Friday, June 30, 2017

picture comparison - Note 3 versus Pixel XL

I got a new phone last week - my Samsung Note 3 was constantly out of space, and even though I had an additional memory card, very few apps took advantage of it. I use a lot of apps in our traveling, and I was having to delete an app each time I wanted to add a new one...  the issue was not in keeping too much stuff on the phone as I offload pictures and videos almost every evening to the laptop... it just was out of room for programs (apps), and I could not remove the programs that I don't use (automatically loaded by Samsung and only removable if I "rooted" the phone, and I didn't want to get into that).

I had done some research. As you probably know, the newest "Note" was taken off the market because of fire issues with the batteries, so going to a new Note was not an option. I looked at the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8, which are the newer versions of Dwayne's S5 phone, but, the S7 has a max of 32G of memory (which is what I already had on the Note 3), and the S8 has a max of 64G, but then they would have the same "bloatware" apps that Samsung thinks I need whether I want them or not...

So... I started looking at Google's Pixel phone. When I first started looking at it (in Yuma in February), they did not have the phones in the stores, so I would have to order it. I didn't feel like dealing with it at that time. But, in the past couple of weeks, I've had to uninstall apps to get a new app shoe-horned onto the Note, and I was tired of it.

I went by the Verizon store in Mechanicsville, and the rep who happened to be assigned to me knew all about the Google Pixel phones - he had been chosen as one of the early adopters and he was very happy with it. I told him my concerns (lack of app space and data usage by its "automatic backup" on WiFi) - he was able to address the app space question, and suggested that I do some additional research on the data usage - which I did. I decided that I would just not attach it to our MiFi device to avoid issues with data usage, so I went back to that store and got a Pixel XL (128G memory) a week ago Monday.

One of the things he told me was that the pictures were so much better on the Pixel. I have been pretty happy with the pictures on the Note, but I was comparing a couple of pictures I took of the "kindergartners" and can see the difference in the richness of the colors.
Note 3 picture of "kindergartners" in the field behind the house.

Pixel XL picture of the "kindergartners" in about the same place (different day and time, but I think the clarity in the picture is due to the camera difference, not the day/time difference). The picture is also more square which gives more viewing space, I think.

Zoom in with the Note 3

Zoom in with the Pixel XL

Since I've had it for a week, I've found some things that I like better (the "doc" app is better than the SNote app that I used before), some things I would like to figure out how to make it work the same as the Note (predictive typing is, so far, the hardest to get accustomed to), but overall, I'm happy with the change.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Some cow pictures

I have been capturing some shots of the cows...
"Missy" and "Mister" in their enclosures just out near the bus

"Mister" got moved last week - his hut and enclosure were moved into the barnyard to make room for the container that replaces the storage that Jimmy gave us in the storage container outside the bus. Mister and Doofus seem to like each other...

Doofus gets picked on a bit, especially by the heifers in the field with him, so I think he likes that there is another "boy" that he can bond with... Doofus is about 2 months older than Mister - Doofus was born at the beginning of March and Mister near the beginning of May.

These are the "kindergartners" up behind the house - eating in a line, shoulder to shoulder...

I have thought that a leader might emerge from this group, but they seem to still be participating in "everybody doing the same thing". When they are eating shoulder-to-shoulder like this, one will push in from the back and everyone moves a little left or right - it reminds me of the children's song, "There were 10 in the bed and the little one said, 'Roll over, roll over'... so they all rolled over and one fell out, there were 9 in the bed and the little one said..."
I think I've mentioned before that the "kindergartners" don't always come when we put the feed out - sometimes they do, but not usually. The group will happen up to the trough at some time later in the day and find, "Oh wow, there's food in here!"

Yesterday, however, one enterprising fellow made his way to the trough without any of his compatriots!

He was happily munching away until I got too close and he decided that maybe he should head back and join up with the crew.
After he re-joined the herd, eventually all of them made their way to the trough... I wonder if they smelled grain on his breath!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Taking advantage of "found" storage

We have been trying to pare down what we are carrying so we don't have so much "stuff" on board. We are also trying to figure out how to better use the space that we have.

