Showing posts with label Picasa photo program. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Picasa photo program. Show all posts

Thursday, October 21, 2010




Our local weatherman used a nasty term on his forecast a few minutes ago...."possible 'SNOW' showers overnight.'  Not nice!!  It was a rainy wet chilling day as Kelly & I headed off to visit my Uncle Harry this morning.  He's doing pretty good & we were able to get him up for a short walk with his walker.



I mentioned a few days ago about editing over 700 photos in a 6 hour period while waiting for a brake repair recall on the Motor Home.  To some folks that much editing might seem impossible but you have to remember, I take a lot of photos on a regular basis, & that means a lot of photo editing experience.DSC_0048


The  PICASA PHOTO EDITING PROGRAM    makes it an easy & fast way to edit pictures & like anything, if you do something regularly enough you can become very fast & efficient at it.  It takes me on average about 30 seconds to have a photo looking the way I want it to look.  Sometimes less time & sometimes more depending if I get into Picasa’s new PICNIK program.  


Basically, this is what I do with each photo.......First I hit, ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ to see what options that is going to give me.  Does it make the picture better or worse, lighter or darker, or does it not change anything?  Next is ‘Auto Color’ & I decide if there is an improvement or not.  I also do ‘Crop’ & ‘Straighten’ at this stage as well plus ‘Tuning,’ where I decide whether to add contrast or not.  Maybe lighten the photo if it needs it.  Then, I move on to the next picture, but I am not done with that first pic yet & will come back to it shortly.  When I reach the end of a batch of photos I then work in reverse & begin to move back down the line.  I click on ‘Effects’ & this is where I decide on adding or changing things like, Saturation, Sharpening, Glow, Graduated Tint or other effects if desired.  All these options can compliment & work well with each other.   With experience you can learn how to greatly improve your already good photos very quickly.   I enjoy the editing process as much as I enjoy taking the pictures themselves.  



Browsing through some blogs this morning I see Margie & Bruce’s blog had reached people in the far flung corners of the globe.   MargieAnne from NEW ZEALAND DIARIES reflects on the influence Margie’s blog had on her.

DSC_0056       DSC_0055

An email rolled in this morning from reader Jim A who after reading yesterday's blog about our aging dogs sent in a site regarding easy to use folding ramps for pets to gain easier access into & out of RV's, campers, trucks, etc. The site also has indoor ramps for enabling pets to get up onto the bed or couch as well.   PET CLASSICS



You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when:

10. You get winded from knocking on the door.
9.  You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.
8.  You ask for high fiber candy only.
7.  When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.
6.  People say: "Great Boris Karloff Mask,"
And you're not wearing a mask.
5.  When the door opens you yell, "Trick or..."
And can't remember the rest

4.  By the end of the night,
you have a bag full of restraining orders.
3.  You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.
2.  You're the only Power Ranger in the
neighborhood with a walker.
And the number one reason Seniors should not go Trick Or Treating...
1.  You keep having to go home to pee.


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.

Until one has loved an Animal, part of their soul remains un-awakened.




The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

Sunday, May 30, 2010



First let me say that the posting problems I had Saturday night were not caused by Live Writer, Verizon, or Blogger.  I started anew & re-did the blog leaving out the link I suspected of being the culprit & it worked.  So, if anyone has a publishing problem sometime be sure to check your links.  Mine was to a site that contained a lot of audio visual & for whatever reason Blogger & Live Writer did not accept it!!  The site is called, 'Closer To Truth' & can be found by typing that into Google.  My kind of thinking.


I especially liked MARGIE'S POST this morning where she talked about, 'people-can-change. I always like to read about what RV bloggers are thinking & feeling.....not just where they have been & what they are seeing all the time.  We all have different takes on things because of our past & current lifestyles.  Each one of us brings to our posts our own personalities.  Margie talks about the changes in attitude after Full Timing for the past 11 years.


