Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My idea selected by Volkswagen

My "Lucky Dog Poop Bin" idea has been selected as 1 of only 700 world-wide semi-finalists in Volkswagen's "The Fun Theory" competition. Vote for me!

Volkswagen's "The Fun Theory" project is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writing so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured hard for."
—Socrates

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Girl Effect

Oprah would like to suggest that we consider giving a tiny bit of money to the TheGirlEffect.org this holiday season.

To find out what it's all about, watch this beautifully-crafted 2-minute video with no audio except haunting piano. No visuals except haunting words. No alternative except to stand up and listen.

Coming from Oprah, one does stand up and listen — after all, she's one of those girls that affects a nation.



Watch The Girl Effect Video on Oprah.com
What The Girl Effect video on YouTube
TheGirlEffect.org
Global Giving to The Girl Effect
Oprah's "For All Women" Registry

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

If you think about it, the most important moments in your life — were you alone? Life’s better with company."
— George Clooney (as Ryan Bingham) from the movie Up in the Air

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wednesday's Word of Wisdom

When people show you who they are, believe them the first time."
—Maya Angelou

I can think of several times in my life when these words would have been useful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
— Abraham Lincoln

So, get to it and start having fun! As I say to myself every morning, "Attack the day!". My niece now says it to me before I get a chance.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A friend wins Silver Wave Award for music composition

I'm proud to announce that Ralf Cassidy Bindels (Composer for GroovingFarm Audio Productions) has won Excellence in Music Composition at this year’s Silver Wave Film Festival for the film A Dark Radius.

The award-winning action short film directed by Gia Milani and produced by Tony Whalen is based on human trafficking and will be broadcasted on CBC in early 2010.

Silver Wave Film Festival
A sampling of the award-winning Soundtrack
GroovingFarm Audio Productions
IMDB's profile of the movie A Dark Radius

Congratulations, Ralf!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom — from a 3.5-yr-old

I asked my 3.5-year-old niece if she had any life advice for me. She answered without hesitation...

Just do your best and don't dig in your bum. And that's it."
— Ella

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

And then one day you find 10 years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun."

— Pink Floyd

Interestingly, we all allow the first 10 years and the second 10 years and the third 10 years of our lives to pass without a worry of getting older. It's not until our 4th set of 10 years that we take notice. Even with words of wisdom from bands as pervasive and all-reaching as Pink Floyd, we still miss the message. Some knowledge can't be passed down, it has to be experienced to be fully understood. It's precisely our 40 years of experience that allows us to take note and understand it. I think we should celebrate reaching that level of wisdom rather than fear it. Use the knowledge we've accumulated to fine-tune our path and approach living with new vigor.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Alma Mater #1 again!

Mount Allison University has again been named the top undergraduate school in Canada by Maclean’s magazine in its 19th annual University Rankings Issue. The university has achieved this ranking a record 13 times in the past 19 years and has never placed lower than second. No other university has led its category so many times.

Mount Allison University 

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Note to self re earthworms and early-morning walks

Don't go for a pre-dawn walk on a wet day. You can't see well enough to avoid stepping on the earthworms. (They're just trying to go for a pre-dawn walk (slither), too!)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Sound Over Season

I have noticed that the same sound —for example, a train dopplering in the distance— has a different quality depending on the season. Am I imagining it or is this possible?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Something bugging me today

Noticed a few red dots on my face this morning. I heard about a recent outbreak of bed bugs in the news so I thought I'd check my pillow... here's what I found.


The hazards of living with a cheeky 3.5-year-old who has access to large plastic bugs.

Now that I look more closely, those are coffee dots on my face. Must reduce intake.

