Cool, Clear, Water   Leave a comment

Posted February 11, 2016 by henrymowry in Photography

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Auto-Updating & Patience   Leave a comment

Patience Is A VirtueMy blog is posting very late today, but it’s not my fault, honest.

My desktop computer auto-updated last night. What does that mean?

When I turned on the monitor, I was greeted with a log-in screen. That means the computer had restarted itself during the night. Windows had auto-updated itself.

And that’s all too often a bad thing. A very bad thing.

Radio stations are often run by Windows computers (but not MY clients!). Those computers will also auto-update if the station is not careful … and that will generally knock the station off the air. Off the air is a bad thing. A very bad thing.

So, when I realized I had auto-updated, I knew I might be in for it today. And I was.

The computer was OK, all in all, except for my browser. I prefer Mozilla’s Firefox, and when I booted it this morning, it froze almost immediately. I re-booted the program, same result. I re-booted the computer, same result. I re-installed the software, same result. Repeat. Same result.

I opened another browser and looked for alternative solutions. News of a wide-spread problem. Tech tips. Clues. I got nothing.

I tried to disable add-ons. No joy. I re-booted in safe mode. No joy. I re-booted the computer … yeah, I kept doing the same exact things. No joy.

I set the problem aside so I could work for a living, accepting that any work on a browser would not be done on Firefox. Interestingly, my work’s virtual desktop, delivered on a cloud, worked fine. And it uses Firefox in that environment which worked perfectly. (sigh)

Back to my problem. Right before I left for lunch, I re-booted Firefox, which immediately froze. I walked away with it “not responding.” When I came back from lunch, Firefox was fine. I don’t know what the issue was that caused it to lock up, but the program needed time to solve its problem. I had to be patient enough to give it that time, and all was well.

Patience is a virtue. And if it was easy, anybody could do it.

Posted February 10, 2016 by henrymowry in Living Life

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Things I Learned Watching The Superbowl   2 comments

  1. I was working in the garage woodshop Sunday afternoon, working to finish the soap drying rack. At 2:30p, it got creepy quiet … apparently EVERYONE was somewhere other than driving or walking on my street. I mean, it was totally quiet! But then there was a dog walker, calling her Mom & apologizing that she was late because she was still walking Bailey. Who must have been the dog. After Bailey went home, I did not see one other person outside before I buttoned up the garage woodshop & went to prepare to watch the Superbowl … on my DVR. Of course.
  2. Lady-Gaga-Red-Gucci-Suit-Super-BowlI don’t like red sparkly eye shadow. Lady Gaga did a fine job singing the national anthem. I didn’t love her makeup, though. Too much product in her hair and her eye shadow was, uh, odd. But then, she is Lady Gaga.
  3. I must be old.
  4. I have never been a fan of Cam Newton. His father apparently didn’t sell him to Auburn (perhaps he just failed at selling him to Mississippi State). In any event, whatever the situation and whatever happened, I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t follow his career, and I didn’t know what a great year he’s had leading the Carolina Panthers. Wow. And he’s 6′-5″? I had no idea. No wonder they were favored to win.
  5. Instant replay may not have gotten the call right according to their announcers. The Panthers challenged the call, and the CBS expert chimed in & said it was def def definitely a catch … and then the NFL said it was not a catch. CBS was caught flat-footed, and never explained what might have happened. In general, I’m not a fan of this broadcast team and today was no exception.
  6. Defensive struggles are great games … but not outrageous spectacles. I wonder if people are enjoying the game at all, or is it just about the commercials today?
  7. DoritosOne of my favorite commercials was the Doritos commercial, showing a mother having a sonogram, and the baby reacting to the Doritos that dad was eating. I later learned that this commercial was seen by some as anti-choice, as it humanized a fetus, which would be anathema to pro-choice enthusiasts. And I just thought it was a cute commercial.
  8. Beyoncé led a racist halftime show, screamed headlines from the other side of the political spectrum. I read that her dance chorus wore Black Panther uniforms (and I’m pretty certain the Black Panthers didn’t wear uniforms. Just sayin’.) Apparently, the problem is that she’s actually pro-Black Lives Matter and elements of her performance were an homage to the Black Panthers. Since she has a political stance, allowing her to sing her non-political song with a bunch of dancers wearing black costumes and black berets was politicizing what was otherwise a boring halftime show. Be clear, I’m not a fan, but I didn’t find her performance offensive. Maybe I’m just too old or too white to understand, but I don’t care what she thought it meant: I care what I saw, and what I felt. I was not entertained (at all), but I was not offended. As always, your mileage may vary, of course.
  9. I think people need to take a minute (as the song Bruno Mars performed does suggest, after all), and allow that political views are not expressed by a dancing chorus clad in black spandex, nor are they expressed by the animation of a baby reaching for a tortilla chip. IMHO.
  10. the-good-wifeWorst moment of the game: learning that The Good Wife only has 9 more episodes, and will end at the end of this season. The best show on television is going away? I am very, very, very upset.
  11. Where were the Clydesdales? Where were the wonderful Budweiser commercials? The Bud Light commercials were OK, but meh. The one Budweiser commercial with Helen Mira was good, but she’s no big horse playing with a puppy. Obviously.
  12. Still don’t like sparkly eye shadow. Mrs Bowlen did nothing to impress me as she accepted the Lombardi trophy. Coordinating her makeup with Lady Gaga was not a good choice, either.
  13. I liked that the Broncos won, and gave the NFL’s Winningest Quarterback Ever! the opportunity to retire a champion. Peyton Manning is a true student of the game, and he is a great representative for football (who wants to drink Budweiser!). Cam Newton didn’t handle losing very well, but his career is at the beginning. He should have better days ahead of him.