Of course Margie's post set me to thinking about all that & about my own attitude over the past few RVing years as well.  One of the big advantages Full timers have over Snow Birders is the unlimited time factor.  They have 12 months every year to go where they want, see what they want, & do what they want.  They move freely & leisurely with the weather.  A few days here a few weeks there.  No need to rush south ahead of the encroaching winter storms & no need to rush back home to a job or house in the spring.  They have the freedom to plan their routes & activities according to their interests.  I think overall, they have a better attitude towards life because of the lifestyle they live.


Back in the days when I used to attend a lot of AA meetings, AA was often referred to by members as standing for Attitude Adjustment as well.    And how true that is.  It affects every one of us whether we are in a 12 step program or not.  Many folks seem to breeze through life without it being much of a problem while others like myself are always in some phase of constant attitude adjustment or another.  I think much of it has to do with each individuals past as to how much attitude tweaking they have to do & by what means they choose to do that.  Not always an easy task to change ingrained thought processes.  But, it can be done.


I'm sure my attitude will continue to show up in the blog from time to time but maybe not with quite as many jagged edges as some posts in the past.  But, then again...................... 



Some fellow blogger folks have asked how Kelly's Dad is doing.  He underwent another surgical bladder procedure this past Thursday & at the moment is not doing the best.  In my opinion he is in very grave health but like so many countless times before, Frank just somehow amazes everyone & manages to pull it all together & rallies back to live & see the sunrise of another day.

Copy of IMG_0179


Our annual yellow peril pine pollen menace is upon us now & as I sit here at the computer I can see clouds of the fine yellow powder wafting through the pine trees.  There is no escaping this stuff because it is as fine as smoke & gets into & on absolutely everything.  This stuff has about the same consistency as talcum powder.  Had to hose off my van before I could even head out this morning.  What a big huge mess we have every year & what a big huge clean up afterwards!!


An elderly wheel chair lady in a neighboring town celebrated her 94th Birthday today & family wanted to take her out for dinner so I had myself another nice mobility van run.  I'm always happy to work Sundays because it gives me something to do on an otherwise sloooooow day.  Took my camera gear along figuring on getting down around the harbor for some pics but by the time I washed the van, picked up some groceries, & stuck some food in my face, it was time to pick the folks up again.  So, I'm going to have to dig into my stock pile of photos again for blog pics.


Rather than drag the above older photo back into the Picasa Photo program to work on it I just 'Cropped,' 'Color Popped,' & 'Sharpened' it right here in Live Writer.  Yes, you can work on your photos here.  Click your photo then look to the menu on the right.  Click on 'Advanced.'  This is where you can rotate, crop, add contrast, tilt, or even put your own watermark (name) on your photo.   To do more photo editing just click on 'Effects.'  Now, click on the little green cross & you can add some effects to your photo.  Hey, & who said you couldn't do it, eh:))


(I color popped & sharpened the above photo for effect)  AND WHO SAID WE DON'T HAVE CACTUS IN CANADA!! 

GROANER'S CORNER:((  Some people try to turn back their age odometers.  Not me, I want people to know 'why' I look this way.  I've traveled a long way and a lot of those bumpy old rough roads weren't paved!!


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.





The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010



Whewwww, we had ourselves another record breaking heat scorcher of a day here.  Not sure what the official temps were today but I heard on the radio that it was our hottest May 25th on record.  I'm guessing we were somewhere around 90F with humidity to boot.  Predictions are for a long hot summer.


I am an early bird type person which simply means wherever I go I generally like to get there on the early side & this morning was no exception as I headed out with the mobility van for a neighboring town.  Took my time & totally enjoyed the beautiful morning drive through the countryside before arriving in a little town about 30 miles away.  Picked up a fellow with an accompanying  care worker & drove them to a neighboring small town for a medical appointment.  Picked up another fellow right away with his daughter assisting & then a phone (Blackberry) call had me picking up another lady going from the same hospital to home.  Busy morning for sure but everyone was in time for their appointments & Al even had a few minutes to grab a Tim Horton's coffee & sandwich in there somewhere.  I'm off first thing in the morning again to another small town in the area & transporting someone to another medical appointment.  Yep, I'm a happy guy to be working alright & you may notice my posts may be a little more upbeat because of that:))


