Monday, July 14, 2008

Catching up

I intend to interpolate some posts at the approximate time they should have been made. So for anyone who has been reading, and think you have seen all my posts as they were made, this is a list of newly interpolated ones, with their dates, and the date they were added.

This image is a version of my picture of the Jack Snipe miniature narcissus, blooming in the spring. I like the posterized effect of the background shingles.

Post date - Title - - - - - - - - - date actually posted:

5/3/08 Always save some film for sunset 7/14/08

4/20/08 The lupines were beautiful 7/14/08

3/28/08 Jack Snipe miniature narcissus7/14/08

12/21/07 Papercut color updated 7/6/08

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Friday, July 11, 2008

What is visibility anyway?

I heard on the radio a translation from visibility in miles to healthy vs unhealthy air quality. ( And found a chart here: pdf )

If visibility is 10 miles & up, air quality due to particulates (smoke) is Good & particulate levels are 0-40
6-9 miles Moderate air quality 41-80
3-5 miles Unhealthy for sensitive groups 81-175
1.5-2.5 miles Unhealthy 176-300
1-1.25 miles Very Unhealthy 301-500
.75 miles or less Hazardous over 500

So my question was, just what do they mean by visible? The very farthest haziest hill? One of the intermediate layers of trees? Just where do we draw that line?

I found a reference to interpreting visiblity data, which might be helpful in answering that almost philosophical question in a useful way. USDA Forest Service- Interpreting visibility data
But I haven't found a real answer yet.

This picture was taken in Nevada City on a recent particularly smoky day. We have had lots of days with particulate numbers over 100 (microgams/cubic meter) and several over 300.

And for days now, it is noticeably hazy between 100 and 200 feet - not as bad as it has been, but smoky. And with an orange moon.

Well, I just checked another search result, and found this at Montana DEQ
1) Face away from the sun.
2) Determine the limit of your visible range by looking for targets
at known distances (miles).
3) Visible range is that point at which even high contrast objects totally disappear.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Batik Mandala

12/18/07 This is a new design for a Cafepress t-shirt. It's based on a scan of a copper batik stamp (tjap). The color scheme is right out of the textbooks: purple, red-violet & blue-violet, and the complementary gold & yellow. I have to admit it works. The version I'll use at Cafepress will have the background removed, so the color of the t-shirt will show through. I think it will look particularly good on black, navy, and the brown longsleeved women's tee.

If I can do some fabric for a skirt with the stamp, just a simple natural fabric color design on purple-dyed fabric, that ought to be fun to wear with a tee. I got this stamp to give away, so if I do anything with it, it has to be soon.

Unfortunately, since it's a large one, it does not fit into the little electric frying pan I have to heat wax in. I have been trying to find an old electric fry pan at the thrift stores, but haven't turned up one yet.

6-20-08 I just got a section made at Cafepress for this design: WRW Color by Design - Fabrics by Design section

7-6-08 I hope to do some experiments these next 2 weeks with soy wax for batik: lower temperature, easier cleanup and removal from the fabric, and can use cooking pans too, not just wax-only containers.

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It's time to test the roof sprinklers again . . .

When Grandpa Hubbard had this house built in 1917, he saved $300 by doing the plumbing himself. (Three floors, plus an attic, and the roof sprinklers.) He put a hose bib in a closet on each floor, with a hose ready in case of fire. And the roof sprinklers. This is the California foothills, and fire is always possible, as we can see now. And originally the house had a shake roof, as well as sides.

This is gravity-flow water, coming down from the mountains, so it should still be available near a fire.

It has been my custom to test them each year on the first really hot day of summer. The best time is when the very last sun is on the roof, for the maximum evaporative cooling, but so the sun will be gone when I turn them off again. It has the advantage then of starting to cool the house off for the night - acting like a giant swamp cooler.

On the usual hot day, this is lovely: it smells like rain, it sounds like rain, it looks like rain, it cools things off. I open all the windows that won't splash in, and after walking around to get a view of all the sprinkler heads, I sit on the porch for a few minutes enjoying it, before turning the water off again.

But Mom called to say that the sprinklers should be tested right away, after all there are fires all over - and I had to agree with her. But it is all smoky and muggy today, and I couldn't open most of the windows. And since it is so muggy, probably the sprinklers didn't cool the house off much.

But it still smelled like rain (and smoke), and sounded like rain, and looked like rain. And I sat out on the porch and enjoyed it.

PS You can see that some sprinkler heads need replacing.

PPS The sky is not blown-out in this photo; that's the color the sky has mostly been for weeks - greyish brownish white.

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Sun has been practicing the moon illusion

This was taken June 26, about 8:00 PM daylight time. As you can see, not yet sunset. But the sky was very smoky, and it was possible to look right at the sun, which looked overall orange. And, as it neared the horizon, it looked very large, like a harvest moon.

For a couple of things about the moon illusion:

One of them mentions that the sun does it too, except that we can't look directly at the sun, usually. Well, that day it was smoky enough that we could. Here it was large and orange. Some places, the smoke caused a lavender sun, as at Arcata over on the coast. Wish I'd seen that.

A couple of days later, it was a surprise to see real light and shadows again, it'd been so long.

It's getting smoky again.

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