Skip to main content

dupont, washington


I've spent the last week in a small town next door to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, otherwise known as JBLM, by the name of Dupont. With the majority of each day spent on the base, I've had little time to myself other than to drive back and forth to the base, walk around DuPont a bit after work, eat a bit of supper, and then work in my room until I go to sleep. Then I wake up the next day and do it again. And there's the issue of adjusting to the time zone difference between Orlando and Dupont...

I've got two more weeks of this until I fly back to Orlando on the 31st.

This is not to say the work or the town is unpleasant. It's just I'm very busy. You always have hopes that when you travel you'll have time to do some of the touristy activities, but being rather south and east of Tacoma and Seattle, that won't happen, especially if you're trying to use the horribly congested I-5 that links all these places. And so I walk around in the afternoon with my E-M5, just walking for the enjoyment of walking, and taking the occasional snap.


The nice feature about Dupont is its emphasis on walking as the major form of transportation within the town instead of the automobile. There's plenty of cars around, but there's plenty of sidewalks as well. The combined sidewalk area in the section near my hotel equals that of the road that runs between them.

I know of no other town, either in Florida or any other part of the country I've traveled in, in which the walking spaces are as ample as they are in DuPont. It's an urban design that has always been spoken of over the decades, but has never been acted upon. The closest communities in central Florida that I can think of with this kind of urban design is Lake Baldwin in Orlando and certain parts of Celebration near Disney. Otherwise it's every person for themselves everywhere else. In most communities a very narrow sidewalk is considered a luxury, if you have sidewalks at all..


In spite of the width of the sidewalks, the businesses along the street have further setbacks, some of which are places to sit and eat if you're a restaurant.


This are plenty of green spaces throughout the town, such as this park. There are smaller parks scattered about as well, many of them devoted to small playgrounds for children.


And there are little touches, such as explicit signs that tell you which street crossing a button is devoted to. It's something of a guessing game in Orlando, especially across the larger roads, such as the intersection of University and Rouse near the University of Central Florida.


When the concrete gives out, there walking paths more than wide enough for bicycles, paths that are small roads in their own right, but limited to foot and bike traffic. These roads combine with other sidewalks such that I found I could walk throughout DuPont.


What's missing in Dupont? Golf courses. I hate golf. And the heat and humidity. I've been getting regular reports of Orlando's afternoon storms and morning humidity that you can cut with a knife. The weather has been so cool and pleasant in Dupont that I've had the window to my room open the entire time I've been here. I've not had air conditioning on once. Of course being on the third floor helps; I don't think someone is going to scale the side of the building to come in through my open window.

And there's something about the light in Dupont. Maybe it's because it's further north as well as far to the west. But the quality of light is different here than in Orlando. I can't say exactly why, but I like Dupont's light better than Orlando's, at least in August.


Comments

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…