Tag Archives: dan mangan

Diary: Photo evidence, Tintin, Unicorn, Dead shows + passports, typography, telephones / annotations from usual days

Why yes, I am very official, thank you for asking.

Licensed to hug with Diplomatic Immunity (adding to passport collection)

Entered the TinTin phase of Ichiro’s life:

Well blistering barnacles, no internationally minded youth misses out on that goodness that is Tin Tin, I have a complete collection including the “rather awkward” ones written in that *cough cough* colonial European mindset.

Hergé’s leather satchel of supplies

We’re enjoying Tintin in Tibet right now (and I’m up playing the friendship angle and downplaying the plane crash angle considering our upcoming travel at his fascination with airplanes).

Yesterday, after seitai, we stopped at a secondhand shop to purchase a couple more dining room chairs, shelf and whatnot… The secondhand stores here are really fantastic and we furnished our house in our eclectic style thanks to these treasure troves, but the point is: There was a model ship, triple masted, vaguely like The Unicorn, on a shelf and while we were purchasing the other larger items I said “and I will take that as well!” (pretending I’m paying in US dollars so I’m getting a great deal – macro economic currency humour is great right?)

Brought it home and a little guy right away realized that it was “just like Tintin” and the Unicorn. He examined it very carefully, which was a relief because he’s at that stage were smashing things is a lot more fun :)

Speaking of: here at my “creative life archive” (fancy name for a blog) scheduled on the 31st is a photo of me doing my best to dress up as tin Tintin in the crappy suburbs in probably 1978, my glasses kind of ruining the whole thing and spent the night trying to explain to people who I was… people would say “Rintintin the dog?” I would roll my eyes and sadness/discussed and stumble away with my crappy candy wishing i could go live in some exotic land.

Also at this aforementioned “don’t call it a blog“ is field notes from a Hergé museum exhibit in Quebec city with loads of his original sketches but even better for me, ephemera, his supplies, kit bag, inspiration items all that kind of stuff. Have you seen it? I mean I expect everyone has seen every post that I put out there so I mean, you must have :-) geez, there is even a [TinTin Fun category]

Photographic Evidence

Picked up 2 family studio portraits (1 of the three of us and 1 of wife as a young girl with mother, father and younger brother) we had matted, edged (filleted?), framed and holy smokes, so great! Fancy times & so worth it. Going to make a gallery on a wood panel wall soon.

One is the three of us is from the “time traveler“ series a couple years ago / matted with burgundy, gold edge and carved up wood frame and looks quite Taisho era: mysterious and majestic.

Time Traveler Family, v. 1 (this pose with burgundy-ish mat an brown carved frame and gold edges, such fancy!)

The wife & in-laws photo has kind of a mirror image pose with “lost in Showa” beige vibes + kimono splash. Both F-i-L and I have rather “serious/neutral” expressions, both photos have baby feet and Mothers with Fujii-family trademark short-cut hair.

Will hang up soon and will look so great. Next up: photo shoot with Grandparents and us all together… so we go on #AxeHandles

Hospital Switcheroo

Not of particular interest to anyone but, for the record: Finished hopefully-last visit to the “big city hospital” it’s shiny and efficient however from now, the diligent if a-bit-worn Okayama University Hospital with their MECFS program is my primary point of contact and care.

Reminder of this article about MECFS in The Atlantic (i’ve printed it and taken to Doctors) by Ed Yong is really worth reading to understand a bit about the weird medical conundrums which me and many many deal with. Oh and a great recap by someone called Heather about “10 things i wish people knew about ME“.