One of the storage areas that was built in to the bus was originally designed for storing the "sewer" hose... a nice idea, but it was not working with current ends for the sewer hose, unless we wanted to take the ends off each time, which was not practical. This is a picture of the storage component after we had taken it out.
It fit into that area right under the diesel fill, right next to the other stuff in the wet bay - what a *large* amount of space that we were not able to make use of with the curved pipe in there. Dwayne shaved down the sprayed in insulation that was on each side of the space.
Jimmy had suggested last year that we might want to put a floor in that compartment and use it to store other things. We considered different containers of liquids like transmission fluid or hydraulic fluid. His suggestion got me thinking that maybe we could make something that would be able to hold our current sewer hose with current fittings.

Dwayne and Jimmy built an enclosure that would allow the hose to fit and the enclosure is an open weave metal so if the hose is wet when stored, it can drip dry.

New fitted compartment in place...

And with the sewer hose neatly stowed!

Now the location where the sewer hose used to be stored (in a black garbage bag... yuck!) can be used to store something else!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sunset and helping with a chore

A beautiful sunset!
Beautiful pink and blue

You can also see one of the chores I helped with - mowing under the fence....

Mowing around the produce patch got done too!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Indoctrination into the *best* kind of cow...

Last night, Granddad Jimmy was teaching young Joseph about the *best* kind of cow (beef):

"You see, my boy...

"beef cattle are the best...

"... don't be listening to your Mama or Grandmother...

"... they might tell you that dairy cows are the best...

"... But look at those beef cows, young man, that's what you want to grow up to raise!"

Today in "history"...

At least, in the Patti and Dwayne Cartwright history...

8 years ago, our friend, Janell, and I (Patti) delivered our first Meals on Wheels (MOW) route. We discovered why groups of apartments are called "complexes"
  • how come, when you're looking for building 25, the building numbers go in this sequence: 14, 15, 16, 17, 43, 44, 45...?
  • how come, when you go into an apartment complex via a particular gate, you can't go back to that gate to exit, but rather must drive around the apartment buildings looking for a gate that allows you to go out?!?!?
We only delivered one Friday a month, but we enjoyed the time together, the crazy things we did, and the "interesting" people we delivered to.

One of the couples that we delivered to had a cat that had a fancy collar on... upon our comments about it, the man of the couple proceeded to take us to one of the guest bedrooms in their house that had racks and racks of kitty costumes! He assured us that the cat *liked* to wear the costumes...

There was one time that we had a client on the manifest that was labeled as a "new" client - the MOW office kept this designation on the list for many days (maybe a whole month, so people like us who only delivered once a month would be aware). On this particular day though, this must have been the very first delivery to that client - Janell was driving, so I got to do the delivery to the door - I knocked on the door, no answer, I knocked again, no answer, I was about to signal Janell to call the number listed on the manifest when the door cracked open and a 20-something man who had obviously just been awakened by my knocking opened the door. I said, "I guess you're not 'Mrs Williams'?" and he confirmed that my guess was correct... It seems that sometimes clients had their paperwork in process for quite a while before they got accepted into the program... I don't know why the address had not been re-checked before they went onto our manifest -- and we DID re-check the address, building, and apartment number, we HAD gone to the right place.

Going to the right place wasn't always the case though - at one point, we were in an apartment complex across the street from the one we were supposed to be in. Thankfully, the complex across the street did not have the same building and apartment number that the one we were looking for (or we probably would have knocked on the wrong door!)... we called the client, and they said that they would be standing outside waiting for us... *eventually* we found them!

And the funniest, that I wasn't even a part of, Janell reminded me of this morning - one time, she delivered the route by herself. We had our own list of the clients with our own notes about how to find the person's residence ("glider lady" for the one with a glider outside her door) or the name of caregivers or the client's pet so we could greet them also. We tried to make sure each time that there was no difference between our list and the MOW list, but... Janell evidently missed the fact that the first person on "our" list was no longer on the MOW list. The lady she delivered to was not surprised to get the meal (she had a bit of dementia), but when Janell got to the end of the meals in the box, there was still another name on the MOW manifest who needed to receive her meal! At that point, Janell realized what had happened, called the MOW office and confessed... good Catholic that she is! The MOW office took it all in stride, saying that they would just let the last client know to eat one of her shelf-stable meals... You better believe we VERY CAREFULLY compared the MOW manifest to our list from then on!

