A cannon in downtown Hamilton

sydney runners

I took this shot from Sydney Harbour Bridge.

waiting laker

I posted a similar picture of this prop on a laker some time ago, but I enjoy the shot so much that I decided to post this shot too.

wooden dashboard

I am not sure what make car this is - but I want one!


There was more snow today - at last it is beginning to look a lot like winter in Canada.

strange but true

This is the "salty" (ocean going) bulk carrier Federal Elbe passing under the Burlington Skyway. I always wonder where these ships are going and what they may come across on their way. This particular ship for instance, was recently in mid-Atlantic when it came across a chap floating all alone next to his small capsized rowboat. Bringing him aboard they discovered that the wet and disheveled fellow was no less than Andreas Rommel, the grand-nephew of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (the Desert Fox). Incidents such as this give rise the saying, "stranger things have happened at sea."

summer gateway

The University of Toronto last summer.


I took this picture of the Acadia last year in Halifax Harbour. Built in England and launched in 1913, she was made extra tough for icy Canadian Arctic waters. She survived service in two World Wars and the Halifax Explosion of 1917. What I like most about this ship is not just her history, but her classic Edwardian lines; although a tough hardworking survey vessel, she looks more like a sleek steam yacht!

statistics exam

When undertaking my PhD I had to take a statistics course that ended with an exam. Every exam answer had to show show longhand the calculation of each formula step by step along the way.

As the exam was not a test of remembering formulas, but a test of applying the correct statistical test for each problem and then undertaking the appropriate calculations (by hand), we were each allowed to take a 3x5 index card with the formulas learnt in the course into the exam. The problem was that there was no way in the world to write all the formulas we had learnt on such a small card, so I raised the issue with the professor who told me, "you will just have to write really really small on the card!"

Taking what the professor said literally I typed out the formulas and then reduced the typed page on a photocopier several times until the notes became microprint. When the exam began I took out my 3x5 microprint card and also the large microscope shown in this picture. The microscope does not really work, but never-the-less I put my formula card on it and pretended to be reading through the microscope. The professor looked really really annoyed and this annoyance was made even worse but the fact that the entire exam room erupted in laughter, but I diligently ignored the noise and worked on alternating between writing and looking intently through my microscope!

Eventually I confessed that my strategy was a joke and I took out my real 3x5 card with regular writing on it and I got on with the exam. My microscope now sits on my bookshelf at home and each time I look at it I still smile.


The last time I was in England my mom pointed these houses out to me and said they were quite old. I took a look and sign over these houses said:

These alms-houses, left by the will of Mr. Stephen Dunton in 1517, and endowed by Mr. William Littebury in 1571, were rebuilt by order of the governors in the year of our Lord 1806, restored and modernized in 1966. So these houses are close to 500-years old - my mom was not kidding that they are old! Thanks for showing them to me mom.

a saint by grace

A statue of a Saint in an English church. The word "saint" comes from Latin "sanctus." Nowadays a saint tends to mean a person who is really good—someone with an exemplary character. Way back in the day though, the people we now regard as saints were not always really good - they had their issues and were pretty flawed - most of them seem to have known and struggled with that fact. Sometimes I think churches are done a disservice by their focus on Saints, because this focus makes it seem that churches are for people who think that they have arrived at a state of goodness all by themselves, when my understanding is that churches are actually places for people who realise that this is not so.

swan lake

This is recent photo taken at Hamilton Beach. Okay I know those are geese not swans - but clearly that is why I did not find Odette!

jones the butcher

Taken some time ago when visiting my mom in England.

freezing rain

All last night the freezing rain was tapping on the windows saying, "wake up, wake up." But when it was time to wake up not many people were going anywhere, and if they were it was very slowly. But by Ontario standards the storm has not been that bad - you can tell from my car door - see hardly frozen and I can still find the lock (and the car).

dust of snow

Today in snowed. This shot was taken a few hours ago in one of my favorite places in Hamiton. Summer or winter this spot always remains the same, and although busy highways rush past, for some reason this spot seems consistently peaceful to me.

opera house roof

The roof of Sydney Opera House.

sydney reflections

Sydney Opera House and reflections of the Harbour Bridge

uvic home base

The building I used to work in at the University of Victoria.

canal view

Lake Ontario from the Burlington Canal

power station

The inside of a power station at Niagara Falls

lake view

The view today from Hamilton across Lake Ontario.

hoisting sails

A sculpture near Hamilton’s Marine Discovery Center

the seagulls look on

This grandson and grandfather out for a walk on Hamilton Beach as seagulls look on

keep an eye on me bike mate

Recently in Toronto I asked this fellow Englishman to keep an eye on my bike when I went into a store.

sydney subway

A train entering a subway station in Sydney Australia.