Sunday, 31 December 2017

So, about the Christmas photos...

I brought my camera -- actual camera -- to Dad's place for Christmas. It hasn't been out of its bag, I'm afraid. There's a couple of reasons for that, really. The biggest was that it's been very, very cold (right now my phone says that it's -30C. Yes, that's a minus. That's -22F, for those who find that measurement easier to comprehend. I don't, but that's what Google's for. Needless to say, it hasn't made me especially enthusiastic to wander around taking yard pictures.

The second reason for the lack of real camera is that it's too damned easy to pick up the phone, and yes, that makes me lazy. Ah well, here's a few random phone camera shots from the past week, at least.

Christmas for cats

Do I really need to caption this?

Looking at this, you'd think that the Turkey Brothers get along.

One of the two pictures I took outside, a few steps from the back door. I needed a photo for a work post. This is wild Purple Clematis, even if it is growing in the yard.

Random photo of my ear, to show my uncle what his studs look like. Nothing like wearing someone else's cast-offs. When they're diamond studs, at least.

Let's end the blog's year with a tea photo, since it was a bit of a theme.

Well, that's it for the year, I guess. I'm going to scan a couple of doodles for the other blog since I've been pretty lax at that, go upstairs to find some lunch, and then... well, probably make more tea. Did I mention that baby, it's cold outside?

Good luck with the new year,everyone.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


I've spent most of a day now, being 48. Let me tell you what it means, and doesn't.

1. I don't feel more than 22, and never will. Part of that is the decision to not settle down and have a family (yes, it was a decision), but a big part of it is just living me living the way I want to.

2. Old really is in the mind  48 isn't old. Or 60. 80. Do what you want.

3. If I want to be alone on my birthday, it's not a failure of parties. I like it.

That's it for the moment. Happy birthday to me.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Around the yard, pretending that I like snow

Had the camera out yesterday in Dad's yard. As much as most of my, like pretty much everyone else's, picture-taking is by phone these days, there's nothing that compares to the feel, sound, and effect of an actual SLR. Or dSLR now, because very few of us putterers can afford the expense and bother of film. Even if I do have a really nice film camera.


We've had a lot of fog lately, and that led to a bunch of frosty branches. Hey, as much as I hate winter and cold, I can make myself like frost flowers. Here's a bit of what was out there.

Frozen tarragon

I like the clumpy way that snow makes patterns on branches sometimes.

More clumps, this time on cotoneaster.

Frosted Blue Spruce

Icicles on honeysuckle

This isn't frozen or in the yard. It's Tom in a duffel bag.

In the interests of equal time, Bob in a cat house.

Knowing me, that's probably it for at least another month. Ah well, at least the blog is semi-used occasionally.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Pointless Fall Photos

Look! A blog post! And photos from the actual camera as opposed to the phone. All the photos are unedited today, because I wasn't in the mood. Here we go...

Tis the season for a bucket full of potatoes.

Random rose hip.

High Bush-cranberry. Not a true cranberry, but a similar flavour.

Cotoneaster hedge. Just because.

Yep. That's it. Mostly because I was too lazy to change from my short prime lens, so most of the others were fuzzy. I didn't think that I needed to post any pseudoartistic shots today.

Here's hoping that I get off my butt and take the camera out a little more before everything's completely covered in snow. Which it already has been once, but it melted.

Gotta love Alberta sometimes.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Stuff. Family stuff.

If I posted this without comment, a certain segment of my family would be saying WHERE DID YOU GET THAT? as though I'd violated some treaty or will or something. I haven't. It's from my PATERNAL grandmother.

The fact that I know I'd be questioned, though, is why I avoid most of my cousins.

I have almost nothing of my maternal grandmother's. When she left her home, shortly after my mother's death, my aunt and uncles treated her things as, well, things. People and memories weren't considered.

I felt like I was kicked out of my own family. Just lost my mother, remember. I had no voice in the arguments.

Anyway, that was then. Grandma's stuff is long gone. Other grandma's stuff? Is really fun, and I enjoy wearing it and remembering her.

And no one is pissed off that I have it.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Opinions please: let's pick the flowers?

Ok, here's the thing. What you see to the left is the Yellow Ladyslipper Orchid (Cypripedium sp depending on which book you consult these days dammit). It's a wildflower week here at the garden at work. First philosophical problem (Oh, didn't I warn you about that?) is a wildflower still a wildflower if we actively cultivate it?

