Tag Archives: Artifact

Riff: Japan, working holiday visa, 1992 (& related circumstances)

the “working holiday visa which started my Japan life in Dec. 1992

Before arriving in Japan, I really knew very little about Japan, I didn’t have an interest in Japan, didn’t care about anime or manga or hadn’t eaten sushi, and had no interest in martial arts, though did have some interest and experience with traditional pottery (raku) techniques, familiarity with Japanese poetry albeit as introduced by *Western* writers, however my older brother had gone to Japan for “proselytizing reasons” and him being in Japan – in a roundabout way – is what brought me to Japan (via the working holiday visa paper of importancy pictured above).

In brief: after a several years of traveling around US & Canada for Grateful Dead concerts, hemp festivals, national park exploits, mountain climbing, canyon hiking, couch crashing, Punk shows, fake IDs, drum corps, university invasions, odd jobs, foolish hitchhikes and “doing my best” with the ladies… And then extending that vibe into Mexico for fish tacos and tequila mistakes and taking my VW bus in even more places it probably shouldn’t have ever gone but did, came an accepted application to Evergreen college which was thwarting by ignominiously *not* winning of any scholarships, not awarded of any bursaries, not accepted into any grants, not allowed any loans so (kind of a shock since i was really accustomed to winning everythings, (you wanna see all my elementary school ribbons, maybe you have?).

So, took the money saved from a summer of building bicycles at Sunrise in Logan, Utah while living in a tent next to the temple & went to Seattle anyway but instead of going south to Olympia to finish off a bachelors degree (with wide eyes of getting a master of fine arts in creative writing and likely a tweed jacket with elbow patches soon there after to go with my smoky pipe and intellectual airs), went North to my “for lack of a better term” hometown of Surrey/Vancouver, bought a one-way ticket to Amsterdam, found some ridiculously-colored hiking boots, obnoxiously-colored trousers and barely usable but very packable sleeping bag & mat on the clear-out table (obviously because of the color) at one of the dozen outdoor good stores in Kitsilano, and with a butane stove (loaded), pocket knife (dull-ish), cut off overalls, a travel sized wok pan, juggling sticks and a jester hat, headed off on a European adventure – not the sort of package tour with giggling youth on a graduation trip, nor the earnest guidebook-toting aficionado, just me, a patched up red wilderness experience backpack and the 1972 “hitchhikers guide to Europe” with vague plans to eventually meet up with my buddy Trevor who had gone a few months earlier (keep reading) and working as a waiter at a seaside something in England and seeing all these bands we loved at big muddy festivals.

At the risk of an extended digression, (& unsurprisingly, documentation of this trip exists in poems, paintings, two photographs, a wine label and at least one but probably more podcasts telling stories about getting deathly ill at Oktoberfest in Munich after hitchhiking from Amsterdam, meeting up with the Bad Yodelers band and being (yet again) a sort of uninvited guest on their band tour being a “roadie who didn’t do anything but smoke hash mixed with tobacco – yech”, then meeting up with Trevor in an idyllic fairytale town, picking grapes, gathering chestnuts for sale, partying in old castle dungeons, carousing with more people than should fit in a Citreön, a wild “new wine” festival [censored], hitchhike back to Amsterdam hostels & coffeshops, a bus to Belgium, a hazy ferry to England, rainy expensive London with Hare Krishnas and bad decisions and couch surfing (again) with New Zealanders (and an Australian who was convinced he was going to carry on a dozen beer steins for his flight home) after watching red dwarf… We ended up in Miami after hurricane Andrew on a cheap Virgin Atlantic flight – where we drank more than our airfare of fancy liquor & bought a bottle of scotch for a friend Who (yes, again) would be hosting us on his couch – on a fraudulent credit card. Then came all night Denny’s nursing coffees, Halloween hilarity, caught in thunderstorms, meeting sketchy friends of a sort, trying to exchange a Canadian hundred dollar bill which had been hidden in my boot for months, soggy and unvaluable, adventure down to Key West meeting neither Jimmy Buffett or Hemingway but eating some conch fritters, then a drive-away car delivery towards Dallas with at least three police incidents including a very thorough search on alligator alley none of which were nowhere near as frightening as dropping off the car to the very large, very agitated (and wearing very short shorts) recipient who was ummm concerned & confused about why the trunk wasn’t filled with a certain white powder and “who are we?” and why we were demanding he gave us $300… Somehow we ended up at the Greyhound station, scammed a scammer into a two-for-one ticket for a bus ride to Salt Lake City, i’ll never ride a greyhound again I said as I sat in the loser seat next to the toilet but still I remember every bus station was playing a different Neil Diamond song.)

