Photography Poll: Which Eye Do You View With?

Flight Deck's loo
[Pilot Tavern, Toronto – Oct/07]

I didn’t notice this until Tuulikki brought it up more than two years ago (click on the pic for Flickr comments), but I use my left eye exclusively at the viewfinder. And, come to think of it, it is the first eye that opens in the morning. The first thing I do to wake up is to read info on my iPod Touch (after the cats walk over me and poke me to feed them), and I still only use my left eye! My right eye is shut tight, and this is involuntarily. I thought about it this morning when I noticed that I unconsciously kept my right eye closed until I went to exit my bed.

I wonder if it’s because my brain knows that my right eye has poorer vision than left, so it sends a motor signal to leave it at rest for as long as possible? Is one part of my brain so dominant over the other that it can’t manage both eyes until the whole noggin wakes up? I have no idea.

Anyway, I’m curious to know whether my particular eye/hand coordination is common. I use my left eye, but I’m mostly right-handed with some ambidexterity. From observing other people, this is a rarer combination than I thought, but maybe it’s a perception.

Poll: Who Should Pay On The First Date?


Last night I got into a rather heated debate with a friend about who pays for dinner on the first date. I will hold off on stating our opinions so as not to influence this poll in any way (until later!), but I think my close(r) friends would easily be able to guess what I said…

Anyway, my friend are I were completely divided over who should pay for the first date, so I put forth the question to people at work today… the selection zone was anyone who walked near the printer closest to me, haha! The dating question started another debate but I don’t think I’ll be polling THAT one… besides, most of the people I work with have been married or in a relationship so long they’ve totally forgotten who paid what and when.

Since this is a hypothetical situation, let’s assume a few things so it’s easier to answer (or not, we’ll see):

  1. It’s a date between a man and a woman (it was a gender debate, sorry to exclude anyone) who are romantic interests
  2. The date was arranged mutually, there was no official “date asker” or discussion about the tab/bill
  3. This is a FIRST date, with no discussion of a second date
  4. This is a blind date, i.e., first meeting for both people
  5. Both people are currently employed
  6. It’s a dinner date, but not fancier than business casual

I’ve answered similar polls, and there are a bunch I could link to, but I want to hear your answers first. I’ve randomized the possible choices to avoid bias, and I’m leaving this poll open for 30 days. I’m really curious about this one! Feel free to write a comment — the poll is anonymous, anyway. Most people just vote.

(By the way, the photo wasn’t from a date, it was just a random sushi meal with a friend. Mobile phone pic from 2006.)

Video for today: ABBA’s “Money Money Money”. This first video makes me laugh, but then I saw the official one from 1976 and I had to paste that one in, too!

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Were You Read To As A Child?

Michael reading a couple of books to me

I was listening to a CBC Radio program today where people called in to discuss how they were introduced to books as children and which books got them hooked on reading. In the course of the discussion it struck me that parents reading to children seemed very much a Western, Developed World activity. The first time I’d ever seen this was in a Disney movie or on North American television, because it certainly didn’t happen at home.

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25 Things You Never Knew About Me


Beano was tagged by Krisanne in Facebook, but he couldn’t come up with 25 things that humans would find interesting. So here is my first meme of 2009. I think some people would know some of these things, but I don’t think any one person would know all of these things.

