Tag Archives: rambling

Artifacts: Europe Ramble, 1992 / 3 photos, 1 item

Artifact: Germany, 1993, Stuttgart with Jerrod “Spanky” Rowan on tour with Bad Yodellers

There was a time I went to Amsterdam with one way ticket arriving with $220 in a variety of currencies and travellers checks plus an emergency (entirely useless) $100 Canadian bill tucked into my boot, a backpack with an inadequate sleeping bag, butane camp stove (somehow allowed on the plane), a cooking wok (surprisingly versatile), comically coloured outdoor gear purchased at various close-out sales and 2nd hand shops, and other sundry items, but deliberately did not take anything of value including a camera – instead took a sketchbook which is filled with poetry, doodles and other whatnots, and a watercolour pad in which I produced several paintings.

As you might expect, I got up to many adventures by sticking out my thumb and ending up coffee shops, barns filled with drying ganja, a Gwar concert, being a “roadie” who didn’t do anything whatsoever of usefulness for the Bad Yodeller’s ill-fated tour, got deathly ill at Oktoberfest in Munich and related ridiculous campground. 

Then down to last few Deutsch Marks (noting pre-Euro), ended up meeting old pal Trevor in Rheinpfalz area where we embarked on fun nights in dungeons, bars and ruins, wandering forest with a giant dog called Bongo gathering chestnuts to sell in the endlessly adorable village of Rhod unter Rietburg and picking grapes – noting we were on different work crews and I fortunately got on the slacker team which included frequent breaks for wine and smokes and abundant cheese and bread and wine at the end of the day – including a couple of bottles to take back to stay warm in the tent/hayloft.

Then, after sleeping in haylofts and tents, partying at new wine festivals #secrets, a visit to hospital for a pal who couldn’t fly over ramparts and a ride with 7 crammed into a Citroen 2CV, we received our pay packets (after some trepidation thinking that any day we would be shook down by black-gloved immigration officials for illegal labor) came a hitchhike back to Amsterdam for usual unusualness, then a bus to Belgian for a ferry to England then a stretch in London which was cold wet and miserable, expensive and prone to bad decisions then via an dodgy credit card, somehow ended up in Miami in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. Following was even more ridiculous adventure of a drive-away car to Dallas, and rather shockingly we survived but, I digress…

All this is to tell you that: I have two photos and one wine label from Germany and one photo from London taken by a lovely Canadian girl we knew from “home”. 

Artifact: Evidence of London, “tourist photo” by Jenny Corrin (i was wearing Trev’s belt which i lost along the way, later replaced with another purchased in Jamaica)

There are several wonderful watercolours you can find elsewhere in this archive, as well as a “static montage” collage of ephemera Trevor created for me.

Artifact: Selling Chestnuts “Kastanien” with Trevor in Rhodt Unter Rietburg village in Rheinpfalz area of Germany – available by pound or kilo
Artifact: brochure card from my employing weingut. The boss man was the son of the son and named Uwe and had a band called “My Giant Funtime” – i had the cassette, i hope i find it. Had covers of Velvet Underground songs sung with Germanic splendour.

Momentos: USA University Road Trip (with Spanky and Kaimi), 1989

USA roadtrip, 1989, by 1974 VW Bus “Earthship”

In 1989 (iirc), my beloved VW bus criss-crossed states at a frenetic pace with long drives to Kansas City for Drum Corps, California for punk concerts, over the Rockies to Denver for The Who, a Vancouver trip or two in there, couple of Moab and then was wrangled into the epic trip starting in Utah to the US Northeast and swinging back down through the Midsouth stopping by universities and colleges of all times so a fellow named Kaimi could pitch his idea of selling flag T-shirts to various bookstores. 

The deal was: he would pay the bills, do much of the driving and other logistics and I was just along for the ride and providing the wheels.

USA roadtrip, 1989, Kaimi at wheel, Dave shotgun in 1974 VW Bus “Earthship”

Resulted in many harrowing nights in places like New Haven, Cambridge, New York City (where we weren’t allowed through Lincoln tunnel because of onboard propane and required a complicated turn around in the midst of traffic), a break down in Connecticut – replacing fuel pump with a random mechanic in his driveway. I remember driving on a graceful parkway then seeing a horrific accident unfold in the pouring rain storm. Sneaking into all sorts of university dorms for clandestine hi-jink, being mysterious “aliens” from the west marauding in this renegade van. Seeing a wonderful girl I knew from Utah working as a nanny in Connecticut (rip Janel H.), making friends with the father of the house (he let us sleep in the basement because I was reading Jack Kerouac), buying beer with fake IDs and never a second glance, (racks of it drinking back while crossing midwest and through Penn), stops at Wrigley Field in Chicago (no game :(!), Sun Studios in Memphis (met a fine lady there), watching Kaimi spin spin spin with endless energy. Oh, staying with his family around Washington DC and going like a “show and tell” item to his younger brother’s high school class (to much acclaim :)). The van getting broken into and ransacked while parked in Washington DC to see the Smithsonian. Must’ve been a couple of other significant roadside attractions along the way. 

