Daily Quote: January 14, 2021

Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame.
When you put four edges around some facts,
you change those facts.

~ Garry Winogrand (American – PhotographerJanuary 14, 1928 – March 19, 1984)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

Happy New Year to all my Orthodox friends.

I’m not certain if I agree with Garry Winogrand on this quote. I don’t think you change the facts, but you can change the perception of the story illustrated by the photo. So for example, this picture is of a family walking near Pincombe Mill Pond and feeding the geese/ducks. The reason it caught my eye was the contrast of the orange hats against the foggy background. You can take it at face value, or you can add analogies and a story line. Such as the hats represent hope bright and radiant; the family is the isolated group with stronger inner bonds; and they are reaching out (feeding) to change their surroundings with nurturing and caring; during a time of extreme hopelessness (pandemic/fog). So it is the importance of the story telling that can change how a photograph is perceived. The facts didn’t change, just how they are interpreted/presented.

The celebration of International Kite Day is better in Southern Climates than those of Canada. Much better on the beaches in Tampa, Florida or on Padre Island, Texas. I usually go out to fly kites on Easter Monday. My one diabetic sister-in-law used to give kites instead of candy at Easter, so I try to forward her tradition in her absence.

Medical advances are always changing the course of history, but probably none has had a bigger impact than the Caesarean Section. It has saved so many women and children from death during childbirth. Unfortunately it has also been used in recent times to guarantee a certain date for future birthdays and so that births occur on schedule, so staff can get back to more important things and free up the facilities for the next in line. The rates of Caesarean births has climbed over the years. When I had my children in the 1980’s (really dating myself) there was a huge movement to go natural (vaginal births without medications). Recovery is much faster without surgical intervention. I was lucky enough and healthy enough to have all 3 of my 9 pound sons naturally. Prenatal classes were attended and breathing techniques taught. But if my babies had been in any danger I would have gone under the knife and had a caesarean section without a second’s hesitation. That’s where mid-wives and doulas play such an important role guiding the mother through the experience of childbirth and ensuring the mother’s wishes are followed.

And not to be forgotten the Feast of the Ass. So keep your little asses safe at home during the pandemic. (sorry can’t pass up on the Little Ass jokes)

Daily Quote: January 11, 2021

Act as if what you do makes a difference.
It does.

~ William James (American – Philosopher January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

Today’s quote reminds me of the story of a man that was running down the beach when the tide went out. He was picking up star fish and throwing them into the water. Another person said to him, “You’re not making any difference. Star fish will still die when the tide goes out.” He bent down, picked up another star fish and threw it into the ocean, “It did to that one.”

Making a difference in just one life may not change the world, but you may change the world for one person.

History changes the perspective of events and people. Sir John A. MacDonald the first Prime Minister, was born January 11th (or 10th). He wasn’t an original man, just one who reflected the current opinion of the time. It was a time that only British (or French) white men were permitted to vote and they were busy conquering a new Continent. John supported giving male Indians the right to vote, but he also supported the introduction of Residential Schools. He denied women and people of Chinese decent the right to vote to (actually imposing a tax of $50 on Chinese people to immigrate to Canada). He liked to drink and had to be carried out of Parliament after imbibing too much. But he was one of the composers of the BNA (British North America Act), was Canada’s First Prime Ministers, and was instrumental in the building of the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railroad). So now as history is being reviewed and becoming more inclusive Statues in his likeness are being torn down and we are being asked to re-write history. My fear is that if we eliminate everything and everyone we no longer agree with that those very people will be allowed to rule again without the inclusiveness that we’ve grown as a Country to go forward with.

In a time when slavery no longer exists, human trafficking of children, women and men for the sex trade is an ongoing problem. This atrocity is prevalent throughout the USA and Canada. Hidden in big cities and small rural towns. Signs on the back of restroom doors along major highways, tell people to reach out and seek help for themselves or report strange behaviours that often indicate human trafficking. So be vigilant and help eliminate human trafficking. You could make the world of difference for one person.

Daily Quote: January 6, 2021

Minds are like parachutes
– they only function when open.

~ Thomas Dewar (Scottish – Businessman / January 6, 1864 – April 11, 1930)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

There is no better way to open your mind than a quiet walk through the conservation area after a fresh blanket of snow has covered everything in site. The snow clinging to the tree branches and attenuating all sounds around you. There might be some other hikers there, sharing the experience of deafening sound but they all say hello and may even pose for a picture for you. Strangers along the same path, sharing the glory of the hike and the wonders of the snow.

My stepson celebrates his birthday today. He has sold his 3 apartment investment and is looking for a new house to share with the love of his life. He hasn’t found a house yet, so later this month he will be moving into our spare room temporarily. He isn’t really home very often as he’s a trucker and tends to be gone for a week or two at a time.

Daily Quote: January 5, 2021

The season of failure
is the best time for sowing
the seeds of success.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda (Indian – Leader / January 5, 1893 – March 7, 1952)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

We are finally at the 12th day of Christmas and the end of the Christmas Season for 2020/21. This is the first time I’ve left my Christmas tree up until the end of Christmas and it will be coming down on the Epiphany (tomorrow). My Ukrainian friends and co-workers waited until January 6th to celebrate Christmas. One of my friends always said it was great because Christmas trees and presents were cheaper. One of the things I miss most about working was the multi-cultural and multi-ethnicity of my co-workers. All of the different ideas that I was exposed to by just going to work and being able to to put a face to the colours and cultures. Especially during lockdown we’re limited to our own little world and ideas.

