karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I had a 6 year old Apple Extreme Basestation -- great device -- had given me trouble-free service for 6 years! Best router I had ever had, and I would have bought an updated one!

And it was still kicking....but sadly Apple is getting out of the router business. So I decided to try a mesh network because the front porch was a bit weak and so was the glider out back under the Mulberry.

I set up a Linksys Velop mesh network today with 2 devices. I'm still testing -- this is not a recommendation yet, but so far so good!

The setup took a few steps but was pretty easy. You start by downloading the app for your phone, and then the app takes you step by step through setup.

First you create your network name and password - I didn't take any screen prints at that point. Since I used the same name and password, and the same security protocol, after I finished, all my devices re-connected with no manual intervention from me!

All this is in Portuguese, of course because applications obey your language preference on iOS...so I have to be 'on top of my game' with my Portuguese when I am doing any new setup! I really have to read slowly to make sure I'm answering the questions correctly!

Several steps (not sure if these are the right order or not!) -- "Verifying an internet connection"...."Accessing the cloud"..."Success! You configured a node!"..."Sending configurations to the node"...."Configuring your remote access"...

On the very first node -- the one that actually connects to the wired broadband network...there was a failure -- a sad cloud face...I ended up resetting the node and going through the process again.

After setting up both nodes, it told me there was a firmware update, so I let it download it.

It gives you some instruction on where to position the nodes -- where you want coverage, but within reach of the first node. It's NOT personal to your situation, but just suggestions.

You pick the location of the node -- and that is how it is referred to in the application from then on. In this case, it was the node in the kitchen (cozinha)

It decided that I had a picked a good spot for node 2 --

Your WIFI is ready. The configuration was finished.

I am still testing whether this is better or not. I noticed my Macbook getting hot when I was sitting on the porch (sign of weak connection), so I used the 'device prioritization' to make it one of the top devices. It has cooled off. Not sure if that had anything to do with it or not.

It was an easy setup...although it took a few minutes....I'll keep an eye on it and post an update to this article in a few days.

karmicdragonfly: (Default)
Nothing earth-shattering, but it's nice to see an old gay man and a young gay boy talking about their experiences growing up and coming out.

Bucket List

Jul. 8th, 2017 10:01 pm
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I need to visit Bisti again....This is how I remember it...
Last Bisti Pic...Panorama
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
Wow -- I had some sort of allergic reaction last night! Around midnight, I woke up with a stiff thumb, and noticed it was swollen, so I took an Advil and dunked the thumb in ice water for a little while and went back to bed.

As I'm lying in bed, I notice my cheek feels stiff. So I get up and look in the mirror.

OMG! What is going on??! I took Benadryl, and the swelling (both thumb and face) is better this morning!

Last evening, I was staking up tomato, hibiscus and phlox plants. That is the only thing that was outside of my normal routine. The plants brushed my face while I was staking them. My suspicion is the tomato plant -- they sometimes cause rashes in some people.
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I am being very lazy on this long holiday weekend! A friend and I headed downtown to walk along the river yesterday --
The Cathedral Under the Bridge

Pic of a friend on the Canal Walk


And I got a few more Bisti images processed. This first one is a very short time-lapse. It takes A LOT of stills to make a time-lapse, and about 1/2 through, I kicked the tripod...so I had few photos than I needed.

I think you'll have to click on this to open it in Flickr before you can see the play arrow.
Bisti Shadows at Moonrise

This one is quite phallic, lol!

karmicdragonfly: (Default)
Most days, I find something to listen to or read that gets me a bit of Portuguese practice. Hoje tem um vídeo no YouTube que eu estou tentando pra entender...

The words are similar to a Portuguese proverb: If you run the beast catches (you); if you stay, the beast eats (you)." -- se correr, o bicho pega; se ficar, o bicho come.

There's an LGBT dimension to this video...
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
Sorry for this long, jumbled post. I don't think i have a point here.. just a list of jumbled thoughts and general observations about the precipice we are standing on.

Fear -- Common Thread

1) The Republican party is not about common good -- it is strictly a grasp for more power. Centralized politics always is leads to power grabs, but I have never seen it this naked before. I read a tweet the other day about how it seems that Republicans are voting as if they will never have to run in a free election again - in other words, they are not afraid of losing an election based on their votes in Congress.

2) The people who are supporting Trump seem to be 'white people first' people -- 'Make America Great Again' really is 'Make America White Again'. Being white myself, I don't say that with the intention of insulting. -- it's just my perception that MAGA is really about white people feeling threatened.

