Sunday, May 26, 2019

Hi, I'm Glenn and I'm a Blog-a-holic

Hi, I'm Glenn and I'm a Blog-a-holic.

It's been more than a month since I last posted and I'm going through withdrawal. Well not exactly, but it's heartening to look at all the messages I've received saying, "what's going on, I haven't seen a blog post from you in a while?"

Mostly I post on Facebook. If it's just a picture, with no real story to tell behind it, it's easier. And I've gotten in the habit of logging in there because I help moderate the Photoshop and Photography group, and I spend (too many) hours in this computer chair.

Don't get me started. I wear a Garmin Vivofit so I can look and see, "oh, another day I didn't do very many steps". It motivates me occasionally, but my entire life revolves around my bed, my computer chair, my couch, my car seat... and other places to sit and lie down. I've started walking a little bit to prepare for my summer Newfoundland trip, but not enough. I've complained about leg pains of different sorts and they have to come from sitting too much!

So the personal stuff:

  • my house is still for sale. I'm sure the price is right but the right buyer hasn't come along. In my humble opinion, the ideal buyer is an older couple who want a place to retire outside the city that doesn't take a lot of maintenance, has plenty of room and is not TOO remote. The Inn across the road is a good thing. So is the one-level layout and the lawn you can mow in half an hour. If that sounds like you or you know someone, go to the listing here. Take the Virtual Tour, Anthony added some cool drone photos and we adjusted the price for a quicker sale.
  • My grandson, 2nd Lt. Ryan Davenport, RCAF has completed his level 1 flight training, mid-winter in Manitoba! He's now riding a desk for a while before he goes back to his college studies and continues his journey towards becoming a fighter pilot. As I write this, he's off to do land and sea survival training... I don't envy him that one!
Here are a few pictures he sent me, and said I could share:

It's interesting that in the military, the pilot flies the right seat, not the left as in civilian aviation. I read somewhere that has something to do with having access to the cyclic and other controls in a helicopter, but I'm not sure. 

Apparently after you solo, you get dunked in a bathtub full of icewater, an RCAF tradition that's been going on since the very beginning almost 100 years ago. Maybe even the same bathtub. In Manitoba, in the middle of winter! Brrrr. 

  • Medical and dental aging are ongoing. I don't want to dwell on it, but I'm still here!
  • I've officially given up painting. My easel and supplies went to my art teacher who will pass them on to other students. I found it too frustrating, since I wasn't very good at it and it took a big effort to set up and paint: oils take forever to dry, it's a mess to clean up... maybe I'll take it up again, but perhaps acrylic or watercolour (there's a watercolour artist in St. John's that I've known as a photographer for a while, hoping we can hook up briefly while I'm there. His name is Darrell Heath, look for him on Facebook. He's really good!)
I have, however, kept my sketchbook and charcoals/pencils. Again I'm not very good but if the urge takes me, it's not a big chore to sketch something. Here's the latest:

Canada Goose and a pair of blue-winged teal.

Here's the digital sketch I based it on. 

Raptors yeah!

Look at me. You KNOW I love basketball. I'm 4'20", I outweigh most NBA players and when I jump, I sometimes can ALMOST get my toes off the ground! What's not to love about that game!

PS as I write this, they just beat the Bucks. I'm not buying a "Ran the East" shirt because I'm waiting for my NBA CHAMPIONS shirt!

Go Raptors, Go. 

a mini-commentary on our times

I keep reading rants online about how the Walmarts of the world are eliminating jobs by installing self-checkouts.

I'm NOT with them on this one. When was the last time you pulled up to a gas pump and an attendant came out to fill up your car, check your oil and cleaned your windshield? Some stations offer that service but you pay extra for the privilege, makes sense, right? After all they do have to pay that attendant... when you go to a restaurant, do you still line up at the cashier to pay cash on the way out, or does your server bring over that portable credit card reader so you don't have to get out of your chair to pay for dinner? Oh and it offers to calculate the tip for you too, if you want. When was the last time you stood in line at a bank for the teller? Or do you do your banking online or at an ATM? Do you even carry cash any more?

There are tasks and jobs that kids haven't even heard of, unless they read about them in history books, made obsolete by technology. Buggy whip manufacturers, do people still have jobs plucking chickens or delivering ice blocks? Do they still milk cows by hand? When was the last time you saw a bunch of guys with scrapers and brooms come out and clean the ice between periods of a hockey game? We have machines for that.

There are new jobs arising every day which nobody ever thought of until now, and which most of us older folks can't even imagine. The world is changing, get with the program.

