Driving around

My contract ends today and  my new six-month contract begins on Monday. Since I haven’t had a chance to take any real time off this year, yet, I decided to take this week off. I don’t get paid holidays under the contract I am on, though I do get benefits and pay into unemployment insurance as well as have my pension deductions, I can’t really complain.

Unfortunately, since my niece had an accident in my car and I didn’t want to go through the insurance company, I had a rather hefty repair bill. Actually, only part of the damage was from her accident. A couple of months ago, I was rear-ended by an SUV which pushed me into the vehicle in front of me. The damage looked minimal so I didn’t bother contacting the insurance company. I should have. While the only visible damage was to the rear bumper cover, the actual bumper, which in the Toyota Corolla is sort of spring-loaded and when hit moves forward and then back to cushion the impact, moved in, bent and then didn’t spring out again. Had we been in another accident it could have totaled the car and possibly caused injuries to whoever was in the car.

So not only did I have to have the front end straightened and pulled out; rad, oil lines, and washer fluid bottle replaced; front bumper cover, light assembly, and lenses replaced — I had to have the rear bumper cover replaced, the rear bumper pulled out and straightened. I also have been trying to get the rusty side door replaced or refinished so had it done at the same time. They also threw in some paint touchups and cleaned the interior… It was a whopping bill ($4756.21 CDN) and I really should have gone through the insurance but by the time I realized that there was more damage than I anticipated, it was too late to report it to the insurance company. Oddly enough, the other driver hasn’t, so far anyway, contacted me or my niece and she has tried to call him a number of times and left texts. He may (or the car’s owner, as he was driving someone else’s car) have contacted his insurance company but so far I have heard nothing from them, either.

I also had to rent a car until I got my car back so add on $700 and that is the full amount. But my car looks like new… of course, it practically is, what with all the repairs…

I wasn’t going to let the fact that I didn’t have my own car to hold me back so we took the rental out for a couple of our usual drives.

I stopped by a spot I had photographed in the Spring, a “sugar shack“, a building in which they used to make maple syrup. The roof had fallen in since my first visit and the moss was greener.

We found another small cemetery which I was able to catalogue and photograph, the Pepper family cemetery. Just 5 headstones representing 7 people. The gate is especially pretty.

There was another cemetery, far too large for me to catalogue but with three lovely little angels.

Then we happened on a couple of lovely apple trees. The first was a MacIntosh apple tree gone wild and the second… I’m not sure about. I managed to find a couple from the first tree which were free from worms and which were within reach. They was stunning in the early evening light.

Tomorrow we plan to head out on another jaunt. Hopefully, it is sunny because we want to head up into the Gatineau Hills to see the fall colours.

PhotoHunt: Letters

I am a little late this week.

I got a little “surprise” yesterday (which included a letter). A meeting with one of the Principles in my company informed me that, as of December 31st, 2010, I will be unemployed. The mandate of the government department for which I work ends in March 2012 and they are precipitously reducing the number of contractors doing the work.

If I had gotten this news a year and a half ago, I’d be freaking out.

My mother’s health situation means that I need to be in a flexible work situation. That makes getting a full-time position difficult. Since I need to be on a flexible schedule and preferably work at home, this reduces my chances of getting work. However, I am not concerned with this.

A year ago, my mother’s finances were… worse than a shambles… Now that I have managed to get her out of debts and ensured that her pension isn’t simply going out to pay the interest on her debts, we can manage quite well on one income. I want to be able to spend time with my mother while I can and I can be a better care-giver than I have been up until now.

Now for my PhotoHunt submissions…

I was intrigued not just by the graffiti on these rail cars, but by the various intended painted lettering on them. To their intended audience, the handlers and rail-workers, they probably make sense. Not knowing what they actually means, we are forced to take whatever meaning we can from them.

"1 1/2 In. Comp. Shoes"

"SOO 63317"

"Sens" (click image for full size)

I’ve done a little research on the tagger, here. I have no idea where “Sens” is based but their tags appear in both Europe and in North America.

And, of course, since I can’t just take a photo…

More photos here

Photohunt: School

An abandoned schoolhouse on the road from Merrickville to Smiths Falls.


School outhouse

Woodshed door handle


We went out for a drive, today, but the weather and the light, and the route wasn’t exactly forthcoming on interesting ruins or the light to photograph them in. Hopefully, the next few weeks will bring about better weather and better lighting situations. Hopefully, too, I will have the time to get out and about to do some photographing. We should be moving in the next month or so, as soon as we get the go-ahead to move into the new house.

In the meantime, my hankering for ruins must be fulfilled vicariously…

I came across a posting about drawings of a post-apocalyptic Tokyo and other places, the work of Motoda Hisaharu, a Japanese artist. His work is stunning.

“Indication-National Stadium4 (Bird's Nest)”

“Indication-Tokyo University 2”

The Japanese seem to have it all where large-scale abandonments are concerned. For such a small country, there are a lot of very large buildings and complexes which have been simply left empty. They also don’t seem to have suffered quite as badly from vandalism as buildings elsewhere would have. Is it the general law-abiding nature of the Japanese? The remoteness of many of the locations? Perhaps it is  simply that the litigious nature of North Americans that generally makes such sites out-of-bounds, here.

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The word haikyo is Japanese for “ruin”.

Here are a few…

A brain in a jar...

…in an abandoned doctor’s lab

A mammoth ride...

…in Niigata Russian Village… Japan

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More abandonment

Boker mountain resort, Cambodia

Ghost island of Hashima, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan

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More abandoned places

Kevin Bauman "100 Abandoned Houses"

(click on photos for links)

Henk van Rensbergen (abandoned-places.com)

(^ an odd way to post the albums but worth the effort)

©HSF (via Industrial Decay)

(^ Blog. Photos linked to the Flicr page for each photographer. Plus great links)

James D. Griffioen "east side, detroit (2008)"

Andrew Moore, photographer


Cooper school, Detroit

National Time, Detroit

National Time, Detroit

Casino Rooftop, Asbury Park

Oak At Hammerhus


PhotoHunter: “Undesirable” Warning! Photos may be disturbing!

Warning! The second photo may be disturbing for some.

undesirable [ˌʌndɪˈzaɪərəbəl]


not desirable or pleasant; objectionable

Nature has a way of reminding us that life is sometimes short and often ends unpleasantly.

I posted the first image in the November 22nd PhotoHunter, “Bird(s)”. This poor bird was trapped in an abandoned building. I found it when I was photographing the town of Claremont, Ontario, which is mostly boarded up and slated for demolition for the Pickering Airport. I cannot imagine how it suffered before finally  succumbing to exhaustion and/or starvation.


Early one Spring, when I was out taking photos near Wakefield, Quebec, I came across this cat carcass. Whether it had been hit by a car and went into the field to die, froze to death, or what, I don’t know.

What was particularly disturbing to me was that, aside from the black toes and gums, it looked so like my Benjamin.

Still, it is life and death… The way of the World.



Surprise photo sighting…

Last night, I took my mother out to dinner at the Marlborough Pub and Eatery, in North Gower.

As we followed the waitress into the dining room, I passed a series of photos on the wall over the bus area. I was rather surprised to see a photo which looked rather familiar. Actually, it wasn;t the photo but the subject that looked familiar.

One of my favorite old abandoned buildings was the subject. I was taken aback because it looked so like one of my own photos of it. If it wasn;t taken the same day, it was taken within a day or so of one I took!…. and from almost exactly the same angle!

It really isn’t surprising, though, that the building might have been shot by someone else in the area. It is only a couple of miles from North Gower.

The White House

The White House

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