Let it snow

The weather powers have predicted snow for St. Louis, and a decent amount, too. St. Louis is not a city that gets much snow, so 6 inches or so is significant for us.

I was coming home from the store today–fresh veggies and dip, a favorite snowed in treat–when I saw the complex maintenance guys out salting the walks. When I asked about it, one of the guys replied, “It’s a passive snow removal system”. It’s all in how you frame it.

I’m looking forward to the snow. Putting on my snow boots and walking around the neighborhoods to look at the lights. Hot cider followed by cold Mexican beer with lime when I get home.

Energy Users Environment Political

Not overblown, but important to Congress

Via Sierra Club, the Daily Kos has a break down on the top presidential candidates–Republican and Democrat–and their responses to a Katie Couric question: Is Global Warming Overblow.

The answers are interesting. Fred Thompson’s response was a joke–electing him would be like electing Bush again for a third term. The other Republican candidates, at least are willing to admit there is a problem.

What I don’t understand, though, is if the presidential candidates think the problem is serious, then why does the energy bill, which is a start at addressing the problem, lying on the Congressional cutting room floor? Scientists are now saying arctic ice could be gone in less than ten years, and all the candidates are talking about solutions cutting emissions in 2050. “Thinking Green”, as if the solution can be found in a viral ad campaign.

Why stop at the candidates. If the environment is a Democratic thing, tell me something else: why are there are just as many Democrats driving gas guzzlers, as Republicans?

The problem of global warming isn’t political, it’s personal. And with recent news from the scientists, damn personal.

Just Shelley

Life stuff

My shoulder does not improve, in fact, it’s gotten quite worse. As has my elbows, and hands. If you think this sounds computer related, it is–or at least, the computer use is exacerbating the problems. Especially the shoulder, which has gotten bad enough to impact both sleeping and driving.

After the book is done at end of the month, I am cutting computer use back, significantly. I had thought about going offline completely for a few months, but I’m not sure such a drastic cut off is necessary or feasible. There will always be tweaks on the book, the sites, and possibly some tasks for a start up I’ve been doing some work for. I won’t be posting as much, however, and don’t be surprised, or concerned, if you don’t hear from me for weeks on end.

If I can get my shoulder in good enough shape, I want to do a few car trips around in my area. I want to go down to New Orleans, maybe along the Gulf coast. Not as far as Florida but definitely out of the house. I could go north, but frankly, only masochists drive around the Great Lakes area ‘for fun’ in the Winter.

My roommate, knowing I couldn’t put up any of the Christmas decorations because of my shoulder, surprised me yesterday by putting up lights around the deck and around the front window. You can keep your expensive iTouches and Chumblys–doing something you really dislike, as a gift for a friend is about the nicest present you can give another person.

On the cellphone front, I am filing a small claims against Sprint comes January, and looks like the law is on my side. My state, Missouri, is one that won’t allow unnecessary penalties attached to contract terminations. All you can charge a person is the amount you’ve lost, in the case of cellphone companies, the costs of the phones. One of my phones was over 3 years old, the other over 8. The costs has been more than recouped by now. All the people who have taken their cases against Sprint to small claims in Missouri have won, and I expect to win. I even know the bank to send the garnish request to.

I find I don’t miss the phone. I am not a phone person, being relatively quiet in the ‘real world’. I used to call my Mom but we are now exchanging letters. Yes, actual, real life letters. It’s quite pleasant.

The snow and ice have both been missing our area in St. Louis. We’re in the city’s ‘heat shadow’, which tends to block us from most of the adverse weather. If you look at the radar map of the state, you’ll even see there’s a line that goes from Springfield, Missouri to St. Louis. For most storms, the area above the line in St. Louis shows in blues, for frozen precipitation, the area below shows non-frozen precipitation. Knock on wood this continues, because frozen rain is not something I appreciate. Snow, on the other hand, would be pretty. Especially with the lights.


With sadness

This has been a week of sad good-byes.

Danny Ayers and Dan Connolly both write on an incredibly tragic event. Last weekend, while Chimezie and Roschelle Ogbuji were having a rare night out, a baseboard heater caught fire in the basement. Though the babysitters were able to escape, the Ogbuji’s three little girls–Imose Esosa Ikpia, Chikaora Credell Zion, and Anyachiemeka Chibuzo Anastar–weren’t so fortunate. The oldest was 6, the youngest just a baby. Three beautiful little girls.

This last weekend, Marc Orchant passed away from his heart attack earlier in the week. He was only 50, and leaves behind a wife and two kids, and friends and co-workers who will miss him, as well as a community who respected him deeply.

Then tonight, Bill Humphries posts another sad note: Anita Rowland passed away today, losing her fight with cancer. Anita has been around for so long, it’s difficult to think of her gone. Anita left behind a beloved husband, Jack William Bell, family, and too many friends to count–both online and off. Jack has created a memorial page, for leaving comments, writing If you knew Anita or she touched your life in some way — something that applies to many, many people — please leave a comment with some memory of her here.

Frank reminds us of an interview he did with Anita, five years ago. Thank you, Frank, for capturing her voice.

My deepest sympathy to all of the families and friends.

Hug someone you love. Reach out to a friend.


Sensor cleaning warning on D300, Canon

I don’t have a D300 on my wishlist, as I don’t fully utilize my D200. I’m also thinking of trying Canon for my next major camera purchase.

Regardless of whether you use D300 or Canon, Earthbound Light provides a warning about the type of sensor cleaning fluid you use. I gather the D300 has a ‘sensor shake’ option, but it won’t handle the dust that fuses to your sensor–pesky stuff.

However, the regular Eclipse fluid won’t work on the sensor coating used in newer cameras–including the D300, my D200, the Canons, and others–and we should be using the Eclipse E2 cleaning solution. Since E2 works on all sensors, it makes little sense to buy the original fluid.