Posted in family, humor, life, Vancouver

Enough about me, what do YOU think of me?

Hi It’s Wilt! A bit about me. Born and raised in Winnipeg (holidayed in fine style in such exotic cities like Thief River Falls, Bemidji, Minot, Rapid City, Morris, Moose Jaw, St. Paul, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Kenora, the Badlands, Flin Flon, Sioux Narrows) moved to a small town called Vancouver BC. My mother is English, father is of Japanese descent.

I love drawing comics, as you can see. It has always been a way of blowing off steam, trotting out some silly ideas, escaping Swiffering round the house, my kids. The enjoyment I derive from creating a comic almost, AL-MOST makes me feel guilty! Nothing absorbs me more fully, although if I had a PS4 game console I’m sure that would do the trick.

Anyway, I have always been a comics person. More a maker of them than a reader of them, I am embarrassed to say. I made comics of Wile E. Coyote when I was 5. Needless to say, they are moldering away in some landfill, along with a lot of ‘underground’ comics that my wife threw away many years later. They’d be worth thousands by now, I am often heard to say.

wile-e-coyote-chasing-the-road-runner

Here are some of my favourites: Peanuts, all New Yorker cartoonists, (esp Roz Chast}, Monty, Garfield, Freak Bros, Zippy, and, of course, Peanuts, because comics begin AND end with Peanuts. I am overwhelmed with admiration and respect for Charles M Schulz. His genius was in how he distilled reality through the characters, and made them breathe, and live. My humour is informed by the Goons, Monty Python, stand-up comedy, the dry wit of the Brits, IOW my mother’s side of the family.

I worked on and off in the graphics industry, including making some T-shirt designs for a mountain bike company that were distributed throughout Canada with a signature character, Felipe. None exist today, unless my mom still has some. Anyway, they were done in the 1990’s, before we started documenting everything we do.

I have a family now, with a boy and a girl, my forays into artwork are for pure enjoyment, not commerce. I carry a small sketch pad around, since I can’t afford an SLR. I occasionally paint but it is more the action of it than the final product which, for me, is always dissatisfying! IOW I enjoy the act of doing it but when it’s over I’ll relegate it to the closet or a dumpster! Comics are more cathartic for me!

Oh and love dogs. Always one in the house growing up, cocker spaniel, cockapoo, labrador, fox terrier. Ok the last few I owned vicariously through family. I love cats too but pretend I hate them for form’s sake.

Love

Wilt

Posted in family, humor, Vancouver

Abbotsford Airshow 2016

I took myself and my kids to the Abbotsford Airshow (my wife did not wish to go, in spite of besuited handsome pilots), an event that is held every year in, wait for it, Abbotsford. It is outside Vancouver, and as all tourism brochures will have you believing, a leisurely 45 minutes east of Vancouver. Given the boost in population, urban sprawl, road work, etc, (you know where I’m going with this) it is more like 90 minutes. Abbotsford is a pleasant community, (50 km east or so) that offers an alternative to those who can’t afford a 300 sq foot shipping crate in downtown Vancouver. It has its own airport, for private planes and airlines that fly to Hawaii, and the ‘Interior’, as we call the inner province of B.C. (which stands for Bring Cash).

This event has been held annually since the 40’s, except when it’s not, such as in the 1990’s when there was a war brewing in the Gulf, or due to some budgetary issues, such as the cost of jet fuel and Ray Bans. I attended the airshow in the 80s with my parents and sis, and many times after that. Since it’s held in August, it is under sweltering temperatures. One is standing in an airfield under the blazing sun for eight hours or so, which means there is always the promise of collapsing and waking up on a stretcher, attached to an IV line. We slapped on SPF level 1000 sunscreen (although a mud pack would have been cheaper) every 20 minutes or so, to protect us from the punishing UV, gamma, and altogether hostile rays of the sun.

In this year’s show, the highlights were:

Boeing Super Hornet: corporate demo. For those of you interested in avoiding the morning commute. Cue the afterburners as you blaze out of your suburban cul de sac!

The Breitling Jet team: first time I had seen this team, who gave the Snowbirds a run for their money. Bonus: radio transmissions in French. As Steve Martin said, those French have a different word for everything!

Screamin’ Sasquatch: not a craft beer, but a powerful WW1 era biplane with a jet engine, that produces an incongruous show of power, and that distinctive roar of jet engines.

