Low Mood

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“Honor” Cedar Park, 2020

RIP

“I Don’t See Color”

I was reading a thread in a forum, and one of the commenters said “I don’t see color”, with the intention of conveying that race shouldn’t matter. Honestly, I thought this was an admirable sentiment, but soon learned how problematic this phrase is. I spent some time reading about the reasons why, and I now consider myself a bit more educated than I was a little while ago. I’m linking the articles below:

After 51-years of life, I’m still figuring out what it means to be mixed/multiple-ethnicity. It’s complicated, but fascinating, and surprisingly challenging to find information or groups that discuss mixed-Asian ethnicity (Asian-Asian, not Asian-Caucasian, Asian-Black, etc.).

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On a side note, the original commenter’s reaction to the links to the articles was defensive and hostile, instantly devolving into name-calling and personal attacks. Which reminds me of the saying, “when you resort to ad hominem attacks, you’ve already lost”, as in the entertaining feud between James Altucher and Jerry Seinfeld.

Bicycle Name

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/105 sec, ISO200
“Golden Hour Bicycle” Cedar Park, 2020

I gave my motorcycle and car names (Kiki and Sana respectively), and I wanted to give my Kona Blast bicycle a name. I’ve thought for a while now, and decided to go with Mango.

The original paint color is called “Mongo” so it’s pretty close, and the color is like the meat of a ripe mango. I also thought of naming it Papaya, which is probably more accurate color-wise and is interesting because my kids still call me Papa, but it just doesn’t roll off the tongue as naturally as Mango does.

Anyway, here’s my bicycle – um Mango – on the same bridge several years ago:

Photo info: Panasonic DMC-TS2, 7.8mm, f/4.3, 1/250 sec, ISO80
“Panniers” Cedar Park, 2013

I hope you had a good day! 😊🚲

Building an Owl Box

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“In Process” Cedar Park, 2020

A few weeks ago, we saw in an local online forum that screech owls live in our neighborhood and thought that it would be fun to see them. With that goal in mind, I built a screech owl box by following these plans. It’s a fairly easy project, but the end result is a large and heavy owl box. From the photos at the website it doesn’t look so big, but using 1-inch thick wood gives it significant heft, and the longest edge is over two feet long. That may pose a challenge in finding a good place to mount it, which is what I have to decide now. 😊

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“Owl Box” Cedar Park, 2020

I mentioned that the box is easy to make, but there is one thing to keep in mind, at least here in the US. While most lumber at the hardware stores has nice, round measurement numbers on their labels, these may be misleading. For instance, the 1″x12″x10′ piece of wood that is sold in my Home Depot actually measures .75″x11.25″x10′. Why is it like this? Well, there’s the concept of “Actual” and “Nominal” lumber sizes, which you can read about here.

This has the potential to cause significant frustration to unknowing DIYers (like myself) working on their projects, but for this owl box there’s only one piece that is problematic, which is the bottom panel. I cut it at 12″, but it didn’t line up flush with the sides, which were actually 11.25″ wide. It would have been nice if the nominal vs. actual dimensions were mentioned in the instructions. Oh well, live and learn! (the bottom panel was easy to cut down to correct size)

Anyway, I assembled the box, then put on a few coats of water sealant that I had leftover from sealing our deck, and now I just need to find a place to put it in our yard. It’s recommended to place it at least 15 feet from the ground, which is pretty high. We’ll see how it goes. And I hope we have some owls move in soon! 🦉

Alien Cat

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/15 sec, ISO800
“Pod Cat” Cedar Park, 2020

She loves her new alien egg-pod.