photo – way past midnight a lttle self portrait lullaby

Experimenting with the new dslr Nikon D3100. Over my life my weight has gone up and down and all around but mostly too large a number. At this point I am down slowly and carefully to within a pound or three of what I used to weigh way back when I was in university. My plan is to drop another ten to 15 pounds.


other test shots:

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Kodak Box Camera

Kodak Box Camera – part of my collection of 20th century film cameras –
bought used around 2002, uses 120 roll film which is still available, simplicity itself

Friday reflections

Maria Bello at the Independent Spirit Awards i...
Image via Wikipedia

Good morning, it is Friday and I am reflecting. To start with, that is Maria Bello to the right. I talk about her new tv show, Prime Suspect, a little further down the post.
Well, it is officially Autumn and the weather has got in step. Today is cooler and seems like the setting is an all day gentle rain. The past week or so each time I drive along our beach road I am braking for hard-working, sprint-zooming black squirrels. Never less than three or four of these road risk takers per trip. Last night even in full light, I saw a good sized raccoon speed scramble across a squirrel lane. We see these furry burglars most of the year but rarely during sunlit hours.

I am currently making some major changes in my life and will be putting my gear selector through its paces as I try a number of different speeds. I am planning to concentrate on photography and writing, stop volunteer technical work, and adjust “my web-life.” Those crazy twins harmony and balance are my target.

I will try yet again to get back to pencil and ink drawing. I want to create more, complain less, and try to grow more patience in all pigeonholes. I wonder how many spots old leopards can actually change. I will let you know how that count goes.
I am continuing to mend, but there is a significant distance to go. At the moment it seems a little longer than the actual distance I am capable of walking per day. Something I am careful about while increasing.

FUNOSITY ETC. Nikon D3100 dslr, the new toy, is a well-designed camera and I am having fun getting comfortable with it. I recommend it to anyone who is considering moving up from a point and shoot digicam to the dslr level, but caution them that they may be able to get more out of that “simpler” level of camera (these have become formidable image catching devices). I recommend a visit and some considerable reading time at the photography site of Ken Rockwell at to get more detail about what I am hinting about here.

The US version of Prime Suspect with Maria Bello looks very good, I am settled in for the season of it.

Book Bag: Len Deighton in progress, Mexico Set, with XPD on deck. Layover in Dubai by Dan Fesperman is staged next.

From Mexico Set, the kind of writing that keeps me rereading Deighton: “Some people say short people are aggressive to compensate for their small stature, but look at Zena Volkmann and you might start thinking that aggressive people are made short lest they take over the whole world.”

Publication: a handful of my poems will appear in the upcoming anthology of the Mariposa Writers Group in Orillia, available shortly before Christmas. More about that a little later in this year.

Cover of "Xpd"
Cover of Xpd

Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one’s character can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.


(this was written back in 2001, so you will need to adjust prices which have been affected by inflation, recession, bailouts, recovery and other acts committed by politicians, bankers, economists, and FOX NEWS)

Through the letter slot, a million and a half flyers have arrived over the past few days. It is the great season of printing. I look forward to this every year. I bet the printers do. I now feel fully involved in the economy. Christmas shopping stimulation through four colour printing.

One little booklet caught my eye as I was shovelling flyers into the garbage. It suggests some things I really need. Not all of them are Christmasy, but still…..

Laser hair removal for men and women. Specifically lip or chin (from $53 per treatment), underarms (from $80 per treatment), bikini line (from $80 per treatment), men’s back (from $347 per treatment), women’s legs (from $347 per treatment, which is $173.50 per leg). It is good that they don’t mention doing women’s backs and men’s legs.

After all that hair removal, I may just want to look at buying a new furnace or a fireplace to keep warm. A gas insert fireplace will set me back $1299. An electric fireplace is a bargain at $999.

And since I am warm and cosy with my new heating installation, there is a company that will bring me all kinds of stuff not just groceries so I don’t have to venture out in that cold air. They will deliver gifts, toys, chocolates, flowers, magazines, books, health and beauty (not just the products but the actual states of being I suppose), new movies, software, and office supplies.

