Saturday, July 31, 2021

Caturday 30: Life is Good

It has been two months since we checked in on the old girl on a Caturday, but I must tell you of the latest, little discovery.

She is now eating cat food, loving it, and sleeping sleeps of contentment.

Wet food, I mean. Canned food.

When she first came to live with us, we were concerned that she wouldn't eat canned cat food. Sue called the rescue centre to discover what they had been feeding her.

They had the same experience. She only ate dry food.

But we were told by a cat person that a diet of only dry food could be problematic for the kidneys.

We resorted to light human tuna as a supplement to her mostly dry diet. She loved it but mainly the juice, and as time went on, she ate less and less of the actual tuna to the point where I was trashing so much tuna that I was willing to give up.

Then I thought that maybe she simply didn't like chewing (go figure), and so I purchased a can of liver pâté.

Miracle of miracles, she cleaned the plate.

She continues to do this if it s straight liver or liver with fish such as whitefish, tuna or salmon.

But not if it is chicken or turkey with liver. No no no.

She loves her pâté, and life is good. So very good.

Friday, July 30, 2021

A Day

I awoke ~6 both to a fog and also in somewhat of a brain fog, as you shall see. Fog appeals to photographers, so I thought I should go out with the camera. Without much of an idea of where to go, I decided on the nearby trail from where I went down to the riverbank. As you can see, it was, indeed, very foggy. It wasn't blue out, but due to a decision in post, it is blue in the photo. I added the colour cast because gray fog is rather bland. I like it this way.

Then I photographed one of the footbridges along the trail.

I wasn't feeling inspired, so I got back into the car, drove to another spot for a different view, and limped my limpy way onto that section of the trail The path looked okay-ish for a photo, so I set up my tripod. When I reached for the camera which should have been by my side, it wasn't there. Go figure! The photographer had left his camera in the car!

Said photographer limped back to the car and drove home in resignation.

As I write this a day later, and a ay before you read it, I just went downstairs for cereal. I brought the dish back upstairs sans both milk and spoon. Sigh.

Much later, for a late lunch, we decided to make a sandwich and drive to a picnic spot. The two far-flung parks that we drove to first were busy, so back to our town we came to our own Riverside park, which is probably the nicest one. We ate our sandwiches and listened to music.

Our selfie.

Our view directly across the river.

As we sat, enjoying the weather and the view, I contemplated that two 74-year-olds were keeping up with the times fairly well by listening to mp3 music from a phone and played over a bluetooth speaker.

Then we dropped in on Danica to see her new ear piercings. Now that things have opened up more, she was able to claim her three-month-old birthday present that her mother promised back in April.

She had the two new piercings done the day before.

It was a pretty good day despite some fumbles and bumbles. 

On this next morning, I arose at 4:30 this morning, hoping for another photo op, but the weather kept me at home, thus beginning what will be a stay-at-home day for which there was no reason to arise so early.

And now, I have absent-mindedly let my coffee go cold while writing this post. Heaven help me.

Thursday, July 29, 2021


I have more saved snippets after recently posting humourous Superfluous Signs. These COVID-related screengrabs are not funny and actually downright sad. They are about the America situation with some Canada comparisons too.

And a somewhat funny one but also not so funny.

I came across some more before going to post. Come on USA, do better. You're embarrassing yourself. (With apologies to all my blogger friends who are not part of the silly crowd. Too bad the whole country tends to get painted with the same brush.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Family Dinner Resumed at Least for One Evening

Ever since Sha and her husband separated, five or so years ago, in an effort to help out, we had them over for regular Monday family dinners. She always had the kids on Mondays and Tuesday, and Mondays being what they are, it seemed like the best day to help out.

Along came the pandemic, and those dinners ceased in March 2020. We did manage to revive the practice twice last summer when COVID rates were low – even lower than they are now. But quicker than we could say jack robinson, rates soared crazily, and we went into phase two and then phase three lockdowns.

With Sue, Sha and me fully vaxxed and the kids single vaxxed we were not hesitant to invite them over on this past Monday night when I made my lightish mac and cheese. And that is another thing, for I haven't cooked much since it all began. For me, cooking tends to involve deciding to cook something and more often than not then going out to purchase the ingredients. Since, we had been eschewing stores for the most part, that wasn't on.

Even yesterday, I had to make a little shopping run to purchase some of the ingredients, like both the mac and the cheese, if you can believe it.

I don't know whether these dinners will ever become a weekly habit again, especially now with summer timetables being what they are, but we should be able to resume somewhat more frequent get-togethers come September.

We didn't take many photos, not even Sue who chronicles these events more than I do. However, we did manage a few phone photos as we sat in the living room for a short while after the repast. 

For the most part, Lacey steered clear, but she did come down long enough to notice JJ on her couch, and she did get close for a minute. She doesn't do this with everybody, but she has shown some affinity for JJ in the past.

