Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Break and Coming Attractions

I am taking a summer break.

It's just a break...I need to do some travelling and I don't have a lap top, so posting while on the road is not going to be easy. Plus...I feel I need to rejuvenate my perspective.

Since not blogging last week...I read three books! So I need to refresh and reload.

What is very that I felt I had nothing to write about and immediately I have received e-mails and phone conversations of people giving me ideas! How wonderful! And several e-mails hoping I was not quitting blogging. No I am not quitting...just on summer holidays. Thanks for your e-mails and interest in this blog, I hope by taking time to refresh and research I will find all kinds of ways to surprise you!

It's occurred to me that visitors will want me to post some pics as Stagg and I are on a road trip this summer at end of July. So I will try to find internet cafes...

In the meantime I am researching and writing...a script...and ideas for this blog. I have lots of surprises in mind...and am already well on my way to new "aha moments" and inspirations.

Here are some upcoming topics and themes: (for the naturally curious and A-type on the yellow text for more info)

-Medical intuitives and psychic healing
-public transportation
- the rebirth of trains
-recycling garbage under your own house
-deep sea animals who live on caustic acid and carbon dioxide from inside the earth (can we find a new source of power by studying these animals? a new way to power vehicles?)
-New York City
-Miami Beach and the Florida everglades
- simple living lifestyle options for voluntary simplicity and the arctic research station
-Las Vegas
-Bootsy Collins
-new weird america (psychedelic folk music revival of the mid-2000's)
-post rock (Stagg kind of plays post get you started, think using rock instruments to play instrumental sounds)
-stretching and yoga. I've always done yoga...but recently I have added several new "classic" stretching exercises to my day...these neck exercises have been revolutional!

-art critics: I never thought I would appreciate an article by Jed Perl. I have thought this art critic was the most cynical person talking about pop culture in a long time...but it turns out maybe he and I just have different tastes in what we like...he has used some art I like to try to explain his position...(I think he has made a few mistakes with the examples he used like Lisa Yuskavage)...but he wrote an awesome article recently. If you hate art or love should read this article by Jed Perl. What I have in the past called "punchline art" he calls "visual stunts".

I happen to like Jeff Koons and so disagree with Perl except...that Perl is correct. I think Koons manages to both be a major superficial product manager AND an artist at he same time heh heh...but aside from Koons...I think Jed Perl is right on. Here is a post I wrote a while ago...related: called "I Blame The Artist" click here...

An alternative to cars? Human Powered Vehicles...

Green Mall...a real place why not design for urban Japan...and Seattle mock up for urban farms...

-Rain Barrel Guide I grew up using rain barrels and I love them...and don't understand why every home owner doesn't have them...let's investigate...
-Green Culture
-Human Powered Vehicles

Why don't you have a rain barrel?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vertical Farming

-Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)
-No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests

VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
-VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
-VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
-VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface
-VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of
-VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible
parts of plants and animals
-VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)
-VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers
-VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers
-VF creates new employment opportunities
-We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on
-VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps
-VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical
LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production.
-VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water
and land for agriculture.

Poor Stagg...he sometimes wonders just how crazy I might obsession with rejecting totalitarian agricultural ideas of how we could live differently have irritated friends and family for decades.

The other night Stagg got a wild valedation that maybe I am on to something after all...

...he saw a guy on tv talking about "vertical farming" for cities. EXACTLY what I have suggested in endless arguments for decades.

Understanding the profound mistake acknowledged with Canada's formal apology to Native Canadians last week...maybe just maybe Canadians will be ready to think about new ways to make a living rather than forcing other cultures to live like farmers.

I think Stagg was relieved to know I am not the only crazy motherfucker in the world...

Stephen Colbert's guest the other night discusses "vertical farming"...

