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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Dave's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
10:24 pm
Oh Hey
Still reading LJ, but still doing most of my posting on my site. Some recent entries, in case anyone isn't following my RSS feed there:

That last one is recommended reading in case anyone wasn't aware of what I've been up to these days. ;)

I've got more content coming to the site soon, including possible even some new photos to add to my portfolio. I know, shocking, right?
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
1:19 pm
Stuff Stuff Stuff

As mentioned in my last post, I'm not really using my LJ much anymore. I might still use it to talk about boring stuff about my life, but that kind of blogging really hasn't appealed to me in a while.

I have been posting a fair bit on my website blog, though. I'm enjoying the style of blogging I'm doing there - lots of informational and educational stuff, current events, and more.

Recent entries:

I've also joined Twitter as @Daveography. Crazy, I know, but the exposure I get from there is pretty impressive. Not to mention it seemed prudent to secure my new "brand" name there.

Saturday, August 14th, 2010
12:35 am
I think I'm going to start taking my regular blogging activity to my website, Daveography.ca. I think it will do me a lot more good to do more with my website, to get it out there through my writing and photography, and generally as part of my continuing plan to network more. I'm going to try to update it semi-regularly and hopefully it will help get me out of this slump I've been in for the last few months.

I will continue to read my friends' LJs and continue to maintain edmonton, of course.

Daveography Blogography
Friday, July 23rd, 2010
11:51 pm

Putting up an unrelated photo since my LJ is sorta like a photoblog anyway.

I had my first incident as a cyclist with an angry driver today.

I was biking home from work on my usual route. About a couple of blocks from my house is a fairly major intersection, with lights and two lanes in every direction. I pull up to the light and stop since it's red, next to an SUV in the left lane who has his left turn signal on. After a while, some dude pulls up behind me in a black sunfire and honks. I look back at him and he's waving for me to move over so he can turn. I normally wouldn't do this in any situation as it is actually unsafe for me as a cyclist, but there was definitely not enough room for him to pass me safely if I move over. So I shake my head at him, and indicate that the light is changing right away anyway (the don't walk light was flashing). So he starts yelling something at me out the window, and I keep shaking my head at him.

The light changes and I take off through the intersection. On the other side, buddy pulls past me and stops a bit of a ways ahead of me, probably to give me a piece of his mind for refusing to submit to his superiority as a car and holding hm up for, like, 10 seconds. I turned right at the street that's now behind him, as I usually do anyway to get into my alley. I ride into my driveway, and shortly after, there's buddy pulling through the alley and stops, having followed me.

He starts accusing me of being an asshole because I didn't get out of the way for him. I'm a little leery now, especially since he looked to be taking off his seatbelt, but he hesitated to get out of the car. I assert myself politely that there was not enough room to let him pass so safely, and the light was changing anyway. He goes on some more about how I could have moved over for him and that I'm an asshole, blah blah. I tell him sternly but still politely that when I'm on the road, I'm a vehicle and am supposed to be treated as one, and that you wouldn't ask a car waiting at the light to get out of your way and I'm no different. He keeps going on about how he thinks I'm being an asshole because I didn't move, completely oblivious to the fact that him taking 5 minutes to stalk me threateningly and then bitch me out about making him wait 10 seconds at the intersection kindasorta makes HIM the asshole.

Still fairly composed but showing my annoyance, I remind him that the light changed shortly after, and "You missed your turn, buddy, it was back there. If you were in such a hurry, what are you doing here?" Once again he starts going off on a rant, this time accusing me of always breaking other rules and running stop signs with a much more agitated "don't lie about it, I know you do!" Which is funny because if you know me, you know I'm as close to a model cyclist as you can get in this city. And also funny because he's mad at me BECAUSE I followed the rules by asserting myself as a vehicle. I tell him flat out, "Actually, I don't."

At this point he starts backing out of the alley saying "I hope this is your house," and that he's gonna go around front and get the address. I ask him what he's going to do, at which point he puts the car back in drive, pulls up a bit, and agitatedly says "I'll tell you what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna come back with some buddies of mine!" and then backs out of the alley.

I dropped my bike in the yard, yelled at Jenn to call the police, and ran to the front so I could get the guy's license plate number.

He never came around the front. All talk, apparently; probably thought he had scared me straight. It's hard to come off as a tough guy, though, if you won't even get out of your car to threaten me, and then basically admit that you need your buddies to back you up. This guy was a looker, too. Dark messy hair with a mullet, heavy mustache, dirty grey shirt. Real classy.

