madshutterbug: (c)2004 by Myself (Weather Wet)
However, there is some resolution. Still not going into details, not because I want to be mysterious but because, mmm, rather a close subject. Suffice to say I received a wake-up call. And for a time, that wake-up call didn't show exactly what direction to move, though the general direction proved obvious. Now, it's settled in a bit. Still a tad precarious. Settled. A bit.

'Tis raining here in North Central Baja Jorja today. Parts south on the Peninsula are receiving more attention from the nasties than we are. Houdini is, none the less, staying as close to me as he can so I suspect he feels it. Like myself, Houdini is becoming an Old Fart, and one of these days... will come along far too soon, no matter what. So I happily provide him some 'Bubble of Kewl' and he does the same for me, he does.
madshutterbug: (c)2000 by Myself (Weather Cold)
Today is going to be a distracting day. Not a lot of Art is going to be accomplished here, since we are expecting some of the coldest temperatures we've seen in this part of Baja Jorja, in like ever. As in below the freezing point of water. Going to be working hard on the Ranch making sure the critters have what shelter they do and stoking their furnaces with some good eats for the day. Fresh bedding into their shelters. And last thing before heading to the house, disconnect the water points so that even if the tubes freeze, they won't burst because the water will be drained.

Herself and the Garden... well, it is planted with cold-hardy produce and we will still be giving them shelter as well. Planting wire hoops over the rows, then spreading plastic sheeting over that to provide a dead air space around the plants. Even with cold temperatures, that zone will remain slightly warmer and probably enough to keep the plants from being harmed. There are some young trees which will be moved as they are still in their planters. Those will be temporarily located between one of the big chicken shelters and Studio. There's a gap of about two metres there, and should (between the birds and the building) be slightly higher temps and again, still air.

The Barn is a metal roof pole barn, usually open on all sides for ventilation. Now, using tarps and supports, it is somewhat more closed off on the north and west walls, with windbreak provided a bit past the ends. The Bucklings and another smaller pen of young does both needed new tarps for their 'temporary' and movable shelters, those are acquired and one installed already.

That's the big item for the day. Spent yesterday either whipping through all the routine chores or out purchasing some of the things we'll need today. Laundry is nearly totally done, one more load to empty out of the washer (item been soaking overnight), then that too needs to be cold-protected. Cold protection there involves hanging a trouble-light by the washer hookups, after disconnecting those, and turning the light on. Even a fluorescent bulb will put out some heat, enough to keep things from freezing.

Thus not much Art will be accomplished. I mentioned looking at the papers from Red River, and Herself looked at them also now. Did not yet start printing on them, in part for the above mentioned Ranch things and in part for another Time Of The Year chore. Therefor not much to report there. There is another Art Related item to report on, though and off we go.

Some years back I received an introduction to Flickr. At the time this site provided some of the best exposure at economical prices short of establishing ones own domain on the Web. When Yahoo acquired the site, an easy means to import the photos I'd hosted via Yahoo came along. So did a certain... foreboding I suppose. There was a reason I'd stopped loading photos onto Yahoo. Received a couple inquiries about using photos I posted there in publications of some sort. Always for free, you know, good exposure for me and all that.

After some time then I started looking around and feeling some annual angst about renewing the subscription at Flickr (Madshutterbug on Flickr... one of the things about Flickr I don't like is no custom URL and it is a long one to get to the photos...). Changes in the past year accentuated that angst, though I've persevered through them. One reason is the statistics provided there, and over time (and sheer volume of photos posted, I suppose) the number of 'daily views' trended upwards. When I first discovered the statistics, I felt excited by a peak of 15 views in one day! Now, daily views averages between 30 – 50 views and peaks are in the hundreds and not infrequent.

Images are showing up on web searches and getting exposure that way, I'm sure. Still, the annual angst rears its head. Lots of reasons to stay (nearly all the images posted here as a 'Photo Blog' are hosted from Flickr, so changing things would require a lot of editing), including simple inertia.

One of the alternatives I tried is Deviant Art (Madshutterbug on Deviantart if you want to go look). And while I like that alternative, I am also not overwhelmingly enthusiastic. (I know the answer involves that whole domain name thing. Yes. I know that.) My thoughts revolving around DA at first came from a core of putting my more Art work there and leaving Flickr for like everything else. And, indeed, there isn't a large volume of work hosted there, 58 pieces or so. Statistics are provided there as well, and usually run in single digits.

Some of this is, one gets a return on what one invests, and a simple point is I've invested more time and material into Flickr, hence the greater volume of traffic. Both places provide their strengths, both leave some things to be desired.

