Happy Canada Day

Canada Day weekend is here. And it is a very warm weekend indeed. Temperatures are in the 30 Celsius range with the humid reaching 40 Celsius or so. In December, we were experiencing colder temperatures than the North Pole. Six months later our weather is warmer than Miami, Florida.

I’ve been working on a new camera body for our upcoming travel to Norway later this month. As much as I love my Nikon gear, it is too big and too heavy for the type of traveling that we will be doing in Europe. The Leica is my favourite camera but I only have one lens and it is challenging, at least for me, to shoot a location without the benefit of being able to cover a wider focal range.

I had an Olympus OM-D E-M1 system that I really enjoyed. A micro four thirds system that was really light and offered good image quality.

I upgraded that camera body to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. The Mark II is an incredibly feature-packed camera. I already had all of the lenses that I needed for the trip: 17mm F1.8, 25mm F1.8 and 12-40 F2.8. For the micro four thirds system, doubling the focal length yields the effective equivalence of 34mm, 50mm and 24-80mm coverage. Perfect range for my style of photography.

I took the camera out for some test shooting. The downtown landscapes are now showing beautiful flowers.

Out Of Office

Looks like an extended vacation is coming up soon on the out of office calendar.

6 months and 1 day until retirement.

Collings OM1 Julian Lage Edition

I received an email from my good friends at Collings Guitars. They included an update on a new signature model that Bill Collings had worked on until his passing:

When Bill Collings first met the brilliant young jazz musician Julian Lage, in 2014, the two began a series of in-depth conversations about their respective crafts. Lage’s profound insights as a guitarist would play a key role in the creation of Collings’ T (Traditional) Series guitars. This rare collaboration, which continued right up until Bill’s passing, in July, 2017, has yielded another exceptional new guitar with an old soul. We are proud to present a highly personal extension of the T Series: the Julian Lage Signature OM1.

You can find out more about this beautiful instrument here.

Leaving Port Canaveral

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There is a sense of excitement and anticipation as you start your travel adventures. And a cruise is really no different. It is so cool to get that first view of the ship.

We had taken a Disney Cruise bus from our resort hotel in Orlando directly to the ship in Port Canaveral. I was able to get the above shot from my seat in the bus as we made our way to the terminal.

Unlike prior cruises, we literally just walked on. No waiting. Our stateroom was ready for us. Again, no waiting.

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We had our first meal at the Enchanted Gardens restaurant.

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We spent the balance of our first day exploring the ship. As you can tell from the photos, this ship is huge.

Oh, and yes, there were about 5,000 or so people on board. I’m not sure where they all went but I suspect either topside on the pool deck or unpacking luggage in their staterooms. The rest of the ship was literally empty.

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Disney Coronado Springs Resort

This was our first time staying at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort. We spent one night here before heading out on our Caribbean Cruise. Disney bills this property as a moderate resort. The rooms are more like what you would find at an older Holiday Inn property, and our room was a bit worn out and tired. Not really that magical feel that the more expensive Disney properties offer. That said, the resort grounds were really outstanding as you can see from the following photos.

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Google Knows Everything

GoogleBDay

The Way Out

TheWayOut

6am.

Another morning behind bars.

Handlebars, that is.

At this time of year, I spin indoors. Five or more spin sessions a week.

I’d rather be outside riding but such is life in this part of Canada. Winter tends to limit the use of a road bike outdoors.

Over the years, I have used a lot of support tools for spinning. They were, however, fairly static things. Run a video and pace along.

Something to endure.

All of that changed for me on January 9th.

David McQuillen, founder of The Sufferfest, had sent me the News From Sufferlandria, a newsletter that is really just about suffering. But buried deep within the newsletter was this little nugget:

Pssssst. Our new app is out. It’s a secret – we’re not talking about it until Monday. But we’re telling you right here, right now. Find out more and get a 7 day free trial…

Shut up! A new app? Must check it out now.

And I did.

The minions at The Sufferfest outdid themselves. This app is total suffering.

All 27 videos can be streamed to a compatible device. I use an iPad Pro. The videos can be cached and watched offline as well. Handy for me being out in the country where high-speed Internet is more of an aspiration than a reality.

The app can link to Bluetooth and ANT+ heart rate monitors, power meters and cadence sensors. This allows for interactive training sessions where you can train with specific performance targets.

There is also a Sufferlandrian Passport which keeps track of all the suffering. Every workout can be recorded.

This is a wonderful resource for riders and it is a subscription for only $10 a month.

Fair warning though. These videos are challenging.

Couchlandrians will not enjoy these workouts. They prefer couches. And donuts. Lots of donuts.

Those who love to ride will appreciate the challenge.

It makes indoor riding, dare I say it, almost fun.

Hyperlapse

I came across Rob Nelson’s YouTube channel while looking for some help on how to create a timelapse video. His videos are great and I really enjoyed this tutorial on hyperlapses. I will definitely be giving this technique a try!