Tuesday, December 27, 2016

It Lingers

Over two weeks have gone by and yet the snow still lingers!

Pretty yes, but we don't need more snow!

With a few warmer days the previous accumulation was finally melting from the roads and sidewalks. Walking and driving conditions were improving. But Boxing Day brought a fresh dump of snow that we really did not need.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sun on Snow

We're experiencing some beautiful sunshine here in Chilliwack but the temperatures remain below freezing and the excessive snow is going nowhere.

 Townsend Park sees a lot of dog walkers, even in this weather. Unfortunately, yet understandably, getting a walking path cleared is not a priority for the equipment crews.

This is definitely a situation where I am thankful for all those who have blazed a trail before me! As long as one sticks to the beaten path the going isn't too bad. Step off that trail though and you're over your knees.

I don't normally let Kona off leash but with no walkers or dogs in sight I let her run free for a few minutes. She had an absolute blast! She is such an obedient, well trained dog that whenever I called her she came charging back and stayed at my side until released again with an "okay". 

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Lego Animation Book

My nine year old granddaughter, Kaylen, has been enjoying LEGO bricks for years now. She doesn't really "play" with them. She's more into the building aspect. In the last year or so both she and her younger sister, Kenzie, have also started to use iPhone and iPad to do some story line type photography using dolls in dioramas. 

When No Starch Press contacted me asking if I would be interested in doing a review of a new LEGO animation book I jumped at the chance. This sounded like something that would interest my granddaughters and I could pass the book on to them!

After spending an evening looking through the book from cover to cover Kaylen gave the publication a thumbs up. She reported that it had lots of interesting things she would like to try and she was even able to describe some of the less involved techniques in her own words, which indicates to me that she understood what she had read.

Kaylen did mention being a little disappointed that the book did not give her a step by step walk through with all the photo-steps necessary for a complete beginning to end story, but we had a chat about that. She agreed that part of the fun was telling your own story, not just recreating someone else's idea.

My opinion of the book? I think it might be of more value for a teenager or adult interested in using LEGO bricks to practice stop animation photography. The text is necessarily involved but it's very wordiness tends to cause a child of Kaylen's age to glaze over. I think she was mostly interested in the pictures and only read the instructions for the more basic concepts or those she found particularly intriguing. 

I provide the occasional book review solely for the interest of my readers. The links I provide are for your convenience only and I receive no compensation other than a free copy of the book I am reviewing.  I am under no obligation to publish only "good" reviews and I report as I see fit. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

That's Enough!

Christmastime and snow seem to be a natural go together, but enough already!

It's just not safe to walk a dog along the road mess that has been pushed onto the sidewalks so I took Kona to a nearby park only to find that the walking was pretty tough there too.

Kona is no dummy though. She walked along the edge, almost under the shrubs, where the snow wasn't so deep -- and left me to slog through the more difficult depths.

My trailKona's trail

I paid her back by taking her picture. She hates cameras and refuses to look at them. (Sorry about the up-the-nose shot Kona.)

I haven't seen icicles forming on a building for years.

These ones, on a building in the park, were particularly long and beautiful.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Pretty Piccolo

While I was out and about today running pre-Christmas errands a wonderful new treasure arrived.

I put the money I earned from sales of Saori woven items toward an additional Saori loom. This is a smaller "Piccolo" loom that can be adjusted to allow children as young as three years old to weave, even operating the treadles themselves. I bought it so that my granddaughters, aged seven and nine years, can weave along side me when they visit. They are tall enough that I think they will be able to use it at the regular height. I also purchased an "inside set" so that the warps can be swapped out between their visits and each girl can weave on their own warp without having to share. 

Between their visits I can fold the loom up very small so it's out of my way. I can also use the loom occasionally for demonstrations and weaving at alternate locations. I'm hoping I'll be able to convince my Christmas guests to give the loom a try too. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Bitter Wind Chill

We are experiencing a break from the gloomy dark days and torrential rain. Unfortunately that still doesn't mean that this morning's dog walk was pleasant.

It's terribly cold and windy! It was -9 degrees Celsius with a windchill factor of -15 when I took Kona for her morning walk. (That's 15 degrees and 5 degrees Fahrenheit, for my American readers).

Chilly winds

Puddles are very common here in Chilliwack's "Coastal Rain-forest" climate. Seeing them frozen? Not so much. 

I think someone should invent indoor toilet facilities for dogs.