Tuesday, July 31, 2012

And happy will our nature be

I commuted by car today, and it was quite a long day, and there was even a traffic jam in Helsinki, thanks to some well-placed summer roadworks. Later I went for a walk, which was nice as the weather was just right for walking, 21 °C and sunny with some clouds.

At work it is not yet too busy, I managed to go through all e-mail messages and even started arranging some things for the next weeks. But this less stressing time will not last long, come autumn there will be a lot of things to take care of.

I'm planning to commute by bicycle tomorrow, I hope there won't bee too much rain.

(Posting title is from the poem Ode to Duty by William Wordsworth.)

Monday, July 30, 2012

More animals than I can tell

Today I rode the bicycle for 22 km, and then we went swimming with the children to lake Myllyjärvi. Today there were only a couple of other people swimming, due to cooler weather.

One day when we were swimming at Myllyjärvi a guy told that one time he was swimming there he had seen a bear and two cubs at the opposite shore. I'm not quite sure whether I should trust this observation, but it is true that the lake is close to a wilderness area where few people go.

Afterwards I had a lot of chores to do at home, as I'm back to work tomorrow. It has been a nice summer, but now the weather seems to be turning cooler. This morning we had 24 °C, but during the day the temperature dropped to 19 °C. In fact, when we were swimming, the water was warmer than the air, probably 23 °C vs. 21 °C.

Here are some photographs taken today. The overcast weather was a nice change, resulting in better photographs than sunshine.

(Posting title is from the poem Teddy Bear by A. A. Milne.)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Something to do with the leaves and painting

I'm finally up to date with the photographs, these were taken today while going for a walk with my daughter. We went swimming also, which helped to cool down, it has been hot today, 28 °C and a bit of rain to keep the humidity up.

I returned to Firefox after trying out Chrome for two weeks. The problem of Chrome not loading all the content in web pages was just too bad, even though otherwise the browser was stable and fast enough. Well, at least I now know how Chrome works.

I have been reading a lot of books recently. Today I finished the crime novel Through a glass, darkly by Donna Leon, set in Venice, from where Markus has been posting a fine series of photographs. The novel also discussed glass-making, which was rather interesting as we just visited the glass museum at Iittala.

(Posting title is from the poem “The Vision of Saint Augustine” by Beverley Bie Brahic.)

These skinny keys to intricate locks

We are having it hot, today the forecast promises 28 °C, and it is also rather humid, thanks to rain we had during the night. Here are four photographs taken during the last few days, after returning from travel.

I have now installed OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 on two different Macs, and both are working fine. There were some things to look into, such as Parental Controls where the daughters' settings changed in the upgrade and I had to go through them. But overall this has been the easiest major OS upgrade I have ever done.

A week or so ago I switched from Firefox to Chrome. I'm still learning to use Chrome properly, and even though Chrome isn't that different from Firefox there are some details which differ.

I'm not sure whether it was the OS upgrade or is it a Chrome thing, but sometimes I need to reload web pages because they are not quite right, it seems that some part of the content is not always read the first time. I suspect Chrome has a bug with certain web pages.

(Posting title is from the poem Dressing My Daughters by Mark Jarman.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink

Here are three photographs taken yesterday, when I went for a bicycle ride. I stopped only a few times to take photographs, mostly of the roadside scenery, or to look at the map. Today was a fine day also, I went for a walk with my youngest daughter, and later for a swim with the daughters. It has been rather hot, and tomorrow will be even hotter, and there will be rain and perhaps thunder.

(Posting title is from the poem The Sun Rising by John Donne.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

An arrangement in a system to pointing

Here is the fifth and last installment of photographs from our trip. These were taken at Iittala, where there is a glass museum and an art exhibition. We have visited Iittala almost every summer the last ten years or so, so it is quite familiar, but there are always new things to discover.

My oldest daughter liked the glass museum, taking a lot of photographs with her LX3. She likes to compose photographs so that the lines are not horizontal/vertical but at an angle, I'm not sure why. As a photographer she is getting to be rather good.

Today was the first time this week to ride the bicycle, for 33 km, along the river Vantaa, exploring also the smaller roads and paths there. It was a fine day, about 24 °C, a little bit of wind and some clouds.

After debating for some time whether to upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, I took today the plunge.

Before installing the new OS I checked the disk with Disk First Aid, made a fresh backup, tested it by restoring some since deleted files from November 2011, and only then started the installation program. It took almost an hour, but after the iMac booted into OS X 10.8, everything has worked fine. Some little things have changed, and there are plenty of new features; so far so good.

