Saturday, April 22, 2017

The ones really in charge

I mean, just look at his expression. Doesn't that tell you everything about the way things should be done? And right now.

I was busy doing something else, and suddenly had that watched feeling. She had been asleep. I'd like to think she wasn't wondering if was time to bring me down and feed on my liver. After all, we've been feeding them lots lately. They've been shedding their winter coats and growing in new fur.

Me and BRBE were out to Ralph Klein Park for our run today. I wish I had brought my camera. There's great views of the mountains, and there is a ton of birds. We stopped running for a minute to watch a hawk, and try to figure out what the other big bird was. Might have been an owl but it didn't move so we weren't sure.

That little tail off to the bottom right is the beginning of a canal leading down to the Bow River. I'd like to go back and try that sometime. I am not sure the road around the wetlands was open. Up near the 2 K mark there was a locked gate on the road. I'd hate to take the long way around and find that gate. Still, it was a good run, my legs were feeling happy for most of it.

Curtis just now is trying to tell me it's time to give him more crunchies. He's very clear. The second thing he says is "stupidest humans ever." It's very difficult to type. Very

Friday, April 21, 2017

First blooms!

A little Johnny Jump Up is the first bloom this year! Lots of other plants are pushing up out of the ground.

The Hens and Chicks are doing well too.

In between photos I was on the bike, on the trainer. They were only sweeping our streets today, so I guess it's time for me to put the road tire back on. 45 minutes mostly easy spin feeling pretty good.

The next wine is a Spanish Milagro. It's been fermenting and today got racked to the carboy.

Is this an abstract or a kids crayon drawing?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


The world is going to hell. You hear that a lot lately. Often in regard to the American government, such as it is, but about other drivers, youth (anyone under about 50 the way I look at things), and the state of the world in general. But if you do your research, they've been saying this since writing was invented.

Drivers. It's been a very zoomy couple of days on the road. People are dodging and weaving, desperate to get ahead. How futile! Calgary traffic is slightly better than it used to be, what with the economy sucking. But Calgary is a big city and there's lots of traffic everywhere, all the time. Plus the economy is picking up.

Plus, construction season has started, and our end of the world is in for it. The SW ring road is finally being built. At least some of the people that started negotiations are dead now, of natural causes. This has been discussed for the better part of a human lifetime. Anderson road is being widened; a bunch of trees got cut down on the road allowance beside the golf course.

It's spring here, and that means weird weather. It was warm enough and just barely sunny enough to go for a run after work in shorts and a tech shirt. Snow is forecast for early next week. Wait and see. I once took a practical fire safety course where they lit actual fires and we had to put them out. My team's day for that was a whiteout snowstorm. That was in May. None of us wanted to put the fires out. We wanted to huddle up. The driving course that day was fun.

Plus the clouds do weird things. I just love this pattern. Sort of an Esher flavour.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Photo Gallery news

I've been teasing you for a while about the possibility of a photo gallery. Zenfolio was the first suggestion, and to be thorough I looked at a bunch of others, Squarespace, 22slides, Format, Photoshelter, 500Px, 1x, Smugmug, Shutterfly, Photobucket, and probably some more. I'd go from one to the other, trying to keep track of what I actually needed now, what I might need, and what I didn't need.

I had a full scale dither happening! I couldn't make up my mind. Even reading the various 'getting started in x' didn't help encourage me to dive into a free trial. I was almost landed on 22slides, when I had a brain wave.

Why not see if the tool I already had would work? Why not indeed? I spent a happy little while puttering between templates, and thinking about layout, then pushed the button.

Basic and simple is the word. You'll see some tabs with different groups, such as Landscapes, Skyline, Cats, and some others. You'll need to go there to see them all for your self. Don't be afraid to click on the photos to embiggen them, all of them should be worth looking at big.

Go where, you ask? I'm glad you did. Here. I've also linked to it on my blogroll. Just remember Keith Cartmell Photography and it's easy. Check it out, I'll wait till you come back. There's still work to be done, and some more images to find. I'm not as consistent as I'd like to be about keywords and star ratings. Serves me right. Now I'm going to have to scroll through a great many images to find the ones I want.

That blog is going to concentrate on photography. I'll add new photos as good ones arrive. Maybe a year from now I'll wince at seeing the ones in the gallery now, but that just means I've grown. I might blog about photo adventures, or if there's a good story to tell. I'm too lazy to write the same thing twice, or even do copy paste, so I might tease you with the start of the story, and link to the other blog so you get the whole picture. I might add a couple more groups, but I'm limited on how many I can add. There's always limits; you pick the ones you want to live with.

