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May 31, 2014

Maybe in May

The torrential rains of May have turned the mountains into something closely akin to the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest. Western Oregon dreams they were as green as this. The rain forests of Costa Rica pale in comparison...

In May, the ravens come into the meadows, calling out loudly. Warning the crows to stay away. Defending the valley.

At last, even the lowly Scrub Oaks push forth a coat of lime green leaves. An offering to the Gods of Spring.

The dandelions bloom and it's been so long since I sprayed them that I can't even remember what I used to spray on them.

The Mountain Lilacs bloom purple and somehow, I'd forgotten what the blooms even looked like. Last year I missed them, wandering around down in Central America.

It's funny how memories fade.

Hummingbird dogfights, and now, they're chasing off those peculiar moths that act like hummingbirds, but somehow aren't. Somehow, they're not even distant relatives. One is a bird, and one is an insect, but they behave much the same. And you could be forgiven for mistaking the two.

Everyone see what they want to see. The evolutionist says "Aha...Evolution is real." And the Christians say "Aha...Here is the hand of God, if ever anyone ever doubted his existence." Both observe the same phenomena, both are more resolute in their convictions, and both are right.

The birds have already paired up, built nests, and laid eggs in the blue bird houses. These birds don't come to the feeders though. Western Bluebirds and Mountain Bluebirds won't come to a seed feeder unless you put meal worms in it, or something they like. They certainly won't eat sunflower seeds.

And I see these birds, flying through our meadows. And each year, I see forget some of the birds so that, when I see them, I know that I know them, but can't think of their names. Why is that? Why would the brain store the awareness of the bird in one place, and the name in another place? Like..."Oh...shoot....I know what that bird is...let me think of the name of it..." and then the brain searches around and either comes up with a name or it doesn't. It's a bizarre situation, really. It would seem to make more sense to store the awareness of the bird and the bird's taxonomy all in the same location. But who am I to question the design of an instrument we can barely comprehend?

Every year, we lose bird houses to the elements. The posts rot or the houses fall apart. The winters are hard on them, it seems. The years scroll past, and everyone slowly collapses, but somehow the trees and the grasses regrow every year. Why is it that we can't learn from nature? Why can't we build structures that repair themselves? A tree loses a branch, and it grows a new one in the exact same place.

But if the gutters fall off your house, they don't grow back. Why is that?

The Hummingbirds dogfight furiously into the Mountain Lilac, flying through the boughs of the plant so recklessly that Wallie decides to join into the fray, climbing up into the thin Lilac branches, bent on attacking the birds that have lost all awareness of their surroundings, as they clash, violently smashing through the tangled mass of branches in the Lilac bush. Wallie falls out and the birds escape somehow. I try to take some pictures of the fracas, but nothing would do it justice, really. Imagine being deathly afraid of a bird so small it could fit in your shirt pocket and you start to get some idea of the ferocity of these battles.

How is it not raining today? It's a miracle. Yesterday, I drove home in a blinding rainstorm. Today, the sky is sunny and clear, but with bright puffy clouds in a deep blue sky. Maybe it won't rain today. Only we can hope.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 31, 2014 at 10:32 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 25, 2014

May in the Rockies

And in May, the fields were green. The hummingbirds shivered by their feeders in the snow. The hail came and beat the fresh leaves off the trees.

As the sun set, we brought in the cats from outside, chasing them from the shelter of their scrub oak ramparts with waterlogged pine cone grenades. (test).

So that when the coyotes and the eagles came through at dusk, the cats were safely indoors.

In May, the mountain lilacs bloomed. The mule deer came around, grunting loudly like wild pigs.

The broadtails buzzed madly through the yard, defending the feeder at all costs. At great risk. Unwilling to share the 1:1 sickly sweet syrup.

The mountains are completely soaked, as it rained all day yesterday

And maybe, off in the distance, a dog barking. And children screaming and playing. It's not fair that they should go away. That they should turn tail and run away after 18 short years. It's just no right. I wonder even who's kids they are. Most of the people up here are older than me. Maybe it's grandkids.

