Spiral Light Candle
Sauk Centre, Minnesota: near the corner of Ash Street and South 9th.
(Please, be patient. The live streaming video starts after a (relatively) short canned commercial.)

Friday, December 25, 2009


This webcam has been offline for some reason.

Now, it's back on.

For a few minutes, anyway.

I'll probably take it offline for a little cybernetic maintenance, soon.

Christmas 2009 Midwest Storm, Christmas Day

The plows have come by, again, since last night: and I'm pretty sure they'll be by again before this weather passes.

What You're Looking At

This webcam looks out a window on the north side of a house in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. This town is almost exactly in the center of Minnesota, so when you hear "central Minnesota" - it doesn't get much more "central" than this.

For those who know Sauk Centre, or live here: The house is on the corner of South Ash Street and 9th, about a block west of the high school parking lot.

The camera is looking northwest, more or less.

This is one of the busier corners in residential Sauk Centre. Obviously, it's no Los Angeles freeway: and I don't mind that a bit. South Ash street is one of two north-south arterial streets in this town, and South 9th - when it isn't used by a horde of highschoolers driving away from school - connects to State Street, which connects to County Road 186: so anyone driving into town from the southeast and headed for downtown is likely to drive by here.

Where's the Howling Wind? The Driving Snow?

For starters, this webcam doesn't have sound. Not yet, anyway. I could set things up so you hear what's happening inside the window: but I don't think either of us really wants that. I do most of my work here, so there's a lot of keys clicking and the occasional rustle of paper. That, and my occasional muttering to myself.

At this moment, there's light snowfall. You'll see the occasional flake caught near the window, in silhouette. And not all that much wind. Driving around it town is pretty easy, thanks to the plow crew. One of the plows went by as I wrote this post.

In open country, between towns, I'd just as soon not try to drive. Unless I was on a snowmobile, or some other cross-country vehicle that's designed for these conditions.

As the National Weather Service puts it:

"A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel...Keep an extra flashlight...Food...And water in your vehicle in case of an emergency."
(Winter Storm Warning / Stearns (Minnesota), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service (Last update: 12.25.09 - Fri - 01:26:13 PM (EST)))

I'm inclined to take reasonable precautions in weather like this. As I wrote in another blog:

"...Storms like this are potentially lethal. I won't soon forget the time a father and daughter thought they'd drive on the road running across the south side of Fargo's airport. I saw the meat wagon go out for their bodies, when that storm had passed...."
("Christmas Blizzard/Winter Storm Coming" Sauk Centre Journal Blog(December 22, 2009))

As it turned out, this is more of a winter storm than a blizzard here - not enough wind.
That's Funny: It Doesn't Look Like a Storm
Like I said, here in town it's fairly nice weather - for central Minnesota in late December.

This webcam's at least a sixth of a mile to the edge of Sauk Centre's urban forest. Those trees make a big difference.

Out in the country, it'd look a bit different. I grew up in the Red River Valley of the North before it got built up, so the farmland around here looks crowded to me. But it's not all that hard to find a stretch of road that's a quarter-mile or more from the nearest tree, and when snow is falling and wind is moving around a few inches of snow that's fallen: sometimes you won't be able to see where the road is. And it won't matter, because your car is stuck in the snow.

The Lovely Snowy Landscape of Wintertime Minnesota

With a little common sense and forethought, though, you can enjoy the Currier-and-Ives winter scene. And watch other people getting their sidewalks cleared.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009 With Snow: and Freezing Drizzle on the Way?!

Looks like last night's forecast was accurate. There's several inches of snow on my oldest daughter's car, parked out back. That'll be a job to shovel out, when this storm passes.

Right now, the forecast on for this area is:

"Snow and patchy light freezing drizzle in the morning... then snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. No ice accumulation...."

Well, "no ice accumulation" is nice. I could do without the light freezing drizzle. The plows spread sand on the streets, near intersections: but icy sand is still icy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve Storm 2009

We're just about guaranteed a "white Christmas" this year. There's a winter storm on its way - the leading edge is here, it looks like.

The forecast says there'll be two to five more inches on the ground by morning.

Winter Storm Coming: Christmas, 2009, With Map

The forecasts are changing a bit, but the gist is still the same: quite a lot of snow and a fair amount of wind is coming, starting sometime tonight or early tomorrow morning.

I'm sincerely glad I don't have to travel.

