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Tulip Trek

By: BriarCraft , 9:57 PM GMT on April 30, 2012

The day was mostly cloudy and gray, but it wasn't raining. Time to get out and enjoy the nearby tulip fields. The grass was in need of mowing -- really, really, really in need of mowing. Did I care? Well, I did give it a moment's thought as I drove out the driveway and the little private road where I live. A moment later, just about the time the tires first touched on pavement, those thoughts, along with the too-tall grass were left behind.

The first order of business was to go into Toledo to rob the ATM, as I don't like going anywhere without a bit of cash on hand. In rural areas such as this, debit and credit cards can be useless at times.

Then it was about face and head out for my Sunday afternoon drive past Toledo airport. It has a handful of planes in hangars, a repair shop and gas pump, the primary activity that takes place there is Skydive Toledo. It would have been a good day for jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, but apparently there were no thrill-seekers just then.

Heading east on US-12, it wasn't long before the prairie gave way to the foothills of the Cascade Range. Before long, I came to a sign pointing the way to Mayfield Dam. I hadn't been there in awhile and I had never shared it with WUville denizens.

As the road wound between hills down toward the dam, I was treated to an added springtime bonus. A different sort of dam with her foal. There was no resisting the smile that touched my lips, even as I reached for the camera.

Mayfield Dam has no particular claim to fame. It's just a small hydroelectric dam on the Cowlitz River, tucked into the hills with a fair-sized reservoir behind it. It's a popular place for boating and fishing with a few boat ramps and a state park campground. The only real amenity is the view, but that's enough for me.

A few miles farther east, between the towns of Mossyrock and Morton, is the DeGoede Bulb Farm and Gardens. DeGoede has a large nursery and several greenhouses, but it's main claim to fame is the tulips. 300 to 500 acres of tulips. Because of the cool spring, the tulips were 2-3 weeks behind schedule this year, so they were just coming into full bloom.

DeGoede welcomes the public to drive onto their property, park their cars, and wander along the edge of the fields. They don't charge admission, because they know this is the best way to generate customers for the bulbs that will be for sale in late summer.

I wasn't alone in my desire to spend some time enjoying the blooms. It was nice to see that, while there were no employees to stand watch, the public acted with respect for the farm and the flowers. Nobody cut flowers. Nobody stole bulbs. They simply stood and looked or took pictures, and some made note of the names written on stakes at the end of the rows.

Tulip Field Collage

Tulip Collage

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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84. sandiquiz
7:11 PM GMT on May 18, 2012
Now you know how "shattered" feels! lol

Hope you have recovered now - looking forward to the photos and story of your 7 hour trip!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
83. BriarCraft
11:43 PM GMT on May 17, 2012
Ylee and Sandi: whew! I was really "shattered" when we got home yesterday. Only drove 104 miles total, but spent over 7 hours getting in and out of the car, walking here and there, snapping lots of photos. I ached in more places than I care to mention this morning, but at least I've got the photos up now. The blog will follow, probably tomorrow.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
82. sandiquiz
2:49 PM GMT on May 17, 2012
OOh, an outing! Great! As Ylee said - we look forward to the photos :)
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81. Ylee
4:02 AM GMT on May 17, 2012
Trip sounds great, Briar! I'll be looking forward to seeing the photos!
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80. BriarCraft
6:19 PM GMT on May 16, 2012
Sandi: I hadn't yet discovered the world of WUblogging in 2007, so I very much enjoyed reading your re-post.

You Brits must be very fragile to shatter so easily. ;-) Isn't our shared language fun?

Pros: You're worse than me, if that's possible -- play around with something until you do something really nice, then can't remember how you did it. Not just with photo editors, either. I've lost track of the times I came up with a really tasty dish for dinner that I was never able to duplicate.

Ggrrl: You have a talent for painting fun and vivid pictures with your words. I'm grinning just thinking of lunatic bumblebees attacking image dots. Too much fun!


