Monday, March 25, 2013

March photo Day 25: In your drawer

My top desk drawer at work. I like things compartmentalized and organized.  I also like having both transparent and translucent tape.  My favorite item in this drawer is my Sylvester stapler remover, best office supply ever.

March photo Day 24: Up

The view from my moon roof in my car.

March photo Day 23: What you do for fun

Reading is probably my favorite pastime.  Having a Kindle has increased my enjoyment of it, as I find it even more convenient to carry around and read large books.

John's chair makes a good reading spot, but I still long for a chaise. Maybe someday.

March photo Day 22: About You

I prefer my soda pop to come from glass bottles. It tastes better.  And if I pay attention to the Dateline story from last night on BPA, etc. then it's probably better for me, at least from the fewer chemical perspective.

Brown bottles are IBC root beer, surrounded by grape and orange Crush

March photo Day 21: Working

Here's something I was working on, if that counts.  I was digging through a box that came from the farm up country. It contained registers of attendance for Parkers Ridge school from the 1940s and '50s.  I'm going to contact the museum and see if there is interest in having the records, and if so, I'll take them up with me when I go to my great aunt's birthday party in 2 weeks.

Something I learned: they had "Easter holidays" instead of March break.  It appears they had a week off around Easter.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March photo Day 20: Clean

Soap bubbles in the sink make me think of "clean".

March photo Day 19: A sign

I took this pic back in 2005 after an outing with my [eventual] husband to Saguaro National Park in Tucson. Having been 39°C that day and being overheated, I had a hard time believing I needed to worry about ice.

March photo Day 18: Shoes

While I was grocery shopping, I came across a display of shoes. Because when you go to a grocery store, you expect there to be milk, bread, and of course, shoes.  I don't understand this movement to be everything to everyone, the "Let's all be Wal-Mart" syndrome.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Facebook fatigue

I've been on Facebook since April 2008, so just about 5 years.  In that time, it has undergone a lot of changes and redesigns, mostly unpopular because the general public are change-resistant, but also because FB made some stupid decisions.  I rolled with the punches because my friends were on it and active, and with busy lives, it seemed that was sometimes the only way to keep in touch.  It's a good venue for sharing photos with those who care, and very helpful in organizing events like my book club meetings or parties.  Everyone you know is already on it, so there is no extra website to sign into to accept an event invitation.  Events were one of the things keeping me in the mix.

I heard that there was a redesign coming out, so when the message flashed up offering me to try it out (I could always go back to the old design if I wanted), I decided to give it a try.  At first, it seemed ok.  Looked a bit different but nothing to post complaints about.  Then I got into the nitty gritty.  The Ticker had disappeared and now seemed to be integrated into my news feed.  So every time my friends click Like on their friends' public posts, I see them right in my news feed instead of off to the side in the Ticker.  My news feed is now cluttered with posts on people I don't care about.  I tried clicking on friends and turning off notifications for Comments and Likes, but that doesn't seem to have changed anything.  I "unliked" or turned off notifications for a bunch of companies, but I still have a ways to go, apparently.  So I'm stuck with pictures of some baby I don't care about, or someone's profile photo who I don't know, just because my friends Liked it.  I can't complain to my friends for liking things, but the way it's being displayed to me in return is pushing me away from using the site.

[I speculated yesterday about how many people don't realize their posts are set to Public.  That baby picture I saw and my friend commented on?  If I were the mother, I wouldn't want that picture being accessible to anyone, even someone without a FB account.  What happens if it's used to try and abduct the child?  Odds are against that, but it's a possibility.]

Photo posts on the new FB news feed are forced into one size fits all, so if the picture is bigger than the display window allows, you have to click on the picture to get it full-size.  I like memes, so often the text at the bottom of the meme is cut off and I can't read it without clicking on it and slowing down my progress.

There appears to be no way to make "Most Recent" the default view for my feed. Every time I access it, I have to click on Most Recent to re-sort.  Despite FB's constant claims that their default feed will be what I really want to see, it never is.  I'm not the only person who prefers the Most Recent view and with every design change, FB decides, "nah, they don't really mean it."  We do mean it.

Despite telling me that I could switch back to the old format, that option now appears to be gone.  It was there the first few times I signed in on the new version, but now they assume I don't want to switch back because hey, who'd want that?

There have been articles and discussion lately on Facebook fatigue, and whether it is real.  I believe it is real, and plenty of users are suffering from it.  The more companies you hit Like on to win a prize, or the less your friends post actual comments about what's going on in their life, the more your news feed gets clogged with stuff that is either irrelevant or useless.  I'm already being marketed-to on an ongoing basis, and this makes it more often.

The scariest part of the article I posted above is the idea of auto-play video ads.  I hope they strongly consider this and decide against it.  That activity is VERY annoying and often makes people avoid sites altogether, something FB says it doesn't need right now.

