Canadian in Candia

August 31, 2009

Polaroid Modifications for Digital images

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 11:51 am

Digital images essentially reduced the importance of Polaroid pictures in our society. But people still have nostalgia for them in scrapbooking purposes. So frames and actions are available in Photoshop to give your images that polaroid look.

I found a new free internet photo service that lets you create polaroids using various effects sans photoshop. It’s called Rollip.

To demonstrate lets use the picture I love of Cooper the second day he lived with us. I can’t believe how much he’s grown, it’s almost like having a different dog now.
Cooper at the Beach

Rollip’s site currently has 6 small polaroid options, 6 full size options, and 12 frame options for the small polaroid. The frame options allow you to leave the font section blank. I’m applied the modifications and frames to the images with 1 to 6 being top to bottom in the modifications options and 1 to 6 being left to right, down one row, left to right on the first page of  frame options.

Rollip Polaroid Modification #1
Small Polaroid #1, Frame #1

Rollip Polaroid Effect #2
Small Polaroid #2, Frame #2

Rollip Polaroid Effect #3
Small Polaroid #3, Frame #3

Rollip Polaroid Effect #4
Small Polaroid #4, Frame #4

Rollip Polaroid Effect #5
Small Polaroid #5, Frame #5

Rollip Polaroid Effect #6
Small Polaroid #6, Frame #6

Rollip Polaroid Effect Full Size #6
Full Size #6

For some reason, frame 2 and 6 don’t seem to accommodate numbers. There is actually a second page of 6 small polaroid frames that I missed the first time I went through them. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them if you like Polaroid style pictures.

Picnik also offers a free polaroid frame if accessed through their site instead of through Flickr. It’s advantage is that you can rotate the polaroid framed photo.
Picnik Polaroid

You can also combine the Polaroid effect with the other free effects and text tools offered on the Picnik site. The one below uses the 1960s effect with one of the free fonts.
Cooper Polaroid with 1960s effect

Which do you like the most?

I never had a Polaroid camera so I can’t comment on how authentic it looks. I sort of like all of them except for modifications #4 which I feel is much too washed out.

Let me know if you try a web-based polaroid creator.


August 27, 2009

Doggy Daycare

Filed under: Dogs — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 10:39 pm

With Adam’s foot injury, Cooper hasn’t been getting his normal daily mileage in.  So I decided to take him to our local doggy daycare for the day.  I know they have a good reputation, and we already go there for training so I didn’t even check out the facility. I just dropped him off and let him be a fool for 9 hours.

When I picked him up he was being a crazy joyous mutt. I’m told that dogs normally pass out on the ride back home. Well our ride back home was only 1/2 mile. So he ran around his yard for a bit afterward.

And then glorious fatigue set in.

Beautiful magnificent fatigue.

And I took full advantage to get some pictures of us together.

He’s getting so big so fast.

Cooper does need a haircut, but at least I don’t give him insane haircuts. Example, the people who cut and dye their dog’s hair to look like camels, pandas and butterflies. I can’t imagine those dogs getting to enjoy chasing a ball through a muddy field. Oh the joy they express when they get to do that.

August 26, 2009

Down by the Ponds

Filed under: Dogs — Tags: , — Miriam @ 11:44 pm

One of my aunts has two pretty little ponds in her backyard. Going on a tangent my town has 7 mosquito pools that have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephelitis so I don’t know if I would want to have a pond in my backyard.

Back on topic, I was outside taking pictures of the details of the ponds and surrounding gardens.  Little details like this:
IMGP3600And  this reflection:
And this vase fountain:

Well my pup isn’t one to be ignored. So as I was taking pictures of the fountain, he popped up

He’s such a ham. He even let me do a portrait of him before running over to me and demanding love.
I love my poodle 🙂

August 25, 2009

Urgent Care

Filed under: Life — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 10:05 pm

My husband is an outdoors person. He does ultramarathons, he climbs big cliffs, he does crazy hikes. His body is an important part of his life. He needs his legs in top shape to be happy.

So when he called me to tell me he had rolled his ankle while running. I knew he was concerned. From his description and previous injuries I had incurred I was concerned that he had broken a bone in his foot so I talked him into going to the urgent care clinic.

Adam's ankle

Most of the afternoon later, he’s only got a serious strain. He’ll be off his feet for at least a week. Which will be torture for him. He’s already registered for the Vermont 50 miler. I don’t think he’s had an injury this problematic since he was a kid. Compared to my multiple sprains, breaks and other injuries in college.

Adam's ankle

What’s the worst injury you’ve suffered while training for a sport? Did it throw a wrench in race plans?

August 24, 2009

Immigration Woes

Filed under: 101 in 1001, Life — Tags: , — Miriam @ 11:03 pm

I love my country. I love both my countries. I love being able to travel so freely between Canada and the United States. I hate the cost of immigration.

