Archive for September, 2006


Intently walking

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Spider, about an inch long (including legs). Staying very still for this 1 second exposure

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Fog on the water

Blue and white

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The bar here is out numbered 4:1 by coffee shops.

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Boy in the shadows

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Dark Skies

Looking up into a dark sky, 28mm lens

I just love it that the skies out here are dark enough to see the stars. There are enough of them that I find it hard to pick out the constellations, since I’ve lived in light pollution for most of my life.

Looking back at the house, with a keychain flashlight filling in just a bit

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Useless Bay Coffee Company

There’s a new (ish) coffee shop in town, and oh, am I glad they arrived. Their store was under construction for a while as we moved in, waiting for their antique coffee roaster, then waiting for it to get hooked up. It was worth the wait.


I’ve had quite a few lattes and selections of the beans for the morning hit of french press. The lattes have ranged from very good to excellent, but not quite to trancendent yet. (to be fair, I’ve only had the transcendant stuff from the Fremont Coffee Company and the Vivache stand on Broadway, and even there, not all that often.) At it’s best, the espresso is not bitter, over roasted, or over extracted. The milk is foamy and thick, done just right almost all the time. Their steamed milk also passes the toddler test.


The beans are good as well. I know I’ve liked the El Salvador and Mexican beans and there’s a Dark Papua New Guniea that I’d like to try. They are all a little different, and all fresh.

The biggest drawback is their hours — Not open on Sunday, and not late enough for me to pick up beans after work. I know the owner needs his life, but please, it’s interrupting my caffiene fix. k? thx. ;>

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Voting Technology

There was a lightly contested primary election in Washington, with a grand total of one contested race for the Democrats and only a couple for the Republicans. Since I’ve moved since the last election, I was curious to see what the voting technology looks like in my small Island County precinct.

The old system in King County was Diebold scanners for paper ballots. So while I never really trusted the scanners, at least there was a paper ballot that was the official record of my vote.

Island County is a little different. My precinct had paper ballots and a sealed box for submission. Very low tech, but effective and crash proof. Then again, this is a precinct where most of the voters vote absentee, so there was not exactly a line at the polls. In fact, didn’t actually see another voter while I was there.

There was one electronic machine that was designated for people who needed assistance, but in practice anyone who wanted to use it could. It was not a Diebold, but I wasn’t able to see what it was. I did learn that there is a voter verifiable paper trail associated with it. Prior to submitting your vote, the voter verifies that the votes on a paper roll behind a window are correct. When confirmed, the votes are entered on the machine and the paper is scrolled out of view. I’m relatively confident that while the machine may have its faults, there is a permanent record of the votes that are made with the machine.

Here’s one county that’s getting the electronic portion right.

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Well, the MacBook is back. This time it’s had a new heat sink and main logic board, so I’m hoping that whatever was ailing it has been fixed. So far, so good.

Oddly though, it was shipped out on the 15th, for delivery on the 18th (according to fedex). On the 15th, the Apple site reported that repair was completed on the 16th, and return shipment was pending. 1 hour before it was delivered, the link went up with a fedex tracking number.

For those of you keeping score at home, it shipped out on 8/29, for just shy of three full weeks away.

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Langley’s Soup Box Derby

Some of the entries would look right at home in the Fremont parade, while some were apparently designed to go fast enough to win. A couple entries showed that effective brakes were somewhat optional, since there were spectators and hay bales at the end of the course.

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