burt

Filler

 blurb, rant  Comments Off
Oct 222013
 

Holy crap, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I blame lack of finish. I have several blog posts in the draft bin, but so far none of those have found the finish line. Tonight I vow to finish a post. Not sure what I’m about to ramble about, but I’m about to ramble.

I’m back in Alberta for a few weeks. I have this week off, and then I’m going into the office for a week to help get things ready for the winter season. It’s nice to be back in big sky country for a short while. I missed the wide open skies and the Alberta gas prices…but now I’m missing my beach house on the coast even more.

It would have been nice to have actually flown here. I have to drive because I have a 100 lb German Shepherd with a special disposition, one that requires me to not leave him with anyone for extended periods. I probably could, but I don’t, so I drove the ten hours plus ferry trip. It was actually a fun trip. I took an afternoon ferry and got onto the mainland (at Tsawwassen) at around 5:20PM. Then it took we forever to get out of Vancouver, but once I did, I drove as far as Revelstoke, where I crawled into a sleeping bag at around 1:30AM. I could have made Golden easy enough, but the fog on the highway was making the driving a little sketchy. The roads were empty enough, but the fog made it hard to see if there were large things like elk or moose crossing the highway, so I bailed on the drive at Revelstoke. And wow, I was amazed at the bands of teenagers roaming around Revelstoke at 1AM. They were everywhere, that small part of town on the highway was swarming with troublemakers. I ended up going back down the highway a little to find a peaceful place to sleep. That fog was creepy for camping, but I slept like a baby.

And speaking of Vancouver, It’s a nice enough city…and I know it gets rated one of the best places on the planet to live, but I would not want to live there. The traffic in that town is freakn’ insane. It’s a total gong show. I thought Calgary traffic was bad, but it is nothing compared to Vancouver traffic. I suppose if you lived downtown, and you worked downtown, and you walked to work and never left the core, it would be an awesome place to live. But if you need to move about on a regular basis, I say living in Vancouver would suck ass, even if you had the $800k for a house. Just sayn’!

Anyway, if I could have flown, I would have flown. It would have taken me less time to leave my house, drive to the Comox airport, check in and board a plane, and then fly to Calgary, than it would to depart the plane in Calgary, and then drive to my Mom’s condo in the south end. That would have been the way to go. But I drove here, and I will have to drive back in a few weeks too. And I doubt there will be a camping stop on the return trip!  I don’t think the passenger I’ll have with me  (for the return trip) will want to sleep in my awesome canopy converted to camper with me and my dog on the side of the highway somewhere. I see a hotel in my future.

But being back in Alberta is okay, I went around to the old house and I didn’t feel any regrets about selling it. I went to see a few friends to say hi, and answer the same questions over and over. I even went to my old haunt Starbucks…to pay 21 cents more for the same coffee I get from my Starbucks back in the valley. I even told the bartista my theory about Alberta’s hidden oil and gas tax. He was intrigued, once I showed him my Starbucks App to prove the differences in prices for the same items…but I think I already ranted about this in a previous post. :)

So anyway, I’m here for a few weeks. I hope to see more friends, spend some money without the added PST, and generally say goodbye to the prairies for a while. I like to visit here, but I don’t ever want to live here again, well not in Calgary anyway. But hey, at least the prairie vibe got me to post something onto my blog. Even if it was just a silly little rant. Baby steps I say…baby steps.

 Posted by at 10:47 pm

YouTube sucks now!

 just sayn', rant  Comments Off
Oct 132013
 

Okay, so not just YouTube, but all streaming video these days. Why do I need to watch an advertisement before I can watch any freakn’ video stream? This is so annoying. It’s gotten to the point where I will often pass on watching something, just because there is an advertisement. YouTube is the worst, and it used to be such a good site. They still have loads of good content, but their policy sucks. Unfortunately I watch a lot of tutorials and gear reviews on their site. Here’s to hoping there is an alternative in the works!