Continue reading Riff: Japan, working holiday visa, 1992 (& related circumstances)

Items: Hemp Shop for Custom Clothes in Pokhara, Nepal (2017)

While in Pokhara, Nepal in 2017 for extended Ayurveda treatment, i generally, wasn’t able to go out and explore aside from a haircut/beard trim (all the oils from the treatment or a little unwieldy so I switched to a great mustache) and another time to get this magnificent custom-made, hundred percent hemp outfit made at Sabitri Hemp Shop (map).

I sort of explained all the advocacy work I’ve done for commercial applications of hemp cannabis over the years with Hempenroad film, dozens of articles especially about hemp in Japan, the “Practical Guide to Cannabis” for policymakers”, but really, *this wasn’t my gig* rather i was there to enjoy and support.

here is the storefront with a few premade wares on display and double sewing machines in front making new things

The owner was a jovial friendly sort and i had a good time explaining what i wanted and being measured.

Specifically, ordered a short sleeve collared shirt with a trim fit made to wear untucked, and a pair of trousers with the waistband finished like I like it and back pockets with buttons and all the little details.

seen here with handmade flat cap by Mavili (from Georgia – the country, not state – purchased at Lonsdale Quay and traveled all over with)
Continue reading Items: Hemp Shop for Custom Clothes in Pokhara, Nepal (2017)

Post’d: “vintage” postcard home from CJ81 scout camp

Vintage DaveO postcard from “Canadian Jamboree 1981” CJ 81 in Kananaskis Country, the summer i turned 11 yrs old (i was probably the youngest on site and needed special permission but ya know i was a keener as they say).


Bikes, canoes, beavers, creative handwriting… In other words, i haven’t changed much since :)

PS Funny thing is, I was back home from camp for a week before it actually showed up… Kind of defeats the purpose but great artifact

Dossier: meet Rasika, postcard artist in Sri Lanka (also ink stamp and videos)

in bed, making postcards with tea in Sri Lanka

While in Sri Lanka for extended Ayurveda treatment, and later rambling a bit, I met an earnest young artist named Rasika specializing in postcards, diligently hand-painted and reflecting visual motifs of his culturally unique homeland.

a variety of Rasika’s handmade postcards

I, unsurprisingly, purchased many many postcards from him and struck up a friendship. He would come to my villa to work on paintings and I would sometimes visit him at his stand at the market in historic Fort Galle.

I mailed many of his postcards around the world so hope his spirit lives on refrigerators and in shoeboxes and scrapbooks as well as in hearts.

Rasika’s card (along one from Stick no Bills) on a fridge in Utah

I purchased him a special ink stamp as a token of friendship and he also help me acquire a return address stamp.

Continue reading Dossier: meet Rasika, postcard artist in Sri Lanka (also ink stamp and videos)

Artifact / Riff: d!snëy Tom Sawyer Island (brochure and notes about h/yippie occupation)

I have only visited Disney-branded theme parks twice, both at the *classic location* in Anaheim, CA, USA.

The first time (1979?) stands out as it was on a trip with my Mom, aunt and various cousins in which we went to Salt Lake City and then to Anaheim, staying in hotels, eating room service, pay-per-view hotel movies and whatnot. Most significant though was auditioning for a game show, two iirc, “children’s versions“ of Jokers Wild and Tic-Tac-Dough. {artifacts exist and will be shared under separate cover}.

Have you visited Tom Sawyer island? Were you part of the occupation? What’s there now if anything? This is a blurry photo, blurry like my memories

Anyhow, the park itself I found a bit hectic and crowded and preferred the quiet corners: enjoying a Carnation milkshake, hitting a shop which embroidered my name onto a floppy hat, and the Country Bear Jamboree – also recall something about a jungle cruise and a tiki room and riding a gondola which fit my speed moreso then Matterhorn or Space Mountain with their long lines and short attention span. Oh, Caribbean Pirates, and Haunted Mansion… It’s all coming back to me now.

Anyhow, I suppose fitting with my nature, Tom Sawyer Island was my favorite. I wondered, “how was it that a place was left mellow & leafy, not built up and not filled with noises and lights in amongst this jumble of manufactured excitement?”

This impression stuck with me and it wasn’t until years later, mentioning this to (I think) Larry Harper who told me about a “y/hippie occupation” of the lil island in the 70s. Unsurprisingly, this was well sanitized from the “official corporate history” of the uncompromising, brand-conscious company but of course, various recounting exist. A link round-up follows below.

