Tuesday, September 26, 2023

An Odd Duck Am I

I am an odd duck who is slightly quackers.

This photo ↓ proves it, or it will once I supply the background info. Be patient, dear fellow blogger, and all will be revealed.

With both Sue and me falling prey to certain bodily issues, we have been having probiotic yogurt at least once a day. This is in addition to having a probiotic pill.

I frequently have blueberries, yogurt and granola for breakfast with all three ingredients mixed together in the dish. But I don't want to do this with grapes as you can see in the photo. And I especially don't want them sliced in half first, which is what Sue does. But whether sliced or whole, grapes in that dish put me off for some strange reason.

My solution is to keep them separate as you see in the photo. I then put some of the mix on the spoon and place a grape on top. Surely it's all the same as mixing the grapes right into the dish, but I just don't like to see the grapes mixed in like that. Blueberries yes, grapes no.

One night, we had peaches instead of grapes. Sue thought I would want the peaches on the side. Well no! I want the peaches in the mixture, just as with blueberries. But not those grapes. No siree, Bob!

Yes, I am an odd duck. Quite quackers.

I have another odd food aversion, but I'll write about it some other time.

I don't suppose that any of you have any odd food quirks like this?

Monday, September 25, 2023

Second Trip to Blakeney

I returned to Blakeney, a week after this ↓ first photo that I posted then.

The Week Before

On this second day ↓ the light was different, and there was somewhat greater colour, particularly in the yellow centre beyond the foreground rocks.

This Week

Sue caught me doing my thing.

So this scene is starting to look pretty good, but for the most part around here, the colour is lagging, which is what one would expect so early in autumn. However, I did find another of those two-toned trees fairly near our house. I was a glary day, but at least I have a record photo for comparison should I remember to return. I deliberately included the dead tree on the right; perhaps, I shouldn't have, but I like its shape, and I think it provides a bit of balance to the image.

It would be nice to get some clouds in the sky, but I can't fuss too much. I go out when I can and get what I can get at the time.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

On the First Day of Autumn

The lady and I went for a little walk in the park. The great majority of trees were not yet turning. This one was partway there. I like it when trees are two-toned like this. 

I want to make it a point to return with some regularity this year to monitor the progress of this tree and others in the park.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

My Invisibility Syndrome

The invisible man syndrome struck again yesterday. 

I have posted from time to time that I seem to get lost in the shuffle of life. My operation in June is a recent example. You remember, don’t you, that there was no hospital bed for me? After lying on the narrow gurney for hours, constrained by a catheter and an IV drip, I chose to have the surgery and convalesce at home.

Now, having just finished a subsequent course of antibiotics for prostatitis, I called the surgeon, as previously directed, to let hm know that, after three weeks, I still seemed to have the infection. He ordered lab tests. So far so good.

That was on Tuesday, but I only heard back from urology minutes before the lab was to close, so I went in the next morning, yesterday.

But of course, they had no record of the referral.

I called the urologist. Yes, they sent it but would send it again.

I waited. It didn’t appear.

The Lab: “Sometimes, it takes awhile to work through the system.”

Me: “I have stuff to do, so I’ll call back.”

Two calls later, it hadn’t appeared. So, I called Urology once again, and suggested that might try sending the requisition to the other lab in town.

Glory be! It got there in relatively short order, and now we await results.

But I do wonder why this seems to keep happening to me. I look in the mirror and see that I am really there. I am not tiny, and I am not completely unobtrusive, and I swear that I don’t put on an invisibility cloak before I venture forth in this world. 

Sometimes, it sure seems like it though. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Old Autumn Colour Photos

I wasn't planning on posting today, but as autumn approaches, I have been perusing some previous photos. They would have all been posted here at some point, but I think that a little repetition is acceptable.

The first two are individual trees in the park by the river. They are both from last year.

Also from last year are two photos from a road just a very short way out of town. I seem to return to this spot every year because it is both pretty and accessible. 

If we drive for even less than an hour, we find ourselves in the very rural highlands.

The final photo for today is older. It's from our last backroads trip to the cottage in 2018. Life changed after that, and we haven't returned. It was by a small creek by the side of the road.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Beginnings of Autumn at Blakeney

Yesterday, I mentioned that I might post my DSLR Blakeney photos, so here we are. There was not much space from which to take different compositions,  and there was also not a ton of colour over there, so the views were limited, and you will see that the three images are similar.

I like the first one ↑ best, probably because of the front and centre foreground rocks.

I zoomed in more for this ↓ one, but I miss the rocks. I thought the dead tree would present enough interest, but the little foreground that there is looks rather blank.

I was trying something ↓ but I didn't execute very well.

