Sunday, April 30, 2006

Re-Post: Peeing in the Dark …

… in the House in the Middle of a Very Rainy Night

True story. This happened to me several weeks ago. I have told it once or twice and thought about blogging it, but thinking about blogging while you are nowhere near a computer isn’t all that useful. Well, perhaps it is useful if you are still young enough to have a memory, but I am old enough not to remember what memory is. I think of a lot of blogging topics when I am nowhere near a keyboard, or when I am near the keyboard but have seventeen other computer-related chores to implement first. I should carry around a little notebook to record my ideas, but I keep forgetting to purchase one, and if I ever did remember to get one, I’d only forget to bring it with me. If, by some miracle, I remembered the notebook, I would simply forget my pen — or lose it. BTW: have you seen my handy-dandy, pocket-size space pen lately?

What was I saying? Oh yes! I am going to relate what they call an anecdote, as opposed to an antidote. Here we go.

I am of that age and sex where one is susceptible to being summoned from one’s bed by the call of nature several times a night. Most of the time, it is not that big of an imposition; I can more-or-less somnambulate to the nearest toilet, bathroom, latrine, john, privy, or potty and get back to bed and to sleep without disturbing my sweet dreams too terribly much. On occasion, I do become more fully awake than usual and end up performing an insomniacal dance for a few hours: turn to the left; roll to the right; head down; pillow up … and on it goes. But that doesn’t happen very often (thank heaven for small mercies).

It’s even harder when I camp in our tiny tent, however. I tend to sleep more fitfully out there in the wilds and, therefore, seem to receive nature’s call more frequently — am more aware of it anyway. Our tent isn’t large, but I manage to crawl into a corner, unscrew the lid from the three-quart orange juice container and … blush … a certain amount of modesty prevents me from describing the scene any further, so feel free to supplement your imagination. I use a container inside the tent because one simply can’t be unzipping the tent six times a night in the middle of bug and bear country and hopping around outside and being bitten lord knows where by the devil knows what.

Once again, I digress. Back to the story. But as I tell it, remember that it is raining outside: raining very hard as a matter of fact.

There, I was making one of my usual middle-of-the-night visits to the loo (good for me: found one more synonym). I seemed to sense a warmish spraying sensation on my left foot. Now, certain males of a mature age do tend to spray a little — just a tad you know. We can’t help it as our streams seem to act of their own free will: stopping, starting, dripping, or clogging in some sort of unpredictable arrhythmia. Although I had never sprayed my foot before, sleepy stupor or no, it seemed reasonable to deduce that now, for the first time ever that's exactly what was happening to poor me.

So, I stopped the … well, let’s call it a piddle since stream seems too grand a description for my nocturnal efforts at the latrine. Lo and behold, I could no longer sense a spray on my foot. Although I couldn’t compute the physics of it, I seemed to have established a cause and effect, for when I resumed the flow, so did the sensation on my foot resume. Ergo: it must be that I was spraying my own foot.

But I wasn’t totally convinced, even in my somnambulant state. Tricksy me, I positioned my hand where it should block any errant spray, and I resumed my discharge. Blimey! My hand didn’t get wet, but my foot still did. So, I reasoned that I could not really be peeing on my foot. But what the heck was going on?

Aha! I have a bad back (stick with me here folks), and I experience all kinds of sensations in that leg: jumping nerves, numbness, and twitches of all description. My mind embraced the conclusion that the nerve damage had concocted (pardon the almost-naughty word) a whole new sensation for me to enjoy in future years. I was now experiencing it for the first time, but I’m sure that I would have grown to treasure this sensation in due time.

This realization, this answer of sorts, brought me some peace, but when I had completed my piddling little chore (so to speak), I had the presence of mind to reach my hand down to my foot, only to discover genuine moisture. The carpet was also wet. No nerve damage this.

As I was bent over, consumed by my musings, a trickle of water hit my shoulder. Well, this threw both the errant-pee and the nerve-damage hypotheses completely out the window. The real situation was the heavy rain had found a weak spot in the roof and that water was tricking down through the ceiling air vent as a result. The trickling was spasmodic, which explained the stopping and starting that I had experienced. Case closed, but a solution for the dripping water was still required. I mean, I couldn’t just let the rain soak into the carpet all night. Even a non-woman knows that.

