Foggy, foggy night

The crossing was foggy. Slow-down-the-ferry, what f*ck was that, whose got the radar, foggy. But I saw a dolphin. Go figure.

We hung out with Stephen and Leslie’s parental units for a bit and got lost in a parking lot in the fog. You know those crazy weird parking lots some so-called architects are making that are senseless even in the light of day? Well, they are a hoot in a pea soup fog. If you aren’t familiar with the parking lot and you can’t see more than 20 feet except for glowing distant headlights, it’s better than Blind Man’s Bluff.

And guess what! We get to find the ferry this morning in the same stuff. If you don’t hear from me again…

Actually it’s much clearer this morning!

So it occurs to me seaplanes don’t fly in fog. So we checked. They don’t. That might make tomorrow’s return a bit interesting.

The ferry ride. Brings a new meaning to foggy. I really feel for the captain of this thing; he’s gonna be stressed by the end of his shift.

Met Tina Lynch at the ferry dock and did a whirlwind tour. Amazing, gorgeous, fantastic place. We almost talked ourselves into moving after I pick up the boat we bought yesterday… Oh. Wait…


Le Boat? La boat? Whatever

I met Debbie Peterman! I met Debbie Peterman! But more on that later…

YVR. Vancouver. The L.A. of Canada. And this weekend, boat heaven. L and I are here for my Xmas gift redemption: checking out the 2014 Vancouver Boat Show at BC Place and, more importantly, Granville Island, home of the floating portion. Boats galore! I was expecting a dozen or so boats based on the website, but there must have been over 50. Cats, tugs, trawlers, cruisers, lots of sailboats and a few ostentatious floating palaces. Oh, and a whole lot of used car salesman types… it was grand.

We spent the whole day there checking out millions of dollars of boats Fromm a 57′ Hanse with more beam than my apartment to a 39 year old CHB trawler that was perfect for 2 friendly couples. I took exactly one picture. It was a 50 or 60 foot power cat that was a palace on floats. Owned by an Edmontonian it seemed. Blech.

The lovely man from Island Cruising tried to talk us into a 40′ Jeanneau and the nice man from Jeanneau tried to talk us out of buying all together. The charter guy said charter, the sales guys said never put a boat in charter and the Catalina guy ignored us. It was fun, fun, fun.

As the day wound down we headed back to BC Place for the static displays. We chatted with Shari and Ian from Nanaimo Yacht Charters, schmoozed the authors at the book display and popped in to Le Boat to talk Europe. And lo and behold, there was my all time favourite customer service person: Debbie Peterman. Ms. Peterman works for Le Boat out of Florida and has been my point of contact person for all our European canal boat trips. She has helped make each trip the perfect experiences they were. And I got to meet her!

The next morning we popped back in to tour around again. Talked to Dawn at Cooper boating about the Broughtons and Alaska at picked up some flyers from real estate agents.

It’s off to Nanaimo on the ferry now and part two of the lets-spend-some-money January tour.


Clean up

Climbing Flash Show

The following was a page for the longest time but with the cleanup, I think it will be better suited as a post. It was originally done Nov 20, 2006.

In my spare time I’m working to rewrite VIRG’s website as a fun project cause their current one sucks. I made this as a header until I realized that every time you reloaded the main page the thing would start from the beginning. So for now it resides here. Enjoy!

OK. Well after all that it turns out when I built the SWF file I included autoplay. Since I no longer haver the source file it is proving virtually impossible to turn off the annoying music if the post is anywhere on the screen. So I moved it back to this page: Virg Slide Show


Movies & Conversions

I’ve posted a few things that tickled my fancy over the years and they have been in a lot of formats, .mov, .flv. .wmv, even some .swf’s. So given the rise of html 5 and a more unified mp4 system, I went back and converted most of them and have reposted them on two grouped pages:

Movies & Collected Funnies 1
Movies & Collected Funnies 2

Most were converted using Adobe Media Encoder CC, but for some reason the codecs for the ‘borrowed’ flvs wouldn’t allow any Adobe product to import them. So I turned to Handbrake, a lovely, lovely product; worked great.

