April 16, 2017

Thunderstorms & Complaining

There is some "rambling" included in this post, after all of the images. I'll warn you, there is some complaining involved. Probably more complaining than rambling but sometimes it's good to vent.

With 6 out of the next 9 days having a 50% chance or better of rain, as it became dark inside my house this morning at 8am it did not surprise me. Sadie stood by my desk chair just a few minutes prior with her daily morning request ... to take a walk.

Radar showed all of the storms were going to be just north of us. We were barely touching the southern edge of the front following the I-70 corridor. I thought I'd take a chance and see if we could fit in a walk as soon as possible, like right then.

After Sadie and I got pretty far ahead, Stella had not even left the yard. That picture above was shot with a 200mm zoom and obviously she had her own plans today ... they didn't include Sadie nor I.

What makes it kind of interesting with Stella and weather like today, she came with a warning in August 2015 ... "she is terrified of storms". She didn't not show that in any of the thunderstorms we have had since her arrival. She does not even pace nervously around the house then the thunder is rolling and loud. Still, with her reputation, days like today I am always on the lookout with her to make sure she is going to be okay.

I think the sky was giving one of it's better light shows today. The clouds were barely moving and followed the pattern that I had seen on the Intellicast radar before leaving ... all moving in a northeasterly direction.

Of course anytime we are on a walk ... nothing bothers Sadie. Nothing ever has the 8 years and 10 months that she has been living. Even as a 12 week old puppy she put her nose to the ground, then followed Winston everywhere he went in the field. She walks for one reason only ... track scents.

It was not a surprise as my 200mm lens focused and caught Stella walking due north while Sadie and I were on the normal path heading northeast. With the possibility of rain I wasn't sure I wanted to give her the freedom to roam anywhere. I headed her direction for her safety and my sanity.

It wasn't the woods nor the neighbor's drainage ditch that interested her, it was that one spot she visited the other day. Before I could say "over here", Sadie took off around me and sprinted her direction to get her to head our direction.

Those pictures of Sadie sprinting toward her turned out to be too blurred to be posted here. Something started on yesterday afternoon's walk where my 'single point' view setting did not seem to really focus on the hounds. The camera beeped it was focused and ready but the pictures didn't show that. I found that to be the same again today with some of my pictures.

She took her time walking toward us but about the time I finished taking a picture inside the banks of the gully, Stella rubbed my calf as she walked past me. She will walk over you or step on you if you are in her way.

You can see the sky back toward the house was getting lighter, with a feel of rain heading northeast. We continued to follow the path but I was sure I felt a drop of rain from somewhere. Nothing showed on my camera nor my shoes but it was there just for an instant.

With the winds picking up and that feeling it could start lightly raining at anytime, all three of us turned and headed back to the house. Sadie didn't hesitate and took the lead with an urgency to get home. Stella walked as close to me as possible in a pace that was between a fast walk and a trot.

The hounds could feel rain in the air.

As I write this sentence I hear the wet pavement as cars drive by the house. All outdoor activity will be on hold and weather will determine if and when we walk again, mow the yard again or wash the Z4. My activity last week was based on the forecast for the next ten days. So it's to the next thing on my list to do inside the house.

Early Friday evening we had a visitor across the highway. Probably some kind of fertilizer to be applied before the rains came. With the wide reach of the sprayer it was not going to take him very many laps to get the small field finished.

I was happy to see that dust from the field keep drifting west since I had a recently washed black car parked in my carport.

Once he finished his short trip, he folded everything back up and head down the highway. I don't know where their farm is nor how far away it might be.

I wanted to get my lawn mowed Saturday before possible rain on Sunday. Then I wanted to get if finished before the 1pm start time of the Cincinnati Reds game. I figured with everything I did the past 3-4 days I could waste a sunny afternoon watching baseball. That didn't last long though.

I cannot watch a lot of baseball when a professional pitcher can't throw strikes or even somewhere near the plate. So by the 2nd inning I had turned off the tv and headed back outside. Let see ... no sticks to pick up out of the yard, gutters are cleaned, yard mowed and the driveway bank cleared .... I had only one thing to do but didn't feel like it ... wash the Z4. A siesta sounded like the better option.

By 5:30pm we were all recovered from a long nap and headed out for a walk. You can tell in the picture above how the 'single point' focus did not turn out focused even after the camera told me it was with it's beep.

It is interesting to see the change in Stella's coat this year. She came with a color and coat like Sadie, what they called a red but more like a light tan. But her tail was showing something from her parents with a half tail of coarse 'black and tan' bloodhound in her.

That 'black and tan' started taking over her body this winter, even with a feeling of more coarse than soft and fine hair.

Sadie's parents were like that. Her dad was a 'red', same color as Sadie and her mom was a laidback 'black and tan'. The breeder told me a few months after I bought Sadie that she was getting feedback from new owners where the females in the litter were acting like their obnoxious dad and the male puppies were laidback and relaxed like their mom.

As I stepped into the kitchen/hall area, Heidi came sprinting from the living room couch. I could tell she was wanting to take a walk. She was even barking to go outside and it was going to be more than just dumping her tanks. Barking to go outside is not normal for her.

Stella hung back, Heidi wasn't much faster and Sadie was already way out in front. I could tell from the start it was going to be challenging to keep all three hounds in the same general direction and somewhat together.

Another of those pictures where the camera beeped telling me it was in focus, then finding out later when I downloaded it into my computer it was blurred.

