Month: August 2011

Reflection in Paradise

Pre-fall reflection

Brook on Paradise Lane, Bear Mountain, Connecticut. We hiked up Bear Mountain yesterday to check out the water flow in local streams but in fact, they were all back to just a bit above normal. Just not enough drainage above this area to cause an extended heavy flow like in southern Vermont where there are hundreds of miles of rivers feeing bigger rivers.

Still, the pre-fall tree and leaf reflections were beautiful as was the top of Bear. Very clear after the big rain.

Urban Hyperlocal Gardening for Produce

New Company Brings Produce From the Roof to the Supermarket Aisle

Growing produce on your roof is a productive way to take advantage of the space, but is it possible to make it commercially viable on a larger scale? A new company’s business model may show the way.

This may turn into the urban version of what Alice Waters has been advocating for decades: locally grown food is better. Take the transportation and storage out of the equation and food can be picked ready to eat.

Reminds me of the solar energy company that puts photovoltaic cells on the rooftops of whole foods for free, then sells them the energy produced at their location below market prices.


[via Scott James]

A hummingbird told me Irene is over

You know the storm is over when a hummingbird hovers in front of the living room window glaring that his feeder isn’t up yet.

All bird feeders back up, our stream is down a foot already, the yard is littered with tree detritus but hey, the trees are still standing so a bit of cleanup is no problem at all.

Many roads in our town are still flooded and closed and some big trees came down but they’ll get it fixed. Snow plows are going by pushing branches off the road (genius).

May all of our hurricanes be this easy.

Our Stream in Irene

Our stream pre Irene

Warren, Connecticut. Standing on the bridge I made out of telephone poles and 2x pre-Irene (yesterday). Stream running from recent rain but nothing big yet. This stream’s entire drainage is less than a mile before it joins another stream 1/4 mile down from this.

This is 3/4 of a mile of watershed drainage.

Our stream morning of Irene

Standing on the bridge this morning. Stream getting fuller, making a lot of noise.

The eye of the storm won’t hit for another 6 hours so the stream will most likely top our bridge which I’m standing on as I take this (getting soaked).

Bridge over stream pre Irene

Standing near the bridge yesterday, pre-Irene.

Bridge over stream morning of Irene

Standing near the bridge today, during the beginning of Irene. Water will most likely top the bridge, shouldn’t wash it away (telephone poles are heavy) but who knows?

The day of Irene

Our stream is almost overflowing. Not going out to shoot it, rain a bit too hard and the wind is picking up. The eye won’t be here until 2 pm EST (it’s now about 7 am).

We should be clear of the storm this evening but if we have no power it may be a few days. Oh boy, camping in the living room.

I think we’re about to lose power… Sigh.

Hurricane Irene

Sometime Sunday mid-day the eye of Hurricane Irene will pass right over Connecticut (where I live). It’s quite possible we’ll lose power and may not get it back for a few days or longer. They’re now saying it will still be a category 1 hurricane through southern New England which means we’ll have the potential for 75 mph winds and as much as 15 inches of rain in 12 hours. This is serious.

If you comment on this site during the time there are power outages on the East Coast and I don’t get back to you or your comment is caught in moderation limbo, please be patient, I’ll get back online and tend to this site just as soon as I can.

In the meantime, here are some useful links to follow to track the storm and get updates and information:

Hurricane Irene Tracking Map
Hurricane Irene Threatens East Coast of US, New York City Prepares
Listen Live Online to First Responders From Throughout Entire Storm Area
Image of Hurricane Irene from space
Weather Channel Storm Tracker
Ready America Hurricane Safety
State-by-state developments related to Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene on Google News
Hurricane Irene at NPR
Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang

If you’ve got more resources please add them in the comments. Thanks, and everyone affected by this storm, stay safe.

Apple after Jobs

Who Needs Him?

Farhad Manjoo has written an excellent piece on Apple after Steve Jobs. Well worth reading.

But Jobs’ achievement wasn’t just to transform Apple from a failing enterprise into a staggeringly successful one. More important was how he turned it around—by remaking it from top to bottom, installing a series of brilliant managers, unbeatable processes, and a few guiding business principles that are now permanently baked into its corporate culture.

Under Jobs and Tim Cook—the former chief operating officer, now the CEO—it has mastered the global production process in a way that no other company can match. Apple makes more devices, at lower cost, with fewer defects than any other firm in the world. And it does this year after year, on a schedule so strict we follow it with the seasons (iPhones in the summer, iPods in the fall, iPads on the spring). As a result, Apple can now beat most of its competitors on price and profit.

Apple’s iPad Replacing Cash Registers at Major Retailers

Apple’s iPad Replacing Cash Registers at Major Retailers

At larger stores cash registers are connected to an inventory server either locally or in the cloud. At some point someone’s going to write an app that allows an iPad to hook into that system.

I’m reminded of what Apple does in their own stores: employees carry around small devices that allow the entire transaction (including credit card swipe and signature) to take place anywhere in the store wirelessly.

Then we have “near field communication” and the ability to pay for things with a smartphone by simply having an account and being near a terminal and saying “ok.”

This is just the beginning of a new way of transacting business, how it looks ten years from now will be quite different.