Being a semi-bright fellow, I secured a small bucket to catch and contain the drip. But not being an exceptionally-bright fellow, I didn’t think to soften the resultant crescendo that falling water makes in a bucket in the middle of night after dropping the eight feet from ceiling to floor. To be truthful, it sounded a little bit like erratic machine gun fire.

So, my quiet trip to the bathroom had now degenerated into the equivalence of a noisy gunfight at the OK Corral. True to the script, the cavalry rode to the rescue. Sensible wife arose in consternation and quickly solved the noise problem by dropping a softening washcloth or three into the bucket. Problem solved.

Actually, I think I handled everything pretty well for a middle-aged guy who was simply trying to multitask by sleeping and peeing simultaneously. I’ll really have to worry if I ever stop bothering to get out of bed to practise this multitasking. That’s about the time that the men in the white coats will show up to take me to a place where nice nurses will wrap me in nice diapers before tucking me in for the night … with a warm glass of milk just to ensure that the diaper’s purpose gets fulfilled.

They tell us that we all need to feel fulfilled: apparently even our diapers.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Re-post: Bad Hair Life

My heart grieves (he said ironically) for poor Butterfly who had a bad hair day yesterday. The girl writes a good blog, but I have no follicular sympathy that I can afford to send her way. Yes, her hair has vexed her for most of her life. Yes, it will not usually conform to the current fads. That can be tough on a kid: tough, but hardly traumatizing. Truth of the matter is that she has gorgeous hair: hair that is uniquely hers and also uniquely her — no cheap imitation of somebody else’s fashion statement.

Me? I am not having a bad hair day. I’m just having a bad hair life.

With a bald father and bald paternal grandfather, I knew from early on that I was in trouble. In my adult years, I was not mollified to be told by the medical poohbahs that baldness in genetically inherited from the mother: not mollified because I was already well on my way to Chrome City. On my way to Chrome City with not one bald person on the matriarchal branch of the tree but with baldness nesting all over the patriarchal branch — if it’s possible for baldness and nests to go together, that is. Baldness inherited from the mother, you say? Balderdash (so to speak), say I.

You know, I don’t really mind the baldness too much. I have lots of company, after all. If I had my druthers, of course I’d choose hair, or would have when the choice may have mattered to me. Not sure if I would choose it now though. Truth be told, at the very least, I’m getting used to the guy who I have been beholding in the mirror for more than two decades. At most, maybe I’m even getting attached to him.

What tends to irk me though is the back of my head. I actually have some reverse-baldness. I am losing hair from my neck. What I mean is this. If you look at where most guys’ hairlines end, mine is inches higher. Even worse, the hairline is even higher on both sides of centre than in the centre itself. This bothers me more than the usual male pattern baldness — because it’s rarer and odder, I suppose.

My dad, bless his shiny dome, had this problem too. His saving grace, however, was that his hair was straight. He could grow it a little longer at the back and, at least partially, cover up that bare patch. However, like Butterfly, I have curly hair: unruly, curly hair. If I try to let it grow back there … well … it becomes rather ridiculous follicular quagmire in short order. I become Pumpkinhead-ish.

Back in the hippy days, everybody had long hair, and, being both young and silly, I wanted to fit in. I started to grow my hair. Unfortunately, it would just turn up into the cutest little flip at the back and sides — cute perhaps if I had been born female and was seeking that particular look — but definitely not even remotely hippy-like. Oh, how I tried! I would try to straighten it with hair driers and curling irons; I even went under an old-fashioned hair-drier — with a net on for goodness sakes — once or twice. Gave it up after a burly workman meandered into my boudoir whilst I was sitting under there: yup, my head under a ladies’ salon-style, hair drier with my wife’s hair net on — a pink hairnet if you please!

I made a simple decision. Get a haircut and be myself.

We’re rather silly about appearances, aren’t we? We try hard to follow the popular trends and to hide our supposed flaws. But that’s not who we are. We’re not curly people, or bald people, or short people, or tall people. We’re people. We’re human from the inside out, not from the outside in.

Monday, April 24, 2006

And they're off!!

Butterfly here. Dad gave me the keys to this place while he's gone. Should I wreak some havoc do you think?????

We left for the airport at 6am. Yeah, 6am. Anyway, I got the old folks to the airport with no major or minor mishaps. I think that they were a titch nervous and a whole lot excited.

Included are some pics for you. My Mom's got some crazy reflective thing happening but I'll let Dad fix that up when he gets home. :)

(See below for a re-post from Dad's "Best of" Collection.)