By the way, Blakeney is a little conservation area just about twenty minutes north of us. It is on the edge of the Canadian [Precambrian] Shield, and those are very, very old rocks that you are seeing. The ancient bedrock is very close to and even right at the surface here, as is usual on the Shield.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Random Photos

I've missed posting some photos from the past week as I nattered about fogs and cats and driveways. Not that any are the necessarily the kinds of photos that I would want to show off (well maybe some of them) , but they do reflect bits and pieces of my life around here, especially in Beloved's absence.

First off, if you will excuse the hubris, I present a selfie. I didn't take it because I am simply in love with myself but to send to Sue to show her that I was wearing that warm, red-black, autumnal jacket. I donned it that day when the temperature only around 10C/50F until it warmed up later.

All of the photos that you saw previously about our driveway job were phone photos. They did the trick, but I did take a few with the big beastie camera. It gave me enough pixels to crop in past distractions like garbage cans and recycling bins and yet still have a reasonably sized image. I took a few snaps of this worker cleaving our two driveways, but this one had the most dust.

Out back, I noticed a volunteer viola by the bird bath. Somehow, it must have seeded itself from a pot of violas that weren't really all that close to the bird bath, and I am not sure how it managed that. This pic was also for Sue's benefit that I shared via Messenger because it was so unique and unexpected. Most of the rest of the greenery around the bath will be next spring's forget-me-nots. They do not look exactly charming at this stage, but I do like to see them in the spring.

Another photo for Sue (who is now back in the fold, by the way). I thought she'd appreciate the sunset from our bedroom window.

On Saturday, I drove up to Blakeney to see what I could see. What I could see were a few tinges of colour across the river. This is a phone photo. I also shot with my DSLR and may post those tomorrow.

Early Saturday evening, I went for a short drive to see what I could see in the golden hour. Truth is that I didn't see much other than corn fields, so I soon turned around. However, I did get one photo of a dead tree by a soy (I think) field. While it isn't a stupendous image, a golden field at golden hour is not nothing. 

Sue arrived home last night and is sleeping soundly at 5am. I, however, am not. This is how it goes.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

How I Unexpectedly Dropped $3000 in One Day

Tuesday morning found me out front deadheading the phlox plant. And that's when I was found by John. Another John. A John from Ireland but now the second John in my garden. John who was there to sell me on getting driveway. Big Bad John.

John's company had already been busy in this neighbourhood for several weeks, ripping out old driveways and installing new ones. Somehow, I got missed in the blitz, and that was okay, for we had at least had ours freshly blacktopped this summer. Admittedly, it was still not in great shape.

But when John found me on that morning, I agreed to part with $3000 in return for having him adding our driveway to his schedule.

That was on Tuesday, and I thought that it would take a few days, but come Wednesday they began the work. Astonishingly, they were all finished by suppertime. 

Here's ↓ how stage 1 went. There are notes to the side. These photo are b&w because the colour cast was weird and terrible. Note: the image is clickable if you can't read the notes but want to.

They went away; I went inside. After awhile I bolted out to see them rolling the gravel. It was so quick that I missed getting photos. They went away again, but before long they were back and spreading the hot asphalt.

There were many workers at this stage, plus a big truck and other machines. The labourers were all Mexican. That surprised me a lot. I was told that many of them also overwinter here when they do interior work on basements and so on. I am not sure what to think or believe, for remember that this other John was Irish, and I suspect that he just might have kissed the Blarney Stone at some point in his life.

Once the asphalt was spread, the roller did its/his thing with the asphalt being cooled by a hose at it went.

Shortly after 6pm, they were finished. and I was $3000 poorer. Phew! That was quick. A fool and his money etc etc.

I took a lot of video clips and spliced them together into two videos. No, I don't expect y'all to watch them, but I post them regardless because I did the work, and I want them there until heaven and earth shall pass away. I really did it mostly for Sue who was absent for all of the excitement.

The first, Tearing Up the Old Driveway is one minute long. Making the New Driveway is a minute and a half. I could have combined them into one clip, but you can see how silly the colour was in the first video, so I didn’t ant to mix the two. I must have somehow contrived to do something very odd to the phone that morning, but by afternoon, the colour was back to normal.

I simply should have obeyed the impulse to stay inside and not deadhead those phlox.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Caturday 53: Sabine Likes My Company

You know that Sue is away, but so is Shauna, so I have been tasked with visiting Sabine. I go over at 8, right after I have my morning pill, and I stay for a little more than an hour.

The cat loves her loving, but it's hard to get pictures because she is very active, constantly rolling about.

She sat by her water dish for a long time. It's on a timer and spurts a little fountain every now and then.

That was on Thursday. On Friday, after several failed attempts, I managed to get a pic of my hand rubbing her belly. Yes, she likes that – very much.

I caught her looking into the frame of Lola. The dog doesn't live here but is a loved friend – loved by Sha and the kids, I mean. I am not sure that Sabine would have the same feelings. In point of fact, I am sure that she wouldn't.

When I made moves to leave, she meowed and chirped at me. It seemed that she didn't want me to go, so I sat back down and petted her for awhile.

