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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Counting eagles: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Six Bald Eagles!!

Christmas eve, 2008.  I glance out the office window and see two bald eagles, one adult and one juvenile, perched on a bare tree on the breakwater island a couple hundred feet away, in the middle of the Fox River.

After a couple minutes, I realize that there are 3 more in another tree.  And another one in that tree.  Total:  2 adults and 4 juveniles.  Some days, this apartment is the greatest.  This was one of them.

These shots actually are in color, but I was shooting from inside a dirty window, through driving snow.


_LWA0849_DXO  _LWA1157_DXO

_LWA1124_DXO  _LWA1146_DXO

_LWA1112_DXO  _LWA0922_DXO

_LWA0953_DXO  _LWA0881_DXO

_LWA0927_DXO  _LWA0842_DXO

_LWA0841_DXO  _LWA0782_DXO


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

R.I.P. – Fire, a dog 1993-2008

A good dog, with a long goofy name, “Private Stoc’s Fire Dancer”, bestowed by Pam, the very nice and responsible breeder.  Her sister is “Private Stoc’s Red Skye at Morning”, but they just got called Fire and Skye.  Occasionally, rarely, they’d both be named Dammit!

A natural herder, she’d go from room to room trying to get everyone together so she could keep an eye on them.  I’m guessing that, to her, we were particularly clever sheep with the keys to the food cabinet.  She convinced the neighborhood cats that hunting our ducks was a bad, bad idea.

She didn’t like it, but you could balance a french fry on her nose until she got permission to eat it.  She didn’t like cats, but never, ever, not even once was aggressive toward any other animals, including our flock of Indian Runner ducks.  Given that she was almost 18 months old when she came to live with us, it’s pretty amazing that she didn’t view them as prey.  She acted as though they were her babies, and the same with parrots, cockatiels, sugar gliders, rabbits, and very small children.

It goes with saying that I hate cancer.  It killed my dad, went after my mom, got me, and has killed at least one rabbit and one koi.  Then it got Fire.  She developed some kind of brain cancer that manifested itself as a bump on the head, and when the vet opened it up to see what it was, it was clear that she was not long for this world.


She hated getting her feet wet, or any kind of messiness.  More like a cat than a dog.



Make the rabbit stop touching me.”



Just because I am their guardian does not mean I have to like them



Shepherds obey better than any dogs I’ve ever known. They weren’t allowed inside until they were standing politely.IMG_3123


This sums it up, the twin kami Goofball and Cautious Concern.



The black sofa eventually developed a dog-shaped depression.



She took her guard duties very seriously, and was very happy when at some point we put a folded futon next to the window.





The wet, inside-out ear means they’ve just finished a comprehensive and mutual ear-cleaning session.



This look actually meant, “I’m reasonably sure that your sandwich will prove to be too large for you.



Good bye, good dog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Shell Beach Sunset

You can’t really see it well, but there’s a fogbank on the water about a mile or so offshore.  It’s as though a range of hills suddenly appeared.



Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Great Dark North

Living this far north is weird.  It’s only September and the leaves on the trees are changing already.  We’ve probably only run the air conditioner for a few hours in the last week.  And, it’s time for OctoberFest, aka PorktoberFest, a.k.a. SeptemberFest.  For some reason, Winconsonites who normally revel in cold weather are very squeamish about it being cold for an outdoor party.

At least they’re polite about it.  The Appleton cops estimated 40,000 legally drunk people along College Aveniue, and only made 16 DUI/OWI arrests, even with the state troopers helping them.

Stuff we had to eat

  • beer (which mostly sucked, because none of the local places serve their stuff)
  • brats (duh)
  • cheesecake on a stick (thanks, PFLAG!  It was super gay cheesecake!)
  • deep-fried Snickers (tm) bar
  • brewed (local) root beer from the Stone Cellar Brew Pub at Between the Locks.  Yum!  Looks and almost tastes like real beer
  • Glazed pecans
  • Fresh squeezed lemonade
  • probably other stuff.

Last, but not least, I finally got to hear some polka music.  A little, not enough, but some.  Yay!

Will upload pictures.  Took some, not a lot, but concentrated on “the look of October Fest in Wisconsin ok”.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It’s really, really flat here in Appleton

I went for my first bicycle ride in over four years, and it was great.  Appleton is flat, but I’ve managed to find and live at the bottom of the only hill for 10 miles around.  Getting up it was interesting, since I have the racing cogs still on.  Might have to get a smaller front chain ring until I’m actually capable of walking across the room without being out of breath.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Relay for Life 2008 - it's over. Cancer lost.

Pictures of my build (Heroes 34 - Twain's Journey) galore may be seen at my Flickr Relay for Life 2008 picture set

OMG.  Relay for Life in SecondLife is over.  We raised about US $215,000 (two hundred fifteen thousand dollars in donations.  Team Caledon was second in the donation standings and of the top 15 relay runners, 7 were from Caledon. 


The second-place finisher, Viderian Vollmar of Caledon Cymru, did his laps with no software assists like power skates, just the normal running pace of a SecondLife avatar.  Yeah, it seems weird to have avatars "running" in a relay that only exists in cyberspace, but you try steering anything for 24 hours.


Last year I did a "scenic" build, in the sense that the main road didn't run through my sim.  This year, though, I applied for and was given the opportunity to build a full "design sim", with the theme being "heroes".  I chose Mark Twain, mostly because I'd been awake too long when asked, and because his stories, including his own, are all about journeys.


If having cancer isn't a journey, then I don't know what is.  The sim offered travelers a few options, the easiest being to stay on the road and just walk around the edge of the sim in a few minutes.  You could walk through the sim, with some difficulty, or you could receive a free miniature riverboat (designed by the talented Carricre Wind) and navigate the treacherous Mighty Mini Mississippi.


Features of the sim included giant channel catfish (designed by the frighteningly creative Virrginia Tombola) lurking under snags, and a swamp filled with wrecks and a dead man with four bullets in his back.  JJ Drinkwater, assisted by Serra Anansi, created another stunning Library exhibit, this one covering quack cures and patent medicines.  As if that weren't enough, he updated last year's History of Medicine plaques and pasted one on every large tree in the entire sim.  It was scary good.  Kamilah Hauptmann loaned a swimming animation rezzer that just spawns parties when you put it out.  Tanarian Davies gave me a swamp mist particle generator that made the swamp atmosphere seen above.  JJ


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Desk panorama

An office view


Hotel in SLO

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fox floods fix fine photos

_LWA8927_resize, originally uploaded by lynnewu.

Normally, this pier is a couple feet above water, but during the high water of 2008, it wasn't.

The joys of extremely high shutter speeds. No, not really. Really the water stays this way, because it's "slow water", the result of excessive cheese and beer production toxic waste being added to the water.

Read Charles Stross or die

Well, you’ll probably die anyway, but he’s good stuff.

by Charles Stross

Read more about this book...

(really. My life is just like this book.)