"The optimist says this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears he is right." -- J. Robert Oppenheimer

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Party's Over

Shut down the hall.

Stack up the chairs. (note the clever segue into today's photo?)

The Party's Over.

Summer ends this weekend. What started on Victoria Day, some three and a half months ago, comes to a close.

It's Labour Day.

When I was a kid, this was the worst weekend of the year. Freedom ended. Three seasons of interminable drudgery were about to begin.

Of course, as an adult, it merely means that summer has but three weeks to go, and we may now look forward to
crisp weather and autumnal splendor. No problems, right?

Of course, the days are getting noticeably shorter...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Perfect Fit

It rained overnight...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chimping on the Tube

Chimping, for those of you who don't know it, is what they say digital photographers do when they check the LCD screen on the back of their cameras to look at recent shots taken.

I heard that the term comes from the early days of Digital SLRs, when only pros could afford them (with a decent pro lens they cost like a small house in the 'burbs). Sports photographers at matches would take that "home run shot", instantly check it out on the LCD, then spin the back of the camera towards their confreres, pointing to said screen, jumping up and down, yelling, "Ooo-ooo-ooo!"

Chimping.

Anyway, it's been suggested by more than one wag that the lady holding the camera surreptitiously took my photo moments before, spurring her predictable reaction.

;-)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

News of the Day

I have no idea what the headline was; I was fixated on her face...

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Ritual

The Monday morning ritual:

Oil chain, wipe off excess.

Pump up tires, 105 psi.

Check tires for embedded glass.

The sun's been up for about a half hour as I leave the house. The sky is clear, the air still. All I hear is the soft purr of my chain.

I enter my first corner. Hard tires "thuk-thuk" over ripples in the pavement. The bike feels smooth, taut and responsive.

Confidence builds.

I lean a bit more into the next curve, accelerating out of it with a smile on my face.

The work week that looms at ride's end suddenly loses relevence.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Soccer Star Claire

These are the last few photos I'll show of my daughter Claire at her soccer tourney last weekend. She's bottom left in the team photo, with the ball in the middle one,

































and number five between two friends on the bench (bottom photo).

I'm so proud of her (as I am all three of my daughters).

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Obsess Much?

Somewhere around a week ago I showed you a tricked out Cabbagetown Cat that I'd manipulated in photoshop.

Matt liked it.

No one else did.

In fact I was told that colour worked better than a straight black and white version, colours of the cat against the red bricks and all. This top photo (with a tighter crop) is the colour version of that gimmicky b&w shot.

Below is the final "take" of that "session" that I intend on showing. She was a fun model...

BTW, you can see This Kitty and many more chats aux locales tres exotiques in the Feline World of Urban Caravan - feel free to shell out your hard-earned shillings so our photos may grace your walls.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Soccer Girl

My daughter Claire just finished her second year of soccer, and I couldn't be more proud of her. She tries her best, and works hard on every play. She's a backfielder, and as such, she's often the last line of defense; if a forward get past her, the goaltender's alone.

Being a defender is about the least glamourous job there is, yet she gives it her all, and has fun!

She's tenacious and never gives up, and clearly, she listens to her coach; it shows by how much she's improved her positioning and defensive strategy this year over last (her first year).


Their end-of-the-year tourney was this past weekend, and I was honoured to attend and enjoy the day.

She's bottom right in the team photo, above, and on the left of the other two photos.

I have many more photos of her that I may show in subsequent days.

As a proud father, I just can't help myself...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Aidus.

Photography is a process. One day I like something, the next day I change my mind, and like something else more.

A couple of weeks ago, I liked this photo of Aidus.

Today, I like the one on the left better. Much better.

Perhaps I'm fickle...

Friday, August 17, 2007

For The Birds

As I rode along Royal York Boulevard this cool, crisp pre-autumn morning, my thoughts wandered from this photo (which I'd already planned on posting) to ice cream.

Ice cream.

I love the stuff.

I don't have it so often anymore, but when I do, I wonder why not. I'm trying to eat healthier these days, and I know there are so many "bad" things and "empty calories" in ice cream that it's become a guilty pleasure. Still, when I do have the occasional cone, I delight in the taste, the creamy texture and exquisite, cool feel of it. Is there a more perfect summertime (or anytime) treat?

There are so many flavours nowadays that weren't around when I was a kid; we had none of this "Bear Paw" or "Bubble Gum" or "Orange-Capuccino Delight" or whatever. Boring though it may sound, I think that chocolate is still my all-time favourite flavour. Ahhhh, savouring the sweet simplicity of the extract of the cocoabean...

My folks loved to treat us when we were kids. After church, we'd often walk to St. Aubin's in Ville St. Laurent (a "suburb" of Montreal) for a big pistachio cone (ice cream had to be in cones - none of this "in a cup" business...).

Pilgrimages to Halifax (our grandparents lived there) inevitably brought us to the Public Gardens, walking about, savouring our cones, trying to escape bold pigeons who knew it was their right to extract any foodproducts from park visitors.

Other times it was Point Pleasant Park, Black Rock Beach, sitting on a small stone wall at the edge of the sand, joyfully licking our ice creams that Mom bought us at the small canteen up by the trees. Seagulls watched us with great anticipation, waiting to swoop in for any remnants of our feast.

They moved back to Nova Scotia some twenty five years ago, and I think the thing my Dad delighted in most was the huge, cheap, scrumptious ice cream cones that could be gotten in every village along The South Shore. "For a buck you get the kiddy cone," he enthused on the phone, "and it's twice the size of what you get in Ontario, for a third the price - and it's delicious ice cream, like nothing you've ever had!" - and he was right.

In the ice cream department, it was Dad's job to teach Cat ( a young kitten in those days) and I how to properly lick the cones, especially on a hot summer day. "Keep licking around the bottom of the ice cream, to prevent dripping. You twirl the cone, like this..." Of course, he'd have to give us a demonstration every time; the fact that he had to ingest some of the delicious dribblings was beside the point. "Here, you're dripping again. Give your cone to Dad and I'll clean it up for you." More licking, but we knew he was only doing it for our own good: "Okay, Dad, I think you've got it now. No more drips, you can give it back to me now? You don't have to clean up anymore. I'll take it now. Please? Can I have my cone back?"

In the ice cream department, it was Mom's job to say, as we were nearly done our cone, "Don't eat the last bit of cone. Leave it for the birds. Just throw it down on the ground, it's not littering. They'll find it: leave it For the Birds."

I still do that when I'm eating a cone outside. I bet Cat does to.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Camping Take Deux

I posted this one a couple of weeks ago, but I've reworked it a bit (didn't have Photoshop at the time).

So I present it again:

Patches, aka The Divine Ms. P., playing tenting in the living room, under a sheet draped across a couple of chairs.

I don't think she was thrilled that I found her new hiding place...

;-)

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