Friday, April 30, 2010

Some days are just much better than others. This was definitely one of the "much better" days. Trust me - much, much better.

This house, on the other hand, is in the middle of a string of much less good days.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Here's a happy story. The Guinea worm (a.k.a., for those biblically-oriented folks out there, the "fiery serpent") has been a plague on the land (some lands) ever since, well, forever. Along with malaria, hookworm, whipworm, schistosomes, trypanosomes, and a host of other nasty, and often deadly, parasitic organisms. Every year millions of people are either killed or severely incapacitated by these various parasites. Do we hear about it in "developed" countries? Hell no. We're too busy worrying about housing bubbles and bank bail-outs. Death? Incapacitating suffering? What? Do you realise the price of a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon just went up by a dollar?!?

So, like I said, this is a happy story. The guinea worm (known more formally as Dracunculus medinensis) is about to disappear from the face of the Earth. Like smallpox, no one should mourn its passing.

By the way, if you're curious about how dracunculiasis has been treated historically, have a look at the doctor's symbol - the caduceus. Then go here, and enlarge the photo in the top right corner. Ooooohhhhh........

Have I mentioned that I'm a parasitologist by training?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yeah, it ain't no George Steinmetz, but I don't have, among other things, his budget.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What do you think? Someplace Jan Brewer might want to visit? "Now, this won't hurt a bit, Governor. We'll have you back working on that tan in no time."

Monday, April 26, 2010

I know, I know, I know...too easy. But, well, it was there! I hadda, I tell you, I just hadda.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

And so, another week begins. Bringing the inevitable one week closer. Yes, soon I will have to go back to work. Which, given that I've got a pretty nice job, isn't really much of a hardship. Lucky me, huh?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A.K.A., the late, great, James Brown.

Went to see "The Secret in Their Eyes", today. Fine, fine movie. Go see it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

She may be small, but she's mighty. I see this little old lady walking (slowly) various places in my neighbourhood, on the bus... She gets around.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just more wandering the back side of town. It's a tad worrisome that this is a food supplier. Speaking of which, a friend of mine had to leave class in a big hurry the other night. Why? She'd stopped off first at a restaurant in town that specialises in soups. What'd she have? The clam bisque. Known, from a microbiological standpoint as, "Creamed Clam Death Wish". Gees.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Must be time to get out and about again.

Meanwhile, from the wacky world of cartoon comedy, there's this. I especially like the "veiled threat" joke. That, and the fact that Mr. Muhammad is evidently unaware that his idiocy makes him a prophet-mocker of the first order. Which, of course, brings up the interesting question of whether or not he'll feel compelled to kill himself. Hmmm......

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I was just watching an Anthony Hopkins movie, "Slipstream". He wrote it. He directed it. He acted in it. He probably shouldn't have done any of those things. He's never been in, as far as I know, a David Lynch movie, but he sure has seen a bunch of them. Or he's a big fan of "Twin Peaks". The movie is low-budget, very-very imitation Lynch. Right down to some anonymous actor standing in for Kyle MacLachlan. Just in case you stumble across this movie at the video store and are tempted to give it a try, given that, after all, Anthony Hopkins is in it. Don't do it! Run! Run away!

Monday, April 19, 2010

More from the Land o' Hedges.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Somebody got a real deal on this paint. It seemed like every other building in the neighbourhood was done up in it.

Yesterday's grass today! I got a little busy last night, so missed the post. You were all heartbroken, right?

Finally got to see "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", which, as the advance reviews from NYC pointed out, is a darn fine movie. Which, given the book upon which it's based, was pretty much a sure thing. Well, the book and the fact that the movie didn't get made in Hollywood. Phew! I trust the people holding the movie rights for the second book will continue to avoid that pit.

Spent the rest of the evening dancin'. Who could have known?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oh, no! Return to work is looming!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The neighbourhood where I took this shot, and the one preceding (and maybe tomorrow's, too), seemed to have a thing for brightly-painted corrugated aluminum.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Have I mentioned how much I like Pete Turner's stuff? Well, some of it, at least. Back when I first took up photography, his work was all over the place. Kodachrome colour so thick it looked like he'd applied it with a palette knife.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Continuing my 2-part series (barring, of course, serendipitous findings over the next few days) of crosswalk events...

