July 31, 2017

Yes I Did It Again

There were only a few readers that caught on that there might have been a recent car transaction. Then, some more asking questions by making comments on the blog or emailing me. I decided it was time to explain.

This is not to make fun of any kind of addicts because addiction is a serious and terrible thing ... but I do see myself standing in a room with a bunch of strangers, raising my hand and stating ... "Hi my name is Steve and I am a car addict". For you long time readers there are no surprises here in this post but possibly a lot of laughter from the location you sit.

Sadie & Stella Don't See Deer Again !!

I am beginning to think that Sadie and Stella need to go in for some maintenance on their noses. For the 2nd time this summer I've seen deer close to me and close to them with no response. For the 2nd time in 14 hours, two deer have been within 30' last night and at the first corner this morning ... no response by the hounds.

July 30, 2017

An Active Sunday Morning Walk

Since it dropped into the 50's last night after reaching a high of 80° yesterday I knew the field was going to be extremely wet this morning as I put on my North Face snow boots. That would make no difference to Sadie. While I was lacing up the boots I decided Stella would have what I call total freedom this morning ... she could go anywhere she wanted at her pace ... I was not going to be 'herding' the hounds this morning.

July 29, 2017

It Wasn't HughesNet Gen 5's Fault -- Our Internet Service Was Out

I did not notice it storming Thursday night after I had moved to the living room away from the computer. How could that be, since it looked like it had stormed when I took Sadie outside around 10:30pm? The Reds game wasn't going well so I turned off the game and started reading a book ... only to fall asleep for an hour. Only when I went back to my computer around 11pm and could not get any websites to load did I realize I had a problem. I had lost my internet service.

July 27, 2017

Hounds Attacked By Butterflies

Maybe Stella knew what was going to happen before Sadie and I did because she stood and stared as Sadie and I took off for the 4pm walk. That photo was taken with a 200mm zoom lens so we were fairly far away and I could tell Stella had plans of her own. What I didn't know just what the afternoon walk would bring out.

The afternoon was slow enough that I was able to vacuum and dust the house and wash the few dishes I had left from last night. The rains had stopped, no traffic was stopped in front of the house today and all of the hounds were sleeping so quiet I almost forgot that they were in the house.

With a blast of a passing semi-truck horn, I went to the window to see if a stray dog (only 3 in 20 years) happened to be on or near the highway. I saw no dogs on the highway but I saw what I thought would be the excitement of the day. The owner of the cornfield had an out of state sales rep, based on the front license plate, installing some signage in front of a good corn crop this summer. They want people to know where those seeds came from. I notice they are from a different company than last year.

So with the house work finished, the dishes washed, I poured a tall glass of ice cold water and sat down to see how many more games of Mahjong I could complete under 4 minutes. Based on the way the weather looked this morning I found it hard to believe I was seeing the reflection of the sunshine outside the large window I look through from the kitchen table laptop computer. It was time for an afternoon walk with the hounds.

The skies looked great toward the NE, humidity was low and the field dry. Toward the NW was an entirely different looking sky. That is when I found out that Stella was going to have her own plans on where she was going while Sadie and I followed our normal path.

Through my zoomed lens I saw Stella rise out of the growing wild flowers and field grass, walking out the north side of the yard. I suspected we would see her on the way back over by the neighbor's woods. Yet, she surprised me once again and came our direction on her own time without me calling her name.

What I did notice fairly quickly on this walk, there were more butterflies than I had ever seen at one time. They were everywhere in the field and for some reason Sadie was not chasing them as she likes to do most of the time when they fly over her head or nose. She had other plans and left the butterflies alone but that did not mean they didn't bother her.

Each photo, sharp or blurry, is of a different butterfly.

There were so many that I was trying to catch with my camera I forgot all about Sadie and Stella until I felt that wet mouth and moist nose of Stella's touch the side of my knee. She nudged me to let me know she is around. At times inside the house she will do that to my face to let me know she likes me or wants something to eat. Bertha, my first bloodhound, use to show me that by putting my left ear in her mouth without a lick.

