sailing the NorSea


WEEK 19 2011

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Three Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Two Years Ago, This Week, 2009
One Year Ago, This Week, 2010

Saturday 14 May2011
Saturday - working around the house on this and that. Not feeling too well, actually, but I want to get the raised planters up and planted. One thing I did was to go the the Painted Rose Ranch and pick up about a cubic yard of compose, i.e., horse manure. Nice, old, dry stuff, and the ranch hand, Ron, loaded it using an old tractor.

I'll try to get the teenager to help me unload the stuff. The lawn tractor won't start, and the little trailer has two flat tires, with the (tubeless) tires off the bead. Otherwise it's the wheelbarrow for the last 50' or so.

Ron was a character. He's retired and picking up cash as a ranch hand now, but he used to be a mechanical engineer, specializing in rocket test stand instrumentation. He worked at most of the major aerospace companies in the 1960's and 1970's, and spent a lot of time at Vandenberg AFB. He had some great stories about the Titan II....

Friday 13 May 2011
Friday - the WYSIWYG editor is doing the funky cursor-one-space-to-the-left thing again. It does this occasionally, and I don't know what it is. It's as if the cursor is exactly one text element to the left of the space that it should be in. Using the "end" key, or the arrow key and going past the end and coming back doesn't fix it either. I've seen it before, and don't know how to fix it. Annoying.  It's persistent  as well, I can close KompoZer and re-open, and it will persist in the same behavior. And it's a page based behavior, because anywhere on this web page the activity is the same.

My sister called yesterday, asked if I could tutor my niece in Algebra. Apparently my sisters "solutions" didn't match those in the back of the book...

Found here: "Contrary to public belief, math textbooks arent written in some dialect of Ancient Latin which can only be read by the priestly class of mathematicians. At least, not until grad school ;)"

Riley and Phoebe pose for the T3i "first light"
Riley and Phoebe pose for the T3i's "First Light". IMG_0001

Thursday 12 May2011

Thursday - not much going on.

Book #41 was Into My Father's Wake. This was the story of a man sailing to Hawaii and back, in the 1970's. I wasn't particularly interested in the author's problems with his father, and it's hard to feel a lot of empathy for a man on this third marriage, but I did emphasize with his need for his fathers' approval, even as an adult, and the sailing travails were interesting. Arrival at the islands were complicated by bad weather, bad electronics, and most importantly his own fatigue and a number of bad decisions.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Wednesday  - one  amusing thing at the event was that Kirk, a guest of honor, almost didn't get served his meal. He was sitting next to me, and the rest of the table was served, bit by bit. We just assumed our (slow) server was coming back and waited patiently until we saw him removing trays from other tables. Heh. I tracked down another server and Kirk got his meal, eventually.

I haven't downloaded the imagery yet, from the new camera. The booklet says to install the software first, so I'll look to see what it is. There is so much Junkware out there that I hate to install anything on my laptop, but maybe Canon has something that will be useful.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Tuesday - The scout event went off very well. It was in Van Nuys, at the Airtel Hotel and we arrived a bit early, talked to various people, and enjoyed a pretty good steak dinner. The dinner, sponsored by Gelsens' Markets,  had awards to several scouts, including my friends son Kirk, and it was impressive to hear the stories of their various scout projects for the Eagle badge. A great bunch of kids, who will probably go far in life!

I took a number of pictures and video's, but will have to download and view them tomorrow. At least on the camera's screen the videos and stills look bright and sharp, despite being in a fairly dark hall, and the sound seems OK, despite not having a external shotgun microphone. There didn't seem to be any need for a tripod, the image stabilization and the huge 3200ISO working well.

Monday 9 May 2011

Monday - My new camera arrived!

On Saturday I ordered a new camera from Amazon, a Canon T3i. Since it's a Canon my existing lenses will work fine with it. I did get the kit lens, rather than just the body, because the old 18-55mm lens was always just a bit short, and the 55-300mm is a beast for just walking around with.

My old Xt worked fine, but was lacking in a few areas, specifically indoor photography at indoor events (worked fine with close subjects though) and as an astrophotography tool. I think I posted a bit about that. Also the T3i does full 1080p HD movie recording, up to a 4GB max file size, which is neat - my old Xt didn't do video at all and my dedicated Canon DV unit is just standard video. And with a friends Boy Scout award ceremony coming up I thought it might be time to upgrade.

The T3i is 18 megapixels, as opposed to the Xt's 8, which satisfies my rule of at least doubling the pixel count during a camera upgrade.

I fooled around with it a bit, and I think it'll work OK. In fact I'm more pleased with it than with the original Xt.

I'm still feeling tired. Allergies? But I got more chores started and done, among which were baskets and baskets of laundry. There is so much that I'm having trouble putting it all away. Some was on the boat, some in Martinez, some in my travel bag, and when all washed at once, sheesh.

Sunday 8 May 2011

Sunday - a slowish day. I just can't seem to summon up much energy.

However, that said, I did go see Thor in the morning with my friends. The theater was not crowded, and we had good seats. It was a good movie, not quite up to Ironman I or Spiderman I, but certainly as good as the sequels. The special effects were good, and the characters all well played. I didn't actually know Natalie Portman was in it until a couple of days ago, and honestly, thought she kind of phoned her performance in. She looks a bit like a young Julia Robets, and has the same somewhat uneven acting style. But everyone else did a pretty good job (Kat Dennings as the comic relief did well, could have used more lines), and it was well worth the $6.

There is a sequel planned...

It's Mother's Day. Mom's been gone since 1998, but I still miss her, always will. The photo below was one of Dad's, that I copied from his computer after he passed away.

Picture of the Week
Mom, March 1951
Photo Notes: Mom, March 1951.

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