I had a little bit of problem remembering how Mission Control works, but after I resolved that issue (I needed to assign Chrome to a Space, which I hadn't done earlier), everything is the way I want.

(Posting title is from the poem A Carafe, that is a Blind Glass by Gertrude Stein.)

Up in the air I go flying again

Here is the fourth installment of photographs from my trip with the children, this time from Särkänniemi amusement park in Tampere. We spent six hours there, and even though it rained a bit every now and then, the weather was just right, not too hot or too cold.

Many other people had come to the park. Both of the big parking lots were full of cars, but luckily we found a space in a hidden corner of the parking lot farthest away. And there were long queues in the park, although later during the evening it was better as people started leaving.

Six hours in the park made me rather tired, but the children seemed to have surprising reserves of energy. But it wasn't difficult to get the children to sleep that night, after a enjoyable day.

One of the things I discovered during the trip was how difficult it is to find good tea in restaurants or cafes. When there was brewed tea available, it was so dark that you couldn't visually distinguish it from coffee, and the taste was awful, one would have needed to put a lot of sugar and milk in it to make it tolerable, and I don't put either in tea.

And if there was hot water available for tea, then the type of green tea bags which were available were those to which an additional flavor has been applied, so that it is impossible to taste the tea, you only taste the added flavor.

So, even though my tea brewing experiments have sometimes given awful results (because of using too hot water), I was very pleased to come back home and brew a cup of tea for myself. Or several cups.

Currently I'm drinking Temple of Heaven gunpowder tea. This particular tea is quite mild, but I like the taste a lot, and even though the recommended brewing temperature is 70 °C, it seems to tolerate hotter water as well. (I'm sometimes too impatient to cool the boiling water.)

(Posting title is from the poem The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson.)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wed to some mystery or other

Here is the third installment of photographs from traveling with the children. This is already from the return trip, back from Kajaani, towards the city of Jyväskylä where we spent the night.

Speaking of Jyväskylä, during the days of travel at night before going to sleep I was reading a novel about Jyväskylä, written in magical realism style, by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen, titled Harjukaupungin salakäytävät (Atena, 2010). This book was rather good (and I wrote a review of it in Finnish, with photographs to go), and even better was to read it on the spot in Jyväskylä. The city seemed to have magical qualities...

(Posting title is from the poem The Reading Club by Patricia Goedicke.)

Packed like a box with the toys of childhood

Here is the second installment of photographs from the trip with the children. These photographs are from Kajaani, where we spent some time walking around, including a bit of play at the old castle at the river.

In addition to the Canon mirrorless camera announcement, of which I may write a bit also, a thing which I didn't have time to ponder about during travel (or even know about) was that Apple released a new OS version, Mountain Lion, a.k.a Mac OS X 10.8.

Yesterday I had a look at the multitude or reviews and upgrade instructions, and Mac OS X 10.8 looks good. But I need to confirm that I have a working backup, and I need to make a bootable installation disk just in case something goes wrong, so I'm not upgrading to Mountain Lion right away. The price of 16 euro is certainly modest enough for a new OS.

In any case, the Apple approach of gradually evolving iOS and Mac OS X together seems to be a good thing, although I'm not completely convinced about cloud integration. But having the same basic info (contacts etc.) on different devices is certainly a good starting point.

(Posting title is from the poem History by Babette Deutsch.)

Pleasure was a confirmation

I was traveling with the children the last few days, driving the car for about 1440 km, and taking 1872 photographs on the way. The weather varied a lot, one minute we had sunshine and the next it was raining heavily.

I had a deal with the children that they wouldn't ask the question "Are we there yet?" too many times. The youngest daughter promised that she would ask less than ten times, and I think she hold to the promise.

I don't like driving the car hours and hours. The average speed was well below 80 km/h, because we used smaller roads and there were a lot of roadworks on the way. However, it was nice to travel with the children because they are old enough to invent (non-destructive) things to do in a car, and I had the pleasure to be observing their outlook on the world.

We attended a confirmation event at the church in Orivesi, and visited my sisters family afterwards. We also drove all the way to my father, who hadn't seen the grandchildren for some time.

Here is a first installment of photographs from the trip. I have gone through only half of the photographs so far. I didn't always have much interest in photography, but it is almost a reflex to take photographs, so I got plenty of them.

(Posting title is from the poem Articulation by Rae Armantrout.)