Next chapter. The Yellow Ladyslipper stood a real chance of becoming endangered. A dedicated group of plant enthusiasts transplanted a LOT of the orchids from threatened spaces a a couple of decades ago. It's doing well.

Dilemma. It's doing well. And now we find that people are picking it for bouquets &c. For future reference, it dies pretty quickly in bouquets, and picking the flower really hurts the whole plant.

Sooo here we go. Do we get mad at the idiots who will always pull things from a public garden?

Do we show pictures of wilting flowers/plants to humiliate the stupid?

Do we educate and hope that stupid people notice?

Our choice these days was to put it on social media, gently correct those that have incorrect or incomplete information ( Yellow Ladyslippers are NOT endangered), and hope that people and their more-educated friends might be right

Were we right? I hope so. If we weren't, please tell me.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Pointless photography, yet again.

I should just call the blog Photo Dump at this point, since I haven't felt much like spouting off lately. Ah well.

I got the real, actual camera out yesterday for a bit, as opposed to being lazy and just using the cell phone. Let me tell you, phone cameras are getting pretty good, but they're never going to beat a dSLR if you really want to compose things. I'm not saying that I worked especially hard at composition yesterday -- I was pretty much just taking snaps -- but playing with the bokeh on a prime lens is somehow just plain satisfying. Let's see what we've got, then:

Buds on the apple tree that produces big apples.

Buds on the apple tree that produces small apples.

Double-flowering Plum. It doesn't actually glow; that's just from the sun's angle.

Saskatoon flowers.
These next few are from the phone, because cats. And Forsythia.

The Forsythia wasn't clear on the camera (bad angle), so here's the phone version.

I used this for a post on work's FB. Nice of the Turkey Brothers to pose.

And finally... the usual. One in a basket, one figuring out chairs.

That's it for today. I'll see if I can come up with a blather sometime in the future so that this place can be a bit more bloggy again.

And for those interested,

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Pointless photos; now including philosophical cats

Didn't bring my camera with me to Dad's this time, so it's all phone pics all the time. Let's see what's up:

What's literally up are the tulips and daffodils. It's a bit of a cheat, though. This corner gets warmed by the dryer vent, so it gets a head start on spring. 
March 30th was Pencil Day, in honour of the first end-of-pencil eraser. Here are some (some, yes) of my art pencils which, ironically, never have erasers on them.

Two cats outdoors. One enjoys it; one doesn't. Guess which is which?

Cat philosophy. The yin yang of sleeping in a too-small basket together.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Look! More pointless photos!

Purple Clematis seed heads

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Do you think that there might be a bird feeder nearby?

I know. It looks like a bad photo of my car. Look closer, though, and you'll see that the car is just reflected in the window that two cats are watching me through. Nosy Turkey Brothers...

Monday, 20 February 2017

Chapter 2214: Wherein... pointless photos, as usual

And as usual, lazy. Lazy to the point, in fact, where I haven't even edited these. So, straight off the camera...

I usually take at least one drainspout photo per season. Sometimes I even take video.

Stuff in melting snow.

Winter story of my Dad's yard: leftover Fall gardening equipment, and deer scat.

I'll schedule the next few for tomorrow. Why waste all the excitement in one shot?

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Pointless cat photo of yesterday:

I'm Bob, and I'm a doofus.

And just because yesterday was World Cat Day, but only in Europe:

Monday, 23 January 2017

Useless things

I'll admit, without any amount of torture: I have a love affair with pencils.

Art pencils, mind. Not just any pencils.

I love pencils. My art supplies show it. What you see above is a roll that I bought from Amazon. I'll probably get another, because I have more pencils.

Yes, even more.

So, how do you separate I Love Art from I Need Clutter, do you think? You should think, btw, since this is a small fraction of what I really have. The answer is that, as cluttered as I am, I couldn't live with my collective life taking over my whole life.

So good news for all of you, then.

Anyway, there's a new doodle on the other blog today if you're interested. For me, I stopped being interested in the blog years ago.

And you have seen already that it means half a year without a new doodle.

Ah well.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Pointless photos of the weekend:

There aren't too many today, because it was boring and foggy outside yesterday and the cats were being sedentary when I had the camera out. Ah well, here they are in their completely unedited glory:

Thanks for folding the laundry, Dee.

Somewhere down in the fog is my home town.

Circle of Bob.

Sunday, 8 January 2017


As usual, ignore the pointless photo. It was good tea, though.

