Posts Tagged photography

Out of Sorts

Don’t know if it’s the crazy weather, but just feeling a little whacked today. Got up this morning, all burstin’ to write an epic post about the RNAO’s new best practice guidelines on restraints, wrote about three paragraphs and went bleh. Didn’t care as much as I thought. So maybe Sunday, if at all.

Other stuff: I made the Sunshine List — one of 79,000 —for the first time ever. For those out of province and out of country, the Sunshine List is the provincially-mandated disclosure of salaries over $100K for public and near-public employees. It makes for hours of entertaining reading. Really. Some of my colleagues made near $150K — and I thought I did a lot of overtime! ( I was a few thousand over.)

Also, some big changes coming soon to this blog. Are you excited yet?

Also: I know the great March heatwave is over, though its still 15C (60F) here as I write — about 8C (18F) above normal. More normally abnormally warm, if you know what I mean.  I went out a couple of days ago to take some pictures to document the tremendously early arrival of spring. Not great pics, but you get the idea something is strangely amiss. 

Daphne mezereum. Usually blooms here first or second week of April.

Maple blossoms. Maybe a month early, at least.

Maple blossoms en masse

Magnolia bud break. About a month early.

It would be foolish to attribute one weather event to climate change, the way anti-science types and assorted denialists think snowfall in Toronto in winter invalidates climate change science forever and for all time. However. . .

UPDATE: Minor syntactical fixes, because my hobbit-editor I bought ran away shouting some crazy talk about a magical ring.

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Observations and Assessments


Further to my post “Sleepy Sleepy Nurse”: Sleep or Die. Really.

My jobRegistered Nurse.

We don’t know as much about infection control as we think we do. “Less than a quarter of the Clostridium difficile cases in a hospital could be traced to patients in the same ward, challenging a common assumption about how the infection spreads.” Medscape summary. Original article here.

And we’re not as smart at Triage as we think we are. Analyzing the records of 519 patients aged 65 years or older who were triaged using the Emergency Severity Index, from University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, found that 117 patients were undertriaged and 15 were overtriaged.” Anecdotally, I think this is true. My only quibble is why the small sample size? I mean, 519 patients is two days of volume in a busy ED, which means only a few poorly trained triage nurses could skew the results.

Nurses’ Presenteeism and Its Effects on Self-Reported Quality of Care and Costs. I read the article and went “Meh.” Rather evades the real issues around presenteeism, i.e. workplaces penalizing nurses for taking sick time.

Oh, dear.

On the menu: Pink Slime! I swear I will never, ever buy ground beef ever again.

And they didn’t live happily ever afterReal life Disney princesses, fallen. A photo exhibit by Dina Goldstein. My favourite: Cinderella knocking back shots in a bar on Hastings Street in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Younger than the Happy Meal. An important reminder from Fred Clark the supposedly “eternal” truths about abortion maintained by evangelical Christians are of much more recent vintage than you think.

Great music in the cause of crap content. Dissecting the cultural significance of country music. Quote:

The conservative movement has been cannibalizing conservative art for years now, to the point where I’d say country music is far from a victory of conservative cultural or artistic success and is instead a mirror image of what conservative politics have become: easy and unthinking. No depth, all surface. Superficial and insular. Maybe I’m wrong, but building an entire genre on the back of the idea that regurgitating the same sound on top of the same basic premise over and over again hardly strikes me as a triumph of cultural conservatism.

What language do deaf people think in?

Ayn Rand is the Karl Marx of the Right. Mostly because she tells people with incredible amounts of privilege they are the real victims in life’s lottery. Quote: “She offers them something that is crucial to every successful political movement: a sense of victimhood. She tells them that they are parasitised by the ungrateful poor and oppressed by intrusive, controlling governments.”

The Reformed Whores respond to Rush Limbaugh: “I’m a slut.” Hugely funny and right on the money.

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Portraits of Nurses at War

A small selection of photographs from the National Archives of Canada. Nurses have served with the Canadian military since Northwest Rebellion in 1885 and small contingents were sent to the South African War — the Boer War — at the turn of the last century. Nurses became an official part of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1901, and have served in every conflict since.

Nursing sister, First Canadian Contigent, South African War

Nursing sister Ruby Gordon Peterkin. First World War. Note the boots — and heels!

.First World War, in front of a Casualty Clearing Station.

Unidentified Nursing Sister, First World War.

Nursing Sister Ruth Webster, North Africa, Second World War. Great photo. Colour gives this photo an unexpected immediacy. Note the utilitarian uniform, in contrast to the Boer War nurse above, the only concession to tradition being the headdress.

Same nurse. The Archive calls this one Nursing Sister Valerie Hora. Whatever her name — Valerie or Ruth — there is great strength of character in her face which the photographer has captured to an exactitude.