I thought the goal of a new feed was to make it more like a newspaper, with sections of like-grouped areas.  I started to think about grouping companies together, and weather, and memes, and friends only.  Problem is, with the comments, likes, and Ticker items still appearing under my friends, I'll never get it to the point where I think it can be useful.

I sent in some feedback on the new design, but I'm rapidly running out of reasons to be bombarded with stuff I don't need to see.  My days on FB are becoming limited until/unless they make changes that are actually worthwhile.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March photo Day 17: Green

Today's task is green, being St Patrick's Day. I'm not a huge fan of the celebrations, as they seem to be mostly reasons to drink too much and too soon.  I did happen to finish the fringe on a green scarf that I'm planning to donate.  Thursday night was a craft night with a friend of mine, during which we were talking so long and enjoying our time that I looked down and all of a sudden it was 10:15pm.  Glad to have these scarves finished, now I just need to get them dropped off the appropriate charity.

March photo Day 16: 9 o'clock

Day 15 was "explore" but I wasn't able to go for a walk.

At 9pm on Saturday night, I was waiting for a text from a friend.  I was supposed to be already at karaoke, but her ex hasn't shown up yet with her kids.  So I waited with John and we watched a couple of episodes of Song By Song: Dolly Parton.

March photo Day 14: Tasty

After neglecting to take a shot of the cheesecake brownies I sampled during a meeting, and a little too embarrassed to take a shot at a bakery when I didn't plan to buy anything, I didn't get a tasty picture on Thursday.  Today, a friend dropped off the case of root beer I asked for, so that will qualify as tasty, since it is indeed.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Religion thought

Since the election of the new Pope, my Facebook feed seems to be filled with posts from those who are anti-religion or anti-Catholic.  It gets very tiring.  "Religious people" are often seen as zealots who can't stop talking about it and attempt to shove it down your throat.  I am not one of those people.  I practice in my own quiet way, happy to have anyone come with me to church if they express interest, but otherwise I keep it mostly to myself.  Some might call me a bad Catholic for not spreading the Word, but that's an argument for another time.  What amuses me are the numerous anti-religion or anti-Catholic posts and how they are being rammed down my throat.  The Facebook anti-religious people are more zealous than the religious people I know.

Even if you take away any religious history surrounding the Golden Rule, decent human beings of any kind should be able to agree that "do unto others as you'd have them do to you" is a positive way of life.  So to those clogging up my Facebook feed I say: Stop. Just stop.  If you don't want to hear me talk about my chosen church or religion, then don't force your own views down my throat.

Aside: I wouldn't have been treated to at least one of these posts if it hadn't been for Facebook's new News Feed changes. Instead of having the "friend likes post from other friend" on the side in the Ticker, it's now front and center in my news feed.  I need to sit down and do some tweaking on my feed, but that takes time I could be using to spend communicating with actual people or doing something I enjoy, so it's difficult to get motivated.  I did hide some posts, hoping it will learn what I don't like, and also turned off notifications from the friend who is very anti-Catholic. I'm well aware of the problems of the Catholic church, I don't need FB friends to remind me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bonus pics: George the Squirrel

John set some bread out for the birds, but George the Squirrel came to snap it up instead.

Sapphire finally clicks in that there's something outside. Too bad Romy missed the excitement.

New Pope

Pope Francis I was elected today, and my gut feeling is generally positive.  He doesn't look like the Emperor from Star Wars, so that will at least quell those comparisons.  Having a South American Pope is a step in the right direction.  From what little I know of him, his humility sounds promising and he would appear to be down-to-earth.  I am not surprised by his support of pro-life or homosexuality, nor do I want to comment on that myself.  Overall an interesting choice, and I'm glad it wasn't the Canadian cardinal.  After reading some of his comments, I wasn't impressed.

We'll see what unfolds.  I just hope he's more open-minded than Benedict XVI.  We don't need to change everything overnight, but some change is necessary in order for us to survive.

March photo Day 13: Sound

Building maintenance staff were testing the fire alarm today and it was LOUD.

March photo Day 12: In the distance

As I was looking for the In 'N' Out pic, I came across this one that I took on my birthday in 2011 while visiting Desert Hot Springs, CA.  Hills and windmills in the distance.

March photo Day 11: Important

I tried to find a sticker on a piece of IT equipment that actually said "important" but couldn't find one when I needed it.  The "red button" which immediately cuts all power to our server room is pretty darn important, though.

March photo Day 10: I want...

A pic I took last fall, but still applies now.  I always want In 'N' Out.

March photo Day 9: Faceless self-portrait

These lists are big on self-portraits, which I usually skip, but this time I decided to go ahead and try something. I'm not really sure what I was getting at, but here it is.

March photo Day 8: Favorite

Favorite is easy when you have a favorite color of purple.  This snip is from the material for my cat apron that I am sewing.

