Friday, January 27, 2006

from the "time for another list" dept.

Trying like hell to get my GST sorted on this rare day off. But, behind the scenes there is some news:

1. I believe I reported earlier my Belize trip is March 20 - April 14. But the new element: I bought new sandals for the journey. Shorts are next.

2. The work situation seems to be taking care of itself. Feb. is a lock. March is looking good -- especially with doing some work lining up shoots for a kids astronomy show. Nice change from news.

3. Heading to Tofino Feb 10-14 with Leanne. Also writing a piece for Lonely Planet.

4. The rights agreement for the buried Jewish "loot" doc. is signed, and the hard copy is due any moment.

5. Posted some new, cool images on using the high density resolution technique.

6. Paid off the MasterCard.

7. And the sky hasn't yet fallen with you-know-who at the helm of our fine Dominion.

Well, back to the GST. Good times on a Friday night!!


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

from the "familiar words" dept.

You almost had me.

Stephen Harper, although I didn't support you or your campaign, I did enjoy your speech after you won the election Monday.

It was inspiring, and you made me feel proud to be a Canadian.

And then you ended it with the line "God Bless Canada."

It's not the religious tone of the line that offended me, it's the fact the line appears to have been ripped from the George W. speech book.

Way to go. What's next? Internment camps not subject to Canadian law? Inane war declarations? The banning of homosexuals?

I'll be counting the days until the next election, thankful that the new government will be crippled by its minority status.

And hell, I could be wrong.

God Help Canada.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Electionsneering in Vancouver

Electionsneering in Vancouver
Originally uploaded by

Watching the results come in. Look! The TV turned blue!

from the "familiar feeling" dept.

I need a beer for this.

OK. Better.

Tonight I kind of feel like I did on the night of the US election on Nov. 2, 2004. Ted Shredd and I had roadtripped to Bellingham, Washington to be there live. And boy, was that disappointing.

At least in Canada's election, the Conservatives only won a minority. That means that they can't pass stupid bills or do too many stupid things. And, the threat of a non-confidence motion should keep them in check. And on their toes. And send a message.

I was disappointed that the independents and Greens didn't fare better. That would have been another good message. Instead war horses like Ujjal Dosanhj and Hedy Fry were re-elected. That is sad. And neither is a Conservative.

So, where do we stand? I dunno. Methinks more of the same. No wonder people are jaded. And we'll be doing it again in a few months, no doubt.

My day was filled with the election. From working in the CTV newsroom all day to hanging out with the Nimble folks as they did some cool internet work for Global.

Back to the salt mines tomorrow. And then, on Wednesday, a delicious day off. With no plans. Thank God.

And now, back to the show...


from the "casting about for change" dept.

Today's the day.
Tonight's the night.
The fallout is tomorrow.

Please stand by...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

from the "they're all the same" dept.

One day before Canada heads to the polls to select a new (or old) government for the next few months or years -- and there is little hope.

In my riding of Vancouver South I was (I voted in the advance poll) faced with the following choices:

[ ] Liberals -- Candidate Ujjal Dosanjh. This guy is an example of what I don't like about politicians. Worse, he's a turncoat. A member of the terrible BC NDP during the Fast Ferry and scandal years, he became the premier of this province. Then, seeing his days were numbered, jumped ship to the Federal Liberals. Nice convictions. And not much of a choice.

[ ] Conservatives -- Maybe in a couple of years these guys will get their heads out of their asses. But I cannot support a party that is so pro-American (not the people, the U.S. Government) and wants to revisit an issue that is not an issue: same-sex marriage. Regardless of your view on the subject, there is no reason that it should surface during the campaign. There are more important things to worry about. How could I throw my support behind a party that can't see the forest for the trees? Hello healthcare, education, taxes, economy! Same-sex marriage?! Get over it.

[ ] NDP -- ah... the used car salesman with the cheesy mustache. There's one reason not to vote for them. Here's another: as much as I think society needs to take care of its own -- and social programs are good -- we have to pay for them. We can't just spend willy nilly without regard to the bottom line. Do what the BC Liberals and the Ralph Klien have done: get the financial house in order, then start adding programs. Treat government like a business, not a pot of money to grab from without regard to the costs.

