Ranting Again

Posted: October 23, 2014 in Ramblings

This one, I just can’t believe nobody’s done it yet.

I want a backpack to carry my camera gear in.  This includes a tripod.  My tripod (I have the purple) is only 15.5″ wide when collapsed.  What I don’t understand is why nobody appears to make a backpack with adjustable gear straps across the bottom where a tripod could be strapped in.  This would also be good for yoga mats, and I spent some time looking for yoga mat backpacks with this kind of feature, but to no avail.  The only bags I can find that have anything like this are the Rickshaw messenger bags.  Even Timbuk2’s messenger redesign has eliminated the bottom-of-the-bag straps.  But I wouldn’t get a messenger anyway; Alex and I went on a photo shoot last weekend with all my gear in a tote and it gave me a headache.  I’m either planning to buy a fun Zuca Sport bag (which has wheels) or buying some webbing and buckles to sew straps onto the Pacsafe backpack we use for travel (and you all know how that sort of thing tends to turn out).

Meanwhile, here is a photo from that shoot on Sunday.

The Young Master feeding the ducks at Bellevue Downtown Park.  We were there to take pictures for his Digital Photography assignment on natural light.  Click to enlarge.

The Young Master feeding the ducks at Bellevue Downtown Park. We were there to take pictures for his Digital Photography assignment on natural light. Click to enlarge.

A General Rant

Posted: September 29, 2014 in Ramblings

Got no place else to write this, so I’ll post it on my blog.

Amazon recently came out with the “Fire Phone,” a new kind of smartphone.  My main thought was “why?” and then upon reading the features I felt it was a rather silly hybrid product (uses Android, but not a lot of apps; has a bunch of dumb gimmicky features like an app that will identify a product and then take you to the Amazon page to buy it).  So I’ve been reading the reviews of it, just to see what other people think.

Many people have posted legitimate reviews where they pointed out things like battery life, the gimmicky-ness of the special features, and so on.  Many people have said the “Mayday” button, which connects you instantly to an Amazon tech representative, worked well.  (This basically tells me “this phone requires too much tech support” because everyone is using Mayday!)  But also, many people love it.

However, in the last week, there have been over a thousand different reviews from non-owners complaining about Amazon’s use of “dirty energy” to power their cloud storage.  Many of these reviews are word-for-word identical to each other.  My guess is that some pundit on an alternative energy blog posted about this, and his/her readers scurried over to Amazon to spam the product with these reviews.  (Apparently Apple and Google use renewable energy.  No idea about Microsoft.)  As a result, the reviews for the Fire Phone – which were average at best – are now in the under-2-star range.

What I wanted to rant about is the idiocy of all these people spamming with the canned review.  Do they all drive hybrids, have solar-powered homes, get their groceries at stores that only use alternative energy, and so on?  How can they get so picky about Amazon’s use of traditional energy sources when I’m sure most of them use “dirty energy” in some way?

I have been wanting to see the Fire Phone fail, both as a loyal Microsoft customer and just as a consumer who’s baffled by all the gimmicks – but I despise reading all these moronic “reviews” (which are just mini-rants against Amazon) when the product should be reviewed by people who actually own or have tried it.  Short of wiping out all the product reviews I don’t even know what Amazon can do about this.

Etsy Sales

Posted: September 28, 2014 in Things I Sell

I’ve decided to phase out the sale of yarn in my Etsy store and simply sell handknit items.  Right now there are still some odds and ends of yarn, and all the handknits listed are things I made for myself but which either didn’t fit, or didn’t come out like my vision.  The prices on those items may seem astronomical to you, but please remember that at the very least I bought yarn and knit the item (which generally takes me at least a month, for garments).  In some other cases I also dyed the yarn and sometimes I designed the garment myself.  So a lot of work and time goes into these things.  Not to mention many of them are cashmere and silk, which are notoriously expensive yarns.

However, there is a 40% off code active right now.  At checkout, just use the code 40OFF to get it.  This is an unadvertised sale (except here on the blog).  It will run until either (a) all the yarn is sold or (b) the end of October.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

“D” is for “Decisive”…not.

Posted: September 18, 2014 in Ramblings

I already cancelled the order for that bag!  I don’t need any more bags.  Pfft.

Wow. What a Day!

Posted: September 3, 2014 in Ramblings

A whole day with no knitting!  That’s got to rank as some kind of record.  Well, we were busy with the Young Master’s online school start, and then I was trying to find a sort of romantic vintage-style messenger bag that actually looked like it would hold up to use (as opposed to the ones on Etsy, which seem to be uniformly made of quilting cotton and appear as though a strong sneeze would blow a hole in them).  So I spent a few lazy hours this afternoon designing another messenger bag from Zazzle.  (By the way, I never did get that Union Jack one.  I phoned them up and cancelled the order.)  I placed the order for this one tonight, and hope to have it in about 2 weeks.

zazzlebag

 

 

Gas Works Park

Posted: August 24, 2014 in Ramblings

Today we ventured out to a park that’s long been on my list of places to see – Gas Works Park in Seattle, on the shores of Lake Union.  It is the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company’s plant for converting coal and oil to gas.  In 1956 operations closed, and in the sixties it was converted to a public park.  Apparently it’s a hotspot for steampunk cosplayers, but we didn’t see any today, just families, dogs and kids.  Here are some photos. 

Alex in front of the gas plant structure that remains.

Alex in front of the gas plant structure that remains.

A cool zoom (30x with my HX50V) of a rusty old boat in the dock nearby.

A cool photo (30x zoom with my HX50V) of a rusty old boat in the dock nearby.

The gas plant from atop Kite Hill.

The gas plant from atop Kite Hill.

The Space Needle at 30x zoom.  It was a bit hazy today.  Also, the Space Needle does not lean.  Your author leans,.

The Space Needle at 30x zoom. It was a bit hazy today. Also, the Space Needle does not lean. Your author leans.

Inside the barn of the Gas Works; this is called a "children's play barn" and all the machinery has been brightly painted, although children (and adults) are forbidden to climb on it.

Inside the barn of the Gas Works; this is called a “children’s play barn” and all the machinery has been brightly painted, although children (and adults) are forbidden to climb on it.

I don’t know why WordPress is screwing up all my captions.  They are off-center and I am unable to either left-align them with the left edge of the photo, or center-align them with the center of the photo.  Forgive me!  And enjoy the pics.

Mounties

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Ramblings

Not really.

Alex on Misty, Donna on Chex (full name Premium Chex), and Chris on J.B.

Alex on Misty, Donna on Chex (full name Premium Chex), and Chris on J.B.

The young master fords the creek.

The young master fords the creek.