Monday, February 27, 2017

And the Winner...

My inbox tells me that Michael's, the craft store, is SLIME headquarters and that Spring camp is next weekend.

We just finished the Coldest Night fund-raiser on Saturday.  Winter and Spring are overlapping somehow.  Perhaps it is the anticipation of Spring that has us starting early.  The real break in Ontario is the middle of March - the 13th to the 17th.  

I missed seeing the Oscars mix-up for the best picture award last night, with the 'winners' in progress of accepting the Oscar before the correction was made and the declaration that they had lost.  An exciting event in the Oscars that will replay thousands of times, like Jimmy Kimmel's famous tweet to Donald Trump.

 We're looking at pictures from yesterday's Royal Botanical Garden's Orchid Society Show.  Spectacular specimens from all over Ontario in displays that showcase these beautiful and complicated plants.  What a lot of camera equipment - the macro ring light was hugely popular, and I could see why.  One can bring it close to the flowers, correct the light temperature, and have even light on the flower.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Rainy Train February Day

There was an article in the Globe and Mail a few weeks back that basically said our big internet search engines like Google are now the Big Brother of our times.
I experience this each day. Every search I do gets some later play on my screen.  Today there is "Shocking Horoscope" news that is so accurate it's scary.  

I do wonder what I did to get Dating Russian Women and Weather in Tel Aviv.  What will happen tomorrow as I've gone to the website.  Most of the headlines have the pattern of OMG!  

Here are two for today that intrigue me:
OMG! Pope Comments On 'Double Life' Catholics
Bill Gates Warns 30 Million Will Die from Bio Terrorism 

These turn out to be real stories - the Pope headline comes from USA Today. The Bill Gates headline  comes from Forbes 6 days ago.

We're experiencing spring weather in Grimsby.  I say a Red-Wing Blackbird yesterday, and heard Tundra Swans flying overhead in the fog.  Dezi and I listened and looked as they flew overhead.  We didn't know these soft calling sounds and could barely see the shapes.  Dezi looked up and looked at me, then looked up again.

We have it easy today.  It is the end of February and our temperatures are March temperatures. I have volunteered for The Coldest Night, a  fundraiser for Affordable Housing in Niagara.  It will take place in 12 degree weather with a little rain and fog.

Our pictures today show layouts and models from the Augusta, Maine show last year. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Circus Days

It's time for a few jokes to keep us light-hearted.  So in line with our images from the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, here are a few circus jokes.  These come from Enchanted Learning.

On the Circus:
Which circus performers can see in the dark?
(The acro-bats!)
Did you hear about the human cannonball?
(He got fired!)
What happened when the magician got mad?
(She pulled her hare out!)
What happened when the short fortune-teller who escaped from prison?
(She was a small medium at large!)

A few Clown Jokes:
What should you do if you're attacked by a group of clowns?
(Go for the juggler/jugular!)
Why did the clown wear loud socks!
(So his feet wouldn't fall asleep!)
I'd like to take over the clown's job!
(Those are big shoes to fill!)

And Elephant Jokes:
How do you raise a baby elephant?
(With a fork lift!)

What do you get when you cross an elephant and a fish?
(Swimming trunks!)
What time is it when you find an elephant in your car?
(Time to get a new car!)
How do you know if there's an elephant under your bed?
(Your head hits the ceiling!)
What time is it when 10 elephants are chasing you?
(Ten to one!)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Foggy Brain

The Google search image today links to an announcement that NASA has discovered 7 Earth-like planets orbiting a star just 40 light-years away.  There's an article on it here.  They are being called the seven sisters of planet Earth.

We had a day of fog yesterday.  These is an expression known as Brain Fog.  "It's a vague sense of what you're trying to retrieve, but you can't focus in on it and the effort to harness the thought can be as draining as physical activity." I won't give you the link as the web page  is full of junk and keeps shifting.  Wikipedia's entry for it is "clouding of consciousness."

Our fog yesterday was perfect for orchard images.  I found the infra-red filter in Topaz Black and White Effects, and that's the result in the two bottom pictures.  They have an eerie snow-quality to them.  And how different the light was during the time I was out.  The first picture is taken towards the west with a blue fog, and the second picture is taken towards the east with the grey fog.  You can see the orchards are being worked on.  There are piles of branches on the ground.

The third picture shows a row or corkscrew willow graft trees.  This looks like a corkscrew willow and pussy willow crop.  They may even be harvesting the pussy willows now as I could see the pussy willows on the stems..  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

There in the Heart of Niagara

We continue on the Heart theme for February.  Is there a 'heart' of Niagara, as in: 'located in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula?' The West Lincoln Chamber of Commerce considers itself 'In the heart of Niagara' and is known as the "Hub of the Niagara Peninsula'.  West Lincoln consists of 'a number of hamlets and provides quaint settings for residential and small business development. The hamlets are Abingdon, Allen’s Corners, Attercliffe, Basingstoke, Bismarck, Boyle, Caistor Centre, Caistorville, Elcho, Fulton, Grassie, Kimbo, Port Davidson, Rosedene, Silverdale, Smithville, St. Ann’s, Vaughan Station, Warner, Wellandport, Wilcox Corners and Winslow'.

That seems like a sprawling group to be a 'heart'.  We could consider a number of other claims for 
the 'heart of Niagara':
  • Legends Winery - on the lake in Beamsville
  • Foran's Marine - on the lake in Grimsby
  • Ball's Falls - in the 'heart of Niagara's Greenbelt' - in Vineland off Victoria, with an historic village
  • Peninsula Lakes Gold Courses - in the 'heart of the Niagara escarpment' - Pen Lakes is known as the 'jewel of Niagara'
  • St. Catharines considers itself in the heart of Niagara
  • Numerous airbnb listings in the 'Heart of Niagara'
This seems like a common expression, and yet there doesn't seem to be a heart of Ontario, or heart of Quebec, or a heart of Canada (there is - but it's a poem).  One of our national heroes is listed as: 'Terry Fox:  Running to the Heart of Canada.' Or what about 'Discovering the heart of Canada in Ottawa', a sort of 'thought of heart.'

Heart of America is a strong brand name for many things - movie title, charities, a beverage company, medical centres, etc.  The Boy Scouts of America are listed under the Heart of America Council.  The American Red Cross is listed that way as well. There is even a Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.  And where is the heart of America located?  Kansas City has made this claim.

So our images today - the first shows the view of Hamilton from the Legends Winery.  The second shows the view of Toronto from the Mike Weir Winery (which claims the best view of Toronto).