Nursing Sisters of No. 10 Canadian General Hospital, R.C.A.M.C., landing at Arromanches, France, 23 July 1944, about six weeks after D-Day. Eager and enthusiastic.

Canadian Nurses with Bob Hope.

Cpl. Bill Kay Strolls with Nursing Sister Dorothy Rapsey. North Africa? Second World War.

The price. Mass funeral of nurses after a German air raid. Note the nurses’ uniforms on top of the coffins.

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What I Found in my Garden

A turtle.

I remember as a child reading about turtles (or tortoises) in England, where all proper gardens seemed to have one — and being rather charmed by the idea. So I’m pretty pleased this gentleman (or lady) is residing in mine, even if temporarily. Every garden needs a turtle, in my opinion. (Under this crusty exterior, you see, lurks a sentimental fool.)

I have no idea of the species, but I’m guessing it’s a painted turtle. You can get an idea of the size by the paving bricks.

Also, a purely gratuitous cat picture, since I haven’t posted one of the wee moggie in a while. She looks so, well, innocent, doesn’t she?

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When All Else Fails, Use a Cliché

Along with Ye Olde Mill By The Stream™ and Child Getting First Haircut™, Insect on Flower is one of the most beloved clichés in photography. But as Jethro, my photographical partner-in-crime says, who the hell cares?

Click to embiggeb

Swallowtail on a Preston Lilac


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Why I Garden

So I was away from this blog for a few days. Not intentionally, I hasten to add: but sometimes, it must be admitted, unintentional absences are the best. I was in fact dealing with miscellaneous garbage, like what I wrote about yesterday. The flotsam and jetsam of life. I would have rather spent time in the garden.

Aquilegia alpina

The funny thing is, it’s often in the garden I get my best ideas, digging out the quack grass or pruning the roses — mostly, I think, because it’s an entirely different part of the brain working.

Peony Rising

So I think, trying to understand the near-decadent beauty of the peony, what’s the point? Does anything matter? I mean we live in a universe so old our primate brains cannot comprehend the immensity of it, and it will carry on long — long! —- after we are dead, and all we have in our mayfly existence is the thin grasp of something wonderful and fleeting, that will be knocked down by rain and a windstorm.

Such thoughts one can have gardening, strange and powerful.

Centaurea montana

This plant is a weed in nearly every garden it lives in. It is also strikingly gorgeous. I am trying to decide if God is really the Cosmic Joker, and whether this plant is in fact proof (or not) of Her existence.

In the garden, you have to face both the large questions and the ambiguous answers.

Iris psedoacorus

“Mais il faut cultiver notre jardin,” said Voltaire. We must cultivate our garden. Don’t worry about the spinning of the universe or the many and manifold human complications. Dig your fingers in the dirt from which we all came and wonder at the miracle of it, and think that the beauty of a yellow flag iris came literally from the stuff of stars.

While we wonder we still can still live and hope and love. Beauty is one place to start, and beauty, of course, is found in gardens.

Rosa 'Hansa'

Rosa 'Hansa'

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Some Winter Colour for Dreary Days

During my last inconvenience, I was casting about for something to do that could leave me within easy reach of the facilities. My eye caught a Pelargonium, one I actually grew from seed 20 years ago. (It pleases me in a strange way to think I have a geranium potentially older than some of my readers!) At any rate, out came the macro lens and the tripod, and with the help of a new computer and kick-ass photo editing software that eats 56 MB RAW files for breakfast, this is the result. The first and last are of the geranium (Pelargonium ‘Picasso’). This particular cultivar I don’t think is produced anymore. The middle is the flower of a Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) flourishing in benign neglect in my bathroom window. Guess why I saw the flower.

I’m getting better at matching up pixel/picture size so the pics show up better on the main page (an annoying WordPress quirk), but as always, click to enbiggen: the smaller images don’t do justice.

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How To Creatively Screw the Poodle

So did I mention I got me this fabulous new computer, which eats RAW files like fancy chocolates? Anyway, I hadn’t posted any photos for a while. A few from last summer and fall, in lieu of, you know, actual writing. Also, it always amazes me how green things seem in the winter. As always click to embiggen — the small versions don’t do justice.

The garden.


A Geranium sp. and Salvia officinalis


Aster ‘Alma Potske’. I may have posted this one before, but hey, the colours are stunning.

Sunlight through goldenrod fluff in a vacant field.


Aster nova-angliae.

Gone with The Wind sunset out in the country. As God as my witness, I’ll never be hungry again, etc. Cue music.

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Northumberland County

Spent the day yesterday in Ontario’s granola belt. Some photos. Let me know if want to see more of this kind of thing, or should I stick exclusively to the nursey stuff?

Port Hope’s main street. For my American readers, it’s an old Loyalist (read Tory) town, settled just after the American revolution. They take historical conservation very seriously here.

Trilliums. Don’t remember ever seeing them in bloom so early.

Victoria Hall, Cobourg. Another Loyalist town.

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