Sunday, February 28, 2010

Well, along with the good news that Toad (?) lives (?), we have the fact that the Canadian men's hockey team won the gold medal. Not that I actually cared. Still, it was a heck of a good game (what I saw of it). Both teams played full out the entire time.

And the closing ceremonies weren't too bad either. Much better than the opening, that's for sure. Frankly, the best moment was seeing Michael Fox up there. The low point was, unfortunately, Alanis Morissette. Someone should have pointed out to the committee that, well, she's not actually Canadian. She's American. She renounced her Canadian citizenship a number of years ago. Oh, well.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just saw "The Messenger". Good movie.

Don't you hate these detailed reviews? On the other hand, no need for the "Spoiler Alert" warning.

Friday, February 26, 2010

You know how sometimes in your memory a movie is just great, one of the best you've ever seen? And then you watch it again, years later, and it's not actually all that great? Well, that's not the case with "Last Night". If you haven't seen this movie, get on it. This is not one to miss.

Aaaand, just for fun, let's talk Olympics. As I type this, the U.S. has 8 golds, 13 silvers, and 13 bronzes, for a total of 34 medals. Germany, in second place, has 9 golds, 11 silvers, and 7 bronzes, for a total of 27 medals. Third, but not least, is my much-mocked country, Canada, with, um 10 golds, 7 silvers, and 4 bronzes, for a total of 21 medals. A fairly distant third to the U.S., right? Well, actually, wrong-o. You'll want to consider that there are roughly 309 million Americans, compared to a piddly 34 million Canuckleheads. So, for every 9 million Americans, one medal was won, whereas, one medal was won for every 1.6 million Canadioids. If you do the math, you'll find that if Canada had the same size population as the U.S., well, we'd own a hell of a lot more than the podium. This is something NBC is disinclined to point out to its viewers.

Which, I suppose, will all come down to Sunday's big hockey game. I, of course, will miss it. Swing class, after all.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Vancouver - it's not just about the Olympics. It's also about shrubbery.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ever seen "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control"? This photo might resonate.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Came across these folks the other night while wandering beneath my heavy burden of camera gear (fool that I am!). They, and the crowd around them, were having a heck of a good time. They're a group called "The Carnival Band". I might just have to go and check them out at their H.Q. If you're in town at the moment, they're playing regular gigs down on Granville Island.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Looking for something good to read? Try "The Shadow of the Wind", by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Darn good book.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sometimes you've just got to know when enough is enough.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

These folks look pretty impressed, don't they? They're looking back at the Olympic village from one of the water taxis that ferries folks across False Creek from downtown to Granville Island (which isn't, by the way, an actual island.). It beats the bus, pleasantness-wise.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I learned an important lesson today - never carry an SLR, a 16-85 mm lens, a 70-200 f 2.8 lens, and a monopod in a bag over your shoulder for 8 hours. Just don't do it, O.K.? Especially not that 70-200.

And, if you can avoid aimlessly milling hordes of your fellow human beings, that'd be O.K., too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What's the difference between September in Vancouver and February? Nothing, this year. This is a shot from September, but it could just as easily have been taken today. Or, tomorrow, when I will be venturing into the heart of Olympic madness. Pray for me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spent a swell day wandering around the city taking photographs. These are flowering chives, in case you're curious.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

O.K., I'll allow that Vancouver is on the West Coast (of North America), and that the west coast is supposed to be the place where you're most likely to find folks of, um, an "alternative" mind set. But, really? Psychic joggers? Able to detect the soundless approach of a speeding golf ball, descending from the skies at unknown, but dangerous, velocity? Wow!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Yep, that's a daffodil, folks. In February. I love this town!

And, on my way to work the other day, I saw a cherry tree in blossom. Spring is in the air.

I trust you've noticed the sharp seasonal transition in the photo.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Um, what's going on here? Are these "Wanted" posters? Ads for Photoshop? Whatever it is, it's kind of frightening.

