Friday, March 06, 2015

February 28


Breakfast of Zingerman's Bakehouse goodies, including this poppy-seed bagel.  Mmmmmmm.

Did you know poppy seeds are shaped sort of like teeny little beans?  They are not spherical.......  This is something I did not know, until I got my "slow magnifying glass."

Fondue kits.  A couple of weeks ago they had samples.  They had bread, and they had tiny pickles.  The fondue was really good on both.  Mmmmmmmmm.  They even give you the garlic and peppercorns.  Just in case you don't have those things.  You do have to furnish your own wine.

Flowers at Busch's

COLOR.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Cool sky.

And the ground looks like this..........  A foot or so of snow on the ground, and a very salty parking lot.

I bet you were just asking yourself what the front of the car looks like this week!  Here it is.  The salt distribution on the hood looks pretty random (though I'm not sure what's up with the dots?  lines and dots?).  The bumper looks more random than last week, but there's still something non-random going on, right in front, in the middle of the bumper.

The offspring is investigating wood-working.  We went to Home Depot, and looked at we looked at many things, including wood.  (This image taken with the phone, as I had forgotten the camera.)

And paint chips.   Ahhhhh, COLOR!!! 

I don't think there's anything I like better than putting colors together..........  (This image taken later, at home, in the sunshine, with the camera.)


Thursday, March 05, 2015



You know those moments where it seems that things line up and the universe is speaking directly to you?

This morning I'm listening to The Brain in Space.  Dr. G. is talking about the info we use to estimate our distance from the source of a sound.  One of the ways we gather info about sound is by paying attention to echoes.

As she talked about echoes and sound, she mentioned how hard it can be to determine exactly WHICH smoke detector's battery is going dead and causing the smoke detector to chirp from time to time.

Guess who has been dealing with that exact issue this morning?

We have a batch of 9-volt batteries in a drawer, and I swapped out the battery in the smoke alarm I thought was chirping, but then I think it chirped again.  The batteries are not all that new -- it's entirely likely that I replaced one moribund battery with another.

Or, it's possible that it was another smoke detector that was chirping.  There are two that are in the same basic direction from the location of the computer I'm using (one on the stairs to upstairs, and one on the stairs to the basement).

I've moved the smoke detector I think is chirping.  It is now to my left, instead of behind me.  If the next chirp comes from my left, I'll change out the battery I just put in.  If the next chirp comes from behind me, I'll give the smoke detector over the basement stairs a new battery.  A newER battery.....

The battery I put in 20 minutes ago (or so) was the second one in an opened package.  There are two unopened packages of 9-volts in the drawer, which, I hope, are newer than the opened package......


February 27


Ok.  I've been corrected -- it's not "steam," it's "water vapor."  At least it's not "smoke," right?

This image shows you one reason why I think it's "water vapor" rather than "Mama Nature's clouds."  See how there are none of them to the left of the sun?  The clouds I've been seeing in the morning (since I deduced they are emanating from the smoke stacks) seem to always originate at one point.  We can't see the smoke stacks to make sure.  I don't know if they are tall enough.  And even if they are, I think they are behind the evergreens which surround the sun in this next pic.

A wider view.  Trash day at sunrise, in Tree Town.  It has been so cold that basically none of the snow has melted.  It's deep in the lawn extensions (hence our trash bin in the end of our driveway, rather than on the extension).

Note that the pile of snow/ice just to the right of our driveway is nearly as tall as our trash bin.  The pile across the street is taller.  That's a lot of snow/ice.  Luckily we've not gotten another big batch of snow.  We've been getting an inch here, an inch there, and three inches another time.  Not enough, thank goodness, to mobilize the #)($^& plows.

Another look at the water vapor.  Note again -- nothing but air to the left of the sun.  No clouds, man-made or Mama-Nature-made.

All that visible water vapor means it's cold.  So does the frost on the window.

Closer crops of the above.

A little new snow.

