This Really Is It This Time

The domain registration for this site runs out in 3 or 4 days, and I’m not going to renew it.

The only people who read this are Chris and I, and we can do this in other ways. I”ll be sad to see this go, but it’s just a waste of money at this point, serving no purpose at all.

Cliche would be to say that it had a good run. It had a run, and I liked it. But it is time to move on.

So long, people.

Falling Water

I didn’t have a tripod so I took a number of these. I braced against a tree and squeeeeezed the shutter. It’s like firing a rifle.

So it is once again time to pony up the dough for hosting this space, and I really can’t see the point any more.


Irritating IT Department Behavior, Installment #9086

Actually, I don’t know how many installments there have been.

Look, just because you start calling your regular meeting a ‘Scrum’ and your usual long delivery cycles ‘Sprints’ and the vague or nonexistant requirements documents ‘Stories’, that doesn’t make you Agile.

Next fad, please.

I Hate Oracle

There are a number of reasons that I hate Oracle, but the number 1 reason is that Oracle on Windows is gloriously inconsistent in the way it handles strings handed to various utilities.

Some things require that the string be undelimited.

Some things require that the string be marked with single quotes.

Some things require that the string be delimited with double quotes.

I have never found any pattern to this, nor any consistency to the error messages that are thrown, or, more frustratingly, not thrown.

Over The Top

The vast bowl of the heavens. Colour boosted into typical web ‘wow-nice shot!’ territory.


I was a bit foolish last weekend. I rented the 16-35 mm again without thinking that I had an absolute ton of things to do. I did not make good use of rental money in this case. But I did shoot this, which has been fooled with a bit in Lightroom but nothing extensive.

This sort of image appeals – it is bright and contrasty and it pops. It’s over the top. But it’s not my style, really – I went through that phase and I have returned.

I have a very busy weekend coming up, and then I have not much firm planned for the rest of the summer. I hope to relax a bit and spend more time on my photography. I have been a dedicated photographer since 1987, when I inherited my first half-decent camera.

Science And Nature

After we’d done Science (a tour of Canada’s national nuclear physics laboratory, and talk by a prominent experimental physicist on what finding the Higgs boson actually means) we walked down to the Nitobe Memorial Garden, considered to be one of the best examples of a traditional Japanese garden outside Japan.

The children are all too young to appreciate it, but Chris and I sure did. It is a place I will return.

I’ve never liked crowds or being around many people. The older I get, the stronger this tendency is, and while I enjoyed the cyclotron and the talk and the lunch in the Student Union Building, I didn’t want to leave this tranquil place.

Last Saturday

Every year we go to the UBC Alumni weekend.

UBC is Chris’ alma mater, as it was that of her father and her grandmother. It’s a big campus, serving something like 30,000 students.

It houses Triumf, one of the world’s largest cyclotrons. It’s old now, built in 1972, but still useful. It is used in ongoing research in various areas, most of which I didn’t understand, but which include medical isotopes, high energy astrophysics, and materials science.

The main cyclotron uses permanent magnets that weigh a total of 4000 tons.

In these two photos, we are standing on the shielding atop the cyclotron – it is perhaps 40, 50 feet below us, separated from our location by building and about 12 feet of movable concrete block shielding.

The physicist leading our tour assured us that the magnetic field was not strong enough to affect credit card strips, but it was still pretty strong.

That’s a paper clip standing up on end. It was hard to get them to stay on the table. It had a slight tilt and they’d spin, almost frictionless, off the end. I managed to get that one steady enough to stay for a photo.

This is one on Chris’ hand.

Because they were standing on end, it was hard to get them to stay anywhere, as they had a strong tendency to spin along even gentle slopes.

I will attempt to post some more photos – it was fascinating to see actual science in action. It’s not nice and clean like you see in the movies – TRIUMF has huge overhead cranes to move massive concrete blocks, and a 4000-lb attachment that hooks the lifting power of two overhead cranes together when 1 53 ton crane just isn’t enough. There is equipment all over the place, everywhere, computers and engineering tools and mysterious shiny objects.

I wonder who vacuums the place? Most of it wasn’t too dusty.