backyard cam/weather center






[ Home | All Archives ]

      Thursday, January 02, 2014

craftstuff
07:32 AM - 01/02/2014

The topic: Fun stuff

----------------------------------------------

I got this great new SVG file yesterday, I think today I shall try my hand at making it. Pictures later.

It's the latest from SVG Cuts.  

geekstuff
07:58 AM - 01/02/2014

The topic: I hate when things don’t work the first time

----------------------------------------------

And I have to fiddle around with them. Right now, I'm trying to get the little picture in the bottom right corner of the entry to show in the links on my Facebook wall (you have to go to the permalink to see it).

And it's not showing. Something about the RSS code. The problem with this (at least for me) when I do a search is there's stuff on there from a decade ago about RSS tags. You'd think it would be pretty simple. It should be pretty simple.

But it's not.

geekstuff
09:36 AM - 01/02/2014

The topic: it isn’t working

----------------------------------------------

bangs head on desk

geekstuff
10:23 AM - 01/02/2014

The topic: Once again

----------------------------------------------

Did Boyink! do it again? Did he dig me out of that coding hole? We'll see.

the morning walk
03:03 PM - 01/02/2014

The topic: Back to walking

----------------------------------------------

this week. Did the short school walk Monday and Tuesday, slept in yesterday, then this morning started the long walks again. We really need to do this. Anyway, I'm going to try to remember to take my camera with us. It's not that there's always something I'd like to take a picture of, but there've been too many times I wished I had my camera. 

This morning I took some at the top of the hill, amazingly clear morning, at least looking towards the mountains (east). Towards the ocean, not so much, but still pretty.

At the top of the hill. I love these palm trees, I love the way they move in the morning breeze and the way the morning sun hits them.

Over looking El Cajon, California. I like the faint mist hanging over the city. The tall building that's towards the right in the center is a court building. It used to be a jail, but the walls were made of styrofoam and prisoners were kicking their way out. Foam walls for a prison. I wonder who came up with that bright idea. 

On the way back down the hill, this made me laugh. We don't get into the holiday spirit here. It makes me a little sad, I miss buying and wrapping and handing out gifts. I miss the decorated tree in the house. The cats ruined that. But there are no children in the immediate family, not close by anyway. My mom used to love Christmas, when she was well. But in her last few years of life, she wasn't excited about it. We used to celebrate with Brian's mom, but a while back she said "no more gifts, it's just too much". That would have been fine, except it turns out it was just for the family locally. wavey Well, my years long banishment from family gatherings kind of got me out of the spirit, too, there's no denying that. Now, it's just me and Brian and the cats. NBD.

Yeah, Santa, I know exactly how you feel.

craftstuff
03:26 PM - 01/02/2014

The topic: Calendars, I need calendars

----------------------------------------------

I have the stuff to make them. The Bazzill paper I got from HSN.com is printable on both sides, with no bleed through. Back in the grasshopper days I got this thing that punches holes in paper and plastic binders that fit the holes. The widest one I have is eleven inches, that would work nicely on twelve inch paper. A half inch on each side doesn't seem like it would be a huge problem.

I'd use WinCalendar for the months. 

The problem?  I've got to choose the pictures. And the pictures have to be square.

Well, that's two problems. I'm paralyzed now. 

catstuff
03:46 PM - 01/02/2014

The topic: Jackie’s doing great

----------------------------------------------

He'll actually sleep in the family room with us in there. Here's a photo I took Wednesday and another I took this morning. He's cuddled up with his wife, Katie. She loves him again, she's all over her not speaking to him after the neuter. I gave him a little head scratch this afternoon, he let me do his chin and I noticed his tomcat jowls have gone. 

geekstuff
05:20 PM - 01/02/2014

The topic: The little voice in my head

----------------------------------------------

Is telling me I need to update the software that runs this weblog. Then after that, update the editor. Then do the add-on for the plugins for the editor. I keep looking at my zip files that have the included upgrade files.

I've got a house to clean. I've got a bracelet to make for an upcoming birthday (yeah, you know it, Jolene). I've got some stuff I want to cut out and glue and make pretty things. I've got laundry that needs to be put away. I've got a cupboard in the kitchen that's in dire need of reorganization. I can't find a thing with all of the bottles and jars falling down on me when I try. I really need to make my Christmas cookies (looks at a calendar - Brian got a couple from his mom today).

I've got nasty stuff on the floor that prevents me from walking barefoot on the floor (best way to get the floor washed is walk on it barefoot).

And my little head voice is screaming "UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE SOFTWARE, MUST BE DONE! NOW!" The latest upgrade was December 10th. The last time I upgraded was March 1, 2013. Before that it was sometime in 2009. There's no hurry, there's no rush at all. 

STFU, little head voice, just stfu.

      Friday, January 03, 2014

entertainmentstuff
09:33 AM - 01/03/2014

The topic: Don’t forget

----------------------------------------------

I have a YouTube channel, it's "lisaviolet".  (Like it would be something else?)

I do occasionally upload a video. Like this morning.

the morning walk
12:41 PM - 01/03/2014

The topic: *Sniff*

----------------------------------------------

Poor Woody.

      Saturday, January 04, 2014

craftstuff
09:42 AM - 01/04/2014
I'm watching The War Wagon on AMC.

The topic: Well, bummer

----------------------------------------------

I'm actually going to have to work on the calendars, not have them magically formatted. longface

I have to format each month individually to fit the 12" x 12" paper as well as the color scheme. But once that's done, it should be pretty easy. 

Already had my first Zipfizz (have much to do today). I wanted to get at least two calendars done. One for Brian (he's my test subject) and I really need one in the laundry room so I can keep track of cat meds.

Brian just went down to Jack in the Box for breakfast (we had dinner there last night, we usually do fast food it after a trip to CostCo...which reminds me, I need to make a post in one of my newest categories "Mrs. Crabbypants"). 

So, I've got the colors and fonts done, just added the special days, now to get the sizes of the weeks done so they fit the paper. And I'm taking notes. Took me long enough to know that notes help. 

the morning walk
09:52 AM - 01/04/2014

The topic: Dang.

