November 30, 2017

Heidi Does Get Outside Sometimes

A few people have asked if Heidi is okay since they don't see many pictures of her on the blog. Weather dictates most of Heidi's actions. She has always been like that even when Winston was around. She has always been somewhat of a 'loner'. Readers that don't know ask about her bare skin around her feet and ankles but compared to early 2015 that looks fantastic. She is actually doing very well. She goes outside 3x per day at a minimum and is sleeping most of her other time.

The first thing in the morning she runs outside either behind or under the bloodhounds to relieve herself after sleeping all night. Then right after lunch she will go outside with the bloodhounds for the same purpose. If it is great weather she will lounge and possibly even nap in the sunshine during the hot summers. Other times she was roam the yard giving her nose a workout. Or she will do a lap around the house.

A lot of times that mid day trip is nothing more than out to the front yard, dump her tanks, trotted across the yard to the driveway for a slow walk up the hill with her nose inspecting every inch. Her toenails have been longer than normal since the first day I got her. One of the vets that was treating her skin problem told me in June 2015 that most likely hair would never grow back where her skin was raw ... but it did on her legs  and shoulders where there is white hair. Not all but some.

Almost daily Sadie will make sure she is okay and will walk into the front yard kind of like helping her back to the house, even though she does not need any help. At night Sadie will wait and meet her at the door as Heidi walks back inside with her 'infamous' nose tap as Heidi scrambles back to the couch.

She will always go outside around 8pm or 9pm at night after sleeping most of the afternoon and early evening away. I basically let her do what she wants. If she wants to join us on our walks she will hop down off the couch and run to the door on her own without me saying anything. If she wants to stay outside on her own, she does, but only during hot weather.

She will greet me at the door every time I come back home from a shopping trip or a road trip. She roams the house while I am gone while the Sadie and Stella stay together in a shut off room, for their own safety and my sanity. Stella still dreams of riding in the Z4 but that will never happen, sorry.

Since she was picked up from the shelter by the basset hounds rescue service, her exact age is not known. Best estimate is she is around between 8 and 9 years old right now, maybe a few months older.

For all of the plant experts that visit the blog. I think I am seeing some deeper colors and maybe some new life in the Azaleas I planted last summer in the middle of the hot weather. I was going to leave them and let nature take it's course to see what they do in the winter. Is that a good plan?

Do these look normal? Okay? I've only let the little rain we've had this fall water them.

I am not sure about these. Are they dead or dormant? I guess I'll find out next spring.

I'll wait to see what the winter weather does to them and then do any changes in the spring this year instead of changing my landscaping plans in the middle of July.

Thanks for asking about Heidi. I know a few readers consider her their favorite hound of the three.

Hard to believe how fast this week has passed here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

The Hounds Check Out Rain Except Heidi

All of that nice weather I've been bragging about has left again. At least it's not cold and the rain is suppose to stop by 1pm today. That will give me some time to work on a computer mistake I made yesterday. Nothing drastic, nothing that crashes my computer. We took off this morning in what looked like rain but looking through my binoculars standing in the kitchen, I did not see any rain coming down through the Sycamore tree. They hounds of course were happy ... they don't care about weather, they just want to walk.

Sadie took off sprinting while Stella had some fresh wet tall grass to supplement her morning kibble. After every rain I guess the grass tastes that much better to her. 

Once she saw that Sadie had found something she took off sprinting ... no way was she going to miss out on something Sadie had.

I was dressed for light rain, heavy rain or no rain ... so I walked my pace, they walked theirs.

I heard Stella snorting while her nose inspected the fresh scents.

Still a little color from the fall hanging around.

With me taking pictures and obviously not walking fast enough for Sadie, she had other plans and the scent she was on was all she was focused on. She sprinted around the corner with her nose to the ground, running out of sight.

I called Stella's name loudly to see if she would come running and join us ... LOL ... what do you think of her response? the picture after this one was taken within seconds of her looking at me.

That's fine, Sadie and I could continue on ... these seems to be the norm anymore for our 1st walks of the day. In the afternoon walks Stella is right there beside me without any words spoken, even during the times I don't have her on the 25' retractable leash.

I am assuming these are very very young tree saplings? Am I right?

I mentioned the other day, maybe yesterday's post that I had moved all of my spreadsheets back to Excel. They say that memory is the first to go as you get older and that proved to be true numerous times yesterday. While I was looking for a solution to my other macOS problem that was self induced, I was reminded why I moved all those spreadsheets to Numbers in the first place a month or two ago.

