Monday, January 31, 2011

dream job

From Schmidt & Weston blog

Just so everyone is clear, 12 dollars an hour is not the going rate for a video editor, age and gender are not legal questions or have anything to do with video editing, and my location is right here.

I didn't apply for this one.

If you are looking for a video editor and want that editor to do a good job, don't start by looking for a starving student.

If you are a starving student, don't settle for such a pay rate. You are better than that.

don't let the man...

From Schmidt & Weston blog

In light of the situation in Egypt, the memory of my brother-in-law (an honourable man treated terribly by one of Vancouver's most famous companies - yoga wear ain't all peace and love) and my own experience yesterday with Vancouver's public transportation goons... this message scrawled in cement has particular meaning.


It is only monday.

Good luck, everyone.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Carrie on the radio

From Schmidt & Weston blog

Carrie is the librarian at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. She is the co-curator for a show that is currently going on right now, and was interviewed for CBC.

We love CBC radio here at the Schmeston household, and I daydream about working there one day. People who work there don't seem so excited about the organization. I don't care. Everyone thinks their work sucks until they suddenly find themselves without a pay check.

I'd stay excited the whole time I worked there.... I promise.

So hire me, why not.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

rappel fire fighter

From Schmidt & Weston blog

I am very proud of this photo, and like most photos, I really ought not to be. I just happened to hit the shutter button at the perfect moment and caught a rappel recruit in a moment of concentration with her gloved hand and the focus of her undivided attention, the helicopter, reflected in her safety glasses.

I could never have set this moment up. I'm almost never that clever. Sometimes you just get lucky.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

hope and shadows

This video will air on the Shaw channel in the lower mainland of BC today at 4pm on the show I produce for... V community tv.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bob's Burgers

Last week I wrote a post, and then removed it an hour later. I decided, after 3 revisions after posting it, and Carrie then pointing out 2 more mistakes I'd missed, that it just wasn't working on any level.

But here is what I wanted to say:

I like Bob's Burgers. It's pretty good.

Watch this maybe.

Loren Bouchard makes it, and he always makes good cartoons. He dropped out of High School.

I admire people who have the courage to ignore their guidance counsellor. Of course, you only hear about the successful ones.

Also Kristen Schaal is on it, (or in it?).

skies over Victoria BC

From Schmidt & Weston blog

Same film, same camera. Different sky.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the bridge at Peace River - 2004

From Schmidt & Weston blog

I can't seem to help myself from taking photos of bridges. This one is over the Peace river in the town of Peace River, Alberta. It's a nice town in a very pretty valley.

This was shot again with my Canon AE-1 and again with Velvia film. I love the saturated look of Velvia. So pretty.

Perhaps it's time for an old-timey slide show. Perhaps I'll invite people over, just like my parents used to do. I seem to remember it being quite the production with all sorts of arguments about where the photo was taken and the story behind it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

my ideal boss

I'm currently looking for something more stable than freelance work, because, well, freelance work here in Vancouver seems to imply a whole lot of free work. Not sure where the lance fits in, but I am starting the think it would fit nicely in the heads of those 'clients' who seem to think my portfolio could use their pet project in it.

I have recently, thanks to Carrie, been introduced to the brilliant series Bored to Death. Ted Danson plays exactly the sort of boss I've been looking for my entire professional life, and most especially right now.

If you happen to be close to this character, and not necessarily just in the pot smoking department, but the sort of boss with an honest respect for loyal employees, seeks fun rather than merely the bottom line, and would be willing to tolerate and encourage my creativity, I WANT TO WORK FOR YOU!

I can be contacted through this blog's comment section and my website.

I understand you are likely mythical, like the oversized wiener dogs with alpaca-like heads and bright but decidedly cynical attitude that showed up in my dream early this morning.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Wabasca, 2004

From Schmidt & Weston blog

I shot this with slide film (Fuji Velvia) and my faithful Canon AE-1 35 mm camera. I like to think there is still a place for film in our modern times. I might even be right about this.

