Monday, May 29, 2006

Solaris

I watched Solaris this evening. I can't decide if I like it or not. It is kinda 2001-ish, and allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions. It doesn't lead you through the story, nor reveal too many secrets. Interesting. I kinda enjoyed watching it, just to see what would happen. A suspense, sci-fi, near-horror kind of thing... so, I guess I did enjoy it... despite it having George Clooney in it.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Champlain Park - Dandelion

I took this photo today in Champlain Park, Ottawa. Yes, it's just a pissabed, but it's kinda pretty all the same. A quite useful plant too, even if it's just considered a weed.

I remember mashing the things up as a boy to make a kind of yellow dye -- or a mess... I can't remember which. Or sometimes I'd just collect the seeds and spread them around to see if they'd grown in new places. Much to the chagrin of neighbours I'm sure. Now I just enjoy the leaves in salads.

Champlain lookout, Pink Lake, Champlain Park

We took a little daytrip to Gatineau Park today, and visited a number of lookouts, including Champlain lookout (pictured). We were able to see the escarpment where the Canadian shield ends, and the St. Lawrence Lowlands, in this case, the Ottawa Valley, begins. It was quite beautiful, though we thought the blackflies were going to carry us off in really tiny pieces.

We stopped at Pink Lake on the way back through the park. We've hiked the trail around Pink Lake before, but today we just stopped to take a look from a place on the road, and to take a few pictures. The flies were better here, but they started to gather just as we were leaving. Pink lake is particularly special because it's one of just a handful of Merometic lakes in Canada. Merometic lakes don't mix as normal lakes do, and therefore the oxygen and nutrients don't reach the bottom. The last few meters of Pink Lake have no oxygen, and therefore don't support life. A layer of anerobic bacteria do inhabit the lake 7 meters from the bottom, as near the light as possible, without entering the oxygenated water. There are some special species of fish also, left behind from when the area was covered by the Champlain sea just after glaciation.

After Pink Lake, we croseed the Champlain bridge and stopped at Champlain park. It's nestled in the middle of the Ottawa river, north of downtown, under the aptly named Champlain bridge that crosses the river between Ottawa and Gatineau. The park seems to be a fabourite haunt for Kayakers, as there are some minor rapids on the river there, and a good place to launch boats. The ducks and ducklings also seemed to enjoy the area. It has an excellent view of Ottawa/Hull downtown.

After a good afternoon of playing tourist, we headed back to the house.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Peace Tower clock stops

The clock stops on the peace tower for the first time since its installation. A sign? An omen perhaps? I leave it for the reader to decide. Nobody on the hill has sprouted horns and a forked tail yet, but I wouldn't be shocked.

Did you know that no building in Ottawa is allowed to be taller than the Peace Tower? I didn't, until recently. I find that nifty.

Monday, May 22, 2006

I know that blog is full of spelling errors - I see them too, will be back later to fix

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YES I have just found out how to publish pic straight from Picassa!

I'm sure this blog will be deleted as its just me playing with the computer, Nova woke me up this morning being sick, so i have decided to play with the big computer. Steve will do doubt be inpressed that i have figured out out to blog the pics from picasa. He didn't show me, but I just needed time and lack of something else to do. I hate to read, there fore i just do. I figure things out, who needs directions.

This is our last day of the weekend, I have really accomplished nothing. The kitchen looks great, thanks to Steve. I have been feeling crapy, I even slept in yesterday till 11 something (of course Nova also had me up at 4am, and i was up for a bit and went back to sleep)

June will be here soon, I cant wait! Lots of things happening in June! Nova will be off to the babysitters again. Steve and I are going to San Diego, and I will be off to Sea World and the Zoo. We both have our tickets and there is just the Hotel left to secure. That is what I have been doing mostly this weekend is looking at hotels, not able to find one that I really want to go to. I found one, had a great price............but did not book it. Now the price is not so great. So that's why I wait, incase the rooms go back to that great price!

Steve's also has a birthday treat! Cirque du Soleil (that's the gov site) we are seeing the show QUIDAM (that's Cirque's site) I am very happy that we are going to this and that Steve was actually interested when I asked him if he would like to go.

Then of couse I am going home for Amanda Jayne's graduation! Can you beleive it, she's able to vote now. Amanda just tured 18 in May.

Well I must get going, I'm feeeling sleepy. NOva's already gone back to sleep and Steve is still there. Goodnight.


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Vacation picture collage

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Love this pic

This fish was very cool, Steve saw it and took the pic, I did not see it until the picutres were on the computer. Posted by Picasa

Stoned after vet

This is what he looked like after spending the day at the vet having it looked at. He was stoned out of his mind. As you can see he had lost control of his drool. Posted by Picasa

My baby's sore foot :(

Its still there, I wish it would go away, his paw hurts. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Amaryllis lives


Despite it all, my Amaryllis is still alive. This is a blub that produces a few large green leaves, and a huge spectacular flower. Mine's been spectacularly uncared for, with just an occasional watering, and has been left over winter without water at all. So, recently, I just began to water it again, and low and behold, life springs eternal.

I need to replace some of the soil. It was supposed to have been removed and cleaned, and stored for awhile, but I guess it likes its little pot. Hopefully it will start to bloom.