 Posted by at 2:40 pm

Bent Over

 just sayn', not my photo, rant  Comments Off
Sep 272013
 

ben-johnson_999616c

Remember this guy? Of course you do, you also remember where you were when he won gold in the 100. It’s up there with remembering where you were for 911, or when the first shuttle blew up. I had the unfortunate experience of watching it in a hospital in Ottawa, with my Dad in a bed nearby, but I remember the race like it was yesterday. Nine seven nine baby!

And I don’t care what anybody says, he was still the fastest f#cker on the planet. Those wimps behind him were still running while Ben did his victory lap with the flag. And what about those guys? Turns out, years later, we now know the entire field was tainted by performance enhancers…but their associations stood up for them. Meanwhile Ben gets the shaft. Loses his medal to Carl ‘my head and jaw doubled in size in a year’ Lewis? Ben gets worse treatment than most criminals. I’m sure there have been murderers convicted and released from their sentences in the years since Ben got caught. I bet these same murderers have blended back into society too. Yet Ben is still the bad guy! The name always associated with doping in sports! What a load of crap. Ben was the man in a level playing field…it’s time we let Ben stand up and be recognized as such. It’s time to return his medal too. Just sayn’!

Sep 192013
 

Damn, my blog is broken. Somehow I’ve lost the Twitter and Facebook buttons in the latest software update. I can’t be bothered finding out why because I’m about to change the entire appearance. I’m thinking this weekend is when I’ll start on the new look. It is going to rain here so it will be a good thing to to work on.

Also, hope you like spiders…there are currently millions of them in the area, mostly orb weavers I think. I plan on doing a full on spider shoot but I need a calm day. It’s amazing how hard it is to shoot spiders on a web when there is even the slightest breeze…especially when zoomed in tight with a macro lens. I’ve been trying, but so far with mixed results.

 Posted by at 10:15 am

WTF!!

 blurb, just sayn', not my photo, photo, rant  Comments Off
Sep 062013
 
Über Douchebag!

WTF!

I took down my letter to trophy hunters…it was a little too like my old blog. I used to rant a lot over there (Iraq war era…lib alert) and I didn’t want to do that here. There are over six billion people on this spinning rock, people will do what humans do, whether I agree with it or not. I just don’t get why people want to kill a cool animal in the wild, especially if they don’t need the  food. We humans are like bacteria on a piece of cheese, given enough time, we’ll devour and destroy the whole thing.

My old man used to say opinions were like assholes, I think what he meant was – I’m an asshole…because of my opinions. haha

Anyway, I’d way rather lay off on the negative posts, as fun as they can get. I was riled up from listening to the topic on talk radio all day. I do think trophy hunting should he eliminated, and if not, at least limited to bow hunters only. There are precious few hunters who would go after a west coast grizzly with just a bow. No more than I’d go after one with a camera. :)

 

Truck and Stars

 blurb, photo  Comments Off
Sep 012013
 

truck-stars

Before I packed up tonight, I figured I’d try to get some cool shots with my truck in the foreground. The idea was to acquire a shot I could send to a friend (he practically has the same truck as me) and also to my cousin, mainly because he’s a Ford guy! :)

I think this one has potential. I notice the image looks fairly dark on one of my monitors, but just right on the other (suppose it’s time to upgrade monitors ;) ) I think I can improve the image once I get some processing done in Photoshop. I did some basic stuff in LR, but I hope there is still a lot more I can do.

I took several images at all my setups from tonight. I also collected a set of dark frames with each set (I hope to use these to subtract as much CCD noise as I can). I’ll try to stack and align multiple images – to add up the light captured over the multiple shots (astrophoto 101).  Once I do this, and hopefully with a decent shot, I’ll try to reduce the light pollution as much as possible. Hopefully I can add some punch to the milky way…and make it a worthy shot.

It looks okay on the iPhone but crap on FB. I won’t upload it unless I can produce a better version.

It should be noted that the image will never REALLY be any good because it has a Chevy in the picture! It reminds me that I don’t, at present, own a Jeep!! :(

I guess this the before shot. :)

Hoping to get out again tomorrow night and try something similar.

