Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Old Man

I just love this old tree that stands in the pasture that Boo and Ten share. It is a wonderful tree full of character. I wanted to experiment with panoramas and thought this would be fun. I took three progressive pictures of this tree --left side, middle, right side-- and then pulled them into Photoshop Elements and 'stitched' them together and then cropped the finished product. I took the pictures early one morning while waiting for the horses to finish their grain before I could pass out hay, so the light is a little iffy. Otherwise I kind of like it.

For some reason big old trees have been attracting my eye lately. There are about 4 others that I've been meaning to stop and photograph. I think I've been putting it off because I want to wait till I get my new lense. It's going to be a 70-300. Not a huge zoom lense, but more than what came with the camera! I think it is going to be my Valentines Day gift from G. It was originally supposed to be a Christmas present, but things happen {shrug} While I was in pricing the new lense (which has actually come down almost $50 since I first decided it was the one I wanted), I showed G the lense I REALLY want. He just looked at the price tag and winced LOL!

I'm excited about the new lense also because it is Spring time. What does that mean?? Babies!! I've already started to notice baby calves and lambs and kids. Since I don't know the people they belong to I will be taking the pictures from the side of the road and that means I need some ZOOM! ;p

Random Thoughts

Isn't the little bird in the picture the cutest thing? Usually you see these little guys in groups of 10 or so flitting around here.... I don't know where this guys pals where, but I liked how he looked against the branches. I played with it a little in Photoshop.. I liked it in!

I am finally getting things on the new computer sorted out.... There are things I like about the new laptop, and things I miss about the old one just because I was so used to it. Some odd things I've found about the new laptop:

  • Even though I have a '100' gig hard drive I only have access to 80 gig. Why?? Well, the new thing is to put the system recovery on a partition of your hard drive! You are then to make your own restore disks and put them away. The idea is that for most things you can restore from the hard drive.... I'm thinking I would rather have the 20 gig of space! I'm going to call HP this weekend and see if there is any reason I can't just delete all of that off after I make my own restore DVD. Eh, we'll see.
  • I had a little problem setting up with my wi-fi here... seems that the Mac address of the Lan is different than the wi-fi card. On my old laptop the whole laptop had the same Mac address and it didn't occur to me that this one wouldn't be the same. No where in the documentation did it mention this. It took me almost 3 days to figure out why I could hard wire into my system, but couldn't get it wi-fi.... I did eventually figure it out, but they could have made it easier for me.
  • Instead of XP Home this one came with the Media Center edition... there are a few things that are different. Mostly things that aren't in quite the same place when you go to look for it.... Nothing major, just takes some getting used to.
  • This thing came with a few 'toys' that I'm looking forward to playing with. Don't know if I would have gotten them, but since they are there....... well a girl has to entertain herself. I have a remote for if I want to watch DVDs or play CDs. Apparently I can use it from 10 feet away LOL! Another thing is that instead of the CD recorder I had, this thing has a DVD RW -and- it's one of those Lightscribe ones. I bought some of the special disks today and look forward to seeing what it will do. Again, not something I would have looked for, but since I have it.....

So, as you can see, a lot of my time this last week has been spent twiddling (and replaying my ZooTycoon2 scenarios that I lost). One other thing I lost was my bookmarks for Firefox. Not a grave loss in the greater world view, but annoying. I'm glad I had all of my digital pics and documents backed up to my external hard drive(although I WILL be backing up game saves now LOL!), but I think it may be time to look into or one of those services for my bookmarks so I have them saved somewhere else. It never occurred to me to save them off the computer. Thankfully most of my blogs/journals are on Bloglines.

Now that all of the housekeeping is done, I'm looking forward to spending time playing with my Blogger template, spending some time doing some of the photo challenges that are around, playing in Photoshop Elements, and maybe finding some stuff to blog about LOL!


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Feline Friday--the Sunday Edition

I debated doing a Feline Friday entry. But I had my camera out and DK seemed to be in the mood to be co-operative. It is a little bitter sweet right now taking pictures of her.

Why? Because late in November, just about the time I started having computer problems I took DK into the vet for a check-up. She had been coughing for a couple of weeks (I thought from a hairball and I had been giving her some over the counter medicine for that), and in the process of holding her to give her the hairball medicine we had discovered a small lump. Since the hairball medicine didn't appear to be working and the lump was a worry, I called and made a vet appointment.

