Monday, 31 December 2007


[Ed. note: The follow may not be suitable for all squeamish readers.]

As you know, I've often commented that although I live in the downtown condo neighborhood, it can be a pretty rough place at times. Well, we outdid ourselves today.

We just had a guy shot to death at noon, less than two blocks from my place.

This picture is standing next to my condo, looking down the alley at the police tape and flashing lights. (Believe me, they're there.)

Here I was taking some shots of the scene and unexpectedly got a shot of the unfortunate victim. Which is likely why the police officer in the patrol car came out and chased me off. Nicely, though.

He just stood between me and the scene and looked at me. Almost like management at a meeting, when your time is up and it's time to go, "....thank you. Thank you."

I guess they had the whole Calgary CSI group out.

This happened at noon, right at a busy intersection. Of course, that intersection is nicknamed "Cocaine Corner". So perhaps this is not surprizing.

People are always getting stabbed there at night (and in September this is also where the fellow was pushed under the commuter train at rush hour and killed over a bad pot deal) so you kind of expect that. But this is getting way out of hand.

I'm sure this was drug related. Our prosperity is killing us.

...No Thanks

I read in today's paper that Benazir Bhutto's son has been tapped to replace her as chair of the Pakistan Peoples Party. This is a 19 year old guy going to university at Oxford.

When he got the call, I bet it was "....who? Me?" He was probably just getting ready to head out to some English pub. "Look, can I get back to you blokes on this?"

Not to seem too crass, but I wonder what the over/under is on how soon he will be shot at?

Calgary at 8 AM

This is in contrast to the photo that my confrere further down the dial has on his site. This shot taken from my kitchen window, also at 8am. We is up here, alright. And brrrrrr.....

Last morning of 2007 - and I hope everyone has a safe and festive night. Here's to a good 2008.

Saturday, 29 December 2007


Maybe got a little too exicited being near this much beer.

...but you think those empty bottles of mine fill themselves? If I'm going to take my leg on a road trip, it might as well be a good one.

Now, this wasn't the first place I went on my road trip. Okay, yes it was.

But it wasn't the only place I went. Okay, yes it was.

Pop, pop, fizz fizz

Hey, these guys are looking pretty tempting, too.

This shelf just goes on and on and on.....mmmmmm.......

I love America!! ...I mean Alberta.


Being forced to stay close to home with the gimpy knee, I thought I would check out some spots in the condo.

I always wondered what went on in here. I've often heard strange, pained sounds coming from inside.

But with this alarming disclaimer prominently displayed, I never went any closer.

What the heck......


What's going on? They've obviously installed some kind of medieval torture chamber in here. Perhaps used on people not paying their condo fees? Or abusing visitor parking.

Sweet mother of mercy, this is the 21st Century. Santa, I'll be good.

Friday, 28 December 2007

What a Difference A Day Makes

Beautiful sunshine today. Where'd all that glum go?

And looks like the Allied bombing from yesterday didn't do too much damage.

Let's get out and have some fun.

Return Those Beer Bottles

We're having some fun now. Okay, some fun.

Hey, come on...there aren't that many ways to have a lot of fun this close to the building. The knee's still pretty swollen.

This Place Looks Familiar

Mr. Garbage Room. This time we'll go inside.

All Done!

Boy, this place is a lot different than the Downtown Bottle Depot. And I mean that in a good way.

Those aren't all mine, by the way. Not all.

Looking Across The Street

Okay, okay, let's not get too carried away. I'll save the across-the-street adventure for another day.

Hewwo Widdle Buddy Wuddy

Awwwww, what a great way to end the day with a little wag and a scratch. This little fella belongs to our dry cleaner in the building. But he always barks when I go by coming home from work.

I met them in the condo lobby the other day. And he didn't bark - but came up wagging and licking. I said, it's almost as if he likes me.

She said, oh, he likes you alright.

I asked her why he always barks at me then.

She said, he always barks at people he knows....but who never stop in to say Hi.


So, I stopped in today. And what do you know; more wagging and less barking. A good lesson learned. I guess a good lesson for everybody to learn......

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Glum and Glummer

So I lied. I decided not to go for a walk about today. A walk about was supposed to cheer me up. But this weather wouldn't. Almost makes being stuck inside with condo fever not seem so bad.

Here my cheap camera actually enhances the effect of the weather.

This looks like some kind of World War II shot, perhaps from Dresden, as the Allied bombers fly along the Elbe River and rain down incendaries on the city below.

Whoa, I just re-read this. Chill out, dude. This isn't cheering me up. Man, how depressed must I be.

Parking lot beside our building. Nobody is glum enough to be outside today.

