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WEEK 1 2005

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Saturday 8 January 2005

Saturday - well, the Seahawks lost, and the Chargers, so the west coast is out of it this year. Cost me fifty cents as well.

Off to Reno tomorrow.

Friday 7 January 2005

Friday - over at The Archaeology Blog, after talking about the 'hobbit' bones controversy, the writer wrote:

Note: There are numerous pictures of peoples' cats named Smeagol out there on the Internet. Please refrain from doing so. It's weird.

So I did a quick check - all of the fellowship have cats named after them. As well as most other characters. Saruman just had a cat statue though. Oddly Legolas wasn't as popular as some of the other characters (Gimli!) despite his status as a "tween"  heartthrob.

Try it yourself:

The Fellowship:
"cat Gandalf"
"cat Aragorn"
"cat Gimli"
"cat Merry"
"cat Pippin"
"cat Legolas"
"cat Boromir"
"cat Frodo"
"cat Samwise"
Both Personalities
"cat Smeagol"
"cat Gollum"
Other Characters:
"cat Faramir"
"cat Eowyn"
"cat Saruman"
"cat Sauron"
"cat Bilbo"
"cat Denethor"

Thursday 6 January  2005

Thursday - I recall one of the reasons I don't watch Alias - the torture. They always seem to have somebody being tortured when I try to watch. Sort of a soft-porn torture,  since it's prime-time teevee, but that's enough for me. I do like the heist portions and the tech/geek guy is one of my favorite characters. Oh well. In other news, Garner is going to be in a movie coming out this year, Elektra. No word yet on torture scenes.

I checked my chains, and they seem to fit the Explorer, so my business trip to Reno is set to go. I'll probably head up Sunday unless the forecast is dire. It looks like a big storm is coming in with gale warnings posted all the way to the west delta, but since it looks like it'll be here tomorrow I will just have to wait for a break on Saturday or Sunday.

We watched 'Sharpe's Honor' this evening and I kept thinking that I'd seen the female lead, Alice Krieg, before. Turns out that she was a BORG QUEEN in Star Trek: First Contact.

Wednesday 5 January 2005

Wednesday - went down, found the old pump seems to be working, so I put it back. Apparently there was a lot of corrosion in the wires and connections. Maybe I should put the new pump in? The good news is that the gel cell battery seems to have survived being submerged in relatively clean rain water. It took a charge, overnight, anyway.

I got to talking with someone down there. He was standing gazing at a boat with a strange rig up so I asked him about it. He is experimenting with a Polynesian style of rig, like you might see on a Hawaiian canoe. He claims that it allows you to point a closely as a Marconi rig, and that by varying the up/down angle the center of effort on the sail can be moved, meaning that you can moderate the weather or lee helm as required. And it acts as a spinnaker going downwind, without the danger of a jibe. When I suggested that he could also modify the mast, with a gimbal at the base like a sailboard, the guy lit up. Apparently that's his next project.

Then I talked to a guy a couple of boats down. He has a Nordic Folkboat ( as opposed to an International Folkboat), wood with bronze fastenings, build in 1949. He says he goes like crazy, is stiff in a breeze, but a bit wet to sail.

ABC just had a promo for a show on tsunami, and the lead in was "...people are asking...WHY?". The show is on the science of tsunamis which would be, I think, HOW. The WHY thing would be a little more  philosophical or religious. On the subject of  WHAT TO DO and WHAT NOT TO DO,there is a post at Classical Values, with a link to further info. [via Andrea Harris, old web site]

Dad and I watched Episode 4, Sharpe's Enemy, of his new Sharpe's collection. I got to thinking, I've seen the actor that plays Sharpe before. Sure enough, Sean Bean is the guy who played Boromir in Lord of the Rings.

I'm trying to watch the Alias series premiere, but as usual just find the show unwatchable. I have to say that Jennifer Garner seems to be aging rather quickly.

Tuesday 4 January 2005
Tuesday - went down to the boat and there was water in the bilges, again. The drain hose had come off the bilge pump, and despite the tarpaulin over the main hatch quite a bit of rain water got in. So I messed around, bought a new pump and switch since the old one seems to have problems, emptied the bilges by hand and started charging the battery. Tomorrow I need to  see if I can get things to work.

I saw a neat link, somewhere, to the traveling salesman problem. Neat stuff though I suspect there is a lot more to traveling than just the shortest route.

Monday 3 January 2005

Monday - I saw somewhere on line that Walter Reed Hospital has enough phone cards. They have apparently filled storage rooms with them. I hope they ship them off to other hospitals that can use them.

Watching a show on teevee this morning. The voyage of the Sedna IV exploring the arctic - going through the Northwest Passage - in a sailing ship. Modern day stuff, not Shackleton. Normally something I would be fascinated with.

