Monthly Archives: December 2008

Happy New Year and the last shoot of 2008!

So we’re off to Bragg Creek for a beautiful snowy shoot with a beautiful couple from Houston. I’m really jazzed about this shoot as it represents the last official shoot of the season (takin’ it down to the wire!) and being that they are good friends of ours, it means a lot to me that they’ve asked me to be their photographer for their big day. I’m getting the butterflies in anxious anticipation for this one. I just know they’re gonna rock it! Then we’re off to Canmore for a few nights of fun and relaxation with our close friends Jeff and Paula.

We’ll see y’all in 2009 and we wish you much love, life and prosperity in the new year.

With love and thanks,
TL

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Anonymous I love the most recent photos you took… The images are amazing and they both look so beautiful and happy together…February 9, 2009 – 8:13 pm

Merry Christmas!

To all friends (aka clients) past, present and future of t law photography.  We want to wish you and your family a warm and happy holidays and a safe and prosperous new years!  And to make this blog entry just a bit more interesting, I’m borrowing a blog post from pro poker player Alec Torelli which gives some reference to the tradition of Xmas.  A very accomplished poker player but also a man that is well read and engages the brain in exercises beyond the felt.  Here are some unknowns about Christmas that I learned from reading his blog.  I feel much more Cliff Clavin-ish now.

Christmas: Originally Christmas was not celebrated by the Christians. As a matter of fact, it was anything but a religious holiday. Typical “celebrations” during the season were drinking rum, rioting in the streets and singing anything but worship songs. The “season” of Christmas resembled a Mardi Gras type festival invented by the Greeks and Romans where they spent the week involved in self indulgence. The festival was called “Saturnalia” (a festival dedicated the Saturn, the God of peace and plenty). Known as “the party to end all parties” it ran from December 17th – 24th. Christians often loathed the holiday but to avoid religious persectuion they decorated thier homes with Saturnalia holly. Moreover, Christ’s birth was not actually on December 25th. It took the chuch nearly 350 years to decide on a day for the celebration of the holiday. The only biblical passage that alludes to the birth of Christ nearly rules out winter as being the season during his birth. Shepherds clearly would not hav ebeen out with their flocks during the coldest time of the year. Many biblical scholars debate the actual season of His birth, but most agree it would be in the Spring or Summer. Although the reason that the 25th was chosen to celebrate Christs’ birth is left to speculation; we know for certain that his actual birth was nowhere near the date. Christmas wasn’t celebrated at all until the year 125 when the bishop of Rome decided that they needed to implement the holiday. The original date of Christmas was held on January 6th (now known as the day of Ephiphany) but it wasn’t until the year 320 that Pop Julius 1 had grown tired of seeing the birth of Christ celebrated on a wide variety of days that he specified the 25th of December as the “official” date of the birth of Jesus Christ. Over the next 1500 years “celebration” of Christmas would remain very much a Pagan holiday filled with sin. Songs like, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and many others were developed during this time and the lyrics were sung by the impoverished of the land demanding that the wealthy comply with their demands (“we won’t stop until we get some” etc). In early America, Congress met on December 25th. During these meetings, nobody stopped to acknowledge the birth of Christ. Riots and parties grew so bad on Christmas that in 1828 the New York City Council had to establish a special police force to restore order during the holiday. It wasn’t until the 1840’s when Queen Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert and with him he brought a reverent and family oriented German Christmas tradition. That along with the famous A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens helped to transform Christmas into the holiday season that we know today! So the next time you hear someone complain about how they want an old fashion “traditional” Christmas, be sure and tell them to be careful what they wish for.

Candy Canes: This holiday favorite was invented by a choir director in an attempt to keep his choir focused and quiet while throughout rehersal. Although originally distraught with the idea, when the chuch found out how successful it became, they quickly changed their opinion. Moreover, the director decided to add a religious element to the design. He created symbolism in the red and white stripes. The red standing for the blood Jesus shed for our sins and the white resembling the purity and sinless nature of his life.

