Saturday, October 31, 2020

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

OK, ok, I know that for some of you, it's a major struggle. You only do it because you have to, as in, you'll be fired from your job if you don't show up (which could lead to a big digression about working from home, but we won't go there today) and then you wouldn't be able to buy food for your pets, and soon you'd all be sharing an old refrigerator box under a bridge somewhere.

But life as a retiree is different. Other than your spouse, who probably has expectations of you, there typically is no outside force driving you to get out of bed in the morning. And given the news recently, one can be forgiven for not only not getting out of bed, but actually pulling the covers over your head and dreaming of the day when your biggest fear was the monster living under the bed. Now there are monsters living in various offices all around the world that can affect you, and you damn well should be afraid of them.

When you're a kid you are dragged out of bed and forced into the torture chamber that is the modern education system. That continues till you break free of the shackles, and then you are often trapped in the workforce torture chamber for decades, trading the precious moments of your all too short life for money to stave off living in that refrigerator box.

Some people seem to escape and live a great life. Rock stars and movie actors often come to mind, and you couldn't pay me enough to do those jobs. They are trapped in their life more thoroughly than most people. Forced to be creative, coming up with new songs and video ideas or be considered a washed-up failure. Going into the record studio to produce content, knowing that the cost of equipment and people to run the equipment can be calculated in dollars per second. Then there's all the tours, going on the road to do the same show, over and over. How many times has Mick Jagger sung 'Can't get no Satisfaction'?

And movie stars, reciting lines and acting out a part till some director is happy that all involved have it right, knowing you could nail it, and someone else blows it, so you do it again. And again, and again. With constant changes to the script and direction. Kissing someone you dislike. Wondering where your next role will come from. Putting up an image for the press. Being stalked when all you want to do is relax on the beach with your sweetie. Yuck.

But other than hunger and other bio pressures, there has to be something that gets you out of bed. Otherwise you're just marking time till your appointment with the glue factory. 

I've been thinking a lot about this. My mom's mom passed away a few years ago, and the other day would have been her 101st birthday. In terms of a lifetime, she missed the century mark by THAT much. Her life expectancy at birth was about 60. My mom is still going strong, minor medical adventures and all, and is well past her life expectancy at birth. I don't have any other living ancestors, but my grandfathers lived to their mid-70's after tough lives. My other grandmother lived to her mid 80's. 

My financial advisor looks at those numbers, and advises me to plan for a long retirement. It's always a balance, but outliving your money is generally a bad idea. Relying on the generosity of your fellow citizens is not be the smartest financial plan, and planning for a lottery win is outright stupidity. 

Then again, I don't want to be the richest guy in the graveyard either. I fell in love with my first financial advisor (she has since retired young and rich) when I went to her with a pot new money from a work bonus and asked what I should do with it, and she said "Go spend some of it on whatever you call fun, and let me look at what fits best with your financial plan."

In retirement the idea is that you can (mostly) be doing whatever it is that you call fun. For some people that's golfing every day. For some it's buying a travel trailer and living on the road. For some it's making things in your shop. Whatever. But there has to be something. There has to be a reason to get out of bed, a better one that watching the current societal train wreck just to see what happens. 

What's important is that most days there is something to do. Sometimes, of course, the thing to do is get up, make coffee, curl into a good book, read until it's time to start drinking wine, and go to bed when you're falling asleep.

I have in the recent past worked on lists of things to do, and that's being refined what with COVID and current work contract negotiations. Some of it will show up here or in my photo blog. Maybe cleaning up the table that sort of functions as a studio could be a photo project.

One of the plans involves the novels. The battery in the laptop is dying, and while the words are safe and could be worked on using any computer, it's nice to do it on the laptop. I'm thinking that if I'm going to go the the time and trouble of getting the battery replaced, I ought to take a step back, assess the whole darn novel thing, and either get serious about publishing it, at the very least to my blog readers and other buddies who have been hearing about it since forever, or give up on it.

And what with the recent back up issues, and the laptop battery dying, and the phone being replaced, and troubleshooting the oldest (semi)-functional computer in the house, I'm thinking that I need a round of updating all the software to current standards, or as current as the hardware will support. Seriously thinking it's time to retire the old email computer (early 2008 after all) and get a newer one. I was thinking I should roll my photo computer to be the email and Linda's general browsing computer, which is total overkill, and get a new one for me. Except the new ones (both photo and laptop) don't seem to be much better than what I have already. And going to the iMac pro for photos is beyond overkill. Holy doodle. So there's some stuff there to sort through.

So since ideas and plans are abstract until they are put into action, here's a sort of abstract photo.

Plus a serendipity from 2016.

Of the Day
Celina, another of her supervising me at work.


White peony


Friday, October 30, 2020

Flowery Friday 21

Flowery Friday rides again! Aug 11 to September 20. I've got enough summery photos for a couple more Fridays. Stay tuned. Unless you're sick of dahlias. 


Of the Day
Celina keeping an eye on me at work.