Re-Post: Remarkable Rose

falls from roomWhat could be more banal than this photo of our old air conditioner? Yeah, it is old — over twenty years old. When it was installed, I decided that it was silly to have a rose bush behind it. So, as best I could, working in the narrow confines between the AC unit and the wall, I took my trusty spade and dug, poked, and hacked at the plant. I did my best to get rid of it. Hacked it off well below surface level. Thought I had succeeded in eliminating it. Now, I’m thrilled that I failed.

Slowly, steadily, it grew back. Some fifteen years or so later, fifteen years of total neglect, fifteen years of struggling for life between an air conditioner and a wall, it produced a bloom — a single rose.

Every year since, it has produced a few beautiful red roses.

A few houses up, our neighbours have a full rose bush of exactly the same type. But I am moved by our scrawny little plant with its three or four flowers. I almost get sentimental about it. It does what it can, living in the circumstances in which it does: in a few inches of parched shade between a desiccating AC and a wall.

Nature can teach us lessons if we will allow it. There are probably several that this rose bush can teach, but for one, it brings to my mind the adage: “Bloom where you’re planted.” We aren’t all planted in equally fertile ground. Some are not nurtured as much as others. The circumstances that nature and nurture combine to give each person are not equal. Yet, is it not wondrous when a person manages to produce gorgeous flowers, be they few or many? Is it not even a tiny bit miraculous?

You see: there is something about this rose that I appreciate and admire more than it’s more bountiful brothers and sisters. It does what it can, and in doing so, it moves me.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


That's right! Cuppa and I are about to make like those geese; we're going to flock off for a while. We'll shortly head for Arizona and that little ditch that people talk about with such awe in their voices, and we'll be busy for the next day or two until we make like those geese. Therefore, this will be my last post for a spell, but I have made arrangements for a couple of old blogs to be re-posted in my absence. They'll be new to you, unless you have gone waaayy back in the archives.

We are finding the last-minute stuff very busy-making, especially in seeing how many hyphenated words we can fabricate (see previous clause), but we're getting there. I have five books uploaded to my iPod to keep me semi-sane in airports and airplanes. I say semi-sane because you can't realistically expect to reverse the accumulated damage of decades. Not to fear there's still enough room for about 8,000 photos — give or take a thousand or two. That's if I need any additional room because I also treated my state of dubious semi-sanity to a 2 gig memory card. Cuppa has a half-gigger, and we also have some spare quarter-giggers. Sheesh! It's a wonder that I can afford the trip after buying all dem-dare-hyphenated-giggers.

So, this Canada Goose is about to take a gander about Arizona and will be back in about a week and a half. Talk to you then.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Relax, Dude

You can't leave clothes lying around on the bed in this house. If you do forget, El Cat is exceptionally good at finding them and staking his territory within minutes. It's not so bad when they are worn clothes as in the picture above, but in the bottom photo, he found my freshly washed smallclothes. While one hesitates to air one's underwear in public, at least it's clean!

It's his position that humours me (yes, Matilda Frankenburger, I'm very easily amused): the arm extended as if he's most comfy and willing to have a personable chat before nodding off, maybe hear about your troubles and soothe your ruffled feathers. Cheaper than a psychiatrist, eh what?


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lunch With Sadie

It was so absolutely gorgeous yesterday that Cuppa and I decided to have our first picnic. I was in shirtsleeves (hooray!) for the first time this year. We didn't go far because there was a turkey stew simmering on the stove. There was a lady and a dog in the local park that we chose. The lady wasn't young; the dog was. She, the lady, was just getting onto a blanket and starting to remove some clothes. I fervently hoped that she wouldn't go too very far, and, thankfully, she didn't.

The dog, Sadie was her name, was a rather delightful young thing. She bounded about with a tremendous joie de vivre that suited the day so wonderfully well: by the water, in the water, over here, over there, by the lady, over to see us. What energy!

We set about enjoying our lunch. I had bought very fresh submarine buns that morning and a bag of chips. I love chips but try not to indulge too often as my waistline is taking a terrible beating as it is. Sigh.

As we watched Sadie cavorting about, it became apparent to us that she was on her own, that she didn't belong to the recumbent lady. In vain, we looked all about for another human, but there was no one to be seen.

