Category: photography (page 1 of 6)

When a project stops being fun

I have been slacking on my photo-a-day project for at least a year. It was fun, and I loved how it made me look for something different in every day. The eight years (EIGHT YEARS!!!) of tagged photos really helps trigger middle-aged brain, let me tell you.

But it’s not fun any more. It’s been going on so long and has become so big that it feels like work, like an obligation. I was going though the motions because I had to. And I often forgot about it for weeks or months at a time.

So I have decided to retire I could delete it, but I’m reluctant to do that. I like knowing it’s there. I’ll keep it running, but I’m not going to post anything else to it. I’ll back it up and use Blog Booker to create a pdf of it that I may or may not print.

And a funny thing happened once I made that decision….I wanted to do another fun photo-a-day project again! So I got a new domain,, and if I can maintain it, I’m going to back up/print and delete everything once a year so it doesn’t get too bit and take on a life of it’s own again.

2013 Retrospective

plot twist


I’m going to look at 2013 as the year of the plot twist, and move on. I’m not saying that life went wrong, but it certainly had an unexpected detour. I thank my beloved, my family and my friends for all the times they talked me off the ledge by reminding me that I have both mad skills, intelligence and the support of the people around me.

I like this representation of my year, a mosaic of all of the daily photos. Going by this, 2013 wasn’t as bad as all that.

2013 collagesm

Click to embiggen.

best of 2012

Yes, I know we’re already almost a week into 2013 – it took me a few days to go through the few hundred photos I took last year and then another day or so to re-surface back into this year. 2012 was a very good year and holy FSM, I did a lot of stuff for am old broad. Here’s to more fun times to come!



Apres-holiday stress was dealt with by heading to our favourite get-away spot, Pine Vista Resort. Favourite moments: going for hikes then warming up in the outdoor hot tub or by the fire.



It’s no secret that I love Niagara Falls. I love it even more in the winter.





The theme of February’s road trip was What do a summer beaches look like in winter?

Frickin’ cold is what they look like.


February was when I got my first pair of roller skates. Ten months later, and they’re still not really broken in.





March was too awesome for words. We spent three weeks in Australia, seeing friends we don’t see nearly often enough and to experience a place unlike anything I imagined.



I could have spent another few days exploring Uluru and area…watching the colours change as the sun set was one of the best memories of the trip.





Home and broke; luckily watching Spring happen is free.




April’s road trip took us to Niagara; we finished the day by hanging out around our friend Moose’s fire pit, drinking his beer.





Finally, a road trip on the bike. Felt so good to be on it after missing so much of last summer thanks to the rehab on the knee.



First skating injury – was talking while I was putting on my gear and forgot to put on elbow pads. Of course, as soon as I realized I’d forgotten them, I fell on my right elbow. Sigh.




I went on a writing retreat at a cottage on Lake Simcoe. It was grey and bleak, a perfect contract to the warmth and laughter inside.



Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time. We were riding through Coboconk and stopped to take in their summer festival which included a travelling reptile show. The woman who ran it was happy to let me hold this 2m long albino Burmse python. I really don’t understand why most people are afraid of snakes…but then I guess most people don’t understand being afraid of bridges.


July saw many small trips rather than a big one since we were still light on cash after Australia. We headed to Manitoulin Island for some camping, then to my newphew’s cottage on Tyson Lake, where we had nothing more pressing to do than go swimming or kayaking then watch some spectacular sunsets at day’s end.


We also headed to a friend’s cottage for a few days. this was my favourite view.





Headed to Oklahoma for Okie-Vegas and drank Keystone Light to stay hydrated (insert canoe joke here). It was so great hanging out and playing drunken silly poker. I was introduced to apple pie moonshine, which I liked a little too much.


I’ve been to Niagara Falls at least fifty times but have never done the touristy things. We went on the Maid of the Mist and Journey Behind the Falls, and I voluntarily went on the Sky Wheel. I almost chickened out, and the first orbit was a bit…tense, but I was able to smile and enjoy it by the third orbit. So glad I did the CBT!



We made one final bike trip before school started, riding along Lakes Huron and Erie. Good way to end the summer.



