Tag Archives: rambling

Post, pals and figuring *it* out (together, alone) – Japan Cottage Musings

Back from seitai with kindly sensei & feeling spun and bit blue / confused or some combo and wearing a dead man’s wonderful brown cotton jimbei, attempting a somewhat useful ramble while a bit scrambled up.

Namechecks and stories about/from:

* Casey Bean of The Beanpod with stickers & personal narrative 

* Diego the street sketcher with a Hermes Baby typer letter

* Pam from Pacific Blue days with BC pins (which Ichiro loved!)

* Emma Swift with LP of Bob Dylan songs & mental well-being challenges 

* Andrew McLuhan carrying on father Eric & grandfather Marshall’s media message literacy work + punk rock & poetry

* Passports from 1960s UK awaiting remixing like Jason Emde (poet of “little bit die” & Writers Read Their Early Sh*t  pod) and others filled with poetry, ephemera, maps & secret compartments 

* A side bar about Bob Dylan’s propensity for leaving the stage early (probably because he has some painting or welding to do but maybe he just has some things on his mind that he doesn’t have ability to share with someone who will just listen), then:

* Soviet-era documents sparking a conversation about what constitutes identity and why we carry a little bit of stationary to declare who we are… avoiding the rabbit hole of discussing sovereignty, residency, citizenry and other digressions.

And (another) foreshadowing about the simple task of putting postcards into an album because each is so precious i feel should talk about each one individually so maybe get around to it if you hang out with me.

A bit of the fantastic Newfoundland band “Hey Rosetta!” gently frames the conversation with “sorry this is it, cold and hard and badly lit, but there’s no backing out of it…”

And there’s a birthday greetz for John Biehler via Stanley Park and tea. 

And backdrop paintings by John Ferrie (he’s got a sale going on) providing a ‘Eye in the Sky’ panorama of our semi-recent BC invasion. 

Really I’m just grateful to have you to hang out with as it’s beneficial for my mental and emotional well-being somehow.

Changes in Sanity (& Latitudes) – Japan Cottage Musings

Yes, I’m a little bit baffled.

I’m not sure what I’m doing with this or why I’m doing this or who I am but whatever

In bed, confused, rambling slurring, fiddling with ukulele, remembering Jimmy Buffett, Jamaica, “all the places I’ve been” (Nepal, Suez, Istanbul, Grand Canyon… criss-crossing continents). gratitude for friends (that’s you), especially those who pick up the phone and send postcards, talking about ice packs, eye masks, hot pillows, more postcards (especially from Sri Lanka), envelopes with 13 queens, concerts i won’t go to, folding laundry, and a memo I need to write for the hospital.

Japan Renegade Travel Musings (specifically *not* Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka)

Oh look, adventure Ted is having a beer, sashimi and plotting good times…

Adventure Tour Guide Ted Taylor and DaveO riff in a historic Kura barn in Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan talking about exploring… well off-the-beathen-ish-path Japan – specifically not Tokyo, Kyoto, & Osaka (sure those places are great or whatever but plenty of info) so let’s explore elsewhere with places, tactics, tips and musings. Alas, no “b-roll”, links, edits, but plenty of digressions and pretty great hats.

Despite what dashing Ted Taylor tells ya, you can/should hire him for adventure tours (seriously) plus dig his most excellent journals at: Notes from the Nog blog

Continue reading Japan Renegade Travel Musings (specifically *not* Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka)

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.

Additional riff, some same as above, posted here anyhow: 

Before I went on my first trip to Europe, I only looked at a 1972 version of “hitchhikers guide to Europe“ so everything would seem new and interesting and I could figure it out by myself. This was 1992 and I lamented I wasn’t there 20 years before. I’m no mathematician but a lot of time has passed since that first trip which was pre-Internet, pre-Eurozone, pre-ATM, pre-cell phone etc. etc. yet it all just sort of “worked“. 

Worth noting that because I was a broke free-loading hippie rambler, I stayed away from the big cities aside from Oktoberfest in Munich and a couple stops in to Amsterdam (of course) as the countryside was much easier to meet friends, find a place to stay, have a good time with a few deutsche marks. 

As it went, ended up in London which was gray, miserable and expensive but, due to a hurricane in Miami, was able to use a dodgy credit card to get a $70 flight to Miami which seems like a good idea at the time but turns out it was not. That’s a whole other story though. 

My unsolicited advice: go to the third most famous place, possibly the fifth, make it awesome and weird. Make poems & paintings about it. 

While I’m rambling, the most memorable segment of that whole trip (which included being a roadie for the Bad Yodelers, seeing a Gwar concert, the aforementioned Oktoberfest, all nighters in Amsterdam, sneaking onto a US military base, eating all the contraband en route to Belgium…) was time spent in a village called Rhodt unter Reisburg, living in a tent and later a hayloft, making friends with locals and working in the great fields and going home with a couple bottles of wine and a loaf of day-old bread at the end of it all. This was also the infamous “Chestnut gathering“ era #SideHustleOfASideHustle

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)

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.

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