Splashes of Shape In a Light Winter Snow at Christmas

To make improvements in my photography I am participating in a free ten-day course from WordPress which is helping to get me a touch better at snapping pictures. I am a day late today but I want to go back to yesterday’s instructions which were to think of water and try two orientations with your photo, horizontal and vertical.

The vertical photo is better than the horizontal photo because it is like a piece of experimental photography. The little touch of color which are blurred Christmas lights give the photo the best element of visual appeal it possesses. The horizontal photo is blurry, which is normal across the board for cameras–sometimes a blurry photo is effective if you think of a blur being a selling point for what you might coin art photography (art).

In this case, mine is more butt art–more effective when I reached beyond my stride than when I tried something that would work for me. I’ll show you both photos.

Water Between Snowbanks
Water Between Snowbanks Vertically
© 2015 - Lucasfilm

Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens is Exciting and Gripping

Today is unlucky Friday the thirteenth, all the more so being October (the year is 2017).  A year ago I wrote a mistimed blog post about The Force Awakens (the blog post is little seen).

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word cloaked.  Naturally, I think to revive the blog post reviewing The Force Awakens, for better or for worse.

It was a good experience to sit down with Star Wars Episode VII for viewing and see what happened to Han Solo and Leia after all those years. On screen, they delivered a good show, and it is a fun and lengthy saga revisited in Star Wars Episode VII.

The film represents an astounding amount of excitement. Heralded as the new film in the series which helped make an absolute legion of fans when Star Wars Episode IV, V, and VI captured the imagination in the late nineteen seventies and early nineteen eighties.

© 2015 - Lucasfilm
John Boyega in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)

The story of terrifying villains cementing an iron grip on political power across a faraway galaxy was hugely successful and now in the year 2015, Star Wars Episode VII has returned to take up the story which seemed to have ended in the year 1983. Evil hasn’t finished raising its head and, fortunately for the film audience, an assembly of the good and just will do battle with the enemy and therefore try to take back power in the galaxy.

Actor Adam Driver is Kylo Ren, who wants to destroy MIA Luke Skywalker so that the Jedi of light will never return to restore balance to the galaxy. He is fearsome and helps carry the torch, of evil because he is the chief baddie who helps lead the galactic power that controls the galaxy. He helms several important missions personally, which is important that he is that kind of leader who is responsible for putting the personal touch on many important missions.

For example, personally pursuing BB-8 falls into the hands of Kylo Ren which is instrumental to gleaning nearly-lost information that BB-8, in the tradition of Star Wars Episode IV where R2-D2 carries information with the weakness of the Death Star. BB-8 is also important to helping his human allies get the necessary information to help them vanquish.  What’s so singular about this Star Wars film is that cast members from the original films are returning, with Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, along with others.

It is excellent seeing how they fare in a sequel many years after the events depicted in the first three films of the seventies and eighties. It is nearly irresistible that these characters reappear in film so many years after they resoundingly did the same in the original Star Wars saga.

Autumn Leaves, Favourite Memories, and Water Balloons

I have a nephew who this fall is beginning his university education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  I took classes at Queen’s University in 1996 and 1997.  We were reflecting this afternoon on Mack’s decision to move to Kingston for the university, me along with my parents, and with my brother’s wife, my nephew’s mother.


These days I have an occasional interest in photography and I take photos at the cemetery where I help tend the grounds.  You can find the website for our cemetery here.  It can be a quiet spectacle.  If I stand in the right spot, I can see the lay of the land, the stones jutting out of the ground beneath the colorful treetops.  When the Fall is here, though, we won’t have much time, because as the temperature drops we spend less and less time taking care of the outdoors, and we move inside the church on the property.


Louth United Church (disbanded 2006)
October 9, 2013

When I was a Queen’s University Freshman in the Fall of 1996, the students were told to represent their divisions, whether it was Arts & Science, where I was allotted, or Commerce, or Fine Arts, and so on.  One September day during Frosh Week the students were given balloons.  The balloons got to be filled with water, and soon we were in a game of water balloons, instructed to take on our rivals with a sneak attack, and threw water balloon after water balloon onto the other team.


While it wasn’t businesslike, it didn’t strike me as strange after the days of parading and getting to know the campus of the school.  What was a bit nonsensical, and I know I’m honestly a bit nonsensical myself, is that after the water balloon launch, my team were sat down in a lecture hall and admonished for doing such a lowly thing!  A girl, more experienced, took the podium and told us how far we’d sunk for interfering with the flow of the Frosh Week.  Novice though I was, I was astonished at the lesson we were being given.


My pride was injured.  I felt the sting of rebuke as I sat and heard the bad of what we had done.  As we took off after the lecture, most of us probably indifferent to the foolishness that had come down on us, I personally was a little more stiff with anger, and also on a path to greater rebelliousness.  It didn’t seem like irony to me that we had played this prank, and been caught.  It had been part of the fun, and it was wrongful.


I don’t reflect on this much, although I think now it was a lesson in doing the right thing and in showing respect.  Perhaps it wasn’t; I should have asked if the girl who handed down to us the words of shame was taking advantage of an opportunity, and what was behind her stern talk.  Nowadays, I snap photos and write and blog and participate in social media.  I’ve mostly forgotten about what happened with me and the other Arts & Science Frosh and the water balloons.


