2008-07-30

The things you can learn!

The "spider" from yesterday's post, isn't even a spider at all! Not that that makes any difference to my phobia, or yours. They are in fact called Harvestmen, what we commonly know as "daddy long legs" around here are in fact "Cellar Spiders".

From Wikipedia:

Although they belong to the class of arachnids, harvestmen are not counted as spiders, which are of the order araneae rather than the order opiliones.

In some places, harvestmen are known by the name "daddy longlegs" or "granddaddy longlegs", but this name is also used for two other unrelated arthropods: the crane fly (Tipulidae) and the cellar spider (Pholcidae).[citation needed]


While I knew it wasn't what I was accustomed to seeing as a daddy long legs, I couldn't in yesterdays searching find what it was. Does that ever happen to you? You search in one direction and none of the links are quite what you want?


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Another example:
Amaranthus, the very pretty flower that the not-spider was on - is pig weed! My neighbour just asked what it was and when I said amaranthus she said oh, that is pig weed. Yesterday when I searched I used "love lies bleeding" (I couldn't remember the correct name) and it says nothing about it being pig weed. If you search amaranthus, it says - right in the first line - pig weed! It is also edible, which I forgot to mention yesterday. Almost makes me want to just let the pig weed that I've been pulling up grow!


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So, at least my day wasn't a complete waste! I learned a couple of new things, which is always good. Got some laundry done, figured out which bills I can pay and still eat. Now, I am going to go read, or something exciting like that.

Have a good day all.







Flowers

This is my Amaranthus next to my window - um, actually I think there are three plants close together there.

Click to enlarge!
This is a close up of a spider that was visiting - I don't know what it is, but it is not a daddy long legs.


My day lilies are blooming, tucked in under the amaranthus, they are hard to see...must remember next year to plant something else there.


This is the other trio of amaranthus - they fell over, so I had to go and stake them. They are not doing quite as well.


If anyone knows what that spider is, please let me know. I am not having much luck on the net finding it.

Have a good day all.

2008-07-28

WWC - Temporary & Permanent

Tuesday around these parts means it is Weekly Word Challenge time. This weeks words are Temporary and Permanent and are brought to us by the beautiful Tink of Pickled Beef.

Now for those that read yesterdays MTM post, you will realize these photos are from the same festival "A Taste Of Edmonton". Because really, what is more temporary than a festival tent? Please click to enlarge.

Temporary lull in customers.


Temporary shopping, really cool African masks and carvings.


Temporary restaurants doling out Temporary bliss.

Temporary art display.


Temporary beer gardens.


Now Permanent is a bit harder to go with, because, what is permanent? Buildings are destroyed by fire, or just torn down, Mountains are eroded by water. So, that leaves water, it will always be here, just maybe not in abundance or in a manner that is potable. So, I took the wider view.

This fellow is Permanently sitting on this bench with his lunch.


This fountain will (at least in summer) Permanently be running and have people in it.


The nearest we can figure is these are air raid sirens from WWII and are Permanently in the side of this old building.


This is the North Saskatchewan River. It will Permanently flow through Edmonton. The boat is called the River Queen and is the only one you will see near Edmonton. You do see canoes and dragon boats sometimes.


The moon is Permanent. We can't always see it, but it is always there. (I have to play with my camera some more to get better moon shots, but this was not bad.)


So, there it is. If you would like to join the fun drop by at Tink's blog & she will set you on the right track. You can drop by the Flickr group page to see more entries or just drop by my page to see what I have been doing lately.

Have a good day all.

2008-07-27

MTM: Festival City

This is my first entry into the My Town Monday chronicles, so please be gentle. Edmonton is where I was born, however I was raised in a small town further North in AB. I have moved back and forth a few times since becoming what is considered an adult in Alberta, but I have lived in Edmonton for about 20 years, give or take and I do consider it my town.

We are known as Festival City and host 30 festivals annually here. I am going to tell you about the one I just attended with some friends last week.

A Taste Of Edmonton is all about food! This year there were about 40 restaurants involved, each with samples of two dishes to be tasted. This is a fabulous way to find new food and restaurants in the city. The number of restaurants wanting in on this event is extensive, they have had to limit the number of years you can be there in a row and they now have to split the event, with some restaurants there for the first few days and another for the last few. Even though the cost this year was more than in previous years, it was still worth it.


This year they included Taste Of Wine for those that want to maybe try a new wine or two...
click to enlarge
and Taste of Beer for those that enjoy getting drunk in public. Behind the beer you can see the art set up for viewing.

Of course all of this entails road closures and the re-routing of about 18 bus routes. In fact, this area gets closed every summer from the middle of June to the end of August just for the festivals!

These are just a few photos from the event.

We also had some live music...


and some tents selling things other than food. There was art and jewellery and toys and clothing.

Kids were playing in the fountains at city hall, of course, not when I took this.


At past events, I have tried alligator, ostrich, kangaroo, I think snake and some other, more usual (to these parts) items like bison and elk. Those types of things haven’t appeared for awhile, but maybe they will again someday.