 

Posted February 9, 2016 by henrymowry in Media, Sports

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Soap Drying Rack   6 comments

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeA family dinner was in the offing. It was an all-too-rare gathering of the clan, complete with the Intern. Velda was all atwitter with house preparation … and there was a problem.

The dining room table was full of drying soap and it had to go somewhere. And somehow, for that matter, since many of the bars were just sitting on butcher paper.

No problem: we’d been talking about me making her a Soap Drying Rack for, uh, months, and now I was on a clock. I had agreed to suspend my dislike of doing one-off projects in order to survive the paradigm, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” Cutting board construction would have to wait.

That meant she had to commit to dimensions, as I can’t build what I can’t measure. The rack is 24″ square and 5′-10″ tall. It’s on locking casters to move (or not) as needed.

The 14 removable shelves each have slat bottoms with 3/4″ gaps between the slats to help with air movement.  The unit is encased in screen cloth to help keep air-borne schmutz off the soap as it is drying. Since drying will take 6-8 weeks per batch, the bars will be sitting in the open air for a long time!

The rack will hold more than 1,000 bars of soap. Mrs M needs to get busy.

This is a tool: it’s not a piece of furniture. Therefore, I built it with utility in mind much more than aesthetics. One of the implications of that is that the wood selected was based on 1) what was on hand, 2) what was the right size for minimal milling, and 3) what was cost effective. Extremely cost effective = no trip to the lumber yard to build the project. Therefore, the woods are several species from deep in the lumber rack. I used redwood, pine, red oak and oak-veneered plywood.

Sunset Beauty   Leave a comment

Posted February 7, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Furry Critters   Leave a comment

Posted February 6, 2016 by henrymowry in Photography

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The Majesty Of Devil’s Tower   Leave a comment

Wyoming's Devil's Tower National Monument. Photo by Gary Stone. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 2/1/16.

Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower National Monument. Can anyone of my generation see this and not think of a giant pile of mashed potatoes (built by Richard Dreyfuss in “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind”)? Photo by Gary Stone. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 2/1/16.

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Devil’s Tower (2014)

Wikipedia: Devil’s Tower

Posted February 5, 2016 by henrymowry in Photography

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Beauty   Leave a comment

Posted February 4, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Hawaii’s Getting Bigger   Leave a comment

