Jul 31, 2008
Johnson Creek from the Portland Traction ROW, just east of where Tacoma street crosses over and becomes 32nd Ave.
In the past three days, I have attempted to take my bicycle out for a hour or so’s riding twice. The day before yesterday, the rear tire decided, after a dozen or so miles, that this was a wonderful time to start falling to pieces.
2 kilometers from home.
So yesterday I went out, bought a new tire, and wedged it onto the bicycle. But since yesterday was a late school day, I stayed at home babyherding until 7pm, when it was officially too late to go out and ride 25 km.
Today, at around 4pm, I had time and no babies to herd, so I hopped on my bicycle to ride for a hour or so. That grand plan managed to survive for approximately 20 minutes, because at 4:20 or so, when I was accelerating away from one of the approximately 37,000 grade crossings on the Portland Traction Trail, one of the spokes on the rear wheel went *snap* and instantly reshaped the rear wheel of the bicycle into a somewhat more pleasing potato shape.
7 kilometers from home.
FORTUNATELY the goddamn thing wasn’t so twisted I couldn’t ride at all; it still had enough structural strength to let me limp to within a couple of kilometers of home before the twist in the rear wheel got so extreme that the bicycle was making a horrid drunkard’s lurch every rotation (accompanied by an annoying *scraaaaaaaape* as the newly reshaped wheel ran into the bicycle brake.)
This is not the way that I particularly want to stay in shape. Zipping through the countryside at 30-odd km/h is nice. Walking back through the countryside with a crippled bicycle is not.
Hopefully I can get the rear wheel restrung and not have to sell my macbook or Pentax to pay for it (it’s nice to have modern computers, and it’s nice to take pictures, but if my heart explodes neither of those will do me much good.)
Jul 30, 2008
Discount has been pushed up to version 1.2.7 with a couple of bugfixes and one small added feature:
The bugfixes are more important, because they can cause infinite loops and improperly handled
- Corrects a bug with
strget() not properly returning EOF
because it was returning a
unsigned int instead
int (should be a
signed int, but that way lies C99
madness.) This bug was reported by A.S.Bradbury, who discovered
it when trying to build markdown with a 64 bit version of gcc.
- Corrects a boundary condition bug with
(), where the content parser stops parsing 4 (for IMG) or 5
(for HTML) characters before the end of the embedded content.
This bug was reported by Christian Herenz, who has been finding
many many boundary condition bugs in the way
The feature, on the other hand, is pretty trivial. The new configuration option
turns on fancypants substitutions that translate word
into wordword. I’m not sure if it’s the most
useful thing in the world, but I have found cases where I’d
like to be able to get superscripts generated just by themselves.
(and I don’t code in PASCAL any more, so I don’t need to
^ for dereferencing and can thus avoid that little petard in my dance through the minefield of software development.)
So come and get the New Code! while it’s hot – I may be completely burned out on programming for a living, but enough of the coding instincts still live so I can sit down and maintain and enhance the code I’m writing for the fun of it.
Dorrie, hiding under the table and barely staying still long enough for me to get a picture with the Zenitar fisheye.
Jul 29, 2008
Silas has some ice cream and hot chocolate for an afternoon snack today.
Jul 28, 2008
I was down at the ex-Portland Traction bridge over the Yellow Menace mainline in time for the afternoon up Coast Starlight, but, thanks to some mysterious reason, the afternoon up Coast Starlight wasn’t there in time for me.
In addition, even though I like my Zenitar fisheye, it just doesn’t fill the same niche as my crippled f1.2 50mm lens does. So I’m probably going to have to set up a cleanroom and completely disassemble the lens (shudder) so I can reattach the filter ring and not have to worry about the front lens assembly flying off and shattering itself (I like Pentax lenses, but the whole “put in a structural element that involves disassembling the entire lens to reattach” is more than slightly annoying.)
Jul 27, 2008
An airport train pauses at the Portland Convention Center.
Jul 26, 2008
Now that my perfect 50mm lens has disassembled itself in the most inconvenient manner, I’ve switched over to using my lensbaby as a temporary walkaround lens. It’s not quite the same, and most of the pictures I’ve taken with it haven’t really turned out, but there is the occasional exception.
Behold the mighty dinosaur, safely caged up for our protection.
Jul 25, 2008
Dust Mite had not actually vanished, but was instead out at a costume party, and had come back cleverly dressed as a hermit crab. So it’s no wonder I could not find it when I searched the house earlier this evening.
What’s that old saying again? “Red sky at night/shoppers delight/red sky at morning/shoppers take warning”?
Dust Mite has gone walkabout (again) this evening, so Godzilla will be appearing as Dust Mite for this evening’s production.
