Unit One & Enhet Én

While Shelagh was helping me get my iPhone aps up to date, her alterego – Inger Færøl – was over at Enhet Én, helping the crew there make avatars of themselves. They kindly included an avatar of myself.

With Shelagh back in San Francisco, I was pressed into helping Karsk Skjenning when he needed some help  He is making a limited edition book(let) “Hyllest til Hylla” (Homage to Hylla, a village of about 370 people in Inderøy municipality). The 20 page A5 booklet is a collection of photographs taken there in 2015.

First, I cropped the rectangular photos in Adobe Photoshop, to square ones that Karsk prefers. Then he wanted an avatar for himself, similar to the ones Inger had made the week before, along with a logo for Enhet Én – Trønderland. While I was at it, I made a derivative logo for Unit One – Cascadia. This involved Adobe Illustrator.  Once this material was available, I then used Adobe InDesign to pageset the photographs.

Hyllest til Hylla remains a work in progress, because Karsk is having a hard time deciding on photo captions.

Here is Karsk’s avatar, and the logos for Enhet Én – Trønderland and Unit One – Cascadia. Happy McLellan, was very happy with the typeface selected. It is called Elephant, a fat face, ultra-bold serif typeface for digital display purposes. It was designed by Matthew Carter in 1992, and was originally released by Microsoft.

Thank you, Inger Færøl!

Inger gained valuable experience as a kindergarten teacher today. Her charge was 67 years old. In order to create a logo for the Unit One website, he only had to consult Shelagh eight to ten times for advice, in addition to the hour tutorial on using Adobe Illustrator.

This is a larger version of the image. While the house was made locally, the tree and apple barrel was downloaded from a website no longer accessible: http://www.pageresource.com/clipart/nature/trees/cartoon-apple-tree-clipart

Inger also made avatars for each of the members of the Unit One collective.

Billi Sodd



I used to write poetry. Was it at Lester Pearson Senior Secondary  School, or was it Vincent Massey Junior Secondary School? Some of my poems were even published. To find out when and where will undoubtedly involve offline research.

Currently, I am undertaking an exploration of my soul, in yet another MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). Innovative Cascadia Poetry, offered by Cascadia College in Bothell, Washington, through the Canvas Network.

Looking for cargocollective.com, a personal publishing platform, memory failed me. I thought Cargo was called Canvas. Reaching the Canvas network I realized my mistake, but spent a few minutes looking at the free courses on offer.

We all know that just a few minutes of innocent diversion can have serious consequences, and so it happened once again. Another enrollment in yet another course.


The past is such a haze.
I cannot remember
which are the true memories.

False memories are overrunning my mind.
Which are the deliberate lies?
Which are the innocent distortions?

It all would have been so much easier
If I had recorded it all:
video, audio, photos and words.

Film, tape, paper and hard drives
are more reliable than brain cells
with their endless mindstorms.

New Artwork

I’d like to thank Shelagh McLellan for her work making new artwork for me. These include both a personal avatar, as well as rectangular and square versions of a logo for Cliff Cottage.

Cliff Cottage-01
The rectangular version of the Cliff Cottage logo.
My personal avatar

The artwork was made using Adobe Illustrator. They use Futura typeface.

While I live !!!

Both my son, Alasdair, and my daughter, Shelagh, are at home, and I am trying to get some order into my blogs.

[Note: Originally there were three blogs: Brock at Cliff Cottage: brockmclellan.wordpress.org; Design Needs, Seeds & Weeds: designeeds.wordpress.org; and, Unit One: unitwon.wordpress.org. These were subsequently merged into one on 2018-04-03 at 9:00: brock.mclellan.no This post originally appeared in the first, and original, one. The second, looks at design. The third, started the day before publication of this post, involves a number of personas interacting harmoniously and otherwise. ]

As of today, I retire in 232 days. I am looking forward to entering a new age of freedom, that ends with frailty, forgetfulness or death.

In my original post I mentioned “Prosperity without Growth” and our addiction to novelty. Now, I’d like to mention Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows” which addresses internet addictions. I am now trying to spend at least an hour each day reading books.

