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Mar 26, 2015

Seven Months Old

  Photograph Seven Months - 1 by Jay Scott on 500px

I know that I said in my last post that Fiona's picture with my parents would be her seven-month photo but I needed to make a photo to take my mind off all of the recent business I have been going through with Home Care. What will be more perfect than a shot I had in mind of Fiona, little as she seems when we set her on the floor, on our bed with a huge, sweeping black backdrop?

  Photograph Seven Months - 2 by Jay Scott on 500px

I received a call from the director of home care and will be having a meeting with him and the nursing operations manager tomorrow at 10 AM. Here's hoping they see my reasoning and things stay as they are with the status quo. That would be the best case scenario. The alternative, which is the least I will settle for, may be enough to appease me. At least he was good enough to call me back and was very friendly. I have heard nothing but good things about him being a pleasant and reasonable person and that will at least make for a less stressful meeting than it could be if he were not as pleasant.

  Photograph Seven Months - 3 by Jay Scott on 500px

As little as I might sleep tonight, it's probably a good idea to get to bed and try to find as much rest as I can. These photos should at least keep me smiling if I'm laying there awake staring at the ceiling. Hopefully this is all over and resolved tomorrow and I can get back to the things that I feel my time is worth spending on, not these months of research, writing defenses, responding to e-mails and finding my reasoning bouncing off of brick walls.

Mar 22, 2015

The Good Things and Our Precious Seven Month Old

  Photograph Proudest Grandparents by Jay Scott on 500px

Excuse me if I'm brief. I just completed a document that was 4400 words, 25,000 characters to take to the director of home care, to stand in my defense to have my care maintained as it is and as it has been for 13 years. Ridiculous, I know. Understandably policies change, methods and knowledge grow, but in this case it's unreasonable, they're trying to put me inside of a box which I do not fit and to accept what they are proposing would mean great illness for me. How do I know this for sure? Past experience and 17 years of intentionally educating myself about how I function now.

I may need to go further than this. At times a person just wants to roll over when they're being mistreated and deceived but there is a principle that must be stood on. I fear that should I just give in and either accept their proposed changes to my own detriment or go with private care which is not cheap, to say the least, that I would regret it the rest of my life. I have not spent the last few years delicately working on becoming more assertive and standing up for myself as a valuable person, to be kicked in the head like this.

The last thing I'll say about it is that I am absolutely dumbfounded how one little sheet of paper containing a long-standing policy, not reasonable given my circumstances, they've now decided to use, is what these people are standing behind against all of the proof, evidence and experience I am providing them with. It's completely irrational, unreasonable and unethical. As much as I derived a degree of satisfaction from hearing the waiver in their voices and seeing the tremble in their hands as they delivered the news that they knew was unjust, I suppose sleeping on a bed of over $150,000 annual salary would ease their guilt. They even disregarded a surgeon's orders. I wonder how that would look to the eyes of a higher authority.

So, negativity aside, spend your energy fighting, formulate your defense, choose who to approach next to hear reason, and focus on the good things like incredible parents, a beautiful seven-month old daughter, a pillar of support that is my wife, and an enthusiastic little dog who's always happy to give me a hug and make me smile. All of that is great but I am not unappreciative of the friends and other supporters who have lent me their offer to do what they can, if there is anything at all. Perhaps I will need to start a social media firestorm. If it comes to that I will be asking a favor that you share, whatever form that takes. But, for now, it's time to go grab a few minutes of shut eye while I can and try to focus on the good things.

I've done what I can do for now and that makes me calmer than anything.

Mar 13, 2015

Pizza and a Candle

  Photograph Pesto, Goat Cheese and Italian Sausage Pizza by Jay Scott on 500px

Take out pizza I will always be what it is. Adequate, cheesy, fast, effortless and free of dishes. That doesn't mean it's great. Every time Angie and I make pizza we always praise ourselves about how much better it is than what you order in. No, it's not health food, but we do our best to minimize the sodium, nitrates, and preservatives. The flavor is always better with our freshly prepared ingredients and, as for dishes, since we wash them while the pizza is baking, it feels like there are none because when we are done eating, we are done eating.

Like I said, it's not health food. We splurged on a package of Italian sausage at Costco last time and have been enjoying it very much in different recipes, despite the fat content. That kick of spice and the texture of the meat is something unique that we both really enjoy. We decided to go all out, inspired by the red sun-dried tomato pesto we bought a while back, and combined those ingredients with red onion, mushrooms, Italian sausage, goat cheese and a generous sprinkling of marble cheese.

