(mostly) daily photoblog

Archive for March, 2010


The force is strong with them.

My kids, the girl with the braid and the blond boy next to her, received their diplomas stating that their training as Jedi was complete.  I’m pretty sure I was giggling and wishing that I could have been up their with them.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f9; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.


Oh, hi.  It’s been raining here a bit, and when it stops the rain leaves all of these little orphaned droplets behind.  Some of the plants in my front yard have been adopting these little orphans and displaying them in such a lovely way.

BTW, I’m feeling a bit silly this evening.  Hooray for weird.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/80 sec.


I was looking at the tulips in my front yard and this line by Gerard Manley Hopkins “sprang” to mind:

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing.

- Spring

Hopkins was brilliant.  He could write amazing, inspirational lines expounding on the beauty of nature, and then descend into depressing, loathsome words running himself well into the ground for being less than a worm on a cosmic scale.  I love this guy.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.

The Bubble

This is the view on my drive home from work.  I pass the “bubble” everyday, twice a day, and it is one of those landmarks that everyone who’s ever lived in Abbotsford still knows as “the orange bubble.”  What’s funny is that just this year the tennis club that owns the bubble replaced orange for white.  To add hilarity to this, people in Abbotsford had some sentimental attachment to this orange bubble and still speak fondly of it.

Weird people in my home town.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f40; ISO 100; 1/20 sec.

Hockey, in reflection

My school’s grads had lost a floor hockey tournament against the staff, so the grads challenged the staff to an ice hockey game, in the hope that they’d win and regain some honor.  Then the students lost, again.  Ha.  Ha.  Hahahahahahahaaa…

I shouldn’t find that so awesome, but I do.  Old guys win again.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f4; ISO 1600; 1/60 sec.


There’s a moment when I forget that I’m taking a picture of something that belongs to someone.

So I’m leaning out my driver’s side window and focusing on the wheel of this work van (yes, this belongs on the van of a landscaper). I take the photo and look up to find the owner of the vehicle staring at me.  I sheepishly smile and nod my head, compliment his van and hope that I’ve suddenly become invisible.  I love feeling like a total dork while doing something I love.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f8; ISO 100; 1/25 sec.


Two days ago Ben, my son, demanded to speak to me on the cell phone.  During our talk, he informed me that he wanted to play chess with me.  When I got home Ben tells me that he has no idea how to play, but that we’ll learn together.  We played, and I won.  I’m competitive and I love my son but he’s six and I’m not letting him beat me – yeah, I’m petty that way.  I managed to snap a few photos along the way.

Lucky me, in so many ways.

Pentax K20D; Pentax SMC M 50mm; f1.7; ISO 200; 1/320 sec.

Astro Orbitor

The trick to a night shot with a slow shutter speed, without a tripod and remote shutter release, is a steady hand.  I don’t have a steady hand.  Instead, I leaned against a pile of rock, or rock-like facsimile designed by some imagineer, and shot as steadily as I could.

This shot of the Astro Orbitor at Disneyland was the best of the bunch.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f8; ISO 1600; 1/2 sec.

How high?

Youth today.  Such shoddy spelling skills.  It must be all that texting.  “How high R U?” indeed.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 400; 1/80 sec.

Graffiti Red Man

One of my favorite places in Abbotsford.  I’ve never felt the proper indignation that is expected of a contributing member of society at the art that’s painted on public space.  True, I’m not a fan of spray-painting the wall of my school or city hall, but I appreciate a good bit of skill shown off on the right “canvas.”

This is not tagging.  This is not vandalism.  This is art.

Let me know what you think.  Is this art?

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5; ISO 400; 1/60 sec.

Lego: just hangin’ around

We had gotten up at 4:00 am to get to the plane on time, spent a couple of hours flying, a couple of hours waiting for luggage and then in transportation to the hotel.  We had packed our luggage into the hotel and then had a few hours to kill.  I thought my kids were going to falter, spaz out, start crying uncontrollably.

While killing time, we traveled to “Downtown Disney.”  My children, who minutes earlier were begging to be carried and asking when we could go to the hotel to lie down, started dancing to the soundtrack of my wife’s life (think ’80’s and ’90’s top 40).

Ben, who begs to be carried and to go home at the best of times, saw the Lego Store in the offing and broke into a sprint.  I thought of calling after him.  Instead, I broke into a sprint as well, and tried to beat him to the store.  Childlike excitement, 1; maturity, 0.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f6.3; ISO 100; 1/125 sec.

Rugby scrum

This is a scrum.  In a scrum, a number of very strong guys lock arms, heads, and shoulders and push against each other in order to control which team gets the ball.

I don’t get it either.

It was an entertaining game to watch.  It was also disappointing.  Our team lost.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f11; ISO 100; 1/160 sec.


I can’t believe I get to see Vader.  The real Vader.  Darth Vader.  The Darth Va…what?  He’s not the real Vader?  But…(sob), but…

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f6.3; ISO 100; 1/125 sec.


