Monday, September 26, 2016

Go East, Young Man 1.

Have Map, Will Travel.

Kamouraska, overlooking St. Lawrence and Old Highway 132.

I usually travel the old-fashioned way. I use maps, not GPS. I prefer the old Trans-Can over the new, to sleep in hostels, cook my own breakfast and travel light luggage-wise. My habits are linked to solo motorcycle rides - over the last 10-12 years - from London to the Bruce Peninsula, Thunder Bay, the Gatineaus and the East Coast (twice).

Recently my wife and I travelled to PEI by car and I changed my approach to meals and accommodation to make life easier on the road, miles spread about equally over 3 days. That being said, when opportunities arose, I ducked off the quick-and-easy routes to show Pat the roads and scenery that were more common-place a decade or more ago. She gave me a thumbs-up.

 Wow. Better than a chuckwagon, in Cornwall

 Near St. Germain de Kamouraska, between old and new Trans-Canada routes

 I found it, i.e., a microbrewery I spotted in 2014 while motorcycling.
Pat was so pleased! : )

Located next to Highway 132, southern shore of St. Lawrence, NE of
Kamouraska, home of world's best bakery. Both are bucket list items!

Go farther and faster per day? I can do that, but for now I prefer slow and easy, elbow out the window and good tunes on the radio.

Please link to September 25 - Home Sweet Home 

Photos GH

Motorcycle Miles - September 25, 2016

Port Bruce, and Why Not?

I can be accused of being a one-trick pony. I often warm up my bike on days when temperatures are ten degrees or better and usually head to Port Bruce, a small but bustling village on the north shore of Lake Erie.

Easy highway riding, scenery along the way that speaks of changing seasons and nature's handiwork, a welcoming atmosphere at Port Bruce's hub. Who wouldn't enjoy that routine.

Then there's good coffee and a great BLT - for $4.95 - at the Corner View restaurant. Just tell me you can make one that's better.

Please link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce, August 27 (2)

Photos GH

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 25 - Home Sweet Home

Every Time, Home is Best

 Kamouraska region, QUE. Mound at end of tarmac (left) has a familiar hump

Every time I travel I love coming back home to my wife, my bed, my dresser, my coffee pot, my workshop, my streets.... all my favourite people, places and things. Pat and I returned on Friday from  a 4,200 KM (total) drive to PEI, and now I feel very much back, at home and at peace with the world.

We slept poorly first night back, too tired perhaps, highway noise still in our ears perhaps, but we both agreed this morning that we slept very well last night. And the coffee tasted better!

Two photos follow from three cameras and a combined file of 415, i.e., the first and the last in the file. Coincidentally, the first was taken during the second day of our travels on the way to PEI (a small number of GoPro shots lined up first in the iPhoto album) and the last was taken 2nd to last day of our travels back home. Also coincidentally, both shots overlook Highway 132, south shore of the St. Lawrence. and within a few KMs of one another.

Microbrasserie (Ferme!) stands below distinctive mound, on Highway 132

Microbreweries and fine beer did not dominate the trip, but I could not resist getting off the fast-paced Trans-Canada Highway and onto narrower, slower-paced secondaries roads, like the old Trans-Can, where many fine craft brewers, bakers and old-style dairy bar owners are making a decent living.

413 more shots to follow. : )

Please link to September 8 - Kingston Walkabout

Photos GH

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September 8 - Kingston Walkabout

When in Kingston, Walk About

I am looking past the Kingston Brewing Company (w 4 flags)

Pat and I only spent three nights in Kingston but I took a few opportunities for solo walkabouts when she had phone calls to make or Coronation Street episodes to watch. I aimed to walk 2 - 3 miles for fun, fitness and photos.

Looking south from the waterfront pathway
(Is that a pub I see? Let's go look)  

Please link to September 6, 2016 - Harvests, Hockey and Travel

Photos GH

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 6, 2016 - Harvests, Hockey and Travel

Mish Mash

Still, lots of hops left for another home brewer

A local home brewer recently harvested 20 per cent of my lovely hop crop. He seemed pretty happy and promised to share a few samples of the results. I was definitely happy about that.

