sailing the NorSea


WEEK 11 2012

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Saturday 17 March 2012
Saturday - Just as I was leaving for San Diego the arborist showed up and gave me the quote for the tree removal. Not too bad. Now I have to send a note to the city, and then they will tell the arborist to go ahead, and then he will get back in touch with me to set a date. Gotta luv the gov, and their bureaucracy.

Friday 16 March 2012
Friday - Down to San Diego for the weekend. Little or no posting...

Thursday 15 March 2012

Thursday - Did a bit of work on the boat, then met with T and discussed various work issues that we are having/will be having. It's always surprising the amount of trouble and grief some people will pile on top of the folk actually trying to get something done. There is a lot of NIMBY, and what to me looks like just plain cussedness.

In the afternoon I headed back to Lancaster. No sign that the arborist had been by to check on that tree that needs removing. Which didn't much surprise me, given the evasiveness of the person on the phone earlier in the week. They have a sole source contract with the city - why should they worry? The money is guaranteed, so customer service is not a priority!

Book #36 was Pandora's Legions, by Christopher Anvil. The was a free book from - now renamed Baen Ebooks, that I downloaded a while back. It is essentially Pandora's World (ca. 1972) with the John Tower stories added in. Essentially a novel created from stories in the 1950's and 1960's.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Wednesday  - down to Ventura. I talked to the boss a bit about some (hopefully) upcoming and in-progress work. Various non-technical issues have been dogging us, but there may be some stuff starting/re-starting in the near future.

The boat looked good. One aft hawser was worn partially through, which isn't good. The other had a canvas sheath that protected it. I shortened it and retied, but I need to get a bit of canvas sheathing for them all. One more thing to do... I did pick up the new tiller pilot that I order a while back. It fits pretty well on the existing support. It could use a 1" extension, and the electrical connection and bulkhead pass through is different, but I'll need a drill and largish bit, 1.25" to install it. I also picked up the rail antenna mount for the GPS unit as well.

I also added some distilled water to the batteries, and plugged the shore power in again to charge them. I have a little hygrometer battery tester that I'll use to check on the battery state when they are charged. Tiller pilots draw a fair amount of juice, and at least one of the batteries came with the boat, circa 2006, and may even be older.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Tuesday - Looking at the graphics handling elements in iOS. Looks like there are two possible libraries, Quartz for 2D and a version of OpenGL for 2D and 3D as well. Lot's of handling of views and events, but nothing I haven't done before. Mostly it's the still rather opaque language it's all written in. I'm looking for a good online guide, but I may have to buy another book...

Cleaned and vacuumed, the house really needed it.

Book #35 was Into the Hinterlands, by David Drake and John Lambshead. Not bad, but not great either. I think there were a lot of ideas there, but the characters were rather wooden. The main character is somewhat modeled on George Washington, I think, and there are various quotes from the Napoleonic wars era scattered through the book.

Monday 12 March 2012

Monday - not much going on, still warm.

Called the arborist people, they'll send a guy by to estimate the cost of removing the tree "in the next few days". It's good to have a contract and no competitors, isn't it?

Lunch at the Thai place.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Sunday - Pretty weather, again. Warm, in the 70's. I did some cleaning up in the yard, and started making plans to do some more work in the front yard. Weedblock and gravel in the front flower beds, perhaps a nice brick border. And I need to start the work with pavers in the back.

I forgot to mention, but the peach tree had its first blossoms on Monday. Hopefully they get visited by the bees for pollination, despite the early start. I was over at someone's house and the bees are back, by the way, there was an old willow that was humming with hundreds of them.

Book #34 was Temeraire: Crucible of Gold, by Naomi Novik. This time Laurence and Temeraire find themselves visiting the Incas, who are actually ruled by their dragons, as opposed to England they are considered somewhere between beasts and slaves. The English want the Incas for allies, but so do the French - Napoleon himself makes another appearance.

One of the characters makes a remark to his dragon about investing prize money in the "funds" in the London stock exchange. It's a casual comment, but given that dragon's are notoriously long lived and avaricious - we may be seeing the beginnings of dragons and stock market profiteering and pirating here!

Picture of the Week
gull at twilight,  the channel islands harbor
Photo Notes: Gull at twilight, Channel Islands Harbor, 2012.

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