Shooting the Moon took less planning. But both of these secessions were mostly spontaneous. After shooting the moon, I was showing the picture to a colleague at work and he mentioned that there was going to be a Transit of Venus. Of course this was the day before the transit was to occur, an event which would not occur again until 2117. I started to diligently look around for how this event should be photographed (including how it was photographed before). I found out about solar filters, I just needed one which would fit Josh’s lens. The best I could find was a filter from Thousand Oaks Optical. It seemed that everyone was recommending them. But it looked like the filter I would need was about $200. Continue reading →
I love Mexican Hot Chocolate. Becky and I discovered Mayordomo Chocolate from Oaxaca, Mexico while we were visiting friends. Anytime we come back to Oaxaca we stop by Mayordomo and buy a few pounds to consume wherever we are living. Continue reading →
I have tried my hand at a few model airplanes. I really like the detail, planing, engineering and creativity required to build models. The first model airplane that I build was a balsa wood piper cub. I was just out of first grade. My dad guided me in the production of this plane (or maybe I was assisting him…). We cut the wood from the designs. We glued with pins in a tack board. We doped the tissue paper. Continue reading →
This past Christmas Becky and I visited her cousin, who has, as of about a year ago been diagnosed with ALS. We were able to talk a bit about what it means for him (experientially) to be handicapped. We talked about laws, systems, and attitudes in our society with regard to services for handicapped people. – Much the User Experience kinds of stuff, just not with the web.
It was the first time I had heard someone discuss critically the pros and cons of the implications of the ADA. We talked a bit about how handicapped people are affected by the laws and their implementations.
One example our cousin gave was walking from the handicapped parking to a restaurant. At one establishment the handicap spot was on the same side of the driving road but the spot was further to walk than the closest parking spots. Not all handicapped cases are the same. For some it would be better to cross the street to walk the shorter distance than to walk the “safer” but longer distance.
Without taking credit for our cousin’s stories or wanting to bash on either of these companies, let me relay the flowing experiences and some reflections on them. It was interesting that his interpretation was that socially in Disney being handicapped, when it came to waiting in lines, meant that you got preferential treatment. This was because there was a separate and often shorter line for Handicapped persons. He remarked that this is not exactly fair to non-handicapped persons. And that the purpose of the laws for persons with handicaps is to make things equal, not preferred.
However, his experience with Southwest was of a different nature. Being a faithful customer of Southwest since the early 2000’s I have often enjoyed my “plane crackers”. He remarked that it was really difficult for someone with muscular challenges to navigate between the rows of seats. (Someone else with several kids, was using a kid to reserve the front seat for other people who were boarding later.) It was also difficult to get seats which were together for his family. I found this a little hard to believe until I was flying Southwest this past January. Having heard my cousin’s story, I took note with new eyes on people boarded the aircraft and how the elderly, families and handicapped people were assisted.
On my way to Oregon, there was a man next to me who had lived in the U.S. for a number of years but was originally from Columbia. He was in his 80s and wore hearing aids. He never heard the cabin bell saying that it was alright to get up and go to the bathroom. This would normally be alright but the light for buckling the seats never went off. When the stewardess asked for his drink he could not hear her ask if he wanted cream and sugar with his coffee. Luckily, I was there to “yell” in his ear and he got cream and sugar.
On the way back from Oregon an elderly lady with an oxygen/nebulizer kind of machine with her was disembarking from the plane. She was slow moving and felt really bad for keeping others waiting who were going to disembark. After most of the passengers had disembarked I asked the steward on duty how he would have handled this kind of passenger in the case of emergency. He said that they hope to never have an emergency, but in the case of one, it would be challenging. They would probably have to do some kind of two person carry to get the passenger out of the plane.
This Christmas Becky and I spent some time with family. All of my brothers and sisters were there and so were my mother's two daughter-in-laws.
We had lots of fun together. We went and saw Sherlock Holmes 2 together.
All the Patersons After watching Sherlock 2
The Five Boys
After which we went out to eat.
Jed stroking his Chin
Jon Stroking his Chin
It was good to see my brothers and sisters talking, laughing and smiling.
Moriah and her Scarf
We did a lot of game playing...
Playing Mario Cart.
One of the interesting stories about this Christmas was that my bother Joe, sold his Xbox to buy our sister Monica a Wii. Monica really wanted a Wii. Jed, didn't know that Joe sold his Xbox and bought Joe some Games for the Xbox. It reminded me of the story of "The Gift of the Magi".  William Sydney Porter (O. Henry). The Gift Of The Magi http://www.online-literature.com/donne/1014/ [Link]
Playing Mario Cart
Hugh and Jed Playing Axis and Allies
There were a lot of interesting interactions over our time together.
We learned that all of us like to play the game but we each play it differently. Some:
Play the game to win.
Play the game for fun.
Play the game to keep certain others from winning.
Play the game for the game's sake.
There was lots of silliness.
Jed Modeling his new hat and gloves.
Hugh and Becky
And we saw Jeremiah smile.
Jeremiah actually did smile
Sleeping... There seem to be a lot of pictures of Jeremiah doing this...
Whoever is doing the background research for the Lead character in Prime Suspect is doing a great job.... at least when one compares her to my aunt Carol... It is like my aunt wrote the book. I just started a few episodes with my wife, Becky, and not only are there phrases, intonations, but also discourse features which I have heard my aunt use. I was particularly impressed with episode 108, Underwater. (Especially the dialogue where Detective Timmoney is saying good-by to the little girl.)
(Perhaps this is just the time of year that I start to watch NY/NJ police shows to hear the familiar pronunciation of the words.)