The gift.

Denmark and our preparations for it are driving me around the bend this morning (about which I’ll undoubtedly rant later), so I’m distracting myself by packing and taking care of errands – and making bacon, which I hear is not crispy in Europe.  (Thanks for the heads up @enniscath and @eskay8)

In any case, one thing I wanted to start doing is posting more pictures of this adventure – so I thought I’d share a few from my pets wearing a sweater – a gift from someone who should know better.  (thanks Lynette!)  we put them on a couple nights ago, when it came back from Toronto with me.

Anyhow, It’s cruel, and I don’t believe in making animals wear clothes, but it’s too good a picture not to share.  The cat (Ollie) actually looks like he’s cooperating.  And Ollie never cooperates with anyone about anything.  I think it’s the box, which mellowed him and took off the edge.   The dog, unfortunately, is a bit less cooperative:

Both pets are somewhat oblivious to the changes that are happening this weekend, and I suspect the sweater threw them off the sent…  they’ve both so happy not to be wearing it that they’re not complaining too much about the other changes going on.  All in all, mission accomplished. (=

Tofino reprise

Last week, I was away on vacation, capping off my month of not being around much.  And what a month it has been!  The final week of June was spent about as far west as you can get in Canada with a car.  It is, in fact, the western end of the trans-Canada highway.  Which, if I may say so, just kind of ends on a little unobtrusive dock.  Highly unimpressive.

Anyhow, my wife and I convinced my parents to join us out there to enjoy some great food, beaches, scenery and (of course) company.  We all had a great time, and my wife and I even took a surfing lesson on the one least rainy day. (She still has the bruises, but I guarantee I drank more salt-water.)  In any case, I thought I’d post one of my wife’s pictures – One of the few times I’ll let anyone take my picture, really – I’m far from photogenic.

Although you can’t tell from the picture, all of the rain gave me the perfect opportunity to show off my Complete Genomics hat.  I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest I may have been the only person in Tofino (pop. 1,650) who had the faintest idea what Complete Genomics is, but that isn’t quite the point.

Anyhow, with the weather being so un-cooperative, I don’t have much in the picture department to show.  I’ll just include my favorite of the trip – part of the broken islands.

I’m glad I had the chance to visit Tofino in the summer – it’s really a stunning place. Hopefully, one day I’ll visit and witness a day when it doesn’t rain.

Just to close out, I have two pieces of advice:

  1. Surfing in a wet suit isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds – the water is warmer than it looks.
  2. Don’t give your kids a DVD player to watch on the road to Tofino, there are a lot of mountain switchbacks, and carsick kids can be messy. (Passed along by a colleague of my wifes, but the advice sounds pretty good!)



Copenhagen/København – 1 day before Copenhagenomics

Copenhagenomics starts tomorrow, and I’m getting excited.  I can’t wait for it to get underway.  I’m finally over my jet-lag, and looking forward to some good science talks.

That said, I still spent today walking copenhagen until my feet hurt!  We managed to see the round observatory tower, Rosenberg castle, the Danish crown jewels, the residences of the Danish royal family, the Danish Aquarium and the Zoo.  How’s that for a full day?

Anyhow, like yesterday, I have some pictures to share with you, so if you can’t be here for the conference, at least you can feel like you’ve visited some of the city.

For the record, the Danes are pretty touchy when it comes to their jewellery – I managed to get scolded for touching the glass while taking pictures (after paying the 20kr for a photography permit, I might add), and my wife got a loud “HEY” from an armed guard for standing too close to his shelter.  An exciting day, all in all.


While my laptop is perhaps recovering from whatever it didn’t like about the flight (I got it to turn on, but the screen remains black), I’ve been helped by some fantastic people at CLC bio, who have lent me a spare linux laptop. (It actually says “Spare Linux” on it.)  They have been incredibly kind to me this week, and even took some time to give me a tour and tell me a bit about their work.  While I don’t plan to blog about that specifically, it’s clearly worth a mention.

