Travels and Images
WEEK 16 2006
Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week
Picture of the Week
Saturday 22 April
- didn't do much - it was cool out, the wind howling. I did go out with
some friends for Thai in the evening - very tasty, and then we sat
around and watched some video's until 11:00pm or so.
Won 25 cents off Dad, betting against
the Oakland A's. Though there was a scary bit, when Nick Swisher hit a
grand slam to bring the A's within a point of tying the Angel's. Weaver
was a pretty good pitcher for the Angel's - tremendous
command, but started to fade after three or four innings. They did
leave him in long enough to get the win. The A's had Haren, who didn't
impress me much. But the third baseman for the A's, Eric Chavez, does
impress me, a good player with a good attitude.
Book #20 was Alector's Choice,
by L.E. Modesitt. Pretty typical Modesitt, he churns out much the same
stuff, book after book, and people still read it. People like me I
suppose. Eh, it was a library book, and helped pass a couple of
I was pretty tired.
Friday 21 April
Friday - the TIVO is working fine now, no problems. I've no particular issue with 'Service Packs', but wish they'd said
that, rather than making me guess that it needed a reboot. In other
news some broadcasters have proposed 'tags' in the new digital
broadcasts, that would take over your receiver and keep you from fast forwarding through commercials!
And here I thought the FCC and industry push towards digital and Hi-Def was about the 'user experience'. Silly me. (Though I guess you could consider ads a form of 'user experience'...just not a pleasant one...)
Watching Bones the other day, without TIVO, was very annoying. How quickly we get used to lack of commercial abuse!
My father mentioned that the smaller yellow dot midway between Modesto
and San Francisco on the radar image is due to the windmills at
Altamont. Yes, the same Music Festival Altamont. renowned for being the 'death place of the sixties'.
And a correction: The windmills screen grab on Sunday was from Google Maps, not Google Earth. Just for the record.
Thursday 20 April 2006
- Book #19 was Washington's Crossing,
by David Hackett Fischer. I finished it (unabridged
audio CD's) on the way up north. A good book, a little slow at the
beginning and end, but wonderful
in the middle. I'd never heard of the Second Battle of Trenton, or of the
Battle of Princeton, or of what the British strategy in New Jersey was.
(I mean, why invade New Jersey?). Recommended.
I also recommend you find a couple of good battle maps on the internet
to follow along with, if you've the audio version. ( Though the
'following along' is probably best done while not driving :-) )
I had a bit of trouble with my TIVO. First it complained that my credit
card was no good - true enough, as it had expired last month. So I
updated that on Tuesday, and then tried to refresh the programming. No
luck. I then assumed it would take a while for the account to be
updated, so tried again on Wednesday night. No luck. After several
fruitless tries I rebooted the TIVO, and that worked. It took nearly an
hour, updating the machine with a couple of service packs and such.
Kind of irritating, since I wanted to record Bones.
Wednesday 19 April 2006
- How to Avoid Huge Ships was a past winner of the Oddest Book Title competition. The comments at Amazon are priceless - for example:
This book lacks criteria for discerning between huge ships and merely
really big ships. Some well-designed lists, charts or colorful pop-up
sections would have been nice for readers who were unsure what size of
ship they were avoiding.
This years winner is: "People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It"
Again, you have to read the comments:
"... Written in a non technical manner, there is no
occult or necromancy here. The book is a clear explination of the fact
that the dead often afflict the living. Of course, sometimes they just
'hang out,' but this is also mentioned. The book is a must for those
who may be having, or suspect they may be having problems with the
Recommended for the general reader, not the magician or necromancer who has had experience with these spirits of the dead. "
(emphasis mine, spelling and grammar his.)
Tuesday 18 April
Tuesday - back at work. Worked late, got home and then had to go quiet down the garage band across the street. Bah.
Monday 17 April 2006
Monday - warming up, no rain. Back on the road, down to Lancaster.
Sunday 16 April
Sunday - rain. Between roughly 8:00 am and noon we got a half an inch of rain. My Dad has the exact numbers, but that is close. Sheesh. Enough is enough...
Watching the storms pass through, via the doppler radar on the WeatherUnderground
web page, I noticed that Rio Vista had a strong reflection. An hour
later it was still there, unmoving. And an hour after that. I mentioned
it to my father, who said he'd noticed it as well. It was across the
river from Pittsburg (California), probably Rio Vista-
There's nothing in Rio Vista, that I know of. Just a little delta town,
famous for nothing more than a bar with the most stuffed animal heads
you'll ever want to see, and good windsurfing. So, when Dad suggested I take a look on the Google Earth web site, I did. Very interesting:
Apparently windmills reflect doppler radar very strongly. If they were turning - and there was a storm blowing through - that would make a lot of sense.
The windmills are hard to see, but their shadows
are quite clear!