Wednesday, September 25, 2013

honey for sale and getting caught in the rain

The Byward Market, Ottawa. Sept 22nd.


Major Hill's Park, behind the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Sept 22nd.

Ottawa snaps

The Fairmont Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill as seen from the Ottawa River. This is a straight-out-of-the-camera shot using the partial colour setting (red selected) on the Sony a57. This scene just screamed for this feature.
At the half-marathon of the annual Ottawa Military Run, with the local firefighters cheering the runners on.
Lovers. Sept 22nd.

iPhone Diaries #652: In search of the best #2

I shouldn't complain. After all, almost all women pay significantly more for the same service than men do. It is so bad that "Denmark, that bastion of gender equality, has ruled that price differences between men's and women's were illegal". 
Yes, we are talking about haircuts.
Women pay anywhere from $45-$100+ for the same styling that men pay $25-$45+ for.
I pay $10-$25 for a #2 (all-around), which refers to the clipper guard or the rotary clipper blade, with the  hair all over the head cut at #2 guard length. 
Here is my review on three of the ones I like:
The Terminal Barber Shop (no, it's not for your very last haircut), is an experience to be savoured. Although a #2 can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes, you will want to set aside an hour, and you will want to be served later rather than sooner. You will want a lineup. You will enter a world of Old World charm seldom found even in the Old World. From the crisp cotton uniforms, to the magazine collection (National Geographic Collector's Editions, the thick ones), the vintage period chairs and antique furniture, to the subtle aroma of  humidor, exotic spices, and my late father's Old Spice, steaming hot towels, and cosmopolitan conversation (depending on your barber), the Terminal Barber is a refuge in from the busy corner of Dundas and Bay, where it is located. It is quite literally a big hole-in-the-wall, but oh what an experience! A barbershop with it's own website and a barber who hails from the same hometown in Algeria as French soccer legend Zinadine Zidane!
But is it worth $25 (+tip) for a quick #2? Not on a monthly basis, but yes if I want a treat for myself.
Vince's in Guelph is your stereotypical Italian barber. Four chairs, utilitarian furnishings, yellowed and fading Azzuri (Italian national soccer team) posters on the wall, Sports Illustrated, Macleans, and the Toronto Sun for reading material. Efficient, light (Canadian) banter (weather, commute, local gossip) makes for a nice monthly, Saturday morning ritual. The haircut is even and uniform, and clipper handling is gentle. Neck (and ears) shaving is included. $18 (+tip).
The Merchandise Building Salon and Spa, is within the Ryerson University Campus. I can only talk about the barbershop experience. The barbershop/stylist portion is also a DVD rental place (hiphop, reggae, pop, XXX Adult), as well as a great source for unique trucker hats for the hiphop crowd. Unique because you won't find these hats at the mall. I was the only customer in the shop but my barber rushed through, rough on the scalp, used a microclipper where a shave was asked for. The chair had no footrest (hold on to the arm rest or you will get the sensation that you are sliding off). I also did not appreciate my barber interrupting my haircut with high-fives for people who walked in and out, and the one guy who watched TV while seated 3 feet away from my legs, when there was plenty of room away from me. The haircut is mostly even, no shaving. $18 (+tip). Apparently, it's $10 on Mondays but  I fear the lineups will be long and the service will be even more rushed and haphazard.
I'll take Vince's any day, unless I'm rushed for time, in which case I'll spring for the Terminal Barber.
Sept 24th.

Monday, September 16, 2013

a glimpse of the beauty of Dumaguete, Silliman University, and its people

check out Rizal Boulevard, Silliman U, the pedicabs... feel the heat, the ocean breeze... take in the scents of the various eateries... many thanks to Lorraine Kendrickson and Beladonis Fashion!

iPhone Diaries #650: Mozart's Balls

Salzburger Mozartkugeln. A gift from Ali, who went on a European cruise.  September 16th.

Friday, September 13, 2013

iPhone Diaries #649: dusk in Guelph

strip plaza on the southeast corner of Wellington and Gordon. 8:01 pm, Sept 12th.

from the Washington Post...

