Sunday, March 30, 2008

VCCC 50th party

Found this rusty crusty chain at the Ferry slip. I shall eventually load it to Flickr for the rusty crusty group.

Yesterday 48 of us piled into a big yellow school bus and Rob took us over to Vancouver and beyond to the Vintage Car Club of Canada's 50th anniversary celebration at the home of our hosts Terry and Donna. (the address and names shall go unannounced due to the scams on the internet) Thank you to Terry and Donna and the Vancouver chapter for the terrific setting, meal, chance to view the collection of classic autos, auto memorbilia, and so much more. I particularly enjoyed getting to visit some of the folks... EVERYONE was there... was wonderful. There were 600 people served at the barbeque. I enjoyed the fashion show. Unfortunately my photos of the cars did not turn out very well at all. I have a few good fashion show photos. I did not do any of the ceremony photos. Somehow, just didn't feel like doing that. I am sure this will all be reported in their magazine.. and their website and that will be the place to go to read about it. It was rather a long day, as we caught the bus at 9:00 am and got back home just about 11:00 pm.

I have spent today viewing my photos and deleting most of them. I found a Flickr Friend's Canon S3 IS video upland to the Vimeo site. So, had to try and do a quick movie on my camera. Man that sound is excellent. The Victoria Grid Project has their web page up... looks good Mike!
I spent quite a bit of time looking at YouTube and scanning their information on how to do videos. There is some fairly sophisticated clips and some regular home/vacation videos. Not sure how to get music to use, but for now will simply use the audio on my camera which is really very good. I doubt I will ever do anything more with the video aspect. I could do screen shot tutorials and dub in the audio using that feature on my camera. But no time for that now.

I have yet to resize a few more shots for the Victoria Grid of March and then get back to my contacts photos. They have been so good about commenting my stuff.

I have been spending some time looking at some of Cyrus' new photo upload site, stuff. Man, it is looking sooooo good. That site is going to be huge. And exciting. Its going to be well worth the wait. We will be able to add YouTube videos, so this is why I was spending time on YouTube. Haven't signed up yet, but will soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mt. Tolmie

We took a McDonald's lunch up to the top of Mt. Tolmie in the camper van. Pat had the television fixed and we wanted to test the reception. It works great. While we were having our lunch it was sleet/snowing. Brrrr. There is a cold mass hovering over B.C. sent from Russia according to the weather report. The sky would be clouded over one minute and the next there would be blue sky.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Victoria Grid Project for March - Esquimalt

A couple of photos from my shoot for the Victoria Grid Project on Flickr. The grid is in Esquimalt this month. Slowly getting the photos resized and loaded to the group. They have the next meeting set for Saturday at about 3:00 at Serious Coffee.

I was to the lab for another test this morning and then walked home. It seemed like a long walk today. Guess I just have to do more of that. The two $12 orchids are still at the grocery store. I did not feel like carrying one home, as it was not that warm out yet... it was about 7 Celecius.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Lens flares

Playing with a few flare shots in photoshop. Not sure which one I like the best. It turned out to be a sunny day. I should have been out doing some gardening instead of playing with my photos all day. I deleted quite a few old ones yesterday. I have some real crap saved up. I was also finding 'hydrant' photos for that album on my web page. Dunno when I'll get back to it, but I have quite few hydrants to tweak and make the album. Nobody much goes there, anyway. Its a good record of our trips. The garden stuff gets outdated.

My last sky upload could not be added to the 'theme of the week' as they only allow one per person.

Bernice and Lucien and family dropped in to pick up some Bentley tires that Pat has for Tom. They are camping. Looks like they are having fun.

We had our Easter feast today. It was scrumptious. Duck with crackling, candied yams, green beans, cranberries and blackberry pine. A very nice oaked Shiraz was very good with the duck.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

VFXY - weekly theme - Sky

I am adding this photo for the VFXY weekly theme of 'Sky'. I took this a few years ago when we were out to Long Beach for a car club event. There were about a dozen of us standing out on the deck of the Wickkaninish resturant shooting at this glorious sunset. I filled my card with shots in the half hour that the light show lasted. It was awesome.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

More of the waterfall

A couple more photos of the waterfall of the p0nd in my back garden. The top part of the waterfall is growing some nice moss. This moss reminds me of the mossy fountains along the main street in Aix en Provence, in France. The fountains are spring fed. You cannot see the water running in the fountains because they are all overgrown with the lovely green moss that is fed slowly from the springs. The water in my waterfall is running a bit too fast to achieve that effect; unless, I let the moss grow thicker to intercept the water flow and/or slow the flow down to a trickle. I think I like it the way it is now. I will just encourage more moss to grow, if possible. The moss does wick away the water, so I will need to be more diligent about topping up the pond. Until I get plants to grow over the edges and hang down, this pond does not look good when it is not topped up. I suppose I could bury a hose that fed directly into the p0nd with a slow drip to keep it topped up. I might do this. I really should raise the flat stones and move them closer to the apple tree... thus removing more grass from the soggy (in winter) part of the lawn and giving me a more dry surface to walk on in the winter. I could bury the dripping hose at the same time. I would to need to dig out one of the old Y hose connectors.. or get a new one.

