Saturday, May 29, 2010

Blog B-Day

This insignificant corner of the web had a significant milestone this week -- turning seven years old. I thought it might hit a thousand posts this year, but at a rate of a couple of posts a month it will be well into next year when that goal is met...not that it makes any difference. When I was setting creative goals for this year, blogging was an afterthought:
"And then there's blogging, which should probably be included here. I get regular bouts of blog envy, finding ones with amazing writing, gorgeous layouts, outrageous photos and more authenticity. BUT, I'm mostly just glad that I've kept this one going even if it limps sometimes. Maybe it's not so creative, but at least it's not going away."
Longevity for longevity's sake isn't really a worthy goal, yet the longer this experiment continues, the more value it has to me -- even the lamest posts from a half-dozen years ago make me smile and reflect...and it helps me remember, as this has become a sort of external memory bank. A couple of years ago I collected some of the highlights in one post. Maybe I'll pop a few links at the bottom of this post to collect highlights that have happened since then.

I've been thinking about it this week, as my cousin Nicole has decided to shutter her blog after four years. Most of my friends who have started blogs in the past five years have let them lapse, and the same can be said of most of the blogs ever started by anyone. It's not for everyone, it's not easy, and it doesn't always seem worth the effort -- many have found the quick updates of Twitter or Facebook more to their liking, which is better than nothing in an age when almost nobody writes letters any more, and even personal e-mails seem to have become infrequent. So I salute those who have continued to share bits of their lives online, and thank those of you who have contributed thoughts and encouragement here over the years.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


May hasn't been a very good blogging month, apparently. I seem to have fallen into the trap of thinking I need to do a big post, when many short ones would likely be more sustainable and interesting later...especially considering that I have enough trouble remembering what happened today, never mind weeks ago. Anyway, some random thoughts from recent times:
  • Tannis and I got to go mountain biking on the weekend when my folks took the kids on the Summerland Steam Train, which was a great treat. But my most frequent riding partner lately has been Ezra: "Daddy, I was just thinking that maybe me and you could go for a bike ride around the block sometime." He's been rockin' the runbike, and judging by the long glides he's doing now, he could likely be pedaling happily if I hadn't removed his bike's drivetrain.
  • Ezra got a haircut, which tempted me to tame my mop too.

  • We had a rager of a windstorm last week, and Tannis and I heard the big old maple crash down at the corner of the yard. Scary, as it was so loud that we thought a tree had landed on the house where Ezra was sleeping. The next morning, our two closest neighbours Ron and Gil showed up unbidden with chainsaws, and at one point Gil even brought his big loader over to drag stuff away -- within two hours there was nothing left on the yard but a stump and a sense of loss. It had really anchored that front corner of place, providing shade in summer and homes for lots of wildlife.
  • Our car burnt a couple of exhaust valves. Even with help from a mechanic friend, the repair was $1500, in the same month insurance was due. These things make me wish I lived somewhere where I didn't need a vehicle other than pedal-powered ones.

  • I composed another short duet, this time for my five-string viola and Ivy on violin -- it's quirky, and minor-key, maybe a bit like the Pink Panther theme song. She's been learning it this week with some success, although it uses a key (and notes) that will be a challenge. Meanwhile, our teacher Liz and I have been practicing my violin duet -- it's been a real thrill to hear it come to life.
  • Got tickets to see The National in Vancouver in September -- probably my current favourite band, so that's pretty exciting. Also found out that our dear friend Shawna will be visiting us later in July!

  • A couple of weeks ago, my Facebook update was, " ...balsamroot and bitterroot, lupins and larkspur, woodland stars and shooting stars...our valley's meadows are full of wildflowers." They really have been spectacular, perhaps because of all the rain we've had since Larry and Pearl were here.
  • We zoomed out to Keremeos on Monday -- we love the Similkameen and always pick up curry at Sanderson's. Loaded up on other goodies there too, but passed on the imported cherries ($4/lb).
  • My birthday gallery for Jason turned into a cool group project on Flickr where a bunch of members of the group I manage have picked other members to profile with galleries. There are 16 there now, including two more that I did: shyrz landscapes and Trees of G.GASP. Yes, I spend way too much time on Flickr.

  • Other random tidbits I would have forgotten if not for FB status updates: a picnic at Thornhaven, a happy afternoon finding things to view under the microscope with Ivy, tons of time reading Lord of the Rings with the girls (finally finished!), finally did our taxes for last year, a couple of great pub nights with Andrew, a campfire with Myron and Ben, loving the Milagro Beanfield War movie...oh, and not changing any more diapers. Preferably forever.





Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Recent Brain Food

You are what you eat? I think the same applies to stuff that goes into your brain. The flower theme has nothing to do with anything...except spring, maybe. And no, the dandelions in the last photo aren't on our yard.

Listening To:
  • I went to see violist/fiddler Zav RT at the Penticton Art Gallery last week and picked up her CD. She was accompanied by her brother Daniel Huscroft, and they sort of split the set, combining forces doing each other's songs. They played the first tune on his Myspace page ("Gone"), which reduced me to an embarrassing puddle of tears -- he wrote it about their grandmother who grew up in Kaslo, a woman whose only regret at the end of her long life was that she hadn't become a concert pianist. Anyway, really fun show with our friend Aimee (with hubby) and our violin teacher Liz.
  • Yo-Yo Ma, a bunch of Vivaldi's cello concertos played with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 2004...amazing stuff.
  • Jean Pool...Billy Heinrichs sent me a few mp3s from Tom, Mal and Will's old band. So evocative of that era and place, playing music with those guys and feeling like we had all the time in the world.

  • The Ecstasy of Rita Joe...after having read about Ryga a few weeks ago, and sampling his writing, I dug into his most famous play. Trippy and intense, even terrifying at times...but overall confusing and scattered.
  • The Forgetting: Alzheimer's: A Portrait of an Epidemic. Fascinating and heartbreaking reading, with personal stories, historical accounts of senile dementia and Alzheimers, research efforts and approaches to coping with it...highly recommended for anyone curious about the disease.
  • LOTR...almost done Two Towers now as the bedtime project continues. The girls are finding the Frodo-Sam-Gollum stuff less interesting, perhaps because the pace is plodding compared to previous parts.
  • The Black Pearl...a YA novel I read in an hour the other night; bit morbid but cool.

  • The Iron Giant -- such a great movie. We own the old VHS tape, but our VCR finally died, so luckily the library has the DVD. I don't get tired of watching it, and always tear up at the end.
  • Star Trek -- despite the buzz last year, I never did go see it in the theater, but I'm seeing that it was a mistake. Exciting, funny, intense movie with some serious plot holes I was happy to ignore. It's been a long time since I felt like a Trekkie.
  • Still catching bits of the NHL playoffs, including an excellent get-together with the Duecks last night that ended in an ugly defeat for the Canucks.




Saturday, May 01, 2010


I added another 120 photos to my main ice set this winter, at least after my December cutoff for the gallery show. Safe to say that season is over now. I've been adding orchard photos again too, but I'm not really finding new views of that subject any more. My hunt for another subject has turned up an unlikely candidate: scrap metal.

Yes, my tetanus shots are up to date. Poking around piles of rusted junk isn't much safer or more comfortable than the ice obsession, and in some ways the approach is similar -- I'm using the same strategies and techniques in an attempt to find beauty where nobody expects to find it. It's another odd one, and I understand if people don't really get it.