Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Bike

I decided to ride my bike to work yesterday. Get the heart going (especially for the up hill return), be green, save $5 subway fare, all good. I haven't done this for years and probably only ever done it a couple of times. As it happens blogTO posted Sustainable Commuting: the Bicycle the same morning. I really like the soundtrack to the video, anyone got a helmet cam I can borrow for the next ride. BTW, I didn't walk my bike up my 25 stories.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wrecked quiet moment

Unfortunately I don't have my camera with me otherwise this may have been a wrecked landscape photo. I'm having lunch and reading my photo mag at Ryerson's green space, nestled among college buildings in the heart of downtown Toronto. I've been here a couple of times and find it's a relatively quiet spot that is isn't very busy and close to my office. A little din can be heard from close by Yonge Street, the faint radio sound from a parked truck isn't so bad, and the occasional hospital helicopter I can take, but the high pitched, metallic grind of the work men cutting concrete is doing a marvelous job at ruining this quiet urban moment.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Photo project

Had to jot this idea down before going to bed. Felt that I might as well share it. I've had an idea about seeing the mess of a city in a different light. I added a new set in my Flickr account that is starting to capture some of the photos with this theme, although I haven't managed to capture the beauty yet, just document some wrecked landscapes.

So I was thinking, really what makes the city great ? It's partly its physical diversity and impressive structures, its neighbourhoods, but mostly, it must be its people. However, I'm a little too shy to simply walk up to people on the street and ask to take their photograph. I do it on occasion, but prefer to steal a candid shot. So I'm now thinking of trying to capture one of those one genuine expressions that you can't really pose for, laughter. But try and capture the moment and faces in amongst the less than pretty places on the street. Unsure of depth-of-field challenges with my 70-300, but I'll give it a try tomorrow (well, later today).

This is probably relevant, but I watched Slumdog Millionaire tonight. Still trying to put my thoughts into words, but I loved how "beautiful" the movie looked, slums and all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I watched the Champion's League final this afternoon. Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0. Barcelona have an unusual "sponsor" of UNICEF. I actually did a little googling and was pleased to see that Barcelona actually donate a minimum 1.5M euro per year to UNICEF. A nice story in times of greedy sports teams and players ! Anyway, on the dining room table there's a tax receipt from UNICEF. I didn't know my wife donated any money to UNICEF and today was the first time I saw the paperwork. No biggy, but nice.

Only Coincidence ?

As I've noted a few times in the past, I notice coincidences quite a lot
and I am very curious about their math and meaning.
So much so, that I've decided to blog them.
Announcing PJMixer's Only Coincidence ? Blog.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


We are about to get our first dog. We saw him this past weekend and we should be able to bring him home next month when he's about 8 weeks old. When our plans were solidifying last month, my daughter came up with the name Kooper. She liked the name from perhaps a past memory and it kind of went with kanga and roo (our puppy is an Australian Shepherd). It turns out that the puppy's mother's name is the same as my daughter's and she had previously had a puppy called Cooper.

I did a quick
google on Kooper yesterday, just to see if anything weird popped up. Nothing really, a musician and a photographer etc. Then when I was browsing in Indigo after work yesterday I glanced at a book featured on one of the aisle displays - Blood Sins by Kay Hooper. I just went to her web site and what do you know - she's a dog lover and there's a picture of a dog on the site that looks pretty close to an Australian Shepherd.

Rosy and Grey

The other night my wife and I were talking about letting our friends know about possibly seeing a local band We Are The Take. The Next (random) song on iTunes starts and it's our friend's favourite (all time) track by The Lowest of the Low called Rosy and Grey.


The other evening my son was enthusiastic about The Incredibles, one of my favourite Pixar movies. When my wife is looking at a little later in the evening, there's a special Pixar ad on the landing page and Mr. Incredible is part of the graphic.

First Post - Pakistan and Journalists

I got around to watching A Mighty Heart last night, the true story of journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. Really well made, riveting actually, Jolie was barely recognizable and her acting was superb. Although the plot with its myriad of foreign named characters was very hard to follow, it didn't take away from the key messages and emotions of the movie.