Back in the days before Facebook made nearly everyone on the internet realise that it was ok to NOT be anonymous, I was deeol. Actually, I still am, but years ago that's all I was to computerland. I still have a couple of email addresses that are only deeol@... (yeah, try to get that short of a handle these days), and the two Gmail addresses that I still maintain start with deeol.

Why deeol? Simple, really. Dee from my first name (lots of people call me Dee, actually. You're welcome to as well), and Ol from my last name.

I'm nothing if not creative.

So deeol I became. Deeol when I commented, deeol when I joined forums, deeol when I became an admin for one.

Remember forums? They were great when they were still needed.

Anyway (my two fans were waiting for the anyway), I was only deeol for a long time, and that's how a few people still see me. Never mind that professionally I've been Diane Olson and, more casually, Dee Olson, for years now.

Deeol's still there, though.

Deeol still comments, even with sites that demand "real names". I'll give my full name, but still make my public comment with deeol.

Why haven't I given up on deeol? No psychoanalysis needed, really. Deeol is me, point blank. It was the mask in the days of internet anonymity, but if anyone had looked, it was a mask made of plastic wrap. I never hid behind deeol. I still don't.

It was always lower case, by the way. It wasn't Deeol, even though I typed it that way several times in this post. It was always deeol to me. And why?

Because I'm lazy. Yes, seriously.

Anyway, if you see deeol anywhere, it's still probably me. Even if I'm being Dee Olson or Diane or whoever the eff I am at the moment. I never know.

I'm still always deeol.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Me. And maybe you'll understand some things.

Yeah, I know that I don't post actual me on the blog. This post needs it, though. So here we go...

When I was five, I already didn't believe in Santa Claus. I can't remember why.

When I was seven, I tried out for the new church choir director. She later became my singing teacher and encouraged me to enter the local competition.

When I was ten, I did my last piano competition. The huge blue nervous veins on my hands gave my mother the clue.

When I was twelve, I started playing the oboe for Band. Not my choice, but whatever.

When I was thirteen, I took the only art course I was ever able to fit in to my assigned curriculum.

When I was fourteen, I was so explicitly bullied that I hated school. I'd always loved school, because I came from a family of teachers and wanted to learn.

When I was fourteen, again, the guidance councillor looked at my midterms and told me that I was going into science. I didn't argue. It seemed reasonable. I liked science.

When I was fifteen, I had about three friends because I was a nerd in a small town.

When I was seventeen, I was a nerd in a big city university. I found out that it was normal. And there was a choir I could still sing in, even with science.

When  I was twenty, I didn't know what the hell I was going to do with a shiny new degree in a tanking economy.

When I was an older twenty, I got a job at a small city nature centre. Well, I thought, at least I'll be able to use that degree a bit.

When I was twenty-three, I needed some illustrations so I admitted to my supervisor that I could draw.

When I was a bit of an older twenty-three, I decided to take some ECD courses at the local college. I dropped out at mid-term, because they were pointless. The advisor said "but you're one of our most promising students..." Yeah, that should tell you something.

When I was twenty-four I took on the task of helping my former singing teacher with her choir. I cluelessly didn't realise that she wanted me to take it over.

When I was twenty-five I entered my first singing contest in years and won my first ever solo trophy. Some voices take a while.

When I was twenty-nine I had a (small town) award winning choir, was teaching singing, and was a part time naturalist at that nature centre.

When I was twenty-nine my mom died.

When I was thirty, I was a naturalist/interpreter and drew a bit.

When I was thirty-five, I was supervising interpreters and illustrating things that needed illustrations.

When I was forty-ish, I started handling work's Twitter account unofficially, because I had the time.

When I was forty-six, I had Social Media Coordinator added to my title of School & Youth Programs.

When I was forty-seven, I figured out that this accidental life has allowed me both science and art, and that's a pretty good thing that most people don't get.

Yeah, that's it. For now.

Sing and dance and shout

As usual, the photo is pointless. I just thought that the clouds looked neat.

Anyway, the title. For years, whenever I've heard Sousa's Washington Post March my brain has sung "I'd like to sing and dance and shout now". I don't know if it started out with a children's program (more likely) or my own weird brain, but that's what the song says.

I wish it said that to everyone.

I think it would be great if we could hear a song and just sing and dance and shout if we felt like it. Without weird looks, without recriminations... just sing and dance and shout.

Wouldn't that be good? Wouldn't that make life easier?

Ok, maybe not everyone lives in my musical world. But we're all too serious these days, and that makes most of us unhappy. So sing and dance and shout when you can. It makes things better.

Even if it's just in your head.
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