Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

In mere hours, it will be the start of a new year. I had to work today but took the long way home and took this photo with my new (to me) UWA lens. The rain has stopped, the sun was shining and temperatures are going below freezing again tonight. At least we don't have to get our shovels out.

I hope you have a chance to relax, visit with friends and family. Best wishes to all of you from the Wet Coast of Canada

(Canon T2i, Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM 1/800s F8 approx 18mm)

New Years Day will be busy as usual as I have been photographing a local Polar Bear Swim for many years in Maple Ridge, followed by a family get together.

I wish you all the best and see you next year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A day in the Valley

It had been a while since I had seen Robert, the Reverend and he sent me an email to attend his social breakfast on Tuesday, which is his day off. Co-incidentally I also had Tuesday off being my last day of Christmas holidays so it was my plan to suit up and ride my V-strom to Langley even though it was only around 3c when I left Vancouver and headed Eastward. My plan was to arrive a little late and there was one seat left on the crowded table


I'm not good with names but they are all men "of the cloth" so I just sat there and listened to clergy jokes and kept my mouth shut while I slurped down my sausage and eggs with pancakes.


Robert told me he couldn't spare the whole day but we could ride somewhere together. So with him in the lead on his Vespa PX150 Collector's Edition we headed further east towards Abbotsford where it was my plan to visit Bob who co-ordinates activities with the SOC (Suzuki Owners' Club)

We arrive un-announced but he hears our mighty engines and greets us outside before we get our helmets off


That's Bob's Suzuki C50 Cruiser under the bike cover. Believe me when I say it is spotless. We remove our layers of riding gear and boots and make ourselves at home and use his facilities. Soon Linda (ie: Mrs Bob) gets the kettle ready and before you can say "Jimmy Cricket" the table is filled with cookies and coffee.

While we were chatting, telling stories & drinking coffee John arrives on his V-strom


So while the guys chatted around the dining room table, Linda went out of her way to keep the coffee topped up. She is a gracious host.

(Robert, John & Bob)
(Vespa PX150, V-strom, V-strom)

Soon it was time to go as it is a 2 hour ride back home to Vancouver and it was getting chilly. As we were exiting Bob's driveway I notice something that may be of interest to you. Bob lives along Zero Avenue. Zero Avenue is a road which runs East to West and straddles the Canadian/US Border

(Left roadway=Canada; Right roadway=USA)

Along this section of the Border there are two roads parallel to each other. I am standing on the Canadian side but if I jump the low ditch I would be in the United States of America, and cross the border illegally. While it would appear that we are in the middle of nowhere this border is heavily monitored. Heat seeking cameras, sensors and other covert stuff of which we are not aware.


Those are US residents on the other side . One more photo and we decide to ride along Zero Avenue on our way home

(US farm on the other side of the street)

(US border crossing, taken from Zero Avenue)

As we continue riding West


you are riding right along the border with American farms on the left and Canadian driveways on the right . Just make sure you don`t cross the line or you will be in deep doo-doo

Every mile or so there are Cairns marking the Border line

(Canadian Border marker, we are on the Canadian Side)

Robert was in the lead and I pulled over without warning. He noticed I wasn`t behind so he turned around to look for me. I waited to include him in this photo

(one more photo for the road)

We still have over an hour to get home and we have to stop for a bladder break . Where else, Tim Horton`s . . .


only in Canada

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from WetCoastScootin

It's Christmas Day, December 25th, 2010 on the Wet Coast of British Columbia. Unlike the rest of the continent where there is inclement weather, we are basking in warm temperatures (approx 8c) without any signs of snow, with likely torrential rains all week caused by the Pineapple Express winds from Hawai'i .

(Eagle Harbour, West Vancouver, BC)

I want to wish all my internet blogger friends a Very Merry Christmas and may all your dreams come true in the new year, and many all your plans come to fruition.

Our day started very simply with my plan to make one of my favourite breakfasts. Everywhere I go my usual breakfast is a simple Eggs Benedict. I have probably ordered this same item at virtually every restaurant in the area and I do have my favourites. Most times the sauce runs out before the eggs are done. Often the sauce is too thin, or not enough tang. I would think that most restaurants do not make the sauce fresh, but merely blend it from a powdered mix. I don't really know.