I just heard that Johnston Ridge Observatory on Mt. St. Helens has reopened. The sun is shining. The sky is mostly blue, with a few high clouds, but judging from the VolcanoCam, it's clear on the mountain. I haven't been up there since 2003. Time for another visit. And, in a day or two, you'll see what I see today....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
79. GardenGrrl
3:17 PM GMT on May 16, 2012
Hey it's the day before batcave. Super busy yet here I am procrastinating in the blogs.
Read what Calpoppy said about a synchro light. Thats a big level of commitment.
My hummers seem to have bad eyesight. Would probably have them flying in circles chasing the after image dots.

The male hummers here are black and white. Quite aggressive they will attack any other males that come near rather than quietly feed. they don't bother the other birds except for the poor black and white chickadees. They must think them jumbo size rivals due to their eyesight.

The chickadees must think them to be lunatic bumblebees.
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78. sandiquiz
1:54 PM GMT on May 16, 2012
Wednesday morning, and I am dropping by to say I did post my new blog yesterday :)

Hope you are having a good week!
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77. Proserpina
1:49 PM GMT on May 16, 2012

Good morning from my peony and me! I continue to play with my photos program and accidentally come up with results that I cannot remember how I achieved them! Hence can't repeat the 'creation'!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
76. sandiquiz
7:31 PM GMT on May 14, 2012
Hi Briar -
Shattered - British English - very tired [= exhausted]:
example By the time we got home we were both shattered.

It makes me laugh how a word could change its meaning travelling over the Atlantic!! lol

Zambia - ? Funnily enough I did a retirement blog in 2007, where every day for the last month before I retired I wrote about a year in my teaching career.
I kept it, and part of it was about Zambia so it is not too difficult to drag it out again.

I might just do that next, as many of the WU friends I have now are new since 2007. (Bug, Ogal, Gamma and Wabit - whose idea it was in the first place - are about the only ones who were around and read it, if I remember correctly.)

Hope your Monday is going OK :)
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75. BriarCraft
7:12 PM GMT on May 14, 2012
Sandi: You're shattered?!? I hope it's just that you're speaking the Queen's English again. Here, if you're shattered, it means a horrible emotional upset. Synonyms: devastated, shocked, stunned, crushed, upset, overwhelmed, traumatized. In the context of what you were saying, I hope it means that you were exhausted and not that your project went horribly wrong. What fun we have with our language differences.

Ggrrl: Since we have the same camera, thanks for the tip on the EXR setting. I haven't tried that yet. And Costco is fun. When I was in business, I had a membership that did pay for itself on the office supplies and computer equipment. Of course, I did buy groceries there, too. Saturdays were always fun, because I could get a free lunch from all the free food samples being handed out. After I sold the business, it no longer paid to go there, mostly because I couldn't get out of the store for less than $100. It's too easy to just go nuts there. Best solution: just go with SIL once in awhile.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
74. calpoppy
6:48 PM GMT on May 14, 2012
Hi Briar! To truly catch the hummingbird in flight with it's wings visible you need a flash that is not part of your camera. And has the ability to sync the flash with the fast shutter speed in your camera. That flash is on my want list. The hummers here get so use to me with a camera in their beaks that they just don't care, same with the other critters on this place! You should check out some photographers on you tube photographing hummers. They have quite the set ups!!!
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73. GardenGrrl
2:26 PM GMT on May 14, 2012
Hi, what a Sunday. Have discovered the Amazing COSTCO!
The SIL put me on her membership. What a huge bazaar of shopping extravaganza. We ate all the food samples and bought some gutter guards for the house.

Not sure I'd pay the $50 for a yearly membership because most of the food items would get wasted due to being in bulk. But it sure was fun going through there.

Re; camera speeds. There is a formula for setting your shutter speed. It is a ratio of lense distance. Zzzzzzz
I only use three settings; Sport, natural with and without flash, EXR Resolution or Dynamic setting (both great for macro).