The gist of the show, unfortunately, is that man is causing global warming - there is even an intermission where questions are posed for school children based on that premise. For me the accuracy of such a message has to be doubted when the messenger is someone is stupid enough to sail into and nearly get caught in an arctic icepack, repeatedly, in a ship not designed for it, and with children aboard.

Typical scene: they take the zodiac ashore and walk about. Someone mentions that the arctic permafrost has quantities of methane - a greenhouse gas - that might be released. "Do you smell it?"  "Yes, a little."  Arrghhhhh: the sky is falling!.

The word "may" is used a lot. Then, after that single word a vast number of warnings on this and that happening. The moose need ice, the bears need ice, the tundra needs ice. Essentially it's a propaganda film. Explain, kiddies, how global warming could affect you... And on and on. With sad Bassoon music in the background. Eventually it occurs to someone: if we could do the northwest passage so could OIL TANKERS, threatening the ecology! The beauty of the southern passage almost soothes the crews fears - almost but not quite! ARRGGGHH! More solemn music.

I note here that they often used the diesel auxiliary. Which uses irreplaceable fuel oil and emits greenhouse gases. And that they are all wearing modern high tech cold weather gear. They zoom around in a zodiac, using a gas motor itself . What a bunch of hypocrites.

Looking at their home page I see lots of stuff aimed at kids. They also claim a trademark on the word "iceberg".

By the way, we watched 'The Day After Tomorrow" the other day. Not too impressive. I think I posted something on it a while ago, that the reviews were pretty bad. "It was cold and there were wolves." Heh.

We have watched several of the "Sharpe's" DVD's my father got for Christmas. What a great gift - it was a boxed set of all of the movies. They just suck you in, and you can't believe how fast they go by. It's probably best to ration these things.

I've started reading through some of Lilek's archives. I enjoy the "Bleat" and it's cool to read him in 1997 before the arrival of his daughter, the Gnat; and to see how his musings about life, the universe, and his dog, Jasper have (not) changed. It's Jaspers birthday, so, after pointing out that a dog's birthday is a  completely pointless thing to celebrate:

Today I bought the meatiest food I could find, mixed in a little sausage and warmed it up to fresh-guts temperature; after that he got a Frosty Paws, a frozen treat for dogs. It tastes like beefy ice cream - I tried it once - and it's his favorite. The word "frostipoz" stops him in his tracks; the actually presence of an open Frosty Paws container at his feet makes him delirious. After this I gave him a fluffy squeak toy in the shape of a squirrel - again, his favorite. I'm sure of that because he's already ruined two previous incarnations. It has a long soft tail, a body the exact size as the cheeky tree-rats who torment him, and when you bite it, it makes an anguished screech like the cries of the dying. Jasper walked around the house with the squirrel in his mouth for half an hour, tail wagging at a speed not observable by human eyes, and then he insisted we play with it. He hasn't put it down all evening. Jasper is a happy dog.

Sunday 2 December 2005

Sunday - The New England Patriots beat the San Francisco FortyNiners. No big surprises there, but at least we scored, and scored first - if never again. Heh. Cost me 75 cents though.

Hmm. The old commanding general from Stargate SG-1 has showed up on Andromeda as Beka Valentine's father. Huh? Didn't the starship Andromeda come from another universe? I hear that Richard Dean Anderson ( McGyver) is leaving SG-1 as well. They've started a another spin-off show, STARGATE ATLANTIS, that really doesn't have a lead as strong as Anderson. I don't see it lasting long. I suspect all three shows have ratings problems.

Uh-oh, he's dead (the general guy). Funny how in these shows set hundreds or even thousands of years in the future the medical technology is so bad. No one even has heart stimulation paddles - even though they apparently have them at high school basketball games now. Let alone drugs or pressure bandages. This episode ends with some guy named Virgil, who talks like a hip black guy from the sixties, (the 1970's, not the 2060's or 12060's) doing some sort of voice over thing.

Lame, lame, lame.

Thoughts about the aircraft laser incidents.

As I understand it there have been six or seven lasing incidents in the last few weeks. One incident now looks likely to have been of an innocent nature - a family man with a neat tech toy who didn't think things through.

(0) Random Chance.
(1) Range Finding and aircraft approach info.
(2) Innocent (ignorant) civilian use.
(3) Not-so-innocent civilian use.
(4) Attempt by law enforcement agencies to increase scope of authority, hype.
(5) Attempt by media outlets to get market share, hype.
(6) Criminal, Likely Terrorist (CLT) motive: scare tactics, resource expenditure
(7) CLT motive: dazzler practice attempts.
(8) CLT motive: dazzler attempts.
(9) CLT motive: laser downing (practice) attempt.
(10) CLT motive: laser downing attempt.
(11) CLT motive: laser targeting (practice) attempt.
(12) CLT motive: laser targeting attempt.


Picture of the Week
mud puddle

Photo Notes: A mud puddle, down at the marina.

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