Sunday, September 30, 2012

What can you do with a 42X Nikon CoolPix P510?

Almost anything that makes you giggle. Want proof? Ask and ye shall receive....

What can I say, Folks - It's definitely a 'keeper'. If you could only afford one camera, then this would do it for you.

Who designed the wrappers for Bandaids?

Ever wondered? I had an occasion to wonder about it this morning, because accidents still happen, even to us old know-it-alls who 'never make Misteaks'.....

It went like this: I got out the electric drill and some cute little grinding bits for it, to sharpen a couple of knives that have been too long between sharpenings, and I finished off that chore by doing the little boning knife I use in place of a regular paring knife in the kitchen. It's an old one, and that normally thin blade is even thinner now, and the point on it is like a needle. Finishing it off by hand, and getting impatient with this boring chore, I was rapidly moving the little hand
stone back and forth across that pointy little blade, when I moved too far and the stone went past the end of the blade. Brain couldn't apply brakes fast enough, and on the backstroke, the point went deeply into one of my favorite fingers. I quickly grabbed a paper towel from the dispenser to stop the blood, because I hate the sight of blood, especially my own.

Then, after reassuring myself that I would in fact live to act stupidly again another day, I went into the medicine cabinet in the bathroom for the bandaids.
These aren't just any bandaids - these are Brand X bandaids, from the big Brand X supermarket nearby - and that's where I ought to have left them. Why? Because a guy could bleed to death while trying valiantly to open one of those 
little bastards which require three hands while only having one available to do it. So today's Question Everything is: "Who's the idiot who thinks bulletproof wrappings on an emergency medical treatment device like a bandage is a great idea? And how do YOU open the goddamned thing with one hand, Smart-ass?" 

Leg Warmers: Is Everything Old New Again?

Isn't the Internet wonderful? Whatever did we do without it back when.... back when men were men and the gals were all naturally double-breasted that is.....

I tend to compulsively turn on the computer in the middle of the night, or the middle of the very early morning, depending on how you look at it, as I'm slowly awaking and recuperating from that gawd-awfully urgent trip to the Thundermug Lounge from a sound sleep only moments before. The computer's not just a friend, it's an addictive window on the the world, or in my case, this half of the galaxy, since the magic of Warp Drive is still comfortably ensconced in the land of Make-believe, and meanwhile, we have to rely on our imaginations and the infinite variety of superciliousness (superciliosity?) found in the wild, wild world of the web. In short: Surfing, as in 'dredging'.

And this morning, this came flying at me out of nowhere, which is probably just where it belongs - down Memory Lane, in the Eighties. So today's Question Everything is: " Jane 'leg-warmers' Fonda, where are you now? - and by 'now' I don't mean this decade or this era, but right now! - Help!" I want another pair of those leg warmers we all knew and loved. They'd be ideal for my 80 year old legs with their poor circulation and their cold feet. I should never have gotten rid of the nice soft and fluffy burgundy ones I had back in the mid-eighties for keeping my knees warm while riding the motorcycle in cool weather. They make electric gloves and electric vests for bikers and snowmobilers, but nobody makes electric knee warmers - which makes the leg warmer practically a necessity, unless you'd rather be macho and cold. And you've never been cold until you've been cold on a motorcycle - trust me. So where the hell can we still find leg warmers? Does anyone know? Please leave a comment if you do.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Today, it's a small world.....

It's a small world this morning...
The clouds are blocking the view...
Especially in British Properties...
But it is starting to clear up and blue skies are returning, and it's going to be a nice day here as 'summer continues, Folks!'

Friday, September 28, 2012

One of my computer desks = a work in progress.

When one of my fellow apartment-dwellers around here put this down beside the big blue bins a few weeks ago, it seemed too useful to just see it tossed out, so I 'rescued' it. At that time, there were castors underneath it, handy for the moving back into the elevator and up to my place, but rather superfluous once it was parked on the carpet. Carpets and furniture castors are not friends, no matter what we're told at furniture stores about optional larger castors for use
on carpets. They all settle into the carpet as soon as they are parked on it, and 
if you have a heavy office-style chair, with the biggest and best optional castors,
it almost has to be jacked up and moved bodily to get it rolling again. And the poor old carpet where it sat looks like a battlefield after the bombing....

This cute little computer desk had a hutch of sorts built on top at the back of the desktop, but for my purposes, that would have only served to block my view of the other desk and other computer, so I removed all that, saving the larger bits
for future projects like this today, adding that little extra slab of desktop on the left side, using one of those uprights from the hutch part. 

