Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cages

Sometimes we're afraid to fly, even when the way is clear...
Sometimes we're afraid to fly,
even when the way is clear...
Everybody finds themselves in unhappy or abusive situations at some point in their lives. Too often fear of the unknown keeps us from 'flying the coop'... we would rather live in our self-imposed cages.

If you don't take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves, you'll never know what it's like to fly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

View from the Top of VI

Views of the top of Vancouver Island...
On top of the clouds...
A view from the top of the ski run at Mt Washington...

Recently Vancouver Island and coastal BC were victims of The Pineapple Express. The unseasonally warm temperatures and rain associated with the Express has been wreaking havoc on ski resorts throughout Vancouver Island and the lower mainland of BC.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wayback Wednesday: Canadian Gojira

A 90-foot high dino sculpture looks out over Drumheller, AB...
90 feet of rampaging dino!
Our family visited the Alberta Badlands and the community of Drumheller in 2003. Drumheller is famous for its dinosaur museum.
Overlooking the town is this 90-foot high dino sculpture, billed as the largest in the world. In the mouth of the dino is an observation deck capable of holding about a dozen people... just to give you some idea of how many people this critter would be capable of swallowing in one bite.

And if the name 'Gojira' means anything to you... congratulations. You are a movie nerd of the first order...  :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kids Wanna Rock

Bryan Adams serenades his Victoria fans...
Everywhere he goes, kids wanna rock...
Bryan Adams is probably Canada's most well-known rock star with a career that stretches back over thirty years. I wasn't a huge fan of his guitar-driven rock which I always found rather bland.

At his recent appearance in Victoria though he turned in one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Despite all the 'BAY-BEE!'s and the obligatory 'YE-AH!'s that seem to make up a good part of his lyrics, in concert, his classic songs sound more raw than the studio versions and that was a good thing.

However, I was more impressed with his more mellow, acoustic songs... he managed to make an arena with 10,000 people sound intimate.

I note that he DID NOT sing his classy song "I Wanna Be Your Underwear"... possibly because he'd be screaming it straight at his 80-something-year-old mom sitting in the front row. EWWWW!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wayback Wednesday: Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines

Sculpture in an Edmonton movie theatre, 2005...
Steampunk wing suit flyer...
2005. Seen in the lobby of the movie theatres of West Edmonton mall...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pristine

Wintery scene along Highway 99...
Pristine snow on the lake...
A snow-capped peak overlooks the freshly minted snow of a frozen lake along Highway 99 of BC...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It just looks like an optical illusion...

Once upon a time in the west...
Tiny town...
This boarded up frontier structure is a bit of an optical illusion. It's actually only about seven feet high, part of a miniature faux western ghost town attraction not far from Kamloops, BC.

The bare hills around Kamploops are reminiscent of the terrain associated with South Dakota and parts of the the American West. In fact, this photo was taken in the middle of winter and only twenty minutes earlier we had been driving through a snow covered landscape.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Reverie

The sun shining through frost covered branches near Wabamun, AB...
An abstract of sun, snow and trees...
I have a dilemma. Periodically, I Photoshop a photo to make it more interesting. At some point though it stops being a photo and becomes something more akin to art. Maybe not good art, but art nonetheless.

So how do I describe these entries? They are so far removed from their origins as a photo of a particular place and time that any description is irrelevant.

For example, this started as a photo of early morning sun shining through the frost covered branches near Wabamun, Alberta. But what is it now?

Ideas?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wayback Wednesday: Roland Lapierre

Roland Lapierre's boat at anchor in the Gorge waterway, Victoria, BC...
Roland Lapierre's original floating shelter...
Today's image dates back to 2006. At that time a local homeless man, Roland Lapierre, came up with an innovative solution to his housing situation. He built himself a houseboat using a combination of purchased plumbing supplies, donated supplies and stuff he was able to scrounge.

His design was simple. Using lengths of plastic plumbing lashed together, Lapierre built a simple catamaran. The 'accommodations portion' of the boat was a re-purposed trampoline and frame with a donated tent on it. Long oars allowed him to move the boat around. What was impressive was that the design was totally Lapierre's, based on conversations he had with local boat owners.

He anchored it off Vic West in the waterway known as the Gorge. Unfortunately he was eventually evicted by the city of Victoria after complaints from local homeowners. The second unfortunate effect of his waterfront residency is that he opened the floodgates to a whole slew of decrepit boats that followed his example and anchored off the same shoreline. These boats are still here in Victoria to this day although steps are underway to remove them.

What become of Roland? His story had a happy ending... He had a family back east that had lost track of him. When his story and photos appeared across Canada, they recognized him and re-connected with him. He eventually moved back east to be with them.

Details of Roland Lapierre's homemade catamaran
A contraption of plumbing and trampoline parts...



Sunday, January 4, 2015

Big Country

First view of the Rockies in Alberta...
In a big country
dreams stay with you
like a lover's voice
--Big Country

The Rockies are typically synonymous with the province of British Columbia. However, a good portion of them spill over into neighbouring Alberta. In fact, these mountains are much more dramatic looking than those to the west. They are sharper, more angular...

Even though I have lived among mountains for over three decades now, the sight of these peaks seen in the clear light of morning still took my breath away as I was recently driving west from Calgary.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Moose on the loose

Happy New Year!
Female moose in northern BC...
A curious moose gives us a glance...
 My wife and I spent the Christmas holidays on a nine day road trip through the provinces of BC and Alberta to see assorted relatives.

On the way up to the isolated community of Tumbler Ridge we encountered this female moose. She appeared unfazed by the -17 C temperatures. She was curious enough to stop and watch as we stopped the van and stepped outside to take a photo.

Female moose near Tumbler Ridge, BC...
Still no fear...
She wasn't the only wildlife we saw on the trip. Close to Kamloops, BC we saw a wolf in the early hours of morning. No photo sadly as it was moving at a good trot away from the highway. :(