Friday, February 29, 2008

Rose in Winter

This is a photo from January 27, 2008. I was shooting out my living room window at this rose, full 12X zoom with my Canon Powershot S3 IS.

Today I pruned back the roses. I hate cuting plants even though I know that they need it. I pruned back the roses quite severely, for me. I have the prunings clipped into 2 bags and set to dry for burning later next winter. It was raining lightly so I got a bit damp. It was warm out so it was not too bad.

Tomorrow I get up early so I can go to the Orchid Show to be there for 9:00 A.M. I have room for two or three more. I hope I can find a miniature cattalya. I might have to find one on the net, if I don't see any for sale. The lighting is always impossible at the show, but I will take my camera anyway. It will probably be too crowded to get any good shots, though.

I have had a bison roast in the oven at 290 all afternoon. I should have had the temperature even lower. The roast is very tender, though well done.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Merganser Duck

This duck was in the inner harbor the day that we took the Coho to Port Angeles to go to the Puyallup swap meet, a couple of weeks ago. Taken with my Canon S3 IS zoomed to the max and tweaked a bit in PS CS.

Not much happening today. The most excitement was when I found a comment on my last post by KAZAN. The comment took me to a site that began scanning my pc. Silly me, I had allowed the comment. I quickly found out how to delete it. I should probably clean up my computer with my spy bot search and destroy, now. Wonder why these idiots inhabit the internet. I should find out where to report them to Blogger, I guess.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snowdrops and things

This is the inside of a tiny snowdrop blossom set up on the deck railing. Shot in the super macro setting. I really like how this one turned out. Love the DOF.

It was an overcast day. Lovely lunch at Dunlop House with Jim and Sheila. Their grand daughter is desperately ill with a nasty flu virus that is going around town. People from the Victoria Grid speak of having this virus; schools have 30% absentees. Fortunately we have not had it. I think people who go out more or are in public places a lot are more likely to catch this.

After lunch I wandered around the garden a bit and took a few photos of the flowers that are up. The crocuses, snowdrops, clyclamen, helebores are doing great. I cannot believe that little cyclamen. It has been in bloom for a month and is still going strong. As I have only 300 MB of space I am limiting my photos.

Yesterday I finished clipping the tree prunings and did a bit of clean up on the perennials at the back.

No gardening done today. Had a nice lazy day.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Spring Gardening

This is another one from the Victoria Grid Project shoot. I really like this texture one. I have made it square as I have done to the others I tweaked today. Others can be seen on my Flickr account... see side bar. Since learning that I have only 300 MB here I shall have to be more cirucumspect in loading photos.

Over the last few days we have clipped up the tree prunings from last Fall. I have now trimmed the fig, the apple and the strawberry tree. Pat has taken down the pear. This was a Confernce pear and produced scabby pears that never seemed to ripen. So, its gone. Today we got some of these recent prunings clipped up for the wood pile. There is a bit left to do, yet. After finishing this lot of prunings, I shall trim the bay laurel, the yews, and then get after the roses and boxwood at the front. Once I get out there and get at it, it does not seem to take all that long.

We were to Steve and Ruby's last nite for dinner and had a good visit. Haven't talked to them for a long time. Ruby has about 6 more years until she can retire. Their house is looking great. What a reno they did!! And so is their new old car.

Pat has been doing some repairs to our dodge lodge... so its getting into that perfect shape that he likes to keep his vehicles. ... everything working and clean and in its place... so orderly.

Blogger space limit - 1 GB for photos.

This is a tall, leaning Garry Oak on a hill by Rithets Bog. This area is in the grid for the Victoria Grid Project for February. I am slowly getting my photos loaded to that Flickr group for February.