Both hounds took their time and both were slow in their walk this afternoon, almost like a stroll. There wasn't any intense searching and identifying by Sadie nor was Stella looking for and eating deer scat ... just strolling through the growing field of wild flowers and being swarmed by butterflies.

Remember that each picture is of a different butterfly.

You can tell just how excited the hounds were to see that many butterflies in their field.

The slowly walked back to the house, walked inside with the air conditioned air when I opened the door. Then lay down next to my desk chair with their back up against each other as I put this blog post together.

I have not felt the effects of not drinking the strong ice tea I usually make. I follow the directions but I rarely have anyone finish a glass of it. It's dark like coffee and probably too strong. I'll never forget the day my dad took the 32oz glass of my ice tea I offered him for the drive home on a very hot August day. As he took the glass with him to his car, I saw him hiding behind his open car door pouring the ice tea into my gravel driveway.

Just the one sip he took inside was definitely too strong for him.   LOL

So without any withdrawal signs after switching to plain water, I'll be drinking cold water and watching more Reds baseball tonight ... or lets say I'll have the game on the tv in the background while I do other things. If the game gets out of hand, like losing again I will have to have a movie night for the 2nd night in a row.

It's been a great week here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

The Hounds Take Their 1st Walk Ever In Rain

As the hounds went outside first thing in the morning while I poured their breakfast kibble, I could tell the weather experts were correct today ... it had rained over night. There was just a little standing water in the flowerbed (normal spot) where I am going to have a large rock dropped soon. Wunderground was showing rain 75% and down to 50% chances solid until Friday morning ... finally after a couple of hours I decided why not?  Sadie and Stella would take their first walk ever in the rain.

I had a choice to either walk in the light rain getting my shirt and my arms soaked or wear a rain jacket and still get my shirt and arms soaked since was very humid ... like 99% humid. I chose the rain jacket and zipped up to the bottom of my chin ... that kept those mosquitoes that were buzzing by my ears and nose away from their target ... my arms.

I can barely call it a light rain ... you could hear it, but not feel it. It wasn't a real rain by any means but it was outside our box, outside the norm. I lowered my mower yesterday and used a tape measure to confirm the blade would cut at 2". A little shorter than normal (1 notch adj) but recommended for my lawn by Scotts lawn care.

You will notice just left of the flowers the ground gravitates toward the house. That 'ditch' was not there when the area was overgrown with wild brush, small saplings and extremely thick to even try to walk in. I am going to have to fill that in with dirt and replant grass. Any ideas how to prevent the water from naturally taking that path towards the house?

By the time Sadie and I were in the field and I could hear rain drops hitting my rain jacket sleeve, I glanced back towards the house and Stella was still sitting under cover in the carport looking right back at me. Smart Bloodhound. Did that mean she wasn't going to walk?

Finally she slooooowly walked to the corner of the house, hesitated until I said "come on" and then slooooowly walked into the field. Sadie and I were already following the edge of the field heading our normal start north.

Once she decided the rain wasn't that bad, she had a little trot to her step and trotted right past me to catch up with Sadie.

Of course Sadie was oblivious to any weather change. I doubt that she even knew it was raining let along feeling it. The only thing important to her was WALK ... and that was what she was doing. I don't recall her being this obsessed with taking walks when she was younger ... she will always come to let me know she wants to walk, no matter where I am or what I am doing.

Where I barely found a small yellow daisy yesterday and took a picture of that, this morning there were more of them and much larger. Amazing what a little all-night rain will do for plants.

Stella's new routine this week is stopping right at the corner with Sadie but instead of walking toward the neighbor's woods or out in the middle of the field, she has started walking in the direction of our return path and joining Sadie and I with the walk 3/4 finished.

I could have included the other 4 photos that show the sequence of her walk, but they all looked the same as this one, just in a different location. I've never had a hound bloodhound or basset, that walks as slow as she can and does most of the time.

In the meantime, Sadie was right along with me. You could tell that she was happy to be walking and she thought it was a good decision that I decided that a little rain never hurt anyone.

