Wednesday, June 22, 2011

mail and what not

From Schmidt & Weston blog

Some people think the mail is irrelevant... but it isn't. Currently there is a Canada Post lockout by management, and though I want to side with the working woman and man... and I do love my happy postman, I'm not entirely sure they have fully valid complaints.

I should note, however, that I worked for a government agency for several years and our gripes went ignored by our supposed union. It involved room and board being charged on seasonal firefighters making quite an impact on our seasonal pay checks. When we found work arounds such as sleeping in tents, management found ways of making sure they could still gouge our pay and leaving us with no options. The Alberta government is very good at making policies and then ignoring them when it suits them. One brave employee sent in a letter describing the problem to the media and suddenly the Man's PR department claimed we had nothing to whine about since we made up to 40 000 dollars in a summer.

We didn't make that. It was an outright lie.

Our pay was highly influenced on the weather and the threat of forest fires... so while we could expect a minimum level of pay that wasn't too bad.. and we did profit from overtime, and we worked for it. I never came that close to 40 000 in a season that would last about 4 to 5 months... a little more if you were lucky.

But the public believed it and as a result, we didn't strike and got no public support, but a lot of good people left firefighting because of this level of bullying.

I tell this story to explain that while Canada Post employees sometimes come across as whiners, there is probably much more to their complaints and I still tend towards NOT believing management.

Besides, they locked out the posties who did a good job of making a point with rotating strikes while still getting enough of the mail out for us to continue getting our zip movies and visa bills.

A lot of people question what the point of the post office is in the modern times. To them I say, don't you get a greater thrill from receiving a post card or a hand written letter than an email?

That tactile sensation is why bookstores still exist... though I worry for them... and why I still love the feel of film or a print or a painting. Or why cash feels more exciting that a bank statement.

In an effort to restore the mail volume, I had started printing out postcards. In fact the day I decided to do this, the lock out began and all our mailboxes were sealed.

Oh irony!

If you would like to receive a post card from my collection, and in the spirit of my best friend in the whole world, Carrie, who is a mail art genius, I offer any of you readers a post card... once the mail boxes are opened again.

To get one, please email your mailing address to and tell me something interesting. I see many regular hits from around the world... I would like to know more. If we already know each other in real life, I still want to know something new.

As soon as the mailbox opens up, I'll start sending them out.

Friday, June 17, 2011

film is NOT dead

From Schmidt & Weston blog

Although it is more expensive than drugs, polaroid film can still be got thanks to the good, analog loving people of the Impossible Project.

I have a program that will fake a polaroid image for me from any of my jpegs. It is fun, and even makes all the old fashioned sounds.... and is of course cheap. But it isn't the real thing.

It is an analog world, and I'm excited about a partial return to my good old film cameras currently taking up space as art objects. Back to work little cameras.


Thank you for visiting. I live in Vancouver now, but I've lived in other places too. I take photos and make short films about things and people. Please comment and be argumentative. It amuses me.

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