Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Times

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas. 
We've had some health challenges this summer and fall but are okay now. Our December trip to Europe can be read about on my photo blog that has no photos as I ran into a glitch that hasn't been solved.
There's a link to that blog at the top of this page.
This December marks an amazing 30 years since our rather troubled time in Saudi where we were guest of the king but never knew it. You can read it again if you wish. It's found in the Dec. 2010 collection at the side of this blog post and it is in 8 parts known as An Unusual Christmas.
The family who helped us back then lives in Ottawa now and they have become grand parents. I located them on blogger recently and I am hoping to get in touch today. I'll let you know how it goes soon.
Have a super holiday in the meantime.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A FUTURE WITH DRONES

   It was a week ago that I watched a documentary about drones and how popular they were becoming. That same eve during the news broadcast it was pointed out the a local airport had logged over 700 near misses of airplanes finding drones in their airspace. Shocking!
  Next I went to a Best Buy site to see what options are out there to purchase a drone. The list was vast and so were the price tags. The higher range was around $1600 and the lower was $199 making them very affordable and accessable.
   I then went to You Tube to find out more about how to control and fly a drone. There I found a wealth of information. An iPad with cellular capability enabled can download an app making it the drone remote controller. Likely the same app is available for a smart cellphone since the drones all use the cellular 3G/4LTE network and GPS to move about.
   While various drones are now being used by hobbyists and news media photographers to capture cool images remotely there is something not so great lurking around the corner as the drones get into more people's hands. EVIL.
   There are many street gangs with many agends lurking about in towns and cities. What use they may make of this latest technology at their disposal is up and coming and it is probably not of much benefit to the common good of the population. Dromes can be used to carry a small payload besides being a photographic tool. Poachers have already used them. Other uses? Dare to imaine?
   No rules or regulations were put into place prior to the small drones being put on sale for the public to purchase. Since these devices use airspace to move about should they not be carefully regulated like hobby airplanes are?? 
   I believe that rules right now are a must because a future with unreguated use of drones poses a serious possible hazard on several levels for all life forms. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

MY YOSEMITE EXPERIENCE

  For weeks I have been struggling with updating my Macbook to Yosemite. I read how some bloggers had a terrible transition and ended up taking their crashed machine to the shop for help. I was scared. but today I decided to take the plunge after watching the video of what Apple has planned in months to come.
  The first thing I did was play with my photo library. I have a passport drive back up but I still worried about my collection. I played with faces for a couple of hours and then when I no longer felt threatened by the idea of loosing stuff I went to the app store to the updates. All was updated except for the latest IOS  X10.10. I clicked on it. It requested my ID and then wanted an update of payment info for iTunes before it was ready to proceed. There was an option of no payment info. Good.
After making my selection and giving my permission to proceed it moved forward. The download began.
   Calmly I went to my iPad to read some blog posts as I waited and watched the download progress. It was very slow so I plugged in the ethernet cable. It is a faster service than wifi. It took about 45 minutes for the download. I had checked the hard drive earlier to make sure there was lots of room. I was hopeful for a smooth install. And with my admin permission it began.
   The install took a fair bit of time. After some auto reboots the sign in screen came up. It was followed by a screen asking me to type in my ID again and then asked me what things I would like to store on the cloud. I made my selection. My photo library is quite large so I opted for more cloud storage to accommodate it. It also wanted me to set up the keychain to store important stuff but I was not ready to trust that area of my data online yet. 
   I am happy to report that as of right now the transition has been seamless. I have selected my new display page that works best for my vision and I have checked the new photo icon that matches the one on my mobile devices. My 9200+ pics are all there. I am delighted. Now all I need is lessons for the many new features. Important to me is the new Siri function. I need Siri to become my friend so that I can use the latest voice tech and less texts. I learned that more advanced Siri features are due to arrive in September and I want to be ready.
   I have one dislike. It is the new music app that used to be iTunes. It wants $14.99 from me so that I can use all of it's features like R1, the radio and Connect to go chat with my fav musicians. Seems we are being asked not only to buy music but pay to listen if we opt for that app's full features. So far the cloud cost is the only one I have opted for.
The Yosemite update itself is free. 
   So far I like the interface and changes. I wonder if all will still be there in the morning and working smoothly? 
  
