Monday, August 8, 2016

Crossings Park Photos - 2016

I know I’ve hit the snooze button on posting as of late –  While that $9.94 that I’ve racked up through AdSense in the past 3 years is compelling motivation, summer is my favorite time of year and there is so much more for me to do.  This year we were able to get the pool going and I’ve been busy reading while floating – I’m not planning to try typing up a post while floating.  I also continue to frequent Crossings Park of Colonie.  For this posting, I’m going to share some of my favorite pics from the Crossings for 2016.  These photos were all taken on my iPhone 4s.

On a very recent trek to Crossings Park, I encountered this toad on the path.  I was somewhat ambivalent in regards to taking the picture as I thought a toad would make for pretty boring subject matter… (yeah, I can almost hear some of you saying that if it’s boring, it would be a good fit for this blog…)  Regardless, after having the Google Photos app back it up from my iPhone, I viewed it on my iPad and found that I really appreciated the way the pattern of the toad blended nicely with the pattern of the asphalt path.

One of my favorite subjects in Crossings Park is the Heron – I refer to it as a Blue Heron, but it is entirely possible that it may be some other variation of Heron.  The Heron of Crossings Park is trickier to photograph, particularly on an iPhone 4s where your zoom is much curtailed.  Nonetheless, I have several shots from this year including one where the Heron is perched in the swamp area that is adjacent to the playground and another where the Heron is on the hunt and casting a long shadow in the water and another photo where I caught the majestic Heron in flight.

At the pond in Crossings Pond, you may find visitors navigating their miniaturized boats by remote.

On just about every warm day, you will see ducks, fish and turtles.

Hawks can be seen on occasion at Crossings Park. Often they are at considerable distance, but on this happy occasion, I was traveling southwest on the path that runs adjacent to Constantine Farm and was able to capture this close up of a hawk perched on the fence.

Cow viewing is a popular activity at Crossings Park.  The cows are at adjacent Constantine Farms… I think these cows might be part goat as they seem to really like climbing the mounds on the farm. Another favorite photo came a day or 2 after the debut of Sharknado 4… Looking off into the sky, it looks like a Cownado is ready to hit Constantine’s cows.

In experimenting with pictures, I have found that the iPhone 4s does a nice job with daytime still photos.  One of my favorites is of an Iris blooming near the swamp area (adjacent to the playground).The iris photo is now a background on my iPad.  

I have additional photos of Crossings Park from over the years posted on my Crossings Park page.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sometimes Pizza Hut is the best choice…

A couple years back, I recalled writing, “hooray for boring” in my posting regarding a purchase of 2012 Honda Civic… yup it’s boring and so is Pizza Hut.  My dad is getting old (so am I, but as you may have figured out, he’s older than me) and for this Father’s day, I suggested we just do pizza.  Yes, I know the stereotypical picture of bonding over barbeque, but as a father myself (who is suffering from old fart syndrome) the vision of roasting over a hot grill to cook for the extended family didn’t appeal to me.  Call me Shallow Hal, but we don’t expect mom to whip up a meal on Mother’s day so I want my equal rights.  Nonetheless, I know the limits of my oppression and figured offering to pick up pizza for the gang would have to suffice.  I thought at least this would minimize my stress (yes, family gatherings can be stressful), but as sometimes happens this was not to be the case.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Improving performance by doing less

At first blush, this title may sound contradictory to many while others may speculate that the crux of this post is an emphasis of quality over quantity.  The stress level at my job has elevated as we slowly move through yet another re-org.  Often with re-orgs it is not the amount of work, it is the uncertainty.  I acknowledge that my position is atypical being a full time virtual position (as in “I work from home”).  My responsibilities include much self-driven ongoing housekeeping as well as a heavy stream of email correspondence (100 to 200 messages per day) and occasional online meetings, phone calls and instant messaging.  I have found that to effectively cope with the stress related to another re-org, I have paced myself considerably.  Surprisingly, I have found that doing less has not only reduced my stress level, it has also improved my performance and effectiveness.  Here are some general illustrations.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Polluting the planet by recycling

These bins need a latch!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Important Changes to OneDrive…

…was the ominous subject line of a recent email from Microsoft.  Sure enough, it wasn’t good news and the heart of the message read as follows:
We want to inform you about some upcoming changes to OneDrive that will affect you. The amount of storage that comes with OneDrive will change from 15 GB to 5 GB. We are also discontinuing the 15 GB camera roll bonus. As a result of these changes, you will be over your OneDrive storage limit on July 27, 2016 (visit the Storage page to check your account). You can learn more at our FAQ.
Way back when, I was lulled into moving much of my data to OneDrive while they were offering a generous 15gb plus another 15gb bonus for a total of 30gb free cloud storage.  As became painfully obvious, what sounded too good to be true quickly became a thing of the past.  Even with “high speed” internet connections many are likely aware that the high speed generally reflects the download speed while the upload speed commonly is considerably slower.  In short it took considerable time to move my data to OneDrive… I had a large music collection – about 7gb there; plus last year I finished my project of converting my family VHS-C tapes to digital and stored those files there as well (around 8gb or so).  In short, I wasn’t looking forward to transferring all of these files to a new home but since this change appears inevitable I didn’t want to risk loss of cherished files so I am taking action and will reflect my experiences below.  Tip:  After converting these tapes to digital, I copied these files to memory sticks and give them out for Christmas to my wife and kids...this is a win-win-win, being a very thoughtful, personal gift, reducing the stress of Christmas shopping plus is a great backup strategy as it is very unlikely that all of these copies would be lost or destroyed.