----------------------------------------------

We started walking again this week and instead of working up to our long walks, we did the short walk on Monday and Tuesday, took Wednesday off, then started up the big hill on Thursday and around the block on Friday (both routes are over two miles long). 

My legs are so sore! Good thing I've got the weekend to recuperate.

mrs. crankypants
02:09 PM - 01/04/2014

The topic: CostCo pharmacy

----------------------------------------------

They make me crazy. 

A few years ago I ranted about calling in a prescription and it not being ready. Not that the prescription wasn't ready, but that it didn't have all the pills I wanted (it's my blood pressure meds - they're generic and they're cheap; there's no street value for them and according to the paperwork, they're not listed as a controlled substance).

Instead of getting and paying for thirty at a time, I get all the refills at once. Last year my doc doubled the amount I take, instead of one pill a day, I take two. One wasn't doing it. Now, this was verbally, it's not written anywhere on the prescription. But the amount I get at a time is a lot more than when I was using one. I used to be able to get a hundred and fifty, this time it was three hundred. Five months' worth.

I called in the prescription on Tuesday. I told the woman I wanted all of them, not just one month's (actually, fifteen days' worth since I have to double up on them). She was in a hurry to get off of the phone and brushed me off. Fine. I know what has to be done.

Yesterday we planned on going to Costco to pick them up. I called yesterday afternoon to make sure they had the right amount in that bottle. They didn't. They didn't have all of them, they only had thirty pills. I tell her what I want. I want all of them at once, I don't want to come in every two weeks for a refill. Okay, fine, it should be about an hour and a half. 

The pharmacist calls me back. "We only have two hundred and eighty-five, if you come in tomorrow, we'll have all three hundred". Just give me what you've got, I'm fine with that. Fifteen pills is only a week's worth, that's doable. "Are you sure?" Yes, I'm sure.

So, we head over there. In the parking lot, Brian asks if I've got my card. When we get inside, I can head over to the pharmacy and he'll do the shopping. It was a long line and I was so glad I'd called in earlier, we'd have never gotten out of there. As it was, he shopped, checked out and was out in the car waiting for me to finish at the pharmacy.

You know, I'm sure if they got it right the first time, the line wouldn't have been so long.

      Sunday, January 05, 2014

craftstuff
09:11 AM - 01/05/2014

The topic: Printing out my first calendar

----------------------------------------------

I finally got the months formatted yesterday. Each month has its own file. January wouldn't line up properly on the page, so I did two of them. The first one I did wouldn't go lower on the page, no matter what I did. When I did the second January, with the exact same table as the first, I could get it to move lower on the page. Weird.

Brian picked out twenty photographs last night. They're not square so I had to figure out what to do there. I ended up making a blank image, sized 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels, I copied and made a bunch of them, then resized the photos to 1200 pixels high. They all ended up being 1600 x 1200. I copied a photo as a layer and put it on one of the blanks and I could reposition it left to right. I merged the layers for each photo and saved them.

Now, Brian had to choose thirteen images from the twenty and tell me which month had which image. 

All set. I was ready to print. I've got it down now, but I had the hardest time figuring out which way the paper should go, since I was printing on both side. It should have been a no-brainer, but I think that part of my brain was damaged in that car accident I was in when I was sixteen. Yeah, that's it. Brain damage.

Anyway, I think these are going to turn out nicely. Once I'm done with the printing, I'm leaving the office and starting to work on the holes for the top (I have a heavy duty hole punch, that punches a very small hole) and then bind the pages together.

And since I'll have my crafting area set up, I might do some other crafts, too.

atongue

geekstuff
10:17 AM - 01/05/2014

The topic: My keyboard died

----------------------------------------------

I loved that keyboard. It was my second keyboard like that. I commandeered Brian's when my first one died (we got them at the same time; he didn't really like it.) A Microsoft comfort keyboard. Wireless. With a cover that was custom made (that I washed during the recent paperwork procrastination period). It was connected to my KVM switch, the thing that allows me to use one keyboard, one mouse and one monitor between four PCs. I only use it with three. 

It had special buttons. I never used any of them, but they were there if I wanted to use them. 

Right now I have an old wired Creative keyboard attached. I can't move it anywhere. I can't type with it on my lap. Meh. Need a new one.

Spent hours looking last night. It sucked.  They don't have keyboards that connect to the computer like the old one did. Now, they've got this transceiver thing. And the word around the weblands is these transceivers don't play well with KVM switches. (Having a Mrs Crabbypants moment). What I'll have to do is move the transceiver from one PC to the other as I need it. 

I ended up going with a Logitech Wireless Keyboard K360 and the Viziflex Keyboard Condom. The cover is a must have for me, with the cats hair and fuzz and all. I'm sure the covers are the reason my old keyboards lasted so long. 

The new keyboard isn't fancy, not a lot of bells and whistles. Logitech has one that's illuminated. It was $80.00. That's above my pay grade. I bet it's pretty cool, but I don't usually need to find the keys on the keyboard (took typing in high school). That only happens when there's a cat on my lap and I try typing by holding the keyboard in the air, typing very slowly, looking for the letters. We've got plenty of lighting here in the office.

So, the new keyboard should be here Tuesday, the cover later in the week. Yay.

I wish my old one hadn't died.

      Monday, January 06, 2014

catstuff
10:17 AM - 01/06/2014

The topic: There’s some sort of virus going through the house

----------------------------------------------

I first noticed it about a month ago. DaNiece got sick. Right before our Disney trip. It started at the beginning of the week. She was much better by the end of the week, but she was pretty punky for a couple of days.

Then a couple of weeks ago, it was Sagway. I did the same thing with him I did with DaNiece. Tried hand feeding him and gave him fluids. It lasted a couple of days with him.

Then last night, Skippy didn't come running in at night. He did Saturday, he didn't last night. Now, he's sick. I noticed this morning that he was pretty dehydrated so I gave him 60cc of lactated ringers. I brought him in from outside (it's cold and the sun wasn't up yet) and put him on the bed. He napped. Now he's back outside. I've been watching him.

