Saturday, September 30, 2006

And he's off to catch up with his teacher. More cones must be placed!
And then I wake up to this, a fairly scary step on the way to the Great American Dictatorship. I know I feel much better knowing that George Bush, or whoever follows him, can simply point at a person, declare "Enemy combatant," and jail that person for as long as he wants without having to offer a shred of proof. Welcome to the Gulag Archipelago kids! Complete with, as I noted in the previous post, walls!

This is going to make the McCarthy years look like a picnic.

Friday, September 29, 2006

You ask - we deliver! Leaves, that is. Although these ones still seem pretty green to me.

This is a park I ride through on my way to work every day. To the right, out of frame, is an elementary school. The kid on the path was helping his teacher (along with another kid), laying out traffic cones. I'm assuming they were marking a route for the rest of the kids to run later (it was just before 8:00 a.m. when I took this shot). Kids at this age are so great. They haven't figured out yet that it's not cool to be so enthused and to actually want to help.

The whiteness of the background is due to ground fog.

And, once again, honest - I'd already posted this photo and its little story and gone on to other things. One of those was the latest web edition of the New York Times where, sure enough, just my luck, another member of the Republican Moral Majority was shown to be just another Republican moral moron.

The really amusing thing is that the Republicans are the guys who want to build walls on America's Mexican and Canadian borders to keep bad people out. Ummmm...

November, November, November...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Blogger's been acting weird, and decided to blow this picture away for some reason. Well, I'm not letting no crummy software glitch edit my photos, so here it is, back again. I'm still channelling Walker Evans, so there.

And the building is still in the middle of Vancouver, and will still, very likely, get knocked down for the Olympic Village that's being built on the land surrounding it. Oh, I can't wait till 2010. Of course, 2011 will be even more exciting - when the multi-billion dollar bill comes in.

Vancouver, 1955. Or not. This is the shore of English Bay, with the mighty towers of the West End rising beside it. In the background are the mountains of West Vancouver. The jetty in the foreground is where a little ferry that takes folks across the bay docks. The trip is all of about 5 minutes, but it docks at a nice pub with a nice view, nice food, nice wine, so.....

Over the weekend, I'll see if I can get some "fall colours" shots. Should be an interesting challenge for a red/green colour blind guy.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The bacon slowly wends its way homeward. The eggs wait anxiously.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fall's rolling in. Sometime in the next couple of weeks we'll probably have a big rain, and all of these leaves will be on the ground. Somebody's going to have to rake them all up. I'm so glad that it ain't gonna be me!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I told you I was in the middle of photographing a wall (well, doors in a wall) when Alex came along.

And, future famous surgeons shouldn't go jumping over waterfalls anyway.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My neighbour, Alex. Or, as I like to call him, The World's Happiest Man. He came upon me deep in the middle of photographing one of my usual subjects - a wall - and asked how come he wasn't in the picture. Always happy to oblige a neighbour, I promptly put him in one.

Alex is one of those guys who might also be referred to as "The King of...", or, "The Unofficial Mayor of...", the "..." in this case being Kerrisdale. He knows everybody and is friends with everybody. He's retired (I have no idea what from), and lives with a fiery French-Canadian woman who's got a mass of red hair big enough for three or four people and a pretty good singing voice. If I hear voices coming from their apartment, it's almost always them laughing (or her singing). Not just quiet laughing, but all-out, take-a-good-deep-breath-and-let-go laughing. These two people really enjoy their lives. Given my own tendency to gloom, they're great to live next door to.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Well, somebody's got to bring home the bacon.

By the way, have I mentioned lately how much I'm liking my new camera? I can see what I'm photographing again! No more dinky window on the back of the camera, obscured by any bright light. And there's just something so satisfying about the sound of the mirror slapping up beneath the focusing screen, the shutter making it's little trip... If you're thinking, "Hmmmm, I really need a new camera", well, an SLR is really what you're looking for.

Of course, an M8 would also be a charming thing to have, but, well, $$$$$$....

Friday, September 22, 2006

Meanwhile, down on Pender St., more shopping goes on.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Some darn interesting stores have been opening up in the neighbourhood over the past two or three years. You should see the stuff in the window of the Issy Dress house (the store on the left).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wheeeee....went to see "Body World" (I think that's what the exhibit's called) tonight. Very nifty. Cadavers plasticized and artfully dissected, along with isolated organs, and sections of a variety of tissues, healthy and otherwise. If you've got any curiosity at all about the human body, you really should go see this. The cadavers actually get a bit repetitive, but the smaller detail dissections are great.

