Sunday, October 29, 2006

Out from behind these eyes

W00t!! I have been published!

Well sort of, I have eight of my photo being used by Schmap for their travel guide to Marseilles! This is very exciting stuff, there will be many more people seeing my photos, and the best part is that they will be linked to my Flickr site, so that even more of my photos will be seen. I am a happy boy!

Speaking of photos, I am in the middle of making a Powerpoint slide show up that will show off a small portion of my photos from Europe and give them little stories or anecdotes about what was going on. This will save people from going through all 2000+ photos with me trying to talk about each one. There is still Flickr, with the 1000+ photos, each with a caption, but that is still a lot to go through. I am hoping to have the slide show done before I go back to work again.

Meanwhile, I have using the time off to go and take more photos, do a little Geocaching, as well as visit with friends that I have been missing while I was out of the country.

One more week, then back to the grind.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dream yourself away

Another beautiful day in the Lower Mainland, sun was out, the leaves are changing colour and I had a new lens to play with!

Al let me borrow his 10-20mm wide angle lens for a few days, and I took it out to try a few shots. I went to a local park (also to geocache) and took some photos of the trees in their autumn colours, and some ducks, and a heron. Used the wide angle for some of it, and I have decided that I need to get myself one. Nice lens!

I also have gone out and bought a new computer monitor, my old CRT is slowly dieing, and has become a bit hard to look at, so I found a great deal on a 22" LCD widescreen. What a huge difference it makes! I have a conversation going on with Kira on MSN Messenger, I am writing this and uploading photos at the same time, and I can watch all three! And of course, there is also the gaming aspect of it, whoa, is that sweet.

I also need to ask, when did I get really old? I was listening to a classic rock station on the radio the other day, when they announced "and now, more classic rock from Greenday". When the hell did Greenday become "classic" rock? Led Zepplin, The Stones or The Who, they are classic rock, not Greenday.

Maybe I am getting old...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A ragged band that followed in our footsteps




Google Earth has finally updated the satellite photos over the Fraser Valley. I can finally see my house!!

Actually, I have also downloaded the newest version of Google Earth, and it is decidedly better than the older version that I had. Better 3D drawing of mountains (still not perfect, Divide Lake in the Yukon was plastered to the side of a mountain), and I like the controls a bit better, that was after I found them of course.

I have also been using GE to find Geocaches. Once you have logged onto, and you go to your accounts page there is a link to download the plug in that will show the caches on GE. Pretty spiffy!

Speaking of Geocaching, I have spent all week in the sun chasing caches around the Lower Mainland. Did pretty good to, probably found about 9 or 10 caches, dropped of one Travelbug that I had picked up in Denmark, found and left another Travelbug, and got some good photos out in Ladner. Hoping that the rain dies down and I will be able to go and find on elusive cache that I have been working on for ages.

If you own a GPS, go Geocaching! You can thank me later.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rebuilding the classics

I was surfing around YouTube when I found this kid playing Pachebel's Canon...on the electric guitar. Wow, is he good. Go listen, you will like it. (this entries title is the link)

And every day is the right day

I just went shopping, looking for a bit of a taste of the last four months...namely good cheese.

At first, it was the price that made me choke. For the price of a couple of grams of good brie here, I could have half a ton of the stuff in France. And this isn't even very good cheese here.

The next shock was when I got home and opened the package. First there was the carboard box, then the hermetically sealed plastic cup. Finally, the plastic wrap. Holy over packaging Batman!! In France, you get a piece of cheese wrapped in some wax paper and that is good enough!

When I was in Geneva, Alex and I were discussing how Europeans and North Americans view cheese differently. He was saying that in Europe, it is advertised by how it tastes, what it tastes best with, and how it improves the taste of certain wines, etc. In North America it is all about how nicely packaged it is. Case in point, there was a French company trying to market their cheese in the States, but they failed badly. Looking back after loosing lots of money on it, they discovered that the North Americans want everything plastic wrapped and sterile, not realizing that cheese needs to breathe, and be alive. So, their advertising showing cheese all nice with fruits and wine and stuff didn't go over as well in North America as Europe.

Another point that Alex made was a quote from some author and his opinion on the different attitudes about cheese. I don't remember the exact quote, but I will paraphrase it the best that I can.

"In Europe, cheese is allowed to live. It is left out on the counter, allowed to breathe, grow, and evolve into something better. This in the end gives it a better flavour, and the flavour will change over time. In North America, cheese is dead. It is kept in a plastic bag and then kept cold like a corpse in a morgue. It can't grow, it can't become something better. It is dead and that is it."

So, I guess that I will have to suffer with crappy cheese, or travel until I find a good import cheese shop.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

For long you live and high you fly

I made it home, although it hardly feels that way. I have been living out of a backpack for so long, that I still feel like I am only here for a weeke then I will be moving on again.

Bonnie was the only one that made it to the airport to see me, which was a bit disappointing. Being away for so long, it would have been nice to see a few more familiar faces waiting for me. Thanks Bonn!

