Sunday, August 31, 2008

171:365 Co-operative bees

Anna: The girls and I were at the museum again today (we took in an excellent lecture on Mokele Mbembe). As we headed through the museum grounds, skirting the 3 wedding parties that were being photographed, I found myself with quite a number of co-operative bees. Alas, I only had the 18-55mm lens, not the macro. Ah, well.

I've uploaded a set of my favorites here.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

170:365 Gastronomic experimentation - Updated

Philippe: I've been away from the camera for a while, so it's time to take pics again :P

Just playing a bit with the cloud cover.

Anna: I got a call this morning for a job interview - serendipitous, considering I had yet again been unsuccessful in reaching the office at work to see if there were any shifts available. Since the interview was where it was, my elder daughter came along with me so we could run some errands at the same time.

My daughter and I pre-arranged to meet in the import aisle after my interview. It took a lot longer than expected, and she actually had time to wander the entire store twice while she waited. In the process, she picked up a few new things to try.

So here we have quail eggs, cooked eel, and shrimp crackers for eatables, along with pennywort and guava drinks, and mango nectar. We've tried the guava drink (which was good) and mango nectar (which wasn't), and the shrimp crackers (which the girls liked, but I didn't). The pennywort will wait until tomorrow. We're not sure what to do with the canned food. Are they supposed to be heated? Eaten cold? Alone or with something else? No clue.

We'll figure it out. ;-)

Oh, and I start my first training shift tuesday evening.

Friday, August 29, 2008

169:365 Stormy sky

Anna: This is a co-operative effort. My camera, Philippe's ability to take night photos. ;-)

We had a lightning storm blow past us with huge amounts of lightning. Out of 150 or so photos, we got 20 worth keeping, some of which are uploaded here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

168:365 Love my Manly Polish Nose

Anna: This is another photo for the Love My Parts group.

I have my father's nose.

Not my mother's tiny nose that comes to a perfectly curved tip; little and delicate.

No, I have my father's nose with the ball-ball at the end. It's not just a very typical Polish nose. It's a very typical Polish man's nose. An assertive nose. An "in your face" kind of nose, to pardon the horrible pun.

But that's ok. It fits my face, which isn't exactly tiny or feminine. A little nose would just sort of disappear.

Photo taken by my elder daughter using her Nikon D80.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

167:365 3D

Anna: I should've used a tripod for this, or found somewhere with better light. Ah, well.

My elder daughter just finished making this adorable little 3D scene for me - as you can see, the paint is even still wet. It took her about 2 hours. I love it! The box lid is about 2 inches square. It's just adorable, and now sits on top of the computer tower right next to me as I type.

166:365 Taking a walk.

Anna: It's past midnight... does it still count? *L*

The girls and I went on a photo walk today. I've uploaded a set of photos you can see here.

We spent quite a lot of time in a Chinese garden in the river valley, downtown. A series of statues featuring animals of the Chinese zodiac surrounded a gorgeous arched bridge. This is my favorite shot - though my younger daughter found the rabbit's eye gave her the willies. *L*

Near the end of our walk, we sat at a picnic table for a rest. I didn't have the macro lens, but I think I still did all right getting this leaf that happened to be on the table.

Monday, August 25, 2008

165:365 Drink up!

Anna: My elder daughter and I went to a Superstore last night. I was actually there to drop off a resume, since at my job they still don't have shifts on nights I'm available. This place has a starting wage for late shift cashiers starting at over $15 an hour, which is about what I get now, after gratuities are factored in. Well, I would be, if I were getting shifts.

Since we were there anyways, we went looking around. I don't normally shop here, as it's not as close as other places. It's also really HUGE and crowded. It also has a much larger selection, and the import aisle is one place my daughter and I like to check out. We ended up getting these drinks. The canned drink is from Thailand. The bottled drinks are a little more confusing. The label reads "Genuine Caribbean Taste," and it was in the import aisle, but it was bottled in Quebec, so it says "product of Canada." So I have no idea where it's actually from.

The yellow drink on the left is banana flavour. The amber drink on the right is Kola Champagne. We haven't tried them yet - somewhere in the apartment, I do have a bottle opener. Actually, I think it's on my younger daughter's pocket knife. *L*

What's funny about the two bottled drinks is that, despite being different drinks, they have the exact same ingredient list.

