Poetry Reading

A mistake reading poetry at night, I find,
   but not for fear of sleepless angst
   nor yet of haunted dreams.
Good verse needs concentration,
   yes, and coffee.
Bedtime is for prose.

From Webcam to Webcar?

My car now has a web page. Sadly, it’s for my own use and not for public consumption, but I made a little video about it anyway!

Also available on YouTube if preferred.

Thanks are due to Terence Eden for his work on documenting the API. Oh, and before anyone asks, no, I don’t normally leave the cable draped across the pavement. :-)

Remembrance of things past

I was doing a mini clear-out, and decided it was time to say farewell to some old friends. Do you remember the days when some electronic devices didn’t look like slabs of black glass?

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For younger or less geeky readers, these are, from top-left, a Motorola RAZR (2004), a Nokia E61 (2005), a Blackberry 7100t (2004) and an Ericsson T39m (2001).

My iPhones have been the most useful devices I have ever owned (with the possible exception of my laptops), but each of the above was an iconic, reliable and, for the time, excellent gadget as well.

But, the world has changed.

Quote of the day

Money doesn’t change you. It just reveals who you really are when you no longer have to be nice.

— Tim Ferris

To the Manor Born

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We visited Wrest Park in Bedfordshire today. This, it seems to me, is the kind of portrait one might have had painted if one owned the place. The swans definitely thought they did.

The house had a rather hard life during and after the war, and almost none of its original furnishings remain, but it does have a few very fine rooms with some wonderful ceilings.

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Click for larger versions, to see the detail.

Standardising the whatchamacallit

IMG_2542Here’s something that could do with a standards body. I don’t even know what these are called. Quick-release webbing buckle? Something like that.

But wouldn’t it be handy if you could clip any two (of approximately the same size) together? Buy extension straps and know that they’d work? Clip your camera case onto your rucksack and your dog lead onto your pushchair?

You know it makes sense. All you have to do is boycott manufacturers who aren’t paying members of QIQRWBSC (Quentin’s International Quick-Release Webbing Buckle Standards Committee).

Politics corrupts, and Presidential politics corrupts absolutely

This Guardian piece by Julia O’Malley gives a rather different viewpoint on Sarah Palin from the one we usually hear.

There was a time when Sarah Palin was normal by Alaska standards. Way back before the hoopla, and way before she endorsed Donald Trump, she made sense as a politician here. That’s not the case any more. I’m told she lives in Alaska most of the time, but she’s invisible in public life.

But back in the day, I liked her – and so did many in my community. I’m not conservative, but she grew on me when I worked as a reporter in Anchorage in the mid-2000s, and the reason had nothing to do with politics. She was a kind of regular person I recognized as of this place. Tough, funny, pragmatic. She loved Alaska like I did. If you didn’t know her then, it’s hard to explain or believe.

Worth a read. Especially for anyone thinking of going into politics…

Thanks to Hamid Farzaneh for the link.

Tugging at the heartstrings…

Rose keeps showing me YouTube videos from Vet Ranch. This is a Texas-based non-profit which gathers donations to provide veterinary treatment for animals who otherwise wouldn’t get it — typically to take them from rescue shelters and get them in a condition where they can be adopted.

The videos they post are generally wonderful before-and-after comparisons, and, I imagine, a very effective fund-raising tool! Nicely done.

MollyMoo is a cutie, for example:

And here’s another dramatic transformation in a small amount of time.

Strike a pose, Sport

Before this morning, if you had shown me a picture of a kangaroo doing this, I’d have thought he was a stuffed one, probably taking part in an Australian beer commercial.

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But it turned out this was just part of his morning stretching routine.

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At Linton Zoo

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser