30 May 2008

Friday is here June is kicking down the door.

The weather is cloudy and there has been some rain. I love how fresh everything is, the air smells and feels so clean. The colours also look so rich after it rains or during a storm. It is also nice and cool as well making me want to just stay in bed. I am really looking forward to the weekend and time with Jenn. I can't believe June has arrived.
Before I know it I will be waking up with entire days to enjoy working on the house, exploring the world with my 70-200mm lens :). I hope Jenn and I can make it this weekend to see the new Indiana Jones flick. Those movies really are classics...gotta love Ford flicks, even if he is a senior citizen....he can rock it as Dr.Jones.

Last night when I got home from Edmonton I saw it had rained in Vegreville. So I busted out my 70-200 and snapped a few shots of our tree by our driveway. There were some drops of rain coming off the buds on the branches. I zoomed in close and loved how the bokeh looked with the shallow dof. I snapped a few shots and just loved how the lens captures details and blurs the background. I got them on photoshop and did some small adjustments but they were mostly taken and posted as they were taken. I did see a blackbird on my trip back but didn't get the best distance from the bird. I really love seeing them on my drive to work. The Redwinged Blackbirds give me hope and inspire me. Seeing how they faithfully guard their nests and fight off predators makes me feel like I can do anything.

I really love how nature teaches and inspires. When I was driving to work this week I saw a small blackbird fighting off a raven that was most likely trying to get it's eggs. Just the size difference between the birds made it look as if the small bird would not stand a chance. However the small bird was so aggressive in it's defense of the nest and it shows that size didn't matter in this case. The heart of the small bird, doing his best to defend his mate and those precious eggs, is what won and the raven flew off. It just spoke to me that life has all kinds of attacks, all kinds of things that try and break us down. I look at that bird and if I can live my life with that much heart and boldness of character then I will be VERY happy. :)

29 May 2008

Year is Speeding to the Finish

Days go by with such speed now. It's so close to summer, the kids sense it, I sense it. I do miss being young. Time did not go so quickly as a child. Summer seemed to last forever. A 2 week holiday felt like months of exploring, learning and just excitement about the world. Little things like picnics were awesome experiences. The smells of campfires, going for hikes all kinds of memories of being a kid come back to me. The adult world is so different. Deadlines, bills, home improvements, maintance and all kinds of endless responsibilities. From the moment adults wake up it seems like we are such a go go go go society. I admit I've been caught up in it. I used to think cellphones were silly. However with the way people live their lives now they have become extensions of themselves. It seems people go everywhere and are connected or wired. This summer holiday I really want to "unplug" maybe even become a hippie.....hee hee.

The pics in the post are of Steph and her man Andre. They are both very cool people and I was honored to take pics of them before they move away to Ontario. Congrats to them both as they are soon to be married. :)


27 May 2008

Grad Pics of KRIS

Graduation time...Kris came out to do some Grad photos with me. She's a beautiful girl and easy to photograph. My 70-200 got some good shots as usual, (LOVE that lens)....I am wicked tired so not much to say, just here are 2 edits...I am off 2 bed....it's a crazy busy week....I need sleep.


26 May 2008


A beautiful and sunny morning...here is a good proverb for the day.....

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
Proverbs 28:26/

This text really speaks to me, because I trust myself far too much, which has really resulted in foolish choices and pretty much just as bad outcomes. I really want to be walking in wisdom as the whole trusting in myself seems to not work out so good...heheheh. So todays proverb is well taken with moi.

The weekend went by so quickly. Sunday was a lazy day, Jenn and I kind of were exhausted and just spent it with the cats. Nahla and Scully both had a lot of cuddle time. Tomorrow is a P.D. day for me, so I have to make sub plans today. I have a REALLY good sub coming in so I am not worried. I also have Grad photos of Kristyn tomorrow as well. It will be nice to try doing some grad shots too. Not sure if they'll be studio shots or if we'll do mostly outside. She said she wanted them to be a bit different. I'd love to shoot outside as natural light rules. However I am starting to enjoy using my flash combined with natural light too. When it comes to my 70-200 I am in love!!! :) Hoping for a good day all around! :)

25 May 2008

Shantelle and Josh

Here are some recent shots of Shantelle and Josh. They are getting married this summer and allowed me the honor of taking their engagement shots. :) We found some nice trees with some beautiful colour. Shantelle and Josh are very much an adorable couple and just a lot of fun to photograph. Shantelle is an experienced model and I have shot with her a lot on previous occasions. I have a lot of good shots still to edit but here are a select few. I will be busy today but hope to get more edits done. I want to watch the Lakers try and beat the Spurs.....I'd love to see a sweep!! GO KOBE!!! :) I am a BIG Lakers fan...would love to see them win a title.

