I Don’t Live There Anymore

May 16th, 2014 — 9:38pm

No, I don’t. I moved out. I now live elsewhere, and I’m not telling you where. You’ll have to guess. Or figure it out – I’ve given you enough hints!

This I will tell you: I’m back in BC. Does that strike fear in your heart? Or a sigh of resignation?

I live in a lovely little town right beside a lovely little lake. And I’m happy.

Don’t bug me.

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March 14th, 2014 — 7:29pm

Good old global warming. Saskatoon is up and out of the house doing spring things like… jogging… and walking the dog and… hanging out at Starbucks, or driving around, or skating at the park rink while all the while tuned to CJWW Top Country Hits.

Everywhere you go it’s whiney this and heart-break that: “Never been the same since the truck died baby… wish I had a nickel for your dime… now my heart’s a-breakin’… ’cause I feel forsaken… Yah, my baby’s partin’… and I just can’t stop the fartin’… from that meat loaf she baked last Friday night.”


Home on the range

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I found my bike!

November 10th, 2011 — 8:45am

Here it is the second winter of this malcontent and I’ve just unpacked the blue boxes. My place looks more like a living space every day. More like a living space – that is it’s always been a living space and looked and felt like it too – it’s less transient looking now is all; less poised to move out, more settled. Which doesn’t disturb me much. Just now I can’t but suspect my inner rover is planning a new move.

Some say this winter is going to be mild and short. Others say although it is late it will be harsh and very cold.

All I care about is how dry it’s going to be. My sinuses contract and my skin crawls unless I run a portable humidifier most of the day, which I definitely do while I sleep, which is still running now at 8:30 am.

I should explain why I’m home on a weekday… simple, I have the week off. Up until Tuesday I was at my girlfriend’s place in the country.

We’re good friends and we’ve spent a fair amount of time together, but it snew (past tense of snowed) (didn’t know there was one did you?) on the weekend and trapped us there – the road crew didn’t move a Timmy finger to sweep a path – for a few days.

So for a few days we sat, surfed, fumed, and on the the third day we rose – the snow had melted sufficiently – and decided, mutually, we weren’t really meant to be together after all.

Arriving home mid-afternoon I tore into the blue boxes stuffed along the wall, unpacked them all out of sight and moved in permanently.

For now.

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October 26th, 2011 — 10:15pm

10:02 PM, Wednesday, October 26, 2011. I’m eating walnuts and quaffing porter all alone while editing photographs thinking about my future (I have a future!) glad for little things and big things like rowers on the river like cats dead and alive and coyotes god bless them and hawks every mile and geese flying north in autumn god bless them and water in creeks and rivers and lakes ponds and puddles and polaroid cameras and shoe polish.

All the good things.

Owls and their feathers. Small town hotels. Trees. Swinging bridges over calm creeks. Muddy roads, rocky mountains, silly putty…

I have some good friends here. Good people who are my friends. Friends are the ones that insinuate themselves into your life so easily it takes effort to stand back far enough to see them for what they are. A friend is one who won’t mind you’ve referred to them as a “what”. They know you’re flawed and don’t really care.

A friend is one who minds not you kiss his wife on the cheek bye-bye. That is so refreshing. Especially if your friend’s wife is so good looking.

Friends are those jerks who ignore you while they watch football or Dances with the Stars or Russian Top 40, and know you love them despite their flaws.

A friend is one who gives you shit one minute and laughs with you the next.

You gotta’ love ’em. What else can you do?

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Walk in the snow

November 14th, 2010 — 8:54am

Back in May of this year I set up this blog to record and report the progress of my Bus Stop project – photographing all the Greyhound bus stops along the Crowsnest Highway from Hope, British Columbia to Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Since finishing the travel part of the project I’ve kept this blog alive first by continuing the road trip theme, then, after I arrived in Saskatoon, to report the development and execution of other projects. Unfortunately, and unseen, this has slipped into a series of “what I had for breakfast” posts. It’s all too apparent that’s where they remain today.

