Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy Easter

This house in Appleton looked perfectly lovely for Easter with its yellow door and accents.

The eggs attached to a bush on the right gave me an idea for a double exposure.

While the eggs were okay, I don't think the superimposed branches were a good look.

But there was a log cabin next door. Because it was darker and also more texturized, I think the egg overlay worked better there.

 It was in keeping with the season anyway.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Remembering the Forgetting

I confess. I am a daydreamer, but not usually as obviously as in this case.

We were watching The Voice, which I almost just called American Idol, although I haven't seen that program for years.

Suddenly, the emcee was asking the coach to choose the winner of a battle round.


I had to ask Sue if they had sung already because I missed it. Even though I was sitting right there the whole time.

Yes, they had sung. Not only that, but the various coaches had also offered their critiques before I awoke from my reverie.

I had missed it all, for my mind was elsewhere.

It wasn't so much daydreaming but thinking about the pros and cons of something that I might or might not do. At least I know what I had been thinking about. lol

This happened once before, quite a long time ago as a matter of fact.

Sue had sat me down to listen to a specific song. When we got to the end, Sue asked me what I thought about it. I had to tell her that I forgot to listen because my mind had been busy on one of its excursions.

The song was Emily Remembers, about a friend who had lost her memory, due to Alzheimer's. I'll post this poignant song below. How odd and yet fitting that I had forgotten to listen to a song about remembering.

The Last Stanza (lyrics here)

If she forgets that I’m her best friend
and how inseparable we were
If she forgets how much she needs me
I remember it for her
if she forgets how much she loves me
I remember it for her



Thursday, March 28, 2024

Cordwood House Double Exposure

I have another double exposure session to share with you, and there will likely be more a'comin down the pipe. How much more, I don't know, but the snow is gone, and the green is yet to come, so regular photography is not all that appealing right now. At least it isn't very appealing for plods such as I, who mainly just shoot when we are wandering about just seeing what might attract our attention.

As is so often the case, our recent adventure, yesterday, was inspired by Sue's needs. Her assignment was to photograph a house. Of course, she wanted a house with something of interest and remembered this house in the nearby hamlet of Appleton.

It is a cordwood construction with the ends of logs set into the thick walls. You can learn a little about this technique here.

In addition to the regular photo, above, I decided to photograph a nearby bush first to begin a double exposure. This version is in b&w.

The camera superimposed them (actually similar photos) like this ↓ .

It is possible to create a double exposure effect in Photoshop, which is what I did in the next photo, where I combined the first and second photos. I decided upon a somewhat more subtle overlay than what the camera had rendered.

What I am primarily interested in right now, aside from just having fun, is seeing what the camera will yield and not what I can fashion in edit. As I continue to experiment, I will be following the camera's output, probably exclusively.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Double Exposure Experiments

As I posted yesterday, Sue's Noise POTD, took us to the bridges, but while she was photographing noise, I decided to try experimenting with double exposures. I was just shooting in the dark, so to speak, since I have no idea what I am doing other than taking two consecutive photos. I did it all in camera: that is, I let the camera combine my two images in each case.

Since I was by the river, I would take a photo pointing at the waves, which seems to be what I was doing in this image ↓ that Sue took of me.

Those are my heated mitts dangling. They heat well, and the fact that they're attached
means that I don't have to fret about where they are. However, I hadn't really needed
them on this day. It wasn't hot, but neither was it that cold.

Then I would point the camera at something else in the vicinity. In this case I chose the opposite riverbank and those two larger trees. This ↓ is how the camera superimposed the two, with some of the whitewater overlaying the scene.

We walked over to the trail bridge, where I first pointed my camera at some icy branches hanging just below the bridge before shifting back to the road bridge that we had just left.

Also from the trail bridge, first the whitewater, and then the old machine shop.

Finally, how could I resist one double exposure using town hall as one part of it? I think this is the best result because it looks like a huge wave is sweeping over the building. I must admit that it was weak in colour, but I like it in mono, especially after I gritted it up a bit by ramping up the texture slider.

I have tried this technique a few times previously but not enough to get good at it. I don't think that I have the kind of vision to do well with this kind of photography because I really have no clue about how two images will blend together, but it it makes for fun little experiment.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Birthday

The birthday finally arrived, but it was a low key event.

