Thursday, April 26, 2012


I'm gearing up for this Saturday's annual town-wide yard sale day in Petrolia. I'm not sure when it started but it's been around as long as I can remember. Not only is it fun to wander around town, sorting through other people's junk in search of a treasure...but it becomes a social event. A reunion of sorts. I have attended with old friends, new friends, and family. I particularly remember the year Lisa bought a thigh master or when Sue & I stayed over at Connie's just days after finding out Madison was joining the family.

Hope the weather holds out this year because, after all, when else can you buy a hot dog from a stranger on their front lawn at 8am?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cowgirl and Hopscotch

I have previously blogged about adventures with my friend Laurie Lane and also of my love of country music. Last night they collided in an evening of great fun!

It seems like ages ago that I heard of Alan Jackson coming to the JLC. He's always been one of my favourite country artists, so naturally I wanted to go. I knew exactly who to ask to accompany me! Laurie is also a country girl at heart and enjoys some good foot stompin' music.

We started the evening at The Works on King Street. It is just steps from the JLC so it was really busy. But, that just gave us lots of opportunity to catch up. Laurie is one of those treasured friends and when we get together, it's equal parts roll on the floor laughter and honest-to-goodness heart to hearts. 

The Works is a pretty fun place to eat with a unique atmosphere. Lots of interesting things on the walls and their serving style is also cool. Our meals came in a metal cake pan and our drinks in a glass measuring cup! Delicious food and lots of hilarity from Ms. Lane. She noted that while I had my cowboy boots on, the most country she could rustle up were her "hopscotch shoes". I'm not sure why she called them that but it hit me as very funny.

Last night confirmed the special spot I have reserved for country music. The long and lanky Alan Jackson sauntered on stage and sang most of his #1 hits. I sang along with almost every word. I particularly liked it when the camera shooting for the overhead screens showed us a close up of his boots while he tapped his toe from side to side.

Someday, Laurie and I plan to hit Nashville to take in the Grand Ole Opry. It may take us years, but it just seems like something we need to do. Thanks Laurie for a great night out!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Stats

As a nerd at heart, I get my kicks out of reviewing stats from my blog. I like to see how many people have visited and where they are from.

One of the trends I have found most amusing in recent months is that the most hits I get from google searches is for Carpenters Christmas Portrait. I blogged about it back in December while contemplating Christmas music. Surprisingly there are a lot of people that google that CD. I'm curious. Why the interest in a Christmas CD in February, March and April?

The other big hit I get from google is for "boobies bracelets". This is not surprising to me after writing about the corporatization of breast cancer here.

Other runners-up for top searches include: Connie's of Petrolia (my sister's restaurant), Fanshawe student card, Jian Ghomeshi and Scott Lightfoot (who knew?).

Capturing A Moment In Time

I have always been taken with the art of photography. I couldn't wait to get my very own camera when I was a kid. It was with guarded enthusiasm that I clicked the button. You see, back in "the day" cameras were loaded with film (which cost money) which needed to be developed (which costs money). It could take a few months for me to finish off a roll of 24 exposures and drop it off at the store for processing. Three days later you could return to pick up the prints and hope for the best. It was a gamble what they would look like until you opened that envelope.

As a teenager, I bought my first SLR camera and took a 6 week class at Clouse Photography in Petrolia. Film and processing was included so we were encouraged to snap away. It gave me a chance to be creative. I loved it!

Over time I forgot some of the specifics I had picked up about F-stops and aperture and the camera stayed in its case more often than not. I favoured the convenience of a smaller point and shoot. Then digital came to town. It was inevitable that I make the move. After all, it was much more convenient and just think of the money you could save on film and processing!

The progression continued with the move to a digital SLR and now an iPhone. An iPhone, you may consider a regression, but it's the social integration, convenience and ease of use that makes it essential. Once I discovered Instagram, I was hooked. Instagram allows you to do a few quick edits to your pictures and immediately post online. It's fabulous. I started following a fellow Londoner on Instagram recently that was posting under the hashtag #ldnviews. All photos of London and all great art. I was disappointed that I missed the art show but apparently there is one coming up in the fall. All using an iPhone and Instagram. Cool!

Some people just have an eye for photography and it shows. My friend Scott is phenomenal at looking at things from an interesting angle, seeing things from a different perspective and then capturing it. I'm still trying to figure out if you can develop that talent or if it's one you're born with. I will continue on my quest...