sailing the NorSea


WEEK 10 2019 

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Saturday 9  March  2019
Saturday - Still winter/spring type weather.  A bit of drizzle now and again.

I needed a bit of Romex, so I went to Rosamond and Karl's Hardware.  The local hardware would have it, but is out of wood stove pellets and I figured Karl's would have some.  They were out as well: apparently the cold weather this year has really caused a run on stocks on the west coast.  They were trying to get some from a supplier all the way up in Oregon... 

Propane prices have also spiked, up to $3.69 a gallon, which is about a 25% surcharge on what they were charging in January.  The help said to come back on the third Monday of the month, it's when they have their scheduled delivery and sale, but to come early as they sometimes sell out all of their 700lb supply tank!

Costco generally has the best price around, but it's nice to know I can get it in Rosamond.

Technically I can get tanks refilled at the little local market, but people had told me it's a pain.  I went in and asked the owner, and his reply was that he only fills tanks after 11am.  I pointed out that was also lunch time and busy for them, and his reply was "Yes, you'll have to wait".  Which is what people told me, up to half an hour.

Um, so unless I'm desperate, no.  Their prices aren't particularly good either.

Books Read : Week 10 : 2019

#1 Deep War
#2 Merchant and Magic (Merchant & Empire #1)
#3 The Scavenger's Gift  (Merchant & Empire #2)
#4 Imperial Magic (Merchant and Empire #3)
#5  Merchant & Empire (Merchant and Empire #4)
#6 Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London #7)
#7 The Swift Programming Language 4.2

And yes, I know the text background and cell background in the table doesn't match: Blue Griffon is kind of broken and I can't fix it without a bunch of text editing of the source.

I was surfing Amazon, looking at Swift books, then realized I had a couple I bought quite a while back on the Kindle...

I dug out the C++ book as well.

Friday 8 March 2019
Friday - Cool, but not too unpleasant.  I did run the heater for a couple of hours.

Neighbor dog was oddly quiet.

Stars: I did another ten lessons in the Zed Shaw book on Python.  It's pretty simplistic stuff, but I might as well do them, since I paid for them.

Nope: Read some more swift stuff.  I was hoping for lessons, and cocoa, but the next free book was pretty much on how to inter-operate between Obj-C and Swift.  Very useful, but I'm not really ready for it yet.

Perhaps I should get another book?  They are so pricey and the language is changing so fast that I hate to.  Did I mention that there's already a Swift 5.0 out from Apple?  I just finished the 4.2 book this week.

Amusingly I found an example of someone using X with Swift.   Apple doesn't make the Cocoa libraries available on any platform but its own, though the compiler is there.  So someone wrote an app on Linux that brought up an X dialog!  I suppose you could use Qt, or OpenGL as well.

Budd caught a mouse in the garage, his third.  A tiny little thing, the size of the end of my thumb.  He was happily batting it about, tossing it in the air, and so on.  I felt bad for it, but not bad enough to try to catch it and take it away myself.

When I let Budd into the house an hour later he was very proud of himself.  Did he eat it, did it escape?

Sad news: In the evening I heard that my neighbor's wife's mother had passed away.  It wasn't entirely unexpected, she'd been declining and was in hospice care, but of course it's still a painful and sad time for them.

Thursday 7 March 2019
Thursday - Mixed weather, reasonably warm. Misting rain in the morning, then nothing else.  I did turn on the heat for a few hours.

Hip seems about the same, sore if I don't take the ibuprofen.  I'm trying not to sit for too long, that seems to aggravate it where standing and laying down doesn't.  I can now sleep in my bed again.

Neighbors dog barked for three hours straight in the morning, then for intervals of an hour or so in the afternoon.

Book #7 was free book The Swift Programming Language 4.2, by Apple.  I actually read all 492 pages of the book proper, but not the appendices. The ACL and optional chaining stuff was a bit cryptic.  I suspect it will make sense once I actually start using it.

I did a bit of Linux stuff.  The stable PPA puts its stuff under /usr/lib, but doesn't include the source.  The unstable does include the source.  I watched a couple of video's on PPA install, and as far as I can tell I was doing it correctly. Maybe I'll try removing the unstable and re-downloading/installing again next week.

