Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two events of interest

Well of interest to me... and hopefully some of you.

Before I get started: I have a question for those who are more knowledgeable
than I. I just joined FaceBook because "everybody" told me I should. I have
absolutely no clue how this can help me. As far as I can tell, I have everything
FaceBook offers already in place: I have my Outlook address book (complete with
pictures), I have a photo gallery, I have this blog, I have distribution lists
for people interested in certain subjects: for instance motorcycle instructors,
photographers, etc., and a personal "friends & family" email list.

So what is it exactly that I would do with Facebook that I'm not already
doing?
Send me an email to give me a clue, please.

Event #1: the Tilley Sale
Every August, Alex Tilley holds a warehouse sale. If you're not familiar with Tilley products, check out their website here. They make arguably the finest outdoor, adventure and travel clothing anywhere, as well as the trademark Tilley hat. I've been wearing Tilley's since the early 80's when I outfitted the entire Ontario Combat Pistol Team in Tilley's for the national championships.

The sale has products at half-price or better. Of course it isn't cheap stuff to begin with, but the value is there. The dates announced for the sale are August 6th to 16th, but they don't tell the public that: for those not in the know, it only starts on the 8th. Their new location this year is 1100 O'Connor Drive (Google map here) and they open at 9:00am. Get there on the 6th or 7th: you may think it's crowded then, but it's nothing compared to what it's like on the 8th. And the selection is at it's maximum.

Two warnings: it is usually a total zoo. You may have to wait in a Looooong lineup for the better part of an hour to check out. And it's like going to Costco: you know, you went in for one item worth $20 and when you get to the cash you have a full basket and swallow really hard as the cashier rings up $300 on her register.

I find the Tilley hat superb for photography. It offers full sun protection all around, stays on your head and the floppy brim doesn't get in the way when you hold the camera up to your eye in portrait rotation like a baseball cap does. Their vests have so many pockets you can't count them, although I haven't found one big enough to accept a 70-200 lens, I have to admit.

Event #2: The 2009 Great Lakes Police Motorcycle Training Seminar
This is to be held at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, ON from the 19th through the 22nd of August.

Whether you are a motorcyclist or not, this is an event worth visiting. If you visit their website, you will see that this is where they train already superb police motorcyclists to become outstanding riders. The venue is open to the public and for me, it represents a superb photo opportunity. Check out the videos and photos on their site.

There are competitions throughout the event, but looking at the schedule, the Friday and especially the Saturday events are going to be the most fun to watch (and photograph). Click on "events" on their site. I notice the Golden Helmets (OPP Precision Team) are doing a Friday afternoon show in St. Thomas.

I have a couple of photos to show you -- one was from the BAD Ride in May where the Toronto Police Winged Wheels did a demo -- this image has been in the blog before. Another is from a practice session at last year's event, held at Humber College. It shows RCMP Sgt. Luc, a friend of my friend Lori's, practicing on his bike.





Although it's a 2 hour drive down the 401 from Toronto, I think it's well worth the time. If I can get away, I'm planning to spend a couple of days down there.

One final note: for those concerned about my health issues: I'm fine. I've come through the surgery OK, with only some lingering voice problems which will eventually go away. I tell you what, though: I'm going to do something about my knee issues before it turns into surgery. This is the second time I've shared a room in hospital with someone who had knee surgery. Let's just say both of them gave their morphine pumps a lot of exercise and I'm not into that.

These issues have kept me from shooting pictures the past few weeks and although I had great intentions to work on my book, I've not done much. Watch this space for progress in the near future!