Grateful Dead Dave’s Picks

Trying *not* to buy too many records of late due to impending trip (more later) but the new “Dave’s Picks” Grateful Dead is from the Eugene 1990 shows, ergo:

Also Neal Casal “Illuminations for the Dead” which was made special for the set break music at the Grateful Dead 50th anniversary shows – instrumental, ethereal, atmospheric – but sadly Neal packed it in shortly thereafter :(

And Dan Mangan’s new offering “Being Somewhere” is en route, just missing “Postcards and Daydreams” to complete my vinyl archive including the 10 year reissues for “Nice Nice Very Nice” and “Oh Fortune”

Also listening to Television (as discussed in recent “Rock and Beat Generation” video – piqued by great article in The Ringer by Elizabeth Nelson, ergo:

Aside: Need to re-up my cardigan stash with 2+ decent wool all-around-ers.

Current are a little bit too shabby (even for my “weary/eccentric community college prof” style) & cotton ones are quickly becoming inadequate for season.

i mean, who is even who here?

Now, how do I do this without leaving the house?

Note: I like “aged/classic“ communication methods but what I don’t miss: long distance phone bills (remember being stiffed so many times cause i was the sucker with a Sprint card). And my seitai Dr just gifted me a classic black rotary phone! Will sit like a noble buffalo in the studio so i can call you whenever i can’t.

(pending) Book project

Pals have namechecked for #NaNoWriMo( which is awesome National Novel Writing Month campaign) but I’m not attaching my star to it because I’m physically incapable of sitting at a chair and banging out 50,000 words // my head has the stories no doubt but the body won’t cooperate so instead I’m using the month to assemble poems like Lego bricks and hide out in the barn

It’s really also a “mental reset“ from this year of endless paperwork, I mean so much paperwork and so many hospital visits.

The good news is: the recent medication/IV routine and seasonal weather changes here have given me a little bit of a spark / Summer was brutal, typhoon season crushed what was left of my head, but now it’s chilly, crisp and sunny. So aside from a neighbour (probably 3 km away) trimming their grass requiring me to close the window, I’ve managed to patch together a couple “good days” in a row. Just writing this though I feel like I’m jinxing it. But, I’ll eat my oatmeal and head to work at a standing bench desk with records playing and probably record somekind of meta-documentation (unsurprisingly) and see how we roll on.

So, recap: Planning on spending November in the barn assembling a book of poetry, with snippets of letters, maybe some musings, prose riffs… I’m not sure yet but… Importantly, I want the book to “look and feel beautiful”.

I’m not sure what I will do for publication whether that’s self/on demand, shop it out to a boutique publisher but it’s really important to me that it’s typeset to look timeless and dammit, gorgeous and be printed on paper stock with a nice hand.

I think I will add in some black-and-white Lomo images just for atmosphere in section breaks but stay away from color so it doesn’t become an unwieldy expense for people to collect/purchase.

Mostly I just don’t want it to look like that sort of “I made this book in Word and sent it as a PDF“ typography style if you know what I mean. Margins, gutters, typefaces are all very important but I don’t really have the true skills.

Anyhow, i’m making the book for Stanley (before he heads off to sea)

yes, he is all of this and more more more

QE2: notes re: endless duplication / over & done “London Bridge is down”

Sept 9, 9AM jst:

London Bridge, repeat London Bridge in down… after the codeword started at cavalcade of communications, back channels, telegrams to spark protocols which will outline choreography for A litany of arcane and vaguely mysterious (intentionally of course) procedures with various ceremonies, rights, processions and logistics in especially next 10 days, but beyond. 

A guardian “long reads” article:?London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death” I read a few years back In a bar in Malaysia (not that that matters) late it all out yet, watching today’s coverage, was surprised to see so many people fumbling for footage and talking about “all the footage we have in the archive that needs to be defrosted” I mean, really no excuse for that, 96 & post-c19.

Re: QE2, I wonder if she’s the most reproduced person in history including all the stamps, bank notes and coins, photographs, newspaper photos, personal photos, official portraits in offices and schools and hockey rinks etc.? The total is well into the billions or beyond. I haven’t got a calculator that big.

Other candidates: Gandhi, considering massive amount of banknotes circulating in India, but that didn’t start until after “independence“ and in 2016, common bank notes were recalled. Plus of course, those were seen in India only, not commonwealth. Lots of commemorative stamps for him but still not enough to bridge the gap.