I did see him walking around the yard, then he started digging. Okay, I'll get to see what he potties. And it was pretty runny. Not as bad as what I'd seen from DaNiece and Sagwa (their's was really nasty), but he does have diarrhea. He's walking like his tummy hurts, so did DaNiece and Sagwa. 

I got the jump on his fluids, with those two I gave them on day three. This is day one for Skip. 

Right now he's laying in the grass by the pool. It's warm in the sun, the air is fresh, I'm sure it isn't a bad thing for him to be there. I'll keep a close eye on him, though.

craftstuff
10:25 AM - 01/06/2014

The topic: Got my first calendar done

----------------------------------------------

It took all day. I printed the first one out with 12 x 12 paper. It wouldn't fit my comb binder punch. Oh, if I finessed the pages just right, I could get it to punch across the top at the same level. But it was time consuming and hard to replicate. I even had Brian try, he actually got clamps and clamped the punch down. He had the same problem, he declared my punch "a piece of shit". Well, geeze, it was cheap! He said I needed to get a different one. 

So, I headed over the Amazon. They had a couple of interesting looking comb binder/punches there. But I'm not spending the money if they won't work. I did my first "ask a question" on two of them. And neither of those will work with 12" paper. Spending another hour or so researching, there are comb binder/punches out there for legal sized paper, but they're a lot of money. 

So, I had the idea to cut down the size of the paper. I trimmed a piece of paper to 11.5 inches and tried that one. Worked like a charm. 

I came back into the office, had to reset the sizes for the calendars and the photos (more time lost). And finally got everything printed out by six last night. I did have a hiccup when I got the pictures in the wrong order, I had to reprint both sides. 

Then it came time to do the punch.  Went quite smoothly. Except doing the pages one at a time, they didn't get lined up properly, but now I know to be careful with that.

I'm going to make a couple more today, they should go much more quickly now that I've worked most of the bugs out.

entertainmentstuff
12:16 PM - 01/06/2014

The topic: Back in October

----------------------------------------------

We went to our first "free advance screening" movie. Snagged the tickets from a local newstation. It was a learning experience.

Because they weren't the only station giving away passes. They say "be there early". We figured a half hour before the movie was supposed to start was "early". We were wrong. banana

We've realized that we need to leave the house a half hour before the movie is supposed to start. 

So, the movies we've seen are Riddick, Thor (3D), and Philomena. We got Riddick and Thor from the same news channel. Philomena came from AARP's Movies for Grownups

We missed out on Catching Fire and we really wanted to see this. We ended up seeing that on the last day it was playing locally, the first movie of the day and we used passes I'd bought years ago so it didn't cost a cent.

Well, last week there was a promotion for the movie "Her" that supposed to start later this week. We're seeing that tomorrow.

And in this morning's mail was an invite from AARP for another Movies for Grownups choice. "Labor  Day".  We're seeing that next week.

As well as timing, the other thing we learned is to have dinner before we go. That way we won't be tempted to buy munchies at the theater. For one, they cost way too much and for two, we end up feeling really crappy. I felt really bad after Riddick so it made the choice a lot easier. We will buy water, but that's it. At Catching Fire I bought large Dasani waters for both of us and I like the bottle so much, I'm still using it. 

downer

geekstuff
03:25 PM - 01/06/2014

The topic: My first post with my new keyboard

----------------------------------------------

It seems to be okay, it's much smaller than my late keyboard. There a little noise typing, but not much. It's seems quick to respond. 

I think it will be okay. Now to figure out the hot keys. I haven't used those in forever, they didn't work on my last keyboard, don't know why.

catstuff
08:21 PM - 01/06/2014

The topic: Skippy update

----------------------------------------------

I think the fluids I gave him this morning helped. He seemed a little more active when it was time  to come in. I even saw him eating some kibble, but no wet food.

He's up in the bedroom window now. We'll see how much better he's doing tomorrow. It can take up to twenty-four hours for the full power of the fluids. I do know the tenting test on the back of his neck shows him to be much better hydrated than he was this morning.

craftstuff
08:26 PM - 01/06/2014

The topic: The calendars

----------------------------------------------

Didn't get too far, actually. 

I wasn't able to focus. Too many pictures, too many options. I need to hit this from a different direction. Maybe tomorrow.

      Tuesday, January 07, 2014

craftstuff
04:10 PM - 01/07/2014

The topic: And I think I’ve got the calendar thing down

----------------------------------------------

I like it, I like it a lot. It's not something I can imagine selling, though, too labor intensive.

But I can see making them for friends and family.

Yay!

      Wednesday, January 08, 2014

entertainmentstuff
03:02 PM - 01/08/2014

The topic: Saw an advanced screening of the movie “Her” last night

----------------------------------------------

I'm glad we didn't pay to see it. Really disappointing. A loser nerd (Joaquin Phoenix) can't maintain a relationship. He's in process of a divorce and is dragging his feet on signing the papers. 

Enter a new operating system (my OS is Windows 7). It's an artificial intelligence OS and it learns. When it first installs, the user is given an option of a voice, male or female. And the fun begins.

Boy meets girl, girl grows and leaves boy. Boy is sad.

The end.


But wait! I'm not done yet!
I've got more to say!

      Saturday, January 11, 2014

craftstuff
11:07 AM - 01/11/2014

The topic: Busy couple of days

----------------------------------------------

One of my bestie's birthday is today and I was making her some stuff.

I made her a card (and matching envelope) with a very special sentiment inside, which I'll share:

Happy birthday to you,

You live in a zoo,

You look like a monkey

And smell like one, too!

I made a calendar for her with all of the shirt art since I started making shirts for the annual Disney trip (the first shirt was in 2004).

And I made her a three strand bracelet with little faux Hello Kitty beads, pastel seed beads and Swarovski AB crystals. It's really cute. I made the box I put it in. 

Now I've restarted a baby afghan for one of the ladies who works at my vet's office. I wasn't really happy with the first one, the colors didn't please me, although they're nice enough colors. I got some baby yarn earlier this week and started over.