There is a menu set-up for the EXR that basically does everything you could want without having to figure this stuff out in manual. Sport rocks for days when you can't hold the camera steady. The +/- is great for tweaking light exposure. Forget all the other settings.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
72. sandiquiz
7:50 PM GMT on May 13, 2012
I saw your query about capturing a single frame from a video. I do not use video, even though my Panasonic does actually have one as part of its make-up.

I have looked on line and it seems there are many web-sites to help you, but it appears you need to download a programme to assist in capturing a single frame as a jpeg.

I hope you are having a decent Sunday - I am now shattered, and ready for my bed. I have been busy since 6am...and even managed to get the lawn cut and some weeds pulled before the next lot of rain arrives overnight!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
71. BriarCraft
6:55 PM GMT on May 13, 2012
I may not be a mother, but it sometimes feels that I have five 2-year-olds (supposedly, that's a cat's IQ) around here.

Thanks for the roses, Ylee and Pros. WTS, you know I love that hedgehog cactus when it's in bloom -- and yes, look but don't touch.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
70. WatchinTheSky
3:40 PM GMT on May 13, 2012
Hope you are having a great day!
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69. Proserpina
1:45 AM GMT on May 13, 2012
Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day
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68. Ylee
9:58 PM GMT on May 12, 2012

Briar, hope you have a great day tomorrow!
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67. BriarCraft
6:49 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
SP: The only software that came with my camera is a photo viewer and a RAW file editor/converter, so I guess stealing a frame from a video is out.

Karen: I'm somewhat embarrassed, but also proud to say that most of my clothes are over 5 years old and some are approaching 20. I'm so frugal, I can't bear to toss anything until it gets stained, ripped, or thread-bare.

Ylee: Yes, my camera does have a manual mode, but then I'd need someone to explain what the manual say about manual mode. I'm afraid my eyes roll back in my head when I start reading about ISO, F-stop, shutter and aperture priority, etc. I have figured out how to get into the settings menu and return everything to default after I've got the camera hopelessly messed up. 8~}
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66. Ylee
2:39 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Briar, there's always the possibility that the lichen grew on the nest after it was built! Do you think this is possible, given enough time?

If you camera has a manual mode, use that, and ramp up your shutter speed to its highest setting! Make sure your metering is right, and have plenty of sunlight, or your image will be underexposed!

Good luck!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
65. SBKaren
12:31 AM GMT on May 12, 2012
Wow! That eagles nest is amazing! We had a hummer nest outside our kitchen window last year (or was it the year before), and it was miniscule compared to that thing!

Seems like we're all the same when it comes to clothes. I guess that's why I hang on to stuff for so long. Sometimes I'll look at a blouse and wonder how long I've had it, then I'll be browsing through pictures and see it from 5-6 years ago...and think - oh my gosh! It's old!

I also use 55 as my determination if I need a sweatshirt or not. If it's the morning and we head out on our walk and it's 55 , I don't wear one, as I know it will only get warmer. But if it's that in the afternoon - then I do, because I know it will only get cooler!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
64. sp34n119w
12:06 AM GMT on May 12, 2012
Looks like another nice outing! Amazing to see the relative sizes of an eagle's nest and a hummer's nest.
And I like that trimmer thingy.

The very bad picture of a hummer that I had up for ID awhile ago was a capture from video. Your camera will get far better video than my Flip and the software it came with might have a frame capture option. Should do.

Your temperature up there looks almost livable :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
63. BriarCraft
6:05 PM GMT on May 11, 2012
Sandi: I have tried "sports" mode. There's also a feature that takes several exposures with one press of the button and keeps the best four. GGrrl's method seems to be the best: take 100 shots as fast as you can, delete 98 of them. According to All About Birds: The feistiest hummingbird in North America. The brilliant orange male and the green-and-orange female Rufous Hummingbird are relentless attackers at flowers and feeders. They are pugnacious birds that tirelessly chase away other hummingbirds, even in places they’re only visiting on migration.

