He Says, She Says…

Hello, dear reader!

Both of us have traveled extensively throughout our lives, and to that end eating in restaurants has at times become ‘routine’ for us.  There was even a time when we co-managed a resort with a 90-guest seating capacity.  Still, we both appreciate a really good restaurant.  Food in all of its aspects – the preparation, the sharing, the sights, scents and tastes… (even the cleanup) is an important part of both our lives.  All of that is a long way of saying that we’ve decided to add a ‘Food’ category to our blog, where we’ll feature some of our favourite restaurants and we might even sneak in a favourite shared recipe or two along the way.  Neither of us is a professional food reviewer, but we know enough to know what we like and what we don’t like, so rather than having a ‘scale’ of 1-10 or whatever, we’ll just share our impressions.  If we go somewhere we don’t like for whatever reason, we just won’t write about it.  We want to share what we DO like instead.  We have broad palates and sometimes eclectic tastes, so we’ll offer our thoughts on a wide range of places with three things in common: adequate food, adequate service and adequate value (and each must be excellent to be adequate).  Look for future ‘Eating Our Way…’ posts on the last Saturday of each month.

We’re going to begin our ‘Food’ category with a local restaurant that we both appreciate: Floyd’s Diner.

Follow these links to read what He Says/She Says: Marcia’s View / Mike’s View.

P.S. You can read more of our Food posts and restaurant reviews here.

Photo of the Month

Hi Folks:

It’s been a busy month of writing and blogging and other things, but I have managed to sneak out with my camera for a time or two!  This month I thought I’d make the focus (pun intended) of my ‘photo of the month’ page an HDR image.  The image below is a combination of nine photographs made at different exposures.  Now most photographers today are at least somewhat similar with HDR, but in my experience most people associate it with the grungy, grainy look that HDR is most famous for.  It has its place, but in my experience it’s overused.  Besides, HDR stands simply for ‘High Dynamic Range’ and is quite useful as a technique for expanding the dyanic range (the number of tones, from white to black) in an image where the tonal range of the scene is beyond the camera’s ability to capture it.  There’s an excellent article on HDR by Alexandre Buisse here.

That’s certainly the case with this image.  It was made in a local park called ‘Christmas Hill‘, and it’s one of my favourite places in this area to make photographs.  Capturing the detail in the shadow areas without blowing out the highlights where the sun strikes the moss was beyond the camera’s sensor.  I uploaded the images into Lightroom, and then used Timothy Armes’ LR/Enfuse plugin to combine them into one blended image.  Post processing included the usual (white balance, black point, white point, etc.) as well as some graduated filters to highlight the sun spot.

Click on image to see a larger version

So, that’s it for now.  Go out and make some photographs!


P.S.  I came across this great tutorial yesterday by R.C. Concepcion on using Shadowbox JS to integrate a Lightroom web gallery into a WordPress blog.  Maybe next month…

P.S. II, the Sequel: You can find more of our posts on photography and Lightroom tutorials here, and you can find links to over 200 other sites that have Lightroom tips, tutorials and videos here.

Being Green – Update

Hi Folks:

Well, my plan for this week’s post was to talk about ‘green roofs’, but this week decided to unfold as it wanted… “The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew…” Of course, Burns’ poem was about disturbing a mouse house, so it  sort of fits into a post about ‘green building’.

Having said all that, here are the links for green building I came across this week, and we’ll get to green roofs next week.  I’ll start with a green roof story, though. Continue Reading →

Mike’s Writings VI

Hi There:

Please click this link first.  I’ll wait.