I took a look at national weather: and this is not a small storm. And, I'm glad to live in central Minnesota. Central and Southern Illinois are in for flooding, it seems.

U.S. Severe Weather Map

(from, used w/o permission)
Image from 2:10 p.m. Central (December 23, 2009)

Looks like we may have two to five more inches on the ground by tomorrow morning.

Or, not. Minnesota weather isn't particularly monotonous or predictable.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Storm Coming: Christmas, 2009

This should be interesting: I'm hoping the storm - due to hit here very late Wednesday or Thursday morning - doesn't interfere with power or the local Internet connection.

Webcam's Back! - After Another Overnight Delay

I've had some technical difficulty with the webcam lately. A new router's helped with the local network - but didn't seem to affect the the webcam, one way or another.

Somewhere in the last 12 hours, the webcam went offline. It's back, now.

Happily, the outages aren't coming more than a few times a month. Still: that's annoying.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good Grief, Not Again?!

This webcam will be back online. Shortly, I hope.

I ran into still-unknown technical issues about an hour and twenty minutes ago, and am running a test or two.

Yes, I expect the webcam to be back online by morning.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Serious Snowfall of the Season

I've been tracking this thing, and most of the snow went well to the south and east of us. Can't say I'm disappointed. We've finally got snow covering most of the yards, without the inconvenience of drifts.

The plows have been by already, and most folks have their sidewalks shoveled. Which reminds me: I need to see what ours are like.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Offline for a Few Hours

I can't blame this one on technical problems, quite.

This webcam went offline a couple hours ago, so that I could re-boot my computer. I'd done something excessively creative with software I use to make press-ready sheets for a local group's monthly bulletin: and spent more time than I'd have saved, making sure my system was stable.

Then, there was getting the sheet to the printer: and here I am, with the webcam once more online, and me giving an explanation.

I don't know where this comes from, but I ran into the phrase in a British television drama:

"More haste, less speed."

There's a lot of truth in that.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Technical Difficuties

The webcam was working fine over the last 12 hours or so: but something happened to the Internet connection. What, I don't know.

It's working again, though: and I'll be monitoring it off and on during the day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Off Again, On Again

Once again, the webcam was offline. And it took me too long to notice.

I'm not sure what the problem is - an aging router at this end is high on the list of suspects.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

About That Interruption Today

Sometime in the last two hours, this webcam went offline - rather abruptly. A technician came to work on a connection issue, and I out: getting a mailing off for the local Knights of Columbus council.

Sorry about that: but the good news is that this webcam should stay connected to the Internet - for a while, at least.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Then Again, Maybe Not

We've removed the new router, adjusted the system, put the old router in place, and seem to be connected.

For now.

Next, I'm going to try getting the webcam online again.

Webcam May be Coming Back

Good news: I've got a new router installed on the home network. And got my computer online.

For a short time.

We've been -

[updated 8:34 p.m., then 8:41 p.m.]

More trouble.

We're losing Internet connectivity about every five minutes.

I'll try getting this update posted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Off Again, On Again

My system went down this morning: at 8:23am by Ustream's clock. I've been away from the computer most of the morning, so didn't notice until a few minutes ago.

I still have no idea what happened, much less why: but everything seems to have re-booted successfully, and the webcam is back online.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Webcam's Back!

That's a relief: The service I use, my computer, and the webcam are all 'talking' to each other again.

And, most importantly, the picture's back!

No Picture? Sorry About That!

Sorry about this: the webcam is working, but I can't get the service I use to connect to it.

I'm trying one more time, and then I must get some sleep. I trust that the system will work in the morning.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween, and Another Glitch

Another day, another glitch.

Shortly after sunset this webcam went offline. I think it was a simple matter of a loose connection - which has been fixed.

It's a good thing I'm not superstitious.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Webcam's Back! - After an Overnight Delay

Sorry about that! The last reliable log data I've got for this webcam is from about 13 hours ago. (About 10:30 last night, Central time.)

Somewhere along the line, the software I use to keep the video going became unstable - in the 'opinion' of the operating system - and got shut down. I've re-started my computer, and seem to have everything running again, but still don't know what went wrong, or when it happened.

But, most importantly - the video feed is back.

So you can watch yet another day of rain in small town America.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Webcam's Back! - After a Really Long Delay

As nearly as I can tell, about 11:45 Friday morning, October 9, 2009, this webcam went offline.

