Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Passing By

Action figure in the window of Monster Records.

It was about 10pm or so when I finally started the final render for the project I'm working on. I decided to celebrate by going downtown to get something to eat. You'd think there's a lot of places to go for fast food but for some reason nothing came to mind. I ended up getting a slice at Pizza Pizza after walking by Monster Records.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

e-mail back log

While waiting for my computer to render I spent some time going through the back log of emails that have been accumulating on my email account. Until today I haven't really made much effort to do anything other than work. Andrew Majtenyi, fashion designer, emailed me this site.

woo woo. okay back to work = insert whip crack here =

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Week's Gone by Already

David and Zoe working away in their new office

Holy Cow! A whole week has gone by and there's been nothing on the blog. I haven't really taken many pictures this week. I think I shot something like 47 images in the last seven days. Sheesh.

The hilight of the week and really the only time I've gone outside, other than the grocery store for food or the occassional escape to the backyard to tend to the plants/worms or the odd movie review, was to go to this project meeting. I don't even remember what day it was as all the days are starting to blur into one another. It's one of the many hazzards of working day and night, night and day.

Neil explaining the "big idea"

Today I went outside without the camera only to be greeted by seering heat and the TTC on strike. I had to drop off a bunch of stuff on DVD for James.

David creating an audio voice over track

Monday, May 22, 2006

Victoria Day

Fireworks at Ashbridges bay

Today being Queen Victoria day here in Canada I took some time off work to go down to the beach and see the annual fire works. The beach was packed. Unfortunately they were a lot of people that didn't know how to use fireworks. One guy decided he wanted to hold the fire work in his hand to watch it go off. Lucky for him one of his friends called him an idiot as he was holding it facing himself. He let go just in time to see the firework go off just missing him.

I'm surprised they don't have classes for these things. Another guy was trying to light the rocket by covering it with his body trying to block the wind. Accidents waiting to happen. It brings me back to the model rocketry days.

novices with explosives

small fire works

larger louder fire works

The grand finale pineapple

Shooting fireworks is a tricky thing as you never know where the actual exposion will occur or for that matter how many will go off. A good example of under estimation is the giant pineapple-like image I shot of multiple fireworks going off at once. It became a big white shape in the sky.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

It's Alive!

A survivor of the great rain and hail storm a few days ago.

A few days ago, I can't remember the actual day as they've all blurred thanks to working all hours, all the time, there was a huge burst of rain and supposedly hail. What the...? I was in my apartment and I remember looking out the window and seeing gushing water. I thought my neighbor was using the hose to clean my window.

I decided to stretch and go outside to see what was up. It wasn't my neighbor, I forgot, they were in Minnesota. It was rain and it was coming down in buckets. My garden was flooded. The WORMS!!! I had just gone out the night before collecting them from the nearby park to relocate them to till my garden. The plant pots were overflowing with H2O. The water wasn't draining out of the bottom holes fast enough. Dirt was overflowing.

In order to save the worms I put up my small tent that I bought a few years ago for a trip to Wasaga beach. I got soaked assembling it in the rain. Not the smartest thing to do as it's comprised of a bunch of metal poles and there was lightning. I figured the lightning would hit the house or some tree first.

Once garden was covered from the rain I drained the flower pots of excess water. The rain hitting the ground had made dirt fly up all over the place. The wind knocked over the gnome and the rectangular planter. It was a mess.

The garden back to normal sort of.

Today I was talking to my upstairs neighbor, Lisa wondering if any of the worms survived, and as if on cue, this worm (see first picture) wiggled out of the ground and made it's way across the garden dirt. It was an easy snack for onlooking birds so I grabbed it and stuck it under the rectangular flower box.

Then back into the apartment to work.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Saturday Morning Meeting

Kiri on the phone

Saturday. I like to sleep in on saturday till at least 10am. Anyone who knows me knows that they will get my wrath if I'm woken up before 10am on saturday. What the wrath happens to be hasn't really been determined but I'm sure it'll be harsh.

