Archive for January, 2010

What Next?

Posted in Life on 11 January, 2010 by Troy

It’s a simple question but with huge connotations that I feel I’ve been asking myself for a long time.  I complete or experience something in life and I just can’t help but think, what next?  Perhaps contentment is unattainable and merely something one spends one life striving for but never to obtain.  Perhaps it’s just me.  Perhaps it’s a good thing.

What next, where can I go from here and what can I get out of this as a person?  It’s that constant quest for a different experience that drives and keeps me restless.  The saddest thing about life is that it’s so short and eventually ends.  There’s so much to experience, see, do and be in such a short lifetime that you have to pick and choose wisely.  We live so many different lives within our own life, like different hats, clothes or haircuts that go with who we are.  I’m sure if we could jump to different times in our life we would almost think we were meeting a different person and perhaps we would be.  I believe I can say that at one time I have lived the life of bizzaro me.

I think that’s what I loved the most out of my travels.  It was a series of different lives condensed within that one trip.  I wore many different hats, held and was held in different perspectives and opinions and was a different person in each situation.  Each time I went to a different place I wondered what will I get out of this as a person?  Where will this take me?  What will I learn?  I saw it all as a chance to do things I would never normally do, never have the opportunity to do and never be able to do again.  I did things I said I would never do or want to do if I had stayed home but I made a go of it out there.  I suppose it’s because of all those questions I’m a bit hesitant to travel again.  I can’t help but wonder what will I get out of this a person?  Haven’t I already been down that path?  Really I should go to have fun but the question dogs me.

So what next, where can I go from here and what can I get out of this as a person?  I’ve closed a chapter in my life and I’m looking around as to what the next experience is.  What can I get out of it?  Who will I be?  What uniform will I wear this time?
What next?

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Grab Bag of Thoughts

Posted in Comings and Goings, Random Thoughts on 9 January, 2010 by Troy

VAG
I went to the Vancouver Art Gallery the other night.  It was pretty cool, it’s been a couple months since I’ve been to a gallery or museum.  They were showing landscape art, which does sound kind of dry but there were some pretty nice pieces.  Some of the old oil paintings from the early 19th century were quite something.  The depth in some of them were amazing, it was like it was in 3D.  They also had quite a few done by the Group of Seven.  I wasn’t much a fan of most of it but Harris caught my eye. 

Besides paintings they had a number of photos, some dating back as far as 1860.   The photos really caught my eye.  It’s amazing the quality and detail of photographs dating as far back as 1860.  They’re the closest thing we have to time machines and times and lives long gone.  What photos they had at the VAG really inspired me and got me thinking more and more about photography, specifically the old Cannon 35mm my Dad has.  I’ve never been too much into photos or photography, never having taken a lot of personal photos through my life but I oddly have a fair bit of education in video and photography.  I’ve never really jumped on with digital cameras.  The seemingly mindless point and click aspect can be fun but I feel marginalizes the whole art of taking a proper photo.  Taking time with each shot before taking it and being discerning about what you’re going to shoot seems like a lost art that I’d like to refined and explore.

Tasting Things
First, I’ve been loving IPA’s lately.  I’ve tried a number of beers high and even moderate on the IBU scale but just couldn’t get my palate around them.  Finishing a pint was a struggle and all I could taste was hops, which I didn’t like.  Fast forward a couple months and beers when I was at a local pub and for some reason I decided on an IPA they had on tap from a local brewery they were recommending.  I wasn’t expecting much and was in mid-conversation when I took my first sip and had to stop and look at my glass with wonder; Where have you been all my life?  It blew me away.  The subtle balance of hops with a citrus, lemony balance.  It tasted “bright”, whatever that means.  Since that one beer from Storm Brewing in Vancouver I’ve been really enjoying the IPAs and developing my palate more and more.  I bought a case from Propeller Brewery in Halifax last week.  At first I didn’t like it all that much and again could only taste hops but by the third bottle I could really taste the golden maltiness on it.  IPAs are good.

Second; Lamb.  Went to a local French establishment the other day, Les Faux Bourgeois.  Awesome meal and great little place.  They’re beer menu could be better but alas…  I ordered the lamb bourguignon.  I like lamb but I rarely have it.  I think I’ve cooked it up twice for myself but if it’s on the menu where I’m eating there’s a good chance that’s what I’ll be ordering.  I think lamb will be what I try to fill my freezer with next.  It’s pretty tough to find local/free range around here but I wonder what it’s like in Alberta to get a freezer full…

So long 2009.
Good riddance.  Much too much a mundane year for me.  Yeah I guess school filled up a good chunk of it but that’s no excuse for a rather boring year.  If it wasn’t for school I’d say this last year was rather uneventful.  So with 2009 gone and 2010 started up again we’re back at that time of year of New Years resolutions.  I don’t believe in it.  Yeah I’m all for people bettering themselves and making positive changes in their lives but it’s just the way people go at it and make those changes is inane.  I suppose it’s sort of a reflection on our society as a whole these days; quick fixed, fast gains and the magic pill to solve it all.  I really like Mark’s recent write-up on NYR.  It’s directed towards health/fitness but I think it can be used on pretty much anything. 
So resolutions cast aside I’m a firm believer in goals and I’ve a couple for this year:
*Strength. I’d like to continue getting stronger while staying injury free. Any injury is too many and last year I had my share.
*Photography. I want to play around with that Cannon of my Dad’s, learn to take some good pictures and make it a new and consistent hobby. 
*Fun.  Just simple have more fun in 2010.  It’s the most simple but most important

Quality

Posted in Coffee, Food, Life, Likes on 4 January, 2010 by Troy

My mind has been drifting to the word “quality” as of late.  It seems to keep popping up in discussion lately.  The last number of years it’s taken on a more and more encompassing role in my life.  I suppose I became aware of it after I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  Somethings are just better than others for perhaps small and minor reasons.  Food, coffee, liquor all slowly filled the definition of quality for me but lately I’m becoming more aware of those those items and products out there that fit the definition too.  Things that are built to last a long time, have weight to them when you pick them up and feel like their from either a distant land or a forgotten time.  I like those items.  They ooze quality.

My Dad has a Cannon 35mm that he bought in 1969.  I played around with it a bit when I was there last and can only assume that it still works and takes great picture.  It had some good weight to it and looked to be made of stainless steel.  I’m definitely going to get some 35mm film when I get back and try it out.

I recently bought a safety razor as a gift to myself for finishing school.  It’s an old style razor that doesn’t use the excessive and expensive cartridges but instead a plain old razor blade.  I’ve already lost a pint of blood using it but it gives an amazing shave.  It set me back a pretty penny but it definitely fits the definition of quality.  The thing has got some good weight to it, it’s stainless and it comes with a lifetime warranty.  The shop-owner said it’ll last me the rest of my life. 

I bought a pair of headphones nearly 10 years ago now.  They cost me more than I’d like to admit but they put out an amazing quality of sound.  When I think of those headphones, I think of the hours I’ve spent listening to them where everything else in the world doesn’t matter and is shut out or moments I’ve had with them on where the song I’m listening to is so amazing it’s indescribable.  I think back to all those moments and I think they were one of the best things I’ve ever bought.  Now I just need to get around to buying an amplifier for them.

Unfortunately these items are so few and far in between.  Instead everything these days seems to be made to have a 2 year lifespan, is improved upon in some inane way or has a digital clock added to it and re-sold.