Monday, April 30, 2012

Perhaps a blank line would have been useful?

Walking to the restroom at a client site I came across this sign.  It is supposed to tell me that the two meeting rooms (named after characters in the Star Wars series) and the restrooms are to my left, but it also seems to tell me that the restrooms are named after the characters.

I just need to know, which one is for the ladies?


Friday, April 27, 2012

So THAT's where they keep it!

Click for a better view of the sign.
As an IT consultant, I get a lot of questions thrown at me.  Some of them more often than others.  One of the big ones?  "Where's my data?"

 I think I finally found the answer to that question recently while working at a client site.  This door was just a simple door in a wall in the basement of the building.  Nothing special about it, until I noticed the sign.  I was afraid to open the door for fear that the bits and bytes might get out and the client would be mad about losing their data due to my negligence.

Well, now I can honestly answer them when they ask me where their data is.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I may be lost or something.

As I checked in to the hotel this week I chatted with the people behind the desk and had a grand old time discussing how people are always in a rush and aren't always so nice to the desk clerks these days. They handed me my key and I headed up to the 3rd floor to my room, 323. Imagine my concern when I get off the elevator and I am faced with the sign to the right?

Am I about to have a very uncomfortable visit?  Where is Rod Serling?

Hopefully I will see you next post. If I survive...

The Twilight Zone.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Old time view

At one time baseball games were played on lush green fields of grass and dirt, and people paid good money to see those games.  Well, not all of them paid, some of them would find their way to the wooden plank fences that kept them out of the fields.  But they weren't there to climb, they were there to peek through the knotholes and watch the game as long as possible.  Sooner or later they would be chased off by security but until then they would be able to watch the game from their own private view.

These days the walls are taller and much more solid than before, and the games are much more expensive.  But this knothole still looks onto the field and the history is still there.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Pining for the cones

While taking a leisurely stroll through the park that I mentioned in a previous post I also took other pictures that just deserved their own post. As we were taking pictures and wandering one thing stuck out in the pictures, and that was that the fog was sticking to the branches, needles, and other surfaces.  This led to some wonderful pictures.

First up is one that actually doesn't have that dew but it does have the beauty of nature.  This pine cone was hanging all by itself on the tree, and just seemed to be the one last stubborn cone that would be there if I were to check back again next year.

The next photo is all about the dew and the cones.  As you can see the dew has attached itself to the needles, but the surprise that awaited when I looked at the photos on the computer was that the spiders had been busy as well.  The addition of the spider webs really makes this picture that much more interesting.

The last picture will be a closeup of the bottom of the branch from the previous picture.  I love the water droplets attached to the pine needles and the look of the flowers on the branches.

 I said it once and will say it again..

Get outside and enjoy the world.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's put it all in perspective.

Recently I received an email that pointed me to a website that had a rather interesting Flash presentation.

This presentation actually gives you a perspective of scale in the universe.  After the presentation fully loads you can slide the bar at the bottom left or right to change your scale.  Take it all the way to the left and you are taken to the string level.
Taking it halfway and you find out just where you fit in the scale of the universe... just bigger than a dodo.

Take it all the way to the right and you are looking at the known universe. Just where do you find yourself in that view?

Yeah, it's like that. Thanks, Dick.


Monday, April 16, 2012

I Like Spiders and Ducks

Last weekend the fog rolled in and we took our cameras out to the park again to get a few shots in the fog.  It was quite an experience.  The waterfowl were staying in the lake and the fog was leaving water everywhere.  The spiderwebs were covered in dew and they looked amazing.

The first thing we noticed was that the waterfowl were rather restrained and keeping to the lake.  Although there were a few that were diving for food int eh lake, they really weren't active at all.  I was not unusual to see them slowly moving around and making more like decoys than anything else.  I should note that this is not the same log as the previous post.  It is the same lake though. ;)

With the fog in the air everything was damp and even the trees and spiderwebs were showing the impact of the fog.Some of my favorite shots were the ones with the spiderwebs covered in tiny droplets of water.  In the pictures they look like tiny little gems attached the webs.  Even more incredible was the fact that the webs were showing up everywhere.  Every shot we took seemed to have at least one piece of spider silk running though it somewhere.

Funny how different something can look sometimes.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I am ready for my closeup...

I recently purchased a new camera.  There are a few of my readers that will be excited by that news.  Trust me, we will be taking photowalks soon.