There is a store specializing in perfume. A pair of products caught my eye. Versace Blue Jeans for men. Red Jeans for women. These are spray bottles for $29.99. I always wondered where women bought sprayed on jeans. Now I know. I was sad to note that Versace has nothing for Mr. Greenjeans.

To every thing there is a season. And although I have my new heating, a company wants me to buy central air conditioning. Another wants to steam clean my carpets and upholstery, my whole home for $79 or my car for $49. Either they think I have a small home or a very very big car.

After the carpets are clean, I can visit a 35,000 square foot showroom and buy an 8 pc. Italian bedroom with 4 door wardrobe available in 2 colours for $1989.

Next comes windows, storm doors, and a sunroom. This company suggests I can have installed vinyl windows for as low as $25 month. I was hoping to buy them rather than rent them, but maybe they’re right.

Another laser hair removal company seems to be priced less competively. This may be a misprint, I hope so. For women, they will remove hair from underarm, bikini, half leg (what not the whole leg?) or for men, full back or chest, for a mere $2,999. Perhaps, they will keep removing the hair for your entire life span. Seems pricey.

Once the fur is gone, the next obvious step is liposuction, breast augmentation, and something called micro-dermabrasion (“chisel away years” sounds pleasant doesn’t it).

Then there is the great nightmare of the closet. A company offers to get me a bigger house without getting a bigger house by organizing my closets. Real estate agents weep at this revolutionary idea. The company offers free installation for a limited time only. Does that mean that they take them out after a while?

Once I have my closets organized and all my “stuff” (apologies to George Carlin), I need to get some security window and door guards. But before that, I really need some custom wood shutters. I can have Californian, Plantation, traditional, arches or exterior shutters.

Now that everything is secured and shuttered and organized, I still need more service. It won’t stay neat long. So it is time for housekeeping. They do everything including cupboard fronts professionally washed (one would not want amateur washing). They also list one item that has me puzzled: right after senior discounts they list “injury claims”. This suggests to my over advertised imagination a vision of an unsatisfied granny smacking the cleaning crew with a rolling pin or a cane.

If that cleaning approach doesn’t work out, I can spring for a central vacuum system for a mere $649.99.

This is also my chance to buy solid wood furniture. I had my heart set on liquid wood, but I guess I can adjust.

Tis the season to shop, shop, shop. My addition may be off but I think I just spent $9,030.37. Yikes!

Text copyright © William Joseph Gibson 2001

Text copyright © William Joseph Gibson 2001

Nikon D3100 DSLR – starting out

just bought one today, my treat to me,  still unpacking, charging battery and getting ready to take baby steps with it.

It is an awkward time to be buying , a new digital camera with the new kids on the block,  CMOS sized sensored mirrorless interchangeable cameras just getting onto the market blurring the line between point and shoot and dslr….

a camera out of the old film slr tradition with some size and an actual viewfinder which is what I used in my film days, had the strongest attraction for me.

I did a lot of research and paid attention to Ken Rockwell and to

some  first shots today:


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6cmX9cm negative folding camera Agfa Record III Billy

I bought this refurbished old 120 roll camera back just after 2001f o $250.

It is an ideal folding travel camera and fits in a jacket pocket easily when all buttoned up.

Sample photograph

National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Seton – Basilica

Agfa Record Billy III with Apotar 105mm f4.5 lens using Kodak 400 VC 120 film – just refound these misplaced negatives from a trip made in 2003.


National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Seton - Basilica

diabetic ulcers on my left foot – long time to heal

more antibiotics and daily wound care from the CCAC is in progress to heal my ankle wounds


It will take months.

I contemplated something I never thought I would face, pulling my late mother’s walker out of storage and using it to get around inside my home.  I have no visits to make today, but dialysis tomorrow, so I may haul the walker with me.  It allows me to walk slowly without tensing all kinds of muscles to hobble/shuffle forward.   This is a very large change from just two weeks ago.