LOOKING DOWN TO THE GARDEN WHEREIN LIVE THE BIRDS

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Looking Down at Things


Once upon a time, I looked up to see the birds. These days, because my house is high and brambles are low, I look down on birds. It’s an interesting position. A really long lens is a huge help.

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Pretty sure it's a junco. Almost sure.

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Brown wren or maybe a warbler? I couldn't tell from my upstairs window, but he was looking for breakfast.

Junco or catbird? Hard to tell for sure from upstairs but I’m betting, it’s a Junco. They seem to live here all year round and are among the first to show up in the earliest days of spring.

Today, there were so many birds all over the backyard. Except by the time I finally got the window up and the camera in hand, many had flown away. I got a few anyway, but I missed some of the fun ones. Next time.

CFFC

WHY WOULD A PRESIDENT HOLD A RALLY? – MARTHA KENNEDY

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Terrifying: “I will always be with you.”

“I am here because I want to be among my friends and among the people,” Trump said to open his rally. “This was a great movement, a movement like has never been seen before in our country or before anywhere else, this was a truly great movement and I want to be here with you and I will always be with you.”

The fucker has “followers.”

 ***

“People want to take back control of their countries and they want to take back control of their lives and the lives of their family. The nation state remains the best model for human happiness,” Trump said.

Definitions from Webster’s…

Definition of nation–state: a form of political organization under which a relatively homogeneous people inhabits a sovereign state; especially: a state containing one as opposed to several nationalities

Definition of fascism
1: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

To answer my question, I came up with two things. 1) to gather his followers in preparation for an all-out fascist takeover of the country. But…it’s Melbourne, Florida. 2) because things aren’t going so well for him as President so he’s reverting to wannabe fascist dictator.

Those are both awful.

Yesterday I listened to as much as I could bear of his egregious and seemingly endless press conference. I realized that if he did not repeat everything he says, it would have been 30 minutes long instead of 3 times that long.

He relentlessly attacked the media, demeaning and humiliating actual human beings attempting to do their jobs and who would, probably, like to write something nice about him. But rather than changing HIS approach to the press, he orders them to “be nice” to him and see how much better their lives are.

A sincere and articulate Jewish guy stood up and made a point to say he KNEW 45 is not anti-Semitic and then asked how 45 was going to respond to anti-semitism on the part of his followers. Fuck face NEVER answered that question. Instead he berated the young man who asked it.

It’s a question that needs to be answered. If a small city in Montana can stand up to anti-semitism why can’t the President of the United States answer the honest concerns of a Jewish guy?

I don’t think it’s news ( ha ha) to anyone that not everything written or said in the media is the truth, nor is everything complete. I read a lot of non-news every day. Much of it on both sides is written to inflame either by throwing up a marginally accurate headline, for example, Psychological warfare’: immigrants in America held hostage by fear of raids when the real story (printed below the headline) informs the reader that there was a memo on which action is unlikely ever to be taken but some people are still scared.

I, personally, long ago realized that I exist in a world in which millions and millions of people who are not like me also exist. I have always found this fact tremendously exciting. Rather than wanting LESS of that, I want MORE of that. I’m surrounded by people who voted for 45 and they’re good people. Their reasons are multifarious — everything from “I always vote Republican” to “I hate Hillary” to “I love this man” — and godnose what else.


Please read the rest of the story: Why would a President Hold a Rally?

HOME IS MY HIDEOUT

I would like to say the home wasn’t always like this, but that would not be true. Home has always been my hideout. From the first time I finally I got a place of my own, it has been my staging area. This is where I put on the bells, whistles, and makeup I needed for work. That was back in the early days when offices required we come to work all “dressed up.”

Now, they don’t care, as long as you show up at all. This is a big improvement. But I might wear makeup anyhow. Just because.

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Home is where the comfortable furniture is. Where the dogs hang out. Where I can cook and cozy up with a book or a camera or whatever interests me. Now, more than ever.

It used to be where I came home when the day was done. Now it is where I am, unless something else invites us away for a while.

Home is good.

HIDEOUT | DAILY POST

ALIENWARE 15 R3 — THE GOOD AND THE HUH?

I always have very mixed feelings when I realize I’m going to have to buy a new primary computer. I love technology and I love computers. I love gadgets and widgets and cameras and lenses and software. From the first day I put my fingers on a computer keyboard, I knew I’d found my place in the new order. Computers felt like “home” from the first day.

New computer

However, getting a new primary computer that will be your everything computer is a big deal.

I’m not talking about a tablet. Or a Kindle. Or an old computer you want to keep because it contains software you can’t buy anymore and which you like better than “new improved” versions.

No, in this case, I’m talking about the one item of equipment that you use all the time for years on end. It’s the constant use computer. The machine on which you blog. Take care of your daily business. Banking, shopping, email, photography. It’s where you process pictures. Where you have software and filters. It’s where you write. Design books. It is important.

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Getting a new computer up to speed, configured the way you want it has always been a process that takes anywhere from a few hours to several months of tweaking. In this case, it also involved getting used to a new operating system — Windows 10 Pro up from Windows 7 Pro.

PERFECTLY FROM THE DAY I TOOK IT OUT OF THE BOX

This computer worked absolutely perfectly from the day I got it. There was no start-up time, except the time it took me to figure out where the new stuff was on this computer that was somewhere else on my earlier computers. If I didn’t feel I need to know what’s going on inside, I need not have bothered to find out anything. I’m still finding out things, though more now than before since that BIOS download the other day, but that’s a different issue.

