Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29in29: Twenty9 Finale

Well, this was an interesting month. It was great to be able to read so many blog posts, it was hard to keep up with everyone, thanks to this great idea dreamed up by Fuzzy .

Now this is the final day of Fuzzy's challenge so I decided to go out in grand fashion with a controversial post. I still have some things to say from our vacation to Hawai'i, and I think you all know by now that I am not afraid to post compromising photos of myself . . .

Dirty Feet, Hawai'i: January, 2012

I don't know how many times Mrs Skoot was yelling at me to wash my feet. Well, she didn't really yell, but I just got tired of hearing this every half an hour. It's like she was following me around checking my soles for dirt. And everytime I dragged myself to the washroom, flexed my feet into the sink and tried to wash them. I thought everyone knew that "Dirty feet were Happy Feet"

I don't know when it started but I have always liked to wear sandals. I wasn't into the hippy movement in the 60's but there was a hippy sandal-maker with a shop on 4th Avenue. (Our Kitsilano area was like the Haight Ashbury district of SF). Back around 1985 I went into his shop and had a pair of custom sandals made. By custom, I mean you put your foot on a sheet of paper and he drew an outline of your feet and then made sandals to fit. The sandal was in the design of that era, and were handmade by himself. I paid a lot of money for this pair so I could not bear to throw them out. As you can see, after 25 years, they still fit


I have been doing a bit of reading since I hurt my foot and have come to the conclusion that walking naturally is healthier. This means having shoes with NO lift on the rear, ie: no heel.

I found that when I wore regular shoes, or sports (running) shoes that my feet really sweat, but when I wore sandals I never got any aches or pains and could walk much farther, so I only wore shoes for work and sandals for the rest of the time. Actually, every waking moment, everywhere I could.


I always bought brand name models, and always the waterproof ones so I didn't have to worry about wearing socks. I believe this pair was a Chaco from the tan lines. I think I am the shoe/sandal collector in our household, I am a sucker for sandals. One day I may show you my large collection, I just can't bear to throw them out.


When we went to Hawai'i the first thing I did was to ditch my shoes and go native. Lots of people are shoeless, or wear sandals over there. If you are female, and ride a scooter in Maui, then


you can go shoeless too. It is easy to blend in. I try to be respectful of others. If we visit friends, I bring socks so when I remove my sandals I just put my socks on, and when I leave I remove them and put my sandals on again. No one wants your dirty feet on their carpets.

Free Range toes are the way to go. That's the first thing I do when I get home, and no matter what the weather, if I have chores to do, then I do them

winter 2008

Rain, snow, sleet or sun, it doesn't matter. You have to build up your foot endurance

Winter 2008

we had a lot of snow that year. I had to shovel several times a day, it just kept falling, I mean the snow doesn't get cleared by staring at it

Oh, I almost forgot, I have an internal rating system I assign to photos determined by how many garments I am wearing. When I am on vacation it is my duty to get to the lowest number. If I wear those swim shorts with the internal webbing designed for swimming, then it counts as one, as there is no underwear. So those previous photos with the shorts and shirt would count as two. It is not often I get below 2 so this video is a rarity as I wouldn't normally shed my shirt with my pudgey stomach. It wouldn't have been a problem if I could have shed 12-15 lbs first, but I love food too much. And like a fish I don't know when to stop eating

I have coined the phrase "Hawai'ian Shoes = no shoes/barefoot". They have taken me to a lot of places and they haven't worn out yet

Now some of you may ask if I have any Zero (naked), photos, rather than two. Now Trobairitz made a recent comment reply about "no pants". It is not a new phenomenom for me, it is not the first time I have posted a photo of myself with no pants


I printed this photo about 25 years ago and it is framed. It proves that I once had hair and no beer belly, and have nothing to hide. Your treat for the Finale of the 29in29 Challenge

Wreck Beach Summer 1985

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

29in29: Twenty8

Sunday started out bright and sunny. We happened to be near Jericho beach went I noticed the fresh snowfall on the local mountains, looking towards Whistler


Today we were taking our Aunt out for brunch and a drive. The grey, snowclouds were to follow us around all day. There seemed to be pockets of differing weather throughout the area. We experienced some snow flurries, a bit of drizzling rain, and some bright sun as we headed to New Westminster . From our vantage point you will notice 3 bridges spanning the Fraser River


The closest one with the cables is our rapid transit system which can complete the distance from Surrey to Downtown Vancouver in 29 minutes, which is much faster than you can drive in a car. The orange span is the Patullo bridge which is 75 years old. When it was built, it had a life span of 50 years before replacement. It is falling apart with metal pieces falling into the river. They have been talking about replacing this bridge for "years" but due to the economy, there are no funds. Just past the Patullo bridge near water level is the bridge for our trains.