Thank goodness for the internet and the way it has opened the doors to so many new things. Virtual tours of almost anyplace you would want to go and almost anything you want to learn. Allowing families to see each other and lessening their isolation. But a virtual tour doesn’t compare to the feeling of snow on your face as you toboggan down a hill or the sound of the wind in the Rio Valley tree tops.

The dwarf mallards in today’s picture are a variant that I’ve found only at my local conservation area pond. They are only about 2/3’s the size of the other mallards on the same pond. These females are also brighter and more caramel coloured that the other females. Their heads are also more rounded and compact. Apparently the small sized mallards are referred to as “Call Ducks” a domestic variety that was bred to lure other ducks by hunters.

Daily Quote: December 25, 2020

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.

~ Isaac Newton (English – Mathematician December 25, 1642 – March 20, 1727)

Holidays and Celebrations:

*Merry Christmas. In Ontario we’re all spending this season in groups of 5 or less with our loved ones for tomorrow the lock-down begins for at least 28 days to try to curb the ever increasing COVID-19 numbers.

Don’t forget it’s also the Canadian Prime Minister’s Birthday. Happy 49th Birthday Justin Trudeau. 🎂

Daily Quote: December 20, 2020

It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.

~ Harvey S. Firestone (American – Businessman / December 20, 1868 – February 7, 1938)

Holidays and Celebrations:

And the countdown is on. Not just ’til Christmas but to total lockdown and isolation during the Holiday Season. I can always remember my father telling me this time of the year was the hardest for people who were alone and suicide rates were probably the highest at this time of year. SAD or Seasonal Affected Disorder is higher during the winter months, but apparently the myth of higher suicides during the holidays is not true*. Instead the rates in the are actually higher in the spring, when most people are feeling happier with the longer days and those who truly suffer from depression don’t feel any better or may actually feel worse. Still it is important to keep loved ones close and help those with significant loses to know they are loved, because they are people not statistics and even one suicide is one too many.


Daily Quote: December 17, 2020

Music comes to me more readily than words.

~ Ludwig van Beethoven (German – Composer / December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Daily Quote: December 12, 2020

Where there is a will
there is a lawsuit.

~ Addison Mizner (American – Architect / December 12, 1872 – February 5, 1933)

Holidays and Celebrations:

*12-12-2020 is the day that my youngest son and his beautiful fiancé have chosen for their wedding day. From this day forward we will remember the anniversary of the combining of their two families into one, and their pledge to each other. Last night they spend apart as per tradition and they won’t see each other until the ceremony mid-afternoon. Pre-wedding celebrations are done and when the dawn breaks they will begin the final preparations in earnest. Their timing couldn’t have been better.

*London-Middlesex goes into Red Covid-19 restrictions on Monday. Starting Monday, no more than 5 people can gather. Hopefully, this measure can avert a full lockdown. Christmas/holiday season gatherings are being pared down and cancelled. So much for our Christmas Eve tradition of meeting at my house for supper and gifts. But Christmas will still happen, just a quieter more intimate version as we all will be in our separate homes for the celebrations.

Daily Quote: December 10, 2020

Are right and wrong convertible terms,
dependant upon popular opinion?

~ William Lloyd Garrison (American – Journalist / December 10, 1805 – May 24, 1879)

Holidays and Celebrations:

*COVID-19 vaccinations have begun in Great Britain as we all hope for an end to the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in Canada. And the great debate begins. Should people be forced to be vaccinated? Canadian leaders are saying it’s your choice, but if you can’t show your government issued proof of vaccination you could have limited access to public venues, work or travel. So just like your pets you will need to have the vaccine to travel.

Meanwhile controversy continues about the amount of energy and resources poured into controlling this pandemic while other illnesses still don’t have cures/vaccines (Aids/HIV) and starvation remains the major cause of death in the world. The distance between the “haves” and “havenots” continues to increase. Drinking water on many reservations in Canada remains unfit for consumption.

Locally our Seniors Centre will be closing. The volunteer organization that maintained the building and ran the programs weren’t able to raise the necessary funds while the building was temporarily closed during COVID-19 restrictions. Asking for help from the Municipality, like any good landlord during the Pandemic, the Municipality decided not to help, forcing the tenants to vacate so the Municipality can sell the building. Political speakease in the Municipality’s press release made promises to work for new Senior’s programming. I too look forward to the new programming, but am afraid I’ll probably never see it.

Daily Quote: December 8, 2020

The pine stays green in winter…
wisdom in hardship.

~ Norman Douglas (British – Writer / December 8, 1868 – February 7, 1952)

Holidays and Celebrations:

*Our town was asked for a hand-up to help maintain the Senior’s Community Centre. Instead they had the building evaluated and determined that there were $3Million required repairs. So the building, temporarily vacant due to COVID-19 Restrictions, will be closed permanently and put for sale (if it hasn’t already been sold behind closed doors). Between the City Hall Councilors and the Directors of the Senior’s Centre the decision was made without any discussion with members or the community at large. I wonder who will get the pool tables now that they are surplus to requirements?