I wonder: My camera can take short videos. Is there any way to grab one frame out of a video and save it as a .JPG photo? Sure would be nice.

Ylee: Now that you mention it, it does look like a corn cob pipe. How do they glue pieces of lichen onto the nest like that?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
62. Ylee
5:08 PM GMT on May 11, 2012
Briar, that rufous nest looks like a corncob pipe!

We had a ruby-throated hummer come by the feeder yesterday, which quickly brought a second one for it to do battle with! :)

Glad to see you got out and about!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
61. sandiquiz
8:09 PM GMT on May 10, 2012
So glad you went out today and had a walk.
That eagle nest is enormous if the model eagle is "to- size"?

I saw you had difficultly capturing the 'hummers'. Have you a 'sports' setting on your camera? I often use the setting on my camera when I am trying to capture birds. I know my birds don't move quite as quick as your hummers..... but they do fly off just as the shutter goes down!!
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60. BriarCraft
6:18 PM GMT on May 10, 2012
Ylee and Ggrrl: If I want better hummer pics, I'm going to have to set up the tripod and take another 100 shots. These little fellows rarely stay still for more than about 6 nanoseconds. One of these days...


I went to visit my parents yesterday. On the way south, I stopped at my favorite horticultural supply store in search of some gardening tools that I can use. I found a new Fiskar's grass clipper and a telescoping weeder!

I delivered tomato, pepper, basil, and cucumber starts to my mother. No flower starts this year, as I wasn't able to get out to the greenhouse and was limited to what would fit under my single grow-light.

We went out to a nice lunch and then on to Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in Hillsboro. We walked perhaps half a mile of the trails there and, though we didn't get close to any wildlife, we had an enjoyable time of it just enjoying the setting and the beautiful day.

One of the highlights at this preserve is a real bald eagle's nest. The nest measures 8 feet high by 6 feet wide. The total weight of nest and 12-foot tree section is 1500 pounds. There's nothing quite like seeing the real thing close up and this was a rare opportunity.

Even though I feed dozens of voracious rufous hummingbirds during nesting season every year, I have yet to find a rufous nest. They had one under glass in the interpretive center, so at least now, I know what one looks like.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
59. GardenGrrl
10:24 AM GMT on May 10, 2012
Rufous hummers, that is really cool. I get the "formal" black and white tuxedoed black chin hummers.

Your learning the secret to hummingbird photography; take a hundred pictures and delete 98 of them. lol.
So glad my camera card has lots of room on it for hummingbird shoots.
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58. Ylee
4:40 AM GMT on May 09, 2012
I see your hummers made it through! Very nice!

Hope you are doing well!
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57. BriarCraft
11:12 PM GMT on May 07, 2012
I just uploaded the female Rufous hummer for the third time. Both previous times, it got approved and the title was still there, but the picture was invisible. Maybe somebody put pointy brackets around it. ;-)

LCal: Thanks for that link. I used to have the ASCII codes memorized until they quit working in anything. I don't think I'll be memorizing that list, but at least I can look up what I want now.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
56. LowerCal
8:41 PM GMT on May 07, 2012
Proximity to the big Target, Sears, etc. stores is one thing that keeps Mrs. Cal and I in our corner of L.A. in spite of the more stable water future of S.P. ;^)

BTW the WU HTML filters can "eat" other symbols in various contexts. (You'll know it when you don't see it, lol.) Sometimes it's also nice to know an HTML code for a non-keyboard character. Here's a handy reference with numeric and mnemonic HTML codes, e.g. ° or ° for ° (degree).
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
55. BriarCraft
6:38 PM GMT on May 07, 2012
Thanks for endulging and/or contributing to my rant. I feel better now.