In May I traveled to the Big Island of Hawaii for a week long vacation and there were 2 things I was most looking forward to: scuba diving with the Manta Rays and seeing hot scalding lava. The trip delivered everything and more! A lot of back and forth decisions finally led my friends and I to sign up for an evening lava tour with Kalapani Cultural Tours.  The hike out to the lava wasn't too bad -- about 2 miles along mostly flat lava. Our guides LOVED to talk about the lava but unfortunately they couldn't seem to do it while we walked. We spent so much time stopped 'resting' that our arrival time started getting dangerously close to the best light. At first we came upon the surface flow -- where some of the lava had bubbled over and began to creep along the surface. After taking my picture 2 feet away from 2,000 degree lava I decided I wanted to go see the ocean flow.  The lava conditions change every day. A lava bench that was around yesterday may have fallen off and will be completely gone the next morning. When I arrived there was no safe viewing spot close up to the lava. I had to stay far back, high on a cliff, and used the 80-200mm telephoto to get nice and intimate with the lava. On this evening the lava was flowing so fast that there was a TON of steam everywhere. More steam than I would have liked. As we watched 2 new streams of lava broke through the tube and made their way down into the ocean (you can see them on the far right of the photo). Lava flows into the Pacific Ocean at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and slowly makes the Big Island even bigger. The glowing rocks, roiling waves and clouds of steam create one of nature’s most fascinating sights. You can’t visit Hawaii without seeing it. Photo by Aaron Meyers. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 1/28/16.

In May I traveled to the Big Island of Hawaii for a week long vacation and there were 2 things I was most looking forward to: scuba diving with the Manta Rays and seeing hot scalding lava. The trip delivered everything and more! A lot of back and forth decisions finally led my friends and I to sign up for an evening lava tour with Kalapani Cultural Tours.
The hike out to the lava wasn’t too bad — about 2 miles along mostly flat lava. Our guides LOVED to talk about the lava but unfortunately they couldn’t seem to do it while we walked. We spent so much time stopped ‘resting’ that our arrival time started getting dangerously close to the best light. At first we came upon the surface flow — where some of the lava had bubbled over and began to creep along the surface. After taking my picture 2 feet away from 2,000 degree lava I decided I wanted to go see the ocean flow.
The lava conditions change every day. A lava bench that was around yesterday may have fallen off and will be completely gone the next morning. When I arrived there was no safe viewing spot close up to the lava. I had to stay far back, high on a cliff, and used the 80-200mm telephoto to get nice and intimate with the lava. On this evening the lava was flowing so fast that there was a TON of steam everywhere. More steam than I would have liked. As we watched 2 new streams of lava broke through the tube and made their way down into the ocean (you can see them on the far right of the photo).
Lava flows into the Pacific Ocean at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and slowly makes the Big Island even bigger. The glowing rocks, roiling waves and clouds of steam create one of nature’s most fascinating sights. You can’t visit Hawaii without seeing it. Photo by Aaron Meyers. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 1/28/16.

More

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Earth Should Not Steam, Right?

Hawaii Is Growing

Posted February 3, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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At Long Last: Mrs M’s Handmade   Leave a comment

It became a joke.

We would be at an event, and Mrs M would be asked, “Do you have a website?”

The inevitable reply: “Yes, but it’s under construction right now. I may have to fire that webmaster if he doesn’t get it updated.”

I am, of course, the webmaster. And I was standing right there.

And that was the sorry state of Mrs M’s website for nearly 12 months. I have a few excuses, all very reasonable, of course:

  1. The software auto-updated and locked up.
  2. I ran out of gas.
  3. It was a dark and stormy night.
  4. My dog ate it.
  5. I was playing golf with a client.
  6. My allergies flared up.
  7. I had guests from out of town.
  8. My cat had to go to the vet.
  9. The flight got canceled.
  10. It’s a 24-hour thing. I hope.
  11. We had rolling power outages.
  12. I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies, Miss Grace.
  13. I’ve had the most awful time of it. What was your question?

But, GOOD NEWS. I finally got it together, didn’t go into the garage woodshop for a few days, and put together the new & improved Mr’s M’s Handmade website, powered by Shopify. It now has all of Mrs M’s products & current scents featured (which wasn’t possible on the old site: the proximate cause of the original problem).

Please, visit Mrs M’s site. If you happen to find a typo or experience a glitch, please let me know! You can sign up for Mrs M’s rarely-published newsletter, and we’ve even got a discount code for you: “FINALLY”, which is valid through Valentine’s Day. That discount is good for $10 off any order of $30 or more. Just click on the picture below, and enjoy!

Website, image 1

 

 

 

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