Jari!

 blurb, my photos  Comments Off
Aug 202013
 

jari_0820

About a month ago we had this guy scheduled in for his final vet visit, ya, that’s what I mean. He’d been having this chronic skin issue and no matter what we did, it would not seem to improve. Basically his skin would become irritated and then scab up. Since this flare up occurred on either side his rump, it meant he couldn’t sit anywhere but on his beds and blankets, which we basically had to wash every other day. It was hard on us, and hard on him. He was getting a complex from us trying to make him hang out on his beds and nowhere else. Because the area was getting infected, he would want at it, which meant either the cone or boxer shorts (on backwards with tail through the pecker hole). With fur in the area, the sores would get matted into clumps and then the sores would get no air, and the smell wasn’t great either. It was impossible to keep the areas clean, and over time he was getting sick of us paying the areas any attention at all.

It was a real nightmare. We had to eventually take him in to get the area shaved, so the area could be cleaned and then hopefully stay clean. The first time we took him in for a shave it took two assistants to hold him still while the vet did the shaving. He was not impressed, and you can imagine how he liked going into that vet’s office after that. In all we had him shaved three times. The last two times required putting the poor bastard under…which of course in expensive. And of course my vet insisted we pay for blood work to ensure he could go under. So he was basically getting five hundred dollar haircuts. And really, they weren’t addressing the cause.

In hindsight, our regular vet we used back in Alberta was of little or no help. She was forever selling us on different meds and procedures. We were literally throwing thousands of dollars at an issue we had no idea how to handle. I don’t mind spending money on my buddy, but not at guess work, and not to just help some vet pay off her student loans. She spun us some good yarns, and used all her veterinary school terminology. She continuously tried to baffle us with all her knowledge, but looking back, I realize she had no clue, and to make matters worse, she had no game plan to try and come up with a solution. We tried pushing the food allergy idea onto the table, but this vet would ignore the possibility in favor of selling us on another pill. Every time we left the place we were holding a handful of antibiotics…and some faint hope that this version of a pill would actually work.

On our last such visit, this vet decided it was time to try steroids. When I asked how she had come up with this approach she implied we had tried everything else. I was pissed. I had just paid over five hundred dollars to have the area shaved (again) and this was the last straw. I decided on the spot that if this last shaving didn’t help the area to heal up, we were going to have to consider that maybe old Jari was never going to be the healthy dog he  always had been. We were giving it a set time and then we were going to consider the end game.

I know, I know. At this point it seems obvious that getting a second opinion should be the plan, and looking back it was obvious. But at the time we were convinced this veterinarian was top notch, it was hindsight that let us know otherwise. :(

So it didn’t heal, and Jari wasn’t getting any less stressed about it. After a tough week of discussing it, we decided to make the appointment for when I was back in Alberta for a few weeks. Of course this vet never questioned our decision. There was no push back at all, just another service she sells.

But it just didn’t feel right. Jari clearly was still an active dog with lots of life left in him. And I could not seem to accept the idea that this vet, who had done nothing but take our money, and who seemed to talk the talk but couldn’t back up the talk, was going to be the one there at the end for Jari. No way! I couldn’t take him in there, knowing how scared and stressed he was going in there, and then let his last moments be that way and around her! I could not do that to Jari, and I did not want this vet every touching my dog again.

So we cancelled. I decided to ignore the opinions saying this vet was highly regarded and the best around. I decided to try a new vet when I got back to Vancouver Island, and that is what I did.

Jari’s new vet experience was really positive. He didn’t seem to mind going into this new clinic…a total reversal from the anxiety he had always shown whenever he went near the one back in Okotoks. The examination room was big and roomy, and when the vet came in she ignored Jari and gave him his space. We sat and talked about his skin issues and we had a long discussion about pet foods and what he had been eating recently and in his past. After Jari checked out this new vet he was able to relax. Within a few minutes he was laying at me feet, yawning and staring out the window.

