Thursday, July 30, 2015


    3M Filtrete HVAC filters used to go up to Maximum, or a rating of 1900. (1900 what? Well that's another question.) Now they go up to 2400, or Elite. This tickles me boundlessly. Mind you, if they had had Elite ones in my size (14 X 25, remember it for Christmas and birthdays) I would have bought one. Alas, I don't rate in Lowe's worldview. I already had that impression.
    I found some cassettes I made decades ago, most probably, mostly from my LPs. My turntable hasn't worked in ages, so it's just absolutely beyond mega-awesome to be able to hear these old songs again without having to wait on them to turn up on Casey Kasem rebroadcasts. Yay!
    PS: That $2.54 Goodwill scanner works way better at scanning documents and sending them to the printer than it does with photos. Double yay!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yeah, remind me not to do that again

    I went out walking under the hot sun (phone said it was completely overcast) with shades instead of hat, no water and no tunes, because all would in some way or another interfere with dronage, and of course carrying drone and remote controller. And I found that my skills have improved markedly in spite of flying less and less, such that I could take off and land in pretty tight spaces without crashing into a tree or vermin laden underbrush. And I got some OK pictures, but nothing great. Flying up a few hundred feet from I-77 just to take pictures of traffic was probably not worth the risk (or the pictures) but I'm reasonably sure nobody would have been distracted by a pretty tiny drone for a very short time. But no, I won't be doing it again. Dumb in about a hundred different dimensions, but fun in a few, too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My response is required by law!

    I was going to talk about the humidity, which is beyond belief and should be impossible, but then I got the notification that my address had been selected by the Census Bureau for the American Community Survey. I am advised that it will take 40 minutes. I cannot begin to say how not thrilled I am by this information. Nor that my response is required by law (boldface, all-caps). Fortunately, they didn't say anything about it being required to be accurate.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Revisionist history

    Recently, as I may have mentioned, I picked up a scanner for $2.54 at Goodwill. It isn't the best, but it works. Perhaps I'll move up-market someday soon. Back in, as we say, the day, I traveled with no camera except a 110 pocket camera for fear of looking like a tourist. My favorite thing was snapping a bunch of shots as I turned slowly to survey a wide panoramic view and then later matching up the prints to make a patchwork panorama.
    Now these came out looking both cheap and amateurish, but still somewhat cool. Fast forward a few decades. Now I can scan the same prints (even though the HP tends to leave a blue edge on each picture that wasn't there previously) and stitch them together using software. The resulting picture was much too bright, but I could adjust that using the software, too. So now, 25 years later, I finally have an actual panorama of the Grand Canyon. Probably a little better than my patchwork job.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


    Or rather, crash crash! Last night was a very lovely sunset. Nailing down my status as Captain Common Sense, I was rushing home somewhat past the speed limit just so I could get my drone in the air and try to get pictures. (Suspense dispeller: the pix didn't come out.) I did get it in the air, but on the way down it intersected with a neighbor's tree. I was never gladder to have a folding chair and 6 foot pole! (I was also fairly glad the neighbors weren't home.) I got it down no problem and undamaged, although I almost stepped on it getting down from the folding chair. So yay!
    Today I went to the diversion dam at Columbia Canal, the far end of what I usually call Canal Park. This is a legal but dumb place to drone, but the pictures might have been pretty. I tried flying from the end of the actual dam, surrounding on three sides by water. I managed to land over land, but... on rocks. A hill of rocks. The drone bounced at least four times. One rotor guard broke, but otherwise it was unhurt. When I got it home, I found the SD card wasn't in it. Paul was a good sport and we went back and searched the rocks, but no go. About this time, I started to suspect that I had forgotten to put the card back in the camera last night after reviewing the photos before the previous crash. And that was the case. Glad I thought to check this before going to Best Buy to buy a new one; glad we didn't waste much time searching. Hey, it was pretty fun. In my heart of hearts, I will still believe that they were GREAT pictures.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


    I don't know if I'll ever even open the 3D Eiffel Tower puzzle again. Boy did I bite off more than I could chew! After an hour, I had put together maybe 3 pieces. That is, I put together 3 pieces, and maybe they were actually supposed to fit together. Assuming I had no cats and also had a large table that the puzzle could rest on for a month or months, I have not much doubt that I could eventually put it together. Given that I do and I don't, respectively, I seriously don't see this happening. On the other hand, I already had a sore back (maybe the wrong time to say "on the other hand," if there's ever a right one) so perhaps I'll be more charged about this some time when I haven't been sorting CDs all day. Don't hold your breath, though.
    I noticed a lot of neat stuff while putting my 300-400 CDs into new world order, but the only thing that sticks with me is that Duke Ellington recorded Money Jungle with Charles Mingus and Max Roach one week before recording with John Coltrane. Wonder who he played with the week before and the week after? (Coleman Hawkins before, says Wikipedia.)

Friday, July 24, 2015


    Boy is this ever going to be brief! I put my CDs in alphabetical order after many, many years, and have one or two somewhat intelligent things to say about it, but won't be doing so today. In a moment of madness, I bought a 700-piece 3D Eiffel Tower puzzle. (For $3; I'm not all THAT crazy!) Parts are scattered all over and I live with the Cat of Mass Destruction. So I'm going to get back to guarding the pieces and perhaps putting some of them together. It could happen!