February 2011 Archives
Three evergreens, heavy with fresh snow from Sunday's blizzard.
The spiral staircase in the new Science building on the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus.
Today we got another big blizzard - hundreds of flights were canceled. It started around 10 AM and lasted through the evening, although the weather alert is in effect until noon tomorrow (and the U classed are canceled for the morning as well). Around 4 PM I braved the elements to get some tea refills from Tea Source and on the way back I stopped in the Long Lake Regional Park to take a few pictures. It was deserted, save for a car full of silly teenagers zooming about. It wasn't too cold, but the wind was blowing fairly hard. It was hard to see anything and the more interesting views require leaving the car and going on the trails - which I wasn't ready to do by myself. This is the best picture that I've got. I like the fact that is looks like it was converted to black and white or sepia, even though it is straight out of the camera.
Last week, on the exotic fruits shelf at the grocery store, near the passion fruit and ugli fruits, there were some "Seville Oranges". I got a couple, hoping to experience some new flavor or aroma, but they were sour - much more sour than lemons! In fact, since we were out of lemons we used it to season some salmon wraps last night. We forgot the rest on the counter - and this morning it dried out superficially and in a certain light it looked like a cut of a gemstone. Unfortunately I was too close and even an aperture of f/9 didn't get the whole piece in focus.
Warm Afternoon at Last!
We had a gorgeous day and afternoon - we got up to 42 ° F for the first time this year. Took the opportunity for a walk around the park, but in late afternoon some clouds were moving in.
Winter is slowly going away
I'm not sure if it is a meteorological illusion, but winter seems to be slipping away. Yesterday morning I went to work at 0 ° F and came back at 31 ° F. It's about time...
As the newscaster said yesterday morning on NPR, this week's forecast for the Twin Cities contains few 'B's and many 'r's . -10 ° F in the morning. Ugh... but on the flip side, those temperatures form nice ice crystals on the windows. Here is a formation that looks like the British Isles:
I don't have a softbox yet, but being a cloudy winter morning I thought that by the window the light should be OK. I'm not really happy with the result, but we can learn from negative results as well 8^) This picture would have worked better would I have taken it outside, as opposed to the window sill, because the plane of the watch face needed to be both towards the exterior (so it gets lit) and towards the lens (so it can get pictured).
Luminary Loppet 2011
Last night we went to Luminary Loppet 2011. It was a pleasant 30 ° F and without any wind.
Board of Education (BOE) Bot
Today at the office we held the '1st annual mini-golf' tournament. We split on teams and built a mini-golf course from office supplies and whatever else we could think of. My hole was made out of a pin board acting as an inclined plane with walls on three sides made out of large binders. The objective was to climb the ramp and exit through the corners, but what made this particularly difficult was that the hole was 'defended' by a little BOE-Bot which I programmed to randomly move back and forth. Due to a defect in the way the microcontroller cuts power to the servos, one of the servos get another impulse at the end, which causes it to rotate slightly. The colleagues had a really hard time aligning their shot, and trying to predict where the bot will move next. The office shots weren't that interesting, so I decided to take a glamor shot of the brave defender of the 3rd hole:
Once started, you have to keep on marching. I liked the texture of the seed, but I shot this hand held on the counter, so I had to open wide thus most of the avocado is 'soft'.
Oncidiums - "Hilo Star"
At the Winter Orchid show, we purchased one Oncidium orchid from Orchids Limited . Last year we visited their hothouse and they have a wonderful variety - if you live in the Twin Cities, you have to visit them.