Gnats Gnot Gnice!

Several times per week I wake up at 4:30am and leave the house at 5am to go bike riding for exercise.  I took this picture at sunrise this morning because I wanted to show off how cool the moon looked with the sun shining on it.  Unfortunately my cell phone takes crappy pictures.  I took 3 and this one was the best one.

But that’s not the reason for this post.  I love riding almost 23 miles every time I ride but the one thing that I do not like are the gnats.

Sometimes I will run into these little buggers.  They are so gross lol.  I can’t see them until they are coming towards my face and sometimes I can’t see them at all and I have no time to duck my head to the side to avoid them.  Occasionally I’ll get a straggler that’s flying solo that just flies into my mouth as I’m singing, and you know if you are on the bike trail by yourself with headphones on it’s pretty difficult to not sing.  Imagine singing an Alanis Morissette song “It’s like RAAAAYYYYAAAAYYYYAAAAIIIIN” where you practically have to unhinge your jaw to sing that one part.  A ton of gnats gets in then.

One thing these disgusting little things do is when they do run into my face, arm hair or chest, they latch on and go for the ride.  When I get to a point where I usually stop to take a break they let go and swarm me.  So one thing I like to do is stop maybe 20 feet or so from the place I like to take a break at so they will let go then take off so they can’t follow me.  Although some do catch up with me but not all of them.

During my breaks I like to take off my helmet and skull cap so I can dry my head and replace it with a dry one.  My breaks aren’t spent slacking off, they are spent getting dry to continue going the way I came, back home.  If I don’t do that then the skull cap I’m wearing will start dripping in my face.  23 miles is a long way to go with a soaking wet skull cap.  Usually as I’m opening my energy bar and taking a bite is when the gnats finally catch up to me then it’s dodging gnats all the way home lol.

It’s a very strange existence.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a gnat, flying in eyeballs, noses and mouths, latching onto clothing and sitting there while I’m being taken away from my gnat family.  No, I don’t think I want to live in that world.

I don’t even want to think of any diseases they carry *shivers at the thought*

Ok my skin is crawling, I can’t think about this anymore lol.

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I am not a graphics designer but I do try to make all of my own graphics because I really can’t afford to pay a graphics designer to do it for me. I usually like to have a whole new banner image for the holidays and I think I’ve finally gotten my banner the way I want it.

I’m using GIMP as my Photoshop program and I’m using brushes for all of my other graphics like the Christmas decorations and snow from Obsidian Dawn.

I’m not very good at it yet but I think it’s fun working with brushes. The only issue I had with these particular brushes is that when you click the brush pattern onto the image, it’s very light. You can’t even see it unless you click it several times and even then it loses all of the details and texture in the image. What I have figured out is that if I make it white then click it on the image about 10 times, it gives me a base, that way I can use a color and click it down again and you can see it better.

Take the Snowman for example. I created a layer for the snowman then I used white and I created my base then I erased the arms.  I created another layer but moved that layer down under the white layer and I used a dark brown color then stamped the snowman back down about 10 times. That way you can see the arms but not the dark brown snowman because that was all hidden behind my white base. Then to give it texture I just stamped it down (still with the brown) on top of itself on the base layer. The only issue is that in the Obsidian Dawn website when they show the snowman in the image for all the brushes, he has a red scarf. I really don’t care about his scarf but it would be nice to be able to just stamp it once and have all the details like the red scarf.

I did the same thing with the Christmas tree (although it may be a little bit overkill), all the decorations, the presents and the Santa hat on my head in the picture of me when I was 16. Then I added the snowflakes and then the snow but I didn’t click many times, I only clicked once for the snowflakes and the snow because I didn’t want it to overpower the image.

You can go to the Obsidian Dawn website and download some brushes for your own graphics. They have tutorials for using these brushes in Photoshop and Gimp but they are mostly for Photoshop which is why I’m still clueless. Maybe they work better in Photoshop than they do in Gimp so you don’t have to go that extra mile that I have to go. Who knows. Actually tell me if you know so I can beat my head against the wall if I’m doing it the hard way lol.

I hope that some day I might get better at using GIMP because I really love creating my own graphics. Maybe some day I might be so good that I can start making desktop themes to add to my downloads page. Probably not so don’t hold your breath on that one.

Yardsellr Negative Comments

I’ve posted in here several times that I am on Yardsellr now.  Well, I have been noticing some disturbing trends happening over there.  Apparently it’s not just happening to me but other people as well.

People troll the Yardsellr website then leave nasty comments in people ads.  The other day 3 people left negative comments in my Pedi Paws ad saying the product is not worth your money, don’t waste your time etc.  Uh excuse me but I’m trying to sell it.  I don’t care what you think it’s worth.  Don’t go on my ads telling potential customers of mine that it’s a piece of crap and make me lose a sale.