March photo Day 7: Fear

Fear was a bit of a toughie, considering it didn't occur to me to take pics of something that I saw that I actually feared (tarantulas at the reptile show last Thursday).  A different type of fear has to do with time, how it goes too fast, how there's never enough of it, how someone or something might be running out of time right now.

March photo Day 6: Chair

A chair, complete with napping large cat.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

March photo Day 5: Under

My first idea was to stop on the side of the highway and take a picture underneath the overpass being built down the road.  I reconsidered figuring it probably wasn't a safe place to be.  Instead, I chose the under side of the main floor of the house.

March photo Day 4: Lucky

It's still too wintry to find a lucky clover, but there are still lucky pennies around (even if we're phasing them out in Canada).

March photo Day 3: Key

Instead of a key from my keyring, I used a key pendant.

March photo Day 2: I made this

On Saturday I was knitting a dishcloth, but I didn't snap a pic.  So instead, tonight my husband wanted cupcakes, and I obliged.  I wasn't happy with the canned frosting, but he didn't give me enough warning to make homemade, so I made do.

March photo Day 1: L is for...

L is for line.

February photo Day 28: Upside Down

This one actually had me stuck for a few days as I didn't want to stage something.  Finally today I saw an example that I didn't set up myself.

Monday, March 04, 2013


About 14 years ago, when I decided I couldn’t go to my mother’s hairdresser anymore and needed my own, I wasn’t sure what to do.  My boyfriend at the time was going to a salon uptown and there was a stylist there who was known for being in-demand and did good work.  I called to make an appointment with her, but the woman who answered the phone was very forward and said she’d take me instead.  I’ve been going to her ever since.

I have always felt safe in her hands, and count on leaving the salon looking my best.  She trained with a well-known stylist from Halifax who did my aunt’s hair for years and is well-respected.  She has participated in regional hair shows and won awards.  She’s great with color, she works efficiently, and has my cut down to a science.  I have received many compliments on my haircut and have always been appreciative that I have someone skilled in my life to help me look my best. 

Taking that into consideration, I have given her a “pass” when things don’t quite go as planned.  Since I’ve been going to her, she’s changed salons approximately 8 times.  Some of those times she didn’t call to tell me she’d moved, or whoever she designated to call on her behalf didn’t call me.  There have been times where I showed up and the doors were locked, and had to track her down.  There was also a time where she rebooked me with one of her co-workers, but I didn’t find out until I arrived at the salon, the day of my brother’s wedding.  Like all humans, nobody is perfect, but the pros outweigh the cons so I forgive and move on.

Today on Facebook, I saw a post from her saying that she had left the city and thanked her clients for their “years of love” and she misses us already.  I was just at the salon two days ago, booked my next appointment, and there was no indication that she was leaving town.  I had the impression she’d been fed up with the city and its inhabitants for a while, so I’m not surprised at (nor do I begrudge) her decision to leave, especially since she’s not originally from here. However, she's just left dozens of clients hanging with no notice and no recommendations.  We can't all be taken in by the two other stylists at her last shop, since one of them has a full plate already, and the other has nowhere near the same level of skill.

I'm disappointed and angry at how she's handled this.  I'm trying to be reasonable in my own mind, maybe something very bad happened and she had to escape quickly?  It's just not very professional. I now have to start over from scratch and get used to another person's methods, hours of operation, and possibly more disappointment.  I've been wracking my brain, trying to come up with names of people she's worked with who have roughly the same skill level, and I did come up with one.  Facebook searches have given me a full name and current salon, so I will trek over there this week to see if a new stylist can take me on. The person I came up with likely already has a full slate, but if I book now (5 weeks ahead), hopefully I will have more chance of getting in.  I just hope that whoever I decide on will be good at what they do and reliable. I understand it's never the same when two people do the same cut, but we'll have to come to an agreement on the "new normal".

I know this is a "first world problem" and that not everyone can relate.  To some, hair is just hair.  To me, it has a lot to do with my self-image. I don't want crappy hair or someone who is crappy at doing hair.  This is something that is important to me, and I'm sad that I have to start over and find someone new.  I'm feeling abandoned.

Friday, March 01, 2013

February photo Day 27: Playing

This my co-worker's creation, not mine, but it's an example of how we have some fun at work.  We're in the middle of figuring out a new backup solution.

Februaru photo Day 26: Quiet

Sapphire takes a quiet moment while she drips off the couch in slumber.

February photo Day 25: On your bedside table

Mostly my bears and the essentials.  And way too much dust.

February photo Day 24: Cloud

Took me a few days to get a cloud pic, and it's not great, but I didn't want to keep putting it off.  Sunday was clouded over, Monday all of the clouds were directly in view of the sun, Tuesday there was literally not a cloud in the sky.  Finally on Wednesday I managed to get a pic.  Had I been able to photo and drive, I could have gotten a better one.