Finding that I was spending more time unraveling the green, I grabbed the skein and started from the other end and made a ball of it. Now I should be able to just sail along and this little blanket should take no time at all.

Back to work!

mrs. crankypants
02:05 PM - 01/11/2014

The topic: Last month when I was doing all of that paperwork

----------------------------------------------

I found a UPS receipt (I print them out and attach them to the customer's paperwork) that didn't match up to anything. We've had one customer cancel on us the entire time that Brian's been doing this business. The guy couldn't wait any longer. I refunded his money.

I thought that was the end of it. Until I found the UPS receipt. Brian didn't pull the paperwork back in his shop and shipped the unit out. The guy even emailed Brian asking a question about the unit, telling Brian how happy he was with it. Brian forgot all about the cancellation. 

So, I see this guy has a unit that he didn't pay for (because all of his money had been refunded). 

I called him on December 23. "Yeah, I'll take care of it" he says. I sent him a copy of the original quote with the payment link on it. When I did the invoices the last week of December, he was sent one in email. I also printed out a copy and sent it to him.

Never heard a thing.

This morning, Brian emailed him. Told him we're a small company and $346 is a lot of money to us (it is). The guy responded that he'd pay it right away (he hasn't) and that he'd only just gotten the invoice, so the problem wasn't on his end.

Seriously? When the credit card was refunded, he got a notice in his email that he'd been refunded. He knew damned well he hadn't paid for that unit when he received it the following week. He's been using it ever since.

And so far, he hasn't paid. Unless he's going to send a check.

I'll be holding my breath on that.

      Sunday, January 12, 2014

otherstuff
09:00 AM - 01/12/2014

The topic: I’m going to make lots of coffee today

----------------------------------------------

I'm going to freeze some of it into ice cubes and make more coffee, triple strength. 

This I will put into a container and put it in the refrigerator. Why?

Because the weather will be in the 80s this week. I hate to complain, I really do, but this warm dry weather is not a good thing. We're already getting notices of fire danger. 

It's really messing with my allergies. We need some good rain to put this stuff in the ground where it belongs, not up my nose and sinuses. 

And this week I will make myself some coffee treats by adding milk and Nestle's Quik to my triple strength coffee with the coffee ice cubes.

Just so I have something besides the water I already drink.

craftstuff
12:14 PM - 01/12/2014

The topic: The last Disney meet

----------------------------------------------

Since it would be the last "official" meet, I wanted to make it special. 

As I've mentioned before, I started thinking about what I'd do for the shirts months before the meet. One of the ideas I'd had was to make small versions of all of the graphics and put those all on a shirt. Then I had a most brilliant idea. A photomosaic designed using the photos everyone has taken through the years and sent to me, the same photos I used for making the annual videos. I wasn't sure if this would work, but it sounded like a great idea. 

Okay, a photomosaic, but of what? I needed a design. I spent hours searching Disney clipart and finally decided on this:

Now I had to make it a little more in keeping with our "pinwheel" characters.  So, I took my old original pinwheel shape

I colored it in and added it to Mickey's hand.

Okay, I'm happy with this graphic. Now, to make the mosaic. I'd searched the interwebs for photo mosaic software, downloaded them, tested them and finally settled on AndreaMosaic. I spent the money and licensed it, in case I ever wanted to use it for commercial purposes. Then I had to get all of the photos in one place. I ended up with over eight thousand to choose from. I had to weed out the blurry ones and had to make sure they were all in the right orientation (profile or landscape). This took days and much frustration since there were a few that no matter what I did (once I'd found the originals), I couldn't get the orientation right.  I couldn't use all of them because you'd never be able to see what the pictures were, size was a consideration. This was going to go on a shirt, after all. Testing it with different profiles and sizes, I finally settled on one. 

There are over eighteen hundred photos in that picture. And it worked on a test shirt. This was at the beginning of the summer. Well, I liked it so much, I did some research and found a place to get posters of this graphic, posters that were affordable. Yeah, we're strapped for money, but this will be the last meet and we wanted to make it special. I went with Best of Maine Corp and I had the best customer service, Hy was incredibly helpful from start to finish. I highly recommend his company. 

Because the pictures were so small on the shirts (another reason for the posters), Brian jokingly said we should give magnifying glasses away with each one. You don't joke with me about some things. I started the search at Amazon. Then ended up on eBay where I found the same little widget for a lot less. Of course, it was going to take longer to get here, but I had plenty of time.  It was a keychain with a plastic gizmo that had four uses. A whistle, a thermometer, a compass and *drum roll* a magnifying glass. Obviously, I had to make those special, too. I used number beads (another online purchase) and I had some Disney beads we'd gotten a while ago. Disney ears and Disney gloves. I taught myself some remedial macrame and made enough of these for everyone there.

Every keychain was just a little bit different. This is one of them:

Next up was the buttons. I used my little Mickey graphic on top of a photo of Sleeping Beauty's Castle:

After the button was assembled and made, I added a little pinwheel that originally was on a long toothpick (it was a cupcake decoration) and attached it to the button. And it's a working pinwheel, which I thought was kind of cool.

Okay, so keychains are made, posters are made, buttons are made, now I need something to carry it all in. I know! Canvas bags! Here are photos of the original graphic, the graphic on a bag, a little special glitter painting I did on the bags and a pile of bags.

 

 

 

Oh, and a mousepad.

 

Then, there were the shirts. I'd already tested the graphic for the back (first image below) so I knew it would work. As far as putting the transfers on the shirts, the backs were a piece of cake. 

After I printed out the transfers, I wanted to make sure they'd be as perfect as possible to use. I let them dry for over twenty four hours.

All I had to do with the back transfers was trim around the edge, cut as much white off as possible. The front was a different story.

 

Once I had all of the front transfers trimmed up, I was ready to get to work. Hot work. September in Southern California is hot and dry. I started early in the day and had the doors open and fans going. The press heated things up even more.

 

 

The first press.

 

 

Now I had to place the foil on the pinwheel using a special tape formulated for high heat.

