Monday, February 28, 2022

Studying Genesis . . . sort of . . .

I have appreciated reading Bart Ehrman's books. My first was Misquoting Jesus, and I have read a number of them since then. I have also listened to many of his lectures on YouTube.

He puts in layman's terms what biblical scholars have been observing and teaching for many years. These are not things we learn in church, particularly in evangelical churches where I was raised and remained until my mid-to-late thirties.

Ehrman has begun to stream actual paywalled courses, and for interest, I decided to subscribe to the newest course, Genesis. When I say it is a course, I don't mean that it is for credit. It's not that long either, only 6 lectures of about a half hour each. There is also a brief Q&A section after each lecture. Once again, his commitment is to show us the kind of information that scholars have learned and concluded. 

For my taste and pocketbook, it is expensive for just three hours of content — about $35US, which will make it about $45 for me. He plans to do the whole bible, and I probably won't be subscribing. But right now it is something different to do in the dogdays of winter. 

Speaking of winter, January was frigid, and February has been miserable in its own way. This Sunday morning,  I sit inside while squall conditions swirl outside (see photos below),and I am afraid that the two-week forecast doesn't look very appealing. Hopefully when we hit mid-March, it will begin to improve. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it takes longer.

What I have decided to do while I listen to these lectures is to also read Genesis although that wouldn’t be absolutely necessary to learn from the course. When I last read it, I was a very committed evangelical. I read now, much older and with a different mindset. It now seems like mythology to me, especially the first 11 chapters up to and including the flood.

This is a little passage from Genesis chapter 19 that I read last night (emphasis mine).

4Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.” 6So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, 7and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! 8See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
Later in the chapter, after Lot fled from Sodom and Gomorrah, and after his wife was turned into a pillar of salt, both of his daughters got him drunk and had sex with him in order to preserve his line. This is the kind of stuff that I didn't want to think about too much when I was an evangelical. One just  tends to put it to the back of one's mind and move on to the next chapter.

I may comment more on this mini course once I am done. We shall see what we shall see when we get around to shall seeing what we shall see.

I may even go on to read the whole bible — again! I say again, for I have done it once before. Parts of the bible, I have read many times — the gospels and Paul's epistles, for example.

To switch horses once again, here are photos of the squall. It had abated somewhat by the time that I had consumed my Sunday morning french toast and gotten around to taking the photos. It had been quite a whiteout previously: front and back in that order.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

No More Bouncy Castles

It has been a week since the bouncy castles and hot tubs have been removed from the streets of downtown Ottawa.

I watched for hours last weekend and found the patience and restraint of the police to be quite incredible. The protestors were told time and again that their protest was illegal, but they refused to budge. The police calmly remained in formation for hour after hour. When they moved forward, say 10 paces, they would cry out for the protestors to back up. Most did, and those who didn't were arrested with just enough force to restrain the resistors. 

It was remarkable to me. I wondered how many countries would have been this restrained and orderly in removing law-breaking protestors after the three-weeks of hell that they visited on local citizens and merchants. As far as I know, not a baton was swung. 

If only, the protestors had made their statement and gone home, I would have had some sympathy, for that's how demonstrations typically have been done in democracies such as ours — hold a march, make your point, and then leave, perhaps to return on another day. But they didn't choose that option and were willing to interfere with the freedoms of local inhabitants on a continuous and sustained basis for week after week with no end in sight.

This weekend, however, we have been seeing how true, heroic protestors have reacted in the face of military aggression into their country. That is bravery. It may have been even braver for those protesting in Russia itself as some were arrested toute de suite.

I leave you with two graphics, with the hope of never again mentioning the ignorant assault on our capital city. 

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Saturday Signs

 A few little signs for your delectation on Saturn's Day, for a certain lil ole blogger seems to be running out of things to write. I know some of you like to hear from your people on a daily basis, so I will usually try although I don't promise to always deliver.

Men are cheaper used, but there is probably a reason for that.

Don't you mean truck, and are you driving the vehicle?

This seems so unreasonable.

These attempts at humour reveal why my dad pleaded with me not to give up my day job.

Friday, February 25, 2022

A Page from the Past

Thanks to both Boud and Mary G yesterday for educating me that the GRI VI inscription on the medal stands for George VI Rex Imperator (King and Emperor). I updated that post but am acknowledging their contributions here.

Also, someone asked about the black item at the bottom of Sue's photo link. It is her grandfather's compass from WWI, and it still works. The batteries are still good, eh?  😁


I'm not sure why I have kept my stamp album from my boyhood days, for there is nothing of value in it, but I have held onto it regardless. I have taken it with me from Montreal to Toronto (Cooksville), Sarnia and now here to Ottawa (Carleton Place). There may or may not have been intervening stops in Guelph and London, but it probably remained with my parents in those university days.

I collected stamps when I was a boy of about 10 and 11 years, maybe 12 a little bit. That would be from around 1957-59.

This is part of a page from the Canada section. To my mind the tilted stamp of King George VI and HM Queen Elizabeth is the focal point. The royal princesses are featured in the green stamp to its left of that. Above the royal couple and to the right it lies yet another stamp of the couple. That one is the 1957 issue while my focus one is 1959. Above that is his father King George V and his Queen, Mary. There are a number of stamps in the lower section, mostly featuring his majesty. 

I enjoyed philately, but it overwhelmed me a young boy. The world is a big place, and a boy without much in the way of funds didn't know how to keep up. If a mentor would have told me that I didn't have to collect stamps of the world but could just concentrate on a few countries, perhaps I would have kept at it. Alas, I had no mentor, certainly not my parents. 

As evidence of my lack of mentoring, I remember getting approval stamps from a company. I purchased a set, but all that I knew was to plop coins in an envelope and send them to America. Naturally, the company didn't receive payment. After they asked for payment, I wrote back in my still childlike script telling them that I had sent the funds. They apparently, just chalked it up to a loss, for I never heard from them again.

The stamp book was also getting out of date, and I would just stick stamps onto a blank page and tuck it into the book It just seemed wrong to me, however, not to have a proper page with an image of the stamp. While one could possibly have purchased yearly updates for the album (I am not sure of this), that wasn't going to happen in my circumstances.

So, I put the hobby aside. I guess, however, that the collection, or even that time of my life, meant something to me, for I have since carted the album around for close to 65 years.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Lou's Star Medal

As I have mentioned on several occasions, Beloved has been taking her photo prompts quite seriously and has garnered at least two picks of the day from the moderators of the group.

One recent weekly theme was red and when the more specific daily prompt of honour was added, Sue thought of her dad's war medals. We have a small box of them, and there is another grouping elsewhere in the family.

I put it in the back of my mind that I would also like to photograph a few of them, so about a week after Sue had completed her photoshoot, I roused myself to do just that.

I will only post one photo today, which will leave me with a couple more for some other time, possibly for Remembrance Day.

My vision was to keep it simple, and this was the simplest composition of the three that I took — a single medal on a black background with a lot of negative space.

Sue's dad received this medal sometime between March and August of 1945. The Star of Germany and France is what is inscribed around the edge. In the centre is GRI VI. That would be for George VI Rex Imperator. King and Emperor., unless someone can tell me differently. I understand that the six stars were for six different campaigns, the France and Germany campaign being one of them. The war record that Sue was able to obtain indicates that her father was awarded two additional Star medals: one for Italy and one, apparently, a general one. I will have to look in the box to see what else we have. His higher medals, if I may call them that, have made their way to other members of the family.

Although I hadn't originally thought to do this, I think I would be remiss if I didn't also include Sue's 365 photo and description. She arranged many medals and other treasures around photos of her father and grandfather.

Day 50 Red/Honour Honour - this is not a difficult decision at all today. My dad and my grandfather both served Canada in a war. WWI and WWII. I am not sure what my grandfather's position was during WWI, but I know he was at Vimy. My dad was a tank driver/mechanic during WWII and was wounded 3 times. When I went to the War Museum in Ottawa and looked down inside a tank I was shocked to see how cramped it would be for three men. My dad sat on an iron triangle seat at the bottom of the tank, and had two men positioned above him. They had to exit the tank before he could, so once he was in there he was the last man out. I was claustrophobic just looking at that space. I don't know how my dad did it. My brother and nephew have most of dad's medals, but I have a few in a box of treasures my grandchildren have sifted through and admired. Both men are worthy of honour indeed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Brain Fog on Family Day

Monday was Family Day in Ontario, and I think most provinces celebrate something or other on that day or sometime in February.

Apropos for the day, we had the family over for lunch and table games. Lunch was simple: mainly sandwich fixins on sourdough bread.

After lunch we played Wizard, Uno and Yahtzee in that order. Somewhat to Danica's dismay, we always pronounce UNO as you know instead of the Spanish, oohno. We can't help ourselves because we said it that way many years before we knew any better, and now the right way seems wrong and vice versa.

