Stash Cleanout

For those of you who are (a) knitters and (b) fond of grab bags, today I listed a big stashdown on ebay at the low starting price of $9.99. It’s at least 8lbs of oddballs, single skeins I’ve received but don’t like, bad dye jobs, and stuff that’s been in my stash since the dawnatime and I’m sick of looking at it. Stop by and take a peek; maybe you’ll want to take a chance on the contents. Or buy it to donate to a charity. I just want it out of here.

Instagram Woes

Wow, when I discovered Instagram I thought it was going to be great. Take a pic from my phone, and it auto uploads? Much better than “take a pic from my phone, download it to the computer, upload it, and link to it.”

I kept visiting Instagram’s website, which is very non-intuitive, and the FAQ implied it was only for iOS and Android. Nuts! Discrimination against Windows Phone users (again). But many months later I discovered (only thanks to you-know-who) that there is in fact a beta version of it available for Windows Phone, but you have to get it from the phone’s app store. This seemed logical (after the fact), so I did it. (Prior to this I had been using the Windows 8 App Store on my Surface and not finding anything.)

Point 1: When it works right, it works well! It really is a good thing and saves me a lot of steps; I can now link Flog posts on the fly! Heh heh.

Point 2: But when it doesn’t, it’s abysmal. Oh, the beta software hasn’t actually broken. It’s just that I’ve found so many annoyances in using it.

For example:

There is no way to contact a help desk. There’s a list of canned FAQ/Support issues on the website (not on the phone app), but if your problem isn’t listed there, you’re stuck (and all the questions are about problems with iOS and Android anyway). There is no “contact us” page. There doesn’t appear to be a community support page like a forum, either.

Why would I want to contact the help desk, I hear you asking, if the software works right? Well, after taking a photo, the option “Scale and Crop” appears. I usually use this app to take full-body photos of the outfit of the day, so I can post it to Ravelry (these are my “Flog posts”). Instagram crops my head off! I can’t scale it smaller, only enlarge it. Not what I want. I want my whole self, head to toe, in the pic, but can’t do it. So all my recent Flogs are “with head cut off.”

The other huge annoyance is that the actual Instagram web page is basically a viewer’s page. You can’t do much, if you’re on a desktop, with your Instagram photos. I like to take them while out and about, and then add captions and tags and whatever from the desktop, once I get home. Unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to do it. The web page (clicking the Home icon) just shows me a chronological scroll of my pictures interspersed with those of the people I follow. Clicking on my own username takes me to a collage of my own photos, where I can either leave a “comment” or get the HTML to embed the picture somewhere. That’s it!

I also can’t figure out how to search on a tag! I’m at my desk right now (as you maybe have guessed), and have been switching between this tab and the Instagram tab while I write this. I see tags on a lot of pics from friends, but I have no idea how to search on a tag that doesn’t appear on the page right now. Phooey.

Add to this that Ravelry won’t let me use Instagram to do project or stash photos – because they don’t want people to upload crappy photos. Funny, because some of the pattern photos are of WIPs or are blurry or focus on the designer’s face instead of the knitted design. Seriously, if I’m happy with crappy photos, why should Ravelry care? A user suggested it’s because they’re trying to build a sharing community; that’s great. Right. But what if I didn’t have a fancy camera and a hosted website? Am I therefore to be penalized in the photos department, because my cell phone only takes cheap pictures?

Strangely enough Ravelry does allow it in the forums.

At any rate, I think I may bin this app and start looking elsewhere for quick-uploading joy. Anybody got any suggestions?

Snowing in Seattle

Yep. Here is a photo showing the blurry snow falling near the street lamp. There is not much on the ground right now, but I’m guessing by morning there will be something to show, and by tomorrow noon it will all be gone.

First snow of the season.
First snow of the season.