Monday, June 30, 2008

118:365 - The Leg Grounds and more Works - updated

Philippe: It was a nice, hot day at the legislative grounds, so we didn't linger too long.

I took two or three of this one at various angles, but the wind was not co-operating.

I really like how the D80 renders bokeh.

*no clue* what these flowers are, but they're cute enough for a shot. :)

Anna: Now that Philippe has the new D80, I've "inherited" the D70. Today was my first day learning how to use it.

Downtown Edmonton has an extensive pedway system, which includes the downtown LRT stations. This photo was taken underground, as we were leaving the LRT station to go up to Churchill Square, where The Works is still going on. There's a lovely garden under a row of pyramid shaped skylights. I liked how the sunlight streaming through the skylight made these flowers appear to glow.

We've frequently seen people just standing under this arch, enjoying the water misting down on them, in our current 30C plus heat.

The tubes making up the rainbow are filled with colored water.

More photos of The Works here.

Another much enjoyed feature of our city in the summer is the Legislature grounds. The north side includes a large wading pool, this fountain, and a series of pools, bridges, stepping stones, fountains and waterfalls. Open grass, flower gardens, shady areas and the odd jackrabbit can also be enjoyed.

More photos of the Legislature and grounds can be seen here.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

117:365 - The Works

We went to the works today; it's an open-air festival full of people, sights, sounds.. So of course, I worked on my macro photography :P

This thing was glittering away in the sun but all I could get were glancing shots since the wind was blowing it around.

Friday, June 27, 2008

116:365 A bit of this and that

Anna: Our elder daughter does a lot of graphic design and manipulation. For a long time, she'd do things like buy scrap book paper with patterns she liked, scan them, then use bits and parts of the patterns to make her own. She got kind of tired of that, so she began experimenting with various stamps that are usually used to decorate walls or furniture, and acrylic paints. She been really happy with the results, she's started cutting her own stamp shapes as well as buying others, and experimenting with different effects. Today, she brought out a craft box and decorated it. Here's the final result.

I think it's pretty neat. :-D

115:365 Yesterday's post...

Anna: I took some photos yesterday, but they didn't get uploaded to the computer until I got home from work - which was almost 2 am. So here's the post I meant to do yesterday. :-D

Sapphires (aluminum oxide) are a variety of Corundum that come in all colours but red (the red ones are rubies). The star sapphire is different, in that it has tiny, needle-like inclusions of rutile (titanium oxide) arranged in such a way that they reflect light in six pointed stars. These stars will follow the light, moving about the surface of the stone. With multiple light sources, there can be multiple stars. I've seen as many as six in each of the stones pictured below.

As much as the technical side of such things fascinate me, and as much as I like star sapphires - especially the blue ones - that's not what make this ring special.

When Philippe and I were married, his parents weren't able to come back to Canada until 3 months later. Since he was still in X Platoon, waiting for his injury to heal enough that he could start basic training all over again, he was able to return to Manitoba during their visit to see them - and me. At the first opportunity after their arrival, my new MIL unexpectedly handed me this gorgeous ring - two star sapphires and a diamond, set in white gold. My FIL had bought it for her many years ago and they had decided it would be passed on to the wife of their first son to marry, with another ring for the wife of their second son to marry. Of course, they assumed that the first son to marry would be Philippe's older brother. No one, least of all ourselves, counted on us getting married so young. It was a wonderful gift, welcoming me into their family, and will some day be passed on to the first of our daughters to marry - whichever one that turns out to be. ;-)

Chunks of aluminum oxide with slivers of titanium oxide inside it, a piece of carbon, all held together with some Au.

Who'd have thought little bits and pieces of elements could look so good, and mean so much.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

114:365 The Last Baby

Anna: Our younger daughter had her very last baby tooth pulled today. It didn't want to let go! Her permanent molar had come in, pushing this one to one side, but it stayed firmly attached. Which meant she had two teeth in the same spot, with one of them sticking out sideways.

This is probably the only time my daughter actually *wanted* to go to the dentist.

