Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Market Square and more

I have a few more photos, mostly of market square, to load to the Victoria Grid Project. The fiddler is in Trounce Alley, which is the water end of View Street. I might have to make a set called View Street, although, I don't know if there is much there. Maybe just Trounce Alley. I can always change it. The old Bank of Montreal Building is partly in Trounce Alley, so I will go with that I think. Commercial Alley is off of Trounce Alley and I have quite a few from there too. I might not get them all loaded in August, to the Group, but it doesn't matter. I can just load them for my own Set and anyone can search the set if they want to. I have some old ones from June from Lower Johnson that are in the Grid and I will eventually get them loaded too.

We are eating figs and yellow plums from the garden. Yummmmmm. I did a few jars of plum sauce for pancakes.

Request for Image

Today I received a request for image of this cement truck from Poulomi Ghosh of India. He/she wanted the photo for a children's book called "the way things work' that is going to be published.
So, I uploaded the original to Flickr and Flickr mailed them that they could have it. Here is my Flickr upload. Read the comments for the Flickr mails exchanged. Cement Truck

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Victoria Downtown

Street Chaos plays a role in closing of restaurant.

From Times Colonist, August 28, 2007

By Rob Shaw

Owner cites “mayhem and weirdness” in letter to business colleagues

The owner of a downtown Victoria restaurant has closed shop, blaming, in part, the “mayhem and weirdness” of the downtown core and the “human misery” of the City’s street population.

The Queen Mother Waterside Café, located on Swift Street near Store Street, closed its doors July 29, according to a notice on its website.

But an Aug.22 letter from owner Andrew Rosenbaum to business colleagues is making waves in the business community for its blunt analysis of the city’s social woes and a warning that ‘something has to be done other than hand wringing” or the downtown core will “wither and die and become but a mirror of the inhabitants that have taken it over.”

The Queen Mother was located steps away from the 95-bed Streetlink Emergency Shelter, in a part of the city known for large gatherings of street people and open drug use.

“Our customers felt that they had braved incredible obstacles of human misery and degeneracy to support our restaurant” Rosenbaum’s letter reads.

“Many of them paid with real inconvenience for their patronage. Quite a few had their cars broken into while dining here. Others, complained of running the gauntlet of injections, defecation, fights and ‘wired’ insane behavior on their way over.”

Rosebaum and his wife Kelly St. John opened the Queen Mother in June 2005, in a 5,000-ft. square area they bought out of bankruptcy in the Mermaid Wharf condo development beside Streetlink. The site had seen two previous business failures. Nevertheless, the couple spent more than $300.000 on improvements.

Rosenbaum’s letter says the downtown social issues were a significant factor in the closing. He did not elaborate, and couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.

The couple are considered experienced business owners. Rosenbaum opened the Queen Mother Café in Toronto in 1978 and it still operates today. He and two partners also own Rivoli, a large restaurant, pool hall and bar complex in Toronto.

The Queen Mother was in direct competition with the nearby Canoe Brewpub. Yet Canoe has doubled its growth in the past five years despite the homeless situation, said assistant general manager Sean Sloat.

“We haven’t experienced any of our guests coming to us with those kinds of concerns,” he said of Rosenbaum’s letter. The Canoe Brewpub has had the advantage of being there since 1998, he said. Sloat called the closing of the Queen Mother unfortunate.

Another neighbouring business, Chintz & Company, said the closing was a worrisome sign for the area. “I call the police on a regular basis once or twice a day” said manager Diana Henderson, who said she has lost employees because of the conditions.

Recommendations on improving the city’s troubled core are expected next month as part of Mayor Alan Lowe’s downtown task force. Meanwhile, Victoria police have extra officers downtown as part of a summer pilot program to combat safety fears.

“We’re trying to be proactive and move people along and not let them sleep there, but where do we send them?” asked Sgt. Grant Hamilton.

The Queen Mother is another reminder the downtown needs help and resources from outlying municipalities to deal with social issues that affect everyone, said Downtown Victoria Business Association general manager Ken Kelly.

“Regrettably, we do have the closure of businesses as a result of the street issues we find in our downtown,” he said. “Unfortunately, that is the harsh reality of doing business here in Victoria.”

“we have lost a good business down there,” added Bruce Carter, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “I certainly recognize a number of the challenges Rosenbaum talks about.”

The city’s social situation also hurts employees and the local tax base, Rosenbaum writes in his letter. ”It is critical that this City understand that it cannot sacrifice its active and engaged citizens and businesses to the mayhem of those that have turned their backs on the social contract. The drowning cannot be allowed to take down the swimmers.”

