As my regular readers know, I love getting comments on the blog. I appreciate each and every one. There are some regulars, and if I lived closer to some of them there would be much wine shared on a beach.
Every now and then comments come along that ask questions or would be the starting point of a conversation if there were beer or wine involved, but the comments feature is a poor substitute for conversation. I think I'll troll back through the comments, take my writing fingers off the leash, and see what happens. There's likely to be a lot of links.
Before I do that, yes I know it's been a week since I blogged. I've been busy. Retired, you know. Three mornings were helping tear down and replace a tennis court practice board with Al and Kevin. They put me to work, and not just holding the camera. A wine kit got bottled, and the last one of the season started. A wonderful book on Macro Photography arrived, and I've been slowly going through it. Stay tuned for more about it. Lots of flower photos. We are still chewing through Grey's Anatomy; we're up to the middle of season 10 or so. I've booked 7 days of photo shoots over the summer for one client. Other stuff. The days go by in a blur.
Starting Dec 2020, just because. On blog, Sean said "It is a nice drive to Wyndham-Carseland. And the gods of prairie light smiled. 5 and 6 are good, and I really like 1. Yes, I did notice 4 is a square and a successful one at that. Did you conceive it as a square or did that emerge in post-processing? Cheers, Sean"
Some people love a square format, others don't. I've never really used it much. In this case I was all about trying to get the reflection of the tree and the tree itself nicely symmetrical in the photo. There are other trees inconveniently placed to each side, and square ended up being the best crop for the image.
Then there was a a week in mid May where I didn't produce many photos, but several almost in a row were square. From the tree in the above blog at the end of November, to mid-May, I produced only one square photo. Then 7 or 8 within a week.
I rarely think about which aspect ratio will work best. I know that most people shots will likely get cropped to 8x10 and I'll compose for that. Landscapes often go to 9x16, but not always. Usually I decide when editing which aspect ratio best serves the photo.
Some people do all their shooting in a set aspect ratio, and if the shot doesn't fit they don't take it. They configure their camera to shoot in that format. It seems a bit limiting to me, but hey, whatever works for you.
A few days later, on blog, Michelle said, "This was an interesting read. Perhaps your MTO is re-wiring itself to flow among your thoughts which have overflowed their buckets and are now somewhere in the deep end of the pool!"
One of the things I've been working on this year in the wake of an intense period of actual work, was recharging my batteries and getting my frazzled thoughts organized again. There were a few things that overflowed and hid in the deep end of the pool of my brain. I've come to believe that in some senses the working life is simple. There's work and the stuff related to that, and it's mostly similar stuff. Then there's the stuff you do outside of work, and there isn't much left over time, so there isn't that much of it, and a lot of it is likely to be necessary things, or things that interest you a lot so it's easy to keep track.
But in retirement, there's lots more different things to keep track of. At least there is for me, and I'm still working out a system. There's community association stuff, photography stuff (which is surprisingly wide ranging), house maintenance stuff, social life with friends (which is getting back to normal and about time too!), thinking about future travels, and tidying up the last bits of work (returning the computer, year end tax return, shut the company down, (anyone want a used consulting company, not too many miles, good condition?)), plus if that's not enough, the overlap between multiple things. Lately photography and community association stuff have a lot of overlap. If you're interested in seeing my community photography, some of it is on my other blog here, or you can go to the on line version of our community newsletter. Most of the covers are mine, and some of the inside photography.
I'm trying to get better about taking notes, putting things in the calendar, and creating to-do lists. It's easy to forget stuff when I get involved in something, and then wonder what the next thing is. The current thing I'm forgetting to do is call our favourite Indian restaurant. Now that COVID restrictions are easing, I think they're open again, but we want to call and check and make a reservation. They tend to be pretty busy. They only open at 5.
In the first comment of this year, I amused Janice on blog, and she said, "This cracked me up, Keith. It does feel as if there's time for one more apocalyptic moment but let's hope it doesn't happen, shall we?"
Just recently it does feel like we've stepped back just a little from the apocalyptic precipice. Getting the first COVID vaccines into Canada was a bit of a shit show, but it's gone really well lately. Lots of us are in the process of getting our second shot. There's likely going to be an annual booster shot, and maybe they'll roll in the regular flue vaccine as well.
Just yesterday I was helping our neighbour book a flight. She had tried to skip steps in the booking procedure and that doesn't work so well. It turns out the occasion is a near relative dying of COVID complications at 61. That hits a bit close to home.
Now all we have to do in Alberta is survive a couple more years of Kenney stupidity. They've bowed to public pressure on some things, we just need to keep it up, exhausting as it is. He folded in the various conservative parties to win the last election, now successors to those parties are ramping up and taking a significant chunk of votes. I'm fine with him losing votes, but what concerns me is that they're going to a party that thinks Kenney is too liberal on social issues, and was over to the top on the COVID response, and isn't strong on separatism. Sigh.
We're up to early February now. On blog, Janice said, "Thanks for this. Read it twice - when you first posted it and again just now. At the moment, the barrier for me is not really knowing where I want to end up. Guess the solution is just to start and see where life takes me but that seems a risky strategy. Hard to avoid ending up where others think I should."
It's the only strategy. Take what you know now, and start off. Learn as you go. Change course as necessary, but keep thrashing along. I have never in my life known what I wanted to be when I grow up. I still don't know.
As I mentioned earlier, a relative of our neighbour is dying at 61. I turn 63 later this year according to the calendar, strange as that is to say. Really, I'm 28, and yes mom, you are 29. Lots of days I still think it's the mid-80's, or that I'm still the age I was then, whatever that was.
We don't know what happens next, and have to enjoy it while we can. There might be a medical adventure. Or a demonstration of driving incompetence with us as the victim. Or being struck by lightning or an asteroid hitting the earth or the Yellowstone super-volcano. If you're walking the path of things you enjoy you at least enjoyed the trip so far.
And up to last week on blog, Sean said, "The NZ is a nice touch on the beach photo. This floral set does not resonante with me to the same extent as many of your other flowers images. I think it is because this set has more of a documentary feel to it. Cheers, Sean"
I was delighted any number of times by what I found on the beach. Some were documented, some were not. There are many days I am wishing I lived closer to a beach. The ones I've enjoyed the most are the most raw. Exposed to the ocean waves and wind. Interesting driftwood. Beach art is a bonus. Most of the beach photos are unposed, taken as found, including the shells. No idea how long they've been there.
Sean and I have had any number of discussions about groups of photos, and the relations between them. I still struggle with this. Mostly in the blog I try to have photos that match the text, or compliment it, or are related somehow. But the Flowery Friday series is a sequence in date time order of flower photos that have not made it to the blog yet for whatever reason. It isn't that they aren't as good as the blogged photos. They didn't seem to fit. I know several of my readers really like the flowers and want to see more of them. So in this case, there isn't, or I don't think there is, a relationship between the photos. Some are better than others, some don't quite work, some are just the state of the garden on that day.
One of the photography lessons I'm always relearning is that people like different things. A photo that I'm unimpressed with is someone else's favourite. Or sometimes there one where I'm the only person that likes it. But it's like writing, some days. We do this for an audience of one.
Here we are today. A lovely Saturday. I was in the mood to write. Now I'm musing about which photos to add to the blog. I've looked at this tree many times over the past several years, just like I was looking over old blogs. It's changed a bit, and the river has changed course around it. For a while I really wanted to pose a model on it, but I don't think it's as good for that now.
Of the Day
Serendipity 1 is a 2019 New Zealand train trip, Serendipity 2 is a local spider, then Celina
This red worked out properly, but I know I need to work on the red peony to have that come out right.