Monthly Archives: April 2004

New Floor

finished oak flooringWhat you are looking at here is a section of old floor, sanded and refinished. One cannot tell it from the new flooring at all. Amazing.

The upstairs floors in our house are all sanded, with three coats of “Pacific Strong,” some kind of water-based urethane finish that smelled terrible for a few days but is getting better now.

The flooring guy (another Richard) did a fantastic job and we’re very happy. The only serious problem is that we do not want to move any furniture up there or walk with shoes. First person to put a ding in this floor gets 30 lashes!

OS X Hints

In the latest Macworld, which I’m getting as a freebie and seems to be on life support, there were some excellent OS X tips.

Group Memberships in Addressbook

Select any name or business name in the second column (the name column) and hold down the Option key to see which groups they belong to. The group or groups will highlight. If you want to add them to additional groups, drag to those groups. Great tip.

Mini Font Panel

I’m amazed I never discovered this. In any program that uses Apple’s built-in font panel, you can save screen space by resizing the panel smaller, all the way to a single line of pull-down menus. Just keep sizing smaller (drag up) until you see just a pallet of pull downs: collections, family, size.

Beaver on pond!

beaver on pondI walked out on the deck early this morning, coffee in hand, a bit bleary eyed after drumming last night and noticed some rather large wake ripples in our pond. I figured we had a big fish moving around so did not give it much thought until the cause of the ripples became clear: a beaver just walked out of the pond and my jaw dropped. I ran to get my camera and tripod. He heard me setting it up and turned around and got back in the water.

beaver on pondHe swam around for a while, diving, eating, scoping the place out. The light was not great (it’s better now and he’s still here but I’m posting this…).

beaver on pondHe then got out of the water and stood up and looked into the woods, rather purposefully. I wasn’t sure what he was thinking but Anne knew and sighed: there go the trees.

He walked up closer to the treeline and stop and stand up… looking for a particular tree. He went into the woods, just at treeline. I could not shoot him as it was too dark but he came out with this prize.

beaver on pondHe dragged it into the water and proceeded to dismember it, chewing each branch into a particular shape and then planting it, like a foundation. I wonder if this spot is where his house will be? I’d have chosen a different spot (land values being what they are around here) but time will tell.

beaver on pondHe’s out there swimming, eating, and grooming as I post this and I’ll hopefully get more pictures. The big question is, will he stay and if he does, what will happen to our pond, the trees around it (including our peaches) etc.

Ah, the wonders of living on the edge of a forest. Stay tuned.

Floor Sanding

oak flooring During our remodeling we had new oak flooring laid. This is a picture of what the old (left) and new flooring looked like one hour ago after drywalling and painting and the old flooring had over 30 years of wax and use.

oak flooring In one pass (there are more to come) the sander evens things out amazingly well. This is the same patch of floor.

N. Scott Robinson

N. Scott Robinson has one of the better drumming sites on the web. It’s mostly to promote himself as a performer but he has an “instrument gallery” with pictures and digital sounds from most of the drums hand drummers are interested in.

He’s a particularly great riq player (Egyptian tambourine) and is amazing on almost all frame drums.

Saturday Stayover

I just did some research for a flight on three airlines (United, Delta, US Airways) and noticed that for the flights I was researching there was no discount for a Saturday stayover (the prices were extremely low either way).

I’m not sure if the post 9-11 low pricing has eliminated this usual discount or the post 9-11 changing travel patterns are eliminating the need to use price to route people to fly on certain days.

Reminds me of how older folks still wait until after 5:00 pm to make long distance calls even though most carriers don’t use those time breaks for discounts anymore. I’m sure many travelers will stay over Saturday night no matter what for a while to come, just because of inertia.

Headlines, Google News

Google News headlines

I just snapped the screen on google news and amazingly, three headlines were close to being juxtaposed:

1. Threat to Kill American Hostage (in Baghdad)
2. US Was Warned (about 9-11)
3. Bush Shows Fishing Skills for TV Show (in Crawford, TX)

I swear that I thought for a second that I had gone to the wrong site and was at The Onion.


Newsmap is a graphical front end to the google news aggregator that uses various algorithms to change the scale and color of headlines based on importance.

Try this: scan a few stories to see their relative importance with the US tab (upper right) clicked and then check the relative import of those same stories with other country tabs clicked. Wow.

This fascinating site combines a number of interesting technologies in new ways that really push the envelope. This site is now part of my daily scan right after google news just to see how the stories I just scanned in list form look in this more graphical form.


office framedWe’re doing some remodeling on our house and I’m doing the painting on 3 rooms with all sorts of angles, and corners. Two coats of primer, one of paint. I’ve primed two of the three rooms so far. My arms and shoulders are hurtin’ pretty bad but I think things are starting to look good. Here are some before and after pics.

office painted

Concert for George

Eric Clapton humbly hosts a tribute concert at the Royal Albert Hall for the late George Harrison (Beatles) with enough talent present to blow your mind. Not just Paul and Ringo but all sorts of amazing musicians including an entire Indian orchestra led by Ravi Shankar’s daughter, Anoushka. This concert two DVD set is beautifully produced and if you were at all concious during the last 40 years you will recognize a lot of music and musicians. George’s son Dhani looks like a young George next to all the old “grizzled” musicians like Clapton and Tom Petty.

Concert for George at Amazon


musicplasma is a most amazing site.

Enter the name of an artist or a group, for instance, “Nickel Creek” and hit return. A web of associated groups will appear. Click on one of them and they become the locus point and another web apears, etc.

Wow. Thanks Steve.

Wood Ducks on Pond, Close Call

wood ducks

Just after this picture was taken a red tailed hawk who lives here (unfortunately) dive bombed the female (in back) and almost killed her. The male went nuts. They stayed a while after the hawk left and then flew away. I hope/pray they return now.

Kitty with Pen

kitty with pen

My cat sometimes finds her way onto my desk and tosses my pen on the floor. And, I find this so cute I encourage it by picking the pen up and giving it back to her. She eventually gets bored with this and starts chewing on the mouse cord. Man, does she ever have me trained.