Tag Archives: diary

Schemes and Dreams for Year of the Tiger – Reiwa 4 / 2022

oh hai, just us talking about stuff like scrapbooks and schemes

+ Schemes and Dreams for Year of the Tiger – Reiwa 4 / 2022 + 

No surprise whatsoever, Dave, surrounded by scrapbooks, well-designed books, unfolded laundry, impressive selection of washi tape and a vessel of homemade miso – and feeling a little tired – looks ahead to 2022 with schemes and dreams including: 

  • compiling/creating a book called “a circumnavigation, of sorts” with freeverse poetry, snippets of diaries, scraps of letters, forgotten lists and possible scribbles; 
  • (the usual of) taking care of health and being a great husband and papa; 
  • making more scrapbooks and collages; 
  • maybe even some paintings of post boxes, payphones and portals. 

Plus tidying up digital odds and ends, stepping up some skills and figuring out how to space out and rest and relax (per Doctors’ orders).

Ichiro makes an appearance as Dave also sends a special *hello* to those who are dealing with some health challenges including uncle in Michigan, a young postcard maker in Sri Lanka, and Larry sensei, and possibly you. 

Finally, after reviewing a litany of scrapbooks of plans, poems, correspondence and other oddities from years past, offers encouragement to share your intentions for the year ahead and reflections on years past in whatever medium you fancy. 

Oh yeah, calendars and sweater thanks to Shawn P.

just staying alive, yup

Reiwa 3 / 2021 Recap of Intentions and Annotations (with my darlings)

On the big screen in Vancouver <3

Recapping my intentions and annotations for Reiwa 3/2021 with my darlings. Oversharing and whatnot but we’re all sorta friends, right? Lots of honestly and bits of laughter. Big dreams, tiny schemes, life admin to ukulele and most points in between.

Revolutions not Resolutions.

Fondly, us xo

Diary: Festive Goodtimes at Tsuchida Cottage (w/ drum set and banquet & pals)

3 of us, always

This re-cap *should* be a few days ago, but some things get squished between others and sometimes time for documentation to take a break. That said, a quick recap of a busy few days around Christmas time.

Note: Christmas is *sorta* a thing in Japan as a starting point for New Years (which is the big deal). Some people evidently order chicken from a chain resto, others exchange gift, there are Santa decorations around, not much of the religiousness and folktales. Anyhow, this is technically my 3rd straight here at Tsuchida Cottage. The first was pre-Ichiro and i ordered in food and stoked out M and F in law and wife with prezos and established some traditions of sorts with a tiny tree and a roaring fire.

Last year 2020 we had a strange errand to do in a nearby town (concerning an abandoned crumbling house, a missing uncle and other conundrums) coincidentally on Dec. 25. Me, wife and Ichi all got terribly ill :( and with the passing of F-i-L’s mother, the tradition dictated a sedate New Years as well. So this year, i wanted to set new traditions, and holy smokes we did (and of course i took on too much) and show my thanks to in-laws and buddy Mac and his lovely GF. We also invited some friendly ladies to join our festive board.

Anyhow, was several days of prep during which i was *struggling* and then Dec. 23rd was Mae Mae’s rehearsal at our home which was a great chance to use our unique floorplan to full effect with the whole band fitting in easily and i even sat in on drums!

Then Dec. 24th was a big one… i’ll let myself take over for re-cap.

stealth mode and not

Enter in blue, Exit in red #StealthMode #Santa

Just back from my naturalistic Santa Claus performance at the nursery school.

I’m so custom made for this. And at 5 foot 9 with a 32 inch waist, I am a “big guy” 🙂 I told the kids I eat lots of vegetables to keep trim (after i joked that I only eat reindeer)

Each of the students got their own bit of special attention with eye contact, a few kind words, and a present. lots of kids wanted to touch my uniform or my beard as well.

Of course many photos were taken but because of the kids in them, can’t really share them. Soaked in all the dopamine goodness I could.

method actor (and cheeseball)

A few kids cried, our little guy looked at me with a look of bewilderment, all the kids got a special Santa convo and a present & my 2+ months of beard growth allowed me to be truly authentic and bring some joy – indeed, I am truly a method actor :-).

The kids asked some questions but fortunately I had clever answers.