Our mail carrier is not a big person, but she wears big boots.

Much later.  This is sunset.  It's a bit reminiscent of sunrise, no?  But this is the reflection of the setting sun on buildings downtown.  You can't see these building at all, during the daytime (nor in the summertime).  But when the trees are bare, and the sun sets just right, it looks like huge fires downtown.

These buildings are about exactly where we see the sun at sunrise.

I wonder what that gold light is, near the top of the image, over to the right.  Way too high to be associated with the lit-up buildings we see at bottom left.....  But just as bright as the sun on the buildings.  I saw it when I was taking the pics, and caught it in several pics.  It seemed to be behind the trees (rather than in them).  Odd.


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

February 26


On the 26th, we met friends for dinner and then walked over to Hill Auditorium for the school district's orchestra night.  All of the middle schools and high schools send orchestras.  It's a wonderful opportunity for the district's musicians (some of whom are very proficient indeed) to play in a wonderful venue that is enjoyed by professional musicians from all over the world.

Once upon a time, our own daughter was one of two trumpets playing the signature portion of "The William Tell Overture" as part of the orchestra from her middle school.  Right there in Hill Auditorium.  It was one of those moments that sends chills up a parent's spine.........

This pic of a little oil lamp on a restaurant table, with the salt and pepper, was taken with the camera. 

I like the shadows on the table, and on the salt and pepper shakers.

I tried the phone, too, just to see what would happen, but the phone insisted on using flash.  I tried to get it to stop, with no success.  The phone is far too eager to do things I don't want it to be doing, alas.............  I wish it would let ME decide what I want it to do...........  Especially when I know perfectly well what I want it to do (or not do, as the case may be).  The camera flash gets on, too, sometimes, without me intending it to be on, but the phone does it far more often.  And I don't know how to make it stop (and don't want to take time to figure it out, in a busy restaurant).


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

note to self, in re trying to figure out tricky stuff.....


When I'm watching a MOOC video, and can't figure out what the professor means, I should take a break, and when I come back to the video to approach it again, I should start before the confusion point.

Because -- while listening to the confusing sentence (or three) over and over may not help, listening to the few minutes before the confusion, and then the confusing place, may help.

I should try to pay attention to the information in the bigger picture, when trying to understand the details.....................

The inability to ask questions of the prof is definitely the most frustrating thing about the MOOC way of learning. 

And when Google doesn't respond usefully to any of the ways I can think of to ask my questions, there's no help there, either.

I think that the thing I'm confused about today is not really well-understood yet.  I think we're being told about what is currently thought likely, but not generally accepted as true (which is why there's not much supporting evidence out there on the web.............)

It's cool to be learning brand-new stuff, but it does make it harder to find another source saying what she's saying in different words (and with different pictures) that might make more sense to me at this moment in time.....

At least I think I know what she was telling us, now, and I'm not as confused by it as I was, though I still have half a dozen more questions about it that I would absolutely go see her about in office hours, were I paying brick&mortar prices for her time!

Another thought for today is that Mother Nature is amazingly canny!  This week we are learning (in The Brain in Space) about how we can tell where something is in space from the evidence provided by our ears.  Are you aware that we constantly move our heads to get more information (up-and-down-wise and front-to-back-wise) about the location of a sound?  I wasn't, either.  And yet all of us are constantly doing it........................


February 25


Another sunrise look at what I think is steam from the University's power plant (rather than clouds).

Later.  Walking to yoga through a very snowy West Park.

The clouds were interesting.  It was like a shelf of cloud, all at the same level, coming in from the west to cover the sky.  The shape of the bottom of the clouds was very uniform, from pretty far east, to as far west as I could see.


Monday, March 02, 2015

February 23


Another cold morning.

Do you remember, in the early part of January, I talked about the steam coming from the University's power plant, and how I could (back when I lived in an apartment overlooking the power plant) tell the temperature and wind direction from looking at that steam?  If you click through, scroll down almost to the bottom to see the steam coming out of the "smoke" stacks........