Karen: Five and Dime -- that's Dollar Store now, I think. Remember the old 88 Cent Stores? They actually had some good quality stuff. Layered clothing is out for me. I don't even both with a jacket until it's below 55 degrees.

Bogon: Thanks for clearing up my HTML misunderstanding.

Thanks to Sandi and Pros and SP, I now know that there are Geezer Stores out there. I'll have to check them out.

Ggrrl: Kelso does have small JCPenney and Sears stores, but their selection is no better. I already own the 3 blouses and 2 pairs of slacks that Target carries.

Maybe I'll have to reevaluate shopping in the big city.

Ylee: My DH caught himself calling a man in his late 50s old the other day. Then he realized, hey, I'm older than that guy! I think you've got a ways to go yet -- you're just middle-aged and I'm sure you've got a lot of money invested in the spare tire.

Rob: Glad you got a kick out of my shopping rant. I was hoping I'd make someone laugh. I like your wardrobe list. What I can't seem to find is the female equivalent of the Columbia shirts.

BF: Good to see you! I'll bet you could grow tulips in Oklahoma, unless the gophers would get them.

SP: When I went out to refill the bird feeders last evening, I almost got hit during a 3-way rufous strafing run. The little guys were at their aggressive best, so I grabbed the camera. I took over 40 shots just to get those 2.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
54. sp34n119w
6:17 PM GMT on May 07, 2012
Hi BC! I have been so cheered by your tulip pictures each time I lurk through here - so glad you got out to see and grateful that you shared :)

I'll have to follow Skye's new obsession. It will make me feel better about my own, lol. I wonder if Skye would like some of the spinning linkies I've come across ... prolly not ;)

With you on the shopping rant. Try a basic drug store (even grocery store) for clear nail polish (handy stuff with so many uses!). GardenGrrl is right about JCPenny and Sears, for sure, and a good online resource for men and women who need practical clothing for work and play is Duluth Trading Co. No teenager wants anything from that place, LOL, but grownups can find decent looking clothes. A little pricey for some items but, for the most part, good quality that will last.

Your internet speeds are on par with mine but I pay fifteen dollars less :( Sandi has the advantage, as she notes, of living in a fairly new town. Also, they pay taxes that are sometimes used to improve infrastructure. Imagine!

Your rufous pic is wonderful! I saw jackmoskovita's rufous a few days ago and was going to tell you so you'd know it can be done and now I don't need to - you got one! :)

Your sticker says "clear" - hope you are enjoying the sunshine!
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53. GardenGrrl
4:57 PM GMT on May 07, 2012
LOLOL, love the shopping rant. Fortunatly I live in blue jeans, tee-shirts and tennies. For summer I wear the "hippy chick" long dresses and comfy sandels.

As for the lingerie they are selling these days as top clothes. Yikes.
I can't believe parents let their little girls outside wearing that stuff...and make-up.

While you were at Target you should have wandered over to the clothes section. The Target here has a section for women who think clothes don't need plunging neck lines or low pants to show off the top part of ones thong and lower back tattoo.

Sears and JC Penny's also sell clothes for adults.
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52. Barefootontherocks
4:13 PM GMT on May 07, 2012
Wow. Thanks for the trip to and through the tulip fields. Making me miss WA.

Have a good one.
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51. sandiquiz
10:35 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
Rob, I smiled when I read your list :-)

I looked at what I am wearing today...

Dark blue denim jeans
Mid blue fitted tee-shirt, no collar, (my neck is too short!)
Dark blue denim jacket
Black "trainer" type shoes

Not bad for a 60+ teenager!
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50. RobDaHood
9:59 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
Read down the page and laughing my butt off.
Surprised I didn't wake Angie.

I especially loved the "Shopping" rant.

Blue, Dark Blue, and Black Jeans.
Columbia (or similar) shirts in long and short sleeves, in various colors work for nearly any occasion.
(they can be bought on sale for half the regular price)
A couple pairs of cheap tennis shoes.
A couple nice pairs of boots.

