Friday, December 31, 2010

Absolutely the last sunset of 2010....

First, the 'big picture' and then.....

The close-up. That's Vancouver Island across Georgia Strait.

The cure for child-proof bottles for adults

I could say "Screw it!" because that's exactly what you do - put a small screw through the top to make both parts of that lid move together like one. You will never again feel the urge to cuss the guy who invented those tops.

Have a good one, Folks !

Thursday, December 30, 2010

One little cloud on one little hill

Sometimes, shadows reveal details we might not notice.

The not-so-big picture....

I like the look of the snow on the trees along the skyline. The weather up there is obviously different than we have down here closer to sea level, where the grass is green and the streets are bare. I just love a well-behaved winter that knows its place!

Tomorrow's Weather.....

This is what the Weatherman is promising for tomorrow (and today!)
Enjoy your day, Everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Lookout

Watching for donations.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What can you do with a 24X zoom ?

First, the big picture, without using the zoom. See where that snow-line on the right side gets quite thin, and the trees are more defined? I'm going to zoom in on that with the full 24-power zoom....

And this is what it looks like in the full-zoom mode. Perhaps I ought to add that I wasn't using the new Manfrotto tripod on this - these are freehand, which isn't bad, if I do say so myself. I'm quite happy with these. Don't forget to click inside the pictures to enlarge them to full size.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Talk about profitable recycling.....

Remember her? Of course you do! And remember that cute bottle she came out of when she was summoned?.....

Well, if you want one of those authentic 1964 Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon bottles, hand painted like Jeannie's, it isn't cheap, Folks! And you don't even get the Bourbon!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

The local forecast - green & wet for Vancouver

True to our historical record, which says that we have green Christmases ninety percent of the time here, this year will be no exception. It's going to be wet and windy, changing to wet and breezy, changing to just plain Blah for the next five days, until next Wednesday - if the weatherman's right, and the winds don't change, or the systems don't stall, and the sky don't fall.

Looking on the bright side, I just saved $1,000 on a set of winter tires! And thousands of local drivers just saved themselves from fender-benders, and that means we all save on our compulsory government auto insurance - so let's all be thankful for yet another Green Christmas! Am I the Eternal Optimist, or what? - Nah! Just trying to cheer myself up. It's not working.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Winter Solstice Sun, from 2005 in Italy

There's a lot of pictures of moons on the web just now, so I'm trying to different, and show something else. This was taken in Italy in 2005 by a chap named Pivato, and I hope he doesn't mind my showing it again. It's a neat sequence of images and a lot of work went into it, and he deserves our appreciation for that. It shows the sun from rising to setting on the first day of winter, 2005 from a spot near the Italian coast, looking towards the spaghetti fields :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yesterday - ah, yesterday.....

Here's what it doesn't look like today, and once again we're socked in with low clouds, and rain with snow at higher levels, as they say. So there goes the chance to see that total eclipse anywhere around here I guess..... I'll just have to wait for someone's pictures of it I suppose.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Moonshine - just before moonset

This morning's nearly-full moon, just before it set about 5:00 a.m.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mid-December pest.....

I should start by saying the Canon G9 used here was set on its Automatic setting, so it should have delivered a better image.

I had to be quick, because this was a fly on the outside of the window, and it took off for points unknown a few seconds later. Just took this to prove that we have such things flying around outside today. Is Winter over? Can Spring be far away?  Is this because of the dreaded Global Warming? Will we soon have the Bikini Season year-round? I wouldn't be surprised, but it will take a while yet, so don't sell your snowboard or skis just yet.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Eagle has landed......(Not that one - this one!)

This little guy (or girl - not sure!) is lost, and has been crying for its Mommie or its mate all night, and most of the day today. On my 3:00 A.M. bathroom trip I heard it, and that was spooky. Who expects to hear an Eagle in the middle of the night? I hope it's O.K.

A little of this 'n that from Oldest Living Blogger

This is a brewery in the U.K. that has a nice website, and if things like its cute images amuse you, then you'll enjoy it. You can also send a free Christmas ecard to friends, relatives, inlaws, outlaws, or people you don't even like because it's a dandy, and it doesn't cost you a farthing. " What's a farthing, Grandpa?" And the answer is: "There's no such thing now, since the year 1960, when those were withdrawn from use - but when they were a legal coin in Merry Old England, a farthing was worth one-quarter of a penny." Imagine! A quarter of a penny!

Am I the only driver sitting in the gridlock at an intersection where our line is going to make a turn, and I'm looking at the boob in front of me who has the turn signal blazing away in my face and thinking, in time to the flashes, "Idiot! - Idiot! - Idiot!" - What's the point of annoying the hell out of your fellow drivers by flashing your signals in their faces when you're stopped at a light and can't move for two or three minutes? All you're doing by that is wearing out your flashers for nothing, and all those are saying to the rest of us is that here's a driver with his mind in neutral and his I.Q. out to lunch! You don't need a signal until you have somewhere to go and you're able to move.

