Wednesday, September 30, 2020

With Heather and Callie Take Two

We picked the right day, Monday, for our day trip to visit with Heather. It is cloudy today, Tuesday, with possible rain to come. There was certainly rain last night; it came through the wide open window and drenched the cat blanket on her perch and the floor below. Sue even got wet way over in the bed. By this time, I was up and in my den with the blind closed, so I was totally unaware. I was also oblivious because I can't hear anything without my hearing aids, which I don't put in when I am up alone early in the morning.. Sometimes, the world can seem quiet without the hearing aids, at least when I am able to ignore the constant tinnitus-induced roaring.

I did say that I would post a few more photos, and here is a great pic of Heather from Sue's phone.

Callie from my camera.

Callie and Heather, by Sue.

Callie all over me.

The ladies spoke of doing this one more time if we can find an acceptable day come late October or early November. It is possible.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

In Tweed Again

Ah yes. Thanks for the good wishes for the trip yesterday. The colour was glorious. It seems that we are at peak colour already, and it seems too early by a week or even two. Perhaps, the early frosts have something to do with it.

Of course, the drive was for eyes only and not cameras, but that is fine too,for the eyes enjoyed their feast.

The visit with Heather in the park was lovely. The park is not large but it is nice although the photos that I took were just snapshots. And that is okay too. I can't think how I would get a killer photo there as pleasant as it is. Besides, it was about the visit and not the photography.

There are fountains in the lake.

We had a view of Stoco Lake (on the Moira River).

There are some tall trees in the little park.

Sue and Heather had a good visit, which is not to say that I didn't, but they are sisters after all and are pretty good at gabbng. Sue is enjoying a pumpkin spice muffin in the photo, which remind her of other autumn times when we used to stop on the way and bring some to the cottage. Times change, and we make do with park visits and day excursions these days.

Callie was being restrained at this point (both above and below) because there was another dog in sight. Heather talked soothingly and managed to keep her excitable canine calm.

I have some more pics of Callie, but I think that is enough for now. Sue has some good pics of Heather from her phone, and a few of me with the dog as well. I may post them tomorrow, for AC is tired now, but at least something is ready for Tuesday posting.

Monday, September 28, 2020


I am writing on Sunday morning, for your Monday reading, when, once again, it is overcast. Sigh. I do hope for better tomorrow (or today as you read this) as we plan to meet Sue's sister, Heather, halfway between here and Toronto. You may recall that we have done this once before, back in August. I expect that we shall then not see her for many months. At least, I don't expect any amelioration in the pandemic during that time, and we are not about to sit around in a park in a Canadian January.

Due to the overcast skies today (still writing on Sunday) will be another day semi-wasted in terms of taking in autumn colour. We could go for a woodland walk if it stays overcast. Woodland photography can be good in obscured light. We shall see. (No, it was too windy.)

In the meantime, I have some leftover photos for your delectation.

The first is another photo from the little bridge, which is only one car wide. I think I like it better than the tighter cropped version which I posted yesterday.

The next photo is from just around the corner from the bridge: a view that wouldn't look very appealing in most seasons, but for a few weeks in autumn when ordinary scenes can become quite fetching, it doesn't look bad at all.

Earlier in the week, I took this photo during our park kaffeeklatsch. I always love the frame that that one tree makes, but this time I was also taken with the parallel arch of colour beyond and below. It was a wide photo, but I cropped it into a vertical once I saw it on the computer. Wise photographers have instructed that what you leave out of a photo can be as important as what you include. In this case, I decided that the river off to the right didn't help the composition.

The next photo is a leftover from last autumn. It is on the patio of a local restaurant, and I snapped this from the sidewalk as I was walking by. If I get around to it this year, I should go onto the patio for a photo from a different angle. If I go early enough, there won't be anyone there to bother.

Finally, for now,  this is from the summer. I hadn't intended on taking another photo of townhall on that day, but I liked how the spire seemed to pierce the two clouds. This image has been sitting in my Blogger photo folder since early August.

As you read this, unless you do Blogger very early (like I tend to do), we will likely be on our way to Tweed to sit in the park with Heather for a few hours. Whether it is a great day for photos or not, we will drive through some very nice fall colour, but along that highway, we will just be waving as we pass by at some speed with little room to safely pull off.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

From Two Bridges

When I drove over the little, back bridge on Friday around suppertime, I spied some colour downriver. I thought the light might be right in the morning, so that is when I returned. It was just okay, but I fiddled and faddled to bring out the colour as best I could.

