Now that’s warm

Today I rounded up a bunch of friends and we had a great game of lunchtime ultimate. When I was back in my car, I took a picture of my temperature sensor.


Yeah, 61 degrees in January. It was definitely a day to be outside.

Dazed and confused

During some server work today, I noticed this in the kernel log:

[14857.359477] NMI: PCI system error (SERR) for reason a1 on CPU 0.
[14857.359477] Dazed and confused, but trying to continue

Hah, “dazed and confused”. Some programmer in the depths of time had some fun writing an error message.

That’s precise

When I go to the National Weather Service site to get the forecast for Longmont, the URL looks like this:

Notice the latitude and longitude: it’s specified fifteen decimal places deep! Doing the math, that means NOAA is providing forecasts for a spot on the earth that’s accurate to about 10 picometers. That’s roughly the width of about ten atoms.

I know computers and weather prediction techniques have come a long way, but it’s amazing that we can narrow down a forecast to a few atoms!

My office is… haunted?

Every Saturday, two teenage girls clean my office and leave it all nice for my team on Monday morning. This morning I came into work and found a cheery little note from one of them.


Maybe this will teach them not to take burritos from our break room freezer?

Be sure

The Predictor pregnancy test has a tagline “When you want to be sure”.


Do you think this couple is unsure about her pregnancy? They certainly seem surprised by the test results. (“Oh, thank goodness… I thought this was just a weird fat phase I’ve been going through after eating all of those quesadillas!”)


You wouldn’t think we could have another real estate bubble. But I just saw a graph showing the median home price in Longmont over the last decade. Hmm. That looks bubbley to me.


This is from Zillow, which of course means you have to take it with a grain of salt. Or maybe a whole shaker of salt. Still, it’s pretty clear home prices have been climbing at a rate that’s not sustainable…


Zaque has an old wooden desk in the back corner of his room, where he’s set up a sort of “workbench” (as he calls it). He enjoys tinkering with electronics and motors and wires and whatnot. Mostly it involves disassembling things and poking around at the guts, then considering how to combine them with other parts. For example, his current project is installing a small motor inside a flashlight casing. Why, you ask? No one knows.



It’s fun to watch him, and to have him show me his latest “invention”. It reminds me of… well, me.

Intelligent man

For Christmas, Kathy gave me a couple of old books. They’re part of a series by Isaac Asimov entitled A New Intelligent Man’s Guide to Science, and I have Volume I (physical sciences) and Volume II (biological sciences). (Zaque asked if there’s a series for dumb men…)


Asimov is one of the most prolific authors in history, mostly writing science fiction, but he has the rare distinction of having at least one book in every category of the Dewey Decimal System.

What’s cool about these particular books is they were written almost sixty years ago. Science has changed a bit since then!


It’s fun to read some of the content and reflect on our progress during the last half-century. We’ve come a long way since Asimov’s day.


I’m progressing through the book from Thom and I’ve been experimenting with exposure and stops. Now that I understand the exposure meter better, I feel like I can start to “dial in” my photos for the effect I want. I’ve been having some fun with depth of field as well.

It’s cold and grey and dreary outside, so I’ve been moving around the house finding interesting test subjects: low lighting, shadows, macro, that sort of thing.

Here’s our family room clock:


I focused on the “3” with a shallow depth of field, so the left side of the clock is out of focus.

And here’s a toy dragon in Zaque’s room:


For this one, I did some post-processing to bump up the contrast and heighten the color a bit, making the dragon look a little more harsh (fierce?).