Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Guitar for sale...

What?  You're selling one instead of buying another??

Yep.  I listed it on the Acoustic Guitar Forum - it is my RainSong Shorty, the first carbon fiber guitar in my small collection.  It is a very nice guitar, but it doesn't get much play time since I discovered the Emerald line.  No problem with the Shorty, the Emeralds simply fit me better.

The Shorty I have is a Limited Edition - one of only 26 made that have the enhanced sound hole rosette and the cool sharks inlaid on the neck as fret markers...

All glossy finish, with a unidirectional carbon fiber top, hybrid carbon fiber/glass fiber back and sides for a warmer, richer sound...

The only place I listed it is in the Classified Ads in the AGF.  I specified it is for sale for the next week or so, while we're in Arizona.  I don't want to get caught shipping/returning for perspective buyers while we're on the road.  At $1,200, it is a good deal.  One of the participants on the forum called it "the deal of the day."

We'll see.  It isn't a "must sell" situation.

We got a call from Steph this morning: Torrie (the eldest of their cats) is having a "situation" again.  Dan took the day off from work so he could take her to the vet.  When he got back, he called and asked if we'd give him a hand with her medication.  She is feisty for an old gal.  When we got there, Dan held her while I gave her the oral liquid.  There was some growling and snarling... and Torrie was a bit pissy, too.  ;-)  Mostly kidding - she did snap at Dan, and she wasn't happy that Grandpa was forcing something on her, but she did fine.  When we were done, she let me pet her and didn't seem to hold a grudge.

Rufus has a vet visit scheduled today, also.  Joan takes care of the "back end," and thought she may have seen something in his stool.  TMI?  Then you really don't want to hear about "saving" his big ol' cat shit.  He did fine with his first visit to the vet, but he was happy to see everybody at that time and be out of that cage - it was our first day with him.

Update will be coming.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Beware of dog...

Nothing to do with Rufus being outside.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Another fine day for being out and about on the scoots.  Today, heading southeast instead of northwest.  Out for lunch, then decided to take a lap around the PIR.  Well, not a lap around the racetrack, but cruising a loop by there.  And, not PIR any longer, the new name is ISM.  It's still the same racetrack, but now with a $1million payment by Ingenuity Sun Media.  Along with the name change, there is a 10 year, $100million plan for updating the facility.  Ingenuity Sun Media will be providing the high tech video screens at the facility.

What does all that have to do with a dog, you ask?  Hey, I'm getting there.  On the way down Avondale Blvd., we drove by a house with that sign on the gate.  In the yard was a woman being followed by... 3 chihuahuas.  Like little duckings, following behind.  I guess you had to "beware not to step on them"??

A great day for a ride...

We stopped to top of fuel on the way home.  Gas was up another 4¢ per gallon side we gassed up the CR-V on Saturday.  Yes, almost 8¢ additional - when will it end??  For those keeping track: Joan got 107 miles per gallon, I got 101.  It makes me smile.
 Rufus was happy to see us when we got home.  OK, truth be told, he's happy to see us all the time.  :-)  The feeling is mutual.

I have been thinking about some time on the water; getting itchy feet, I guess.  I have been telling Rufus about his other home - he is anxious to see it.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Just when you thought it was safe...

Rufus has been skittish about going outside - not sure why.  He walked like a champ the first few times we gave it a shot, even doing a bit of a real walk... not the "I carry him about 20 yards, then we walk back" stuff.

So, for the last few days, I have been sitting outside with him so he can get used to the noises and movement.  The last two days have been an Open House and airshow at Luke Air Force Base (a few miles northeast of this park), which means there has been more than the typical aircraft noise.

Yesterday, right after I took him out, something big flew over, low and loud.  He was not a fan.  So, I was more cautious when I took him outside today... it was very quiet out there.  Well, until our second round of walking, when the large dog (one of two) in the 5th wheel behind us noticed Rufus.  Yep, some seriously loud and ferocious barking.  That dog was leashed, so he wasn't a threat, but Rufus didn't know that.  He wanted inside real bad.  Joan came outside to sit with us, so he was OK with that for a while.  Then, a scary puff of wind... and he attached himself to the screen door like one of those Garfield window stickers.

