Wednesday, January 31, 2024


Jonathan will celebrate his fifteenth birthday on Sunday and has requested Chinese takeaway for dinner. Sha requested us to check out the hours, and it appears that they will be open for business.

But did you notice that Google knows that we visited 4 years ago? I am guessing that it was also for JJ's birthday It surprised me that Google knew that, but it makes sense as I do allow GMaps to track my roaming. It has come in handy a few times when I have been trying to remember dates, for I can check in and find that I was at Y on day X.

Now, I am remembering my own fifteenth birthday. Most other birthdays have faded deep into the fog of my brain, but 15 is one that I recall all too well.

Just a few days prior, I had bid farewell to my friends in Montreal, and then I found myself all alone in an unfamiliar semi-rural environment, well outside of Toronto. From living in a four-plex in Montreal, I was now dwelling in a flimsy cottage on a nursery with greenhouses in front and nursery acreage behind. It was a two-mile walk to the nearest corners to get bread and milk.

While I didn't know it at the time, I was sad, lonely and reeling. I was taken to school in a bus, having barely even seen a school bus in Montreal, and the school system worked differently. It was hard for a boy who had only known one environment, and it didn't help that the boy was an introvert.

For several years I vowed to return to Montreal when I graduated, but I never did. It took me years to find my footing and be happy with my new life, but I got there.

I think JJ's fifteenth will be happier than mine was, and I hope the rest of his life will be as happy as mine has been.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Puzzles and Walkies

I did it again. I was playing a very tough sudoku puzzle. Try as I might, I couldn’t unlock the magic key to the solution. Eventually, I made two entries that seemed to have the highest probability, and they both worked. As I was getting to the end of my hour-long puzzle, the rest was clear sailing. (They are not all that long, but this one was a killer. Twenty minutes or so is fairly standard.) All I had left to do was input the remaining numbers — no thinking involved, and not-thinking is something that I am usually good at. It was just grunt work by then. Then. with only a few inputs left, I mistakenly tapped the wrong key. 

Can you believe it? After all of the spinning of the gray matter, my errant finger hit the wrong key. Grrr. 

I mean, I know in my head that I solved the darn thing, but it won’t be recorded as an error-free solution.

I tend to do this more often than not. I drive myself crazy. Why am I like this?


Meanwhile, we continue to force ourselves to take our almost-daily walks. They’re short, but they are something rather than nothing. Sometimes, when it is later in the day than we’d prefer, we just walk up the street and back in our totally uninspiring neighbourhood. 

At other times, Sue has a photo prompt to fulfill. On the 27th of each months, she is to post a photo of her walking somewhere or other.

Through the slushy park we trod to get to the path by the river. Sue set up this photo with her tripod. She used the phone’s wide angle lens to get all of the path, river and us in the photo. 

Now, we get to the problem of wide angle lenses. Do you see how short and wide we appear? If you don’t hold a wide angle lens straight and level, this sort of distortion can be the result. Accomplished photographers can sometimes use this effect to their advantage and purposefully use distortion to great effect, but most of us need to take care. 

You can also see it in this photo. In actual fact, Sue’s coat drops close to her legs and does not flair our as seen here.

I did try to undistort the first photo in Photoshop by lengthening it and pinching it a bit on the sides. It more or less worked.

Oops. Almost forgot this one of Sue's from one of our icicle walks. I like where red-coated-moi is situated in the frame as well as the overall bokeh.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Coddle Me

Neither garbage nor recycling pickup have come early in the day in the 18 years that we've lived here. They used to keep decent hours and come by from late morning to mid-afternoon. Back until a few months ago, the two pickups would be done together with a truck that could handle both streams. Now, the provincial government has rejigged the system, and the recycling is done by a different outfit with each company following its own schedule.

The garbage pickup is just about as it always has been, but the recyclers are teasing me. One recent morning, and not all that long ago, I barely got the bins out in time as the truck was to my door when I opened the garage just a little past 7 o'clock. 

One doesn't like to put stuff out the night before (and never garbage!), particularly in winter, because it could blow away or get buried in snow, or get in the way of the snow contractors. So good ole AC has set an alarm for 6:45. Usually, I am up by then, but sometimes I am jarred awake causing me to rush down in my pjs (remember it is winter in Canada) to get both the bins and garbage out. It's not fun but needs must.

