We lost a good one.

I’m sure you all have heard about our American Comedic Legend – Mr. Robin Williams and his passing yesterday. I can only begin to imagine what his family and closest relatives are feeling given the outpour of sympathy from the rest of the world. I am amazed but not surprised at the unsurpassable amount of people affected by this tragic event; even still, simply writing this gets me all choked up. Last night I got lost reading about stories from people all over the world that he made an impact on in some way. The people that he touched and the lives that he changed, everyone has their own story, each with a unique tale of how he made them smile or stop and think about the world.

It seems though, that there are a lot of people out there asking themselves, “Why is this hitting me so hard?” or “What is my problem, I didn’t know him, we weren’t friends”. The truth is, he was our friend and we did know him and this should affect us as much as anyone else because it is sad. The headlines read, “World mourns…”, and I think that this depicts the impact that he made because it really is the world that is sad. The biggest impact is on the mix of generations that grew up with him in their homes and lives watching him on television and on stage. His antics and personality flourished through his work and every single person that he interacted with connected him to his audience in a way that changed the way people think.

Mork and Mindy was never a show that I grew up with because that was before my time. However, I do remember watching Aladdin and loving it so much I wore out the VHS. I remember watching Flubber another movie that I repeatedly watch to this day and Jumanji, Hook, Goodwill Hunting, Jack, Toys, The Birdcage. All movies that were part of my childhood, all movies that shaped the person I am today. He’ll always bring smiles and laughter to peoples faces through his work but I somehow feel that a part of my childhood has died and all the happiness has gone from the world and that everyone is just kind of left wondering what we should all do now. One movie that reached me on a personal level as a young adult beginning my career in medical research is Patch Adams. Robin’s ability to ever so successfully portray the importance of patient health and change the mentality on clinical practice made me realize that there really is more to it than just treatment for disease.

Our job as health professionals is to improve the quality of life, not delay death because death is inevitable. So no matter whom you are, a doctor, a nurse, a volunteer, a patient, a scientist trying to find a cure, we can all make things a little better for each other if we just make the world a better place. There is no need for war and I am not just talking about men with guns, I’m talking about the lady behind you in line for coffee snarling at the fact that you aren’t moving fast enough, I’m talking about the guy that cut you off on the freeway and flipped you the bird, I’m talking about the doctor that came into your room and was so exhausted from working long hours that he didn’t even look at you. The importance is to take the time and have the patience to show people that improving the quality of life no matter how big or small will make a difference. For Robin this philosophy reflected him and what he did for all of us. He was a person taking care of people.

The thing is, it is hard and the world is a hard place that is only going to get harder unless humanity changes completely. Today, suicide is commonly regarded as selfish but I think in this case Robin Williams death was an act of heroism. His death will raise awareness about the importance of laughter and bringing happiness to the world. Yes, it is okay to be sad sometimes, everyone needs some down time but the secret ingredient to combatting all is what he sought out in all of his fans, laughter. Somehow, we are going to have to get on without him in our lives and make it through each day finding another way to laugh because not doing so will be a dishonour to him.

“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” – Robin Williams, Patch Adams


Edmonton Bonsai Society Annual Bonsai Exhibit 2014

One of the EBS members was kind enough to send me some of his photos from this years bonsai exhibit in Edmonton. I had gone to the exhibit with all intentions to take pictures and of course the moment I arrived there my phone died. Regardless it was nice to put faces to names and talk with some of the club members about their bonsai’s. I had full intentions of going last year but ended up missing it for whatever reason. 

I don’t know all the species, as such I’ll let it in your capable hands to identify. My favourite tree at the exhibit this year was a Shimpaku juniper, that unfortunately is not in these pictures. 

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I hope that you enjoyed these, we are hoping that next years exhibit will be twice this size!


Kusamono 2014

I recently had the chance to take a run out to Apache Seeds Ltd. here in Edmonton to pick up a pot for bonsai I was babysitting for a friend. Things got a little carried away and I ended up coming home with a large 12″ unglazed pot and 4 smaller kusamono pots. Since it is a long weekend I thought I would put together some Kusamono.