I have Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. Since I really only use Excel in that program and really just design basic spreadsheets for my personal use I have no reason to spend $150 for their 2016 version. Especially when Apple Numbers gives me what I need and the only problem is I have not learned all the ways to do things differently compared to Excel.

It will take me less than an hour to study what I am having a problem with and once that is figured out, then Numbers will be perfect for what I want. The reason I switched a month or so ago, is the new Apple macOS is not going to support the older 2011 version of Microsoft Windows. In fact Microsoft no longer supports it and updates will not be sent to that version.

Currently my spreadsheets are working but I didn't want to take the chance to lose them due to macOS finally realizing that I was still using 2011 version of Office and then not give me the ability to open them. That has already happened to many users.

So I changed all of them back to Apple Numbers late last night (early this morning) in a very short period of time.

The biggest 'senior moment' came yesterday afternoon where for some strange unknown reason ... I decided to leave the Apple Beta Program and download the latest public release of macOS High Sierra over the top of a more current version in the Beta Program.

No big deal. After a couple of hours it took to download and install my computer worked perfectly without a hitch ... and still does. EXCEPT I forgot something very important .... My 330Gb file called "photos.library" would not load with the new public release of the macOS High Sierra because the Beta version is always going to be a newer version.

My only choice was to start a new file for my photos. That is also not a problem. I know a few people that have different photo library files on their computer they work with daily, but in my case until the macOS is updated in a few months I have no way to access those 100,000's of photos on my computer, except to copy that file to my external drive and plug that external drive into my laptop which is still running the beta version of the operating system.

I wasn't in a panic. I haven't lost those photos. The file is still there and is also backed up. I also have all them backed up online in Flickr, a free TB of storage in original file size. So I joined the Beta Program again with a few taps on my mouse pad but didn't get the screen to re-download the beta version of the macOS.

I dug around online and found a different way to get that page of download links. An hour and half later when the file had been downloaded, it stopped before it installed the program. It didn't show up anywhere in my files. So back to the mac forum to see what to do. Others had similar problems.

So the rain has come at the right time. I really do enjoy solving computer problems like this and will spend this morning looking for more ways to fix my problem. Once I can get the Beta version of the operating system installed, my large photo file will be available again.

In the meantime as a temporary fix ... I'll continue to operate as normal on the public released operating system and keep adding photos to my 'new' photos library file ... then import from that file later on when my large file is available again.

Yet, those two examples with the photo mix up and forgetting about why I moved my spreadsheets shows that as you get older you have to be on your toes when it comes to making decisions on a computer. Memory, memory, memory.

An online friend that reads the blog sent me something to check out for my slow Safari problem. Once I went into preferences and unchecked the Apple Pay box ... Safari was back to being faster than fast (thank you Mary) ... thus it is back to being my default browser. It does not let Facebook, Twitter, and all my Sports sites to play their videos automatically. I like videos but I want to be the one to decide what I want to watch not the computer gods.

Once again this morning I told Sadie to "go find Stella" ... she ran right to her, directly in front of us. Needless to say, Stella didn't get in her large number of steps in this morning but she doesn't count them and does not wear a Garmin watch or FitBit to track them. She is just Stella ... in her own little world ... that likes to sleep behind my computer desk chair as I type blog posts everyday.

We were almost finished with the walk when I thought I heard drops of rain hitting my light rain jacket. It was light enough that I really couldn't tell but it was good that I convinced Stella to at least head our direction with Sadie and I.

She acted busy and ignored me of course until that rain became a sprinkle ... that moved her from head down in the tall grass to a slow paced walk. I wasn't going to wait any longer because it was starting to rain harder ... so I ran to the house with the camera facing down in my hand and Sadie running right beside me.

By the time we got to the carport Stella had decided it was raining harder and she never likes to be in the rain ... she picked up her speed to somewhere between a fast trot and a slow run. But that's just Stella ... one of the most hilarious personalities in a hound that I have had in 30 years. There isn't a day she doesn't have me laughing about something.

With her sprinter speed, she brushed by me hitting the side of my knee as she ran to the door with plans to get inside before Sadie did. Everything is competitive between those two.

