Friday, April 29, 2016

"My Maserati does 185..."

An eye-catching Maserati parked in Victoria's Chinatown...

So sang Joe Walsh back in 1978. THIS Maserati in Victoria's Chinatown was going exactly zero MPH, but it was still generating a lot of 'ooh's and 'aah's from passersby for it's mirror-like finish. Google tells me a new car like this costs between $200,000 and $250,000.

Warm neon is reflected in the mirrored finish of this Maserati...

Personally, I can admire a car like that for a minute or two, but I would never want to own one. As this car demonstrated, there was no shortage of admirers swiping their fingers across the car's finish, or sitting on the hood to pose for photos to suggest that they owned it...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Dance Dance Revolution is cancelled

What is they threw a party and EVERYBODY came?

Last weekend, the square outside Victoria City Hall was ground zero for a non-sanctioned public party. Organized by a group or person calling themselves Dance Dance Victoria on Facebook, the call went out via social media urging people to show up for a street party. The organizers claimed to be inspired by grassroots protests, tent cities, bike rallies and similar events in nearby Vancouver. They promised DJs, fireworks, a parade...

It fizzled. Although three thousand people indicated their intention to descend on the square, in the end only about a four hundred people showed. There was no sign of the organizers who may have been scared off by warnings from the police that they could be personally liable for any damages or injuries that occurred.

No matter... the few hundred who did show up danced and sang along appreciatively to the one-man band/singer who appeared to entertain the crowd.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Purple Reign on a Manic Monday


In the last few days, the purple flowers of our rhododendrons bloomed. Like the purple lilacs that I featured here last week, they will survive for only a week or so before they wither and disappear. The large flower basket that hangs outside our front door is filled with royal purple petunias.

Today's tribute to purple is a nod to acknowledge last week's passing of musician Prince. He died at the all-too-young age of 57... the same age as me. The cause of his death has yet to be announced. 2016 is turning out to be a terrible year for the loss of my music icons.

Prince's CD soundtrack to his movie Purple Rain was a favourite of mine for years. I often belt out the title track when I'm in the sauna by myself because my singing would make doves cry.

I hope that somewhere out there the Funk Master is cruising in his Little Red Corvette and partying like it's forever 1999.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Duo (again)


Continuing with the boats theme this week, two tug boats are in very close formation off of the Victoria waterfront... Call them 'tug buddies'...   ;)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Duo

Preparing to square off on the high seas of the West Coast...

More West Coast boats...

A fishing trawler looks like it's about to engage a BC Ferries in this bow-to-bow encounter off of one of BC's Gulf Islands. In reality, they will each pass each on the left (port) side as per the "Rules of the Road" for vessels at sea.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Trio

A trio of boats tied up off Lands End in North Saanich...

On an island, you are never far away from boats of one sort or another. On a scooter trip up the Saanich peninsula north of Victoria, this threesome - an inboard, a sailboat and a catamaran - were tied up to floats off the appropriately named Lands End.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Colours and textures

Colourful lilac flowers put in a spring appearance on Vancouver Island...

In my post earlier this week, I mentioned the transitory nature of some art. In a similar fashion, the arrival of spring and warm weather on Vancouver Island is marked by the temporary appearance of cherry and apple blossoms and - in the case of our garden - the pink/purple hues of our lilac bushes.

Within a few weeks their colourful flowers and pleasant scent will be gone for another year.

The feathery stems of our sawgrass stay around all year but, in spring, once they have dried out from the winter rain, they have an almost ethereal appearance.

The feathery tops of our sawgrass blowing in a gentle breeze...



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Colour commentary

Colourful newstands offer up free reading for Victorians...

In Victoria there's no shortage of free paper to start your wood stove in the winter or your campfire in the summer.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The sincerest form of flattery...

A tribute to Alberto Vargas in chalk...

The expression 'Vargas girl' is probably familiar to anyone who either:

i. read Playboy in their youth;
ii. owned the album Candy-O by The Cars

The lushly painted pin-up girls created by Peruvian artist Alberto Vargas (1896-1982) were a feature of both.

I came across this particular recreation of his work done in chalk on a sidewalk in downtown Victoria. Unfortunately, I was unable to find anything to identify the chalk artist who produced this.

