Friday, January 27, 2023

Why we must remember

Light amid darkness
July 2012
London, ON
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Auschwitz was liberated 78 years ago today.

Let that number sink in.

Because those who managed to survive this darkest chapter of human history are rapidly leaving us.

Soon there will be no first-hand witnesses to the Holocaust, no victims left to tell their own stories.

Which, against the backdrop of deniers and Jew-haters who would deny that any of this ever happened, and the historic rise in anti-Semitic activity across the globe, should chill us all to the bone.

I wrote the following passage three years ago. It is as valid today as it was then.

Actually, more so:

The #Holocaust can happen again.

In fact, the conditions for the rise of Nazism - or something terrifyingly like it - are ripe.

The signs are all around us. Ignore them at our peril.

Those who survived the Holocaust are reaching the end of their natural lives, and the number of living witnesses to this unfathomable atrocity is moving inevitably toward zero.

Their story must continue to be told even after they are gone.

The storytelling is our responsibility. Every single one of us.

Anti-Israel, BDS, and anti-Zionism are all anti-Semitism. Full stop.

Those who practice it, and deny it is anti-Semitism, are anti-Semitic.

The Token Jew excuse doesn't hide that fact.

Jew-hatred was around long before Hitler.

He and his henchmen raised it to industrially, massively scaled levels.

Jew-hatred isn't going anywhere.

It is the canary in the coal mine of hatred.

It touches us all.

We are all barely removed from someone deciding we are worthy of being singled out. Of extermination.

Jewish. Or not.

We are more alike than not.

Hitler was elected to office.

Those who follow his ideologies are being elected to office as we speak. Check the European map. The American one, too.

It's not much of a jump between random spewing of racist thought to participation in national policy implementation.

And it's happening now.

We say "never again".

The world seems to be ignoring this.

Silence is not an option. For any of us. Jew or not.

Tell their story. Stop history from repeating itself. Be the light.

Related:
Not quite never again, January 2022
Never forget, April 2012
Kristallnacht + 70, November 2008
Never forget, May 2005

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Brake for snow

Always follow the light
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


No matter how much snow may fall, how deeply it may bury everything in our midst, how heavily it may weigh on us, the light always seems to find a way to be seen.

Maybe this is a post about snow.

Maybe it isn’t.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #snow #onstorm #frozen #winter #nature #naturephotography #stilllife #red #light #car #carporn #driveway #photography #apple #iPhone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Does Q*bert enjoy a good bagel?

Dimensional
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It all started with bagels.

More precisely, we were out of them. So we added the bagel store to our list of places to visit during our Saturday afternoon family grand adventure.

(Some folks call them errands. Sorry I’m weird.)

As we walked into the store, the floor grabbed my eye. I date myself by referencing the ancient Q*bert video game, but whenever I see patterns like this, it’s all I can think of.

While my wife and daughter played the part of the responsible adults who took care of our needs, I hung back and appreciated the floor. I discovered the 3D effect played fun games with my brain as I moved around the space and stared at it from different perspectives.

Like I said, weird.

There were, as expected, a number of challenges. It’s winter in Canada, so there were a couple of spots of tracked-in dirt in the middle of an otherwise pristine space. Similarly, rubber mats near the display cases further encroached on the once-vast expanses of patterned loveliness.

So I played with my phone and came up with something that seemed to work. Or at least encouraged me to try again the next time we run out of bagels.

Because there’s always a next time. Because local treasures like this place - Old Bagel House - continue to add color to a community that needs it. Because my life seems to be filled with weird moments in the middle of grand adventures with my favorite folks.

Q*bert would doubtless approve, even if he’s never had the pleasure of a Montreal bagel.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #oldbagelhouse #local #store #shopping #retail #bagel #random #floor #abstract #pattern #stilllife #monochrome #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #family #everything

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Snowy night in the neighborhood

Where light meets snow
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Scene from a Canadian winter.

Some folks may complain about the cold and the shovelling and the sniffling.