It wasn't my idea: I'm still trying to figure out what knocked it off the Web - most likely my browser asking for help, and not getting any response from me. For good reason. I've been in northern Illinois. Which is a topic for another blog.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that the webcam is back online, and (as far as I can tell) doing fine. Right now, it's showing a whole lot of dark. Which isn't surprising: It's 10:07, Monday night as I'm wrapping up this post.

But, morning will (I trust) come. And (again, I trust) this webcam will be around to catch the dawn.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Slight Adjustment, and the New Feeder's Ready to Go

I noticed that the new feeder's chain is a bit too long - or the webcam's pointed a bit to high - and I wasn't going to change the webcam's angle. Most of the time, the view of south Ash Street is the main attraction here.

So, a few minutes ago, I went out and hooked the chain back on itself, making a loop.

I could have left the hook as-is - oh, well.

New Season, New Feeding Gadget

Or, winterizing the bird feeder.

Since there's been no activity at the feeder since I last filled it - apart from a few insects and a curious chickadee - I'm assuming that the last of the hummingbirds have headed south. They'll be welcome back, in May.

This afternoon I walked to the hardware store and got a sort of tray/cage arrangement and a cake of birdseed and sugar to put in it. It's a sort of trail mix for finches, apparently.

The cage's hook was too small for my feeder pole, but a minute or two with a needle-nose pliers took care of that.

Now, it's a matter of waiting for birds to find the thing.

This is the first year I've tried this. It should be interesting.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Whaddaya Mean, 'It's Unplugged?!'

Last night, around 10:00, I discovered that my computer couldn't find my webcam - which meant that I couldn't 'broadcast' anything on Ustream. Quite a long time time, and several reboots, later I discovered that the webcam's power source had gotten unplugged. How, I still don't know.

Still later, I talked the computer into recognizing the webcam again.

Frustrating: but with a happy ending.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hummingbirds, Chicadees, and Seasons

I'd been wondering why I haven't seen any hummingbirds at the feeder this week. Particularly since just a couple weeks ago, they'd been taking an unusual amount of nectar.

This may be the answer: "Ruby-throats arrive in May and leave in September." ("Hummingbird Migration," The Hummingbird Website)

No wonder I haven't seen any - looks like they fueled up and headed south.

On the other hand, I saw a chickadee perch on the feeder's pole this morning. It's a rare winter when the chickadees leave Minnesota. But it's been known to happen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Filling the Feeder: Back to One Cup at a Time

I re-filled the hummingbird feeder a few minutes ago.

After almost two weeks, the two cups I'd put in weren't used up. That's too long to let sugar-water sit without changing and cleaning, so I'm going back to one cup at a time, and more frequent re-fills.

Whatever happened to empty the feeder so fast, last month, hasn't happened again.

Oh, well: I'm still seeing hummingbirds out there.

Related post:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What a Nice Day!

Looks like a beautiful day out there. It's nice to write a post now and again, when there isn't some technical glitch to discuss.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Online Research, Unintended Consequences, and a Quarter-Hour Offline

I was researching a quote for another blog about a quarter of an hour ago, when I found a promising resource: an online book.

It must have been a really, really good resource: as soon as I used its search function and 'turned' a few pages, my computer slowed down. And more and more memory was getting devoted to that website's very fancy software.

Other programs that I was running froze: but that old standby, the 'reset' button still worked.

And, kicked this webcam offline.

Now, after five operating system updates and a stern talk with my browser, I'm back.

And, more to the point, so is the webcam.

I don't plan to have any more SNAFUs like that today - but then, I didn't plan this one, either.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

The webcam's back online. If you tried to watch Friday afternoon or evening, and couldn't: sorry about that! If you checked around that time, and the transmission was okay - that's a sigh of relief you're hearing from me.

I had to reboot the computer, you see: and wasn't able to tell whether the webcam had stopped broadcasting before that.

Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Webcam's Back! - After a Really Simple Fix

About five minutes ago, the webcam came online again. Finally.

I'd spent hours over the last 13 days, going from obvious fix-it procedures like rebooting the computer to spelunking through the digital depths of the system, trying to figure out what had happened, and how to correct it.

Our schedules finally left us free at the same time, so my son and I got together after lunch. He's 13.

He read the email I got from USTREAM, sat down at the keyboard, looked at the user interface, said something like 'I see what the problem is: You don't have "Video Broadcast" selected.' He clicked the checkoff box, and this webcam was back online.

