Autumn Comes to the Swamp

Well it’s getting cooler out and things are starting to turn a little more fall-like.  Well slightly.  But it’s a nice change, seeing as I was here most of the summer.  I took some pictures the other day, and so here they are.

As a side note, I sometimes wonder whether or not any of these pictures would actually help anyone identify where I am.  While I’m not really worried about a stalker or anything I do try to be at least a little careful of what information about me I let onto the Internet.  I may have mentioned where I am at one point on this blog, and I’m pretty sure most visitors can figure out my name is Ben, but I don’t go out of my way to give out too much information.

At any rate, if you do figure out where I am that’s great.  But I’ve got better things to do than confirm it.  So, enjoy the pictures.

First Day of Fall

Well, today is the first day of fall.  This is kind of nice, it’s cooler and then there’s the mental thing of how the summer’s finally over.  We don’t need the air conditioner much anymore, despite the apartment having a crappy crossbreeze.

I have a plan.  I am going to do something on campus, and it will be cool.  I cannot say much about what it is, but it will be neat and people will like it.  Maybe you will notice it, maybe you won’t.  Don’t worry about it.

Now, let’s see.  Aside from that I still have to go and configure Postfix and LDAP for virtual domains, which should prove to be epic, but that can be put on hold for a bit anyway.

The Fall

I know that the fall is a ways away.  However, it’s starting to come now, I can feel it.  It’s cooler out, and some of the leaves are starting to fall of the trees.

It’s nice, as it was hot this weekend.  Very hot, actually.  There was rain, and a lot of wind, but I ended up staying in air conditioning most of the time.  The worst part is the muggieness.  Heat is one thing, but if it’s too humid out it’s pretty uncomfortable around here.

I have a project I am going to post here soon.  It’s nothing to incredible, just a circuit that makes a light bulb flicker to look like a candle flame.  But it’s pretty neat, nice way to play with 555 timers and MOSFETS.  Check back soon.

Cats

Well, I’m home from the Cape now.  It was a good trip, but now I’m about to head back to the swamp (school).  The week has been pretty good, but the people I know are starting to go back too, so now it will be nice to get back to my old crowd.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to post some cat pictures, as it would seem every Web site that hopes to attract traffic should these days.  These cats depicted here are actually my brother’s, and I have been watching them on and off this week.

He has two cats: Isabelle, who he found as an older kitten a few years ago, and Dutch, who he recently got from a friend’s landlord a couple weeks ago.  Dutch is maybe 7 weeks old, and is quite cute.  Both of them are tabby cats, with Dutch being orange-blond and Isabelle being more olive-colored and spotted.

Isabelle has a bit of an attitude; when I first see her each day she might let me pat her for a couple minutes, and then she starts to attack me.  In fact, she does this with pretty much everyone except my brother, though he ends up getting scratched and bitten too.  We don’t really blame her; we think that she was separated from her siblings and a young age, and never really got to learn that biting and scratching hurt.  Then again, it’s also quite possible that she just has an attitude.

For the most part, though, she doesn’t really attack people unprovoked, and she can actually be very sweet sometimes.  You really have to get to know her.  Now, things have been made interesting now that Dutch is here with her; while she is doing alright overall, she will still sometimes play rough with him, and swat at him with her paw.  However, overall she is much gentler with him than with us (if that says much).  She will look at him and growl (she sounds like a dog), yet they will also play within a few inches of each other if you dangle a string.  Given time, they’ll probably be friends.  Or at least come to terms with each other, especially since Dutch will probably get a lot bigger than Isabelle eventually.

So, here is a little gallery:

More Cape Cod Pics

Well, I’m back from the Cape, but I have some more pictures.

Newcomb Hollow Pictures

Well, I now have some more pictures from Cape Cod, this time from the beach at Newcomb Hollow.  We stuck around until it got dark, as shown in two of the pics.

Some people around a fire at the beach.

The sun setting behind the dune.

A view of the beach from earlier in the day.

A view down the beach, past the lifeguard stand.

Waves on the other side.

So, there are some beach pics.  It will be nice once I’m back at the swamp and it’s winter to look back and remember the days when it was nice, I was swimming, and I got sunburned.  Not too badly.

I’m still here, so maybe I’ll throw some more pictures up here later on.  Stay tuned.

4th of July Pics

Well, only a few of these are from the 4th (firworks), but the rest are from this past weekend.  After seeing the fireworks at UB we went to the mountains Saturday and Sunday, and did a little hiking.  It was a good time.

There are a few shots of the fireworks at UB.  They were nice, although I would have liked it if they hadn’t played music during the show.  Due to our spot, I couldn’t really avoid the pillars.

The pic above is a view off of our cabin porch.  The water is the Allegheny Reservoir.  On Saturday me and a couple friends went on a hike up the hill the cabin is on via an old logging road.

A spring at the top of our hill (the cabin is about midway up).  This hill has a lot of springs on it, which is neat.  You can see a black PVC pipe someone used to try to get water to a different cabin years ago.  (The guy made the mistake of using electrical conduit, which isn’t drinking water safe.)  Our cabin gets its water from a different spring.

How this old refrigerator got to the top of the hill maybe thirty years ago is a long story.  But, it’s there, and it remains a monument to human stupidity.  This fridge is further up the path than the spring from the last pic.

A picture from the top of the hill, beyond the refrigerator.  I had never actually explored it this far before; someday I’m going to keep following the old logging road and head to the other side of the mountain.  It won’t be a long walk, but it will be interesting.  At this point in our hike, though, we turned back.

Well, I’ll probably add more pics later (yet again), but here’s a little flash and a little greenery.  I hope you all had a good weekend.

Updates…

Well, here I am after a couple months of silence.  Some things did transpire, some tasks completed.  For one thing, this blog now runs off my FreeBSD server at school.  This is summer, so I’ve had some issues with computer registration, hence the downtime.  But having an open port 80 allow me to get rid of the www1…com:8080 type url (or maybe you didn’t notice it, in which case good…).  I also like to think that this will be a little more reliable than the machine sitting in my basement back home, even though it still does have a good Internet connection and some level of redundancy. Unfortunately, I still have to work out a solution for my Email.  While I can run a server at home, it’s not really usable for outgoing mail as it’s a residential IP, and is this blacklisted in a lot of places.  (Yes, I’ve considered having Google do it, and no, I would prefer to have control over it myself.)  I can’t simply move here because I wouldn’t have an open port 25 inbound, unless maybe I used a machine in a data center (haven’t decided on that yet).

Well, those are the things you may face hosting your own sites.  Truthfully, if you have a site that’s important to you and you don’t have a lot of experience or a place with stable power and a reliable Internet connection, there are a multitude of companies to whom you can pay a small fee to worry about all that stuff.  I can’t really recommend one, as I’ve never used them, but in a lot of cases it’s the way to go.  I’m just a bit nerdy and have some extra computers.  It’s a little bit of fun for me, and another thing I can throw on the old resume.

Well, enough with the technobable.  Life has been alright, and I mean that in a good way.  I mean, sometimes ‘alright’ is the way you want it.  I’ve had good times and stressful times, but overal things are good.  It’s getting closer to summer, and it’s starting to get warmer out, which is nice.  I’m planning to work another couple months and then taking some time off in August before taking classes again. So, I’ll still have somewhat of a ‘summer vacation.’

Well, that’s about all I have for now.  I think I will go to bed.