I'll try to take some pictures of her paws with my iPhone camera today but her paws are full of grown hair, normal thickness. All on 4 paws where a vet two years ago told me that hair most likely would never return to her legs and paws that showed bare skin. All of that hair on her front legs is at normal levels of thickness.

Heidi held her own on the path has Stella tried to walk over her or at least close enough to move her out of the way. There is 7 acres of field to walk in and both of them have to walk on the same path inches from each other.

I kept walking my pace. I needed to keep Sadie in our general area and not in the 'no fly zone'. She had been on a scent for most of the walk but I was spending all of my time moving Stella and Heidi.

It's hard to see her but Heidi has that look on her face as if we were leaving her. It is taken at 50mm zoom which is suppose to be the same view as your eyes.

I waited and called her name. She didn't sprint like she use to but she did come running. Once again, the camera beeps telling me the 'single point' focus is locked in but the downloaded picture says otherwise.

The pictures are blurred but too good not the post on the blog.

Once she turned left on the final turn, where the whole path angles downhill all the way to the house, Heidi was out front of us and the one wondering what was taking so much time.

The winds were still blowing strong from the southwest, like they had all day. With all of the windows open, no papers laying out in the open were safe. Stella turned into a puppy for a few minutes as I caught her chewing up some of my new Medicare Supplement Insurance junk mail that had blown from the kitchen island/shop work bench to the floor and had not made it to the recycling bin yet.

I almost forgot ... but Stella still needed to show me in the end that she was still on her schedule as she veered off the path for something while Sadie, Heidi and I walked into the house.

I am not expecting any negative results but I will find out this week how the new HughesNet Gen5 signal works in thunderstorms. I rarely lost internet signal with Exede during storms. Plus anymore, I rarely lose my Directv signal ... at least nothing like it was 15  years ago.

The downloading speeds are still in the high 40'sMbps with the new internet system. One thing I have noticed different is when I upload pictures into my blogs on Blogger but not on the one on Wordpress ... fast upload speed of 3-7Mbps but the images do not load that fast and every one of them starts as their original size (very large) before the smaller version is loaded. It was much faster with the Exede system and slower speeds.

I noticed on Box Canyon Blog that Mark had changed his home page where the 7 most recent posts were in an abbreviated form with only one image and a "read more" link. I would like to do that to my blog but I have not found any way to change the settings to do that. Using the help found on Google so far has not worked.

Can someone help me on this?  Is that option based on a Blogger setting or is it the type of template (theme) he is using?

Yet, there are some readers that like to scroll through all of the photos at once instead of opening each post individually. (me) Then there are some that would like the blog to load faster using less data and the abbreviated versions would accomplish that.

I still like using Flickr and Google Photos as my online backup. One complaint I have with Google Photos, it will change the order of the photos once they are uploaded. It doesn't matter if I set them to list 'oldest first' or 'newest first', Google photos will sort them as they want. Flickr is still a sharper and better quality picture, between the two.

Why do I dread going under the house to check on things and climbing up into the attic portion of the roof to check on things? I've done both many times over the 19-20 years I have lived here but still dread my annual trips to those areas of the house.

I am still staying away from any source of news, tv or online. A great decision and unless a headline sneaks into my sports based Facebook, Twitter feeds or sports sites I visit, I have no clue what is going in in the world. As long as I don't feel the ground vibrating I figure the hounds and I are good. It feels great to get away from all of that 'noise'. I can't remember the last time I heard any news outside of sports.

After 3-1/2 months I am on pace to put only 1,585 miles on my Z4 this calendar year. Some people would say if you are not going to drive it then sell it. I like having it for those times I want to take a nice drive through the country side with the top down.

I know that I am the only driver in the house but after careful analysis and looking in my past history of vehicle ownership, I need up to 4 different vehicles. I don't think I could ever get by with just one car and even with the two cars I have now, there are two other vehicles I'd like to have parked outside.

I am glad I did not use any Scott's Turf Builder and Fertilizer for the yard or weed killer this year. The yard is growing fast enough for a weekly mow and the grass is taking over the weeds. All the mole hills have disappeared since the the spring rains arrived. The yard looks better than it did a month ago.

As for weed killer on the driveway and bank. I was close to buying and using some potent chemical based weed killer but did not want to take the chance of that stuff touching the paws or noses of my hounds. I know they say it's safe after 24-48 hours for pets but something tells me that is not accurate. So my technique of using my nylon string on the weed eater and cutting them as close to the ground as possible seems to control them.

This is where the complaining started and went on and on. The more I thought about it and the more I read it ... the more I didn't like it ... so I deleted all of the complaining the morning after.

Of course those that are subscribed by email or get an email notice with the blog post included will see all of my complaining, so far I have not heard back from those few that do.

Most if not all the blog readers have seen it, so I guess this deletion is because I didn't want it to be part of the record in the future. 

I might have to do a blog post about keywords in blog post titles because that word "complaining" DOUBLED my normal number of blog visitors. Many were first time visitors and had never seen the blog before.

My "rambling" posts alway draw a bigger crowd it seems.

So anyway, that is where the complaints went, right to the dumpster, where they should be.

That is about all the rambling for today. The birds are chirping and I can hear it raining lightly but steady outside. It will be a day of playing Mahjong on the laptop, reading books with a baseball game on in the background and hopefully a lot less complaining.

The pace is furious here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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