Spring Brook Farm

This past summer in New Brunswick, I again had the privilege of visiting my childhood friend's farm. Jean-Pierre and I were little buddies when we were pre-schoolers because our parents were good friends. Along with my grandmother, he and his family represent for me my origins and a sense of home as they are geographically static and constants in my whirlwind upbringing and life.

At Spring Brook Farm pigs and chickens are raised with great care. The products are sold mainly at the Dieppe Farmer's Market that was established in large part due to the efforts of Jean-Pierre's father. I had a couple opportunities this summer of tasting the meats and indeed they are exceptional.

The farm is very intentional and passionate about spreading the ideals of eating well (not that I disagree with them at all). In this world, they are almost voices crying out in the wilderness.

An example of their great practices is this chicken coop. Every day or two, they drag the building ahead with a tractor giving the chickens fresh grass to eat and leaving behind droppings to fertilize the soil. It takes just about a week to see the soil return to a rich green state after having heaps of free range chickens claw up the ground.

I'm envious of their lifestyle as I'd love to raise my kids on a farm as opposed to suburbia.


My Watch Stopped

This morning, at about 5:40 am, my watch of 11 years stopped for the second time.

Amber bought me this Lorus Sports watch for my birthday back in '98, our first year dating. I've had it ever since. Before this watch I had a series of Casio digital watches that would last about 2 or 3 years and then conk out - and it was cheaper (and more fun) to buy a new watch than to replace the battery.

Six years later, when we lived in Montreal, the battery died and I went to a jewelry store and ten bucks later, it was ticking again. Five and a half years later and it has happened again, almost like clockwork.

In Guatemala, I dropped my watch and the glass cracked pretty badly. I bought a couple cheap Casio ripoffs in the market (why wouldn't they make pretend watches of a better brand?), but they would only last a couple days. So, I took my watch to a local jeweler and for Q50 ($7) he replaced the glass and seal and it was like new (except that it would let in some moisture when it rained (which was all the time)). I dropped it about a month later and had to do it all over again.

So, here's to keeping a good watch for as long as possible. Cheers!


My latest film project (which was begun while another current one is still under construction) is a collection of interviews of people speaking about my pépère (grandfather), Uldège Robichaud.

This summer I conducted eight interviews and I hope to do another eight to ten before next summer is over (if I can get to New Brunswick again). My father helped me out quite a bit, so I'll add him as a producer or something in the credits.

It's a project that I'm enjoying a lot. I'm discovering that pépère was a remarkable, hilarious and extraordinarily generous man, much more than I had expected.

3800 Kilometres

Drove 3800 km this summer: Calgary to Kispiox to Squamish to Calgary with stops in Prince George, Smithers, Hazelton (Two Mile), Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Revelstoke).

I managed to sneak listening to Neko Case's "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" about five times in the car - it wasn't Amber's favorite, but I couldn't get enough.

The kids were absolutely awesome - except Acadia throwing up a couple times, that wasn't so awesome for anyone.

I drove most of the way, but Amber did take the wheel at some crucial points like between McBride and PG - that stretch can break a man.

And of course it was great to see everyone in BC from Amber's family to my sister and her family to my cousin and her new family and Tey and his family. It was pretty stress free, even the wedding! Right, congrats April and Gabriel! And thanks for inviting us to your party nephew Kai!


Pugwash after 15 Years

I worked with six of these fine people years ago.

This past summer, I visited the summer camp that I spent summers '89, '90, '91, '92, and '94 at. The last three of those, I was a staff member where I counseled junior, teen and blind campers, taught silk screening, rang the bell, washed dishes (the only guy among several girls), snuck out at nights, learned video editing (thanks to Frank Spangler), played taps and reveille on the trumpet (when Peter would let me) made sand sculptures, canoed and kayaked, played guitar at campfires, participated in skits, led in water follies activities, taught computers (on really, really old Macs), cleaned cabins and bathrooms, and most profoundly made some great friendships.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Camp at Pugwash was a great place to grow up. I actually went on my first date there when I was a camper. A girl asked me out to the banquet. When I was a camper, my mom volunteered so I and my sisters got to hang out at the camp for 5 weeks.

It had been 15 years since I drove away from Pugwash in 1994 and moved to Alberta. It's remarkable how little the place has changed - I noticed there were fewer people, a few new buildings, and the rose bushes by frisbee golf hole 6 have been cut down, but other than that it hasn't changed a bit.

My son even found a girl to drag him around.


This is a post long overdue . . .

While in New Brunswick, we were treated to my fathers berry patches, bushes, and trees. We picked blueberries, raspberries, currants, strawberries, cherries, and some things I don't even know what they were called. Berries are almost all primary colors when they are ripe and they look so good against the green backdrop. How could their Creator not have meant for them to stand out against their backdrop only once they are ripe.



I stumbled upon wordle.net today and it ended up consuming about two hours of my afternoon. It essentially is constructs word art by associating the size of the word with the number of occurrences it has within a particular text. What you see above is a compilation of the first 472 entries of this blog.

Click on the images for larger versions.

The Lord of the Rings text.

All U2 lyrics.

The Early Christians book.

The Cleanse

Last night, I took my final two capsules a month long, natural colon cleanse and organ detoxification regimen from Renew Life. It involved taking two tablets in the mornings thirty minutes before breakfast and two other capsules three hours after supper. There were some other recommendations like drink more water, eliminate dairy, wheat, and sugar while adding some strange grains, exercising, etc., but I wasn't about to give up eating cheese.

Over all, I think it went quite smoothly. I recommend it - it won't hurt at the very least as it is quite gentle. I didn't feel hypervitalized, but I did feel better knowing toxins were leaving my body more efficiently. Can't beat the price either - only $35.

First Snow

My feelings exactly.

We had a few wisps of snow on roofs yesterday morning and nothing on the ground, but this morning, the snow continued to fall and the sky stayed grey and the temperatures didn't cool and the furnace stayed on and I stayed inside.

I'll wait 2 weeks before putting snow tires on in a feeble attempt at extending autumn.