Monday, September 17, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dome Through a Dome

Shot on impulse back when I was making regular use of the gym underneath the Alberta Legislature. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Pipeline Pig

This was used to clean an oil pipeline. It's now on display in Delta Junction, Alaska (or was when I drove through in 2011). 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tropical Shores

I'm not sure if it really  comes through on the blog, but I'm pretty happy with the vibrancy and composition of this photo, which I shot in 2008 while Sylvia and I were flying over Hawaii in a helicopter on our honeymoon. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Poor Superman

Poor Henry Cavill, chosen to fill the role of one  of humanity's greatest pop culture icons, doomed to star as that character in only one decent but fatally flawed film, one bad film with a few good moments, and one genuinely terrible movie that should never have been made. (In order: Man of Steel, Justice League, and Batman v. Superman.) Now, he's a Superman no more,  although there seems to be a bit of back-and-forth in the news on whether or not Cavill's contract has indeed been terminated.

For what it's worth, I've been impressed by Cavill's performances as Superman and in other films; it's not his fault that he's been saddled with mediocre-to-terrible screenplays to  work with. And I would have loved to see him cameo alongside Captain Marvel (the real Captain Marvel) in Shazam!, which looks like a  lot more fun than most of the recent DC movies, but it looks like that's not in the cards.

But who knows? Superman will return, one way or another. I just hope Henry gets to play the character in at least one genuinely great movie. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

I Was Blind to the Whole of the Moon

How did I miss this in all the years between 1985 and 2018? What a gorgeous song. A new favourite. I've listened to it a dozen times over the last couple of days, and it makes me feel great. A touch of melancholy, yes, but overall, inspirational  and aspirational and sublimely sensational.  

Monday, September 10, 2018

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Capitol Theatre

Fort Edmonton Park's Capitol Theatre was completed in 2011, and they routinely screen a selection of classic films. And yet, despite having visited the park a couple of times since the Capitol opened, I haven't yet taken advantage. It's certainly gorgeous. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Along Came a Spider

I was retrieving a book from our library when I spotted it: a brown spider, about four inches in diameter, darting out from under the closet door. 

"YEEGH!" I cried, stiffening in revulsion. The spider froze. I threw a book at it, but the creature was too quick, dodging the impromptu projectile easily. I grabbed my scale and attempted to drop it on the spider, but I missed again. The little beast retreated behind my bookshelves. 

I shrugged; there was nothing I could do but close the library door and hope I'd trapped it there. 

A couple of hours later, I confessed to Sylvia. 

"Don't go into the library," I said. 

"Why not?" she asked. 

"You'll be happier if you don't know." 

Her voice darkened with suspicion. 

"What do you mean? What did you do?" 

"It's not so much what I did as…what's in there."

"Oh my god, what? Are you lying? Is there a bug?" 

"There's a huge spider in there," I admitted. 


"I tried! It was too fast. I closed the door." 

"It'll just crawl under the door! Shove some towels in the crack!" 

I obeyed. And for a few days, I forgot about the spider. 

Until yesterday. 

Sylvia came down to the theatre room to work out. She won't tolerate what she calls "old people movies," so my plans to screen Wilson (Henry King, 1944), a Best Picture nominee about the life of Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, had to be altered; I decided to watch it in my office while Sylvia rode the exercise bike. Just at the point in the film where Wilson was deciding whether or not to allow himself to be drafted to run for Governor of New Jersey, I heard a plaintive wail from the theatre room: 


I charged into the theatre room, imagining the worst, thinking that she must have caught a finger in the gears of the bike or perhaps was suffering a heart attack. 

But she was pointing at the floor. 


For a moment I was confused, having completely forgotten about the spider. But then I spotted the eight-legged fiend and gagged in revulsion: "URGH!" It really was an enormous beast, and my skin crawled at the sight of it. 

Sylvia couldn't stop shrieking. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? KILL IT!" 

I flailed about for some kind of weapon, unwilling to stomp on it in my sock feet. I wound up grabbing the cardboard box I used to prime board game miniatures. Holding the box in two hands, I slammed it down atop the spider, squashing it into the carpet. 

"Whew," I said, looking down at the beast, its legs now all curled into itself. Sylvia started to calm down, but she was still hyperventilating, her eyes wild, and she was starting to cry. 

"I can't live like this," she said hyperbolically, referring to a world that included any insects at all. 

"It's all right, I got it," I said. Then I glanced down into the box I'd used to squash the spider. To my dismay, two of the resin models inside had been damaged by the impact: both nacelles had been sheared off my 1/3125 scale Ptolemy-class tug, and my Federation-class dreadnought (cast at the same scale) lost its ventral nacelle. I grumbled silently to myself—repairing the models would be a painstaking task involving tweezers, a magnifying class, clamps, contact cement and no little amount of patience—but then Sylvia's voice penetrated my geeky reverie: 

"Please take that thing away, throw it down the toilet," she was saying. 

"Oh yes," I replied, snapping back to ugly reality. I grabbed a Subway napkin—we have paper napkins in abundance, thanks to our Skip the Dishes addiction—and leaned down to grab the remains. 

The spider's legs snapped open and it jumped a foot across the carpet. 

"AUUUGGHH!" I screamed. 

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Sylvia wailed. She was both laughing and crying, her eyes rolling around in their sockets. 

Dropping to my hands and knees, I chased the loathsome little monster across the theatre room. Another moment and it would scuttle under the fireplace! With Sylvia's hysterical sobbing echoing in my rattled ears, I desperately tossed the napkin over the creature like a blanket. With all my might, I brought my fist down twice: WHAM! WHAM! A bloodstain slowly spread across the napkin's surface, and I leaned back, shaky and sweating. It was over. 

Sylvia was laughing and crying like a maniac, coming close to losing her grip on sanity. Her manic relief shook the condo's foundations.

"Whew, I got it," I said, putting the corpse down on the display stand next to the exercise bike. Sylvia screeched again, her eyes bulging, speaking in tongues by this point, but I got her meaning; she wanted me to get rid of the remains, clearly not convinced the spider was dead. I dutifully retreated, and flushed our arachnid foe down the toilet. 

Sylvia calmed down a few minutes later, and by the early evening we were laughing about our experience. I can't wait until she spots her first rat or cockroach in New York.