Saturday, 9 December 2017

Saturday Photo: Sil, a Tradition

Must confess that the photo dates from a few years ago, but in the refrigerator right now are 24 salt herring, waiting for me to get my act together and make marinated herring, or sil.

This is one tradition that comes from Lee's family that I really like.  Takes about 10  days after you start the marinating process before the sill is (or is it are?) ready to eat. But the result is definitely worth waiting for.

In recent years I've had trouble finding salt herring around here.  Last year I persuaded a wholesaler to sell me some: quite a production as the company is run by a pair of Hassidic Jewish brothers who were amused by my plea that I needed salt herring for Christmas as was their staff that included a couple of very French Canadian office workers and several Muslim men who looked after the fish.  This year I tried to find a place closer to home, and did, finally.  The fish seem a little smaller than last year, but at least I didn't have to do as much running around...

So, while there's no snow on the ground, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, at least in my refrigerator...

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Saturday Photo: Sunrise, November 30, 2017

Well, actually the sun had been up officially for a good half an hour, but when I was out Thursday morning, it was just peeking around Mount Royal.  The leaves are finally off the trees, but there is no snow on the ground.  Just sere grass and light glancing across the little frost that collected over night.

There are many cities farther north than Montreal--London and Paris to name only two.  I don't know how I'd last in them: short days get to me.  Right now I'm hoping for snow soon, since what light there is on winter days is magnified when there's snow on the ground.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Saturday Photo: Start of Construction

The photo was taken about a year ago when construction began in earnest for the new Université de Montréal satellite campus.  What I wanted to show was the concrete delivery in the background, because I was beginning to think about Rock of Ages: How Concrete Built the World as We Know It.

Happy to say that the writing has begun now: have a plan and about 20 pages written.  Will take a while longer, but it's nice to think that I'm on my way.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Saturday Photo: November Skies, Meteors and Visual Pollution

There's been some talk about the possibility of a good meteor show from the Leonids tonight: here's the link to The New York Times story about meteors showers in general, with specific reference to the flurry of meteors that we might see during the period when the earth passes through the region of the solar system full of cosmic junk.

But it's become impossible to see much of anything in the night sky in our neighborhood as residents put up more and more outside lights. I remember seeing Orion on winter nights as I put the car away in the garage, but this week, while I thought I saw the brightest star in the constellation, I had to guess at the rest.  Thomas told me that he and his Dad had seen a planet last weekend--Venus, to hear him tell--but it's very hard for a little guy these days to wonder at the starry sky if he lives in a city.

The wintry wonder of skies like the one shown above are some consolation, I suppose.  With the leaves off the trees, the parade of clouds across the sky is more apparent.  But even scenes like this are menaced.  Earlier this week we had three days of air pollution alerts, occurrences that had become much less frequent when regulations against burning trash and fire places came into effect.  But the climate is changing, as we all know, and other factors have come into play....

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Saturday Photo: Concrete, the Material That Builds Our World

This week I really got rolling on the newest project, a new book to be called Rock of Ages: How Concrete Built the World As We Know It. Making plans to attend a big convention of concrete types, looking at the photos I've taken over the years, reading a lot of notes, and trying to start writing.

This is one of the more humble uses of concrete, improving somebody's parking space.  There are a millions more, and I'm trying to bring some order into my presentation.  Should be an interesting challenge!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Saturday Photo: Full Moon, Clear Skies

The forecast is for rain but the full moon is hanging around just now.  Nice to see....

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Saturday Photo: Pumpkins...and Pumpkin Pi

Just returned from scouting pumpkins.  Thomas and Louis (5 and 17 months) are coming over today and we're going to make a pumpkin, or maybe two.

We currently have two tiny ones and two small ones, chosen by Jeanne when she was here earlier in the week.  She left with three small ones for herself and her parents.  She also chose the ones we have: I was surprised that she wanted the smaller ones, but she was the one who got to decide.

Not sure what Thom will think though, hence the scouting trip.  Funnily, there seem to be very few medium sized ones around--a few tiny ones and several enormous ones in the stores. 

Well, we'll see what the boys decide.  And afterwards we'll have the prospect of several pumpkin pies, which are favourites around here. As is this terrific jack o'lantern carved a few years ago by some talented folk.