lift bridge


Looking up at the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge.

forbidden city


I took this picture some time ago with in the Forbidden City (Beijing) with my Canon PowerShot.

waterfall


I discovered a waterfall today that is great for swimming! As well as great for taking pictures.

jumping jack


I posted a similar shot to this a few weeks ago - taken on a stage at a Chicago university. I am particularly happy with this shot though, not just because it is a multiple exposure photo, but because of the takeoff and landing on my right foot. Three summers ago I slipped down a ravine and shattered most of the bones in my right ankle; in fact afterwards my foot was pointing entirely the wrong way! I told the orthopedic surgeon that I was hoping he could fix the ankle like new, but he looked very solemn and said,

“Fixing an ankle is not easy at the best of times, and this is not the best of times!”

Well despite it not being the best of times, he did a truly brilliant job. It has 14 bolts and several steel plates holding it together—but as you can see from the photo—it works just fine!

kayak


Last week on the Bruce Peninsular I saw some kayakers heading out of a harbour on glasslike clear water - I had to take a photo!

The scene brought back memories. The last time I kayaked was in 2002, I joined a group of about twelve heading out into the Ocean from Victoria BC. Apart from the two trip organizers, I was the only experienced kayaker, the rest were novices. Even so we went a long way and visited a few small islands—it was great but coming back the wind picked up and so did the waves—and unfortunately we had to paddle into the weather to get back. I still feel tired from that trip!

lost in unrowdy disorder


I had to meet a flight from Guyana this evening. I don't like waiting in crowded airport crowded arrival areas - but of course I had my camera with me - so I turned it into a photo oppertunity. Actually I am not sure if this is my shot or one my nephew Jonathan took when he was trying out my camera - a nice young man and quite a talented photographer.

midnight headland


A shot from last week's trip to the Bruce Peninsular.

moon


A shot I took of of a 'waxing crescent' moon on the Bruce Peninsular this week. Perhaps a fitting shot given that the new Harry Potter book is out today - and yes of course I have a copy!

end of day


We saved out union and kept our voice, but the same was not true for everyone. Shortly after our action the government took its fight with unions to a new level by declaring secondary picketing, secondary action and flying pickets illegal. In other words, the right of one onion or labour group to provide support for another, and the right of a single union to move striking workers from one picket line to another, were declared "criminal" acts. As far as I know these labour practices remain legal in Canada - they are not prohibited by criminal law. Stand on guard for such rights – for they are the things that democracy is made of.

march to hyde park


The demonstration marched through London to Hyde Park, the home of "speaker’s corner" and a traditional place of free speech and protest. The only problem was that the weather took a turn for the worse and it began to snow.

london bobbies


Despite the sealing of the bridges, there never really was any real danger that Parliament was going to be stormed, and most of the street level “bobbies” knew that. I spent a while chatting with these chaps who were enjoying the day. Although we did not try to get to Parliament, the fact that the government had to seal itself off behind police lines from the public to whom it answers, made a significant statement about the state of British democracy in that moment.

a bridge to far


Not just Westminster but all the bridges close to Parliment were sealed. This is Lambeth Bridge, one bridge upstream from Westminster, you can see Big Ben and Parliament in the background.

Notice how the police are in their regular uniforms and not riot gear. They have no guns, no body amour, no bullet proof vests, and no long batons. Of course there are riot police nearby and out of sight, but the prefered police strategy is to hold this line with friendly good will and non-provocation.

To be continued...

police command post


There was a strong police presence, not only to keep the peace and control traffic, but to also make sure that the demonstration did not march on the Houses of Parliament which was a short walk, and an even shorter dash, across Westminster Bridge from this spot. There is a law that says when Parliament is in session (and it was), demonstrators are not allowed to march within a given distance of The House, incase they take it upon themselves to storm the building and sack the government. You may not think that students could overthrow a government, but student protests in Paris during May ’68 initiated a process that overthrew de Gaulle’s government! Even if Thatcher’s government was not sacked, if the tens of thousands of students who came from all over the UK could manage to run to the gates of government while it was in session, this would be a significant coup that would send the strongest message to state. The senior police officers shown here were very aware of that and they knew that if this were to happen, Thatcher and worse still the Home Secretary, would not be amused! The order was given to seal all the bridges in the vicinity of Parliament.

