Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, February 29, 2008

One, only one look, that is!

It apparently wasn't enough for me to change the look of my photo galleries. My computer was calling to me, pulling me in to make one more change.

I was using one of the standard templates for my blog, I'm still using the same overall template (for the body and sidebar of my blog), but I've changed the look and feel of the header to match that on Now the navbar entries on both sites match (and are active), so if you're reading my blog you can use any of the links at the top of the page to jump to a spot within my photo galleries.

Are there more changes coming? There are no more structural or visual changes floating around my brain right now, but of course I'll continue adding more content - words and photos.

Please keep visiting! And enjoy...

Once every four years

Hey - doesn't it seem like this once every four years extra day should be a holiday? February 29th, leap day in a leap year...

To leap is to spring through the air, to jump, to - well, you get the point, don't you? An extra day, according to time and, leap day is needed to "keep our calendar in alignment with the earth's revolutions around the sun." Ah, the sun and the earth...

I suppose if I want this extra day to be a holiday I'll need to create my own. Maybe in four years...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Crystalline shapes

...snow flakes!

As I was driving to work, light snow was falling. That gave me something to ponder as I was stopped at a (long cycle) traffic light, snowflakes landing on the cold outside surface of my car.

Snowflakes in amazing shapes, visible even with un-aided eyes. Simple beauty, complex shapes, crystals, tendrils reaching outwards. Amazing...

Friday, February 22, 2008


Intensifying snow convinced me to head home a little earlier than normal today. My car radio is always tuned to NPR, and this afternoon's treat was a listen to Science Friday. The topic? The sticky feet of geckos!

Have you ever wondered how these little lizards can scurry up walls and across ceilings without falling? Apparently the pads on their toes are "built" to stick, and medical researchers have used the gecko's pads as an inspiration to create a biodegradable surgical adhesive bandage.

The creatures of the world are truly amazing, aren't they? (And yes, I do mean both creatures like the gecko and my fellow humans who have the ability to use puzzles like this to create new things.)

Curious? There are some jumping-off-point links in this summary of today's program Gecko-Inspired Bandages for Medical Use.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Moonlight, magic...

The sky was painted with clouds late in the afternoon, clouds hovering as the night of a full lunar eclipse approached. By some stroke of luck, the sky was totally clear by the time the sun fell below the horizon.

It was a cold night, cold, and wonderfully clear.

The eclipse started, and darkness crept across the full moon. Over an hour into the eclipse, the moon was covered but still visible. The color? It was a striking shade of orange, with bright white still showing on the right edge. The color was amazing and surprising. Orange... As the light started creeping across the moon once again, the orange faded, the bright sliver of white slowly growing larger, taking over the circle of the moon once again.

Curious about the eclipse? Here's a link to a NASA page about the total lunar eclipse of February 20, 2008.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A new look

Yes, I walked twice today, but most of the day I was glued to my computer. It was a holiday, and I wasn't doing my "work" work. I was working on my own puzzle, making changes to the look of my photo galleries. The changes were things I'd been thinking about for a while. The banner on my site was centered, which made sense when all of the photo galleries were limited in width. But a change to SmugMug (where my galleries are hosted) that was released at the end of November makes use of the full width of the browser window. Somehow a centered banner and navbar looked a bit off to me with the wider smugmug-style galleries.

I've been thinking, changing the design in my head, and thinking some more. A rainy day off gave me the perfect time to experiment, to finalize my change both in my head and in reality. I split the banner and navigation into two pieces, one that pins itself to the left side of the screen, and one that moves with the right side of the browser window. I changed the "Gallery" window too. The site looks more balanced to me now, cleaner and as you resize the browser window, things very nicely move to adapt to the changed window size.

I'm happy!

Curious? Take a look at the updated

Mist rising

Warmth on a February day... wonderful warmth! Today was a work holiday, a gift, a 3-day weekend. While I would have been happier with a dry day, there was beauty to be found today. It's still winter here, but the temperatures were in the high 50s all day. I woke to the sound of steady rain.

By the middle of the morning, the sky stopped weeping. It looked like it could start again at any moment, so when I headed out walking I dressed for that possibility. My attire for the morning was light-weight tights and a sleeveless shirt, topped with a rainjacket and a hat, just in case.

There was beauty in gray. Piles of snow still remain, and the mist was rising, hovering, wafting off of the snow. Walking, warmth...

Home again. I was in the house about 10 minutes when I heard the rain. It was pouring again! It must have been the rainjacket wrapped around my waist that allowed me to have a dry walk.

Late in the afternoon... the sky was getting lighter, and flirting patches of blue sky drew me to walk once again. Gray clouds moved rapidly across the sky, bright backlit clouds peeking out. Beautiful.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A bridge, a fort, birds!

It was a gray day, but dry. My camera insisted on a trip to the coast, and I decided to obey that request. Is that any surprise?

From the very green bolts on a footbridge to the very old buildings of Fort McClary, to the dancing prancing sea gulls and the dogs at play, it was a good day to wander...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Favorite photos?

For anyone who is wandering through my photo galleries, I've turned on the ability for you to tell me that you like a photo. As you hover over a photo, you will see a thumbs up symbol. Click on the green "thumbs up" if you see something that strikes your fancy.

