Thursday, February 22, 2007

Satellite View of Snowy Northeast

This image leaves me depressed:

It's a satellite view of the northeastern US and it shows very clearly where there is snow - which is most of the northeast. However, from about Boston on south, there's a thin strip of land along the coast where there is no snow. I happen to live in that area. So for pretty much this whole winter there's been no snow on the ground where I live. There was one day when it snowed and I was all excited when I saw a few inches of snow on the ground in the morning. I even took my camera with me to work, hoping to take some nice snow scene pictures during lunch. Unfortunately, as I drove to work the snow faded and there wasn't even any on the ground anymore. When I got home that night, all the snow was gone there, too.

Maybe I need to move further north. Oh wait, that's what I'm trying to do - if I could just find someone to buy my condo... (yes, it's still for sale). Based on the latest statistics, it seems I picked the worst time in the past 15 years for selling my home.

Fortune of the Week (11)

"A chance meeting opens new doors to success and friendship."

Upcoming Lunar Eclipse

There is going to be a full lunar eclipse on Saturday, March 3rd, at about 5:30PM. For those of us on the east coast, that means the eclipse will occur during the moonrise. As a result, the moon is supposed to be a deep red color. Hopefully there won't be any clouds.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Duck, Duck, Grey Duck?

These two ducks were outside my window this morning. I'm suspecting the greyish one is a gadwall and the other (with the blue bill) is a widgeon, but I'm not sure. Anyone have a better idea?

I found it odd that there was just one of each type of duck, along with a whole bunch of mallard ducks and some Canadian geese. I guess these two got lost. A brief read of the description of gadwalls does say they are sometimes with widgeons, so I guess if the two are a gadwall and a widgeon it might make sense to see those two together.

Sorry the pictures are a bit blurry. I was experimenting with my camera earlier and forgot to adjust the ISO back to a reasonable value. I didn't notice the problem until after the ducks had swam away.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fortune of the Week (10)

"You're not a failure because you don't make it, you're a success because you tried."

Hmmm.... I'm on the fence on whether I like this one. On the one hand it sounds like some really lame saccharine message to help under-achievers feel good about themselves. But, at the same time, it does coincide with my belief that all you can ever strive for is to always try to do your best.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Free Pancakes!

Ok, it might not be as tasty as the free cone day at Ben & Jerry's (usually around Earth Day in April), but I thought I should mention that IHOP is having a "free pancake day" next Tuesday, February 20th to celebrate Pancake Day (better known as Mardi Gras). They'll give you three free pancakes. All they ask is you consider making a donation to the Children's Miracle Network or other local charity.

Hmmm... I never knew there was a Pancake Day.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Fortune of the Week (9) and My Zen Soapbox

This was the fortune I found in my cookie from lunch today:


Yup - the cookie was empty. That's two weeks in a row I've received an empty cookie! So instead, I'll present this qoute from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Zen Living:

"Do your duty without attachment and without resentment or obsession. Practice personal discipline so you can better maintain a sense of control, well-being, and good health for your own body and your own mind. Devote yourself with compassion to the world and the people and things in it - without attaching to them, without needing them, without desiring them, but simply by loving them."

Now that's some great advice!

I know I've already mentioned this book in the past, but I think it's worth repeating. There is a great deal of good advice in there and it gives a nice overview of the whole concept of Zen. And if I had to pick one thing that has had the most positive influence in my adult life, it would be Zen. I wish more people could learn about Zen. However, I think one false impression many people may have regarding Zen needs to be overcome. Zen does not have to replace an existing religious faith - the two can coexist. To quote another part of the Zen Living book:

"If you have a religious faith that involves a higher power, you can still look within yourself to find the gifts you have been given. You can still immerse yourself in the present moment to fully appreciate and savor the life you have been given and the world that has been created and grows and breathes and lives all around you. Buddhism doesn't say you are God. It doesn't really talk about God, leaving that for other faiths, or the individual, to contemplate. That's why Zen doesn't contradict other religions."

Anyhow, if you ever get the chance, read a bit of this book. It's definitely time well spent.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Interesting articles about Cybercrime

There's a very interesting series of articles from Wired Magazine about cybercrime. It gives a very detailed look at what sort of stuff has been going on and just how much some cybercriminals get away with. It's a somewhat scary story since what is described actually happened.

Here are links to the three articles:

I was a Cybercrook for the FBI
Tightening the Net on CyberCrime
Crime Boards Come Crashing Down