Swayambhunath // Kathmandu, Nepal

Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple

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G20 // Day 01 // Toronto

Last June, over $1 billion dollars was spent on organising and hosting the G8 and G20 summits in Huntsville and Toronto.  Part of the purse was used to transport the leaders of the world in safety, from airports and summit sites, to meetings and photos ops, then back to their hotels, and other places of residence.  Part of the money was used to provide the international media with “souvenier” bags filled with note pads, pins, bottled maple syrup (awesome) and pens that break (not so awesome).  2 million went into the construction of a fake lake at the media center, and the rest of the money it seemed, was used to convert downtown Toronto into a police state.  Sure it’s probably an over exaggeration on my part, but fences and concrete barriers were put up, as well as riot police and special units were brought in from all over the country.  The only thing that was missing was the army.  And restraint.

Day 01 of G20 was quiet.  Very quiet.  Fences were up.  The streets were empty and police were doing patrols on mountain bikes and on foot.

This was the same day Larry Rochefort, Philippe Ruel, and Renaud Philippe from Stigmat Photo arrived from Quebec City at my house.  It was the start of 4 intense days filled with adrenaline, granola bars, water, bbq’s at midnight, and late night edits.

After quick hellos, and a visit to the media center, we went for a walk about along the security perimeter erected around the Metro Toronto Convention Center.  Main downtown arteries were shut down, and traffic was re-routed along alternative routes, with delays.  Surprisingly the delays were minimal, as the majority of people who worked their 9-5′s in the affected zones didn’t even bother showing up for work.  Many employers actually encouraged it.

Tourists walked around with point and shoots taking photos of the fence.  They were told to leave by the federales, and in certain instances asked to delete photos from their cameras.  We walked around with our 5D’s, and were asked for identification on every corner.  Our accreditation’s were valid and respected. The police were civil, even friendly.  Making small talk, joking, and even posing for photos with tourists.  Canadian kindness in action.  Or so it seemed.

Day 02 Tomorrow.

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Greetings and Salutations

Welcome to the home of my new blog!  You can still check out the old one at: pochwat.blogspot.com but that one has been neglected beyond belief.  It’s been almost a year since I posted something on there, and that in itself is embarrassing.  I apologize to all those who followed my previous blog for not bringing you new content to look at, but I do solemnly swear that this one will be better, and bigger then the previous one. To those of you who are stumbling upon my work for the first time, I welcome you wholeheartedly.  I hope you enjoy the work and you come back and visit again and again.

So…  my goal with this new blog is to post something everyday (or at least every other day or so).  We’ll see how realistic of a goal that is, but I will try my best to stick with it.

What can you expect?  Photos.  Lots of em’.  Photos from work.  Photos for fun.  Photos from boxes, in my office that I will scan in!  Photos that have been sitting on dvd’s and hard drives that have never seen the light of day, or at least the glow of the intra web.

You can also expect the blog changing and morphing into something that I’m fully happy with over the course of time while I learn wordpress and it’s nuances.   I’m pretty new to code, and a complete noob when it comes to wordpress, but with a little bit of patience and practice the kinks will be ironed out.

So today is the day I launch this beast.  It’s a good day with a bright future.

I’m doing this for my wife. For my parents and brother, and for myself.

I’m doing this for everyone who wants to see what I’ve been up to.

Thank you for your support.  Thank you for your patience.  Enjoy your stay.

Cheers,

Mike.

p.s.  Happy anniversary Kay.  I love you more than ever.  Sorry the meringue didn’t turn out.

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