Before I go on to Sue's photos, let me tell you how weird my day was, which gets us to the Brain Fog of the title.

With the help of the cat, I got up sometime around 5 or maybe 5:30. But I was feeling tired, so I did something that I don't do — kipped for another hour or more on my chair. I guess I shouldn't have, for that, or something, threw everything out of whack for me, and I was tired all morning, despite getting more sleep that usual. I even attempted to get a few minutes nap just before the fam arrived, but as I was drifting off, I was awakened by having them arrive earlier than I expected. And that left me groggy and in the wrong head space, let me tell ya. Too bad really. 

After they left, I did have a very short kip, and felt somewhat better afterward. My rhythms were really thrown off that day. (I think it is too late for me to learn how to spell ryhmtumss 😉 without spellcheck having to come to my rescue.)

Here are the pics, all Sue's. The first is Wizard, which Danica won.

Then came UNO. I was so brain dead that I just stared perplexedly at the cards before the concept of the game came back to me. We only played a few rounds, and I'm not sure who won, but I know who didn't.

JJ won at Yahtzee. He scored a Yahtzee (5 of a kind) and did it again for a big bonus. He got a high score unlike any result I can every recall seeing. Meanwhile, the die may have picked up my vibes because they weren't turning over for me. When you roll a pair on your first roll but can't roll a third iteration on two more rolls of three die, well what can you say?

Sue was probably thinking about keeping some cards up her sleeve for possible future 365 prompts. (Did you notice what I did there — cards up sleeve?)

Brain fog or not, it was a nice break in the dadblasted month of February, which really is the pits in a northern winter. Today (Tuesday) with a freezing rain warning, the kids have another day off school, after Friday being a snow day and Monday being Family Day. That freezing rain was supposed to begin a few hours ago and hasn't started yet, so it may eventuate that the snow day hasn't been necessary. But I'm sure the kids won't complain. (Note: it did happen in the afternoon and evening.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Resumption of Hockey

Jonathan played his first hockey game in long awhile, or I should say the first in-town game that we have been able to attend. After the league was able to resume several weeks ago, at least two games have been cancelled, one due to a covid alert on our team and one on the other team.

We are normally ending the season now with payoffs on the horizon, but it was make-up league game that we attended. As of now, I am not sure what the immediate plans are for the league, whether they will attempt to have genuine playoffs or just continue with make-up games.

I got a handful of decent photos, but none of JJ this time. I did get a few photos of him, but they weren't interesting ones, so I scrapped them. Maybe I will do better next time, assuming there is a next time this season.

It was a tough game for both the boys and the photographer. The boys lost very badly in a lopsided match. This was against a team that they went toe-to-toe with a few years ago, but a handful of our top players moved up to the travel team. It was also a bit hard for the photographer who almost forgets how to do it after a long layoff and also because I didn't have the opportunity to get many shots. Play was often at the other end of the rink, and when it was nearer, our guys didn't have to puck very often.

On to the photos. The first is a goal celebration by the other team after one of their many goals. I think this was their female player. 

They/She was noticeable in many of my photos, including some that I will post below.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Flawed Humans

If I may delve a little further into my lack of expertise at sudoku, permit me to share something about my comparative results.

When I finish a game, it will say something about it. It might tell me that my score was better than usual, or perhaps that I completed it in more or less time than my average. Another variant is that I have completed x number of games in a row.

That is all fine and dandy, but sometimes, it tells me how my time compares to the average player. The comparison is never flattering, for I am typically in the 30-40% range. Very seldom am I faster than more that 50% of the players.

This doesn't surprise me.

For about 10 years, I hosted the high school chess club in my room at noon. I sometimes played against the kids. I won most of the time against most of the kids. When they wanted revenge, they would challenge me to a game of speed chess. If I ever won any of those speed matches, it sure wasn't many.

This affects me in daily life too. My brain (I typed brian again) must work like a cow's digestive system. It just takes the information awhile to get all of the way in there. Sometimes, I will get back to Sue hours later or even longer with something that came up in conversation earlier. I may continue as though we had just been discussing it, but by then she has lost the thread and stares at me blankly

This proclivity has been unfortunate at times. There are times when I really should have said some Father Know Best type of thing, but I missed the opportunity with my slow processing.

But that is better than the converse, for sometimes when I have have said or done something impulsively, it has been the wrong thing to say or do. I guess I do need time to digest effectively.

I am a very flawed human being. I guess most of us are in our own ways.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Pretending that I am an Expert

I think I have done it to myself.