Maple Lawn Cemetery
October 9, 2013

The leaves at the cemetery change color, of course, and it is a passing joy to capture the image.  Even without a photographic record, it is a calming presence at the cemetery as the green disappears.  The days cool off slowly, and we take our time keeping the grounds in order.  Fall is a lovely season and a favorite time of year for me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Nominated to be queried for great young WordPress fun

WordPress thanked their bloggers for everything they did on the platform in 2016, I saw.  It was affirming, which is good if you enjoy ready validation.  I have to conduct myself with a degree of decorum which is necessary for all intents and purposes.  I don’t regret this at all.
Matthew matthew903.wordpress.com/2017/01/15 nominated me for a challenge, and while I am certainly late, I don’t mind posting something that is responsive.  It’s a growing experience, all the more because of what WordPress let us all know, and that is that they are inclusive.
l First, 2016 in 3 words… Disheartening.  Winding.  Dire.  Why do people like to characterize time with little descriptors like those?  They are a bit hard to think of.
l Second, who are the people who most moved us in the year behind (2016)?  I won’t name names, but I would offer up Ashtur-as, who is a bit imaginary and who accompanies me when I am out to count the steps I take.  I’ll think a little about Zop, too, which is a nickname for someone I hurt by mistake.
l Third, where have I seen beauty in 2016?  It’s typically the cemetery where I caretake the grounds.  I’m part of the operations for the spot, and that’s the reason I have to observe a level of respectability which I feel genuinely reflects who I am.
l Best food, ha, maybe my parent’s dinner dessert of chocolate cherry frozen yogurt.  I know I’m round.
l The event, fifth, that most affected my sense of consciousness about the world where I live (the one we’ve got) was Rogue One.  Everybody seems to have a lot to say about it.  I am preparing myself with reading material and the like before I even try to enter that universe mentally.
l The sixth avenue of inquiry, so to speak, is the finest purchase I made in 2016.  I’m not a materialist, I’m part of a not-for-profit.  I think this was the year I bought The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.  That was a good read that I took on a couple of times.


My three good intentions, as the questions go, are to keep up the blogging I’m doing and remaining aware of our website at http://www.maplelawncemetery.org and to aim for more tweeting, even after February 3.  I want to get to a local branch of the public library in 2017 and I want to eat a St. Patrick’s Day milkshake again this year.
You’re welcome to like, follow, and/or subscribe if you think this kind of business is solid.  It’s in good fun.

New Horizon: 2017 and the quest for skyward glory


This week’s WordPress photo challenge asked participants to explore New Year’s Resolutions.  With the change happening with the momentum of a mountain avalanche, it must be with sails set we investigate the future.  There’s never been better opportunities to get in the game.  Whatever our potential, it is the ponderous acumen to get in alongside our peers and our mentors, that we stake our individual claims in 2017.  However and whatever we understand it to be, the glory of a better tomorrow will take hold in our respective imaginings if we understand that we have our grip on what’s tremendous in the mindset of our personal crux.  We have everything to do and, for all intents and purposes, one year to do it in.
Star Wars reigns in this day and age, if you are of a heart that’s dear to the galactic battles originally envisioned by George Lucas.  Once more the call comes down to vanquish Darth Vader and the Empire.  If you have been enthralled by the science fiction opus all along, you will want to summon your reserves of imagination in order to once more seize the day with Star Wars Rogue One, giving wind to flights of fancy which will carry you into the year 2017.  The future looks brighter if you are of a mind to embrace the science fiction of Star Wars.  It’s never been a better time to do so.
The other force for good is social. Social and branding on social is triumphantly becoming ever the more expansive as we come to a better understand of ourselves as a people joined collectively by the best intelligence on social and by the propulsion of travelling impossible distances as we brand ourselves online.  It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that everything we represent in ourselves to our peers becomes as fantasy meets reality as content and social continue to evolve in 2017.
Times will always have their share of troubles and there will always be gaps in our freedoms.  Turning our attention to the Internet and also outer space means that we will avail ourselves of woe and of turbulence to come out the other side running.  Thanks to technology and to the creative spirit that beats in the heart of mankind we have this year, 2017, in which to make it a go.  If you think you see the spirit of what I’m decreeing, given that the WordPress photo challenge this week asks us to reflect, by all means, please “like” and/or “follow” and comment.  Thank you for reading, and Happy New Year.  Good luck in the year 2017.

Happy to see this week’s Photo Challenge

While participating in the WordPress poetry challenges, I thought to write a sonnet.

Look here:

__________________ whispering

__________________ mistake

__________________ branches

__________________ lake.

__________________ remember


__________________ silvery

__________________ remains

This is an exercise for a narrative poem, a sonnet, which while often a child’s exercise does herald fare with the sophistication of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, also available on the webpage I am suggesting:  http://www.creative-writing-now.com/poem-types.html

I provided a photo to add a degree of originality to my effort writing the sonnet, and today, thinking about the WordPress photo challenge this week, I recreated that same photo.


See findingenvirons1.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/neighborhood-ballad for the original photo along with a brief sonnet.