Travels and Images
WEEK 1 2005
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Picture of the Week
Saturday 8 January
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 - over at The Archaeology Blog,
after talking about the 'hobbit' bones controversy, the writer wrote:
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
Try it yourself:
- 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
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.
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,
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
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
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 - 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
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.
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
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
gas - that might be released. "Do you smell it?" "Yes, a
little." Arrghhhhh: the sky is
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
TANKERS, threatening the
ecology! The beauty of the southern passage almost soothes the
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
wearing modern high tech cold weather gear. They zoom around in a
zodiac, using a gas motor itself . What a bunch of
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."
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:
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
Sunday - The New England Patriots
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
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.
about the aircraft
As I understand it there have been six or seven lasing incidents in the
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,
(5) Attempt by media outlets to get market share, hype.
(6) Criminal, Likely Terrorist (CLT) motive: scare tactics, resource
(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.