Once the foil was in place, it was pressed with a large sheet of paper coated in silicone. Then it was time to peel the mylar and tape off of the foil. You can see the mylar curled up in the center right. The mylar is called a "carrier" because the foil is "carried" on it. Most transfers have some sort of carrier that's peeled off. I have some little dental instruments my dental hygienist gave me with sharp ends that help pick the tape and carrier off of the fabric.

Once that's done, it's time for another press, to make sure the foil adheres to the fabric. This time it's covered with a teflon sheet that helps keep the shirt from scorching.

 

The finished front. Half of the shirts had blue backed pinwheels, the other half had red backed pinwheels. (In other words, the colors were switched.)

 

And here's the shirt in person. Brian is the model, pictures taken at the Disneyland Resort.

 

 

So, that's it for the October stuff. I think I did a pretty good job.

Oh, when Hy sent my posters, there was a problem with one of them. To make up for this, he sent me a replacement poster, as well as two HUGE posters. Brian framed one and it's on the wall in the living room, a wall that at some point will become a Disney wall. The kitty on the spinalator below the poster iscdf Mario.

 

otherstuff
07:25 PM - 01/12/2014

The topic: Alrighty,

----------------------------------------------

The long Disney craft post took me most of all day to do. And it's another thing I can scratch off of my "to do" list.

Next up is to finish that afghan for the baby girl who was born last April. 

Then, maybe my Christmas cookies! Which will be either Valentine or St Pat cookies.

It's nice to be out of my yearly after birthday funk.

      Monday, January 13, 2014

craftstuff
08:58 AM - 01/13/2014

The topic: About that mosaic

----------------------------------------------

It's pretty cool. There are different ways to "tile" the image. For example, two portrait, one landscape, two portrait, one landscape and the next line is offset a little. Or two landscape, one portrait. A lot of options. You can choose the final size of the graphic and how many pictures you want in it (the final amount isn't exactly what you choose, but it's pretty close). And you can choose the amount of tinting so your main image (mine was Mickey with the pinwheel) is more prominent. I think I choose thirty percent.

The software looks at all of the images it has to choose from and puts them in order. I've taken a couple of examples from the one I made. You can get an idea of how the software works. 

MIckey's ear (and I just noticed a sideways picture! I thought I'd found them all....)

 

 

Mickey's elbow:

Mickey's hand:

 

You can see how the software worked with the shading in the original photo, doing a bit of tinting to enhance the Mickey graphic. The dark photos were taken on rides, in restaurants or at night. 

I think this is a great piece of software, you can spend hours playing with it. If you like this type of thing, I'm sure you'd love this. It's fun and amazing. Check it out. AndreaMosaic.

geekstuff
09:59 AM - 01/13/2014

The topic: When I was working with the graphics

----------------------------------------------

on the mosaic entry, I couldn't copy and paste a new image. I'm using Paint Shop Pro X (I've got later versions, but I prefer this old version). I can use my mouse to select the area of the graphic I want to copy, but I can't do anything beyond that.

Hahahahaha! I found out what the problem was. I had my new keyboard turned off. 

otherstuff
04:40 PM - 01/13/2014

The topic: Timing is everything

----------------------------------------------

So, the mail gets here this afternoon, our cable television/internet bill is here. 

There's a notice it's going up effective January 14th. I do the math, it will be going up a total of $13.99, which seems like a lot for one month. Changes are listed out. I see that their Contour service is actually getting a price reduction, from $10.00 down to zero. Curious about the Contour service, I call.

Of course, I can't call straight through, our Magic Jack service says we have to pay to get that exchange. No problem, I use my Google Voice number. I get through. I ask my question and I'm transferred. I find out that the Contour isn't really advantageous for us, then I ask about the price lock in for our account. (It hasn't gone up in quite a while.) The woman checks and said we didn't have it so our rate would be going up. I tell her I'd like to get it. She says "wow, the rate increase takes effect tomorrow, so if you get this lock in today, your rate won't go up, you lucked out". Indeed I did.

It's good for twenty-four months. Woohoo! 

mail

      Tuesday, January 14, 2014

otherstuff
11:47 AM - 01/14/2014

The topic: Remember the movie “Marley and Me”?

----------------------------------------------

Meet one of the puppies from the film. This guy was the pup on the beach and one of the pups that ripped up the garage. His name is "Jake". He's a very sweet dog. His owner is one of Brian's customers who lives locally and he brought Jake with him yesterday. 

Trying to get a selfie with this puppy, but he kept giving me kisses. (As usual, clicking on a photo will bring up a larger one.)

Checking out the entry way. We get possums and raccoons in there at night drinking from the fountain.

Jake was all over the place, it was hard to get a photo of him sitting still. But I got one.

I did get a closeup.

otherstuff
01:17 PM - 01/14/2014
The current weather is 77° and windy

The topic: We have a wind advisory now

----------------------------------------------

Usually nothing comes of these, but it's holding true today. Winds have picked up, leaves are rattling in the trees and the bedroom door just slammed shut. It's dry, tinder dry. Not good, fire season doesn't usually start until the end of the summer. We badly need some rain.

Time to start blocking everything open so no fur face gets hurt.

argue

      Wednesday, January 15, 2014

the morning walk
11:01 AM - 01/15/2014

The topic: We walked up a different hill this morning

----------------------------------------------

It's nice to switch it up and knowing the only way I can get my strength back is making those muscles work, I suggested going up a different hill. This one used to be one of our regular routes. We went all the way to the end of the cross street at the top. 

On the way down, I took this shot of Brian (and the hill). My thighs were yelling by the time we got home, but my heart rate was okay. It was a lot faster going up that hill. It was about three miles, total. It took us an hour, if I hadn't brought the camera, it would have taken us less time.

It was a great morning for a walk.

      Thursday, January 16, 2014

otherstuff
08:44 AM - 01/16/2014

The topic: What’s that smell?

----------------------------------------------

Yesterday, after I got out of the shower and dressed, I walked past my bathroom and smelled this really awful smell. It wasn't a normal bathroom smell. 

I checked the toilet, nothing, flushed it anyway. I ran water for about five minutes down the drain in the sink. I checked around the toilet for maybe a Georgie turd (he poops in there sometimes when he gets locked in with his food). Nothing. I smelled the little trash can, it didn't smell, but I emptied it anyway.