Hop harvester is happy with her work at drying rack

My wife Pat and I visited Kingston a week ago. What a great city. I could live there for certain, within walking distance of the downtown and K-Rock Centre, home of the OHL Frontenacs. Go Nacs! The three following photos include the first and last ones taken during our wee vacation, along with one from the middle.

 I stepped out of the hotel and shot the Kingston City Hall

 I shot Old Fort Henry and someone shot back

Pat and I cross an inlet by ferry to get to Picton

So, I've decided not to play hockey this winter.... I've got a lot of other things on the go. Plus, over the last few weeks as a sub, I noticed my skating was coming back but not my hands. Yesterday I received a sweet pass in front of an empty net and I flubbed my shot. Reaction from the bench was immediate.

"You had a wide open net. How could you miss?"

Nobody shoots wide better than me.

Maybe I'll sub again next summer and try to get one back.

Please link to Today in the Life of a Snail

Photos GH

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Today in the Life of a Snail

Awake Early

My Wednesday night walkabout (@Johnson and Wellington)

I woke up at 3:45 AM and couldn't get back to sleep because my mind latched onto a couple of ideas that wouldn't let go. I got up and made some decaf. Now I'm reflecting on how the last few days passed in a blur. Drove to Kingston on Tuesday, checked into a pleasant downtown hotel (the rugs could use some work but the continental breakfast saved me a fortune), enjoyed several walkabouts, visited relatives, cruised flea markets and bookstores, took a lot of photos, drove to Lindsay on Friday (via Wilton - for cheese - and Picton) to visit son David and his girls, then arrived back home in London yesterday - none the worse for wear.

 Under cloudy skies (about to spill) I look NW toward Princess 

 The Loyalist Highway (#33) includes a free ferry ride toward Picton

To Jackson I say, "Happy Birthday, Dude!"

I am reflecting now on the thought that I have a good-looking grandson who just turned eighteen. On the trip home yesterday my wife reminded me we could be great-grandparents in a few years. What's it all mean? Days go by one at a time and mine are starting to add up to a big number.

Keep smiling.

Please link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce, August 27 (2)

Photos GH

Monday, August 29, 2016

Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce, August 27 (2)

From the Go Pro Camera

Simple collection:

Colour shots from west to east

Black and white shots from east to west

The GoPro does not zoom. One must take a high rez shot, then crop an area of interest while editting in order to see more details.

Port Bruce from one mile away looks pretty cool without the zoom, in my opinion.

Please link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce, August 27 (1)

Photos GH

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce, August 27 (1)

Automatic Pilot

Risk? You could be watching the waves and fall off the pier

My motorcycle started 'first time, every time' at 10:30 AM Saturday, warmed up like a champ, and I landed at my favourite vantage point for photos by 11:30. I aimed by cameras at Port Bruce's pier and beyond. Cloud formations to the west were very pleasing to the eye, water colour was rich and Port Bruce sat under almost perfectly clear skies.

No wonder I end up sipping coffee at The Corner View Cafe near the pier 9 times out of 10 rides. I think the Yamaha could find its way without me!

Please link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Burwell, August 21 (2)

Photos GH

Friday, August 26, 2016

Good Salvage - Rescued Lumber 2

Fancy Schmancy Perch

The cedar shakes really make a lovely roof

When I selected a few bits of lumber recently, from a friend's garage, I knew there were birdhouses to be made. Two came together quickly.

Four faces - 9"H x 6.25"W - came from one fir slat. The sides - 5.5"H x 6"W - were cut from skid lumber, 1/2" thick. The first roof for each - 5"H x 7"W - was cut from plywood and the bases - 5 x 6 - were cut from scrap.

This one comes with one free birdhouse!

My only expenses - the wooden spoon perch (50 cents), nails and a few screws. Though I buy more lumber now than I rescue, I still get great pleasure from turning land fill material into a practical, functional birdhouse or other project.

