Online School is Great!

Posted: October 29, 2014 in Ramblings
Sardonic child...

Sardonic child…

Coming to you live from Barnes and Noble café!

Kirkland

Posted: October 26, 2014 in Ramblings

Before the power outage, we’d planned to head up to Kirkland’s Marina Park today for four things:

  1. Eating lunch at the Wilde Rover (Irish pub)
  2. Feeding the ducks at lakeside
  3. Taking photographs of feeding the ducks, lakeside
  4. Meeting Joy, who had purchased a pair of Fluevogs from me, to make the handoff.

So, this morning we were a bit worried that Kirkland might still be powerless, but that would only have scotched #1.  We could do the other three items without needing power.  We packed up our gear and headed out.

Despite quite a few downed traffic lights, we made it to downtown Kirkland and discovered they had plenty of power, so we got to do all four things!  Joy brought one of her dogs, which thrilled Alex (he still desperately wants a dog but we won’t get one because you-know-who will end up doing all the work).  The weather was also dry (though overcast).  The worst part was the very stiff breeze!  I crumpled a cracker in my hand and flung the crumbs into the air for the birds, and all the crumbs flew back into my face.  A nearby lady started laughing at me.  It was too cold and windy to stick around and distribute the entire bag of bread, so we zippied it up and came home.

Here’s CP’s best photo of the day:

Taken with a Nokia Lumia 1520.

Taken with a Nokia Lumia 1520.

And mine:

Same kid, different ducks.  He's wearing his Fluevog camo BBC boots.

Same kid, different ducks. He’s wearing his Fluevog camo BBC boots. Taken with my HX50V.

Power Outage Triumph

Posted: October 25, 2014 in Ramblings

We are in the middle of a power outage!  (Well, hopefully we’re really close to the end of it…)  However, my Surface still has power, and Chris’ cell phone does as well, so he set it up as a wireless hotspot and we are bringing you this post by candlelight.  We went for a walk.  Alex and I got scared of walking around in the total darkness and came home early, but Chris soldiered on, until he ran into a big tree branch blocking his path, whereupon he came home too.

Here’s what the house looks like now.

Taken with the rear Surface camera.

Taken with the rear Surface camera.

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.