Today at Riverdale Farm

Within sight of the CN Tower and reachable by streetcar, the Riverdale Farm is one of our city’s treasures. Today was great. May will be even better!

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I can’t resist a couple more shots …

Goats are my favourites, because they are so frisky … and possibly because I am an old one myself.

goats

Dusty the 14-year-old donkey had just received a lovely brushing.

dusty

Henri Matisse inspires

A big thank you to Brian Hickey for pointing me to this …

To quote the video, “he had the audacity of simplicity”.

“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” — Woody Guthrie

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” — Albert Einstein

A pair of Helen Andersen watercolours

1-of-pair

These are unsigned, undated abstract studies but they are so similar in shape and colour that they were probably done at the same time, most likely in the mid 1980s. They are abstract in the sense that no attention has been given to specific details that identify subject matter. As generalized compositions, though, they clearly draw on the B.C. forest for their inspiration.

2-of-pair

Of the two, the top one is my personal favourite.

Recommended reading for condo customers

Houses on pieces of actual ground have become so expensive, many first-time, would-be homeowners are considering purchase of a shiny glass box in the sky. Hopes of condo heaven often become experiences in Condo Hell, as documented in this useful Macleans article.

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The best single observation I see in the article is this: … “the truth is that people who don’t have extra money shouldn’t be living in condominiums.”

Without a significant cash cushion to absorb the shock of some really big financial hits, condo owners can receive devastating blows.

Looking into ownCloud

Online cloud storage of files has become quite popular, making Dropbox into a company potentially worth billions. Many people are nervous about storing their stuff in such large repositories, not just because NSA apologists like Condoleeza Rice are getting involved, but because large cloud services are such juicy targets for hackers … governmental, military and criminal.

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A photo uploaded by someone to the ownCloud live demo site, here.

OwnCloud offers a free, open source way to create your own online storage system. It works just like Dropbox or Apple’s iCloud, allowing you to access files from anywhere, synch your various devices to you music collection, your passwords, photos, etc.

But ownCloud it just that … your own cloud. It stores your stuff on your own computer and the software makes it accessible to you via the internet, no matter where you are or which device you may be using. Instead of being part of a big juicy target, you are one lonely little cloud, hardly worth hacking. Of course, it’s secured to make hacking difficult, using the same security protocols used by the big services.

For starters, I have an old Mac G4 Power PC that’s collecting dust. I plan to experiment with it, perhaps turning it into a Linux box and then adding the ownCloud server. It should give me several gigabytes of cloud service. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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At the Beach Easter Parade

Let’s start the slideshow with Al, our neighbour’s son-in-law, driving the antique fire truck… Mouseover to pause.

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The Beach Easter Parade along Queen St. East is very “small-town” in the most delightful way. Perfect weather at last, and a very happy crowd. The show went on for about an hour and a half, then bystanders flooded onto the road and followed the parade.

All politicians were asked to stay away this year, just because of one internationally embarrassing mayor. I wish they had simply named the one they didn’t want and let the others attend as they always have.