Tag Archives: uncleweed

Media: Slow Train Coming (Cascadia Trains) / Vancouver Courier, Oct. 22, 2008

from the article by Robert Alstead, Oct. 22nd, 2008
from the Vancouver Courier article by Robert Alstead, Oct. 22nd, 2008

I was interviewed (and used loquacious quotes like “super lame”) for an article about train travel in the Vancouver Courier.

I am including my quotes and a few other snippets about my pet-rant, ergo: inadequate train travel between here and points south – as well as the photo by Dan Toulguet so it doesn’t disappear…

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Slow train coming

Robert Alstead takes a journey north by rail from California and wonders if Canada’s vanished passenger trains will once again carry us from coast to coast – Robert Alstead, Vancouver Courier Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dave Olson, who works in marketing for Gastown web design company Raincity Studios, travels six or seven times a year by train, on business and pleasure. “I don’t care for jet travel because of the incredible hassle and huge eco-footprint,” says Olson. Like many, he would take the train more if he could. “I like the pace and not having to drive, I like the rhythm and the scenery you normally don’t see, the rail yards and seashores and forgotten neighbourhoods. I find the train-riding experience somehow charming, even poetic and certainly creativity stimulating,” he says.

However, he complains Amtrak’s evening train south is hardly convenient for trips to Olympia or Portland, seeing as travellers must make an overnight stopover in Seattle. The Amtrak Cascades is also infrequent and often booked up. Amtrak does offer several “train buses” which Olson has found “super lame” with long border waits. He’d rather take the car if there are no seats on the train, although it did mean a $124 parking bill and a chipped windshield on a recent three-day trip to Seattle. “I know we would’ve enjoyed some work or playing cards or meditating on the train,” he rues.

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However, the Amtrak Cascades offers a good example of the difficulties faced in enhancing rail services.

For years, Amtrak has wanted to add a second roundtrip train between Eugene and Vancouver. However, congestion due to heavy freight movement on track this side of the border meant that a new siding needed to be added to allow trains to pass. For six years, Canadian and U.S. officials and railroad owners Burlington Northern Santa Fe had been unable to hammer out a deal over who should pay for the upgrade.

That means that a second Amtrak Cascades has been running only as far as Bellingham. Then in March of last year, spurred on by the onset of the 2010 Olympics, B.C. transportation minister Kevin Falcon announced that he was committing “up to $4.5 million” (reportedly 57 per cent of the upgrade cost) to build the siding.

In June last year, Premier Gordon Campbell marked the new service on the platform at King Street Station in Seattle by exchanging a large symbolic train ticket with Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in a photo op.

The siding was completed months ago. Amtrak is ready to go. But the service hit the buffers due to complications with the Canadian Border Services Agency, which reportedly wants $15,000 per day to clear the train.

Graham says the matter is in the hands of the B.C. government. A spokesperson for the province says it’s a federal government issue. Faith St. John, spokesperson for the CBSA, said she could not comment on the matter “because we are in discussions.” But she did say that “decisions to provide CBSA services at a new location or to expand current services take into account human resource requirements and the ability to provide security and service to the public.”

She could not say when the matter would be resolved.

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Update, the article “disappeared” from the internets (mostly), 

Print version of Slow Train Coming

Web version of Slow Train Coming [archived link via WayBack]

#UW31 – Dave’s 31st Birthday Party Invite (4-up), 2001 / Olympia

#UW30 – 30th Birthday Party Invite (4-up) / Aug. 16, 2000

Invite / letter: “Far Far West Party” – 1994 / Logan, UT

Invite / letter: “Far Far West Party” – 1994 / Logan, UT / layout version, outsider

Somehow, somewhere between my first couple trips to Japan (frankly it’s a little bit foggy after a plan to go to Mexico and live on the beach didn’t materialize, hemp fests, Dead concerts, flower sticks & hemp bag selling), I was in Logan, Utah (where i had spruced-up my Volkswagen bus “the Earthship” only to abandon it) where my Mom rented a rambling old polygamist house in the shadow of the LDS temple which she rented as a boarding house for various students plus a few randoms living in the backyard in a sort of tent/van village.

Logan isn’t my favourite place (so many cops and rules!) but, here I was and as such, I put together a party to reunite with old friends, share stories, collect lent items, play some music and hit up hot springs.

Invite / letter: “Far Far West Party” – 1994 / Logan, UT / layout version, inside

I designed this “aerogramme-inspired” invitation (meaning the paper was both an envelope and a letter), including various snippets of haiku art, doodles, maps and intentions, and floated them out into the world. The party was called “Far Far West” in homage to a Gary Snyder poem about going to Japan and my westward facing, Pacific centric geographic mindset.

Wasn’t sure what to make of it all as addresses were stale, friends were transient, memory scare, but, as it goes, worked out just wonderful as dozens of people came throughout a few days with folks camping out in the backyard to the chagrin of the neighbours who tried to poison the dogs (seriously!) as well as called the police who stealthed into our backyard campfire while we were singing along to Larry’s autoharp and Marty Kendall’s ceramic drums and, surprisingly, the police were rather chill about everything / they asked us to play a song, we did, they told us to have a good night, they left, we laughed and we sparked up another one and kept on going.

