I've long known that this is translated from an ancient Chinese proverb... or was it? Not according to Wikipedia. Theirs, and other pages make interesting reading.
Donald Trump is the President of the United States. I don't need to comment on the antics of this "stable genius". The White House was quoted today that they would be funding the training of teachers to carry and presumably use firearms. Raise your hands if you think there is no room for firearms in schools. Raise your hands if you think the way to mitigate that is to take the guns away from the bad guys instead of creating a wild west atmosphere where children live. His levy of import duties on steel and aluminium was a transparent ploy to pressure the NAFTA negotiations. I won't even mention "Stormy Daniels"...
And yesterday, the Ontario Conservative Party elected the (alleged) former drug dealer Doug Ford as their leader. Conceivably he could become Premier in the next election. He publicly berated the father of an autistic child because a clinic for challenged kids supposedly degraded his precious Etobicoke community. Shame! Reminds me of Trump mocking a handicapped reporter. Supposedly a "man of the people", he wants to roll back the minimum wage increase, stop sex education in schools and go back to back alley coat hanger abortions. Son of Trump. I hear his catchphrase is "Make Ontario Great Again (one line at a time)". Raise your hands if you think something is wrong here.
And then I read about Elon Musk and his motivation for driving SpaceX. Makes up for the other two! Manned mission to Mars by 2024. I hope I live long enough to see it.
By the way, the spaceship they're working on is known as the "BFR". Publicly, "Big Falcon Rocket". Raise your hand if you think Musk had another word starting with "F" in mind when he named it.
It's March 14, 2018 as I write this. I just learned of the death of Dr. Stephen Hawking. He was an inspiration: He will be remembered not only for his incredible mind but also for his humour and courage. I wish I could have met him.
Cataclysmic weather events are taking place around the globe. From Earthquakes to wildfires, hurricanes, cyclones, melting ice caps, all driven by the climate change that Mr. Trump and Mr. Ford deny because they're driven by the almighty dollar.
Interesting times, indeed.
Is it just me?
Some people are really full of themselves.
Someone (I won't name names) sent me a friend request on Facebook. I looked at her page quickly, we have several mutual friends, she's a legitimate photographer, so I accepted. Suddenly I discovered there's more to it.
"If you want to see my work, you have to join this group. Oh, and the only person that is allowed to post anything on this group is me, that's the only way you can see my work." "Oh, and here's a picture I took. You can look at it, but you can't touch it. You are absolutely forbidden from using this picture, even as source material for a painting or a sketch".
Tell you what, lady: I don't want to join your secret group, I see from the few thumbnails you've posted you're a reasonably good photographer but there are thousands of others out there who don't have your kind of attitude. And as far as I can tell, nobody's ever heard of her. Get off your high horse. Where's the "unfriend" button? Oh, there it is...
What pisses me off is that in my opinion, an artist can use ANYTHING as inspiration. To suggest that your work is so precious that you [attempt to] forbid anyone from using it for that is ridiculous. To quote Pablo Picasso (ok, he was probably not speaking English so technically it's not a 'quote'...) "Good artists copy, great artists steal". Ideas. Inspiration. Not works.
If someone asked me if they can use one of my images as source material or inspiration, I'd be honoured. If someone wants one of my images to use for non-commercial purposes, I'd be delighted. In fact, as I said last time, under Creative Commons, you don't even have to ask.
My father was a smart man.
He's been gone for almost 8 years now, it feels like yesterday. When he was in hospital before he died, I asked if he wanted anything. He said, "Female Dark Chocolate". Huh? What's that? "No Nuts".
My mom was sharp too. She died at 95 a little over a year ago. She said, "Bob (dad) and I will be together in heaven soon. But he's younger than me now: I wonder if he found a girlfriend up there. If he did, I'll kill her!"But he said more poignant and less humorous things which I understand more as I get older. One was, "Everything hurts. Except the stuff that doesn't work any more". OK, there is a touch of humour in that, but it's true!
Then there's this one: "I'd rather move when I can, instead of when I have to". This before he and my mom moved from their apartment in Montreal to the Thorne Mills on Steeles senior home. Anyone who has experienced the hard times when elderly parents become ill and have to move into assisted living, closing their homes and selling their belongings, getting rid of the car, all when they are severely ill or perhaps after their deaths, know what I'm talking about. I don't want to impose that on my children.