When I got home this afternoon I figured I had better kick on the A/C because the doggy guys seemed a little droopy from the heat.  Hadn't had the A/C on since last summer so when I flicked the switches I was not surprised the A/C did not come on.  It's just the way things usually are & figured we would have to call the A/C guy.  I was sure I had done things right but figured I'd wait until the head honcho mechanic got home before making any calls.  It took Kelly all of about 30 seconds to have the A/C going!!  She simply checked the fuse panel & noticed the A/C breaker switch was in the 'off' position.  So, with a flick of the switch we were soon huddled under heavy blankets with wooly sweaters on trying to stay warm.  At no time while trying to get the A/C on this afternoon did my brain reach out & tap me on the shoulder & say, "hey dummy, check the fuses!!" 


All of tonight's photos are a small example of what you can do with your Picasa Photo program with just a little imagination & a few clicks of the programs easy to use buttons.  No magic or rocket science here, just an easy to use photo program that can be downloaded from Google for free.  Try it, you will like it:))  PICASA 3.6


And when I clicked on 'Live Writer' tonight it said there is a new version LW available so am wondering if anyone has taken the plunge.  What is your opinion?  Newer versions of things are not always better versions of things so I'm hesitant to try it until some of our wiser computer blog sages write a report on it......whaddya think Rick.


Both Kelly and I had to do a bit of running around tonight to help a couple of folks in the Park with some minor computer problems, so I'm a little late getting to the computer, therefore a shorter blog.  Yes, I can hear the sighs of relief out there...............:))


GROANER'S CORNER:((  Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?

A. All were invented by women.


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


DSC_2242Overcast days with a gentle rains can sometimes make for great photos.  Bright colors, especially yellows will stand out vibrantly against duller backgrounds.  No stark sunlight with contrasting deep shadows to contend with so photos appear softer with the overall even lighting.  Flowers can really stand out.  So, next time you have a gentle rain falling, grab your camera & raincoat before heading out the door.



Not a lot of folks have more than one RV but Ivan does.  You might want to slip over to his site & have a look at his comparisons between the truck camper he took to Alaska last summer & the 5th wheel he just returned from the southwest with few days ago.   He had miserable stormy winter weather hot on his heels the last few days heading home & it chased him all the way right up into Canada.  IVAN & ROADTRIP 2010


And check out two very happy RV'ers in Benson Arizona as they finally wrap up renovations to their Casita at the Saguaro SKP Co-Op Park there.  JERRY & SUZY are looking forward to spending many quiet cozy hours at their favorite computer work stations.  By contrast,  LAURIE & ODEL are holding on to their hats as nearby Mississippi tornadoes & heavy rains rock them in their Motor Home.  Laurie was on Facebook today saying it is the hardest & longest sustained rain she has ever seen.  Meanwhile, MIKE up there at the North Ranch SKP Park near Congress Arizona is so excited about their new sticks & bricks digs that he's just about beside himself.  Also noticed on Facebook today that MOTTY & PATTI have been traveling along Route 66 in Oklahoma & have now made it into Texas.  Motty has taken some nice pics along 66.  Lots of happy campers out there:))


Over the years I have probably had about a dozen different photo accounts on the go at any one time.  Bubbleshare, Flickr, Smug Mug, Picasa, Photo Bucket, Webshots, & others that I can't remember.  And not remembering is not the best thing.  About 4 years ago I had downloaded the Flickr program, dumped a bunch of photos in it & then moved on to other things forgetting I had the program. 


A few weeks ago when I decided to enter 4 photos in the Bayfield Calendar contest I noticed they were using the Flickr program to host the entries.  No problem I thought, so dug out my old Flickr program & uploaded my 4 photos into the contest.  I didn't give any thought to all the photos I had loaded in there a few years ago so while browsing the recent Calendar entries on the Bayfield Flickr site this morning I happened to click on a link associated with my 4 photos.  Well, the link not only took the viewer to my 4 Calendar entries but it also took them to reams of other photos I had taken. 


