I’m sitting here in my bedroom office writing the first post that I’ve been able to do from home for over a year. It’s taken me that long to get Telikom to fix my phone line so that it will pass data. It’s no secret here that Telikom is unresponsive to customer complaints and extremely slow to present technologies at the street level. Oh, sure there is lots of talk about fibre optic cables, wireless phones and WIFI adapters for web access. Talk is cheap. Telikom “introduced” wireless phones and USB devices for computers to receive WIFI signals about four months ago in Madang. They are still not available. The local manager tells me that this is a problem with getting the prepaid cards set up, but I’ve been getting that story, or variations of it, for several months.
By simple weekly harassment, I finally succeeded getting Telikom to replace the cable that was preventing connections in my area. I can now get a 28.8KBPS hookup that, if not speedy, is at least stable. That’s painfully slow by anybody’s standards, but I’m not even hoping for any improvement.
I’ll tell you the ridiculous aspect of the situation: I actually feel grateful to them for fixing it. Forget that it’s their job to provide the service. Forget that it took them years to do it. Forget that they’ve promised wireless access to the web for months and there is still no product on the street. If someone hit you over the head with a brick for fifteen minutes, how would you feel if suddenly the weapon was switched to a salami? You’d feel grateful, that’s what.
Okay, enough of that.
These spiders that favour the yellow flowers in my garden draw my camera lens like a bee to honey. Though they are tiny, measuring less than a centimetre across, they are stationary subjects and quick to grab focus:
I’ve been shooting them for about a year now, wich I admit may seem a bit obsessive. However, I’m learning little tricks as I go. For these shots it was a bright day with plenty of light, so I set my Canon G9 to Aperture Priority and stopped the lens down to F8 to get maximum depth of field. This allows, up to a point, elements of the image which are closer or farther from the lens to remain in focus, eliminating blurry spots. For the shot above, I made sure that the background contained nothing close enough to be in focus, providing a nice blurry frame for the flower. What’s interesting to me, and keeps me fascinated enough to waste a lot of time doing it, is how many things that you have to think about during the processes and how intensely focused (pun intended) you have to be to accomplish the task.
One thing that I have noticed about getting older is that I know that I’m not as quick mentally as I once was. I think that my judgment and temperament are improving over time, but I’m definitely not as mentally agile. I really believe that writing every day and fiddling with photography and the accompanying computer processes that are necessary to produce the effects that I like help me to hold my ground mentally.
In this shot all that was necessary was to crop out everything but the flower:
I’m still don’t understand the purpose of the web. How does it assist the spider? Creatures generally don’t waste precious energy doing things that do not directly benefit them. I’ve never witnessed a capture of the little flies that these spiders eat, so I haven’t seen if the web, which you can see if you click to enlarge, plays any part.
This is a family friendly site and it’s going to stay that way. So, if you don’t know what these flies are doing, please go ask your mommy right now. If you are an adult and you find this image offensive, I recommend that you rush out immediately and purchase a sense of humor:Maybe they are just good friends.
The next three shots are even more strange.
By any measure this is a very strange bug, indeed. Its body is as thin as a razor blade and shaped like a grenade. It has s frilly white border and a picture of a moth (or, is it an angel?) on its back:
Okay, here’s one for you. I have it on good authority that this bug has been dropping acid daily for a solid month. Kiddies, if you don’t want to end up looking like this, stay away from that stuff; it’s really bad for you:Had enough? I didn’t think so.
Okay, here is something that even I have never seen before:Yes, Caroline, that is three bees fussing over the same flower. It’s not as if there is a shortage of flowers in my garden. Most of them spring up magically. Others are more deliberately introduced by Juli our haus meri, who has a well developed sense of humor.
Well, I’d love to sit here and entertain you longer from the comfort of my cave, but I’m off to Blueblood to kill off the remainder of our splendid holiday season.