Jul 24, 2008
A honeybee works a mint blossom as a little metallic bee zooms in to do a little shopping for itself.
Jul 23, 2008
On the left, you see my 50mm f1.2 lens.
Most of it.
On the right, you see the lens hood for the lens, plus the front of the damned lens, which used to be held onto the rest of the lens by three tiny set-screws. Three tiny set-screws that managed to work their way loose (and, judging from the little rattling noises I hear when I cautiously shake the lens body, into the internals of the lens) when I was taking my evening constitutional out to Powell Butte and back.
Now that’s just a little bit annoying. Not only does this convert the lens hood into a device that falls off at the slightest provocation, but it leaves me with some tiny metal projectiles hurling around inside ready to chip the hideously expensive optics and irrevocably jam the focus when I least expect it (either of which would convert my lovely lovely US$300 lens into a very expensive Japanese-made paperweight.)
So. I’m going to need to build some sort of more heavily padded case when I want to take my Pentax out during a bike ride. And I’m going to have to either bite the bullet and send the 50mm out for repairs or see if I can find a way to extract the setscrews from the focus ring without hilarious (and by hilarious, I mean catastrophic) consequences.
Grrr. I say grr.
Update: After a bit of peeking in through the 1/64th inch slot between the focusing ring and the lens barrel, I spotted all three of the offending setscrews (which turn out not to be setscrews, but real honest to g*d “you screw them in to little holes in the side of the lens” screws) and managed to fish them out with the assistance of a pair of teeny needlenose pliers and a couple of pieces of spring steel (from a Japanese pull-saw blade that bound when being pushed back. Ooops.)) So now, even though the lens hood has become a device that is falling, at least I can still focus the lens without causing tiny projectiles to jam and/or chip the internal workings of the lens.
But I’m still going to need a padded Pentax caddy for my bicycle to discourage other parts of the lens and/or camera from working loose and messily disassembling on me.
A northbound P&W train (containing the (ex-?) W&P 2311, with a P&W patch covering the Willamette & Pacific patch which covered the original Santa Fe name on the geep) meets a Yellow Menace freight just south of the ex-Portland Traction mainline, which is where I was sitting when I took this picture.
Jul 22, 2008
Jul 21, 2008
Whenever I sit down in the dining room (for that is where I’ve put my desk,) the little black and white cat materializes to watch over me.
Jul 20, 2008
The replacement for the burned-down Linnemann Station, just west of milepost 14 on Portland Traction’s Boring/Estacada line.
(The defect is not that it’s washed out; that’s an artifact of my playing around with the Voightländer and not getting the exposure quite right on an overly sunny day. No, no, it’s far less subtle than that.)
Jul 19, 2008
The only problem with these photos (taken with the ancestral Voightländer Vito BL) is
- It’s a pain finding a place to get film developed.
- The software that comes with my scanner bites the wax tadpole.
- It takes a day to get the film developed (in my case it takes eight days, because Blue Moon (and their oh-so-tempting pile of K mount and M42 mount lenses) in in St. Johns and it’s at least a hour excursion to get there and back.
- It costs US$3 to develop a 24-exposure roll of film (which cost a couple of dollars to begin with.)
- These are really the only good exposures out of 48 tries.
The Vito BL is still light, quiet, and usable as an offensive weapon. But the hideously long lead time makes it less than completely effective as a walkaround camera (and it’s still better than the Auto 110, which will need some pretty heroic scanning to get the images off the negatives) unless I redo my photo of the daying as “photo of the month ago"ing.
Two tugboats steam north towards the BN liftbridge, as seen through the railings of the St Johns bridge.
Jul 18, 2008
If Dust Mite wants to start riding a bicycle, I think we’re going to need one with a smaller frame than mine.
A C-Tran hybrid bus heads east past Russell Street BBQ around dinnertime tonight.
A westbound train crosses MLK at ~5:30pm today. Picture courtesy of the side-view mirror on our Prius, which was the only way I could get a picture of the offending trolleycars.
Jul 17, 2008
It may look like the honeybee is glaring at the camera, but it’s actually not paying any attention to the huge clicky monster that keeps bumping it off the flower.
Jul 16, 2008
The Portland Traction Trail, as befitting a rails-to-trails loop, goes alongside the rump Portland Traction line for a couple of miles at the west end of the trail. When I ride east on the trail, I end up missing most of the parallel railroad, but I don’t miss the industrial park that contains the south end of the remaining railway. This afternoon, after a delayed start (one of the tubes in my bicycle decided, two houses away from home, that containing air was too much trouble to think about. It only took me about 20 minutes to extract the offending tube and replace it with one that better personifies the balloon nature,) I reached the industrial park at the exact time the 1202 was switching the OLCC sidings, and so I had to detour off the trail for a few minutes to get a picture or two of the offending Eng!
