February 05, 2019

A Day Of Changes ???

As you can see I had a hard time coming up with a title for this post. It might even change before I publish it, who knows. It's one of those days. I mentioned yesterday I might change the look of the blog. Nothing happened until last night around 10:30pm. I turned off the movie Woodstock and sat back down in front of my computer. I looked at only a few themes, tried one, the same one I changed too for an hour a few weeks ago. I was basically too tired to make any kind of decision nor did I feel like putting in the time to make the small adjustments after I would activate the theme. So, I ended the night and started today with the same theme as always. Why do I need to change it all the time?
Winter will not hit us until Friday.  A long time blog reader out in the Kansas City area always likes to test the weather we get here in 'the tropics' before it arrives. So sometimes, not all the time, I will get a warning a few days in advance of what to expect. She is more accurate than any weather online radar or local tv weatherman. I don't think she told me about this though ... the fog. She did tell me that temps were half of that 64° I mentioned and that was true this morning. I put my wool socks back on, the sock hat, my gloves, but stuck with the light four seasons jacket as a test. After the first photo from my doorstep, the low battery light started flashing. Could we finish the walk with enough photos?
I decided the best thing to do was to turn the camera off after every photo I took. Some might say that would wear the battery down faster but I remembered from last time just how little time I had left after that blinking battery icon a few weeks ago. I didn't have more than two to three photos left after that. So I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Off, on, off, on, off, on for over 25 times. I liked the fog this morning. It gave the walk a little feeling of mystery as Stella and I walked across a field fully saturated. There is more rain on the way this afternoon and tomorrow. It could be perfect weather for making blog changes.  :)
I also went to bed last night with my Apple Watch battery showing only 13% left. Would that get me through the night? I decided to test it and knowing I would be awake and up within the next six to seven hours, I thought the 13% of battery life would be plenty. I found out this morning, a night of poor sleep took a little over 1% per hour. I had 3% left as I let the hounds outside for the first time today. So ... two batteries needed to be recharged as soon as possible this morning if I was going to be able to operate like I normally do. Sad isn't it ... an electronic life. But ... a good life it is. I love electronic equipment.
Another change took place very early this morning. It's the first time in maybe two years that I am feeding the hounds lamb and rice instead of chicken and rice. I made the change with hopes that Stella will itch less, since I cannot find any fleas on her and there are no signs of raw skin or hot spots from any kind of allergy. Who knows, maybe she is allergic to deer scat? That's a joke ... at least I think it is. I did ask myself, what happens if Heidi's skin allergies flare up with the change in protein? Well if that happens I'll immediately go out and buy the bag of chicken and rice for her and let Stella finish the bag of lamb and rice. Remember, the vet told me two years ago that in his study on dog allergies, dog food was the cause only 3% of the time. Maybe Stella's scratching is a habit since it seems to take place in the same areas inside and outside. Strange.
Another change this morning, I went back to my old blog on Blogger, Bhounds And Other Stuff, and took off the private setting then checked all of the settings in the dashboard. Google always does this, someway settings that I set a long time ago were changed. For some reason the ticks had changed to where search engines were not allowed to index the site. The comments setting was changed. The number of posts on a page had changed. I thought at first all of those happened automatically when I changed the settings to 'private' the other day, but after checking my other two old private blogs, that was not the case. You can go there to see the blog list that updates each time a blogger posts something new. On WordPress I can list those same blogs but they do not update each time a post is published. WordPress keeps the list of blogs or websites in alphabetical order. It's that list of blogs that keep telling me I need a blog template that has the side bar on the home page or at least on the page that has the post.
Not quite halfway through the morning walk and I still am able to take pictures of Stella and the fog. The technique of turning the camera off an on is working so far. Later I'll look at my screen on the Canon camera to see if I can tell how much battery life I have before I get the warning so I am not in this same situation again. While walking I am still thinking about blog changes, or taking photos around my local small town that has some pretty sad buildings empty for the past few years. They all tell an interesting story and one that makes you wonder if the economy is really as good as the experts tell us it is. Or are they possibly proving just how hard it is keeping a brick 'n mortar store profitable year after year in the world of e-commerce? In a few cases the old businesses have gone out of business because of the owner's death but a couple more told me they could not stay competitive with online e-commerce. Other's just retired and could not sell what they had.
I could have gone lighter on this photo but I wanted to keep the overcast sky with fog as the main attraction. The tall grass really is that color next to Stella and there is something about that tall power line tower that keeps me taking photos of it. Over the years I will see an occasional state helicopter flying above the lines, going southwest, checking the lines but in the 21 years I have lived here, I've never seen anyone doing any kind of maintenance or repair.
As I walk this field I feel many mole tracks scattered within the half mile walk. That told me years ago, no matter what I put on my yard to control yard moles, they will always be a problem to my landscaping ideas. I saw one surface on top of the snow one year but other that than I've never seen them. I've tried everything on the market to prevent them from destroying my backyard. I rarely see them in the front yard. I remember in 2014 I dug 6" deep in the flowerbeds, then laid out the black plastic or net to prevent weeds from growing. I covered it up with 6" of river rock in back, mulch in front ... only to see dirt pushed up through the mulch or rocks, above ground level from mole traffic. I hate those little bastards.
No AT&T tower to see today ... the PNW has arrived in 'the tropics'.
Stella did not run again this morning but she did to a little short trot to catch up and pass by me. I keep forgetting that she will be 10 years old this summer.
Just as I snapped this photo, the screen on back of the camera went black and the lens automatically retracted. I had made it on a low battery for over 25 photos and 17 minutes of walking. So besides charging my watch, the Canon battery and finishing my second cup of coffee ... I had two decisions to make. (1) publish this now or wait until later today. (2) spend a lot of time and a lot of data, looking for that one blog theme that I wanted to change to.