Yes, I will have this gig as long as I want it. #NeighborhoodSanta

Meanwhile back at home

front room, ready for goodtimes
Ryoko doing her elfing

Then on Christmas eve, we wrapped and laid out gifts for Ichiro (after a day of prepping food). He was noticing all the changes in the house with trees and lights and different foods and was wide eyed at it all – and doing the cutest hand gestures to emulate the blinking flicking lights.

calling baba and gigi

Christmas morning, in-laws came over and over hot bevvies with opened gifts. Ergo:

Ryoko and I received matching pyjamas! So warm and cozy and cute. Thrilled.

M-i-L received a puzzle of 4 generations of her (Fujii) family visiting the matriarch at an elder’s home with Aunt, Cousin from Nagasaki, cousin’s 2 little girls, wife and Ichiro in the middle of all the ladies. (recap of outing). We also made a puzzle for great granny, aunt and cousin.

F-i-L received an Adidas track suit made for lounging around (chilly) Japanese houses. We loves to hang at the computer and follow Shogi (a sort of complicated chess) matches and this will comfy and handy for forays outside to check weather and laundry etc.

Ichiro was loaded up but most importantly with a drum set (yeah it seems like i got it for me but really…)

Booking studio sessions tomorrow, pre-order to get signed copies of his debut EP “Flyin’ the Flannel” by Viking Samurai, Ichiro Stanley / papa will be at the merch table with fanzines & headbands

So much fun to set it up and now we have my sorta kit (floor top, high hat, snare) and his in the front room along with piano, baritone ukulele, electric keyboard, and basket of percussion.

Ichiro with mouth fulla orange

Then back to the kitchen… for a final manoeuvres. Kitchen is not my wheelhouse but timely advice from brother Anders and buddy Lance alleviated the anxiety and fortunately magic wife had helped prep most of the stuff the day before (including gravy and eggnog!) and we laid out stuffing (made with homemade chicken stock, mushrooms, baguette, celery, carrot, onion etc), a turkey (which turned out perfect somehow), brussel sprouts (acquisition thereof chronicled elsewhere) with bacon from R’s alma mater, broc/cauli mix, a variety of bevvies, etc.

Snapshots of food follow – self-explanatory (for time being at least):

Buddy Mac came with wine and a pork belly (see above) from his freezer where i shipped the turkey, sausages, and ham. We cooked it on site for the almost-final course.

Ryoko had tracked down some fancy charcuterie too. It all turned out great with pleasing conversation and interestingness as most of the foods were “first time” for attendees.

Oh we used some of my Mom’s “fancy china” and had ordered silverware and cloth napkins for proper table service for 8-1/2 diners (^ see above gallery if curious).

The woodstove was cranking the whole time as was Charlie Brown Christmas music followed by a variety of Joni Mitchell, Cowboy Junkies and Iron and Wine.

Mac and Manami stayed over next door and had breakie (pork belly scramble) and fancy egg nog coffees next morning. Then i collapsed :) Fortunately most the dishes were done night before by elves while i was in bath with Ichi.

Was all so great which is why i am remembering it all here. Pardon brevity, good night.

Diary: switching modes, miso & last trip to the post office

Well I’m pretty wiped out from the last bunch of days but glad I was able to step up for the family and friends for a good time despite a few setbacks with my health and too many projects.

Switching holidays from Christmas to New Year’s here at Tsuchida Cottage

(Don’t eat this orange, there’s plenty more inside)

Family outing to the post office because that’s how we are.

Still can’t decide which one is cuter. Guess it’s a tie. I’m completely smitten daily.

3 styles of nengajyo / new year post cards in the last batches (for this year).

About 300 total between international/domestic family & friends plus wife’s business and associates.

All handmade/stamped with affection. Grateful for an oddly fantastic year.

It’s the year of the tiger after all. Not sure the significance but I used the stamps liberally nevertheless. meow

For final holiday maneuver, must break down the last of this turkey.

I don’t really know what I’m doing but… guess take off the meaty bits by hand and then simmer the carcass for stock? With the leftover celery etc.? Strain it & bottle/bag it? Let’s try (Half in a big cooking pot and half in the slow cooker… Anticipating six hours)

We made Miso last May 4th and stashed in a ceramic vessel found when tidying up tool shed.

Holy smokes! Miso turned out great! No mold problem, not overly salty, great texture and mellow yet bright flavor profiles. Just took a little small sample but will try in larger quantities over New Year’s. I feel like I really earned a Japan merit scout badge today.

