Saturday, December 12, 2015

Technological Bermuda Triangle

"I know there is a proverb which says, 'To err is human,' 
but a human error is nothing
 compared to what a computer can do if it tries."

~Agatha Christie
Hallowe'en  Party

Okay, so, out with the AT&T Uverse, and onto the Comcast Xfinity. It was installed on Wednesday, and thefore the headache is finally over... right? Umm... NOPE. Since the Xfinity was installed it has frozen, refused to record, and for some reason I can't get the same channels in the bedroom, that I get in the living room! The Internet connection is fantastic however, I haven't had a moments problem with that! So, even if I am waiting for a service call, scheduled for later today between 2 - 4 pm, I am still ahead of the game because at least the Internet connection is working! Why do I get the idea I have moved into some kind of technological Bermuda Triangle?
Alan and I never do things like other people.
We always seem to end up in sitcom situations.
Why is that? 
And yes, I did try turning it off and turning it back on!
Leaf Of The Day
December 12th 2015
Mood: Curious

~Me :)

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Face In The Crowd: Peace... And Smiles... On Earth

"Peace Begins With A Smile"

~Mother Teresa

If my memory serves me, this is the only post of "A Face In The Crowd" which contained an autumn face. The last post in this series was done over the summer, while we were in the hotel. Thankfully, this post has a happy, if maybe a little flirtatious, smile, rather than the one from last summer. The summer post was a bit sad, and so was I when I spotted it in a discarded pizza box. Sometimes I wonder if I see faces with the same emotion I am feeling at the time. When I was feeling artistic, I spotted one that reminded me of "The Scream" by Edvard Munch, so I suppose it could be my sub-conscience directing me to things in the universe that fit my mood. It's funny, when you think about it, a lot of things play off our general mood. Pets certainly do. Joey always seems to know when I need just a little extra cuddle time with him. He keeps my moods from being too dark. Spending just a little extra time with him, I always tend to see things in a more positive mood!


A Face In The Crowd: Sad

A Face In The Crowd: Artistic

A Face In The Crowd: Silly

Seeing faces in inanimate objects is called pareidolia, and according to New York Magazine, people who tend to see faces are neurotic, and those who don't see faces... aren't! To me, that's a little too easy. I mean it's pretty common to see patterns, right? But then again, I can admit, I am somewhat neurotic. I always have been. You couldn't grow up in the family I did and not turn out at least a little neurotic. I would say that I am about 45% neurotic. 47% at the most. Give or take. How about you? Do you see faces in inanimate things? Of course answering that question would be like telling the whole world that you are neurotic. 

 Not there is anything wrong with that.
Leaf Of The Day
December 11th 2015
Mood: Curious

~Me :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bye Bye Uverse... Hello Xfinity

"The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go."

~Shannon Adler

I think I may have mentioned maybe once or twice that since we moved into the new place there had been more then one thing that has gone wrong. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect the new place to be the absolute answer to every problem we have, in fact I think it might be the cause of a few new ones, it's just that as the little problems here and there have added up to stuff I can't fix, at least right now. One big one is the fact that the lovely man who owned our house before us, and he really is a great guy, had strange ideas about what "decorating" meant. I will do a pictorial of that after the new year, but in the mean time I will share that one of the decorating obstacles to overcome is the mirrored tiles he put everywhere in the house. Mirrored tiles that were hung wrong. Believe me there is nothing uglier that mirrored tiles that look ugly on top of being hung wrong! LOL. He tried... he really did... and I gotta love the misguided effort he put forth, but every time I look at the job that is in front of us I cringe and swear just a little under my breath! 


Now, take that one example, and add five or six additional problems on top of it, and you have a scenario where the very next little bit of nonsense becomes the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back! And in our case that straw was AT&T Uverse. We had it installed on September 9th. We had DirecTV at first, and it was installed on September 3rd, but we decided to drop it, almost immediately when we found out that we were lied to when we were told Uverse wasn't in our area! Yep, the sales rep said that, so I called DirecTV... . Hey, at least it was a part of the AT&T family! I wanted that because it would make paying the bill easier each month, as I could bundle it all together. When we ordered the DirecTV package, we were sold a satellite package for our Internet. No one told me that it maxes out at 10GB per month, and its a fortune for any overage fees. I found out when I got the notice that I was about to go over my allotted 10GBs. Who uses only 10GB of data per month? I use that paying bills!