What's going to happen with this blog? I'm not entirely sure. I've liked the idea of putting up a photo a day, and photo of the month. I might still do that. I'm pretty sure I'll continue doing rants once in a while, those seem popular. I'll babble about fitness but won't harp on it. The fitness people reading this know the ins and outs already, and the rest of you don't care that much. There might be a bit more about the writing process, and progress, or the lack of it, or the attempts at it.

Maybe it will turn into the retirement adventures of K&L. We've been good for so long, maybe it's time to cut loose, kick up our heels, and frisk off into a whole new world! Stay tuned.

Here's one of the abstracts that didn't make it into the gallery. I think of this one as a bit of an old fashioned map. Lots of mountain ranges in the darker shades, with some valley in the yellows, and a long skinny lake. Now I'm thinking about the people that could be living there, and what they'd get up to.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

She watched me take off my pants

She even took a photo. There might have been video. These BRBE's, gotta watch them.

Yes, that's snow in the background.

The occasion was an 11 K run in 11:25, 7:45/K pace, in South Glenmore park. It was a little slower than usual, but it was as fast as either of us felt like running. We'd just been in the pool for an easy swim. I'm just happy to make the 11 K. My hams, bammy and butt are not feeling the run love. Massage tomorrow. Yay!

The photo galleries are under active construction today. I'll share a link tomorrow I think. I was hoping to have it all polished up today, but some of the tinkering took me longer than I thought, and a few of the images I want to use are bigger than they need to be. 

I think my iPhone is not feeling the photo love. I thought I'd taken a picture of the trees all covered with a layer of snow, but no. It wasn't there when I got home, and it was complaining about low batteries along the way. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The passion of the cats vs human serenity

When I was out in the garden the other day revelling in the smell of spring, of wet cedar mulch, of defrosting ground, I was trying for some reflection shots of the rain chain. I've never really been entirely happy with shots of it because it's so long and skinny. But I'll keep working on it.

But I did get this shot of one of the cups in the rain chain in perfectly still water, and thought it was such a peaceful image.

I'm big on peaceful the last little while. Our lives are full of go go go. Lots of people seem to think that the world can't carry on without them involved, and it's just not true. Try the experiment. Turn off Facebook, Twitter, email, and don't answer your phone for a day. Pay attention to your kids if you have them, a spouse, your parents, your family, your friends. Take some time for yourself, too. The world will carry on without you just fine. It will never stop, and is relentless about messing with your life unless you say no, so be firm. That's before kids. Or cats that want something.

The cats are feeling their spring catnip or something. They've been eating like little fur pigs the last few days, shedding like mad, and telling us to feed them more. They are playing with each other fairly roughly, by cat standards. I was there taking photos, and am amazed anew how fast they move. In a pair of frames not shown below, Celina is ready to pounce straight up, in the next frame less than a second later, all I see is a tail at the top of the photo.

Then they played dominance games at the top of the kitty condo. The Paw made an appearance. You'll know it when you see it.

In other news, I was working on the abstracts some more. Maybe I got lucky with the experiments. Even though I used the tripod, and took some care trying to compose them, I'm not quite as happy with the results.

Here's one of the better ones, but I think still experimental. Are you interested in seeing more of these? Or would you rather see more real stuff like cats, flowers, bridges, or landscapes and such? I'll still take the photos for my own amusement, just won't put them here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Evolution of a sort of abstract

Here we go. How to make an abstract image in two easy steps, take photo, then develop. Though I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, because now you'll be able to do it yourself, and you won't need to come to my blog.

First photo is right from the camera. This is kind of flat, since it's a JPEG produced from the RAW information. It's perfectly obvious what it is, and it's a bit dull. There's some out of focus in the top left corner that needs to be cropped out. In some cases you want the background to be out of focus, but that's not what I'm doing here.

Second is what I'd consider normal tweaks for a nice photo. Cropped, tweaked to bring up the colour and texture. It brings up the lines leading from top left to bottom right. Kind of a pity there isn't something there to be a splotch of colour or the focus of attention, but you can't have everything.

Third is playing with settings to produce something more abstract, where it's not immediately obvious what it's a photo of. The colour is more unnatural, I've played with sharpening and texture and other things. There were several preset choices that looked good here, but it wasn't as tough a choice as this one.

This lets the eye and brain wander around, looking at the lines and shapes and colours, letting the emotional impact settle in, rather than saying "another pretty landscape, next."


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