Meta Note:

Noting I’ll end up with about 216 posts at my mixed media creative life archive (you are here) this year (not including ones that were backfilled/backdated). Not bad for a Gen X slacker/new pappa – especially considering everything else that went on this year.

Hoping to review/recap my 2021 Intentions + Annotations soon (typed last year with coffee) – already have a few notes scribbled for 2022 (mostly less paperwork and big projects, more just creating)

This last year had the curious nursery school project, the hugely satisfying house reno project, and the (unsatisfying) emigrant tax project (including a complicated dominos of transactions). Plus did lots of work on my health situation (i deal with #MECFS).

Plus loads of mailouts, supporting friends and charities, but did take on at least 1 too many projects.

Should i give myself “grades” on the previous list?
i.e.
ukulele playing B+
Japanese writing C-
pickling/fermenting A-
postcard store C+
great pappa/hubbo A+ 🙂
etc ??

Diary: Closing Books with Errands and Dreams

If I can make it to 20 steps for my cozy bed to the kitchen, I can have a homemade eggnog and espresso + a ridiculous breakfast of fantastic leftovers – oh but it’s so cozy here! PS xo

Made it (with stollen)

Closing Books of sorts

i love making lists and *trying* to mop up everything nicely (of course never quite works out but hey…)

Over next few days, gonna hit up a seitai session, do some pick up/drop off paperwork for wife’s business, mail out some more New Year’s cards, hopefully drop specs off for new lenses (again), finish up this year’s misc scrapbooks, + release a new video (done). Close the book.

[Update, a day later]:

seitai – check
Kinome errands – check
new years cards – in process
scrapbooking – not yet
video release – done
mae maes video – almost
glasses – not gonna get there
closing books… sorta

Observed on Errands

On an errand to a community center. Where two phones are, where two phones once were & a really nice copier. 10¥.

¥1100 lunch / not sure how it’s possible to be this fantastic. Wife and kiddos lunch plates were great as well. File this under “lousy photos of usual food“.

Bonus of a happy lil boy (note injury by his eye from a table collision and on chin from a floor tom drum)

Been Meaning to Call you

Just to note that I’ve made a lot of phone calls to vocally express fond greetings of late ~ but also have run out of batteries #mecfs and trying to mop up a few projects by the end of the year… 

What I’m trying to say is, “I’ve been mean to call you” and eventually I will. Ergo:

One big question remains for this year “will I get all my browser tabs closed?“ I will not answer all lingering emails however, that’s assured.

Intentions, not Resolutions per se

Also: maybe watched my *beginning of the year type writing out of intentions, themes and musings* for Reiwa 3/2021? Going to try to recap in the next few days. “Let’s go so we can come back.” Weird to say (i guess) but really a mighty year overall. (I foolishly live streamed the session via Facespace and due to a little bit of incidental background music, the video is locked in a steel cage so I’m chalking that up to stupid lessons learned. Open source, open content, fair use ahoy!)

Kei Truck Project

Kei truck dealership guy came by the house today with brochures about a dump truck kei for wife (she’s an arborist and forking out big loads of trimmings every day is a bit much), but sadly dump truck models *only* come in white and with the same crappy seats.

Was hoping she could have a green color to do some branding for her business (Kinome) and comfy seats for sometimes long drives but no go. The “regular“ kei-trucks you can get the extended cabs, better seats and colors. The dump back is the critical part though. Sorta like below>>

Of course the aftermarket/specialty market has all kinds of customized models including colors, lift kits and fancy wheels and stuff but we’re trying to be cheap and cheerful and off the rack.

Oh, this is Ryoko’s business, Kinome. I’m super proud my wife is part of a small cohort of women-owned small businesses doing “rough“ work. Most is fieldwork, followed by teaching hands-on classes but increasingly more and more landscape design (which is great)

Food Annotations

Forgot to tell you that for dinner last night, took goatfarmer’s housemade focaccia bread, piled it with stuffing, turkey and gravy and made first hot open faced turkey sandwich ever for wife and kiddo.

A note from Christmas dinner: I loved making both moka pot and French press coffee at end of meal for folks to make custom eggnog/coffee/espresso/Bailey’s/Kahlúa concoction. Everyone was so confused/surprised/pleased :) I also explained how the humble mokapot is the *very pinnacle* of Italian design :)

Good Night, you are a marvel

Oh that’s bedtime for me. If I owe you replies, messages, notes, favors etc., I’m working on it… Please know I’m super proud & impressed with what you’re doing and especially glad for creators making interesting pods, vids, paintings and poems. Self expression is everything.