But then there’s this. So…

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #winter #snow #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #random #night #tree #sidewalk #neighborhood #streetscape #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Monday, January 23, 2023

Bright tree on a dark night

Covered
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It shouldn’t take much to be wowed.

A sleeping tree on a quiet night.

A sprinkling of snow.

A nearby security light.

Simple, really.

The best things in life truly are simple.

As long as we’re willing to notice.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #winter #snow #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #random #night #tree #sidewalk #monochrome #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Sunday, January 22, 2023

An icy fish tale

Hey, this isn't the lake!
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Made a new friend yesterday on a visit to my favourite corner of the grocery store.

Should we give this little (former) swimmer a name? Suggestions welcome.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #farmboy #grocery #store #retail #random #frozen #fish #ice #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Fish. Stacked. November 2021
Octopus on ice, May 2021
Dead fish society, February 2012
Dead fish on ice, October 2011
One fish, two fish, January 2011
A fish pic, November 2004

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Penguin power

Birds of a (flightless) feather
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Another day, another weird fact about me: I have a number of favourite animals.

Manatees, pandas, dolphins, pelicans, turtles, koalas, elephants, seals, flamingoes, camels…

And penguins.

Another weird little habit of mine is I love fun-themed socks.

Put the two together and we’re having a footsy party before breakfast.

The why is easy: it makes others happy. It doesn’t need to be any more complex than that.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #throwback #kitchen #penguin #sock #selfie #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Lost pink sock, August 2015

Friday, January 20, 2023

Even Teletubbies have to wait

Patient little girl
Winnipeg, MB
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We’re at the gate waiting to board a delayed flight. It’s late, and we’re still far from home. Everyone around us is frustrated and cranky, and you can both hear and feel the collective mood in this crowded space.

The lineup hasn’t moved in a while. Kids are getting antsy. Overwhelmed parents are looking for salvation. Airport and airline staff are almost nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly I realize Po the Teletubby* hasn’t had her now-traditional beauty shot this trip. So I lay my backpack down on the carpeted floor and set up the shot.

Out of the corner of my eye I notice a couple of side glances from our fellow travellers. I quietly hope the sight of a grown man taking spontaneous snaps of an old, frayed, tiny children’s stuffie is able to bring them a tiny bit of joy.

Because life is just frustrating enough that an unexpected diversion by a stranger far from home just might be enough to crack open the sky and shine a little light into the darkness.

Because we all need more light, even if it comes from a faded, tattered little doll who once made my kid smile.

* In case you’re just joining us, first, welcome! By way of background, Po was our son’s McDonald’s Happy Meal toy. He is now 28 years-old - and a husband and a dad - so the math suggests she has been around far longer than any Happy Meal toy has a right to. When our then-toddler got tired of playing with her, I scooped her out from under the couch and hung her off my camera bag with a carabiner. She’s been my little travel gnome ever since. Wherever we go, she joins us, and inevitably I take weird pictures of her in weird places. Just because. I’m odd that way, and my experiences with Po suggest that’s always been the case. I’m strangely okay with that.

#winnipeg #manitoba #canada #ywg #road #trip #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #po #red #teletubby #spontaneous #stilllife #photography #travelgram #flight #flying #aviation #avgeek #plane #planes #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Po stares into the wind, September 2022
Office park, November 2020
Po takes on Vegas, November 2018
Teletubby news anchor, October 2017
Po takes a vacation, January 2010
Travel delay, September 2006

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Words on an airport wall

Perfect sense of direction
Hamilton, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The walls of Hamilton’s airport are lovingly covered with all sorts of travel-themed quotes.

Almost everywhere you look, there’s an inspirational missive designed to make otherwise rushed travellers stop and think.

This particular one made me stop a little longer and think a little harder, because it felt like it was meant for me.

Because I’ve been getting lost as a means of exploration for as long as I’ve been able to go places on my own. And while it may look a little chaotic to an outsider, it’s really just how I try to make my way through a world that sometimes takes a little time to give up her secrets.