So while the quantity of bills were spectacular, the longevity and multi-uses and global phenomenon of mass media and handy cameras certainly puts him on the back foot. Chairman Mao maybe? Or…

Definitely a lot of one dollar US bills made since then, especially if you add in all the counterfeit ones (not likekt used for illicit purposes but dor movie props…) Is he on coins? I can’t recall and how about stamps, definitely some stamps but again, missed out on the camera phones and mass produced newspaper heydays of the 1950s through the 90s.

(Trying to) also include photo of her sweet writing desk and I wonder how many writing desks did she utilize regularly? I mean that’s the *real* luxury after all / all that letterhead and so many fountain pens, envelopes for each castle/residence. I shiver at the prospects & possibilities.

used without permission for educational, non-commercial purposes

I think about all the effort (& expense) which went into changing official bank notes, stamps and portraits for Edward VIII for a reign which one was obviously very short-lived.

His family called him David but the country called him Edward 8, for a little while anyway

Friend D.S-C pointed out that Edward 8 coinage wasn’t minted because that process takes a little bit longer then bank notes, portraits and stamps and well, he’d abdicated before the mints were pressing.

Also pointed out how he acquired this lovely connection of George V and other unique/collectible bank notes under unusual circumstances (no no nothing fishy). Check it out:

Thanks Dave Stewart-Candy for this sweet collection

So many impressions of this silhouette and otherwise. No further commentary at this time, aside from what i’ve previously suggested: “if you make it past 78 with your marbles intact, you basically won life, the rest is bonus”

This album is “nice nice very nice, 10 year anniversary“ by Dan Mangan who you’ll find elsewhere in this archive

#AlwaysBeKind #NiceNiceVeryNice c/ @danmanganmusic

One more note: be on the lookout for the “Stone of Scone“ and whether it makes an appearance during the carnation which will come around in a year or so. Don’t know the significance or the story? Oh you’re in for a good one. Let’s just say it may very well be missing which will have significant significance for the people of Scotland.

Protocol Question: I attended Prince Charles elementary school (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) as a young lad… Do you think the name will be changed now? I’m just wondering if I need to update my LinkedIn profile and get my various science fair ribbons updated…

Scrapbook Session: snipping and sort-ganzing, Shimane + Kyoto (with troubadour records)

Sorting, cutting and organizing scrapbook items –  snapshots, insta-photos, fliers, brochures, stamps etc – from trips to Shimane and Kyoto in a historic kura storehouse barn (dubbed “Giggling Piglet Studio”) in Tsuchida, Japan.

Sort-ganizing ephemera from Shimane and Kyoto (with records) and cutting snaps.

While listening to records from Dan Mangan, Bob Dylan, and Courtney Barnett.

No chit-chat, narration or blah blah, just hanging out, playing with scissors, paper, scrapbooks, and cheap cutter knife.

Maybe you wanna hang out too? No big deal.

Gratitude Omnibus (with ukulele and K trucks)

A round-up for musings from the kura grain barn studio with several topics: new records, summer starts, fathers (various), mentors, Kerouac in Kobe event, construction (on-going), summer projects, healing ramble series, and of course Ichiro.

Note: Painting in background by my wonderful niece Hannah Olson

++ Name checks for Ken Bole, Larry Harper, Ed Saukkooja, Matt Theado, Bill Janovitz, RJ Garn, Dan Mangan, Fujita Takushi, Lorne Olson, Joe Strummer, Luca Fogale, Colin McTaggart… Plus a mention of the Seeking sustainability in Japan talk show w/ Walsh JJ and a couple of other radio/pod hits I did about the Olympics with outlets in Vancouver on CKNW & The Breaker News.

It’s a little bit messy right now to say the least but… Big moves in the kura barn studio >> now fortified with proper electrical outlets and a breaker box!

As such, re-ran some cords and connected a cassette /cd / usb player to my early 1980s vintage Yamaha amp and 100 pound record player.

