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May. 9th, 2015

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First off, I'm reading Honeybee Democracy and getting very sucked in to the science side of beekeeping.  It's surprising to me how little we've known about collective hive behaivor that was backed with real research and studies.

Today we had an afternoon beekeeping class on hive inspection at our public apiary, the first in the US.  About 20 people attended, it was run by folks from http://burghbees.com/, the people who maintain the apiary and hold classes and social events.  The class started with a brief demo on setting up a smoker, then we went through three different hives looking for queens, queen swarm or supercedence cells, and pests like mites and moths.

When we got home we did a "take-home test" and looked at our two hives, the "east" and "west" hives as we're too lazy to name them.    We looked at the east hive first, it is still slow on building comb but has plenty of capped larva cells in a good formation, so we kept on the feed and moved to the west hive.  It's filled 9 of 10 frames with comb and is laying in honey as well as capped worker and drone cells in most of the frames.   We also found (and removed) at least a dozen potential queen cells in the west hive and noted that it was pretty much packed with bees, capped cells, larva, and honey.

To give them more room we added a second deep hive, two deeps are pretty much the standard minium for local beeks.  We moved one of the capped frames from the existing deep to a new deep as a "lure frame" to encourage workers and the queen to venture into safe space.  We moved an empty frame from the new deep to the outside of the first deep, so we still have 10 frames in each deep.

We also took the club's advice and kept the feeder in a third, empty deep.  The local beeks suggest that new hives have a feeder until the second deep is completely built as there's no risk of overfeeding the bees.  So far it's been a pound of sugar every 7-10 days for each hive, the west hive is building like mad and the east hive might have a problem with robbers given how little building there is on the frames.

I've started posting some photos to show to our mentor and the burgh bees members.

Nov. 30th, 2013

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Thanksgiving Vacation Progress in the Studio

I had a lot of personal stuff to do during the break, but I also had some personal art and design building tasks that needed a couple of days:


Sep. 18th, 2013

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Hurray for knee injury research!

After a few visits with my artho, he decided that while running, stairs, squatting, and kneeling all should be avoided, that I can ride bicycles and swim.  The caution he gave me was that I might do something bad for my knee but not feel pain until 1-2 days later, just like lifting weights at the gym.

Last Saturday I rode my bike 5 miles on hill intervals and thru today the only pain I've had is calf and quad muscles whining about the first real exercise in 9 months.

This weekend I'll try riding in to the office then catching a ride home.  It's 8 miles to work, but it's downhill all the way; the return has something like a thousand feet of climb in the final 2 miles.  Our street is an 11 degree slope, and it's a mile uphill to get to that...

Jul. 5th, 2013

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dark news from the WeLL

passed away last night.

There's a topic in [genx].

[edit: I will gladly pass on all comments, regards, etc, for people who no longer have a WeLL account.]

May. 12th, 2013

kinect cloud

I hate "sad animal story" posts, so here's mine

Last night I saw a rather stunning performance by Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld (look for them on youtube, they work on stuff solo and together) but Stetson played a song and explained why he changed the name. One of his friends heard it and said that Stetson had written a song about the loneliest whale in the world, and he explained it but I didn't believe him.

Of course I got home and asked the Internet and warning, SAD ANIMAL STORY FOLLOWS:


Mar. 19th, 2013

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thanks, Mr. Rogers

For a few years of my childhood, my dad was overseas at war. Every evening the TV news showed film from combat and my dad could have been in that film. He wasn't, but every day or two, Mr. Rogers was on TV and showing me how good it was to be nice to your neighbors.

I am not always "nice" but I still try to be at least polite, even to people I would vote against on general principles.

Mr. Rogers' birthday is 20 March, so while a cocktail might not be his choice, it's what I will raise in his name. I think he took care of honor all on his own.

Feb. 4th, 2013

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'nuff said

After my pictures started making the rounds on deviantArt, tumblr and 4chan, it became pretty clear that my cosplay brings all the racists to the yard, and they’re like…white cosplay is better than yours.

full blog

Dec. 15th, 2012

kinect cloud

focus on the good news

[journal edit: Previous post about my dealing with criminal violence is hidden until I can write it with less emotion and more thought.]

I have a job offer in my hands. It's not for the perfect job at the perfect company (it never is) but it's for what I think is a good job at a good company and that makes me feel pretty, uh, good?

Unrelated to the job offer, I think I'm coming back to blogs and LJ and in those medium, back to writing in the long form.

Like USENET after spammers, Twitter has gone from a fun place to chat with some of my friends to a Speaker's Square with unlimited amplification. People I think of as smart, thinking friends go into emotional rage and yell about their political beliefs and call names if you do anything but join them in yelling. I'll stay on Facebook for the time being as it's an easy way to communicate with local friends in Pittsburgh, but I'll never open it up to the Twitter level of loudness. (I wrote a bunch of community software words on my design blog if you're curious about the structural details of online conversations.)

After writing that blog entry, I looked for the writing I've done that I like and much of it is here on LJ. The public words about design and hacking each have their own blog, but the sometimes private and usually friendly words have LJ, for better or for worse.

Oct. 23rd, 2012

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Don't whine or fold, just play your hand.

as did the dancer Bill Shannon, who learned his trade here in Pittsburgh:

Oct. 17th, 2012

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cleaning up

I'm adding and removing people from my LJ friends-list relative to facebook and other areas. This is mostly a cleanup as I change what gets posted friends-only here vs. my blogs vs. twitter vs. facebook.

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