Monday, October 31, 2011

Compared to that storm in the northeastern U.S.A., .......

.....we here on the south coast of Beautiful British Columbia in the so-called 'Great White North' have absolutely nothing to complain about at all. Except, perhaps, the scarcity of bikinis this time of year. Those fur-lined ones never did seem to really catch on..... except during the 'slush cup' downhill events at Whistler at the end of the season there. What some of those kids almost wear for that simply has to be seen to be believed, I kid you not.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Walt Kelly's 'Pogo' classic.... just for you!

This goes back to a Christmas Past (1961, I think) and was a part of the album 'Jingle Bell Jazz' from back about then, featuring Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Chico Hamilton, Carmen McRae, Pony Poindexter, Herbie Hancock, Paul Horn, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross ( doing this one here) Marlowe Morris, and Miles Davis.  It's a Columbia 12-inch LP, and now let's listen to the classic 'DECK US ALL WITH BOSTON CHARLIE'.......

And as long as I'm digging out the Golden Oldies here, I just can't stop without this one. It's one of my favorites done by Chet 'Mr. Guitar' Atkins, and I wish I'd bought more of his albums - I only have 25 of them.....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

For Tommy in New York......

Here's a Blast From The Past to remind you there's only 56 more days until that fat old guy in the red suit comes by with his reindeer to poop on your roof and clog up the gutters! All I want for Christmas is the 2nd of January!

This just in from Tommy's place.....

So it seems that I was wrong - the state of New York isn't in the Banana Belt after all. Damn! I was sure that away down there in the sunny south, those banana trees would be sprouting at the rate of about half an inch an hour!

Today's 'Question Everything' is: "Does your local WalMart sell studded snow tires down there?" I think I'd get me some, if I were you, judging by that prematurely winterish climate you seem to have there.

Winter driving tip: To defrost or de-ice the outside of your windshield in a hurry, get a little empty spray-pumper bottle, like an old Windex bottle, and put some Isopropanol 99% in it, and give your windshield a few squirts of that to melt a light coating of snow, or morning frost, or even ice from it. The Isopropanol is also known as Rubbing Alcohol, but there's two different strengths of that, usually, and you want the pure (99%) stuff, not the 70% which is diluted with water. For what you're going to use it on, it doesn't need to be diluted beforehand. This stuff saves a lot of scraping of windows and windshields when you just want to get going. Try it!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today's Snow Report !

The folks at Grouse Mountain will be happy today.
It's the beginning of another busy season for them.
And time for the rest of you to start thinking about
getting your Season's Passes.
Speaking of which, check this out -
              Cypress Mountain alpine area passes              

Bought myself a Birthday Present.....

I've wanted one of these for a long time, and for almost as long as that, I've had a nice little Bissell Power Steamer which also does a very acceptable job of cleaning the carpets. So what does this one have that the Bissell didn't?

Me, for starters! But seriously - it does have one rather unique feature, and this is why I got it: the rotating scrub-brushes underneath the front edge, just behind that suction intake. There's five little brushes, geared together to rotate, scrubbing your carpet as the detergent solution is applied right through channels in that brush assembly, so in addition to simply applying a hot water and detergent mix and then sucking it back up out of the carpet with whatever it dissolved on its way in and out, this machine gives the carpet fibers a scrubbing as all that happens. The result is a better cleaning. And if you insist, you can switch off the rotation of the brushes, and just use the spray-it-on/suck-it-out system like my old Bissell does. Your choice. And it's nice to have choices.  And better to have really clean carpets!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another nice sunset.....

Household Hint - Storing poly rope.

Wrap it on an old paper towel roll
to keep it from tangling up.
Works for me!

Sunset behind Vancouver Island

Monday, October 24, 2011

About Java and Firefox browser....

Everybody uses Java, right? And the latest version at this writing is Java 6, Update 29.  So why am I telling you this? Because... almost everybody also uses Firefox as their browser of choice - or us smart ones do, anyway. And therein lies the problem, Kiddies....

If you've done a couple of updates to your Java, or you have its automatic updates feature enabled, and you've then gone into your Firefox browser to check its Add-ons -> Extensions, and you've seen one or more entries there reading: "Java Console is incompatible with Firefox [version blah-blah]", and you don't know how to get rid of that silly entry because it doesn't have the usual [Remove] option button on it, then here's what to do to get rid of it:-

Go to -> C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Extensions, and look for any and all entries which start with the letters CAFFE or CAFFEE plus more alphanumerics, and simply delete each one of those items. There may be only the one, or there may be more than one. Delete them all. Then, go back into your Firefox browser's Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions and check for the warning(s) about the incompatible Java Console. You'll find that it is now gone, and peace has returned to the valley. Enjoy your day!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More leaves

Another editing job....

