Friday, June 23, 2017

Not an Oxford Comma

My perennial garden was designed primarily for bees and butterflies. One day I was fortunate to photograph this Eastern Comma enjoying a purple coneflower.

Breakfast on the Fly

A common species, this one struck me as particularly exceptional. My attempt to film video fell short of capturing the beauty, however.
Red Admiral Reporting for Duty
While I just get lucky sometimes (and compositions are far from ideal), I know quite a few bloggers are prolific and gifted photographers.

Carpenter Bee Near the Walkway
 If you enjoy photography, what is your favorite subject?


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Yet Another Lesson Learned

As lessons go, I’ve suffered more expensive ones. However, this morning has been more frustrating than my usual.

It all started with a good thing – the extensive amount of time I spend writing. As a result I wore out my laptop battery. Fortunately I found one reasonably priced and shipped ‘free’ from an online company.

(I use quotation marks because anything not charged separately is somehow built into the product price; mark my word)

The unit arrived yesterday. I promptly installed it and left my computer plugged in all night.

Today I turned the machine on only to get a message of incompatibility. I should have checked the battery model number, instead going with my laptop model number and trusting the website’s recommendation.

The website lied. Now I know to check the battery model. Lesson learned, payment begins.

My partner has been kind in offering to ship the battery back for a ‘refund’. I use quotes again because this company only offers store credit. Plus they charge a fifteen percent restocking fee, of course, on top of our cost in shipping.

I’m wondering if it’s even worth returning, especially when the receipt claims they shipped a different model number than is listed on the battery (neither matching my dying battery’s number, by the way). I can just imagine the company denying our claim.

It’s uncertain where I will purchase a replacement battery. I know this is environmentally unfriendly, but I really just want to take the thing to the big Knob Creek machine gun shoot.

What would you do?

PS Does anyone need a Lenovo Thinkpad battery model number 42T4751? I'll give it to you if you'll pay the shipping.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nightmare in Atlanta

Talking to my brother the other day I was shocked to learn he got stranded in the Atlanta, Georgia airport for three whole days. Tornadoes ripped through that part of the United States and well over a thousand Delta Airline flights were cancelled.

Chaos ensued. With inadequate seating, motel accommodations, or any means of escape stranded passengers sat or lay on the floor.

There were no rental cars available, even, the lots literally empty. My brother saw it with his own eyes after online rental car booking gave him a useless confirmation, the harried agent turning him away.

Walking alongside others from one terminal to another on an endless wild goose chase, the poor man barely ate or slept trying to reach first his original destination and then to just get home. He spent five hours in one line alone.

And every subsequent flight was canceled, sometimes due to a flight crew or attendant shortage. By the time he actually escaped to an area motel he carried a stack of useless boarding passes. Able to at last shower, mentally and physically exhausted, he collapsed in the bed and slept through two wake-up alarms.

Upon learning that he would not get a flight home until Sunday (!), he researched other travel options and found himself in the same straits with Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses. Neither offered a direct route. Nobody, it seemed, could get him home any sooner.

Finally he reached an upper manager of his company, the folks for whom he traveled. Don’t you know that manager booked a completely new flight and got my brother out in three hours? My brother recognized many faces of those still stranded and believes Delta essentially lost them in the system.

At home he emailed the airline to complain. An automatic response informed him that someone would respond in sixty to ninety days. Nice, huh?

What a nightmare. It makes me want to just stay home. Never hearing about this on the news I did find articles. This one doesn’t do the story justice, though the bride missing her wedding made me sad.

What about you? Do you like to travel? What’s your favorite mode of transportation?


Monday, June 19, 2017

Subtract, Don’t Add

Editing and polishing my series is proving quite rewarding. With every pass I delete extraneous verbiage to the point a thirteen thousand word tale might end up being closer to twelve thousand, my tightened storytelling all the stronger for it.

Today that process reminded me of the movie “The Birdcage” when a gay couple wants to please the son they raised together after his engagement to the daughter of a moralistic right wing senator. Before the main hijincks ensue, a group of drag queens work to transform the apartment of their boss and his partner/star performer. Val, the son, sees someone carrying in a moose head and implores them not to add, only to subtract.

I can’t resist sharing a favorite scene between the wonderful Nathan Lane and the late great Robin Williams. There is one expletive, but I consider it overall family friendly and work safe.

Have you seen “The Birdcage”? Gene Hackman, Diane Wiest, and Hank Azaria are just wonderful in it, too.


Friday, June 16, 2017

First Cucumber of the Season


Retired just over a year, my partner is excited to dig into vegetable gardening (pun definitely intended). At least I have some help this season.

Seeing the premier cucumber paraded in, I couldn’t resist taking a picture. My dirty mind saw beyond the dining potential.

I Know, Right? Cliché
But Makes My Mouth Water

Eyes rolling, my partner promptly made cucumber salad with a nice rice vinegar dressing. Guess what I’m having with lunch?


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Darla’s Tips and Tricks

Years ago I bought a cool bracelet online - simple thin leather cords bound by a silver clasp. My favorite part might be the snug fit since I have such narrow wrists. This one won’t fall off and get lost. The sizing also caused a problem, however.

Many were the times I struggled to latch its clasp to the point of giving up and going out on the town without. Fast forward to a time when I accumulated a plethora of crafting materials like felt and pipe cleaners (there are various whimsical critters around the house as a result).

One day an idea popped into my head. Why not fold a pipe cleaner in two to get a grip on the clasp?

Success! Now it takes moments instead of minutes to don my bracelet. I wear it more than any other piece because black leather suits my taste and goes with anything.

Back in Black!
Do you have any similar tricks that make little tasks easier?


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Lesson Learned

Note to self: don garden gloves before handling cucumber plants. Otherwise that invisible little scratch on the back of an index finger swells into a throbbing, itching little ache.

I should know better, not even walking the yard without full foot coverage.  Hurray for liquid bandage killing some of the urge to scratch and rub.

In honor of my stupidity I want to share the video matching my title, if not the content.

WARNING: Video is not safe for work (NSFW) or suitable for children. There is seriously implied violence, lots of nudity, and intense sexual content. Good stuff. ~grin~ Gotta love Alice in Chains videos.

Do you grow a summer vegetable garden? Are you like my partner anticipating lots of preservation canning?