News from September 2009

Cousin Visits

Occurred September 13, 2009 (Permalink)

My cousin Nicole and her boyfriend visited this weekend. I took them to the Saturday Market, the Japanese Gardens, the opening of the MAX Green Line, Rocky Butte, Toji (Korean BBQ) for dinner, the Montavilla farmer's market, and Multnomah Falls.

New Panorama Viewer

Occurred September 15, 2009 (Permalink)

I wrote a new panorama viewer. The old drop-down is now replaced with a sidebar full of links, and the pictures should load faster now that all the navigation within the viewer is done entirely client-side. The sidebar supports a tree of panoramas, unlike the drop-down which doesn't know about hierarchy. Furthermore, previews are available by moving the mouse cursor over a link; the huge page full of thumbnails is gone forever. In theory it should work well across Firefox 2/3/3.5, Safari 3/4, Internet Explorer 7/8, Chrome 2/3, and Opera 10. Leave a comment if you find any problems.

Vaux Swifts at Chapman School

Occurred September 18, 2009 (Permalink)
Swift Birds
Swift Birds

Friday night before a ceildh, I decided to see the Vaux Swifts at the Chapman School in NW Portland. The swifts are a flock of birds that migrate from Vancouver, BC to South America every fall; when they reach Portland in September, they inhabit whatever hollow tubes they can find, be it trees, smokestacks, chimneys, etc. During the day they fly around looking for supplies, but at sunset they return to their nests inside the chimneys to feed the young. This results in a huge swarm of birds flying around and around the top of the smokestack in wild circle patterns. Usually there's a hawk or two trying to eat some birds, though there are thousands of birds that will swarm the hawk to try to drive it off. Entertaining way to kill a half hour at sunset!

I missed the swifts this year. Always stunning.

Cell Phone Pictures

Occurred September 18, 2009 (Permalink)

Random cell phone pictures are now posted.

Disk Benchmarking Tool Update

Occurred September 26, 2009 (Permalink)

I have modified the Disk Benchmarking Tool to have a destructive write benchmark mode. The graphs now use SVG, though this could change.

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