Friday, December 30, 2005
Of course, that conclusion depends on many things. Are we talking the planet or my life?
For the planet, I don't think it was a very good year. The Tsunami. Starvation. Iraq. Violence. Hate. The list goes on.
But is it really that much different from any other year?
I think it all kind of evens out in the end. The good and the bad each make up 50% of the global experience. Sure, it may swing one way or the other, depending on the year, but at the end of the day the two probably cancel each other out.
That said, it's time for me to look back at 2005 and pass judgement.
How could I say it was anything but excellent? Self-employed, healthy, and free. What more is there?
Right: travel. And 2005 was a good one. Winnipeg. Belize. Former-Yugoslavia. Northern California. Calgary. Nova Scotia. Scandanavia. The British Isles. Seattle. Nearly 4 months on the road.
A good year.
There isn't much more to say than that.
Cheers! And Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 29, 2005
I am working, however, so that will preclude any craziness. I'm off at 6:30pm NYE but have to be in and fresh at 9:30am NYD. The reward? Scads of overtime!
The week has been a long one. I've been saddled with a cold, and I am working 10 days straight. Hard to write sparkly news copy when you feel like you head is going to explode. Or worse.
But by next week, it will all be in the history books and a big fat cheque will be on its way. And that means that another adventure is not far off.
Right now, the favourite is Belize in late March, early April. Flights are cheap like rice & beans -- just a hair over $500 Canadian out of Seattle. And its a decent time of year to be in the tropics. It'll be my 5th visit.
New photos are on on FLICKR ... be sure to check it out regularly!
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Monday, December 26, 2005
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Deep Cove Xmas Morning
Originally uploaded by borderfilms.com.
I think all Santa brought to Deep Cove overnight was a few inches of rain. Very dull and wet day. However, it IS +11C. The bright things are rain drops reflecting the flash.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
Originally uploaded by borderfilms.com.
More than three years after the Great Eastern European Border Expedition, I am finally getting the images up on my Flickr site. Finally an easy way to upload, share and store. Sounds like what Stock Photos Online was supposed to be.
Nothing like being ahead of the curve.
Anyway, click on any of my images here, or the Flickr box to the right, and you'll be transported to my images.
The main view is by date added, but using the TAGS feature, you can type in years, descriptions, etc... and the images will appear.
Long day at work today. Looking forward to two off AND sleeping in tomorrow.
The forecast is for frightful weather, so I don't think I'll have many images to post. Tried to capture Christmas in Vancouver today at lunch, but I was foiled by the rain.
Very little to report (ah! it IS a newsroom ) so I will wander off for a stroll along Robson, camera in hand.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
The weather has turned here: it went from beautiful blue skies and frigid temperatures to record-tying warm (12C) and rain.
I don't mind the rain... except on days like today when I am taking the bus to work. It's a safety precaution as I will be meeting up with my favourite Cheryl for some holiday pints at Caffe Barney. And a cab will provide the safe ride home, providing I can get one in this taxi-limited city.
Two more days of work remain. Yesterday was certainly a jump into the fire. It was crazy and exhausting. I need to win the lottery.
Well, if I am taking the bus to work this morning, I better get in gear. It takes about an hour in total to get to Robson & Burrard from E54th and Knight. But the freedom! Oh! The freedom!
Be prepared for pictures from the Engineers Xmas party this afternoon (which I hope to attend for at least a few minutes -- damn having to remain sober to write!).
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Originally uploaded by borderfilms.com.
I've been having a dandy time pulling photos from my collection of, oh 20,000 digital images, and posting them on Flickr.
With just days to go before Christmas, the only thing standing in the way of the fun is three more days of work.
Not that work is bad, in fact, I'll be appreciating it in the new year when I head off somewhere.
Anyway... more soon.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Below that is a fairly live image of the Christmas tree in the main square of Narva, Estonia. To the right of the image, and across a bridge, lies Mother Russia. Narva is located in the extreme northeast corner of the Baltic nation. I was there in 2003. Sigh.
And to the right of the frame, beside the big, ugly ads that allow me the ability to have this blog for no cost, is a link to my Flickr site. It's where I host my images for the blog and, now what I have a pro (read: pay) site, I can post tons of images from my extensive archives. If you click on it, it should take you directly there. Cool, eh?
Another tip: if you do a TAG search on Flickr with the keyword "borderfilms" all my images will appear. Thanx and a pint of fine ale to Mr. P. for that tip.
