austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I look a mess but you see I've been halfway around this place

Kennywood has been blocked from opening. Covid-19 in its county --- which includes Pittsburgh, by the way, and thus would have held Anthrocon this weekend --- is so obviously high that the park has to wait. Northumberland County, with Knoebels in it, has a strikingly lower infection rate so maybe that's less dangerous, incredibly, but still a poor idea. Kings Island, in Warren County, Ohio, opened, and that county's threat level is only at 'Medium', but its population base is Cincinnati, and Hamilton County is a 'High' risk, says CovidActNow, so that's going to be a hopefully short-lasting disasters. Erie County, hosting Cedar Point, has too little data for CovidActNow to evaluate, but I don't trust it.


So after eight years here, we've fired my venerable Apple Time Capsule as our main router. It had gotten a little bit flaky, dropping connections. As always happens with computer problems, these hit bunny_hugger worse than they hit me. I barely saw the interruption; she could end up having to restart her connection, and the router, at least once a day.

Our new router is one of those big polygonal boxes that looks like the head of a high-rank robot from The Black Hole. Irritatingly the thing wanted its setup done from an app downloaded to our phones. Neither of us has a smartphone. bunny_hugger's iPod was willing to do most of the work, and then it just ... puttered out ... at the end. For some reason I could finish the rest of it from my laptop. And now? We have much faster Internet. Like, way faster than we had before this. We're left wondering how long our troubles had been working from a 12-year-old Apple Time Capsule instead of a modern dedicated router.

And how did my Time Capsule take being demoted from The Base Station For Wi-Fi to being just a thing connected to the base station? I'm really hoping all right. It did run a backup all right, but then later somehow its existence captured bunny_hugger's computer even though it was told to stop broadcasting Wi-Fi. I think maybe it's still transmitting a little in case it's told to be a router again? So I want to figure how to make it switch to a different network name and let it go on doing whatever it thinks it's doing where it can't hurt anybody.


Pictures today? They're from our planting a letterbox at Meridian Baseline State Park. Michigan's had it for decades but only in the last couple years got the public access that turned it into a usable park. It's the spot where the official surveyors lines for the latitudinal baseline and the longitudinal meridian cross, and cross again. We had to commemorate that.

SAM_3191.jpg

Creek that we pass on the way into the park; it's a pleasant one even if the early-spring tree cover is probably not showing it at its best.


SAM_3200.jpg

Neat little canopy made by fallen trees come together. If there were a good spot to set the letterbox where it wouldn't drop out this plausibly would have been where we'd have planted it.


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So here's one of the intersections! For unknown reasons the eastern half of the latitudinal baseline is about a thousand feet north of the western half.


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Near-ground photograph of the intersection medallion. The two of them were planted in the 70s, when the park was not legally accessible to the general public. One of the medallions was stolen and re-planted in the intervening years; the other was left, possibly because it wasn't known about, possibly because how many state surveyor medallions does any one person need?


SAM_3214.jpg

The northern medallion, the one photographed above, is on a concrete pillar that's seen significant erosion since its 1970s building. The park floods a fair bit.


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Under-platform shot of the concrete pillar for the northern end. This looks good.


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Tree, nudging its neighbors: 'Yeah, but you get what I'm saying, right? Ah? Huh? Isn't that a good gag?'


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More flooded park grounds. One of the constraints we'd have to work out was somewhere it seemed likely the letterbox would stay dry through normal weather and yet that no wildlife would be likely to want for itself.


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And here's the other medallion, connecting the meridian of longitude to the western half of the baseline latitude. I'm guessing that this is the medallion that wasn't stolen, since it looks more weathered, but who can say?


SAM_3247.jpg

Here, there's just an aged coil of wires and trees that have grown through that, which is a neat subject and probably the album cover for this set.


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Gorgeously knobbly set of tree roots that turned into this beautiful system of cubbyholes when the tree fell over. This is the sort of thing we'd have loved to set the letterbox in, but there's no place for it to fit that would be sheltered from the elements and not liable to fall out under any animal's inquiry.


SAM_3256.jpg

An eavesdropper! We spotted this snake and followed it, at optical zoom's length, for a while until it snuck into the hedges and got some privacy.


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Where the entrance trail (which is mostly east-west) meets the path (mostly north-south) connecting the two markers.


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Oh, and this is one of those small things but it's the button the county set in the tree in case the park ever needs to be factory-reset.


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And, here: a print of the stamp that bunny_hugger carved for the park letterbox. It's her most elaborate design and it's really good.


Trivia: The December 1949 West German bill granting general amnesties from Nazi crimes was neither vetoed nor amended by the Allied High Commissioners. Conrad Adenauer signed it into law, and it took effect the last day of the month. Source: 1945: The War That Never Ended, Gregor Dallas.

Currently Reading: The Story Of Brick: The Permanence, Beauty, and Economy of the Face Brick House, American Face Brick Association.

Tags: amusement parks, cedar point, kennywood, kings island, knoebels, letterboxing
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