Sunday, December 21, 2008

12-21-09-Some winter observations

This is my 56th winter on this, the 3rd planet from the sun. Some times it feels longer than that. I live in what is called, by those in the know, The Great White North.
Now you would think, with a title like that, 3-4 cm's of snow would not bother any one, right.


Up until 2000, I had spent 90% of my working career out doors, and in the Northern parts of Canada. I have spent the last eight years, either in an office environment, or motor vehicle of some sort, but still manage to get "out".

Some observations i have made over the last eight years, were i actually managed to to be home every day, winter wise.:

- -5 Celsius in Toronto feels like -40 in Thunder Bay.
- -5 Celsius in Thunder Bay, is a nice July afternoon.
- In Thunder Bay, it snows every other day from November to March.
- In Toronto, 2cm of snow paralyzes the city.
- In Toronto, any thing over 3 cm of snow is called a storm of the century, and has 24 hour media coverage.
- In Thunder Bay, unless it snows more than 3 feet, no one even mentions it. Even then only if asked about it.
- In Toronto, 300-600 vehicle crashes will occur each "storm".
- In Thunder Bay, there are 300-600 cars.
- In Toronto, at any given time, one of the big 400 series highways will be closed.
- In Thunder Bay, they only have one highway, and it stays open most times. If there is an accident and its closed, we drink.
- In Thunder Bay, they plow snow only if requested.
- In Toronto, you can't request, the power is out.
- In Toronto, they remove the plows from the trucks in April.
- In Thunder Bay, they stay on, just in case.
- In Toronto, they run out of shovels and snow blowers right after said first "storm of the century".
- In Thunder Bay, every other store sells blowers and shovels.
- In Toronto, you might get your ski-doo out 1-2 times a year.
- In Thunder Bay, they stay in the back of your pick up, all year round, just in case(see snow plows).
- In Toronto, no one adjusts their spend for winter driving.
- In Thunder Bay, you guessed it, its always winter driving, so no adjustment is needed.
- In Toronto, only York Region never cancels school buses.
- In Thunder Bay, the bus is kept pretty busy.
- In Toronto, Pearson Airport closes the day before a storm.
- In Thunder Bay, they put skis on the planes, and carry on.
- In Toronto, the trains run late or not at all, due to switches freezing etc.
- In Thunder Bay, the train is always late.

Basically what i'm trying to say is, i think its hilarious to watch the TV stations go nuts with storm coverage, or what they call a storm. They seem to be the only ones interested.:-)

Thanks for listening.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 21, 2008-Our 15 minutes of fame.

Hello faithful reader.

Well, it took 13-14 years, but the rider in the family finally made it to the big show on Nov 16th. Daughter has been helping out by riding a friends new large pony, and attended several events over the summer in the Sport Pony classes to try and qualify for the Royal Winter Fair, in Toronto.
She managed to qualify in two events, Hunter/Jumper suitability and the same for Dressage. Only the first place winner at the qualifying shows can attend.

The team did very well in a field of a dozen ponies.
A 4th in the Hunter Jumper and a 2nd in the Dressage. Needless to say, rider, and owners are thrilled.

We may not have made it on our own horses, BUT, we made it.

Not terribly good photos, high ISO, low light and panned resulted in a lot of semi soft photos, but these three stand out.

Thanks for listening


Monday, October 20, 2008

October 20, 2008- Panning flight

Hello faithful reader.

Well it looks like summer is gone and fall has arrived. Dark and dreary day, and now some rain. Typical fall day in Hooterville.

The last few weeks have been nice, sunny and cool in the AM and nice in the PM. The SO and I like to spend time out back, and feed the jays and squirrels. I thought i would try some "In Flight" shots last week. Not so good. Panning these little buggers is tough. I settled on trap focusing and hope they flew into the zone.

So, here are a few shots that are close, but still no cigar i suppose.

Anyway, enjoy.

Thanks for listening.