This is by no means the only food festival in our city, but it is the best in my mind. Anytime you come to visit though, I am sure you will find a festival with great food and entertainment involved.


Have a good day all and drop by Travis Erwin's blog to see more My Town Monday Posts.

2008-07-23

Gull darn it, anyway!

Well, I had quite the day Monday! Lots of seagull encounters. The first was when I was out getting pictures for the WWC. I stopped to photograph this lovely sky...


And saw this woman chasing after a gull with a piece of burlap.


It seemed to have a couple of injuries and with the help finally of her spouse, they managed to capture the poor thing.



I think this might have been the mate of the injured bird - he was certainly keeping an eye on things. As they were leaving (on a Vespa type bike) to take the bird to get it some help, it seemed to be following them from the sky.




This little video shows my second encounter quite well. I had to do a bit of editing to make it watchable, then I had to re-do sound, so I gave you my best "Audubon Narrators Voice" ;)



video

I am tempted to re-edit & post it to youtube along with the stills I got of their faces (and a different dialogue). There is a reason it is called the fight or flight response! They just would not leave the poor birds alone! Of course, it would then start a trend for youngsters everywhere to chase seagulls and other birds, so there is no point.

I am also tempted to plaster their photos all over the neighbourhood, with "Shame on You" in red across the bottom. If they are our tenants (which I think they may be) I will slip a photo and explanation under the door for momma to take care of the matter!

Yes, I can be that kind of a bitch.

Am I over-reacting? I don't think so, walking through is one thing, deliberately chasing them over and over is cruel.

Have a good day all.


2008-07-21

WWC - Sign & Graffiti - Part two

So, if last week was my 20th entry to the WWC and this week is a do-over, does that mean this is #20 eh? or do I still call it 21?

Our hostess with the mostess is back and due to the upheaval in her life we are revisiting Sign & Graffiti. I thought that I still had a few graffiti from last week left over that I hadn't shown, but apparently I have my trash set to dump when I turn off - oh well, I did find one or two and some new signs. If you missed last weeks, or want to have another look here is the link.

Without further ado I give you SIGN:

If you leave it up all year, do you really expect people to pay attention when it might save their lives?


This is where I got my wonderful bison burgers. It is too close to my place - fortunately they are also too expensive to have too often.


I thought this was amusing.

GRAFFITI:

On the back door of a shop.

I think this is sanctioned - there is a tattoo parlour upstairs. (This is also in a back alley, so I didn't really want to wander too far away to get a shot without the pole - yes, in broad daylight)


You can see here where the school has done their best to remove the graffiti.


There will be a post tomorrow about the seagulls and the girls! In the meantime, if you would like to join the fun that is the WWC, drop by and see Tink at Pickled Beef and she will set you on the right path.

We have a group site at Flickr and here is my personal Flickr site.

Have a good Tuesday!

Monday already!

So, after last weekend, this weekend was quiet! Didn't do much of anything except work. I did play around with the tripod that my friend is lending me, so I have some photos to share from Friday.


From the garden, this is the the mystery plant that survived from last year. Cousin Leah's Hubby ID'd it as rock wort (I think). Pretty blossoms and it is doing really well.

Click to enlarge
These are the yellow marigolds. Such a great yellow.

These are the vines I am growing this year, the yellow flowering one is Canary Bird Vine and the other is Creeping Charlie. (with more yellow marigolds)

This is the Love Lies Bleeding that I had to move after I read the card. I started them in pots and they are about 3 feet high now.


This is the sky looking east as the sun is setting - 21.21 hrs according to the camera.

This is looking east at 21.24. By the look of the clouds I thought that would be it.

Then just before 22.00 my friend called and said to go look at the sunset. This is 21.58 by the camera.

This just a minute later.


There were many more, but none as good as these and still the colour is not great, it was much redder and more intense. I did try adjusting it in photoshop but couldn't get it right.

Tomorrow's WWC will be Sign & Graffiti, I have photos I didn't use the first time, so will post those.

Have a great Monday all.

2008-07-18

Round up

I think I mentioned earlier that I was cat sitting for my friends while they are in Jamaica. Well, these are their two kitties. One male - named Blueberry; one female - named Zoey.

I think this is Blueberry, the photo really doesn't do justice to his beautiful coat.


This is Zoey, she is much bolder than Blueberry and has been letting me touch her since day one.


One of them has been throwing immense hairballs up since day one. I think it is Blueberry, he isn't sure that I will come and feed them everyday and is worried that mommy won't come back. He is cleaning Zoey all the time and then gorging on the food when I put it down. Yesterday was the first day I didn't have to clean up after him, so maybe he is a little more relaxed and they get back Sunday night.

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You asked for a grin about my hair, well, here it is!

My eyes disappear these days in fat and general old age puffiness when I smile, so that is all you're getting! I am going to have to cobble together a photo one day from all the good bits from several photos!

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I hate it when I dial a wrong number and will usually realize it before the call goes through. If it has already rung on the other end, I will stay on the line and apologize. Seldom am I paying so little attention that I don't realize I have made an error. I have been given plenty of wrong numbers and I will usually take the time to verify that the number I have is the one I dialed and then apologize.

