(mostly) daily photoblog

Archive for January, 2012

I’m a little late…

…on Photo Friday’s Challenge this week, but I was having trouble finding anything that met the topic of “Greenery“.

This was taken quite some time ago, May I think, but I think it might be green enough to meet the challenge.  It was taken at Cultus Lake, above it, in fact, on the Seven Sisters Trail.  The “Seven Sisters” are seven old growth giant Douglas Fir trees.  They are impressive.  If you ever get out to Cultus Lake, BC, they’re well worth the walk.

I love the “vanishing point”.

It’s amazing how perspective turns two parallel lines into converging lines.


Happy Birthday to me!

“This is the last time I let Robin choose my mode of transportation.  I guess it’s payback for all those years in green tights.”

It was my birthday today and my family, who loves me so much, got me a Batman Lego set.  I stole the bike from another one of my son’s sets of Lego.  Wouldn’t you love to see Batman on a mountain bike?

Holey Moley!

Lame pun?  Check.

Giant concrete supports?  Check.

Cool underground circles?  Check.

Photo of cool graffiti?   Check.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Hopes spring eternal

I was texting my wife while my feet were up on my desk in my office at work.  She asked me how my day was going.  I believe I answered something like, “Craptastic.”  She asked why and I explained that there had been a snafu regarding thirty of my English 11 exams and that there was a steady stream of other craptacular things happening.  She suggested I do something about this, and I answered her, in a text, with the following:

“The past cannot be undone. Only through how we handle the present will we show our true character. Whether we help those in front of us, deal with the situation we are currently facing – these are the things that determine our direction for the future.”

And isn’t that what hope is?  Believing that the outcome of present circumstances will be positive.  So don’t dwell on the past.  Don’t spend your day dreaming of the future.  Believe that your circumstances will turn out positively and then put your hope into action.

And then?  Put your feet up.

WordPress’ Photo Challenge this week is “Hope“.

Zombie Triptych

Kris (a friend and colleague) and I went trekking through the mud Monday to check out the recent renovations at our local graffiti venue.  The zombies are definitely a new(ish) addition to the area.  I posted a photo of the largest portion of the triptych on Monday, but after looking at all the photos, I thought it might be fun, morbid fun, to put them all together.

It’s certainly not something I’d hang on my wall at home, but I think it’s creepy cool.


…LESEN…and whatever else it says on the left side there.

I don’t know what “TIO” and “ETC” means, but I like this piece.  I stitched this together from about eight photos.  Here’s the odd part:  I didn’t notice the background to this piece until I saw it through my lens.  It’s so weird that the skulls were completely hidden to my naked eye, but, through the lens, the background stood out.

I feel like this might look like an exercise in PhotoShop skills, seeing as I’ve given you nothing to anchor this as a graffiti piece on a concrete wall, but I hope you like it anyway.  Someone took his time putting it up – I’m just publicizing it.

Family portrait?

Ooh…pretty, aren’t they?

They look like they’re hungry.

Making waves

This is a local coffee shop, about a kilometer from my house, that serves the spiciest chai tea lattes.  Apparently, they serve coffee, but I hate coffee so I cannot comment on the quality of the java.

I was on my way home from picking up medications for my son – he just had his tonsils and adenoids out today – and I spotted this pretty little scene.

By the way, the red sign in the background is Maru Sushi.  It’s a great spot in south Chilliwack (Sardis) for really great sushi.  I don’t like them, but my daughter loves the palm-sized California Rolls.  Their salmon rolls are awesome.

What should I do with a bag I don’t use?

I bought a shoulder bag from Old Navy years ago and it’s been sitting in my closet.  I found it while cleaning and decided that, seeing as I wasn’t using it anyway, I’d modify it and stencil a little something on it.  It’s a nice bag, but I’d nearly forgotten I had it.

I admit that I have a little problem when it comes to three things:  bags, jackets and shoes.

I buy shoes very rarely, but I’m very specific.  I buy shoes that I know will last many years.  My Doc Martens have been around for more than five years.  I have one pair of Converse All-Stars, but they’re Batman shoes (the DC Comics release last summer).  I’m pretty picky.

I love a good coat, but most of them serve both a fashion and practical purpose.

But bags?  I’ve got backpacks – a couple of different daypacks and I still have the first Mountain Equipment Co-op backpack I ever bought.  I’ve got a 100 liter duffle bag that my wife once climbed into.  I’ve got a laptop briefcase and a laptop backpack and two different camera bags – one to hold all of my gear and a smaller bag that’ll hold my camera and an extra lens.  And then there’s the…well, I think that’s enough.

I guess my other problem is that once I’ve got a good bag, pair of shoes or jacket, I’ll never let it go.  Why get rid of it if it works?  I’ve learned that if I’m not using it, I should get crafty and change it and then I’m suddenly more interested in using it.

Oh, and yes, that is Boba Fett.   I guess Star Wars would be my fourth “problem”.

Photo Friday: Pristine

My entire world has just drastically changed, literally speaking.  The snow that has shut down my city for the last four days just turned to freezing rain.  The temperature in the clouds is warm enough to be raining, but the temperature on the ground is four degrees below zero. What that means is that everything is coated in a thick layer of ice.  I snapped this in my driveway because I liked the way the light was playing off the ice coating my car.  Also because I have no desire to drive anywhere until the temperature heads north of zero.

What is beautiful, however, is how the entire visible world outside my window has this unbroken, unsullied, pristine shininess.  So shiny…

WordPress Photo Challenge: Simple

Nothing simpler than a photo of a reflection.

