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On 14/09/2020 at 05:58, NYCat said:

$30.... if only. My little shop that has now closed was a real NYC bargain at $50. Another reason to wish I could visit you. .... good food... butterflies.. and you!

 

Paulette

:D Paulette, maybe I missed the mark on the haircut price! You see, I’ve cut my own hair for so long, I’m out of touch. The last time I went to a beauty shop I got a trim and a few highlights. I think it was around $60.  So the price I paid wasn’t for only a cut. 
But yeah, girlfriend, I’d love a visit. The butterflies would approve. I just finished trimming the spent blooms off my butterfly bush and the Painted Ladies were a tad mad at me for interfering with their feeding. A minute later, they swooped back in, ignored me and landed inches from my hands as I worked around all sides.
As far as food...I’m doing easy for lunch. Packaged Ramen noodles! Even easier than making a PBJ.

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My helper borrowed my cordless drill this morning after fetching me breakfast and walking my dog.   He installed cat shelves for my British friend, then came back and cleaned my house, did laundry, and did a partial water change for the fish tank, and went out for laundry soap and a used towel to use as a mop. 

 

I will be starting him on photo assisting Saturday as I want someone with me when I go up the staircase to the studio and someone to help get the various things I want to photograph up and arranged.   Next week, he's going to take my money to buy another clothes rack for the hall so we can take down the courtyard clothes lines to set up an outdoor table and two folding chairs that's been in the studio, and to have space for more plants.  I have two empty terracotta pots from the last purchase of a set.

 

The only bad news is the cats find some of my plants tasty, so another next step will be planting some chia seeds and popcorn kernels so they can have more acceptable greenery, I hope, than my coleuses, geranium, and one of my orchids, and the new plantlets growing from one of my succulents. 

 

Had a pot of local coffee this morning and feel cheerful.   Submitted six older but re-edited photos to Alamy.   Now have 1,000 and some submission to my portfolio, so probably the next step is seeing what needs to be deleted and what needs to be reworked. 

 

And two of my Convict cichlid pairs have fry -- and the two pairs have taken over either end of a clay roof tile and serve as four sets of eyes to run off their conspecifics who'd like to snack.  I don't need more Convict cichlids in that tank without an out-cross, but I also think about getting some flake food that I can crush for the babies because they're working so hard to defend their babies. 

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Hooray! Just had the email from Alamy to say my upload on the 15th August has passed QC. That includes 4 more uploads since then the last being 11th September.

 

Yes I am still a one star and it is not surprising as my failure rate stands at approx 12%. (this in relation to another thread).

 

Must do better.

 

Allan

 

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40 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Hooray! Just had the email from Alamy to say my upload on the 15th August has passed QC. That includes 4 more uploads since then the last being 11th September.

 

Yes I am still a one star and it is not surprising as my failure rate stands at approx 12%. (this in relation to another thread).

 

Must do better.

 

Allan

 

A month for QC is pretty awful. Still, at least we know the score now.

Even I, a five-star general, was bagged the other week. But they went through overnight.

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I mentioned my car problems in the bad thing thread. Dashboard warning light relating to engine management.

 

Today I took it to the main dealer to have the fault diagnosed and an estimate provided for the repair. I picked the car up to find that the fault was minor, a faulty glowplug, and they had replaced it without asking me. Very happy that they took the initiative as I was expecting a lengthy wait without a serviceable vehicle, followed by a large bill. Basic diagnostic test pricey at £70, but problem fixed for another £18.

 

Spent waiting time wandering around Durham city and got a few canny shots. Spotted a row of terraced houses that looked interesting, and later found that they dated back to 1700 and were listed buildings. I was looking at the cross behind the cathedral when a bloke approached and pointed out the symbolism on the 1914-18 war memorial, trenching tools, a grenade etc. Never previously noticed it.

 

Happy bunny, might yet get the caravan rolling this year, but MOT test tomorrow, fingers crossed. 

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Hmm, seems to be a lot more 'bad thing' posts recently than 'good thing', must be a sign of the times.

 

I'm just about to leave for a great weekend trip to Norfolk. Weather looks good, justing loading the car for the 3 hour trip. Looking forward to it although I've planned a busy schedule. Think I've packed everything although something always gets forgotten. Probably the last longish drive in the Mondeo before its replaced soon.

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Further to my post in "bad thing" I did take my a6000 + 24-70 lens with me  and got some good images.

 

Good thing so that helps to even up the posts.

 

Allan

 

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My helper did some photo assisting today, and even suggested two earthenware items to photograph.  I managed to get 17 shots out of the session and added three older ones to the submission, having to massage one to get it large enough to add.   We decided that the little glass topped table was a bit too valuable as a place to stack stuff in the studio to put down in the courtyard.  I also used it in a couple of the photos, including one of all the stuff I'd photographed plus camera bits.   I think he'll like this.   Unfortunately, not sure whether he could work as a photo assistant anywhere in Nicaragua other than possibly Managua.   He did think that the set up with a glass espresso cup, moka pot, and a coffee mill would be better with coffee in the glass cup.   He also learned how to put pop open round reflectors back into their carrying pouches.   I've got a Godox SK400 II plug in flash that only can be dialed back to 1/16 so one popup reflected had the reflecting panels unzipped and I just used the diffuser.

