Archive for January 2014

R.I.P. Stupid Mask That Will Not Die (1977-2014)

January 25, 2014

See this stupid paper-maché mask?     I made it in Grade 7 Art Class in 1977.

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I stopped caring for the Stupid Mask sometimes in the early 80’s.   As I got older, I tried to throw it out multiple times but it kept coming back.

(Thanks, Friar’s Mom).

I won’t bother you with the history…(you can read about it here).  But suffice to say,  over the few decades, I just could not get RID of this thing.

The Stupid Mask would NOT DIE.

It continued to plague me, and I thought I would never be able to move forward with my life.

Fast forward, December 2013.

Friar’s Mom was cleaning up the clutter in her house, and I guess she finally decided she wanted the Stupid Mask out of her house too.

So she wrapped it up, and gave it to my Screaming Nephew for Christmas.    

Her thinking: maybe he can amuse himself by burning it in a bonfire, or something.

Now, imagine yourself as an 11 year old boy,  who likes PlayStation DS and MineCraft and Lego, and all the other things 11-year-old boys do.

And Grandma gives you a lame-ass musty paper-maché art project that Uncle Friar did almost four decades ago.   That even Uncle Friar doesn’t like any more.

Now..how excited would you be?

The answer is:  NOT VERY MUCH.

So I offered to hold the Stupid Mask while the Screaming Nephew gave it a karate punch.

Which he gleefully did.

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And he continued to destroy it.

And I was glad.

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The Stupid Mask did get it’s 15 minutes of fame, though.  

It provided the Screaming Nephew some mild amusement, when we put the “scary teeth” in front of our faces.

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But, eventually, the Stupid Mask had outlived it’s usefulness, and now is no more.

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And I say….GOOD !!!

Because now I finally have closure.

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French 101: Random Phrases Overheard in a Quebec Restaurant

January 16, 2014

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“Sh-tanh Floride”  
(I was in Florida)

“ShPah Kapab…”
(I am not able to…)

“Yeh Pu Kapab…”
(He is no longer able to…)

“Nuh Nuh Non.”
(Emphatic no)

“Whye”
(Yes)

“Euh, lah, euh.,.”
(Um…well, um.,.)

“Feh-kla…”
(The fact is, there..)

“Bainh, Lah, lah…”
(Well, um, there..)

“Ah, Bainh, La, Euh…”
(Oh, well, then, there…)

 “Euhhhhhhhh”
(Ummmmmm)

“Mwhye Meh”
(Hmm.  Yes, but…)

“Tsay…”
(You know…)

“Ee bouge pu…”
(He is no longer moving…)

“Pee Lah..”
(And then, there…)

“Pee Euhhh…”
(And then, ummmmm)

“Ease cash…”
(He is hiding…)

“Yah Tawnh”
(He is waiting)

Getting Up Close and Personal

January 14, 2014

Sometimes I like to play with the macro lens on my camera and take close-up shots of my garden.

There’s no magic here.  I don’t use a tripod or anything.

I just bring the lens up close and point and click.   Technology does the rest.

Here’s a zinnia.

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A sunflower.

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aPoppies.

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No idea what these are.  Close up IMG_4384a

I had to go out on the lake to get this lily pad.

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This was a hard photo to take.  It was  a real bitch trying to position the canoe with one hand on the the paddle, while trying to keep the camera inches away with the other.

The great thing about digital photos, is that with Photoshop you can zoom in and enlarge the picture even more.

Here are some forget-me-nots, which are only a few millimeters in diameter.

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Here are some individual lilac blossoms. IMG_2233 Close Up   Close up IMG_2292a

Dandelions are especially amazing.  They are now one of my favorite flowers. 

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If you zoom in, you see all kinds of curley-cues, which I never even knew existed until this year.

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To give you an idea of how small these are, here’s an ant crawling through them.

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You can see the individual grains of pollen on his back.

(Not bad for a hand-held camera).

I think this is a wild strawberry blossom.   I took this one in June near Wawa, Ontario.

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Here are some pink wild flowers.  No idea what they are.

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Zoomed up, it looks like some tiny yellow bears poking their head out of a cave.

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Here’s a daisy from my back yard.

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Zooming in shows a hexagonal matrix of pods (or whatever you call them) arranged in spiral patterns.

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It’s all very mathematical.   Flowers like to follow Fibonacci sequence.

I once wrote a blog post about it here.

And of course, I had berries.

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It was a good crop this year.  For a few weeks,  I’d get a bowl like this every 2 days.

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IMG_3072 Zoom

Once in a while, I also managed to get some insects.

If they’re occuppied with the flower,  I could get quite close without disturbing them.

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This bee could care less if I was there…she just wanted the pollen.

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I found this fly in October while hiking in Algonquin Park.

The weather was cold, so he has kind of dopey and slow.    Which is probalby the reason I was able to bring the camera so close.

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(Shudder!)  

Kind of creepy.

If my Grandma was alive and she saw this, she’d have a freaking heart attack.

Anyway, I’m just glad I’m hundreds of times larger than he is.

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Monday Night Art Class: Something Different

January 9, 2014

I wanted to so something different.   So I though I’d paint this close-up photo of a dandelion, which I took last summer.

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And then I decided to add geckos.

With Viking helmets.

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