We began to fret about Sadie, who was certainly not fretting at all but having the time of her life. Being a dog, she'd get into the water and then come and shake herself by our feet. No amount of hollering could avoid that. Being a friendly and exuberant pup, she kept bound up onto us, particularly Cuppa, with wet body and muddy feet.

She had a tag that was hard enough to read anyway but doubly so with her propensity to move all parts of her body at once. We finally obtained a number, and we were asked to secure her until Animal Control could come by to keep her in custody until she should be claimed. And I am sure that she would be, for a household used to a life force like Sadie would miss her indeed.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Spring Torrent

When we crossed the river on our bikes last week after a little jaunt, we noticed a little path. We got off our bikes and ambled down, or at least I did, and Cuppa snapped this picture.

Yes, that's what I refer to as The Unmighty Mississippi, in order to distinguish it from that huge American river that is frequently referred to as Mighty. But it looks pretty mighty in this photo, doesn't it? Water runs high in spring, and the torrent is more pronounced than usual.

This was, originally, a mill town, and there is still a damn of sorts on the river. In fact, right from where Cuppa is taking this picture, there is forced drop a few feet; there's no reservoir, however; they don't control the water level.

There was a little plaque at the beginning of the path commemorating a boy who had drowned here, in 1992 I think. It urged us to be careful, and I certainly was.

It's a nice day and supposed to go up to 22C/72F today. Typical of April, however, it will still be fairly windy, so, even if we get out on the bikes, we still won't go all that far, probably 10-15 klicks (6-9 miles). However, we may not get out at all, for today is the day that Cuppa makes turkey stew from the weekend's bones. It's one of daughter's faves, and the kids are invited to share it with us.


Monday, April 17, 2006

These Crumbling Structures

When we went cycling this afternoon, I noticed the above ruins for the first time. Of course, we hadn't ridden that way since last autumn. The thicker foliage, and make no mistake that there is foliage all around the remains of this structure and even inside it, would have kept the structure fairly hidden, unless you knew to look for it. With patience, dear reader might, eventually, see a connection between the photo and the rest of this post.

After the serendipitous photo op, in order continue on our little journey, we had to pedal up a little incline. I stood up to pedal and reached the top sooner than Cuppa who said, when she caught up, "I had to get off and walk it up. It was too hard on my knees." I told her that that was part of the reason why I stood up on inclines: because it was easier on my knees.

Cuppa: "But that's too hard on my neck to stand and pedal."

AC: "We're a couple of sorry specimens. Aren't we? Your neck; my knees?"

She didn't think so really, all things considered. Thought we were doing pretty well as a matter of fact. But I decided to confess that I felt about five years older this year than last ...

I have been thinking about age and aging (or ageing) quite a but lately. One supposes that these thoughts are totally natural considering my life stage, but I think they gained some momentum at the St Paddy's dance when a woman with whom we were sitting, introduced us to a friend. She said that they had gone to school together.

The thing was that the friend looked younger, despite not trying as hard. She had let her hair go natural and wore less makeup. She was less fashionable. But she still looked younger: something about her skin and complexion, I think.

About a week later, I was chatting with another acquaintance, male this time. Just that day, I had been wondering about his age and deduced that, based on appearance, it could be between 60 and 65. Nope: 72. Meanwhile, my SIL was shocked to learn that our 65-year-old neighbour is just that and not really 75. He simply looks and acts old. Then, there is a 45 year-old at the dance whose wrinkled jowls make her look older than the significantly older Cuppa — at least to me, but I confess to possibly being somewhat blinded by love.

It works both ways. Some look older than their real age, some younger. Of course, appearance only tells a part of the story.To wit: my hair is still almost all dark; there's very little grey, a bit more in my beard, but, even that is more dark than grey. My eyes, however, which may once have been my crowning glory are black-rimmed and saggy. Although I think that I do alright overall in terms of appearance, I may suffer more inner deterioration than others.

I am drawing no conclusion, simply indicating things that I have been recently observing and contemplating.

... On hearing my analysis (yes, this is continued from above), Cuppa opined that she, too, feels somewhat aged by the move. It's just not as easy to handle these sorts of things later in life. We stood there straddling our bikes for a few moments discussing these things. It seems more of a chore to do things now: seems to take more willpower and energy to get out on the bicycles, for example. We're on the eve, almost on the eve, of a big adventure — big for us at least — the trip to Arizona that I have previously mentioned. We know that we'll enjoy it once we get there, but we both confessed to not being overly exuberant with only a week to go. It's the getting ready and the going that are more onerous than they used to be.