Get over it, ladies and gentlemen (and people of other non-binary genders). The world our grandparents and parents grew up in is gone. The world WE grew up in is gone. The world our kids grew up in is evolving. Ten years from now, people will not remember what a taxi driver was, or a flight attendant (stewardess!), or a cashier.

FAC First Aid is sold!

I know that the new owner is committed to keeping up the tradition of selling only the best products and providing great customer service. Here's the website, I know he's working on it but it functions.

The phone number that belonged to the business went with it, so you can no longer reach me there. If the phone number you have for me starts with area code = '416' and you don't know my real number, please contact me via this link and I'll get right back to you with the current information. Just trying to stymie the Nigerian Royal Family and assorted telemarketers, I know you understand!

By the way, I made it so you can still create an emergency medical card to laminate and carry in your wallet. NO INFORMATION GOES OUT OF YOUR COMPUTER, you're merely filling out a pdf form and printing it. EVERYONE should carry one. Here's the link: I need to rewrite the interface but it still works.

Newfoundland trip is coming together!

I'm excited to get going! Scheduled departure is July 1 and the ferry date booked homeward bound is August 18th, although that's flexible. This year I'm mostly on my own but I'll be hooking up with 3 or 4 groups of people for a couple of days here and there. That includes my son and family from New York, Trudy and Jeff, Dr. Ron and Ricki, maybe Jacqui and Arjuna. Let me know if anyone else wants to meet up, I have 2 bedroom places almost throughout the trip.

Here's my route map again. 

  • July 5 arrival, drive to Stephenville via Codroy, hopefully sunset at Cape St. George
  • July 6&7, Port au Choix
  • July 8-15, Burnt Cove in Raleigh. This is a HUGE Iceberg year.
  • July 15 one more night in Port au Choix
  • July 16-30 at Crow Head, Twillingate
  • July 30-August 2 in New-Wes-Valley,  Greenspond
  • August 2-8 in Bonavista, last night probably Trinity
  • August 8-15 at Pouch Cove.

I bought a new camera!

I got a Nikon Z7 mirrorless, with the 14-30mm f/4 Z-mount lens and the adapter to accept all my F-mount Nikon lenses. This will be my landscape and general purpose camera. My trusty D800 seems to be better for birds and long telephoto stuff — or I'm just not far enough along the learning curve on the "Z". We'll see...

Here's a silly "unboxing video" I did. It's traditional!

My D5500 and 18-55mm lens is for sale. LOCATED IN CANADA. Comes with the kit lens (18-55), two batteries and charger. In EUC, never had any problem with it. I have the box, the manual, a guide book, a Lowepro case, a wireless ML-L3 remote, the strap... shutter count is only 18,235. I'll throw in a 32Gb SD card or two.
 The strap mounting point on the top right side (looking at the back of the camera) is broken. See the third picture. I don’t remember how but the camera’s never been dropped. I think when I took the regular strap off — I’ve used a BlackRapid style sling strap mounted to the tripod mount almost since day 1. I’ll throw that in too.
I bought it as a backup to my D800 2 years ago. Now my D800 is going to be my backup camera to my new Z7.
 Henry's wants $650 for the used body only plus $160 for the used lens plus taxes... You do the math.
I want $600 CDN total. That's Canadian Dollars. Like $450 US. Plus shipping if I'm shipping it. Paypal’s good.
 PS: I'm using the strap right now on the D800, waiting for the new one I ordered for the Z7 to arrive in a few days.
Contact me if interested...

That broken strap mount 

Some Pictures

Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks. Enjoy!

Some devastating damage in Bracebridge from the spring flooding. Army engineers begin a mission to evaluate the damage  

The ultimate off-road vehicle — an armoured personnel carrier!

Opposition Leader Andrea Horvath talking with a local official and army major Graham. She's wearing a helmet because she came out of that APC. 

One of the first shots I took with the Z7 and 14-30mm.  

Yellow-Rumped Warbler at Carden Plain

Bobolink at Carden Plain 

Chestnut-sided Warbler at Carden Plain 

Multi-image focus stacked shot of a Trillium at the Minden White Water.  16 steps, made in-camera in the Z 

1/6 second handheld exposure in the Z. Internal image stabilization is fantastic! 

Nesting Loon on Minden Lake. Shot with the 400mm adapted on the Z 

3-shot HDR, shot with the new 14-30mm lens on the Z. This is what this lens is for!

See you next time. I'll try not to take so long!

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