I was poking around the yard a couple of minutes ago when I saw a big yellow bumblebee flying around the mint patch. It was apparently in the middle of a big shopping expedition, because it was still there even after I bolted into the house, switched lenses, and returned with an appropriately zoomy macro lens.
Jul 15, 2008
The honeybees are out working the mint today, and reminding me, in their own stingy way, that I need to get a zoomier macro lens one of these days.
Jul 14, 2008
The south side of the house is a bit of a savage untamed jungle, and I’m planning on doing some urban renewal with earthmoving implements to tidy it up (and get rid of the morning glory and other noxious vinery.) But I think I’ll carefully dig this particular weed up and move it to someplace where it can be better appreciated.
Jul 13, 2008
The bears enjoy a picnic dinner with their friend Eli.
EPT 1202 basks in the early evening sun on a hot cloudless day.
Jul 12, 2008
The bridge that will carry the new I205/Clackamas Towne Center trolley line over the (ex)Portland Traction mainline to Boring and Gresham. It’s going to be really interesting if this trail is ever trail-to-railed, because I don’t think there’s actually enough room to wedge a railroad car, let alone overhead wire, under that new bridge.
It might have the brain capacity of a walnut, but the blood of the dinosaurs still flows in its veins and if it wasn’t for that pesky problem of humans being several orders of magnitude larger than its gullet it would be smashing through the window to get at those tasty mammalian grubs within.
I went in to the bathroom late last night, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a great big spider with eight tiny patty-paws.
After a half-dozen flashes, the spider finally decided it was time to bolt for parts unknown. But by then it was too late and the photo had already been taken.
Jul 11, 2008
It’s been a while since we’ve been up to St. Johns, but my mother foolishly offered to drive by Blue Moon Camera so I could drop off some rolls of 110 and 35mm film to be developed (For some odd reason, I’m not taking pictures with my Vito BL and Auto 110 at nearly the rate I am with the *istDS. I suspect the 16 mile round trip between here and St. Johns might have something to do with it.
In any case, we went up there, I dropped off the film (I’ll need to bicycle up there some time in the next week to recover the film, but I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it,) and when we turned onto the approach to the St. Johns Bridge I had the *istDS ready to go.
I still haven’t cleaned the optics since the SP&S 700 excursion, so there may be a few soot-like defects in the photo. C'est la vie.
Field of Mites
Jul 10, 2008
The bears, just a few minutes ago, while they were playing with the neighbor kids.
Jul 09, 2008
The mint is blooming, so the bees are starting to come in, starting with the tiny bee brigade shown here. (There are also a bunch of metallic green bees, but they departed for parts unknown when I dragged the camera out.)
But, just for the yuks of it, I’ll count up the # of senators who voted against the “Let the B*sh junta spy on everyone for free” bill:
That looks like 25 Democrats and one Socialist.
I’ll note that there aren’t even enough votes here to even maintain a filibuster. So where are the other 25 Democratic votes? Massive train wreck on the senate subway and they all went to the hospital? Truckers strike blocking all the major roads? Kidnapped by pirates and ninjas?
Oh, what’s that you say – none of those things happened? You say that the other 25 senators actually voted for this bill?
Well, that’s good to know. I guess I’ll be apologising to Senator Clinton for calling her a right-centrist on this matter, and I’ll need to pull out a dictionary to help me refine the torrent of abuse I’m going to use as my standard reply for any moneybegging from the rest of the self-proclaimed “liberal” party from now on.
I wonder what the Democratic Party’s slogan is going to be this fall? “We’re worse than the Republicans, but, baby, we’ll tell you we’re sorry every time we kick you down the stairs!” Gaaaaaa. The stupid, it burns, it buuurns.
I wonder if I can get a refugee visa to New Zealand under the “trapped in a country that’s not fit for self-government” clause?
Jul 08, 2008
Daisies in a flower garden between home and the big big store.
Postoffice has been pushed up to version 1.4.9 with a couple of bugfixes that make
AUTH LOGIN actually work.
The first bug was that I was B1FF!ing the base64'ed
Username: message, which converted it into something that was not
Username:. Whoops. And the second one only effected attempts to do
AUTH LOGIN on a physical domain; when I called
getdomain(), I was checking to see if it was a virtual domain by comparing the return to zero, and assuming that if it wasn’t zero it was
a virtual domain. This was wrong. I should have been calling
isvhost(), and the fix makes the code do just that.
(I discovered these bugs last night when trying to configure the bizarre little mail program that Apple ships with MacOS. Connection Doctor™ is pretty useless, but you don’t need much use to see a auth session falling over in the wrong place.)