If you happen to be looking for Wabasca, head north from Edmonton and 40 minutes or so further north of Slave Lake, turn right. After that, you can't really miss it since there isn't much else up that road. Well, there is, but mostly it is trees, some oil and gas exploration and the odd little cabin and/or trapline in the woods.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

me as an incident commander

From Schmidt & Weston blog

I didn't take this photo because that's me in the yellow with the blue helmet. I believe someone named Tebby took it. Somehow I ended up in charge of putting out this fire for a while. That position used to be called Fire Boss, but for several years now the title is Incident Commander.

I still can't decide which sounds better; to be the boss of fire or the commander of an incident.

Monday, January 17, 2011

best of craigslist

From Schmidt & Weston blog


Tyron, you still out there?

old car

From Schmidt & Weston blog

I don't have a car and that causes some people to believe I'm environmental. Sadly, if I could have a car, I would prefer something old and inefficient.

They just look better.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

wicked café

From Schmidt & Weston blog

The best cappuccino I've ever tasted is from Wicked Café in Vancouver.

But I haven't been to Italy yet.

From Schmidt & Weston blog

I would put a link to Wicked Café's website, but they don't have one that appears to work, and though there are reviews of the two locations, none of those websites are pretty enough for me.

Do better internet.

Ha Long Bay

From Schmidt & Weston blog

Film is better than digital.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Saskatchewan, trains and Vancouver's winter

From Schmidt & Weston blog

This photo was inspired by two things; my lifelong love of trains and an online friend from Saskatchewan who I've never met in person. Her online name is Wilma and her blog is here. I have met the friendliest people in Saskatchewan (and Montana, but that is a very different story).

When I was little, I apparently wanted to be a train engineer. This was before I can remember and knowing that my dad was always into trains, I wonder how much I really wanted any vocation. Seems a parent could easily imprint any idea onto someone under the age of 4. However, I next wanted to be a forest fire fighter because of a picture book about parachutes. I remember that... and it came to pass.

What I do remember is that the decline of the caboose caused me to eventual lose any interest in pursuing a locomotive job. Strange how the seemingly little things can have such a large impact on a child's career aspirations.

I live near the tracks here in Vancouver, and I'm happy for it. It is a constant reminder that long before the information super highway, railways connected people at a much more reasonable pace. The best part is that those rail lines still exist.

I used to live in Montréal. Mile End was all about the train in 1887, when the first regular train service all the way to the Vancouver linking two of my neighbourhoods... and the rest of Canada... sort of.

I say 'sort of' because the problem with Canada is that it is so regional; everyone thinks they have it worse than everyone else, and this frosty Saskatchewan grain car illustrates this beautifully.

Each province, (and then city or town and so on), believes that their winter is the worst. Moving from Edmonton to Montréal, one of the first questions I would get from Montréalers was "How cold a winter have you experienced?"

Each time I would cringe, because it is such an irrelevant question. The weather is what it is and there is nothing any of us can do about it other than move away. I don't really enjoy talking about it, or bragging about how I have seen temperatures of -50 celsius. For the record, I can't really tell the difference after -25 because after that point, it's just a matter of how fast you get cold. It always hurts a little.

In Montréal, I would be told how "it's a wet cold".

Well, great. So somehow they are tougher than me?

I never understood the point of it all. I have family in Yellowknife and Hay River and I wonder if they ever put up with anyone comparing weather stories or whining about the temperature.

I have respect for those that can go through the day without making a meaningless mention of the obvious weather conditions. When I was a treeplanter and then a forest fire fighter, we had an unwritten, unmentioned rule of never bitching about the state of things we could do nothing about. This included black flies and mosquitoes, wet boots, blisters, bruises and most of all... weather. Unless you could laugh at the misery, bringing it up is not helpful.

Vancouver deserves a good smack across the back of the head. I have heard so much whinging about the "cold" weather lately, along with further remarks about the infamous "moist cold". No wonder the rest of Canada laughs at the Lululemon clad wimps on the west coast.

