Friday, July 31, 2020

A Time to Print

As a photographer, of all of the old Disney tunes from movies, I am drawn most to Snow White's memorable song: Someday My Prints Will Come. Yes, prints: that is the right way to hear it if you are me although I am sure pleases you immeasurably that you are not. Perhaps I could consider myself the Prince of Prints? Hmm ... perhaps not, eh?

After the C19 hiatus from doing anything or going anywhere, not that it is over mind you, I still have my winter photos on display at the coffee shop. The place has been open for takeout for awhile, but now that customers can sit — at distances, of course — it seems to be time to do something about my display.

Procrastinating for longer than necessary, I have finally got around to doing some printing. I am not going to count at the moment, but I have printed close to 10. The images are approximately 10.6x16 on 13x19 sheets. I can then insert the sheets into standard 13x19 frames, which I can purchase fairly cheaply for a cafe display.

The present holdup is convincing myself to print the tags that should accompany the pictures. I don't like that part, so I delay.

The next hurdle will be to find a time to hang them. I think we'll need to do it after hours to minimize contact. I will likely post photos when that is done, which will hopefully be next week should I finally decided to finish the job at this end.

Meanwhile, I had Sue photograph me holding a few of the prints.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Selfie and Marple

I wasn't going to be bothered to post again today, but Sue sent me a new selfie, so . . .

First, she mistakenly sent one of just her: not that it was a terrible mistake, but she had meant to send the duo selfie.

Here's the together one.

After more or less neglecting reading for some time, I have been on a bit of a tear. I have read 6 novels lately and have begun my 7th.

Two have been inexpensive or even free, self-published, offerings from Kindle. You take you chance, but it's an inexpensive chance, and I liked both well enough. One was a modern mystery set in Scotland and the other an historical fiction set in about 12th century Wales. The Scotland one could have done with tighter editing or proofreading in a few spots, but it was fine overall, and I would read more of the series. The Wales one was a little more polished, and I would read more of that series too.

However, as reported earlier, I have read more of Agatha Christie, particularly looking for Miss Marple, whom I don't always find. This is just a little report — not book reports as such but just how much Marple was included.

In fact, I would have trouble doing an actual book report even if I so wanted, not only because I don't want to, but because I am incapable. After watching two tv series and now reading 4 of the same plots in novel form, I must tell you that they all run together.

I am sure it is partly a short-term memory issue. I would probably have trouble remembering five consecutive words. But then I am not presidential material.

I already reported on The Secret of Chimneys and how, despite it being an episode in both tv series, Marple wasn't in the book. At all. Not even a little bit. Television simply inserted Miss Marple into another Agatha Christie whodunit. Aside from that, though, the basic plot was similar.

I thought the same lack was unfolding in The Moving Finger, which is really a novella. I read on and on, as much as I can claim that in a shorter work, without any appearance of Marple. She didn't appear until near the end and then really in only a few brief almost cameo appearances. She was there to unravel the whys and whatnots in the denouement, however.

Nemesis, however, was fully Marple and she was also quite important in The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side although she wasn't quite as dominant as in Nemesis. She still, however, had an important place in the plot. On the other hand, much of Crack'd would switch between Maple and the sleuthing of the detective. By this time in her life, Marple was older and getting a little more housebound, so it made sense to have someone other than Jane to do the wandering and questioning.

In both Nemesis and Mirror Crack'd, the novels had a few more details or connections than did the television versions. In Nemesis, the dying man, actually the dead man [sic], who sent her on the errand was the same rich man who helped her back in the Caribbean case.

Then, Mirror Crack'd used the same house as in the earlier Body in the Library, but just a decade or so later. And the lady of the house in the Body in the Library was still living adjacent to her former mansion having had to sell it to make ends meet.

Both of these connections, as insignificant as they might be, were satisfying touches.

There is no question that in my reading I pictured the original Miss Marple, Joan Hickson, or at least close to her and not the other Marples of the newer series. She was made to be Marple and suited the role to the proverbial T.

I plan to read more of Agatha and have just borrowed 4 more tomes from the library. I have just begun the first, and I am pretty sure that it won't be a Marple story. I don't think it was picked up and Marple-ized in the tv series either. I don't mind, however.

