Denise Goldberg's blog

Monday, April 27, 2009

A little bit of macro play

Sunshine, comfortable temperatures, light wind...

Walking with a macro lens is always an interesting exercise. A tripod (which of course I wasn't carrying) would have helped in some ways, but I think it still would have been difficult to grab shots of the low-to-the-ground wildflowers. Let's see, flowers are moving in the wind, photographer swaying. Oops! A bit of a blur! As always it was fun playing, and I did end up with a couple of shots that I like.

spring flowers in purple

spring flowers gone to seed

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Falling, flowing water

Today was another gift from the weather wizard, summer in April. I thought about driving to the coast, but then I decided to let my bicycle wheels follow roads closer to home. I stopped to watch the water jumping over the Lawrence Dam on the Merrimack River, happily exercising my camera.

And what luck! As I was snapping away, two men walking across the bridge stopped to chat, to share the wonder of the flowing water. I didn't know, but now I do... they told me that it there is a path that leads under the bridge, allowing visual access to the water falling over the dam. Of course that's where I headed next! Across the road, through an industrial area, and on to a park and a path next to the river. Hmmm... the path ends too soon. But look! I can walk across some dirt, and I'm standing under the bridge at the base of the dam, watching the water fall.

Lawrence Dam

Click to see more of the images that jumped into my camera today at Lawrence Dam.

A bike-triggered light

Hey! The new bicycle-activated lights really do work.

I just missed the light to turn onto route 125 as I was heading home from my ride this afternoon. I was alone in the road at a newly installed traffic light. I rolled to a stop right over the cyclist symbol in the road. The light changed! Awesome...

It's so nice to see that these new symbols are not placebos.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Packaging decisions

Do you ever wonder how food companies decide how to package their products?

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to taste World of Grain cookies at Whole Foods. Ah, tasty! and (for cookies) they have some good qualities from a nutrition standpoint. The product inside of the box is good, but the packaging? I'd have to say it needs a great deal of improvement.

A box of cookies contains 4 inner bags, each containing (about) 7 cookies, 130 calories for the contents of the bag. OK, 4 bags, 7 cookies, that's 28 cookies at 18.5 calories each. The box seems to imply that a bag is a serving, and that was confirmed by the company representative running the tasting. For me? Two of these tasty treats satisfies my after-dinner craving for something a little sweet. Two, not seven.

On the company's Who are we? page, they state that "We are ever mindful of how our business is connected to the world around us, and in that spirit we weigh our options with our customers, suppliers, the planet and our families in mind.". Something about this just doesn't sit right with me. Setting a serving size at a full (inner) bag makes no sense. I believe there are many people out there who will grab a bag as a serving just because it is packaged that way. What's wrong with one cookie? Two? What's wrong with leaving it to the consumer to decide how cookies really fit into a healthy diet? The statement about weighing options with the planet in mind? A box and 4 bags could be replaced with a single bag, a much smaller waste stream. What are they really thinking?

Will I buy these again? If the packaging is changed, then yes, I would buy them again. But the excessive waste - 4 bags + 1 box - when 1 reasonably sealed bag would do really bothers me. For now these are definitely not on my shopping list.


early spring, leaves emerging

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rainbow doubled

I watched a painted sky as I drove home from work this afternoon. It was full of bright blue patches, moving fluffy white and dark gray clouds, rays of sunlight shimmering. Closer to the ground, bright yellow flowers popped, forsythia glowing.

I wanted to be traveling under my own power, walking or biking, accompanied by my camera. But, I was driving so I had to be content with simple looks.

The closer I got to home, the darker the sky became.

Home, it was time to walk. I headed out, shielded by an umbrella as the wind kicked up and rain started falling. The wind tried (and failed) to steal my umbrella.

Walking, dark gray to my right, wind, rain...

Looking to my left, there was blue sky decorated with white clouds, and look! A brilliant rainbow appeared, a double rainbow. What a fabulous sight.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

White flowers, blue sky

Ah, another beautiful day... cool and sunny with a crystal clear sky.

white flowers, blue sky

white flowers blue sky

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Popping flowers



Finally, a sane sign

Finally! I've always questioned the wording on signs telling a cyclist how to trigger the traffic lights to change.

The older signs tend to be at intersections where I believe the magic loop is missing - so no amount of standing on a line will change the light from red to green. The old signs? Most of them say "Cyclist stand on line for green". I suppose the language was correct and my interpretation was incorrect. The first time I saw those words I thought I was supposed to stop at the line when the light was green. It could have been me, but I've heard many other complaints about that wording.

Today, as I was rolling home, I saw a sign that actually made sense to me. And more than that, there were lines surrounding the cyclist sign on the pavement that indicated that there really were sensors in place. Awesome!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bare knees!

It was a magical day, a day with the temperature jumping into the high 60s. Warmth!

