February 11th, 2003

caillebotte_the balcony

Vanishing Season, Vanishing Images

Although yesterday was again unseasonably warm, tonight the clouds have been thick enough to prevent all but the brightest stars from shining through. Perhaps this presages a change in the weather. But, as February passes, I grow more doubtful that we will see a real winter this year. There is a bush against the side of the house of our northern neighbor which has burst forth with a profusion of red flowers and berries. Usually, it does not bloom until early March. Just now, as I passed it on the way to the street, it was caught in the light coming from within the house, and its vivid color was startling in the grey twilight. Such are the disturbing images of a year out of joint.

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I suspect something odd at e-Bay. A few weeks ago, I had what I thought was a problem with Internet Explorer. It was dropping images and entire pages from its cache. After I ran the maintenance program, the problem cleared up. Last night, it returned. Pages I had captured from LJ for off-line perusal were gone. So were many of the postcards I had viewed the previous night at e-Bay. Then I recalled that the last time this happened, I had also just paid a visit to the e-Bay postcard auctions.

Could it be that the sellers at e-Bay are adding some kind of code to their pages which is intended to eradicate their images before they can be saved? If so, it appears to be a sloppy code which spills over into other parts of the IE cache, deleting many other things as well. I will perform maintenance on the computer tonight, and see if the problem clears up once again. Then I will revisit e-Bay and see if the problem reappears. If it does, I think a letter to e-Bay will be in order.

I have no problem with sellers attempting to prevent people such as myself from stealing their scans, even though I doubt that doing so will improve their business. But if they are using some sort of code to do this, and the code is so sloppy that it affects other things on my hard drive, I'm going to be very annoyed with them. If this is what is happening, and e-Bay is unable or unwilling to stop the practice, I won't be visiting their site again. It took me quite a while to go back and re-fetch those non-e-Bay pages which had vanished from my hard drive tonight. The extra trouble this will put me to will make e-Bay not worth my while.

Also, I think the spell-check in my LJ client has quit working. Either that, or my spelling has improved greatly. Let's see, if I deliberately misspell sommethiing, then run the ap... hey, my spelling has improved! How about that? My keyboard skills must have improved, too. Not one screw-up in the whole post! Amazing!
caillebotte_man at his window

Clouds Return

Snatching a few minutes from whatever it is that has been eating my time, I will first note that it was cloudy all day, today. It was one of those irresistibly romantic grey days when streaks of steel-blue and silver light would appear in the distance, and the path of the sun could be traced by the burnished spot it created in the clouds. The unaccustomed bursts of bright color from prematurely blooming plants lent an extra energy to the scene. I only managed a brief walk, but the cool air was invigorating, especially as it carried the pungent scent of spurge laurel in stronger and more frequent drifts than I have ever before sensed here. Yet, still no drop of rain has fallen. With night, the clouds have once again begun to evaporate, and the gibbous moon, at first burning only a bright node through the vapors, now shines clear in the center of a huge circle of illuminated cloud which reminds me of an immense smoke ring. Hoagy Carmichael would probably write a song about it. I have no time.