You may recall that for a few years, I have played Sudoku in the morning. Typically, I have played two games. First, I play a Hard game allowing myself to make notations, and that usually takes around 20 minutes. Then I play a Medium level game, sans notations. That usually takes 10 minutes, give or take.

A half hour isn’t bad. I am retired after all.

I recently decided to try the Expert level. I probably shouldn’t have done that little thing.

I have played Expert level before but decided not to continue because it can take a lot of time.

But I recently tried expert level again and then again and . . .

. . . and I might be hooked.


At every level there is a gradation of difficulty, and you never know what you are going to get on any given day. Hard games, for example, can range from almost medium difficulty to almost expert. So although my average time for Hard is just slightly under 20 minutes, a game may take me any time between 10 and 30 minutes.

But a normal, median time on this blasted Expert level seems to come in at about 45 minutes, and some games have taken a little more than an hour. Yesterday was a treat because I completed it in just under 32 minutes.

What have I done to myself? I seem to feel driven to keep playing at this level, and I do have the time, but . . . well, I don’t quite know what.

So while the world is consumed with Wordle and is posting daily results online, I have gone in a different direction.

I did try Wordle and even introduced the game to Sue and possibly a few others, at least by extension. Now, Sue plays and posts her results daily while I soon tired of the game. Some of my capitulation was due to the luck of it. A lucky first guess could lead to solving the puzzle in 3 tries. Less luck at the beginning could result in using up all 6 tries. While I did always manage to complete the puzzle on every one of my games, I decided that I didn’t want to keep at it.

Once again, I march out of step with the rest of the world.

Addendum: Go figure. I wrote the above on Friday. Yesterday, sudoku gave me a very easy Expert level puzzle, but in effect, it was really only hard level difficulty and not even very hard at that, for I solved it in 19 minutes. I imagine there will be payback when I get to it later this morning.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Filling My Own Cart Once Again

Sometimes, I don’t know if we’re coming or going with this pandemic.

Our premier, Doug Ford, is beginning to loosen restrictions. Among others changes, on March 01, restaurants will no longer be required to check health passes. But I have already written this as well as the fact that it was hardly an imposition to have to reveal mine the other day.

The thing is, that this blight ain’t necessarily over. BA.2, a subvariant of Omicron (snippets and link at the end from a CNN article), is coming next. Who knows what impact it will have. Rumblings are that it could be worse than Omicron.

I guess we’ll just have to take care of ourselves. Restaurants will likely have to do without my custom while we wait to see what happens next.

I did make a recent breakthrough of sorts, however.

For the first time in 2 months or more, I did the grocery shopping in person. 

Although Sue can’t stand shopping, I don’t mind it in the least and was happy enough to ramble around the store, choosing what I wanted. I must admit though, that pickup worked pretty well when called upon, and it has become a pretty big aspect of the grocery shopping economy these days. 

Everyone was masked,  and I double-masked. I also went early when the crowds weren’t … um …  actual crowds. I am glad that masking is the one thing that won’t change right away. When it does, I and probably many others will continue the habit, at least for a time. Beyond Covid protection, so many people are reporting that they haven't had a cold in two years. We'll have to see how people react in the long term.

Whatever the case, it was good to get out. We sure didn’t get out yesterday, except to shovel snow, as an overnight snow storm caused school buses to be cancelled. At one time, that would have meant a day of babysitting for us, and we might very well have taken the kids to the hill to do a bit of sledding. Sue and I would probably have gone down too — at least once. I think we last did that 3 years ago, or maybe 4. I do know that we went down at least once in our 70s. Yay us!

I kindalike miss those days, but I did like getting out to the grocery store again.


New lab experiments from Japan show that BA.2 may have features that make it as capable of causing serious illness as older variants of Covid-19, including Delta.

And like Omicron, it appears to largely escape the immunity created by vaccines. A booster shot restores protection, making illness after infection about 74% less likely.

BA.2 is about 30% to 50% more contagious than Omicron. It has been detected in 74 countries and 47 US states. 

Even though BA.2 seems more contagious and pathogenic than Omicron, it may not wind up causing a more devastating wave of Covid-19 infections.

"Before this thing came out, we were about 10 feet away from the finish line," she said. "Taking off the masks now is not a good idea. It's just going to extend it. Let's get to the finish line."

