Pictures of the "Blizzard of ’08"

28 01 2008

Mrs D and I went out walking after the great snowfall finished.  It was a winter wonderland.  I was dreading shoveling it later.    With all the snow blanketing the neighborhood, it really transformed our area.  There were even some cherry blossoms that had tried to start blooming and became unwitting snow holders.  It was beautiful.

Here’s the gallery of pictures:

http://www.slacker.ca/brian/webpics/showpix.aspx?20080127Snow

(pictures taken with the XTi were taken by Mrs D.  Those taken with the 40D  were taken by me)

 

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The tale of two cities

27 01 2008

Today it’s snowing.  And snowing. And snowing some more.  The funny thing is that about 30km from here…. Sun. Sun and green grass!  Gotta love Vancouver and area!

Here’s our area (Burnaby mountain):

Snow

 

Here’s a picture taken at the same time in Richmond:

 

IMG_2429

Go figure!





Tonight’s Waning Moon

23 01 2008

I took advantage of tonight’s (January 23, 2008) waning moon to try out my new Canon 40D and the “Remote Live View” feature.

I took my telescope (1000mm, F/10 4.13″ Objective) out and let it condition in the cold for about 1 hour.

When it had had a good chance to settle down, I brought out my laptop and my new 40D.

I put a 25mm plossl eyepiece into the scope and checked out the moon… it was, as always, stunning!  Next, I screwed on and extension tube and a canon bayonet mount.  Onto the mount, I attached the 40D, and set it to “manual”.  Upon connecting the USB cable from the camera to the laptop, the control software came up… I could see the moon on my laptop screen. COOL!  After some focusing I had a pretty sharp moon.  You could really see the heating effect due to the fact that I was shooting over a set of buildings but what can you do when you’re in the city 😉  I took a whole bunch of shots.  Some better than others… it was experimenting time.  It was great that I could be so removed from the camera body when shooting and yet have such a clear view of what I was going to get.

The optimal shooting environment turned out to be 1/200s at ISO 400.  This helped to deal with the slight shake in the setup.

I took my best 26 shots and threw them at Photoshop CS3’s Automerge feature.  On my Vista machine it happily chewed up all 3.5GB that it could and you knew it wanted more.  It took a while to work but when it was done, the result was fabulous.

Here is the final shot:

THIS IS THE FULL SIZED IMAGE (4000×4000 px)

I love this camera already :):):):):)





67.9 Million sure would make a nice bonus

17 01 2008

CEO at Goldman Sachs Christmas Bonus:  67.9M USD broken down into 26.8M in CASH
and 41.1M in stock.

67.9 MILLION!

OK – break’s over… back to work…..

Sigh.

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We went for a walk around the Reifel Bird Sanctuary today

14 01 2008

 

Mrs D and I decided we’d get out of the house no matter what the weather today, and it turned out to be a pretty fine day!  We went to the George C. Reifel migratory bird sanctuary in Delta BC.  While it’s about 45km from the house we let the GPS navigate our way.  Boy did it choose some interesting roads.  It was a nice drive for a Sunday.  We passed many Bald Eagles and Red Tailed Hawks sitting in the trees and on the power poles as we passed the various cranberry and other farms along the way.  It was a nice warm up for what we were about to see when we got to our destination.

At the sanctuary there were a tonne of people, and it WASN’T RAINING. As a matter of fact the sun was out!  It wasn’t exactly bright sun, but there was some to be seen.. It brightened up the day!  Upon our arrival the gentleman at the front told us about 2 great horned owls up the trail.  Mrs D wanted to spend some time with the mallards, and got some good shots.  I was itchin’ to get up the trail.  I’ve actually NEVER seen a wild owl before.  We worked our way along the trail, seeing wood ducks, widgeons, towhees, blackbirds and chickadees.  We finally got to the end of the trail, and there they were.  Two HUGE owls.  COOL!

On top of that we also managed to have someone point out to us a small saw whet owl that was sleeping in the holly nearby!  Coool.  Two new species almost side by side.

We spent some time feeding the chickadees by hand and generally enjoying all the bird noises around us.  It was very relaxing.  As we got out toward the southwestward edge of the sanctuary we could see some harrier hawks hunting in the tidal rushes.  Obviously lunch was down there somewhere as they were pretty intent on finding it.

On the outside rim, while we were walking, we came across the sandhill cranes.  They are big beautiful birds!  There were two pairs, and a solo one further down. They were VERY obliging in letting us take all sorts of photos and closeups.

We wandered the grounds for about 2.5 hours and then headed back home. 
It was a great outing, and although the buffleheads, scaups and other birds were not in high numbers it was, as always, a fun and educational trip to see the birds!

I have the photo gallery up at: http://www.slacker.ca/brian/webpics/showpix.aspx?20080113Reifel





Catch up!

11 01 2008

I just realized that I missed linking to all the cool pics I took in Hong Kong/Shongsan/Guangzhou back in January of 2007

 

They start here: http://www.fotothing.com/DragonSpeed/photo/105/

and run until: http://www.fotothing.com/DragonSpeed/photo/115/

Enjoy

 





Finally got my old entries from My Hong Kong Trip back

10 01 2008

After “The Great Blog Loss”, I have been gradually working at recovering my old posts.  I have managed to resurrect my posts from my Hong Kong/China Trip back in January 2006, as well as my work trip to Monterrey Mexico in 2004.

Thank goodness. I was pretty crushed losing all that information!

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Update to "My Political Compass"

7 01 2008

As I go about reposting the old blog entries that I lost in my move to wordpress, I am revisiting some of them.  One of them was my political compass.  Back in 2004 I rated:

Economic Left/Right: -6.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.82

I just took it again and found:

Economic Left/Right: -3.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.38

Less Authoritarian, but more Economically “Right”….  Interesting.





Post Christmas Goodness

2 01 2008

Boxing Day:

  • Best Buy:
  1. Logitech Headphone/Microphone  (regular $80) for $39.99!
  2. HP Laptop Docking Station $140 – No great deal… but we were there, and now Mrs D doesn’t have to unplug  a half dozen cables to mobilize her laptop.
  • WalMart:
    1. 100 DVD-R’s for $17

    Portland (land of no tax!):

    1. Tommy Hillfiger pants $29
    2. Bass Pants: $20
    3. Guitar Hero III (w/ guitar) $90
    4. Wii Controller $40
    5. XBox 360 Controller $40
    6. Salad Bowl: $17 (regular $69)
    7. UnderArmor thermal tights $50 – You can’t get the thermal wear up here… don’t know why – it’s COLDER here.
    8. Ivory Soap AOSep for less than half of what you pay up here (and bigger).
    9. Duracell batteries – 36 for $12.50

    New Year’s Day:

    1. 30 DVD+R Dual Layer $24 @ Future Shop

    Good times!  The Portland trip was crazy and fun, but a LOT of driving.  With gas at the equivalent of $0.75/L it didn’t seem quite so bad – particularly with my truck just LOVING highway driving compared to city.  We drove approximately 1300 km on 2 tanks of gas – about $140.  Having the TomTom One XL GPS was a life saver.  We were able to find our hotel, the outlet mall, and REI in Portland and Seattle without really having any idea which streets took us where.  The only problems came when we didn’t have a correct street or address for a location.  We found that the POI interface was a bit difficult to navigate, but I think we’ll find it easier with more use.  Did I miss having street names pronounced for our directions?  No.  If  I DID miss a street turn (which happened once or twice when streets were kind of crazy in Seattle) it just rerouted me.  No problems.

    My Thanks to the gang that had us along:  Brad, Greg, Dave and the crew… it was a blast!

    Happy New Year to all!








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