It's been a good winter here in V-town. Cold, but lots of sun and blue skies. Speaking of blue, that's an apt description of ski hill owners. A lack of snow is killing business. Hemlock, a smaller hill, actually filed for bankruptcy and shut down.
I see Bush has admitted that the NSA is spying on it's own citizenry. Now, at the end of the day, I can see why they NEED to do this. If those mysterious terrorists (FEAE!!) are hiding within the country -- then it's fare game to spy on them. But be honest about it.
He's still a dork.
Back to reality: cold and bright and early it is. Nothing on the agenda so far. We'll see if there is a breakfast to be had at Bert's or an afternoon pint at Barney's.
Last night was Deep Cove Christmas party night. I attended the annual Honey's soiree and filled up on all sorts of tasty finger food. Then headed to the Arms Reach Bistro for some laughs.
One drink was my max for the night, so I woke this morning devoid of a hangover and with a relatively full wallet.
I've been feeling motivated to shoot more photos. Don P. and I dropped into the Exposure Gallery which features local photographers. We were totally underwhelmed. Many of the subjects are similar to my own, yet the images were dull and lifeless. And this from several different photographers.
It certainly is good motivation to continue to shoot and ask the question: "Why am I not doing this professionally?"
The short answer: time.
And speaking of time... it's now a hair after 9am, and I feel the need to hit Commercial Drive for a coffee, the paper, and perhaps to snap away. Or Mitchell Island.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Originally uploaded by borderfilms.com.
Poster snatched from a pole in San Ignacio, Belize in March 2005 -- just as El Pulpo himself passed in his PulpoMobile. Months later, on December 16, 2005, I finally framed it -- and display the mighty, mighty one for all the world to see.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I thought it weird yesterday to see buds on several trees in Deep Cove. But now, looking out my window -- beyond the green leaved shubbery and green grass are trees sporting buds.
Spring actually arrives here before the winter solstice.
Now go shop!
No more presents to buy or wrap.
No more cards to write or send.
No more crowds to fight and hate.
My holiday season now turns to merriment. And there are still 12 days to go... excellent (insert evil laugh here).
Today was an odd day. I am writing content for www.cbc.ca/PEI which meant I had to rise and shine at 3am. Not too difficult, as I was able to close my eyes around 10pm last night. But now, at 12:24 my time, 4:24pm work time -- I am rather beat.
I stumbled on some cool pictures from Turkey, and will attempt to post them soon. They're in my PC laptop and I have no way of shrinking them down to a small size.
On my Mac, it's easy. I have several programs that make it simple.
There's no news on the Jewish "treasure" documentary to report. And there is little else happening, other than the standard stuff.
With that, I think I'll head upstairs to relax. The workday is done.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Yes indeedee... it's Nog season. One half Flor de Cana 5 year old rum and one half lite Nog, a sprinkle of cinnamon and it's the holidaze! 15 days remain until the fat guy in the red suit offers up the bounty.
My Christmas tasks are pretty much done. The presents are bought and just have to be posted. The cards are bought and just have to be signed. I had planned a custom card this year, but I have been stymied in trying to find a good Vancouver image that screams "it's CHRISTMAS!!!" or Kwanza or Channuka or Festivus or Solstice. Like we weren't aware.
Anyway, there is probably not enough time to get said custom cards done, signed, posted, and delivered. So I acquiesced and bought the mass market version. Well, not quite. I did hit Commercial Drive in a victorious attempt to find something local.
And I also hit the liqour store for some above mentioned rum, some foreign beer, and rum balls. Sweet, delicious rum balls.
It was/is a capital day as well. Sunny, warm, wonderful. Hard to belive it's winter. But the rains are due.
My schedule since returning home has been very... calm. Three days of work at CTV last week. This weekend OFF!!! And then 3 days at CBC next week. And all three are work-at-home days. Two of them require a 3am start. Ugh.
I've somehow got the next two weekends off as well, with lots of mid-week employ. A good thing, as the visa bill is bound to be a biggie in the new year.
And then there is the spectre of more travel. California and Florida are a given. But I am also thinking of a spell in Belize (perhaps to work on some film projects) and/or the 18 hour flight to Australia. Why? Why not?!
Or North Korea.
Heh. I need help.
Anyway, that's the up to the minute entry.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
With Christmas bearing down, there are a billion things to do: cards, presents, rum and egg nog. Sweet!
I had a meeting today with the Night of Artist folks... I'm back in for 2006... and I will have another article in the NOA magazine. I know this will demand lots of my time, but I think it is a good marketing opportunity.
