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Life has been crazy lately, no time for anything except what needs to be done. All I seem to do is wake up, work and work some more until it’s time for bed. I really needed a break from it all and then I heard that there was a car show at Garnett B. Rickard Arena in Bowmanville, Ontario on the weekend. Even though I had a million things going on, a friend of mine Jeff, who does some great work at Flashfire Coatings, said I should check it out so I did and brought my son as I knew he would love it too.
I was literally in the middle of a over the range microwave oven installation when we made our way over, I had planned to go when my daughter napped and I needed to get some hardware that wasn’t included so it was a perfect time to slip out for a break. I slapped some sunscreen on my kid and away we went. We literally just walked in and the was Flashfire Coatings booth was to the right and a parking lot full of great looking cars ahead of us.
There were vettes, new and old, and trucks, high and low. Cars, cars, cars overload. There were even some people showing off their stereo systems which rattled everything in the parking lot. My son and I were walking around saying to eachother that our voices were vibrating and that it made us sound like Darth Vader. My son is five and I had to make the most of that experience because even I thought it was way too much. To each their own tho.
We only talked to a handful of people but the ones that we did, were great. One guy offered my son to sit in his 2014 Corvette but apologized after feeling what the sun had done to the seat. The sun had heated everything up that day. I also ran into a guy named Matt with his ‘new to him” ratrod. He offered my son to sit in it but I think it was all just a bit too much for him to take in. Matt then gave me the same offer and I jumped at the chance, he even had taken our picture in his car. I asked him quite a few questions as I would love a project as his and he answered all of them. Thanks Matt!
We saw some killer artwork as well, these airbrush guys do amazing work. They were all mostly flames and skulls but they were all great skulls and flames.
There were only a couple of downfalls to the day, the heat and waiting for the air con in my truck. We did come away with some great memories and quite a few ideas for some ‘future work’.
Contact me for any information regarding these or other photographs.
Our second trip out to Emily Provincial Park wasn’t as exciting as the first but my son loved it. We booked Site 166 in the Circle Campground along side of friends we made on a previous camping trip at Quinte Isle Campground and stayed from July 11-14th. This trip was more of a hangout, relax with friends type of trip which suited me just fine after an seemingly endless exhausting summer so far.
Anyways, their kids and my son get along great and played most of the time we were there while the parents chit chatted the time away.
We only went to the beach once that weekend as the weather did really co-operate with us making it just a little too chilly to swim. When we did, we went to the farthest beach of the two from the main entrance. This beach was very clean and had a smaller than usual area roped off for swimming. It was not too busy there but still quite a few people. The 3 or 4 docks down the shore seemed quite busy with young fishermen and boaters. There were trees to the back if you wanted it needed shade but there was a nice cool breeze to keep the sweat off. This was on the warmest day of course.
The kids park has been updated from a wooden playground to a hardened plastic but the swings were still made from wood. They loved it there and would play there all day if they could.
The park store was probably one of the best out of all the provincial parks that I have been to. It had a lot to offer. From rental canoes to ice cream to toys for the kids. It was located at the main beach and sells the firewood there as well. All the essentials you need when camping. The firewood was okay there, a bit dryer and easier to burn.
I like Emily park. It is close, clean and convenient to us. I give it an 9 out if 10 this time.
I didn’t see much wildlife there which is okay as I didn’t bring my camera again. Next time and the next stop is Riverwood Trailer Park.
Located in Longford Mills, Ontario, McRae Point Provincial Park is the second park we have visited this year. This would be our second time around at this park, the first being many years ago with a group of friends. This time it was just us. We visited for 5 days from June 27th and returning home on July 1st.
We booked campsite number 113 in the north campground right across the road from the lake. The site was a great location but turned into public walkway. No matter what we did, some ignorant people just walked right through our campsite. Then after telling them that ‘that isn’t a walkway’….I get attitude. Really? It was the lake and the dock they were all trying to get to so I parked the vehicles to block our campsite of traffic but to my disbelief, those ignorant people I was talking about, walked right in between them.
Anyways, this is one of the smaller parks we have been to its right on Lake Simcoe and 15 minutes from Orillia. The park office doubled as the store offering very little except a few stuffed animals, limited camping supplies and of course ice cream. We also bought our wood from the office as well and like all Ontario Parks we visit, the hardwood is wet bit the kindling is bone dry. I think it is to prevent huge bonfires when we’ve all had a little too much to drink.
The beach area wasn’t the greatest. Goose poop littered most of the grass area and there was very little sand for the kids to play in, mostly just shoreline mud. There were a lot of sticks collecting where the water and grass meet. The water was cold like any big lake but it went from shallow to too deep for my 4 year old to shallow again. He still had a blast and my baby girl even played in the water for a bit.
The dock area brought a lot of traffic, from fishermen, to boaters, to waders, to swimmers, and even remote control airplane flyers. My son absolutely loved watching those. He absolutely loved watching those pontooned planes take off and land on the water. It was another great camping memory he and I will share forever, thanks plane guys.
The dock was also the place where my son would catch his very first fish, then a few more after that. A very proud moment for him and dad.
