(mostly) daily photoblog

Archive for November, 2010

X marks the spot

Mt. Cheam: beeyooteefull…

One thing I’ve always found amusing is that everyone I know who lives in Chilliwack can’t help talking about two things at this time of the year:  Mount Cheam and the snow level.  As we near the winter solstice, the snow level on the local mountains creeps down.  This makes sense – the mountains are tall and when it’s below 5 degrees in the valley (where I live), it’s below zero on the mountains (these temperatures are in Celsius, for my American friends).  Thus, there is snow on the mountains and as the temperature drops so does the snow level.  Yet, there are few people in Chilliwack who don’t take the time to point out that the snow level is dropping.

Hands (Photo Friday)


A little submission for Photo Friday’s “Hands” challenge.  This is my daughter and her grandpa playing piano duets.  Pretty sweet, actually.

Vivid M&M’s…mmmmmmmmmmm

I needed a photo that showed “vivid” for Photo Friday.  I don’t know what’s more vivid than a bunch of giant cannisters of candy.  Maybe what’s more vivid is the effect it might have on the kids who get to eat all that candy.

That’s pretty…

Really pretty.

What will the apocalypse look like?

When I was little, like seven or eight years old, I would go to my Grandma’s house to be watched while my parents would go out with their friends.  We would play Chinese Checkers and Snakes and Ladders and UNO.  My grandma would take out a giant plate of cookies that were partially frozen – frozen because grandma would make ten or twelve dozen cookies in a mad Mennonite grandma moment and then freeze them all just in case visitors came over and then she’d have something to serve – jam jams, sour cream cookies, sugar cookies, ginger snaps, you name it she made it.

Then grandma would get all serious.  She would pour a few glasses of milk for my sisters and me and we’d be eating cookies and she’d pull out this postcard sized picture.  On it was a picture of the apocalypse.  Cars were crashed into each other, buildings were on fire, the world was in destruction mode.  The souls of the saved were floating up to the sky and the sun was shooting through the clouds in very defined rays.  Every time I see rays of sunshine coming through the clouds I think of grandma’s “scare’em into heaven” postcard of the apocalypse.  So, even though this is a shot of the Oregon Coast from a beautiful summer vacation, the sun’s rays bring me back to my grandma’s kitchen and her attempts to save my soul.

I’m posting this on Photo Friday for this week’s challenge:  Liquid.  Feel free to check out the other entries to this week’s photo challenge.

Doomed to repeat history? Not if we have anything to do about it.


My daughter and I walked to the local Remembrance Day ceremony near our house.  We moved to the community of Chilliwack, BC, less than six months ago and I’ve not attended a Remembrance Day ceremony here in Chilliwack since I used to play in a brass band almost a decade ago.  I was not sure how large the crowd was going to be, but we left our house late and had nowhere to stand to see the proceedings.  I managed to get a few good shots of the army personnel standing post on the four corners of the cenotaph, but we were too far out on the peripheral to see much.

As a pacifist, I get a lot of flak from my students and colleagues about Remembrance Day.  I’ve been responsible for the ceremony at our school for the last few years and at the same time hold with a pacifist world view.  This is a sticking point for some of my colleagues.  It’s not as much of a cognitive dissonance as one might think.  If we remember what others have done for us in the name of freedom and self-sacrifice, we’ll not make the same mistakes that led to the need for the sacrifice in the first place.  I may be a pacifist, but I’m also pro-active.  If problems are addressed in a non-violent way at the start of the problem then they’ll not turn into something that needs to be dealt with violently.

What do you think?

Welcome to November in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia


Just wanted to give you a little “shout-out.”


Sittin’ on the dock of the bay…well…uh…lake.

What is it with docks and lakes that so mesmerize me?  I love the instructional nature of a dock.  How it, though inanimate, tells me that I should not run.  Nor should I dive.  I wonder if it dreams of other jobs.

Life, on the rocks

This weed, growing amongst the rocks on the shore of Cultus Lake, is the perfect example of persistence.  Where there is little to no other life, weeds work hard.  Maybe we should let them grow instead of always hacking them down and digging them out.

Photo Friday…oops. One day late.

My daughter and I went out for a walk around the lake to take photos.  It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been out together.  I love spending time with her.  She tells me the funniest stories of things that happened at school, or at the birthday party she just attended the night before, or whatever pops into her head.  I love that she finds her own stories funny – just like her Dad.

This shot was taken at Cultus Lake.  It is the roots and stump of a fallen tree.

I’m hungry. Is anyone else hungry?

I’m sitting in my living room, watching Tina Fey on Late Night with David Letterman and I was looking at my photos from Montreal and I saw this.  I don’t even know if the WINGS on the building is referencing hot wings or honey garlic wings or sweet chili wings but I want all of those things now and all I did was look at a photo that, I’m pretty sure, I took because I liked the look of the fire escape ladder.  Shut up, stomach.  I don’t need to feed you right now.  Especially wings, which will send me to nightmareland and my wife will make me sleep on the couch or in the basement.

Anyway, what are you hungry for?

When memory knocks on the door of the mind.

I went to Montreal in September and while there I visited the Temple de la Renommee (or Hall of Fame) in the Bell Centre.   The Bell Centre is the home of the Montreal Canadiens.  The Montreal Canadiens are a hockey team…um…they’re THE hockey team.  If you’re around my age (36) and live in Canada, you probably grew up thinking that there were two Canadian teams in the NHL – the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Oh sure, there were the Winnipeg Jets, the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Quebec Nordiques, but if you grew up like I did, there were only two real Canadian teams.  And if you liked the Canadiens, you hated the Leafs, and vice versa.

I was raised to believe that God had created the Habs (the Canadiens are nicknamed the Habs, after les Habitants, a name used for the French settlers and farmers from the 17th century) on the eighth day after he rested up.  Presumably, God needed to rest up in order to create the greatest hockey team to ever exist.  I went through a short phase of liking the Leafs, when Wendell Clark played for them.  Being a Saskatchewan boy myself, I felt it necessary to cheer for a local boy.  I think a good part of it, however, was that I needed to piss off my Dad by cheering for his nemesis.  I still loved the Habs, but needed to rebel a little.

As I sat in the theatre in the Hall of Fame at the Bell Centre, watching the history of the Habs, I relived my childhood Saturday nights watching the Habs play the early game at 4:30 on CBC.  Hockey Night in Canada.  I felt tears well up as I remembered my Dad and me sitting together in front of a tiny t.v. set watching Guy Lafleur, Bob Gainey, Guy Carbonneau, Kirk Muller, and Patrick Roy win the 1986 Stanley Cup.  I was a little overwhelmed by the whole situation – I had no idea how much I loved the Habs, how much they had been a part of my psyche until I was there, sitting in a tiny theatre watching a replay of my 12 year old memory of the Habs winning the Cup.

I called my Dad shortly afterward and we talked a little bit.  I ended up buying him a Jean Beliveau shirt – his favorite player.  I got choked up on the phone and had to cut the call short – I told him it was because I had to move on in the tour, but it was really just that memory had knocked me for a loop.  He’s leaving on a trip to Guatemala tomorrow morning, so I’ll miss watching this season with him – I’ll miss him.  I guess I’ll have to create those memories with my son this year.

The shot above was taken in the Temple and is a mask worn and signed by Ken Dryden in his first season as a Hab in 1971-2.  The marks are from pucks nailing him in the face.  I wonder if that has as much impact as a memory.


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