Silhouette study: tree

It was around 10 below zero tonight and I had no desire to be outside any longer than I needed to and then the sky presented the silhouette of this tree.  It is situated across the street from my house and it tempts me regularly.  It’s like it keeps saying, “Photograph me.”

So, tonight I granted the tree its wish.

It seems I’ve gone back to the Prairies

I grew up in Saskatchewan.  Well, until I was fourteen, that is.  I lived on a farm outside of a village called Osler, about 35 kilometers north of Saskatoon.  The landscape is as flat as you can imagine and the snowdrifts are colossal.

The drive home, yesterday, was not horrible, but certainly reminded me of my youthful days.  The mountains disappeared behind a wall of snow and the prairie came alive in front of me.  I even managed to get a photo of a pickup truck – the official vehicle of the Saskatchewan farm.

Driving in the Fraser Valley is less than ideal.

This is what it looked like to drive to work this morning.  My school, and district, had a snow day but the teachers did not have the day off, so off I went.  My friend and colleague, Kris, and I drove to work in his truck.  It was kind of nice, if treacherous.  I’m not looking forward to going to school tomorrow as the weather and roads haven’t really changed, but I guess I’ll wait and see how everything turns out.

On the way home, we were treated to the undercarriage of a semi-truck and an overturned Ford Explorer.  The safety gear stood out nicely against the snow.

How’s the winter driving for you?  I hope it’s better than this.

Who’s the fairest of them all?

Snow White, of course.

It’s been snowing here all day and I love how white everything is.  It certainly appeals to the high-contrast aesthetic I so enjoy. As someone who has some red-green color deficiencies (not color blind, but seriously deficient), the snow turns the world into a black and white and grey paradise.  I love how, as I look out my living room window right now, I see children in the distance sledding on the park hill and the entire scene is devoid of color.  Just dark figures moving on white background.

So, hooray for black and white!  Hooray for snow days!  Hooray for contrast!  (alright, the last one was a bit lame)

I know it’s Sunday, but here’s the Photo Friday challenge: Cloudy

The snow that fell on Friday and Saturday has some very nice side effects.  The fields are full of snow (in Chilliwack, anyway).  The side roads are nearly impassable, thereby curtailing any errand-running outside of the necessities.  And…the mountains have taken on a Tolkien-esque quality that is majestic and forbidding at the same time.

The best part of the photo above (truthfully, a panorama made up of three separate photos) are the clouds.  They are beautiful and terrifying – full of possibly treacherous precipitation.  I guess we’ll see.

You can find the rest of Photo Friday’s challenge for Cloudy here.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Peaceful

It started snowing last night.  By the morning, the world around my house was white and snowy and full of gleeful children’s voices sliding down our neighborhood sledding hill.  But last night?

Last night, the world got quiet.  The poet David Berman has a line in his poem Snow that goes like this:  “Our voices hung close in the new acoustics.”  There is a closeness, a quietness, a peacefulness about a snowy night.  The whole world goes quiet.

Thanks to WordPress Photo Challenge for the topic this week:  Peaceful.

Late night cows…

Yep.  That’s what they are.

I know this is a little late, but I forgot to schedule it and I was out watching Junior A hockey.  My son won tickets to our local hockey team’s game tonight, so we went to watch them pull off a great win.  Way to go, Chiefs!

Anyway.  Here are some cows in some strange lighting.

And now…the sunset

Yesterday, I posted a photo of the sunrise.

Tonight’s post is of the sunset that closed out the day yesterday.  Nature cooperated so beautifully yesterday with me yesterday.


Why I always pack my camera with me.

This is what was in my rearview mirror as I was on my way to work this morning.  Just a nice January sunrise.  I can handle seeing this on my way in.

This old house

is old and not very symmetrical.

I used to teach a course called Theory of Knowledge.  During this course, students have to look at the hardest thing to see – things they’ve taken for granted.  The obvious things in front of their faces.  One of my favorite parts of the course was esthetics.  There was little more entertaining than questioning the ideas of beauty, but also the widely held, completely non-critical idioms of our culture.  Let’s try, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

In the case of the photo above, the most beautiful aspects are the fact that the hedge is in line with the bottom line of the porch, right below the bannister.  I also like the matching windows on either side of the middle of the house, both upper and lower levels.

What takes away from this house’s beauty is the fact that the front door and the upper porch door are offset from center.  Symmetry makes something beautiful.  The other thing that really bothers me is that the lines of the house are shifting, probably due to the age of the house.  I struggled to straighten the photo – played with cropping the photo – but realized, after a couple of minutes, that the lines of the house are not straight.  The upper porch roofline is sagging and kept throwing off my eye.

Don’t get me wrong – I like the tension that creates.  I also love old things and the shifting and off-center doors are a sign of the age of the house.  Age can be beautiful.  I do, however, think that there are certain rules about beauty, certain criteria to what is beautiful.  Symmetry is one.

What are your criteria?  And don’t be all politically correct.  Be truthful.

Thanks, Jamie Oliver.

I’m a huge fan of all things Jamie Oliver.  The cook books and recipes.  The Christmas specials on Food Network.  The way he gently cusses when he gets something just right.  His genuine and sincere love of herbs and garlic and chilis and potatoes and…well…all food.

Last night, I made “Jools’ Pregnant Pasta” (photo above) from Meals in Minutes.  It tasted great.  I used Farmer sausage and still don’t have a food processor so it was chunkier than it might have been, but it was good.  Adding a serrano pepper really added some nice heat and flavor through the dish.  I don’t know that my daughter loved it, but it was probably the best pasta I’ve made.

It needs a little work…

Actually, I think it needs a lot of work.

Actually…I don’t think it’ll ever run again.

It is beautiful, in a twisted, rusty, never work again kind of way.


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