December 25, 2018

Christmas In 'The Tropics'

I started years ago ending each blog post with "......... 'the tropics' ....." kinda as a joke. On this blog you will not see that before December 9th because the main blog was here, from October 2011 until December 9th. Yes, it is Christmas Day but if you were following Stella around the house you would never be able to tell it. We still had a great day, I do think about what day it is and remember past years. Early this morning I decided that the hounds would take a drive with me just to see what the area looked like on Christmas Day 2018.
Where last year we had snow, and freezing temperatures, today the forecast was for rain and mid-40's. The radar showed that rain was all around us but as you will see in a photo below, the chances of it raining here were slim. I saw a little blue sky peeking through the clouds.
Stella was on a slow exploring pace today. I can never leave her behind because I don't want to end my walk by going to the neighbors backyard to get her. Also, there have been times she has disappeared totally out of sight. It would take Sadie and I sometimes up to a hour looking for her, only to see her walking back home in the field ... from where?  Who knows? We never found her on our own.
At this point I came so close of taking that chance and letting her be on her own as I would complete the walk. It's much easier though just to backtrack a little, grab her collar and lead her back on the path.
That doesn't mean she will stay in the general direction of our (my) walk. Once I get past the point of that first turn around the corner of the woods, it is usually safe to let her roam on her own. Today I decided I'd follow her instead of trying to lead her. Don't be fooled, she was just as slow as the photos show ... she is on her own clock in life.
When I saw this deer trail I decided to take that since it was in the general area as she walked north.
When we finally reached our return path, Stella looked back at me as if to say "left or right?" ... We would normally be walking this part of the path from right to left in the photo. The dark gray area is the grandchildren's ATV track from the summer of 2017. No, not my grandchildren ... the neighbor's, two doors down that owns the field.
The skies don't look like rain to me. A small patch of blue to the south, upper left corner of the photo. As you can tell Stella is 'busting ass' to get back home as fast as possible
It was an uneventful walk this morning. A very slow pace but plenty of scent to smell for Stella. The morning outside was extremely quiet. Little if any traffic on the highway. I could hear birds chirping, as they were thrilled with the warmer winter this year ... after experiencing the coldest November ever in this area just a few weeks ago.
I found another reason to log my food into my app yesterday. I'd rather not, but it provides me with a lot of good information, with a detailed breakdown of nutrients. The main thing it was showing me yesterday and even prior days this past week ... I am not eating enough food !!!  LOL Really ???

From what I have read and what a doctor told a friend, a man my age needs 2,000 calories per day. I wanted to lose some weight when I started this change in lifestyle so I set my limit to 1,500 calories per day ... a little buffer built in. More than a few days in the past ten I barely get to 1,200 calories per day ... with no hunger pains, no cravings.

Except at night usually after 8pm ... insane cravings for a junk food run for cookies, candy, soda, chips, ice cream ... crap like that. I found that a small bowl of blueberries killed that urge but my recent problem has been that I am out of berries and any kind of fruit. I need a trip to the grocery store tomorrow. Otherwise it will be a nightly nightmare losing my mind wanting junk food.

With my full day schedule focused on wasting time yesterday I decided what the hell, who cares what Google does with my personal information. So I downloaded a new updated version of Google Chrome, which use to be my favorite browser. I looked through the preferences making sure there were no surprises I needed to opt out of.

I liked the new design. I did NOT see any improvement in speed compared to Firefox and Safari. In fact it was so obvious in the difference in picture quality, ever so slightly, that I opened up Firefox to the same website ... putting Chrome and Firefox side by side, I compared the same photos as I scrolled through the same websites.

I could tell a difference. You know how I am with sharpness in photos. I was seeing it now. Also there was a little more color, true color in the faces of people .. more than the other browser. Who am I talking about? Firefox had the sharper images and color quality.

That's not all.

This glitch drove me away from using Chrome many months ago after an update and did again yesterday afternoon. Let see if any of you have noticed the same thing. Before I say what it is, I will tell you I  'googled' the problem. I looked at too many websites that talked of similar issues but not the same exact issue I was wanting an answer for.

I CHANGED settings so 3rd party websites could track my every move, thinking that blocking that tracking was making Chrome think I was someone else when I moved to a different page ... here is what I am talking about ....

Anyone else have this problem or KNOW THE SOLUTION????

