Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Musing about social media

You probably knew I'd given up on Twitter, and don't miss it. Or maybe you didn't because you never got Twitter to give up on it. Right now the only social media I have going is Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn such as it is.

Plus the blog of course. I know that for many of you it's your favourite blog. For some of those people it's your only blog, and maybe that's more of a compliment. I don't know. I do know that I appreciate my readers, the small but mostly semi-loyal band that you are when you aren't too busy out doing other things.

Blogging has changed so much since I started. Way fewer people are doing it, and even more fewer are commenting. I think it's because people are looking at things on their mobile device now, and those are notoriously unfriendly to blog comments. They might mean to comment later, but later there's a zillion other distractions.

Even in the last decade I've seen a change in the span of attention that most people can devote to anything. It's much shorter. I watched one person scroll through their Instagram feed so fast they can't have actually seen, let alone appreciated the photos. Each got a like. I'm not sure how they hit that tiny little heart as it scrolled.

One of my buddies recently gave up on Facebook and doesn't miss it. I was texting with them and that reminded them they hadn't read my blog in a while. I get lots of readers from facebook, and a few from other blogs. At least that's what the stats tab tells me and I'm not sure I believe it. I get lots of readers from Shut Up and Run (hello guys, don't be afraid to comment!)

So indulge me please. How do you get here? Facebook? Are you a regular, checking to see if I've blogged the same time you check email and the morning news, and whatever else you read in a browser? You can respond in the comments, by email, or text, or visit me on Facebook. I'm not that hard to find. Please and thank you. Pretty please.

This discussion of web traffic inevitably leads to road traffic. As in the lack of movement of it because of construction. This is beyond construction season, it's construction climate. Ongoing and never ending. I've seen a few people just losing their shit, but fortunately no collisions. There's probably been some vehicles lost in the steep shoulders, which is a quaint way of saying the pavement has been cut and dug away to several feet of depth. On 14th at Anderson, if you swing wide sweet chariot by an inch to much you are gone. Over the edge and your car is probably a write off.

Here's some of the storm water drains going in. Those pipes are 10 feet in diameter, so there's some serious flood mitigation planned.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Clematis climbing

We had a couple clematis succumb to a fungus or something, but there are others doing really well. See for yourself.
These are out front.

 This is a new one, climbing the trellis near the back gat. It seems pretty happy there and wasn't affected by the hail. It's made it to the top of the trellis, but seems to be struggling with getting anchored up there.

There's another climbing an iron trellis in the back, and doing well. The blossoms are a bright red that  I seem to be having difficulty focussing on. I'll try again.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A much needed restorative day

If you were paying attention yesterday you will know I stated an intention of sleeping in. This is one of the limitations of text. You probably did not get the impression that plan was as solid as the foundations for a great big dam.

It's been a busy few weeks at work, and stuff on the weekends, plus a raspy throat that didn't turn into a cold, but really took it out of me.

So I intended, so I did. I didn't actually sleep all that much later than usual, and I was up at the usual time, but I drifted off again. Being able to lie there, thinking inchoate thoughts that occasionally rose to the level of semi-coherence, not having to get up, is wonderful.

Up. Coffee. Sitting outside in the shade, watching the bees already hard at it in the garden. Massaging the novels more, Curtis glaring at me through the window. Knowing I didn't have to get up and actually do anything till I felt like it.

Then this happened. I'd got the kit last week, but didn't get around to it till today. My bike will join hers when it returns.

BBQ chicken in a specialty marinade, on fresh buns, outside in the beautifully warm day. Not hot, just a nice warm day, with a slight bit of a breeze.

Some errands, then a walk through Fish Creek. Through, as in, my feet were wet, and the water was delightful. I sat in the shade at one point listening to the river do it's thing. So peaceful and soothing. Hardly anyone was around. I contemplated the bicycle infested with weeds, thinking of how it came to be here, wondering if some poor kid was missing their bike and saving up their allowance to get another.

No idea what I'll do what I hit publish on the blog, but it will almost certainly involve a glass of wine.

Friday, July 27, 2018


Indulge me for a bit of database geekery here, just for a moment. Maximo. Functional locations and assets loaded to PROD. Zero errors. Yes we're pleased. Only two months after the first schedule I was shown, but holy doodle it's been a tough road.

Let's not go into how much work it's been, and some of the complications behind the scenes. I know a few of my readers understand, but everybody else would be bored. Let's just say the load was creamy smooth, no lumps.

The other thing that's creamy is the backgrounds on these two photos. Yes, sort of a tortured reach, but it's Friday after a long week. I'm planning on sleeping in tomorrow.

