Coastal life

I have a couple of good pictures of snails that I took 3 years ago (almost to the day) at Rye beach.

No photoshopping here, the small patch of focus is what the camera actually captured. Those floppy-disk mavicas are surprisingly able to focus on something only an inch from the lens.


So I’m making the leap to dvorak.

I tried it for about 20 minutes today for the first time ever. The first thing you notice is that keys are uncannily where your fingers are, and typing becomes more like playing a piano; you are typing on the home row of the keyboard for entire sentences.

It was also creepy how quickly you pick it up, and your brain doesn’t confuse it with the typing skills you already have. It feels like the first day you start learning a new language. It’s difficult to explain, but imagine that you are typing on a keyboard with 6 rows. You already are good at the top 3 rows (qwerty), and when you move to the bottom 3 rows (dvorak), your fingers know that they can’t reach the familiar keys from the unfamiliar ones. If you don’t know where a dvorak key is, the impulse is to stop typing instead of reaching for the qwerty location.

One last thing: you’ll notice how much more comfortable it is to type with dvorak in less than 5 minutes. In that amount of time, I realized that I no longer needed to hammer the keys to type quickly, since there is so much less reaching.

The hype is real, and you don’t need a special keyboard to take advantage of it; just change your keyboard settings and try an online tutorial. If you arent seriously impressed in 10 minutes, then you can be mad at me.

Electric flytrap lantern

Back in 2001, the house we were living in was plagued with moths. There was always a swarm of them around the porch light, and every time you opened the door a small flock would make their way inside the house. Annoying.

Fly zappers are great, but the smell of barbecued moths is terrible. So, I got working on a better solution.

Instead of zapping moths, this flytrap works like a big vacuum. To make it, I used an old kerosene lantern. The glass globe and wick holder have been removed.
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And I thought I had hairy legs

As I’d mentioned in a previous post, there was a really large spider I ran into (actually, it ran down the hall towards me) that made me want to give spiders their own section on this site. This one stood about a third of an inch tall which is a lot bigger when its running across your living room floor.

Lucky for me, I caught it while it was standing on a grid of 1 inch squares. Look at those jaws…

What’s your name, beautiful?

Last November I woke up with a stranger in my bed, and I hadn’t even been drinking.

I opened my eyes, turned my head on the pillow and there was this thing staring back at me. I must have rolled over on it in the recent past, because (as you can see) its back end is a little crooked.

So i did what anyone else would do, grabbed the camera and put the bug on a white background (a 3×5 index card). I have never seen one of these before or since, and I certainly can’t explain how this thing ended up on my pillow on a November morning.

In the works

I’m working on a new program that tells you want recipes you can prepare based on the food you currently have in your refrigerator. I’m calling it “Refigurator” — its a combination cookbook / inventory / shopping list creator.

I have the schema all laid out and several of the windows, one of which is completely finished. hopefully I’ll complete it before the end of the summer … but no promises. The Ideas are very simple, but all the user friendlyness is where the hours get spent.

Plus, I’m trying out some new approaches to a user help system. I’m pretty sure I can pull the whole thing off, but … this is my summer vacation.

Moon and stars mirror

I took the glass out of a mirror that had a moon shaped frame, and painted it flat black. (i used blackboard paint for this, since i had some lying around). Then I scratched away the paint to make little dots, and glued the glass back into the frame.

Check out the result.