23 Nov 2010, 11:42pm
General Photography
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Canon or Nikon?

Another question I get asked a lot, “Hey Eric.  Which is better?  Canon or Nikon”?

My answer, “Yes”.

Canon and Nikon are the two mega giants in the camera world.  They each have their pros and cons.  Canon has a better lens line up.  Nikon has a better auto-focus system.  They’re constantly one upping each other each year.

In the end, they do the same job.  I personally don’t believe one system is better than the other, because at the end of the day if you look at a photo chances are you’re not going to think, “That looks like a Nikon/Canon image”.  All you’re going to think is whether or not you like that picture.

There are a lot of other good camera companies out there too.  Leica, Panasonic, Olympus, Samsung, Sony (probably one of the best line ups), etc.  Leica, Panasonic and Sony all have the sharpest lenses in town (Leica and Carl Zeiss), yet they don’t receive that much attention.  Olympus has the best sensor cleaning technology.  What about Holga?!

What’s my honest opinion about what kind of camera brand to get? 

Whatever’s on sale.

14 Oct 2010, 12:15am
General Travel
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Day 24 – Vancouver and Alive!

Back in town.  Rewarded with a beautiful day.  Very odd Fall we’ve been having.

Anyway, checked out and started driving down to Vancouver.  First stop was about 3 minutes away.  We stopped off at South Side Diner in Whistler Creekside.  Great little diner, good prices, nice atmosphere, fantastic personality, and tasty food.

I had another full English Breakfast.  Nicely done and basic.

One thing I do NOT miss about being this close to Vancouver…  the gas prices…  Yes, diesel is generally cheaper, but consider this.  Ontario probably had the second highest gas prices.  Their HIGHEST gas price (not premium gas) was a little cheaper than the lowest diesel price I could find.  Thanks Translink and BC Transportation Board.  You guys are awesome. /bitterness

The drive down the Sea-To-Sky Highway was great.  Great weather, great views, almost no construction… great.  I think I’ve said “great’ enough, eh?  Great!  That word lost it’s meaning real fast…  Anyway.

Going over the Lions Gate Bridge always has a great view of Downtown Vancouver.  Like I mentioned before, there are very few Canadian cities where you can see the skyline as you come closer to it.  Vancouver is one of the few… kind of.  If you’re coming from the East you’ll go through Burnaby and the suburbs before you see Downtown.  Coming from the North gives you a different feeling.

It was also lovely to see the healthy smog settling over our beautiful city.  Green?  I’m certain people are trying to be.  At least there are fewer pick ups and SUVs?  Well.. not really…  Less than the Central provinces at least.

So… Let’s see…  I hit Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Fredericton, Halifax/Dartmouth, Charlottetown, Prince George, and Whistler.  Vancouver doesn’t count (obviously).  Since I missed out on Newfoundland, I figure I’m balanced with missing out Vancouver Island (plus I’ve been there before).  I drove around 14,000 KM and drove through most of the Provinces.  I drove through snow (briefly), flurries, snow, dirt, and uh… road.  I went from 4 degrees to 30 degrees in some places (I’m looking at you Ottawa!).

What have I learned?  This country is freaking big.

How would I rate things, places, and whatnot?  *shrug*  How about I leave it up to all of you?  Ask me a question and I’ll answer it in another post.

4 Oct 2010, 8:35pm
General Travel
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Day 15 – Toronto Again?! Yeah…

Woke up, still felt full from last night’s pork infusion.  But, I had three ribs left… *shrug* *munch munch*.

There seems to be a new trend with highway gas stops.  Whenever you think of pit stops while on road trips there are two usual stops, the sketchy, super old school gas stations where you usually meet either a very polite elderly man/woman, or a very sketchy man… or Texas Chainsaw Massacre-like people… anyway, then you have your generic stops like Esso, Shell, etc.  They’re either with our without some kind of restaurant (fast food or trucker stop diner).  Now, we have… I don’t know what to call it… THE MEGA PIT STOP or OnRoute stations (pretty sure they’re operated by Canadian Tire)!  This seems to be a general trend in Ontario and parts of Quebec.  The refueling portion is MASSIVE.  There are enough bays to fit a fleet of cars, and a separate station for trucks (of course).  They do have the usual gas station convenient store too.  The parking lot is massive as well.  The one aspect that makes this place kind of unique is the modern looking building nearby with acute angles and half the building covered in large paned glass.  Pretty impressive looking, but somehow feels wrong…

Inside feels like an airport food court.  There are a number of fast food chains on one side and a large number of seating on the other.  There’s also a magazine/snack shop that has “healthy” snacks.  I mean, organic chips, fruits, yogurt, etc. along with the usual road trip foods.  I hadn’t eaten any fruits or vegetables for the last few days so I needed to eat at least something healthy.  Fruit cup!  Simple and hard to screw up… wow, I was wrong.  The damn thing was almost frozen when I ate into it and the fruits were all tasteless and hurt my teeth!  Yeck… 4 bucks for that?!  I need to stop by an IGA or something to load up on healthy snacks…

Anyway, I’m back in Toronto.  Don’t expect much for today’s post.  Today’s going to be more of a day of rest and laundry before I head out again.  Going to Niagara Falls tomorrow, before going to Sault Ste. Marie.  So, at least I’ll have that.

3 Oct 2010, 6:50pm
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Day 14 – Here we go again, same old s*#$ again. Marching down the avenue, 10 more days I’ll be through… Name that reference!