As it goes, there was a *loaves and fishes* vibes as my wonderful Mother put on big pots of curry and different stews with ingredients folks brought along, and we kept pots of coffee and exotic teas going in a truly freeform fun for all couple of days.

Sensei Larry Harper and Dave at some derelict hot springs nears Tremonton, Utah during the “far far west” part weekend, 1994 (?)

I recall the 2nd day included a trip out to a derelict hot spring on the side of a forgotten highway which had sort of been roughed in by a dangerous assortment of bricks. Nevertheless, we soaked, we played banjo music… and I have a photo of me and Sensei Larry to prove it (somewhere in the boxes there might be a few more snapshots).

Invite / letter: “Far Far West Party” – 1994 / Logan, UT / production version, inside

I will say that I was surprised to see this invitation – both the original layout as well as a production copy printed on 50% post consumer recycled “redrock” paper and dutifully printed with some copywriting that somehow makes me smile still. (Note: included the layout and production versions for posterity and archiving).

Invite / letter: “Far Far West Party” – 1994 / Logan, UT / production version, outside

Note: poetry snippets from “January in Hot Springs” series

Publication: “MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989 (w/ excerpts)

“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, cover

A “literary fanzine” produced as a project at Utah Valley Community College (formerly Utah Technical College, later Utah Valley State College > Utah Valley University) for Larry Harper’s inaugural “creative writing hono(u)rs” program (course number 201H – hence the title).

At this time, I was working the night shift at the college library and had access to copy machines so, the final product was produced in one weird night. Design and layout by frequent collaborator Brandon G Kiggins and me, while Larry’s miraculous Army-trained typing speed banged out tuned-up text as needed. Assembled in classic “scissors and glue” style with magazine clippings, ephemera and oddities as design elements. 

My contributed story, “What I thought in Sweetgrass” is included below in full, along with Brandon’s sudden story, and a short poem by Larry – the rest is (probably) available upon request/permission by the creators.

A few other “meta pages” ergo: preface; table of contents; a section of “obituaries” as author bios; and a signature page – are included for historical record.

“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, flyleaf & table of contents
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, preface by Brent H. Bateman
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “The Rail Yard” by Brandon K. Kiggins, p. 1
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “What i Thought in Sweetgrass” by Dave Olson, p. 1
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “What i Thought in Sweetgrass” by Dave Olson, p. 2-3
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “What i Thought in Sweetgrass” by Dave Olson, p. 4-5 + “The Soft Wing” by L. S. H-B
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, “Obituaries” author bios)
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, signatures
“MUD 201-H” literature fanzine, UVCC, 1989, back cover

See also: “What I Thought In Sweetgrass” story

Crowd Sourcing Community Projects like Tom Sawyer at SxSWi 2012: video

Tom Sawyer famously talked his gang into paying him for the privilege of whitewashing  a fence while he sat by and supervised. In this talk by Dave Olson at SxSW Interactive on March 10th 2012, he shares how companies might inspire their community to crowd source projects by engaging passionate users with a mutually beneficial relationship.

This video – made from appropriately crowd-sourced photos, social posts, and other snippets + music – includes Mark Twain-period costuming, pipes, smoking jackets, board games, old-timey suitcase, mysterious envelopes, audience participation and plenty of laughs while focusing on practical tactics to rally communities with clear expectations, boundaries, rewards, and objectives and importantly – without manipulating.

3 very different project examples provide tangible advice for various campaign timelines, outcomes and audiences, and include:

* True North Media House: a long-planned (and fantastically successful), renegade self-accreditation citizen documentation project at Vancouver 2010 Olympics / Paralympics 

* Phones for Fearless: a rapidly planned and deployed initiative to gather dis-used mobile phone/cameras for use by marginalized communities to tell their stories

* Hootsuite Translation: activating global cultures to speedily and accurately translate and localize a social media dashboard using a web tool… with unexpected outcomes

Includes cameos of dozens of bright faces in Austin at the noteworthy event, plus more recent voice over to bring the projects up to date and share more resources to explore further including screenshots from various media appearances, reviews, tweets, and whatnot of the talk and aftermath for extra colour. Continue reading Crowd Sourcing Community Projects like Tom Sawyer at SxSWi 2012: video

Preserving the Wildflower – Postcard #69 via video

What becomes of the seemingly ephemeral creations we leave behind? Especially in the analog-days?

Consider these in the context of missing cassette tapes made by a now departed poet/activist/scholar Foster and guitar-ing Mikael, who recorded spontaneous youthful riffs in parent’s basement in Utah. In this postcard, Mikael Lewis sings “Wildflower (for Foster)” written by Dave in a clinic in Nepal, then adds some more verses, spiels and a poem called “Occasionally Free” – with lightning, rainstorm and crickets chiming along.

