Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Pointless question of the day:

Do you suppose that roses wear insects on their lapels just like we wear roses on ours?

If so, what do the insects wear on their lapels?

Yes, my mood is as weird as that. I think I'll just leave you with the picture rather than finding a topic today. I blathered enough in the last couple of days anyway.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


'Scuse me if I sound a little down today. I'm not; I'm just tired. Spent too long thinking about work things last night, especially for a day off. Sometimes I really wish I had a Shut Up, Brain switch.

On the bright side, I like today's photo. That's two in a row. This blog is headed to pumpkinland for sure if I'm not careful.

Um, for anyone new to the program: blog comes to point = blog turns into pumpkin. And I really don't want an orange blog.


I've been musing about autos today. Not cars, no. Auto, as in autofill, autocorrect, autopost... Ok, mostly autopost. Autofill I never use, and autocorrect mostly amuses me. Autopost and scheduled post, though, have me a bit conflicted.

The host of our work website, like most hosts nowadays, offers the option of automatic posting to facebook and twitter any time the website is updated. A couple of the staff who are involved in the website use the autopost regularly, but I never do. I hate going on to twitter and seeing that the last thing posted by our account reads something like I've just updated my website! Check it out: (insert automatic link here).

You know, I almost loathe that rather than hate it. It's so... bot. So obviously an autopost, and really doesn't go with the way we as an organisation usually post. Those who use it think it helps drive traffic to the website, but I'm just so not sure. For me as a twitter reader, when I see something that looks like an autopost I tend to ignore it. Too many autoposts and I stop following the account altogether, and I don't want to see that happening with our work account because it's become a pretty valuable marketing tool (and I never, never in a million years thought I'd be using the words twitter and valuable in the same thought). Heck, I worry about ticking people off on the days when I've been retweeting too often, and I only retweet things that I think would be of real interest to our followers. If (if, though. I honestly don't know if anyone does) they get miffed by that, wouldn't they get completely pissed off at repeatedly being told by a bot to check out the website?

I dunno.

Scheduling posts is another issue. As it stands now, we don't do any scheduling. I did an interview last week for the local cable community channel -- which, since the evil that was Canwest Global managed to kill our tv station, is the only tv outlet for local events -- and the producer and I got talking about social media. She regularly schedules tweets, because she's often out in the community shooting and may not have time to tweet live. If she knows she has things that need to be on twitter, she'll schedule them to come out at various times during the day. That has its advantages, for sure. It means she's not doing batch tweeting (which in my mind is almost as bad as bots. No, news organisations, I don't want to see twenty tweets from you in a row on my feeds. At least spread them out a little), and it means that she doesn't have long periods when she doesn't tweet at all. On the other hand, if someone replies to a scheduled tweet she might not see it for a while, and lack of replies can frustrate people who are interested in a particular tweet.

We, on the other hand, are pretty patchy with our tweets. If I'm in the office all day I've got time to have the twitter feeds on in the background and keep an eye on things. If I've been out on the trails with the camera I'll tweet sightings, or if I've blogged my photos I'll tweet the link. Sometimes we'll live tweet events. And then... if those of us who handle the tweeting happen to be out of the office or on holidays (ahem Wheat), we may not tweet for days.

Which strategy is better, do you think? Do we maintain a steady presence that may make it obvious that a person isn't always doing the tweeting at that particular moment, or do we stay with the Bay of Fundy style tidal tweeting that we're doing now? I'm sure I don't know, but what we're doing seems to be working enough to keep it going.

I have no way to end this. Tired, remember? Maybe in honour of pointlessness and all the royal babyness that I never mentioned we should just have a little Prince George? Sounds like a plan to me.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Today's photo is not pointless!!!

This, ladies and gentlemen (or my two fans... you know, whoever happens to be out there), is a Goldenrod Spider with its prey on the underside of an erigeron (fleabane) flower. There are two very important things about this picture to me:

1. Its of a spider. Always a good thing.
2. I consider it to be the first actual good photo I've taken with the dSLR.

Yay! Frantic clapping of hands and running around like an excited three-year-old!

I mean, seriously. The focus is good (especially considering that this wasn't with a macro), it's got the bokeh I like when I'm taking photos of invertebrates, and did I mention that it's a spider? One of my favourite spiders (as in, see my profile picture)? With its prey? Come on. Even those of you who don't like spiders have to admit that's cool, right?