Only six years ago, we drove out west, all around once there, and back. We travelled more than 12 000 kilometres in 30 days. We mostly camped. A year later we camped on our trip Down East. Even three years ago, we camped in Manitoba and North Ontario. I'm not sure that I could face that now. Maybe that last experience of camping in the rain in the wilderness is what lingers in my mind. I wonder?

Up until lately, I have been saying and thinking that I am still young in my head. How do I explain to those younger that you still feel, more or less, the same at sixty as at twenty-five. Today, I seemed to be shifting gears, reevaluating. But on the way back, after about ten kilometres of cycling, I began to reconsider once more. I was feeling perkier and younger already. I remembered that I hadn't felt terribly well for a few days, but I was feeling a little more like my old self today. So, perhaps, it had been more of health, or lack of health, aberration than an age-related issue?

Perhaps, I don't feel that I have aged five years in the past one. Perhaps, I have only aged one year.

That would make me 26 ... where it counts.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Saturday Samplings

I must thank you for your kind words and comments to my Spring Tune Up post the other day. I really do think that I am more tired than moody, and I do believe that it stems more from poor sleep than anything else. I seem to go through cycles when sleep is more problematic than its normally problematic self. Last night, for example, I fell asleep right away. That lasted for about an hour before I began tossing and turning for about two and half hours. By then, even though I had originally promised myself to stay down for the night whether I slept or not, I was cussing moderately and ready to get up. Well, I did get up but decided to return to my own bed (from the guest bed that I had moved to earlier). For whatever reason, changing beds often helps. Last night, going back to my own bed did the trick. Usually, it is the leaving of my bed for the guest bed that does it, but last night it was opposite. This guessing game keeps life interesting, I suppose.

So, after several days of weariness, I slept for, perhaps, seven hours. It's not exactly enough to rejuvenate me, but I will muddle through. I am sneezing a lot and wonder if some early season allergy is affecting my energy? I don't think that usually happens this early in the season, however. Not that I ever suffer severely from allergies, but I, sometimes, seem to exhibit moderate symptoms.

This morning, we got the turkey in the oven. Cuppa did most of the work, but I chopped up the crusts, celery, and onion for the stuffing. The woman has a great idea: bring a greasy burger in for lunch. We frequently seem to do that when we cook the Christmas turkey, so why not for the Easter turkey? We don't do that sort of thing very often, so why not go a little bit crazy? We're just a couple of zany kids, you know?

Then, I read a few blogs. I typed out comments for a few — Mimico Musings and Maison Madcap — but didn't actually post either one. My comment to Dale was on the tasteless side, something to do with the original name of Mount Forest, and I felt that my comment to Madcapmum might have been a little controversial, and I don't feel like stirring any pots today.

I have been going through a bit of Sudoku phase lately. I hadn't played the game for several weeks, but I have played it numerous times in the last few days. It's probably best if I check my answers as I go. I get the logic, but, for whatever reason, I am prone to making careless errors — usually just one or two, if any, per game — but I may as well catch them early rather that at the end. There are lots of online Sudoku sites, but I prefer to play on paper. To this end, I have found that both USA Today and Newsweek have very good print features. They print a big grid, with the answers below (you can fold them under). While it doesn't do quite as good a job, I have also found that Sudoku Online prints tolerably well.

Not my usual type of post, a little more like journalling than what I do normally, but there you have it.


Friday, April 14, 2006


I know that there are a lot of people of faith who drop by here from time to time. For you Good Friday is a most holy day. May spirit wings exalt you. May your cup of blessings overflow.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Needed: One Spring Tune Up

After the initial euphoria that accompanies the coming of spring, I find myself in a bit of a funk. Maybe that's not the right word. I don't think that I'm so much in a bad mental place; it's more that I'm feeling very unenergetic. At line dancing the other night, I was distracted and frequently losing my place — forgetting steps, getting steps out of order, interjecting the wrong steps, etc. Oh, it wasn't all that bad. I mean, I really managed to stay upright and stumble my way through most dances, but I wasn't exactly on top of things if you know what I mean.

Cuppa asks me if I want to go for a walk, and I look at her as if she's lost her mind. I know that I should, if for no other reason than to build up my stamina a little bit for our impending holiday. But it seems like such an effort. She says: "Do you want to watch TV?" I just tell her that I don't care, that she can do what she wants, and I'll just sit there and stare at whatever she chooses.

