Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cosplay/Anime North, UNITE! in Buffalo, Luminato, TTC, Goat Cheese and other stuff...

Let's start off, shall we?

Well, I guess I should do this in a chronological order, if only to make some resemblance of sense.

-- Anime North/Cosplayers/Otakubaloo --
On the Saturday of the long weekend, I made my way across town to hit up the Photo Show. As that ended at 7, I headed over to the Toronto Congress Centre to take photos of the Anime-loving kiddies. To say the least, I was quite impressed with some of the outfits. I know I'm going to draw a little ire by saying the following but... Dressing as characters from Naruto [or Dragonball Z for that matter] is pretty lame. I mean seriously lame. No effort, as far as i could see, from a creativity standpoint, was put into any Naruto costume that I saw at Otakubaloo. I'm sure there was a few kids fully decked out in home-made Naruto costumes, but the greater deal of kids that i did see, were wearing crap they probably bought off Ebay.
Having said that, Kudos to all the boys and girls that rocked out with costumes they made... or at least, were custom made (rather than factory produced). Then again... Kudos to all you that [while not sporting a custom outfit] at least you didn't wear the same costume as 300 others.

As for all you that stuck around for the Happy Hardcore. Congrats, you've just had your first taste of Rave music. Yeah... all those stories your parents heard about Raves being evil, drug-filled orgies, were wrong. Raves, for the most part, are large gatherings of people overnight having fun partying and dancing to really loud electronica music. True, there is a tendancy of drugs being at these kinds of parties, but the amount is no different from that of a rock concert or club. Actually... there's probably less than in those spots... and those kinds of places make their money on selling booze, so Raves can have a tendancy to be much cleaner than any of those venues. You need not buy into the pop-crap produced by big companies (like Disney) and sold through HMV and iTunes. There is better stuff out there, and a lot of it is rather esoteric like your tastes in Anime.
In Toronto, the scene isn't exactly as big as it once was. But there are still good times to be had. Darkrave is held every 1st saturday of the month at the Big Bop; and Cherry Beach has weekly session put on by Promise - While those parties are more geared towards the ears of the older crowd, it's still fun and it IS a family event. More info for parties can be found through the usual portals like Facebook, but the best source (For Toronto/Southern Ontario) usually is Purerave or Toronto Raves. Buffalo kiddies... check out Buffalobaseline.

Speaking of Buffalo... Let's jump forward a week.

-- Unite! --
Unite! promised to be a great alternative for those less fortunate in the ownership of the cottage type. What it delivered was a bit of a Gong show, with a heavy side of mismanagement. Several clubs went the night practically empty, while others were rammed. Set times were posted only in one location and many of the big acts overlapped each other. So, if you wanted to hear Monk from Rabbit in the Moon, and then Mark Oliver or Skynet... you were SOL.All three played at roughly the same time. The little info booth set up by the organizers wasn't exactly helpful either, as the people manning it were totally clueless.

One particular club, which will remain unnamed here, must have fed its Bouncers some shitfries with extra dicksauce, because they weren't exactly up-to-speed with the whole economy thing happening on this particular night. I barely got into that bar after pointing out that their headlining DJ was a Trance/Techno dj. He begrudgingly let me in, but barred my friend from entering, giving him the same BS excuse. Sorry dude, but you fail at bouncing. When the club is at 1/4 capacity on Sunday night at 1am, for a "festival" LET EVERYONE YOU CAN IN! The Bartender's aren't going to make tips and the club isn't going to make money by not serving drinks. As a result, I had 1 beer, and that club lost a minimum of 3 other sales. By my best math, that's at least $30-40 lost right from the get-go. Probably more towards $100 the way most of us tend to drink...

If they do this again next year, I hope they do a better job because that was just plain awful.

-- The Break --
The weekend of following Unite was an off-weekend for me, as I had issues that needed addressing with my Camera. So, i was without a camera for about 2 weeks while it was sent off to Canon for servicing. So we now fast forward to after i got my camera back, which was about 1.5 weeks ago. Receiving my camera before work, I decided to head out on my lunch and test it a little.
The images post-repair (which was minor, and Canon probably spent more time cleaning the sensor) were much sharper than before, thanks to the sensor cleaning. Still, the issue that prompted the whole repair thing was because of straight flaring in some of my photos. Canon didn't say anything in regards to this, so i think I'll go with what was said on FM Forums. (reflections are due to sensor reflection on to filter glass)

As you can see, the picture is quite clear and crisp. My focussing does leave much to be desired, but i'm still a relative newcomer to producing crisp photos.

Approximately a week ago... say June 3-4ish. I felt like taking a different route home from work. I happened to end up on Jones Avenue, and after being tired of climbing that damn hill, I turned on to a sidestreet and zig-zagged my way home. It was on Chatham street that I saw something that caught my eye and bewildered me... The Greenwood Subway yard.

After passing this, I knew I had to go back and take a photo. So i did. The sheer amount of light pollution in the yard is overwhelming. How overwhelming? I was able to catch the picture above using F/8 @ 1/25th of a second on ISO800. Yes, you read that right. Not quite a Sunny/16, but suffice to say, the light was enough that I was able to stop down to F/8 and use a quarter second shutter.Granted... this was on 800ISO, but still... That's a LOT of light. And if you'll notice, there isn't a soul walking about on the yard. Nope... it was a complete ghost-town. A well-luminated ghost-town, but one nonetheless. This begs the question... why was the yard lit up so much? Don't Subways have headlights? Don't they operate in the dark underground? So... why is the whole area lit up like a football stadium??

I haven't seen much yet this year for Luminato. Truth be told... With this weekend being the end of it, and me not being in Toronto for it... I doubt i will see more.

So what have i seen? The Luminato Cube and some of the Red Ball Project. The former is a large 20x20 cube set up in Sam Pollock square with different pieces of artwork [i use that term loosely here] for each day. The latter is a more interesting display of large red balls placed randomly through the city. Longwave is what i have photographed above. If you're wondering about the weird blurriness, that's from a special lens I use. If you haven't gotten out to see any of Luminato, do so soon. It's ending THIS SUNDAY.

A lamp post/beam in Sam Pollock Square, next to the Luminato Cube...

Life at 8:00 PM EDT at the corner of King and Bay

Dear's 2:30 am.... I need to get to sleep. Enough writing.