Robert L. Peters

20 April 2010

Happy (90th!) Birthday, Dad!







Winnipeg, Canada

Dad—you were born on this day in 1920 into the tough conditions of the Russian Civil War,—then happily escaped that conflicted land with your nuclear family to the new frontier of Western Canada a few years later. As I understand it, you’ve been smiling pretty much ever since… at least that’s the most pervasive and enduring trait that comes to my mind and memory (photos don’t lie either :-)  I remember a line from a magazine article (back about 40 years ago) that described you as “the genial jut-jawed John Jacob Peters”—still as apt and appropriate a descriptor as anyone could possibly pen, methinks.

Thanks for the faith and positive energy you’ve imbued in my brothers and me (along with the thousands of others whom you have given the better part of your life to)… may the next ten years be your best yet—and may your smile continue to warm the hearts and souls of everyone you meet!

I love you Dad. Happy, happy birthday…

(Thanks to brother Jim for the image scans, from last summer’s momentous family get-together in Pinawa.)

19 April 2010

Just sayin’…


Whatever. (via my writer/philosopher/statistician-friend Filip Spagnoli’s excellent Human Rights blog… not the original image source, as he notes).

18 April 2010

Playing… with matches




17 April 2010

Scandinavian design logos (1960s, 1970s)



Vancouver, Canada

Above are just a few from a great online collection by Oliver Tomas—lots more retro design eye-candy here.

15 April 2010

Happy Birthday, big brother!


Steinbach, Manitoba

Best wishes for the next 60, Jim!

14 April 2010

You know you are a trad climber when…

all your draws are 12″ long

your kid climbs harder than you do

you’ve worn out a set of cams

there is scar tissue on the back of your hands

you quit sport climbing because you can’t do any of the routes

you’ve set up a belay with the only piece of gear left on your rack

you do a first ascent and report the names of both members in your party

you say, “what?” when your leader says, “take!”

you can wear your climbing shoes all day

you don’t know what your body-fat % is

you drop your belay device and you still know how to belay

you remember when climbing gear didn’t have springs

you wake up at 2:00am to go climbing

you spend three hours removing a fixed cam

you think a bong is a type of piton

you enjoy guilt-free eating

you take a forty footer

you still use a gear sling

there is a holster on your harness

you rappel six pitches in the dark

you rappel six pitches in the snow

you drop your water bottle and it takes five seconds to hit

your best memories are from the epics you’ve had

you miss work on monday because you epic’d on sunday

a whole block of chalk fits in your chalk bag

you drive all night so you can climb all day

you’re up so high the trees look like broccoli

you wear socks in your climbing shoes

you think “beta” is a video format

you don’t want beta

you coil your rope.

Good judgement comes from experience, but experience comes from bad judgement. — John Fullbright

(sound familiar? thanks to Trango for the quips)


13 April 2010

Squeeze the past…


Happy Birthday, Beverly.

12 April 2010

A salute | Yuri Gagarin


Tyuratam, Kazakhstan

Forty-nine years ago today, on the 12th of April in 1961, the first manned spaceship left our planet from the Baikonur cosmodrome in the Soviet Union with a singular and heroic (if somewhat diminutive) man aboard—Yuri Gagarin, the world’s very first “rocket-man” or cosmonaut…

This was the beginning, the blazing of a trail which has now become a road to the cosmos. One after another, spaceships are leaving earth for the wide expanses of the universe. Today, space pilots live and work for months aboard space stations, they fly to the moon; and Soviet and American spacemen have accomplished a joint experimental flight.

In the near future, perhaps, earthmen will go still further, journeying to other planets and universes. But alongside the names of these future explorers there will always rand the name of the first Soviet cosmonaut, for Yuri Gagarin’s 108-minute flight in space represented not only a triumph of science and engineering, but also a bursting of the “bounds of possibility,” the breaking of a psychological barrier. It was literally a flight into the unknown.

Being a pilot, he had flown many demanding assignments, including flights at night and in blizzard conditions, and at home they would wait anxiously for his familiar step. Even so, he was never very far from the earth. But now… he had gone out into the unknown where no man had ever been before. Valentina, his wife, well understood all that this entailed but had agreed. And this, too, was an act of heroism for the mother of two small children.

From Zvyozdny Gorodok (Star Town), Yuri had flown to the cosmodrome. It was quiet at his home. The children were asleep. The sky, washed by recent rain, was studded with stars. The night seemed to be waiting for something. The wet pines stood motionless, and the houses merged together in the stillness and bluish darkness. In only one of them shone a yellow rectangle of light…

“Am I happy to be setting off on a cosmic flight?” said Yuri Gagarin in an interview before the start. “Of course. In all ages and epochs people have experienced the greatest happiness in embarking upon new voyages of discovery… I want to dedicate this first cosmic flight to the people of communism—the society which the Soviet people are now already entering upon… I say ‘until we meet again’ to you, dear friends, as we always say to each other when setting off on a long journey. How I should like to embrace you all—my friends and those with whom I am not acquainted, strangers and the people nearest and dearest to me!”

(From a booklet published by Novosti Press Agency Publishing House, Moscow, 1977—which some might call “propaganda?”)  Care to ramp up the nostalgic context a little more? Have a listen to the Soviet National Anthem, here (best with lyrics, I find…).

People of the world!
Let us safeguard and enhance this beauty—not destroy it!

(no fixed address)



Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

I’ve been helping my girlfriend Evelin Richter assemble and photograph some of her ceramic sculptures recently. She’s just entered a piece entitled (no fixed address) into the “Home”-themed Manitoba Crafts Council 2010 Annual Juried Exhibition. A slab-built stoneware sculpture with iron oxide stain, low-fire glazes, and assemblage elements (brass ring, antique key, jewelry-box base), the piece measures 280mm x 220mm x 380mm.

Ev’s comment: “It’s thought to be a great honour to receive the “key to the city”… the very streets of which so many call “home” today—(no fixed address) speaks to this irony.”

You can see more of Ev’s work and activities here.

11 April 2010

Japanese Boro… le inspiration.







Beginning in the Edo period…

Boro is a Japanese word meaning “ tattered rags” and it’s the term commonly used to describe patched and repaired cotton bedding and clothing lovingly used much longer than the normally expected life cycle. “Boro textiles were made in the late 19th and early 20th century by impoverished Japanese people from reused and recycled indigo-dyed cotton rags. What we see in these examples are typical—patched and sewn, piece-by-piece, and handed down from generation-to-generation, where the tradition continued. These textiles are generational storybooks, lovingly repaired and patched with what fabric was available. Never intended to be viewed as a thing of beauty, these textiles today take on qualities of collage, objects of history, and objects with life and soul.”

From the excellent blog Accidental Mysteries. More background on boro textiles (and lots of samples) here. Today’s pre-aged, stone-washed fashion mimicry doesn’t even come close…


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