If you turn around and look towards the West you will see part of the Alex Fraser Bridge in the distance. If you travel South, it will take you to the US border, about half an hour away


I hope Martha appreciates my efforts today, as I tried to capture more clouds. She is a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.

As we were driving around we were talking about this and that and my Aunt said something that triggered my memory. Not long ago Troubadour/Trobairitz were discussing Kilts. I know Troubadour wears one and he posted a comment suggesting that I also consider one too. Well, my Aunt is from Scotland somewhere near Edinburgh so I don't know if that makes me Scottish enough. She mentioned that she had a clan tartan. I guess you don't wear Kilts in the winter, I mean if you wear them as they are supposed to be worn, there would be lots of cold air circulating . . .


our day ended very near to where we started, at Jericho beach just moments before sunset. I noticed the glow of the magic light and dashed down here to the beach to grab a photo. We made it with mere moments to spare


A couple of minutes earlier, I was happy to snap another self-portrait shadow picture of myself, with longer legs


and then the light was gone

Monday, February 27, 2012

29in29: Twenty7

I still have a few stories to tell regarding our recent vacation to Hawai'i . Before we left home, it was my intention to purchase another Hawai'ian shirt while we were there. We had some T-shirts from our last Kona trip a couple of years ago but we didn't buy any shirts with Hawai'ian patterns. By patterns we don't mean the loud, colourful shirts that regular tourists buy with flashy yellow/red sunsets with palm trees, or those with loud graphics, but rather, subdued ones that the locals wear. If you look at the hotel staff, or servers in restaurants you will know what I mean.

We used to have good friends who lived in Waikiki (Honolulu). Sonny is a true Hawai'ian and he married Sherry who was a resident of Seattle, WA. We used to go to Seattle at least once a month, and stay with her and her mom, at their home near Seward Park. We would usually drive down on Friday night, then back to Vancouver on Sunday. On Saturday night we would go to a different restaurant with every visit. Anyway, they had their wedding in Seattle before moving "back" to Hawai'i to live. Of course this was to be an Hawai'ian wedding so Sherry's mom bought a matching Hawai'ian outfit for myself and Mrs Skoot.


Now, I didn't realize that Mrs Skoot was going to drag that outfit to Hawai'i this year. We had a dinner reservation in Kona for a special occasion and she wanted to make sure that I had a suitable shirt to wear, just in case I couldn't find one to my liking. I haven't worn this shirt since around 1970, over 40 years ago, but I humoured her by putting it on. Back then I weighed a trim 172 lbs without love handles. I wasn't sure it would button . . .


but I did the best I could do, I held my bulging stomach in and held my breath and guess what . . . it fit. She later told me that she was going to wear my old shirt as a top . Does it sound better if I say it was too small for me, rather than I am too large for the shirt ?

Whenever we go anywhere we always try to take a few photos of ourselves in our vacation environment as a remembrance and also with the intention of producing a large print to hang on the wall. As we were setting up our photos on our last day in Paradise it seemed too much of a bother to keep running back and forth to our condo to get my speedo bathing suit. I told Mrs Skoot that my underwear looked like swim attire and no one would notice, so she said, "go ahead". I took off my shorts and snapped . . .


Sunday, February 26, 2012

29in29: Twenty6

We were in the middle of a wind storm with gusts up to 90 KM/hr so I headed down to English Bay


As I was walking on the beach it felt as if I were in the middle of a sandstorm as sand was getting everywhere, onto my camera and into my eyes. It was a good thing I decided not to ride my bike, otherwise I may have been blown flat on my side.

