Author: Margy

The Robin Welcome Wagon

Two years ago, a pair of American Robins built a nest on top of the electric meter box near our front door. (See this post: The Endless Quest for Food.) Yesterday, a pair of robins were checking out the same location, but almost immediately afterward, a magpie landed on the meter. This seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of the robins. They haven’t returned. The Car Guy and I remembered, though, that the previous robins had a great deal of difficulty building a nest on the narrow, smooth surface of the box. It seemed to us that it might be a good idea to mount a platform on top of the box that would make it easier for the robins to anchor their nest. This is what The Car Guy came up with. Just to make it very clear to the magpie that this was for the robins, The Car Guy added the name of the intended occupants. A wall, an electrical meter box, the robin platform – do you see anything else in this photo? …

Your Blog – What Do Your Visitors See?

I give my blog a make-over now and then. (WordPress.com has so many themes to try). When I test drive a new one, I ask a few friends to let me know what their browser thinks of the change. Does my blog load fairly fast on their computer, phone or other device? Can they read the blog easily? Does anything seem to be ‘broken’? Why does speed matter? We might live in a fast paced world, but our internet connections vary from rabbit to turtle. I sometimes have a frog connection – fast leaps alternating with “really, you’ve stopped completely!?” pauses. A fast website loads completely in my browser while my frog is leaping. I can read the site while my frog has stopped to admire the scenery. A slow website doesn’t load completely during the leaps. I often get tired of waiting and abandon the site. Apparently search engines also use load speed as one of the factors in search ranking. You can test the speed of your site with a free tool called …

Right Place, Right Time

Every now and then (but not if I’m in a line-up at the store) I’m in the Right Place at the Right Time! Here are three photos to illustrate what I mean. In 2011, I wrote a post titled Lady’s Slipper Orchids – Surprise in the Ditch. At that time, the orchids were growing in a ditch – about a 5 minute walk from us. Not a great distance, but they were easy to overlook in the tall weeds and their blooming season was short. I only saw them once again after that. A few days ago, I was very surprised to find the pretty yellow orchids again growing in the ditch –  but this time right at the end of our driveway! It would have been easy to miss their yellow flowers, surrounded as they were by clumps of yellow dandelions. But, they must have whispered to me… “It’s your lucky day – we’re your  neighbours now!” I’m a Canadian ‘Snowbird’ who spends part of the winter in the USA. Last winter I went …

The Internet is Watching You

Hello! Is this Gordon’s Pizza? Google: No sir, it’s Google’s Pizza. Did I dial the wrong number? Google: No sir, Google bought the pizza store. Oh, alright – then I’d like to place an order please. Google: Okay sir, do you want the usual? The usual? You know what my usual is? Google: According to the caller ID, the last 15 times you’ve ordered a 12-slice with double-cheese, sausage, and thick crust. Okay – that’s what I want this time too. Google: May I suggest that this time you order an 8-slice with ricotta, arugula, and tomato instead? No, I hate vegetables. Google: But your cholesterol is not good. How do you know? Google: Through the subscriber’s guide. We have the results of your blood tests for the last 7 years. Maybe so, but I don’t want the pizza you suggest – I already take medicine for high cholesterol. Google: But you haven’t taken the medicine regularly. 4 months ago you purchased from Drugsale Network a box of only 30 tablets. I bought more from …

WordPress.com – Upsetting the Balance

As of the end of this month (and 2,000 Daily Prompts, 380 Photo Challenges, 260 Community Pools, and 100 First Fridays later), we will no longer publish new posts, prompts, or challenges on this site. – Ben Huberman, WordPress.com The Daily Post – As you can see from the announcement above, WordPress Prompts and Photo Challenges will soon be a thing of the past. It isn’t the first time that WordPress has suddenly discontinued a feature that many bloggers faithfully use and enjoy. I’ve been submitting photos to the Photo Challenges for almost 8 years. Polite words can’t express my disappointment that they have decided to terminate access to our community of photographers. As a replacement, WordPress suggests that bloggers try this: post a photo (any topic you feel like) and tag it with ‘photo challenge’. Then, open your WordPress Reader and type ‘photo challenge’ in the search bar…  Really – you think that makes it a challenge? Nope –  it’s just a bunch of posts with photos. WordPress, you remind me of this rock …