• Trestle at Buxton Trailhead

    Trestle at Buxton Trailhead

    On Christmas Eve, Suzi, Jamison, and I explored a bit. With the freeze of the last few days, we decided against driving over the coastal range to see the King Tides at Cannon Beach. Instead, we drove to L.L. Stub Stewart Park and tested the limits of traction by trying to walk in the parking lot.

    Then we went to Buxton Trailhead of the Banks-Vernonia Trail to check out the trestle and take a few photos.

  • Hello Mastodon

    With my “favorite” billionaire doing his best to destroy Twitter, it seemed like a good time to try an alternative. I’m now @blogan@pdx.social. Give me a follow. I might even post something.

    Hope to see you there!

    Update: I’ve already moved Mastodon servers, from mastodon.social to pdx.social. I updated the link above to my new address. Hope to see you there.

  • One thousand miles on Grey

    One thousand miles on Grey

    In early spring, Suzi and I started shopping for e-bikes. We’d ridden e-bikes before on vacation and they are magical. There’s no other word to describe them.

    After many hours on the web and taking multiple test drives, the Tern HSD P9 Performance, in limon, remained my top pick. On May 12th, Grey1Limon, Grey Limon. was mine. Not much later, Suzi had an e-bike of her own.

    We rode them on the Banks-Vernonia linear trail. We rode them at Sunriver. We rode them in the neighborhoods. I rode Grey to Starbucks and to work and home again. I rode Grey on longer weekend rides.

    Strava map of bike ride

    While riding on October 8th,2Yup, another post soon to be back-dated. I looked down and saw Grey was about to hit 1,000 miles on the odometer. Just as I reached my Starbucks, the odometer turned — cause for celebration! ;-) c[_]

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      Limon, Grey Limon.
    • 2
      Yup, another post soon to be back-dated.
  • Red Mountain Lookout

    Red Mountain Lookout

    Shortly after Suzi was born, her parents spent the summer at Red Mountain Lookout to watch for fires– and they took Suzi with them, no running water and miles away from civilization. I don’t know whether to admire their bravery or question their sanity.

    This past summer,1Yeah, it’s taken a while to post this, but I’ll just backdate it soon to Aug 22, 2022,and not worrying about it. Be forewarned: I have more backdated posts coming… her dad arranged for us to be able to visit the lookout and talk with a ranger about its history. It’s not currently operational, but there are plans to convert it to an overnight “lodge” for those willing to brave the trek.

    What a view!

    • 1
      Yeah, it’s taken a while to post this, but I’ll just backdate it soon to Aug 22, 2022,and not worrying about it. Be forewarned: I have more backdated posts coming…
  • More by DALL-E

    More by DALL-E

    I had some more fun playing around with DALL-E. It feels like the first time I used a word processor: it’s so easy to create something new. All I’m missing is the imagination.



    Golden Poppies

  • Haystack Rock by DALL-E

    Haystack Rock by DALL-E

    I wanted to see what DALL-E could create, so I registered an account and provided a simple prompt: “a watercolor painting of sunset over haystack rock at edge of ocean.” These six pictures are the result.

    So cool!

  • Hillsboro Fourth Of July Parade 2022

    Hillsboro Fourth Of July Parade 2022

    Finally, another Fourth of July Parade!

  • Afternoon at the nursery

    Afternoon at the nursery

    This last Sunday, Ashley invited us over to see Sebastian and visit her favorite nursery.1 We’ve been there before.

    While Suzi and Ashley picked plants to buy, I wandered with my camera, finding flowers2 Clearly, I needed to take pictures of the tags so I could create more descriptive captions. to capture.

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    • 2
      Clearly, I needed to take pictures of the tags so I could create more descriptive captions.
  • Manzanita, OR photos

    Manzanita, OR photos

    This last Saturday,1 Yeah, a week ago… we decided to head to Manzanita. We figured that with the nice weather, Cannon Beach was going to be crowded.2 At least, crowded according to Cannon Beach standards. Also, Jamison and I wanted to take some photos and Manzanita seemed as likely a place for that as anywhere. Suzi and I had been there recently, and I wanted to take another look.

