Friday, December 30, 2005

December flowers

This is a rather artistically blurred flower in the rain shot, I hope. Wish it had better bokeh, though. I need to do this with my 35mm.
We have been having some very nice mild weather recently. I have calendulas blooming and the Iceberg roses, yellow jasmine and the eucalyptus tree. Pat made me a compost bin for on the veggie garden out of an old garbage bin. This should be handy for keeping on the veggie garden and for when my big bin gets too full.

I fixed a few little links on my 'links' page of my web page. I have finished the text and photos for Day 21. Slowly getting to the end of this trip. It is going to be more indepth than any of the others. I hope people care to take the time to at least flip through it, when I get it loaded.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Day 21, November 11, 2005, Bulgaria

I tweaking the photos for our day in Bulgaria. It seems that my pictures keep getting worse and worse, the farther east we go. We were warned about pick pockets and so I even changed the CF card, in case I lost my camera, I would not have lost all of my photos. We were told to not take anything with us. Apparently a colleage of Doris' (seasoned traveller) had lost his money and what ever he had earlier in this area.

I saw no evidence of pick pockets. On our first coffee stop, I was talking to one of the vendors who was selling her grandfather's wood carvings on ebey. I have her card somewhere. What a treat to hear that!! The people are really poor and the country needs some serious money for it to become whole again. Our guide was excellent, he was from Scotland and had married a local girl who had been his climbing guide when he was visiting. They have since moved back to Bulgaria. He really likes the place. Says that it is going to be the garden of eastern Europe. The wildlife and natural flora are coming back to this land that goes uncultivated. The towns and cities are more modern, but still have a long way to go to restore any buildings they may have left. In the country, they use horses and carts for transport. The roads are in desperate need of repair everywhere.

This was a most interesting day. Too bad my photos don't show the contrasts, and real wild beauty. I was unable to capture any of the hawks or other birds I saw from the bus.

Day 20, November 10, 2005

I have finally finished the photos for this day. There will be 5 pages of 4 per page. I was up on the deck early this day, and it was very cold. I was inside, later, while the spectular scenery was going past us. At lunch time, I was up on the deck again trying to get shots of the ship going through this huge lock. There is a hydro dam. At one point there were armed guards on the port side by the hydro instalations. The sun was shining but it was still cold. Most of the photos are more documentary than artistic, for this day. It was difficult to find good ones to use. The whole day was pretty spectacular, and my photos in no way do it justice.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Day 20, The Iron Gates

I am up to day 20, November, 2005, of our trip from Amsterdam to the Black Sea, in tweaking the photos and preparing the text. On this day we cruised from Belgrade, Serbia to Veliko Turnovo in Bulgaria. We sailed through the Iron Gates (a narrow gorge between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains), which were/are a difficult area of the Danube for navigation because of hazardous whirlpools, currents and rocks just below the surface. This section of the Danube has become more easily navigable with the widening and deepening of the River and the construction in the 1970s of the Portile de Fier.
This area of the river has beautiful scenery with cliffs falling to the water and castles on mountaintops.
I do not know who carved this monument. I have a 35mm shot of it and it has a plaque that reads: DECEBALUS REX
I cannot seem to get the colors right on either photo. Strange light.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Day 18, November 8, Mohacs, Hungary

On this day of our River Cruise, we cleared customs from Hungary, and cruised the Danube to Belgrade, Serbia, arriving there at approximately 3:00 a.m. The light was very interesting and I tried to capture the colors from the sun through the fog. The water of the Danube is very low at this time as shown by the bare tree roots.

I have finished the text and tweaking photos for this day and have started on Day 19, Belgrade, Serbia. We had an excellent guide for our morning tour in Belgrade. I know so very little about Eastern Europe.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Cheer

I spent the morning creating this silliness for Irene and Dan - on Pat's instigation of course. He says they are 'over refreshed'. Pat managed to get 3 of the sheep for Irene and since they will be up to Victoria next week they shall be able to take their sheep home with them. These Snowmen lie around people's lawns in a flattened out state for most of the day, looking like a bunch of drunks on a binge. So we added the sheep. It was quite hilarious when I was shooting the snowmen. I turned my back to go back to the car and the snowmen popped upright behind me. Good thing I caught them just before they inflated. Or perhaps the neighbor saw me shooting and just flipped the switch. Was funny. Wish I had the neighbors names, I could send them this.

