Saturday, March 24, 2012

Finally met Martin Parnell

Who, you ask? Some of you know. In 2010 he ran 250 marathons to raise awareness and money for Right to Play. Yes, 250 marathons in one calendar year. Yes, a full marathon, 42.2 K, or in more primitive units, 26.2 miles. Me and lots of other people are impressed.

He was speaking at the Outdoor Adventure show here in Calgary today, looking for volunteers for his new adventure, Lacrosse Quest 24. The One In Charge has officially denied me permission to participate as a player, but I have sent in an email to be a volunteer. There are several other efforts he's working on, including one in the Cook Islands in September, and to break the record for the longest soccer game in October.

Neil Z found me, and after listening to Martin, we wandered around the show. It wasn't as big as I thought it was going to be. Lots of interesting displays though. There was a helicopter on display and I chatted with the pilot for a while. I brought home lots of stuff about potential vacation spots. There was even a pair representing the Iceland tourist industry trying to encourage people to come visit. I love Nordic accents, though hers was very faint. Iceland would be fun, I think. Maybe that's the next place to go.

Other than walking around the show, there was no workout today. Last night we visited buddies in Okotoks after we all went to an art opening there. Bob and Connie Pike do a variety of artwork. About half our dinnerware is by Connie. You may have seen it in some of my food photos, the green and copper plates. Her pottery is really nice, it's a pity there are limits to how much one can use. Bob does interesting metal work that calls to me. It's interesting, and very well done, and I like looking at it, but so far none of his work has impelled me to reach for my wallet. Many of his pieces are a good size and I don't know where I'd put them even if I did buy one.

Part of the problem is my really particular art tastes. At this show, in the other half of the building there is a display of paintings. Gord was looking at one of them in a puzzled way. Gail was chatting with another guy nearby. As I walked in I was going to say to Gord, in a near conversational level voice "So, is this shit art or not?" At the very last second something the other guy said to Gail made it clear that he was the artist. That would have been a whoopsie for sure. I still don't know if it's really art and I'm a Philistine, or it's someone trying to create an art market for themselves. He certainly had strong opinions about it being art. At least with Bob and Connie's work, I know it's art, and almost all of it is practical, which is more important in my books.

The next question is what art do I like, and what qualifies me to say what's art and what's not? Good question. (Have I ever mentioned that I don't like it when an interviewee says "Good question?" It means they're trying to evade the issue.) One of my plans for next week is to go on a ramble through the +15 system and take pictures of public art. I've posted some pics of public art, most of which has been temporary displays. If anyone wants to join me on this ramble, let me know. Maybe I'll even run a contest out of it. My thought is to comment on the art.

Sadly, the good stuff that happened on Thursday afternoon wasn't quite good enough. But that's the way the world works. On to the next thing.


  1. I'm up for a lunchtime ramble and I work downtown if you're looking for someone.

    That is so cool you met Martin Parnell! Another friend also got a chance to meet him...I really felt I should have tried harder at the St. Patrick's Day race, as he was right there. I'm sure someday I will.

    Kris and I used to talk about going to Iceland on vacay...that was before we discovered what the airfare there would be - from Canada at least. We still think about it. They have a major annual race event there that I would love to participate in someday.

    Sorry things didn't pan out...I like to think they happen for a reason....usually coz something better will come along.

    BTW, you finally don't have to prove you are not a robot. Lengthy blog post about this on the way.

  2. So awesome that you were able to pick up on the social cueings and determine that guy was the artist! Art preferences are so personal. One man's shit is another man's shining star.

  3. I'll let you know! I was thinking about going through the whole system, all 16+ K of it, and that isn't going to happen over lunch. Even if we run. (Hmmm, the two of us running through the +15, at lunch, do you think we would strike fear and terror into the hearts of those who saw us coming?)

    My first convert to the anti-robot revolution! Yay!

  4. Isn't that for sure. A few years ago there was a famous striped painting called Voice of Fire. It was bought with taxpayer money for the National Gallery in Ottawa, at a cost of $1.8 million dollars. It's a vertical red stripe on a blue background. It is not art. Yet some fancy pants art director thinks it's art. Needs his head examined.

    A brief search for a link to the artists work failed, so I can't even let you decide for yourself if it's art. If you want to come out to Calgary for a visit, I'll happily drive you down to Okotoks to see it in person.

  5. Hahahaha -- that was a close call! LOL. I was in Ottawa when the Voice of Fire was on display. I remember looking at it and hearing someone say "if you stare at it, the red stripe sort of goes wavy like fire." It sort of did. I don't know a lot about art, but I keep picking up bits here and there. I do know that feeling of being called to something -- that is what I find so amazing about art. When it can speak to you on some deep level.

  6. I haven't seen it in person. I do know that some paintings are much more luminous in real life, and have a presence far beyond what a photo of the painting does. It did seem like a lot of money for a stripe that grade school kid could do.

  7. It would be like a very polite brick wall hurtling at you....or rather, unsuspecting pedestrians and other slowpokes and human obstacles, heh. I think that would be very funny. They would not.

    A +15 art walk can happen, I'll just need to take half a day off or something, so give me some advance notice - and not this week, year-end happening here!

  8. I agree with your first paragraph!

  9. Hmmm. As it happens I was thinking about doing it this coming week. However there are a couple things that I suspect will happen but I don't know when, which complicates life. I'll keep you posted, but understand the year end thing.


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