Anyone remember when you could put a set of tires on your car for a hundred bucks? Multiply that by ten now, Kiddies. And the tires you get for it aren't going to do a whole lot more for you than those 4-for-a-hundred ones did, back in the Fabulous Fifties, when a 1957 Chevy was King of the Road, and my 1957 Ford was the worst Monday Morning Special ever pushed off the assembly line. I've never bought another Ford since, nor do I intend to. How many new cars have you ever had that died on the side of the road with only 308 miles on the odometer? None, I betcha. You lucky rascal, you! I wish I could say that!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Time Marches On - Trampling Everything Underfoot !

This is the latest incarnation of my trusty 30-year-old WaterPik shower, which got put out to pasture yesterday, following another trip to London Drugs, where it came from, all those years ago. This new one looks better, but it doesn't work better than my old one. My old one was the better of the two, but it had worn until it was leaking from inside the head, and dribbling all over besides where you aimed it. But it did such a nice job, I had to buy another one, just because. This doesn't have to last 30 years, because I won't. Now, it's "Shower Time!"

'Tis the season to be jolly......

So if you can't stop, then smile as you go under!

Around midnight, I heard three distinct instances of squealing tires, followed by crashing noises, all within seconds of one another, coming from the nearby section of the four-lane freeway. Minutes later, several emergency vehicles converged on the spot, lights flashing, and began sorting out the mess and removing the injured. The odd thing about it was that the location wasn't on a nasty curve close by, but rather on a short straight stretch beyond it. So if you're driving home from seasonal festivities, please stay alert - the world needs more lerts..... and our compulsory government insurance is expensive enough already without you adding to its costs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Conspicuous Consumption -

Ever wondered what 'Global Warming' looks like in action? This is our resident billionaire's annual Christmas display, with the 'Star of Bethlehem' shining down benevolently upon his humble abode. Hell's Bells and Little Balls of Fire! That 'humble abode' takes up almost a city block, and those bright lights can be seen on a clear night for about 30 miles in directions where the hills don't interfere. He owns something like 65 companies, and his assets include Frank Sinatra's old hide-out in Palm Springs, and another residence in the Philippines, not to mention the corporate jet and a legion of flunkies hanging on his every word. I can't decide if this display is saying 'Merry Christmas' or 'Buy Now-Pay Later' or 'Up Yours, Peasants!' or all of the above. I wonder if it can be seen from space?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Salvaging old film print

This was in my Pentax film camera for over a year before being developed, and when it was finally processed a couple of weeks ago, it came out very grainy and nothing like it might have been originally. But rather than just throw it out, I tried using an editing program to sample and bucket-fill various areas of it, so the colors would be more even and more consistent. This is the result. It almost looks like a painting. One of those 'paint-by-numbers' ones, perhaps.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another fast-moving UFO.....

It's a little bit blurry, but they do move very fast. Just lucky I was getting ready to take another picture as it flew by..... talk about your 'covert operations' - this didn't even have lights. But who's going to send them a ticket if we don't even know where they are from.....

Actually, I do know where this one is from. It's from my kitchen's collection of old aluminum pie plates. Two of them stapled together. It's on a string hanging from a vent on my balcony, to chase away pigeons, and there was a wind today so it was moving around nicely. I just snapped its picture, and then edited out the piece of string. And I betcha that's exactly how a lot of those so-called 'real' ones were created too. Now you know how, Kiddies - have fun!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another panorama for your viewing pleasure....

This is the Mount Seymour Provincial Park and Ski Area on my eastern horizon, which as the crow flies, is about seven or seven and a half miles away, and is the easternmost of our North Shore mountains. Click inside the image for a larger view.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tripods make a difference

This is a stitch of two shots using the Manfrotto tripod, and it does help with stability and sharpness of details during long-zoom shots.

"It's going to be another glorious day in Lotusland"

Want proof? Help yourself.... ( It will make a nice wallpaper!)


Dawn creeps over the hill.....

If you click inside this to enlarge it, you'll see more details in this 7:15 a.m. shot looking toward the Mount Seymour (no relation to Jane!) Ski Area on the far horizon. It's going to be another glorious day in Lotusland. And surprise-surprise my Canon G9 actually captured this without its Image Stabilization malfunctioning like it too-often does. Maybe threatening to take a hammer to it actually helps! It seems to have worked for me. Or was it the missing screw that I replaced on the underside of it? Who knew a Canon camera would start to literally fall apart only 25 or 26 months after leaving its factory? Where the hell were their Quality Control people that day? Would I buy another? Can pigs fly?

So how do YOU spell 'Pentax'? I don't have any trouble with the I.S. in my Pentax X70, and therein lies a hint, Kiddies!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Lights season has begun

Our resident billionaire every year lights up his whole place every evening in December from dusk until midnight, and it can be seen for miles and miles. This being the Christmas Season, we won't go into the subject of conspicuous consumption, because there's an epidemic of it these days.

I have a theory: Away back in the good old days, millennia ago, a shaman and a merchant got together and decided on a 'make-work project' of mutual benefit; they invented what we now call 'Christmas' but back then went by another name, among them in Roman times that of 'Saturnalia', taking place at this time of year because they needed the business. It has evolved over the centuries, and been refined a bit, but its main object remains the same: to separate those gullible unwashed masses from their spendable coin. And it still works the same as ever.