And, speaking of frightening, have I mentioned that I'm learning to dance? Now, that's frightening. Even more frightening? It's actually fun. For those of you who don't know me all that well (i.e. pretty much all of you), my saying that is sort of like my saying that George Bush was a brilliant statesman. Would anyone in their right mind say such a ridiculous thing?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

If you're looking for a good movie to watch, try "I've Loved You So Long". Even if you're not looking for a good movie to watch, try "I've Loved You So Long".

Friday, February 12, 2010

Oh, lordy. For those of you watching the "Opening Ceremonies" from anywhere else in the world other than Vancouver, trust me, they were not good. Not Canadian. Not reflective of British Columbia. Not reflective of anything they might have been pretending to be. Just not real. Joni Mitchell is almost undoubtedly considering a major lawsuit. Bryan Adams....well....

Still, when all else fails? Listen to some Steve Earle.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life's a tad odd, don't you think? Lately, despite the closing of one very important door, a couple of others have opened up....wide. And they're interesting doors, too. All very confusing for a simple-minded guy like me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Watched Jon Stewart's interview with Newt ("Hey, I never met a lie I couldn't embrace.") Gingrich tonight (on the web, so I'm 24 hours behind the curve). Stewart actually said to Newt something along the lines of, "You're a pretty sharp guy". That, of course, is wrong. Yes, Newt might be able to analyse a position in terms of how it might serve his moronic position, but, sorry Jon, he isn't "sharp". He's a self-serving weasel. And, when it comes to governance? To long term considerations of what's best for "the country"? Nope. He's a moron. He's into short term advantage. He wants his party to win, not his country. He couldn't give a flying fuck what happens to 299 million-ish Americans. He only cares about what happens to rich Americans (O.K., he only cares about, oh, one hundred thousand(?) Americans). And, let me focus that a tad more precisely, he only cares about what happens to the rich Americans that are willing to give him, and people like him, money. The guy lies. Baldly. And, more importantly, quickly. Whip the falsehoods past the folks quickly enough and, like a slight-of-hand artist, they'll never notice that they've been had. Hey, three-card monte hasn't been around this long for no good reason.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Get the impression they're unenthused about visitors?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Zowee! Wouldn't you like to live here? These charming residences were being marketed to students going to McMaster University, in Hamilton. Very appealing, no?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Interesting landscaping choice.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

There's a message there, but it's not terribly clear, is it? Well, that's life on the downtown east side.

Shortly after taking this photograph, I got on a bus and spent the next ten minutes or so talking to a very nice guy about digital photography. The fact that he was a tad, um, different(?) psychologically, was irrelevant. I had my D90 slung over my shoulder, and he asked me how many megapixels it was (Lordy! Marketing is everywhere!), whether it was a combination of digital and film (um, not possible), and telling me about how he'd gotten his 5 MP camera through his profession - dumpster diving. After that he began giving me the rundown on the best "vapourizers" for smoking dope, and suggested that I sign up for a "medical marijuana" permit. I didn't have the heart to tell him that smoking dope comes within a hair's breadth of sending me to hospital (I don't know - I just have this very bad reaction to dope.) That's the great thing about the folks that live in that part of town. They're nice people. Totally nuts, scary-looking, but very nice.

I haven't been out to take photos for a while now, for reasons best left mostly unexplained, but today, finally, I felt like I was back. Nice feeling.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Speaking of sharp, cold plunges, ever seen Werner Herzog's "White Diamond"? You should. If only for the last five minutes. The rest is well worth watching, too, don't get me wrong. But the last few minutes are pretty spectacular.

And Werner's such a grump.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ever heard the saying, "That train don't stop here no more"? Well, it don't.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Meanwhile, back in Ontario, where it was very, very cold...

Did I mention that I saw "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" over the weekend? Very good movie. It does require that you have an imagination, of course.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Ah, there's a story to this, but...