We've tried the lychee drink, though. It didn't taste all that much like lychee to me. Mind you, lychee doesn't have much flavour to it in the first place. It's just... sweet. Which is what the drink it like. Sweet. My elder daughter described it well. It tastes like the syrup canned fruit is packed in.

Once the can was empty, she also noticed it was a lot heavier than other pop cans. It was an actual tin can, not aluminum.

Now to try some Kola Champagne and see what it tastes like. :-D

Smells like cream soda.

Tastes like... uhm... cream soda and bubble gum. With a hint of butterscotch.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

164:365 In the flower garden

Anna: The girls and I were at the museum for another lecture today - The Evolution and Extinction of Dragons with Dr. Peter Hogarth. My younger daughter and I really enjoyed it. My elder daughter didn't appreciate his mocking sense of humour. She made a legitimate point, but I still found it enjoyable.

After the lecture, we had to go and pick up Philippe, but we did go through the wonderful flower garden along the way to get some photos.

I'm quite happy with how this one turned out. There were so many beautiful flowers, but sometimes, it's not the open flowers that are the most interesting.

I cropped this one quite a bit. There was this imitation bee hovering near the blossoms. I had to switch to auto focus, as the camera kept wanting to focus on the soil in the background. I'm not confident using auto focus. I always feel that, since I wear glasses - and especially since I know my prescription is now slightly off - there's no way I can truly focus properly. This wasn't too bad, though.

Mystery photo revealed

Anna: Congratulations to Lauraliz for being the first with the right answer. :-) You guys are spot on! The mystery photo was of the waist socket on my elder daughter's drawing model.

When I first uploaded the photo, Philippe said that no one would get it. My response was that either people would have no idea, or they would know exactly what it was immediately. *L*

Thursday, August 21, 2008

163:365 She's almost done

Anna: Our younger daughter has been working on a long, skinny scarf for her sister. When she takes a break, she has a habit of wrapping the scarf neatly around the ball of yarn. I got tickle out of the sight of this tiny little ball of yarn (with the hook just barely visible) peeking out of the middle.

It didn't take much longer for her to finish off the yarn, which was her goal to finish the scarf. Her sister is very, very happy with it. :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

162:365 Warning - spider photo updated: spider ID'd

Anna: For those who are squeamish about spiders, you may not want to view this photo.

I'd gone back to our 4th floor lounge with the macro lens to see if I could find the spider my daughter and I had seen while watching tv a few day back. No luck, but when I went around to where I'd see another one, I hit the jackpot. I admit to a bit of harassment to coax it out of its corner - I poked around behind it with the stem of a dried weed.

I knew this spider was big and hairy, but I didn't expect this! I've uploaded a set of photos here. I took them while standing on my tip-toes, and had to use the flash. I did have to brighten them up a bit, but I think they turned out all right.

If anyone can identify this spider, I would love to know what it is.

I mean really - this thing doesn't have hair. It has spines!!

Update: Well, it looks like I've got an ID - this is a femail Araneus diadematus - otherwise known as a European Garden Spider.


I found a second one nearby and got a few more photos.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bonus shot - mystery pic

Anna: I finally have another mystery pic. This is a crop of a larger image.

What do you think it is?

161:365 Range of motion

Anna: Playing around with the camera today. My younger daughter is working on another scarf for her sister - very long and thin, by special request. I decided to take some photos with the longer exposure time (no need to adjust anything - the room was dark enough for that to increase automatically) while she was working. I've uploaded a set here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

160:365 Sky porn

Anna: We missed a couple of days posting, but I think this photo Philippe took makes up for it. :-D I was in the upstairs lounge with my younger daughter and had called home, asking him to bring my camera and the tripod up. I was hoping to get some good night shots (they all ended up being deleted). On the way to the lounge, Philippe literally leaned out the hallway door, clicked this photo, and continued to the lounge.

We had another wicked thunderstorm tonight, a couple of hours after this was taken. Not as bad as yesterday, I don't think. I found out later that there were 2000 lightning strikes in that one! Sadly, one house in a nearby community was struck and burned to the ground.

Friday, August 15, 2008

159:365 I wasn't intending to buy anything...

Anna: We had to do a lot of running around today, and finished off by stopping at a Walmart McDonalds for supper. We had no plans to actually do any shopping, but since we were there anyways, I went looking for a particular yarn, just in case they had it.