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Today was like this -

Limited Visibility, as they like to say.

Not a very nice day for the repairs to be completed on Nice Old Bike, but it looks very nice with its newly repaired and freshly painted gas tank, and I'm going to let it enjoy itself over there at the Kawasaki Service on their Winter Layaway Plan until I start getting my annual "Bike Fever" next spring. Then, we will get back out there, playing in the traffic for another season.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More autumn leaves

Posted by Picasa

They're turning......

Ours aren't as plentiful as those elsewhere,
because we don't have a lot of deciduous
trees here in the Pacific Rainforest.
Ours are mostly evergreens.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Clouds - always a new story....

Long before we had movies or TV,
We had our imagination and clouds.
This is shortly after sunrise today.
Maybe Aladdin's Lamp, 
with something magical forming above.

Once Upon A Time, In A Universe Far Away -

There was a Big Bang!
or maybe,
It was last evening's Sunset !

Monday, October 17, 2011

And the sun slowly sets again......

Actually, it's not so slowly, if you're waiting for just that right moment to press the shutter for a nice shot of it. And then there's the other technique - bang away like hell for a while, and pick out a good one later.

Dawn creeps over the hill

The days are definitely getting shorter and daylight isn't appearing until after breakfast, it seems. But it does show up, eventually. This was taken on the Canon G9 using its doubler lens. I didn't realize until just the other day that there's a setting in the camera's menus for telling it that the doubler is in place, so it can adjust itself for it. The moral of that story being "When all else fails, read the damned directions, Dummy!" - And now I know why some of those older shots with this doubler were coming out looking like they were taken in a long tunnel...... they were! At least as far as the camera knew. It embarrasses the hell out of me to realize that my cute little camera is smarter than I am. But I'm learning, and that's the object of this exercise. - Enjoy your day, Everyone! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Frosty rooftops

This morning's look out the window is 'live' in the sense that it's a video instead of the usual snapshot. The only real 'action' here is the smoke from those chimneys, and near the end, a crow flies through the frame. But it wasn't meant as a thrilling action sequence, just a long look out the window. And did I mention? This is my first test of making a video on the Pentax X70.

Friday, October 14, 2011

And there goes! ........Bruised Mango ???

Landscapers and Tree-trimmers come in all shapes and sizes and sexes around here, and it's a real challenge to come up with a really original name for your business, because there's a lot of them. So, if you're a local hedge manicurist or foliage control manager, and have-chipper-will-travel, then a name like 'Bruised Mango' should definitely stick in your customer's memory. That's either a good thing or bad, depending on the quality of your work. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today's Sunrise as 'Desktop Background'

I like taking random cloud photos from time to time, and then combining several of them into my own Windows Theme to be used on the monitor like the 'original equipment' ones provided by Microsoft. I made a new theme yesterday, with seven fresh photos, and today I added this one to it.

An old pal from our wild and crazy youth asked me the other day if there's a way to use all of the pictures in all of the Windows Themes individual sets all at once to get them to display as one long, uninterrupted changing set of desktop backgrounds. As far as I know, there's no built-in Windows program to do this, but don't let that stop you.

You can easily make a new Windows Theme of your own, and simply copy those images you like from wherever they are now in their original theme folders into your newly-created 'DesktopBackground' folder in your own big new 'supertheme' called perhaps 'Everything Wallpaper' or maybe something like 'My Supertheme' - whatever name grabs you.

Just go to C:\Users\(your username)\AppData\Microsoft\Windows\Themes and in that Themes folder, create a new folder named for your own new theme. Inside that new folder, create another new folder and give it the name DesktopBackground or write that as the two separate words Desktop and Background, (it doesn't seem to matter) but this folder cannot be named anything else. Each named folder in Themes must contain one and only one other folder named Desktop Background. It is into this innermost folder Desktop Background that you must copy the images you want to use in your own new theme. You can have as many images as you like - as far as I know, there's no particular limit on their number.

Once your choices of images are all copied or pasted into that Desktop Background folder inside your newly-named theme folder in Themes, then all you have to do to get it actively going is click 'Organize', then choose 'Select All', to select all of your new images, and then on any of those do a right-click to bring up another menu, and on that choose 'Set as desktop background'. This will immediately cause your desktop background theme to switch to this new one you just made. You can now close all those windows, and clear off your desktop, now showing your new theme. On any clear area of that desktop, do a right-click, and then click on the bottom item which says 'Personalize'. That opens a new window for your themes Personalization. Your newest theme should show in there in the upper left corner of this Personalization window, and it will be named as 'Unsaved theme'. You should right-click on that and save it with its own new name like the one you chose for its theme folder. You can then treat it just the same as you would any original Windows Theme, and configure its settings just as you would if Windows Themes had come with it already installed. And you can make others if you don't like that one, and you can delete the ones you don't like or are tired of, or want to clear out to make room for more of your own. So relax, make yourself a hot cuppa, and have some fun. It's your Windows after all, so please enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Clouds - interpretations

Two edits of a nice cloud.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cooking Hint .....

