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Discussion: But more importantly, are y...

in: CleverSky; CleverSky > 2016-12-18

Dec 19, 2016 8:02 PM # 
But more importantly, are you feeling better? And continuing to improve?
Dec 20, 2016 2:36 AM # 
A little better every day, physically. Time permitting, I'd do something like at least walk around the block, but there's Xmas shopping and stuff occupying the time, and I am still pretty tired -- not wiped, just low energy. Mentally, a somewhat different story, since I'm pretty unhappy about my job right now. But there's a week off coming up, which will be both a break from it and a chance to put out feelers for something better.

I am trying to have a positive appreciation for the fact that I can now wake up without a splitting headache (nor a headache all day long), which, when I was in the hospital, seemed like a situation that was desperately far out of reach.
Dec 20, 2016 4:01 PM # 
Glad to hear there's improvement!
Dec 20, 2016 10:53 PM # 
Thought about you and Nancy today, hope you start seeing some big-time improvement --

Dec 21, 2016 1:29 AM # 
Hmm, I can probably figure out where your road trip has taken you from that clue, but maybe I'll let Nancy try first.
Dec 21, 2016 1:44 AM # 
OK, I got it. My parents used to go on vacation there. Looks like the folks who took over maintenance in 2004 have done a nice job of cleaning it up. Still has the original lens, too. Thanks for the photo!
Dec 21, 2016 2:41 AM # 
Nearby is this one (though it's rather ugly and I'm not sure it even is a lighthouse) --

Dec 21, 2016 2:56 AM # 
It definitely is a lighthouse; in fact, it's still active, unlike the first one which was decomissioned 20 years ago. (I just realized that you gave the photos names that are big clues to where they are.) The white one is called Harbor of Refuge, and there are plans to repaint it and open it for tours this year (there are already tours available for the first one).
Dec 21, 2016 1:10 PM # 
I thought I recognized them. Not the right season for red knots though, is it?
Dec 22, 2016 3:41 AM # 
Two more tests for JJ (and Nancy), and because they are smart dudes and to give an extra challenge, one of the photos is quite out of focus...

Dec 22, 2016 11:59 AM # 
The second one originally had a first-order lens (very beautiful, large, and impressive) that is now on display in the museum along with the ponies. The first one is actually the second-tallest light in the US, and it also had a first-order lens that's in a different museum. Both are still active, with the top one doing one white flash every 5s, and the bottom one two white flashes every 5s.

This one from the upper picture rotated and did a complicated flashing pattern; I've never seen one quite like it.

While the lower one was originally a steady, "fixed" light, very similar to the one Nancy and I have seen up close (still in service) on Seguin Island in Maine.
Dec 22, 2016 1:42 PM # 
You are good!

But are you really good? The next one --

Dec 22, 2016 8:23 PM # 
Looks like you covered some ground in the last day or two.
Dec 22, 2016 11:09 PM # 
That is a nice shot!
Dec 22, 2016 11:24 PM # 
It really is. It gave me just enough information to go on so that I knew what I needed to know, and that I'd be certain of the answer when I found it. A similar photo of another lens (e.g. the picture above it) might have had me shrug and say, well, could be anything. But this one was unusual enough that I knew what to look for.
Dec 23, 2016 2:32 PM # 
Well, it is an unusual-looking lens. What is your protocol for finding the answer? I did a bit of looking, decided it was not something I was all that good at, at least in part because I hadn't expected the photographer to get that far south that quickly.
Dec 24, 2016 1:11 PM # 
To start with, the blue sky and the lamp fixture indicated that this was an active lens, not one in a museum. The uniform prisms in the upper section, and the middle section on the left that resembles the picture above it ("beehive" style) meant that this would give a steady light, but then the "bullseye" flash panel meant that it would also give a periodic flash (assuming it's a rotating lens, which was a safe bet). That's an unusual flash characteristic; most lenses either give a steady light or a flashing light (like the first lens picture), but not both. I could also make the assumption that this is a lighthouse open for tours, and the lens is clearly large; probably second-order at least, and I was guessing first-order.

So, active lighthouse, open for tours, still using an antique lens, probably first-order, and with a steady light that also has a periodic flash. That narrows it down quite a bit. We also know that they were last seen heading down the east coast. A good resource for that is
although for other sorts of searches Nancy prefers
The UNC site, for example, turns up the previous two lighthouses as featured pictures for the state they're in. I could have just scanned down the east coast, and the light characteristic that I described would have popped right out. But I got lucky before I got that far. There were some other lights that had characteristics that looked like they might match what I was looking for, so I did a Google image search for "XXXX lens", substituting in the name of the light in question for XXXX. That allowed me to rule those out, because the lens wouldn't look right, or the lamp fixture would be wrong. For example:

But searches like that will turn up miscellaneous stuff, and in the course of investigating a light that was still north of there, I stumbled across (I think) this picture:

And I knew I had it. Looked for more lens pics of that light to confirm it, and checked the characteristic and other info on the UNC page, bingo. Took 5-10 minutes, mostly on my phone. Might have been less if I would have guessed they were driving so fast.
Dec 24, 2016 1:51 PM # 
Interesting how the correct answer was reached so quickly despite a faulty assumption -- that I had taken the photo on this trip. I thought that might trip you up, but not even close.

Of course I also could have picked a photo of a lighthouse from anyplace in the world, as there was no claim that I had taken the photo. Though I suspect that wouldn't have stopped JJ for long.

Dec 24, 2016 7:41 PM # 
Nancy had a couple of lighthouse calendars this past year that had pictures of lights from around the world with no captions. A few of them took a while, but eventually I identified them all. One of my biggest challenges ever was this one that I found in an old photo album of hers:

Turned out to be a cookie shop in San Diego, and not a lighthouse at all. And in Google Street View, it looks totally different because the background is now all skyscrapers.

This discussion thread is closed.