The Doodle Pad

First Snow of Fall 2007

Last Tuesday we had the first snow of Fall/Winter 2007. It was supposed to come Monday, but this is the laid back West Coast so it took its time (Which is way too much anthropomorphizing, but sounds better than the meteorologists' explanations). I pretty much missed it where I live. The snow that did land around here melted fairly quickly. If not for hints of snow on the grass and cars, you'd have never known it happened. And the next day Grouse Mountain looked nice.

Snowy Grouse Mountain

Come Friday the snow is mostly gone from the mountain, much to the dismay of the ski resort there. As you can see from the smuggy bit (ok, zoomed copy as well) their snow machines are working hard against nature on "the Cut" ski run to keep some white stuff around.

Grouse Mountain making snow Grouse Mountain making snow (zoomed)

Blade Runner: Final Cut

Blade Runner PosterWhen word came of a 25th anniversary limited theatrical release for Blade Runner, me and the Mad About Movies crowd were pretty excited. Then we couldn't find any Canadian locations, and we were pissed! Then lo and behold, Empire Cinemas are advertising showings. Plans were quickly made.

I didn't see the original release in 1982. My first viewing was on television and it didn't go well. I caught it somewhere in the middle and in addition to being a bit lost the visuals turned me off. Sometime well after that I caught it from the beginning and greatly enjoyed it. Actually, I found it breath taking.

This release is Blade Runner: The Final Cut. There's been seven of them! The wrangling around cuts is something of a soap opera. This version is apparently the one director Ridley Scott had complete control of. If you're interested in Blade Runner's full back story I recommend the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_runner.

Of the actual movie, it's not perfect. The love story is between Deckard and Rachael doesn't feel natural. However, this is more than offset by how smart the rest of the story is, and great job it does exploring humanity. It was wonderful seeing it in a theatre. The Vangelis score and sweeping visuals are meant for a big screen with big sound.

Blade Runner on theatre marquee

Nice Day

After a run of truly crap-tastic weather we had a really nice day, today. Perfect timing for project involving some outdoor work. (More on the project, later). Here's a shot of the Vancouver skyline as seen from Waterfront Park in North Vancouver.

Vancouver Skyline

Later a group of us headed off downtown to catch Blade Runner: The Final Cut and got caught up traffic on the Lions Gate Bridge approach. The radio said there was an accident. Fortunately we didn't have to sit there very long.

T-55 Main Battle Tank

From the Cold War rather than the World War, The Remembering Project had a Soviet T-55 main battle tank on static display. When someone offered to take my picture in front it, I said yes. He even offered his helmet for the picture. Now if only he'd have let me sit in it for the photo ..... is that the starter button? I heard the owner say in an interview it's a $1500 fill-up.

T-55 Main Battle Tank

The Remembering Project

DisplaysHow do you Remember without a memory? With Remembrance Day approaching many of us are asked to do just this. But it's pretty abstract for those of us with no direct experience of the war. And if you're under sixteen Remembrance Day is probably just so many words, if it's even a thought beyond a day off from school. Grant McAvoy, organizer of The Remembering Project, has found one way to change this!

Mr. McAvoy is a retired school teacher and military vehicle collector. This combination represented both idea and opportunity. He brought together World War veterans, military collectors like the Western Command Military Vehicle Historical Society, the Abbotsford School District, the City of Abbotsford, and the MSA Museum to create an experience for students so they might have a better understanding of what Remembrance Day is all about.

In addition to static vehicle displays, some of which you can climb on (how cool is that), there were opportunities to try on the scratchy wool uniforms, hold some of the soldier's kit and see how heavy it was, sign a large Canadian flag being sent to Canadian solders in Afghanistan, send some morse code, write a letter to soldiers in Afghanistan, paint your face with camouflage make-up, and pose questions to a panel of veterans. In other words, a chance to bring Remembrance into the tangible. The exhibition is so popular they've had to turn schools away.

Continue reading The Remembering Project

Rainy Night Picture

Clever title, eh? One thing about dark, rainy, winter nights, you get some interesting picture possibilities. This picture was taken looking North at the intersection of 19th Street and Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver. I love the way the lights look.

Lonsdale in the rain

Battlestar Galactica Starwars Birthday Pegasus Refresher

Tonight was the Battlestar Galactica Pegasus Refresher. Val (the Meetup Group organizer) is super creative and went all out on the treats. Val happens to have also be a Starwars fan and the proud owner of a light saber, which lights up and does the sounds effects. Get a group of fans together and the odds of it being left alone are infinitesimal. As it turns out we also celebrated Starwars fanboy Yves (aka Jedi Yves) birthday. Three guesses how he cut the cake:

Cutting the cake Jedi style

Oh, and we also watched the BSG Pegasus episodes in anticipation of the upcoming BSG movie: Razor. I'll let Val fill you in on that.

And With the Rain Comes ...

Now that the rainy session has started so has the symphony of sirens (I live close to a major road). Usually I'm snug as a bug in my apartment, but today I got to witness the results first hand west bound on Highway 1 (aka Upper Levels Highway) between Westwood and Capilano road. What you don't see in this picture are the two police cars already attending. I have no idea how the car (bottom right) wound up facing that direction.

Car in Ditch

Congratulations Paul & Laurie

Congratulations to Paul and Laurie on their engagement. If ever there were two people brought together by fate, I think it's these two. Of course, what happened next was up to them, and they made the best of it!

All the best you two!

Paul and Laurie

Pier Pub Fire

Pier Pub FireThe pub in Kelowna I broke down at burned: Pier Pub Fire, how strange is that?!

Maybe not that strange, it would make a good party spot that close to town but nice and empty. And I did notice discarded liquor bottles when I was killing time there. Still, glad it waited till I was long gone.

Photo by Wayne Moore - Castanet

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