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WEEK 1 2007

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Saturday 6 January 2007

Saturday - I went over in the evening to watch teevee with a friend, "Little Miss Sunshine". Pretty funny, in a sick & dark sort of way.

Minor spoiler: in the movie there is a VW mini-van that they have to push to get started.

I had to chuckle - my sister had a Corvair, way back when, that I was reminded about. It had a bad starter (actually it was a bad gear ring on the clutch plate, but the effect was the same) and I don't know how many times we pushed it to get it started. Corvairs were small cars and geared pretty low, fortunately. You could push it by yourself, with the stick in neutral, to maybe 5Mph, then jump in, shift to first, pop the clutch, and get it started. You just needed 75 to 100 feet of clear, flat, road. Gas stations were the big problem. This was before minimum wage and self pumping, so there was an attendant, and he'd always make you turn the engine off (some nonsense about the risk of blowing up the car, the pump, and the whole city block - that sort of thing). And there is hardly ever 100 feet of straight runway in gas stations. On the other hand, they are often on small hills, raised up two or three feet above the street. So if there wasn't anyone coming, you'd push to get started, hop in, let it roll downhill, then turn into the street while simultaneously popping the clutch again. It worked pretty well. But if it didn't start you were stuck in the middle of the street. Generally we'd look for parking spots and gas stations with a downhill grade nearby. There are more than you might think.

Thinking back, though, I probably got more rides than the average boy with an older teenage sister...

Favorite quote of the week:
"The only thing that could make that story more awesome is if Jesus showed up riding a unicorn with Osama bin Laden's head impaled on its horn."

Austria is apparently run by a bunch of rigid law following bureaucrats. Who would have expected that from the Germans?

Runner Up:

The engraved phrase "our fragile craft" was still visible amid the debris.

"Kind of ironic," said Mary-Elizabeth Watson, a university employee. "I had no idea it was made up of so many pieces."

I couldn't find a picture of the sculpture before or after, or even a mention of it, at the KSU web site.  But Google is our friend (artists conception for a Berkeley location - apparently no-one considered it worth taking a picture of, once built).

They are checking for foul play - but did anyone check for evidence of a comet or meteor? They hit the Earth all the time. Heh.

Friday 5 January 2007

Friday -  Hah! The wind was gusting to 40+ - no flights today! The ground telemetry antenna's have to be 'stowed', and it breaks the crosswind limits for takeoff and landing the a/c.

Such a joy to actually work uninterrupted for six or eight hours. I'd forgotten.

I wanted to go down and sail the boat, but the weather report isn't very good - swells of 8 feet, and wind waves of four to six feet on top of that, small craft advisories. Bah. I could go down and work, but maybe I'll just hang out in Lancaster and clean out the garage. There are some missing tools that are buried amidst the clutter, I think...

A mildly amusing story about the boat. When I was down working on the boat a few weeks ago I had reason to crawl around on the cabin sole - a dropped tool, I think. I looked up at the little table fastened around the mast compression post and realized that it was installed upside down. Facing down was a nice white formica top, with a teak fiddle about the edges. Facing up is an uneven and rather ratty looking bit of teak veneer. I wonder how long it's been installed that way?


Thursday 4 January  2007

Thursday - briefings and analyses today, a flight tomorrow. The work is just piling up again - and they want to do five flights next week. Five!

Wednesday 3 January 2007

Wednesday - back at work. And it was a ten hour day. Sigh.

I did get the ram in my work PC upgraded from an inadequate 512MB to 2GB - there were applications and problems I couldn't run, not a good thing.

I did manage to get by my brothers' place and drop off the presents from up north. His dog, Duke, had some ear surgery the other day, and is in one of those plastic cone collars. It's pretty odd - he keeps running into things with the edge of the cone, and then just stops and stands still until someone moves him. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Tuesday 2 January 2007

Tuesday - back at home, the traffic wasn't too bad on Monday. The place looks great, and the cats are fat and sassy.

Because of President Ford it's a holiday for government workers (and contractors). So I spent the day lazing about, watching lots of bad teevee. I liked Ford, and it seems that people have, for the most part, only good things to say about him.

I've talked to several people and they all say the same thing: this years Fiesta Bowl was great! My father and I caught it by accident, when we just flicking about the stations, and watched the last quarter. Wow. Back and forth, back and forth.

There was one shot of the crowd, where they zoomed in on an OU fan, a grown man who had his hands over his face and was peeking through his fingers. H

 Monday 1 January 2007

Monday - on the road, back to Lancaster.

Book #1 for 2007 is The Island at the Center of the World, The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. It was a wonderful book, and I recommend it highly. I can remember hearing a bit about New Amsterdam, and about how the English took it from the silly & stuffy Dutch and renamed it New York. Well, they did, but it's a long and interesting story. From Henry Hudson to Peter Stuyvesant, the English Civil War that did happen, and the Dutch Civil War that almost happened, from the Mohicans and Mohawks at war to the Peace of Westphalia - it's all there. And there are characters galore: pirates, whores, soldiers, Indians, slavers, traders - and even a heroic lawyer - Adriaen van der Donck, around whom a lot of the story revolves.

I'm not sure that it had as big an impact on American history as the author suggests, but it's certain there was an impact, and it's a great story in it's own right.

My favorite book read in 2005, by the way: His Excellency: George Washington.

Sunday 31 December 2006

Sunday - New Years Eve. How about those Forty Niners', spoiling things for Denver? Maybe there will be a winning season next year!

And congratulations to the Chargers as well - I suppose I'll be rooting for them in the playoffs this year.

Interesting. On the Linux version of Nvu the horizontal line can be edited as before. Maybe I just messed up? I'll have to check again.

We gave the dog some tranquilizers, so that helped calm her down a bit during the fireworks and gun shots at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 and 12:00. My father says she slept outside my door, which hurt his feelings a bit. Heh. He just feeds, houses' and pets her - I take her for walks!

Picture of the Week
boat in the oxnard parade of lights

Photo Notes: An entry in the Channel Islands Parade of Lights 2006!

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