In search of a latte, I got dishwashing liquid

A funny thing happened to me today while cruising Canuckistan for coffee. I walked into my regular café in these parts and stuck my head into the kitchen to say hi, as is my wont.

And I just knew, instinctively, that all was not well… One of the bakers was working as a cook, the regular barista was helping plate food, and the 14-year-old who normally only wakes up at 2pm was heard moaning at the washing-up area, while the boss flitted between jobs fixing this and making that.

“How can I help,” I asked sympathetically, and instantly had a plastic blue apron thrust into my hand. “We are understaffed, you can help wash, it’s back there,” I was instructed, before I could suggest that I would prefer helping the baker/cook.

And so, for the next three hours I rinsed, scraped, washed, scrubbed and polished. My helper, the 14-year-old with Attention Deficit Disorder worked in spurts but would disappear without warning. Amongst other things, I found her fawning over a baby (on several occasions), making herself a bacon snack, skateboarding between patrons in the courtyard, fashioning a portable speaker out of a disposable coffee cup (because one cannot work without music) and jamming the door of the cold-room closed, with the barista locked inside.

By the end, my Birkenstock sandals were sodden, along with the hem of my shorts’ legs, but there was a silver lining: whenever the barista wasn’t locked in the cold-room and remembered me slaving away at the sink, I would receive a perfect latté – the very thing I had originally come in for.

“Cool” found photos

I know we’ve still got some way to go until snow and winter but these images have a little story behind them …

My friend Tim’s father arrived at the house a few weeks back with a camera SD card in hand. He had found it in the grass at his favourite park, where, he tells me, he goes for a walk every day. No one seemed to be around and so he brought the card to me to see if I could discover the owner’s identity.

Sadly, there was no relevant information in the EXIF info – all I could tell was that it was shot on a Canon Rebel of some sort, and that the photos dated back to 2011 (although that isn’t necessarily the correct date, if the owner hadn’t set it correctly.)

How cool are these though?


Seeing beyond the decrepitude …

… to what was once full of beauty and grace.

One of the things that has always struck me about the Cariboo region of Canuckistan is the number of old, decaying vehicles in people’s back yards. Literally everywhere you go you see vintage classics that people have obviously collected with the intention of fixing up one day, or selling for a profit.

But in the meantime they gather mould and layers of grunge, becoming home to squirrels and other rodents. I was fortunate to be invited to shoot in the back yard of a woman I know from church.

Her husband, who died earlier this year, was a collector. These are his legacy but, sadly, he never got the opportunity to restore them as he’d always hoped. In the meantime, people have pilfered bits and bobs off them and it’s become more and more unlikely that they will ever regain their former beauty.

Unless a dreamer and collector were to come along and see something of what these old  dames could still be. We can but hope…

A collector of cabins and other abandoned things

So, as part of my series on interesting characters and stuff they do, today I will be featuring “Bob,” a collector of cabins and other paraphernalia.

Bob once worked on the nation’s highways, and at some point started collecting articles he would find at the side of the road. These included wooden cabins, which he would break down, drive back to his place in pieces and then rebuild (replacing rotten logs and boards where needed).

Apparently Bob lives by the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” with each cabin packed to the rafters with the things he’s collected.

The week before I visited, Bob had held a garage sale, selling some of his stockpile. Considering that everything still seemed to be in its spot, I don’t know what he could possibly have sold! But I’m sure you aren’t here to read, and would love to see Bob’s treasure trove!

Random: The Motherlode

I live right across the highway from Motherlode Wash and Quick Lube. And I’ve always chuckled at the name firstly, and the fact that it is a “Car and Dog Wash” secondly. How do they wash the dogs, I wonder? Just strap them to the front of a car as it goes through, and let those giant brushes do the rest? And how did they come up with the concept? “Ah, we are washing cars already, why not dogs too?”

I shot these at 9 o’clock at night, at -15ºC. And it was cold, okay! I think my nose hairs may even have grown icicles… All this suffering for the sake of “art”.

Motherlode Wash
Motherlode Wash
Car and Dog Wash
Car and Dog Wash
Quick Lube - but not quick enough for that thing in front.
Quick Lube – but not quick enough for that thing in front.

Random: Canucki bridge

I once said cynically of a politician, “He’ll double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.”  Oscar Levant
You may have noticed that I am starting a new series of random images – with equally-as-random quotes. Why? Because my sense of humour is rather obtuse, because I’m enjoying my photography at the moment, and because it seems like a good way of forcing myself to try to take at least one photo every day. As Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory says, “I have informed you thusly.”
Train tracks, a bridge and a sunset. Kersley, Canuckistan. 11/12/13
Train tracks, a bridge and a sunset. Kersley, Canuckistan. 11/12/13
Framed snow, a bridge and peachy sky. Kersley. 11/12/13
Framed snow, a bridge and peachy sky. Kersley. 11/12/13