Suddenly, after I have adjusted my habits, they have altered their course again. As I write this, it is 5:45p.m. (not a.m. !) and the bins are still out there where they have now been for 11 hours — in the freezing rain as it turns out. But if I go back to putting it out later, they could switch it up again on any given morning. Sigh.

We had left the car in the driveway to make it easier to bring the bins in through our narrow garage, but we hurried to pull it in when we saw that we were getting freezing rain. Unfortunately, we were too late and the car was already iced up. I had to run it for awhile to melt the ice because I couldn't see to drive it into the garage. Scraping the windshield was too much for my poor rotator cuff, so I let the motor run long enough to begin melting the ice. Sue also stepped into the breach to finish the job.

These, dear folk, are some of the first-world problems that I experience in my generally coddled, first-world life.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Doctor's Houses and Icicles

Back in the day, it seems that the doctors in this town lived well. Not long ago, I showed you the house with the red door (above), but there is another doc's house on our main street. These would have been, and I guess still are in a way, the finest houses downtown.


This one has been divided into apartments. I presume they are very nice, but you never know on main street. I have seen a second floor flat that was quite impressive, but I have also seen another that left me feeling sad for the person who lived there.

I really wasn't taking architectural photos, but it was a byproduct of deciding to photograph more icicles, for I am not sure what else to photograph these days. The freezing rain followed by rain won't help. Slush is not very attractive, eh.

That doc's house is the eye-catcher, but I did take a few more icicles shots.

One of our barbershops

A side door off a parking lot.

This ↓ caught my eye: snow-covered stairs leading to an upstairs apartment. Either the apartment is presently unused, or maybe there is a less hazardous entrance on the other side. There are a number of second story apartments over the main street shops.

Unless I find something quite noteworthy, I promise to refrain from posting more icicle pics.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Nighttime Notes

Amazon and other delivery services leave me perplexed. Does no one ring the bell anymore? Fortunately, Alexa tells us that there has been movement out there, that something has crossed its path. We say to ourselves that the bell didn't ring, so it was probably some errant passerby. But we check anyway. Sure enough there is a parcel.

There is one step up from ground level to the door. They often leave the package on this step. They do this even if it a big parcel, so big that I can't open the door without knocking the thing over. So, I go out the garage, pick up the delivery, and bring it in.

They could just slip the parcel inside, but no! They leave it outside, on the step, and don't even ring the bell that sits right in front of their noses.

I don't understand.


As I write this, it is 3:45 a.m. I had an hour of sleep, maybe even two. I awoke with something going on intestinally. After awhile . . . well, you can guess what ensued.

Sleep hasn't been too terrible lately, and the system has been good too. So what has triggered this?

Could it be that two or three days of toast for breakfast instead of a healthy, fibre-filled cereal has done this? Surely not.

The cat is all jiggered too as she sits by my computer chair for handfeeding for the second time already this morning night. It is sure different than yesterday when she was camped out in a state of deprivation by the foot of my chair when I awoke at 7:30 for her first feeding.

I made oatmeal a little while ago. Deaf me must have made quite a racket down in the kitchen, for when I brought the bowl up, Sue was standing at the top of the stairs, wondering what in thundering tarnation was going on.

She's back in bed, and I am finishing coffee. It's not even 4.

At the moment I am still a bit crampy. after so little sleep. Later, worn-out me might have a slioght tendency to become grumpy.


The new computer that I purchased in December is just about finished being fully put into place. I have been using it, but there have been little things required to make it complete.

For one thing, I had to install my scanner, but, of course, Canon no longer supported it. It was probably put into use for possibly Windows 9 and they won't support version 11. Big companies are cheap companies. I guess this is how they get rich — by letting their stuff become obsolete so dear consumer has to buy more stuff. I already replaced one perfectly good scanner when I was forced to purchase this one.

Fortunately, third-party software came to the rescue, but, of curse, I had to purchase it. They didn't demand a huge price, but Canon should continue to support their products.

I also had the purchase a new version of my file backup system. This is about the fourth time that I have had to upgrade to program over the years. Once again, it was not a huge expense, but it was an expense, nevertheless.

However, I have treated myself to a new keyboard. It wasn't necessary, so I can't complain. My former keyboard continued to work well, but it is now three computers old. And I have lusted after a backlit keyboard, so I done did it. It's also Bluetooth, so I am no longer tethered. That isn't the main thing though, just a bonus.


