Public Art in Kelowna – Stones Pear Grove

Stones Pear Grove

Stones Pear Grove

Stop #56 on the Public Art in Kelowna tour is Stones Pear Grove in Ben Lee Park.

I really liked this installation!  It’s a red bridge, about 3’6″ wide and roughly 10′ long over a dry creek bed filled with stones.  A grove of pear trees surrounds the bridge, and it’s all very peaceful.  I later learned that the shape of the dry creek bed works with the trees to suggest the yin-yang symbol.  (It’s easy to see that in the Satellite view of Google maps.)

Stones Pear Grove is at the end of Ben Lee Park most easily reached from Houghton Road.  Long story short, that’s not where I parked.  So as I walked from completely the opposite corner, I could see the mounds and then the bridge.  It made a nice contrast to looking for Levels.  And I did feel peaceful as I walked on the path and crossed the bridge.

The Work
Grass mounds bisected by a dry creek bed and encircled by flowering pear trees replicate the shape of a ‘yin-yang’ symbol. A flagstone pathway leads to and away from a small, red, Asian-inspired bridge which crosses the creek bed. The words inscribed on the bridge deck planks lend a contemplative, spiritual voice. This installation pays homage to the site’s past as an orchard operated by the Tamagi family and also to the park’s namesake, Ben Lee.

It had been some time since I’d walked around the park.  It’s an 18 acre park with a paved walkway around the perimeter.  Dogs are allowed on leash on the paths.  There’s a children’s water park and a skateboard park.  By the Stones Pear Grove there’s horseshoe pits and picnic tables.

My work takes me all over Kelowna, and I will definitely remember this as a good spot to take a break between customers when I’m in Rutland.

You can find out more about Public Art in Kelowna here.  Grab a PDF of the brochure here. I hope eventually to blog about all 59 sites.  Click on “Public Art” in the “What’s here” box on the right side of this page to see all the Public Art posts on the blog.




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My Life In Tech: Teamviewer

[notice]I’m bringing some of the posts from an old blog over to this one.  I’ll kill off the old blog when I’ve got the good stuff over here.  This was originally posted August 28, 2010.[/notice]

TeamViewer is a great little application for remote computer support.  I’m not supposed to use it for commercial purposes, and since I don’t have an extra $689 lying around just now, I only use it when I’m helping friends and family.

My dad told me he tried to update his Norton Internet Security but something went haywire, and now he can’t do much of anything on that computer.  Since we are about 2300 miles apart — and related — I figured I could come to the rescue via TeamViewer.

I still don't get it.

I still don't get it.

I sent my dad an email with the instructions for downloading the QuickSupport version.  I called him to see if he’d had a chance to do it.  It turns out that Dad is just confused about the difference between “Save” and “Run” on his Internet Explorer.

Now I see that the TeamViewer people have changed the website around so all I have to do is get him to the front door and have him click on “Join a session” but a couple of weeks ago when we were starting down this road, either that wasn’t there or I just plain missed it.

As I tried to remain calm and explain again and again what to do, I realized that how I was feeling right them must be a lot like the way my dad used to feel when he was “helping” me with my math homework.  I just didn’t get it, and no amount of talking about it was ever going to make a difference.  Now I think the same thing is true in reverse.

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My Life In Tech: Typical


 I am not making this up.

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My Life In Tech: Just When I Thought I’d Seen Everything

[notice]I’m bringing some of the posts from an old blog over to this one.  I’ll kill off the old blog when I’ve got the good stuff over here.  This was originally posted July 11, 2010.[/notice]

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work  for people who just got a new PC with Windows 7 on it and want me to get their files from their old PC to the new one.

This is easiest when the customer buys a whole new system, including a monitor.  I can get started on setting up the new system while I transfer files from the old PC to an external hard drive.

A Sokoban Game

Like Lucy in the candy factory, but slower

When they just replace the tower, I have to get the file transfer process going first because I’m going to need that monitor on the new system.  It’s a little bit like that old DOS game Sokoban, but I’ve gotten pretty efficient at moving through the first 22 levels of the process.

Last week I set up a new Windows 7 laptop for a lady who wanted me to get her files from her Windows 98 machine.  Well, the external hard drive I carry wasn’t going to be an option because it happens to be formatted NTFS.  Because why on earth would I need a FAT hard drive?

And it turns out I didn’t, because this PC had no USB ports.  It must have been upgraded from Windows 95 at some point.  So no external hard drive, and forget about even tracking down drivers for my FAT USB keys.

No problem, right?  I’ll just burn some CDs.  Nope, no CD burner.

Now it gets interesting.  I can remove the hard drive, put it in an enclosure and transfer the files that way, but I hate that option.  It always turns out that the case hasn’t been opened in 10 years and the hard drive is underneath rails or otherwise difficult to remove.  So what I’ve got left is a working NIC and a Telus modem/router combination.

It’s been so long since I worked on a Windows 98 PC that I honestly don’t think I could even bluff my way through networking this PC and the Win7 laptop.  But.  I found the last version of Filezilla that works with Windows 98 (Version 2.2.22) and installed that.  Then I FTPed her stuff to my domain’s FTP space.  When I set up the laptop, I installed the current Filezilla client and FTPed everything down.  That went a lot faster.

After that is was the routine tasks of setting up email, importing her old mail and contacts and putting documents and pictures where they belong.  The really hard part of the afternoon was trying to get PowerPoint Viewer to work, but that’s for another post.

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Public Art in Kelowna – Reach for the Stars

Reach for the Stars

Reach for the Stars

Reach for the Stars, stop # 55 in the Guide to Public Art, is a gigantic mural on the back wall of a commercial building in on Spedding Court in Rutland.  Billed as Kelowna’s largest mural, it covers the entire back wall of a building, about 165 feet long and 25 feet high.

The mural faces Springvalley Middle School, and students there collaborated with artist Scott Tobin to produce colourful , graffiti-influenced flowers, bunnies, and a car.  Tobin is also responsible for the Pride Mural on Water Street.

Unless you are already in fields in back of Springvalley Middle School, you’ll need to park on Spedding Court and squeeze through an opening in the fence that is, no kidding, 14 inches wide.  If there’s another way in I couldn’t find it.  (Be sure to leave your dog at home.  We wouldn’t want dogs playing in the fields.)

The mural is fantastic, once you’re where you can see it.  According to the City’s Public Art website,

Students had spent many hours cleaning up graffiti on this wall, and with Colleen’s encouragement and the support of school staff, they decided to try the idea of an aerosol art mural as a way to deter graffiti and vandalism.

Scott Tobin based the design for the mural on ideas and suggestions from students, and young people from the school’s CHOICES program worked with the artist to prepare the mural background in June, 2007. Tobin continued painting the mural throughout the summer, finally completing it in late August.

They have not been entirely successful in keeping the wall free of graffiti.

The artist’s website links to a YouTube video showing the wall being painted and Tobin commenting on the project.

If you want to have a look at the mural, park near the automotive place at 355 Spedding Court, and look for the fenced walkway.  Squeeze through the fence.  You’ll be facing the school.  Look to your left.  The mural is on the wall behind you.

Find out more about Public Art in Kelowna here.  If you’re reading this before September 4, 2011, you still have time to get to the Please Touch the Art” exhibit at the Kelowna Art Gallery.  It’s a wonderful exhibit.  It discusses the creating of Bear, and has inspired me to visit every piece of public art in Kelowna.   Click on “Public Art” in the “What’s here” box on the right side of this page to see the other posts.



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