I taste success! It is sweet and yummy!

Poplar Plains Road at Cottingham.

WAAAAAHOOOOO! I biked Poplar Plains Road!

I am good. Really good. I’m a gooey sweet cavity filled kind of good. Oh yes I am!

After two seasons of walking my bicycle up Poplar Plains Road, this past week I finally rode my bike up that evil evil hill.

Yes!

And I rode up that hill on Saturday. I rode up that hill on Sunday. And on Monday, I rode up that hill. Feels good! Feels really gooood!

Take that, PPR! Your asphalt is mine!

In other bike news…

I had to raise my bike seat. My knees were making crunchy potato chip sounds after a recent ride. Obviously I squashed my seat post down and now my knees hate me. Today during my pre-weekend maintenance (I know, I know, I should do the maintenance AFTER EACH ride) I removed my seatpost, snugged up the saddle bolt, greased the post, and set it back to my usual height. Easy peasy. All the tools I needed were a #5 allen key and a 15mm cone wrench, and a wee bit of bike grease.

I have no new bike gadgets to report, but I must sing the praises of my pedals. They are great! The original ones were awful: made out of plastic, with a bit of rubber for grip. Utter garbage. I spent $15 on nice metal platform pedals with sharp grippy pokey things on one side of the pedals, and it’s smooth on the other side. I like the sharp side best. They go well with my skateboard shoes, and I’m not terrified when I coast down Russell Hill Road from St. Clair to Davenport.

My next challenge: a quicker route downtown. I ride down Duplex to Chaplain Crescent, through the park, then take Lascelles to Lawton, take a right at Oriole Gardens, a left on Bryce and then a right on Heath all the way to Russell Hill Road.

I WANT to take Duplex to Chaplain Crescent, through the park, then turn right on Kilbarry, and continue on Kilbarry to Russell Hill. I think it’ll carve nearly 5 minutes off my commute. This said, Kilbarry might as well be called KilLaura considering the relentless uphill ride and then a sharp rise as I go past Upper Canada College. Sigh, I’m going to ride it tomorrow. It will hurt.

New Fish-eye Lomo Pics on Flickr!

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I picked up my fish-eye pictures from Black’s this afternoon.

Ten of the pictures I like so I’ve uploaded those to Flickr (see Flickr button to your right), the others will be banished to photo purgatory never to be seen again.

The fish-eye takes great landscape style pictures and great close-ups. Middling views don’t cut it. It’s either right up close in your lens or vast vistas. I will enjoy the practising!

Let me know if you like the photos.

Poking: When and Frequency

A Facebook interview with myself discussing Pokes and How I treat them. (My responses are in italics)

How often are you poked on Facebook? Hourly? Daily? Only after poking someone else? Constantly?

It depends. I have friends who always poke me. I am a lazy so and so, and that means I poke back when I feel like it. It’s very bad of me, but I have to admit, some days I see pokes as a subtle nagging. Like “Hey, it’s me! It’s me again! Hey!”. On my needy days, I do a lot more poking. Let’s face it. I’m selfish. I accept, and I go on.

How often do you poke? Hourly? Daily? Are you the poke initiator, or do you need to be poked first?

I have initiated pokes. Especially if I’ve been a delinquent poker and neglected poking back my friends. Now and then I’ll let loose a barrage of pokes to let people now I am here, so celebrate my presence already!

How long can you sit there looking at your aquarium before returning a poke? Can you engage in other Facebook activites and with a clear conscious remained poked and not be the poker?

My aquarium now has a shark, a crab, and an octopus, and it keeps me mesmerized for quite awhile. They don’t interact much, which is a pity considering their different methods of killing, but I can only hope for a future application upgrade. One that allows different fish species to fight to the death! I’d totally download that application.

If I’m busy writing a note, commenting on pictures, or filling my aquarium with deadly creatures, I have to hold off the poking until I’ve completed my task. Then, I poke. Basically, if I’m logged into Facebook then I poke everyone back. And throw in a few more pokes to prevent any hard feelings.

Am I spending too much time thinking about this when I could be doing other things, like reorganizing the front closet? Or uploading pictures to Flickr? Maybe reading a book, or learning about opera?

Considering how long it takes to upload to Flickr…

Like with any social niceties, knowing the rules and conventions are my best offense. I like to keep things civil so I can prevent any nasty confrontations as well as avoid any low-browed revenge tactics that could be thrown my way by anyone offended by my lax poking.

As far as hobbies go, I have too many of them. I have a stack of unread books, several unheard mp3s, magazines that have only been browsed, and Flickr absorbs plenty of time (uploading, uploading, forever uploading…) as I need to constantly take pictures so I can watch them upload.

And I’m not interested in opera. There, I said it. Feels good, very freeing.

What’s next on your Facebook agenda?

I‘m saving up for another octopus. Probably on Friday I can get another one, then I can sit and wait for them to interact. They’ll either fight to the death or mate. I’m leaning towards to the fight! With any luck the shark will get involved. It’ll be pure bloodshed.

Good luck with that.

Today…

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… was overcast and rainy, then sunny with big, lofty cloud patches. I took this picture while SBC and I waited for the Avenue Road bus after grocery shopping.

I’m enjoying my new lomography cameras — and trying to resist snapping a bunch of pictures so I can get the film developed.

When I bought the film yesterday I noticed a Gorillapod for my point-and-shoot digital camera. It has bendy twisty legs that can wrap themselves around fences, posts, bicycle handlebars, while holding the camera in place. I’m trying that one out very soon.

I added the pic above to my flickr stream. I joined a new group called Your Life on 20/07/2007. Basically you upload any pictures you take on July 20 to share a part of your life, your day, and your story. Looks interesting, and I’ll have my cameras at the ready on July 20.

Oh yeah, SBC and I also went to the dentist. We both had a clean bill of health – no cavities, and received some new toothbrushes and mint flavoured floss.

It’s all good!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I am not only a year older, I am also the proud owner of TWO lomography cameras!

Yep, birthday presents are great.

Wish it happened everyday. Especially if cake is involved. (Actually, anything involving cake is delightful.)

My Sweet Baby Cat (hereby to be known simply as SBC) bought me a Fisheye Camera and an Oktomat Camera by the Lomographic Society International. And I cannot wait to pop a film cartridge into each one and be let loose in the streets of Toronto.

But first, a description of each camera….

1) Fisheye camera.

The fisheye camera has a wide wide wide lens – 170 degrees of vision. I’ll set the camera really close to my subject (cats, flowers, cats, interesting architecture, cats, bugs, cats, expressive faces, cats, etc. cats), press the button and bammo! Well, after I finish the roll of film and have it developed, bammo! A picture that looks like the image is bulging out at you from the centre while receding back at the sides. It’s like looking out from a fishbowl.

2) Oktomat camera.

This takes eight pictures in 2 seconds. Great for action shots. Say, your best friend is terrified of bees. A bee shows up and your friend starts to spin and jerk away from the vicious bee. Meanwhile you point the camera in her direction and press the shutter button. After you’ve recovered from the series of sharp punches in the arm, and have taken other equally amusing and awesome action shots, the kind developer hands you the envelope filled with treasures. The first shot will of your friend dancing, hopping, and spinning defensively away from the bee in eight mini poses on one picture. Cool!

Yes, my friends, the SBC has done an admirable job at choosing my birthday presents this year. I think he deserves at least two big kisses.

Now, where’s my cake!