[ ] Marxist-Leninist: While I like most things former-Soviet, I'm not quite convinced that Marxism is a good idea. In fact, its not. I am a capitalist through and through... and that don't jive.

[ ] Green: Here's the thing. Everyone complains that there is no choice on our ballots. The main parties are essentially the same. There is much truth to that. So then people talk about voting for one of the alternative parties, like the Greens. Two seconds later, they come to the realization that a vote in that direction is a wasted vote. Is it? On the surface, maybe -- because it is doubtful a Green candidate would ever win. However, enough people who are frustrated with the current choices chimed in and cast their ballots differently, then a vote for a "fringe" party wouldn't be a waste. It would be a wake up call.

Can you guess how I voted?

And regardless of your political stripes, get out there and VOTE. It's your right, and, believe it or not, it CAN make a difference.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Leanne & friend

Leanne & friend
Originally uploaded by

The skies cleared yesterday (Fri Jan 20) and as I worked early, I was able to fit in a stroll on the beach before darkness came.

It was also an opportunity to play with the 10.5 lens. This pic is of Leanne and her dawg.

We strolled around for about an hour, saw some rabbits, and enjoyed the dryness.

It's now Saturday morning and the skies are once again grey, and the drops are falling.

No biggie: I have to work at 2, so let it rain.

Certainly looking forward to Caye Caulker and Belize in March. It can't come soon enough. Although it probably will.

Meanwhile, the Heads Up shoot is ongoing in Toronto. No panicked phonecalls, so I assume everything is going smoothly.

And with that, time to make some breakfast... and begin the slow process of getting ready for work.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

from the "sun will come out tomorrow" dept.

Actually the sun came out today. Go figure! And the days seem to be getting longer too. Hurray!

I spent the day at the office on the North Shore, putting the final touches on the 4-day shoot in Toronto. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I won't be going along. Nope. Better things to do.

Actually Thursday and Friday I am writing online news and I have to start at 5am local time. But, I work from home, and I find the day absolutely flies by.

Booked another wee trip. Off to Tofino for four days in February (sounds like a Blue Rodeo song) with Leanne. It'll be a nice magical break. And an opportunity to play with my camera some more. Especially the HDR experiments.

At lunchtime today I visited a nearby bookstore to drool in the travel section. If the 3 month trip to South America goes as planned in 2007 (with Ange), there is a good reason to pick up one of those big, fat, expensive guide books. Lonely Planet, of course.

Speaking of Lonely Planet, my little project will be on Vancouver and I'll start in Feb.

That's about all for the moment.


Monday, January 16, 2006

from the "drip drip drip" dept.

THANK GOD there is light at the end of the tunnel. The light is Belize. The tunnel is the non-stop rain that we've been experiencing since the dawn of time.

But wait: it gets silly!

Yesterday would have been the day that Vancouver tied the record for the most number of rainy days in a row. The record was 28. And Sunday would have been 28. But the rain eased off -- and while it rained downtown and practically everywhere else in this city of microclimates -- there was no measurable precip. at Vancouver International Airport -- where the official rain guage is. Which is also RICHMOND!

So, we were one short of tying a 53-year-old record. And today: it's raining again. And there is rain in the forecast from now until the end of time.

At least it's -30.

Elsewhere -- working as hard as ever. Number of days of since Dec 26? 2! Sheesh. This week I am working on Heads Up, a kids astronomy show. Then back to CBC, then back to CTV.

Woo hoo!


Friday, January 13, 2006

from the "here we go, again" dept.

I've been humming and hawing about returning for my (now annual) trip to Belize. Surfing the travel sites last night, I stumbled on a cheap fare out of Seattle.

Now, to fly to Belize City from Vancouver costs about C$1025 including taxes. Recently, I have seen prices in the C$650 (incl. taxes) range out of Seattle. Pretty good, and I was planning to jump on that soon.

Last night, I discovered that American Airlines was offering up the same flight for C$450 including taxes. How could I say no?

