July 23, 2008
More Bluebirds - Day 1
Bud has a new Western Bluebird nest. I checked it tonight after watching the mother bluebird dash a bug to death on the asphalt until it was thoroughly deceased. It was getting dark, and it was her last catch for the night, apparently. She returned to the nest and I opened the box to peek in. She didn't scare from the nest, but I could see one hatched baby bluebird and at least 2 more eggs. This makes me think that the baby hatched today, as the bluebirds normally all hatch at the same time.
The Twelve Days of Summer
Summer is passing by so fast I can't stand it. I hate to think about returning to the real world. Jen and I have been playing pretty hard. Trying to get out and enjoy the long summer days, and I've been shooting a lot. (This week, I shot my 10,000th image with my new EOS 40D. God, I love this camera!)
To help postpone the inevitable, and stretch the memory of summer, I culled the 10,000 shots down to what I hope is a tolerable few. The slideshow emma.swf (14 meg, 3:32) should play in any browser.
The slideshow was created using Imagematics Stillmotion Pro.
The audio is "For Emma" by Bon Iver off of the album For Emma, Forever Ago. (Kudos to Gretchen for turning me on to the song.)
To view the other slideshows, click here.
July 22, 2008
Recovering Lost Photos from CF Card
I lost some files today, while moving them from my CF card to my PC using Windows Explorer. I'm not clear what happened exactly, but it concerned me enough that I decided to recover them, even though it was only about 30 photos.
First, I tried installing and running Free Undelete 2.0 by OfficeRecovery.com. This was as useless as tits on a bull. It found a bunch of files, and said that it restored them, but I couldn't open them using Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.
Next, I tried a program called CardRecovery (version 4.10) by WinRecovery. It found a ton of files on the card, in addition to the 30 odd photos I wanted. It also allowed me to preview them, and I could see that it looked like it had found the right files, so I shelled out $40 to activate the product and it worked for me. I'm not crazy about the interface, however. The user interface is kludgy at best - it only lets you preview six at a time (it found over a thousand). But, I got my photos, so I'm happy enough. If anyone has any recommendations/suggestions for better/alternate software, please post in comments.
Fly Fishing Leaders
I learned how to fly fish this summer, and now I need to buy some new tippett and a new leader. But, of course, nothing is ever simple when fly fishing. I was hoping I'd just go into a fly shop and buy a leader, but apparently I have a lot to learn about leaders.
My reel is a Pflueger Supreme 1794. My rod is a four piece Fenwick "World Class" WCF 906-4. It's a 9' 0" long #6, and 3 7/16 oz. What all that means, I have not a clue, per usual.
The tippet I have been using is a 4X 6.4lb affair.
So, I need another spool of tippet and another leader. Yes. This should be easy, should it not?
Regrettably, I learned of Ron Barham's passing today from my brother. Ron was a mentor to me growing up - almost like a second father. I can't count the number of times we went hunting together. I tell my daughter stories about him frequently, and seldom do I get in the truck that I don't think about our crazy hunting trips through the backwoods of Mississippi.
Ron and his brother Otha passed through Colorado on an Elk hunt last October, and stayed with me for a night. Was great to see Ron again after many years, and finally meet his brother. He left his shirt here...I still have it hanging by the door, as you never knew when he would turn up and I wanted to have it ready for him when he came back.
Brother and I spent a long time tonight catching up on old stories about Ron...tales of his old Jeep and afternoon squirrel hunts and turkeys shoots and beaver soup. Ronald J Barham will be greatly missed.
Services for the Rev. Ron Barham will be held Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Meridian Memorial Park Cemetery. Robert Barham Family Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Rev. Barham, 65, of Collinsville, died Sunday, July 20, 2008, at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center.
Visitation will be Friday from 8:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. at the church.
Update: More comments and remembrances of Ron Barham from his nephew posted here. It's nice to see comments and feedback from other people, like this...it jarred my memory of his propensity to carry around two dollar bills and hand them out at opportune times. Also of his prayers which were always amusing and human, but never sacrilegious.
Some of Ron's funny quirks were that, when driving down the backroads of Mississippi, in the straight-a-ways, where it was safe, if no one was coming the other way, he'd occasionally drive in the wrong lane intentionally.
He'd act like he was driving faster than he was, by vocalizing the sound of a racing car engine and spin his hands melodromatically over the steering wheel, as though the curve were too sharp or his speed to fast. All just for show of course.
Whenever we passed a cow or a horse, he'd honk his horn and say "hey cow" or "hey horse".
During deer-hunting season, we'd be driving down the road and he'd produce a bag of meat scraps, probably scavenged from a local butcher, and toss the scraps out the window as we drove down the road.
"What's that for?" I asked.
"People deer hunt with dogs and their dogs get lost. This gives them something to eat so they don't go hungry."
I took the liberty of adopting a few of Ron's quirks and creating a fictitious character known as "Turbo Spankenhopper". And now, whenever the kids climb into my truck, they invariably demand that "Turbo" drive the truck instead of me and they squeal with delight as we drive through the mountains.
Update 2: I remembered some things about Ron that I'd forgotten. One thing was that, when we went canoeing on the Strong River in Mississippi, people would inevitably ask us "where'd y'all put in at?" and Ron would invariably shout back that we put in at "Gnome, Alaska", a place I'd never heard of, on the other side of the continental divide.
Whenever we killed any game, if anyone ever asked where the game was killed, he'd invariably answer "on the other side of the river", which was just a way of giving them an answer that shut them up, but was basically complete B.S.
He also had a peculair tendency to break out into an opera song with the lyrics that always began with "NO MORE RICE KREEEESPEEEES..." at the top of his lungs. Only now do I realize that this was from the classic Rice Krispy commercial (Vespi) than ran when I was too young to remember it.
July 19, 2008
Jen and Piper in Bear Creek
Piper tries to save Jen from drowning in Bear Creek.
July 17, 2008
Homeless Head To Zoo
Denver is going to bus all the homeless people to the zoo during the Democratic Convention. Hilarious.
July 16, 2008
I'm connecting two of Jennifer's three bedrooms together. Why? Because she asked me to, and it isn't like I was using the bedrooms anyway. My house is built on three levels, and I have four bedrooms upstairs, and there's only two of us living here, so it seemed like a logical thing to do.
I took all the crates of ammunition out of the spare bedroom and then cut open the wall with a skillsaw before it occurred to me that I have no idea what I'm doing. Bob has been helping me a lot, as far as explaining how to frame out the passage way between the rooms, how to run the electrical cable, and how to fix the sheetrock, etc.
I'm not sure what this flower is. I found it growing wild in my neighbor's back yard. I'm thinking it's some sort of sunflower, possibly a bicolored variety called "The Joker" (Helianthus annuus) but I'm not certain of that. The petals are red near the center, and then change to yellow towards the end. The leaves of the flower are a long, elliptical, and smooth (not serrated). The head of the flower is about 4" across, and it's facing straight up (toward the sky). I'll try to get some better photos of it tomorrow.
Update: Phil sent this:
"I think the yellow flower you thought might be some kind of sunflower is actually known as a blanketflower, gaillardia aristata, or possibly a nursery grown variety that escaped from wherever. Blanketflowers are quite common and very popular in the nursery trade. There are a half dozen different types that I've seen at the local garden centers. The native gaillardia is not very common, but does grow in the foothills of the front range."
Wikipedia has this to say about Blanket Flowers:
Gaillardia (Blanket flower) is a genus of drought-tolerant annual and perennial plants from the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to North America. It was named after M. Gaillard de Charentonneau, an 18th-century French magistrate who was a patron of botany. The common name refers to the inflorescence's resemblance to brightly patterned blankets made by native Americans.