3) The people supporting him also tend to be conservative Christians. Same issue -- Christians feel threatened not being in the majority anymore. I read somewhere that 911 caused an upsurge in atheism! I suppose it's because 911 was due to religious extremism -- done in the name of god.

4) The people supporting him are afraid -- maybe afraid of losing their 'place' in the world. And Fox (let's call it the 'state news') is constantly drumming the fear beat.

5) The people supporting Trump seem to mostly be rural...and indeed rural society has broken down. Seriously -- I don't think urban people realize how broken society has become in rural areas. This is a source of fear for rural people.

The common thread is fear. I see the fear, but I don't feel it.
--> If a MAGA person sees a person in a turban...they become afraid, probably thinking 'what will this turbaned person do to me'?
--> When I see a turban on a co-worker, I tell him that I really like the color of the turban! (the man I'm talking about is Sikh and wears red turbans a lot, and I like the color red.)

I'm not acting all 'high and mighty' here -- just seriously, I don't feel the fear -- quite possibly because my life in general is pretty stable right now. Of course, I do have a good deal of concern about the children of immigrants becoming radicalized...and that radicalization is so very violent in nature. It seems to be a situation where the children become distant from both their own culture -AND- the dominant western culture. And radical ideology fills the void.

But to me, closing the doors to immigrants feels less like 'closing the doors to immigrants'...and more like 'closing the gates to pen Americans in' -- I worry that the gates are closing in the way they did for Jews who waited too long as the Nazis came to power, and then could not get out.

Speaking of power grabs

As I read the article about the Federal Commission wanting personal data on every voter since 2006, I saw this quote in the article: “…Kobach 'has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas....'"

And that made me think of this Maya Angelou quote: When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.


Existential Dread

This article spoke to me:
"Terror management theorists believe anxiety over death is the driving force behind politics, art, literature, religion, science, and the rest of what we call civilization. In order to manage the terrible yet inescapable knowledge of our own impermanence, we seek out projects that offer us some promise of immortality, either literal or symbolic."

Breakdown of institutions --
Loneliness is a vacuum that yearns to be filled. And when established institutions are unable to meet that need, fringe ideologies come to replace them. Thus Hannah Arendt wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism that “totalitarian domination as a form of government … bases itself on loneliness, the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man.”

Basically, the terror management thinking is that all of civilization is a reaction against the existential dread we all have! And the breakdown in the community ties that bind is what has resulted in our political situation.
"Trump seized the White House by utilizing the oldest known recipe for legitimating political power: Cultivate an aura of immortality; remind your subjects of their own mortality by nourishing their fear of an alien Other; promise the extinction of that Other, and an escape from death’s shadow, in return for loyalty."

I can't tell if we are still on the precipice..or falling at this point.


Jun. 28th, 2017 06:17 pm
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I tended to spend time by myself at Bisti. I liked the others in the group, but I wanted a lot of solitude...

This was during the blue hour after sunset....me by myself, wind, solitude...standing, thinking, taking pictures....

I was and will always continue to be fascinated by these 'swirls', lol!

Missing Bisti tonight...As I told my Brazilian friend -- "I'm feeling a lack of Bisti tonight!" Eu sinto falta de Bisti!

karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I was talking about this Twilight Zone with a friend tonight -- not sure why the subject came up...


Jun. 27th, 2017 05:38 pm
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
The painter painted the porch, and it looks really nice!

But I got home and noticed a dragonfly had gotten stuck in it! You know I like dragonflies a lot!

And he's still alive! But I can't get to him. And even if I could get to him, I think I would end up pulling off a leg or wing or something.


Awww!  Sad!


I emailed the painter about it -- not because I expected him to do anything, but just as a personal note. He felt bad for the dragonfly, so he came by the next day and used a long stick to free him! And as far as I know, the dragonfly kept all his wings and legs!
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I am still not recovered from my trip, so I decided to have a quiet weekend. Today, I walked a little, and got a shot of an Ebony Jewelwing --
Ebony Jewelwing (?) Damselfly
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
The schedule on the Bisti trip was crazy...Day 1, we had class from 10 - 2...then we met at 4PM to go out all night, arriving back around 5AM...only to have another class start Noon!

I've done these workshops before, so I knew to go to the grocery story and buy stuff to store in the fridge in my hotel room. That way, I could make a quick sandwich in the room and have a few extra minutes of sleep!

But one morning, I had some free time to go to breakfast, and while I was eating I told the waitress what I was in Farmington for -- a photo workshop in Bisti.