23 May 2008

Friday!! :)

Friday is here, a short week but it felt long. Probably because of the rainy weather and full moon. Kids were really worked up and teachers were too, heheheh. I managed some pictures yesterday on my drive home (see above). :) I love my new lens I must say! It is a dream to shoot with. Sometimes I find it hard to believe it's my lens. I am so tired this morning, thinking I am fighting some kind of bug. Went to bed early and still feel out of sorts. Hope the weekend will be better. Doing pics with Shantelle this weekend, should be good. Have a wonderful day and weekend to everyone that reads this. :)

21 May 2008

Rain and Wind

What a day to want to stay cuddled up in bed. Sleepy kind of day. Not much to talk about....here is a recent edit of my baby cat Nahla Pearl. :)

20 May 2008

I was Tagged

Nahla and I on our long weekend together get caught napping :) Happy Victoria Day Peeps :)

Here are the rules:1. Link back to the person who tagged you.2. Post these rules on your blog.3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.4. Tag six random people at the end of your entry

Okay Tammy Tagged me but I don't know even close to six random people to tag so it'll end on my end.

Here are my 6 unimportant things about myself....:)

  1. I have the hardest icon to get by playing random races in World of Warcraft The Frozen Throne, which basically means I have no life.....yay me.....

  2. I make up silly voices when I am driving alone

  3. I am a video game addict....I blame my parents for getting me that commodore 64.....

  4. I drink too much pop

  5. I have a licorice addicition

  6. My number in hockey was 73 and basketball was 67

ok, there are my 6 things......off to bed I go....


You don't need no friends
get back your faith again
you have the power to believe
another dissidenttake back your evidence
it has no power to deceive
I'll believe it when I see it, for myself
I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive
I sit with them all night
everything they say is right
but in the morning they were wrong
I'll be right by your sidecome hell or water highdown any road you choose to roam
I'll believe it when I see it for myself
I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive, yeah
darling, I believe, Oh Lordsometimes it's hard to breathe, Lord
at the bottom of the sea, yeah yeah
I'll believe it when I see it for myself
I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive
I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe.
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset I can see the sunset
I can see the sunset
I don't need no one
I don't need no oneI don't need no one
I don't need no one
To tell me about heavenI believe
I believe it, yeah
The lyrics are formatted kind of strange but the song really speaks to me. I don't need someone walking up to me in a mall telling me about God...or someone knocking at my door. I honestly think that if people were to go out in to nature, remove the ipods, television and constant stimulation from media and technology, they'd see God in nature. It's sad but as a photographer I live out in a small town...nature is all around me every day. However the sadness comes from not really getting a chance to be out in it. Photography wise there is not really anywhere to go that makes it easy. When I lived in Nelson House, MB and was teaching a 2 minute drive or a bit of a walk and a person could be out in the wilds of nature. Here in Vegreville I'll be kicked off a farmers land for doing photography there. I can stay on the roads and capture pictures of fields and sunsets and that is beautiful and all, but I find nature harder and harder to access anymore. A person needs to really make a point of going to it and it seems less and less visible anymore. Wetlands and beautiful areas are being swallowed up and encircled by residential property and commercial buildings.
I really the world is very much heading in an unhealthy direction. We're removing the beauty of nature and the little nature left is protected parks and not very many people can afford anymore to visit national parks or get out to enjoy them. With the rednecked Alberta attitude most people precieve nature as beer, ATVs, 4X4s, guns and fishing and did I mention the beer? I find it hard to see anymore having a spiritual moment in nature while running through it astride a loud ATV....or dirtbike. I think nature is by far my fave thing to photograph but where I live almost the most frustrating to find. I need to win millions and find a private island somewhere to make my own private sanctuary of solitude...where I may roam with my canon and enjoy what God hath created...hehehehe. :) I love ranting in my blogs....I don't even care if they are read or commented on...just getting these thoughts out of my head is fun and kind of helpful...

17 May 2008

Andy and April Edits

Some new edits of Andy and April :). They are very much in love and I was honored to take their engagement photos. Congrats to them both! :)


22 Minutes Facebook

Sad but prob true people out there like this...