That's why the better trouble-shooting guides start with questions like 'is the unit plugged in?' and 'is the power switch set to the "on" position?'

There's already been a hummingbird at the feeder, since that shazam! moment. They're generally just blurs on the screen: but there's the traffic and trees to see.

School opens next week: There'll be quite a bit of activity then, around 8:00 and 3:00.

Related posts:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hummingbird Feeder's Filled, Webcam's Still Offline

Good news: Hummingbirds are using the feeder so much, now I'm putting in two cups of sugar water at a time. I cleaned and re-filled it this afternoon.

Bad news: the webcam's still offline, so you won't see them - or anything else new.

School's starting next week: I'm hoping to get back online by then. Of course, hoping and doing are two distinct things.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hummingbird Feeder's Gotten Discovered?

The last few re-fills of the hummingbird feeder have been so close together, I decided to add two cups of sugar-water this time.

That should last them a bit longer - twice as long, unless yet more come, which I wouldn't mind.

There's one, now!

So That's What Happened to the Ants!

I'd noticed there weren't as many ants on the hummingbird feeder, when I cleaned and re-filled it this afternoon. When I got close to the feeder, an apparent explanation appeared.

A spider has built a web on the inside curve of the hummingbird feeder's support. From the spider's point of view, I suppose it's like living next door to a grocery: the edge of its web is at most a half-inch from an ant expressway.

Technical Difficulties

Sometime last night, or maybe this morning, the webcam went offline.

That wasn't my idea.

The computer had rebooted itself by the time I noticed something was amiss, and several hours' effort hasn't uncovered the source of the problem.

The good news is that my oldest daughter and I know quite a lot about what the problem isn't.

I've got nearly a full day of tasks piled up now, and can't spend more time on this particular issue. My daughter's contacted a tech support outfit, and I am resolved to get the hummingbirds and traffic back online.

In less than the (months, wasn't it?) time it took this sort of thing happened.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hummingbirds: Conflict at the Feeder

When I came back to the keyboard a few minutes ago, about 3:30, I noticed a hummingbird at the feeder. I've been spotting them more often. As I watched, another streaked in and (apparently) chased the first one off.

That's an assumption, actually. They generally move too fast for me to notice in detail what they're doing. My guess, though, is that one bird regarded the other as an interloper.

Or, maybe something else was going on.

Ah. Another on is back: a bigger one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hummingbird Feeder: I May Have More Hummers Coming

I re-filled the hummingbird feeder this evening. I've either gotten better at looking at the right time, or there are more of the hummers around now.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ustream: Good News, Bad News

The Ustream service that I've been using for this webcam is brings with it good news, and bad news.

Good news: I've got control of when the webcam broadcasts. It won't start showing its two pictures a second until I got through a multi-step process.

Bad news: I've got control of when the webcam broadcasts. It won't start showing its two pictures a second until I got through a multi-step process.

Like today: I'd left the computer - and the webcam - on overnight, to let my antivirus software get a scan done. As usual, this morning I found no outstanding issues with malware: and a computer that was getting low on available resources.

No problem. I took the webcam offline, restarted the computer, and started catching up on the day's tasks. I'd overslept, you see.

I also forgot to get the webcam started again. I noticed, several hours later.

Embarrassing. And, for anybody wanting to see the corner of 9th and South Ash in Sauk Centre: frustrating.

Sorry about that.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Overslept

There are about 12 minutes of "morning" left in the Central time zone, where I live. I got the webcam up and running a minute ago, so it did return 'in the morning.' With 13 minutes to spare.

I overslept.

That's the disadvantage of using the USTREAM service. It's great: quite reliable, pretty good image quality. But, it makes demands on my system that make shutting down now and again to let the system sort itself out a very good idea.

Besides, my computer is about five years old, and I have to keep it running as long as I can. My budget is so tight, eagles on my quarters are screaming.

Enough venting for now: Enjoy the show!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Harvester Waiting at the Corner

"Nothing runs like a Deere."

"Harvester on the Street"

Aluwir, USTREAM (July 24, 2009)
video 0:56

Not every farm in this area uses John Deere equipment, but quite a few do. This harvester - a combine without the header equipment, I think - is the sort of rig that drives by from time to time. I live on one of the more logical routes into town, from anywhere south and east of town.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

'Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control - - - '

Somewhere in the 24 hours or so after midday Tuesday, this webcam stopped broadcasting. My best guess is that my computer tried to reboot itself and didn't quite manage the trick.

