Barker Dam and Wall Street Mill

Barker Dam and Wall Street Mill

Barker Dam and Wall Street Mill

Double feature in Joshua Tree National Park. Barker Dam is just over a mile, a short loop that takes in rock art, the dam, and a nice mix of boulders and desert. Wall Street Mill is two miles out and back and the mill extracted gold to send to the US Mint in San Francisco.

Hike starts at: 34.025005, -116.142098. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon

Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon

Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon

Amazing 4.5 mile hike in the Mecca Hills Wilderness in Riverside County, California. You ascend a slot canyon with ladders of various difficulty helping you up and down along the way. There is a sunny section on a ridge at the top with views back to the Salton Sea and then you return along the wash at the bottom of Painted Canyon. A must do hike if you can handle a few ladders and are in the area.

Hike starts at: 33.618781, -115.99902. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Teddybear Cholla

Teddybear Cholla

SONY ILCE-7C 40mm f22.0 1/40s ISO125

Photo of the Teddybear Cholla garden in Joshua Tree National Park.

(Recent Photos)

Sawmill Flats

Large boulders in Mount San Jacinto State Park

Bobcat seen at Mount San Jacinto State Park

Four and a half mile hike from Stone Creek Campground in Mount San Jacinto State Park to the ruins of a sawmill and back again. The mill is hidden but watch out for a yellow sign off the trail.

The campground was closed for the season when we arrived and a permit is required. We phoned the ranger station who said the trail was off limits and to come get a permit and discuss other hikes. After much discussion it turned out the concern was illegal parking near the campground and after promising to find legal parking and walk in we were allowed to complete the hike.

I don't have a GPS track for this one. Usually I download a GPX to Gaia GPS on my phone and use this to follow the trail. Traveling without a laptop I tried to do this from the AllTrails mobile app which wanted a paid upgrade. I have used AllTrails a fair bit so was happy to pay, but even after upgrading you can only download locally to AllTrails, the mobile app won't allow you to generate a GPX. I understand the commercial desire to lock people into their app, but I have used Gaia GPS for years an trust it to not drain my battery or otherwise cause problems when off the beaten track. AllTrails also won't let you copy and paste from hike descriptions (even ones with a long URL to check for road closures in them), and you can't export the route you took either (which I do from Gaia GPS to generate maps and elevation profiles for this blog). So I'll be cancelling that AllTrails subscription and have learned to get an export from a laptop and ignore the mobile app.

Saw a bobcat which is a first. Probably due to the trail being closed and quiet.

(Hike Map)

Book reviews for November 2021

The Dark Hours (Renée Ballard, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #35) by Michael Connelly

The Dark Hours (Renée Ballard, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #35) by Michael Connelly

4/5

 

Invisible Sun (Empire Games #3) by Charles Stross

Invisible Sun (Empire Games #3) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

Better off Dead (Jack Reacher, #26) by Lee Child

Better off Dead (Jack Reacher, #26) by Lee Child

3/5

 

First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami

First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami

4/5

 

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

5/5

 

(All Book Reviews)

Links for November 2021

Mimica, which automates RPA, raises $6M Series A funding led by Khosla Ventures

I'm holding out for the company that automates robotic process automation automation.

(All Etc Posts)

San Francisco Crime 2003 to 2021

San Francisco Crime 2003 to 2021

San Francisco is apparently going to hell with criminals free to do as they please with no fear of consequences. I decided to take a look at the data.

The video above shows a timelapse of SFPD incidents from 2003 through yesterday. Each frame is a day and shows incidents from the previous seven days. The top left corner of the video shows the date and the seven day count of incidents.

I grouped the reported categories into a few colors. Red is used for murder and rape. Orange for arson and kidnapping. Yellow for thefts and assaults. Purple for sex and drugs. Grey for anything else. I excluded some categories from the data (recovered vehicle, traffic collision, case closure and non-criminal).

SFPD reports the location of incidents as the closest intersection. To keep everything visible I move the location randomly within a tenth of a mile where there is a specific location reported. For crimes without a location I use a random spot within half a mile of the center of the police district (or the center of San Francisco if the district is missing - this is unusual).

The volume of incidents changes a bit during the ~18 years shown in the video, but the only real outlier is the dip following the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2000. Crime picks back up after this but so far hasn't returned to the level it was at before the pandemic.

Police incidents come from two datasets: Police Department Incident Reports: 2018 to Present and Police Department Incident Reports: Historical 2003 to May 2018. San Francisco is plotted using Elevation Contours. The pre and post 2018 data sets use different categories but I coded both to the set of colors outlined above. There is a drop in incidents right at the end of the video which I expect is caused by incomplete data rather than any change in crime rate.

(More Timelapses)

Windows 11 Broken Notifications

Updated on Saturday, December 4, 2021

11

I'm lucky enough to have the right sort of TPM so Windows 11 installed smoothly on my laptop through Windows Update. It's got some nice fit and finish improvements and round corners and generally seems well put together. Except for anything I actually use and care about on a regular basis.

It is still impossible to get rid of notifications with one click. This has actually regressed from Windows 10 as we're back to a little x to dismiss which actually sends the notification off to the action center for when you have some spare time to dismiss it a second time. Microsoft, spend less time on focus assist and more time on this!

The taskbar wants your icons in the center. If I wanted a Mac I would have bought one. Luckily there is a setting to move them back to the left. But one thing you can't do is have small taskbar icons. There is a registry hack, but it breaks the system icons so until that's fixed the main impact of Windows 11 for me is missing out on about one row of a spreadsheet. I would like those pixels back!

Maybe the start menu is better, but I stopped using that with Windows 10 and now just pin apps or search for them so I'd never know.

(Previously: I just want to get rid of Windows 10 Notifications with one click)

Updated 2021-12-04 10:35:

A few weeks into my Windows 11 adventure and I think they handed this one off to the designers and forgot the adult supervision.

Alt-Tab you have one job and it's switching between applications. Why then is the selection now indicated by a hair thin black border? It's pretty, but I now have to squint to figure out where I'm going.

Worse still you can no longer drag and drop to the taskbar. I don't do this every day, but it's a big time saver when I need it. Now I have to go through a re-org of windows to drag things between them.

(All Marketing Posts)

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.26

Updated on Sunday, December 5, 2021

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.26

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.26 is available to download.

This update includes the latest list of webcams. It has also been updated to use .NET 4.8 which means it will install with no additional downloads needed on Windows 10 and 11. The installer is now signed. You might get a warning from Defender about the program being infrequently used, you will need to ignore this to install. Lastly WebCamSaver will now automatically check for updates so you'll get a desktop notification when a new version is available.

(All Code Posts)

ITHCWY Newsletter for October 2021

CA 2020

Continuing my Catfood Software refresh I have added a detailed WebCamSaver Guide as a companion to the Catfood Earth post. I also released Catfood Earth 4.20. This is a minor feature release (with the 2021d time zone database) but has a lot of upgrades behind the scenes. I've migrated to .net 4.8 and renewed my code signing certificate both of which make it much easier to install on Windows 10 (and 11). Upgrade notifications died when I moved Catfood Software to ITHCWY, with this release there is a new web service so Earth can tell you when thee is a new version available. Similar changes will come to WebCamSaver soon.

Are US schools too obsessed with sports?

Some fun with crystals and Adobe super resolution - I don't think they trained the AI on crystals.

Hikes: Adobe Creek, remnants in the sunset, Twin Peaks and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

I might buy more of your podcasts if you stop making them too long.

A milky way timelapse from Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

Fleet week came back to San Francisco. Photos and timelapse.

Previously:

(All Etc Posts)