I must run. It is 7:15, and the cat is most grieved with me for not feeding her yet, so I must hie downstairs and do my duty.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

What an American Observer has seen here in Eastern Ontario

You are probably familiar with David Frum, a conservative journalist and former Bush speechwriter. But he is fair-minded and doesn't sing from the pro-Trump hymnal. I have to admire someone who can be both conservative and anti-Trump.

He was born in Canada, lives in the States, but has been holidaying not to far from us in eastern Ontario. He recently posted this article about what he has found here during the pandemic, and he goes on from there to speak about how it could have been in the USA but isn't.

There are a number of descriptions of what he observed and experienced hereabouts early on in the article which I hope you will choose to read, but I'll post some snippets from near the end of his piece.
What the Canadian example does show, however, is what the United States could have looked like if the U.S. effort had not been led by malicious, self-seeking incompetents ... the worst would be over ...

Instead, the Trump administration and Trump-swayed governors have turned a crisis into a catastrophe—a catastrophe that continues to get uniquely worse in the United States even as it ebbs almost everywhere else in the developed world ... Within less than six months of the first cases, it became apparent what to do. Almost everybody else in the developed world then did it. Almost everybody else in the developed world is now collecting the benefits of having done it. Donald Trump, following the imperatives of his own ego, refused to do it ...
Meanwhile, in our local health district which comprises three counties and is rather large in area if not in population, there are no active cases. Isn't that great?

And despite a recent uptick in some areas, Ontario's daily new case numbers remain below 200 and sometimes very close to 100.

Monday, July 27, 2020

That Was Not Funny But Maybe This Is

I got it wrong with the video yesterday.

It's because I am not a details guy. I just saw people falling and thought how Sue finds falling so funny.

But she didn't. Not that one.

Like you folk, she thought these cases were too serious.

No wonder I didn't find it at all humourous. But then, I usually don't, so the difference didn't really register with me.

But she did find this next one funny.

I had sent her the link earlier in the week. I remembered hearing her laugh and laugh over there in her room.

While I do find some of the clips (the lion falling into the water or the model getting a good soaking) amusing, nothing really tickles me to the point of outright laughter.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

What is Your Type of Humour

When I come across videos like this, I send them to Sue who gets a real kick out of seeing people fall. She will guffaw her way through a clip like this, but I think I had one minor giggle. Word humour is more my thing.

What about you? Does this leave you in stitches, or do you just shrug your shoulders and wonder what the fuss is about?

Saturday, July 25, 2020


There is some truth to this, doncha think?  ↓↓

When I am forced to shop, and I don't mean for groceries, I tend to have a one track mind. I know why I am there, so I take my bearings, and off I go, ignoring any other displays between me and the object of my hunt. If I want shoes, for example, I scan my surroundings, spot the department (hopefully), and make a beeline.

Sue, on the other hand, cannot often make it past the front door before something or other catches her eye. She gets to her purposed destination eventually, but she tends to take a roundabout way.

In terms of evolutionary roles, it makes sense because, for the most part, men were hunters and women were gatherers. I am sure that there was some room for variance, but this is pretty much as it was as far as we can tell.

Again, with room for variance, this genetic predisposition still seems to be intact. At least it is very strong in me. Not that I want to actually go real hunting, if you know what I mean.

Of course, nobody in this household is really shopping at all lately due to C19, unless you count Amazon.

Speaking of which, I just remembered that I need to order something, so TTFN.

Friday, July 24, 2020


As I wandered the grocery store in my blue-green tartan cap and my red and white mask, which was festooned with maple leaves, I noticed something.

(Noticing something, anything, is rather a feat in itself as I am usually almost lost in my very personal reveries.)

I had already been to and fro in the produce and bakery section and was sauntering down the adjacent aisle of health foods etc when I noticed it.

The only reason I was in that particular aisle was to get to the next aisle — pet food for beloved Lacey who wakes me so lovingly at 2:30 — because I had been at the wrong end of the one-way access. I mean, why else would I be in the health food zone? There are no salty snacks or gooey desserts to be found there.

To make a short story long, which is what I have been doing so far, I noticed that I was humming behind and into my mask. Furthermore, I realized that I had likely been humming ever since I had entered the store and possibly before for all I know.

I noticed the same thing later in the pop aisle.

(And why is there no caffeine free diet coke anymore? I ask.)