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Victoria Grid Project - Chinatown

I have spent most of today getting my photos for the Victoria Grid Project ready to load. I have 16 loaded and am only about a third of the way through the ones I want to load. I think I am finished with the McPherson Playhouse and the Chinatown ones at this point.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Victoria Grid Project H 31 August

On Thursday after my Doctor's appointment, I walked around part of the area that is in the Victoria Grid Project for August. I spent about 4 hours shooting. It was a very nice warm day. The sun was really too bright for really good shots. The Group has some very nice night shots posted. I have some photos from this area from June that I will load to my grid folder after August, or whenever I get them resized and ready for the web. I am going to try to stay under the 30 photos limit for the month that I have set for myself, to load to the group. I have 6 already and have just started to look at the stuff. We are allowed 50 at the moment.

We had a very early start today as the Guys wanted to get Dan's truck into the lineup for the 3:00 coho ferry. After getting the truck into the lineup Pat drove us all about to find a nice place for breakfast. After finally Paul's open and after breakfast we toured some more around town. I did not get anything in photos that are really worthwhile, but I do have some ideas of where to go, if ever.....yeah, if ever I get the time.

A few summer flowers

The heathers are in bloom. The roses are still blooming, of course. This is one of David Austin's English roses called Gertrude Jekyll. I don't know which clematis this one is, as I have planted many varieties over the years. The little white snap dragon is perennial and is one of my treasured rock garden plants. I have moved it into a pot with better alpine gardening soil and it has recovered and is growing and blooming very nicely. The rose of sharon bushes are in bloom and finally look good. They do better when pruned lightly, so I shall pay more attention to pruning them and my other shrubs. The heathers are always a lot better when sheared properly also.

The grape is growing again so I need to get some wire to string along the garage again to begin training one of the shoots. I think I should prune the magnolia also. It is blooming again and the new growth is very nice compared to the old leaves.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Summer mushrooms

We have had a bit of rain recently. The mushrooms are popping up in the back yard. The white one is growing on the old stump of the pine tree.

Pat and Dan brought the new old model T home today. Its going to be a beauty when its finished. All that brass to polish again though. They managed to get on the first Coho out of Port Anngeles and so were here before noon.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tiny Butterfly

A few older photos from my garden. Today's shot is this tiny butterfly. I think I will load these to Flickr and then perhaps see about making my group. Should be fun.

I managed to get the big patio glass door cleaned today, as well as the big window in the dining room. So, now I just need to do the living room and the bathroom mirrors. I must keep telling myself that it IS so much nicer when its cleaned up.

I fixed the plum plucker but I had terrible results with the bigger basket. Hmmm, more practise needed, I guess. I brought in a dozen plums with 6 to the rum pot and the rest we ate. I searched rum pot with google and found that it should 'work' or ferment. So, the bubbles on mine are right! Adding sugar is good too. Amazing that mine worked last year and tasted good.

I must dump out all the old plum sauce I have as it is probably a couple of years old and past its best before date. I shall try and get the new stuff done, next week, as Cyrs are going to be here this week end. This should be fun too. And I get to see the new old car even though it is not quite road worthy yet.

Whimsies, Flares and Echoes

I have loaded quite a few photos to Flickr today. The flares, echoes, and whimsies are ones I expect to use for a group I want to start.

I have been getting plums from the tree with my old plum plucker, but it is breaking up. I need to make a new one. The plums are delicious with frozen yogurt. A couple of days ago I picked enough blackberries to freeze 2 liters and add about 2 cu;s full to the rum pot. I have added 6 - 8 cups of plums. The pot is getting full.

I have managed to get the blue glass washed and the guest room cleaned up as well as the kitchen window. Still have a few more windows to do. It is so much nicer when things are dusted and cleaned, but I hate doing that stuff. We have been having some very good dinners this week, with a lot of variety.

We had rain today and about 15 degrees centigrade. Not too warm.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Blue Heron

As I came out to the kitchen this morning I was surprised by a blue heron sitting right on the deck railing by the window. I guess the bird was as surprised as I was. I flew off to the roof top of the house behind me. I was sooooo excited, grabbed my camera and aimed it through the patio door/window. I just got this one shot before it flew away. Then looking at my camera settings I see I had it set on tungsten lighting from my last shot. ohhh drat. I tried to correct the very blue heron in photoshop, but I am really hopeless at using that photo editor. The tree in the photo really does have blue leaves, too. Its an eucalyptus, gum tree.


My magnolia is in bloom. The crazy thing is rather mixed up with this weather we have had, or maybe its reacting to Pat's innovative pruning .. cutting off its large branch that was sticking out over the drive-way. Trouble is the new blooming branch is growing out over the driveway. Hmmmm I wonder if the tree needs pruning? The new healthy growth looks so much better than the old.

I should get my roses pruned too. Its not the time for them to be pruned either. They are kinda close to the house, anyway. So if they die its not a big deal. I should replace the Peace rose and maybe move the Iceberg farther away from the door. Perhaps this winter, in their dormant season. Sometime after Christmas and before March 1.