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

A branding program should be designed to differentiate your cow from all the other cattle on the range. Even if all the cattle on the range look pretty much alike."
— Al Ries

Monday, October 26, 2009

Grading on a Curve

Stittsville, Ontario has its charm. I'm still doing my research but I was impressed to see the Town's construction of this curved sidewalk to accommodate a huge maple tree. Perhaps someone thought it was beautiful. Or, perhaps there is a bylaw in place that's friendly to greenery. Whatever the case, this sidewalk gets high marks from me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Like a thief reason sneaked in and sat amongst the lovers eager to give them advice. They were unwilling to listen, so reason kissed their feet and went on its way."
— Jelaluddin Rumi, Sufi poet

Monday, October 19, 2009

Straight from the horse's mouth

Guess what this picture is of?
Horse teeth! They're a bizarre shape. Here's the shot zoomed out for context:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

The successful person makes a habit of doing what the
failing person doesn't like to do."

— Thomas Edison

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

One cannot too soon forget his errors and misdemeanors.
To dwell long upon them is to add to the offense."

— Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shelob of Sackville

Enjoyed the positioning of this spider and car and couldn't resist trying to capture it.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tuesday Tooth Report

Well, last Wednesday was my third-last Orthodontist appointment. They measured, took impressions for retainers and filed a couple of teeth to make the perfect fit. Not too perfect, though; they want my teeth to look naturally straight.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Lead, follow, or get out of the way."
— Thomas Paine

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I am not Spiderman

My little 3-year-old niece defines herself every morning by what she is not. Today she is NOT Spiderman.

It's an interesting approach to discovering who you are.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stalking any Farmer's Stand with Corn at it

The corn in Ontario is ready. And, oh, is it good!

Grey Ladybug

I've never seen a grey ladybug. Perhaps this is the albino version of this creature?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pretty Poppy

This is one of the prettiest poppies that I've ever seen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

I know that to paint the sea really well, you need to look at it every hour of every day in the same place so that you can understand its way in that particular spot and that is why I am working on the same motifs over and over again.
— Claude Monet

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Tooth Report

My next appointment is September 3. See you again after that!

Inside an Exoskeleton


Here is the left-over exoskeleton of a Dragonfly Nymph. The nymph is the under-water bug stage of a dragonfly. When it's ready to transition, it climbs out of the water, attaches itself to a stalk of grass or wood and literally pulls itself out of its shell. An incredible creature at every stage of its life.

Afternoon Nap

This male duck takes a leisurely afternoon snooze in the Sackville Waterfowl Park.

Trapped in Time

M. Campbell identified this substance as tree resin. It will harden over millions of years into amber. Notice the bug trapped in it at top-right. If resin keeps pouring over this bug, it could be perfectly preserved in time.

Every Kid's Anthem — "I'm going to scream my head off"

Anyone with kids will enjoy this 26-second video...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Koyman Galleries Art Submission

Click any image to enlarge.

Adirondack Fish
Acrylic on stretched canvas (triptych), pieces of an old adirondack chair, bolts, nails. Complete re-use of an old adirondack chair. All components of the chair were integrated -- even its teeth are nails. The whole thing unscrews to make it easy to ship.
$3780
12' x 4.5'


Fishtych (with glow-in-the-dark "dark side" animation to show you what it looks in the day time and what it looks like at night)
Glow-in-the-Dark acrylic on canvas. Two paintings in one!
$3000
60" (5 feet wide) x 38.4"

Inspired by the natural phenomenon where fish of the deep sea use bioluminescent nodes to glow in the dark, this artwork 'charges' in the daylight then creates a whole new painting for the wall on which it is hung after lights-out.

The name Fishtych (pronounced 'fishtick' — not accidently similar to 'fish stick!) is derived from the word for a painting that's been produced on two canvases: diptych. The fish lives a dichotomous life hinging on the magical time of sunset -- it's a colourful, playful entity by day, and a dark beast after lights-out.