Then I walked over to the trail bridge which is just a stone throw away and took a few looking upriver toward townhall.

Then the day got somewhat overcast once again.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Caturday 25: Emulating Grumpiness

 I have scads of stickers that I could post this Saturday, but I feel that it is time for a Caturday post.

Recently, I spotted Lacey on my former computer desk, which these days serves as a temporary shelving unit. Since this isn't part of her normal repertoire, I grabbed my phone and took a few shots.

In the manner of cats, even when they are not grumpy, they tend to look grumpy, and this time was no exception.

I thought that I should try to emulate the look in a selfie that included both of us. I fancy that I achieved the look very well.

But of course, she looked away, which is another cat trait, uncooperative creatures that they are.

Hmm . . . just now I find myself wondering if I could photoshop her grumpy picture into mine. excuse me for a minute.

. . . Here we are. Thanks for waiting, but I think your wait was shorter than mine and that the time just flew by for you.

Enjoy your weekend. Shall we see fall colour locally? Skies have been grey recently.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Beginnings of the Anti Abortion Movement

I am posting a link today to a fairly long piece by Frank Schaeffer, who to his deep regret was in on the beginnings of the evangelical anti-abortion movement. In fact, his father was the main perpetrator. You might be surprised to learn that abortion wasn't always an issue for evangelicals and that the Schaeffers had a difficult time getting it going. Eventually abortion became adopted as a wedge issue, and the rest, unfortunately, is history.

Clicking on the image will take you to the article, which is about a 10 minute read if I remember correctly.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Preliminary Autumn Foray into the Highlands

Well, that was dumb; I mean yesterday when I put up two posts. I certainly didn't mean to do that, but once they were up, I decided to leave them both. Therefore, at 6AM this morning, I am cobbling a new post -- of our first local autumn excursion of 2020.

It was mostly a preliminary little runabout, checking out some sites which had been recommended. Unfortunately, there was an atmospheric haze, which wasn't conducive to scenic photos, but I did get a few more limited photos. I wondered if the haze was from the western fires even though things seems to be settling down out there. Whatever the case, the atmospheric conditions didn't seem normal. Also, we were driving about in mid afternoon, which is about the worst time of day.

Middleville is located where the so-called Lanark Highlands begin. As you drive there, all of a sudden you are going up and down hills. It is part of a swatch of highlands that extends through much of the very near north of Ontario and every place, often county, has their own name for the feature: Frontenac Highlands, Hasting Highlands, Haliburton Highlands, and so on.

Excuse me for a minute. I think I should get the coffee pot ready for Sue's rising, whenever that might be, I made my single cup close to an hour ago.

Alright then. The pot is set, and I just have to push the button when she gets up. Her getting up is getting later these mornings with the later rising of the sun. I wish I could do that. I awoke before 5 this morning, which was earlier than I would have liked, but there is nothing new about that.

Meanwhile, the cat is on the floor beside me, looking for handouts (kibble) that she is getting. But she is really itching to go downstairs for tuna. 

 Hmmm .... back to the topic at hand.

There is a pioneer cemetery at Middleville or at least the markers of one. Uniquely, old headstones have been built into a wall. This was part of it. The wall is longer than what I show here, but I wanted to focus on the part where I could see the church windows behind.

Sue saw how precise the pioneers were about lifespan. This poor dear< Margaret, lived for 26 years, 7 months, and 10 days.

This is Sue exiting her wall readings (right). The building in the background is a little community centre. One of our early little outings after we moved to the Ottawa Valley in 2005 was to attend a Celtic (fiddling) jam session there in June 2006. I blogged about it here.

Around the corner where we parked, I was taken with this fence, which is or was really just a gate. There was another on the other side of the steps.

Later on our little excursion, we ended up at the village of Lanark. Our county is also Lanark. The name derives from Scotland from where many early settlers originated.

I had been directed to a bridge where you can shoot a bit of the Clyde River in either direction. The first photo looks east and the second west. Note the beaver hut or house or whatever you call it.

Hopefully, there will be more autumn rambles in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Autumn Lurches Forward in the Park

Sue and the gals had their weekly park kaffeeklatsch on Tuesday. (You know where this is going, don't you?) 