My Citroën Evasion died in 2012, and was replaced by a Mazda 5. It is not the best of relationships. Every time I refuel I feel a twinge of guilt about global climate change and local emissions. I am looking forward to a future with three important forms of transport: walking as my primary means of transport,  a more occasional use of Lyft (not Uber) combined with autonomous electric vehicles, and – for intra and intercontinental travel – the hyperloop, which a couple of days ago had a successful test run of its propulsion system.


I am trying harder to avoid being inspired by the literature I’ve read as a child. I am actively trying to find new literature. Not many new authors of fiction, with the exception of works by Ivan Doig (1939 – 2015), Armistead Maupin (1944 – ) and Colin MacInnes (1914 – 1976). Marc Reisner’s (1948 – 2000) Cadillac Desert has been inspiring. Carmen Aguirre (? – ) has been fun. Robert Riech (1946 – ), Joseph Stiglitz (1943 – ), Ha-Joon Chang (1963 – ) have improved my understanding of economics.

Travel Goals

Islands and archipelagos continue to attract, especially British Columbia’s Gulf Islands, and Washington State’s San Juan Islands. In Europe, the islands of the B-7 Baltic Islands Network hold considerable appeal, Denmark’s Bornholm, Germany’s Rügen, Sweden’s Öland and Gotland Islands, Estonia’s Hiiumaa and Saaremaa Islands, and the Finnish autonomous Åland Islands.

Portugal and Portugese territories continue to attract, especially the Azores and Madeira.  In the USA, Hawaii attracts me, the wind, the waves, the geography, the geology, the volcanos and hot springs, the plants, the animals. With Shelagh living in San Francisco, I would like to explore more of California.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is still at the top of my travel list.


As mentioned before, Norway’s winters do not appeal, and I would still like a home in a winter warm area. Contenders still include: France and Portugal. There are large English speaking populations in Provence, the Algarve and on Madeira.


While I speak and write English and Norwegian, I have spent 500 days improving my French (and Swedish).

Unit One


Welcome to the Unit One collective.

We are a vibrant group of women and men, young and old, from a variety of backgrounds. Together we are united in our aspirations to transform the planet. Our goal is a happier, more democratic and more egalitarian world.

Members of the Unit One collective include:

Alexa Qvam is a children’s writer. She is concerned with social responsibility and the impact of technology. Like all Norwegians, Alexa was born with skis on her feet. During the green winter she migrates from cross country skis to roller skis –  effectively reducing the average speed of tourists, motoring along Norway’s narrow roads.

Billi Sodd has been in and out of prison most of his adult life. Billi is a pop artist, imitating the work of Marjorie Strider. His works include Meat Soup, National Costume (female), National Costume (male) and Modesty, a series of eight paintings showing seven generational changes in swim wear. This last work is on permanent display at Vømmel Prison..

Brigand Brewer spends his days working as a museologist and writing about history. His nights are devoted to understanding the mysteries of the Salish Sea, and its peoples. He enjoys sailing, and dreams of circumnavigating Vancouver Island.

Jade Marmot calls himself an auteur, but in reality is just a bad filmmaker. Jade’s first film Garden Party, Part 1 is still being edited, more than a year after it was shot. Jade is married to Daffy (Daffodil). He is inspired by Thierry Guetta (1966 – ).

Qwerty Asdf is a screenwriter. Between scripts he works as a water well driller and a caterer (on weekends).

Minor characters …

Liberty & Modesty Patience explore the world of Virtuous Reality. While Liberty has studied moral philosophy, modesty is a musician bringing philosophy alive.

Precious Dollar brings the world of economics into the collective. Befitting her training as a fresh water (neoliberal) economist, she asks critical questions about capitalism.

Proton Bletchley is an environmentalist, but with a taste for robots and artificial intelligence.

Mini characters …

Friends of Unit One include the photographer Karsk Skjenning, and professional muse Inger Færøl.


Published: 2010/06/24 at 11:07

I wake up in the morning as a 20 year old man (or was it a 15 year old? lets make it a 7 year old boy, just to be safe), but when I look in the mirror I discover this 60+ year old staring back at me. Something is wrong, but I don’t know how to fix it. My daughter tells me it can’t be fixed, and that I’ll have to learn to live with it.

One of the things it means is that one cannot postpone everything to an indefinite future.  If one is to travel, then one has to prioritize those places I’d like to visit, and revisit. For the past thirty years, travel has been a matter of duty, most often visiting relatives to ensure children have some contact with their grandparents. Of course this means that I get to go to one of my favourite places on earth, British Columbia.