Today I dragged myself out of bed to go to a meeting at James and Kiri's place. It was to look at some test animation that James had been playing with the night before. I was up until 5am the morning before working away and I really didn't want to get out of bed let alone be at a meeting at 10am.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thanks for the memory

Memory stick from my computer

Granted it's not the greatest picture but as odd as it seems it's the only picture I took today. I had to install some more RAM for a project I'm working on and I couldn't remember the type of memory in my computer. It shot the image so I could bring it to the computer store as a reference.

Which reminds me, the project I'm working on will take a lot of effort on my part for the next two weeks or so, as much as I like to update this blog on a regular basis I may not. But don't worry I'll do my best to have something up here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Tiffany Deriveau belts out FAME

This evening at the Fifth, a bar hidden around the corner of Richmond and Duncan, was the location of the countdown to FAME launch party. For those of you not in the know FAME, or the Fitness And Model Expo, features a gathering of top fitness and athletes from around the world to compete for prizes and contracts.

FAME also promotes singers and dancers. There's everything from dance competitions to arm wrestling. The event takes place at the international center this year in June. The 16th - 18th weekend.

The evening hilight was Tiffany Deriveau singing, what else but, "Fame". Her performance and energy was contagious. You could see other people still humming the words once she got off stage. "What a voice!" some admirer from the audience cheered. If you weren't excited before she started singing you were after.

An interesting thing about this party was that a lot of the people there were very down to earth and easy to talk to. An attractive writer even bought me a drink. There's a first. She wasn't even drunk. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006



While cleaning the recycle bin I found this slug...

  • Slugs have two tentacles on top of their heads and two right under.

  • the tentacles on top are sensitive to light.

  • the lower tentacles are sensitive to smell.

  • the tentacles can regenerate should they be lopped off.

  • The slug produces two types of slime. One thick, one thin.

  • Do not eat a slug as it can promote swelling of the brain.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Look Again

How to entertain with props found around you.

Who would have ever thought using ketchup cups for buggy eyes to entertain? Not me. For Kevin wacky props seem to come naturally as he uses his MacGyver three rule technique of problem solving.
  • There are things around that you can use as tools.

  • There are things around that you can use to make tools.

  • Look again stupid, they're there.

It's an interesting way of approaching life. All you require are good observation skills and a keen imagination.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sign This

Just an interesting building painting down near King street on Charlotte. This quote holds true provided you are not biking in the snow to Mississauga with flowers. Some things are just dumb. Bold yes, but dumb.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sign Language

Music to make you cry or music for S.O.B.s?

On my way back from a power lunch with Marc (needed to pick his brain about high speed modems) we noticed a car with the license plate shown here. What possesses a person to pick "SOBMUSIC"? Do they like to listen to the stuff? Are they song writers?

Does SOB stand for sad romantic music where one party gets the short end of the stick romantically or is left alone to reminisce about a potential partner far away? Songs like "Can't smile without you" (Barry Manilow) , "Sandy" (From Greese), "To Love Somebody" (Bee Gees), "Time in a Bottle" (Jim Croce), "Send her my love" (Journey), "Against all odds" (Phil Colins) come to mind. Cheesy corny songs that really mean nothing until you fall into that dark place and reflect on your own single life and it comes to you "These song writers are GREAT!! The pain they feel... it's REAL!". All of a sudden the corny songs seem to make a whole lot more sense then you would have ever believed.

Of course the letters SOB could be a short form for Son Of a Bitch. In which case other songs, well one song, comes to mind. "We are the champions" (Queen) sung by the a**hole that just cut you off on the highway thinking he's driving in the grand prix. That song is usually sung by an individual or group of individuals after the heat of competition. They figure that winning isn't enough to make you feel like crap but by singing this song they can further rub your nose in your loss by singing the lyrics real loud and with glee.

I'm such a prick. I should just wish the losing party "better luck next time".