I don't care if you are 20 or 80...that's all you need to look good.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
49. Ylee
8:45 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
From a slightly different point-of-view, my wife bought a short sleeved shirt for me the other day. She asked me if I liked it, to which I replied it was an old persons' shirt! She said, "Honey, you ARE old!" Why do they sell maroon things with stripes that make my spare tire look like it came off a Mack? No fair! :P

Hope you have a good Monday!
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48. Proserpina
6:50 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
I so much enjoyed your rant, so much humor, you are a storyteller!

So now we know your age. Well, at 60 I still danced up a storm and the dances we went to called for a little decolletage, I did not mind. Now, I do a little bit of layering but I buy fabrics that do not hold in the heat. Cotton two piece tops are my favorites, I can always take off the cardigan part if too hot.

As to 'old lady clothes', Draper and Damon stores tends to cater to the older generation but with a stylish flair. We have a store near us but you can buy their clothes on line.

Well, time for me to go back to bed and try to sleep. Keep writing, I love the way you express yourself.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
47. sandiquiz
6:24 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
Oh, Briar, you poor thing, but I feel your pain!

I suppose I am really spoilt living in one of the most forward thinking cities in the UK. Milton Keynes is a NEW city, it was still a group of villages in the early 60's.

There's a M&S (Marks and Spencer)store here that sells clothes for all ages, from the youth to the classics - with "on-waist" trousers/jeans suitable for our age!!

Do you not have on-line clothing companies especially for "our" age? We have several here, often advertised on the TV, especially aimed at the "slightly mature" ladies.
A couple I can think of are ISME and Marisota - not that I have used them, but know of a friend who has used ISME.

Oh, and for the nail polish... do you have an Amazon account? Rimmel do a clear nail polish which can be bought through Amazon, if you can't get it in your local store - once you run out again ! lol
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46. Bogon
5:58 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
Re: #40

Anything you put between angle brackets is interpreted as an HTML tag. If the WU server recognizes the tag, it will perform the requested function. Otherwise it will ignore the tag.

You have to do some work to get around the default behavior. You can fake out the machine by specifying the numeric code for the characters.

< less-than sign
> greater-than sign


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45. SBKaren
1:40 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
Oh Briar - I hear your rant! I would love to be able to find pants that fit around my waist again too. They don't have to come up to my armpits, just above my hipline. Everything these days for women is double layered. I don't really care for double layering. I run hot, so I have a hard time wearing one layer sometimes!

I think you might be able to find some clear nail polish at the Five and Dime...oh wait, they're gone too!
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44. BriarCraft
12:41 AM GMT on May 07, 2012
Sometimes I feel O-L-D...

It's been quite awhile since I went off on a rant, so I think I'm about due. I'm in the mood this afternoon:

Most days, I don't think about my age one way or the other. Even when my arthritis flares up, I don't equate that with age. The first joint to experience the ache of arthritis happened when I was 12, so age doesn't have all that much to do with it. Right now, though, I feel old.

I went to Longview-Kelso today for a bit of shopping while DH is up north in Lacey playing board games. First stop was Target. On my list was clear fingernail polish. I use it as a waterproof sealer for wooden matches and for the occasional craft project. I haven't bought any for maybe 10 years. There were lots of nail products on display including colors that don't belong on fingernails like green and black, patterned nail polish strips that are like wallpaper for fingernails, fake nails, glitter, whitener to make the white parts whiter, and I forget what else. It boggled my mind.

Amidst the base coats and top coats and serums and hardeners and fast dry stuff and gels, I don't see one thing called "clear fingernail polish". Some of these products are even acrylics instead of the type that uses acetone as a solvent. Not only that, some of these little bottles cost upwards of $8. Ridiculous! Frustrating!! My best guess was "high gloss shiny top coat". I chose a check stand operated by a young woman with an earring in her eyebrow and confessed to her, "I'm afraid I'm having a geezer moment. Could you tell me if this is what passes for clear fingernail polish these days?" She confirmed that I picked the right thing. Whew!

