Travels and Images

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Picture of the Week

Sunday 2 June 2002
S unday - gone without a trace. Well, actually the de-tracing was deliberate - just a bit of vacuuming and dusting. Then my sort-of god-daughter came in from out of town and we went out to lunch with her mother and sort-of godmother. She entertained us with various stories of the Hollywood life style and the ladies then thrift shopped till they dropped I understand. For me it was a visit to the store for some 1600mah Radio Shack rechargeables, groceries, - and some more house work. Then it turns out that there is a Babylon 5 movie marathon going on. Sheesh.

Monday 3 June 2002

Monday was - well, a monday. Our co-op student still doesn't have a phone or email account after two weeks. You just want to scream sometimes, at the waste of time and money in dealing with a bureaucracy, but it'd be pointless. Last year it took a month, for the same student. We are, of course, ISO 9000 certified, process-wise.

It's a nice evening - there is supposedly a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter tonight, maybe I can get a pic... Well, yes, but not a good one.  Too many street lights.

Someone told me a joke today.
A brunette walks into a doctors office.
Patient: "I hurt all over - here" touching the forehead, "and here" touching stomach, "and even here" touching the foot.
Doctor: "Hmmmm. Are you by any chance a blonde naturally?
Patient: "Why yes - how did you know?"
Doctor: "Your finger is broke."

I gotta tell ya Vern, you hear all sorts of stories when you walk around with a cast or splint.

Tuesday 4 June 2002

I see that the markets are down again on investor worries. Duh. Microsoft just got it's hand slapped today for sneaky accounting - they were using profits from one period to 'beat' estimates in another. Lying about what they made basically - but they did not have to admit to any wrong doing nor re-state their earnings. So what is an investor - be it an individual, a small company or investment house to think? The SEC is clearly going to do the minimum to enforce even  the most minimal standards in accounting - the end result is a predictable malaise in investing, as the investor resists even the barest hint of risk.

Our student finally had his email account activated. Work is proceeding. Worked late, had to go to the store, then over to a friends house, not home until 11:00.

I need to 'smog' my car. It has always passed with flying colors, but it now has that overheating problem. I guess this weekend would be the best time. Last year I paid online and received my stickers within a week instead of the usual two months, maybe I'll try that again.

Wednesday 5 June 2002

We spent time bug tracking today. I wrote a routine to extract certain portions of a model and then to create a new model from those bits. Fairly useful, maybe we'll add it to the other utilities. Spent some time with another engineer who is doing some flight tests on a model of a laser powered plane, in a hangar.  They had some solar cell *wrap* there, basically solar cells on a plastic backing that you can bend, rather like construction paper in heft and feel. Amazing!! I'll have to get a link to it!!

My father says he's going to get DSL, his ISP service has just become unbearable. Too bad,  I used to visit and marvel at how much better than mine in speed and stability it was. He also sent me a picture of my sister in uniform. With her permission maybe I can post it soon as a belated memorial day thing, along with some other family members.

Time to go get a haircut, adieu!

Thursday 6 June 2002

That cat. He just stepped on the keyboard, generated an application error, and deleted three days posts. Grrrr. Guess I need to save more often.

Saw Star Wars:Attack of the Clones again. Cool. Lots of neat special effects - the shadows of all the flying cars traffic across the sides of the buildings, the cathedral/secret droid construction factory, and so on. The friend I saw it with mentioned a bit of blurring in some fast panning scenes - he'd heard that it's an artifact of digital screening technology apparently.

I wonder about the droids - are they more than they seem? R2D2 in particular is always present at critical moments - is he, perhaps, a droid Jedi ?

There is a large fire to the south of us - the sun was actually blotted out in Lancaster. The temperature was reported an unseasonable 106 at Edwards Air Force Base , a very hot day. A few unfortunates lost their homes.

Friday 7 June 2002

Friday came, went. Damn cat. I hate retyping.

The Italians are going to build a Bridge across the Straits of Messina . It looks like a normal catenary cable suspension bridge until you grasp the scale. It has a clear center span of 3.3 kilometers, almost two miles or eleven thousand feet! The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has a center span of about 4200 feet, for comparison. I'm not sure how they'll terrorist proof it - the cable stayed bridge may have an advantage there.

As a side note, looking at Italian news, the Gondoliers in Venice are on strike, and a porn actress is running for mayor. And people think the USA is decadent...

Saturday 8 June 2002

Saturday - mowed the lawn. There are some dry spots, where the grass is growing over the sprinkler heads - it's hard to run the trimmer with one hand! There are also fungus spots in the backyard - none in front yet. So, a trip to the hardware store for fertilizer, with broadleaf weed killer in it, bug poison, fungus poison, some metal bar for bike training wheel brackets; then an oil change for the truck, and dropping off some books at the library.

The fire to the south is nearly out, it's a warm and sunny, but not too hot of a day here.

Looked for a hard drive caddy for the Sony laptop - not to be found. There are a lot of links to Sony support pages that don't contain much any more - apparently Sony pays only the merest lip service to any support for older (4 year) products. Something to bear in mind if you are ever in the market for a laptop. I'd like to have a hard drive with Linux on it as well as a Win98 disk. I could dual boot, but the bios apparently has an 8Gb limit. We'll see.

I've been looking at firewall/wireless access points. Cool stuff - I want one, not that I have any use for one really... I should set up one of the Linux boxes as a firewall. Or get a copy of OpenBSD for the same purpose.  It's quite cheap, I tried to order it but the web pages didn't seem to work on the first three vendors sites...

Picture of the Week 

sr 71  

Photo Notes:  My brother Bob came down for a visit earlier this year, and we went fot a visit to the 'Blackbird Airpark' in Palmdale. It has a SR-71 and a YF-12 on static display, along with a U-2, D-21 and assorted other items. There is another air museum going in right next to this site, with assorted other aircraft.  There is also a nice little gift shop.

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