Now, if only I'd seen that bit of lint *before* I took the photo...

ps: I've added a few new shots from today at The Works festival, here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

113:365 - Macro - updated

Philippe: I thought I'd try a Macro experiment.

update from Anna: Since so many people were curious, I thought I'd post the answer here - these photos Philippe took are of drops of water on a blank dvd, taken in a light box using three spotlights.

Anna: The girls and I made it to The Works festival today. I've started a set of photos that I'll be adding to as we go back, which I expect we'll do a few times.

While we were there, the girls decided to go into the wading pool and fountain - fully dressed. *L* Our younger daughter rescued this little guy from the water.

Monday, June 23, 2008

112:365 Playing with macro

Anna: Went for a bit of a walk this evening and ended up getting a whole bunch of macro shots. You can see more here.

I'd considered cropping this photo, but I think the grass seeds stuck in my lens while I took the shot sort of adds to it. *L* This bug was getting quite annoyed at me twisting his spray of seeds around so I could see him better. Dang paparazzi! ;-)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

111:365 Made it on time...

Anna: Some friends of ours are having their first child together, due any day now. I decided to make a baby blanket for their new addition. After borrowing several books on crochet from the library, going through the patterns, I decided to...

... wing it. *L* It's basically a big square, similar to a baby blanket I received as a gift while pregnant with my older daughter. In fact, that blanket is why I learned to crochet in the first place. The blanket was a white square, bordered with tiny granny squares in pastel pink, purple, blue and peach, with a peach "flower" in the very centre.

The darn thing wouldn't lie flat. Drove me nuts. I'd lay it down and it'd be flat in the middle, but s0mewhere along the way, it stopped lying flat. It bothered me so much, I finally borrowed some books on crochet, figured it out, then used my newfound knowledge to figure out what was wrong. It turned out to be very simple. The friend that made it for me accidentally added one extra stitch on one side. By the time she finished, that one side was several stitches wider then the others. I ended up undoing the whole thing, then remaking it. We still have it.

To think my mother had tried for years to make me learn crochet, unsuccessfully, and all it took was something that clashed with my OCD tendancies. ;-)

After deciding what I wanted to make, I had to choose the yarn. I wanted the softest I could find, so I spent about 20 minutes wandering the yarn aisles at Michaels, fondling the balls. Every now and then, one of the girls would go by and I'd snag them, holding out a pair of balls, saying "feel this," to get their opinions, too.

My daughters think I'm weird.

After all my fondling, I settled on Bernat Satin. Amazingly soft, with a lovely sheen. It's also washer and drier safe - always important for baby stuff. ;-) 100% acrylic, so there should be no worries about allergies, either.

Next, I chose the colours. I had one prerequisite. No pastels. I figure the proud parents will be inundated with pastel baby gifts - especially pink, since they're expecting a girl. I also wanted to stay away from white, if possible, since it tends to show dirt and stains more easily. With the girls helping me choose, we settled on Sable and Wine Mist Heather. I think they go well together. I ended up using about 3 1/2 balls of Sable and most of one ball of Wine Mist Heather.

I hope they like it. :-) And they'll actually get it before the baby is born. Unless Baby decides to show up tonight or something. Might be another week, though.

Mom is looking forward to having a bladder again.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

110:365 Sweet!

Anna: I don't know what was going on today, but the classic cars were out if full force! We passed a park while we were out and about and could see there was some sort of car show happening. Everywhere we turned, we saw all these gorgeous cars - like this sweet ride we walked past in a parking lot.

I have no idea what kind of car it is, but it sure is gorgeous!