As a lagniappe that has nothing to do with the foregoing, I present a photo of the Amazon package that came in the mail on Tuesday morning. It is quite the pity that Lacey is one feline who is not interested in whatever lures most felines into boxes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Superfluous Signs

I come across images or posts on social media that I sometimes save, but then I forget to use them. I just discovered a few that I had saved. They are not really funny but more of a head-scratcher, kind of like a bottle of pills that advise you to take them by mouth.

As far as I know, they are real and not contrived via photo manipulation, but who knows for sure?

I have also saved more serious items and may post those in the near future.

Addendum: Oh, I just saw this one. Thanks. I needed that clarification.

They don't stop. Here's another.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Shifting the Moon

As I have gone on about before, I try to keep my landscape photos pretty authentic, even if I have to work to get a photo looking right. For example, I have already explained how this photo is a composite of two exposures to try to get it as right as possible. It is probably still too dark on the whole, but the moon is right or at least pretty darn close.

That was the best composition that I could find at my location, and I was happy enough with it. Then, it did occur to me that the composition would be even stronger with the moon moved left, over those two lower lights, and I mentioned that in yesterdays post. I also mentioned that it wouldn't be authentic that way, so I didn't do it.

However (ahem), I did get to wondering if I were correct in my judgement, and if I could pull the move off. Once I published that post, I set to it.

It wasn't difficult at all, and I do think that it is a better composition. I am torn. I like to be authentic, but I also prefer this composition. It is art after all, and I am not doing photojournalism or entering it in a competition. In point of fact, this photo my never be seen again, so it hardly matters.

. . . I thought I was done but then decided to play with another image. You may recall that I had wanted a photo with the moon directly over the overpass along the road but that it wasn't in the right place. So here is a real big moon in the right spot, just for fun. Why not, eh?

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Full Buck Moon

Upon prompting, you may, perhaps, recall that my original attempt – posted here – to photograph the full moon was thwarted by cloud cover. At the time I did get some alternate sunset photos that saved the outing, but conditions were much better on this next evening. That's good because this was the actual evening of the full moon, which, in July, has been called the Buck Moon or even the Full Buck Moon.

I missed the very earliest of the rising due to the location from which I chose to shoot. At first,  the moon  was obscured behind trees as well as the adjacent overpass by the parking lot. But it was still large and very orange, and when it shifted a little more, I took my ↓ first photo ↓. The treetops were still in the way, but I don't mind the effect.

In shooting for the moon, I had to underexpose in order to get the moon to come out right, I did that in the next photo too, but attempted to lift the rest of the scene in editing while keeping the moon to the correct exposure. If you look closely, although I don't know if you can do that at this resolution, there are still a few branches over the bottom of the moon.

I then decided to do two exposures in camera to blend later in Photoshop: one, darker, for the moon, and the other, lighter, for the scene . I included part of the adjacent overpass and lights for context. While I wish I had a mountain, ocean, lake or even a nice urban location to fill in the scene, this is what I had. For me, it's good to have some context and not just the moon itself. Not everyone shares my opinion, however, and if I were to possess a super zoom lens, maybe I would feel that way too.  While I have a long lens, I can't describe it as a super telephoto.

I think this next one turned out best, with more lights from the overpass but not with quite the same mess (ie the overpass railings) of the previous photo. I have been thinking that I could have an even stronger photo if I were to move the moon a bit to the left, perhaps over those two lower lights. But then it wouldn't be authentic, although I doubt if anyone would have known. I would, however. 

Having exhausted the views from the parking lot. I moved to a different spot, below, with the idea of photographing the moon directly in line with the road. But I discovered that it would have taken a long time to reach that spot, and with the mosquitoes out in such force that I feared of being carried off, I was disinclined to hang about any longer. Also, by the time that the moon were to get there (over the road) it would have been higher and, therefore, even smaller. I'll include a photo that I did take with the moon still off to the left of the overpass, so that you can see what my idea had been. But with the biters on the warpath and the moon getting higher and, therefore, smaller, both my time and my patience expired.

The wire over the moon really helps this photo (kidding), but as I have written, I was too exasperated and uncomfortable to bother finding a better shot.

I am glad that I made the effort. It wasn't the best location, but it had been a bit of a struggle to even find this one. It would also be easier to photograph if it were to rise before it got quite so dark so that there would be less of a difference between the bright moon and the ambient conditions. But that's life – never perfect.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

On a Pleasant Afternoon

What with weather and whatnot, we've been a bit stuck around the house lately, so we planned a short excursion. We decided to go to the next town for fries and a sit in the park by the river and then go to the next next town for ice cream. When it came down to it, we were happy to sit in the first location for some length of time and save the ice cream for another occasion.

This was our first spot, but after a while, the sun evaded the shade of the little tree and chased us to nearer the river close to that sign. You can see the shade near the sign in the second photo, below.

I'll never learn. You may remember the previous visit here with those huge fries. I knew enough to order medium this time, but I didn't know enough to realize that they would still be very large: too large, in fact.  Neither of us came close to finishing them.