May Long Weekend :)

This is a welcome break from work. :) Warm summer weather and some time with my beautiful wife Jenn. I took this picture of the moon last night. Tried the 70-200 without a tripod and loving the IS feature on it. Hoping to do more photography this weekend. The grass is growing, leaves are out finally and it feels awesome outside.

Well, not much to talk about in my blog, just loving long weekends. :)


15 May 2008

Long Weekend Rant

Wow, what a week. Time for a rant. I am not a parent yet, but wow, I can't understand parenting today. The things I see and hear as a classroom teacher make me wonder what kind of path our society is going. Kids in lower elementary are being exposed to so much material intended for adults. Kids with cell phones, ipods and many more technology based devices. They are quickly becoming a very media centered culture. Kids are watching many movies intended for adult audiences. I had a student today recite the violent scene in the Matrix movie where Neo and Trinity go to rescue Morpheus. In that scene they kill a lot of people and there is a lot of glorified violence with a LOT of gunplay. Now imagine the developing brain of a child feeding on images like this.
The highest-profile case was Columbine high school massacre in 1999, in which Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold armed themselves to the teeth, donned black trench coats and gunned down a couple dozen classmates, killing 15 of them. They claimed to have been influenced by the Matrix, as did quite a few other crazy killers. Some even tried to use the movie in their legal defense, explaining that they killed people because they realized after watching the movie that nothing was real. - taken from this website
One of the most popular games of 2003, features hookers and police officers who players are encouraged to beat up for points. Players also earn points via the selling of drugs. That game is "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City", (GTA3) by Rockstar Games."GTA3" also drew a great deal of controversy when it was discovered that players were encouraged to specifically target Haitians for murder for extra points. The Associated Press reported that Rockstar Games removed that "instruction" from the current and future productions of the game but it still shows up in the previous eleven-million copies that were sold.NIMF reports that 70% of teenage boys played "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" during 2003. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the gaming industry's self-imposed ratings system, rates GTA3 suitable for mature ("M") players. -taken from this website
Most of my students play the new Grand Theft Auto 4 game and they are not even in their teens. Parents are fooled in to buying these games and not taking time to see what the game is even about. I do not want to place blame at all on the developers of the game. I know as a parent I would blame myself if I had kids playing that game and they did something horrid by being inspired by the game.
Today, the military uses video games to train and condition their soldiers for combat in the real world. They recognize the inherent power of the realistic displays and repetition that video games give soldiers in preparing them for battle when a conditioned reaction means the difference between life and death.Grossman notes however, that one of the main differences between what the military does and what is being done with the youth of America is authority.Grossman writes (pg. 302-303):Operant conditioning firing ranges with pop-up targets and immediate feedback, just like those used to train soldiers in modern armies, are found in the interactive video games that our children play today. But whereas the adolescent Vietnam vet had stimulus discriminators built in to ensure that he only fired under authority, the adolescents who play these video games have no such safeguard built into their conditioning. Soldiers are taught to obey the orders of their superiors. They are taught that life is not to be wasted and that they are not to kill until told to kill. For soldiers there is a check and balance to what they must do to defend the life of their comrades and their country.The violent video games that are sold and purchased in ever increasing amounts from the retail stores in America don't offer the accountability and reliance upon authority that is inherent in the military. Perhaps worse, video games today, while desensitizing and conditioning, glamorize violence and murder.Not to be out done by themselves in the production of violent video games, Rockstar Games, produced arguably the most troubling and violent game to date of any mainstream video game company. The game is called "Manhunt," and the idea is a twisted take on "Reality TV." In the game the player plays a character dropped in the middle of a town filled with criminals. The main job of players is to survive and this is done by obeying the voice in the headset they wear. That voice tells the player when and whom to kill.Play is scored, based on how gruesome a kill the player commits. Weapons of choice include, but are not limited to, plastic bags for suffocation, wire for garroting, and machetes for hacking to death. It is an interactive snuff film where players are even given the ability to replay their kills. "Manhunt" is societal conditioning at its worst and is currently banned from New Zealand.If you believe that video games don't influence the thinking of those that play them, then it might help you to know that the industry itself believes otherwise.While watching television with my family this past Sunday, an EA Sports commercial ran featuring a scene on a subway train. A young woman is seen being accosted by a bully while others watch, afraid to intervene. One subway rider, a young male in his prime, watches the man bully the woman and viewers are led to believe, through cut scenes, that he is fantasizing about beating up the man in the boxing ring of the video game Fight Night 2004. The commercial ends with the announcer saying, and I paraphrase You know you think about it.The milepost says five years since the horrible act of April 20th, 1999, but the question remains: How far off is the next earth shattering event and will it be enough to change the hearts and minds of a nation designing and empowering its own horrors?
Most students and kids today will end up growing up with a whole new set of morals and ideas. How can they sit in a classroom and study and learn with their minds filled with this type of media? How can learning math skills be interesting when the night before they were overstimulated with a violent video game, or watched multiple murders and acts of violence in a video game? Or were driving and picking up prostitutes and killing police officers in GTA games? It saddens me that most parents are being selfish and not wanting to take moral stands on the things their kids put in their heads. All these parents driving their fancy and expensive SUV's wouldn't for a second stop and fill the tanks of their vehicles with chocolate syrup. But they don't blink twice with allowing their child's brain to be filled with trash. It is beyond me. If I get to be a Dad my child will be the most precious thing in my life. I will not ignore the responsibility to protect that child from being exposed to sin. There that is my mega rant for the day....hehehe, it's been a long week and it just seems like this is a BIG problem, at least in what I see as a teacher it is.
We are going to have a good weekend. Jenn and I have tickets to Kids in the Hall. They are doing a show called "Live as We'll Ever Be" at the Jube. It'll be fun, good laughs are always nice. Also going to a Fiddle Concert tonight too. I can't wait, the weather is awesome, I have my 70-200 and life is good. :) Hope everyone else has a nice long weekend.