To be continued…

hands off our union


I thought I would post some pictures from the 1980s when I was an undergrad. This is one of a student demonstration I attended. Margaret Thatcher was trying to shut down the Student Union. Well if ever there was a reason for students to demonstrate this was it!

To be contunued...

nofish


At Toronto’s Person International Airport Terminal One, there is a huge fish tank that must be at least 12-feet high and 30-feet long. Inside there are no fish, but instead there are square bits of plastic that float around. It looks nice, but I wonder when they are going to put the fish in it.

Oh and the 2007 Photoblog Awards are accepting votes now - so if you like my photoblog or someone elses please vote - to vote follow the link then find the blog you want to vote for: http://vote.photoblogawards.com Also remember that at any time you can vote for my photoblog (without regestering) at coolphotoblogs.com

wrong number



Inspired by my friend and colleague, Rachel Zhou's site transnationalmoments.com I am posting some more people pictures. Rachel argues that pictures are, "open narratives that can transcend the barriers of culture, language, geography, human experiences." And that, "pictures often bring us some moments in which we feel more or less connected with the places which we have never been and with people whom we have never met." Rachel adds that in these moments, "we feel 'transnational,' not only because we physically crossed borders, but because we have discovered the connections existing in people and their lives in different places."

Maybe the above image (taken at a Burlington fairground a few weeks ago) fits with that idea—how many of us have hoped for a winning number in a lottery or on fairground wheel—how few of us have ever won?

camp fire


A closer look at yesterday's lake side fire.

ferrets


Yesterday in Hamilton I came across some people talking their ferrets for a walk.

hamilton freight train

rescue


I was lucky enough to recently photograph the Halton Regional Police Tactical Rescue Unit (T.R.U.) and the equivalent Hamilton unit in a training exercise. I have posted a couple of shots from this series previously, but I will post a few more now.

I know that many of my regular viewers are not too keen on photos of guns, so I hope you bear with me while I post a few of these shots. I actually wish it were possible for policing to be safely carried here in Canada the way it is in England (my original home) by an unarmed force, but even in England the police need these type of armed tactical units—so units like those in these photos have become a necessity in all societies.

The Halton Unit was started in 1980 to deal with incidents such as hostage taking and according to the Halton Police Website, at that time it “consisted of part time members who performed regular policing duties but were on call for tactical operations.” The Halton Police Website goes on to explain that with the introduction of the, “Provincial Adequacy Standards in January 2001, T.R.U. became a full time unit.”

It makes perfect sense to me that the T.R.U. is a full-time. Indeed, it is in all of our interests that a unit that uses specialized firearms and explosives gets the level of training that can only come if they are doing this job all of the time. And despite all the firearms in this photo, the focus of the training and the mission of the unit is to achieve “an effective response, using the minimum amount of force.”

I hope you enjoy the photos—and thanks to the Halton and Hamilton units for letting me tag along.

blues on the blue line


I took this shot early one morning traveling the "Blue Line" which is a part of the Chicago subway system. To know how good this guy was on the horn, just look at the people's faces! (I took the photo with permission).

happy 4th of july


Happy 4th of July to all my American friends. I took this shot a few weeks agon in Chicago

hailstorm


A sudden hailstorm on Rice Lake (Ontario). Canada Day weekend.

sudden storm


Usually on Canada day each year I swim across Rice Lake (Ontario) and back, something that takes about 2-3 hours depending on wind direction (and also on how lazy my preceding winter has been). This year, however, storms like this one kept appearing suddenly throughout the weekend. Of course I could have tried to swim in a gap between storms, and if a storm did gather my rescue boat could have come got me from shore, or if worse came to worse it is quite possible to stay afloat and swim in a storm. But too much could go wrong with all these backup plans. So I put off my lake-crossing swim until later in the summer.

happy canada day


Canada Day at Rice Lake (hey Robert - thanks for giving us a great fireworks display!).