Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Monday, September 27, 2021
With the colour change beginning, I got out early on Saturday morning to take a fairly short rural drive. I don't have to go far from town to find myself in the hinterland. In fact, the photos which I am about to post, were taken just a few minutes out of town and close enough that we almost consider it to be part of our municipality.
There is a little farm where I have taken the occasional picture in the past, and, attracted by low-lying fog, I was drawn to it once again.
I parked on the road for there was nowhere to pull off. I put on my flashers and grabbed the camera. Even though no cars went past on this early morning, when I make stops like this, I want to be quick, so I left the tripod in the car and began to shoot.
This was my first photo attempt, with the barn as the focal point and with that green swath providing a bit of a lead-in. I included the bush on the right to give some balance. I wish it were smaller, but you do the best you can with what is in front of you.
Next and only a few seconds later came this second photo of the barn. I don't think I moved my feet very much from the house photo. I think I was drawn to the light beginning to strike the tree on the left.
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Almost a week after our recent federal election, I keep reading the prevailing opinion that it was a waste because it produced a very similar result to the parliament that we already had. I see this on FB and TW but also in news outlets and the occasional blog, and I even hear it from the person on the street as they say. I understand that sentiment, but as usual in my unconventional and contrarian way of thinking, I have a different view. What else is new? lol
Background: this is probably not necessary, but first, let me explain that in our parliamentary system, we can have minority governments in which the party with the most seats does not have a clear majority of all the seats. In other words, when you combine the seats of the several other political parties, they add up to more seats than the governing party has. The system works for the most part as at least one of the other parties will be inclined to support the governing party. However, minority governments don't usually last for the full four year term either because they lose the support of the other parties or because they tire of the constant haranguing by the opposition and decide to seek a further mandate from the people.
In this election, the vote indicated that almost no one had changed their minds over the two years since the previous election, and we returned a result very similar to the previous parliament. The same party, the Liberals, enjoy the most seats, but they are still in a minority position overall. Therefore, many consider this election to have been a futile waste.
Before I spout my disagreement with the consensus, I do wish to categorically state that I don't think the election was ether necessary or desirable at this time, especially during the pandemic. To repeat: I don't think this was the time for it. (Having said that, I also realize that the sitting government faced a huge barrage of attacks and understand how they would desire validation at the polls.)
Whatever the case, I don't consider the result to be futile or the election to have been a waste, for democracy has been served.
The country has given the Liberals a weak mandate (if mandate is the right word) by showing its general support. I think that has some value. The Liberals know that they must exercise caution and prudence in governing, and the oppositions parries must recognize the public's will, or at least they should recognize it.
I do think the result has value. To reiterate: democracy has been served, and that should always be seen as significant positive. We have learned than the citizenry, in general at least, is content to continue to have a minority government led by the same party. Only an election could show us that for certain. I mean to say that one never knows for sure what the public has to say until they get to say it. How were we to know that the election would turn out the way that it has? I am sure that all parties, the opposition parties included, hoped for better support. You simply can't know until you know.
There has been another aspect of the outcry, and it has to do with the cost, which was $600 million. That is, most assuredly, a formidable sum. On the other hand, it amounts to $15 per person, and that doesn't strike me as too high a price to pay in furtherance of democracy.
I also read that the funds could have been spent elsewhere, but it doesn't work like that. A government never says to itself, "We are not going to have an election this year, so let us put the equivalent funds into this other worthwhile endeavour." We all know that it just doesn't happen that way.
To summarize: I do not think that this was the best time to call an election, but I also think that the results are important and that the expense has been worth it.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Friday, September 24, 2021
This week, w had Sha and the kids over for our traditional early-week dinner as we have done for years. Shauna has the kids on Mondays and Tuesdays, so it is a good time to help a working mother as well as for us to enjoy the family.
That custom was pretty much obliterated by the pandemic, but we're all vaxxed now and also as careful as possible otherwise. The kids are back at school, but all of the students are masked, and I suspect the great majority of them are also vaxxed. Mind you, there has been an isolated case, or maybe two, at their school. Fortunately, there hasn't been a subsequent outbreak.
We recommenced meals sporadically in August for we had to work around holidays and such, but we have been getting together pretty much on schedule this month.
This week, we served tuna casserole, and I recalled to Danica the time when I first served it to her during a sleepover. She was young, and it was not the tuna casserole that she was expecting based on her mother's cooking, and she was most definitely not impressed. Last night, I told her about that and explained that is why I began to call it bupparoni instead – to avoid the comparison and expectation.
If you don't already know, I am Buppa to the kids, and even to Sue and Shauna now. My straight macaroni dish, I call macabuppa because it is not quite like traditional mac either. I don't suppose that matters though as I don't think the kids get served that cheesy, high calorie version anyway.
Unlike the normal dish, my tuna casserole, is made without peas but with lots of cheese and some mayo along with celery, pepper and green onions. It is quite tasty although it still isn't Danica's or Jonathan's favourite.
I don't think that most of my dishes are highly favoured by the kids, but it is good to get together and share a meal, especially when we also have a few laughs.
We did have some belly busting laughs on Tuesday. One occurred when JJ gave a funny and excellent imitation of me talking to the cat. It was hilarious, but of course you had to be there. Then Sue got all muddled by wondering if the person whom she had just called Helan was named Dorothy. I won't try to explain further, but it sent us into hysterics. If JJ's imitation hadn't been enough of a hoot, we really roared over Sue's little lapse.