  • I go to my Blogger blog and in the upper right corner it is telling me to sign in

    • I am already signed into my blog
  • When I sign in again it sends me to the 'dashboard' of my Blogger blog

    • It shows that I am 'signed in'.
  • When I click the link to go to my blog front page it shows that I need to sign in again

    • I am clicking back to the blog front page so I can reply to comments made
  • When I am logged in and try to comment on someone else's Blogger blog, it tells me I need to sign in

  • So I click the link to sign in ... it sends me back to MY blog dashboard

  • THE CYCLE KEEPS REPEATING ITSELF ... like it does not recognize a 'logged in me' is wanting to make a comment on another blog or even reply to a comment on my Blogger blog called 'B hounds and Other Stuff'. It does not recognize we are the same internet user.
I have the same exact problem if I try Safari.

I do NOT have that problem when I use Firefox.

My next problem today is the speed of my HughNet Gen 5 (only option). I have done all of the troubleshooting steps a techie would tell me to do. The last time this happened in February or March they sent the same installer out to the house. He replaced the cable from the dish to my router. Why? Because he did not install new cable when they installed the satellite dish a few years ago. At the time he was training a new installer.

All of my 'self' testing shows the dish and router are connected, no red negatives are showing up. I uses speedtest .net to test speeds when I am curious or having problems. I put that space before the dot all the time when listing a website here so there isn't a link.

I found out from Hughes Technical dept .... it is the bad weather in UTAH where my 'gateway' is located for my service. It's not related to the weather where I am located. For my trouble, they have added two free days of data to my account after giving me 15Gb of free additional data in November.  I found this hard to believe because Intellicast live radar showed clear skies for three states south of Salt Lake City, UT.

I am use to getting speeds of 40-45Mbps and today they are mostly 2.56Mbps.

The fast pace of retirement living will pick up starting tomorrow through the weekend. There are finally some good college football bowl match-ups and I will be watching multiple games day and night. The hounds will get their normal daytime sleep like always. I will fight for couch space and will always hesitate getting up to go to the bathroom or to get more food .... if I am gone and they are awake, they stretch out taking my seat.

I did go outside with Stella last night after midnight as I said I would in a post yesterday, but it was overcast and the full moon was nowhere to be found. The iPhone camera stayed inside. The last photo I took of the full moon with that iPhone camera was perfect, even without using a tripod.

The hounds and I did take that drive I mentioned. They were thrilled they could go. You could see their excitement in the following photos.
Heidi made her usual three complete circles before settling into the passenger seat. With it still be a little cold from the car sitting outside all night, she was more than happy with the heated seat option.
Unlike the 'old days' Stella did not hop up into the back like she use to. This past year I have had to lift her front legs up on the edge, then lift her rear up high enough that she will walk into the car with no problems. She shows no sign of pain when I do that.
You can tell she loves to ride. She has plenty of room to lie down in any direction.
Heidi couldn't make up her mind whether to sit down or sit up to look out the windows. Since I do not take photos while driving, I was not able to show her looking outside straight ahead. Even my iPhone shuts down and blocks any notifications or calls once it senses that I am driving.

Of course being Christmas I didn't expect any gas, stores or fast food joints to be open. I was NOT surprised to see The China House open on Christmas. I have spent a few Christmas Days there for their buffet. Stella rose to her sitting position as we passed. She obviously smelled food in the air from their exhaust fans, I smelled nothing. The car windows were closed.
The question was ... could I resist having lunch there. It took another 25 miles of driving to make up my mind and call them. I wanted to make sure they had the buffet open. If I was going to fall off my 'way of life' wagon I wanted it to be worth my time and fall as hard as I could!! I knew I'd be the only one in there and have the whole buffet to myself. I did at first .... each dish was full and was brought out from the kitchen when I got there.
I couldn't serve myself fast enough ... BBQ pork, beef and mushroom, black peppered chicken on my first trip.
Added on that first trip was the chicken and broccoli, and the szechuan chicken. On the second trip through the buffet I added that fresh fish casserole, the lower left pan. I say "fresh fish" because I know they fly in fish from the China Sea daily to Indiana ... so when my taste buds told me it was IMITATION crab .... I ignored that tiny voice inside my head. I know what "fresh fish" from the China Sea tastes like.  :) :)
By the time I returned home it was time for the hounds to have lunch. That short 25 mile drive must have worn them out as they were still sleeping when I walked in the house. Although they were both behind the closed door of the bedroom.
It didn't take too many photos with the iPhone camera before I realized the low energy hounds were wanting an afternoon Christmas Day siesta. The way that Chinese food was flowing in my blood stream I could tell that I would not be too far behind them. What a great idea ... a short siesta to help in the digestion process.
Although with weather like today, is it really a day to sleep through it??? While they slept I evaluated my idea again .... all of that sodium and MSG moving throughout my body made my decision easy .... "siesta it is."

It was another great Christmas here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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