Musings

Tech “love”

I ran upstairs to go out on the balcony to get a shot of the moon without glass or reflections marring nature. Upward bound, I turned the phone on and tilted it in readiness to make a fine horizontal shot. I opened the door and stepped out turning and raising my phone, framed the photo and clicked.

And the phone, in all its Tim-Apple wisdom, activated the flash. And, no surprise, the image was smudgy crap.

I quickly turned the flash off and tilted the phone up to get the elusive moon through the cloud cover. My luck was gone gone gone. With the moon. As you can see.

Does this make sense

Every once in a while I try what I think of as a short vertical pano. It is a vertical pano, and I don’t shoot for very long (ie, the span is brief—it’s chunky not elongated). Here’s one that’s cropped to the aspect ratio that fits this space (16:9).

I think in some cases the distortion in a cropped short vertical pano is “better” (meaning, somehow more aesthetic) than a “regular” shot. With my current iPhone lenses.

Eyes have it

I encountered this machine today, fortunately in a display case not my ophthalmologist’s office. I was so enthralled by its elegant form that I didn’t even look for a label to determine what it was designed to do.

Matter of perspective?

I’m still wading through the qubit article I mentioned on the 24th. I have a modest understanding of the difference between a bit and a qubit, but I do not grasp how the entanglement property of qubits can be truly useful, so I’ll keep reading.

The qubit article is “The World-Changing Race to Develop the Quantum Computer” by Stephen Witt, dated 12 December (in the 19 December issue), in The New Yorker magazine.

Photo of moss on the the roof of the structure in the Japanese garden at the BotGarden in 2015. We had a day this sunny today.

Fine point

Turns out the shady side of our house protected yesterday’s snowfall into the afternoon today; however, today’s temps reached the upper 50’s for long enough that, pfft, most of the dusting is now only moisture.

Lemme just point out that our lot’s dark side is in no way like the dark side of the moon. No way. None.

Eve pondering

In honor of this cold, voila!, the Cut Bank, Montana, penguin…on a sunny day with no snow, ice, or freezing temps. [Photo from our archive.]

Learned the term qubit today. Not a cubit. A portmanteau of quantum and bit. Instead of being binary, either one or zero, a qubit can be one or zero or both. I fail to understand how that can work, so it’s a good thing that better minds than mine are working with the darned qubits. Somehow, a qubit can also hold two bits. Now my brain is fractured.

Minor device mystery

I’m mystified how my iPad, my ancient iPad and night-time reading device (black background, very light siena letters), which spends all its time (except when I rarely download new reading material) in Airport mode, manages to find out when there are software updates available.

My hypothesis is that Airport mode is not a total lockdown, despite indications to the contrary.

Meet The Beast

Some time ago I decided that land management issues (read vegetation) would improve if I had a motorized scythe. Either that or a small tractor-and-bush-hog, and the latter is just too much equipment. Instead, I ordered a Super-Duper Trimmer. It came with a large-diameter string option, and two metal blades, one for tough grasses, and one with saw-teeth for woody brush. Our problem is robust-stemmed grasses. Mostly. And so: The Beast, with a metal blade. I finally got it to start today. You’d think: brand new—first pull. Not with my luck.

It is a beast. It does the job. The harness distributes the weight very well, and pfft: new tool. A fine calorie-burner. Set feet, swing shaft-and-blade to cut. Swing back, set feet anew. Repeat.

Not so happy that’s it’s a two-stroke, but the next-door neighbor fixes and maintains all types of motorized equipment, so I can pawn off maintenance on him and his crew. Yay on that.

Like the pink handkerchief sun valence? A fashion touch….

Dynamic but not a dynamic island

I’m often amazed at how the photographic image from my phone differs from my live perception of the moment. What I saw—or focused on—was a small area of sunshine on the field at distant center. I can only barely see it here, when squinting. Instead the sky is menacing and grey, which I did not notice.

Semi-smart

Oven time

Personal consumer wish list: sorta smart appliances that allow, I dunno, something like bluetooth syncing of clocks. That would include my oven, coffeemaker, microwave, that sorta device—with my phone sending them the time. No internet cloud connection and information sharing with distant strangers. Just two devices, one obtaining basic data from the other.