The return of family times means good times for us, even though we otherwise still strive to live with the pandemic. I am reminded of the old song, Happy Days Are Here Again*. Even if that is stretching things a bit, I think I'll use as this blog's title now that I have made the association.
Speaking of living with the pandemic, as of Wednesday in this province, many venues require patrons to produce a vax passport in order to enter the premises. This include restaurants, bars, gyms, sports, meetings and events. Of course, we also continue to mask and maintain restrictions about size of gatherings and so on.
*A version of Happy Days Are Here Again, from 1930 for your delectation.
Thursday, September 23, 2021
It is all about the light. I have said this before, but you can take photos of banal subjects, and if the light is good enough, you will likely get a decent result. I think some of recent blue hour photos of pretty ordinary buildings proved that.
Perhaps these next photos will also help to illustrate the point.
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Sue had a park meetup with a friend. I had an hour to wander about and take some pictures. One of my notions was to drive directly, opposite across the river and take some snaps of the pair from the other bank.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
We have been to Burnstown a few times but never to their beach. In fact, we didn't even know about it until recently. We wanted a little outing, and from what we learned this new-to-us spot seemed appealing. It was about a 45 minute drive to the lovely Madawaska River. We sat in the park, consumed coffee and sandwiches, and enjoyed the view.
And, just for a change, we took a selfie.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Sue and I needed to withdraw for a few moments of quiet contemplation, so we headed to our quiet bench in the park around the corner, where there is a large enough gap in the foliage to see across the river.
Two nice boys came by and asked if it would bother us for them to play within our sightlines. Certainly not. One is shown in this picture.
Of course, we always take a selfie, but when the boy in the photo noticed that we were struggling to activate the phone from my watch and laughing about it, he offered to help.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
A few posts back, I wrote that I was somewhat less than enthusiastic about going out for more blue hour photos. I think I've posted some good ones in the past few weeks, but I also think that I have got the shots that most interest me. Sorta I bin dere dun dat feeling.
I mean, I have the hang of it now. How to compose and how to expose and so on, so it becomes a bit of a rinse and repeat scenario. Still, I may do more, as I also consider it a bit of a project for community interest, making photos at a time when most people are asleep or busy, of subjects that they don't see in those conditions. Townies on FB seem to like seeing them.
Beyond that, something is better than nothing. Winter is coming, and I will get out less and less, and I won't be getting out at all if and when I have my foot fusion surgery. And so I make hay whilst the figurative photographic sun shines.
There's not a long window of opportunity to get these shots. In this instance, I don't mean about winter coming, but about the fact that the right conditions come and go very quickly on these mornings. If I photograph too early, the sky isn't blue enough, but if I leave it too late, it gets washed out by the rising sun.
That's what happened in this first photo on a morning when I was feeling quite humdrum about it all. I got out too early, lost patience, and snapped the photo anyway. The colour wasn't yet there properly, so I edited it as a black and white. I do like how I salvaged it. It's a thing in at least some b&w photos that the sky can be made very dark, for effect, and that is how I chose to process it.
I will say more about The Beer Store, in a minute, but first I will show you my other photo from that morning. Just 12 minutes after the beer store shot, the sky was just about perfect for this next photo.
I made the choice to use the flower bed for foreground. Unfortunately, that left me with the pole in the way. In post, I made some effort to photoshop it away, but I wasn't happy with my effort, and it doesn't really matter anyway in the long run. It's just my little picture and doesn't have to meet with anyone else's approval. I am happy to have captured the colour and the light well once more. That is sometimes good enough.
Now, back to The Beer Store.
It's government run – sort of. Actually the beer companies run it under government license as I understand it. At least that is the way that I am putting it for ease and simplicity. I understand that it stems from more puritanical times when a more conservative and religious Ontario didn't want booze shops on every corner. It is only recently that some grocery stores are permitted to sell limited amounts of the devil's drink.
We also do this with liquor. We have the LCBO stores (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). The local one is in another part of this mall. Maybe I should photograph that one day.
I know this system must seem weird to strangers, but we are used to, for it is the way that it has always been done.
Friday, September 17, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
I was out early, somewhat unenthusiastically (I may explain in a subsequent post) thinking about making more blue hour photos, when I spied a glow on the eastern horizon, overlain by the significant layer of cloud.
It caused me to turn left instead of the planned right.
Following light is, more often than not, a waste of time because light can change quickly. But conditions seemed like they might be stable that morning, and I didn't have far to go.
Five minutes later, I found a spot to pull off, just outside of town.
And I got the shot.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
After two golden-hour posts, back to lights at blue hour we go.
I really didn't know where I was going to head on this morning, but I found myself in the parking lot of the biggest and main grocery store in town. It's a big and wide building, but where I positioned myself with the wide angle lens, I was able to get it all in the frame with lots of room to spare: 10 second exposure.
|Long before opening, workers are arriving to stock the shelves for the day.|
Off to my right in the above photo, there is another large store, Canadian Tire. This time, I decided not to try to photograph the whole thing but to concentrate on the part by the entrance: 2 seconds.
Until wow, there have scarcely been any clouds in all of my blue hour photos. Normally, photographers really desire them, but I have been liking the electric blue well enough. However, there were a few clouds in this one.
Of note: I do understand that these buildings, which I have been photographing, are not exactly architectural masterpieces, but there has been something redeeming about them in my opinion. I think that there has consistently been two good elements in all of them – colour and light. If those elements are good enough, so is the photo – not necessarily great, but good enough to for a momentary pause of approbation.