Sunday, July 31, 2022

We Finally Have Footage

I usually read your comments on the Blogger Dashboard. Although I tend not to reply to many comments, sometimes I do. And sometimes I see that a comment didn't make it to the actual published post. This happened with Ed yesterday and if I recall correctly, also with Red recently. Once again, be reassured that I do see them all even if others don't. This never used to happen but is now a fact of Blogger life.


I finally downloaded my video of our most recent bike rides. I pruned it down from about 13 minutes to 3 minutes and also speeded it up to make it more interesting. Riding on a trail made it vary shaky. YT used to have an option to smooth out jerky video, but I didn't come across it this time. Likewise, there also used to be an option to add a soundtrack. If it's still there, I certainly missed it this time. The very last section is less shaky because we were on pavement at the time. 

And here is Sue's video from a few days earlier: the Slog ride. I also just selected clips and sped up the play. Hers is of much higher quality, which I will mostly attribute to an iPhone 13 versus a 10. There may have been other factors too, such as the orientation of the phones, but we were using the same kind of holder. 

I did attempt to look for free background music to add interest to the second video once I had realized that YT didn't do this anymore. I have been able to do this in the past, but every ancillary service seems wants money now. Even if they say that it is free, it seems to be for a very limited trial period, and they want your credit card info regardless. I was getting grumpy and refused to play the game, for this is just really a one-time thing for me.

So, whatever the quality and interest, it is mission accomplished as far as cycling footage goes.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Caturday 38: Just Walk Around Me — Carefully

This is how a typical morning may go around here. Times are variable, but the routine is typical albeit not set in stone for as I write this on Friday morning, Lacey did not come back upstairs when Sue arose. (Oh! Here she is now.)

5:30: I get up. Lacey is usually in the vicinity and takes her position by my computer chair, even while I am still puttering about and making coffee. She waits patiently until I handfeed her kibble after which she goes downstairs for a siesta.

7:00: Sue arises. Lacey comes back upstairs. She will frequently sit in my den doorway for as long as it takes until I am ready to go downstairs to prepare both my breakfast and hers. (She is back there now as I type this!) In the interim, we must carefully walk around her, occasionally getting swatted as we pass. Thankfully, she is declawed.

9:00: Down I go. I put out her wet, meaty breakfast, clean her litter box, wash up, and make my own breakfast – almost invariably cereal, either hot or cold.

And that is how a typical morning, or at least the early part of it often passes around here.


On my iPad yesterday, I think I made a comment about Kunta Kinte and Roots on a post that had nothing to do with that. Somehow, I got dumping a right response into the wrong post. That sort of thing can happen more easily on a device other than a computer. I wonder to whom I made that comment, but whomsoever it was must have been scratching their noggin in great perplexity. 😇


Our last ride – #10 – was three days ago. Hopefully, we'll get out again this weekend.

7.78k*, 40m, AHR 118, AS 11*.6
(AHR = Average Heart Rate; AS = Average Speed)

* = best for the season, I think

Friday, July 29, 2022

Kaleidoscopic Silo

You've seen this photo here just over a week ago.

Since then, Sue downloaded a Kaleidoscope app for her phone, and I thought this photo would be a good one with which to experiment. We came up with multiple versions, but this ↓ is the most recognizable one that I will probably use on my Flickr photostream.

To some extent, These work too.

But, if you don't really care about recognizing the shape, we have other options.

Cool, eh? And fun too. KaleidaCam is free: 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Ride #9: Not a Slog

Five days after the slog cycle and with the weather cooler, we had a much better ride. We even went a bit farther than ever before – 7.7k. We're still well short of 10k, but it still 0.8k farther than our previous best. We are still having great trouble getting video to download, but Sue captured a few snaps from a time lapse, featuring ..  . tada! . . . moi.

Oh! I do have one more photo from my echinacea shoot the other morning. I didn't like it at first, but it has since grown on me. It's subtle in both light and colour, and for sure won't knock your socks off.

