I Miss my Images

I’ve been having random fights with my PC.  It likes to crash when I’m not looking.  About 2 weeks ago – it crashed and stayed crashed.

 

I blame Windows 10.  All this nonsense started when Microsoft did a stealth update on my computer.

Did I ask for Windows 10?  No – seeing though every time the little prompt came up –

FREE UPGRADE – YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS!!!!

I told the damn computer, No, I really, REALLY don’t want this.

I guess Microsoft thought they knew best, because one night, when the world was quiet and zzzz’s were being issued from the bedrooms upstairs…those sneaky little f**kers slapped 10 into my 6 year old PC without so much as a by-your-leave.

electronic rape, anyone?

I was perfectly OK with the Windows 7 OS that came with the PC – although, to be perfectly honest, XP was my favorite out of the Microsoft bunch.

10.  Really.  Sucks.  Not only do you have to deal with a perky, bubbly Cortana down on the left corner of the screen chirping “Ask me ANYTHING!”, she continually suggests that the Edge browser she’s tied to is far superior to the Firefox browser I’ve been running for 5 years.

She regularly disses Chrome, too…

Edge sucks more than Windows 10 and Internet Explorer combined.

Currently, I’m stuck on a little laptop…yet another Windows product, but a non-crashing one.

The problem with my laptop?  It doesn’t have any of my Excel workbooks (Keto & Chainmaille), any of my Word documents, Photoshop, or any of my images.

6 years of serious/semi-serious/goofy photo work – all stuck in a PC that my Eldest is still working on getting back to running status.  So far, he’s managed to remove 10, and reinstall 7 – but he still needs to update some of the drivers in the thing…

Gawd…I miss my image files…

So I’m gonna share out some of my favorites which are stuck in this WordPress storage site – for nostalgia…

 

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Have a Festive SeaKwaHoliChrisKkah (Now Go Forth and Shop!)

Two years ago, I was full of a lot of stuff..

Yer right…not much has changed…

And I put out this post.

Because this is the Wednesday before the ‘official’ Holiday Shopping kickoff known as Black Friday – I thought a little PSA from 2 years ago was appropriate.

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Shop-zilla in its natural habitat

No matter what you call this month-plus of celebratory gluttony, your original reason for the recognition of this special day/week/month has been out-sung by one Goliath with deeper pockets and blood ties to Big Advert:  the retail industry.  In fact, Shop-zilla’s demands (to go forth, spend a lot of money on useless crap your friends, family and/or co-workers don’t really need, in order to receive the same said back) have over-ridden any other (read:  petty, in Shop-zilla speak) considerations for this last month of the Gregorian Calendar Year.

Shop-zilla will go on to implore you to not forget the gift receipts, so all that stuff can go BACK to the store and exchanged for the cash that it has spent a lot of time and effort to make the average consumer consider gauche to give in the first place.

Shop-zilla is not completely heartless, though – it did work on a very positive PR campaign for gift cards in lieu of cash, to the tune of ringing cash registers everywhere, a few years back.  It was considered a claws-down success.

After-Holiday sales are just as crucial as the before-Holiday ones for feeding Shop-zilla.

I want to personally remind you to wish everyone the Happiest, Merriest, and most awesome-ist of this special celebratory time while fighting over that close-to-the-door parking space, or the only remaining in stock item of the electronic gizmo-of-the-year.

The sad part of this celebratory season are the number of people lately taking egregious offense at someone wishing them THEIR version of this special season’s well-wishes, instead of the ‘offendee’s’ own, which they make no effort to disclose prior to that chance-meeting out in public.

I saw a news article (well…someone called it news) on a woman who was so incensed over a cashier wishing them “Happy Holidays!” instead of ‘Merry Christmas!,’ that a fisticuffs broke out.

I really wish I was making this up!

I have a special left of reality solution for this rampant “I’m so keyed up I need to take offense at semantics” issue.  Three solutions, actually, which I am prepared to share with the world – completely, totally, and absolutely free of charge.

 

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“Free?????” howls Shop-zilla…

 

 

 

Idea #1

If you wish to have the greeting of your choice uttered within earshot -and specifically TO you- by perfect strangers in the midst of the busiest shopping event of the year – you must have said greeting tattooed on your forehead.  This must be in plain sight, and not hidden by any caps, scarves, or hair.  The largest font available to fit your forehead is recommended.  I would suggest the color scheme be composed of glaringly-clashing hues, to further heighten visibility.

