Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dickginas of the world...

I'm quite proud of my little self tonight. Instead of getting punched and walking away, I punched back... albeit, it was more of a snarky open palmed slap than a punch, but whatever. I stood up for myself.

Okay, rewind and let me set some context. I did not actually get in a fight. I've been having a pissing contest with the community association in my neighbourhood because 1) they are a bunch of dickginas, and 2) yeah, that pretty much sums it up. I can't come up with anything more intelligent than a portmanteaux involving both male and female genitalia. Anyways, back to the story. The community association essentially sent us a letter saying we owed them 30 bucks, and that they demanded we immediately pay them. No explanation about why, for what, how the amount was arrived at, etc. Turns out, they claim to have done a title search on our property to figure out who owned it since the previous owner didn't inform them that he sold, and figured they could just bully us into paying for it. So after two letters (with escalating amounts owed), I thought, screw this. I'm going to write a snarky letter pushing back, and see what comes of it. Well boys and girls, it turns out that all it takes to cow someone who is bullying you is to write a sarcastic passive aggressive letter demanding to see the legal authority for which something is being asked of you. Then they send back a very apologetic, "We have reversed the charges and your balance owing is now zero, sorry for any incovenience this has caused" response. That's great, eff you very much.

I think I'm going to start writing more letters going forward. Dickginas of the world, be warned. A snarky letter with your name on it just may hit your desk in the near future.

2 Badasses at Stampede-3
Anita and I celebrating after winning a plush toy on the midway at Stampede.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crabby, Shelly, and Crusty

We were grocery shopping yesterday, when I spotted these cute little live blue crabs in a bucket in the seafood section. I leaned in thinking I would say hello and be on my merry way, but noooooo, this one particular bastard decided he didn't appreciate being gawked at, so he jumped at me. Literally, he jumped out and snapped at me with his little pinchers, and so I thought, "Fine. You wanna play? I'm gonna eat you for supper. Yeah, and a couple of your buddies for good measure."

Crabby, Pinchy, and Shelley
**Clockwise from top: Crabby the Crab, Shelly the Shellfish, and Crusty the Crustacean.

For the record, they were tiny crabs, so weren't worth the effort of trying to eat, even if you do like crab.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Friends on Film - The Glass Half Full Portrait Project

I've decided I'm going to do one of these Glass Half Full portraits with everyone I know. Stupid? Yes. Awesome? ...Not at all. So why? I have no idea.

All shot with the Nikon FG and Nikkor AI-S 50mm f/1.2 on Fuji NPH 400 (my first roll of this film stock - I approve of it).

Friends on Film - Glass Half Full Portraits-3

Friends on Film - Glass Half Full Portraits-4

Friends on Film - Glass Half Full Portraits-2

Friends on Film - Glass Half Full Portraits-5

Glass Half Full Portrait

Friends on Film - Glass Half Full Portraits-6

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nerd-tastic find: Accidental Flickr Art

Flickr users familiar with the justified view on your contacts page will immediately understand how coincidental this worked out to be. For the non-flickr users, let me explain. Photos from your 'contacts' show up in the chronological order they are uploaded, going horizontally, and then vertically when the row is full.

So I was scrolling through my flickr contacts' photos, and noticed that these two photos from flickr user Melanieday just lined up ever so neatly. There were 5 other photos (4 from other contacts, and 1 more from herself) that separated these two shots, but the timing of how they uploaded, and how they presented on my screen made them line up.

Maybe it's just the nerd in me, but I find the improbability of this happening (given that I follow 200+ people on flickr who upload regularly) to be very neat.

Disclaimer: none of the photos in these two screen grabs are mine!

Interesting Timing - Accidental Flickr Art

Interesting Timing 2

Monday, July 23, 2012

Quirky America

Religion and politics are generally topics I choose not to write about here, because we all know where that leads (finger wagging, hair pulling and other highly refined and sophisticated social behaviour)… oh don't pretend like you've never been tempted to shove your fingers in your ears and do the lalalalalalala while someone else was trying to convince you that Ketchup chips are WAAAAAAAYYYYAAAYAAAAYAAAY better than BBQ (they aren't). And that's not even a remotely controversial topic.