Oh again! I also blended an echinacea photo from an earlier shoot with one of my fireworks photos from Canada Day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Sue's Double Exposures

Maybe it is time to feature a bit of Sue's phone photography. I say phone photography, but yesterday, she resorted to using my beastly Canon.

You see, her theme this week revolves around double exposures, and while she can do some maneuvering by smooshing two separate phone photos together in edit, it doesn't always work well.

My camera can take a double exposure right on the spot. You point your camera at one thing, press the shutter, and then point the camera at something else. You can sort of see the first image as you begin to point at the second image.

In this ↓ photo, She took a photo of the town hall clock tower. Then she took one of her shadow on the ground, and the camera merged them into what you see below.

She wanted the tower and flag centered better, so she worked at it.

I think I prefer the asymmetry of the first photo and the way that the tower adheres to her outlines, but both turned out well in my opinion.

I played a little with that first photo, adding a sunset sky in passing and just for fun.

She took another photo before we left, It uses town hall and a mural for a local theatre/musical ensemble. Depending on the next prompts, she may be able to use it for her group on another day.

A year ago, I never thought that she would be doing more photography than I, but here we are.

Monday, July 25, 2022

A Macro Morning

Yesterday morning I stuck close to home for my photos – the front garden actually. I was too late to wander about looking for good light, and I don't think it had been all that special anyway. Besides, I do need my sleep sometimes. Yesterday, I slept-in until 5:30 and then tried for more zzz's. It didn't work, of course, and I was up 10 or 15 minutes later, just about the time that the sun was making an appearance.

I puttered around for awhile before going out to the garden because I needed the sun to rise a bit to get some light on the flowers.

My intention was to shoot handheld and, hopefully, get a lot of background softness, or even foreground softness for that matter. I was more interested in composition than the state of the blooms, so I don't mind that some were after or even before their best date.

I began with a photo from the daylily patch, but, being day lilies, most were not in prime condition from the previous day. I really need to get out and deadhead.

Our most ubiquitous flower is the echinacea, just that common and reliable one. They reseed and spread, and I am fine with that because I am mostly beyond putting a lot of effort into gardening.

The hostas are in bloom, so I tried a few compositions. Most of the flower stalks are big clumps, which are fine to look at, but I found they're too busy in photos. This was the best of the few photos that I tried.

I tried this ↓ weed, but it's very low to the ground, and I don't bend too well. I like the composition, but I should have lain on the ground to try to nail the focus. For some reason, I am reluctant to lie on the lawn in public, or at least I was on this morning. I have done so before, however.

I wasn't out there for very long, but on the whole I was satisfied by this little photoshoot. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Soare and Unity

Since I don't have any other material today, I will return to the two games that I play in the morning. Yes, you may roll your eyes, avert your gaze, and head to the next blog. I don't blame you. It's the dogdays of summer, and this is what I've got.

When Wordle became a thing, I tried it like everyone else. At that time, I decided that there was too much luck involved. Or maybe I should say, chance. For example, you could guess 4 letters out of 5, but just keep on choosing the wrong 5th latter because so many words could fit. So I gave it up for a time.

Then, everyone else in the extended family started posting their daily results in our family chat, so to be a part of it, I began to play and post again.

Now, most others, except for Shauna (usually), have dropped off, but I keep playing and posting.

I to use soare, which is an antiquated version of sore, as my start word. It's a good word with 3 vowels and 2 frequently used consonants. But it more often than not does not give me much. Below, you see that I only got one letter. Somewhat unusually, it was at least in the right place.

After awhile, for times like that when soare didn't yield much, I added a second start word, unity. It covers the rest of the vowels and two other frequent consonants. Of course, I still wouldn't know how many there were of e or i in the ↑ example, but I have at least eliminated 4 vowels and 4 consonants with my 2 starrer words.