CNN: As BA.2 subvariant of Omicron rises, lab studies point to signs of severity

Friday, February 18, 2022

One and Done

Valentine's Day took us out to the restaurant with the B Team — Bob and Barb. We also have an A Team, consisting of my daughter and her partner — Allyson and Alycia.

We are still presenting our health passports to enter restaurants. Rightly or wrongly, that mandate will end on March 01. We will probably be a little careful about venturing forth for awhile after that. Although restaurants could still choose to ask for passports, I don't think they will.

They are currently supposed to only run at 50% capacity, but it was more crowded than that when we arrived. However, we were early and some diners were probably lingering longer than expected. It was certainly well below 50% capacity when we left.

It was our fish & chip place. It was good but not as good as last time when it was fabulous. However, this was both Monday and Valentines Day. I think you take your chances a little bit on even an ordinary Monday when the best cooks might be given a day off after the weekend.

Before I get to my main topic (I know it takes me awhile. It always has even when writing essays in university. I was not one to quickly post a thesis and get on with it), I want to share the highlight of the meal. It occurred when an errant hand knocked over Bob’s beer. In. My. Direction! I got stickily wet, and there was laundry to do after we got back home.

Finally on to what I wanted to be the main topic when I started this. What I really want to post was what I ordered for dessert — believe it or not, a deep fried Mars bar. I have seen the option posted here and there and have always been curious about what the concoction would be like. 

The chocolate bar was enveloped in a dough before frying and came in a dish with ice cream. This ↓ is not my photo but is more or less what it looked like, which was not all that appealing.

It was something that I was interested to try once but will never order again. I mean I am probably rather lucky to have survived the sugar load of a chocolate bar, battered, fried, and presented on a bed of ice cream.

Mars bars are just about my favourite, but this was almost the ruining of it.

The Mars bar is British in origin and is enjoyed in Canada. American don't have this delight although a variation was once tried. From Wikipedia:

Mars, commonly known as Mars bar, is the name of two varieties of chocolate bar produced by Mars, Incorporated. It was first manufactured in 1932 in Slough, England by Forrest Mars, Sr.[2] In its British version the bar consists of caramel and nougat coated with milk chocolate. An American version of the Mars bar was produced which had nougat and toasted almonds covered in milk chocolate; later, caramel was added to the recipe as well. The American version was discontinued in 2002, then revived in a slightly different form the following year under the name "Snickers Almond".

Note: We also have a Snickers bar, which may be like the American, Snickers Almond.

I know that you will be tempted to chirp at me over my extravagant and sinfully ridiculous choice, but you honestly don't have to tell me that this was a bad thing to do. It was a one and done experiment.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The Music in My Noggin

More than once, a certain friend has asked what music I listen to. Basically, I don't. Neither of my two main photo friends understand this because they live life completely differently.

My music is in my head. I often wake up with a tune in my noggin. This morning, it was a chorus that I may never have sung, but it is still somewhat meaningful to me.

It is a simple little gospel chorus, as are many of my head songs.

Friendship with Jesus
Fellowship Divine
O what blessed, sweet communion
Jesus is a friend of mine

When I was a boy, our little Sunday school classrooms were set around the periphery of a larger hall. It was in that hall that the men's class met. Near the beginning of the session, they would sing the above chorus that popped into my head this morning more than sixty years subsequent.

My dad was the teacher of that class, and I could hear him expounding on the lesson some time later.

Meanwhile, my mother was teaching a teen girls' class in another room like mine.

I was quite pleased to think that they were doing important things. Upon later reflection, I don't suppose that they were terribly important, but it felt like it at the time, and I was proud of them.

Much of my internal music is church related.

It is a little strange to have these tunes in my head now, for I have been an unbeliever for many decades. 

Still, I have fond memories of those childhood and teenage times. Unlike many who have moved on from belief with unhappy memories, my memories are mostly pleasant.

I decided to look for the song on YT, and to my amazement, I found Jimmy Swaggart singing it. I had no idea that he was still around after his more renown exploits. I have started the clip near the end when he goes into the chorus twice. (This was posted in 2020 and may or may not have been recorded at that time.) 

I watch a clip like this with conflicting thoughts. On one hand, I can recall some of the emotions that this may once have evoked in me. On the other hand, however, I think of how immaturely emotional it is. Although that is probably not quite the phrase and concept that I am looking for, it will have to do for now.

I noggin other music too, mostly older songs or Celtic tunes, but very few top 40 hits, let me tell ya.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Macros and Prints

After purchasing those photo lights for Beloved, I stopped by Giant Tiger for a couple of inexpensive plants. Sue used a calla lily in a few of her 365 photos. I got out my macro lens and also took some photos.

