Friday, October 24, 2014

iPhone Diaries #724: On Agendas, Hidden or otherwise

I was standing in line at Subway an hour ago,  thoughts of current events, random thoughts running through my head. Believe it or not, 4 customers ahead of me was a man ordering a six-inch sub with all the toppings (fair enough) and ALMOST ALL the sauces available piled into a dripping soggy mess. Eyes rolling all around. Right in front of me was this ad:
that little tetra pack of apple juice and handful of chips will supply a few days supply of sugar and sodium in  5-minute break. The apple is in there so truth in advertising may be claimed.
Everyone has an agenda. Food processing giants have to sell food products, nutritionists have to have jobs (our parents' and their parents before them) never had nutritionists: they ate what was available and what felt good. Business people have an agenda, our managers have agendas, heck, even our mothers have their own agendas.
Back to current events. Our politicians are not always successful at hiding their agendas. Multiple news sources, social networks, and the capacity of almost everyone to be heard allows for hidden agendas to be discovered. At the same time, this multiplicity of voices results in a fog of noise that can hide an agenda.
Enter Russell Brand.
I honestly don't know what his agenda is (to sell his latest book, perhaps) but whatever it is, his passion for political and humanitarian issues and the risks he takes to his career (and his livelihood) and his very life is very impressive. Altruism comes to mind. An altruistic  medical person will work with Meds Sons Frontieres;  Russell Brand employs  his comedic sense of the absurd and laser-like truth vision to bring a different take on the Ottawa shooting.

Take that Fox News! Take that CNN! Take that everybody else!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The last hummingbird of 2014

as seen through the kitchen window. Music by Podington Bear 09, "Ninety-One". With Permission from

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rule of Thirds in Portraiture

 Test photo/initial draft for a series of portraits, October 19th.

iPhone Diaries #723: Official End of Summer

B-Ball hoop has been taken off the driveway and stored in the garage, bikes are more or less in for the fall and winter. October 19th.

iPhone Diaries #722: Rhodesian Ridgeback

Met this Ridgeback on the Bruce Trail near Ancaster. October 18th.

iPhone Diaries #721: wedding shoot on the Bruce Trail

Chris from Boston Images shooting  Genevieve and Antonio at Sherman Falls, on the Bruce Trail near Ancaster.  Attractive couple+gorgeous scenery+awesome photography = memories for a lifetime and more! October 18th.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

iPhone Diaries #719: cheaper gas

The Middle East is burning, Russia is holding on to its gas, and Alberta can't get it's oil to market. The Thanksgiving long weekend came and went and price of gasoline was at a six-year low. What gives?
It looks like a seismic shift in underway in the marketplace with profound repercussions for OPEC, Israel, fresh water (fracking, tar sands) the valuation of energy corporations, pension funds, etc.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

iPhone Diaries #715: Sue Richards, 1958-2014

This is the piano that is moved around to different locations in Guelph, so that people may sit down and make beautiful music, in honour of Sue Richards.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Suit… and the attendant pollution it brings

Newsweek proclaims that the Suit is back in fashion:
To me, Suits mean tight collars, sweating and discomfort, huge expense, and, DRY CLEANING!
I wonder what the environmental cost is to maintaining a suit(s). I googled "dry cleaning, pollution" and after reading several sites, including the EPA site, the conclusion I came up with is that even the most well-meaning, environmentally-conscious dry cleaner will still pollute the environment.
So why wear a suit? Why wear a uniform?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Things Scottish

I've always been fascinated by Scotland and by the Scottish diaspora all over the world. As a group, Scots have consistently punched way above their weight. My Dad used to say that in most Allied warships during WW2, you could count on at least 1 Scottish engineer manning/running the boilers. In science, engineering, math, computers, etc, Scots have contributed so much.
Recently, I was introduced to the TV series, The Outlander, based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon. It's a terrific show in all aspects, not the least of which is the Highlands scenery. I also came across this YouTube video, taken in the Isle of Skye,  showcasing different video techniques (drone, GoPro, slider, etc).

