Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Fiddling Styles

I found a clip about fiddling when I was ... um ... fiddling around on YouTube on that snowy morn that I posted about yesterday. The fiddler, Carol Ann Wheeler, won this competition by playing different styles of fiddling.

What I hear at our Celtfest tends to be a bit of Old Time fiddling but perhaps more of the Celtic styles of her Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton variations. I put those three style together like that because I don't have the ear to tell which I am hearing when. I do prefer these Celtic styles to Old Time fiddling, but some of that is okay too. I am telling you this before you get to the clip, so you can watch for those parts in particular because she also plays several other styles. 

I was a little puzzled by what she called Canadian fiddling because I have never heard of it. When I noticed her playlist, however, I thought that by choosing Frenchie's Reel, she might have meant French Canadian or Quebecois.

Speaking of Quebecois music, this ↓ is Le Vent du Nord (The Northwind), a group that has played twice at our Almonte Celtfest. There's more than fiddling here, but they are a very upbeat and energetic band that some of you might enjoy.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021


First item on the agenda on Monday morning was to click into the school bus site. As we feared but rather expected, the buses were cancelled.

It was not the first snow, but it was the first Snow Day. Sue and I have called it a Snow Day when buses were cancelled and particularly when schools were also cancelled. However, and sadly for me back in the day, schools tend to remain officially open unless it is really bad, even though students don't bother to go when buses are cancelled. Not even the pedestrian kids go because they're not stupid. Teachers still have to show up though, which always drove me crazy, especially when I had to travel out to a country school in poor weather to sit in a school devoid of students.

But in these days of retirement, you would be forgiven for wondering how school buses might affect a pair of seniors. Well, a few years ago, it would have meant extra child-minding duties, but now, with the kids pretty self sufficient, it just means no exercise class for us. This isn't our call, but how the authorities ... um ... authorize it: No Buses, No Exercise Sessions. 

I did take a few crappy snaps out our windows. While it briefly crossed my mind to go out, it wasn't a good snow, and it also may have been raining at the time, and I was still in my PJ's. The rain was likely the main reason for the bus cancellation, as it was freezing rain when the buses would have been rolling. Freezing rain on top of snow just isn't good. Come to think of it, freezing rain ain't actually the cat's pyjamas at any time.

That's right American spellcheck, I spelled pyjamas the Canadian/British way. Take that will ya.

This was not a pretty snow for, as the temperatures were warming, it was already turning to regular rain, and that just makes it yucky. 

First out back, then looking out front.

As I already wrote – Yucky! And I am going to make it the title too.

Little Gadgets and Christmas Afghans

Who doesn't love a helpful little gadget?

Sue has always been taken with gadgets, but she really got it right this time.


The lady crochets a lot in winter and has done four peppermint creations over the past few years: one for Shauna, one for us (I guess to eventually go to PJ someday if she wants one), and two for the cat lady to raise money in her auctions. Shauna purchased one of those back from cat lady and gave it to a friend.

Sue wrote a guest blog for me way back in 2017 where she explained the rather involved process: The Afghan Explained.

She has the wool for a fifth peppermint throw and actually began it, but she has shifted to a different pattern for the sake of variety.

Now that I have filled in the background, let us return to the gadget thingie.

Lighting is a problem. It seems that there is never enough of it in her work spaces. I mean I have recently told you that she sees brighter than the rest of us, but her work corners aren't all that well lit, and her aging eyes begin to struggle with close work.

She has tried my photography headlamps, but one is heavy, and even I don't like it. While I love my other lightweight one, Sue still doesn't prefer to wrap it around her tresses.

You can see the solution below.

It a lightweight gadget thingie that hangs around her neck to illuminate her work perfectly. And it's pink too. Bonus.

Bur hark! What is this new pattern? It's not peppermint.

It is another poinsettia themed pattern, developed by the same person who designed the peppermint throw. Like the other, Sue has to follow the involved video tutorial until she has it in her head. These two blocks ↑ are number 35 and 36, the final ones of this type to go into the ultimate creation.

So that is step 1 with many more to go to get to this result. Cute kid not included.

Following are two current photos of our peppermint afghan in situ: one at ours (with the cat who is not supposed to be there), the other at Shauna's. Wanting a bit of a change from bright, Christmas red after three jobs, she switched more of a wine red on last winter's project (ours).

