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   Our bike ride today had a circuit length of about 22 miles.  Not a great day for riding or taking pictures.  The temperature was around 80?F, with 65% humidity.  The skies were mostly cloudy and hazy.
   Today\'s image is a close up of part of the Riverside Energy Center on the far north edge of Beloit, WI.  This power plant is a 518 megawatt, twin natural gas-fired turbine generating station that went on-line last year.
   I spent the morning teaching my computer how to do long division.  It\'s pretty easy to get a 16-bit CPU computer to do math with numbers up to about 4 billion.  But beyond that, you have to do it yourself.  So, wrote a 64-bit multiply and divide function that does the process 16-bits at a time.
   Today\'s picture is one I decided to modify quite a bit.  I started with a lonely looking house and started decompose the picture.  I turned it black and white, then added some noise, gave it sepia tone.  It started to look old, but didn\'t have the texture I wanted.  So, I make some layer masks out of tea spilled on white paper and crumbled it up.  I\'m fairly satisfied with the results.
   Although this was officially done on the 30th of August, we\'d like to officially welcome the domains and to  These domains belong Tazz Davies, who in a short while, will have his own photoblog at these locations.
   Part of the day was spent at the Rock River Thresheree, a antique tractor and power equipment show.  Pictured is a Nichols and Shepard Company steam tractor with it\'s belt connected to a water break and scale to measure horsepower.  I don\'t know the model or year this tractor was made, but likely around the 1900.  I\'ve always had a fascination with old steam equipment.  I will always remember when I was a child at the Thresheree, witnessing the mighty steam pile driver pounding wood pilings into the ground and shaking the earth beneath my feet.  So the day was a chance to relive this fascination.
   Yesterday\'s shoot brings the our 20D\'s image total to 9,829 images.  Since we began shooting with digital SLRs, our total is 24,550 shots taken.  Of those, 1,976 proofs have been kept-- all of which are in the gallery.  The proofs consume 8.71 gigabytes of space, while the originals span an impressive 62.6 gigabytes of space.  Keep in mind, I have at least 3 copies of all this data for backup purposes-- so the total consumed by my photography habit is around 213.93 gigs of hard drive space.
   An other recent addition to is a blower fan I picked up the other day.  As the days begin to cool off, we like to pull in the outside air rather then use the air-conditioner to cool off the room.  However, the air circulation in the house is rather stubborn.  I\'ve used box fans to try and push air from the hallway into the Dragon\'s Den, but it just seems to stop at the door.  So, we tried this blower and achieved much better results.  It keeps a steady stream of air flowing into the Dragon\'s Den.  The air-stream is usually 10 degrees cooler then the air in the room, so it does a good job of cooling off things off.  On top of that, the Red Dragon sits right in front of the air stream-- and temperatures are great.  The Red Dragon is running about 20 degrees cooler with the blower bringing in air.  I suspect much of this temperature drop has to do with moving hot air away from the computer.
   Tami and a reflection of the lookout peak at Big Hill\'s Park in Beloit is our picture for today.  Our new bike took us on quite a long ride today, mostly along the west bank of the Rock River.  We hadn\'t planned on going to Big Hill\'s Park, but ended up there.  I made 8 proofs for the day, but there are probably more-- I just don\'t feel like sorting right now.
   An other trip to the Madman\'s limestone query for a photo-shoot.  Originally, we had planed on having 4 models to work with, but for whatever reason, they did not arrive.  None the less, we took a total of 775 pictures taken and 51 selected.  So many of the pictures are repeats, but Mark was looking for a specific pose for which we took hundreds of shots.  Each shot was a small alteration, and several of these were saved so the finial selection can be made.
   It was a long day with over 6 hours of shooting.  About half the day was photos, and the other half Jake was taking video for a small film clip.  The last hour of the shoot we were joined by a second model, but by then we had lost much of our good light.  I\'m hoping the next shoot we have more models and get an earlier start.
   The picture for today is Cory (foreground) and Hanna (background), posing in the trunk of the 1950\'s Mercury.  I didn\'t quite get the sharpness on Cory\'s eyes as I\'d hoped.  However, since so many of the other images are so similar, I chose this picture for the headline.

September 02, 2005

135,000+ hits for August

   We closed last month out at 135,998 hits from 5,579 visits.  That\'s a slight increase from last month, but still low by comparison to this time last year when we were pulling in almost 200,000 hits and some 7,000 visitors a month.
   Not too many pictures today.  We just got a new bike and were a little more interested in riding then shooting.  But I plan on taking it out and taking a lot more pictures shortly.
   Todays picture is a selective color portrait of Mary.  
   This tree is on the side of Hwy J between Beloit and Janesville, WI.  I\'ve driven by it several times and today I decided to take a few shots.  
   I\'ve been quite busy with work lately.  Yesterday I was up until 4:00am and wasn\'t able to break away to get any pictures.  Today, I did get a few during coffee with Juliet and Crystal.
   At least 6% of all\'s traffic is search engines.  (We are little when you consider that whole number percentage of your traffic is generated by search engines.) At least 4% of traffic is from friends, but likely more around 8-10% since I don\'t know everyone\'s IP address.
   Microsoft seems to ignore lines of the robots exclusion text it doesn\'t feel like following.  We have a line to keep robots from access the \"add comment\"s page, since it is just a page to submit data.  Yet, despite having \"Disallow: AddComments.php\" in the robots.txt, the microsoft bot keeps requesting it over and over again-- once for each article in the news database.  I\'m going to have to move that damn script to a directory that\'s excluded I think.  MS seems to pay attention to those disallows.
   Picture today was taken just down the road from our Park Place residence on the hill between White Ave. and Woodward.  There has been a lot of cloud/sky shots lately.  But I figure it\'s part of photos of opertunity.  So, while we have good cloud sets durring sunset, I\'m going to shoot them.
   Tazz and I went down to Riverside Park to take some night shots.  I was hoping for a little better shoot, but I guess after last night my expectations were pretty high. I found several of my shots were noticeably tilted-- I will have to improve getting my tripod level in the dark.  Tazz also was trying to tracking shots on cars driving by.  It's an easy concept-- follow the motion of the object while the shutter is open.  But it's more difficult to make it happen.
   The picture for today is a Patrick-- a guy we met in the park-- doing a kick and looking rather like a character out of the movie "the Matrix".