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Monday, January 28, 2008

Godfather of Canadian Literature

R.I.P. Robert Weaver -- "Godfather of Canadian Literature" (1921-2008) See piece by Robert Fulford in the Nat'l Post.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Taste Lives Here

The Taste Lives Here, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

unfortunate product placement?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

LOC Flickr Photos

This past week The Library of Congress' most popular collections were made available on their new Flickr page, and include only images for which no copyright restrictions were known to exist. More information available on the LOC blog.

I am left wondering if the Portrait Gallery of Canada should adopt this technologically progressive method of showing its works to the public at large? If someone would hire me, I'd do it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Knock First

Knock First, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

A cardboard sign attached to the rear service entrance of Starbucks coffee shop at South Keys Shopping Mall in Ottawa reveals that someone should dial down on the caffeine intake just a tad.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dr. Kevin Patterson

Kevin Patterson, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Dr. Kevin Lee Patterson's and Jane Warren's book serves as another reminder that the Canadian public become more engaged with what the Canadian military is doing in Afghanistan - and also a call for the military to better connect with the Canadian public.

After hearing him read at length from one of the stories included in the book I feel that the grittly and poignant soldier's stories do help to build a bridge to understand our military involvement in Afghanistan.

From the Ottawa International Writers Festival online blurb:

With Kevin Patterson
$12 General Admission / $10 Students/Seniors
Free for Festival Members

A remarkable collection of first-hand accounts written by soldiers, doctors and aid workers on the front lines of Canada's war in Afghanistan.

Collected here are stories of battle and the more subtle engagements of this little-understood war: the tearful farewells; the shock of immersion into a culture that has been at war for thirty years; looking a suicide bomber in the eye the moment before he strikes; grappling with mortality in the Kandahar Field Hospital; and the unexpected humour that leavens life in a warzone.

Visceral, intimate and capitavating in ways no other telling could be, Outside the Wire features nearly two dozen stories by Canadians on the front lines in Afghanistan, including the previously unpublished letters home of Captain Nichola Goddard, the first female NATO soldier killed in combat.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Flooed Area

Flooed Area, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

I guess the 'd' drowned in the flood. Photo taken in Bourget, Ontario just off Ettyville Road. I am wondering if it was supposed to read 'Flooded Area' or simply 'Flood Area'?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Untitled 3639

Untitled 3639, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Thom Fountain

Thom Fountain, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

See the little guy on the rooftop? Yeah, the one behind the camera tripod. That's freelance photographer Thom Fountain.

In January 2007 he created a blog commemorating the 150th anniversary of the naming of Ottawa as the capital city of Canada by Queen Victoria.

Appropriately named "Ottawa at 150", it contains many, many day-in-the-life photos of Ottawa over the course of one year. One final duty of the long year of his photographic documentation was to photograph the Christmas lights for the NCC (National Capital Commission) which lit up certain parts of the city (notably Parliament Hill) from December 6th to January 6th.

Tonight, Thom and I were on the rooftop of the Capital InfoCenter (5 January 2008). I, being a little more bold than he, climbed up another set of narrow metal stairs to the adjacent (Birks) building to get a higher vantage point for this photo of Mr. Fountain. At the top left of the photo is the East Block of Parliament Hill.

The weather wasn't that cold but the falling snow lowered the contrast of the photos, as we had hoped for clear blue evening skies. Alas -- we had no such luck this evening.