Fortunately, Winnebago makes a solid screen door.  We had to lift his paws to "unhook" him from the screen.

It may have been something he learned yesterday, when I left the slider that covers the latch open on the screen door... we were outside, and he jumped through that small opening like a circus tiger through a hoop!  The boy is athletic.

We have been giving him indoor exercise, with the ribbon chase and rope attack - he seems to enjoy that a lot.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Paddy's Day...

Half English, half Irish.  My Mother used to say, "No wonder you argue with yourself."  Not sure what she meant by that.  ;-)

Here's a few "facts" about this day...

Corned beef and cabbage, a traditional Saint Patrick’s Day staple, doesn’t have anything to do with the grain corn. Instead, it’s a nod to the large grains of salt that were historically used to cure meats, which were also known as “corns.”

There are no female leprechauns.  Don’t be fooled by any holiday decorations showing lady leprechauns. In traditional Irish folk tales, there are no female leprechauns, only nattily attired little guys.

All of the Saint Patrick’s Day revelry around the globe is great news for brewers. A 2012 estimate pegged the total amount spent on beer for Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations at $245 million. And that’s before tips to pubs’ bartenders.

In Irish lore, Saint Patrick gets credit for driving all the snakes out of Ireland. Modern scientists suggest that the job might not have been too hard – according to the fossil record, Ireland has never been home to any snakes. Through the Ice Age, Ireland was too cold to host any reptiles, and the surrounding seas have staved off serpentine invaders ever since. Modern scholars think the “snakes” Saint Patrick drove away were likely metaphorical.

New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the world’s largest parades. Since 1762, 250,000 marchers have traipsed up Fifth Avenue on foot – the parade still doesn’t allow floats, cars, or other modern trappings.
 Although he made his mark by introducing Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, Patrick wasn’t Irish himself. He was born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late fourth century.

Saint Patrick was British.  Although he made his mark by introducing Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, Patrick wasn’t Irish himself. He was born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late fourth century.

The color of St. Patrick's day was originally blue.  Wearing green has become a staple of St. Patrick’s Day, but the holiday was originally associated with the color blue. It’s thought that the shift to green happened because of Ireland’s nickname “The Emerald Isle,” the green in the Irish flag and the shamrock, or clover. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn as early as the 17th century.

1962 marked the first time Chicago dyed their river green for St Patrick’s Day.

There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Not as bad...

... as last week.  Talking about Bingo.  Oh, we still didn't win any of the pots, but... we were close on several of them.  Hmmm... maybe that is actually worse than last week, where we weren't even close.

Family fun night.  Plans for this get made at the highest level: between Joan and Steph.  We don't play bingo other than when we're here.  Dan told me that last time they played (besides last week) was when we were here last year.

There are some "regulars" here, who buy multiples of the 20 or so game packages.  They have scads of daubers.  I think some may be wearing their lucky bingo underwear.  I may have to check into some of those.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day.  I am half Irish.  Joan will be making corned beef and cabbage.  She and Dan will eat that; Steph and I will be eating spaghetti... or hot dogs... or anything other than corned beef and cabbage.  Pretty sure we won't be playing bingo, either.


More testing...

And, yes, I have been studying.  I took a few photos of Rufus this morning, just to practice working them up...

Slow going as I learn the new app on the iPad.  I recall something about old dogs and new tricks, not sure how that applies to cats.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The price of technology...

I love my MacBook Pro laptop.  Well, for the record, the current one is my 4th MacBook Pro, and I have enjoyed each and every one.  They are work-horses.  Unless you do something stupid to them, they just keep working.  Intuitively.  While each new version is a bit more expensive than the previous, they have all had increasingly more computing power and memory.

