Random 5 for July 19 – nighttime creatures, mood, locusts, honey bees, bloggers

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Summertime — Morgan, Mollie and Hazel in the screened porch

They have arrived! – The locusts started their sweet song this past week. For me this is a sure sign of summer. As a child it signaled the hottest point of the summer – pool days, Kool Aid, biking! Good memories! (Cue background music….Summertime….and the living is easy…..)

Starting the day right – My morning trip to Starbucks is always a window into my mood for the day. Sometimes I find the other drivers funny and sometimes….not so funny. The best part is the music. Bouncing my butt to a rocking 1970s hit tune always starts my day off right. This week the highlight was the Moody Blues “I’m Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band!”

raccoon at feeder

Hi! Hope you don’t mind. I stopped by for a snack.

Nighttime marauder – If you read my post on the night creatures that visit my yard (click here), we did get the answer to the question of “who is that fluffy critter that climbs the bird feeder with the agility of a pole dancer?” The photo is fuzzy but clearly a raccoon.

The end of the story – Also if you read about my encounter with honey bees (here), they weren’t honey bees. They were aggressive yellow jackets and we needed to eliminate them. Not only were they in the garden but there were about a dozen in the beloved husband’s clothes closet inside the house (and he got stung too but didn’t have the reaction I did). He found a tiny crack which he has since spackled up.

Whine for bloggers! Bring your own cheese! – WordPress made changes to the reader. I use the reader as an easy way to access other blog posts. This wasn’t a case of switching columns or fonts (although they did that). This involved changing the way we access blogs. Quite frankly I don’t get it. For some of the blogs there is a “Visit (blog name) to read full post.” For others, it’s not there and clicking takes you to a white page with only the story. You are not on their blog site. Getting to the blog site requires multiple clicks. I don’t know why some are one way and some, the other. They also change the notice about the length of the post from word count to reading time. Seriously? That assumes we all read at the same speed. Maybe we do but I liked the word count better and that’s back. Sometimes the changes are annoying because we have to relearn something but in the end it’s better and sometimes I can’t figure it out why it’s better. Oh yes, I’m losing posts too. I have to rely on the email notifications which makes it all more work. Sometimes the link on the email doesn’t work. Whassup with that? On a positive note, the new font is cleaner to read.

 

 

54 thoughts on “Random 5 for July 19 – nighttime creatures, mood, locusts, honey bees, bloggers

  1. I’m glad you mentioned the new reader format. I just assumed that I did something wrong and messed it up (I typically blame myself for things I have no control over). It sounds like you were able to work with it, though? I’ll have to try again. But, as soon as I get it figured out, they’ll probably change it again. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

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  2. Your night camera is such a cool thing Kate. I wish we could see Racoons over here. Great action shot. Sounds like the bees were taking over, we have wasps like that, they make homes so quickly I wonder how they got there so quickly undetected and then have to spray and run.

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    • We had a hornet’s nest last summer on the eave of the roof. Professionals told us to let it go as they die with a hard frost, then knock it down. We did that and they didn’t come back. At least not in the same spot. If they are here, we haven’t found them yet.

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  3. Summer memories and music makes it complete. Its the bandit! Hate those jackets. They stung my hands a few years back and my hands looked the size of Mickey Mouse and his hands. The only thing missing was the white gloves. As for WordPress and their so called change for the better—HA!

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  4. I’ve come to the conclusion that I HATE CHANGE!!! If that’s old age, so be it! I think I finally figured out how to use the new Reader but don’t ask me… I’m still mad about the “improved” blog posting system. Sometimes I get the new (hate it) and sometimes it goes back to the old (love it). Grrrrrrrrrrrr…..

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    • I still use the old posting system. I have it bookmarked to get to fast. I miss the old stat page that gave % of change from week to week. I don’t like change in my technology (which really sounds stupid as most of the changes make it easier and faster). Most changes seem to be geared for mobile devices and I blog from my desktop. My new computer hangs up all the time (like my old one better). I have just this week figured out easy clicks on the reader. Since I didn’t grow up with it, changes are not really intuitive (like they keep saying).

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  5. Raccoons, yellow jackets, locusts, yikes! 🙂 We were just reminiscing about Kool Aid yesterday. My mom wouldn’t let us drink soda when we were growing up, but there was always a pitcher of red or purple Kool Aid in the fridge. Not sure which is worse. Hope you got rid of those yellow jackets, they’re nasty. Not wild about changes to Word Press. I usually rely on the reader too and wish I was routed right over to blogger’s site. Plus, I feel like I’m missing some.

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  6. I am so over WordPress and their endless ideas to make changes!!
    Rocky the Raccoon caught in the act. I wonder if he intentionally looked at the camera for a big nananananana or he was caught off guard. Little does he know he is now a candidate for the Dumbest Criminal show.

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    • It’s a nighttime security camera but there must be something that happens (like maybe a red light that goes off) when it takes a picture because I get pictures of both the deer and raccoon smiling into the camera.

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  7. I can’t imagine EVER being happy about the arrival of locusts! On the other hand, believe it or not, I understand they are not only edible, but also KOSHER.
    No, I’m not about to taste them 😉

    Yellow jackets: well, I’ve had to battle hornets once or twice in my old flat, when they nested in the casing of the roll-down shutters and no, they are not nice. I wrote about them a couple of times. You have my sympathy.

    You have no doubt noticed, I am not fond of insects…

    About the new WordPress Reader, and the multiple clicks – I believe the reason that some require more clicks than others is that some bloggers set their accessibility in such a way that you cannot read the full post without actually visiting their site. It is a way to boost clicks and drive traffic to your site.

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    • Not eating the locusts either! You are probably right about the settings. I have my blog set like that and you get the “click here” message. I have figured out that if you click on the 3 dots (upper right side of post) one choice is to go to the site and it takes you to that specific post. Took me a week to find that.

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  8. Kate … From your description in your previous post, I suspected your nighttime marauder was a raccoon. I’m glad you unmasked the thief.

    Loved listening to your Nora Jones’ selection of “Summertime” while I wrote my response. Ahhh! Just lovely. (Now, I’ll just linger here until she finishes.) 😉

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  9. One of the great songs of all time. Love this Nora Jones version.

    I didn’t know yellow jackets could be so difficult and scarey. I hope the professionals will put you at the top of their list.

    We’re looking at 90 degrees here today, which is really hot since most of us in the Pacific Northwest don’t have air conditioning.

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  10. As a relatively new WP blogger, I haven’t even investigated the Reader yet. So I guess I’m fortunate that I won’t have to go through the learning curve more than once – until it happens once again someday!

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  11. Yellow jackets in the HOUSE?! Okay, that could also be a Fox or UPN sitcom line too. But really, really scary. Glad the entry for them was plugged.

    Yeah, the new reader is a bit of a bummer. My main complaint about it is that it no longer gives the count for how many new updates I have to read. It’s not hugely important that I have that count, but for some reason I dld like knowing each time I clicked into it. Now I just keep scrolling and reading till I come to what I *think* is the last one I read. And, yes, it’s a little more confusing which posts are there in their entirety, and those which require you enter the blog to read.

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    • We will adjust. The yellow jacket problem is expanding as time goes on. Exterminator comes tomorrow. We are hoping they don’t come through the bedroom ceiling tonight. Never a dull moment.

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  12. I rely on you to speak about WP changes. I no like it. Pole dancer, eh? Yes! As for them jackets, get Arnold S. to exterminate them inside and out. The locusts are edible, try some.

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      • FYI: From Marjorie Happiness Engineer of WP. Sent a note about media not showing. Here’s the response. We had previously removed featured images on sites that have their RSS feeds only show summary view rather than full post view. However, we just restored that ability earlier today, so if you still do not see your Featured Images in the Reader, let me know and I’m happy to investigate further!

        If you’re referring to something else besides the Featured Image, please clarify which images you’re referring to, and preferably send a screenshot or two and a link to the post in question. Thank you!

        BTW: Your cats are on the reader. Cheers.

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  13. I’m so glad you mentioned the change in WP, Kate. I’d asked a few bloggers earlier this week, if their Reader looked different and they said no. I thought something was wrong with my version. I can’t stand the new look. It’s so generic. I have to view posts through the Reader because I suddenly stopped receiving notifications of new posts by email about a year or more ago. I’m not a fan of change. 😦
    Stay cool! I hear you’ve got some of our steamy weather today.

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    • Oh yes, hitting 99 with high humidity. That’s hot for our area. Don’t like computer changes because it means jimmying things around trying to figure it out. I didn’t find anything explaining the changes other than the marketing email.

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  14. We’ve been getting an abundance of fireflies that show up at dusk, which is another clear indicator that summer is officially here. Well, that and the 100 degree days that we call “baking cookies on the sidewalk” days. It always kind of bums me out when I can’t walk out to my mailbox in bare feet anymore, because the heat of the concrete blisters the bottom of your feet. Seems ludicrous to have to put on fuzzy slippers just to fetch the mail.