    So, off we3 Jamison, Suzi, and me in one car, Ashley, Kevin, Sebastian, and Mousse in another. They’d also decided it was a good beach day. headed to Manzanita. When we got there, it was windy and cold. While the others hunkered down behind a grassy dune with a great view of the ocean, Jamison and I headed north on the beach. I wanted to get closer to the hole in the cliff that I’d photographed before.

    On the way, we had to navigate around three different streams across the beach. Because the beach isn’t that wide, at least, compared with Cannon Beach, it was simple to go to the upstream end and cross. When we got to the end of the sand, Jamison and I started making pictures.

    On the way back to the group, we tried crossing the streams and their ocean ends, with varying amounts of success. In other words, one of my shoes got soaked. Oops!

    We stuck around until the sun went down, taking more pictures as it did.

    Another great day at the Oregon coast!

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      Yeah, a week ago…
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      At least, crowded according to Cannon Beach standards.
    • 3
      Jamison, Suzi, and me in one car, Ashley, Kevin, Sebastian, and Mousse in another. They’d also decided it was a good beach day.
  • Lone Star State flag SVG

    Lone Star State flag SVG

    Inspired by recent events in Texas, I decided to create an SVG-format image of the lone star state flag. Compared with the US flag, it’s a fairly simple design, being:

    A rectangle that: (1) has a width to length ratio of two to three; and (2) contains: (A) one blue vertical stripe that has a width equal to one-third the length of the flag; (B) two equal horizontal stripes, the upper stripe white, the lower stripe red, each having a length equal to two-thirds the length of the flag; and (C) one white, regular five-pointed star: (i) located in the center of the blue stripe; (ii) oriented so that one point faces upward; and (iii) sized so that the diameter of a circle passing through the five points of the star is equal to three-fourths the width of the blue stripe.

    Flag of Texas at Wikipedia.

    Once again, I needed to make a star in SVG. Having forgotten how I did it last time and realizing I’d likely have scaling issues if I just cut and pasted, I decided I’d reinvent the wheel, and maybe make it better this time. Searching online, I found the ratio between the radii of the circles for the inner and outer vertices1Pentagram at Wolfram MathWorld. is 0.381965 and the formulas for them in polar coordinates using radians are fairly elegant.2Drawing radial shapes in D3.js.

    I created a spreadsheet for calculating the vertices and converting them into cartesian coordinates. This simplified adding offsets later on when I decided to put the star into a <symbol>. Fortunately, I made all the calculations dependent on a single scale factor, simplifying reducing the number of significant digits from four to three when I realized I didn’t need all that precision.

    Once I had the flag working, I decided to hand-optimize, converting the colored rectangles into smaller <path>s. I did the same with the star, but after running the resulting file through SVGOMG, I realized that its optimizer is still smarter than me, using relative coordinates when it resulted in a smaller dataset.

    Here’s my code:

    <svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 800 533">
      <path d="M0 0H800V533H0Z" fill="#fff" />
      <path d="M0 267H800V533H0Z" fill="#bf0d3e" />
      <path d="M0 0H267V533H0Z" fill="#00205b" />
      <path d="M133 167,111 236H38L97 279,75 348,133 305,192 348,170 279,228 236H156Z" fill="#fff" />

    I find it easier to read than the fully optimized version from SVGOMG. Of course, there’s the Pocket Guide to Writing SVG if you need a reference.

    Having made the lone star state flag, it wasn’t much more effort to make a one-star state flag. ;-)

    One-star state flag

    You can download the optimized versions of both flags, here:

    I also have the one-star version available as a png:

    Same as for the Ukrainian flag, I release my Texas state flag files to the public domain to use as you wish, no attribution required.