The pesto made a wonderful pizza sauce substitute, not that different from the lovely prawn and pesto pizza you may have had at Earl's before. In fact, that was what I had at my first meal out I had after my injury in 1997. Still on the menu so it must be good. But, I digress. I could see us using traditional marinara pizza sauce less and less in the future as combinations like this, and our Thai pizza, always satisfy us more than traditional pizzas. It's good to be able to cook well, at home, and in control of exactly what we are eating.

Last week I decided to make my move when a piece of glass came on sale at Don's Photo. I had been keeping my eye on this tele-converter for some time, had saved almost enough money, and then the sale price showed up making that last little bit of savings unnecessary. I have been more than happy with the image quality which can often be degraded when you add a stopgap solution such as a tele-converter as opposed to buying a dedicated lens. However, to get the additional telephoto length I wanted it would have been much, much more money as well as a lot more weight which may or may not have been something I could handle. I am very happy with the compromise as the image quality is absolutely satisfactory and the price was very manageable compared to the alternative. Now I'm looking forward to the birds returning to the Forestry Farm because I will be much more ready for them this year.

In addition to more telephoto, it also doubled my macro capabilities as you see above. That is a typical slender dinner candle, less than 1 cm from the wick to the edge of the candle. I think there may be a few more water drop photos in the near future. For now, I have some excellent projects on the go, hindered by a rigmarole with home care to finish dealing with, and then I hope to get back to fully enjoying our daughter and to the other activities that fulfill me, including work on Challenging Reality.

Mar 8, 2015

Final Winter Drive and More Fiona

  Photograph Boffins Club Gazebo in Winter HDR by Jay Scott on 500px

Optimistically I included in the title of this post the word final. The last couple of days of warm weather, bright sunshine and receding snow and ice has made a lot of people feel a lot better about the eventual spring. As Angie has cautiously pointed out, we certainly could get more snow and another good dose of winter but at least the next week of highs well above zero should mostly clear off the roads and start the shrinking of the snow banks around the city.

  Photograph Innovation Place Pine Cones by Jay Scott on 500px

This last photo drive was actually a photo walk/wheel as I braved about -10°C to actually get out of the van, make some photos even with a little auxiliary light and breathe the fresh air. It felt good to be out and it didn't even take all day for my legs to warm back up. What caught my attention most of all was how absolutely quiet it was. How much time have I spent in this exact spot enjoying the scenery, the sounds and smells of this place? A lot but almost all of it was in the spring, summer and fall when many of the nice water features and wildlife sounds are consistently impacted by the running of air conditioners on the roofs of all of the big buildings around the area. It was very refreshing to get out by myself, not see a single person and just smell the smells of winter and the pine nearby.

  Photograph Innovation Place Pine Cone by Jay Scott on 500px

In past years when I've wanted to get out and do some photos during the winter I've often shied away because of the great limitations I have of where I can get by vehicle, but especially by foot/chair. After finding what I had found this year I feel a little bit braver and have a few more ideas of where might be suitable, and safe, for me to go independently next winter. I'm not certain I want to think that far ahead as I have spring on the brain but getting out and just giving it a try got my wheels turning in my head.

My good friend, Paul, and his girls made good use of the pond-turned-rink this winter. The one time they were there entirely by themselves in the evening, spotlights on the ice and classical music playing overhead. If we get a nice warm evening next winter I would really like to have a photo shoot down there, by that ice with some people having a blast skating under the gazebo and around the island. If it isn't that warm we could fire up the fire pit they always have stocked with plenty of firewood and include that as part of the shoot.

Finally, what post would be complete without yet another of our lovely daughter? Her hair is coming in so nicely, so soft and fuzzy. I knew I had to make a creative photo out of those glistening golden-red strands. So, making the most of the smiles she had available to me we made a nice creative photo of her with some purple hair. I was reminded that this photo might be enough precedent for me to not be upset if she decides to die her hair purple when she is a little bit older. All I will need to do is to remind her how in style vibrantly colored hair was when this photo was made and that should squash her idea. :-)

  Photograph Fuzzy-Haired Daughter by Jay Scott on 500px

Mar 2, 2015

Second Winter Photo Drive

My second photo drive of the winter brought me to the University campus. It was not long before I realized that nothing on the actual University campus was going to be very photogenic from my available vantage points and there certainly was nowhere to quickly pull over to make a photo. It really is a busy city of its own when in session.

So, I made my way over to Innovation Place where I knew of a few spots that I could stay comfortably safe and warm in my van. Tucked away at the back of Downey Road, I found a place that I could pull up right next to some evergreens.

I'm not saying anything I photographed that day was a masterpiece but at least I got out, got some fresh air, found a peaceful place to just do what I love to do and make a few frames.

Finally, since I was not thrilled with what I had photographed already, I decided to try a few more abstracts. Love them, hate them, it doesn't matter. At least I gave it a try.