Okay, so I should have called it a day and went home from there, but I had this coupon at Fashion Bug for $10 off on a purchase of $25 or more. So I went there to see if I could find a blouse or two. What I found was bright colors and gaudy prints with plunging V necks. Sheesh! I haven't cared about showing off my cleavage since I was a teenager. My taste in clothing is to avoid the trendy stuff and stick with the "classics". Colors that are pleasant without making my eyes hurt. Lines that are flattering. Designs that leave something to the imagination. Maybe you know the type of clothing to which I refer?

After wandering around looking at this and that, a sweet young clerk asked if I wanted some assistance. I told her I was having trouble finding anything that didn't expose too much skin and would be more age-appropriate for me. She suggested I pick out a "cami" to go with a gaudy, sparkly tropical orange-and-pink print blouse that she held up for my approval. Ew, I shuddered. To my mind, a camisole is something to wear under a white blouse that's a bit too sheer. It isn't something to use as an additional visible layer of clothing. And besides, that would be way too warm for summertime. And neon orange-and-pink tropical print with bits of glitter? For a 60-year-old plus-sized woman? Really?? You've got to be kidding!!!

So I gave up and went home.

Is there such a thing as a geezer store? Where I can find a tasteful blouse to wear that won't make me feel like an over-aged, over-weight cougar on the prowl? A store where plain old clear fingernail polish is available? A store that is staffed by something other than cute 12-year-olds with piercings and tattoos?

If shopping is such a frustrating experience in rural small towns that are far from being fashion centers, what must it be like to shop in Portland or Seattle? Or, perish the thought, New York or L.A. I shudder to think.

I do feel O-L-D !!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
43. BriarCraft
11:48 PM GMT on May 06, 2012
Karen: I'd be thrilled to have your TimeWarner cable internet service. I'm only getting Toledo Telenet's "basic" 1MB service here and that costs $39.95. Their introductory prices may be good, but scroll down to see the regular prices.

Poppy: I looked that the fine print on satellite internet and, in addition to being not that fast, the data transfer is so limited I can't think of a reason to want to use it if there was any other alternative. Tethering to your smart phone is an interesting solution.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
42. calpoppy
10:34 PM GMT on May 06, 2012
Hi Briar, love the tulip pics. We can grown them here, plenty of cold for them but the critters find them tastier then a snicker bar!!! Up in the mountains the racoons would find and eat them, here it is gophers, squirrels and rabbits.

You all are lucky to have cable for your internet hookups. No cable here, either dial up ,satellite or what we do using our smart phones as a hot spot and tethering our computers. We tried satellite but the service was horrible, the tethering seems to be more reliable. The price we pay for living in the boonies and wanting the technology too.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
41. SBKaren
8:14 PM GMT on May 06, 2012
Here's what you can get with TimeWarner in my area:

Internet speeds

What they don't list are the costs. I have the furthest right plan and for me it works just fine. I can view YouTubes without an issue, I open any picture heavy blog on WU with no problem at all. I can upload pictures pretty quickly. My cost per month is $29.99/month. My brother has one of the higher plans as he hosts websites and needs speed as he uploads big files. I believe he pays over $50/month maybe even $60 now - something I'm not willing to do.

Unfortunately, in my area of town, our choice is cable or dial up. Not really a choice in my opinion.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
40. BriarCraft
6:38 PM GMT on May 06, 2012
Keywester: Welcome to Washington and this blog. Come back and visit any time. You're about as far away as you can get and still be in the Lower 48.

Sandi: Now you know why I lose patience sometimes while loading huge blogs or YouTube videos. I can't even imagine what your internet speed would be like. I don't know if such speeds even exist in the U.S. Can anybody in U.S. WUville compare with what lightning-fast-Sandi?