But with that new camera was 3 new lenses as well.  The wife and I were having fun taking pictures with the old camera I used and the new camera and decided to try them out on her lily.  I decided to try this with the 50mm prime lens (Prime means that it is not adjustable from 50mm) and use manual focus to setup the shot.  I really miss being able to set the zoom and focus myself.  The shots you see in this post are closeups I took with the 50 and I would love to hear your thoughts on which is better.

As I am sure you can tell I changed the focus from the outside of the flower to the throat and I like the look, but I am not sure I like the results with that shot.

Let me know what you think.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Get your ducks in a row.

You know how we have that saying about getting all your ducks in a row?  Well I had a chance to see it in action the other day. The wife and I were out taking a walk and shooting photos of the various wildlife and landscape we saw on the way.  There was an amazing amount of waterfowl in the several lakes and ponds, and we made sure to get as many pictures as we could of them.  As you can see the ducks were well organized and ready, although I am not quite sure for what.

Not much further down the path we entered and area of the park that had a lot of flowering trees, and the setting sun was peaking in to the branches.  This had the effect of lighting up the blossoms and creating this great effect with the petals.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did taking it.  If you aren't getting out and seeing the beautiful effects of spring then what are you waiting for?!?

Now stop reading this blog and get up and get going.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Shadows in the sky

This one will be a quick post. The wife and I took a walk the other day and decided to turn it into a photo-walk as well.  The results was this new sunset picture we took at the beginning of the walk.  This is probably the first time the I have ever taken a shot and had the clouds create visible shadow on the sky.

Isn't it nice when you get a free show like this?


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring done did sprung.

Excuse me for a moment while I get all braggy and stuff.  You see, I have lived in this house for a VERY long time, and last year I finally gave up and hired a lawn service.  Over the years I have mutilated my yard with horrible mowing jobs and waiting weeks to mow because it was 102F outside and I was not going to go out and push that mower around for 90 minutes.  I was good at getting the lawn treated (I hired it out) but I was horrible at mowing it.
So last year I decided to hire it out and the lawn was mowed on a regular basis at a consistent time no matter the weather or the time.  Ralph, the owner of Cutters Lawn Care, is an old friend of ours and had started the lawn care company a few years earlier.  He is full service and high quality.  He is so good that several of my neighbors have him do the aerating, and one of them is also having him mow his lawn as well.

But enough of that, let's get to the bragging.  

I have a great set of neighbors.  One of them is quite serious about his yard.  SO serious that we have thought that he was one of those people that was trimming the yard with scissors just to make sure it is the same height.  He is very particular and his yard is always beautifully manicured.  The edging is sharp and clean, the color consistent and his yard is  always the first to green up every year.  As you can see from the picture to the right and the one above my yard has greened up nicely.  So very nicely.  As a matter of fact, it is the FIRST yard to green this year.  Not long ago I got a call from my neighbor asking me just what Ralph had done to my lawn to green it up so soon.  He just wouldn't believe me when I told him that there had been absolutely nothing to the lawn.  Later that day Ralph showed up to mow it for the first time.  My neighbor was out there asking Ralph what he had done to the yard. Yes, it was that impressive. For the first time in 10+ years, I am well and truly proud of my lawn.

Now if I could just get the basement cleaned.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Answered: Where in the world am I?

Last Friday I posted this picture and said that I would be revealing the answer today.

Well, believe it or not, this is the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch!  This picture was taken on a crisp clear November day as the sun was rising in the morning and reflecting off the metal structure.  The brightness of the reflection causes the camera to darken the sky behind the structure and create this amazing call.

Here is another view that I took as we were walking up to the arch through the park.

Amazingly the sun is actually shining against the seam and reflecting back at us.  The arch is an amazing work of art and architecture built from 1963 - 1965 the arch stands a towering 630 ft (192m) above the St. Louis waterfront.  It is actually the tallest memorial in the United States as well as the tallest stainless steel monument in the world.  At an estimated $95,000,000 in today's dollars, something tells me that this is one monument that won't be surpassed by a new one anytime soon.

The amazing thing is that you can actually go up into the arch and view the surrounding area from the top of the arch.  Just be prepared to go through the same security that you experience at the airport to get a chance to go up the arch's tram system.

I recommend you take the time to visit if you ever get a chance to go to St Louis, Missouri.

picture from Wikipedia, posted by Daniel Schwen