Looking out over mile after mile of glumness.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Out And About

So I thought I would take my own advice from the previous post and get out and about. But due to Situation Gimpy, I had to stay close to home. So.....

Here is a shot of our Garbage Room door. Just around back. It's actually a very nice room, well laid out, with recycling bins, etc. It's too dark in their to get a snap, unfortunately. Moving on......

This is how I get into our parking area.

Ummmm.....this door goes up when you get close. Hmmmm....then it automatically comes down later. Pretty neat idea. ....did I mention that the door opens when you get close? Ya.....

Hey? Are you watchin' me? Are you watchin' me? 'cause I'm watching you.

Good to know this is here right outside the garbage room. Nobody'll be stealing any of our tabasco containers or sliced mushroom tins. Mine, anyway.

The aforementioned rail transit system. Right across the street.

It's free through the downtown core. Which means you have business people (moi, due to the knee) sitting next to passed out winos - who really stink, by the way - riding around all day keeping warm.

The "no fare" idea was to encourage ridership. Well, that worked.

Although I don't think guys who pee and vomit everywhere (I am not kidding - people rarely sit on stained seats because they don't know how recent the "event" was.) were their target market. But it's really caught on. With some folk anyway.

Security is constantly carrying these guys off the train. Especially where I live, end of the line. One, because they don't want to go and two, because they've passed out and can't walk.

Very nice at 6:30am, as you are heading in to work. And this is why you rarely sit in a stained seat. What's that expression, "Fool me once......"

Hey, I didn't know we had a convenience store in the building. Cool. I do have to get out more.

But I'm not going to be sticking around too long. Some "guy" is staring at me like I'm a steak dinner as he hangs out outside the store. And great, he followed me in, too.

I should be okay, though, I think the train is about to leave and he'll want to get on and have a pee.

So that was my exercise for today. I hope you join me tomorrow, when I go across the street.

Too Rich

This city is too rich if guys are just leaving their backhoe buckets lying around on city streets.

You finish a job and think, what do we do with the equipment? Ahhh, just leave it.

Zoom in, eh.

I hope they at least put money in the meter.

Since I am laid up with this bad knee and can't walk anywhere, my shot quality is worse than usual. So not only was this taken with my piece of crap camera, it was also taken through the filthy window of a local rail transit car.

Who knows how much drool and grime from some passed out wino you are looking through.

Whooo, I need to lighten up and get out more.

Saturday, 15 December 2007


When a young man's thoughts turn A flashback to the warmer, and seemingly distant, days of last summer. Will they ever return? And we have yet to reach the shortest day of the year.

I was walking downtown and had to be somewhere early afternoon. I noticed the long length of my shadow and panicked, logically thinking it must be four or five o'clock.

No worry - it was only noon. With the sun just snaking above the horizon.

What was I thinking, anyway? The suns sets at 4pm.

Friday, 7 December 2007

I'm Back!

Just got back from some well deserved vacation down in Florida. Unfortunately, bunged up my knee while I was there. That's the good news. The bad news is I wasn't even doing anything.

A guy at work looked knowingly at me said "Old guy's disease?".

Now this isn't supposed to be pornographic - but only because I only needed one hand to snap the photo so I could use the other to keep the package out of the shot.

I know, I know, you're amazed I could keep it out using only one hand. Well, you know what they say about guys with big hands......And don't anybody say they need big gloves. That's not all they need that's big.

[Ed. Note: Alright, that's enough.]


Ahhhhh, the beautiful Gulf Coast. About seven miles of white sandy beach.

And the number of birds, and bird species, there is amazing. And not just seagulls either.

Terns (these guys), egrets, ibis, cormorants, kildares, pelicans, sandpipers, blue herons....whew, swallows, frigate birds, hawks (watch out for them), plovers......

And they are not bothered by people at all.

Whoa, dudes. They fly around all over like this, like I am not even there. And they all take off at once, like this, which can be a little unnerving. Good thing they have the latest GPS software.

Later I was in the water when a school of fish went by and the birds started dive bombing all around. I wasn't so concerned about what the birds were trying to eat. I was more concerned about what birds do after they eat.

Now if you look closely, above, you'll see a dolphin surfacing out there.

What? Look closer.

Okay, is that better? See him?

You think that's easy taking a picture of a dolphin? You think you go down there and you say "Hey dolphin, yeah you. Hold it, one, two three, hold it, hold it." this picture the dolphin is fighting...a great white shark. Yeaaahh... An incredibly rare shot. Unbelievable!

And what montage of Florida would be complete without its most ubiquitous resident - the gecko.

They skitter scatter everywhere. But, like the birds, they really aren't too fussed by people. My toes aren't too far from this little guy.