I put some Hypoestes phyllostachya “Polka Dot Plants”, Sword Fern and grasses along with some hostas.





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I also had the chance to visit the Second Annual Bonsai Exhibit at the Edmonton Japanese Cultural Association. More to come on this!


Second Annual Edmonton Bonsai Society Exhibition

I am pleased to announce the Second Annual Bonsai Exhibition hosted by the Bonsai Society of Edmonton. This years exhibit celebrates it’s second go at the art of bonsai in the city of Edmonton.

Date and Time: June 28 and 29 (Sat., Sun.), 10 am to 5 pm each day

Place: EJCA Centre, 6750-88 Street, Edmonton

Entry fee: $5.00/person

For further information, contact Les Dowdell at hokkoku@telusplanet.net or Ph. (780) 437-0530.

For more information you can go to: http://www.bonsaisocietyofedmonton.ca/bonsai-exhibit.html


A not so vacation, vacation

The summer is now winding down and that means that I am once again becoming an introvert. With fall fast approaching; yes that’s right I said it fall, I figured now is as good of a time as any to post to all of you who I have missed so much. The past couple of months have been a whirlwind of working multiple jobs, home renos, travelling, preparing for school and most importantly spending needed time with friends and family. Oh, and of course my trees. Which I am sure are feeling a little neglected…we don’t talk about it.

The highlight of my summer however, was my trip to the maritimes. Set in the deep forests of Nova Scotia which in my opinion is one of Canada’s most beautiful provinces; tucked away in the comforts of my cousins beautiful home, I spent a week enjoying good company, hospitality, food and culture. I’ve got to hand it to her and her husband, they’ve really created a beautiful home, on of which I will be very excited to stay at the next time I am visiting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to wake up to this at the breakfast table every morning. The things that I love most about Nova Scotia and being a bonsai enthusiast is that the province is filled with many trees. All of which are various species and very old. I’m really surprised it is not the bonsai capital of Canada, one could very easily build a beautiful nursery there.



You can only imagine all the potential yamadori I seen while I was here.

Some highlights of the trip include travelling around Halifax and Dartmouth as well taking a day trip to Prince Edward Island to visit family and walk on the breath taking red shore beaches of Cavendish.

A shot of the harbour and downtown Halifax from the Dartmouth side.


Cavendish beach

Sand Dunes
dunesAll in all, it was an excellent trip and experience. I’m both eager and excited to return shortly but this time it will be strict R & R.

Bonsai Society of Edmonton

The Edmonton Japanese Community Association plays host the the Bonsai Society of Edmonton’s monthly group meetings. After some time now, EJCA has supported the bonsai society’s events and news on their own site. I’m happy to announce to you that the Bonsai Society of Edmonton now has their own site in which you can draw from for memberships, information on events, news, teachings, etc. For more information you can go to: http://www.bonsaisocietyofedmonton.ca/

In addition, I will channel events and news that is fed to me from the site so that my national and international readers can have a first hand look at what is going on in Canada and more locally Edmonton!5758180_orig

EJCA Bonsai Exhibit 2013

This past weekend the Edmonton Japanese Cultural Association (EJCA) hosted its annual bonsai exhibit. This is the only bonsai related exhibit Edmonton sees all year. After spending Friday and Saturday out at the lake, I planned on leaving early Sunday morning to get back to the city and hop over to the exhibit. Unfortunately that did not happen as I came down with a violent stomach flu that left me sleeping on the bathroom floor all day sunday into the evening. So I missed it.

Luckily though my bonsai friend here in Edmonton ended up going and took some pictures. “JayO” name undisclosed sent me the link for his photo’s he took and so I thought that I would post them here. Please enjoy some of the talented Edmontonian’s we have, that have spent years developing these little trees.

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I hope that you enjoyed these. Thanks to Jay for allowing me to upload them to my blog. For more of Jay’s interesting bonsai photos you can go to: Jay’s Photobucket.