Winter is in full force here in Vancouver. White stuff everywhere, cold, and even homeless people dying. Definitely strange. And it's been wintery for some time -- but I was basking on the warm east coast for most of it.
That's it for now. More interesting stuff to come soon. Pictures too.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Bit of a disappointment when I went to start my car -- a flat battery. And the battery is only a month or two old.
I didn't have time to use CAA, so I had to take the 40 minute bus ride in. And I get to take it home with all the drunks tonight.
Tomorrow morning I will get a boost and hope for the best. I have a Night of Artists meeting in Richmond, so I need wheels for that -- or else I can't go.
And then back to work...
The final day was busy: lunch with Wade Keller at CTV/Maritimes, zipping around with Mark Hammond, followed by dinner at his house with Heather.
Then it was off to the airport. My flight was originally scheduled for a 8:20pm Atlantic departure. It left at 8:50, and threatened to arrive too late to make my connection in Toronto. I was stuck in a middle seat, but it wasn't too bad. I zoned out with a book and tunes.
The flight arrived in time to get the connection, and I was only subjected to YYZ Terminal 1 for 40 minutes or so.
The second leg I was blessed with an aisle seat and a open seat between me and the guy sitting in the window seat. I watched the first movie "Cinderella Man" (which was pretty good) and slept through Ocean's 12.
Air Canada sure is cheap these days: no food, no pillows, no blankets. What a crock.
I touched down in a chilly Vancouver about 1:10am local time (5:10 atlantic). And there were patches of snow to be seen from the cabride home. Considering I've been up since 7am atlantic, it's time to stop blogging and start sleeping.
And I work in 12 hours. Fun. But it was a great trip. And I can't wait to do it again.
Friday, December 02, 2005
It's been a blast here in the Merry-times. And it's not over. My flight isn't until late, and I have lunch and dinner plans lined up.
I spent last night taking snaps of the Burkes (see main image above). Today is a blustery rotten day -- perfect for rough flying, and just like it was when I arrived.
But I am tired. And I need to get back to work.
The next post will be from Vancouver -- just 5000 km west of here! (Thanks to Scooter for setting me straight on distance and direction).
Thursday, December 01, 2005
The agenda is loose. Waiting for BJ to come home so I have some wheels. And then I'll be lunching with someone, somewhere.
Then it's family picture time with the Burkes. And a beer with Hammond. And a visit with the Berrington's. Phew!
Tomorrow, the last day will be calm. A quick jaunt to the airport for an early check in, but not flying until 8pm. Arrive home Saturday morning at 1am. And back to work. For two days only.
The trip to Sacremento has been delayed. The main reason is that there is a lot we want to accomplish, and the people involved in the documentary project need to be on the same page as us. Otherwise, we won't get everything done.
So, it makes more sense to hold off until everyone is ready. We're still self-funding at this point, so it means we're being fiscally responsible.
This also means (and I think I've mentioned this before) that I am now looking at a period of free time from Dec 5 - 19. Not a bad thing, but coming on the heels of the NS trip and a two week period (generally) of free time, it means the pennies will be tight. Just in time for Christmas.
It's been a great adventure here... I can't believe all the things I've done and the people I've seen.
I thought when I came back that it would be nice... but I am finding myself conflicted about where I live. There is something about this place that Vancouver doesn't have. It's not just friends, it's more than that.
Does this mean I want to move back? I'm not sure. If I could make what I make in Vancouver, I'd have a sweet little life. Not to say that life in Vancouver isn't sweet.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
The rental car went back today... but BJ is lending me his during the day. So I am hoping to fit in a lunch or two still.
Yesterday was an amazing day... as the photos below demonstrate. And the sun is out again. And unlike Vancouver, there is no snow, and the temperatures are in the 12C range. Nice!
Lots of things ahead: the late flight home Friday, work the weekend. Then, prepare to go to Sacramento the following Saturday. Yikes, talk about a hit on the old expenses. Combined with Christmas, it's going to be a fiscal rollercoaster.
That said, lots of work is on the horizon, so the lack of cash will be short lived.
I saw on the tube last night that the average salary in Fort McMurray, Alberta is $91,000. Jesus standing in a garden!! That's some major dinero. Life is so unfair!
Anyway, ATV (CTV Maritimes) awaits. And then, if the sun holds, I think I'll head out to the mighty south shore for a late afternoon coffee in Lunenburg. Or Chester. Or maybe, just maybe, head back to the Annapolis Valley for more fresh cider and apples from Henniger's. Awww.