Monday, September 29, 2008

September 29, 2008-Straw Art and The Royal

Hello faithful reader.

Couple of things to post today. Firstly, the 164th Markham Fair is running this weekend. My photos are all entered, and now await the judges verdicts. I hate that part, LOL.

What started out, i think, as some farmers having some fun, by making things from round and square straw bales, has now turned into a neat contest. Lots of different ides, and they are judged on the creativity.

I'm paratial to the tractors, but they have pumpkins, cows etc.

Good fun.

The past Saturday, we entered the last Sport Pony qualifing show at Twinholm, in Milton.

We had already qualified in the Hunter suitability and needed the Dressage. Well we know how to draw it out, and E qulified for the Dressage at this final show. This is the pony she is helping her young student train, and everyone is thrilled.

So we finally get to the Royal Winter Fair, but on some one elses horse. Thats ok, its a privelage in any degree.

Thanks for listening


Friday, September 19, 2008

September 19, 2008- One step out of the way

Hello faithful reader.

Well Sunday September 14, 2008 was the engagement party for daughter Erin and James. I guess this is the new fad, i don't remember this when we got married. Although dirt was just being invented about then, so,

Nice place, held at the Willow springs winery near here, and everything went fantastic. Good eats, good wine and i did not have to go past my bed time.

Now, the horse is sold, they have some money, set a date.LOL

No thats not her baby. Its James' brothers kid.:-)

Thanks for listening


Saturday, September 6, 2008

September 5, 2008- Goodbye to her friend

Hello faithful reader.

Well, as some of you may know, Erin has been trying to sell her
Trakehner for about 2 1/2 years or more. Not sure
why the long delay, her record is very impressive and we did not ask
for an arm and a leg, just a few fingers
and toes.:-). To be honest, its a buyers market not a sellers, so we
just carried on.

Anyway, back in July, Erin's coaches coach tried the horse, liked her,
vetted her, and we never heard back.
Spring forward to last Sunday. She is just about ready to ship her off
to a sales farm, a place that will aggressively market her for a
commission, when she was offered a deal by the coach. Not quite what
we wanted, but after a short meeting, thought it was best to take
the sure thing, than maybe not have her sold in the 2 months we had,
and had to take her back and start all over. More board, expenses etc.

So, last night, Erin recieved the certified check and at 1pm this
afternoon, said good bye to her friend and
companion of 7 years.

She put up a brave face, as she was in tears a few moments later.
Thats why i wanted to be there, say goodbye and offer the Dad

It was used.

She was a great horse. They both taught each other the last 7 years.
Erin bought a horse that knew 0 about showing, and Erin spent hours
working, training, loving, bonding. Calyn had a loving home, and is
going to the same.
Erin has learned so much in the past 12 years of horse ownership, our
first horse, a TB mare is retired now, about responsibilities
health, compassion, finances, joy's and heart aches. It was well worth
the $80-100 K she and or I have spent over the years.

I was away for most of her up bringing, but tagged onto each and every
show she rode at. Even the shows i was photographer at, i made sure i
was at her ring for her rides.

Dads who work out of town a lot have to do that sooner or later.:-)

The money was needed to help in the wedding plans, house down
payments, what have you, but Erin knows she needed to start chapter II
of her life now.

Is horse ownership dead. For now, yes. After the future mortgage gets
payed down a sum, and her daughter(god my next chapter is
granddaddying, when ever that will be.:-))has grown a tad, i'm sure
she will have the bug to buy. Mom's love to see daughter ride.:-)

Not worried about keeping the riding up. Coach has plenty for her to
ride and train.

It was a good ride, so to speak, and we all enjoyed it. I would never
trade those years, ever.

Enjoy your new home Calyn.

You know you'll be missed and loved.

Thanks folks, and sorry for the ramble.


Monday, August 11, 2008

August 11, 2008- Off to the Royal Winter Fair Horse show

Hello faithful reader.

Spent Saturday August 9 at the Sutton Fair horse show, getting rained on, and stuck in the mud, but it was worth it.

I'll explain.

For about 15 years, my daughter showed in divisions that did not qualify to go to any championships, until last year
when she switched to Dressage, but i digress. She is now going to the Royal Winter Fair, in Toronto this coming November with a Sport Pony entry. This past spring, friends of ours had bought a medium pony for their daughter. A young prospect, with some minor training. My daughter is the coach of this young rider, and was asked by the parents to be the handler and rider for the Sport Pony Line classes and Hunter and Dressage suitability classes. These classes qualify for showing at the Royal, which is every riders dream, but only a small number qualify to go. The Sutton Fair was show number three, and the horse has moved up from 5-6 spots to winning a first place in Hunter suitability this past Saturday.

To qualify you need to be a registered Sport Pony, and win a first in a qualifier class, and she was.

So, we're going to the SHOW.:)

As parents we are so proud of our daughter, and as owners our friends are very happy.

Kind of funny, we finally make it, on some on elses horse.

Thanks for listening.


Monday, July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008-The good old days

Hello faithful reader.

I managed to make the plowing demo at the Lewis farm in Markham Ontario on July 17 this year. I have not
been able to attend this since 2004, and was very glad to be able to make this years event. In 2004, they had out for use, two or maybe three pieces of equipment.
I guess over the past few years, they have been able to fix up several more pieces and this year used seven or eight pieces.

This is a local farm owner, that has a petting farm and also trains teams of heavy horses for wagon pulling, carrages etc.

I love this old stuff.

Hope you enjoy this shot.

Thanks for listening.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday July 3, 2008- New Camera fun

Hello faithful reader.

Well a week or so ago, i managed to snag an IR converted Canon G3 from Eekbay.
Up until now, my IR was done via the Pentax istD and a Hoya R72 filter, tripod etc, etc.Proior to this, i shot about a dozen or so rolls of IR Kodak film, which got my feet wet, and interested in this medium.

This little G3 is a great IR tool. The person that converted the camera had set up a custom WB which works well. If shooting in the custom WB or B&W modes, the live view lets you see what the photo will actually look like before shooting. If i want the shadow in a slightly different spot, i can see were it will be, as an IR photo, not a colour version. Camera has all of the things i need, Tv, Av, Manual etc modes.

This i love.

Anyway, was out the other day and shot a few around town.

This is in a small parkette downtown Stouffville

Hope you like it, there will be more.

Thanks for listening


Friday, June 6, 2008

June 6, 2008-Dwarf Columbine

Hello faithful reader.

I kinda like this warmer weather now. Our perennial garden is starting to take shape a bit, and
some flowers are popping out.

Bought some Dwarf Columbines in the spring, and have started to flower after only 4-5 weeks in ground.

Weather was nasty when i shot this. Overcast and rain, but you know what we say.
Bad weather makes for good photos.

Thanks for listening


Thursday, May 29, 2008

May 29, 2008-Spring has sprung

Hello faithful reader.

Well it looks like spring is in full force in the GTA. My lilac bushes are in full bloom now.

Vegetable garden is showing signs of growth, and the birds and wild life are back in the yard.

A bit of an "artistic" angle from the bigger tree.

Testing out my K10D and DAF 50 macro

Thanks for listening


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29, 2008-Final trip

Hello faithful reader.

Sorry i have been a bit busy over the past 6-7 weeks, and have neglected my blog.

I have finally been ok'd by our MTO, and finished off my school bus training at the beginning of April. I know
have a route, and like it a lot. Manovering around the yard is no fun, but that, thankfully is only when i NEED to go up to it.

I did my final wind tower escort run at the 1st of April, from Ft Erie to Thunder Bay. The picture here is near Barrie after an over night stay. Heavy rain here, and major snow and ice in Sault Ste Marie. Hwy 17 was closed for a while, but thats not new for that area.

