Tag Archives: DIY

Diary: Homecooking at Tsuchida Cottage

Japanese dinner is usually many small plates and in this case, loads of small plates of vegetables along with the usual rice and miso

No doubt lots of folks the world over are getting re-acquainted with their kitchens while experienced cooks share tips and try new things. Indeed, so much sourdough going on in the world! 

We have a counter-top convex oven here at Tsuchida cottage now and aside for well-documented visits to ramen shops and coffee/cake stops, we eat at home. 

As such, here’s round-up without much in the way of annotations or context of some recent meals i happened to snap a snap of before digging in. 

Brother Bob USN Yokosuka sent a package of US food rations – mostly taco stuff but also tossed in some Twinkies for a laugh. i served one up the Ryoko with tea so she could understand the “american delicacy” :)
celebrating the arrival of all the stuff in the shed
Ryoko’s first taco salad (along with tacos but made the salad to use up broken bits of chips)
a little snack time with the taco chips and Lagunitas beer  from brother
a breakfast variety set
this was at a cafe at some point, some where but i struggle to recall where… oh after a library stop at a tiny cafe, that’s right (yes safe and sequestered)
Ryoko digs in at the tiny cafe after library stop
another dinner of tiny plates with the usual grilled fish, rice, miso, veg and pickled items – this is pretty much our “go-to” usual
“morning set” odds and ends and coffee coffee coffee

Diary: Coffee with views plus Ramen and painting preview

In today’s (really March 7th but hey…) edition of “tasty coffee in scenic places with Daveo” I bring you this glorious handcrafted bevvie experience & view of the Seto-nai-kai (Inland sea) from an olive garden (no, not that one, an actual one) in Setouchi, Okayama, ergo:

grinder with a view

elegant workstation

served with affection

Continue reading Diary: Coffee with views plus Ramen and painting preview

Diary: Kissaten cafés, sharp knife, drs observations and daily views

streetcar/ tram/ trolley (your choice) in Okayama

Amidst the “specialness” of life – which included of late:

  • trip to Nagasaki and all the glorious trains, building and museums  (well documented elsewhere)
  • Mae Maes spring concert in Tamano (artifacts to follow)
  • baby coming! (and related prep)
  • 10 years anniversary of Vancouver Olympics (which was such a big deal for me and i meant to do “something” to commemorate, but ya know, this feeling was overridden with ambivalence (but do have some notes and copy/pastes i’ll get to before 11th anniversary)

– is the “regular out n abouts” of life. These moments are treasure and, as memory fades, are quickly lost to the “exciting bits” never the less, i capture and archive for me, for others like me, for the little one, for the future, for the process. You know this already so behold, more of the usual: trams, coffees, meals, and various items spotted in the wild. 

Ergo, just things, observed / scenes of life in Okayama, en route to “seitai” treatment session:

* fine bicycle (wagyu burgers in bg) at sunny intersection 

* non-chronological aside but related / wagyu burger (with Ted) / as an additional aside, compared to 25+ years ago when I was first year, so much more international food available, to go along with the obviously fantastic Japanese native food… Would having pizzas, mighty burgers, lots of India/Nepal food, there are Mexican food places but i don’t wanna be disappointed – Anyway we do not lack for fantastic food even in our small city

* angled manshon apartment bldg, striking against the sky (this is parking lot for seitai sensei)

* ikebana and scroll at sensei’s office Continue reading Diary: Kissaten cafés, sharp knife, drs observations and daily views

Diary: Days go by – filled (mostly) with coffee, food and and sundry tasks

You could be forgiven for thinking that my life involves entirely eating delicious food and drinking fantastic coffee as you are somewhat correct… however, there is slightly more going on as i am  into the routine of “regular life” and doing things which I file under “life administration”. As such, some tasks (as much as I delight in the mundanity of everyday activity) doesn’t get documentation.

Not that these things are not interesting – but because in the diligence and action itself, there’s interestingness – but photographs aren’t always timely nor appropriate and in themselves, there’s not often a story to be told. Within this thought is why I enthusiastically and rather comprehensively documented everyday life when first arriving in a new place… As in: when you stay in a place for a while, the uniqueness of every day life fades and it’s easy to think that “I’ll do this another time” or “I’ll wait for something special” or “why bother?”

