A Possible Temporary Farewell

A strange title perhaps…perhaps not. You see, my computer has been on the verge of dying for the last couple weeks, and every day is a challenge just to see if I can get it up and running for another session. Once I do get it running, the fear is that every moment I keep it that way is one less moment that I’ll have if something of truly monumental importance comes up for which I need the computer’s services at some as yet unforeseen time in the immediate future.

At any rate, I also realize I can’t just leave the silly thing sitting there doing nothing because of baseless worries about things outside of my control. If it’s going to die, then it’s time has come, and all I can say is that it served me well in it’s brief but hectic existence upon this mortal plane. So that leaves me with this blog and the matter of adding something new to it (which I certainly haven’t done in quite a while). And as it turns out, I think I came across just the thing in my travels on the computer at the library while I was looking up some of my old pages to see if there was anything there that might be of help with some other things I was working on (better to burn out the library’s computer than mine : ).

A long time ago, while I was still exploring whether or not I had any artistic talent, I went through a phase where I enhanced the small amount of talent I did have (very small) through the use of various art programs available for download on the Net. Some were “fractal” programs, others were specialized “brush” programs like “Twisted Brush” and such. Most were free downloads, and all of them were a lot of fun to play with. Adding the rather insignificant amount of artistic talent that I inherently possess to these easy-to-use programs, I was soon able to build up a small collection of “interesting(?)” artwork that I posted to a well-known art site called Deviant Art. I decided to post that gallery here today. If a couple of the pieces are blurred a little, it could be because I drew them as “buttons” for use in computer programs (“A Rose For Anne” is one such piece). The image of the young girl that you may recognize as a famous magazine cover, took me three days to copy free-hand with my computer mouse, using the old grid method that people use to enlarge small pictures. I did the same thing with a picture of Cecilia Bartoli (“Thanks For The Music), but that picture was not in my Deviant Art gallery, so we’ll have to save it for another time.

At any rate, for better or worse, here they are, and here we go.

So like I’ve sort of said, I don’t know how long this machine is going to keep kicking, but as long as it does, I’ll try to keep in touch. If you don’t hear from me for awhile, it probably doesn’t mean Hillary got me (I hope), it probably just means I’m working out the best way to obtain my next electronic sidekick. In the meantime, you folks stay healthy, happy, and safe.

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The Source of Another’s Inspiration

I was sorting out some pictures the other day, and sending one or two of them off to “YouPic”. That’s my other photography site. A wonderful site actually, which I hadn’t sent anything new to in almost a year. Despite the fact¬† that even though I only used their site regularly for 1 year (as opposed to this page which I’ve now had up for going on 4 years), and as I already mentioned, haven’t kept it up at all this past year, my views there, on a much smaller number of pictures, are currently in excess of 59,000. The people that see your work on YouPic can rate it, and the highest unique rating you can achieve on a picture is a “Star”, which represents a picture the viewer feels is an “Inspiration”. Of all my pictures, and those views in excess of 59,000, I’ve only ever received 1 Star. To quote Sheryl Crow, “No one said it would be easy…”. It’s interesting to note, however, that the total count of views on that picture that earned me my one and only (so far) Star, are over 2000, which is more views than I’ve garnered on this entire WordPress page in the almost 4 years that I’ve had it up and running.

So what was this amazing picture that was the source of another person’s inspiration? I’ve taken a lot of pictures, and if I had taken a guess as to which of those would have been the first to earn me this particular honor, I don’t know which I would have picked, but the more I think about it, the more I think that this picture would indeed have made it onto my “short list”. I guess that just means I might have some understanding of where the person who awarded me the Star was coming from. Hopefully, it means all this time spent with my camera attached so firmly to my hand, and the viewport almost grafted to my eye, is finally teaching me something about photography that you can’t necessarily learn from reading books. Or maybe not?! Anyway, I have published this picture here once before, and here it is once again. (Feeling inspired? Huh? Huh?….Oh well, I tried…)

Outdoor Street-Art Gallery
Outdoor Street-Art Gallery

So now that Spring has finally set in, I also realized that I forgot to post any Cherry Blossom pictures. So since I’m really late, I’ll just give you a quick look at the last of the latest, which were the only ones I was able to catch. Leaving you with those to hopefully put some Spring in your heart, I wish you all a great week. Stay¬† healthy, happy, and safe. See you next time.