I am being somewhat serious when I say that I suspect that this propensity might be related to my seniorizing brain although if it is a sign of seniorizing, I have been in this state for a long time, for I am a hummer, albeit a hummer sans wings..

Seniorizing is my newly coined word. Feel at liberty to use it.

Wait a cotton pickin second! Spellcheck isn't flagging seniorizing. Don't tell me it's an actual word and that I didn't just invent it!

Shot down in flames, I am.

I hope you have a HUMdinger of a day and weekend.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Not Much on this Thursday

It's a rainy day here but how much I don't know, maybe just off and on sprinkles. We have cancelled our standard Thursday coffee date in the park, however.

I will most likely do a grocery shopping today, but, after last night, it won't be as early as I would prefer to go. I was awake with intestinal cramps for awhile in the middle of the night and, therefore, slept in a bit this morning.

Slept in for me, I mean. It's still not quite 8, but I am feeling very sluggish. I would normally be at the store for the 8 o'clock opening. Of course, when  say normal, I am just describing the practice in the past few weeks, and not necessarily my traditional, pre-COVID normal.

This photo ↓ has been making the rounds lately comparing the American and Canadian boats at Niagara Falls during COVID. The Canadian boat  allowed only a small number of occupants. Of course, now we are in phase 3, it may be different, but what a contrast at the time!

Now that we are in phase 3, the number of new cases has been rising — see the uptick in the black line on the bottom right. Hopefully, it won't get out of hand.

It is the younger people who are contracting the virus in greater numbers in Ontario. The 20-60 groups have greater numbers than the over 60s. Of course, death rates would look very different as they are quite high in the 80+ group. One particularly worries about the 20-40 group these days as they are the ones who gather in greater density in bars and such and who also seem to take fewer precautions.

It's not much, I know, but that's all that I have for today.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Opportunity Lost

Puss woke me up at 4:30. I could have fought her off as I did earlier at 2:30, but I figured at close to 6 hours of repose, I wasn't likely to get much more sleep in any case.

She will find any patch of skin and begin to lick. The bigger problem then is that she may resort to love biting which don't necessarily feel too loving to a human. Getting on my stomach and kneading furiously is another ploy. I know that she is also purring loudly. I can't hear it, but I know from Sue's reports that is the case. At a time like this, I am not sure that hearing loss is all bad.

The sun will rise in a half hour, but I am resisting going out. The sky doesn't look very dramatic, and I am lazy.

Sue and I did go out last night.

I had picked a spot where I might see Neowise. However, just opening the car door momentarily to get my equipment set up let in hordes of mosquitoes and Sue was under severe attack. And when I donned my headlamp outside, all I could see were clouds of the miserable biters. It felt like mosquito apocalypse.  I swear that I am not exaggerating.

There were clouds obscuring the horizon anyway. I had been willing to sit and hope for a break, but the skeeters caused me to pack it in in short order and head for home. I was already tired, and this outcome dispirited me, but there wasn't likely to have been much of a real photo opportunity anyway.

I think there's perhaps one more night for a decent opportunity to photograph the comet. If I were to return, I would do my best to set up the camera and tripod in the back seat before I ventured out and have it ready to set up quickly. Then I would sit in the car and wait for the big reveal.

But then, I would have to exit to take the photos. Perhaps, I could use the wireless trigger from my phone?

Ah well, it doesn't really matter. My location wouldn't yield a top shot anyway.

Meanwhile . . .

The town built a little model depot and water tower to commemorate early days of the town. They call it The Junction, which will also serve as a junction in modern days for people to meet. Accordingly, the Pride event was held in the adjacent space last year.

My friend has taken some nice photos under dramatic skies. But he found it difficult not to get background distractions. I went the other day in broad daylight to reconnoiter with my little camera, and I can see the problem. I took some test shots to give me some ideas for future reference, but finding a good angle without too much background distraction will be problematic.

This ↓↓ has some promise as long as I don't cut off that arm thingie to the right.

There is a photogenic cart just off the left of that photo ↑↑, but I don't see how I can separate it from the background depot, at least without including too much distracting background ↓↓.

You see how it gets lost with the shed behind it, and there is sill all of the other background clutter from this vantage. I am not entirely sure what I could do differently if I were to return.

I know that I get to fussy, but I did, perhaps, made the right decision to not go out this morning. We are just about at sunrise, but the cloud cover is such that I still see no colour from the den window, and my outlook is eastish.