Monday, December 06, 2021

Staying Close to Home

When GMaps sent me a summary of my November ramblings, it was apparent that we hadn't rambled very far.

That map ↑ pretty much sums it up. It appears as though we confined ourselves to about 9km² or about 3.5mi². That's a rough estimate only, but we're all friends here so absolute precision doesn't matter too very much. Eh?

We did extend ourselves beyond those limits twice, once north and once east, but GMaps didn't pick up on it as it usually does. 

No wonder that I only have to fill up with gas once in a typical month – at least in a typical winter month, and November is darn close to winter hereabouts. 

Considering the price of gas, I guess that isn't a bad thing.

Sunday, December 05, 2021


I am contemplating what our own senses tell us compared to what others’ senses tell them. Do you really see what I see? Do I hear what you hear? And what about taste and smell?

It was Sue who got me started on this track.

If we are outdoors you will only very infrequently see a picture of Sue sans sunglasses, except perhaps if we’re doing coffee in the car on an overcast day. Or maybe even outside in winter under a very cloudy sky.  I swear that she considers donning them during a full moon at midnight.

But I didn’t know until just yesterday that even as a child she had to sit facing away from the window at dinner hour. And they didn’t have a big window either. I do wonder what it would be like to see as she does, but other than having an inkling, I will never know for sure.

Add it to the growing list of things I don't know, not really about Sue, but I am referring to my lack of knowledge in general.

Is my azure blue sky the same colour as yours? We assume so, but we don’t know. Surely, an artistic person sees differently than the rest of us. We know about colour-blind people, but I expect there are all sort of gradations of colour perception.

Just as surely, a musician must hear differently than I do, especially those gifted (or cursed?) with perfect pitch. Also consider how we hear at different volume levels. In my case, my hearing loss frightens me when my hearing aids are out. And sometimes when they're in too.

Taste is so obvious, isn’t it? While broccoli is anathema to me, Frumpy Prof  Pipe loves it. Jonathan will only eat raw carrots, but I need them so highly roasted that the carroty taste is obliterated. Even then, gravy helps. Sue loves to put cauliflower in a salad; I can only handle it well cooked and smothered in cheese. These are not things that we choose but the way that we are.

Clearly our brains all work differently too, other than just what our senses perceive. My introverted brain, doubtless, perceives and processes differently that your more extroverted brain. While you may be stimulated by social situations, they likely tire me. I can handle them well in moderation, but then I will be happy to withdraw and recharge.

I don’t have any great insight or conclusion to draw from these ruminations (which spellcheck tells me I can’t pluralize) because I am just an old guy sitting in his easy chair, with vague notions fleetingly passing through his wee brain.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

The Caturday Trail

Every winter, for 16 years in this house, there has been a cat following this route from wherever to wherever. They cross in front of the porch from left to right and then wend their way down the driveway. They do this is summer too, but their pussy toes leave no evidential trace then. We have to be in the right place at the right time to spot them in summer, but it does happen.

I wonder how many cats have made this their habitual path. It always seems to be just one at a time, and we know that the first one, who belonged to a neighbour, has long since departed for the great tuna dish in the sky.

And that is the whole post for this Caturday. Have a good weekend.

Friday, December 03, 2021

My Prerogative

I am sure that my hockey photos are not fascinating to most people, but since I spend time taking and processing them, it is my prerogative lol to post them (see below for prerogative). For the next few months I will probably post, one game per week although I am sure there will be a Christmas break. 

I do my best with these, but in case you are new, I will tell you that I am shooting through glass, and the glass is often marked where pucks have hit it. So, I do my my best, often in not super lighting, and post on the team's fb page for the parents to see.

I like the posture in this first photo with the taller guy (on our team) bending so low that he's at the height of the shorter opposition player. The faces of the three boys behind also adds interest. ↓

A shot was attempted, and they look to see where it goes. so there is both action and facial expression in the photo. ↓

Another peak action shot of an intense scramble at the goal mouth. ↓

Number 12 was the player of the game – the King. He scored three of the team's five goals, and I am pretty sure that this was one of the goals. ↓

When I look at the spelling of prerogative, I begin to think I have been saying it wrong all of my life, but then I see that it is also considered correct to say it my way puh-rog-uh-tiv, and I feel better. lol