We go out for Sunday brunch often as we both work and we find a sort of enjoyment in eating out but today the plan is to relax and make our Eggs benedict at home. I drag out all the pots and pans to get things ready. Baking used to be my hobby and then I branched out a bit to include some special dishes of which included Benedicts . My rule is to make everything from scratch using the freshest ingredients . In the photo above the 1/2 cup butter is being melted while the double boiler is coming up to correct heat. It has been a while since I have done this and I remember that heat is critical. Too much and the sauce will fail, so I bring up the heat slowly


I fill my cast iron pan with water to make the poached eggs. I dislike those circular poachers and prefer the freeform style of presentation where the eggs just float around in the water. I get the toast ready at the same time. I think one of the challenges it to get all ready at the same time

In the meantime I have to keep stirring the Hollandaise sauce continuously with the wire wisk to make sure it does not fall apart or overcook & watch the heat


soon our creations are ready to eat


our pots and pans are cleaned and ready to be put away


and while our stomachs are full, it was as if it never happened.


while we usually host our family Christmas Dinner, our Sister-in-law decided to put on the turkey this year and we had our big meal yesterday (Dec 24) . It was actually a work day for most of us and it was a delight to be able to drive over after work and have the steaming turkey ready to eat. We were in the mood and did not think that Christmas was actually tommorrow so we let the grandchildren open their gifts after dinner. One of which was that T-shirt transfer I mentioned the other day. While other shoppers were physically spending $$ on gifts I was only there to capture a few photos that could be used for my purpose. It was nice to be able to leave the store with what I had been searching for without having to navigate the long cashier lines. The parking lots were gridlocked but I managed to eventually find my way home and work on "my image."

(Strip "The King" Weathers: T-shirt transfer)

And after a filling meal of Turkey AND stuffing, soon we had gotten to the point of having eaten too much, then the second round of the meal comes around = "Desserts" . How could I resist one of my favourites

(Cream Puffs, from a local French Bakery)

YES, full of real whipping cream. I had to have a whole one all to myself. There is a story behind these cream puffs which started me on my baking odyssey, but that's a story for another day (maybe) . On my kitchen counter all of those appliances are mine, kitchenAid Mixer, Cuisinart, cappucino machine, burr grinder . . . I used to do the baking but now all I do is ride my motorcycle.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, from the Wet Coast of British Columbia and that our paths will cross, someday . . . see you on the road

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last day of Fall 2010

It seems like an eternity since I have ridden my mighty V-strom. Often I cannot ride to work as I worry about frost and ice on the roads when I leave home before 7AM. I have to travel up and down the hills of New Westminster on my way to Coquitlam and often there is ice along the way. Our Company does not allow for carry over of Vacation time so I was eagerly encouraged to take it right away, so today I have all day to do my errands


My appointed task today is to locate an image of that Superbird character "The King" from that Disney Pixar movie "Cars". Of course I head to that large store which carries all kinds of toys and get a headache walking about and fighting with other shoppers looking for Christmas gifts. And for my effort I left empty handed. It seems that our Grandson has an affection for an image of that character and I was going to put a likeness of that image onto a T-shirt transfer as a gift. A couple of years ago I made a transfer of Thomas the Train and he wore that T-shirt until it was just a ball of tattered threads.

Where to go, what to do on a weekday. I am on my way to nowhere when I notice a head stuck to the ground and made a U-turn for a photo opp


I maneuver past cement barracades and park next to the head. There is another statue on the top



I head South but then I divert north onto River Road, as I make my way to nowhere particular


There is a picnic area along this section of the river which is just across from YVR, the Vancouver International Airport


There are not many people here today; a lone jogger, and two couples walking on the Dike . Very shortly I get to the end of the road


Walkers only past this point. Richmond is a city surrounded by Dikes which protects the lowlands from flooding. Most dikes, like this one, have a road on top .


After another photo, I hop onto my V-strom and again head southward. By now the rain has arrived and the weather forecast is for rain turning to snow flurries with a small accummulation of perhaps 2cm


Soon I arrive in Steveston and head for the Government Dock


Often I ride down here during the summer for sunset pictures


Today it is deserted. There are no problems to find a place to park


All is serene and quiet with all the fishing boats at dock waiting for next year's fishing season


That is the Gulf of Georgia Cannery which has now been fully restored and is now a National Historic Site

Oh look what I see on that yonder dock over there


It's my V-strom, happy to be out touring the country side on this last day of Fall. Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, the start of a new season .