In the next 50 years, the U.N. estimates the world’s population will reach roughly nine billion people, and the vast majority will live in cities. Feeding those hungry mouths, experts say, will require clearing an additional ten billion hectares for farming—that’s an area roughly the size of Brazil. But Dickson Despommier, a microbiologist at Columbia University, doesn’t believe that chopping down the world’s forests to make new farmland is the answer to easing potential food shortages. Instead, he wants to bring farming to the places where most consumers and supermarkets are—namely, cities. Forget community gardens and the occasional greenhouse; Despommier and a team of his students propose farming in skyscrapers, or “vertical farms.” They envision 30-story buildings that each take up a city block and grow enough food for 50,000 people per year.
“It’s not just a way of generating food,” says Despommier. “It’s a way of dealing with municipal waste, recycling water, and using methane digestion to help a city be sustainable.”
the entire article is found here

Advantages of Vertical Farming

-Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)
-No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests

VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
-VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
-VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
-VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface
-VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of
-VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible
parts of plants and animals
-VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)
-VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers
-VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers
-VF creates new employment opportunities
-We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on
-VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps
-VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical
LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production.
-VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water
and land for agriculture.

This is likely to be my last post on this blog for a while. Everything I have been inspired about for my life and that influenced my writing on this blog has come to mainstream culture this past few weeks. "Vertical Farming" has entered univerisity experiments and courses and people in the last year have been making architectural drawings that deal with the tragedy of us growing food. The Canadian government's apology to Native-Canadians and Aboriginals means we have publically begun to understand the holocaust that farming created for the environment and for creating human social class systems.

Until I find a new "aha" experience or a paradigm shift to explore...I don't see much use for this blog at the moment. Hopefully some of my visitors have considered the risk to their health by eating starches (depression, diabetes, mental illness and malnutrition...often manifested as cynicism and weight issues). I am happy knowing that some people started buying at least few products grown organically since I began blogging. And hopefully some visitors will consider the holocaust of farming as something we should contain in cities rather than expanding to the wilderness.

The last two posts of this week have been the most personally important to me and the vaccuum of comments tells me I have hit the wall. Being boring is a good sign...means I got my message across enough for visitors to know what the deal was around this blog. A very rewarding feeling, thanks visitors! I will still be blog-surfing to blogpals.

In the meantime, may the Goddesses and Ganeshes bless you.

Let the wilderness return to hunters-gatherers and wild animals...not to fucking farmers. Later...

Vertical Farm

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Been Tagged...We Are All Slaves...




Thanks Tweetey for tagging me!

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


7 Random Things About Moi...

1.)Are you sure you want to know seven random things about me? I am a difficult person to know. One of the main reasons I am a difficult person to know is because my beliefs and attitudes towards life are not part of the mainstream dominant culture I live in.

I never believed in this system I grew up in. I was always an outsider because I was always intuitively suspicious of the culture I grew up in...something was wrong with it. Why work when food was free?

When it came to the North American game of children of "Cowboys and Indians" I always played the Indian. They dressed better and lived way cooler. I knew that since a small small child. I grew up near and with Reservation kids and they were often my best friends. In grade seven I spent my days with my Kwakiutl friend and we would go to the beach and catch fish and eat raw oysters and look at the Petroglyphs on the beach on Quadra Island. All day.

No one who knows me is not without the knowledge that I do not believe in the totalitarian agricultural economy that dominates the planet.

It is the nature of believing that we can control food and food production and distribution that deludes us into thinking we can control other people...and we are superior to other people. Farmers believe their way of life is superior and better than other ways of making a living.

The most powerful urban myth on the planet is that our recent turn to agriculture was a "revolution".

Our turn to agriculture was a desperate survival attempt due to dwindling resources when all of the human population were hunters and gatherers.

Once we started controlling food production by cultivating plants and seeds we also began to have class and gender clashes. There developed a separation between the slaves who had to grow food and the peope who distributed the food. Since then we have believed we were superior to other ways and cultures of making a living.

This week...I can not help but fondly think of the friends I played or went to school with in Northern Ontario at my family's summer annual camping trips and on Quadra Island and Kitimat B.C.

I can not help but think of all the Native Canadians who never thought I was crazy because I rejected agriculture and farming...with my Native Canadian peers I was never a crazy person...but someone who understood ...maybe just a little...the magic and power of diversity. Diversity in food, language and economy.

Maybe this week some of us can truly grasp in Canada and the important the economies of hunters and gatherers are to future survival. Hopefully by apologizing to Aboriginals we can learn to study and respect a different way of living and making a living...I believe recognizing the diversity of getting food is a clue on how to heal and co-operate between communities and the world.

I never thought I would post a video of Prime Minister Harper speaking here...but for the first time in his political career I am pleased with his actions and his stand.

