WEEK 20 2011
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
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
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.
go visit my friends' and use their shower before then though...
- 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:
Thursday 19 May2011
- 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.
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.
17 May 2011
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.