Chalk painting is a special type of art. It is much like those colourful sand mandalas painstakingly created by Buddhists monks who then promptly destroy them as a way to acknowledge the transitory nature of life.

Chalk artists create their labour of time and love knowing that their work will succumb to the elements... briefly admired and then lost forever. Unless some hack photo-blogger comes along to take a photo and write about it... ;)

Vargas girl as done by a Victoria chalk artist...



Friday, April 8, 2016

Those daring mad geniuses and their flying machines...

Mysterious flying machine from the past... or future?
Time machine? Steampunk aircraft?

I was at Victoria's waterfront Clover Point. Visitors couldn't help but notice the odd looking contraption at the top of the windy hill. It was an 8 foot high metal tripod fitted with colourful kites. Suspended in the middle was some sort of sling attached to a small sail. I couldn't figure out its purpose...how it worked. I was too intrigued not to investigate.

The sling was actually a chair swinging gently in the breeze. In the chair sat Simon.

"What is this thing?" I asked him.

"It can be whatever you want it to be," was his mysterious reply.

Simon is a true eccentric. He's a self-described inventor who assured me that he has re-invented kites, sailboats, and binoculars among other things. He also described a complicated boom-mounted flying machine of his own design, although he doesn't have an actual working model.

He's the most hated man on earth because his revolutionary inventions are a threat to the status quo. Some would like to see him killed.

His understanding of aerodynamics and Newton's Law of Inertia was shaky. As it turned out, his tripod sling didn't actually do anything but let him sway around in the breeze a bit. In the end it was just a fancy, but expensive, hammock.

Simon would have cheerfully filled my time forever with his random thoughts so I shoehorned in an exit and said my goodbyes.

Still who's to say there wasn't a germ of truth in Simon's ramblings? Many geniuses go unrecognized in their time. Perhaps one day we'll all be wheeling about in our flying booms watching the world spin by through our revolutionary binoculars.

Simon, the enigmatic inventor...
A man before his time?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

One bridge / Two bridge / New bridge / Blue Bridge

Replace the Blue Bridge?
How many reasons not to?
Thirty million!
If it's hard to figure this photo out, what you are looking at is the eventual replacement for Victoria's iconic Johnson St. bridge, a.k.a. The Blue Bridge.

The original bridge -- seen here in the background -- was designed by Joseph Strauss who later went on to design San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge.

As a result of its distinct appearance and heritage status, a long, bitter war was waged by local politicians and the public to save/replace it. In the end, the decision was made to replace it.

The new bridge is already two years overdue and about 30 million dollars -- or 50 percent -- over budget and it looks likely that more cost increases are on the horizon. That all said, the replacement bridge will look very impressive if/when it is complete.

You can follow the development of the new bridge via a webcam hosted by the City of Victoria.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Magic Monday: Trial Island


Trial Island is located off Oak Bay on Vancouver Island. It is barren except for sea lions and its functioning lighthouse which is manned by two full time staff.

Briefly, a couple of years ago, it was home to a lone wolf which swam ashore from nearby Discovery Island.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Philosophical Friday: The things you own...

Sunset off Vancouver Island's west coast...

Ever see a car commercial? Typically, it shows some guy, or maybe a couple with beaming smiles, as their car races through wide open desert vistas, mountain landscapes, seaside scenery, or brightly lit city streets.

There is never any other traffic in this bizarre alternate universe... just this one car and these people with crazy smiles enjoying this amazing driving experience in their luxury car.

The reality though is that a real-world owner of this car is more likely to find him or herself lurching from red light to red light, idling in a sea of exhaust fumes, twice a day as they commute to and from work. Depending on where they live, they may spend up to four hours daily repeating this soul-crushing experience for 48 weeks a year, five days or more a week... all so they can earn the money to buy the car that they are in and all the creature comforts of a First World existence.

I once saw a documentary about these insects -- I think they were some sort of Mayfly -- that hatch from eggs and then take flight. They live for only 24 hours, just enough time to find a mate before they die. At the time I was bemused by the emptiness of their existence... living just long enough to mindlessly reproduce with no time to actually enjoy the experience of life.

Yet, is it any different for many of us who mindlessly burn through our four score years of life on earth in pursuit of money to buy possessions and "things"?