I am also very proud of Jack Layton, who I voted for and who met with Harper and convinced him of the importance of the following apologies.

If you want to know a little bit about me and my passion...then the following videos will express something dear dear to my heart and existence.

Here first, is Jack Layton:


Part 1 of Canada's formal apology to First Nations and aboriginal peoples and Native Canadians...


This is part 2 of the formal apology.

This video is the formal response of Chief Phil Fontaine...some other random fact about me...I wept while watching these broadcasts.

5.) There are two radically different ways for members of a society to satisfy all their needs: by
producing a lot, as in Western societies, or by not wanting a lot, as in those the American
anthropologist Marshall Sahlins has called "Zen" societies. The "Zen" way chosen by
hunter-gatherer societies is to stop producing food as soon as they consider that the quantity in hand
has reached a level sufficient for their needs.

It has been shown, and statistically confirmed, that, contrary to a widespread misconception,
population groups who live by hunting, fishing and gathering do not live in utter privation, nor are
they constantly in search of permanently inadequate food. On the contrary, they may be said to have
created "the first affluent society", spending only a few hours a day on meeting their material needs
and keeping the rest of their time free for recreational and social activities.
from aAn Economy of Sharing by Marie Roue

The Original Affluent Society...I double dog dare you to read will take time, but it is a random fact about here

6.) There is a is a difficult secret...but at the end of the day...we are all Aboriginals. And those of us who were raised within agricultural economies have forgotten...we are all programed to believe that farming is the best way to make a living.

The secret is that for hundreds of thousands of years we were all hunter and gatherers. We did not make a living by growing food, locking it up and then selling it back to ourselves. We shared food.

I realize that we have such dwindling resources on earth and a huge population that we have become an animal that competes for food with our neighbours, our friends and between continents.

We were capable of sharing and hunting for food for 2 million years. We have only been using food as a source of power for 10,000 years.

If we can apologize to hunter and gatherers for forcing them to go to agricultural schools to learn the belief system of farmers......can't we apologize to ourselves for believing in a urban myth that farming is superior?

We are still teaching children what we wrongly believe ourselves: that farming is needed and is a superior way to make a living.

Can the profound apology offered by our mainstream Canadian government become a metaphor for our own brainwashing and the brainwashing of our children to believe in the dominant culture of the planet...?

I realize that to feed all the worlds population we may have to continue to grow food...but we need to start to look at how and where we grow food. Organic, subsistence farming may be the only way we can survive and not damage the world with gas emissions transporting our addiction to farming...and using up wilderness to grow food. We also need to consider only growing and eating food that is high and rich in nutrients. Ask yourself...why should we grow wheat for bread and noodles when it is a waste of land...instead grow brocoli and squash and leafy green vegetables that actually have nutrients naturally supplied?

7.)And back by popular demand:

In the 1940's, a farm magazine had a contest for a 100 word analysis of a photo of a deserted farmhouse in a badly gullied feild. This was 1st prize:

Picture show white man crazy. Cut down trees, make big teepee. Plough hill. Water mash. Wind blow soil. Grass gone. Door gone. Whole place gone. Money gone. Papoose gone. Squaw too. No chuckaway. No pigs. No cow. No plough. No hay. No pony. Indian no plough land. Keep grass. Buffalo eat grass. Indian eat buffalo. Hides make teepee. Make moccasin. Indian no make terrace. No make dam. All time eat. No hunt job. No hitch hike. No ask relief. No shoot pig. Great spirit make grass. Indian no waste anything. Indian no work. White man crazy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I was talking to my sister on the phone the other day about these octopuses in the book I was reading...and laughing and laughing and she told me about the above video...she saw it a couple of years ago from the guy who actually was working the ROV. (if you've never seen The Abyss, an ROV is a remote operated vehicle). I was pretty sure I could find it on YouTube. The octopus is 16ft giant pacific coast "80lb Octopus Doflieni". The ROV has to jet it's engines to shake loose octopus.

I used to watch and sometimes catch these animals when I was growing up.

The above video shows a Giant Pacific Octopus on the can see her change colours several times subtly as she moves...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Deer Looking At Lucas the Cat

A woman at one of my online book clubs had this picture on her blog this weekend, it just slayed me. So cute!

