Saturday, November 05, 2005

Artist Communities Alliance Meeting

Yesterday I spent the day in New Smyrna Beach Florida at the Atlantic Center for the Art—a remarkable facility that is connected by decks. The facility has a theatre, a music studio, writing space, painting studio, sculpture studio, cottages for visiting artists, and a common area with a kitchen.

I was there speaking at the Artist Communities Alliance conference on alternate application options to paper. Kodak has ceased production of slide projectors making this issue critical in the arts industry. Fellowship programs, public art programs, festivals amongst other fine arts initiatives are stuggling to figure out what the solution is for them. Groups have experimented with powerpoint presentations, computer monitors, and other equipment.

WESTAF has developed a system the works very well to accept applications, upload digital images that are high resolution, and adjudicate those applicants. We’re using Roku HD1000 digital media systems along with digital projectors. In the last year over 11,000 artist records have been created and there are close to 74,000 images that artists have uploaded into the ZAPP™ system.

This brings me back to slide projectors. As projectors break down and other machines are cannibalised to keep them running, we’re going to find machines sold for parts on eBay and other auction sites. They are going to become scarce. Some groups are not going to plan for the future and will find themselves in a bind. Others have become early adoptors and are planning for the future. My hope is that the systems that WESTAF has developed will become the industry standard and that we’ll be able to help agencies large and small navigate through this tranisition period.

I took a few pictures of the facility with my phone. They aren’t great, but I'll try to clean them up so you can see how special the Center is.

Insert Update

Wow can this thing ever heat a room. Way less wood than we've ever used before and it has been heating our family room beautifully. With a carefully placed fan, the heat is getting into the rest of the house. Our furnace hasn't turned on for most of the day so I guess its doing what we bought it to do. This does mean that the family room is pretty darn hot though and it is the room we spend most of our time in. I'm thinking that we may take a zoned approach where we don't really worry about the rest of the house unless we're planning on spending lots of time in the other rooms. At night, we're all under comforters anyway and the heat is reduced pretty significantly.

My overall impression so far...very cool, er hot. I like it!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Gecko Wake Up Call

I am in Florida right now at a conference I'm presenting at this afternoon. A little place near the Atlantic called New Smyrna Beach. I stayed in a little B & B last night called the Longboard Inn. Very pleasant. This morning I woke up to hundreds of little lizards running around on the back patio to my room. I don't have my camera with me, so I snapped a shot with my phone of one of the little guys. They are awfully cute and quite friendly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

New Fireplace Insert

Gas prices have been killing us for the last two years. This year they tell us that the cost is going to double. We would have heated every day with our fireplace over the last few years except that there are "Red" days where it is illegal. We have bought an insert for the fireplace rated to heat between 600 and 1500 square feet. It was installed this afternoon. So...a before and after picture!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Canadian Sponsorship Scandal

Its been a long time in the making, but it seems that the Liberal Party in Canada (and its formerly teflon ex-PM Jean Cretien) are in significant troubles. First off, the Liberals formed a minority government in the last election. In Canada, minority governments usually fall within about 18 months. Second, the intial draft of Justice John Gomery into the sponsorship debacle clearly delineates the level of corruption that occured in the mid 90's to the early 00's.

Stephen is calling for all parties to band together to bring the government down. One non-confidence vote and Canadians could be back at the polls in short order. Layton has indicated that he doesn't want a Christmas election, but you can see the wolves circling. I suspect an election will occur soon. This all hinges on Jack Layton of the NDP though. It is an interesting connundrum that the right wing parties need the most left wing party. Will Layton do it?

It troubles me personally as I've never been a fan of the right wing parties back home. The Conservative Party morphed with the Canadian Alliance and the Reform Party to create the current Conservative party.

On an related/unrelated note, I voted for the first time in over 10 years. I've been living in the States since 1995 and took American Citizenship last December. It felt a little strange to be actively be participating again, but the issues are important ones. Will Walmart be allowed to open up a store in Westminster? Will the State government be allowed to temporarily repeal TABOR (Tax Payers Bill of Rights)? Both issues are close to me. I don't want the Walmart opening up (though I don't object to revitalisation of the old strip mall) in our community. AND I believe that TABOR is responsible for higher education and health care for the less fortunate crumbling in this state. It is reprehensible to my social leaning tendancies. Both of these issues are at a statistical dead heat prior to the polls opening this morning.

CBC and Globe and Mail Coverage of the Sponsorship Scandal

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Halloween!

A quick picture of our two jack-o-lanterns that I carved this afternoon for tomorrow's festivities. The cobwebs are from my daughter's party yesterday afternoon. All in all, it makes for a pretty spooky setting! We will have a smoke machine and scary sound effects tomorrow afternoon as well. How about the gobo of blue buildings against our shades?

What are we going to be giving kids? Fruit rollups and helium balloons! We'll either be hated or loved.

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