A couple years ago, Herself pointed me to a site called 500px. The folks that set this site up tried and continue to try hard to show good, recent work. They developed a means to rate the work behind the scenes, based on site user input, and display the pieces accordingly. So I got interested in this and visited, rather frequently at first and then tapered off. Increased frequency in the past few months somewhat in anticipation of the Annual Angst and discovered the site owners provided a means to import pieces from other sites.

Now, that feedback system is open to anyone, but only counts on the images for people who register with the site for an account. Like most places, free accounts are free and easily available, then there are increasing levels of features available to members (we'll say primarily photographers who are posting, though I've no doubt some of the people posting images are the models in them promoting their own work as models) for paid memberships. The fees are fair and reasonable. This site is another one I contemplated with that whole concept of 'Post Here the Great Art, Post There the Good Stuff, Meditations, Etc' two sites plan.

Recently I put up some work on 500px (Madshutterbug on 500px eh!) and watched it over a week. I am still a 'free' account there, so uploads are limited, though storage space isn't. Everything there is transferred over from Flickr, still hosted on Flickr as well. Some will not be immediately visible to anyone who isn't a member (I believe) because it is marked Adult Material and is some of my nude artwork. It will take a couple clicks through to get their message: sign up for an account before we'll show you this. We want a legal disclaimer that you are old enough we won't get in trouble.

It's a much more 'transient' world. One piece did achieve enough views, a high enough 'Pulse' measure, to be put into a category of 'Upcoming' for a while. It's now listed back in the 'Fresh' category, where everything that is posted goes (more or less). If it isn't obvious to you now, it should be that this is some shameless self-promotion; go take a look at what I've posted. Enjoy the other images people are posting. Leave me some feedback on the process.

Still, it's a start at examining another world of exposure (pun intended) and I expect I'll continue along as a free account for a while, watching things as they go. I'll also continue to post things by heading over to Flickr for the image, though I may add some things straight from the House as it were.

Meanwhile, Back At the Ranch it's time to start my movement towards getting out and getting started, even though it's still dark (writing this with the intention to post early). When I'm done with Ranch work there still may be not much Art work, because being after the First of the Year, it's Income Tax Time here in the Hew Ess of Aye and I need to get cracking on that as well.

Day. Oh.

Jan. 2nd, 2014 06:36 pm
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
Today is a Hippie Birdbaths, for my sister who is not in the Blog-o-Sphere, and I've wished her the traditional Hippie Birdbaths via the means by which she does visit the Ether.

It is also a Hippie Birdbaths Remembered for both Herself and my fathers, who shared the day though with a number of years (and miles) between them.

We received sufficient respite in the rain today (nearly 36 hours of rain in the past 48) to be able to feed the Goats as well as Hogs & Horses. Then I ran some errands, one of which is to bring home hay to bed down the Goat Shelters because tonight the temps are expected to plummet. All such shelters now bedded in.

Houdini then got a ride in to Archer for a last errand before nightfall.

Some progress, albeit small, made on the Art Printing Front. I opened and looked through the sample papers from Red River Papers which should be a link to their site. Still waiting to print on these papers, which are quite literally marketed as Samples. The company obligingly stamps the name of the paper on each sheet and provides at least two sheets of each as well. I purchased two packages, one for prints, one their pre-scored for folding greeting card stock. The plan is to print one or two (potentially up to four) images on each sheet, and save in the Samples Notebook for comparison.

Then we select papers for projects. Yes. Oh, this is fun, it is. I remember how much fun now, even if this isn't in the darkroom. Darkroom printing seems more magical to me, though there is magic involved in digital printing as well.

Prints into the mail on Monday for MarsCon in Williamsburg Virginia, the Art Show thereof, arrived today. So if y'all are in the area on the weekend of January 17-19 please go to the Con and look at the Art Show.

Houdini says, Buy some of Boss' Art. Feed the Dog. Please.
madshutterbug: (c) 2011 by Myself: Zone VI 8x10 view camera (View Camera)
Today will be a moderately short State of the Artist. Yes, I've been getting bits and pieces done on some projects, so progress remains our most important problem. Progress is being made. The next big show will be Necronomicon in Tampa, come October, and there are a couple pieces in particular I should like to be finished by then. One may well be one of the panoramas I posted last week; it occurs to me that with a slight re-title (already done) it becomes an homage type of fan-art on some of the John Ringo works.

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, we've conducted Evening Rounds already. Today we moved a wee bit of feed, and of course got everyone fed. Made a phone call and ordered the replacement tyre for LittleJon Deere tractor. And snapped this photo:

How Gentlemen Border Collies Conduct Rounds

To be fair, Houdini and I already did some walking rounds, going over into the Cow Pasture to move a feed trough closer to the fence so I could fill it, and then checking out the spot where one of our older cows had died. Bones left is all, we brought back her skull and tomorrow we'll go over to grab her pelvis for some projects.