I did feel bad leaving her as she almost followed me to the door with what seemed like a wistful look in her eyes..

Lacey, on the other hand, isn't bothered by my coming and going as she sleeps on my blanket on my chair beside my new sweater.

But here she is at 5:40 by chair as I handfeed her kibble. Sorry, no photo as my phone is not close by at the moment. But you've seen one in the past.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Revisiting Monday's Fog

There were two more photos from Monday's foggy morning that I decided to edit a bit later. I converted them both to b&w.

First is the boathouse. It looks a little foreboding to me.

I saw a swan out beyond the dock in the fog. I like minimalism from time to time.

What is your verdict?

Thursday, September 14, 2023

JJ's First Ride

JJ and dad stopped by last weekend. I think this was JJ's first ride on dad's new motorcycle mid-life crisis, and he was pleased to show us.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Sue is leaving me today to visit her sister in Toronto: Toronto for most but Ajax for those who know the various municipalities in the region. We've been trying to let her loose on this getaway for months, but life has intervened in most inconsiderate ways. This time, both Sue and I are relatively healthy, and since Shauna is driving across province, she can drop Sue off at Heather's.

On Sunday, Sue led me on a photoshoot, looking to fulfill her prompt that had something to do with her superpower. We brainstormed a little and remembered when she mentioned her capes (she has many) to JJ. The young boy asked if she could fly. She decided to wear the cape and pretend to be flying, at least as best she could while securely nailed to terra firma

The first is my fave, the third hers. I like the uncluttered look of the first, and I think she likes the lifted leg against the railing on the third.

I asked her to make a composite; she made two.

So, I will be batching it while she enjoys a little reunion with her dear sister.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Fog in the Park

There was a heavy fog yesterday morning. Shauna reported that she was only going 70kph on the highway to work. The speed limit is 80, and she usually does 100. She could barely see the car ahead even though it was only 3 or 4 lengths in front.

I took the camera out early in the morning for the first time since spring. Off I went to Riverside Park. While I have been there before in the fog, it is still probably the best nearby place to go for a quick photoshoot.

I was not using a tripod and was not taking much care with my compositions but just shooting quickly and by whim.

This ↓ was one of my first photos. You have seen this tree before from various angles but never from this point of view, I think. I wish I had left a little more space to the right of the bench, but I was not being overly fastidious.

There is a boathouse across the river, which I used in a number of photos. I think the middle image is my fave of this series with the other objects serving to form a triangle with it. When I was taking the photo, I thought that I might remove the left object in edit, but I decided that I like it this way. As it happens, I seem to have changed my mind. When I decided which one to post first to Flickr, I chose the first photo.

A lady and her dog walked by. They were almost out of range when I decided to snap a photo. Happily, a gull provided foreground and depth. I decided to warm up this image in edit. As you can see in all of the other photos there was a bluish cast. I was fine with it in the other photos but not with this one.

There is a boat launch at the far end of the park. I took this photo to show how thick the fog was as I could barely see across the river.

I don't always like it when I shoot so randomly and carelessly, for I feel that I should take care to craft deliberately. But it was an outing, and there have been precious few this summer.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Still Here

Meh . . . nothing much to post about lately, so I haven't. Of course, that usually hasn't stopped me. 😁

I am dropping into blogland, so you'll know that I am still here and nothing much has changed in my life. There may be a health update next week, but until then, I will park my bodily issues right here.

Onto a few tidbits.

The photoboys and I met for coffee at the Deadly Grounds last week. They've added a prop since we were last there. I was the first to arrive, so I took some selfies with the latest addition while I waited.

The next morning, We met with Bob and Barb for breakfast. It was a huge plate that I didn't finish. This didn't used to happen to me. I am not the man that I used to be.

That night at 4am, I took a phone photo when I stumbled out of bed and looked out the window. There was something about the clouds that interested me, but whatever it was, it is not evident in the photo. It was a very slow shutter speed, and, evidently, I moved the phone. It's a fun result, or at least I think so.

We have been watching quite a lot of tennis from the US Open, and as far as our personal viewing goes, tennis is all done for the year. I understand that some tournaments will still transpire, but most of the season is over. Tennis players will begin to recuperate before starting up again at the Australian Open in January.

The young American Coco Gauff won the ladies US Open title. She also acquitted herself well in the presentation ceremony. She grabbed the mic and speechified very well. On the men's side, Djokovic won his 24th grand slam title. 

Our Canadians were bounced early in both men's and women's singles, but a Canadian lady won the women's doubles. That's Gabriela on the left. Her partner, Erin, is also Canadian for all intents and purposes. She was born to Canadian parents in New Zealand while they were on a year-long, round-the-world adventure, but I believe that she now lives here, and I couldn't detect a kiwi accent.

That's pretty well a wrap for now, but I expect that I will have more to post soon enough. You can't keep an old blogger down for long.