It turns out that the lump is a cancer, and apparently a very fast moving one as the coughing is being caused because the cancer has already masticated to the lungs. Due to her age and the fact the cancer had already metastasized and was not localized, the vet recommended not putting her thru the surgery to remove the lump and to just treat the symptoms. As long as she appears healthy, happy, not in pain, and the medicine keeps her from coughing much we are going to go along as normally as we can.

The scary thing is that she had a complete physical and blood work along with getting her shots at the end of last Feb(2006) and was completely healthy! We always opt to take the kids into the vet and get physicals every year along with their shots just so we can be sure they are healthy and we aren't missing anything (such as a lump or internal problem). Sadly the vet told us that this kind of cancer is very common in older cats (DK is 12 ) and usually appears very suddenly.

Needless to say, my heart is breaking and DK is reaping the reward of being spoiled rotten with lots of treats and rubs. She is also taking the whole 'pill every other day' thing like a champ. We just open her mouth, put the pill in and she swallows. I think she realizes that the pill helps because if any of you out there have ever tried to give a cat a pill you know that they aren't usually co-operative.

We are hoping that with the medicine we will still have her around for quite a while, but we won't make her suffer just to keep her with us. Still, from the picture, you can see that except for a slight weight loss she seems her normal self.

Oops... Somehow I didn't copy the last line of the post off of my external program that I use to make posts. The line I missed said:

If you want to play along, take a picture of a cat and leave your link over at (sometimes)Photoblog!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Look Babies!

These cuties that you see are the two 7-month old weanlings that the owner of the horses I care for bought on the Wed before Christmas. She thought I could use something more to keep me entertained LOL! They are cuties. Officially they are now Yearlings as it is after the first of January. Interesting fact for my non-horsey friends, most horses are considered a year older on January 1st no matter when they were actually born. Why? It has to do with racing/showing of horses. Since most races/contests/shows are based on the age of the horse it is easier to just consider the year the horse was born rather than the actual date.

These pics were taken early in the morning and the light wasn't as good as I would have liked. I'm sure you will see more pictures of these two in the coming months! They also present a challenge to my picture taking abilities because they are -very- curious and want to come and see what I am doing. I have -lots- of close-up pictures of their little noses!

The 'pink' one is named  Bizou (which I believe is 'little kiss' in French) and is pronounced basically Biz-zoo. The dark colt is called Bébé (which is 'baby' in French) and is pronounced Bay-Bay. I do -not- speak French, so my friend was kind enough to pick names I couldn't butcher too badly ;p 

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Out Your Window, Redux

Blogfather John's Monday Photo Shoot is an easy one this week...

You're up. Grab a camera, pick a window, snap a photo, put it on your blog or journal, and then come back here to leave a link. Let's see the view from your rooms.

So I opened my front door (our windows are the crank kind and wouldn't allow much of a picture) and snapped this:

The horses I take care of are just on the other side of the fenceline that you can see.

Want to play along? Grab your camera, snap a picture and drop your link over at By The Way.....

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm Baaaaack!!!

So the final chapter in the 'Journey to Tech H#ll' is complete... at least I hope. Ready for the 'Rest of the Story'?

As we all remember the last time we were able to visit with our poor laptop was on Dec 23. At that time I refused to leave the building with the computer without testing it because my extended warranty was officially up on Dec 22. Subsequent inquiry (which also led to me getting a replacement battery) brought to light the fact that actually when you have work performed during the last part of one of these extended warranties it is extended by 30 days automatically... but I didn't know that at the time and wasn't taking any chances LOL!!

It took longer this time for the laptop to go out and return. I'm figuring that this was because of the Christmas and New Year's holidays. It did finally return on Jan 8. This was not a good day (for reasons I will post later), and it didn't help that they called me just to inform me that it had been returned and still wasn't operational. This time I spoke to the 'Tech in Charge' whom I assume was/is a manager. He told me that they were again going to send the laptop off, but that this would be the last time. If it did not return fixed this time he was going to see about having it replaced. Now, before anyone goes "Awwww How nice!" Let me tell you about the 'Lemon' clause in my extended warranty that reads "If a repair requires -4- trips out and still is not fixed to satisfaction, the equipment will be replaced with a new/refurbished unit of equal or better quality" HUGE sighs and moans by me, but since real life was kicking me in the butt at the time I just said "Whatever... Call me if it ever comes back"

This afternoon (Yes, on a Sunday.. go figure) I received another call from one of the techs saying the laptop was back, but still not repaired. This poor guy didn't know the whole story and tried to tell me I would have to either replace the Ram I had bought from them, or just remove it at my own cost. I let him have an earful and told him I would be in to speak with one of his supervisors as soon as I could get there.