I clipped the big boxwood hedge and did quite a bit of cleaning up of the old perennials in the front, up to the cedar hedge. I have the little honeysuckle hedge and the little boxwood to clip yet. Neither one need much work as they have not grown much since their last clipping. The dandilions need attention all over the garden.

Today I made a pot roast in the pressure cooker. I followed the recipe. I don't think my pressure cooker is working quite right. It took twice as long as it should have.. the roast may not have been totally unthawed though. Was very good anyway. I seem to be managing to lose a bit of weight... not much, but its encouraging to see even a couple of pounds gone. There was no big carbohydrates in the pot roast, except what is in potatoes. So, I hope I managed another day of less intake than required.

Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, the guys go up to Ladysmith and see the Zust in its debut. Wish I had asked to go with them as it would be great to get some photos of it, and see it, in its racing form. Hopefully there will be other opportunities. I am getting quite a few hits on my blog post where I quoted the newspaper interview that the Blackstaffs did a few months ago. Its all very exciting for the antique car hobby to have the Zust right here on our Island!! AND restored!! New York to Paris race - 100th anniversary, the Zust finished third.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Waterfall - March - 2008

The waterfall in my pond is looking pretty good. This is the bottom fall. The top fall is becoming nicely mossy green. The marsh marigolds are beginning to bloom. The water fall is about 3 feet high, in total. I will add the photo of the top later.

Yesterday I did a bit of shopping and came home with a new, lovely purple vase, an out of bloom large white phalenopsis orchid, a new african violet, 2 fuschia cuttings and some johnny-jump-ups (violas), as well as books and other drug store items. The Phal. is going to be big! I don't have any more room on the light garden. Never-the-less, I still want to go back and get that out-of-bloom cattleya that they have for #12.00. It is large, too and white and pink colored, no fragrance. I am pretty sure I can get it to re-bloom. I should think about shopping on line for my orchids.

The primulas around the yard are blooming, the little cyclamen is still in bloom (That is the best little plant!), the daffodils, hyacinths, and camillias are blooming. The crocuses are about finished.

Last nite Cyrus sent me the home page he has designed for my Whimsies, Flares and Echoes community for the new site. The page is absolutely gorgeous. He has been showing me other pages he has designed for friends home pages... really good work. His design of this dream site with all the new features is marvelous. This site is really going to rock! Maybe 3 or 4 more weeks yet before we beta test it in pre launch stage. It is sooooo exciting.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


This is a shot from last July. Not great, but that's a nice mobile home, the critter owns.

I did the vacuuming and cleaned up the lino today. I detest this housework. But it does look better for the effort. Yesterday was dusting. Tomorrow laundry. I should get a house cleaning person to come in once a week.

I did a bit of cleaning up in the garden a couple of days ago, but got rained on, so did not get much done. I have the deck pots cleaned up. Things are really starting to sprout out of the ground now. The magnolia and plum tree are about to burst into bloom. The marsh marigolds are showing a bit of color. I am really pleased with how the pond is staying topped up.

I am way behind in my Flickr stuff, as usual. My VFXY rank seems to be hovering around 215.. it used to be better. I have not been spending much time there, either. They have a new feature.. theme of the week. I haven't found a theme of theirs that I could use... haven't looked too hard, though. I am getting quite a lot of hits on my blog. A few of my photos are in google images. I feel pretty good about that. Good 'old Google!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


This octopus hangs on my wall. It is a plaster copy made from a mold of a real octopus; painted the color of the real creature, by William Van Orden.

Today I cleaned up the trays of the light garden, moved the taller orchids to the top, changed the light tube so that I now have a full compliment of 4 bright tubes, and watered everything. The Andean Fire and the haemaria discolor (old name for the one with the colored leaves) are in bloom. It all looks pretty good. I smashed up the old light tubes and put them in the garbage. Even though I had the tubes in their cardboard casings glass still flew around quite a bit. So, this involved sweeping and vacuuming to get it all picked up.

I have renewed my Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine membership which is due the end of the month. Their show is the 26th of April this year, which is a bit later than usual. Maybe my little willow will be looking ok to bring. I really should go to the meeting and get a list of the entry categories for the show. The Echevaria that Pam gave me last year looks like it has survived the winter. I must liberate its pot for a special rock garden planting, and put the plant into a larger pot for this year. Perhaps one of the big white pots and then keep it on the deck.

