Holden Village Continued

When we first started hearing from my parents after they moved up to Holden Village, they sounded like kids at summer camp. They were having a wonderful time, and were enthralled with the people, mountains, community, and spirituality of the place. As time passed, their jobs changed (fewer visitors in winter mean less accidents, less book sales), but they still loved it. Its coming time to decide about staying another year, and they both want to, but feel they’re needed back in the real world.

Our visit was wonderful. The early morning drive over snowy mountain passes, chilly but sunny ride up Lake Chelan, and 10 mile bus ride up the valley to Holden Village was quite fun. My mom drove the bus up the 9 steep switch-backs and across an avalanche field, and we arrived safely. A brief meal and orientation had us on to a bunco game with many of the full time staff and families. It was a fun way to meet my parents friends.

During the winter there aren’t as many visitors, though there is just about as much to do. There was sledding, skiing, snowshoeing and more, plus a great periodical room, library, craft room, common area with games and hot chocolate. My parents were able to take some time off, and we did some skiing and snowshoeing, worked on some puzzles, and just enjoyed each other’s company.

Holden is a religious retreat, and there were evening vespers. I readily left my church (when able) because I was annoyed by so many aspects of the community itself; there was a large break between what Jesus was saying and what we did. I felt my time in the mountains was a better celebration of creation. I found a wonderful meshing of creation, spirituality, and community at Holden that was much more like what I’d expected christianity to resemble. It was easy to see why so many come here.

The trip was amazing, and I look forward to returning. I’ve added some pictures and panoramas.

Holden Village

We’ve just returned from visiting my parents at Holden Village. The commuity, the mountains, and the people are wonderful. Even knowing about the community didn’t prepare me for how welcoming and wonderful the place would be.

Other than typical Holden activities, I did get in some great turns on new boots and we all went on a 4 mile snow shoe. The mine tailings are lovely when covered with 5 feet of snow. I’ve taken a number of pictures, and they’ll be available soon.

Freedlance Photo

File under “Work in Progress”:

For my sister’s christmas gift, Michelle and I bought a domain for Hilary and are setting up a website/gallery for her. The domain is http://www.freedlancephoto.com, and though currently loads, the page there is only a mock-up. The final product will look very similar (unless you’re on Windows and using IE, see previous post), and will use Moveable Type as a content management system. Check back next year. And Merry Christmas.

Simpsons’ Trivia 2

Last year I managed to score a 75% on my Simpsons’ Trivia Calendar. I vowed to improve upon my score by watching more TV. I’m glad to report that I failed to watch more TV, but disappointed that my score dropped to a 68.7%.

I feel that this year’s calendar was more difficult, and it seems to have more questions. I managed 207 right, 94 wrong. In order to save face, I’ll make no promises about next year.

Browser Support

It looks good in Mozilla and Firebird, it looks good in Safari, it looks good in IE 5.2, but it looks like crap in IE 6 for Windows. But that’s no big deal, because only 90% of the viewing public uses it.

I just wanted a page without any tables. Is that too much to ask?

Panoramic Pictures

I’ve been collecting panoramic pictures slowly, and decided to put some in my gallery. So, without further ado, here they are.

Now that that is aside, how about some more …um… ado. Most were taken with my Canon Powershot S300 (awesome!), but one was taken with my trusty old Pentax P30 SLR. Now that I got the photo-stitch program to run in Classic, I’ve been using it to re-join some pictures. It does a nicer job than I do in photoshop, but there are some oddities. The second image in the gallery is of the Wilson River. I composed it using some open source panoramic stitching program, but I can’t remember the name. I was very pleased with its results. Smokey something comes to mind.

Out with the old…

I deleted all my old server logs today. Roughly 2 years worth of information about all those who requested information from my web server. Sure, half (or more) was unintelligible Nimda and Code Red crap, but there was a sizable amount of legitimate stuff as well. I’d say I averaged 1.5 GigaBytes of data transferred per month over the last year, and around 1GB/mo before that.

So why did I ditch it? To make room? Well, yes, sort of. The logs were quite large, but not unwieldy. I just finished setting up analog to monitor all three virtual hosts now being served, and I wanted a clean run. No errors from old log formats, etc… Wipe the slate clean.

Project Looking Glass

Sun showed off the future of GUI with its demo of project looking glass. Its a pretty interesting looking GUI, seems really, really excessive. I can’t imagine using a “3-D” interface with a mouse. I guess that explains why its not really 3-D. Maybe we should work on improving input devices first? My wrists and elbows wouldn’t mind.

Johnathan Schwartz, Executive VP of Software says that it’ll be an “open” desktop environment in which the community will drive its growth. Though I’m a big fan of community development, I feel that the GUI is one item that doesn’t benefit from an untamed community. The reason OS X’s environment is so wonderful to work in, and so seamless between interfaces is because of a very strict set of guidelines defining the GUI. Compare Aqua to GNOME. Which would you rather use? Well, Sun chose GNOME, which I think explains a lot.

Looking Glass is great eye candy, but the demonstration doesn’t offer any compelling improvement to anything available today. Its nothing more than a glitzy dock. Who needs a video to play when its minimized anyway?