I couldn't find the source. I asked Brian if he could smell it, he could. He wondered if maybe it was coming from outside of the bathroom. I went out and checked. Nothing.

I figured what I'd have to do is pull everything out of the cupboards below the sink and look for something dead (cats bring in lizards). It was too dark in the afternoon, turning on the light wasn't an option since it was so hot yesterday (90s) so I figured that would be my chore for this morning (sun shines brightly on that side of the house). Well, an hour or so later, the smell was all gone and it hasn't come back.

Really strange.

      Friday, January 17, 2014

entertainmentstuff
08:52 AM - 01/17/2014

The topic: We saw the movie Labor Day last night

----------------------------------------------

The second we've seen compliments of AARP's Movies for Grownups.

 

If you haven't seen the trailer, here it is.

 

 
As much as I didn't like last week's Her, I loved this one. I freaking grrred it all over the place. Seriously.
 
What a great love story, well told. Kept us on the edge of our seats. At one point I told Mr Dramatic next to me to please stop. (He starts anticipating what's to come and it can be distracting - he repeats "nonono" and covers his face and sighs, I swear he does all of this.)
 
It's a coming of age story of young Henry (Gattlin Griffith), being the man of the house and having a deep emotional bond with his mother, Adele (Kate Winslet). His father had left years before. Henry tried so very hard to make her happy, but he always fell short.  Frank (Josh Brolin), was in prison for murder and had escaped from the hospital after surgery for appendicitis. Frank's plan was to catch a train out of town. But it was Labor Day and the trains weren't running. He spent the weekend with Adele and Henry.
 
You don't know why Henry's father left, what was wrong with the marriage, you don't know the whole story behind Frank's incarceration. This information is slowly fed to you in flashbacks, just little snippets to begin with, but they get longer as the story progresses. By the end of the story, you know it all (although I do have a question or two, but maybe they weren't meant to be answered).
 
What you do see is a wonderful love story. No sex, very few expletives (you could take your parents or grandparents to this film without any embarrassment tongue ), no violence to speak of. 
 
I liked all of the characters, they were very easy to empathize with. I felt this movie.
 
Highly recommended. Brian won't watch it again (he says) because it was a deeply moving movie and he doesn't like to be deeply moved (he'll never watch Lonesome Dove again and that was hands down the best mini-series ever). But I'll watch it again. And again. 
 
 

      Saturday, January 18, 2014

craftstuff
02:32 PM - 01/18/2014

The topic: I have a brilliant idea!

----------------------------------------------

I don't know if it's a scathingly brilliant idea, time will tell. But here it is.

I'm making a small afghan for a baby girl (at what age do they become toddlers and not babies? Never had any so not clear on the concept). I realized I love doing this simple project. I use the same pattern for all that I make, just different colors of yarn.

The last one I made was blue and red. Not baby colors at all, but it was by request, for a baby boy.  I made the box for the blanket using cardstock that complimented the colors in the afghan with a template from SVGCuts. (I took pictures, just never put them up. Maybe this week.) And I put embellishments on the box, making it special. 

The new mom loved the box and blanket, she said she's saving the box and putting his baby keepsakes in it for when he's older. I thought that was so sweet of her.

Anyway, this little girl was born before that little boy and I'm a little behind in making this blanket. I went pastel on this (yay! baby colors!) and finished it up this morning. Washed it by itself and thought it smelled funny (maybe too much fabric softener for just one item?) so it's back in the washer with some towels. 

Once it's dried, I'm going to photo it and upload the photo to my computer. Then I'm going to print out cardstock with that picture. If I like the way it turns out, I shall print out more of this pattern and make a box or bag for this little afghan. Wouldn't that be cool?  A container that matches the item in it?

If it works, I'll be putting photos up of that. Since it's all stuff I love to do, I can see making little blankets and matching boxes or bags and selling them over in my store

And personalized boxes may be a thing to sell my jewelry, too. (I grrr my jewelry; I've got some adorable little heart earrings up, in case you're interested for Valentine's Day, very affordable.)

Off to put the fabric softener in the washer....

      Monday, January 20, 2014

craftstuff
03:13 PM - 01/20/2014

The topic: Very happy with the end product

----------------------------------------------

Very happy! hmm

Here's what I did! (As usual, clicking on the photo will take you to a larger image.)

First, I made the blanket. I used a simple pattern with three colors, then chained one around the entire blanket, then a row of double crochet, then a shell stitch. 

Closeup:

Then I took a bunch of pictures of the blanket, found the most usable one and cropped the image and made a graphic using Paint Shop Pro and printed it out one 12" x 12" cardstock. And to keep it pretty on the inside, I flipped the paper over and printed the other side with a checkerboard pattern, using colors I took from the blanket graphic.

Here they are against a plain white sheet of cardstock for comparison.

I used the large bag from the Happy Holidays Kit from SVGCuts for this bag.   

The inside:

And the blanket out of the bag. I wrapped the blanket in green tissue paper for gifting.

I think they both turned out nicely, I'll be doing this again. 

otherstuff
07:02 PM - 01/20/2014

The topic: When we were in school

----------------------------------------------

On our way home from CostCo tonight, we passed by Lakeside Middle School and we got to comparing notes.

Where I was living, there wasn't a thing called "middle school".  Seventh and eighth grade were with the high school (American Academy in Athens, Greece, back in the late 60s). When we got back to the states, we lived at Edwards Air Force Base and high school was ninth through twelfth.

For Brian, down here in San Diego county, they had middle school, which at first consisted of seventh and eighth grades, then they added sixth grade to middle school. Elementary was first through fifth at that point. 

He thought it was statewide back then, until the family went up to the Los Angeles area to visit with his aunt, uncle and cousins. At his cousins' school, grades seven through twelve were on the same campus.

So, what was it like in your neck of the woods?  Care to share?

