Friday, 30 August 2013

Photo Blogging Challenge - August

Well it's the end of the month and time to participate in P.J.'s monthly photo challenge. The prompt for August is "summer".  For the most part we've had a gorgeous summer, here, in south-western Quebec. As a result we spent lots of time out on the deck and in the pool.

In August we travelled to Kelowna, British Columbia where we visited with Mrs. Dufus's mother, brother and nephew. Kelowna is a beautiful spot known primarily for it's tourism, vineyards and golf. We had a great time enjoying BBQs, my brother-in-law's pool, several games of golf, boating and visiting a couple of wineries. Here are some Kelowna summer pics...

A view of Lake Okanagan and the mountains beyond from my brother-in-law's side yard.

The 5th tee at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club

The 10th tee at the KGCC

My nephew getting a good view from his dad's boat on Lake Okanagan

The vineyard at Mission Hill Winery

And that wraps up this challenge. Visit P.J.'s link at the top of this post to see how others are spending their summer.


And note this. Sunday we start the 4th in a series of 30 Days of Photos hosted by Ziva Moon and MikeWJ, the gruesome twosome. Wait till you see the prompts for this little exercise. I have and yet I still agreed to participate. Fun? Barely. My small comfort is there'll be other bloggers to share in the pain of this 30 day challenge.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

I Think I'm a Masochist

"You've got to be kidding? Not again?"

"Yep," said Zippity Doo-Dah Ziva and Denver Dude MikeWJ, "again...and if you don't participate we'll tell everyone about the time you..."

"I'm in, I'm in," I blurted. "Just as long as you don't tell people about the time I..."

But then you'll never know. Unless I talk in my sleep. But even then you'd have to sleep with me to find out. Hey wait a minute...

Although it could get a little crowded under the covers. Unless, of course, Ziva brought her whip for crowd control purposes.

Again? Yes, again. Not the whip. The camera. Ziva and Mike have launched 30 Days of Photos IV on an unsuspecting group of bloggers. You remember III last October? And II last April? Well, now it's time for IV, starting September 1. Don't ask about I. That's part of what you'll never know. Nope. Not from me.

Why do I do things like this? I think I enjoy self-inflcted pain. If Ziva loaned me her whip, I'd be in heaven. It'd sure beat that wet noodle I've been using. But that's a whole other story for another time.

But IV is the most challenging 30 Days of Photos yet. See for yourself. Here are the delightful prompts Denver Dude and Doo-Dah dreamed up...

1 - ice cream
2 - illuminate
3 - soft
4 - backwards
5 - mushroom
6 - 2 birds, 1 stone
7 - seven
8 - texture
9 - disguise
10 - close-up
11 - girly
12 - tremor
13 - wrong
14 - nsfw
15 - China
16 - biblical
17 - my junk
18 - always
19 - never
20 - transparent
21 - anatomy
22 - frustration
23 - Tolstoy
24 - carnival
25 - poison
26 - rising
27 - nsew
28 - lover
29 - circle
30 - happily ever after

So be sure and come back here September 1st as I dust off my iPhone camera and kick off my participation in the latest 30 Days of Photos challenge. See if I can find a photo to match each day's prompt. I have one photo taken so far. Good start, eh?

You know, normally I'd look at a list like this and say "Who the hell came up with this shit?" But I know who came up with this shit.


Denver Dude

And I know why they're smiling.

And I know where they live.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Did His Mother Tell Him "Don't Flay With Your Food"?

As I sat down to lunch yesterday I flipped on the TV to watch while I sipped on the pea soup I had prepared. I landed on the Food Network and saw that Chopped, one of my favourite shows, was set to start in about 25 minutes.

So, innately lazy that I am, I left it on the Food Network, as I couldn't work up the energy to change the channel. and started on my soup. Well, fill my pants  with hot coals, I'm now an expert in barbecuing salmon, making a sausage and veggie salad and turning the salmon into a pizza.

Oh, yeah.

The show was called Bobby Flay's Barbecuing Addiction and for half an hour I sat entranced, letting my soup go cold.

Flay is a celebrity chef and author, notable for his stint on the show Iron Chef and his numerous self-hosted shows on the Food Network.

