Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, everybody.

My new year's resolution? Um....well, I was going to say, "Spend less on camera stuff", but, well, there's that GF-1 to think about. And I keep thinking about, you know, maybe an SB-600, a light stand, and umbrella? And....

I'm just having a hard time getting into "resolve" mode, O.K.?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh, gees - another series? Yep, but I promise it'll be short. All the photos were taken in a park on Hamilton Bay. In a howling wind. At -13C (or, for you Fahrenheit fans, damn cold!). Yes, the photo looks peaceful, but, trust me, it was very, very cold, and the wind was blasting across the park, dropping the effective temperature to around -23C. The weird thing? As long as I was concentrating on taking a picture, I didn't notice how cold it was. I was even warm. Talk about "in the moment"!

Home again. And back to work tomorrow. I start a new course next week, and all I've got so far is a bare-bones course outline. It's going to be a busy 7 days!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last post from beautiful Hamilton, Ontario, where the sun is shining, the air is beyond frigid, and the highway beckons. Look for a return to our regular broadcast later (much later) today.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

No, still no photographs - editing in Picasa just isn't all that much fun. And, as I mentioned, on a 10" screen, it's really, really not all that much fun.

But, went to see "Sherlock Holmes" tonight and had a heck of a good time. I have to admit, my expectations going in were pretty low. Guy Ritchie? Uh-oh. But, he came through very nicely. No, his Holmes isn't exactly Conan Doyle's, but this is, after all, the 21st century and things have changed a tad since Conan Doyle's day. So, Holmes is a bit more of a brawler, actually interested in women, and a bit more self-destructive. And Watson isn't quite the bumbler I seem to remember him being (although, I have to say, the last time I read a Holmes story has to have been at least 30 years ago, so my recollection might not be all that reliable). But, still, a heck of a good time.

Oh, and in case anyone's put off by the "spooky" aspects of the movie, don't forget that Conan Doyle was a big believer in the supernatural. A big fan of seances, etc. So, this aspect of the movie would, for the most part, have found favour with him. The aspect he wouldn't have liked is the disreptuable light the movie shines on the supernatural. But, what other light could one shine?

Go see it, if you haven't already.

Friday, December 25, 2009

As far as photographs go, we're closed till Dec. 30, when I get back from my Christmas sojourn to the East. Not that I'm not taking photographs, mind you, but trying to edit them on a 10 inch screen, using only Picasa, just doesn't work. So, assuming you're at all impatient, you'll just have to conquer that for the moment.

Meanwhile, I turned my D90 over to my niece tonight at the big family Christmas dinner. I think my sister and brother-in-law might be in trouble. Not to mention that they might be a tad peeved with me. My niece seemed to really, really like the experience. She's only 14, but her 15th birthday is coming up fast. There could be an unexpected birthday wish developing (so to speak).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

You know, somehow Picasa just isn't doing it for me. But, that's pretty much all I've got for the next week.

On the other hand, tomorrow's (or today's) Christmas, so how bad can things be? Merry Christmas, folks!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

High over somewhere between Vancouver and Edmonton. For a change, the flight went like clockwork. Not only did it leave on time, I actually arrived in Hamilton, my destination. That's the first time in 3 tries. And the plane arrived only a half hour late! Granted, it was another half hour before my checked baggage showed up on the conveyor belt, least I arrived where I was supposed to.

Air travel, however, really isn't any fun anymore. Except that it's faster than a bus, it's no different. The seats are uncomfortable, the food (assuming there actually is food) sucks, and the in-flight "entertainment" is year-old "live satellite TV" reruns. And having to sit next to a double-wide human being who took up his seat and half of mine was less than charming, too. Oh, well. I have to admit that covering a distance in five hours that would take a week by any other means (none of which would be any more pleasant) is kind of nice.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bright and early post today. Rise from the tarmac at 8:00 a.m. (yeah, right), soar eastward for five-and-a-bit hours, land in glamourous Mt. Hope (near even more glamourous Hamilton) at 4:45 p.m. (yeah, right again), drive for an hour to my sister's for what will be - really, in this case - a fabulous meal, then back to Hamilton for a good night's sleep (well, maybe). Heck of a fun day, eh?

As a note to those who haven't followed this blog for very long, this marks the third year in a row that I've booked a flight to Hamilton. If I actually land there, it will be the first time. Weather (last year) and general airline incompetence (good old Air Canada - "Hey, we sold you a ticket. You want us to actually get you there?!?") have landed me in Toronto the past two trips. And so, fingers crossed, I set out.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Aaaaand, the theme continues. Tomorrow I'm up before dawn has even thought about cracking, going through the hell that is 21st century air travel, heading for the city of my birth, Hamilton, Ontario. Once upon a time the steely heart of Canada. Stelco and Dofasco were rival steel mills, churning out the life blood of the town. Now? Dunno. The town survives, but just barely. On what, I have no idea. Hamilton definitely fits with my current photographic theme.

Of course, I'll be taking pictures while I'm there, so you'll get to judge for yourselves.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yep, we're on a theme, here. "Discards". If nothing else, taking photographs like this promotes social interaction. Such rich exchanges as, "Why are you taking a picture of garbage?" "Lady, if I knew, I'd tell you."

