Archive for February, 2008

9 Months Old

Monday, February 25th, 2008

9th Month
Nate turned 9 months old today, so I took his monthly picture with the bear. It was much harder this time…he kept crawling away before I could snap the picture. I ended up with a lot of shots that looked like this
growth chart outtake

I haven’t weighed him recently, or stood him up against the wall to get his height, but he goes to his checkup on Thursday, so I’ll have the statistics soon. He does have 4 teeth now, and the next two on top are about ready to emerge. He’s commando crawling everywhere and exploring everything, so baby-proofing has begun. He’s also gotten the hang of propelling himself along when he sits on his little car thing, and can even make slight steering adjustments when he runs into something. If I stand him up, he can hold on to the furniture and keep his balance, but hasn’t started to creep along yet.

Half asleep?

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

A snapped this little gem of Nate at breakfast time this morning.

Nate’s also learning to move around on his car.
Nate Rides

Sorry no eclipse pics… completely cloudy here.

Flower Macro Shots

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

For some reason I uploaded all of these close-up flower images but failed to post that I had done so. Well, let’s just consider these floral shots a Valentine’s Day bouquet for the entire Schierer Space reading population.

A few samples, enjoy!



What is an engineer?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

From the Embedded Muse newsletter issue 155 Joke of the Day:

An engineer is a person who passes as an exacting expert on the basis of being able to turn out with prolific fortitude infinite strings of incomprehensible formulas calculated with micrometric precision from vague assumptions which are based on debatable figures taken from inconclusive experiments carried out with instruments of problematical accuracy by persons of questionable mentality and doubtful reliability for the avowed purpose of annoying and confusing a hopelessly chimerical group of esoteric fanatics referred to altogether too frequently as technicians.

10 cents to Stephen for bringing this to my attention. (Oh that’s in binary.)

Hornking is a family affair.

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Nate’s lovely fountain imitation succeeded in getting my lovely wife equally sick. Nate started feeling better by Sunday morning, and K by Sunday night. I, unfortunately, am now running anchor on this lovely spew relay. Wheee.

Nice video editing.

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Most of you also read the Bad Astronomer, but this was so fun to watch I have to plug it also.

Although somewhat visually reminiscent of the Brady Bunch theme song, this is a very nicely choreographed video.

Compy Reincarnated.

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Thanks to a quick transaction with Steven, K is up and running again. Since the mainboard, processor, video and well pretty much everything had changed from the OS perspective, I had to do a “repair install” with the WXP CD.
As much as this can be annoying, it beats reinstalling all of the applications and regenerating/restoring the preferences for all of them. It’s sort-of impressive to me that you can redo the entire driver database and still leave the look & feel essentially unchanged. Of course, the install disk pretty much returns everything to original, so you have to do umpteen cycles through Windows Update until it stops finding stuff that needs fixing.

To be fair, it’s been significantly less than 24 hours since I started (and I did get a little sleep) and she’s pretty much back up and running (on a more capable machine). Considering that poor little Nate has been hornking* up pretty much everything he eats for the last 24 hours, I wasn’t likely to get much sleep anyway.

* Credit to Earnest the wonder dog (and the auxiliary dog Zippy) in Dave Barry’s “Things That Go Hornk in the Night”.

The mother of all telephoto lenses

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

As seen in an add email from B&H Photo: the Canon 1200/5.6L USM a mere $99,000.

For comparison, my relecting telescope is only a 1020mm, f10.

More info in their newsletter article.

Some excerpts:

At 36lbs, 33″ long and 9″ wide at the front element, calling this lens a ‘tele’ is like calling King Kong a monkey.

For the record, the Canon 1200/5.6L USM contains 13 elements (including 2 Fluorite) in 10 groups, stops down to f32, and has a minimum focus of 45.9′. As for filtration, 48 mm drop-in filters can be inserted towards the aft section of the lens barrel. And before you start kvetching ‘it’s not an IS lens’ keep in mind this hefty pup demands the sturdiest tripod and pan/tilt head you can muster up. An EOS Mark III mounted on this thing looks like a rear lens cap with handle bars. Folks, we’re talking big here… really big.

Make sure to take a look at the 50mm vs 1200mm comparison shots and the equivalent lens lengths for a crop body with the 2x tele-extender.

Mom’s club

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

A couple of months ago I joined the MOMS Club of Cazenovia as a way to meet more moms with young kids. It’s been good for me, as it gives me a reason to get out of the house with Nate for more than just going to the grocery store, and I’ve met some really nice people.

Yesterday at the monthly business meeting I agreed to help them with their website. It’s not a horrible website, although it could use a better layout. The main problem right now is that the site is not coming up in any web searches, so no one can find it. I submitted it to several search engines yesterday, so hopefully people should be able to find it soon.

RIP Compy

Monday, February 4th, 2008

K’s PC bit the big one Saturday night. Maybe the mice ate it.

Instead of restarting properly, it would produce a long LOUD beep, pause for a moment to catch its breath, then repeat. Normally, the PC would emit a short friendly beep before initializing the video with all those helpful text messages. Each tone was at an ear wrenching pitch and lasted for something like 6.3 minutes (if we go by the book like Lt. Saavik). Of course the various websites listing the infamous and mysterious BIOS boot codes listed NOTHING related to a single long beep. Previously, after two or three pokes of the little reset button, something would behave as desired and the machine would be up and running.

Not so on Saturday where my troubleshooting efforts went something like this: (more…)