The weather, or at least ambient temperatures, definitely reflecting that we're now into September. The Dog Days of Summer are broke. This morning the temp here on the Ranch was 19C and De Light Full indeed. Got hot during the day, yes, into the low 30's, yet without the sweltering oppressive humidity of August.

For now, it's time for my dinner. Houdini's already eaten.
madshutterbug: (c) 2011 by Myself: Zone VI 8x10 view camera (View Camera)
This week the state of the artist is... Sore. Achy.

My brother-in-law calls the part of the world where we live (not him, he and sis live elsewhere) the Land of Wet. This time of year North Central Baja Jorja lives up to the description, and this year is doing so with a vengeance. We've received, by our measurement tools, nearly 25 cm (10 in) of rain in the past two weeks alone. The porches to the two house buildings, Big House and Studio are all made from wood; it's economical and I can work it. Get it wet long enough, with the ambient humidity we also deal with, and wood starts getting overgrown with moss, algae, and just generally slimy slippery stuff.

I'd commented to Herself that it's about time for me to wash off the stairs. Sweeping them off wasn't helping much anymore, since with all the rain mostly they stayed wet anyway. The routine includes a pause at the top of the stairs (going up doesn't seem to be as hazardous) to remind myself slippery, careful. And I still managed to slide off one step yesterday carrying laundry over to the laundry room in Studio.

Part of my thought process at the time included 'Well, that's not what I wanted to do'. Part of it marveled at how slow-motion everything seemed to be. And I relaxed into it; one of the few things which seems to remain with me from a study of Aikido decades ago is taking a fall. All of it until I connected with the ground went airborne, and the laundry basket apparently moved my center of gravity over enough to contribute to this. Tucked and rolled soon as my feet touched, and that laundry basket came back to greet me as I rolled.

Might be that helped break the fall. Definitely broke one of the handles on the basket. Side is sore where basket and I connected. Nothing worse apparently. Got up, spilled clothing back into the basket, and carried on getting the laundry going.

And yes, I did scrub off the stairs shortly after that, thank you. They feel much less slippery now.

Houdini is enjoying being 'Indoor Dog Exclusive' though he still does show behaviour that he's looking for Squrrl occasionally. Keeping up with beating down fleas, we've discovered he actually likes Herself's goat-milk soap (one of the ingredients). Specifically, coffee which helps with the itching, and the lye the fleas don't much like either. Unlike commercial anti-flea shampoos, he doesn't run off to roll in whatever after getting lathered up with the goat-milk coffee soap...

In other news, attended the Opening Reception this past Tuesday for the GFAA 90th Anniversary show (and fundraiser) Art for All Seasons. There is a lot of good art there, and not simply for the reason you might see mine, or Herselfs, and decide to buy those pieces I encourage everyone local (and by local here, I may include up to two hours away so Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, eh) to come and see it.

There were prizes awarded for Best In Show, and in assorted categories for first through third places. As is my wont I usually go back to view the winners as a teaching/learning moment and this time around no exception. Nearly all of the recipient pieces I agree with personally and when I first looked at them marked them in my mind as Really Good Art. One exception, an individual I know (not well) through Camera Club #1 of the two we once attended. I think there were better photographs than this one to be selected, however I wasn't one of the judges.

I will say, tight, crisp focus on metallic objects, interesting lighting which didn't overpower coloured highlights are likely what the judge did like, and yes a good photograph. I just think there were others which I liked better.

Other than the free-fall experience there isn't a lot new. One of the cows produced a new calf in the past couple days, which means if all goes well there will be beef for someones dinner, somewhen. Grass is growing, boy howdy with all this rain, so the critters (most of them) are getting enough to eat. Keeping up with a few others, showing signs of wet stress (goats do not like wet; no they do not) which makes them more susceptible to parasites or other disease vectors. Haven't lost anyone so far, though there are several off the market due to being medicated.

As for any new artwork, not so much. Been trying to keep up with things outside on the Ranch. Not too much longer and the weather should start to change. We shall see.
madshutterbug: (c) 2011 by Myself: Zone VI 8x10 view camera (View Camera)
One of the things which is important in being a working artist is consistency. Keeping things going, working on art. Making regular posts if one is keeping a blog, simply because that consistency provides predictability.

Thing is, I don't have a lot to say just now. Not a lot of art work in the past week.

Tomorrow evening at The Doris is the Artists Reception and opening for the GFAA 90th Anniversary show, Art for All Seasons. This is pretty much it for this week in terms of art related.

We've been working on other things. The Ranch is always a constant. No excuse for being bored if one owns a ranch. Thing is, there too this time of year is basic maintenance because it is become too bloody hot and humid to be doing a lot more. Most of our chores we even try to get done early in the morning or later in the afternoon, before heat builds and after it breaks. So, feed, water, make sure things aren't broken, maintain.