Christmas Trees: Originally implemented by the Vikings over a thousand years ago – they thought the trees were magical. And one can’t blame them! All throughout the Scandanavian winters these evergreens were the only things that survived. And perhaps that’s an understatement. These trees actually thrived when everything else seemed lifeless. In an attempt to bring some of this “magic” and hope into their lives, the ancient peoples would cut down the trees and take them home as a reminder of strength, faith and hope during the harshest of times.

Holly: You might want to sit down for this. If you can believe it; the ancient Druids used to collect the “magical plant” for the following reasons. They believed a war (yes I did say war) was going on between the Oak King and the Holly King. When winter time rolled around; the holly thrived and the oak died. Thus, the Druids would collect heaps of this magical plant and put it throughout their homes. It was believed that the more holly you had, the better off you were. You would have more great fortune, luck, health and peace throughout the year. They went so far to believe that holly would ward off storms, lightening and intruders during the toughest of times. The merchants (the smarter people who were ahead of the curve) realized the idiocracy of this and made a fortune selling holly to the morons of the town. They even convinced people that touching the plant would cure diseases. Thus, they perfected the concept so well that they could “recycle” the plant so they didn’t ever have to sell it. One holly plant could make a fortune just by people paying to touch it to be cured. Talk about being “Fooled by Randomness” or results oriented.

Santa Claus: (Also known as Saint Nicholas). Saint Nicholas was born in the 300’sto a prominent family in Petara (what is now known as Turkey). When he received his family inheritance – he distributed the money to the needy of the town. He quickly became the archbishop of the land and on his death on December 6th (in the 340’s or 350’s) the legend of his selflessness lived on. Each year on the eve of the anniversary of his death, the children of the land would leave out food for Nicholas and straw for his donkey. Often times, obedient children would wake to find their offerings replaced with presents! The rememberance of Saint Nicholas is still observed in many countries on this day and gifts are exchanged in honor of his goodwill for others. It wasn’t until Clark Clement Moore’s poem “The Night Before Christmas” (written in 1823) where he depicted the scene where children receive gifts on the 25th instead of the 6th that this practice was observed. He also originated the idea of Santa having reindeer (and their names) as well as him resembling a “jolly old elf,” dressed in red with a beard. With one simple poem he would change the way Christmas was celebrated forever!

Stockings:
Perhaps the most fascinating tradition of all – stockings originated again from the works of Saint Nicholas. Legend has it that when he heard about a widower’s misfortunes (to the point where the widower was going to sell his oldest daughter in order to save the other two), Nicholas rushed to the rescue. It was custom of the time that upon going to sleep the families would hang thier stockings and socks out by the fireplace to dry. People were so poor that many families had to use the same pair on a daily basis. One night after the whole family went to sleep, Nicholas snuck into the house and placed a gold coin (enough to save the daughter from being sold into slavery) into her stocking. When she woke i
n the morning; she was overjoyed at the sight of it. He did the same for the remaining two daughters. Word of this spread about the “gift from God” thoughtout the village and nearby cities. Very soon, people began checking their stockings in hopes of receiving their good fortune. Many (feeble minded people) thought it was a gift from God, but the wiser quickly noticed that Nicholas was in town everytime that money arrived in peoples stockings. Naturally, they put two and two together and the story of the stockings unfolds! After his death on December 6th (Saint Nicholas Day) it became custom to put treats or gifts in the stockings of the children in the household in order to remember the Saint. As time progressed, the smarter children figured out that the amount of gifts they would receive depended on the size of their feet. Naturally, people started to wear extra large socks and eventually the stocking evolved into what it is today!

Xmas:
For those of you who think this is the athiests way of taking Christ out of Christmas – think again! The Greek word for Christ’s name is Xristos (pronounced Christos). Similar to the way a fish is a modern day symbol of faith, the Greeks would use the letter “X” to express the same thing. In this time, people were often persecuted for their faith, so the symbol X would be a code for everyone of the Christain faith to alert others without being bothered. The Greek church for example was denoted with the letter “X.” Another reason the letter was so popular was so many Christains of the time were uneducated. Many of them couldn’t read or write their name let alone understand the word Christmas. Thus X was an easy way for the pesants to express their beliefs and communicate to each other. Fast forward to the 1800’s. “X” was a lot more pretty and detailed than the word Christ and since space was limited and printing was expensive, many denoted Christmas with the abbreviated word Xmas. Again, the problem of illiteracy still loomed over the people of the time so it was easier for them to understand. Today, in a world where basic knowledge of the english language is rampent and the origins of Greek are often unknown, it is easy to understand why many assume that this is not in fact a religious symbol but just the opposite. It is ironic that the complete opposite is true and this is perhaps the first and oldest demonstration of the Christain faith and religious symbolism.