This weekend consisted of visiting my mother and my grandfather in Quebec. I brought Cooper (thus fulfilling one of the requirements of my 101 in 1001). It was a very pleasant trip. It was so satisfactory to make two people I love happy by visiting them.

As I planned to leave to head back home, I wasn’t able to find my Green Card. The piece of information required to prove that my legal status is a Permanent Resident (although Conditional) of the United States. I tore apart my car, I dug throughout the house, I could not find it. I hadn’t been anywhere where I could have lost it.

My only theory is that the Canadian Border official forgot to return my card upon my entry. I stopped at the Canadian border on my way home to see if they had found it. Of course they didn’t have it. But if you had made a mistake that serious would you seriously admit it to your superior?

So I had pay to have my Green Card replaced at the US border. It cost $370. My jaw nearly dropped to the floor.

I’ve had to pay several thousand dollars in filing fees since I have started this immigration journey. I have a very simple case. I met my husband while I was here on a student visa. I worked on a TN Visa for 2 years so I could live with him before committing to him. We own property and liabilities together. But they can’t discriminate by difficulty.

And now this lost Green Card has made me realize the amount of extra money I could spend if I stay on a Green Card for the rest of our lives in the United States. Every time I lose or have to renew a card, I have to pay money. We never know when the government will change it’s rules about permanent residents.

I’ve pretty much made up my mind to apply for American Citizenship when I become eligible. It’s a point of contention for me. I’m 5 generations of born in Canada. I will always want my Canadian Citizenship. You never know when I will want to return to the country of my birth. But I cannot deal with the stress of additional paperwork and restrictions for the rest of my life.

And applying for Citizenship isn’t cheap either.

Oh the things I do to stay with my husband. I can’t imagine people who have more complicated cases problems with the immigration services.

Ok, rant over 🙂

August 21, 2009

The Eaglet

Filed under: New Hampshire, Photography — Tags: , — Miriam @ 8:00 pm

The Eaglet is a prominent free standing spire in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. It is regularly climbed and is one of the features pointed out on the trailside signs.
The Eaglet

Being the photography nut that I am I decided to play with depth of field a little bit. I put the flowers out of focus in front of the Eaglet.
The Eaglet

And with the flowers in focus with the Eaglet blurred.
The Eaglet

I wish I had taken this picture with larger more prominent flowers. I think I’ll head back up there next June to see if I can get the same picture with Lupine in the way.

Franconia Notch Recreational Trail

Filed under: New Hampshire — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 7:00 am

The Franconia Notch Recreational Trail is not called a Bike Path. It is essentially the bike path for the notch because the only other road through it is federal interstate I-93, but it is not a regulation bike path. Cyclists must ride on relatively fast grades, sharing the path with pedestrians, dogs and other cyclists.   This website talks extensively about the “Franconia Notch Fiasco” if you want to read more about another person’s views of the negative aspects of the path.

Either way these are things I heard about the path before heading to the White Mountains to ride it on Saturday.
Franconia Notch

We parked at the Cannon Tram parking area. That was probably the wrong way to go, the path travels slightly uphill most of the way to Cannon and the way towards the Flume was easy coasting, but the way back up was more work.

Franconia NotchI’m not an incredibly experienced cyclist. I’ve raced triathlons and I’ve riden my bike all over Boston and St. Catharines, but by no means do I feel comfortable with turns at high speeds. I enjoyed the views and the exercise, but I felt very uncomfortable with parts of the trail. The trail is windy and you can gather a great deal of speed on the downhills. I would absolutely recommend a helmet (which you should be wearing anyways) and I wouldn’t recommend the trail for bike groups with young children.

Franconia Notch

The trail is quite popular and hits most of the major carside attractions in Franconia Notch State Park (the one thing I noticed missing was the Bose Rock/Cannon Cliff Viewing area). From South to North, the Flume Visitor Center parking area is a good departure point and the start of the official recreational path. There’s bike racks outside the visitors center if you want to pay to do the Flume nature walk (which I have never done).
Franconia Notch

The first major area of interest is the Basin. The Basin is essentially a large pothole waterfall. With several other cascade falls. It’s a popular area. But worth the stop. The bike path has occasional benches and picnic benches on the side for those who want to take breaks.
Franconia Notch
Franconia Notch
Franconia Notch

The next major area North is Lafayette Place. There’s great views of Mount Lafayette (I posted a picture of the view here too) and Lincoln. We stopped at the camp store for a popcicle.

Franconia Notch

The trail passes the side trail to the ex-“Old Man of the Mountain” site. I’m sure it used to be a huge tourist attraction. This is also one of the areas in which you are supposed to walk your bike.

Franconia Notch

Continuing on our path North is the base of Cannon Mountain Ski Area and the parking lot for the Cannon Tram. There’s bike racks here too if you want to do a trip up the mountain.

