Month: December 2016

2016: The Year in Review

2016 was a complex and crazy year for all of us. A lot of negatives and the year won’t be remembered well, whether it was the large number and importance of the people that left us to the election here in the states, which is likely to echo forward into future years as well. But for me, the year had a lot of positives, a lot of frustrations, and was in reality a complete reset to allow me to move forward in a happier and more constructive way. 2015 was the year I lost mom, and it made for...

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Free Wallpapers for your desktop

I decided I wanted some new wallpapers for my system, so I created a set that I’m also sharing with you. These are available in both 1440×800 and 2560×1080 sizes. There are currently a total of 18 different images. These should work on most monitors today. My favorite has to be my sea otter mom but I’ll be honest, this is the best failed image I’ve ever taken, and I really love it And from monitoring the downloads, the most popular one by a fairly wide margin is my shot of Firehole Spring from Yellowstone National Park...

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My Best Photos of the Year for 2016

Welcome to my annual display of my best/favorite photos of the year. I’ve been doing this since 2007 (you can see all of the sets here) and it’s always interesting me to go back and take a look at how my interests and technique has changed over time. 2016 was a big transition for me. The first three photos were from early in the year, and then there’s a huge gap until August before photo #4. There were a number of factors behind that, but I found myself thinking everything I was doing was crap, and ended up taking...

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Happy Holidays!

I’m actually looking forward to Christmas this year. The tree is up and lit, the house is decorated, and I’ve got my shopping done and presents wrapped. For the first time in — honestly, I can’t remember — we’ll be in our house and not going anywhere for the holidays. Last year Laurie and I went to Christmas; it was the first year after we lost mom, we definitely weren’t going to go anywhere near Southern California for the holidays, and we felt we really wanted to be unplugged and out of the usual places, so we went up to Yosemite for a few days and had an awesome time — just what we needed, and if you’ve never done Yosemite in winter, you’re missing a gorgeous time in a gorgeous place. And of course, before that, Christmas meant family, and family meant Mom’s house, and that meant getting Manon and Tatiana to the boarders and packing everything into the car and moving into the hotel for a week and arguing with Mom about staying in a hotel (reason: silence and sanity) and.. and.. So Christmas hasn’t been something I’ve looked forward to for a while. And last year was really just about trying to deal with losing Mom, and figuring out what normal was again. But this year, I realized I was actually anticipating Christmas even in early...

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Feliway Cat Pheromones

We got to take Manon in for her checkup and vaccines, which is always a fun adventure. When the vet came in this visit, she brought in a small spray bottle, sprayed a bit on the examination table, rubbed it in and then rubbed her hands together. This caught my attention, so I asked her about it. It’s something new they’re trying, a product called Feliway. It is a pheromone spray that is supposed to calm and relax cats — it’s effectively happy spray. They also have a version for dogs. In the vets office, they find it really can reduce the amount of stress (and stress reaction) they see with the animals, but she said they also have people using it to help with introduction of new cats into a house, and for people who have problems with cat spraying, if you spray the area with the Feliway, you ought to see the cat more likely to face rub than spray. While my experience with it is very limited, Manon was almost relaxed during the examination, which was — refreshing. And very mellow on the way home, taking a nap instead of pounding on the carrier door demanding her exit now. So for my many friends with cats I can only say — you may find this an intersting thing to experiment with. Amazon (link above) sells it,...

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