School kept me busy, because of course I did no prep over the summer. I made it out one night to meet an old friend for dinner, little knowing when we booked it that it was Nuit Blanche. the odd art installations, like this programmed Space Invaders added a nice bit of surrealism to the night.



It’s official!




The definite highlight of October was the weekend spent in Greenville, SC at Mastodon Weekend. Too many highlights to list, but being able to belatedly cross something off my summer list thanks to the efforts of the Fire God was one of the main ones.




Made it back to Pine Vista Resort for a weekend. We explored waterfalls, climbed over rocks, fed apples to horses and found Buddha in the woods.








This was the first year in 6 years that I could not go to the annual blogger bacchanalia in Vegas. I was in danger of becoming very depressed about having to be all adult when Heather decided to come visit Toronto for a weekend. We ate, we drank, we did touristy things including going up the CN Tower. It only took one martini to get me to stand on the glass floor. Now that’s progress!

While many people at school werre spending their winter holiday somewhere south, I went to Calgary. Where it was cold. And snowy. I hadn’t seen my brother & nieces in almost two years, and five days of hanging out with my family and seeing Joanada & Buddy Dank flew past too quickly.


7:00am: the cat meows by my ear. I ignore her. She is old, and like all old ladies she really hates it when the routine is disrupted. She does this for a few seconds, realizes me getting up is not going to happen, then turns to lay down. In so doing she flicks her tail over my face. Again and again.

7:15 am: move the cat by a series of increasingly forceful shoves. Funny how a 13 lb cat can suddenly take on the density of a small black hole. Tail no longer in my face. We both go back to sleep.

8:00 am: I should get up. I have a computer teachers conference to go to. I see the sun peeking in around the edges of the blind and decide that if it's going to be sunny, I'm going to stay home and enjoy the day. I go back to dozing.

8:45 am: Remember the two seminars that I really wanted to see at the conference, a workshop on processing.js and a session on getting more girls in computer sciences. Merde. I get up. I stagger around slowly until I see the clock and realize that I have only 45 minutes to shower, get dressed and transit down there.

9:10 am: out the door. I run for the bus, and the driver actually stops and waits for me. Realizing that there is no way I can make the opening keynote. Since I don't remember who that is, I'm not stressing over it.

9:30 am: transit luck continues; westbound subway arrives just as I get on platform

9:40 am: southbound subway arrives at St. George just as I go up the stairs. The degree of transit luck on a morning when I am late is freaking me out a little.

9:50 am: arrive at the ACSE conference just as the keynote is finishing. Still 10 minutes before the Processing ,js session, I have time for a strawberry muffin (yum) and a coffee from the urn (not so yum)

10:00-12:20: Processing.js session is plagued with technical difficulties. Bad USB keys, sketchy wireless, faulty projector cable have got the presenter slightly frazzled and most of the attendees a bit confused. Do I click here all the time? How do I find the files on the USB? I grab the files and evernote all off the links – I'll have to play with this on my own.

12:20 – 1:00 pm: lunch. I sit at a table with three men I have never met before and listen to them talk about how to get more girls interested in Computer Science classes. Kudos to them for addressing the issue, but their ideas come from a middle-aged geek guy mindset. We spend the rest of lunch talking about how to change girls' perception of CS – a girls tech club, be transparent ask them what they want to learn, use creative, open-ended & self-directed projects. I tell them what I've used successfully: Alice, Lilypad Arduino & soft circuits, game development, app development, cross-curricular projects with art & science.

1:10 – 2:10 pm: session on getting girls in CS. The statistics are good to know and I got some great links for contests and the like, but there's not much in this one I can use. I realize about 20 minutes in that I should have gone to the App Inventor workshop instead.

2:10 pm: Bailed on the last session and the closing. I'm not willing to miss the last of a sunny afternoon so I pack up and walk through the U of T campus and Kensington Market to Queen Street West. Am amused by this sign in the window of a used record store. I pop into Romni Wools on Queen Street to get more yarn for my Christmas present knitting. Guess I should really start on that.

3:30 pm: get sidetracked on way to transit by the way the sun fell in an alley off Bathurst. Spend a half hour walking along Graffiti Alley and taking photos with the crappy iPhone.

