January 8, 2019

It Feels Normal Again

It is starting to feel normal again. Yesterday had little research about the new watch and camera. I have just a couple of things to look up today. This will be our last day of high's in the 50s as we drop back to normal winter weather by tomorrow, into the 30's. You may be wondering what is Stella doing there, what has she found, is she eating anything? Well when I finish the dog food that is stored in the same container that you see in the 2015 Utah Trip, I turn that container upside down and lightly tap it on the concrete to get the rest of the "kibble dust" out of the container. Just like the kitchen floor, Stella likes to keep the carport concrete as clean as possible. She also likes dog food kibble in any shape or form.

While Heidi explored the front yard yesterday I headed down to the mailbox. Last Friday was the last time I checked the mail and found the camera in a box that barely fit in the mailbox. If it had not fit, my mail carrier would have taken the time to drive up the driveway and leave the box on the step in the carport. If I remember correctly, I made it home from Best Buy in time for delivery. This picture of Heidi was taken at the bottom of the driveway with the zoom staying at the far end of the status bar. Today I am going to find out what that yellow and light blue color is on the status bar ... I am guessing it's a way to tell me that a focused zoom is not possible at that range.

Our walk this morning started out a little different. I wondered if these were signs of things to come. We left a few minutes before 8am and it was really dark and overcast, to the point that I considered waiting an hour. Waiting would have better lighting for taking pictures but it was a good test to see what would be captured in low light. While I was checking some settings and taking pictures of the landscape, Stella had moved right after stepping into the field and collected as many burrs as she could ... unintentionally of course. They don't happen because the ragweed had died, they will also show up with the new growth next spring. I had Stella braced between my leg and arm so I could pull them off before they would get tangled in her coat. This was the best picture I could take with one hand and trying to hold her in place.

Once she felt I was finished, she trotted off one happy bloodhound ... on to more important things.

Last night was the last night for college football games, that are not all-star games. (I never watch those). Somewhat of a surprise win for Clemson but maybe not since they have won two of the last three national championship games. Of course I will move into college basketball now until the Final 4 the first week of April. One thing that is different, I eat less during those games, even on Saturdays where there might be a full day of basketball games being played. There are also many more games shown on tv at the same time than college football. Yes .... some of the pictures are out of focus this morning ... I'll be reading today about that problem.

I have tried my best to stay away from online and tv news again. I've been pretty successful too. I 'glanced' at the news the day the Democrats took their oath for their new positions gained in the last election. After less than 30 minutes of tv viewing and glancing at the online headlines ... I have moved back into "no news". That brings up a question or questions ... I have two websites I follow through my Feedly account. I manually added the sites so I can see their latest updates. So I can also delete them if I want to.

One of these dealt the refugee resettlement, then a few weeks ago the author moved to a new blog where she is now writing about fraud, criminal activity, politics ... things you never see or hear about in the news. I added something the other day I did not really want to but it's always been a subject that I have been concerned about. The attempt and at times success in spreading Sharia Law in the USA. That is a subject that would take multiple blog posts to cover. What is going in in the USA and NEVER covered by the mainstream media is amazing. If you want some idea ... do a search about "Sharia Law in Dearborn Michigan" ...

I just started to write more on that topic, but deleted it. I might do a post about it in the future and the concerns I have ... so is it important to be "aware" of what is going on in the news or is it better to "totally ignore" whats going on in the news, reported or not?

With all of the college football bowl games, playoff games and then adding all those NFL playoff games the past week ... my diet flew out the window and I paid for it in just a few short days. Breads, pasta, waffles etc are never a good thing for keeping weight off. In fact in five short days I gained two pounds.  Since changing my eating habits for the better three or four weeks ago, I have gain four pounds. Yet there were a couple of weeks where I had lost two pounds during that week. With college football over, there will be no more 12 hours spent watching games on tv and eating out of control. I've also gone back to really watching carbs intake or should I say wheat, and grains intake ... focusing more on veggies and salmon. This weight gain over took the daily large salad I eat for lunch. I have no doubts though that the weight will drop as soon as next Monday's 'weigh-in', based on my new 'focus.'

When I was in a car accident in March 2010, stopped on a highway 3-way stop and rear-ended by a high-speed truck pulling a horse trailer, I knew I'd eventually have problems with numbness of some sort. I have been to LMT's and PT's for treatment over these last 9 years. A couple of years ago my little finger on the right hand went numb, then a little numbness the ring finger. Chiropractors and Massage Therapists have not help as the numbness always returns. Each of those therapists gave me exercises I could do at home when that nerve problem flared up. Basically the finger numbness has never gone away.

Something new started a few months ago. It's not constant and I assume I aggravate it by the amount of time I sit in front of a computer. On my left shoulder, in front along the collarbone, it will go numb for short periods of time (minutes) where it feels the same way as hitting your 'funny bone' on your elbow. I probably need treatment 3x per week to really get rid of those two issues. Payment is not covered by Medicare nor my supplement insurance and to me it's not worth the $180-$200 per week out of my pocket for those three treatments. Compared to what other people go through at my age, it's really not that big of an issue for me. I am really lucky to have good health.

When I was at Best Buy on Friday picking up my new Apple Watch, an older lady asked me about the new Apple iPad she was looking at. I was waiting for the sales rep to come back with my watch. She told me her Apple MacBook Pro had died after 10 years of use and she was seriously considering replacing it with the new Apple iPad Pro they announced a month or so ago. I won't go into details but I probably spent almost an hour talking to her and the sales rep about the new updates to computer, smartphones, watches etc. We all agreed it was impossible to keep up with every new electronics development and/or release. As we talked about how Apple had gone with the bigger screen for their phones in 2017, this year's 2018 models were going to a smaller screen but the clarity was phenomenal.

