Friday, July 17, 2009

Why This Picture Sucks And I Hate Work

Firstly, I think this picture is actually kind of nice, and I quite like my work in a general sense. It is how they relate to last Tuesday afternoon that makes me dislike them so as I write this.

As I have mentioned before, I use a fairly cheap and old digital camera mounted on my handlebars to take video from my bike. I usually just decide to press record at some point and let it go until the memory card is full or the batteries run out. Trying to turn it on and off to catch funny or interesting stuff has proven futile; things happen too fast.

Last Tuesday, I got to work and at lunch time deleted the files from the memory card from the morning ride in, since nothing interesting had been captured. After lunch, I used the camera to take video for work reasons, recording the performance (or lack thereof) of some new stuff we're using, and moved those files off the card before heading home. On the way home, in the shade of the bridge on Wellington street, I noticed that the low battery light on the camera was blinking. Unusual, but understandable because of the extra work-related duties the camera had done previously in the day. I also noticed that the scene in front of me was kind of nice, so I stopped, took the camera off the bike, snapped a few shots of the river, and knowing it only had seconds to live anyway, turned it off and put it in my fanny pack.

The next ten minutes of my ride would present me with no less than four things I would have loved to catch on video, as I would have done if my batteries had lasted longer, which they would have if I hadn't used the camera for work stuff. The picture above only reminds me of the strange and interesting things I did not get on video. Therefore the picture sucks, and I hate work. You are not going to believe me, I don't think, about what happened once the camera had been put away. This stuff is true, I swear.

Missed Video Clip #1: Racing Dwarf

As I came down the hill just West of Carfrae on the bike path, behind Labatt's, there was a dwarf, a little person, coming towards me on the other side of the path. Upon seeing me, he turned around and ran as fast as he could beside me for several steps. He didn't say or do anything else. He couldn't keep it up for long because he was wearing flip flops. Why he did this I have no idea.

Missed Video Clip #2: Clean White Sock

Not far past the racing dwarf, there was a kid with two grownups walking on the path. As I approached, the kid, with a magician-like flourish, withdrew from his pocket a bright white sport sock, which he then carefully laid on the path in front of me, as though he wished me to run it over. The timing was close enough that one of the grownups grabbed his shoulders and pulled him up and away from the sock, which he was still carefully positioning. Again, why he did this I have no idea. I did not run over the sock.

Missed Video Clip #3: Makeout Madness

Sometimes you see young couples kissing or snuggling or whatever on park benches or even under bridges along the path. These people are not usually captured in any useful way by my camera, since they are off to the side. That's fine with me; I have no interest in recording riverside romance. But as I came off the Horton Street bridge and got back on the path, I was presented with a makeout scene of epic proportions. They were an attractive pair, and this young couple was standing almost on the centre line of the path. Arms and hands and lips were flying all over the place, and fallen straps and bits of clothing were also in evidence. It was so over the top that perhaps they were just trying to freak me and others out... if so, it worked. Seemed pretty real to me though.

Missed Video Clip #4: Cruise Night Immunity

As I approached the barricade for Cruise Night on Wortley Road, I saw something that was interesting. A bad-ass looking man, about 35-40 years old, with a dark tan, a few tattoos and some pretty big arm muscles, was riding his mountain bike straight up the middle of the Northern Occupied Territory. Strangely, nobody said anything to him about the "no bike" rules. Go and figure!

Any one of these four events could have been the basis of an entire blog post if I had gotten video. But I didn't. So they aren't. All I have instead is this:

This picture sucks and I hate work. Now that I have vented my frustrations, I am prepared to become more philosophical about this whole thing. You know the expression "when God closes a door, he opens a window?" Well, when God denies you video of a racing dwarf, he gives you a potential muskrat sighting!

You see, while I was taking those snaps of the river, a nice dude with two off-leash dogs and fairly few teeth walked up to me and said, "the river is pretty this time of year, isn't it?" I agreed that it was. Then he said, "yeah, this is a great spot. There's a giant muskrat that lives right over there. Haven't seen him today, because the water's so low, but he's as big as an otter!" I asked the man if he was easy to spot when he was around, and he said yes, for sure. So now I have two things to look out for and try to catch on video this summer. The dwarf (because I know you don't believe me) and this giant muskrat. Wish me luck!

Here, take another look at the stupid pretty picture.



ChipSeal said...

Dwarf? I understand that London Canada has the largest population of dwarfs outside of Lichtenstein. I suppose a dwarf sighting is not that unusual.

So what made it unusual? I have all sorts of folks run away in fear at the sight of me, but then maybe you have a more attractive countenance than me. Further, no one can run in flip-flops! Who are you kidding!

Ha ha HAW! I bet you fell asleep at work and this was all a dream, right?

(The truth is, dear Rantwick, you have more amusing encounters on your bicycle than I, and you are a more clever writer. Sigh.)

RANTWICK said...

He was not running away in fear. He was purpposefully "racing" me.

I'm not so sure about your clever writer compliment, for which I thank you!

jeff said...

1. Good luck!
2. I like the picture.
3. I hate work.
4. I've never raced a dwarf, but I
think I could win on my bike.

cafiend said...

Too funny. I almost ran over a Lamborghini yesterday and I couldn't get may camera out quickly enough to capture it. It barely came up to my knees on the bike. I was seriously afraid I might accidentally ride up onto it if it stopped short.

Still, the racing dwarf, the sock ceremony, the soft-core porn scene are all cooler.

RANTWICK said...

jeff - re: 4 - Yes, I totally smoked that guy. It was awesome!

Cafiend - Riding onto/into exotic cars sounds really fun, but I bet it's not.

I must seem a very sincere writer... I fully expected people to call me a big liar.

ChipSeal said...

Liars attempt to make it seem plausable- who could make that stuff up?


Saskboy said...

The camera battery gods were not on our side this weekend. Do you have AAs you can turn around to get a little more out of, or a lithium battery?

RANTWICK said...


They are AAs; I never knew about the flip trick until I read your post.

I have no good excuse... I use rechargeables and often carry spares... just not on this trip.

Thanks for stopping by! It's always nice to see a fellow Canuck in this kooky Internet thing.

Saskboy said...

Just make sure you don't reverse the polarity ;-)

Post a Comment