13 May 2008

Feeling Bleh

Not sure what I am fighting but my body is just drained of energy. I was exhausted yesterday and near the end of the day I felt like I could fall asleep at any moment. I got home and was able to stay awake for awhile but then just passed out on the couch with Nahla cuddling me on my lap. I was super tired and I don't often snore but I think I kept Jenn up a long time snoring last night. I think that's a sign I am not feeling so well either.
Thanks to Tammy for sending me some wedding business. Unfortunately I am already quite busy this summer and won't have many opportunties to shoot weddings as I am already quite busy. However I am available for portrait work.
Well, hope to have a better day with less exhaustion issues then yesterday.

12 May 2008

70-200 Is a DREAM to Use

There is nothing bad I can say about this lens. It rocks and goes far beyond what I expected. It's so fun to use. Yes, it is a pig to carry around but wow does it take sexy pictures. I love using it and I am VERY excited to do more work with it now. The 2.8 rules.....I was stuck with shooting at 2.8 all weekend just because the bokeh addiction I have is quite HIGH. I love those "fuzzy" backgrounds.
Long weekend is coming this week. I am excited to have a 4 day weekend. Grass needs cutting, hopefully tonite I can fire up the old mower and see if it survived a winter of being parked in our shed. This weather has been so nice. I want to get out with my mountain bike and lens and see what nature shots I can get around the Vegreville area. Hopefully that is also something I can do this week. My goals are:
  • finish the floors off (laminate work)
  • clean basement (it's a mess)
  • cut grass and work in the yard
  • clean the garage (mess as well)
  • edit pics for April and Andy :)
  • take more 70-200 pics
  • play some GTA :)
  • Read some books
  • Read my Bible :)
  • Sleep more
  • Eat right
  • Spend lots of time with Jenn
  • play some Petrof
  • and more....

11 May 2008

Great Weekend

Warm weather and fun times with the 70-200. I also got to meet Mr.Bill Cowen while he was shooting a wedding at the Museum. Was there with some friends shooting them and he recognized me and came over to say a quick hello. He is a VERY cool photographer and super nice. I had even said to Jenn I wondered if Bill would be shooting a wedding there since it's pretty much the time of year for weddings already. There were like 4 or 5 of them going through pics when we were there.

Church was also good on Sabbath, we went to Red Willow again and had a good time hearing Pastor Dan talk about parenting. I wish more parents would smarten up and start learning that saying No to kids is not always a bad thing. Like Pastor Dan mentioned, we're a society that spends more time training our animals then we do our own kids....and it's basically true.

So this weekend I got to shoot Tanya, Jenn, Stan, Anna, April and Andy.....very cool for me since I wanted to give my 70-200 a good workout. :)


09 May 2008

Need more targets

Another week of school is over and I am happy the weekend is arriving. I hope to get out there with the new lens and start capturing some new photos. Potential targets this weekend are, Jenn, April and her Fiance, Kelly and Tanya, Anna and Stan the Man and not sure who else will get captured by the 70-200...maybe unsuspecting buffalo or wildlife on the drive in to Edmonton.