The eyeball in hand - a classic

Another interesting sign I saw while walking home after finding the local Sobey's (grocery store) closed for renovations. It's the eyeball in the hand made famous (to me) by reading all those Dr. Strange comics (published by Marvel Comics). It was an odd comic book character and for some reason the eyeball in hand stuck in my head and creeped me out as a kid.

As for the store, it was home to a psychic of some sort. Hand reading, numerology, something to that effect. The neon sign added a nice cheesy touch to the serious nature of the other signs predicting your future, what's in store romantically, if you're going to be dating happily or go home and listen to the heart sobbing songs alone.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Day as a Photo Slave

In a world of cooties, Maddox still interacts with "the girls".

Today I went up to Milton to shoot a birthday party for the winner of the photo slave raffle/auction. The photographic subject was Maddox, the son of the winner, who was celebrating his second birthday.

Despite the looming clouds and the rain warning the day went rather well. The sun stayed out and the rain was kept at bay until the party was over. It was perfect timing on the weather's part. It would have been disastrous as the event was outside in the grandparents backyard.

Cindy, the proud mother and winner of the photoslave had really put a lot of work into organizing this party for her kids, family and friends. A cowboy with a horse for the kids, a clown that performed magic and made balloon animals, a cotton candy machine, along with food and all the organization that goes along with an event of this magnitude.

The kids overall were pretty happy. The clouds blocked direct sunlight from hitting anyone most of the time producing diffuse lighting (no harsh shadows or squinty eyes). There was always something interesting to shoot. I spent just under five hours shooting from the time I was picked up to the time the party was over. My photo tally came to 1134 pictures after getting rid of the images that didn't turn out.

As an aside, shooting kids interacting with one another was hilarious. You've got everything. Drama - girl crying from not being able to get enough candy off the ground from the smashed pinata. Comedy - "Take that" as one kid stabs the other with a balloon sword. Action - the kids running after Easton, the boxer (dog).

The best part is that I helped generate money for Jay's two kids. Doing what you love and helping people at the same time, what could be better?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Church Concert Charity

Inside St. Anne's church

This evening I had a gig to shoot a charity benefit for the Regeneration House. The concert took place in St. Anne's church near Dundas and Gladstone. This venue was great for sound. You could hear a pin drop. Unfortunately you could also hear a camera shutter going off.

They were recording the performance to some audio media. My camera work was limited to the time the audience clapped between performances. The lighting was also quite dark which made it challenging to shoot at an ISO setting of 800.

Shopping Spree

An Elton John fan might be able to get away with this look.

I spent the afternoon with Leanna, looking for mother's day gifts, eating food, and shopping. These are some of my favorite things and as an added bonus spending the time with great company just made the day just zip by. Where did the day go anyway?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Playboy Unleashed... Again

Amy Grover, runway model

Another Playboy Fashion was held in Toronto. This time at "This is London" a local night club downtown (Richmond, east of Spadina). For bloggers that have been keeping up to date the last playboy fashion show held back in November was terrible. In comparison this show was much better organized.

There were two runway showings. One for the media, and one for everyone else. They had bouncer types making sure that if a person did not have a camera they had to be standing about a meter away from the stage. This allowed us to shoot the models without having to worry about some person holding a cell phone up the models skirt trying to take a picture. Classy.

The runway was lit with a bunch of lights compared to the last show that was maybe lit with two or three floods. It made it easier to shoot the models without having to rely on slow shutter speeds in order to get the exposure right.

Simon Mah - "photographer to the stars"

The only complaint I had was that there was a video guy wearing a large cowboy hat. Hello? They should teach photographer etiquette in schools. Do not wear hats to photo events. When looking at the videocam's monitor I noticed that the camera wasn't even shooting the model. I think the camera guy was too busy ogling the model and not paying attention to looking through the actual viewfinder.

As I sympathize with the videographer I was still annoyed that he was blocking us photographers in the back and not getting any good shots himself. I wondered if he indeed was media. As a photographer shooting an event you must detach yourself from the subject no matter how good looking they are. Nikon's VR or Canon's IS are good lens features for dealing with shaky hands due to nervousness but even the best technology isn't worth the money if you don't look through the lens.

