Aby-a-Day – 14 & 15 November 2020: Learning curve (Serious Saturday and Sunday)

Okay, so the new laptop arrived on Friday. I spent the rest of the day and part of yesterday transferring data from the old MacBook Pro to the new one.

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Problem is, I had to upgrade the system. I don’t have a choice; there’s a Magic Keyboard that I don’t think will work with the older software. However, I must say, the thing is wicked cool. The functions you have change depending on which application you’re using. In Facebook, you get predictive text like on the iPhone. Listening to music on iTunes, you have the play, pause and skip functions. And in photo apps, you get controls for whatever you’re doing.

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Also, no need for passwords; there’s a Touch ID button so you can log into everything with your index finger.

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However…I am absolutely bereft without Photoshop. I did everything I could find to work around it…to no avail. I have been using Photoshop since…1997, I think. I can do everything so reflexively…Why, Adobe, why?!

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Well, I absolutely do NOT want to pay $20.99 a month for a subscription. So I’ve been investigating other apps that have very high ratings. I’ve downloaded a couple of trial apps. The first one I tried was Acorn. It is highly rated, especially for Macs, and it’s only $29.99. It’s pretty nice…but I couldn’t figure out how to do simple tone, colour and contrast corrections (the things that are so easy to do in Photoshop). I’ll go back later and play with it. The other one I am trying is Affinity Photo, which is a LOT easier to figure out. It’s much more similar to Photoshop, and it can open .psd files. I can also import all my special brushes into both Acorn and Affinity, which is awesome. It’s $49.99…but it seems worth it (and, okay, it’s a lot less expensive than Photoshop was).

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As a bonus, in learning about these two apps (and another one, Affinity Designer, which looks interesting), I discovered I can also import my brushes into Procreate. That means no more having to finish drawings in Photoshop…I may just be able to do everything on the iPad now.

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Still, I really want Photoshop back. I have a lot of work and research to do in the next ten days.

Aby-a-Day – 12 November 2020: Angel’s peets (Thursday Things)

Well, my laptop is still limping along…the replacement is meant to arrive tomorrow.

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As a result, I have only been turning it on and using it when absolutely necessary…basically, when I need to use Photoshop and make a post. Yesterday’s post was set up a week ago, so I haven’t turned my laptop on since Tuesday.

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Anyway, this was how Angel was sleeping in her bed last night.

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I thought it was cute…and a little awkward.

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So please accempt this peet offering.

Aby-a-Day – 10 November 2020: Izaak and Major (Cartoon Tuesday)

Just an idea that popped into my head this morning…Izaak as Pixie, and Joe Biden’s Shepherd Major as Brutus. I used a Pixie and Brutus fan art by DiviantArt user Space Meme Stardust as my reference for the first rough sketch.

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Because my new MacBook Pro hasn’t arrived yet, and because I hated the hand-drawn speech bubbles, I turned on my laptop for a few minutes just to add them (and my signature) in Photoshop.

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I also saved the video of my drawing process, just for fun (ie, because Procreate lets me). Click on the image to watch it on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 8 November 2020: Technical difficulties (Serious Sunday)

I have been trying so hard to keep this blog going, and make sure to post everyday. An I will still do my best. But Friday, I noticed my 2015 MacBook Pro was…broken.

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Like, really broken. I suspect that it is a battery issue, but my machine isn’t eligible for replacement. I think it’s probably because it was already replaced, in March 2016.

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I have been staying off it as much as possible since I noticed it, but I think it’s worse. This is how it looks today.

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Pretty bad, right? I have been keeping it turned off – and unplugged – unless I absolutely need to be on it.

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I have already ordered a replacement, I wasn’t really ready to get a new laptop right now…but it was five years old, and it was going to happen sooner rather than later, so…yeah. It is what it is. I will need to find a workaround so I can still use Photoshop, because the updated iOS (Catalina) doesn’t support it. But there are ways to make it work.

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…but in the meantime, I’ll do my best to keep posting on my phone and iPad until the new one arrives. Which I hope is soon.

Aby-a-Day – 22 March: You wanted a lap cat. Be careful what you wish for…(Thursday Things)

Cats and laptops…the love affair may seem like a recent phenomenon, but it actually goes back to printed books and newspapers. Cats love to sit on whatever their favourite human is reading when they want attention. The fact that laptops are warm is just a bonus. Even when the thing they sit on makes weird noises, cats love laptops. Now, I know I just posted about Logan and my laptop just two months ago, but it’s getting worse!