I have been sick with a weird stomach ailment off and on for the last week and a half. Actually since we had dinner a Tino's on San Juan Island. So, that's two weeks and I go from ok to bad. My doctor has me doing tests of this and that kind. He is a firm believer in lab tests of all kinds, despite the fact that tests done for him and for the specialist Dr. are showing completely opposite results. Its all very strange, so there will, of course be more tests. They are kind of interesting, but not great when you already have sore parts. Ah well. I have read 4 books in the time I have been in bed trying to recouperate, between tests and this and that.

Tomorrow is Duck for our dinner. We had a smorg of left overs tonite, as I have not been eating my share of the meals. Was good, it seems, topped off with frozen yogurt and rumpot(only for the fit)

Picked up my Holga color shots at the lab a couple of days ago. Only 8 were well enough exposed to print and none of them are any good at all. I have a light leak in the top. Should have taped all around, of course, not just the bottom. And must be carefull about the winding to the next frame, also. I over wound it and I think should have continued on to the next frame. I guess I am suppose to learn from my mistakes.

We have had the most mild weather lately... up to 13 C. One day we had a freak thunder and lightning (I heard just two of them). There were transformers blown on a hydro station and at Walmart. About 1800 people were out of power for a few hours and Walmart had to be shut down till it was fixed. Considering I had just finished reading Streiber and Bell's book about these kinds of storms (non-fiction), I was thinking... can it be true?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Day 17 Kolsca, Hungary

This is one of the 35mm photos scanned in from a print. This is in Kolsca, Hungary where we were treated to some horseman showmanship.

I have finished the text for 15 and 16 and have started tweaking page 17. I tried out a few things with the HTML for each page and each photo, also, and seem to have a good scheme (for my amature page anyway) worked out. With all the changes it might take awhile to load all the pages. So far, 65 pages with 4 photos each- 260 photos and slightly more than half finished. Looks like I may end up with about 500 photos.

The other day I found another blog where a lady and her mother went with a group from Austin, Texas to Amsterdam and to Vienna, but not with our Uniworld. Here it is. I find it difficult to find the links to each page on her blog, but it is much more indepth than my blog is or my page will be. It is quite a bore, actually.

We enjoyed a good afternoon with Steve and Ruby on our annual Cherry Point port run. We each came back with a case of wine, plus.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Beef Stroganoff and Skating fish

I have made the Stroganoff and the Shortbread for our dinner tomorrow when we return from our annual Blackberry Port run up to Cherry Point Winery with friends. Should be a good day.

The fish tub on the deck had an inch and a half of ice on it. I poured a kettle of boiling water over it, and removed the ice block. Pat says the fish were skating around under there with their ice skates on.

Friday, December 16, 2005


I took my roll of fuji NP whatever from my Holga shots to kerrisdale cameras today. Should be returned in about 10 days. Guess I won't hold my breath. They will phone when its finished. Got some Epson semi-gloss photo paper 20 sheets for $21.00 If you factor in the ink this gets expensive. The trade off is the learning I guess. Also, I seldom print on good paper - only on request, so all its costing me for development and prints is my 35 mm and the Holga.

Sure wish I had taken some Holgas of these Native Art figures that are on the Washington State Ferry.

Day 15 and 16 - Budapest

I have finished resizing the photos from Budapest where we spent two days. Slowly getting this album ready to load to my page. The photos are not great as they were grey, overcast days. There were trolly lines and power lines and adverstising everywhere so it was difficult to get a good shot. We were not allowed cameras in the Godolla Palace. After the Vienna Hapsburg palaces, this one seemed a bit small and not quite so grand. Hereo's Square is always good for photos. There were kids skate boarding and people sitting on parts of the sculptures. We were told to watch for pick pockets, so I was not too comfortable taking out my 35mm at first, but there were no gypsies about. I guess we were too late in the tourist season to worry about them. Probably gone to the South of France by this time to run their flea markets/market days.

