Today I am in a massive state of #hulksmash technology rage. I can just feel my blood pressure being way higher than it should, so writing this is my effort to diffuse it and maybe even formulate a plan for solving the problem.
A few days ago, Flickr changed something that made it impossible for me to upload any photos from my phone to their service. This is, I believe, because my phone is running a seriously old version of the Android OS (2.2.2 AKA Froyo). That is because shortly after we bought our phones, Virgin Mobile decided to never update the OS again, not that they told us that this would happen or was even a possibility. *shakes fist* It was the best phone Virgin Mobile offered at the time, so apparently we should have known that they would abandon it (and us) and not give a crap about it.
I am a Flickr pro user and have been for years. I understand that for a company to keep updating its apps to support older versions of mobile OSes is annoying and time consuming. But it’s really, really frustrating for a loyal, paying, customer like me to suddenly discover that without warning I can’t even access their official app on my phone, and that all the third party apps out there won’t allow uploads to Flickr, either. Flickr has slammed the door on my phone and apparently That Is All.
Being in a transition-y time with moving, I’m not in a position to be able to use my standard setup for downloading and editing photos with my DSLR (it’s complicated, but to sum up: I use Lightroom on my Macbook and the photo library is stored on my PC’s hard drive [where it can easily be backed up onto my external]. We don’t currently have a good enough wifi signal, apparently, for that connection to stay stable long enough for me to edit and then upload photos, even with the PC hard-wired and the laptop right next to it and only six feet from the router. And I don’t want to fuck up my Lightroom library by moving or fragmenting it.), so I’m relying on the phone for any photos I want or need to take.
Given the lack of support we’ve gotten from Virgin Mobile regarding our phone model, we have been planning to move to another company anyway, but figured we’d get as much life out of our current phones as we could. Given that we paid for them out of pocket and they are now apparently virtually worthless, whatever we do next is going to cost us. Which of course we can TOTALLY afford while we’re in the midst of selling our house and moving and etc. (Haha. Wait, not actually funny.) (Did I mention that my PC hard drive and external drive both crapped out and had to be replaced? How about that my 3DS died and, because I cannot stay sane without Animal Crossing amidst all this other stress, had to be replaced?) I’ve read that you can hack the OS on the Triumph, but that it’s pretty damn easy to brick it while doing so. I haven’t got any experience hacking phones yet, and having no phone at all is not an option, so I’m reluctant to risk killing it altogether.
I haven’t found any good overviews of no-contract options from reputable sources yet – has anyone seen any? (I’m not falling for the new so-called no-contract plans from the major carriers that end up costing you just as much or more than their contract plans.) Any and all suggestions for this stupid situation will be appreciated.
image courtesy of Jeff Adams
I participated in a swap on the Knitting for Blythe group on Rav recently, and the person to whom I sent goodies posted pics. She loves the items I made, and I’m so happy she does!
I had noticed that she had a Petite as well as Neo Blythe, so I made matching sets of sweaters and dresses. I love the corduroy skirt her Petite is wearing with the sweater!
Thanks for being a great swap recipient, Cupcake Snowflake!
Okay, I totally lied in the title. There’s absolutely nothing spectacular going on right now – everything is dormant and just recently free of snow cover. I’m just happy to be able to see plants again! No matter that many of them are still at least partially covered by last fall’s leaves.
Here you can see that there’s just the teensiest bit of snow lingering. (Also that Brodie is looking out the front door, something he really misses during the winter.)
Here we have Sage:
And Lamb’s Ears ‘Helene von Stein’:
And something unidentified coming up. I believe that this is probably chickweed, which seems to adore the front garden. Here’s hoping it’s not, though.
And something else I haven’t identified (did someone tell me this was some kind of wild strawberry?), which is all over the place:
This is some kind of bulb I planted last year – need to look at the garden plan and see what it might be.
And three little Juniper ‘Blue Star’ plants that I rescued from the big box garden center last year.
And that’s it for now. It’s still far too early for me to disturb the earth or get rid of the leaves – don’t want to put anything at risk since we’ll no doubt have plenty more frosts before it’s really spring.