Need to mow again soon in the high traffic areas. We experienced a couple weeks with little rain. Now it's falling again, somewhat regularly. Grass likes it. Not so much good for mowing though.

Did get Herself's new PC set up, and started installing some software. Getting at the data on the old hard drive required some help from a friend and the end result is this:
- Data recovered (includes bookmarks for two browsers), to the tune of 60 Gb or so. Yea.
- Checked the disk for errors and found about half of it trashed. It's dead, Jim.

It boils down to feeling like marking time, getting through the Dog Days of Summer and then being able to get active again. Problem is, there are things needing doing, getting ready for autumn shows and such.

No energy for such just now. Think I'll sit here and breathe for a bit. Yup.
madshutterbug: (c) 2011 by Myself: Zone VI 8x10 view camera (View Camera)
It's been hot here in North Central Baja Jorja, as well should be expected in August. My mother used to call this time of year the Dog Days of Summer. Houdini neither agrees nor disagrees with my mother; he simply says staying inside in the air conditioning is a good thing. He will come out with us for morning rounds, yet by the time the clock is showing 11:00 ish and the thermometer is showing 33 or 35, he is off to the House. Time for the House, Boss, not even time for shade. K thx.

Today we experienced some really high heat, with a heat index rating even higher (duh). How hot? 37 C which it's too hot to translate for my Yank handicapped friends, so suffice to know that is normal human body temperature, and the heat index put the perceived temperature around 40 C which is Too Bloody Hot.

As for art, been working on transporting pieces to the next showing at The Doris, which starts next week and is part of the 90th anniversary of the creation of the Gainesville Fine Arts Association “Art for All Seasons” (scroll down a bit for the flyer for the show). Herself and I will each show two pieces (the limit for all members) and our prints are all in the 11x14 range framed to 16x20. Her selections are “Mermaid Bath” and “Bahamian Wave”, mine are “Peek-a-Boo” and “All the Modern Conveniences”. So three out of four pieces are showing someplace here in North Central Baja Jorja, one from Cedar Key and two from Dudley Farm near Newberry.

I delivered those on Saturday past, another hot day which while it didn't start off feeling too hot suddenly got rather oppressive at the last hour of Haile Farmers Market. Got home, off-loaded the Market supplies and then helped feed some of the livestock before heading back to the House to clean up a bit, and haul prints to The Doris. Made it in time.

Checked out another local business on the way home, the Repurpose Project. These folks are recycling and repurposing items, pulling windows, sinks, woodwork and such out of older homes being demolished (for example), and other things. I wandered through the place thinking hmm, good spot to find things for the odd project that either a historical re-enactor or a steampunk or cosplayer needed.

I, specifically, stopped because they ran an add which Herself found via FB that they had metal frames on sale for $1 (US) each. I picked up pieces for two, and somewhat befuddled the worker who helped me because I picked out pieces to make square frames. These metal frames would only be 11x14 in size anyway (so take an 8x10 print, and we're moving to framing larger prints these days for display).

The good news is they also have a stock of other old frames, some quite large, so I'll be back. I also found two used portfolio travel cases, for transporting larger framed pieces. Currently I'm using appropriately sized cardboard boxes when taking pieces to weekend art festivals; these portfolio cases will help for things like the upcoming show at The Doris.

I've gotten through both recent shoots for watermarking, still need to connect with the particular models to deliver proofs. What can anyone out there tell me about Dropbox? This came as a suggestion from one of the models. I've got Google Drive as well, which can use for this purpose. Just need contact info for the person in question.

Just now, hearing some thunder in the distance, and Houdini is nudging me for this reason, so it's time to wrap this up and reassure an anxious Border Collie Bro.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
I missed posting here yesterday that [personal profile] wcg needed Hippie Birdbath wishes. So today it is Hippie Un-Birdbath.

I missed a whole week, in fact, due to connectivity problems here at the Ranch. We use a satellite connection to the Internet these days, because our land-line telephony provider took an excessively long time from a public promise date to actually provide DSL service to our rural area. The promise involved getting permission to raise their rates, overall, back following the '04 hurricane season. Then even when they did provide DSL to the area, the company persisted in insisting to me that they didn't, both via their web site and on service calls to a live person.

It's still somewhat up in the air as a matter of fact, something I'm discovering because with the end of the second year of our two year contract looming on the time-event horizon, I started investigating that DSL availability again.