Not much traffic today. I am not accustomed to exploring on a weekday and I think a lot of people are in the malls preparing for the Christmas season . I can stop nearly anywhere without a car in sight


In order to slow down the traffic, the City of Richmond has installed speed bumps, but my Strom barely notices them


The water levels at Finn Slough are very high


As I aim for home I stop to visit EMS, where I service my Strom


Ted is moving his shop to another double unit on the opposite side of the same complex. Most of his equipment has been dismantled in anticipation of his move. As I prepare to leave he asks me to take one last photo of himself in front of the shop. This may be his last photo in front. January 1st will find him in his new location

(My 'Strom with TED)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Horizon 202 Panoramic camera

I have always been interested in panoramic photos. Even before the advent of digital stitching I have a couple of specialized rotating lens cameras purchased around 15+ years ago. I have them in two formats: 35 mm which produces a negative 24x58 which people now call Xpan format, and a Noblex 6/150F which uses 120 roll film in 6x12 format. I find the the Horizon 202 is an easy camera to carry around. I often take it on trips and have many photos taken in Newfoundland as it fits easily into a waist pouch.


I have a few Russian cameras & lenses and find that their optics are very sharp. This model has the Arsat lens and rotates to yield a 120 degree view. It has a mechanical mechanism so requires NO batteries. You get around 18-19 shots on a 36 exposure roll of film

(taken from the website)

These cameras are now relatively cheap but not so when I purchased mine many years ago when I had to pay over double the current price. My friend brought it back for me from Prague when he was there visiting.

(top view)

Russian cameras are known for their crude workmanship where the gears are rough. I was lucky that my camera is very smooth in operation thus has no banding issues. The image is produced as the lens rotates through a slit which the light splashes onto the film in a curved arc. There is no distortion on the edges of the image as you are always using the centre of the lens, unlike most wide angle lenses. Your images are sharp across the full width.


There is a viewfinder on top along with a level, which can be viewed inside the finder. It is a completely manual camera in operation and you require your own light meter. I use a digital Gossen, or you can guess your exposure using the sunny 16 rule.

I have never used a tripod with this camera and always shoot handheld. It has a unique way of shooting in low light. Because of the rotating lens you cannot get blur for if you are not steady the lens has moved to a new location. It only affects horizontal straight lines. If you choose your perspectives carefully you should not have a problem. Also unique is the way you set the exposure for low light. You have a two speed mechanical motor; high and low. When on low speed you also open up the slit gap which lets more light upon the film plane, so a 1/2 sec exposure is not really half a second.

I took my Horizon 202 to the IMS Motorcycle Show in Seattle a week ago and took this image from the mezzanine.

You may have to CLICK on the photos BELOW to view full SCREEN

ims seattle motorcycle qwest centre
(Horizon 202: 1/2 sec F8)

This was 10 year outdated Fuji Sensia Fujichrome 100, scanned on Epson Flat bed scanner. Focussing is achieved through selection of appropriate F stops.

This following image was taken inside of a cafe on Commercial Drive

the drive vancouver

and this is a scene from False Creek, Government Wharf


I had not used this camera for several years and these images are from my first test roll to ensure the camera was functioning correctly

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

IMS: International MC show random photos

This is a continuation of the previous post which included no 2-wheeled photos which is going to be remedied now. From the various chitter chatter on our local bike forums, it would appear that our Vancouver show, scheduled for late January 2011 is at least double the size of this Seattle show. Also we will be honoured with the presence of BMW & Triumph which were AWOL in Seattle .

(Honda CBR250R)

This is a very nice looking bike and it is priced at US$3,999. with ABS available as an option . Here is a view of the cockpit


Note that even on this entry model a tachometer is supplied as standard equipment

(Harley Davidson, scrambler)

I don't know much about old bikes


but perhaps some retired Kiwi from Coromandel could chime in with further details


There were lots of vintage bikes on display




Here is a view of the floor


I think the show was smaller than last year. Unlike the Vancouver show it was easier to climb onto virtually any bike of your choice, with less lines




I can't help it, I often find myself staring at the lovely jugs of an "R" bike


Here's Trobairitz posing on a Suzuki GS500F


and Troubadour on a Suzuki DR400 dual sport


This is his way of saying that it meets with his approval


Something we noticed was this new way of adjusting your chain by using an offset cam


I try to find the Women Riders section so I can locate Stacy and to my surprise, I notice Sonja and Mr Sonja


(Stacy, Bob & Sonja)

It was great to see SonjaM at the Seattle show. She didn't mention she was coming down and couldn't stay for dinner before heading back to Vancouver

Here's Rick on a Ninja something or other



Here's one for Charlie6, a hack with a missile side car


We were getting a bit friendly by the end of the day

(Trobairitz, Rick & Troubadour)