Here is an alphabetical list of the places in the world I’d like to visit. Conspicuously absent from the list is Europe. But I do enjoy travelling through most of Europe including Denmark, France, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom. Baha’i pilgrimages to Israel are also high priority events.

Australia – One year road trip throughout the country in a camping car, with major stops at the Great Barrier Reef.  Unfortunately, my marriage will probably not survive this. I’m not quite sure what to do about it: reduce the length of the trip or put an ad on Craigslist advertising for a new partner. A little excursion to New Zealand is also included in this trip.

Snorkelling near Cairns, on Green Island, part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Best time is immediately after retiring.

Azores – Yes, I have been there once. But I am enchanted by the islands.

Lagoa das Sete Cidades, Azores

Brazil – I guess I could put up with Rio, the carnival and its half naked ladies, but the place I really want to visit is Curitiba. I would also like to explore parts of the Amazon.

Praco do Japao, Curitiba, Brazil

Costa Rica 

Isla Tortuga, Costa Rica

Haida Gwaii – You haven’t heard of Haida Gwaii? Imperialists can try looking up the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Masset, Haida Gwai, the Island Nation off Northern British Columbia

Japan – Provisionally slotted for summer 2011.

Mount Fuji, the essence of Japan



Melion Park, Singapore

Tanzania – My son suggested this, and he is right. Tanzania has so many fascinating places to see including: Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, Lake Victoria, Victoria Falls [OK, these are actually in Zambia and Zimbabwe], and Zanzibar.

The Rock Restaurant, Zanzibar

USA  – Hawaii ranks number one.  Other top contenders include: Carlsbad Caverns, Everglades, Four Corners area, Grand Canyon, Mammoth Cave, Yellowstone, Yosemite. On a good day, Death Valley and the Great Smokey Mountains as well. There are probably many other beautiful places, but I am reluctant to travel to places where people carry guns.

Venice Falls, Hawaii
North Rim, Grand Canyon

Before I die …

2009-06-14 19:39:20

I am inspired by my daughter, Shelagh, to write a summary of my goals.  Being 60, I have only another 30 or 40 years to achieve these goals before I begin to get too frail and forgetful.

Chapter 6 of Prosperity without Growth comments on our addiction to novelty. We are not content with what we have, but want something bigger or better or at least different.  Marital infidelity is rampant and, in Western civilization, the same is true of economic infidelity.  I am sure that I can live for the rest of my life with my Citroën Evasion, but there are days when I yearn to be unfaithful to her.  The petite Mitsubishi i MiEV and the Citroën Nemo both attract, but neither offers anything better. After the first week in a new relationship, the feeling of novelty wears off, but it is probably too late to return to the old lover.

Thus my first goal is to remain content with what I have, and not to seek novelty for its own sake.


Many of my goals have been  inspired by the literature I’ve read as a child.  I first read Arthur Ransome soon after the opening of the new New Westminster public library in 1958.  He ranks as my favourite author, although there are many contenders for the places immediately below this.  Peter Dawlish, and his Dauntless series; Archie Binns, with Sea Pup and its sequels; William Beebe was my hero in terms of underwater exploration; Rachel Carson my inspiration in terms of exploring the sea; Ralph Buchsbaum has inspired my interest in invertebrates.

As a Baha’i, religion and Faith have influenced my life, as have the following books: Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys; Abdu’l-Baha, A Traveler’s Narrative; Nabil, Dawnbreakers; Mirza Abu’l-Fadl, The Baha’i Proofs; Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus. Later in life I have found inspiration and an understanding of theistic evolution in the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Niles Eldredge, Ronald Fisher, Stephen Jay Gould and Eugenie Scott.  I appreciate the works of Richard Dawkins, but not his atheism.

One of my goals is to reread books that have influenced me previously.  These include the following: Jules Verne, Vingt mille lieues sous les mers; Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach;  Haruki Murikami, Kafka on the Shore; Donald Barthelme, Snow White.

Another goals is to read a previously unexplored book (and unrelated to my work) once a month.  This can be difficult, since I spend vast hours every month reading work related books.