It has been so long since I printed a photo that I decided to do that too. One reason for the great printing slowdown is that I lost one of my two display venues — the busier one — due to the closing of the business. Another is that my printer is acting up. It is wrinkling one corner of the page and also smudging a bit of ink in the margins. While both could be covered up with matting, it doesn't seem like the best thing to do, particularly with less demand these days.

But I wanted to print anyway, just for me and not for display. I added my signature to the image. The signature is authentic but now digital after scanning it from a pen on paper sample. I have used it a lot. I also printed another photo looking up the river during golden hour.

One more thing about printing before I go on to finish the post.

I recently looked on the Canon website for a replacement printer. Except for a few very high end models, there was nothing available. By nothing I don't mean just for larger photo printers like mine but almost nothing, period. It is probably a combination of microchip shortages and delivery problems.

I also have another calla lily photo. I now like it better than the one that I printed, but I didn't at the time. This is why I chose to print that other one. I did a little extra tweaking to this one ↓ afterward to get it to this point. It's a little warmer in tone than the print and a better crop, I think. If I ever choose to print for display, I will probably choose this one. I have found that flower photos don't tend to sell, but they still garner some admiration by passersby, and that is almost as good. 

I also photographed the tradescantia bubblegum plant ↓ which just has pretty leaves and no flowers. This was a tough shot as there are so many leaves beyond the two that I wanted to focus on. I had to fiddle with cropping in post.

Macro photography isn't my very favourite type of photography, but on cold winter days, it suffices.

This next one wasn’t meant to be part of this post, mostly because it didn’t exist when I wrote the above. It comes from another of Sue’s 365 prompts. She was supposed to use red and drop something in a container to cause a splash. When she was done with her fussing, I took this shot. It’s not the greatest, but neither of us had the time or inclination to perfect the shoot on that day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Lou, Brains, Brians

Someone recently posted of how her father had the knack of knowing where everything was in his pile of tools and amidst whatever flotsam and jetsam might lay strewn on his workbench.

This reminded me of Sue's dad, Lou. A long time ago we happened to mention that we would like to install a little mail slot in our front door. We weren't asking for help, just thinking out loud. He went into a little room at the back of his garage and soon asked whether we wanted a silver one or a gold one.

He not only had one maildrop on hand but actually had two: talk about knowing where everything was. His garage and, indeed, the whole basement was full of stuff, but he knew where to find what he wanted when he wanted it.

My brain* doesn't work like that, assuming that it can be said to work at all. I even tend to forget what clothes I own from one season to the next — some clothes, not all, you understand.

I can even misplace the day.

You might recall that I recently was quite chuffed about how well my french toast turned out. This caused me to think that it perhaps should become a new Sunday tradition: you know, something different to start the week.

So I did.

It wasn't until much later in the day that I said to myself, "Wait a minute, this is Saturday!" Hmm.

* This is a thing. Almost invariably when I mean to type Brian, I will type Brain. On the other hand, it has recently occurred, and more than once, that I have intended to type brain, but when I look at the monitor, I see that I have typed brian. In point of fact, it occurred in the body of this post. Go figure.

Monday, February 14, 2022

M'Lady's Photo Dedication

I have mentioned Sue's dedication to her Facebook photo group. She is given one theme for the week plus a more specific prompt for each day. I asked her for three sample photos along with their descriptions for my blog — the descriptions that she originally posted to her group.

The group is given a weekly theme, followed by an additional suggestion for each day. One weekly theme was Motivation, and one of the daily prompts was Different Angle. Sue was to express the idea of motivation from a different angle. This ↓ is the photo that she posted with her description to the group below (in italics).

On this grey, snowy February morning I was motivated to dig out this bright top so I could wear a butterfly on my shoulder, to remind myself that colour will return to my world again. It will! Mother Nature is working her wonders in the cold dark soil under the piles of snow in my front yard, and when the snow melts, tulips and daffodils will rise again to colour my world, and delight the butterflies. It always amazes me that such beauty can come from that cold dark place. A life lesson for sure. If you are in a cold dark place in your life right now, hang on.

Personally, I have neither the creativity nor the patience to do this sort of thing. I just have to follow my own muse and photograph what I want to photograph when I want to do it. Sue, however, is creative and also willing to put the necessary thought and time into complying with the prompts. She will take many photos until she finds one that she likes.

She recently had a whole week with a Food theme. One day, the additional, daily prompt was Incredible.