Just 3 years ago:
We were on our first night of RV camping in a rented RV. We took the cats and went for a 4 day weekend trip to see if we liked it. We *did* like it, but decided that we did NOT like the layout of that rig (the bed was in the back passenger-side corner, and the only way in/out of it was by one corner at the foot of the bed). There were also cabinets above the bed which were just waiting to bang your head while you were struggling to put sheets onto this mattress that you were kneeling on top of.

So, that's "This date in history!"

Sunday, June 25, 2017

One year ago

Facebook has a feature that it reminds you of things you posted on "this" date on previous years... last year on this day, I woke up on a Saturday morning with Dwayne being in severe pain. He ended up having emergency surgery at the Hershey Penn State Medical Center for a possible bowel obstruction.

As I re-read my blog post relating that information from last year, I was reminded of how quickly things can change. I am so thankful that the problem was not any more serious than it was, and, actually, Dwayne felt a lot better with regard to his back pain for several weeks following that episode - we wonder if the pain blocker that they left in to deal with post-surgery pain helped with that.

Here are a couple of more recent pictures of my honey:
We found a work apron in the storage container and Dwayne decided to try it out to see if it helped him not to get his clothes so dirty... the jury is still out...

... but, if the apron gets discarded when he is doing dirty jobs, like tightening the lug nuts on the tag axle wheel, I think it is unlikely to provide much help!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Master Joseph

Joseph's mom (Kendra) needed to head out to a church meeting on Wednesday evening, and his dad (Ricky) wasn't yet home from work, so young Joseph came over to "supervise" the milking of the cows. Dwayne got pictures of him with the long lens on his camera:
He was being so good...

...just leaned back in his stroller...

... tasting a fist or a foot in turn...

... resting his feet up on the "dashboard" ...

... wondering why Uncle Dwayne was way over there instead of coming over to see him!

Whoops, better pay attention to what's going on in the milking barn! They might need his guidance on what to do next!
Then, last evening, as Dwayne and I were in the pickup heading over to feed the "teenagers" (cows across the road), we stopped and I got these pictures:
Out the pickup truck window...

Just 3 guys hanging out sitting on top of rowboats...

3 generations of Talley men

Friday, June 23, 2017

Some of the deer that come to visit...

Dwayne was out with his long lens on the camera and got some pretty neat pictures of the deer feeding in the alfalfa over near Ricky and Kendra's place.
You may be able to see antlers on the one to the right. This is before they got into the alfalfa, I think.

Now they are enjoying the alfalfa...

It looks like they are chest deep in the alfalfa, but really the field curves over a hill so they are just beyond the hill.

Ricky came in the drive which caught nearly everyone's attention!
At this point in the year, the antlers are covered in velvet.
I found this article from the National Park Service about the difference between antlers and horns and the shedding of antlers:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Driving the tractor

Dwayne expressed interest in knowing how to operate the tractor to be able to help around the farm, so a couple of evenings ago, Jimmy started us on basic lessons.
Starting and gears

Dwayne trying it out in the field

The cows (these are the "momma cows" of the kindergartners and the teenagers -

Dwayne was making loops...

There is an eagle's nest nearby - and one of the eagles was on a branch outside the nest...

The blue arrow points to the left side of the next, and the eagle is just to the right of the nest where the red arrow is pointing.

I zoomed in with this picture so maybe you can kind of see them, though it is fuzzy.

The peanut gallery...

I got a turn on the tractor - I certainly have forgotten anything I knew...

"How did he say you put it into gear?!?!?"
After I drove it around a few times, I worked up to "PTO" speed (Power Take Off? - for running implements like the baler). It was *really* fast. I came back and told Dwayne he needed to try running at PTO speed in third... and this video documents the result: Watch closely at about 20 seconds into the video...
I think two of the "girls" behind me were having a chuckle over that! Or... they were wondering if they could get to his hat and was it eatable!