Of course, my guess of midge from just 2 letters with the i even in the wrong place was just plain lucky. Essentially, my second word, unity, is often a throwaway because I ignore the results from soare. Even though it seems like a bit of a waste, using it like this usually gets me to the answer just as quickly as guessing random words that end in e would (in this case).

Since I am about to switch the narrative from describing Wordle to writing about Sudoku, this seems like a good time to ask what your beginning Wordle strategy might be. Assuming that you don't want to keep it as a deep secret, of course.

Since I have posted of Sudoku several times previously, I won't drag you through all of that again. But I will post of something that sometimes happens to me: something that I find very curious.

Let us say that I know that a 2 must go in a certain square. On rare occasions, and I do emphasize rare, I have found my finger is somehow poised to press the adjacent 3 key. My brain knows that I want to press that 2 key and not 3, but my finger is already heading toward the 3, and my brain can't call my finger back in time. So I press the flippin 3 instead of the 2.

It's not that this happens often, but since it has occurred twice recently, I though I would mention it on a day when I don't have any other topics surging through my puny brain.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Ride #8: What a Slog!

As we were about to put feet to pedals, I said to Sue that I wouldn't try to increase the distance as we had planned and that we may not even go as far as last time. You do recall that I wanted to go a little farther, but I was feeling off on that morning.

As it turned out, we rode 2k less this time -- only 4.9k. And it was still a gigantic ordeal.

It's been hot here, but we figured that we'd be alright at 9am. We should have been okay at that hour, for it was the same time we had started on our two previous rides, and they had gone very well.

But something was off, and we both struggled. Maybe it was the heat; maybe it was having 4 days between rides. I don't know, but it was a slog.

We did it, though.

A while ago, I posted that Sue had obtained a bike holder for her phone, and I showed a video at the time. Well, she is now on her 4th holder. The first 2 wouldn’t stay in place; they must have been designed for motorcycles with thicker handlebars although they didn’t specify that restriction in their descriptions  The 3rd device gripped well but the housing obscured the camera. The 4th one works pretty well. She took a good video, but now communications between our phones have broken down, so I can’t post it.

I am, however, able to retrieve this ↓ photo from that ride. It's our usual resting spot when we're back near home after we almost finishing the ride. I do look a little macabre in dappled light and shadow, but it is what it is.

I do hope that we get the phone issues sorted out so that I can post a video at some point.

Friday, July 22, 2022

No Eagle Rides for Me

'It's a dangerous business . . . going out of your door,' . . .  'You step into the Road, and . . . .there is no telling where you might be swept off to. '" (Frodo quoting Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings)

Recently, I have known where I was going on my early morning photoshoots – to the pond, to the road, or to the farm. On this day, I did not have a firm destination in mind. I thought I might go farther east than I have and check out a different concession road. But I didn't.

I had barely got around the corner when I stopped to take this ↓ photo: just a view down a road on the edge of town at blue hour. There is a little mall on the left, a fitness centre down yonder in the centre, and a new hotel on the right.

I remembered seeing a truck with lumber parked at the hotel, so I drove down the street in the ↑ photo, turned right, and drove to the front of the building. The truck had been there for a few days, and it was still there on this morning. While I often want to focus tightly and eliminate distractions, I liked showing the truck in context with the lights of a car dealership in the background.

Subsequently, I did drive east just a little way and took this ↓ photo. I knew that it would not be my fave, but I took it anyway. It's okay. but not as good as a few that I took from the same spot last year.

Unlike both Bilbo and Frodo, and although, like them, I didn't know where I was going, I did not go far, did not meet gigantic spiders, did not have to walk into Mordor, and was soon home having coffee and toast. Although it might have been fun to have been transported by eagles, like a good hobbit, I was happy to be comfy at home.

Before I go, I will leave you with a b&w version of the truck: just because I can.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Dawn at the Farm

With the sunrise over the road photos done for now and, just perhaps for all of eternity, I drove a little farther and took some photos of a barn in the dawn's light with the corn growing in the dim foreground.

