/** Google Analytics tracking code*/ /** End Google Analytics code. */

Old workhorse gets new life

Some products become classics of their kind … the HP Laserjet 4MV is one of those. Years ago, I put up a post detailing how I’d kept one going through killer changes to Macintosh operating systems. Many grateful devotees found my cures and added their own tips. Mini-cult.

It’s been sitting idle during my retirement years and that bugs me, so I asked Joanne Filletti if the Gerrard Art Space could use it. I got an enthusiastic “yes”.

First, there was the challenge of getting it to talk to OS X (El Capitan). OK, figured that out. Then the tabloid tray decided to stall. Hey, that 11×17 paper is what makes the printer special.

I know at least one reader will be interested to know that I brought the “paper jam” warnings to heel by carefully cleaning the rollers inside. Joy! It works!

L’art de fart

The eye-catching image isn’t here just because I’m full of beans, although I am. Danica’s still in Victoria. No, I chose it to remind you of the surprising things you’ll find on one of my favourite sites.

OpenCulture.com offers a wealth of enlightening and esoteric material, including vast art collections, classic movies, audio books, ebooks and images.

For a laugh, open a window on Fart Wars.

Goop of Five art collective is born

Yesterday, I was privileged to witness an art-a-thon inspired by sculptor Gord Smith, working with 4 colleagues.

It may look as though (left to right) Gord, Ruth, Ann, Karen and Avron were just having fun. They were, but there’s serious loosening up going on here.

“This just about breaks every rule of art there is,” Gord said. And that’s the purpose … to become open to discovery. After the free-for-all, Goop members drew lots to pick one of the panels for their own, then worked with what they had.

Flying Pony Art Party

Andrew Horne’s new one-man show began with a big Sunday afternoon art party. The work is characteristically accomplished, well-crafted and engaging. Go. You’ll like it. Flying Pony.

Whole pieces are better seen here on Andrew’s site. I took close-ups to highlight detail and technical skill. The last slide shows work-in-progress, outside on the Flying Pony’s east wall.

 Andrew is a rare bird who has been trained in the almost lost art of hand-painted lettering. Instead of using projection (which distorts), he worked up the exterior YOU ARE HERE by traditional means. Took longer than he thought it would!

I had more than one favourite painting, but I picked a reproduction of IN THE MIRACLE OF PERFECTED… to take home. It’s one of the series Andrew has developed using old-time movie trailer typography over monochromatic images of local Toronto subjects. It is also reminds me of Queen Street’s Kim’s Convenience, one of my favourite TV shows.

First ride in Woodbine bike lanes

I missed last Saturday’s celebratory ride-in, so today was my chance to take a test ride over to East Lynn Park for the art fair. Normally, I would have walked, but now it feels safe to cycle.

Two Danforth East Arts Fair highlights:  Anthony Jim and Jeremy and Jenn

I pedalled up the hill. Not bad, with gears. Aha! The bollards are installed. I wonder if they play well with snow ploughs. And where DOES the snow go? Do cycle paths become snow mounds?

Cyclists’ dread of car doors is greatly reduced, thanks to markings that allow for opening swings on the passenger side.

Cycle paths have to be wide, to allow passing room for e-bikes, which are allowed to use them. 🙁

There will always be scofflaws. Below, an unmarked tradesman van blocks the bike lane near O’Connor, causing cyclists to take to the sidewalk rather than risk the car lanes. Yesterday, I saw a motorcyclist pretending he was on an e-bike. His big belly, leather and studs tell me he knows he’s a not an e-biker.

Some motorists don’t like the change, like the woman who turned into the crosswalk I was using. “One lane?” she growled at me, out her open window.

I see it this way. There are 168 hours in a week. For 158 of those, motor traffic on Woodbine isn’t affected by the bike lanes at all. For a couple of hours, every weekday, motorists do suffer a delay of two or three minutes. That’s 10 hours out of 168 … not enough to justify exclusive use to motorists.

“Sharrows” do not feel safe and frankly, drivers don’t like them, either. We need bike lanes that connect to one another. A patchwork  of isolated bike routes is fairly useless. Woodbine now links to paths on Dundas and allows safe access to Taylor Creek Park on the north end and the Martin Goodman Trail by the lake.

For locals who complain that there was no public consultation, sorry … there was. Two big public meetings were held a year ago, email newsletters have been available for steady updates, an online survey generated 60% Strongly Support vs 26% Strongly Oppose and the local councillor has been banging on about the lanes in the local paper, on her websites and TV news.

Congratulations, Wheezyrider

They’re real, they’re on Amazon and they’re selling VERY well! The best, most expensive Goldwing motorcycle hand guards money can buy … developed from scratch by Wheezyrider Peter Sever, friend and fellow Canuck.

Nobody is more qualified to design and manufacture Goldwing hand guards. Peter learned of the need for them on a round-the-world ride (in his late 60s). The trip took 2 years, through places like Libya, Syria, Iran and Pakistan. Try that today!

Serial entrepreneur Sever has been an entertainment impressario, sold me my first Mac as owner of the Mac Store and built ocean-going yachts for the super-rich before his motorcycle accessories adventure. ThePerfectRide

Hockney and Hoopla

After a quarter of a century in California, 70 year old English painter David Hockney returned to his native Yorkshire to paint landscapes … big ones.

He leaves Hollywood with an old joke. This is the opening clip in a documentary called David Hockney: A Bigger Picture

I downloaded the film to watch on a recent 10 hour direct flight from Victoria to Toronto. (It’s usually 4.5 hours, but I took Air Canada.) The important thing is, I got the movie with my Toronto Public Library card and an app called Hoopla. It’s free and the movies are stored on your device, so they play without wifi … like in an airplane.

If you are going to be unplugged, you can download up to 8 movies or TV shows a month. They stay on your device for 3 days, then evaporate automagically.