Sunday, April 25, 2010

Busy Busy!

Originally uploaded by R Stanek
It's busy everywhere right now. Busy on the blog! Busy at home, now that Sam's eating solids and we're making baby food! Busy at work! Busy with photography, as I'm working on an alphabet project for Sam's room.

So I thought this busy photo was appropriate. I'm still going through the pictures from last weekend's photowalk, and experimenting with the post-processing, and some conversions to black and white. Hopefully some of those will see the light of day!

Courgette (Zucchini) Bread

Back when I was in the Peace Corps (I know, I know) I took spring break 1998 to visit Mike V. on Mafia Island, a small island off the coast of mainland Tanganyika. Mafia is exactly what you would expect from a desert island in the Indian Ocean, complete with a fantastic coral reef. Luckily, V was friends with the folks who ran the scuba dives from the main resort on the island. Which scuba diving!

Yet it does seem kind of rude to just tag along on a dive trip, especially since the resort prepares lunch for the guests, so we had to bring our own lunch. Since it was pumpkin season on Mafia (who knew?) we also decided to bring some homemade pumpkin bread to barter for some better food. Although we lacked a real oven, it's possible to make quick breads by building a very basic "convection" oven. You put one sufuria (a pot without a handle) on a three piles of coins inside another larger sufuria which is placed on a kerosene stove. When you cover the large sufuria, convection will bring heat all the way around the bread. It works pretty well, although temperature control is a fine art that depends on the temperament of your kerosene stove.

Joining us on the dive trip that day (pictured above) were the resort folks, Sam (who was British), and a woman whose name eludes me for the moment (who was a white Kenyan). The paying guests were a nice family from Denmark who were very blond. At lunch we brought out the pumpkin bread, and everybody was baffled. Bread made with pumpkin? Nobody had ever heard of such a preposterous thing! Sam said incredulously, "what other crazy things do you Americans make...courgette bread?"

Indeed we do!

In spite of their apprehension, everybody enjoyed the bread and I got two more free days of diving that week.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Truth About Pandering

One of the great things about Michael Steele is that he often accidentally speaks the truth, like in his mention of the GOP's infamous Southern Strategy. In return, a conservative blogger complained, "Steele’s job is to make TODAY’S GOP attractive to voters, not to declare that we haven’t pandered enough to any group."

Let me spell this out for Mr. Cargosquid. If the only demographic your party consistently attracts is white men, maybe the problem isn't that you're not pandering to other groups. Maybe the problem is that you've been pandering to white men. Remember when I pointed out that in many circles, male is the default? Well, to the GOP, white men are the default, and everyone else is a special interest group.

(Special interest groups who should stay in the kitchen! Ah, Medina.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Walking around

Hanging around
Originally uploaded by R Stanek
Yesterday I met up with a few other local Flickr people and went on a photowalk at the harbor! I love the harbor so much. It got overcast, and then it got cold, so we didn't last very long. Long enough, though! I took tons of pictures, and uploaded quite a few after my first pass through them.

This one was my favorite. I love the way the pink bucket stands out against the masts and the background.

(Week 16 of Project 52. As I said, this was a stupid resolution. But I may as well keep going. I'm going to try to keep with the spirit of the resolution -- no holding back pictures with the intention of uploading them at a later date).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Whimsy and Whining

Takin' it to the streets!
Originally uploaded by R Stanek
Boy, this was a stupid resolution. Uh, this is from my archives, which are running a bit thin. Anyway, I think this is cute, and there are worse things in life than being whimsical.

(Week 15 of Project 52.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Originally uploaded by R Stanek
I know, more diagonal lines! But, much like Sam, the heating vent kept catching my eye. I love the weird patterns made by the rust, and . . . okay, maybe I should dust it. Whatever.

Week 14 of Project 52. I'm caught up! We'll see how long that lasts.


Originally uploaded by R Stanek
I know I keep doing these backlit shots, but I can't stop -- it's a sickness! I promise, this will be the last one for a while, but I like the over-exposed nature of this one, plus the spiderweb at the top.

Week 13 of Project 52. (Yes, still catching up. Taken on or before 3/28/2010.)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Balanced. Maybe

More Tivoli Lights
Originally uploaded by R Stanek
Another picture from Tivoli! This might be the last Tivoli picture, but it's not like I could ride any of the rides there, so I spent the entire time taking pictures.

Sorry for all the archived pictures, but except for pictures of Sam (which, in addition to sunsets and flowers, don't count) I didn't manage to take any pictures I actually liked in the month of March.

(Project 52, week 12. Taken on or before 3/21/2010.)

People in the Picture

Stop. Lights.
Originally uploaded by R Stanek
It's been a crazy couple of weeks here, but I'm finally catching up on blogging and resolutions. Here's another picture from Tivoli -- I spent so long wandering around with my camera it's a shame how few pictures I posted back in June! Normally I'm quite shy about taking pictures with people in the frame -- street photography is definitely not my thing -- but for whatever reason I didn't mind that night.

I should get braver about street photography, because I think the people in the frame make this a lot more interesting than some of my other Tivoli pictures. The other pictures might be prettier, but I think this is more interesting.

(I know I'm behind on Project 52. I'm not going to cheat as I catch up -- this picture was taken before 3/14/2010, and so counts as week 11.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Silly Girls -- the Internet is for Boys!

It's April 1, meaning that it's time for technology blogs -- and it's always technology blogs -- to pull out that tiresome old canard of making their site women-friendly. It wasn't funny when Slashdot did it, and it's not funny now that PetaPixel has done it. Yes, how hilarious to market technology sites towards women! After all, we know that the internet is for the menfolk!

On a related note, many sites nowadays have user icons. But what if you don't upload one? What sort of "default" icon is provided for you? In most cases, it's a male icon. Sites with male default icons include, but are not limited to:

It is possible to have gender-neutral default icons. Flickr uses an emoticon. Twitter has a bird. Typepad has abstract designs. Why have a masculine default icon when you could have a neutral one? Clearly no one -- not even Jezebel -- would ever have a feminine default icon.

This is why I cheered when Nancy Pelosi said, "Being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition." Because I'm tired of the meme that the default status is male, whether in health care or on silly blogs online.