sholio: (Fireweed blossoms)
Still awake at 2 a.m., and I happened to look out the window and notice the sky in the north was really beautiful, in that odd intersection of dusk and dawn that happens when there's only an hour or two between sunset and sunrise. So I had to run out and take some pictures. This is 2 a.m. on the summer solstice, just south of the Arctic Circle.

Pictures under the cut )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Back in Fairbanks! And I managed to dodge most of the goddawful rain/snow/ick and squeaked through in a comparatively stable spell. Except for a heavy fog between Wasilla and Trapper Creek (which is about an hour and a half of a 6-hour drive), the pavement was dry and I cruised through most of it at 75 mph.

It's definitely winter in Denali now:

SDC16036

And a walk with the pets (doing their "Incredible Journey" impression) in the melting driveway this evening. So springlike!

SDC16048
sholio: Autumn leaf frosted at edges (Autumn-frosted leaf)
We had lots of wind today, so there were huge showers of golden leaves. The ground is carpeted with them:

SDC15833

In honor of the season, I decided to pick up a bottle of pumpkin ale (Southern Tier PumpKing). My thought so far is "... huh." It's not quite pumpkin-pie-in-a-glass like the one I sampled in Boston around this time last year, but there's a very odd mismatch between the smell and the taste that I don't quite know how to feel about. I think at some point I may have to admit that I just don't really like beer with fruit and/or spices in it. And yet I keep trying them.

Links! For anyone who wants to find more people to talk to on LJ and/or DW:

Friending Meme for LJ Survivors (LJ)
The No-Frills Multi-Fandom Friending Meme

FYI, the LJ one is more general (so if you are looking for non-fandom people to follow who post pictures or write about farming or whatever, it's better for that) whereas the DW one seems to be more fandom-focused.

(Thanks to [personal profile] naye for linking to them!)
sholio: Berries in the sun (Autumn-berries in sunlight)
We have passed the point where our nights no longer get dark (we won't have dark nights again until the end of July), so I climbed to the upper deck just now to take a few pictures and show you what it looks like at midnight here. :)


How about some CREEPY GHOST TREES.

Two more pictures of our incredibly messy yard under the cut )
sholio: Cocoa in red cup with cinnamon stick (Christmas cocoa)

Candle lanterns on our deck today at -30F.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to those who are celebrating a holiday this week. ♥ We had a nice, quiet Christmas at home, with presents and phone calls from far-off relatives.

Meanwhile it's accountability time here at Chez [personal profile] sholio. As every year, over at my real-name blog I have posted how I did on last year's creative to-do list and my creative goals for 2014. I hadn't realized until putting these posts together that I really did a lot in 2013; I don't think there's been a year since I started making these lists in 2006 that I've felt so accomplished, especially in light of my body's efforts to wallop me. (After getting all of last summer's health issues under control, since late November I've been having a lot of pain and difficulty walking -- it's not something new, it's a preexisting health condition that I think was exacerbated by the birth control pills I was taking for my uterine health issues, but really? Aren't we done yet?)

Anyway, I was going to do my original fic and fanfic year-end posts all at once, so I started compiling stats on my 2013 fanfic and then realized I still have a couple of finished fics I haven't posted yet, and a couple more I'm hoping to finish before year's end. Therefore I will hold off on making that post 'til closer to the end of the year. :)

I hope 2014 finds you well, safe, and happy.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
So here's how the day's experiment in finding a photo-sharing service is shaping up:

At least half the respondents to my last post use (and recommend) Photobucket, but I decided to put it at the bottom of my list because I personally dislike the interface, and while it's possible that it would be less annoying to me as a user than as a casual browser (Tumblr is definitely that way), I figured I'd try some others first.