Friday, June 20, 2008

109:365 Blue sky

Anna: While we were out and about today, I couldn't get over just how beautiful the sky was today. Beautiful blue with big, puffy white clouds all over the place. So when I had the chance, I headed to the 4th floor outdoor patio and got a few shots. I wanted to see just how well I could zoom in on clouds. :-D

Thursday, June 19, 2008

108:365 The Works

Anna: The girls and I headed downtown for library day, but our usual route was blocked off. Since we parked on the 10th floor of the parkade, I figured I'd take a look and see why. Turns out the square is being set up for The Works Art and Design Festival, which starts tomorrow night. We really enjoyed it last year. I definitely want to check it out again this year. :-D

Philippe: You know, for a cat that lounges around all day, she moves a *lot* when you're trying to get her in a shot. In hindsight, I should have used the 50mm 1.8 instead of the 90mm. This was a low light shot that had *many* takes prior to this one. :P

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

107:365 The Horror!!

Anna: A horror like nothing I've ever beheld... and no, I'm not talking about what's left of my throat these days... ;-)

One of the plus sides of being sick and relatively housebound. We're actually watching all those dvd's we borrowed from the library. Including this one. As you can see by my younger daughter's traumatized eyes, it was beyond belief.

It's actually billed as the worst movie ever made - so bad, it's good! It stars Bela Lugosi. Even though he was dead. They used footage of a movie he was making that didn't get finished because of his death. Which works, I suppose, since he's supposed to be a walking corpse through most of the movie. It also stars Vampira. She spent the entire movie either walking around slowly with arms outstretched, or standing behind bushes, watching... watching... She had no lines, though she did hiss at one point. Oh, yeah. She was a walking corpse throughout the entire movie.

And everything happens at night. Funerals happen at night. The air force pilot leaves for work at night. The police investigate cemeteries at night. Then, when their lieutenant (or whatever he was) gets murdered in the cemetery, they promptly have the funeral. At night.

There are a few brief clips of daylight, sort of. You see the police leave the station in the dark, drive through down in light, then arrive at the cemetery in the dark again. The flying saucers are only seen at night. The flying saucers are hub caps.

Really. Hub caps. On wires.

There's also concrete visible under fake grass, as well as the mattresses actors fall on.

The extras include The Ed Wood Story. "Hear the story of "Hollywood's best incompetent director" from the people who knew him best..."

We skipped the extras.

My elder daughter informs me, however, that she *has* see a movie worse that this. It's called Cave Dwellers. She's been watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. I haven't been able to watch them with her, so she's probably right.

Monday, June 16, 2008

106:365 Prehensile toes - and a nice view. *L*

Anna: Well, we missed another park day today. Although I'm feeling a lot better as far as the cold goes, the coughing fits are still a problem. Bad enough we didn't think it'd be safe for me to drive. I think I'm starting to scare my family. :-/

So, I was on the hunt for other picture sources today, and my elder daughter provided. I give you...

... my daughter's prehensile toes. These are the toes she uses to draw with.


I got a bit of a walk in this evening, too - a few minutes of outside air is always good. This is the view looking into one of the many ravines in the area, this one just up the block from our apartment. It was so bright, I just used the screen on my camera to try and frame the shot while not actually looking in that direction. Seeing the streaming sunshine when I uploaded it was nice, though I did have to reduce the brightness and increase the contrast a bit. Lovely spot.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

105:365 Almost a day at the museum

First off, Happy Father's day to all the dads out there. :-)

Anna: Note to self. Do not try to go to the museum on a Sunday, when it's also Father's Day *and* the second day of a new display. Talk about crowded!

The museum has a new exhibit on dragons, and it's absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, no photos allowed. We were told this as we went through admission. There was a big sign right at the entrance saying "no photographs." There were smaller signs saying "no photographs" at almost every display. You'd think people would clue in that this meant, you know, NO PHOTOGRAPHS. Of course, there were still people who took pictures anyways. *sigh*

We actually cut the trip short, taking in just the new display, then heading out shortly after. It wasn't worth trying to go into any of the other exhibits with our tripods and cameras in the crowds when we can come back any time. I didn't even take my camera out until we got outside, where I took a couple of photos of the biggest bearded irises I've ever seen. I didn't know they could get this large.

The beard looks like a sea slug to me. :-D

This is the top of the same blossom pictured above. I love those crinkly edges.