They’re searching for things on my computer! Although I’m not sure what “DQ9X700DXYŪ” is in Felinese.

They are also opening multiple tabs in Firefox (it was more than 30 empty tabs!) and printing things. I caught this one before a piece of paper was wasted, but they have actually printed things.

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Angel has historically been the worst offender, but lately Logan has stolen her throne, so to speak. Of course, he’s a big believer in the “If not for sits, why is it made of warm?” school of thought, but he also just loves to sit on my lap. And when the laptop is on my lap, well…he’ll just have to make do, won’t he?

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“I love my mommy, but her lap is busy with the hard thing. That’s okay, we can share mommy’s lap.”

Aby-a-Day – 25 January: Things I can live without…Cat-like typing detected (Thursday Things)

I love living with cats, and I could never imagine myself not having at least one or two around me…but let’s be honest. They are not always the best roommates. They are not always a joy to behold. So, I thought I would start a new feature: Things I can live without.

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And this right here is one things I can definitely live without. Cats sitting on my bloody keyboard! Logan, Freddy and Angel are all guilty of this, and they have done things like restart my computer, turn the screen brightness down all the way so I think they’ve shut it down, and worst of all, turn on the sodding Acessibility features like VoiceOver, Descriptions and Captions. I hate this because it always takes me forever to figure out how to turn it off. But it’s not so easy to just say, “well, just close it then, stupid,” because there are times when you don’t want to close the laptop, for example it’s running, downloading, or copying something large. I try putting things on the keyboard, or closing it partway with a stopper (usually my phone or the remote) to keep it from closing all the way. Of course, then they just sit on the thing, or on the half-closed lid…So I guess I’ll just have to live with someone thinking my keyboard is a lovely place for a bath.

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Recently, though, they’ve learned a new trick. They are actually typing messages to people. They are now typing things like: ,,LÖ23B 1§ (This was Angel typing in Messenger to Björn).

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And: Œ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷
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, which someone sent to my sister (not sure who was doing long division – hell, I’m not even sure how they made a division sign…I’m not sure I know how to make one)!

I hope Apple comes up with a cat-proof MacBookPro soon!

Aby-a-Day – 5 March: “Night” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Night.”

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Every night, Björn and I talk to each other on FaceTime. Sometimes Jacoby joins us.

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He loves to hang out while we just spend time together. And one of his favourite things to do is rub up against the edge of the screen.

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Jake and Tessie both love to rub their jaws against the corner of the screen especially. Sometimes they also bite it, so I’d like to warn everyone who has a MacBook Pro with a Retina screen that they are NOT impervious to cat teeth. They have left bitemarks on my screen! Actual bite marks! So be very careful. I’m actually getting a screen protector to help keep them from damaging it any more. I haven’t had a chance to put it on yet (that is another story entirely, which I will eventually tell), so I can’t vouch for it personally, but it has pretty decent reviews on Amazon.

The people at the Apple Store had no idea that the screens were softer than cats’ teeth though, so I thought I’d let you all know. This has been a public service announcement. 🙂

Aby-a-Day – December 16: Wordless Wednesday (So…this happened)

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Aby-a-Day – May 24: Postus Interruptus

You ever wonder why, sometimes, my posts are delayed?

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Often, it’s true. I have no good excuse. I’m just late.

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But other times…I have this. Cat butt on my damn keyboard.

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“What?”

Aby-a-Day – October 26: Cats use laptops too, they just type with their butts

As I’ve mentioned before, Angel really loves sitting on my laptop.

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If I don’t remember to close it, Angel will sit on it. She’s messed up a lot of my settings (once she changed accessibility preferences and I had enormous text that kept speaking to me – it took me two days to figure out how to turn that off), and she’s even managed to reorganise my desktop icons.

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And I know she’s not the only one; there’s an entire website devoted to cats on laptops.

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While I wish Angel wouldn’t sit on my laptop when it’s open, I know it’s my own damn fault for forgetting to close it. And at least she doesn’t barf on it, the way my Siamese Harri used to do. So it could be worse.

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Still…bathing on my open laptop seems a bit much.

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I fell asleep on the sofa and forgot to close the laptop…and woke up to Angel taking a full-on bath all over my keyboard.

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She was really going at it, too.

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This was a serious bath…

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…she was even doing the biting thing with what’s left of her little front teeth.

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There wasn’t much I could do about it…so I did what any cat owner would do. I grabbed my camera and documented the scene thoroughly.

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She was also completely unrepentant.

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I swear she’s actually smiling in this photo.

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“What?”

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“Oh, well, back to it, then…”