Sunday, May 15, 2016

Feeling Whelmed

I'm not sure why, but I've been feeling totally overwhelmed the past few weeks.

So here's a totally random post for you.

We've been having another crazy weather spring this year. We had snow the first weekend in May - seriously! I haven't planted anything except for the spinach and peas that I put in back in March. Alas, they aren't doing much, but oh well.

It's been raining off and on - much more than my sunshine spoiled Colorado nature enjoys. I mean, everything is lush and green, but holy moly - you actually have to mow the lawn when it gets water!

Anyhow, between storms, CatMan and I have gotten in a few nice rides. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure...

There are lots of baby "gooslings" everywhere. I know it's supposed to be "goslings" but I just don't think that word is cute enough for this much yellow fuzziness.

I love how the mama was hissing at me, as if to say "You stay away from my babies!" Of course, these guys were much more amenable to being photographed than this bunch...

Sorta hard to blame them though. I think if there was a smartphone wielding crazy lady coming toward me on a bike, babbling incoherent baby talk, I might be inclined to get the heck outta there too!

The bike path has flooded again in spots...

But things sure are purdy...

"Green Mountain" actually looks green! This is a real rarity!

The last tulip in my yard

The South Platte River in Chatfield State Park

A late-blooming crabapple tree

View from the top of Chatfield Dam

Immature Swainson's Hawk - he was just hanging out on the railing next to the trail

Anyhooo... in other news, I've been working - I know, say it isn't so! Well, "work" is a relative term. I have a new "go broke slowly scheme" - I'm writing online quizzes. I'm still working out the kinks, and getting it all to work right, so I've only created a few so far. But if anyone feels up to being a guinea pig (or if you're just curious what I've been up to) - here's a link. I think y'all might recognize a few of the topics - hey, I figured I'd start with things that I know!

I think I'm gonna have to come up with hundreds of quizzes in order to make anything resembling money off of this little venture, but at least I think I've got the programming part worked out.

Soooo... another storm is moving in and I'm not sure if I'm upset that I won't get the tomatoes in, or relieved because it's a good excuse to take a few days off!

But in any case, that's the news from the funny farm! Hope you're all enjoying spring!!


  1. Ha ha. I've been seeing baby gooslings on my walks these days too, and I got hissed at this week! Geese babies are cute, but geese adults can be jerks.

    1. Well, with the number of geese I've seen get hit by cars or meet other untimely man-made ends, it's sorta hard to blame them for being a bit ornery. It always amazes me to see flocks of them in the sky though. How can an animal be sooo clumsy on land and sooo graceful in the sky?

  2. I don't know about you but I've had enough of the cold and rain. It's been raining almost every day for the last two plus weeks and we've got at least another week of it coming. At least I don't live where I used to they got snow today! Definitely not normal for the area.

    I took a look at your quizzes, they look fun but how do you make money from them?

    1. What is up with this weather? They're now saying that it could be a rain/snow mix here over the next few days, with the snow line at about 6500 feet - my house is at about 5500 - hmmm... here's hoping that line doesn't go much lower! Up in the foothills they're calling for several feet of snow! Holy Moly!

      Anyhow, I've heard about the cold weather out your way... yuck! I'm not sure if it's climate change or El Niño or what, but this does not feel normal to me! Seriously, I think we've had 2-3 "100 year floods" over the past 5 years or so! And I really can't recall needing my furnace in mid-May before!

      Anyhow, thanks for peeking at my quizzes. I make all of my money from ad revenues - both on the quizzes and the little glitter greetings on the rest of the site. Some ads pay per view, others per click. I have mixed feelings about participating in the whole advertising world, but it does allow me to give stuff away for free and still make enough money to live off of... as long as I'm, you know, frugal! Once I get all of the kinks worked out and can churn out a respectable number of quizzes, I'll have to start promoting them on FaceBook etc. Hopefully I can come up with topics that will be interesting to people! Pop culture is not exactly my strong suit!

    2. I'm not sure what's the cause of this cold but it's definitely unusual. When I was 8 my mother remarried on April 24th. Until that day and after that day we had beautiful weather but that day it snowed. I mention it because that date stuck in my head because of the association. Since that year we have never had snow that late in the year....until now. That's more than 40 years since we've had snow that late in April and never in May!

      I too have struggled with the idea of making money from paid ads for the same reason you do so far I've procrastinated on the subject to the point that I haven't made a decision either way. I wish you the best in this new venture.

    3. Well, the sun finally came out here. Pleeeezzzzeeeee, NO MORE cold weather!!

      You know, I think the whole concept of making money is sort of a "sticky wicket." I mean, when it comes right down to it, only a very tiny chunk of our economy consists of jobs that are actually contributing to the greater good - the vast majority of people make money by participating one way or another in the consumerist economy. (Not sure if "consumerist" is an actual word, but you know what I mean.)