Digressing a moment, (may I?) if you like canned chili, but find most of it just a wee bit too firey for your taste, you have two choices: ask Uncle Ron for his secret recipe handed down in the family since before those cadets at the Citadel in Charleston fired the first shots in the Civil War aimed at a merchant ship, bringing supplies to the Federal garrison at Fort Sumter in January of 1861 -
Or, you could 'wing it' like I do by diluting the firey chili with a liberal ( not Republican) splash of whole milk, from complete and happy cows, and then sprinkle into that a measure or two of dehydrated potato flakes - the kind that 
we 'speed chefs' use for instant mashed potatoes - and lastly add a big gob of 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter', and give it two and a half minutes in a 1200-watt microwave in a suitable dish which won't melt, fight back, or explode in those
radar beams flying around in there. I like to use the 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup, and put a disposable paper plate over top as a lid, because there may be 
a couple of minor eruptions while it heats, and we don't want to wash the oven every time we have a snack, do we?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More This and That.... from 'Oldest Living Blogger'

Will Google, now 14, ever get around to properly finalizing all these many beta
projects they love to keep on 'hold' seemingly forever? Take this Blogger for an example: It still doesn't maintain a selected font style until you, the user of it, decides to switch to something else, or close the program. No, that would be too pedestrian, too normal, too expected, too goddamned convenient entirely! Let's keep everybody on edge by making them constantly interrupt other activities and thought patterns to restore the chosen-but-reverted-to-default font style.
Does Google really give a damn about any of that? Not on your nellie, Nelly!
So, instead of a Birthday present, let's give them the Diabolical Dirty Digit Award. You know the one..... it has only one upright finger showing....

And that brings me to Mozilla's famous Firefox, with its convenient gazillion add-ons from mysterious third parties with their hands all out for donations.
Their latest blurb to the faithful flogs the six best add-ons for productivity, in case you actually are on this contraption to perform some kind of useful output.
But hold the phone, Schnookie! If you go to the trouble of checking out some of these productivity gizmos you can easily meld into Firefox, and thus into your computer at large, you'll quickly discover many or dare I say most of them will
connect you to some likely cloud-based server setup which will interact with your own computer to perform the required tasks of seeming cybernation. So if I were to gawk at that from another angle, all that stuff could loosely be classified as Spyware, because it's sorting through your stuff to figure out how to combine that with its own stuff, and it stores all the results where you can't always watch who might be thumbing through it for fun and profit, neither of those latter two being yours.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Canadian delegation walks out of U.N. speech

 I'madinnerjacket parroting the Ayatollah's latest rant to the U.N. prompted our Canadian delegation to walk out of the Assembly, and good on us!!

If Ahmadinejad could find a razor, and knew how to use one, and had at least one original thought of his own in that so-called brain of his, there's just the barest possibility that someone else might actually give a damn about his babblings to the world at large. Actions speak louder than words, Mahmoud, so go home and tell the Ayatollah to order those centrifuges to be shut down, and those bomb-makers to go back to wherever they came from, and maybe we'll
talk. Until then, Salaam. 

Hitch in your Git-along? Sore knee? Try this...

Your morning Snow Report....

We're still at the beach...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'Breakfast Of Champions'

I know what you're thinking, but forget whatever you've heard....

THIS is the real Breakfast Of Champions, - and it's absolutely sinful !

"What is it?" you ask. It's one quarter of a Safeway's Mincemeat Pie, with a slice of Kraft Singles (thick) melted over the top for 45 seconds in a 1200-watt microwave, just before it vanished inside Yours Truly. Any more questions?

"Is there any left?" you ask. Yes, there surely is, but not enough for two!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunset, in three acts....

Sun Worshippers.....

The late September evening sun still attracts its dedicated sun worshippers, even those who have seen more meals than mealtimes.

Fixing broken eye-glasses frames

Sometimes, having some left-overs around from the last time you worked on some wiring isn't all bad. My fancy and rather expensive Japanese frames came
to an unhappy end while being washed yesterday morning, and after a frantic call to my Optometrist's, and being told to come right over, I decided to try patching them up myself, instead of wearing the ones from a previous prescription. I got out the crimping tool and a small insulated butt splice connector, checked the fit of it, and crimped it in place over the break. Voila! Works for me.

But I still went over to the Optometrist's, where I'd had my annual eye test on July 30th, and hadn't yet ordered any new glasses with that latest prescription.
These broken frames on the present ones made the decision for me. I picked out a new frame, got measured for the new progressives to go into it, and next week, my new glasses will be ready. Meanwhile, it's "Live Better Electrically".