However, that isn't what affected our connectivity issues here. At first I wondered if it involved that whole bit with the DNS Hackers announcement for Monday the ninth. Now following some trouble shooting I am leaning towards a bit simpler solution, technology. See, over the span of three days right around Monday Ninth July, we experienced a number of severe thunderstorms. During one of those storms across the span of 20 minutes or so we also experienced five interruptions in electrical service. The satellite modem and the wireless router both received their power through a surge protector, however even surge protectors will give it up to a nearby lightning strike.

And Houdini will tell you in no uncertain terms that the Sky Grumblers on that occasion hunted him quite earnestly. Some of those strikes occurred within a kilometer and a half or so.

Taking the router out of the loop restored the ability to connect to secure log-in sites. Things are still a tad slower than I'm used to, so it's possible the modem needs replacing too; I'll call the provider tech support line tomorrow and see about that. Meanwhile, the wireless router is gone, replaced for now with an ethernet switch. We weren't using the wireless anyway since the laptop died.

E-mail via a smartphone is good, so is browsing and reading. Posting via a smartphone isn't quite on the same level, though. So I lurked. A lot.

Getting ready for a photo session tomorrow, and working through pieces to go into Necronomicon this fall. Also time to register for the Williston Peanut Festival in October (not the same weekend as Necro). Session tomorrow will use the D70s, now back from the shop and all tuned up. Should be interesting. More later.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
Saturday, April 21, 2012, 14:57

Wrapping up the day at Hospital, my cell rang from Flair Lab. My D70s came back from the shop, cleaned up, tuned up, firmwared up, and costing a mere $320 to get out of hock. I stopped on the way home to do that. Still not fired it up for photographs, however, I did put one of the batteries into it. Needs a lens. And a subject. I priced, but did not purchase, a Secure Digital to Compact Flash conversion card for the D70s. They cost $30. Compact Flash are still available out there, though more camera companies are switching over to Secure Digital. SD are smaller, I expect this is why. Card speeds are coming up and this is one potential drawback of which I was unaware. SD cards are 'slower' than CF cards. One way the companies overcome this is to put two SD slots into the camera (I've seen this).

For my Studio work, this is probably not a problem. Just make me slow down a bit. For action photography, say the New Kids kinds of shooting, this could be a problem. Except, according to the fellow at Flair, that's why the companies are putting two cards into new cameras.


I didn't wake Herself for Market this morning. In retrospect, she expected me to do so. On the other hand, she didn't set her own alarm. And weather was fine for the market hours, so would have been a good day. On the other hand, we got things done here on the Ranch. The egg incubator is cleaned out (at least preliminary clean). The gate post for the short gate at the west end of the Youngster Pen is set. Will hand the gate tomorrow, I expect. And I set a post to be one of the corners of Herself's garden, up near our private road and defining on which side to park a motor home/recreational vehicle. Started laundry by working on a quilt, then one of the yard bird comforter covers. There's a blanket needs put in next. And the phone just reminded me it's time to go check.

I might shut computer down in a bit. Thunder outside. We will see.

Saturday, April 21, 2012, 17:21
More Saturday

Sorting through stacks of envelopes and such on my desk; taking things to the shredder or the files. More going to the shredder than to the files, which is fine. Herself is using shredded paper as bedding for the chicks indoors holding, waiting to be big enough to move back outdoors in larger digs.

Saturday, April 21, 2012, 19:18
Still More Saturday

Still sorting through old envelops incoming mail, some of which is tax-related and much of which wasn't. Anything not tax-related went through the shredder or into the trash, with a few pieces saved for some reason. Very few, though. Unearthed a small handful of calendars I kept because of the photography on them. Bagged up the paper shreds because as mentioned we need to change bedding for a clutch of new chicken chicks, and shredded paper makes very good bedding for them. In between all of this, at measured intervals, also walked over to Studio 318 and the laundry room to do laundry. That's an ongoing chore, more to finish up tomorrow.

Sunday, April 22, 2012, 08:04
Morning is for Coffee

Rain persisted through the night, mostly unnoticed as I slept. Still, woke once and lay there wondering why, when I heard one long, low rumbling peal of thunder. Within 10 seconds Mr. Houdini joined me in the bed. Herself told me later she heard him come skittering out of the kitchen, so she suspects he went to steal kitty kibbles. Says, that's what happens when stealing kitty kibbles, the Sky Grumblers come looking for you...

We received maybe 1.25 cm/0.5inch rain. Some thunder (see above) in the distance, enough to make Border Collie Bros anxious and not enough to threaten equipment. So I never did shut down the computer last afternoon or evening. When I got into the office this morning, music still playing, though quietly. Nice way to start the day. Music and Coffee.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
We survived.

Hooked? Hope so. Actually, what we received here at the Ranch involved some rain and a lightshow with noise. Neither Houdini nor Squrrl Border Collie Bro liked it very much, and stayed close to one or the other of the Humans in their world until a good bit later in the evening. Not more than eight miles (13 kilometres) from the Ranch, in Archer at a friends place, they received hail. I expect the Bros knew (or felt) a lot more about that weather than we did.