We went shopping yesterday, grocery shopping. We simply had to, but if there's anything as draining and uninspiring as that chore, I don't think that I want to know about it. We watched American Idol again last night. No one has really grabbed me this year. Oh, I think that it's a pretty good crew, but I'm not a huge fan of anyone in particular although I do like Taylor, Kellie, and Katharine better than the others. Please tell me that it's not just because the two girls are gorgeous. Really, I don't want to think myself that shallow ... and I did like Mandisa too, y'know. Aside from Taylor, the guys leave me cool. I suppose that the rocker is pretty good, but a little rock goes a long way. Elliot has a good voice, I think, but he doesn't exactly inspire me. Ace ... well, beefcake isn't my thing.

Speaking of Idol (and just how did I get here anyway?), is anybody else wearying of the judge who almost invariably says: "Check it out dude, check it out. You worked it out dude, you worked it out. You know what I'm sayin'? You know what I'm sayin'?"

Do you know what I'm saying?

You see? I'm being critical, so maybe I really am in a funk. Once again, I tell myself that I should quit blogging ... and then I blog about it. Then I almost decide to jettison my Flickr account, and I poutingly determine to not go to the dance tonight, knowing, of course, that I will.

Last night, I got so very hot in bed — again! I hadn't slept or slept much by 2:00 a.m. by which time I was moaning over and cussing my discomfort. In my boiling state, I ripped off all covers and my pyjamas in an effort to cool off. That seemed to work, for I fell asleep shortly after. But, really, this nightly heat affliction is ... well, it's an affliction ... that's what!

What didn't work was listening to a book on tape ... or on iPod as is now the case. Cuppa does that nightly — falls asleep to a book on tape. It hasn't worked for me in the past, but I thought that I'd try it, on more time, last night. It almost seemed to work. I didn't hear very much of the first four chapters. I'd wake up and realize that I had missed a lot, and that pleased me. But then I turned it off ... and promptly lay there wide awake for quite a while. I changed beds and tried the book on tape again. I listened to the next four chapters: heard every friggin' word while becoming wider and wider awake by he moment. Turned it off and endured the heat thing that I described above.

You see? There's something just a little off-kilter? My stars may be out of alignment; I don't know.

But, I did make pizza yesterday for the first time ever, and it turned out quite well. I bought a pre-baked shell and spread pizza sauce on it and a can of Italian seasoned tomatoes, which I drained well. The tomatoes already had some garlic in the mix, but I added some Italian seasoning. The next toppings were the cheeses: grated Romano and thinly sliced fresh mozzarella. I sprinkled some basil and pepper on top. Ten minutes later at 425°F, we had a very nice, thin crust pizza for two. Except for the tomatoes, I have enough ingredients for another pizza, but not for tonight. We need to eat something less spicy before we go dancing, which I still don't really want to do ... but will ... if I can summon the energy.

Perhaps, I just need a spring tune up? How do you go about getting one of those?


Monday, April 10, 2006



Cuppa took this picture of me today as I sat by the river drinking coffee at the halfway point of our walk. It is noticeable for several things.

For one: the Canadians among us will recognize the cup. They will also understand that we are coming to the end of the annual Roll Up The Rim contest. Once again, my [contest] cup has not exactly overflowed. I didn't win anything this year — again! — not a donut, not a coffee, not an anything.

Two: the camera bag which I boasted about the other day is beside me. Yes, I tried it out on the walk, and it worked pretty darn well. It wasn't too very onerous to carry, and I found it relatively easy to access the camera when I required it.

Three: I am wearing a winter coat. It's open, and the sleeves are unzipped, and I'm only wearing a tee shirt underneath, but it is a winter coat. I probably would have been fine with a lighter jacket, but it was breezy when we started out, and the wind had a bit of a chill to it.

Four: I am wearing my nice-weather hat as opposed to my winter hat of the same style but heavier material. I made a point of wearing it, you see. I rather had to make a point of it because I didn't yesterday. I mean to say: one doesn't necessarily think of wearing sun hats on coolish spring days. But it was sunny yesterday. And I was out for two hours. And I couldn't help but notice that my head was a trifle sore last night ... and red to look at. In fact, even though I remembered to protect myself today, my head is still taking pains (as it were) to remind me that I was rather foolish yesterday.

