Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Innocence of Youth

My niece Mariana is at that age where she can comprehend the nuances and context of the world around her, but still has the unspoiled innocence of youth. She still finds wonder and amazement in the everyday things we would consider mundane and boring. "LOOK! A BUTTERFLY! AAAAAHHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

Seriously, she gets an impossible amount of joy in seeing something like a dandelion bloom, blowing in the wind. I wouldn't get that excited if I found a unicorn riding leprechaun, offering me 3 wishes and a chupa chup. If only we could find happiness so easily as the young do.

The Innocence of Youth

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The Innocence of Youth-2

The Innocence of Youth

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The Innocence of Youth-4

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect park setting to contrast against her summery orange dress. All photos shot with a Holga 120N on Konica 400VX film (super expired).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shortest workout ever...

So I was working out tonight… ba dum tish… no for reals, no joke. I've been having nightmares lately in which I'm like Jabba the Hutt at age 40... Anyways, I was doing some pull-ups, and suddenly something went really horribly wrong and my back is now spasming and angry painful. WTF?! When did I get to be so old and fragile? I feel about as frail as the dandelion blooms below… see that? Natural segway!

Shot last week with the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens, outside the school where Anita had her 'graduation' ceremony for Japanese class. Finally, our Friday nights are free again.

Who Knows What The Wind May Bring

Who Knows What The Wind May Bring-3

Who Knows What The Wind May Bring-4

Who Knows What The Wind May Bring

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cheers to the Old Man

Happy Father's Day to everyone who is, has, had, was, and/or ever/ never will be a dad. Is there any scenario I haven't covered? Anyways...

My pops is chillin' over in Ho Chi Minh where it's thunderstorming and 30 degrees. Perhaps 'chillin' isn't the proper term. That sounds a bit like weather I'd expect if Thor fell asleep during his watch, and Loki snuck in to change the thermostat. Oh Loki...

Seeing as to how I can't really go out and celebrate with ze fahja (outside of a Skype tea party later this afternoon), I'm a little bit jealous of all you folks who will get the opportunity to take your progenitors out for dinner, a ball game, have him show you how to fix your leaky toilet for the 23rd time this week, or whatever other wonderfully filial activities you have planned. Me? I get to play at hiding some information from the pops that would probably make him lose sleep for the next couple weeks (or at least give him incontinence for a day or two). Good job, mine dumbass brother. Way to ruin Father's Day for me. Seriously, 1997 called to remind you that you were 21 THEN, not now. Grow the EFF up. Anyways, that probably made no sense to those not in the know, so let's end on a happy note with the two things in common the old man and I have love of - BEER and PUPPIES!

Beer Bokeh (Beerkeh?)

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Father's Day-3

And just for funzies, I dug up and scanned one of my favourite photos of the man of honour himself.

Father's Day

Have a good day with your Dads, folks!

Putting the 'G' back in Pudgy

President's Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies are like my favourite food group. So naturally, I bought the PC Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches immediately after seeing them. They're literally two delicious cookies with a layer of vanilla ice cream sandwiched in between. Brilliant!! The only way they could make this better is if they added bacon. I would've posted a photo, but I ate them before thinking to take one. I'm gonna be a little pudge monster if I keep this up.

Alright, back at you in the a.m. with a new photo post. G'night!
-Pudgy G

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A fun way to get FAT in Calgary

Our Saturday would best be summed up by food and drink and food and drink and food and drink. Kris and Nicole came for a visit, and seeing as the weekend was suppose to be a washout, our plan was to hit up all manner of food and beverage establishments for an entire day. In retrospect, I feel like we mapped out an interesting day long itinerary for food and beer lovers. So if you're visiting Calgary and need some ideas on what to do, try this on for size. Warning - you will likely gain a few pounds by the end of the day.

First stop: Brunch and beers at Blue Star Diner, a little gem of a diner in Bridgeland serving locally sourced fare. Cozy, intimate interior, with a large chalkboard menu, friendly servers, and surprisingly short wait to be seated. The huevos rancheros tostada were awesome, as were the Chili Stackers. I can't remember what Kris and Nic had, but they approved as well.