. . . 

Yes, after proofreading and editing the above, the sun is now up, except that it isn't up if you know what I mean.

Now, what shall I do with my tired self for the next 16 hours?

Monday, July 20, 2020

I Bestirred Myself

We did quite well early on in the pandemic, managing to get out for a walk on most days and also doing some exercise indoors to fill in when we couldn't or wouldn't go out. Back in those early days, the wind seemed to be howling on most days, and there were days that we didn't want to face it, which is when we would do a YT routine indoors.

On these walks, I would grab my cane, and off we'd go on a hobble. It isn't a heap of fun to be bothered by a sore foot and to walk with a cane, and some days were less fun than others. It is also not all that joyful for Sue to have to slow down her pace to to my crawl.

But we persisted until around the beginning of June when the hot weather came. And boy oh boy, when it came, it really came. Neither of us do particularly well in the heat, and Sue really suffers with it. About the only time she isn't boiling hot is on the coldest day in January when the windows are wide open and she is wearing only flimsy clothes.

Yes, I do exaggerate a bit, but I think the exaggeration does reveal that it is a serious issue. She will sit in a ladies' coffee circle, for example, and be sweating while the others are bundled in layers. It's crazy!

Anyway, we stopped walking although we didn't really mean to. And we also stopped exercising indoors to YT videos. It just gets boring, y'know?

But I am feeling my legs getting weaker, so off I went in the wee hours this morning while it was still semi cool and while Sue was still slumbering.

Me, my cane, and my shadow.

I am not sure how much the cane helps, and I can certainly get around without it. In fact, I don't use it unless I go on a deliberate walk. I certainly don't use it in a store or to walk across a parking lot.

With phone in hand, or at least in pocket, I took a few photos. In fact, I am prone to take more snapshots with my phone than my regular, bulky camera.

When I got around the corner and into the park, I took a few photos of the pond. The sun was up, so I tried to find a spot where it was hidden from the camera.

The houses that fringe the park often try to buffer their property with flower beds and so on to give the illusion that it is their property and thus keep wanderers at bay. I can't make up my mind what I think of this. On one hand the gardens do add to the ambiance, but on the other hand, it seems rather bold and smacks of privilege to me.

You can see the edge of their actual property in the background of the first photo.

This is a very nice rock garden but well outside the property boundary, but it doesn't bother me as I see this one as more an attempt at beautification than of exclusion.

Some people make a wide buffer, but these owners have just made a narrow one, basically where the stones begin.

I did rather like the light through the fence as I exited the park. I would be less likely to take this photo with my big camera.

When I got home, there was my compact camera (not my main camera) waiting right where I left it — on the floor, near the door. I had meant to bring it on the walk, but I have a mind like a sieve.

The advantage of a compact camera over a phone is that the lens does zoom. When you employ the zoom, the image is still recorded on the whole sensor. When you zoom on a phone, you are effectively cropping the image and only using part of the sensor. However, this is fine for most phone shots to show on social media. When I use the phone camera, I don't usually zoom. I might as well crop later on the computer. It amounts to the same thing.

And that was my morning walkie. My foot didn't bother me excessively, and I feel mentally better for having made the effort.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

I Would Fain Open the Windows

During most heat waves, we are able to turn off the AC (the other AC) at some point in the night and open the windows as the temperature descends to somewhat more moderate levels. In this current oppression, which will last for about 4 days, the slight and fleeting abatement just doesn't seem to be worth it.

So, although I would have fain opened the windows last night, I didn't.

Unfortunately, however, the fan wasn't reaching me in bed last night, and I wasn't exactly comfortable. We have no ceiling fan in the bedroom which was designed without said facility for some inexplicable reason. But there is one in my little den, so I headed there and eventually got almost 6 hours sleep in my chair. I can be comfortable in my chair, so don't feel sorry for me over that.

I would fain sleep in my chair with some relief than in my bed without any.

Fain: I am using it deliberately because it is's word of the day.

Although I see such entries daily, I have yet to post about one, as far as I can recall. This is different, however, for it brings to mind an old hymn which, I don't think, has previously surfaced from the deeper recesses of my memory banks.

But this morning, I am remembering this:
Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand,
I looked up the words to verify my recollection, but my memory was spot on.

