Sunday, August 11, 2013

beard... gone

Way back on the 1st of December 2012 - I was given the all clear to send in an application for the community identified stream of the Nova-Scotia provincial nomination program for permanent residency in Canada.

I guess facial hair was front and centre in my mind, as I'd just completed another year of ridiculous moustache growing for charity.

So I thought it might be funny to see how long I could grow a beard before reaching the next stage.

52 days later on the 22nd of January 2013 I was able to shave, and once again I (stupidly) thought it'd be a bit of a laugh to see how long a beard I could grow, in this now final stage of permanent residency.

Since then, I've returned to Canada on a temporary work visa; and have almost finished the third season of mr D.

During this time, I've also seen the workers who process visa (and permanent residency) applications undertake strike action, further delaying what should have been a straightforward and simple process

What I once saw as a positive thing (each day the beard grows = one day closer to my eventual permanent residency), has now become something I truly hate (a reminder that it's been yet another day since I mailed off my application...)

I'm already over here - working, and loving my life...

...but hating my beard.

I'm about to renew my work visa for another film, So I picked a mile-stone-ish kind of date, and agreed to shave the f*cker off.

yesterday was that day.

201 days

I now present a small collection of photos from the momentous event (thanks to Lisa for the photographic skills)

*the photo at the beginning of this post, is 201 days of beard growth (with minimal scissor-trimming around the upper-lip to facilitate eating)

clipper-removal of moustache, and separation of mutton-chops and goatee that's a solid goatee

Lisa braids the last remaining threads...

final wet-razor work

...and I'm back to "normal"

thanks to all those who were supportive of my ridiculous "visa-beard" and I hope you all forgive me for the early shave.

all the best,


Wednesday, June 05, 2013


...made it!

to be honest, the majority of my journey to canada was completely stress-free and, (one could almost say) normal; but the beginnings were certainly a little "different"

I'm usually over-cautious when it comes to dealing with air-travel, but for some reason whatever bad Karma I've been accumulating finally decided to catch up with me :)

On my way to the airport, I was discussing with my sister how strange it is that I always need to start my international journey by departing the domestic terminal (connecting flight to sydney)... that was my first mistake = you shouldn't tempt the travel gods

$4 luggage trolley, overflowing with my bags and boom-poles; attempt to check into the "kiosk".  Don't think I've EVER been able to make use of these bloody self-check-in things, as they always direct me to "see a service representative", nothing new here today :)

"please check in with that counter over there"... okay, line up and get ready to pay...

"so sir, where are we headed to today?..."





"yeah you're on flight QF008, that departs from the international terminal...!"


"'s ok, there's a transfer shuttle due in a few minutes, just show the driver your booking reference and he's take you there, you've got plenty of time" :)

(I should point ou that my online "ticket" makes absolutely NO REFERENCE to any terminal # or domestic-vs-international, just says BNE-SYD = thanks - you've booked me onto one of only two qantas domestic flights that depart from the international terminal in brisbane, and given me no information to that fact)

so I bundle up my stuff and wait for the shuttle.

at this point I was 10 mins early for the shuttle, and kinda - sorta - ok for eventual check-in (*5:07 waiting for the 5:17 shuttle), as time wore on... I strongly considered splitting a taxi with some of the other 20 or so passengers who were obviously blind-sided by this "wrong terminal" thing... but every time I thought about it, a transfer shuttle-looking-type-of-bus would approach the stop, and I'd think - "oh, here it comes"...

the 5:17 just didn't show... the 5:37 was 5 min late, and due to the number of passengers it picked up; left another 5 later...

Transfer bus stops at the other end of the terminal - picks up even more passengers (just how many of us arrived at the "wrong" airport?)... finally, we're off...

...oh yeah - did I mention that I was meant to be on a 6:30 flight to sydney...

...bus pulls up at the "arrivals" level of the international terminal...

I've got 2 large suitcases, my boom poles and a decent sized carry-on (plus my SLR hanging off my hip) so it's not the easiest amount of stuff to take onto/off a bus, especially when there are 40 or so people attempting to get ONTO the bus you're leaving...

...driver shuts the door on me as I'm attempting to retrive my boom poles! cheers-mate, any chance I could get you to re-open it, so I can get the last of my luggage?

run-push my trolley to the elevator, so I can change floors and start the booking in procedure (it's well within the 1/2hr boarding limit now, so I don't know if I've already missed it.

thankfully, even though the helpful staff member has just informed me that the flight has "closed" they take pity and "try" to help me out...

"...but you'll need to pay excess baggage fees!"

"...ummmm... yessssss...?"

"I've got 3 pieces of checked, and I already know that two are over 22kgs... that'll be just fine... let's try to get me onto the flight" eh?

booking in is 'relatively' smooth (no printed boarding pass?) and I'm off to see the excess baggage payment person (it's in a different area?!?).

Oversize bag receiving guy won't accept my boom poles, 'till I've paid (dude, it's all good, I'm paying now - can we just try to get them onto the plane please), and is finally reassured by the helpful staff member hovering around me to try and speed up the process.

mr baggage-fee-processing-guy (named IAN by the way!) is on the phone, and ignoring me intently for a few minutes... I'm not going to make him mad by ignoring the "several" signs which warn "do not interrupt the agent when they are on the phone".

good thing too, as he's checking how he's supposed to process my baggage charges.

process is slow, (and strangely manual = no computer printed tickets and receipts here, handwritten baggage fee receipts!) but I end up paying either $411 or $311 in excess (I say "either", because I swear he told me $411, but the receipt is only for $311 = guess we'll find out when the creditcard charge actually goes through). it's still way less than what I paid last year - so I'm pleasantly surprised.

first crisis averted, I'm now RUNNING to the security and customs area (other end of the terminal, and next level down)...

