History

Chasing Thunder {1}

I don’t fancy myself a photographer, really, but I do like to take pictures an awful lot. I mean, I think I have a pretty good eye and take nice photos and I took a little photography in college* but ultimately I think I like to take photos for the same reason I’ve managed to maintain this blog for as long as I have – I like to document things and I like to capture memories in a way that I can look back on and immerse myself in those moments again. I like to share them so that others can go to those places with me – I don’t like to go alone, I’m prone to loneliness.

If you look at the links on the right you’ll note a bunch of links to a bunch of buds that are photographers (Vanessa, Jess, Kelso, Marc, Young Hearts, Etc.) and my pops, a Mechanical Engineer by education and Energy Consultant by trade, has been a bit of a shutter-bug for longer than I’ve been alive. He comes back from every trip with thousands of photos (literally, thousands, you should have seem him pre-digital) and seeing my father without a Canon around his neck (or in a little baby backpack befitting a toddler) is a strange sight, indeed, so I suppose it comes upon me honestly.

My LX3 is in the shop right now for a looooong overdue repair (thanks Ted!) so I’m really looking forward to getting back into snapping some photos with something other than my iPhone and one of the folks that is currently inspiring me to get out there and capture things is my bud Andrew‘s brother (who is also super talented), who I don’t know but think I’d like a whole lot, Scott Pommier.

I’ve featured a few of his photos before, mostly while being a creep, and I’m sure I’ll post some again… Also, while being a creep…

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Scott Pommier Photography

Check out more of Scott’s work here – I’m anxiously awaiting the release of Scott’s book, Chasing Thunder.

Speaking of me being a creep…

Little Rippers {0}

Dead Industrial Atmosphere {2}

At the end of the XIXth Century, mankind was about to fulfill an old dream. The idea of a fast and autonomous means of displacement was slowly becoming a reality for engineers all over the world. Thanks to its ideal location on the Great Lakes Basin, the city of Detroit was about to generate its own industrial revolution. Visionary engineers and entrepreneurs flocked to its borders…

Ruins of Detroit

Ruins of Detroit

Ruins of Detroit

Ruins of Detroit

Ruins of Detroit

Ruins of Detroit

Ruins of Detroit

Ruins of Detroit

Ruins of Detroit

Ruins of Detroit

See more and learn more about this stunning project HERE.

Couldn’t decide which was more appropriate, so you get both…

Leatherface: Dead Industrial Atmosphere

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Propagandhi: Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes

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Somewhat related; although my photos are not nearly as good and the decay isn’t nearly as dramatic – these photos remind me an awful lot of my 2008 trip to Bradford, PA.

Thanks, Mikey, for pointing out this 3 part series… So well worth the watch!

Until You Use Me Up {0}

If you’re going to cover one of the greatest, you better make sure that you do it right…

I’d say that Mr. Harper came through big time here, but his drummer could never even hope to look as amazing as the original…

Just for good measure; a song I still listen to almost daily and will never stop being one of the best ever written.

From Coal Oil Lights to Satellites {6}

From Coal Oil Lights to Satalites

They say that you can’t fight the great inevitability that, as you get older, you will undoubtedly become your parents. In so many ways I’ve watched that old adage come to life; sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. What I’m noticing even more as I get older is that I’m pushing one generation further and I’m looking back to my earliest memories of my extended family up North.

When I picked up my Grandpa Clifford’s Shirt from my folk’s place I got to thinkin’ on my roots so I googled Clifford Elstone, Haliburton, Ontario and up came a book called From Coil Oil Lights to Satellites; Memoires of a Haliburton County Redneck. The book makes reference to my grandfather Cliif Elstone picking up tires and anti-freeze… My Gramps had an auto garage/dealership so the reference pulled me in and the synopsis held my attention. And so, the book was soon ordered… I don’t have it yet but I’m greatly looking forward to reading it.

“This engrossing book is an autobiography of a man living in a time of unprecedented change. Following thousands of years of slow scientific advancement and comparatively minor inventions, we live in a time when change is evident daily.

Born in the Highlands of Haliburton County, Ontario, Canada, in a house on a dirt road, with no electricity or indoor plumbing, Ray Miller takes the reader through the many phases of his life filled with financial, medical, and emotional challenges.

Read how the rapid pace of modern innovation took him from transportation by horse and buggy to supersonic air travel and from word of mouth to cell phones. Follow his experiences; sometimes moving, often humorous, as relationships and hard work take him through his fascinating life.”