I did look out the window at one point (with a Houdini fairly firmly in my lap, and I can tell when he's serious about being close because of weather because he makes his head heavy) and commenting on the light outside to Herself. She mentioned that later when our friend E NotonLJ called to ask about our weather and tell us about their hail.

Like I say, what we received involved rain, lightshow, and sound.
madshutterbug: (c)2005 by Myself (Weather Good)
We got a fair amount of both last night. Houdini, who's been rather happy of late to spend the nights outdoors, let me know he wanted to be close to me in the afternoon yesterday. So he stayed inside overnight. Squrrl braved the weather... inside his dome home.

Probably about an inch / 2.5 cm of rain, actually. Enough and strong enough wind to move some of the goat feed pans a lot further out into the paddock. Several of the bird shelters 'lost' their roof. It's a bit euphamistic, actually, as their roofs are either plastic corregated board or old shower curtains laid onto the wire fabric.

Today, still blustery, yet clear. Very high cirrus clouds, mostly clear sky, extremely blue. That 'The Sky Just Got Washed' clear blue.

Also, apparently, with three weeks notice, I will be in the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Spring Garden Festival. Good thing I got those prints made and picked up on Friday. Will be needing those.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
Started off drear and drizzly, and boded extremely well for both Haile Town Centre Farmers Market and Downtown G'ville's Winter Gift Fair. Never did much improve much either, which did not stop us from persevering. Nor from getting damp.

I stayed to the Ranch to get the morning rounds done since the planned departure time for getting to Winter Gift Fair we set to before Herself would get back from Haile. Got the Horses and Hogs fed, however the drizzle cum rain started while feeding the Kid (we've one bottle kid currently), and the Goats all looked at me from under cover of their rain shelters and said, essentially, What? It's wet. You expect us to go out in that?

Sydney Subaru Outback mostly got loaded Friday evening, though there were still details to load in the morning, between the times when drizzle became rain and when it merely drizzled. All loaded up by 10:30 so ate some lunch and sat a bit with Houdini, telling myself the whole time that despite weather and probably turnout I would go to the show.

Used the time to mellow a bit and let my body catch up with healing on the head cold front as much as it could. Keep in mind 'colds' take a couple weeks to get over (unless you don't find someone to give it to, in which case it will take longer), and we are just now today getting to the one week point.

Off With Their Heads... no, no, Off To The Show! )

In short, we arrived back at the Ranch more or less at the same time, parked, unloaded only the most perishable items (cheeses into the refrigerator) and left the rest which was either already wet or protected from the wet. Into the House where the Border Collie Bros bounded in happiness to see us. OK, so Squrrl bounced, Houdini pouted on teh bed (You Went Away For A Very Long Time). He did get off the bed and climbed onto the couch behind me while I ate home-made ham and been soup with rye bread for dinner.

Then a hot, hot shower, night-time meds and to bed. Actually slept pretty well over all, didn't get out of bed until nearly 06:30 this morning. Today will see no activity more strenuous than Morning Feeding Rounds. After that, actually partially before that set up pavilions to dry, then hang the display walls (damp) and set other things out to dry as well, unloading both truck and car. And laundry. Must do laundry.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
Woke up this morning -- well, several times, actually, what with the congestion thing going on right now. Specifically, in the wee early hours and toward the coldest portion of the night, woke up to find myself joined in bed by one Border Collie and one Kitteh of Apocalypse. The other two Kittehs of Apocalypse were quite happily ensconced over with Herself. It did feel chilly in the room, but I didn't think much about it at the time. The weather forecast yesterday let us know it would be a chilly night.

Yes, I hear my more Northern friends and associates (much less family) laughing just now. However, I will tell y'all again: it does get cold here in North Central Baja Jorja. Cold, as in near or below the freezing point of water. It doesn't usually last as long as it does in areas further North (for this time of year and terrestrial axial tilt), and it doesn't get as cold as it does many places.

It does get cold and the forecast for last night put us a degree or so Celsius above freezing. In point of fact and retrospectively we may of hit the 0 Celsius point at least briefly. Inside the house was, in fact, noticeably warmer than outside and I know this because I went outside in the early light to check on something.

Because our heater hadn't come on. The thermostat was set for 20 Celsius (68 F for those folks not converting). Everything set to come one. Yet, it did not. Checked the breaker at the power pole. Not tripped. Checked the switches at the H/AC unit. Not tripped. Came back in. Flipped the Fan switch from Auto to On. The fan came on. Back to Auto. It went off. Hmm.

