The New “Pandemic”

April 26, 2009

We have been reading with interest about the human-swine-avian flu that has hit Mexico (with sadly fatal results) and has now shown up in the US, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and elsewhere.


When we came back from Mexico this winter, both the better half and I had a tough few weeks with what, looking back, were clearly  flu-like symptoms.  I remember feeling tired all the time for a couple of weeks at least.  It played heck with my blood sugars, and we were both miserable.

I guess it is fair to wonder whether we got an early sample of this infection.  And if so, then the virus has been kicking around since December at least and has just reached the tipping point of news interest.

It is both sad and interesting that the disease has been extravagantly deadly in Mexico (more than 80 dead at this point) and yet easily tolerable elsewhere (at least so far).  When the case studies are written in the years to come, it will be instructive to understand the solution to that particular mystery.

Puerto Vallerta: Sunset

April 25, 2009


“Puerto Vallerta: Sunset” (2009), acrylics on canvas, 36″x24″

Canucks On A Roll!

April 22, 2009

Last night, for the first time in the club’s 40-year history, the Vancouver Canucks swept a 7-game playoff series, scoring their fourth victory in St Louis in overtime.


Alex Burrows scored the winner less than a minute before the scheduled end of the first overtime period.

The Canucks look better than ever these days;  strong, fast and determined.  Now we get at least a week’s rest and recuperation while Calgary and Chicago finish their series.  Gonna be a great spring!

Happy 420 …

April 20, 2009


Window Boxes

April 18, 2009


“Window Boxes” (2009), Powerpoint to TIFF, 36″ x 24″

Weave Scene This

April 17, 2009


“Weave Scene This” (2009), Powerpoint to TIFF, 36″ x 24″

Sumo Breaks Out!

April 17, 2009

Regular readers will know that I am a fan, a devotee of the ancient sport of sumo.  I enjoy the rituals, the colour, the history.  But I also think it is pretty stuffy, and needs to get over itself in order to attract new and younger supporters and stars.

The great champion yokozuna Asashoryu from Mongolia has, over the years, been the face of modern sumo.  He fights hard against the tradition-bound rules that govern how rikishi should live, and he is always in trouble with the authorities.

However, it may be that the Sumo Association is softening its stance.   Rikishi are generally not allowed to be seen in public unless they are wearing wrestling gear or a kimono.  But they have given Asashoryu permission to appear in a series of ads for a new soda drink.   In them, the big guy plays a supposedly oversized 13-year old schoolboy.  In this one, he and his friends arrive home late from school.  The mother thinks he has taken the boys to a dance club, but Asa shows her they were actually practicing at the school’s sumo club.

It is definitely odd.  But then again I find a lot of Japanese ads are designed for a completely different sensibility than mine.   Fun though to see the yokozuna dance and act!