Sunday, May 31, 2020

Oil Can AC

I won't try to wax eloquent, but I just want to say, that I am finding the current events in the USA to be most upsetting. Aside from the murder itself, which is absolutely horrifying, it distresses me greatly to read that white, racist troublemakers actually travel distances to join the demonstrations and foment even more trouble. How messed up must you be to think this is a good thing for you to do?

Having met more than a few Americans, let me write that I have always been impressed with those whom I have encountered. I have visited your homes and have never met an American that I haven't liked. Furthermore, most of my small blogosphere is American, and I impressed with you and your values.

Unfortunately, there is a vile underbelly in America that has poisoned the pot while seeming to become the face of the country, to say nothing of the mendacious orange miscreant who is supposedly in charge.

I know that anyone who reads this will vote, but I think even more has to be done. I am not sure what, but it has to be more than posting online as I am doing.


After that torrid heat last week, we were near a frost warning last night. Nearby counties were actually under a warning. The temperature will only rise to 13C/55F today, and the high temperature of the day won't even reach 20C/68F until later this week.


Speaking of heat, it really seemed to affect Lacey in her fur coat. When she wasn't sprawled on the floor, she spent much time curled up in her perch, with her large self hanging over the edge. It's a good thing there's a ridge or she would likely fall off.


While waiting outside the establishment for my tires to be changed (thank goodness the weather was acceptable), I took a selfie to amuse myself. I don't usually do this as Sue is really in charge of the selfies. I remind myself of Oil Can Harry.

This ↓ is the picture that I have in my head of Harry, but all of the information that I can seem to find is of him this morning is as a cat who is Mighty Mouse's arch enemy.

OilCan Harry - Art


Meanwhile, Sue took some self-selfies as well.


Coincidentally, I chanced upon this actual portrait of Sue that I took last year. I was experimenting with the facial recognition mode on the camera, which worked quite well,  but I had the poor lady looking toward the setting sun. She has very sensitive eyes and could hardly stand the light and soon donned her sunglasses. She doesn't like this photo, but I do. Her current pandemic hairdo is beginning to look much different, however.


We may do a somewhat coolish coffee in the park this afternoon. We shall see. I hope your Sunday goes well.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Breaking Out

I broke down on Thursday and found myself shopping, albeit briefly, in three different locations. It was quite a breakout after 10 weeks of lying pretty low. My combined total time in these establishments was probably 30 minutes or less, and I felt safe in each case.

First, we needed things from the nearby pharmacy from which we also get care products of various kinds as well as vitamins and such. It would be too much to ask others to shop for such a fiddly list, so out I went at 8AM, during the supposed seniors hour. There weren't many of us and most were masked, but some were not masked and not seniors. Oh well.

It went quickly and well enough.

Then I headed to the same garden centre that we turned away from last weekend because it was too crowded. Only 3 or 4 others lined up to wait for the 9AM opening. Only one was masked, and none of the workers were. Mind you, it would be onerous to wear a mask all day long in that hot place

The entrance had one way to enter (left in photo) and one way to exit, but apart from that aisles were narrow and unmarked (they couldn't be really).

Most of what flowers we needed, kind neighbours had already picked up for us at the much busier local garden centre, so armed with a minimal remaining list, I must have been in and out within 10 minutes.

Although I felt pretty safe in both venues, I would not have liked to be in the garden centre when it was crowded.

Finally, for supper, I braved another store — a little takeout place for shawarmas. To minimize time and fuss, we called in our little order, picked it up, and ate on a table behind townhall. We usually have done shawarmas with the kids. It wasn't the same without them.

I took a photo of where we sat and ate near the river, and Sue did a selfie with her phone. It helps that she can set the phone down and trigger it from her watch.

After our little supper, we walked to the bridge around the corner and looked both downriver and upriver. This is the upriver view.

By personal preference, I do try to avoid chronicling the day sequentially from morning to evening, but it seemed the way to go about posting today.

I hope you have a good weekend. The heat has broken here, but we have rain in the forecast for this afternoon.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Shauna Me

Shauna posted this pic to our fam jam group. I thought I was seeing me. I mean, there is hair on top in this pic and all and of course she looks a younger than this poor, old fella, but OMG it was freaky. I looked for the filter that she used just for comparison, but I couldn't find it. I think mine would look very similar, however, although there would be a age discrepancy.