I didn't expect them to have what I was looking for, and they didn't, but they did have a section of fancy yarns on clearance. At $1.25 a ball, I decided to pick up 20 of them. I don't know what I'll make with it, but that last thing I want to do is run out of yarn part way through. It's Sean Sheep Wooloomooloo yarn, 75g, 51% wool, 49% acrylic, with a gold strand to add a bit of sparkle. Whatever I make with it will need to be hand washed, then lain flat to dry.

My younger daughter picked up some new yarn, too. Her 6 balls of yarn cost more than my 20.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

158:365 The Cuteness reigns supreme...

Anna: The girls and I actually made it to a summer park day today - we usually take the summers off completely, since we meet on a different day that doesn't work out as well for us. It was good to catch up with people, one of whom brought her adorable little dog. This 11 yr old puppy was even willing to pose for me. :-D

That intense gaze is directed at one of the one month old twins that had just been laid down on a blanket nearby. The owner told me she is very protective of babies. She wanted to go over so much, she was trembling all over. :-D

Such a cutie.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

157:365 Hush now, go to sleep

Anna: Our couch is often used for naps, so I keep a pillow and blanket on it pretty much all the time. The cat appreciates that.

Today, a lay my head down in the space the cat wasn't in, only to have her stretch her paw out and brace it on my mouth, as if she were shushing me. I found it so funny, I muffled for someone to grab a camera, and my elder daughter complied, getting this photo.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

156:365 A bonding moment... yeah, that's it...

Anna: This is my daughter, painting my husband's toenails.

Yes, my husband's toenails. He still lets her do that every now and then.

It's a bonding thing.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

155:365 Playing hooky...Updated - photo fix

Philippe - Every once in a while I'll goof up something fierce.. You know, like trying to use bounce flash after setting your F-stop to 14.. Did I mention I like my software? Nikon Capture-NX allowed me, with a bit of curve work and colour boost, to bring up a relatively acceptable shot from the seriously underblown shot below. :)

Anna: I was playing hooky yesterday and didn't take any photos... ;-)

Har, har - I crack me up.

Sorry for the lame humour - I didn't get much sleep last night. ;-) When I finally did fall asleep, I started having this weird dream that involved my camera being stolen. I spent the rest of the dream going around trying to find the person who took it, only to realize that I was dreaming, and that my camera was safely sitting on top of my printer/scanner.

Then I got up, walking into the living room, and my camera was gone.

My elder daughter had moved it so she could use the scanner, leading to a sleep deprived, surreal moment. LOL

So with my weird sense of humour of the day, I thought taking a photo of our small but growing collection of crochet hooks would be funny. Some are mine, some are my younger daughter's. I'm actually missing one - one of two new larger hooks I picked up recently. That's going to bug me until I find it.

The white on the bottom of the smallest hook is medical tape. That hook is shorter than the others, so it digs into my palm as I work with it. Since the sweater I'm working on will probably take a couple of months, I figured I'd better do something about it before I got a blister the size of Kansas. I tried hockey tape at first, but it's sticky and felt really gross. I raided our first aid kit instead. It works beautifully!

Friday, August 8, 2008

154:365 A different kind of spiderweb...

Anna: This is the front door to our building. Unfortunately, it's not very unusual. The company that owns our building must spend a LOT of money constantly replacing these windows. The only thing a bit different is that this is an un-secure door into a sort of lobby where visitors and delivery folks can call up the apartments they want. It's usually the secure door, which requires an electronic key card to get in, that gets broken. People get pretty pissed off when they can't get into the building sometimes.

I liked how the sun was reflecting off the spiderweb cracks.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

153:365 - cat of opportunity

Just remembering how to use a !%$ camera.. I need to get out more. :(

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

152:365 Free stuff is always good...

Anna: Philippe actually took this picture for me while I was layering nachos. :-D

While picking up nacho fixings for a movie night this evening, I used the loyalty card points I've been accumulating at the local grocery store to get this 6 quart crock pot for free. It was selling for about $60. It joins a growing list of stuff I've been able to get for free with points. I kind of like that. ;-)

I've never used a crock pot before. Something new to learn. :-D

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

152:365 I must be insane...