I've been reading Eugene Linden's The Octopus and the Orangutan: More True Tales of Animal Intrgue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity.

I have been laughing my head off...stories about a lab where every morning the biologists are wondering what happened to their animals and samples they had in tanks the day before. In the middle of the night one of the octopuses (aparently that is okay to say octopuses) crawled out of his tank and raided the other tanks. I had tears running down my face I was laughing so hard. I could just see him in the morning "what?" twiddling his tentacles.

Did you know octopuses make several colours of ink and have neurons in each of their arms?

Read about an orangutan who picked the lock of his cage and escaped and when found and caught again had a wire tucked under his lip between his mouth and teeth. He had gotten the wire from bribing the overweight female gorilla in the next cage with food and she passed him the wire. The American League of Locksmiths made him an honourary member.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

How Old Is Your Brain?

How old is your brain? Here is a fun yellow letters...

My brain is 33 years old. I feel so old!

Procedure of Flash Fabrica Game:

1. Touch 'start'

2. Wait for 3, 2, 1.

3. Memorize the number's position on the
screen, then click the circle from the smallest number to
the biggest number.

4. At the end of game, computer will tell you how
old your brain.

Good luck !!

Twenty Years Later

B.B. King is closing the Chicago Blues Fest tonight, and he hasn't played it for twenty years.

Here from local alternative paper The Reader:

Even though the first blues fest in Grant Park—an almost forgotten all-star extravaganza whose organizers included local African-American luminaries like the late Willie Dixon—was held in 1969, the city considers this the 25th anniversary of the Chicago Blues Festival proper. And in that spirit, several headliners—Sunday-night closer B.B. King, many of the players in Friday night’s “Blasts From the Past” old-school soul revue—are older-generation stars.

Their peak years, at least in terms of their popularity with black audiences, are behind them. Many of them—along with fest artists like Koko Taylor, Duke Robillard, Johnny Winter, James Cotton, and lesser-known but gifted figures like Sharon Lewis and Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones—have benefited from the blues’ modern-day success with mainstream white listeners. This audience crossover, though often cited as evidence of the music’s universal appeal, is at least as frequently held up as “proof” that it’s no longer an authentic form of African-American cultural expression.

That conclusion, however, is hard to justify in light of the great number of contemporary stylists, both in the blues and its related genres, whose audiences remain mostly black. A healthy sampling of those artists are also included in this year’s fest lineup, including national figures such as Theodis Ealey, Charles Wilson, and the still-potent Cicero Blake, as well as locally renowned acts like Jo Jo Murray, Shorty Mack, and Patricia Scott. Rugged jukers like Joe B, Willie D., and the Taylor family are living proof that the music is still an important social and cultural force in the neighborhoods where it originally arose.

That’s not to say that every­thing on the bill fits into one of those two categories. Artists like Little Willie Littlefield, Louisiana Red, and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band, each steeped in a heritage that predates postwar electric blues, are so resolutely rootsy they’re essentially timeless—they appeal not just to the white Chicago blues crowd or the black soul-blues crowd but instead transcend genre and generation.

B.B King in 1990. And from Rattle and Hum 1987.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

An Interesting Poet

We associate the depiction of rural life with pastoral, a mode that was shaped by city sensibilities for city audiences. Pastoral is a sophisticated game pitting poets against earlier poets, like a chess match played across time. No poet writing about the natural world entirely opts out of the game, but Murray’s poetry of elk and emus, bougainvillea and turmeric dust, comes close. For the sheer scarcity of its flora and fauna, this pastoral feels pretty far off the Virgilian grid. No poet who was “kept poor,” as Murray believes he and his parents were, sees “nature”—droughts and floods, the relentless summer heat on an uninsulated iron roof—in celebratory terms. Indeed, since the poverty that Murray suffered was an enforced poverty, it is hard even to see “nature” in natural terms. Nature, for him, is the field where human motives, often sinister, play out. New York Times

Just got turned on to an interesting poet, Les Murray, from Australia....

The Shining Slopes and Planes

Having tacked loose tin panels
of the car shed together
Peter the carpenter walks straight up
the ladder, no hands,
and buttons down lapels of the roof.

