Saturday, February 29, 2020

Caturday 20: Tunashamed

Design is important. I know what this image is meant to say, but the somewhat sacrilegious internet sees it as Tunashamed. In fact, it has become a widespread meme.

Since Lacey loves her tuna above almost all else, I couldn't resist pasting her into the original photo.

It is like she is covering her head in shame for being so addicted to tuna, of which she insists on being served three or four small portions per day.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Heavy, Sticky Snow and a lot of it

We had a significant fall of wet and heavy snow yesterday, which would have been even greater if some of the precipitation had not fallen in the form of rain. Having to make a short run anyway, I then drove the car to two spots less than a mile from our place to shoot a few quick photos.

These are from the park just around the corner. The snow being deep and really wet, I wasn't brave enough to venture into the park but just shot a few pics from the road.

There was almost a whiteout beyond the pond.

In the pond, itself, a few few mallard ducks swam about in the small area that was ice free.

This one tree deserved special attention.

I drove to another spot not far from home and photographed yet another tree, this one at the edge of a parking lot.

With the local streets being snow-covered and rutty, I didn't venture any farther and beat a retreat to home, and there I stayed for the remainder of the day.

Oops . . . I forgot this one, just looking up the road toward the intersection.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Fast and Loose

I wasn't going to blog about this due to personal modesty. Yes, I have a little modesty. But very little as you may soon discover.

But when the title, Fast and Loose, popped into my very tiny and very easily amused brain, I just had to write it up.
This is wordplay, you understand. I am not using fast and loose in the usual sense, which is reckless and irresponsible. Of course, this wordplay business is a first for me, for I am seldom one to pun and play with words. (He wrote with fingers crossed behind his back.)
You see, m'dears, I went about 45 hours between morsels. I assure you that this is not my usual style — 45 minutes maybe, but 45 hours?? Seriously!?

So that was the Fast part.

But not so fast my fine,friendly folks because now cometh the Loose part.

For, in addition to starving myself for a certain medical procedure, I was also coerced into drinking copious amounts of fluids, including 2 litres/quarts of really obnoxious stuff. Truly obnoxious. I cannot stress this enough.

The evening litre of the repugnant brew was bad enough. Really bad, in fact.

But gagging down a whole litre in the morning was beyond the pale. I mean to say, it wasn't as though I had all morning to do it. Starting roughly around 7 o'clock, I was instructed to consume the whole odious litre and then guzzle 4 more glasses of clear liquid by 8:30. This is not a task for the faint-of-heart, of which club I most certainly am not a charter member.

Do not try this at home.

Check that. Only try this at home and only when you are within close proximity to a commode, bathroom, washroom, toilet, loo, potty, head, or latrine. Or all of the above.

'Cause y'see m'darlings, after drinking said obnoxious solutions, one becomes very loose indeed. But I will exercise some restraint and spare you the details without a running (ahem) commentary.

I do possess some couth and will keep the rest of this asinine procedure between my proctologist and me.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Working Through It

Another hockey post, I'm afraid, but it is a little different.

Although I have shown a lot of hockey photos over the season as well as in other years, they are not the best quality. The somewhat less than ideal lighting (although our arena is better than some) is one factor. The other is that I am forced to shoot through thick glass.

To get clearer images,  pro photographers in pro arenas get to shoot from little holes that are cut through the glass. Sadly, we amateurs in community arenas as not afforded this luxury.

All that I can really do is to try to capture good action moments and to process them as best I can.

There is a section near the teams benches where the glass isn't quite as high, but I have to hold the camera over my head, which is not ideal. And it isn't in the best spot for action either.

However, just to make my point, I am showing you a photo that was taken from over the glass.

Can you see that is a shade clearer that this next reference photo even though I shot it from over my head? Also, I have worked a little harder at editing this ↓ photo that the other ↑, and so it is pretty good. Keep in mind, though, that it is one of the best of a large lot.

Mind you, the action and facial expressions compensate a lot, and I really like the shot. But I am just saying that shooting through the thick glass is hardly optimal. However, a lot of great photos from the past were not of high photographic quality compared to modern equipment, but those photographers did wonders with their equipment. You just have to work with what you have.


A few comments as follow-up to comments from my previous hockey post where I reported on the Iqaluit game.

