SW on the Road

Time to hit the road.

Sleeping Wolves is going to Paris and London once again. Hopefully full rain gear will not be required – it’s been coming down in both cities with some heavy duty flooding in the UK to boot.

Temperatures have been pretty cool for late June as well in both capitals (low 70s in F, high teens in C ) – all this while Athens and Sicily are experiencing record heat waves.

More trip journals and photos to come – on our return!

Where’s SW?

Out of the blue this afternoon, I could no longer access Sleeping Wolves – no http, no ftp, no Plesk control panel. I could see all other sites but not my own!

Ruled out DNS problems by flushing the DNS cache and by trying to access the site through its IP rather than its name. Next I added the domain to the Hosts file. Nothing worked. Pinging the server resulted in a request timed out. Doing a tracert also went nowhere – it stopped after the 13th hop – a bad omen?

I asked a friend if he could access the site and he could without any problem. I tried to access the site through a proxy (thecloak.com) and I too was able to see it.

I then spent hours with Tech Support between my WebHost and my ISP – neither could help and one even suggested the classic “your computer must be infected – run an anti-virus”. I think they banned my IP as well since I was sending lots of packets…how sad.

So to make a long story short, and to document this mini-tragedy should it occur again, I finally reset my router to the factory defaults, shut my whole network down, and rebooted with a clean IP and clean settings….yes….it’s alive!

The moral of the story? Not sure. I still don’t understand why my site was selectively blocked by the router or whomever. All I know is that tech support is not the answer and you usually have to fix things yourself.

Canids

Family Canidae.

The family of carnivorous and omnivorous mammals commonly known as canines. It includes dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes, dingoes and jackals. These animals are all digitigrades, meaning they walk on their toes.

source: Wikipedia

top row, left to right: coyote, wily coyote, arctic fox
bottom row, left to right: red fox, wolf, wolfie

More canids can be found in the Red Fox, Arctic Fox, Wolf, and Coyote Galleries.

Little Duckies

Beautiful but cool June day – finally got out to see some ducklings before the night herons ate them. The individual chicks are little mallards.


The group photo below is of Wood Ducks (hen and chicks). The green water is marsh water – it looks like pea soup and is probably just as thick (but less tasty). Click image for full size.

Fledgling

I found this poor little guy in my backyard this morning – a Grackle. His mom was there too, watching over and feeding him.

It is normal for a fledgling like this one to spend some days on the ground after leaving the nest – I just hope it doesn’t become predator fodder. I made sure none of the hood’s cats got to it during the day – hope it will make it.

We’ll see if it is still around tomorrow (it moved under a cedar hedge which will offer some protection and good camouflage).

As usual, click on the photo for full size.

Vancouver

One of Canada’s most beautiful cities. From my last trip in June 2006, a couple weeks before the Italy trip. I hope to get back out to Vancouver in September (on business once more).

This is one of many photos in the Photoblog.

Day with BB

Where did May go? Went by so fast.

Spent the day with Big Brother, he’s the one who got me interested in photography when I was just a teenager and he’s still a very talented photographer although he has never taken the digital dive – still uses a manual film SLR Nikon.

We used two of his vintage lenses on my digital Nikon – a Vivitar Series One Zoom (Macro) 80-190mm and a fixed focal Nikkor 300mm with a 2x Converter (TC2) both manual focus.

Shooting these babies does come at a price though: no automatic focus, no automatic exposure – so it’s back to basics and lots of old-fashioned guesswork. It makes you realize how much photography is based on technique when you have to rely on your skills/knowledge and not on your camera. Thankfully you can preview and re-shoot if you fudge the exposure or the focus the first time.

Some takes from the shoot are below. The two-dollar coin on the left is what Canadians call a toonie (or twoonie) because our one-dollar coin (with a loon) is called a loonie. The rose in the middle, also taken with the macro lens, is a miniature (a tiny lil thingy). At the right is a red-tailed hawk compliments of the 300mm Nikkor.