A couple of days ago I had 50 hits on my blog. Quite a few from the zust car - New York to Paris race. A few of the hits were from Google images where I seem to have a few of my blog photos. My VFXY ranking is going down, though. I am also getting these obnoxious comments that I reject. The comment invites you to link to a place that begins to add something to my pc, the minute I click on it. I have not reported this to Blogger yet, but I really should. Its just easy enough to reject them and delete. Its seems there are a few idiots who like to mess up a good thing. I cannot imagine what they get out of this vandalism.

My scale is showing a me a couple of pounds lighter, so I guess this eating less bread and potatoes is working. The gardening exercise helps too, I guess. I need to get even more stringent in what I eat, if I am going to fit into that little black suit again.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Victoria Grid for March

Yesterday we had lunch at Rickey's in Esquimalt. I had the most scrumptious won ton soup! After that we went to the end of Constance Street, so I could get a few photos for the Victoria Grid Project for March. I only took a few, as it was raining. This is a lovely little corner of old Esquimalt. The houses are little, quaint, but modernized and cling to the clifffs. I fell in love with this little area with its lovely little homes. I much prefer this to the big modern homes in the Grid of a couple of months ago on the other side of the peninsula.

Hope the sun shines tomorrow so I can get more of the Grid. I had a look at what is in the pool so far... the Olde England Inne seems to be well documented, but I wouldn't mind some photos of my own ... I don't necessarily need to add them to the pool.


The crocuses are about finished their show. Now the daffodils are beginning to open. A cheery sight when the sky is overcast and gray. The little blue anemones are in bloom also. I must make a bed somewhere with the blue as the carpet and the daffodils higher in the sea of blue. The bed along beside the gargage would be a good place to pop in a few daffodils. The tulips from that area seem to need rejuvenation anyway. The tulips do not bloom the same time as the anemones, so I shall add a few daffs there. And perhaps get a few anemones for along the driveway where the daffs are currently.

Himself cut up the trees for firewood. I swept up the patio area and we put the twigs,l sawdust etc. onto the rhodos. I then washed down the patio area. By the time I finished it was beginning to rain so that was the end of the gardening for the day. This area looks good, now. The moss is still growing but I kinda like this moss rather than the plain of textured concrete. The moss also extends up the path that goes around the garage. It adds a patina to the garden, making it look established and old... which it is. This part of the garden was started in 1988, so 20 years old.

The water garden looks good filled up. It is not losing any water and there were 3 fish visible in a quick look at it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Andean Fire Orchid

My Andean Fire lady slipper (paph.) is in bloom again. This time it has 2 flowers. I must move the taller orchids to the higher tray, as I see by measurement I have about 3 inches more on that tray. The light garden is looking pretty nice at the moment.

I was out gardening for a couple of hours. The sun was shining but there was a very cold March wind. I transplanted the little black bamboo from the front garden bed to back in the woodland garden by the old compost bin in the corner. I transplanted the 4 cedars and the 4 perennials I got at Cannor a few days ago. Cleaned up a bit at the front. Filled the pond. It looks much better, now, and the water fall sounds better too. I must do a sound byte of that on my camera some time.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Time Change

A couple of photos of Zelda the cat. This cat spends a lot of time looking out the window. It is not allowed outside and does not even like going out. It was severely hurt when it was a kitten. We think it was probably hit by a car. Tara and Andy did not find it again for a couple of weeks, at which time it turned up at a neighbourhood home. It had a broken hip. It has since mended but really does not care to go outside anymore. I was taking care of it while they were over to Scotland for a visit to their other home.

I spent the last couple of days catching up my Flickr group comments and then tryimg to get some shots of water drops; to no avail. I used up a set of AA batteries on this. I have some very colorful photos but no water splash downs. I have to learn to do this, though. Back to square one. And now I am behind again in Flickr... oh well. I have no idea how people can dash about putting hundreds of bling bling on photos, or even adding their photos to all those groups. Its madnes!

Yesterday we changed our clocks for the time change. Spring ahead.