"...boarding pass please"

I hand over the ticket thingy that the hovering agent gave me = "this will send you through security a little quicker because you're late"

"...yes that's your express security pass, but I'll need your boarding pass please sir."

"...this is all that they gave me."

"'ll need to go back upstairs and get your boarding pass printed please; I can't let you in here without one."

"...F*ck!... sorry... I'm not mad at you mr security guy, it's just been an interesting morning..."

...upstairs *well a slow moving lift actually across the terminal again, "hey guys, any chance I could get a boarding pass?"

..."didn't you get it at the excess baggage counter?"

..."grrrrr" let's just focus on what needs to happen now please...

re-print, and hovering agent now becomes an escort to the security area (mr security guy waves me through WITHOUT looking at my freshly printed boarding pass = WTF)

security line up - take out the laptop (external HDD and Mac mini can stay in the bag)...

...not today!

" this your bag sir?..."

"...take out the laptop and re-do the security line up please..."

...ok...? I'll do whatever you ask of me, just need to get on the plane (mac-mini = laptop now, that's a first) least mr customs guy is friendly and fast...

..."new" escort to take me straight to the gate where they are packing up the signs etc...

I'm now on the plane, and it's 6:35.

"just another moment folks" "we've been informed that the pattern is still a little full and we'll be pushing off in another 5".

I'll never know if the captain was covering for the "stressed and late" final passenger, who's sweating and out of breath in the window seat of the aisle 25 or not; but I'm finally on my way

here's my view -

wing-side and sweaty, but I'm on my way :)

it's a beautiful morning

the most amazing sunrise (from my taxi-ing plane)

just awesome

the gateway bridge frames another jet (busy take-off-time)

we were treated to the most fantastic view of Brisbane taking-off to the south

closer view = is that the bridge?

even closer = wow! look at that... 

touch-down sydney :)

now that my journey is under way, I can finally seek-out my first coffee of the day ;)
sydney international terminal duty-free and cafe's

Back in the air for the non-eventful 14 hr flight-time to Vancouver... 
that's a strong red-wine for dinner (sleepy-times?)

still way too far away from the east coast of Canada! :(

arrival in Vancouver :)

what a lovely day

so after buying a towel (didn't pack a big one) and making another coffee, I'm back at my old place in North Vancouver. 

not much has changed (a few new room-mates), and the landlord is away on business for a few days (we almost managed an airport pass-by as he left the car for me)...

you know what, it's so lovely I think I'll go for a quick run up the trail...

probably wasn't the best of ideas, but I needed to get the blood flowing again (hate the sitting down part of air travel)...

another shower, and time to "unpack"...

managed to stay up to watch the hockey (LA wins game 3 of the western conference NHL finals), and message some people out east before crashing into the couch at around 9:30pm local time (aka 1430 the "next" day brisbane time!!!)

So I'm in Vancouver for a few days, till I can catch-up with my old land-lord; upon which time, I'll start my mega-super-cross-country-odyssey!

Thursday, May 02, 2013



That's right - every May third for the last decade, no matter where in the world I've been; I get up early to take photos of the sunrise.
you could almost call that reliable :)


 There's always a bunch of people at the mt coot-tha lookout; which has become one of my favorite spots (it's close to home; high; and has the sun rise behind the city)

 almost there...

 you can see the rays...

...there we go - full-on sunlight

Photographers are a wacky-bunch. I'd try to make fun of the guy on the right using his cell-phone when there's a SLR sitting 2 feet to his right (probably shooting time-lapse)... but I had 4 cameras on me this morning, so it feels a little hypocritical...



lovers-lock? this 'aint a bridge in paris people...

Traffic-copter on the move...


all done, heading home for another coffee

soak-up that sun...

random plane

sometimes you aim for one type of photo, and accidentally end up with something much better = I tried to capture the crow, but my camera was still set-up for a slow shutter (I think the photo is quite nice)

May 3rd 2013 - Sunrise.

here's a link to a little video I threw together showing what it takes to get these photos...


Thursday, February 07, 2013


...images - or at the very least 11,045 files in the photo folder '2012'.

even allowing for a bunch of duplicates (jpeg/RAW) and some processed ones (HDR, etc); that's still a massive bunch of photos for a non-professional.

I have managed to whittle that number down to 211 of my absolute favorites for the year.

The title-photo is of course, my top pick; the best and most favoured of the year. an old-school sailing boat returns to the Halifax harbour (taken from my accommodation)

I've included some of the best of the best in this post, and here's a LINK to the rest of them

Aurora in Iceland

Sunset Venice Beach LA

Hiking in Iceland

Funky angles in Hali

Booming in Halifax

Tour-Guiding on the bridge


Steadi-training in LA (admittedly, not a photo I took, but I'm there non-the-less)

B cam 2nd AC Mr D

Hiking in Iceland

2nd favorite photo of the year - reflection self-portrait on-set Mr D season 2 Halifax.

There's been no additional word on my application for permanent residency, but then again - I did only just send off the completed package (had to wait for the police certificate of no-record to arrive); all going well, I'll be ready to move in another month or so...

Exciting times ahead.

'till then, all the best.