So, I made another call to Uverse, to just double check that they indeed were not in my area, and was told that in fact... they were! I had been lied to, or mislead, whatever. I turned off the DirecTV and the lousy Internet provider, and was charged $800 in fees, and it didn't even matter that I was staying in the AT&T family! Fine... SHIT SHIT SHIT! But okay... whatever. I had to have a better Internet plan, something more realistic, so I paid the penalty, and went with Uverse. We had it installed on September 9th, and from that date until yesterday, December 9th, we had 19 different repairmen out to our house, trying to fix the service. It shut down about every other day, with a few exceptions. Now the 19 repairmen doesn't count the additional number of supervisors and lead workers that also came to our home to try and diagnose the problems.

But now that is all in the past. Yesterday the AT&T was shut off, and Comcast Xfinity was turned on. We are crossing our fingers! I sure hope this finally works. I need a stable Internet connection, and I live for my political channels. I really love silly stuff like Say Yes To The Dress, and who doesn't love falling asleep to I Love Lucy? We are General Hospital fans, and Oh MY GOD... how great is The Mysteries Of Laura this year?

 I am a hopeless TV addict, I have been my whole life, and let me tell you, when things feel spooky, during those long hours I am alone, I like having a familiar voice around like that of Anderson Cooper. I suppose if I ever needed a reason to go to rehab, it would be to cure me of my television viewing habits. I need a support group just to cure me of my insane addiction to the Real Housewives Of Orange County... and New York... and New Jersey... and Beverly Hills. Do you think Vicki Gunvalson knew Brooks was faking cancer?

Yes, I do too! 


Hopefully the Xfinity will come through and the glitching will be a thing of the past. Otherwise, I may need to call in an exorcist. Or maybe Ghost Hunters... or Ghost Asylum... or Amy from The Dead Files. LOL. I watch a lot of ghost shows too! 

Dont-cha Just Love TV?

Wish Us Luck Please!
Leaf Of The Day
December 10th 2015
Mood: Hopeful

~Me :)

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A Foggy Autumn Morning In Stockton...

"In nature, everything has a job. 
The job of the fog is to beautify further the existing beauty."

~Mehmet Murat ildan

The Central Valley is very foggy during certain times of the year, and yesterday morning was one of the densest since we moved to Stockton! As we drove home from Hayward, at a little after 6:00 AM the fog really began to thicken, as usual, just as we came down from the Altamont Pass, into Tracy. But when we merged onto HWY 5 north, the visibility went down to under a quarter of a mile. I was absolutely thrilled! I love doing photos in the fog, it makes everything take on a much softer tone, and gives everything within it a mysterious, yet gentle vibe. I am going to be doing a lot of photos in the fog this year, hopefully, because I enjoy the challenge, and I like how it makes my photos look. 

We had fog in Berkeley, of course, but it's not the same as in the valley. For one thing, in Berkeley, the fog tends to flow off the bay in ribbons, rather than one big blanket, although it would simply blanket as well, just not as often. Also, the fog in the East Bay seemed to burn off by 10:00 AM, where here in Stockton you might have it around for most if not all day! Again, a happy situation for me, because I want to experiment with autumn light under foggy conditions. I am looking forward to perhaps doing some snow photos in foggy conditions later in the winter, but it's still a consideration, nothing has been decided. All I know is I am happy... the chance to do some photos in the early morning fog made me very happy!

A Foggy Day In Stockton

Leaf Of The Day
December 9th 2015
Mood: Inspired
~Me :)

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Walking In Leaves

"Mere color, unspoiled by meaning,
 and unallied with definite form,
 can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways."

~Oscar Wilde

This post is all about the leaves, and the colors. All the different color combinations that can be found in a big pile of leaves, is enough inspiration to keep me going even on the harshest of days. I love playing in leaves, photographing them, studying their shapes and sizes. I always end my photo sessions happy. Happy inside, and strangely hungry for cinnamon and apples and big bowls of soup! LOL. You know... comforting things. Memories too sometimes. Just give me a pile of leaves, and a camera, and maybe a cat to help me enjoy the sound of the leaves crunching under my feet. My cat Elvis always loved walking in leaves with me.