Another person posted a comment on a video game of mine saying the game was gay.  I didn’t delete the comment but then he came back and posted another comment accusing me of deleting his prior comment and saying “gaaaaaaaayyyyyyy”.  Where were these people raised?  In the forest by wolves?  Don’t people have manners anymore?  First off, I didn’t delete your first stupid comment and second of all, I should just delete both your comments on principle.  I don’t even know why I didn’t delete them, I guess I figured if I deleted them I would get more spam in my other ads which I don’t want.

I clicked the “feedback” button so I could make a suggestion that they add a link or button to “report abuse” so that perhaps if a person gets reported enough times, their account might get banned from either commenting or using the website.  That’s when I ran into another persons feedback saying they are having the same issue as me.

Look, I’m all for leaving comments saying a product isn’t worth a damn but do it on a website that actually makes money.  Don’t leave those comments on a website where people are trying to sell their useless crap so they can scrape enough money together to buy groceries or pay their bills.

Besides the report button, I think they should also add a way for me to approve a comment before allowing it to be posted, just like in my blog and/or YouSayToo.  After so many nasty comments I have decided to make it impossible for people who aren’t members of YST to leave a comment and even members comments have to be approved before they be allowed to be seen.  On my blog the comment is not seen period until I approve it and that’s how it should be everywhere.  If I think a comment at Yardsellr is going to help me make the sale then I should be able to approve it but if it’s negative then it’s my prerogative to delete it and I shouldn’t be hassled by people who have too much time and negativity on their hands.

I wish people would grow up and stop with the internet bullying.  It doesn’t serve any purpose to be jackasses online.  My mother used to tell me that if I don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.  I know it sounds corny but it’s true and should be applied to the internet too.  And parents, please monitor your children’s activity a little better.

My Leg is Better

Just thought I would give an update about my leg. A week ago I posted about My New Leg Injury describing what happened to me on Sunday, October 17th. How I ran for the ice cream truck, ran faster then my calf muscle popped and stopped me dead in my tracks.

I was on crutches for a few days then I went to 1 crutch then no crutches. I was supposed to be out of commission for 4-6 weeks (or 6-8 weeks for my overestimation, just in case) but it turned out to be way less.

Over the last few days I’ve been walking on my foot instead of walking on my toes and limping. I think that has stretched what was tightened so that I can walk normal again. The doctor said ice for 20 minutes several times a day for the first 3-4 days then heat. Well, I did the ice and heat and it did help some but I think the best therapy is getting up and walking around. Sure it was painful as hell but no pain no gain right?

Every morning when I wake up I limp at first but once I start walking on my foot it starts to limber up and I can walk. Occasionally the pain will start up again but it won’t last too long then it’s better again. And actually I’m having pain in other places now. All the way down my leg from my knee along my shin down to my foot. I don’t know why the pain has moved from my calf to my shin but I’m sure it will go away in time.

I’m not 100% healed but I’m not too far from it. I rather enjoyed having a few days off and not having to take the dog out 20 times per day and having to make all the meals. Of course when I was able to walk on my own again I was forced to continue daily life as if nothing had happened. I could be laying in bed pretending for another 5 weeks but I’m a terrible liar lol.

My Leg 3 Days Later

Not that anyone requested an update or anything but I’d just like to update that things are going good.

I haven’t had to use both crutches though because I have pretty much learned to walk without them as long as I walk on my toes on my left foot.  If I walk on my toes on both feet then I can walk normal but both legs bent at the knee.  It looks funny but what else can I do eh?

It still hurts like hell though.  I can straighten my left leg when I lay down but not when I walk, especially when I walk because the pain comes.  If I’m laying down and I make my foot move with toes towards me then there is pain.

I really don’t need any pain meds because there is only pain when I do what I said in the previous paragraph.  I don’t have general pain THANK GOODNESS!  I have taken the muscle relaxers at night when it says to.  I don’t know how long that will take to fix the problem if at all but I have 20 pills.

I’m still on ice and I switch to heat tomorrow.  The doctor said ice for 15-20 minutes several times per day for 3-4 days then switch to heat.  The ice isn’t so bad.  I have a thing that you put an ice pack in then wrap it around you leg that I’ve had for a couple of years.  You can freeze the ice pack for cold or heat it up for hot but I’d rather use an electric heating pad instead because it gives constant heat.  The heating pad I have is the same type that you wrap around the leg.

I walked the dog today with one crutch instead of being on my tip toes in public lol.  Walking around that way takes a lot longer but I only walked her in the front of the house.  But, for regular dog walking duties, I’d rather Darrin handle that and give me a break since I’ve done it every day since we got her.

I can do dishes as long as I keep my leg bent which I do anyway when I stand there doing dishes.  Although I usually switch bent legs but this time I can’t.  I have to keep all the stress on my right leg.  But as long as I do one sink load (we have a 1 sided sink, it doesn’t have 2 sides so I have to use a big bowl) then I can fill it up with more dishes and let them soak while I rest my right leg so I can do more.

