I’m way out of the way this time on the Panhandle. But we get our share.
Ivan in 2004 was a class 5 as it was approaching but hit as a 4. Damn near destroyed the area. A 20 something foot storm surge, It destroyed the multi-mile long I-10 bridge over Pensacola Bay and around 70% of the remaining buildings had blue tarp roofs for years.
I had a fishing boat that I kept on base at NAS Pensacola. I was over a month later before anyone could get on base. Going over the bridge to the base, we saw 100’s of boats just everywhere, beached, capsized, holed, sunken, I was pretty sure it insurance time. Got to the marina, which was also an RV storage yard, all junked at this point. I found my boat in the RV area still sorta attached to the trailer. It hadn’t drifted off to join the boat graveyard in the bay because the lower unit on one of the motors had jammed through and wedged in the wall of a big RV that had somehow stayed in place.
Another big one hit the following year but there was nothing other than the odd tropical storm until 2020 when one came through and destroyed a good portion of the Pensacola to Gulf Breeze bay bridge. Believe me, that was a BIG deal cutting the metro area in half for 1-1/2 years until they got a couple of lanes. Every one had to do a almost 40 mile detour.
Down here, it doesn’t have to be a hurricane or tropical storm. Spring 2014, we had 25 inches of rain in an 8 hour period. It was the freaking apocalypse. Damage was still being repaired in 2020.
Camera Girl and I journey today to the southernmost border of New England where the smoldering ashes of what was once Gotham City color the horizon with a somber palette. But we will be celebrating family and life and all that stuff. This week will be Camera Girl’s greatest challenge. She will be besieged by teeming hordes of berserk descendants desperately trying to fend off thoughts of the impending school year.
It will take all her powers to occupy these desperate young’uns and divert their attention from the impending horror. Of course it will really help if somehow we can avoid torrential rains for the week. That will provide us with so many more options for activities than being stuck in the house with the boob tube and my feeble wits.
But once the week is complete, it really will be fall. And it’s been a very strange summer. So much rain and so little sun has destroyed the vegetable garden. Other than some tomatoes and what looks to be a decent crop of eggplants it has been a disaster. I think we’ve gotten one zucchini and so far no butternut squash. And while we’ve gotten a few red razzberries from the plants I put in last year and the plants have increased and spread, I can hardly say they have been a success yet.
And as far as the blueberries, whereas I managed to get a few handfuls of berries last year, this year the birds perfected their technique of picking the fruit precisely before I myself judged them ripe enough to eat. And it was a bumper crop. I guess if I’m really serious about eating any of this fruit I’ll have to start using netting over the plants. Who am I kidding? I’m too lazy to do that.
And likewise, the rain put a serious dent into the flowers in the yard. The butterfly bush died back to the ground because of the lack of snow cover during the coldest part of the winter. It sprouted from the roots eventually but was a mere shadow of its size and bloomed very late. And many other plants were late and stunted. The only pleasant surprise was the Inula helenium (elecampane) that I put in last year. The stalks were seven feet tall and there were plenty of bright yellow flowers.
Also there were very few butterflies this year. Probably the sparse snow cover again. Well, complaining won’t do any good so best to just move on. I’ll just chalk it up to experience and hope that this year we get more snow. Wait, more snow? What am I saying? Oh well.
So fall in Dunwich is a busy time for me. We’ll be pretending to re-elect First Selectman Cthulhu which is always a painful process involving the loss of several bureaucrats in his entourage when he becomes aggravated and therefore hungry. My part in the process is also, let us say, delicate. I’m required by tradition and statute to second the motion for his unanimous re-election by acclaim. If I hesitate by more than a split second after the original motion is exclaimed my fate will be sealed. Therefore I have perfected the “echo method.” As the motion is being spoken I echo the words coming out of his mouth almost simultaneously. It sort of sounds like that scene in the movie “Pride of the Yankees” where Gary Cooper is saying, “But today … today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.” And so I can keep each word going just that little time extra needed to detect the last word and begin my sentence without any noticeable pause. Actually quite ingenious. It’s quite remarkable what fear can do for your IQ.
Well, it’s time to get going. The sun is shining and nothing has burned down or exploded in the news yet so I can wish everyone a nice day with at least the hope that it’s possible. Adios amigos.
It was down in the mid-sixties with low humidity this morning in Hampton Roads. It will be hotter tomorrow, but I’m ready for Autumn to start. I’m getting the fireplace cleaned and inspected this week and I need to cover the firewood for the start of the season.
Meanwhile, down here in the Florida Panhandle, fall hasn’t yet appeared on the distant horizon as we’re looking at a white hot week: in the 100’s with saturating humidity. It has been like this for a month, there is a big and stable high pressure system camped out in the middle of the country.
What we need is a tropical storm to come through and bust this weather stasis up. A similar pattern seems common in late summer and will just stay until pushed out by a big system.
Unlike California, tropical storms are common enough down here as to not overly upset us.
A few years ago, I decided to see what it would be like to ride my road bike (bicycle) in a tropical storm (wind only at that time). At one place where there’s about a 100’+ 5% grade hill to climb, the wind was pushing me up the hill at over 20 mph.
I find myself gravitating to nature photography. My “long” lens used to be a Sony G 70-300, A mount that worked (via adapter) with all my previous E mount Sony cameras.A supurb lens. Until I got to the A7IV series, that is, same camera as yours.
I tried to replace it with a Tamron 70-300 but the image is missing something. The Tamron does workman like images, see image below, but it is missing the “pop”, I don’t know how to describe it, the something special that I got with the Sony. I go back through my photos and am really surprised at how many of my very best came from that lens.