Same with the iPads.  We bought one of the original iPads when they first released the version with cellular capability - not because we wanted it for the cellular data aspect, but because that version had a GPS radio in it (the wifi-only models did not).  I knew it would be great for marine navigation... for the first couple years, I had all kinds of people telling me that would not work (including a couple Apple Store "genius" types) - "You have to be in cellular range in order to use it for navigation."  Man, were they wrong!  Now, it seems that all cruising mariners use iPads (or another tablet) in their boats, because they are a very cost-effective means of navigating.  Instead of (or along with) a dedicated chartplotter, which could run you thousands of dollars, then charting cards for the chartplotter that will run you hundreds more, for the cost of an iPad and a $49 app, you have amazing nav info right at your fingertips.  Oh, and the iPad will do all kinds of things, like e-mail, internet, play music or movies, word processing, and the zillion other things that apps can do.

I have been a Photoshop user for about 25 years.  I think it was PS2 when I first bought it... for around $600.  Each new version update was only around $200.  We used it in our photography studio, and were early adopters of the then-new digital technology.  Our first studio quality digital camera cost almost as much as our first house.  That was the price of technology.  With digital data approaching the quality of film, the ability to use Adobe Photoshop meant we were limited only by our imagination on what could be done.  It was an amazing time to be in the photographic industry.

We didn't have much amateur competition because of the high cost of entry to the digital imaging world.  As camera prices came down (dramatically), more photographers made the change, and more amateurs got into digital imaging.  We made the change from a full color lab in our studio to a digital lab, giving us full control from creating the images to making finished portraits from wall-size canvas prints to wallet-size on dye sublimation material (more durable and longer-lasting than typical photo paper).  The process was more expensive to produce that silver-based photo paper, but the quality was better... again, the price of technology.

Then, after we retired from that business, things changed.  In 2007, Apple came out with their first iPhone.  At one seminar for professional photographers I had done in the late 90s, I told of my "future prediction": a device that would hold all your digital images... instead of high school seniors trading wallet-size photos, they would beam each other images from their hand-held photo storage devices.  Some people laughed at me.  Turns out, I was right... I just didn't realize it would be a phone that would be that device.  Now, everyone with a phone (and this is most of the people) has a camera with them.  They don't "trade" photos - rather, they show people the photos on their phone, or they post them on the internet, Instagram, etc.  Photographers who didn't change their business model to one of providing a photographic service instead of selling photographs were doomed to dwindling sales.

The price of technology.  Probably what buggy whip makers thought when those new-fangled automobiles came along.

So, why the trip down Memory Lane, you're asking?  Thanks for asking.  I bought an iPad Pro a while back.  I thought it might be a good, even more portable replacement for my MacBook Pro.  Turns out, I was less than enthused with the photo apps available - nothing came close to the Photoshop I use on the MacBook.  Until recently.

Dan told me about Affinity Pro Photo app.  When I read up on it, it sounded very impressive.  The version for the iPad is a whopping $19.99.  First impression with it: there will be a substantial learning curve after all those years of Photoshop.  When I get comfortable with it, it looks like it will eventually be even as, or more, powerful as Photoshop.

These days, you hear a lot of people use the word "photoshopped" as a verb; and generally with a bad connotation.  (As in: "She doesn't really look that good, she has been photoshopped.")  Virtually every image I have posted on this blog has had something done to it with Photoshop: cropping, an adjustment of color, density, and contrast.  Oh, the photos you've seen here are not "artificially enhanced."  If that were the case, I'd make myself taller and thinner.  ;-)  Back in the olden days of film, your photofinisher made changes in every snapshot of yours (generally by program built into the printer) before it was printed.

The cameras keep getting better, even the ones built into the phones, but they still need to be "spruced up" to present the best image.  And now, the price of technology is only $19.99.


A test shot today, with grandkitty Tasha...

Decent detail in the highlights and shadows.  Image size reduced for quick loading here.  Eyes lightened just a bit to make up for the ambient room lighting.  Nothing else done to enhance her natural beauty.  It wasn't "photoshopped," it was Affinitied.  ;-)