So I guess that’s my update for now.  No pain unless I purposely cause it by moving my foot or walk directly on the leg.  And I can still do light chores lol.  yay…

Can’t you see how enthusiastic I was by not making yay in caps?  LOL

My Nook Battery

Before I go on a rant, I would just like to say that I love my Nook. I’ve had nothing but fun with it since I got it on Friday night. Yes, I have had some irritations but the more I play with it the more I understand it and love it.

With that said, I just want to say how I am questioning their “10-day battery life” statement. I’ve only had it since Friday night which is when I first charged it. The next day the battery had started going down so I plugged it in again so I am really counting from that moment which would be Saturday afternoon when it was at full capacity which for some odd reason was only 97% when the light went off and it stopped charging.

So that would be 3 days that I have been playing with it when it went from 97% battery life down to 24%. It’s supposed to be 10 days, not 3.

Note that they said 10 days IF the wi-fi is turned off. The Kindle wi-fi has a 30 day battery with wi-fi turned off and it only uses the battery when you turn the page right? So I think that this is 10 days because every time you have to look up a word it turns the LCD screen on which uses battery so that’s why instead of 30 days it’s only 10 days.

How much time do they estimate per day that you should use the Nook to give you 10 days of battery power? 1 hour per day? 2 hours?

Maybe I’m using it more than they would have estimated that a person would use it and that’s why it’s sucking so much energy from the battery.

I think what’s happening is that every time I don’t understand a word I look it up which turns the LCD on. And before I start reading I usually go into the daily to see what they have in there. I pick up my Nook several times per day and look at stuff in the Nook store. So maybe I am over using it.

I mean it doesn’t really bother me that much that it’s only been 3 days and I’ve already used 75% of the battery because I can certainly plug it in every few days. It’s the principle that they say “10 days” without a charge that gets me because I’m seriously wondering just how long they expect a person would be using this thing.

Look, I’m a reader, I love to read… a lot. I’m gonna be using this thing for hours at a time, maybe 4-6 hours per day. It’s gonna get its use whether I’m reading a book, magazine or newspaper or just browsing the Nook store. So I guess if I over use it like that I’m gonna have to expect to charge it every few days.

I guess I’ll just have to deal with it lol.

People Say I’m Full of Bologna

Sing along with me. My Bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R. My Bologna has a second name it’s M-A-Y-E-R. Oh I love to eat it every day and if you ask me why I’ll say. Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A.

My mother made me bologna sandwiches for lunch nearly every day when I was a kid until I was old enough to make them for myself. We alternated between bologna, ham and pb&j. When I took them to school as my lunch I much prefered the bologna or ham sandwiches as opposed to the pb&j because at least the mayo didn’t soak into the bread like the jelly did but at the same time, mayo shouldn’t be sitting in a lunch box or paper bag for a few hours before you can get to it. It’s a wonder I’m still alive lol.

I wasn’t really that big on the bologna though, I mean I liked it enough that I was eating it but I wasn’t this huge fan. I ate it because that is what was given to me. When I was on my own I never really voluntarily bought it for myself because after so many years of bologna sandwiches several times a week you get sick of it.

Over the last 20 years I’ve been more of a turkey or ham sandwich kind of guy. Occasionally a PB&J will do but not too often anymore since I found out that I was diabetic.

Yesterday I was at the grocery store looking for some lunch meat and I got to thinking, I haven’t had bologna in over 20 years. But, I’m trying to lose weight, should I? I looked carefully at each new type of bologna they had because there are more options now than there were in the last 40 years.

One caught my eye. Oscar Mayer 98% fat-free Bologna made with turkey. WHAT?!?! Turkey is a healthy alternative, a meat that I have been eating a lot of lately along with chicken. The regular bologna is about 170 calories (give or take) but this 98% fat-free bologna with turkey is only 25 calories with 0 grams of fat. Uh sign me up for that action.

The bread that I’ve found is called Nature’s Own and the whole wheat bread is only 50 calories per slice. The Kraft fat-free mayo that I’ve been using is only 15 calories for 1 tbsp which is enough mayo to spread on both slices with some leftover that you can put back in the jar. 1 sandwich is 140 calories with 3.5g of fat. That is not a bad sandwich if I do say so myself. It’s so good, I ate 2 and I didn’t feel one bit of guilt.

The turkey bologna tastes so much better than the original, although I’m not saying the original tasted bad, I liked it but this is better and has way fewer calories and no fat.

The good thing is that it wasn’t expensive either. Usually if something is good for you, it’s going to be expensive. I can’t remember the exact price but it was on sale for a buck and change. Although the regular price was two bucks and change.

So, I guess you could say that I am a bologna person again, as long as they keep making this stuff I’m on board with it.