Open w/ care indeed (this scrapbook is an archive of 2021 inbound correspondence)

Good night the Internet, thanks for the amusement today.

Diary: Seeking Brussel(l) Sprouts, Finding Lobster (+ other festive prep)

Memo: Today, i am *braving* the wilds of Okayama (our minor provincial city) in search of brussel sprouts, yams (not sweet potatoes, *yams*), celery etc for festive goodtimes.

As you will notice in the dispatch i sneak a mention about Ichiro’s Christmas present and yes, discuss my magnificent Santa Claus beard as i am clearly *A Method Actor*.

clearly a method actor

Updates:

The Japan Agricultural outlet was almost bloodsport of grandmothers jockeying for produce. Survived.

Somehow I came home with celery that’s over a meter long, a daikon radish almost the size of my leg, and a whole lobster + intended brussel sprouts & variety of potato/tubers.

tubers, various – and squash

One note, 95% of our groceries come in a weekly delivery service from the co-op (not a cute little neighborhood co-op but like a national co-op) but some more obscure/specialty things required a little bit more adventuring. I really don’t leave the house aside from the post office, hospitals and nursery school.

Festive times impending at Tsuchida Cottage / arborist wife perks equals Christmas tree, cut yesterday (from private land by Oka-san) – its sappy and prickly (and rare!)

Feeling really grateful for a well -timed, well-received – very welcome and unexpected gift that is sparking up the Festive season with Transit goodness. Beside the sweet Translink sweater came a scarf and toques

PS will get a picture with the 3 of us in matching @TransLink toques soon.

Finally:

daikon and celery measured upon request (90+cm)

and tree “installed” with wooden braces, heavy rocks/stones in a crockery vessel (which recently held umeboshi)

Bailey’s Irish Cream arrived by courier, Kahlua acquired, cutlery ordered, various schemes considered. Bill Janovitz’s Christmas shuffle playlist tested. Carry on.

Diary: Catch-up with Mochi, Scrapbooks, Postcards, Framing and usual tasks

new postcard series, “Global Postboxes (mostly), Red (usually)” for the postcards club members

Quick hits from last week or so – have a load of things *want* to do before end of the year (as always) but trying to prioritize gracefully and accept the days as they roll in.

What follows are reminders of various unrelated to “big creative projects ™” from last lil stretch, here to remind me (and future me) of all wrangled through during the ups and downs.

Father in law checks the steamers as neighbours pound mochi rice behind

Mochi making day in Tsuchida neighbourhood (at the little community center where their late grandfather Ichiro used to perform with his accordion… We still have the accordion but it needs some repairs). Steam rice, pound rice, each eat with sweet beans.

Took some snaps of the community agricultural processing sorta warehouse i’ll maybe curate eventually.

Besides the usual dishes, laundry, and tea… Finished epic Beat hero video & prepped some rather gorgeous “Postcards from Gravelly Beach” for some kindly (and lucky :-)) supporters/customers.

Of course, I’m really the lucky one. PS You can get in on the fun by ordering postcard sets & art dossiers or sign up for my monthly “postcard as a service” for $5+/mo.

Note: On my list for next year is to think about how to step this project up (or not)… do i stay the course? add WP “coffee” button? add woocommerce? (finally) start etsy store? start shop!fy store? i dunno. want easy, low stress all the money is distributed to various charities and causes {+ paper, ink & stamps} – advice?

2021 correspondence scrapbook, cover

Also did a wee bit of scrapbooking… Specifically properly archiving all of this year’s general correspondence.

Continue reading Diary: Catch-up with Mochi, Scrapbooks, Postcards, Framing and usual tasks

Diary: DIY Firestarters, Vinegar, side cart… (+ usual supplements and hospital)

What follows are simply sundry odds and ends from mostly late Nov, (bit of early Dec). 2021 with an emphasis i suppose on a few DIY projects as we continue to settle into our reno’d home, doing loads lil tasks and looking forward to each day. Pardon, brevity and repetition, this is me chronicling the usual days of a poet-storymaker+house-husband+oldish-papa, doing my best.

First off… Making fire starters in the car port with paper egg crates, sawdust & paraffin in a sorta double boiler on a canister stove.

One of these in the woodstove with no other paper or whatever and a single light and you are good to go. Works so well (though next time use soy wax and also recommended by others: dryer lint).