About that time the sale rep reached into her pocket and pulled out "look what I am trying out for Verizon?" ... a SMALL smartphone probably not much bigger than the palm of my hand. I doubt it was 2" wide, not longer than 3-1/2" ... a screen that was just as clear and sharp as any retina display! In that small computer she had everything her Samsung 9 smartphone had. It was amazing!!!!

Yet as much as new electronics attract me I wouldn't buy one. It was small enough I'd probably lose it, or I'd have it in my back jeans or cargo shorts pocket then sit on it. It would also be too small to see the GPS map while I am driving lost going in circles or trying to find that turn I missed. Still for what it was ... it was nice to see, hold, tap extremely small icons to make it come alive. She said it was still in the 'testing phase' and that was the reason Verizon had not emailed me. I told her I had not seen any advertisements on tv or online. It was just another new electronic 'toy' that people will buy because it's different. I usually don't buy new unless my computer breaks, or my iPhone needs upgraded. I didn't think I would ever move from my 8+ iPhone but after seeing those screens on the new XR model, I'll probably upgrade in a year or two.

Speaking of electronics, as I become more familiar with the Apple Watch ... it is still impressive. It is 'connected' to my iPhone by bluetooth and the phone doesn't have to be that close for everything to work on the watch. For example I had the phone inside charging while I stood ~80' away at the mailbox down by the highway. I was still getting everything I would get standing right next to the phone. If it were not for the good iPhone 8+ camera I would trade this watch in within the 15-day limit and exchange it for the GPS/Cellular model because it is just that good. I had a phone conversation for almost two hours yesterday, ON MY WATCH !!! ... we both agreed our reception was much clearer than the smartphones we use for that long distance call. The verbal commands or the questions I ask Siri on my watch are just as fast responding as my iPhone. Once again ... amazing things inside a very very small piece of electronics.

I checked again for fleas on Stella ... there isn't any. I checked for any kind of skin irritations, redness or even a bare spot from her chewing more than I think she should ... there isn't any. She stops to scratch herself in the same places in the field and yard ... does that make it more of a habit? Inside she scratches herself as part of her self-grooming process ... does that make it a habit? Is it her food? Could be. I am not going to play that "chasing the tail" again with different dogs foods like I did for Heidi's skin two to three years ago. Her skin problem was much worse than what makes Stella scratch. It might also be the season, cooped up in the house much more than laying outside in the yard sleeping under the sunshine.

After normal use of the internet for about the same number of hours yesterday, I can say that the Wordpress Dashboard is the cause for the mysterious data leak. I did not have that problem with the "wp-admin/dashboard" Another reason I think that is the cause, the Wordpress techies emailed me last night telling me they were "still working on the problem" after I sent them a FYI email with my data use results for the day. I used only 400Mb yesterday after using 800Mb or more per day since moving the blog from Blogger to Wordpress. Each post still has pretty close to the same number of large (450Mb) number of pictures. So I'll keep an eye on that and see if the low data usage continues.

Google Chrome "Data Saver" app does not save as much data as it use to but the nice thing is, it will list in order every website you visit and how much data that website used. It goes from the highest data usage to the lowest. You can check 1 hour, 3 hours, a week, or a month ago .... Facebook use to be the #1 data sucker but recently it's been Wordpress .com by 10x as much.

I have run out of things to ramble on. I covered what I had listed in my "notes" program. Oh ... I will NOT be tuned into the President's nationwide speech tonight ... I'll either have the tv turned off or I'll be watching a basketball game during that time. It's a never ending battle in D.C. and it will never get better no matter who is in Congress nor who is elected President. Cooperation, negotiation, and compromise are words not even in their dictionary anymore. I'm going back to 'no news' ... screw it.

Heidi has risen and has a pulse, as she gulped some water then sprinted to the door after her morning nap. She was out and back in so fast I was not able to eject my SD card, insert it into the camera and take some morning pictures of her. This afternoon might be a good time for writing a post only about her, with pictures.

It's another fine day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.


  1. Great photos of the pups as always! Love those dogs :-)

    I'm still on a politics & news hiatus! I just can't do it right now. There's so much wrong with all that's gone on that I don't feel as if there is any truly honest news source available. Every thing is subject to the narrator's interpretations and bias. I have my opinions about the border wall.... sharia law... government shutdown... and all the other things in the forefront of the media these days.... but I figured, it doesn't matter whether or not I'm informed.... it won't change a damned thing.

  2. You are exactly right !!!! I am back on the news hiatus!!!

  3. Arrowhead GrammaJanuary 08, 2019 9:28 AM

    Fed up with politics. Yesterday our new CA governor announced feel health care to illegals. Who will pay?

    We did get not quite an inch of rain on the weekend with an 1 or so of wet slush/snow. Suppose to get rain on Friday for about 4 days. Hope it happens.

  4. I saw that about your new governor. I wonder if he will feel the same as Brow did when asking for federal money to support their fire fighting efforts. Which was no feeling at all ... maybe just a little entitlement.

    How much was your precipitation deficit for 2018?

  5. "Compared to what other people go through at my age, it’s really not that big of an issue for me."

    You are not of an age to be going thru something. You are still young. Old is 90 plus.

  6. That's true but I have other friends my age or a few years younger that have had major surgeries, cancer, etc. I look at age the same as you though, 90's is old not me.

  7. On my camera the zoom bar changes color when I max out optical zoom and start into digital zoom. Normally I avoid digital zoom but the SX50 has a quirk. The more optical zoom the farther away the minimum focus distance, but if I zoom just into the digital zoom zone I can actualy get the camera to focus on pretty close objects. It creates some interesting shots.

  8. Thanks for that 'quirk' I'll try that.