This has a point. I received a call this afternoon and the conversation went something like this:

me: Hello?

caller: Hello -um - who my talkin' too? (very demanding)

me: Who are you looking for?

caller: This isn't (company name)?

me: No, you've dialed CLICK incorrectly....

Which was much more polite than the call I very kindly made last weekend. I had a message on my machine for a wrong number. Now I mostly ignore these, but this was for a person who had just purchased a property and the keys were wrong. It went like this:

me: Hi, someone there (they didn't leave a name) called about keys but they...(interrupted)

him: yes, (and started in to explain)

me: excuse me, I was just calling to let you know that you left the message at the wrong number.

him: oh - CLICK!

What ever happened to telephone manners? Even in calling a business these days you are treated to poor grammar, bad enunciation and appalling manners. I get teased by the people I work with that I sound different when I am on the phone, yes, that is my professional voice, I don't have any idea who is on the other end (well, a better idea these days with caller ID) and it could as well be head office as a wrong number.

Well, before this turns into a really long pointless rant I will sign off. I hope you all have a good weekend.

2008-07-16

Well, they're gone!

My curls! Just like baby curls, they are gone! Lying on the cutting room floor! Please stop me!

So, this is what I looked like last night (um, Tuesday).

See, how long it got in the back!


This is what I looked like when I left the salon Wednesday afternoon.


Well, maybe not so "deer in the headlights" (except when he told me the price)! This is the back.

Then of course, I have to wash it when I come home, to get rid of the stinky shampoo they use. Letting it dry by itself, this is what it looks like.

Damn, this means I have to start using a hair dryer again - at least some of the time. I really like the colour & the highlights, but it is going to be in my eyes in a week again. It took three & 1/2 hours to do this and I was in those horrible sinks three times! Brian (my hairstylist) was convinced that my hair had been permed because it was straight on the top. Nope, that is just my hair. Boy is he going to be surprised when I go in with curls again in a month.

It was thundering and crashing, pouring rain and hailing as we were finishing and he asked where I was parked (ha), so I told him I was riding the bus. He asked where to and then very kindly gave me a ride home.


Have a good Thursday everyone!

2008-07-15

My weekend continued!

Sunday morning we got up bright and early to go to the Telus World of Science (TWOS - formerly the Edmonton Space & Science Centre) to see "Body Worlds". This is "The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies" and it is fascinating! There is a video clip here which gives you a taste of the exhibit. I could have spent much longer than I did, as it was we took about 90 minutes to go through.

I was just as intrigued watching the people looking at the exhibit as the exhibit itself. There was a father with his daughter & son, the girl was about 8, the boy younger. But the questions that little girl had! It was wonderful to see a young mind so engaged by this and daddy was doing very well explaining. It makes a person wonder, if our generation had been exposed to this sort of thing at that age, would there be more women in science & medical fields today?

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We, went for lunch and then back to the Art-Walk that we had been to on Saturday to see the rest of the exhibits. At the other end, we found I could have had a sketch of me as a Zombie instead of a caricature! Such is life!

They had actually arranged to shut down two blocks of Whyte Avenue and the businesses were involved in a street sale, there was a fashion show, and live music. The two blocks they shut down are the two busiest blocks of Whyte and it was rather surreal to see it like this:

A little back history is called for here. Edmonton used to be two cities a long time ago, Edmonton on the North side of the river (the North Saskatchewan) and Strathcona on the South side. Whyte Avenue would have been the "main" street of Strathcona and the area is now known as "Old Strathcona", there are many historic buildings and the crowd is mostly arty, funky, hip people. The University of Alberta is at the west end of Whyte Ave, so there are always young people around. It is where the Fringe Festival is held along with many other festivals.

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This is the Great Divide Waterfall! Seen from the South side at the top of the river valley. The waterfall is man-made and pumps 50,000 litres of water per minute out the nozzles and costs about $2000.00/hour to run. More stats can be found by clicking the link above. It was made for Alberta's 75th Anniversary.

I have very good friends who willingly drove me to a place that I could take photos, then took me across the river to get more shots from different angles. At the cost of gas and the size of vehicle they drive, yes, they are very good friends!



This is just entering the river valley, we had to wait for pedestrians.

I didn't crop this, just to give you a bit of perspective. This is about 1/2 way down into the river valley.

This is looking directly on from the Low Level Bridge.


This is the waterfall from the North side of the river, by the Legislature grounds.

From a bit closer you can see how far out the water shoots.


This is driving onto the bridge.


And a good shot of the girders and pedestrian rail - obviously not what I was aiming for.


This is all you can see while looking straight out.

Quite a lot of water puddles onto the bridge deck and there is a bit of back spray. I imagine walking or biking across gets you a bit damp.

So, that was my Sunday & I am exhausted just telling it here. One day, I may walk (gasp - not that) across the bridge when the waterfall is on, but I don't think it will be this year.

Have a good Wednesday everyone.