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.




Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 21


S'more tarts, from Zingerman's Bakehouse, with one lemon tart at left.  So pretty......  I'm imagining being the person who wields the torch, browning the meringue *just so*........

I did not take a pic of my roasted red pepper and farm cheese sandwich.  It was yummy.  And big enough that I ate the second half for lunch.  Mmmmmm.

Our surprise for the morning was walking into the part of the deli I call "the garage," as it has garage doors that can be open to the patio on nice days.  (I wish they'd leave 'em closed, to keep out the flies, but no one asked me....)

Anyway, the surprise wasn't walking in there -- we eat Saturday breakfast in there fairly often.  The surprise was that Mario Batali was there!  If you watch the food channel, you know that Mario was one of the original American Iron Chefs.   We walked into "the garage" at Zingerman's, and I recognized Mario from the back (he has a distinctive red ponytail).  I was pretty sure it was Mario, and then he turned sideways.  Yep.

That's only the second time I've ever seen someone famous.  Vincent Price was in town one time, for a theatrical performance, and I saw him perusing the remaindered books outside Borders.  I stared at him like a total weirdo, and he gave me a gracious smile and a friendly "good morning."  I felt like such an idiot....

This time I was cool.  No intrusion on Mario's personal space.  Nice to know we can actually improve with age....

Actually, I suppose Mario was the third really famous person I've seen -- John Astin taught one of my daughter's college classes, and we happened to meet him when we went to graduation.  A very nice man, and completely recognizable from having watched The Addams Family on tv.

I'm not counting seeing LBJ lean out of his helicopter and wave at the crowd, leaving Michigan Stadium after giving a commencement speech in the 1960s.  He was so far away I'm not sure it was really LBJ -- maybe it was a secret service guy...........

Moving on from the morning excitement.........

Running the Saturday errands.

The cars are all covered in salt.  You can go to a car wash, but 15 seconds after you leave the car wash, your car will be all salty again...........

Interested by the patterns of the salt on the car.

Especially on the front part of the bumper.

Isn't this weird?  I wonder what causes this!?!  Clearly not a random accumulation of spatter.....  Very strange.

Inside Busch's.  Ahhh.  Basking in color....................

Chartreuse goes with everything.

I didn't get one clear shot of this nice spiky thing.  Alas.  At least we can see the color clearly, if the edges of things aren't quite what one would hope for.

Asparagus forest. 

The morning of the 21st was gray and chilly.

But the afternoon was perfectly lovely, for the middle of February.  There was no wind.  It was warm -- 31 (F).

The sun came out shortly after I took the image above.  It was a beautiful afternoon.  I really enjoyed my walk.


Friday, February 27, 2015

February 20


Another frosty morning.  We got more snow last winter, and this January was mild, but this February has been COLD.

Some of the spikes in the frost were longer, the morning of the 20th, than I ever remember seeing them.  I wonder what it means........

Two closer crops of the above.

The pics above were alll taken around 9:00 am.  The next one was taken at about 5:45.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

optical illusion dance


Here's a video we saw part of in The Brain and Space.  We're learning how our visual system figures out where edges are, and what orientation they have.


February 19


Sunrise, on a frosty morning in Tree Town.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

stats from Geospatial Intelligence


Our prof from Geospatial Intelligence kindly gave us some stats.  I thought they might be of interest:

Out of over 21,000 registrants, 13,000 were active in the class at some point. 1170 passed the course (528 with Distinction and 642 Normal).

We  haven't gotten our final scores from Coursera yet, but I believe I should be amongst the 1170 who passed.


excellent bookstores


An article from Smithsonian about excellent bookstores around the world....

Love that Portuguese one!  Wow.


February 18


Snowing right down, on February 18.