Recently I had been looking at photos from Door County posted by Martha near Sturgeon/Green Bay of shoreline ice. We don't have shoreline ice around here. It is not cold enough, nor does the water stay still for long


With the wind comes rough wave action, as you can see. The wind comes from the ocean and causes all kinds of problems with our ferry system, and also power outages due to downed power lines


It was really quite chilly today, around 7°c, as I had to wear my toque and zip up my jacket. The wind was just howling. English Bay, being more or less protected by the open ocean is usually calm, but today it looks angry


Even though I had headware on, my ears were getting cold so while I like to watch the waves, I didn't sit very long and shortly headed back to the warmth of my car. There weren't that many people out today and even though we all have them, it was almost like they hadn't seen feet before as I caught a few people staring at me


Just before I left, I saw a solitary cyclist sitting there enjoying the scene


Perhaps you can feel the wind in this short video:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

29in29: Twenty5

Troubadour recently posted some ancient photos of his Barracuda so it got me to thinking about scanning some photos from my archives. I don't have a very good filing system and my archives are just photo envelopes put into boxes and stuffed everywhere. I have photos buried somewhere of many trips we have taken to places where people don't normally go, and one day I may bore you with them

Because photography was my hobby I often carried professional equipment, mostly medium format in the film days. I used to carry my Mamiya 7 kit everywhere. I was one of the last ones to embrace digital as I always wanted the best image possible and I never thought that digital was good enough, so I would carry both digital and film and used the appropriate one for the situation


We started our vacation in St John's


Here is a view of Battery Road from the other side of the harbour. We spent some time walking around and marvelled at the way the homes were built on that rock. We spent most of our time driving around to the different peninsulas and travelled through towns with unique names. Here we are entering, Heart's Content, notice that you have to turn left to get to Dildo


Most people underestimate the size of Newfoundland. We were there for a couple of weeks and we drove around 2,500 kilometers and only scratched the surface. The ferry from Nova Scotia is an overnight trip which lands at Port aux Basques, and then you still have a 1,000. km road trip to get to St John's. If you decide to go north from there you have to drive another 1,000 kms before you arrive at the old Viking village at L'anse aux Meadows


We decided to stay on the East side of "THE ROCK" and our best memories are north where we travelled to Fogo Island. Fogo is home of FOGO Rock which was considered one of the 4 pillars of the Flat Earth Society. Remember that everyone thought that the world was originally Flat and it had to be held up on 4 corners, and then if you travelled too far, you may fall off. Also Fogo is home to the first Marconi telegraph station which transmitted the first wireless message to England. We have lots of stories to tell from this trip . . .

Friday, February 24, 2012

29in29: Twenty4

Not many weeks ago it was off to work in the dark. I leave for work before 7am but today there was a strange light in the sky


The monsoons stopped the other day and the temps have been dipping to near freezing. Yesterday I had hoped to ride to work but I had to scrape my windshield so on the side of caution, I stuck to the safety of 4 wheels. This morning I looked outside and saw frost on the roof of the carport next door but I checked the ground and it seemed dry, so off to work I went


As I navigated my way to my office, I noticed the white frost on the roofs of the houses along the way so I tried to make smooth movements . When I got to my parking spot I noticed the Honda Shadow was already there. We have 3 riders at our Company. The other Harley will show up later in the Spring.

It is also a good feeling to leave work before sunset. I am one of the last to leave as you can see from the lack of other vehicles. If only we kept daylight savings time all year around to have more light after work. I only wear my Olympia Hi-Viz Orange jacket during the winter. It is not as bulky as other riding jackets as the liner has a body heat type of foil liner which traps internal heat which keeps you warm(er). I forgot to zip in the pant liner and it was a bit cool without it


As I ride I forget about all my troubles, my mind goes blank, and I only think for the moment; which lane to be in, where to turn, when to upshift, who to pass & who to follow. If I didn't have to be at work . . .


I think I could have just kept going . . .

Thursday, February 23, 2012

29in29: Twenty3

Haida Gwai'i:

It's not often you see a bear on the road and have to stop


It was bigger than it looked and instead of running across the road, it ran down the centre-line before it veered back into the trees


There is not much traffic along this route


it's not the first time we have had bear encounters but being city slickers we wouldn't know what to do if we were confronted face to face with one.

