September 14, 2016

Some Mid-Week Rambling

We were all up early but the day really didn't start until after lunch. It was one of those days where you weren't sure what you wanted to do. The hounds were no help in me making a decision.

So, we kicked back most of the day ... isn't that the norm around here?

Heidi decided to surprise me by going an entirely different direction and was only in that area long enough to dump her tanks and then head back to the door to be let in? Why on such a beautiful day? Winston would have taken off to explore every inch of the yard, maybe lay in the sun but Heidi has a much different personality than he did.

This morning Stella didn't have much interest other than eating that soft dirt pushed up by my yard moles. Over the years I've tried everything suggested to kill the grub worms and prevent yard moles ... all with no success. Anyone have some ideas on what to use?

By the time I read all the internet news on sports, answered emails, read Facebook and Twitter a couple of hours had already passed. I was still curious about my password manager that I use called LastPass so I started more Google searches to find out if any recent news had been released ... maybe some alternatives. I like LastPass and have it on my desktop and laptop for free ... I am too cheap to pay the $12 per year just so I can use it on my iPhone.

It might not just be my way of thinking but I rarely if ever use a site, banking (never), Apple Pay (no yet) on my iPhone where I need a user id and password. I am still not convinced that is secure like a laptop or desktop is. So I continue to use the free version of LastPass.

Plus I aways enjoy doing a Google search on ".... vs ... " when I have something on my mind.

By 4:30pm, Sadie was giving me the 'stare down' to get my butt out of my chair, back away from the computer and get an afternoon walk in ... sounded like a good idea to me. It also felt like rain as soon as we stepped outside.

It was all clear to the north but looking south it was storms showing up on the WeatherBug radar.

It was a day for butterflies and I was able to catch a couple while on the walk.

Sadie and Stella both went their separate ways, finding all these nice spots to bury their noses in the thick grass. During the whole walk, they both spent a lot of time stationary, in different spots, doing what they do.

You can tell how fast the Mist Flower is dying out, more and more by the day. They will return to those ugly dead stems scattered all over the field until they cut the field again, which may not be until next summer.

Ten minutes into the walk it felt like those rain clouds were right over the top of us ... luckily it was only gray clouds and no raindrops. I didn't realized rain was a possibility today.

While I was spending time taking photos of butterflies, adjusting my camera setting to 'no beeps' when in focus, Sadie and Stella had already moved to the very back of the field ... a long way away from me.

I am loving the new Tamron lens I bought a few weeks ago ... it has all the ranges I use on one lens and more important to me .. it focusses first time every time without errors.

By the time I caught up with them, they were back to their own individual tasks of identifying different areas of the field.

I continued my walk and letting them stay on their own schedule. When I was a at a point of the walk where they would be out of sight, I called each of their names one time and they both came running. That is pretty good for hounds, noted for being a stubborn breed and not recommended to be off leash.

Sadie trotted right past me and headed home ... with only a couple of stops along the way.

I didn't want to wait to describe today's walk after my rambling. I like to kind of match the walking details with the photos. During the walk I thought that I had a lot of 'other stuff' on my mind to write about. Nothing important and maybe not even interesting topics to blog about ... but as I mentioned yesterday, it's been hard to write lately so maybe a little rambling was due.

I admit and have many times before, at times I feel this blog is pretty boring and if it feels that way to me, it has to feel that way to some of you. Yet, I like to write and I like taking photos of the hounds even if the path never changes and their routines are consistently the same.

Let me know via email or by commenting here ... any suggestions for what you would like to see on this blog.

I know it's my blog and I can do or write about what I want .... some say "it's your journal and write about whatever you want, readers can choose if they want to read or not". I agree with some of that but not all ... I feel that if you take the time to visit my blog then I have some responsibility to cover information or photograph things that you are interested in  when it comes to "Hounds and Other Stuff".

So I am open to suggestions.

I have a couple of other private blogs on Blogger where I write. It's been less frequently lately but one is a private journal of personal thoughts. Then I kept a private blog with the same colors and template that this blog was back in December 2015. I was using that as my main blog for the hounds and my life here in the tropics when I wasn't posting on the public blog ... mostly as my reference for future use. I have photos of house maintenance, issues, repairs, more photos of Heidi as documentation ... supplementing my memory. It has been quite useful.

I can also import all the new blog posts from this blog to that blog when I feel I want to update it with all my blog pots.

Yesterday I ran onto something that may be hard to imagine but in a way it IS POSSIBLE ... more government control of bloggers. It's toward the bottom of this blog post ... but it made me wonder, what would happen to all our blogs if this were to happen in the future. With all of the current mainstream media censorship plus Facebook and Twitter controlling what content is seen by the public ... that blog post could be fairly accurate.

