29 August 2010


22 August 2010


I believe this handsome fellow rejoices in the name of Ginger.
That wall is an internal divider in a barn, and the bokeh is courtesy of needing to shoot at f1.8 because it wasn't at all bright in there.
The whole thing seems very cat-like to me somehow.

15 August 2010


My sister intends to keep sheep; where you have sheep, you soon enough have coyotes.  Llamas have a dubious view of coyotes, and are marginally more tractable than mules, so she has llamas.  The llamas look, more or less inescapably, like they know they were really drawn by Dr. Seus, and are just daring one to say anything about it.

An unusual view

The streetcar track up Roncesvalles Ave. is being replaced—very fast, a block every 2 days or so—after a substantial period of time of not being there at all, due to the impossibility of maintaining the tracks and fixing the water mains.  The water mains being done, the tracks are being replaced, and after that the lane of road to each side will presumably get rendered non-sinusoidal.  (Very much in favour of the fixing of the water mains.  The result doesn't improve the cycleability of the city streets, though.)

The trivial result of all this being that, after work stops of an evening, I can go get a view like this.

08 August 2010

What a marvelous bird ...

is the pelican.

This particular American White Pelican has been at Second Marsh in Oshawa for the last month and a half, and while they nest in Ontario this is generally in remote lakes between Thunder Bay and Manitoba.  So having one in Oshawa is a cool thing and I've been meaning to go see it for awhile.  Indeed, I have been trying to go see it on available Saturdays, with the general plan being to cycle to the Exhibition GO station, take the train to Oshawa, and cycle from the Oshawa station to the marsh.

I finally managed this, and the bird co-operated in terms of being highly visible, but not so much in terms of distance.  This is probably the least-bad photo; I need to work on my focus technique for using 1500 mm focal length telescopes as lenses, and it would really really help if the viewing platform wasn't wood and inclined to vibrate if anyone on it shifts their weight.

The first such attempt to see the pelican involved realizing that I could not, no way, no how, get the scope bag, the tripod, the eyepieces and the bins bag into any combination of two panniers I actually had, the second such involved a ping noise from my bicycle, which was the sprung seatpost electing to come unsprung; the third attempt involved at slightly separated times the front handlebar rotating forward under the weight of the bar bag so that I could no longer quite reach the brakes and the right rear rack mount—a bit of bent aluminium to get around the lack of an attachment point that didn't conflict with the disc brakes—electing to make its very own little ping noise.  Given that there were about 30 pounds of stuff on the rack, this resulted in an unpleasant shimmy and a longish walk home from almost to the Exhibition GO station.

The fourth attempt, the fourth attempt worked, by dint of getting a new frame, which is very nearly actually long enough—height is not the hard part, it's seat tube length; this one is 63cm in the catalogue, though I don't know where they measure—and some Arkel shopping bag panniers, which will just take the whole scope bag in one and everything else in the other, and by getting a new solid seat tube.  The drop bars and bar end shifters are in the way of spending a little now to ensure  that the eventual touring bike is not spending a lot of on something that won't work for me.
This photo was taken while waiting for the train at the Exhibition GO station on the way out. (On the way back, there were beer festival and soccer fans by the several hundred.)
I'm quite pleased with the whole thing; there's a tendency to shimmy at high speeds when loaded like this(the shopping panniers are square like cinder blocks, so I should not be surprised) and the bike is similarly not as entirely directionally stable at low speeds loaded as I would best prefer but I think a fair bit of that is my lack of familiarity with drop bars.  The bar-end shifters are fine, though I find myself wanting the SRAM R2Cs for the touring bike because while I can certainly use a friction front dérailleur shifter I find that I want indexed if I can get it.

05 August 2010

Trying to get back into the habit

They're replacing the streetcar tracks on Roncesvalles.  This is, well, not a view one can expect to have often.