I know that some retired people can't find a way to keep busy and bemoan the fact that their days are not productive, but I think a good retirement is one where you do the things you WANT to do, not the things you HAVE to do. I think it's important to continue to strive towards goals. The problem is, the word "retired" has the word "tired" in it. That's how I feel a lot of the time and I wish I had taken better care of myself physically, but I've certainly found enough to challenge me mentally and emotionally.
I don't mean to lecture (OK, maybe I do...) but if you don't have something you feel passionate about you're going to be bored and unfulfilled when you reach that point in your life. I know several people at my age and beyond who continue to challenge themselves. My best example is 90-year-old Stu Freedman who's still shooting bird pictures down in Florida.
My passion is to express my creativity, whether in photography and digital art, or painting or music. I practice my guitar every day and paint at least once/week, although I'm really bad at it and trying to learn! And sharing my experiences through teaching and through my writing. The physical stuff – the motorcycling, the skiing, playing sports, these can all go away at some point when you can't do them any more. I'm glad I have some things to fall back upon and I hope you, my dear readers, will think about it and plan accordingly.
Enough proselytizing. Just something to think about.
The Fast Lane
Living up here in the Highlands cannot be considered "Living in the Fast Lane" by any stretch of the imagination. I grow more and more frustrated by the frenetic pace of the big city – it took me 10 hours to go down to the CNE (actually the "CIBC PanAm Sports Park" to get my press credentials validated and pick up the famous photo vest, without which I would not be able to get in to any of the Games venues. Good thing I went when I did – the roads are now completely closed: when I went I could drive in but not park anywhere (I won't tell you how I managed to park outside the Media Centre! Let's just say a little extra limp in my walk didn't hurt). And the signs "No Left Turn" and "HOV Lane Only" were the bane of my existence that day. But I got it:
I'll shoot the Canoe/Kayak slalom event for sure. If I have enough energy, I'll possible go to the shooting venue in Innisfil as well. But I have ZERO desire to go to any of the big sports events in Toronto. OK, I shouldn't say "zero": it would be fun to shoot some of those, but you won't see me going down to that frantic city.
Up here in the Highlands, we have more rural activities!
For instance, there was a Miniature Horse Show and a Rodeo in Minden!
Here are three different horse pictures, all shot at the Minden Fairgrounds.
Here's what it looked like before I processed it
Time for a new banner!
As usual, to archive it in the blog itself, I'll reproduce the new one here. Some can't see it (on mobile devices or through RSS feeds), and it goes away retroactively every time I change it.
Speaking of Carden Plain
I'm hooked. I love the place. I go there every chance I get: and since it's right on the route between Minden and Toronto, that's at least once/week! I'm stuck in a rut, photographically, but it's a good rut! I wish I had one of those king sized lenses – someone suggested I sell my car and buy one! My birthday's coming up in a few months, that 500mm f/4 looks pretty good. I saw one on eBay for only $6000...
I don't want to swamp this blog with Carden bird pictures, so I've created a gallery on Smugmug where I'm accumulating images. It's here: http://faczen.smugmug.com/Carden-Plain/. I have a little under 100 images on there as I write this. Go have a look, I'll wait right here until you get back! Here's a couple of samples from Sunday:
Bluebird with Spider. S/he was bringing it to the nest for the young 'uns.
And this Eastern Phoebe was doing the same thing with a grasshopper for her kiddies. Her nest was inside the blind so our presence made her wait, posing, outside until she could get in!
By the way, it's not just birds at Carden. I met this fellow and his buddy when I was there last week. Keep your eyes open...
Black Rat Snake. Well over 4' long. Not venemous but I heard they bite when provoked! He was sunning himself on the little bridge on Wylie Road.
The group "F.O.G." (it stands for "Four Old Guys") has recorded their second CD "Goin' Slow", and I shot some images for the CD cover. This one won't be used, it's too 'serious' but I thought I'd share it because it was technical:
I stacked four images, focusing on each of the faces. Then I added the blur effect, toned it and added some grain to give it a vintage feel. From near to far, that's Francis, Steve (my cousin), Al and Weiman (also a "Steve"!)
The CD will be out soon and it will be worth adding to your collection. I'll tell you where you can get it as soon as I know.
Last week in Minden, I came across this Model "A" Ford Racer.
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