Arriving I gave my now large stack of service orders to the tech on duty at the counter and told him I was there for my -unrepaired- laptop. Yep, I probably said it loud enough for the other people in line to hear. I was not amused that the laptop had been being repaired since 12/4/06 and still wasn't fixed. Luckily one of the guys who knows the story on all of this walked by and said, "I'll take her, I know what's supposed to happen..."

What was supposed to happen is that I ended up with a brand new laptop. It is not what I had in mind for my next laptop, but it is comparable with my old laptop and is NEW, which is a good thing. I did shell out the $350 to have the 3 year insurance put on it. I figured that it was probably a good idea the way my luck had been running! LOL!

Tonight I sit here downloading things, putting programs back on here and realizing that in all of the backing up of pictures and things in early December the one thing I hadn't backed up was my favorites/Bookmarks from my Firefox browser. We went in to town for pizza and I popped in and asked if they could drop that off of my harddrive and onto a CD or e-mail the file to me........ They offered to do so, but I would have to pay $99 for the 'back-up' service. Eeeek! I decided there wasn't anything in that list of sites that I couldn't find again... but, there go all of my saved sites for the last -3- years. I guess I'll be spending some time surfing just trying to relocate the sites I use. Worst part? I had several 'possible blog entry' type of things saved Eh, what you going to do??? At least I have all of my pictures backed-up.

So the ordeal is over (at least we hope) and now I start to get things back to normal. I will put a pic of the new laptop (and specs) in an entry later this week when I am a little more organized. Saddest part? I would have preferred to have my old laptop back and repaired as it was set up just the way I liked after almost 3 years and I new just how to get it to do everything I wanted. I'll be playing with and tweaking things on this one for a while before it feels comfortable. Sheesh, I haven't even got it set up on the wi-fi network yet. My old laptop is the one I used for all of the setting up and I will now have to see if I can add this one without changing anything, or if I will have to take everything back to 'factory specs' and start over... but I'm leaving that for another day and just 'hard wiring' myself into my router for the time being. So, if I'm missing for a couple of days later this week you can assume that the re-wiring of the wi-fi didn't go well.....LOLOLOL!

Oh, and the battery I mentioned earlier? I have it, but it doesn't fit any laptop we have now.. I'm going to call the company it came from and try to return/exchange it. Otherwise... anyone need an HP battery for a Pavillion?? Oh, and the 1 gig of Ram that started this whole ordeal???? They gave it to me when they took the old laptop because it wasn't part of the original set-up. Unfortunately it is not the right kind of ram for the newer computer, and is also not the right kind of ram for the old Sony laptop that G has... I'll need to find someone that can use that ram... It would be silly to just let it sit around, I paid $200 for it and I just can't see it going to waste and sitting here gathering dust if I can find someone who can make use of it. Oh, and why couldn't I return it???? Because it was more than 30 days since I bought it and they can't take a return that's older than 30 days. I told them that on 12/4 it wasn't more than 30 days after purchase, but they didn't seem to care ROFL!

Monday, January 01, 2007

It's a New Year!

Happy 2007!

A lot of Bloggers are looking back over the last year and commenting on it with links and profound thoughts....

Looking back over 2006 the pattern that I see is me having trouble connecting to the internet and all of my online friends! First was my search for a reliable connection early in the year. Although a satellite dish was not my first choice, it did end up being the best alternative. The loss of my laptop to tech-h*ll during the last part of the year finished off 2006 much as it started.

My hope for 2007 is to have not only the opportunity to post, but also the inspiration to keep from boring you! We'll see! LOL

Last night I stayed up and watched the ball drop in Time's Square, and this morning I am watching the Rose Parade. I have changed the template on my Blogger Blog, and changed out of my Christmas colors on my AOL Journal. This afternoon I will take down the Christmas decorations, something easily done this year. We did a wreath and garland on the front fence of our little yard, and a little decorated tree in the trailer. Because of space restraints this was all I did this year. Eh.... it makes for an easy New Year's Day disassembly.

So..... Officially the 2006 Holiday Season is over and the year 2007 begins.... Here's wishing that the New Year brings all of you what you most dearly desire (or at least what you need).