I kinda wonder if he was thinking he was ready to pick a fight with a nerdy little guy on a bike until he actually saw me a bit closer up. I'm not exactly a small guy like I used to be; plus by riding a bike, it probably dawned on him that I'm probably more athletic than him. On top of that I was wearing my old Corporate Challenge t-shirt with a red line art of an eagle and says "UPSIDE SPECIAL FORCES" on it, and it amuses me a bit to think that it might suddenly seem a little intimidating to someone who wouldn't know any better. I like to think things like that, at least.

Part of me would actually have LOVED for him to have got out of his car and come at me on my driveway. I've been training hardcore at Bak Mei for almost 5 years, and part of me would have just LOVED to try out some of the stuff I've been practicing.

That's not to say it didn't shake me up a little, though. I'm not much for confrontation. But I think I asserted myself well and kept my cool. I was still feeling pretty paranoid for a while after (and still am a little bit right now).

But Jenn and I made an amazing dinner tonight that made me feel good. We BBQ'd some steaks, as well as some zucchini from our garden, and some tomatoes stuffed with artichoke hearts, feta and goat cheese, and italian seasoning, and had a side salad of garden-fresh spinach with mushrooms, red peppers, and a poppyseed dressing. We ate outside in our gazebo, with a glass of shiraz. We sat and talked for nearly two hours after dinner.

I love having a garden. And a gazebo. And barbequing. And Jenn.
Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
10:01 pm

Oh, LiveJournal. I knew I was neglecting you, but I had no idea it had been three months. Yeesh.

I guess not a lot has really happened in the last three months anyway. Well, Jenn and I went to the mountains for a few days last month, which was pretty awesome, so there's that. We stayed in a cabin just outside Hinton (where the above photo was taken) for a couple of nights. We befriended a drooling tailless cat named "Gimpy" while there, as well as hiked a small mountain and had lunch at the top.

Following that, we drove the Icefields Parkway, stopping at the Athabasca falls (very cool), and then at the Athabasca glacier. We also saw the Saskatchewan glacier (the source of Edmonton's river) on the way through, not to mention a few black bears. I haven't seen bears in the wild since I was a kid. It was amazing watching some guys practically walk right up to them - and they looked like young bears - to snap photos of them. And by amazing, I mean "stupid." If momma bear had decided to show up, she would have commanded "respect for nature."

We stopped for dinner in Banff and then stayed overnight in Canmore, in a pretty decent hotel with a jacuzzi tub, a bottle of champagne, and some Bernard Callebaut chocolates (something of a tradition of ours now it seems). We stopped in Calgary to visit with some friends and had a delicious sushi lunch at Kinjo, before hitting the road back home.

It was a great trip and a lot of fun, to sum it up.

A few more photos hereCollapse ) More photos to come as I process them.

What else happened?

Oh, we had some people over for my birthday in May (going backwards a bit, I know). It turned out to be a pretty good party. People love our house, and I love that it makes for memorable parties. Unfortunately, thanks to my fine choice in beer, the Saturday after was a total write-off. But it was still a fun time.

We've also had family over for a number of occasions since, including Mothers Day when we had my sister and her kids over along with Jenn's parents, brother, and sister, and their respective fiance(e)s, and just last week we had Jenn's family over again for a BBQ along with her aunt and uncle from Winnipeg, and yet again just tonight (this time we ordered in chinese food) with her cousins, who are also visiting from Winnipeg. It's awesome having people over. It also helps us keep the place clean, too.

Man, I need a haircut.
Sunday, April 18th, 2010
11:08 pm
Busy Weekend

I've had a busy weekend. What did I do?

- Finished my website
- Attended a city-run course at the Muttart on gardening
- Went shopping with Jenn and ended up buying a series of Ed Tel glasses (how awesome is that?), a punch bowl with glasses, and a kitchy wine chiller for the rec room at a rummage sale
- Biked to Sifu's house and helped do some yardwork
- Did Kung Fu and biked home
- Did a crapload of dishes
- Bought a barbeque and assembled it
- Also bought some seeds for veggies and flowers to plant in our garden
- Went grocery shopping and bought a propane tank for the barbeque
- Weeded the garden and transplanted some garlic which is already growing in it

I'm pretty tired, but I feel very accomplished.

