Archives For October 2014

Link: Which Service Providers Side With Users in IP Disputes?

Look at the entry for WordPress (second from the bottom). I don’t go around trying to violate copyright, but there are too many examples of how the system is abused by so-called rights holders to not only protect their content, but to silence criticism as well as just be general dicks for removing content without cause.

If you don’t support the Electronic Frontier Foundation, you should.

the orlando eye

October 27, 2014

orlando eye (sore)Orlando is a place of big and small entertainment. Disney and Universal sell entertainment wholesale, spending a considerable fortune to create and maintain entertainment for millions upon millions of visitors to its parks. Some are a little less grandiose, such as Sea World. And others just try to carve out a little bit entertainment, such as the up-and-coming The Orlando Eye.

I have no idea if The Orlando Eye is a part of the group that owns The London Eye. At the very least it appears to be using the same logo (see the sign) that The London Eye uses. But I do know that if that’s as big as it’s going to be built, then The Orlando Eye is nowhere as large as The London Eye.

The construction of The Orlando Eye is interesting, particularly the base. It’s short and stout, and the wheel appears more heavily reinforced. That’s an important design feature considering Orlando is right in the middle of hurricane country. I wonder how the real London Eye would stand up to a category 4 or 5 hurricane.

The Orlando Eye is sitting on the abandoned land that the old Mercato used to sit on. The whole area has now been completely re-developed. I’ll have more about the area in the future.

dragon fruit from guatemalaWe have two Whole Foods stores in Orlando that I know of. One is near International Drive on Sand Lake right near I-4 (near where I live), while the other is up somewhere in Winter Park. It’s been a good while since I shopped at the store on Sand Lake.

This weekend, while running errands with my wife, we stopped by the store to pick up popping corn and quinoa. I cook quinoa in our rice cooker, setting it as if it were white rice. Basically I wash it, then put it in the pot with liquid, add some vegetables (like carrots, onions, and bell peppers) in the upper basket to steam, set it, and in 45 minutes the quinoa is cooked and the vegetables or nicely steamed. It makes for a center part of great meal.

The liquid in the pot can be water, but lately I’ve been using half water, half cheap wine (Publix has been having buy-one-get-one-free specials on cheap wines), and sprinkling roast ground garlic on top of the liquid as well to give it a bit more flavor.

Anyway, while there I came across these dragon fruit from Guatemala. I have no idea how they taste, let alone how to prepare them, but there sure were interesting to photograph. Once again I used my brand new Olympus E-M10 and the not-quite-so-new 1.8/17mm. A little post processing in Lightroom and Nik Software’s Analog Efex Pro 2 and here we are. A bit saturated (well a lot actually) and mere fruit becomes a work of art. Well, that’s what I think anyway… I’m having way too much fun with the E-M10 and the 17mm.

cleaning out, letting go

October 26, 2014

old chair, old memoriesMy wife and I have been cleaning out the house now at a rather rapid clip. We reached a point, after literally years and years of looking at an overcrowded house, to start cleaning everything out. This was last weekend’s efforts.

That stuffed chair was something we’d had for over 20 years, a piece from her mother (long since passed away) that had been re-covered more than once. It wound up sitting back in the rear room of our house. I have no idea what happened to the seat cushion, but the chair gradually filled full of stuff, some of it in the trash bags sitting next to the chair. Before we got cat trees the cats had turned the top into their personal scratching area. The rest of those bags are full of things that were so old we couldn’t use them and couldn’t give them away in good conscious.

What’s not in this photo are the five very large bags of clothing that went to the Salvation Army facility on West Colonial.

What’s also not shown are the cardboard boxes holding books that the girls read as middle schoolers. Those filled the back of my wife’s black Prius and were driven up today to my oldest daughter for her to disburse to the Friends of the Library up in Gainesville.

I wanted this photo to act as a point in time, and to act as a personal motivation to get the rest of the house cleaned up. Next year marks the 30th year we’ve been living in that house, and I want 2015 to be the Year of the Great House Renewal. We’re not hoarders, but we’ve got stuff that spans the full 30 years (and even earlier when we were dating, and then before that when we were just regular singles). And it’s time to let it all go. We need to fix the place up, either to retire to, or else to sell it and find another place to retire to. Whichever way it turns we need to get the place fixed up.

And, of course, the cats were effected by all the cleaning and moving of stuff around. The labs were all cool, but the cats were very curious and liked having new pathways open up in the back room. Ellipse (below) wanted to observe in a convenient hidden spot. Lulu didn’t care. She was in her fish sitting in the other stuffed chair (which we’ll keep for a while longer) as things were moved out of the house.


curiosityWe’re on a solid roll now. We’ve broken through the barrier that’s basically kept everything in the house because the question was always coming up “what if the girls want this stuff?” We’re now aggressively asking the girls about all of this, and handling it accordingly. A lot of it needs to go to, either out as trash or out to folks who can use this stuff.

It feels good. The house is opening up, and so are we.

the one that got away

October 26, 2014

peaking outFor a brief period (about two weeks) I was in possession of a Panasonic GX7. A black body only that I’d picked up on sale from Amazon. It turned out for a number of reasons not to be a good purchase, and I returned it.

But not because of image quality. The three images in this post are from that camera. They were taken with the GX7 and my Olympus 1.8/17mm. And from what little I was able to get, these three and others, the GX7’s image quality was just shy of incredible. I wish the GX7’s handling was better than it was, but it was so bad for me that I returned the camera. My review of the camera is here:


I’m not normally in a regretful mood, but right now, I truly wish I could have kept the GX7. I purchased the Olympus E-M10 in its place, and at the time, for about $50 less than the GX7 on sale. I’m pulling together a small collection for a review of the E-M10 and the 1.8/17mm on Thew’s Reviews. The E-M10 is an excellent camera and I’m glad I have it, but there are the moments when I wish I could have kept the GX7.

old rubber duckThis little guy belonged to my girls when they were babies. They’re in their mid-to-late twenties now. I’ve given up a lot, but I refuse to give this little guy up because of the memories.