Saturday, March 22, 2008

Java Joe's is No More


Jaava Joe's is no more!

I knew something was up; for months Joe had been scaling back operations, changing things. Over a year ago the cafe hours had gone from 7 days a week, to five, then four, then three. Sue, the luscious lass from whom I typically bought my beans, had once told me more changes were coming. And when I had last been in, Sue was not around, the kitchen was closed. A sign simply stated "new menu coming".

So today, as I walked the market before heading into Joe's, I ran into my friend Gene Olczak. As we chatted, Gene said he had discovered that Joe had sold to Boulder Coffee Company. Hmmm. The space itself, along with the market clientèle, will likely dictate that not much will change. There is another Boulder location in town, I just hadn't gone to it yet ... a grave personal failure, to be sure.

Gene's story (and who can doubt him? He's a freakin' brilliant optical engineer involved in putting remote sensing into space), is that Joe will continue to sell beans just up the street. And that Boulder's beans will "match" Joe's fare. Well, the deal is probably that Joe will sell beans to Boulder; I don't think Joe writes bad deals.

Writing this entry at Boulder.

Sammy Turned One

My great-nephew, Sammy, recently celebrated his first birthday. Well, "celebrated" is stretching it a bit. As with most yearlings, he didn't quite know what to make of things.

Once sister Sophie decided to help, he began to get the picture. My prediction: Next year he will be a little less tolerant of "help".

Kodak Tri-X, EI 1600, Rodinal/X-Tol (3ml Rodinal, X-Tol 1:1) 7 min 52 sec. Olympus OM-1n, Zuiko 50/f1.4.

Friday, March 21, 2008


© 2008 Terry Cioni/Terry Cioni's Flickr

In the media world dominated by byte-sized contractions of "news", sorting out the reasons behind events is normally difficult at best, often impossible. As protests in Tibet and surrounding areas seem to have little context, and the official Chinese line has conveniently incorporated the rationale that the "Dalai clique" is attempting to sabotage the upcoming Olympic games for political gain, one must dig for that context.

While it is naive to believe that the Olympics are free of political purpose for any country, much less the host, I tend to agree that the Olympics should be as non-political as possible, as it can be a tool to foster international understanding, cooperation and tolerance.

So when the Chinese government issued harsh statements that attacked the Dalai Lama as a person, I was taken aback. Clearly, this is the behaviour borne of fear. But fear of what? Why? What is behind the (seemingly) new policy?

A story in the Globe & Mail on 3/21/08 is quite revealing. If this piece is even 25% accurate, then it is clear that the Chinese government is involved in cultural genocide against the Tibetan people, not to mention human rights violation in the areas of freedom of religion and speech, as well as an assault on the environment. It turns out this has been building for some time:

" Many analysts say the current wave of protests can be traced back to two key events in 2006: the completion of the new railway to Lhasa, which has brought millions of Chinese tourists and migrants to Tibet, and the appointment of a tough new Communist regional boss, Zhang Qingli, who announced a "life or death" battle against the Dalai Lama."

If the Chinese government is so sure of the rightness of its position, then they have no reason to restrict the international press and international agencies such as the UN into Tibet and any other area of China.

Short of that, anyone who values human rights and dignity should support a boycott of the 2008 Olympics until the Beijing restores the rights of the Tibetan people and begins to truly address the rights of all its citizens.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Essential Photographic Tool: The canvas field coat


For some time I have been looking for a good, sturdy canvas field coat. I did not want lining or insulation, as I want to be able to layer my clothing. I wanted lots of pockets so that I can stuff in cameras, film, filters, etc. ... you know, all the stuff everyone needs to take on every foray outside the home.

Last weekend I found this, the Poacher's Pocket Coat at Damn, I always thought that J Peterman was a fictitious company only on Seinfeld! Anyway, once I got over the shock of my ignorance, I found it was on closeout sale for $56 instead of the previous $149. Sold!

The pockets (or at least a couple of them) could be a bit bigger, but a 35SP, Leica, Bessa or ZI will fit nicely, even with hoods. The OMs can be stuffed in sans lens shade. The one inside pocket will probably normally house my Zaurus or Moleskine Reporter, aka analog PDA. All-in-all, very versatile and its arrival today was shazaam!!

Taken with my daughter's C4040. There's a bit of moiré. bit what the heck do I know from doing digital?

Oh, and this is yet another "C&C" shot ... Camera & Coat ... or Camera & Canvas, as opposed to Camera & Coffee. :)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

My Greek Goddess

I was introduced to cooking via Food TV Canada. My first exposure to Christine Cushing, was her show Dish it Out; which was not on Food TV. It was a nice little show, and Christine was very good at communicating her enthusiasm for good cooking, while breaking it down to its simplest basics. She went on to Food TV Canada with what I consider one of the best cooking shows anywhere, Christine Cushing Live. In a one hour live format, Christine not only cooked and taught, but fielded calls from viewers. All good things end, but happily Christine is still cooking and teaching. Her latest newsletter embedded a link to this video. She's still got "it" ... in every way. :)