Back in the day, I sang this in deep reverence, but here's the thing. I didn't know the meaning of fain. What it means in the hymn is that I would joyously/willingly identify with and stand with Jesus. I guess that I always knew the general implication but, I never stopped to consider the specific meaning of the word.

The first link that I clicked to double-check the lyrics wasn't right. I guess fain is such an archaic word that they adapted the lyrics.
Beneath the cross of Jesus/ I find a place to stand,
Of course, that alteration diminishes the beauty and poetry of the original and does not connote quite the same meaning. But I guess since no one knows the actual meaning anyway, it doesn't matter.

Although I no longer attend church, the church music of my youth is powerful within me; songs and hymns frequently resurface and bring with them their often poignant feelings. I almost routinely sing these pieces mentally and sometimes audibly.

I do not sing out loud as often as I used to, for, although I never possessed a great voice, it has even diminished over time, and I hear my notes wavering in and out, and I am displeased..

How synchronous that this hymn would flood into my consciousness on a Sunday morning.

Here is a recording of the hymn for the record. 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Happy Friday

Happy Friday everyone. The term probably has more meaning to me than to most people because in our former community those who worked in the petroleum plants negotiated a a friday holiday every third week. This became known locally as Happy Friday. .

I hope this selfie causes a mild amount of happiness.

Not so happy and mighty scarey is this:
"Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off." Link
Or this (I can't find the post again, so please forgive me if I'm slightly off):
I read this morning that Florida has more new cases than the top 20 countries in the EU combined. These countries have 5x Florida's population.
In other news, I recently obtained an Agatha Christie book from the library. I picked a title that I recognized from the Marple episodes that we recently watched. I was quite surprised to find that there was no Miss Marple within. The tv series (both of them) adapted the story to include Miss Marple, and they adapted very freely, let me tell you. The newer Marple basically copied the older Miss Marple.

It is almost 7 o'clock, and I will head out to do the weekly grocery shopping in about an hour, hopefully before the store gets too busy.

Here is one more photo from the bridge photoshoot of Wednesday evening, this time concentrating on the span that was nearest to me. There are mild hints of Bob's red light in the photo.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Pakenham Five Span Bridge at Night

Bob has a powerful flashlight which comes with a red filter, and he has been itching to try shining it on the 5 span bridge at Pakenham. This is a unique stone bridge, I believe the only one of its kind in NA. Perhaps I recall of once reading about another, but I think there was something different about it. Maybe it wasn't 5 spans.

Unfortunately for him, the normal bridge lights were also on, which inferred with his intention somewhat. I didn't mind the normal lighting and tried a few photos with my wide angle lens to try to get the whole bridge in the frame. I did try other shots too. Perhaps I will post them at a later time.

One can shoot from either bank. We tried the east bank last night. I still could have gotten more of the farthest span in the photo. I may have other photos that are a little wider.

From the north and west side of the bridge

We are experiencing very dry conditions, and the water is low. Above: you can see just how low, for the rock shelf to the left can be mostly covered much of the time.

As it was, we were able to walk under the bridge to take some photos from the southern side. I think I like this best because the sky is somewhat more interesting, and I also have a little more of the bridge.

Just before we packed it in for the evening, I took one more quick photo ↓↓ with a boulder in the foreground. I shone some light from my headlamp onto the boulder but then had to pull back the exposure in post because it was far too bright. I like the idea. If you can find some foreground it can add dimension, but there wasn't much to choose from here as the rock was pretty flat for the most part.

Meanwhile, Bob was playing with his red light. I was somewhat unaware that he was taking this photo that included me. He captioned it: The Devil left Georgia and came to Pakenham .... Funny guy, that Bob.

Bob likes to play with photo setups while I am more of a straight shooter. I do like to dabble in the edit phase, however. I haven't yet seen his other red filter images, so I don't know how successful they were.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

JJ and More

This will be a light post, so I'll begin with a recent selfie. Hearts to you.

Jonathan came for a sleepover. Sue always goes to bed early, and since I had awoken at 3 the previous morning, I also went to bed at 10. Having been out of school for months JJ is getting his clock all tunred aorund. He was in bed but still on his phone when I checked out at 10. I don't know how late he stayed up, but he slept almost until noon the next day.

We did play Monopoly. It was more of the same for me — pay taxes almost every time around GO and get sent to jail often. I didn't go totally bankrupt this time, but if we had played a little longer, I was well on my way.

