Tag Archives: projects

Diary: What Comes Next? Shambling along on Summer schemes

What happens next? Summertime schemes…

Siding into slacker summer projects at Tsuchida Station

So, the mysterious “operation turtle” is as wrapped up as gonna get
The “healing ramble” project is nervously, bravely & quietly going out into the world at random intervals

Caught up on the “postcards as a service” supporters and dossier customers – a few friends to return correspondence but easy goodtimes

I’m staying on top of the laundry & i tidy up & sortganize like Japan’s version of Marie Kondo :) Continue reading Diary: What Comes Next? Shambling along on Summer schemes

Diary: 3 wooden stick projects (sign post, postbox, wind phone)

Mounted three pieces of raw wood into Tsuchida tsuchi (soil) with concrete (or is it cement? – which do you mix with sand and water to make the other?) for 3 different, but vaguely-related, projects:

* sign post with arrows pointing distances to favourite/special places (there is a list but…  need to re-earn my orienteering compass badge so I can point the signs in the right direction. Resisting the urge to be really obsessive about this but worried more engineering-minded friends will come double check my work and you know, if it’s not within 2° of accuracy you know I’m going to hear about it  – I can hear the “well actually…” in my head already. And then any US people who come will be confused by the KMs as well – sigh!)

* post box for (un)secret messages the kura barn >> atelier, lounge & Cascadia consulate

* phone to the wind as a shrine & refuge for conversations with those passed or possibly lost {further evidence}

PS Transplanted two trees today. Super fun being arborist Ryoko’s assistant and father-in-law’s “co-worker”. Yeah, used a shovel and a wheelbarrow and *everything*.

Yes, it seems I’m really “nesting” and getting ready to live here forever.

Diary: Grateful for hanami picnic (& projects finishing)

Downtown Okayama – a canal a nice walking pathway with public art and benches / I also love the covered walkable shopping arcades… It really make a lot of sense and rainy cities say… I don’t know, Vancouver. They’re handy here more for shade then showers

Grateful for the usual days (amongst the tumult) ~ Spontaneous picnic along the canal in pleasantly provincial Okayama. 

The happiest I’ve been to see a DHL truck (those who know, know), expensive price for menial tasks

A few BIG projects recently and no doubt wiped me out despite the dopamine of “finishing” something. So, after a (thought at the time but… really not) final step, we purchased a picnic for a spontaneous hanami along the canal in downtown Okayama. 

Just woke up from a nap and has that Napoleon Dynamite thing going on

Of course these days, a day out in public isn’t common but we found an empty bench and enjoyed the blossoms falling and each other. Noting the “usually” in Japan, hanmi (flower watching) is a big deal with elaborate picnics, jousting for prime locations and often drunken revelry – honestly, this is more my speed :). 

weary from a big project with loads of paperwork and complications (and revealed  of some distasteful truths and misgiving) but ahoy i’m here and in love

Note: Indeed, we buy each other hats… Possibly “too frequently”

Typing Intentions + Annotations (with coffee), New Year 2021

Typed for the record and placed on the altar of importancy

Intentions (some, not all) and Annotations (various)
for 2021 / Reiwa 3

Did a little live streamed hang out while banging out some big picture themes and a bunch of practical to-do tasks {as well as a note to self}.

Fiddled with Lettera 34 typewriter to get it operational and then talked my way through various big thoughts and practical plans for the year ahead including a “note to self“ that I won’t get all these things done but I’ve *come so far so fast – so, so “steady on davey, steady on.

Anyway, lovingly – if not perfectly – typed on hemp paper on my erstwhile custom letterhead / and now up on the altar for the kami to help.

Video: Come spin through the video spiel if you have a notion. {It’s over on the face space to see how I got to this point}. Let’s try (gets rolling at :20 min after i silicon up the machine)

{embed not possible due to background music it seems / incidental fair use?}

Summary: Evolutions, not Resolutions, slowly slowly > Your creativity is not going away anywhere, you have decades ahead, first build a foundation & then castle that’s above

The Results ^ note: please lend me a hand – whether it be practical or encouragement – I am wide open to advice and good vibes, truly.

“Elf Care” and Arts + Crafts / Japan Cottage Musings

Dave riffs about “Elf Care” in tumultuous times along with personal archeology from a cottage in Japan including life update about baby and wife, plus “doing what you can” – in this case making arts and crafts and sort-ganizing.

Shared examples of projects are: books of postboxes and paintings, scrapbooks of travel ephemera, family photos, and virtual learning with certificates, as well as upcoming Jack Kerouac story making workshop.

