sailing the NorSea


WEEK 22 2012

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week

Picture of the Week


Oxnard  Weather Underground
Click for Oxnard, California Forecast
Lancaster Weather Underground
Click for Lancaster, California Forecast
Martinez WeatherUnderground
Click for Buchanan, California Forecast

First Post, 17 March 2002
Ten Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Nine Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Eight Years Ago, this week, 2004 Seven Years Ago, this week, 2005 Six Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Five Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Four Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Three Years Ago, This Week, 2009
Two Years Ago, This Week, 2010
One Year Ago,
This Week,

Saturday 2 June 2012
Saturday - Dad passed away three years ago today. I miss him, and the time I spent with him in my visits up to Martinez.

Absolutely exhausted. A week of chores, with that drive yesterday, up and down the 405, left me nearly comatose. I went out for a nice lunch at the Asia Buffet (formerly the Blue Koi), compliments of the scout's parents, then pretty much dozed the rest of the day away.

Sadly I discovered in the evening that the streaming from Crunchyroll has stopped working. A couple of weeks ago I had to start the video's individually, because the automated playing wasn't working. Then it got harder and harder to start the video's, I'd have to try, back out, and retry. This week the only way to get them to play was to individually add each episode to the "Favorites" tab, and run them from there. Now that doesn't work either.

It could be a Crunchyroll problem. It could be a Flingo problem. It could be a Vizio problem. It could be a Time-Warner filter, or even something in my little Linksys router. I doubt the last two, as Netflix and other streams still play OK. It seems to be an issue with the loading of the little commercial before the "free" show - the commercial never starts, and since you aren't allowed to fast-forward past the "black screen of death" of the non-starting commercial you never get to the stream.

Yes, I tried turning everything off and back on. Didn't help.

Oh well, it was nice while it lasted, but "free and worth every cent" is kind of appropriate sometimes.

Friday 1 June 2012
Friday - More work about the house. I'm actually starting to wear out here, it's just been a grind, but once you start fixing things there doesn't seem to be an end to them. I guess all homeowners have that problem! Temperatures spiking into the 100's by late morning don't help, but so it goes.

I did a favor for my friends, and dropped off their boy at Camp Josepho, down off of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. It's a fair drive, with a nasty hairpin one lane road at the end. Beautiful, and surprisingly remote feeling for a place in the center of Southern California.

Book #53 was Poison Flower, by Thomas Perry. This is another Jane Whitefield novel. Perry has kind of started phoning them in, but I will say that this was better than the last couple of books. It did have some rather huge plot holes, for example: he had a woman - a few days after being shot through the leg, dig a hole 6'x12'x6' in an afternoon with a shovel. I've dug holes & trenches, so I can say with some certainty that this is ridiculous. It's to hide bodies in - but many of the bodies come from a firefight inside a rental house - do you think that the house owner, seeing dozens of bullet holes in their house - isn't going to call the police, and they, in turn, aren't going to search the grounds? Ridiculous.

On the positive side, we have some musings by her husband on Jane. The books are primarily told in first person, usually from Jane's point of view, so it's interesting to see how someone else, close to her, views her.

friday cat photo
cat stalking birds
Riley, stalking some birds

There was a time when I felt guilty about putting up bird feeders, and letting my cats out. Their complete inability to catch anything put that feeling to rest. To the best of my knowledge Riley (pictured above) has caught one bird in his life. And it was in the side yard, around the corner and well away from the feeder, where his coloring blends perfectly with the tall dry grass and stalks. I suspect that bird landed on him, much to both their surprise!

Thursday 31 May 2012

Thursday - Working away on this and that around the house. It's getting WARM, but the a/c repairs are working well, the house is staying cool.

Well, the solution to yesterday's Excel puzzle was interesting. Apparently you can have two different "base dates" in Excel, 1900 and 1904. Since the calendar function actually uses days-since-base-date to calculate the year/month/day you can easily end up with an invisible offset of "four years plus one day" buried deeply in cells, and messing you up when you cut and paste between spreadsheets. There is a checkbox to allow you to use one or the other base date in Excel, but if you have cut&pasted and have both already, well, you are scr*wed and probably will have to hand edit things.

It is, of course, a Mac versus Windows issue. I believe there is a special circle of hell for people who create problems like this.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Wednesday  - My friend Tim sent me an Excel spreadsheet, with a puzzling feature. Apparently something is modifying dates in a sheet, but it isn't a macro, script, formula, name or pivot table filter. Weird.

The morning was more yard work. This time moving a sprinkler line so that the tomatoes will get properly watered. I need to put up the tomato supports, the bushes are starting to really grow. I also did a bit of painting - I need more turquoise paint for the raised planters.

