As appears to be cus­tom­ary here on cavok, I’ve tak­en an extend­ed break from writ­ing..

Part­ly this is because I have a few posts backed up in the edit­ing process, and most­ly because I feel com­plete­ly over­whelmed with the life I’ve cho­sen to date. Some­how, I haven’t learned the appro­pri­ate lessons to cre­ate bal­ance an con­sis­ten­cy in my life. As I get old­er, my resilience from the effects of dis­ar­ray is steadi­ly decreas­ing.

My life has always been an exer­cise in brinks­man­ship, con­stant­ly jug­gling new projects, com­mit­ments and oblig­a­tions. This has been exac­er­bat­ed by my cho­sen pro­fes­sion over the last decade and though I’ve fre­quent­ly com­plained about it, I’ve failed to act upon the knowl­edge to fix the prob­lem with any sort if plan in hand. 

With the end of my ten­th drilling sea­son approach­ing, I’m going on record now to com­mit to mak­ing that change effec­tive imme­di­ate­ly by remov­ing myself from the full time rota­tion in the field. As I tran­si­tion to in-town work, I may occa­sion­al­ly pick up work here to achieve par­tic­u­lar goals with the inten­tion to com­plete­ly extri­cate myself from the direc­tion­al drilling world over the com­ing year. 

With that in mind, over the next few weeks I will work on iden­ti­fy­ing areas to sim­pli­fy my life and remove the clut­ter that has been cloud­ing my cre­ativ­i­ty and dilut­ing the efforts I’ve put in to sev­er­al recent projects. I will com­mit to post­ing my thoughts on the sub­ject and the new plan by end of mon­th.

Com­menc­ing in mid-April I will be active­ly seek­ing Cal­gary based, short or long term con­tract work on a tech­nol­o­gy or pho­tog­ra­phy relat­ed project and I would great­ly appre­ci­ate any leads in that respect. 

For a sum­ma­ry of my qual­i­fi­ca­tions and areas of exper­tise, please see my Linked­In pro­file here.

As always, I appre­ci­ate those if you who still take the time to check in here once in a while. Thank you all for your sup­port.

 

Pou­tine au foie gras at Au Pied de Cochon, Mon­tre­al, QC

Just got to Mon­tre­al with my bud­dy BigRich a day in advance of the F1 race fes­tiv­i­ties..   This city is tru­ly incred­i­ble, uber bike friend­ly and full of great restau­rants, pubs, and cof­fee shops, not to men­tion a pletho­ra of beau­ti­ful peo­ple.  Our first meal in town was at Au Pied de Cochon (The Pig’s Foot) and the whole expe­ri­ence was, in a word, stu­pen­dous.

(Veg­e­tar­i­ans beware, what you see next may be dis­turbing. But real­ly, this post isn’t for you any­way. For the rest of you, pre­pare to let your mouth water)

We start­ed with the Pou­tine au foie gras served with both white and dark gravy and prop­er Que­bec squeaky cheese curds.  We soaked up the gravy with a loaf of fresh­ly baked french bread and washed it down with a pint of PDC’s own beer.  Spec­tac­u­lar.

Au Pied de Cochon, dai­ly spe­cials.. Deli­cious (also, par­don this crap­py iPhone pho­to, it doesn’t do this food jus­tice..)

The two of us opt­ed for two of the sup­per spe­cials, PDC’s pork ribs and a white fish dish that I’d nev­er heard of but savored every bite of nonethe­less.. Each of the dish­es was por­tioned per­fect­ly, full of fla­vor, clear­ly pre­pared with care, and cooked to per­fec­tion..

The ser­vice, offered in French (and Eng­lish for this mono-lin­guis­tic hea­then) was atten­tive, friend­ly and puts any­thing I’ve encoun­tered in Cal­gary to shame..   When we arrived, the restu­rau­rnt was very warm (due to the 32 degree high tem­per­a­ture in the day­time). Staff were extreme­ly con­cerned with rec­ti­fy­ing this issue by turn­ing on the air con­di­tion­ing and when that failed, open­ing the patio doors to encour­age air­flow from the tree-lined street.

If you hadn’t guessed, I’d high­ly rec­om­mend Au Pied de Cochon if you’re out din­ing in Mon­tre­al!

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I’ve had the tremen­dous plea­sure of work­ing with an incred­i­ble bunch of peo­ple on a project in Saskatchewan over the last nine or ten months and though the win­ter was bru­tal­ly cold, and just plain mis­er­able on the open prairie, work­ing with good peo­ple made it pass quick­ly.