This guy - by the way Bobby Filet would have been a better name for a chef, don't you think? - prepared and smoked the salmon, barbecued lamb sausages and prepared his own flour for a pizza crust and then barbecued that, too. Well, of course. After all, from the title of his show we know he's addicted.

This stuff looked good enough to eat, believe me. And I mournfully gazed from the TV to my quickly chilling pea soup which about now might pass as vichyssoise - a very bad vichyssoise - before me.

Chef Filet taped his show in what appeared to be his backyard. He had a collection of various BBQs and smokers - and he utilized them all.

You know, after all was said and done I wasn't sure how that pizza dough would turn out but Mr. Filet managed to rise to the occasion.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

What Tom Thomson and I Have In Common

Tom Thomson was one of Canada's most famous artists. Associated with the Group of Seven, he actually died before the group was formed. Nevertheless he, and his work, significantly affected art in this country.

One of his most famous paintings was The Jack Pine, found at the top of this post. Well not literally. It was actually found near Grand Lake in Algonquin Park, Ontario. Thomson died in 1917 at the age of 39, drowning in Canoe Lake in his beloved Algonquin Park. The park served as an inspiration for many of his works.

Now, I hear you asking, "What in heaven's name could Dufus possibly have in common with Tom Thomson?" After all, I'm not particularly artistic. Sure I enjoy art and music but from a distance...on the receiving end, as it were. And I've survived well past 39. So far so good. And, while I could never participate in a 200m butterfly, I like to think my attempts at the dog-paddle would help keep my head above water if I fell out of a canoe. But then what the hell would I be doing in a canoe in Algonquin Park in the first place?

What do we have in common? Well now it can be told. The inspiration for The Jack Pine wasn't found in Algonquin Park. No. It was found in my side yard. It's true! See for yourself.

C'mon. Use your imagination. I can see it if I squint a little. Thomson's work has often been referred to as post-impressionism. I don't know about you but I'm pretty impressed!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Bibliofile - July

You know when asked on Goodreads at the start of the year just how many books I intending reading this year, I modestly (modest - that's me) indicated 30. As July came to a close I hit the 69 book mark (a bit of a pun there) with an additional 10 volumes in the seventh month of the year.

I actually thought I'd fall off this month, what with the warm weather, the opportunity to golf and the fact that Mrs D started her holidays at mid-month and we spent a lot of time together. But no, I seemed to zip through these books like a house on fire.

Among my reading highlights last month was The Wrecking Crew by Kent Hartman who offers a look at rock and roll recording secrets in Los Angeles in the 60s and 70s. The "wrecking crew" refers to a group of accomplished session musicians that included folks like Glen Campbell and Leon Russell. These guys were called in to lay down music tracks for groups like the Beach Boys, the Association, Union Gap and so on while the group members themselves continued touring, laying down the vocal tracks when time permitted. Turns out many groups through these two decades, if they recorded in LA, went through this practice. A fascinating book.

On the fiction side, I undertook several novels that have just recently come out and pretty much found all of them interesting and enjoyable. Among them I really, really enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Kings and Queens of Roam (by the guy who wrote Big Fish) and The Quarry. The latter was written from the view of an 18 year-old who's father is dying of cancer and his former university friends gather at his place on a weekend. It's kind of like The Big Chill.

And of course, I couldn't let the month go by without a book by my newest favourite story teller, R.J. Ellory, or a couple of "hard-boiled" detective novels. On the latter I read the first book by Henning Menkell and of course, to keep up with my blogging, book-reading buddy, Brian G. Robinson, (you know, Edward G.'s son?) I read Lee Child's 5th Jack Reacher novel. I'm trying to keep ahead of Bryan on this series but boy he's a fast reader.

So here's what I read in July...

- The Wrecking Crew - Kent Hartman
- TransAtlantic - Colum McCann
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
- Shell Shocked: My Life With  the Turtles, Flo and Eddie, etc. - Howard Kaylan
- The Kings and Queens of Roam - Daniel Wallace
- The Other Typist - Suzanne Rindell
- Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell
- A Quiet Belief In Angels - R.J. Ellory
- The Quarry - Iain Banks
- Echo Burning - Lee Child

How about you? What have you been reading lately? I'm looking for recommendations.
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