You can see from the second photo that Sue was doing very well. JJ and I capitulated.

We also had several games of Sorry. I seem to do better at that game, and it is shorter. There's something to be said about that.

I have come across several articles lately in which Canadian truckers who also spend time in the USA decry the lack of awareness there and plead for borders not to be reopened. One of them, in this article, has decided to take a financial hit by refusing cross-border jobs.

This is so sad, especially since I can see from their blog posts that the Americans whom I know are being so careful. It's a paradoxical country.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

A Streak of Sorts

I have two photos and a few COVID tidbits this morning.

I did return for more blue hour photos with a longer lens. The sky is not what I wanted, but I made a few attempts anyway. What I want is large, looming clouds over town hall. That is not what I got. There was a bit of a streak of sorts to the left, which messed with my composition a bit because I had to shift the camera to the left to get it in the frame. On top of that it only showed up very so-so in the photo.

I then decided to forget about town hall and shift my composition even farther to the left so that the old mill was now centered. While the mill is of historical significance and worthy of photos, I do miss the clock tower. But it's not bad.

I like the photos, just not as much as the previous ones. I do plan to return from time to time to see if I can get that one particular photo that I have in mind.


Onto COVID snippets and links.

On Friday, much of Ontario will be permitted to enter Phase 3 of the pandemic response. This is good news because it reveals that much progress has been made as testing goes up and new cases go down. However, there is the worry that it is too much too soon. For sure, it's a balancing act between moving forward and staying safe. I think we must continue to move forward but cautiously . . . keep on our toes with our fingers crossed as it were.

Among a few other things, phase 3 means the following.
  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
  • Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.
One of the main joys for many people will be the re-opening of restaurants, within the above guidelines, of course.


There is some good news in the USA but too much bad news.


An Italian study indicates that the aftereffects from COVID (assuming that one survives, which most do, thank goodness) are very real and for some time afterward.

I am satisfied just to read the summary, but here is the link for those who would like to delve deeper.


And here is a link specifically about echocardiograms in COVID patients which reports that one study "found heart problems in 55%, with one in seven exhibiting signs of severe abnormalities." Of course, the tests were given to patients who were already exhibiting signs of heart problems, so the normal percentage wouldn't be that high. It's still a concern, however.


In other news, there is some thinking that the virus may have already been with us but hadn't activated for some reason. Here's that link, but don't take it for gospel, it's just something else to chew on.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Blue Hour Revisited

One might recall this ↓ photo which I posted less than a week ago. I had gone for a short walk after a hot day, and just for a walk sans camera.

But when I saw the iPhone photo, I decided that it was worth another visit with my actual photo gear. I wanted a similar photo with more clouds.

Saturday evening gave me that opportunity, and I took a similar photo from a similar spot on the bridge.

It is a 5 second exposure and is close to what I wanted although the clouds could be even more dramatic. I can keep looking and watching the sky this summer and return there fairly easily.

In fact, I plan to do just that using other focal lengths. I hadn't thought that a wide angle shot would work until I saw the previous iPhone result, but I would like to get town hall larger in future. But then I will miss the foreground rapids. There's always a tradeoff.

One reader asked me about blue hour, for he hadn't heard about it before, but it is familiar to photographers, not that we necessarily use it a lot.

Blue hour is the time after sunset but before the sky turns black. Photographers tend to chase sunset or sunrise photos, but blue hour can also be special.

That ↑ was the photo that I went for, and I am very happy with it, but as almost an afterthought, I took a landscape orientation photo a little farther along the bridge. If possible, I think I like it even more. It processed slight darker, at least in the lower half, and is a little more saturated overall.

So yeah, I think I'll return from time to time with different focal lengths and see how it goes.

Meanwhile, I am very happy with these results.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Television and Memories


Our recent television viewing has been almost entirely based on Agatha Christie.

I have always been leery of Poirot because he's more than a bit eccentric, but I found that I got to appreciate his character, and I think the episodes were really well conceived and executed.

From Poirot, we went to Miss Marple and then to Marple. There are two Marple series, an older one that uses Miss in the title and a newer one, or perhaps I should say, less old that is just Marple. To add to the confusion, the Marple actor changes halfway through the newer series.

