Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Infinite Purple Disco Galaxies

Horrifying to contemplate, but interesting to look at. Thanks to Dzeni for the inspiration. Her fractals look infinitely better than mine, but it's giving me something else to explore with Apophysis.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Typos Doth Vex Me

It's a good thing I'm not a proofreader by trade. My head would have blown up by now.

From an internet radio site: "so you can listen in the future without the hastle". Yes, the little red underline thingy just means that I'm spelling it with emphasis!

From the footer of a Yahoo! e-mail: "Don't get soaked. Take a quick peak at the forecast". Because everyone knows that weather comes from mountains. The tops of the mountains, or "peaks", tear holes in the clouds. That's where rain comes from. Ripped clouds.

I really don't get it. I mean, I understood it (to some degree) when people didn't have spell checkers to do it for them. But even this blog writing applet underlines the words that aren't words! So, I've decided I'm going to speak in typo from now on. I'm joining the masses. When I meet people, I'm going to say "Heee" instead of "Hi". "Shoe" instead of "sure", things like that. Changing vowels here, stretching consonant pairings there... if I'm consistent I'm pretty sure I can get some sort of pity funding. At the very least, I'll get people to leave me the hell alone.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Legs and I Are Not On Speaking Terms

We went to Peña Blanca Lake today, as the first stop on a day planned with much enjoyment for all. It's south of us, nearly in Mexico, but a short drive to reach. We took the unpaved road to a parking area (marked with an "X" on the right side of the map), and walked down a trail to the lake. Once there, we decided to walk around the entire lake. Yes, you read that right. Walk around the entire friggin' lake. The trail was narrow, rocky, Bullwinkle, and had patches of snow here and there. We weren't going for any land speed records, though, as we stopped now and again to take pictures. Naturally. It wasn't bad at all, as it was refreshing to be outside and still be chilly rather than feeling all hot and incinerated. When we finally reached the spot on the map marked with a "Z" (center left), we decided to just walk up the road rather than continue our off-roading ways. By that time, hiking had lost its appeal, and sitting in the car became very enticing.

I'd like to pause to point out that we had initially stopped and parked at the "X", and did not know how far the road went between the "Z" and the "X". If you were to draw a semi-straight line between the two on an overhead map, you'd say: "Gee, if you keep hiking, you'd get back to the car much, much quicker than if you go all the way up on the road!" If you were to say that, and you had an overhead map with you at the time, I would heartily agree. However, you and your damn map were nowhere to be found, so instead we walked on the road. Did I mention that the inclination of the road was up? Uphill really sucks when you're sick of walking. Paved or unpaved.

My head is sunburned, my legs hurt, and I'm going to ceremoniously destroy my boots for being ridiculously uncomfortable. But it was worth it, because we got to experience this:

As for the rest of the trip... eh. We were supposed to go see some ghost towns. Old Glory was on the map, but no road existed for it. Despite there being a road on the map. Ruby was closed. Yes, closed. It's privately owned now, and the owner only has it available on Thursday - Sunday. Plus, he charges $12 per person to see the place. Expletives were shared by all when we finally got to Ruby. Partridge was gone, Arivaca was there, but nothing to write home about. So, all in all, it was a good day. My legs may even forgive me. Probably by about Tuesday.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Screams of Panic in the Desert

Yep, snow. Not where we are, but there's apparently snow on the ground just to the north of us in Oracle. The little forecastfox toolbar on my browser shows snow for today and tomorrow, and there's supposed to be about a foot or so of snow in the higher elevations. An interesting side effect of this is that our cable has been out for a few hours today. Not sure why, as it has really just been a cold rain for us. I guess the bastards at Comcast have a panic button that shuts everything down as they prepare to hibernate and hide from the scary cold stuff. I am a little disappointed that the snow hasn't, and most likely won't, hit the ground here. I'd just like to see how the locals would react. I guess I'll have to console myself that they're freaking out just a bit that it's currently 32 degrees outside. And I'll be looking back on this day with great fondness around July 1st when it's 2,000 degrees in the shade...


Shows how good I am at forecasting. Snow actually landed on the ground! Schools were either closed, or delayed for a half day in the hopes that the scary, evil white stuff would hurry up and melt away so that the darling children wouldn't have to be mentally scarred by its presence. How much snow was there? Well, this is what I saw when I looked outside:

And there's more snow in the forecast! What are we going to do?!?!?!?!?!?

Sheesh. In the wilderlands of upstate New York, we call this "June".

Friday, January 19, 2007

You'd Think The Missing Roof Would Be The Bigger Problem

Taking pictures of adobe ruins is enjoyable. Manipulating those pictures so that a window in an old adobe fort becomes a portal into another dimension where spectral firefly things use their green flame energy to rip their way into our world is also enjoyable. Just in a different kind of way. I guess it's just my way of saying that no matter what your weather is like outside, it could always be worse. Wind, rain, snow, heat... they all pale in comparison to an interdimensional invasion.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I Have No Idea

... what to call this. I like it, Deb likes it, and that's good enough for me.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Can Make Real Things Look Fake

Since we discovered these nifty toxic plants on New Year's Day, I've been itching to do something creative with them. Because, really, what else would one do with strange toxic plants? This one got a kind of rose treatment, just because I felt like it. We're thinking of something more Halloweeny for the others, though. I mean, a creepy plant like that belongs on some sort of Halloween decoration. The flash made this look more like plastic than plant, though. It looks fairly good in natural light.

Oh, and I was thinking of something more along the lines of this for the Halloween thing:

Thank you Photoshop for making my color choices easy without me having to get paint all over everything.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year Spooktacular

One of the great things about living in Arizona is the plethora of ruins. Towns that were once booming have now crumbled and have been mostly reclaimed by the desert vegetation. Fairbank is one of those towns, and we were fortunate enough to visit it on New Year's Eve. Of particular interest, for us at any rate, was the fact that the Fairbank cemetery was readily accessible. Most of the graves were like the one pictured above. A simple wooden cross, and a pile of stones. They were scattered without rhyme or reason on a hilltop a half mile away from the town. One grave, presumably that of a child, had had some recent visitors. Evinced by the toys left at the base of the weatherbeaten (weather-blasted, really) little wooden cross. With no name on the cross, I doubt the visitor was a relative. But it just goes to show you that graves and markers are made for the living much more than they are for the dead.

Today, we drove along some very... interesting... roads in order to visit Camp Rucker in the Coronado National Forest. ("Interesting" = the kind of dirt road you're better off walking on than driving on) Not only did we get to see ruins from 1880 or so, but we got to see something we haven't seen in quite a while: snow on the ground! Yep, it's been cold here, but we were at about 6,500 feet. That's above the snow line, apparently, and we got to trudge around in the stuff for a while.

It's nice to visit, but I'm glad I don't have to shovel it. Makes for some cool pictures, though. (No pun intended.)