Yeah, I think Phil's right on this. It's definitely a Blanket Flower, which means it's in the Sunflower family (Asteraceae) and in the genus Gaillardia. Now, whether it's of the species Aristata, I'm not 100% certain. I do see some photos of my flower on the web referring to it as a Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata), but most of the photos I see of aristata do not look like mine.
House wren (Troglodytes aedon). I heard this tiny little bird singing in my yard today. It has a beautiful song. You can listen to a sample of the song of the house wren here, but mine was singing better than this. I need to get some decent equipment so I can record audio in the field.
Radiohead's Laser Video
Radiohead shot a music video using only lasers - no cameras were used. The result is pretty wild.
July 15, 2008
Alternative Moon Rocket to Ares
I know a couple of people that are working on the Ares project. Apparently, some engineers at NASA are pushing for a an alternate rocket that is 'simpler, safer, and sooner' than the Ares project.
Yellow Flag Iris
Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus).
Windows Powershell and Process Explorer
Recently, Slashdot posed the question "What features Windows 7 Should Include if they are to have a hope for recovery?"
I posted some of my pet peeves in the comments, basically saying I want more control over the O/S, and less questioning of my commands ("are you sure you want to delete that/kill that?", etc.)
In the replies, I got some feedback that pointed me to Windows PowerShell, which would reportedly solve some of my problems in my current O/S (Windows XP Pro SP2). So, I downloaded and installed PowerShell and, guess what? It's basically a DOS window with a command line interface. Nice. How far we've, come windows. What's old is new again, eh?
Another post recommended I install Process Explorer which looks pretty slick. I installed this, and I think I like it. It's much better than Task Manager, in any event.
July 14, 2008
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa).
July 13, 2008
Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus).
July 12, 2008
My buddy Willis just got annexed by the city, and has police crawling all over his place like ants at a picnic. I stumbled across this video which made me think about Willis.
July 11, 2008
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos).
Boat For Sale
Brother saw this boat on I-10 near the MS/Alabama state line on I-10 today. Had traffic snarled up pretty well, plus, I doubt the boat owner was terribly excited about the ordeal.
July 10, 2008
Dalmatian Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica).
The Get Out Clause
This band in Manchester, England went around and performed before some of the 13 million CCTV cameras Then, they sued for access to the film under the Freedom of Information Act. The song is called "Paper" by "The Get Out Clause". Pretty cool, me thinks.
July 9, 2008
Welcome to the Nanny State Nation
New DNA Tests Clear Family In JonBenet Ramsey Slaying
I would have lost a lot of money on this.
Early in the investigation, police found male DNA in the drop of blood on JonBenet's underwear and determined it was not from anyone in her family. But Lacy said investigators were unable to say who it came from and whether that person was the killer.
Then, late last year, prosecutors turned over long underwear JonBenet was wearing to the Bode Technology Group near Washington, which looked for "touch DNA," or cells left behind where someone has touched something.
The lab has been using this technology for only about three years.
The laboratory found previously undiscovered genetic material on the sides of the girl's long underwear, where an attacker would have grasped the clothing to pull it down, authorities said.
Lacy said in a statement that the presence of the same male DNA in three places on the girl's clothing convinced investigators it belonged to JonBenet's killer and had not been left accidentally by an innocent party.
Searching For Your Client Device
I was doing some work at a friend's place this weekend, and wanted to connect my laptop to her wireless access point, a Linksys WRT54G2 that I had set up for her a few months ago. I had used this to access the 'net with my previous laptop without any problem.
XR400 Headlight Out
I went to ride my XR the other night and noticed my headlight was out. So, I called around and the local Honda shop said the part number is "34908-SA0-811". But, this is a surprise to me as that appears to be a 55 watt bulb, and the Honda Service Manual says that it takes a 12V 35 watt bulb.
This online parts list that says the 2002 XR400 has a plastic lens(33123-KCY-670) and a 35w bulb(34901-MN1-671).