I have looked up the limit of space I have on Blogger. It seems we have unlimited space for text posts, but that the space of photos is 300 MB. So, I went back and edit a few posts and deleted about 5 photos today. I have no idea how close to my limit I might be. I have some really big photos on here. Its a real pain to go back and edit each post and delete, then find your way back to the month or place you were editing to manage the edits with any continuity. Oh well, I guess I will delete a few old ones when I get the time. I hate to delete though, too. I wonder if we will some day be able to buy more space on Blogger. That would be cool.
The Blogger information on space limits is here

EDIT:  January 27, 2010 - The space for photos has been increased to 1GB since I did this post.  Yeaaa  Go Google Go.  :)

Also, would the anonymous person who commented today, please comment again.  I accidentally rejected the comment, when I meant to add it.  Why do you think I should change design?  I like the simplicity of this one.  

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Victoria Grid Project

I am getting a few more of the photos from the Victoria Grid Project shoot tweaked. The grid is in Broadmead and includes Rithets Bog, so there are some very good photo opportunities. I had an excellent sunny day, too.

I have my comments on my Flickr group up to date for the minute. There are some very creative peeps in that group. Cyrus is very busy with getting his site ready to go live. ... soon.... I don't know if I will have time for Flickr then.

I went to the Royal Jubilee for my phlobotomy today.. 500 cc is 16 ounces. Then we got KFC for dinner. I spent some time with the cat this am. It is still pining away for its owners though. Not a happy kitty. I took it outside but it does not like it out there very much and ran back in the house.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

After the swap meet

This is another photo from the Victoria Grid shoot. I am terribly behind in all my Flickr stuff. But since it is suppose to be fun, I won't worry about catching things up. Just post when I get time.

We got back from the Puyallup swap meet and visiting our friends in Sequim, yesterday. We had electrical hook up at the Fairgrounds. We had stopped in Gig Harbor on the way there and got some good groceries for our dinner. Much walking at the swap and we each found some things we wanted. Met Dan and Irene later at the swap and then agreed to follow them to Silverdale to find a place to eat. We got lost..... oh no... and finally found our way to the meeting place and on to the Red Lobster for dinner. The next day was a lazy day with a lovely steak baked potato and salad for dinner. Much hilarity playing pass the pig after dinner. Was a good time.

Today we had many things to do about the home.... all appointments attended and new ones made. We have a couple of dates set up at Dunlop House for lunch with Jim and Sheila; and etc.

I spent about 2 hours chopping up the tree branches that have been sitting on the bark chip path beside the garage, and am about half finished. When I get finished with that, I shall begin pruning the roses, and all other trees and bushes that need clipping. My crocuses along the front grass strip are beginning to come up. The ones in the thyme are up already. Its all looking not too bad. I cleaned up the pots on the deck, and watered the house plants.

Pat took Andy and Tara to the ferry to start their holiday trip. I shall be looking after the cat. I think I will take it outside with me on its string, if I get out tomorrow. Hope I can find the leash.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Victoria Grid Project - H24 - February

This is one of the duck photos I took yesterday while shooting for the Victoria Grid Project. This month's Grid is in Broadmead including Rithets Bog. After my appointment with Dr. S. and lunch Pat dropped me off at the parking lot of the bog. It was cloudy and overcast. As I walked and did some shooting from the bog to Emily Carr drive, the sun came out. On my way back to and around the bog I now had glorious sun shine. I have had no time to do up any of the shots but this one.

Today I skimmed the RROC news letter, doing laundry, cleaning up the board from the sink of the van, etc. I must get the van packed for tomorrow we take it on its first run, to Dan and Irene's and then the four of us will go to the Puyallup Swap meet. We catch the 4:00 Coho ferry to Port Angeles tomorrow. I am getting quite excited about this trip. We will probably be boon docking at the swapmeet. There probably won't be electrical hook ups. Pat has all the tanks filled that need filling and the tanks emptied that need emptying. He has done a few other little repairs to get things into perfect order.

