Day 362 – Honeycomb


Honeycomb. I think this is a wasp’s nest, but I’m not sure.*

Knowing I was running out of items, Mr. OP got me this as a gift a week or so ago. I thought it felt apropos to pull it out for Valentine’s.


Using the flash allows the inside of the holes to be seen.

WP informs me that “the closed ends of the honeycomb cells are also an example of geometric efficiency, albeit three-dimensional and little-noticed. The ends are trihedral (composed of three planes).” There are two different theories as to why a honeycomb is composed of hexagons. I think it’s because bees are smart. Wasps too for that matter.


The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.

– Emily Dickinson


Status: Returned to the earth.

Kill-ratio: 22:3 / ~7:1

Alt-title: Untitled Object No. 362 For Making Friends With Mathematically Gifted Creatures

Happy Valentine’s Day!


*Not being an apiarist like my hero Sherlock Holmes, I don’t know if this honeycomb is made from wasps or bees. I suspect wasps. But either way, if you care about the collapse of the bee colonies, check out this information about banning neonicotinoid pesticides.

Day 361 – Canadian Pennies


100 Pennies. Various mintings. Following the 80/20 rule, includes a soupçon of something else in there. 80% Canadian, 20% American…

As of last week, February 4th to be precise, the Royal Canadian Mint no longer distributes pennies. Little did they know the gift they bestowed upon this blog.

For several years, in most shops, there has been a bowl of pennies from which you were encouraged to “take a penny, leave a penny” underlying the lessening value of the coin. At the same time the price of copper has risen considerably. Old pennies are definitely worth more than their face value I’m guessing.

It’s only been a few days since the shops have incorporated the new system — which is a round-up/round-down situation. 91-94 cents gets rounded down to 90 cents and 96-99 rounded up to one dollar. So far I’ve been losing out. But to be fair that’s only in 4 out of 5 transactions.

Canadian Pennies

This post has a double dedication.

1. To my book club. We played a little game where you take a penny and tell a story based upon the year of on the penny. Mainly gruesomish stories arose, but they were wonderful. The gals also most kindly fêted my recent nuptials, by which I was deeply touched.

2. To Gerald Ferguson. An artist who held both Canadian and American citizenship. As an undergrad, I had him for one painting course. He was quite wonderful. He produced a conceptual work called “One Million Pennies“. There are some great images of the piece installed at the MSVU art gallery (which btw totally does not get the internet(!).

If you want to know more about the work, I direct you to  Dennis Young (who in his 90’s totally does get the interwebs!) who has republished his 1984 article about Ferguson’s work.

In the circumstances, even though the present value of raw copper is less than half its value as pennies, we are brought to recall that Five Grams of Gold was once briefly worth six times what Ferguson paid for it, and to ask therefore whether storing the pennies in the basement of the owner’s house might not provide a better assurance of its appreciation as well as of its material survival.

Dennis Young

This image below is an unauthorized image from MSVU, but I sure will remove it if asked.


Canadian Pennies

Status: Hoard.

Kill-ratio: 26: 3/ ~8:1

Alt-title: Untitled Object No. 361 For Counting Down The Days

Day 359 – Petit Dictionnaire

Petit dictionnaire

Petit Dictionnaire Des Locutions Françaises. Editions Garnier Frères. By Maurice Rat. Imprimerie André Tardy. 1962. Printed in France.

Everything about the edition is written in French, but then it says “Printed in France” in italics. Cute.

Petit dictionnaire

This is a sentimental book for Mr. OP, and likely won’t be discarded due to this. Its spine is fragile and the pages at risk of falling out if the book is opened too far, but I won’t press for its disposal. There are handwritten pencil notes inside. I am attracted to it for the colour green. Sort of a pale pistachio. Goes very well with the deep orange. I associate these as more of a 1950s palette but then colour trends to tend to overlap at the first few years of a decade.

Sample expression: Faire son Persil XXème siècle  – cette locution récente tend à remplacer la locution plus ancienne (fine de XIXème siècle); faire sa gomme our faire de la gomme.

Se faire voir soigneusement habillé et coiffé.

I think I would loosely translate this in a slangy way as to get gussied up, which itself is pretty old fashioned. But I could be reading it wrong. Google is no help – translating it literally as Parsley.

