Butterfly Cliché

Every picture I’ve ever seen of this type of butterfly matches this picture I took when I went to the Everglades last March.

A little motion blur in the wings as it slurped up the flower, but I like it. I’ll post more Florida pictures soon.

Window Shelf

Here’s a wooden shelf that I threw together to get more space on my office windowsill. Nothing amazing (yeah, that will entice you to look).

This was a 6’x8″ pine board that I cut into 2 2′ and 2 1′ pieces (to make a small and a large shelf). the design is meant to use the wall for stability and rest on the narrow ledge. I had some scrap pieces that I cut into the triangular reinforcements.

Its nothing fancy, but I did countersink the screws.

More Dvorak Progress

So I had my most interesting day of progress today. 2 days ago, my speed record (in dvorak) was, and still is, 143 cpm. I was unable to beat that record, but I learned some interesting things about the way my brain works.

I was having a terrible time for most of the morning with accuracy, which was really frustrating. I kept trying to keep my speed up, and even did a few typing exercises to help. Of course, it didn’t.

So i switched gears later in the day and concentrated on accuracy alone… even slower. But after an hour, I was much closer to my old speed. So I went back to the typing tutor to peek at my cpm (stamina typing tutor). Thats when I noticed that both my speed and accuracy depended on how far ahead on the line my eyes were looking. If I looked at the letter as I typed it, my speed went down. If I looked between 1 and 2 characters ahead, speed and accuracy peaked. But when I looked further ahead, my accuracy crumbled.

Compare this to typing my own thoughts. It sounds a little weird, but mentally I do the same thing… forming the words a certain “distance” in front of my fingers.

So what did i learn? Progress happens not by concentrating on speed or accuracy but instead by finding the mental read-ahead that matches your fingers (no matter what the speed) and staying in it. By the end of the day I hadn’t beaten my record, but I was able to keep a decent speed without thinking about my hands.

Stay in the groove, the speed will come.

Spindly Web Spider

Although I do love taking pictures of spiders, I must admit that the ones that spin webs really creep me out. Maybe its because I don’t like getting the silk stuck to me, or maybe its their ability to just drop from the ceiling (sleep tight).
Continue reading

Spider Lunch

Here’s a story in pictures of a tiny little spider eating a (relatively) large green bug — pretty amazing, considering that this spider doesn’t spin a web.

By the time I saw the spider, it had already captured the fly and was dragging it up the side of my house. I can only guess that the spider got its meal by jumping onto the fly and biting it. Daring!
Continue reading

Slugs After the Rain

After the rain we had, a whole bunch of slugs slimed their way up the plywood ramp to my shed.

I couldnt really get a picture that captured how many slugs there were… around 20 of them on a 2’x5′ piece of plywood. But, i think this shot came out pretty nice
Continue reading

Damselfly Wings

Damselflies are commonly confused with dragonflies.

A damselfly folds its wings up over its abdomen, but a dragonfly can’t (it has to hold them out sideways). Also, you’ll notice that the eyes of this damselfly are separated, while the dragonfly’s eyes touch in the center.

Dragonfly Wings

I snapped this picture just short of 3 years ago, with my old floppy disk Mavica. Those had remarkably good focus for closeups, much better than my current camera. I’m seriously considering buying the proper macro lens for my current camera as I go through my photo album and realize what I’ve been missing.

Those wings are absolutely transparent. I have a few more pictures from that day’s roll that I’ll post in the coming days.

3 Day Weekend

Well its been an amazing couple of days.

Friday night: Pizza and martinis with some good friends, back to the house for some drinks and a movie.

Saturday: Fixed the wiring on the door of my wife’s car, and did some work on my exhaust line. Then went to goodwill, the burrito place, home depot, and a housewarming party at my wife’s boss’s new house. We gave him a bowl of cacti, then ate some steamers and mussels, drank some good beer (rogue dead guy and negro modelo), had some birthday cake, and just generally had a good time (good crowd!).

Sunday: Said goodbye to some friends who were leaving the area for Vermont. Then went to a co-worker’s barbecue; played frisbee golf, volleyball, ate some good food, got our asses kicked at horseshoes (21-5, but i got a ringer) .

Today: Ate waffles for breakfast, watched the blue man group DVD, had ice cream for lunch with family, flew kites on a hill together, hit the burrito place again (and saw some old friends there), took the food to my brother in law’s girlfriend’s house, swam in their pool (did hawaiian suicides, played jump or dive), saw fireworks in 2 towns, took a shower.

My feet hurt.