Category Archives: Raves

Unimpressed By… Part I: Coffee

It takes something really special to get me excited about a cup of coffee.

It takes something really special to get me excited about a cup of coffee.

Intro to the “Unimpressed” Series of Posts

I’ve been loitering on this planet for over five decades and I’ve become a bit jaded. A lot of things that apparently impress a lot of people underwhelm me and what’s worse is that the situation has gone well beyond my being blasé, I’m beginning to get downright irritated at some modern trends.

It’s so frustrating to see people buying into stupid crazes like sheep. Because of this I sometimes find myself cranky and can imagine myself twenty years down the road as being one of those old guys who scream at the pigeons in the park —some might argue that’s pretty much where I am right now. So let’s take a look at some recent things that really get my goat and, if you’re lucky, I might even mention some solution you can personally implement or point you in the direction of some bastion where scum-sucking “progress” has not eroded a once good thing. Continue reading

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My All-time Favourite Models (with a Side of Fractalius)

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Mrs. HoaiPhai has beautiful eyes, and this is the nicer of the two.

I love taking photos of just about everything but by far the most daunting subjects are people and other living creatures. They also happen to yield the most rewarding images if everything works out. My problem with living subjects is twofold…

  1. Living subjects tend to move occasionally and I have a leisurely photographic technique and slow reflexes, and…
  2. I hate having my own picture taken so I imagine that my subjects are similarly photophobic, causing me to feel uncomfortable imposing myself on them (even if they’ve requested me to photograph them).

Linda Evangelista, Heidi Klum, and Cindy Crawford are professional models and are good-looking (no, not all models are attractive) but they have nothing on my own favourite amateur models. What makes a good model, in my opinion, is someone who… Continue reading


Champix (a.k.a. Chantix) Helped Me Get Off My Butts

Chained Ashtray

This is the last actual ashtray I ever used. I picked it up at a truck stop a couple of years ago and was struck by the ironic symbolism of the chain encircling it, a commentary on how its owner is a slave to his/her addiction. I also bought it because it looks kind of funky and was ½-off.

WARNING: This post relates my most recent attempt at quitting smoking. Reading it will likely cause smokers to cringe, ex-smokers to break out in their own quitting-smoking narratives, and non-smokers to wonder what all the fuss is about.

This winter I stopped smoking.

Five little words but I already have two things to explain. The first thing is that unlike a lot of people who say they have “quit”, I prefer to use the word “stop” because I’ve gone through denying myself cigarettes for long periods of time before — sometimes for  years — only to go back to smoking, and I’ve done that more than once. Judging from my own personal past experience, “stopped” is a probably a more accurate description of my present status but if I ever upgrade my confidence that I’ll never ever become an “addicto smoker” again, I’ll let you know and proclaim that I have quit. I know avoiding the standard word “quit” sounds non-committal and weasely but, frankly, I feel that I’m just being cautiously realistic. Continue reading


What I Did on My Christmas Vacation

Every year the residents of this St. Catharines road go all-out with the Christmas decorations. The street's actual name is Rio Lane but it will always be Griswald Avenue to me.

Every year the residents of this St. Catharines, Ontario road go all-out with the Christmas decorations. The street’s actual name is Rio Lane but it will always be Griswald Avenue to me.

I know what you must be thinking… “We’re into June and HoaiPhai is just getting around to doing his Christmas post-game show. He must have had one hell of a vacation!” The short answer to that question, which if you were paying attention you would have realized wasn’t even a question in the first place, is “yes and no”.

Gone are the days when I’d go to a New Year’s Eve party and sometime around the middle of February wake up in a ditch penniless and hungover with a new crop of cold sores and my pants on backwards. This Christmas wasn’t one for the record books in that sense but, hey, I only got two extra days off work this year. Continue reading


If You Could Have Any Car… ?

 

Wouldn’t it be great to have a real hot-rod?

I love cars. I don’t know nearly as much about them as I’d like and I would certainly benefit from some advanced driver training but I really do love them. And, being a guy, the question has come up many times between me and another guy, “If you could have any car in the world, which would you choose?”

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August Fool’s Day 2012

Remember the excitement you felt back in elementary school when April Fool’s Day rolled around? Remember your high school years when April Fool’s Day could very well mean a trip to the nurse’s office and getting out of History and Phys Ed due to your injuries or a mandatory interview with local law enforcement? Wasn’t that fun? Why did all that have to end? Society, in the form of our educational institutions, beats the wonder and “fun” out of a child, that’s why.
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Happy Canada Day! — A Photographic Celebration of a Warm but Shivering People

A maple donut, a beer, and a BBQ… what could better symbolize Canada Day? I looked all over town for a special Canada Day donut to share with you but couldn’t find one, so I had to make my own. I guess a donut is so blatantly Canadian that the donut industry feels it’s a bit redundant to emblazon such an icon of our country with any sort of embellishment. Maybe they have a point… you don’t see Americans painting bald eagles red, white, and blue on their Independence Day.

Sunday July 1st, 2012 marks Canada’s 145th year since Confederation and 30 years since we became a fully independent country. And what a great country we live in!

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