Finally offers support for artist who need a like, subscribe, comment and support. Fondly, Dave (plus plenty of sanitary face touching :))

Riff: creativity in solitude(ish) from experience

I went from being very social and active to often housebound due to a chronic and complex illness, and spent extended stints sequestered at Ayurvedic clinics & various hospitals …

Finding yourself cooped up due to public health situation? Your solution is: digging into projects which maintain your mental acuity and move your fine motor skills but also, very importantly, produce something in the end.

Like: making scrapbooks of life ephemera, organizing letters and photos, writing down your stories, make a podcast, read war and peace (or similar), write a novel (desert solitaire or similar), make some songs, write some poems, compile your journals and diaries, embark on “personal archaeology” by sort-ganizing your old report cards, certificates and participation ribbons / put them in binders with sheet protectors or make a shadowbox… I can go on and on but I think you get the gist.

Or this is a great time to take an online course about something you dig (I recently did a Japanese book culture course). Many universities have all sorts of free courses (start at open culture or Internet archive) plus you can just learn something new on your own via other folks like you, i.e.: how to make Lo-Fi beats, how to play the ukulele, how to paint with oils… IOW, Get started on something interesting which can be a new hobby and produce some neat artifacts,rather than just trying to level up on a video game.

Verily, choose activities with intentions / of course, chill out but consider watching a specific classic epic movie (ask me if you need some tips) rather than sifting through nonsense to binge (and in general minimize mindless, high-twitch screentime).

Look at this as an opportunity to do all those little projects you’ve *always meant to do*.

Also, letter writing is cheap and cheerful and immensely satisfying, especially for others who are routinely shut in (elders, disabled, remotes etc.)

If you need someone to cheer you along or give you some more ideas are examples, of course I am friendly if a bit slow sometimes.

I will note that it’s totally up to you what do you do and all that, I’m just encouraging expansion of your brain through art and culture and creativity – and im speaking from so much experience.

All the hugs, your possibly-favourite uncle

Photo Trevor Erikson

Meta Notes: Japan Travel organized + upcoming *almost finished really* riffs

If you’re curious, I put together a category in my web archive for “Japan life/travel” to round up all the various riffs, transport videos, train rolls, diaries and museum galleries i gleefully assemble. It’s an ongoing process but hey, I’m not going anywhere.

Still have a lot more museums and train stuff to share (not surprisingly) but really limit my screen time too short sessions of productivity.

So much to share with you though! Especially some sorta olden stuff about:

  • Galleries, exhibits & museums in Japan, SF, & Nepal + a visit to Subpop HQ in 2010 (not to be confused with visit in 1999 ish)
  • Ayurveda treatment in India, Lanka & Pokhara
  • Artifacts from Palau, Yap and Guam which have been on my mind again recently
  • Tour with The Matinee in Ontario, 2017 (or was that 2018?)… 

Oh, I’ve also been tidying up an archive of Vancouver Olympic “meta coverage” meaning coverage about the coverage and media about media if you know what I mean… More to say about this in True North Media and Olympics category including a live twitter coverage of an interesting CBC panel #NoteToSelf

Also tuned up a section called Transit Chronicles which consists mostly of twitter riffs while rolling around Vancouver 2008-2012 ish.

In the meantime, here’s stuff about Japan so I have somewhere to point people to want to ask me about “where I am” “what to see” “how to do stuff” etc. etc. – keep in mind, I am a “inaka/country boy” – well really I live near a sort of forgotten provincial capital city which is just perfect in my mind, and don’t really know anything about Tokyo or Osaka and very little about Kyoto… but there are loads of resources about those places.

I know more about small cities, rural/farm experiences, scenic trains, remote hot springs, fermented foods, and post offices #theusual

Clearing out the Archive of A/V Artifacts

You’ve likely noticed I’m clearing out the archives of partially finished & fermenting audio and video projects from over the years/decades.

Just a few more left, including:

* Crowdsourcing Community Projects like Tom Sawyer preso at SXSW (crowd-sourced – natch – slideshow video atop edited audio)

* Social Marketing Kung fu workshop (four or five part lightly-edited audio with freeform tactical riffs on all my erstwhile start-up sparking wisdom)

* Healing Journal (as I’ve reached a certain level of acceptance with this debilitating consortium of syndromes, putting a few more video and audio journal pieces, as well as some written narrative, in hopes of educating and inspiring other people, and just for the “permanent record)

* Lost Choogle On episodes (still deciding whether not to release these, as one is maybe a bit too personal and a bit intense, and the other is a super weird montage of all the leftover bits of audio smashed up with songs, snippets and spiels)

I’ll keep cutting and stitching them together, if you keep on watching/listening. Are you on the bus?