After a while the vet did look at Jari, but on Jari’s terms. In the end she recommended a completely different antibiotic along with a special shampoo treatment. From the day we started on the new antibiotics and shampoo, Jari has improved every day. The skin is healing up, and the fur is growing back in where it had fallen out in patches before.

I’m so happy we cancelled that appointment. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been my usual winger out on the trails tonight, and he wouldn’t have been there to pose for the picture above. :)

My UFO

 blurb  Comments Off
Aug 112013
 

I’m a pretty skeptical guy. I know I know, if you knew me back in the day, there was a brief time where I was kind of a Sasquatch proponent. Okay, maybe it wasn’t such a brief time, but hey, I was younger and naive. I’m much better now. I no longer believe that nonsense. The Sasquatch is such an obvious myth. And I’m making up for that one anyway, I’m a much despised skeptic on the Bigfoot Forums. I suppose it’s kinda like being an ex-smoker, they often tend to be far more annoying than the actual smoker!

But anyway, that Sasquatch stuff is really embarrassing, so lets just leave that little phase of mine in the deep dark past where it belongs. Today I’m here to talk a little about UFOs.

I have to admit up front that I do in fact believe there is something alien about the UFO phenomenon. And I also I have to say that I’ve seen what I think was a UFO, and based on what I witnessed, there is almost no way I can accept that it was anything but some otherworldly craft. That is unless we humans have some highly secret and super advanced technology we haven’t trotted out yet, and it was available twenty-five years ago, and buzzing around the rooftops of SW Calgary. But I think that’s less likely than my own explanation. So yes, I am a UFO witness.

Before I go on and explain what I saw, I have to state up front, that even though I am a proponent of the whole UFO phenomenon today, I wasn’t in the eighties. And I still think 90% of the sightings people claim are explainable, or just plain bullshit. But of course my sighting was real, I know it, I saw what I saw, and no manner of questioning or pointed suggestion will make me waver. And I know it’s often impossible for others to accept what someone else claims they’ve experienced, that’s just the nature of being skeptical, like me, I may skeptical of what you saw, but I know what I saw, and it’s time for me to put it out there, so here’s my story – and I’m sticking to it!

Back in the mid-eighties I lived in a community on the edge of SW Calgary. That community has since been completely swallowed up by the city, but at the time I lived there, it was still on the edge of town. Our family lived in a new house in a new subdivision, we had a two story bungalow and it was a decent little neighborhood. One feature that seemed to be common in new houses back then were balconies off the master bedrooms. I think it was supposed to be like a fancy little addition or something, but for me it just meant easier access onto the roof. By starting from the back deck, I was able to scale onto the balcony of my parents bedroom (without waking them I’m pretty sure), and from there ease myself up onto the roof of the house without too much effort or climbing skill. And from what I recall, and I did this quite often.

As an aside, I once came home a little less than sober, and since my father’s name was Romeo, I proceeded to serenade up to the balcony from the yard below with ‘Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou Romeo…” I don’t think my Dad thought it was too funny at that particular moment in the middle of the night, like I did, but he did laugh about it the next day. :)

Anyway, on this night, I remember being dropped off by a friend and not really wanting to go into the house just yet (yes, I was completely sober). In those days, like most people, we didn’t have a TV in every room like people tend to today, at least that’s not how we rolled, so I imagine I’d have expected my brother to be well in control of the switch box by the time I got into the TV room, so I’m guessing the roof seemed a better option. And it’s not like we had the Internet back then, this was pre-Internet, a dude had to occupy himself somehow. So , for whatever the reason, and as I often did, rather than go into the house to be bored, I went up to the roof to be bored.

Once I’d get onto the roof, I’d would usually just lay on my back, in the fold where the roof line changed directions. I remember occasions were I’d get spotted up there by some neighbor and then there’d soon be several sets of eyes on me, wondering what the halftard was doing on the roof in the dark. So I would generally just lay low and gaze up at the stars, trying not to attract too much, from either neighbors or my folks below. And the odd time I could even doze off up there, it was a pretty sweet little perch. And being on the edge of town like we were, you could actually make out the sky pretty nicely. I enjoyed staring up at the stars back then, just like I do today.