I am sad to report that the fries were not all that good. I don't think we will choose this chip truck again.

We took our obligatory selfie. I hold the phone and Sue presses the shutter (or whatever you call it on a phone) with her watch.

There was a certain amount of coming and going with kayaks and stand-up-paddles although folks didn't always stand up. As you can see, I didn't have to work very hard to get the pictures.

Dogs also enjoyed the day and the view.

Although we could have done without the fries, we did enjoy sitting for quite awhile and appreciating the view, the cool breezes, and the music from my phone and portable Bluetooth speaker. This park is just adjacent to the one where we have (or used to have and, hopefully, will have again)  our Celtfest concerts, so it was rather appropriate to turn to my Celtic playlist, which is the only one on my phone at present. (Sue's video, 15 seconds)

We must endeavour to do more of these little excursions as the summer progresses. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

First Came Golden Hour

What with rain, clouds, smoke and wind, I haven't been taking many photos for almost a month. However, with an almost full moon last night, I predicted a suitable spot and headed out. Alas, when the moon did rise, cloud cover kept it out of view.

All was not lost, however, for I was able to snap some photos while I waited. I did have quite a wait too, as I got to my spot about 3/4 hour earlier than necessary as there was a lag between general rising time and when it would be visible in my location.

I was in a somewhat elevated Park and Ride lot near the highway and was able to look down on the farm on the other side, which I captured it bathed in golden light. Well, perhaps bathed is too grand a word, but it was golden hour that photographers are rather keen on.

A little later, in the opposite direction, the sun was lowering beyond the trees, creating some interest in the sky. It wasn't grand, but it was something while I waited for the moon, which never did show up.

Then, I took a horizontal photo of the same sky and saw that a bit of sun was peeking out at tree level.

Then it peaked a bit more and became pretty bright. To keep the sun from blowing out (ie going to white) I had to underexpose by quite a lot. I like the results well enough. Despite using my longest lens, the first photo is highly cropped. The second is somewhat cropped. In both cases I like the effect of the intervening trees and clouds.

I took one more photo of the full scene with no cropping or processing whatsoever.

While I didn't get the [moon] photo that I wanted, I did manage to take photos that I think were worth the effort. The sun behind the trees was certainly unexpected and not something that I have photographed before, so I am happy enough

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Spoonerism Day

It is supposedly Spoonerism Day, at least in the USA. By way of note, the USA has many such acknowledgment days almost every day. For example: today is also National Penuche Day,  Mango Day, and Lion’s Share Day.

If you don't know about Spooner, this is what Wikipedia has to say.

William Archibald Spooner (22 July 1844 – 29 August 1930) was a long-serving Oxford don. He was most notable for his absent-mindedness, and for supposedly mixing up the syllables in a spoken phrase, with unintentionally comic effect. Such phrases became known as spoonerisms, and are often used humorously. Many spoonerisms have been invented and attributed to Spooner.

The Spoonerism Day website, lists spoonerisms that he might have uttered.

It is kisstomary to cuss the bride."

Blushing crow" (crushing blow).

The Lord is a shoving leopard" (Loving shepherd).

A well-boiled icicle" (well-oiled bicycle).

I have in my bosom a half-warmed fish" (half-formed wish—it is believed he said this in a speech Queen Victoria).

A toast to our queer old dean" (our dear old Queen).

Will nobody pat my hiccup?" (Will nobody pick my hat up?)

Go and shake a tower" (Go and take a shower).

Is the bean dizzy?" (while hoping to speak to a college dean).

Mardon me padom, you are occupewing my pie. May I sew you to another sheet?"

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Our Twinkless Tree

It doesn't twinkle. I am amused but still satisfied.

I saw on FB an add for a little fairy light tree, and I succumbed. My plan was to put it away as a gift for later – probably for Sue but maybe someone else in a pinch.

Of course, when it eventually arrived, I had to give it to Sue right away.

It is very pretty. But . . . it doesn't twinkle, despite what the box declares. 

I wrote to the company.

Good Morning.

This order doesn't actually twinkle. I mean it still looks good, but we are disappointed that it doesn't work as advertised. What can we do about this? Is there something we can twiddle to make it work? If not, can you send a replacement?

They replied in short order.

Thanks for contacting us. 
The fairy light tree emits the constant warm white light and twinkle depends on the surrounding lights around the tree. When you capture the photo of the tree in this condition, it will show the twinkle but it is hard to see with the naked eye.
If the tree is faulty, we would be happy to send you the replacement but we are afraid even it won't fulfill your expectation as the twinkle really depends on the surrounding light and is noticeable only in the picture.

I forwarded the response to Sue. Her reply (to me).

This is crazy. You CAN'T SEE the twinkle. WTF? I love the tree, but don't call it twinkle, if it doesn't twinkle.

It's just amusing, that's all. It's pretty and we are not unhappy with the purchase and not angry with the company. 

I took a photo. Of course, I did, but still no twinkle. lol