Saturday, November 29, 2008


Feeling queasy over TV-watching this weekend: juxtaposition between shadowy terrorists and horrific killings in Mumbai and the manic consumers who trampled the poor soul at a Long Island Walmart on Black Friday. I THINK I know which is ... worse ... but. I spent way too much time on Twitter #mumbai just watching the news roll in, mesmerized, saddened, amazed.

A long walk (50 blocks and 4 hours) with S. today to hit nearly every floor at Saks (wtf?) somehow helped. I didn't really buy anything, just ogled the madness. Done. No more shopping for me.

Plus I already have my magic stone (thank you, FD) plus books (among them a couple of Arturo Perez-Reverte's -- good stuff) and a plenty of fodder for the new project.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Dark Side

Now here's an intro to an article I can sink my teeth into. Utterly intriguing. In case you missed it...

A concatenation of puzzling results from an alphabet soup of satellites and experiments has led a growing number of astronomers and physicists to suspect that they are getting signals from a shadow universe of dark matter that makes up a quarter of creation but has eluded direct detection until now. read more from the New York Times

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Where the Mozzarella Grows

Clearly, in Maine. I took this on a leisurely drive from Edgecomb to Damariscotta. I refuse to believe, as my sister insists, that these not mozzarella but mown hay wrapped in plastic. This mozzarella farm is located just south of Sherman Lake, the lake that is not a lake anymore.

What happened? Well, a crazy rain a couple years ago washed away the 71 year old dam that had kept the seven mile long lake ... a lake. So the lake went tidal, and is now a salt march. Fascinating stuff -- here's a really nice summary from Ethan Nedeau of the Gulf of Maine Times.

While I personally get that a salt marsh is a good thing for the ecology, I do miss the lake. I remember a truly magical night of ice-skating in the dark (you could go for literally miles on the glassine stretch) with ice-sailboats shimmering under the moon all around us, back in the years when lakes actually froze properly and the wind kept them properly swept of snow.

There is also the lovely creepy story of the Island of Lost Dogs, a miniscule hump of land in the middle of the lake, from which at night one could hear the baleful cries of the lost dogs trapped for all time on the little island.

I neglected to mention my birthday and how lovely it was. I got the best presents -- including a piece of art by my insanely talented sister-in-law, B. The photo above doesn't do it justice of course -- I'm still trying to find the best place to hang it. It's so cool -- and, as a present, is a nod to my endless eye problems. I also got a really nice book of poetry from P. and much more cool stuff. The best present of all was seeing T. again and watching him eat a popover.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Not a lot to report. I read to W. today at Lighthouse International about NAT. Network Address Translation vis a vis IP datagram packets. It was pretty boring (especially the reciting of IP addresses number by number over and over, as examples,) but I did learn about the interesting dilemma of IPv4 and its meager 4 billion addresses capability.

Since the textbook we're reading is from, like, 1997, I'm sure this problem has been solved but since I don't know that, I can imagine an exciting and tense Y2K scenario before full implementation of IPv6. Ask me what happened to IPv5!

By the end of this reading relationship, I'm pretty sure I'll be qualified for a job at the Internet Engineering Task Force, a dream job for any modern woman.

I'm heartbroken that I can't find the thing that connects my digital camera to my computer, hence no good photos from Maine. Where I went for my birthday. Which was very nice. My iPhone pics don't do justice to the magic that is autumn in New England justice, but I tried..

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Brain trust... not

Wow, the brain trust at GOPTrust are running horrible ads of Obama gazing at that angry minister guy... on TV in New York City! Are they crazy, desperate, or just trying to use up all their money? How lame.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Tide IS Changing!

... At least in Maine coastal towns right near my hometown of Edgecomb. From the Associated Press on October 30, 2008:

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine -- Meteorologists are baffled by rapid tidal changes along the Maine coast, which damaged some boats and piers.

Witnesses say low tide turned and became high within a matter of minutes on Tuesday afternoon. The changes occurred six or seven times. The National Weather Service says reports from several locations indicated that water levels fell and rose from 4 feet to as much as 12 feet during the event.

In a public information statement, the weather service says the cause "remains a mystery and may never be known."

It said significant rapid rises and falls in tide levels were observed around 3 p.m. in Boothbay Harbor, Southport and Bristol. The statement said rapid surges can be caused by the underwater movement of land, most often due to an earthquake, or due to slumping of sediments along a steep canyon or shelf, but no earthquakes were reported in the area Tuesday.
A similar event occurred on Jan. 9, 1926, in Bass Harbor, the statement said.

Best online comment (via Wooden Boat magazine's online forum): Maybe Obama changed the tide?

Thank you, BrianW.

Favorite new word: Seiche

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Don't know why I haven't posted lately. Maybe it's the economic turmoil. Scary enough, but Halloween was pretty darn scary in my 'hood. The Greenwich Village Halloween parade lures thousands of people from god only knows where to my neighborhood, and half of them end up on my stoop. And I caught four French people (guys and gals) peeing in my building's garbage area. Mon dieu!

Best costume: a simple Barack Obama mask, grinning from ear to oversized ear, atop the head of a very unsmiling tall black guy. Odd and cool at the same time. Pictured, left: friend F. and werewolves on Bleecker Street.

Subscribe with Bloglines Add to Netvibes View blog top tags