Whatever the case, I likes both Poirot and [Miss] Marple, and I think you might too. Although we watched Poirot and Miss Marple on Britbox, we found the newer Marple series on YouTube. Oh, not every single episode but enough to keep one entertained for awhile. I saw that at least some of the other two series were also on YT, and YT is free, or at least these are.

After all of this viewing, I was tempted to read Agatha but was surprised to see that most of her work is in short story form. No wonder they were able to find so many plots to televise.


On our family messages, kids music came up when we learned that our youngest relation, still less than 1 year old, rather likes Raffi.

This brought to mind the music that we played for ours grands when they were little. We had trouble remembering the name of the musician that we really liked but eventually figured out that it is Markus. There's very little of him online, but he seems to be a Toronto-based, children's entertainer.

I cannot find his music online except for a snippet or two, but the CD that we had was very good: I Like to Dance. I still have it in my iTunes library and uploaded my favourite song to Google Drive, so I could share it. Unfortunately, it has to be downloaded rather than streamed, but it doesn't take long. Yippie Yi Yippie Yo.

I would dance it with the kids although we probably danced more to Waltz Across Texas.

I couldn't find an old blog of me and the kids dancing to that particular song, but I did find many videos that took me down Memory Lane. What precious times we had. I don't suppose that anyone will want to sit through everything, but you might get a kick out of watching for a few seconds. Or not.

In this first one ↓ I do actions while JJ mostly wonders what the heck I am up to. But he does try on occasion.

Dancing with Danica to Zydeco Lady, a tune that Sue and I used to Line dance to.

Both kids rocking to Jungle Book in their Halloween costumes.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Body Temperature

Yesterday, the air reached body temperature of 36.9C or 98.4F. I am not sure why air temperature that is the same as body temperature feels so oppressive, but it does.

But that intense heat has finally broken, and the highest temperatures that I see in the two week forecast are 30C/86F. That is warm enough, but it is not stupid warm.

It is also raining (or was) a bit this morning, and we should get more this afternoon, possibly with thunderstorms. We need it — badly.

But enough about weather.

When COVID first hit, we did a lot of fun selfies that we shared with family and that I then shared with you. That has cooled off quite a lot now, but some sharing still goes on, so I am going to post a few now. Just for fun.

Have a good weekend.

Oh . . . before I get to the funny ones, here we are in our Canada Day garb, actually taken the day after before we put away our stuff for another year. At least my shirt will be put away. I don't know about Sue's top.

And the rest . . .

Friday, July 10, 2020

Heat Oppressed Ramblings from the Back Deck

It is still early — before 8AM — and I am on the back deck with my iPad. It’s still shady back here, and there is a breeze. We back onto a busy street, but I can seem to shut out the noise, so I will try to appreciate the weather for a few minutes before it heats up intolerably.

We set the AC for 24C/75F, but the house runs degrees hotter on the second floor, so it gets a trifle hot up there sometimes, particularly in my small den which contains both a computer and a fridge.

It takes a lot for me to go shirtless, but that’s what I have done in bed for the past two nights. I got a tolerable sleep that way, but Sue is more affected by the heat than I and she spent a few uncomfortable hours.

Oh well, it will break tomorrow to more normal summer heat rather than this really oppressive  heat plus the high humidity.

Even the cat seems more docile than usual. She hardly pestered me for the habitual hand feeding this morning. Yes, she still likes me to dole out kibble even though her dish is nearby.

As I continue to sit here on the deck, it is probably not cooler than the main floor, but it is breezier, so  I think I shall make a piece of toast and return here for awhile longer.

One more thing, thinking it was cooler when the sun went down last night, I thought to go back to the bridge to take a blue hour photo looking upriver again, this time with my good camera and not my phone. I got all ready, exited the garage, and promptly turned back into the house because it was still so flaming hot.

But I continue to appreciate the current breeze here on the deck, so I shall let you go while I go and make my toast, so that I can spend a little more time outside before the heat droves me indoors.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Pickup and Sleepover

Morning: still not much past 7. I am already hot and also have an ear worm, which is being a nuisance.

It is only 70F but with humidity at 93%, I am feeling it. Of course, not wishing a repeat of running down the street in my pjs carrying bags of garbage, I did do a little more morning bustling that usual, getting the trash sorted and put out early, but of course they aren't coming early today. Whatever! It's hot already and will go into the 90s with feels like temperatures being in the 100s by late afternoon.