Nudged the thermostat up from the setting point and... the fan came on. Likely something going on with the thermostat then, and that a fairly easy fix. Simply replace the 16 year old thermostat. Oh, and it is much warmer inside the house, which the indoor thermometers told us at the time the heat actually did start it was like 12 - 14 Celsius.

Today (8 Dec. 2011) the Google banner is interesting to me, go check it out by going to Google. Recently saw the movie Frida on one of the Sky TV channels, about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and refreshed my memory about those two and other artists (specifically Edward Weston and Tina Modotti who are contemporaries).

I am informed that the problems involving LJ and DDoS and such may be resolved (now that elections somewhere are over). We shall see.
madshutterbug: (c)2006 by Myself (Remember)
On this day, on Lake Superior...

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
in the "Maritime Sailors' Cathedral."
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they call "Gitche Gumee."
"Superior," they said, "never gives up her dead
when the gales of November come early!"
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
It is a post-Graveyard Shift day here on the Ranch. Like most of them, I'm muddling through with a degree of brain-numb. Today this is abetted by the weather, a grey, overcast, drippy day. Driving home no actually driving in to work last night I knew it would be. Made the morning nap fairly nice. Keeping me indoors as well.

Despite this, managed to get one more load of laundry done today. The towels. This is remarkable because our laundry 'room' is located on the back porch of Studio 318. Studio 318 formerly served as our home, when we first moved out here onto the Ranch, hence why the laundry room is there and not in Big House. It is remarkable because the towels got done and transported back to the Big House between drippiness. Nice when that happens.

Our towels are showing signs of their age, fraying either at the end seams or in some cases along the selvedge edges which is OK, they still work fine absorbing water when we get out of the bath. No holes. Just frayed edges, which get tangled in the dryer. Towel tangles.

Looking up comic book preservation on the 'net just now. Cleaning out the Office Closet and found a set from quite some time back, which started off as gifts from an acquaintance who worked in a store at the time. Two of the six are looking a tad... mildewed? Anyway, need cleaning, and then into baggies. I mean, may not be worth much but still I'd like to preserve them as best as possible.

May be a bit before I hit the 'post' button. Intermittent signal to the Sky Interwebs just now. Wet and drippy, remember?

OK. Signal back. Post out.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Weather - Cold)
Helped Herself tuck the garden in this evening, then disconnected and drained the hog water points, the washing machine, and... well, that's it. We're getting cold again tonight, though only a freeze warning so down to 32 F/0 C. Next three to four nights, hard freeze warnings again.

So, didn't do anything for Studio again this evening. Which is fine, I've a few more days, and with the place tucked in for the cold, not so much else to do on other evenings.

Now, for dinner.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (harrison ford)
The day started a lot slower than we'd originally discussed yesterday evening.

I woke up somewhen near to 'usual' time for a weekday, got up to relieve bladder pressure and asked Houdini, 'So, outside, or back to bed?' Houdini voted for back to bed, so off we went. Next time I looked at the clock, enough light filled the room to see. Right. Not up early then.

Got everyone taken care of none the less, except one of the hog water points did freeze and burst last night. No flood, I'd disconnected the water. No surprise, either, as I couldn't feel water draining most probably due to a dirty pressure nozzle. The hog water points are like a drinking fountain for hogs. Flow on demand. Get them dirty enough (after all, they're hogs) and they clog. There are materials on hand to make replacements. Probably tomorrow, as today didn't warm up enough outside.

I'd of done them today, except we loaned our space heaters normally used in Studio 318 to friends who experienced ductwork problems with their H/AC. Thus, no heat. Thus, space heater loan, which means Studio 318 is more like a refrigerator than otherwise. Since there's no water supply to Studio, most likely no damage.

On the other hand, did get some errands done and another major to-do lined up. Septic tank needs to be pumped out. Last time we got that done was (counts on fingers and toes, runs out) a long time ago. I mean, the tank is of size for a 5-bedroom house with family, and it's just Herself and I. However, tank started 'sweating' to the surface in a couple spots, so it's time. Should be done tomorrow.

Also took the radiator and gas tank from Harrison Ford8NTractor to a shop for work, y'all should recall I mentioned pulling those oh a month ago or so. More on that later. On the way to and from that shop, also picked up new fan belt and spark plugs, so those are in hand.

After that errand, Houdini and I went to town for cow feed, plus some more goat. He's such a popular guy, all the ladies at the feed store just swoon over him. And cookies, dog cookies. He gets lots of dog cookies there too.

Almost time to go feed the horses now, and disconnect the one hog water which is connected, so it won't freeze and burst tonight. Good news, the weather forecast indicates this should be the last night of hard freeze. In this cold snap, anyway.