Now his light weight is on the house
overhead, and then he's back down
bearing long straps of a wiry green
Alpine grass, root-woven, fine as fur
that has grown in our metal rain gutters.

Bird-seeded, or fetched by the wind
it has had twenty years up there
being nourished on cloud-dust, on washings
of radiant iron, on nesting debris
in which pinch-sized trees had also sprouted.

Now it tangles on the ground. And the laundry
drips jowls of coloured weight
below one walking stucco stucco
up and down overlaps, to fix
the biplane houses of Australia

The House Left in English

The house has stopped its desperate travelling.
It won't fly to New Orleans, or to Hungary again,
though it counts, and swears, in Magyar.

It is left in English with its life suspended,
meals in the freezer, clothes on airy shelves,
ski badges prickling a wall chart of the Alps.

The house plays radio, its lights clock on and off
but it won't answer the phone, even in Swiss German.
Since the second recession of helped steps

the house quotes from its life and can't explain:
dress-cutter's chalk. Melbourne Cup day 1950.
Alphorn skullcaps. Wartime soy flour, with an onion!

All earlier houses and times, in black and white,
are boxed by aged children visiting to dust this one
on its leafy corner and still, for a while, in colour.

New York Times article on the poet Les Murray.
Listen to Les Murrary read his poems here

Friday, June 06, 2008

Overweight Canada

Did you know that it is super easy to lose weight?

Yep...stop eating bread, noodles, rice, cereal, potatoes (chips) flour( cakes donuts, pastries, cookies) and other empty starches.

The pounds will simply disappear and you can eat as much as you want...whole bowls of strawberries (with cottage cheese)...the biggest salads...a hamburger (without the bun of course), a big bowl of yogurt,....

Or how about only eating one of those starches once a week?

Did you know that cancer and insulin are corelated? Thats right...cancer eats know STARCHES!

It is a well-known scientific fact that cancer cells have a voracious appetite for glucose. Glucose is their unique source of energy, and because of the relatively inefficient way cancer cells burn this fuel, they use up a great deal of it. This is one reason why cancer patients lose so much weight. Because cancer cells require so much glucose, they virtually steal it away from the body's normal cells, thus starving them. From here and

Did you know that eating starches promotes a sudden rise of sugar in your blood?

So why do we tell women with breast cancer to eat low particular those poor women focus on eating starches...which raise their sugar blood levels.

Today when I check my e-mail there is a news story that Canada is overweight...

In Canada we have this silly "food pyramid" called the Canada Food Guide which encourages people to eat plenty of starches...5-12 times a day! That is completely ridiculous, in fact we don't even NEED to eat most of these priducts EVER. No wonder Canada is overweight if Canadians are eating bread or noodles or grains every day!!!

Being overweight and recovering from cancer are also corelated. It is believed this relationship between cancer and weight is also because of the insulin/sugar blood levels.

Here is a simple way to find out if you need to lose weight.
It is a Body Mass Index (click on the yellow letters to use interactive chart)

What is your BMI...

Now compare your BMI that you just got from that link to the following:

18.5 or less: You are underweight
It is extremely important to make sure you consume a balance diet, especially if you are under weight. Taking a daily supplement is a good way to ensure you get all of the nutrients your body requires. Speak to your family doctor if you have experienced rapid weight loss, or are having trouble gaining weight.

18.6 - 24.9: You are normal weight
This is the weight that every person strives for, so congratulate your self for being bang on. Continue to maintain the weight you’re at by getting daily exercise and eating a balanced diet.

25 - 29.9: You are overweight
You may be overweight, but you are definitely not alone. In fact, most Canadians will fall into this category. It is important to start taking your health more seriously and shed those extra pounds.

30 or greater: You are obese
This shouldn’t be taken lightly. Obesity has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and cancer – just to name a few. If your BMI is higher than 30, consult your physician and start seriously working on a plan to change your lifestyle before it’s too late.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wut Up?

I have been a little AWOL in the past month and not blogging very much. I have been pretty busy working and my free time I have been going on massive walks while in Toronto. It's been pretty fantastic as they wear me out and I've been having great sleeps. We saw some wonderful baby ducks in an urban landscaped park last week and sat and watched them for about 15 minutes taking a break from our huge city walking. We walked from the west side to Allen Gardens and all through University of Toronto and then back to Bathurst about 3 hours I guess.