Oh my, another learning curve for me. Hmmmm, where do I begin with this challenge? I think it is incredible that in the middle of my snowy, colder than cold world, I have fresh blueberries available to me. MMMMM, delicious too.

A subsequent prompt was Food/Ideal.

I didn't have to think too long or too hard for this one. Apples are my ideal food. After all "one a day keeps the doctor away", and they are delicious fresh and crunchy or cooked in a delicious pie or apple crisp. Yum, yum, yum!

For that third photo with the apples, m'lady commandeered me to hold a flashlight for her at just the right angle. I held and held while she clicked and clicked until she got what she wanted.

Immediately and forthwith, once she was finally done, I went upstairs, got onto Amazon, and ordered a set of very inexpensive lights. It wasn't that I was peeved to hold the light; it just popped into my pea brain that there might be a better solution.

The lights are for me too although I expect that she will get much more use. I already have a ring flash to do macro photos with my camera, but Sue needed something like this for phone photography. I will use them too as they over some advantages over the ring flash.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Outtakes from the Party

I have a few (mostly) non-JJ pics from his birthday party.

Sue and Danica

Danica: same photo, same enigmatic look: one version converted to mono. Different vibes.

The Buppa, The Boy and The Pizza

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Caturday 35: Lacey Still Loves Bob's Feet

Bob and Barb came over for a little coffee visit.

No sooner had we recalled the time when Lacey has previously shown an interest in Bob's feet that she was back again for another visitation.

She sniffed before laying her head on Bob's foot.

Bob assured us that he showers regularly, so perhaps Lacey is attracted to sweet scent of the soap that he uses.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Little Updates

I sit in my chair from whence I can only see sky and roofs. I notice that the roofs are much less snow-covered that they were a few days ago. Oh, they are still mostly covered. What I mean to say is that the covering isn't nearly as thick.

We have had a few days around the freezing mark, and even above. It makes a difference.

One morning, I went out early to get the car washed. It has been busy over there, but I thought that it would be good at 7. So, I had Alexa remind me; otherwise, I would have forgotten.

The carwash was empty when I started through, but cars were lining up behind me before I exited.

Hermione the Honda had filthy for quite awhile, but one resists washing it in super cold weather when locks can freeze. On the other hand, once it gets milder, it gets wetter and slushier, so it gets dirty pretty quickly. That's winter.


We have Omi on the street — in three households that we know of. Symptoms range from extremely sick, but not hospital sick (knock on wood), to asymptomatic. The sickest hadn't had the booster yet; the one with no symptoms had. That might not be the only reason for the difference, but I am sure that the booster would have helped that poor guy. It's not his fault; he was scheduled, but the rollout was slow to begin around here.

He is our snow angel by the way. Let us hope that we don't get another dumping before he is fit. Kidding: we will manage.

I don't think there's much deep cold in the forecast, and after the cold snap that we expect around Valentine's Day, the fourteen-day forecast doesn't look too perishingly cold. However, most days will remain below freezing — unfortunately. 


The convoy is still looming large downtown but seems to have settled into a less rowdy state. There is a noise bylaw in place, which helps.

The authorities were totally unprepared for this. We'll see how long the protestors want to stay. They may not be losing income as it appears that American money has been pouring in. While GoFundMe has returned most of the $10 000 000 of donations that came to them, another funding site (I forget the name) has stepped into the breech and is chuffed to dole out the dosh.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

An Invigorating Photo Shoot

I said, or maybe threatened, to post some other photos from Sue's wintry photographic extravaganza. 

It was a nippy day but not quite as frigid as much of our recent winter weather, so it was semi tolerable.

My digits did get very cold despite my special photo gloves. When you peel back the 4 fingertips that you need to manipulate the camera, they do get a wee bit frosty, even with the rest of the hands covered. Also, although they are described as winter gloves, I think that means for an American winter and not a Canadian one because they're not all that well insulated. (I do know that the northern states in the Great Plains have it pretty darn cold, but I trust you know what I mean. For the most part Ontario cold and New Jersey or Tennessee cold are not the same thing.)

My first photo, or at least my first non-Sue photo, was of the bench with the river ice in the background. This is similar to the few photos that I took in January, but I like to see the sweep of the ice on the river in the background.

I liked the arching branches in the background ↓ framed by other, nearer trees. I also appreciated that there was some snow on the trees.

I decided to zoom-in on just those trees.

