Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Glimpse

Calgary Cube Scene

caught a glimpse of an alternate 2007
lived in towers amongst the clouds
saving the world with bold moves
glowing sabers
jet-packs and droids
artificial beauties in spandex

and then I was back in my cube
mundane problems
keeping the lights on

home on the train
to my real beauty
to frustrations, fears
real love

our daughter
doing an artful job
of putting together a life
despite the failings of her all too present parents

dinner with a friend
form our community of honest sinners
shared stories
a game
some pictures

The world gets saved on the ground
not in towers

- Peace

I'm Expecting a Parade

That's standard with a visiting King isn't it?

- Peace

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse with Flare
Had a great time watching the Lunar Eclipse with Kevin and hanging out with astronomy geeks by moonlight. It's the first one I've seen. Most impressive. Can't say the same for the photos I took. Posted this one to flickr yesterday and the feed back has been very good. I just thought it was the best of a mediocre bunch, but who am I to argue with my friends?

- Peace

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Globalfest Finale
Made it out to Globalfest last night with Sarah. It's Calgary's annual Fireworks competition. My first time shooting fireworks, found it quite challenging. Looking forward to getting another chance at it next year.

- Peace

Friday, August 24, 2007

Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising's Image of Women

An excellent critique of how of Women's Image in ads. The issue is of course much broader that just how ads view women. Ads offer an implied gospel, a way of life. For me the question is how do we form communities that subvert this prevailing, mostly subconscious gospel?

- Peace

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Recovery Group vs Self Help

Chris Rice has a great post on the difference between self help and recovery groups.

I tried to fix myself using a lot of books. I can remember as a teenager finding a twelve step Bible and even trying to do the fourth step (the “searching and fearless moral inventory”) at that time on my own. I thought that steps one, two, and three were obvious. I had a problem. I believed in Jesus Christ. I believed he could fix it. What’s next? (Wasn’t that easy?) Well, it didn’t work, for the simple reason that I was alone.

Twelve step recovery is hard work. It does not involve only stopping those destructive habits that we did not like. We had stopped hundreds of times. We couldn’t stay stopped. Recovery is a new spiritual way of life that involves a new connection to God through the group–those people who identify on the basis of their addiction.

Working the steps means working with a sponsor and taking in as many meetings as possible. This is very different than a self-help program. This kind of radical commitment, turning our will and lives over to the care of God—through the group—involves an ego deflation not in keeping with the idea of self-help.

- Peace

Monday, August 20, 2007

Roger's Wireless Needs to Get a Clue or Two

Here are two clues for Rogers Wireless:
  1. Keep track of phone numbers you call and why you called that number when you leave a message asking people to phone you back. That way your representative will know why the message was left with someone who doesn't have an account. Given the large sum of money you've obviously spent on your automated phone systems, this should be a minor feature.

  2. Don't ask someone for their Social Insurance Number so they can prove they don't have an account with you.
If you'd like to replicate my experience phone 1-866-346-3436. Tell them they left you a voice mail asking you to call that number, in my case they asked that Dave King phone Rogers at 1-866-346-3436. Of course this only works if you don't have an account with Rogers and can put up with people who, blame you and fraudsters for the fact that they don't know what they're doing.

- Peace

Thanks Thomas

Thanks Thomas
I bought a new Pentax K10 and Mom gave me Dad's old K1000 and lenses just before we went on vacation. When I arrived in Ottawa I found there was an incompatibility with the telephoto and the K10. I happened to wander past the Camera Trading Company and stopped in. Thomas was able to figure out the problem and came up with a solution, at no charge even.

Thanks Thomas.

- Peace

Sunday, August 19, 2007

One Chair

One Chair

Friday, August 17, 2007

Montreal Skyline

Montreal Skyline
We're in Montreal, it's it's a nice place to visit, but we're looking forward to coming home.