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traheho Hey Bud,

I’m really glad you found my post intriguing. I hope the readers find it insightful and please let me know if you get any feedback :) Hope you have a great holiday and feel free to email me at alectorelli@gmail.com to stay in touch.

Best,
AlecDecember 27, 2008 – 12:13 pm

The 12 Days of Christmas. Sweaters

The wifey and I started a tradition 4 years ago of hosting a tacky Christmas Sweater party at our house. And each year it seems to get worse and worse. And by worse I mean better.   This year, I’m taking the idea one step further and have been wearing my sweaters to the office. I do some business consulting in addition to being a photographer and I couldn’t resist having my co-worker take some pics of me at work with one of my sweaters. So before you crucify for the image quality, let me pre-empt that by stating that he is not a professional, and I didn’t want to worry myself with processing these. It’s all fun!

The proud owner of tacky sweater #1!

is it possible to make a teddy bear sweater look suave?  I think so.

I’ll post more each day so stay tuned!

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18,000 strong

I heard on the news this week that there were over 18,000 weddings in the Calgary area in 2006. Eighteen-thousand. That is, presumably, 36,000 people getting married. No kidding! If I had a dollar for every person in Calgary who got married… I’d like to verify this though. Perhaps a visit to Stats Can is in order. Oh wait! Better yet…if someone else can find the answer for me with verifiable sources I’ll do a 1 hour portrait session with them absolutely free! The session will take place in Calgary, unless for some wild reason you feel compelled to fly me somewhere to do a one hour shoot with you. I’ll need the answer emailed to me before Christmas Day. Free and Christmas – whooda thunk it!? The winner will be announced via my blogtography. I also wonder if that just means couples who call the Calgary area their home got married, or if that actually means 18,000 weddings in Calgary. Statistically speaking, I would guess that about 85% of all weddings take place in between the months of June-August when its warm outside. So 85% of 18,000 is 15,300 weddings. And since most weddings take place on a Saturday, that gives us approximately 12 Saturdays in the warm months. Which then equates to 1,275 weddings per Saturday! Yikes! Clearly this is not possible as there are not that many venues in this city of ours. Even if you include the surrounding hamlets I don’t believe that there are that many ceremony and reception locations. This is, of course, assuming that most couples go with a ceremony location and reception hall for their day. This doesn’t preclude the possibility that many couples may choose to elope and do something simple. Obviously this doesn’t take into consideration that weddings can take place on any day of the week. But just think of the possibilities!

So after all that thought and calculation, the conclusion that I come to is that there are a lot of people who like to get married in Calgary! Either that or the statistics are referring to the number of people who call the Calgary area their home that got married. I’ll go with the latter.

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Team_Mclaren Here you go. They dont have anything for Calgary only, so this is for Alberta

————————-
Statistics Canada Classification:
TABLE NUMBER: 530001

TABLE TITLE: VITAL STATISTICS, BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES

Data Sources: IMDB (Integrated Meta Data Base) Numbers:
# 3232 – VITAL STATISTICS – MARRIAGE DATABASE

SERIES TITLE: ALBERTA; MARRIAGES

CANSIM I Series Number:

SERIES FREQUENCY: Quarterly

SCALING FACTOR: units

DECIMALS: 0

EARLIEST REFERENCE DATE: 19460301

LATEST REFERENCE DATE: 20080901

LATEST DATAPOINT: 8139

RELEASE TIME (YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM): 2008-12-19 08:30

——————-

2006Q1,2152
2006Q2,4851
2006Q3,8820
2006Q4,3237

2006 Total: 19060December 22, 2008 – 4:53 am

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