I was home by 6, and then we went for a cycle at 9. I was aiming to get our distance up to 7k but only managed 6.89k on this our Ride #7. Eventually, I'd like to get the distance up to 10k, but all things considered, I don't think we should push it beyond that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Family Dinner Postponed

Monday’s family dinner was on and just about ready when Shauna texted her reservations about going ahead with it. 

You see, there is a COVID outbreak at her retirement home. On Monday, they were up to 13 cases, so Shauna proposed just dropping the kids off here so that we could visit with them. She wouldn’t stay and risk infecting us and would have something to eat at home.

That didn’t seem like the right solution, but at the same time, it did seem right to be cautious. After some back and forth, we decided just to take a portion of the prepared meal over to her place for the three of them to have together. We would consume our portion here at home.

She’s knackered too, figuring out how to cope with it all at work. She’s put in OT helping to serve meals because it has been difficult to manage to hire enough servers. Aside from labour shortages, there have been other logistical management problems, and she’s feeling the strain.

This is the 7th wave. This residence did not have any incidents at all in the first 6 waves, but now they have 13 cases (or perhaps more by now). As I understand it, these 13 cases did not all come from the same source. The virus is out there and all around us.

As I see fewer and fewer masks being worn, I wonder if we have become too cavalier because it ain’t over. It is especially worrisome when we consider that the past two summers have shown a case decline while this summer shows an increase. It causes one to wonder what will happen in fall when the kids hit the classrooms?

On the bright side, most of Sha’s cases at her residence will probably, or at least hopefully, be mild because all of the residents are fully vaxxed and boosted.

But Shauna doesn’t have her 4th dose because it hasn’t been made available to non-seniors until just recently: this despite the fact that she works in a senior’s residence. 

We have a conservative government which has always been slow off the mark when it comes to COVID vaccinations. Eventually, however, when all else fails, they tend to at least come close to doing the right thing: a little late and a dollar short.


I put this post in the queue yesterday morning. About an hour later, Shauna texted that she had tested positive. About an hour later, she was home and isolating in her bedroom. The kids will have the rest of the house, but so far they aren't positive.

I may not remember the details, but I think that if she is symptom free in five days, she can then test and needs two consecutive days of negatives. Otherwise, I think she has to isolate for 10 days. She could still test +ve for 30 days then but would still be allowed to function normally..

She was supposed to begin a week of holidays next week, but we'll have to see. She may be needed at work. Or maybe she will need to recuperate rather than travel.

Speaking of her workplace, 2 of the 13 cases are now testing -ve and are reintegrating, and all cases have been mild and more like colds.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The Rising with almost No Traffc

Just a note in passing. Sometimes your comments don't seem to officially publish from some reason, but I see them all. Yesterday, I saw five comments in my edit panel but only three actually posted publicly. So, please keep commenting. 😎😇


My wrist began to vibrate at 4:40. The vibrations are effective and in my case even more than an audible alarm, considering my hearing handicap. Also, leaving the sound off doesn't awaken the Lady of the Manor although my subsequent meanderings sometimes do. Sometimes she hears me rumbling around although I try to be quiet. At other times I go forth and return without her noticing. She'll come into my den when I am back on the computer, perhaps processing photos, and ask, "Did you go out this morning?"

On this Saturday morning, just 3 days after my first effort to shoot the sunrise over Cavanagh Road, I was back again. Thankfully, traffic was much more sparse on a Saturday. I think it would even better on a Sunday, but who can know what the skies would be like then? They do say to strike while the iron is hot.

When I got to my spot, the sky looked good. I took a few pics from the shoulder as a couple of cars went by although very few did bother me on a Saturday morning. 

Car travelling away from camera  @ 5:19  – 13 minutes before sunrise.

Car coming toward me @ 5:17 – 15 minutes before sunrise.

I went onto the road.

5:20 – still 12 minutes before sunrise

5:22 – 10 minutes to go
The sun is now up but mostly still behind the trees.

