Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Graffiti, Lowertown, Quebec City, Quebec

Graffiti, Mail St-Roch, Lowertown, Quebec City, c. 1989

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lady Cadogan's Illustrated Games of Solitaire

Published 1914, Art Deco Style cover - Full text with illustrations is available here at Project Gutenberg

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just in Time for Christmas! Sympathy for the Devil!

Really? Sympathy for the Devil wine just in time for Christmas??? Let everyone have a chance to have a liver like Keith Richard's ! (from the Rolling Stones' Wine site ).
(They could be very nice wines anyway - the Okanagan valley does make good ice wines)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

tapped sugar bush

Sugar bush, with lines to tap the sap permanently in place. The lines lead to a building with the evaporators that make maple syrup.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Burritts Rapids

A village on the Rideau Canal system, first settled in the 18th Century. A lot of log cabins still are in use in this area - this one has had a modern extension. The marmalade-coloured cat is a resident of the general store. Update - general store closed last time I went through around 2012

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Turtles in November

Catching the last rays of sun, the Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) will spend the winter hibernating in the mud at the bottom of the pond - their blood chemistry will change to let them survive freezing weather.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Puffball Puzzle

Another sign of Fall - puffballs... but these were right next to this mushroom:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Green Glowing Plastic Skull Halloween Decoration

Cheap! Covered in Plastic Crystals! Powered by two AAA batteries. Does exactly what it's supposed to do, unlike the Mitchell-Hedges Skull of Doom

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Post election late thoughts

Yes, the CTV Stéphane Dion interview was bad journalism, particularly right before the election - the question that Dion stumbled over was hard to understand even in English, and it's not news that Dion doesn't speak English very well. I'd have explained the question in French and let him answer in English.

Friday, October 17, 2008

St. Raphael's Ruins

The stonemason's art laid bare.
Ruins of St. Raphael's Church, Ontario. Often used as a venue for concert - acoustics remain impressive.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Laying Cable

The Danish barge Henry P. Lading going upriver to lay 7.9 km of cable that will connect the Wolfe Island wind power project near Kingston to the main grid

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Josiah Henson House

Josiah Henson's house, near Dresden, Ontario. Henson escaped from slavery to Upper Canada, which at the time was the only territory where a former slave could not be captured and forcibly returned to a slave state. He founded a colony for freed slaves and was the model for the lead character in the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.

He was a Mason and belonged to the Detroit lodge - he made this chair. I don't know if the three links meant he was also an oddfellow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oil Wells that began well

These are the jerker lines that still drive the wells at the first commercially exploited oil field in the world - the oil is still used to make lubricants. The jerkers lines are logs or planks swinging from posts that radiate out from a central engine in the field - this was before it became possible to motorize each pump. The plant is supposed to be something that grows a lot in oily soil.
And in 50 years, the industry had grown to become the 20th Centuries dominant force. Now that it has reached the peak production stage, what will happen?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shorn Sheep Self Scratcher

Instead of lawn mowers at the Oil Museum of Canada they have sheep, who over the past 150 years have learned to use the jerker lines as power assisted scratching posts.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

They give us free air time, let's make it look like they overcharged us.

These are two free airtime political broadcasts from the CBC for this year's federal elections:

Marijuana Party - Shouldn't he have been as high as a kite when he was reading a poem that compared Harper to Hitler and Conservatives to Nazis? It didn't have that much to do with the party's sole purpose, legalizing marijuana. Saying "Homeboys" sounds silly if you have a Canadian accent, even if you are black. They couldn't get Tommy Chong?

First People's National Party. First use of an exposed nipple in a campaign since Kim Campbell's memorable 'wardrobe malfunction' of 1993. (Sorry I cropped it - didn't want to flag for adult content)

The Conservative's ads, which they paid for, are pretty bad - the 'won't someone think of the children' mother with child praising Harper's tough-on-crime stance and the elderly man wearing what looked like a Royal Canadian Legion blazer and medals - that's something that implies an endorsement by the Legion, and it's not clear that they have taken any position on the elections.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Phallic Fungi, or the attack of the Dog's Dong

It did look like what would grow after it had been raining men for a while. These are from the stinkhorn family, probably the Mutinus ravenelii - they erupt overnight from the soil with slime bearing head that insects feast on, spreading their spores. They were gone the next day, when I came back with a better camera.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sign of Fall

Taken a few years ago, probably early September. The Monarch Butterfly will fly south to Mexico to lay eggs and then each generation of Monarch will fly a little further north until they get to Canada and do it again.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Livernois - 19th century Canadian photographer's carte de visite

Carte de Visite - the Livernois studio operated as a family business for more than a century in Quebec City - J.E. (Jules Ernest) Livernois was the son of the founder. I found one photo by him of the Prince of Wales when he visited Quebec City for the 300th Anniversary in 1908. He may have been appointed photographer to the Prince of Wales as the three feathers badge on the back of his card would suggest. Also I found this tintype of three women with this Carte de Visite but I don't know if it is from Livernois' studio. Click to see the enlargement to see the hand coloured pink on the cheeks.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

More like a tart than a pie!

These are candies I found at the Pacific Mall near Toronto. It says "Mandarin orange pie" from the Hyuga region in Japan - they really are pastries about two inches across. And it's educational!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Elizabeth May in Cornwall

Elizabeth May jumping on and off a regular VIA train at every stop, giving a speech and jumping back on. TVA guy asks her to speak in French. She said she was against "les coutures" (Clothing Fashions) rather than "Les coupures", the cuts to social spending.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

you can't live forever

I love lurid covers from the 1950s. Harold Q. Masur was a lawyer and President of the Mystery Writers of America. On Bookmooch:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Poet Cop

Hans Jewinski was a Metro Toronto Police officer who wrote poetry - quite serious solid poems about street life in a large city:
"You died holding
the needle of your life
measured out in bags
too pure even for your
habit to support"
- Death in an Echo Chamber, Poet Cop, 1975.
(Also giving it away on bookmooch - see above or contact me.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oshawa Jazz Festival

Jaymz Bee and Sophia Perlman & The Vipers at the Oshawa Jazz Festival. Free concert with almost no one there due to rain coming down like a fire hose.
Publish Post

Monday, September 8, 2008

When I first saw this sign I thought it was from a stage adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby - it is really a signboard someone found in the walls of a garage they were demolishing - it had the same image on the other sign but was covered with old newspapers - no record of a B. Laurance ( sic ) Spectacles - possibly an itinerant spectacle maker, but since it's written on both sides it is probably real.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Akwesasne Pow Wow 2008

I just like the judges in full regalia and clipboards!

 Otter barrette of dancer, probably porcupine quill and sweet grass.

Kid's Dance