Saturday, September 14, 2013

Niagara Falls Ontario - It ain't like it used to be



We had a chance to visit Niagara Falls this past summer. It has been 30 years since I last visited and I can truthfully say that after having spent four very relaxing days while we were there I doubt that I will be returning anytime soon. The city is commercialized beyond recognition. Thirty years ago there was certainly a touristy feel and the start of a honky tonk town but today, it is unbelievably  geared towards tourism with casinos, restaurants, high rise hotels and so on.

The first photo is of the falls itself, the Canadian side. There were literally hundreds of people on the boardwalk that day so it was hard to get scenic views plus the weather was overcast and slightly misty but warm.

We stayed a place in Niagara Falls called Accoomodations Niagara and it proved to be the highlight of our stay. Lee was wonderful and the guests staying at the time were facinating folks.

Downtown Niagara Falls is a busy place and if you have kids it is probably a great place to vacation and I suppose for couples as well. You can easily spend a lot of money in the casinos but it was not our thing. Most of our time was spent in Niagara-on-the-Lake visiting the various wineries capped off with a wonderful dinner at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Photos taken with an Olympus EPL-5 and 14-42 and 45mm lenses.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Woodshed project

 This past summer we decided at our summer cottage in central Canada that we needed a new woodshed. The old one had been torn down a number of years ago but we need one now as a result of the installation of a brand new wood stove.

Storing wood outside is not ideal as anyone with experience with a wood stove will tell you. It never really dries properly unless you cover it or store it out of the elements.

I decided to go real simple and functional. I wanted a woodshed but I also wanted a place to store a ladder, yard tools and our portable generator.

I decided that patio blocks were sufficient and I build a box frame out of 2 X 8's over the blocks. In retrospect I could have screwed the boards down instead of nailing them but it is strong enough and should last a long time. I bolted (using lag bolts) pressure treated 4 X 4 posts to the box frame which slip into the patio blocks.

The posts also support the roof structure and I used a simple shed roof design. You can see the roof supports in the second photo. I am not the greatest carpenter in the world but I think what I designed and built should last a while.

Here is the completed structure. The only change I might make is a brim roof in the front to keep a little more rain out. As soon as I figure that out I'll build it next summer. Will I stain it? I don't know. I'll wait to see how the slats weather.

On a final note. There happened to be three small pines in front of the woodshed that I decided to leave there. They add an interesting element to the structure.

Olympus EPL-5 with Zuiko 14-42 .