Monday, August 15, 2022

Back in the Saddle Again — Finally

What with a heat wave followed by a deluge and then busyness and conflicts, it had been more than a week since we last cycled. On Saturday, eight days after the previous ride, we finally got out again for Ride 14. Come Sunday, didn't the old fools do it again to complete their 15th ride? 

We cut back on the distance, going only 6.8k on both occasions. This takes us just over 30 minutes of actual cycling. But of course, we always have a drink at the turnaround point and also usually stop at a bench for 10 minutes on the return leg.

On Sunday, as is often the case, Sue had to get a photo for her prompt of the day which was self, smiling with a background. She chose to have townhall in the background.

She also wanted some photos later from the picnic table where we rested, but they were not the best. Around the corner from the bench, however, she posed for a photo at the beginning of one the footbridges that we cross.


Whilst we were at the bridge, along came a friendly lady and her dog. Since Sue is also friendly, they chatted a bit, and then Sue took their picture when they went down to the river to throw and retrieve a stick. This image has a pretty good reflection.

At some point, I had a deja vu moment and was pretty sure that I had photographed this lady before on the other side of the footbridge. We learned that was her previous dog whom she lost a few years ago. I found the photo but was surprised that it was six years ago. She had been wearing the same outfit.

With the photo stops, the outing took an hour although the actual ride time was only about half that. I burned about 100 cals, had a average heart rate of 119, and our speed was 12.8 kph.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

JJ Goes Geocaching

It doesn't happen nearly as much as it used to, but we had an afternoon with the boy.

He's been into geocaching with friends but needed some help from someone with a car to get him over the hump. You see: if he could find one more cache, he would be allowed to hide his own.

He knew there was one by the trail (where we bike), fairly near the arena. Below on the left, he and Amma (Sue) are searching. He found it (image on the right).


He wasn't done caching, but first I had to spend some cash for lunch at McDonalds.


The second stop ↓ (left) after lunch was quite easy to find. The third stop (right) in Almonte (another town) was a failure with the prize somewhere in the grubby bramble beside a parking lot. We both moseyed through the grass and weeds looking for the treasure and hoping that we weren't picking up ticks. Unfortunately, we didn't find the cache; fortunately, we didn't pick up any hitchhiking ticks.


He scored on his fourth try in the heart of Almonte. Crowds and parking prevented us from leaving the vehicle and documenting the find, but he had discovered the cache in short order. JJ was also successful on his fifth and sixth explorations ↓ which were both difficult finds in paces where Ammas and Buppas couldn't go.


Several other caches were unattainable on this day. Two, we had to drive by because they were on a busy road with no place for a car to pull off. They must have been placed by kids on bikes. There was also this one ↓ where the road was too terrible for the car to venture onto. He was beginning to walk out of sight when I whistled him back. When the kids were little they would always respond to my whistle, and by golly, they still do – both of them, as I recently discovered with Danica when she couldn't find me in the parking lot when I was picking her up after work.

He was becoming a little speck ↓ so I whistled.


I'd say it was a successful scavenge, for he scored 5 out of a possible 6 searches, and now he can hide all of the caches that he wants. I hope he chooses to place one in the park and trail near us.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Scintillatingly Special Sturgeon Supermoon

Our bedroom faces west, or more or less anyway, and with Thursday night being clear, the Sturgeon supermoon, was shining upon us quite brightly. After I trundled to the commode sometime before 4:30, the lunar lure would not allow me to return to slumberland. I did try to fight it for awhile, but the mighty sturgeon won.

I took my time once I got up because in my head I thought that I might be able to photograph it with a reflection when the big fish descended a bit lower on the horizon. Nevertheless, I was out in the car, not too long after 5, heading toward Riverside Park.

However, on my way to the park, I decided to stop on Lake Avenue as I neared downtown because I thought the moon over the street with streetlights below would make an interesting photo. I set up the tripod, waited for a vehicle to enter the frame, and pressed the shutter.


That  ↑ photo, and in fact all of them are composites. The moon is really very bright and will easily become just a pure white circle in the sky if I expose for the ambient light. So, I take an exposure to capture the moon, but that renders the rest of the scene black. I then take a somewhat brighter exposure for the scene: not too bright, of course, because I do want the viewer to see a little bit of detail in the scene.

I did the same thing for the next images once I got to the park, but I went a little further in this ↓ first photo: one exposure for the general scene, one for the moon, and a third for the reflection. The two moon shots are more zoomed in to make the moon larger than it would have been in the capture of the whole scene. In the final image, the moon and reflection seem to be as I experienced them in person, but they had become very small in the camera when I exposed for the big scene.