My notes say Budapest has 7 bridges. I seem to have photos of 4. I know I missed a shot of the Chain bridge. Oh well. Another City that it is a must to go back to and spend some time. Once away from the tourist group, I seemed to get a different view of the City. We shopped a bit and the people are pleasant and friendly, just like last time we were there. I bought The Da Vinci Code in paperback and Pat got a big map of Europe.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Budapest - day 15

I have the text and photos ready to load to my web page up to day 15 when we arrive in Budapest, Hungary. Hopefully, I will have them loaded in 2 weeks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

GuruNet is now

GuruNet is a wonderful bit of software that lets you alt. click a word and get a dictionary descrption, a wikipedia description, medical terminology, technical terms, etc. I have it set up as my home page on my firefox browser. Its google search plus so much more.

I have added the word search. Try putting in a name... like Mozart and click Go. See the bottom of the page

GuruNet - Pick of the day

Buy Poster at
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Spotlight: Nostradamus, the French astrologer and physician, was born on this date in 1503. His book, Les Propheties (1555), was a collection of prophecies, written in rhyme and generally considered to be obscure and symbolic. Nostradamus was said to be afraid of persecution for heresy, which is why his prophecies are cloaked in mystery and double meanings.

Quote of the Day: "To be fulfilled, a prophecy needs lots of flexibility." Mason Cooley

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Day 13 & 14 - Vienna

I have finished tweaking the photos for Day 13 & 14 of our trip. I have the text to do, yet. We were in Vienna. It was grey, and cold. We ended one portion of the Cruise and started another. Some passengers got off here and others joined the tour.

This photo is one of the Herculean figures that flank the St. Michael Portal of the Hofburg Palace. The wall fountain sculptures show the allegories "Rulers of the Land" and the "Rulers of the Sea".

Friday Harbor on San Juan Island

Pat, Dan, Irene and I returned from our BDay weekend trip to San Juan Harbor on Monday. We had a lovely sunny day going over on Saturday. Dan & Irene had to take the Coho to Victoria the day before. Saw Herb's Tavern - many neon signs. Its the oldest bar in Friday Harbor. The next day Pat drove around the island, with stops at the Alpaca farm, the British Camp and the American camp, and a few lovely views stops. I am using my Holga(loaded with Fuji NPH 400 - first holga color roll), my 35mm Canon(a 400 Fuji Superia) and my digital Canon. Then home to Victoria (Sidney) on the Washington State Ferry. I have photos of the Indian art work that is on the ferry. None of my digital are that good.
Finished the Holga roll around the house this morning (my new teddy bear, and some stuff). I must take this down to Kerrisdale to get it developed. Quite excited about how this might turn out. Pat had duct tape along on our trip to tape the Holga. I only had my small bag, with the Holga just around my neck.

Friday, December 09, 2005 help on web site information

I recently read another forum on that has some good information on web sites; in particular, the width of the text on any page is what I found applied to my problem I am having with adding the text to PS CS's photo album for our trip. Last night I muddled about with tables and figured out how to add a table so that the text is not too wide on the page. The information is here on Thanks Gentlemen.

Should call this photo.. its a deal.. let's make a deal?

Sunspots and flares

Good old I was reading a forum on shooting the sun with SLRs here: I really like this stuff and have capture a couple of nice flares with my digital Canon and a couple with my Canon EOS Elan 7e - I have not scanned the SLR shots in yet, but here is one with my digital of Victoria's much photographed flower baskets.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Day 13 - Vienna

I have made a start on Day 13. We were touring in Vienna. This is a park, with the trees in their Autumn Dress.

Day 12 - on the way to Vienna

I have finished day 12's photos and text with our cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley - we had sunshine - and our arrival in Vienna (Wien).

Bloomin' Pixie

My little mini cat. has opened two blossums this week. Its a lovely wee thing.

I shot this this morning and tweaked it in PS CS. I saved for web, so there is no EXIF data available. Next time I will just save as, so I get the dates left on my digitals, I think. I am getting more accustomed to using my PS. It just takes using it, and becoming familiar with how to do things.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More Blue

Loosing my marbles

There was a No Words thread on where someone loaded a picture done with a scanner. So, I had to play with my scanner. This marble was scanned then fiddled with Paintshop Pro filters and framing. It is a good candidate for my 'manipulated' album in Photography.

Day 11 - Passeau

I seem to have lost this post from Day 11, so I have reloaded it. I think I know what the problem was and have fixed it. I like the grafics in this shot of the bridges ahead of the ship while we went through a lock just before Passeau.

Monastry at Melk, Austria

I love this photo. It is in the blue room of the Benedictine Monastry at Melk, Austria. A marvelous place. I believe this is a bronze of St. Benedict.

