Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Thoughts... too many of them today, but I'll share a select few. I promise to be concise today, at least relative to the weekend.
The first is that in spite of Calgary's reputation of being a redneck city they managed to elect someone who was all about the issues, and a minority and a Muslim to boot. (Good for them) Toronto, on the other hand, with one of the most liberal and socialist reputations in the country, elect a guy who ran more or less on a single sound bite and who is about to spend the next 4 years tearing down things that took years of building to put in place... I'm particularly worried about his plan to rip up street cars. It just sounds destructive for the sake of being destructive - and Toronto truly needs its public transit. Mayor McCallion is still our head of state in Mississauga - starting her 12th term at the impressive age of 89. I think, should I ever have a daughter, I might just add Hazel as a middle name - I think aside from being botanical (obviously a good feature in a child's name), it has come to represent tenaciousness and spirit.
Weather thoughts - we had lots of pretty snow today, and the forcast is full of it. There have been a few patches of time when you could see the sky, and while mostly over cast last night there were parts that seemed an odd colour, but again, I've had no luck seeing the northern lights.
Until tomorrow or the next time I get around to writing... J
Sunrise and first ice on the lake
I still haven't had much luck with the northern lights, the numbers are good, but the clouds are still there and I think it is definitely time to go to sleep... so cheers all... Hasta Manana.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Gliding Silhouettes and a History of Spectacles
In unrelated exciting news, I found the clip-ons for my sunglasses which have been missing nearly a year (I don't think I had them last Christmas). They were the cupboard where I used to keep my vinegar, which was in the cupboard where I had thought I'd moved it (and thus looked first, but the briefly lost vinegar was carefully stacked behind something that didn't look large enough to hide a large bottle of vinegar), prompting me to look in the original location which currently only houses Styrofoam mushroom packs, paper plates, pie plates, egg cartoons, and a few books of crummy matches, which means I probably wouldn't have bothered to look in that cupboard until I needed recycled food containers for school or more likely matches. At any rate, I'm relieved that I won't need to replace them or buy sunglasses, as currently my options are a pair of prescription sunglasses that I bought my last year in Thunder Bay (I've lived in 4 different cities since then) and while the prescription is so slightly out of date that I can't even notice it, the fashion was probably out of date when I bought them, and hasn't come back in the intervening years - although on the upside, they are larger than any glasses I would choose nowadays. I suspect they are also not polarized, while my clip-ons are (and in fact, I never would have found or bought these glasses (which I love) if I hadn't noticed that my first choice had non-polarized clip-ons prompting me to search the entire store for glasses with polarized clip-ons - finally finding a pair of glasses I really truly liked. (I lost my old glasses prior while I had just begun the search for new glasses, turning a leisurely hunt for spectacles, into a somewhat more pressing issue - [where they went is an unsolved mystery - as they slipped out of my pocket on a walk with a friend on a paved bike path, which I immediately combed 4 times before darkness forced me to abandon the search]) The long of the story is that I hate buying glasses and always find it a frustrating and painful task, as my face is relatively small and my need for glasses sturdy enough to be occasionally slept in, dropped, fidgeted with, survive getting caught on a sweater being pulled off or my hair as well as intense shifts in temperature (preferably without fogging up - although, I've had no luck there). The answer is usually to buy glasses made for children and then find a pair that isn't bright purple or neon pink. The prescription sunglasses, a pair of children's glasses, have the words left and right stamped on the appropriate arms, handy in those moments when you forget which is which - and amusing to children.
In my life-time, a good portion of which I've worn glasses, I've lost only 3 pairs and broken two pairs beyond being usable and severely injured two, which remain usable in a pinch. My first pair were lost, probably in a restaurant where I ate with my mom while on a interior decorating mission. They could have been left in a store too, but I recall playing with them at the table at the restaurant. I think I still have my second pair ever, although I may have given them to the eye doctor to redistribute in Africa. My third pair were always too large, and always sat crooked on my face, and the frame broke at some point. The fourth pair were navy blue with tiny metal stars - I do still have those, and actually wore them 2 summers ago when mine broke, but their hideousness made it imperative that I replaced the lost pair quickly.