Franconia Notch

The next stretch of path goes along Echo Lake. There are great views of Echo and Profile Crag, popular climbing areas (I’ve climbed at Echo). We actually saw people climbing as we passed through. Echo lake also has a very popular beach and views of a third climbing area called Artist Bluff.
Franconia Notch

The website mentioned earlier warns about the next section, it consists of a steep downgrade with a sharp turn. I didn’t like this part.  I may have freaked myself out a little bit though.

Past the steep section is a beautiful wide bridge that looks like it was once part of a road. This section is the safest part of the bike path in my opinion. It’s wide, relatively flat and the trees are cut back from the edges.

Franconia Notch
The trail ends at the Skoocumchuck Trailhead. One of the trails to the top of Lafayette. We actually passed some guys walking on the path that were most likely using the recreational trail to make a loop out of Lafayette.
Franconia Notch

The bike path is 9 miles end to end. I found the 18 mile round trip to be a great way to spend a lovely afternoon. But like I said, young kids would have to be extensively supervised.

Franconia Notch

On an aside, please if you are walking on what is essentially a bike path with young children. Please don’t give the evil eye to cyclists who warn you they are approaching, great you with a smile and slow down to a crawl. There are plenty of walking paths in Franconia Notch, and only one path for bicycles. We just want everyone to be happy and safe.

August 20, 2009

Cannon Cliff

Filed under: Climbing, New Hampshire — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 12:03 am

Cannon CliffI’ve been driving to Canada a lot this summer. I used to do a lot of hiking in the White Mountains. When I see Cannon Mountain I know I’m well on my way to my destination. It’s always beautiful scenery. But when my husband sees Cannon all he sees is the cliff.

Cannon CliffFull size here.

When my husband sees Cannon Cliff he thinks of Climbing. He’s actually climbed Cannon twice this year. He did a route called Whitney-Gilman Ridge on the South side of the cliff a few weeks ago. When it was first climbed in 1929 it was considered one of the hardest climbs in the United States.

Last week he climbed Moby Grape. A route that goes over the tallest part of the cliff.

cannon routes outlinedFull size here.


Whitney-Gilman Route on CannonThis is the Whitney Gilman Ridge. It’s a ridge that sticks out a little from the cliff. Behind the ridge is a well known mixed climb (a combination of rock climbing and ice climbing) known as the Black Dike.

Moby Grape

Moby Grape StartThis is the bottom of Moby Grape. Do you notice anything in particular?

Moby Grape Start - upcloseYep, there’s a group of climbers that can barely be seen.

Here’s an upper section of the climb.

Moby Grape

These are the climbers I was able to pick out of the picture.
Moby Grape - Closeup 1
Moby Grape - upclose 2
Moby Grape - upclose 3

To give you a numeric idea of how tall this cliff is, it’s 1000 feet tall in places.

Top of Moby Grape

And these people are all climbing it in a single day.

Top of Moby Grape - upclose
Top of Moby Grape - upclose 2
Top of Moby Grape - upclose 3

This occasionally is where my husband can be found.


I get a little worried sometimes.  Especially when I look at the talus field under the cliff and when I think of how big the rocks that came down when the Old Man of the Mountain.
IMGP3108 - upcloseBut he loves to climb, and he’s good at it. So I don’t mind that he’s one of those tiny specks crawling up the giant cliff.

And if you are driving through Franconia Notch State Park on a day with nice weather, bring a pair of binoculars. You might get to see some people practicing their passion.

August 19, 2009

Here he makes Men

Filed under: history buff, New Hampshire — Tags: , — Miriam @ 8:39 am

People from New Hampshire seem to come in two types. Those who adore their state with a passion and even suggesting a move to a different state draws insults to that other state. And those who can’t stand New Hampshire and move either South or to a real city as soon as they can afford to escape.

My husband is clearly of the first type. The type that is insanely proud of the Live Free or Die motto. Well last weekend, when we were visiting the site of the late “old man of the mountain”, I found a sign that would make that type of New Hampshirite happy.

Ex-Old Man of the Mountain Site“Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades: Shoemakers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch; and a dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the mountains of New Hampshire God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there he makes men.”

Unless you consider that the Old Man is no longer there. I’m not sure what that would mean to the quote. Can you see the wires hanging in the air that used to hold up the rocks?

Ex-Old Man of the Mountain Site

Adam’s been up there, he says the cables are huge and he really can understand how much effort it was to keep the Old Man in place the last few years.

Ex-Old Man of the Mountain Site

August 18, 2009

Obedience Doggy

Filed under: Dogs — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 10:10 pm

Cooper 5 monthsCooper and I have started him on the path to higher puppy education. We started the Basic Manners Class I at Pet-Agree in Candia tonight.  We’ve been doing basic obedience exercises with Cooper since he was 8 weeks old because I strongly believe that a trained dog is a happy dog.

But we were having problems with obedience with distractions such as other dogs, people and horses.

And I plan on doing competitive obedience with Cooper.  At least to the Companion Dog level. So we had to start somewhere.

So far I’ve been impressed with the class and the instructors. I’m glad to be back in a classroom of any kind.

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