plonq: (Wolfish Mood)
Our garage windows always turn very pretty with the first deep cold snap of the year.

plonq: (Comparatively Miffed Mood)
We went for a walk on the river today to celebrate the fact that it warmed up to negative single digits today. It seems that others had the same idea, because when we got to The Forks, we found it overrun.

Unrelated to today is this old picture I found of [ profile] atara and Jaws. I have set myself on a mission lately to sift through some of my older pictures, looking for ones that I just uploaded to my computer and then never gave them a second look. I found this picture in an older folder of shots from 2004.

If you want to keep your baby occupied, and your dog happy, put one of them in a sled and tie the other to the front. I don't know which part of this picture I like the best; the dog taking off like it was shot from a cannon, the kid shouting for his dad who is skating along just out of sigh to the right, or the look of disbelief on the woman who is coming the other way.

After they passed, the two of them stopped to express their disbelief at how a father could do that to his child. We assured them that the kid was fine, and that it was surely something he could take up with his therapist later in life if it left any permanent emotional scars.
plonq: (Masturbatory Mood)
Unless things change dramatically over the next couple of days, we will have a white Christmas. Barely.

I went for a short walk today to grab some money from the bank up the street, and some lunch from the sub shop next to it. The side walks were treacherous, but the weather was glorious. There is a chill in the air, and a low, grey overcast that hints at snow. Not the cruel, blowing, dry snow that we usually get here, but the kind that makes you want to don a toque and gloves and run outside to catch some snowflake on your tongue.

This is the kind of winter that I enjoy.

On another wintry subject, I would swear that I started writing a Christmas story a few weeks back. I wanted to call it up and continue working on it today, but I can find neither whisker nor hair of it.
plonq: (Dubious Mood)
When it dips to -15 for a low tonight, we will be breaking a weather record going back to 1872 when they first started tracking these things, and it will officially be the latest day in the year when we have seen a temperature that cold.

I am tired of being cold.

Tim Hortons often reserves at least one slot in their doughnut/muffin shelf for a speciality item - usually doughnuts. When I say "speciality", what I really mean is "some variation on a Boston Creme."

Since the start of the month they have been offering up Easter Doughnuts, which are somewhat elongated to resemble eggs, and topped with pink and yellow sprinkles.
Doughnut Deconstruction

I typically avoid these because I am, if not actively shedding pounds at the moment (I blame the cold weather for my current funk and sedentary ways), trying not to pack on any more pounds than I need to. Yesterday I finally decided to try one of these in the name of satisfying my curiosity. Would it be another repackaged Boston Creme, or could these corporate dullards actually produce something unique and different for the occasion?

It was a Boston Creme.

I am not sure how the colourful sprinkles and gooey filling are meant to relate to the supposed death and resurrection of a religious leader, but it tasted good. I think that maybe these are meant to align more with the secular take on Easter. Each doughnut has been lovely crafted by the agile paws of Lepus curpaeums, dashed with magic sprinkles, and then filled with his love.
Doughnut Deconstruction

Though I suspect it is meant to be their own take on the Cadbury eggs, and a means to move more Boston Cremes, I like my explanation better.
plonq: (Oh Come On)
One more cat picture because I can.

20130318 - Cat Fort

Merry has built herself a fort, and given the weather we have been experiencing here lately, I don't think anybody out here would blame her. We are rounding out a week of unseasonably cold weather with another fair dump of snow (10cm overnight, with another 5cm expected over the course of the day). Though it started off promising, this has slowly morphed the winter that keeps on giving.

[ profile] atara managed to find her noise-cancelling headphones while cleaning this weekend, and I made good use of them for the bus ride in. I caught the earlier bus because my usual one was showing as 10-minutes late on the schedule. We were making pretty decent time until a CN train blocked us for fifteen minutes. It was moving forward at a breakneck walking pace. I was half tempted to ask the driver to let me off the bus so that I could walk back, throw the angle cock and pull the pin a few cars back of the crossing. I suppose they would probably have noticed though when their rear end device suddenly stopped talking to them.

These noise-cancelling headphones helped a lot on the bus. While the ambient mechanical noises and conversation do not normally bother me, I was sitting in front of a couple 20-something girls whose idea of conversation was to natter inanely at the same time. Perhaps they have mastered the art of talking and listening at the same time, but it is just as likely that they were not actually talking to each other, and instead had phones pressed to their heads. I did not turn around to check.

The headphones gave me a wonderful sense of isolation, and let me settled down into a Zen-like state where I could stare out the window and watch the antics of the pedestrians. They were picking and slipping their way through the fresh snow, and though I am not a lip-reader, I am sure I saw a few blasphemies uttered. Other than looking cold and uncomfortable, the pedestrians also shared a nigh-universal expression of annoyance. This winter may end any time now, thank you.
plonq: (Derpy Mood)
One of the downsides to taking daily pictures is that some people see it as not normal. When I saw the sea of hand prints on the frosty glass of this stairwell, I immediately saw it as a photo opportunity. Passers by in the stairwell did not seem to share my opinion, and I got a lot of strange glances as I lined up 2-3 shots, tweaking settings and even swapping cameras. I was not blocking the stairs - they are very wide - but I think a few folks were annoyed that they could not walk three abreast as they passed me. Oh, the inconvenience!

Most of the prints had obviously been left by children (or Hobbits) but overall they covered a wide gamut of heights and sizes. The first were probably left by somebody leaning against the glass, trying to peer through the frost. The rest were left by people who saw it not so much as opaque windows, as a blank canvas on which to leave their temporary mark on the world.
Walking on water. )
plonq: (Creative mood)
The city owns the fountain and surrounding park in front of the building where I work. While the area usually serves as a hangout for vagrants and drug dealers, the city often hosts events there. During the summer they have a week-long music festival in the square, where local bands come and perform during the lunch hour. The folks who organize their winter events are not quite as well organized though.

Last winter they lined the area around the fountain with a dozen or so wooden boxes which they filled with packed snow. I don't know if they were supposed to be part of a snow sculpting project, but the boxes of snow sat untouched for months through a number of freeze and thaw cycles until spring finally came in earnest. After a couple days of rain the boxes disappeared, leaving several messy piles of slushy snow where they had been, and after another week the snow quietly disappeared in the night. If that had been the plan all along then I don't think the pay-off was worth the set-up. As art projects go, the result was rather anticlimactic.

It appears that last year's debacle was not enough to dissuade the committee from trying again this year. Back in November, or maybe early December I showed up for work one morning and noticed that the fountain had been roughly encircled by vertical cardboard cylinders. It looked like somebody had raided the bathroom of the titans and made off with the cardboard tubes from their toilet paper rolls. The cynical side of me thought, "Oh look, it's another ill-fated winter project by the city." On the other hand, one would assume that they learned from last year's mistake. I wondered if they were planning to fill them with snow or water, and that question was answered a week later when I spied one of the flower-watering trailers parked beside one of the tubes while a bored maintenance worker pumped green-tinged water out of a translucent plastic water tank into the tube.

I have always wondered about the water in those tanks. I have never been sure if green tinge in the water was due to algae, plant food, or just a trick of the light. Well the pictures below tell me that it's not just a trick of the light. A couple of weeks ago they removed the cardboard wrappings, leaving a group of green ice pillars circling the fountain.

Icehenge )

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