Bunches Of Blossoms
Bunches Of Blossoms
Chatting Under The Cherry Blossoms
Chatting Under The Cherry Blossoms
Bundles and Bundles of Blossoms
Bundles and Bundles of Blossoms
Relaxing Under The Cherry Blossoms At International Village
Relaxing Under The Cherry Blossoms At International Village

 

The Source of Another’s Inspiration

A Possibility Of A “Green” Spring

We had our Provincial elections here in B.C. last night, and though things were close enough that nothing can be truly settled until the final count comes in (in about 2 weeks), the way things sit now, our Green Party made history, and may now finally swing some serious weight. Moving up two seats this time (from 1 to 3) in a contest that saw the two major parties end up neck-and-neck (Liberals 43 seats – New Democratic Party 41 seats), Andrew Weaver’s tiny little count means just as much, or more, than his opponent’s much larger tallies. If the situation as it now sits remains (the first minority government in BC since 1952 – 5 years before I was even born), The Green Party controls the balance of power, and IMHO, that can only be a good thing. Though Mr. Weaver is not tipping his hand yet as to what his strategy might be (pending the final count), he has said that one thing either Party will have to agree to if they want his support is the removal of corporate and union donations in politics.

So I guess it really is going to be a good Spring after all. I would have preferred the removal of the Liberals from power altogether, but the more I think about it, the more I think this is even better, because I’m not a huge fan of the NDP either, and now neither of them will be totally in control. Hopefully everything is going just as well for all of you. I hope your week is going great, and that you are all keeping happy, healthy, and safe. See you next time.

The Stuff That Window Washers Dreams Are Made Of
The Stuff That Window Washers Dreams Are Made Of
West Vancouver Across The Inlet
West Vancouver Across The Inlet
The Final Proof That Spring Has Arrived In All Her Splendor
The Final Proof That Spring Has Arrived In All Her Splendor
Stretching Up Out Of The Shadows Of The Lower Trees
Stretching Up Out Of The Shadows Of The Lower Trees

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Spring At Last

This last week-end appears to have brought Spring to the West Coast, and I spent so many hours walking in the sun and snapping pictures that it will be at least a little while before my latest ones can be processed, and then seen on these pages. But they should arrive before too long and until then, I’ve put up a couple that I shot the other day when I took a brief stroll over to Crab Park (which is now pretty much my extended back yard). For those of you who have been so kind as to have asked, yes, yes, YES, I am thoroughly enjoying the new place in general, and the amazing difference that a mere 4 blocks has made in the atmosphere of the neighborhood in particular has just stunned me. I’ve been getting up extra early just to go out walking (weather permitting) so I can soak in the tranquility of the day’s beginnings.

Some of the building’s occupants complain about the noise on the front street in the evenings (there is a slightly mid to upscale bar across the street that’s open quite late), but as my apartment’s windows open toward the rear of the building, I can’t really say I’ve noticed any of the commotion they seem to be talking about. I do have a fire hall right across the lane-way from my place, but the sirens were a much bigger problem when I lived at my old place. I’m thinking the crews on the trucks must take block or more after leaving the station before they fire up the sirens. Perhaps it’s just not one of the first items on some kind of check list or something?

At any rate, I hope Spring has reached the rest of you folks also, and I hope you are all getting on absolutely heroically. Everybody try and stay happy now, keep busy, keep healthy, and make sure to stay safe. Have a great week.

Backyard Sculpture
Backyard Sculpture
Downtown Vancouver From Crab Park Overpass
Downtown Vancouver From Crab Park Overpass
Spring Blossoms At Crab Park
Spring Blossoms At Crab Park
'Canada Place' Through The Trees At Crab Park
‘Canada Place’ Through The Trees At Crab Park

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A Quick Study In Aerodynamics

So there I was, taking a break from on-line activities for awhile, and devoting myself to some studying and organizing, when I decided to get some air, and take a walk through the park down by my new apartment (which is also the nearest park to my old apartment – funny how that works). Never one for traveling without my camera, I grabbed it on my way out the door thinking I might get a shot or two of the harbor, or the mountains, for when you folks get tired of the older shots that I’ve been showing lately on these pages. Instead, in exactly the way that these things happen to me so often, I just took a wild series of shots at a seagull that was swooping through the air past my head, and without any credit to myself at all, every one of the shots came out clear enough, that even when I zoomed in the shots to bring the bird up to size (it was already roughly 100 ft past me when the shots were clicked), they all came out clear enough to show them to you here today. The gull was also working so hard pumping it’s wings, driving itself into the air, that the 5 shots I managed to click each caught a different stage of the down-stroke of one single beat. I’m certainly no engineer, but even I can see the aerodynamics at work both in the way the bird is capturing the wind with it’s wings, and also how streamlined the whole animal is in order to reduce any wind resistance. But enough talk, the pictures say it way better than I ever could. So I hope everybody is healthy, happy, and of course, in this crazy world of ours, keeping safe. Until next time.

