Thursday, 30 July 2015

Pointless observation of the day:

The next corporate media person who uses on fleek to make their products more appealing to so-called millennials needs to be put in a room and made to listen to Valley Girl speak from the 80s until they no longer want to have anything to do with being pretend-cool. Ever. In any decade.

Just saying.

In other, unrelated news, I found this thing (to the left, I mean) on one of my father's rosebushes on the weekend. I have no idea what it is. It's probably evil. Looks neat, though.

I'll let you know if I make an ID.

Yeah, need to keep it short today. You've had plenty of words from me lately anyway.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Guess who's going back to surgery!


 Ok, so I had my colonoscopy follow-up appointment with the surgeon this morning, and the good news is that things look good. The bad news? That means that I'm a good surgical candidate.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with a stoma if I don't have to. The problem is that it's one thing to need emergency surgery and not be able to do anything about it, and it's a totally different one to willingly go back to surgery knowing everything that's involved in recovery. As well, the surgeon gives you a run-down of the possible complications -- including ending up with another, different kind of stoma -- and that's frankly scary. I mean, I'd sooner know than not know, but still. I'd need a horse tranquiliser to be able to show up to the hospital, I think.

In the end it was my choice. Live with a pouch, or sign up for possibly no pouch and a mostly normal life OR some major complications. My choice, I'll repeat.

My surgery's in November.

And I'm done talking about it until at least October (I hope) so let's end with some more rocks. I, um, needed cheering up a little while ago. No big write-up this time, but I'll give you their names so you can look up the weirdness factor on you own if you want to.

Blue Tiger's Eye (yes, again) in copper

Chalcedony geode

Jade coin (just the name of the bead, not an actual coin)

Green Kyanite


Stay tuned for more rocks. Because I'll probably feel the need to buy more rocks...

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Not-berry picking

And look! A spider on a rose, courtesy of the new phone.

Oh, and before anyone says anything, I do indeed know the difference between portrait and landscape. I took some of each; just liked this one better. I promise, however, that if I ever post a video I will shoot it in PORTRAIT on purpose to completely annoy you.


This shouldn't be as wordy as the last post, but I thought I should mention that I had a little revisit of my childhood yesterday. Dad's few saskatoon bushes were absolutely loaded with fruit, so I picked about half a margarine container full so that they wouldn't go to waste. Waste? No, that's not quite right. The rest can go to the birds, which won't be a waste, or to casual grazing by Dad when he's gardening.

For whatever reason, the nursery-stock saskatoons seem to be having bumper crops this year. I say nursery-stock, because many of the wild ones I've seen set fruit that then dried up because hello drought conditions. The more domesticated ones seem happy enough, though, and the u-picks are saying that they have some of the best crops ever.

I grew up on saskatoons, but for those who haven't had the pleasure think blueberry but with a somewhat brighter taste. They're kind of a thing on the prairies/parkland, and for some reason (many people think soil conditions) grow much sweeter here than in other parts of Canada.

Wondering about the not-berry in the title? That's because saskatoons aren't berries, as much as people may call them that. They're pomes. For you French speakers out there who may be thinking that I'm missing an m in pome, I'm not. That's just science-speak for a structure that's like an apple.

When I was a kid my maternal grandmother did a lot of canning and preserving, and much of that was wild fruit. Chokecherry (which, despite the name, is pretty fantastic once sugar's added and it's cooked down), pincherry, nanking cherry from her yard (not wild here, but practically grow wild once you get them going), and, of course, saskatoon. Mom and I used to go out and help her harvest them, which sometimes was fun and sometimes... was not. Hey, they were both pretty strong-willed women, and some days that's confusing as a kid.

Not all saskatoons were preserved, of course. Some were used fresh, and some were frozen for use later in pies and things like that. My grandmother made a mean saskatoon pie. Well, she made a mean pie anyway, but saskatoon pies are what I miss most.

I wish I could make pies.

Ah well. The most complicated thing that will happen to these particular saskatoons is that they'll be scattered on some ice cream, and that's ok too. And as for spiders on roses that have nothing at all to do with blather topics? They're better than ok, you know.

Yes, really.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Stumbling reluctantly into the modern age

The pointless photo of a cat that you're seeing isn't this blog's usual photo of a cat. There's something very different about it, but to explain I need to tell you a little story.

A long time ago I was on contract with a cell phone company. Let's call it Dodgers. Now, every time my contract would be nearing its end I would get a phone call from Dodgers asking me to renew and oh by the way we'll "give" you a new phone.

Fair enough. Time passed, and every three years Dodgers would give me the usual call and I'd go down to the store and pick up a new phone. Until the one day they didn't. For whatever reason, my contract came up and they did NOT call. Not a hint of a call. Not a peep. So I let my contract run out.