On the note of biking, I'm a bit disappointed: it seems that the path to and across the Capilano bridge is not bike friendly at all. Lots of stairs. Tried crossing at the pedestrian bridge at Louise McKinney Park, but getting out of or into the valley around Riverdale is a gong show. Maybe I'll try 50 St. next to see if it's any better. In any case, I'm out of shape once again, so my legs are sore and my butt hurts.

On Friday, we took the chinchilla out into the back yard. He really wasn't sure what to make of it and seemed pretty nervous the whole time. He spent most of the time running around on Jenn (who was laying in the grass), and when he was feeling adventurous, he would wander no further than a couple of feet before running back to Jenn and hoping back onto her. He's really not used to being outside, I guess.

I have to say, one thing I didn't expect moving into this neighborhood is just how many birds there are around, and how many varieties, too. Robins, sparrows, chickadees, blue jays, and some I have yet to identify. I love hearing their chirps and their songs. In fact, we just discovered this evening that some sparrows have made a nest in one of our birdhouses. Jenn discovered this while doing some yardwork, when she heard little peeping noises coming from it. It made us both really happy.

Speaking of happy, what's not to love about this face?

Hey, look, more photos of birds and a chinchilla!Collapse )
Friday, April 16th, 2010
10:07 pm
Daveography.ca is up!
Well, I took a day off work to finish it, and it's not perfect still, but it's finally up!


I still have more work I want to do on it, and more photos to add to my portfolio, but I'm satisfied with where it's at now.

I would just like to add that Firebug is an awesome utility for tweaking (and troubleshooting) stylesheets and CSS, much better and easier than any full-fledged editor I've ever used.
Saturday, March 20th, 2010
11:42 pm
Push the Button

I'm on a roll lately! Finally got around to processing some of the photos I took in Winnipeg last September (that weren't from the wedding at least, those are long done). I didn't get a lot of shots in general due to it being a very short, very busy trip, and of those I didn't get many good ones, but did get some "artsy" ones. I'm not going to post them all into the LJ post this time, so here's the set on Flickr for the rest.
5:02 pm
Not Quite Ansel

...but a tip of the hat to him nonetheless.

What? More photos? I finally finished off the last of the photos from the Vancouver trip last year. Whew. Maybe I'll get caught up yet?

More!Collapse )
Friday, March 19th, 2010
11:48 pm
What, New Photos?
It's been too long.

More!Collapse )
Monday, March 15th, 2010
10:40 pm
A Little Behind, But Catching Up
Letsee, I'm a little behind in a lot of things, and a lot behind on little things, but it's balancing out. Website is coming along slowly, but making progress here and there. Need to take my camera out with me more, though, I haven't really shot much in a long time.

I'm going to be entering the 21st & 1/10th century now by getting a Google Nexus One smartphone (I have a buddy in SF bringing it up here for me). After so many years of a dumbphone, I'm finding more and more that I really need one to keep track of things that I tend to forget. Plus it's a really cool phone. I have to join WIND Mobile to make good use of it, but I'm ok with that - their network coverage is good enough for the vast majority of where I find myself (and still expanding), their plans are well-priced, and hey, I like being pioneering. Plus no contracts.

In more depressing news, a cousin of mine committed suicide last month. I didn't really know him very well, but what really makes it sad is that he was the son of the aunt of mine that has ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gherig's). Things haven't been going so good on my mom's side of the family.

My aunt who lives in Vancouver (who we stayed with during our last holiday there) came to attend my cousin's memorial here, so we had the two aunts over for dinner at our house tonight, with my sister and the kids. We just had Chinese take-out, and Jenn made a delicious tiramisu trifle for dessert. It was a really good time, and I'm thankful for Jenn who had a big hand in organizing it. I feel very awkward with my aunt with ALS; I really don't deal well with people who are ill, even family, but Jenn helps me through it and I love her for it.
Saturday, February 20th, 2010
12:58 pm
Daveography.ca Update
Well, I got my business cards, and I now have a temporary website up at Daveography.ca. The hosting service I'm using is really slick, and pretty cheap too (about half the price of the Telus hosting account we have for BakMei.com, which is why I'm trying to get it transferred over there too).

