More irises, a snake, and surviving an internet outage

by Rob Tiller

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On Saturday morning, I saw some pretty irises at J.C. Raulston Arboretum on Saturday, including those pictured here. A plaque there said that J.C. Raulston was a highly respected professor of horticulture at N.C. State who founded the arboretum. He died in 1996 at age 56. The garden is a lovely memorial.

On Sunday, I went to Durant Park to try out some new graduated neutral density filters and other equipment. It was pretty and peaceful there. I saw a black snake climb around in and down from a tree. As I tried to photograph him, he calmly slithered toward me and gently passed within an inch of my foot.
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Our wireless router died on Friday, and we felt very unsettled without our usual internet access. At some point, we got hooked. We need the internet for many practical things, but also just to feel potentially connected. Without it, we are not quite ourselves.

I made a trip to Best Buy (Amazon would have taken too long) and got a recommendation for a new Netgear router, with the assurance that set up would be no problem: “plug and play,” the sales guy said. This was not at all accurate. I spent about four hours on the project, counting time reading the useless instructions, Googling more instructions and FAQs, speaking with technicians, plugging and unplugging, and powering on and off. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, we got back online. It didn’t feel as good as I expected, but it was a relief, sort of like getting the water running again.

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