Sunday, July 27, 2014

Season opening tune-up: Ha Ling Peak

First scramble of the season is in the books. It's sad that it took until late July to summit our first peak, and even more sad that an old gentleman (labouring for breath the whole way, while moving at what appeared to be a snail's pace) managed to summit in less time than us. But regardless, bagging a peak is bagging a peak, even if it is the lowly Ha Ling Peak (700m elevation gain), which we have now done 3 years in a row as our season starting tune up. I used to spend the time during hikes excitedly anticipating the views at the top, but having done this one a few times, I spent all of today's hike dreaming of the pint I would have once completed. And it was GLORIOUS.

Ha Ling 2014 -1

Ha Ling 2014 -2
About 15 minutes into the hike, Anita looks reedy to give up.

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But to her credit, she soldiers on up the steep switchbacks.


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And the reward for the day's activities: New Belgium Brewery's Fat Tire Amber Ale. DELISH.

And of course, because I can't get enough of shooting polaroids, here are few from today taken with the SX-70. I have no idea why the colours are so funky with this set.

Ha Ling 2014 -15

Ha Ling 2014 -16

Ha Ling 2014 -17

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Modest Mouse, Live at MacEwan Hall

Anita and I caught the sold out Modest Mouse show last night at MacEwan Hall. We missed the boat when they played here 7 years ago, cause I had Campylobacter jejuni (food poisoning) and couldn't be away from a toilet for more than 5 minutes at a time, so this was that 'FINALLY' moment for us. Hardcore fans will pickup that I name dropped a song title into that previous statement. Yes, I'm that much of a super nerd fan.

The show openers, Mimicking Birds, were unfortunately, a huge let down. They played a series of mellow shoegazing tunes, while spending far too much time changing guitars, and tuning said guitars, in between songs. When the roadies doing sound check get louder cheers than you do as the opening act, you're doing it wrong.

Second act, Kevin Drew, showed far more experience currying favour with audiences, putting together a snappy and energetic set. I've always liked Broken Social Scene, and after seeing Mr. Drew live as a solo project, I will definitely give his records a spin.

Headlining the evening, Modest Mouse came out to HUGE roars from the crowd, and played a fan appeasing set list spanning albums dating back to 1997's Lonesome Crowded West, as well as a couple new songs that I hadn't heard before. Way to welcome both newer(-ish) fans while also showing love to longtime followers. As the face and voice of the band, Isaac Brock was engaging, funny, energetic, and expressive (his stage presence and exaggerated movements gave you the feeling that he LOVES playing these tracks as much as you love to hear them).

The whole set was "scream along out loud if you know the lyrics" fun and intense. But then, the unthinkable happened. They exited the stage after their encore performance of 'The Good Times Are Killing Me'... leaving fans to believe, surely, there MUST be a second encore. How could they possibly NOT play 'Float On' (and I was also secretly hoping they would play 'Spitting Venom'). Surely, this is one of those 'make the fans really work for it' to hear a second encore where they would just kill it with more crowd pleasers. But as the minutes wore on, and our collective voices wore out with strain, the house lights came on. And still we chanted, hoping this was just some 'Nah, we're just messing with ya' shenanigans. Only when the security crew shouted 'Go home' did the reality set in. They were actually done, and they DIDN'T play 'Float On'. Ballsy. But dammit, the set they did play was a feast for your ears.

Modest Mouse-1
Mimicking Birds, looking much better in silent photos than they were in live performance.

Kevin Drew, Live at Mac Hall
Kevin Drew, with various members of other inter-related Canadian indie/alternative bands in tow.

Kevin Drew, Live at Mac Hall

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Modest Mouse. Nuff said.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Munchkin Niece Turned 7

This little munchkin turned 7 yesterday. Seeing her laugh and play brings warmth and joy to me like nothing else, particularly as we have no little ones of our own (that's by design, not because I'm barren). I wish she could stay this age forever, free of the burdens of life as one grows up in our sometimes messed up world. I'll let the photos do the speaking. No words can convey the innocence, glow, and vitality of her youth like the photos can.

Polaroids taken with the SX-70 on Impossible Project Colour SX-70 film.
7 Going on 30
I love the 70's vintage colours of this shot. Sometimes this Impossible Project film can be pretty amazing.

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Mariana's 7th B-day-18
And other times, this film can be rather inconsistent.

And the photos taken with the Fuji X-T1 and Fujinon 35mm f/1.4.

Mariana's 7th B-day-16
The aftermath of the Paint Splatter Party

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Spinner art painting.

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The finished spinner art pieces. Very cool.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Les journaux des oiseaux morts

And my fascination with sleeping birds (permanently sleeping ones) continues… You know you've been photographing dead birds for too long when your friends stop finger wagging disapprovingly, and instead text you locations of more carcasses. This petit oiseau was spotted by Nimra. Thanks Nim!

The Dead Bird Diaries, 2014 - -2

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Colour shot taken with the Polaroid SX-70 on Impossible Project PX-70 film.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"You must be hungry hungry, Hippopotamus"

I curated a selection of random crap gifts for Tytus' Bday - Spock socks with protruding vulcan ears, beer goggles pint glass bands, a bottle of Fallen Timber Hopped Mead, and then made him an mdf transfer of a hippo sketch I did a long time ago, complete with original hippo haiku.

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That's not a real website, btw.

And what birthday party is complete, without some polaroid action. These were taken with an SX-70 on Impossible Project Film. The film has a ridiculously slow development time, so for this first shot of TK drunkenly playing the guitar, I chucked it in the microwave to see how heat would speed up the process. The thing shot off sparks within seconds, and the back melted, complete with chemical burn smells. If you're going to try this, would suggest you set it on low power or possibly the defrost cycle. And don't walk away, cause it'll probably end up in flames if you aren't there to stop it.

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I sort of like the effect generated here. Particularly the burnt edges.

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Tytus in his regular attire.

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They need to make unicorn costumes for adults more common.

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He apparently was playing Sweet Home Alabama, but it sounded more like a grandpa tripping down the stairs with a guitar strapped to his back.