23 June 2013

The Ancient Chamber Pot of Azerbaijan

The girls only have a dozen or so DVDs here and they are growing bored with the same old stuff. In fact they've recently been branching out into my own collection - the majority are unsuitable and referred to as daddy's scary movies but Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Back to the Future etc, are coming within range. Today I plundered the local Library catalogue and reserved the first three Harry Potter films for them, not my cup of tea, but I'll do my usual trick with 'DVD Shrink' and 'DVD Decrypter' and copy them so the girls can watch them forever and ever, amen.

Here is why men shouldn't buy bedding unsupervised. My favourite fitted Queen sheet needed a deputy, so I measured the bed, definitely Queen, 60" x 80" (that would be King in the UK; King in North America is sprawling, never mind the impressive acreage called Super King and California King!!) and I set off to do the rounds of Sears, Winners, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Wal-Mart. I handpicked a fitted cotton sheet for twenty dollars and two pillow cases for eight, chocolate brown, mmm.
So far so good. At home I discovered the new Queen pillow cases were a flapping seven inches too long for my puny Standard pillows. Several outings later I resigned myself to the fact there are no Standard pillow cases to be had these days. Bigheads abound I assume. So... I invested in two new Queen pillows. Later I ditched the girls' worn out Standard pillows and upgraded their entitlement to my serviceable cast-offs. What a palaver.
I don't have a duvet, just a comforter (known in the UK as a quilt). It's quite thin and akin to throwing an opened-up sleeping bag over you, but it's great for me even in winter (despite my lifelong habit of sleeping au naturel)! Well, I picked up a new comforter too and relegated the original to occasional duties. No problem on the size front and a snip at seventeen dollars!


I slipped over in the bath. To be precise I toppled from nearly standing to slung over the side of the bath tub. My ribcage took the full impact before I could break my fall. Initially I was shocked and winded, every ounce of breath gone. Surely I had punctured a lung or at least speared my spleen. After gingerly feeling for protruding organs I took a slow deep breath and realised I would probably live. That was two weeks ago and ever since I have winced and grunted and bemoaned my stupid clumsiness.

This week I tried a couple of longish runs, 10k and 15k. At first the bruised ribs grumbled but after a few minutes my natural endorphins started flowing and it was easier. I start marathon training in July and should be in fair shape by then.

13 June 2013

google street view

For those who are curious about the small city I live in, for my Canadian friends who wonder how an odd Englishman sees Charlottetown, and of course for me, I am continuing to post my photography on Flickr.

It seems I am up against some stiff competition. While I hop from site to site on foot or in my Elantra, a certain Mr. Google is cruising theses historic streets in a Subaru Impreza dressed in mapping livery, updating the planet's view of the Maritimes.

Yesterday morning I spotted my adversary parked outside the prestigious Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, doubtless still dipping his bread into a soft-boiled egg and sipping coffee from fine china. His technical wizardry was safely under a protective tarpaulin while he perused the day's route. Meanwhile I scurried ahead capturing beautiful Victorian homes on Pownal.

The street view camera car records everything its multi-directional lenses can capture and transmits the data to Google HQ where they are stitched into a nearly seamless tour of... well, everywhere. I'm a sucker for virtually revisiting my old haunts, tracking down interesting places and often just stalking the cyber streets because I can. Navigation, tilt and zoom are my friends.

Thank you Mr. Google, but I think there is still room for my way. I can sneak down footpaths, crouch, stand on a wall, wait until the view is clear of cars and people, come back when the sun is shining, subtly shift position; I can crop, zoom, manipulate exposure.

This year I have been less bothered about writing my thoughts down on paper. Instead I am enjoying compiling this pictorial catalogue.

02 June 2013

Flickr update

Last year I scoured the highways and byways of Charlottetown looking for photo opportunities which would capture the essence of this small city. I uploaded the results to Flickr but halted when I reached the free storage limit. Now that Flickr has increased my allowance to 1TB I have been able to add more to my online catalogue. The pictures are here.