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Maggie Chromatic

Maggie Chromatic

   This is a selective color black and white of Maggie.  She is a vivid example of sectoral heterochromatic eyes—eyes that have a portion (sector) of a different color (heterochromatic).  I tried to get this shot a couple of weeks ago and failed as I did not have enough light to get the exposure without blur.  But on Saturday, I was able to try again and this time the frame was crisp.
   Today at work I finished up on a little side project to help out the other engineers.  The project needed a simple flash programmer for two different types of flash devices.  One of the hardware engineers suggested doing a flash query to determine the type of flash device so the different flashes could be programmed according to their needs.  Enter the Common Flash memory Interface (CFI).  After a little work, I discovered the way we had been dealing with one of the flash devices was wrong, based on the information I obtained from the CFI.  The information gave me everything I needed to know about the device.  After I finished the implementation a thought dawned on me: didn't I just reinvent the wheel?  Surely someone must have written this interface before.  After a bit of searching around, I didn't find one.  Interesting.
   Pictured are some of the buildings on the campus of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa in Sinsinaw, Wisconsin, close to the border of Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.  Shortly outside of the town of Hazel Green, Wisconsin along highway 11 I kept seeing a large building on a hill off in the distance.  So I decided to have a closer look.  The campus is a mixture of these older buildings and some buildings that look like they are from around the 1960-1970 time frame.  Despite being up on a hill, I wasn't really able to get much of a view--power lines on one side and a collage on the other.  But it was a fun side trip.
   As part of the process of moving back to Beloit, I've started bringing up stuff I on my weekly returns.  The Garage, being a small place, tends to make use of all space.  So in order to work in anything new one must first move around what already exists.  My roomies are not yet the masters of utilizing small spaces, which is to my advantage.  So some compression and I was easily able to fix two 55 gallon bags full of stuff back into the place.
   There has been a monitor sitting outside the house for a couple of weeks now, and it was bothering me.  So after I worked my stuff into the house, I expressed my discontent to this device in a physical manner.  Pictured are the results.

July 16, 2010

Tiff and Travis

Tiff and Travis

   Yesterday marks the officially 5 year birthday of my photoblog, which also means the root domain of is now 8 years old and our website has been in some form of existence now for over 10 years.  Occording to the Washington Post, the average lifespan for a website is between 44 and 75 days.  I find that number quite low, but I do recall hearing most websites are dead within a year of their creation.  This makes sense as domain names registered for a year would likely expire and the site disappear.  So prehaps the number is correct.  In either case, one year or a couple months, has been around longer then many.  But there are sites like and that have been registered since 1986--some 24 years--existing even before the web was conceived.
   I find it funny that I was hesitant to use the word "blog" when the photoblog began.  At the time it was a bit of a dirty word because of all the various blogging sites full of useless posts.  Most of the useless information bloggers have moved to social networking sites like myspace and twitter, and the blogging sphere seems to (more or less) have returned to people who really do have something to say.  Nonetheless, I still use the term "photoblog" because most of the posts are pictures and not articles.
Echo in Light

Echo in Light

   At long last, I got a flight in!  Winds today were a steady 10 knots (19 km/h) from the north-east, but the skies were pretty much clear.  I did my pre-flight check pretty quick—starting to get use to that.  From there it was a fairly uneventful take-off from runway 30 (that's "runway three-zero" BTW).  I climbed to 2500 feet for heading 298 degrees (east-north-east) and traveled to Vinton Veterans Memorial Airpark.  There we did two low approaches and a landing.  While I had done an approach one before, I really didn't know much about how we did the flare and touchdown (other then the theory behind it).  Today I started to get a much better feel for what things we were looking to see: a decent rate of around 500 ft/min, flaring around 20 feet above ground height, and most importantly what it looks like.
   Although take off went smoothly, operating the radios didn't go so well.  I wasn't sure how to run the things, so when I had to dial in the frequencies for Vinton, I ended up climbing 500 above where I wanted to cruse.  The lesson learned: you can't concentrate on any one things for too long.  My turns during the cross leg, base leg and finial went better this time.  I still had a tendency to stop my decent during these turns which isn't good when you are wanting to land.  The flare is interesting.  It's a fair amount of pull require to get the nose up, and I always worry about applying too much force.  But my instructor is very assertive with letting me know I need more force—"pull, pull, pull!" 
   When we got stopped and turned around, we had two plane making their way to the runway.  So we had do get going right away to keep from holding up traffic.  On our way out there was a King Air coming in for landing.  When you are up in the air in a little Piper, seeing a twin-engine turbo prop in the sky to your left is like seeing an elephant—it's looks huge!
   I felt like I made some progress, especially with all the steps in the approach.  I know what engine speeds are needed, when to apply flaps, and when each turn of the finial takes place.
   I was suppose to fly again today, but the day was again made of foul, rotten weather.  Temperatures were close to 100 F (37 C) and over 90% humidity.  But what suck worse then the southern Mississippi temperature and humidity was the 15 knot (28 km/h) winds with 25 knot (46 km/h) gusts.  While it might be possible to fly in that--I'm not ready for it yet.  We're going to try again tomorrow.  In the mean time I'm going to go hide somewhere cool and utter profanities about my feelings on summer weather.
   Pictured is James
Vin-Vicious the Savage

Vin-Vicious the Savage

   I was suppose to get to fly today, but we were fogged in with 1/4 miles visibility.  Lame.  An hour after I was suppose to fly, the skies were clear.  Heinous.
   Pictured it the bridge of the Mississippi River to Dubuque, Iowa.  On the drive I finished my lecture series on the history of ancient Egypt.  Pretty interesting stuff.  I was particularly interested in some of the religious beliefs fostered by the Egyptians.  Many of their stories pre-date the Bible stories but very similar.  Just as the ancient Greeks borrowed from the Egyptians, and the Romans from the Greeks, I think there is compelling evidence the Jew and Christians borrowed from all these above.  Rather then a historically accurate account of events, or a divine book of truths, the Bible seems to be a particular telling of common myths, some dating as far back as we can trace history.  What I wonder is why some myths survive for so long, and others simply fade away.  I at least have some new topics to research :)