Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tongues of fire

As in many parts of the continent, the drought continues here too. We've been teased off and on with forecasts of 'isolated showers' which turn out to be so isolated that they don't seem to occur where people actually live. This evening again there was a faint promise in the clouds. However, I got the hose out anyway to water the parched veggies and flowers (I thought I could actually hear little thank-yous from the plants as they received some precious drops).

As the sun started setting, the sky took on a golden glow, which progressively flowed into orange, then pink, and finally red. That's when I had to put the hose down and grab the camera to catch the finale.

A couple of updates (or good news/bad news): my Canon made it back in much less time than promised on the web site - looks like I hit the magic number of shots at which point the shutter stops working. All is well again. 

The news on the internet side is disheartening - after countless hours with various Xplornet tech support people and escalations to management, the issue comes down to one of wireless tower congestion - too many users and not enough capacity, and no plans to upgrade. So each evening at prime time our internet is slower than dial-up which drastically impedes my blog visiting ability. I even tried out a competitor's offering (Rogers) who assured me I would receive up to 5Mbps download - unfortunately there is no signal in our area. As a last resort, I've written letters to Xplornet senior management - I plan to continue breathing whilst awaiting a response.

(both shots made with a 18-55mm lens at f8.0, ISO200 and shutter speeds of 1/13 and 1/25 sec)


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

WOW,that's spectacular.We are in need of rain,too.Hope tonight's forecast of thunderstorm watch,brings some rain.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I can totally relate to your internet problems, Rick. I have one of those data cards, which is basically like dial-up, and there are parts of the day where it will not get much reception and I'm having to move the card here and there over my head to try to get more bars. Silly how much time we spend trying to get our internet fix.

Love the photos. Just gorgeous. :)

darlin said...

Your photos are magnificent as usual, I love the way the sky looks ablaze, it's intoxicating.

That's good news about your camera, so the shutter quit working you mentioned, how do they fix that? With a new shutter? I'm such a rookie! lol That's not good news by no means about the internet, maybe learn how to send smoke signals with photos attached. ;-)

I love your new photo up top, that's horrible that it's so dry there, we've had quite a wet summer this year... thankfully so, he's not so good at watering my garden. I sure hope they're keeping up to the weeding out there, if not oh well such is life.

So there's not a single thing you can do about your internet? How about you get a petition going around the neighborhood for another tower? Post it in the post office and at all the local businesses and maybe approach your local paper and see if they'll run a petition for you. That's unreal, all this technology and no service. Please do keep breathing while you're waiting :-) Have a great night Rick... maybe post at about 2am, that way it shouldn't take so long to upload... just a suggestion.

Cloudia said...

Words of FIRE!

Glad Cannon took care of you - I'm shooting one also :)

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

Marty said...

un pays comme le tien et des problèmes internet !!!! il y a tant de monde sur le web, c'est impressionnant !
les photos du ciel en feu sont superbes !
je te souhaite une belle journée Rick
bisous aux couleurs du ciel

Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katherine said...

Yes please keep on breathing Rick, we want you around & it sounds like you could be waiting for a while for a response from management about your problematic internet.
We had years of drought here in Australia and know only too well what the impact of having 'no rain' has on the land, so I hope and pray the skies open up for you soon and that the rain is plentiful.
Your pictures are beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And I am so happy that you have finally been reunited with your faithful old friend... Mr Canon, he was gone for such a long while. Anyway, have a great day..cheers Kath :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Those photos are spectacular!

Sorry to hear about your slow internet. I feel your pain. My parents have dial up and no cell service so when I go there I don't have any internet presence.

Tricia ♥Charming Barn Hunter♥ said...

We're having problems w/ the internet at work and after reading this, now I'm wondering if that could be the problem here, because when they came back Monday, they said they've tried everything & if the new wireless modem/router doesn't work, then it's the computer. Whaaaa?! That's a fine how-do-ya-do! Lots of people say this, so I guess if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em, but we can send man to the moon/space, why can't we get decent internet service... is that too much to ask?!

Sorry for the venting

Your sunset images are beautiful, always enjoy your sunsets! =)

Cat said...

I'd have put down the hose too! Sorry to hear the cause of your internet trouble is not easily fixed. Seems like everyone having the problem should get together and wear the senior execs out with emails, phone calls and letters!

Oh, btw, how many clicks did it take? I've always been curious.

becky said...

Beautiful sunset, Rick. there is a number at which the shutter stops? wierd. yeah, your internet provider should give you a discount as you are likely paying full price for limited service. or they should upgrade, but why would they do that if they are making the same amt of money, right? :/
Hope you are well.

imac said...

Great shots Rick,
Could you not swop servers?

Elizabeth Grimes said...

You always manage to find the perfect titles for your photos. Good luck with the internet...that would be maddening for me. Wish I could give a piece of advice to help, but I am utterly clueless. Hopefully they take action soon.

Saz said...

Glad to hear about your camera! Not so good about the internet issue, how irritating!

Love the photo's though! They are stunning!

S. Etole said...

What a flaming sky ... glad your camera is back in operation!

