The Great Trail in Canada, photography and hiking equipment

I’m expecting to leave around April-May to hike some of the Great Trail in Canada. It’s a 15,000 mile long trail so obviously I won’t be doing all of it, but I would like to hike at least 1/10th of it.

I’m going to try visit the more sunny and scenic places first. After googling for a long time, there really doesn’t seem to be much documentation on it compared to the Pacific Crest Trail. The official “The Great Trail” website is useful in regards to the trail’s exact coordinates but there’s no information on what hiking equipment to bring.

It seems that the best way to research the hike is to break it up into small (smaller?) pieces. So for example if you’re interested in hiking around BC, find the section that passes through BC and similar hikes in that area, and then google the equipment required for those hikes. It still seems like a lot of guestimation, but I’m just glad I can go somewhere :). In all honesty, equipment virtually identical to the middle-latter parts of the Pacific Crest Trail might be suitable for a lot of Canadian hiking.

In regards to photography equipment. I’m a bit lost at sea. I’m thinking of bringing my Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens and a Sony 24-70 f/2.8 G Master lens, but I’m really not sure. I’m still considering the Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 lens as well, instead of the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 G Master.

When hiking in Canada, it seems you could bring 100kg of equipment and still not have enough! There’s so much to photograph, from wide-angle landscapes to 600mm shots of bears. However, a Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens and a Sony 24-70 f/2.8 G Master lens would really have me covered for 99% of my landscape needs.

Perhaps it is terrorism

I tend not to get into politics too much; I believe politics and religion (and to a certain extent sport) yield fruitless discussions. People do not have absolute knowledge on these subjects, and when some form of knowledge isn’t a requirement for the discussion to progress, then all that’s left is abrasive opinions to rub at my poor brain.

Just lately, I’ve been sodomising my brain cells somewhat by reading twitter posts. Quite often when something tragic happens, there’ll be a notable news journalist or celebrity quote something out of context (especially if it’s something Trump has said; I’m not claiming to be a Trump fan) and throw it at the crowd for them to swear at. It’ll follow with a discussion about how terrible a word or phrase is from a denotative or connotative and quote mined perspective, and a good time will be had by all. Twitter’s great because it doesn’t allow the news journalist or celebrity enough characters to quote the entire sentence even if they wanted to–this is a huge help to those in favour of contextomy.

Yesterday’s buzzword was “miracle” but today’s buzzword was slightly different to usual.

The buzzword today is terrorism

When a word like terrorism is brought up, there’s always going to be plenty of discussion about the English language.

One argument is that the latest shooting in Lost Wages Las Vegas is terrorism and should be treated the same as all the attacks by ISIS. I think in some twisted form or other, the people pushing this form of argument generally want you to believe all nasty attacks are the same and we should treat these people the same way as we treat ISIS.

The response to the aforementioned argument follows shortly with a stickler in the mud; this person will quote one definition of the word “terrorism” (or whatever the buzzword is for the latest tragedy) and state that because there’s no political agenda, it cannot be terrorism. At this point I feel the bigger issue–someone sitting in a room shooting at many people–has been lost.

  • Terrorism is the use of violence, especially murder and bombing, in order to achieve political aims or to force a government to do something.
  • Systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.
  • The act of terrorising.

To save you the hassle of extensive Google searching, I’ve pasted a few definitions above. As you can see, not all definitions mention a political aspect to the word, and I don’t think it will matter how many times the people at Oxford Dictionaries tweet “Our dictionaries are descriptive rather than prescriptive“, people will still argue about specific words. If you forget specific definitions of words and you consider the general point here, is the attack by one man comparable to a terrorist group? Then I think it’s a really hard question to answer.

On one hand, you can say that this attack was completely pointless and that he hasn’t gathered hundreds/thousands of people to fight with him. And on the other, you can also argue strapping Jingle Bombs to your crotch in hopes to have a Merry Christmas and be sent towards 72 virgins, is also equally as pointless. Personally I think they’re the same in that they’re pointless attacks but the mindsets are probably severely different.

For me, it doesn’t really matter what words are used and it doesn’t even matter if the types of brains that do this are similar. It’s stupid and cruel behaviour that never achieves anything. Occasionally something will happen as a byproduct e.g. greater plane security, but this usually has a negative impact on the masses who behave themselves (if everyone behaved, my US Visa would probably have been accepted for example), but there’s no direct action that’s taken to please everyone involved.

Gun control might help, but wanting to take an American’s expensive gun away after they’ve legally spent hundreds/thousands on said gun, without reimbursement, is comparable to wanting to take away my haribos/chocolate.

A part of me wonders if being slightly fake is the problem. Large companies that deal with the public e.g. food stores, will tell their staff to smile at their customers (regardless of if they feel like shit) to help sales. Politicians are forced into giving insincere apologies and then criticised when they’re shown to be dishonest.

We are pretty much surrounded by fake behaviour that’s forced upon us, and maybe some of these crazies don’t feel they can express their opinions until they’re about to blow up. I don’t really know.

Lastly. I offered to give blood. I don’t see why the fuck I should donate money if the US won’t even have me in the country, so if they want something from me, they’ll have to allow me in the country. It seems like a fair deal.


Samsung Galaxy Note 8 S Pen Not Working Correctly

If your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 S Pen, stylus or whatever you like to call it doesn’t work correctly, it’s probably due to magnetism. On the Samsung community forums, a few people returned their Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phones because their S Pen didn’t work correctly, and they experienced troubles afterwards. I recommended they check to see if their case has a magnet in it e.g. a magnetic clasp, and sure enough it was the culprit. Unfortunately it is quite common for folding cases to include a magnetic clasp, and it does prevent the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 S Pen from working correctly, but this is a simple fix and I hope it helps a few people.

It would be nice if Samsung could include an FAQ with this solution, so that people with S Pen troubles don’t try and send their Samsung Galaxy Note 8 back as faulty.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 USB, SMB and review information

I’ve written a basic review page for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. I will edit it and improve it a lot at some point, if it gets a bit of interest (I’m a bit lazy when it comes to writing reviews.)

I’ve also written a page about the USB and SMB file share speeds with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It’s a weird one to say the least. The phone exhibits strange behaviour but I consider it a quirk rather than a severe limitation.

Back from holiday, thoughts and photographs

My holiday was nice. I stayed around the western boarder of England, just next to Wales. It’s allowed me to chill out and think about what I’m going to do this year and next–the last few months have been stressful to say the least. I’ve had time to think about my travel plans for next year some more, and I’m slightly over the disappointment of my US Visa being declined, although I’ll never come to terms with how unfair it is but it doesn’t have to prevent me from going to a nice, more accepting country i.e. Canada :).

Here’s a few photographs I took. I haven’t edited many; I have hundreds to go through. The chicken shot is composed really poorly, I know, I know, haha. However, I thought he looked cute in that position, and I only had half a second to get the shot :D.

I used a Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2.0 lens and a Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens for these shots. I have been thinking I would like something wider and something longer, but I’m not 100% sure what I’ll get yet. a Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 FE lens and a Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 lens would be really nice, albeit out of budget.

I’ll probably start writing more about my travels on the travel section of my site, so I’ll keep this post short for now. I just wanted to share a few pictures.

My Samsung Galaxy Note 8 should arrive this monday. I would have liked it on holiday, so I could edit photographs and post in the evenings (I had good internet there, haha) but I’ll try it out soon enough and report my findings.