Way up my alley… I think/talk about this theme every day when something new blows my mind and I’m not kidding, it literally happens every day. And I’m not even talking about the major scientific breakthroughs… Think about the iPhone; This one little gadget alone… Did you imagine 15 years ago all the things that you’d be able to do with one tiny little device in your pocket? I sure as hell didn’t… It’s fucking amazing! Now, I may be old enough to have grown up without the internet but we had some sort of computer in the home for as long as I can remember (Commodore 64 Jumpman Champion, what?!) and in general are a pretty tech saavy family.

Hell, my dad called me tonight for tech talk, we’ve always been fascinated by new technological developments and the more I think about it, the more I realize that much like the author of the aforementioned book, my father’s excitement (and also suspicions) of new technologies comes upon him so much more honestly than I ever thought. What a world…

Carrying on my father’s father’s legacy of being a wicked cool motorcycle dude and my mother’s father’s legacy of being one sharp dressed man – it all comes full circle… Time to take up curling…

Speakin’ of Grampa Clifford’s penchant for good lookin’ duds… I saw this here cap while getting a cut and a shave at Crowsnest Barbershop last week and it reminded me so much of something he would have worn so I snatched it up in an instant…

Lee Valley Hooks x Brixton Rambler

Of course, it looks a lot better on this little lady right here than it does on me…

Brixton Rambler

…but I feel pretty darn good in it none the less. Maybe I’ll run into her on the street one day and she’ll be like “hey nice hat” and I’ll say “yeah, you too” and then they’ll say “we should totally get married” and i’ll say “yeah, for sure, let’s get married” and then she won’t tire of me right away and we’ll live happily ever after for ever and ever and ever. The end.

While we’re at it; I picked up a bunch of hooks today at Lee Valley (working directly above the store is a gift and a curse) so I could buy myself some more space.

Lee Valley Hooks x Brixton Hats

I swear this is the last picture of this little pocket of my home that I’ll post for a while… More projects to start soon…

Feet Don’t Fail Me Now {1}

Rememberance Day 2011

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Ain’t Buildin’ No Bookcase {0}

We Major! {0}

Major Taylor - The Movie

Can’t wait!

RIP Will Munro: 1975-2010 {1}

Will Munro

Nothing I could say would even begin to mend the tear you’re passing will leave the very fabric of this city that you’ve given so much to and that loves you so very much. Rest In Peace, old friend.

Hoom Bow! Don’t Know How! {0}

Treme. Huge.

Don’t Be A Big Bluffer {2}

I came home last night after work to a little zine by a guy in Massachusetts called Chris Piascik that I’d totally forgotten ordering… That’s my favorite type of package!

Major Taylor - Chris Piascik

It’s a small graphic tribute to Marshall “Major” Taylor, who in his 1928 biography “describes his cardinal principles for success and accredits his achievements, both on and off the track, to these values:”

Major Taylor - Chris Piascik

Don’t try to “gyp.” Don’t be a pie biter. Don’t keep late hours. Don’t use intoxicants. Don’t be a big bluffer. Don’t eat cheap candies. Don’t get a swelled head. Don’t use tobacco in any form. Don’t fail to live a clean life. Don’t forget to play the game fair. Don’t take in unfair advantage of an opponent. Don’t forget the practice of good sportsmanship. 8/13 ain’t bad, right?

There was a time in my life when I could have had a perfect score according to the good Major… last night was not one of those nights…

Oddfellows' Winnebago

I blame Matty Matheson & the Oddfellows’ Winnebago.

Oddfellows' Winnebago

Regardless of the fact that most of us were victims off the Winne; Robbie, Killer, Ben, Lambert & The Champ and I headed out to Bluffer’s Park which is a nice little ride… about 50k round trip, which as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before is my ideal distance for these types of rides… Juuuuuuust long enough to feel it, short enough to still be fun. All I’ll say is that it’s a lot more fun on a geared, freehubbed road bike… The hill into the bluffs, on a fixed gear, is terrifying and on the way back up is impossible.

Bluffer's Park Marina

We all expected that during the ride things would warm up as the forecast was calling for a high of 8 or 9 degrees… What did we get instead? Light flurries… No big deal, really, but the crosswinds were nuts, the headwinds were worse and between my knickers and my really old and mostly mesh shoes I was really, really happy to get back and start to feel my toes again.