A special tour of The Hospital for Sick Children

This is where I work!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Eden Mills Writers' Festival

This is a very short video, a relatively amateurish video really, that humbly offers a glimpse into an amazing event set in the otherworldly picturesque hamlet of Eden Mills, minutes from Guelph, Ontario.

Here is the Festivals' story:
The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival was founded in 1989 and has taken place annually in the village of Eden Mills, Ontario since then. Although it started out as the fulfillment of Governor General Award winner Leon Rooke’s personal vision, the Festival has matured and expanded over the years becoming a nationally acclaimed and widely respected literary event that still maintains a small “footprint.”

In 1989, the first public readings took place outside the old General Store in the centre of Eden Mills. At that time Leon Rooke and his wife Constance were living in the former stagecoach hotel on the other side of the street. The store owners, Don and Mark Holman, suggested that Leon should launch his latest novel, A Good Baby, from the stone platform outside their property. Leon invited other writers, including Rohinton Mistry, Michael Ondaatje, Jane Urquhart, and Linda Spalding to join in the fun. An audience of 350 materialized and the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival was born.

Audiences of several thousand now come to the Festival each year from near and far to enjoy the unique mix of bucolic surroundings, great literature, and relaxed ambiance. In Leon Rooke’s words, Eden Mills is a place “where new writers are introduced to a large audience and established writers are newly engaged.”

Mixing together writers of different experience has had many happy results. In 1997, the newly published Andrew Pyper opened a set that included Michael Ondaatje. Andrew was so impressed by the huge audience waiting expectantly at the Meadow site that he started his reading by taking a souvenir photograph of the assembled company. The audience was immediately won over, and at the subsequent book signing, Andrew’s line-up rivalled Michael’s.

Over the years, the Festival has taken place in different Eden Mills venues and was located once at the Bookshelf in Guelph. For the last few years, it has taken place in three beautiful open-air sites on the banks of the Eramosa river. In addition to the main venues, there is an established and extremely well-liked Children’s Site (Jenny’s Place) that runs continuously throughout the afternoon. There are also Fringe and Young Adult readings. Announcements of the winners of the Festival’s two annual literary competitions are also made.

Come for the words.

In addition to readings, the Festival also features Publishers’ Way, where publishers, booksellers, magazine producers, and non-profit groups showcase their wares. This is also where authors sign their books. Live music entertains between reading sets, and delicious refreshments can be enjoyed in the tented food court.

The Festival is organized by an eight-person board (six of whom are Eden Mills residents) and committees drawn from the general membership of 50 people for fundraising, operations, publicity, author selection, entertainment, and music. We also have the help of 60 volunteers on the day of the Festival. Despite its size, Eden Mills has a disproportionately high number of residents who are writers and illustrators. There is an invaluable critical mass of local people who are dedicated to Canadian literature and devoted to the continuing success of the Festival. The five reading sites are each privately owned by different residents, none of whom charge for the use of their property. Similarly, other residents provide free access to their electricity and parking areas. This generosity together with the much-appreciated support from the Festival’s sponsors enable ticket prices to be kept low.

The Festival is now in its 26th consecutive year and continuity has been well maintained over this time. Experience has taught that our core activities of open-air readings by professional writers—some famous, some new—appeals most to our audience. Nevertheless, the Festival is constantly evolving and appealing to new constituencies. We have, for instance, run various seminars during Festival weekend, and often feature lectures leading up to Festival Sunday. Check out Workshops and Seminars, or sign up to receive our monthly newsletters to hear the latest on this year’s events.

Pauline Kiely, author, at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival

Pauline Kiely was one of the writers in attendance at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival. She was nice enough to give me an autographed copy of her book, "No Poverty Between The Sheets". Artists and other creative types make the human condition more bearable!
For the techies wondering about the wash-out look of the video, it is not intentional. A week after this shoot, I discovered the ND filter settings on my camera.
(Any video device, traditional or DSLR, should have ND filters!) September 14th.