I bumped into Simon Mah, photographer for the former site and Amy Grover a model I didn't recognize at first. She recognized me.

As it turns out I shot pictures of her at the Aries party. It may have been that she was wearing a small gold bikini... "Sorry I didn't recognize you without your clothes." How many times do you get to use a line like that?

Not often enough apparently.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Power Meetings and Coffee Shops

Zoe and David describe project

It's the year 2006 and I suppose it's time I joined the current world of technology and brainstorming taking place in the local coffee shops around the world. The Timothy's in the beaches sports big comfy chairs (maybe too comfy), free internet, a good supply of coffee, tea, hot chocolate and fruit smoothies to keep the brain going for hours. What more could one ask for?

Cat Burglar

Neighbor's cat waits in driveway before making it's move.

Today I opened my door to find the neighbor's cat eating the last of my mint in my Gnome patrolled garden. The cat, once identified, bolted and jumped over the fence.

A few hours later, on my way to a meeting, I noticed the cat sitting in the driveway looking at me as if it just cased out the joint and was waiting for the garden to be unguarded so it could eat more stuff.

The cat will get a surprise as I sprinkled a heavy dose of paprika all over the remaining plants. Hee hee hee.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Visit to the Warsaw Caves

Our first stop to eat.

Somewhere near Peterborough there's a trail near camp grounds, a hiking trail with a bunch of lime stone, and a bunch of caves. This was today's destination. With a sleepy Darryl and our fashion designer/tour guide Andrew, we set out on a hike that would last the day.

Buck shot in the sign... I guess that's reason enough to stay on the trail.

Something worth mentioning...

I read in an email that Bounce sheets (the ones you put in your dryer to get rid of static) will repel mosquitoes and other bugs. Bounce will also keep your shoes and books smelling fresh. It will also help keep dust away from your monitor.

As good as all this sounds I decided to test the "keeping the bugs away" theory. I stuffed seven sheets of bounce in my back pocket. This was based on the information in the email. It was suggested that you put one sheet of bounce in each pocket. This was the amount that postal workers, as described in the email, would use to keep insects away.

Shortly after being in the forest armed with the bounce sheets, I had tucked some of the sheets under my camera bag strap just over my left shoulder, Darryl noticed a large cloud of mosquitoes following my head. If the bugs weren't bouncing off my eyeball or sucking blood from one of my limbs they were swarming around my head. I got to wondering if there were enough of them to deflect bullets coming from who ever shot the "Stay on Trail" sign.

Power lines go across the river.

Inevitably whenever you hike around in Ontario there always seems to be power lines going off into the distance. Why is that?

A "kettle" or a pot hole drilled straight through solid rock.

This hole was created by pebbles or sand being moved by river currents (the river is no longer). The pebble hit the rock in such a way that it caused a small dent or crack. As time goes by the dent or crack gets larger and is rounded out by swirling water drilling downward until, in this case, it goes right through the rock creating a hole or "kettle". We saw many of these but this was one of the larger ones. It's pretty impressive when you think how long something like this would take.

Darryl enters the rectangular forest entrance.

The sun had gone down by the time we arrived back home.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Gnome Freaks Out Neighbor's Dog

The Gnome - protector of the garden, ruler of the worms, repeller of dogs.

I installed some lemon thyme into the garden today, along with Rosemary, and Italian Oregano. After planting and adding some water I rotated the Gnome to face the plants.

A few days ago while running in the hose to water the grass I noticed my neighbor's dog slowly advancing on the gnome. It went to sniff it, then abruptly jumped back (almost like it got an electric zap - it was odd). The dog then started barking at the gnome. Terry, my neighbor, had to lift the dog up under his arm to bring it back into the house where it continued to bark for a few more minutes.

It's too bad the gnome doesn't have that affect on whatever is eating my mint. I'll have to see if there's any damage done tomorrow on the newer plant specimens. Which brings me to...

