Thursday, March 23, 2017

Stella On Her Own Today

I am anxiously waiting for that week of higher temperatures of 60-70°. I found out really quick this morning it had not started yet. We took our morning walk in 41° weather, but it was still nice.

A couple of trucks had partial loads of fertilizer dumped when we first went outside. By the time I started writing this post there were three more trucks show up and they tripled the amount these first two trucks delivered. One very important thing is ... it doesn't smell while we are out. That might change later but shouldn't be too bad.

Sadie didn't hesitate to let me know she wanted to go on a walk with her infamous stare. You have to admit she is consistent even when she knows I don't go anywhere until I have ingested at least one cup of coffee.

Stella was more than happy to come inside and curl up behind my desk chair for a nap as I scanned my latest sports news and the IU fan forum for the coaching search updates. As of this morning they were showing there had been over 1.2 million views on that forum post, just one post alone.

This was the first load that was delivered.

We headed out for the walk in cool weather but with no wind it was nice. We must of had a field cat in the area last night since both Sadie and Stella went to the same area as soon as they got outside for the walk. I do see a cat at night sometimes as I pull into the driveway. The headlights pick up those cat eyes while sitting in the dark.

I decided before we got outside today that I would let Stella do anything she wanted and go anywhere she wanted ... total freedom. You will see her path from this morning's walk but I am going to talk about different stuff than a verbal description of our walk today. Lots of stuff to cover and more pictures than I have ever added to a blog post, 37.

I have received some feedback from readers about the issue of the yews and septic tank along with the speed in which my blog loads into their computer, table or phones. I am almost certain that changes are on the way. Some will require a lot of manual labor but as I have been walking around the house this past month, surveying for any maintenance that might be needed, I can see that I am going to be a busy tired individual from a lot of manual labor.

I really don't have anywhere to plant them but I hate to let the Yews die while sitting on the burn pile for next fall's bonfire. I've been told that yews have very strong and a very deep root system. I'd have to look to make sure but I think I planted these about 6 or 7 years ago.

I didn't know at the time that my septic tank was right below the yews under the window to the right of the porch. It was described to me that the septic tank was in front of the carport and further down the yard. After finding an old diagram last summer among some house paperwork, I saw that the septic tank was right below the front edge of the yews, or 6' from the edge of the house and only 3' to the right of the porch steps.

Based on the diagram and written notes I am assuming they put in a concrete tank in 1975 with the clay type of pipe. So does it matter that the root system of the yews run deep with a concrete tank?

In today's world of high speed internet, many readers may have high speed with unlimited monthly data. Some may have slow internet speed that takes forever to load a blog like mine with a lot of pictures. I am one of those readers that pays too much for only 15Gb of data per month. I get 2 more Gb's from Verizon on my iPhone so that helps a little I guess.

Other readers have a lot less Gb's per month and when my blog is soaking up their data because of the amount of posts per page or the large numbers of pictures I include in my blog, it might be time to make some changes to the blog with the new Blogger templates available.

I did reduce the number of posts per blog page to one. Ed told me this morning that when he loaded the blog after that change it used half of the amount of data it took to load the previous day with two post per page setting. So that was good news.

I looked at the new Blogger templates last night, Blogger calls them 'themes'. A lot of them had the option that Wordpress has had for a long time, where you open the blog to see a list of blog posts. They have a short written summary with only one picture ... then an option of "read more" that opens to the whole post.

Or there is the option of having a single picture from each post, in columns with dates where you would click the picture to open up that specific post. Depending on how many posts I would adjust the settings to, would determine how fast the blog page would load I guess. I am leaning toward the theme with a list of posts, with short descriptions, one picture and the option to "read more".

That options sounds like it would help a lot of readers by using less of their data and loading faster into their computer, tablet or phones.

I did find a few of the new themes I liked with their default settings, fonts and colors. I would have the option to do changes to colors, format and fonts. Yet ... I like the way the blog looks now, the format, the colors, so it is a hard decision.

Still .... for longtime readers you know how I like change, how I like to mess around with templates, web pages, fonts, etc. Since it's cold outside and the first NCAA games do not start again until tonight ... I have plenty of time today to play around with new blog templates. Of course I will save this blog to my hard drive so if I decide to come back to the same design I can.

My other problem is and I apologize for, I can't seem to keep from loading a LOT of pictures in each blog post. This one has more pictures than I have ever done but I liked the pictures I loaded and only chose 40% from the total amount I took this morning. I put a few of the same pictures on my Facebook account for those few friends that don't read blogs but love the hounds. Stella's original owner and the young lady that gave me Stella like seeing her on Facebook. I don't know if they visit the blog or not.

Then I put a few on my Wordpress blog from this collection because I like that blog personally and have just a few readers that prefer less of my babbling and more pictures.

So let me know how you feel about changes to the blog. Feel free to send me any of your suggestions, complaints, or likes to me by commenting or sending me an email. Sure, I write this blog and it is mine as I have been told ... so "do anything you want" .. but really this blog is yours. You take time to come here and read or look through the pictures of the hounds and I appreciate that.

I like writing and I like taking photos of the hounds so it's an even trade off for all of us.

I go and have gone through periods where I don't feel like blogging but most of the time I have the urge to blog. It was interesting to read Al's process of how he puts his blog together. He too likes to spend time with photography, editing the photos and putting a blog together. I must admit though, after I read his process here I am not sure I would continue to blog on a regular basis.

His blog is fantastic and one that I look foreword to reading every night. His pictures are second to none. I am sure he spends a lot more time, in fact I KNOW he spends a lot more time editing his pictures than I do mine. We both shoot about the same number of pictures per day and we only post on blog post per day.