Here is what a cold day in Vancouver looks like:

From Schmidt & Weston blog

See that?! Some lovely ice crystals on the steps of my front door and a plant, still green, with a beautiful touch of frost.... IN JANUARY!!!!

From Schmidt & Weston blog

In closing, Climate is what you expect, Weather is what you get. Suck it up fellow Vancouver kids. Try being quietly content about having a green lawn all winter long and not bring up the rain to the rest of Canada.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

trash story

From Schmidt & Weston blog

This on the way to the bus stop. Sometimes even litter is exciting.

From Schmidt & Weston blog

It looked like someone was having a pretty good night, but the prescription for Olanzapine - an antipsychotic, which makes the broken makeup and empty condom wrapper all that much sadder.

Monday, January 3, 2011

peeking through gates

From Schmidt & Weston blog

I thought the mysterious lot near our neighbourhood was a scrap metal yard. I was planning on sneaking in to take pictures, but the day I had decided to risk it there were trailers all around and a cop at the gate. Turns out it's a movie lot.

And I have since decided not to sneak in. I shot this through the gate.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

a couple of youtube videos I like

I'm kneeling on a kitchen chair at our fabulously convenient "bar" type counter which overlooks the ocean, mountains, Port of Vancouver, and the precious television all at once. I do mean for you to be jealous. Things are quiet right now because the Schmidt part of Schmidt and Weston is busy at a spin class, which is remarkable considering it is a Saturday and a holiday and we stayed up late at a party and it is cold by wimpy Vancouver standards (there is frost on the green grass - laugh at us, rest of Canada, cause I sure do.) ... and the Schmidt is not often fond of structure combined with moving rapidly. I'm very proud of her.

I'm irrationally proud of myself for not turning on TeeVee to fill the void.

Not being a fan of numbers and dates, I don't usually spend much time contemplating the new year. But it has been a pair of particularly challenging years for the two of us, and I'm quite happy to see 2010 go away. I'm not a whiner, so I won't go into the why. I figure most of the interesting people have some troubled times, and I'd really like to be an interesting person in the future.

In the most doldrum of days, the internet has provided me with a pair of important little videos that have inspired me to get back to creative work and stop writing endlessly ignored cover letters. The following is not my work at all, but I am touched and inspired by what is created and perhaps you will be too.

The first is from a very photogenic couple in San Francisco called Pomplamouse. They are potentially familiar because of the xmas themed Hyundai ads they've been doing. Not only are they cute, but their videos seem to feature their home full of incredible instruments, and I was jealous until I realized there is nothing stopping the pair of us to doing our own collaboration. Neither C or I can sing, so don't worry... you won't get a Christmas Album from us next year. (But thank you so much Mark Near. Your singing was brilliant in its own way).

Genius, no?

The next youtube video is from a lovely lady from eastern Canada, Tanya Davis. She is singing about art. A Montréal film producer that was once a friend and perhaps the oddest of mentors, once told me something very wise about art...


He wrote it on my white board so I wouldn't forget.

I must have been whinging about something. I tend to do that when I lack inspiration or am simply procrastinating.

I have forgotten that comment too often, because when someone asks how I made something (almost no one asks that though. I think it's mostly just me talking to myself.) I can't answer, because I have no real idea what happens between starting the computer and what the camera and computer combination spits out. I know I have something to do with the process, cause if I don't show up... nothing happens at all. Still confused about my role in the pretentious "process".

Tanya Davis clearly understands something about all this.

And that is it. Two videos that I had no hand in making, but deserve all the attention they get.

Have a very fine day and year... cause if the crazies are right, it might be the last year for us all. For the record, I'm not buying that whole 2012 end of days argument though. End times never happen when you are sitting around expecting them.

I resolve

From Schmidt & Weston blog

I resolve to continue to flagrantly disobey stupid rules. I do not like to be told what to do (unless I am getting paid - then everything changes because money changes you).


Thank you for visiting. I live in Vancouver now, but I've lived in other places too. I take photos and make short films about things and people. Please comment and be argumentative. It amuses me.

My main website is

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