In 2008 I had done a whole series of mundane photos of our house interior, exterior, & grounds for insurance purposes.  Anyway, to make a long story short I had to go through all those photos & change the privacy settings to make them, 'not for public viewing.'  So, all you photo bugs out there with multiple photo programs floating around in Cyberspace, you might want to go back & check out your settings & preferences.  And, about the Bayfield Calendar photo contest.  The contest closed April 22nd so I guess the judges are still deciding on winners for the upcoming calendar.


And a shout out to TRENT & TERESA.  Thanks for the nice compliment guys & your checks in the mail:))  Glad your enjoying SOMA FM & Groove Salad.  Ambient  music, it's the only to fly....................10-4


GROANER'S CORNER:((   During a recent visit to my doctor, I asked him, "How do you determine whether or not a retiree should be put in an old age home?"
"Well", he said, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the retiree and ask him or her to empty the bathtub".  "Oh, I understand," I said. "A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon or the teacup."
"No" he said. "A normal person would pull the plug.  Do you want a bed near the window?"


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

Saturday, April 10, 2010



Seven Golden Finches, a Downy Woodpecker, 6 Red Wing Blackbirds, 2 Mourning Doves, 1 Cardinal, about a dozen Black Capped Chickadees, a smattering of Nuthatches, a Blue Jay & about a dozen Juncos are what I am looking at right now in our front yard while sitting at the computer in our sunroom.  Rearranged & replenished the bird feeders this afternoon & we pretty much have a full house for supper tonight.  


I have a feeling I missed the highlight of the afternoon though when a black squirrel must have ended up in the frog pond.  I had hung up some bird suet in a small metal cage over top the pond because black the squirrels were totally devastating the suet pacs where I had previously had them hanging.  I used last years binder twine to hang the suet which in hindsight turned out to be a good thing.  About half an hour later hanging the suet pac I noticed the suet cage was no longer hanging on the end of the twine.  Upon further investigation I saw the suet cage was at the bottom of the frog pond.  Ahaaaa, only one conclusion here.  The pesky black squirrel whom I had noticed an hour before at the suet cage had obviously climbed up my old dead pond tree structure & made a flying leap out onto the suet cage.......... & plummeted, cage & all, right down into the frog pond when the old rotted twine had broke.   Have not seen any of the black squirrels since.  Guess word got around pretty quick about the cold Saturday night bath!!


In last night's blog I probably didn't make it clear enough about the difference between the blogs theme & the photos.  The pictures were taken here in Bayfield where we live.  Earlier in the day I had taken a drive east of Bayfield to my old home town of Tavistock about 50 miles inland.  The photos & blog theme were two different places.


Have had several comments & inquiries about the black & white photo with the yellow daffodils in Friday's blog.  Let me first say that there is no rocket science to do that & anyone can have the same results with just a few clicks of the mouse in their PICASA 3.6 PHOTO PROGRAM.   Picasa 3.6 is a free download from Google & one of the easiest photo program's you will ever use.  I think most of my fellow bloggers are using Picasa.  When you have the program open just look for the word 'Effects.'  Click that & look for the picture square that says, 'Focal B&W.  That's all there is to it.  Just click that & you will see how easy it is to do that color highlighting stuff.  Try clicking on the other squares as well & you will be well on your way to improving your already great photos.  And don't worry, you can't wreck anything because everything is redo able as you go along.  I did a post about some Picasa features last August which you can read here at,  TWO THUMBS UP FOR PICASA

And, while on the topic of photos I would just like to add again that I see a lot of good photos on other blogs that with just a little bit of TLC in Picasa's photo program, could become great photos.  Photography is a two stage process & In the old film days you only had control over half that process which was the taking of the photo.  Your film went away & magically came back as prints because somebody else did all that.  Sometimes it was done right & sometimes it was not.  Thankfully, nowadays we don't have to trust our photos to an unknown source.  We have total control over our efforts.  Sometimes pictures taken with cameras are just so-so depending on many variables.  Now, with just a few clicks here & a few clicks there you can have that so-so photo looking just as good as you actually saw it.  And, you do not have to be a rocket scientist to do that.  Just take a little time & get to know your photo program.........  All my photos are done using Picasa:))

DSC_0001                           DSC_3103DSC_3075-1          DSC_3083 DSC_3137                         DSC_3189 DSC_3198           DSC_3320

GROANER'S CORNER:((  A Mother pigeon & her baby were flying a long distance back to the barn when the baby pigeon said, "I can't make it; I'll get too tired." His mother said, "Don't worry; I'll tie a piece of string to one of your legs and the other end to mine."
The baby started to cry.
"What's wrong?" said the mother.
"I don't want to be pigeon towed!"

Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL

Monday, October 12, 2009



Turned the outside water off & drained all the garden hoses Saturday & this morning disconnected all the outside garden light timers.  Slowly working my way down the pre-trip checklists.  Temps were 36F this morning so we'll be glad to get on the road soon.

LOADING THE RIG Had a couple questions about the blogger wide template that we use.  Lot of blogger folks are on the 2 column template like we were but I was worried about trying to do a 3 column template after reading about the chances of loosing the whole blog.  Noticed Laurie & Odel at SEMI TRUE TALES  had a wider look to their blog yet it was still 2 columns so emailed them awhile back & Laurie sent the instructions on how to 'stretch' the 2 column blog & fill the screen from horizon to horizon.  WANDERING WILLY  tried it out last night & stretched his blogsite so far he can hardly get into his computer room now & I just noticed ROD did the big stretch as well except he's having a little problem getting his hot air balloon to stretch across the screen.  Put some more air into that balloon Rod.  The secret of enlarging the header photo lies in the number you input into the Picasa photo Export.  Remember, your blog stretch & your blog header photo are two separate monsters & each are slain with a different sword.  Do battle with your blogger stretch first & then come back & slay your header photo dragon.  Our current Pilot Knob header pic is sized at 910. 

HEADING UP THE PINE TREE TRAIL & ALMOST HOME Couple the 'blogger stretched template' with Windows Live Writer & throw in Picasa 3.5 as your photo editor & you are well on your way to putting yourself to-gether one mighty fine blogsite.  Here, in part are those instructions for anyone wanting to enlarge the look of their blog site...............................

Blogger has canned "stretch" templates.  They are two column templates where the "blog post" column is stretched across the width of two columns.  First, go to "Layout", then pick "Edit HTML".   If you haven't saved your current blog template recently (or ever), pick "Download Full Template", which will save your current template as a file on your own computer, so you can upload it easily if you make any boo-boos when checking out new templates

Then, go to "Pick New Template'.  Scroll down to the second row of templates - the Minima Stretch templates are the second row, far left (there are a few other stretch templates, too).  Click the radio button for one of the stretch templates, then click "preview template" (under the radio buttons).  You will get a little preview of how your blog would look if you made the change.

Making the change itself is very simple, BUT... you lose any customizing you have done.  All your posts will be there, and all of your "widgets" too so you will just have to re-do your color schemes & font sizes, etc.   If you have added any special bits of HTML code to your current template or widgets I think you lose that so it is a bit of work, but not too tedious.  If your 2 column blog is pretty straight forward then you should be OK.  Give it a whirl...I did, & if I can do it......anybody can do it.  AL:))  And a big thanks to Laurie for these instructions!!

MAPLE LEAVES Been thinking lately what I really need here is a treadmill that will power the computer.  With the increasing amount of time I'm spending on the puter & the lessening time I'm spending outdoors doing physical things, I am definitely going to have to come up with something for the betterment of my health.  Need to have a treadmill with keyboard & monitor affixed to a front hand rail panel.  The treadmill would have to have some kind of device to generate power from the physical walking portion of the treadmill to the electronics of the computer.  A slow walk might be good for emails, a brisker walk would get you on-line, a fast pace for larger downloads, & a  speedy jiggy jog for those You Tube videos.  Perhaps a direct in-line oxygen feed & handy defibrillator might be wisely added safety features as well.....Hey, it was just a thought!!


GROANER'S CORNER:))  Did you know the  sentence 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' uses every  letter of the alphabet.


The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.