It reminds me of a friend from when the kids were young, who said, "Shauna looks like John but acts like Sue. Allyson looks like Sue but acts like John." So yes, she really does look a lot like John. BTW, Allyson is our other daughter who lives on the west coast and, therefore, doesn't get much mention in these posts.

Shauna was also a bit freaked out by the similarity, so she followed up with this one.

That's better.

Now, here's our daily selfie.

Speaking of Shauna, work is driving her crazy. They have set up places for visiting at her residence with lines clearly marked. But then everyone attempts to move their chairs closer together. I think it's a bit like herding cats. You remember the classic commercial, right?

Also speaking of Shauna, her car repairs came to $800, and she had to borrow ours for 3 days. That was no problem for us as there is nowhere to go anyway, especially in this heat, which leads me to ask, What happened to spring? I think it lasted for all of 3 days. Within about two weeks we moved from snowfall warnings to heat warnings.

The heat caused us to cancel our coffee date in the park yesterday, but maybe we can get together on the weekend, which is supposed to be cooler. In fact, it already is cooler as I sit here at 5:45 in the morning.

Back to Sha's need of our car. It caused us to postpone changing our winter tires, which will now be done in a few hours. I left it so long because we haven't been needing to use the car much. In fact, she probably put on more miles in three days that we have throughout the rest of the pandemic.

Have a good day as we head into the weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Backyard Remembrances

This post will be about our backyard flowers, but I know that you'd miss the selfie, so let's do that first. Some styles won't do two people in one shot, so I blended to photos together to keep up the meme.

The myosotis or forget-me-nots are in bloom. I try to get a photograph every year although I'm pretty sure I didn't bother last year as I was still in recovery from my double hernia surgery.

It's an old old story for some of you, but here it is again, in brief.

My dad planted a few of these flowers in our garden about 40 years ago in our place across the province. Some descendant plants were brought here and almost 40 generations later, Dad's forget-me-nots help us to remember. We shake the plants around every year when the go to seed to keep them coming back.

I have lots of closeup photos from previous years, so I just went out back and took a few quick photos of the big drift near the fence.

Our lilac bush is in bloom.

We have only one annual plant so far. It was a Mothers Day gift.

The hostas are coming along. There are several out front, but this one in the back was here when we arrived 15 years ago. We have transplanted it to a different spot, and it has thrived, but why do I want to write, thriven?

There is a mostly unmaintained easement outside our fence although I do mow it a few times a year. I opened the gate for a quick shot but it was buggy, so I didn't linger. Those are more forget-me-nots in the background. They got there on their own, fecund little blighters that they are. But you can't beat dandelions for fecundity, can you?

In front, the few tulips we had are already in rapid decline, so I won't bother taking any front yard photographs for now. It is more of a summer garden, so perhaps in future.

We just got some bedding plants put in. Our neighbour volunteered to shop for us if we would give her a list of what we wanted. We've been fortunate to be helped by various people during this time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Stars and Snippets

I am often ahead of myself in blogging, which means that when you read them they're behind. Is that a paradox?

Anyway, as I write this on Monday, I have been reminded that Star Wars was released into the world on this date in 1977.

We were at the old cottage that summer when our in-laws also showed up for a few days. Bill had seen the movie and praised it highly. Upon his recommendation, Sue and I drove to London (Ontario) from Sarnia to see it later that summer because it was gone from Sarnia.

I/We enjoyed it thoroughly, and I think it changed movie-making to some degree although perhaps I give it too much credit.

Bill was my brother-in-law whom I quite liked. He was the same age as I but passed away from a brain tumor a few years ago.

I think this selfie is quite apropos under the circumstance.


I think I shall continue with various news clips that I am seeing today. It seems to be a good day for snippets, such as this one from this source. The gist of this article about a church service in Germany is that there was still much spreading of the virus despite the church attempting to take some precautions.
About 40 people tested positive shortly after the service. The rest of the 107 include people who tested positive later on or people they came into contact with. Either way, in a country that has flattened the curve and in a church where the leaders attempted to follow the rules, people still got the virus.
Speaking of churches, oh my!
The largest outbreak in South Korea came from a church. The largest outbreak in France came from a church. The latest outbreak in Germany came from a church. The latest CDC investigation traces a rural Arkansas outbreak—from a church.