Fábio Martins said...

wow. Amazing final day! Good catch

Soraia Brito said...

Beautiful sky (:

Rick said...

Thanks, Ruth; hope your thunderstorms gave you some rain. We're still dry.

Thank you, Nancy. Yes, it can get quite frustrating especially since we're now depending on the internet daily - banking, booking travel, email, etc. ISPs don't care much about rural communities - no money in it for them.

Thanks Darlene - we do get the most magnificent sunsets here (probably sunrises too, but they're rare ;-) Yep, Canon installed a new shutter - $180 incl. shipping & taxes ! Check the horizon tonight for smoke signals ;-) We didn't get any rain to put the fire out. Ha ha - I usually do my blog visits real late at night; posting can easily take 1/2 hour. I usually multitask while posting since it takes so long and whittles down my patience. I might have to look into a petition - more people must be having the problem.

Thanks Cloudia ! Canon's service was quick - now if only they'd build better shutters !

Rick said...

I love the peace and quiet out here in the country but internet service is terrible - ISPs simply don't care. Thank you, Marty - I will still visit my fellow bloggers as much as possible, and I can still send bisous sans the internet ;-)

Hi Katherine - I suspect I'll be stuck with this service (that's an oxymoron) for some time yet - it's been getting worse over 3 years and there are no competitors out here. Fortunately we haven't had years of drought - and hopefully it doesn't come to that. Thank you for your visits and kind words, and may your weekend be off to a great start !

Hi Kyria, and thank you. I think that some evenings dial-up might be faster :(

Ha ha, Tricia - I've heard all the lame excuses from our internet provider too (could be the portable phone, or a baby monitor [we're empty nesters], or interference from trees, blah, blah, blah ...) - a rookie help desk agent finally blurted out the truth which I had suspected for quite a while - congestion. They just don't want to spend $$ on upgrades in a rural area. No prob with the venting (hope it made you feel better ;-) and thank you for your nice words.

Thanks Cat. I think I might canvass the neighbourhood to see how big the problem is. As for the shutter, it's rated for 100,000 clicks - I've had the camera for 2.5 years and took 40,000 shots in 2010 (project 365) - not sure I got to 100,000 total though.

Rick said...

Thanks Becky. When we're in Florida we get 6-12 Mbps download which is about 200 to 400 times faster that what I get here during peak times ! Unfortunately they're the only internet provider out here in the country ... arggghh !

Thanks Stewart - unfortunately we have no alternatives (I tried another wireless provider who claimed we had service out here but couldn't get a signal).

Thank you Elizabeth ! Unfortunately until they roll out the next generation of wireless (4G) we're stuck.

Hi Saz - and thanks ! I was glad to get it back; I felt a bit naked with my old Sony P&S.

Rick said...

Thank you, Susan ... and so am I !

Obrigado, Fábio !

Thank you, Soraia !

Riet said...

Goeie morgen Rick. Ja vervelend is zo'n langzame provider he. Wij krijgen hier nu wifi en dat is lekker vlug. De lens van mijn Sony ging eergisteren ook stuk. Mijn telelens doet het nog wel maar de andere daar zal misschien een andere voor moeten komen. Arrgggg.
Gelukkig heb ik mijn compactcamera dus kan ik wel blijven fotograferen want wat moet je zonder he.

Fijn weekend!

Rick said...

Goeie avond Riet. Jammer dat je lens stuk is gegaan - dat gebeurt niet vaak dat je problemen krijgt met een lens. Maar wel gelukkig dat je nog fotogaferen kan. Ook een fijn weekeind.

Here I Am/Carrie said...

Lovely sunsets. Sorry to hear you can't improve your interent. I ended up by luck having an installer that was going to be in my area come out and check my explornet. He realigned my dish then lost my signal completely. He spent over 4 hours trying to fix it. As the next day he was going to a meeting regarding the new G4 they are going to be expanding with he would ask there. Well he came back after the meeting and talking to support for me over the phone at his place as I don't have phone. Anyway after another 3 hours he got it running again with the speeds I had when I 1st hooked up 3 years ago. Support kept insisting my box needed replacing. He didn't charge me a dime and saved me from having to buy new box. Anyway they haven't annouced it yet but when that new system is up rural people are suppose to have access to G4 speeds. Might come out in the New Year. I so know how you are feeling. Lucky for me I think in the end I needed a realignment and there was some other stuff support had him do. But at least I am back and running again.

Lisa RedWillow said...

Wow Rich these are beautiful. I have missed so much . Im trying to catch up. Glad your back up and going.
The flowers in the reflected frames are stunning also. Enjoy your time down there. Its going to be winter soon.

Rick said...

Hi Carrie - I'm a bit late getting caught up on comments. Thank you for your kind words. About Xplornet - I've had my radio repositioned a couple of times with little positive result. I've also inquired about 4G but they're not forthcoming with info. I did finally get a response to my letters to sr. mgmt and will follow up with them when we return from FL *fingers crossed*

Thank you, Lisa (I've also been in catch up mode down here in FL where I have wonderful internet access ... for another week).