 

I need help getting stuff up and down the studio stairs, so this works for me.  He can also go with me when I do street photography.  He wants to get me out to a cooperative farm near Jinotega to take photos of field crops.   I'm going to try to submit at least ten photos a week.   Did pass the 1,000 mark last week.   I have a list of things to take photos of in Jinotega, so need to print that out and tick off items. 

 

Jinotega now has a specialty meat shop, one of two chains of meat shops that operate in Nicaragua.   Haven't gone yet. 

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On 17/09/2020 at 21:08, Bryan said:

I mentioned my car problems in the bad thing thread. Dashboard warning light relating to engine management.

 

Today I took it to the main dealer to have the fault diagnosed and an estimate provided for the repair. I picked the car up to find that the fault was minor, a faulty glowplug, and they had replaced it without asking me. Very happy that they took the initiative as I was expecting a lengthy wait without a serviceable vehicle, followed by a large bill. Basic diagnostic test pricey at £70, but problem fixed for another £18.

Happy bunny, might yet get the caravan rolling this year, but MOT test tomorrow, fingers crossed. 

 

Car passed MOT but......

 

Caravan trip not to be, a car unsighted by a row of traffic, turned across a main road and ran into the side of our vehicle. Fortunately, indeed the good thing, nobody hurt, but car damaged and disappeared in the direction of a body shop behind a breakdown truck. Caught a bus home. Impressed by insurance company, they arranged the recovery of our car, and are organising a temporary replacement vehicle - but not one that will tow a caravan.

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13 minutes ago, Bryan said:

 

Car passed MOT but......

 

Caravan trip not to be, a car unsighted by a row of traffic, turned across a main road and ran into the side of our vehicle. Fortunately, indeed the good thing, nobody hurt, but car damaged and disappeared in the direction of a body shop behind a breakdown truck. Caught a bus home. Impressed by insurance company, they arranged the recovery of our car, and are organising a temporary replacement vehicle - but not one that will tow a caravan.

 

OMG  Bryan, what a roller coaster!! I'm sure there is a silver lining in this somewhere. Sometimes we never know. All the best.

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4 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

Car passed MOT but......

 

Caravan trip not to be, a car unsighted by a row of traffic, turned across a main road and ran into the side of our vehicle. Fortunately, indeed the good thing, nobody hurt, but car damaged and disappeared in the direction of a body shop behind a breakdown truck. Caught a bus home. Impressed by insurance company, they arranged the recovery of our car, and are organising a temporary replacement vehicle - but not one that will tow a caravan.

 

I wish drivers would not do that. If I am unsighted while driving I wait till it is clear regardless of what they think behind me.

 

Sorry you had to go through that. Hope everything works out soon.

 

Allan

 

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Two things good.

 

The gardeners started work on tearing out all the greenery in my back garden today. They are back tomorrow to remove the grass and some soil.

 

I left my iMac computer running for some time while I did something else. When I came back the screen was showing a lovely hypnotic psychedelic light show with different merging patterns and colours so I sat and watched it for a while until I nearly went to sleep. Useful if you want to calm down after a stressful day.

 

Allan

 

Edited by Allan Bell
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On 21/09/2020 at 10:32, Allan Bell said:

Two things good.

 

The gardeners started work on tearing out all the greenery in my back garden today. They are back tomorrow to remove the grass and some soil.

 

I left my iMac computer running for some time while I did something else. When I came back the screen was showing a lovely hypnotic psychedelic light show with different merging patterns and colours so I sat and watched it for a while until I nearly went to sleep. Useful if you want to calm down after a stressful day.

 

Allan

 

So what is the work in the back garden for? Are you going to put stones down? Make a patio? No greenery or grass? Here I’ve been strewing grass seed lately and planted things in the spring. I’d kick somebody if they tore my grass and greenery out.

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I got three images into a gallery show that's opening in a couple of weeks. 

This one is my favorite of the three - Since it was taken during the pandemic and I feel it is quite a hopeful image, I called it Resilience (link to the photo is in the name)

 

I also had a sale here today - of a photo I really like.  

 

And my husband is buying me an easel for my birthday - one that I can use for pastels (it can tip slightly forward) and for watercolors (it can be used horizontally). I started a group of art classes where I could pick and choose different media shortly before the pandemic which was so much fun and now I'll be able to play around with the different media much more easily. Pastels are really a mess if you don't have an easel. 