Philippe: The skies weren't sure whether or not to rain; turns out, this was the prequel.. Later in the afternoon, it hailed. :D

Saturday, June 14, 2008

104:365 Botanical gardens

Anna: Took a short road trip today and visited the Devonian Botanical Gardens. We didn't come close to seeing all of the gardens, but that's ok. We'll definitely be coming back for more! What a fantastic place.

When I took this shot, I was so focused on the flower, I never even saw the bug! I had no idea it was there until the photo was uploaded onto the computer.

There were quite a lot of sculptures in the areas we saw. My favourite was this one.

My darling husband got me a pro account on flickr, so you can see the rest of the set here.

Philippe: Back to my nice, big-sky shots.. As much fun as Macro is, I have to admit this is where my heart lies.

Philippe: My long lens allows me a few shots that would get me smacked around otherwise :P

Philippe: Even though the sky washes out a bit, I feel the water more than makes up for it (I love light shots )

Took a wack more shots which are posted here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

103:365 This is what happens...

... when you eat "Shark Poo" candy.

Anna: The "Shark Poo" candy sent to us in a recent care package is really quite good. I didn't stop to think, however, just what that blue colouring would do to our mouths until my elder daughter happened to stick her tongue out at me.


Of course, I just had to grab a camera. What else do you do when you see something this gross? *L*

Thursday, June 12, 2008

102:365 Twisted

Anna: Today I finally got out of the apartment for more than a couple of minutes! It felt so good, even though it was going to the Dr. I've come down with a cold on top of my cough, so right now I don' t know how much of my cough is my usual cough, and how much if from my cold. That was ok with my Dr. After looking at my file and noting I've had it for 5 years, he promptly signed me up for some chest Xrays, plus a lung test to rule out asthma, even tough he doesn't think I have it. The chest Xrays, I can do any time - I'll wait until the cold is gone. The lung tests are in July. Since I was there anyways, I got a note for my job telling them I can't work tomorrow. Somehow, me around food while I'm hacking just doesn't sound like a good idea! ;-D

I enjoyed the outing so much, I went for a walk in the evening. I probably shouldn't have done that. The wind was a bit more brisk than I expected. Ah, well. I did get this picture, though. I think this twisted up dead tree looks really interesting, sticking out of the greenery overlooking the valley. I'm thinking maybe I should have taken it in landscape instead of portrait, though. Hmm..

The rectangular shadows across the valley are from a neighboring pair of high rise apartment buildings.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

101:365 - Dead Bug

I wish I could call it something else.. but well,.....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

100:365 Got it done

Our 100th day! Woohoo! ;-)

Anna: One of the good things about not feeling well (gotta find that silver lining, after all), is that I was able to finish a new project. I'd borrowed a couple of crochet pattern books from the library and wanted to try something new.

I don't like doing crochet from patterns. I started out doing a tank top. I had progressed quite well, to the point where I was supposed to start working on the arm holes. That's when I discovered that, although I was following the instructions - at least I *thought* I had it right - I had the wrong number of stitches. I counted back to see where I screwed up and found it. On the very first row. I went over the instructions again, and it *still* seemed like I was doing what it told me to do, but I ended up reducing by one on every row.

I undid the whole thing and started on this produce bag. *L*

I still ended up with things not turning out the way the instructions said they should've. Even though the counts were right as I worked it, when I got to where I had to build up the longer parts on the front and back, I found myself short one loop on each side. Which mean that, at the very beginning, I had to have been short a total of 6 stitches. So I did what I do best.

I winged it.

I think it turned out all right. :-D

On another note, I broke down and called my doctor's office to book an appointment. I'm getting tired of trying to stuff my lungs back down my throat after I finish another coughing fit. Amazingly, I got an appointment *this week.* Like, wow! That's a first. I'm in to see the doc. on thursday morning.

Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they won't phone to reschedule tomorrow.

Monday, June 9, 2008

99:365 Close up thoughts

Anna: After being out and about all weekend, I just wasn't feeling up to heading out again to park day. It turned out to be prescient.