Shall I try to go back to bed chair , despite the coffee? It may or may not work. I feel wrung out, but I also feel excessively warm, so something is still off-kilter with my body.

I also wonder when I shall post this, for I have already published my daily post, and I have another in the queue already. And I have additional material for yet another post.

I am somewhat dizzy with it all. I'll have to edit and proofread this at another time, and I do wonder if this post will make a lick of sense when I review it.

Friday, January 26, 2024

A Bridge Too Hazy

On the day that I photographed the icicles, we were downtown and walked past town hall to the river. I was surprised to see how thick the mist was. It was so misty that I could barely see what I was shooting through the viewfinder. It comes from the spray from the falls/rapids. It is not usually like this, but at certain temperatures, the mist gets suspended in the air.

That's the trail bridge (old railway bridge) seen from the main bridge though a telephoto lens. It's a unique photo, so I am pleased with it although it is not spectacular in any way.

I zoomed in much more, close to 350mm of its 400mm capability, for the next photo.

Someday soon, I would like to return to the trail bridge and photograph back this way toward the main bridge. I have done this many times already, but every time is different.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Icicles and Icy Hands

We continue our little walkies in almost all conditions. We likely won't today, of course, after the overnight ice storm. Usually, I find something to point my camera at on our outings, but on this past dull Tuesday there was nothing that moved me. The only shot I got that day was with my cell when I decided to take a picture of icicles at the grocery store.

Aside: this isn't our usual store, but I was here looking for my default breakfast cereal: Quaker Harvest Crunch. It's just granola, and I like it. But it has disappeared from the two stores where I normally shop. It wasn't to be found here either. Blast it all! What is up with that?

Having that one icicle photo, we walked around our little downtown the next day, yesterday, and I found a few more icicles that I could show you. I processed each of the three photos differently, especially the first one. Just having some fun.

One problem with photographing in the cold weather, aside from the obvious one of working the camera with my bare hand, is my other hand. While I can stick my right, camera hand in my pocket between takes, my left  hand is always out there, holding onto my cane. Even with gloves or mitts, that hand gets pretty darn cold without any temporary respites from the bitter cold.

Sue was determined to solve the problem and found battery-heated mitts on that South American Jungle (get it?) online store . The mitts also have handy-dandy accoutrements, so I can dangle them from my sleeve for when I remove them to take a picture. This should beat trying to stuff them in my pocket and all too often dropping them in the snow in the process or having things like car keys or phones fall out when I remove gloves from my pocket.

Like with a 2 year-old, my mitts are attached, but I will likely be keeping
the left one on to constantly hold the cane.

The mitts were delivered only late yesterday, so they haven't yet been field-tested, and they probably won't be today. I think they'll work, but I'll have to get back to you on that score.

Happiness is warm hands.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Touched and Warmed

It was June 2020, pandemic time. On a pleasant afternoon in the park, I took a photo of a couple sitting on a boulder. It seemed lovely to see this older couple being together on a pleasant day. We can't quite recall how we communicated with the lady, but we did manage to email the photo to her.

Almost four years later, the lady has sent an email to Sue.

Sue, I'm sure that day in Riverside Park you would never have thought that taking a special picture would be kept as such a great memory.

After the article in the paper was posted and shared by so many X continued to lose his
fight with Dementia and cancer and almost two years later he passed away.

For his memorial service I created a book of memories with Shutterfly and the cover was that picture. His whole family was delighted and I keep the book on my coffee table to browse through when the different anniversary's arrive.

You have no idea how that picture changed so much for me and I just wanted to thank you once again.

I hope all is well with you,

Now, doesn't that touch a body and warm the very cockles?
One of the meanings of "cockle" is the chamber of a kiln: in reference to the heart, it refers to the chambers, of which there are four (two atria and two ventricles). The heart has always been associated with emotions, especially love, excitement and fear, probably because when we feel a strong emotion we feel our heart thumping and beating faster. So when something "warms the cockles of our heart", it is a reference to something pleasant that makes our heart beat faster and makes us feel good. It is probably also the origin of the saying that something gives us that "warm and fuzzy feeling". (The Sydney Morning Herald)


Monday, January 22, 2024

Weekend Walkies

I've previously mentioned that walking in our parks is a bit problematic once the snow arrives in full vigour.

