John Gorka “Flying Red Horse”

I love this song and John Gorka….

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PhotoHunter: Thankful

Only those who know me very intimately know why the Blue Heron is representative of something for which I am thankful.

In 2000, I went through a life-altering experience. I might have… I WOULD have… died had it not been for a brief encounter with a Great Blue Heron. I don’t believe in God or in divine intervention. I believe, instead that I CHOSE to take one path and not another and, while my intended path and my chosen path were intended to lead ultimately to the same place, the chosen one took me to a different place.

I think of the encounter not as “intervention” but in Serendipity. It happened because it happened but I am thankful that it did.

The Heron was an unintended guide… not unlike the chance meeting with someone who, unwittingly, inspires within you a change… a path taken or not taken.

I am thankful to myself for listening to “that small, still voice”. I am grateful to myself for choosing to see beauty where I might have passed by without looking. I am thankful to the beauty and wonder of the place we inhabit. I am thankful for the Heron for being in that one place and for that chance meeting.

The lesson is to not to look at the world around us but to SEE it. We never know where we will come upon a lesson, a guide, a salvation.

My Blue Heron Tattoo (solarized)

My Blue Heron Tattoo (solarized)

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Pamela Kurstin performs ‘Autumn Leaves’ on a Theremin

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Poor Amber…

Amber went in to the vet for a looooong overdue dental cleaning.

Mom got a call later in the morning alerting her to the fact that (at GREAT EXPENSE) he had a number of teeth that were rotted (including all or most of his canines)… He has had a number of extractions and is probably not a very happy kitty.

He probably isn’t going to be very pleasant when he gets home. At least once he gets home and recovers.

Amber during his lean, mean mouse eatin' days on the farm...

Amber during his lean, mean mouse eatin' days on the farm...

Poor old fellow.

Silly Feet

One Foot

One Foot

Two Feet

Two Feet

Far Too Many Feet

Far Too Many Feet

PhotoHunter: “Warm”

I decided to go with “Warm Colours” since I don’t think I have anything that simply conveys warm…

So here are my favorite photos in “warm colours”.

Lichen, Blue Church Burying Ground

Lichen, Blue Church Burying Ground

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Derelict, Rockcliffe Airbase

Derelict, Rockcliffe Airbase

Lauriault Stairs, Gatineau Park

Lauriault Stairs, Gatineau Park

Poppy, Jim's Garden

Poppy, Jim's Garden

‘The District’ | Ep. 1 | ‘The Challenges We Face … ‘

THE DISTRICT is a funny spoof of MTV’s faux reality series The City. The City is about a rich California girl Whitney Port who moves to MYC to work in fashion. The District is about a Chicago senator Barack Obama who moves to Washington DC to work at the White House. (Volume 2 and 3 are also available on the Newsweek website)

The District is followed by Oscar Round Table with Frank Langella, (Droolllll… still hot after all these years!) Robert Downey Jr., Anne Hathaway, Sally Hawkins, Brad Pitt, and  Mickey Rourke…

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Obama made a pit-stop for a Capital taste treat!

While President Obama’s trip was forecast to be a business-only one, with no chance for the public to see him, the Prez had other plans.

Firstly, he took a moment or two to wave at the crowds gathered on Parliament Hill, which we were all told would be out of the question. Later, after his meetings with Stephen Harper and other politicos, he made a decidedly personal shopping stop in Ottawa’s Byward market to indulge in some very Canadian treats.

His purchases included shortbread maple leaf cookies for his daughters and a Beavertail.

A Beavertail, for the uninitiated, is a fried dough pastry with various toppings. They have various types from the savory (garlic and cheddar) to the sweet (cinnamon and sugar).

Beavertail

Cinnamon Sugar Beavertail

In this case, he got an “Obamatail“, a creation which the local shop came up with for the inauguration and which was a hit at the Canadian Embassy celebrations, in Washington.  It is a variation on the cinnamon and sugar version with an added whipped cream “O”, chocolate syrup and maple butter.

Obamatail FansObamatail Fans
 (tracey tong/metro ottawa)

As an historical aside, the founder and owner of Hooker’s Beavertails in the Byward Market, purveyors of this wonderful delicacy is a descendant of General Hooker, Civil War general and the man whose major claim to fame is allowing “camp followers” to accompany his troops. It was because of General Hooker that we have the term “hooker” for prostitutes.

All this would merely be “interesting” if it weren’t for the fact that back in the 1980s, Grant Hooker, proprietor of the aforementioned Hooker’s Beavertails, was one of the prime movers in the local merchants and residents to have prostitutes driven out of the Byward Market area….

Oh! The irony….

On another note, we were all told that Obama would be arriving at about 7:30 am… I decided to give his arrival a with berth in order to get myself across the city to work, my route taking me right by the airport. Imagine my surprise to find that, in fact, he arrived about 10:30 and I was caught in the midst of the parking lot that was the Hunt Club Eastbound lanes. For some unaccountable reason, traffic was flowing smoothly in the Westbound lanes. Since the two lanes run parallel and mere yards from each other for the full length of Hunt Club East, it was a mystery why the Westbound lanes were moving and the Eastbound were stopped.

I was stuck for more than 1/2 an hour (and 15 minutes of THAT time was AFTER he arrived on Parliament Hill).

Retail Hell Underground

“Snuggle” blanket parody…

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People that burn my butt…

  • People who send things to the printer that is out of paper and instead of putting paper in the printer, reprint it at another printer…. It isn’t brain surgery! Open the drawer and put some paper in! (This includes not just the first person who didn’t bother putting paper in but the 4 people who followed up the first person so that I have to wait while 5 print jobs complete before MINE prints).
  • People who don’t bother signaling and then barge into your lane like you were supposed to know that was what they intended to do…
  • People who don’t understand how to use the merge lane. You don’t have to drive down the full length until you run out or road… You can merge at any time…. and use your Goddamn signal!
  • People whose idea of changing lanes is to drive at the same speed as the car beside them instead of slowing slightly in order to get in the 5 car-length space behind the guy the are driving next to…. and use your Goddamn signal!
  • People who turn right by turning left first or turn right from the middle lane instead of using the well-marked and very thoughtfully provided turn lane…. and use your Goddamn signal!

A number of years ago, a radio station in Quebec )Montreal, if I recall) asked drivers what the little stick on the left side of their steering wheel was for. A surprising number had no idea… I don’t think they are completely alone in their ignorance.

My father was absolutely sure that you did not have to indicate if you were changing lanes. Perhaps it was changing lanes to your right. Either way, he was wrong. Of course, he also swore up and down that it was illegal to make a left turn from a one way to a one way on a red light and refused to look in the Driver’s Handbook to confirm it. In fact, unless there is a sign which says you can’t, it is perfectly legal in Ontario to do so. You still have to use your turn light, though.

  • People who stand through an entire line-up at a store and wait until the cashier has totaled up their order to dig into their purse to get their wallet out… and then pay in small change.
  • People who put their cart right in the middle of the aisle while they look at the merchandise… and then give you stink eye because you have the “nerve” to move it out of the way so you can pass by.
  • Perfectly able-bodied men who barge through a space where a senior citizen is standing, nearly knocking them off their feet without “noticing” that they have done so. They are called eyes… use them.

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