This, of course, is the cropped and edited version of the shot. Not too edited, though. It didn't need much (again, yay!). For most of the pictures I take the routine is shoot, crop, edit, post to blog, delete -- yes, I consider my photos that disposable -- but I've saved an unedited copy of this one in case I want to use it later. That doesn't happen very often, except maybe for photos of things I've taken at work that might be useful for our future brochures.

I learned the hard way to save an unedited copy of my few good photos, by the way. Years ago I'd taken a photo of an unusual ladybird beetle that I'd found in my father's yard, cropped it, posted it on the blog, and... well, in this case hadn't gotten around to deleting it. A little later one of my coworkers brought in the same sort of ladybird in a bug box because she wanted to take a picture of it and send it to someone she knew who might be able to identify it. I told her I already had a picture of that one, we sent it off, and got a very excited e-mail back asking for the highest possible resolution of the photo. Turns out he was in the middle of writing a book on ladybirds, the particular beetle was an Eye-spotted Ladybird, and the picture I'd sent of one sitting on an apple was.. appropriate. The scientific name of the thing is Anatis mali, you see, and mali means apple. He wanted to use the shot in the book. I very ashamedly had to admit that the only copy I had was the square-cropped one I'd sent him.


He used it in the book anyway, though.

That's right; technically I'm a published photographer. To me, that's one of the funniest things ever. The published pointless photographer.

I got a good picture yesterday, though. Maybe someone would like to publish it?

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Geez, woman

Photo? Random ducks. Everyone needs random ducks now and then.


Last night I was bored. I'd gone through the stuff on my dvr, was too lazy to get out a dvd, and for the life of me couldn't find anything to watch on tv. The old fogeys amongst you will remember Bruce Springsteen's song 57 Channels and Nothing On; I wonder if he knew that we'd be into the hundreds of channels now and there's still nothing on. All those frigging channels and not a thing worth watching. Well, after a frustratingly long time of flipping back and forth hoping that maybe I'd just missed something interesting in the listings, I finally gave up and read British history in the bath for a while.

What the hell is wrong with me?

My small apartment is full of things to do. Let's see... I could have knitted. I could have done any number of artsy things (art is happening again, by the way. The reason that none of it's been blogged is that I've mostly been blobbing around in my mixed media mess journal, and no one needs to see that). I could have baked. I could have cleaned, for Whomever's sake. What did I do instead? Sat around getting frustrated because I couldn't find any mindless entertainment.


And it happens too much with too many of us nowadays. We're a bunch of Roman emperors, sitting there demanding music and grape-peeling from our slaves. It's just that the slaves are now television and the internet, that's all.

Next time this happens I'm going to force myself to start writing bad poetry again, you know. Even if it's bad poetry about the fact that there's nothing on tv, at least I'd be using my brain.

And if that happens via bad poetry then you'll alllllllll be suffering from my boredom.

And with that, I should get back to work. Edible plant program today; hope for me that we don't all get rained on. Oh, and speaking of edible plants, remind me to tell you about my wheat sometime. Yes, that's right, wheat. On my balcony. It's got heads on it now, so here's hoping...

Saturday, 27 July 2013


Picture? Nothing to do with anything, as usual.


Not for the first time, I've been finding myself puzzled by the arbitrariness of censorship in the media this week. There are a couple of news stories that brought it on, really: the train crash in Spain, and the family in Winnipeg whose two children were possibly killed by their mother.

In the first case, there's both the news footage of horrific scene after the crash, and the (equally horrific) security camera footage of the actual crash as it happened. In any of the media outlets that I checked -- both internet and television -- both videos were shown with no censorship at all, and in the vast majority of cases with little or no warning that you "may find this disturbing". Seemed a bit odd, that, what with all the bloodied people and covered corpses, and the oh shit feeling in the pit of your stomach as you watch that train coming around the bend, knowing full well what's about to happen to it.

In the second story, the weirdness came about in the still pictures shown. When the story was first reported -- again, both on the internet and television -- there were several photos of the family published, partly with the aim of finding the mother. And when I say several photos of the family, I mean several photos of the entire family, with no censoring. The next day, though, I noticed that more than one television network was airing the photos with the father's face pixellated.

The next day.