Meanwhile I did a lot of paperwork and some fundraising for one of my dcumentaries and work. Not much else to report. After a stagnant own fault...I didn't want to buy new boots ha! And so of course it was a super snowy winter and I didn't really get much outdoor exercise for two months...I won't let that happen again! I had to talke like two weeks to get my wind back...about three days of sore muscles...but now all back to normal.

Anita and I went on a 14k walk last Thursday and we started it off watching these adorable baby Canada Geese. We walked from oh sheesh somewhere way up north all the way along the Don River to Queen Street. We saw a frog, 2 orioles, several hundreds of small fish in the river, a rabbit, a ground hog, a chipmunk and lots of red winged black birds.

I admit I was pretty tired that night even my ankles hurt!

As I've said I've been doing a lot of walking. Stagg and I walked for over an hour to a club to go dancing for a Madonna-Rama night...lots of fun great to hear her new music in a nightclub the crowd went nuts, dance floor completely filled up.

I am really working at working out. Today I didn't make it to the pool. Usually I get int he poo with the Silver Mafia around 7:30 but couldn't wake up this week easily. Tomoorow for sure.

But my work out routine so far is to walk twenty minutes at medium fast pace, then on treadmill very fast...this side of a run for 20 more minutes. I did rowing machine for 10 minutes. Then 60 abdominal on a weight machine thingie. Then light weights for my far only 10 pounds. I kind of build muscle really quick so I tend to only lift light weights.

The I do about 40 minutes of yoga like stretching and exercising, leg ups, about 40 sit ups on the floor.

This will take me another week or two to get warmed up and then I'll add minutes to each of these activities.

The shitty part is, women need to work out 5-6 times a week to keep weight off (and lose) where men can work out 3 times a week and lose weight. Oh well.

What have I been listening to lately? Well, of course Madonna's new album, which is amazing to walk to around the city...all the retro smooth dico makes you walk very fast. Listening to a new Peter Murphy (from Bauhuas) , new Paul Weller (thanks Cappicino Kid). I unpacked a lot of records too...we have a turn table and I really miss the feeling of records and the artwork on them. I got Sandinista some old Madonna's, The Misfits, Coleman Hawkins, Robert Johnson, The Cure, Diamanda Galas, I got out Nebraska which really is such a must own if you don't own it...well your collection is sadly amiss ha ha! Really no self respecting goth and artist can sleep at night if they haven't spent many irreplacable hours listening to Nebraska and staring at their bedroom ceiling...

My plans for the next couple of months? Well a conference in Knoxville for Cormac McCarthy, a trip to Florida and Memphis (we think waiting to hear about our budget and Stagg's time off) and we are going to New York City beginning of August. can see that I will be on a bus, and probably Stagg too, for quite a bit of time and I've got to keep up with the stretching. I figure if I lose a lot of weight the bus seats will feel bigger...?

anyways...not too much news that's about it but it felt so good to ge around and check out everyone's blogs...


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

In Production

QUESTION: Are you still planning to make Blood Meridian?

RIDLEY SCOTT: We got it down as a screenplay and the problem is that it is so savage. But that’s what it is. If you did it properly it would be an X-certificate. But you can’t apologise for the violence and you can’t quantify the violence and you shouldn’t try to explain the violence. It is what it is…an exercise in brutality, savagery and violence. For the most part it is probably relatively accurate. It shows the flipside to Dances With Wolves of how the United States was probably taken. It was taken by the throat.

(the screenplay is written by William Monoghan who wrote The Departed. Ridley Scott is the director of American Gangster, Gladiator, Bladerunner, The Hunger, Thelma and Louise, Alien)

Interview with Ridley Scott
Blood Meridian Wikipedia page
TIME magazine's top 100 novels of all many have you read? (I've only read 59 of them)
1985 New York Times review of Blood Meridian

She Makes It Look Easy

As many of you visitors might remember I've posted pics of the cats Bits and Hawkeye. They are both special needs cats. I was playing with the 10 1/2 month old kitten Hawkeye and wanted to film some of her clever ways. It's almost impossible to tell she is blind. She is a small cat, only about 10 inches tall and it is her first birthday on July 1st, Canada Day.