Nevertheless I am rather enjoying these bits of nice weather that the universe is bestowing upon us as she sees fit at this time of year.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Surprising Gathering

We were very surprised by the plethora of vehicles in the parking lot when we drove by the arena on Friday afternoon. For some reason the sign tickles me, but it does explain a large crowd in a small town on a rainy, Friday afternoon.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Week in Spring

Spring is about changing weather: nice days, rainy days, warm days, cold days. These two photos were taken close to the same spot about a week apart. That's yours truly one week ago in his bicycle jacket above, and that's what it looked like yesterday, below. Yesterday's photo, taken through the car window in the rain shows a tree whose base is totally flooded. They must have let a little extra water over some dam somewhere. Both were take with Cuppa's Elph although, yes, I did have Mistress Rebel with me, and I did take some of my own pics.

Friday, April 07, 2006

A True Anvilcoud

... or is it an Anvilcloud Cloud Cloud?

After seeing this type of Word Cloud on several blogs, I decided to give it a try. If you go to Snapshirts, you can have them do one for your blog. Of course, they'd like to sell you a T-shirt or some such, but I chose to capture the image before we got as far as giving up names and email addresses. Just make sure to save it with a .jpg extension to make life easier.

As I age, I have more and more in common with drunks.

I get stiff in joints.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Rebel Ways

... or Porting the Camera

Well, I finally fell off my wallet and did it. I purchased my SLR Digital Rebel camera, about two years ago, but we have have an on-again off-again relationship, Mistress Rebel and I. While I haven't been seriously contemplating a divorce, I have recently been considering taking a second mistress. You see, Cuppa's little camera, a Canon Elph, is very compact, easily ported, and takes pretty good pictures. Mistress Rebel, on the other hand, is not only big but it is an SLR which really requires extra attachments, like a telephoto lens, if you're going to make it really work for you. So, you see, I have been thinking of buying a second camera, smaller than the Mistress but with a little more juice than Cuppa's Elph.

You see, because of her girth, I have, all too frequently, chosen to leave Mistress Rebel at home and use the Elph. But when I considered getting another camera, I realized that it would be of a similar ilk to the Elph (hmm ... I like that ... ilk to Elph). And why, pray tell, would we want two point-and-shoot cameras? Well, I would want a new camera for the reasons outlined above, of course, but there's a fly in that particular ointment — the Elph's photos, while not too shabby at all, simply do not have to crispness and resolution of the SLR.

By yesterday I had sorted my feeble brain through this dilemma and decided to purchase a very portable and convenient camera bag. It is really quite an engineering feat: a sling pouch that can very, very easily, be shifted from back to front (see the two photos above). Once I shift it to the front, I can grab my camera with facility. The photo to the left shows how well-designed this little beauty is. See all of the lenses and do-dads that can be stored? When I open the case to take a picture, I look straight down to the camera (not quite the view in the photo). I can easily grab the Mistress (oooh la la), shoot the picture, place her (gently and lovingly, of course) back into her niche, and sling the pouch to the back for easy carrying. It's really a very nifty contraption.

It's made by Lowepro, and, yes, it did set me back a little more than a hundred smackers. But after under-utilizing my camera, somewhat, for two years and then dithering about what to do for the last several months, I think I have made the right decision. You see, Cuppa and I are going to make a little trip to the Arizona and the Grand Canyon in a few weeks, and I quite look forward to having my camera much more accessible than it has been. I imagine that there will still be times when I opt to just use the Elph, but porting Mistress Rebel will certainly be much, much easier.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Today's Flowers

... and possibly the final crocus pictures for this year.


The above version is more or less the original photo with some desatruating of the yellow and some saturating and brightening of the purple.

Below, is the same photo but cropped and with some filters applied.



Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Crocus Untouched


I'm sure that you'll see another crocus photo or two before I'm done with this theme.

The unusual thing about this photo is that I have done no post-processing whatsoever. At the least, I generally add a bit of contrast or saturation, but I couldn't find the right keys to improve this one.


Monday, April 03, 2006

The Hours

There's no garden to speak of in our new digs, but we stopped at Butterfly's yesterday to visit her and her crocuses (and The Boy, of course). It was an absolutely gorgeous day after an absolutely gorgeous week. We could have been doing other things, but the days of the crocus are numbered and fleeting, and I think we did a good thing to appreciate them for a while. We of numbered hours do well to appreciate the beauty of those hours.

I have added a Flickr Badge of my Spring Flower set to the sidebar. You can click to have a better look if you wish.