Meanwhile, how is it that a company as utterly annoying as Adobe is the company responsible for the world's best-known photo editing software? I've turned off automatic updates in every way that's possible in my puny Photoshop Elements program, but, you guessed it, it runs itself automatically no matter what. Annoying? Ohhhhhhhh, you betcha. I really love having to wait the five minutes it takes for the program to return either "No new updates" or "There are updates available for Adobe Reader", before I can actually get on with what I actually want to do (And, yes, I've turned off automatic updates in Adobe Reader, too). Do emails to Adobe elicit any sort of response? Ohhhhhh, you betcha not.

Yeah, I could use another program (I've got the most up-to-date version of Bibble, for instance), but it's such a pain in the ass to learn the idiosyncrasies of a new bit of software. Wouldn't it be easier for Adobe to just slip in a line of code that does what it's supposed to? I mean, isn't that why they're charging the big bucks?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Remember, kids, always look both ways before crossing the road.*

*No tots were injured during the making of this photograph.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Friday, April 09, 2010

If only...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

So, I was in Rome the other day, and, well, in a small side street near the Vatican, I found this. I mean, I know they're not exactly overflowing with contrition, but...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I got nothin'.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Barriers. It's all about barriers, it seems. Advancing in dancing (sorry - couldn't avoid that), in photography - they're just there, like it or not, and they've got to be dealt with. I guess. Oh, whine, snivel.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Ah, the scenic mountains.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Posting a tad early today. And, what do you know?, the photo has actual relevance. Yep, I'm movin' on up, takin' it to the next level. And what is "it", you ask? Salsa.

O.K., now that you've picked yourself up off the floor (at least, you have if you actually know me), I'll explain. I'm going to an actual dance. You know, the sort of event that people who actually know how to dance attend? People with rhythm, grace and style move effortlessly in pairs in time to very fast Latin-type music? Of course, if I were just going, this wouldn't be a problem. The problem is that I will have to be an active participant. Yes, I will actually have to wander up to a total stranger, who almost undoubtedly has been dancing for years, and invite her to dance. With me. A total rookie.

Now, if you've never danced this sort of "formal"-ish dance, you might not realize the intimidation factor, here. You see, being the "lead" means that I'm supposed to guide the moves, I'm supposed to tell my "follow" what to do. If I don't, she just stands there (that's her job). Of course, that's not good. So, ever noticed how well your memory works when you're totally stressed? Think "oral exam", for those of you with too much education. Or, think "first date", repeatedly over the course of the evening. Let's see, first there's the constant possibility (likelihood?) of rejection. Then, supposing acceptance of the invitation, there's the even higher possibility of deep ineptitude leading to even deeper general humiliation. Oh, boy! Can't wait.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Update! Update! Update! O.K., it was a debacle. Ever thought how a baby bird might feel thrashing its stumpy little winglets around while watching the adults actually fly? "How do they do that?" I felt like I'd had my brains sucked out, taking what meager dance knowledge I had with them. "1, comes after 2?" If it hadn't been for my companion of the evening, I wouldn't have gotten in any dancing at all. A very experienced dancer, she showed great forebearance in helping me stumble through a few tunes, giving me instruction as we went.

Weirdly, though, I had a pretty good time.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Want to go see a good movie? Go see "Max Manus".

Friday, April 02, 2010

Right angles. Gotta love 'em.

Aaaaand, just watched a review of the iPad on Rachel Maddow's show. Can you say, "Y-A-W-N"? I mean, "You can read books!", yes? "There's an accelerometer-linked star map!"....golly. "You don't have to use a mouse!", you just have to move your whole arm rather than your fingertips, or, worse, you have to move the entire iPad. Yeah, I'm gonna rush right out and get one. Oh, and the add-on keyboard so I can actually type things, and the extra cables so I can actually download photos, and the extra..... Or-r-r-r-r-r-r.....maybe not.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Suspense in movies and novels is great. In real life? I could do without it.