I'd have noticed, and done something about it, earlier: but I was out of town at the time.

A tip of the hat to my oldest daughter, for putting Small Town America: Minnesota back online this afternoon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Not long ago, I noticed a bird on the webcam monitor: more than twice the size of the hummingbirds I've seen here in central Minnesota. Taking a careful look out the window, I saw a dark-backed bird with orangish stripes on its wings. I'm no expert, but I think it's an oriole. Baltimore oriole, most likely.

That's the first one I've seen at the feeder.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Webcam's Back!

The webcam's been offline for a few days, but I've got it working. For now. I'm still not quite sure what happened before: but around noon today I got a working signal from the webcam itself, and started the feed going.

About the video quality: My equipment can handle the 23 fps that USTREAM supports, but providing that sort of smooth video takes resources that I need for other purposes.

So, I cut the frame rate down to two frames a second: which should be good enough to catch the hummingbirds that come to the feeder, and still leaves my other software with room to work.

Finally: I'd love to have this webcam on 24/7/365, but will need to stop broadcasting now and again. Thunderstorms, system reboots, and my efforts to keep this five-year-old set of machinery running don't leave me with much of a choice.

But, if at all possible, I'll have the broadcast on ASAP - or by around 9:00 the following morning, Central time.

An Early Summer Morning in Small Town America

I took this photo on Wednesday, July 1, 2009. It's what you'd have seen at the time, if the webcam had been working. More about that in another post.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Webcam? What Webcam?

The webcam delivered live streaming video all afternoon. The, after a reboot of my computer, the software can't find the webcam hardware.

Frustrating, rather.

I've spent enough time on that today: and I've got other tasks to get done. So, instead of leaving the display blank, I'm showing what the webcam would have seen this morning.

Live Video: Grass, Cars, Bicyclers, and Intermittent Hummingbirds

As of about 1:00 p.m., Central time, I've had live streaming video up and working: thanks to my son-in-law-to-be. Enjoy.

A New Approach

My son-in-law-to-be took a look at my webcam and the system I used for posting pictures. He thinks he's got a better idea: and I think he's right.

If all goes well, we should have up-to-date photos available later today.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Re-Thinking the Situation

Another month spent chasing down blind alleys, with no budget and little time to work on the webcam issue. And, no success.

Today, My oldest daughter, my son, and I uninstalled and re-installed all software related to the webcam. Then my oldest daughter and I spent a good part of the afternoon, looking through the software's 'help' and the publisher's website. (It's a Creative Labs product: they've got decent products and support, IMO.)

At least I now know that I will not be using the webcam's own software to post photos to the Web. The webcam is what I wanted: a working, low-cost, no-frills digital camera. But, that means that it came with no frills: including ftp / posting functions.

I'm not giving up: but in the short run, my efforts now are to find a substitute for the once-a-minute still photo posting.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday Night: Still No Solution

I've re-installed the webcam and the software I use to manage it. I can see the images perfectly well on my desktop - but can't get them uploaded.

Replacing the entire system - computer and all - is not an option. But I thought about it, just the same.

Apologies - and I'm still working on this issue.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Night: No Webcam Solution in Sight

Small Town America: Minnesota's webcam stubbornly refuses to post new pictures to the Web. Or, something is keeping it from doing so.

Either way, you aren't getting updated photos.

I'll be back tomorrow. Maybe a good night's sleep will give me a clue about what to try next.

Thank you for your patience.

Sunday Morning: Something's Wrong with the Webcam's Software

The webcam stopped putting pictures online at 11:22 this morning. I've spent nearly an hour so far, trying to fix it: but without success. My plan is to keep the current picture on, and call for help.

For what it's worth, the rest of today will probably look pretty much like that 11:22 a.m. picture.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Yet Another Phone and Internet Outage

Telephone, Internet, and cable service went out here at a few minutes past 8:00 p.m. April 2, 2009. These information connections were still out at midnight. When I checked at 1:10 a.m., connections had been restored.

There is quite a great deal of flooding in Minnesota now: including the massive flood in the Red River Valley of the North. (Yesterday's update: "April 2, 2009
Red River Valley of the North Flood, 2009: April 2: News Added As I find It
" (April 2, 2009))

The webcam seems to be operating properly, and I sincerely hope that there will be nor more interruptions.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another Phone and Internet Outage

Picture's back.

