Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

As another year comes to an end I wish you all a very Happy New Year

A time for reflection of the past and a time to turn new dreams into action.  I wish you all prosperity and good health.   See you in 2014

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Post Christmas: Feast and Family

We hope that all of you had a relaxing Season with friends and family

Yes, Friends and Family because in the end,  that's what's important.   I was looking forward to having my Turkey.  When we host our family dinner we have turkey but we haven't hosted for a couple of years.  In our home stuffing is as valuable as the actual turkey itself.   I can still taste it

stuffing and gravy with a bit of Turkey.  We also had brussel  sprouts, hash and potatoes and of course several varieties of dessert to pack your stomach

It was also baby's first Christmas

don't be mislead by the peaceful look, it doesn't last long.  We took turns trying to calm her down but her screaming is hard to take

unless you just happen to have a pair of ear protectors

During this time of year it is easy to eat too much.  Christmas dinner, then turkey left overs, visiting friends and going out for a family brunch

 This was my 2nd plate at the Buffet.   My first plate was filled with a Salmon/crab/cheese/tomato omelette from the custom omelette station.   I was so hungry I forgot to snap a photo.  Funny how that is.  The more you eat the more hungry you are.

 By the time I got to my 3rd plate I thought I better have something healthy, so it was salad and raspberries.   I love raspberries.   In passed on the dessert table but continued to drink many glasses of grapefruit juice.   I prefer grapefruit juice over apple, orange or pineapple

After about 2 hours of eating and talking, we were done . . .

and even though I love omelettes, I don't think I could take another bite

I sometimes can't believe how lucky I am as I look at 3 generations in one place

Our three grand children,  together enjoying each others company

and our older grand daughter taking care of our newest grand daughter

and I was also given a small pocketful of Marzipan

another of my favouries.   I'm not sure how long I can keep these delicacies inside their packages.

Life goes on.   Elder generations being replaced by Younger generations.   As we age we have to cherish these moments while we can.   Family and Friends, I am lucky to have both

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Friends: BRW and Scooter for Fun

Christmas is about Family & Friends.   As I think about my recent travels this summer I can't help but feel blessed to meet so many of my blogging friends.   I was not able to edit any videos during my trip but I started to work on them when I got home last August and many have been uploaded to Youtube months ago but my plan is to start linking them to stories now that Winter is here.

Rather than just post up the video without explanation, I'll try to reveal the events with many, never seen before images

We left Hartford, CT early in the morning and headed towards Portland, ME.  I remember it was a very hot day and we made a few coffee stops along the way as V*star Lady needs her caffeine and she was getting ansi with no Tim Hortons to be seen

I chuckle when I see this particular photo.  I am sure V*star Lady will crack a little smile too and our fearless leader David (the one in front), was to eventually receive a severe tongue lashing from V*star . . .   It wasn't my fault,  I was only following.    I wouldn't call it lane splitting but it made for a heated discussion later

The main highway was so busy and nearly stopped so we took the first exit and continued North on Hwy 1

Where David lead us to his favourite beach.  He has stayed in this area before.   It is very busy here and parking is at a premium, if you can find any

Did I mention that it was very hot.  We were all wearing our full ATGATT so the decision was to stop for an ice cream to cool down.  V*star found a spot with shade under a tree.   We were not far  from our destination for the night

After a few wrong turns, getting into the wrong lane and doing a couple of illegal maneuvers, we finally arrived to see Mike, author of Scooter for Fun .    David got the tongue lashing earlier so now it was my turn to feel the wrath of V*star Lady as I was the one leading this time.  I can still hear David's wicked laughing in our Sena intercoms.   Somehow I don't think Karen was laughing . . .  She is a serious, no nonsense kind of rider

I want to give Mike a big thank you for inviting all of us into his home and feeding us.   Here we are after we had all stripped out of our riding clothes and what do I see in front of me.

It's a very familiar Vespa.  He was part of  our  welcoming committee

Meet Thomas, author of Scooter by the Sea .   Not only does he Vespa, he is also a very capable Chef.  Here he's preparing part of our meal .   It's a shame he couldn't stay for dinner but he came back the next day for our group ride

Here's  BRW: Beautiful Red-headed Wife  (Rebecca) preparing her specialty.  It was to be my first home-made Lobster Roll .   I had heard so much about Maine Lobsters and I don't believe that now,  I'm on the verge of having one all to myself

I had so many firsts on this trip.  My first time to Maine and my first lobster roll, ever.   It's all good.  If anyone were to mention lobster roll to me today.  I will always think of this special time, standing in BRW's kitchen, watching her make these Lobster Rolls.   When I was first planning my trip a year ago, I asked if there was a possibility of getting some Lobsters and I can't thank them enough for going out of their way to get them for us.   They made this trip special, full of memories . . .