Provincially, we've had a spike in new cases for the past week with the daily totals going up past 400 after being well down in the 300s. They put it down to people dropping their guard on Mothers Day.

I guess that means that we can expect the spike to continue after the long weekend that followed Mothers Day. And don't forget last weekend and that park photo. The premier has asked all the participants of that park fiasco (as reported in Mondays post about Canadians being dumbasses) to get tested, and we have reached the stage when anyone can get tested on demand — apparently.

Update: Yesterday we were down to fewer than 300 new cases, which we haven't experienced since sometime in March. This virus is difficult to figure out — at least for me.


When schools resume, will they look like this? I think this is from Thailand.


I don't remember whether I saw this hard-hitting little post on TW or FB.
Every thing we wear is for other people. We wear bras so people won't be disgusted by our "grotesque" hanging breasts, deodorant so people will not gag from the smell of our armpits, and CLOTHES so people will not be forced to look at our naked bodies. We can wear a fucking mask.

Remember when Trump used to criticize President Obama for golfing?

So far his golf trips have cost taxpayers more than $134,000,000 — 335 years of presidential salary.


Here is a long term summer forecast for our region. If you live in another part of Canada, you can click this link for more information because the forecast varies from region to region. Who knows, the forecast might even be correct.
AccuWeather is predicting much of the province will see the stormiest summer in Canada this year, particularly around the Great Lakes region. This will also bring more humidity than usual to the area.
“I think we’ll see a lot of thunderstorms, increased threat of severe weather including tornadoes during the course of the summer,” Anderson said. “That’s going to keep the heat down during the day but the night is probably going to be warm and muggy.”

But now it is hot. It seems like we just had the furnace on, but now The AC is On (as in my blog title heh heh). Hopefully, it will soon cool for more seasonable temperatures because it is too early for this nonsense.

I hope the weather is better wherever you may be.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Dandies

When I wrote, two days ago, of my dismay that the dandelions had disappeared just when I decided to photograph them, well they were back the next morning, or at least another bunch had opened up. Maybe dandelions close up at night? This is something that I have never considered and haven't learned in my 72+ years. It's true; Canadians are a dumb lot.

So, I did have a chance to experiment on the next day. My idea was to get low with a wide angle lens to get the flowers/weeds in the foreground and trees in the background. It worked somewhat, but I made the choice to crop away some of the immediate foreground dandelions, for the ones that were really close to the camera looked too patchy with too much space between them leaving too much detail of grass and ground, which were not photogenic in this case. Live and learn.

This photo ↑ was taken in the field just opposite us, the one attached to a school and a daycare centre. It also serves as a community soccer pitch on summer evenings, but not this year, of course.

From there, I drove into the outlying area of the town to look for trilliums one more time before their blooms withered for another year. It was buggy, so I shot from the roadside and across the ditch down to the flowers. The results were horrendous, and I deleted all of those photos almost as soon as I uploaded them to the computer.

After my futile session with the trilliums, I spotted another field of dandelions with a tree along the same country road. I made a stop and took a very quick photo with my long lens fully zoomed out to 400mm.

Why so quick, AC?

Because I have never encountered so many mosquitoes to descend on me with such rapidity. Swarmed, I tell ya. I couldn't even get back into the car without letting a whole slew of the rascals in to hitchhike.

I drove home with all of the windows open, hoping that the hitchhikers would been blow away. When I got home I closed all of the windows. If there were any of the wretched biters remaining, surely they would cook. Whether it was the open windows of the drive or the closed windows in the driveway, something worked, as a later drive revealed that they were gone.

That's the story behind these two photos, and I am quite pleased with the results. While there seems not to be much to photograph locally, it is good to come up with a new idea.

And . . . it's another day, so here's another selfie.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Canadians Being Dumbasses

Here's a photo that will surprise and prove that Canadians are just as dumb as everyone else. In fact, from reports that I get from many American bloggers and describing how almost everyone there seems to mask, we are a whole lot dumber.