After a slow morning, we headed to the back bridges for  Sue's POTD (Photo of the Day). Her task was to capture a photo that implied sound, so she settled on the rushing water that can be seen from those occasions. With less snow than usual this winter. the scene was not as impressive as it is in some years, but there was enough to convey the sound.

On the left, we look upriver from the trail bride.
On the right, we look downriver from the road bridge.

In due course, we obtained victuals from Tims and took our food to the boat launch to enjoy on a sunnier and somewhat warmer day after the recent frigid weather.

We took so many car photos during COVID, but we still maintain the practice to some degree.

On this pleasant day, the geese were out scrabbling for food. In normal years, there is a pond in this location in spring. It was so large in one year that we saw a couple launch a canoe in the pond before paddling out onto the river.

View from the car.

A few hours later, our tiny family descended. 

JJ is not masked; his shirt is just pulled up.

We had salad and pizza and then opened gifts before cake.

JJ paraded the cake in, and we sang the song.

And that was it for birthday 77, except I will show you the silly card that I fashioned for Sue.

The front recapitulates some of the issues from last year.

The inside looks forward to better times with a happier sun depicted.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Catching Up

I thought that I should check in. For a guy who often posts daily, I think I have only blogged once in the past week. It's odd because I sometimes have five posts waiting in the queue, but it has now been five days since I blogged at all.

At least partially, it must be the time of year. The snow is gone, but it was been wintry cold lately. We've had a few quick, chilly, and uninspiring walks in the neighbourhood in stiff breezes. I haven't usually bothered to even port my little camera. 

We have had one more birthday breakfast, this one with B&B, since I posted last, but nobody thought to take pictures. However, today is a little nicer, so I think Sue wants to walk by the back bridges to capture a photo that implies sound by using the rushing whitewater. I think I may even relent and take my big camera.

Speaking of Sue, today is her actual birthday. Sha and the kids will come by for a pizza supper so no one has to cook or clean up messes. I suppose pizza isn't all that special, but we've had a few special outings already. We would probably get Chinese takeout, but it is Monday, and we are in a town, and smalltown shops and restaurants do tend to be closed.

I have passed quite a bit of time reading Rhys Dylan's, DCI Evan Warlow's, series. I scored the initial volume, The Engine House, as a freebie and liked it well enough that I have since ordered and read the next four installments. So far, they have remained fairly inexpensive, but I imagine that will change as I get to the more recent of the twelve  titles. So yes, I have been on a wee bit of a reading binge in the past week or so, which may also partially explain my lack of posting here.

Ever since I was a kid,  I have been drawn to series literature. I started with The Bobbsey Twins and moved onto the Hardy Boys and other series such as Chip Hilton and Bronc Burnett. The nice thing about a series is that you can usually trust things to work out at the end of the narrative. Then, the friends that you have made appear in the next volume, and you get to spend even more time with them. The other nice thing about catching a long series like this is that I can binge read. After I finish one novel, I can easily, and perhaps too easily, click to download the next episode.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Four Hours, One Breakfast, 129K

It's Sue's pre-birthday week. We tend to try to do one or two different things leading up to the event because single events like that can flash by fleetingly.

Monday found us driving into the outskirts of Ottawa for a restaurant lunch, but we do that every now and again, so it wasn't that unique. Nice, but not unique.

Tuesday, however, entailed a more unique adventure although that sounds rather too grand. We went out for breakfast, which isn't unique at all for us, but this breakfast was in a little café in the hamlet of Portland, 59k away.

We left home at 10am and  arrived at Recess Café about 45 minutes later. We almost missed the place because we knew Recess was in a former school. In my mind, we were looking for a traditional old school house. What we found was something resembling a strip mall, but it was, indeed, a former school, and the café occupied one of the former classrooms.

Inside was also utilitarian, but it was bright and delightful, and the food was delicious and well worth the drive. I should interject here that the drive was quite lovely in the sense that it was a bright, cheery day. Although it was cold out – near the freezing point – we were comfy and happy in the car.

Sue required her sunglasses to face the window.

Sue constructed her own plate from various selections, but I ordered the Greens Egg and Ham (not green eggs): scrambled eggs, greens and ham on a house baked cheddar scone. It was tasty, delightful, and well worth the drive.

Mother organized, dad cooked and daughter served.

Sue was also taken with the pastries: maple butter tarts and cookies, in particular.

As you might have guessed already, we had to take some home: two of each plus one more butter tart for Shauna, for the next leg of our journey was to drive 34k to Perth where Shauna works at Lanark Lifestyles.

We toured the newest addition to the complex. For several years, Shauna has been executive director of phase 1, which is a typical seniors residence. When I say typical, I mean in how it functions, for it is a beautiful place.

The new Phase 2 features independent apartment living with pool, pickleball courts and many, many other amenities (link). We toured what Shauna called the granddad apartment, with two bedrooms and a den. Presently unoccupied, it is available for $6500/month: food, tv or internet not included. (Note: suites do start at much, much less.)

Needless to say, Sue and I will  not be moving in anytime soon.

We were going to make another trip to Balderson for an ice cream dessert, but since we already had dessert in the car, we turned toward home —  another 37k, for a total of 129k (80mi). 

In all, we drove for about two hours, and spent the other two hours at breakfast, visiting, and touring the new complex.

Somewhat stunningly, Sue didn't take any photos of the drive, Shauna, or Lanark Lifestyles, but she did make a collage of Recess when she got home. Well she actually made four collages, but I'll limit myself to two posting two of them. (The tiger represents the mascot back when the building was a school.)

It was a great day to do something a little different to begin to celebrate the Birthday Queen.

The Trip, Mapped for your Elucidation ↓

Red to Portland, 59k. Blue to Perth, 33k. Green to Home, 37k.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Either and Irked

How do you say the word, either?

I've to look it up because every time I hear it on tv, people are saying ˈīT͟Hər.

But I say ˈēT͟Hər and was doubting myself and thinking I had grown up using a non-standard dialect. But my pronunciation was listed first when I looked it up. So there!

I am not sure why no one else seems to pronounce it my way. It can't be that unusual. Can it?

What sayest thou?


Meanwhile, I am irked.

I haven't been reliably able to comment from my iPad or iPhone on Blogger posts for quite some time. One recent day I was on my tablet, and I commented on my own post without thinking about it, and it took. You see, I couldn't even comment on my own blog until a few days ago.

Naturally, I thought maybe the problem was fixed because I would really prefer to read blogs in the comfort of my chair. But it wasn't fixed. Not entirely anyway, although I do think more blogs are open to it now than before.

Still, I never know which blogs will work and which ones won't, and there's little point it reading on my tablet and not being able to comment.

So, I still have to comment from the computer.

And that irks me.


Speaking of commenting, I don't usually reply to standard comments, but if you ask me a specific question, I generally manage to reply.

Blogger should follow the protocol of other platforms where folks must leave their email in order to comment. That would make replying more efficient, but I have been doing this for 20 years now, and Blogger will never change.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Caturday 59: She Wafts, I Snuffle

 I wasn't going to bother posting today, but I found this on fb this morning.

It's very true for me and has been for awhile — at night anyway.

It's just as well that my bladder wakes me up every now and then, so I can switch to the other side and use that nostril for awhile as the stuff drains to the lower side.

The thing that isn't true is middle age. I didn't happen to me then. For me, it's definitely an old age phenomenon.

But I must add that I mostly blame the cat who fills my house with her fur.

I've been tested, and I have but one allergy. You guessed it. Cats. It's not a strong allergy as such, but it is present, especially with a cat that wafts fur.

She might look innocent while sleeping in the patch of sunlight, but we know that is not the case.

Friday, March 15, 2024

My March Break Madness Photos

The photos that I posted yesterday belonged to others. I have had trouble with my photos, both on the camera end and the computer end. I had a memory card get corrupted, and then my card reader also gave up the ghost before I managed to finally get some images uploaded.

While I have usually photographed around the sugar camp grounds, people were my focus this time around, for a family gathering like this is most unusual, and who knows if it will ever be repeated.

I know that we might seem like a large family on this occasion, but this was close to the whole shebang. They are on Sue's side; with my side consisting only of 4 people, and those 4 are all shared with Sue. I have no one else to speak of.

We were first to arrive, and I took a photo of Sue and the kids in front of the maple syrup museum, the one that contains artefacts from the industry. There is another museum on the property that contains larger implements, specifically chainsaws and an old tractor or three.