I looked on ThumperTalk here and here and there is some concern on ThumperTalk that the 55w bulb may melt the plastic lens, so they suggest replacing the plastic lens(33123-KCY-670) with the glass lens(33123-MK2-671), and, of course, rewinding the stator. But, there is also some discussion on the forum that the 55w H3 bulb can be purchased at an auto parts store for $5.00 and dropped in behind the plastic lens without rewinding the stator. So, I think that's what I'm going to try first. A "55 watt H3 bulb" from Autozone. This appears to be a "Sylvania Fog Light" bulb. The AutoZone part number is H3-55W and they appear to sell for $5.99 locally. Or, I found them online for $1.77.
There is a little trick to them though, in that they aren't exactly a drop-in replacement for the old bulb, so I'll need to do a little modification to make it fit.
July 5, 2008
House wren (Troglodytes aedon).
House wrens (Troglodytes aedon) are cavity nesting birds. These wrens live in a hole in my neighbor's dead tree. Here one of the parents feeds the babies. They appear to be ready to fledge in the next day or so.
Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia).
Colorado Blue Columbine
Colorado Blue Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea).
Blue Buckle (Penstemon virgatus).
Some gjuy came around yesterday ringing my doorbell and I jumped up and met him at the door with a Colt .45 pistol. I don't like people coming snooping around unexpected. I have a sign out front that says "Trespassers Will Be Shot - Survivors Will Be Shot Again" so you'd think that would have turned him away, but there's some kid dressed all sharp ringing my doorbell with a clipboard in his hand and he's asking me if I want to sign my kid up for some type of classes and I'm like...who told you I have kids?
And then he's asking about my neighbors and I look at him and I look at his clipboard and I look at his car and I say this..."You don't need to be bothering my neighbors...why don't you have a front license plate on your car?" I ask him and he says "I'll tell the guy that owns it" like it's not his car which is a lie...a damned lie.
And I go dig my camera out of my truck and shoot some photos of him as he drove away. I'm pretty sure he was casing the place and if we get robbed, he's going to be the first person up against the wall.
July 4, 2008
North American Moose
North American Moose (Alces alces).
Mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus).
Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus).
North American Elk
North American Elk (Cervus elaphus).
Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes).
Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis).
Robbers Stopped in a Big Way
"Two armed men barged into a Subway Sandwich shop shortly after 11 p.m., demanding money from the employee, behind the counter. When they tried to force John Lovell - the lone customer, age 71, into the bathroom, he pulled out a gun and shot both men, police said."
Blue Buckle (Penstemon virgatus). There are over 60 species of Penstemons in Colorado. This flower is believed to have evolved here in the Central Rockies. This document has some pointers on differentiating the variegated Penstemon.
Full Length Version of Metropolis Discovered
Against all odds, a full-length un-cut version of Metropolis surfaced in Argentina, recently. The movies contains scenes that have been lost for 80 years. Why do I get the feeling that in 80 years, they'll be searching for Song of the South?
July 3, 2008
Happy 4th of July!
We shot off some fireworks with the neighbors tonight. I manned the camera while the kids shot the fireworks. Brings back a lot of memories. Click on the photo above to view the 5 meg slideshow (3:42). The audio track is Spirit In My Life by Cedric Gervais off of the Experiment album.
Click here to view the other slideshows.
Cool Surf Video
This is a cool surf video from an angle I've never seen before. The techno audio in the backgroun is Ministry Of Sound - Spirit In My Life.
FARC Hostages Rescued in Colombia
"Betancourt, 46, was airlifted to freedom Wednesday in an audacious operation involving military spies who tricked the rebels into handing over their most prized hostages — including three U.S. military contractors — without firing a shot.
The stunning caper involved months of intelligence gathering, dozens of helicopters on standby and a strong dose of deceit: The rebels shoved the captives, their hands bound, onto a white unmarked MI-17 helicopter, believing they were being transferred to another guerrilla camp."
July 1, 2008
Male and Female Red Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra).
Mallard drake (Anas platyrhynchos).
Women - For pity's sake, don't drive.