Oh, Sh…

I took this photo yesterday morning:

IMG 4332

On the left is my Lenovo tablet, my main laptop computer. On the right is a mostly empty glass containing a small amount of sports drink, i.e. a slightly acidic, somewhat sticky fluid. You’ll notice that some amount of said fluid is on the screen, in the keyboard, and on the power connector of said computer. Whoops. Considering how much time I spend around computers, it’s surprising that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often.

I powered the machine down as quickly as possible after the spill and pulled the AC cable from the wall. I should have pulled the battery next but I couldn’t resist capturing the moment in a photograph. Then I removed the battery and poured the remaining liquid out of the keyboard. Then I cleaned off the screen as well as I could. Unfortunately some amount of the liquid got in between the LCD and the bezel, I think. read more

Merry Christmas!

We’re enjoying a white Christmas today; there’s about eight inches of snow on the ground. The kittens weren’t quite as amused by the boxes and wrappings as we expected them to be, but Zed was very pleased with the homegrown Oregon catnip we received from our friend Reida. Now we’re relaxing, listening to Christmas music, and looking forward to dinner.

Best wishes for the holiday season!

Film? What’s That?

I think that the video here establishes that digital photography has not just equalled film, but surpassed it. That link will take you to a Vimeo video of Prague, shot at night, only with available lighting. (I’m not embedding it here because you really should watch the HD version and that won’t fit in the format of this blog.) It’s stunning. I’m not a photographer of any skill, but wow, I’m amazed.

Introducing Alfred

For reasons that probably defy rational explanation, we have added another cat to the household. His name is Alfred; he’s a short-haired Siamese/orange tabby mix and is two years old. Imagine someone used Photoshop to replace the dark parts of a Siamese with orange tabby markings and you’ll have a mental image of Alfred.


Alfred apparently came from a troubled home. He was left in the night depository of the Longmont humane society building with a note explaining that he got along well with other cats and had had his vaccinations. It seems that someone cared enough about him to try to aid in his placement in a new home but couldn’t afford the usual fee for surrendering a pet. read more

Frozen Soap Bubble Photo

A couple of hours after I blew soap bubbles from the front landing as described in my previous post, I went back outside to sweep snow off the steps and walkway. To my surprise I found a pair of frozen soap bubbles on the edge of the landing:

Frozen Soap Bubbles

(That’s hosted on flickr so you can click it to find a larger version.) It’s not a terribly good photo but it’s probably about the best I can do with the equipment I have. Trying to take a photo of a soap bubble in mid-air with a point-and-shoot camera, against a background of trees, houses, the sky and so forth is hard enough; imagine doing it with bulky gloves in sub-zero weather. Maybe I’ll try anyway, though. read more

Freezing Soap Bubbles

It’s been cold here lately. Here’s a temperature graph for the last 24 hours:


Last winter I saw a photo somewhere on the web of a partially frozen soap bubble. This made me wonder how cold it has to be for soap bubbles to freeze in mid-air, so I bought a bottle of Super Miracle Bubbles at the grocery store. Immediately after that the weather warmed up and I didn’t get a chance to try the experiment.

This morning it was -3F (that’s -19C for those of you in countries with contemporary measurement systems) which seemed cold enough to be worth venturing out for the sake of scientific inquiry. This temperature seems to be right around the threshold: soap bubbles will freeze in mid-air, but they need some height to do it. It’s pretty remarkable when it works. The bubble will partly freeze and then break, leaving a portion of the sphere floating in the air like a tiny, iridescent, partially constructed Death Star. (Okay, that’s a strange simile, but isn’t that shot of the new Death Star in The Empire Strikes Back about the most memorable image of a partial sphere that you can think of?) Some of the pieces stayed intact after falling to the landing in front of our door and blew around in the air stirred up by my feet when I retreated from the cold. read more

Edwin and Madeline’s First Christmas Tree

We got the tree a little early this year. Widget loves Christmas trees and we rather doubt that she’s going to last until this year’s Christmas, so we thought that we’d try to give her something to enjoy in her remaining days (something in addition to the chicken, pork loin roast, deviled ham, etc. that we’ve been offering her to keep her eating, that is).

However, the kittens are a force to be reckoned with. When we first were introduced to Edwin at the animal shelter he distinguished himself by launching himself bodily into a fake potted plant, knocking it off the table it was sitting on. We figure that it’s entirely possible that he’ll attempt the same thing with a real tree, and now he’s substantially larger than he was then. We got a smaller tree than usual this year on the theory that we’ll try to limit the amount that they can destroy. We’ve had the tree for a few days and they haven’t done much with it yet other than nibbling a few needles from low branches. Next we’ll put some lights on it, and then try a few expendable ornaments some days after that. read more