I have finished tweaking Day 11 and doing the text. Day 12 has some interesting stuff. And the trip just keeps getting better and better.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sandy Laselle

I have the photos for Day 10, Regensburg tweaked and now have to add text for 6 pages. Last nite I spent hours trying to invent a better mousetrap, that is, make a better template for my PS CS. I don't know enough about it yet, to do that, but shall have to find the time to figure it out. The changes I am going to have to make on the one I am using at present are going to be very time consuming for this Album, as I already have 32 pages, with 4 photos each, and text to add. I would really like the numbers of the photos to go down the left side, with the arrows just above, on the left. I guess it is how the table is set up, maybe.

Yesterday we dropped over to Sandy and Bill's place to pick up one of her 18 inch pine wreaths. She does beautiful work! Here is her website, in case you are in the area and in the market for Christmas decorations - home crafted of a high quality. Very creative lady.

I did not have time to photograph the wreath, or look/listen to the DVD of her trip this summer. I will save it for a treat.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Day 10- Danube River gorge

Yesterday's snow

The snow had melted and then it snowed a bit more. This is the front yard at 14:23 and then at 15:43.

I seem to have fixed my cell phone. The battery would not charge, so I messed about with it a bit yesterday and plugged it back in to charge. It worked this time. I had left it plugged in for 4 weeks while we were away. That does not seem to be a good idea. Ooops.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Snow and new site meter

I raked the leaves and clipped down the burning bush that the snow knocked down.

I found my site meter on my page not working so I loaded a new one. This time I managed to get one just like the one on my blog. Its very cool.

Just some photos from the snow and one from before the snow. Too bagged to write more.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Day 8 - Bamberg.

I have written the text and tweaked the photos up to the 8th day of our River Cruise from Amsterdam to the Black Sea. I really am enjoying reviewing my travel journal, the tour info pages, and my photos. Hopefully, I will have it finished and loaded to my page by Christmas.


It snowed last nite! This morning it is icy and melting. My pond is open, but the fish in the deck tub and the mermaid tub at the front need holes melted through the ice so they can get oxygen. My iceberg rose is still blooming, my leaves need raking up. My little variegated holly bush is covered with these red berries. The firetorn is also, but the birds should soon find them and they will be gone in no time. The birds do not seem to eat the hollies berries so readily. Wish I could have taken pictures of the new snow, last nite. It was like a fairytale land out there. Beautiful. Now the snow is all messed up and the trees and shrubs are groaning under the weight of the wet snow.

BMOC Party, Phal., Grey Cup, etc,

On Saturday we went over to Tom and Diane's to attend the BMOC christmas party. Good food, good friends, nice party. On the ferry over we talked travel with Howard and Margaret who were going over to their Bike Groups party also. On Sunday Diane and I walked all around her neighbourhood, to 2 plant nurseries - long walk. We headed for the 1:00 ferry and made it - had lunch and found Howard and Margaret were on the same ferry again. Nice visit. They have done some interesting trips.

The Grey Cup was taking place at B.C. Stadium, with Edmonton Eskimoes playing against the Montreal Alouettes. It was on TV pre dinner time. The game went into overtime and Edmonton won 38 - 35. What a game. Wish I had watched all of it.

This litte Dominion Seed House Phal. is blooming for me again. The Pansie orchid is just finishing its blooms. The African violets are doing ok. The air plant is still green but its flower is drying.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Heidelburg Castle

I am slowly getting my photos tweaked and the text done for our trip on my Travel page. It was Day 5 when we were at Heidelburg. A cold and overcast/rainy day. We toured the castle and had a scrumptious lunch at the Ritter Hotel. Heidelburg is a University town. A lovely little place, even after our experience of the parking trip on our first trip here on another ocassion.
Brian M. is making some interesting new innovations on the latest, a slide show. If ever I get time, I shall have to update my portfolio there and create presentations, perhaps something on each of my pages on my web site - gardening, photography, travel and my town.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Pansy Orchid

Tara and Andy took good care of the place and my plants. The Vuly Cambria Carnival had buds when we left and it is now in full bloom. This is flash, on flourescent, against a dark blue background. Interesting what that white balance setting does to the flash and colors.

I am slowly getting the laundry, etc., caught up. We are both getting over our colds.

What a trip!