This was taken in a Toronto park on the weekend. Is this a gathering of only 5? Do you see any masks? Don't ask. I cannot explain this. I just hang my head, for I thought we were better than this.


As deplorable as that is, I was really miffed to read one of the comments on social media.

This commenter only saw white privilege, which proves to me that people are prone to interpret information in a way that suits their narrative.

I see mostly young people. Perhaps the crowd was simply reflective of the neighbourhood. I mean, do you suppose for a nanosecond that all non-whites were huddled in their apartments playing solitaire?

Of course, the mistake was mine in reading the comments in the first place, but being a Boomer, I forget promises that I make to myself to not read comments. Or is it because I am male? Or white? I get so confused.


In better news, it was time for Danica to cook dinner again — bbq chicken with beer cans up the butt.

This is how her stepmom describe the experience: She was so grossed out when she was washing it and massaging the butter into it. When I told her to put the can up his butt..omg. The look on her face.

But isn't her picture wonderful? What a great great kid.


In this daily selfie, we were prepared to ride out motorcycles, except we couldn't find them.


Speaking of looking for our ride, Shauna borrowed our car again today, but hers should be ready this afternoon. Good thing, for our grocery pickup will also be ready. Tomorrow, we will finally get our tires changed. I have never left it this late, but since we've been doing so little driving, I decided to wait for the nicer weather. Remember that it wasn't too grand until about a week ago.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Gone to Seed

Perhaps we shall begin with a selfie. I wonder what thoughts the hats invoke. Zorro? A formal event? Gangsters? A pair of senior nitwits?

We were very brave yesterday — until we weren't.

In thinking about the garden and flowers or lack of flowers at the moment, Sue and I decided we could take a chance on a smaller nursery out of town. Being small, somewhat distant, and open to the air, we figured we could wear masks and chance the exposure.

When we arrived, however, the parking lot was overflowing. If that wasn't enough to turn us back, and let me assure you that it was enough, the people that we happened to see were unmasked.

So our first major foray in 9+ weeks did not eventuate.

As we drove back into town however, I passed a field of dandelions with trees in the background. Thought I, "Perhaps I shall return in evening light to take a picture."

Come early evening, AC happily headed out with his gear. Guess what? The dandelions were gone to seed, or most of them anyway. How in the world did that happened so quickly?

I swear that pictures that I plan seldom work out for me. I seem to have to stumble across something with camera gear in hand. Oh well.

A day or two earlier, however, I did return to a scene that had looked interesting when we drove by — trees by the mill, or former mill. These pics will do in a pinch. They will have to do, for I have nothing else to show.

The first photo (above) is the one that I had seen in passing, but the second one works better for me.

And since it has been awhile, permit me to close with yet another selfie — a hat selfie at that.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Unmasked Hot Walk

A blog friend asks: "Just wondering - you have no mask requirements there in Canada when out and about?"
That's right. It is recommended that we mask in more closed environments, especially when the distance rule is in jeopardy, but there are no regulations. Our premier has reaffirmed that stores can refuse customers who don't mask if they so choose, but I think he was just making clear what has always been the case.
After months of cold and a late spring, I was caught unprepared for the heat yesterday. When I had last looked at the forecast a few days ago, I thought I saw that the temperature would only rise to the low-twenties yesterday. Then, when I found myself extremely hot and sweaty on our walk, I thought that I just wasn't used to normal temperatures. It was then that Sue checked her watch and saw that it was 29C/84F. Exerting yourself, or at least myself, under a bright sun in that temperature is hot work, indeed.

But it was rather grand to have the midpoint bench reopened, and we spent a rather pleasant 10 minutes or so there.

Our view, which, of course, you have seen before.

I made a little video: it sweeps across the river, toward the trail, and to Sue on the bench. (Oops. I had to trim it because the file was too big for Blogger — probably because it was too high resolution rather than too long.)

So, todays selfies will just be us on the bench. The first is from setting my compact camera on the ground in timer mode — all legs due to the low camera position. The second is from Sue's phone. Expect the silly selfies to return soon.

