Jan 22

Everybody’s snowy for the weekend

Snowed today. I managed to step outside and see this many seconds of it.

After which my phone returned to the repair shop. Because taking it in last weekend just wasn’t enough! I had the battery replaced, the most cost-effective upgrade you can perform on an iPhone. This is the third battery in this phone, which has served me well for five years or so.

Last weekend I asked the repair folks to clean the charging port because, in addition to the old battery not holding a charge, I could barely get the phone to receive a charge. No matter how patient you are, this eventually becomes frustrating. It has had almost-deletirious effects on a few work days. If the phone dies in the middle of the night because it won’t charge, you see, I have no alarm.

Which is a strategic problem, I know. I should use more than one alarm! But let me ask you, early risers, how many alarms should I use? I run three on my phone.

A further strategic problem, sure. Three alarms are great. Putting them all on one platform is a shortcoming.

After I struggled through how to do many of the various things required of the day that sometimes require a phone — messaging, dual authentication, taking photographs, whatever — my phone went back to the phonecanic. Clean the charing port, please. I’m sure they prefer the term “technician,” but you don’t get the honorific until you complete the job. My lovely bride dropped it off in the afternoon, while I was in the middle of a Zoom meeting. They said it’d be ready after 4 p.m., which seems to be the rote answer. She picked it up just after 5 p.m., and the phone was charged to 100 percent. And it’s holding a charge, so maybe the second time was the charm.

Which, again, if that’s as inconvenient as your day gets, it’s a pretty great day. And we insist on great days on Fridays.

I left the office at 5 p.m. for a change. The snow had stopped and the sun was almost threatening to break through the overcast sky. That it had stopped was great because there was no evidence of any winter weather road treatment taking place. And my car slipped and slid and arrived slowly and safely in my garage.

At the house I experienced the Friday burst of energy. I shoveled the driveway, the sidewalks and part of the walking trail. (People need to see the entrance, which runs right by our yard.) In doing all of that I learned that the hat I got this Christmas is indulgently effective. If it is cold where you are, and you have to be outside, get that hat.

(I’m leaving it in my car. It’s going everywhere with me.)

I emptied the dishwasher. I put together a new little ottoman that arrived today.

The ottoman will sit at the foot of the bed. It’ll hold sheets and blankets. Between that and the new mattress — after two nights of sleep I can report it feels like a cloud, mostly because you’re sleeping on the mattress, rather than in it — the bedroom feels almost entirely new.

It’s enough to make me want to go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight.

(Update: I did not.)

Sep 20

A collection and an assemblage of bits of things

Hey! Look! I’m on TV!

Nice selfie, huh? I went to the morning show’s shoot this morning, and then got called into a meeting right after taking this picture. By the time the meeting was over, the morning show taping had wrapped. These students are getting pretty proficient at all of this. Even the engineer, who works every day with professionals, complimented them about that. It’s a business that requires quality at speed, and they’re putting them together nicely.

I spent the afternoon in an audio booth, where I’m producing a tutorial. I did not demonstrate speed today, but I have some nice shots for the eventual package.

Got a nice shot of the Canada geese skipping town today, too.

Just go ahead and go. Quitters.

Sports! Here are some videos the sports gang produced last night. There’s footage of an intramural home run derby because, while we don’t yet have formal varsity sports, everyone is pulling together programs as best they can. It’s kind of charming in a way.

And here’s the talk show for the week, where you will get a history lesson, indeed:

Need some financial advice? Here’s a financial Quick Hit:

And that’s enough for today. To the weekend! Be safe, because you must. Be happy, because you can.

Oct 19

This week we show color

I looked outside Saturday and saw many colors. I like the many colors. We do not go into the wilderness and write essays about it. Not like before. Now, we put on our shoes and, this time of year, check the thermostat to see the external temperature so that we can dress accordingly and then grab our phone and go take photographs. So I did:

It wasn’t cold. But that’s coming, and that right quick. Right now, in fact, the color of the Midwest is upon us: grey. That’ll be the default and unassuming look until, oh, April if we’re lucky. Sure, there will be a few blue-sky days, but you can no longer take those for granted. Sunday was a beautiful goodbye. The season of drear, with a dash of Cimmerian, is upon us. But not yesterday. Egads, yesterday was beautiful.

Just look at that sky over the same tree:

We took a bike ride and wound our way down to the lake, to see about the leaves down there. We took a few pictures. And this is now the wallpaper on my phone, because we make photobomb wallpapers around here:

Even the ground had a moment yesterday. I just shot this as I walked by a tree. How many colors are in there?

On the way back to the house, I sought out a road I discovered because of some random overwriting I was doing here on the site last month. Geese were flying overhead and I looked at their basic route and found the nearest pond and saw this road on Google Maps and thought, I should ride that one day.

And maybe I picked the most perfect day of the season to make this come true, I don’t know. I rode down it, a mile of shade and leaves and alternating beams of light and twists and turns and fun. At the end, where pavement turned into what I presume is a long gravel driveway I turned around and thought, I should record this. So I rode back up it, one handed, up the hill, and had a great time. Just here, when the light changed and I happened to be watching the road through the screen, and it lit up in a golden hue while the phone’s sensors tried to catch up to the circumstance. That was the moment, and the ride was worth it and I knew in that explosive refrain that it was, in fact, the day for this road. That moment was this moment:

You can see the whole road, slightly accelerated, here:

And here’s our view of the lake from down by the water’s edge:

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So a nice weekend, then.

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Jul 19

Things which grow

Please enjoy photos of these lovely growing things on campus and around town. This first one is growing not too far from my office. It is called the Casa Blanca Lilium, an oriental hybrid lily. The texture on the petals is a beautiful thing. They’re pretty easy to grow and lovely to look at, aren’t they?

How do you feel about the Acer palmatum? Commonly called the Japanese maple or, as I just learned the red emperor maple, they can be shrubs or small trees. I suppose that has to do with its care, being pruned or out in habitat. This one is found in a well-manicured flower garden at a downtown church:

Cultivated for forever in Japan, Korea and China, they started spreading around the world in the 19th century. There are three subspecies and dozens of cultivars. Maples on the seas.

Here’s the Phlox maculata:

It’s a perennial, indigenous to the eastern United States and now also growing in Canada. Or maybe you’re more interested in the bee. That, of course, is your common bumblebee, one of the 250-plus members of the Bombus genus, about four dozen or so are in the U.S. Don’t ask me which one this one is from, we aren’t that close.

He was a pretty fair model, though.

Those aren’t bad, I’d say, for cell phone photos.

May 17

New phone, new video, new adventures

Got a new phone. This is the first video I shot from it, the “river” by our building flooded. We’re told the creek is incased by the local limestone, which does not allow for drainage. And, today, we got a deluge. They recorded 1.67 inches of rain in an hour. And this was the downstream result:

And this is the second video I shot from my phone, this evening, as I journeyed to Connecticut by way of New York:

Tomorrow, we’re off on another grand adventure!