I cannot say i'll miss the work, it was not to bad, as long as i could follow. It was the things i had no control over that bothered me. Weather, road closures, equipment failures. I wound up not getting home in time for 2 of my 3 horse show weekends, and i just cannot afford that, if i want to expand the business.

Figures, I just signed up for a Trip rewards card. Not sure it will be used a lot in the future.LOL

Well as i said, been busy and will be getting busy with my first out door show May 3.

I have a few things to share now, family equine adventures and weddings etc, and i';ll do that over the next few days and weeks.

Enjoy and thanks for listening


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February 20, 2007-Revised Schedules

Hello faithful reader.

Well this Saturday was supposed to be WhiStle radio's,, Stars of Stouffville III, but due to some problems has been postponed for a bit. I was to attend, also for th e third year, as photographer of the event.
I even went so far as to add another low light lens to the Lowepro, a Pentax DA 50 F2.8 Macro. But it will have to wait i suppose. Good thing, as i need to send in my K10D to address aome back focus issues. I have been assured it will be a maximum of 2 weeks turn around, so the timing should be good.

Its a pretty good event. Usually 6-7 local artists, doing sort of an Unplugged type of show. I'm always impressed with the talent we have in the area.

Today photo is a shot from year I, Chris Huddy and Bob Watson, converted to B&W, one of my first attempts.

Tanks for listening


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Feb 6, 2008-Windmills on wheels

Hello faithful reader.

You know, this trucking business sure is starting to look like the survey business i was in for 34 years.
A lot of hurry up and wait. Rush out to the site, and find you don't have half of the paper work and or information you need
but start out anyway. Took four loads of windmill bases to Fargo ND last week, but due to the loss of at least 10 hours, waiting for permits and the drivers to tie down the loads properly, we only made it to Hurley Wis., Friday afternoon. Since they could not travel Wis. on the weekend, we were sent home and some US escort drivers took over on Monday.
I should mention, none of this was driver fault, and all office fault, which again, reminds me of my survey days.

Here is a picture of one of the three bases used to make a tower. Gives you a sense of the size of these things

Thanks for listening.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

January 26, 2008-Back in the saddle

Hello faithful reader.

Well, i have a couple of things to add to the blog this week.

First off, its been snowing a lot here over the past two weeks, and i'm getting some good shots towards the fall fair photo contest. Second, i picked up a new Tamron 28-75 F2.8 for my Pentax camera(s) today. So much for New years resolutions eh.

Thirdly, i'm back in the saddle for a bit longer. Had a load to escort to Sarnia Ontario this week, and next week 8 of us will be escorting 4 loads of windmill bases to Fargo ND. Yes i know i quit, but i guess the boss did not get my memo.LOL.

I also have an offer to do some inside work for a garage installation company. I'll do a day on the job when i get back to see if its something i want to do.
Sent my physical back to MTO, with the ok from my Cardiologist. If i get accepted by MTO, i'll have the bus driving job to fall back on.

Pictured today is an old rail car out side of the place i picked up my load to Sarnia. Converted to B&W Sepia in Lightroom.

Thanks for reading


Friday, January 11, 2008

January 11, 2008-Game On

Hello faithful reader.

Well, since this IS supposed to be a photo blog more than anything else, i will try and get more on here for ya'll.

This is a shot of the basketball court at our local park. It was shot in colour, but the B and W conversion gives it the dreary look i was after. The kids in town grip there is nothing to do, and look, no one on the court. Go figure.

Shot Jan 2 after a big storm and cold snap. -25 that day.



Tuesday, January 8, 2008

January 8, 2008-I can't see anything.

Hello faithful reader.

Welcome to 2008 and Happy New year. The weather has been a bit weird here lately. Went from -20 C to + 10C over night, and with it came a LOT of fog. Not unexpected with all of the snow on the ground and the warmer temps.

Something a bit different for me, photo wise. Here are some fog shots around the farm that we board our horse at.