Artifacts (youngtime): Science Fair exhibits and narrative

Science Fair: Prince Charles elementary school, artifact round-up
Science Fair: Prince Charles elementary school, artifact round-up

What follow is a collection of photos from Science Fairs at Prince Charles elementary school, Surrey (Whalley), BC, Canada, with various annotations. Onwards:

Grade 4, Trolley Transit

Science fair: Grade 4, Trolley Transit
Science fair: Grade 4, Trolley Transit

I had just transferred from Harold Bishop elementary to Prince Charles shortly before and was determined to “make my mark” and put together this project which foreshadows the ALRT / Skytrain construction in Greater Vancouver (if you look close at the map, you’ll see the proposed line), as well as documents the historical legacy of streetcars (still my fave mode of public transport), and shares some various Buzzer news updates and other transit intell and ephemera. I was awarded 4th place in the grade – while noble i was determined to be on the podium each time thereafter.

Continue reading Artifacts (youngtime): Science Fair exhibits and narrative

Thinking about my next creative projects…

Thinking about my next creative projects:

1) Get Nesta (cabin in Jamaica) promoted for rentals

2) Sort-ganize & spruce up daveostory.com (need helpers)

3) Clayoquot blockades artifact roundup & essay

4) Remixing poetry and cassette recordings from my rambling Grandpa’s life

5) Finishing up a bucketful of half-finished Choogle On podcasts

6) Mop up and combine all those stories & poems to make some great chapbooks

7) Get big frames on my static montage art and make prints available for purchase

8) Same goes for my painting series from Gravelly Beach, Europa and of course, the Uncle Weed book

So many projects are 90% done, but the last 10% is always the most challenging.

But before all of these, which by the way, are not listed in any particular order, gotta concentrate on health and healing and taking it slow.

Tis hard when the creative ideas are flowing but the body can’t manage to get out of bed.

Must think in glacier-like timelines rather then the spry immediacy I became accustomed to for my first 43 years.
#Heavy #slow

Freed Weed ~ “Exploring Vancouver’s counter-culture landmarks” in Megaphone mag

Here’s a piece I’ve wanted to do for some time which published in Megaphone Magazine #55 June 11, 2010. Megaphone is “Vancouver’s Street Paper” and sold by independent roving vendors patrolling the city’s neighbourhoods.

My contribution (which came as a request for a “My Megaphone” 350 word piece and turned into a 950 feature piece) created the theme for the cover with this stellar artwork.

Here’s the article and i’ll add a few links and notes at the bottom for reference. Now, does someone want to make a Google Map of the spots?

Freed Weed ~ Exploring Vancouver’s counter-culture landmarks

Vancouver is always on some “best of” something list extolling luxurious skiing or exotic bistros, but it’s rarely mentioned amongst North American art culture capitals. San Francisco gets credits for its psychedelic pioneers and New York is known for art school punkers, with beat poets traipsing in-between the coasts. Even Montreal is known for jazz, comedy and underage drinking, and Ontario holds claim to the Group of Seven artists.

When it comes to art culture, I’m not talking about big dollar art conversation like “Oh, where shall we move the gallery?” Rather, I’m referring to the creative forces that bubble up from the underground, as evidenced in my wily ’80s adolescence at the York, Commodore and dingy warehouses in what’s now the yuppie enclave of Yaletown. (Of course, the cops were always there to shut the fun down —some things don’t change.)

You have to scratch a little bit to find this Vancouver where explorers found a cheap place to figure themselves out — back before shiny towers and grinning faces of realtors permeated the landscape, back before the teal-hued Expo daze, and even before the immortalized Gastown riots (we didn’t exactly miss out because the ghosts are still out there to inspire your renegade activities).

So put on your boots and get on the bus for a tour of Vancouver’s renegade past:

Magazine photo by @kateleg -- Inside magazine photo by @kk
Magazine photo by @kateleg — Inside magazine photo by @kk

I traveled several splendid seasons on Grateful Dead tours and never once heard about Jerry and the lads stirring up interest for a show at the Pender Auditorium with free shows at Second and Kits beaches on August 5, 1966 — naturally, each was shut down by the excessively diligent law enforcement. Of course, any decent ‘head will tell you about the legendary free show at Golden Gate Park, which happened a year later with throngs of civic and fan support.