Sort of a shutting the barn door after the horse is already gone, I figure.

Now, my problem with this is that it really does seem so arbitrary. I can certainly understand pixellating the man's face (Whomever knows that he should be allowed his privacy after the unfathomable thing that happened to him), but the day after? What good does that do anyone? And how do you suppose the families of those bloodied and dead people in Spain are dealing with the fact that the world has seen their loved ones splashed all over the news without any censorship?

It doesn't make sense. But then censorship rarely does.

Just to make my own position clear, I'm rarely for censorship. Oh, sure, there are things that I don't think should be out there -- like the footage of that murder that was put out on the "gore" site (another news story, sorry. The owner of the website recently tried to skip bail in Edmonton), but I think that most of what gets censored in our society is just one group's views loudly shouted over the rest of us.

Nudity's a good example. And I'm not talking porn, here; just nudity. Why is nudity such a big deal to so many people? We all have bodies, and deciding that those bodies are somehow filthy and need to be hidden from everyone is so very unhealthy. It creates body issues, for pity's sake. It creates titillation when there really doesn't need to be any. It creates the OMIGOD JANET JACKSON'S GOT A NIPPLE situation that most of the rest of the world was secretly laughing at the US about.

Censorship like that just gives people a wrong sense of what wrong is.

And don't get me started on the arbitrariness of language censorship in the media. I can't get into it as much as I'd like to because I need to get back to work, but since I've posted about language before and will likely do so again that's ok. What I will say, however, is that the situation in Canada is at least a little more reasonable than it is in the States, where Craig Ferguson isn't allowed to say tits. Tits, yes, and the man's show airs at 12:30 at night. And the same wrong-problem arises because of that stupid kind of censorship. Bleeping a word like tits just makes people think that he said something far, far worse. Again, it creates titillation out of a non-titillating scenario.

Maybe the censor-types out there just like to be titillated? Who knows? It'd be one explanation.

An arbitrary one, I suppose, but that would fit right in with most censorship.

Gotta get back to work now.

Friday, 26 July 2013


Sorry, folks. I really did intend to properly blog today and I had a blather all thought up, but then the day got weirdly busy and I couldn't find the time.

Tomorrow, maybe.

Here's a pointless photo of a butterfly to tide you over, though.

Didn't I arrange the grass artistically?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pointless photo of the day:

That'll be it for today. I'm way to tired to attempt to string words together into sentences.

As, um, was proven by the business e-mails I've written today. Sorry to any of you who were on the receiving end of any of that.

So... African Violet, anyone?

Well, I like it anyway.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Paper dolls

Today's pointless photo is NOT A PAPER DOLL. It's what happens when I sort of like a photo and then decide while I'm editing it that it would look better as abstract art.


No, it's not a paper doll, but this article got me thinking about paper dolls a bit. And for those who don't know what the heck I even mean by paper dolls, go read the article and come back. The links are there for a reason, you know.

Well, sometimes they are. Sometimes they're just there because I'm in the mood for some silly British comedy (or maybe this is just my way of saying I was sorry to hear about Mel Smith's death).

Anyway, paper dolls. I used to play with paper dolls (and before you start, shut up. I'm not that old. What are you kids doing on my lawn, anyway?). Reading that article got me thinking that maybe I should make some paper dolls.

Yes, really.

I'm thinking of making paper dolls.

Sigh. All the useful things I could be doing, and I'm thinking of making paper dolls. I know why, too. I'm tired of not drawing.

Not drawing, yes. Ever since I screwed up my wrist (and then, a few weeks later, re-screwed up my wrist. You know, just to keep things from getting boring) drawing just doesn't happen. I want it to happen, but every time in the past while that I've picked up a pen I get so frustrated by the shakiness that it just gets nowhere.

I'm like a seven year old who can't make her bicycle drawing look like a bicycle. Throw everything in the trash and pout for a while, right? Well, obviously that mindset's getting me far. So I'm having trouble drawing with a pen at the moment. I could draw with a pencil, right? Or paint (which, since I have the brush skills of a five year old anyway, the shaky wrist wouldn't affect so much). Or get out the gesso and make a hell of a mess in my mixed media journal. Or at the very least grab the modelling clay and start a little clay man war or something.

But instead I've been pouting. Very classy, Dee.