More pics on flickr.
After we pulled the carpet out of the guest room, Brodie was a little reluctant to come in (probably due more to all the racket and fuss we were making in there than anything else, since he’s fine with hardwoods in other rooms of our house). K called him in and made him feel welcome, though.
After he settled in, we of course wanted to rile him up, so K instructed him to go get his toy, which he did. This AnneArchy wap toy is a little big for Brodie, but he LOVES carrying around the house, gnawing on it, and playing tug with it.
Besides tug, he also likes to have you try to keep it away from him and then let him jump and grab it when you’re ready.
Here you can see K teasing him with it – shaking it RIGHT ABOVE his head, and yet he knows that he has to sit (his version of saying “please”) until we say “okay”.
And then once he got it he was so worn out he was content just to hang out with it.
And they all lived happily ever after, except the wap, which was covered in slobber. The end.
More pics on Flickr.
Hey Blythe peeps, check it out! Morgan has created a super easy-to-follow tutorial for making shorts from the Simplicity 2353 pattern for Blythe.
She’s taken clear photographs illustrating how easy it is to make a quick pair of shorts, and even includes some pro tips based on her own experiences making the pattern. Definitely recommended, and thanks, Morgan!
This weekend has been chock full of the autumn weather that makes this my favorite season. Saturday I spent the morning in the garden, planting the last of the bulbs and seeds I’d ordered and cleaning up. Karl mowed the back yard and it’s looking pretty nice back there. The marigolds I planted from seed are still growing new blossoms that haven’t even opened yet!
I’d planned on pulling out the tomato plants, but they are still going strong with ripening fruit, so I left them in for now.
I’ve obviously missed a few that are now hanging around on the ground, but I’m not too bothered.
I thought this dead allium looked neat:
We put out our Halloween yard decor, which is more minimal than most in the sub:
Today I whipped up a quick Halloween shift dress for Willow, put on her kitty ears, and took her out into the back gardens for some photos:
These cabbages got surrounded by weeds and grew up very tall and odd. Now they are like Seussian trees for Willow to hang out in.
These two pumpkins came off the vine today.
Yay for fall! More photos on Flickr.
We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, and the temperatures have been not as hot as usual. Things are growing, though, and I expect it’ll get hotter now that August is almost here.
I planted marigold seeds along the fence-side bed in the spring, and they are really coming into bloom now.
You can see that I alternated different types – I didn’t realize that some of them would be gigantic! The sections that don’t have blooms at calf-level have marigold plants that are easily three feet tall or taller. They’re starting to bloom, too, though they are behind the others by a week or more (by my guess).
I planted some mixed seeds in the very small, sort of awkward bed by the driveway, and lo and behold, there are both cosmos and sunflowers blooming there.
I also have a few varieties of sunflowers in the back yard, but they aren’t blooming yet:
They are surrounded by this mint, which, as it will, is huge and spreads a little more each year. I’ll probably have to cut it back next year, but for this year, it’s filled in a weird bed that I don’t know what else to do with, so I’m going with it.
In the back garden, the mason bee house has gained a few more residents:
The left-hand column is mostly filled with actual mason bees (as far as I know, though I didn’t see them all go in to know for sure), but the others seem to be stuffed with straw – perhaps birds are the culprits?
The tomatoes are growing, though not ripe yet:
and the squash are still going:
I think that largest squash might be ready pretty soon.
I also got some more really good deals at Lowe’s. They keep marking things down – hooray! I added ten Royal Candles Speedwell plants to the front yard:
Also in the front yard, my Black Knight Butterfly Bush is blooming, tiny as it may be:
Back to the bargains, I also got some Giles Van Hess Speedwell:
and some Munstead Red Stonecrop:
That will apparently flower in red, and the foliage turns reddish, too. I’ll look forward to seeing what it looks like.
Finally, because I can’t resist, an obligatory adorable dog photo (Brodie sleeping):
More photos on Flickr.
