Monthly Archives: August 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Through the Willow

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Video Vendredi

View of Montreal's McGill Ghetto from Mount Royal

Montreal's McGill Ghetto as seen from Mount Royal

I’ve been living in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada for about nine years and every once in a while I get really homesick for the city in which I grew up, Montreal.

I know Quebecers get some bad press then they travel elsewhere, and sometimes when outsiders travel to our fine province, but we’re not all like those who have earned us this reputation.
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I Want to be a Star

That’s right, you heard me. I want to be a star!

I don’t want to be a real star like Sir Lawrence Olivier, Marlon Brando, or even Don Knotts. The money sounds good but it seems like way too much work. Besides, I have a proven track record for forgetting lines dating back to Grade 1. In fact, I was the world’s first recorded case of pediatric ulcer as a direct result of the stress of the “write a poem at home and recite it in class without looking” hour in school. I want to be one of those “celebrities for no good reason” (CFNGR) that are so popular today.

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Freshly Pressed Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I was feeling a might European today so I made this one with havarti. The little umbrella serves two purposes... 1). Presentation is nine tenths of the law, and 2). Nature abhors a rain-soaked grilled cheese.

I grew up in a pretty big family. There were us seven kids, my mom, and my dad. My father used to enjoy making challenging dishes whenever he had time off but that still left the bulk of the cooking up to my mother.

I don’t think that Mom was ever particularly wild about cooking, but when Dad died when I was eight she got a bit depressed and the cooking got simpler. She still made all kinds of real sit-down dinners but weekday lunches were pretty quick, partly because school was a twenty-minute walk (in each direction) and we got only an hour off for lunch, so basically we’d come home, the soup was ready, we’d scarf it down, and head back to school.

Weekend lunches sometimes featured more involved menus, my favourites being avgolemono soup, leftovers, pigs in a blanket, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers

Photo #1 - A sunflower in HDRI. Taken using a Nikon D300, Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S, Kenko extension tubes.

Here are my Weekly Photo Challenge contributions for this week, “Flowers”. Continue reading

Head in the Clouds: A Case of Pareidolia

Eagle's Head

We humans are social creatures who depend on our ability to recognize others. It is not hard to imagine how ancient Man stood a better chance of survival if able to diferentiate friend from foe. Over the millenia, our brains became hard-wired to search for other people’s faces, analyse their features, and to identify the person, all done on a neurological fast track that prioritizes the process of facial recognition.
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The Great Ones of Comedy

When I was eleven or twelve years old in Montreal, I discovered that on weekends a local AM radio station would play comedy albums from 3 to 5 a.m. It was great to listen to the radio late at night. So began my love affair with stand-up comedy.

First of all, let’s get something straight… I’m no expert on comedy, much less an authority on good comedy. This is just stuff I like — stuff I like a lot. Second of all, the backstories to the comedy or the performers made the comedians even funnier or their humour sweeter because of some circumstance that the artist struggled with yet continued to deliver smiles to the world. In the late 60s there was no internet to search through the thousands of articles (and then make up your own mind of what is true and what isn’t) to find out what was really true about the comedians’ backstories.
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance

The entrance to Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines, Ontario predawn.

A man working on a ship that is crippled in The Welland Canal holds a ladder secure.

Here are my Weekly Photo Challenge contributions for this week. Seeing as my first two weekly entries each contained only one image, I committed myself to post more this time around. For better or worse, here are fourteen shots on the topic of “Entrance”.

I know that many people specialize in taking photographs of doorways, either for fun or profit. When I first heard of this speciality, I thought that their image collections must be quite boring but it is amazing how interesting a skilled photographer can make images of a single narrow subject.

After going through about 15,000 thumbnails this morning I learned something about myself… I’m not one of those guys! In the past I’ve thought about walking around and get the feel of this type of subject but never really got around to it except for one time. When I went to take a picture of my very first door, the owner of the house came running out and protested my efforts to immortalize his door on the silicone chip of my camera. Feeling like I didn’t have the requisite martial arts training that seemed useful in pursuing this art, I went and took a couple of landscape shots. Willows and beaches rarely kick up a fuss when a camera is pointed at them. Continue reading

Planking Fad Bridges the Species Gap

Self-taught squirrel planks for the cameras.

While following up on the responses to my comments on other people’s blogs, I noticed that someone who replied to one of my comments made an intriguing observation that compelled me to check out his blog, his response to my comment being “U Funny”.

His blog entry, “When Your Dog Is Too Cool for You“, caught my eye. It shows a photo of his dog “planking”. For those of you who don’t know what planking is, Wikipedia says it better than I could… Continue reading

Celebrating 1,000 Hits

Happy 1,000th!

I started this blog on April 7 of this year as a creative outlet and, more importantly, as a way for me to vent. Today the number of hits surpassed 1,000! That averages out to 8 hits per day, which may not sound like much to some of you heavy hitters of blogging but, frankly, I’m amazed. It’s kind of a rush, actually.

I have to mention a few who were responsible for the popularity…
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