Next up: Made our way to Crossroads Market and sampled the delicious ciders, pies, hot sauce, and meat snack offerings of various vendors. Hotsauce lovers, there is a fantastic little kiosk called Some Like It Hot, where you will find literally everything you could hope for, from 'mild tangy sauces in line with Franks Red Hot flavours' to 'nice smoky flavoured sauces in all levels of heat' to 'burns going in and burns even more going out' type sauces. Check em out, just bring water. And while Crossroads doesn't quite have the modern layout and decor of the somewhat recently relocated Calgary Farmer's Market, it makes up for in character with it's eclectic mix of food and flea market offerings. While perusing a selection of junk/tiques, I snagged a roll of Fuji NPH 400 for $3!!)

Next destination: mid afternoon snack at Jelly Modern Doughnuts. The donut selection is gourmet, with much more unique varieties and offerings than a standard Tim Hortons or Robin's Donuts. Sadly, they were sold out of their Egg Salad Donut sandwiches for the day... so I had to settle for a Maple Bacon donut instead, which was a tad on the sweet side, but you can't go wrong with BACON.

Next: Onwards for a quick stroll down 17th Ave, before stopping in at National Beer Hall for a sampling of their 72 North American beers on tap - and not 6 versions each of Molson/ Labatts/ Bud either, but rather a handful of locally crafted brews, and interesting beers from all over Canada and the US. As a bonus, for the oyster lovers out there, National also has a decent selection of fresh raw oysters to get your libido primed. I can't find a website for this new-ish beer hall, so you'll just have to go and see it for yourself.

Final stop: Headed over to Craft Beer Market, to taste some of the over 100 beers on tap. The food is pretty good as long as you're not on a diet or are at risk of a heart attack (20 Napkin Burger: 2x 8oz beef patties, 1 4oz beef brisket, beer infused cheese, and a mini burger on top as garnish!!). And the atmosphere is nice, with tall ceilings, so the noise factor of a few hundred drinkers crowded around you doesn't become ear jarring like other beer halls (I'm looking at you, Wurst!). The lounge area (big, airy space) is built around a large central bar with ample seating, and standing room. The crowd seemed to skew to mid-twenties and up, and overall, I would give this place an enthusiastic thumbs up for it's mix of food and beverage offerings, coupled with knowledgeable and friendly service (especially given the number of people demanding on the spot taste profiles for the 100 plus brews). Be prepared for a long wait to get into the dining area though (we opted to eat and drink our 4 hours away in the lounge instead)...

And with that, you should have enough fooding and drinking activities to cover you for an entire day. Bon appetit/ Cheers!

Polaroid Weekend
Kris and Nic at the Blue Star Diner

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Huevos Rancheros

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Chili Stackers

Polaroid Weekend-2
Jelly Modern Doughnuts - Flavours: Maple Bacon, Smore, and Lemon Curd.

Polaroid Weekend-5
Delicious beef brisket, w/ Mac and Cheese from Craft Beer Hall.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Insert superlative adjective here-STORM

Jeebus, is it fricking STORMING out there. The thunder is shaking the house like we're in an earthquake zone. And the last big clap set off the house alarm, which was rather scary. I'm sort of cowering in fear, nestled up on the floor against the couch, wrapped in an oversized quilt, wishing my big brave Anita was here... MOMMY!!!

Okay, maybe not so much the last part, but this storm is a bit freaky. Probably need a dinghy and a life jacket to get to work tomorrow. Calling it a severe thunderstorm doesn't really do it justice. We need a more extreme term for weather like this. Something like, Murderstorm. HellHathNoFuryStorm. HolyShitStorm. It's-Raining-Effing-Livestock-Storm. MichaelBayExplosionsStorm.

Anywho, I needed to post a photo of a peaceful scene to get my mind off the scary noises in the sky outside.

Porto Waterfront

Taken over a year ago now, during a rainy 5 days in Porto, Portugal. Sigh...