November 2009



Our next door neighbour’s beautiful Crimson maple

We have been lucky here to this year in that we had a wonderful Autumn with lots of sunny days between the rainy ones. Recently the Old Scientist and I made an excursion out to nearby Steveston to walk on the dyke and have lunch afterwards in the picturesque village and these are some of the photos I took along the way.

Looking across the now brown marsh towards the North Shore Mountains
the white spots are geese swirling in the air

The water lilies in the canal have stopped flowering and are withering while
the turtles have disappeared. Who knows where they go in the winter?

My favourite Belted Galloways are still browsing in the field
but it is getting wetter for them

A closer look at the geese which stopped off to rest in the
pond as they make their way south for the winter

I have no idea what type of geese they were. Sorry.

City workers trim the grass on the bank with this very large nifty machine

And now it’s time for lunch, don’t you think?

TECHNOLOGY

I am certainly a big fan of technology and I like to have the technological toys like an uptodate laptop and an iPod touch. When all goes well I am delighted with technology. But when there is a problem it is the most frustrating thing in the world. Apologies for the photos, you know the idea is the thing on this blog, not the brilliant photos.


Old Canon printer

For 11 long months we have been unable to get my MacBook Pro to print wirelessly through our home network. The others, PCs, worked just fine. So giving up we purchased, at great expense, a new fancy network printer. One week later, with much consulting of the Canon help line, we have two PCs up and running and one MacBook Pro still unable to print. Today we consult the poor technicians once again and the Old Scientist lives in hope that we will finally succeed. I am more skeptical. Ain’t TECHNOLOGY grand?


Fancy new Canon printer, with 900 page online
manual without an index. They have to be joking!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

I don’t normally mention names in my posts but one I have permission for and the other will become clear…

When I first came to Second Life one of the very first places I discovered was Renaissance Island. I have probably mentioned it in the past. They gave out free peasants clothes you could wear to be in character. I loved it.

It is a Tudor sim.

For those who don’t know it is a sort of generic mock up of a small town/village in Tudor England. Tudor England is something I have been interested in since school.

I think it suffers a little from not being quite sure of the year, so anything from the reign of Henry VIII thru to Elizabeth I goes. Probably fortunately Henry VII does not seem to get a look in.

Still things changed a fair bit in the best part of a century from 21 April 1509 to 24 March 1603.
It is very good though and tries hard to be authentic within the period it takes in. I do recommend it, especially during the winter when there is snow on the ground and often in the air and it is quite beautiful in the half light of an evening. There are docks, stores and a playhouse, replica of the Globe theatre.

One face that was familiar round the place was a lady by the name of Dinnie Devonshire. I didn’t know her well, just a nod in passing, the odd word.

I found out the other day she had passed on and they were going to have a memorial service for her and dedicate Devonshire Lane in her name.

She had quietly done quite a bit to help make Renaissance Island what it is. I had not known that.

So one Saturday in November found me standing in the cold on the snow covered ground of a small Tudor Town in SL remembering her.

Quite a few turned up, many where vaguely familiar, some I knew better were not there and someone I knew well from my first days was there, incongruously in a Tux. Stainless, a sometimes blogger. He is still a tenant there.

He suggested that a memorial be built in the church. He was thinking of anything from those tombs with the statue on it to the plaque memorials with carved figures and words of remembrance. The idea seemed to go down well.

Someone remarked that it was weird that the place was now starting to develop its own history, take on a life of its own.

Everyone broke up and went to look round and/or have conversations with one or two people.

Stainless and I wandered off arm in arm doing the same and catching up, till he had to go. I took a picture. Then I got a guided tour of the redesigned Manor house, still being finished off and complete with resident ghost.

It struck me as weird that Dinnie’s Avie (body) and all her property that she didn’t give away in SL, is probably for the moment inviolate, held in Linden’s memory banks, only waiting for her log in that will now no longer ever come again.

I hope they have ice skating again this year…

Thank you Dinnie… and everyone else who makes the world a better place to be in, be it second or real life.

BIRD(S)

I think you will find some very good photos today for this theme, especially at Carver’s Site. On the other hand I don’t think I find the birds very interesting in my area save for the herons and the bald eagles which I always photograph if I see them, usually unsuccessfully in the case of the bald eagle.