There have been many painted rocks left in the park and along trails for the enjoyment of passersby in these times, but we found two that were a notch above. The first was in the tree beside the bench, the second in another spot as we left the park.

Friday, May 22, 2020


Things are very slowly changing but some changes are for the worst.

Good Changes

We received a message that the dog park is now open, with sensible restrictions, of course. While that doesn't affect me, the simultaneous lifting of the complete prohibition from sitting on park benches was music to my ears. No, they won't be cleaned by the town; yes, we may use at our own risk. But since I haven't been convinced that park benches were much of risk anyway (I didn't say none), I will appreciate the opportunity to make use of their availability when it seems appropriate.

A Disappointing but Expected Change

The town giveth and the town taketh away, for they cancelled the Canada Day celebrations on July 1st. Of course, this was not the least bit surprising, but I had been hoping to shoot the fireworks again this year.

The Coffee Date

We did meet with friends for coffee in the park. It was lovely. We chatted for almost 2 hours. I am sure that you can find better days and places than this, but you'd have to look hard.

I did the thing which I had been hinting at by taking my first timelapse ever. Even though people drinking coffee is a rather banal subject, I wanted to see if I could do a timelapse. I set the camera for 700 exposures over about 45 minutes, which resulted in a 26 second video. Since it was mostly repetitive hand gesturing (my do we ever use our hands a lot), I trimmed it down to 10 seconds and added some music.

Other friends chanced by for a spell.

The Daily Selfie

Of course, I have todays selfie for you. We haven't run out yet, and just when the end seems imminent, new stylings present themselves.

Exasperation Time

Not all went swimmingly yesterday. Shauna came home from work and did some shopping, but when she returned to her car, it fizzled. This is a problem that she didn't need. She has borrowed our vehicle for the day, which is not a problem for we had no plans. Of course, she has visions of many $$ leaving her bank account, to say nothing of the temporary inconvenience involved.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Coffee on the Deck

Our first coffee with friends since early March went really well yesterday. The weather was sensational, and their backyard is a very pleasant place. We had tons of space on their deck. I am on the left if you can't tell.

We even brought our own coffee, so there wasn't contact of any sort.

I did not do the photography thing that I hinted at in yesterdays post but will try today with other friends whom we know better. Aside from knowing them better, Bob is also a photographer who will understand my experiment and possibly be interested in it as something he might want to try on his own.


I have talked before about Lacey's peculiar dining habits, so I won't rehash that, but I thought this post that I saw on FB was quite appropriate.

Between feedings she stretches out comfortably. We get a kick out of this pose.


Our publicly funded provincial schools have been cancelled until September. I think they will start them back up then out of necessity or close to it, but I think they will look different.

Meanwhile the University of Cambridge has cancelled traditional lectures until 2021. That is probably very realistic and reasonable.


And of course, our daily selfie.

This should be a good day with the weather forecast to be just about perfect. I hope you have a good day wherever you might be.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Belated Vicky

A little late for Victoria day, which was Monday, we found a Victoria theme for our daily selfie. Since the app would only dress up one of us at a time, Sue also did an individual one.

On our walk. Monday, I happened to spot a hearing aid on the sidewalk. What are the chances since it was less than half the apparent size seen in the photo and of a colour that wouldn't stand out?

We put up notifications on FB, and it was claimed within a very short time by a hospital worker who was missing it badly. We had met her briefly once, and we ended up on the same message group, so she saw my post. She had had to rush to work with wet hair and must have knocked the appliance off while walking hurriedly and fiddling with her hair as she scurried along. She was most relieved to have it back as these contraptions are  very expensive and also very important to the lives of those who need them.

There is not much more to report after a slow day yesterday when I wasn't feeling great and did even less than usual. I did try to bbq for the first time in the season, but the propane ran out. I had fired it up earlier to clean it and make sure it was working, but when it was time to cook, the last bit of propane had been used. It could have been worse; I could actually begun to cook and then have had the fuel run out. As it was, Sue was able to pop the chicken in the oven, and it turned out pretty well.

Today, however, we plan to have a distance coffee meeting with friends in their spacious backyard. We will bring our own coffee and, therefore, exchange no deadly germs. I want to try something different with the camera; if it works, I may post about it tomorrow.