Monday, 30 December 2013

Merry Christmas and more

Snowy Owl

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, as well birthdays to Crazy Steve, Chitaroni and other people probably. Snapped a few photos of Kyle and Steve over the Holidays while observing at Taz. But let's get to the goods, what I am really excited about.

While my goods friends were visiting, I stumbled across a snowy owl landing on my garage right in front of me. I snuck into the house and even removed my keys and change so I could be stealthy with the camera. He was gone when I returned 10 seconds later though. Fast forward to Christmas day - while driving on the highway, I see him (or well, another owl at least) perched in a tree but I don't have the camera. Of course. Then yesterday while on the way back from my sister's on the backroads I spot him with Brenna perched on a fence post near the road. I have the camera but the sun has just set. I snap a photo that would have been worthy had I not found him today. So today I returned to the fence post area to see if he is around. I don't see him, but I see a large dark animal feeding on a carcass in the same field. It's far away and figure it might be a fox or a coyote picking up scraps. I ignore it and turn back, but as I pass the "animal" a second time I notice a distinct white head. I have sharp eyes, but they are not what they used to be. I can't tell what it is, my gut says bald eagle but my brain says no way not out here. I use the camera zoomed to the max and shoot a photo, then I zoom in on that blurred subject. Sure enough it is a massive bald eagle feeding on what appears to be a downed vulture, raven, or maybe a game bird. The photos of the eagle are cropped and attempted to be sharpened a bit. Thank goodness for my versatile 18-270 tamron lens! Excellent walk-around lens for stuff like this. A Raven actually comes in to feed and shoes the eagle away. I spot him flying away, snap a few photos in the distance and then race in my car to catch upto him. As soon as I got closer I snapped a few more, but his path of flight was where no car can go and all I could do was watch him fly away in awe. This is the third bald eagle I have seen (Florida and Pennsylvania) but I don't think I was happier for the others than this sighting. Right in my backyard! I had to hit crappy tire, so I made sure to take the long route along the highway since I was doing well for bird spotting. I knew I would likely see a hawk or two, and maybe the owl. Well sure enough I found the snowy owl. I had to exit further and turn back in the opposite direction. I snapped a few and scared him off in the wrong direction. So yes, I reversed down the 417 and got closer for some even better shots! And you know what? What I bought at crappy tire was on sale too! Wow what a day. Make sure to check out the birds down below. It's pretty well known I love animals. But I just really get into these predatory animals, there is something so neat about them. They really are at the top of their food chain it seems and it's really exciting to see these rare (to me at least) animals doing well in the area.

Have a safe New Year.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ode to myself


Yes, ode to myself. Just finished my second knee surgery and the surgeon said it was time to let go of snowboarding due to my knee conditions and bow legs. It was fun while it lasted, but also the easiest of all my hobbies to retire from. It's darn expensive, hard to get together and do with other people and my schedule, and as fun as it gets, doesn't have the replay value for me unlike at a skatepark where I can go and go and go - hit after hit. At the hill I have to wait for chairlifts and if I am lucky enough to find a jump I like it takes all day to hit it 15 times. That bothers me. That and I hate the cold. Oh well eh? Now I will save my knees for more hockey and bmx. That's a thought I enjoy.

Here's a few photos to celebrate the retirement. Self indulging loser!

Thanks to Chitaroni and Ray for the photos

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Happy bday Jorden and Ginger

Gordy and the wheel jam of death at L'Orignal. Shot on my t3i with Chit's 10-20mm wide lens.

 Happy birthday Jorden and Ginger. Don't know what dates or how old you guys are. I don't have Facebook and can sooner remember NHL pro's stats. But I don't love you guys any less. Here are some  classics of Ginger and more from an NYC/Philly/NJ trip we took in 2008. With the crashed hard drive I was extremely lucky to come across this cd with the trip photos (shot with the old 40D) I had burned for Chris way back when, but forgot to give the disc to him a thousand times. My fav part of that road trip with Jeff, Ginger, and Prashant, was Philly. It had amazing street and really felt like a true adventure with new things to ride around every corner. The only thing we mapped out were those cities. Nothing else. It was get in the car and go. A proper bmx road trip. Hope to go back someday. Do people ride street anymore though? And Hey, that trip made a lot of footage for Hate This. 90% of ginger's part was from this trip. Dude shredded it up road fools style. Won't be a ton of updates coming up here. People got lame for Hallowe'en, so nothing there to share. And I am off on a double knee surgery for the next good while. It's going well. hopefully I can be riding for Feb or so.