I love Spring flowers.  They burst out of the ground, live a shameless few days, maybe a week or two and then perish.  If I enjoy a few days in my lifetime as glorious as the life of a flower I’ll be pretty happy.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm + extension tube; f?; ISO 100; 1/10 sec.; LED flashlight used for lighting

Elegance and practicality

Can’t think.  Stupid daylight savings.  Must sleep.  Must post.  Post photo of open duct work and crystal chandelier.  Okay.  Good.  Done.


Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f4.5; ISO 400; 1/200 sec.


Our first day in Disneyland was a long one.  We stayed most of the day, from around eight in the morning until a couple hours after lunch.  After resting up at the hotel for a couple of hours we went back in and stayed for the fireworks.  We didn’t bank on the humongous lines, and ended up watching the explosive show from FrontierLand.  The shot above shows what we saw:  awesome fireworks with a foreground including one of our favorites, Big Thunder Mountain.

On a side note, the fireworks are far quieter in the park than they are when you’re in your hotel trying to sleep after a ridiculously long day of flying, shopping, walking and anticipating.  The night before, at 9:30, when the family was quietly sleeping, gigantic BOOMS began, as the fireworks were echoing outside the park.  I though we were under attack.  All part of the fun, I guess.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f6.3; ISO 1600; 1/13 sec.


Hannah’s birthday was on Saturday, and she chose to go, for lunch, to TracyCakes, this little wonderful cupcake place in Abbotsford.  I know it looks like she’s thinking this, but TracyCakes has this beautiful sign, along with many others, on the wall behind the chair in which Hannah was sitting.  I merely took the photo.

Happy 9th, Hannah.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 800; 1/20 sec.; B&W in PS, CS4

Through her eyes

I posted yesterday that seeing the Disney parks through my children’s eyes made the whole experience really wonderful for me.  Their enthusiasm was contagious, and their wonder and awe as they wandered was fun to watch.

The photo above was taken at California Adventure.  At the end of our second day in Disneyland, we went to CA to plan our next day’s itinerary.  We got to the park just as a High School Musical show was starting in the Sun Plaza just in from the main entrance.  My children loved it.  There was singing, dancing, and it was interactive, as I found out.

What I have discovered about the Disney parks is that the closer you sit to the show/parade/musical experience, the more likely it is that you’ll be participating.  To the delight of my wife and kids, I was chosen to participate in the show, with a top hat and cane and a bunch of 20-something dancers dancing around me.  It was awesome!

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55 AL II; f8; ISO 200; 1/400 sec.

Walt, Mickey and Sleeping Beauty

I feel like I should work for Disney’s marketing branch.  These are the three icons from the main square in Disneyland.  Walt, Mickey, and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.  I understand that from 2001 to 2008 Disneyland had shut the doors on the castle, but it’s up and touring now.

I got to this point in the park and felt like a six year old.  All of those Sunday nights watching The Wonderful World of Disney as a kid came washing over me.  I remember watching Dumbo and Alice in Wonderland and Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins.  At the beginning and end of the show, Tinkerbell would fly right over the castle here, wave her wand and the show would start (or end).  Aah, nostalgia.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f9; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.


Disneyland has an attraction called “Jedi Training Academy.”  Both of my children were called up, along with a couple dozen more, to the stage, given Jedi robes and lightsabers and taught to fight like Jedi.

I liked this attraction.  Actually, I loved this attraction.  After the kids have been trained, the Imperial Death March starts up and two stormtroopers (above) run down the aisle and onto the stage.  The stage floor starts rising and Darths Vader and Maul jump out and duel with every one of the Jedi trainees.

I, overcome with emotion and joy, leaned over to my wife and quietly exclaimed, “I think I just peed myself a little.”

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.

California Panorama

You’re going to want to click on the picture to see it in a larger size.  This is three photos stitched into one panoramic shot of the entrance to California Adventure.  It doesn’t evoke the same nostalgic feelings as the Disney entrance, but it is impressive.

This entrance is directly across a huge plaza from the entrance to Disneyland.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; panorama in PhotoShop, CS4

Flying Cookies

I loved the attention to detail that is on exhibition at the Disney parks.  My wife and son took a ride in a box of animal cookies, while I photographed them from a container of apple sauce.  We were separated by a chinese takeout box.

I don’t know that I’ll ever write that sentence again.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 400; 1/30 sec.

Main Street

Nothing witty.  Just a photo of why I love this place.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f3.5; ISO 1600; 1/30 sec.

The wheel of evil

Dusk at California Adventure.

Quick story:  When we got to California Adventure my family decided to go on Mickey’s Fun Wheel (the ferris wheel in the photo above).  I asked, “Swinging or non-swinging?”

We went on the swinging car.  As we left on our ride, the car started to move…a lot.  My wife and daughter closed their eyes and began chanting the mantra, “Just think that you’re on a swing in a playground,” really loudly, like they were trying to convince themselves.  My son burst into tears, closed his eyes, and all three of them grabbed onto their seats like death was coming and the only way to save themselves was to hold on tight.

I loved it.  It was awesome.  Update:  I loved the ride, not the pain my family was in.  Just to clarify.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f11; ISO 100; 1/125 sec.; ev +2


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