I will be 59 in October which is not terribly old.  Perhaps if you dial in my various illnesses it is older than average.  Which is a polite way of saying I am not going to live a helluva lot longer.  It is still up in the air if I will qualify for a kidney transplant.  If that answer turns out in the affirmative then my day to day life will change enormously.  I have not tried to describe the Groundhog Day movie with Bill Murray feeling that dialysis presents.   Many weeks of the year it feels like my life is getting up each day and trying to fit a few things into the morning then scampering over for dialysis which eats the entire afternoon and I get up and do it again.  Not literally true, it is three afternoons per week, but if often feels like that is all I do.  I try to defeat that sensation by getting out and doing a variety of things.  My budget is not enormous and so I try to keep to low cost activities.  I try to add new things not just the same old haunts.  I find it a bit desolate to just go to dialysis and then come home.   By the way I refer to dialysis as D or the big D.  It is curious to consider what my life has been like since November 2008 when I started D.  I was near death with fluid around my heart and my heart enlarged.  I had thought it was a bad cold.  D made a difference immediately.  But over time D wears one down.  It is unrelenting in its routine and its restrictions.

I believe it has affected my personality and not for the better.  I have somehow earned the reputation locally of being a difficult person who is a little intense and interested in getting things done quickly and on time and well.  I note details and I follow up on them.  I generate ideas and make suggestions.  I ask questions.  I get things done.  But the local volunteer organizations seem not to appreciate that approach.  Impatience has been a core trait of mine since I was a kid.  Now it seems what little patience I have is needed and exhausted by my kidney failure and my treatments.  It takes patience to sit for four and a half hours in a chair and keep your left arm still with two needles stuck in your forearm with all your blood running out and back to a dialysis machine.

It is time for me to find a different way to defeat the tyranny of dialysis.  The main players of the volunteer organization have for the past two months basically stopped replying to my emails.  One on the phone listens to my ideas and deflects them or directly rejects them. For this group I have become a pain in the ass, someone to work around, to avoid.  To some extent the work I have done for the group has been accepted and even valued but the cost for them and for me has become to high.  It is no longer an activity that can be described as fun.  So I will turn away as they have turned away.  I will find a new area of interest.

When I found it I will try not to repeat my mistakes of the past.

what was that old checklist:

  1. learn something
  2. dont spend too much
  3. have fun
  4. have a real passion or at least a genuine interest
  5. dont hurt anybody else’s feelings
  6. give more than you take
  7. let other people do things their way
  8. get something done

As far as number six I can rest easily when applying it to this group where I have worn out my welcome.

quick dash down to Toronto

Followup eye appointment this AM in Toronto….stopped for coffee on Victoria Park on the way out of town.  On the 400 heading down this morning two creatures ran safely in front of my car: a coyote and a I don’t know what, perhaps a mink, quick little devil of some kind.  This is the first year in 40 up near Georgian Bay that I have seen coyotes, my 2nd sighting of the year. I have heard coyote choirs half a dozen times right near the house.

Tiny Marshes

Blackberry Playbook camera shot

link below to slide show on of photos at Tiny Marshes near Elmvale, Ontario, added some new shots taken this afternoon.  I have been going there for several years.

painterly effected image

folding reflector, great for portrait lighting and archaeology too

Making light work for you is the photograher’s struggle and there is a tool that more people should try out. A number of manufacturers make a folding light reflector that might be of considerable help in getting more light on to your photographic subject, both sunlight and bouncing electronic flash light.  Certainly for field work enough gear is already on archaeologists’s backs but this folding reflector is small when folded and light in weight.  The model shown in the following photos is very useful and quite large when unfolded.  The biggest hurdle is learning the slight trick to refold it and get it back into its case.  The circular reflector has a wire in the perimeter.  I bought mine a few years ago for about $40.  One side is silver and the reverse is white.

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two shots of me – you can see which one had the reflector balancing out the light

getting GPS data into your photos, some information….

FYI For archaeological record keeping a photo with GPS information in the digitla EXIF data* would be of benefit.

Pentax sells the Optio WG-2 with GPS functionality built in (

Nikon has a separate GPS module that can be attached to their DSLR cameras (cost $249).  is the link to a discussion thread over on a high quality technical group devoted to photography,  The thread offers various opinions on ways to get GPS data added to your photos.  I have found to be a credible source of technical photographic information in the past on various topics both digital and film.

If you want to enlarge your knowledge on this topic check out the thread.  You can also easily ask a question on forums. However it is an internet source and is not one hundred percent reliable.

* xchangeable image file format (Exif) is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras (including smartphones), scanners and other systems handling image and sound files recorded by digital cameras. wikipedia

Sunday musings

A few things of not much high intensity fluttering around inside my noggin today.  Considering to going see The Artist this afternoon, not sure a silent movie is what I am in the mood for.  Been reading Lawrence Block series of mysterys of the witty dialogue kind about  Bernie the burglar,  top notch entertainment.  Looking forward to the new season of Mad Men coming on March 25th.  Musing about going to see the Leonardo exhibit down in Toronto.  Wondering about a revisit to the McMichael Collection in Kleinberg, Ontario.  Trying to calm down about hating my unsteady mobility with the aircast on my left left leg on there to promote better healing of my slow healing left heel ulcer.  It is a royal PITA.  Saw a decent patch of blue black open water on the far side of Georgian Bay in front of my home.  Missing good conversation as a steady part of my daily menu.  Concerned that I am relying too much on my digital life to keep me sane.  I seem to have enough toys to keep me content. My goal for the Spring is to stop swearing so much or to embrace my vocabulary indiscipline and move to Brooklyn. Need to spend more time messing around with my drawings.And so it goes.

View from the back deck today.  The temperature is going to soar up to 12 above on Wednesday.   However, tomorrow it will be only a cool high of -8 celsius.

Grace this morning, taken with my Playbook built in camera