You might be thinking you've seen that second shot before, and you're almost right. Check out the differences here.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The ruffly pink peony

The red and white peonies out front get lots of action, but the pink one in the back patio puts forward some spectacular blossoms. Some of these are in the running for image of the month. The pink doesn't show off as much as the red or the white, but the ruffles are amazing, particularly when wet. I think these are all the same peony, but I'm not completely sure about number 3.

The garden seems to be carrying on after Linda half filled the green cart with debris. That's really about the only choice we have, since there isn't much that can be done to protect the garden from hail.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A reminder of rosy times

Here we go. This is one of the roses from out front, nicely lit up.

This is from the side bed. For a while it had a huge number of blossoms, and was a bit of a neighbourhood attraction. I saw several groups of people walking past detour from the main street to admire it. One couple even unreeled a selfie stick to have it in the background.

Even before the hailstorm (see here for the sadness if you missed it) the roses were taking a break. Linda had thought there might be a second round of blossoms in a while, but we aren't so sure now.

There's lots of other flowers coming along, and they'll get their turn here. Stay tuned!

In work news I'm now half way through my contract. My manager is probably having heart palpitations just reading that, so I'll probably have to buy the coffee next time. It's gone quick, and I'm pretty sure the rest is going to go even quicker. Some of the ground work is beginning to pay off.

In workout news, my legs are feeling less cranky, so I'm actually thinking about cautiously starting a walk run program, and see if I can get up to 5 K without injuring myself again.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Well, crap!

This photo pretty well tells the whole story.

A before and after.

Yes, they're day lilies, but we prefer we get to enjoy them a little longer than that.

Here's a before and after of some other lilies.

This one sort of made me sad, the two blossoms consoling one another or the older dying one trying to shield the younger one

There are still many lilies with buds that have not been shattered, and we expect will bloom. We hope. There are other plants still blooming and I will continue with the photos. We've had hailstorms much worse. Some storms have stripped the leaves and bloom from the stalk. As long as this is the only one for a while, the plants should be good, knock wood. An hour later the sun is shining and the streets are drying off, in between the mounds of vegetation blown from the trees.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

A polyptych for you

There was a photo ramble today with my buddy Sean starting at the traditional time of oh-dark-30. Exactly so, as it turns out.

It's easy to tell where we started. Just behind us was a medium sized motorhome that was rocking a little as we pulled up. Sorry buddy if we interrupted something. Yes, my version of these photos have stars.

We had a lovely drive down sort of towards Chain Lakes, and stopped several times when the mood or view took us. Sean has talked several times of how images placed near each other provide context, and one has to consider the relationship between them. I finally got it, on a simplistic level today with these two images. Neither works particularly well alone, but together I was quite charmed. Yes, the two are looking at each other. It's kind of a pity my blog format doesn't really let me display photos side by side. You'll just have to arrange them that way in your mind.

This will amuse several of my readers, if they look closely. Of course there was coffee in it.

The light was kind of odd, mixing in with some mist on the ground, and some atmospheric haze to producing some ugly sky in the HDR shots. So ugly I took it right out of several of the shots. This is the only one where I left it in, since it's at least a little bit believable.

These were tough edits, and I'm still not entirely pleased with what the camera captured as opposed to what my eyes saw. I was thinking of the fog shots in Arrival, and trying to go for the same thing.

I'm not sure if I should show this photo. This is merely a scouting photo. I think in the right light it will be stunning. I'll have to return to this.

Finishing with the traditional Alberta landscape canola shot, and then breakfast in Turner Valley.

Over breakfast we spoke, as always, of many things. One of them was the apparent waning popularity of blogging, and if blogging was easier in retirement. I suspect it is. In any case Sean wondered if my blogging frequency had changed. As it turns out, I'm blogging a little more frequently than my traditional blog every day and a half.

........................................Blogs...........Days......................Days per blog
Oct 27, 2007 to today....2755............3921...........................1.42
2017 (mostly retired).......322..............365............................1.13
May 2018 to today............69.................82............................1.18

I strongly suspect my word count per blog is way down, so the fans of my wall'o-text blogs are likely pining a little. Yearning for the days of a rip snorting rant. And what are they getting? Flower shots. They probably think I've gone soft and they've defected to some red meat blog.

As I said, a perfectly lovely morning.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The red peony finale for this year

The red peony kind of plays second fiddle to the white. The light doesn't hit it quite the same, and it's a deep brooding red that doesn't photograph well, especially in the blog versions. Still, the blossoms are just as nice, if much more difficult to get a backlit shot.