I remember one time I was hiking with my friend to the south end of Chilliwack Lake. At that time the paved road ended and turned to dirt for the final 38 kilometers. Then we had a muddy road for another 12 kms to get to the parking area at the south end. We were walking on the sandy beach and there was a very large bear PAW in the sand. We compared the indentation in the sand with our footprints. Our feet were small as compared to the PAW, and then I noticed that the grains of sand were still dropping down the sides . . . We started to make more noise and got out of there right away

We spent a week in Haida Gwai'i and the section of road above was just north of Skidegate heading towards Massett. We spent two whole days on a Zodiac with 8 other people visiting ancient Haida villages


Our cameras were stored under the seat in waterproof compartments, but I had my pocket camera and managed a photo of Mrs Skoot as were were Zodiac'ing our way to Hotsprings Island, which was 4 hours south of Moresby Camp


You can read more about Skidegate ---> HERE <---

Balance Rock: We are trying to keep it from falling

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

29in29: 20-too

I used to have a muscle car. I was a car guy and every weekend you would find me at a Show & Shine somewhere. I belonged to three car clubs and three photography clubs. I had no time for myself


British Columbia has a collector car program. If your car is restored to factory specs then you can qualify for "collector" Status. There are some conditions as you have to have another vehicle for commuting, and you cannot drive your car to and from work, but other than that you are able to drive it every day anywhere. I have owned two collector vehicles. You are not allowed to have aftermarket accessories such as mag wheels, new stereo or any other accessory that was not available during the year of manufacture. I had a terrrible time trying to find the correct air cleaner assembly as most people just chucked the factory one and installed the chrome wafer air cleaner.


When I purchased the car I thought that it would be a simple, inexpensive task to find the correct wheels, trim rings, exhaust manifold, air cleaner, but I misjudged the rarity of a car which was not made in Canada. The 326ci engine was an American model and also the car was only sold in this country for half a year, being a half year 1st Generation model. All parts had to be sourced from the USA.

I really didn't use the Firebird very much as, at that time I had two other convertibles in my home fleet and I still have my C5 Corvette Roadster. When I sold the car I spent the last weekend (of ownership) driving around town and taking photos of myself with the car, this was at the end of July, 2006, over 5 years ago


The car had very nice sounding Flowmaster Dual Exhausts and it drew a lot of attention. A bit loud for my taste but the higher noise level was music to the ears of other car collectors. Most often people would come over to talk to me, even before I had parked. When approaching stop lights the people would look over when they heard the "sound" and I got many thumbs up. Cars would also come up to me and the driver would smile and give me a thumbs up. It was a magnet . . . I only drove the car with the top down.

Sometimes I miss it . . .

(Me & my 67 Firebird: July, 2006)

and sometimes I don't. Two wheels give me a bigger smile

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

29in29: 20-one

New Training Manager, Team Oregon

Congratulations to IronDAD/Dan for accepting his new position with Team Oregon


I was honoured to physically meet him down in Bend, Oregon when we had our last Blogger's Convention IMBC2010. We had an enjoyable evening together huddled in his room. While we were all sitting on his bed and chesterfield, he took the position


at the head of the class. He was just getting started into photography and I caught him snapping a few photos of the bikes


I was honoured to sit beside him at dinner and I hope to be able to do this again soon. I wonder if he will be able to get a weekend off, once in a while

Dan (IronDAD), Ron & Kari(blueKat)

Again, Congratulations to Dan. Team Oregon picked the right man for the job. Now he will be able to ride every waking moment

Monday, February 20, 2012

29in29: Twenty

Today was Sunday, my non riding day to spend with Mrs Skoot. I had to be on my best behaviour so I left my shoes on


unlike my companion with the silver feet, I was a bit envious . We didn't do anything special on Amourous day (Valentine's) so instead of conjuring up something at home we went out for brunch. We decided to try something different so we headed into the heart of Yuppieville and found a very nice French Restaurant/Cafe in Kitsilano


There were numerous eateries in the area but we chose the one with the longest line-up. We waited nearly an hour to get our window table. I am a very impatient sort so instead of waiting for a table I left Mrs Skoot to hold down the fort while I walked about the neighbourhood snapping photos, and looking into the windows of the stores up and down 4th Avenue. I was getting a bit bored, and my stomach was starting to feel the hunger pangs so I took a self portrait


Food seems to taste better when you have to wait for it. Soon enough our food arrived. The presentation is a bit different than what I am used to. The eggs sat atop a liquid broth, with salad/bagette and a small bowl of delicious small nugget potatoes


that were roasted, carmelized and tasted delicious.


Doesn't that make you hungry ? Our waitress said that this location has only been opened for 10 months. Their original location in West Vancouver is just celebrating their 10 year anniversary . We got to meet the Owner, and here is a photo of

their Chef

It was too early to go home, so we headed down to English Bay and snap a photo of the Inukshuk


Although the rain had stopped, there was a chill in the air and we had to bundle up. During the Summer the beach is a very busy place


today we had it nearly all to ourselves.