Anyway, getting to the coincidence. I record
The Hour every night and it usually takes me a while to catch up but I don't really have any rhyme or reason on which one I watch first. I had previewed a few intros and I do recall glimpsing something about dangerous jobs, and maybe I did hear "journalist" but I think I filed it away*. I've been watching a few this week and chose to watch another before going to bed after the movie. The first one I clicked on was from May 13th and it included a fascinating interview with Terry Gould, a journalist who's been working in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

I just finished a book and have been considering what to read next. My wife who is part of at least 2 book clubs recommended
Three Cups of Tea. I knew a little about the story, but wasn't certain about the geography. I started it when I went up to bed. The story is set in Pakistan and is written by Greg Mortenson and journalist, David Oliver Relin. In the introduction, Relin talks about journalists being drawn into his [Mortenson's] orbit.

Perhaps just a common thread or only coincidence ?

*clue into one way coincidence happens
you observe something, but it doesn't sit in true memory,
but rests somewhere behind a curtain
and then is only revealed
when it connects to something else you observe at a later time

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Photo Blog #11: 100 Minute Street scene

100 Minutes on (West) Queen West and a little Dundas too. I had rented a couple of high quality lenses for the weekend which I returned this morning. However after viewing the Contact Festival exhibition at Mocca after work I put my faith back in my 18-55mm kit lens and along with some new inspiration I took a long walk to see what angles and content I could capture. Originals and full set going on Flickr shortly along with weekend shots.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 18, 2009

Twitter overflow

I haven't been twittering a lot recently and now I find I'm a bit behind. Engage Twitter overflow blog mode.

Even though I've had to work a little this weekend and my shoulder is still causing 4am wake times, I'm enjoying this long weekend.

We went to the Ontario Science Centre today. I've never been a big fan since I always feel it's very disorganized and many exhibits are not working properly. But, the interactive exhibitions always seem to be hit with the kids and it got their brains working hard for 3 hours.

Catching up on a few movies too this weekend, Forgetting Sarah Marshall was hilarious and we just watched Benjamin Button tonight, which was a little different to what I expected. Can't say I loved it was but a curious story well told. Hot music of late includes Pete(r) Doherty, White Lies and S&R just introduced us to Bash for Lashes after dinner last night.

I enjoyed shopping with the kids yesterday and especially liked my son's rare fashion sense kick in with a pair of white and red Ferrari logo'd Pumas, sweet !

I've been taking a ton of photos this weekend. I went to Vistek on Friday and rented a couple of lenses (Nikon 18-200mm VR and Nikon 50mm 1.4) and a Nikon SB-800 speedlight for the weekend (pretty good deal I think). Although I'm constantly trying new photographic techniques, camera settings and subjects, I think I'm gradually getting a little better, but adding some quality lenses hasn't produced instant wows. Probably a good thing considering the price tags.

Sports - keeping it brief, Arsenal put up a decent performance to hold ManU to a scoreless time at Old Trafford, which gave The Red Devils the point the needed to clinch the Premiership. It's been a difficult season for a Gunner fan, but I'm sticking with them and hopeful for next season if they can add a little muscle and height at the back. Sorry hockey fans, still haven't invested time into the NHL playoffs yet, I'll probably wait until the next round. F1 is looking interesting this year, big shake up with Brit boy Jenson Button leading the pack - worth watching some new faces get the time at the front !

My sports, unfortunately Ive had to cancel a number of golf tournament and my ultimate season due to this frozen shoulder injury. I think I've stabilized it a little, but it hurts like a bugger now and again and very uncomfortable at night (to say the least).

As some readers may know I like coincidences. In fact with a few recent events and a story from SEH I'm actually thinking of spinning up a new blog to log coincidences - I think there's enough to make you go hm.

And to finish, today is my 18th wedding anniversary. We're planning on spending the afternoon doing the West Queen West walk, taking in some galleries exhibiting during this month's Contact Photography Festival and having a nice cafe lunch. Can't end without saying she's the most amazing woman and perfect for me.