sailing the NorSea


WEEK 20 2011

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Saturday 21 May2011
Saturday - well, with various things going on I didn't get the new water heater installed. I directed a fan at the damp pedestal last night, but in the morning decided that the old drywall was too far gone to save. I was also concerned about the condition of the particle board under the drywall. The drywall literally crumbled in my hands as I pulled it off, but the underlay of particle board was OK. Tim emailed me to say it was probably OSB:

Oriented Strand Board (OSB) they use it lot for roofing sheathing.  It has waterproof components so it shouldn't crumble like PB does when wet.

I picked up some small sheets of drywall and installed them, then some metal edging, then taped and mudded the joints. I'll try to paint later tonight.

The Boy is coming over tomorrow to mow the lawns, and by then things should be ready for us to lift the new water heater into place.

I may go visit my friends' and use their shower before then though...

Friday 20 May 2011
Friday - Well, picked up the new water heater, $329, and various odds and ends to go with it. It weighs over 100 pounds, and the current unit probably weighs even more. I was able to get the old one down, but will need some help  lifting the new  unit. I can't seem to get anyone to help today, but I have to dry things out and do some repairs before installing the new unit, tomorrow.

I've planted all the tomato's, and watered the heck out of things, but that compost is dry, dry, dry, and  just sucks the water up! I may have a gopher :-=(

I'm also putting in some paver's in the side yard, to cover up the dirt near the new planters. Home Depot no longer carries the "edge" paver's for edges near straight concrete walkways and such. I suppose I could put a bit of concrete or cement in the gaps.

Brought my old motorbecane ten-speed inside the garage, rather than letting it weather outside. Generally keeping busy.

Book #44 was Dust, by Elisabeth Bear. This is  science fiction, in the "Generation Ship" category, with a bit of nano-technology thrown in. Not bad. There is apparently a sequel.

After checking them out of the library I noticed that the covers of Dust and Blood Maidens are rather gaudy,  perhaps a bit more sensual than the contents really deserve:

x      x

Thursday 19 May2011

Thursday - the puddle in the garage is almost certainly the water heater. I had hopes that it was just the a/c condensate (an easy fix), but since I haven't run the central air in a couple of weeks... So, I'll have to buy and install a new water heater this weekend. It has caused some damage to the pedestal it's on, it looks like particle board under sheet rock, which isn't a good combination!

Book #43 is Blood Maidens, by Barbara Hambly. This is a vampire novel, sequel to Traveling with the Dead. While not badly written it breaks no new ground. It is basically a recap of TWTD, set a few years later, about 1911, in Eastern Europe and Russia. I think mentioned once that Hambly had written herself into a corner. Attempting to paint Don Ysidro as a "good" vampire founders on the fact that the human characters in the novel are aware that he has "fed" twice a week for over three hundred years, for 30,000 victims. A mass murderer - only people with a huge overwhelming desire to live can endure becoming such a monster, so there is a real conflict here.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Wednesday  - Book #42 is, therefore, Heaven, Hell, and Salt Water. by Bill and Phyllis Crowe (the "cruising Crowes"). This is a yacht voyage just after WWII (1946!), and feels a lot like the stories of cruisers pre-war. It's a wooden schooner, Lang Syne, home built on the beach in Hawaii, just before the war. Yacht's are still rare, and the husband and wife become minor celebrities, being only the second couple in history to circumnavigate the world. The various harbors and locales in pictures are old fashioned and un-improved. When you see a picture of Tahiti and there are four or five yachts at harbor, and the author refers to it as a "fleet", well, do you laugh or cry?

Don Holm mentions in his The Circumnavigators, that they were still cruising in 1972, and still in Lang Syne.

Since no work has materialized I'm keeping busy in the yard. I've both planters finished, and am filling them with compost and soil. It's finals time at the junior college, so Boy wasn't available. Fortunately it was old, dry, horse manure and readily moved by wheelbarrow. I'll have to fix the little trailer later, but since the new planter is in the side yard, it was only about a 40 foot trundle.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Tuesday - did more work in the yard. Sprinkling and misting, off and on.

In the early afternoon I went over to the library. Where I found that I had several books weeks overdue. Yikes. I'd completely forgot to return them when I got back from Martinez. I have found them now, they were in a box with some other luggage, set aside when I got home.

They were: Heaven, Hell, and Salt Water, Atlantic, and American Sphinx.

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson I've been meaning to read since it came out. But I didn't even start it, and owe about $10 on it now. Bummer. But at least now I know where it is located in the library and can check it out again - I had tried the biography section, repeatedly, since I saw it in the Lancaster catalog, but it was never there. I finally looked at the catalog's Dewey Decimal number, and the book is shelved under History, not Biography. I think that a book sub-titled "The Character of..." really should be in Biography.

Found via Violins and Starships:

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Then use the profits to buy an assault rifle.
See if life makes the same mistake twice.

Monday 16 May 2011

Monday - over at the Volokh Conspiracy, a post on Defamation by Half Truth:

A classic example, mentioned in an early 1960s case — though it’s been around outside the defamation context at least since 1916 — involves the first mate who, upset by his teetotaling captain, writes in the ship’s log,

Captain sober today.

I ran across an interesting graph, which showed commodity purchases, in billions of dollars over the last few years. It shows a pronounced hump in the last six months or so, with tens of billions ( wrt the long term average) being put into commodities by traders, speculators. The author said "bubble", and pointed out that eventually it would pop, but until then producers would be paying significantly more for basic stocks for production. Which will show up in retail prices soon. Great.

Sunday 15 May 2011

Sunday - The broken HTML will now not let me save the file, and start a new week. Sigh. Well, I'll fix it eventually.

A sound woke me up: rain. Fer cryin' out loud, it's mid May in the desert...  Fortunately it wasn't a drencher, and I started putting the new planter together.

Apparently parts of the HTML header were corrupted, so I just grabbed the relevant bits from an older weeks template. It's happened before.

Picture of the Week
Bird on patio
Photo Notes: A pigeon or dove? Columbidae, I'm pretty sure.

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