(1) I would think that the Iqaluit team had a full agenda and didn't come this way for one hockey game or even just hockey games. Surely there was some culture and education involved in a trip to the capital.

(2) Some worried about safety for kids playing hockey, but they are very well protected, and there is no body checking permitted at this level. I think it is pretty safe.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tundra Swans and Running Water

We have been having a little visit from a small gaggle of tundra swans. The day before, without my camera in hand, we saw 6 of them, but there were only 4 on this, the next, day.

They were certainly not accommodating as they were loitering on the far side of the river.

Although I had my longest lens, the one that zooms to 400mm, this was the closest that I could get. It would have been nice to trample on yon private property to get closer, but some people are funny about that.

This next photo is approximately from the same distance but I think I had changed my spot somewhat. I decided to compose with the swans at the top of the frame to eliminate the houses.

Then, I chose my best photo from the lot that I shot. It is only the best because one swan was considerate enough to raise its head for a bit. Shooting handheld at such a zoom and then cropping by a lot results in a photo that is not super sharp, but it isn't bad under the circumstances either.

I have one more cropped photo showing ducks near the swans. I only know mallards, so I will rely on others to ID them for me. They seem smaller than mallards with black heads and white on their bodies.

This is slightly off topic, but someone recently asked about our river not being frozen. It certainly isn't as it runs through town, but it is frozen before it reaches town. This photo shows the dividing line.

The boundary never varies too far from here although it does move right somewhat in very cold winters as the current flows from left to right.

The river widens to the left and gets wide enough beyond the photo to call it a lake: Mississippi Lake. That width results in a less rapid current, and as a result the lake freezes. Once the river enters town limits the channel narrows and the water begins to move too fast to freeze.

Out on the lake, however, the water freezes enough that people erect huts for ice fishing. It being a milder winter than normal, I don't know if that happened this year.

The red dot is approximately where I took the photos; the arrow points in the direction of the last photo towards the lake. The town is mostly the other way. Of course, the river geography is why the town is where it is in the first place, for water power was key back in the day.

Addendum: The ducks have been identified as Common Goldeneye.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Buried by a Blizzard

The Blizzard of the title does not refer to  a winter storm, but to the hockey teams that visited our town this past week. The Iqaluit Blizzard buried our team, so to speak.

The Iqaluit Blizzard boys hockey teams came the 2100km/1300mi from Baffin Island way up in Nunavut last week. Iqaluit is 64°N right near the Arctic Circle.

I don't know what else was on their agenda, but I suspect that they were visiting Ottawa, the nation's capital, and playing a few exhibition games while they were here.

They were in the next age bracket from Jonathan, so he wasn't playing, but we decided to attend the games regardless since a fuss was being made of the visitors: quite rightly, I hasten to add.

The Blizzard defeated our B and C teams quite handily. I do wonder if our A and B teams would have been more competitive, but it doesn't matter in the least. It was an experience for all.

Of course, I took a few photos. Other photographers took the serious ceremonial photos, but I just did what I do and took mostly action photo of the games themselves, and I am presenting three shots that I like. The Carleton Place Kings are in white, the Iqaluit Blizzard in [mostly] blue. (Some had red pants while others were totally in blue.)

The hockey season is coming to an end, so you will be relieved to learn that there won't be too many more hockey posts. I think our guys have one more league game, but it is away, so I shan't likely attend. This will be followed by an away tournament. Sometime after that, there will likely be a playoff game or maybe two.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Going Mono

I took two of the photos that I shot last week and decided to monochrome them.

In both cases, I decided to add a orange-blue split tone where I added some orange to the hilites and blue to the shadows. It is a popular look that I think I overdid in the second image. They do feel different than the originals, particularly the first image, I think.

I am not going to repost the initial versions, but they are back here for reference.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Caturday 19: A Year in the Books

I wouldn't have known this; the year has gone so quickly. But Lacey has been with us for year as of this past Wednesday. She was thought to be 8 at the time of her adoption, so that makes her (pause while AC reverts to fingers) 9 now.

One hates to brag, but I think the rather unwanted cat lucked out when we adopted her. I mean, she does get to nom on human tuna several time a day. I feed her kibble by hand every morning, and I toss her treats sometimes too.

Above all, she (the suck) gets much petting from Sue.

You're getting the hang of this, lady

The cat has no shame.

Friday, February 21, 2020

A Mel Movie

Believe it or not, this is Mel Gibson on our town's main street last weekend.

