Tag Archives: general

Evil Film Processor

While working through a project to scan a quarter century of 35mm film negatives, I found some that had annoying paper strips stuck to the side of the negative.  These seem to have been added to facilitate reprints.  Unfortunately, these make scanning the negatives difficult as the holders don’t expect anything stuck to the 35mm film negatives.  Removing them is a pain because while most pull of gently some leave a stick residue behind.  That’s not very good for continued storage of the negatives.

Reprint Guide Stuck to Film Negative
Reprint Guide Stuck to Film Negative

Begging Patterns

We have two pets:  Nick the cat and Tipper the dog.  They have distinctly different patterns when they beg for food, particularly when food is being prepared.

Nick runs into the kitchen, trilling or meowing loudly.  He paces about the kitchen, getting under foot.  He’s very much the outspoken, rushed, cranky customer in a restaurant.  He begs for everything … ham, chicken, fish, vegetables, fruit.  Nick reaches up and tries to snag treats from the counter.  Fortunately, he’s a little short to actually get his paws on the counter and grab food.  That doesn’t stop him from trying, though.  He thinks every can being opened is tuna.  He turns his nose up and acts extremely indignant when offered something from a can that isn’t tuna.

Tipper saunters into the kitchen.  She finds a place to sit where Nick isn’t likely to be and then watches.  Carefully.  She knows everything that is happening.  It is as if she’s the kitchen manager.  She only gets close to the action when she knows something she likes is about to enter the preparations because the likelihood of a tasty morsel being dropped has substantially increased.  You hardly know she’s there.

Fun stuff.

2009 Snow

The Portland, OR metro-area got its first significant snow fall of the year today (OK, yesterday by the time I’m actually writing this).  I had the pleasure of heading home while everyone else was trying to get home to beat the snow.  My commute was about double its usual duration.  Thankfully, it wasn’t the longest snow-related commute I’ve had.

Cornelius Pass was particularly bad in places.  I thought I’d share some photos I took while waiting patiently to make it around the difficult hair pin turn.

Cornelius Pass Hairpin Turn - #1
Cornelius Pass Hairpin Turn - #1

The red car that is about to pass me turned out to be interesting because just after I snapped the picture with my iPhone, the driver started to lose control of the car.  She wasn’t the only one; there were at least five other vehicles within sight that had lost control to one degree or another.  As the red car struggled to get up the hill and slid all over the place I noticed that the driver was spinning the steering wheel like crazy to regain control with one hand while holding and talking on her cell phone with the other.  Unfortunately, I didn’t notice it soon enough to snap another picture.  And I was able to resume moving down hill at then anyway, so I had to set my phone down.

But I didn’t move more than a couple of feet before I had to stop again for the two vehicles dancing up the hill.  That provided another opportunity for a picture.

Cornelius Pass Hairpin Turn - #2
Cornelius Pass Hairpin Turn - #2

This next picture is totally crazy.  It is the actual sharp part of the turn.  There are actually more vehicles than are apparent from the shot.  I never did figure out exactly what was going on here.  I just carefully picked my way down where I knew the road was.  I didn’t slide at all, which was more than I could say about the truck in front of me.  He proceeded to drive the rest of the way to Highway 30 at 5 mph or less.

Cornelius Pass Hairpin Turn - #3
Cornelius Pass Hairpin Turn - #3

Computer Backups

I’ve learned a painful lesson about computer backups.  In the last two days I’ve lost two hard disks.  One had two movie projects representing hundreds if not thousands of hours of work; the other contained college project work, personal pictures, and a large music collection.

Most, if not all, of the information on the first was also stored on a laptop.  The actual loss in this case shoudn’t be much.

The other failure is more problematic as little if any of the material was stored in other places.  My usual processes of placing a laptop disk in a USB enclosure failed.  Windows XP wouldn’t recognize the disk; Windows Vista helpfully offered to format it; Mac OS X showed that there was about 60 gig of data on it, but wouldn’t let me access it; and an Ubuntu live CD identified that the disk needed to be attached to a Windows system and run chkdks /f on the disk. It looks like a disk recovery service is the only option at this stage. The pricing of the services isn’t attractive considering they may not be able to get anything anyway.

So what have I learned?  Two things.  First, I’ve learned that I need to come up with an effective backup strategy for the computers that I’m responsible for outside of work. Right now that’s seven systems and two NAS devices. I’m a software developer and I really should know better.  I wouldn’t settle for not having a backup plan at work.  No crises and always being successful in previous disk failures at getting most, if not everything, from failed disks has bred complacency.

Second, I need to teach the kids to back up their important materials in multiple locations.  That’s probably the harder task.

First Post

Testing … testing … 1 … 2 … 3 …

Is this thing on? I don’t think this blog is actually on.

Where is the on switch?

Ok, not very interesting for a first blog post. But, hey, it is a first blog posting. There should be many more to follow. Hopefully we’ll cover a wide variety of topics.