September 2009, Work? NOOOOO!

In September I started updating some of my skills again and some new ones too. I went back to work at D'Angelo Photo Studio and I picked up some training sessions at Professional Skate. Plus I bought yet another bike, see below.

Two years ago I worked for Donna at D'Angelo Photo Studio doing restoration work and assisting the head photographer in order to learn lighting, composition, etc. And in September 2009 I have gone back to it hoping to gain more experience, especially in restoration which hopefully I can do a bit of in NZ when I'm back. I have enjoyed my time back at D'Angelo. It has been good to get back in to the photography world even though I think it will be more of a hobby in the future now that I have tasted all that is required to excel at this craft. There is a lot.

Front of the studio with Photographer Trevor and Restoration Expert Donna. Thanks guys.


Also in September I started training at a top notch Hockey shop called, "Professional Skate", which does just about everything hockey including work for some of the pros. How did I get this opportunity, and why am I doing this?

Firstly, why? While living in NZ the last couple of summers I really missed hockey and began investigating why Wellington has no Ice considering all the other bigger cities do. I'm still not really sure as there seems to be good interest in it, but the need is somehow filled by inline hockey for now. This does not work for me so I tracked down a few people involved in bringing Ice to Wellington and heard good things towards the end of 2009. Probably won't happen in 2009 due to the recession, but I thought while I was back home I could learn how to do things properly in order to get a good foot in the door when the rink does pop up. Hopefully we will be able to bring some of the Pro Skate guys down for NZ training sessions when that Ice is put in. Fingers crossed.

How did I get this oppurtunity? Beer! I went to Pro Skate to get my skate fixed and while I was there I asked if they could show me some services they provide to the hockey community. Apparently they liked my interest and agreed to a case of beer in order to use the facilities and get taught by the best. Miller Guinune Draft was not my idea of a case of beer, but that's for them to decide. Next case will be Big Rock (local Calgary beer). Some of the things I have learned in my Thursday morning sessions are sharpening, blade replacement and riveting, truing blades, machine maintanence, boot extrusion and stick tricks. Special thanks to Murph, Voldy, Boots, Mark, Josh and Peter for helping me along the way and letting me practice on junk stuff before I beat up on my own skates. Also, thanks for the job offer Murph, but you know I am just not cut out for full time work, yikes!

Voldy and Murph out front of Professional Skate.

Replacing rivets.

Sparking it up and sharpening that cool steel. The most important service!

No look! Thank god for the practice skate.


Now for the bike.

This is my previously owned 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 which is to get me from Calgary to the tip of South America next Sept 2010. What do you think? It makes me smile.


And finally a couple of pieces of info for you. A friend of mine has started a Movie critic blog which makes me chuckle. Check it out http://thefantasticmrfilm.wordpress.com/ (note that some of the language is a bit heavy).

And...

On a final point of interest from Kraft in 1971.

August 2009, Canoing and Softball

Two events of note in August. A quaint little camping / Canoeing trip and Carseland 2009!

In mid August a handful of us made it out for a night to Todd Mcbride's Red Deer River Cabins. A very nice spot on the side of the Red Deer River about 10 minutes drive from Dinosaur Provincial Park. For those who don't know, Southern Alberta is home to many archaeological sites containing Dinosaur fossils. Todd was very informed on this, but unfortunately with the rain through out Saturday it left little time for a proper exploration of the Park on Sunday.

A bit of drinking games lead by Algernon and myself, a big meal on the BBQ as we huddled inside the mess area, a big outdoor fire once the rain stopped and a canoe trip on Sunday down the River. The biggest challenge of the weekend was navigating the muddy roads in and out of the place. Definitely a good spot to see for travellers from outside of Alberta, especially when it's sunny!

Drinking games

Fishing off the shore

Roaring warm fire.

Explanation vid for Sunday morning.

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A couple solid hours of canoeing.

On the way home through the Indian Reservation I took this photo. Teepees set up everywhere for one of their weekend festivals (Pow Wows).



Then near the end of August there was Carseland 2009, a season ending softball tournament for the league I have played in every summer for the past 9 seasons. I have never missed a season ending tournament yet. Good times. Over the past 6 or 7 years the team has turned up in costume and this year it was Tennis players. Kind of a rib to all the other teams showing that we are there for a good time and softball isn't even our main focus.

Junior and I on our way out on Friday night.

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Some of the crew. We actually had two teams this year and this was the group of hard cores out of those two teams that camped both Friday and Saturday. Good group of people.

Myself in my casual off court clothes.

Fireworks footage of Darrah on Friday night. Very entertaining stuff.

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Tom Anderson the next morning leading the team in to battle.

Getting down to business.

Is it a ball in my pocket???

A classic video of how we choose home field advantage with IMV Projects every time we play them in the tournament. Beer Relay, have a look to see how it's played. Thanks for capturing it Tommy.

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A good tournament again. This year we won some and lost enough not to win it all. Didn't do very well in the tennis either.



July 2009, The Wedding of CK and Jenny

Well, the big day finally arrived one week after Chris' Stag. As Best Man and MC I had my work cut out for me in front of a crowd of 80 or so. About 50% family and 50% friends from Engineering school and work mates from the Engineering / Computer world. Basically a bunch of people smarter than me who normally I would be quite nervous in front of. The ceremony and dinner was held all in the same place, "The Rouge". A very, very nice restaurant that grows their own vegetables in their backyard garden where everything was to take place. One ounce of rain could have seriously cramped the occasion, but fortunately not a drop was spilled by the clouds on this day. A nice and to the point ceremony began around 5:30 ish pm. Laughter, sighs and tears were all part of it as the two photographers and one surprise videographer recorded this moment to be set in time.

I was responsible for the rings which I had to bribed away from the 2 year old ring barrier, Zack, with a crayon that his mother provided me. Vows were exchanged and sealed with a kiss. The couple then signed the official docs and pre dinner drinks were consumed. After that I jumped in to action and got everyone to there seats for dinner and speeches. Of course I went first and set the tone for some very good words that followed by others. Chris's sister even through a pretty decent rap in to her 20 minutes on the mic. Once everyone was properly lubed up we proceed inside to the dance floor for some retro music and a good conclusion to the night.



Best of Luck to Chris and Jenny Klementis!

Some behind the scenes photos and video at the beginning of the day.

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Finally with all our gear on in 30 C heat.

Pre wedding snags

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The crew

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Racing to the Ceremony...