"When companies focus on pleasing customers, rather than just shareholders, everybody can win. Just ask Apple, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson. (Aly Song/Reuters)"
from the Washington Post, 2012/09/09, the full article is here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Marco Montesa, "Bella's Lullaby", outdoor session

a quickie outdoor session on a sun-kissed morning in Bais, a small city on the lush and verdant island of Negros, the Philippines. I wasn't there when this was recorded but it's all here on this video: the birds singing, motorized pedicabs, the crow of  roosters sunning and pecking in the yard amongst the chickens. I can hear the sweeping of a selhig (palm broom), the sound of running water from a bomba (hand pump). Heck, I can  smell the sea 5 minutes away from Marco (and I'm half a world away!). Bais is my hometown and Marco is my first cousin's son.
Good times!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

bokeh-licious with the Sigma 35f1.4

sharp, near-macro feature, typical built-like-a-tank Sigma.

a celebration at the Hacienda Sarria

Stills from a wedding at the Hacienda Sarria in Kitchener. Tasteful decor, warm ambiance from the generous skylight and the yellow brick walls of an erstwhile industrial warehouse/factory. Add in wonderful families and you have the makings of a memorable day!

iPhone Diaries #648: WTF tidbit from this week's Guelph Tribune

This guy gets arrested for drunk driving on an e-bike, steals the same e-bike from the police compound,  gets caught, again, for impaired driving. On the same day. On a Sunday. Is nothing sacred? 

iPhone Diaries #647: Uber (aka Optimus Prime)

Uber (imagine the umlaut) is a rescue cat from the Guelph Humane Society (by way of Petsmart), where he was known as Optimus Prime. He's an instant addition to the family, fitting in nicely without need for an adjustment period. Made himself at home right away with Ruudi, the muscle-bound Rhodesian Ridgeback, and the alpha female with the cataract-ky eyes Misha, the Shih Tzu.

iPhone Diaries #646: rain on a bus shelter

September 7th.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Face The Change

Please support our campaign to make climate change history. Go to

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It was only a matter of time...

... before technical publications, science and medicine in this case, started including video author interviews for submitted publications. Here is a sample from the Wiley Online Library.

Portraits of a bright hope for the future

Six of the brightest, outstanding undergraduates attending Ontario Universities, awarded Summer Research Fellowships by the Ontario Genomics Institute: a tremendous opportunity to engage, first-hand, in genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics research by way of laboratory research or analyses of the ethical, economic, environmental, legal and/or social policy issues associated with such research.
Aug 2013

the amazing advances in robotic technologies

As a Stills shooter and occasional Videographer, I get to listen to, and learn from, experts from the fields of scientific and medical research. It never fails to amaze me what the human mind can come up with in pursuit of improving the human lot. 
Here is Mr. Larry Jasinski with his talk: "Robotic Technologies allowing paraplegics to walk independently".

iPhone Diaries #645: one good-looking Rhodesian Ridgeback

Ruudi on Gordon Street. September 4th.

the wedding ceremony

Video-shooting solo is not an easy thing to do; I always say never again after each outing. Having done 4 of these shoots makes me a masochist, I guess. What makes these shoots worthwhile is the atmosphere of joy inherent in these occasions. Shooting weddings, whether for Stills or for Video, is an addictive experience. There's the adrenaline rush in anticipation of the shoot and the euphoria experienced with every image or video clip taken, like a hunter who finds and bags previsualized images.
What makes a one-man video shoot very challenging is the fact that one has to shoot from different perspectives, i.e., make it look like more than one camera was employed at the same time.
All weddings are the same, and all weddings are unique.
Stephanie and Tayfun's wedding will be an unforgettable one for me. It makes you believe in the notion of soulmates, of people meant to be together, for all time. It rekindles the feeling of being young and full of promise, of facing life's challenges with a partner. I see their beaming proud and dignified parents and I see Stephanie and Tayfun's friends and classmates who will be vibrant in their chosen fields of endeavour.
Without sounding sappy and melodramatic, amid the sad and terrible news all around us, this wedding, this gathering, makes you believe once again of hope.
note: I make no apologies for the glitzes in this video. My mind is hard-wired for shooting Stills and shooting video is a struggle for me. Like I have said, this is it for me. But then sometimes, one gets asked to shoot a wedding video, and once again, I have to go with my gut instinct, which sometimes will tell me "yes".

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

stomp, stomp, stomp

It was only a matter of time before they played a tune from Raymond's home province, Newfoundland and Labrador! August 2013.