So in the wake of the Dark Knight Rises massacre in Colorado, I've chosen to not make an eloquent and well supported attempt to examine American culture surrounding gun control, for fear of it stirring up a serious debate. Instead, I'll just point out the absurdity of this contrast in the US:

Guns (responsible for 31,224 deaths in the US in 2007) = perfectly legal.

Kinder Surprise Eggs (responsible for an astonishing 6 choking related deaths worldwide between 1991 - 1998) = illegal. See this article for more info on how serious US border guards are about illegal Kinder Egg smuggling rings.

So the take home message is, murderous firepower to mow down masses of innocent movie goers? "HELLLLLLLL YEEEEAWWWWHHHH, we gots rights down here ya'll, don't you try and take away our freedom, ya freedom hating communist!" But chocolate covered eggs with a little toy inside? "Get the Tasers Jim, we gots us a smuggler to DEEEE-TAIN!"

*source of the stats quoted above come from Wikipedia. Now, I know, there's a strong possibility that these stats aren't fully referenced (don't believe everything you read on the interwebs). So take the death tolls (SIX vs. THIRTY ONE THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR) with a very large grain of salt**.

**If you actually do question the validity of those very largely divergent stats, stop reading this blog and don't ever come back, cause you're a fucking moron. Thanks.

Beering at MKT

Photo totally unrelated to crap rant above. Taken during our fooding and beering adventure this past weekend at MKT.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quirky Vancouver, pt. 3

This one isn't so much of a quirk than it is a "WTF?! Did you for real just ask that?!" type of story. We were killing a few minutes in between eating a pre-supper meal and meeting up with friends to eat another meal (I'm a fatass!), so we walked into the John Fluevog store in Gastown. The store design is awesome, the shoes are funky, and even I found myself thinking I should buy some shoes. So I settle on a pair that isn't the typical wallet busting variety Fluevog's are known for (my wallet is NOT a fatass!), and go to pay.

Clerk: That'll be $155.68. On Visa? Insert the chip.
George: *inserts chip and begins punching in PIN*
Clerk: I need to enter you into the system, can I have your name?
George: I'm George.
Clerk: And are you from Vancouver?
George: No, from Calgary.
Clerk: *eyebrows furrow, and lips tighten as she stares at her keyboard for a few seconds, furiously computing something*... then defeated, sheepishly looks up and asks, "What province is that in?"
George: *facepalm*

Anyways, this should be the last of my 'Quirky Vancouver' stories for a while. Enjoy the photos - all taken around the Old Woodwards Building site in Vancouver's downtown eastside. Shot with the Kiev 88CM on Kodak Ektar 100.

Old Woodward's Building

Old Woodward's Building

Old Woodward's Building-4

Old Woodward's Building-3

Old Woodward's Building-2

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quirky Vancouver, pt. 2

On our way to the farmer's market, we left our hotel in downtown Vancouver on Saturday morning, and began walking to the Skytrain station. A man standing on the curb interrupted our powerwalk with a jovial, "Excuse me, can you spare some change so that I can buy some marijuana and smoke that marijuana?"

We are so accustomed to the seemingly fabricated stories of 'I need money to buy a bus ticket so that I can get to Saskatchewan to visit my dying aunt's 17 year old cat with three legs and an eyepatch' or similar tales of woe, that this was such a refreshing and honest line from a panhandler, I almost wanted to give him money... in the end though, we didn't, because buying and smoking marijuana should not be a priority in your life if you have to ask for money to get it. No judgement for what side of the weed debate you stand on, just saying if you're begging for it, you've got bigger problems to solve, dude.

Photos below: View from our hotel (24th floor of the Sheraton Wall Centre) taken with the D300 at night, and iPhone photos of the various fooding adventures we went on during our stay. We ate so much shellfish and other sea life, I'm pretty certain scientists will be worrying about a strange epidemic of anorexia amongst whales soon. Fear not, David Suzuki, they haven't contracted eating disorders, there's just no food left for them.

