Monthly Archives: February 2007

Hemlocks in Fog on the Shepaug River

Hemlocks in Fog on the Shepaug River

Washington, Connecticut. Driving south to the next town along the Shepaug River I noticed that in certain places ground fog was hanging above the water and spreading out into the adjacent trees. It was sunny out at the same time and this made a wonderful contrast between the softness of the fog and the sun on the grass and trees. the sun caught the grass which in a normal winter would not be green at this point and the lichen on the two maples which is a sign of trees living in a damp hollow next to a river.

I didn’t notice the telephone pole when I took it but finding it when I got home made me think twice about posting this. I decided I liked it and posted it anyway even with the little box on the pole showing.

This image was taken at the same time as this one.

Tinker Hill in Fog

Tinker Hill in Fog

Warren, Connecticut. Lake Waramaug is a spectacularly beautiful lake but the lake itself is only part of the reason, the other part is the landscape surrounding it. Tinker Hill is a round hump that forms part of the southern backdrop for the lake when viewed from the northeast shore. In fog with a sepia treatment this landscape looks like a Chinese watercolor painting.

Note: this was taken a while back but I never processed it. Finally got to it.

Viral Development

Viral Development

Above California. Somewhere east of Los Angeles pockets of development spread into the desert like viruses. I wonder what the metaphoric antibiotic would be to stop this stuff? No doubt if it were ever found the development viri would mutate and continue spreading.

Ansel Adams

Ansel AdamsI was just down at the Bowers Museum in Orange County, California where they have a fantastic Ansel Adams exhibit. If you live in that area and are interested at all in photography, this ought not be missed. I haven’t seen his prints up close since I’ve taken up photography more seriously and I have to say, the man was everything his legendary reputation says he was. Absolutely incredible.

I used to hang out at the The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley on rainy days when I wasn’t climbing there in the late ’70s and early ’80s and met Adams toward the end of his life at a photography workshop I attended there. I have a feeling the gallery has grown into a fantastic place to visit with the work of not only Adams but many excellent contemporary photographers.

PBS showed a fantastic documentary: American Experience: Ansel Adams which can be bought on DVD now. Excellent.

Diverse It Gets

Eric Meyer, a long-time CSS guru who runs and speaks at many conferences posted an essay on forcing gender diversity at technical conferences: Diverse It Gets.

“In my personal view, diversity is not of itself important… ….What’s important is technical expertise, speaking skills, professional stature, brand appropriateness, and marketability. That’s it.”

I completely agree with Eric on this, forcing diversity at the expense of well-qualified expertise is social engineering gone awry.

However, after one puts his first principle on top (technical and speaker qualifications) then what?

What if you have two equally qualified people, one of whom is in a wheelchair? It’s a fair question and I took a stab at it in the comment thread. Then another.

Katazome-shi (handmade paper)


I’ve been collecting scraps and larger sheets of this handmade Japanese paper for a few years now and I thought it might be fun to photograph it.

The paper is stencil-dyed and the process is called Katazome-shi. It’s the same process used on fabric for kimonos and other high end printing jobs.

This photograph is bout 1 inch across. I have dozens more that I’ll be adding to my Katazome-shi flickr set over time.

Places to buy this paper:

The Japanese Paper Place
Hiromi Paper International

Here’s a great place to see different kinds of patterns.

Solo’s by V. Selvaganesh and Zakir Hussain with John Mclaughlin

V. Selvaganesh is playing the kanjira, Zakir Hussain is playing tablas and there’s a drum set player behind him. This is absolutely incredible and I highly recommend playing the related John Mclaughlin videos you’ll see in related.

The kanjira is a very small Indian frame drum with a lizard skin head and a single jingle. The head is dampened so that it can be warped so a skilled player can strike and warp it at the same time producing unusual sounds that change pitch.

Tabla are well-known Indian drums and Hussain is about as good as they come on them.

