Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hungry Swallows

We've been watching as a pair of swallows constructed a nest on one of the corner pillars of the porch. Before long we saw little heads peeking out of the nest. Now the five babies are almost crowded out of the next. Their droppings are making a reall mess on the porch. I guess it will be a good reason to get that pressure washer that I wanted! I couldn't get any good shots of the parents coming in for feedings. They move too fast for my camera. Most of these pictures were shot through the kitchen window, which accounts for the haziness, even after I washed the window.
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Blog publish 06/24/2009

  • This web site provides some tools that are unavailable in the free version of Google Earth.

    The generalize tool reduces the number of points in a line.
    The buffering tool creates buffers around points, lines, or polygons.
    The area tool calculates the area of a polygon. The answer is in square meters, but can easily be converted to acres.
    I haven't quite figured out what the overlay tool does.

    To use these tools you download an element as a kml file, then upload it to the web site. It's not as convenient as a built-in tool, but it is free!

    tags: googleearth, mapping, gis

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Transcontinental Motor Convoy Reenactment Visits Norlo Park

I really enjoyed visiting the vehicles participating in the Transcontinental Motor Convoy reenactment this evening, even with the menacing thunderstorms. There was only one a couple of vehicles that could have come from 1919. The rest were from WWII and later wars. It was interesting the modern transport vehicles that had seen service in Iraq and been refurbished at Letterkenny.

There were many veterans in the crowd, many obviously lost in reminiscences. These were the vehicles used by all the soldiers, from privates to generals. It seemed more intimate than jets and ships that are purely military with no civilian uses.

It must have taken hundreds of hours for these vehicles to be restored. The people doing the work were as dedicated as any Civil War reenactors in Gettysburg. Maybe you have to be a little nutty, too, to spend all that money.

Here is a Wikepedia article on the original convoy. Surprisingly, the official website for the convoy is password protected! But this press release from the MVPA gives the important details.

Blog publish 06/14/2009

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Visit to the Eisenhower Home

Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to drive an alumni group to visit Gettysburg. We took a shuttle bus from the new information (spacious and fantastic) to the farm home of President Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower, and his wife Mamie bought the house and farm in 1950. They pretty much rebuilt the whole building. The original house was too far gone to re-use. Photography is allowed inside, but it is too dark to get good shots. The above picture is the outside front entrance.

This rear view shows the sun porch, where the President spent time recuperating after his heart attack.

I can imagine seeing Eisenhower practice his putting on this green.


This guest house was made from the previous owner's garage. The bell came from a local school house. The story we were told by the guide was that Gen. "Monty" Montgomery, who had clashed often with Ike during WWII, stayed here during his visit instead of sleeping in the guest bedroom in the main house.

The house is big and very comfortable inside. I was expecting something bigger and grander. I suppose the Eisenhowers didn't really have that much money. After years of military housing this house and farm must have seemed grand. The 1950's era furniture and appointments made the house seem very old fashioned today. The furnishings made me think of Sheri's grandmother's house. She never had it remodeled in her later years. The home is definitely worth a visit. Check out the official site.