Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - I suppose all regular visitors to my News page here know that I post a lot of my photos to the internet via the photo hosting website pBase.com.
One of the interesting features of pBase is they rank the galleries people post there by the number of votes one's galleries receive from fellow pBase members and then display the results which they update daily.
So it was with great pride (and surprise) when three days ago my gallery of White Sands photos was voted the Most Popular gallery and has held the number 1 position since then.
Of course, one shouldn't confuse popularity with quality. There are thousands of galleries of high quality photos on pBase that don't show up in the Most Popular pages, but it's still interesting to get so much attention.
However, fame is fleeting and accordingly, galleries don't stay on the Most Popular list for long, so I don't expect mine to be there much longer either. But, they also have a listing of the All-Time Most Popular galleries where fame is less fleeting and my Best Shots gallery has been on the first page (which shows the top 8 galleries) of that category for some months now.
Now, if all this could somehow translate into some monetary income it would actually be good for something.
Moving the Website
I'm looking at moving the website here to a new host where I will have more web space and will either reactivate my 'gwolford.com' domain or create a new one. The web space I've been using since retiring was free but limited to 30 MB and I've run out of things I can throw out to keep the size down, so something has to give.
I'll notify everyone when the move takes place since it will mean a new URL, but I'll also leave a link here for people to forward from, but my web site at this specific URL, which will continue to remain here, would no longer be updated after that point. This move might not be too far in the future.
The host I'm looking at offers 20,000 MB (20 GB) for $5/month, so I'd have plenty of room and might even turn it into a site to sell photos from. Stay tuned.
Where Does The Time Go?
Thursday, May 24, 2006 - I see it's been over a week since I last updated the News page here. Seems like just yesterday that I changed the masthead above. Where does the time go?
Again, nothing much to report except yesterday we had our first sunny dawn in recent memory. Apparently the low pressure system that was stalled out over us has finally moved on. About time. We'd had almost two weeks of cloud and rain with only a few periods of brief spotty sun.
Tuesday, I had a doctor's appointment with an ear, nose, & throat specialist to look at the wartlike growth I've had on the inside of my lower lip since we were in Arizona. Turns out it's not a wart but a growth resulting from an inflamed gland. I forget what she called it but fortunately it's benign and it'll be removed June 9 at the Ottawa General Hospital.
After seeing the doctor, we went for a drive and ended up at the new Canadian War Museum, pictured here. Seems a bit of a paradox for such a peace-loving country as Canada to have built something like this.
Otherwise, about the only other thing of note that I did the past week, other than stay dry and warm, was to try updating the system on my laptop, something I hadn't been able to do before and get everything to work and this time I still failed even after a day and a half's effort.
Now that I have the new dedicated computer monitor attached to the PC, I also spent some time getting it updated and finished some video editing that I had left unfinished nearly two years ago. Before we left the house I'd recorded some movies off the TV cable, but hadn't gotten around to cutting out the commercials, which is what I just did, so we now have some more movies to watch.
Today was another sunny day, two in a row! We celebrated and went for a walk in the nearby Chapman Mills Conservation Area, a place I discovered yesterday afternoon while out hunting for photos.
Updated News Page Masthead & Weather Sidebar
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - This morning I got to looking at the green masthead that was on this news page for the better part of two years and decided it was time for a change and what better than to replace it with one of my own photos shot while we've been 'following the sun'.
So I reviewed some of my favorite sunrise and sunset photos taken during the Photo Odyssey and settled on the one above, taken during this past winter's tour at sunset one evening from the Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma at San Diego, California USA.
It's a fair bit of work to change the masthead (it's far more complex than it looks, being comprised of 32 image 'slices' in total), but I might make changing it an annual event.
While making changes, I also reworked the weather section of the sidebar. The weather internet site I get my weather data from (the Weather Underground) offers some free 'weather stickers', so I worked in one of their small ones. This automatically shows their latest temperature update in both Fahrenheit and Celcius at the time you open this web page, whereas the weather data above it is what we were experiencing at the time I last updated the page myself, which might have been days previously.
We Get A New Grandson (UPDATED)
Monday, May 15, 2006 - Around 10:30pm this evening our son-in-law Eric called from the Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio to tell us that his wife, my daughter Michelle, gave birth at 9:32pm to a boy, Luke Charles, and that mother and son were both doing well.
At his birth, Luke weighed 9 pounds 7 ounces, was 21.25 inches long, had dark hair and facial features that resembled his older sister Grace, and had all the expected body parts.
Luke is our fifth grandchild and second grandson and also my daughter's final child, so if there are to be more grandchildren they will have to come from my son and his wife.
I'll post further details and photos of Luke as I receive them, so stay tuned.
UPDATE (May 18, 2006)
The hospital finally got their photos of Luke posted online, so here is one of them, showing Luke doing eskimo kisses with his mother. Cute little guy. Really looks like his father.