In any case, I thought I’d put the laptop to use and post a few photos I took today, as well as a few from sunday.  (I put away my camera yesterday, so there are no pictures to share from the Århus trip – and yes, I was just looking for an excuse to slide an å into this post somewhere.)  The pictures are pretty amateur (apparently jet lag isn’t good for working out composition), but they give a flavour of the city.

>Moon Wallpaper

>In the name of distributing neat shots, I’ve come up with a pretty cheese wallpaper. This is just a crop of the original shot, at native resolution. Click on the image for the full size (1280×1024) picture of the full moon.

This image may be used for non commercial purposes ONLY!


>Tonight was the first installment of the HSBC Celebration of Light. Instead of the usual trek down to Kitsilano beach, where I usually go, I headed up to 8th and Trimble, well away from the fireworks. I’d heard before that that was a decent place to be. Alas, I went up there, and couldn’t really find a great place to sit, but I didn’t want to head back to kits beach – so we staked out a spot and got ready to be disappointed.

In fact, once the fireworks started, I was pleasantly surprised. The combination of my zoom lens and some good dumb luck had me clicking away from start to end. Out of about 250 pictures I took, nearly 200 of them “turned out”. An unheard of ratio, for me.

This one isn’t the best – but it’s one of them. Click on the picture to check out the whole gallery.

EDIT: Sorry – I’ve moved my galleries around, and this one is no longer available.

>Dog Photography

>Time for another photoblog entry – This time with a little more news. I mentioned the other day that I thought I’d found a good business opportunity in my neighborhood, and that I’d say a bit more about it in a day or two. Well, it’s been a bit over a week, but I’ve procrastinated long enough: Dog photography!

Ok, after the title of the post was dog photography, it probably doesn’t have as much of a punch as if I’d been a bit quieter about it, but there it is.

As part of my service, you get:

  • A half hour of my time in the location of your choice
  • A CD of all the pictures taken of your pet – High-resolution JPGs
  • A public web page of your pet to share with your friends (apx 4×6 size, hosted for one year)
  • 10 free 4×6 prints of your choice
  • Unlimited “at-cost” prints

And how much does this service cost? Only $50.00

Since I promised this would be a photoblog entry, here’s a picture of Libby, taken this evening at the park.

>Photo Blog

>I have two things to say today. The first is that I’m thinking of doing some free-lance Photography in the Kitsilano/Granville area, as I’ve found an interesting business opportunity. I’ll blog a bit more about that in the next few days.

The other thing is that I’m going to start doing more photo-blogging. As a first step, This is a picture I took this morning. Enjoy.

>New Lens

>I finally got around to buying a second lens for my camera today. I’ve been waiting for some money to come in, which it did, and I had to go splurge. Well, it wasn’t an impulse buy, but it was a splurge. I plan to do some travel photography in the fall, and I don’t want to be learning a lens when I’m visiting Stonehenge. Instead, I now have the summer to practice with it, and learn just how to squeak out the best shots.

Is one paragraph of suspense long enough? I thought so too. I bought the Canon EF 70-300 IS DO USM lens today – Canon’s only DO lens, and as far as I know, the only real DO lens out there with any decent optics. No, I won’t claim to be an expert on Diffractive Optics, not by a long shot.

Anyhow, some quick notes on the lens: it’s heavy, it’s wide, it doesn’t actually fit well into my Crumpler 4 million dollar home (my camera bag) if I have my other lens (EF-S 17-85 IS USM). On the other hand, it’s short – VERY short. Unless you have the lens hood on it, however, as the lens hood is nearly as long as the lens itself. That was a surprise for me.

Not being one to leave a toy un-played with, I’ve taken a few pictures already. One of which was a picture of my monitor from across the room. The impressive part was zooming in to read the text, and see the mouse pointer. I think I’m going to like this lens. Keep an eye open for a few new pictures on my gallery, once we get a decent sunny afternoon.