Friday, April 08, 2016

Some Friday Rambling

I hate to complain about weather but it's April 8th, 38° and raining?? What about that global warming? El Nino? Where are those 70° temps I had in March??

As I type this, my hands are freezing, I'm wearing my NorthFace jacket, I feel freezing air from somewhere ... yes I am inside my house ... where it's 54° in the living room and 58° back here in the computer room. It's April and I refuse to turn on my heaters because of that.

Heidi has the right idea ... hibernate under a stack of blankets, sleep and stay warm ... thus no photos of her.

I am back with an urge to blog today, something I have not had recently. I'll be back to posting here on a regular basis, sometimes multiple times per day depending on the weather outside and/or mood.

I will also keep posting on my new blog on Wordpress that I started a few weeks ago. It's located at or to the left on the blog list sidebar. It's a little different with few words, a few photos, sudden thoughts or a good picture.

No particular order for the photos and paragraphs today. These are the photos I took this morning up to noon. I'll squeeze in some paragraphs between the photos as I go since it feels like I have a lot to say today. It's okay to skip over my rambling and check the hound photos if you want.

Last month on one of those 72° days in March I was washing my FJ with my camera with the 18-50mm lens attached, my 55-200mm lens sitting in the chair at the corner of the carport. I was taking photos at different times of the hounds as I washed the FJ. It wasn't windy but "Murphy" was watching me as he usually does anytime I am involved with activity away from my computer ... a gust of wind blew into the carport ... lifting the chair, the camera and the lens into the air where they landed 15ft away on the gravel driveway.

Since that time I could swear that the photos I take with the 55-200mm lens are not as clear and definitely not as sharp as they use to be. Maybe it's my eyes, maybe not. So, recently I've been taking photos with each lens and I can tell the difference in sharpness between the two lenses. Anyone else see the difference or is it my imagination? I think it might be time for a new zoom lens.

Sadie woke me up a little earlier than normal. A rude awakening since I didn't get to bed until 2:30am and then couldn't sleep after that. Although both hounds took their last trip of the night at 1:30am, they still had to go outside this morning I guess around 7:45am ... we were up for the day.

I knew something was up when I felt coldness inside the house as we migrated toward the door to go outside. I always take the photo of the field across the highway to catch the weather the first time we go outside. As I glanced at the carport thermometer it was somewhere between 35° and the 40° mark. It felt even colder than that. Needless to say the hounds did not stay outside long ... only because I did not want to stay outside long.

When the camera flash works automatically you know it's too early to be up especially when you have the job of retirement. Seattle's Best Coffee #5 was the quick fix and all things were better after just a cup.

I took a look at my blog that I reactivated last night and decided it was time to look for more blogs to add to the blogroll I had deleted. I must have backed up my blog after I deleted them instead of before because they didn't show up when I tried an update. I could remember a lot of them and could find them with a Google search. Others I found on other blogs that I follow. I think right now I might be missing just one and their name will come to me sometime today.

A side note to the photo below. Back last fall and winter I thought Diamond Natural dog food was giving Sadie indigestion problems and it was one reason I switched to Fromm for Large Breeds. Well a few weeks ago she was frantic to go outside to eat grass ... so then I knew it was not the Diamond Naturals kibble, nor was it the Fromm for Large Breeds.

What was it??  I caught her licking a blanket obsessively ... then today I saw her doing it again so I waited. Sure enough, within the hour that she finished, she was frantic to get outside and go immediately to the spot the photo was taken and started to eat the wet grass.

I spent this morning finding most of the blogs I have followed since October 2011. After they were added, of course I had to spend time to get caught up on each one. A few of them I had not read in a while so that was a lot of reading. Since it's freezing outside with rain off and on ... what better things did I have to do? So I am caught up with everyone in blog land.