In between all that, finished up with getting the iTunes installation to recongise new PC and allow playing of the old iTunes library. Now I can finish backup of the few purchases I made there to CD.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Weather - Cold)
We've just come back in from the evening feed of the bottle kids. Current temps here in North Central Baja Jorja, at least in town (where the report comes from) are 40 F/4 C. That's down, in about an hour and a half, from 55/12. Yup, tonight's gonna be a cold one.

Today's errands included Post Awful (we use a PO Box for snail mail), petrol for Forrest NissanPickup, and feed for horses, goats, and hogs. Distributed same upon arrival home, all with Houdini's assistance. Then lunch. Following lunch, errands included into town for fruit juices for Herself, some septic tank treatments, and petrol for Sydney SubaruOutback. All with Squrrl's assistance.

Evening feeds completed (kids the last, horses and cows earlier) and the hog water points disconnected and drained, it is now time for sausage, beans, and rice.


Where it's a toasty 65 F/18 C.

In other news, progress (a bit) on getting the iTunes setup to recognise new PC. Otherwise... well, you already saw my day.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Weather - Cold)
A constant wind with gusts in the 30 mph/ 48 kph ranges, low overcast and damp all combined to thwart the weather projections that our high temperature yesterday would reach the middle 40's F/ 5's C. A front moved through on Christmas day, wetting everything down quite thoroughly, before moving on further north to coat everything there with white. Here on teh Ranch, we never cleared 40, instead topping out at 38 F/3 C. Kick in the wind chills and it felt down around 32/0 or lower.

When the perceived or ambient temperature, either, is around the freezing point of water, that's cold.

One of our friends, lives in town, commented on one of her on-line presences that our cold weather gear sucks around here, please make the cold go away during the earlier freeze. True for most, perhaps, yet we've got good cold weather gear. After all, needing to be out in it, even if only periodically rather than all winter, to take care of the stock means knowing how to layer properly and with good, appropriate clothing. Warm up pants as long-johns, jeans (wind break - if it were still wet out there rather than damp would be wool trousers), heavy flannel shirt, fleece vest and a heavy windbreaker provided the start. Stocking cap, gloves, hood on the windbreaker. Later in the day as the sun went down and the temps started drooping, added a scarf.

Herself wore another layer in the description I gave above. In Herself's own words, though, 'This kitty doesn't do 60.' As in F, and she is a Leo.

Today will be colder. Currently it's 27 F/-3 C in Archer. We're usually another degree or two C colder than there. The clouds cleared off, allowing radiation cooling. Still breezy, which slows the radiation cooling but kicks in that wind chill effect again. That 27 F/-3 C feels like 19/-7. I've been out with the Bros (Squrrl got to come inside to sleep last night, will again the next few nights) and we didn't get out of the lee of the two buildings, and it is still cold.

First thing on the agenda today, after coffee and breakfast for us, is to feed the four point five kids that we are bottle feeding. Three lost their mother to postpartum sepsis, one the doe didn't bond to well enough, and the point five is a clever fellow who sneaks in on other does when they're feeding one of their two. We are not sure which one of the does is his. We are sure she's not taking care of him, and suspect one of the older does actually. He's figured out that he can get extra from us, though usually he only comes to us first thing in the morning, and the last feeding at night.

Then it's time for the feed run. We got everyone through the holiday weekend, but Herself found out that our feed store closed on Christmas Eve when she went to re-fill. So before anyone gets cereal this morning, it's off to the store. Lest you think oh, poor critters, they've all got hay. Plenty of hay.

Dinner for us, spaghetti and red sauce, warm and filling, and a movie via Sky TV. Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton/Linda Woolverton's version. Then off to bed. Now, to do it again...

Day, O

Dec. 3rd, 2010 06:24 pm
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini & I)
Not a terribly exciting day, which is actually good for me today. On the other hand, no time for a nap during the afternoon. This will be telling later, since I'm working Night Shift again. However, we shall see what comes to pass.

Houdini accompanied me on the feed run into Archer. We also stopped at the Post Awful, the Ace Hardware and the petrol station to top off Forrest NissanPickup. Herself is off to Haile Plantation Farmers Market tomorrow morning, and I want her to go with a full tank. I doubt the cold tonight would freeze her line, since it didn't last night and tonight is not supposed to be quite as cold. Before you Northerners start laughing, we dropped below freezing for quite a dip and at least six hours. Long enough to freeze any moisture condensation in a gas tank.

With that chore completed and the feed unloaded, we loaded in recycle refuse for another trip off teh Ranch. Plastics, metal cans, some glass and paper went to the recycle station at the dump.

Late afternoon we spent working up a possible exhibit method, to whit a means to show an informal 'slide show' other than using non-portable Laptop here.

See? Not terribly exciting.

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