sailing the NorSea


WEEK 22 2014

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Saturday 31 May 2014
Saturday - I did a bit of yard work in the morning, moving a bit of dirt around. The jarring of the shovel and pick really bothered my hands, I guess they haven't quite recovered, so I left most of it for another day. I discovered a toad in the new planter; I guess I'll leave him some cover, though originally I was just going to put in landscape fabric and rock between a few plants, to economize on waterings. I put a couple of old roof tiles down - between Riley and the ravens he's living on the edge....

I bought some new bird netting, but will wait for help to get it over the tree.

Upping the watering schedule to 'every day' has helped the front lawn tremendously, the bare spots are now showing growth and the color has turned from a yellow-green to a deeper green. I'm sure the fertilizer helped too, but it generally doesn't do much for the bare spots - which is usually a sign of hard soil, something the gypsum should help with (eventually).

The marigolds in the planters don't seem too happy. It hasn't been ferociously hot or anything, so I'm not sure what's going to happen with them. Well, they're cheap, if they die off it's not a big issue.

Went out to lunch with friends, R&C. We went to the Olive Garden - it's been a while for me, maybe a year or more. Seems like prices have gone up, $19 for the 'Tour of Italy' plate that I usually get. The nice thing about a late lunch is that there is no waiting, important when you've small children with you!

Afterwards we swung by Trader Joe's and picked up some stuff. I'd recommended their house single malt, but they didn't have any in stock. I did pick up a bottle of their house Merlot, just on spec. R, like myself, is supposed to drink a glass of red wine every day, and like me, sort of got out of the habit when he got busy, so this was my way of encouraging him...

By early evening my jaw was sore - too much eating and talking I guess, and I was glad to get home and take a painkiller and antibiotic.

Friday 30 May 2014
Friday - Speaking of "everything is broken" in software - my library woes continue. I received a notice that an ebook was in, but can't download it because (it says) I am putting in the wrong account number. I'm actually reading it from the back of the actual physical card as I'm typing it in, and I verified that the PIN was correct earlier in the week. So...? Naturally you have only four days to download it. I'll see if I can get by the library tomorrow.

Not too much else going on. A spot of yard work, and a bunch of app stuff.

Another iOS gotcha: the affine scale transformation in animation makes a bitmap of the view that you are scaling, and just scales that, rather than doing a redraw during and after the animation. In other words, if you have a 300x200px image, and you've set it as a 30x20px thumbnail, when you scale up the view it's in, iOS just scales the reduced bitmap, so you end up with a big blurry image. Gahhh.

Thursday 28 May 2014

Thursday - Warm, but cooler than yesterday. Some high clouds. The humidity is up as well, but the lower temps mean the swamp cooler is still effective, though it gets pretty humid inside the house at times.

Put down 50# of gypsum, front and back. I'll wait a week and then put down another 50#. And maybe some bone meal mixed in. Actually I have a book on lawns that I picked up for 25 cents at a yard sale, I'll see what it says. I' pretty sure aeration and dethatching is in order, but don't have the hand and back strength for it right now! If the lawn tractor was working there are dethatch and aeration tools you can buy, but it isn't, and I'm giving it away anyway.

I noticed that the grass in back, under the fruit trees where I fertilized with orchard food, is growing at a much faster rate of the rest of the lawn. I mean, an inch a day or more! Crazy. I don't want that, I just want green and healthy.

Went to the dentist, and he looked, and it is probably a bad root canal. I don't want to spend the money on it right now, but it'll need to get done eventually. I did get a prescription for painkillers and amoxycillin, but didn't feel too energetic for the rest of the day.

Guess I need to get the app(s) OUT, and therefore vast sums of money IN, so I can pay for a new post and crown (best case) or maybe an implant (worst case).

In other news, I found a little piece of rope while cleaning the house, probably one of Suzy's first toys. When I showed it to her she went absolutely nuts, grabbing it in her mouth, growling at me and then hiding under some furniture with it. Later she brought it out and dropped it at my feet, eager to play. Who says cats don't remember being a kitten?

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Wednesday - I made an appointment to see the dentist about that bothersome molar. The specialist had warned me back in March that the infection might come back, and last week it started aching. Woke me up in the middle of the night recently. It might be cracked, it might have a post that wasn't deep enough, but in any case it's probably major $$. So, I've an appointment for tomorrow. In the meantime Ibuprofen is my friend...

Hot and windy. I put weed-n-feed on the grass in the front and back yards, and some of the dry fungicide. I need to put some gypsum down, but the winds started kicking up and I didn't want the powder blowing all over my and my neighbor's cars. I also set the front yard watering time to 'daily', from 'every other day'. It's actually predicted to cool down for a couple of days, but summer is here.

I thinned the peach tree a week or two ago - over a hundred fruit. But now I need to cover the peach tree with nets, which is always a pain. My nets are old and torn up, but I hate to go buy new ones. On the other hand it's a pain to try to repair them as well. Stupid birds.

Speaking of which, I think there was a ratty looking road runner eating the bird seed the other day. A fairly large bird, bigger than a pigeon, anyway. I'll try to get a picture.

I stopped by the little branch library in Quartz Hill, and they claim my account is unchanged and should work. Hmmm. Maybe the database was down or something?

I got an email from the library in the evening, that an ebook was available for me. Huh. First time that's happened in a while, have to see if I can download it to the kindle, ipad, or nook.

Tuesday 27 May 2014
Tuesday - Mowed the back yard. Put in the pebbles in the front, and carried a few flowerpots out and placed them. Did dishes. Cleaned out the upstairs office again - it was getting just too cluttered. But most of the stuff I just piled in the library, so I'll need to clean that at some point. Put away the clothes that I washed yesterday, mostly. I'm going through my shirts, purging them, too small, too torn, too stained, etc.

Whilst cleaning I noticed a couple of books sitting out, unshelved. And remembered that I'd read these, several weeks ago, but forgot to add them to the list. Old SciFi that I probably bought new in the 1980's.

Therefore we have Book #23, The Unwilling Warlord, by Lawrence Watt-Evans.

Book #24 was The Wizard and the War Machine, again by Lawrence Watt-Evans.

The first book is in a series that has a number of books I haven't read. I'm not sure I enjoyed these enough to buy another, even at Amazon ebook prices. They fall in the category of "realistic fantasy", i.e. there is magic, but the people are just normal people. Think of a somewhat less violent 'Game of Thrones' world. Actually, despite being written in the 80's, they kind of give off a 50's vibe. Hard to describe, but it's there...

I received an email from the Los Angeles Public Library that I needed to renew a couple of books. When I tried to log in I had an "incorrect user name or password" message pop up. This hasn't changed for me in years and I used it just a couple of weeks ago. Looking at it I noticed that the login page style and colors has changed, and that it now specifically states that password has to be the last four digits of your phone number. My card is ancient, and I strongly suspect that I have no number or the wrong number on file.

Guess I'll have to physically drive over to the library, stand in line, and hang out with the bums, wino's, and screaming four year olds that make up the majority of the visiting patrons to get this fixed.

Thank you COLAPUBLIB, for making my life just a little worse. It's these little things that count, after all...

Speaking of morons and software, there's a wonderful little essay out, entitled "Everything is Broken", by one Quinn Norton.

It begins:
Once upon a time, a friend of mine accidentally took over thousands of computers.

 He had found a vulnerability in a piece of software and started playing with it. In the process, he figured out how to get total administration access over a network. He put it in a script, and ran it to see what would happen, then went to bed for about four hours. Next morning on the way to work he checked on it, and discovered he was now lord and master of about 50,000 computers. After nearly vomiting in fear he killed the whole thing and deleted all the files associated with it. In the end he said he threw the hard drive into a bonfire.

And goes on from there. It's a mostly true snapshot of the software environment at this point in time, if a bit over the top. Software of all kinds sucks. Stuff that affects everyone's lives sucks.

Monday 26 May 2014
Monday - Memorial Day. I put my flag out, as did one other person. Lot's of parties and loud music until nearly midnight.

And one guy, washing his car truck, from noon until about 7pm. Life's too short....

Sunday 25 May  2014
Sunday - Another day mostly spent helping A&L move. Starting to get hot, in the low 90's in the afternoon.

 One thing I did yesterday was to grab about 20 moving boxes out of the eaves in my garage, which helped a lot. There was some furniture, and a bunch of other things, but I think the house was at 90% moved by the end of the day. A bunch of little things left - the boys closets and pictures on the walls, but the big stuff was done.

S helped, she's known them for years, and helped L set up the kitchen at the new place. We bought a nice lunch for everyone - chicken from Albertson's, as well as home made pizza on Saturday  night. With the kitchen in the process of being moved I think this was a really helpful thing.

I found two parties going on in the neighborhood when I got home. So that's five, so far, for the holiday weekend.

Picture of the Week
Side of an engine 
Photo Notes: Another shot of an engine side.

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