Leaf Of The Day
December 8th, 2015 

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, December 07, 2015

As Seen From The Porch

"Tree planting is always a utopian enterprise, it seems to me, a
wager on a future the planter doesn't necessarily expect to witness."

~Michael Pollan
Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

My house was built in 1962, and when it and the neighborhood was planned the tree choice was made either by the developer, or the city of Stockton, I am not sure which, but one thing is for sure, whoever did the planning couldn't possibly know how happy the trees around here make me! This is the view of the tree, which stands in my neighbor's yard, from my front porch. I love the way this tree transitioned from dull green leaves to a vibrant yellow this autumn. There was a tree in my yard, but the man who owned it before us decided one day, for some unknown reason, to cut it down, thoroughly pissing off his  real estate agent! LOL. 

One of the things we asked for when we bough the house was for a new tree to replace the one he cut down. The former own complied, per the list of allowed trees by the city, and in a couple years my little red Japanese Maple will be giving this tree a run for it's money on producing gorgeous autumn leaves! I can't wait. I love the trees here in Stockton!They make me ridiculously happy!

Leaf Of The Day
December 7th 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Where The Love Is

"Shit happens. Doesn't mean you have to step in it.
 But if you do, I would buy a new pair of shoes."

~Kilburn Hall

Stuff happens in life. Sometimes stupid, meaningless stuff. Stuff there is no excuse for or understanding of. I don't think I will ever fully understand what all has gone on this year, so I am learning to live with it. Isn't that what they say to do? If you can't change a circumstance, try to change how you feel about it? Well, for me, it means simply learning to live with it. I am trying my best, but it's a matter of taking one step forward, and away from it, every day. I think I have moved passed the panic and frustration. I am moving past the depression a little more and more with each passing "normal" movement, like fixing a meal or making the bed. In other words moving on. The depression began to scare me a bit... well... a lot... but I think it was the depression that helped me come to terms with all of it. I experienced the full five stages of grief, which from what I have read, is a perfectly normal response under the circumstances. I am now in the acceptance stage, and while I have a blue day here and here, and I am still a little worried being able to swing the ability to own a home, I go to bed at night incredibly grateful for whatever time we end up spending here.

 A year, two, maybe five years... it's all good. If we should find that we need to sell and go a different route I am okay with that also. But in the mean time, this new house has taken me in somehow. It has a wonderful nurturing vibe to it, in fact both Alan and I felt it from the first moment we saw the place. We looked through a lot of houses, and none of them made us both smile the way this one did! The house was meant to be ours, for however long it is meant to be, and it takes good care of us. I have been reluctant to feel love for the place, but it's wearing me down. I am pretty much in love, and I don't even know when I let the emotion in, but I did. Stockton, California has it's challenges, but it has been getting better in the last couple years. The neighborhood is Lakeview, and it sits in north Stockton. It is the third best neighborhood, the best neighborhood is about 2 blocks west of us. LOL. So it's in a stable, reasonably safe part of the city. Stockton is a big city, so yes there is crime, but it's all about knowing where you can go, and any given hour of the day, and being aware of your actions and surroundings.

We all have to do that anyway. After the terrible tragedy in San Bernadino last week, the point was driven home that one can't be too diligent. We can't live a normal life if we dwell on stuff, but being aware of your surroundings just makes sense. So, I am no longer "just making the best of it" I am settling in. We are making the house ours, and it feels good. Any place Alan and the boys are will be home for me. They fill the place with so much silliness and love that it would be impossible to not love the place. I think that's how we made it in the little Berkeley cottage for so long. It wasn't the cottage, it was the love inside. Alan and Elvis, and then Hendrix, Dylan and finally the little brother Joey. 

Our house is a home, no matter where we are, 
but I am kinda digging the new place!

Now, if I could just motivate myself to get the unpacking done! 

Leaf Of The Day
December 6th 2015
Mood: Relaxed

~Me :)