It really is Mel, dressed for a movie part.

Yes indeedy: movies are shot in our area. Mostly of the Hallmark genre, but I know nothing about this one (see addendum for update). They mostly take place in the town to the north of us, Almonte (with a silent e). However, scenes are frequently shot in our town too.

Aside from Gibson, other actors of apparent note (although they are unknown to me) are Walton Groggins, Walton Boyd Crowder, Venus Van Dam, Wade (somebody or somebody wade), and  Steve Nash.

Apparently, this is Walton Boyd, and he is somebody that some know, but I pretty much live in the dark . . . in my ark. He does look vaguely familiar, however.

A scene from the shooting.

They had a very cold day for it, and apparently, bystander photography was strictly prohibited during the shoot.

Addendum: A tiny bit of sleuthing has revealed to me that the film is to be called Fatman, at least it is the working title.
Fatman centers on a rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus (Gibson) who is fighting his business decline. Meanwhile, Billy, a neglected and precocious 12 year old, hires a hit man to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking. It was written and will be directed by brothers Ian and Eshom Nelms, whose credits include Small Town Crime, Waffle Street and Lost on Purpose.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Tunnel Vision

Sometimes, I get exasperated with myself because I tend to miss details. Well, I exasperate myself for other reasons too, but my lack of attention to detail sometimes drives me crazy. And others too, I suspect.

Take this photo, for example.

I had three photos to work with, and I somehow used the one photo twice and completely missed another. You see, the first two Jonathan's (from left to right) are the same. They are different sizes as a result of my cutting and pasting, but they are exactly the same photo.

I didn't see this when I made the compositie. I didn't see it when I posted it here. And I didn't see it when I first uploaded it to Flickr just to put in the queue for the time being to make live later. And I didn't see it when I looked at it a second time in my Flickr queue.

Finally, before making it live, I had another look. And only then did I see it.

How can someone be so unobservant?

Drives me crazy.

I am glad, however, that I noticed the problem before it went live on Flickr. My plan was to post it for the theme, Happy Slider Sunday, where people post their more processed or manipulated photos. Stitching three photos together counts in my book.

Back to the drawing board, or I should say Photoshop, to try to right my wrongs.

Here we are.

Aside from correcting that dadblasted mistake, I like this shot better because I managed to space out the 3 JJs better.

But really, AC, get your um stuff together. Yeah, stuff: that's it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Another Game Another Goal

Way to go, JJ. Two goals in two games. I think you are liking the switch from defence to forward.

Yet, once again, I missed it. He scored the second goal of the game. For both of the goals that sandwiched his, I was able to capture a shot of the puck going in the net. But I missed JJ's shot although when you get to the second photo, below, you will be able to see the puck behind the goalie.

This was just prior to the goal (in white). I don't know whether he had just shot the puck or whether he got the puck later.

Even in celebration, he is blurry, just like last game (he's behind the net).

He had other good moments.

The best was a sequence where he and a teammate skated all of the way up the ice together and scored. It was the teammate who had the puck, but the fact that they went up ice together is great.

The beginning of the rush. JJ is in the middle of the frame.

After a long skate, you can see the puck leaving the stick.

Eyes glued, following the shot. I love it when I can get expressions like that; it doesn't happen all that often.

Celebration! I got expressions again, and even better ones. I think this is the photo of the game.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Cold Winter Photos

As I have opined previously, and probably on several previouslies (yes, spellchecker, I do know), outdoor winter photography is problematic. When conditions are most beatiful after a freshly fallen, pristine snow, it might be difficult to get around. Otherwise, it may be too cold, too windy, too cloudy and dull, or even too slushy. Therefore, aside from that New Years Eve shoot (here and here), I hadn't been out at all.

JJ's hockey games have kept me somewhat amused, and there are little family gatherings.

But it's not the same.

In the event, I ventured out on Friday morning despite or perhaps even to spite the very cold temperatures that were well below freezing. I bundled up, and because it was bright enough and calm enough, I was quite comfy womfy out there.

I had hoped that there was enough of a spray by the rapids in town to result in picturesque freezing on the trees, but that wasn't the case.

However, as I drove around, I spotted a bench in Hackberry Park with a glimpse of the falls from the dam in the distance,

I took a shot under the old railway bridge, which would have been to my back in the previous photo,  back toward Hackberry Park again, and you can still faintly glimpse the falls in the distance.