As always, click on the photo for a larger view and click here to go to a gallery on my pBase site for the other shots.
We Get A Little Sun
Monday, May 15, 2006 - We had an hour or two of sun this afternoon, the first since last Thursday, but shortlived.
So, we took advantage of it by taking the cameras and the dog up to nearby Hog's Back Falls on the Rideau River, one of our favorite places in Ottawa, but it's been a while since we walked around the park there.
With all the rain we've had the last few days, they were letting a lot of water through the dam at the head of the falls so they were even more spectacular than normal.
For Sandra's account of the day, click here.
The Week In Review
Saturday, May 13, 2006 - Well, I see it's been a week since I updated the News page here. This is mainly because there was nothing too exciting to report. It was a fairly quiet week.
Probably the most exciting thing I did was to visit the annual Canadian Tulip Festival on Sunday, it being held here in Ottawa as always.
I got there early for the good early morning light and to beat the crowds. By 10:30am though there were so many people milling around they were getting in my way so I took that as my cue to leave. That evening John and Margie dropped by for a visit and dinner.
Then after a couple days of looking at all the computer monitors that are currently available, I bought an NEC 1740CX black 17" LCD display (pictured on the right) that will be used as a second monitor for my laptop and as a primary monitor for the PC. The NEC has dual inputs so it can be connected to both at the same time and then switched between them with a push of a button. I'd originally bought the 19" Samsung TV/Monitor for this, but it has ended up being used almost exclusively as a TV since it is too much of a pain to move onto the desk to be used as a monitor for the computers. That, and I was never able to get its color calibrated to match the laptop's display, but could calibrate the NEC. So now Sandra has her TV and I have my monitor.
Otherwise, it was chiropractor and doctor's appointments, a walk through the Arboretum, getting the dog's tag, sending in the forms to start collecting my Canadian retirement pension in October (this can done at age 60 up here but at a lower amount than at age 65), and checking out Star Choice satellite TV. An attachment to our internet satellite dish is now available for this TV service and we are considering it. The monthly rate for their basic package is quite reasonable and it would solve the problem we find in most northern campgrounds in that very few of them offer cable TV, whereas this is commonly available in southern and western campgrounds.
As I write this (just before sunrise) it is raining, having rained all night and all day yesterday, and forecasted to rain all weekend since a low pressure storm system is stalled out directly over us. The rain and dense clouds are making the satellite access very erratic. Reminds me of being back in Pacific Northwest.
For Sandra's more detailed accounts of the week, click here.
Now Back In Ottawa
Saturday, May 6, 2006 - It's just three days shy of being eight months since we left the Ottawa area last September 9th and this morning we returned, having packed up in rain, left Kingston in rain, drove nearly the entire 108 miles (175 km) in rain, and fortunately arrived in Ottawa just as it quit, exactly two hours after starting out. Other than the rain, the departure and drive were happily uneventful.
We are again in the Rideau Heights Campsite, the 90th camp of the Photo Odyssey and the 3rd time we've stayed in this particular campground.
Unfortunately, the campground manager was away when we arrived so we had to back into the site by ourselves. This is really no longer a big deal, but he is so good at giving directions I had been looking forward to his assistance. It took a half hour to get situated on the site and onto the leveling blocks and I'm sure with his help it would have taken less than half that amount of time.
But we're here, camp set up, satellite accessed, and already met our neighbors on one side. They are a very nice couple, full-timers like ourselves, and seem keenly interested in our satellite internet system.
Now to get this posted and relax a bit.
Doings Around Kingston & Beyond
Thursday, May 4, 2006 - Well, I haven't reported much this week, mainly because I was going through a general letdown from the winter tour being over (although I sorely needed the break from constant traveling), but I've been slowly coming out of it.
I even went downtown last night and took some twilight photos and was out again at dawn this morning taking sunrise photos because we had the first misty morning in so long I can't remember the last one. These were something we didn't have in the desert. So, life goes on.
Monday, we made the two hour drive up to Ottawa to visit the chiropractor, see the DeJongs, get our mail, and line up campsites for May and June that have a view of our internet satellite. It's a good thing we did this because of the two campgrounds closest to where we need to be, the first had only one site and the second had only three sites that had a clear view of the south. I love trees, but you can have too much of a good thing.
Tuesday was a day off to get some rest and then yesterday was Bib's appointment with the dog groomer he likes in Gananoque, so we took advantage of this and drove on over to see Sandra's Aunt Ruth, who is one of the most avid followers of our travels.
Today is some more rest and processing a few of the recent photos I took and tomorrow is start packing up for the move to Ottawa on Saturday, which is likely to be in the rain.
For more details of the week, check out Sandra's Nightly News page by clicking here.
For Older News
To read details of our previous stops and camps, visit the News Archives.
Updated Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Copyright © 2006 by Gordon L Wolford .
All rights reserved.