Just upgraded the PHP version on the site – this is only a test for myself to make sure nothing broke. So far seems legit. Main benefits are its faster processing and better security – the usual stuff. In my spare time I’ve been watching how to repair jukeboxes of all things. i believe I can change the needle, adjust the tome arm, and some other various fixes, should they ever be needed! There’s just something cool about watching the mechanisms do their things – I don;t know – maybe I’m just old school. Here’s another pic from the cemetery from last week before more rain and wind really made them bare.
This shot of the lighthouse at Castle Hill in Newport, RI was from a getaway we had a few years ago. I’m putting it up now because I’ve planned another getaway coming up! It’s my usual appreciation getaway that I plan every year although this year it had to be postponed a couple of months due to other factors. This new one will be in a new location that I’ve never been so I’m looking forward to see how it all pans out.
Late this afternoon we went and saw Motherless Brooklyn, a movie starring and directed by Edward Norton – it was pretty good, and featured some big name actors like William DeFoe, Alec Baldwin, and Bruce Willis among others. I’d recommend it if you’re in the mood for a detective story and like some 1950s New York film noir. I had seen the previews and it looked interesting so I said let’s give it a go.
Earlier in the day we had created three dishes as part of lunch/dinner for tonight and also food-prep for the week (the usual routine):
- Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash
- Baked Scallops with a Parmesan crust; and
- Turkey Spaghetti Squash Bake in peppers
The last one was to recreate with a different middle than the mac&cheese we went with last year around this time:
This morning I went to Home Depot to buy some more leaf bags and later raked up some more leaves. Good day to do some work around the house actually. Also been measuring the downstairs windows because we’re going with the same kinds of blinds that we have upstairs now – the Cordless Cellular Shades that are all the rage now. The windows down here are a lot larger so it’s more expensive but it’ll be worth it.
It’s not all fun and games though. Turning back the clock has made this day seem much longer which is great – but getting dark early is a bummer. I worry about LD, my mom, and a bunch of other things too as well these days.
Went to the sanctuary for a little bit today and to soak up some sun. This city boy got to hold a chicken. Hey, I never held an actual chicken before! Not just any chicken though, this one lost his foot in infancy. Miraculously enough though, he is getting a prosthetic foot made that will fit over his stub! His name is Petey and he is the chillest chicken I ever met with a bit of spunk.
Did you all have a nice Halloween? Last night we had I’d say about 50 kids or so come through between the hours of 6 and 8 pm. Even the parents dress up in costume now – I guess that’s a new thing? I don’t recall my folks ever trick or treating with us when we did it OR dress up. There was one guy dressed as a king which was different. The little kids are the best of course. Really the only reason to participate in the event. There was a thought that the two bags of candy that I had bought might not end up being enough but thankfully it was. There’s even a bunch of KitKats left over. I was figuring with the way the weather has been and was supposed to be that we wouldn’t get a crazy deluge and I was right.
I wanted to somewhat recreate a photo from near this location that I had taken years before – it always seems to have nice reds in the trees at this particular cemetery in Arlington, Mass and it’s on the way home. So I pulled over real quick and did a quick jaunt through. I found he original location and took some shots but wasn’t really wowed by them this year – I was going to put one of those up but as I was leaving I turned to my left and saw the structure you see in this shot and I felt it might provide a good frame. I think it came out pretty good. I am wishing I had maybe visited a week earlier since we’ve had a lot of wind and rain lately so a lot of the leaves had fallen off the trees. I think if the trees were fuller in this shot it may have looked even better. Maples do produce the best reds I feel.
Meanwhile back at Earth-1 we’ve had some furnace issues but better to take care of that now then to wait until it really gets cold. Anyways that’s all set now too – seemed to be some kind of wiring issue as to why the radiators weren’t producing heat – I even bled them all the other night.
Went up to Georgetown for the afternoon to try out some ‘Goat Snuggles.’ Definitely worth the trip even in the pouring rain! The baby goats were dressed in various costumes for Halloween (although some costumes we still can;t figure out what they were supposed to be). It was better than I expected! They generally do all the activities outside but the weather was terrible so it was held in this amazing looking 5-story barn. We would surely visit them again someday – maybe next spring.