So anyway, that’s where it happened. I heard it first, which is weird to say because it actually made almost no noise at all. What I heard was the whistle of wind as it basically glided right over my head. There was no hum or engine noise, just the sound of rushing air as it passed over.  It was a large black triangle shaped shadow passing overhead. I remember thinking hang glider at the time because of the shape. It had no visible lights of any kind. It was big but it wasn’t  huge. And while it was hard to gauge it’s actual size, it seemed to be about the size of my house and the houses on either side combined as it went over. The object definitely covered all three houses as it moved over. And I know it was close because I could hear the airflow as it flew over. It seemed to be no more than a few hundred feet above my head.  It traveled in a straight line from west to east,  and it made no obvious change in speed or direction during the brief time it was visible. I was able to see it for about seven to ten seconds before it was gone, disappearing slowly over the rooftops to the east.

My first thought at the time, and I remember this clearly, was it’s the cable company cruising over houses to see if anyone was stealing cable. Stupid I know, but that’s what I actually thought at that moment. The next thing I remember was thinking  how it actually flew directly over my position. It made me think it had spotted me and intentionally flew over me. That kinda freaked me out for a bit, even though today that idea seems as ridiculous as the notion that the cable company had some secret aircraft to spy out for cable parasites.

So there you go, that’s my sighting. This was in the fall of 1987. It’s important for me to note that I was not into UFOs back then, nor have I been since. And while I now know these black triangles represent a large subset of UFO sightings today, at the time of my sighting, I had never heard of the black triangle type craft.

It wasn’t until the Internet went mainstream that I figured out the type of craft I saw was widely known. In fact, when I found out the black triangle UFO was quite common, I felt slightly vindicated. Knowing that exactly what I had experienced…a slow moving, low flying, black triangle, with no noise, and very often no lights, was very similar to hundreds and thousands sightings from all around the world, and this is continuing today. That was too much of a coincidence for me, especially since it was not until years later that I was able to put this all together.

Anyway, so after my roof sighting, I don’t remember making it a point to tell a lot of people. I know I told my brother and a few friends. But I don’t think it took me long to figure out it isn’t all that beneficial to brag about seeing a UFO, even to friends. And I don’t even think I told my parents, and if I did, they didn’t take me too seriously. I think when I mentioned it to my Mother just a few years ago, she was hearing about it for the very first time. Though she does remember my Shakespeare recital. :)

At some point over the years I submitted my sighting to the MUFON website and maybe one other. I’ve since always been intrigued with the black triangle UFO thing, duh, why wouldn’t I be!? But really, I don’t make any noise about it. It is what it is. Most people wouldn’t believe me any more than I’d expect. It’s one of those things you need to experience for yourself I guess. I feel lucky I have my experience, I would love to see one again. It’s good to have some sense of wonder. Not about Bigfoot or anything silly like that, but about black triangle shaped UFOs. You know, things we know are out there, because I saw what I saw. :)

Aug 052013
 

Is it just me, or are people losing interest in watching the UFC? I guess if I look around at the people I know, those who follow the MMA juggernaut (and I know, it is a relatively small sample size) I’ve definitely seen a noticeable drop in interest. And I doubt this waning interest is unique to my group of friends. I’ve also noticed the crowds at the pubs where we typically catch the fights seem to be getting smaller and smaller each time as well, so I’m thinking maybe it isn’t just me.

Myself personally, I’ve definitely lost a lot of interest. And even though I still like to hit the pub to catch the main events, it’s become a lot more about catching up with friends than about the fights themselves. Too often these are the only occasions when I actually get to see some of my buddies, to tilt back a few beers and share a few laughs. And when we do get together now for fight night,  I’ve noticed we don’t even pay that close attention to the bulk of the matches anymore. Where we used to be always seated facing the big screens, and watching every round, now we seem to sit around the table and chat more, turning towards the screen when the crowd stirs. We seem a lot more selective about the bouts we actually pay close attention to. Sure, we watch the big name fighters, the ones we follow or the matches we were hooked into by the pre-fight hype, but really, we’re mainly about the big names in the main events now.