Also from the DIY file is persimmon and ume vinegar, freshly decanted / will filter in bottle in a few more weeks. Such natural macrobiotic goodness.

Flashback to decanting vinegar:

“& voila / persimmon & ume vinegar decanted >> In a couple weeks will filter & bottle (bottled some ume cordial & syrup while at it)

Filtering persimmon vinegar while listening to @TBeanpod / Seems oddly appropriate and glad you were brave enough for IKEA because no way I’m going there :-) if it can’t be delivered or bought at the recycle shop, it’s just off the list”

Another quick DIY project… A little rolling cart for the kitchen for fruit and serving tea and drinks and what not. Ordered used, delivered next day, total about ¥3500 ($30 USD ish). Casters on everything!

Next up, some hemp canvas panels to go over the drafty doors that were skipped over in the renovation. We hung hooks and cut bamboo poles/rods/.

We eventually need a couple of curtains for some view windows but want to get those special made by the noren makers of Katsuyama. 

Memo: I just folded the laundry (yup again) and now onto dishes. Thank you for your support of my creative projects of late.

Related: Made video with books which arrived by post incl about Hunter S Thompson + Neal Cassady 50th anni (sent / signed by daughter with postcard photographs by Carolyn), and a dude in Scarborough who published letters to friends while traveling the world (sound familiar?)

Lots of videos coming out, don’t expect anyone to watch *all* but if you’re really smart, you will :-) #notaplug

Super fun/strange, got a call on not-so-secret-but-no-one-ever-uses Japan VoIP number *and* it was a wrong number asking for Etsuko-san. Replied “I’m just a regular guy named Dave”. Anyway, was my excitement while organizing supplements for next fortnight & watching hockey.

Put in another big order with @iHerb / A company which continues to amaze me with their incredibly fast (free!) delivery of unique items – although they’re definitely having some “out of stock” issues

PS Got the laundry folded (yeah i know i always say this), nursing a cold so I think going to a special event tonight is going to be off the list… was first time to go out in well, forever – however have persimmon vinegar to bottle and/or start on New Year’s cards + vids to edit > tmrw online meditation “retreat”.

(Another day) gotta get ready to go to big city hospital for a bunch of scans and tests and what not #mecfs …

Thanks for hanging out while *sorta nervously* get ready by sending out little dispatches. Wishing best days to everyone wherever & whoever you are. be your own revolution

Lost in translation and somewhat translucent but back home in bed

File under “things I love”: this new heavy duty, cast iron, small footprint, front loading, side cleaning woodstove in our cottage in provincial Japan. Cozy and safe. With an arborist wife, always have a stash of heavy hardwood to burn – hot & slow.

Stash the ash in the compost and brought in a new little stack of wood.

Anyway, getting towards the end of the year so rocking out a little projects to finish up strong. This afternoon is another doctors appointment, hopefully the last for the year.

Tomorrow is some picture framing festival and some Santa Claus voice recording, the following day the Grannys from the Silver Center are coming to clean. 

Good morning and good night from our home , Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama, Japan.

Connecting Generations with Letters, Books & Ferments – Japan Cottage Musings

Pausing in the Kura barn from arranging dongles, cables, tripods – trying to upgrade tech aspect of telling stories – Dave starts with Kiana Brassest singing in the background while adding notes about decades of story making & thoughts about continuing with vigor.

Then into a recent Osera magazine cameo from a fermented foods tour (including saké, beer, cheese, wine, miso, shoyu…) in Maniwa, Okayama (which is also sorta son Ichiro’s first publication). 

oh! a curious cameo of us in Onsera magazine learning about saké making from a handsome gent in Maniwa, Okayama

Next onto recent books by post including:

“Waiting for Now” world-traveling “Scarborough dude” Ken Bole *often very* candid letters from Japan, Nigeria, Thailand, Canada etc to friends and family (with numerous coincidences and intersections with my own life).

connecting generations and traditions with letters, books, postcards and rambles

Waiting for Now” available via Blurb (part 2 available for preorder) & Check Scarborough Dudes DicknJanes pod diary etc.