That was cool, actually. Same phone service, no stupid contract to wonder if I really should have signed up for another three years of, the power of choice to switch companies whenever I wanted to... and the old phone.

Which, again, was cool. It was a good phone. Sure, it might have been getting a little dated, but I could text, take (admittedly pretty poor) photos, rudimentarily e-mail before the systems changed, and, most importantly, make phone calls. Oddly enough, I like a phone that works as a phone, especially since I haven't had a land line for years.

More time passed, and I'd put off the decision about switching phone companies because I kind of liked being off-contract. Smartphones came in. I still had my old flip phone. Phones got smarter. I stayed with my flip phone. Phones got even smarter and really started taking over people's lives. I, in turn, started getting looked at as a clueless old granny whenever I dared to take out my phone in public to text someone. I didn't mind, though. The old phone was still working great for what it was.

And then one day...

I broke the phone. I didn't realise that it had fallen on the floor and opened, and I stepped on it (um, long story). Broken hinge, non-working screen. Disaster. My phone. My old, reliable, way-out-of-date phone.

I waited for a few days before doing anything about it. Yes, seriously. For those new to the program, I don't especially care if I'm connected at all times, as hard as that might be to believe these days. I waited for a few days, then trundled down to the mall after work, went to a phone store and got a new phone.

No, it's not a flip phone. I'm not technologically impaired, much as the old phone may have led some people to believe. New phone, new two year (two year instead of three year now in Canada. Mandated) data plan (I'll miss you, old-fashioned cheap non-contract cell bill)... all the stuff that marks me as one of you. You generically, I mean.

It's a little bit of a steep learning curve since I've never owned a smartphone before, but I'm getting the hang of it. Even if I couldn't figure out how to answer the damned thing the first time I got a phone call.

Oh, shut up.

So what kind did I get? Oh, they certainly don't need my advertising so I won't. I will say, though, that I went Android since I just can't make myself buy into the Apple hype and I've heard from more than one person that a potato works almost as well as an iPhone for making actual phone calls. And I do still need to make phone calls, no matter how many thousands of other things the new phone can do.

And speaking of other things, today's pointless photos aren't a good example of the phone's cameras since they were taken in a not exactly bright room with no flash. I just had to have the Turkey Brothers included in my first post of phone pictures (and don't you absolutely looove that top photo of part of Bob's butt? when I saw that I couldn't bring myself to crop it. It reminded me of a chihuahua we had when I was young who had a knack for getting either his front half or his back half in pictures but never his whole self).

Don't think that this means that I'm giving up my real camera, by the way. I like taking real pictures too much. It does mean, though, that I'll probably start posting to work's instagram account if I remember to ask Wheat what our sign in is. I may even start using my twitter account for something other than following people (I'll give you my handle if and when that happens). And if you have my gmail address you'll be able to get me at home instead of waiting until I'm at work or here at Dad's.

Ah, brave new time-wasting world. I guess. And I know that it's better that I have a smartphone because there are a lot of things that I haven't been able to access that I really should use. I have to say, though, that I'll miss the old hamster wheel.

It was a good phone.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Artistically dead thing of the day:

I would like to point out that there are no spiders in this photograph.

There aren't, you have to admit.

There aren't many words either, yet again. There will be at some point, but there's just not the time for it now.

So... bye, I guess. Catch you later.

Get it? CATCH you later... yeah, I know.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Pointless photos of the day:

I dunno. Pretend these are artistic or something:

Stay tuned... there may be a real post on this blog again or something. Maybe more something than post? As I said above, I dunno.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Pointless photos of the day:

 A brief cat story:

1. I am a cat in a basket.
 2. Why no, I'm not teasing the cat in a basket. I don't even see a cat in a basket.
3. Oh yeah... I guess that there is a cat in this basket. And now I'm going to have to tease him.

The end.

I told you that it would be brief.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Chapter 2061: Wherein... rocks!

Yeah, suck it up you whiners (for those of you who are whiners, that is. The rest of you? Just read on, I suppose).

The other day I lost a pendant in the woods. No, that's not a euphemism; don't forget that I work at a nature centre. I literally lost a pendant in the woods. Let's see if... yep, here it is. The one on the far right, which is dendritic jasper. Not to worry, though. It wasn't exactly one of my favourites anyway, and that plus deciding that I deserved a treat for what was then my upcoming colonoscopy (read the post for yourself if you missed that bit of excitement) gave me an excuse to head to the rock store.

Not that I need an excuse at the best of times, but it's always better to have one.