She asked if we had seen any "Skin-walkers"...I had no idea what she meant, lol!

Evidently, this is a Navajo legend about people who can transform into animals...and there's a lot of negative talk about them, and it seems that the Navajos just keep quiet about them...but it seems there's not much to fear...just people who can transform -- humans who bring their good or bad with them, but just humans who can transform into animals.

So, I got a piece of information from having breakfast!

Which brings me to another memory....the very last night we were in Bisti, we were on our 'march' back to the parking lot, when the instructor spotted a tent near our path. To be polite, he diverted us pretty far around the tent, so as not to disturb the person.

I tend to 'bring up the rear', whether biking or hiking.

That night after we went around the tent, I had a lot of 'creepiness' -- I kept turning my head behind us, so my headlamp would show what was behind us....I kept having the sensation someone was following!

It went away after about a 1/2 mile, but I was uncomfortable for a while!

karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I had a couple hours before I had to drive from Albuquerque to Farmington, so I stopped at one of the trails that are part of the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque.

I went to the 'main' office, but I had already picked out this particular trail based on the time I had available. They told me how to get there (I got lost, until I stopped and turned on the maps...)...it is sandwiched between residential and commercial strips, but it has its own (free) parking area.

Petroglyphs at the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque

Petroglyphs at the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque

Petroglyphs at the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque

More Bisti

Jun. 19th, 2017 04:57 pm
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
Alien Eggs --
Alien Eggs

One friend said it looked like a Dali. A sister said it looked like a set from the original Star Trek series...

Milky Way --
Bisti Milky Way

The workshop instructor is in the background --

karmicdragonfly: (Default)
These are just a jumble of some of my thoughts and memory vignettes form the trip.

Flash of Light

We were out all night at Bisti 3 times. When you're out at night, there are distinct phases which happen during the night. How the night unfolds depends on time of year, weather of course, and the moon cycle. For us, the phases were: Sunset, Nautical Twilight, the dark time when the Milky Way is very visible, and then moonrise and finally the glow that indicates sunrise is approaching.

Moonrise always lit up the landscape to the point where we did not need our headlamps to navigate the hoodoos. You could just walk around in the dark, with no problem at all.

During the dark time one night, I was talking to the instructor, and there was suddenly a flash of light! The flash lit up the landscape the way moonlight does! My back was towards the flash, but the instructor said it appeared to come from one star in the sky.

He thought it was light from a supernova or something, with the light finally reaching us. The rest of the group (who were set up in a different place from me) also saw the flash, but their backs were to it as well.

I have not been able to find info on that anywhere online about it, and I have not reviewed my pics to see if my shutter was open during the flash.

Learned about Mongolia

One of the students was originally from Mongolia. She speaks Mongolian, of course, and I think Russian. She also is fluent-ish in German and English. I got to speak to her about where she grew up, and how Mongolian is written, etc.

A Little Cuddle

One of the folks at the workshop and I hug deeply whenever we see each other. This time there was more than a hug. We got some cuddling -- cheek to cheek (or beard to beard really). He was close to me, and leaned in to whisper something in my ear, so I put my arm around his waist and pulled him in for a cheek cuddle. It was nice.


One of the students provided WAY TOO MUCH information about his bodily habits. Do I really need to know that he gets sweaty balls? Or that he has hemorrhoids? Yea, so there's that.

Chaco Ancestors

Chaco Canyon came up in our conversations. One of the students had gone to Chaco (paid the permit, etc. etc.) for nighttime photography. While he was there, he and the ranger heard voices. He said it distinctly sounded like voices, and the temperature got cold. The ranger experienced the same thing.

I reminded me of when I was at Chaco (during the day), when I distinctly heard a child's laughter behind me. But there was nobody there. Here is is what I wrote about that experience back in 2015:
It is hard to put into words what I felt at Chaco. I certainly did not see it as just a set of ruins -- I sort of felt like I was intruding on the everyday lives of the people living there. But, of course, there were no actual people...but maybe impressions of people...or somehow I was intersecting from my time into the time when people were actually living at Chaco.

Not ghosts (which has a negative connotation anyway)...and not exactly spirits...just like I was there at the same time they were. It was an odd feeling, for sure!

When I was at Chetro Ketl, I swear I heard a child's laughter...I was taking pictures, and I looked up from the camera, expecting to see a child with his parents. But there was nothing but the sun and wind -- no child.

It was interesting to hear someone else having a similar experience!