The Art Of Flying 1
The Art Of Flying 1
The Art Of Flying 2
The Art Of Flying 2
The Art Of Flying 3
The Art Of Flying 3
The Art Of Flying 4
The Art Of Flying 4
The Art Of Flying 5
The Art Of Flying 5

 

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Two More Old Favorites

Well I guess it’s about time I got around to putting in the next two of my favorite old shots as I continue my trip down Memory Lane. The first shot, entitled “Powell Street Overpass”, is more accurately just an overpass that happens to be on Powell Street. If it has a name (I’m reasonably sure it does), I’ve never come across it, and my life has been just fine despite this egregious lack of information. Of course, it may well be that it truly is “The Unknown Overpass”, thus joining the esteemed ranks of such notables as, “The Unknown Soldier” and “The Unknown Blogger” (the last of which I think I just invented).

The second image I do have some slightly more solid information on. The critter pictured therein is a Grey Heron. We have a lot of these beautiful birds in Vancouver, and a large number of them hang out in a well-established community they have located at one of the better-known entrances to Stanley Park, an area known as Lost Lagoon. You have to see one of these animals in flight to truly appreciate their wingspan, and you have to see that neck of theirs in action to actually realize all the shapes they can twist that thing into. If you should get into a staring contest with one of these birds, my money’s on the bird.

So anyway, try as it may, Spring still has not managed to set in, and we still have not had two consecutive days of sunny weather. It reminds me of the old Vancouver weather, before they cut so many of the trees off the North Shore mountains. I didn’t mind it then, so I guess I can live with it now (it tends to chase away the sissies).

I hope the weather elsewhere is looking better, and I hope you all had a pleasant Easter week. Hopefully everyone is healthy and happy. And I always pray your keeping safe. Have a great week.

Powell Street Overpass
Powell Street Overpass
Grey Heron At Lost Lagoon_2
Grey Heron At Lost Lagoon_2

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So I Think I’m Back

Though my service provider has yet to show up at my new digs (how’s that for a 70’s reference), as they try to assuage their guilt at having stood me up on two separate occasions now, the fine lady I talked to at “customer service” at least had the good sense (and courtesy) to switch my actual service from the old place to the new from their side, and promised I would have the first available cancellation or whatever came up, with a “guarantee” of an actual service call by April 12th, between the hours of 1-3 pm. (My original date was for the 29th of March, and then the 5th of April when they didn’t show up the first time.) As you’ve probably noticed, however, once they decided to switch the energy flow from my old address to the new, I was able to do my own wiring, and get things up and running. It’s not pretty (the cables run across the center of my living room), but it works, and that’s good enough for me at this time. The techie can worry about the artistic stuff if and when he/she ever arrives.

So as I unpack everything, I thought I should freshen up my page a bit since it’s been a while since I changed anything. I haven’t unpacked the camera equipment yet, but I thought what I would do for a few days was take a little trip down memory lane and look back at some of my favorite pictures. It’s getting pretty late into my third year since I began this page here at WordPress, and in that time, I realized I only had a couple handfuls of pictures that I was really, really happy with. So see, you don’t have to worry, I’ll run out of these old ones quickly enough, and then I’ll get back to trying to improve my techniques. And if I learn anything from the experience, then it will have been a worthwhile experiment.

So at any rate, I guess we’re starting to see some hints of Spring in the air. The Cherry and Apple Blossoms are out, as are the earlier Magnolias. And there’s a fly buzzing around my head right now doing my spell-checking for me because he knows that I just can’t tolerate “spelling bees”. All you folks try and stay dry now, have a good week, stay healthy, happy, and like always, try and be safe.

Resting in peace.
Resting In Peace
Sitting Pretty Bathing In The Sunlight
Sitting Pretty Bathing In The Sunlight

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