Category Archives: work

Visio (in pixels) !!

For years I have suffered thru an absence of ‘pixel rulers’ in Visio.
I understand that a pixel is a screen concept, of different dimensions on various display screens… not going into that here. However, I frequently use Visio to construct various image files to fit into an exact space – and resort to using a 2nd program to finally scale my image file to the exact fit ( in units of pixels).

Apparently, in 2008 Noah posted on his blog ( an article describing how to deal with this. Unfortunately it was years and years later before I found it (in 2014). But I did, and it works for me, and I will use it often.

A screen shot and quick explanation from Noah :


Why it works Picas are 6 to the inch. By setting the ratio at 1:16, Visio presents a diagram at 96 picas per inch, the same as the Windows standard of 96 pixels per inch. You could set an appropriate ratio with any of the available units, but it works well with picas, and I find it useful that all units are labeled as p.

Thanks Noah ..!..  /;^)

Got Time ?

Welcome to waiting.


Start your day, the Redstone way…

I know, at least is not Atlanta, New York, or LA – but it does get tedious. This is the welcoming committee that greets us every morning going to work @MSFC. Everyone has to show their ID to get thru the gates into Redstone Arsenal.
I understand security concerns, and recognize that this is necessary.
I don’t have to like it tho.
On a good day there may only be a 5 min creep-along session. On a bad day I have idled stop-n-go style a few miles, for as much as 50 minutes. To get the 5 minute version, one needs to get there about 06:30, or wait until about 09:30.
There is a lot more I could say about this, but choose not to today.
One of these days, I will not be doing this every day.         JusSayn..
I just wanted to share the picture …
Thanks  /;^)

The Sky Is Falling !

Well, at least parts of it . . .
The sky often has a lot of water in it.
When it has way too much water, it rains.
When the air is cold enough, that rain can become snow. Here in Huntsville, we have had LOTs of rain this week, enough to elevate concern for flooding on several rivers, large creeks and even the Tennessee River was a concern in places. But here in North Alabama, flooding is common enough to not panic.
BUT then, the forecast includes sub-freezing temperatures and that scary word “snow“.
OMG, WTF, etc… You would think the sky was gonna fall .!.

Well, the sky fell today – and there was a wide-spread panic. Continue reading

Dark Skies without lights

One of the more enjoyable features of our extended power outage after the tornado events in April, stars  Stars like you never saw anywhere.

sky view to the southeast

Looking south east towards Huntsville

You can click these images for a larger one. Typically this view is mostly illuminated haze from all the lights to the east towards Huntsville. This is a time-exposure, with the shutter held open for about 30 seconds.

Shoot, in the summer – we often don’t even get a dozen stars bright enough to make it thru the humidity and the haze of humanity. This was a treat. I usually have to go to North Carolina, up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see this many stars, especially with such clarity.

For a day or so after the tornadoes, the humidity was very low – and with no power to flood the sky with lights – we had a magnificent view of the heavens.

sky view towards the southwest

Looking south west towards the airport

The airport has generator power and was open. This glow was from those lights about five miles away. After a few days tho, the neighbors were also running generators and aside from the lights, the noise was enough to keep me inside when I was home at night. I’m glad I caught these pics when I did, as it wasn’t long before the humidity shot back up, and the lights and noise took over again.

Sure was nice while it lasted.

I tried to get some pictures that didn’t reflect only the damage and destruction. I’ll try to get those posted here as well; as even in the chaos, there is always beauty in nature – if you seek it out and preserve it. Photos are great for that. These are two such photos, barely 48 hr after such a disaster ..

Thanks to everyone who has offered support and solstice in my wrestle with the flooding emotions that seemed to haunt me in the weeks after these storms. Also thanks to everyone who has helped and continues to support the on-going recovery effort for our neighbors here and across the US. I was really surprised that this has affected me so deeply. I do understand that talking & writing like this is helpful in my recovery, and I am mostly beyond the challenging parts.
I let myself get very close to this. That is not always a good thing.
I will never be the same, as I still feel that some of the most significant work I have ever done, was in this response. Anything else I do here on out is just the icing on that cake.
Hope I never need to, but I’d gladly do it all over again.

But – it is not about me. Continue to do the good work, and go the extra miles for your friends and neighbors. Your reward is in the pride and joy of helping….
Trust me – it is well worth the effort. Try it – you will like it ..!..

Thanks  /;^)