Yesterday I used up the last of the apples to make a pie and two jars of apple sauce. I cleaned up the waterfall, as the water was running out the side because of a blockage in the waterfall. The water level is down about a foot in the pond. It is suppose to rain, but I should fill it with the garden hose.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The morals of the story

This is a photo of a robin sitting on my deck railing taken some time in Dec or Nov when we had some snow this year. Contrary to the story below; our robins stay around all winter and do not migrate. Our Island robins seem to grow to a rather huge size, while our deer are much smaller than the regular mainland deer. There must be a moral in there somewhere. :)

THIS BIRD HAS AN INTERESTING STORY: All of his little friends left for southern climes, but he stayed on in my backyard. It started snowing this day, and he was getting cold and so finally started flying south too. He only got a short distance though when his wings started to get ice on them, and he fell to the ground in a barnyard and was quickly covered with snow. He must have wondered why he had waited so long to fly south and resigned himself to a harsh and lonely death when a horse happened along. To add insult to injury, the horse dumped a load on manure on the bird (if you know what I mean). By now this poor bird must have surely been bemoaning what an ignoble death he faced, but the manure was warm, and it was not too long before the warmth started to revive the bird. Apparently happy to be alive, the bird started singing. At this point, a cat came walking by. The cat heard the bird, uncovered it, and ate it. Now all good stories have a moral, and this must be a very good story because it has four morals.
1-Don’t procrastinate or you’ll get snowed under.
2-Every horse’s ass that dumps sh*t on you is not necessarily your enemy.
3-Every cat that takes sh*t off you is not necessarily your friend.
4-If you’re happy, for goodness sake keep your mouth shut.
A Flickr internet friend put this on his Flickr account. I thought it was quite fun and worth repeating. His photo is much better suited to the story.

I have been for both of my labs yesterday and today and can now get on with my life. The mamogram was no where near the horror stories I have heard. The ultrasound went much the same as the first one. Results to the drs... I don't expect any problems.

We saw Maria today and finalized our plans for our trip on the Russian River Cruise and the Baltic countries, finishing with a few days in Amsterdam. This should be fun. I must start to do a bit of research on the places mentioned in the itinerary.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

crocuses and stuff

The front strip of grass along the street in my garden is covered in crocuses. They look wonderful. They are multiplying like crazy, too. All the crocuses in my garden this year seem to be huge. I did not feed them, though.

I have managed to get the dead tree out of the bed by the chimney and mostly chopped up. It's roots had rotted and it just pulled right out of the ground. I started to clip the boxwood hedge by that end but ran out of time. Today I got the cottenaster topiary clipped into its form. Things are looking quite good. There is not much to do once I have the trees chopped up.

I searched Google again for how much space I might have on my Blogger and found the Picasa photo albums containing my photos. It seems I have two albums with a total of 294 MB. This site said I have one Gigabyte of space. This one and this one I deleted about 10 photos yesterday from the Victoria Grid in October. So.. guess I have room for these, if the limit is still 300 mb.

I have to get in contact with Trevor with regard to my back up stuff. It is totally weird. It says it cannot write to the back up folder cause there is no more room on the drive. He wasn't on line today. I did a backup with Acronis and it said the same stuff, but it is backed up, it seems, to a different drive. This stuff makes me crazy. Probably him too, as he has set up many of these back up systems with no problems.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Orchid Society show and sale

Yesterday, Pat dropped me off at the Student Union Bldg. at the Uni to attend the Orchid Show and Sale. I have not been for a few years. This year seemed smaller than the last one I attended. Some glorious displays though. I came away $113 lighter of pocket and 6 new plants. One is the Ludisia pictured above -- grown primarily for its colorful leaves. Another one I now have is the Paph. (lady slipper) Ho Chi Minh pictured above. Its a lovely fat light pink slipper. Mine should bloom next year. I have a mini cattleya - Psyche, a phalenopsis, Porroglossum hystrix (tiny) and a Tris andreettae (tiny). I was home before noon, and could not seem to keep my eyes open all afternoon.... so tired. My thyroid meds need adjustment, so hopefully when I get on the higher dosage I should be zipping around again.

I got quite a lot of things done today. Including going to Cannor Nursery and getting the stuff to plant the orchids in... 4 three litre bags each at $8.00. Also picked up 4 cedars and 4 choice perennials, dill seeds, pot trays. This ran to over $100 so I got the Cannor membership to get the 10% off, and the $25 rebate on the order over $100. (Membership is $20 and includes free delivery (not including gravel mart). So, $96 later I am set for the Spring, I think.

When I got home with this an hour later, I transplanted up the new orchids and read up on them on the internet. Also soaked the old pots in 10% bleach solution, then scrubbed them, and soaked again in sink full of clean water. Hopefully, this will kill any diseases that may have been in the old soils. I have a few clay pots left over and now a few extra trays. In the past few years a few of my orchids have died. I might be overwatering them, or at least letting them stand in water. I think they should drain freely and be watered more often. Who knows what happens to them when I am on holidays. I have not seen any scale on the plants since the last time I cleaned them, so I hope this is under control now. I must pay attention to fertizing the plants -- orchids, anyway -- more often.

I have been spending at least half an hour a day on the cat. It is going to be glad to see Andy and Tara home, I guess. I don't care for this cat. It shreds the sofa, scratches and bites... thinks it is playing, and does not have a very nice dispositon at all.