10 June 2011

On a roll, kicken it at the beach

So...now I'm on a matherlife blog roll. Addison and I had a glorious day on the beach and in the woods yesterday, and I wanted to post this before the memories drifted under the ocean of photos that just pile up in digital fathoms on the hard disk.

So Addison and I made a cool fort out of sticks we found in the woods and then had a nice picnic in the fort. Then we went for a stroll along the coast to close out the night...pretty cool. He is also killing me at an ongoing gin rummy game...as I write this he is up 165. Beach is awesome.

Looking out from the shore, you can see dozens of Windmills spinning in the sea. Looks cool. Some Dutch don't like them, claiming that they spoil the visual landscape...ok...sure.

06 June 2011

Recap of the third year in Amsterdam. Geweldig!

Ok, so yeah…it's been almost a year between entries, but maybe this entry will help kick start the matherlife blog again. No promises ravenous fans. Basically, I feel like this annual round up is going to help me remember what the heck we've been doing.

Where to even start…I think the overall point is this…the Mather family has come a long way in the last year.

First, the sad news, two thirds of the family ended up being allergic to the puppy, Gulliver, so we found him a new home. This is good but sad. The really good part is that he now goes 'to work' everyday where he can play outside all the time…much better than apartment life for a dog. We miss him, but I'm glad to have a healthy family again.

So…on with the good stuff. HCA, Hockey Club Amsterdam…this is the new Ice Hockey team. Started among the friends from the old student club, we are now playing and competing well in the 2nd division. Pretty eye opening hockey, we get to play against some incredible players, former pros and young players still moving up. A very competitive league…we placed third…best hockey I've played in my adult life. We are looking for some players this coming season and tryouts start in September…www.hockeyclubamsterdam.com BOOM!

What else…I think the really important development for Malia is that now she has her own brick and mortar craft shop to compliment her successful online shop. Penelope Craft is rocking and rolling in the Leidseplein area of Amsterdam. Check it at Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 99. Site is as it was: http://www.penelopecraft.com/

The shop features mostly craft supplies, but there is also a wide selection of cool gifts and hipster zines and plush stuff too. We carry NoBrow art zines, and toys from Amanda Visell and NoEfrim etc etc. Very cool, stop in and visit.

Andenken / Mather:Kunst has had it's most successful and active 12 month period since moving to the Netherlands. We are participating in some higher profile fairs around Europe and have had good success at fairs like BLOOOM in Koln, and in the Stroke series around Germany. Still looking to round out our fair schedule with a few more choice selections. This is a great way for the business to expand and to see other parts of Europe in the process. As a family, we have still done surprisingly little travel around the continent. Below is a picture of my fair partner at the last Stroke fair in Munich 'Helpy the Ghost' . Helpy was way popular with the ladies...so much so, that I'm considering wearing a bag over my head where ever I go.

The gallery space is also in the best shape of it's life since we opened our location here and the summer schedule is amazing. Hedof, Aiko (former member of Faile), Chad Vangallen, and Amanda Marie are all doing solos this summer / fall and we just did a super bad ass group show called, 'Hello Distinguished Champions'. You can buy yourself an exhibition catalogue on blurb…here is the link: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2222248

I think the gallery is gaining the kind of respect we were hoping for here and it has been good to become more a part of the scene here.

I was recently a judge on an MTV spot for sportlife, which was fun. My friend passed the gig to me, and I was a little unsure what was going to be expected of me. He said, 'Dude, I can't make this gig at MTV, would you mind to fill in for me?' or something like that. 'No worries. What day, what time?' blah blah blah…the next thing I knew I was in the green room about to go on camera…:-) Oh well, not the first time this fading rocker has been on MTV, if anyone remembers the naked 'riot' of 94.

Just found this old image of Won Lump Some on Reg's site...jeezus.

Speaking of rocking out, 'Barnboy' which is my music project was recently signed to Massive Music…they are a world wide agency that syncs music with film, tv, commercials, etc…I hope they can find happy partners for my songs, but I'm not holding my breath…just flattered that they found me and liked the tunes. You can check out barnboy tracks here: http://thebarnboyblog.blogspot.com/

Let's see what else. Addison can swim pretty well now. His school is going good…excellent in math, good confidence when speaking in front of the class, good in gym…not great in hand writing…go figure. He is reading well in both languages and has just finished reading his first chapter book out loud to the family, 'The Fantastic Mr. Fox'. Very proud of him for that. Oh yes, and he also completed the pyramid puzzle we received as a gift at Christmas. This puzzle bested the entire adult contingency at my mom's Christmas get togethers, but Addison sorted it in about 15 minutes. Look out Brandon.

Speaking of puzzles, Addison and I attended a Prusa Mendel masterbuild class in Maastricht in the early part of the year. For those of you unfamiliar with the relatively young field of Reprap 3d printers…here is an overview. http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page

During the course, Addison and I were able to build a 3d printer (most complex machine I've ever built) and test it at the class. The inventor, Josef Prusa was at the event along with some other 'giants' of this fledgling community. By my estimation home use additive printing (3d printing) is one of the most important developments in technology in this new millennium. 3d printing is not brand new, but this kind of affordable home / small office use of emerging and open source technology is going to revolutionize the game. My guess is that in 10 - 15 years, 3d printers will be nearly as common in homes and offices as normal ink jet or lazier printers. This is big people. Imagine communities that can produce replacement parts for special machinery on the spot…or rural and / or impoverished communities where replacement prosthetics can be 'printed'. Here is an interview with Josef on TED. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viz4Ijahddg

It was my friend Jeff that hipped me to this, and he has always been way way ahead of the tech curve. He has a Reprap company going in the U.S. and you can check it out here: Aleph Objects. http://alephobjects.com/

What else…ok, so I am writing this from our caravan in Bakkum. We've written about Bakkum before, but to recap, it is a small beach community about 30 minutes outside of Amsterdam. This is a great place to escape the bustle of the city…Addison and I spend long hours hiking through the woods and dunes along the beach. There is no auto access to the beach in the area where we are...so this is a very comfortable place for Addison to ride his bike like a maniac. We spend some time chasing bright green frogs and watching the wild horses in the grassy dunes. I had never seen wild horses. Pretty amazing. Bakkum is also a good place to quietly plink away on ideas and projects that seem to get pushed aside in Amsterdam. I'm working on a large printed book about the history of Andenken to date..we'll see when that gets finished, wading through like 10000 pictures. I also made another book for my 'little things' paintings that you can also order from blurb, here: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2134140

I think I'll make more of these 'little things' books…

Boating life is still awesome. We've been out on the canals a handful of times this year. We took Larry Seethaler and his girlfriend, Brenda and Brant Seethaler out the other day. This was a good way to partially pay back Larry for taking me and Greg Seethaler out on his Super Cub airplane when we were little kids. Good times...