Note: Also available in audio-only via all normal podcast channels and elsewhere in this library.

Listening to Sea – Postcard #74 via video

Ship-to-shore transmissions with shortwave broadcasts from elusive listening posts, soundscapes from slow ships, and freeverse poetry about unanswered communiques, transitory conditions, arbitrary citizenships, invented geography, de-identification, and intentional disappearance.

Features music: “Dream World” by Matt Harding from NYOSSS (New York, Orem, San Sebastian, & Shanghai), plus various shortwave broadcasts of dubious origin, and sound samples from oceans (recorded by Dave and others via BBC sound archive).

Note: Also available in audio-only via all normal podcast channels and elsewhere in this library.

Disappearing for Invigoration – Postcard #78 via video

Disappearing, invisibility, loneliness, depression, anxiety, being lost, trying to not be found, trying to find white space to invigorate… Sometimes these weave together, other times (perhaps) each remain exclusive.

Gord Downie, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski and me all try to figure out the nuance in different ways atop Turkish street music, trains from Kerala and Moncton, and various ephemeral music snippets.

Note: Also available in audio-only via all normal podcast channels and elsewhere in this library.

Deep Cuts of Weed in Guam – Choogle On! #125

Deep Cuts of Weed in Guam – Choogle On! #125
Deep Cuts of Weed in Guam – Choogle On! #125

Beginning with a static-y 1996 AM radio interview during a power outage on the island of Guam Micronesia, then checking in from a goat farm in Japan decades later, then again from tiny isle in Indonesia, Uncle Weed weaves hempen stories and personal anecdotes about life on this remote USA “territory” including: selling hemp bags at Jeff’s Pirate Cove, advocating for legalization of cannabis in all forms, weird jobs (and quitting same), and current situation as Grassroots activists seek to fulfil will of voters for medical and recreational uses.

Ensure you have batteries for: Deep Cuts of Weed in Guam – Choogle On! #125 (.mp3, 192k stereo, 97MB, 1:10:33)

Continue reading Deep Cuts of Weed in Guam – Choogle On! #125

Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81

Podcover: Postcard Transient Cultural Riffs

Full of mis-spoken words, forgotten names and other sloppiness comes annotated thoughts (squished through time and space) for shut-ins, drifters and sufferers amidst erstwhile festive melancholy times of disruption and tumult, including poems – read alongside mosquito and rooster sounds – by:

  • Sohaib Ahmed
  • Alan Halsey
  • Charles Bukowski
  • David Smalley
  • Kat Code
  • Dave Olson
  • John Monroe
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Unknown Urban Legends
  • Marc Zegans
  • Leif Baradoy
  • Evan Leeson
  • John Sinclair

For the shut-ins: Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81 (70MB, 48:41, 192kbps mp3, stereo)

++

riffs about John Lennon and Ono Yoko and Marshall McLuhan

&

musical riffs by Chet Baker Quartet with Russ Freeman

Plus name checks for Neal Cassady, Jello Biafra, Dave Madden, Allen Ginsberg’s holy cock, dine and dash, Ken Kesey, Gary Snyder, Alan Watts, Beat Museum, City Lights, Grateful Dead, Beat Museum, City Lights Bookstore, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jim Robson and more… (note to self: add links).

Continue reading Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81

Scrapbook: ephemera assembled in leather bound with delicious paper…

Journal: Gabriola > Japan > Australia, 2015 / ephemera (leather bound from Pete Word)
Scrapbook: Gabriola > Japan > Australia, 2015 / ephemera (leather bound from Pete Word)

Did I mention I love making scrapbooks? Scissors and glue and (miscellaneous & travel-related mostly) ephemera assembled into handmade journals with delicious paper to create a story of sorts. I have stacks of these documented in this archive for my reference and your amusement.

Scrapbook: Gabriola > Japan > Australia, 2015 / Japan ephemera (page detail)
Scrapbook: Gabriola > Japan > Australia, 2015 / Japan ephemera (page detail)
Scrapbook: Gabriola > Japan > Australia, 2015 / Okayama + Adelaide ephemera (page detail)
Scrapbook: Gabriola > Japan > Australia, 2015 / Okayama + Adelaide ephemera (page detail)

Sensei Larry’s Wisdom – Postcard #80

Sensei Larry’s Wisdom

Upon turning 70 years old, Dave’s dear sensei (since a teenage Utah community college stint), Larry Harper (among various monikers) curated 70 items of advice (at request of Annie Dandelion).

As such, between licks by Grateful Dead and master potter Marty Kendall, he riffs the list – ranging from practical to mystical to almost comical, many including nudity and space. Oh, also includes his ethereal autoharp songs (rescued from a ca. 1991 Zzyxz Rd cassette).

Gather some wisdom with:  Sensei Larry’s Wisdom – Postcard #80
(45MB, 32:59, 192k mp3)

Continue reading Sensei Larry’s Wisdom – Postcard #80