Mont Blanc 360〫

This is a really cool virtual trip over and around Mont Blanc. It's produced using a new camera called yellowBird. On this particular trip you can take photos and direct where the camera is looking, even at the helicopter above you. Wild.


The Stanley Cup 2011

My team, the Edmonton Oilers, didn't make the playoffs again. Instead I cheered for the Canadian teams that made the top 16: Montreal Canadiens/Vancouver Canucks.

Montreal took Boston to game 7 in a mighty first round series only to lose in overtime. This was too bad because Montreal was super fun to watch.

Vancouver scarcely advanced past the 2010 Cup Champs in round 1, then a bit more present against the Predators in round 2, and finally at the top of their game against a fast San José.

The final brought the team who had dispatched Montreal to play Vancouver. It was a painfully exciting series. Exciting when the games were in Vancouver because the Canucks would win and painful when the games were in Boston because Boston would pulverize them.

I couldn't watch the third period of game 7 because Boston had taken a 3-0 lead in the second period. Vancouver had such promise, but because of several injuries, a bullying Bruin team, and a weak showing from their top scorers in the final, they really had no chance.

Edmonton 2013!!

Corporate Director

Dragonfly Cohousing, our intentional community that is planning a building project in Calgary, is in the process of incorporating. I volunteered to be one of the four directors just so I could blog about being a director of a corporation. I don't think I have any special duties (this is what I was led to believe) as a corporate director except perhaps reminding people that I am a director of a corporation.

One of our first decisions as a corporation will be that all decisions will be made using the consensus model. This means I will be able to wield as much power as the non-director share-holders. In fact I wield half as much as the single members since I share my vote with my wife.

I'm sure the most fun about all of this is the title. I think I should get a name plate made for my bedroom door: "Corporate Director: Zaak Robichaud"


"For What it's Worth, Milk a Goat" is DONE

The only thing left is adding the French subtitles. This project has taken nearly 4 years to complete. The middle 2 years rather passive, though I did a major cataloguing of footage last year and a coherent draft of the script. The bulk of the post production was done this spring and finally the soundtrack (again, courtesy of Justin Jeffery) was installed last week.

Now, I'm submitting the film to festivals - I've just missed a bunch of deadlines, something I wasn't paying much attention to aside from one, but I've got it in to three and I'm toying with the idea of sending it to Europe and the US.

So a special thanks to everyone who participated in the filming, the interviews, the post-production. Not possible without you!

I look forward to sharing For What it's Worth, Milk a Goat with you this coming year.

A major hurdle I have to leap is that of high definition. I shoot in standard definition, the same resolution people watched TV in for decades, and now I'm out of date. Those 3 years in Guatemala left me in the dust. There are many things I like about HD, but other things like camera costs, hard drive space, render time, blu ray disc authoring, and having to educate myself in the many formats. I know it's not a conspiracy, but it feels like one.


U2 360º Tour, Edmonton, AB

You see, I'm not as hard core as some, but this was my third time seeing U2. It was a brilliant concert; best I've seen them.

The June 1 show at Commonwealth Stadium was postponed for nearly 12 months when Bono hurt his back last year. I attendedwith my sister Saison, her husband Dean, and my friend Chris who flew to Calgary from Regina to drive up to Edmonton with me. Also in attendance were dozens of Edmonton and Calgary friends. I ran into a few of them and found some on this amazing picture (I'm the orange hat-below left).

So the show, well, it was fantastic! I was on the field with thousands of other general admission fans and I was amazed at how close to the stage we were despite not camping outside the stadium all afternoon. Chris and I took the LRT from Southgate and only got into the venue at 7:15 pm. We found Dean and Saison and watched The Fray for their set (I wasn't too impressed - his voice got on my nerves).

U2's setlist with some brief comments:
Even Better Than The Real Thing (perfect way to get the show going with a classic, one of my favorites for sure)
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots (one of only four from their last album)
Mysterious Ways (psychedelic video, at least I didn't have a crazy woman holding up a sign "I can belly dance" in front of me this time, one of four from Achtung Baby)
Until The End Of The World(such a great performance, again)All I Want Is You (Edge's choice, great participation from the crowd)
Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (this is a late favourite of mine, I didn't like it on Zooropa, but have fallen in love with their live acoustic version)
Beautiful Day (the video for this is fun, and it brought me back to when I lived in Edmonton, I'd listen to this album driving Amber to U of A in the mornings)
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Miss Sarajevo (such a great song, with excerpts from the documentary, it was perfect, even with Bono singing the opera part)Zooropa (this one made the concert for me, one of my favourites that they never do live)
City Of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy / Discotheque (Their live remix version of I'll Go Crazy is so good and went so well with Discotheque)
Sunday Bloody Sunday (brilliant performance with potent images)
Scarlet (rejoice!)
Walk On (with an updated video message from Aung San Suu Kyi and participation from Amnesty International)
Where The Streets Have No Name (great with a little rain, glorious)
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
With Or Without You
Moment Of Surrender

Chris and I only got to Calgary at 4:20 AM after 2 hours to get to our car from the stadium, 30 minutes at the Leduc McDonalds and 2 1/2 hours on Hwy 2. So worth it!

Looking forward to July 30 in Moncton. I hope Bono's voice holds out until then.

Photos courtesy of Dean Demitor (and the 360 shot from u2.com)


Stampede Brunch Day at BCS

I thought I would be as authentic as I could for this theme day at school.

Amber hates it. My students love it.

GeoCaching on Nose Hill

Some cohousing friends invited us to go geocaching with them a couple weeks ago on Nose Hill. I had never been, so I was keen to see if we could even find any of the caches.

Dan has a GPS and he brought the coordinates of 10 caches on the hill (there are many more than 10, but we had 7 young children with us). We followed his itinerary until the kids started to get tuckered out.

I will never make fun of Nose Hill again. It's a gorgeous park even though driving by it on John Laurie Boulevard it looks like a huge bald hill with nothing on it. There are great little gullies and forested areas full of wild life and flowers. We saw deer a couple times.

We tracked down four caches, each of which had a log book and a bag of prizes that we exchanged with ones that Dan and Carmen brought.

A Brand New Car

I've never owned a brand new car. I like it.

When the maintenance on our previous car was going to cost upwards of $5000 when the car itself was not worth that much, we made the decision to go car shopping and unload our Audi. We ended up at the Toyota dealership near our house with every intention of getting a 4-5 year old Matrix or Corolla. We were convinced to spend $3000 more on a brand new 2011 Matrix with far better financing.

It had 37 km registered on the odometer.

Despite our desire for a base model (5-speed manual transmission, no A/C, no power windows or locks, etc.), it has numerous features that are standard to new vehicles these days. I just hope they don't cost a fortune to fix. I plan to drive this car until it expires. We've registered over 2000 km in less than a month already.

Huge thanks to our friends who loaned us their car while we shopped (I sold the Audi in a bit of a hurry).