Sunday, June 11, 2017

Madeline Island/Island Party photo dump

Every year there is a party, some years I show up, it gets rid of my stress for a weekend and allows me to hit the great big reset button on the year.

I took photos.

 On the first night there was a crappy hammock left on the ground in my campsite.  I attempted to hang it and when I tried to sit in it all of the strings broke.

It became head-scarves.
 My neighbors...
 The moon.
 The creek coming out of the lagoon.
Moon and reflections.
 Loons and reflections.
 Loon and reflections.
 I think at this point the loons were wondering about the loon on the beach running back and forth trying to set up his camera.
 Geese!  Your it!
 Centered geese.
 More moon
 Geese, by daylight.
 Lagoon by fog.
 Geese, by shore.
 Sailboat in the bay.
 The view from the ferry dock when I biked into town.
 The bike on the side of the road.  I had stopped so I could try to get a picture of a raptor that was circling overhead, but by the time I got the camera out it was gone.  It may have been a Cooper's hawk.
 Geese, by moonlight.
 More geese.
 Thunderhead building.
Driftwood building.
Big bay.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

It is a thunderstorm night

I love thunder, I love lightning.

I love the sound, I love the sights.

Tonight there are thunderstorms in the vicinity, and it looks like they are going to run right over us!

I am going to sleep in the observatory because the combination of thin walls, and the big south facing window means it should be loud and bright!

I am going to sleep like a baby!

I will write a report later.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Windows 10 is Hell

Back in January we were forced, against our will, to upgrade our computers at work.  Ok I admit, we were still running Windows XP, but XP was stable.  The computer was not exceptionally fast, but considering that I did most of my work over the network, and the rest was stupid excel spreadsheets it was fine.

Everything worked.

The there was a big update to the exchange server.

This broke our version of outlook and we could no longer connect to the exchange server to get our work email.

This happened during the Christmas season (busiest time of year).

We could not upgrade the outlook on our machines to a version that would support the new version of exchange so we had to upgrade our computers.

I very, very, specifically specified that I do not want Windows 10.

The IT people (I am still mad at them) tried to explain that Windows 10 was very robust and rarely has any problems.  I am not sure how they could do that with a straight face.

In the previous several years the problems I would have to address were the occasional printer snafu, where we get a new printer and things would not percolate completely through the system.  Or someone would lose a file.  Or the cleaners would hit the network cable a physically rip the jet-direct card out of the back of the printer.

Minor stuff.

Now we have Windows 10.

Day one:  Nothing works.

The email is still broken, it would take the IT consultant a week and a half to get the email to work (the entire reason we had to get the computers).

The remote desktop to do our bookkeeping work online works once, and then locks up, never to function again.

Printing failed, the network got hosed, and disk access is constantly at 100% as the computer tries to decide what it wants to upgrade next.

I find this untenable, I cannot stand pop-ups.  I cannot stand Cortana, I cannot stand Edge Browser.

I find the command line through powershell to remove everything I can, and then move the rest that I cannot disable to a disabled programs folder so that it no longer pesters me.

The next windows update and a bunch of it comes back.

I remove it again.

The creator update comes in and even more garbage is installed.  I am not even sure what purpose half of it is supposed to serve, and from my searches on Google the rest of the internet is stumped as well.

I remove Cortana, the X-Box crap, The Projections stuff, the 3D drawing garbage...

My start menu dies.

I install a new start menu (Classic Shell is the BOMB!)

I spend a bit of time on the forums asking why they dropped this steaming pile on us.

Apparently either your are a TRUE BELIEVER in the Power of Microsoft or you are a HERETIC and must be BURNED IN THE FIRES OF HELL.

But lets be honest here, we have Windows 10 PRO at work.  Because it is a computer for the purpose of doing work.  It is in a work network, handling customer data.

What part of "I don't want Microsoft send back and forth search metrics, file data, sharing update files through my internet connection, paying attention to what proprietary information I am searching for, or having any access to the files on my computer, especially considering I do the development of things before they get trademarked....  DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

This is a work computer.

I do not need X-box support.  I do not need a search feature that connects to the internet.  Quite frankly I do not have a microphone, camera, or speakers, so Cortana is useless anyway.

When I play with graphics I cannot use paint, the results are ugly and look like what a kindergarten student could do.  I use Creative Suite, I use Photoshop.  For some things I use InDesign.

I do not use OneNote.  I do not use the Cloud for storage.  I do not use Windows Defender (it is actually rather insecure).  I use PDF I do not want, need, or even tolerate XPS printing.  I still have to struggle with the inability to turn off collating of print jobs (it does not function with my printer, never has, never will).

But no, we all have to be the same.  We all have to join with Microsoft in its "no computer left behind" mentality.

There is a reason I do not have a single computer running 8 or 10 at home, despite having somewhere between 8 and 10 computers running.

Truly, what the fuck were you thinking?  Maybe you can find the answer on Bing.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ok, it is time for the blog to get a good cleansing.

I am going to take out some of the edgier stuff, I may find a new home for those later.  I did recently go domain name shopping...

Any thoughts?

Oh, on another subject, I am only cleaning out some of my miscellaneous stuff, the other writers who have contributed are safe.

Mooned you...

It was just a sliver moon in the campground that night.  I shot it hand held.

 Getting a handheld shot of any astronomical object without auto focus, image stabilization, or any of that fun stuff is a challenge.

 Now, do it after three beers...

Anyway, here is the campground, and the moon showing the spot I was shooting the moon through.

Copper Harbor Sunset - Amazing!

After taking a bunch of pictures of the lake I decided that the sun was going to be getting pretty close to the horizon so I decided to pack up two lenses and my camera and wander down to the lake to shoot a couple of more shots.  Living in Duluth the sunset is always hidden behind the hill and we never get to see the sun go all the way down to the horizon.  I was rewarded handsomely for my efforts!  Check it out!

I swapped back and forth between the Cannon Ef-s 10-18mm Lens and the Sigma Manual focus FD 70-200mm F2.8 Lens.  I have not done any editing other than putting the watermarks on!

 Copper Harbor Lighthouse.

 Looking West along the beach.

 I built a cairn, I do that kind of thing...

 I was not the only person setting up to watch the sunset!

 Another view of the light before the show began.

 Getting lower.

 Starting to hide behind the clouds.


 And now behind the clouds!

 Going down right behind the clouds caused the sun to throw up some interesting refraction and shadows.

 The show continued for a while.

 I had to zoom out so I could get all of it!

 It was a hell of a sunset!

 The lighthouse was getting darker now.

 But the show continued!

 Then the rest of the sky started to light up!

 And just kept getting more impressive!

 The water decided it wanted to jump in the game as well.

 Shadows, light, reflections...

 And a closing shot of the lighthouse.