Categories
Photography Places

Glass

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Yesterday I kicked off my 2006 season of orchid photography, but I don’t have any orchid photos to show you. I’m holding all the orchid photos until the end of the shooting season, when I’ll make the best into a show hosted on my new development server using my new photo software.

As has been happening all winter, we had another mild day yesterday, so I do have some photos of a walk about the Botanical Gardens, including the usual ducks and geese mixing with the koi being fed at one of the bridges.

Japanese Garden trees with snow and sun

Goose among koi

Wood duck looking hopeful

I was rather surprised to see how many trees were in bud, and it isn’t even the beginning of February yet. Early spring this year–I wonder if this means we’re in for a long summer? Oh lordy, after last summer, I don’t know if any of us are looking forward to that. I’ll have to plan on visiting lots of folks in the north this summer.

The Witch Hazel was in bloom, but that’s normal for this time of the year.

Just before closing, I was going by a group of trees near the exit when I saw a mockingbird. I’ve been wanting a good shot of one of these, but it was dark so I had to use my flash. I thought using a flash would chase the little bird away. Not only did it not chase the mockingbird away, the flash attracted it closer. The more I would take its picture, the closer the mockingbird got until it was almost out of my focal range.

mockingbird in tree

The light also attracted a couple of robins and a male and female cardinal. The female cardinal was shy and peered out at me from behind the branches, but the male was willing to strut his stuff.

male cardinal in tree

I guess getting photos of both a mockingbird and a cardinal calls for a link to my Mockingbird’s Wish story. For those who weren’t reading this weblog back in 2003, this is one my most favorite writings and was inspired, unbelievably, by a Creative Commons debate.

In the reception center, the first of the Dale Chihuly glass sculptures is hanging from the ceiling. The piece is huge — probably 20 feet long. Several pieces will be displayed with orchids and various other plants in the Climatron starting in April. The Climatron is already a mystical place to spend time–I can’t imagine what it will be like when this show is on. Especially the evening showings when the glass and flowers are lit up, and small birds are flying about through the huge trees that have grown up in the misty heat. If you’re going to visit me this year, make sure to come between April and October to see this show.

cobalt blue curly glass

mix of light and dark blue curly glass

On second thought, I’m planning on taking my driving tour about the country in September/October, so come before then.

Rob asked me for my most dangerous idea, and both Karl and pb have tapped me for the Four Item meme and I want to respond to all three; I’m folding the responses into a bigger piece I hope to finish later this week. The writing won’t be as curlicue, fragile, or as beautiful in the light as the Chihuly piece, but it will probably be about as long and pointy.

Categories
Internet Social Media

Green, Green, the Grass is Green

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Two stories on search engine companies in the last few weeks, and I have little to write specifically on either. I tend to agree with the ACLU that the issue with the federal subpoena of Google, MSN, and Yahoo doesn’t show just cause, and I want to write on privacy later, in a separate post.

As for Google and China, I have to ask myself if I’m willing to give up on my use of Google–to not use the search engine, to stop using Google maps, to prevent Google from accessing my site, and so on. I also ask myself if I’m willing to give up my iPod, which is manufactured in China; in fact, give up both of my Powerbooks, as well as many other computer-related items in addition to my Belkin surge protectors, and most likely all or part of most of my photographic equipment.

In the end, I’m not willing to go this far for my beliefs, so it’s difficult for me to jump into the sense of outrage others are experiencing. I am, instead, alarmed at how much I am surrounded by “Made in China”; more resigned and saddened at my own culpability in bolstering the power that the Chinese government has over its people–and whether we acknowledge it or not, ourselves–than angry at Google.

Three days ago Google was evil. But then, as always happens, Google issues another beta or releases another new toy, and the pundits stop in mid-indignant outburst with murmurs of ‘Oooo, shiny. New toy.’ Well, well, we say. Perhaps Google isn’t quite so evil after all.

Categories
Internet Social Media

Green, Green, the Grass is Green

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Two stories on search engine companies in the last few weeks, and I have little to write specifically on either. I tend to agree with the ACLU that the issue with the federal subpoena of Google, MSN, and Yahoo doesn’t show just cause, and I want to write on privacy later, in a separate post.

As for Google and China, I have to ask myself if I’m willing to give up on my use of Google–to not use the search engine, to stop using Google maps, to prevent Google from accessing my site, and so on. I also ask myself if I’m willing to give up my iPod, which is manufactured in China; in fact, give up both of my Powerbooks, as well as many other computer-related items in addition to my Belkin surge protectors, and most likely all or part of most of my photographic equipment.

In the end, I’m not willing to go this far for my beliefs, so it’s difficult for me to jump into the sense of outrage others are experiencing. I am, instead, alarmed at how much I am surrounded by “Made in China”; more resigned and saddened at my own culpability in bolstering the power that the Chinese government has over its people–and whether we acknowledge it or not, ourselves–than angry at Google.

Three days ago Google was evil. But then, as always happens, Google issues another beta or releases another new toy, and the pundits stop in mid-indignant outburst with murmurs of ‘Oooo, shiny. New toy.’ Well, well, we say. Perhaps Google isn’t quite so evil after all.

Categories
Critters Photography

At rest

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

As you can see, today Zoë was catching up on her beauty sleep. The patches in her fur are where she was shaved on the neck and her butt for drawing blood and administrating the radioactive iodine. It will grow back.

zoe1

zoe5

zoe3

Thanks for all the good wishes for Zoë’s continued good health. She’s been a good friend to me and life would be very quiet without her.

zoe2

Categories
Writing

Media Mailed

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Tonight I sent off the books for those of you who emailed me your addresses. The UPT is in boxes, and the Practical RDF is in bubble envelopes. Zoë helped me pack the books, so you’ll know which ones are from me by whether they glow in the dark or not.

Just kidding — Zoë’s radiation does not rub off on inanimate objects. Not unless she were to pee on your books. I can assure you that if my cat peed on your book, I would not send it. Well, not without drying it, first.

I got a very good deal on envelopes and boxes at our local Office Depot, and the Media mailing rate is incredibly low. All total, mailing the Practical RDF books came to about 3.00 each and the UPT to about 5.00. Since I would rather not have 3.00 and 5.00 charges on Paypal (of which I believe it would take 1.25 anyway), instead I’d like you to consider donating some canned goods or money to your Humane Society. If you would prefer, you can also donate to another charity, or drop it into the tin of a really good street performer. Or you can have a good cup of coffee and a PB & J sandwich, on me.

Then, if in my journey late summer, my odyssey through the States and beyond, I come into your area and you want to buy me a beer, well, you’re on.

Speaking of the little princess, she’s happily home and has spent the last several hours exploring every last bit of the town-home, climbed into boxes, snuggled, ate, snuggled, played, and snuggled some more. She hasn’t slept once. I did a little research and found out that if we hold her close for three hours a day, the amount of radioactive exposure we’ll experience is 3 mrem/year–an increase of 1% over normal radiation doses we experience from the sun and other sources. This is supposedly equivalent to drinking one cup of coffee or one diet soda per day. We have decided to snuggle Zoë the 3 hours and do without one can of soda or a cup of joe a day.

It was a surprise to hear, though, that coffee and soda add to our radiation exposure. I wonder if Starbuck’s is managed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission? Further research shows that drinking coffee shortens our lives an average of six days. If you think that’s bad, did you know that if you eat 40 tablespoons of peanut butter, one after the other, you’ll die of aflatoxin poisoning?

All in all, I’ll take my chances with Zoë.