• August 14, 2017 /  Misc

    After the craziness of her trip there, her first day went fairly smooth in comparison. She arrived at the office there to do her part of the presentation. After work she headed to the mall, nice short 5min walk. Unfortunately, when it's 43C with a humidex of 58C she arrived all sweaty. She got some stuff and then returned to her hotel and grabbed a bite to eat at the hotel restaurant. Upon returning to her room she found it quite warm. After speaking to the hotel they ended up giving her another room as the AC was not working and they needed time to fix it. She packed up her two little bags LOL, and went to her new room next door. She found the rooms have a washing machine so picked up some detergent and put her stuff in to wash. Fortunately, her luggage arrived this morning. Hopefully the rest of the day has been better too.

  • August 13, 2017 /  Misc

    Can be summed up like a bad Dr. Seuss story called "when not much goes right with your business flight". For those that aren't aware, she's been sent to Dubai. For Deniz, her problems began as we arrived at the airport at 11am Friday. Attempting to check in the machine would could not find her flight information. It was also now showing as being cancelled. We then approached an agent standing at the start of lineups to ask him about it. First, it's an Air Canada flight package with partner Swiss. He saw Swiss and told us we need to go to the other terminal. According to the itinerary we were in the correct terminal. He said he didn't understand the itinerary and to find a GTAA person for help. We found one and she also didn't know anything and told us to go to the other terminal. Frustrated we just walked away and lined up at the priority checkin. She wasn't a priority customer but didn't want to waste time in the longer line if we were supposed to be elsewhere. Well…rules are rules and the agent there was strict and annoyed by us being there and would not even hear our issue and told us to go line up properly. While in line Deniz received an updated itinerary. We got to the agent and everything processed fine.

    So, her first flight got cancelled and she was re-booked on a flight leaving an hour later. That flight got delayed and left 40mins late. She arrived in Montreal and ran to the next gate but arrived after they had closed the doors. The plane was still there but they would not allow her to board saying that her luggage had already been pulled and there was no way to reverse that at that point. Remember this as it will become important later in this story. They then took a little sympathy, probably because she had run, was out of breath and looking tired already. They took her by cart to customer service. They had difficulty but found another flight going through Brussels instead of her original path of Zurich. This was leaving three hours later so time to waste. She got on that flight and fortunately was sitting in a 2 seat row all to herself. Unfortunately it was right by the stinky washroom. In Brussels she had now seven hours to waste before her last leg to Dubai.

    She finally arrived in Dubai around 11:40pm local time. Customs was quick and she was then off to get her luggage. Her luggage didn't come out so she then went to customer services. They spent some time tracking down her bag. They told her that it had come via Swiss (her original path) and they had it. But she had to go to the other terminal which involved a walk outside, wait for shuttle bus and then walk back in. Almost 45mins had passed since I had heard from her so I thought she would be in a taxi on her way to the hotel but she was just arriving at Swiss customer service. They then took some time to track it down. They told her it was not there but was in Zurich and would be sent on the next flight out (24hrs later). By this time she was hot, sweaty and beyond exhaustion. Off to the taxi stand with nothing to her hotel. So, remember when she was refused to board and was told her luggage had been pulled? Apparently it wasn't and it went to Zurich. It was there they learned she was no longer on this flight path and pulled her luggage.

    She finally got into a taxi (a Lexus!!) at 2:15am and started her way to the hotel. I forgot to mention how incredibly hot it is there. At 2:30am it was 37C!!! She finally got into her room a little before 3am. We did a short video FaceTime chat. Fancy room! Spacious with a kitchen and raised bedroom area. Looks like hardwood flooring and marble stairs. By 4am she was finally getting into bed. She woke at 8am and made her way to the office where she spent a full day in meetings. They work Sunday to Thursday in Dubai. It's Sunday evening there as I write this.

    It's a shame that there weren't any direct flights or flights with just one stop on that day. Had there been better options on that day it would have made things so much easier for her.

