Saturday Evening

Saturday, March 22, 2014. We might have gotten 5 new centimeters ( 2 inches? ) of snow-

Parking lot, Cars covered in snow.
Snow coming down in mall parking lot.

This was probably the height of the snow storm. Later, it turned to misty rain, then back to light snow.

4 people at a table in a restaurant.
Dinner at Saigon Noodles. Our waitress saw me taking a photo and volunteered to take one with me in the picture.

We had a graduation, a registered nurse exam passing, an engagement and an anniversary to celebrate all at once. It was a nice, happy relaxing time.

~~~~~ Jim


Deer Photos with “Sports” setting

Tuesday, March 18, 2014. -15˚C / +5˚F // -25˚C Wind Chill at 7:00 am.

Deer near house.
Deer photo, shot with digital camera set on the ‘sports’ setting.

While I was in New Hampshire, zooming around the state with one of my best all time friends, I actually learned something.

First, when photos in a semi dark restaurant came out blurry, my cousin wondered why I didn’t use a setting that fixed that.

Later, when my friend spotted something and took a photo from the passenger’s seat of my moving vehicle, I asked him if he wanted me to pull over or stop so he could get a steadier shot, he replied, “Oh no- I use the sports setting. It freezes motion.”

Shortly after that I had a “Well -duh!” moment and realized that my camera did have the same type of setting and I had found a broad range of specialized settings, (Like “Night Time”, “Sunset”, “cuisine”, and so on) almost by accident. I had originally breezed through the instruction booklet and only read in depth what I needed to know immediately, like how to put the battery and SD Card in and get those right… But- yeah, the night time setting does came in handy. And now the sports setting… yum.

Look carefully beyond the young deer to the left of the others (with his or her head twisted around to see what I was up to). There is something white under the branch of the evergreen back there.

That is a White Deer under the evergreen tree branch.
This is a telephoto shot. Not extreme, but I did not use a tripod or hold my breath until my head exploded.

The white deer in the photo above is usually hanging way back behind the normally coloured deer in this group. He or she is a bit more spooky than most and it is hard to get a photo of this guy (or gal), especially when surrounded by white snow. (( One shot that Cathi got, somebody looked at the white deer and said, “Ah come on- that’s a goat.” No it isn’t.

Family of deer in shade on snowy hillside.
Another telephoto shot. Again, I’m happy with the results and I did not have to take half a dozen shots before I got one steady enough.

Yes, I could have used this setting before. My life would have been a bit less stressful. My ‘Professional’ self critical sense a lot less active, my frustration levels less acute.

See? It’s good to have friends.

(Imagine your favourite smiley face here.)



Cat Help

Monday, March 17, 2014. Bitterly Cold most of the day. Wicked Wind…

Cat Behind Cutting board.
Cathi likes *Not* to have cat help while preparing meals.

On my recent whirlwind trip to New Hampshire to see my 90 year old Mother while she was visiting for a couple days from Alaska. I bought a nice homemade cutting board from an old (and close) friend.

Cat looking grumpy behind the cutting board.
This cat is not impressed with the placement of Cathi’s new cutting board.

Tonight, Cathi called out, “Hey, this cutting board is the perfect size, come check this out.”

Max, the cat, is not as happy about this as we are.


The Committee is in Attendence

— Thursday, March 06, 2014. -26˚C / -13˚F @ 7:00 am. (( or -18˚C/0˚F — Depending on who you believe and which thermometer they’re reading ))

Several Deer on a hill in the snow.
A family of wild deer, looking for something to eat, just outside our porch window. The white deer is on the far right. This might be he best of about ten photos I shot in a hurry.

I should measure the distance from the window to the top of that bit of hill back there. I think a couple herds of deer come around looking for food at odd times. We notice them most often in early morning and right around sundown.

Several deer through a porch window.
We’ve been calling these guys, “The Committee” as they welcome Cathi home from work and sometimes watch her leave for work in the morning. They are rarely this close to our house.

Technically, this is not  a wonderful photograph. You can’t plan for events like this. Frost on the window in the process of melting left circular blobs. I think the speckles are bits of ice on the window to the left.

Deer on slight hill just outside our window.
This is another shot of the “Committee”. Plus you can see the white deer near the centre of the group here. The flash went off so there are odd reflections in the window. The flash did not scare the deer off.

Let’s see, I petted reindeer in a tourist trap theme park (“the North Pole”) in New York State and felt the velvet of their horns when I was a five year old. Also got pretty close to tame deer at Santa’s Land in Putney, Vermont. But I don’t think I ever got this close to a real family group in the wild like this.

Oh, and I was probably two feet away from a huge Moose who was stretched out to reach the lowest branches of a tree outside my sister’s living room window. If that moose lost his balance he could have come crashing through that window, and I might not be here to tell you about it. (Especially if two tonnes of flailing hooves and frightened Moose landed on me, or near enough to kick me to death…. eep.)


March is here, and the snow is pretty darn high.

Sunday, March 2, 2014. (Sally Spencer’s Birthday)

-12˚C / +10˚F @ 11:11 pm.

Lots of snow with a path cut through it.
Woo Hoo Hoo lookin out my back door. (Cathi calls this our front door.) But Credence Clearwater didn’t sing it that way— (This was Mid February)

For those of you who miss the snow- I won’t be the kind of jerk who leers and says, “hell, you can come shovel me out any time you want.” There’s already more than enough of that personality type around.

Driveway dug out of snow.
I think this was the same day, a Monday, garbage day. And the lovely snow plow guys left me a huge ice rock hidden in the three feet high mountain of snow they tried to kill me with. (Anybody who leaves a mountain that high blocking a driveway should be liable, &/or charged with attempted murder, don’tcha think?) That block of ice nearly killed the brand new snowblower. & who knows what kind of consequences broken blades flying around might have had.-

But it is beautiful.

Slightly foggy photo with deer in front of neighbour's van, back of his house.
I think this might have been my Aunt’s birthday, February 26th. There are 3 or 4 deer hanging out in one of my neighbour’s back yard, in front of his van- a foggy stone’s throw from my porch. One of those deer (far left?) might be the nearly invisible white deer who comes around to visit and dares me to get a decent photo of him or her.
Box labeled "Mushroom Farm" with mushrooms growing out of it.
“Mushroom Mini Farm” bought from a local supermarket.

We never quite became snowbound, but I wanted to say, “What do you do when you’re snowbound? You grow mushrooms.” Our favourite local supermarket is part of the Loblaw’s / President’s Choice chain and they had these mushroom mini farms in a very conspicuous place right in front of the “in” doors and Cathi said, “Hmmmm-” (she likes mushrooms.) We ate a few of these and I’m still alive to tell you about it.

Flat panel teevee on a wall with a stained piece of wood to help hold it in place.
Television holding project, still unfinished, but almost there-

Latest Project: Got this far today while it was still light outside. The vertical piece of wood is something we needed to make sure the 3 inch screws the mounting bracket came with: (a) didn’t go through the wall and out through the siding and (b) offered an extra measure of support for that above mentioned bracket. We got the wood from our nearest Kent Hardware store and got the stain from the same place. (I think we got the wood and stain about a month ago-) I got to use my new super spiffy mitre saw to cut the 45 degree supports for the shelf that is still down stairs drying. (tacky) One of our cats believes he owns the bed and had to be scared off with an electric drill and kept away by plunking a guitar case in his favourite spot. Cathi is very much looking forward to actually having a dresser with its mirror up and useable in the very near future.

And I think Mercury is no longer Retrograde as of Friday the 28th. Which is good news to a lot of people I know and care about.

((( Yay! )))