I have a cough. I've had it for about 5? 6? years now. Usually, it's just a tickle behind my sternum that I can ignore. I tend to forget about it, except when I try to laugh, which gets me coughing. Or breath deeply, which also gets me coughing. I've had all sorts of tests and X-rays. and they all came back normal. I was given an inhaler to try, which made it worse. After we moved, I just didn't bother going to another doctor to do the tests all over again. Most times, I can ignore it. Other times, like today, it becomes an all-out chest cough. I've found the only thing that helps is to keep my chest and upper back extra warm.

So I spent much of today wearing this shawl. It was made by my MIL. She'd actually made a bunch of them for her own MIL, in one big crochet weekend. This is the one her MIL kept for herself and used for many years. Shortly before she died, she gave it back to my MIL, who used it herself for years before passing it on to me a few years ago. I absolutely love it. And it's perfect for days like today. :-)

I've had people tell me flat out that you can't make "real" friends on the internet. Well, I tend to disagree. Just as I was able to form close friendships the old fashioned way with penpals, I've been blessed to find great friends online. One of these sweet people just came back from a Caribbean cruise. *envious sigh* Today, I received a care package from her. It included some gorgeous postcards and book marks, treats such as a bag of "shark poo" candies, and this - a hanging miniature of the ship they cruised on. I'm not about to tuck this away for the Christmas tree! Instead, I've got it hanging off a hook under the cupboards between the living room and kitchen. As I sit at the computer, I can look up and see it slowly turning with any drafts.

I've always wanted to go on a cruise. Maybe some day! :-D

Sunday, June 8, 2008

98:365 At the Aviation Museum - updated

Anna: Today, we decided to check out the local aviation museum. We didn't have time to check out the outdoor displays, but got plenty of photos - I took over 240 myself, but then, I was taking pictures of the signs and plaques, too. Otherwise, I'd never remember what they all were! *L* I'm just posting a couple of pictures for now and will add more to my flicker account later.

(Philippe) Most of the shots I took today were hand-held, 1/8 to 1/3 second, no flash.. The flash *did* light things up, but gave it that ugly, bright look so I gave up on it and did it the hard way.. Much happier with the results :D

Philippe: Doesn't this just *look* intimidating?

Philippe: They had a few engines in various states of assembly so we could see the workings.

Philippe: They were restoring this bomber while we were touring.

Philippe: The most practical arrangements sometime look really good :D

Philippe: This thing looks light enough to pick up.

Anna: I've now uploaded more shots at my flicker account, here.

This was taken from under the tail of a DeHavilland Vampire MK 35. The first prototype flew in 1943, and entered RCAF service in 1946. The shell is all metal, with a section of sandwiched balsa wood in the cockpit, making it a highly maneuverable, well armed fighter.

These are the under-cockpit guns of a Mosquito FB MK VI, a high performance night fighter. There's another set of 4 guns sticking right out of the nose. The Mosquito was used by the 418 (City of Edmonton) Squadron RCAF. They were a night intruder squadron, first flying the Douglas Boston light bomber before being re-equipped with the Mosquito. The squadron was activated in Dedben, England in 1941 and adopted by the City of Edmonton in 1944.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

97:365 - Nature park

So we went to terwilleger park today to see what it was like.. :)

This guy was sitting there, trying to go un-noticed.. Fat chance when I have a camera out :D

This guy was sitting in a tire rut. The kids like his soft furry underbelly

Playing peek-a-boo.. The original of this shot gets some serious detail :D

These guys were boogeying pretty good; coming over to check out the two-legged buggies.

The place was pretty good for paths and walk areas.. Saw *lots* of mountain bikes.

If it's green, I shoot it, is my motto.

Only saw this guy because my daughter was bent like a pretzel trying to get him. Note the little buddy right behind him.

Standing too close to me when I have camera-in-hand is *so* not a good idea.

I miss my dog..

Anna: I lucked out on the photo below - that and Philippe was holding the branch as steady as he could, as it was pretty breezy. *L*

You can view more photos here.