On Flickr, Cyrus' MIMS group has an assignment for shooting back lighting of flowers. I was trying to get it with this magnolia bloom, but my best back lit shot is too blown out at the top. I shall have to redo it, or do a set up using a flash light for the extra light from the front. Hmmmmm. Now if only the sun would come out again.

We are having cooler, cloudy weather with only spits of rain today. We did get a nice shower a couple of days ago, though. My lawn is still brown. I had to fill the deck tub and the front garden tubs to top them up.

Contrails Sunrise

About 4 days ago I was awake before 6:00 A.M. This is like the middle of the nite for me, as I am a nite person. What must have woke me up was this fantastic contrails (jet trails) sunrise. It was spectacular. I was out on the deck shooting it as soon as I noticed it. The shot with the big lines and fat trail was taken with the wide angle converter attached. Any of this series with a time in the EXIF at 6:10 are with the Wide angle converter and the size set to 'wide'.

In the last week I have managed to get my vegetable garden weeded and watered. Got the lawn mowed and pond topped up. Did some dead heading today. Met the new neighbors over the back fence. Gerald spoke of replacing the fence between our place. Said I would be on for paying for my share. Also spoke of having my hedge looked at by some experts. I asked him if we could wait until after the winter, as it might get storm damaged, at which time we might have to take it down to 6 or 8 feet or some manable size. But if we do that we lose the screening of the hedge for our bedroom window. Its still open to discussion, so we will see. I lent him my long pole pruner to whack off a leaning over branch and said if he needed it again do not hesitate to ask. He is renovating and going after cleaning up the little space on his side of the hedge. Yeaaaaa Gerald and Shawna. At last that whole side of my lot is going to looking much much better. Pat and I whacked down the nasty rose bush that was growing between our properties on about the day they moved in... talk about timely. :)) I see the rose bush is sprouting again. I will have to keep after it or dig out the root sometime when I am feeling energetic.

Got my blue glass collection washed and put back in place. To do that I had to clean up the guest room (including windows) and clean the kitchen window. I have to sit next to the sinks to manage to clean that window so its a real PITA.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Glorious Sunset

Another glorious sunset last night. By the time I noticed the light it was too late to go over by the jail to try catch our 'castle' with this sunset. I really wish I had been out at Elk Lake to catch these colors.

Some Gardening Stuff

Pat got home on Sunday. Thanks Dan and Irene for all you have done to help him get his 1912 Ford Torpedo Roadster. As the car is not yet completed or drivable, it is still in Dan's trailer. They might bring it up to us in a couple of weeks.

Yesterday Pat got some good groceries in. We had a scrumptious salad with avocado and scallops with peaches and frozen yogurt for dessert. A chardonay white wine. Yumm

This is a macro photo of the Iceberg Rose that blooms prolifically by the front door. The other one is one of the iris shots from June. I used these 2 photos on Flickr to thank Cyrus and Ken for their help in getting the ban lifted from the Canon Macro group, that this shithead control freak calling herself Captain Morgan... go figure .... put on me. The Admin of the group.. Greetz made me a Moderator along with her of the Group. Too funny. Hopefully that weed will soon be weeded out of the Canon S3 IS group. She deleted their entire Welcome thread because it was too long. Good grief what an idiot.

Gardening stuff? Oh yeah. I attached the old yellow sprinkler and it worked perfectly this year, and got some of the back watered. I filled the pond. I saw 5 of the new fish hanging around under the water fall. One of them was small like they were when I bought them. The others were twice the size. I wonder what happened to the tiny one. We had some red lettuce from the veggie garden, but the rest of the stuff is not going to amount to much. I have no idea why things are not growing in that soil. I shall have to add more manure I guess. Regular watering would help too, I guess. The yellow plums are almost ready. The first figs are starting to get brown. I need to mow the lawn and continue with dead heading, weeding and watering. In the Fall, I shall have to replace the little cedars along the fence by old weird's place. Funny how the cedars there all died but not the ones at the front that are in soil that is much more clay! The old baggage has been killing my trees.

Pete and Audree stopped in for a short visit on Saturday. Was good to see them. Hopefully we will get together with them at month's end for a week end and a trip to Steeples for a gala dinner for their anniversary. I don't know what they will do with their new little puppy. It is so cute and smart. They are getting it paper trained already and it even listens to them when they tell it to stop biting or barking.. its really just doing a natural puppy play thing, but it obeys them really well already.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Bay

I am working on the Look Up Victoria photos from July 31 for loading to Flickr. I still have quite a few really good ones from June to do yet, also. I mentioned to Glen Alan that I had these and so its time I loaded them to his historic victoria group.

There have been several phone calls from car guys today. Lyn re the Malahat Challenge registration. A. Gouyet re his coils. Pat phoned. They have the car and some extra parts he needs and they are in the Ridgeway area. It will probably be more than 3 days before they are home.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lipizzan Stallion Show rework

I have reworked a few more of the photos from the Lipizzan Stallion show. There is far too much noise and so I put them through neat image noise removal.