Monday, September 10, 2018

CSL Files [217] 3.0 Serious lapse in judgement

“I’m Detective Enrico Estrada. I have a few questions.” 
“Whats this about?” Kate said 
“I understand when you first met him he went by the the name Marlin Man aka Roberto Santa...”

“It happens to be by casual association that I became a friend and.... I listened to his stories for a time, I don’t know who he really is, that’s all....” listening intently to the end of the line her eyes searched her desk.
Enrico checked his android for onscreen notes. He was a 58 year old klutz with technology, disdainfully embracing his device written into his contract, he agreed to login 14 hours a day. His alarm went at 5:15am with a wince, deep down he hated the damn electronic leash. He moved forward looking down at the screen, this pain in his neck was not getting better. He downloaded the notes from DHI and cherry picked this note and that from the 'batch', the ones he had retrieved from the cottage after the search.

Kate wondered how tall this Estrada guy was, probably fairly short. He dispensed with usual civil courtesies and got straight to the point.
“ Detective Estrada, I’m wondering....” said Kate
“Yes, what is it...” said Enrico Estrada 
“How tall are you?”
“Comprende, why do you ask?”
“Well, because when I was last down in Cabo, I overheard a man introduce himself as Officer Enrico, it was down at the waterfront one day, he seemed to be an official of some sort. He was grilling one of the tourists. I was just wondering if maybe it might have been you?” said Kate 
“I am five eight, what does it matter, this conversation is to do with our search pertaining to R. Santacruz – who since disappeared has now likely taken the evidence of what he uncovered with him.” 
“Ms Kate, I would ask you one thing....” said Detective Estrada...there is much research at stake here. Roberto Santacruz is at the forefront of it and I’m asking kindly, that you release any information you may have, I am not accustomed to requesting ....” he trailed off as she interrupted. 
“I don’t give a damn what you are accustomed to or what you are digging for, I’ve told you what I know, which is nothing” she fired back 
“Ms Kate...I  am under the jurisdiction of law... I ask again within reason....that you tell me what you know, or I will have...” he prodded 
“I said I don’t know. What documents you are talking about—what’s the hitch Detective, I’m under jurisdiction of myself and a few whom I choose to trust, you Sir, are not one of them...” she barked
For singing welder who once worked at Action Welding owned by Jim Haggarty

“Goodbye Detective Estrada, I have a Public Art Committee Meeting to attend.”
Estrada took another call which came on the heels of Kate’s click. He had already moved on from her screwy behaviour, maybe it was a personality disorder he thought. A physics academic turned artist, what a crock. He headed back to his desk which was conveniently located in the furthest corner of the large dirty office. He sighed and dragged on his cigarillo he turned and left intending to go no further. He was finished with her, good to go, this is how it went after years of pushing and coercing people to give him information. He was relieved he no longer felt riveting eyes cutting into his flesh after he turned from ‘the questioning’. She was telling the truth. He cursed, his blue tooth piece, it was especially troublesome today, the precinct had ordered another, due to arrive in 24 hours to replace this piece of crap which he had put up with way beyond his limit.

From the beginning he was committed to the assignment to find the evidence that R. Santa Cruz had discovered. That being evidence of a prototype for an insulin that a consortium of Research Scientists claimed would give extensive relief to those who suffered from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Stumbling upon it was the only way he could have found it Enrico thought.  He knew from all the background Intel on Roberto Santa Cruz that he had been studying it for at least 14 years. What a good cover up he had concocted for himself Enrico thought, his intelligence well hidden from most everyone under the guise ‘Marlin Man’ aka Sr Mistero. The discovery was purely an accident, as most discoveries are. He laughed when the Department Head of Investigation summed up the brief of his assignment.
Estrada exclaimed “So what! Why such a big deal over a bunch of Turtle egg shells?” “Do you really want to know why this is so important” said DHI. “You know I can’t do the job without that” said Estrada. 
“Do me a favour” said DHI you follow up on Kate and see what she knows or doesn’t. You tell me your gut reaction and I will give you the full story, click.
Enrico talked to himself “Enrico, oh man”.....he muttered to himself.  He felt like he was on some bloody ghost hunt that wouldn’t amount to zero, again.

“Enrico when will you get it, stop for a minute and look around you. You are your only saviour, its up to you to make it this happen and figure it all out. Focus on the puzzle, piece by piece, small bits at a time. So stand back and observe, watch and then give it a bit of time, you’ll see it will come together....”