As the spring end­ed and the begin­ning of sum­mer drilling sea­son began, I start­ed to real­ly enjoy my dri­ve out to Kinder­s­ley. As much as we poke fun at Saskatchewan for being flat and bor­ing, it’s actu­al­ly quite beau­ti­ful once the fields begin to turn green and the rain reju­ve­nates the myr­i­ad of ponds and sloughs that pep­per the coun­tryside and accen­tu­ates the superb sun­ris­es and sets with some tru­ly awe inspir­ing reflec­tions.

Over the past few months I’ve been strug­gling to rekindle my love of pho­tog­ra­phy, some­thing that died a lit­tle when I was doing it full-time and pro­fes­sion­al­ly.. I man­aged to sneak out to catch a few pho­tos at sun­set while work­ing south of Plen­ty. Unde­terred by squadrons of hun­gry mos­qui­toes, I man­aged to get a great walk in just north of the rig and a few pho­tos to share with you..

Seri­ous­ly, I wasn’t kid­ding about those mos­qui­toes..

Farm Equip­ment south of Plen­ty, SK

Mor­ris in the sun.. 

Prairie jet­sam (note, this was NOT from the rig in the next pho­to..)

Savan­nah 441 drilling in the sun­set

framed basement walls

A few more walls are com­plete..  The win­dow was com­plete­ly fin­ished after this pho­to, and I tore out a few bits of old wall on the east side of the base­ment in prepa­ra­tion for new/proper ones!

I’m wait­ing for W & J heat­ing to send out their gas fit­ter to fin­ish up the final gas lines so the elec­tri­cian can rein­stall the elec­tri­cal pan­el so I can build the wall around said pan­el so I can get the plumber in to run his new ser­vices so I can get this show on the road.. (sense a pat­tern?)

The logis­tics involved with doing any sort of ren­o­va­tion make me appre­ci­ate the skill of a good Gen­er­al Con­trac­tor even more.. :)  I’ve got to take a break to get some work done but I’ll start dig­ging back at this in a week or so!

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Mat­ty and I man­aged to get a bit more demo­li­tion and a trip to the dump AND we start­ed to put some walls up before he heads home tomor­row.

Met with an elec­tri­cian and a plumber to get a few more details sort­ed out on the new ser­vices.

Before any­one com­ments, I know one of the win­dows is framed wrong but it’s braced and solid. Sosumi, I’m learn­ing as I go!

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Well. I’ve been in ren­o­va­tion lim­bo for the last few weeks. With the help of my bud­dy Mar­t­in, the base­ment has been almost com­plete­ly gut­ted. My bud­dy Mat­ty is fly­ing in from Van­cou­ver tonight to give me a hand with fram­ing in the unfin­ished bits.

A few iPhone pho­tos of the destruc­tion for you:

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A 1940’s era Herr Hitler Dart­board.  The boys used it to prac­tice throw­ing knives..

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Mar­t­in made this pile from the walls that used to grace my walls..

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Lucky find, this 6×6 post was a main sup­port beam on the west side of the house. It was com­plete­ly rot­ten save a 1“x1” cor­ner..  I’ve replaced this with a new steel tele­scop­ic post.

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Mar­t­in and the refuse..  The part that breaks my heart about this is we’ve thrown away THAT much wood and poten­tial­ly recy­clable refuse..  The Cal­gary city dump is archaic and doesn’t even both­er sep­a­rat­ing dif­fer­ent types of refuse.

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The NFurno, Dehy­dra­tor 9000 low-boy fur­nace, cir­ca 1960’s

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The heat exchang­er of this delight­ful­ly inef­fi­cient fur­nace..

Walls and plumb­ing will fol­low..

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Well.. I’m back again. 2010, as with 2009 was a tumul­tuous year, and I’m grate­ful to see the back of it.  After the Von­Bon­bon shoot, I’ve done very lit­tle in the way of pho­tog­ra­phy and tem­porar­i­ly tak­en a step back from the pho­to-gig to focus on get­ting some oth­er facets of my life in order.   To that end, I’ve head­ed back out to my pre-pho­to­graph­ic job for a while to get some extra income to finance my per­son­al goals.

I’ve tak­en with me a lot of lessons from my first year in busi­ness, much of which I may or may not expand on here in the future. The short sto­ry is that I’ve real­ized how lit­tle I actu­al­ly want to shoot wed­dings.  Zero inter­est. None. It seems though, that in the city of Cal­gary, wed­dings and fam­i­ly pho­tos are in high demand and to be frank, I much prefer shoot­ing machin­ery and indi­vid­u­al por­traits.

You may have noticed that I’ve made a few changes to the web­site.  This will be an ongo­ing process as I try to find the right style in the next few months. I’ve also got a few dif­fer­ent mobile options for updat­ing that should make post­ing much eas­ier in the future.  All this, hope­ful­ly means that you’ll have more fod­der short­ly..

For those of you still hang­ing in here, thank you.  For any­one new whose stum­bled across this site, wel­come!

J