lakefront lookout

I took this shot some time ago in Burlington (ontario), one can never spend enough time at the lake.

window over cairns

Looking up at the window of a friend's house in Cairns Australia - tomorrow I will show the view.


Sydney Australia - I have said it before but I say it again - a wonderful city!


Inside one of the abandoned Whitby Psychiatric Hospital buildings.

the hot seat

This small uninspiring room is the waiting area outside the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies defense rooms. Here candidates take, or try to take, the final steps in their PhD process. In the rooms leading from this area candidates 'defend' their thesis before a committee of renowned scholars who examine whether their work not only has rigor and trustworthiness but also whether it makes a significant enough contribution to knowledge for a PhD to be awarded.

After defending my thesis for two hours I was asked to leave so that the committee could decide my fate. I sat here in the corner hot seat and as they debated my work behind closed doors I debated it within my head. Perhaps I have not explained my theoretical framework adequately. Maybe my methodology is inappropriate. Likely I missed things in my literature review. There must be alternative ways of interpreting my data that I have not seen. Maybe my conclusions are not adequately supported by the data. Surely I am going to fail! Have I just wasted five-years of my life?

The exam room door opened and my thesis supervisor emerged and walked toward me looking serious and solemn. As I stood up he reached out to shake my hand and said, “Congratulations doctor….” It was done! That was four-years ago and still I am smiling, but it was only recently that I had the courage to go back and take a photo of that very hot seat!

fireside philosophy

A University of Toronto room - in the winter wooden logs will be burnt in this fireplace - a nice place to sit and read

china town

Buildings in Victoria BC’s China Town, the oldest China Town in Canada.

goodmorning seagull

Another view from my hotel in Victoria - this seagull came early in the morning to say hello.

good morning victoria

The view from my hotel window on my recent trip to Victoria. I think the mountains in the distance are Washington State.


With summer over it is time for the geese to head south - when the snow comes I will be wishing that I could follow.

hamilton tree episode three

Taken today. Click the "hamilton tree" label below to see all episodes.


Tom Thompson Lake at night with a 30 second exposure! Which reminds me of the poem by Su Dongpo (CE 1036-1101) of the Song Dynasty (CE 960-1279).

明月幾時有? 把酒問青天。 不知天上宮闕, 今夕是何年? 我欲乘風歸去, 又恐瓊樓玉宇, 高處不勝寒。 起舞弄清影, 何似在人間!
轉朱閣, 低綺戶, 照無眠。 不應有恨, 何事長向別時圓? 人有悲歡離合, 月有陰晴圓缺, 此事古難全。 但願人長久, 千里共嬋娟。

English Translation:
Bright moon, when did you appear? Lifting my wine, I question the blue sky. Tonight in the palaces and halls of heaven what year is it, I wonder?

I would like to ride the wind, make my home there, only I fear in porphyry towers, under jade eaves, in those high places the cold wind would be more than I could bear. So I rise and dance and play in your pure beams, though this human world — how can it vie with yours?

Circling red chambers, low in the curtained door, you light our sleeplessness. Surely you bear us no ill will — why then must you be so round at times when we humans are parted!

People have their griefs and joys, their togetherness and separation, the moon its dark and clear times, its roundings and wanings. I only hope we two may have long long lives, may share the moon’s beauty though a thousand miles apart.

remembering hippocrates

Here is the inscription from beneath the tree in yesterday’s photo:
This tree grew from a seed of the plane tree under which Hippocrates taught on the island of Cos: It was planted on this site by the Victoria Medical Society celebrating the 75 anniversary of its foundation and signifying the spirit of co-operation between the Victoria Medical Society and the University of Victoria. May 6, 1970.

To me this was quite exciting—even more exciting is the fact that I brought back some of the leaves from this tree for a friend who I know likes to collect and press leaves and I also brought back some seeds from the tree and I am going to try and grow them!

awsome tree

Another shot of the University of Victoria campus. I took this picture standing beneath a tree and you can see the branches and leaves from the perimeter of the tree in the foreground. This was, however, no ordinary tree, check tomorrow’s picture to find out why. There is something about this particular tree that caused me to stand in awe beneath it for a long time and imagine.

brother john

This is a picture of Brother John taken last week on October 31st. On all other days of the year he is better known as my cousin John.

tea at UofT

A scene from the University of Toronto and a very nice place for lunch or afternoon tea - see you there!

power of words

This Halloween costume is fitting given the news this week. The White House has declared that it is not being defeated in Iraq; it is being defeated in the media. The Bush administration blame this defeat on ‘insurgents’ and in the dizziest of spin doctor moments Rumsfeld has declared that, ‘Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age,’ and he added that the 'enemy's weapons' are ‘blogs.’ So where does that leave people like me who love the USA but oppose the war in Iraq and want to say so on blogs? I guess it leaves us silenced — that is if we know what is good for us!