As for my ear worm: I have one that I am not appreciating. It's from the movie, White Christmas, which we watch every Christmas season in these later years. It's not my fave movie, but I don't hate it. Sue likes it, so we watch it.

My ear worm is the song, I Fall Asleep Counting My Blessings. which I guess is really entitled Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep. It is not that great a song anyway, but when the only line I remember is I Fall Asleep Counting My Blessings, it's darn irritating. I hum the tune or part of it, but the only words I have in my tiny brain are what I just wrote twice above, so I am not going to repeat them again.

It's almost 7:30. The garbage is out. Sue and Danica are still sawing logs as the saying goes. I awoke at 4, but no one cares that I am all alone in these mornings. It's sad-making, really.

The Danica sleepover came as surprise and came after I got a desperate call: "JJ and I walked to Tim's (for a icy smoothie sort of drink), but the heat is killing us. Will you pick us up and drive us home?"

It was 34C/93F at the time with a feels like of  93C/106F, so yes of course I would pick them up. I will pretty well do what they ask, within some sort of reason, of course.

And that somehow led to a sleepover.

Sleepovers are different than they used to be. Danica stayed up while we went to bed. But now she sleeps-in a bit whereas in bygone days, we couldn't get her to stay in bed even until seven-zero-zero, which is how we said it before she could tell the time. She could look at the clock and see the three digits.

One thing that hasn't changed in 11 years of sleepovers is that, after supper, I take her to Shoppers Drug Mart, which is just around the corner. Back then, of course, her treat wasn't makeup but probably Beanie Babies or whatever they're called, But it almost always included ice cream and still does. Maybe someday, when I  am old(er) and feeble(r) she will take me to Shoppers and buy me ice cream. Of course, being with her is treat enough. Another change is that since I have become gimpy, we now drive rather than walk, even that short distance.

Enough for one morning. I hope it isn't too unbearably hot wherever you may be and that this post wasn't too awfully banal.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

A Very Brief Evening Excursion

It was 9 o'clock Monday evening. The kids had long gone home after family dinner, and we had finished watching a Marple episode that we had begun earlier in the day. Sue was ready for bed, but I got the urge to go out.

My destination was the trail bridge. The OVRT (Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail) is a former railway line that was still active when we arrived in town 15 years ago. The trains stopped running after the 2008 recession. Years later, it was converted into a multi use trail.

I have visited it by times to take photos, but this was just to be a very short walk in the cool of the evening, so I didn't even take my camera. I did have my phone, however, and it wasn't too long before I used it.

The trail bridge looks upriver to townhall, and who can resist a photo?

A little past the river, looking the other way toward the former mill.

What really drew my attention was the roar of the water, especially since the river is running very low in this very dry weather. I decided to take a video, first upriver and then downriver. If you can tell in the dark, much of the water is so shallow that you can see the rocks, but the noise of the rapids part is still impressive.

It was a very brief walkabout, but it was satisfying. Next time I may take my compact camera although the iPhone does do the job.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020


We have some positive COVID news, provincially. There were 154 new cases yesterday, but there were 160 new successfully resolved cases. Also, as the following graph reveals the trendline for new cases (black line) is going down at the same time that testing has gone way up (red line). It can be done — you can lower the case count while increasing testing.


Also, the health unit for our part of the province, Eastern Ontario, has declared that wearing facemasks in public indoor places is now mandatory. I don't know what took them so long, but I think it is still an important step to take as people begin to increase their contacts.

I believe that this is the way that life has to be for the near future — to begin to resume a lifestyle something closer to normal while taking all of possible precautions: reduce social contacts, keep your distance, wear a mask, wash your hands.

And so, we still do our social gatherings with few people in the park. Sue and I had two such meetings last week, and she also had another with just a few girlfriends.

Even with my wide angle lens at its widest, Sue and I needed to stand centrally to fit into this photo.

I took Sue for a spin to help me look for photo ops for future reference. Since it was just a scouting trip, I didn't even take my camera, which is just as well because I didn't find any sites that spoke to me.

At one corner, however, we spotted a doe and a very young fawn. How sweet! Sue took a phone shot at a distance. All she got was a blur, but it was a sweet moment.

Another sweet moment occurred after family dinner when Lacey had a snuggle with JJ.

Me jealous? Why should I be jealous?