30 November, 2011

My next dream job

Oh, did I laugh at this video. So very 1970s, don't you think? And to all you readers out there not from Germany... the type of jokes and bits of humour in the video are not typical of what passes for humour here. Germans can be really funny. Honest.

That all aside, wouldn't you love to work on the project? I would. 260 people employed on the project currently... wonder whether they need 261. I've never liked watching model landscapes, but I'd love to build them.

29 November, 2011

Strangely Poetic

Address Is Approximate from The Theory on Vimeo.

A strangely touching piece of film work. Wanderlust. Music. Far horizons. Paris Texas meets Wall-E in micro version.

24 November, 2011

A Woman with an Artist Eye

fiona sunset
Ladyfi is a artist who has a fantastic eye for capturing magical moments. As a British woman living in Sweden, she possess the curiosity and unique perspective of someone who has come from the outside in. The images she takes on her daily walks inspire us all who read her blog daily.

She has also generously offered on numerous occasions to send me some of her photos to make collages. Here is the original of the collage above. These two collages (1 and 2) also come from her photos.

Ladyfi, thank you ever so much for your generosity.

22 November, 2011

Starting up a freelance business

It has been nearly a year now since I started up my freelance business. I am working as a project manager, trainer, and technical editor. I do quite a bit of the former and later tasks, but the bulk of my work is, for the moment, working as a trainer.

This year has certainly been a roller coaster ride between breathless optimism and existential worries of looming failure. I thought I would write down my Top Five Lessons about being self-employed during economical times like these:

  1. Even at my age, I am capable of regularly and frequently working 12-hour days.
  2. Even after all my business experience, it is necessary sometimes to start with the modest contracts and build from there.
  3. Even if the media says otherwise, social media does not rule; word-of-mouth, person-to-person, face-to-face, straight-from-the-heart, are all top strategies for building a loyal customer network.
  4. Even if the economy is in crisis, people want to do their jobs well and are willing to pay if I can help them do that.
  5. Even though everyone is far too busy, it is surprising, and touching, people's willingness to find time to help me move forward.
To those of you who helped me learn these lessons, I am so very grateful for your enduring patience. Thank you so much.

20 November, 2011

The Arduino Project

I've been meaning to look at the six documentaries noted down in this blog post for a while now. First, well-made documentaries are fascinating to watch whatever the topic. Secondly, not so many years ago, I worked as a researcher in a great project promoting creative uses of digital technology in schools. If you share any of these two interests, please watch the video above.

The film outlines the Arduino project that provides students with a cost effective single-board microcontroller for controlling design projects. It is an open source hardware project that could become a very valuable learning tool for high school students. Basically, Arduino could be for hardware design what Alice is for object-oriented programming.

Even if you are not a teacher or not a parent of teenagers or not a technology buff... watch the video anyways. It will give you a glimpse into a world where innovation and creativity is a reality and not just a possibility.

19 November, 2011

Commercialising Fun

Sorry, not my normal style, but this French advertisement really is a hoot.

Also, can you imagine the initial marketing meeting? "I'm thinking pink bicycles, neon light stripper..." Must have taken a lot of courage.

A Thank You to Those Who Keep on Creating

keep drawing from studio shelter on Vimeo.

Years ago, I tripped over Elizabeth Perry's blog, where she posts simple drawings about her daily life. They are wonderful, funny, beautiful snapshots. She never writes very much in explanation of her subject, but the objects she draws do.

She partakes in other wonderful projects. Like going to a museum every day it is open for over seven months and making a drawing of something she sees.

She is the type of person who, given a choice, I'd love to meet over a long cup of tea and just ask her about what she sees and how she see it.
Over the years on my blog, I have republished a lot of the videos Elizabeth has put on her other blog (including the one above). This post is just an expression of thanks for all the creative input she gives those of us who enjoy her art.

14 November, 2011

Fine Quality

It is hard to tell people back in Canada what makes people tick here in Germany... well, this video almost captures the feeling of a job well done that is what makes so many people here happy.

12 November, 2011

Clash of Companions

We have a wonderful bakery right near where we live. It opens around six am. On Saturdays, like today, the early customers are an odd lot of still-awake-disco-goers, on-the-way-to-work-the-morning-shift-workers, and, touchingly, a fair group of fathers-of-small-babies-pushing-their-children-through-the-streets-to-let-their-wives-sleep-in-to-an-almost-humanly-acceptable-time-of-day-heroes.

Something New And Magical

LG (smartphones) and Google went out of their way coming up with this advert/product launch/art installation... whoever was behind the idea and the production has come up with something very unique. Wouldn't you have loved to have been there?

The building coming alive starts out very mechanical, so do stay with the show, for it eventually goes into the natural, fantastical, magical.

10 November, 2011

What Was So Cool...

What was so cool about the two young girls dressed in chic clothes... seeing them, so obviously happy, as they sang the latest pop song walking down the street, not caring a hoot who was looking at them... and how envious by-passers were (myself included) witnessing how comfortable and cool they felt... how very certain they were of their fantastical sublime-ness.

And all that despite the fact they were wearing their dorky bicycle helmets.

07 November, 2011

Poetry In Motion

Even though I promised myself not to embed so many videos from The Guardian, I just can not resist publishing this beautiful video on how to make sushi. Pure poetry in motion...


I've been thinking of doing a series of collages around tea... here's the first attempt at capturing what teatime means to me after 40 years of loving this drink in all its variety.

06 November, 2011

The Siren's Song

siren song
In Margret Atwood's poem, The Siren laments about the gullibility of humans. How we seek what we can never know... we yearn to hear only the one truth, the one song. A song that speaks not of truth, but simply expresses our deep yearning.

This poem makes me wonder about our gullibility in constantly seeking out experts to tell us how rid ourselves of our persisting malaise about what is to come. We yearn so to know… what is going to happen, how can we circumvent disaster, how can we come through it all unchanged?

Perhaps, just occasionally, we should just choose to turn off the television or not read the article. Choose not to listen.

02 November, 2011

Tasty In The Making

One of my favourite things to eat is tempura vegetables and seafood. I am sure though I never have had the joy of actually eating tempura prepared with the same care as Yoshinori Ishii prepares his.

I've just put "going to Umu and eating tempura" on my list of things I would like to do in my life.