I did add a new section to the blog list called 'Retirement Blogs'. It started with a blog I have followed for a while called A Satisfying Journey. I grabbed a few retirement blogs from his list, then some from theirs. It will probably stay at the number I have listed and will not increase. For those interested that list is located on the left sidebar below the list of 'Blogs I Follow'. Some good information put out by bloggers in their retirement years.

Stella's separation anxiety has seemed to improved. I left yesterday to grocery shop and when I got back there was no damage. There again, maybe she has damaged all she can and there is nothing left to tear up?  LOL ... I will always be paranoid though when I leave the house for longer periods of time.

They both like to ride in the FJ ALL the time. At times now when we go outside they will stand by the FJ in back wanting me to open the door for them. I do take them on more short trips around town but not all the time.

As I write I am forgetting all that I wanted to ramble about ... seems typical anymore.

My old friend just got back from a two week vacation to Cuba. She traveled with a group of 20 people, saw the Rolling Stones Concert with photos close to the stage and once she is caught up with texts, emails and work she will tell me more about her trip. I'll post any interesting nuggets of information. I wonder if she could ship me some of those cigar she brought back home?

Oh, here's one ... the boxes in the upper left to subscribe to posts, comment by RSS or by email both work. One reader told me she was no longer getting email notifications when I posted new stuff so I added a second feed as a test. I joined the old feed by email and found out that also works now. 13 HOURS later I got an email notice a while ago about the blog post I posted last night around 11pm ... so it does work but Google takes their time notifying you.

One the right side of the blog under 'Popular Posts' I've gone back and forth on what period of time to choose. Currently it is set on the past 30 days instead of All Time. The difference is from the way the blog changed over time from a focus on RVs to Hounds ... each of those periods collect the most popular posts and may not be of interest to the current readers. So because of that I have chosen the option of 'posts from the last 30 days'.

Bloodhounds demand a lot more attention than basset hounds ever did. Or it might be that Stella is that more jealous of Sadie that makes it seem that way.

I survived tax season and filed early. Mine are easy and I will not go into the details of the reasons why. I still find it somewhat amazing the amount of taxes I have to pay as a single filer with a lot less gross income than when I had a job. I'm not into socialism so I will not even go there for ranting about where my taxes go.

The iPhone SE brings up a lot of interesting questions for me. I went back to a flip phone and basic service sometime back in Nov/Dec time frame. That saves me about $400 per year in phone bills ... but there are a few things I miss by not having an iPhone. I had one since the first one that Apple released. I miss having a good camera to taking inside photos of the hounds in a situation of spur of the moment. I miss the 'notes' program for when I go shopping, reminders or different lists I have made and were only a touch away.

So with the SE being the same size as my old 5S and with the technology of the 6plus ... I may have to eat that $400 per year for my sanity and a new toy for 2016. Time will tell.

Time out ... the hounds want fed lunch.

Speaking of dog food ... Heidi looks like she is gaining weight. It's visible and also I can feel muscle again along her spine, her shoulders and around her rib cage. It's enough that when I get off my lazy butt, I'll take her over to the vet and use their scales. She is still itching way too much ... is it a habit?

Compare from March 5 to April 8 for weight gain?

March 5

April 8
Maybe not ...

I know that most retirement advice is to downsize your house (already did 20 yrs ago) and vehicles to one if not none depending on your local public transportation ... but I like having two vehicles, especially the ones I have. I don't drive the Mini Cooper more than 2,200 miles per year since I have retired but it's there when I want that change of pace and need to drive fast with the feel of a sports car. :)

The hounds need the FJ for transport and for those 'rare' times we travel.

The sun is trying to come out but just a few minutes ago it was blowing freezing rain. It's either more coffee or stop writing, climb into my sleeping back for warmth and take a siesta. Retirement is a rough lifestyle even in a sticks 'n bricks environment.

I think that is about all I have to ramble about. As I have noted earlier in other posts I stay way from the topic of politics because all that does is make me mad. My ranting would then go over the top and the men in blue might end up at my door ... you never know with this administration.

Freezing in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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