Monthly Archives: October 2011

We’re off the grid for a while

My apologies for lack of posts or attention to this web site. The storm that hit the east coast killed our power and we may be without power for as much as a week more. It sucks. But, we have a wood stove and we’re warm.

Many trees down at our place, a huge amount of cleanup to do over the next month or so. This was a freak storm for this time of year and it hit oak trees with leaves still on them, weighing them down and causing a lot of them to either lose limbs or fall over completely. We have a lot of this around our place. No damage to the house thank god but there’s a large limb on the roof that’s a bit too precarious for me to get and our good friends at Arbor Services of Connecticut will help us with that.

We have no network and so, this site sits unattended for a while. If you post a comment and it’s in moderation be patient, I’ll get to it as I can.

Not much we can do except roll with it. Thank god for Danbury Mall and the Apple store there.

More soon, hope you’re warm and safe wherever you are.

Ewald Mario Bauer’s flickr galleries

Flickr user Ewald Mario Bauer has assembled a number of flickr galleries which are collections of images that others have taken and allowed to be included in the galleries of other flickr members.

Ewald Mario Bauer’s Flickr Galleries

Note the page numbering on the bottom, there are 14 pages of them.

Frankly, I never looked on galleries as something of meaning because it seemed like a fancier way for people to collect links to favorite photos. But after looking through many of Ewald’s galleries I think a better explanation of them is a flickr feature that allows a user to curate a collection of things they find of interest and share that collection with others. I guess I was looking at this flickr feature from a bit too paranoid a viewpoint. In fact, being placed in someone’s gallery is useful in that it will lead new viewers to your photo stream.

Sometimes being included in galleries is something you don’t want, like some of my yoga images of my wife and our yoga teacher being included in galleries of “hot women.” As the owner of the image, you’re notified when someone includes it in a gallery and you can check things out and delete it from that gallery if you don’t want to be included as well as block the flickr member who made the gallery if they seem to be less than decent (my wife had mixed feelings, being flattered to be included in such a gallery).

I’ve not made a gallery on flickr and I’m not sure I’ll get around to it but I’m looking at this flickr feature in a new way after poking through Ewald’s curated collections.

Ask Different

Ask Different

Ask Different is a brilliantly built discussion site that allows people to ask questions about their Apple products and get a variety of answers and tips from others.

I first heard about it back here and I decided to subscribe to its RSS feed for a while to see what kinds of questions and answers were being put up.

In short order I figured I might be able to answer a few of the questions so I registered and posted an answer. That led to another and pretty soon I was hooked, less on being a know-it-all (I know much less than most people posting there) but on the challenge of attempting to explain in words the answers to various questions (one can also post screen shot images there).

Questions and answers are rated, much like Amazon or eBay reviews might be and in this case it’s less about a popularity contest, more about helping folks find the credible sources and to support well written questions and answers. Brilliant.

I’ve learned quite a bit from this feed, not just answers to my own technical questions but also about the types of questions and problems people are having in the Apple world. Ask Different could easily turn into a more up to date and fluid source than Apple’s support area or Wikipedia (Apple products) for these types of things. Certainly a parallel source for more specific questions.

Many of my Mac and iOS using friends who read this blog could easily become addicted to this so I’m warning you, be careful.

B&H Photo app

B&H Photo has a free iPhone app that’s quite good and if nothing else allows you to check out your wish list(s) while browsing around the store, instead of printing them out as I usually do.

Tip: consider making wish lists of things you buy often, like ink and paper for for your printer. That way you’re not searching all the time for things. I have four wishlists:

Stuff I want (camera gear)
Stuff I have (camera gear
Ink and Paper
Other stuff (other electronics)

I now have access to these lists on my iPhone. Useful and no doubt useful for B&H too.

B&H Photo app in iTunes

United Terminal tunnel lights

United terminal tunnel

I was looking forward to photographing the lights in the tunnel connecting United’s terminal B and C in Chicago. I used to fly through there weekly but haven’t flown through in years now since I fly from JFK to LAX. This trip I decided to try doing it in two legs: Hartford to Chicago, Chicago to Los Angeles. Not too bad although I do miss the wifi on United’s PS flights. I’ll probably go back to that trip template for my next one but it was fun to see this tunnel again.

United terminal tunnel

Elastec American/Marine Oil Skimmer Nets $1 Million X Prize

Revolutionary Oil Skimmer Nets $1 Million X Prize

Jacob McCleland at NPR has a great story this morning.

A breakthrough in oil cleanup technology allows crews to skim spilled oil off the water’s surface at a much faster rate. The new device wasn’t developed by Exxon, BP or any of the major oil companies — it’s the work of Elastec American/Marine, based in Illinois. And the design won the company a rich prize from the X Prize Foundation.

Phonetic pronunciation field

I just read on Shawn Blanc’s site about a new field in iOS 5′s Contacts app for adding a phonetic pronunciation of a name so that Siri gets it right.

That same field is in the Address Book in Mac OS 10.7.2 so you can add those phonetic equivalents for your iPhone 4S and Siri on your Mac if you like, syncing through iCoud.

Add the field in Address Book’s Preferences/Template pull down.

screen shot of a dialog box

Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

Dave shooting yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

Macedonia Brook State Park, Kent, Connecticut. Dave and I were hiking the other day and I spotted some unusual bark on a tree. On closer inspection the bark was riddled with woodpecker holes up and down the entire tree.

The bird is a yellow-bellied sapsucker and it really likes this tree. As you’ll see in the other pictures, the entire tree is riddled with holes, bottom to top.

Dave thought this tree was close to 100 years old so this is many generations of sapsucker action on it. No other trees in the area showed this kind of woodpecker damage except two other basswood trees a few hundred feet away.

As you’ll see in the last image the tree is still living, amazingly after such a riddling with holes.

Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in basswood tree

World War II: The Holocaust

World War II: The Holocaust

More of Alan Taylor’s excellent collection of World War II in Photos.

Many of us have seen numerous collections of photographic documentation of Nazi Germany’s “final solution” of concentration death camps and have little interest in seeing more. Alan Taylor is an excellent photo editor and has put together a well-captioned collection that should send chills down anyone’s spine, Jew and non-Jew.

Human beings are capable of terrible things and it’s important to look carefully at images like these to burn that idea into our brains so that we don’t find ourselves in the same place, yet again.

Given our short cultural memory, coupled with the number of people who have no clue that this ever happened, I’m not confident we won’t repeat it in one form or another.

Fountain Pond in fall

Fountain pond

My friend Dave did a great hike on Mt. Greylock yesterday. On the way there just north of Great Barrington, Massachusetts on Rt. 7 we passed Fountain pond early enough in the morning so it had some ground fog on it.

These three images were done with the new version of Instagram on an iPhone 4. I’m still not completely happy with this new version of the instagram app but it’s a quick way to get images both on flickr and on twitter and when I hit the right filter it does makes some interesting images.

I still like the images I’m getting from my Canon S95 camera better and I took many yesterday with it as well which I’ll post soon.

Fall reflected

Fountain pond