WEEK 22 2008

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Saturday 31 May 2008
Saturday -  a busy day, as Saturday's and Sunday's have become.

I needed to smog the Explorer, so first I had the oil changed. Then, since the 'Young Marines' had a car wash next to the oil change place, I had that done. Then drove over to the smog check. Whereupon I discovered that it was the Probe that needed smogging. June, you know, same as the last 18 years. Arrgghhh. Fortunately I'd changed the oil and had a tune up about 800 miles ago in that car, so I just brought it in and it passed. I haven't looked at the numbers, but it passed. So then I went by and had the ;Young Marines; wash it, then stopped by my cat sitter and paid her for her time, and thanked her for taking the Explorer to the mechanic.

Then I went home, went online, registered and paid for the pleasure, turned on the Dodgers station - and passed out.

When I awoke it was 5-ish. I was going to visit some friends and quickly finished putting together a Ubuntu Hardy Heron system - after annoying troubles with CD drives and the built in video on the old D815 mobo, and collected up a bunch of books on PVM, MPI, and Cluster Computing in general.

Went up the hill to Tehachapi, where the GPS did a pretty good job of navigating, had dinner, talked computers and clusters briefly, then headed home. In bed by midnight.

Friday 30 May 2008

Friday - not much to say. Another day of work done, and back to Lancaster. I'd stay and work on the boat, but the key to it, and the dock, are in my other car. Plus I should smog the Explorer, now that the O2 sensor has been replaced.

I was talking to a good friend, with whom I used to work. She's been offered a job doing computational aerodynamics on a high performance Linux computing cluster, and called me about it. We talked a bit, and will probably try to get together this weekend, family and friends permitting. She's used UNIX before, specifically AIX on the RS/6000, but is a bit hesitant about the Linux thing. I may just gen up a system out of spare parts laying about the house, put Ubuntu Hardy Heron on it, and let her get comfortable with it.

It's the return of Cat Blogging for Friday:

ventura cat
In the channel. There are a lot of birds and lizards present, and therefore a lot of cats.

Thursday 29 May 2008

Thursday - another day. Beautiful, warm weather. And me wearing a long sleeved denim shirt. Oh well.

Sitting here I've just lost network connectivity to the wireless router downstairs. There is some sort of conflict between the Verizon EVDO card and the 802.111B/G network software I think. After it starts this stuff I pretty much have to reboot the laptop to get back on with either option. Annoying, but at least I expected it - I think there was some talk about it on the EVDO forums somewhere.

Time for dinner, I'll shutdown and upload later :-)

Went over to a friends for a nice baked chicken, boiled apples, and turnip dinner. It actually tasted great. I had seconds on the turnips. Go figure.

Wednesday 28 May 2008

Wednesday - each morning I am awakened by pigeons (doves?) sitting on the telephone wires outside my bedroom. Here is a pic, but there are often a lot more than pictured here:

birds on a wire
Birds on a wire

Not a lot to say otherwise. Worked hard, had dinner, talked with a friend and watched the end of 'Independence Day' on teevee. We agreed that the President should have used more than one nuke on the alien ship over Houston - more like ten nukes, and then kept them coming until the alien shield was penetrated or we ran out of nukes.

They didn't do that, but at least, later in the show, after the virus disabled the shields, they should have had more nukes, ready to go, ready to whack the shieldless ships. What are the odds that earth pilots would always be able to get to the 'primary weapon' with conventional warheads? Not good. Those are spaceships, after all. If they just rose vertically to, say, 20 miles altitude they'd be completely above any fighters flight ceiling. We, on the other hand, would still be in range of their primary weapon. It would only take one remaining ship to ruin everybodys day!

Perhaps I overthink these things.

Tuesday 27_May 2008

Tuesday - up at four a.m., and back to work in Ventura.

Jerry Pournelle also links to the Freeman Dyson's global warming book reviews, those that I'd mentioned on Sunday, and adds a few thoughts of his own. I'm not sure that we couldn't build electrical grid interties from one side of the world to the other, and from one hemisphere to another, but it'd be a big big project.

Here's an amazing image: the Mars Phoenix Lander, during descent, under the parachute, the picture being taken by another space probe (MRO) in Mars orbit:

Phoenix Lander under it's chute


 Monday 26_May 2008

Monday - Memorial Day. Put out the flag.

Went out for lunch with my brother. We just didn't feeling like braving the holiday traffic, so we didn't go down to San Diego. Too blustery to do any hiking.

Not much else going on. Did some bills, laundry, cleaning. Policed the carpet for cricket corpses. Napped some more. Moved all the inspection gear out of the Explorer and into the Probe. A friend will take the Explorer over to Scott, the Wizard of Newberry St., tomorrow.

Sunday_25_May 2008

Sunday -  well, the Phoenix Lander landed OK. Good for NASA and everybody on the team!

Still tired, didn't do much. Watched some teevee, read the library book checked out yesterday, went out for a beer in the evening with someone from my old workplace. Does not sound like much has changed there.

Book #21 was Crystal Rain, by Tobias Bucknell. Eh. Jamaican science fiction? Maybe it's a fad, 'culture' science fiction. Earlier this year it was Australian oriented, in The Outback Stars. But, to be honest, I was looking for some straight ahead, mindless, escape reading, and that's what it was, so I shouldn't complain.

Freeman Dyson has written a review of some books on Global Warming, The Question of Global Warming. He doesn't really come down on either side of the argument, though I suspect he's a skeptic. But the review is highly intelligent and well written.

My thoughts on the 'precautionary principle': An ounce of precaution prevents a pound of progress.

Picture of the Week
view from the Mars Phoenix lander
Photo NotesThe view from the Phoenix lander on Mars

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