Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Friday, March 23, 2018

Lurking around Toronto with my camera & misc thoughts

I've been wandering around Toronto in my spare time, testing out routes for the Mapping Toronto project.  After doing a few test runs in a couple of neighbourhoods, I realized some will take multiple trips just to scratch the surface. As well, the sheer volume of photos started to make the logistics of posting and editing a monumental task. I've rearranged and relabeled the files about 4 times as I grapple with staying organized.

Some areas have so much to look at, it's difficult to figure out what to leave out. I was in Cabbagetown recently and realized I could do one series of photos just documenting the historic plaques.  I could spend another day photographing people along Parliament and another on the architecture. During summer months, Cabbagetown is stunning so that means another exclusively on the flower.  Couple that with the trips to the library for historical info on each area, well, there you have it - years worth of work. 

Read more: Lurking around Toronto with my camera & misc thoughts

But I only need 1 glue stick

I went to buy a glue stick today. One glue stick. 1 ... just a single item. This is what I was offered:

Photo of boxes of gluesticks

And this:


Finally way up ... at the top ... there they are:

Photo of single gluesticks for sale way up at the top, beyond reach

And yes, of course they were at the top, out of reach. Figures. %$#&! and no staff to be seen. If I'm in a grocery store, I trot over to the brooms and mops and borrow one to knock the stuff off the shelf. Got yelled at by a staff member once for doing this. Let's just say the verbal exchange didn't go well for the store and I still use this method. But stuff like glue sticks are hung on hooks with curves so you can't do the whack-a-mole method. I had to demonstrate my jump and grab technique instead, and hope I could scoop one. I tell you, if there's ever an Olympic event called "retrieve shit from the top shelf with no external aid" I'll be solid gold.  

Oh and yes, I did get my gluestick. 

A contest? Really? Stay tuned for details

I’m thinking of running a small contest to help us get through the rest of winter.  I played with the idea of “Win Crap from my Closet” but common sense prevailed. This is a wiser choice:

Photo of black over shoulder slingbag

It’s a small shoulder sling bag, big enough to hold a phone, id, change and maybe a small camera. Lots of zippered pockets to squirrel things away. It came from one of those online order companies that flash by on FB. I ordered a couple of things to see if the products were as good looking as they appeared.  I was surprised the overall quality. Well made, lightweight and perfect for outings where you don’t want to lug something heavy around.  

I’m sorting out details on how to make sure the draw is random – first, no friends, relatives or relatives of friends will be eligible.  I’m testing a few randomizers out, mostly because I don’t want to collect email addresses and need an easy way to make sure the draw is fair. I also need to think about how to smack away the asinine spammers.

Initially, I thought it would be open to Toronto residents only because the bulk of the site is about Toronto. But I’m wavering on that. I’ll look into the logistics of shipping it abroad and let you know, plus how to enter (of course).

I’ll post better photos when I’ve sorted stuff out. Stay tuned for details.


I'm back baby & excuses, excuses, excuses

Time has not been kind lately. Between work and helping someone through cancer treatment and surgery, there just hasn’t been as much time as I wanted to post here. But … things are on the upswing and my friend is now safely at Bridgepoint rehab to gain their strength back and being prepared for home.  Bitter Grounds had to be put aside for awhile because there are some things that are more important than writing.

As of this week, I’ll be back on a partial posting schedule so look for new content. I have a ton of photos to share, I’ve begun plotting out the first Mapping Toronto field trip and I have been writing a number of articles in my little book so - I have content!

So what’s coming? Here’s a short list:

  • Review of the many new extensions showing up for Edge browser
  • A few Android app reviews
  • Review of Grammarly for Word
  • Meanderings about helping my friend during the last year.
  • Photos, photos, photos. I lugged the camera around much of the last month and was able to get some smashing ahora. Just sorting through them. You can wander over to my Instagram or Facebook page (link on the right) to see some of the photos
  • Going to restart posts about interesting finds at upcoming stamp auctions
  • Re-editing Dear Donna – I’ve finished the novel and redid a few chapters

If you look that way -> you’ll see a sight unseen by readers -  the real me. It was time to retire the venerable cat icon and give the magazine a far more personal feel.  It’s an older photo, but that’s one my friends will instantly recognize.  One day I’ll pop for a real haircut and stop shearing it off myself, but don't hold your breath.  And no, that’s a good English ale in my hands, not an espresso.  Even I can’t handle that much caffeine. 

Back in a day or two with new posts. 


Just a quick howdy

I've been up to my eyeballs in non-blog related matters and haven't had time to keep up with the backlog of articles I have partially prepared for Bitter Grounds. Things have straightened around (a bit) and I'll be back posting this week. I keep Instagram/FB sites fresh with new photos so you can head off there to see what I will be working on - there's always time to toss up a couple photos.

Hopefully after tomorrow, my schedule will be back on track.  

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Catpaw with a pint & a typical bad haircutTime for a new look - the venerable cat on a postage stamp is now retired. As much as I loved him, it was time for a face lift - bad haircut & all. 

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."

- Albert Camus

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