He talked to himself to soothe his anxiety it quelled the tension that put him into fight or flight mode. He considered this to be his most enduring quality; talking himself through a circumstance or situation that was personally and professionally threatening. He had learned it early in life at home when dealing with his Father’s fury. As his anxiety rose he would enter into a region in his mind There he was able to remain calm, as if physically he had just exited into another room. He knew it was preparation for his investigative work.

"Detach, observe and wait. In time the thing, the person, the situation and circumstance reveals its true colour. Ah chemistry, those experiments at nine were useful."

Saturday, October 10, 2015

South Fraser Shores | Painting | Preview cameos

In process

Tale of Two Rivers


Tale of Two Rivers

October 28th, 7pm Steveston Community Centre, Steveston, Richmond

Have you ever felt that you have been playing whack-a-mole with new port projects, LNG terminals, coal terminals  and tarsands pipelines as they have been proposed for the Fraser river and estuary?

Join us for a community conversation on the proposed Tilbury LNG facility, as well as all other projects proposed for the region. We want to know: what's your vision for the future of the Fraser river? We will have input from farmers, salmon protectors and LNG experts, and spark the conversation around how we can develop our own land use plan for the region.

We hope you can join us!

Co-sponsored by Wilderness Committee and Council of Canadians, Richmond and Delta Chapter.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Geeky Girls Knit: October 2015 Crafty Photo A Day Challenge


It has been a long while since my last post on Studio 217 at Dockside near Paramount! I am happily discovering the joys of knitting, with many women of all ages. It was crocheting that my Grandmother taught me many years ago. The most important thing has been re-find a way to keep my mind and hands creating. Knitting has given me this door into a happy world of fabricating. I like collages very much so I thought to post this. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Want a good job? Forget the negative stereotypes and train for a trade

Want a good job? Forget the negative stereotypes and train for a trade

The character, Jack Bauer of 24, TV Series
What's your answer? Mine is yes!

My close friends know I am a 24 fan. Yes, truth be told I have tweeted to Keifer in hopes of getting a tweet returned. For now I'll accept the dream I had last night of dancing with him. He said "I have your back" so I didn't hesitate and we began to dance. It was the beginning of a long slow dance with someone I trusted and we started to talk. I asked him where he lived he said Toronto and I replied "Oh I used to live there" delighted that I had something else with him in common.

If you are a fan of the series perhaps you will agree with those who know Jack Bauer. That to be close to him is dangerous. It doesn't matter if you are his wife, daughter, partner or confidant. Being near Jack equals the possibility of suffering harm or injury, its a given yet who cannot like that he has a English Literature degree, is attractive and 'always does the right thing'.

No, I do not agree or admire his methods of extracting information nor the risks he takes which often places those who are close to him in precarious uncertainty.

My interest in welding started in 2007 when I was working with Alberto Replanski and Shamrock Welding, a now defunct welding shop in Steveston. Thanks to Britt Faulkes who pointed me to a visit to the Pendulum Gallery in the summer of 2009 to see Rare Birds. I was hooked and in awe of what the women were making, alas I was well on my way to look into welding as art and career.

The challenge has and continues to be balancing mothering or parenting and working in a trade that is male dominated. Thankfully that is changing and women can and will earn a good living. I think Jack would agree that Women in Trades Training is fully operational and available in 'real time' for women interested in a career in welding.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Welding Notes: A to Z. Seven years later