However this was a photo I took recently at nearby Steveston. A huge flock of geese had chosen as a resting place this pond in the field where a small herd of Belted Galloways spend their summer. I suppose they are on their way south for the winter. The field is pretty wet year around and the cows are usually pretty muddy as is this one. The birds were swirling above and taking off and landing constantly in a flurry of activity.


One of my many heron photos
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE


Old Camera, neat, fits in handbag

You know what it is like when you have made the decision to buy something and the money is burning a hole in your pocket but you can’t find exactly what you are looking for.
This was my dilemma this past week. I have loved my Canon Powershot A620 camera, my very first digital one, ever since I acquired it 3 years ago. I wondered why I had taken so long to make the change from film to digital image. I’m not the greatest of photographers but I have really enjoyed taking photos with this and playing around with them on the computer with editing software in a simple way.

The one thing I sometimes missed was a longer range zoom as this had only 4 times optical and seeing some heron on the edge of the water or eagle in a tree made me wish for something a bit better. So when the zoom on this camera began to malfunction on occasion I thought, time for a new one with a longer range.

I knew exactly what I wanted. Yes I know that SLR cameras are best but carrying around a bag full of lenses and changing them is not my idea of fun. I did not know it when I got my Canon but I soon discovered that a viewfinder is a must as the LCD screen is virtually useless in full sunlight. Luckily the A620 had that so I knew this time to make it a requirement. I wanted to stick with Canon to make it easier to learn and ten times optical zoom sounded about right for my requirements.

But guess what? That camera does not exist. Canon cameras with ten times zoom don’t have viewfinders. Supposedly they have been sacrificed to make the LCD screen larger. But the LCD screens, while somewhat better still are not good enough on many occasions. Searching online one sees the same thing over and over. Many people would like to have a viewfinder but no one is listening. Or perhaps they cannot make a camera at a reasonable price and size which incorporates a viewfinder. All the sales people said they complain continuously to the camera representatives who just shrug. Apparently younger people are so used to taking photos with their cell phones they would never think of using a viewfinder.

New Camera, large with separate case.

So I had to make a compromise. Viewfinder or twenty times zoom and a camera which weighs twice as much. Or ten times zoom with no viewfinder. Well for better or worse I got the larger one and now I have to truck around this heavier piece of equipment in its own separate case. I don’t know if I will be sorry and very soon looking for a small one to tuck into my handbag while the larger one sits in the car. Time will tell I’m sure. Sigh. I’m trying to jump start the economy but it isn’t easy.

Ok. A nice fluffy post. See I don’t have on my yellow hard hat ^_^

My personal Bill Board top 10 chart in order… plus a bonus track #11.

Oh BTB did you notice my makeover? this is a shot of me in a friend’s place by the sea. It is lovely there especially at dawn and sunset.

The usual disclaimer about the tracks. No secret messages, tho goodness knows what a shrink would make of them ^_^ It’s a bit of a mixture style-wise too, I make no apologies, I just like them.

Enjoy:

#1 No Other One by Taio Cruz
#2 Almost lover by A Fine Frenzy
#3 Confusion Girl by Frankmusik
#4 I’m not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you by Black Kids
#5 About a Girl by The Academy
#6 Shark in the water by VV Brown
#7 Party in the USA by Myle Cyrus
#8 Meet me Halfway by the Black Eyed Peas
#9 You Belong with me Taylor Swift
#10 4ever by the veronicas

and

#11 New York by Paloma Faith

There is also a really great dance version of “Almost Lover” by Manox, if you like dance tracks.

Kate Nash did a version of “I’m not gonna teach your boyfriend…”

MUSIC

Music brings to mind so many different images but here are some of the buskers I photographed yesterday at one of my favourite places, Granville Island, making music for the pleasure of the passersby.

Singing his heart out amongst the chaos which is the market norm


Outside on the lovely cool late Autumn day


A busker has a lot of equipment to cart around. This
one plays guitar and a variety of wooden flutes
to accompany his recorded South American music


The truth is that for many now the musical experience is about being
plugged into an iPod or in my case my iPod Touch
with speakers

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

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