It rained almost all day today and while I was mostly aware of that through my office window, when I got home I noticed that things are just freaking gorgeous in the back veg garden! I threw on my gardening boots and took a quick trip through the main back veg garden.
The wintercreeper is slowly growing up the back fence – I can’t wait until the fence is hidden behind plant-green instead of icky old green paint. It was all I could do not to just yank this iceberg lettuce out of the ground and eat it right on the spot.
One of the beans I planted is flowering already! They haven’t grown very high and I’m wondering if they should be flowering at this height. They were seeds leftover from last year and I’m not sure if they were still 100%.
The sugar snap peas are also blossoming.
As are the golden sweet snow peas, which are also already making pea pods!
I can’t wait till the peas grow more and I can eat some of these off the vine. So, so delicious. The hyssop is starting to flower, too, and will hopefully be attracting pollinators like crazy pretty soon. I love how the purple flowers set off the slight silver-y-ness of the foliage.
More photos on Flickr, of course.
No, I’m a fucking squirrel.
This little guy was hanging out on the front garden today, eating maple tree whirligigs. I say, eat up! Just go poo somewhere else so the seeds don’t take – we already have an army of seedlings growing out there.
Life’s been really busy the past couple weeks! I haven’t posted nearly as much as I’d planned to, so here’s to catching up.
The common mullen that I’ve let go next to the front door has gotten huge and is starting to flower:
I realize that mullen is generally thought of as a weed, but it’s helping keep the yucky yucca at bay (not entirely, of course, but somewhat) and I was kind of curious to see how big it might get. From what I’ve read online, it is a biennial, so it’ll die after it blooms this year anyway. Apparently if you crush the leaves, you can use the sap to treat insect bites. I haven’t tried that yet.
This week I came home from work one day to find that the twelve purple leaf plum hedge shrubs I planted had been pulled out of the ground and were scattered on the neighbor’s driveway. I suspect, though the adult neighbor denies it, that their evil spawn did it. They leave him unattended all the time and the whole family seems to be lacking in the smarts department. I would not put it past them to lie to my face. Anyway, I soaked the roots and replanted them. Hopefully they’ll still survive.
In happier news, a bunch of the things I planted from seed up front are sprouting! We’ve got black hollyhock:
(thanks to Charli for those seeds!), a large area where I mixed several kinds of seeds – white swan echinacea, creeping baby’s breath, a white flower mixture (thanks to Charli for all three of those!) and purple dark opal basil:
and bee’s friend:
The edibles I planted up front are also sprouting. I’ve got alternating red velvet lettuce:
and mammoth red rock cabbage along the front walkway:
I also planted some Sunberry seeds along the neighbor’s driveway, but I haven’t seen any evidence of them sprouting yet. We’ll see.
So those are today’s photos. On to older ones. Last weekend K hung the bat house on the side of the garage – it only took us a year to actually put it up!
We painted it black last year, so hopefully it will get nice and toasty and attract plenty of bats. We hung it high (it’s actually over a window – which K repaired the screen in before hanging the house – he was able to insert some 2×4 pieces into the window cavity so we had a nice solid place to mount it), which bats will apparently be attracted to as well. Our neighbors have about six hundred bird baths and other surfaces in which they allow water to stand so it would be awesome to have some bats in the ‘hood to eat up all the mosquitoes that breed next door.
Lots of the veggies in the back garden are growing like mad, which you can check out on Flickr. I’m mildly concerned that something is snacking on some of my potato leaves
Ants, maybe? There’s not a lot of damage yet, but if anyone has any tips, I’d love to hear them.
In totally non-garden-related news, we’re doing a kind of neat project for the summer at the ‘brary. Our theme for summer reading is Get Creative @ Your Library, and staff members can volunteer to create something which will then be raffled off to patrons who participate in summer reading. I decided to make a Grumpasaurus, who I have dubbed Grumpasaurus II: Electric Grumpaloo
I made him a little bigger than the original Grumpasaurus, who still lives in my office:
I tried to make G II a little less sinister-looking than the original, and I also played around with his spikes a little, making them bigger at the top. Hopefully someone will want him!
more photos at Flickr