Sunday, March 18, 2018

Upside down Chinese

Chinese New Year box o' tissues - the character for good luck is supposed to be inverted as (I'm told) upside down sounds like "is arriving", so good luck is coming.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Loons, Common Merganser, St. Lawrence, March 11, 2018

Loons and a Merganser, St. Lawrence River, March 11, 2018, Grand Harle, Huart

Thursday, February 8, 2018


Doritos did try to popularize their limited-time ketchup flavored chips as a Valentine's Day treat last year:

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It's always been Berenstain - here's proof

The Berenstain Bears were created by Stan and Jan Berenstain. They published the first book featuring the Bears in 1962, but they had had a career as a rare husband-and-wife cartoonist and illustrator team since they met during World War II.
In a 2015 Interview with the National Post their son Michael said that Jan Berenstain's ancestors had emigrated to the USA from Ukraine in the 19th century and thought that the -stain spelling, which differs from the more common -stein spelling, was an attempt to phonetically render the way they pronounced their name. It's possible that they only had documentation written in Cyrillic or Hebrew script to prove their identity to immigration officers and this was how it transcribed into English.
A popular meme has it that their creation used to be spelled "Berenstein Bears", but it was changed or was that way in a parallel universe.
Here's a scan of the first Dell edition of their book "Marital Blitzed", published in 1955, well before the bears. Note the spelling!:

Lunar Eclipse January 2018

 Moon just before setting

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Drawing out molten glass

Tatsumi Komiya  draws out molten glass into a long thread at the Priest's Mill Art Centre, Alexandria, Ontario, January 20, 2018

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Flowers painted on a snowbank

Flowers painted on a snowbank, Alexandria, Ontario/fleurs aquarelles sur un banc de neige

Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Boat on Ice

Some people live on the islands in the St. Lawrence year-round - travel can be tricky when the river is only partially frozen!

Spiders spinning webs, January 12, 15 C High

15 C. High today. Spiders awake and spinning webs

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Last ships leave Seaway

Seaway had some late traffic as there was a jam in the Snell lock:

 Pacific Huron
followed a few hours later by Federal Biscay, which was the boat jammed in the lock

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Itera plastic bicycle road test

Itera Plastic Bicycle, Wikimedia commons upload by user Racerbyce

I rented this for about an hour in Oslo in 1982 - it was an all-plastic bicycle, but why? The frame was so flexible riding it was exhausting, especially up hills (Oslo isn't flat!). The design was very well thought out by Volvo engineers with good placement of the gear shift, light, kickstand and bag rack, and it probably would have been successful if it had been made out of steel - it was actually heavier than a comparable metal frame bike. People stopped to talk to me, especially after I started just pushing along as I walked, because they'd been reading about it, and the bike shop very nicely gave me a full refund when I brought it back. The story that you read is that they were sold to the "West Indies" where they were supposed to be popular because they didn't rust - I don't see why they would do so more in the West Indies any more than any other coastal area - after no one wanted them much in Europe, but I haven't found any photos of them there yet. I'd wonder how well the plastic would last under strong UV sunlight.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Tragically Hip - Something On

20 years since the great ice storm that inspired this song.

"The ice is covering the trees

And one of them is interconnecting

With my Chevrolet Caprice

Black out to phantom power

And like there's nothing on

And hammering the tower

And now there's nothing on"

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Fireworks, Three cedars, Sun dogs

Fireworks, December 31, 2017, Festival of Lights, Alexandria, Ontario
and Three cedars on freezing river. Temp in Alexandria minus 20.
Sun dogs on New Year's Day it's a UFO! (It's really a lens flare, a reflection of the sun off of one of the surfaces of the lens elements). I was taking pictures of the sun dog (rainbow like thing) that often happens on cold days.