self portrait

  Nikon D3100 w 18-55 kit lens w Metz 44 flash bounced off a white tiled ceiling and further editing in Corel Paint Shop Pro x4 software – a self portrait showing my 58 year old face

a few thoughts on tablets

What devices are in my current stable?

  • Acer 17 inch laptop with a dead screen that is connected to an 18 inch external monitor, Windows Vista.
  • A 15.6 inch Gateway laptop with a battery that won’t hold a charge, Windows 7.
  • An iPod Touch 8gb several years old, battery seems to drain much more quickly these days.
  • An Acer Aspire One netbook running Windows XP holds its charge for 2.25 hours.
  • Sony ereader, a Christmas gift on which I grab ebooks from my public library
  • sitting on the shelf a ten year old Apple iBook that never gave me much trouble but got outpaced by tech advances. Then when I bought a new laptop I decided Apple was too pricey.

I have iTunes on my laptop and iPod w films, tv series, books, music and podcasts.

Like: tablet fast start and battery charge length, portability, 7inch screen, gestures and touch screen, built in camera
Dislike: tablet screen keyboard
Not sure: why do tablets have such little storage, my netbook has 240 gb, my tablet just 16 gb

…..written on my Playbook tablet, edited further on my laptop, no bullet list function in the app for Word Press on the Playbook.

cropped area of Playbook camera made photo of Cadbury the cat

SS Manitoba CPR Steamship

From 1912, Port McNicoll was home port of the CPR‘s passenger and package freight steamships, SS Keewatin and Flagship SS Assiniboia.[citation needed] The steamers would take on passengers from the “boat train”, arriving from Toronto, upbound to Port Arthur / Fort William to connect with their trains there. Downbound, the steamers would carry passengers back to Port McNicoll, returning to Toronto, via Medonte and Midhurst.

During the depression of the 1930s, the rail connection between Orillia and Lindsay, was abandoned.[citation needed] The CPR’s older steamers, SS Alberta, SS Athabaska and SS Manitoba continued to run from Owen Sound until the mid 1930s when the Alberta and Athabaska were withdrawn from service. With an increase in the handling of package freight, these two ships were pressed into freight-only service from Port McNicoll, until the end of the war. The SS Manitoba was retired in 1950, following the SS Noronic disaster.

The SS Keewatin and SS Assiniboia continued operating until the cessation of passenger service in 1965, when they too were reduced to freight-only service. The coal burning Keewatin was withdrawn from service in November 1966, while sister ship Assiniboia, with boilers converted to burn oil years earlier, was likely the reason she lasted longer. The SS Assiniboia retired November 26, 1967


photo resurrected from an old family photo album no details on the back of the 2.4 inch by 3.3 inch print.

SS Maniboba CPR package and passenger freight, steamship

Hogg Bay Trestle Bridge 2141 feet long, 1908-1978

scan of an old print of a photo I took back in 1975 — Spanning the waters of Hogg Bay, a great wooden trestle bridge was built in 1908 to carry the Canadian Pacific Railroad from grain elevators at Port McNicholl. 2141 feet long and 50 feet high, it was one of the longest wooden structures on the continent. The pine timbers were 8 feet by 16 feet and pilings of B.C. fir were 65 feet long. The builder was Mike McPeake of Port McNicholl. Patrolled by armed guards in both World Wars, this unique and handsome bridge was last used in 1971 and demolished in 1978.

to see two more photos of mine of the trestle see this link to an earlier post

my lair in the warmer weather times past and future

It has been a mildish winter up here on the southern shore of Georgian Bay.  Good for me, nervewracking for ice-fishing aficionadoes, and a few more snowmobilers have gone through the ice.  Thankfully the last two to get dunked that I heard about on the news got out safely.  The photo shows the road facing side of the cottage and the deck.  I plan to spend a lot of time on the deck once the warmer weather arrives.  I did this last year and I will repeat that this year.  We tried something a little different this past year and it worked out well.  I dragged the large glass top lawn table around from the water side of the cottage to this side and up the stairs.  I added a couple of our grey metal lawn chairs and their cushions.  Instant comfort in a easily assembled outdoor living room. Add a cold drink and a radio. Then with the “dog-gate” sheet of plywood in place blocking off the steps, and Grace, the dog, in place on the deck, and with the shade of the surrounding trees, I spent a lot of time on the deck reading and computing.  We had quite a few meals on the deck as well.  Somehow the glass table made a large difference and so we will resume deck life soon.

Sony H50 shot of the Coldwater Mill 1833

Grist mill in Coldwater, Ontario, Canada

Plaque Text: In 1830 Indians of the surrounding region were gathered on a reserve along a newly opened road connecting The Narrows (Orillia) and Coldwater. The superintendent, Capt. Thomas Gummersal Anderson and a band of Ojibwa under Chief Aisance, settled in Coldwater. Land-hungry settlers influenced the government to move the Indians to Rama and Beausoleil Island 1838-39. This grist-mill, financed with Indian funds, was constructed by Stephen Chapman, Jacob Gill and others in 1833. The mill was sold to George Copeland in 1849 and has been in operation for over 125 years.

“land-hungry settlers” is a chilling term.  Makes you ask yourself how many times a similar land grab took place throughout North America.

Today, a small cafe operates in the mill at the end facing the camera.

I chose to spend the time removing some overhead wires from the photo below usind the clonebrush tool to get their distraction out of the image. I used Corel Paint Shop Pro X4.

The Sony H50 is a good point and shoot super zoom camera. It has just one drawback. invariably my right thumb falls naturally on the back of the camera on top of the zoom button and I unconsciously zoom out. It has a partly articulatable (is that a word?) screen which I can pull out and let my thumb fall away from the zoom button if I remember to do it. good camera, has an odd access to certain controls under program mode, took me awhile to figure out. 15x zoom

About ten yards behind where I stood here and around the corner to the right is Tiffany’s Restaurant, a nice “greasy spoon” family eatery, where I go about once a month. It is about fifteen minutes SE from my home along Hwy 12.

pens – Parker and Cross

close up of red Parker T-Ball Jotter ball point pen and Cross Ball Point Pen

The future of handwriting is in question these days.  With some schools embracing computers, penmanship has disappeared from the curriculum.  I learned a long time ago with a cheap Sheaffer cartridge fed, plastic barreled fountain pen.  A “nice” pen set used to be a standard graduation gift.  For a time it was a fountain pen, then a fountain and ball point pen pair, then came ball point and pencil sets.  Roller balls came next and other developments.  Then the tidal wave of computers and now tablets.

I like pens, and I like writing by hand.  Depending on my mood, I may want a blue ink ball point or perhaps the hard decisiveness of a medium nib black rollerball.  With my eyesight going funky, I don’t often use a pencil anymore.  I also have to watch when I am picking which pen to bring to dialysis.  I don’t want something that is hard to uncap with just one hand.  With my fistula in my left forearm, my left arm is busy and unavailable for four and a half hours three afternoons each week.

I have too many pens, I like buying pens and using them. I will never run out of pens Here are some of my finer pens:

Top photo:my T-ball Jotters from Parker Pens (design came out in 1954)

Bottom photo: my Cross ball point pens

photos made with Sony H50

Robert Parker Hundred Dollar Baby

I borrowed this as an ebook from my local public library. A Spenser tale with the return of an old character. Very satisfying story with turns by Hawk, Susan, Belson, Quirk.  I will miss the talent of Mr. Robert B. Parker.  One of my long-time favourite writers.