Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hey, What's That?

"Hey, What's That?" is a cool website that will show you a panorama skyline from anywhere in the world.

Take a look at one I did for the west end of the I-90 bridge. Mt Rainier is the most prominent feature (apart from Mt Baker Ridge in Seattle), but Mt Baker is visible to the north, Mt Index to the northeast, and Tiger Mountain just visible over Mercer Island to the east.

You can click on anywhere on the map, and it will highlight the direction on the panorama, and vice versa. Click on a red triangle over a peak on the panorama and it will show you which mountain it is on the map. Can you find Glacier Peak?

On the map, if you click "Visibility cloak" in the upper right, it will shade everything you can see from the viewpoint. Then you can zoom in on Mt Rainier or wherever and see which features you can actually view from Seattle.

You can also click on "New panorama" near the top of the page and create your own!

Fun fun fun.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy United Nations Day!

Down with the U.N.!

Down with the Club of Tyrants!

Down with the U.N.!

Down with the Club of Tyrants!

Happy United Nations Day!

Friday, October 23, 2009


At our house, it appears the official dahlia month is October. We have six or seven different varieties blooming right now -- even more flowers than our year-round roses!

And here's a photo:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Celebrate Our Defender!

Rock on, Rékaré. Rock on.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When I Lend a Camera. . .

Chunlin took a business trip last week (her first!) to a convention in Raleigh. I lent her my small camera.

Unfortunately, I forgot that I'd left the camera set to take a group of sixteen photos, back to back, as one photo.

These are two of the photos she took while confusion reigned.

What's Wrong with This Camera?

I can just imagine her asking, "What's wrong with this camera?"

This Is Not a Chair

She called me at about the same time she took this picture and I quickly realized the problem, but didn't remember where in the menu she could change the setting. Luckily Chunlin found the setting (at exactly the same time that I found the right page in the manual (after downloading it)) and correct the problem.

Nice photos, though!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Ríhíví Day!

Heal us, o wondrous Ríhíví! Heal us with Your hot springs! Heal us with Your motherly touch!

Thank you. I promise to be nice to cats!

6 - Granddad's Cat

8 - Cat Peer

5 - Granddad's Cat

6 - Cat's Paw

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Where's Chunlin?

41 - Headlee Chunlin Red Mtn

Do you see her?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nile Valley Slide

A good overall photo of the massive landslide in Yakima County. Many more good ones alongside it, too.

I wonder what 410 will look like when I next drive it. . .

Fine vs. Okay

When describing your well-being as "fine," it usually means exactly the same as a description of "okay."

On the other hand, when describing a woman as "okay," it most definitely does not mean the same thing as describing her as "fine."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Apocalypse 2012

If you want to make a prediction, choose something you'll still be around after, so you can gloat.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Farts in an Igloo

Yesterday we took a dayhike up to Headlee Pass along the Mountain Loop Highway, then stopped for dinner at a popular Mexican restaurant in Granite Falls, from which we took leftovers home. We put the leftovers in the trunk.

Once home, I opened the trunk to get the food, my backpack, boots, etc. and -- I think it was the combination of the cold air and the combined odors -- I was suddenly reminded of winter camping. . .

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Flickr Censorship

Apparently someone complained about at least one of my Fremont Solstice Parade photos, or the photos finally reached a popularity level so that Flickr noticed them.

Either way, this morning, Flickr informed me that they had marked all my photos as "restricted" without any precise reasoning:

Hello Sotosoroto,

We've changed the safety level of your photostream to "restricted".

As per [sic] our Community Guidelines, content like that in your account is not considered "safe" for everyone to view. You may or may not be aware that Flickr has a Safe Search system. When people browse or search on Flickr, they can filter what they see based on a safety level that they are comfortable with - either Safe Search is on, set to moderate, or off. In order for Safe Search to work, we relying on *you* to filter your content appropriately. As you upload stuff to Flickr, you need to make sure that you're applying appropriate filters (safe, moderate or restricted) and telling us what sort of content it is (photos, video, screenshots, art & illustration). If you don't apply filters correctly, there's a very good chance another member will let us know - in fact that's why we've taken action today. (No need to be upset - it's every member's right to let us know if they ever feel uncomfortable. Yours too.)