- Flickr is, by far, my favorite of the ones I've tried so far. I can log in using my Yahoo email (so I don't need to sign up for a new account), and I really like the clean, simple interface, both for using and for viewing. The really big downside to Flickr is that, for the free account, you can only view the most recent 200 photos, which I expect would become a problem really quickly. (Plus there's a monthly bandwidth cap.) However, I realized after noticing Google's 1 Gb limit on their photo-sharing service that you could actually treat the 200-photo limit in the same way that you would treat hard drive space limitations, that is, by paring down old photos or re-uploading them later. Or you could just upgrade to the pro account, but I really would like to stick with a free service since money is kind of tight. So basically, I like it a lot, but there's a de facto 200 Mb file cap on the free account (since, with the settings I use, my photos tend to be around 1 Mb each).

- Dropbox is ... deeply, DEEPLY arcane to set up. [livejournal.com profile] elrhiarhodan very kindly gave me an invite, so I downloaded and installed it, and launched it, and ... nothing happened? Eventually I figured out that it was running quietly in the background, so quietly that it doesn't even show up in the Dock. The problem is that I have no idea what to do with it now. The thing that annoys me most about Dropbox so far is that the website is geared more towards telling you how AWESOME the product is than to telling you how to use it. I don't want happy little stick figures showing me how much I'm going to like it; I just want a nice list of steps that tell me how to USE it! I had to resort to Google to find the FAQs, and eventually learned that it is supposed to create a Dropbox folder on your hard drive when you first launch it, except that mine didn't. The Dropbox application is completely inaccessible when it's running (you can quit it from Activity Monitor, but that's about it), which means I can't even guess how to make it do what it's supposed to do -- clearly there is SOME setup thing I am supposed to do that I'm not doing, but I can't figure it out. It doesn't seem to be a system incompatibility thing; I'm running Tiger, an older version of the OS, but the Dropbox website claims that Tiger is supported. I've poked around the website interface and it looks like the specific thing I want it for (creating albums and share them with people) is quite possible, so I might just do it through the website and forget about the desktop-application aspect. Seems quite do-able otherwise, and it gives you more free space than either Google or Flickr.

- Picasa is a NIGHTMARE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS. The first thing it did when I launched it was scan my entire hard drive for picture files. It doesn't let you opt out of this, or even choose which folders to scan. (Well, it CLAIMS that you can limit the scan to the "Pictures" and "Documents" folders, and I have nothing there anyway, so I clicked that and it scanned my entire hard drive ANYWAY.) This not only took forever (with a status window I couldn't hide) but resulted in an impenetrable morass of 12 years' worth of such things as clip art, downloaded anime pictures from 2002, and every comic page or sketch that I've ever scanned in. And when you try to delete something out of Picasa, it thinks you're trying to delete it from your hard drive. NOT ENOUGH "NO" IN THE WORLD. My thoughts on Picasa can best be summed up, at the moment, as DIE, PICASA, DIE.

- So then I checked to see if there was an online-only version. There is, although you can't find it easily from Picasa's homepage (I had to search), and when you go there, it shunts you into Google+ because of Google's irritating "ALL YOUR STUFF IN ONE PLACE! NO, REALLY, YOU WANT THIS!" policy. So that's a little annoying, but otherwise it looks decent, and there's a 1 Gb storage limit for free accounts (which, as noted above, is about 5 times more than what I'd get with Flickr without paying).

So I'm thinking about starting off with Flickr and, when I inevitably run out of space on Flickr, then using Google and/or Dropbox as backups. (Or paying for Flickr, if I like it enough.) Of course, since this is mostly for sharing photos with family, it also depends on what they like, too.
sholio: colorful blackberries and raspberries (Autumn-berries)
This is the problem with living in a house made out of logs.



There are two of them that do this. A mated pair, perhaps? They don't make holes, thankfully ... they just tap on the walls. Oh, and they also screech a lot. From inside, it sounds like TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP *SHRIEK* TAP-TAP-TAP *SHRIEK* TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP...

It drives the cats to distraction. I'm more amused than anything else. They do seem to be eating something, so I assume they're finding insects in the cracks between the logs.

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sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Sholio

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