I see the kids playing at school where I work, and I'd like nothing more than to eat my lunch shooting them at recess, but no one would understand. It wouldn't be tolerated.

A bald eagle flies by, very high. Alone. Flying above the crows and ravens that would challenge his path. Above the Corvidae. But I see him. His bright white head against the setting sun. I'm surprised that he's here now. Surprised that he's not much further north by this time.

A male broad-tailed hummingbird loudly dive-bombs another hummingbird in the Mountain Lilac bush. He climbs to 40-50' in the air, then, comes screaming down, pulling up in time to miss the interloper by a few centimeters maybe. His wings make a skipping sound as he risks breaking them in two with the strain.

They buzz loudly through the evergreens - I don't see how though. How they dodge all the little sticks and needles without breaking their hollow wings. It's hard to imagine where they came from.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 25, 2014 at 7:36 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Postcards from Nowhere: Colorado Springs

Above: View of the Front Range at sunset as seen from Perry Park Road between Sedalia and Larkspur.

I've been working in Colorado Springs lately. After work, weather permitting, I drive around in the mountain west of the Springs. Shooting locations include Victor, Cripple Creek, 11 Mile Reservoir, Spinney Reservoir, Hartsel, Ute Pass, Wilkerson Pass, Colorado Springs Zoo, Evergreen Lake, Golden, etc. The photos were all shot in April/May of 2014 using a Canon EOS 50D with one of the following lenses:

EF-S 17-85mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM image-stabilized, ultra-sonic telescopic zoom
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM image-stabilized, ultra-sonic telescopic zoom

The soundtrack for the slideshow is Demons by Imagine Dragons. I chose this song because I hear it on the radio sometimes .and I Shazam'ed it.

The images are compiled into an 7 Meg (3:04) Adobe Flash slideshow (2014_demons.swf) that will not work on an iPhone. However, everyone else on the planet should be able to open and view with any browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.). To view the slideshow, just click on the photo above. If you're on a PC and want to view the slideshow as a Windows executable, you can play this version (2014_demons.exe), and it allows you to play, pause, skip forward, backwards, etc.

Image post-processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended. The slideshow was created using Imagematics Stillmotion Pro.

Click here to view the other slideshows.

Lyrics in the extended entry.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM : Comments (5) | Permalink

Postcards from Nowhere: The Front Range

Above: Sunrise in Turkey Creek Canyon.

Jennifer and I have been hanging around the front range so far this year. I haven't been to the airport since January, which suits me just fine. These pics are from a motorcycle ride I did with some buddies up the front range, roughly from Boulder to Estes Park to Big Thompson Canyon. Also, some photos from Colorado Springs and the cog railway up to Pike's Peak. These photos were shot on Canon EOS 50D's with one of the following lenses:

EF-S 17-85mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM image-stabilized, ultra-sonic telescopic zoom
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM image-stabilized, ultra-sonic telescopic zoom

The soundtrack for the slideshow is Safe and Sound by Capital Cities. I chose this song because I hear it on the radio sometimes .and I Shazam'ed it.

The images are compiled into an 7 Meg (3:42) Adobe Flash slideshow (2014_safe.swf) that will not work on an iPhone. However, everyone else on the planet should be able to open and view with any browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.). To view the slideshow, just click on the photo above. If you're on a PC and want to view the slideshow as a Windows executable, you can play this version (2014_safe.exe), and it allows you to play, pause, skip forward, backwards, etc.

Image post-processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended. The slideshow was created using Imagematics Stillmotion Pro.

Click here to view the other slideshows.

Lyrics in the extended entry.

Continue reading "Postcards from Nowhere: The Front Range"

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 25, 2014 at 9:24 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 14, 2014

Syncing Notes with iPhone

So, Apple has clearly lost their way. I found this out today when my iPhone crashed and I couldn't recover my notes from my iPhone.

As best as I can determine, I can only sync my Notes on my iPhone via email over iCloud. Which is so retarded that their just aren't words.