The only search words I will use to choose from those 308 WordPress themes are "page wide photos", so the photos will remain as large as they are now with a different design. Besides the large photos on the post page I am looking for a sidebar either on the home page and/or the post page, where I can list those blogs of friends that I follow out in the open, plus other information. This theme puts them at the very bottom of both the home page and post page. I'm not a fan of that placement. Traffic reports show that for some reason there are not a lot of clicks on the past posts on the home page where all the photos/posts are listed, compared to my older Blogger blog. Some of that is by the way the blog is designed for phones and tablets. With those you have to scroll to the bottom to see the other posts. I tried it the other day and told myself "I'm not doing that" and stopped.

So we will see what happens to the blog design today. Maybe nothing.

I still have books to read. I will NOT be watching the State of the Union address tonight nor will I watch all the expert opinions afterwards. That reminds me, the other reason I want a sidebar ... I have four new websites I want to have on the side of the blog. Two of them were mentioned just the other day and two others were sent to me by a friend a few months ago. I read those two very informative blog in my Feedly account. So it looks like I have something to do this morning ... blog design. That also answers option number one above ... post this now.

See how easy life in retirement is. No approvals needed. No meetings to discuss those options. No outsourced input. I'm in charge and that's a good thing here in 'the tropics'. No .... I am NOT putting that period inside that quotation mark !!! :) Besides I am not really in charge here in 'the tropics' ... the hounds are the ones in charge.

I read somewhere yesterday, ah yes, in Team of Vipers. It's very well written and the author is very conscientious about what he is reveling about his time working in the White House. All the reports, the news, the chaos that goes on under the Trump administration does not bother me and does not surprise me in the least. Like I said a month or so ago, I use to work for a family owned business and one of the owners of the company was a twin of Trump ... he acted identical to him. He made decisions the same way, some good some bad. I found it to be typical business. People forget or don't want to remember, a businessman was elected not a politician. So why should his administration be something people and news stations are familiar with or like all the past presidents? It's not complicated for me to see and I'm not the smartest person around.

Well Heidi has moved her sleeping operation from the bedroom into the living room. Stella has joined her with a few hours to go before their lunch. That will give my Canon battery plenty of time to charge. Like I said yesterday or in the past ... I really like that smaller Canon G9 X with the Nikon D3200 as a backup or for those days I need a change. :)

It's foggy but still nice this morning in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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