My fifth pair were bronze coloured wire-frames that broke between one lens and the nose-piece when I was trying to clean the fog off them. I still have them, brilliantly repaired with medical tape and a carefully engineered system of paper-clips, the taped drawn on with colour matched gel pen to make the repairs nearly inconspicuous, although they are no longer wearable as the nose piece broke off too at some point. This was actually the second time they broke, I had broken an arm off them while practicing for a first aid competition. I was playing a patient who was supposed to be crazy or something, and my team-mate hadn't seemed to have noticed that I wasn't firing on all cylinders (poor acting on my part). At some point she'd removed my glasses, and I hadn't noticed, which is unfortunate as I tried to make my point by climbing a book shelf (screwed into the wall above my bed in my dorm room), placing all my weight on a sprained ankle, which hurt. Seeing as I knew I was over my bed, I let myself fall (to save my ankle), but I landed on my glasses. Proof, I felt, that adult glasses were over-rated.
I replaced them with the twin of my current and only prescription sunglasses (2 for 1 children's glasses - $179) They were the second pair I lost. This pair has a good story too. It was the 2nd day of a 7 day canoe trip in Algonquin Park. I was a trip leader and did the final sweep of our first campsite to make sure nothing had been left behind. I sat down on the shore, on the root of tree, feet in the loaded canoe, and took out my sunglasses, putting my non-sunglasses on the shore, for some reason rather than in my case, carefully closing the case and zipping it into my knapsack, then hopping into the canoe on a beautiful sunny day and paddling for 8 hours. They were never to be seen again. I replaced them with an identical pair (which my mother ordered as I was living at camp.) In the meantime, I had 6 days on a canoe trip with only a pair of sunglasses, complicating my task of finding and bringing down the food bag; a difficult task in the pre-dawn twilight under a thick canopy of maple and beech trees, but otherwise, the situation was entertaining enough that my mother forgave me for a nearly new pair of glasses.
The next pair I would get were black wire frames - purchased before they were popularized by Harry Potter, which I still use as a spare pair, although the lenses are badly scratched at this point. (This was another case of first aid scenario acting related collateral damage.) They were replaced with a pair of angular, bright red kids frames, which were always maybe a touch small, but amazingly survived, after some surgery, being crushed by my bedroom window where I'd put them on the window tracks and then closed the window without looking, smashing them spectacularly. However, after Wal-mart kindly bent them back into shape, they no longer had the rubber ear parts on them anymore, which means that they dig into my head painfully. I had needed two pairs of glasses at that time as my new eye doctor felt that my previous eye doctor had given me too strong a prescription, and had wanted to wean me off them, while still allowing me to be able to read the blackboard until my eyes got used to the weaker prescription. This was the pair lost on the walk, carefully put in their case, but placed in a pocket without a zipper.
Now, I apologize for rambling on about glasses for paragraph after paragraph, but I figure I may one day enjoy rereading this, although I can't for a minute think why anyone else in the world would find any of this interesting - unless they remember that canoe trip, which included a wild lightening storm while we were camped on a tiny island, getting lost twice in a small lake (well, I knew where the portage was if someone else had been willing to listen me, rather than berating me for refusing to put my sopping wet bathing suit in my bedroll and insisting that my unwillingness to ensure that my sleeping bag was damp was childish and therefore affected my ability to read a map), a evening paddle (the first night) to nearby Arowhon Resort to purchase a forgotten tube of toothpaste, the best shelter ever put up by anyone ever (although that might be a biased opinion, but it was pretty), a campsite with a rock that looked like a chair, and a lot of rough water, some fun paddling down beaver dam infested creeks, a lost roll of toilet paper, salvaged Kraft dinner, a pitched battle about footwear, impressing the socks off a variety of other camp groups and individuals with our incredibly efficient portaging, nearly dropping a canoe on my head when I ran into a moose while crossing a board bridge when the canoe lead came loose can got caught between two slats as I hastily attempted to backtrack, some amazing sunsets, and somewhat unenthusiastic reception for tabbouleh and perhaps I'd better sign off as clearly I'm in a rambling story telling mood this evening and I don't want to bore you all away.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
This is the current geomagnetic conditions/forecast and its not even totally cloudy, its just that its totally sunny.... I hope someone in Russia is looking upwards or maybe its still dark in Tuk. You can follow the geomagnetic activity in all these stations by going to spaceweather.ca which is where I got the above image.
