Summer trip 2015 is in the books!

Cedar Buttes Hike

En and I took a hike today. We took some pictures. We overshot the sub-trailhead, so we had to backtrack. We nearly tapped out 100 feet from the top. But we didn’t.

Ennie fell off a log. But no pictures of that. Too busy laughing. (no, not really, but afterward, certainly)

Click on through to the main gallery.

ISIS == Saudi Arabia

Of course Saudi Arabia is a bit backwards, but when they are going to behead 50 people — for “terrorism” — which can also be used for journalism and general apostasy it’s really hard to not confuse them with Isis.

Then they proceed to jump the shark even higher and do the full Streisand and threaten to sue anyone who makes that comparison.


So, here I am, making that exact comparison.

If you’re in some desert area where you have people talking to their imaginary sky friend and having them threaten to behead you, the key thing to look at is their vehicle.

If it’s a Toyota pickup truck, you’re looking at much of the middle east. If you’re looking at their Ferrari, there’s a good chance you’re in Saudi Arabia.

Otherwise, they’re pretty much the same. Both think women need no rights. Both think that if you don’t believe in the same imaginary sky person (and same flavor no less) then you should die. Similarly if you’re LGBT — off with your head. Both get their money by selling oil.

So, well, basically they’re the same.

Sue me.

Repairing a R1200GS aux light switch – A Thanksgiving Teardown!

I asked a long while back on AdvRider I asked about the ease in replacing the aux light switch… in the time that passed it went from intermittent to just plain not working. So I ordered a new one, installed it, and set about to seeing what what wrong with the old one.

The top of the switch is held on by a pair of posts on the base of the unit. You can see the lighter gray poking through.

Since I already had a working one on the bike I didn’t care if I ruined this one completely in tearing it apart (but, as you’ll see, I actually fixed it).

The base of the top has a spring-loaded plunger that provides the positive detents for the unit.

In my case it didn’t at all want to spring apart. It was quite content to sit there until I pulled it apart.

The base had a plunger than matches the cutout in the top of the switch.

Which then pushes a tac switch that’s buried in the base surrounded by a rubber sleeve.

The problem I was having was that even in the “switched on” position the actual microswitch in the unit wasn’t getting pressed down enough to make contact.


I grabbed an 0805 capacitor I had around (no, you can use anything, this was just convenient for me… heck a small blob of epoxy is more than enough)

Essentially, all you need to do is make the plunger have a little bit more reach to get to the microswitch on the bottom. Once you get solid contact, you have a fully working switch again.

Problem: Solved!

And now I have a spare switch I’ll likely never need. I guess it’s like insurance… another part to never break — and I’d be able to fix the new one just as easily too. Oh well.

Waiting for the bus

Ever since I got the new camera I have to say that I’ve been more apt to just carry it with me wherever I go.

And then I can take pictures like this.

I’ve also been more likely to point a camera at someone. And they tend to not care as much.

It boils down to the fact that the camera you have with you is better than the camera you don’t.

War… Hell… not 25.

What came tim mind as I was hearing and reading about the goings on in and about Turkey this morning is that we’re living in a volatile world.

Ok. Yes. I’ve not lived through the Cuban missile crisis…

But as I’m seeing the events unfold I’m getting closer to thinking that we’re about as close to war as I’ve been in my lifetime.

Yes. Of course 9/11 happened. Yes, we went to war.


Not war.

What I’m seeing evolve in Turkey is shaping up to potentially be a proxy war between several — more than two — different interests. I’m hoping that it stays “proxy.”

Between Turkey being in the middle. Russia giving no shits. France going it alone (well, not quite, but the alliance isn’t holding them back). The US and UK muddling along… and the rest of the forces in the middle east.

Shooting planes out of the air. Of your “allies” in the fight.

In the fight. Maybe not allies normally.

Maybe not allies any more.

What I can say is I’m happy to be older than — by quite a few years I would hasten to add — than 25.

Soldering; Fixing

My manager walked out of his office looking for something… it seemed his USB->DVI adapter died.

Well, not died really.

Note how the hole where the USB goes doesn’t have a USB. Nope. It was rattling about in the case.

That’s what I found when I pulled off the top.

Thankfully, I have the tools to make this right!

First, clean off the existing solder…

Then follow up with some flux and solder the USB jack back on!

