20 June 2012

Same old same old, weatherwise

The weather doesn't change. It's just more of the same every day. Here we are, almost at the summer solstice, and there's not a hint of summery weather in sight. It's getting old. We had a nice afternoon on Sunday, but it's been raining, or threatening to rain, ever since. It rained steadily in big splashy drops last night before I went to bed.

Some days we get something done in the garden; some days not. Yesterday morning, Walt did some weeding and planting, but with the wet weather we know that the weeds will grow back really fast, and the slugs will probably eat any new shoots that push up out of the ground. Yesterday we also finally burned some debris that had collected on a garden plot a while back, with the hope that the weather will clear up and we'll be able to plant some squash and maybe some greens soon.

A typical afternoon at Saint-Aignan this June 2012

I've been buying a lot of hardware recently. That's a bad sign. When times get tough, the tough go... shopping. Thanks to Amazon.com and Amazon.fr, I have a new camera, a new DVD player, a new friteuse (deep-fat fryer for making frites), and now a new monitor for my computer. Buying new hardware is something I've always done when life gets me down. I guess it's a little bit of nest-feathering.

The vineyard on what passes for a nice June morning

I can justify each of these purchases. The new camera is great — it's much faster and has a longer zoom than the old one. The new DVD player will read both American and European DVDs. The fryer will make better French fries quicker, and it will be easier to clean than the old one was. And the new monitor... well, I just got it yesterday so we'll see.

One day there was almost a little bit of blue sky...

One thing I noticed immediately when I set up the new monitor is that my pictures now look a lot smaller. On the old, smaller monitor, they pretty much filled the screen at a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels. Now with the new monitor at 1920 x 1080 pixels, my pictures sort of float in the middle of the gray Blogger screen, looking shrunken and lonely. Should I resist the urge to "super-size" them, and just get used to it?

...but not much. The vines are growing though, thanks to the rain.

Tell me if you think my photos are too large or too small. That'll give me a clue as to what to do now. With this weather, I'm not taking very many pictures anyway. Just these I'm posting here, which are nearly a week old. But nothing has changed in a week. According to weather reports, nothing is likely to change much very soon.

Remains of last year's vines

Oh well. 2012 is turning out to be a strange year. Can you believe our trees have produced no apples? Nor have the neighbors'. In past years, we've been buried under piles of apples. We've struggled to gather them up and dispose of them. We've made pies and jellies and apple sauce. Not this year. The trees are bare.

The good news is that the drought is definitely over.


  1. Not too large for me. I like to see detail.

  2. Thank goodness for your current header, Ken. It at least gives some colour to the day.
    I'd like to see your pictures come up to the width of the header. but no larger; everything would look unbalanced.
    The old bit of vine is a lovely sculptural shape.

  3. Your poppy header is fantastic but I have to agree, this weather is a pain. The only tree here that has anything on it is the hazel nut! The flowers are picking up as are the weeds, but the vegetable garden has a long way to go. Diane

  4. its been a very cool june here in the NC mntns so far....lovely.....not much rain......any size pics r fine with me ...love the subject matter

  5. I'm not believing you have NO APPLES this year! I never in my life saw as many apples as you had last year. I must be getting old since I enjoy weather and farm talk so much. How can each year differ so much from the one before it.

    Our summer is a month ahead here and yours is behind. We spent 9 weeks in Europe the summer of '69 and it was quite cold.

    Glad you have had time to do some good shopping.

  6. Photos are OK as far as I am concerned.

    wrt Apples : may be the cold spell you had in France may have an impact on them

  7. The pix look sharper to me in response to your question about the fotos. Be strong, the weather will change.

  8. I like the idea of having them at least as large as the banner is wide. Presently they are showing up quite small and it is hard to see them clearly. Clicking enlarges, yes, but then you have to click back to continue reading.
    Thanks for asking. Your photos are always so great, that it is a shame to have them so small.

  9. Wow, Ken... the photos look exactly the same size on my computer as they always have (same size when in the blog, same larger size when I click on them). Isn't the way you see them more related to your screen pixels setting? The larger the numbers in the setting, the smaller the image? Or maybe that's just with icons. In any case, the photos look exactly the same to me as ever, and they're beautiful, and, when enlarged, they are amazing!

    p.s. We actually had our first tomato from the garden already! It was quite good! A Roma variety.

    p.p.s. @Evelyn: haaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa about the farm and weather talk :)))


  10. I think your pictures are the perfect size for the blog.

  11. Hahaha! When you said you were buying hardware, I'm thinking hammer, power drill, ladders, etc. Ah, computer, kitchen, and camera hardware! Makes a lot more sense!

    Enjoy your new toys!

  12. I also like to buy new 'toys' when I'm down. The weather there still makes for beautiful photos. We here are experiencing summer in force. Temps are supposed to be between 103 and 108F from Sunday to Thursday.

    Your photos are so splendid, I can't begin to give an opinion on sizing them.

  13. Ken, is your blog on a fixed-width template? If it is, you'll not be able to enlarge the pictures wider than the text width of the posting.
    If you choose a variable width template, you have to be aware of the current 'main' monitor dimensions... else people with older screens won't see all the blog as you have laid it out.

    On a brighter note... yeah! We had some sun this afternoon... but it is batten the hatches and unplug the sensitive electrics... overnight 'donner und blitzen' and then rain all day tomorrow. Bletch!

  14. Tim, I know, the afternoon sun was nice but the forecast doesn't look good for tonight and tomorrow. They are predicting thunderstorms with hail. That's all we need at this point.

    Mitch, I guess I'll live with the rain and damp. That kind of heat would do me in.

    Cheryl, I use "hardware" in the Silicon Valley sense of the term. Besides the camera, monitor, fryer, and DVD player, I've also bought a new Samsung laser printer. At 52 euros, who could resist?

    My new monitor is a 24" model. Pictures that used to fill the screen now just take up a little space in the middle.

  15. Strange - apples are the only thing I am going to get.

  16. The photos are fine as is. Isn't the hi-res 24" divine? I have one at home (alas, my employer is too cheap to buy me one) and I love it. Since you do such thorough research, would you share details on the models you bought?

  17. One certainly wouldn't go to France for the weather.

  18. The photos are a good size as is. Lots of pictures made larger seem to clog readers' machines.
    Sending sunny thoughts.

  19. Eugene Oregon is hosting the Olympic Track Trials starting tomorrow and of course, we are due here for rain. Tomorrow, Friday, Saturday and probably even on Sunday. UGH! Our pétanque tournament is Sunday, too.

    Rain does take one's motivation and 'screw-it-up' a bit, doesn't it? I usually choose to "shop online" more window-shop, actually, during bouts of rainy weather, too. I'm in need of a new, wider monitor - thanks for the idea!

    Since I have an old 18" flat-screen monitor the photos are a great size for me. They seem to appear slightly larger than before... but then I could be misremembering...

    Mary in Oregon

  20. On my end (using Apple products), I am having the same experience as Judy. There is no appreciable change in the size of the photos in the blog or when I "Aignanify" them (as Walt might say).
    BTW, your "Tendrils on a Wire" was a great shot.


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