Category Archives: Technology

In Color. And in Black and White.


I bet Ark will get the title reference! Wonder if anyone else will? Think 70’s music, for a hint.

Murtagh’s Meadow, a blogger very VERY local to me, has been sharing pictures from the lovely frosty mornings we have had the last week. I’ve been struggling to get out the door on time for work (the car has to be defrosted, then the dog pukes all over the floor and is too much of a princess to clean it up herself like a normal dog would, then the kitten decides to leave a massive stink bomb in the litter box and OMGWTFBBQ it has to be cleaned right then and there or the house will reek of kitten-death-poo) so I’ve been missing all the beauty in my frosted garden.

We took Friday off, our last paid holiday day for both of us left in 2016 (Christmas holidays not included). Mostly just because, partly to prep for our odd version of Irish-American Thanksgiving, which we did Saturday.

Turkey last night, after 4+ hours being smoked on the Weber charcoal grill. Sorry, my vegetarian friends! Obligatory turkey pic, it’s an American thing! I also made cheddar garlic biscuits (scones), and barley stuffing or dressing. He made some mashed potatoes from the goodly (and free) haul I dug out of the garden last month. Since I let our jack-o-lanterns rot in the driveway, I made a sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin. All was lovely, and we can’t wait for leftovers tonight. And, of course, I had pie for breakfast, as you do.

Back to the original subject. I do tend to ramble when in the mood. 

Saturday morning hubby was awfully slow to get out of bed, and as the morning grew late I lost patience. I went upstairs and leapt onto the bed and bounced around like Tigger or the boxer in this year’s John Lewis advert. After he got done giggling at me acting 40 years younger than I really am, I said, “Let’s go take frost photos!” So we loaded up the ‘good cameras’ and headed to his uncle’s garden. 

I have a bunch of pictures, but thought I would start with these from my ‘phone. Same photo – one iPhone, one iPhone using my favourite Hipstamatic setup.

I only took one picture, remember. But the app saves it normal (this one). 

Along with what I saw, and wanted – this, in black & white.

I find it quite odd to see a colour photo when my brain isn’t expecting it at all (Hipstamatic did not previously save a ‘straight’ version). What do you think? Which one do you like better? I will admit I like the black and white version best. 



I have no idea where to start. Lots of shit has been happening. I can’t just throw it all into one post, however. Do I go with most fun? Most typical for my posts? Most weird? Most recent, or look at older pictures I wanted to share so I can keep a timeline in my head for what I’ve talked about here? 

Insert a Charlie Brown ‘Aaaaauuuugggh!’ here.

I guess I have to go with most fun. Because… I mentioned it first? And I’m really happy about something for a change? Eh. Seems fair.

We did this last weekend:

Our new Shiny! We were in such shock that this actually happened, that this is the ONLY photo we took. It’s been since 1996 since I’ve had a brand-new vehicle. I will admit this is not an inexpensive car here (our ridiculous tax, or VAT, literally doubles the price of a car). But I love it.

This car has more computers in it than the entirety of 1980. It does things that I can’t imagine the need for, like telling you when the oil change is due. It has a wee Mini graphic that winks at you when you get in! It ‘bongs’ when the temperature goes near freezing, or when the engine is running and a passenger takes off their seat belt. Thankfully none of that constant noise if you just don’t buckle up for moving it a few metres in the driveway.

It has CRAZY lights. We apparently got these as part of a package himself wanted for other reasons – but I’m having so damn much fun with the lights! First of all, there are exterior lights I never expected.

When you unlock the car, there are lights inside the door handles – on the outside of the car! That’s just mad. Day two of having the car I walked outside in the dark, hit the button, and immediately thought I had ringed planets on my car. Little saturns waiting for me.

There are also lights under the doors when you open them, so you can clearly see the puddle you are about to step into! It is Ireland, after all. 

It gets better with the crazy lights – inside lighting is all LED and has what seems to be ten different colour choices, at the touch of a toggle above the rear-view mirror. I can’t even name all these colours, but so far I’ve really liked the bright red, green, and purple. I keep changing it! I realised yesterday that the interior lights cycle through every colour right after you unlock the car, and then stay on the one I had chosen. Mad. 

There is more – turning up the heat or the volume on the ‘entertainment system’ makes lights race around the main dash computer display. Said display shows anything you want about the car – but since I’m all about my music, it shows the artist, song and, FFS, the album cover in colour. This fucker is smarter than I am!