PS I had no trouble creating or posting this blog after the install.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

INSIGHT

   It's obvious that my posts are dwindling as are my comments. Ever since I was a toddler I've struggled to see. I was born with severe myopia and astigmatism but my parents didn't recognize the shortfall in my vision until the grade one teacher made it very clear that I needed spectacles. There was even a time when it was thought children should not have them because their vision would worsen! 
   Parents finally decided I should be seen by an optometrist during that school year. I still recall a part of the visit which took place in the heart of the city of Bremen where my Dad was busy with his creation as the founder of a language newspaper. The World and Press, which you can get online now in several languages is and was put out by the firm, Carl Sch├╝nnemann Verlag, and that it was located nearby helped me to recall it. My Dad would bring me along to his workplace sometimes and it felt very special. It was just in front of the Wesser River and not far from the gorgeous alleyway known as B├Âttcherstrasse famous for the Glockenspiel and the town square with the big ROLAND statue as well as the nearby famous bronze of the Bremen Town Musicians created from a children's tale. I loved that part of the town.
   The eye appointment was the typical dilating drops, then bright lights glaring into the eyes and finally lenses being held to the face in front of the eyes until the chart images appeared focused. I had never known focus until that day.
   As we left the office of this professional I overheard him tell my mother I had inherited very bad eyes and would likely go blind at an early age. Those words stayed with me. Though I am fairly elderly now with really poor vision facing me more and more, daily I have to thank my doctors for continuing to fine tune whatever vision is left. 
   Yesterday was one of those moments where after some dilating drops a laser was beamed into my left eye over and over. I felt the little sharp zaps. Then my eye pressure was taken and I was sent home but asked to return next month. So far this year I've been at the hospital clinic four times for my eyes.
   Insight suggests to me now that I have avoided blogging more and more because of my sight but I tell myself I can use voice overs and audio programs to assist me. I just need to learn how. The time is here. I shall make the time to learn. I must. 
   Still deep down I pray that the stem cells for retinas will be available sooner. I could benefit a lot from a better working macula and new retinas!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A GREAT VALENTINE GALA

    Once a year there's a Great Valentine Gala, a fundraiser for the physically challenged and we've been involved with it since it's inception 31 years ago. Hubby was one of the co-founders in in '84.
    This year it took place at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel on 
February 7th. My daughter joined us and hubby invited her partner and  put us all up at the hotel for an over night treat. 
   The three of us arrived by 3:30 despite the snowy road conditions and checkin was smooth. We were able to arrange for two rooms close by. I needed daughter to help me with a bit of make up to look extra special for this event. She arrived around 5. By 6:30 all of us were all dressed up in our new outfits. With a bit of eye shadow , blush and lipstick I felt glam. We were ready for the pre dinner reception next to the Grand Ballroom. At these functions I spend more time with Buddy while hubby mixes with former friends and his invited clients. 
   Buddy and our daughter were especially excited since she had not joined us for a number of years. They were looking forward to this fun time together. At 7 promptly we were ushered from the reception area to the Grand Ballroom to our tables. Hubby had bought a whole table because he also invited clients we'd known for years. Now we were all gathered together in on spot. Time for laughter  and fun.
   As soon as grace was offered the tambola balloons began circulating. I recalled how in past years we had to but together prizes to be offered in the balloons but now we could just sit and enjoy the fun as a new crew did all that work. Buddy, daughter and clients all bought their $60 balloon and then the popping began to reveal the prize number. A booklet at each place setting had all the corresponding prizes listed. Buddy won a threesome of elegant dripless candles. Daughter won a gift certificate for goodies from a party store. A client won a gift basket withe goodies from an LCBO shop. Prizes had to be picked up from the reception room by 11:30. 
   At 7:30 dinner was begun. During the dessert the speeches and recognition of award winners took place. This fund raisers plays a huge role in supporting the local Paralympic athletes and that was one of its founding missions, to recognize the hard work they do and to put them into the mainstream media. They have succeeded at that! We feel honoured to have played a small role in that over the 31 years.
   There is always a guest artist for entertainment and this year it was Matt Dusk who sang jazz songs while asking listers to get up and dance at the dance floor. Buddy and daughter did just that. As his show ended a DJ came along and more fun dance time followed. We all enjoyed our time together. Buddy sure had fun dancing with one clients' wife. Both were really into the spirit of the eve. Fun, fun, fun!

      Buddy chose a new red shirt and tie to go with his new grey slim pant suit.
He helped me find this lovely shiny, beaded black dress.
Here is Buddy's dance partner.. Behind her are the tambola balloons.
                       Daughter and her partner both decked out in their new outfits.
        Hubby introduces client to the founder of the Gala, Vim Kochhar (right).