Archive for September, 2009

Saturday, September 11, 1999

September 11, 2009 By: erik Category: Denmark, Nostalgia, Photos

I bet that, while most people remember details of the day they met their future spouse, most don’t remember the actual date. The only reason that I remember the date is that I was keeping a journal of my time in Denmark at the time. Each week I emailed my journal for the week in MS Word format to my father, who published it on the internet. It really was a web journal, or a web log, or a blog…in 1999! I still have the entire document for my trip. I’ve been considering replaying it, day by day in a modern blog, a task I really should have done this year, being exactly ten years later, but perhaps I will do it next year starting in June. Below is my entry for September 11, 1999.

Photo Booth turned me into Quentin Tarantino

September 10, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, Photos, Weird

Quentin?Doing some hard drive housekeeping today, I was going through my pictures folder and found some old photos from over a year ago when I was first playing with the built-in effects in the Photo Booth application that comes with Mac OS X. Most of them are goofy, including these, but I was reminded a lot of Quentin Tarantino. Which do you think looks most like Mr. Tarantino?

Two Milestones

September 10, 2009 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Scary

Today we had two important firsts in Nora’s life. One good and one bad. Let’s look at them in the order that they occurred.

Nora’s been putting anything and everything she can into her mouth lately. When she grabs your hand or, if you get close enough, your nose, she’s going to close her fingers around it and pull it towards her mouth. Several times I’ve been holding her and thinking about something else and found that she was biting down with her firm gums on my finger…hard! We’ve been monitoring several white teeth just under the surface of her gums for over a month now.

Sitting Up and Falling Down

September 10, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, News, Offspring, Photos, Videos

Open Mouth (video frame)First of all, I apologize, dear reader, for going five entire posts without giving any new information, photos, or videos about Nora. She’s doing just fine. A couple weeks ago, however, she experienced her first disease. Well, an infection; that qualifies as a disease, right? She started getting little white spots on her tongue and lips. This happened to coincide with her five-month vaccination visit to the doctor. The pediatrician took one look at her and said, “Yep, it’s a fungus.” The doctor told us that it could be caused by poor sterilization of the bottle nipple or too much sterilization of the bottle nipple. Huh? Call me a scientist, but I personally suspect that it’s related to the fact that she puts anything and everything she can get her little hands on into her mouth. After seeing all the crap she’s put in there, the pomp and circumstance of bottle sterilization seems a little ridiculous. Within only two days of applying an oral fungicide, it cleared right up. There was much rejoicing.

XML Renderer in Clojure

September 08, 2009 By: erik Category: Geeky, Programming, Reviews

clojure logoI’ve spent the past few days playing around with Clojure. Clojure is an implementation of Lisp, the most powerful programming language, that compiles to byte code that runs on the Java Virtual Machine. I won’t go into just how awesome that is, but there are many technical reasons why this platform decision is equivalent to standing on the shoulders of giants.

Clojure comes with a built-in library for parsing XML files into Clojure data structures, but, for the life of me, I could absolutely not find any implementations that went the other way, to render XML from the Clojure structure that the default parser creates. So I wrote one…in 25 lines of code.

Your own handwriting as a font!

September 08, 2009 By: erik Category: Geeky, Stuff I Found, Weird

Blog post thumbnailThis is one of the cooler internet services I’ve seen in a while. Check out and turn your own handwriting into a font you can use on your computer. It’s been a long, long time since I have written anything longer than a shopping list by hand. Those muscles are completely atrophied. This handwriting font trick isn’t much more than a gimmick, I don’t think, but it’s fun to do if you have a printer, a scanner, a pen, and five minutes.

Zombie Eighties Party

September 08, 2009 By: erik Category: Colindres, Stuff I Found, Weird

On Sunday, my wife, daughter, and I took a leisurely walk up to Colindres de Arriba. At one point the street is lined with a tall concrete wall. As we walked by the open gate, we glanced in for the second it took us to pass the gate. Several steps later, our brains had processed what we’d seen: a group of young people with HUGE ash-colored eighties hair, each wearing zombie make-up, just sort of milling around, as young people at parties and zombies tend to do. The music that was playing? What else? Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

More Extremadura Sunsets

September 07, 2009 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Geeky, Photography, Photos, Spain

SunsetDuring our evening walks in the Extremadura summer heat, I enjoyed taking my camera along and capturing the beauty of the sunsets across the huge horizon-to-horizon sky. Here are a few pictures that didn’t make the cut for my previous HDR post.

One of the cool thing about taking an entire fortnight of vacation and spending much of it outside in the evenings for an astronomy enthusiast is that you get to see one complete half of the moon cycle, from new moon to full moon.

Extremadura Sunsets (HDR)

September 07, 2009 By: erik Category: Experiments, Extremadura, Photography, Photos, Photoshop, Spain

Extremadura Sunset (HDR)The point of high dynamic range (HDR) imaging is to, via post-processing, more accurately capture the wide range of colors and tones that the human eye sees as it saccades around the scene. Current camera photon sensing technology is just not as good as the human eye at capturing a wide range of light levels. The typical procedure involves taking three or more photographs of the same subject, with minimal camera movement, at various exposure levels, e.g. one where the shadows are underexposed, one where the highlights are overexposed, and another middle range. Then, using a computer program, the images are aligned and the detail from the shadows in one exposure is combined with the details of the highlights of another exposure, thus giving you detail across a wide range of light levels.

Monkey Alarm

September 06, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Parenting

Miss Monkey BusinessWe continue to refer to our daughter affectionately as “the monkey”. The reason being that, until she learns how to walk or talk, caring for her isn’t all that dissimilar to caring for any young primate who has learned to user her opposable thumb to grab and tug on everything in sight.