Day before yesterday Cyrus was showing me how to see blown out color detail in photos and what to watch for in good color transition in photos. This shows up in the histogram in photoshop. My little Canon S3 IS has a live histogram where I can see what the exposure is doing by reading this histogram. Basically, if the histogram is piled up on the right side the photo is over exposed and highlights could be clipped. If its high on the left it is under exposed and data in the shadows is lost. Cyrus says a bell shaped curve is a good histogram; as did the web site I read on this information. And so I have been paying attention, now to the histogram and watching for these blown out colors as he called them. Thank you Cyrus. I don't know where you find the time to show me all this stuff, but I appreciate it. My walking the dog photo shows a good histogram bell, but this duck and most of my photos from the sunshine, yesterday are surprisingly under exposed. I was trying to compensate for the bright light by using the exposure compensation setting. It is not always bad to 'not' have a bell curved histogram. I have to look into this aspect of the histogram and train my eyes to see the difference.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fire proof whales

This photo is of a bird covered island, taken from on the ferry somewhere between Victoria and Vancouver, B.C. - no whales in it, sorry to say.
From the Times Colonist - Feb. 10, 2008

Killer Whales loaded with fire retardant.

Judith Lavoie the Times Colonist

Feb 10, 2008

PBDEs can disrupt reproductive and immune systems, researcher says.

They wow tourists and remind people of the mysteries and majesty of the ocean, but killer whales swimming around the waters of Vancouver Island are the most contaminated animals on Earth.

Information which is slowly and painstakingly being gathered about the whales that live along the coast of North America, reveals alarming trends and offers a graphic illustration of looming environmental problems.

Blubber studies on the two salmon-eating populations of killer whales – the endangered southern residents with 88 members and the threatened northern residents with 230 members – have found a significant buildup of toxins in their systems.

Furthermore, the studies also discovered the chemicals remain in their systems long after the chemicals themselves, such as PCBs, have been removed from the environment.

A growing concern is the rapid buildup of PBDEs, the chemicals found in fire retardants, says Peter Ross, toxicology research scientist at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney.

“This is a major concern, a major emerging issue,” he said.

PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) can disrupt the endocrine system, affecting both the reproductive and immune systems.

Ross, who published a scientific paper entitled “Fire-proof killer whales” believes there is overwhelming evidence to justify the ban of those chemicals in Canada.

Two varieties of the chemical have been withdrawn from North American and European markets, but a third variety, deca-PBDE is still in use.

If nothing is done to curb it, PBDEs are poised to surpass PCBs as the predominant chemical in killer whales by 2025, according to research.. And the legacy of PCBs is still haunting the oceans. PCBs were banned in 1977, but Ross and his fellow scientists predict they will not be expunged from the bodies of the southern resident whales until 2089.

Whale contamination illustrates how ignorant people are about effect of the thousands of chemicals being dumped in the ocean, Ross said. “It’s not very reassuring for humans to find high levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in animals at the top of the food chain. We would be unwise to ignore what we are seeing,” he said.

Killer whales illustrate the shortcomings of traditional science and research, which is geared to small animals, living short lives within a limited area, Ross said.

Whale researcher Paul Spong, of OrcaLab on Hanson Island, has his toxic nightmares about oil. Last year a barge spilled its load, including a fuel truck, into Robson Bight, smack in the middle of prime whale territory, but that is nothing compared to what could happen if the provincial and federal governments allow offshore oil and gas exploration, Spong said. “It potentially poses huge problems for cetaceans and other marine life,” he said.

Yesterday I got quite a few chores finished.... read all about the whales in the paper, did the ironing, made a start at getting things out to the camper van, watered the house plants, visited Andy and Tara to find out their holiday times, etc... little odds and ends of things but everything consumes bits and pieces of time, to use up my day. Then discussions of numerous things on skype.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Walkin' the Dogs

It seems I am having one of those days when I am all thumbs and no brains. I should not be on the internet... should be reading a good book. It was mild out today, but I did not go out and walk... spent the day looking at stuff on Flickr, playing with this photo, generally trying to stay out of trouble.

There was no chore of the day today, so it seems it has been a non-accomplishment day all around. Oh well, if I don't have these kind of days, I guess I won't know a really good one.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Passport renewal line-ups

A few days ago I was playing in photoshop. The background is the brown of oak paneling of my desk. This little creature sits atop my flat LCD monitor. I filled the back ground using the paint bucket and did a bit of clone pattern stamping under the board to make it look like a skate board.