While there, we got reminiscing about great frames of yesteryear, and I asked
"Remember the aluminum Safilo Sports, with the rubber forehead pad with the molded in nosepads, and the elastic strap across the back? You could walk into walls, or ski into trees wearing those, and you might get injured, but your glasses would remain unharmed. They were fantastic! Mine outlasted four changes of lenses and I loved them passionately." One of the gals in the office said, "I remember those! I had a pair that I wore for tennis, and they could survive being hit with a ball. They were great." Ah, the Good Old Days!

Last evening's sunset from two locations....

This is the view from my own balcony...

And this is a view from Lions Bay, on Howe Sound.
I edited it some, cleaning it up a bit.
I like this one better than mine!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The week in review - sort of.....

Would you like a large picture of a dozen of the world's richest and most generous philanthropists for your computer's monitor background, perhaps?
Well, fellow paupers, you've come to the right place and here it is! 

Among this dynamite dozen do-gooders sits at least $126-billion in net worth, and these smiling souls aren't the least bit worried about having their driver's licenses recalled by their respective government's Motor Vehicles Department,
I'm fairly sure..... certainly not as worried about that as I've been during the last half of this week, following the arrival in Monday's mail of an ominous form from our Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, because I'll soon reach 80, and that's not in MPH, but rather years of age. And speaking of that nebulous but all-powerful motoring bureaucrat, I've probably been driving longer and in a more varied collection of machines than he, she, or it has.....and I'm here to tell you that 'seniority' doesn't count for a damned thing when it comes to the question of whether or not you or I ought to be allowed to go out today in or on our favorite vehicle to play in the traffic and cuss at the gridlock. It's all about what you're capable of right now, and whether or not you can remember what day it is, and who cracks the whip and yells 'Jump!' - to which you're not supposed to ask 'Why?' but only 'How far, Master?' ....Got the picture? 

So having now had that medical evaluation and fitness test, the results of which may or may not have been accurately related to me by my family doctor of 20 years, possibly perhaps to avoid a possible scene in his office, I'm now waiting to see if that government bureaucrat's office takes any further action, or if I'm simply going to be allowed to continue playing in the traffic and cussing at the gridlock for another year or two or three.... And my curiosity's almost killing me,
partly because as Will Rogers once said, "It's not the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we do know that ain't so!"

Enjoy today's Equinox, folks, and remember, equinox comes from the Latin,
Equus meaning 'horse' and Nox meaning 'night', and the message here is obviously "Don't ride your horse at night!" - Would I lie to you? 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Progress report: new house up the street...

The roofing continues, and gets serious. Just about time, too, because our lovely run of great weather fizzled out overnight, and it's been overcast and dull all day, just like my last boss at B.C. Hydro. 

Old electricians never die....

They just find old light fixtures to repair and hang up again.....  See ?

That was cutting-edge technology about three weeks after the Titanic sunk.....
And now, here it is lit up - and the camera doesn't like pointing directly into a
150-watt compact fluorescent because it can't adjust to the variations in the background compared to the light source..... but anyway, here it is !

Favorite photo of the day....

Serendipitously speaking, this was a fortuitous accident - I was panning across a local flowerbed, snapping away, and caught this in the telephoto lens almost in
passing while seeking groupings of flowers. I sent a copy of this to Uncle Ron in South Carolina, and he put it on his lady-friend's desktop for a background pic.

Meanwhile, out on the salt chuck Thursday evening...

An ocean bulk carrier comes down Georgia Strait between the mainland and Vancouver Island, in the distance....

And a little later, a tug pulling a barge heads northwest up Georgia Strait as the evening shadows lengthen.....

And we say farewell to another lovely summer-like September day. I hope yours was as nice as mine.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Getting to those mountain tops nearby...

If any of you have been wondering how people get up and down to Grouse Mtn.
from down here in the gridlock, it's all done with cablecars. There are two sets:
the old originals, now used for moving food and supplies up and down for the staff of the place, and the newer ones, which are larger and on the cables which
are furthest away from my viewpoint. Those bigger ones carry about 100 people
if fully loaded, such as during the ski season, for example.


Touching up the sunrise.....

First, here's a look at the original from the camera.....

Next, the first edit, adding a little enhancement to the colors of the sky....

That looked so good, I decided to give it even more, and here's that one...

And this is where I stopped, before I got totally carried away.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

42X - Before and After

Before - look for the new house near center.
 After - from two images spliced (one wasn't big enough!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Testing new camera....

My thanks to Rae and Doug for letting me photograph their lovely garden.

More fun with new camera....