Happy birthday guys!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Beautiful September

Derek cruises with style on his Honda Shadow

September has proven to been one of the nicer months we have had all year. It's been sunny and perfect for wearing jeans and a tshirt. Can't complain. Check out some stuff going on in life while you are stuck at work not enjoying this weather. All shot with the 50mm on the t3i, except for the bmx photos of me, that was Chitaroni with the 7d and 15mm fisheye.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Lake Placid moto trip 2013

our first real stop for photos, that's white face mountain in the background

Frank, Ray, and myself packed up for a weekend in Lake Placid on the motorcycles for 2.5 days. This place and the surrounding area of Adirondacks is seriously a racetrack full twisty turns and hills surrounded by perfect landscapes of mountains, waterfalls, and rapids lining the roadway. It was insane. Like nothing else I have done before. It felt like linking the perfect run together in a skatepark. I certainly made use of the outer treads of my tires too. We packed light and I was only armed with the t3i with 50mm and my my buddy's gopro 3. Photos couldn't do this place justice, and to be honest we couldn't be bothered to stop in the best spots, because the riding was too good and stopping meant breaking the perfect flow we had going.  Everyone road really well and we covered a fair amount of ground considering the time we had, shorter days, and colder weather. Absolutely awesome. Can't wait to go back next year when it's not deathly cold out.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

It's a boy!

a bee themed event. What will it bee? I guessed boy and was right

What a busy weekend. Here is some non bmx content to poke around at. Myself and Brenna shot photo and video at her sister's baby gender reveal/baby shower. Then again at the River Float they held afterwards. Then it was time to celebrate Brenna's bday!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Sudbury roadtrip edit 2013

Here it is. I finally paid for a vimeo plus account. Not happy giving them $60 for a year, but at least this way I can upload video way sooner since I can never ever remember how to compress things while maintaining decent quality. It seriously took me days with my work schedule to just get this crap online. My internet is as slow a volkswagen and my brain is getting dumber. Now that onus is on you as riders to make me ride more and film more next year to and pump out more edits to justify this expense. I prefer wasting money on this from kijiji that I can re-sell on kijiji when I realize I don't need them. Anyone want to buy my edit? Didn't think so. Oh and make sure to have the HD option on.


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Big Nickel Trip 2013

Josh gainers unknown water off a train bridge in Sturgeon falls. We estimated this jump at about 48-50ft. He did the gainer first jump. Then did it again perfectly as well. Then he called it there like a wise man. Don't think you're cool by saying it's not that high. A: you can't even see how much more he drops into the water. B: he did it first jump, INTO UNKNOWN water. C: the friggin' guy jumped off a beam, sideways, no running start, just standing balancing on a beam. D: Josh is the shit
It's important to me to make it down to Sudbury at least once a year. I have good friends there that do lots of driving to hang out on my account. Last year I failed, I didn't even make it once. I was able to break the slump. I didn't ride as much as the maniacs pictured below, but I felt good and had a blast hanging out and laughing. And yah, this post can only start with the best move of the trip. Josh is nuts. Oh and that is Rich Red photoshop job above there there. I opened all the photos I wanted to make a sequence of in some foolish paint program for 4yr olds and cut and past Josh into the relative area he should be, overlap and all. All shot on the T3i with Tamron 18-270mm which has been acting up. I also broke my fisheye trying to film Kyle. But I just got a new 50mm lens to sorta make up for that. It's my third one after smashing one in Spain and having one stolen in Gatineau. Enjoy.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Costa Rica photos part 4

canopy ziplining
This is the last of the photos. All the ziplining photos were were taken by the company photographer. He did a good job considering the low light and foggy weather. There is a random go pro shot in there, and then some off a point and shoot we bought for Brenna for the trip. The point and shoot turned out to be an utter pile of junk. Anyway, thanks for checking in. Plenty of bmx photos and video coming in the next week.

Costa Rica photos part 3

we took a pretty serious kayak ride around an island and found our own private beach

These are a bunch of go pro photos. Go Pro2 is pretty useless in the water. That and I actually chipped the casing area over the lens, so that didn't help photo quality. That being said, it did a pretty good job and got us lots of cool angles.