I was lucky enough to find an insurance office open today, so that I can get insurance put back on my car again. I tired to get it to start, but the battery is very dead and I am not waiting for Bonnie to come so that I can get a jump start. You should see the layer of dust on it! It is incredible how much dirt flies around the valley over four months. I should go and take a photo of it.

Speaking of photos, I have just uploaded the last of my photos from Europe on to Flickr. I have also re-arranged things a bit to break things up. There is now a Denmark set and a Berlin set to make viewing a little easier. There should be a bit or a decline of photos being added for a while, unless I got travelling again. I will probably go through some of my old photos and upload them as well, like from my trip to the Yukon, etc.

So, although I am home, the travel bug is still with me. I need to talk with work on Tuesday and find out about my time off. I might take another trip to see Andy in New York for a week. I wouldn't mind doing some more photography over there.

But, inthe mean time, here I am, no longer living on the road. I had fun, saw lots of places and was very happy to see long lost friends again. Leanne, Alex, Megan and Hans, thanks for putting up with me at your homes, it was wonderful!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer

So here I am, geeking out again at 36,000 ft (about 10,000+ meters) with high speed internet. I have about 4 hours and 15 minutes left in the flight, we are over Baffin Island, and I thought that I would see how well the internet was on this flight. Turns out, much better than the last flight with internet. This internet is FREE today!!! I have heard that Connexions is shutting down the inflight internet service, maybe the last few days will be for free?? Who knows.

Anyway, I have a little more than 4 hours to go on the flight, then I get to say hi to my little home town of Vancouver! It seems so odd to be coming home, but I am a little excited, even though I am a lot tired.

I took a sleeper train from Ringsted to Frankfurt Flughaven, but the rail car that I was supposed to be on had an electical problem, so I got bumped down to a 2nd class sleeper with two really smelly guys (stale beer, cigarettes and oh-so-wonderful B.O.). I didn't get a whole lot of sleep on the train, between the smell and the warmth of the room and the train noises, I woke up fairly often, with probably only a stretch of 45 minutes of decent sleep. Then 5 hours in the airport, waiting for my flight. Lufthansa has adopted this new style of "fast" check-in, where you go to a terminal and check in there. Doesn't make it any faster though, you still have to wait in line to check your luggage, then in line for security, then in line to get through German customs to get into the gate. It is a good thing that I had those 5 hours!!

Ad now, here I am getting a sore butt from sitting in cattle class in the back of the plane. Oooohh!! Here comes Toblerone! Goody goody!

Three hours, fifty-eight minutes to go...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bringing sounds of yesterday

I have about 8 hours before I need to get onto a train for Frankfurt, leaving behind Meg, Hans and Scott again. It has been a fantastic week of visiting with my friends, exploring Denmark, and drinking fine beer (thanks Hans!)

I spent yesterday exploring castles, three of them actually, including the castle that was the inspiration for Hamlet. Most of the time was spent running between them on the trains, (six trains in total), but I did get to go inside Frederiksborg Slot and take a ton of photos. Frederiksborg was built by Christian the Fourth, the king that nearly bankrupted Denmark for his building projects. It burnt down and the Royal family couldn't afford to rebuild, so beer baron, Jacobsen (Carlsberg beer) helped fund the rebuilding and it became a museum. Fredensborg, the second castle I visited, is the Royal families home. It isn't open for the public this time of year, but it has beautiful gardens that are open to the public, and you can see the palace from outside. I was even there for the changing of the guards, not as grand as in London, but still cool. The third castle was Kronborg, Hamlets castle. It was never a real castle per say, it was actually an eloborate fort for taking taxes from ships passing through the narrows at that point. The Royal family never really lived there, like in Hamlet, but have stayed there and use it for special occasions. Unfortunately, I was too late to get in the doors, and it had closed for the evening by the time I got there. But I did wander outside for a bit till the light got to bad to take anymore photos.

It's raining again...

Today, as soon as this latest batch of photos is uploaded, I am off to Copenhagen again, just to go to the Carlsberg brewery. The trip is partially for the tour, but also to pick up a soccer jersey for Morgans boyfriend Mike. Then, home to visit one last time with Meg, and to pack. On a train at 19h33, and off to Frankfurt!

And, once again, if any of my friends want to pull themselves away from Molten Core and come see their long lost friend at the airport, I would really like that. If not, I guess you can wait a bit longer to see me.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Outside the rain fell dark and slow

Two more days in Denmark, then off to Frankfurt, then a plane trip home.

Hoy crap, I am going to be home soon!

I took a day of rest today, after three days of being rather active. Sunday saw Megan, Hans and I off to visit the town of Soro, about 15km away on our bikes with an 8 km ride around the lake there, then Monday I took the bike out again and did a bit of Geocaching which turned into about a 35km ride and yesterday I spent the day running around Copenhagen, which turned out to be about 18km of walking. I needed a break. =)

I have come to really like Denmark, it is a wonderful country, with beautiful people, and good beer. It has also been so nice to spend time with Megan, Hans and Scott (and Morgan and Mike), I have really missed them so it has made me feel a lot happier to have this time to spend with them.

I have my train ticket to Frankfurt, I leave Friday night, but I still want to try and get to see a castle or two up north, and of course a stop at the Carlsberg brewery. Mmmm, beer.