I must’ve slept wrong or very tensely last night.  My neck’s aching from the crappy motel.  Glad I got the hell out of there, real fast.  Grabbed some Tim Hortons, some diesel then split back West!  That sounded weird, but whatever.  On the plus side the sun’s finally come out!  It was a pretty nice drive.  Nothing spectacular.  One thing that annoyed me a little was how much it costs to go over the Confederation Bridge!  $42.50 for a car!  WHAT THE HELL!?!?  At least they had a lane just for debit and credit cards.

Driving through New Brunswick was more bearable, mostly because I was going through it!  I did make a quick stop at Grand Falls.  Why?  I like waterfalls, and I needed a quick pit stop.  I wasn’t expecting much as I was driving through town, following the signs, but what I found was pretty exceptional!  They have a giant waterfall in the middle of their town!  Apt name, I will admit that much.  It was a pretty impressive sight, they even had a zip line tour over the falls!  Fancy!  Suffice to say, it was a good stop.

More after the jump.

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2 Oct 2010, 5:53pm
General Stories Travel
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Day 13 – Prince Edward Island – Land of Greenish Gables… and shellfish!

Drive to PEI was decent enough.  More rain, then no rain, then more rain, then little bit of rain, then a whole ton of rain, then nothing.

I find it odd that I didn’t see a lot of road kill in Ontario and Quebec, but as soon as I hit Eastern New Brunswick, they popped up again.  I got 200 points!  I’m gonna win this game, I think.

There are two ways to get to PEI by car; by ferry and by Confederation Bridge.  I took the Bridge route.  Confederation Bridge is, as far as I know, the longest non-suspension bridge in the world.  Before you get to the bridge there’s a quick Visitor Information Centre that has a small path that leads you to a great view under the bridge.  When you first see the bridge it’s hard not to be impressed.  It’s LONG.  On a dreary day like today you can barely see the PEI coastline.  All you’d see is just a very long bridge that disappears in the distance.

More after the jump.

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1 Oct 2010, 8:32pm
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Day 12 – Halifax, halfway there.

This is it, this is as far East as I can go this time.  It would have been great to go to Newfoundland, but it just wasn’t in the cards this time.

I think I forgot to mention that I’ve officially entered the Atlantic Time Zone.  Which means I’m 4 hours ahead of Vancouver!  So, as I type this now people have just started thinking about eating dinner.  Does it feel weird to be a whole country away from Vancouver?  A little, and not really.

I was talking to my friend Brad last night, asking about tips for what to do in Nova Soctia (check out his website).  His cousin, Lindsay, suggested a bunch of stuff to check out.  I’m really glad for their help.

The drive out of Ferdericton and New Brunswick was a good one… because I was leaving!  Seriously though, for provincial capitals Regina and Fredericton will fight over who is duller.  At least Fredericton has trees and inclines.

-Who me??!!

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30 Sep 2010, 6:42pm
General Stories Travel
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Day 11 – Quebec City and… what Province am I in? *UPDATED Oct 1 2010*

This is gonna be a quick one, because I got to my hotel late and I have to wake up early tomorrow to get to Halifax on time.  So.. this is just going to be a place holder for now.

I did get to Quebec in time enough for me to explore the city in detail.  I made a quick stop at the famed Fairmont Chateau Frontenac and visited the Plains of Abraham.

After that it was a straight b-line to, what I call, the Confused province, New Brunswick.

More details and photos to follow tomorrow.  I sleep now!

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29 Sep 2010, 7:40pm
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Day 10 – Montreal, walk down memory lane, and driving in FEAR!

Didn’t do much shooting today, was a bit… busy.

Most people who visit Montreal have a list of things to do and places to see.  It might be eating the best poutine in the world (on my list), eating Montreal smoked meat, visiting Old Montreal (also on my list), visiting the Olympic Stadium (still on my list), and/or experiencing the famed Montreal night life (and morning life *coughtoplessbreakfastcough*).  For me, these are all side quests.  Honestly, they’re not on the top of my “To-Do in Montreal” list.

When I first planned on stopping in Montreal I was going to do all the things people from out of town do in Montreal (ie. The list above).  But, as I drove into town I had to do one thing; stop by my old neighbourhood, Kirkland.  This is one of the few Anglophone neighbourhoods in Montreal and it was where I was half raised (the other half was in Hong Kong).  I have a lot of memories here and the last time I was here I didn’t get a chance to walk in my old childhood shoes.

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29 Sep 2010, 5:32am
General Photography Travel
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Day 9 – Ottawa, Seat of what is supposed to be power

Sorry about the late post, the Wi-Fi here sucks.  Just got myself in a little corner with good reception.

It’s warm here… pretty damn warm! Last I checked it was hitting around 21 degrees outside. It’s that muggy, moist warmth too.   The fact that it’s raining/showering sporadically doesn’t help either! On the plus side the heavy rain and high speeds made driving here a real fun time.  The wipers can be very mesmerizing at times…

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27 Sep 2010, 8:16pm
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Day 8 – Wandering through the streets of Toronto *updated*

It’s pretty easy to get lost in Toronto if you don’t live here.  I’ve been here a few times already and I still get a little turned around.

Today was basically a “Walkabout Toronto” day.  My brother and I went to Cora’s, a place that specializes in crepes.  It was a decent brunch.  Then we just walked around.  Went to the CN Tower and Skydome (AKA. Roger’s Arena), then walked around Downtown.

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