Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Silly Video of Seneca Talking

One of our dogs decided to talk last night.

Canada's Parliment

I took a short video of the capitol buildings in Ottawa while walking from the Canada Council on the Arts offices over to the Westin Hotel where the International Festivals and Events Association meeting was taking place. I've posted it to Revver. You can see it below--its only 48 seconds long.

Canada Council

The Canada Council's offices look new and modern. Lots of glass and great lines. The lighting is quite beautiful too.

I had a good conversation with folks at the council. In many ways it was simply an introduction and an opportunity for us to see where there might be good intersection between WESTAF and the Council. I believe that there probably are resonances, particularly in the West, between the two organizations. The department I met with work on fostering partnership between the provinces and at a federal level. In many ways this mirrors the activities that Regional Arts Organizations in the US foster partnerships at the state level. I think that the CCA have some of the same experiences in working these, sometimes not aligned, agendas between the individual provinces.

In a previous post, I mentioned that the CCA budget was just about at parity with the NEA's budget and yet Canada's population is roughly that of California. To take that comparison one step further, WESTAF's region is the 12 western states. This means that our constituency is larger than that of the CCA--and trust me WESTAF's budget in comparison is very small.

Where will these conversations lead? I'm not sure, but I am eager to continue them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Canadian Contacts

Today I am on my way to Ottawa—my home town. I’ve got mixed feelings about the trip. With Paula laid up with the broken fibula it is tough to travel especially knowing that we had originally planned to have she and our daughter meet me there this weekend. With Paula’s break, we decided it was best for her to stay at home. My brother Alec and his family live in Manotick, a suburb of Ottawa. I’ll be staying with them over the next couple of days.

Over the next 24 hours I will be meeting with folks at the Canada Council on the Arts to discuss our two organizations and how they might interact in the future. The Canada Council is a similar organization at the National Endowment of the Arts—they are the national arts funder in Canada. They each have similar sized budgets, but Canada’s population is much smaller—roughly the same as the State of California. Canada has a stronger support of the arts, at least on a governmental level, than the U.S. One difference between Canada and the US is the Regional system fitting between the National level funders and the state/provincial level.

The meeting is a discovery kind of encounter with the intent to see where we might be able to collaborate or intersect.

Interestingly the Consulate in Denver has been in conversations with the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs (DOCA). Through an interesting string of events, the individual responsible for cultural exchange has given me tickets to a Barenaked Ladies concert at the Paramount in Denver on Thursday. I’ll be returning from Ottawa, hopefully in time for the concert. There is a meet and greet prior to the concert where, if I’m back, I’ll have a chance to meet the BLN. I think, more importantly, this has me in contact with some potentially interesting contacts at the Consulate. Still, I hope to 1) get on an earlier flight, or 2) that my flight isn’t late. We’ll see how United can help me out. I’m flying through Chicago’s O’Hare, which OFTEN has late flights.

The consular staff have asked if I can grab business cards from the Canada Council for them as well.

I’m also going to be doing some ZAPP demo work at the International Festival and Events Association annual meeting in Ottawa. Terry Adams, of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, is conducting a festival affinity group. I’ll be helping out with that a little and then doing a half hour presentation on the ZAPP program afterwards. We hope it might lead to some leads.

It feels good that I might work with folks from back home. It also feels pretty good that I’ve been back to Canada twice in the last couple of months.

ReplayTV and the Fall Season

One of my favourite features of ReplayTV which I only really end up using 2 or 3 times a year is found in ReplayZones. It searches for all the season premieres. It makes it very easy to program what you want to watch for the season. Very cool.

I’m also watching one of the summer series Kyle XY on my laptop on the airplane right now. We recorded the season when they had a marathon and then last night I downloaded it via DVArchive to my laptop.

It still seems like the ReplayTV hardware line STILL has the best software, best third party apps, best networkability. I don’t hold out any hope that there will ever be a HiDef version. It seems that DNNA is only working on a soft DVR that only deals with standard def TV.

All in all, I’ll be keeping our ReplayTVs going as long as I can, replacing hard drives as they fail and, I’m guessing, eventually using WiRNS to get guide data into the boxes.

Web 2.0 and WESTAF

Much of the experimenting that I’m engaged in right now with Web 2.0 is for the benefit discovering how best these tools can be used within the Arts and specifically how WESTAF can leverage these tools for our agency’s benefit and ultimately to help other agencies make use of the tools as well. To date, the social networking and Web 2.0 tools I’ve been working with the most include:

Blogger (of course)

Blogging and VideoLogging each have strengths and weaknesses. My brother pointed out on his blog recently that Vlogging’s main weakness is the inability to link within a single “post” to other sources. While that is true, I think that Vlogging, in some ways, is more accessible to public. Very short clips can be interspersed in posts strengthening the impact of the post.

All of my experiments with Vlogging so far have been experiments in shorts—mostly of family vacation time, and short moments in our lives, and finally short experiments just for the sake of getting used to using a video camera again.

Everyone can be a broadcaster. But how do you build audience? How do you drive traffic?

But that will have to wait for another post as my airplane is heading down towards O’Hare.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Paula's Ankle Continued

Her ankle is screwed, quite literally. Here are the latest low quality cell phone pictures.

and the sutures....

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Things that frighten people

Just another little experiment using iMovie, Revver, and our video camera. I rather like the 5-1 countdown.

I am getting pretty close to putting together some stories. It has been almost 8 years since I've engaged in any serious camera handling and video editing. The last few weeks has been an awful lot of fun.

So, enjoy the creeeepy video of spiders, centipedes, daddy longlegs, and dark stairways.

Stationary Steam Engine

Yesterday my family were at the local library. We heard a very loud hoot that sounded like something between an old steam train and a steam boat. It turned out that a fellow had set up a steam engine across the street in a parking lot. He built it in 1998 out of scrap. Some of the scrap was dated from the 19th century. Here's a short video of the engine in action that I have posted via Revver.

Revver--New way to share videos

Revver now allows you to create playlists of videos which you can then set up as a widget. If you look at the right side of blog, you will see a tool to tab through my videos on Revver.

Pretty cool stuff.

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