Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Square One!

I was out with my small group this evening, and we were reminiscing about old school/retro toys, clothes, movies, TV shows, etc. On the topic of our favourite childhood TV show, I remembered Square One, which ran on PBS while I was growing up. It was a math show (yes, I'm a geek), which I absolutely LOVED. I learned so many math tips and tricks--often before learning the concepts in school. I knew what a fractal was when I was eight!

Anyway, upon returning home, I YouTube'd the show, and thought I'd share some of my favourite highlights from this long-running series.

First, the opening theme:

Angle Dance (could you get any more 80's?):

Drawing a Map (I often had the refrain of this song in my head when drawing maps, right through into adulthood):

Oooooh, Tessellations!

Mathman (it always bugged me when he ate the wrong thing!):

Yup... I sure did love that show!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

God's Sense of Humour

Our mild November days would be optimal for photos, if the earth wasn't brown, grey, and leafless. In the winter months, I tend to back off the landscape photos and stick more to portraits, and close-up/macro photography. The only big exceptions are a). When it is pristine white with snow and a glorious blue sky and b). Sunrises/sunsets. There have been some really nice sunrises and sunsets lately--perfect shades of pink and orange. On these occasions, for whatever reason, my camera isn't handy, or I just don't have time to drop what I am doing and find a location at which to shoot. So I glance frequently in the rearview mirror, or out whatever window I can, and take it all in with my eyes. Which is fine. But I love capturing colour in my camera!

So I plan and prepare for the next day's sunrise/sunset: I leave for work a little early; I allow time to capture sunsets before my evening events. And every single time so far, the sunrise or sunset has been crap. God starts singing, "send in the clouds", and those shades of pink and orange disappear. There is no repeat performance of the perfectly clear sky of the day before, or the perfect spread of clouds to refect the colour of the light. Just the big, grey clouds that get in the way of everything. And often, these clouds lie just around the horizon, while the sky above is as clear as it had been all day long. It's so frustrating cuz lately it's been every single time! I just want a couple good sunset pictures, darn it!

Here--I'll show you two photos that I took of the same subject: our legislature building.

The first was taken yesterday at sunset. The second was taken almost exactly a year ago. Both are kind of cool, but I like last year's pic way better (despite the through-the-trees effect, which didn't go exactly as planned, but I digress...). Not only is the colour a bit more vibrant, but it fills the whole background--you don't have a giant cloud masking half the sky.

Sunsets are my eye candy; I want, I want, I want! Apparently, God would rather have me be distracted by the image in my rearview mirror than capture His glory safely on camera. Srsly.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Humming Along

I was just noticing that I haven't blogged in a few weeks. Busy? Yes, but not moreso than normal, really. But I find October/November, like February/March, is a 'blah' kind of time for the most part. There are no major holidays, it's cold and not very pretty-looking outside so I'm not spending much time out there, and there are no other exciting transitions or events during this time worth writing about, it seems. I think my most productive times of fun activity, picture-taking, and inspirational thinking come in the summer. With the winter comes hibernation.

I am actually in quasi-hibernation mode right now. I've been kind of thrown off by setting the clocks back, and am spending more time doing calm, evening things and then realizing it's only 6:30, and I have four hours of evening still to play with. On the plus side, my evenings have been relatively low-key; nice and relaxing.

Despite the brief introduction to winter with snow and cold at the beginning of October, November's temps have been relatively decent--anywhere from 5-15C (41-60F)--so I have been trying to enjoy a walk here and there, and taking kids that I work with outside whenever possible. And because the light is getting so low in the sky, the atmosphere is one of peace and tranquility most of the time.

So overall I've been finding that I am engaging in the regular daily activities, but I'm coming at them with definitely more of an autumn/winter pace rather than the excitement and gusto that I go at things in the summer time.

It's not all bad. Taking things slower is a good skill to have. I am finding, though, that I need to give myself more of a kickstart for the times that I NEED to go at something with gusto and excitement. In the car, for the most part, I have traded my Summer Fun Mix CD for my Grey's Anatomy self-made compilations--for those who don't watch the show, their choice of music is [fantastic, but] generally more... indie? 'Dark and twisty'? Less mainstream? ...Hmm, I am really at a lack of descriptors this evening. Well, their music is kinda like this:

or like this:

It's great music, but certainly not get-ready-for-fun type music! So every now and then I need to pop in that summer CD to rev myself up a bit. Once the snow falls, there will be activity to do (read: snowshoeing). And as we get closer to December, we start in on Christmas, New Year's, and Birthday fun. Without all that, it would be a long ride through the winter, that's for sure.