The rain sounded harder then it shows on my cap. You don't see many ball caps that say Sacramento State Hornets back here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

So a little rain, some online research to fix my self induced computer problem and ..... my interest has been tweaked into looking more into the specs of those new iPhones ... Verizon told me yesterday that I could get a new phone and get paid $197 for my 6s after trading it in for the upgraded phone. I don't need one but why not ... ???  LOL

It's still a nice day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana even with a little precipitation.

Heidi's Outside


Even with cooler temps and a wet yard from the earlier rain, Heidi made her normal after lunch appearance for some outdoor exercise. What a trio of hounds they are ... LOL

November 29, 2017

This Post Turned Into Rambling

With Heidi preparing for the expectation of the 'heat wave' blowing away today, she is back into her winter hibernation mode. She never even moved when I walked in to take her photo. With Stella interested in other things, it was really just Sadie and I doing the walk this morning ... at a faster pace.

Don't be fooled by Stella's fast start, getting way ahead of Sadie and I. She had no plans what so ever in walking with Sadie and I. I guess yesterday afternoon's walk checked off that box. It was okay, it was still warm, and only a light jacket was needed this morning.

I did notice one thing this morning while downloading, looking at and editing the photos I took this morning ... the lack of sunshine took away the quality I saw in the iPhone 6s pictures from the past few days. See if you can notice them. I've scattered only a few into this post.

I'm back to playing around with different browsers, using the 'Big 3' and finding out that the latest Safari that did so well with it's initial big improved update a month or so ago, now has some sort of hangup at the start of a new webpage. I only used the new Firefox Quantum for a couple of days after I found out there was no way at this time to stop videos from auto playing on Twitter and Facebook plus the sports news sites .. that soaked up too much of my data.

So this morning I decided to take the chance of getting a 500Mb hit of data if Google Chrome updated automatically when I turned it on. After more reading they have made it very hard to turn off the automatic update and change it to a manual update due to security reasons.

One thing different proved my point ... webpages loaded instantly without any hangups. So that shows me at least on my computer that something has changed in the Safari browser with their recent updates. I'll test it later by clearing all the history and cache files and see if that fixes the problem.

Here is Stella enjoying her walk.

With the weather so warm yesterday I got a lot done, some things not listed nor expected. The new smaller, lighter Black and Decker 20v battery operated leaf blower worked fantastic blowing the leaves out my gutter as I walked along the edge of the roof. There were not many leaves left but at least the gutter is completely clean and ready for winter snow and ice.

I backed out the FJ so I could get into my small shed easier. Of course Sadie and Stella thought they were finally going to go for a ride. By the time I had backed out, they were both standing at the back of the FJ waiting for me to open the door.

They didn't mind we weren't going anywhere ... while I put the ramps, car jacks, large leaf blower and large rake back into the shed ... they roamed the field. I almost pulled the snow shovel out for easier access but didn't want to jinx myself this winter and left it where it was.

I even knocked off a couple of items on my to-do list that had been overdue for many months. The carport was cleaned of all the cobwebs, dust, a few leaves and I double checked the three vents in the foundation that lead into the crawlspace. The have remained closed the past few weeks with one night of very high winds.

Once my 'mystery' cover arrived for the Z4 I opened the box only to put in the RMA form the company requires for me to get a refund after shipping it back at my cost. When I placed the order based on the list of parts in the insurance estimate there ended up three parts that could not be identified nor their locations. I called the BMW dealership for help in finding their locations and they were not near where I needed the repairs.

The sales rep offered to double check my order and include all the nuts, bolts, washers needed. That resulted in a lot of it being duplicated since the parts I put on the car already had a lot of the hardware included on the part. It will be interesting to see how they handle this return and how long it will take to complete the process.

Due to my lack of trust with this company, I took pictures of the shipment documents and also included my own spreadsheet that showed their company part number, the BMW part number, quantity, unit and extended cost. I know they do all of that anyway but I want to see if we match numbers by the time their refund is back into my account ... ~$197.

I also double checked my work on the car for any oil leaks after changing the filter on Monday. By that time there was 200-250 miles on the car after the filter change. Not a drop or sign of a leak anywhere. At least all of that work didn't take long and I know the job was done right ... yet I would not want to do any of it even for a part-time job.

The last time the oil was changed at the dealership, they put more oil in than required and there were signs of leaks or drips due to their lack of "attention to detail" ... drives me up the wall, so I do it myself.