We arrived home a couple of days ago. The food, services, tours, everything was terrific. I could have stayed longer. The weather was a bit cooler. We did have some good Autumn color at the beginning of the trip. We had a couple days of sunshine, but mostly fog. We had 78 passengers when the capacity was 138, so we were upgraded to a cabin with 2 large windows, and 2 floors up from what we booked. We are so totally fortunate! We finished the trip with 2 nights in the Marriot Hotel in Bucharest and bus tours to Bran and around the city! Excellent guides -- too bad the weather was so crappy. Most everyone caught this nasty cold thing, too. I will save the rest for my page, I think.

Steve Haig is going to be loading his photos at and go to The great adventure. Should be interesting. Godaddy just dropped 900% more space on my page so I can add pictures and pdf slides if I want to. I should do a pdf of the trip with good ship lollipop for music. :)) Lloyd wants to see my pictures, so I shall skip to 2005 in my Travel page, I think. I have an idea that I want to do day one, two, etc. with text; so perhaps a page for each day, with 1 row of 4 pics per day.. maybe more pages for some days, like the Horseshow, or the locks stuff.

Friday, October 21, 2005

2002 Trip to France

I am beginning to sort and tweak the photos from our trip to France in 2002. We stayed in an apartment at Pont Royal. It had very nice grounds, with a pond, and golf course. This is a view through one of the out door windows. The architecture took advantage of the gorgeous views over the countryside.

Tomorrow we leave for the River Cruise. Amsterdam to Bucharest. We are packed and ready to go. I am taking warm clothes as I think we may have some cooler days. Taking my 35mm Canon this time. I really need a good telephoto, I think. I must learn how to shoot architecture too. And night shooting. I won't have my tripod or any special film. Kodak Max 200 or 400. I have a Tri-X roll to bring. Not bringing velvia. Only have the polarizer for filters. Have to travel as light as possible. So, shall be thinking of packing necessary items in my new small camera bag for day trips.

Fall Flowers

I have the spray of Nerines on the dining table. Not a great photo, but different. I must move the Nerines out of the box they are in presently, to somewhere that they get more sun. Other flowers in bloom are the Michaelmas daisies, cyclamens everywhere, fall crocuses, heathers, a bought chrysanthemum, an achillia, river lily or whatever those red things by the step are called, and the roses. The Virginia Creeper is dressed in its best right now, as are the sumacs. There are berries on the fire thorn bush and on the holly. They really look good from the kitchen window. The pin oak that I had cut down is growing new sprouts. I shall have to train one by tying it away from the garage. I really like its color in the fall and want to keep it. I wonder if I should let all the sprouts grow. Maybe try and get one to sprout its own roots and plant it out in the park. Hmmmmm.. we could really be Royal Oak area, then. The area next to the chip trail where they levelled the last house just begs for some good Fall color.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

More florescent lights

My African Violet that is in bloom, shot under florescent lights. The colors have come out almost true to the real color. They should be a bit more blue to give a darker purplish color.

I have the album Chastity loaded to my web page. Its mostly 35 mm photos. Had a lot of fun with that one. I still have to learn how to make the PS put the photos in the order I want them to be and not numerically or alphebetically.

Pat made apple butter. We have most of the apples picked off. The fig still has lots of green figs, but we have a few half purple ones in the house. Eating them, but they are not quite ripe enough.

There are 3 goldfish in the tub on the deck, all surviving. I guess the racoons and otters don't know about them.

Air Plant 3

This is how the air plant looked yesterday. I was shooting it under florescent lights on macro. I think the parent plant will die after it finishes blooming. I put pollin on the stigma and hope I will get seed. This took years and years to bloom though, and has not produced any offsets.

The estimated death toll for the earthquake has gone up to 54,000 and they expect it to rise even further.
I added a hit counter to my web page. It is not the same as the one here. Guess I will give it a bit of time, to see how it works.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Balustrade Perspectives in Black and White

After receiving a most marvelous critique on photosig from Scott Ellington
I have played a bit with the original photo upload. I am posting it here for Scott, if he has time, as we cannot upload photo attachments to our comments/critiques on photosig.
Thanks again, Scott, if you get time to view this.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Air Plant Progress

Three days later the blossom has extented to show its inner parts. Its a lovely thing. I wish I knew how to get a better macro shot. This background was black cardboard. I must get some other material to do black backgrounds. This is not working.