      Thursday, January 23, 2014

the morning walk
08:49 AM - 01/23/2014

The topic: I pulled a muscle in the top of my foot

----------------------------------------------

I guess it wasn't a muscle, online research (why does that make me laugh) shows it to be tendonitis. Holy moley, it hurts.

Well, it started off feeling like a sharp knife was slicing through it if I placed my foot just so (obviously never on purpose and by the time I did it, it was too late). Wearing shoes seemed to help.

A simple thing like straightening out a throw rug by pulling it with my foot sets it off.

Now the screaming, ripping pain is gone and it just aches.

Brian said last night maybe I need one of those big black boots that keeps my foot from moving. I said then I need to buy some shoes with heels so I can wear one on the other foot. So, I don't walk crooked, yanno?

I hate wearing shoes.

craftstuff
09:40 AM - 01/23/2014

The topic: Back in the grasshopper days

----------------------------------------------

One of the monthly catalogs I got from CostCo had a sewing machine with an attachment for the computer and it embroidered. I talked Brian into letting me buy it. I set it up, but never used it.Oh, I'd think about it, but it's in the extra room and I've got a desk type setup in there, but this machine gradually got pushed to the back of the desk and it's not easy to get to now.  As the years went by, I'd think about using it, but just never had the inclination. I've got an older model sewing machine in the living room that's in a cabinet that I do use on occasion (like patching Brian's Levi's). I've got a cedar chest my parents got me when I was a senior in high school stuffed with material.I've got a lot of big spools of thread I bought at Threadart.com. I've got the stuff to make nice things. 

But somewhere along the way I became sidetracked.

So, I decide I want to use my embroidery machine. Even if the reviews sucked. It's bought, it's paid for. 

I brought this up to Brian the other night and he said "well, why don't you bring it out here? You can move that chair", pointing to the cat chair in the family room, the one we bought just for the cats at Jerome's a few years back. The one covered in covers and blankets that I wash every month or so. 

I think about it. The next day I research a new/used sewing table. I don't want to spend more money on more furniture, furniture for which there is no place. I pass on the idea of setting it up on a permanent basis. But, what if I could do the same thing with it that I do with my Silhouette? Of course, a cart won't do, but what about a case for it, one I can just pull out when I want to use it? And set it up on one of the tables I use when I craft? I can adjust the height on those, it should work.

So, I look for cases. I found one made for my machine on Amazon. I asked Brian if I could get it (it wasn't real cheap) and he said "I guess". So, I got it. The reviews for it are better than for the machine. *lol* And it's huge. But it's a tote type case, so it's on rollers. And it sets nicely next to my Silhouette cart in the extra room. This will give me more room in the extra room; there's nothing wrong with that. I'll be working on this today.

Now, if only my foot would quit hurting.

craftstuff
01:13 PM - 01/23/2014

The topic: I’m working on a new shirt design

----------------------------------------------

Pink glitter vinyl on a black shirt. My test shirt did not go well.  The lettering looked good, it was lined up perfectly. 

But the platen on my heat press was nasty (transfer paper residue) from making the mouse pads last year and I'd never cleaned it off. This residue ended up on the shirt. Nothing I did got rid of it, I washed it three times, I even color it with a black Sharpie. banghead

So, I did it again yesterday with a new shirt. Had to cut out new letters, did two sets, then I let the press heat up and spent a half hour with a lined silicone glove and a cleaning rag rubbing the heck out of that platen. I got a lot of crud rubbed off, there wasn't much visible when I was done (it's Teflon coated so I have to be careful when I clean it).

When I pressed the shirt, I made sure to use a sheet of paper coated with silicone. Just in case there was still residue. I'll probably clean the platen the next few times I use it.

Anyway, the shirt? Very happy with it. It will be up in the store next week. 

I haven't taken any pictures of it yet, so I'm not sharing it just yet.

entertainmentstuff
02:50 PM - 01/23/2014

The topic: I love my Roku

----------------------------------------------

Well, I love all three of them. *grin* I'd like to have a fourth for the bedroom. 

Anyway, I've discovered the great fun of "my list" on Netflix. I have a few old series. I've already watched all of "Saving Grace" (although I've never been a huge Holly Hunter fan, well, loved her as Elastigirl in the Incredibles - one of those movies we've watched so much we recite the dialog as we're watching it;  loved SG, hated when it ended, although the ending was really good). All of "Revenge" (can hardly wait to catch up, I started too late for the current season, my Video on Demand doesn't have a full season of episodes, so I'll have to wait until Netflix gets the current season...arggh!).

Some stuff from across the pond (I'm finding I really like the Jack Taylor series). 

Yesterday I started with the Law & Order series, the original. Started back in 1990. That's a long time ago - we'd only been married five years!  I saw Rocky Carroll in the first one. You know, Leon from NCIS? And Lenny wasn't in it back then. Brian asked me this morning who was the girl ADA. I said there wasn't one yet, it was Robinette and the guy who was in Pale Rider (not Clint Eastwood). ChrIs Noth was in it from the start. I didn't realize that.

Yeah, I heart Netflix and my Roku. 

      Friday, January 24, 2014

entertainmentstuff
12:21 PM - 01/24/2014

The topic: It had to happen.

----------------------------------------------

There's a followup movie to Her. (Which I reviewed earlier this month.)

Two thumbs up. Both of us like this one. If you don't appreciate "Him", I'd venture to guess you haven't see "Her".

Warning, strong language and some drug usage.

 

catstuff
12:57 PM - 01/24/2014

The topic: I got tired

----------------------------------------------

of having that one cat tree to the right of the doorway into the living room, so I moved it yesterday.

Now it's in front of all the other cat trees. And Sammy loves it!

So, if you check out the occasional cam (see above) and there's a fluffy white kitty in the front, that's our little Sammy Bammers.

      Tuesday, January 28, 2014

disneystuff
11:14 AM - 01/28/2014

The topic: I’m resting

----------------------------------------------

We went to the happiest place on earth Sunday. Went on three rides (four if you count the shuttle from the Toy Story parking lot over on Harbor Dr). The train, the monorail and Radio Springs Racers. 

Then we had dinner at Rancho Del Zocalo. I had the chicken caesar salad. 

Then we came home.