Tested out with vinyl by The Weakerthans and CD by Hey Rosetta and USB by RJ Garn’s Retrospective. Cassettes are all bundled in boxes behind the chaos so waiting until the heat pump/cooler is installed to do a big rearrange including a new shelf for all this gear.

Will be all nice and tidy and ready for relaxing times when you come to visit #hint

Oh yeah, got some new records (shock!) I’ll share with you another time.

Memento: Reggie Watts and “Hootsuite Guys” / Tectoria, 2012

Memento: Reggie Watts and “Hootsuite Guys” / Tectoria, 2012

The early days of Hootsuite was a wild barrage of excitement and activities including a lot of semi-related speaking gigs which were on “my own time” but often relating to experience gained while doing start-up companies including this particular social media software project.

In this example, my co-conspirator and fellow vice president (me community, and him business development) Greg Gunn went back to Greg’s hometown of Victoria, BC (where i later lived for a bit) for a “Experience Tectoria” event which ran in tandem with the fantastic Rifflandia festival (for which we received VIP passes and a fancy hotel).

We did a Keynote on a Boat at Experience Tectoria (spiel with orcas and beers) – Roundup in the lovely harbour with “12 pieces of wisdom” learned from doing this and other start-ups. It was one of the funniest and most fun speaking gigs ever and, was interrupted as a pod of orca whales (seriously) was breaching off the side of the boat, so we could pause to see the grandeur.

There was abundant food and beer on offer during the talk, and at the end I was given a case of “bomber” bottles which, shockingly and only time ever, I had to decline as I had an opportunity to rush over to the music festival to catch my buddy Dan Mangan perform – at the time a rising star, now a solid presence, Juno-award winner and a start up founder himself.

As part of the programming, Reggie Watts also performed and had a chance to hang out with him for a “session” plus Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips came to check out the event (but sadly wasn’t at our talk – though i did say hello and later rocked out to his band’s stellar outdoor performance) – I also judged a start-up pitch panel, choosing a winner and went on to be at on their advisory board (Kiind / Giftbit).

Audio: Some years afterwards, some video clips surfaced, I extracted some audio, cleaned it up and released for educational use as Keynote Aboard a Boat.

PS Goes without saying neither Greg nor I are with Hootsuite anymore.

Pub: “Letters from Russia” (excerpt and art) – RainZine (Vancouver), 2010

Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Spring 2010, cover / art by Jer Crowle

“Letters from Russia” (excerpt and art) in Rain Zine (Radical Art in Nature) Spring, 2010

Cover art by Jer Crowle, also includes Kris Krug, Dan Mangan, Bex Apostoli , Dorian Taylor, Carla Bergman and Indigo

Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Spring 2010, flyleaf (art by Indigo)
Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Spring 2010, CD including Dan Mangan
Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Spring 2010, “Letters from Russia” excerpt and art by Dave Olson

Artifacts and Birthday Greetz to Dan Mangan, 2020

Musician and pal Dan Mangan shares a birthday (april 28) with my sweet wife Ryoko (he’s a year older) and while we were in birthday mode for wife, and in the the kura (barn) studio, whipped him up a friendly video with various records and posters of his and other amusements for his, and possibly your, amusement. 

Bonus: here’s me and Dan and (at the time) Mayor Gregor Robertson at a charity street hockey game in Vancouver (Five Hole for Food) in 2011(?)

And in the spirit of archiving, here are couple of pdf 1 pagers…

Rolling Trains and Trams in Kyushu + Nagasaki

Various trains and trams (streetcars or trolleys if you prefer) to and around Nagasaki on Kyushu in Japan including: Kamome limited express, several unique carriages (both modern and classic) rolling the electric tramway network, the classic Sea Side Liner (so pretty!) and more notes about “tokyu” class trains with comfy seats and lounge areas as compared to “super express” shinkansen.

No narration but some ticker scroll information and observations. Music snippets by Dan Mangan + Ryoko, and some coffee-house free jazz recorded live in Ubud, Indonesia. 