Before breaking in LA, Tommy Chong toiled as a guitar player and promoter at colourfully-named Chinatown clubs: New Delhi Cafe, T-Cabaret, Elegant Parlour and Shanghai Junk — plus brought in future Motown artists to blow the roof off The Blues Palace at the (now sedate) corner of Broadway and Alma. After continual shutdowns (despite re-employing strippers as comediennes), he split town with the only Hispanic kid in town who he’d hired away from carpet laying biz to become the vanguards of Californian stoner culture in the ’70s.

Meanwhile, around the corner, a left-handed whiz-kid named Jimi from Seattle killed the hours while visiting his Granny by wailing on his guitar in a chicken restaurant before heading to England so someone would listen and give a shit about what he was up.

Blocks away in West End cabarets, my great Uncle Lorne entertained town dignitaries and miscreants alike as a lounge singer in a seedy but sophisticated circuit —as a kid oblivious to the violent underworld, I always wondered why he couldn’t bend the knuckles on one hand and covered them with rings.

Further out of town, the founding fathers of creative housing recently arrived from Finland in the 1890s stuck poles in the swampy land which no one wanted near the wild cannery town of Steveston and said, “This is where we live.” Generations lived on in net sheds, boats and ramshackle huts, creating their distinct community until authorities and land-grabbers tried to reclaim Finn Slough. The hardy descendants carry on—partially prisoners of charm and confusion over land claims—far from ideal, but somehow faring better than evicted residents north shore’s intertidal Mud Flats and even the recently thwarted land lease holders of Hollyburn.

Yup, my Vancouver isn’t the city of glass and resto-lounges; it’s stumbling upon the site of the Victoria Argyle Club—run by my ol’ dead Gramps who made sandwiches for pool sharks and olden slackers who never needed a job.

My Vancouver is the motorcycle shop on site of Bumper’s—a short lived all-ages club in Whalley where metal heads sneaking mickeys hung on one side and the grab-bag of punk/goth/new wave kids smoking cloves stayed on the other. No one much ventured to the floor except the seminal night when DOA, The Spores and my friends Abortions on Toast opened the whole world to the 13-year-old version of me.

Up King George a bit by the infamous bus loop was Stardust roller rink (apparently re-opened?) where 6th graders somehow were allowed to stay out all night copping feels and rollerskating circles to REO Speedwagon.

Just across the river where the ALRT used to end, I’d use paper route money to pickup a requisite punk camo jacket from the dingy surplus stores on the waterfront behind the Army and Navy store, the same one where my Mom bought clunky Chinese boots each year for the first day of school.

Now my boots haul me along the trail named for G7 artist (and WW1 battlefield painter) Fredrick Varley, who frolicked in the ‘20s and ’30s between Lynn Valley and Jericho Beach. The fiery Scot finally split town — 18 months behind on rent — after sparking the Vancouver art scene with the first schools and exhibitions in this industrial outpost.

I showed up at school most every day, hung out at libraries and even won the school science fair, before traveling to 20-plus countries learning the secrets of pilgrims and Templars. But never once did I hear about these Vancouver legends and connections. Discounted perhaps? Ignored? Who cares. I know it now.

My Vancouver isn’t the one where it’s often harder to get a beer than Utah, where clubs of hooligans thrive in reckless packs while a low-end live music house can’t get a license. Mine is the same one eagerly celebrated by foreign draft dodgers zipping across the border with Kerouac in their back pocket and even the chain smoking ESL students who pick here for some sense of intrigue and history beyond the glossy brochures.

And now this is your Vancouver too, whether you know it or want it. Get your boots on and find it.

Story by Dave Thorvald Olson

Photo by Kris Krug

Dave Thorvald Olson is a Vancouver-based writer, producer and podcaster. Online, he’s better known as Uncle Weed and can be found at UncleWeed.net.


Further Reading


August 5, 1966 English Bay Beach Bandstand, Vancouver, BC Grateful Dead (first free concert) — Lost Live Dead

Tommy Chong’s Vancouver By Tommy Chong — Cannabis Culture Sunday, August 24 2008

A rethink on West Lake cabins warranted – Like the Schleswig-Holstein Question. Some are easy. Like the Hollyburn Mountain cabins question. BY NORTH SHORE NEWS AUGUST 24, 2007

Urban Renewal: Ghost Traps, Collage, Condos, and Squats by Scott Watson — Ruins in Process | Vancouver in the Sixties

On Strawberry Hill – The hippie exodus to Canada from the United States was not a mass migration, but it was close. Is it time to rethink this period, then and now? BY CHRIS TURNER — SEPTEMBER 2007 ISSUE OF THE WALRUS

Vancouver History chronology 1970

Life reinvention starts with organization…

Life reinvention starts with organization – began sorting through epic pile of loose ends and dangling projects – slowly surfacing