Cold Ground
email Derryl (replace AT with @)




Places to Go:
Derryl's Fotolog
Fictionwise (reprints of some of Derryl's fiction)
Alyx Dellamonica
Boing Boing
Charlie Stross
Electrolite
Jena Snyder
Making Light
Randy Reichardt

~ Saturday, January 25, 2003
 
I don't think I've ever seen this before. The past few days we've had snow, snow, snow; there's about a foot and a half of it on the roof of the shed. Tonight when I took the dog out, the temperature had gone up to about -10 Celsius.

And it was raining.

Well, kind of ice and rain combined, but it was legitimately water in an incompletely frozen state.
 
In the past month Jo and I have received a half-dozen or so applications for new credit cards. Here's a great way to deal with them.
 
So someone apparently actually thinks he's bought himself a fancy new perpetual motion machine.
~ Friday, January 24, 2003
 
Here's the trailer for Ang Lee's new film about a certain big green guy. It's a mirror site, as the main Universal site has been inundated by comic book geeks. Another mirror site is here, in case the other goes down. The official release for this ad is Super Bowl Sunday, so everything's a titch early here.
 
Boo-yah! Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm is finally coming to Canada, February 12 on Showcase. In Season 3 in the US, and it finally catches someone's attention up here.
 
Yes folks, John Lennon himself has endorsed a whole line of baby products (via Slowly Going Over the Edge). I ask you, where's the Jesus-endorsed baby products? (OK, so that's a stupid question.) Maybe Lennon was right, though, since he has a whole line.

I ask you, which dead person is next in line to enter the lucrative baby crap market? (Please, someone stop me!)
 
Here's a song from preschool days, about bombing Iraq.
 
A poster for the new Star Wars?
~ Thursday, January 23, 2003
 
Via Randy, the new trailer for Kill Bill, the new Tarantino flick. Oh boy, it looks hot!
~ Tuesday, January 21, 2003
 
One very wacky and cool piece of exercise equipment.
~ Sunday, January 19, 2003
 
Farewell, Douglas Herrick; your creation was a powerful meme.
 
These pictures came to me via Electrolite. I'd seen a few a decade or so ago, when American Photo ran some similar pix, and there was discussion at the time about how the American press had pretty much ignored the graphic horror of this story.

When I was younger and fixing to make my life as a photographer, shooters like Peter and David Turnley were the sorts of people I hoped to emulate. Living in Paris, traveling the world doing dangerous and exciting assignments for glamorous publications. That or doing work for National Geographic, like my good acquaintance Dewitt Jones once did (although he's told me it wasn't all it was cut out to be, which probably stands to reason, since he isn't there anymore).

But reality got in the way. I did get a job as a regular freelancer at The Edmonton Sun; the pay was okay for the time, and I worked a steady 5 days a week, even if I received no benefits. I attended big sports events (although I missed the Calgary Olympics, since I had to stay in Edmonton to cover for the shooters who did go), I met beautiful people, I felt the odd adrenaline rush, and I used cool gear.

But. Pictures in my mind from that time:

- On the night of the tornado, July 1987, we were in a commercial lab because the power was out at our offices. As I was on the phone reassuring my Dad I was still alive, one shooter walked in, dumped his bag on the table and yelled "It's about time something good happened in this fucking town!" Keep in mind 27 people died that day.

- An 18-year-old died in a skiing accident. It was custom at the time to retrieve a picture of the victim from the family to run in the paper. Ghoulish enough, but something that reporters usually did. This time, I was told to take a picture of the grieving mother holding the son's photo. I balked, and was told there were several people in line waiting for my job (this indeed turned out to be true, some months later). I did the job, and was glared at by many members of the family. I'll never forget how gracious that poor mother was, though. I didn't slough the blame off on anyone else, but I'm sure she knew, and was incredibly sympathetic, considering.

- An employee of the paper was murdered in his home (he worked on the presses and was East Indian. Needless to say, none of us knew him). The police were having a feud with the paper at the time because a reporter had lifted some confidential info off the police radio. So they didn't remove the body until five minutes after our deadline. Yet we still had to stay (two of us!) and take pictures of the body coming out.

- To say nothing of endless head shots and grip-n-grins. The one here that stands out was when Svend Robinson, NDP Member of Parliament, was the first federal politician to come out of the closet. He was in town to cut the ribbon for a new AIDS info centre, and I got a shot of him hugging the man who was responsible for setting it up. You would have thought that the 8X10 I'd printed up had AIDS and was leaking all over everyone, the way people reacted when they saw the shot. But at least with that one I got a reaction, even if I felt quite cheap having done so.

I guess the moral is, no job is what you expect, although in some cases you can shape it more your way. To choose a corporate master like Sun Media meant I had less give, and I was glad when they forced me out (not an interesting story, that). I shot professionally in other ways for years after, and I know I'd like to do so again some day. I did learn a lot, and have a keen eye because of the job. You can learn all you want, but being forced to make split-second decisions about how to frame a shot can't be topped.
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