Artifact: Stanley Park “Scene O Graph” photo card booklet (and related flashbacks)

Stanley Park is the crown jewel of my sorta homecity of Vancouver, not just because its a huge urban park almost surrounded by water and jutting majestically into a working harbour and host all manner of artifacts from Japanese cenotaph, empty zoo grottos, running ovals, cricket lawns, pitch and putt golf course, totem poles and more more more… but because its *real history* is hardly know to most folks: First Nations for centuries, lepers, undesirables, loggers, “homeless”, fiends, hidden communities, lost artifacts and monuments (plus the stories behind the known ones), the construction of the seawall. 

Anyhow, this “Scene O Graph” photobook (found at Monastiraki shop in Montréal) captures a genteel and classic incarnation of the park. This is one version of the park, everyone has another.

My memories include petting zoo and totem pole forays at childhood birthday parties, sad Polar bears in grottos, “breaking into” the zoo late night in teenage escapades to tease monkeys, writing a story about walruses which didn’t exist, Remembrance day at Japanese cenotaph, illicit activities on most of the beaches, mediocre golfing, Vancouver 125th anniversary party with the mayor on tuba and Dan Mangan singing Robots, the windstorm which blew down so much and caused a tizzy in the city, more illicit activities in the woods, nonsense about “saving” a hollow tree, always finding a new trail, always getting lost when needed, concerts in Malkin Bowl, smelling roses, longboarding the seawall, riding seawall on a bicycle rented with someone’s lost credit card on a hungover New Year’s day… picnics, parties, treasure hunting. 

This book’s cover has a place for a stamp though i am unlikely to mail this (except to Jason Vanderhill but still i’d pack it in another envelope first). 

Continue reading Artifact: Stanley Park “Scene O Graph” photo card booklet (and related flashbacks)

Diary: Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing in Okayama, 2019

Christmas isn’t really an “event” in Japan, more of a marketing campaign and a prelude to New Year’s Eve which is laden with tradition, nostalgia and routine. It’s kinda my speed as i am def turned off by rampant commercialism quasi-religious sabre-rattling which comes around. 

Regardless, with new family (and more family arriving in 2020) i wanted to wrangle a bit of festiveness – also acknowledging been a long while since i had vaguely “regular” christmas and while this was atypical, established some new routines, scratched an itch… after all, with the turmoil in my life the last years, there is admittedly some misgivings and rather tough emotions which come around during all this hoolpa. Most importantly, got to show love and respect for wife and in-laws. 

PS You can see a bit of building up for Christmas and read a riff between a friend and i about this holiday in Japan in: Diary: Christmas Forthcoming / out n about and at home in Okayama, 2019

What follows are a few poorly-photographed artifact of activities from Dec. 24 – 26 JST. Carry On!

First off, Dec. 24 (christmas eve) we made dinner of grilled mackeral, squash, pickled cucumbers and tsukemono carrots, greens, miso soup, tea, rice, lotus root, and whatnot. Yup, not off to a very traditional start – ha!

Christmas morn, we opened our stockings (pictured above) purchased from a 100yen store ($1), nothing but the best! and enjoyed toast with cream cheese and my kaki (persimmon) jam which i am always talking about, and nashi (pear). My sock had snacks, Ryoko’s had expired 35mm film and a necklace and snacks. 

Then we went to post office (one of my fave activities of course) and i wore a Santa cap (borrowed from Ryoko who wore at Mae Maes Christmas concert) to the amusement of the post office staff and the kids at the grocery store which was our next stop. Folks are stocking up for New Years time during which many stores are closed or scaled back hours and folks generally wanna hunker down. 

Then we picked up a pre-made feast from a great lil cafe called Sakura-mi we had ordered a while back when we went on a little lunch date. Here’s the café’s post box.

And i got to make a fire in the wood stove. So yeah, post office and fire making in the same day! Pleased. 

Took the grub home and set up at parent’s house (next door).

Continue reading Diary: Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing in Okayama, 2019