Pros: What fun! How did you do that?!?

Bogon: Did you know that if you type "greater than" and "less than" brackets they just disappear into the WUblackhole? I just learned that! Even if you surround the brackets with quotes, they still disappear. Must be magic. Anyway, I edited the original comment in #35 to read If only there was an HTML tag for "engage brain" or "don't forget". Do you know the correct syntax for that? which might make more sense.
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39. Bogon
3:51 PM GMT on May 06, 2012
SBKaren, I would rather claim experience than genius. But it's okay with me, if you want to contribute to the growing legend that is Bogon. :oþ

BriarCraft - HTML tags for huh and what? I think I missed something in the translation. ?o/

Judging from context I might think you wanted a rich text rendition of [dang] or [heck] or some other four-letter expletive.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
38. Proserpina
2:06 PM GMT on May 06, 2012

Sunday greetings from my spinning Iris and me.
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37. sandiquiz
8:45 PM GMT on May 05, 2012
Just did a speed check on my connection and currently, it's a whopping 0.85 MB down and 0.43 up.

Oh, boy, I would be tearing my hair out!

Even before I invested in "infinity", which is the laser system, my download was at least three times more than you, and upload about twice as fast. Now it is ....
hang on, I will check ....at the moment (middle of Saturday evening when the system is busy) download is 15.8Mb and upload is 5.8Mb. The fastest it has ever been was 94MB download!! I couldn't believe it, so took a screen shot of the results
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
36. Keywester
8:09 PM GMT on May 05, 2012
Thanks for the beautiful pictures...I loved the scenery...took an imaginary trip...What FUN!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
35. BriarCraft
7:51 PM GMT on May 05, 2012
Karen: I used to go to the ranunculus fields in Carlsbad every year. They used to be bigger before Legoland and surrounding development, but they still are well worth seeing. Like the tulip fields, it's a visual overload of masses of brilliant colors. And Monday will be better than Sunday with fewer people to clutter up the flower fields. Enjoy. And I hope you'll take some pics for me to enjoy on your blog.

Bogon: No mobile devices here. I do have a 5-year-old cheap cell phone in the car in case I need AAA some day. My computer is a desktop variety, with a CAT-5 cable connecting me to the interwebs. In my most recent bill from Toledo Tel, they were braggin that they just doubled the DSL speed to 1MB downstream. Just did a speed check on my connection and currently, it's a whopping 0.85 MB down and 0.43 up. Not bad, except for when it gets the hiccups.

If I'm working on a new blog entry or doing a lot of typing on WU, I do sometimes use Notepad. Mostly, I just save to the clipboard from every few minutes by highlighting what I've typed and doing a Ctrl-C. And I almost always do that just before hitting Post. Being human, however, there are always exceptions. That was what happened in #20 -- forgot to copy to clipboard before posting. Sometimes there's just no controlling that human factor. At least not that I've learned. Ooops. dad-gummit.

If only there was an HTML tag for "engage brain" or "don't forget". Do you know the correct syntax for that?

Sandi: I've never seen a tulip float before. Rose petals yes, but not tulips. Tulips do make perfect sense though, as they have such a wide range of brilliant colors. I do think you should consider attending the next Spalding Tulip Festival. The last time you went, you didn't have a camera to do it justice. Think of the blog entry you could make now!

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
34. sandiquiz
7:13 PM GMT on May 05, 2012
I thought of you and your blog this evening when I heard on the local news that the Spalding Tulip Festival took place today.

"To ensure the life of the tulips in the fields and to put the growth back into the bulb, millions of tulip flower heads are removed. In 1959, the first Spalding Tulip Parade took place. Within a few years this Parade was to become world famous and even more popular than the tulip fields themselves"

I went to the parade with my mum and dad way back in the early 60's.... perhaps it is something I should do again!

I found some photos of today's floats on Facebook.

Here is a blow-up of one of them.

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