Not into ink?  An alternate would be to wear a banner, a beanie, a ball cap, or another brightly-colored and easy-to-read article of apparel that is, again, in plain sight.  LED lights should be stitched into the fabric and set on a high rate of flash, to really draw the eyes of everyone.  The goal here is:  You HAVE to let the world – every single random stranger you could possibly meet – know exactly what your preferred greeting IS.

I would also suggest multiple languages be considered, just in case someone you come across does not speak your native tongue.

This should hold humanity over until a proper virus that imparts telepathy to the population can be developed and released.

Idea #2

Alternately – how about we switch the official greeting of this celebratory season to what it REALLY is in the eyes of the world:  “Go Forth and Shop.”  This, if you haven’t already guessed, is Shop-zilla’s favorite…

I can see it already:

new Season's Greetings

Simple.  Logical.  Perfect.  And highly recommended by four out of five Social Programming Specialists.  Fisticuffs, ambulance rides, and ER visits REALLY get in the way of holiday over-spending.

Idea #3

We all, as a species, learn to accept well-wishing greetings in the spirit they are given, rather than focusing on (and getting pissed over) minute differences in culture.

Yea…you’re right…#3 will never work…

Now…Go Forth and Shop, everyone!  Shop-zilla is counting on you!

 

When the Moon…Moons you…

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This month’s full moon promised to be a good one, as the moon’s slightly elliptical orbit around the Earth would combine the close-point of this elongated oval with the moon being perfectly round in the night sky.

This means when the moon is close to the horizon, both rising and setting, it looks larger than normal, because (1) – the moon IS a bit closer with the wobbly orbit, and (2) the atmospheric distortion magnifies this phenomena.

The layman’s term for this is a SuperMoon.  A bigger than normal, bright man-in-the-mo0n face staring down at us plebes on the planet.

Can you say:  Photo-op?

I took a look at the celestial charts – the Full Moon was due to appear on November 14th – Monday.  Now – if I’d read a bit better – I’d have found that the moon would reach optimum ‘fullness’ on the 14th, all right – but a lot closer to moon-set (4 am-ish) than moon-rise (5 pm-ish).

I missed the Sunday evening rising – which (so I heard after the fact) was spectacular.

**Cue the frustration of the Photographic Muse** 

I soothed Ms. Shutter-bug Muse by reminding her that the Full Moon is, technically, a 3 night event – and that we could still get stellar shots on Monday Night – which we’d planned for.

**roll the clock ahead 24 hrs, please**

Monday night, after work.  A quick dash home to grab camera & gear, an even quicker run to the parking structure downtown.  Set up my perch on the 4th floor – a fairly high vantage point over the city with a nearly unobstructed view of East/North-east and completely open to the night sky.  Some quickie shots to settle available light vs. sensor settings.

Aaaaand – we wait.  Moonrise was supposed to be 5:06 pm in Waukesha.  It’s now probably quarter to six, and the horizon is still woefully orb-free.  I know what this means –

Heavy cloud cover – and an overwhelming amount of haze – are hiding the object of my photographic desire…

**Muse frustration-take II**

Rather than get discouraged with the lack-o-moonie – I rolled the camera around, snapping some interesting shots of the night city-scape from my vantage point.  The moon did, eventually, attempt to make an appearance – shoving some errant beams of light through the cloud cover, and I dutifully snapped up shots of the effort – just because.

Then I packed things away – and returned to life at the grocery store.

Adding insult to injury – the kids mentioned Tuesday night that when THEY went to the grocery store, the moon was out, in all it’s Super-glory, low in the sky and not a freaking cloud in sight.  I – managed to get myself stuck in traffic for the event.

Better luck next time, eh?

 

 

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At least it’s over…for now

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So.

 

I woke up this morning, and The Donald is now the Prez-elect.

I have to admit – I kinda saw this one coming.  But, still….

 

WTF, America?

Ya wanna know why we now have a megalomaniac loudmouth wildcard with delusions of Godhood packing his bags in anticipation of picking out curtains for the White House?

Anger.

This country has become increasingly agitated over it’s (lack of) representation.  For decades the average American citizen has been patted on the head like an errant child, and dismissed to their bedroom while ‘the adults’ screw up all the really important decisions in increasingly unpleasant ways.

Like all children who sneak downstairs on Christmas Eve to see Daddy slipping packages under the tree – enough of America has had the illusions of this imposed childhood wonder stripped away to see that sorry, Virginia…Santa Claus is only a creepy old guy hired by the mall, who smells of cheap tobacco and openly hates kids.

