A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Three hundred and sixty four days ago I wrote Why do I blog? A Northern Voice Perspective. I checked what I wrote (you can see all of it below) and the only few changes that I can notice is that I replaced my venerable Epson 1640 SU with an Epson V-700. And I also note that Rebecca is getting some competition from her sister Lauren in my blogs.

Paradoxically in the middle of having great FUN at this year's Northern Voice I have strained both Friday night and tonight in finding inspiration or motive to write the blog. Perhaps writing it in the evening when Rosemary is asleep is a private and even pleasantly lonely activity. Listening to a few read their blogs (some quite personal about failed relationships) at the Tiki Party, Thursday night, put me on the other end (receiving?) of my own blog. Pressing the Publish Post box sends my day's blog into an Einsteinian ether. That's comforting. Hearing it (a blog) bounce back as I did at the Waldorf was excruciating. I wonder if I will be back to normal by Sunday night?

The little girl, my granddaughter Rebecca, who illustrated this blog a year ago (picture taken in Uruguay in 2004) is is now 10 and I include here some pictures of her wearing that same dress we bought in Punta del Este, Uruguay in 2004.

I listened with interest the motivations of people who send pictures, tips and news essays to the CBC's Your Story in the Unconference. It would seem that they seek fame through that elusive medium of being published and "not paid be damned." It is quite difficult to borrow money from the bank with photo credits. It all made me think of Rebecca and a question she asked me as we left Opera Sushi, some weeks back. The Japanese chef had said, "Goodbye Rebecca," even though we were never introduced. It was obvious that the chef had read my blog about his establishment. Rebecca asked me, "Am I famous?" I told her I didn't think so. I further added, "You have to do something with your life before you can perhaps be famous."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

1979 motto of the Vancouver alternative scene rock band The Modernettes.

Get Modern or get fucked.

year and one month ago I started this blog with complete ignorance on what a blog was. The blog was attached to a simultaneously new web page, both designed by Doug Jasinki and Chris Botting at Skunkworks Creative Group Ltd.. That Doug Jasinski is also a lawyer brought with it some extra advantages in the wording of my profile.

Without knowing that it was a primitive version of a blog/wiki I had been a member some years before of the American Hosta Society Electronic Round Robin. It was the furious flaming in the forum postings that convinced me that my new blog should be what I call a "one sided" blog.

I was unsure on what the content of my blog was to be until I noticed my attraction to Bill Richardsons's CBC Radio show Bunny Watson. Alas! This radio program has been discontinued, but my memory of the program's quirky bringing together of apparently random facts through association has been my inspiration for my blog since. It is because of my blog's randomness that I have resisted classifying it into categories.

My new blog went along for a few weeks and was somehow noticed by Tim Bray who immediately advised me on two very necessary features. One was the RSS feed and the other the individual address links to every day's postings. I asked Bray what an RSS feed was and he told me, "Don't ask me, just tell your folks to install it." Looking into other blogs also convinced me on a self-imposed structure of:

1. No ranting.
2. No politics.
3. No religion.
4. No reviews of contemporary films.
5. No nude photographs. (I broke this rule once)
6. No blogs related to the day's news events except the deaths of interesting people whose pictures I have in my files.
7. No profanity except as quotes today and here

A large chunk of my blog has to do with my relationship to my granddaughter Rebecca Stewart (now 9). Slowly her sister Lauren (4) is beginning to share blog time.

Rebecca is not the only frequent visitor of my blog. My two daughters have told me that they have been afraid to ask me questions about my past or that there simply never seemed to be the time for them. They enjoy finding about themselves through my recounting of our past as a family.

I have been a freelance writer for 15 years and being able to write for Vancouver publications has all but disappeared. The incresing trend in using handout photographs (the same ones appear in most magazines and newspapers) has been paralleled by one of "modified" press releases made to look editorial. As newpsapers find it hard to increase their ad space there are many cuts in feelance hiring. For a while I was angry and frustrated.

This pent up anger has been released in my blogs on music, theatre and dance. I preview favourite artists and shows. I write what I want in the format that I want. No editor tells me I have to cut my word count. With this pent up anger gone my spirits are up and I can seek work calmly in the difficult market of photography.

My Epson 1640 SU flatbed scanner sits to the left of my monitor. It is a friendly companion that has served me well in my blogging. It has helped me make sense and put an order in my head of my extensive 30 year-old film files. When I don't have a photograph to fit into that day's blog I often find objects in my house that magically come to life when I place them on my scanner.

My wife Rosemary was at first aprehensive on my daily disappeances to sit in front of my computer. But after several valuable sales of my photographs found by search engines in my blog, including a recent one of Jane Jacobs to the Rockefeller Foundation she sees it as almost all good. So do I.

It would seem that my horizons in the blogging world are expanding. It was only yesterday,

at Moosecamp that I discovered a range of stuff I was completely ignorant about. I may not understand it yet, but there it is in my head ready to find future associations. Stuff like Drupel, WordPress, Twitter and Moo Cards.


Previous Posts
The Other Side Of Two Dimensions

Andrea Hodge - The Essential Ballerina

Phillips Hager & North - Alas! Is No More

Vivaldi's Gloria RV 589 & Maxim Guns

Story Me A Story On Green Dolphin Street

Black, White, Gray & Goose Green

Doc Harris & Those Air Canada Flight Attendants

Rebecca Stewart & Isabella de' Medici

David Y.H. Lui, Celia Duthie & The Fighting Temera...

Charm, A Swan Song, A Largo, Manet & Tiko Kerr Che...

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