It would make me want to move my 'personal blog' back to a Word Document on my hard drive ... suggested by one friend of mine years ago when I told her about my new blog. There are a lot of things I like about Blogger over a Microsoft Word document but at the same time ... having those deep thoughts only on my computer sounds like it might be right and time for a change.

As you know last week I spent a large amount of time after midnight so I could use the free data period offered by my internet provider to upload close to 30,000 photos to Google Photos as a backup ... an online backup. Yet the picture quality on Flickr is much better because it will upload all of your photos AFTER you have made any edits on the original photo and they are not compressed into a smaller file size. Google Photos does not and would prefer you do your edits on their program.

A lot of work was put into Google Photos, so I hate to stop using it. It's nice that any photos I take of the hounds with my iPhone (which I keep forgetting to add to the blog) is automatically updated in Google Photos and vice versa. With the automatic setting it's fast for me to upload every photo taken that day (25-100 per day), just by doing a "select all" and then exporting them to a folder on my desk top. Google Photos will upload those automatically as soon as those photos touch that folder.

I've started loading those same daily photos to my Flickr account which I have linked on the left sidebar of this blog in the upper left corner. You can see the sharp quality in the photos. In that case I do the upload manually after midnight to save my data. Since those photos are in the edited original setting and are NOT compressed ... it takes more data to upload but is just as fast.

So I am using both and it really doesn't take that much time. I also don't have to do it every day even if I take photos every day.

I usually post 1-4 photos on Facebook but not all the time. It's for those that do Facebook but never read my blog. I have had very few friends that are local, read my blog but they are addicts of Facebook.

I still like my Wordpress blog a lot. Although it updates on my left sidebar I rarely get a visit to that blog so I guess I'll keep it just for me. It has only a couple of sentences of verbiage and mostly photos. Yes, they are the same as you see on this blog.

As far as blogging ... is it dying out slowly? Are bloggers quitting, moving to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? I see less updated posts on the blogs I follow here. No big deal but I am just mentioning it because of the trend ... less blogging frequency.

Traveling ??? The urge has slowly disappeared as I feel more and more content where I am. I've done enough analyzing on all the pros and cons of traveling with the hounds, sell or not to sell the house and change my base camp location, and what vehicle to travel in when I do end up traveling. I will, it's just not going to happen with two bloodhounds.

I've tested them here locally. They go on all the short trips with me except the grocery shopping trip. They ride well ... except there was the time a month ago where we were driving the short 3 mile drive home after buying dog food ... I did not realize until I got home, that Stella had tore the bag of dog food open and was eating kibble as fast as she could before we got home. LOL

They ride very well as does Heidi. Yet controlling them with two 6' leashes or two leashes on one splitter doesn't work well with them when tested here in the field. They are both very strong and they like to go different directions, one splitter and two leashes presented a control problem.

I analyzed and decided that before I decided to go get Stella (Dipstick) last August. I was fine with that decision now as I was then.

Should you force yourself to eat when you never feel hungry through out the day? I've been having more days like that.

For some reason I have not been taking my Z4 drives. It is being driven a lot less than the Mini Cooper I had. When I take off in that car I know I like it better than the Mini Cooper and even if it's not driven much, it's a keeper. One of the Z4 forums did a poll to check ages of Z4 owners. Very very surprising that the majority were 65 or older and many over 70 years old.

Oh I almost forgot. In 10 months I have gone full circle after selling my iPhone 5S and my iPad Mini2 last November ... A few weeks ago I went back to an iPhone 6S, a little bigger screen than the 5S, better camera and the updated guts to run it. Great decision in getting back to a smart phone.

A few weeks ago while sitting on the couch with a laptop while watching football ... it's a great way to watch the stats of games you are watching ... I realized I missed the size of the iPad Mini, doing the same thing I was doing with a laptop. Then when I downloaded a few free books to Kindle I once again missed the size and convenience for reading books on the iPad Mini.

So, last night I bought a new one. It was on sale, it's the 2 not the 4 like I had before and only a few dollars more than I sold my old one for last November. I never used it to take photos with, the iPhone is doing that. I didn't buy the one where I can add cellular data because I would rarely use that. I read about the difference in the 2 and the 4's ... not enough for my use of it to pay a little more. It's fast, great for reading e-books ... although I go back and forth between them and books.

Options are always good and I don't see myself ever being a bare bones minimalist. It is good to know though my urges to trade cars, where that at times were obsessive, are gone with the two vehicles I now have.

I'll remember all the stuff I was going to ramble about as soon as I post this ... but this is way too long as it is and it's already past 6pm.

It's been a good summer here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana ... so good, that it's already over.

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