30 11 2007  – This site is great!   I can’t stay away.  I was introduced to it via my photoblog and now it looks like we’re all using it (a bit too much it might seem.  The site is down as I post this 😦 ).

Here are a couple of the shots I’ve “magged”:
MagMyPic - make magazine covers out of your pictures

MagMyPic - make magazine covers out of your pictures

They also have Time, Sports  Illustrated, Vogue, PC Gamer Cosmo and a few others!   Great fun!

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Beautiful Moon Tonight

21 11 2007

It was a beautiful waxing moon on a clear cool night tonight.  This will likely be the third night in a row that we have a clear frosty morning to wake us up!

I took a few shots with different gear.  The best was the following:
(click on it to see one that – even at this size – is rendered better)


Taken with Canon IXUS900Ti handheld against a 25mm plossl objective lens on a D=130mm F=1000mm reflector telescope

The top right is a bit fuzzy as it’s suffering a bit from the vignetting. You can also see slight chromatic aberration (It’s not THAT good a scope [grin])

Best focus region was designed to be the Southwest on the terminator.

Full sized photo (2500x 2400)

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Remembrance Day 2007

12 11 2007

As usual, our Scout group joined many other scout groups and veterans at the Vancouver South Cenotaph.  The weather was dull grey, a bit cold and even a bit rainy.  Our kids were great!  They stood still and quiet “at ease” when required, and didn’t flinch when the rain started to fall upon them.  The veterans were very happy to see such dedication from our youth. 

I truly hope that kids today will have a chance to meet and talk with someone who’s been in a combat situation to understand the harsh realities of war.  It’s not a video game, and you don’t get to start over if you die.

We shall remember them!

Well… I’m older

5 11 2007

I turned 40 on the weekend.  I’m now on the downhill side of life.  Meh – big deal.  A day older than I was before.

The celebration, on the other hand, was a really nice time.  I went out for the afternoon on Saturday and hung out with my cousin and a friend…relaxed, laughed and had a generally good time.  After that we met up with my other cousin and Mrs D.  We headed out to “Joeys” on Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam.  We got there around 1900.  Wait time estimate: 45-60 minutes.  No problem.  We’ll go hang in the bar.  Apparently there was a wait list for sitting there too so we just stood around and drank bellinis while getting in the general way of the waitresses (good looking ones at that!)  We hung around for probably more like 75 minutes before we got our seats.

We ended up sitting at a table right near where the other “waitees” had to hang out.  I’m not entirely fond of people watching me while I eat.  They really need some kind of divider to separate the “haves” from the “have nots” 😉

While the food was good, the service wasn’t.  Our waiter seemed to largely ignore us during the course of the meal but I didn’t mind too much.  It was good to hang and laugh and tell stories with friends and family while enjoying good drinks and food.

After dinner I had my heart set on “Death by Chocolate”.  I had remembered the one in downtown Vancouver from about 10 years ago and the creations which they made by hand in front of your eyes.  It was a chocolate heaven.  We went over to the one located in Metrotown at the corner of Nelson and Kingsway.  DON’T.  We arrived at 10:45 (I think) and there was one person sitting in this small place.  As we entered she got up and went behind the counter with a “Oh my God – I have to work” look to her face.  I really felt she’d have been happier if we HADN’T stepped into her shop.  We left.

We then headed down to the “Death by Chocolate” located near Granville and Broadway.  This was better.  The place actually had clients and they were enjoying coffees and confections.  I didn’t see anyone handmaking anything, but I figured this would do nicely. 

“I’m sorry, we’re not seating anymore, but you can get take out”. 

They apparently were going to close in about 15 minutes too 😦

Well, we were parked already and not far from Cheescake etc. down on Granville at 5th.  We decided to head down there.  It WAS getting to be midnight and we wanted to get on with having dessert!  

Cheesecake etc, pleasantly, was still the little hole in the wall that I recalled, dimly lit with gentle jazz playing in the background.  Finally – a place that met my expectations!  We had our various cheescakes and coffees and hung out, enjoying the end of my birthday.  We didn’t stay too long though, as one of my cousins had to be on a plane in the morning.

On our drive back home, we noticed a lot of police cars on Granville St, near 20th.  Turns out there had just been another Gangland hit.  Gotta love life in the big city.

We got home at about 0100 and I finished the day off with a little Halo 3.  A good birthday day!

Sunday was good too!  Dim Sum with cousin and friends.  Nothing like the fun of taking a western person to Dim Sum for the first time!!! LOL!  Good times!

Thanks to R,S,R, Scouter E, Baggy, P and  Mrs D for the great weekend time!  Love you all!

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Finally – The federal government steps up to the plate

2 11 2007

As mentioned previously, the Canadian government has been allowing a War memorial in Britain to go unkempt uncared which has resulted in many passers-by not even being able to recognize it for the memorial that it is. 

Canadian war memorial being used for "hanging out"

Conrad Black had originally paid to have it installed and serviced, but things aren’t all roses and champagne for Lord Black these days, so he’s not footing the bill anymore.

The pressure has finally snapped the the slow moving federal government to do something.  Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty had even said that his province would step up and pay if the feds were too cheap to care.

On October 31st, 2007 the Canadian government has said that they will pay $250K to assume ownership of the memorial, and will be paying $100K/annum to care for it. (WHY it costs that much to care for it…. I dunno)

Thanks to all that complained to your MP, and to Mr McGuinty for calling out the feds on their lack of patriotism.

Oh Canada!

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