Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge - April

So P.J. over at A 'lil Hoohah has this photo challenge going. It's a monthly thing and asks participants to shoot five photos based on a monthly theme. April's theme was transportation. And I covered this off in two ways. First, I used my sense of humour that I know you've all come to know and love and took pictures of things you may not think actually represent transportation. Second, I took all the pictures from a car. Transportation. Get it? You're about to. Here we go...

A bus on the Ottawa River Parkway.

The entrance to the soon to open driving range.
(Get it? Transportation? Driving(?) range.)

The entrance to the boat storage at the marina on the Ottawa River.
They'll soon be dropped in the water and docked.

Rent-a-bikes near the Rideau Canal.

A Canadian goose out looking for it's flock.
Hey, aviation is transportation. To be on the safe side
there' a car in the background.

And that was my April in pictures of transportation. Fly on over to P.J.'s blog, you can click on the link above, and see what other folks were up to.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Pay You For What?

I've always liked Americans. And America for that matter. For example, I've always admired their proud attachment to history. A little over the top at times for this catatonic Canadian but to be admired nevertheless. And I've always liked visiting the States. D.C. for example. Boston. Chicago. And of course Disney World. But my favourite spot has to be spending a week or two in Ogunquit, Maine - a picturesque spot on the Atlantic Ocean to shop, eat, drink sun and swim. And we're close to my blogging buddy and photographer Cheryl Duford.

I've followed the NBA, NCAA Basketball, NASCAR and the NFL - all those American N-starting acronym sports.

But my American friends are considering boosting their budget off my back and of my fellow Canadians. Yeah, you heard me. President Obama, who I also admire, is considering a border fee to be charged to anyone who is driving to the United States. Say what? You can't squeeze enough out of Americans you have to tax Canadians and Mexicans now? I already have to hand over fresh fruit and plants when I enter the States. What's next?

I'm glad you asked!

Hand over my first born male child?

Pledge allegiance to the flag?

And the nation for which it stands?

Swear to become a Boston Red Sox fan (sorry Yankees), forsaking the Blue Jays forever more?

Buy an American car? (Yeah, like that's gonna happen.)

Of course, this is like a tax on a tax. Oddly enough every time I go to the States I spend an awful lot of money. Factory outlets, golf courses, pubs. Not necessarily in that order. Why would I pay a fee on top of that to go there and do that.

And I can't help but think if Canada came up with this idea first, Americans would be screaming their heads off.

Talk about endangering Canada U.S relations. Speaking if which I'm glad I have no relations in the States. 'Cause if this goes through, I wouldn't be visiting them.

But I'll miss you, Cheryl.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Better Late Than Never

Remember back in February Nicky and Mike @ We Work For Cheese ran a little challenge? Yeah, sure you do. It was a writing challenge. They called it the 30M2DoW. Now let's see if I get this right: 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing. Cute, eh? Well, along the way some dropped out, some jumped in, some started great serials but left them unfinished when the challenge wrapped up. It wasn't easy coming up with a tale every day in response to that day's prompts. But in the end I think everyone had fun...if you define the term "fun" loosely.

Now, Indigo Roth a British blogger bloke, had so much fun he designed a T-shirt to commemorate the event and made it available through an outfit called Zizzle or Zazzle or something with a Zee. Well, hell, I thought, I've got to get me one of those. So I yanked out the VISA and laid my money down...in February. And I waited....a week...two weeks...a month...and then...

It arrived today! A month and a half after I ordered it. I don't know where it went on its way to me. I think it got stuck in North Korea for awhile or something. You know that Kim Jong Un's a sneaky bastard. But I guess in the end he couldn't figure the thing out, decided it wasn't a threat to national security, realized size XL was too small for him and let it go.

With apologies to Gloria Gaynor I, and the shirt, did survive!

Unfortunately my iPhone doesn't have a wide-angle lens and I snapped this quickly because a guy can hold his breath for only so long.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Bibliofile - March

So we're back with the second edition of Bibliofile - an update of the books I've read in the previous month. Can you believe I read 18 books in March? Do you think I need a life...or a library card? I'm really on a jag of Private Detective novels, sometimes referred to as the hard-boiled genre. Ross Macdonald writes a series based on main character Lew Archer. Robert Crais's main character is Elvis Cole. Ken Bruen writes about Jack Taylor and Dennis Lehane's main protagonists are the investigative team of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro.

I love them all but my favourite series has to be the one about Jack Taylor, a former Irish Guard member and alcoholic. The series is quite dark. You see almost anyone that gets close to him dies, either by Taylor's own hand or somebody else's. When I read the the first book - The Guards - I thought it was a little over the top. But I've read 6 of them now and I'm addicted to these books as much as Taylor's addicted to a pint of Guinness and a whiskey chaser.

I think one of the aspects that attracts me to Taylor is his love of reading and of music. Like me! Bruen, the author, is always citing other author's works as chapter dividers. And his main character is always sharing with the reader the books that are currently on his bookshelf. He described one so well - Satan Wants Me by Robert Irwin - I downloaded and read it.

Among other highlights this month were Things Go Wrong For Me by Rodney Lacroix, otherwise known as the blogger moooooog35. What can one say about moooooog? Nothing much becaue he usually leaves you speechless.

And I enjoyed 419 by Canadian author Will Ferguson who uses Nigerian e-mail scams as the basis for his plot line.

On the biography front I really enjoyed Kicking and Dreaming, the story of and by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. I read the book then ordered their CD box set Strange Euphoria. I know, I know, I'm a real sucker. And Amazon.com and iTunes can see me coming.

So here' March's list:

Monkey's Raincoat - Robert Crais
The Guards - Ken Bruen
The Killing of the Tinkers - Ken Bruen
Satan Wants Me - Robert Irwin
Stalking the Angel - Robert Crais
The Magdalen Martyrs - Ken Bruen
The Way Some People Die - Ross Macdonald
Lullaby Town - Robert Crais
Things Go Wrong For Me - Rodney Lacroix
The Dramatist - Ken Bruen
The Fourth Estate - Jeffrey Archer
Priest - Ken Bruen
419 - Will Ferguson
Free Fall - Robert Crais
Cross - Ken Bruen
Kicking and Dreaming - Ann and Nancy Wilson
The Ivory Grin - Ross Macdonald
A Drink Before the War - Dennis Lehane

What about you? What are you reading? Have you read any of the books I've been reading? What would you recommend?

Monday, 1 April 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge - March

P.J. over at a 'lilhoohaa has initiated a new blog challenge. It's a monthly post of five photos that summarize the month's theme. March's theme was My World. I'm a little late with my submission. I totally forgot about having agreed to participate. I got so used to relaxing after February's 30 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike that this completely slipped my mind until I saw Cheryl  Duford's post on Facebook today. Check out P.J.'s blog for the rest of the submissions, including Cheryl's.

Meanwhile, here's mine.

In My World in March Ziva sent me Finnish candy. Here's a pic and you can read about my little taste test experience here.

Unfortunately, while Ziva was very sweet to send me these confections her candies were not. So I proposed to send her in return a real Canadian sweet - a May West.

You'll notice the package even has a picture of Ziva, or at least a picture of what I imagine Ziva to look like. Needless to say we couldn't finish the Finnish candy (heh, heh).

Meanwhile, back where I live in Aylmer, Quebec we got a huge dump of snow in March. How huge? Well here's a couple of photos of the aftermath. The first picture's a matter-of-fact point and shoot to give you some idea of how much snow. The second is my attempt at one of those artsy-fartsy visual compositions that people like Cheryl and Ziva are renowned for. How'd I do guys?

And we closed out the month with an Easter weekend jaunt to COTU (centre of the universe, otherwise known as Toronto) to visit my brother Whitey. What a talented guy. Look at the breakfast he fixed us...

Pea meal bacon - my favourite. And the fruit was an especially nice touch. He impressed Mrs D all to hell. Look what I have to live up to now!
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