(mostly) daily photoblog

Archive for March, 2011

The bridge between you and me, kiddo.

The kids and I took advantage of some nice weather today and went for a walk.  My daughter was quite grumpy at me because I made her cross the bridge in the photo above.  She gave me some attitude, but it gave me some time to think about our relationship.  I love her a lot.  I’m lucky to be her Dad.  It’s easy to get into a rhythm of day-to-day routines and forget that there are two lives who depend on me to be a father, mentor, teacher and friend (and yes, in that order).  She walked away from me, off the bridge and down the path to the car and I had a momentary nightmare.  It won’t be long until she walks away from me to go to college, or get married or…well, I’d rather not theorize too much on it right now.  She’s turning ten in a week.  10.  Double digits.  Yikes!  I want to prepare her for a very large world and I also want to keep her with me and not let her grow up.  That’s a cognitive dissonance I can live with.

She’s sitting on my lap as I write this and she’s been pretty darn cuddly, so I must have done something right because she’s not grumpy with me.  I need to remind myself to cherish these moments.  Hannah sitting on my lap as I process a photo while we sing along to Dashboard Confessional‘s acoustic versions of “Alter the Ending.”  Kind of perfect just now.

Stupid, stupid internet provider.

I have been “working” with my internet provider for the better part of 20 hours and I’m now posting a photograph-less post. That should tell you how well things are going. My wife and I have been discussing our options and I think this might be the proverbial “straw.” So, I’m sorry there’s no photo, but I’m posting from my low-end Blackberry and I love it but it takes crap photos.

Anyone from BC want to offer up some advice for a Telus substitute?

See you tomorrow (fingers crossed).

I don’t want to jinx it, but I saw the sun today…

…and I’m kind of excited that Spring is nearly here.  It’s been unseasonably cold, windy and snowy here in the Canadian West.  We’ve usually had one or two shorts days already and we’re usually very passive-aggressive about how the rest of Canada should really move our way.  We tell our friends from around the rest of Canada that we’re sorry to hear they’re still under a foot or two of snow and, “Boy, we’d sure rather have that than all of our rain.”  But really, we’re happy here and we think the rest of the world would be happier if their weather was more like ours.

Turbulent literature

In eleven years of teaching, I’ve taught a good number of short stories, poems and novels.  The one piece of literature that has been the most turbulent is Catcher in the Rye.  I love this novel, but it is rife with bad language, immoral behavior and a poor, lost soul of a sixteen year old boy.  I love this novel, but it has raised the ire of parents and students alike.  Yet, I’ve also never taught a novel that had so many students saying, “I wish more novels were like this.”  Or, “I get this kid.”  Or, “Holden talks like we do in the hallway.”

It is a turbulent, controversial, lovable, offensive novel.  Man, I love this novel.

English Majors, unite!

Those of you who’ve read this blog before might have caught on to the fact that I’m a teacher, an educator.  I’ve never really spelled out, I don’t think, what it is that I teach.  I teach Student Leadership and English.  In the area of Student Leadership part, I am a teacher of 55 dedicated students who meet at 7:00 in the morning twice a week to plan events for the other thousand students in my school.  They plan dances, assemblies, pep rallies and lunchtime events like the human curling and crazy obstacle courses.

The other part of my job is spent teaching students to think critically, read critically, present knowledgeably, and write eloquently.  This is not teaching students to read, but to read better.  Not to write, but to write better.  I am qualified to teach this subject because I have an English Major in my B.A. degree.  All of that studying of literature when I was university has amounted to quite a nice little library of books in my classroom, all of which I have read.

I cannot say that I loved every one of these books – in fact, I kind of loathe a few of them.  I have quite fond memories of most of them.  Are there any in this photo that you liked?  Or hated?

I love me some nice curves…


I shot this with a used Tokina 70-210mm zoom at f3.5.  It seems that opening up the lens like that really narrows the focus area.  I like shooting with a large aperture because it seems to give the photo depth that a smaller aperture flattens.  I’ve got a 50mm f1.7 that I love (thanks, Wallace) and a 28mm f2.8 that also more than serves its purpose.  I don’t shoot a lot of zoom photos, but this landscape seemed to warrant it.

There’s something sexy about curves, even if they exist on a lowly section of railway.  The way it sweeps away from me as I shoot the photo, the way it asks me to come along with it wherever it may lead.  Mmm…curves.

“The human brain is like a railroad freight car…

…guaranteed to have a certain capacity but often running empty. ”  (Unknown)