I’m now lusting for the very new, now really released yet but heavily reviewed Sony 70-200 F4 GII lens. Apparently it also takes incredible images through a 2x converter or I could also shoot it through my ASP-C sensor A6400, which would change it to a 105-350 mm in case I need something taller. It seems to have the same, how do you say, ‘glow” as my 10-year-old lens does/did.
In the meantime, my Tamron is sitting dejected over in the corner saying, “What am I, chopped liver?” No, actually pretty damned good for the price but when you’re reaching for the stars—–
Tamron Shots below
Pretty good lenses don’t have to cost a lot. Here’s a 30mm f2.8 Sigma on my Sony A6400.
We’ve both use the same camera body but your lens collection tends to the telephoto side compared to mine. I was left totally without anything longer that 105 mm when I moved to the A7IV and found that my old A mount 70-300 would become pure manual focus, even with the latest Sony adapter.
I grew up with manual focus but, back them, cameras had a split image focusing system to tell you when you were in focus. That consisted of twisting the focus ring while looking through the viewfinder until the upper and lower parts of the image perfectly aligned. Looking thorough the old Sony lens in the new body gave me no focusing information at all. So, bleah to that.
I thought about getting a new e mount version of the same lens but I thought $1300 a bit much for as little as I use long telephoto. But, I concluded, paying 40% of that figure for the Tamron version, which had good ratings, to be an acceptable bet.
Below is a shot of a female Cardinal that I photoed in my yard this AM at a range of around 70 feet. Even at 300 mm, this is a big crop.
Quick aside: The split image focus system is a spinoff originally derived from the Dreadnought era Naval gunnery optical rangefinders that prevailed in all the worlds navys in the until the advent of radar ranging during WWII.
To me it’s a mystery, the nature of the process by which a publicly traded corporation allows their prime directive to morph from creating and marketing the best products possible under whatever economic constraints and generating a profit for the owners to social justice, profit be damned. It doesn’t make sense from the corporation’s viewpoint.
The only analogy that I can think of is when a virus invade a host and, infecting the cells, co-opts the machinery of the cells to the purposes of the virus with no allowance for the continued health or, indeed, continued existence of the host.
Actually, an accurate analogy, I think. (One more word beginning with a and I could have had a straight.)
The problem for the Dims is they don’t know when to stop, anything.
Their first big win, in the 60’s, Civil Rights, was passed as “equal rights for everyone”. The nation was fine with that but it has evolved into permanent “affirmative action”, hard quotas, reverse racism and actual persecution of whites.
After several decades of gun “safety” laws, it has finally reached the point that we were promised would never be be reached: the current dominant political party proposing outright confiscation.
God knows where this “climate change” thing is going to end up.
I do believe that this current trans mania just beats anything that has ever happened before. The nation evolved to “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the 90’s (I think). Everyone was cool with that. Later, there was a bit of trepidation over gay marriage. Then it evolved further to the persecution of people refusing services to openly gay couples. But who could have anticipated the shrieking insanity it has become today, the 57 genders, gender change by the need statement of what you are today. Drag queens performing school sponsered sex shows for grammar school children. The government performing “sex change” butchery on per-pubescent children without the parents knowledge or consent. The domination of womens sports by men who self proclaimed themselves women, on this day anyway.
If this isn’t a present day recreation of Sodom and Gomorrah, I don’t know what else it could possibly be. A society this sick needs to heal itself or go down.
Did a quick google (Laura Helmuth) and found she’s chief editor of Scientific American. That would be hard to believe if SA hadn’t been totally co-opted 20 or so years ago. I hate it too, I subscribed to SA for decades and absolutely devoured every issue. I remember the issue with the article on the Supernova of 1987 in the Great Crab Nebula. Whoever wrote it did a great job, it was exciting, mesmerizing, illuminating. Back then, the basis of the magazine was purely science
I watched politics and what is now called wokeism creep in. There was an editor change, don’t remember the names now, but that opened the gates. SA hired a new columnist (again don’t remember the name), who on his 2nd column, stated flatly that the verdict of history was now in and the political organizing system of the future was clear and that was socialism.
Oh, yeah? That was it for SA for me. Now you don’t know if any particular article is true or an outright lie intended to mislead you to believe in some woke bulls***t.
I live on the Florida Panhandle. I think the area is ideologically closer to being a part of Alabama than the peninsula. Add to that the heavy military, ex-military presence and relatively sparse Southern indigenous population and we’re essentially our own little time capsule.
There are damn few weirdos here to self expel, though, if they ask, we’d be happy to help.
My nearest neighbor, who lived a few hundred yards away, died a few weeks ago. He was, like me, an ex-Marine, A Sergeant Major (E-9) but he had 24 years in compared to my pitiful 4.You can’t imagine how impressive a real USMC Sergeant Major is. They are disciplined, dedicated, controlled, focused, steady and composed. Marines call it squared away. Everything we should aspire to be but almost all of us fail in some or several aspects. He had a flagpole in front of his house and played reveille and taps at appropriate times and ran the Colors up and down with appropriate ceremony EVERY day. You don’t see that in Manhattan.
I’m a Civil Engineer specializing in structural for most of my career. For almost all in-ground concrete installations, the nature and strength of the subgrade is more important than the strength of the concrete. Subgrade means whatever the concrete is sitting on. In other words, no matter how strong the concrete or asphalt, it isn’t any stronger than what it is bearing on.
I’ve never been associated with residential work but in commercial, government,, etc. work, testing the subgrade is very important. It should be to you too. If you’re spending a lot of money on asphalt or concrete in a non-controlled environment, for your own sake. please call a local geotech outftit, explain your circumstance, and get a proposal.
If you’re spending couple to several 10’s of thousands, please spend a couple of hundred ensuring it doesn’t fail in a year or two.