Hawkeye loves anything crunchy sounding especially foil paper. We are not sure how much sight she has...she will walk into objects if they have been moved depending on the light in a room at any given time. She also can chase and catch bugs, she caught and killed a bumblebee the other day and proudly delivered it to her mistress, my daughter. Is she seeing the bugs or listening to them? On some days she seem completely blind on others she seems to be able to see shadows and be extremely precise in her games and running around.

She is an absolute love bunny and so so cute in person you just want to hug her all the time. She has also enlivened the life of her room mate the cat Bits who is a little overweight, has balance and depth perception challenges (he has a stunted tail and one green eye and one yellow eye, slightly askew ...a little like Marilyn Manson and very cute in his own right). She has inspired Bits to play and chase and gives him all kinds of fun company he is ten years old but gets t be a big brother and play like a kitten with her. She uses him as a guide sometimes and a rock if she is spooked by her environment if it changes.

In this short video you can see her playing with a piece of foil paper. At one point you can see how she loses track of where the toy is and manages to gently feel around for it...sometimes finding it, sometimes not...and then she accidently walks on it and finds it. She loves the cat bed that Tuffy P and Mister Anchovy gave to her and Bits. Unfortunately Bits was having a huge nap upstairs when I was filming the kitten so he is not in this video.

She also has a very clever way to get a drink of water without using a bowl. Many cats use sinks or tubs to get fresh water, but Hawkeye also uses the drain in the bathtub as a kind of steady reference and a compass. You can see her get a drink at the end of the video. Watch closely as she feels for the drain to rest her arm and paw on it to anticipate and know where the water is coming from and she licks it off her arm. What a smart cat!

This isn't my best filming as I was trying not to giggle while I filmed her playing...but you get an idea of her personality. She is a rockstar!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Chicago Prize Fighter and Guitarist, Bo Diddley R.I.P.

I saw Bo Diddley play with The Clash a long time ago. Bo Diddley was the missing link between blues, rock and pop. He will be missed.

Anarchist, Artist Fashion Designer, Yves St.Laurant R.I.P.

Above is a clip from a fantastic documentary on one of the last haute courtier designers, Yves St. Laurant. YSL died last night...and will art in fashion be the same? New York Times obit.

Red-Tailed Hawk

Buteo jamaicensis
Red-tailed Hawk

Distinguishing Features - Upper side, dark brown randomly mixed with white and reddy-brown. Upper tail surface, characteristic chestnut colour (hence the name "red-tailed"), bearing narrow black subterminal band with whitish tip. Dusky strip from corners of mouth to shoulder. Underparts whitish, with a band, lined with random, slate-coloured markings. Underside of tail grayish with faint bars. Female somewhat larger than the male.

Size -
Male: 48 - 56 cm (19.25 - 22.5 in)
Female: 53 - 61 cm (21.25 - 24.5 in)


In both woodlands and open areas.


Mostly in tops of large trees but will nest on a cliff where trees are not available. Nest is made of larger twigs, lined with moss, bark, grass or other soft materials. Eggs, 2 - 4; white, lightly spotted with brown. Incubation period 28 - 32 days.


The Red-tailed Hawk is often seen perched on a branch or a telephone line surveying the surrounding countryside. Its diet consists mainly of small rodents and birds, as well as larger insects.

This here hawk...didn't get the memo...

"You looking at me?!"

My cell phone camera is limited and so I was able to find some awesome photos on the internet taken by a professional camera and talented photographer...

photos from here..."Outdoor Ontario" website The photgrapher who posted these pics on the wlinked website is Julian and thanks so much for such wonderful photos!!!!

Check out the red arrows...that is where the hawks are living...

These next pics are from my cell phone:

Anita and Behzad use binoculars to watch the nesting hawks. We can see the babies with our bare eyes too!

A mining dispute in northern Ontario has moved to the front lawn of the Ontario legislature.

Native and environmental protesters have set up a three-day camp on the grounds of Queen's Park, asking the government to revise the province's mining legislation. They also want Premier Dalton McGuinty to grant six jailed native leaders a reprieve.

The three-day protest will include singing, dancing and other traditional native ceremonies.

It's no vacation, according to Donny Morris chief of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, or K-I First Nation.