I know, not my best work… the connector wasn’t made to be hand soldered with the overhang of the metal. Honestly, this is a part that gets put on the pick-and-place and simply reflowed. Unfortunately they didn’t use enough solder. (And, admittedly, I probably used too much… what evs)

Good as new! Maybe better!

(No, didn’t do it because boss — did it because I like fixing stuff!)

– = –

Ok — written well afterward… I had to go back in and retouch the solder joints, especially pin 2 (from the left) of the connector. I also cleaned up the flux residue.

Turkey. Vegan?

A week or so ago Ennie and I went to get some of Mike’s famous chili, and as traditional for us, we went over to Trader Joe’s next door. It’s just what happens when we need to go to either Trader Joe’s or have a hankering for chili — one, then the other.

Walking in we were aiming for the humus. We got sidetracked by something else.

So in the shopping basket it went.

The topic of dinner came up today and I suggested the “turkey.” Ennie did a bit of a shudder.

The before picture leaves a bit to be imagined. (Though, admittedly, it was a setup since I hadn’t removed the plastic)

But look at the gravy! heh

The after picture is a lot better though…

If nothing else, the bokeh is good enough to eat!

And plated:

So — review time.


It was way better than I was expecting. It was very reminiscent of real turkey and En commented that the texture was almost too good. It needed a bit of salt and pepper but it was surprisingly adequate. The flavor was good and if we had the forethought to make some sides it would have been even better. Just the stuffed “turkey” and gravy left us wanting a bit.

So my friend Lita, who used to work at TJ’s and is herself vegetarian notes that this is made by Gardein and branded as Trader Joe’s. “Way better than Tofurky” she notes.

All in all, would I buy it again? Probably — if I had a vegetarian coming over for Thanksgiving. Would I get it just for myself? Well, probably not… I’d rather get real turkey and eat that. But it was an interesting and relatively cheap experiment!

Seattle Times Building

Yes, this has been manipulated more than just converting to B&W.

But I’m OK with that when it’s just art.

“Just art?”

I suppose art as opposed to reportage photography.

Working with the hard shadows at high noon made it hard. At least the sun was out on my lunchtime walk so I can’t much complain.

This one will hang on my wall.

Pride of Authorship

I was watching a YouTube video today…

Towards the end there was a comment on “pride of authorship.”

There’s something about that. It’s not looking strictly at the metrics of the code — you know the testing, the code coverage, all that crap. It’s the pride of knowing that the code is as good as you can get it.

When I’m submitting a code review I review it myself first. I want what gets out there to reflect me as the programmer that wrote that code. I want to be the reviewer.

– = –

I’ve also been on the flip side. When I wrote code and got back to it a few years later. Looking at code and thinking “what fucktard wrote this dreck.” Oh, that fucktard is me.  :-/  It’s a learning experience.

– = –

I suppose that’s why I have trouble finishing projects on my own… polishing the turd.  ;-)

Film Cameras

It’s been a long while since I’ve shot film… too long really.

Other than the little semi-disposable 110 camera I had growing up my first real camera I had growing up was a half-frame 35mm Olympus Pen-EE. It was a tiny little camera that shot two frames on what is normally a single frame of film — instead of 36×24 it was 24×18 (mm).

From there I still remember going to a K-Mart with my parents and buying one of my favorite cameras — because it’s my camera — the Minolta X-700.

I remember learning the basics of photography with this exact rig.

From there I moved after a long-ish pause to the Canon EOS line for a goodly while starting with the A2E. I started accumulating lenses as well. The pace of that only picked up when I got the EOS 3 and I set up my darkroom in the old apartment.

Then I moved to a digital. I wasn’t as flush with cash to get a digital SLR of the era so I had a Canon G2 which I used for a while. All four megapixels.

Then I moved back to an SLR with the digital 5D-II. The lenses I’d gathered were back in the rotation. But the darkroom gear languished.

Of course (and it’s hard to miss with my writing odes to the Leica) I’m still shooting digital with the M-240.

But I still sometimes pine for the simplicity of film.

The magic of seeing the image.

When all the digital bits are long gone, silver prints are still going to be around.

I just need to figure out where to put the darkroom. (And maybe pick up a used M film camera to go with lenses? :-P )

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