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.
was torn down before 1980, near Victoria Harbour, Ontario
Spanning the waters of Hog Bay, a great wooden trestle bridge was built in 1908 to carry the Canadian Pacific Railroad from grain elevators at Port McNicoll. 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 McNicoll. Patrolled by armed guards in both World Wars, this unique and handsome bridge was last used in 1971 and demolished in 1978.
I took these photos in around 1975.
Sunday turned into a techno frenzy of discovery and rediscovery. First of all I tried for the first time to use my wireless home network to see if I could see files on my desktop from my laptop and that worked fine. They are both Vista machines. The little red riding hood Acer netbook runs Windows XP and that did not work out so well. I may try that again. I am not sure if really need this home network. I have been moving files and photos from the laptop to the desktop using a flash drive when I need to print. My printer is not wireless and is connected to the desktop.
Second attempt was to get back to downloading my video taken with my Sony ZR50 HC camcorder. This was more sweat. I had used this in the past and connected it to my iBool. But the iBook is now almost ten years old and not the fasted kid on my block. I dug out the manual and went through my badly organized software disks and failed to find the software disk that came with the ZR50. I did find the manual and found that I had completely forgotten thelocation of the cover on the front bottom of the camera where the firewire connection lay hiding. I found my firewire cable. Hooked camcorder to desktop and voila. I was able to import video.
I may glow all week from this technological triumphant day.
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.
NY TIMES review by Jonah Lehrer of “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,” written by technology writer Nicholas Carr.
This is a very thoughtful review in which Lehrer looks at a variety of studies to validate Carr’s central thesis that our use of the new technology is reducing our ability to focus and changing the way our brains work. One quote that is irresistably delicious is one from T.S. Eliot who wonders about the effect of composing poetry on that new technology, the typewriter.
It seems like the web enabled computer is chock full of interruption attractions. Any web page seems to have ads and other links asking to be followed. I have spent time looking for information on the net, only to turn off and follow new topics that seduce me from my initial knowledge hunt. Recently I have been trying to make a deliberate effort to read one book all the way from start to finish. I have thought I was becoming a reading “dipper”, starting one book and putting it down soon after to start another and then another and ending up with five or six on the go and nothing read in large sustained attention. I would like to think I used to read that way. Probably the most carefully focused reading I have ever done was for a summer course session back in the late 1970s when I was forced to read about one and a half long Victorian novels per week just to keep up with the course lectures. At the time it seemed like a dizzying pace. Even today I wonder at how long I spent in univesity reading to keep up or almost keep up with five courses, almost all of them in English Literature.
Me reading a book while sitting on a big rock in Georgian Bay in front of the family cottage around 1972. The cottage is now my full time residence. It is full of books, many of them read, quite a few started but not finished.
This afternoon I had to head over to the hospital for a brief appointment with one of my doctors. I was sitting waiting and faced a medium sized photocopier. Someone came to use it to make some copies. Suddenly many past moments of extreme unction came to my mind and I began to sweat. After a moment it jammed. She tried to clear it and failed. Someone else tried to clear it and continued to jam. More side doors and green levers were opened and examined and tiwsted and more pieces of paper came out, some snarled , some just innocent and blank. The copier continued to issue commands on its display panel. People did its bidding and the jamming persisted.
In my office past I would often get sucked into trying to clear jammed copierrs. I am not sure if some new maturity or indifference has taken over my soul but I had not the faintest urge to get into the healing of this evil copier. After another ten minutes one more brave soul gave it a shot and freed the copier from its state of jam. Really very entertaining, should be one of those reality TV shows.
a few years ago I bought a set of glass magic lantern slides from an antique store….most are in a heavy glass strip with lead edges, four images to a strip. I believe these would have been entertainment in a wealthier home in the Victorian period…think early travel illustrations for home entertainment
photographed on a light table with a Nikon 5700 digicam on a tripod