Grace takes a break from her work to look out at Georgian Bay


The typewriter in the foreground is a 1960s vintage West German made Olympia.

We had some trouble yesterday and are still waiting to see the final result. This summer has been a bad one for neighbours choosing to light fires either for decoration/nostalgia or to get rid of gardening residue. Either way if the wind cooperates, the cottage turns into a smokehouse. My sister has asthma and the smoke bothers her a great deal. Two days ago, the wind angle and the smoke worked together for maximum effect and to counter its effect she put on a particle mask. I finally went over and told the neighbour that the smoke was really bothering us and her specifically. He apologized and doused it. It is amazing how smoke clings. I will long remember her with mask on taping garbage bags to cover the window air conditioner unit since it was right in line with the smoke to prevent more infiltration. At the end of the evening she put the mask in the waste basket in the bathroom.

Yesterday, while my sister was out working in the garden, Grace got annoyed to be left inside, began barking a great deal. My sister came in and found half of the mask on the floor and some other stuff from the garbage. The mask is mainly paper with a cloth elastic band to go around the back of your head, and has two tiny staples to hold that band in place. It also has a a thin malleable metal band which is there so you can bend it over the bridge of your nose to ensure a tight fit. She looked everywhere but no elastic band, staples or metal strip could be found. Conclusion: Grace ate them.

So off to the vet. We brought along an intact mask to show the vet. Xray showed the staples. No sign of the metal strip. But Grace’s stomach was full of food and it might have concealed it. Bottom line, if she starts vomiting, we are in trouble and likely she will need surgery. Or she may simply pass these things through her system.

Sometimes owning a dog can be very distressing.

Today we will buy a new waste basket for the bathroom, one with a lid that can be locked.

We still have a baby lock on the handles of the doors of the cupboard under the kitchen sink where we store cleaning supplies, like Windex and Comet. As a puppy she found that plastic thing interesting and gnawed on it a little. I must confess I feel a sense of triumph whenever I manage to unlock the baby lock to get in there.

Grace seems fine. God I hope she is going to be allright.

a marshy meditation


It is always a tease to stand looking at a wetland marshy scene like this and know that you are only likely to glimpse some birds, some flying insects, maybe a frog and all the while you know this type of place is just loaded with all kinds of life, in the water, hiding in the dense, lush plant life. A few years back I did have the good luck to watch a muskrat’s head, cutting the water surface as he swam the length of an open stretch of marsh water for about a minute or so. Why oh why do we destroy this kind of richness.

This shot taken at the Tiny Marshes, nw of Elmvale, Ontario in Simcoe County, about 85 miles north of Toronto.  Ontario, Canada.

Antietam Burnside’s Bridge



Antietam Burnside’s Bridge

Originally uploaded by canuckshutterer “Bill” (W.J. Gibson)

Burnside was the Union General who kept ordering his troops to cross this bridge under murderous fire from Confederate troops positioned on the hill in the background. Antietam was one of the bloodiest of Civil War battles.

Cosina Voigtlander Bessa T101 Rangefinder camera and Cosina Voigtlander 35mm f2.5 Classic Leica Thread Mount lens mounted with the LTM-M mount adapter – Fuji NPH

one step at a time – mother and child photo


this is one of the few photos I have ever managed that comes close to the ideal of the decisive moment a la Henri Cartier-Bresson….

I was looking down in the beautiful stairwell of the Royal Ontario Museum having taken a couple of shots of the enormous totem pole in that stairwell when I noticed these two descending cautiously.

My camera was my Nikon Coolpix 5700. This is one of my favourite people shots.

preliminary interview for transplant in October


that is the interview for consideration for transplant is in October, not the transplant….

so don’t get too excited for me….. preliminary is just the half  of it.  There have been a series of tests to get ready for the preliminary interview to see if I am even suitable for transplant.  The last standard test was this week, a simple TB skin test which came back negative.   One hitch is the result of a cardiolite stress test which showed diminished blood flow to my heart. The transplant folk want me to have a angiogram.  I spoke to a cardiologist who remarked casually that this test will kill my remaining kidney function.  That caught my attention.  There is very little kidney function left.  The results of that test will hopefully show what is up with my heart.  I have no chest pain.  Depending on how blocked and how many are blocked I may be  candidate for an angioplasty or for bypass surgery.    Oh, and the normal wait for a cadaverous donor of a kidney in Ontario these days is 8 years.  It seems that all the tests for transplant are repeated annually. Who knows maybe I will find out that I am not a good candidate.

Simcoe County Corn


I took my Sony H50 camera out for some exercise this morning and got over to the Tiny Marshes north of Elmvale, Ontario. This curving sideroad flanks a corn field. I liked the compositional potential and stopped and got out and tried a couple of shots.

The Sony has the display screen and with the bright sun it was a little tough to use but the results were pretty good.

techless drift


I am beginning a slight movement to less daily technoactivity, that is less not eliminating it. I am still dragging my DSLR around.  But I am less frquently checking email.  I have been hammering away on my vintage portable typewriters for fun and cheap time travel.  The two are the Olympia SM-9 (bought new 1960s model) and the Smith Corona Sterling (bought used, a 1940s model).  I still do most of my writing using pen and paper and the pen lately is a Parker T-Ball Jotter (first produced in 1954).   I do try to spend at least two hours per day outside.  When winter descends that will be hard to achieve.  My TV watching is way down.

One of the pluses of Tech lately has been listening to podcasts of interviews from CBC’s Writer and Co. and TVOntario’s Allan Gregg Conversations. These help pass the time in the dialysis chair.