Once a welder, Self portrait, Ekw, 2014
A. And, It is in this order: Una: Safety, Dous: Set up, Tres: Comfort. I don’t care what the heck you have to do to remember. ‘I don’t give a damn where and what you have learned before I want it ingrained he said’. Etched into your minds, every day in the way that it is best for you. Best not to sit down and weld, stand and take frequent breaks. Support yourself at three points of contact so you don’t wear yourself out.
B. The metal burns. All day long I sit in my booth burning electrodes and continuous wire, the conductors for electrical power. I learn to wield the weld by employing hard work, patience and respect. Here, where I learn, it is private, yet it is union and we the public, men and women, learn the codes and standards of the day for structural welding.
C. I cried when I first learned to burn up the rod. In the booth it’s private, I focus on the task at hand. Some cannot stand the solitude, yet I don’t mind it at all. I work hard to get the angle and the heat right to meet into a beautiful bead yet many times it is beyond my grasp to get it just right. A certain exquisite strength is married to the metal. The mental workout is tremendous when equanimity is tested to its outer limit for practice is the only way.
D. Its riveting to watch the molten puddle. In the zone that’s all that matters. The ‘diamond’ shape at the leading edge of the puddle, Marilyn Lanz says, the movement thereof, how it is coming together and travelling. I like that some call it ‘the zen or flow moment’, when you lose track of time or when all seems one and you are moving, there beautiful the moments happen and you are a part of it for a short time.
E. At the beginning there is a crackling sound that happens. It stays through the making of the bead, if you hear a hissing sound, then its not quite right. The crackling is what you want, it lets you know you are making it real. I see a little at a time, the tie-in happening. Letting go of the under cut is somewhat like watching out for the undertow. It is the direction you do not want to go in. Erika painstakingly makes her own course and the last thing she wants is under cut like going out for a swim she wants to avoid getting caught in that under current.
F. Everything is about the heat meeting the metal. All the assembling, the sounds of grinding, banging, and knocking in the isolation of the booth, the ringing of the echo throughout the shop is strange, some describe it as ‘unnatural’. It is learned, every small step. Tack this together, and fill this up again and again until you get this perfect overlap. Then place it in the ‘heartbreaker’ to see if all your hard work is real.
G. If it were not for the human touch, joins would not occur. It is the human who makes it happen, depositing beads into corners loading up fillets, grooves and the like. Stop starts, near misses and tracking the molten line recreates the ‘seam’ time and again. A join holds together in the form of a, lap, butt, tee, and if there is variety perhaps all three.
H. Humans unlike robots are imperfect. Robots are programmed to operate by remote performing data on a sheet provided. Humans operate by free will.
I. I like ‘burning rod’.  Go—‘turn um and burn um’ or ‘grip it and rip it’, are favorite sayings for welders. In the middle of a hot summer afternoon sitting in a classroom watching demo videos doesn’t cut it. Nothing can replace being in the shop for a tradesperson. It is the doing that keeps us going, the working with our hands that makes us happy, even when we are having a miserable day. At the end of it we can look and see what we have made and done and have a sense of satisfaction.
J. Just wait and see you will recover. When you thought it could not get any worse, it is then and there that you find yourself at the bottom. The bottom of the day, the bottom of your learning curve at the bottom of the barrel so to speak. Just wait and see you will recover, to your surprise you will bounce back into tomorrow to start all over again the practice of practice, 1000x1000 and then some.
K. Keep at it and find arc time. Said a friendly CWB person. In other words: Don’t worry be happy and find arc time, even if you have to do it for free. In between the intensity of being a full time student and a full time welder is the lag. The waiting for a contract, a job, a place to do the work. Don’t be discouraged, things could be a lot worse, you could have a job that doesn't put you in harm’s way everyday, how boring would that be?
L. Learn to really like what you do. It follows that learning to really like what you do is in order! Believe it or not you can over time glean the discipline it takes to work hard while engaging your mind and body to accomplish a task that is part of something really important. Make no mistake about it though, just like they say or somebody said to you along the way, it requires commitment and passion. If you haven’t got it, either ask for it or get out of the trade in order to find your happiness and fulfillment elsewhere.
M. The reason I write all this down is for your benefit and also for mine! You see, the act of writing and remembering is helping me right now assimilate the bits and pieces that I have learned from each person that I have come in contact with. Be it instructor, student, professional welder or inspector. Learn to practice the tips and tricks of acting like a sponge, even at your late age, you can still do it. Maintain curiosity and don’t get jaded by cynicism along the way, and you will remain alive to your purpose: to put these pieces of metal together the right way for structural advantages.
N. Which brings us to this memorable saying. Lifelong learning, never stop it. Become a rolling stone, gather moss and pieces of this and that along the way. Make it part of yourself to be the best you can be in the trade of what you do to make a living. You will see that your interests and hobbies will be related to your work, and notably you will also come to understand, if you take time, that people become like the materials they work with for good or for bad.