It pays the rent…

This entire election season has been a series of temper-tantrums.  Each of the Political Super-Monopoly-Parties has theirs, the individual candidates had theirs, and last night, the general population had a turn.  All these tantrums were of  the floor-kicking, blue-faced screaming outrage kind – the type of spoiled-kid reaction that happens when said child finds out the big, shiny box under the Christmas tree contains, not the ultimate dream-toy, but  their older brother’s hand-me-down underwear.

Money is tight…life is hard.  All you get…is a Christmas card…

This country needs to be firmly turned over a parental knee and spanked soundly.

With a REALLY BIG wooden spoon.

Having the White House convert from Black to Orange for the next 4 years is quite the punishment.  Wonder how long it’ll be until we can sit comfortably on a hard chair again??

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Lights…Camera…ACTION!

 

Camera work.  For me, it’s an on-again, off-again obsession.

A lot of times, I get a satisfactory dose of camera work whenever I finish up a new chainmaille piece…after all, the thing has to be properly photographed and listed on Etsy.   Using the smart phone and a tiny tripod, it’s become semi-regular to set up the shot, frame, shoot, edit, and post – all from the comfort of my work station.

It isn’t often the Camera Muse stirs from her hibernation for purely artistic reasons – but when she woke at the mention of an event going on in Hales Corners – she REALLY woke.  Not only did she roar through my mind like a toddler hyped on sugar & the Muppets, she organized the other muses with more vengeance than the Greek Furies.  At one point, the whole lot of ’em were picketing the command center of my brain – DEMANDING I get my buns and the big camera to …

The China Lights Event.

Now – granted – it didn’t take that much persuading.   The China Lights event at the Boerner Botanical Gardens is a traveling display of Chinese Paper-lantern artworks.  These are brightly lit, intricate displays set against the velvet dark background of nighttime – My personal favorite when it comes to art photography…

The rest of the household?  It didn’t take much persuasion to get the kids to agree – they’re always searching out new and exciting things to look at – and with them being fire-spinners, night-time light shows are already a part of their psyches.

The SQO was less enthusiastic, but he was pleased to see the creative flows boiling over in me, so was ultimately happy to come with.

So the whole lot if us jumped in my Cheap-Jeep and off we went to the wilds of Hales Corners.

In retrospect- my use of the words ‘wilds’ may be a bit…off.  Hales Corners is a perfectly urban city-type population mass on the south end of the Milwaukee Metroplex.  The only ‘wilds’ are in my imagination…

Traffic was heavy once we got close.  Got even heavier once we saw the squad car with full party lights spinning blocking the entrance to the botanical gardens – announcing a full parking lot at the event and waving all us wanna-be light-show viewers to the side streets.  I managed to find a parking space about a half-mile away.

Here’s where I do an overt nod to the keto efforts of the summer.  I’ve lost some of my excess poundage, which has allowed me to be a bit more active.  I survived the walk TO the entrance, and the walk up the slight hill (another good half-mile) to the ticket booth without collapsing in a heap from the exertion.

The heavy traffic, the crowds, and the walking were totally worth it.

I’m sharing my favorite pics of the thing…

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D taking the time to stop and sniff the extremely illuminated flowers.

 

 

 

 

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These flowers look like they’re spilling from the basket.  This was set on a slight slope, so the basket is at the top of the hill.

 

 

 

 

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In case you were thinking ‘Botanical Gardens=floral displays ONLY,’ They didn’t JUST do flowers.  This zebra is sporting what can only be called a “Da Fuq YOU lookin’ at, Bro??” face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Or maybe the zebra was just upset because the pandas appeared to be having WAY too much fun on the seesaw!

 

 

 

 

 

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Of course – it wouldn’t be a China Light show without a resident dragon…

Here with D in the foreground for scale, and trees in front for a stained glass look.

 

 

We also had a detour into Holland, with various tulips and pinwheels.

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This has to be S’s favorite light sculpture…she’s been obsessed with praying mantis bu
gs lately, and she squealed in delight when we ran across this little guy.

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I think this one was my favorite – they had a walkway covered with these flower-forms.

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Here’s the whole gang (minus myself, who prefers to be behind the camera) under the flower-walkway.

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I’m fairly certain that the fan was their show-piece.  They had a little wood ‘stage’ set up in front of it for people to pose at.  D didn’t disappoint.

The fan deserved multiple shots…

As we were leaving the event, a bit footsore and a very sated Camera Muse in tow, I had to stop for one last shot.  This grouping was outside the ticket gate, in front of the Garden’s welcome center – and had a frog with, again, the ‘what chOOO lookin’ at’ expression.

Because it was ‘outside’ the gardens and not well-watched, D crossed the little rope ‘fence’ to get up-close and in the toad’s face.  Gotta love my Rebel 😀

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