Patricia, my wife, has a hearing disability.  For this reason I don’t listen to music that often, since she regards it as noise.  I guess I should learn to use headphones.  My goal is to set off time to enjoy a wide variety of music:

Regularly: Bax, Biber, Bliss, Bridge, Britten, Davis, Dowland, Dufay, Dunstable, Elgar, Feeney, Frye, Holst, Muldowney, Parry, Purcell, Tallis, Vaughan Williams.

Regularly: Loreena McKennitt, Maggie Reilly, assorted celtic music.

Occasionally: Assorted new age, Jane Birkin, Kate Bush, Chris De Burgh, Celine Dion, Amanda Lear, Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull.

Less occasionally: The Byrds, The Clash, Foreigner, The Kinks, Kraftwerk, Lillix, Midnight Oil, Tangerine Dream, Wallflowers, The Who.

Travel Goals

Coasts and Islands

Having built my first sailboat in 1962, sailing has held a life long interest, although I admit that I am at best only a fair weather sailor, and probably no more than an armchair sailor. Despite this, there are several islands and archipelagos that attract me.  These include British Columbia’s Gulf Islands, and Washington State’s San Juan Islands.     Forty years ago, the South Pacific (including New Zealand, Easter Island, the Galapagos and Hawaii) and the Atlantic (especially the Caribbean)  all had their allure.   Thirty years ago, the Aegian, Ionian and Adriatic Seas would have headed the list.  More recently,  Mauritius, the Seychelles, the Maldives and other exotic locations in the Indian Ocean would have been at the top. Yet, when I owned a small cruiser,  the Norwegian coast, the Åland Archipeligo and the Baltic in general, and Scotland  appealed, but I never ventured far from Trondheim Fjord.

Despite this, the Azores remain a mystical place that enchants me. If things had been different, Hawaii could have been even more attractive, but excessive development has spoiled the islands.  It is nature that attracts me, the wind, the waves, the geography, the geology, the volcanos and hot springs, the plants, the animals.

Scuba Diving

I earned a diving certificate back in 1972, but probably should take a refresher course.  However, the idea of diving still appeals to me, especially in the warmer seas of the world including the Egyptian Red Sea and  Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Colder parts that appeal include Norway’s many dive sites, Canada’s sites on Vancouver Island and Ireland’s sites on Strangford Lough.


Let’s face it.  Norway’s winters are not all that appealing.  I now have less than ten years before I retire.  In that time I would like to secure myself a home in an area that is relatively warm in the winter, and relatively cool in the summer. I remember thinking at one time that I should like to divide my life into 3s.  The first third was in Canada, the second third has been in Norway.  Who knows where the third third should be spent. Contenders for a winter home include: France (Ruffec, Charente); Portugal (Yes, somewhere in the Azores).

Canal holiday in Britain and France.


The United States has many of the finest areas in the world to visit, including:  Grand Canyon, the Everglades, Florida Keys, Carlsbad Caverns, Yellowstone Park, Four-corners, Maui. The next step is to work out a ten year plan to ensure I get to visit these areas in the next decade.


At the age of 14 I started out building a Sabot sailboat.  At one time I expected a career as a boat builder. This combined with my studies in wood and metal working indicate that I should be able to make things.  The result is minimal.  I think a contributing factor is that I have no workshop to build things in.  So, one of my goals is to find a place that is large enough to become a workshop.

By the age of 16, photography had become my dominant interest, and many times I think I should have taken a two year program in television production at BCIT.  Thus, one of my major goals is to produce, direct and edit a video film, or better still to combine video production with some of the other activities listed below.

Another mislaid interest was in electronics. One of my goals is to learn how to build circuits using microcontrollers, and to program them.  I came half-way there with my post-graduate degree in computer science, but should have attended an institution that focused more on hardware in addition to software.

In this connection, I also want to improve my skills in computer aided design, including rendering.  In addition, I would like to be able to master use of CNC tools.  Here, I would like to focus on the more creative aspects of 3D production.

Actually, my secret goal is to combine craftsmanship, video, embedded electronics and 3D production to create an educational environment that promotes a better understanding of sustainability.


English and Norwegian are the two languages I have learned to master.  The latter with an American pronunciation that I have tried to eliminate for 30 years.  In addition, I am constantly feeling I should learn more French, Persian, Arabic and/or Portugese, as well as refresh my Latin skills.  The next step is to determine if I should learn another language, and if so to select that language, then set off time to learn it.English and Norwegian are the two languages I have learned to master.  The latter with an American pronunciation that I have tried to eliminate for 30 years.  In addition, I am constantly feeling I should learn more French, Persian, Arabic and/or Portuguese, as well as refresh my Latin skills.  The next step is to determine if I should learn another language, and if so to select that language, then set off time to learn it.

Before I die (revisited)

 2017-11-09 06:34:40

The original Before i Die page was written about eight years ago, in 2009. Now that I am 69, the time I have left is only even less. As I see my mother at 101, I realize that I may not be accomplishing much in another 30 years. The biggest difference between 2009 and now is that I retired at the end of 2016.

I didn’t have to be unfaithful to my Citroën Evasion. She died, but I am not that happy in my relationship with Endeavour, a Mazda 5, bought because I wanted a sensible vehicle with sliding doors and Japanese quality. I probably would have been happier with a Berlingo. In five years, I may spend my fortune on one last vehicle, a Volkswagen Buzz, with at least level 3 autonomous capabilities.

So much for “my first goal is to remain content with what I have, and not to seek novelty for its own sake”.


All of the literature related in the previous version remains relevant today. I am reading fewer books, and have less joy from reading. Today’s top three in the book world are Rutger Bregman’s Utopia for Realists, Susan Cain’s Quiet and Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics.

Music & Video

It is months since I listened to any music or watched a film. Trish and I used to watch a documentary once a day, but our current rate is about once or twice a week. In October 2017, I don’t think we watched a single documentary. I am watching more youtube DIY shorts.


English and Norwegian are the two languages I have learned to master.  The latter with an American pronunciation that I have tried to eliminate for almost 40 years.  Duolingo is being used to improve my French, on a minimalistic but daily basis. I have also used Duolingo to study Swedish, German and Portuguese. I still feel I should learn Persian and Arabic, and am waiting for a Duolingo course in at least one of these languages.

Travel Goals

Compared to 2009, there are fewer places that attract me.  At the top of list are British Columbia’s Vancouver Island and adjacent islands including the Gulf Islands. Washington State’s Puget Sound, including the San Juan Islands are still high on my list. This year we visited Madeira for a month, and walked extensively. I wouldn’t want to visit a place where the maximum temperature at the time exceeded much over 25. The islands of the Baltic still hold their appeal.


Previously, I wrote that I would like to secure myself a home in an area that is warm in the winter, but cool in the summer. I no longer think I can divide my life into 3s. I can’t afford to return to Vancouver, and while Westminster Quay holds some appeal, don’t think I want to. The east coast of Vancouver Island, or Port Townsend and western Puget Sound (if they were in Canada), are still places I would consider living either year round, or overwintering.

Instead of relocating, I am focusing on turning our house at Vangshylla into a center for research, training and prototyping of an ecological future. In the previous version I lamented the lack of a workshop. This situation is being corrected with the transformation of a single car garage into the Unit One work space to allow me to work in and develop mechatronic skills: woodworking, metalworking, programming, microelectronics, computer aided design, CNC tools, 3D printers and laser cutters.  All with a focus on the more creative aspects of 3D production.

One of my major goals remains to produce, direct and edit video film starting with DIY videos, but only when I have something important to say. After that, I would like to work more with drama.

As I wrote these many years ago, “my secret goal is to combine craftsmanship, video, embedded electronics and 3D production to create an educational environment that promotes a better understanding of sustainability.” I have the same goal today, but with some money and more time to achieve it.

Spiritual Growth! material sustainability

13 June 2009

“Spiritual Growth! material sustainability.” is my current motto.  Unfortunately, there has been far too much emphasis on economic growth, especially for those who have too much from before, and not enough demand for the one product where supply always exceeds demand – spirituality.   Since I’ve now passed my 60th birthday, it is probably time to start a blog.  My main concerns in life have to do with the survival of this planet.  Additional economic growth, will almost certainly place additional pressure on our planet’s ability to survive.  Additional spiritual growth, with its focus on God, will lead to a more harmonious life.

One work that examines the problem of unnecessary economic growth is “Prosperity without growth!” Unfortunately, most economists – as well as politicians – have ignored this problem.  Their only solution is growth whether it suits or not.