Bearcat, Spitfire, Skyraider, Mustang fly-bys. These aircraft and their distinctive livery and sound brought a lump to my throat that wasn’t the comped beef jerky. As with automobiles, the lines and style of these aircraft were evocative of a bygone era. Unlike automobiles, however, they were designed with superior air power and top notch maneuverability, to evade and overpower the enemy. And they looked cool. As soon as you enwrap yourself in such an aircraft, insults and slander bounce right off you.

Cormorant helicopter SAR tech demo, and much more (I feel like adding, ‘order now’ right here)

The closer, as always, were the famous Snowbirds, who were amazing despite an absent pilot, that made its usual contingent of nine planes one less. This meant that a few acrobatics were not performed, which was not a problem. In any case, by that point, 95% of the audience were dehydrated due to consumption of sweaty cans of Budweiser, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and Starbucks Jet Fuel Frappucino (they just grind espresso beans to a powder and dump it in a Frap. It enables one to operate an A-380 without the benefit of a co-pilot or navigator)

It was a good time, and brought back some great past memories. Sitting out in an airfield for that many hours may not be for everyone, and we may opt for the twilight show next year!

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Posted in humor, life, Vancouver, weather, Wilt's Blog to the World

Take our Vancouver weather. Please!

This week’s irritation is the neverending inclement (Vancouver) weather. Ah, you say, but at least you get the change in seasons. Yes, raining with warm temps in summer, raining with recurring crap on TV in fall, raining with good chances of slipping and snapping a vertabrae in winter, raining with college grads looking for nonexistent jobs in spring. If these are the changes that are so coveted, you can have them. With my blessings, though I am not an ordained minister. We’ll take your year-round balmy weather anytime.

Ha! I’d take some Minnesota weather: weather where there is an outside chance you may die is good. For character, or whatever. But this monochromatic palette with little chance of anything happening except getting wet, uncomfortable, and smelling like that fetid canvas tent of your childhood. Or, if you plan to see the Olympics on the cheap, the smell of your current home.

Indoor activities? I am almost at the point of buying those purple properties in Monopoly, if only to prolong the game. And actually working out 10% of my assets, instead of paying $200 for tax. I have played so many hands of solitaire that I break out in a rash whenever I have to play cards with more than one person. I have spread Nutella on almost everything but drink coasters for a snack. There are so many used teabags in my sink that it looks like, well, a sinkful of used teabags – something that I am sure looking at takes years off your life.

I have taken to staring at my bright livingroom lamp in an attempt to minimize the seasonal disorder thing. All I can think of is how much better it looked in the Ikea showroom. All curtains are, of course, drawn, because who wants to see that high-pitched-whine-TV-test-pattern weather? I am not at the point where I read that fine print that flashes on the screen during car commercials. But getting close. Real close.

Screaming into a pillow in Vancouver.

Posted in humor, Vancouver, weather

Vancouver Weather

Why should only tropical storms, tornadoes, hurricanes have names? And doesn’t GIVING them names personalize them, make them more approachable? The prospect of death or impaling by large slivers from telephone poles does not make me want to reach out and embrace these weather abominations. Isn’t that the point?

Take our Vancouver weather. Please. Our weather is a leaden, featureless sky from which varying amounts of water falls, and at many angles, depending on wind speed. These nameless, impersonal weather systems parade through, leaving sullen faces and bowls of hot soup in their wake.

Now, get your head around this: A warm front, named Richard, is creeping towards the coast. The front will be dumping large amounts of stinging rain on our heads, but because it is named Richard, we won’t feel so bad about it! And it will be followed closely by an even more volatile system named Jeff. Jeff has been floating off the Hawaiian Islands picking up lots of evaporated warm water, all set to shower it upon us in three days time, along with thunderstorms. That Jeff!

See? Our formerly drab, featureless weather now has character. No longer will one day blur into another. Instead, conversations will go like this:

Guy: Hey how about that barbeque we had last year, that was interrupted by Brian, that system of icy rain?

Other Guy: Yeah, I remember. It was even worse than when cold front Justin ruined Stacy and I’s wedding.

Guy: Normally, I’d be so pissed off about this, but somehow it doesn’t bother me as much.

Other Guy: Me too. Instead, I feel this warm sort of feeling.

Guy: Snap.

Wilt

Vancouver, where there are innumerable opportunities to christen this rain, that goes by many names, none of them printable on this blog.