We want Flickr to be a place that everyone can enjoy. That means making sure that potentially offensive content is filtered from public, safe areas of the site. If you read our Community Guidelines, you'll see the key points are: play nice, upload things that you have created yourself, and respect the fact that there are millions of people visiting Flickr who may not see the world the same way you do. Use your common sense about whether or not your content is suitable for a global, public audience. If the answer is no, you need to filter it from public view.

You should also know that if we receive another report about your content or conduct, it's very likely we'll terminate your account.

So, please take a moment to find out how to work with safety levels, use 'em, and everybody's happy!

Flickr Staff

Since I could guess that they were talking about the nude photos from the Fremont parade, I sent them this query:
What can I do to change my overall level from restricted back to safe?

I have a few dozen photos of nude men and women, but those were taken during a parade on a city street with thousands of men, women, and children in attendence, so I left them as safe.

Flickr's reply (in part):
All sexualized/nude content in your photostream needs to be classified as "restricted".

To which I asked:
Why do non-sexualized nudes need to be "restricted"?
What's flickr's definition of "nude," by the way?

Flickr's replies:
The Flickr filters are set up so that Flickr users can choose whether they are comfortable with seeing nude content or not.
Nude/sexualized content = Female breasts, bare/thong bottom, see through topless nudity, nude body paint, pasties, Genitalia/pubic hair, etc...

To which I replied:
That should be made clear in the content guidelines. They're very vague with the whole "grandma" thing.

Out of curiosity: Is there a difference in flickr's policy between "artsy" nudes and snapshots?

FYI: Public nudity is legal in Seattle if it is not lewd, but I know other places have stricter regulations.
Hm. That's more restrictive than the legal definition in most cities. Perhaps that should be posted in flickr's guidelines, as well.

Flickr's response:
Feel free to write back after you have made the necessary changes to your photostream.

So I sent them one more question:
What about people who don't mind nudity but don't want to see the hard-core graphic sex photos that dominate the "restricted" setting (gynological closeups, cum shots, etc. etc.)? Isn't that what "moderate" is for?

Flickr's final reply:
Unfortunately, we do not have the staff resources to continue this back and forth dialog. You have been given the parameters on how to moderate your content within the Flickr Community Guidelines. Feel free to write back after you have made the necessary changes to your photostream.

It's too bad they don't have the staff resources to provide precise and clear directions in their guidelines! I'm sure that would save them a lot of questions like mine from other disgruntled (paying) users.

. . . Well, at least we finally know what the Flickr censors say is acceptable!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Multiple Highway Route Vectors

This is one of only two triple-numbered stretches of highway in Washington. This one's in Yakima. Where's the other?

3 - Yakima 82-12-97 Sign Ch

Whenever I see multiple directions on a highway sign like this, I try to calculate the resulting vector in my head. This one's almost due southeast (82+12 vs. 97). (The highway itself is running almost due south, though.)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Holy Night of Tarénara Tomorrow!

I know your calendar says today is the Holy Day of Tarénara, but the real celebration is tomorrow night, when the moon is full.

So you'd better get ready. Take your bow and arrow, go out into the woods, and dance the sacred Dance of the Hunt! Maybe you'll find a worthy stag to dance with. . . or perhaps even Tarénara's Golden Caribou doe, with antlers of gold and hooves of bronze!

Also, don't forget to take your mooncakes. Yummy, yummy mooncakes.

37-Benton City Yakima River Moon

21 - Othello Moon

14 - Full Moon

59 - Deer Roosevelt Lake

95 - Moon Clouds

96 - Tarénara

Can I have another mooncake, please?


I have discovered that I don't fully read emails that begin "IMPORTANT PLEASE READ."

I guess I just don't like being told what to do.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Flange Tip Thickness

What in the world is the difference between "full flange tip thickness" and "half flange tip thickness"? I'm guessing 50%, but 50% of what? What's a flange tip thickness??