I'm off to see a doctor this morning so hoping that goes okay, I am not worried but when you get to be old like dirt (like moi) you have to start to wonder when u go visit the doc. :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Here is a 70-200 shot of Nahla.....

07 May 2008

70-200 Impressions So Far

Holding my camera with the new grip and lens is amazing. It feels like a massive camera now and so solid. I LOVE the lens, it's a heavy beast...but what an awesome beast it is. The pictures I've taken with it so far are vibrant with colour and so crisp. I love the image stabilization feature. I was shooting Nahla last night inside the house and there wasn't much light and I was shooting at well below 60 and getting crisp and clear images. The lens is amazing and I feel so lucky to finally have it. I am shooting April's engagement photos this weekend and will be happy to see some of the results I get with it. For anyone wondering the lens is the 70-200mm 2.8 Canon with Image Stabilization. I have wanted this lens for a long time. Nathan Elson uses the lens and does amazing work with it. He inspired me to lust after this lens and now it's almost unbelievable to look at it now and see it on my camera. :)
I also got to play the new Petrof last night. Wow, that piano sounds amazing. Makes me want to learn some new songs. I'll have to start working on learning something new. It'll be fun when Anna and Jenn play together on it sometime. Well, it's Wednesday and time will fly so I better go get on with my day. :)

06 May 2008


Okay, today totally ROCKED!!!!! I got my 70-200mm 2.8 IS lens!!! yeah baby!!! (Austin Powers Voice). I also got the battery grip for the 40D (droooool) and a filter for my lens. I am one HAPPY photographer dude. Can't wait to shoot like a mad man with it....beware...better pics to come peeps. :)

Here is a teaser of a flower in our front yard...one of the 1st images taken with the bad boy!!! :)

Jenn also got the Petrof piano today, so it's a great front on all artistic fronts in our home. Now plz let us find a pot of gold somewhere. :)


05 May 2008

Will Ferrell - More Cowbell - Saturday Night Live (Original)

best skit ever

Iron Man Review and Weekend in Review

Well, Iron Man was quite a fun movie. Summer blockbuster genre and a visually fun movie to watch. I can't say I am a hardcore Iron Man fan but I knew of the character and I did want to see the movie. For a comic book flick it sure did better then some recent movies. Spider man 3 had to be the worst comic book movie in a long time. Iron Man redeems that flop and really shows how a movie should be made. There is a good mix of humor, action and a bit of romance too. The final Iron Man suit is super cool and will have lots of kids wanting to be Iron Man for Halloween this year. I'd rate this movie a 4.5 out of 5. :) Or just give it two thumbs up...it's definately worth seeing in the theater as it's action lends itself best to the big screen. :)

The weekend went great, I was REALLY hurting on Saturday with a very BAD headache. I did get over it but it wasn't fun. Jenn was able to finish our kitchen and painted a new colour, we also went and picked up new hardware for the cupboards. I am excited for this week....I'll just hint as to why....think 70-200!!! :) For those that know me they'll know what I'm talking about. :) I also picked up some new photoshop magazines from Chapters, I am excited about reading and learning some new photoshop techniques and just getting some artistic inspiration from them. Well, off to work I go for another week. Hope everyone had a nice weekend too.

02 May 2008


Nathan RULES!!!!!!!!!

On Your Side - Sex and Advertising

Learn all about Facebook

hahahhaha.....hilarious :)



The Facebook Skit

hahhaha, funny but has roots in truth...

Facebook Parody

funny :)


Hahahhahaha, more good reason to ditch facebook....lol....

Funny Joe Mathlete Post

I was reading some random blogs and came accross this...very funny. Now that I quit facebook I really don't miss the vampire biting game, the constant status updates and spending too much time with it. http://joemathlete.blogspot.com/
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.
Confirm Facebook Account Deactivation
Please let us know why you are deactivating. (required)_O_ I don't find Facebook useful.Please explain further:"Facebook is like a creepy and pointless videogame where people collect every person they've ever met, then waste their time spying on all the dumb bullshit they do all day. I don't care if some moron I went to high school with bought a new iPod, I don't want to play the vampire biting game, and I don't want people I don't care about to know what I'm up to if they're not going to bother asking me with words."-------------------------------------------You ever hear that Beach Boys song "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times?" Yeah.
Posted by Joe Mathlete at
2:03 PM 34 comments Links to this post

01 May 2008

Full Moon?

Students have been nutty at school. I really believe there is a full moon out or something. It's been one wild day! :)

Loving that I can in minutes go fire up the orange Matrix and drive home...what a sweet ride! :)