Tuesday, January 26, 2016

One Piece At A Time

Johnny Cash wrote a song called “One Piece At A Time”, (Click if you want to hear the song) where he brought one piece of a Cadillac home from the factory each day in his lunch box and assembled them all into a Frankenstein Cadillac based on a number of models and years. Walking along the roadways here in the city, I think the same thing is happening in reverse, with cars slowly falling apart “One Piece at a Time”.

I started noticing car parts along the sides of the road as I walked, and one day I took my camera and started taking photos of all the bits and pieces I saw.

Some items you see are pretty obvious, such as the assortment of hubcaps. It was the hubcaps that first got me looking at the side of the roads. Alisha had complained of loosing
one of her hubcaps and I found a perfectly good Toyota hubcap sitting leaning against a guardrail. I picked it up, brought it home and sent a photo to Alisha to see if it matched her car. She felt it might, so I actually took it all the way to Ottawa with me only to discover that it did not fit. I’m still looking for a match for her car . . . .

One day I found an obviously newly deposited large bolt sitting on the sidewalk in the freshly plowed snow. It was shiny and new, so I picked it up and put it in my pocket (Never know when you might need a good bolt to MacGyver something). I had to give that nice find up as I found a tractor up the street clearing the sidewalk and the operator quickly switched the machine off to check where it belonged when I showed it to him.

Some of the other stuff I have found has obviously fallen of cars speeding by with their drivers oblivious to the slow dismantling of their vehicles. Body panels, trim pieces, exhaust parts, and even brake pads. Perhaps after years of doing my own auto maintenance I’m more aware of the health of my cars, but I have to wonder if they even noticed the feel of the brakes change when the whole disk brake pad fell out. As well it is amazing how many large nuts and bolts you can see lying on the side of the road. You would think that a large bolt was probably
holding something important together. I have even seen the entire plastic front body section of a car sitting beside the highway, obviously the result of an accident, and the easiest way to get the car home was just to remove the damaged parts – haven’t these people ever heard of Duct-Tape?
I’m still on the look-out for Alisha’s hub-cap . . . .

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Walking Backwards

No I do not actually mean walking backwards, what I mean is walking a route that you know
Shube at its best
well only doing it in the opposite way you normally do.

Since I discovered that I need to control my blood pressure I have found that walking is particularly effective as keeping it down. I therefore find any excuse to go for a walk. We have a lovely city park within a pleasant walking distance and I enjoy walking a loop of the park every second day. I have one route that takes me in on one end of the park and I walk a loop that takes me almost all the way around the park. Another enjoyable walk which is also a loop takes me through the park and then all the way around Lake Micmac. Both of these loops take around an hour and although Regis teases me that my walks are “boring”, I love seeing how the park changes with the seasons and the weather.

Fall in the park
Because both of these walks are loops, I normally walk them in the same direction every time. However I have discovered that even though I know the routes very well, if I walk the route backwards – starting where I normally end and exiting at my regular starting point, you see different things or see familiar things in a different way.
A family walk in the park

On one route, there is a large rock at one side of the trail, and I walked by it many times, but walking backwards I discovered that it was not just a ordinary rock. Coming upon it from the other direction I could clearly see that it was a failed attempt to cut a shape from the rock, either for a mill stone or perhaps a stone for lining one of the locks in the Shubenacadie canal system. As well there is a particularly attractive section that I have photographed under different lighting and conditions with intentions of painting a picture of it, but coming upon it from the opposite direction you hardly notice it; looks ordinary from the other direction.
Snow and animal footprints

Out of the park is the same; walking in the opposite direction forces you on the other side of the street and I suddenly noticed that although I had passed the houses on that side many times, you do not really take note of the details of the houses on the other side of the street.

Want to make a routine walk a bit more interesting? Try walking it backwards.