Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

SundayStills - things with wings

The Spirit Catcher has spread its wings over Kempenfeldt Bay in Barrie for over 20 years. It was originally created for Expo86 in Vancouver by Ron Baird and was later purchased and donated for the Barrie Gallery Project as an inspiration for the creation of an art gallery.

Inspired by West Coast First Nations mythology, the Thunderbird is a powerful spirit in the form of a bird that carries our messages, dreams and desires to the Creator. The 20 tonne sculpture is 65' high and has 16 kinetic quills in the wings that rock back and forth as the wind blows.

200 km to the southwest, a cormorant spreads its wings over Burlington Bay

The Double-crested Cormorant is a large fish-eating bird found throughout the Great Lakes that has undergone dramatic changes in population over the last three decades. The cormorant disappeared as a nesting bird on Lakes Michigan and Superior and only about ten pairs remained on Lake Ontario by the 1950s. From the early 1970s however, the cormorant population has increased over 500-fold. The cormorant is now more numerous on the Great Lakes than at any time in its previously recorded history.

for more things with wings see SundayStills

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Terrified tipplers

stampede the LCBO"

Yup, apparently there was panic in the streets of [Toronto] Ontario as the threat of 608 liquor stores being closed as a strike deadline at midnight loomed. People were stocking up on hundreds of dollars worth of all important and vital supplies as coolers, vodka (the most popular items it seems, with some stores sold out completely) and wine. The LCBO saw unprecedented sales and barely had time to restock shelves due to staff being too busy working the cash registers. Ringing in the best one day sales ever - over $60 million! (updated figures)

In Ontario the sale of alcohol is mostly available in government controlled outlets - LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) stores sell wines and spirits and some beer, and The Beer Store (formerly known as Brewer's Retail before it was dumbed down for the beer drinking tourists) which is controlled by a conglomerate of breweries, is allowed to only sell beer. You cannot buy alcohol in corner stores or grocery stores as in many other civilized places, although some grocery stores have boutique wine outlets with limited offerings. Then again, there is always the option of going to the wineries or breweries themselves to get an even wider supply of local bottles not available in the LCBO.

In the end, the long line ups in the 3 day old "heatwave" was for nought. The strike deadline was extended. All stores will be open as usual, but with little product to sell and staff likely standing around staring out the windows, wondering where the now slightly less terrified public is storing their panic-bought goods.

Really? "terrified"??

headline from The Toronto Star - photo from The Globe & Mail

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday AMuse

See Smart Light Sydney for more on this light art show.
Originally seen on sydney-city.blogspot check out his blog for more.
Imagine walking around the Harbour and seeing the 'sails' change...
Too bad it is over and we all missed it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

SundayStills - tri colour

some colourful cast iron teapots found at the market

which just might blend in well with these houses in the Beach area of TorontoThese would be more vibrant on a better sunlit day, but this was a quick drive by shot before the rains came down.

for more colours see SundayStills

Saturday, June 20, 2009


As if I wasn't bad enough at keeping in contact with my real life friends, I fear I am also a little remiss in keeping up with my blog friends. Many of you write long, well thought out, introspective posts that leave me breathless. Sometimes I save them to read later when I am not so breathless, and, well, forget. Sad, aren't I? Some leave me speechless, even. And I forget how to write out an inspired, well thought out, comment. So I leave it for a moment, and decide when I wake up from my nap - for I am always napping - I will be able to think clearer. Ha, I should know better.

Almost a month ago (yikes!) The Gossamer Woman herelf, Irene, presented me with a lovely award and ... I am finally getting around to posting it and passing it on.
I find it an amazing thing that people might be inspired by what I write, or want to follow my photoblog. Then, I have myself a stong coffee, or a stiff drink, and think: well, why not, for heaven's sake. So I am always grateful and just (deep breath, tearing up a little) so proud, when someone wants to bestow an award on me. For you see, I am actually very shy - I would be blushing in real life - but in the blog world, I feel a little less shy and (dare I admit) a little less boring.