The other swell thing about the exhibit was finding oneself in a room full of a hundred or so fellow nerds, all pointing at various details and "ooo-ing" and "ah-ing" over them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And now begins a short (?) series of photos from the neighbourhood. As the shoe repair shop sign says, I live in Kerrisdale. Until recently, it was a neighbourhood of mainly old, wealthy retirees. With the addition of me, the average wealth of the neighbourhood has taken a severe blow. And, of course, I'm not retired. I'll let the "old" thing slide, thanks.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Somehow, this reminds me of school.

Meanwhile, on the reading list, I've just finished "Fraud", by Anita Brookner. I'm going to go pick up a bunch more of her books. You should, too.

As for the "Morons in Motion" portion of our program, consider this. Nothing like kidnapping an innocent man, arranging for him to be, as the saying goes, brutally tortured by Syrian thugs for a year or so, and then saying, "Golly. Oops. Our mistake." Which, of course, none of the people responsible has actually said. In fact, in the States, the people responsible are busy running for re-election. "Vote for me! I'm strong on torture!" I can't wait to see how that turns out. How 'bout you? As for the folks up here - CSIS, the RCMP - well, I think those Mountie hats might be squeezing their brains a little too tightly.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

You have to admire the optimism of whoever decided to build a ladder that begins (or ends) in the middle of a blank wall. The bottom of this ladder is a good twenty-five feet from the ground.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The excitement's almost too much, isn't it?

Friday, September 15, 2006

How did I miss a day? Gad.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's probably just my imagination, but the new term seems to be flying along at a prodigious rate. Granted, only two weeks have gone by, but...

Must be my imagination.

Now, honest - I was just going to post this picture and a brief comment on how the term's going so far. Really. But, then I saw this. Exactly what kind of drugs are U.S. politicians taking?

November, folks. Keep thinking, "November".

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A troll came up out of the sewers in Montreal today, heavily armed. He killed one young woman and wounded about 20 other people, 8 of them critically, so there may yet be more deaths. What a world.

And, of course, our man, Smirkin' Steve Harper, wants to make sure any lunatic who wants one has easy access to his or her weapon of choice. Ban that gun registry, Steve. He does, however, want to punish the hell out of them once they've committed their crimes. Like the good neo-conservative nitwit that he is, he's very in favour of stiffer penalties for gun crimes. Fat lot of good that does the dead, of course. Not to mention their families.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The sign seems to be working, doesn't it?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Just another day sliding into night.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Looking east from the Jericho Sailing Club.

And, today (depending, at least, on your time zone and when you read this) is That Day - the fifth anniversary of George Bush's favourite holiday - 9/11. Sorry to be cynical, folks, but that's how it is.

That there was never a conncection between the events of that day and Iraq is pretty well established. Osama isn't, and never was, in Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. In fact, up until Saddam got uppity and invaded Kuwait, he'd been a great pal of America. He hated Iran, America hated Iran - it was a match made in Heaven.

So, why did Dumbya attack Iraq? Who knows? He's terminally stupid? He's insane? He's just as much a lunatic as Osama? Whatever...

So far he's gotten just about 3,000 Americans killed there - same number as died on 9/11 - and you know there will be many, many more. And he's had about 45,000 Iraqi civilians killed - 15 times the number of people killed in the Towers. Meanwhile, Osama remains safe and sound in Pakistan.

So, why isn't Georgie invading Pakistan? Well, there's no oil there, for starters. And, of course, there's the fact that Pakistan actually does have weapons of mass destruction and the ability to use them. Not to mention sheltering the man most responsible for ensuring that every nutbar government or terrorist in the world who wants them has access to nuclear weapons - the magical A. Q. Khan.

Tomorrow (as it sits at the moment in my time zone) the BU_ _ SH_ _ machine will be spewing away full blast. I've never been so glad not to own a television.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

O.K., it's not quite the view from the balcony level, it's the view from beach level, but... Pleasant enough to look at with wine in hand, don't you think?

Saw "Scoop" today. Good movie. A little humour, a little murder, a little intrigue, a little corn -
what more could anyone want?