Oh, I almost forgot that I did also took a photo of the relic waterwheel apparatus by the former McArthur mill.

With nothing else catching my eye down below, I ascended the trail, of which the bridge is a part, and took a photo looking upriver toward townhall with its spire and clock. Another former mill, Boulton Brown, now condos, is on the left.

It took some post processing work to get the most out the above photo, but as a result, it became my photo of the day and, just perhaps, of the winter.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Seniors in an Elevator

After I posted Old Age is a Massacre last week, Sue came into my den to remind me that I had left out the best part, or certainly the funniest part of our hospital adventure. Since I had already hit the publish button, I decided not to append the anecdote to the original post but to return to it in a subsequent post. Which is now, one week later.

After my x-rays, the kindly technician took pity on this pair of hapless seniors. He took us into the hall, pointed to the elevator just ahead, and told us to get in and go to the basement whereupon we should walk around in a U before going this way and that.

While the U and this way and that seemed like much to bear in mind, we were quite confident about getting into the elevator and pressing B for basement.

Not so fast, gramps and granny!

What seemed to surely be a simple task turned out to flummox us because there was no B for basement. In point of fact, the whole panel was a confusing array of mysterious buttons. Believe it or not, there were three separate first floors (or L levels) with different designations, which I can't recall now because I am a senior and to be both pitied and excused.

After hmming and hawing, we pressed what seemed to be the most logical button. Wrong! The elevator remained stationary, but the door that we had just entered courteously re-opened as if the beast would be only to pleased to be rid of its hapless occupants.

So, that wasn't the right button. We were down to a 50-50 choice unless the basement could have been one of the above buttons, which didn't seem highly probable.

S'okay . . . we made the next seemingly most logical choice. Once again, the contrary contraption refused to budge. But to keep it lively and keep us guessing, the other door opened, it being one those two-door elevators.

The third push was successful, after which we walked around in a U as we had been told to do, and we resumed our rather lengthy and confusing trek. If memory serves, we had to stop at least one other hospital worker to confirm our direction in the warren in which we were floundering about.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

A Sleepover with Danica

Harkening all of the way back to last weekend, dear Danica came for a sleepover on Saturday. It was mostly to escape her brother's birthday sleepover, but we were happy to have her whatever the reason. Sleepovers don't happen as frequently as they used to, but they are still meaningful to us.

We had picked her up mid afternoon after our Appreciation Event, and Danica did some homework before we went out for supper.

For supper, we decided to try Dairy Queen. We'd never done that before but had heard good things, and we had coupons. I don't think we'll eat there again apart from ice cream in summer. We weren't overly enchanted by the food, and I am suspicious when hot food is brought to the table (after ordering at the counter) almost as soon as we sit down. Like it took about two minutes to get three dinners ready?! Sue's burger bun contained some mold. They brought her another, or did they just change the bun, or did they just cut the mold from the bun?

Nevertheless, Danica enjoyed her dessert.

She spent much of the evening curled up and doing whatever she does on her phone. Grandma had gone to bed at this point.

Guess what she did in the morning?

Did you guess right?

After attending JJ's hockey game we did breakfast/lunch at McDs.

Somewhat surprisingly, she wanted to come back to our place rather than go home. She did some crafting, homework, and I am sure more phone stuff.

It was late afternoon, but she decided that she wanted to stay for supper too. Go figure.

What a treat to have this almost-teenager return for a sleepover. I think I still have some memories of the first one. I should try to find it and link. Just wait a minute while I . . .

Did you wait? I have one of me walking with Danica at a sleepover. I'm not sure if it was the very first one, but I think it might very well have been.

It touches me quite deeply to see that photo.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Caturday 18: Alarmed

Goodness Gracious me o my! It is Saturday already so soon. (Although I confess that I am writing on Tuesday. Sometimes, I get way ahead of myself, and I think that I still have two more posts to write before I quit this morning. I don't usually get this far ahead of myself.)

Believe it or not we have another Caturday for your viewing and reading pleasure.

This is a photo of Lacey on Sue's lap. Sue had been petting her, and as Lacey lifts her head, I conceptualize her saying something like, "What?! You have actually stopped petting me. This alarms me greatly. Don't make me bite you!"

The look of alarm