Thursday, April 30, 2009

Skywatch Friday... over some of Canada.

Here are some photos of a flight from Victoria, BC to Ottawa, Ontario that I took last summer.

Leaving Victoria International Airport (International meaning that there are some flights to Seattle).

Apologies to the environment but the flight between Victoria and Vancouver is a great flight. Small plane, flies low, over gorgeous scenery and it's all over in 16 minutes. I love it!

EDIT! Adding... I get off the wee plane in Vancouver and jump aboard a bigger plane from Vancouver to Ottawa... and that takes five hours.

Leaving Vancouver is beautiful too: the ocean, the Cascade mountain range and then the Rockies... hypnotic. Sorry about the squiggle!

The Canadian Prairies ... where the buffalo once roamed is now a checker board of wheat and soybeans. Oh, and down there somewhere is the 'Land of Rape and Honey' (I haven't forgotten).

And here is the political capital of Canada... Ottawa is on the top half of the river and Gatineau in Quebec is on the bottom right corner. It's opposite to a normal map. And my expression is more to do with someone pointing a camera at me than about my feelings about Ottawa cos I really do like it there.

For more skies from around the globe, visit Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The definition of cute.

Seen just a few hours ago and I'm still all awww-y. :-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

More for my British friends...

My friend Simon over in England emailed me this link.

Canada tourist video shot in Northumbria
The sea was blue, the beach was gold and the children skipping through the sand dunes seemed a testament to the healthy joys of holidays in the Canadian province of Alberta.

Tourist officials and the national government in Ottawa were delighted with the promotional clip, part of a £14m attempt to offset controversy over oil extraction in Alberta's beautiful wildlands.

But hours of sleuthing by a puzzled sailing enthusiast, aware that Alberta has no coastline, have revealed that the idyll was filmed 5,000 miles away across the Atlantic. The girl with the flying hair and her friend were romping on the sweep of sand at Beadnell Bay near Bamburgh, Northumberland, where the North Sea rolls in from Lindisfarne...

etc... follow the link.

Sometimes this goat rodeo of a country is just too embarrassing...

For my British friends...

I lived in Perth, Ontario for brief moment last autumn and this was right around the corner.

You might have to click on the pic to make it bigger.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I only count the sunny hours...

This one's for Neil.

A sundial and, as you would expect, it sits atop of an orca carving like a sort of pork pie hat.

This was created by Coast Salish (local indigenous peeps) carver Aubrey La Fortune and it sits in the middle of an herb garden, one of the many gardens at Government House. In the summer it smells positively gorgeous with the heat from the sun stirring up all the herby scents.

After taking those photos, I meandered through the neighbourhood and saw this front garden completely in bloom. Click to enlarge the second pic and look at the cut out shape of the wooden bits (can't think of the word!) on the front porch...

See more Scenic Sundays here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Question for the hard of hearing peeps...

Today, I had the most peculiar sound go off in my left ear. A very, VERY, V E R Y loud high pitched squeal. Ears make noises - weirdo electronic sounding squeals, beeps, scrunchings - I think that's normal. I've had similar sounds to what I heard today but this was very different because of its loudness and intensity. It's difficult to explain but the sound felt internal. The noise was in a frequency that I can no longer hear if it's coming from the outside. Make sense?

I was food shopping when it went off and I just had to stop, stare at the produce and breathe... it got louder and louder and louder ... it sounded like my ear was going to explode. It was awful. I just stood there with my hand to the side of my head wondering if this is how I'd croak... exploded ear, all over a mound of Mexican broccoli (on sale).

It went as quick as it came but I've been a bit on edge since it happened... anticipating, I guess.

I was au naturel; I wasn't wearing my hearing aids.

What was that? Anyone else experience this? Should I speak to my audiologist?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Skywatch Friday... a bit moody.

Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons ev'rywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on ev'ryone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all
- j mitchell

Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thursday Challenge - Signs

And I thought my mother could pack for a good guilt trip!

... but it is true. Ducks and geese in extreme climates like Calgary, Alberta need to know when to shove off and migrate south for the winter. Apparently, feeding them interfers with that, making them reluctant to leave and so they die in the snow and extreme cold once winter sets in. Not nice.

Please see my other blog entry about a sign. It's not nice either.

Visit other 'Thursday Challenge' sites here.


While out walking at Ogden Point and along the top of the Breakwater, I spotted a heron fishing at low tide.

What was cool was the perspective I had. It's not often I see a bird from above.

After a day out feasting by the water, it was time to go home but going home this way was very unusual. I would have thought that taking the No 26 Express, one stop over, would have been a lot quicker.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

For my British friends...

