December 30, 2018

Thoughts From The Darkness

It's been a few days or weeks since I rambled a little bit. I can tell this blog is gradually moving back to the same direction it was going before I announced to the world that the subject matter would change. Plans of more transparency. No stone left unturned as those thoughts slowly crawled out from beneath the rocks. So what happen? What's the plan?

When you saw that title you probably came running to see how far my brain had dropped over the cliff ... wrong kind of darkness. Not quite true. The darkness is what is outside on a Sunday morning at 7:15am. Still the mind is active, maybe too active at this time of day.

In the past few days you have probably notice the blog has changed colors for less than five minutes, font changes but no format changes. I like the format and I've heard from a few readers that they like it to. It's easy to find stuff, and easy to navigate through. So the format will stay but you know how I like 'tweaking' the look when I get an overactive brain.

It was just a few years ago when I had this type of brain activity, I'd start looking through websites that had cars for sale. In most cases I'd end up trading cars or trucks or both within 72 hours after I started looking. The disaster in all of that impulsive buying was my bank account took a hit and the satisfaction didn't last long. I think the all-time record for owning a car before I traded it was 47 days, in December 2016.

Now I just look through website design (themes or templates) choices and fill the same urge to make changes. Yet there has been a battle for the past few months, thinking I would take advantage of those 'holiday deal' with drastically reduced prices, that have since passed by me.

The Apple Watch Series 4.

I don't really need one. I know it will only work with Apple computers and iPhones, which I have. I would have to add an app to track my sleeping habits. The battery life is too short for me. (18 hours) Nor would I buy the cellular version because I don't need emails, texts, music, coming out of my wrist. I'm looking at the health tracking features mainly.

On the other side of the view, it does have a proven heart health tracker, including an EKG reading. I was reading this morning that it does NOT have constant pulse reading but I think that might be an incorrect statement, I'll have to check. It does have 'fall detection' where it will call 911 if the settings are right and you don't respond in a certain amount of time.

Tied in with Apple Health in my iPhone, that 911 call will alert the friends I have listed as emergency contacts, all living out of state. That might be handy since I live alone but I don't plan to fall and see that as a feature that isn't needed for another 20 years when I will be in my late 80's. On the other hand it could replace my iPhone. How neat would that be to go anywhere without carrying a phone in one hand or slipped into a pocket in cargo shorts/pants?

Yet the iPhone has a fantastic camera for indoors or low light. Not bad for outside. Could you tell which photos in blog posts from Wednesday on, were taken with the iPhone ?? So that would be one reason not to have the watch replace the phone.

I currently wear a Garmin VivoSport that has a long battery life, constant pulse readings, GPS, sleep tracking, synchronizes with MyFitnessPal (food log) and feels small on my wrist. I would not have paid the $160 for it, but Garmin sent a new one to me free when I let them know in September that the band to my Garmin VivoSmart 3 broke. I didn't ask and really wasn't looking for help. I was just letting them know what had happened.

The Garmin gives me all the information that I was looking for two years ago. It looks good in casual dress, which is most of the time for me, and will look good as I mow the yard or do yard work in the warmer months.

So it's back to the question of 'a need' or 'a want' for the Apple Watch. Just like it was when I use to satisfy this urge by trading cars. I feel a strong urge to drive to Best Buy today and buy one ... a huge urge actually ... or I could buy a new camera .... see what I mean? That little man on my shoulder with his lauging voice, is tormenting me again today.

Something else I do when I get in these moods for change. I play around with different browsers. Safari for Macs, Google Chrome and Firefox Quantum. Even though I have always read the latest reviews in CNET, PCmag, and other tech websites about those browsers ... I still keep going back and trying all three of them.

Until a couple of days ago when RetroRoxie sent me a link, helping me find an answer for WHY Safari and Google Chrome was preventing me from making replies on some WordPress blogs plus logging me out automatically from my blog on Blogger, "Bhounds And Other Adventures".

It was due to the privacy settings for each. Safari calls it "cross-site" tracking. Google Chrome calls it "3rd party websites collecting cookies and data". I needed to switch them to 'off' so each could take place. Once I did that, both Safari (using it now) and Google Chrome did not prevent me with those two issues I had for months ... or since their last updates.

