sailing the NorSea


WEEK 18 2010

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Saturday 8 May 2010
Saturday - just a normal chores day, trying to get ready for the trip down to Ventura, then up to Martinez, then over to Florida.

The good news is that the causeway passes finally arrived, so we're mostly good to go there. There isn't a vehicle "placard", so we apparently have to show up early to drive onto KSC. Maybe we can pick up a placard on Thursday? The landing is scheduled for 2:20pm, so it's a long wait from 6:30am when they close the gate to non-placarded vehicles. Sounds like a kind of stupid arrangement, hopefully it's not even more screwed up when we get there (no toilets or water or whatever).

I need to get a suitcase - I no longer own one. Not sure what happened to the old. I suppose I'll put my cameras in a carryon - no sense in entrusting them to baggage roulette.

The manual arrived, so I can put the belts on the tractor, and adjust it properly. I'd like to change the spark plugs and oil as well.

Book #29 was Way of the Pilgrim, by Gordon R. Dickson. Again, a journeyman effort by an experienced writer. Little new or unusual in the plot or characterization. Dickson found, and used and reused, a formula that his readers liked (though never as formulaic a writer as Modesitt has become).

I need to pick up something to read on the plane to/from Florida, I guess.

Friday 7 May 2010
Friday - we went to an LPAC performance of the Smothers Brothers. Amusing. They haven't changed much in the last 40 years. Much the same schtick, amusing and light. Tom is still an idiot, Mom still likes Dick best.

The first digital picture I took with the Canon was Riley. Being a cat he turned away and presented a somewhat ...unattractive... aspect. First pic with the new zoon lens was Phoebe, and not quite as bad:

Phoebe, at 70mm with the new lens.

Thursday 6 May 2010

Thursday - working on various things. The belts arrived for the mower, but I'm waiting for the manual so as to be sure I install them correctly. I'd hate to break another, brand new, belt!

Working on this and that...

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Wednesday -  back in Lancaster, but too tired to do much.

I am trying to get 'scalped' tickets for causeway viewing of the space shuttle launch. Apparently you have to pay to watch the vehicle you already paid for get launched. KSC apparently can't be bothered to keep the scalpers away.  Losers.

Book #28 was Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delaney. This is an old school (1966) sci-fi novel, but well done. The style is a bit old-fashioned, very modern in 1960's but dated now, but the concept is interesting. During a long intergalactic war a series of sabotage attempts are correlated with mystery radio broadcasts in code. Failing to decrypt the broadcasts, the government turns to a poet and free-lance cryptanalyst for help in deciphering Babel-17. With a motley crew she sets out to solve the mystery, realizing early that it isn't a code but a highly sophisticated  language...

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Tuesday - clearing the brush and debris in the back yard. My brother came by for a couple of hours and helped. We stuck the 36" teevee in the Explorer - it won't quite fit in my stereo cabinet but I am tired of moving it about from room to room in Martinez.

The house is getting emptier. Almost all the personal items are gone, and most of the good furniture. There is a really nice - but large - mirror, a hospital bed, a small cherry endtable, and my father's old desk. It's big, nice to work at, but a pain to work around.

By late afternoon I had enough and hit the road, back to Lancaster. In after midnight sometime. An uneventful drive for me, but likely unpleasant for occupants of the overturned SUV I saw, halfway down the valley.

Monday 3 May 2010

Monday - cleaning the walls in the hall and the den of tobacco stains. TSP works well, but it's a tedious and disgusting process. Bought some painting supplies, did some other minor chores.

Sunday 2 May_2010

Sunday - I spent a good 8 hours just cutting brush and weeds in the front yard, it was incredibly overgrown. My sister came by and helped, but it was ferociously hot and not much fun. We filled three green waste containers - ours and the neighbor's on either side. There is a slash pile thirty feet long, six feet wide and three feet high along the west side yard.

We did take a break and go down to the marina for a couple of hours. I brought the camera and took some pictures with the new zoom lens.

Book #27 was Falling Free, by Lois McMaster Bujold. This was set in the Miles Vorkosigian universe, but only distantly related to the Miles stories. A well written book by a journeyman writer.

Picture of the Week

arch bridge at martinez waterfront park
Photo Notes: Arch bridge, Martinez Waterfront Park.

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