They were just perch but one was a nice sized one. The park does NOT sell worms so make sure you bring your own or stop in Orillia first. We even saw an Osprey Eagle soaring right above us and a Sandpiper like bird beside us looking for some lunch. Both great photo opportunities but yet again, I forgot my camera. The sandpiper like birds were quite noisy at night and baffled my wife and I as to what animals were making the noise, I found out the next day by watching them as my son and I were fishing. They were the ones that scared off the Osprey as it was in or too close to their territory. I’m not quite sure what kind of bird it was but the were black and had the same features of a sandpiper but were fishing perched from low hanging branches.
I also missed two other great photo ops, a heron that was just chilling on the dock
This Heron wasn’t skittish wasn’t at all, we still snuck up and was quiet and still enough to make sure we didn’t bother it. After we left it was a bunch of kids that got too close to make it fly away. They didn’t know, but maybe they learned that day.
The crazy red sunset was very cool. Many people flocked to the shore to check it out and capture photos. It was the best sunset I have ever seen. My cell phone picture do not give it justice but here are a few.
I like McRae Point, I can’t give it the best review just because of the site we picked. The foot traffic we experienced was not the parks fault, but it’s patrons fault. I am giving it a 6 out of 10 because the beach wasn’t the greatest either. Like all provincial parks, the staff were friendly and helpful. I guess that is a must when applying for the job.
We will go back, we will pick our site a little better next time.
Next stop Emily Provincial Park.
Presqu’ile is French for ‘almost an island’
Our first camping trip of 2014 landed us in Brighton, Ontario at Presqu’ile Provincial Park. We were there from June 21st to 23rd with our ‘new to us’ trailer and the weather held out nicely for us. It was also our 8 month old daughters very first camping trip.
We were using my wife’s phone GPS up until the Brighton turnoff when it clearly was telling us to go the wrong way. I followed the signs down into town then made a right but must have missed the sign to turn left down Presqu’ile Parkway. After a few minutes and a couple of extra turns we were back on track.
We had reservations so they waved us through to the camping office which seemed really far away. We kept going and going but later realized there were 4 beaches to pass first. Still new to this trailer we had to fill our water tank after we checked in but it was too far and were easily back around and ready to camp.
Our site was number 54 in the High Bluff camping area, and wasn’t too hard to find. It was supposed to have some sunlight according to the website, but when we arrived around 4pm it was all shade and mosquitos. It was an uphill lot so we park in the top corner by the power outlet. The site itself was very large with a couple of large trees on it but was not kept up in my opinion. The grass looked a bit overgrown where there was grass. I even saw a lady cutting her own site grass, she may have been a little ‘particular’. Anyways, our site was not too far from the comfort station and not far from the lake either.
After setting up, we ventured down the Owen Point Trail towards the beaches and store. There were mosquitos everywhere. We told our 4 your old son we would have to turn back after a good half hour into our walk as we still had a ways to see the beach which was our original plan. Back we went.
My son and I went to the store the next day and it was pretty good there. They had a mixture of camping supplies, clothing, food and fun stuff for the kids. The also sold worms. We were going to try our luck fishing and maybe catch his fish ever fish. No such luck, it wasn’t going to be easy fishing especially with all the birds flying around competing with us. We watched Cormorants, Kingfishers, Seagulls and Caspian Terns all looking for lunch. The Caspian Terns were very entertaining to us as they glided just above the water top looking for what we were as well. There was a constant sound coming off Gull Island, it was the sound of thousands of birds hovering over the island creating a black haze. The sound was kind of eerie and was constant 24 hours a day. I read up on Gull Island a little bit and access is prohibited between May 10th-September 10th to protect nesting and migratory birds but is usually accessible by foot after September 10th. Gull and High Bluff Island host many species of birds as predatory animals are very rarely seen on the two island. Presqu’ile is a perfect park for nature lovers and bird watchers as the park offers many different trails and lookout points for both.
The trails were in ok condition and the main road around the edge of the lake was almost new making roller blading and bike riding pretty smooth. We actually went from our campsite to the lighthouse on the other side of the park via roads and trails, but it took us just over an hour to get there. I had to roller blade back as quick as I could to get the van for the rest of my family because we left after dinner and the mosquitos were very bad by the time we got to the lighthouse. Even with bug spray. All in all, it was quite an adventure.
The beach was just ok, it may have been the time we were there but there hardly was any sand but the beach stretched quite a bit. The water was very shallow for quite a distance which is great for small children. We drove there of course after our last adventure versus the mosquitos. We drove to beach number two that had a couple of parking lots and we chose the farthest to park in making a walk farther to the beach. My wife struggled to get our jogger stroller through the sand but once on the dirt, sailed right to the water. The water of course was freezing, but didn’t stop my son.
Being a provincial park, the wood was of course wet, but the kindling was very dry. Go figure.
Again I forgot to bring my camera, I would have gotten many awesome shots of the Caspian Tern hovering for lunch but the few shots I added are from my phone. Sorry, maybe next time I will have better pictures to share.
