Archive for the 'General' Category

General posts

Yahoo! Requires a Dancing Pony to Open a New Account, but I Don’t Have a Dancing Pony

I've so many things that I want to write about lately, but just no time as I help my mom recover from a stroke. But I ran into something so frustrating that I just have to rant a bit....

I worked for Yahoo! from 1997 to 2004, and as such it has a special place in my heart despite how it's deteriorated over the years. Knowing how it's deteriorated, though, didn't prepare me for what I ran into recently when trying to create a Yahoo! account for my mom.

I recently set my folks up with a new TV, a [...]

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Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

My server is back.

I was down for the better part of the week due to a bit of stupidity on my part. Much thanks to Peak Hosting for extracting me from my mistakes!

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Poking Around Miyajima Island and its Daisho-in Temple


Last week I caught a cold that absolutely lay waste to me... I think it was the worst cold I've ever gotten. I'm mostly recovered now. Somewhere along the line I heard a friend was headed to Miyajima, and that reminded me that I've got plenty of photos I've not yet posted, so while I recover, here are a few photos from a trip to Miyajima two years ago...

I've posted photos of the famous gate many times, including in:

Main Gate of the Itsukushima Shrine, at Night Why I Shoot Raw: Recovering From Disasters Miyajima at Low Tide [...]
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30 Pounds of Microsoft Office

Going through some closets in our childhood home, my sister came across some software she bought fresh out of college. It's a blast from the 22-years-ago past, when software came with massive manuals.

In this case, the box weighs 30 pounds (14kg), and the manuals are 9" (23cm) wide.

This was back when "Windows™" was just "Windows™" (it was a year or two before "Windows 95™"). She paid about $500 for it, in 1994 dollars no less.

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Feeding the Bluebirds

I've been feeding the birds at my folks' house while in town, and so would like to post a few more photos beyond what I included in earlier posts (here and here).

A lot of birds come by, but these photos are mostly bluebirds.

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The Frustrating Fallacy of “Next Day Air”

Ordering something online from a US retailer last Friday, for domestic delivery. I was given the option to pay $20 for "Next Day Air". When I selected that option, the expected delivery date was updated to.... Tuesday, four days hence.

Folks in America know nothing other than this shady date math... an order placed on Friday doesn't get processed or shipped until Monday, so "next day" isn't until Tuesday, but it drives me crazy. In Japan, when you order something for the next day, it arrives The Next Day.

For example, in Japan, "Amazon Prime" is "free next-day delivery". If [...]
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Snowy Ohio Morning, Take 2 (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of "Snowy Ohio Morning, Take 2", of photos around my folks' place after a snowstorm. After 49½ years at the same place, it's probably the last winter they'll be here, so I thought I'd memorialize the place with some more photos, mostly for my siblings' and my own memory...

I still remember coming home from elementary school one day to find it in the driveway. He bought it when adding on to our house, but he still uses it 40 years later to clear snow from the driveway.

We all wished he would have painted [...]

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The Fix for Missing Apps After an iPhone Restore from Backup

Another issue I discovered with my iPhone today, besides the problem of it not alerting to a new watchOS version, is that restoring an iPhone from a backup with iTunes requires a lot of temporary disk space, and if you don't have enough, the restore operation will partially fail, silently leaving the phone with some apps (and their data) missing.

If you notice, as I did today because most of my apps were missing, you can clear out disk space and re-run the restore.

The first time I encountered this kind of problem was a few months ago when restoring [...]
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A Fix for Apple Watch Apps Not Showing Up

This post is for the search engines, about how I remedied an issue with my Apple Watch, for folks who might have the same issues.

TL;DR version: if watch-enhanced apps are not even showing up in the iPhone "Apple Watch" app, check in that app to make sure that you have the latest watchOS version.

I stopped by the Apple Store in Akron Ohio the other day to have my iPhone's camera replaced because its stabilization had started to go crazy. As they fixed it for free under warranty, I lazily watched [...]
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Snowy Ohio Morning, Take 2

Today was a gorgeous warm sunny day, with temperatures in the mid 60s (~18°C) and a warm breeze. T-Shirt weather. It's difficult to believe that just a few days ago we had lots of snow and temperatures approaching -10°F (-23°C).

A week ago I posted "Snowy Frigid Ohio Morning", with lots of snow pictures. A few days later a storm brought a bunch more snow, and I went out early for some more pictures, from which I posted "A Warmer Version of That “Warm” House Photo". This post has some more shots from after that second storm.

Early before sunrise, [...]

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A Warmer Version of That “Warm” House Photo

In "Snowy Frigid Ohio Morning" a few days ago, I posted a photo of the back of the house that I grew up in and that my folks have lived in for 49½ years. I captioned it "Warm", but commented that I had hoped for more orange spill from the incandescent lighting inside.

I hadn't gotten what I wanted because I was too late in the morning, where ambient light from the pre-dawn sky was already bright enough to overpower the house lights.

