Sunday, January 31, 2010

One of our feathered friends

Digging for lunch.... and finding some. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just passing by....

If I was in a submarine, this would find me. What it is looking for over the city beats me. Anyway, my Pentax X70 with 'superzoom' is still working nicely.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More flowers...

This is why our Olympics may be in trouble...the weather's just been too mild lately. Not that we're all complaining, mind you. Some of us don't mind at all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today's weather....

This was with the Canon G9 on max optical zoom.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today's 'wildlife' shot....

I shot this through the window, and it's just an ordinary housefly, but the significant thing about it is that it's outside, and this is the 25th of January. Maybe we should have tried for the Summer Olympics, instead of the Winter Olympics....

It's overcast and 50 F outside, and raining lightly. Does that sound like ski season to you?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monsieur Beep's weather map...

Here's today's weather map for the North Rhine - Westphalia region of Germany, where Monsieur Beep is getting snow....

And here's the weather map for this part of the world today - Canada's famous 'wet coast'.

 And last but not least, the weather in Florida, for my friends down there....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More signs of Spring

More signs of Spring here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pentax X70 - zoom or no zoom, here's the picture

First with no zoom, looking down the river, for a person sitting on the rocks along the bank on the right-hand side of the river, near where it disappears around the bend. You don't see anything there, do you?

Now, with full 24X optical zoom, you can see the person sitting on the bank, just beyond that biggest rock along the shoreline. (Click inside the image to enlarge it.)
My friend in the U.K. has some comments about this on his own blog, here. 

The local snow pack....

This shows what's different from a normal January picture of this area behind Grouse Mtn.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More pictures....

The local wildlife looking for lunch.

Local flowers in bloom.  I don't know the name of them, but they are very small and quite difficult to photograph in detail.

The big picture....

Under the overcast, a view of parts of Vancouver Island in the distance, with snow on some of the peaks over there. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Something we don't see every day....

This is a nice New Year's card I just received from Radio Havana Cuba, and therein lies a story as they say. Last year, I received a little wallet calendar card from them, so I sent back one of our Canadian calendars. This year, another wallet calendar card and this nice greeting card along with it. I sent another calendar, by Air Mail this time, because our friendly local Postal Person told me that surface mail might take ages. The postage came to much more than the calendar, needless to say. But I want Lourdes and the folks at Radio Havana Cuba to get it before the year's half over.

The flower gardens...

These aren't in the best condition, but they are out in bloom, and that's something.

And these soon will be out in bloom, if our weather stays mild like this. Ah, Spring....

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's one of those Mondays....

Some guy on the radio says this is supposed to be the worst Monday of the year, because of broken resolutions, bills from Christmas, gloomy weather, and maybe your job.

Actually, he wasn't even close. I got up at 4:30 AM for my early bathroom trip, and when I got there, the power went off. I made it back to bed alright, and woke up again just as it was getting daylight. There's nothing like firing up the portable camp stove on the deck to boil a pot of water for your first hot coffee of the day, really. I was just halfway through my second cup when the power came back on, and then I had to reset everything. That's becoming a nuisance these days with all our gadgets and toys. Speaking of that, someone wrote recently that it takes about seven or eight percent of our power these days just to keep everything on standby, whether we're using it or not. If we think of everything with little indicator lights telling us it's on or ready to be used, that's not so far-fetched.

And my 'campfire coffee' was just delicious. I'm trying not to think of the fact that back in the old days, when I worked for the local power company, it didn't take us three and a half hours to get the power back on in a building not more than half a mile from two different main substations. That's not what I'd call 'performance'. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More pictures....

This is where the trees were, and what's left of them now.

This is the snow-pack on a nearby peak, after nearly two weeks of mild weather and rain.
Over half of the snow has melted, we are told. 

The far-away hills, up behind British Properties and past Cypress Mountain. This is the Pentax X70 with its 24X zoom right out at the bitter end.... actually, not too bad.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Picking up the pieces...

Fortunately not all of that wood will end up as firewood for the fifty-plus chimneys in that development, although it would smell better while burning than those sawdust and glue things they call fireplace logs these days.  And as we see, some of that timber is just as good as any from the back woods, and maybe better.  

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some blocks are bigger than others...

First, he attaches a line to the top end, for the ground crew to tighten up. Then, he makes his cuts, and finally, he hammers wedges into the back side of it, until it overbalances and begins to fall. Now you know why this is one of the most dangerous jobs there are. There's nowhere to run if anything goes wrong. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coming down - one block at a time

This is how they do it when working close to a building.