While cooking one of those 'frozen meals in a bag' that never seem to have exactly the right amount of flash-frozen sauce included, to which you've added a half cup or so of boiling water to get it all started melting in the microwave, if it is too 'watery' when it does finish melting in the oven, you can give it a 'crust' and prevent it from boiling all over the oven by simply sprinkling a layer of dehydrated potato flakes over the top of it before its
final few minutes in the oven. Don't stir the potato flakes into it - make them absorb the juice from the mix already there. If they get too dry and don't all get their share of juice, add just a dribble of boiling water on top, but only enough to dampen them down - you don't want them swimming. Cook for the remaining time or possibly a minute or two more, and voila! You're done! Serve and enjoy. 

Thanksgiving turkey? Forget it! This is better.....

This is Trish's Apple Cake....

And the hardest job I've had all day was to take this picture before eating it. This is so delicious, it's practically sinful. If the whole city knew how good this is, we would all be trampled in the rush to get some. Her banana bread and butter tarts are equally tasty, and with treats like those, a turkey would definitely be an anticlimax. 
Thank you, Trish, for the nicest Thanksgiving treats anyone's given me in a long time. Your baking is the best I've tasted in many years. Don is a lucky guy to have you creating goodies like these.  Happy Thanksgiving to you!

This is the kind of day we're having.....

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Rainforesters!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My glasses - the sequel.

This morning, because they're usually open Saturdays, I drove over to the Optometry to get new nose pads on my fancy Japanese frames. A nice little notice on the front door from Doctor Deb informs its readers that they're closed Saturday and Monday for the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

Oops! I hadn't been paying attention to the calendar. So I drove home, and on the way, I realized I have a quite a collection of former and complete  prescription frames - so why not take the pads off one of those and fix my own glasses, instead of waiting until Tuesday and squinting a lot with the old ones I restored to service?

Good idea! I've even kept a pair of those magnifier-only type drug store eye glasses from away back when. Slipping those over the former prescription ones gives me not-quite-Xray-vision. I grabbed my handy miniature set of screwdrivers, removed the pads from an old set of frames, put them onto these present ones, and voila! I can see normally again. So when I go back to visit Doctor Debbie, and she asks me to read the eye chart, and tell her what the bottom line says, I can honestly say "Made in U.S.A.". All of which goes to prove that necessity is still the mother of invention. Don't you just love happy endings?

Today's Snow Report....

Too early you say? Yes, but stay tuned!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Why you should keep your previous pair of glasses....

So that when a nose pad breaks off your expensive frames, you've got a pair for 'back-up' to get you by until these 'cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, does everything but hold together' $760+ ones are once more repaired. And yes, Kiddies, I did say 'once more'. A lens has fallen out not once, but twice, and the magical coating on both lenses had to be replaced because my normal cleaning with a soft linen tea towel evidently was too harsh for it.

Why did a lens fall out twice? Look at the lower edge of the lenses. See that little groove there? Well in that little groove is a short length of filament, very similar to monofilament fishing line. That's what holds the lens up tightly into those sexy-looking half-frames of metal. Problem is, there's a tricky little cinch fitting which it has to be pulled tightly through in order to make it hold, and this has a couple of tiny little holes for this 'fishing line' to pass through, and those seem to sometimes cut into the filament, breaking it eventually, and suddenly you've got monovision instead of stereo. Or one eye seeing much better than the other - for $760+...... And here's the 'kicker' Folks - my older ones (that I'm now wearing again!) have the same system for holding in their lenses, and they've never had a problem! A fool and his money are soon parted. I have proof!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A wasp before eviction

A rare moment at rest.
 Just before escaping out the window.

Apples still grow on trees.....

A great man is no longer with us today, as we all know from the news of the hour and the 'talking heads' endlessly babbling away. But God is not dead, and men are not gods, in spite of our tendency sometimes to believe otherwise. I never knew Steve Jobs of course, but it's my understanding that he was much like a great chef; he collected the right ingredients, mixed them in the right proportions, let them simmer and bubble and boil long enough, and voila - something very tempting that looked & 'tasted' just right, and filled a void we didn't know we'd had. He had a magnificent ego, a limited wardrobe, and was careless about his own health, and he died prematurely.