Costa Rica photos part 2

this felt awesome

More photos with some more tidbits. Our main reason for doing Costa Rica mid Canada summer, was for the opportunity to see the Green Sea Turtles lay their eggs in the middle of the night in Tortuguero. It's a very sanctioned tour in this area as it is protected and only during the night hours (paid and guided of course). You can only wear dark clothing, no camera gear, no lights. Just the guide with a red head lamp. They wait until the turtle is physically laying her eggs (50-100 eggs) before we can view, otherwsie we could spook her back into the ocean. Then we get to watch her cover the nest and go back into the water. It's a tremendous thing to watch and take about 2 hours for the whole process. It's hard to explain, but it's avery special. Pretty much most of the world's sea turtle come the 24 mile stretch of beach in Tortuguero to lay their eggs. It is possible to watch turtles lay eggs elsewhere, but it is also possible to get killed by the poachers who make a living killing turtles and taking their eggs for drugs, etc. So it's a true memory. I mean, you can only get there by boat, you have to pay to get on the island, the guides are certified and checked every time they arrive, and meanwhile on the other side of Costa Rica, people are killing people trying to guard the turtles in non sanctioned areas. Humans are truly the worst animal ever.

Costa Rica photos part 1

Only money shot I will ever get.

Too many photos and too many neat little stories. We shot about 1500 nice useable photos on this trip and I can only throw on a few handfuls. I will try to keep it mostly the standout ones. My internet is so slow it took way over an hour to put these up here. I can sum it up a bit and say this; Costa Rica has some really beautiful places full of wildlife and nice people who really care about their environment. The bugs were big, the jungle was thick, the water was insanely warm. We did really well on this trip and made sure to sleep in nice places and be as adventurous as possible throughout the trip and stayed off the beaten path for the most part. We had to emergency land in Florida on the way there because one of our engines was losing oil. That was pretty stressful. That plane ride was only more interesting because actor Terrence Howard was on the flight with his family. We then landed in city of San Jose, then off to Tortuguero on the west coast with ocean,, canals and rain forrest, then off to the mountainous area of La Fortuna with the volcano and hanging bridges, then off to Guanacaste the beach town on the east coast that was significantly dryer in terms of heat, then back to San Jose for the long haul home. What a wicked trip. We got to see a fair amount of Costa Rica given the time we were there. Thanks Gap Adventures! All the following shots are from the Canon T31 with Tamron 18-270 lens. They are either shot by Brenna, myself, or on a timer sitting on something random. Thanks for looking. More to come for sure.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

iphone randoms

Honda fleet

I couldn't wait to get my phone clear of photos before the Costa Rica updates. Enjoy some randomness.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

North Carolina roadtrip

4x4 jeep life
Long overdue update. I have been super busy and unmotivated to update this blog as I am still heartbroken from losing my hard drive of my life.

Anyway, enough about that. Earlier this summer myself, Jeff, Chitaroni, Jorden, and Nick Stupich decided it was time. Time to go see Roland, Shelley, and Rev in their new home in Kuri Beach, North Caronlina. It's not too far from South Carolina and it would be a decent drive. Jorden and myself got in my CRX and the other three guys got gay together in the Honda Fit. It was a dreadful drive to get there, but you know we laughed so much. I might fly their next time, but I wouldn't take back the way we did it. Turns out Roland lives in paradise. Pura Vida in Kura Beach. Place was awesome and the LaBrecque's were great hosts. We surfed, off roaded, camped, drank, swam, drank some more. We then made out way to Greenville in hopes of riding bmx history. We road the Animal House. I didn't enjoy the 22ft tall ramps personally, but everyone else shredded it up. Roland came out of retirement for the trip to throw down some final bangers! Guy is a fantastic human. We then got to the famous outdoor park Jaycee. Place is amazing and we had some fun. I can hardly remember what happened after that. We rode some crazy concrete park in Virginia somewhere, then we stayed in some hotel in Washington. We ate burgers, drank in our underwear, and stunk the place up. One more great memory for when I am old and decrepit. Or older and decrepiter (spelling?). Thanks to everyone for making the wonderful roadtrip happen, especially Roland and his family.

Most photos done with Canon T3i with the Tamron 18-270 lens and the Opteka Fisheye. POV shots were with the go pro.

Check back really soon for a few Costa Rica trip updates!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

death of a hard drive

Pat's rat gives me a tickle

Over the Christmas Holidays I had a major flood that damaged my hard drive. At the moment, I have lost everything I have ever shot photo or video of in the last 12 years or so. Not cool. Luckily insurance is trying to have the data recovered through some complicated and expensive process. I am really hoping they can get it back for us. In the meantime I haven't been up to anything photo worthy. I haven't had time and not in the mood to lug the camera around. Here are a bunch of iphone pics from the last year.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Florida day five

great view above the ocean
The final full day. We made our way back through the keys stopping at places we saw on the way up. We had to get back to Miami that night as we had to be in the airport for 4am. So we did some parasailing, checked out a bird sanctuary, and caught our final sunset before heading into Miami for a nice dinner and a movie. We saw Django Unchained and it was great. Then made our delayed flight back to Ottawa to hit terrible conditions as expected. We were very tempted to just stay a lot longer. It was a great trip, but too quick. Hopefully this keeps us sane until Costa Rica. Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Florida day four