Of course, I have been inspired by some pretty great bridge builders. It is a strange thrill when I 'discover' a new blog and read on to see familiar names in the comments, so I know that there I have found another connection, another link. An international bridge. So in true spirit of bridge building around the world, I'd like to pass this on.
So, copy and paste (or 'save picture as' and 'upload image') onto your blog, if you wish (no obligation) and if you'd like to share, please do.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a few more winks of restorative sleep because I have a few more blogs to catch up on.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

where I think about friendship

I had an email from an old friend a few weeks ago. I'd actually forgotten we had exchanged email addresses, otherwise I would have fired off a "hello, how are you" letter long ago. Whenever I thought about phoning, the time difference seemed to get in the way. I am so bad at keeping in touch. It's sad, really.

Then on Sunday, I was at a reunion, of sorts. For the past couple of days, I've had little sleep as my mind whirls around old memories, old feelings ... seeing older faces ... remembering. Normally, a reunion would fill me with dread - a forced interest in people from the past and the inevitable comparisons. This was different.

The church I used to attend for much of my 20s and 30s has decided to disband, which is sad, but inevitable. So many people have moved away, myself included. An afternoon of celebration, and a final goodbye was planned. People came by from hours away. Broad smiles, wide eyes at recognition, warm hugs. Some people, it was enough just to see them again one more time. With others, phone numbers and email addresses were exchanged. No real reason for losing touch over the years. We all moved on; eventually, you start thinking too much time has passed. But on Sunday, for at least three old friends, it was as if the last years were just a blip. Plans have been made to get together. One friend who moved to a farm, and I haven't seen for 25 years, delivers meat to a restaurant just blocks from my place. I've invited her to rest up at my place before her long drive back home, and she's invited me to the farm to visit and see the lambs and chickens.

And if you thought that is all, you'd be wrong. Last week, I ran into an old high school friend. She recognized me in a restaurant and came over... both of us living in a different city from where we went to school, and 30 years older. She plans to have a bbq sometime this summer with other friends she keeps in touch with. So in July, another sleepless weekend while my mind whirls with a different set of old memories, old feelings.

All of them good. In a time warp sortof way.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday AMuse

originally seen on Crossroads (who lives in Istanbul, not say, Halifax).

Check out their website Pomegranatephone and see how it becomes a coffeemaker, a shaver, and even a harmonica. (It is especially worth your while seeing the harmonica)

This is truly the most bizarre advertising concept.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

SundayStills - water towers and silos

Water towers just didn't seem exciting enough to take a photo of (at least the ones here seem boring to me, maybe once I see some of the others, I'll change my mind) and if this is to be a challenge then a silo would be more challenging. Definitely.

I was working for a friend last night and part of his route is in an area where there is still some farming. I'd only ever been up that way in the dark, so I rearranged the deliveries to do that area later, when the sun had risen. I got up to Burnhamthorpe Rd and looked left, then right, then off in the middle distance - not a silo in sight. There were barns and stables. I even saw some horses and cows in a field and to my delight, a chicken! Chickens still make me smile, so I grabbed a photo of a chicken dancing in the driveway and wondered why this farm did not have a silo.

Then on my second last stop before crossing the border back into the urban part of town I found one trying to hide.
And because I missed a previous week's theme with hydro wires getting in the way of a good photo, I got a twofer:

Then, off in the far distance, about a kilometre down the road, I caught sight of some monstrosity. I drove around to get a better view, then closer to try to get a close up but the angles and elevation were all wrong.

Somewhere in this mess over the hill is a maybe a silo?

So we might have another twofer?
The watertower looks much closer to the farm property in the above photo.
And, because of all this exta farting driving around I did, I was a bit later than usual finishing. But that was good, as then the bakery would be open to buy some fresh bread and maybe a danish to go with the free coffee they offer as a treat. My heart skipped a beat when I drove past and saw a tent in the parking lot ... yes, a BBQ! I paid for three raffle tickets and bought a peameal bacon on a bun to aid MS.

All in all my Sunday has been good so far.
See how sunny it was at 7:10am?
Hope everyone else is enjoying their Sunday.