Yet we each have a different process of putting the blog together. As do ALL bloggers I am sure.

I have had only two people that have blogs, ask me how do I do mine blog on Blogger with the amount of pictures I post ... so here is my process.

1. Download pictures from camera card into my iMac's Apple Photos program

2. I edit each one by clicking the "enhance" button. That will change the color, lighting, contrast etc ... but not the sharpness. I can do that with a different option but usually don't because readers have better eyesight than I do and probably see the pictures being sharp anyway.

3. I then choose which pictures are going to the blog and export them to a folder on my desktop labeled "Blog Public". Due to Bloggers process in importing photos adding a folder to import from was the only option I had with the Apple Photo program.

4. I go into my Blogger dashboard to write a new post. Insert the title.

5. Something probably different than anyone, I load all of my pictures at once, in the order that I took them. Then I import them from the folder on my desktop.

6. I slide the first picture to the left and start writing. Then enlarge each picture as I write in between the photos.

I have been asked WHY do you load all of your pictures first?

I found out two things by doing it that way. It is much faster to put the blog together that way instead of inserting the pictures in certain spots of the content. The BIGGEST difference was getting rid of all the frustration of uneven spaces between pictures and paragraphs. On Blogger, sometimes the spacing between pictures and words would not be the same when I was inserting the pictures one at a time in between the content.

I find the time to put the blog together was much faster loading all the pictures at once before writing anything ... and ... the spacing is ALWAYS the same between written word and pictures.

I put my cursor below the picture, hit the 'return' key ... that creates the even space between the picture above and my paragraph. Then after I finish writing the paragraph the pre-loaded picture below is right next to my sentence, UNTIL I type the period and hit the 'return' key.

That puts the same spacing between words and pictures every time. When I get to the next picture in line, I enlarge it to X-Large, place my cursor in the space between the next pictures and hit the 'return' key.

So there is my blog lesson for today LOL. We all have different ways of putting our blogs together but for me this is the easiest and less frustrating way to do it.

Al, if you are reading this, you are to be commended on the way you do your blog. The time and detail editing you do is more than I could ever do I am afraid. I don't have that much patience.

That is why you have such a great following and a great blog, one of, if not the best blog that I follow. I appreciate all the effort you put into your blog and as all fellow bloggers know, there are times it's hard to put words to print ... even with great fast computers, so I know how hard it is sometimes.

So I am going to end all of this babbling and feed the hounds their lunch. It's already after 1pm local time. I have three hounds 'giving me the eye' so I know they are ready for lunch.

I see I have 37 new tweets about my sports and I am sure once I open my IU fan forum back up I'll have another 8-9 pages of comments to read to get caught up on our coaching change. I am pretty sure who it's going to be. I am a thrilled IU fan if that turns out to be Billy Donovan but I can still live with the other options listed too. Anybody but Tom Crean is good for me.

As you see Stella had a fantastic walk and got some running in, following Sadie more or less and I did not have to go out to get her with a leash.

I thought at this picture she was going to head to the neighbors so I stood silently watching but she had only found one specific spot that she was not going to leave.

Sadie and I left her out there and came back inside. By the time I took off my coat, poured my 2nd cup of coffee and started downloading the blog pictures ... she was still outside in the same spot.

As I walked out toward her calling her name, she looked up and started trotting toward me and then ran back to the house. She is a great bloodhound with a funny personality. I am still happy that I decided to pick her up in August 2015.

Remember to let me know if you like the upcoming blog changes and tell me what you would like to see or not see on the blog. Or any suggestions that will help load the blog faster for you no matter what tool you are reading from.

It looks like they will be spreading some fertilizer today with rain a couple of days away.

It took 2 hours and 7 minutes to put this blog together for those readers that are curious. It normally doesn't take that long.

Life is good here in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana.


  1. Wow that is a lot of manure. Enjoyed seeing how they use it there. I love Al's blog and read it daily when I have internet. It is top notch for sure.

    I open a new post on blogger, write what I am thinking about and then if I have time, add a few pics I think look nice that I took that day or the day before. Then make up a title and post. Later as I remember something, I edit the post. Very sad I know, but I am a most lazy person.

    Thank you for reading my blog and leaving comments. Not many people do. Since I changed to Zippy my views in 24 hours fell from 200+ to about 42. That is fine, as I use the blog to help me remember what I was doing when. If someone enjoys it, that is fine.

    1. Whatever works for blogging is good. There are some days I post more than one blog per day but I have found that when I do that, the first blog has a lot less readers, even if I say in the newest post it is my 2nd or 3rd of the day. Sometimes I will write in the morning and add stuff later after our afternoon walk or if anything takes place out of the ordinary. I can't seem to decide on a time to post ... live at mid-day or schedule to post at 6pm.

      The blog does help me remember and I find it very convenient to look back and see if there are any changes in Heidi's skin based on time of year or month. I find the weather is not as different as we think when I look at what I wrote a year ago. A blog is a great record keeping document and with the formats it is much more organized than using Microsoft Word as a journal.

  2. With the 37 photos I still used less than what I did the day when you had two postings on the same page. But, you are pushing the envelope! HA

    ps What happened to the UL Profile for Comments?

    1. Yeah, posting that many pictures will not be the norm. I am still not sure why I posted that many. I may have to count them because on the blog it doesn't look like 37 of them but that is the number it showed that I had downloaded to export to the blog.

      Thanks for letting me know about the data usage.

      I don't know what the "UL Profile for Comments" is ... I haven't changed any settings but will take a look and see if something changed.