Monday, February 28, 2005

The eagles are coming!!

It could be luck, but I think something is different the past while. Yesterday I saw an eagle on the way to church. Today, I saw TWO just on my drive to the train. That's quite out of the ordinary. I've seen one or two now and then, but this just seems a little more than normal.

Had a bad case of eagle poaching recently in BC...

B.C. eagles slaughtered for feathers and talons

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Nintendo: Now found in Museums!

I recently went through all my stuff and gathered my game systems together. Seems like I still have all the parts and a number of games to go with them. It's fun to go back and play some of the old games... Mario Kart, Zelda, Monopoly. For a while I was trying to beat all the games I never did, but it takes more time than I have to spend on it right now. Zelda for the Super Nintendo was going great until I reached one of the castles... it was a pretty difficult one and I couldn't figure out how to get through a certain place. I wandered around and around, finally gave up and I haven't gone back to it yet. I know I've got past that stage before, it just got me stuck.

Anyway what is interesting is the fact that while I was in Victoria in December, I visited the Museum and there it was... an original Nintendo! Funny that stuff I had as a kid is going into museums! My cousin had an Apple IIc years ago and said he saw it in the Smithsonian museum. I still have the Apple IIc and play it every now and then as well. There's something great about having old technology that still works.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Contact with MP, Chuck Strahl

After taking photographs at a rally in Whiterock, I emailed the MP for my area (Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon), Chuck Strahl to show him the article and inquire if anything similar was going on in his riding. After three weeks, I'd totally forgotten about the email when suddently I got a response!

It's excellent that folks like yourself are getting out to express yourselves politically. This demonstration of democratic freedoms sends a message to the government that traditional marriage is important to Canadians and should not be changed. Your article was also very interesting to read."


The article he was referring to, and my other rally reports are here:
rallywatch.myphotos.cc

UPDATE: If you tried the link before and it didn't work, it's because it was wrong. Try again, it's the right one now. rallywatch.myphotos.cc

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Book Review: Moby Dick

I was browsing around Chapters one Sunday afternoon and came across one of their tables that had a whole bunch of "classics" for $4.99 or so. Not a bad deal, and I was looking for something to read. All of the common ones were there... Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, etc. I read the first bit of a few of them and while they seemed pretty interesting, I settled on Moby Dick. Who could risist an adventure on the high seas, and the great whale hunt?

Little did I know what kind of adventure awaited!

The story is narrated by the main character, Ishmael. He embarks on a whaling ship with his new friend Queequeg the savage. What they don't know is that their captain is going to take them on a wild chase around the globe in search of the white whale, Moby Dick.

"Hast seen the white whale?" was his oft cry to passing ships. His urge to find and kill this whale in particular takes the ship and crew on a mission they did not all want to go on, and eventually leads them to the final battle. Sorry, no spoilers here, you'll have to read the book to find out what happens!



The book has some really interesting stuff in it, but is not written in a regular novel format. The biggest difference is that there is a lot of 'information' about whales. Reading this book will teach you all about the whale fishery, the whaling ships, how they are hunted and killed, and what they are used for. There is also much discussion on whale species and their anatomy. So, besides getting a good story, you'll learn a lot while you're at it. I have to admit, my idea of whalers has changed greatly. I used to think of them as 'those bad guys who kill whales', but now I think the whale fishery would have been an interesting and adventurous occupation. I can't say why people would hunt whales now... besides for ivory or something, but back then it was their source of oil for light and they used every part of the whale much like the Indians made good use of Buffalo.

Something else I found very interesting was the heavy use of Biblical references throughout the book. Characters and stories from the Bible are mentioned numerous times, and at the start of the book, they visit a church whose priest was a whaler in the past and preached a sermon on Jonah and the whale. Even some of the characters have Bible names such as Ishmael and Ahab, and there was likely even some underlying themes which I might have missed.

It could have been lack of sleep at the time, but I found this book was far from being a 'page turner'. It took me a long time to get through it, a lot longer than I had expected. I'm not a super fast reader anyway, so others will likely get through it quicker.

Overall, a pretty interesting book and worth the read if you have the time.

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

The dangers of driving

Ahh yes, the two lane highway that connects all of the cities around the Lower Mainland. It's a narrow and congested road with major traffic jams every single day. Even Sunday!!

Anyway, traffic slows for the bridge and many times it slows down quickly and if you're not watching you have to brake hard. Well, I was watching and still had to brake hard. I look in my rear-view mirror as always and see that the lady behind me in her white sporty car IS NOT looking and is cruising towards me. Suddenly she sees and breaks hard but she's approaching fast. I thought FOR SURE I was going to get hit... I mean it must have been inches away because I lost most of the hood of her car in the mirror.

Luckily in the end I was able to step on the gas a little bit to speed up and give her some extra room (since I was smart and left myself some). Accident averted by some good timing and good driving!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

First Spring Weather

Yesterday and today have been two of the nicest days we've had this year. In fact, it was warm enough to go outside with just a long sleeve t-shirt! The mountains around here sure are beautiful with a blue sky... something that you don't see often during the winter months.

I got an oil change today, and washed my car with our new pressure washer. Very handy indeed! Yesterday I used it to clean the green stuff that's been growing over the patio and sidewalks.

So, not a bad day, relaxing but got some work done. The only thing I'm missing now is somewhere to go and someone ;o) to go there with!

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Friday, February 18, 2005

Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D)

When I bought my camera (Canon Digital Rebel 300D), I already knew it was approaching the stage where something new was coming out and it would be older technology. But usually that's when the price is the best.

And sure enough, about 4 months later, the new Rebel XT (350D) is released. I haven't seen it in stores yet, but there's an online review:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/canoneos350d/

The main benefit is that it is 8MP whereas mine is only 6MP. There's a lot of other little things, metering, custom functions, etc, but I think for everyday use, it wouldn't make any difference to me. There's a much faster framerate for burst shots, but same thing... I've found so far that as fast as I can press the shutter button is good enough for me.

One possible negative is that they actually reduced the size of the camera. You can see this in the review, they have them side by side and an overlap shot. Personally I love the way the 300D feels. Just big enough to get the job done but not overly bulky... and on the other hand, big enough to get a good grip on it. When I get a chance to see it in a store I'll test it out. I might be wrong, but instinctively I think it might actually feel too small compared to the 300D.

And still my "old technology" is working great, still taking great pictures and creating endless amounts of fun. I still get asked why I carry it around with me. Maybe it does seem funny to some people, but I've never missed a good photo opportunity!

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Hello, world!

Alright, I've finally found a spot I think will work well for me. I tried writing my own Blog software which turned out okay but I want to avoid maintenance in the future. That's the problem with making your own stuff as opposed to using something that's already set up.

Anyway, here's my Weblog, keep coming back to see what's new!

Trooper

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