In the meantime, I'm now listening to a great rap about the transmission of nerve impulses - wicked!
Full Moon Magic
A Sunrise with a Serving of Wild Clouds
A Gaggle of Prey
Right now I'm trying to see if I can get some Aurora pictures, the numbers are good and the cloud cover thin enough to allow me to see a few winking stars and the full moon.
The next photo might just be sunrise.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Farewell Fall - welcome winter
Breakfast was a vegetably mess of scrambled eggs and luke warm coffee which is better than it sounds - honest.
I'd best get a move on it - now that my printer is done printing stuff. I'm really happy with it, especially the part where it is reliable and doesn't need me to baby sit to make sure it doesn't try and run 25 sheets of paper through at once. I also enjoy the fact that it doesn't smear ink or take 20 minutes to print a page. I miss the colour, but colour isn't that useful when your printer has a tendency to leave random smear lines and I'm definitely glad it isn't an HP. My previous experience with my first inkjet printer (also the first I personally bought) left me incredibly frustrated. I'm not sure its fair to hold a brand grudge from over 10 years ago, but I guess companies should realize that abyssmal service can leave a lasting impression.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Driving the Piles for a New Co-Op
It'll be interesting to see how things go. They are hoping to open before next summer and so I'm looking forward to see what they do with it. In the mean time, I'm having a hard time finding a store in Baker Lake that has Lemon Juice or Cinamon in stock....
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Neys Beach Sunset - Pencil Crayon Version
Its been too long since I've found much time to draw or paint. The few paintings I've done this year have bits that I'm happy with, but a lot of bits that leave a lot to be desired. Hopefully, I'll get back into painting regularly, but for now, here is a drawing using the best part of back to school shopping - a pack of 60 Laurentien Pencil Crayons.
No storm coming as far as I know, however, I could lose Internet and possibly phone service this coming week as the ANIK 2 satellite is going to affected by the ROGUE SATELLITE GALAXY 15. I'll attach a few articles for anyone interested. Qiniq has emailed folks to warn them of potential problems. It also means there could be problems with the debit/credit system at the store as they use Internet communications to process payments. Hmmm. Better stock up on food, although, as long as I'm willing to live off rice and pasta, I can probably survive a week of not being able to go to the store. I'll miss having bananas and probably milk.
Weather-wise, it has been a strange week with lots of amazing skies. The weather system has been calling for consistent cloud cover, but we've gotten some rogue breaks in the cloud now and again. I meant to go back out about 40 minutes after this picture was taken to get the real sunset but I was distracted by making dinner. We've had snow, rain, wind, and the kind of calm that made the photo above possible. Its decidedly starting to stay consistently below 0 C, although, nothing above -15 C phases me anymore, unless there is a 60 km/h wind. Still, I'm starting to consistently wear a hat and bring mitts.
I don't want to jinx them, but as a long time fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, its very exciting to see them at the top of the league standings even if it is unlikely that they'll be able to hang on to that title for the season... it would be awesome if they did - but its nice for now to feel the glow of rooting for the winning team and even more exciting to watch them and see that they are obviously a much better team then I saw play in 2007 and definitely from last year.
I guess I'd better get ye olde to do list tackled. I'll probably throw up a few more posts including some recent artwork.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The Horizon on the Other Side of the Lake
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tulugak - ᑐᓗᒐᒃ
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
A Crack in the Clouds
Here are the current space weather conditions in Canada and unfortunately the weather is not cooperating. There are, however, some lovely photographs of the northern lights on the The Canadian Nature Photographers website and also at Spaceweather.com.
You can check the current spaceweather at www.spaceweather.ca
Monday, October 11, 2010
My other major disappointment is that currently there is a geomagnetic storm raging and sadly it is not only daylight, but looking like there is no end of clouds in the near future. So, I'll have to wait a little longer for good northern light pictures.
In other excitement, I have a container of salad and some of the best pesto pasta I've ever made in the fridge. Okay, its a slow day.