick Bantock (of Griffin and Sabine etc fame) and Dave (me)

Not too many mixed media masters creating ephemera-laden epistolary literature weaving intriguing mysterious relationships, international intrigue, and postcards.

That gets a smile out of this lad – still with a heavy heart. I took my mom’s copy of his book “Griffin and Sabine” and he provided a most wonderful signature with stamps of various kinds.

Such healing and respect. More to share about encounters with this gent.

New Year’s Wish: Anarchy and Peace and Love #2017

New Year’s Wish: Anarchy and Peace and Love #2017

X (40th anniversary) + Mike Watt and The Secondmen / San Francisco

Stage set-up / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
Stage set-up / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco

Sometimes, a plan comes together just right, and then sometimes there’s the opposite…. This night of X (Dec. 9, 2016) was definitely the opposite.

X 40th anniversary tour / show at The Independent in San Francisco - marquee
X 40th anniversary tour / show at The Independent in San Francisco – marquee

The “Plan” was to come back from a healing journey at an Ayurvedic clinic in India to meet up with old friends and celebrate this legendary punk band’s 40th anniversary. As it goes, my trip was cut short under frankly the worst circumstances (which I won’t bother you with here). Then, my friends decided to go to the LA shows instead of the San Francisco 3-night run, another friend simply didn’t show up, and phone calls to other pals couldn’t rally up any excitement.

Continue reading X (40th anniversary) + Mike Watt and The Secondmen / San Francisco

“I Saved Latin” meets Mike Watt and The Secondmen at Winter’s Tavern, Pacifica

4-up view of I Saved Latin" from American Laundromat Records
4-up view of I Saved Latin – A Tribute to Wes Anderson” from American Laundromat Records

As a fan of Wes Anderson movies, indie rock and vinyl, this rare unique gem from American Laundromat Records was a must have. Its like they conceived the project with me as target market. Ergo: songs featured in Wes Anderson’s eclectic-as-fck oeuvre, but performed/covered by indie rock bands.

Mike Watt and The Secondmen at Winter's Tavern's – Pacifica, California with The Freak Accident opening / marquee
Mike Watt and The Secondmen at Winter’s Tavern’s – Pacifica, California with The Freak Accident opening / marquee

The album is filled with surprises no doubt but, I managed to provide a surprise for the goodly Mike Watt and his Secondmen at a show at my favourite dive bar Winters (@nocrapontap) in Pacifica, California on Dec. 6, 2016… (by the way, after a rough stretch – death of Mom – my buddy “Maddog” Mike McCarthy went with me for which i was grateful – i have a snap of the ticket somewhere too).

Continue reading “I Saved Latin” meets Mike Watt and The Secondmen at Winter’s Tavern, Pacifica

High School Pals Flashback night in Vegas

Christopher Lee, me, Cory Demille, Vegas, 2016

via Christopher Lee’s FB

Brief summary of topics discussed in this meeting:

* “Swimming like Sperms” on Orem High swim team
* Saving the Plankton
* Running Paul Moody for school president
* The very-tiny overlap in the Vend diagram of Jani Radebaugh and my TEDx talks
Matt Harding‘s choice of hats and flavour of blues
Andy Harding living in Olympia (where i spent years)
* Water ballooning BYU zoobies from the roof hatch of VW bus and other vehicles
Christopher Lee in a spaghetti western (soon to be major!) and had an awesome ‘stache
Jayson Lee‘s swinging Mike Brady-esque house
* Sweet Danny Harris (RIP) and fck cancer
* Jamie Tucker and Daniel Reneer, like me, evidently dealing with confusing health conundrums #solidarity
* Cory’s hair in the Jr Prom photo (is Petruchio an Italian deli meat? or did he steal Art Garfunkel’s toupee?) with Tiffany Sparks
* VW bumper meets Granny’s Nova’s door
* Aforementioned VW bus is now a psycedelic suana “planted” in Big Cottonwood Canyon next to teepees
* Amnesty International concerts (and what happened to benefit concert and activism? while Desert Trip banked dollars down the road)
* KOHS radio #Legendary and FCC license violations
* Martin Luther King Day holiday (lack thereof) protest and subsequent first amendment conversation with Principals
* The Trinity miracle (and the fence to keep her safe)
* How swimming season is over in LV when temp drops below 90
* What it was like to be pretty much the only 20 year old guy in Utah
* Visiting missionaries on their missions and assisting with rule breaking
* Wandering off mission #rogue
* REM, U2, Ramones, Replacements,… also played records by The Specials, “Life in the European Theatre” compilation with XTC, The Beat, Madness, Echo and Bunnymen, The Stranglers…
* Jack Kerouac spoken word (also Jello Biafra spoken word) vinyl
* Dive bars, tiki bars, tacos
Mark Swenson‘s marathon addiction (intervention not needed)
* Driving Limo to school and madcap hijinks
* Being a confused Canadian who didnt understand girl’s choice (or other) dances — later Napoleon Dynamite answered much of this for me, also football games and pep rallies
* The accidental prestige of attending Utah Tech College (now a fancy University)
Steffi Rastafari in Ohio raising kids and building community from scratch
* The difference of supporting soldiers and supporting war (briefly)
* Not talking about politics and religion (so many other stuff to discuss)
* Several Kiggins extended family members
* How I’ve shot a gun like twice in my life (Chris and Cory somewhat more frequently)
* My brother Bob Olson‘s secret clearance status which is so secret i cant mention it here
* Getting held hostage in New Mexico in the VW mentioned above
* Wandering and wondering elsewhere – Escapades in the Philipines, French West Indies, Palau and so on…
* A load of other topics which i’ll recall upon hitting enter
* Name checks for so many renegades and survivors (including YOU!)

For my part, first time i’ve seen Christopher Lee since prob 1988 and Cory DeMille … abrief viewing at UVCC campus in between Grateful Dead show in 1991 and when he provided safe harbour for me stuck in Vegas during a difficult time a few years back.

The conversation picked up at a rollicking pace which brought great joy to this haggard old dude. Was a burst of happiness for me (also Cory chose exceptional bevvies (i like em malty and dark).

Thanks for the hangout lads. Let’s keep em more frequent moving forward. Also, what did i forget? #medicalMJ

replies to various messages…

I owe a load of people some replies to various messages but my message queue become overwhelmed with replies from inquiries to far away medical clinics and their dubious schemes. My 4 AM delusions get the best of me sometimes. #trying