      At least with the advertising model I can console myself with the knowledge that people are getting something "good" (entertainment, or photos or greeting cards) without having to pay for it. Perhaps I'm just kidding myself, but it does help me sleep at night. Plus... no customers or clients to deal with - major plus in terms of the sanity factor!

  3. I was wondering the same thing as Lois--how you make money with the quizzes. Should I put them on my Facebook page? Would that help?
    BTW, love the pictures--especially the one of the hawk.

    1. Well, I would love it if you posted a quiz or two on your facebook page, but I wasn't really trying to guilt my blogging buddies into helping me promote them.

      And the hawk was amazing. I took about 20 photos of it because it just sat there. Finally it flew off about 20 feet over to the bank of the creek. I've read that they hunt grasshoppers, so maybe that's what he was up to - not sure.

  4. Same here - as in, I've been feeling rubbish for no reason recently too, and we also had snow the first weekend in May, though possibly not what you'd recognize as snow!

    I'm a sucker for these online quizzes, so of course I'm taking a look at them. I started with 'Can you speak like a Brit?' (I should bloody well hope so!) - would you mind some very pedantic feedback?

    The first picture shows a mixtures of iced biscuits, iced buns, cakes, and possibly doughnuts. It's tricky to choose a correct answer.

    A Brit probably wouldn't describe an area as 'quite mean' - we'd more typically use that term to describe a person. Of a person, it means 'unfriendly' but if we did describe an area as 'mean' it would be not affluent. Maybe you did that deliberately, to make the question difficult.

    'Sarnie' doesn't necessarily imply bacon - that would be a bacon sarnie. It might be true that 'bacon sarnie' is more often spoken of than any other kind of sarnie, but 'sarnie' on its own just means sandwich.

    'Digestive' is not a brand, it's a type. McVities make the best known digestives, but there are other brands too. Also, digestives are nothing like wafers, unless you mean something quite different from me by 'wafer'. 'Digestive' is a type of biscuit/cookie.

    Finally, for the sake of Brits who get irritated by Americans treating 'London' as synonymous with 'England', any chance of cutting the reference to London in the final message?

    I really enjoyed the paintings quiz, and couldn't believe I'd got 100%, so took it again just to check your scoring software isn't faulty (it isn't).

    One more suggestion: How about having a 'take another quiz' button at the end?

    1. Thank you SOOO much for the feedback! As you may have guessed I took most of that stuff from conversations on this blog and obviously I didn't get it all right!

      So - biscuits - Oy Vay! Clearly I'm still confused on that one! That photo was on a public domain site and it was called "Christmas Biscuits" so I figured I was safe, but apparently not. Could you maybe send me a link to a picture that would be more representative?

      I'll change "quite mean" to just "mean" and maybe clarify the right answer a bit too. And I'll take bacon out of the "sarnie" thing - I thought it was a general term for sandwiches, but everything I found online said bacon... so I went with bacon. And I totally thought Digestive had to be a brand name otherwise who would come up with such a horrible name for a cookie! Anyhow, I'll fix that and remove the reference to "wafers" (which, BTW, to me means a thin, baked cookie that is crunchy rather than chewy - but why confuse the issue!)

      Duly noted... London not the same as England - I'll change it to England.

      And the "take another quiz" button is on my list, just haven't gotten around to it yet.

      Do you have any suggestions for other types of topics that people might enjoy?

      Thanks again for the feedback - it's very helpful!

    2. OK... so I updated the quiz. Let me know what you think! :-)

    3. One more thought/question. I re-read your comment and I'm thinking I didn't quite understand the gist of what you were saying about "mean." What I was trying to get at with that question was the word "mean" being used to convey "not affluent" which is not a meaning it has here. Is there a better phrase or usage I could present to get at that?

    4. This article has a picture of a typical British biscuit selection (and the Daily Mail is horrible, so you need have no qualms about stealing their images).

      It's really funny, having grown up with Digestive biscuits, that you find it such a horrible name. I guess you wouldn't fancy squashed fly biscuits, either? (OK, that's not their official name, they're actually called Garibaldis.)

      If I put a definition of 'wafer' into words, it would look much the same as yours, but without chewy cookies for contrast, the meaning still ends up different.

      'Mean' is a tricky one, because your quiz question is accurate, just rather difficult. You did successfully get the 'not affluent' meaning across, it's just not commonly used. 'Mean' is used so much more commonly to describe people than places, that the 'unfriendly' answer looks like the right one, even though it's not appropriate to an area. Does that make sense?

      I'll have a think about other topics for quizzes. Like you, I'm not big on popular culture. Personality-type quizzes are popular - for some reason people love to put in a box. Things like, "If you were a character from Lord of the Rings, which one would you be?"