So if you want to use
AUTH LOGIN with postoffice, this is the New Code! that you’re looking for (1.5.0 is coming down the pike, and it’s only adding one new feature. And that feature is
STARTTLS, assuming I can properly figure out what openssl is doing when it sets up an encrypted tunnel.
It’s a sign that I’m getting some enthusiasm back for hacking that I should find myself waking up at 6:25am to club a postoffice bug into submission. Admittedly, it is an annoying bug (in that AUTH LOGIN just wasn’t working at all in 1.4.8, due to B1FF!ification of the base64
Username: string) but a couple of weeks ago I don’t think I could have worked up enough enthusiasm to look at it before I’d wedged a couple of cups of tea down my gullet. At noon.
Jul 07, 2008
Morning glory might be pretty in the right environment, but Portland – where it can grow a foot a day, and will if given the slightest encouragement – is not the right environment. It’s better than goddamn english ivy (which I’ve finally eradicated from the yard with enthusiastic use of plant death,) but you have to go into politics to find things that aren’t better than english ivy.
Jul 06, 2008
Silas clambers around on one of the play structures at Sellwood Park this afternoon.
Four engines parked in front of the Portland Traction carshop.
Jul 05, 2008
Russell at Burgerville tonight.
Silas, playing with a sparkler last night.
A F69 speeds towards the Bybee bridge at 21:15 last night.
Jul 04, 2008
I’m not sure why Dust Mite wanted to dress in this incandescently loud piece of purple clothing for the photobooth session, but it’s certainly the most fabulous looking dust mite in the west today.
Since I’ve told my corporate masters to take their job and (politely) shove it, I’ve been selling off a bunch of my old camera and computing hardware on the 800 pound auction site. Most of these transactions have been painfully simple; I put something up for auction, it gets sold, I get paid, I send off the item, the buyer and I are happy with the trade.
But, and there’s always a but, not every transaction is this smooth. One transaction, which should have brought up every screaming warning bell before I let it go through (buyer had high high negative feedback, buyer had made his feedback private so that people couldn’t actually see what the negatives were, buyer was oddly passionate about trivial parts of the transaction,) is in the competition to be the auction world’s equivalent of the stereotypical asshole open source™®© fanboy/programmer.
He won the auction. Last week. But that’s the last thing that went smoothly. First the “I’ll pay in 3 days”, then there was the “did you make a backup of the system for me?”, then there was a long impassioned commentary about why I should pirate a copy of the OS running on the offending auction item instead of doing the system backup (apparently CDs “go bad” during shipment, like floppy disks used to. I’m surprised that the buyer didn’t ask for a WinXP system save on 8" DS/DD diskettes,) THEN there was a short digression into why it’s morally wrong to mail things over the weekend and have them sit in the shipper’s hands until monday rolls around, and then there was a swing back to “you need to make a system save before” (and I’m sure you can guess what it’s going to be here) “I even pay you”
Because, yes, despite repeated (and increasingly hostile as the dance of avoidance continued along) reminders that the buyer needs to actually pay for the damned thing they won at auction, payment is apparently not on the menu unless I first strip naked and sing love ballads from the top of Lovejoy Fountain. Because if I don’t do that, I might get “negative feedback” and that would be the most horrible thing in the world.
Or not. It seems like the simple solution would have been the traditional “win the auction/pay for the item” approach, but after this much song and dance a ridiculous bit of “negative feedback” (lemme guess: “seller wanted me to pay for my purchase, the evil cad!!!?!”) doesn’t seem like it counts as anything more than a reason to screen more carefully for cartoonies.
Jul 03, 2008
I was sitting in the living room this afternoon, playing idly with a pair of toy binoculars the bears got at Burgerville a couple of months ago, when I realized that they were capable of doing the sort of image mangling that I’d need a PhD in Lensbaby or Holga to get with the standard tools.
The *istDS is much to big for this sort of game, but Silas has a little Kodak point and shoot which has a teeny tiny sensor and optics. It’s an all-automatic camera, so I had to tweak it into not flashing, but the end result is gratifyingly horrible.
Jul 02, 2008
The same two flowers as the previous post, but with a bit less filtration.
A pair of clematis blossoms, photographed at twilight with flash assist (the unreal red cast is because I used my left hand as a flash diffuser; the AF280 flash unit, even in ttl, put out enough light to flash through that pesky long pig filter.)
Jul 01, 2008
The bears are off at their grandparents for the night, so I snuck out to take some photos of non-bear-related objects. (From left to right: a rose, another rose, and the terminal flower of a mother hen. I cheated here and used autofocus to nail down the pictures.)