Today's chore of the day: We filled out our passport renewal forms and went down to the office where we thought we could go in and make an appointment, so we would know when to come back. Well, it works a bit different than that. If you are there early in the morning they give out numbers to as many people as they think will fill their day.. and give the numbers a time to return to the line up. Well the last numbers given out were in a line ahead of us. There were about a dozen of us waiting. We were told that we might get in by 4:30. We had been waiting about an hour and a quater and yeaaaaahhhh got in. We got finished in about 2 hours time. This is not bad considering some people were there first thing in the day and just got finished before we did. The line ups were longer at one time too. People were hiring street folks to stand in line for them while they went off and did other things. Its mad! The only problem aside from the wait in a line outside in the cold, was hisself's photo. BCAAA people took our passport photos. His had a big glare spot on his forehead from the flash. Now , he has to go have it redone and take it back down to Kelly and she will then send our renewals off to be processed. We should have them back in 3 weeks by express post, I understand. Then we have to see about getting our visa for Russia.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gung Hey Fat Choy

A few photos from the Lion Dance, last year. This year the Lion Dance is on Sunday, 3 days away yet.

Yesterday, the chore of the day was the regular laundry, and a couple more things done in the new/old van.

My Flickr group is growing ... due to Fishin' s attention to inviting people. Some of the coolest flares and some very creative people in the little group. MIMS had a big fruhahau -- seems Dave wanted to tell Cyrus a few things about his group, in the meanest way. Of course the ship hit the sand at that point, understandably.

Today, being Thursday, I consider it as my day off. Well, there were chores of the day, anyway. We went for lunch, and then to have our Passport photos taken, then for groceries. This seemed to stretch the day out to mid afternoon.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

There was snow

Last week we had a bit of snow. It stayed icy for a couple of days, but is gone now. We had some high winds today and rain. The ferries missed a couple of runs and there has been a few people without power due to falling trees.

I got a couple of chores of the day done today. Finally got the tub cleaned up. Now the rest of the bathroom needs a good going over too. I see the filter thing is fuzzy.. I don't think I can reach it though, without the step ladder. Must get my high maintenance man to look at it. I finished washing the camping towels and bedding. We have the van home now and it looks good in there. So much white stuff! We are going to get some sort of carpet to cover all the light colored floor coverings... something we can take out and wash, to protect the white stuff. The cupboards are glaring white too. I am thinking of painting, but probably won't do it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

New wide body Dodge Lodge

My yellow ladyslipper (Paph. Concolor) is in bloom again. It is the best litte plant and blooms regularly. I took a few photos of it in front of a couple of vases. Then cloned out parts of the plant to make it look like a painted vase.

Yesterday I groomed, cleaned, added some soil and admired my African Violets and the orchids. Cleaned up the trays. It looks so much better cleaned up. It took hours though. Today I finished watering and cleaning up the rest of the plants.

I have changed the shower curtain... so much better cleaned up too. I find that I can reach the curtain rod if I stand in the tub on my tip toes. I still have more scrubbing on the tub to get it all cleaned up too. What a chore. I am trying to do a chore a day around the house. It makes it easier than trying to do it all in one day.

The big news of the day -- we traded in our '95 pleasureway Dodge Lodge on a 2000 wide body. Nice grey leather, white cabinets, and all the other stuff our old one had, plus the seat at the back slides down into the bed configuration with the push of a button, this time. It looks like we have less storage area, though. Not sure how they managed that. I think the bathroom on this one might be bigger, but since there is a shower in it, there is no cupboard in there to keep the towels. We brought in all the stuff from the old van when we got home from the dealership, so its emptied out to take to them tomorrow morning. I have the dishes washed. I don't think I will put anything out in the new van until we are ready to go some where. There is so much humidity in there in the winter time. The bedding was quite damp.