Tag Archives: letter

Hockey Primer (for Seattle and beyond)

Hockey Lounge 4:20 24/7, immortalized at Olympic Plaza in SLC, Utah, 2002
Preamble: for years, mostly living in Olympia, Washington and later Vancouver, BC I wrangled a website called HockeyNW tracking historic and contemporary hockey culture around Cascadia including teams: Tacoma SaberCats, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, flashing back to Seattle Metropolitans,  bits of Portland and of course Vancouver, as well the in-line hockey teams i coached through a YMCA league in Olympia.

During this time my brother Dan and i (something) hosted the “Hockey Lounge” in Olympia, Washington – a speak / toke easy” to spread hockey culture (and provide occasional crash space for rock n roll bands – another story).

 
Some of the artifacts are shared in this archive, others might be eventually.
 
Anyhow… what I’m saying is: all of this was anticipating the arrival of another NHL franchise in the Northwest which eventually became the Seattle Kraken. Took a while and now I live far away but, recently shared a bit of an “hockey primer” with a friend who lives in Washington State who is a soccer/football supporter to share a little bit of culture and basics about the sport.
I don’t really write about hockey anymore and my “consumption experience” is generally solo, with coffee in the cottage in Japan, regardless, sharing here for posterity:
June 11, 2021 Hello [redacted],
 
Been meaning to tell you a few things about hockey and now it’s a really good time for you to start paying attention because it’s almost into the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I’m currently listening to Seattle’s “expansion cousins” Vegas Golden Knights game six against the Colorado Avalanche (who used to be the Quebec Nordiques) yes it’s a little bit confusing especially when you consider the winner of the series will play the Montréal Canadiens, who are from Quebec – Canada sorta / of course but the French-centric part and who shocked the hockey world by running over their long time rival Toronto (a.k.a. the centre of the universe) Maple Leafs and then swept aside the Winnipeg Jets (who used to be the Atlanta Thrashers) it’s things like this that require a good primer.
 
The good thing about Seattle Kraken is now Vancouver has a natural geographical rival. In the past, the other teams would all match-up with natural dance-partners and Van was sort of stranded in their own little glorious West Coast anomaly. As we’ve seen with MLS, having teams in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver makes for good times for supporters/fans/whatever.

Continue reading Hockey Primer (for Seattle and beyond)

Riff: about Tsuchida Cottage construction + vids

A few notes originally written to a friend as a letter in Feb 2021 riffing about the “Tsuchida Cottage” (soon to be “Station”) construction project.

Sharing here for my own posterity and remembrance, along with this video of the “wall raising” day (which also included the roof which you can see in this amusing time lapse video).

^ Above: quick video of workers pounding the wall joints together, March 2021

Riff: Notes from Tsuchida Cottage (soon to be “Station” as  the house is long and narrow and feels like a train so this is new “working title”)

Our construction project has started, 2 diligent sturdy men who are much older than you and I (likely), doing incredibly efficient rapid hard work with vigour and precision.

We set up a tea/coffee/snack station inside the house and another one outside, we took gifts to the neighbours in advance of the noise. We insisted, they refused, we pleaded, back and forth… 

The workers, fuelled by french press, gladly did an extra job since they had their adorably sized front loader & moved a bunch of boulders to fill in a retaining wall/drainage ditch without any complaint. A huge help as doing it with a tripod, pulley and a hand wheel dolly means three rocks is a hard afternoon. We gave them extra cakes for this. (there is a time lapse of doing a session last year with my tiny mother in law and pregoo wife, not a sturdy crew). 

When the HVAC man came to discuss the heat pump units (it’s an old house in Japan so no central heating of course and no insulation and a few rooms have these individual heat pumps which are heaters and coolers…) Anyway, told him I want one in my old grain barn which baffled him. {Keep in mind, each of these planning appointments requires all the formalities and tea service with a special cups and the correct “special” snacks etc.} Note: This gentleman has a slightly-dyed red toupee – still trying to hold onto his youthful style.

So I took him out to the barn/studio, up the stairs into the secret lounge and his jaw just about dropped when he saw my Clash London calling poster, stacks of records, 100 pound record player with an iron exoskeleton, a couple of lounge chairs, (he did not grok the exceptional collection of beat literature but that’s coming in handy for a Kerouac exhibition later this year etc. He *then* understood why this is needed/ wanted. But he wanted to put the unit on the wall which outside is the *perfectly preserved unblemished yakisugi wall* (I’ve sent along a photo in the past) but I explained that “the ancestors have somehow passed this barn down to my caretaking and this is aesthetic blunder is unacceptable so we’re going to have to put it here in this corner where no one can see it.”

He told me i have an old Japanese heart and as such, we will attach it to a beam that is prob older than the City of Seattle (colonially speaking) which is joined to the other beams without use of nails and screws so well, it’s not perfect but I will have a humidity control and heat pump and an olden barn to protect a lifetime’s worth of *valuable* books, records and papers.