I had a great deal of fun in 2005/6 playing around with translation tools and generated a Flash web project about the concept of translation. It is more or less obsolete now – that Flash thing that Steve Jobs killed. Which is one of those archiving problems as an artist – what do you do with old work that is technologically challenged? Should you preserve it as a series of  stills/screenshots with didactic text, or try to repurpose it using the soon to be obsolete latest greatest techniques? I think about it a lot, but as I haven’t yet updated my art website (aaack!) I don’t have to actually attack the problem, hence the lack of updating of the site.

Petit dictionnaire

Status: Borrow colour palette for knitting a baby bib for my cousin’s new baby.

Kill-ratio: 22:3/ ~7:1

Alt-title: Untitled Object No. 359 For Expressing Lazy Regrets In Another Language.


Today is a holiday here – Family Day. It’s the first time this holiday has happened in B.C. I spent the day diffusing dust.

p.s. Temporary WP glitch: Having trouble liking and commenting a couple of blogs. Ones with their own domain names. Used to only have this trouble in Firefox, but now Safari and Chrome are doing the same thing – repeatedly asking for log in. Hopefully it will go away by tomorrow.

Day 358 – Dance With Jim Gregrash – iRegis Album

Vinyl - Polka Dance Album

Dance With Jim Gregrash. Regis Records.  RLP-4003. From The Regis Library of Folk Music. Manufactured and distributed in Canada by Phonodisc Ltd in Toronto. 1950s. I am establishing the date based upon a handwritten date on the album itself. The back of the record has images of 5 other polka/dance albums. They all have the same illustration, all that changes is the inset of the list of songs. Artwork didn’t come cheap back then.

The songs are mainly waltzes and polkas. A search reveals this to be Ukrainian music. Other than the dust I don’t think this record is in such bad shape. And, there’s someone out there who has this on their wish list. This could be the first B to B Obso sale. But I won’t set my hopes too high.

Vinyl - Polka Dance Album

Sample songs:

Side One:

  • Bunny Hope Schottische
  • Beautiful June Waltz
  • Wedding March Rock

Side Two:

  • Porky’s Butterfly
  • Hot Polka
  • Kolomayka

Jim Gregrash was apparently a legendary fiddler, so I think this is a toe tapper.


Jim Gregrash mentioned in August 21, 1965 Billboard Newsweekly. Then in its 71st year at a cost of 50 cents.

Billboard touts him as having an upcoming LP, by “such popular country and ethnic music artists as Don Messer and Jim Gregrash on Apex…”

Vinyl - Polka Dance Album

Status: Hopefully sell. If not,  use the Hot Polka tune as background music for a 33 1/3 second film of various feet tapping in time.

Kill-ratio: 19:3/~6:1

Alt-title: Untitled Object No. 358 For Keeping Old Time.


Kung Hei Fat Choi! Gung Hay Fat Choy! 恭禧發財!

Year of the Snake.

Happy New Year! Another chance to start afresh.

I lightly dusted yesterday, forgetting the New Year was upon us, and it’s supposed to be bad luck to clean today, so the remaining dust will prosper for another day. It’s ok, as I’m rather fond of dust.

Day 357 – White Mouse

White Mouse

Apple mouse. Circa 2009. Maybe later. It sorta still works. That is you can navigate around with the mouse in the circular way, but if you try to use the up / down scroll button, it only goes in one direction (uP). No downward dog for this puppy.

It’s also not wireless, one more point towards its obsolete status.

Lisa Mouse

The Lisa Mouse – from Vetronics Apple World

Found out the first Apple mouse was called Lisa. I wonder if the Simpsons knew that?

It was model A9M0050. A brief search finds the current “magic” mouse as model number A1296 3Vdc.  I wonder how that works. Are there ~1200 models in between? The Lisa mouse is from 1983. This one I quoted is from January 2013. 30 years. That’s 3 models per month per year. Seems way too high. But who knows, maybe it’s even higher. Is there a grad student somewhere working on these stats? I’d love to know.

Day 277  covers a titch more history of mice, and for Apple mouse enthusiasts, here is a nice site with lovely photos.

White Mouse

Status: Open up and salvage for spare parts for a companion to the sea monster. She needs an imaginary friend.

Kill-ratio: 18:2 / 9:1

Alt-title: Untitled Object No. 357 For Slowly Scrolling Up In Time.


p.s. This was scheduled to post last night, but it didn’t. Drats, my catch up plans are foiled again!

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