WEEK 18 2008

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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A Year Ago, This Week, 2007

Saturday 3 May 2008

aturday - my brother, upon reading the headlines this evening:

"They killed the second place horse in the Kentucky Derby, right there on the track."  A pause. "What do you suppose they did to third place?"

On the way up my brother suggested listening to the Cochrane biography. It was on the PDA, as a set of (legally purchased) MP3's, and I tried, really, to get Windows to play it. No luck. It is still stuck on playing one track, then stopping, forcing a manual selection of the next track. There being something like forty tracks it just wasn't worth it. There is probably some way to import a directory from the storage card, with all the MP3's, but I wasn't able to figure it out.

Too bad, but that's Microsoft Media Player for you. Big, bloated, glittery and actively user un-friendly. Bah.

I should say, that at dinner on Wednesday, my friends' brother and father showed me their iPhones. Incredible. I'd never seen one up close in action - a totally different (better!) experience from the clunky Windows PDA device I have (an almost new XV6800). The iPhone was fast, responsive, user-friendly - I wonder how they get that sort of computing power into a little tiny case?

It makes you realize again just what junk Microsoft produces. I had to buy, for example, an SPB application for the new PDA, to show me some basic system information and to correctly close applications. Sheesh.

Friday 2 May 2008

Friday - the drive home to Lancaster on Thursday night was nice - the fires to the west of us in San Gabriel gave off enough smoke to add a soft gold filter to the evening sun, but not enough so as to be unpleasant to breath. So, in the slanting light of sunset, the hills and Santa Clara valley simultaneously had the relief exaggerated and softened as I traveled east through the orchards..

The Explorer was fueled and ready to go Friday morning, and I was packed, so we were out of town fairly early in the morning - eight thirty or nine. The weather was decent all the way up the valley, warm but not hot. The hills were already turning brown along the freeway. My brother was staying the night in Fremont, so we used the GPS to navigate to the address there, via Hwy-152, the back way.

The GPS got lost. Really. It should been a route that was all highway and freeway, along the foot of the hills, but it directed us to the west, then through downtown San Jose on city streets. It took us a few minutes to realize how messed up it was (we're not all that familiar with the south bay area), then we looked at a paper map, turned around, and took the 101 south  to the 880 north - at which point the GPS ( a Tom Tom One) corrected itself and mapped the rest of the way correctly.

This has happened before with this GPS, but I always assumed that I'd made some mistake in programming it. This time I was in the passenger's seat and was able to check the settings on the GPS as we drove. No 'human error' there - it wasn't us, it was the GPS.

It was a rout for the route finder. Heh.

Thursday 1 May 2008

Thursday - a long day. But, being sort of a "Friday for me", not too bad. The weather is much nicer as well. Off to Lancaster tonight, and Martinez tomorrow.

Scattered blogging predicted, with occluded paragraphs and the occasional typo.

Wednesday 30 April 2008

Wednesday - a ten hour day, then I helped move someone, up to nearly midnight. I did get a nice meal out of it, at Chili's, courtesy of my new roomies father, who was also helping.

I moved myself as well, upstairs to the larger bedroom and a private bath. Everything except the steel desk, which, even with the drawers removed, is a two man job. The old tenant left a wooden desk and a bookcase in the room, if he doesn't come back for them I'll probably keep them for myself.

Rents gone up $50, but it's worth it.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Tuesday - a long hot day, working alongside an extremely noisy road. Farming is an energy intensive activity - trucks, tractors, cars, graders, forklifts, all driving by me all day long, raising dust. So it goes. Not exactly the quiet rural experience I had expected from the location, but it pays the same...

I'll be heading up to my father's place this weekend, hopefully it'll be cooler by then.

 Monday 28 April 2008

Monday - KompoZer tells me I can close a tab with just one key, cntl-F4. Lets see...control, thats one key....F4, that's another...I dunno, seems a lot like two keys to me.

Sunday 27 April 2008

Sunday - It's been about four years since the last cactus clearing.

I've been thinking of ways to minimize the clouds of fine needles that clearing the cactus always brings out. I tried watering them once, that is, wetting them down, that didn't work very well. It occurred to me that I might paint them - that would do the trick. But it's a lot of paint and spraying is, in breezy Lancaster, a bit iffy. But what about a mixture of something sticky - say, molasses? That might keep the needles down to a minimum. Mix it with hot water, spray it on, let dry, repeat, then spray again and do the cutting.

Book #15 is The Third Lynx, by Timothy Zahn. Zahn's a workman-like writer, his novels are well plotted and well written, but not exceptional. So this was enjoyable, a mystery/sci-fi type of thriller, readable in an afternoon. Second in a series - the first being Night Train to Rigel. I haven't read the first but will keep an eye out for it at the library. Not an impressive enough sequel to make me want to buy the first, even used. Indeed, this book was a library book as well.

I suppose I could do an online request, from the county library system.

hot weather in Oxnard
A good day not to be working in Oxnard!

Picture of the Week
agua dulce state park
Photo Notes: Vasquez Rocks State Park, Ca.

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