It has been said that Apple today has more money than anybody in that industry, thanks to its innovative products, its skilled management, and its integration of product and delivery system into a seamless package that is nothing if not convenient. But the automotive industry didn't collapse with the passing of Henry Ford, and neither will the computer industry with the passing of Steve Jobs. Microsoft didn't go into bankruptcy when Bill Gates went off to spend his billions. Many of the great leaders of business and industry did wonderful work in putting together successful teams of cutting-edge thinkers who revolutionized their fields of endeavor. But none of that was the work of just one man.

Henry Ford gets credit for being one of the founders of the auto industry, for coming up with the idea of an assembly line to build cars, and that got an industry going. But he didn't invent the wheel, and many others had great ideas too. For example, in France in the 1930s a car maker named Delage was producing some of the most beautiful and innovative automobiles on the planet, and Louis Delage's own personal 1937 Delage D8-120 Pourtout Aero Coupe (pictured below) was decades ahead of its time in both style and technology. It had for example a steering-column-mounted electric gear-shifting control rivaling our automatic transmission controls of decades later, and its looks made men's hearts beat faster.

Louis Delage is gone, but his creations live on; Steve Jobs is gone, but his creations will survive and evolve and develop just as Louis Delage's dreams were carried on by others after him. Science and technology are alive and well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An idea whose time has come -

Thanks to 'Uncle Ron' in South Carolina for sending me a link to this one and it is a slick idea.

However, today's 'Question Everything' is: "How do we get out if our car is T-boned by another in an intersection?" My other question, if I'm allowed two of them, is:"Does this have an electrical interlock to prevent moving the car with a door open?"

( And what about the side-impact air bags?)

Have I just described why you can't find one in your local showroom yet? 

Monday, October 3, 2011

West Vancouver at night

Not a nice night, but after all it is October, on the pointy end of the rainy season again, when we all wonder if we will sprout webbed feet before spring rolls around once more. This fall I thought would be a nice pleasant fair weather one, to make up for that completely forgettable spring and almost-summer we've just had. The portents are not favorable, prognosticationally speaking, and I see rain gear in our immediate futures. The Bikini Season is most definitely history.

And to my sister Joan, if you're reading this on your semi-new laptop, now actually and finally on the internet at last, well done, my dear! I had almost given up hope, but again you've proven me wrong, and good on ya!

On that cheerful note, we will now move on to a look at some autumn colors around a hydro-electric station where I once worked, many, many years ago in the good old days, when men were men, and all the gals were naturally double-breasted. Silicone was for grouting the bathroom tiles back then, and Flower Power was all the rage, except in the boonies where I lived. We still believed in old-fashioned electric power, and I helped keep it going.

Isn't that pretty? There's nowhere quite like the eastern shores of Lake Superior in the autumn when the maples turn colors. There's a strip of mostly hardwood forest for about ten miles or so inland from the shores of the lake, in its traditional 'snow belt' and people come from many miles around to enjoy the views and take pictures.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Another almost-sunrise....

This certainly isn't a noteworthy sunrise, except for two points: it's 7:30 A.M., and the sky is about 85% clear.  We haven't seen a lot of clear skies around here this summer. And Thaimi, if you're reading this, I don't think I'll take your suggestion of going back and counting the few nice summery days we had. It would be far too depressing, my dear.

Trish and Don are my neighbors on the floor above, and I sometimes make a copy of a movie for them that I hope they or their little ones may enjoy, and in return, Trish sometimes bakes me a batch of peanut butter cookies. The last time we talked about that, she asked if there was anything special I'd like in the cookies. I suggested possibly some chocolate chips, and she said that they don't keep chocolate chips around, because she's allergic. I said not to worry about it, and please don't go to a lot of bother.

Time passes, and yesterday while I'm once more sitting here spending too much time on this computer, Don knocked on the door, and handed me a plastic container of peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips in them! He said, "Try to make them last more than one day - I dare you!" And I replied, "If they're anything like the last batch, Don, I'm going to have a very difficult time doing that." Around bedtime last night, I decided on a snack, so I made a cup of coffee, and opened the cookie jar. I had one, and then another, and another, and began to feel very comfortable.  I woke up sitting here with one hand on the cookie jar and my head on the keyboard, some time later on, thinking "Gee - I'm glad Trish and Don can't see me now!" They wouldn't know that I have a habit of falling asleep over the keyboard here and waking up hours later, with a kink in my neck, and other assorted aches and pains. Three or four times, I've fallen off my chair, and that's not a nice way to wake up.  

So today's Question Everything is: "Why can't they make softer keyboards?" Or maybe, "Why don't computers have a 'no-doze' alarm?" (Easy! Rig the webcam so that when your head disappears from the frame, it sets off a sound effect of your choice built into the computer's program. - Do I have to tell you guys everything?)

And Trish - these cookies are absolutely delicious! And Don, I did make them last more than one day, but it wasn't easy.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

This is the kind of day it's been.....

It's not the camera, it's the fog!