I now also need to go and clean up the galleries as they all seem to (again) be using different formats and half of them don’t seem to work. Let me know if you find anything still broken.


So last night just before midnight a huge crash was heard. I didn’t think much except that maybe someone was dropping off a bin (at the construction site) and dropped it too fast. Then the yelling started.

I hopped up and looked out the window and there were a bunch of cars and a couple smashed into Mark’s (our neighbour) car. I immediately thought there had been an accident and that the yelling was the typical resulting violence. I grabbed some clothes and headed to the balcony. A woman with a gun on her hip was walking below me and the cars were all now sporting police cherries.


Turns out that a bunch of undercover cops were working some drug thing when some poor unfortunate schmuck of a would-be criminal chose that moment to rob the local Macs. Needless to say, a police chase ensued and the wicked ice in front of our house spelled doom for Mark’s poor car. The bad guy’s truck took out his rear end and part of our much abused light pole (2012), and one of the unmarked police suv’s finished off his front end.

Excitement indeed.

After Effects

The Adobe suite offers two tools for video composition. Premiere is the  primary workhorse (and the software I have been using to date) and After Effects, which, I gather, was initially introduced to add effects after the main work was done—hence the name. Like all mature software in this fast changing age, the lines between packages has begun to blur and it seems one can do most simple projects in either Premiere or After Effects and there is no obvious (to a beginner) distinction or clear workflow; most searches conclude with a definite: it depends…

The following is my first attempt to work in After Effects. which on the surface use a very different work paradigm. The clip tests out a few of the plugins and methodologies and tries to use the AE workflow. The outcome isn’t as smooth because there are way more options to fiddle with and I am ignoring most of the fine tuning, but it looks like I will have much more fine control over animations and effects once I get the hang of it.

Also, as far as I can tell, AE allows you to import layered files from Photoshop and Illustrator. This means I can set up separate animated elements in the original .ai file rather than having to export each separate element in its own file as I did when doing the original animations in Premiere—huge time saver.

There is no audio and I fiddled to try and get a poster frame in there, so the initial screen didn’t look blank.


And getting silly with 3D…

Second Hand News

God, I love humans.

On the subject of second-hand smoke:

“Sure it’s crappy science, but look at the outcome–a smoke-free America.”

Anti-smoking activists were quick to pronounce that “Second Hand Smoke Kills.” Well, no, it doesn’t, actually. A recent article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute described the details of a study involving 76,000 women over a period of more than 10 years. The bottom-line conclusion: the study found no statistically significant causal relationship between lung cancer and exposure to passive smoke.

… I have to ask why anti-smoking activists don’t simply stick to the facts instead of alarming everybody with the assertion that passive smoke causes lung cancer when it clearly doesn’t.

The answer lies not in science but in culture. … “The strongest reason to avoid passive cigarette smoke is to change societal behaviour; to not live in a society where smoking is the norm.”

Well, bravo. An admirable objective. But that is social engineering [my emphasis], not medicine.

Of course, a lot of details are missing in this article, and no one can really believe inhaling toxic substances is good for you. Neither is pumping gas, eating sand in a public playground or eating food that has sat on the ground for more than three seconds. But that is what immune systems are for, isn’t it? I just like the fact that for all the science involved, stuff like this is always so much about ‘social engineering.’ Baaaaah, baaaaah!

Anyway, read the comments; they are a hoot.



Mixing a bit of visual identity, video editing and timelapse. The view from my front window. An earlier version was posted on Facebook. Hopefully when my tripod arrives I can take this outside.


V2 with a better title clip but no music. A sunset this time…


And the piece de resistance: last night’s gorgeous sunset!


Oh, and happy birthday Dale. I forgive you for the leash thing! 🙂