With most of my to-do list finished for this time of year, my over active mind turns to things I can change on the computer. I think trying different browsers is proof of that. I will not be changing the template of this blog but am very seriously considering a template change on my Wordpress blog.

I talked about it in previous winters and even started manually scanning my old photographs (1,000's) two to three photos at a time into a digital image. That process was too slow. This year I am thinking about buying a scanner that is built specifically for scanning a large number of photos at a time, and also converts slides to digital images ... or taking them all in to have them scanned professionally.

Another winter project I am thinking about is making an electronic book (Apple's Keynote) about my 1976 Cross Country Bicycle trip. I have the journal I kept, where I could type from that journal into an electronic format. I also have some photos of that trip plus some slides that would need converted commercially. That trip ranks as probably the best if not one of the top two summers for me.

Someone told me once that if I were going to blog I needed to write about different things, "not just hound walks". So again I am thinking that I might on occasion write about the past basset hounds and bloodhounds I've had. There have been many over a 30 year period. I mentioned it once before but never followed through.

Two days from December is almost too hard to comprehend for me. It seems like yesterday I was surviving 80°+ temps in cargo shorts and a tshirt. It has been a nice fall season though with a few surprises sprinkled in.

I remember twenty years ago in the computer world my two favorite computer games were Sim City and Microsoft's Flight Simulator. I even bought the joystick to plug into the computer to fly the planes much easier than using the keyboard. None of those connections would work in today's computers whether they be a PC or Mac. Yet I still have all those games and others on CD with their instructions.

Another game that started my computer addiction was something I was playing in 1993 or 1994 called Wolfenstein. I see that game has come back as an app.

There is one solution though where I can bring these games and a couple of flight simulators back to life. In my closet wrapped in plastic for protection are my last two PC hard drives. One has WindowsXP and the other has Windows95 as their operating system.

During the next day(s) of bad weather I might have to unwrap them, sit them on the kitchen island, hook up an old monitor and keyboard and bring them back to life. I can look through them to see if I find any files or pictures I may have missed converting to a new computer in 2007 when I went from PC to a Mac. Afterward I can reformat the hard drives, then reinstall newer operating systems and only install old PC games and flight simulators into the hard drive.

Doing that I might have a major problem with the operation system install because of the out of date hardware since they are older than 10 years old. I probably should just leave the operation systems there, delete all of my files and then clean the hard drives for any malware. They would not be connected to the internet ... just stand alone gaming computers.

Falcon 2.0 was another great flight simulator I enjoyed. It is the Air Force's F16. I guess I could do some more online searching and find all of these available either as an app or a game for Xbox and Sony Playstation consoles.

So you can probably tell I am gearing up for winter, after all I can't watch college basketball 24/7. I need to diversify.  LOL

I have a Yahoo email account because I needed one to open a Flickr account for all of my photos. It is never used for sending nor receiving mail. But today that email account is the favorite of all spammers ... It's not quite noon and I have over a 100 emails automatically sent to my junk folder from that Yahoo account.

Yahoo email users beware ... something is going on.

For you that think you'd like to have a bloodhound or two, let me tell you something. They are much different than basset hounds. They are not the 'couch potatoes' you see in tv commercials sometime. (Chevy trucks years ago???).

I have two of them that always want more attention given to them than the other one. Or they work as a partnership. They just came into my computer room at 11am as I write this. Sadie starts hopping up and down like she does when we are getting ready for a walk.

Stella is poking my right arm with her nose because that is her way to tell me she wants something. Then Sadie backs off and starts giving me her 'stare down'.

You know what they want if you stop by the blog on a regular basis ... it's 11am or noon during the summer months ... they want their lunch and they want it now.

The problem with that is ... with my late morning we didn't start our day until 8:35am, not quite 3 hours ago. They will keep bugging me until I feed them.

Or while you are outside doing normal stuff around your house you realize that neither hound is anywhere within view or yelling range. You can look for miles on the horizon and not see a sign of them. So you stop what you are doing and start the search .... they have migrated to the back of the field in the far right corner next to the ATV path.

I thought I had lost them ... that they had disappeared. Not a good way to increase your pulse rate.

They did come running at me when they saw me, then ran past me toward the house and was at the door wanting inside by the time I walked back to the house. What did they do after that?  Water and a nap ... no big deal ... just another day being a bloodhound.

They are a funny breed with great personalities that sometimes pushes you to the edge of insanity.

With not much planned today I'll be taking the Z4 out for a drive through the hills of 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.