This afternoon I was uptown looking at a spy shop. They have a small camera (about the width of a quarter) that runs off a 9 volt battery and transmits to a receiver. Yes! It's wireless and only $200 (that includes the receiver). I was thinking I could attach a solar panel to the battery attached to the camera then place the camera in the eye of the gnome and "see" what was going on in the garden... or better yet have the video sent to the computer so if the image changes/detects motion it would use another transmitter device to squirt water from the gnome to the unsuspecting target. hee hee hee.

Okay it'll cost a bit of money to get that contraption made. There's always Terry's advice to buy some chicken wire to fence off the plants from the outside creatures. It would probably be under $20.00.

Yeah... I like the Gnome with the camera and the squirt gun idea.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Homemade Pizza

Chris Cammage's home made pizza.

For dinner on sunday I was invited over to Kyoko's for some pizza and pasta. Between Cupcake, Leanna , Chris and Kyoko it's a wonder I have the stomach to eat my own home cooking at all.

Pumpkin eyes my pizza slice... maybe a bit too closely.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Clamp Down on Skateboarding

L shaped metal brackets evenly spaced around a wading pool

Walking through Grange park today and noticed that there are metal clamp like objects attached to the sides of a wading pool. It later dawned on me that it was to deter skateboarders that were destroying the public property by sliding along the pool rim.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Wa! So Cheap!

T-shirts on sale in chinatown

While in Chinatown Darryl and I saw these signs for T-shirts. There were some 6 for $10 deals. You could "almost" buy a bunch of T-shirts every week instead of doing laundry. Most of the shirts had some Canada or Toronto blurb on them. Maybe you could ship them to friends as gifts?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Taxing Work

Not a periodic table...

I finally managed to finish doing my taxes and filing away all the receipts. Tax time is always a stressful time for me as it usually involves hours of work sifting, sorting, and squinting at various pieces of tiny paper where the ink has vanished or is in the process of disappearing. I've noticed that most of my FutureShop receipts do this and anything that was printed on thermal paper. Luckily for the bigger ticket items I photocopied them.

This year I created a system that involved marking off sections on my apartment floor. Each section would contain a category of reciepts (ie. transportation, phone, hydro, that sort of thing). At some point I should fire up quickbooks and try to enter the little pieces of paper on a monthly or even weekly basis to avoid the yearly rush.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Nilla with her coffee and cell phone

This morning I shot a picture of my friend Nilla (see above). If there was a technology where you could implant a mini cell phone into your head I could totally see her getting one installed. The cell phone much like her consumption of coffee are the things that help define who she is.

A while back I was reading some photo book or magazine where one of the assignments was to take pictures of various objects and combine them into a collage of sorts to describe a person. As an assignment even if you're not a photographer it's pretty interesting to see just how much you know about your friends and the people around you. Aside from work and maybe the odd hobby what do we really know about some of our so called friends? A little, a lot, somewhere in between?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Go big or go Gnome

The Gnome takes a trip using the TTC

I was thinking about the movie Amelie, a great French film about a girl that gets into mischief trying to help other people. Without giving away the plot for those that haven't seen it, it was from watching the movie and because I was at Canadian Tire getting garden supplies anyway that I picked up this Gnome for $10.00 and went around town photographing it.

It was fun seeing the reactions of people as I pulled the little gnome out of the plastic canadian tire bag to pose it next to various things. If anything, the gnome is a good conversational piece. I have not officially named the Gnome but some suggestion was to call it Gigi. (G.G. = garden gnome).

The Gnome in front of the new city hall

"Hey. Someone get me another drink! Watching over gardens is thirsty work."

Hartley, The Gnome, Kevin and Emmanuel

Nana and the Gnome (sounds like a kid's book title)


  • Gnomes according to E.G. Khrenson are small and live underground.

  • Sunlight turns gnomes into stone. Some sources say they turn into frogs.

  • Gnomes have the ability to predict the future.

  • Like the leperchan, the gnome is supposed to keep a treasure or knowledge.