I had to add external speakers to the little mini-itx unit to hear the video audio, then a new power strip because the old one had issues and the power brick to the speakers wasn't getting voltage.  Nothing is a one-step process...

The standing desk works pretty well.  But if I put a couple of cushion pads down for my feet then it's too low. Eventually I want to replace the proof-of-concept item with real (stable) legs and such.

Suzy loves the desk, btw. I guess because it's high up it feel secure.  In reality Budd would have no problem chasing her up there and they would probably wreck both monitors by fighting and knocking them to the ground.

I didn't see Budd with a mouse in the garage today, btw.  But the attic's traps - with dog food glued to the trap triggers - didn't work, the dog food was gone.  Sticky traps next I guess.

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Wednesday - Rain.

It must have poured buckets overnight, the road was mostly covered for a bit at about 6:30am, and I could hear a bit of a leak inside the chimney box. But by 8am it was just regular rain and there was no sound of a leak.

I lit the pellet stove, since it will keep the house warm (it isn't a particularly cold rain) and dry out the chimney box. I have more weather sealing gunk to spray on the chimney cover, but it's been high winds for days (gusting into the 50's supposedly) and I couldn't apply it.

By noon I turned the stove off, house was plenty warm enough.

In the morning I worked on the Stars stuff, practicing my Python programming.  I have a kindle edition of Learn Python the Hard Way, and opted to use the Kindle Cloud through the Firefox browser to read it, while I worked.  Text open on one monitor, editor and terminal window open in the other.

I've been using the Atom editor, and a terminal window to run the python programs themselves.

I also did a quick check to see if anyone else was having trouble opening the daily Gui version of FreeCad, but no errors really matched mine.  It looks as though there are issues with dependencies on older libraries and such going on.  Mine seem to be related to X, but I know that Xscreensaver works, so it's some sort of interaction.

After lunch I worked on Swift.  Essentially this is the part on objects and structures. Pretty straightforward, though the bit on optional chaining is kind of abstruse.  I guess if you have something that interacts with the web or a network database you can't be sure of the existence of things, and so there is this elaborate checking behavior.   Not really of great interest to me for a small self contained app, but I read through it all anyways.

Budd caught another mouse in the garage, and was happily playing with it in the early evening, tossing it into the air and catching it in his mouth.  It was dark and wet out, and the critter looked dead, so I just left him to it.  I'm not sure if he eventually ate it or what.  That's two down. 

They are ignoring the kibble glued to the traps.

The neighbor's dog is going nuts.  I'm going to have to complain. 

Tuesday 5 March  2019
Tuesday - Overcast.

Mostly just worked on Nope and Swift programming stuff.

I had been looking for a good book on it, and one of the reviewers said that the free book The Swift Programming Language, by Apple, was as good as any of the paid books.  So I've been working my way through that.  So far it's pretty decent, though it's only Swift, not Cocoa or Xcode.  But that's how I taught myself Objective-C, so no big deal.

Book #6 was Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London #7), by Ben Aaronovitch.  This was enjoyable, particularly as it was a ebook loan via the Libby app.  I would say a bit less of police procedural than the earlier books.

There are actually a couple of comics, er, graphic novels in the series - I should see if they are available for free as well.

Monday 4 March 2019
Monday - Overcast.

My hip hurt again - I shouldn't have spent so much time standing up yesterday.  Stupid of me.  I have a bunch of cleanup to do in the garage, but it will have to wait.

So I mostly just read documentation and thought about Swift and programming stuff.

Sunday 3 March 2019
Sunday - Coolish.

S said she was under the weather, no no grocery shopping today.

I did a bit of shopping in town, basically a quick trip to Walmart.   I was trying to get some propane bottles exchanged, and the local place was out of full bottles.

I also wanted some more pellets since they are predicting a storm this week, but Lowe's and Walmart and Van Damm's had none.  Perhaps the hardware store in Rosamond, but I do have several bags left, so it isn't too urgent.

I worked in the garage for several hours, trying to rearrange an clean things up.  There is a lot of stuff in there that can go into storage, actually.

Picture of the Week

water tank & fence shadow
Interesting shadow of the fence top rail making
an curve on the round side of the water tank.

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