Friday, August 31, 2007

Summer wouldn't be complete

...without a visit to the PNE.

Naturally, one of the main events is eating. While there are waaay too many choices to show, as a main course, the barbecued chicken is always reliably yummy.

A new feature I made a point of visiting was Bryan Berg's re-creation of Vancouver -- built out of playing cards! Berg holds the Guinness Book of Records for what he does. It was a good thing his display was behind plenty of plexiglass. And I guess he was lucky too that we didn't get one of our once-in-a-while earth tremors!

Even if some of them don't eat grass, you have to see the critters; after all, the PNE started out as an agricultural fair. This is one of the City of Burnaby's eco-sculpures. Like I said, it doesn't eat grass -- it is grass (and parsley and a mix of other green delights).

Of course, no visit would be complete without braving a couple of rides. There go Jeremy and Brenna on the Tilt-A-Whirl!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

In Harmony Festival

After a couple of greyish days, even the weather was in harmony for the annual In Harmony Festival. This is Mud Bay Blues Band, rockin' at Softball City. Not really a venue conducive to blues, but hey -- I guess for once, I'm not allowed to complain -- admission was free.

And here's a pic of Harriet's T-shirt, listing the performers from a previous year's festival, back when it was at the beautifully bluesy Camp Kwomais.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Remembering Jim

The ceremony to place Jim Gordon's headstone took place today, the one-year anniversary of his death.
I couldn't get to Hornby Island, where Jim had lived for so many years. Still, I observed it in my own way, setting a lighted candle near his photo.
I put on some Erik Satie (I knew Jim would love it) and performed one of my strangest dances, swirling around the room. All morning long, there'd been thick clouds in the sky, but as I passed beneath the skylight, the sun broke through. I can't help but think that ray of light was Jim, finding a way to say hello.

Quilts extraordinaire

So, how can something that keeps you warm at night be a work of art? It can if it's made by Val Smith. How's this for a one-of-a-kind way self-portrait!

It's no surprise that among honours she's won are accolades from the Canadian Quilters' Association.

One of my favourites, this wheel (called 'An Eye for Colour') demonstrates her skill in manipulating colour. With its amazing attention to detail, this piece is exemplary of all of Val's work. You can see this from this close-up of one segment of the circle.

Beyond treating both abstractions and the whimsical, she's not afraid of taking on the political, as in this final piece, the 'pine beetle stamp'. While it's great to have the chance to see a private show of her work, I look forward to seeing a batch of her work in a gallery.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

YVR, what a place!

Because a pal was passing through town and had a some stopover time, I drove out and met her for some lunch and a visit.

Maybe I was just feeling happy from our visit, but I was sure glad to see all those free carts. When I think of all the airports where you have to come up with a couple of bucks (often tricky if you haven't yet purchased local currency), I can't help but think these are a great PR move. I just hope the Olympic hype doesn't cause them to change the policy. Yay, YVR! In this instance, you rock.

Now, if only they'd initiate the first-half-hour free parking policy -- like the one they have at Buffalo's airport. It'd sure make those pick-up trips easier!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Not a bird, not a plane

And no, not Superman.

But it was pretty exciting to see the space shuttle fly overhead about an hour ago. It was super-bright and moving much faster than I'd expected -- I guess because it must be flying lower than most satellites. I'm used to tracking them on clear nights and though they move pretty quickly, this was downright speedy.

Maybe later tonight, if I'm lucky, I'll catch some of the annual Perseids.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A good day for art

Today is my son, the artist's birthday.

So not only did I have this to celebrate, there was an art opening at my local gallery. The work, a mixture of paintings (both figurative and abstract) and sculpture, was a retrospective by local artist John C. Butt. Here's a picture of John, with what he selected as his favourite piece -- at least for the night.

I especially loved the way he's used found objects in his sculptures: everything from reworked hunks of hundred-year-old cherry tree and recycled bolts to driftwood from White Rock beach. A nice mix.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

First of the season

They may be a little late this year, but I'm glad they've arrived. This was about a four-minute pick.

A bit of a rinse, a splash of maple syrup, a dollop of vanilla yogourt. Yum!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Saturday night fireworks show

Last night was the grand finale of Vancouver’s Symphony of Fire for 2007. I suppose China must have won, though really, how could they not – apparently they were previewing special effects for next year’s Olympics. With Vancouver as the next player in that particular money-eating exercise, well, really, China pretty much had to win.

I wasn’t dedicated enough to make the trek into the city, but settled instead for our hokey little Sea Festival fireworks show in White Rock. There were surprisingly few people down at the beach. I guess everyone else must have braved the traffic and buses and gone in for the biggies.

All in all, a lovely night seaside.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Garage sale season

I can't believe how many garage sales there were today. Might be partly because it's a long weekend. Just about anything you might want.

Barbies looking pretty senior-ish.

Even the proverbial kitchen sink.