Thursday, June 22, 2006

Return of the prodigal trailhead parking

Trailhead parking returns! Posted by Picasa

I was over by the Mansion Rd trailhead today, and discovered that the curb that was blocking the parking area there has been removed. They even paved over most of the dirt parking area. I didn't even have the time to do any official complaining yet... My faith in government is restored. Kudos to the party or parties who rectified the situation so speedily!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A story about "The Flower of Evil"

by Claude Chabrol

I first saw The Flower of Evil a couple of years ago when I was on a ski trip in Val D’Isere, France. It was very confusing because, of course, there were no subtitles, and my French is poor.

The storyline of the movie takes place over a pre-election week in which an upper class woman runs for mayor of a small town. Her son has just arrived home from an extended stay in the US. This is one strange family, and apparently the weirdness goes back several generations.

After watching this film I begin to feel that I’m missing something about Chabrol’s films in general. I think that there’s some context about the French class system that’s being commented on, and I just don’t get it.

In fact, I think I just don’t “get” Chabrol overall. I’ve watched a lot of his movies:
Merci pour le chocolat (2000)
Rien ne va plus (1997)
La Cérémonie (1995)
L’Enfer (1994)
Betty (1992)
Les Innocents aux mains sales (1975)
La Rupture (1970)
Le Boucher (1970)
Que la bête meure (1969) – my favorite
La Femme infidèle (1969)
Les Biches (1968)
At best, they have a very strange, surreal quality. At worst, they seem like a bad episode of some 1970s crime drama. Why is he so enormously popular, exactly?

In any case, this particular movie is not one of Chabrol’s finest. But it’s ok; and maybe with the proper context I’d appreciate it more.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Let's talk about the weather

It was just too damn hot today, too much for June. Is this a record? Sweltering. When I heard the forecast yesterday, I decided to scrap any plans for an extensive hike. Instead, I went out for about an hour in the evening, though. It was buggy, but bearable. I saw a deer, some squirrels, and a chipmunk.

PSA - back up your hard drive

I backed up my hard drive today... Yay me! I should do this more often. It's not so difficult, it's just tedious.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sunday, June 11, 2006

You can never have too many ducklings

Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.
Over at Todd's Pond, the ducklings have finally arrived! This single female has a brood of ten. Maybe she's seeking to single-handedly repopulate the earth (or at least Todd's Pond).

View from Mt. Pisgah

View from Mt. Pisgah
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

Pink mountain laurel

Pink mountain laurel
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.
I went for a hike up to Mt. Pisgah today (calling this a mountain is an exaggeration; it is 644 ft high). It started out unreasonably chilly and windy. Fortunately, I started to warm up near the summit.

Mountain laurel is blooming all over the place, now. I spotted both white and pink flowers. The buds are quite strange, if you ask me; designed by aliens.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Not exactly finished...

I’ve been hiking so many times over the past few years that it doesn’t make sense to keep it as a goal. It’s a habit. So I’m crossing it off my 43things list. I’ll still be out there hiking as often as I can though.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Scotty's way

Scotty's way
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.
This bridge along the yellow trail was built by an Eagle Scout troop. Interesting dedication.

View from the yellow trail

Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.
It turned out to be a reasonable day for hiking with less precipitation than yesterday. I was out for 2 hours - yellow-red-violet.

On the way back out, I came across a family who had left their trail map in the car. I was able to help them (I hope!) by showing them my own trail map. I kind of wish I'd given them the map - I don't really need it. It didn't occur to me until I was well away.

A story about "Beginning Algorithms (Wrox Beginning Guides)"

by Simon Harris

I got this as a supplement to Cormen. It’s ok, but it is heavily padded with code. They even took the trouble to explain unit testing and then bloated the book with tons of unit testing code. It feels like I’m moving through the book pretty quickly, but that’s just because there are so many pages of code that require very little attention.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

All dressed up and nowhere to go

The old makes way for newPosted by Picasa

I finally caved in and bought a new bottle of sunscreen this morning. I've been meaning to do this for over a year. I've got a huge tube of Banana Boat that is old beyond memory. Whenever I put it on, I wonder if it hasn't aged to uselessness or converted to some dastardly cancer-causing agent. I went for a smaller bottle of the Neutrogena stuff this time. Conveniently, it has an expiration date. Plus it's ludicrously expensive, so I'll feel compelled to use every last drop.

But there's no use for sunscreen right now. Apparently, it's going to rain all weekend. Nevertheless, I went out to face the elements around noon. I wore rainpants and a rain jacket. The air was clammy. There was a fine mist coming down throughout most of the hike, but it never poured. I spotted a couple of deer, and placed my feet very carefully so as not to slip on the rocks.