However, somebody, and not the town, did clear a bit of a path in nearby Curro Park. The dog's hind legs are still on it. (left) Then the path goes over the bridge and along the trail. I am not sure why the town won't clear pathways for us, but mine is not to reason why.

Meanwhile. we pass the sign (right) frequently, but the incongruity really amused me on this day.

The next day at Riverside, the path wasn't plowed, but it was trodden down enough that we could stumble along. I photographed the stand of birches (again) across the river in three separate photos. It's a long reach, and it is what it is.

Both days were a tad less numbing than the recent frigid day at the Almonte waterfall, but they were still plenty cold. However, we are in the midst of a weather change, The next few days will hover much closer to the freezing point, and we should exceed it later in the week.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

The Frozen Almonte Waterfalls

I opened my eyes to see Sue standing near my chair over by the coffee maker. Quelle surprise! I looked at the clock. It was almost 7:30: also a surprise. Sue had been wondering what to do because she needed her morning coffee, but as usual I had set mine up the night before. Awake now, I told her just to press the button to make mine since I was now awake.

What an unusual beginning to the day because, as I reported yesterday, I am usually, as in 364 days of the year, up well before my beloved, often hours before.

Siri, via my sleep app, reported that I had just over seven hours of sleep, but I think she cheated me out of an hour (the gal ain't perfect!), so let's call it eight. Millions of people get eight almost every night, but I only manage it once or twice per year, so I want to claim every darn second.

It was a cold morning, colder than zero Fahrenheit. We simply call it the Old Zero. So what could we do for our daily outing in those temperatures?

Cold weather can really drain batteries, so we felt that we needed to give Hermione the Honda a better run than piddling around town. So, we headed up to Almonte.

While walking in Almonte, despite the frigid temperature, we weren't overly cold because we know all about layering. However, you can't really layer your hands, and when you want to take pictures, you do need to remove your gloves. (You may recall that I lost my photo gloves with the peelable finger tips last winter.)

Sue was looking for high contrast photos. I pointed to this wonderful verandah with all of the shadows, but she didn't much care for it. I don't mind it though. It suits the high contrast theme for sure, and it is a darn, eye-catching structure, hanging over the main street.

We walked down to the waterfalls and saw that they had iced up wonderfully. I took a couple of pretty quick photos. With a somewhat less cold day and proper equipment, one could do a great study, but I am happy enough to get a couple of hit-and-run snaps. They are highly cropped in post because I couldn't focus tightly enough to isolate the good parts with my normal lens.

I confess that we were pretty darn eager to return to the car to warm our freezing digits. Afterall, digital photography is not meant to be about frozen digits.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Wednesday Wanderings

An odd thing happened on Wednesday. I went grocery shopping before my weekly physio* because the appointment was later than usual. Because the coin-operated gate-lift at the hospital parking lot sometimes needs about 6 coins to make sure that 3 work, I asked for 10 loonies ($ coins) to be included in my $20 cashback request.

The cashier was forced to call the head cashier to receive approval to do that because it was a special request. Say what?! Anyway, the request was granted, but the parking lot gates were up anyway, so I didn't need the coins. It was either weather-related, or they are getting complaints from people having much trouble getting out of the parking lot. Indeed, on my previous visit, I had been behind a fellow who had to keep searching frantically through this vehicle to find alternative coins. It is a most exasperating thing.

Later in the day, we went for our almost-daily walk. We chose a trail that that we haven’t used for a long time. It trail is also used by snowmobiles, so it was pretty packed down and relatively walkable. Relatively. We don't go far on these walks, maybe the equivalent of a block and back, partly due to bodily conditions and partly due to weather conditions. It was both cold and windy on Wednesday as we are in what is traditionally the coldest part of winter.

This is what it looked like, at least what it looked like converted to mono. Here's the original, followed by two of the same with AI additions. (Oops reverse order the the first being last, but I am not going to fiddle with them.)

It's a deer back there in case you can't tell at this resolution.

Indeed the trail is used by snowmobilers. There just weren't any at that time.

The plain trail without embellishments.

I stopped for this photo of a farm through a gap in the trees. Ideally, the front bushes would be in much better focus, but you shall soon see why they aren't. I do like the composition.