The light in the centre background is from the highway on the edge of town.

The next photo is a closer view, but the technique is the same – one exposure for the scene and one for the moon.


Finally, I switched to my telephoto lens to capture the moon as large as I could. I kept just a little bit of the trees in the lower part of the frame to add a little bit of contest, but the those treetops are barely visible at this resolution. I really should have stayed until the moon was closer to the treetops.


I hadn't  planned on this photoshoot, but it was good to get out, for I have been neglecting my photography lately.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Breakfast at the Waterfront

We enjoyed such a pleasant morning at breakfast on the patio by the river.


I had my usual fare, the Waterfront Scramble (see over there →). But when I say usual, this is only the second visit this year, and it will be probably the last one until October because the yellow jackets are beginning to come out. They weren't bad yesterday, but they have begun and will only get worse. In fact the staff were beginning to put the traps out as we sat there talking.

It was so pleasant that we communed for three hours just gabbing about this, that, and the other thing.

It was a bit sunny at first, so I tilted my cap to try to protect myself from the worst of it. I should have worn my hat with the brim, but I had been expecting overcast skies. The clouds did come a little later, so I was well shaded for much of the morning.


It's a great spot with great food and great company. So yeah. it was GREAT enough to have drawn a roar from Tony the Tiger.



Thursday, August 11, 2022

A Kindred Spirit in Absentia

Yesterday, I did what I do about once every three decades. I took the car over to the Car Wash: not to wash it this time, but to vacuum it. After thirty years or so, it does get a little dirty.

The first thing one does before inserting two loonies or one toonie is to remove the mats.

Digression: yes, we have 1 and 2 dollar coins in Canada, having eschewed paper currency for any denomination under $5 and yes we call them loonies and toonies. The $1 coin became known as the loonie because it bears the image of a loon, which is also very appropriate for a nation of loonie people. Being super imaginative folk, when the $2 coin came along, we called it the toonie. Frankly, I don't even know what image is on our toonie.

As I lay my mat down beside my vehicle, this ↓ is what I saw.

The first, lower, mat is mine. The other two are not mine.

I saw that a previous vacuumer had left her/his two mats.

My heart skipped a beat, for I was meeting – in absentia at least – a fellow forgetter.

Isn't that wonderful?

S/he may be even worse than I – poor soul – for. lo and behold, I did remember to pick mine up and take it back home.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

That's What I Do

My newest t-shirt acquisition arrived yesterday. From what you know of me, I think you'd agree that it was one that I couldn't pass up.

That's What I Do
I Take Photos
And I Forget Things

I have shown a few emblazoned t-shirts that I have purchased in the last few years, and that might cause one to think that I am forever indulging myself. In actuality, I seldom wear these tees and usually settle for wearing plain ones. The plain ones tend to be made of better material after all. But when the mood strikes, I now have a few wacky tees that I can don.

I pretty well started wearing just plain tees about 20 years ago but have picked up a few funny cat or photography shirts fairly recently when I have seen ones on FB that have tickled my fancy.

One might think that I am a self-indulgent old poop, and I suppose that I am. But it is also true that I have never really spent a lot of money on myself. I have decent camera equipment, but none of it is exactly top-of-the line, and purchases were done bit-by-bit over a number of years.

I haven't been taking many photos lately. Earlier in the summer, I did the pond series and then sunrise over the road, but I haven't done much since.

I do have this ↓ one, however, of a rural road not far from us, taken at golden hour.


And while I am at it, here's a recent fireworks photo that I haven't already posted.



Monday, August 08, 2022

Appreciative

It is about 20 years ago that I volunteered to teach an html class for the computer teacher for week. She was great with computers and programming but hadn’t ventured into internet coding.

I had only taken it up as an interest after I retired — an interest that had its day and has long since ceased to be an interest. 

Anyway, I went in for a week to teach one class.

This weekend, a former colleagues mentioned in an email that he had just attended a celebration of life for that computer teacher, Mary. I was shocked.

Mary was only 69 and seemingly in good health. But she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within 10 days. Wow!

The same friend also informed me of other passings. A fellow geography teacher, who retired in the same year as I, also passed away recently. And a lovely former student of mine, who became a teacher in the same school, also has pancreatic cancer.

Here I am, seemingly in good health and able to do my little bicycle rides. I look at my reflection and see the unmistakeable evidence that I have almost completed my 75th trip around the sun, but by golly, this little life of mine is still going well enough. I am both lucky and glad to be sitting here in my comfy chair and typing out these little thoughts on a morning when I wasn’t going to post here because I had nothing to say.