Plainfin Midshipman (animated to show you day/night time views)
Glow-in-the-Dark. Two paintings in one!
Acrylic, glow-in-the-dark beads.
Professionally framed
$500
25.5" x 9.5"


Marquis de mer II (animated to show you day/night time views)
Glow-in-the-Dark. Two paintings in one!
Watercolour; glow-in-the-dark acrylic; beads and jewellery findings
Professionally framed
$500
19.5" x 17"

Fly Fishing
Watercolours with re-used staples and bead
Professionally framed
$300
17" x 13"

Fish Stick
Acrylic, beads and sewing findings
Square canvas is hung on the diagonal as shown.
$50
8" x 8"

Cow Fish
Watercolour, clay, recycled beads and wire
Professionally framed
$500
19.125" x 16.5"

Fillet
Acrylic on canvas with button and wire
Professionally framed
$300
20" x 7.75"

Skeleton Fish
Watercolour, nails, jewellery findings, and shoe findings from my late Grandfather's shoe-making supplies
Professionally framed
$300
17" x 13"

Clay Fish
Watercolour on Arches, clay, recycled jewellery findings and beads, recycled string
Professionally framed
$275
13" x 14"

My First Braid in 20 years


Not bad, eh? Having kids wouldn't be a bad thing at all. You get to braid their hair.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Google Doodles the Birth of Electromagnetism

Or, at least the birth of electromagnetism's discoverer, Hans Christian Ørsted.

The Guardian.co.uk

Word Etymology — Canuck

1835, cross between Canada and Chinook, the native people in the Columbia River region of British Columbia. (I guess that's why the Vancouver Canucks are called that!)

Dictionary.com
Vancouver Canucks

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Early Bird Gets the Spider

I was up pretty early this morning and everywhere I walked I cleared the spider webs for the next person. I'd like to say it was an intentional kindness but I wasn't clearing them with my hands, I was running straight through them. I even managed to scoop a spider up with one of them. The hazards of waking up early.

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.
— William Dobell

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner

No, it's not burnt — it's chocolate! A two-toned pancake made with vanilla and chocolate batters on a funky bug pan that my sister gave me. Kid-approved!

Finally Attained Dual Citizenship ;-)

Another surprise today. I'm part of a VERY exclusive club — I've been granted official citizenship of Boozunland. It comes with many perks including poop-scooping.

Tuesday Tooth Report

Nothing really to report so I won't waste your time!

Monday, August 10, 2009

J'aime les Jems [sic]

Today I came home to these little treasures...
I love kidsitting. They made everything, including the box! The foam is a chunk of an old memory foam mattress.

And, don't you just love the name of the jewellery business? They created an icon and everything -- it's a complete logo! Awesome.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Over 12 Times the Travel by Rail

CanRailPass gets you 12 days of unlimited travel for less than the cost of 1 return flight — sign me up!

• Air: $801.34 for 1 return flight, Moncton, NB to Vancouver, BC
• Rail: $650.00 for 12 days unlimited travel coast to coast within a 30-day period.

Very cool. Can't wait!

(Research: WestJet.ca and ViaRail.ca; off-season rates.)

Did you know there are 42 Canadian National Parks?

• Listing of National Parks at the Parks Canada web site
Tourism Canada (official Federal Government website)
Canada.travel (official Federal Government website)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Vacation Yard — Bizarre 4-legged Insect has to be from Toronto, right?

I'm on vacation at my sister's in Toronto and I have the pleasure of spending every morning with my coffee on her patio. Today, I suddenly realized that it's not just me with an incredible yard. So, I'm posting a "Yard: a word worth 1000 pictures" from T.O.!

As far as I know, a 4-legged bug is unusual; most have 6 legs. His shape and antennae make me think he's a wood borer. I can't find it in my National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects & Spiders. Anyone care to weigh in?

Here he is up close...


Here's a photo with my finger and thumb to show scale.


Because of his 4-leg configuration, walking was a little different from most bugs so I captured it here in this short video.
video

He had an interesting behaviour. Whenever I got close, he'd cock his head and angle his body to look closely. I think he's got great eyesight.


Here he is from above.