I haven’t posted any of my writings for some time now; no reason except a lack of time, and as the saying goes, there are 168 hours in the week – what you do with them is up to you!  Anyway, I’m going to add some more of my archived writings for the reason mentioned above, but I think there’s some good stuff in there.  Before I do I wanted to add one comment.  I used to do a fair number of talks on spirituality and other things, and before I began my talks I always mentioned two things.  First, I asked the people in the audience to put away their pens, paper, computers, etc. and just listen, because if your brain can’t do two jobs at the same time.  If you’re trying to write and listen at the same time, one or both are going to lose out.  Second, I told everyone not to believe a single word I said… at least not until they each took the time to absorb the information and decide for themselves, “This much I like, this I can agree with.  This part I’m not sure about; I’m going to have to think about this for a bit.  This part isn’t for me, at least not for now.  I’m going to set this part aside.”  I think it’s vital that each of us do that with everything we experience.  It’s very easy to accept something as true because someone said it or you read it in a book or saw it on the ‘net or the late movies, but what’s more important, at least to me, is to decide how this information resonates within you.  Seth said:

“You must realize that any idea you accept as truth is a belief that you hold. You must, then, take the next step and say, ‘It is not necessarily true even though I believe it.’ You will, I hope, learn to disregard all beliefs that imply basic limitations.” ~ The Nature of Personal Reality, session 614.

Of course, you’re welcome to disagree with both of us!


Here’s a look at my writings: Continue Reading →

Poetry Corner – Poem or Poet?

Hello Dear Ones!

What do you think of when someone mentions poetry? Love? Longing? Beauty? Pain? Maybe even humour – particularly if you think of limericks:

There once was a man from Tumeric
Who liked his stew spicy and very thick
He sprinkled in some hot pepper, then more
Took a swallow, then swore
What he said can’t be used in a limerick.

The use of words is the storyteller’s and the poet’s craft. The tools of the trade are a writing instrument and a source on which to write. No expensive purchases or overhead costs are needed. The heart, the brain and a goodly skilled ability to utilize language is fundamentally all that is required. That’s it.

A storyteller uses his or her skills to weave a tale that captures the reader/listener and hold them spellbound till the final word. Description and storyline are essential. Believable characters are mandatory. Dialogue is optional. There is a beginning, most often a climax and then an ending to each story.

A poet has two options: to tell a brief story using the same structure as the storyteller, but in fewer words; or to take one descriptive element – what would be a paragraph to a storyteller – and grant it the grace of standing alone. Continue Reading →

Marcia’s Meanderings – A Charmed Life

Hello Dear Ones!

Upon awakening this morning, I was uncertain what to write about today. I took a quiet moment to meditate on the potential. Nothing came forward and so I put it out to the Universe to provide me guidance. Before I even got out of bed, the guidance came through. (Don’t you love it? Ask, and it is given!) How did the guidance come? As we always do, Mike and I shared our dreams. My dream is one I’ve been having a great deal lately. The story line is always different. Yet I am living in an amazing reality (a different amazing from the reality I live in my day world) that is starting to show signs of regularity. I know my way around, the people with whom I interact and the things I do. Though I’m not recalling as much as I’d like to in detail (it would make a great novel at some point!) I awake each morning with a sense of satisfaction and happiness. It’s a very nice feeling.

Mike heard what I shared and hopped out of bed to locate one of our favourite books – The Oversoul Seven Trilogy by Jane Roberts. Mike shared with me a section he felt was related to my dream  -  that maybe I was experiencing a dream life in Sumaria. What he shared truly resonated with the feeling I still held from my night’s journeys. Yet, surprisingly, that is not what I’ll be sharing with you today. Maybe I will another week.

What I will be sharing is what Mike next read to me – from the same book. Mike read from Oversoul Seven’s Little Book (found at the end of the second of the three books in this trilogy) entitled The Charmed Life. And, my goodness, it was like I was hearing about my own life both here and in the dreamtime! Continue Reading →

He Says, She Says…

Hi Folks:

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s (wonderful) book, ‘Eat Pray Love‘ she has a conversation with her friend Giulio about why Rome is a beautiful city, but it’s not ‘her’ city.  Giulio says that each city and each person has a word to describe them, and if your word and the city’s word don’t match, you’ll never be comfortable there.  It’s easier to type out the conversation than to try to explain it, so we’re including that section here (pp. 102-104): Continue Reading →