As I often do, I wandered about taking pictures. First, I spotted some high school students taking a little break, probably in their spare period.

Not far from the ladies, I appreciated the two-tone tree. (If you can spot a red coat way off to the right, that is one of the kaffeeklatsch gals. Hard to see at this resolution, I know; I had to zoom in on the full res version to make sure.))

Everytime I visit the park I am tempted to take a picture of the path, particularly if there is a lady walking her dogs. Speaking of spotting, can you spot the squirrel?

On this occasion, I went back to the car and drove to the far edge of the park. My intention was to visit the next park over, but I didn't get that far.

Instead I took a photo of the riverbank just south of the boat launch. I don't think I have ever peeked around this corner in autumn, and I was pleasantly surprised. I do admit to jazzing up this photo to bring out the the most colour possible. The colours were not that vibrant in reality. They were there, of course; I didn't invent them but just emphasized them.

 From a nearby road, I have two photos that include goldenrods doing their wonderful thing.

This is the brief time of year when usually banal scenes do their best to light up our lives.

The Glory and Agony of the Micro Nap

Beware all ye oldsters who click on the post, for I am here to warn you of and proclaim the dangers of micro naps.

To be clear, I refer not to short naps, the kind that I indulge in on many an afternoon -- naps that may be as short as 5 minutes or as long as 50. Whatever their duration, they are definitely intended sleeps.

No, no, no. It is the true micro nap of which I speak. The nod-off as it were. The kind of nap that sneaks up on you. This kind of nod-off  lasts for as little as seconds although it is hard to tell exactly how long it lasts because you um kind of sleep through it.

Oh, they're alright in the middle of the day. Such micro naps are the ones of glory (see title). In point of fact, I quite enjoyed a whole series of micro naps while I was awaiting the resumption of tennis on telly the other day. I would nod off, wake myself with a rude snore snort, and then do it all over again and again. After each snore snort, I would become aware of life going on around me, only to fade away once again, and then I would repeat the procedure.

These are the micro naps of glory (see title): these ones that occur during the day. But wives tell your husbands to avoid the trap at night, for those are the naps of agony (see title). 

But then again, you can't really stop them. They sneak up on before you know it. One minute you are watching telly, or YT, or listening to a podcast, or reading a book, and the next moment, you awaken yourself with an ugly snore snort. Quite possibly you do it again. You don't mean to but you do.

These micro naps reveal to you are obviously in need of sleep, you then get yourself ready for bed, and . . . you lie awake because . . . you have taken the edge off your tiredness. Getting back to sleep or actually onto real sleep may now take the agony (see title) of hours. (Don't ask me how I know this, for it is just something that I've been told.)

You now have a short night which leaves you tired the next day and ready for yet another series of micro naps come next evenfall.

These micro naps are a rather new phenomenon in my life as are the companion snore snorts . You see, I only snore during micro naps when the sandman catches me unaware and when I am on my back in/on my easy chair. In real bed and sleep, I do not snore. Ask my wife.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sock Love

If you will permit me a wee bit more hubris (although I don't think that is what it is) I had Sue take a few more photos along with the grey and white, beard and sweater pics that I posted yesterday.

Knowing that our town's Pride event was impending, Sue's sister had given Sue a number of Pride-related items when we last met with her. Among said items were bow ties, ribbons, and socks.

While I didn't feel that I could use the socks as such, I can always use another wrist protector. When I work at the computer, I rest my left arm on the desk just above my wrist. This gets a little uncomfortable, but we have found that a little sleeve over the wrist affords some protection. A sock with the foot cut off seems to make a dandy sleeve for this purpose.

Ever since Sue cut this sleeve/sock for me, I have had a notion to make a photo. Of course, I should have the photo taken for Pride Week, but there are many shouldas in my life. 

We tried a few poses. When I converted to mono, I decided to keep the colour in the sock in order to highlight the message.

This next one is the one that I like best. It is the one, or at least close to the one, that I initially had in mind. Mind you, to get this result, I had to crop quite a lot.

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Sweater and the Beard

Chilly it has been. I mentioned that early frost just yesterday, and for the past few nights, I have been sleeping in a hoodie under the blanket. When I get up, on goes my thick sweater, which also has a hoodie. In fact, it is still on after 11, this Sunday morning as I write this. Oddly enough the temperature has gone up to 11C at 11AM. Not exactly hot.