I worked from home today, so when I was done talking with my computer at the end of my work day my bicycle was ready to roll (and so was I!). It was 68 degrees when I headed out, just over the "cover your knees in temperatures below 65" rule. Oh, you didn't know about that rule? It's a word of warning to cyclists to prevent knee injuries. Pedaling in circles for many miles takes happy knees, and I try to keep mine that way.

Bare knees, bare arms, no layers needed today...

The sky was bright blue, decorated with puffs of white. As I rode, I passed other people riding, walking, watching, enjoying the warmth. The warmth stayed with me for the entire ride, quiet air transitioned to wind, and gray started to crowd the sky.

reflections of blue sky & clouds in the clear water of a lake

Oh! What a wonderful spring day. Thank you weather wizard!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

ínarú beauty

Colors sparkle and change, dancing in the light...

A beautiful dichroic glass pendant was waiting for me when I picked up my mail tonight, created by Julia Gardner of ínarú. I've always been fascinated by dichroic glass, by the colors changing as the light strikes the glass from different angless. The slightly asymmetric shape of the pendant adds to the appeal.

If you'd like to see more of Julia's creations, jump to her site, ínarú.

ínarú Jewelry by Julia Gardner

Thanks Julia!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Feed me!

It's past time... I've been relying on you to look at my blog to see if any new posts had appeared. I've been meaning to add a feed, and I did that over the weekend. I didn't announce it then because I wanted to sign up for it myself and make sure that it was working. And yes, it is working.

If you'd like to be informed of additions, click the feed button on my blog. You'll have a choice of subsribing via a feed, or having my blog updates delivered to you by email. I've included a feed button in this post for anyone who is not familiar with them, and a feed button can always be found in the blog sidebar as well.

If you decide later that you no longer want to receive updates from my blog, there is an unsubscribe link in the notification email. Or you can always contact me and ask me to remove you from the list.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Walking in the rain

Saturday, water falling from the sky, chilly, still a day for walking protected by an umbrella, listening, watching rain drops...

raindrops on the edge of my umbrella

raindrops on a bright yellow daffodil

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

What's in a (product) name?

Do you ever wonder why companies pull products and replace them with new products that bear different names and (maybe) slightly different ingredients?

Somewhere, sometime, I tried Luna Tea Cakes, a product made by Clif Bar. It was a good quick snack, something to grab after work before I head out walking or riding, something to fill that gap between lunch and dinner that supports a reasonable amount of activity. Sometimes I grab a piece of fruit, sometimes an energy bar (of sorts). Over the past few months, the product just disappeared from store shelves. I did a search for it, and up popped a page on Clif's web site. Hmmm... it's still there. Or is it? When I popped over to the product page there was no trace of tea cakes. But look! There's now something called Luna Cookie. The packaging looks suspiciously like that of the missing Luna Tea Cakes.

I kept an eye out for the product. The retail stores where I usually purchase Clif products showed no signs of Luna Cookies. The thing is, the Luna Tea Cakes and now the Luna Cookies were a (relatively) small snack from a calorie standpoint at 130 to 140 calories, a nice energy boost, just right for me. I'm stubborn. I kept looking, and looking, and then I turned to the web. I found Luna Cookies at for a very reasonable price, so I took a gamble and bought two boxes, bearing the same names of flavors that I liked in the now missing tea cakes - Berry Pomegranate, and Mint Chocolate.

It turns out that from a taste standpoint and a looks standpoint - they could be the same product. I looked at the ingredients of the old and the new, and the lists are very similar. Not identical, similar. Taste? Seems the same to me.

I always wonder, what drives a product change like this? The old product contained green tea from The Republic of Tea; the new one does not. Was this a falling out between companies? An attempt to sell to a slightly different audience? Something else entirely? I suppose it really doesn't matter; I'm just glad to have this snack back.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

...and a beautiful day

Wind... it blew gray clouds in this morning, and then it cleared the sky, leaving blue decorated in white. Wind, gusting, slowing me down, speeding me up, wind...

This morning's chill supported a brisk walk. This afternoon? A little warmer, time for a wander on two wheels...

trees reaching to the sky

flowers in purple

early daffofil

Morning tease

The forecast for today says it will be mostly sunny, and the early morning sky supported the forecast. Just after sunrise, I saw the magic of blue sky behind the patterns of clouds. But now? The gray has returned.

Here's the sight that greeted me earlier this morning.

morning sky, blue peeking through

I'm hoping that the sun returns for another visit later in the day.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

Rolling thunder

Rain, rain, more rain...

It was a very gray, very wet day, yet I still felt a pull to walk. I headed out late in the day in an absolute downpour. In spite of the almost 50 degree temperature I wore warm layers, and I wore the (walking) boots that kept my feet happy all winter. Those boots kept my feet dry, even though I was forced to walk through what seemed like lakes on the sidewalks and along the side of the road.

Quickly walking, shielded by a bright umbrella, listening, watching... There were loud rolls of thunder, bright lightening flashes. And oh! I'm so glad I went walking in the rain.