Sue's photo, below, shows where I was situated to take the above photo. There was such a gap from me to the bushes and then from the bushes to the buildings, that the camera was unable to get it all in focus. To overcome that I would have needed to take at least two photos and stack them in Photoshop.  And I also would have also needed to use a tripod. Already porting a big camera and walking-cane on a cold, blustery day, I can tell you that I was not about to try to carry a tripod as well. Anyway, here is Sue's photo.

I have another Sue photo to present, and it’s a good one. As has been discussed before, Sue goes to bed earlier than I and also sleeps in later.** What she typically sees when she does arise is moi at the computer. We keep our house on the cool side, so I am usually wearing a sweater. In the colder mornings, particularly, I more often than not also have my hood up.

She conceived the photo following a prompt about using the computer as a light source and then thought to relate it to what she sees first thing almost every morning. I think it's fab photo despite the decrepit subject matter.

One more thing: the banks of snow between the road and sidewalk were cleared on Wednesday night whilst we slept. It only took five days, and that is not bad because ours isn’t the only street in town, and it is a mighty big job to clear those banks. A blower blows the snow into a truck. When the truck is full, it leaves to dump the snow in the river, and another truck takes its place. And so on and so forth.

* I am afraid that I have not made much progress with physio. Sometimes, it is 2 steps back after 1 step forward. The trouble it that I will soon come to the end of my sessions as this hospital's mandate does not include perpetual care. To be continued . . . 

** Sue wishes that she didn't have to sleep for 10 hours to feel refreshed, while I wish that I could sleep for more than 5 or 6 hours and, therefore, feel refreshed. In fact that night, I did have a pretty good 6 hours, and they happened to be a quality 6 hours, which is certainly not always the case. Sometimes, I have only a poor 5 hours, which do not leave me brimming with vigour and vitality.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Dumb AC

When you get to the end of this post, you will know just how dumb I am.

First we review.

These → are the boots that caused my tumble last winter. Actually you don't have to wait until the end of this piece to evaluate my dumbness because back then I fell because I hadn't bothered to lace them up. I only went out front to do a little something or other. You can see what a pain they are to lace, so I didn't. Still, after Sue's great fall, it was not a smart play on my part.

Dumb, indeed.

So, I purchased a pair of slip-ons for just such an occasion. They are the brown boots in the following photo. The lace-up boots in that photo were Sue's new purchase. She can keep them laced and just slip them off and on by using the zippers at the sides. I find this to be quite clever. (Ignore the red shoes, they have nothing to do with this narrative.)

This is where we begin to get into the bountiful theme, for it took me two purchases to obtain those brown boots. The first pair that I ordered was either too big or too small (I forget which), so I had to reorder.

I was up to three pairs of boots although I did send one pair back. 

But wait, there's more. Especially wait to get to the part of my incredible dumbness at the end.

To carry on, that was last winter, but aside from slipping them on once or thrice, winter was beginning to wane, so I didn't give them much of a trial back then. This winter, I purposed to wear those still new slip-on boots in lieu of the lace-up pair, and I did just that one fine morning around town. However, by the time I got home from my errands I had a significant sore on my big toe on the left foot. So significant that it bled and took weeks to heal.

Clearly, or so I thought, this pair was not a good fit for my feet. I ordered another pair of slip-ons, but I could tell right away, just by wearing them in the house, that they wouldn't do.

If you are counting, or even if you're not, I was up to four pairs, the long-lace originals, the slip-ons that were unusable, and the two pairs that I returned.

Being a glutton for punishment, I then purchased one more pair. They are similar in function to Sue's boots, with both laces and zippers. I am pleased to report that they do fit well enough, so I don't mind wearing them. 

At this point I had two functioning pairs of boots — the originals and these lace-and-zip boots. I also had the ones that killed my feet, so Sue purposed to offer that pair on Buy Nothing. They were still in almost-new condition after all, and they might work for someone with a stride different than mine.

That's when she saw it and once more realized how dumb her husband is. For when she pulled back the tongue to find the size, she noticed something else — cardboard inserts in the toes of both boots. They were thin and took the shape of the toes, but there they were. Poor befuddled AC hadn't noticed and had worn the boots with cardboard inside. No wonder he wounded his feet. Pity the poor man.

