Monday, July 23, 2018

Kids Week, Day 4

We'd been playing the game off and on for 4 days, when we took steps to speed it up by trading properties to allow for houses and hotels. JJ had the least posh of the blocks, but we all kept on landing there, and he kept miraculously missing everybody else's properties. So there you go.

I was cleaned out first, then Sue. JJ and Danica battled it out until the end.

(Too many videos below for the casual drop-on-by blogger, but they are more for personal records. Passers-by are not expected to watch or comment.)

Of course there was another bike ride. This time I wore the GoPro. I just need to keep my head up more as I barely kept the kids in the frame.

Just past that boardwalk at the end of the previous video, we stopped by the water once again. I took a brief clip of the kids and then panned west to east along the river.

Then it was off to the "mountain" bike course for JJ to strut his stuff. He wore the GoPro to record his adventure: an adventure than ended in a tumble.

Meanwhile, these two beautiful gals rocked the time away (so to speak).

Having recovered from his wounds, JJ did a few tricks.

After a respite at home, with more Monopoly, we drove to the park for a picnic lunch. I set up the camera on timer for a little group portrait. I might even print this one, or maybe not because JJ is munching.

We were there for maybe 90 minutes, during which time JJ grabbed the camera and snapped a lot of pictures, mostly of Danica, and she was glad to oblige.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Kids Week, Day 3

Another day, another bike ride. I think it's great that grandparents and grandkids can go on semi serious bike rides together. By that I mean more than just around the block.

Sue was wishing for a Go Pro for our rides, and the kids piped up that dad had one. Oh really?!

So they brought it over; we put it on JJ's helmet, and off we went. I managed to edit about 19 minutes down to 1 minute.

I really should add music. I have done so in the past, but I mainly do videos in passing for the memory book as it were, whereas I take still photography a little more seriously. But we shall see.

Toward the end of the vid, you will see a portion of our Mississippi River.

After lingering by the water for awhile, we took JJ to the mountain bike park. You have see both kids and even moi there previously, but you have not seen him doing tricky bike sorts of things in the parking lot.

Of course, no kids week would be complete without a stop at Tims.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Kid Week, Day 2

Day 2 also feature bike time, and just a little more than we had thought. The goal was to head downtown and visit the painted pianos with the kids.

It was covered on this day, but we removed it, and set it to one side, and the kids had some fun trying it out, both before and after the picnic lunch which we ate there.

JJ roamed and managed to climb up on the fountain. It's not exactly a fountain, but just a trickle of water pouring out of the top and down the sides. Once again, I at am pains to figure out how he did it, but once again, he required some assistance in getting down. And, of course, there was a little performance at the top.

While Danica and Sue stayed with the second piano, JJ decided that he wanted to nose around townhall.

I must explain the bit above about doing more cycling than we had intended. When we were more than halfway home, Danica realized that she had left her biking gloves behind at the benches shown above (photo taken from townhall). So back we pedalled. By the time we arrived back home, we were all drenched with sweat.

Finally, earlier in the day, Danica had done a little performance with the cups, and I think it's worth posting.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Kid Week, Day 1

This is our week with the kids. There will be another sometime later this summer, but this is our July stint. Today (Friday, as I post this) is actually our last day, but I am just getting around to reporting on the first day — Monday.

So far (as I write about Monday on Tuesday to post on Friday), bicycles are forming an important part of the week. On Monday we headed out on the trail fairly soon after they got here and had consumed breakfast, for it was going to be a hot day. Predictions turned out to be correct; it was a scorcher. But it wasn't too bad early on, especially along the shadier parts of the trail.

We ended up about 4 km from home at St James Park, where we lingered for awhile before turning back toward home.

The international cairn was intriguing. Danica read out the countries that contributed to the cairn. The rest of us found some of them.

Then Danica and I went down toward the river where I showed her the dam. She had trouble with the concept but mostly because she had learned to associate dams with beavers. But there were no beavers. Eventually, we communicated intelligently.

But when I turned around, JJ was on top of the cairn. The boy is a climber, but I'm not sure how he scaled that monument.

He can be quite a performer.

Occasionally, the old guy is still moderately useful, as the boy needed a little help getting down.

Meanwhile, Danica indulged in her favourite pastime — taking selfies.

A few more pics from the day.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Flowers and Water

Two more early morning pics from my shoot with the boys with flowers in the foreground with the river behind.

The building across way is the old Leatherworks. It was later a restaurant by that name, but now it is a restaurant by another name.

From the other side of the bridge looking upstream, more or less southwest.

