Sun, 10/21/2012 - 12:24

Gone on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Pictured is the former location of the Eastman Kodak warehouse on West 2nd in Vancouver, now razed to the ground like so much of the Great Yellow Father’s infrastructure.

This history was related to me 20 or so years ago so, I may have some of the details wrong. Please let me know if I do!

As I was told, Eastman Kodak had it’s west coast warehouse here, apparently from the at least the 1930’s on but, as a result of anti-trust action in the early 70’s (Kodak used to be all-encompassing), they were forced to sell off their distribution arm in Canada.

So, Eastman Kodak became Trek Photographic which eventually got bought out by Hall Photographic to become Treck Hall in the late 80’s. Treck Hall moved to Richmond in the mid-90’s and eventually merged with Mondrian to become Mondrian Hall which has now been subsumed by paper giant Unisource.

The relevance of this warehouse to your narrator is much more important than corporate mergers and the decline of an industrial icon though for, it is within the walls of the building that stood on this spot until a few weeks ago that he was fortunate enough to meet his lovely wife way almost exactly 20 years ago when he took a job in the shipping department.

Treck Hall at the time was the primary wholesaler of Kodak and Polaroid products. The volumes we shipped out of this warehouse were simply spectacular by today’s standards:

• A full 18 wheel truck trailer per week of Polaroid film, mostly to hospitals and Universities.

• Two 18 wheeler’s per week of Kodak paper, chemistry and film. The walk-in freezer for pro emulsions would put most butcher shops and slaughter houses to shame. We would run through about a full pallette per week of just Kodak Gold negative films!

• Enough Kreonite Processors that we would actually have the 20” machines in stock, ready to ship at a moment’s notice.

• Some of the earliest digital backs available commercially. A phase one scanning back for 4x5 that would produce a stunning 100mb+ image in only 10 minutes! This was before Power PC and Pentium computer chips even shipped and, a really big hard drive was 200mb! Just enough room to store one full resolution image per hard drive. And, all for the low, low price of some $25,000! We actually sold a couple too.

Of course, one of my favourite parts was the demonstration darkroom that I could use on Weekends and Evenings, fitted with 3 5x7 Durst Laborator enlargers on train tracks along with the whole phalanx of condensers to print every format from disc(!) to 5x7. While I never actually made any, it was equipped to make prints 5 feet wide!

The buildings across West 2nd remain for the moment but, aside from that, there is almost no clue remaining of the bustling light industry that occupied this part of town for over 100 years but, I think fondly of the place first thing every morning when I lay eyes on my beautiful wife.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 20:35

Autumn Looks Best Backlit on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Making it such a shame that we usually get so little sun during Autumn on the coast.

Also, I had forgotten what lovely stuff Fuji Reala is. Fortunately, it’s still available in 120. Straight scan with just a wee bit of sharpening.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 13:13

Luddite Wars on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Owing to the unfortunate rush hour incident at the corner of Georgia and Burrard involving the mules I hired to pull my darkroom, I must in this instance concede the match to Bill (nsfw) with his 6x9 Speed Graphic.

Touché Bill. I’ll be along to reclaim my title soon.

Thu, 10/18/2012 - 14:25

Twenty Four Months Plus a Day on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
And, now we bring this little series to it’s logical conclusion. Trajan is no longer a baby. Monthly updates are no longer relevant.

I’ve tried to duplicate our first entry in this series but, well, a 34” and 33lb toddler is nowhere near as easy to catch lying down as a 2 lb infant born 13 weeks before he was supposed to. He certainly does love his Mom though!

For some additional perspective, the first of this series was taken from approximately 18” away. This shot was taken with me standing on tip toes on a chair with my head brushing the ceiling!

Thu, 10/18/2012 - 10:52

Holdup at the Seven Eleven on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Thurlow and Alberni. They got everything but the big gulp machine.

Wed, 10/17/2012 - 14:46

“Take a little off the sides” on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Well, it had to happen eventually. For reasons we don’t quite remember, it had been decided that Trajan wouldn’t get a haircut until it was time for his second birthday.

That meant that the last 2 or 3 months, he’s looked like some sort of filthy hippie with crazy hair everywhere. Thank heavens he’s good at wearing his hat when he’s out.

It was well past time for a change though so, on Thursday last week, I packed him up and took him to see my man Peter at Crown Hair Designs on Denman Street and told him to do what was needed.

Shockingly, Trajan sat nicely for the whole haircut and, as you’ll notice when I get some new pictures posted, looks very much the handsome man he really is once again.

Wed, 10/17/2012 - 07:56

Autumn Play Date on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Ben and Trajan throw down, West Coast Style.

The pessimist complains about the long rainy season in Vancouver. The optimist is glad for not having to haul the kids to the water park.

How long have these two known each other? Since before most kids were even born.

Sun, 10/14/2012 - 08:45

Two Years Old on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Yesterday was Trajan’s second birthday. Astonishing how the time passes.

Here he checks out the heft on his new weapon, er, cylindrical food preparation utensil used to shape and flatten dough bright and early yesterday morning.

Quite the journey so far and, it appears to be just starting to enter the fun stage. Don’t know that I can sum up my feelings any better than I did yesterday on facebook:

“Two years ago today approximately 30 highly trained professionals gathered together in an operating room at BC Women’s Hospital to, after 26 weeks of pregnancy, deliver us and a 900-ish gram bundle into a surreal world of flashing lights, beeping machines, wires and tubes where, over the course of 118 days 87 different nurses, a dozen or so doctors and a blur of respiratory therapists ensured that today, just two years later, nobody would ever guess any of that happened unless we told them.”

Happy Birthday Trajan, with a special shout out to my good friend Science!

Mon, 10/08/2012 - 23:55

Mostly Thankful for Awesome Cousins on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Trajan’s mostly thankful for his awesome cousins this Thanksgiving like his main man here, Dylan who scored major points by (along with his Mom and Sister) giving Trajan an early birthday present of a huge dump truck.

Dad’s thankful that the coming week is much less busy than the last few have been so that I can finally get to processing the mountain of film waiting in my in box.

Sun, 10/07/2012 - 20:32

Happy Thanksgiving! on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
A quiet turkey dinner at home tonight in order to prepare ourselves for the full-on extended family onslaught of turkey tomorrow. This year finds us a little more tired, the house a little messier and the Emperor infinitely faster! Hard to believe that, at Thanksgiving last year, he was just barely crawling. This year, he spent the morning running around Toys-R-Us like a bat outta hell.

Despite his 13 week head start, Trajan will hit two years old next Saturday at pretty much exactly the average height and weight for a two year old, 34” and 33lbs as of Wednesday. Not talking much yet but getting more chatty by the day of late.

All in all, another good year. All the best to everyone out there!