Anna: If you've seen some of my craft related photos, you've probably guessed that I enjoy trying different kinds of crafts. One of my favorites is temari. In this photo is my Mardi Gras inspired temari made using a 3 inch Styrofoam core. It's a very comfortable size to work in.

You see the little while balls at its base? Those are going to be temari, too.

I think I must be insane to try it.

It was actually painful to wrap them. The cores are half a facial tissue each. Holding something so tiny while trying to wrap it tightly with sewing thread was quite the challenge!

If they work, I think I'll make them into earrings. I haven't decided on colours yet, so they're just ready and waiting for now.

151:365 Warped (and late! *L*)

Anna: This is the photo I meant to post yesterday, but Blogger wouldn't let me upload anything.

This is our new keyboard - and the software CD that came with it. We just didn't know how to react when Philippe pulled out the warped plastic baggy with the disc and paperwork in it. LOL

Sunday, August 3, 2008

150:365 The Show that Wasn't... and mystery pic solution.

Anna: My younger daughter and I went to the museum to take in Fire & Water: The Dragons Awaken. This was to be a production with Scarab Productions and the Edmonton Stilt Walkers.

Unfortunately, high winds knocked one of the towers down during set up - this one stayed up only because they'd tied a concrete garbage can to one of the legs. Those banners had been tied down a few moments ago. The museum didn't want to risk anyone getting hurt and canceled the show. They've got one last performance scheduled in September. Weather willing, we'll be taking that one in instead. :-)

There were three weddings being photographed on the grounds while we were there. One of them had several classic cars. You can see those and more photos here.

Now here's the solution to the mystery photo. Gawdess and TTJ got it right.

This is a Jones Soda mint tin. Not that they're actually mints. The candies are carbonated and start fizzing on the tongue. They come in a variety flavours, much like the drinks (though I've yet to see Turkey and Gravy flavour...). Like the drinks, the inside of the mint lid has some pithy saying printed. My kids really like them. :-)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

149:365 Doggin' the Sun, and my first Mystery Pic

Anna: This evening, we headed out for a bit of a shopping trip, finally replacing the mouse and keyboard on our computer. They were both doing some really weird things on us.

Unfortunately, there were no plain, ergonomic keyboards. I've been typing on a split keyboard for years and love it, but the only split keyboard we could find was really expensive, wireless, and had all sorts of bells and whistles we don't want. So now we have a plainer, somewhat ergonomic keyboard (it has wrist support), with bells and whistles we don't want. *sigh* I'm going to have to learn to type all over again.

Oh, and apparently, you can't buy a plain mouse anymore. The plainest one we could find was a gamer's mouse. Right handed, of course. Philippe and I both use the mouse with our left hands, so it's a good thing we don't need the gaming buttons on the side. The scroll wheel glows blue, and the logo has a blue light that very slowly blinks on and off. Pretty, but I'd happily have done without. *L*

As we were leaving with our purchases, we saw a rainbow sundog in the sky. Our younger daughter had her A75 in her purse, so I borrowed it and got this photo.

I've so enjoyed the mystery pics on other photo blogs (visit my links list on the sidebar), I just had to join in the fun. Here is my first mystery pic.

Can you guess what this is?

Friday, August 1, 2008

148:365 Colours

Anna: Headed out for a walk this evening, taking some paths to an area I haven't walked to before.

Along sections of the LRT rails that run near where we live is a walking/bicycle path. Once the tracks near downtown, they go underground while the path continues on. On the path side of the opening into the tunnel is a long row of graffiti murals. Some are really fantastic. Unfortunately, little effort seems to be made to maintain them, so the work of the artists is being mucked up by the taggers.

The lack of maintenance was clearly demonstrated by the decorative raised beds. I had to cross a street just before the tunnel entrance. The cross walk for the path is bordered by decorative poles and large raised beds with trees and shrubbery. On one side, the bed, though sparse, was mostly free of weeds and garbage. On the other side - near these murals - the bed clearly hasn't seen any maintenance all season. The tree and shrubs planted in it were nearly choked out by weeds, with plenty of garbage stuck in them as well.

I went far enough to get a photo of the last mural before turning around and heading home. By then I could see the people I'd been hearing for some time. From the sounds of it, the "party" had already started some time ago, in the back of some business' property.

So much for chain link fences and No Trespassing signs.