"Yeah, I would say we've been misled. Misled to believe things were done on our behalf here, so that's why we're bringing the fight to Toronto," he said.

That fight has already landed the K-I chief in jail along with five others.

Dubbed the K-I 6, they were sentenced to six months in jail for contempt of court after ignoring a judge's order not to interfere with the mining firm Platinex.

The company staked mineral claims on disputed Crown without the natives' permission. But under Ontario's century-old Mining Act, it's perfectly legal.

Sam McKay, another of the K-I 6, said if the mine goes ahead it has the potential to poison the Big Trout Lake watershed.

"It's only 17 kilometres from the south shore of our lake that we live at, and that's our livelihood," said McKay.

Protesters will stay on Queen's Park front lawn until May 29, the Assembly of First Nations' National Day of Action.
from CBC

We ate lunch at the Legislative cafeteria. I highly recommend checking out your local political building, the hawks and a great menu. Your tax dollars are paying for this you might as well join in and enjoy. Our lunch was beef, lamb shank, and sausage with choice of salad or fries for $7.99. (I don't eat lamb so gave my portion to Behzad) isn't it a great deal?!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Stereos and Observation Deck...Toronto is a buzzkill sometimes...

Last week Anita Behzad and I went around to a few galleries and historical buildings in Toronto's Open Door event. Open Door invites the public to visit unusual locations and architecture that isn't always open to the public. We saw a great show about the history of Canadian electronics Ccompany Clairtone featuring several models of the stereo seen above. I had no idea Canada had been a vanguard of electronics invention...and what a cool stereo this is...I want one!

Clairtone Sound Corporation Limited was a manufacturer of high-quality sound electronics and accessories based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1958 by Canadian electronics engineer and businessman Peter Munk with furniture designer David Gilmour, the company established an international reputation for stereo and cabinetry design in the 1960s. It had failed little more than a decade later but in its heyday it made a notable contribution to the field of consumer electronics.
The company was traded publicly on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but even as it was winning awards for its innovative designs, Clairtone was facing insurmountable financial troubles. In 1963 it earned a profit of $300,000 on sales of $10 million, and profits decreased the following year as marketing costs rose higher than sales.

THE ART of Clairtone: The Making of a Design Icon must surely be a publishing first: a beautiful coffee-table book about an ugly business failure.

That, however, is not exactly how its creators would describe it. Design Exchange of Toronto, which calls itself "Canada’s national centre for the promotion of design," claims that the Project G stereo, which Clairtone Sound Corporation produced, was "conceptually original, technically and functionally perfect, and aesthetically superior."

It was "the epitome of a design icon."

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company that made such a contribution to design history, the exchange helped authors Nina Munk and Rachel Gotlieb, and graphic designer Barb Woolley, to put together The Art of Clairtone. It’s lavishly illustrated, shaped like a breadboard, and priced at 45 bucks.

The founders of Clairtone in 1958 were Peter Munk, 30, an Hungarian-born electrical engineer who made custom hi-fi sets for rich Torontonians, and David Gilmour, 26, an importer of Scandinavian glass, ceramics and flatware. They combined superior hi-fi equipment with modern Scandinavian furniture design, and their business took off like a rocket.

As early as January, 1961, Peter Munk boasted, "Everybody knew about Clairtone. The prime minister had one, and if the local truck driver didn’t have one, he wanted one."

Everybody knew about Clairtone and, in the words of my late friend, business journalist Alexander Ross, the immaculately tailored Munk and Gilmour were "everybody’s darlings." They were treated "as movie magazines treated Rock Hudson, with awe-struck approval." from Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald

Oscar Peterson said his music sounded as good on a Clairtone as it did in a live concert. Dizzy Gillespie and Hugh Hefner loved their Clairtones. "Listen to Sinatra on Clairtone stereo," one ad smoothly suggested. "Sinatra does."

The City Hall of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell and engineered by Hannskarl Bandel, the building opened in 1965. I took the following pics from the top of the roof of the building on the right with my cell phone.

We also went to the top of the "new" City Hall building observation deck. The deck was designed to be open for the public but for some reason (cutbacks?) it is only open once a year...that is ridiculous...I am writing a letter to City Hall to complain...NOW THAT is something I feel glad to have my tax dollars spent on...sheesh!

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