8ft Lemon shark takes a bite
Day four was great, but not as good as it should have been. We booked a shark tour on a boat. I am not yet dive certified, and even then there are no dedicated shark dives in the US. Well, you are not allowed to bait for sharks on dives. So unless you go to the bahamas, etc, then the shark tour was the next best thing. They bait the sharks off the side and you enjoy the show. Usually 12-20 sharks, with several big species coming through. Unfortunately we had a real cold snap over night, dropping the temperature so low, the sharks get very lethargic and their metabolism slows. They need warmer temperatures to be active. The shark tour wanted to cancel. I had other plans. I am Canadian I say, I can handle the cold. So tour guide eventually said yes. Problem is the sharks couldn't and I didn't know. Would have regretted not going, but we certainly did not get the show we were supposed to. The sharks were just not interested. Oh well. We saw an 8ft Lemon and 7ft Nurse feed a bit. One of the best parts was a giant loggerhead turtle that passed us while we watched the sharks feed. This thing was easily the size of a big 4-wheeler. Cruised on by and he was gone just like that. Then we enjoyed Key West afterwards as it warmed up for the evening. Key West is a really neat place. Party everywhere all the time, but we were the youngest people by far. Very weird dynamics there. Furthest Southern place in the US!

Florida day three

getting ready for the water 
Day three was awesome. Dark rainy weather when we woke up, so we hit the turtle hospital and got educated. Really great place and you get to see a lot of big turtles and stuff. We finished that and the weather was perfect. We hit a well known snorkelling spot. My go pro battery let me down, but you will simply have to take my word for it. I also have a 6 second video clip before she dies. What you ask? I snorkelled all alone, about 400ft from the boat and everyone else, with two Carribean Reef sharks. Don't be an idiot and ask if they are man eaters. Google that specific species and take a look. Not known to be too aggressive when left alone, but a very capable and well built killing machine. I swam with them 3 times, and the last session was about a minute and half at 10ft away. Go figure, I had exhausted my go pro battery in the previous 1.5hrs of the swim. I decided I had used enough of my luck (since nobody would even see or know if I went missing until way too late) and headed back to the boat to share my ultimate experience. I can't stop thinking about how perfect that encounter was, well, minus the go pro dying. One of the best days of my life so far. We also saw lots of barracudas and neat fish as expected.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Florida day two

just a neat pic Brenna shot while we drove

Day two brought us further south into the glades. We took most of the day to go through the South East area and hit some nice driving and walking paths in the glades. We saw a lot more than we expected. Once again, lots of great photos I can't even squeeze in here. And lots of photo credit goes out to Brenna. Check back, day three coming soon!

Taz session Jan 2013

Tommy with a trick rarely seen these days. The fufanu. Not all is lost with the younger generation after all?

Check out some recent Taz photos from this month. People shredded and we logged some great footage as well. Shot with the T3i - canon 35mm and Opteka 6.5mm fisheye. 

Monday, 21 January 2013

Florida trip day one

cruisin' the Everglades on the airboat

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Now that all of that is done with, I can get back to life.

Brenna and myself took a small trip. We were over due. We flew to Miami, with intentions of going to the Everglades and the Keys, looking for cool stops and adventure along the way. We really hoped to see animals and catch some nice weather. Here is day one of the trip. These are only a select few photos as we snapped a lot. We didn't do so well getting to Florida though. The airline screwed us over, providing us with a transfer that was unattainable, forcing us to miss the flight they provided us with. Ridiculous. So we had to take a later flight, killing our afternoon plans. I was sitting in an airport waiting to start my vacation after having worked the night before and only getting a tiny bit of sleep on the plane. We finally arrived in Miami, but to only find that our luggage didn't make the trip and it never even left our transfer location. Brutal. We didn't waste anytime. We got into the rental car and headed straight to the everglades. We stopped at Coopertown air boat rides. The first one we could find before it got too late. Our guide was super and our small vessel only had 2 other passengers. So it was pretty awesome. Things turned around and we got our luggage delivered later that night at 3am... but we trooped it out and chugged along. I apologize as I cannot remember all the names of the animals. All these pics were shot with the T3i - Tamron 18-270mm lens. Check back for more pics soon. I have 5 or 6 days to upload yet.