Stella sees Sadie and I but that doesn't change her pace. She is doing a slow loop toward us, probably to check if I am really paying attention to what she is doing and if she can sneak away for some possible 'natural protein supplement' that she likes to find.

You can see she has almost reached our worn path that's hard to see ... just to the right of her nose.

From this point on, both hounds wander in all directions while I continue to walk and turn to take pictures. They gradually herd themselves back in my direction the closer we get to home.

You can tell by my ballcap it was a very light rain. Since I have officially named my North Face snow boots my all-wet, rain and snow boots, I can see us taking more walks just like today and not cancelling them just because there is some rain outside. The rain jacket also worked out well, even in humid weather.

Before letting the hounds back inside I went in to get 'their' towels so I could dry off their underbellies, legs and paws. Stella decided once she was inside that I needed to do a better job of drying her legs and paws off ... I took photos of her doing that but she was licking them so fast that both photos were blurred.

I would like to keep the windows open today with the temps staying in the low 70's. Yet with the humidity showing 99% and my new addiction to cold air inside, I've closed all the windows and turned on the AC ... feels much better away from the sticky humidity.

I found out this morning that a huge data user is when I upload photos to Google Photos and Flickr. I try to do that only during the time where HughesNet gives me free 50Gb of data between 2am-8am. Lately I have not been using that free data for saving every photo taken that day to those two platforms. I know it's probably overkill since my computer is backed up automatically with Apple's Time Machine to an external disc but I like having my photos backed-up on an online site just in case I have disaster here.

So far this morning after uploading photos to this blog and posting it, plus my normal internet reading I have used only 134Mb. Yesterday I had used 200Mb of data in the first 1-1/2 hours.

As you can tell from the picture of the cornfield, it's going to be a day of rain and gloomy weather but a nice break from those high 80's and low 90's. I've pulled another book off my shelf and today feels like a reading day.

Nice and quiet this morning in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

July 26, 2017

Heidi Shows Basset Hound Initiative & Major Ranting

Heidi caused quite a stir from the blog posts yesterday, on this blog plus her Wordpress blog. People seem to think that is her on the poster that was was posted. She wants to clarify that it's not, that she is much more energetic than that basset hound. She did want to show that she is quite flexible in the morning hours where she only eats and sleeps. She changed her direction this morning, facing north instead of south, while sleeping on the couch. Not until after her lunch was over did she get a bath and manicure.

A warning for some readers while others like it ... so an announcement there is some MAJOR ranting and rambling in today's post.

Stella tried from the start to fake me out this morning. She made an immediate left turn at the corner of the carport while Sadie and I were walking to the field. Sadie was running after something as soon as she realized the walk was taking place. Stella trotted along the back side of the house then made her immediate turn and joined us in the field. She was enjoying her morning today.

With the grown bushes and tree limbs filled with leaves I think this open space and a small path into the woods is used by deer during times the hounds are not outside. Same spot, different angles.

It was good to see Stella break into another trot, her second of the morning. Was it the cooler temps or are her hips feeling better. At the age of 8, she may be starting to get a little arthritis so she is no longer in the mood to run like she use to.

At this time I thought she and Sadie had locked onto something and were about to take off.

I continued around the first corner, switching hands as I held the camera and swatting mosquitoes with the free hand. I don't recall the last time it was so bad trying to walk with a mosquito war taking place. Are the recent announcements about DEET accurate or are the medical journal articles??? I am to the point of not caring and will apply DEET to my arms, legs and back of my neck for tomorrow morning's walk.

Have a better alternative ... email me or leave a comment.

Stella had more energy this morning than I had seen the past few weeks. Hopefully the health 'bug' she has had maybe finally be working it's way out of her system. Like the vet said in April, dogs can catch things fast but they take a long time to get rid of it. I remember how bad of shape Heidi was in a couple of years ago. She had lost 13 pounds out of her 45 within 6-7 months but has come back to being healthy again. In fact she may be a little heavier than that 45 pounds.

This is the only 'yellow' I see in the field so far.