The logging next door....

The one on the left, leaning at an angle, is just starting to fall, while being pulled by a line from the parking lot, to make sure it falls in the right direction. In the second picture, it is on the ground, and they are removing the line from its former top end.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Not just another day at the office

Top: Preparing to cut one of the last big branches, which is secured by a rope from the tree beside it.
Middle: That branch, just after being cut, as it falls away.
Bottom: Starting to climb down for lunch break.
After lunch, he started on that last big tree on the left, behind the others.

Monsieur Beep says.....

Monsieur Beep says that I should point this Pentax at the sky on a dark night and look for inhabited planets with this zoom lens it has. So this one's for you, Monsieur - so you can see what would happen. And this is after two kinds of noise filters have done their thing on it. Eolake is right - there's a certain point beyond which a zoom lens shouldn't go. Unless noise in the image isn't our greatest concern.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another big tree comes down...


These pictures aren't the best, because it's pouring rain, and this is happening about a block away, so there's a lot of water between the camera and the subject. But this was something I didn't want to miss, so I took these anyway.

There's another one of these here on Eolake's blog.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oscar Peterson and Count Basie

Leno moves back to late night....

I sent this to my favourite 'Dear Editor' about that....

Dear Editor:

I don't see why we need three different late night hosts
airing back-to-back. In my humble opinion, none of them
are all that great. They're basically just providing a
place for other entertainers to flog their latest projects,
in case we're interested.

Back in the 'good old days', we had one late-night host
on any given channel, and after he finished, we got a
late-night movie or something else worth watching.
Now, it's just yakkedy-yak and Sham-Wow all night.
Who the hell needs that aggravation?

Enjoy your day,

Ray in North Van

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Some wavy clouds passing over just now. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Coming Soon..... a Touch-Screen Notebook

Here's a first look at HP's new slate-style touch-screen notebook, with Windows 7, reported to be available this summer. You will need to pay attention, because this video only lasts for 18 - count 'em - 18 seconds!

Today's weather looks like this....

Unlike Europe and the U.K., our grass is still green, and we can still see it. We can't go out to play in the snow unless we climb the nearby mountains where we keep our winter here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This cloud has rocks in it...

And we haven't seen them for a while lately....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Some cute pictures....

Here's something different from your ordinary snapshots, for sure...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Google has a message for you, if you hurry...

Go on Google, and instead of entering something in the search box, just leave it empty, but click on the box that says "I'm feeling lucky" for a special message....

Windows 7 gaining users

There's a lot of hype going around just now about Apple's Macs becoming more popular, but these statistics don't indicate anything like that. The vast majority of us use Windows in one form or another, and Windows 7 has now passed the five percent mark. There's probably more people using Windows 7 than there are using a Mac OS-X, and that just might be the result of an evaluation of the latest OS-X upgrade describing it as a poor imitation of Windows 7. I prefer Windows 7 because it runs a greater variety of programs, and it is more user-friendly than any other recent Windows.

One of my favourite days of the year....

"Why?" you ask. Because: it's fifty weeks until the next Silly Season returns, that's why.

And I got today off to a roaring start a lot sooner than I planned, because something in the neighbourhood set off a nearby car alarm at about 3:30 AM, and then two houses across the street turned on their lights, and people with rainwear over their PJs began prowling the yards with flashlights, looking for whatever caused all that. If it had been a burglar, they might have wished for more than a flashlight, but it was most likely one of our friendly local raccoons, out looking for snacks. They even sometimes wander into our underground garage, because at least once I've discovered raccoon tracks across the hood of my car from the right front to the left side as it was checked over.  Those little guys don't miss much. 

Where I lived before retiring, a family of local raccoons came every evening for supper, and I kept an old dishpan of clean water in the back yard for them to wash up in. They loved three-flavour dry catfood, and fresh bread, and the young ones would eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches right out of my hand. Giving them a marshmallow or two was always good for a smile, from all the faces they made as they tried to chew it. Sometimes, I'd put a few fresh eggs in their water dish, and they loved fishing those out and eating them. They also enjoyed sitting on a bench outside the living room patio doors, and watching TV through the doorway. People who say raccoons and house cats don't get along are wrong. I've often seen them sharing a dish of food in the yard, with a raccoon on one side of the dish, and a neighbour's cat on the other. So you can't believe urban legends. 

Friday, January 1, 2010