Change of address

I wanted to let you know that I am still at gypsy97.blogspot.com.  I will keep the wordpress account activated, but find the changes to blogger I disliked so much are similar to those I’ve found in wordpress. 

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Switching to WordPress

 

This is my new computer.   The list of questions I have is growing daily, but I am getting more used to finding my way around.  It is almost exactly like my laptop, except I used the touchpad for scrolling through such things as my photos.   I have hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures and a few good swipes on the touchpad would bring me to the bottom of the bunch, which is where the latest pictures are added.   I’ve found I can hold the “down arrow” key and it will do the same thing – just have to get used to it.  The keyboard is sweet – small, but regular size keys make it a snap to type, and I don’t have to look at the keyboard which makes it go much faster.

I got my blood test results.  The cholesterol (total) went back up to 146 which makes me feel better – 100 plus or minus a couple of points is just too low.  Also the HDL and LDL are well within the ranges they should be in.  The negative thing is my blood count, and I don’t really understand it all that well, except everything is above or below the accepted range.  I’ve been thinking about it for about 24 hours and now I will just forget it.  

I’ve sent out two letters about volunteer jobs this summer but need to have patience for a couple of months.  The normal procedure is to fill the positions during the latter part of December or early January, so I don’t expect I will hear anything until then.  I just wish they would send an acknowledgement of receiving my letter.   Either location would be fine with me, but there is one I would prefer a thousand times over.  

I have my camera assembled – not much to it – except I can’t get the strap attached.  What I have is a Fujifilm Finepix SL300; 14 megapixels; 30x wide angle optical zoom; 3.0″ LCD PLUS an electronic viewfinder.  The viewfinder is larger than many on other cameras, and is in the perfect spot to find it quickly while trying to keep hold of the camera.  It seems to have a lot of capabilities, but the camera isn’t inundated with icons, dials, buttons, etc.  Everything seems pretty logical, but I will just have to experiment a lot.  I have never had a camera with a big old lens, and I hope that when it is extended it doesn’t topple me over!  There is a “faster zoom lever” on top of the camera, plus a side control which features more increments across the entire range.  Do I sound like I know what I’m talking about?  Haha, fooled ya.  I’ll learn though.

 
 

(I also tried to add a picture of the camera with the lens closed – I followed all the steps that I followed to the get the picture above, but for some reason it doesn’t show up. )

Image

Thanks to everyone who commiserated with me on the current Blogger.   I understand that many of you use LiveWriter, but that is for the Microsoft system and doesn’t work on the Mac.  There are products available that are created for the Mac, but I’m not going to pay for a program so that I can write and publish a blog.   I’ve figured a possible reason why everything is going to a nearly blank screen – no doubt many people use their iPhones and its screen doesn’t leave room for a lot of help on the screen.   I used to be able to start writing a blog, save it and leave it for a while, go back to it and edit it before publishing.  Now when I click Save, it goes into a black hole. 

Also, using Firefox I don’t have anything at the top of my screen, including no Sign In or Dashboard.  I have to find the blogger entry in History that allows me to do a new post.  I tried it in Safari (Apple’s browser) and the choices were at the top of the page, as usual.  When I tried to write a new blog I got bogged down with signing into gmail, passwords, etc.  Gmail has been a real PITA lately, requiring me to change my password and then never recognizing the new one.

As demanded by the Park “police” I pulled a lot of weeds and trimmed a lot of bushes.  I had a stack of debris that is larger than I am, so I arranged to get the dumpster and loaded all that crap into it.  Most everything that grows in this part of California has thorns and stickers, so I worked carefully.  The stickers go right through work gloves.  I then got out the leaf blower that I brought from NC, which is easy to use when you are working on 3/4 of an acre.  Not so easy in the tiny little space that I have now, and crap was blowing up and all around.  I finally got most of it swept up.  Now I can resume my battle against the weeds, and hacking the bushes.  Most of them are pretty ugly – maybe they need watering – but I refuse to waste water on ugly bushes when so much of the country is in a drought.  I am not much of a gardener and it bums me out to have to deal with it.

 

I give up on that 2nd camera picture.  It is right there when I click on the “Images” link, then I highlight it and click “Add Selected” but nothing happens.  

 
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This is a test …

This is a test of using Word to change the font so I can read my blog in Word Press.

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Trying Word Press

Since I received the dreaded notice that Blogger is switching permanently to the new interface during the next month, I decided it was time to get serious about looking for an alternative. Thanks to Barbara of Me and My Dog I re-read her post about switching to Word Press and decided to try it. Exporting the posts and comments from Blogger was easy enough, and they were soon available in Word Press. When I attempted to do some tweaking, however, the glow soon faded. For example, an important thing to me is to use a slightly larger font size, and to use the bold feature. My eyesight isn’t what it once was, and although I know a lot of readers can see much better than I can, I think there may be enough seniors out there who appreciate an easier to read font.

