Apple announced recently that they were going to replace their photo enthusiast Aperture software with a more consumer oriented product targeted towards iPad and iPhone users. Yikes. This started me looking for new software to manage my 20,000 photographs. Although I am upset at Apple's decision, it has not turned out too bad. I have decided to move to Adobe Lightroom and it is better software. Apple has not been keeping pace with Adobe it turns out.
Another benefit is that I have been forced to look at the thousands of photograhs as I move them from Aperture to Lightroom. Now that has been fun. For example, here is a digital photograph taken in 1996 on a visit to North Caicos island to drink rum punch and play tennis. In the picture you will see our host Ron (left), a young Adonis (me), Dave and Bob. The unfortunate part of this picture is that it looks like there are four hands reaching for three rum punches. Perhaps that explains the anguish on Bob's face.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that Billie is visiting.
We are home. Had a great winter/summer. There was lots of opportunity to update the VOX but I am just a lazy pig - play tennis, drink beer and think about what I am going to have for dinner. The ride home was uneventful, the usual - Holbrook, Amarillo, Springfield, Fort Wayne, Collingwood.
Indian Wells PNB Paribas was good. We were treated to some of the better seats by our friends Ken and Carol. Carol and I had free tickets in the nose bleed section (I shot this photo from that section using a 300mm lenses.) Ken and Carol had tickets where you could order a glass of champagne and actually get it. It beats me but they wanted to arrange it so that Carol and Carol (yes) would watch the ladies final from the champagne section while Ken and Fred held Kleenex to our nostrils way up high. We would switch seats for the mens finals. See if you can spot Carol and Carol. The only clue allowed by the rules is that both were wearing sunglasses.
Home - what can you say. It is good to be here but quite a shock coming from the warm sunshine to the cold and cloudy. Canadians like to have their guilt rewarded and the last few days at home has felt just about right. There is still snow on the front lawn. The Japanese Maple has been clobbered by a snow plough and will not survive. There is ice on the pond behind the house. It is raining. I opened the garage today and a robin was shivering in the rafters. The house was standing though and we were glad to be here.
The BBQ will be used for certain in May.
Carol and I visited Bronwen in Guelph Monday and Tuesday and had a meal with our whole family. Kate, Jay and Billie joined us for an Easter ham dinner (recipe provided by Jim Johnson.) We are thrilled that Bronwen is in a new home. Unborn baby is doing fine and scheduled for very early May. Sentimental fool that I am - I am hoping for
My sister Irene has had a big week. She has celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary and her 80th Birth Day. Now that is a couple of accomplishments.
The pavers have been installed for a few days. The landscaping is done. The lighting is installed. The water system works. We are taking possession of the courtyard. Taking possession means sweeping and keeping it clean and making certain that the furniture is arranged. We may even have to entertain. Oh, I forgot to mention, the fire pit arrives tomorrow at 10AM. It goes in the back courtyard - therefore no picture of the back courtyard yet.
I am working to perfect fish tacos. Bronwen and Glenn arrive this weekend. They will likely be sick of fish tacos when they leave, but when they leave I expect to be a master of the fish taco.
Sunday was Super Bowl Tennis. Carol and I played for the Boston Patriots. The Seahawks won the tennis tournament.
I am a big fan of what KCRW (Seattle) is doing. They are streaming some of the best music over the internet. I am also a big fan of Ben Howard and India Bourne. India is the cellist and percussionist for Ben's band. I have picked Ben as one of the stars of 2015. I have been wrong many times before. I do not care. He is one on my watch and listen list.
Here is Ben Howard w India - turn up your speakers!
You should not be able to complain (to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault) unless when things change you express the opposite. Lately I have complained about lack of pavers, rain, and who knows what else. Today everything changed - the pavers have all been laid, the cacti have been planted, the mini palms are planted, and the fruit trees have been planted. On top of that I had a great game of tennis. Here is a photo of Jay and Katie at Jay's corporate Christmas party. Jay was honoured as a top salesman at this get together. Congrats Jay.
All of the pavers have been cut and laid.
I may have been wrong about both. The spaghetti dinner at Frank's place was more fun than I have had in a long time. Agreed there were Frank impersonators but they were in their 70's, 80's and 90's and put on a pretty good show. A good time was had by all. It turns out that Dolly Sinatra Lodge is Lodge # 2400, Order Sons of Italy in America. It is named after Dolly Sinatra of course. There was a sense that you should contribute or someone would shoot out your knees. Great night. Our next cheap and cheerful outing is going to be Bowling at the Fantasy Springs Casino. Black lights, strobes, the whole bag of tricks. The wives have all agreed to wear white bras.
The &^!@% pavers may be another matter. Agreed, there were pallets of stones for the workmen to lay at the beginning of the day yesterday. But by 3PM they had laid all of the pavers and had only covered 30% of the courtyard. The street was empty. We have no idea if the workmen will show up at 8AM this morning. We have no idea when or how the remainder of the pavers will arrive.
A couple of weeks ago Carol and I coerced some folk into going to the Ace Hotel to see Sissy Bingo. "Trust me" we said. It was not bad, nothing that you would do twice in one season, but not bad. I think that tonight could be pay-back time. We have been invited by one of the couples to go to Frank Sinatra's mother home for a spaghetti dinner. I do not think that Frank's mom is hosting, but I will bet that there is a Frank impersonator and that he will sing a Paul Anka song or two.
The paving stones arrived yesterday. I pulled one from a pallet and had a good look and again it was not what we ordered. We have already had the wrong pavers once, how can this happen. The landscape designer was here in 15 minutes to show us that I had pulled the paver from the wrong pallet - it was scheduled to be moved to another worksite this morning. Relief.
This morning the pavers started to be installed. And yes, that is Carol doing laundry in the garage - click on the photo, you will see for yourself.
Music for 2015:
- Tom Odell - the modern version of Jeff Buckley.
- Polica - from Ohio, vocals, two drum kits and a bass guitar.
- Ben Howard - a good follow-on to Ed Sheeran - IMHO England is turning out more good music than anywhere else at this time.
- The Tallest Man on Earth - gotta love his moniker.
- Jake Bugg - brilliant, but we'll see.
- Blackie and the Rodeo Kings - not only a tribute to Willie P Bennet but also Canadians and a good band.
Here is Jake Bugg - turn up your speakers