It seems we won’t break the bank, as the old car was d e a d dead from a financial standpoint. It cost us more in the last four months in repairs than a regular car payment for this beauty does. And I’m safe on the road again, which – I have to say – I was not feeling safe in the old Mini any more. I do miss it, and I did tear up as I patted her goodbye. So many good memories, and family and friends that I rarely see were in that car. The last photo of our Good Dog Shade was taken in that car. So yes, I miss the old one.

But I believe we did the right thing, and the lights are starring my eyes into loving the new Mini. 

Not to mention how damn quick and fast she is! Phowar! 

Best of all? It has a sunroof, baby! I love love love it. Even in a country with rare sun I’ve been popping it open nearly every day. It’s a good thing for a former Florida gal to get the sun and fresh air whenever possible. 

Question Time! Opinions Wanted.


Our beloved Mini is dying the death of a hundred papercuts. We have spent enough on it in the last three months to decide a monthly payment for a non-death-trap car is no longer an option, but a necessity.

The big question is – what colour? I’ve asked a few of my family and friends, but why not ask my blog friends, too? 

So:  Deep Blue?

Or Moonwalk Grey?
  I have a negative reason for each colour, but I’m on the fence as to which I like more. Neither photo is exactly what we will be buying, but these are as close as we could come via Ms Google. We’d not have the orange bits on the headlights and side lights, and it would have a sunroof. Stuck with those ugly wheels for now, though. Likely the side, or wing, mirrors on the blue one will be the same flat black as on the grey one, too. (Pics stolen randomly off the internet, sorry if I’ve violated any copyright. Will remove on request!)

What do you think? Blue or grey?

Black and White Three – Beautiful Messes


Urlaur Lake, Mayo – one of my other favourite places and so close.

More boats from around Killala harbour.

I took the same shot in colour – it is good too, but I still like the B&W better.

Which do you like better?

Black and White Two – the Aneala and a Druid’s Glen


More Hipstamatic shots!
Taken on the Mayo Coast near Killala a ship out of water.

Taken while driving near Kilkelly – hence the blur, which I think makes the shot. I always call out ‘druid’s glen!’ when the trees meet over the road.

A reminder: these photos are under my copyright and cannot be shared without permission and a link to the original source, this blog. Thanks! (don’t make me have to watermark the shit out of these, okay?)

Black and White One – Mary and Spot


I love the Hipstamatic application – I love the setup I use, anyway. I’ve never gotten around to playing with the dozens of other ways the app can be used. I know my favourite grouping of lens & film will always capture the image I see in my head.

I have too many good ones to share all at once – I’ve just realised this as I started uploading. I’ll only do a couple at a time.

Taken inside a local pub.

My good boy Spot on a sunny day.

A reminder: these photos are under my copyright and cannot be shared without permission and a link to the original source, this blog. Thanks! (don’t make me have to watermark the shit out of these, okay?)

Tigridia Tuesday – Week 3. With a Contest!


Sorry I’ve not been on here much at all the last week – ’twas my birthday in there, and I had the week off so I was doing stuffs. Didn’t do the Cartoon Challenge, didn’t post any of the other fabulous flowers I have to share with you, or the one fun place I went over the weekend. Soonish, I’m sure.

But I committed to doing a once a week all-tigridia post, so I must do so!









Thursday: it was windy! But my size-large hand is in one of these, so you get an idea of how big these blooms are. Sorry they are a bit battered by the wind.






Friday: I didn’t get out front to take any pictures. I suck.

Saturday: it was wet.






Whoops, a bug in the shot. Whoops, my toes in the shot.

That’s okay – I took it again using Hipstamatic. Looks pretty good in B&W!




Getting there – Monday there were NONE. I guess they needed a break.

Tuesday, yesterday as I’m all messed up and didn’t know what day it is until just now: there were six, but I knew I’d be tired of posting pics by now (and I am) so I did four in one shot – is that cheating?




I have a wee quiz this week! One of the days in this week’s line up wasn’t taken with my iPhone 4, it was taken with our fancy-pants camera – a Nikon D3100 – instead. If you get the correct answer, I will post (mail) a packet of mixed tigridia seeds to you from 2013 (if you want them, of course). I know they are viable as I have oodles of seedlings, some now a good foot tall. They may not bloom until next year or the year after, but isn’t that half the fun of gardening from seed? Of course I will help with any germination questions. Good luck!

Contest closes next Tuesday, August 12.

Hope you enjoyed the photos – it’s a good feeling for me to save them here since they only last a few hours.