Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shopping in a dangerous time.

Monday, August 30, 2010

So, I spent Saturday volunteering at a fund-raiser for CNIS, a darn nice bunch of people doing darn nice things for other darn nice people who really need as much help as they can get. One of the obstetricians who works with the group saw more women die in one day working in an obstetrics clinic in Africa than she'd seen in her entire 20 year career here in Vancouver. Given that she'd seen exactly none, here, that number wouldn't need to be too high, but it was around 16 (as far as I recall). And she kept seeing that sort of rate for the entire time she was over there. That's a lot of suffering brought on by nothing but poverty and all the things that denies people - education, decent medical equipment, drugs....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

If you're up for a move, "Mesrine" is a heck of a good one.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I guess this falls under the heading, "Misery Loves Company".

Speaking of which, there's this story. Which sort of confuses me, because I always thought that "'Your Country's Name Here' Idol" was, by definition, terrorism.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Man, waving that pointy stick around is hard work!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I have no idea. Really.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Very secure wood chips. The forest industries are strange industries.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Fatburger" redux. A return "photo dedication": This one's for Tyler.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Strange vegetation around these parts.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Meanwhile, in Turkey.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's all black and white, and shades of gray, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

From the list, I kind of doubt the sign's veracity.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No, not my kitchen floor.

And, the other side of teaching has started. The "It's your fault, not mine," side. Oh, well. Into every life, a little rain must fall, right? A little Fela Kuti'll help with that.

Monday, August 16, 2010

You know what the great thing about being a teacher is? It's getting to see people find out that they're a lot smarter than they think. You can help them figure this out, but they really have to do it for themselves. In my latest round of marking, one of my students got 99% on her final exam. This from someone who started out at 51%. In this particular course, you need a final average of 65% to pass. A lot of students, faced with that sort of low start, just cave. Not this girl. She got serious. It was great to see. She started coming to my office before exams (and well before) armed with questions about the material. More importantly, these were intelligent questions, questions that showed she'd been actually thinking about the material. Which meant that she'd really been putting in the time. And she was nervous, and stressed when she came to write the exams, but she knew her stuff. She sent me an email today saying that 98% was the highest mark she'd ever gotten in a science course, and she thanked me. I had to point out that I didn't have anything to do with it. She'd given herself that mark through her own hard work. This is the kind of student teachers live for.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yep, like day and night. Every once in a while a student comes along who goes from showing every sign of failing miserably by the end of term, to being the top student in the class. As a teacher, you've got to love students like that. Not because they make you look good (you've got nothing to do with it), but because they get a chance to wake up to their own potential. That kind of change is all their own doing. They deserve all the credit. I love students that do that.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

There's something not quite right, here.

"Get Low", on the other hand, is worth seeing.

A little more naycher, then we'll get back to urban squalor. And, if I could only think of one (or more) a profound artistic thought or two.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Well, it's a break from the usual urban grunge, isn't it?

And, being the pedantic sort, I'm wondering if we need a clear distinction between the terms "framing" and "cropping". To me, the former is what you do when you're composing the original photograph, while the latter is something you do to fix the mistake you made with your original framing. I have the feeling, though, that people are using them interchangeably. At the risk of being repetitive (I've asked this question before), is it just me? Is there a distinction that's slowly being eroded, or was there never any distinction in the first place?

Ah, the profound questions provoked by art.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Odd. The end of the tunnel seems to be in the floor. Well, whatever. Term's over and it's time for big-time marking fun!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Now, I filed this as "red door", but, how can I be sure? After all, I have a lot in common with this guy. Yes, we're both from Hamilton.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

O.K., so friends don't let friends drive drunk, but do they allow them to take pictures while driving? Or, for that matter, allow them to dig around in their camera bag, deep in the passenger-side foot-well, while driving, trying to find, then extricate, their camera so they can actually take the picture?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Do you, like me, tend to force your way through novels once you've begun them? Hoping against hope that they'll improve? I just forced my way through "The Fencing Master". Don't do it. Don't even pick it up. Ignore the blurbs on the cover and just put it back on the bookstore shelf. It never gets any better. In fact, it just gets worse.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Well, I suppose the "countdown" joke is pretty obvious.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

And, evidently, they're not kidding. Not having a poster to post, I went next door and had sushi instead.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Somehow, in this weather, being inside a nice, cool curling rink has a lot to recommend it. I, however, went to fencing class instead. Not hot enough for you? Here, put this helmet and padded jacket on. Feel better?

I did, however, win both my matches. Just to keep the truth quotient up, though, you need to picture two guys flailing at each other with sticks. The grace factor wasn't particularly high. Kind of fun, though.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

What, oh Lord, have we Canadians done to deserve such morons? I mean, really. Did we fob some bad wheat off on someone? Is it the seal hunt (most of us oppose it, for crying out loud!)? The oil sands? What? Tell us and we'll stop!

Monday, August 02, 2010

You know, you get a new car and what happens? You start to think "bigger"! Or maybe not.

And I can't decide whether the thing is going to be helpful for photography or just a hindrance. I can go to more-distant locations more easily, but I also seem to be flying by potential photos. "Oh! That looks interesting." Too bad, 'cause there's a line of traffic speeding along behind me and no place to pull over and park. Hmmmm......

And another conundrum - Facebook - Satanic waste of time, or source of many things good? Well, today the latter proved to be the case as one of my Facebook friends indicated that he "Likes" a duet called "Rodrigo y Gabriela". I'd never heard of them. Now I have, and they're darn fine. Fascinating that a Mexican guitar duo found fame and fortune (well, I hope they have) in Dublin.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Saw "Inception" today. Fun, but suggesting that Nolan is Kubrick's heir.....yeah, right.