So, its official: the first big journey of 2006 is to Central America. Belize and Guatemala for sure, and maybe another country so I can say I've been to 46.

The dates: Departing Monday March 20 and returning Friday April 14th.

There is also a lot of work in the works (!) so financially it shouldn't be too much of a hit. With luck I can do some remote work FROM Belize!

More soon. Oh yeah, it's still raining. A new record for the number of rainy days in a row will fall Monday.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

from the "dream gig" dept.

Some good news amongst the rain and flu-like symptoms:

Months ago I was invited to submit some materials in order to be considered for freelance travel writing gigs with Lonely Planet. Yes, THAT Lonely Planet.

Today (1.10.06) I received an email from the fine folks at the Oz LP office. The jist is this:

I am to pick a location and I have three weeks to write a sample LP-like review, including accomodation options and food. Then it goes off to them to review. If they like it, I'll get assigned some actual places to check out.

Now I have to figure out a place to write about. Hmmm....



HDR Test

HDR Test
Originally uploaded by

Playing around with high density resolution today.

It's a simple technique:

1. Shoot scene 3 times -- with the correct exposure, then slightly over exposed and slightly under exposed.

2. Using Photomatix software or Photoshop CS, combine three images.

3. Adjust (pretending you understand what you're doing).

4. Output.

5. Drool.


Monday, January 09, 2006

from the "rain, rain go away" dept.

So, does it ever stop raining? Do I ever stop coughing? Are the two linked? I'm beginning to think so.

It's been raining for as long as I can remember... And I've sputtering and coughing since Dec 26. Grrr.

The work continues... now I am at a local prodcution company working on a kids show. Low pay, but I am doing something completely different, which is a nice brain break.

I'm ready to book my flight to Belize. Just need the money. The dates: March 21 - April 19.

There is little else to report. More soon, I hope!


PS: 5 Day Forecast

Issued: 6.39 PM PST Monday 9 January 2006

Cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers early this evening. Periods of rain beginning this evening. Amount 15 to 25 mm. Low 6.
Periods of rain ending early in the morning then cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. High 8.
Tuesday night:
Rain. Amount 10 to 15 mm. Low 6.
Showers. High 8.
Rain. Windy. Low plus 5. High 8.
Periods of rain. Low 6. High 8.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

from the "timex cold" dept.

Why Timex? Cuz this dang cold hangs on, getting in my way on such a winter's day. All the hacking and sputtering. Wah!

Despite the plague, it was a dandy day. With no schedule, I quickly found things to do. Standard errands. Skype chats. And... le soiree du hockey!

That's right: it was the big gold medal game between Canada and Russia. And Canada smoked 'em. Heck of a match. And a nice way to end the day.

Now, I sit on my couch, writing this, watching Lost in Translation for the millionth time. What is it about this film? I absolutely love it. It is so... sparse. And gets the whole concept of being lost in a strange place.

There's not many words left in me tonight...


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

from the "perfect 10" dept.

Yay! The 10 in a row are now 10 days of recent history. Before me are two luscious days of nothing. Well, one meeting. And some Night of Artists stuff. And the Canada-Russia game. And some pints.

But, no alarm will ring in the morning, and that is like winning the lottery. A small lottery. Ok, $2 on the scratch and win.

The weekend is a return to work. And next week, I have an interesting gig researching and doing some production managing for a kids astronomy show called Heads Up.

I'm quite taken with Flickr. Meeting lots of like-eyed people and seeing some amazing work. Very motivating. So much so that I take my camera with me all the time.

Unfortunately the forecast calls for rain over the next two days, so spectacular images are probably more of a dream at this point. We shall see.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Back Off

Back Off
Originally uploaded by

Day 8 in a row. Two to go after today. Still fighting sickness, exhaustion. Feel like poop. Not much to write about as there hasn't been much to life save coughing and working.

Hurry up Thursday!


Sunday, January 01, 2006

from the "new year" dept.

It's early morning on New Years Day, and I suppose there are lots of words I should write. But I can't. The first day of the year is a work day (at least its double time and a half). And I have to leave in 5 minutes.