WEEK 15 2008

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Oxnard Weather Underground
Lancaster WeatherUnderground

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Saturday 12 April 2008

aturday - keeping busy. I changed the tires on the Probe & had it aligned. One tire is new as of last year so I kept it. But when I looked at the other three - one was separating, one had a sidewall bubble, and the third...I just didn't trust after the issues with the other three. About $300 out the door, with alignment and balancing; but it's now pleasant to drive, not the noisy chore that it had been.

Picked up some used audio tapes at a Friends of the Library sale, so that's nice.

Downloaded and backed up all of last weeks field inspection data. I forgot the laptop power cord, but hey, it has a battery :-)

Did a couple of bills.

In the evening helped a friend get her contacts transferred from an old xv6600 to a new xv6800 - that was easy, we just 'beamed' them via IR port. Moving favorites for IE was tougher, we needed to download and install the newest and bestest Activesync 4.5 on her laptop, then move the favorites folder to a laptop from the old 6600, then back up to the 6800.

Apparently you can't beam folders. Why not, you ask? I have no idea. Microsoft's decisions on WM6 seem to be completely capricious - one thing works well, another basic capability will be missing. But my friend likes her 6800 - much better than the 6700 with its connectivity issues and faint screen that Verizon agreed to replace free. Like me she misses that larger screen on the 6600, but small is 'in' right now.

Then we headed out to see Blink at the LPAC. Last show of the season for us, and as a magician's show, was sold out, with lots of kids in the audience. Old style card tricks and pretty assistants, swords through boxes, coins from kids ears and various other bits of classic stagecraft. Fun stuff!

Friday 11 April 2008

Friday - another hot day, with blowing wind and sand. Yuck.

In the evening we went to a LPAC performance of the Wailin' Jennys, a Canadian band. Good fun music. Three female musicians, and a guy on the fiddle. Mostly their own stuff, but they did cover a Belafonte tune and a old Emmy Lou Harris  piece.

Thursday 10 April 2008

Thursday - back at work. It's getting warm out.

Wednesday I was able to get my SEP-IRA contribution in, for tax year 2007.

It was hard to navigate their web site, the SEP-IRA option is hidden from easy view for some reason, so a phone call was necessary. The nice lady walked me through the account setup and told me where to send the check.  I really didn't mean to leave the contributions so late - after April 15th I'll set up and start regular contributions to a 2008 account.

She mentioned that their office, with 75 support staff, were doing an average of 50 new accounts per person, every day. So I'm not alone in a dilatory wilderness.

Last weekend I 'fixed' my windows pc. It had serious overheating issues and it seemed likely that the fan had come detached from the processor - it would overheat even when idling, and it had been a long while since it was possible to run something like a processor intensive virus or malware scan, let alone a finite element code.

So I opened it up and wiggled the heat sink unit, a huge after market toroidal Zalman unit. No play, no looseness, nada. Hmmm. On close inspection I could see that the fins of the heat sink were clogged down near the processor, though the greatest area of them, well away on the periphery, were clear. A thin knife and a can of compressed air sufficed to remove the cat hair and dust from the lower parts of the heat sink - and the problem was solved. The pc was able to complete an entire scan with Spybot Search & Destroy without getting within 20F of the alarm temperature.

Interesting that the innermost 30% of the fan made such a big difference. Perhaps I could have stayed with the stock Intel heat sink and fan, way back when I first built the unit.

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Wednesday - It's not difficult to get a Ventura County library card. Essentially you ask, and they give it to you. No ID required, no proof of residence. 

 There are two libraries within walking distance of my place in Ventura, so that's nice.

I didn't work today, the mapper broke, so I took it into Los Angeles for replacement. Back to work tomorrow though.

Tuesday 8 April 2008

Tuesday - Book #13 was Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow. It was interesting. I'd always had a mild distrust and dislike of Hamilton, it seems that it was possibly an artifact of his relatively early death. He wasn't around to write his biography and gild his accomplishments like Adam's and Jefferson. Indeed both men were enemies of his and happily distorted and lied about his accomplishments and beliefs, long after he was in the ground and couldn't refute them. Adams comes off rather badly, but Jefferson comes off as a real snake. Aaron Burr comes off worst of all...

I was thinking about installing those pavers in the side yard in Lancaster. I bought them this week in 2005. They are sitting in the side yard still, overgrown by weeds, three years later. Urrk. I should mention, in my defense, that the place I intend to put them is full of cactus. The kind with really fine and itchy needles that pass right through gloves and long sleeved shirts and remain in your skin for a week or two. My handyman refuses to clear them, so I will have to do it myself.

One of these days.

 Monday 7 April 2008

Monday - I bought my brother a book for his birthday last weekend. I told him that we'd considered getting him a laptop but that he'd said he didn't want one. He replied that what he said was that he didn't want to buy one, not that he wouldn't like one. Too late...Fatal Revenant was his birthday present!

Sunday we drove about, looking for baby hawks (ravens?) in the nests commonly found on telephone poles in the west valley. We were probably a couple of weeks late - the nests all seemed abandoned. Too bad, that'd be a neat picture.

Sunday 6 April 2008

Sunday - Cut down some small tree's in the back yard. They were too near the block walls, being volunteer trees seeded from wind borne seeds. That Sawz-All came in handy. There is another, not so near the wall. I may leave it for next year - it's nice to have a speck of shade on that side of the yard.

A friend told me that they were selling potted Cherry tree's at a local supermarket for $10 each - an amazing steal. Bare root can cost more than that. But I was just too busy running errands to get by there. There's room in the back of the yard yet, they'd fit. I'm told that the new thing is to get a couple or several different varieties, plant them side by side, and then wrap the trunks about each other. You get a variety of blooming dates, a variety of fruit, and staggered harvest dates, all at a minimum amount of real estate.

Picture of the Week
valley view
Photo Notes: Valley view.

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