With cardboard removed, I gave them a good test yesterday by wearing them to my physio appointment and then the grocery store. I can faithfully report that they were just hunky dory. 

To recapitulate: I have gone from one pair of boots to having three pairs and also trying but discarding two others along the way.

What a dummy am I: first to not lace up the originals, and then to not remove the cardboard from the replacement pair.

Dumb dee-dumb-dumb, Dumb.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Frames Within the Frame in the Snowy Cold

As we were leaving the bridge ↓ I told Sue that we should try this sort of photo shoot again on a much nicer day and that we should do so with a bigger picture frame. 

We had been in the middle of yon bridge on a photo shoot
for one of Sue's challenges.

What am I on about, eh? What is with the picture frame and 'trying again'?

Well, Sue's challenge was to hold a picture frame while someone took her photo. Then she was to paste that photo into the frame and preferably more than once. If that doesn't make sense, I think it will. Maybe. Eventually. Perhaps.

It being winter, Sue brought along a picture frame that would fit in her bag. In other words, it was not a very large frame. While I could paste it in once, when I then pasted it into the first paste, it got pretty darn small. If you look ↓ for a moment, what I am trying to say may become clearer. It is a bit hard to explain just in words.

It was Sue's concept and she set up the shoot, but I was the one holding the camera and then doing the photoshop work in post.

Sue holds a picture of her holding the picture,
and it goes on for several layers.

After working on the above photo, I next edited one for Sue's use from her camera (not shown here). Then I did this ↓ next one. By the time I got to this third version, I felt that I was becoming a little more adept at the procedure. It also has three inset photos, or maybe it was four. Of course, you can't see that far into it at this resolution.

A picture of Sue holding a picture of Sue holding a picture of Sue holding . . . and so on.

You probably can't tell in the ↑ photo, but it was snowing, so here ↓ is a crop of the same photo as above in which I think you can see the snow falling around Sue's face.

To bring it around to my somewhat cryptic introduction, maybe we will experiment again, on a blessedly warm June day when we can work in leisurely comfort. We will also bring a bigger frame that might make the frames within a frame concept a little more visible.

However, it was a fun challenge, both the outdoor and indoor parts. 

Perhaps I am tired, but I had trouble describing this coherently. It's early and I did not get a full night's sleep. Hopefully, it eventually made some sort of sense to you.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Days After

The big storm that we had overnight on Friday kept us indoors on Saturday. We didn't go far on Sunday, but we did leave the house for a little walk up the street. Both the road and sidewalks had been plowed, but that left pretty significant snowbanks between the centre of the road and the sidewalk. At some point, they will be removed, but the town never seems to be in a hurry to get to this little task.

There is half of Sue walking along the sidewalk, just a little way up the street from our place.

Knowing where to go for our outings is going to be difficult for the next two months. Unfortunately, the parks will pretty much be inaccessible to us oldies, so on Monday, we headed downtown and looked around behind town hall.

Someone had shovelled a path beside town hall to the back, and I tried to incorporate it into a photo. Historically speaking, that's the doctor's house across the river, but the good doctor hasn't lived there for a very long time. I think it is now offices for lawyers or accountants.

Here is Sue on that same path, taking her own photo.

She had possibly been taking a photo of St James Church across the river. We often do, but the photos are never great. Anyway, this is mine on that day.

The flag atop town hall was flying in the strong breeze.  My photo was dull, so I decided to try to convert it into b&w in Photoshop; by chance and without intention, I got carried away and ended up adding a colourful sky instead. Then I went whole hog and generated an AI airplane, just for fun. While I don't normally do this kind of manipulation, it can be fun on occasion and keeps life interesting.

After hanging out behind town all, we decided to walk the main street, but we didn't get very far. Look at the ice on the sidewalk to see why.

That's pretty brutal; it's not even sanded or salted. I am not sure whether to blame the town or the store owners. Of course, the shops were closed due to weather on Saturday, and they're always closed on Sunday and Monday. The Monday closures are typical of little downtown stores in smaller towns.

Monday, January 15, 2024

I Speak Rhotic

I speak rhotic, but do you?

Rhoticity refers to the pronunciation of the letter 'r'. If you speak or hear a definite 'r' especially at the end of a word, then you are speaking with rhoticity. As a Canadian, I speak with rhoticity. If you are Indian, Irish, Scottish or Barbadian, you probably do as well: likewise if you are from south-western England. Add to that many American who dwell in the north and west, excepting the Boston or New York City areas.