It's a lot easier to make that step when you choose to instead of when you must.
With that in mind... I've listed my house for sale and I will be moving back to the city. I plan to rent a nice apartment, hopefully in suburban Thornhill or thereabouts, where I'm closer to services such as transit and hospitals, and to a network of friends (not that I don't have friends up here!). My dad also said, "this is the last move we're going to make". I'm NOT saying that.
As I write this, the property is listed with Re/Max Minden, here's the link to the MLS listing. If you know anyone who wants to live or cottage in God's Country, pass it on! Hurry! I'm told it's a seller's market up here and it's going to go fast. And the crazy Toronto prices haven't hit here yet. Just sayin'...
I'm ambivalent. I have to come to terms with the things I'm going to be giving up. I love winters here. I love my barbecue. Sitting in front of the fire. Crisp, clean air. Plowing the snow is fun, mowing the lawn, not so much. Going out in my boat. Swimming off my dock. Shooting sunrises and sunsets and wildlife and the proximity to Algonquin Park and Carden Plain. The quiet. I won't have all of those things in apartment living, but there will be other advantages. And I plan to travel, starting with two whole months in Newfoundland this summer. A new phase.
Here's a couple of quick iPhone shots of what my living room looks like now. Hmmm. Maybe I'll stay! Nah... If you think it was easy decluttering it, guess again! And keeping it like this for showings? Another challenge.
(in the works!)
A few years ago I terminated my SmugMug online gallery because I was paying a bunch of money for really nothing — I don't sell online and frankly, I wasn't using it. But I feel the need to have someplace to show my work. I started a site at PixieSet but they're really geared towards wedding and other event photographers: it was a huge workaround to even get captions to show on my pictures (what I had to do was to created a bordered print with a caption. I did write a Photoshop Action to do that but it took about 10 minutes for each image, 'way too much work!). Their big advantage was the price: even if you doubled it, it still was free! And in the back of my mind was the ability to create an online store for people to buy prints. I might still use them for that purpose.
Adobe includes an app called "Portfolio" in the CC subscription for no additional cost. So I started working with that and slowly, I'm creating an online gallery. It's not ready to share yet but I'll let you know when it is. I mention it here because if you're a CC subscriber, you too can have a free online gallery. It's a little confusing to get started but it does make sense and gets easier as you go along.
watch this space...
Not much new to report except we've firmed up some reservations since I last posted (scroll down to the previous blog posting for details). I did find and reserve a spot in an artist's retreat called "Coffee Cove" that not too many people visit up in the North Central part of the Rock, where I found a 2-bedroom seaside home to rent for the last week of July, the second room is empty as I write this. It would be great to have company there... check it out!
Seascapes and Icebergs off Twillingate
Basically I have space for visitors from the middle of July onward, in Twillingate, Coffee Cove, Bonavista and Torbay (St. John's area). Huge savings on accommodations if you're considering a visit, although you still have to get there... (mid-week airfares are generally half-price). Contact me!
With a lot of my attention going to readying my house for sale, working out my Newfoundland trip and getting through the early spring "ugly" season, I really haven't been shooting many pictures. However I need to get out of the house (especially when they're working on it and I'm underfoot) so I've been to Algonquin Park a couple of times and as I write this, Trailer-Hitch Larry is picking me up at 7am for another jaunt up there. Hoping for moose this time... it's been a long dry spell.
(I wrote this a week ago. Since then, I've been back to the Park, spending a couple of days there with Dr. Ron and Rob)
The new banner photo for this blog was taken at Mew Lake in Algonquin Park this week.
So without further ado...
Let's start with our perennial favourite, the Pine Marten. So cute, peeking out at us from behind a tree!
A ruffed grouse, strutting his stuff in the Mew Lake forest. Guess who spotted him? Right. Thanks, Larry!
Crossbills are amazing. You have to wonder how they manage with those warped bills. The yellow one is a female, the red one a male. You can click on a picture to blow it up.
When you don't find critters to photograph, you shoot landscapes! Here are a few to end the day.
Until next time!
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