    Loved your raccoon photo. My sister is living in TN, and she recently discovered they have a raccoon living under their hot tub deck, but she hasn’t managed to catch a photo, (although she’s tried many times). She tells me they can’t be photographed. Too stealthy. I’m tempted to send her your photo, just to prove her wrong. 🙂 Good job capturing the little thief in action!

    I’m battling a wasp issue myself. Doesn’t seem to matter how many times I spray the nests and knock them down, they come back again and again. They love my shaded front porch area, and have even built nests on my front door, so that when I swing the door open, they are already in my entry way / living room. Creeps me out, so now I open my front door much more carefully. Well, except when the pizza guy is delivering. Then I forget, because I’m thinking about pizza.

    I wasn’t even aware that WordPress changed things up again. No surprise there. That would be because I haven’t been anywhere near WP for over a week. I always rely on the email notifications versus the Reader, and it’s actually very rare for me to even go into my Reader, so it could be a while before I would have even discovered they changed things up again. Now you’ve got me curious, so I’ll probably go take a peek later today. It can be really frustrating having to keep learning things over and over again, especially when it’s something that is intended to be relaxing and enjoyable. Half the time I’m still barely waking up when I’m reading in WP, so that’s definitely not the time to be trying to figure out new ways to navigate around. Maybe I need some Starbucks!

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    • The camera is a security camera you rig up and it takes pictures when it senses movement. That’s the only way I get the deer and raccoon who visit at 3 a.m. Not at my best at 3 a.m.!

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  15. Yellow jackets! They’re awful, she says stating the obvious. We had some in our front yard and it took a couple of tries to get rid of them. But we did. Be careful.

    I don’t like WP Reader and deleted everything in it. I use My Feedly now for everything. It’s not as instantly fast as Reader, but it’s easy to use and accurate and doesn’t make me swear. Have you tried it?

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    • First I’ve heard of it. I’ll have to check it out. Some things I liked about the reader is that I could tell when there was a response to a comment I made on another blog. Made it easy. That was then.

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      • I get that feature through my WP editor. I never used Reader to do that. I never was enthused about Reader, so I never used all of its features, I guess.

        Try feedly.com. It’s straightforward. And allows you to follow more than just WP blogs.

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  16. Raccoon! Of course, they are the ultimate bandits. Are you going to attempt to marauder-proof your feeder?

    Bad yellow jackets. 😦 Are your arms back to normal?

    If it’s any consolation, I still get your blog easily in my mail and on my reader. Hopefully you can say the same.

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    • Not going to do anything to birdfeeders. He doesn’t do damage and doesn’t come every night. It’s the cost of living. Arms ok except the original site still itchy. Refusing to take Benadryl as I spent most of those days asleep. I never did get your posts on my reader and I don’t know why. I use email notification for you. There are about 2 others like that.

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  17. We are happy to hear the locusts too! Glad you got rid of the yellow jackets… now if we could get rid of our spider mites that are destroying our evergreens. We are spraying! I always go to the blogs I am following because I want to see it as it is… see new headers. I have to be there… 😀 But I did use the reader to check for new comments and I thought the old reader did quite well. Not fond of the new reader, but I don’t do change well. I think it is funny that the three cats are on the lounger… still not liking the new furniture?

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    • They do go on the new furniture but there is something about that lounger. It’s that web-type of material and they love to scratch on it. Yellow jackets are now in the house. We will need a professional. We sealed the hole they came in and within 2 hours they chewed another hole. It’s like something out of horror movie. Maybe they eat spider mites. Should I send them out to you?

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      • Uh no… CH just got rid of them in the west field. I can’t believe they have moved their menacing stinging stingers inside your home. We had to have a professional remove bats from our attic and screen all the air vents… but I would take bats over yellow jackets. And the same professional came last Spring and removed a skunk family that dug under our front porch slab… fun and stinky is what that was. Good luck, Kate. Those professional guys know what they are doing so you should be rid of them soon. It has been a BAD year for bugs!

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  18. Since WordPress is FREE to me, when the powers that be don’t take my preferences into account before making changes I try not to let it throw me off kilter. In the 5 years I’ve been blogging, I’ve liked some changes, others not so much . . . either way, the changes keep my mind sharp as I figure out how to navigate shifting sands. 😛

    Glad those yellow jackets came out of the closet!

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  19. So it’s the Day of the Locust…love the cat photo and how Morgan always looks as if he’s winking…I know, can’t be easy having one eye like Sammy Davis Jr. but it does give him added charm.
    Best line…with the agility of a pole dancer. What an image. Imagine one who needs waxing.
    And in regards to our blogs we so diligently weed and water, I have two words for you on this muggy Sunday…FUCK WORDPRESS.
    Always look forward to the Random 5

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