Please link to Good Salvage - Rescued Lumber 1

Photos GH

Good Salvage - Rescued Lumber 1

A Quick and Easy Job

The two on the right are from select, rescued lumber

The phone rang last week and the following conversation began:

LP: My wife and I are moving in the spring. I am cleaning lumber out of the garage and thought of you.

GH: I'll be over in five.

From LP's stash I selected odd bits of plywood, pine slats of various widths and a pile of cedar shakes. (About the shakes I was thinking.... roofing material for birdhouses.)

I did not select a ton of odds and sods, but likely enough for 10 - 12 rustic looking birdhouses.

Here is the first one - total cost to me $1.00 for the metal perch, and a few cents for nails and screws - with a cedar shake roof:

 Faces are from lovely rustic fir; the first roof is 1/4" plywood

Cedar shake roof atop the plywood 

 I buy bits and bobs for unique perches

Rescued lumber oft-times looks pretty rustic. Thumbs up, I say

One more will quickly follow.

Please link to another rescue... Birdhouse Trim, Perches and Stands 3

Photos GH

White Pine is for Painting 7

Fini. Voila!

This one brightens up rustic surroundings

Inside this white pine birdhouse a family of chickadees would find ample floor space (approx. 30 sq. inches) for building a nest, raising a brood, or just hanging out after a long day at the office.

Outside, one finds bright colours and an eye-catching perch.

Hey, the sun came out. Lookin' good

I assembled five white pine painted models, three with sturdy stands (cedar block bases, metal poles). I will display some of them on Sunday at Gathering on The Green 2, 11 - 5 PM. Hope to see you there.

Please link to White Pine is for Painting 6

Photos GH

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

White Pine is for Painting 6

Last Steps on the Last Ones

This pair needs another thirty minute's worth of attention

Three of the white pine painted models ended up on sturdy metal poles and cedar stands, but the last two need just a few more items before they too are finished. The first coat of paint is already drying on roof ridges and roof edge trim, so these two should be completely ready for final photos late this PM or early tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

Please link to White Pine is for Painting 5

Photo GH

The Transition Zone 9 - Steady Jogging

Some Kind of Miracle

August 17 - A great bit of shuffling with no rest breaks. Progress!!
However, I slowed the pace a bit on the next two walkajogs

One week ago I had such a breakthrough that I felt as if I'd set a new world record. I set out on a relatively cool evening - with no crippling humidity - with a walkajog on my mind. I walked for five minutes to warm up, then started to shuffle off to Buffalo, and (surprise, surprise) I kept on shuffling past the 1 mile marker, 2 mile marker, three mile marker, four mile marker.... and only stopped a short distance from home. I reckon, out of 5.25 total miles I jogged over 4.5 of them.

"Where did that come from?" I asked myself. Certainly out of the blue, but also out of months of walking and shuffling goodly distances on a regular basis. (The excitement soon past. It had to happen sooner or later.)

Since then, I have not been pushing my way out the door each day to complete walkajogs at the same pace. I have the time to let a jogging habit establish itself by walking most days and walkajogging at a comfortable pace two or three times per week. Last night for example, I covered four miles and walked at jogged at regular intervals, with walking breaks lasting 1 - 2 minutes in length and jogging intervals of 2 - 3 minutes at a time. My pace was slower than a few recent jogs but I was just fine with that.

I went out the door twice yesterday, at an easy pace*

Go slow and enjoy the view, I say. I know that if I keep up my GOTD rate (Get Out The Door) and cover an average of 20 - 25 miles per week, good things will continue to happen.

No need to push myself more than I am already doing. I have lots of other things on my plate:

 I try to cover some miles on my motorcycle each week as well

 I like to photograph things of interest, e.g.,  hop crop near Lake Erie

 I keep an eye on my own crop of hop cones

 I always have projects on the go inside my wee workshop too

Summer is for some 'relax time' as well (Port Burwell)

Please link to The Transition Zone 8

*When I jog, I keep track of the distance and time, then calculate an average pace per mile. My average pace is generally about 30% faster than my walking pace, so I'm not setting any world records out there : )

Photos GH