Moth Monday: California on my Mind

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Last weekend I saw moths everywhere I went in Staten Island and Brooklyn. This weekend I couldn’t find a single one so we return to William R. Mason Regional Park in California for Hodges#5451.2, Parapediasia torquatella:

Crambid snout moth

A New Banded Goose in Prospect Park

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I walked around the lake in Prospect Park today, looking to see if any of the old four banded geese were still around. No such luck. They may have moved on. However I did find a fifth banded goose from the sames series, NA49:

Why did the goose cross the road?

It has been hanging out since at least January of this year.

Tamron Closeup

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

After some more experimentation with my Tamron 28-300 Di VC, I think I finally understand what this lens is and what to do with it. It is a closeup lens, not a telephoto lens. That is, it takes really good pictures fairly close (within a few meters) and pretty crappy ones far away. For example look at this nice close-up of a juvenile American coot taken at 300mm:

American Coot, first year
Santee Lakes, San Diego County, 2009-08-23
1/800 s, f/6.3, ISO 400, handheld

It’s pretty good, especially around the body where you can easily make out the individual feathers. In fact, if anything, it’s over-sharp; though that’s probably just a combination of me over-sharpening it in Lightroom and the JPEG conversion. The original full-size photo is even better than this.

Now compare to this shot of a far-away coot taken with the same lens. You’d expect the subject to be smaller, but it’ worse than that: very, very fuzzy and unsharp, even with a much faster shutter speed:

Charm 1996-2009

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Gray and white cat
September 1996-September 2009
We will miss you.

Pair Disabled the Cafes

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

It really is time to switch to a more reliable host. Last night as I was at the vet with my cat (sadly, for the last time) Pair Networks turned off The Cafes with little to no notice. They sent a form e-mail with no useful information:

Due to problems it was causing on the server, we were forced to disable the
following script located in your account:


For future reference, please take a look at our script usage policies:

Please take a few moments to look over your script for any obvious problems
before using “chmod 755” (via ssh) or using your FTP client to reenable
the executable permissions of the script.

If you have any questions about this script, please contact our friendly
support specialists at or 412-381-7247 (option 2).

The message is inaccurate. /usr/www/users/elharo/cafe isn’t a script. It’s the complete web site.

I’ve turned the site back on, but since they didn’t tell me what the problem actually was, I have no way of knowing if the problem is still there or not. I posted a new article on Friday, and it hit Hacker News yesterday, so there’s been a spike in traffic but still in the 10,000 hits a day range, nothing serious.

Snow Leopard and Epson

Monday, September 14th, 2009

I just noticed this in my logs:

9/13/09 8:12:01 PM[4485] ([6796]) posix_spawn(“/Library/Printers/EPSON/InkjetPrinter/EPW/”, …): No such file or directory

What’s really annoying is that it happens every 10 seconds. Anyone know how to turn off whatever is trying to do this? I don’t have any Epson equipment.