So, why did I? And why are there more to come?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Just in case the actual file name isn't visible, it's "discards 1". Kind of like the health care reform bill in the U.S. "Reform" got discarded.

Friday, December 18, 2009

"L" can stand for a lot of things. Pick your favourite.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Diversions are ever so important, aren't they?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not that this was taken today, but, yes, the rain continues. Which, as far as I'm concerned is just fine. It kept the golfers off the course behind my college today, allowing Lillian-the-Librarian and I to go strolling in vast rolling fields of green without fear of being beaned by an errant golf ball, or told to get lost by some golf course official. Golf courses are great parks, once you get rid of the golfers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When I went to bed last night, it was snowing. And the snow was accumulating, turning the world white. When I woke up, fully expecting the well-known winter wonderland, I was presented with something like this. What the heck happened?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Spooky, huh? Tightly closed black doors next to windows reflecting church windows. Isn't coincidence wonderful?

Meanwhile, in the more prosaic realm, it's currently snowing and I've got marking to do. My answer? Carry on reading Thomas Pynchon's latest novel.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ah, the view from lunch, high above Steveston's docks. Fish boats, fish boats, fish boats. Can't say, however, how many of them actually fish anymore, given that there aren't really any fish to fish for.

Myself and Lillian-the-Librarian rode here on our trusty bicycles, roughly a 20 mile round trip (sorry, I'm old and still think in Imperial units when it comes to distances). Now, that probably doesn't sound like a big deal but, consider this. The temperature was somewhere around 0 C (a.k.a. 32 F), though the wind made it seem a lot colder, and it was snowing much of the time. Now you're impressed, right? Yeah, I knew you would be. We're tough, us academics...darn tough.

Couldn't recommend the restaurant, however. The service was good, but the food was mediocre. On the other hand, it was warm inside. We were very glad for that. And wine with the meal, followed by coffee with lots of whipped cream and various spirits did a lot to enhance the experience. As did the company. And, after all that invigorating exercise, I'm going to sleep darn well tonight.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I was on my way to see "Red Cliff" (an O.K. movie, though it doesn't exactly break new ground), heading toward the theatre by one of my usual routes - through back alleys - when I saw this little scene. Now, depending on whether you actually like the photo or not (and, of course, I do), this is either a testament to making an effort, or a minor waste of time. Yes, sadly I had to deviate slightly from my route, I actually had to make an effort (minor), to go and get it. I was saying to myself, "Yeah, might make a good shot, but, you know, I mean, you're going to have to go out of your way to get it. Is it worth it? It's darn cold out, after all." I'm glad photographic compulsion overcame sloth.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I think I might have mentioned this before, but, fate's got a really, really sick sense of humour. Trust me.

Meanwhile, my town, Tehran West (or Beijing East) carries on down the road of repression. What the hell's happening?

Labels: , , ,

One small opening might make all the difference. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Whose idea was winter? Especially here in Vancouver. It's not supposed to get so cold! -4?!? That's just ridiculous! I grew up in a place where frigidity was a normal winter condition. I moved here to get away from that. Now, much later in life, I'm being ambushed by cold. And, to add insult to injury, it just might snow over the weekend! No, no, no! Snow on the mountains? Fine. Go nuts. Snow down here? That's just wrong.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Generally, I don't take pictures of folks who live on the streets, but Arthur was a more-than-willing volunteer. I was taking a photograph of the kind of thing I normally take photographs 0f (it'll show up eventually), and, as I was doing so, I heard a voice asking, "So! What's so interesting?" And, of course, it was Arthur. Being the honest sort, I told him that I was photographing something that likely only I would find interesting. He replied, "You want to see something interesting? How 'bout this?", and gestured, as you can see, at the telephone pole. I asked him if he was sure he wanted his photograph taken, and he said he did. I have an 11x14 print to deliver to him. The challenge, of course, might be in finding him again.

You know? You meet the nicest people if you ignore who you think they might be.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Ah, back in The Mall of No Return. Seems I'm trapped here. All I need is an albatross.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

One thing ends, something else begins...right? I sure hope so.

Enigmatic enough for you?

On a lighter note, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" is darn good.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

It is what it is. And what it is isn't all that swell at the moment.

Friday, December 04, 2009

O.K., this is going to sound indecent but, 2 thirteen-year-old girls + 1 sushi restaurant = mayhem + exhaustion. One of the young girls was the adopted daughter of some very old friends of mine, and the other was her best friend. My thanks for not being a parent myself are boundless. Don't get me wrong - they're very nice. Very smart, talented, and lots of fun, do parents do it? These two could talk at an easy thousand words per minute without breaking a sweat, and switch topics sixteen times within that time. Suddenly (sob), I feel very old.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Gad - another "summing up existence" photo! Plenty of light, but it's behind locked doors. Who's idea was that?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

There are times when being a good cook and having a fondness for good red wine can be life saving. Like now.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A tree might grow in Brooklyn, but it's sure having a tough time here. Still, with any luck, persistence pays off. We'll see.