With this in mind, over the last few months of settling in my new home and life, I’ve remembered to fill up this “new white sheet of paper” with all the spectacular regularness of simple errands, neighbourhood observations, pleasant routines and out n’ abouts. Continue reading Diary: Days go by – filled (mostly) with coffee, food and and sundry tasks

Riff: Podcast non-best practices / to S. Pratt

In a message to Steve Pratt, a podcast producer and former of CBC Radio 3 who gave a stellar speech about “building the worst radio station” (at Northern Voice conf 2009) meaning breaking all the ‘norms’ to create something special (which he and colleagues did and got hosed anyhow).

Now with a podcast for brands company, he’s fantastically successful and podcasting is somehow a big deal (i was a wee bit too early and erratic) – i wrote him this note in reply to a post about “best practices” for podcasting at some point and some place. Can’t really recall where and when (not recently) but hey, here it is for the record.

Bonus: photo by Liz Hargreaves of “Steve Pratt prior to his talk Making the Worst. Radio Station. EVER. Here seen chatting with Robert Scoble and Kris Krug” 

Liz Hargreaves “Steve Pratt prior to his talk Making the Worst. Radio Station. EVER. Here seen chatting with Robert Scoble and Kris Krug”


Meaning to mention: I use the wisdom gained from your legendary “how to make the worst radio station in the world” talk when making my podcasts as-in: I never bother to give a URL, no sponsors, no endless reminders to subscribe and review, no “shout outs” – much of the time I forget to even tell the title of the show… This is what meta-data is for right? I mean people are smart… They found your show after all, I don’t need to rub it in and remind them with all the self referential “meta banter”.

I think: Audiences are self-organizing, and they know what to do – so, treat them with respect, keep em sincerely interested and all the rest falls into place. Fck stats, make pods.

Anyway, you are awesome, carry-on.

Diary: Starting off 2020 with Coffee and Classes etc.

A coffee break at “Tartan something or other” (not actual name) in downtown Okayama

So it goes, the festive season passes yet calendar stays busy with the usual sorts of things. Yesterday included returning books to splendid library, a few letters (Switzerland and Indonesia) to the post office, a stop for the best ramen, and a visit to a chiropractor and then a super good little (i mean little) coffee shop – like just perfect right? 

In amongst, we repaired/re-did a wall in Tsuchida Cottage, attended a parenting class(!), went to opera variety show, hit up Hatsumi-san’s piano recital, moved some brick around outside, printed more flyers for Mae Maes gig, talked to a guy about replaced some drafty windows, recycled plastic items, booked a trip to Nagasaki… 

Here is a variety of snippets collected along the way, with minor annotations as possible. 

we ordered umeboshi by the kilo – i love these pickled plums and nope to make them myself one of these days soon but in the meantime, order up in bulk! salty, sour goodness
one morning i awoke to Ryoko singing snippets of so many songs – realized she was tidying up all her sheet music/scores etc.
tidied up the Kamidama a little bit with fresh items to bring good fortune and happiness more and more

Continue reading Diary: Starting off 2020 with Coffee and Classes etc.

Impending Eclipse of the Sun / via Pig Express, 1979

+ + Impending Eclipse of the Sun ~ a DIY guide + +

Indeed the signs of an apocalypse are abundant but we humans are creative and courageous and will persevere for at least another decade or three.

Pig Express - community newspaper, vol. 1, February 24, 1979 - Eclipse of the Sun
Pig Express – community newspaper, vol. 1, February 24, 1979 – Eclipse of the Sun

In olden times, next Monday’s eclipse would be interpreted in a variety of ways reflecting scourges and flights and varieties of doom, whereas now we choose to observe for scientific and orgasmic purposes.

No doubt, those of you in the eclipse zone are scrambling to find the prescribe spectacles for safe viewing. For those of you who do not have those, may I present a DIY guide for making your own eclipse viewer?

Pig Express, vol. 1 - Eclipse Viewer Instructional
Pig Express, vol. 1 – with Eclipse Viewer instructional tutorial

While I prepared this valuable document in 1979, I suspect it’s still relevant as that scant passage of years doesn’t really count as “time” in the solar context.

This was my first blog/social media/publication endaevour along with Chris Goodman, Surrey 1979.