It hasn’t always been this way. Although I came to following the UFC later that most fans I know (around UFC75 or so) there was a time when we used to actually buy all the pay per view events…and I mean all of them. Someone would host and we’d flock over to their man cave and pass the hat. Over time, with the increase in frequency of PPVs, this got a little excessive and people were less interested in laying down the cash, especially, when more often than not, the PPVs were failing to live up to their hype. And the fighters we were all following were dropping off and fighting less often.

Then they added all the lighter weight classes. This meant that the fighters we liked and followed were fighting much less often, and for the most part, most of us find these smaller weight classes a lot less interesting to watch. So now there are too many divisions and far to many fighters to know who’s who. Now the cards are, to us anyway, have a lot less appealing matches. Sometimes I can look at a card and barely recognize more than a few names! Add to this the amount of times fighters are pulling out close to an event now, even the cards are always in flux. And there’s no doubt that the fighters coming up today are far superior to the fighters who brought the sport to where it is, but even that’s not such a good thing. Now the fighters are too good, too well rounded in all aspects of MMA…and all too good at defense, which in my opinion makes for a lot more boring fights. It all makes it harder and harder to stay interested.

So today I’d be hard pressed to come up with a card I’d lay money down for. I’d never even consider actually paying to watch the UFC today. If it wasn’t for the odd pub that shows the PPVs for free (or for a small token entry fee) I doubt I’d still be watching the PPV events at all. The free events sure, but even these I record and watch when I feel like it. Usually the next morning, with a pot of coffee and a fast forward button. No out with friends. And there is usually no fear of knowing who won or lost, because most of my friends haven’t bothered watching the fights yet either, and these days some don’t watch these at all, because for them it is more about getting together than it is about the fights as well.

It seems to me the UFC has peaked and is now settling onto a lower wrung on the entertainment ladder. Now they’ve added women to their fighting ranks, and while I don’t really care to watch women fight, I think a lot of people are even less impressed about it than I am. I think the UFC has gone the way of wrestling in some ways. It is more about the hype now. And it’s sad to say it, but I’ve become a less than casual fan. Once GSP retires, and maybe a few others, I suspect it will drop to to where baseball is for me now.

 Posted by at 12:20 pm  Tagged with:

Oil and Gas Tax!

 just sayn', rant  Comments Off
Aug 042013
 

I’m sort of a creature of habit (maybe I get that from my dog) and when it comes to my daily dose of caffeine, I rarely stray. My poison is a grande Pike in a venti cup at Starbucks. Pike is just their house blend, but I’m not that picky on blends, in fact, I doubt I could tell one from another. Anyway, the reason I order the medium in a large cup is twofold. First, I like a little room for some half and half. If I get a grande cup, I usually end up dumping a little coffee into the garbage shoot to make some room. This sucks for the fine folks working hard for Starbucks because, I’m pretty sure, the hot coffee just melts through the plastic bag and then it likely causes them grief when they make their rounds to take out that garbage. Secondly, and more importantly, when I order the grande in a venti cup, more often than not, I actually get handed a full venti coffee, which is a bonus, especially considering the price of decent coffee (don’t make me launch into a Tim Horton’s rant), and then yes, I still end up dumping a little into that same garbage shoot, and yes I know, I’m an asshole for doing so.