 
USA roadtrip, 1989, with Spanky in front of Sun Studios, Memphis (obviously)

Pal Jerrod aka Spanky was also on board (as kinda Kaimi’s svengali) and brought his guitar so, along with my bongos, we did some busking here and there ++ saw Fugazi play at All Soul’s Church, DC and REM play at Merriweather Post, Maryland, just missed secret Rolling Stones at a frog-something-named-bar by Yale. Rambled campuses and saw how the system of private patronage in the East works – they ain’t no smarter, just better connected / mostly. Skullz and Bonez.

USA roadtrip, 1989, Spanky and Kaimi (grumpy) out back Sun Studios, Memphis

I had no schedule nor expectations except to just go go go and so we did. And, behold I have evidence.

USA roadtrip, 1989, in front of Wrigley Field (we were told there was a game but nope, White Sox were playing across town)

Artifact: Grandpa in Uintas, 1940

Robert L Stevenson, Uinta National Forest, 1940

My old dead Gramps Robert Louis Stevenson rambling around the Utah’s wild Uinta mountains in 1940. 

Rolling Elsewhere: around Oslo, Norway by boat, train and car

Ambient “space cruise” around generally Oslo area of Norway by boat, trains and car. That’s it. No narration, action, plot, theme or whatever, just dig the views and ride along. Sound is “as-is” aside form Ilgudin Trio (from Russia, recorded live in Ubud, Indonesia) added whilst in the car. Roll on. That’s it.

Thanks to Mathias and Harald Olson for the footage – wasn’t me). 

Rolling Elsewhere: West Coast by train and seaplane

Rolling from Jack London Square in Oakland, California through the night on Amtrak, look out at Portland, hop off Centralia, then from Provo to SLC on Watsatch Frontrunner train with a bit of poetry… then flying by Harbour Air seaplane from Victoria to Vancouver.

No narration or action, just ambient drifting.

Rolling Elsewhere: Japan, Riding various trains (ambient, excerpts)

Looking out the window while riding various trains around Japan, digging the scenery of cities, countryside and stations. Nothing fancy, just rolling, as-it-is.

Zen Rambling in Japan ~ Originally in Heads Magazine

Authour’s intro in Heads Magazine
Authour’s note: This article “Zen Rambling in Japan” by me Dave Thorvald Olson originally appeared in Heads Magazine (now defunct) in the Vol. 6, Issue 4, circa: Spring 2006, as the cover story for the Travel Issue. The iteration below is a late-version draft rather than the (apparently misplaced) submitted final version so there are some minor errors. This article is also markedly different from my “classic” Hemp Culture in Japan articles (see below) as this all original piece concentrates on modern times and practical tips rather than focusing on history and cultural change. Heads did a beauty lay-out (excerpt scans included) and added several ancillary articles about Japanese culture in the issue. I’ll try to add in the photos where {indicated} in the article. Be wary and read all the safety tips and caution closely – neither the Japanese police or Yakuza are to be trifled with but, if you keep it chill the good times are in store. Ganbatte! dvo, June 2010, Vancouver.

More Hemp in Japan

Hemp Culture in Japan – a 1992-7 ground-breaking treatise on the history and cultural significance of hemp in Japan is available in .html or .pdf . For alternate versions, visit JapanHemp.org, a site dedicated to Hemp in Japan. Published in Cannabis Culture magazine (#13 & Best of …), the Journal of International Hemp Association (V.4 N.1), as well as excerpted in several books including Hemp Horizons (USA), Hemp for Victory (UK) and “Hanp” from Norway.

Zen Rambling in Japan - Heads magazine cover Continue reading Zen Rambling in Japan ~ Originally in Heads Magazine

On a rollicking bus ride with oldtimey suitcase in tow…

On a rollicking bus ride with oldtimey suitcase in tow for Victoria gig + mug of earl grey to warm belly for adventures ahead

TransitPolice: Assisting in delivering Olympic Transportation Host training…

RT @TransitPolice: Assisting in delivering Olympic Transportation Host training at the Van Transit Center. Less than 100 days to go.

i felt safer & more comfy before the step-up w/ guns, tasers…

Solid work sharing security on transit pic @kk – as a daily #trasnlink rider, i felt safer & more comfy before the step-up w/ guns, tasers

i’m frustrated that besides cameras, crowds & inconvenience, i’m subject to inspections…

While i admire your use of Twitter @TransitPolice i’m frustrated that besides cameras, crowds & inconvenience, i’m subject to inspections

Also confused about why 3-4 unis needed to check tickets…

Also confused about why 3-4 unis needed to check tickets @TransitPolice + rudeness in incidents hassling tourists who don’t understand zones