An older photo from a Calgary phonebook, from when I lived there.
(I wasn't looking for it!)

Do check out Mog's blog post about sod too.

Monday, April 20, 2009

That's My Sunburnt World Tuesday...

Ahhhhhh... great weather this afternoon; sun, fresh ocean air and not too hot... perfect. I spotted a couple of bald eagles while walking along the water. I saw this eagle fly from some rocks (look at that wing span!) and...

... land up on a set of lights, joining another eagle. See them in the top left?

I get closer...

And closer...

And even closer...

I so badly want a very zoomy lens and some 30 SPF sunscreen... Look at them, looking at me and licking their chops. I think they could smell my flesh sizzling away.

If anyone is interested in some live web cam views of some nesting bald eagles and their eggs and/or wee babies: Hancock Wildlife Foundation's eagle nest cameras.

For more 'That's My World Tuesdays' - click the pic:

A nice place to bee, honey?

There are a lot of things about Canada that piss me off: the spawn of Satan that is the Prime Minister; the racism towards Aboriginal peoples; the lack of progressive leadership in addressing poverty; a popular culture that is highly masturbatory for anyone and anything Canadian, oh I could go on and on...

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good things as well and generally I think Canada is alright, though that really does depend where you're at. I love the west coast but I sure as hell would not want to live in Tisdale, Saskatchewan:

(Not my photo, found it on the net, here.)

By rape they mean rapeseed, that bright yellow crop that is grown for canola oil. And you maybe, like me, might have thought that that's just an old photo and the powers that be in Tisdale have since adjusted the wording a bit. Oh, but no. It's right there on the town's website.

I'm not easily offended and I do have a sense of humour. I laughed at the linguistic 'funny' in the slogan and the uncomfortableness it produced. Thankfully, for my sake, it was only uncomfortableness that I could laugh off.

When thinking about sharing this with a couple of friends, I had to remember that quite a few of my friends have actually been raped, one by her own father. As I have never been raped or sexually abused I wondered how they might interpret the words.

I talked to two friends and very gently explained what I had found and asked what they thought about it. They felt sick to their stomachs. Obviously.

I can imagine that in Tisdale, SK the word 'rape' most likely conjures up ideas of yellow fields much more for people living there than it does in my mind. They are surrounded by the crop, it's integral to their economy, it's a part of their daily lives. Perhaps the people working at the town's hall are genuinely unaware of alternative interpretations.


Perhaps they are fully aware and the notoriety produced by the town's slogan is the only way for Tisdale to let the world out there know that they exist.


It's just another typically backasswards small rural Canadian town. A town that on the surface is full of friendly happy shiny people but contains an underbelly of red necked sexist machismo (and various other yuckiness, no doubt).

Whichever way, this highlights another thing that pisses me off about Canada. Many Canadians will bleat on about how friendly, peace-lovin, tolerant, egalitarian Canada is yet behave in the exact opposite manner, turn a blind eye to anything that doesn't conform to their sugar-coated stereotypes or just be so incredibly ignorant of the world beyond their front porches.

And breathe, Marnie.................

I feel a meeting with a punching bag brewing. ;-)

Am I over-reacting?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday, y'all!

When I lived in Calgary, this was on a neighbour's car. It always made me smile. Silly.

See more Mellow Yellow Monday photos here.

People are funny...

You just never know who you'll bump into.

A couple of days ago, I was out and about, camera slung over my shoulder when a woman came bounding by me from behind. We were approaching an intersection, so she stopped and I caught up. Looking down, I just had to ask.

She said that they're called Kangoo Jumps and, for her, mean the difference between running or not running. Regular running shoes aggravate her arthritis. She happily posed for a photo! She was 72, she was! Stated loudly and proudly. Then the light turned green and off she ran...

And ran...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Skywatch Friday...

Looking skyward from the base of a totem pole...

A different angle of the pole...

The above totem pole was carved by people of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation, an indigenous nation on northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland. It's 128 feet or 39 metres tall and is found in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC. If you're interested in learning a bit about totem poles, this is a fairly good link.

The Burj, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and a totem pole; common theme? Cultural variation in the expression of uterus envy. ;-)

For more skies from around the globe, visit Skywatch Friday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For my British friends...

Shaganappi Trail is the name of a main road in Calgary, Alberta. I lived in Cowtown for a few years when I was about 12 to 16 years old and again for a year after my five years in England. I've been familiar with the term 'shaganappi' since I was 12; it's a Cree word meaning twine made from rawhide, but after being in Britain for five years, whenever I see the word the oddest imagery enters my head... as I'm sure you can imagine. Sorry about that. ;-)

Equal Access... even if it's crap!

