March 15, 2018

Mostly Photos Few Words

Once again I am finding it to be a slight adjustment to the change to Daylight Savings Time. I try to feed the hounds the same time twice per day meaning there is a difference in the actual time on the clock but the same period year round ... if that makes sense. Yet, our walks are later and that drives Sadie to the point of insanity waiting for me to get outside.

The mystery of my photos on this blog continues. I have a reader that cannot see my photos due to the file size evidently, after I did a test on yesterday's post. Yet he can view another blog that makes the same html image size adjustment that I was doing. This morning I thought it might be the settings that are used when I export the photos from my computer to Blogger.

So this morning I exported the same photo four different settings to my private blog, where I could study each one of them. On this post I am going to have a couple of photos with a different export setting to see if this reader has problems with seeing them.

Does anyone else have a problem seeing the blog photos?

I am blogging for the third day in a row and find myself with very little to say ... it was just one reason I stopped blogging everyday these past weeks. So I think I'll let the photos roll on the rest of the blog without any commentary.

No sign of Stella ... anywhere.

A few steps later I see her over by the corner of the woods to the left.

At least it's warmer ... LOL

Another beautiful morning here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

March 14, 2018

Snow & Warm Weather Same Day

If you had been outside with the hounds and I just after 12 noon yesterday, you would have found it unbelievable what we saw an hour before sundown. With the temps near 50° it was good to see the 5-day forecast was right on track for warmer temps by Thursday and the thoughts of Spring could be right around the corner.

With the warm weather, we fit in 3 different hound walks yesterday with the last two without the camera and Stella on the 25' retractable leash. I could feel the warmth of the sun but as we walked further the wind that was blowing was extremely cold ... what was happening?

Sitting on the couch later, watching tv and catching up on all the millions of dollars spent on NFL free agent players yesterday, I glanced out the window and saw blizzard like snow, blowing sideways and coming down hard. It was just 50° a few hours ago !!! Those big flakes were sticking to the ground also ... strange stuff.

So this morning the hounds and I finally started the walk a little later than normal after realizing it wasn't going to get any warmer than it was, 24°. As you see there is snow barely covering the yard and field. Yet the bright sunshine made all the difference in the world on the walk.

These recent freezing temps have led me back to Realtor dot com, looking at houses in Southern Arizona instead of New Mexico. I don't want to be cold anytime of year ... is that possible anymore?  I had been looking at houses out west hard starting around January 20th. I even called a realtor "out there" and had a local agent stop by my house to take a look. I had a few favorites 'saved' but in the past two weeks two of my top three have sold.

So this morning over a couple of cups of coffee I took another look at the small towns I had looked at before. An even trade for what I would get for my house (not much) is not possible out west even in very small towns, without buying a 'fixer upper'. Those results have been the same for the past 8 years where I have looked at housing off and on.

Some say I am crazy wanting to sell a house I own and move to a different house in a different location that would come with some kind of mortgage. Other people remind me that it would be worth the mortgage payment in exchange of better weather. One tells me as long as I can afford a mortgage then there is nothing wrong having a mortgage after you have retired.

Although it wasn't the houses that was interesting this morning though ... something had already been walking down our path leaving prints of some kind barely visible. I kept trying to see if they were deer hoofs or something else. It looked more like a dog paw in size but nothing was distinct enough to tell me what it was.

The seemed too close apart for deer tracks.

Sadie and Stella were behind me and the prints on the path. Evidently the freezing weather created a lot of deer traffic earlier this morning before dawn.

As usual I was letting Stella do her own thing but was a little concerned that soon after I took the picture of her, I glanced back in her direction and she was out of sight. She has done that before but seems to show up within 30 minutes after Sadie and I finish our walk or while Sadie and I are finishing our walk. I was hoping she would show up today before we got back to the house.

The snow brings out the paths the deer take down into the gully. During the summer those paths will be evident by mashed down brush.

The idea of moving has always been a hard one for me to figure out. I've been here 20 years, moving in about this same time in March. It was much warmer the day we moved in and the week after seemed like summer based on the photos I glanced through the other day. With the inability to make a decision, I take that as ... I should stay here until I know something more definite.

But when that Apple iPhone weather app shows me at 24° and a few western towns I have listed in the 60's and 70's it seems like a pretty easy decision.

Walking back I thought I saw some kind of movement up ahead but it's always hard to tell because I don't wear my glasses on the walks. I was happy to see Stella heading across the field to the other woods ... I was pretty sure she was tracking those same prints I had seen veer from the path in that direction.

Luckily with little wind ... it was just cold but not freezing.

The photo doesn't show it but Stella is moving at a fast pace with her head down and heading toward the woods behind the neighbors house. I thought I'd yell her name and see what she would do.

She was faster than my camera shutter as she stopped and looked right at me, then turned around and started walking toward our path. These photos are taken at 200mm zoom so we are still pretty far apart.

Once on the path she strolled toward me to nudge my knee with her nose letting me know she was ready to head home. I wonder what her new routine will be a few weeks from now?

I can't explain my sudden urge to blog two days in a row. I have no idea if it will continue, we will see.

A reader told me this morning by commenting on yesterday's post, that he could read my blog but could not see my blog images on his computer, tablet or phone. Anyone else have trouble like that? For him, every image has that triangle with an error symbol. I have no idea why the blog shows up like that so I'll do some google searching and see what I come up with.

If any of you know why that happens, leave a comment so we can see if he or I can fix it.

Maybe I am hesitant to sell my house because I would have to keep it 'immaculate' for showing prospective buyers instead of the 'lived in' look?

Tom .... I've decided on this post to leave the images in the smaller size that Google Blogger compresses them and see if that makes a difference to you.

Bright and sunny there in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana ... just a little cold is all.

March 13, 2018

The Hounds Don't Worry About Weather

As bad as I want warmer weather and Spring to arrive, the bloodhounds don't care ... but Heidi does. She is like me ... wants it at least 70°. Since our last post nothing much has happened. About every time I put the wool socks and long underwear away, the temps drop below freezing. We took off this morning with 25° and an adjustment to Daylight Savings Time.

Even though the walks remain the same, Stella has changed her walk routine as usual. I've been letting her hang back while Sadie and I make the half mile walk. Stella has made two changes ... she gets as far as the first corner by the time we meet her on the way back ... and she comes when I call her.

I tried a few changes to my camera settings even though most of our walks anymore are taken without a camera. For some strange reason Stella seems to follow Sadie and I, when I don't take the camera. I spent a few days taking large file images in the RAW setting instead of JPG-Fine. I could tell a slight difference in sharpness but it wasn't worth the extra time it took to export the images from the computer to the blog.

About the time I made the change back to JPG-Fine, I received an updated article from 'Digital Photography' where a professional photographer made the same comparison and the same change for this general family photos.

Heidi was able to make a few laps around the house a couple of days when the temps were in the 40's after her lunch. I let her do what she wanted, but she always made it back to the door to be let in right after her lap and spent no extra time outside.

No matter what, every walk morning or afternoon, Sadie is always tracking scent ... that's what she is made for. Where Stella prefers food and sleeping.

I've really enjoyed the change from Directv to Dish Network. I now have a feature I can split my tv screen into 2 or 4 screens, showing ballgames in each smaller screen. A nice feature for a sports addict like me. With a DVR that tapes up to 16 movies, tv shows, or ballgames at one time, I no longer have channel conflicts. The nicest thing is the ability to export all saved movies and games to an external hard drive instead of taping them on DVDs, after the 2Tb DVR is filled.

We had a few days of rain mixed in between the freezing cold days but when the roads have been dry and no rain in the forecast I have taken short drives (1 hour) with the Z4. It does not get driven that much over the year but it's there when I have the urge to go out and enjoy the local scenery plus the smooth driving Z4.

Back to Directv, I am in the final few weeks to officially close my account. Since my DVR is an older model they did not request that I ship it back but they did send me an envelope to return the card inside the DVR. Of course they cannot let me know that they received it, nor can their customer service reps tell me if that card has been received, thus leading to a possible charge.

I have been told different stories, one saying that if I have received my final bill, which I did and paid immediately, then all is good without any additional charges. Directv forums tell a different story, so we will see I guess.

They continue to make offers for me to come back, this week by snail mail. My same 'Choice Package' for $29.99 for the next year instead of the $99.99 - $114.99 I was paying. To sweeten the deal they offered a Visa Gift Card worth $300 this week. Yet they day before I cancelled my account they told me they could not offer any discounts.

No matter how far back Sadie gets behind me, she will always come sprinting to and past me in a full sprint.

It shows it will be warmer by the end of the week and possible snow a few days later on Tuesday. No worries, I've seen it snow the first few days in April many years ago. While we had the coldest winter that I can remember this year, the national weather service says the Earth was warmer than ever in January.

It's the middle of March but looks like the dead of winter in freezing January.

With each step by Sadie I could hear the frozen weeds, grass and dormant flowers crunching under her paws.

This has been the area we see Stella as we make the turn toward home, at least the past week.

While looking like she is ignoring me, this week she will walk over to me and push my knee with her nose to let me know she is there. Instead of taking her normal 'alternate' path home, she had been leading Sadie down the normal return path home.

With all of the deer scent and the field cat we rarely see if every, they have plenty of work to track all the way home.

That 'field cat' made an appearance the other day during our afternoon walk. Sadie of course had to check it out and by the time I caught up with her, the cat swatted Sadie across her nose drawing blood. With the cat arching her back and hissing ... Sadie would not leave yet decided it was best not to poke her nose toward the cat.

By the time we returned home, Sadie had stopped the bleeding by having her nose pressed to the ground on the way home the other day.

The next month will be filled with 'March Madness' in college basketball, sprinkled with a few games of MLB spring training. The Reds open their season in just 16 days, snow or now snow.

The 'to do' list will be started the first day it is warm. I have a lot of things to get done this spring which will mean even less computer time than now. In the last billing cycle that just ended a few days ago I had my lowest data usage EVER!!

All is good here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.