I'm currently working on setting up a more dynamic site using WordPress and trying out some themes designed for photo galleries, but it will probably take me some time to get it customized to a point with which I'll be satisfied. Still, I'm well on my way!
Monday, February 15th, 2010
11:16 pm
Jenn and I went to the new Art Gallery of Alberta today, since we snagged free tickets offered up for today. The building is amazing, inside and out. The little details and material choices make it all work so well.

The exhibits were really good, but unfortunately we had limited time to visit them on the freebie ticket. Two of them really stood out for me, though, "The Murder of Crows" and the Karsh exhibits.

"The Murder of Crows" was amazing, nothing at all like I expected from the description, but words can't really convey the sensation of it. (The other sound installation wasn't as exceptional to me, but I maybe I just didn't "get" it.)

The Karsh exhibit was the big one for me as a photography buff; it was a wonderful insight into the work of one of the greatest portrait photographers. I wish I could have explored it in more detail, and will most likely be going back on a regular day to see it more closely. Great work on the part of the volunteers that were there to direct the crowds as well. Big thanks to them too.

Overall it was a great experience, and lots of people came out to partake in it. It was also great to see so many people out and about downtown, on Jasper Ave., in Enterprise Square (Chinese New Year stuff), and on Churchill Square for the many activities being put on, and enjoying the amazing weather today.

Yay, Edmonton!
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
10:06 pm
Working on Things

Suspended Star - Another experiment with a "flipped" lens, this time using a small hole punched in a post-it in front of the lens to attempt to get a wider DoF. The subject is one of those laser-etched souvenirs that glow when you put a light under them, or at least a small part of one.

One of these days I will get myself a proper macro lens, I swear. I like to have fun experimenting at least.

I recently purchased a bunch of AlienBees photography strobes, stands, an umbrella and a large softbox. For $1100. And that is a really good price. This is a really expensive hobby.

Which is why I want to sell prints. Which is why I ordered business cards. Which is why I need a website. So I can try to get myself some legitimacy and cred and maybe earn a few bucks to buy some equipment along the way.

I was recently in Spinelli's in Little Italy and on the wall were a pair of photographic prints, incidentally done by the husband of a co-worker of mine. Printed on canvas and professionally framed, and selling for $1500 apiece. I don't know if I could sell mine for that much, but I think I could make at least a few hundred per print after cost, assuming I could find buyers.

Which brings me to the next thing: networking. Not something I do nearly enough of, but very important in both my career industry and my prime hobby. I really need to get out and network more; with other photographers and artists, and with other people in IT, software, and technology, heck I should even network more with my neighbors (it should help that I've actually settled into a neighborhood now). By nature, I'm really rather recluse and somewhat anti-social, so this probably won't be that easy for me, but I'm going to make an effort to get out there.

So in thinking about all this, it seems I have inadvertently formed New Year's resolutions for myself:
  • Get a website going, make some prints, and try to sell them
  • Go to events, network with like-minded people, and generally be more sociable

Not a big list, but those are big orders for me.
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
2:21 pm
Email Change
My the0rem.net domain is expiring, and along with it all my email addresses on that domain. Check my profile here or on Facebook for alternate addresses.
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
12:38 pm
Feels Weird
Cleaning up the address book in my phone and seeing mom's number in there and thinking it should be deleted is a weird feeling.
Monday, January 25th, 2010
8:25 pm
Whoops? Also, Help Me Pick a New Domain Name!

A tree outside the window, taken with a 100mm lens "flipped" (basically holding the "wrong" end of the lens to the camera body). The effect here was neat, but using wide-angle lenses provided for a cheap macro effect such as can be seen here.

Whoops, no posts since Dec. 31? I'm so lazy. Or something.

New Years was good, we just went to a friend's house and had a pretty subdued but fun evening with friends at their new house.

Jenn and I went to see the Olympic Torch Relay arrive downtown at Churchill Square on the 13th:

(more here)

It was pretty neat to see. The security detail was rather excessive, though. Not many protesters downtown that I could see, just a few people in the crowd handing out leaflets.

We had our housewarming (and Jenn's birthday) party on the 16th, and it was quite fun. I was hoping more people would show up, but we still had a decent turnout of about twenty or so. There was music, lots of chatting, some snacks, some cake, some new acquaintances were made between circles of friends, and I cracked the good tequila that a friend brought back from Mexico - most of which was drank by my boss, who managed to amuse quite a few of my friends.

He later managed to find some places locally where you can buy the same tequila, but it is apparently expensive. That didn't stop him from buying me another bottle, though.