    5. OK... I'm thinking that the "mean" thing is just a bad question. Perhaps I'll try something with "pants" instead!

    6. I like your updated quiz a lot - adding 'pants' is always going to improve a quiz ;-)
      I do like your alternative options, too.

      I just tried the quotes one, as well. For a lot of them I had no idea, but it was still fun. For 'Nobody ever lost a dollar...' I thought, "Hang on, wasn't that intelligence?" and so I googled... This day in quotes. I'm not sure that matters at all, since I suspect the version you have is also correct, and there are plenty of sources on the internet to say so.

      ... and then I did the foodie one, too. I enjoyed that.

    7. I did see that Mencken thing when I was researching this - but I figured maybe they each said them separately? But since PT Barnum died in 1891, and the Mencken quote was from 1926, I went with Barnum - assuming Mencken stole it from him.

      Actually when I was putting that quiz together I came across a surprising number of quotes commonly attributed to this or that person, which turned out to be completely apocryphal or based on some other quote from centuries earlier, or questionable in some other way. Somehow I think that truly original ideas are few and far between!

      I'm now working on an Aussie slang quiz - with the help of a friend from college who now lives in Melbourne. Holy Moly! Those people have even crazier terms that you Brits do!

  5. Beware the geese! A friend of mine was attacked a couple of weeks ago -- ended up with a huge bruise on her leg!

    1. Seriously? Attacked? Holy moly! CatMan very nearly ran over one of the babies the other day because it ended up on the opposite side of the path from its family and darted out right in front of him. Luckily he was able to swerve and miss it. But I'll make a mental note to take those hissing sounds a bit more seriously from now on!

  6. I agree with Melissa--geese may be cute, but they can be aggressive. I've had them bite me in the bum at a park when I wouldn't share my lunch.

    Haven't had a chance to check out your quizzes, but I'll get to it soon. :)

    In other depressing weather news ... my hubby and son went camping last weekend (about 45 minutes north of here) and it snowed ... hard ... yesterday. Meanwhile, we are expecting temps in the mid to upper 70s this upcoming weekend. (that's when they go backpacking--they would prefer it cooler then, but the weather just doesn't cooperate!).

    1. I had no idea that geese could be so aggressive! Maybe the're just nice to me because I sing to them as I ride along... "Goosey, Goosey, Goosey Goosers!" (sung to the chorus of the Battle Hymn of the Republic "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" Or perhaps they hear me singing and assume that I'm totally crazed and they better get the heck outta there!

      And I'm not sure if I'm feeling solidarity that everyone else is having crazy weather too, or just more concerned about the "not-normalness" of it all! Anyhow, it's in the 40's today and tomorrow and the cats are NOT happy - they want their windows open! Hope your hubby and son make out OK on their backpacking trip!

    2. Hi again. I skipped the football quiz, since I'm terrible at that, but had fun with the others, especially the '80s lyrics. I'll blame you when I'm singing those songs all day!

      On other quiz sites, there are markers so you know how far you've come and how many more till you are done with the quiz. Maybe that doesn't matter to everyone, but if I'm doing them as a fun distraction while I'm in the middle of something else, I like an idea of how much further I have to go. That's my only suggestion. I bet you had fun creating them.

    3. Awww... thanks so much for taking the quizzes - I assume they all worked for you and you didn't get any error messages? CatMan had the same suggestion about a progress bar or something like that - it's a great idea, I just have to figure out the best way to do it.

      And sorry about the "earworms" as a friend of mine calls them - those songs have been stuck in my head too! "I can't fight this feelin' anymore... I've forgotten what I started fightin' for..."

      Next up I have to do the 1990's...which will be harder for me since I don't know so many of the songs, but hey, maybe that way I won't get so many of them wedged in my little brain!

  7. I love your pictures and agree with you completely that gooslings are adorable. Both the word and the birds. While birds can get very aggressive especially if you get near their babies, they are still really a joy to watch. Super cute.

    How very clever of you to create the quizzes!!! I tried the "who said that" and did very poorly. Funny how I have heard all of them but could only pinpoint a third of the people that quoted the phrase.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the quiz - it's really helpful to get feedback... translation: I'm really happy that the quiz didn't blow up in your face and start giving you error messages! :-)

  8. That photo of the hawk surreal! I can't believe you can get those sort of photos with a cell phone. I'm going to have to pick your brain on how you become one with nature like that someday.

    1. The surreal part was that he just sat there perched on the rail while I shot about 20 photos! And the only trick I know of is to buy a phone with a good camera in it! :-)

  9. I can't imagine having snow in May! We've had snow in early April before, and that was bad enough.

    I hope you're feeling better lately.


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