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Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

August 14th, 2011: 11:48 pm

The Outlook Motel has been a fixture on the side of the Yellowhead for 35 years. I don’t know who would have stayed there but its easy to let the imagination loose, concocting stories of a seedier, darker nature. What drew my attention was the vintage style sign. For as long as I can remember, it has always looked like that.

Here is am image from Google Maps Street View of the sign:

For as long as the link works, here is a link to the street view.

For a couple of years I had intended to stop and get a photo capturing the sign’s retro styling, and if I was daring enough, maybe look to see if the rooms were some kind of time capsule containing other vintage elements. To my dismay, the sign was recently displaced and stripped of its markings, and just over a week ago demolition begun on the building. The land has been reclaimed for a widening of the highway, and a revamping of the interchange. As of this upcoming Tuesday, there will be nothing left.

The back half of the motel and an RV park will remain, and the sign will be resurrected as something new, but it won’t be what I planned to capture. The moral of the story is don’t assume things will remain the same. Especially if you plan to photograph them.

August 9th, 2011: 8:17 pm

Recent US Politics, and a large scale market sell-off have reduced my investments to this:

December 31st, 2008: 11:11 am

For many reasons 2008 was an exciting year, but for right now, I am glad its done. Its not that the negatives outweigh the positives, but a terrible market and the prolonged general gloom that’s currently weighing on my mind makes me want to get on with a new year already.

  • Weddings – Nicholas and Tanya’s wedding in Mexico made for a good vacation and experience, while Darren and Jessie wielded the Hotel Macdonald and gourmet mini-cupcakes. Happy times for two deserving couples.
  • New house – having room for everything and a layout that suits your needs is good, having everything all shiny and new is great! Having two mortgages and sets of bills for four months waiting for the old house to sell, not so much. Having abusive neighbours was terrible, but seeing them taken away by the police, much better.
  • New car – After six patient months my new car arrived, a stronger better faster diesel car! Yay!
  • Lola’s Firsts – first crawl, first steps, and first crawl up the steps! Well the last one is more scary than the first two, but seeing Lola learn something new (and new words) at a quick rate is pretty fun. First flight (Mexico at about 12 weeks), first passport stamp, and then several more after that! A worse first was Lola’s first surgery at five months, to operate on her skull, and the month of stress leading up to that. However, Lola has proven strong and is better than ever now!
  • 30 – myself and people around me turned 30 this year. They weren’t as fortunate to receive surprise trips to see the Price is Right though. And a much needed escape from home! The last decade saw loads of events and milestones, what does the next have in store?
  • back to back to back trips – LA in September (Price is Right, Disneyland), Orlando in October (Disney World), Austin in December (Christmas Party). Outlet malls and sunshine at all of the above!
  • Dollars and sense – The market dropped out, and people are seemingly irrational with everything finance. My employer’s stock is now a quarter of what it was worth, leaving the company and some of my fellow co-workers with less value than desired. Belt tightening also makes people a little nervous. And I can’t get a decent mortgage for the new house with the little money that’s left. Thats my fault for putting that off a little too long I guess…

And its been -20°C or colder for a month now. What’s up with that? Sure it gets cold in winter, but a month straight? Maybe I’ll get a pet penguin to make it worth it. That would be sweet. I hope everyone has an enjoyable and prosperous 2009.

September 1st, 2007: 10:30 am

There was one person waiting for the elevator one morning. As I came in from the parkade, this person went out of their way to turn around, face the other way, and then walk to the far corner of the lobby to wait.

I was shocked. Its an office building for crying out loud, not some Dating Reality Show.

August 1st, 2007: 9:45 pm

A few weekends ago I took Tiffany canoing down the North Saskatchewan. She held up well, and we didn’t get sunburned! It started at Devon and ended at the Valley Zoo. Looking on a map afterwards, it turns out we covered 30 kilometres, which is amazing. If somebody had shown me that route beforehand, I wouldn’t have gone, so I am glad that did not happen. Its neat to see a different view of an area — usually the only river sights afforded to me are those seen from the roads that cross the river.

Its impressive to think how ‘people power’ can actually get you from A to B. We have covered lots of distances on foot when backpacking and hosteling, gone around foreign towns on rented bicycles, and voyaged downstream in this boat, all thanks to our own efforts. Its neat to realize accomplishments without mechanized assistance. However, I am not about to give up my cars and airplanes anytime soon.

June 21st, 2007: 10:55 pm

Everyone has their sub/conscious list of things that make them smile. These things differ from person to person. The truly spectacular moments in life are the “simple things” that happen to make you smile when you least expected it.

There’s this old man that walks down the side of the road every morning. No sidewalk, no place to easily walk at all, nothing but farmland on one side, and a large subdivision on the other — generally not a stretch that you’d think to walk down. Judging by the random mornings that I’ve seen him walking, I would guess that his walk is at least two kilometres (which is impressive in my books). The first morning that I ever noticed him walking down the road, he had the biggest smile on his face. Every time I saw him thereafter, he always had the same smile, as if he was offering a personal greeting to every vehicle driving past. If it was me, I’d be scowling at all the traffic for not slowing down or giving me a little more pedestrian space. I wonder how many of the drivers that pass by even notice him.

And yet its this constant wonder/delight that brings a smile to my face some mornings. Those chance mornings that he’s on his smiling mission to get somewhere when I drive by.