We don’t all follow a conventional path. It took some paint on a wall far from home to remind me of that.

#hamilton #international #airport #ontario #canada #yhm #road #trip #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #quote #quotation #flight #flying #aviation #avgeek #plane #planes #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Fog gets a bad rap

The trees that protect us
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We’ve been looking at fog the wrong way all along.

It doesn’t hide things from view. It forces us to focus in on the things that really matter.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #tree #trees #fog #weather #wx #monochrome #medway #valley #heritage #forest #walkabout #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #streetphotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Fog takes. Fog gives. December 2022
Highbury Avenue in fog, November 2022
No humping, March 2020
Medway Valley, muted, January 2018
Foggy tower, January 2017
Set phasers to...fog, January 2013
Into the night, November 2008

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Hot dog still-life

Tuck in
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


In the early days of Instagram, we took artsy pictures of our meals and shared them with complete strangers.

The early days of Instagram are long gone, but we still need to eat. And we still need to connect with people because we’re all, you know, human.

So here’s my offering from yesterday’s lunch. The sun had come out for what seemed like the first time in weeks, and the shadows were particularly fetching.

I’ll sheepishly admit my menu choice wasn’t my finest nutritional decision of the day, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that I have a very serious addiction to honey mustard.

But I’ve always viewed the hot dog as something of a happy food, one that reminds us of moments when life was a little simpler or a little brighter. Or maybe both.

And it was a Monday. Blue Monday, at that. So a little simple brightness was called for.

It took less time to eat than it did to shoot this photo. But the moment made me smile, and I’m hoping it made you smile, too.

Which, I’m thinking, is why we started shooting food pics way back when.

And why we still do.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #hotdog #lunch #food #foodporn #random #kitchen #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Did you pack a lunch? February 2021

Monday, January 16, 2023

When kids stared into the sky

Where the wonder is
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


When we were children, we often looked up to the sky and wondered about things we couldn’t yet understand.

Like how the clouds got up there.

Why the sky was blue.

How day and night worked.

Who made the buildings that blocked the view.

Why those same buildings didn’t come tumbling down.

Who made the wind.

How birds stayed in the air.

And where they went at night. Or when it rained.

We always had more questions than answers. So we looked up with whimsy and wondered how and why and when and where and who and what.

Now, we’re no longer children, and for reasons that aren’t clear, we no longer look up with whimsy.

Maybe we’re too busy. Or cynical. Or we think we now have all the answers. Or we simply forgot what whimsy felt like.

But there’s always room on the sidewalk. And room for a little childlike wonder. Even if we’re no longer children. Even if we think we have all the answers.

Because no matter our age, we never really do.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #blue #sky #weather #wx #cloud #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #urban #city #dundas #street #walkabout #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Osprey vape show

Spontaneous aerobatics display
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I learned many things at last year’s air show, namely that the MV-22 Osprey is more than capable of putting on a vape show.

Who knew?

I’ll just have to attend the next one, too. Because there’s always a new lesson awaiting in the sky.

@airshowlondon #ldnont #london #throwback #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #bellhelicopter #boeing #usmc #mv22 #osprey #tiltrotor #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography

Saturday, January 14, 2023

May your future find fortune

Unintentional double entendre
London, ON
July 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Every family has its quirky little traditions, and ours is no different. This one revolves around fortune cookies, and our tendency to take pictures of the particularly memorable fortunes.

I’ll admit this one stopped me dead in my tracks. As much as I do my best to follow the advice printed on the tiny slips of paper, I think I’ll politely decline to, ah, take this one any further.

(Not gonna lie, though: wouldn’t it be neat to be the person who writes these? Talk about a sweet gig!)

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #kitchen #table #spontaneous #mandarin #restaurant #supportlocal #food #fortune #cookie #doublemeaning #kindadirty #stilllife #monochrome #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related: