Busy Bee

The lamp I found in my closet works perfect! I can now commence reading at night like I used to. Talk about exciting! Currently I have a few things I’m reading or want to read

I’m reading The Killing Floor by Lee Childs. It’s the first novel in the Jack Reacher series. I’m not that far into it, only chapter 2, but it’s pretty good so far. I have 11 of the 16 in the series, so I should be set for a while

I’m also reading Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It’s a photography book and pretty good. Reading it I discovered my point-and-shoot camera (Olympus Tough) isn’t as crappy as I thought. It’s not too bad for macro shots. I took quite a few last night with it (maybe I’ll post them on my neglected Flickr account). Thing I don’t like is the lack of aperture and shutter speed control. Some shots have over-exposed backgrounds, which I could probably fix with Photoshop or Lightroom. I guess I can’t complain too much, after all it is a point-and-shoot. Also, now I want a macro lens for my other camera (Olympus epl-1), or I could just get extension tubes – aka the poor man’s macro lens. These are much cheaper than a macro lens.  I also think I need a telephoto lens for my epl-1. I find myself wanting more zoom when I’m taking pictures. Now that’s a wide angle lens, macro lens, and telephoto lens. I also want some prAime lenses. Photography isn’t a cheap hobby. Anyone need a wedding photographer?

I also have a few photography magazines I haven’t read yet along with Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography – all 3 volumes

As you can see I have lots of reading to do. I also have multiple PS3 games that need my attention, including Hitman Absolution and The Walking Dead. Those I deem high priority. And you thought you were busy!


It Happened On #95

Happy New Year’s Eve! Bundle up if you’re heading out tonight, it’s a cold one – in Toronto, Canada

It happened on December 31 1972…Roberto Clemente, future Hall of Fame baseball player, is killed along with four others when the cargo plane in which he is traveling crashes off the coast of Puerto Rico. Clemente was on his way to deliver relief supplies to Nicaragua following a devastating earthquake there a week earlier

Also on December 31 1968, the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War comes to an end. At year’s end, 536,040 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967

Estimates from Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam indicated that 181,150 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese were killed during the year. However, Allied losses were also up: 27,915 South Vietnamese, 14,584 Americans (a 56 percent increase over 1967), and 979 South Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, and Thais were reported killed during 1968. Since January 1961, more than 31,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam and over 200,000 U.S. personnel had been wounded

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 31 1683, a lunar eclipse in Huron country panics natives, who place blame on Jesuits

I never heard the term “Jesuits” before. My friend Google says it’s a member of the Society of Jesus

It Happened On #94

It’s a sunny and beautiful Sunday. It might be cold but it looks great from indoors

I spent most of the morning taking pictures and hunting for a lamp

I needed a lamp so I could read at night. I got most of the Jack Reacher novels and borrowed my sister’s Kindle (that she never uses because she doesn’t read). I tried to read a few nights ago but I discovered the Kindle can’t be used it the dark. The screen has no backlight which renders it useless in the dark. But today I rescued my lamp from the wasteland that is my closet

It happened on December 30 1988…Stacy Allison of Portland, Oregon, becomes the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. Allison, a member of the Northwest American Everest Expedition, climbed the Himalayan peak using the southeast ridge route

Also on December 30 1957, a passenger train collides with an oil-tanker train in the Gambar province of western Pakistan, killing 300 people and seriously injuring another 150 on this day in 1957

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 30 1981, Wayne Gretzky scores five goals, including his 50th of the season into an empty net, leading the Oilers to a 7-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Scoring in only his 39th game of the season, Gretzky becomes the first player to reach the mark in fewer than 50 games, shattering Maurice Richard’s NHL record

It’d be sweet to summit Everest. Knowing you’re on the highest point on earth. The view must be amazing!

Bear Grylls took snow from the peak of Everest and later used it to baptize his son. Pretty cool

It Happened On #93

It happened on December 29 1980…my second sister, Ramandeep, was born. I wasn’t born yet. I came along to add fulfilment to both my sisters’ lives about 2 years later

My sister doesn’t read my blog, but Happy Birthday!!