Anyhow, why we are here is: Going through my archives, the only Disney ephemera in collection (so far at least) is a brochure (not sure what the purpose of a brochure is since you’re already there and I don’t think anyone buys the golden ticket just to go there) of the humble island.

Continue reading Artifact / Riff: d!snëy Tom Sawyer Island (brochure and notes about h/yippie occupation)

Riff: blueprint for a creative process / Vancouver Stories (prezo plan)

The “origin document“ of Forgotten Vancouver Stories talk

Projects of all kinds, a talk/presentation in this case, usually start with some kind of plan… (seems obvious so i’ll explain further).

In this instance, this is the *origin document* of what turned into a talk for Pecha Kucha night Vancouver “All-Star edition” at Vogue Theatre in the 20 slides for 20 seconds each format. e

Later, the “slides” became part of a longer form version at “Poets, Punks and Revolutions: Forgotten Vancouver Stories,” Northern Voice in a three-dimensional mixed media environment (campfire on stage, easels, record players, a comfortable chair and so on.

The idea started at a sort-of-secret-hideout with single malt, in conversation with a (now-former) mayor of Vancouver, his chief of staff, and the CEO of a significant company. Realizing the mayor didn’t really know a lot of renegade Vancouver stories, especially around counter-culture, I riffed off a few and later thought might be useful, amusing/educational/entertaining, or whatever for a wider audience.

Continue reading Riff: blueprint for a creative process / Vancouver Stories (prezo plan)

Abode: Tsuchida Cottage (*old* street view)

Regarding Tsuchida cottage / house: as mentioned in previous “Japan cottage musings” videos (Tsuchida Yard & Garden & Generational Home), from the 1990s up until a few years ago, the “big house” was vacant and had fallen into disrepair as evidenced by this screenshot from Google Street view.

You can notice Ryoko’s tool shed with its charcoaled yakisugi walls in the foreground, as well as directional traffic mirrors and way-finding/ distance signs to no place in particular.

The Garden too looks rather forlorn.

Ryoko and Father with Shinto priest performing ceremony on the land before house renovation

The house was completely renovated keeping original character, “bones” and many details but upgrading well… everything else / work by our family friend Morioka-san and his company AC studios (more about this in the “kura introduction” dossier). 

So much has changed, so much more will evolve.

Memento: Dad’s #Expo86 passport

After my dad Lorne H Olson passed and we sorted through his papers, I took custody of a few various pieces of paper ephemera to document and curate as is my custom.

I’ve share a few bits and pieces from his life and next up (since today in anniversary of opening) is his passport for Expo 86, the worlds fair that was a *big deal* in Vancouver.

As it goes, I have kind of mixed feelings and memories about this as my parents had recently separated, I ended up in Utah with Mom but got a Volkswagen bus and returned for a summer of hijinks with my pals.

I recall two of my younger brothers had season passes and more visits for sure (perhaps they’ll chime in), and also recall that with my older brother, we had been at inaugural concerts the fancy new domed BC Place (Bowie, Gabriel, Tubes + Guess Who at a BC Lions game) – I had adventures skateboarding around the new stadium, rode the Skytrain (ALRT) from New West (before Surrey extension, rambled around geodesic dome Science world… {From when I was about 12-3 in Whalley, I started skipping school and heading downtown to spend my paper route money on records at Odyssey Imports, Collector’s RPM and other record shops on Seymour and Granvilles St. what not… But I digress…}

Continue reading Memento: Dad’s #Expo86 passport

Items, observed: Camera and Radios (various), Okayama

Items, observed: Camera and Radios (various), Okayama

Items: Observed / camera and radios (various), at a café in Okayama, Japan, Aug 2020

#daveo50 (spectacles, various, vol. 2 / modern collection)

#daveo50 (spectacles, various, vol. 2 / modern collection)

Spectacles (modern collection) / with accessories 

I’ve bought boats for optometrists
Trying to see more clear

Paid for orthodontists
for kids of ophthalmologists

Sent the work of opticians
to unknown recipients

Examined construction of lens
from a bifocals dented nose

Understood refraction more than options
conglomerates of industrial design

Still evidence glinty abounds
enough to make a mobile

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Personal Archeology – #daveo50 (spectacles, various, vol. 1 / classical collection)
Daily Ephemera, Oddities, Artifacts, Mementos, etc
2020 6.26 ~ 8.16