Overall I would rate this park an 8 out of 10. We only saw a portion of this large park but my rating is based on what we saw. The park was clean and quiet and the staff were friendly and helpful. I would put this one on the return to list.
Next trip, we return to McRae Point Provincial Park.
I woke up today surprised and quite shocked. I could not believe what happened and still do not know how or why but here’s the story.
So here’s a brief history lesson if you do not know me, I recently got my life back after over two years of herniated disc repair including surgery. I am back to work, back running and back to life and lost all the weight I gained while off. It has been about 4 months now and has been crazy busy ever since, and this is where my little discovery starts.
Being able to do everything I used to, it is time to catch up on chores, make some extra cash and live life. I went from being extremely bored to crazy busy fairly fast. Anyways, after working 5 days, getting many chores and household tasks done during the week, I also had taken a roofing job on the Saturday, then had a Father’s Day round of golf booked for Sunday. Both roofing and golf had to take a 3 year break due to injury so getting back into both hurt, big time and left many of those unused muscles under attack.
At the end of my shift the Monday after the crazy weekend I was contemplating going for my run. I was in pain all over and my right shoulder was messed right up and hurt to move even a little, plus I was dead tired. I sucked it up and went for my run after work and was pleasantly surprised to have made it my 4th fastest 10km run of all time (thanks to RunKeeper) but that wasn’t the surprise I was talking about.
I woke up the next morning feeling fresh, I got up and felt odd. Odd being pain free, well let’s say like 98% pain free. All the muscles that were tight and sore, were fine now. My shoulder was pretty close to being pain free. Man I was glad, constant pain is not my favourite thing to deal with.
I don’t know why or how it happened but I have a few guesses. Maybe it was all the oxygen I took in to fuel and maybe even heal my muscles or maybe the same idea but with the blood flow, either way I will try it again to see if it was a fluke or not, I will let you know tho.
Here is my latest drawing I finished a few days ago. I chose to draw her not only because she is probably the only ‘pop’ star with any talent, but her facial features as well.
This lady shows independence, strength, and shows her beauty with confidence. Her voice and talents are probably one of the best in the biz. I do not personally own any of her music but I have enjoyed her rendition of ‘Me and Bobby Magee’ as well as many other of her songs.
P!nk is one heck of a role model, far better than the Mylie Cyrus’ of the world. So because of that, I chose to recreate such a creative artist!
Here is another portrait of a late great actor. He was one of my favourites, especially during the Sopranos time period. He was almost an unlikely person to play the part, or at least I thought at first, but after getting into the series, he was the perfect person for this ruthless character. He was well received for many of his roles over the years putting him in the top class of all actors. His diversity was a strong suit for him, going from a killing mob boss to a dating older man, he played both convincingly.
He will be missed by all his friends, family, and fans.
Here it is, my first and and start to an addictive hobby. This was done a few years back and was a gift for my brother. This is my nephew and I remember I was so critical of it, to the point that I almost did not give it to him. All in all it was a very good start if I do say so myself.
I used a No.2 pencil and this had taken a while to complete, but when it was done, I was surprised I had it in me and was proud of what I had just pulled off. Like I said, it was my start to creating portraits with nothing but time, a pencil, paper and sometimes beer.
Don’t forget to check out my other creations on my Portraits page.
Here is another portrait I did a few years back of Neil Young. This was a gift for my father as Neil ‘Shakey’ Young get played quite a bit in his house. His wife (not officially), love his music as well and I thought it would be a great gift. This is a one off portrait meant only for my dad and is NOT for sale. Sorry.
Until recently, I never knew why Neil was nicknamed Shakey, not even when I drew this lol. I looked it up on the internet and I found that his friends gave him the name after viewing Mr. Young’s home movies. Apparently, this Canadian icon has trouble holding a camera still, I wonder if he has gotten any better these days, I know my camera has an ‘anti-shake’ feature on it. I guess we will never know.
As I add more and more photos I will be putting them in the order I have drawn them, from latest to the first. This one and more can be found on my Portraits page.
I have been drawing a lot of portraits lately and loving every minute of it. It has been challenging, yet rewarding and it keeps me trying to better my art for each piece. If I could only make a living at it, now that would be the dream job.
I don my headphones, pick something to listen to, grab a beer and then I get right into the drawing to the point where I cannot put my pencil down. Even when they are done, it is hard for me to quit and have to convince myself that there is nothing more to be done. I often look at these creations later on with my own criticism filled eyes, and instead of touching them up, I always remember my mistakes as I start the next one.
I look forward to actually getting to sit down and starting a new portrait and I have my own personal list to get done, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have time for yours if you want one. Of course there will be a fee for my time, but if you are interested in any of my pieces, or want your own, please email me at email@example.com
I wanted to pay tribute to the late Paul Walker, who lost his life in a car crash not too long ago. He was apart of one of my favourite movies series, Fast and Furious. I loved every single one of them, and can’t wait to see the latest instalment. Paul Walker in my mind helped make this series to what it is and the popularity they have received as he fit the part perfectly. He will be missed by all…RIP Paul Walker.
His portrait will be the first on my ‘Portraits‘ page with many more to follow. I hope you enjoy each and everyone I upload.