Many reviews say that Safari is the best browser for Macs. I have an iMac and a MacBook Air and it is what I have run for a browser most of the time until I had that problem two paragraphs above. I like that Firefox and Safari do a great job in blocking ads and stopping videos from automatically playing on news and sports sites.

I could tighten the settings on Google Chrome and add some apps to prevent ads and autoplay but I am not really keen on the brighter version of the new Google Chrome. Now, if I were using an Android phone I would tie myself into the Google system with docs, and all the other products they have available ... but I get all they offer in my Apple devices, all synchronizing with my phone, computers and tablet.

I know I will continue to bounce between browsers every few months ... but at least that is free. Plus it calms that overactive brain I get sometimes.

So where is all that blogging transparency? The change in direction for the blog?

My mind has been content I guess. I have not noticed a lot of deep thoughts surfacing. I have not noticed any inner crisis taking place. Both hounds are in good health, no emergencies, no drama going on ... nothing to bring thousands of blog readers rushing to see the latest, like they slow down to look as they drive past a car wreck.

I've continued to "glance" at tv news. I have also continued to turn off the tv or change channels within minutes, mumbling under my breath ... "what a bunch of shit". (yes I LOVE that periods OUTSIDE the quotes ... :)

So I don't have a lot of radical comments about what is going on in the news because I have stopped watching it enough to where I cannot make comments. In 2013 while working as a government contractor I was sent home when Obama shut down the government. Speaking only from personal experience ... I think I remember being gone for only 10-14 days ??? but I do remember to keep my health insurance and a regular paycheck, I had to go on vacation while wasting my vacation days.

I did write a post the other day and saved it as a draft. It was an idea I had for the blog that wasn't tried and may not happen ... a weekly collection of questions, weird or otherwise, that I have throughout the week. I still have that post in 'draft' folder. Which brings up the subject of 'drafts' ... not beer, blog posts.

I have a hard time writing blog posts in advance, filing them under 'draft' and posting them later. Most of the time my posts are time related, like current, within that hour(s) ... I cannot go much more than a day on subject matter for the post. Whereas some bloggers can write about where they were and what they did on a trip two months later ... I find that hard to do.

So due to my DNA, I'll probably continue to blog like I always have ... in the morning after our walk ... maybe late afternoon or early evening in the warmer months. I am outside a lot when it's hot doing anything, from yard work to sleeping under the sunshine. If I post something like this very early in the morning ... I'll probably have a second post late afternoon or early evening with a paragraph summary and all photos.

That is probably what will happen today.

One thing about this template (theme), I do not have to manually put a space between the photos so they show up on tablets and phones with a space between them. Nor do I have to change the file size like I did on blogger, so the photos were sharper. Which I have discussed that too many times in the past.

Just remember, new readers ... the hounds and I live a pretty simple lifestyle, laidback without a lot of drama. I'd say the post about the water heater a few days ago was the most excitement the hounds have had in months. Believe it or not I still have steaming hot water coming out of the faucet so that is a good thing, since I had no idea what I was doing to repair it.

The posts are usually more photo based than a post like this but sometimes I like nothing but words, content, thoughts, etc. I just have to come up with some kind of photo to add to the top so there is a small thumbnail on the front page. The look stays the same that way.

Much like me mowing the whole yard when only the backyard needs mowing ... or the "balanced" look where the punctuation is outside the second quotation mark. Or all those squares for each post lined up evenly on the front page.

That will give you a picture what my pet peeves are ... plus crooked photos on a wall in anybody's house.

Well that magic hour has struck ... 8am ... Stella has walked in the computer room to drink water, hydrating herself before she whines to get me to change shoes to boots, throw on my down parka, gloves and sock hat ... grab the camera and go out
to do 22 minutes of 'verbal herding" to get her from Point A to Point B. The walk last 5 minutes due to the sound of gunshots ... no verbal herding was needed ... I had to trot to keep up with her has she turned around and headed for home.

There was probably more I wanted to say in this post but like usual ... I forgot what it was.

It looks cold outside but I can see some sun here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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