January 24th, 2006


Download Snail

A couple of mild days have caused mosquitoes to hatch. There was one flying about in my room a while ago, and I just saw another on the front porch when I let the cat out. I'm bound to get bitten. Mosquitoes love me (or at least they love my blood.) Their love is definitely not requited. I hope there aren't any strange bugs in them (link via scottobear. I've probably already got strange bugs in my head. I don't want more. There might be one that would compel me to sign up for MySpace.

I was hoping to watch Jupiter rise this morning, but I think the clouds hovering over the mountains may be too thick and too low to permit even the bright planet to appear. The moon only recently emerged from them, and still drags a feathery boa of them. I enjoy the moonlit clouds, but Jupiter as bright as it is now is a rarer sight.

I'm currently downloading a 10.7MB file from the Library of Congress American Memory Collection. It's one of those hybrid map/bird's-eye-view drawings so popular in the days before aerial photographs. This one is actually a rather late example of the type, though, being a 1909 depiction (in a dismal shade of brown) of a large section of Los Angeles. It shows the prominent downtown buildings of the era, many of them labeled with the names of the businesses which occupied them. It's a bit reminiscent of early Sim City graphics, but even more crude. I'll undoubtedly spend more time than is wise examining it. It will give me something to do while I'm scratching at my inevitable mosquito bites.

The compression technology used for this file is called
MrSID (which name conjures for me an image of Sydney Greenstreet in "The Maltese Falcon") and is a new addition to the LoC web site. I also had to download the special viewer for the files, though when I began downloading the file, IrfanView recognized the type, so I might not have needed the MrSID viewer after all. The viewer has been discontinued by its maker and is no longer supported, so I don't know how it will behave. Well, the viewer was only about 2MB, and I might need it, since I haven't actually tried to open the thing in IrfanView yet. I just hope it doesn't piss off the computer.

Hey, I'm maintaining a decent (for here) download speed of 5.0KB/s! I might be done before dawn! Then I can go out and see if the clouds have parted sufficiently to allow Jupiter to peek through, as they did yesterday.
caillebotte_the orangerie


Another mild day, but the soil is still dark with the damp left by the rains of a few days ago. The night has been exactly like last night- stars, soft wind- except for one thing; I heard Super Cricket chirp. He only chirped for about ten minutes, but that was long enough to create a summery mood. I was tempted to make iced tea. I expect to see the camellias bloom any day now. It also looks as though the mulberry tree has begun to sprout buds. It may already be too late to trim it this year. Ah, another strange winter.