4:00 pm: apparently I used all transit luck this morning. Waited for 25 minutes for the 504 King car while I realized that perhaps bringing a scarf & mitts might have been a good idea. Was rewarded for my discomfort by a sunset view of the city as the streetcar went along Broadview past Riverdale park.

5:00 pm: Home. Stopped at the grocery store which was not a good idea as I found myself paying for a bag of Miss Vickie's chips and a container of onion dip. While my dinner did not comprise solely of chis & dip, it was pretty close. Calorie overage ensues.

5:30 – 9:30 pm: watched many episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix US while finishing a scarf for a friend. While watching the Journey's End episode, I decide that “Playthings of Davros” will be my band's name which gives me added incentive to learn the guitar since I can't get drunk enough to sing in front of people.

9:30 – 10:00 pm: bubble bath and book. Finished both books by David Wong, John Dies At The End and This Book is Full of Spiders; liked them both in a did-drugs-been-there-saw-that kind of way. Started reading Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, one of science fiction books from the list. I would have sworn I've read this before, but nothing looks familiar in the first 4 chapters.

10:00 – bedtime: bored. The cat is bad company and there are only so many times one can hit Refresh on Twitter and Facebook. Played some Rush poker on Full Tilt, netting an increase to my bankroll of about $85. ABC poker > Eurodonk stupidity.


That reminds me…

You might have noticed some recent activity in my old blogspace, I’ve moved my photo-a-day stuff there rather than rely on Instagram for any sort of reliable back-up. I’ve been going back to the prompts from Fat Mum Slim, but will likely be diverging from it soon. I can only follow someone else’s instructions for so long before I wander off and explore elsewhere.

June 30

Day 29: Soft and Day 30: Friend


I know it’s cheating to put two days together, but I am getting weary of this challenge and am ready to put it away. I missed the photo-a-day blog, but am finding few of these subject challenges interesting or relevant in the long run.

So here is my last entry in the pre-manufactured photo-a-day challenge. The subject is a cat Beanie Baby named Sheraton that Keith gave to me on my 35th birthday when we had just started dating. She’s become my traveling companion, and has seen most of the countryside from a side strap on my bike which has resulted in getting very faded and losing all of her white whisker yarn.

She’s gone just about everywhere with me, including Quebec (top left), the Grand Canyon (top right with Keith’s companion, the penguin), Newfoundland (bottom left) and Uluru in the middle of Australia (bottom right.

June 28

Day 28: on the shelf


Living with an audio geek means having some cool vintage pieces; microphones, 8-track players, and this vintage radio which belonged to Keith's dad.


June 26

Day 26: Where you shop


Where do I shop? In order of preference:

  1. Online
  2. Local small businesses
  3. Canadian chains
  4. American chains or malls. But only if I really REALLY have to. Malls are evil. I know people who go to malls for recreation. What concept…consumerism as recreation. I don’t get it. I cannot grok the concept of wandering around spending my cash on shit I don’t need and that will not make me happy.

June 24-25

Day 24: on my mind

This was a landmark moment for me…the first time in a while that I was able to finish a 3-hour derby practice without having to sit out the last bit due to an injury.
What had been on my mind, was the niggling suspicion that yes, I was in fact too old for this shit.
It’s possible. Jury is still out.


Day 25: something cute

I don’t really do cute. This is the closest I can get without breaking out in hives.
When I was a kid, I wanted a sock monkey. My Aunt Lillian had made one for my cousin Tracey, and I coveted it with every fibre of my being. Something in my upbringing made it impossible to come right out and ask her to make me one, but I sure hinted like hell. I never got a sock monkey; apparently, I am not that good at hinting.
Fast forward a decade, and I found a pair of red heel socks in my local thrift store, so I made my own.
His name is Rosebutt.


June 22-23

Day 22: From a high angle

Looking down from my window on the 21st floor to a view of the driveway and small visitor parking lot. I don’t often see it as I have to actually lean out of the window. This plays havoc with my vertigo and height anxiety at the moment, although it is getting much better thanks to CBT.


Day 23: Movement

The school went to an indoor trampoline park for the end of the year trip. I was seriously thinking about jumping around myself until I saw a grade 10 student with an ice-pack on her knee.
Getting old blows…my desire to jump in and try new things is being tempered by experience and maturity whispering in my ear.


« Older posts