Photo of the Month: Signs

Hi Folks:  It’s the last day of the month, and that means it’s time for me to select my favourite image for this past month.  I’m still processing images from April at the moment, so I’m a bit behind; fortunately Lightroom is patient with me.

Although I mostly make photographs of landscapes/ scenery, as I walk around I also keep an eye out for signs that strike me as being funny, irreverent, or sometimes just a little bit odd.  I’m not the only one; Ellen Degeneres sometimes profiles such images on her show (according to Marcia).  Anyway, I thought I’d show one of those images as this month’s photo.  As an image it’s not great, but I like to think the message is cute.  Read the signs and you’ll see what I mean.  I wonder if there’s an interconnecting door?

Before and After

Before and After

Now go out and make some photographs!


P.S.  You can see some more of my ‘Signs’ images on our Flickr site (although not all of them fit into the above categories).

He Says, She Says… Embracing Perfection

Hello, Dear Reader:

What does it mean to be ‘perfect’?  To some this appellation implies a ‘best possible’, whether it be a perfect day, a perfect moment, a perfect meal…  To others perfection can only be a goal, something that can never be achieved or attained.  As such there are those who would suggest we not even try.  In his book ‘The Bridge Across Forever‘, author Richard Bach described his search and failure to find what he considered to be the ‘perfect woman’.  He eventually came to realize that his goal was an impossible dream, that his perfect woman was, in his words, ‘a peacock’.  When he surrendered this dream he found instead the love of his life, Leslie Parrish. Continue Reading →

Eating Our Way Through Victoria – Coffee’s On!

Hello Dear Ones!

Grab a coffee before you sit down to read. No, it’s not that long an article – but it is the topic for today.

Mike and I, even more than eating our way through the city of Victoria, tend to frequent good coffee shops. We find that we can tell a great deal about a community by the numbers and quality of the coffee houses a location offers its local residents.

Years ago, and back in Ontario, we opted for one particular national coffee spot. There were two prime reasons:  one was the frequency of shops – one on practically every other corner; and the other was consistency – all food and beverage options were the same whichever location we chose. At the time, and with our lifestyle, that was a desired convenience. (Hint: my brother wrote an anthem for them and put it up on YouTube. It now has over 125,000 hits!) Continue Reading →

Being Green – Emerging Technologies

Hi Folks:

For this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post I wanted to offer a shout out to a few new (to me at least) emerging technologies.  All three of these have the ‘power’ (pun intended) to change our future.  I don’t often highlight specific companies in my blog posts, but have when I thought it was worth doing so and this is one of those times.  Continue Reading →

Poetry Corner – Punc:tu;a’tion!

Hello Dear Ones!

Over the years there has been controversy regarding the appropriate use of punctuation in poetry. From when to insert a simple comma, to the applicable introduction of a hyphen – and all the way to the final stop, or period.

Discussion ranges from using or ignoring an apostrophe, such as it’s and its, to the more demanding option of a colon or a semi-colon. Depending on the style of poetry used, punctuation can vary. Many poets use the breath as the only natural comma and hence end a line and create movement down to the line beneath it to effect that breath.

Gertrude Stein, who called the comma ‘servile’, expressed an interesting dispassion for semi-colons.  She wrote (notice her lack of commas in this writing) back in 1935 in her book “Poetry and Grammar”:

“They (semi-colons) are more powerful more imposing more pretentious than a comma but they are all the same. They really have within them deeply within them fundamentally within them the comma nature.” Continue Reading →

Marcia’s Meanderings – Children as Teachers

Hello Dear Ones!

As adults, we often hear what most of us don’t realize was originally a biblical expression: “Out of the mouths of babes.” The term is usually in reference to something a child has said or done that has adults amazed at the wisdom emanating from a tiny being, as yet untrained in things adults should know. We remark on such wisdom with awe, not giving much thought to the Source from which it comes. We all have the ability to tap into Divine knowledge and a knowing beyond our own human capacity, whether we be eight or eighty, or somewhere above, below or in between those ages.

This past weekend I had a profound experience that I wrote about in my She Says – Intrinsic or Extrinsic? post. Though I only mentioned some of my situation and the results that led to my writing that post, I had two additional teachings come as part of that overall experience, both of which came through children. Continue Reading →

He Says, She Says… Intrinsic or Extrinsic?

Hello, Dear Reader:

How do we measure the true value of something – is it intrinsic or extrinsic?  According to Wikipedia:

Intrinsic value is an ethical and philosophic property. It is the ethical or philosophic value that an object has “in itself” or “for its own sake”, as an intrinsic property. An object with intrinsic value may be regarded as an end or end-in-itself.

Extrinsic value is the idea that something has value only because of outside factors. It is an end to a means.  Work is, by many, considered to have extrinsic value. We work because we need money in order to survive.

With that in mind we thought we’d take on ‘value’ as the subject of this week’s ‘He Says, She Says…‘ post.


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

Being Green – Going Solar

Hi Folks:  Before I get into this week’s ‘Being Green’ post, last Friday I talked a bit about ‘Modeling and Monitoring‘.  I came across a link this week from the American Society of Landscape Architects on “Sustainability Toolkit: Environmental Models” that fits in with that post, so I wanted to mention it first.  Also, I’m a big advocate of LED lighting, but I came across an interesting article this week on LEDs and why ‘not all LED lights are created equal‘. Continue Reading →

Stair-Stepping Through a Panoramic Photograph

Hi Folks:

I’ve written a couple of posts before on panoramic photography; this one is about an idea, an experiment if you like, that I tried recently.

There’s a back story for this experiment, and that is that in the downtown area here there’s a panoramic mural on the side of a building that’s approximately 60 metres/ 200 feet long. It’s a nice work, and I wanted to make a photograph of it. It’s on the side of a building, and that side faces a parking lot.

Now most panoramic photographs have one basic thing in common, which is that the location of the camera doesn’t change. If one is using a camera/ lens that’s capable of shifting, then those shifts can be used to capture more image area. Otherwise one rotates the camera to capture each image that is rendered in the panoramic software. I talked about this more in my Photo of the Month article for March. I mostly use Autopano Pro for my panoramas and my HDR work; it works well for me for the most part. I’ve also used Hugin, and more recently I’ve also played a bit with Adobe Photoshop CS5. Continue Reading →

Poetry Corner – One Breath Per Line

Hello Dear Ones!

An dear e-friend and great micropoet through Twitter: Tina Nguyen has recently inspired several of us to get into a more extended style of Haiku – known as Gogyohka:

Gogyohka is a new form of Japanese short poetry, founded and pioneered by Japanese poet Enta Kusakabe. Gogyohka is pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh (the “g”s are hard as in “good”), and literally translated means “five line poem”. Gogyohka is five lines of free verse on any subject matter. There is no set syllable pattern, however the poem should be short and succinct. The goal is to compellingly capture an idea, observation, feeling, memory, or experience in just a few words.

Gogyohka is a fun and easy form, making poetry writing accessible to everyone, including children. Yet it is challenging as a method of practice for self-reflection, contemplation, and distilling one’s thoughts. Continue Reading →