Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Birder by fluke - the saga continues...

So.. the other day I was standing on my front lawn, taking my annual photo of the tree that blooms at the side of my house, when all of a sudden a hawk swoops down and grabs a bird then flies up to a tree.  I did not see anything, just heard it.  It flew in out of the sun.  Dan was there and says it was a yellow bird.  After my shock, I realized I had a camera in my hand.  Dan pointed to where the hawk was up in a tree.  The back of the hawk was towards me, but I thought I would try to get a picture anyway.  I pointed the camera and the bird moved to lift off - what a great shot I ended up getting!  See for yourself... amazing, eh?
Oh, and here are the amazing blossoms from the tree...

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Lineart Doodling and Fingerpicking on my Taylor guitar

I am addicted to pens, markers, lineart and fingerpicking on my Taylor guitar.  I carry at least 20, if not 30 pens/markers with me at any time.  I am not the only one - my brother and my daughter are pen freaks, too.  I love walking into Curry's or Staples and walking down the pen and marker aisle.  I gave each of my daughters a whole new set of Sharpie's for Christmas - and Easter.  There is nothing like a new marker - except new great paper to draw on.

I like to draw on paper that is slightly rough - like oatmeal paper, manilla paper, cardboard, rocks.  I use a .5mm black marker most of the time.  How can I be so addicted to different pens of the same size and colour?  I don't know, but I am.  If not that, I use a calligraphy pen and India Ink.  Sometimes I use India Ink in different colours - oooh - so daring, eh?

Once or twice I watercoloured my drawing.  It was nice. I like watercolour painting, but I need more time to experiment with it.  My daughter bought me a bamboo easel for my birthday/Christmas/Mother's Day.  She likes to save it all up and come back with a bang.

I like doing these because they are a luxury to me - I immerse myself and don't think about time, or chores, or the gym, or problems.  I escape and doodle. 

The only think I like more than lineart doodling is fingerpicking, writing songs and singing.  I must be OCD. But, hey - everyone has their foibles.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Artificial leaf! I thought of it all by myself! Psychic or what?

One day we were driving to Niagara Falls.  We looked at all the power lines overhead and started thinking about how they actually have power lines that go across the province (Ontario) just to carry electricity as it is generated to the homes that need it and whatever is not used is wasted.  It occurred to me that it is such a primitive system. After all these years, couldn't we store the electricity? To make a long story short, I looked over at a greenhouse and said: "We should just figure out how to store our energy like nature does - in plants."  Well, that got a laugh, a few guffaws and lots of ribbing, but I stand vindicated - and only a few weeks later:  scientists have actually done it!

Scientists Create First Practical Artificial Leaf, Producing Power Through Photosynthesis

My question is - how did I pick up on that?  I feel like the 99th monkey once again.  This happens to me quite often - I think of something or invent something and then I hear of it a short while later.  It reminds me of the story I heard about people on two sides of the ocean both inventing something and rushing to get to the patent office first (was it a bomb or something?)   That is a little more understandable due to the fact that they are working in the same field and are aware of the same advances in their field - but me?  I know very little about science on a daily basis, so how did I pick up on that?  Needless to say I went straight to the corner store and purchased a lottery ticket.