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Road Trip, Day 10
We left Toronto today rather late because I couldn't get up early enough to miss Toronto rush-hour traffic. We toured west and then south to Bronte and then Lakeshore Road. We stopped for a bit at Burloak Waterfront Park to appreciate the weather and Lake Ontario. I have to constantly remind myself that this is a huge freshwater lake, not the ocean. While we were there we saw (and heard) geese and ducks all along the shore. It would have been a birders paradise if I were a bird photographer. Instead, I stick to dogs and cats. At least I can get close enough to make good use of my lenses.
The weather was crisp and cool today and yesterday. I found the first few fall leaves on this maple in the park.
After the park we returned to driving on the QEW, exiting again for Niagara-on-the-Lake and an excellent Greek lunch at Fournos Restaurant in the middle of the village. I can't give you the exact Greek names for our dishes, but one was a chicken soup with a hint of lemon, the other was a real Greek salad without the lettuce, but with plenty of tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, peppers, and feta cheese that was the best I've ever tasted. The meal was superb as was the service.
The War of 1812, the war Canada thinks it won
I suppose as a tourist I should have taken lots of pretty pictures of the tourist traps attractions that now encrust the mail streets of Niagara-by-the-Lake, but I didn't. If I need to see that type of thing I could have stayed down in Florida and driven to, say, Mt. Dora. Besides tourist kitsch, the area is covered with grape vineyards. I stopped at one rest area and grabbed a memento photo.
When we finally reached the Canadian side of the falls, we stopped and then spent too much time just walking slowly along the edge while I practiced trying to photograph a lot of running water. Many were taken, but few were accepted at the end of the day.
One of the worst examples of crass commercialism on the Canadian side are all these casinos and hotels that line the edge closest to the falls. According to Matthew their height and closeness to the edge have changed the atmospheric dynamics, causing the mists to hang longer and changing the micro-climate within the falls. This is not necessarily a Good Thing. That, and the fact they look like garbage. I find it interesting all of this, and the International Drive-like businesses that have sprung up around the area (a water park, a Ripley's Believe It Or Not, an honest-to-goodness Evel Knievel museum, etc, etc, etc) just want to make me stand and scream. Especially after exposure to the sophisticated excellence of Toronto. I don't find it strange that all of this is right next to the American side of the border.
Thinking about his next pizza masterpiece at Johnny Rocco's
At the end of the day we ate another excellent meal at Johnny Rocco's, just down the street from where we're staying for the night. I had an excellent Italian personal pizza, and my wife had baked eggplant. Tomorrow is another day, and we're either going to go on the Maid of the Mist, or head down to Emporium. Maybe both.
So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).
Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.
She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…
Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.
Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.
Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.
Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.
I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.
Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…