Saturday, April 30, 2016

The G.Mach School of Husband-ology 101

Welcome to the G.Mach School of Husband-ology 101. Lesson 1: How to be a good spouse - send text to wife saying, "Plane's about to take off. See you soon! Love you!"

Lesson 2: How NOT to be a good spouse - Send said text from the lock screen of your iPhone, not realizing it is actually replying to a female colleague you just spent the past week with, and not your wife. #awkwaaaard

Anyways, I transgress digress. Thought I'd share a handful of film photos from Anita and I's visit to Barcelona last fall, our first time back since our honeymoon 7 years ago. These were taken in the Eixample district, along the block of discord, where a handful of "Modernista" building facades dominate a block on Passeig de Gràcia. And there is a shot of another Antoni Gaudi designed facade (Casa Milà) mixed in, which isn't on the block of discord.

Barcelona - Block of Discord-1
Casa Lleó-Morera

Barcelona - Block of Discord-2
Casa Amatller

Barcelona - Block of Discord-5
Casa Batlló

Barcelona - Block of Discord-6

Barcelona - Block of Discord-3

Barcelona - Block of Discord-4
Casa Milà, not on the block of discord, but not far away either.

All shots taken with the Holga 120N, on Ilford Delta 400. Souped at home in Ilfosol 3, 1+9 @ 68 deg. F for 6:30.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Chernobyl, 30 Years On

Tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, where a routine test at the facility triggered the largest and most devastating nuclear meltdown in history. Here's a throwback to a few years ago, when Anita and I toured the exclusion zone around the evacuation area just an hour away from Kiev, Ukraine.  

We were initially taken to a little briefing centre where our slightly kamikaze guide explained how he figured it was no less bad for your health to sit in daily traffic jams in Kiev, than to live and work in a radiation exclusion zone such as the area surrounding Chernobyl.  I'm not so sure his science was as sound as he seemed to believe, but whatever.  Without him, we would not have been granted access to see the remains of the actual reactor that exploded that fateful day, nor the surrounding ghost town of Pripyat, which had forcibly evacuated on short notice, leaving behind a time capsule of everyday life in Soviet era Ukraine circa1986, only slightly worse for wear from decades of reclamation by nature and the elements. Urban exploration enthusiasts would have a heyday in this town site.

Regardless of your feelings about the utility vs safety of nuclear power, these photos demonstrate the very real human impacts associated with it when it things go awry.



Inside an abandoned school in Pripyat.




The rotting floor and remains of the gymnasium.



There's something incredibly sad and haunting about seeing an abandoned amusement park.


This ferris wheel in Pripyat never got to take it's maiden voyage...




Our guide, using some kind of geiger counter, attempts to explain how even the most irradiated military vehicles used in the cleanup are only mildly radioactive anymore. I'm not so sure I believed his meter, but considering I was standing pretty close, it's probably too late for me.

Reactor number 4, which exploded on April 26, 1986. It was subsequently 'entombed' in a concrete sarcophagus to reduce radioactive emissions.

Chernobyl - Holga-7

Chernobyl - Holga-6

Chernobyl - Holga-5

Chernobyl - Holga-9

Chernobyl - Holga-10

Chernobyl - Holga-11

Chernobyl - Holga-14

Chernobyl - Holga-12

Chernobyl - Holga-4

Black and white photos shot with the crap Holga toy camera on Ilford XP2 Super 400. Colour photos taken with the Nikon D300.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wasootch Ridge, and My Father-in-Law's Shitlist

Here's my surefire method on how to reach the top of your 65+ year old father-in-law's shitlist: take him for a 'hike', but neglect to mention that it'll be hours of steeps, gaining 700m net elevation, and 1000m gross. That literally means it's UPHILL BOTH WAYS, as you gain a ridge, then drop elevation, only to have to gain again to reach the next hump (and repeat on descent). I'm pretty sure I re-introduced him to entire muscle groups he had stored away 30 years ago, as they screamed silent agony the entire way. I felt terrible as he struggled his way back down, helplessly watching as his fierce independent spirit refused to allow me to aid him except in the few patches where he was truly uncomfortable with the route. He's probably having a go in their massage chair right now, thinking up how he could get away with poisoning the next meal he cooks me. And I'd deserve every morsel of it. :)

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-2
The first portion of Wasootch Ridge is incredibly steep, before levelling out at the first of many humps along the ridge.

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-1

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-3
As we round another ridge bump, the snowcapped Mt. McDougall dominates the view to the south.

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-4
The father-in-law and the missus.

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-6

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-7

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-9

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-8
The somewhat gentler slope atop the ridge, with Mt. Lorette in the background.

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-10

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-11

Scrambles - Wasootch Ridge-12

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Scrambles - Miner's Peak and Ha Ling

We spent our Saturday out in the mountains, hiking up Ha Ling Peak first, before traversing over to bag adjacent Miner's Peak. Aside from the fact that a 4 year old kid with his dad summited Ha Ling faster than us (Anita's post hibernation fitness level is pretty sad at the moment), it was a great day. Warm, calm winds, and those bright blue skies. The only thing I forgot was a beer for the top. :(

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-15

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-1
The lower trail was dry and smooth sailing.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-3
But a bit higher, lingering ice and snow made for some tricky conditions if you didn't have some ice cleats.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-4

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-5

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-6

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-7

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-8
Sitting atop the west edge of Ha Ling.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-9

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-10

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-11
The view south from Ha Ling, with the saddle leading to Miner's Peak, and then the taller Mt. Lawrence Grassi.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-12

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-13

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-14
Traversing the ridge along the saddle towards Miner's Peak.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-16
Top of Miner's Peak.

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-17

Scrambles - Miner's Peak-18