Archive for December, 2012

December 31, 2012

Another drop in the bucket

Drip, drip, drip

Well, for better or for worse, we made it through another year, didn’t we?

Here in the U.S., there was a hurricane, and an election, and some senseless killings, and some other stuff.

That sounds awfully negative! Help me out here, SOMETHING had to be good about this year, right?

What will you remember about 2012?

December 30, 2012

Polar bears!

Official polar bear!

I went down to Asbury Park today, to participate in the 49th annual Polar Bear Races. They didn’t get any snow on the shore!

Due to boardwalk construction, runners found out upon arrival that the 5-mile race had been changed to a 5K, which was two miles shorter than we’d been prepared for. Oh well.

The weather wasn’t great (sunny but freezing [30-35 F], with ~30mph gusts of wind, which made it hard to [a] breathe and [b] run against headwinds), and [insert a bazillion other excuses here], so I didn’t do very well (two full minutes slower than my last 5K!). Oh well.

But SOME of these runners are REALLY hardcore, and took a Polar Bear dip in the ocean after the race.

Polar bears runners in Asbury Park!

NUTS, I tell you.

December 29, 2012

Freyr the snowstorm

Oh great, snow

It’s snowing!

Apparently it counts as a snowstorm, so the Weather Channel is calling this one “Freyr.”

I think things are finally getting plowed around here, which is nice.

December 28, 2012

Summit Field

Summit Field! I guess maybe it's on a summit or something, I dunno.

This photo doesn’t hold a lot of merits in and of itself, but sometimes, you know, you’re just like, “man, I wish I could look at a nice-looking field with trees in it.”

So here is a nice-looking field with trees in it.

(This nice-looking field is Summit Field in the South Mountain Reservation. You can picnic here. There are tables just off-camera.)

December 27, 2012

Lighthouse lights

Light bulbs in the Sea Girt lighthouse

In the northeast, we’re getting hit with some ugly wintry-mix weather (tho’ not nearly as bad as the system that hit you guys out west— ouch), and neither I nor my camera have the constitution to go take pictures of it.

So instead: you know what lousy stormy wintry-mix weather puts me in mind of? WARM SUNNY BEACHES.

…Of course, New Jersey’s warm sunny beaches all got washed away, which puts me in an entirely different state of mind, but that’s another story.

Anyway, the week before Sandy, I had the chance to climb up Sea Girt lighthouse.

Docents at the lighthouse were careful to explain that Sea Girt didn’t have a working light.
Some of us, confused, replied that we’d SEEN the light from Sea Girt lighthouse at night, it DID have a light, WTF.
The docents scoffed and said that yes, it had a sort of wimpy light source, but that light source didn’t actually DO anything. You can’t see the light from the SEA or anything.

So: the wimpy light from Sea Girt lighthouse is provided by this here setup: two 100-watt lightbulbs and a small prism.

For context, lighthouse lights are usually refracted by huuuuuuuuuuge prisms that… I dunno, focus the beams, I guess.

Here’s what the Fresnel lens inside Sandy Hook light looks like:

Sandy Hook light

And Sea Girt light’s museum has an example of the sort of Fresnel lens that was inside the lighthouse originally:

Sea Girt light's Fresnel lens. I wonder if it survived Hurricane Sandy? They paid an awful lot of money for that thing.

I guess it’s a fourth-order lens, which apparently refers to the size, and fourth-order is on the smallish side.

December 26, 2012

High Point Monument

High Point Monument in the fog... with bikers.

Ugh. Awful weather today. Apparently it’s a nor’easter.

Speaking of bad weather, how ’bout fog?

Here’s a photo of High Point Monument when there’s slightly less fog obstructing everything:

High Point Monument: so that's what it looks like!

According to a plaque at the base…

High Point Monument
Height 220 Feet

Base 34 feet square at the platform and 19 feet square where apex begins
The base of the monument is erected on the highest point in the state of New Jersey
Altitude 1803 feet above sea level
Corner stone laid June 8, 1929

Look, an informative plaque.

December 25, 2012

Baby spruce

Awwwww, a wittle baby spwuce

Merry Christmas, if you celebrate.

December 24, 2012

Waiting for a transfer

Waiting at Newark Broad Street

This holiday season, loads of travelers in New Jersey will be waiting here at Newark Broad Street to transfer.

…Well, loads of travelers/ commuters/ day-trippers/ etc. wait at Newark Broad Street station EVERY day, not just during the holiday season, but it seems much more season-appropriate if I mention the holidays, doesn’t it?

December 23, 2012

Swamp berries

Berries make the season bright!

The timing of my posting has been obscenely irregular lately. I’m sorry.

But on the bright side… hey, look, berries!

December 22, 2012

Mossy rocks

Just some silly rocks by a creekbed.

Just some, uh, rocks. In the South Mountain Reservation. Which is a home to rocks.

I need to get out more. I’m really running low on photos.

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