As I kept following the path home, Sadie and Stella would have none of that. They headed their own direction walking diagonally across the field toward my north property line pole. As I have mentioned before, I believe this is the exact path the (seen only once) black field cat roams at night.

Notice how Stella did not walk directly through the green wild flowers but squeezed and turned herself in between the white Queen Anne's and the property line pole. She knows what she's doing, she just wants me to think she doesn't have a clue about things. She is much smarter than the AKC says the bloodhound breed is.  LOL

I added a little color to one of my stones in the yard. I should be able to miss the stone when mowing the backyard now ... plus it's for one of my most favorite hounds of the past.

Last night as I made my 'coffee run' grocery shopping trip, they had paved one lane of new asphalt heading west. The eye opener was the new "Flagman Ahead" signs lined up along the road from town, in front of my house and beyond. At first I thought they were preparing for the same road construction but this morning as I heard trucks braking out the window ... I saw the line of stopped traffic. All taken from inside the house.

This one is taken out that small kitchen window where the Yews grew below.

When I saw traffic stopped coming from the other direction and at the intersection where they were running new electrical power lines last week ... I am thinking this is Utility Lines related and hopefully not major highway rebuild in front of the house. They rebuilt this highway in 2005. I can miss it all by doing all of my few errands at night. There are no traffic issues then.

I knew while I was walking this morning that this afternoon would be "Hound Day" ... a bath for Heidi and nail trimming for all the hounds, Sadie included. Although last time it was Sadie letting me cut her nails with Stella was howling bloody murder and then sprinting away. She had never done that before and usually lays down in the grass to let me cut them.

Sorry no pictures captured the best Hound's Toenail Trimming of all time, not enough hands .... I was shocked how easy, fast it was. The smell of dog treats in my pockets may have help in the department of cooperation. Sadie for the second month in a row let me cut hers without doing sprints to get away from me. She likes to stand as I curl each paw as if she is walking, one at at time and trim them. Hers are easy because from all the walking she does there is open space between the quick of her nail and the tip of it.

I fed her the award treat as soon as she was finished but not Stella and Heidi. I was hoping if they watched they would catch on faster what was required to get the treat. Before I've always awarded the dog treats after all of them had their nails trimmed.

Stella laid right down on the warm red blocks we call "Winston's Patio". By the time I got to her last paw I swear she was sleeping, I had to check to see if she was still breathing because she was in a deep sleep while I held her paw upward. While Heidi stood right next to me waiting for me to pull another treat out of my pocket. Stella stood up when I was finished and I handed her the treat.

It was funny because as soon as Stella stepped off into the grass ... Heidi moved around my legs onto the warm red blocks and laid down without asking. LOL She has never been a problem getting her nails trimmed which is surprising because they are so long. She came from basset rescue with long nails and I have cut them on a regular basis but her quick never recede. So even after they are cut back to where I can see the quick, they still look long.

By the time we finished traffic was backing up in front of the house again and Stella had to take a closer look. Luckily she stopped at the edge of the carport and went no further.

Once I saw they were working across the highway on the new power lines heading west across the creek I knew then that the traffic flagman was for Utility work and not highway repair.

It took me a few times looking at this next picture of the raised bucket with no one in it ... for me to finally figure out they were only using the bucket to HOLD the power lines up as they worked. My mind was fried before looking at that picture and I'll explain why later.

What I wouldn't give to know what goes on in Sadie's mind since she seems to always have her nose to the ground, anywhere outside. I remember now that I took a picture last week of a rabbit hopping in that same area before she stopped to pose for the camera.

New pole and new power lines ... some customers are going to be happy ... or will they notice any differences?

I'm not sure why but as I stood under the large Sycamore tree by the driveway, I was pulling a very long thin hanging limb down and decided it was a neat picture to take. I had looked up to see what this limb was hanging on and also to check if anymore were caught in the limbs much higher.

I made the call today for the local Utility company to come out an trim the tree back that has grown very close to my electrical lines and transformer. Now before those of you will say it is my responsibility and my cost to trim the tree limbs ... in this state that is the wrong answer. Over the years I have had not only had them come out to pull blown limbs out of the transformer but years ago they decided to clear out about 40' of my bank (NO warning) that was solid trees because they were under the power lines.

My neighbor and I each had a clear open view of each other's house after that, one that neither of us wanted. Once they cut large trees down on that bank it changed the whole dynamics of soil erosion because they also tore out what was left in the ground and burned everything. The trees that had held the bank together for over 50 years years were now completely gone. It's the part of the bank that now has all of the wild ragweed growing.

I don't follow news on tv or online and haven't for months. Sports yes, anything else no. Yet the gracious owners of Facebook and Twitter have decided for me what I need to see even if they go around my privacy settings. So I have been seeing more and more news items show up on both of my social media accounts even after I either block those on Twitter or tell Facebook I'm not interested in those types of posts.

I guess from what I see there is a total shit storm in DC. Luckily my only semi-stress is that I am tired of watching a losing Major League Baseball team with a player minimum wage at $500,000 per year. I have seen young kids play better Little League baseball than what I see on tv.

Can you tell I am getting warmed up for my ranting ???  :)

At times I have to try really really really hard to keep my mouth shut and don't make comments on other blogs, Facebook or Twitter ... otherwise my email inbox fills up faster than any flash flood. Last fall before the election when I did NOT keep my mouth shut and made comments at various social media outlets and forums ... from reading my emails you would have though I WAS THE Anti Christ.

Before I go to a blog I want to mention, I will say that Apple Mail does a very very good job of filtering my emails and deciding before I see anything what is junk mail. I have my two gmail accounts forwarded to Apple Mail.

A couple of years ago my blog contact email got hacked. Why do I say hack????  Because before I could shut off my Apple mail that morning when I turned on my computer ... before I could blink my eyes let alone take a sip of some hot coffee I had over a 1,000 emails dumped into my Junk Folder and there were 1,000's more once I opened my email program later that day.

So it's interesting what kind of emails that are being caught by the Apple Mail System currently and correctly IDing them as junk.

I also was curious when I was checking my blog stats in Blooger's traffic program this morning, that I clicked the button for 'All-Time'. The countries of Ukraine and Russia had taken over 2nd and 3rd place in total visitors, and building a wide margin over my Canadian readers.

So to this blog I was mentioning. Oh how I would love to make a comment over there at The Adventures of Tioga and George. His blog is on my blog sidebar and is actually is the #1 blog of all the blogs listed in my readers clicking to read. So, many of you may know what I am about to say. Maybe you feel like commenting over there to but are hesitant.

I admire his desire to continue traveling at the age of 80. I also admire his experience living full-time on the road in Mexico for many years and know that he has much much more experience than I when it comes to RVs. Yet after reading these past year I personally believe it's time for him to hang up his keys ... before he kills himself with an accident or kills someone else.

Everybody goes through that type of decision in all walks of life. It didn't take me more than 50 miles and parked for the winter, a Class C I owned for only 7 months. I realized during that short time that there were too many moving parts for me to keep sorted out and ran properly. Sure, I would have gained knowledge the more I worked with the Class C ... but when you read my post from this past weekend about how I can't remember how my missing socks were found buried in dirt as they pulled the Yews out .... then the chances are not very good I am going to remember if my RV fridge runs on propane or electric no matter how many miles I have traveled.

The fridge is not George's problem. It's the little accidents that either the trailer, like today's post, has come unhitched multiple times while he was driving, thankfully at very slow speeds in town. Or the number of times the tow vehicle and trailer have met each other hard enough to add costs and repairs to each. Self inflicted crashes.

At some point in time you have to realized maybe, just maybe, it's time to go back to your apartment living. Sitting in a park or on the side of the road more and more frequently lately, trying to decide "how did that happen" is not the answer.

It amazes me sometimes what I have read over the years on other blogs with people pulling trailers as they discuss their disaster or near disaster. Yet what I see on a regular basis right in front of my house, hearing trucks pulling trailers running off the road onto the gravel shoulder close to my house .... then it doesn't surprise me.

But the thing is in all their cases ... they can hurt or kill themselves or hurt someone else very bad if not kill them because of negligence in towing a trailer or a boat.

Go ahead and rip me if  you want because today I am in a mood that I just don't give a ****.

That don't give a **** attitude may be from the poisonous venom (LOL) from those two bees that stung both my ankles while mowing the grass. They were not yellow jackets or those vicious ground hornets I mowed over a long time ago ... but what I thought were honey bees. It either hurts a lot after 4 hours or I am turning into a wimp. Probably a wimp.

I did get the lawn cut because it has a great chance of raining by morning before I open my eyes. It's the worst the lawn has looked, that I can remember. The summer sun, the heat and the yard moles have ruined it.

Getting back to that memory of mine ... I have an app on my iPhone called List ... where I list everything I need to buy as far as groceries or other stuff. So how did I forget last night to buy ice tea bags. I"M OUT OF ICE TEA !!!!!! and too lazy to go back 12 miles just to buy some.

So I decided to think positive with my bad attitude today and setting all time records playing Mahjong while my ankles throbbed below my seat .... While I am out of ice tea and too lazy to go buy some, it would be a great chance to cut that sugar habit called ice tea (homemade sweet tea) and go strictly ice water.  Yes ... the same stuff I give the hounds WATER ... we'll see how that works out and I'll let you know. I hope it's not like trying to quit caffeinated coffee.

I thought my inbred neighbor that moved away 3 years ago was a full fledged idiot but the neighbor of Contessa's up in Canada is the all-time winner of the idiot award. With forest fires all around, record breaking temperatures in the middle of summer and anywhere in the North American continent .... WHO cleans a driveway with GASOLINE ??????

I'll just leave it at that since I am in a very strong opinionated mood today.   LOL

I love it when I get this way. To bad I don't have a job where I could release all this pissed off attitude on some co-workers I didn't like.

An old friend called the other day and seemed to want to reminisce about old times that featured the parties we either attended or had there in the beach house in Carlsbad California. I tried to talk over him and tell him I no longer party like that nor is there was any way I could party like that ever again.  He seems shocked when I told him I would turn down any invitation to visit him and his friends in Carlsbad just for that reason.

I let him know that when I have the urge to party like 'old times' or like those times you remember all I do is turn on my DVD player and watch the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street". That is the only way I party now, is watching that movie and wonder how did I ever get this old ... 65.

Who would have ever thought you'd party more in the military than in college ????

It's late afternoon and Sadie as woken from her nap. That means she is bugging me with her stare down to walk. But I am going to have to wait with the heat index at 100° right now .... I can't do that to her. Besides, Stella would rather stay inside and keep cool and I need to cut out those bee stings. (j/k)  :)

I think I covered about all I wanted to.

Ah ... internet data use.

I have come to the conclusion after a couple of months that there is a data "leak" somewhere not only on my HugesGen 5 home service but also my iPhone Verizon account. With only 20Gb of data per month for HughesGen5 I keep an activity monitor open on my other other monitor all the time. It shows how much data I have sent or received. It normally matches what Hughes is telling me ... yet ... for reasons I cannot find ... I'll have "bursts" of data usage as 'received' putting me over my daily estimate ... like just this afternoon, Blogger went over 128Mb of data just opening my blog. It did not do that this morning so it's not 6 years worth of blogging data and pictures.

Verizon are nothing but pirates. Luckily I only pay for 2Gb per month and use it very little to where I get unused amounts of data carried forward. Sometime I don't use those in time before I lose it. Yet their sudden "bursts" of data usage is very mysterious ... basically it's called profit.

Are they so broke after buying Yahoo that are moving my bill paying date up 3 days earlier staring in September ???  LOL

Just remember it could have been a LOT worse but I've tried to remain "politically correct" in my content. But I am so close of "letting it rip" and I'd feel a lot better. I probably need to call my friend that loves to hear my ranting, live on the phone. His wife will listen in on speaker at times and will laugh in the background. Deep inside his wife thinks I'm insane ... LOL ... or at least I think she does.  LOL

No worries --- Everything is okay here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana today.