Now, if you have an Apple ID, that is an email address. And, I'm very clear what my Apple ID is, and which email address it is tied to. But, then you have to have yet another email address to sync your Notes to...this has to be an iCloud email address. Oh my God I'm going to hang myself. Can you make this any harder Apple? WTF???

On the MacBook Air (Mountain Lion), I go to Settings - iCloud. Click on Account Details to see what your Apple ID is.

Somwhere on the internet it says:

"Notes is an app now, go into your applications and double click on notes. To sync notes you need to sign into his iCloud account on both devices."

"Syncing Notes with iTunes and OS X Mountain Lion v10.8
You can sync with the Notes app using IMAP or iCloud. Syncing Notes using iTunes is no longer supported on OS X v10.8 and later."

I'm on OS X 10.8.5, so yeah...it looks like I can't sync Notes using iTunes. Thanks for that, Apple. Whoever thought of this should be murdered.

Now, it appears to me that I have to set up iCloud on both the iPhone and the MacBook Air? I want to hang myself.

Wait. I found this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-INCMBBXiQ

It appears to show me how to sync my notes off of the iPhone onto my Gmail email account. Looks pretty simple. Fingers crossed...

So, I did this, and when I sign into Gmail online, I do, in fact, see a folder called "Notes", but there's nothing in it. Hmmmmm.

Now, this guy appears to say that, if I do sync the Notes to Gmail, they'll be deleted from my iPhone? WTF? http://gmail-miscellany.blogspot.com/2013/08/gmail-apple-notes-app.html I think this is wrong. This can't be true.

So, my existing Notes didn't get copied over to my Gmail account, but I created a new Note, and it did, in fact, show up in my Gmail account online and I can see it on my MacBook Air.

So, now I'm trying to figure out how to get all of my old (previously existing) Notes copied over also...

I want to murder everyone at Apple for this.

So, I can't get my notes synced via the Gmail account. So, instead, I'm going to try to sync them using iCloud. iCloud can normally function with the email id tied to your Apple ID. Not so for the Notes sync, however. If you want to sync notes, you have to specify an iCloud Id. WTF, Apple? WTF?

So, get this...My Apple ID is already an email ID. But now I need another email ID to sync my Notes to the iCloud. For the love of God, people. Could you possibly design a more complicated system to get a fucking text file off of a fucking phone? WTF???

Set Up an @icloud email address:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ph2620

So, on my iPhone, I go to Settings - iCloud and click on "Notes". I get the message "Create a free @icloud.com email address to turn on Notes".

Now, I don't know if I've created 0 iCloud accounts or 50, but it gives me this threatening message "you cannot change your iCloud email after creating it", so, apparently, I'm join got carry this iCloud account around with me for the rest of my life like Herpes. Great.

apple_sucks_dicks@icloud.com

Then, under Settings - iCloud - Storage and Backup - I went to iCloud Storage and Backup and selected Backup Now.

Now, I can go to iCloud.com on my MacBook and sign in with my Apple ID. And, when I click "Notes", it does show me the Notes app online. But my notes aren't there. It didn't sync them from my iPhone. Good job, Apple. Well played.

Now, it says I need to "Reset Documents and Data" and that no data will be lost. Right. I believe that. I want to go to Steve Job's grave, exhume his corpse, and pour pig fat into his eye sockets.

Then on my MacBook, under Settings - iCloud, it says "Do you want to merge Notes with iCloud? Your information on this Mac will be uploaded and merged with the Notes stored in iCloud. I clicked on "Sure...why the fuck not? Hope springs eternal..."

That does appear to have synced my Notes from my MacBook Air up to the iCloud. Now, I still don't have my Notes from my iPhone in the iCloud, but what do you expect?

OK. I went back into my iPhone, under Settings - iCloud and scrolled down and my Notes was turned off for syncing with the iCloud. So, somehow, after all of that, Apple had turned off my Notes sync via iCloud. Well done, Apple. Well done. So, I turned the sync back on for my Notes. Lord God this is hard.