I thought perhaps I could treat my everyday activities in the same way as my road adventures, a good psychological health method to boot, but finding meaning in my everyday and reporting where I’ve travelled are very different things despite the effort to maintain a “holiday state of mind”.

I am no longer an anonymous loose cannon somewhere out there, I’m the guy next door doing much the same things you are. Who reads my blog besides close friends and family, search engine spiders, and the occasional hapless picture thief? I thank you all for your loyalty.

And yes, writing is taking up too much of my day. I’m settling in to the hard part of the project now, the Grind: editing; printing; publishing; preparing for exhibition. I’ve got to keep focused on that.

So you’ll be hearing less from me, at least here. I’ll send news by email but this blog is slowing to a crawl for the winter. See you on the road next spring though, and thanks for reading.


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November 13th, 2010 — 8:50pm

Are diamonds really a girl’s best friend? Marilyn Monroe sounds very convincing. Is this a matter of locked in hormonal response? I’m feeling light headed. Ah do believe I am suffering a bout of the vapours.

Went shopping today for a daybed and I came very close. Instead I came home with two teapots (a Brown Betty and a Sadler), four graduated cylinders (2 for long stemmed roses, 2 for pasta), a crock pot, a chrome GE hybrid slot-load toaster, a Blue Mountain bowl, an 8 ounce weigh scale with a Canada Weights and Measures certification seal still stuck to the side dated February 1967, a Pernod waiters tool, an Erlenmeyer flask with glass stopper for my irish whisky, and a candle powered translucent back-lit orange sunset cowboy and stray dogey silhouette lamp with flanking cactus topped by a five point star.

Sixty bucks.

So, life is beginning to make sense again.

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Shopping list

November 11th, 2010 — 4:16pm

I saw Garry and Janice Shoquist at work on Monday, Janice was in for an eye exam. They own and operate Northland Books just off Broadway here in Saskatoon, an antiquarian book shop. Keith and I had been in last September looking for Andrew Suknaski poetry books, I believe there was a sale on then. At any rate there’s a sale on now so I hopped over the Broadway Bridge yesterday to see what I could see. This is a list of what I brought home:

  • A very clean copy of Kenneth Rexroth’s One Hundred Poems From The Chinese, for Keith, who has been admiring a copy I brought in the Westfalia’s summer library (I have transferred all my domestic goods out of the bug into my apartment: one set of cutlery, a mug, can opener, etc.)
  • Hong Yingming’s Vegetable Root Talks, here titled Back To Beginnings by translator Thomas Cleary, a “collection of meditations on fundamental things in human life”. Huanchu Daoren, the author’s Taoist name, translates as “A Wayfarer Back to Beginnings”.
  • A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, an account of the travels of Fa-Hien (Faxian), a 5th century Chinese Buddhist monk commissioned by the Emperor to retrieve dharma texts from India. He spent fourteen years travelling through war zones, deserts, and mountains to the Gangetic plain of India, the island of Sri Lanka, and back again by sea. This was 200 years before the more famous voyage of the monk Hsien-tsang (Xuanzang) for the same purpose, whose travels inspired the enduring legend of the Monkey King. Translated by James Legge.
  • 3 books by Lafcadio Hearn, all in exceptionally good shape: Exotics and Retrospectives; Japan: An Interpretation; Out of the East: Reveries and Studies in New Japan. Hearn (1850-1904) was an Irish-Greek journalist who worked briefly in the United States before travelling to Japan, where he spent the rest of his life as teacher and author. He is highly regarded in Japan, where he is known as Koizumi Yagumo.
  • Ch’i Pai Shih by T.C. Lai, published by University of Washington Press, including the painter’s autobiography, facsimiles, anecdotes, seals, poetry, and recollections of his life and work.
  • A Book of Good Poems, my high school poetry text, edited by C.T. Fyfe. It’s in pristine shape – no dog-ears, notes, cartoons, boredom scribbles or nose-pickings, and the binding is solid.
  • And last, The Real Old West: Images of a Frontier by JoAnn Roe, and I think the treasure of the lot because of the curious nature of the subject, photographer Matsuura Sakae, or ‘Frank’ to all who knew him in the Okanogan of western Washington. He was a mysterious remittance man whose joy for life shows clearly in his photographs. He purportedly died of tuberculosis at the age of 39 with no family contact, but standing-room-only at his funeral, for, as The Okanogan Record apparently put it at the time, “he surely did not have an enemy in the world.” (p.5)
    Or did he? Lot’s of fun ahead.

And that’s it. Now I have only to wait for my bookcase (and my reading lamps, and my wing back chair) to arrive from Vancouver Island to enjoy the satisfying naps I’ve grown accustomed to. It’s been a long time, over six months.

Here’s a night view looking northeast from my balcony toward the university:

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Feelin’ chuffed

November 6th, 2010 — 3:20pm

If you’ve been reading the comments you’ll have noticed I finally found LA, or rather she found me. Yesterday we had lunch at the Park Café on 20th Street and spent the afternoon walking and talking. She’s just as delightful as ever she was; we had a great time, and we’ll do it again.

This morning I saw Bill Perehudoff’s retrospective at the Mendel, Saskatoon’s civic gallery, which I am proud to point out is open every day except Christmas day, from 9 am to 9 pm, and there is no admission charge.

Saskatoon has a strong history of modernism. I was brought up on it, not only as a kid interested in art but as a student in art at the University of Saskatchewan. It’s good to see walls covered in brilliant colour-field paintings; it puts a zing in my heart.

As always, if you have any hankering to say something, even if it’s just “hi”, leave a comment. Maybe we can have lunch at the Park Café; the reuben was really good – they make their own corned beef.

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November 3rd, 2010 — 8:02pm

I’ve moved into my new digs, but I don’t have a lot of furniture yet; a bed, a lamp… that’s about it. My body’s always looking for a place to sit down. Tomorrow Kelly’s bringing in some chairs and a desk.

I’m at the library (a block from my place) using their internet connection. My telephone and internet get hooked up next Tuesday. I got a pretty good deal with Shaw: $25 a month for both phone with voice mail and high-speed wifi, including the router. Not bad.

I realized today the work I’m doing is portraiture. I don’t mean this from an abstract point of view, although that might be interesting to pursue, but as a point of fact: I employ the same camera and people skills as a portraitist. The satisfying part is pursuing results based on specific criteria rather than second-guessing a client’s aesthetic wishes. A welcome relief, as any wedding photographer would tell you.

So things are going well.

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I need a girlfriend

October 30th, 2010 — 12:55pm

Foggy, frosty and -3C. Everyone’s in bed but me. It’s 11:15 AM and I guess that’s what you do when it’s a foggy, frosty -3C: pull the covers higher.

I was up at 6, as usual: tossed the ball with JJ; took some frost photos (I have to practice using a camera at sub-zero temps); set up my land line and internet connection (left it late and have to wait a little better than a week for installation); and called my building manager to see if the carpets were done yet, if the paint was dry, if I can move in!

No, no, and not yet. She’ll call when it’s ready.

Bonnie’s helping me move. I’m also allowing her to store some of her furniture at my place. Such a good brother. And such nice furniture! Really, it’s doing them a favour too: all of what I’m “storing” is right now in storage in their front sun-room. Once it’s cleared out there’ll be room to play billiards and shuffle board, and lounge in the sun.

I took the Mercedes in for inspection and an oil change to a shop run by an Englishman with a healthy respect for old, original German engineering. He’s given me a lead on heated storage in a quonset near here, at “a reasonable price”. I’m anxious to get her tucked away for the winter.


Time to date a human woman again, methinks.

Know any?

(Ed. – oh yeah, that’s gonna’ get you far)

This is a photo of Keremeos and the swollen Similkameen River last spring, a nice thought on a frosty foggy day.

Just 6 months to go!

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