Sorry, I can't contain myself.   Here are the lobster rolls.   I wished I could have another one right now

I had another request before our arrival, I asked Mike if I could meet his BFF, so meet Tina.   She also rides her own scooter and enjoys photography

The next day all of them came back and we had a group ride to show us some of the local sights, which included the Portland Head Lighthouse.   We had a great time together, all of us friends like we had known each other for years.     To all of you:   Mike, Rebecca, Kevin & Tina and Thomas,  a very sincere Thank You for making all of us feel at home

Here we are

    Portland Head Light,  Portland Maine                                              July 21,  2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas to all of you

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and best wishes during this festive season.  May all your dreams come true.    Enjoy your time away from work, your time with family and friends and think of warmer days

You may not have realized but this is my third year of posting my musical Seasons Greetings.  You can find the one for 2012    click here1   and the one from 2011  click here2

A few years ago I used to use music for my slideshows but was tagged with copyright infringment.  I got notices from Sony/Columbia records and EMI so ever since that time I have been careful not to use identifiable music so what better way than to just sing yourself.    I also had a problem with instrumentals where you would sing along, like in Karaoke.   I was at a party with a Karaoke machine and people were singing to the music.  I posted the video and the video got tagged and the music was removed by Youtube.  Now I generally record street music when on vacation and just use the soundtrack.  For my own projects I just sing to myself

I didn't mean to leave anyone out but I quickly selected some random photos from my cross Continent trip from Pacific to Atlantic to Pacific this Summer 2013 and presented them in random order.  I get great satisfaction to see where I've been and think of all the people who welcomed me.   There are also those who I had planned to meet but wasn't able due to some unforseen circumstances.   There are those who are truly adventurers and able to be by themselves for weeks or months at a time.  I am not one of those.   While I can endure a week or so alone on the road, after that I long for company and companionship and I look forward to meeting up with others whist on the road.  I met many for an hour or so, and with some I stayed for a couple of days.  It's all good

This was Take 1 and recorded without practising

I don't wish to issue a Challenge but it would be nice if a few of you could work on something similar.  It's not the voice, nor how well you can sing.   It's the thought . . .

Merry Christmas to you all.   Till we meet again . . .

Friday, December 20, 2013

White: the colour challenge for today: Part 3

This morning everything was WHITE

A rare snow storm blanketed the city.  By morning we had only about an inch or so but this was on top of an ice layer.  While the sanding/salting trucks were out all night, the main roads were slippery.  I left about an hour earlier than usual so this was taken around 6:10 AM

I leave in the dark, before sunrise and leave work after sunset so I snapped a photo of our company driveway while it was still daylight.  Hard to see but it was snowing most of the day

It's not officially winter until tomorrow and we seldom get snow until after January.

Google+  did it's thing again so you can actually see the snow falling

The snow was starting to accumulate on the branches

and this is looking the other direction.  Not much business activity today.  Our warehouse is located in an area with steep hills so I would imagine that most of the surrounding roads were gridlocked

When I got home I noticed that our son had shoveled a narrow pathway to make it easier to get to our door.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Challenged to find Colour: Part 2

This is a continuation of Part One   click here

Last Sunday we went in search of Christmas Lights

All photos taken hand-held, wide open F1.8 using my Sony RX100m2 in the Surrey/Delta area.   It seems that far less people are decorating their homes this year.  Many elaborate displays of prior years are no longer there

We were not the only ones looking at the light displays

This location was the most elaborate so I snapped a few more photos from different angles

There was not an LED light bulb to be seen.   All of these lights are incandescent so I can just imagine how much their electric bill will be

I am also wondering how much time it took to set up all these displays

You can't help but feel the mood of the season

It was a nice, rain-fee late afternoon but with a slight chill in the air

There was even a Sasquatch waving back

We went to visit a friend and she had this unique cat teacloth

you may have to click on the photo to see the words to "A Cat's Christmas".   I know we have a few cat lovers in the audience

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Heading home from Denver, Colorado

This is a continuation of part one   Here1 and more info here from before.    After staying at the Dom residence for a couple of days relaxing and being part of their extended family,  it was time to move on and head for home.   I can't thank them enough for inviting and hosting me for a couple of days.  It was very nice to see familiar faces while on an extended trip.  (Martha's blog Here2)  It was very nice to be able to access fast WiFi while I was here.

It was August 13th, 2013

and after a nice breakfast (prepared by Dom) he was trying to show me the best way to get out of town and how to avoid all their toll roads but since he was free that morning it was just easier for him to lead the way to I-70 so we said our goodbyes in his garage as we got ourselves packed up and off we went

It was going to be a short half hour ride to the entrance of the freeway so with Dom in the lead, I was content to follow as he was riding Brigitta,  his classic 1987 R80 Beemer (airhead)

It is not often that you can get footage of yourself riding your own bike so here is some rare video of Dom as we head "out of town".   I am only just getting around to editing the last bits of video from my trip last summer.   Its only been 4 months since I was there and it seems like a dream that never happened

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Challenged to find colour in a bleak season

This morning I noticed this sign

I know what it says but to me it really means "KEEP OUT,  THIS MEANS YOU".    It's like your best friend is giving a party and you're not invited.  Deep inside you are hurting but you put on a brave face and carry on

I don't have it in my heart to find colour.  There is no colour for me.  It is a depressing season which makes me sad.   The dreariness fits my mood.    I have been alone for most of my younger years so I carry on with a brave face, but inside it hurts

People inside having breakfast with friends.   I am alone

I am trying to find colour but none to be found here either

Vendors selling colourless wares at the market.   I don't know why I am here

No festivities here but I noticed this store with an inviting window

So that's it, my best effort in a Non Challenge to find colour.   Hard to be enthused when you're not welcome