I think what looks like clouds in these pics is really the steam from the power plant.....  I'm not sure, but that's what I think.

A cold day.  Wind from the north.

The frost also tells us it was a cold morning, but doesn't say anything about wind.

Much later in the day.  Sun in the west, now.

Squirrel tracks and tree shadows on the back yard.  No yellow snow.  No dog tracks or pathways.

There are many things I miss about having a dog.  But I am glad to have NOT had to drag a reluctant ancient dog out into this winter's cold weather.


Sunday, March 01, 2015

choppin' broccoleh.................



I am not a faithful fan of Saturday Night Live. So there's a lot of SNL stuff that everyone else knows that I don't know.

I watched part of the 40th anniversary show the other night. I'd never heard this before, and it has stuck with me. (Not the cat part, the rest. :-)  

We eat a lot of broccoli.

I can't chop it, now, without singing along.  "I'm choppin' broccoli, choppin' broccoleeee, choppin' broccoleeeeeAH....."



a quote from The Brain in Space


Here's a quote from Jennifer Groh, who is teaching The Brain in Space:

Whenever you interpret something, there's a risk of just simply making stuff up.

Good to keep in mind!


February 22


Here's what it looks like when we have a heat wave, in the middle of one of the coldest Februarys ever. 

Piles and piles of really deep (for us) snow, everywhere.  well, almost everywhere -- lots of sidewalks, and most streets, are clear.

The 22nd wasn't as warm as the 21st, but it was very nice for February.  The sun came out, as I was walking.

When I got home,  very welcome sunshine was streaming in from the southwest.  I grabbed the camera and went around noticing the sun.

This vignette is on the kitchen windowsill. 

The pig came from a thrift store.  It's plastic.  It's hollow.  You can see the sun shining through it.

Just to the right of the above, and down -- glass milk bottles await transport back to the grocery (they will go back to the dairy and be reused).  Here they sit, beside and in front of the microwave, spreading the sunlight in circles on the counter.

Turning right 90 degrees -- we have a big bulletin board in the kitchen, covered in art and craft and miscellany.  When my daughter was on the high school swim team, the swimmers would gift each other with little presents before meets.  A batch of brownies, perhaps, or a lip gloss.  I was always on the watch for purple stuff (school color).  Some fancy purple present-decorators were not used, and still give sparkle to the bulletin board.  I'm especially pleased by the end of one of the curls, visible at the bottom.

Making our way to the table -- this is the pepper mill, seen from the top.  I wanted something not-messy to put it on, so I grabbed an issue of The University Record which was sitting on the table.  It happened to have this nice lake shore on the front.

Here's something that makes me as happy as sunshine -- I've had this amaryllis for years.  And years.  It bloomed for many years, and then, as I didn't re-pot it, it stopped blooming.  But it never stopped putting out leaves.  Never stopped trying.

Last year I finally repotted it, and left it outside for the summer.

Look!  It's going to bloom.  Hooray! 

Incipient bloom, in the sunshine, against a back yard full of snow.

There's a paper bag collecting paper recyclables just inside the window above.  The three-hole punch got some use on the 22nd, and the results were recycled.... 

Some of the little circles landed this way, on top of a ledge formed by other paper.  This is the actual orientation.  The circles stuck (by static electricity, I presume) to vertical surfaces make it hard to tell how they are oriented.

I have a couple of old type drawers hung on the wall, with old toys and things in the niches.  Here are a few toys, in Venetian-blind stripes of sunshine.

One last image.  This head was alone.  I stuck it in a cork. 

Most of the stuff in the type drawers is placed just as I chose to put it.  But sometimes the drawers get bumped, and things jump off.  Especially small things, like beads.  Those get put back up, randomly.  Perhaps on their sides, like the X.

Running the image above through some Photoshop filters, just because I can.


Cut out.