It Happened On #92

It’s funny how every day after Christmas feels like a holiday. Maybe there’s too many celebrations around this time

It happened on December 28 1895…the world’s first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On this day in 1895, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time

Also on December 28 1938, silent film star Florence Lawrence commits suicide in Beverly Hills. She was 52 years old. Though she was best known for her roles in nearly 250 films, Lawrence was also an inventor: She designed the first “auto signaling arm,” a mechanical turn signal, along with the first mechanical brake signal. She did not patent these inventions, however, and as a result she received no credit or profit for either one

In 1914, she developed a mechanical signalling arm that, with the press of a button, raised or lowered a flag on the car’s rear bumper that told other drivers which way a car was going to turn. After that, Lawrence devised a rudimentary brake signal that worked on the same principle: when a driver pressed the brakes, a “STOP” sign flipped up from the back bumper

Lawrence’s mother, also an inventor, patented the first electrical windshield wipers in 1917 but never got much credit

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 28 1795, Upper Canada Governor John Graves Simcoe orders start to building of 80 km highway from town of York to Lake Simcoe. It was to be used as a portage road for the North West Company, and as a military route to protect Upper Lake Huron. The road was completed in April, 1796, and named for Sir George Yonge (Yonge Street), then British Secretary of State for War

Lawrence’s inventions were great. Now we just have to get people to use them

The Need For Proof Reading

My sister pointed this ad out the other day

It’s for a store called XS Cargo. It sells refurbished and inexpensive products


Christmas/Anniversary Party

This past Monday my sister and I baked some snacks for the Christmas/anniversary party we held. A batch of chocolate covered pretzels with toppings (peanuts, coconut and sprinkles) and blondie bars (thinks that’s what they were called – basically chocolate chip cookies with walnuts in a squares)

The pretzels were ok. I like soft pretzels better. I did 95% of the toppings and ate the cookie dough

The blondies were good too. Nothing to complain about there (except no one covered them at night so the few that were left over became hard the next day

My sister also made egg salad sandwiches which were pretty good but I think they would have been better without the crust

There was also Bruschetta but it had a lot of garlic so I didn’t try any. I’m sure it was good

We also had a lot of cake left over. That’s a bad thing because it’s damn good and I eat like 2 pieces every day

Of course I took some pictures of the baking session but I don’t have any pictures of the cake

It Happened On #91

It’s It Happened On 91, only 9 left before I stop so enjoy while you can

We got a decent amount of snow last night, the first real snowfall of this winter. It missed Christmas by one day. Would have been nice to get a white Christmas

It happened on December 27 2004…in a game against the San Diego Chargers, quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts finds wide receiver Brandon Stokely in the end zone for his 49th touchdown pass of the season, breaking the previous NFL single-season record held by Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins

Manning’s record stood until 2007, when Tom Brady of the New England Patriots threw 50 touchdowns in a single season

Also on December 27 1941, the federal Office of Price Administration initiates its first rationing program in support of the American effort in World War II: It mandates that from that day on, no driver will be permitted to own more than five automobile tires

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 27 1972, Lester B. ‘Mike’ Pearson dies at age 75. Pearson was a diplomat and Liberal Prime Minister. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Suez Crisis of 1956, setting up a UN peacekeeping force to help the British and French extract themselves from Egypt. His government is credited with bringing in medicare and the Canada Pension Plan

What the heck is “The Office of Price Administration”? Never heard of it before. Sounds made up


It Happened On #90

Do any Boxing Day shopping? I didn’t

I did my shopping online. The best form of shopping

It happened on December 26 1973…The Exorcist, a horror film starring the actress Linda Blair as a girl possessed by an evil spirit, makes its debut in theatres. It would go on to earn a reputation as one of the scariest movies in history. The Exorcist was based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same name, about the last sanctioned Catholic exorcism to take place in the United States, in the late 1940s. In the film, Blair played Regan, a sweet 12-year-old girl who begins suffering bouts of bizarre behaviour. When her concerned mother (Ellen Burstyn), contacts a priest, he recommends performing an exorcism. Max Von Sydow and Jason Miller played the two priests who eventually conduct the exorcism at the home where Regan is living in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C.

Also on December 26 1908, Jack Johnson becomes the first African American to win the world heavyweight title when he knocks out Canadian Tommy Burns in the 14th round in a championship bout near Sydney, Australia. Johnson, who held the heavyweight title until 1915, was reviled by whites for his defiance of the “Jim Crow” racial conventions of early 20th-century America

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 26 1991, Northwest Airlines buys 20 Dash 8 Series 100 aircraft from de Haviland, a divison of Boeing, for $190 million

Pretty boring stuff, especially in Canada. Oh well