I watch a lot of British tv. 

(Aside) Unfortunately, it has spoiled me because almost every North American program that I try leaves me dissatisfied. In point of fact, feeling unhappy with the presentation, I usually leave it before too long. I did this after three episodes of True Detective, all related in a monotone surrounded by sleaze. After watching a six-episode of Shetland, with interesting characters and variable tones and speech patterns, I happily left True Detective unresolved.

My digression done with, I return to the topic at hand: rhoticity. Of course, I was thinking of the non-rhoticity that I hear in almost all British programs that I watch where a word such as, paper, sounds more like papeh or papah.

"In non-rhotic varieties, speakers do not pronounce /r/ when it is at the end of a word or in postvocalic environments, that is, when it is immediately after a vowel and not followed by another vowel." (Rhoticity in English

It wasn't always thus, but according to Wikipedia, "by the 1740s to the 1770s, it [rhoticity] was often deleted entirely . . . By the early 19th century, the southern British standard was fully transformed into a non-rhotic variety, but some variation persisted as late as the 1870s."

As mentioned above, there are exceptions in England, such as in the south-west, but, apparently, it is decreasing. 

However, for the youngest speakers in Blackburn, these 'r's are very weak, which raises the question of whether future generations will even hear these weak 'r's at all and whether this distinction will eventually fade away. Accent change is often like a puddle: it dries up in most places and leaves remnants around the edges, hence why Cornwall and East Lancs behave similarly here today. link

As a proud and determined rhotic speaker, I find this so sad. ;)

I leave with this short video, explaining rhoticity, primarily in an American context. Perhaps, however, before you go, you will comment and tell me whether you speak with rhoticity.

Of course. once you look up something on YT, you get more suggestions. This man explains how to speak proper southern England English. Generally, you say the 'r' if it is followed by a vowel sound. Of course, this would usually come at the beginning of a word, such as 'red', and not at the end of a word, such as 'heard'.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Second Cup Perfection

I am sitting here, reading your posts and things, and really appreciating my second cuppa. It is better than first, not that the first was bad, you understand. Sometimes, I seem to hit the perfect proportions of water, coffee and cream. At least more perfecter than at other times, even though I try to do the same thing every time. It's Belgian Chocolate, by the way.

That's the post, folks. That's it for today. All of it. 

Have a good day, y'all.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

The Outtakes and a Few Fresh Takes

I have some photos from the past week or so, which I didn't see fit to post then. Either they were not up to par, or they didn't fit my narrative in those blog posts.

When I mentioned in the previous post that I had taken a rather meh wide angle photo, this was it, down by the pond on a very bleak afternoon. This is definitely a not-up-to-par photo, but it is my one and only wide angle photo so far this month, so here it is.

Sue's photo shows how gloomy it was and where I was standing. The bush beside me is the same one in both photos, above and below.

So, there it is — a very ordinary photo. I must use my wide angle lens again, but it is my heaviest lens and the lens that I use least. A panorama stitch, as described yesterday, accomplishes something similar — for the most part, but not totally.

I have a few other photos that I didn't post at the time. The first is the pond/reservoir at Roy Brown Park. They sky is its best feature. Below that is another photo of the 4 geese, in which I deliberately shot through the weeds for effect. I like it just about as much as the first photo that I posted at the time.

Finally (but not really as it turns out), I have a photo of cracks in the ice. I thought the lines and texture interesting enough, but I was featuring macros when I posted on that day, and they were better photos too. However, I guess this is an okay abstract.

Finally Addendum: On another short outing, I took another pano, but not a sweep, just a crop of a regular photo. Except, I did crop in camera, so I do get an extra point. :)  It's of a different group of trees than in the previous post, and I left it in original colour. Some people don't see any value in photos like these, but sometimes I really don't mind capturing the day just as it was, and this result actually appeals to me.

Absolute Finally: Big Storm last night. When I awoke this morning, neighbour was beginning to blow his driveway, so I grabbed my handy dandy iPhone.

Look at the pile at the end, from the town plow.

The contractors had already been to ours once, so our driveway pile was not as big as some, but we were still plowed in. They will return for a second pass in due course.

We will not likely venture forth on this day.