“High White Notes” – David S Wills’ brand-new literary biography of Gonzo writer/journalist renegade Hunter S Thompson – available from his Beatdom publishing imprint + riffs include namechecks for Dr. HST’s book of letters “Proud Highway” and references to Joseph Conrad (re: Importance of dedication to art),  Henry Miller (re: Big Sur etc), and Jack Kerouac (re: enemy of my enemy is my friend – if he could get write about drugs and get published…)

“First Third” – beat, prankster, railroader, hero “Adonis of Denver” 50th anniversary of Neal Cassady’s partial autobiography, inscribed by his daughter Jami Cassady on behalf of Neal Cassady Estate –including postcards with noted photos of, and by, the elegant poet, photographer, lover and muse Carolyn Cassady – with the aim of “Keeping the legacy alive” ++ a bit about Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters Further bus.

Oh yeah a reference to Brian Hassett’s cool “Hitchhiking to Kerouac” book in there too with stories about Carolyn Cassady…

Be like your heroes of something… photo by Wang Ping (screenshot from a FB post obv)

Finally, a whole rundown of poets Gary Snyder and Wang Ping spending time together at Kitkitddizze in Sierra Nevada –working on translation, amplification and edification including coffee, Han Shan poems, Hanko stamps, sons Gen and Kei, Lagunitas IPA and gyoza dumplings and cowboy steaks, the history of Axe Handles poem (and translation thereof), Snyder’s new book “This Present Moment” and me at “home” (finally) in a red velvet robe with coffee cup by potter Marty Thurston Kendall of Utah knowing while our journey is our own, there is precedent for path before (like I can be 91 hanging out with my son Ichiro, living well and making poems in a barn).

Gary Snyder and sons Gen and Kei kicking back at Kitkitddizze homestead with Lagunitas IPA and dumplings by poet Wang Ping (who took the photo)

See more at @Ping Wang’s Youtube – especially this video about Axe Handles: and website: http://www.wangping.com/ and see also translated “Flander’s Field” (Canadian) John McCrae to Chinese.

More Kiana Brasset at (I guess, sorta need better link or…? anyhow) met her on the Tracks on Tracks trip.

Moo cards / various sizes and styles, each can be unique = get some https://refer.moo.com/s/gravellybeach

Also, a postcard from a friend wandering in London, a new batch of Moo “friendship” cards [get yer own]

Always more more more projects coming along…

Fondly, dvo/uw

Tree Measures Time (with patience & art)

so much history right here for me and all of it witnessed by this glorious gingko tree – photo by Ryoko Olson, painting by me

A journey of 30 years starts with a single act quitting a terrible mushroom farmer job and hitchhiking to a cow farm to shakedown gear & head into eveywhere. 

Years later, you meet a remarkable girl, throw a raging party with international renegades, goats are swapped for the cows, the espresso is top shelf and the gingko tree measures the changes.

Postcards available on site (at Rural Caprine Farm, Mac Kobayashi, farmer)

PS in reply to a comment, keeping here for keeping:

Yeah travel gets complicated and strangely enough, amongst all the “public health conundrums” and just been in one place for a long time, I’ve had the most incredible 18 months of my life, I almost just accidentally. But Japan is a wonderful place to visit, it’s easy to get around and such a variety of geography and culture and everything from ultra-modern to old-timey coexisting next to each other.By the way, in my endless folder of “almost finished but not quite” essays to put up on my website is a practical guide to traveling while dealing with chronic/complex illness… A few airport/airplane/travel hacks (for lack of a better word) I’ve used to skate around the world while dealing with #MECFS etc

My world switches rapidly between black and white and Technicolor depending on the hour. Do you have this one in your collection yet? Do you know anytime you see something of mine you’d like, I’ll make you a postcard of it. I’d like to imagine I’m on your refrigerator

Diary: Sea Legs Under Me (making videos and audios)

Yup, accidentally a fisher-person with “made in Greece” fisher’s cap and a fishing vest (gift from Cmdr Bob) perhaps foreshowing a future hobby :) oh that’s the wood stove behind me, now with safety fence – its so great!

+ finding stride, making things and preparing for others +

Yeah, don’t know, maybe you noticed but im making a lot of audio/video recently, and semi-importantly – trying to step-up my technical production standards. It’s not really my forté. Requires lots of adapters, extenders, dongles and testing… I just like to do the part where I tell stories.

First, a snappy yet functional outfit to fit the autumn rain (rare here in our area), a bite to eat, another coffee, half an hour of paperwork (during which I try to ignore all the emails I haven’t replied to and resist the urge to edit another video clip I have on standby about a few new books I received my post), and go sort-ganize to get ready for another shoot tomorrow.

