Skip to main content

Fire Season

Fire Season Sunset
"Fire Season Sunset"
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 50-200mm
1/2000s, f/4.5, ISO 100, 200mm, +0.3 EV

We're in a severe fire season this year. How do I know? Because when I stepped outside the office this afternoon, I smelled burning brush in the air. Looking up, I saw the tell-tale brown tint in the air. How bad is Florida's fire season this year? From the Florida Department of Forestry's Fire Weather:
More than 85% of Florida is experiencing drought conditions following the 2nd driest fall (September-November) on record and a below normal December. Approximately 50% of the state is experiencing severe drought, and 20% of the state is experiencing extreme drought conditions. Fall temperatures were near normal, but December had well below normal temperatures. Many locations around the state shattered their records for coldest December on record.
Severe cold that killed a lot of vegetation combined with very dry conditions makes for a bad combination. So far there are 89 wildfires around Florida, the largest being the 17,000 acre Iron Horse fire that's shut down I-95 south of SR 442. It's big enough that that's what I may have smelled and seen part of this afternoon.

Three-fifty gas
"Three-fifty Gas"
Olympus E-P2 with Zuiko Digital 9-18mm
1/640s, f/6.3, ISO 200, 9mm, +0.7 EV

Yesterday I wrote that I thought we'd hit $3.50/gallon for regular unleaded by this weekend. I was off by three days. On the way home down Lake Underhill at Dean I found this Marathon Oil station selling regular unleaded for $3.50/gallon. Two other stations on two other corners, a Mobile and a Sunoco, were selling their gas for $3.49/gallon and $3.47/gallon, respectively.

Red Light Camera
"Red Light Camera, corner of Lake Underhill and Dean"
Olympus E-P2 with Zuiko Digital 9-18mm
1/1000s, f/6.3, ISO 200, 9mm, +1.3 EV

And then I found this brand new red light camera on the east-bound side of Lake Underhill at the same intersection. I don't know when it was put up, but it had to have been since mid-January when I last passed this way. It's a different design, and what looks to be a different manufacturer, than the original's first installed in 2008. There must be some terrible, terribly bad drivers to have all this red light cameras around Orlando.


Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…