It's supposed to be warm tomorrow, 100F+, glad the a/c is working! I still need to put in the inline filter, a scale bag, and replace the little valve on the faucet I'd also like to bury the feed line, but that means digging up about 30' of earth, and my right hamstring is not up to that, yet. And, in any case, I want to put a flower bed there, so best to wait until I'm ready to do that.

There is some sort of issue with the b/y sprinklers - a big dry spot. I think I may have a covered-over sprinkler head, but haven't figured out how to properly use the metal detector.

The pill bugs are devouring my Vinca's again in the f/y, despite a liberal dousing with Sevin earlier in the week. Little monsters. I'll douse things with some triazide, but I'm running out of poisons to try.

Book # 51 was The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Invincible, by Jack Campbell. Not a great book, but there are flashes of amusing dialog and some good bits.

Book #52 was The Black Opera, by Mary Gentle. Gentle is an excellent writer, generally technically better than Campbell above, but this book has flawed elements that really cause one to pause and think, WTH? A character deliberately causes a volcanic eruption that kills thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of innocents. And is rewarded for it. And betrays two separate people, cruelly and unnecessarily. Who forgive. Very unlikely stuff.

I think it's a case of an author falling in love with a character and neglecting to see them in the same unsympathetic light that the reader does.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Tuesday - More house work in the morning, knocking off a bit after lunch. Did some trim painting, and some weeding. The lawn already needs mowing again, but my leg is a bit too sore.

A quick note: I noticed that the cactus pot still had water in it. It turns out that it doesn't have a drain hole. A 1/4" bit and the old Makita drill took care of that. I made 6 holes, and hope I didn't rot the cactus roots out with a couple days of submergence.

There were a couple of interesting pictures on the internet this weekend, both San Francisco related.

(1) A neat shot of the USS Iowa heading out (under tow) to her new, final, home port in Southern California as a museum. San Francisco decided to pass, so someone else took the ship.

uss iowa

Note that they've re-erected the truss structure of the main mast, struck down to pass under the bridges on the Sacramento River when she was laid up in the Benecia mothball fleet in 2002. My two brothers, my Dad, and I all went out on a tour boat and took some pictures in April 2002, and you can see the truss on the afterdeck back then:

uss iowa, mothball fleet

(2) The Golden Gate Bridge, opened to pedestrians only, for the 75th anniversary:

What an crowd. I recall my mother telling me about walking out on it, as a girl, in 1937. On the 50th anniversary they had another pedestrian day, and I recall hearing that the engineers were concerned because the weight of all the people almost "flattened out" the curve of the bridge.

golden gate

That story is probably apocryphal, since the bridge looks to be entirely covered by people in this 2012 picture, and the curve of the bridge seems OK.

Monday 28 May 2012

Monday - put in the new manifold part, and a new needle valve. The new-to-me and mostly-actually-new-inside unit is giving rather more than 20F cooling. Nice. And quiet, without the loud motor and splashing from the former leak.

I'm glad to be done with standing on a ladder for a while, the hamstring in the right leg is still bugging me!

I have the urge to do more, there is more working painting and moving bricks, but it's probably best to take some ibuprofen and relax and enjoy the holiday.

The flag is out, the neighbors are washing their cars, and it's a Sunday.

Memorial Day: Remember those who perished. Driving back from UCLA the other day we could see down into what I think is the cemetery behind the Veterans Hospital there. Rows and rows of stones. Each marking a life lost, a husband, a son, a wife, daughter, or father. What a terrible thing, and yet what a wonderful thing, that anyone should risk this fate for another.

Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address on a cloudy day in November, but I don't think it out of place to reprint it here:

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.
      We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Sunday 27 May 2012

Sunday - In morning I put in the new motor. It was a bit of a hassle, because the old motor was pretty well corroded in place. A hacksaw and drill was needed to remove some of the old bolts and straps, but eventually it was out. Then I swapped the electrical cord and the drive pulley, went to the store and bought more retainer straps and bolts, and put it all back in. It was sooooo much quieter than the old one, I hadn't realized that the noise was a precursor to failure.

Then I discovered that there was a big leak in the overhead water manifold. I made another trip and bought more parts at Home Depot, but rather than work in the direct afternoon sun elected to go to the movies.

The movie was Battleship, and was enjoyable, if one ignored the various plot holes and inconsistent physics. A nice Saturday afternoon shoot-em-up.

I see that Hunger Games, Avengers, and Dark Shadows are all playing now. I intend to see them as well.

Picture of the Week
solar eclipse as projected by an oak tree
Photo Notes: The partial solar eclipse as projected by an oak tree, Ojai, May 2012.

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week