I guess that's it for that morning.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Up on the Rooftops

Our town is said to have the oldest, continually operating canoe club in Canada, which I presume means that there may be an older club which shut down for awhile. But I don't know; I'm just surmising.

They do have a big regatta every year, and this past weekend was it. A few of us were invited to shoot it from a nearby rooftop.

It was four flights up: four often dark and dirty flights. When I say dirty, I mean that there was bird poop everywhere, including on the railings that we were forced to hold on to. My friend, Bob, and I are both of a senior and decrepit bent, he with a bad knee and I with a bad foot (with knees also not exactly great either). But we made it.

The roof was sloped with a peak in the centre, but the pitch wasn't bad. Nevertheless, I stayed pretty far back from the edges.

The sight lines weren't great and the distance was a problem. The lady above had a pretty big zoon lens, so she might have got some better pictures. Later, we moved to a lower roof, but the position still wasn't optimal. I am shooting from the lower roof to the higher one in this ↓ photo.

Some of the regatta shots.

And a few non-regatta shots.

And the spire of townhall poking above the trees.

It was fun to go up there and try.  The height didn't bother me quite as much as I thought it would, but I was pretty careful up there.

And then I hurried home to wash my hands very thoroughly. Very. Bird poop be gone!

Buildings in the Morning

Still posting those early Sunday photos, when I parked downtown, I found myself opposite the house of the former mill owner, back in the day. The lights added a nice dimension.

At one time, if I recall correctly from our walking tour last summer, the owner/residents were the grandparents of Roy Brown, the flying ace credited with shooting down the Red Baron. Brown lived just around the corner.

Back in those days, owners liked to live near to their companies as noisy as they might be. The Boulton Brown Mill was directly across the street from the house: now condos, of course.

Looking in the opposite direction, I took a photo of town hall.

I also tried a few wide angle shots from below town hall, looking up. They didn't work out as well as I had hoped, but it was interesting to try.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lake Road East

I took pictures other than the piano when I was out early with the boys. When I was about to turn right to leave the neighbourhood, I looked to me left where it's a country sort of road, saw some sunrise and mist, and decided to take a photo or two. A warming filter in post brought out more colour that was actually there, but I like the results.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Piano Time at Six AM

On occasion, I have coffee with two local senior photographers, like me. They are longtime good friends, but they include me every so often which pleases me.

Until just a few days ago, we last got together about two or three weeks prior. It was a last minute affair then, and we sat and gabbed at the coffee shop for four hours. They are both jolly good gabbers, which is great for me, for I am not.

Sue was getting beside herself as the four-hour mark approached because normal people don't usually have coffee for four ours — especially in the evening.

When she messaged me, maybe twenty minutes before the gabfest broke up to see if I was alright, I replied that I was. But I neglected to press SEND. Oh dear.

And then she called twice, but I was already in the car on the way home, so I couldn't answer. She was not in a good frame of mind when I got home. Apparently, she still loves me and was worried about what might have befallen me.

We had coffee again this week, on Saturday morning, for a more respectable hour and a half. During which time, we agreed to meet at six o'clock Sunday morning, to shoot in the quiet downtown.

I think the main goal was to photograph the two artfully painted pianos that have recently been left out in our little downtown. One was still covered because of rain the previous night, but the other is under a canopy, so it was accessible.

This sort of photography isn't my main interest, but one does what one can.

The guys: Bob and Nick in that order.

After we finished with our little shoot, we ... you guessed it ... went for coffee.

But, naturally, I took some other photos which I shall share in due course. Naturally.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

... Then I Have Not Done

Back in prehistoric times when I was in first year uni, our required English course was Major British Writers. In this survey sort of course, I found that I quite liked the poetry of John Donne, who played with words a little.

The first stanza of A Hymn to God the Father:
Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun, 
         Which was my sin, though it were done before? 
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run, 
         And do run still, though still I do deplore? 
                When thou hast done, thou hast not done, 
                        For I have more. 
You see the word play, don't you: Donne/done?

The line, in slightly modified form as above in the title, comes back to me every so often. For example: when I think I am done with a photo or photo project, I more often than not find myself returning to it.

So, it was earlier today that I found myself being drawn back to my recent Celtfest photos. I worked on a few composites and then a b&w conversion.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have seldom if ever seen bass fiddles at Celtfest; this year there was one in two consecutive bands.

I think I also mentioned  Anita McDonald if not by name. She was a triple threat as it were: vocals, fiddle, and step dancing.

The fiddler, Dave Neigh, of the headline band, Steel City Rollers, also drew my attention.

The mono conversion is of guitarist Ben Deschamps, of Heather Dale's Band. I tried to give it a bit of a gritty look.

I wonder if I am finally done, for I am most certainly not Donne.