Pack Weight

I was pleased with the weight I carried. Although I certainly love to hike, I'm usually only out for a few hours, so the water I carry is maybe a couple of biking bottles. I also never carry a tripod.

And I usually am hiking in a green area, so I carry a small water filter in case I need it. In the case of Bisti, there is no water...you have to carry it all, and we were outside about 11 hours, starting hot (85F) and then getting pretty cold (43F) at night. It's an arid area with no amenities, so you get dehydrated fast!

For the workshop, I carried 2.5 liters of water, a tripod, camera and 2 lenses, extra batteries, gadgets I need for shooting, food for dinner, and several layers of clothes -- for the big layers like my coat, I rolled them all together into a tube and tied them up, so that I just carried those with 1 hand - not on my backpack.

I estimate my pack was about 20 lbs, not counting the rolled up tube of clothes. And I did fine. I kept my knee wrapped, so it didn't cause problems. I did get a pretty bad blister, but kept that bandaged for the remaining hikes.

I was pleased with my own performance in carrying 20 lbs plus other stuff for 5+ miles!

MacBook Air

The little Air still worked very well! It's a 2013 model, so not new at all, but it performed better than some of the MacBooks and Windows machines there. I believe its performance is related to the flash memory -- there's no spinning hard drive on the Air -- just flash memory. I think that is why it is fast. I'm still really pleased with this little, light laptop!


When I got back home, the flowers out front had exploded! I have a guy painting the trim on the house, and he said that it was like overnight! I also noticed I had 4" of rain in the rain gauge, so I suspect the rain is what caused the sudden bloom!

Time to go back to work...go back to reality! I am not prepared for that just yet!

karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I had a great time in New Mexico...

And I'm completely off schedule now! The week was spent in a nighttime photo workshop -- I've taken 2 previous workshops with this same guy -- where we stayed up all night taking night pictures. There were 6 in the workshop, in addition to the instructor.

Bisti was great! I miss it -- other worldly. I didn't take as many photos as I could have, because I tended to spend time lying on my back looking at the stars! I just couldn't help it! Where there is artificial light, you CANNOT see stars...not like this.

I'll be editing pics over the next few days...Here is the 1st post from the trip --
Bisti Badlands in New Mexico (Explored)
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
Some of my friends know that I have a house rule about drinking -- if it's 5 o'clock in Paris, then it's okay for me to start my wine :)

Well, I have added a few more rules.

Rule #1: If it's 5pm in Paris, okay to pour a glass.
Rule #2: If #1 is not applicable, then if it's brunch, alcohol is totally acceptable!

And I added #3 today:
Rule #3: If you have a 6AM flight, and your intent is to wake up at 3:15 to have a leisurely breakfast before driving to the airport....but instead you oversleep and wake up at 4:30...and you rush to get a shower and then drive to the airport and barely make the flight...only to have to deplane an hour later because of mechanical issues..and the mechanical issues last 4 hours, causing you to miss your connection....and the only other option is to stay at the airport for 9 fricken' hours waiting for the next connection...then alcohol is totally acceptable!

Siri, Siri, Siri...I told her to "Acorde-me às três" (Wake me up at 3), and she answered "Configurando o alarme pra às três" (Configuring the alarm for 3).

But I remember seeing the screen say "15:00" -- as in 3 PM, when I needed 3 AM! I just didn't think it through that 15:00 was not what I wanted!

Also, I set a backup alarm on my alarm clock...but I FORGOT TO TURN THE SWITCH ON!

So, I woke up at 4:30AM on my own without any alarm...blinking disbelievingly at the time shown on the clock!

But I felt great about showering and making it to the airport in under an hour & 1/2...only to have the mechanical issue with the plane!

So here I sit, applying rule #3 at Dallas Fort Worth airport.


karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I had a really nice night the other night with friends. We attended an event at a local bar to celebrate 'Negroni Week', where you bought a ticket which entitled you to 4 Negronis. They were not small -- maybe not full size, but definitely good sized drinks!

It was a fun night!

Taking pics of the moon the other night -
O sol nasce pra todos, a lua pra quem merece.

I just subscribed to Photoshop's free trial...but they only gave me 7 days when I used to be 30...I do not ever plan to subscribe long term to their software -- I only needed it for a class...it makes me think I should transition away from my old standalone version of Lightroom, so I'm not using Adobe products. Plenty of options for what I need -- Pixelmator, Gimp...and what did I see the other day 'Affinity'?


karmicdragonfly: (Default)

August 2017

  12 34 5
6 7 8 910 1112
13 141516 1718 19

most popular tags


"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."