With over 200 pictures taken it’s a bit of a challenge to figure out which ones to put up, they’re all so cute! Maybe more later…
Got back from doing some errands today. Had to get some candy to hand out later next week. Also picked up a bunch of hearing aid size batteries to replace the dead ones in this skull light up thing that we use every year as a decoration. I totally sure I had gotten the right size but when I placed them into old ‘Skully’ it worked and lit up brightly. Why the hell it would need three of them is beyond me. I ended up going to this brand new CVS they just recently opened across the street from the one it was replacing and I was curious to see what it looked like inside. They all pretty much look the same, although this new one is definitely bigger than the one it replaced and even had a fairly large grocery section.
Also spent the afternoon replacing the door summer screens to the house with the solid glass panes because the weather is turning cooler and cooler now. Should keep the heat in a little better as well. Oh, and my lens cap finally arrived today to replace the one I lost in the fields of Long Valley, NJ last week.
I don’t know what the heck I did last night but my left shoulder up to my neck is killing me right now. Perhaps I slept on it wrong, or I don’t know, but it’s a real bummer. I did power on and mow the front lawn however because it really needed it but I should probably take it easy. While sitting out in the sun room I noticed the trees out back looked pretty nice, so I took a quick picture. Going to suck having to deal with these leaves when they fall but that’s life.
There may be a pregnant bunny that was witnessed out in the back yard, but it didn’t appear to be Brazen Bunny. Also Squibbs the squirrel out back appears to be clawing and scraping away at the pumpkins out there. Really annoying.
I’m messing around with the site design a little bit. Might go back to what it was before, but I do like how this design puts my photos front and center. Only thing is it sends all the sidebar material to the bottom of the page (click the ‘plus’ sign to see what I mean down at the very bottom of the page).
I’ll also go back and read my latest issue of KMT magazine, It’s a quarterly that deals with ancient Egypt. This particular issue really strikes me as some of the articles in it are really interesting to me. One about the actual lineage of the 18th dynasty – does it really start with Tao I and end with Tutankhamen? Lots of gray area on that. A really cool article about using state of the art CT scans to look inside mummy coffins to see who and what’s inside including any artifacts they had on without opening them or damaging them (the photo quality they can get now is amazing and in three dimensions) and using iPads and software to recreate the hieroglyphic walls adorning various tombs accurately digitally – a process called digital epigraphy. Told you before I was a complete nerd for this stuff. So with all that I feel I’ve got to try to rest up and let this shoulder heal up a little bit.
Been spending the last couple of days learning to run the Moodle LMS and it’s Drupal front end. Not to toot my my own horn, but I do think I’m picking it up rather quickly. It’s not the mist user friendly software in the world and the user interface (UI) is pretty clunky – but it’s some open source free tool so what does one expect. I even created my own example course today with an assignment, a video to watch, and a quiz that one must pass in order to get the certificate of completion. So I think I have the basics down. Seems like they mostly use this tool for users to self-learn so don’t have to do any grading or any of that other teacher kind of stuff. I found some really helpful videos on how to use the software on LinkedIn of all places. Guess I’ll still play around with it until I get some actual requests to start building some real course material. It’s not that bad really once you figure out where everything is (kinda all over the place and like I said, not the most intuitive interface) but I can deal.
Spent the weekend in Long Valley, NJ doing the pumpkin thing. Met up with some folks too who needed an ear, but didn’t stay long. Did get called “Massholes” down in Jerz which was kinda funny. Picked a pumpkim myself and even a gourd, as is my custom. This particular gourd is kind of cool because it naturally grew somewhat in the shape of a starfish. Never saw anything like that before. I also lost my lens cap in the field on the hayride back but I’ve since placed another one on order.
Finally picked Sean, the pumpkin we’ve been growing up here. He looks a little deformed on one side actually but it’s all good.