OK. Now, on my iPhone, I am seeing something different. What I see now is that, when I go into Notes, I have a new screen that comes up first which says "Accounts". From here, I can choose "All Notes", 'Gmail", "From My PC", or "iCloud".

So this is kind of nice. It answers one of my questions which is "How will I be able to tell where the note originated from?" Like, I'm not sure that just taking all of the notes off of my iPhone and mashing them in with all of the notes on my MacBook seems like such a perfect solution. So, this way I can still tell where the note originated from, which is nice.

However, I'm still not seeing that my iPhone notes are getting moved anywhere.

As a move of final desperation, I'm going to follow the directions to Resetting iCloud Documents and Data service:

[...]reset iCloud Documents & Data as described below. These steps won't delete your documents and data or affect the changes you've made to them.

If you have documents open on your devices, stop editing the documents and make sure that the edits you made on each device are saved to that device.
On your computer, go to iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
Click your account name in the upper-right corner of the page, then choose Account Settings.
Go to Advanced > Reset Documents & Data > Reset Documents and Data, then click Reset and wait for the reset process to complete.
When you're asked to restart your devices, shut down each device that is set up for iCloud documents and data, then restart.

I give up. It's still not syncing my notes from my iPhone to anything...not to Gmail...not to the iCloud...not to my MacBook. No dice. Well done, Apple. Well done.

I finally decided to install Evernote, to see if that will sync my notes for me.

Update: So far, the number of people I've found that are set up to sync their Notes is exactly 0. I had Jennifer go through the same gyrations that I did to try to sync Notes over iCloud and Gmail, and she got exactly the same results. New notes sync perfectly. Old notes will not sync, even if you do the reset trick with the iCloud. Even if you update the old note by adding some information to it.

Nice job, Apple. Well done.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 14, 2014 at 9:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 9, 2014

The Back Way to Colorado Springs

The back way to Colorado Springs:



View Larger Map

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 9, 2014 at 12:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 6, 2014

What happened to PeenieWallie?

I'm posting on a different website temporarily. If you'd like to know where, shoot me an email at 9rob4.kiser8@gmail.com. There are no numbers in the email address. That's just to confuse the bots.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 6, 2014 at 9:57 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 2, 2014

How to sneak into any game

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfsIs2OIfWU

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2014 at 3:54 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Luckiest Man Alive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZyUWLW7kEI&feature=youtu.be

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2014 at 3:22 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

May 1, 2014

Pike's Peak - April 2014

http://youtu.be/cfShuoUU2Is

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 1, 2014 at 3:48 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Email Verification Question...ouch...

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 1, 2014 at 3:06 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

11 life lessons from Bob Hoskins to his daughter

1) Laugh. There's humour to be found everywhere, even your darkest days there's something to have a joke about.

2) Be yourself. If someone doesn't like you they're either stupid, blind, or they've got bad taste. Accept who you are, you've got no one else to be.

3) Be flamboyant, it's who you are and always have been. Be eccentric and unique. Don't try to adapt yourself to someone else's view of normal.

4) Don't worry about other people's opinions. Everyone's a critic, but ultimately what they say only matters if you let it.

5) Get angry, it's ok to lose your temper now and then. If anger stays in, it turns to poison and makes you bitter and sad. Get angry, say your peace, then let it go.

6) Whatever you do, always give it a good go. Don't be afraid of failure and disappointment.

7) Be generous and kind because you can't take it with you. When you've got something to give, give it without hesitation.

8) Appreciate beauty, take pictures and make memories. Capture it, you never know when it'll be gone.

9) Don't take yourself too seriously. People who take themselves too seriously are boring.

10) Never, ever, ever, ever give up. Keep on punching no matter what you're up against.

11) Love with all your heart. In the end, love is the only thing that matters.

http://www.itv.com/news/2014-04-30/11-life-lessons-from-bob-hoskins/

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 1, 2014 at 12:03 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink