Friday, June 30, 2017

A Double Ending

Wednesday was the last day of school for the kids until September. As is usual on a Wednesday, they came to our place to await the school bus. They both brought home good reports and will be moving onward and upward in their scholastic lives come the fall.

It was also another ending — that of our regular babysitting duties. We have provided child care for the kids for 8 of the past 9 years and for the last 7 consecutive years. Mind you, for the past 4 years, it has only been before and after school for 3 days a week.

But the times they are a'changin, and with an extended and blended family on their dad's side, different arrangements had to be made, so our gig is done or pretty much. We will provide services for 2 weeks in August this summer, but come September, it will be just Sue and me.

At first, I felt a bit disappointed because it has been so good to be such a part of their lives. But, as I said, things are changing, and they don't really need us as they once did; they just really need a place to hang out before and after school. Not that Sue and I have great plans for our footloose future, especially considering the needs of our old cat who has now, surprisingly, survived for 3 months with us, but we will be able to roam away from the house a little more freely.

So, all in all I am ready for the change. It will be a little like retiring all over again.

On that last morning, I took a few on-the-spot portraits before the bus came. These are a few of them. They are such good kids.

I may need to print and hang this one

Here they hold the little gifts that they will give to the bus driver.

Edit: Oops, I almost forgot this one of Danica smelling the lilacs from our silk lilac tree, which has been both gorgeous to look at and exceptionally fragrant this year.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wheels on the Mississippi

Our park was covered with automobiles this past Sunday for Wheels on the Mississippi in Carleton Place. It was quite a large event with a few hundred vehicle owners showing off their babies.

I learned that I don't know how to photograph cars, at least not in crowded, bright conditions. Particularly when stooping down and shooting through the LCD screen rather than the Eye Level Finder, my focus too frequently missed the mark. I need practice ... and maybe a camera with a tilt screen for easier low level viewing.

With a bit of fiddling and faddling in post, I came up with a few keepers, but nothing was extra special.

I think this was my favourite vehicle: a 1925 Dodge tow truck. The sign actually said Dodge Brothers Tow Truck. I was told that, unlike most entries, it is in original shape, at least as far as the body is concerned (note the wooden bumper). I also like the mono conversion, so I shall show both versions.

I was hoping for more trucks than cars, but that is not what I got. I did get a few trucks, however.

1966 Chevy C-10 Pickup

1947 Willy's Overland

1929 Ford

A few cars.

I passed this 1955 Chevy going and coming, so I put the two shots together and did a vintage style of processing.

Picnic anyone?

This 1948 Chev Fleetline was pretty special.

Finally, a Chrysler Six, which is an Al Capone type of vehicle: hence the fake machine gun. I also went with a vintage look in this collage.

Notice the rumble seat (bottom right). I have a vague memory of riding in one of these at a cottage in the early fifties when I was around five years old.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


In my volunteer assignment, I have covered a few events for the town as part of out Canada 150 Celebration although most of them would have occurred anyway in any given year. The Summer Solstice Walk of last week was one such event, and there have been several Mississippi Mudds performances, including the musical, Assassins, in a dinner theatre performance last week.

As far as I know, Mudds is not an acronym but I figure a play on the song, even though the song is about that certain other Mississippi River.
When the sun goes down the tide goes out
The people gather round and they all begin to shout
Hey hey Uncle Dud it's a treat to beat your feet on the Mississippi mud
It's a treat to beat your feet on the Mississippi mud 
Read more: Dean Martin - Mississippi Mud Lyrics | MetroLyrics
I stayed for the first act and when they broke for the main course, I skedaddled rather than wait it out for the second act, and there was to be another break later — for dessert, I presume.

A few shots.

My three faves are the last shot of the photgrapher, the guy in the electric chair, and the first one of the accompanist. Actually, I prefer my b&w rendition of that shot, which I have done elsewhere. Oh what the heck, maybe I'll go find it and post it below. Just give me a minute. OK here it is. Than ks for waiting.

I also did the electric chair guy in b&w but enough already. 😎

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Preparing for Canada Day 150

July 1st will mark the 150 anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. I think we have done remarkably well as a tolerant, inclusive country, which is somehow keeping its wits about it as our southern neighbours are losing theirs.

Sue and I sort of got together at the 100th anniversary, and here we are 50 years later, still together and in a different place that we certainly never expected to live in.  Go figure.

There are various festoonings around town, including our own garden where we have various flags, including those seen here.

Here is another of ours, but I also wanted to make a comment in passing about the unpredictability or gardening.

We have some sage (salvia) plants in terrible ground beside the driveway and near the street, which do well enough in late spring and early summer. However, the most glorious one for the past few years (in the centre between the barrel and the petunias, in front of the low purple salvia behind, is barely existing this year. It was bigger and grander than the one off to the right in previous years. Whatever.

Downtown, some of the shops have made an effort to decorate their windows with a Canada theme.

A nice touch has been the painting of flags here and there in front of some buildings.


The original Moore House

The museum
There will be festivities this week, leading up the big day on the weekend.

Monday, June 26, 2017

I Ask Why and other Outtakes

I thought I would show a few outtakes, as it were, from that KP trip, which was only an hour and a half but which has since lasted for many many posts. 😊

We saw this piece of art near the end of our tour of the museum, but I want to feature it first here because it kind of choked me up at the time. Some people don't have much of a chance in life, and the poor guy who wrote this was one of them. I ask why is it a parent can't accept their child as it is.

Some brutal devices of punishment were featured, including whips, a whipping table and other devious devices. Brutal.

Stick him in stocks, put his head in a barrel, and drip water until he almost drowns.

Various whips and paddles, with one of the whipping posts off to the side.

Taking solitary confinement to new heights, or should I say depths. I would have lost my mind.

Prisons are brutal places. We saw all sorts of shivs (knives) and a homemade sort of crossbow made largely out of toothbrushes.

One fellow not at KP but in another facility in this province, hid himself in these trays in an escape attempt. Apparently he lost about 30lbs in an effort to squeeze himself into this tiny space.

And a few outtakes from the prison side, just to wrap up this long series.

There was an open room for visitation, but the more dangerous offenders could only have guests in this secure area.

A little bit of green and a flowering bush might provide some hope for the prisoners ... and guards. 

This is the women's facility. At first, they had a wing of the main jail, then this, and then a separate facility across the street.

Quite the graffiti in the exercise room for the psychiatric inmates who were kept apart from the main prison body.  The door led to the main prison yard, but these guys didn't go there.

I guess that's it for this series that kind of took an unexpected life of its own.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Warden's House

The Warden's House was built right across the street from KP (Kingston Pen) for a grand total of $8000 with slave convict labour. It is now a museum and was freely open on the day of our KP tour.

That's JJ in front, semi climbing once again.

Leading upstairs from the entrance

The warden's desk sits in the upstairs hall

The upstairs hall with my back to the desk

Heading back downstairs

Signing the guest book before departing

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Climbing and Posing

(back to our prison tour after yesterdays solstice break)

I am used to JJ climbing whenever the opportunity arises, so I missed all sorts of his escapades during the tour, particularly the one where the guide found him perched on the railing next to her as she was giving her little talk. Sue caught a picture just before that moment; he is beside the guide and will soon climb aboard, quite startling her.

Other than that he found various opportunities. Of course, you have already seen him on the top bunk in the cells (or I think you have), so I will show you two others.

As the tour progressed, Danica got into a posing mode. I can't tell you how many times she demanded that I snap her photo. Here are a few.