I'm hard of hearing and I have trouble hearing the dialogue in many films so I often, though not always, need subtitles or to turn on the closed-captioning. Just 'going the pictures' and seeing whatever's playing means risking a wad of dough cos chances are I will not be able to understand the dialogue, I will lose the plot (haha) and experience ninety minutes of frustration and feelings of exclusion.

Most of the time, this hearing-related, movie-going thing is not much of an issue for me as I prefer my own comfy sofa and a DVD (with the captions on) over going out. Though, once in a while I do crave the big screen.

Even with that occassional personal craving and the knowledge that other people who are hard of hearing or who are deaf/Deaf also would like to see a flic on the big screen, I have to be honest... I have struggled with the idea of campaigning for cineplexes, movies theatres, cinemas to be legislated into providing captioning.

One reason is that I believe that I have personally benefited from having a limited access to all the crap that comes out of the Hollywood machine and similar ilk. I have seen very many subtitled foreign films, saved a lot of cash that would have otherwise lined a megatroncinematicmegacomplex owner's pocket and I've developed other interests away from audio-visual media. And isn't it just enough that the movie houses are not providing a functional product (for me) so I've decided that they aren't going to get any of my money? Aren't there more subversive options available here than accepting that megatroncinematicmegacomplexes have such a grip on our entertainment needs?

I was mentioning this is a friend and she responded simply with: you snob.

Hmm... upsinged!

After I mulled that one over. I have to admit that she is right. Who the fuck am I to decide how other people entertain themselves? And how did I become so arrogant? Still, I think I do have a point, even if many people do not understand what I mean. ;-)

Back to captioning campaigns, I'm still not completely sure where I stand on this, so comments would be appreciated.

Anyways, while reading up on captioning, I came across this post on Sarah's blog (Speak Up Librarian). It's about Bill Creswell - a hearing man who is is "captioning the Internet one video at a time". Good man.

And I found this on YouTube.... :-D

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fort Street... That's My World Tuesday...

This afternoon I decided to go to my local office supply shop and get a printer cartridge (exciting, eh?). I took my camera and decided to snap a few shots of some buildings on Fort Street since it's between my place and where I was going. One stone. Two birds.

Fort Street is also called Antique Row but no self-respecting local would call it that. That name is for the tourist trade but it does reflect that the street contains a lot of antique shops. This is one of many.

The black roofed building is Sen Zushi, a favourite Japanese restaurant.

Some women like shoes, I like tubes of paint and sniffing felt-tip pens and this is a dangerous shop. ;-)

I've always liked these two buildings. They're so different from one another but are good friends. In fact, I think they're cuddling.

I think the main charm, for me, about Fort Street is that the older and newer buildings just seem to mingle quite easily. Well I think that they do.

For more 'That's My World Tuesdays' - click the pic:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Very Mellow Yellow Monday...

Eventhough it's still Sunday...

It's very rainy out there. This evening I am going to drink some wine, listen to some music and get very, very mellow. How could I not in the warm glow of this light...

See more Mellow Yellow Monday photos here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Consider these werds...

You know when you're surfing the blogosphere and you make a comment on someone's blog and sometimes you have to type-in a non-word (or as I call that, a werd) into a word verifcation box? Yeah? You know what I mean?

Call me strange, but I've always liked these werds. They seem to follow linguistical rules (or is it morphological?) that already established words follow to be considered real words and not just random letters shuffled together. I have been writing these werds down and considering what they could mean. Currently, these are my three favourite werds:




I have ideas of what these werds could mean (cos I think about this sort of shit way too much) but I am curious about what sorts of meanings these words evoke in others.

So, define the werds, post a comment. Please. If you want to.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Skywatch Friday... a wee tree in the sky!

I love this tree but one of these days it's going to fall over. I would not want to live, or be, within about a dozen houses from it when it does!

And here is the base of the tree. Imagine the view out that front window, lol.

For more skies from around the globe, visit Skywatch Friday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Since this is my blog...

I am declaring the below the official song and video of my little slice of the blogosphere (for now). Enjoy.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Under Watery Wednesday...

Here are a few older photos that I have taken of a watery theme; some of the local creatures found in local waters...

A Sunflower Star...

A Six Ray Star...

A Moon Jellyfish...

And me meeting a local Aggregate Sea Anenome... awww... :-)

For more Watery Wednesday photos click the pic!