So I was able to swish him in one step. ....just kidding! It took two or three.

Are You Kidding Me?

These shots were all taken on a single walk about downtown, on one street. Down here the police (or po-lease, as they like to be called) pull you over for driving a Taurus.

Personally, I've never seen it happen, because I've never seen a Taurus down here.

What the hell is this piece of crap Hyundai doing in the picture? Sorry, that's my rental car.

Some people are pretty cool about stuff. Others not so.

I had just taken the shot of this car, when a couple came over to look at it. I said, would you like me to start it up for you? She looked at me like I had two heads. Or more correctly, like I didn't have two million dollar bills to rub together.

However, when I first came up to it to take the shot, I said to the couple already standing there, mind if I take a picure of your car. Without missing a beat, he said, for a quarter of a million bucks, I might as well get some use out of it.

I left out all the Beemers, Mercedes, Rolls (there are lots), Lexus (booooring) for obvious reasons, dahlin'.

A normal person feels so out of place here. I'm embarassed to get in my car. Or more correctly, to get out of it.

I felt like using that line from Beverly Hills Cop, when Eddie Murphy drops his beater off at Valet Parking at a swanky restaurant and says "Park this, but be careful. All this %&$%@ happened to it the last time I parked here."

The Bright Lights Of.....Naples?

Tradition here is to put up lots and lots of white lights all through the palm trees. The entire downtown is a white, winter wonderland. [Ed. Note: That could also be a social commentary on the amount of diversity in this city. But that's a topic for another posting.....]

This year, our condo decided to get into the act. And since I was the only guy under 70 down there, I got to spend three straight hours up on a ladder stringing lights.

I felt like Kramer at Del Boca Vista Phase II ("So that's as high as you can get them? Higher, higher. What? You don't want things should look nice?"

However, the results are quite dramatic - especially if you could see it in person and not filtered using this photographer's "fog of life" effect.

As this may have contributed to the aforementioned knee problems, you can think of each light as another day I have to spend with my leg elevated.

So a great trip (ignoring kneegate). And now to somehow make it up to my body for taking it from +85 deg weather in the morning to -25 that evening. My now-desiccated hands were literally cracked and bleeding by the next morning.

And, because of weather delays in Chicago, we had to sit on the tarmac for almost two hours before leaving. And because of the dry air in the cabin, my legs, I kid you not, started to peel on the plane.

I didn't think it was a big deal, but apparently the young lady I was chatting up next to me did. And I guess the emphasis in that sentence should be "I was chatting".

But no harm done, it wasn't long before she pulled out her book and put on her iPod headphones. I don't think you can hear very well with those things on.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

You Had Me At "We Deliver"

Now we're talking. We're obviously not in nanny controlled Ontario out here.

I love this place, down the street from me. Sure, I know it looks like one of them fancy schmacy stores. But they are obviously customer focused.

Of course, most of their regular customers don't have fixed addresses, so the delivery part is a bit of a challenge. "I'll be lying next to Tommy down by the river."

But when I'm sitting at home, too hammered to stand up, but still thirsty, I know help is just a phone call away.

You Think $1.49 Is Special?

I've got a special. On Canadian cucumbers. Oh yeah.

First 20 ladies to sign up get free samples.

[Ed. Note: okay, enough of this shock shlop.]

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Jimmy's Finally Mainstream?

Holy cow. The "posting" in our corporate fitness centre is using a quote from Jimmy Buffett.

But I bet the little, twenty something blondie fitness girl doesn't even know who he is. I bet most of our flabby, middle aged corporate drones don't know who he is either.

And to top it off, this quote can also be found leading off the Northern Perplextions main page of a fellow blogger. Way to go, Rob. You're no flabby, middle aged corporate drone.

P.S. Note the balmy 7 Deg C temp - that'll melt that darn snow pretty quick.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Careful, Careful

The first few shots (which, ahem, didn't turn out) of this suspended Caterpillar tractor, were tiny little dots in the distance. But as I kept clicking, it kept getting bigger and bigger. Until I heard air horns and a bunch of commotion.

By the time I pulled my head away from the phone thingy, it was almost over my head. Hmmm, is that me that should move? Should I get the hell out of the way? One more quick shot......

[P.S. This is a construction site, not just some Caterpillar tractor floating aimlessly over downtown.]

Sunday, 21 October 2007

That's Usin' Their Noggins

Need place for your office and room for a big hole in the ground?

Put your office on top of the pedestrian walkway. That's a real smart way to save space.

Don't even need a separate roof over the sidewalk.

Hey! Beat it!

Can't ya read?

Although from the looks of the concrete, he's not the first to flaunt the law. Darn pigeons.

That's More Like It

And stay away!