Maybe I should make paper dolls tonight. Or paper snowflakes. Or just swelter in my far-too-hot apartment, which is what I've mostly been doing instead of art lately.

Yeah, that'd be good.

I'll keep you posted on the status of the dolls...

Friday, 12 July 2013

Now, you have to give me a little credit

I don't think I've typed the phrase I have a headache very often lately, have I?

I do today, though. Needless to say, this means no blather because the blather will just turn into a whinge.

Um, enjoy the clematis then.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Probably nothing

The rose has nothing to do with anything, as usual.

To be honest, I'm having one of those got nothing days. It probably doesn't help that I'm tired, although I'm not going to claim sleeplessness today (for a change). My apartment was awfully damned hot last night, though, so I can't help but think that the sleep I did get was probably of the restless sort.

Ah, my stupid hot apartment. I haven't complained about you recently, have I? The complaint is short, really, so maybe that'll work as a blather on a day when I'm just not feeling it.

My apartment. Bachelor suite. Ugly gold 70s carpet that they'll probably replace within seconds of my moving out (I look longingly at the from-this-century carpets I see through the occasionally open doors of the actually renovated suites). South-facing, which is fantastic for my plants but hell for me. There's not really any season when it's cool, you see. In the summer it gets the general summer heat, and in the winter when the sun's lower the whole thing acts like a greenhouse. A greenhouse that you have no option of cooling down, because opening the window in the winter can freeze the heating pipes (which bang and thump all winter long, I might add). My view? The loading dock of a hotel. They start deliveries early, so even when I do sleep I don't need an alarm clock.

My apartment, which was running at about 30C last night when I went to bed. It had gone down to 26C by the time I left for work, however. That counts as livable, right?

So why do I stay in this place that at one time had a crack den in the apartment directly below mine? This place where one of my neighbours killed herself because the police were after her, and another jumped off his balcony (only third floor, thank goodness) one night because the voices told him to. Why in Whomever's name would I be choosing to live so long in a place like that?

It's cheap.

Yep, that's about it.

Oh, and it's a lot nicer than it was now that the crack den's been cleaned out.

And my plants like it.

And inertia.

And it's cheap.

Going back to work now.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Random jewellery moment

But first...

I follow a few of what are known as curated Twitter accounts -- accounts that are run by a rotation of different people for a period of time, generally representing a country or region. For anyone interested, ours is @PeopleofCanada.  Obviously the content of the tweets vary from person to person, but by far the most interestingly quirky (and, I think it's fair to say, the original curated account) is @sweden. This week's in particular I've been finding particularly entertaining. Where else would you find someone who gives tutorials in cooking with your coffee maker? No, I'm not kidding. And please check out the link. It's awesome.

Incidentally, my office mate Wheat will be @PeopleofCanada in a coming week. This ought to be  interesting. He doesn't have any opinions at all.

Now, the weird thing in the pointless photo. It's my hand.

No, that's not the weird part. And shut up if you thought it was.

That thing on my pinkie, all appearances to the contrary, is not a fingernail ring. It's a visitor from the 90s, and I happen to be wearing it right now.

Not on my finger; on my ear. For those too young to remember (I'm working with people this summer who were born in the 90s, fer pity's sake. You kids get off of my lawn), that's an ear cuff. It doesn't go through a piercing. It just sort of clips on to your ear. Hang on, I'll find a picture of one that's not on a pinkie finger. There you go.  Think of the one I'm holding in my picture more like the one on the right than on the left.

Ear cuffs were big when I was in high school. I had (and still have. Never threw them out, cheap junk as they were) several of them with gaudy dangly bits, including a rhinstonish one that had an earring on the end of a chain so that you could hook your cuff up with your earlobe. It's a beaut, that. I should take a picture of it sometime just for fun.

I did the ear cuffs in a big way in high school, but when I went to University at the end of the 80s I became too busy and sciency (junk jewellery and dissection labs? Not generally a good fit) to bother with much but my gold studs joined by a chain. Um, two piercings in each lobe, remember. Two studs joined by a chain is a pretty fast way to fill all of your holes without fussing. In fact, I'm wearing the same earrings today for the same exact reason.

Sometime in the early 90s I was browsing a handmade jewellery store in HUB Mall when I came across the cuff you see above. It's simple: a silver (real silver. I was a grown-up by then, after all -- I was too -- and was starting to value real over junk flash) ball surrounded by a silver wire. Simple. Understated. Easy. I bought my first ear cuff in years.

