Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chucho Valdes Quartet at the Winspear

Some doodles of the legendary Cuban jazz pianist and composer, Chucho Valdes at the piano, with his quartet (bass, drums, and congas)... playing this evening at the Winspear Centre as part of his most recent North American tour.

I first encountered the music of Chucho Valdes in Vancouver in 1998, and it blew me away. Four years later, he was to play in Edmonton (where I had moved), but unfortunately for me, that concert was cancelled at the very last minute. So when I heard that he was playing again at the Winspear Centre this year, I jumped to get tickets.

Monday, October 22, 2012


 Three poses of my son watching more Thomas the Tank Engine clips... unfortunately, these look like three different boys.

As my son (who is two) develops, I am able to relate with him in more interesting ways, and through this am beginning to imagine what my own father must have felt as he saw me grow. But I am surprised to see parts of my father in my son in small gestures, smiles, and eccentricities...which has brought me great comfort. Unbeknownst to him, my son is ministering to me.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

volunteering at a casino

I had to take a day off work to volunteer at a casino on behalf of a school group I am involved with, and this probably marked the first time I had set foot into one. Working in the cash cage (with the vital assistance of a casino advisor) meant seeing a bit of the inner workings of this world, witnessing the hefty amount of money that moves through the establishment, and becoming a bit more familiar with the strange relationship between charity and gambling.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Banff National Park... some more mountains

 More mountain peaks from Banff...

Cascade Mountain, as seen from the town site, and some especially jagged ridges that form the north end of the Fairholme Range, as seen from the main parking area at the entrance to Lake Minnewanka.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cascade Mountain, Banff National Park

The view from Sulphur Mountain, directly northwards across the Banff town site, provides a glimpse of just a few of the mountain ranges with peaks all just under 3000m. At the very left of this sketch are Mount Norquay and then Mount Brewster (further away in the distance), while Cascade Mountain takes up most of this panorama at the centre. At the bottom right is Tunnel Mountain (just a tiny hill in this context, located within the town), and the massive face of Mount Rundle would continue to the right of this scene. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mount Rundle, Banff National Park

Mount Rundle, as seen from the outskirts of the town of Banff on Tunnel Mountain Road, shows some clear geological structure, revealing even for non-experts like me a clearer sense of amazing power and mindboggling time inherent in the forces that have shaped these landscapes.  Sketches cannot possibly do justice to the sheer massiveness and overwhelming presence of these mountains.

Despite the magnitude and ruggedness, there is also something gracious and compassionate here... take for instance the ways in which what I assume is a harder layer in the rock that has created a gentle ledge consistently across the mountain, allowing trees to take root.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park

 The road into Moraine Lake is closing for the season soon, and we decide to make the trip from the town of Banff for the afternoon. There's a gentle walk around the west edge of the lake that offers beautiful changing views towards some dramatic rock faces, and leading towards a beautifully framed view of some glacial peaks beyond. My daughter is inspired to sketch some of the peaks, as well as capture the sparkling emerald lake (which she decides to portray diligently).