  1. I once had a job in Australia pretending to buy product from an Irish guy selling knock-off perfume on the street. There was a few of us switching various accessories like hats and sunglasses and playing along with the script. It was a real eye-opener watching consumers behave like sheep.
  2. Over the years I’ve spent New Year’s Eve in Scotland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, Canada, and USA. Notable ones: Christchurch, New Zealand (I was hitch hiking with three Kiwi guys), and New Orleans, USA (it was hit by arsonists).
  3. My father’s real family name, the name on my birth certificate, the name I graduated with in high school, and the name on my current passport are all different from each other. I also have an official UK document in one of my expired passports with another name.
  4. I have a scar on my left leg from a near drowning in an oceanside cave in Australia. The tide was crashing in gigantic waves and washed out my exit from the cave; I was trapped inside until a couple from Brisbane came and rescued me.
  5. I’ve been spat on (and not by accident).
  6. I wouldn’t eat bananas growing up, but I’ve learned to like them as an adult, as long as they’re not fully ripe. They make a quick, nourishing meal when I’m on the run. But overripe bananas still make me gag.
  7. I was bitten by a small dog once, and have been a little apprehensive of dogs ever since.
  8. I would like to donate blood, but I’m disqualified due to previous residency in the UK.
  9. I never tried seafood until I was 18 years old for religious reasons, but didn’t actually enjoy it until I was 20 when a random stranger, who picked me up on his bicycle when I was walking home late one night in northern Australia, took me into his home and made me a seafood marinara. I was so hungry it tasted like the best meal of my life. I never saw him again.
  10. I’ve had food poisoning three times: street vendor hot sauce in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, a green curry gone bad at office lunch on the Sunshine Coast (BC), and one other time… I can’t quite remember what I ate, I only recall that it was while I was an SFU student.
  11. I was first proposed to by an Englishman. He ended up marrying the first person he dated after we broke up, and later divorced her. Then he married a Filipina! (Another one, not me.)
  12. I wasn’t born in a hospital. My mother was without assistance at the time — not even a midwife was around when I decided I was ready to enter the world. You could say I was born impatient and stubborn.
  13. I was born in a Muslim region, but there are no Muslims in my family.
  14. The last smoking-enabled flight I was on was Balkan Airlines, 1995: Bangkok, Thailand to Sofia, Bulgaria, then London. I sat next to a German who offered me Camel cigarettes without filters, which he bought in Bangkok because they were cheap and unavailable in Germany (for good reason!). The Bangkok-Sofia flight was at least eight (rather turbulent) hours that I recall, and pretty gross since we were both smoking filterless Camels!
  15. I went camping by myself once, about 11 years ago. I borrowed a tent and a bear whistle (it was in BC bear country!).
  16. I have yet to take a photography class. (I’m not opposed to it, I just haven’t done it.)
  17. Since I hosted Ramon Stoppelenburg of in Vancouver back in 2003, two Canadians and an American who met me in the East years later said they recognised me from his website.
  18. I’ve never bought a car, but I’ve owned three cars in my life, between the ages of 17 to the present.
  19. I still have my tonsils, wisdom teeth, appendix, and the other internal parts that I was born with.
  20. As a kid, I was so superstitious I was absolutely terrified at the prospect of turning 13.
  21. I was born with a head of stick-straight hair, which strangely began to turn naturally curly after I graduated from high school.
  22. My longest-surviving relationship was two years, and it wasn’t with anyone who I married.
  23. (Because I get asked this question, and related questions, often:) I am undecided about trying to have children.
  24. Three popular film titles I’ve never watched: Titanic, Fight Club, There’s Something About Mary.
  25. I was hired for a temp job once because of my handwriting.

I have a LOT of “I had to pee so badly once I…” stories, but they are far too embarrassing to have on the web. I don’t mind telling you in person if you ask.

I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you do this, please put a link to it in the comment or email it to me if you prefer not to share it with the internets.

Backup, Backup, Backup!

Save your life.

Sticker on the cable bag of my Maxtor external firewire drive, purchased over the weekend.

I’m currently on my third external firewire drive. The first two are 250GBs, this one is 500GBs. Someone suggested that I get a 1TB (terabyte) drive, but I’m willing to wait — prices will always decrease for storage while capacity increases.

I have several archiving methods which include making a backup of a memory card download direct to DVD even before I cull any dud photos or do any editing. That DVD of full unedited originals gets filed chronologically.

I shoot on average 1,000 photos or more per month, so I burn a backup of about a month’s worth of shooting and editing and file that, too. Additionally, I archive each quarter of a year’s worth of photo libraries (2008 Q1, Q2, etc.) over to an external drive, separate from any other archiving.

I only keep three months (one quarter) of photos on my G4 PowerBook at any one time because it travels quite a bit and it only has an 80GB hard drive. All my email is stored on other servers (.Mac, gmail, the office, etc.), and my documents, calendars, address book, and bookmarks are synched with iDisk to Apple’s servers. I can retrieve them using any browser and can access most things from my iPod Touch.

Basically, if my PowerBook G4 ever fails, the only things I lose are the applications, which are no big deal. The only area I haven’t covered is if my house collapses or explodes because I need to move either the DVDs or an external drive with full backup off-site.

Are you a big archivist? Or are you willing to take a technological gamble? It’s time for a poll!