Archive for June, 2011

First Safety Car Ever Used in F1

The picture above is one I took at the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport, Ontario. The Porsche 914 in the shot was the first ever safety car used in a Formula 1 race.

Now I appreciate the historical value of this shot. It is not particularly that good from a technical standpoint but it illustrates the point.

I uploaded this to my Flickr account about five years ago. Since that time, it has had about 900 page views. However, today alone, it has had almost 400 views. And the only reason I can figure this one is that someone has sent out a Tweet with the link. Normally, my Flickr photostream averages around 40-50 views a day – today it is over 600! Never had this experience before … truly amazing!

UPDATE: With the help of #2 son, we found the tweet came from a fellow in Turkey who writes a blog on Formula 1. My Turkish isn’t that good (sarcasm alert), but it appears there was a discussion about the first safety car in F1 and he found my photo and then sent it out. And there has been another 105 122 views today on the page!


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I came across this video a couple of months ago. Given the upheaval that seems to be ever present in our workplace, the message in the video really resonated with me. It is well worth the 11 minutes or so.

And, the presentation is superb. As someone with an adult education background, I find this is an extremely powerful and positive way of presenting information. Really good stuff.

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For the third year in a row, we (as in the Magpies) played at the Heart of the City Festival in Edmonton.

The Magpies at the Heart of the City Festival

We were down to three this year with Don, Jim and myself. We do know more players but it was the three of us who really practised to get the songs down. The great thing about this festival is they only allow original music. Don and Jim are prolific songwriters so we had no shortage of material (which this year came in handy).

Getting Ready

I think our material has come a long way from the first year. At the audition, one of the people said our music was ‘clever’. I take that as praise and I know the songs we do are not all the same. We must have impressed them because we were given over twice the time on stage this year (35 minutes) and we were the closing act on the acoustic stage.

On stage

Mind you, we did give the sound guy some fits. Not only do we each play guitar and sing, but we also had Don’s keyboard and Irish bouzouki, my bass and Jim’s banjo. It was a busy stage. I give the sound guy credit – by the end of the set, the sound seemed pretty good, but it was hard to hear at first and on stage you really have no idea how it sounds in the front.

To make things interesting, there was a brief rain shower just before we were to go on. Then, as the festival was running early, they started our introduction and we were not ready. Jim and I ended up starting the song as Don scrambled to get the bouzouki for the first number. To add to the sound guy’s issues, every song necessitated at least an instrument change for one of us. Made the set very interesting.

Playing the Irish bouzouki

The songs we played were:

  • Sittin’ Here (Jim)
  • Ernest and Lucy (Don)
  • Clouds of Alberta (Don)
  • Melt Sugar (Don)
  • Road to Nowhere (Jim)
  • Green Valley Monsters (Don, Jim and I)
  • Black Room (Jim)


We played our set, but because we started early and we had timed our set for the 35 minutes they had given us, there was some time left over. So, the festival music director asked us if we wanted to play another. We weren’t really prepared for an encore, but we ran through Jim’s song, Two Feet in the Water (and sorry Jim, I confess it took me the first verse to figure out the bass line again).


All in all, I think we did well. I certainly was more relaxed on stage than I have ever been. Being prepared is obviously the key. It was fun and I think we can be even better next year … now bring on Little Flowerfest.

And a very special thank you to my daughter Kathryn. She was our official photographer this year and all the shots you see here, and on my Flickr account, were taken by her. She did a great job!

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