Thursday, February 02, 2023

Raptor, landing

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


Eventually, even Raptors have to return to Earth.

Reluctantly, of course.

@airshowlondon @f22demoteam #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #throwback #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #lockheedmartin #usaf #f22 #raptor #fighter #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Columbia+20

We remember them
Merritt Island, FL
December 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


20 years ago today, Space Shuttle Columbia broke up on re-entry over Texas, 16 days after a piece of insulation detached from the external tank on ascent and punched a hole in the leading edge of the left wing.

As we learned in the wake of the Apollo 1 fire in 1967 and the loss of Columbia’s sister ship, Challenger, in 1986, it wasn’t just engineering that killed the crew.

Human factors, specifically the normalization of foam loss following earlier flights and the suppression of risk as flight after flight suffered hits, yet returned safely, turned what should have been a manageable design challenge into a death sentence for those who flew her.

Just over three years ago, I stood quietly beside the pieces of wreckage from both Challenger and Columbia on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center. I sadly realized the lessons from the earlier losses were clearly not learned or applied prior to the later ones. We failed to learn from history.

I have no doubt Columbia’s story weighs heavily on the managers designing the flying today’s SpaceX, Artemis, and (soon) Starliner missions. But humans have a funny habit of being imperfect, and I reluctantly accept that future missions will end in tragedy, as well.

It is the price we pay for pushing the state-of-the-art, for striving for more. Because the price of staying on the ground is far higher.

May their memories forever be a blessing and an inspiration.

Ad astra per aspera.

#kennedy #space #center #ksc #kennedyspacecenter #florida #fla #throwback #spaceshuttle #shuttle #columbia #ov101 #sts107 #challenger #ov099 #sts51l #rocket #science #aviation #avgeek #spaceflight #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Driveway icicle works

Frozen, not the movie
London, ON
December 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Canadians who commute to work know well enough to leave extra time to clean off the car on winter mornings.

Snow is always cause for a sigh or two. A coating of ice is decidedly more involved, often worthy of a few choice NSFW words before the scraping begins.

But sometimes you just have to put the scraper down and enjoy the sight of a good shellacking.

You’ll probably get to work a minute or two later. But you’ll do so with a memory you might not have made.

Maybe it’s just ice on a car in the driveway. Maybe it’s more than that.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #water #ice #icicles #frozen #winter #nature #naturephotography #stilllife #monochrome #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Pretty frozen, February 2022
When icicles melt... February 2022
Ice cubed, January 2022
The ice person cometh, January 2022
The lonely icicle, January 2022
Icicles writ large, December 2017
Here today... April 2007
More icy goodness, February 2007
Icy spine, February 2007
Ice and sun, February 2007

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

On true leadership

“The best managers figure out how to get great outcomes by setting the appropriate context, rather than by trying to control their people.”
CEO
Netflix

 

Cinnabon would be jealous

Waiting by the windowsill
London, ON
December 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


An entire diet based on sticky buns is probably not an ideal nutritional choice.

But an occasional batch, freshly baked and cooling beside the kitchen window on a particularly cold winter’s day, probably does the soul some good.

At least it did here.

Bon appetit.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #stickybuns #danish #dessert #snack #food #foodporn #cinnabon #wannabe #random #kitchen #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Let them eat cake, January 2019
Let them eat cake, November 2017
White wedding, January 2010
Unreal color, April 2006
Let them eat cake, April 2006
Let them eat..., December 2005

Monday, January 30, 2023

Dino frozen in ice

The things we find in unassuming places
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Behind a strip mall convenience store, our dog follows her nose across the crumbling, frozen pavement.

High up the brick wall covered with peeling brown paint, an ancient exhaust fan squeaks relentlessly against its rusted mount.

I step onto a sheet of black ice, only to have my boot crash through the crusty surface into the deep water below. My eyes swing down to ensure the rest of me stays vertical.

Assured that disaster has been averted, I watch our pup happily explore this forgotten patch of land. What attracts her here I’ll never know, but not everything needs an explanation or a reason as long as the dog is happy.

While she quietly sniffs, I just as quietly compose and shoot quick photos with my smartphone, careful to not further disturb the fragile, temporary scene below us.

It’s a relentlessly grey day, yet somehow the lens sees a spectrum of blue. I decide to call this shot “Dino”, another moment of impossible beauty in an improbable place.

Before long, Calli decides we’re done here. Her nose will doubtless lead her in new directions tomorrow, and I’ll follow along, ready to capture whatever it is that she finds.

We’re a good team that way.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #water #ice #frozen #winter #walkabout #nature #naturephotography #stilllife #photography #apple #iPhone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Fog gives. Fog takes away.

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


They say fog erases color and sound as it turns the world into a flat scene of muffled monochrome.

Far be it for me to disagree as I wander the empty path through the woods and ponder the absence of brightness and volume.

Yet the further I walk into the murk, the more this blanketed place reveals itself to me.

It isn’t colourless. Grey is a color, and the closer I look the more shades I can see, all pulled from a seemingly limitless palette. Yes, it’s subtle, and yes, you have to work a little to appreciate it. But it’s there.

Likewise the sounds. What felt silent as I first walked in is now a gently emerging song of the sleeping forest. Definitely muffled, or otherwise suppressed by the thick pea soup that still chokes the senses. But, like the greys that brush my eyes, they’re there, talking to my ears in hushed tones. I just have to listen for them.

Soon enough it dawns on me that the fog is telling a bit of a broader story.

That in the woods and in life, we do well to work a little harder to tease out the inputs that don’t always scream.

That we miss too much if we choose to ignore all that goes on around us.

That paying attention pays off. Often in subtle, meaningful ways.

#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

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Puppy pillow talk

This is my spot
London, ON
January 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


There are days when all you really want to do is hang out on your favourite pillow.

This little one figured it out all on her own, and I wish I could be more like her.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #actofdog #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #─▒nstagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

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