For more SundayStills photos go here

Saturday, June 13, 2009

PhotoHunt Saturday - locks

Posted by Picasa
This weekend we are having a community yard sale.
With roughly 320 apartments between our two buildings
there should be some good finds.
Oh yeah, instead of clearing out my locker,
I took photos of the variety of locks I found.
find more locks of interest at PhotoHunt

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

where I lean off centre

The last time I attended a yoga class, it did not go well. I was in a bad mood when I went (I think it conflicted with something I wanted to watch on tv - I am so shallow sometimes) and I found I was much less flexible and centred than everyone else (not really to my surprise, but I hated having it proven) and left in an even more bad temper, plus feeling very upset at my inadequacies. An after yoga treat of coffee and a scrumptious, freshly baked heated croissant dispelled any more bad thoughts and feelings. I vowed to return for more coffee and croissants after each yoga class. Unfortunately, the class and I did not belong together, the instructor tactlessly truthfully informed me and suggested I attend her beginner's class. This did not conflict with my tv show, but proved to be less 'beginner' and more of a 'let's lay out the mats and stretch'. She also spent a good 15 minutes at the start of each class nattering on about something irrelevant in her life about which I cared not a whit. Not what I had in mind. Which put me in a bad mood. Eventually, I decided I would rather pay to not go to class than pay to be in a bad mood. I just went out for coffee and croissants instead. Coffee and baked goods really help with my moodiness.

For several years though, I did attend a class with a great instructor. It was difficult getting up and being present by 11am - and even more so when she moved the class to 10am - but I faithfully went every Tuesday for at least one 10-week series each year for about 4 years. Which makes you wonder about the other class doesn't it? She later moved out of town and I've never found another good fit. At the end of each session, after having our little nap, relaxation on a mat time, people would often spontaneously describe how they felt, how something that morning was "so powerful". I must admit, I never ever felt the 'power' of yoga. Though I did feel the energy afterwards. And I remember the time (about the 3rd round of the 10-week sessions - so class #33 or thereabouts) when I realized I had been able to stay in position for the entire prescribed time without having to come out of the posture and lower my arms and shake everything up ever so unobtrusively and get back into the posture. Usually, I would focus on a tree outside the huge, loft window and count furiously to take my mind off the at first stinging, then searing, pain in various muscle groups.Sometimes I would fall over. This time, I couldn't even wait for the spontaneous outpouring of gratitude and reflection at the end of the class - I cheered and patted myself on the back immediately, I was so excited. Everyone smiled indulgently and gave me such encouragement. That was 'powerful', I guess.

I've been thinking about returning to yoga. Finding another class and trying once again to regain my balance and centredness.

First I need a pedicure.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

SundayStills - silhouette

This week's challenge was "silhouettes" and, of course, I left it to the last minute. (Oh right, I had no computer until Friday) I thought about using a sunrise photo (of which I have many) but, yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening at Buskerfest.

This is the set up shot of the juggler on top of the pole

juggling knives

Buskers have exhaustive energy.
See more SundayStills
See more Buskers at Sightlines

Friday, June 5, 2009

and we're back

It was really quite a lovely week - weatherwise - while my computer was inside having the trojans kicked out of it. I hate hot weather anyway, so was happy with the cool-ish, almost fall-ish temps. Perfect for walking. So that's what I did. When I wasn't sitting on my balcony drinking tea and reading a book. A book!
And sometimes I took photos. Lordy did I take photos. Usually, I upload them every day so it doesn't seem like quite so many. Once a week, and suddenly I had 578!

Yesterday, I met up with some buddies having a picnic. By the time I parked the car and found them again, they had ventured into the lake to shake off the dust.

they were bobbing around in the waves

playing a confusing game of follow the leader

until some alpha Mama decided it was Time

"but, I don't wanna get out of the water....."

"follow me everyone and remember to always look left

then right"

"this darn molting is itchy"
"oh oh, Gordy, the paparazzi is here"
"okay, here is my beach shot"

"pssst, wanna see what the big kids are eating?"

"Mama, my feet are too big, I keep tripping"

keep 'em entertained, they're whining again

mmm mmm good grass over here

Did you miss me?
Will check out what you've all been up to ... later
It's another damn fine day to be outside.

Oh, and remember to click on images to embiggen.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday AMuse

Could you walk on this painted washroom floor?