It may be wet outside but things are drying up in the studio

It’s taken a few days for things to dry up. Cecil, in particular, because of his size and clay content has taken about 6 days to fully dry out. Time to do some underglaze work before he goes into the kiln.

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A new bear, I call him the “fishing bear”, has formed very nicely, and he is just about dried. The base will receive an underglaze wash but other than that he’s ready for stage 1 firing.

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There’s a joy watching things come together and taking the time to enjoy the journey. Hearing the national and international news in a morning it’s always a delight to sequester myself away, with a lump of clay, and allow better thoughts to occupy my mind.

Back into the studio this morning to do some prep work for the next project. Frogs are involved. It’s a bit tricky, the idea that I have, but I think that with a bit of ingenuity it can work (from an engineering standpoint.) Stay tuned. Also, making a drop mold for when our grand daughters arrive on the weekend (sans parents.) We have a page of options for the girls so I’m sure they’ll find something they’d like to work on with “grumpa”.

Cecil is progressing nicely

Cecil, is an upper crust bunny, well known amongst the more refined of the animal kingdom. He, Billy Badger and Ginger Toad gather each week to discuss issues of common interest. In this `snapshot` in time, we find Cecil, in his smoking jacket enjoying a favourite cigar. He is in the process of making a point to his friends.
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With basic assembly done, the fine work begins followed by the bisque firing, hand painting and then the clear glaze firing. Another week and Cecil should be quite fine indeed. As one would expect with an upper crust bunny, Cecil is a commissioned piece, thus his stay at our humble abode will be short, but sweet.

By Mike Jaycock Posted in Clay

New clay sculpture .. Elephant

Ready to go for first firing … my elephant. I’ve been wanting to have a go creating an elephant for almost a year now. My cousin Ros has a lovely collection of elephants as does Pat (my mother’s cousin’s dear wife.) I admired their displays while Jane and I were in England last year. So many sad stories have been reported in the past while about mistreatment of these massive yet sensitive animals. I wanted to reflect their spirit in the piece.
I like what I see thus far.
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A personal project is this handsome cigar ash tray. It should be the envey of knowledgeable puffers.
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Also in the works, a rather complex commissioned piece … hope to be on top of that by next week. More to come.
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The “Restin’ Rabbit” is sitting pretty.

A dark wash to enhance and a light glaze to his clothes and he is all done. I’m pleased with the result. The little guy makes me want to slow down a notch and contemplate what’s going on in the furry reaches of his mind. He’s thinking, that’s for sure. Perhaps he’s concluded that “sitting down on the job” is OK once in a while.
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Now he can look for a nice home.

Opera in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands

The Highlands Opera Studio is quite an amazing undertaking, and it all happens between July 31st and August 28th.

For anyone not from the Haliburton Highlands the notion of world class opera in the midst of lakes and forests may seem a little odd. We find it quite appropriate for our very creative region.

It all began seven years ago when Valerie Kuinka and Richard Margison decided to start a program for very advanced emerging operatic artists. They wanted to concentrate not only on the goals of performance excellence, but also on networking and potential employment opportunities for young singers. All the young Canadian artists attending the month-long intensive program are on full scholarship. Participants are chosen through a rigorous cross-Canada (and NYC) audition tour. They end up listening to close to 200 applicants. On average, 15 highly qualified participants are chosen. These lucky participants bunk in with local families and get to enjoy some of the delights of our region.

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The community of the Haliburton Highlands and surrounding areas have enthusiastically welcomed the program. The calendar provides lots of community interaction and audience education through opera pre-performance chats, concerts in local churches, and short concerts in local venues(Random Acts of Opera.) Three years ago the Highlands Opera Community School was established offering voice lessons, masterclasses, the opportunity to observe the Opera Studio participants, and potential involvement in the staged productions.

Tickets for the concerts are $30.00 and for the operas $35.00. Unheard of prices for this level of excellence. If you’re thinking that a little culture with your summer getaway might be a delicious combination … come and stay a while. Tickets will be going fast so don’t delay.

Radiothon Days are here, now!

