My friend

I just got word, tonight, that my friend Carol who I just got back in touch with last summer, after 30 years or so, is in the hospital with lung cancer.

She only just had surgery last month to remove growths from her heart muscle and was on her way to recovering from that. This makes me sadder than I can say.

Old friends

Old friends

Advertisements

Extreme Sheep LED Art

“We took to the hills of Wales armed to the teeth with sheep, LEDs and a camera, to create a huge amazing LED display. Of sorts. For more info search for samsung LED TV or visit samsung.com/LED

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Extreme Sheep LED Art“, posted with vodpod

Things do not always go according to plan….

cartoon-cara

In my previous posting, I mentioned that we (my mother and I) were on our way out for a much deserved jaunt after finally having gotten one of the the wheel bearings fixed in our car.

We headed out and wandered about, vaguely headed East to Lancaster, Ontario where we hoped to see if the Snow Geese were stopped on their annual migration North for the Summer. We hit Highway 2 (The King’s Higway, once the main route from Montreal Lower Canada to Toronto in Upper Canada), which follows the St. Lawrence and headed past Cardinal and Iroquois and the historic Chrysler Farm, where a battle during the War of 1812 took place. We passed Upper Canada Village, as well.

Then I spotted the large sign for the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and turned down the dirt road headed for it. I had opened my window in order to take a photo of a historic marker along that road (see below) an as we pulled into the parking area, I noticed a rather unnerving rumbling sound from beneath my car…. It sounded as though my muffler was suddenly not as quiet as it had been just a few minutes earlier. Since I had just had it at the shop yesterday, I thought perhaps someone hadn’t tightened something and it was rumbling.

Introduction of Holstein Friesian cattle into Ontario - 1881

Introduction of Holstein Friesian cattle into Ontario - 1881

I thought “I will just have to take it in to Terry (my mechanic) on Monday, just in case…”. We visited the sanctuary and, while there weren’t any major flocks of migratory birds to see just yet, there were some lovely little chickadees and I was able to get the photos that I didn’t get during the late winter walk I posted about two weeks ago. The docent at the visitor centre gave me a little bag of seeds to feed to them and I had them eating out of my hand in no time.

img_0060a

img_0084

Mom’s back was hurting so we decided to head back to the main road and go on to Lancaster.

The dirt road, it should be said, was in rather a bad state after the winter. There was a great deal of corduroy-ing over the whole road and pot-holes the full length and I suspect this may have exacerbated the initial problem with the exhaust system. I decided to head immediately in to Cornwall and find a Canadian Tire with a service bay and see if they could have a look at it. I really didn’t want to have it repaired today. If my mechanic does the work, I can pay it off weekly. If I had it done at Canadian Tire, I would have to pay the full shot today… something I can’t afford.

It was already about 20 minutes to 5:00 and the CT service bay closes at 5:00 but one of the great guys there kindly came out and took me for a little test-drive and said he would hoist it and see if he could make it road-worthy, at least.

He did and discovered that the exhaust pipe had rusted apart from the muffler. They didn’t have the parts on hand, so, after splicing in a piece of pipe and two clamps and welding the pieces together, got me (quietly) back on the road again by 5:00 on the dot. I parted gratefully with $62 and change and we headed home, again. They could easily have said “Sorry, you are too late…” and sent me on my way. Instead, they took the time to diagnose the problem and give me at least a temporary remedy. I am forever grateful!

Off on a road trip!

I finally took the car in and had the wheel bearing replaced. I can now take the car out on the open road. So Mom and I are off on a jaunt!

Yippee!

cartoon-car1

PhotoHunter: Hands

Some time ago, I started a series called “Hands”. I have slowly been adding to it but these are the three ones, so far.

"My Mother's Hands"

"My Mother's Hands"

photohunter7iq1

"Grubby Fingers"

"Grubby Fingers"

"Ring Finger"

"Ring Finger"

"Ring Finger" posterized

"Ring Finger" posterized

"Ring Finger"

"Ring Finger"

The following is a photo, though it is one I took of a particular scene in the film “Lost in Translation” when Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) are drifting off while talking. Bob reaches down and pats Charlotte’s foot. Possibly one of the most tender and yet charged gestures in film…. I took the initial image and manipulated it both digitally and by hand as a chalk drawing. These are two of the progressions.

"(Not) Lost in Translation"

"(Not) Lost in Translation"

"(Not) Lost in Translation" 2

"(Not) Lost in Translation" 2

New Toy…

Well, less a “toy” than a necessary computer accessory.

Price Club/Costco had a range of the Western Digital external and portable hard drives available and I got my sister to pick up a portable one for me. The Passport Elite has a range of storage capacity versions from 250 gb to 500 gb. I got the 320 gb one for $119.00 CDN.  It is about the size of a pocket notebook and uses a USB cable (which is the same type as I need for my Bamboo Tablet and my digital camera. It comes with a USB cable but it is really too short to hook to my own computer but it is handy for when I have to take stuff to and from work. It also comes with a carrying case.

I transferred all my photos and videos I currently have stored on my internal hard-drive, plus all my music and have something like 318 gbs free. That means I should be able to download many of the photos I have stored on Fotki.

As an added bonus for people who have a laptop as well as desktop, it comes with software which allows you to sync all your programs you need and automatically update everything. It also allows you to manage and store your Outlook email from anywhere. Since everything is stored on the encrypted drive, nothing is actually shared if, for instance, you have to use an internet cafe somewhere

WD Sync™ synchronization and encryption software lets you take your critical data with you. Plug My Passport into any PC, edit files, read e-mail, and view photos. Then sync all of your changes back to your home or office computer. Your data is protected with 128-bit encryption. (Windows only)

For the desktop versions, you can snazz them up using a variety of custom skins.

Passport Elite 250 gb external hard drive

Passport Elite 250 gb external hard drive

Pots vs. kettles…

Pope Tells Clergy in Angola to Work Against Belief in Witchcraft

Pope Benedict XVI, nearing the end of his first pilgrimage to Africa, on Saturday told priests and nuns of their duty to divert their fellow Angolans from malign beliefs in witchcraft and sorcery.

Yes, I understand that the sort of witchcraft practiced in Africa causes the deaths of innocent men, women and children in sactifices and every effort should be made to stamp out these practices which take advantage of the gullble. However, when this comes from the head of a church which, itself, pushes practices which also cause the death of innocent, gullible people, it is a bit much to take.

Especially given the gob-smacking statements from the Pope that the use of condoms “increases the problem of AIDs”.

“You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms…. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”

Really!? I would be interested to what, with his vast medical knowledge and expertise on HIV/AIDs, he bases that porker on. The fact is that using condoms is better than no protection at all. On one hand, he condemns witchcraft which takes advantage of the uneducated and gullible and, on the other, does exactly the same thing by mandating backward and dangerous preactices to the very same people.

Meanwhile, priests and nuns actually working with AID’s patients in Africa question the Church’s stance on the use of condoms.

The Church’s stance that people should “just abstain” is simply offensive to women who have little or no control over what their husbands do outside the home, or when women contract HIV during birth, as happens all to often in Africa. To suggest that people should simply refrain from what is a natural and vital part of life… or risk death is criminal.

To suggest that condoms are “no protection” from HIV/AIDs to people whose lives depend on protecting themselves is assinine and criminal.

Meanwhile, while he delivers his ridiculous rhetoric, whole families of children orphaned by HIV/AIDs are forced to fend for themselves, including selling their bodies on the streets, thus increasing the already horrifying numbers of thise stricken with the disease.

Those who have the luxury of being able to choose to follow the teachings of the Catholic church are free to do so but they should not condemn those who must do what they have to do to protect themselves and they should allow the, to freely choose how they wish to live.

Thankfully, Obama has reversed the US’ former restrictions on funding programs which promote the use of condoms. Thank God for that.

PhotoHunter: Yellow

I’m not a “yellow” person… So, I only have a few photos which are predominantly yellow. Click on the images to see more from the series… and, since I fortgot all about him initially, I have added a photo of Elvis…

Sunflower with friend

Sunflower with friend

photohunter7iq1

Ray's 1954 Framus

Ray's 1954 Framus

Buttercup

Buttercup

Elvis

Elvis

…and a few more Elvis here (click the image above for the first album).

Good news for endangered animals…

On March 4th, Barack Obama announced that he is rescinding last-minute rules set out by the Bush Administration eliminating the necessity of consulting with scientists before going ahead with projects that could harm endangered species.

Under the Bush Administration, agencies such the Department of Transportation or State or Federal building projects for dams could decide whether these projects endangered species, without consulting with scientists.

“Today I’ve signed a memorandum that will help restore the scientific process to its rightful place at the heart of the Endangered Species Act, a process undermined by past administrations,” Obama said to applause.

“The work of scientists and experts in my administration … will be respected. For more than three decades, the Endangered Species Act has successfully protected our nation’s most threatened wildlife, and we should be looking for ways to improve it — not weaken it.” (Barack Obama)

“Bush, who battled with environmentalists for years over his polices on climate change and other issues, drew further criticism at the end of his term for issuing “midnight regulations” that were viewed as ecologically unfriendly.”

“Today’s announcement marks the unequivocal return of science to the agencies that govern our fish, wildlife, and natural resources,” said Carl Pope, executive director of environmental group Sierra Club.

“The Bush rules would have allowed agencies with little or no wildlife expertise to make decisions that could mean life or death for animals like the polar bear. When it comes to protecting wildlife, we should listen to the scientists who spend their lives studying these animals.” (Carl Pope, executive director of environmental group Sierra Club.)

People are very, very stupid…..

Really….

Thousands flocked to a Roman Catholic church on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion Saturday after believers said they saw the “face of Christ” in the pleats of a church cushion.

Church officials limited access to the Jesus-Misericordieux church in eastern Saint-Andre’s Cambuston district to a few minutes per visitor as traffic in the area ground to a halt.

Believers and curious onlookers pulled out cameras to take pictures of the cushion attached to the priest’s chair.

Antoinette, an 82-year-old parishioner, said the face was a “divine phenomenon” as tears welled up her eyes.

“This church is a holy site,” added Lise-May, another worshipper.

Saturday afternoon Saint-Andre authorities put up four tents outside the church so the faithful could follow mass.

A group of about 30 parishioners who had joined a Christian ceremony ahead of the Easter holiday had been the first to notice the particular setting of the cushion.

“This is not a miracle, it’s a sign of God,” said parish priest Daniel Gavard.

Reunion Bishop Gilbert Aubry has so far not commented on the occurrence which came within days of outbursts of violence over the high cost of living on the island whose economy depends on tourism and subsidies from the French state. – The Australian News

You see WHAAAT?

You see WHAAAT?

Looks more like Bob Marley, to me…

Now, that's a miraculous appearance...

Now, that's a miraculous appearance...

From Spit Shine Your Black Clouds

You have to see the original photo!

« Older entries

%d bloggers like this: