rained out photo jaunt

my camera icon

The rain stopped after overnight steadiness and I headed off along Highway 12 for the Fall Fair at Orillia but soon after I began the monsoon avalanched heavy rain.  So I stopped partway to Orillia and had lunch at Tiffany’s Restaurant in Coldwater, Ontario.

I ended up in conversation with a senior couple and their daughter.  He is 88 years old and was a truck driver for Canadian Ordnance Corps in Northeast Europe.  He described meeting a school buddy in Ghent who was too embarassed to admit he that he was shot in the buttocks during the Battle of the Hochwald Forest (Operation Veritable and Operation Blockbuster).

from the wikipedia article “After the war, General Dwight Eisenhower, the Allied Supreme Commander, commented this “was some of the fiercest fighting of the whole war” and “a bitter slugging match in which the enemy had to be forced back yard by yard”.”

This gentleman weighed 140 lbs when he went in the Army and weighs that today. It was a great pleasure and privilege to speak with a World War Two veteran.  This gentleman has a razor sharp memory.  We talked about lake levels in the Great Lakes and fierce local weather. He has an avid interest in weather and runs his own home weather station.  He remarked on the extreme low pressure that followed a harsh storm that blew through on Friday, barometric pressure was as low as that experienced with hurricanes.

Tiffany’s Restaurant, Coldwater, Ontario
wood detail of store front in Coldwater, Ontario
old signs on side of store front in Coldwater, Ontario

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SS Athabaska and SS Manitoba continued to run from Owen Sound until the mid 1930s when the Alberta and Athabaska were withdrawn from service.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

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.

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 kenrockwell.com 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.

Belgians in line for judge, Fall Fair Orillia

Visited the Orillia Fall Fair before noon today and despite some dark clouds found no rain, not too big a crowd, and lots of horses.

Orillia Fall Fair, September 12, 2010, Orillia, Ontario, Canada
Orillia Fall Fair, September 12, 2010, Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Eating Lunch at the Orilla Fall Fair