Monday, February 27, 2017

Belmont


Victoria's distinctive Belmont Building...
The Belmont Building overlooks the nearby
Empress Hotel and the Inner Harbour...
This photo has been sitting on my hard drive for months. It's downtown Victoria's Belmont Building. It's distinctive shape and architecture has stood on this spot for over a century where it overlooks Victoria's Inner Harbour.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Carving

A solitary skier makes his own tracks at the top of Mt. Washington...
Making tracks...
A solitary skier at the top of Mt. Washington...

Monday, February 20, 2017

Oops

This is what happens when you forget to turn off your chest-mounted video camera after a ski run and you take a pee break.

I discovered this reviewing video of this past weekend's ski adventures.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Philosophical Friday: This is our world / These are our times

Alanis Morissette doesn't understand irony...
Want to know what 'ironic' is?

Ironic is when 63 million working-class Americans elect a billionaire to protect their interests and 'drain the swamp'... a billionaire who got wealthy by inheriting a fortune and then became richer by exploiting the very people who voted for him.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wayback Wednesday: Those Amazing Men and Their Flying Machines

West Edmonton mall flyer...

This bit of digital art was produced in about a minute with the intriguing Painnt program in Windows 10. It's part of a trend of programs that claim to use something called "neural networks and artificial intelligence" to quickly turn photos into digital paintings in the style of classic painters such as Van Gogh and Dali. You provide the image, hit the 'GO' button, and -- voila! -- instant art.

You can tweak some basic settings, but most of the grunt work is done by the program.

In this instance, I was going for a 1930's pulp action comic book feel. The original photo -- seen below -- was taken way back in 2005 when our family took in a movie at West Edmonton mall. These whimsical sculptures hung from the ceiling.

The mad flyer of West Edmonton mall...
The original photo source for the artwork above...

Monday, February 13, 2017

Skiboards

Skiboards are a cross between skis and skates...
Skiboards... no ski poles required...
As a thrift store junkie, I love the thrill of a unique find. My latest discovery is this pair of skiboards.

Skiboards are just what they look like... short skis which are a cross between skates and traditional skis. My Googe research tells me they originated in Europe, where mountaineers would strap them to their boots as a quicker way to descend snow-covered mountains. They are now their own "thing", distinct from skiing.

It took me awhile to figure out the bindings, but thanks to the Internet and some experimenting on my part I figured out how to get my current ski boots into them. I'm going to put them to use during our upcoming ski weekend. I will update this blog post with the results of my experiences.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Frozen and feathered

A hummingbird gets through a cold snap...
Whatever gets you through...
We have two species of hummingbirds here on Vancouver Island. Neither is equipped to survive in winter conditions.

When the temperatures drop and the snow falls, local bird lovers leap into action, warming and replacing the nectar in their feeders at regular intervals to help them make it through the cold snap.

As for grey herons, I don't know how well they survive cold spells. This one off in the distance at local Swan Lake with his head turned toward  shore seemed to be hunkering down to get through it.

The good news is that our standard rain has returned and temperatures are expected to hit double digits this weekend.

A grey heron waits out the snow...
Waiting for the warm to return...

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Waa! Waa!

Snow covers the floating bridge on Swan Lake...
Snow covers the floating bridge on Swan Lake...
The title of today's post is the sound that Victorians have been making in the last week or so as they deal with a mid-season dump of snow. It has been the second time this winter and Victorians are struggling... struggling, I tell you... to deal with the trauma.

Most Victorians don't even own a snow shovel, so rarely do we  see the white stuff. An inch or two of snow is cause to shut down buses and schools across the region and the Lower Mainland. Fender benders are common since no one born here knows how to drive in snow and nobody has winter tires.

For those of us here born in eastern Canada, it's a nice change from the omnipresent winter rain and a reminder of why we chose to move here in the first place.

A canopy of snow-covered tree branches...
A canopy of snow-covered tree branches...



Monday, February 6, 2017

Doggone

Rover's on the lam...
Dog on the run...
Another in my series of ugly-ass art... this one seen at a thrift shop in Parksville, BC.

The title of this piece is Rover's Gone, according to the fine print on it. Look at the details:

i. Rover appeared to be tethered to his doghouse by a three-foot leash;

ii. Rover's small doghouse has no insulation or buffer against the wind;

iii. The mean-looking kid looks more like he's plotting revenge against Rover than mourning his loss;

iv. An empty bowl on the left hand side suggests that Rover was either starved or deprived of water;

iv. The image is painted on to a paddle mounted in a frame, possible the very same paddle that they used to beat Rover into submission whenever he acted up.

Run, Rover! Run and never look back at your oppressors!




Friday, February 3, 2017

Killer Kermits

Aliens among us?
Aliens among us...
Every kid of certain age -- mostly boys -- grew up catching frogs out of a lake or river. It was mostly harmless fun... okay, maybe less so for the manhandled frogs.

It wasn't til I saw this video of an African bullfrog eating everything in sight that I saw them in a new light. A scary new light...

Warning: This video is graphic and may be disturbing...

Did you know that frogs fold their own eyeballs into their heads to help them push food down their throats? That s**t is freaky!

This big fellow has a permanent home at our local nature sanctuary. He seems pretty benign, content to sit on his log in his terrarium, watching all the young kids that press their faces up against the glass to see him.

But behind those alien, inscrutable eyes who knows what dark and alien thoughts are twisting?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hog's hog

A hog flips the bird...
Two hogs and a bird!
A humourous sculpture catches the attention of drivers in Whiskey Creek on Vancouver Island...