- Peace

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Carrie of Hotel Chaplain

We had a great time in Quebec City. A Big part of that was the help provided to us by Carrie who works the front desk at Hotel Champlain. She knew how to connect us with great places to eat. Who was still open when we got in late on Friday, great places to have crepes and where to go for fine dinning. She also hooked us up with a fantastic carriage tour.

The hotel here in Montreal just doesn't have Carrie's personal touch. Carrie we miss you.

- Peace

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Macro Experiment

First Macro Experiment
Shot some flowers in the Market yesterday, wasn't happy with the results, so went back today to try with the macro lens that I recently inherited. Much happier with the results.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Valerie of the Market

As I was taking pictures of some peppers in the market, Valerie asked if they made for a good pictures, I said I thought so. We talked about my new Camera and that I had bought it just for the trip. Thing is the conversation was all in French, and Sarah wasn't there to rescue me. I told Valerie my French was terrible, but she said it was as good as her English. I must say I really enjoyed having an entire conversation in French. Most of the French speakers here will switch to English when I obviously stumble in French. But at the market the were a number of people who didn't speak English, we just made do. But Valerie was patient enough and interested enough to hold a conversation and she made my day :)

- Peace

Saturday, August 11, 2007

We're in Old Quebec City

Chateau Frontenac
We're staying a couple of blocks from Chateau Frontenac. The food here is amazing.

- Peace

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hospitality of Ottawa


We're somewhere between Montreal & Quebec City, using the WiFi on VIA Rail.

Had a great time in Ottawa, enjoyed the hospitality immensely. Thanks to Frank for talking me out to breakfast with Michel, Kenny and Roland. It was great to put faces to emails and hear echoes of of spiritual journeys. For me it's not really travel unless you get to hang out with locals, so thanks to Resonate I had connections in Ottawa to call on.

Also experienced geek hospitality in Ottawa. Our lap top charger cord frayed beyond use just as we were leaving. A young man at a computer shop that didn't carry chargers cut it apart and respliced it after I explained that I had been to four stores and none of the universal charing packs worked for our Lenovo model. He fixed it free of charge.

Found a great used camera store in Ottawa, where the owner helped me with one of my Dad's telephoto lenes that should have fit my new camera but didn't. Again at no charge.

Ottawa was worth it for the art, architecture and history, but the hospitality takes it to another level.

- Peace

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Waving Rocks

Balanced Rock Art
We found these unique Balanced Rock Sculptures on Cameron's impromptu driving tour of Ottawa.

- Peace

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Well We're Here

Model Parliament
Enjoying Vacation

- Peace

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My bike ride today, and a rant on road carnage.

Here is where I rode my bike today! Click to see in more detail.

Well, Dave might be a little miffed that I didn't go with him to Bragg Creek and then ended up bike riding today anyhow, but the ride I did today was really a personal best and amazing weather to boot. For me this was the longest ride I've ever done, though it turns out that I was shy of 100km (Kevin has me way, way beat for distance biking...) I feel pretty proud of it, and I wanted to share!

Country Hills blvd from Citadel to Beddington trail is insane to bike. It's like 60-70kph the whole way, all down hill, reasonable amounts of traffic and the speed limit hits 80 in places (which means people are maybe doing 90...) To tell you the truth I have no idea how fast I was going. But it would be pretty ugly if something happened with the bike so I think I'll not do it again. Still, was glad to do it once.

The low point was when I saw a motorcyclist and his girlfriend being loaded into ambulances. This was McKnight and Center St. and you can probably read about it in the paper tommorow. It looked to me like he got crossed (i.e., left-turned-in-front-of) by a careless driver who did not notice him. This is very common problem on a bicycle, and on motorbikes, because the smaller visual profile means that drivers don't see us as easily.

People, be careful. I have never driven a car, so I see traffic from a very different perspective than you. Trust me, you are all very distracted out there. You think you aren't. You are. Sorry but it's true. And it's not just bikers who are put into danger, it's yourself, other people in your car, people in other cars, and particularly pedestrians (according to some studies there is a higher fatality rate per hour of activity being a pedestrian than being a cyclist.)