Anyway, the reason for my rant is not Starbucks really, rather the difference in the price of my coffee between Alberta and BC. Below is a screen shot of my Starbucks transaction records as logged to my iPhone App. What it shows is that the exact same coffee is $2.15 in BC and $2.36 in Alberta. That is a 21 cent difference in case you’re having trouble with the math. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! BC is the one with the PST, you’d think the coffee from BC would be more. Why is it a full 21 cents more for that same cup in Alberta? I’ll tell you why, it’s called the oil and gas tax. It’s that little bit extra applied to Albertans because people working in Alberta make Alberta money, as in, they work in oil and gas and are thus bent over a little farther on items because, well, they make all this extra oil and gas money. Which brings me to the heart of this rant. I am so sick of the meme, parroted by Albertans, that BC stands for Bring Cash! Sure, I’ll grant you, that when one moves to the west coast from Alberta, and one puts together that list of pros and cons when contemplating the move,  the price of gas is not a pro, nor is the PST. It goes without saying…there are some things cheaper in Alberta, but overall, BC is not more expensive than Alberta. The meme stems from Albertans, travelling through BC on their holidays as tourists, visiting touristy haunts along the way, and paying, that’s right, tourist inflated prices, and then crying about how expensive BC is (yet where do all the Albertans flock to for their vacations?)! Sure, BC has a sales provincial sales tax, but at least you can see it and apply it, in Alberta they have the less transparent, but even more of a price gouge, oil and gas tax. And I think my Starbucks transaction list shows just a small sample of it in action. Just sayn’!

Note: That $2.07 isn’t me wavering from my drink, it was me having only $2.07 left on my app for that purchase, I had to fork over yet another 30 cents because I was in Alberta. :)

starbucks

 Posted by at 8:51 pm

I’m in!

 blurb  Comments Off
Aug 042013
 

Wow, not a single post since June. I admit it, I lost my password and no matter what I did, the thing would not accept any email address I listed as my valid email address. Just by fluke, I tried logging in with my netbook today, which I rarely use for blog posting, and it had the username and password saved in it’s cache. Once in I was able to make a note of all the info and reset my password, weird thing is, the email address on the account was one I had tried a hundred times while going through the lost password form. Grrr, not sure what is up with that.

Anyway, I’ve been taking a ton of pictures over the last month and a bit, and I guess I should post some, but I’m still debating where I want to go with this blog. Right now I find it pretty stale and boring. I mean, who cares about my mediocre photography anyway? At least with my old blog I had fun ranting and raving about whatever I felt like. Trouble with that though is it comes off as Negative Nelly like. I’m not a negative guy, but I am cynical, and that comes across as negative. I don’t want this to be a negative blog, I want it to be positive…but I don’t know if leaving my opinions aside will allow me to remain motivated to post.

I suppose what I will do is change the format of the blog and divide it into pages. I will have one page for my photography hobby, and maybe one dedicated to ranting and raving. And maybe if I can find a way to avoid spam, I can turn the comments on too.

 Posted by at 7:53 pm

Bigfoot Country

 blurb, my photos, photo  Comments Off
Jun 042013
 

Whenever I look out over the bush like this, I wonder what’s out there in those hills? I’m skeptical on Bigfoot, but this seems like the perfect place for him to be. Of course this picture doesn’t do it justice, but I’ll work on that.

bigfootcoutry_crop

cool bird

 my photos, photo  Comments Off
Jun 032013
 

I’ve been hearing this odd noise since I’ve come up here. I suspected it was bird related, but I had not spotted the culprit just yet. Tonight, coming back from a bush cruise, I spied this noisy bugger. I backed up the trucks as far as I dared without spooking it, and snapped a few shots out the window. I also captured some cool video, but for some reason the sound didn’t recorded, need to check my settings. #noob :(

bird_unknowncrop

New office.

 my photos, photo  Comments Off
Jun 022013
 

I was out walking the dawg when I took this, I wasn’t planning a sunset shot, just had camera with me, no tripod, nothing…but seems like a good spot to return to. :)

I just moved to a new pad where I’ll be staying for a few month over the summer, I’m still in house/area hunting mode, so I’m checking out the surroundings. I guess this is a my view for the summer, and this spot is only a minute drive from my little pad. Out there is basically where I’ll be hanging out for the summer, so this is like my back yard…and there’s logging roads in them hills too. I really miss my Jeeps though! :(

Strathcona Park

wow

 blurb  Comments Off
May 272013
 

 Posted by at 9:44 pm
Apr 262013
 

I fired some shots of that CF18 as it made passes over my pad. I didn’t realistically think I could get a decent shot, to make matters worse, it took a few seconds to find and track it through the viewfinder, and then think focus. You get the hang of it quick enough, but then it disappears behind the trees, and where or when it pops back into view can be hard to judge…especially since you don’t hear it until it’s right over your head. It would sure suck…to be stuck in a tank, trying to hide, when one came hunting in a ground support role!