Friday, September 08, 2006

This is the Jericho Sailing Club, a poor man's yacht club. Hence the lack of yachts. But, that white building has a nice balcony that you can sit out on, sipping a beer or a glass of wine, and enjoy watching the sun go down over Vancouver Island. That view tomorrow.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More from the world of irony. This is the back of a bank in my neighbourhood. Banks pay their low level employees - which includes branch managers - poorly. But, as you can see here, if you're willing to work really, really hard, and you do a just darn spiffy job, they'll reward you with the "Achievers" parking space! At least, temporarily. Aren't you excited?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

And some people claim we're living in an age of irony overload. These people seem to have missed that boat. Notice there are no "Entering an Irony Zone" quotes around "Air Brush Tanning Available". Otherwise known as, "Come on in and we'll spray paint you brown!" I love the 21st century!

Speaking of irony, hasn't Dumbya been denying for the past bunch of years that the U.S. is holding prisoners in secret foreign prisons? And now he's dumb (living up to his nickname, of course) enough to admit that, in fact, the U.S. has been holding such prisoners? Remember, folks, November's not that far away.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The on-going excitement on Pender St. It's a madhouse, I tell ya!

Speaking of which, Katherine Harris, a woman so bereft of morals that even the Bush Bros. Inc. (Dumbya and the Jebster) refused to touch her with a pole of any length, just won the primary in Florida for the Republican's senate candidate. What in the heck does that tell you about Republicans in Florida? How can you get lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut? Well...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Tomorrow's the big day - day one of a new term. You'd think that after all this time it would be no big deal, but....nooooooooo.....stage fright gets teachers, too. "I'm not an especially smart person, I just play one in the classroom."

The nice thing is that, five minutes into the first class, it'll all be gone and I'll be explaining basic biology to my first-year students, and pathophysiology to my nursing students, and some of them will actually be interested and most of them won't, but that's the way it is, and, as long as I'm interested, why would I worry?

The toughest student question to answer is, "Do I need to know this?", because the only answer that comes immediately to mind is, "Why wouldn't you want to?" Students don't realize that when they ask their instructors that question, they're really asking the wrong person. We are what we are because we're congenitally interested in stuff. Nobody has to know anything, but it's hard to believe anyone wouldn't want to know as much as they can. The world's a very interesting place.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Some things just come with frames, don't they?

O.K. Now, you'll notice that there's nothing in this photograph beyond a stop light, and a building apparently under repair. Now, if you're American, think "November". Think "important government buildings in Washington". Think "TIME FOR SOME MAJOR REPAIRS!" Now, do you reeeeeeaaaally want to vote Republican? Really? Are you really happy with a couple of thousand of your young people rotting in the ground because some dimwit drunk, who wanted to show his daddy that he was worth something more than a plugged nickel, and his pals - a bunch of sore losers from the Nixon era (not the Republican party's finest moment, but, oddly enough, one of America's - you guys ran that crook out of town on a rail) decided to show the world how tough they were? Really?

And, how about that "Contract with America", eh? Fiscal responsibility! Lower taxes! Oh, boy - a chicken in every pot! Yup, and debt that your great-great grandchildren will still be paying off. Brilliant financial management! China owns your house(s), your car(s), and your children's educations. These guys have done a fabulous job.

You did notice that the light's red, right?

Well, at least I got rid of that dust spot on my camera's sensor. There's some good news.

Oh, and "The Royal Tenenbaums" is definitely worth a second viewing.

By the way - the reason I get so peeved? - it's because I know America could be a much, much, much better place than what George and his Party of Pinheads have turned it into.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Well, went to the movies today - "Little Miss Sunshine" - mostly good fun. Especially Alan Arkin. In the end, however, there were a few too many "bonding" scenes for my cynical taste. Ah, well.

The trip to the theater gave me a chance to try out the new camera, though, and it sure is nice to use. There's just something very satisfying about SLRs. On the other hand, nothing is perfect. I took some lovely (hey - trust me!) sunset shots and, when I started looking at them in Photoshop - a huge dust speck on the sensor! On a brand new camera! Peeved, or what? I think I've gotten rid of it, but, naturally, I'll be out to test that hypothesis tomorrow.

In the News of the Weird, somebody in Calgary must really like me. I got 35 hits yesterday from one computer there. Hmmmmmm, Ralph Klein just retired. Maybe he's bored?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Isn't the "Equalize" function fun?

The D50 came today and is it ever nice to get back to using an SLR. Looking through the viewfinder at exactly what the lens is seeing, hearing (and feeling) the mirror slap up and down, manual metering...Yippee. No pictures yet, but...