 

I also purchased some interesting vinyl backgrounds with gorgeous textures to use for food and other still life photography. I realized that I really needed to invest in something to help me up my game. I worked as an assistant for an amazingly talented food photographer when I was starting out and so my food shots will never live up to expectations, but I figure these props could help. I'm excited to try new things until I can travel again and/or take on assignments. 

Edited by Marianne
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6 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

So what is the work in the back garden for? Are you going to put stones down? Make a patio? No greenery or grass? Here I’ve been strewing grass seed lately and planted things in the spring. I’d kick somebody if they tore my grass and greenery out.

 

Stripping out ALL greenery, Laying new and sorting old slab paths the rest is to be medium gravel 3" deep. This for low maintenance garden. I am not a gardener anyway.

 

I might lay down a large scale model railway later.

 

Allan

 

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As a follow-up to my "bad thing" reported earlier this month, I have now successfully completed my National Speed Awareness course. It was very informative and well worth doing.

Additional benefits were no points to go on my licence and in the current Covid-19 situation it was a Digital course done on line which made me go another step up the technology ladder by purchasing and installing a Webcam which worked like a dream.

Jim :)

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A lodge meeting, and my first time into town since the last one in February! Really improved my mood. As a fellow Freemason said, "back to a bit of normal".

Compulsory face masks still a problem as my glasses steam up. But hey.

Then back for a party in the garden.

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On 24/09/2020 at 10:11, Allan Bell said:

 

Stripping out ALL greenery, Laying new and sorting old slab paths the rest is to be medium gravel 3" deep. This for low maintenance garden. I am not a gardener anyway.

 

I might lay down a large scale model railway later.

 

Allan

 

 

Seems a bit sad to be removing all of the plants. If I could have only one living thing in the garden it would be a small apple tree, you get glorious spring colour followed by a crop of attractive tasty fruit, while interesting small birds will visit to pick off the bugs. Bulbs are virtually maintenance free, and if you choose the right variety they will multiply and can be replanted elsewhere e.g Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete'.

 

I would find someone else's garden railway interesting, particularly if it involved live steam engines, but hardly maintenance free!

 

 

 

 

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On 24/09/2020 at 04:11, Allan Bell said:

 

Stripping out ALL greenery, Laying new and sorting old slab paths the rest is to be medium gravel 3" deep. This for low maintenance garden. I am not a gardener anyway.

 

I might lay down a large scale model railway later.

 

Allan

 

Then you’ll have to spray the weeds as they come up through or among the gravel, or pull them. I have it down in my flower beds, even have the weed guard material under the gravel. Somehow something always sprouts. I pull the weeds.

I stopped to think what I’ve planted since moving here 2 1/2 years ago.

4 spiraea japonica shrubs

4 Rose of Sharon, Althea  One pink double bloom, a single pink, a pale lavender, and a white with a red throat.

one crabapple tree

created a pretty statement bell-shaped bed in front that hold one of the altheas, and I plant 3 flowering plants there each spring.

5 milkweed plants for the Monarch butterflies

2 Joe Pye weeds for the butterflies
5 tomato plants and I can’t eat the fruit fast enough even while giving some to the neighbors. (I don’t can or make salsa)
whew

Edited by Betty LaRue
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10 hours ago, Broad Norfolk said:

As a follow-up to my "bad thing" reported earlier this month, I have now successfully completed my National Speed Awareness course. It was very informative and well worth doing.

Additional benefits were no points to go on my licence and in the current Covid-19 situation it was a Digital course done on line which made me go another step up the technology ladder by purchasing and installing a Webcam which worked like a dream.

Jim :)

Good for you! All’s well, then.

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6 minutes ago, Bryan said:

 

Seems a bit sad to be removing all of the plants. If I could have only one living thing in the garden it would be a small apple tree, you get glorious spring colour followed by a crop of attractive tasty fruit, while interesting small birds will visit to pick off the bugs. Bulbs are virtually maintenance free, and if you choose the right variety they will multiply and can be replanted elsewhere e.g Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete'.

 

I would find someone else's garden railway interesting, particularly if it involved live steam engines, but hardly maintenance free!

 

 

 

 

Well, Bryan, there are gardeners and there are conductors. :D You and I like the green things. Renewal. I would enjoy seeing the trains, but I’d want them to be hauling little flower pots as freight.

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I had two bird baths. I listed them on Facebook Marketplace yesterday and sold one this evening. I got tired of constantly pulling out the hose to clean and fill them. There is a beautiful water source, a large pond/small lake behind the houses across the street. So I don’t have to worry about thirsty birds.

Before I moved, they were a great source to take pictures of birds drinking or bathing. This house isn’t set up to conveniently do that. I no longer have bird feeders out because there are so many squirrels and cats here. I don’t want to fight the squirrels over the sunflower seeds I fed, and I don’t want to provide a food source for the cats. I do have a hummingbird feeder hanging from my porch ceiling, totally safe from cats.

Nice to have money in hand and less work from it.

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