I got some decent shots as it landed, but then those were shot through a fence,  I liked the effect, but it limited the ability to get good shots.  Of the few that I did get, as it made passes overhead, I was totally pumped with the lenses performance,  especially given the fighters distance from the camera…and its obvious speed!  No doubt the full sized sensor helps too. :)

So below is a series of pics, ranging from the full uncropped frame, down to a zoom on the tail section. I don’t even think I managed getting to optimal focus in this shot (or any), but given how small the jet is in the picture, and then at the detail in the zoom, though noisy, is still pretty cool when I think about it.

 Canon 70-200 f2.8L lens on a Canon 5Dii { f/13 – 1/250 - ISO1600}

CF18 Hornet

demo-hornet-comox_crop

Apr 262013
 

Since I’m living right beside an airport, I get to see a lot of planes come and go…since I live right beside a military airport, I get to see a lot of cool planes come and go. For the last few weeks the Snowbirds have been here, doing their practicing for the air show circuit they will embark on pretty quick. These guys are awesome, the formation flying is pretty amazing too, but to be honest, the Tudor jets they fly are far from exciting, and as awesome as the Snowbirds are…the best pilots in the Canadian Air Force I’d imagine, after a few days it gets a little old, and it gets a little loud.

A little while after the Snowbirds arrived, and the thrill had worn off, this new jet arrived to do its practicing, and the CF18 Demo Hornet is no Tudor, this thing is freaking awesome….er…and loud too…but the kind of loud I could listen to all day.

And the maneuvers this jet was going were uber cool! It is amazing what this thing can do with nothing attached to it, no tanks or bombs or missiles, just the jet itself. Wow, I would so love to take a flight in one of these (though I’d imagine I’d be spraying my lunch all over the back seat).

And the guy flying this thing, when you think about who they would select to fly the demonstration jet, this guy has to be top dog in the Air Force for sure, a totally amazing level of skill he must have. Rising to this level as a pilot has to be up there with being a top athlete, or tops in any field you can think of.

Too bad the practicing seems to be done, I’ll miss the sound of that thing screeching around a few times a day. It reminded me of being an Air Force kid and living on fighter bases in Europe. And to think that is what I dreamed of doing as I grew up. Man, where did I go wrong! :(

CF18 Demo Hornet landing at Comox.

CF18 Demo Hornet landing at Comox.

Awesome lens!

 blurb, my photos, photo  Comments Off
Apr 262013
 

I may just be a photo hack, actually, I am just a hack, but I still know a good lens when I use one, and the Rokinon 14mm f2.8 is an awesome lens. And the best part, considering I’m kind of cheap, is the price of this lens. I think I paid about $425 for it brand new from Amazon.

At the time I bought this lens, I had just finished saving up enough to buy a Canon 16-35mm f2.8L, which would have ran me about $1300…used! I almost bought the Canon too, but the more I looked into other options, the more people kept mentioning the Rokinon lens (also sold as the Samyang), so I bit on it, and I’m glad that I did, because with the money I saved, I was able to buy the Rokinon AND a Canon 100mm macro. :)

I feel like I made a good choice, both have turned out to be awesome lenses. Not that the Canon isn’t an awesome lens, don’t get me wrong, and I still want one, but like I stated earlier, I am a hack, I get as much value out of researching alternatives as I do dropping down on the L series lenses. I’m not a pixel peeper, I don’t need to be, I just like to have decent glass at a decent price. Rock on Rokinon!

WestJet