Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ranjit visits

I've known Ranjit via Flickr, mainly, since 2005, but he lives in Brooklyn and I'd never met him. Last weekend, he was in town, helping Jessica Thompson present her FreeStyle Sound Kit workshop. I went to the workshop on Saturday & then we explored Toronto a bit on Sunday.

At the workshop I learned how to use a soldering iron and make a basic sound circuit; I got to play with a glue gun and mess around with sound samples. My finished soundkit didn't really work -- it was supposed to be triggered by stepping on a contact mic, but wasn't, and it seemed to go off randomly sometimes for no reason -- but I still had fun.

Workshop in progress

On Sunday, Ranjit, his cousin Alex whom he hadn't seen since Alex was eight, Hilary, and I had brunch at Aunties and Uncles, then wandered through Kensington Market, where I tried to explain the cultural significance of the statue of Al Waxman: "Imagine if there was, I don't know, a statue of Archie Bunker from All In the Family... Trust me, this is probably the most Canadian thing you will see all day."

The one thing Ranjit really wanted to do while he was here was visit Active Surplus, which, oddly enough, I'd never been to in all the years I've lived here. I think I thought it only sold electronics stuff, or something. Wrong! It sells everything: hats and mitts, a dozen kinds of rope, a Visible Man, glass vessels of every description, ribbon, many objects I could not identify at all, and a wide range of odd clever gadgets I never realized I needed. (I wound up buying a pair of sound-cancelling earphones for my iPod, which work great on the subway.) We had a great time poking around. Here, the selection of electrical components transforms Ranjit into a blur of excitement:

Ranjit in Active Surplus

The store is worth visiting for the signage on the bins alone; here's one of my favourites:

Do not try these in the store

More pictures from the workshop here, and lots more pictures from Active Surplus here, including more fun signs.



Blogger JuliaMazal said...

YOU had NEVER been to ACTIVE SURPLUS?! I don't understand!

12:51 a.m., February 12, 2008  

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