The Weatherman

Watched The Weatherman this evening. Fun, interesting, had Michael Cane and some other guy. I would not call it fantastic... but it was worth the rental. Cage's character reminded me of myself in some ways... kinda daydreamy, living in my head sometimes. At least I'm not a weatherman.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Chili


Made some Chili today for the first time ever. As it was raining, and my garden plans (see grand plans on the left) were quashed, I decided to try out a recipie that my old friend Jim sent. I'm sure he sent it to highlight the elegant prose... but I said to myself "anyone that can write that well must know how to make chili".

I am apparently uncivilized, in that I do not own an iron kettle. I made it work despite all.

Having a great and buring desire for hot and buring food, I added a jalapeƱo pepper. It didn't make things too hot, quite tasty in fact. However, in cutting and scraping out the seeds, despite washing my hands very well, they started to burn alot. It gave me great fear for the chili... for if just a touch on the hand caused such burning, surely the chili would be inedible. Such was not the case. I guess the seeds and insides (where most of the burning capsicum resides) were just really powerful. Anyways, the lesson... be careful when cutting your chilis. Harmless, but painful.

Hostel

Watched Hostel today. Predictable. Disturbing.

Tyranny, security, privacy

I was having a discussion the other day with a friend discussing security vs privacy. I'm not advocating tinfoil hats, but I do consider privacy a right. A fundamental right. Wired has published an interesting article that makes the argument much better than I did. It's about tyranny, not security vs privacy. An excerpt:

'Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he famously said, "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." Watch someone long enough, and you'll find something to arrest -- or just blackmail -- with. Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies -- whoever they happen to be at the time.'

Case of the Humans

I'm not an avid environmentalist... but neither do I deny global warming, our unsustainable lifestyle, and the constant rape of our natural resources. Been fishing for cod recently? No. I thought not. I disuade my wife from eating tuna because it's full of heavy metals.

I this cartoon that compares humans to parasites on our planet: Case of the Humans.

Also. Al Gore's a big geek. But he seems to be making some awe inspiring arguments in pointing out An Inconvienient Truth. And no, he didn't invent the internet.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cherry blossoms

Every year we've lived at our current location we have remarked on the beauty of the cherry blossoms this time of year. Yet we always manage to put off taking a photo until they're gone (a hard rain or wind will take them in a few days). This year, we got them. They're really pretty.

As it's raining pretty hard today, I figured I'd hurry up and take some shots before they're gone. I just happened to have the camera in my bag after work.

It was kind of a grey day, but still, the trees are beautiful. I'm hoping to get at the garden next weekend.


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Thursday, May 11, 2006

3D photo attempt

If you've done those "magic picture" things, perhaps you'd like to try my first experiment in 3D photography. Basically, get close to the screen, look crosseyed at these photos until you see a 3rd photo in the middle. Wait for it.... wait for it.... get it in focus.

Awesome. If successful, you'll see a 3D image of the cluttered surface of my desk, and a magnet with some paperclips, and some seed packets. Not super interesting subjects, but kinda nifty to do. I'll see if I can't find a better subject to try it on.

Post a comment if you get it to work. If you want to try some others, check out these and these. Both the sites require you use the same "crossing eyes" technique.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Tulips are up

The tulips are up... so I guess spring has really sprung. It's still quite cold in the nighttime, but we've been able to get the windows open during the day for some fresh air.

I was out about in the garden this afternoon, finally getting the leaves, dead branches and garbage out of the garden. It looks a lot nicer now. Perhaps we'll be able to start planing soon.

I can't find my pruners though... I'm sure I have at least two pairs around somewhere. Amazing how those things tend to walk off. I need them to prune back the grape fine out back.

I long for the day when I can have a private garden and not be watched by neighbours... I just can't enjoy it the same. I guess I'm just a private person.

Tammy's working on wedding thank you's today, and I believe she's making a banana bread. I also notices some filo dough and broccoli when I passed by, so I expect some kind of pastry/broccoli/chicken thing is under construction for supper. Sounds good.

I'm having some trouble with the video camera, or more precisely, with the computer. I don't think I can face trying to fix it today (hence the garden work).... it just will not reconize the camera in order to transfer the video. We didn't really take a lot of video during the trip, but we did take some.... and I'd like to get it darn it. Oh well, I'm sure it will be resolved.

In the meantime, we're still in post-vacation mode... just puttering around, and dreaming about where else we'd like to go.

In the meantime, we're just enjoying the flowers.


UPDATE: I was right about the banana bread. Tam made it with bananas, banana rum, and some nutmeg we puchased down south. I had some with some extra-old cheaddar cheese (is there any other kind). Yummy.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Stingray, Grand Cayman


Stingray, Grand Cayman
Originally uploaded by GANDALF_GREY.
This photo I recently posted to Flicker has gained some popularity. I like it too. Very clear water, and decent composition considering the singrays were not very coorporative with regard to posing. Thanks all.

There's a short slideshow of the photos from our cruise. It includes only the photos I've posted to Flickr (very few).

Monday, May 01, 2006

Flickr

Those interested in some higher quality versions of our cruise photos (a few choice selections only) can find them on my Flickr account. I usually host most of my photos on my webpage, but sometimes it's down, and it has the disadvantage of not being nearly as popular as Flickr.... plus Flickr has photo tagging and such.