THINGS THEY COULD DO BETTER — AND PROBABLY WILL

The C-port “Thunderbolt” replacements for the USB drives are not very sturdy. They work, but they are fragile. I’m sure they will be improved with time, but as of today’s writing, they should have included more USB ports. I have added hubs, but the lack of a CD drive for a camera card is a real pain in my butt. They should put it back.

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It won’t help me much. However, for future computers … put the CD drive back. Add at least two or three more USB ports. There are a lot of items that only work properly in a USB port. Eventually, maybe everything will love these new ports, but they don’t love them today. My external hard drives and my DVD/CD drive won’t work in the C port … and of course, I also need something for the CD flash card too. In theory, you can use a hub, then put stuff them through the C port, but that’s really stupid. Too many hubs, too much stuff. I’m sure I am not the only one complaining about this.

A FEW QUESTIONS ANSWERED BEFORE YOU ASK THEM

Why did I stay with Windows rather than getting a Mac? Because I actually prefer Windows. It’s a structured, work-oriented system. Its design and the way I think work well together. I have owned Macs and used them, but in the end, I’m much more comfortable on Windows. I’m task oriented. The Mac with its “do your own thing” unstructured style doesn’t mesh well with my style. Of course, there’s also the software I own that runs on Windows, but won’t run on a Mac.

I am not a hardware kind of gal. You won’t find me rewiring anything or prying open the case to get at the innards. Software? No problem.

Hardware? Call the guy with the toolkit. The second-hand market it good for people who aren’t afraid of getting down and dirty with the guts of the hardware, but I’m not one of them … so new was the way to go for me. Windows PC. High end. New.

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My previous Alienware laptop was very satisfactory, but technology has been whipping along at light speed for the past few years. The computer was more than two operating systems behind. I was not interested in overlaying a new operating system on the old one. I tried that and failed. Badly. It was also getting difficult to run new software on the older system. It ran, but not run well. Frustrating and annoying, but the development world is not interested in my opinion.

OTHER QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Why Windows 10 Pro you ask? Over the decades, I’ve found the “professional” versions of Microsoft operating systems are more stable and much less buggy than the “home” version of the same OS.

Every version of Windows has essentially the same stuff in it, but the menus change. The most alarming difference for more was the complete removal of the “Restore” and “system configuration” menus which has been part of Windows since the beginning. The pieces are now parceled out to other menus (Systems and Task Manager).

HOW DOES IT DO?

It boots up in fewer than 10 seconds. I don’t know how many different windows I could open, but whatever it is, I haven’t found it yet.

THE GOOD AND THE WHAT-THE-HELL?

I would have gone all the way and said this is the best computer I’ve ever had. Basically, it still is, but that download the other day from Microsoft was evil. I’m still recovering from it. To be fair, things seem to be working more or less normally — again.

It’s a great computer.

The problem is, you never know what kind of rat poison you’re going to get in downloads from home base. Apple has done it, Windows has done it more. They really need to step back and ponder users and what we need.


THE PARTS AND PIECES:

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  • 16GB DDR4 at 2133MHz (2x8GB)
  • English Backlit Keyboard, powered by AlienFX
  • NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5
  • N1435 & N1535 Wireless Driver
  • 256GB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (Storage)
  • Windows 10 Pro (64bit) English
  • Killer 1435 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
  • Intel(R)Core(TM) i5-6300HQ (Quad-Core, 6MB Cache, up to 3.2GHz w/Turbo Boost, Base frequency 2.3GHz)
  • 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti-Glare 300-nits Display
  • Lithium Ion (68 Wh) Battery

IF YOU DO A LOT OF STUFF ON THE COMPUTER, A GOOD ONE IS WORTH THE MONEY

The computer I had before this one is now Garry’s computer. Aside from not handling newer applications well, it’s a fine computer and will last a very long time, especially with Garry using it. Even if it needs a hard drive or something else, it’s more than worth repairing. You can’t say that about a lot of the cheap, cheesy computers.

They are cheap, but they aren’t good. And they won’t stand up to repair.

THE CHANGING SEASON — IS SPRING AROUND THE CORNER?

The Changing Seasons: February 2017


Photographs by Garry and Marilyn Armstrong


We got a lot of snow this month, but not as much as we have had in earlier years. If this is as bad as it gets, I’m okay with it.

Yesterday, suddenly, the temperature went up. It didn’t go up a few degrees. It went from well below freezing to downright warm and cozy. But of course, we had a lot of snow on the ground, so the world went into the big drip. First, the long icicles hanging from the roof began to drip and about 24 hours later, they were gone.

Then, the roof began to drip. It was dripping so hard it looked like we were having our own personal rainstorm. This afternoon, with the temperature at 45 degrees Fahrenheit (about 7.25 Celsius), the dripping has stopped. Which probably means the roof is now clear and we didn’t even have to get someone to come and shovel it!

I’m hoping we are now heading towards spring. Not an early spring or even a late one. Just a normal, on time, regular kind of spring weather. Garry took most of the pictures this month, so all of these are from both of us.

Please go visit some of the other beautiful galleries for this month!

You will find them on THE CHANGING SEASON  – FEBRUARY 2017.

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