Robert L. Peters

14 December 2012

Still relevant today… an advert from 1981.

God bless America… indeed.

12 December 2012

Big fish eat little fish.

Theres a truism, a maxim, and at least a couple of proverbs in there…

(belated thanks to Pieter Bruegel the Elder for the illustration)

11 December 2012

After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.

—Italian proverb

10 December 2012

Manitoba… home of Sun Dogs

The Interlake, Manitoba

While driving in to work from my girlfriend’s place in Winnipeg Beach this morning, I was regaled with a spectacular display of sun dogs. Manitoba is known for its “big skies” and the constantly changing day-and-night kaleidoscopic spectacle that this “canvas in the sky” offers to those who take the time to notice.

I find the 22° halo forming a circle around the sun to be particularly interesting — the sun dogs (aka parhelion) dwell on this luminous halo, as if straining outward on the end of a leash. The shorter wavelength in refraction causes the inner edge of the circle to be reddish while the outer edge is bluish. Also, as no light is refracted at angles less than 22° (through air-borne ice crystals, in this case), the sky is actually darker inside the halo than outside of it.


8 December 2012

We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.

—John Lennon (taken from us 32 years ago today)

7 December 2012

Sigrid likes urban sketching…

Berlin, Germany

Sigrid Albert, MGDC, is a Canadian designer colleague who is spending 3 months in Berlin. She does beautiful “urban sketches” and has set up an interesting blog to share her experiences, impressions, and visual expressions with her family and friends…

“I was born and grew up in Germany as a child and teenager, so obviously I speak the language, which helps. I have rented a bachelor apartment in a rapidly gentrifying former East Berlin neighbourhood and brought my laptop and client work along so I can afford this… I am mainly interested in the art and culture here, plus I will be pursuing my new passion of “urban sketching” from here as much as possible… Berlin is an amazing city and very inspiring for creatives.”

View Sigrid’s blog here (to view larger images than shown above as well as to read about them) and see an online gallery of her “urban sketches” here.

6 December 2012

R.I.P. Oscar Niemeyer…

The inspirational Oscar Niemeyer has passed on at the splendid age of 104…

5 December 2012

An Advent weekend in the Dreiländereck…

The occasion presented itself to take Evelin to my old haunts this past weekend — we spent a day each in the Black Forest (Germany), Basel (Switzerland), and Strasbourg (Alsace, France). Ev’s admittedly a bigger fan than I of Christmas celebrations; I’d been feeling a bit of Heimatschmerz (homesickness) of late — this quick romantic sortie to the Weinländer of my youth fit the bill for both of us, providing reminiscent sights, sounds, smells, and tastes (replete of course with raclette, Heisse Maroni, cheese crêpes, local Gebäck and gateau, chocolates, marzipan delicacies, and Glühwein galore).

Our 77 remedial hours in “the old country” included some speedy Autobahn travel back and forth across Southern Germany, ambling through outdoor Christmas markets in Basel and Strasbourg, a museum visit in each of the three adjacent countries, and some time with my kid brother Phil, his lovely wife Tammy, and their two boys (who live in the quaint old village of Holzen in the Kanderntal).

Below are a few pics from the weekend outing. You can view more on my Facebook page here.

Basel, Switzerland, is a humanist city on Rhine located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet. Its famous Christmas market was our destination on Saturday (Ev and I were accompanied by my brother Phil and his wife Tammy); the market now includes the area around Basel’s 1000-year-old Münster (cathedral) as well as the traditional Barfüsserplatz, where we also visited the Historisches Museum (which houses the Upper Rhine’s most comprehensive cultural history collection).

Holzen (bei Kandern) is the quaint old village in the Black Forest where my brother Phil and his family live. We stayed with them for two nights, during which the seasons changed dramatically. We felt fortunate to be able to take in the exhibition “Pop Art Design” and view the showrooms at the Vitra Design Museum in nearby Weil am Rhein (designed by Frank Gehry, the museum is somewhat of a ‘Mecca’ for the worldwide design and architectural community; creations of Charles and Ray Eames such as their famous ‘Lounge Chair’ feature prominently).


Straßburg (aka Strasbourg) is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France, and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Dating back over 3500 years, the city has held Christmas markets since 1570. Strasbourg’s famous cathedral, the world’s highest still-standing structure built entirely in the Middle Ages, was visible from our charming attic room at the Hotel Gutenberg (Strasbourg was also where Johannes Gutenberg created the first European moveable type printing press in the 1400s).


1 December 2012

The trouble with normal…

Strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage

Planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage

Suddenly it’s repression, moratorium on rights

What did they think the politics of panic would invite?

Person in the street shrugs— “Security comes first”

But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Callous men in business costume speak computerese

Play pinball with the Third World trying to keep it on its knees

Their single crop starvation plans put sugar in your tea

And the local Third World’s kept on reservations you don’t see

“It’ll all go back to normal if we put our nation first”

But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Fashionable fascism dominates the scene

When ends don’t meet it’s easier to justify the means

Tenants get the dregs and landlords get the cream

As the grinding devolution of the democratic dream

Brings us men in gas masks dancing while the shells burst

The trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Bruce Cockburn, 30 June 1981, Toronto

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