Today and tomorrow CanoeFM has its annual Radiothon, to raise much needed money to keep your community radio station afloat. Tune in, make a donation, make a request or make a bid on one of our amazing auction items. Tomorrow there’ll be lots of fun outside the station too, on our front lawn. Drop by and say hi!

I’ll be on the air today from 4 to 6 pm and tomorrow from 2 to 4pm. Lorraine McNeil is on the air before me today .. and who knows, we just might have a reunion to celebrate our good times on the morning shows past.
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Hope you can join us at 100.9 or at http://www.canoefm.com … or drop by, say hi, and make a donation.
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GuyTown a hit once again!!

For 22 years the boys have been getting together to celebrate our friendships and our family. It all started with my brother Peter and his good friend Rob, at my parent’s cottage near Killaloe. Somehow others of us got invited and it grew to become an annual celebration with my sons, Peter and friends … and then as others became of age, they too joined us.
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The group has changed shape over the years and new attendees have joined us in that time. About a dozen or so good folks, around a campfire, a beer or two, great food, and stories galore.
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We started in Killaloe, moved to yurt at one of the provincial parks, and then when we became permanent citizens in Haliburton, the boys made our home Guytown Central. Needless to say, Jane leaves for the weekend, with one rule remaining … make it the same as when I left it.
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The Guytown Olympics take place each year, and this year my brother Peter and his team mate, Brad, my son, took the trophy honours.
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Such a laugh, such good fun. Another highlight this year was my son Mark’s portable bar (R2 Bar2) that he created, complete with led lights for nightime enjoyment.
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Mark brought his quadra-copter too. His shot from the ground level and above the trees at Eagle Lake at sunset is just beautiful. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMSvYXq9hZc.
Ken’s Saturday night supper was a TexMex homerun … individual meatloafs wrapped in bacon (3 kinds of meat in the loaf .. whoa!) plus beans with Chirizo sausage plus Cowboy Cookies, with bacon of course. Good thing we cut down to 2 meals a day!
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Great cooperation and generosity by every member of the group make this a weekend to look forward to every year. Thanks guys for another great town meeting! Oh, and thanks Brent and Rob for taking the pictures this year.
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Same ole guy, at a different time

Tomorrow we will begin our Friday Drive Home show on CanoeFM after a few weeks respite following our departure from the morning show. I hope you’ll catch us tomorrow from 3pm to 6pm … and each Friday after that. The drive home show header copy

Tomorrow our guest will be Reeve Murray Fearrey at 4.10 pm as we chat about the MATT DUCHENE DAY on Sunday, July 6th at Haliburton’s Head Lake Park. wardenphoto2011 We celebrate the accomplishments of our own Olympic Hockey Gold Medalist, Matt Duchene. Murray will tell us about the dinner at the Pinestone Resort. Tickets are $50 each and available at the Municipal Office at 135 Maple Avenue. Funds raised from this event will be contributed to the Canadian Tire Jump Start program, Point in Time and Food for Kids. Join us tomorrow on Canoe FM.

Combat Skitters and feel good!

Everyone talks about how bad the mosquitoes have been this year … and we’d do just about anything to keep ‘em off our person. Here’s a great product that can be part of your solution, and it’s made right here in Haliburton, on Mallard Road. CITRONELLA SOAP! Keeps the bugs at bay and it’s good for your skin. http://www.billygoatsoaps.com DSC02873
Citronella soap is just one of many quality products, check out their website and order yours today. Handmade, long lasting, quality ingredients and good for your skin.
If you’re in Haliburton County, just call (705) 457-1696 or, if you’re out of town, it’s 1 (888) 945-8899
Begone damn skitter!

Radio Story #3: The Bomb!

1960 saw CKOC, like many radio stations, move to the popular music/news format. Television had killed old time radio by taking away the dramas, quiz shows and soap operas. CKOC became a Hit Parade Station and “OC The Busy Bee” was born. I joined the station in 1962 to become a small part of the station’s Rock ‘n Roll era.
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I loved summer. Sunny days with ice cream clouds and steamy, humid nights were just made for rock ‘n roll. There was a special magic to the music of summer. The tempo and the tone changed when summer rolled around. We DJ’s, suffered through the winter and early spring just waiting for the first arrivals of promo discs and the summer music that would once again propel us through the greatest season of the year. Heat Wave, Under the Boardwalk, California Girls, Wipeout, Let’s Twist Again, Green Onions and on and on and on … each year a new collection of memorable hits.

CKOC was located at 73 Garfield Ave South in the east end of Hamilton. It was a 2-storey building originally built by Bell Telephone to house the Garfield Exchange. Over the years the building had also served as offices for the steel company and as a school for the blind.

I was on the 6 to midnight shift in 1963 and ’64. It runs in my mind that this particular event happened in 1964. It was one of those fine evenings, you know the type, the pavement was still hot from the day, the shadows were getting longer and there was a sense of ease as the quiet of the evening started to permeate the neighbourhoods of Hamilton. Meanwhile, in the studio, we were pumping out great songs from our “sensational sixty”, the play list of the best songs of the moment.
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I was in my first hour, six to seven pm. There were still a few people around the station, finishing up for the day. This was not unusual, considering that we lived and breathed radio. Acolytes of the medium. The studio was a large room on the second floor of the building, probably about twenty by twenty and from my perch in main control I had two announce booths in front of me, another “news” booth behind me, a door that led to the hall, with a small window, to my right, and racks of equipment to my left. My window on the world was limited, but through that tiny door window I could see people as they walked by the door. IMG_0055 gray

This particular evening I became aware of quite a bit of activity in the hall. I could tell, from my peripheral vision, that there was more traffic than normal for seven forty-five in the evening. While one of the songs was playing I poked my head out into the hall to see what was going on. A policeman was in the hall! What?!

I asked, “what’s going on officer?”
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He came back to the studio door and then stepped into main control. His body language suggested he wanted a private conversation. I thought we’d been raided, or someone had been arrested, which, in those days, wouldn’t have surprised me. The policeman was a big man, about six three. He was in full uniform and had his cap at a serious angle. I was impressed, and a touch anxious, at the size of the revolver strapped to his hip.

His first few words would stun me.

“Sir, I don’t want you to be afraid or unduly concerned, but there has been a bomb threat.

I was immediately and duly concerned. “Whaaat? what on earth”, I exclaimed.

“Well sir, the caller said they had placed a bomb in the building and it is due to go off at seven p.m.”

My eyes snapped to the large clock on the front wall. It was 6.50 p.m.

“Don’t worry about it, we’re pretty sure it’s a hoax, so, please, just continue on with what you are doing.”

With that confidence building comment having been shared, he left the studio. I could barely believe it. Carry on with what you are doing. Right. Easy for him to say. He left the room and went someplace safe I’m sure.

I went on the air and with my mind in a bit of a blur, plus keeping one eye on the clock, I announced the next tune. The clock approached 6.55 p.m. I knew I would have time for one more song before we went up to detonation time.
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End of song, some words were uttered, I thought of saying goodbye to everyone. “If I die, know I love you all!” As the next song came on, I became aware of the fact that in the last seven minutes I hadn’t seen anyone in the hall and the policeman hadn’t come back to see if I was hyperventilating. I was.

While my final song was on, not knowing if would be my final, final song, I went out into the hall. Empty. No one there. I called out. No answer. I went to the window to look down to Garfield Avenue to see if anyone was there. They were ALL there. crowd-looking-up-2-big.jpg The firemen, the ambulance, CKOC staffers, neighbours and even my nice policeman and his friends in blue were there too. And they were all looking up at ME. policemen looking up No one waved or said “good luck.” They just stared, as if they were waiting for me to become nano particles when the hour rolled around.

I went back into the studio, sat down at the console and watched as the clock ticked the seconds off. That last half minute of time seemed to take a lifetime. When the clock hit seven p.m. and nothing happened, I finally exhaled. I’m not really sure why I was holding my breath. Perhaps I was just enjoying my last breath to the fullest.

At 7.02 p.m. the policeman came back into the studio and proudly announced, it was a hoax. “I told you.” I wanted to tell him he was a chickenshit for not keeping me company in those final moments. I didn’t. He had that big gun.