Vanity publishing

I didn’t like the way my personal photo looked on the sidebar, so I spent too much time today taking a self-protrait with more muted colors. When I originally read the documentation for the digital camera after I bought it last fall, I vaguely noticed it had a time lapse feature, so I dug out the manual and read about it. I found a place to set up a tripod, and then ran back and forth between the camera, chair and camera docking station until I got a photo that I liked. I felt very silly, but not enough to stop.

Anyway, this is what I look like: the only digital processing was to slightly lighten the photo in Paint Shop Pro since the original was a little dark. Digital photography brings a whole new slant to the concept of “unretouched” photography.

The Importance of the Interface

On her weblog Anita commented that I am writing longer posts here than I usually do in my weblog Coffee and Oranges. I had noticed this myself, though three days hardly seems enough to make a trend. For CaO, I write my entries into a text editor (a very nice one called NoteTabPro.) I then run a script that converts the more or less plain text into HTML, wraps the template around it, and ftps the results to my website host. I’ve been using this editor for years, and feel very comfortable with it, so I was surprised that my usual verbosity became more apparent when I started writing “Five Acres.”

I looked at the input screen for TypePad which is nice and clean (surely I can say that much, despite the Non Disclosure Agreement.) Then I looked at my editor which was ready with my weblog text file. The thing that immediately occurred to me is that the font sizes of the two applications are very different, with TypePad being much smaller. I fill up the screen in my editor a lot more quickly than I do the input box for TypePad. Filled up screen seems to equal time to post for me. I think there may be more involved, but have changed the font size of my editor to see if that makes a change in my behavior. In fact, as I wrote this post in Zempt, I found myself growing uncomfortable when I reached the bottom of its box.


Trying to see if Zempt works for me even though my primary interest in TypePad is to see if I prefer posting through a web interface.


After putting the image of the sunset silhouette in my other weblog this morning, I decided it would make a nice graphic for this weblog, so I used Paint Shop Pro to add the title, and changed the various settings of background and text colors to go along with it. Now the other graphic looks out of place, but I haven’t decided whether to move it down the list or remove it all together.

I feel as though I have spent more time playing with the design of this weblog than writing for it.

The weather was a relief today, with temperatures in the mid to high eighties instead of the nineties. I took advantage of the refreshing change to run errands.

I checked one thing off the guilt list today. The flies have been bad this year, and Lody tends to be particularly bothered by them. The flies cluster on the ends of her ears, which is disgusting enough. Even worse, their bites can turn her ears into a bloody mess. Dudley, in the same environment, has no problem with them. I discovered last summer that Swat, an insect repellent commonly used on horses, works like a charm, and finally bought some today. (Swat was recommended for Lody by our vet.) Fortunately, unlike the stuff I got from my trainer last year, the Swat that I bought today is clear, not pink. Pink ears on a tri-color collie was not a good look.

Too Hot

It is too hot to write, almost too hot to think. The upside of living in Colorado at 7200 feet is that you hardly ever need air conditioning. The downside is that you don’t have it for those few days each summer when you could use it. At least it cools off at night. I was wearing my red polar fleece robe for a while this morning, which seems like a remote fantasy now.

I did ride Lily today. She seemed a lot more enthusiastic about it than I was. However, we did have one first: the first time she did a flying change when I deliberately requested it. A flying change of lead is when the horse switches from one canter lead to the other. The canter is an asymmetrical gait, with the inside shoulder slightly in front of the outside shoulder, so when you change directions, you should change which shoulder leads. For less trained horses, this is done with a few steps of trot. For a trained horse, it should be done in one stride, almost like a child skipping.

After riding Lily, I helped do some clicker training with the school horses. I ended up working with one of the newest school horses, a fifteen year old Thoroughbred named Cappy. He is a little rude when being led, so I used the clicker to start tuning up his ground manners.

The high point of the afternoon was filling the hummingbird feeders. One hummingbird didn’t want to wait for me to fill it, and was drinking from the feeder as I held it. I managed to summon enough energy to fill the dishwasher as well. I felt a lot better about my lack of energy when I checked the thermometer and it was 86F inside the house.

From the north

I took this earlier in the season, and although things are still green, they are not this green. This photo of our house and adjacent acres was taken from the hill to the north of our property, and published earlier in my weblog, Coffee and Oranges.

First post

Such an undistinguished title. At times, I think that they ought to put such things as titles and subjects on the bottom of the screen, since I never know my subject until I am done.

It was tough choosing a title. However, I google’d Five Acres With a View and it doesn’t seem to have much in the way of conflicts. I also like Flying Changes but there are already some online sites with that name, even though there don’t seem to be any weblogs.

I spent the morning converting some more stuff on my website. I want all the pages to be compliant, and am glad that I already had most of the content separated out from the style. However, there are some things about the way I wrote my template program that are rather awkward, and I am trying to decide if I can design something fairly easy to fix the problem.

I went over to the barn after lunch, taking Dudley, and rode Lily. She was quite extraordinarily good for me. She has better brakes at six than Hap did at fourteen. This is quite reassuring when one is riding at the same time as a bunch of junior riders who are bareback on their ponies.