Bluffer's Park Marina

RIP Phil Wood {0}

RIP Phil Wood

I used a healthy supply of your Tenacious Oil before I left for my ride last night, wouldn’t have been the same with out you.

They Work! {0}

Zippo

A couple years ago I went riding in Western New York and the highlight of the trip was staying in Bradford, PA and visiting the birthplace of the Zippo! I’m not sure why I thought this was so cool but for whatever reason it stuck with me. There is something so iconic about that little steel contraption that has changed so very little in the last 75 years.

I got talked out of buying one at the Bradford PA factory store (where they’re still made to this day) and I’ve been quietly resentful ever since! Hahaha… So, I then figured I’d find an old one that had survived a war and had some sort of cool engraving like “I love the fucking army and the army loves fucking me” or something along those lines but they can get a little pricey and I was broke so I’d forgotten all about it until I was watching Carnivale and Band Of Brothers, both old-timey jams which re-piqued my interest…

I found a bunch of WWII lighters that looked incredible but, again, a little pricey so I was pleased to find a 1978 with it’s original packaging for next to nothing… I figured, as much as I wanted a much older / well worn one I was born in ’78… this guy was born in ’78… we’ll get along just fine.

Zippo

Should get here in the mail next week… I can’t wait to light shit on fire.

Keyes Open Doors {2}

I got my Josh Keyes print in the mail last night and she’s a beaut!

In a single week, Tiny Showcase & Josh raised $28, 155.00 for Partners In Health’s Haiti Relief Effort from the sale of the prints, $15 at a time… Not bad!

Mine found itself squarely at the center a new collage wall I’m starting… I wanted a big piece for this wall but that’s probably not gonna happen so like Voltron a whole bunch of little guys will come together to make me happy…

I still need to find somewhere to put these fine gents photographed sometime in the 1930′s, probably at the Mutual Street Arena or Maple Leaf Gardens.

L-R: Frank Bartell, Tony Beckman, MaxHurley, Reggie Fielding, Jules Audi, Lew Rush, Torchy Peden.

I’m not nerdy enough to figure out exactly which race these were taken at given that most of these guys were at pretty much all those races but I am nerdy enough to have tried for a couple minutes before realizing it really doesn’t matter.

Forgive me father for I have Zinned. {3}

Truth be told, I haven’t read a book (that didn’t have pictures in it) cover to cover in some time but there was a time when I always had at least two on the go and a waist-high stack ready to be digested. My time as a giant bookworm was relatively short lived but during that time I was fortunate enough have made it through some seriously quality material; top of that list being A People’s History of the United States (1492 to Present) by Howard Zinn.

Howard Zinn - RIP

Few books shaped my world view the way A People’s History did; I’ve read it at least twice (some chapters even more) and have lent it out to so many people over the years (in fact, I don’t even know who has it right now) and am looking forward to reading the most recent revision which I believe takes us all the way up until 2003… Unless Zinn was like Tupac, this will probably be the last of several revisions.

Howard Zinn - RIP

RIP, Howie, see you on the other side.

All Your Bridges Burned Beyond Repair {4}

Coming home from a long day to a mailbox full of new/new old stuff? Yep. That’ll do!

Sparkles’ grandfather was a tailgunner! No, no, not like that… you shitheads! He manned the tailgun in a Havoc bomber during the war… While looking around at vintage military stuff on eBay I got to lookin’ at those old planes and boom! There she was! Sure, it’s nowhere near as nice as the stuff Spark gave me to hang on my walls but I think he’ll dig it! Budz.

Havoc Bomber

Then I got to openin’ the big tube from Shirts & Destroy! I’d totally forgotten that I’d even ordered this shirt… All Seein’ Eyes a plenty! Well alright!

Doomriders - Thomas Hooper

This is the last time I’ll mention it, I swear, but that Thomas Hooper / Doomriders piece is fucking awesome.

Doomriders - Thomas Hooper

I don’t currently have any other Giclée prints and I’m really, really impressed with the quality of this print by Alpha Reprographics. It’s got a really incredible feel to it; the stock is perfect and it looks so much like it were painted by hand in watercolour.

Alpha Reprographics

14″ x 21″, 42/50 (or 100? I’ll have to check) – numbered & signed by the man himself. I may be filtering out the amount of skulls displayed in my place but this one is going to have to be one huge exception – it’s beautiful. I think there are still a few left so if you’d like one go on and git!