We're starting to think about having a games night sometime soon, and I'd like to try for another fairly big party for my birthday in May. We have this awesome big house, we need to have folks over more to share in it with us.

Speaking of awesome, the weekend before last, Jenn and I went to the Antique Mall since they were having a sale. We ended up buying a knight-shaped fireplace tool stand (goes well with the kitchness we have already), a Coca-Cola mirror sign for the bar, and a 50s-60s clock for the kitchen. While we were there, though, I saw that they had a Frogger stand-up arcade machine for $1200! Man, it was tempting, but even with the 10% off, it's just too much to spend on something like that. I'm probably still better off building something on my own.

In other news, my the0rem.net domain expires at the end of the month. I think I'm going to let it go; it just doesn't do anything for me anymore, and it certainly doesn't mean to me what it did once upon a time.

Having said that, I am interested in getting a new domain, mainly for use for my photography stuff. I'm thinking about either photodave.ca or daveography.ca. Opinions? Other suggestions?
Thursday, December 31st, 2009
2:59 pm
Busy Busy
Man I've been busy on my days off. Yesterday, I:
- Grounded the range outlet
- Shortened the hose to the dishwasher (we left it a bit too long when we replaced all the hoses and connections)
- Shortened the dryer vent connector (apparently they are a fire hazard if they're too long and full of bends)
- Helped the delivery guy bring in our new sectional couch
- Organized the living room around new sectional
- Ran our new dishware through the dishwasher and packed the old dishware up into a box.

After that, Jenn and I went to dinner at Milestone's (it was pretty good!), and bought curtains for the living room and martini glasses at Ikea.

Today I took down the old curtain rod in the living room and patched the massive, nasty holes in the walls where the curtain rod was installed (and re-installed in some cases).

I guess I'm actually not too bad at some of this handyman stuff.
Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
11:27 am
10 Personal Best Photos of 2009
I feel like sharing what I think are my top ten personal best photos of this year; I have no specific criteria for choosing them other than that I feel these are the best of a lot of photos taken during the year, and they remind me that I am getting better at this whole photography thing when I compare them to what I considered my best in previous years.

Also, I'm at work again today and I don't know why, so this is helping to fill some of my time...there are only so many other co-workers here that I can waste time chatting with.

Anyway, here is my top ten warning: large images behind the cut.Collapse )
Sunday, December 27th, 2009
8:44 pm
Fritz, Van Photos, Christmas, and Big Purchases / Rec Room Stuff

Fritz, my cousin (in Vancouver)'s cat. I've been able to get a few more photos from the Vancouver trip done, mostly from the Bloedel Conservatory, which I've sadly learned is being closed down next year due to budget overruns and cutbacks.

Photos!Collapse )

I made a promise to Jenn that we would do our best to make Christmas great this year, even though it would be our first since mom died. I like to think I kept that promise. We did have a really good Christmas. We went to Jenn's parents' house on Christmas Eve for dinner and gift exchange with her family, and it was a great dinner (the stuffing was amazing) and a lot of fun.

We had Jenn's dad come over for Breakfast on Christmas morning, since everyone else was doing their own thing that morning, and Jenn's mom was working. Jenn made delicious french toast, and I cooked the turkey bacon and hashbrowns, and it was great.

Jenn and I then headed up to my sister's place in Fort Sask. to spend the rest of our Christmas Day. I helped set her up with a Wireless G network while dinner was being prepared, and then we opened presents. The kids, as usual, were very excited and seemed to love their gifts from us. It was hard not to think of mom a lot, though. But we got through it.

I spent most of the afternoon helping my oldest niece set up her new iPod Touch (from her mom), and watching Yes Man (it was actually pretty good).

We had a really great dinner (the turkey was amazing), and it felt really good to be there with my family. After dinner, we watched Found Footage Festival, Volume 2 (Vols. 1-4 was our gift to my sister), and we nearly peed ourselves laughing.

So, in all, it was a great Christmas.

In other news, we got a crapload of gift certificates for Ikea, and spent them all today on a Coffee table and some other stuff for our rec room in the basement (after a delicious breakfast at Cora). On that note, we also bought ourselves a new sectional for the living room, so we can move the existing couch down there too. Next big purchase will be a new 52" LED TV to put in the living room, so we can put the existing 32" in the rec room as well. Whew.
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