About this sweater: when Sue came into the den yesterday to pour her coffee, she saw how much my grey and white sweater matched my grey and white beard. Once I confirmed this in the mirror, I decided that photos were in order.

In most guys or at least very many, the beard turns white early on. I had a friend whose beard went pretty grey around the age of 40. My friend, Bob, who is five years younger would make a good Santa if his beard were longer.

Here I am at 73, and the dark is still fighting the good fight, particularly in regions that you can't see very much in these photos.

Actually, I don't love the two tones. I think I'd prefer to be all white, especially if I could have kept my hair too.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Tracking Time

We all have ways to mark time on our internal calendars. Mine don't dovetail totally with the actual calendar, and sometimes, I forget my place on the actual calendar.

For me, autumn arrived on September 07 this year. At least I think it did. I like to think that my personal spring, the spring in my brain and den, arrives when the morning sun begins to strike my computer screen as its height in the sky increases. By the same token, I am convinced that real autumn begins on the first day when that no longer happens.

That was on September 07. Or was it?

On the 6th, the sun just caught a corner of the frame of my monitor, so I figured that it would miss completely on the following day. But I can't be sure because the sun didn't bother to make an appearance on that day, or the next for that matter.

So the 7th is my best guess.


Friday, September 18 2020 in the year of our Lord, marked another significant day, but I'd say that it was almost a month early this year.

Largely because I live with a hot woman, we keep the thermostat fairly low in winter. We set the nighttime temperature at 15C/59F and the daytime at 20C/68F. Mind you, the night temperature doesn't always drop all of the way to that low point.

To compensate, we have a heater the the bathroom for naked showertime. We turn it on some minutes ahead of time so that we are not going bare-skinned into a freezing place. This is especially important for me since my showers are almost always preceded by some naked or semi-naked moments while I shave. Having to shave first means that I can't immediately hop under the hot water once I disrobe.

While that's primarily a winter thing, I was taken aback yesterday, for when I awoke, the outside temperature was 3C/37F. I don't know exactly how cold it was in the house because the only thermometer is on the thermostat on the main floor. But I do know that it couldn't be described as toasty in my little den.

This was on September 18. I haven't tracked this, but in normal years, I am sure that this degree of cold wouldn't happen until about mid-October.

But nothing about this year is normal. Is it?

Also on September 18, the dagnabbit butter was hard. My winter habit is to nuke it in the microwave to make it more spreadable. About 12-14 seconds on power level 3 usually does it.


These are reference points to me -- the sun on the computer, the heater in the bathroom, and the hardness of the buttern. Now I need something to help me remember how old I am.

I know that I just had a birthday, and it was good day that registered on my brain just fine, thank you very much. But I didn't think about my age too much. I have been 72 for a year, so I guess I continued to be 72 in my head. 

But then, yesterday morning, I had doubts. Was I 72 or 73? I felt like 72, but I did think that maybe I turned 73. To be sure, I did the math. Born in 47, that makes it 53 years to 2000. Now it's 20 years later, so, yup: I am 73.

Did you notice that I employed new curriculum math techniques or whatever they call the new ways? I didn't subtract 1947 from 2020, but used the easy placeholder that is the year 2000. We've all done this all along, but they teach this kind of processing in school now.

Although we tend get our buns twisted in knots when we see the lengthy and convoluted  ways that they demonstrate to process numbers nowadays, I think I am impressed by the logic of the steps.This is not an efficient methodology for the real world, but who but those of us born in prehistoric, pre-calculator times, nevermind the pre-computer era does mental or paper math anyway?

Mind you, I do hope that my grandkids learn the older, efficient way at some point. Surely that still happens. Eventually, right?

Anyolehow, those are my ruminations of how I track time, which I am sure you were always wanting to know but just didn't know that you wanted to know.


After I got this post ready yesterday morning while it was still dark, I chanced to look outside to discover that the night had brought our first frost. From my second storey window, I could see it on the roofs of parked cars. I checked the weather channel and discovered that the temperature had dropped to -3C/26F. Ugh.

The forecast for this week does look more seasonable. Thank goodness.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Saturday Stickers 5

Stickers are back. I think there's some good ones here. Pick your faves. I'll tell you mine at the end.

I like a bunch -- all of them really, or I wouldn't have posted them. But my top three are Praying Walruses, Car Radio, and Okay Chorale, probably in that order.