For your viewing pleasure, video of Racers:

 

      Wednesday, January 29, 2014

catstuff
12:39 PM - 01/29/2014

The topic: Yesterday I kept asking my cats

----------------------------------------------

If they really thought I was just a big, dumb cat.

They didn't respond.

Cats think you are a just a big stupid cat

Hmmm...

mrs. crankypants
04:07 PM - 01/29/2014

The topic: Arrgh!!!

----------------------------------------------

Stupid, stupid messed up websites and other stuff!

I needed to get Brian tickets for an ag show he goes to. If you buy them online, there's a considerable savings. 

It won't take my order. I tried different credit cards, different names, different browsers, nothing worked, so after about a half hour of trying this I called.

"Oh, yeah, we're having problems with the website, it should be working this afternoon."

Within a half hour I get a call back, asking for Dianne. Yeah? You got her.

"Well, I just wanted to let you know you can place your order now."

Cool.

Five minutes later, the phone rings. It's her again. Asking for Brian. (I told you I tried different names.) I laugh. I tell her I already got the message. And if she sees another call from a Patricia at this number, don't call. *laughing*

I signed us up for California Covered healthcare last month, since Aetna said "so long, sucker!" to the individual policy holders here in California. We needed something else, I did my research, one of the important things was keeping our doctor. I checked the plans where we could still go to him and there was Anthem Silver and Health Net Bronze. Comparing the two plans, everything was exactly the same. Same percentages, same copays, same everything. Except the monthly payment. Going with the bronze plan, we save over three hundred a month. And it's way better than our Aetna policy and payment. 

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I get an email that I need to choose a primary care physician. Now, this is a PPO plan, but I'm clueless. I follow the directions to choose a doctor. Can't do it. Then I find out when I call to ask how to do this for both Brian and me, that we each need our own Health Net online account. Then I can allow him to access my information and he can allow me to access his information. And choose our primary care physicians.

I swear I spent hours trying to get this to work. I never could. I sent an email. "Hey, I can't choose primary care physicians for either of us, what's up with that? How do I do this?" I figure they'll get back to me when they get back to me.

I got this in this afternoon's mail. One of those messages that most likely went out to thousands of people.

"Health Net Update: Your Doctor Choices  

Hi! This is Health Net again. We sent you an email a couple weeks ago telling you that you have one main doctor with your Health Net plan. That email was sent to you by mistake. You have a Health Net PPO insurance plan, so you can go to any doctor you like."

Morons.

      Friday, January 31, 2014

otherstuff
10:10 AM - 01/31/2014

The topic: Shoes

----------------------------------------------

I've been tired. I think it's because of my foot. The one with the bunion. The one that I pulled a tendon on the top of a couple of weeks ago. 

I hate wearing shoes. I hate buying shoes. I've never liked it and since this freaking appendage took over (the bunion) I've really hated it. I've got a shoe stretcher (from back in the grasshopper days when the bunion started to really bother me) I use to stretch the right shoe in the toebox area. So the bunion doesn't hurt so much.

I've never spent a lot of money on shoes. I prefer barefoot. Always have. Sure, I liked the come catch me, hope I trip, f* me shoes back in the day, those tall spike heels, but they were always open toed. Never those ugly pointy things that squished your toes together and where you could see the top of your toes, it looked like little butt cracks. Ugly. My favorite shoes (that weren't sandals) were platformed sandals. Cherokee brand (remember those?) 

Anyway, this past couple of weeks my feet have been very unhappy. The bottoms feel like they've been beaten with a lead pipe. My legs have been aching. A lot. 

And I figured out that wearing shoes helps. Oh. My. Gosh. I HATE wearing shoes!

I can't wear just any shoe. Last week, I told Brian I needed a new pair of shoes. Like I said, I'm not big on buying shoes, it's really not a favorite thing of mine. We went to CostCo and they didn't have anything I'd put on my feet. Wrong size or just plain ugly. Then we headed over to Big 5 Sporting Goods. I tried on four pair and found one that didn't kill. I'd explained to the young man about the bunion from hell and since I was walking around in stocking feet, I showed him my butt ugly bunion. The next pairs of shoes he brought out were all "wide". Loved it!

I settled on a pair of New Balance. The toe box looked like I'd be able to push out the bunion area with my stretcher. They were on sale and with a coupon I nabbed online, they were about five bucks more than any of the shoes at CostCo. Brought them home, put the right shoe on the stretcher. They were great. 

Of course, sitting for two hours on the trip up to Disneyland, my feet tightened up and they were killing me once we were out of the car, but after walking for about a half hour, the pain had subsided and I felt normal. 

I haven't worn shoes since Sunday, but after the soreness of my legs yesterday and my revelation that my legs hurt because my feet hurt and I was walking weird to compensate for that, I put shoes on. And my legs don't hurt and my feet don't hurt.

Arrgh!  Is this how it's going to be? At the ripe old age of sixty, I have to wear shoes? Man, this sucks. 

My shoes are pretty, though. We're going to get me another pair just like these. I'll have an everyday pair and a "dress" pair. Well, not dress, but clean. 

otherstuff
03:28 PM - 01/31/2014

The topic: How cool is this?

----------------------------------------------

Earlier today, I posted about my new shoes (it's there, you'll just have to look for it....shade_smirk ) and how I wanted a new pair exactly like them. 

Well, the store is out of our way and I thought it would be a good idea to call and see if they had them in stock and if they were still on sale (they were on sale, twenty-seven dollars off; I found the receipt, I got them last Friday). I call, tell her what I wanted, what make, what size, what style and ask about the sale price. 

She comes back, they have the shoe, the size, the style, she'll put them on hold for me and sell them to me at last week's sale price as long as I pick them up by five tomorrow. 

Getting them this afternoon.

Woohoo!

All Archives


lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

January 2014
S M T W T F S
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  






website design by





©lisaviolet 1996-2017
Photographic images are the property of the photographer,and may not be copied, printed, or otherwise reproduced on any other site or used in any other publishing medium without the written permission of each individual photographer and kennel/cattery owner. Cathouse privacy policy.