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.

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