Hollyburn Country Club at night, always lit up like money's no object, and up there among those who have lots of it, it isn't considered polite to talk about it.
And up there, if you have to ask 'how much?' you obviously haven't met the requirements for membership yet. This is about 2 miles from here.

One of those high-toned condo developments on the hillside in West Vancouver, out near the turn-off to Cypress Bowl Road, Panorama Village I think it's called, and about 3 miles from here as that good old crow flies. And this new camera?
I think I'll keep it. Finally, a compact digital that takes half-decent night shots.
I'm impressed.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Here's 42X optical.....

As the crow flies, this is about three miles from my window, so this isn't doing too badly. The part that I appreciate about it is that it isn't as grainy or noisy as some previous long-zooms I could mention, like my Pentax X70, for example. This was taken with a Nikon Coolpix P510 on a Manfrotto 190XB tripod, and is the first-ever photo from the camera.

This Katydid didn't...

Didn't stay indoors very long, that is. But I had a bit of trouble putting it back outside, because it liked the warmth, and after I gently coaxed it onto a yardstick and put it on the balcony, it promptly flew back to me, and landed on my arm. So I had to once again shake it off and quickly close the screen. These
little critters can almost run across my popcorn ceiling upside down, and it's not easy catching them without damaging their long antennae. This little guy has better 'rabbit ears' than my first TV did.

Basement, or Bomb Shelter ?

If Russian President Putin The Persistent PooBah has his way and reassembles the old Cold War USSR, and convinces China and India to join him in fending off the amorous and businesslike advances of non-Asian nations, it might better be that Bomb Shelter alternative. Putin has even mentioned renewing Russia's infamous and now obsolete long range bomber force. He evidently hasn't much faith in ICBMs, or figures we don't. And Old Uncle Albert was right when he said that the commonest element in the known universe isn't hydrogen but stupidity.
Because those who refuse to learn from history are forced to repeat it.

Latest scandal among Royals....

On the Wild, Wild Web, this article in the Times of India tempted me to comment so I did, sending them this comment about it:

Following which, I received this nice reply from their staff:-

Modern communications are vastly different than those of my youth, when I was
delivering a sack full of Toronto Daily Stars each morning before breakfast, and
receiving practically nothing for my efforts. Now, it all happens at computer terminals and I can exchange comments with the staff of the largest English language publication in the world, halfway around the world, and receive a reply
in minutes. When I was a kid fighting off neighborhood dogs to put those papers
on subscribers' doorsteps before breakfast in the mornings, all this would have been considered unbelievable 'science fiction' or pure fantasy. 

Variations on a sunset

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Now that I've learned how.....

Here's a screenshot using a built-in program in PC-BSD 9.0 showing the desktop without me having to snap it with a camera. Isn't progress wonderful?


Here and there.....

Here's a shot of the new roofing on that home under construction....

And there's the sun tanners around the pool down the back street at 5:17 PM.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's Working! - PC-BSD 9.0

The Desktop....
And a couple of open windows...

I've finally got it up and running, after four installs during which it wouldn't boot up after three of them. So three days later, I think I've solved that problem....
Actually, these open-source dedicated do-it-yourselfers who created this thing are so skilled at doing code, they tend to downplay the fact that you don't just grab this cutie and throw it onto a drive, and "it just works".... It does "just work", like they say, but first you have to create the right environment for it.
That includes using a third-party partition manager like EaseUS Partition Master to re-arrange your hard drive to make sure there's a separate but primary partition onto which it can be installed. And then you have to use another third party program like EasyBCD to reconfigure your system's Boot Configuration Data so as to create separate boot entries for your Windows and for your new non-Windows but window-like PC-BSD which is a Unix/Linux type of system.
And when you discover you've followed the instructions for all that, and it still doesn't boot up after it tells you it has completed its installation (about 45 min.)
then the next thing to do is start over, but this time begin by reformatting the partition it will go onto, using a freebie third-party program as mentioned above, only this time, instead of trusting them when they say not to worry about the type of format "because it will do its own anyway", I gave it a bit of help by formatting in EXT2 file system using 4Kb Cluster Size. That's one that
is compatible for Unix/Linux operating systems. And after all was finished, go back into the inner sanctum and get that boot management data refreshed, so it won't be using something from an older backup. And the 'Voila!' - it works!

I haven't had a chance to play with it much yet, but so far, it seems to be a bit
like Windows and a bit like a Mac, with a few features of each, a kind of middle of the road between the waring giants, you might say.... and that's what I've been doing for the last three days, Folks.... learning a new operating system.