The rose is still hanging in there as of yesterday. Look for the tiny bit of frost.

White peony


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A day of odd

You may feel a bit of trepidation here, thinking, "he's a bit odd at the best of times, and now this is odd by HIS standards? Oh dear."

Have no fear. This is just a collection of photos from earlier this year that are a bit unusual. Maybe I was trying something, or wanted to capture the light, or wondered if the camera saw the same thing I saw. 

1. As an aside, I was thinking of the Canadian Centennial song. Why? It's a red leaf, and file number 1967.

2. Shadow play.

3. Not quite what my eyes saw.

4. The only green bean of the season. I think Linda ate it.

5. I saw claws.

6. Wrong lens, but loved the silvery light on that raven. 

7. I don't know what I was thinking.

8. The camera does not capture all the subtle greens that my eyes saw.

9. During a photoshoot with Michelle.

10. Again, with the green on Vancouver Island.

11. More from Vancouver Island

12. Some experimenting with fire and reflections. I've been intending to revisit this.             

Of the Day

White peony


Sunday, October 25, 2020

A sunny start to Sunday

 Sunrise just happened. It's a clear morning, with the usual pinky orange glow on the horizon quickly growing into a bright patch of sunlight. Not that it's warm. The battery died in our little remote temperature thingie so I don't know how cold it is. Minus WTF or almost that, is a safe assumption. 

Our community association did an outdoor Halloween party for the local kids yesterday evening. That was a first for us, and everyone seemed to have lots of fun. We were a bit worried about the weather, but the snow stopped just in time, and we ended up with it being clear and cold for the party. But as my athlete buddies say, no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices. Everyone seemed to be having fun, with lots of activities for the kids, and best of all, I didn't eat any candy. If you want to see the photos check out my photography blog page and look for the Woodcreek Comm Assoc tab and follow the links.

A couple people have asked how Celina is doing in the wake of Curtis's passing. Thank you for asking. She seems to be doing fine, as talkative as ever, looking for a lap but not being naggy or demanding about it the way Nefertiti was. We've been trying out some new food now that we don't have to get the hypoallergenic stuff for Curtis, but maybe it's too rich for her, or her tummy isn't used to the change yet. There's been some semi-recreational vomiting. 

Once upon a time, long long ago, this started as a fitness blog. I'd put workout details there so my coach and other athlete buddies could follow along. It has gradually evolved to the work of splendor you see before your eyes almost daily. The evolving is going to continue, but I don't know the details of how or the what yet. 

My buddy Sean posted a 30 days, 30 projects series of photos, and I've been thinking of trying something similar once this work contract winds down. It's sounding like a long cold winter is ahead, and COVID still doing it's thing, so being home inside is sounding like a good idea. Stay tuned.

I've just finished scrolling through the 106 not blogged photos in my 3 months photos not blogged folder, which does not include yesterday's halloween shoot. There's 136 edited photos there alone. I decided to give you this one. It's one of the oldest recent not blogged, from August 13.

And you get a past and a future serendipity!
Future first, because. This is from Muriwai beach during March 2020.

This is the past, from July 2016.

It turns out there are 1191 photos in the not blogged in the previous year. Many of these are driftwood and I'm working through them. 

It also turns out the oldest not blogged photo is of Michelle! I'd tried to rent a certain super fast Sigma lens for last year's kid's Halloween shoot, but ended up with the Canon version of it. Michelle was an obliging model to help me see how this portrait lens worked out. This version of the lens has chromatic aberration out the wazoo so I didn't like many of the images from a technical perspective. If you're buddies with Michelle you might have noticed some changes to her social media involving a photo that looks much like this one, from the same shoot.

Of the Day

One of the alliums from yesterday.

White peony


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Still snowing this morning

But last night, as the snow fell, I was in a peculiar mood. I was watching some of Adam Savage's one day build videos, admiring his cave, and thinking about the mindset of being a maker. That's what he calls himself as he makes in his cave. It's the most amazing place, full of tools and supplies. He thinks of a project, and makes it, and videos the whole thing, goofs, fixes, and all. They're like eating peanuts, you can't watch just one.

It got me thinking about winter, and working with the camera in what I'm pleased to call a studio in the basement. (Stop laughing Sean.) Many of my macro photos are taken there, and I'm hoping to do many more. I want to revisit my glass paperweights and get nice photos of them, which is surprisingly hard to do. Getting macro photos of the innards is a possibility as well. I've got a list somewhere of potential subjects, and I'm working on a major subject project. I need to do some prototyping on that. More news as it happens.

But there I was, in a peculiar mood when I looked outside at the falling snow. Thinking of warm and cozy places instead of snow. Then I ran for the camera.

In the daylight this morning, after shovelling away another 4 cm of snow overnight. There is a total of 24 cm of snow on our patio table. You don't need a photo of that, it would just depress you. Off to prep for an outdoor kid's Halloween party, and do photos of the party itself.

Of the Day
Flower. The rose is still hanging in there, sort of.

White Peony