Wore it, too. For quite a long time. Then it got put away, like things do.

When I did that silly bit of cleaning out my jewellery box and taking pointless photos of the contents a while ago (just hit the it's the box label below if you really want to see that stupidity), all of the ear cuffs came out too. Most of them are godawful. The one above, though? Seemed like it might be worth a polish.

So I did.

And started wearing it again. And still do. Sometimes even instead of earrings. It's easier.

When I first started wearing it again one of our staffers noticed it with interest and asked where I got the ear cuff.

I told her the truth.

The 90s.


Just an aside, since I seem to be in the mood to talk type jewellery. I put my wrist brace on this morning (the wrist is doing pretty well now, but I'm still wearing my lighter brace to keep from reinjuring it) and decided that I was tired of wearing wrist braces. But I need to wear the wrist brace. What to do, then?

I'm, um, currently wearing a wrist brace with a bracelet on it. Yeah, I know. And you're NOT getting a pointless photo of that smooth move, no matter how nicely you ask.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Pointless photo of the day:

Sorry, I got busy doing work things.

I always hate it when that happens.

At work.

The nerve of these people to expect work at work...

Sunday, 7 July 2013


In a row, naturally (and if I'm not mistaken, they're Goldeneyes). Not the greatest picture, but they were a ways away and I don't have a telephoto lens.

Probably wouldn't use one any place but work even if I did have one. Call it a hazard of being nearsighted, but I'm always much more interested in close-ups, like the damselfly below.

Not too bad a shot for my kit lens, but I reeeally want a macro.

I don't suppose I've mentioned that, have I? At least, I don't think I have in the last five minutes or so. I try not to whinge about it too much, but as handy as the 18-55mm zoom that tends to come standard with a lot of dSLRs is, for Yours Myopically a macro is where it's at.

Hey, we all have our interests. Mine is in small things, because I have difficulty seeing the big picture.


At the moment I'm having even more difficulty, because I really need to have my eyes checked. I'm getting older, and I'm really starting to notice the difference between my close and distance vision. Being nearsighted, though, I'm not having that problem most people get with ageing eyes -- you know, having to hold things farther away to read them. No, for me, I'm finding that if I'm looking at something really small I have to look UNDER my glasses to see the details. My glasses are probably overcorrecting me, in other words.

Ah well, I'll get it fixed at some point. In the meantime, I have to get back to work. You're lucky you're getting a post at all, actually, because I just finished blogging for work and I'm not usually in the mood for two blog posts in the same hour.

Don't you feel special? I thought you might.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Doggie eyes

Today's pointless photo isn't of doggie eyes. It's a double-flowering plum, and since it's from the spring it's getting a little old now. Still, it's pretty so I thought I may as well use it as not.

So what's this about doggie eyes, then? Have I got a dog and not told anyone? Um, not likely. Besides the fact that I live in a no pets apartment, I'm far more of a cat person than a dog person. I like dogs just fine, but they can be so needy.

And you need to schedule when they poop.

No, no new dog for me. I am, however spending time with two dogs at work today. We have a pretty pet-friendly office, so when any of the girls are pet-sitting or don't want to have to go home to walk a dog, the dogs are perfectly welcome to come here with them.

And that's how we get to doggie eyes.

I'm the one with the doggie eyes today.

It's not terribly normal for me to be allergic to dogs. I'm allergic to cats, yes (but since I like cats I mostly just deal with that. And use antihistamines), but for the most part I'm fine with dogs. Every once in a while, though, a dog will just hit me the wrong way, and presto. Doggie eyes. Watery, itchy doggie eyes.


I mean, it certainly doesn't help that whenever a dog wants to be petted I will, and without coercion, do some dog petting. I like dogs. I like animals. I'm a trained zoologist, for pity's sake. I wouldn't have spent four years of my life studying animals if I didn't actually like them. Unfortunately in this case, the like of the animal and the unexpectedness of the reaction leads to doubly doggie eyes.

My eyes are kind of on fire right now.

Ah well. It's not going to stop me from petting dogs. And posting pictures that have absolutely nothing to do with my posts.

All is as pointless as usual here, then. Good to know.
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