Trees on Gritman Pond

Trees on Gritman Pond

Warren, Connecticut. Our small town has a park that includes this pond. It’s been raining a lot lately so the pond is full. Usually it’s more of a swamp than a pond. Either way, it’s a photogenic place surrounded by magnificent trees of all kinds.

This was taken at the same time as this one, I just didn’t get around to putting it up.

Our place in snow

Up the hill in the snowWarren, Connecticut. I took a break from clearing the driveway to walk across the stream and behind the pond to take a picture of the hill behind our house. Our cat used to hunt on this hill and stayed out here for days before we saw her again, taking shelter in caves created by rocks. There’s a fox family living back here and we see an occasional bobcat come down to the pond for a drink. We see moose droppings and hear a call from time to time but have never seen one. Deer are plentiful as are raccoons and fishers. And, now and then a beaver comes by to eat a few young trees and backstroke in our little pond (more like mud pit). Skunks come down to eat seed from the feeders and of course, there’s a huge flock of wild turkeys back here and we can hear the big male do his gobble gobble from time to time.

It’s nice to have a few acres of woods back here, even if the animals really own it while we pay taxes on it.

Our house from behindTurning around 180 degrees looking back at our house from the base of the hill. There’s a frozen pond under the snow, then a frozen stream in a gully. You can see our covered woodpile, then the house, then the driveway from hell that I took a break from clearing, then the garage with the kayaks hanging off the back to remind us that the lake actually is liquid most of the year.

It’s nice when the sun is just about to go behind the hill behind me as the trees cast long shadows.

Bird feeder shadowOne of our many feeders and the apple tree it’s hanging from cast shadows on the snow.

This snow was so wet and packed that I could walk on top of it without breaking through. I spent almost all of yesterday clearing our driveway by hand, the snowblower was useless on this stuff. If I can get my sore and stiff body moving again today I might get a bit more done on it. It’s like cutting ice out of a lake for a refrigerator. Argh.

Barack Obama’s new web site

Durham, NH, 2/12/07

Barack Obama’s web strategists have built him a modern web site with connections to both YouTube and flickr.

It’s all good and whether or not he has anything to do with this stuff my guess is he approved it. It will be interesting to see, over time, if this pulls more people into his campaign. It certainly will appeal to younger voters who tend not to vote. Time will tell.

I have no idea how I feel about him as a candidate; it’s hard to evaluate any of the Democrats on their own because my negative feelings about Bush cloud any positive feelings about these guys. For me, early questioning of Bush, even in the light of unpopularity is a personal litmus test and that test Hillary Clinton fails miserably. The fact that Bush hasn’t been impeached yet means that these guys are focusing on ’08 more than making things right now. That too leaves me cold.

Peace and War

Peace and War

Warren, Connecticut. While the snow built up outside yesterday I was warm and cozy inside browsing through my stamp collection which I inherited from my late father and his brother and which they inherited from their father and his brother in law. For what it’s worth (generally, not on eBay) I have a decent collection of US stamps and a fascinating collection of stamps from the rest of the world which I loved looking through as a kid. The colors, shapes, geography, history and the idea that these stamps were used (I also have many unused stamps) and traveled around the world long before there was an internet, many of them long before there was a telephone.

This merchant marine stamp, designed by V.S. Closkey, Jr. was issued on February 26, 1946. It shows a Liberty ship loading cargo.

A tip of the hat to Chris Gordon for the inspiration.

Note: I’m not happy with the lighting or processing of this image and once I have both of those wired I’m going to do a lot more of this, both stamps, money, and various printed ephemera that I enjoy looking at.

Mac OS X: Forcing a Document on an App

Sometimes docked apps don’t want to open your document, even though they may be able to, so you have to coax (okay, force) them to give it a try. For example, let’s say you created a document in WordPerfect for Mac a few years back. if you drag that document to Microsoft Word’s icon in the Dock, chances are it won’t highlight (which would be the indication it can open that document). If that happens, just hold Command-Option, then drag the document’s icon to the Word icon in the Dock, and you can force it to try to open that document.

I didn’t know that and it sure is good to know. Thanks Apple.

(Source Apple Hot News.)