Shallow Thoughts : : Jun

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Tue, 27 Jun 2023

Tyuyoni Overlook in June

[View from Tyuyoni Overlook in Bandelier] It's been hot this week, but most of the spring was lovely. We went for a quick hike to Tyuyoni Overlook a week ago. There was a virtuoso mockingbird singing his heart out near the amphitheatre. Mockingbirds aren't at all common here, so in case it might be a thrasher or something else, I fired up Merlin on my phone. Merlin agreed with my ID of the mockingbird; but I left it running for a few minutes, during which it identified lots of other birds (the mockingbird was the only one singing): Woodhouse's scrub jay, piñon jay, mountain bluebird, chipping sparrow, Cassin's kingbird, and ... Virginia rail! Fun.

I sure hope he sticks around and finds a mate. Global warming is scary, but if it brings mockingbirds here, that would at least be a small up side.

Here's the view from the overlook, looking down into Frijoles canyon toward the ancestral puebloan ruins called Tyuyoni. Visible on the left is the Frey trail ascending up the mesa to join with the Tyuyoni Overlook trail. Tip: now that the shuttle buses are running again, a great hike is to take the shuttle to the Visitor's Center, hike up the Frey trail and catch the shuttle from there back to White Rock. Or, if you prefer to go downhill, you can do it in the other direction. Great views, either way.

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[ 19:27 Jun 27, 2023    More nature | permalink to this entry | ]

Thu, 22 Jun 2023

A Tricky Website Bug After Upgrading

Someone contacted me because my Galilean Moons of Jupiter page stopped working.

We've been upgrading the web server to the latest Debian, Bookworm (we were actually two revs back, on Buster, rather than on Bullseye, due to excessive laziness) and there have been several glitches that I had to fix, particularly with the apache2 configuration. But Galilean? That's just a bunch of JavaScript, no server-side involvement like Flask or PHP or CGI.

Read more ...

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[ 13:53 Jun 22, 2023    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Sun, 18 Jun 2023

Like, Literally, Dude!

At our last Toastmasters meeting, I delivered a book report on a recent read that I loved: Like, Literally, Dude: Arguing for the Good in Bad English by Valerie Fridland.

In case you're not familiar with Toastmasters, it's an international club for learning and practicing public speaking. One of the skills Toastmasters stresses is avoiding what we call "filler words", particularly ums and ahs. Every Toastmasters meeting has someone assigned to the role of "Ah Counter", to pay attention to each speaker's filler words and report at the end of the meeting on how everyone did. That factors in to the book review, which went like this:

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[ 19:16 Jun 18, 2023    More speaking | permalink to this entry | ]

Tue, 13 Jun 2023

Would You Want a T-Rex as a Handyman?

[Trex1 Handyman Services] I saw this truck at Home Depot in Santa Fe.

I have to wonder: would you want a T-Rex as a handyman?

I mean, aside from wanting to eat you, it doesn't seem like it would be very "handy" with those little arms that can't reach anywhere.

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[ 16:18 Jun 13, 2023    More humor | permalink to this entry | ]

Fri, 09 Jun 2023

Painting the Water Tower

[Preparations for Painting the Water Tower] I saw a notice in the paper that they're planning to paint the Barranca school water tower, something it has badly needed for some years. It made me wonder, though, how they did that.

Today I happened to be in the neighborhood and saw the preparations. It's quite an elaborate rig, with a crown of long poles from which hang separate lines that go all the way to the ground. Do the painters rappel down the lines and paint while hanging? What do they do once they get below the "golf ball" and need to paint the ball's underside or the stem?

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[ 18:39 Jun 09, 2023    More misc | permalink to this entry | ]

Sat, 03 Jun 2023

A Questioning Attitude is Cultivated

[Don't Dart. Cross Smart. A Questioning Attitude is Cultivated.] At the bottom of the truck route (the main highway going up to LANL), the lab keeps a sign, usually advertising things like Motorcycle Awareness Month or Work Safety Month. I think they change it more or less monthly.

A few days ago, this curious sign appeared.

Don't Dart.
Cross Smart.
A Questioning Attitude
is Cultivated.

It includes a logo of the Institutional Worker Environment Safely and Security Team, or IWESST.

I have no idea what they're trying to get across with this sign. If you want to cross this 55mph highway, don't dart across it because it's smarter to saunter slowly? And what does darting, or crossing, have to do with a questioning attitude?

Or does this relate to some deep secret known only to LANL badgeholders, so if I figure it out they'll have to kill me?

Well, I guess they've succeeded in one respect: they have me questioning the sign.

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[ 17:58 Jun 03, 2023    More humor | permalink to this entry | ]