O. Open and close the valve to take the risk. It has been three months now since I welded for real. I know that trepidation easily sets in being away from the arc and the torch for me. What I mean is that when you are welding all the time, everyday you build up a stamina, a kind of shield around yourself. A resilience if you will to the sights and sounds that you are working with. Like a performer who is getting ready to go on stage, you hone your skill to lay down the metal as best you can in that moment. Every breath you take translates into the form of that weld. You can see right away if you are relaxed, in the zone, or completely out of practice and dull.
P. I have a desire to take pictures of pipes. Yes, it has happened to me on occasions more often than not. Truthfully my love of industrial materials and artifacts is morphing into something quite spectacular. I actually think about making paintings of ugly buildings that emit unfriendly plumes of who knows what. I think about a metropolis, a kind of Babylon if you will and wonder when building and fabricating will finish. When I look at the development in the City of Richmond and +50,000 population increase by 2020, I’m guessing there will be plenty of work for pipe fitters and welders.
Q. You will know when the time is ripe to quit smoking. You will get to really hating it. until you hate it more than you love it, you won't quit. Each day has enough of its own metal odours and scents which fill you up. Think about it, when you go out there to puff, all you are doing is taking a few long drawn deep breaths, the ones you don’t take when welding. Instead of going for a nico-smoke break why not get an electronic cigarette or one that lights up on the end when you inhale. Upon exhaling be sure to think about that perfect stop and start you will perform on your next test. At home during the day dependent on your work schedule, lie down on your back and inhale through your nose and exhale through slightly parted lips, regulate your breathing to help you relax.
R. Calling oneself out of solitude is sometimes work in itself. The first movement and transition out of a period of being alone or isolated for a length of time can be painful. There is a mental adjustment that must be made, remind yourself not to over think the how-to steps. It is simply about moving for the sake of moving so that your body is being activated. Once you are in action and movement you have a place to go to, even if very slow at the beginning. Place yourself in amongst people who are glad to see you and remember to look for goodness in the faces of people.
S. Find the still point or the part in your work that engages your mind. When this happens your brain will make connections with little effort.
T. Tomorrow will be better. Days turn into long weeks and you may think what ever tomorrow holds, it is anything but better. I liken this to the feeling of pulling an old farming plow. Shoulders are pulled down to the ground as if heavy weights were attached to wrists. The amount of work it takes to arrive at better is surely in tomorrow’s tomorrow, I say to myself. A season or two will pass light and levity will reappear.
U. Understand it takes time. This comes with watching season after season, the pattern of one’s life. To notice how one works and lives is more than helpful to usher in understanding. The world is moving fast, technology is taking us to far-flung places that only a few years ago we could not imagine. It takes time to learn a life skill, time to learn how to weld well.
W. Like a warrior or soldier a welder can feel like they are in a trench fighting off the enemy. In this case the tools become friend and foe, they accomplish the job or if not used wisely injure or worse extinguish you. Part of the thrill of welding is the immediate pleasure of experiencing the art form created by the dangerous 'weapons' you tangle with. It is a curious combination of art and function that satisfies the maker.
X. Xenon is the chemical element of atomic number 54, a member of the noble gas series. It is obtained by distillation of liquid air and is used in some specialized electric lamps.
Y. Yesterday was then, I am in now. I have focused my passion and interest on welding for the last seven years. I have learned and discovered many important lessons about the medium of steel, about how to work as a trades person. Most importantly, I have familiarized myself with the limits and boundaries of my abilities.
ZBe zealous in pursuing the kind of work that fits with your values. There is no ideal job, no perfect situation. In work, make sure there is something about the place, the organization, the group that resonates with you, otherwise misery is sure to follow an early excitement of getting a job as a welder, or whatever it is you do to make a living.

Monday, February 17, 2014


I T I A is Institute of Theology, Imagination and the Arts. I T A is Industry Training Authority. I T I A is also similar to the aforementioned ITA,  similar acronyms. All of these feature in my own life.
I am now at this late date, after being a half century on the planet seeing the connections between them, which is both interesting and exciting. In a small blog post there is no time to explain, so I make art and work with the materials of metal hoping my imagination will catch fire and bring forth something of beauty, function or a thing that will hold a lasting quality to think well on.
I, surmise with my imagination that the three have much in common. You can't judge a book by the cover the Blues man says, you just can't by lookin' at the cover. You have to come in closer and take a good look and listen.

The Institute of Theology and Imagination and the Arts delves into conversation between theology and the Arts at an academic level. 

The study of Theology has been going on for a long time and is very much alive in places such as Saint Marks Corpus Christi at UBC and in conversations worldwide.
"Oh, can't you see, oh, you misjudge me I look like a farmer but I'm a lover  Can't judge a book by looking at the cover, oh, my
Oh, come on in closer, baby Hear what else I gotta say You got your radio turned down too low Turn it up, oh...."
Thanks Bo Diddly for singing this observation.