5:33 – it's up but we just see the glow behind the trees

5:35 -- now beginning to peek over the trees
It is quickly moving west (right in the photo) away from the centre of the road.

The sun is rising very and also moving west very quickly.

5:38:30 – We see almost half of the sun.

5:39:40 – Almost 8 minutes after rising, we almost see it all.
Moderately disappointingly to me, it is completely off the road,
but ya gotta love the reflected light on the pavement.

Although I had hoped for a cloudless sky, I saw the sun well enough, and I think that the clouds actually made for much better photos. I don't think that I will be able to do any better at this time of year, Maybe to sun will centre better in another season.

Monday, July 18, 2022

AC Goes on a Recce

recce. / (ˈrɛkɪ) / noun, verb -ces, -ceing, -ced or -ceed.
a slang word for reconnaissance, reconnoitreSlang.

I have wanted to check out the path around the pond, a little more than the short recce that I walked previously.

Thinking it would be buggy, and knowing from other recent ventures at the pond that buggyness was very likely, I wore jeans, long-sleeve-shirt with hood, plus a big hat. I needn't have bothered because the insects were smarter than I am and were avoiding the sun and heat.

I swear that I am not grumpy but I can seem that way
when I am otherwise concentrating.
I share this trait with Lacey.

I have mentioned the wildflowers and particularly the wild parsnip, which is yellow in these photos. It runs from left to right in the middle of both photos.

Coincidentally, we just watched a murder mystery in Silent Witness, season 23 that was solved by wild parsnip  burning the perps skin.

I got to the other side of the pond where there may or may not be good a sunset composition in the evenings. The vegetation was a little shorter here, and there may be a few spots sans parsnip where I could get closer to the water. We shall have to see.

In the past I have photographed my dawn shots approximately
from that gap between the houses on the other side
back towards where I am taking this photo.

A zoom photo of the water tower along with its reflection might possibly work in lower evening light, but this is to be determined.

Note: I first called the parsnip , parsley, and had to edit. That is why you will find the first few commenters also writing parsley. My mistake.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Farther but still not Far

We've had the bicycles out 4 or 5 times now. I am going to say 5x in order to have a firm reference number to rely on for any future posts.

Cycling has been a rather timid, or at least cautious, undertaking, but we have tried to ride just a little bit farther each time. Not to worry: it's still not far.

Our little Riverwalk Trail connects with the OVRT* trail, so we pushed an extra half kilometre or so to make it that far.

We stopped on the bridge over the river to take a few snaps.

On our return leg, we also stopped at our usual bench overlooking the river. This is pretty close to home. It is a pity that the bench is uncomfortable, but it is okay for 10 minutes or so.

Our watches have been alerting us to turn on the exercise app once we get going, and it knows that we are actually cycling. On this occasion, our brains were engaged enough that we remembered to engage the app at the outset, so we have a pretty accurate summary for once. They recorded us going almost 6k in about 38 minutes. That seems a bit long for 6k, but we go slowly along the trail, especially when we pass or approach pedestrians. If we meet someone on the various little bridges, we pause long enough to let them get by us.

This ↓ was the report that Sue got form her watch app. I got a similar one, but my watch isn't talking to my phone as well as hers. I was able to get a screen capture from her phone,

How the mighty have fallen! We moved here 17 years ago, and in that year, trips of 50-80k were not uncommon. We cycled for more than 2000k in all in that summer, just coming short of 2500k if I recall correctly.

Now we do a meagre 6k, and I get so excited that I actually post about it.

*OVRT: Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail


Yesterday, Saturday, on ride #6, and we went slightly farther once again: about 0.7 km  farther for 6.49k in total. We did it in 36:40m and arrived home by 10a.m. We rode relatively early to beat the heat, at least a little bit. We might do another early-ish ride today, but don't worry, for I won't necessarily feel compelled to report on every ride we go on. 😎