Here, then, are four new pendants to replace the one I lost. I'd say that math was never my strong point, but I was actually pretty good at math. I'm also apparently good at Look! Shiny!

Let's have a closer look.

This one is Ammolite, which is a fossil. There's some non-mystic (why do all rocks have to be mystic, anyway?) information about it here, which saves me some typing. And if you're interested in more commercial information, one of the companies that mines the stuff in Alberta has a website here. I haven't really looked at that one yet, to be honest.

In jewellery terms this probably wouldn't be seen as a great piece of ammolite, since the experts seem to like to have the colour shift in all parts of the shell's available spectrum (more or less blue, yellow, green, and orange) and this one's pretty much just red to green. I liked it that way, though. Less gaudy, and it certainly saves a person money to get a so-called lower quality piece.
 Here we have Dalmatian Jasper, which isn't a jasper at all. According to this blog, it's an igneous rock and should be called Dalmatian Stone instead of Dalmatian Jasper. Works for me, but just know that if you're interested in wearing it you're probably going to have to look for Dalmatian Jasper.

It's form Mexico rather than Dalmatia. People just named it after the spotted dog, that's all.

I bought it because. Yep, just because. The people who worry over each rock's meaning must really despair of people like me.
 This is Labradorite, and it's a fairly bad photograph. It's hard to get a good one of of labradorite, though, because labradorite's appeal comes more when you see it in person. As labradorite moves it has an iridescence that seems to be internal rather than on the surface like the ammolite above. I've heard people who sell it (yay bad jewellery shows on television shopping networks) describe the stone as having the Northern Lights inside it, and as badly poetic as that sounds it's not too bad a description. Get this thing out in the sunlight and it's pretty fascinating.

Oh, by the way, labradorite's form of iridescence is, it seems, called labradorescence. I suppose that's appropriate.
Finally, a bit of Landscape Jasper. I'm kind of a sucker for jaspers at the best of times, and I logicked myself into replacing a piece of lost (mediocre) jasper with a piece of (more interesting) jasper. Makes sense, right?

That's it for rocks at the moment. Yes, at the moment. Unfortunately, the summer switch of my days off to Mondays and Tuesdays have reminded me that the location of the rock store that's usually closed when I pass it going home from Dad's on a Sunday will be open as I probably don't quite pass it on a Tuesday. Ah well. As far as jewellery habits go the only way it would be cheaper is if I was making things myself. and at least rocks are interesting, right?

Oh, don't all disagree at once. Back to work tomorrow, and probably back to less words too. Type at you when I can. Maybe something on the other blog in the next couple of days if I can make myself feel more like drawing than I do just now, but don't hold your breath.

Even though it might be slightly amusing to watch you turn blue.

Monday, 6 July 2015

So what shall we have?

My two fans have, I know, two favourite topics on this blog: what rocks I've been wearing lately, and spiders. I now have pointless (or maybe not-entirely-pointless) photos for both topics, so what'll it be?

That's right; it's spiders! Actually, that's only because I need to keep the blather portion of this short today since I wasted so much time editing (and, erm, checking twitter). More actual blather tomorrow, probably, but for now let's meet Salticus scenicus, the Zebra Jumping Spider. I'm a big fan of Jumping Spiders in general, so finding this little one on the house just as I was heading in was a lucky thing for me. Before the photos, here's a bit more information on the spider itself.

Ok, done reading? Let's have a look at her:

These spiders are tiny. The edge you see at the top is the vinyl siding.

Jumping Spiders see very well for spiders. It can make photo-taking tricky.

For example, at one point she somersaulted. I had no idea until I looked at the shot.

I don't think she saw me any better after that, but worth the try?

One more look with the siding edge included.

I have to say that I was fairly impressed that the lens was able to get these images on a very sunny day (never ideal, of course). Yeah, I've cleaned them up a bit, but nowadays what digital picture isn't played with? I didn't have to do too much, and there was no colour correction at all. Nicely done, camera.

I bet you can't wait for the rocks now, huh. You'll have to, though. I've been down here far too long.

Yes, there will probably be a blog post today. At some point.

Not counting this one, of course.

I was planning to blog (properly) this morning, but now I think I'll wait until I've taken the camera out in the yard to see what I can find. That way, if nothing else at least there should be flowers.

Ah, come on. Everybody likes flowers, right?

Friday, 3 July 2015

Pointless photos of the day:

 These are Centaurea, or Perennial Bachelor's Button. Kind of a favourite of mine.

There might actually be time to blog tomorrow, depending on how my work day goes. You probably don't want me blogging today anyway, considering that I had an... interesting yesterday and I'd probably just tell you all about it.

And that, boys and girls, would be the definition of TMI. Trust me on that one.
See you at some point or other.
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