A car is an enclosed space and it tends to divorce one from any sense of how fast you are travelling. As someone with a little different view, please be advised that 50kph is too fast to drive without paying total attention. 70kph is, for all intents and purposes, faster than you can probably drive safely even if you are paying attention. At 100kph it's mainly traffic engineers, vehicle and road maintainence that are keeping you alive.

Sorry for ranting, I know i'm a little "hot" right now having seen a guy and his girlfriend probably killed today. We all do stupid things, lose our minds on the road; certainly I do too sometimes. Please just be as careful as you can, don't talk on the cellphone, be patient, and maybe there will be a little less carnage out there. God Bless!

2000 KM Half Way There!

Three at 2000 KM
Well about 2003 km. I passed 2000 KM with Dave and Clement while going down the Moose Packers fire road at about 50 km/h, wasn't going to try to take a picture then. We did just over 25 km of trail riding today, a near perfect day for it, Sunny with some clouds, a gentle cool breeze and no bugs. As an added bonus the trails have recived some much needed tender loving care since the flooding in 2005. Bridges have been rebuilt, yay! Also some of the nastier parts of Diamond T and Tom Snow have been reworked. The trails were in the best condition I've ever seen them.

2000 KM for 2007, half way to my goal. In an idealized world, I would have hit that point at the end of June. From that point of view I'm a month and four days behind schedule. However I didn't get riding till the end of April and tend to ride until December so I think I'm in good shape. Won't be riding the next couple of weeks, but I think I can make 2400 km by the end of Aug. That leaves 1600 km for Sept, Oct, Nov & Dec. Key will be staying disciplined as it get colder in Oct. I'd like to hit 3400 by the end of Oct, leaving me with just 300 km to do in each of Nov and Dec. I can't rely on being able to repeat last year's 500 km in December trick.

- Peace

Friday, August 03, 2007

Weird Al in Concert

I have been waiting to see Weird Al Yankovic since 1982 when I heard him play “Another one rides the bus” on the Doctor Demento show. He billed himself as “the worlds only rock and roll accordian player.” He was funny and amazingly gifted. Over the next couple years he had a number of his songs on the Doctor Demento show and he has just been getting better ever since.

The best things in life are free.
These words were true on July 25th because Weird Al’s concert was free with the gate admission at Edmonton’s Capital Ex. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I knew his music but had never seen him live and I was not disappointed. A large video monitor started the concert with some of his mock MTV interviews and then Al and the band came out. For over two hours Weird Al kept the audience laughing and singing along. There were many costume changes as the band and Al would transform themselves to look like whoever they were parodying. During set breaks the monitor would play some more bits from some of Al’s movie appearances or more of his mock interviews. Al’s ability to capture the essence of the singer and then take it to the extreme is truly amazing and his band consists of 4 of the best players on earth who can play any song in any style with absalute fidelity.
What else can I say. If you ever get the chance to see him, go. You’ll laugh until your sides hurt.
Click for Carol's pictures

1900 KM

89th Ave SW at 1900 KM
Hit the 1900 KM mark just as I rolled to a stop at 89th Ave SW on Elbow Drive yesterday morning. Hoping to hit 2000 KM tomorrow in Bragg Creek.

- Peace

Thursday, August 02, 2007

In Distrust of Movements

People in movements too readily learn to deny to others the rights and privileges they demand for themselves. They too easily become unable to mean their own language, as when a "peace movement" becomes violent. They often become too specialized, as if finally they cannot help taking refuge in the pinhole vision of the institutional intellectuals. They almost always fail to be radical enough, dealing finally in effects rather than causes. Or they deal with single issues or single solutions, as if to assure themselves that they will not be radical enough.
Wendel Berry

Melissa said very much the same thing last night. Thing is she's never read Wendel Berry. Was sure that I had blogged the article, but I guess not. Fixed.

- Peace

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

You Might Be an Edmontonian...

You might be an Edmontonian
if this sign makes sense to you.

- Peace