Archive for January, 2008

For Mike & Bill…

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Because of my friends (and likely audience), they’re most likely to get the joke(s).
Bug - xkcd.com
All credit to xkcd.com.

Thanks to Bill for pointing out this web comic to me in the first place.

software search

Monday, January 28th, 2008

I am looking for some sort of program to organize my recipes and help me create menu plans and shopping lists. Is anyone using this type of software, and would you recommend it?

Eight Months Old!

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Can you believe it!?
8th Month

A bunch of new pics posted in both the 8th month and 9th month albums.

Some samples:
This expression cracks me up!
Cracks me up!

Happiness is a blue rubber ball.
Happiness is a Blue Bouncy Ball.

The indecision Nate was showing when I took this picture was pretty funny. He had the blue ball, but would reach out to the red one, then glance back. I managed to catch him in the act.
Red or Blue?

Peek a Boo!
Peek a...

A Tanker of Orange Juice and a Pound of Flesh

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

No, this is not the recipe for an exotic (and very large) magical potion or a reference to a new play called the Merchant of Ft. Lauderdale. I am referring to two entirely unrelated random events that occurred today.

First, I heard on the breaking news section of NPR’s All Things Considered that there was a ship collision reported today involving a tanker carrying orange juice. “Huh?” my brain said. I immediately began pondering the environmental disaster scenarios involving a giant orange juice spill a la Exxon Valdez. I’m sure that would be a pretty rough pH change for the local sea creatures, but I can’t imagine it would be terribly catastrophic over the long term. In case you’re curious, ShipTechnology.com (yes there is such a site) has a nice description of the Carlos Fischer, a tanker capable of carrying 37,000t* of orange juice.

Second, today was Red Cross Bloodmobile day at work so I donated my pint of A+ as usual. However, as a publicity promotion, Dunkin Donuts is giving ever donor a coupon for a pound of Dunkin Donuts coffee. As is explained by the old English expression “A pint’s a pound the world around” a pint of water (or essentially, blood) weighs about a pound**. So in one sense this is a pretty fair trade. Of course, several of you readers probably consider coffee more precious than blood, but I don’t generally drink it. It also occurred to me that this is sort-of a reverse divine transformation (apologies to the Roman Catholics in the audience) that my blood, freely given, is transformed into an equivalent quantity of an addictive drink. Or something like that.

* Assuming t stands for short tons, that would be over 8.8 million US gallons of OJ.
** This used to be literally true in the old English system, now a pint of water weighs about 1.043 pounds.

Wedding pictures posted… finally.

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

You thought I forgot, didn’t you? Well I finally completed the cropping and editing of the pictures from Luke & Lauren’s wedding. Although most of the pictures were the best of the bunch from any particular moment, if multiple pictures came out well or presented slightly different shots from a framing point of view, I left them in. A few relatively crummy shots are included simply because I didn’t get a better one that turned out. I did some strategic cropping and framing of some of the shots because of foreground obstructions (think people’s heads), but since I didn’t want to wander around during the wedding or barge in front of the ACTUAL wedding photographers… you get what you can get. On the whole, I think the reception shots came out better than the shots of the wedding itself. Added mobility probably contributed to this.

Anyhow, I think there are quite a few excellent shots, and if anybody in the family wants copies to keep or print, let me know. After all, the shots in the gallery are generally not full resolution. There are over 100 images posted in two albums: one for the ceremony and one for the reception.

A few highlights: (more…)

Gigapxl Project

Friday, January 18th, 2008

I’ve mentioned this to some of you before, but if you’re into photography or just really impressive landscape images, you should check out the Gigapixl project.

This project constructed a process to generate images with a resolution of over 1 billion* pixels. What this means is that sweeping wide angle landscapes can provide stunning detail. Check out this fantastic example of the Bixby Bridge on the California coast.

For the image geeks, the site goes through a rather nice analysis of how to do design an imaging process (not just the camera itself) with what is essentially a functional decomposition and allocation. Note that this is not a digital camera, but an extremely large format film camera and high resolution scanning equipment.

* Billion here is 1000 million or 1E9. They are currently working on a 4000 million pixel process.

Getting back to Denver

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Although I’ve been home since late Saturday night, I wanted to share the shots Greg took in the car on the way back to Denver from Steamboat Springs. That beautiful powder we were skiing in was also falling in Rabbit Ears pass. I was driving, so Greg had fun with my camera.

Vehicle in snowbank 1:
IMG_0788

Vehicle in snowbank 2:
IMG_0791

Vehicle in snowbank 3:
IMG_0797

(You get the idea…)

Sweet! Lemmings online using Java!

Monday, January 14th, 2008
Tip of the wild green wig to Kim at Me and My Boys for this gem!

Try Lemmings for some nostalgia… in your browser using Java. I don’t seem to be getting any sound, though (the author seems to think it should work in most browsers… probably a plug in thing.

Whoops! Forgot the link…. Added.

Skiing Steamboat USA

Sunday, January 13th, 2008
Although I wrote this post Friday night, I seem to have neglected to publish it. I’ve left the original text, but have added some direct image links

We had a truly amazing day skiing at Steamboat. Over two feet of snow had fallen in the days we had been in Colorado… and another 8-12 inches fell in the 24 hours prior to our ski visit. I’ve never skied in anything like that in my life, and even Greg (a lifetime Colorado skier) said it was probably the best snow conditions he’d ever experienced.

There were so many places you could divert from existing tracks to just bury yourself waist deep in loose snow. Intermediate runs were almost not steep enough to maintain momentum with the drag of the snow. Black diamonds were steep but filled with soft bumps.

No time for a play by play, check out the pics and captions in the Skiing Steamboat gallery. Thanks to Greg for snapping the pictures of yours truly.

—–

Some highlights:
Greg pops out of the woods:
IMG_0743

Chris and Moosie in the heavy snowfall:
IMG_0752

I try to look like I know what I’m doing:
IMG_0766

Snowmobile + much fresh powder = Long work day

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

So I drove a snowmobile for the first time today. Although I grew up in the snow belt of NW Pennsylvania, snowmobiles were only for those people who went whipping down our road at 95 bazillion feet per second at 1 AM (with a noise like: wwwweeeeeEEEEEEZZZZowwwwwww” please add your own Doppler shift for full effect).
Actually, it occurs to me that this is quite probably the first time I have ever piloted a motorized personal conveyance of ANY kind. Trike: Nope, ATV: Nope, Jetski: Nope, Dirtbike: Nope, Motorcycle: Nope.

Snowmobile: Yes.

Yes. This was for work. And actually maneuvering a motorized sled through 2-4 feet of powder is actually quite a bit of work. It REALLY wants to tip over into the snow at the slightest upset. Thankfully, rolling into the thick powder is neither painful or particularly unpleasant (except for our VERY helpful and VERY patient guide Stan who had to once again drive the sled out of its upsettedness). Standing in sort-of a jetski like crouch turns out to be the most stable config (easy to lean and adjust) but tiring to say the least.

Anyhow, I’m sure it’s great fun once you know what you’re doing, and you’re not on a time-line like ours: Must get gear installed today and working and get off mountain before dark and you get lost, die, get eaten by a mountain lion or all of the above.

Don’t get me wrong. It beats sitting at my desk.

Sorry no action shots today. We have to make another short run tomorrow, so maybe we’ll have time to get some pics. Who’s that driving my sled?
IMG_0606

My hotel closet has become a regular electronics warehouse. I wonder what housekeeping thinks?
IMG_0623