Weekly Rochester Events #239: Canada's Buffalo
Thursday, August 7, 2003Ok, so we had a bit of rain this past week. On Tuesday night I left the video camera running out the back window to see if I could get a still frame of lightning, but I didn't. I did get to use it as a gigantic flashbulb, though, and light up the 11 p.m. skyline pretty well. Next, I did the same thing around 3:30 when the rain went through on Wednesday and actually got one. Based on the timing of the thunder, the Monroe County Offices (111 Westfall Rd.) is about halfway, making the strike somewhere around Rustic Village Apartments (Crittenden Rd., north side). The third picture is one of a lightning leader, I think ... it's the hairline white line in front of the Monroe County Offices and it looks like it starts at the top wire of the telephone poles. Note the fourth picture has no leader.
Oh, lightning leaders are the part that forms near the ground. It's ionized air like in those plasma ball things, I guess. Only one or two of them are lucky enough to meet up with the lightning path from the sky and conduct the electricity.
All I had to do was take some 200,000 low-resolution images 30 times a second and then sort through them to get the four cool ones you see. I've got this fancy digital camera that does it for me and puts it all on tape. It's pretty cool ... you can even watch the images in real-time on television, or download them to the computer. (Yeah, yeah, very clever ... describing a video camera this way ...)
Anyway, I was thinking about a couple things. First, people should fix their tattered flags. I see these all over the place, especially after 9/11 when everyone stuck them on their cars. Well, now they're all messed up. The The Democrat and Chronicle did an article that I've got from June 13, 1998 in the Home and Real Estate section where they talk about the flag, and they cite Gannett News Service (golly, isn't that a great citation?) which mentions, "when a flag is unfit to fly, it should be destroyed with dignity."
Now, I'm making an assumption: the people flying these wrecked flags really intend to honor it. So, if they are indeed trying to honor America by flying a damaged flag, I wish they'd have it "destroyed with dignity" and get a new one. It's really quite easy ... take it to the Stars and Stripes (455 South Ave.) store and they'll give it to people like veterans or to Boy Scout troops for a proper retirement. Plus, they sell real American flags, not those $10 Chinese made nylon pieces of shit from Walmart. I used to buy those, but after two of them both tattered and faded over the course of a year, I got a good one from Stars and Stripes (455 South Ave.) for $45 or so and it's lasted two years and is still going strong.
Now, don't get me wrong, I strongly believe that there should never be a Constitutional Amendment against flag desecration. This is for two reasons: first, is that nobody has any right to limit what someone else has to say. As part of the right of free speech, one should be allowed to burn a flag or otherwise disgrace it. The other reason is that by creating an Amendment, the United States would be engaging in icon worship. You should never worship the icon, only the ideology of what that icon represents. What's the point in worshiping the icon itself anyway?—that only teaches people to protect the icon instead of the ideology behind it.
Gosh, what else.
I guess I can mention that the Super Sweet 100's from Harris Garden Centers (999 Jefferson Rd.) have produced fruit. Oh ... cherry tomatoes for you city folk. I got one ripe one on July 30, and 13 ripe ones six days later. Now, if my knowledge of science fiction geometric approximation is correct, there should be 402,234 by the 29th weighing a total of two and a half tons. By the beginning of 2004, their total weight will be equivalent to the mass of the moon.
So start eating!
Last week I got to go to The Flour City Brewer's Fest and got to try a bunch of different brews and met up with some people I haven't seen in a while. Here's my notes (in order of appearance):
In all, I had 7 beers in two hours which would have been a good deal at $15 total, but since each glass was about two and a half ounces, I only got about 18 ounces of beer which is a ripoff ... Of course that wasn't the point at all, but I can't say I can tell what the point is, though.
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