  • August 2, 2017 /  Remembering Charles

    We miss you and hope you are celebrating your birthday somehow.  Hope it includes a fishing rod.  😁 Happy Birthday, Dad!! 🎂🎉

  • July 22, 2017 /  Misc

    Twice in the past week we have seen a coyote in our back yard.  And this is only what we are aware of.  Not good. 

  • July 1, 2017 /  Misc

  • June 21, 2017 /  Misc

    This rose has been a pleasant surprise.  Last fall, it was looking dead.  It had gone brown before anything else.  We even stopped watering it.  Instead of throwing it out though winter came pretty quick so I just placed it in the shed. To my surprise when I opened up the shed in the spring and saw the rose all green and leafy.  Now it had flowers and many more buds.  Incredible!!

  • June 20, 2017 /  Photography

    As mentioned in my previous post, here are the new additions to my lenses.

    Sigma 18mm-250mm.  A nice compact lense for general purposes. Great all round lense. 

    And Sigma 150mm-600mm.  This is a great lense for that extra reach to get closer to that deer, or blue jay. 

    And the thing I love about Sigma in addition to the quality is that they always include a lense hood.  Gotta love Sigma!

  • June 20, 2017 /  Photography

    As I have been into photography for many years, keeping relatively current can be a challenge. Anything with technology costs a lot up front and rapidly depreciates.  I had purchased my first DSLR about 11 years ago. I transitioned out of 35mm film and into the digital world.  With the recommendation of a pro photographer I decided to get a Canon and chose the 30D.  This model is in the ‘Enthausiast’ classification.  Something of better quality than the popular consumer products but not quite as good as pro….and considerably cheaper too.  I had purchased a kit so I also got a short range zoom (18-55).  I used this camera until a year and a half ago, when I upgraded and bought its successor by several years, the 70D.  Lots of improvements!  Remembering what I paid for the camera in the first place and seeing it’s current market value discouraged me from selling or trading it in.  So I kept it thinking I could still make use of it.  But once I got the 70D, the extra features and the better sensor etc, I never did use the old 30D. 

    Likewise with lenses.  I had tried to be cheap and bought good lenses but without stabilization.  Then I earlier this year I decided to get a 70-300 zoom ‘with’ stabilization’ and have quickly learned the value of that feature.  I had taken thousands of pictures over the years so I figured why do I need this?  But over the years I have also had many blurred pictures due to camera shake.  Stabilization can reduce blurred pictures leaving us with more good pictures. 

    The point I’m working towards is to not be cheap as this can ironically end up being the more expensive route and to not hang on to everything thinking I’ll use it since in most cases i probably won’t.  

    I had been wanting a powerful zoom to take better wildlife pictures.  I had found a cheap but very powerful lense (1300-2600).  It is a tank!  It also is very basic. No auto focus and certainly no stabilization.  Sliding the zoom collar out is hardly smooth.  It did take relatively good pictures of the moon.  It’s doable for something not moving when there’s lots of time to fiddle.  But this was hardly practical for things that move or are not still very long like wildlife.  

    So, I found a very decent lense by Sigma (150-600) at an affordable price.  Still expensive but at least not the cost of a used car.  And with this power it MUST have stabilization.  After reading hundreds of good reviews I went to Henry’s with ALL my old camera gear.  I got the lense and traded in my old 30D kit and the 2 lenses I no longer used.  I didn’t get much for it but at least it was something.  That equipment may also be decent for someone else and could be put to use. And it’s no longer adding to MY clutter.  

    Knowing when to get rid of something can be tricky.  The answer is not the same for everything and it also depends on usage.  I may have hung onto the old 30D too long.  Perhaps I’ll keep an eye on the market value of the 70D I have and consider trading up when the time is right.  Ah yes….when the time is right….

  • June 20, 2017 /  Misc

    During dinner we were surprised by not one deer but two deer wandering around the back of our yard.  Was pretty exciting. 

    These pictures are from Deniz and her iPhone.  I was fiddling with my DSLR and new zoom lense. 

  • June 18, 2017 /  Misc, Remembering Charles

    Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. It’s this day that I miss mine the most.  I hope my dad is well, wherever he may be.  For us sons (or daughters) we should thank our Father’s for shaping us into who we are today.