I then asked him if the heat pump unit comes in something other than white, it turns out they also come in “off-white”. We looked at the catalog of all the different models and it was like the scene and lost in translation with Bill and Scarlet are looking at the menu of all the different kinds of meat and to the untrained eye, they all look the same. The catalog was 30+ pages of air conditioners that looked exactly the same – “The features were different” I was assured. I asked “don’t they come in brown or black?” But alas… not. I also asked if there was one with “a remote control that had less than 35 buttons” on it like maybe five buttons(?) but no, there are so many features but I want an on/off and a temperature control because I am a simple man. But robots win again. 

Anyway, here we are, doing a construction project and it is *completely different* than your construction project where everything picked with intention and care and custom made into a lovely glorious architectural masterpiece. 

In our case, we are adding to the tradition of houses in the generations before, and digging out some old pieces (for example a couple of 1920 era sliding doors for the entranceway), finding a few things at secondhand stores (for example a stainless steel sink/counter which will be the wife’s plant potting station), sourced a potbelly cast-iron stove which brought oooohs & ahhhs from the Japanese architect, scored several furniture pieces including a ultra heavy grand table from secondhand stores and brought down the total price of the project from equivalent of maybe 130,000 to about 90,000 with various resourcefulness (using numbers somewhere between CAD and USD as i can’t get my head around the flucuations). 

Told him we didn’t require television cable outlets, various other knickknacks and accoutrements. The kitchen will be more spacious but simple, not a bunch of fancy cabinets and a three burner stove (an upgrade from our two burner which reminds me of living in my Volkswagen van). Oh and a 2 part sink which was a shocking idea to Japan and required sourcing. I explained i need the space for dishes and space for making pickles – then i seemed brilliant.

Dream is Ichiro will come home with his pals and our house will be the “hangout” – with this in mind, also adding a handwash station right by entrance in a stroke of brilliance and a side access door for muddy kids and their gear. 

Bonus: for enthusiasts, a “slow” version of the time lapse video of wall and roof raising

Letter: from “Mr. DF” / London, 2007

Artifact: Letter from “Mr. DF” / London, 2007
Note: this note started a few days of hi-jinks with Dopefiend and me and Max Freakout including a barrage of podcasts 

See also: Uncleweed on the Dopecast #80 in London – Dopefiend podcast (2007) + Joints on Brighton Beach with Dopefiend and Freakout – Choogle On! #38

Letter: from A-Ha (band), SLC, 1991

Artifact: Letter from A-Ha (band), SLC, 1991

Received while busking with Chris Sullivan, downtown Salt Lake City, Utah > folded and dropped into guitar case with no comment /

Note: A-Ha is/was a popular Norwegian band with a huge hit “Take on Me” which still circulates widely #royalties

Artifact: “Bonanza Book” from CJ81 (Canadian Jamboree, 1981)

Artifact: “Bonanza Book” Trading Post Catalog from CJ81 (Canadian Jamboree, 1981)

Letter: postcard from Canadian Jamboree, 1981 (CJ81, Kananaskis Country, AB)

Artifact: postcard from Canadian Jamboree, 1981 (CJ81, Kananaskis Country, AB), front
Artifact: postcard from Canadian Jamboree, 1981 (CJ81, Kananaskis Country, AB) back

 

Letter: from Hotel Utah to family, ca. 1978

Letter: from Hotel Utah to family, ca. 1978 – cursive (illegible)

Quote: Farewell Letter > Gabriel Garcia Marquez

NOTE: For reasons of health, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia’s illustrious Nobel Laureate for literature, has declared his retirement from public life. He has terminal cancer and sends this letter of farewell to friends and lovers of literature.

This charming, beautiful last letter from the dying writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is too beautiful, heartfelt and inspiring to not read.

As such, read on and go hug, kiss and tell people you love them:

** Farewell Letter **

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability.

I wouldn’t, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful l of all I say.

I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express.

I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste 60 seconds of light.

I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep.

If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy.

To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.

I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves.

To old people I would say that death doesn’t arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.

I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken & the form used to reach the top of the hill.

I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his father’s finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.

I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.

Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last time that that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul.

If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say “I love you.”

There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you & that I will never forget you.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn’t wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.

Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them “I am sorry,” “forgive me, “please,” “thank you,” and all those loving words you know.

Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them.

Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.

Send this letter to those you love. If you don’t do it today…tomorrow will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn’t matter either, the moment to do it is now.

For you, with much love,

Your Friend,
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Post’d: Military, Conflict Correspondence (fill in the blanks)

Handy letter-writing convenience / with rules.

Stumble, Hurry! Hurry! (remix) – Items: Forgotten in Drawers (vol. 4)

Night Lake Diving (postcard) – Items: Forgotten in Drawers (vol. 4)

Night Lake Diving (postcard) – Items: Forgotten in Drawers (vol. 4)
Night Lake Diving (postcard) – Items: Forgotten in Drawers (vol. 4)

Telegraph from the Wonder Hotel (Urgent) – Items: Forgotten in Drawers (vol. 4)

Telegraph from the Wonder Hotel (Urgent) – Items: Forgotten in Drawers (vol. 4)
Telegraph from the Wonder Hotel (Urgent) – Items: Forgotten in Drawers (vol. 4)