Inside the restaurant, we must have driven the server crazy because we changed places as orders were being taken. At one point, I found myself opposite Sue's nephew and his oldest boy, who stared at me and didn't quite know what to make of that strange man.

His brother was sitting kitty corner to me. He was puzzled as well, but not quite as much. Aren't they both about the cutest kids that you ever did see?

After breakfast, Sue and I sat in the sunshine while the younger folk toured the property: a gorgeous lady on a gorgeous March day.

I got up from that spot took one photo of the old shed. For once, I was noticing just how tall the trees are, and I captured one looming over the shed. The foreground boulders are typical of the erratics (rocks) that were dumped by the receding glaciers. They can be much bigger than these.

Back to people: I took two photos of Sue and her sister. The wreath in the second photo is a gift from Heather for Sue's impending birthday. Heather made it herself, and it will soon decorate our front door.

You may recall this photo that I posted yesterday. It is of Danica on Heather's lap in 2007.

This is how they look in possibly the same chair in 2024.

This next and final photo of Sue with her nephew and wife wasn't mine, but I thought it deserved to be shown in nice b&w treatment.

Come October, Sue and I will likely make another trip to the sugarbush on a bit of a autumn colours ramble into the Lanark Highlands, but it will likely just be the two of us. It will be nice too, but we will remember this wonderful gathering on this beautiful March day.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

March Madness Meetup

March Break is not usually the most propitious time to trek into the sugar bush, but it was a necessary time, yesterday. Maybe not absolutely yesterday, but close to it.

Sue's sister, Heather, lives in Toronto, about 3+ hours away, but her youngest, Ben, lives a further 2 hours west of Toronto with his wife, Mary, and their two darling boys. But for March Break, they are cottaging on a lake fairly near us along with Mary's sister and husband.

The sap is running, so why not all meet at the sugar camp along with our grands, Danica and Jonathan? And why wouldn't Heather also drive in from Toronto with her daughter and granddaughter, to make it quite a large and almost spontaneous family gathering.

I booked a reservation for 13, and we needed a reservation because it is March Break, and with the sap running, the hordes tend to descend. The demand is so great that they posted that they could not accommodate drop-ins.

The places is packed, but we are just about done,

They were so busy that, shortly after this photo was taken, we were politely asked to vacate because our hour was up and a busload of seniors were waiting for our table. This is the way of it at the sugar camp during an exceptionally lovely March Break week.

It was a beautiful day, so wandering around the grounds was a rather fine thing to do.

Sue and I sat out the wandering this time around and basked in a quiet, sunny spot 

We were able to reprise a photo from 2007 when we had also met with Heather and family at the sugar camp. We had taken this photo of Heather, holding our new grandbaby, Danica,

This time, Sue held Heather's youngest grandchild in the very same spot.

It was quite a wonderful outing, all in all. For this event, we were happy to make an exception and go during frenetic March Break. We make the little trip to the bush almost every spring, but we will eschew March Madness (as it were) if at all possible in future.

Before departing, we dragooned some innocent passerby into snapping a group photo.

It had been a grand, little meetup on a rather grand day. March Break weather is for sure not usually as wonderful as it has been this year, so we were able to make the most of the opportunity to get together.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

The Second Flowers of Spring

After the snowdrops come the crocuses although we didn't expect to find them so soon. It is that kind of a year, though.

Returning to a spot by an abandoned building that we found in recent years. some were already in bloom. I only have one photo, as I was having trouble with both my tripod and the wind. I may try again in due course, but if I don't manage to do that, at least I have this pretty, little cluster.

Meanwhile, I found another snowdrop photo from the previous shoot that I didn't post last time, so I'll post that too.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Another AI Photo Enhancement

Well, I think it is an enhancement; we'll have to see what you think.

I came across this photo of Bob from September 2020. We met safely in the park in that blasted COVIDish year.

I've always liked the photo because Bob is a good subject, and I am pretty sure that I posted it here all those years ago.

At some point, I also did a mono version. I don't know if it was at the same time or some time later.

When I came across the original photo again recently, I decided to experiment with AI. Usually, I have restricted my experiments in AI to adding small elements. This time I was more ambitious and decided to see if I could replace the whole background. I asked Photoshop to make a park with trees. This is what it did.

I'd say that is not a bad result, and it was fun to do.