So I tried again this morning. We had quite a bit of snow last night, and I [...]

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Kyoto Cyclocross Bicycle Race: Final Roundup

This should be my final post about having watched my first cyclocross bicycle races recently.

There was a lot of mud.

Most photos in previous posts (the intro, "Practice at the Mud Baths", "The First Two Races", and "Falling in the Mud") concentrated on areas I called "the Mud Bath" and "Mud Hill". I finally got far enough through my photos to find some that show them in context a bit... here's a wider view showing folks going through and away from the Mud Bath....

A reverse-angle shot from the overpass in the distance...

Some other random shots from the [...]

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Snowy Frigid Ohio Morning

It's pretty chilly this morning here in Ohio, about 5°F (−15°C), with about 8" (20cm) of recent snow. It's not all that bad by Ohio standards, but it's been 30 years since I lived here, and Kyoto rarely gets much below freezing. Then again, it was only two years ago that I visited Ohio when it was -10°F (-23°C), so I guess today isn't so bad.

I woke up with the light, and it looked so pretty and calm outside that I had to run out with the camera. I only have one lens with me on this trip, a [...]

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Falling in the Mud: A Cyclocratic Medaphore for Life

Last week's "Watching My First Cyclocross Bike Race" opened with the photo above. Today I'll share the whole fun sequence of photos that followed.

As I write this I'm dealing with a family medical emergency in America, and as I sit in a hospital waiting room, these photos from a cyclocross bicycle race last week in Kyoto Japan strike me as a perfect metaphor for life: if you suffer a setback, just shake it off, put on a smile, and continue forward.

(PS: I just made up the "Cyclocratic" seen in the title; there's probably a more grammatically-appropriate word I [...]

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Muddy Kyoto Cylocross: The First Two Races

This post, brought to you at 4am by jetlag, is a continuation from "Cyclocross Races: Practice at the Mud Bath". Above we have the very first rider of the first race to make it to where I was at the Mud Bath.

The first race actually was three separate races run in parallel: "Category 3" (men who had earned the right to advance from the anyone-can-enter Category 4), "Masters 2" (men 40 and over who have done well enough to progress from Masters 3 and Masters 4), and "U17", children 17 and under who, presumably, are too old or too [...]

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Cyclocross Races: Practice at the Mud Bath

I'm currently at airport hotel in Osaka (which I've recommended before) so I can make an early flight out in the morning, for an unfortunately-sudden family-emergency trip to America. Having arrived here with plenty of time, I'll go ahead follow up on this weekend's "Watching My First Cyclocross Bike Race".

Today's pictures concentrate on the Mud Bath during the practice before the races.

A common pattern was for the rider to enter fast and powerful, with the apparent intention to just brute force his way through the mud. This would have been fine except that the mud was sufficiently deep [...]

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Watching My First Cyclocross Bike Race

Today was the last race of the local cyclocross-racing season, and I took the opportunity to see some friends race. Cyclocross bicycle racing is sort of like mini-obstacle-course bicycle racing, with a few laps on a relatively short course going over steep embankments, through mud and sand, over barriers, etc. It rained quit a bit a few days ago, so the course had plenty of photogenic mud.

I literally have not yet seen all the photos I took, but I wanted share a few so as to share the gist of the day.

There are races throughout the day for [...]

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More Details on the Insidious iOS Snap-to-Road “Feature”

This post is a short followup to last month's "The Scourge (or Beauty) of “Snap To Road” with iPhone Location-Tracking Apps", in which I explained how an attempt by Apple to make the iPhone location services more relevant for car navigation can end up destroying the accuracy for other uses such as geoencoding or fitness tracking. When enabled, the user's location is "snapped" to the center of the nearest road; internally Apple calls it "Map Matching"; I call it "Snap to Road".

In the screenshot of Google Earth seen above, the red line, recorded with the "Snap to Road" feature [...]

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Great Excitement in Small Pleasures: A Starbucks Opens Nearby

The old Kyoto Theater Hall near my house reopened today after some years of renovation, emerging as "ROHM Theater Kyoto" (ロームシアター京都). ROHM is a semiconductor company based here in Kyoto, last mentioned on my blog more than 10 years ago, before I got into photography or even blogging that much, on this post about their annual Christmas lights at their company headquarters. They must have paid a boatload of money to someone to get branding rights for this renovated concert/theater complex.

I have a vague recollection of seeing some kind of performance at the original theater 25 years ago, when [...]

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Lazy New-Year Break and Reflections on Last Year’s Cycling

It's been a mostly-lazy New Year break for me, just hanging out at home with the family, working here and there on my Lightroom plugins, from time to time updating roads I cycle a lot at with much more accurate road data than they currently have, and some general vegetating.

I did get to bookmark the change of year with a last bicycle ride in 2015 up into the mountains north of Kyoto on the last day of the year. There was even a bit of snow. Brrrr. Then on January 2nd, I did a lazy ride to the [...]

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