Nearing the car after Sue was done, this ↓ was my final photo although on exiting the car and beginning my trek with Sue across the frozen tundra, it has been the first scene that drew my attention. I like the layers that give the photo depth, beginning with the grasses, and extending to the snowy trees and sky in the background, with intervening layers of ice and open water.

While it would be preferable to have time and tripod for a photo with such depth, I was getting anxious to get back into the warm less cold car, so I pressed the shutter and hurried along. I think I got a pretty good result, though.

It was good to grab a few photos after a long period with very little photographic activity. 

They call such cold, invigorating, and well, yeah, okay.

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Sue and the Snowshoes

For a guy whose hobby is photography, I haven't been posting many photos lately although JJ's birthday gave me some material. Shooting family events in a low lit room is not my favourite thing to do, but be done it must. It is a record of our lives after all.

There are reasons for my reluctance (please world, it is not reticence). January was brutally cold, and I am in my 75th year, and I am semi lame, which is probably too strong a way to describe my condition. I've done many local winter photos in past years, so they tend to get repetitive. Also, the snowfalls have not been pretty for the most part with not much snow on the trees.

Sue became the household photographer in January with her new iPhone, which caused her to join a 365 group on FB. The prompts, plus her inner and compulsive drive, have caused her to often spend many hours to get her work just so. Someday, I will write and post more about her efforts along with samples, but for now, I am just declaring that she has been photographing like mad while I have sat in my chair surveying the ceiling.

On the weekend, she did get me out in the cold to photograph her doing her thing with park benches. I think she posted some of these following photos of mine as a comment to her photo in answer to the daily prompt.

It was very cold out but not quite a frigid as some recent days. Her idea was to go to our favourite bench and to then revisit the location in other seasons.

She began to approach the bench ↓ after finding her way around the snowbank by the road.

She found it to be heavy going, so she decided that we should go back for our snowshoes.

Of course, that's what we did.

It had been 4 years since we snowshoed, and I am a little older and a little fatter so bending over to strap them on wasn't easy, but I managed.

I took some photos of her cavorting around like a frisky Arctic hare. Aside from her posture, in the first photo I also wanted to capture her tracks leading to the bench.

In the next photos, you can see her with her camera (phone) and tripod. That white thing that she appears to be holding in the first photo is an optical illusion, for it is a branch of a tree way over on the other side of the river.

Sue's drive to get the photo just right, got me out of the house with my camera. In addition to the above photos, I also took some non-Sue shots, but they will keep for another day.

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Perspectives on Aging

I see a post on social media about a 70-year-old couple. They are in hospital with cancer, or at least one of them has cancer. They are getting married, it looks like in side-by-side beds. I think, “How sweet for these old folk.” 

Then I think, “Hey! Wait a minute, I’m 75, or at least in my 75th year.”

When I look at it that way, and that hospital scene is out of my mind, my perspective shifts dramatically, like when I recently came across another socmedia post wondering whether all 70-year-olds should have to retest for driving licenses.

I commented that the poster must not be anywhere near 70 and, therefore, has a very erroneous impression about that it is like at that age.

I confess that I am no longer comfortable driving in cities, especially if I am not very familiar with the location. Part of that is that I have lived in smaller urban areas for all of my adult life. Another part is that I became more nervous after our care was totalled 8 years ago. It wasn’t in a city, and it wasn’t my fault, but it affected me.

That is a it of a digression, but I took that little side trip to show how we can assess ourselves and change our behaviours accordingly without outside rules being forced upon us. In other words, we don't require universal testing at 70. Our province does mandate a certain amount of testing and retraining at age 80, but it does not involve a road test unless they think it becomes necessary.

I am not sure I am onboard with that either, but it is what it is.

Meanwhile, I am self-aware and don’t feel the need to be retested to drive around our town or the nearby countryside. 

Well, this post ended up differently than it began with a 70-year-old couple getting married in a hospital. 

Monday, February 07, 2022

The Boy is Thirteen

We have another teenager in the family. If all goes well, it will be the last for awhile. I certainly don't expect to live to see another, but you never know.

We celebrated Jonathan's 13th birthday with him on Friday — pizza and a movie, Dune.

Their place is dark. I set the camera to auto, more or less anyway, and let it do its thing. For those of you who understand the jargon, the ISO was as high as 12800. That means noise (graininess), but at least we have a record of the evening, and that is the main thing. With the help of editing software, I was able to make the photos passable, or even better.

That last photo shows JJ eating a cookie. He doesn't do cake. One year, we did donuts.