I'll be watching...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mouse funnies

A new mouse jumped out and joined me today. Yes, a computer mouse, not one of those flitting little furry creatures!

This mouse made me laugh... it's a wireless mouse, and it has a magnify button, good for eyes that occasionally strain to read the too small text in some windows (mostly web pages where the web developer didn't provide a reasonable way to size the text). The first time I tried magnification, I hit the button, and things popped off of the screen at me. Nice. But then, I couldn't reverse the magnification. Why? It takes a light touch, and I was holding the button in too long. Funny though, holding the button in and scrolling the mouse wheel makes the text even bigger (or smaller, depending on the rolling direction). OK mouse, I've got it now, a light touch turns magnification on, and another light touch turns it off again. That works for me.

After my laughter, I thought maybe I should check the mouse's instructions to see if I was missing something else. Nope, I wasn't missing any features. But I did get another laugh reading about surfaces where an optical mouse may have difficulty. The warnings started with the statement "sometimes an optical mouse will not work on surfaces that do not have visible detail". It went on to give some surfaces to be avoided, including "surfaces with red colors". What? I don't have any red surfaces near my computer, but that one caught me by surprise.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thunder snow

The weather wizard provided a gift of relative warmth this morning, trying to keep me happy before throwing a (predicted) stong, cold wind my way. Late morning, the temperature was in the mid 30s, and while the sky was gray, there was no moisture falling. I headed out for a brisk walk. I walked under a dry sky, then in snow, then in a little rain, then snow again. By the time I got home the sky had stopped leaking moisture. Ah... time for a quiet, relaxing afternoon.

I was sitting, reading, relaxing, when I realized that it was getting dark. Dark? It was just 2 in the afternoon, but the sky was getting dark, snow was flying, and I could hear thunder... thunder snow!

It was a short bout of snow and wind and thunder, followed by a clearing sky. I couldn't resist a wander under a blue sky decorated with flying white and gray clouds, so I headed to a park just few miles down the road for a walk with my camera.

Walking on the icy surface of this pond didn't seem like it would be too smart, although tracks across the surface showed me that other people don't share my caution. It still held branches and scattered debris on a bed of bumps. (And no, I didn't walk on the possibly unstable ice!)

The temperature was hovering near freezing. Tiny pieces of ice sparkled, dressing pine needles and branches alike.

Friday, February 08, 2008

First names? Last?

Something has been jumping out of news broadcasts lately, and that is the use of people's names. The place where this anomaly appears is in discussions of the current presidential campaigns. I listen to NPR news and commentary on my commute. My ears hear that the NPR commentators are consistent in using the same name structure for all candidates, but the people they are interviewing do not use that same habit.

All of the candidates except for Hillary Clinton are referred to either by their last name or by both their first name and last name. That makes sense to me. But as the commentators interview other individuals and those individuals refer to the candidates, they consistently refer to Obama, Barak Obama, McCain, John McCain, and Hillary.

Why is that? Yes, she is a well-known political figure, but so are the others. I have never heard any of the other candidates referred to by just their first name. It seems that if some confusion was expected using just Clinton (between Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton) that the appropriate thing to do would be to use her full name.

Is it just me? Or does this bother you too?

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Walking, camera in hand... That's not a surprise, is it?

I decided to try my long lens on my new camera today. The fast focus is a real plus when I'm chasing birds and animals, but it was still almost impossible to capture the squirrels. They move impossibly fast! No matter, it's always fun trying.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A camera-driven ocean visit

A new camera came to visit and decided to stay!

I've been playing with the idea of upgrading to a Canon 40D. Well, really, I've been arguing with myself about it for what seems like a very long time. This week I finally decided that I was being silly. My camera is not an occasional use item; it travels with me, and it jumps into my hand as I wander near home. It's my constant companion.

I ordered my new toy from B & H Photo, and it arrived on Thursday. I played with it a bit last night, just enough to get familiar with the menus and controls, not enough to learn about all of the new options available to me. At first I felt a bit overwhelmed by the options, but then I pulled myself back into a happy, sane state. My first outing was to take pictures, not to learn everything about the camera in one fell swoop.

And wow! This camera is fast! I can see a difference just in the simple things; wait until I really start exploring my options.

Today was the 40D's maiden voyage. I hope you're not bored with my visits to the New Hampshire coast because that's where my camera pulled me today.

Bigger is better when you're looking at photos. Want bigger? Visit my Camera insists on an ocean visit gallery if you'd like to choose the viewing mode, or go directly to that gallery as a slideshow. Enjoy!

Friday, February 01, 2008

What did you say?

Translating from language to language can create interesting sets of words that bear little or no resemblance to the original statement. I always find word play to be very interesting, and the results from running a sentence through the Lost in Translation web site is fascinating. I'd recommend heading over there to play.

Funny, when the translation is presented, it is under the heading "Patience... Sometimes it's fast, sometimes it's slow. Sometimes it doesn't work at all."

I started with this:
To truly find yourself you should play hide and seek alone.

The resulting sentence after translation from English to French to English to German to English to Italian to English to Portuguese to English to Spanish English?

To be true he would only have that to play the places of nascondentesi.

That funny - or maybe I should just say "non-English" - word popped in from the Italian translation, and of course I had to go looking for the meaning. My first search said that nascondentesi is the present participle of nascondersi, which has a definition of "to hide (oneself)".