Enjoy and be sure to share for your eclipse viewing friends’ safety!

Dave Olson, publisher Pig Express

Podcast Workflow, Editing Tips and Episode Preview

A few podcasts in process and notes on production workflow and podcast making:

Podcasts in Process

Choogle montage – handful of clips which never got a finish (or a beginning), or were too loud, or too without context – i think they could be remixed into a unique show with some music and loops and sound bites from the clips – it’s kinda a mess and a vague idea but there’s something decent there – kinda of a LSD mop-up tray

Clayoquot series – a bunch of audio clips which are disorganized and possibly out of sequence. need to sort em out into episodes length chunks – there are a few show length chunks i.e. the logging/fishing interview, reservation spiel, and some other poetry and essay bits for Postcards from Gravelly Beach – literature show – UNDERWAY

Last voter in Canada – this is the old election show mentioned in the new election show – my experience voting and then a post-vote party with noise and commentary – a bunch of clips to sort, levelate and arrange but could be a gooder

HempenRoad – While on a mountain ramble, Uncle Weed recounts the HempenRoad film project, a mixed media travel documentary about the commercial industrial hemp industry in Cascadia in 1996.

SXSW – 3 flase starts on this preview and recap of 2009 sxsw and my F@ck Stats, Make  Art lecture

Lt Magnum – interview with US Navy officer back from Iraq and Philipines taking military life, seabees and beer

Tribute to the Fonz – My pal Gazoo died last April – i recorded my thoughts on the dock of Harrison lake

Keys to a solid episode

1) Tell a story (often requires rearranging clips to create a narrative – add some music to give the folks time to reflect and chill as needed)
2) Remove douche-baggery (yeah sometimes there are false starts, stupid comments, missteps, self-indulgent crap and people calling “dave” – all that goes)
3) Sonically comfortable (export as AIFF, normalize/compress using Levelator, then convert to .mp3, listen and re-export til it sounds sweetopian)
Download this: http://www.conversationsnetwork.org/levelator

Complete show pack


* Episode – 128K stereo mp3, levelated
* ID3 tags (title, description, lyrics, art)
* Album art (photo edited in PS or flickr/picnik)
* Blog post with show notes/links with footer

Workflow Summary

1. Record mucho audio on M-Audio Microtrak or iPhone >

2. Import raw files to iTunes and listen to raw clips while riding transit >

3. Ferment for 6 months to 3 years for “seasoning” >

4. Either a) talk someone into editing it based on my cuts, or b) use Garage Band to build the episode by adding themes, music, anecdotes and such

5. Export/listen/fix-it-up/export/listen – happy? Export as AIFF> Levelate > Convert to mp3 > Add Meta ID3 Data (title, descrip, album art)

6. Upload via to a web dir via FTP

7. Create blog post (free wordpress.com blog) with description, links, album art, etc. >

8. Publish and flow feed to Feedburner > iTunes etc. Announce to folks, have a toke >

9. Repeat over and over For the People!


M-Audio Microtrak – record almost everything on this – battery life is the weak point, otherwise very nice

Sony stereo mic – Same as Father Roderick – gives great stereo separtation for sound-seeing

Koss Sterophones – You are gonna have cans on a lot, get good one, I prefer Koss over any other i’ve tried

M-Audio Solo Firewire Interface and desk mic for home recording

BlurbNation | Blurb

BlurbNation | Blurb

Uncle Weed and Leo Laporte Riff about Art and Publishing Culture

A few months back, I recorded an episode of Lab with Leo at the greedy productions studios towards Railtown way. Turns out mine was one was one the last as The Lab was axed. But fear not, Leo is rolling on with myriad other projects.

Anyhow, in this clip (recorded by my amigo Bread who gets name-checked in the segment) we talk about my longstanding penchant for self-publishing, personal expression and artistic remixing or ephemeral objects.

Artifacts explored include: Pig Express, VOM Fanzine, Canada Punk History (with a handbill from the DOA, Spores, AOT show at Bumpers), Postcards from Gravelly Beach literature podcast (FeediTunes), cassettes by Shinji Tanaka’s “Scandoll” (from Tottori, Japan) and free jazz bassist Joe Williamson and friends (recorded in Banff circa 1989), The HempenRoad film project, and his well-stickered laptop.