Downtown Vancouver by Night



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Quirky Vancouver

While pounding up the Grouse Grind in North Vancouver last weekend, my nose picked up a familiar scent that I had never smelled halfway up a mountain before. We were stopping for a quick water break, and sat down beside a lone hiker who was having her lunch. Except that lunch didn't come in the form of a sandwich, trail mix, granola bar, jerky or any other typical hiking type foods. Rather, she pulled out a set of chopsticks, a square rubbermaid lunch container, and began to chow down on a package of deliciously savoury smelling instant ramen. My mind was bewildered and couldn't comprehend the sight. On the one hand, I suddenly found myself craving instant noodles (I LOVE THEM!), while on the other, I thought it was the funniest thing to see a little Asian lady on a steep hiking trail halfway up a mountain, slurping a bowl of Ichiban noodles.

Anyways, more shots from that roll of Fuji Neopan 400 that I had developed in Vancouver. This batch includes fooding and drinking at three different places - a coffee and wine bar in Inglewood, a Laos/ Cambodian restaurant in Edmonton, and an Indian restaurant not far from my place.

Tall Cold Drink

Fuji Neopan 400 - second batch-4

Fuji Neopan 400 - second batch

Fuji Neopan 400 - second batch-5

Fuji Neopan 400 - second batch-6

Fuji Neopan 400 - second batch-8

Fuji Neopan 400 - second batch-2

Fuji Neopan 400 - second batch-7

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friends on Film - Fuji Neopan 400

While in Vancouver, I took advantage of the local B&W photofinishing services of The Lab, and finally got a roll of Fuji Neopan 400 developed. This film was over a decade expired, but the results were grainy with good contrast. I love the look and feel of these shots, and will need to look into developing my own B&W film, just so I can shoot some more of this stuff. These were shot in Calgary a few months ago with the Nikon FG and Nikkor 50mm f/1.2. More to come. I know, I make that promise as often as smokers claim to quit, so don't hold your breath.

Friends on Film - Neopan 400-3

Friends on Film - Neopan 400-4

Friends on Film - Neopan 400-5

Friends on Film - Neopan 400

Friends on Film - Neopan 400-2

Friends on Film - Neopan 400-6

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Beautiful BC

Back from a short trip to Vancouver for Vania and Sean's wedding. I haven't had a chance to sort through the shots from their big event yet, but did catch a decent blue hour shot of the Vancouver Skyline (4 overlapping exposures, stitched in CS5). Taken from the Totem Poles area of Stanley Park, about an hour after sunset. Click to view it large and see more details.

Vancouver Skyline

More photos from our trip soon. Time for an ice cold shower to beat this heat.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Domesticity (aka How I Spent My Canada Day Long Weekend)

Everytime a long weekend approaches, I think, "Wooooo! Gonna do so much awesome stuff, you don't even know, yo!" But in reality, we're lame and don't lead glamourous lives of adventure, spontaneity, or even remote excitement.

So, on this, the anniversary of Canada's 145th birthday, we spent the weekend living out the domestic life of a married couple. That is, we did laundry, walked the in-laws' dog, cleaned the house, gardened, cooked, and watched a lot of fracking TV. And it was surprisingly enjoyable in it's everyday-ness. We live half a block from Anita's parents, who are retired and don't feel right if they haven't cooked a meal for 8 every single evening. Seriously, I have to starve myself during the day, just so I can gorge myself at dinner, or else the leftovers would pile up like cars on an icy highway during the next day's commute. And since the in-laws are on vacation for a month, this gave us a chance to actually cook for ourselves. How novel! While others groan and sigh when they realize they have domestic chores to attend to, we (in our twilight zone, reverse adulthood sort of existence) find it a little like playing house when you're five years old...

At least we made it out to catch the fireworks. This year, I even managed to actually catch a couple shots (unlike last year's pathetic attempt). They didn't really turn out like I'd hoped, but given that we arrived late (again) and all the prime real estate had long been staked out, these were the best I could manage.

Happy Canada Day!-2

Happy Canada Day!-3

Happy Canada Day!