12:17 a.m. - maybe as early as 12:15 a.m. - today, We lost our internet connection here. Phone service, too. Cable feed for the TV worked fine.

Same as last time.

Frustrating. I'm hoping that this has to do with this being Minnesota. My area's under a flood watch, there was snow falling a few minutes ago, it'll probably be back in a few minutes, and parts of the Red River Valley of the north, northwest of here, are underwater: more so than usual in this season.

An outage like this happened in December, 2008. If I got to bed at a decent hour, I wouldn't notice these breaks in service.

Maybe there's a lifesytle lesson here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th, and a Restart Glitch: Pure Coincidence, of Course

My computer ran a Windows update last night, which included a restart: Which explains the nighttime display from sunrise to just a few minutes ago (it's 9:05 a.m. here).

That's a fairly routine situation - although it doesn't happen often enough for me to feel like changing settings. Besides, I'd rather have updates be done promptly - even if it means losing a few hours of webcam time. The webcam is attached to my 'main' computer - the one I use for all my other work - so it's critical that it stay in good working order.

This morning, I found my computer was stuck on part of the restart process. Restarting the restart process ended with it being stuck at the same point.

This is a new wrinkle.

Shutting the thing down completely and re-starting ended with a normal re-boot, so things are okay for the present.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Webcam Back Online

Apparently, the webcam decided it was time to take a break a few days ago. It's back on the job now, though. And will, I hope stay that way.

Days Since the Last Update

March 5, 2009, had a nice morning, but the webcam should have updated since then.

Sorry about that! I'm correcting the situation now.

Trying to, anyway.

Good grief: I must have been more inattentive than I thought!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Whole Month and No Posts: Good News, in a Way

More than a month, and no posts. In a way, that's good, since I tend to post when there's some sort of technical trouble. Which may be coming. I've been getting sporadic warnings that my webcam can't access the Internet. All that's happened so far is that some of the once-a-minute updates didn't happen, but I'm keeping an eye on it.

I still haven't done a 'what you're looking at' diagram. Haven't forgotten it, so much as been distracted.

Pity, the St. Patrick's Day decorations across the street aren't large enough to show here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Three Hours and No Updates?! What Kind of Webcam am I Running?

One with a distracted manager, to be truthful.

Just after 3:48, I had a disagreement with some other software and had to reboot the computer. I didn't realize that the webcam software hadn't rebooted until now, almost three hours later.

Not that it's an excuse, but I was distracted: First, by some time-sensitive research and an email reporting my results: then by a call from the Highway Patrol. The good news is that one of my daughters came through with just a broken wrist, and my wife didn't break anything. My wife is, however, not feeling at all well right now. (More at "Wednesday: Another Day, and a Traffic Accident" on Through One Dad's Eye, another blog.)

Aside from that, though, it's been a rather uneventful day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

'Just What am I Looking At?'

A little while ago, someone asked me 'just what am I looking at' with this webcam.

That's a reasonable question.

I could say something like "the northeast portion of the intersection of South 9th and Ash Street in Sauk Centre, Minnesota." That would be accurate, but wouldn't really tell you much.

Or, I could go into a rambling description of everything you see, from the hummingbird feeder support near the camera, to the yards on the other side of 9th. But, as the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words," and I don't think many people keep reading past the first few hundred.

But I keep thinking about 'just what am I looking at?' Next week, barring unforeseen developments, I plan to put together a pair of pictures, outlining what you're looking at during the day, and at night.

But, since my life has been full of unforeseen developments lately, that's no guarantee.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is Cold: Even for Minnesota

It's about 29 below zero, Fahrenheit, outside. And, four in the morning.

Normally, I'm not up this late, but there was a project milestone that had to be reached.

My household got an automated call from the school system, letting us know that school was canceled tomorrow: along with evening activities. Smart move, I'd say.

Now, I gotta get some sleep.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our furnace has been fixed, starting on Monday, with the last part put in place yesterday evening.

It's nice, having the thermometer showing a number that's higher than my age (67 wonderful, balmy, degrees at the keyboard). Balmy, considering that it's around six below on the other side of the window.

More about this household's furnace, at "Minnesota Winter, and the Furnace is Fixed!" Through One Dad's Eye (January 5, 2009).
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