This next dispatch introduces and shares some artifacts from my 1996/7 documentary film about hemp in all it’s forms. specifically the segment from Olympia WA’s capital dome in the midst of California’s groundbreaking proposition 215.

setting up all the lights, mics, cords and tripods etc isn’t my fave part of the project but i’m sorta figuring it out – since this photo, put “sof boxes” over the lights and really relying on a couple of iPads and lightning lav mic as the Canon DSLR with fancy mic isn’t getting along with my flow so far

Will set up the clip in studio, roll the film clip, and come back with a few pieces of ephemera, catch ups about some of the faces you’ll see & foreshadow the following week’s live Q&A chat with hopefully a special guest or two if I can figure out some technology. Ugh.

I’m at the hospital for most of the day on Thursday which means Friday is going to be a rest and recovery day.

fondly, dvo

PS have you watched my recent videos/listen to recent audio? No big deal, just think you might enjoy.

Here’s me messing around setting up the studio – with all sorts of cords, dongles, tripods, lights and mics – in prep for an Uncle Weed Storytime shoot.

Diary: notary tasks & musings

Just a little bit excited because we have/get to visit a notary public! To drop a significant amount of ¥ for a stamped single photo copy of a gov-issued document to send to a different gov (a Canadian tax agency if you’re curious) so can check off appropriate boxes. This, dear people, is the career choice I missed out on.

I mean, being a notary, (mostly) you sit at a mahogany desk with an assortment of stamps and embossers, possibly a magnifying glass – mostly for effect, and people come and give you money, you stamp things (after looking at them first of course).

Noting, in some jurisdictions, its basic, i.e.: the “mailboxes etc” franchisee is a notary, or remember when i worked at Kinko’s, there was notary services (but not sure anyone ever used).

Some places though, it’s rather expensive and complicated but when you need a notary… you really need a notary, kind of like an emergency locksmith (another great skill because you can double as a jewel thief).

Related: My Mom at times was a notary in state of Utah and I have her embossing certification stamp – all heavy and metal – but being an honest Cub Scout, I would never think to circumvent proper guidelines and use illicitly. I do use for arts and crafts from time to time. (If you want to see evidence, you’re going to have to ask nicely).

Here in Japan, if one were to become a bilingual notary with certified (by embassies etc.) translation services, would be a really sweet gig.

I might whisper this into my son’s ear each night in the bathtub. Might also be something about being an “emergency locksmith” as noted above.

Folks who imagine what emigrant / “ex-pat” life entails have a strange impression that American Express offices still exist &/or embassies are helpful outposts.

But “NO” is only answer for any service/question/request/anything from the Canadian Consulate/Embassy here in Japan.

Aside:

Note: this photo isn’t technically at the same time but since I mentioned him, here’s a cute picture

Well, my son just blew me a kiss on the way out the door to nursery school. Yes, I’m doing really good at parenting & teaching important things. Thank you for asking.
So this means, change out of my luxurious pajamas into trousers & possibly a tie for my big outing to a notary.

Update: the notary office was the fifth floor of a nondescript building with various usual plexiglass separators, metal desks, fluorescent lights and trays with pens and stamps. The finished dossier was four pages & about 15,000¥. Importantly, I won the “best business card” game. I mean I really have the best cards going anywhere and I always win this very important ritual in Japan. {Plus I want them to remember me because we often need these sorts of services. Look at me, relationship building :-)}

Tea/juice made from pine needles

Back home after a stop at a stationery store, folding laundry and drinking pine needle tea.

Thinking about pals Cam, Chris & others making lovely progress in their professional endeavors. Cheering from the sidelines. Next: organize paperwork to send to gov offices.

I *really* took this snap to look “executive” and share with a friend for a laff (cause I’m far from any sort of executive-ness)… & Yes I’m actually in the stationery store restroom and I am not wearing a tie (obviously). but, these posts look better with some photos added so here we are

PS While at the stationæry store, I picked up a sweet new ink stamp from the discount bin, as well as yet another roll of washi paper masking tape.

I also have a video shot last week in the barn, but then kind of went into “crash mode”. Wanna finish that up before it’s too “stale”… It’s no big deal, it’s not like anyone’s waiting anxiously for me riffing topics about CCCP passports, miracles, Ginsberg’s “Howl” on red vinyl. [Retroactive update: this video “poets, passports and postcards in the Cascadian consulate” is now completed and available for your viewing amusement]