Everything in Word Press, including all the helps and instructions, seem to be in a grey color print rather than black. I have tons of trouble with that. I found that I can customize the fonts, but at a charge of $30 per year (I’m writing this from memory, but I’m nearly sure that’s what the charge is.) There is probably a big advantage in paying for the premium subscription rather than using free, but I don’t feel my blog warrants the cost. If I had a business going on the side, or maybe if my focus was a bit different, it might be worth it. I’m just writing a plain journal-type blog, and those who find some of what I write to be of interest will read it. I have a site meter widget but find that I rarely look at it on a daily basis, so I’m not writing to rack up the number of readers or comments.

Which brings me to another point I’d rather not even discuss, but I feel I have to say it even though it probably won’t change anything. That is, I am well aware that not everyone likes me or my blog. So DON’T READ IT! Is that concept so hard to comprehend? I know several of us have been plagued with comments that are full of ridicule and sarcasm, and I why those commenters can’t just get a life and read only blogs they enjoy.

Back to Word Press vs Blogger, I think I could make the switch except for the cost of making it easier to read for me and whomever else out there appreciates a bit of help. At least I now have a duplicate blog with nearly all my posts should Blogger decide to delete my account. I have heard several folks say they went to their blog one day to find it had been closed or deleted by Blogger, and I sure don’t want to lose my several years of efforts in that manner although I can’t imagine why Blogger would even do that. I do back up my Blogger account from time to time, but I’m not sure how I would go about opening the backup into a form that is readable unless it would be to import it into another blogging program.

I didn’t go to soccer this morning and I feel bad about it, but I am cold and it is windy outside. I have been cold the past few days, and sometimes have trouble getting enough air into my lungs, so I’m staying out of the elements for today.

When I posted my pictures several weeks ago of the space shuttle Challenger, I had no idea that NASA would be sending shuttles to DC, LA and NY. I just felt a push to scan and post those pictures. The shuttle flew into NY yesterday and though I didn’t get to see it, they showed a few seconds of it against the NY skyline on the news.

I’ve mentioned that I’m not all that interested in planes, but I had another experience back in the 1980’s when the Concorde flew into San Francisco. I was at the annual Corps of Engineers picnic which was held in a mid-town park, and all of the sudden I looked up to see an immense plane flying so low, and so slow, and so quietly, that it was almost surreal. I think they had to take measures to avoid the sonic booms and noise while going into SFO, which is 100+ miles from Sacramento. It was a beautiful sight, like a gigantic bird soaring just above the treetops.

 
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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

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Not much luck today

I set out this morning to find another historical site in the area. I had a difficult time finding it and ended up driving up a winding road for several miles and then back down again. The site turned out to be exactly where it should have been, and that is where I made the turn to go up that hill. I drove onto the grounds but found it is only open by appointment until the summer months.

I then went to a nearby kennel to see if it was a place I might want to leave Lady for a few days. One of the employees took me on a tour and showed me their kennels, runs, etc., and I decided to go ahead and set up her 4 days stay when we drive to PA for the graduation. I had Lady in the car and even brought her into the building so it would be familiar when I bring her back. It is a load off my mind to have that taken care of. I used to use a kennel in Hyde Park, but I don’t think the owner liked Lady very much.

A trip to Walmart to buy a new band for my wristwatch rounded out the morning and I just decided to come home. It has been sunny for most of the day but very windy and I feel cold even though it is 45 degrees outside.

So that’s it for a few days. Maybe I’ll explore some more next week.

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Hyde Park and the FDR Home & Museum

Lady and I left for Hyde Park at about 9:30 this morning. It was a nice drive along the Albany Post Road, and the traffic wasn’t bad even through Poughkeepsie. It is about 20 miles from here, so we arrived at a very good time. I hit the Visitors’ Center and stamped my passport book first, then spent some money in no time on a few items in the shop. They have so much there I think I could spend several months’ retirement money in no time at all. I got myself a t-shirt, a guidebook of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and a couple of books for the kids. This is the V.C.

I presented my American the Beautiful senior pass and got free admission to the Home Tour & Museum. On the way to the home we stopped at the Rose Garden (no roses blooming yet) and Presidential grave site. The marble stone isn’t set on the graves, but in back of them. You can barely make out the mounds of earth under which lie Franklin and Eleanor; Franklin’s is marked by the flag.

Behind the grave marker is a sundial, barely noticeable here, under which are buried two of Roosevelt’s dogs, including Fala, “The First Dog”.

We passed the Coach House, although I didn’t go in and explore. After the house tour I wanted to go back to the car and let Lady walk in a nearby field for a few minutes.

I loved the house! It isn’t pretentious, and looks like it would have been a comfortable place to live. The huge library with lots of comfortable furniture was the President’s favorite room, and I think it would be mine as well. So many homes that are turned into museums have uncomfortable looking furniture that you wouldn’t dare sit on, but this one gives the appearance that life was actually lived there. Outside the kitchen door is the wash house, and I took a picture of probably what was the coal cellar – does anyone remember those? They had to heat the water for all the laundry such a house would generate.

The Museum and Library are currently under renovation both inside and out, but visitors are still allowed access – soon they will have to close it temporarily to finish renovations inside the building.

Here are a few more pictures of the grounds.


And this is the nice field enjoyed by Her Ladyship.

Speaking of the old girl, she is doing quite well. Still doesn’t like to jump in or out of the car, but is much better at the stairs, as well as in getting up and down and walking about.

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A day trip south

We drove down to Sandy’s parents’ home today for “lunch” which turned out to be a full dinner. Her dad’s sister was visiting from Puerto Rico, and many of the foods they have been serving this past week are the things they ate back in Portugal. I love the cooking too and enjoyed every bit of it – oh so many dishes, vegetables and meats, and then followed up with several desserts. I always love the espresso with a drop of sambucca at the end of the meal. Sandy’s aunt has traveled and lived all over the world as a military wife, and now her daughter has been with the government in numerous parts of the world. As a traveler, although not nearly so well traveled as they are, I loved hearing the stories of the countries they’ve been in. It’s too bad I won’t fly any more because there are so many places I didn’t get to. I am very happy seeing more of the U.S. the past few years though.

It has rained steadily all day, is forecast to continue for the next week, and the temperature has dropped at least 20 degrees. I’m glad my daughter-in-law was driving.

We talked to my son earlier today via Skype. Sandy showed me how to add him to my list of contacts. I have several people on my list, but only two actually can connect. I don’t know the first thing about it, nor do I understand how to fix the contacts that need fixing.

I’m going to bed early tonight. I ate so much today I will actually waddle towards my bedroom!

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Saturday Soccer

This is Saturday so it must be soccer.

And in hopes I’m on a roll here, I will try to download a picture or two of the T-Ball game a couple of days ago.

I really don’t know what to do about blogging. I don’t like the new version even though it looks like it loads pictures more reliably and faster. I tried to back up the blog so I could import it into another format, but was unable to figure out how to do it. I am still looking at other web programs, but they all seem to have their learning curves, and freewebs, which I used for my Appalachian Trail journal, either won’t let me create a second blog or I just can’t figure it out. I don’t find anything challenging about dealing with new looks and new programs. I’ve recently cut back on computer usage and would like to keep it that way. So I might just continue posting from time to time on Blogger if I can’t find another program, but I’m not sure about anything at this point.

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I have been thinking about the route I took through western NY to get here, and how it is steeped in Revolutionary War history. You can look into the trees, hillsides, meadows, and forests and just imagine what it must have been like back in those days. Even here in Dutchess County, which sits between the Hudson River and the state of CT, are numerous traces of history, including the Old Post Road. I am planning to try to follow it one of these days, at least as far as Hyde Park and the FDR library and museum. There were several Post Roads – one ran from Manhattan to Boston – and ran along old Indian trails in some places, through dark forests. It must have been frightening to a man who rode a horse carrying the mail from NY to Boston, or in the case of the one here in this county, it once connected lower Manhattan with Albany. I’ve also been interested in some of the names that seem to get a lot attention from visitors, for example, Fishkill, which is either a Township, Village, City, or Hamlet, and I can never remember the difference. In the case of Fishkill and E. Fishkill, it may be more than one of those definitions. The word “kill” is the Dutch word for stream or creek, and fishkill was originally called vis-kill by the Dutch. I’ve also gone through Beaverkill, Wallkill, and while I didn’t go through it, I have heard of Peekskill. Peek may have been a person who owned the land on which that particular kill ran through, or maybe not. It is interesting that the organization PETA was trying to get Fishkill renamed to something less offensive in their eyes, but I don’t think that would go anywhere. It is a perfectly good name and if anything, there should be more publicity on the meaning rather than just ditching it. Last night I attended a T-Ball game that my oldest grandson played in. It is so cute to watch, and I remember when his daddy and his uncle played. There are really no rules and the coaches just introduce the boys to the concept. Each team puts all its players up to bat, they swing until they hit the ball and then advance base by base, but usually just one base at a time. No home runs. The outfielders all converge on the ball and probably never get it to first base. When each player has had a turn, then the other team does the same thing, and this goes on for 3 “innings”. The outfielders switch positions as the game goes on so each gets a chance to see the game from different vantage points. Also, no score is kept because, of course, they all score a run. I am now switched to the new and improved blogger, and have made several attempts to load some pictures but to no avail. I am fed up with Google, and I don’t care if anyone disagrees with me or not. After I published I took a look and it seems they don’t recognize paragraphs, but it is just one long rant. I wish someone could tell me how it is improved. Lady is perking up, by the way. She is still an old dog, but she seems to be doing a little better – the two grandsons are trying to make sure she is getting exercised and brushed. And this morning we met Bosley the boxer who lives down the street. He and Lady just checked each other out, but I think they might become friends.

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