WEEK 23 2010
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Years Ago, this week, 2005
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
This Week, 2009
Saturday - Spent the day doing chore after
chore. Not much in the way of exciting.
The big thing was to get the Probe smogged again. Yesterday I changed
the oil (went with all synthetic) and air filter, put gas cleaner in it, and bought a set of
spark plugs. This morning, with the car engine cold, I changed out the plugs.
I then drove to Mojave and back, put more Chevron Super in it, and took
it to the smog place, where it passed. So, I'm good for a couple more
"Stupid is as stupid does." As I mentioned, yesterday I did a
fairly tedious procedure of going out and buying Muriatic acid,
steeping the rusted metal in it, then soaking the de-oxidized dowels in baking
soda solution to neutralize the acid. I then left them on the patio to dry.
Where this morning
the shiny new exposed metal was watered by the sprinklers and promptly
acquired a nice patina of new iron oxide by the time I got done with car smogging duties. Sheesh. So, I had to repeat
the process, this time boiling the metal in baking soda, so that the
warm dowels immediately self dried. Then a quick spray with WD-40, to
keep them rust free until welded and ready to paint.
What I didn't mention yesterday was that it took hours of cleaning up
in the garage, just to get to the point where I could easily and safely
work. More of that type of stuff today as well. Also a lot of Dad & Mom's and
Grandpa's stuff was in boxes (& loose) in the garage,
I needed to bring it indoors. Where there isn't much room - I need to
toss some more junk of my own to make space for it. Boxes of old notes
and papers going back to the 1980's are definite candidates!
Book #39 was
by Timothy Zahn. A good effort, Zahn can be creative on the
plot/technology side, although his characters tend to be a little stiff.
But he does try and the book was enjoyable. Though technically, the
suggestion that asteroid belts & iron are scarce is a bit
- I spent a bit of time getting the bits together to reinforce the
pirate ship rails. The old wooded dowels just weren't strong enough and
posed something of a safety hazard.
I had a number of pieces of 3/4" mild steel round stock that I
had got for free years ago, and used for welding practice, so I cut
some of the remaining bits to
length with a SawzAll. I then plopped them into a bucket of Muriatic
(HCL) as they were pretty rusty, and after a few hours they were pretty
clean. Right now they are
sitting in a bucket of baking soda, to cancel out the acid. I picked up
some 2"w x 1/4" thick bar stock at Lowe's (Home Depot had a terrible
selection), and I'll use that as end pieces, to
fasten to the wooden rails, and thru-bolt to the deck underneath.
The trick will be to set up a little jig to hold the steel bits and
keep them from warping during the weld.
should safe for small children and adults after this!
Actually it will all be dark red, and the steel flanges are smaller
than those depicted here.
Well, Abby Sunderland is alive
and well, apparently. A plane flying over the emergency beacons found
the boat, Wild Eyes, dismasted but afloat, and apparently spoke to the
skipper on radio. Good news.
A small boat in a big sea, dismasted but afloat, keeping her crew safe.
I see that this week in 2008 I had linked to Abby's older brother, Zac Sunderland.
Thursday 10 June
- Working in the morning, about 4 hours, then back up to Lancaster. I
had an errand at the bank, and had to be there before 5:00pm.
weather in Ventura was nice, and while the temperature was nice in
Lancaster there was also a howling gale - leaves and twigs being blown
right off the trees. It's always kind of a shock coming back.
There is a huge
lenticular cloud over the Tehachapi's. It must be twenty miles long!
Abby Sunderland's boat Wild
has apparently foundered in the South Indian Ocean. She had experienced
multiple knockdowns, and after a final radio message, manually
activated both her emergency beacons. No contact has been made since
then, but the beacons are still running.
It's a huge ocean, and
it'll be tomorrow before anyone can fly to that location, and a couple
of days before any ships get there. A basic possibility is that she has
been dismasted, and lost her aerials and satellite phone. She may be
awash, or the fin of her boat may have snapped off (it happens, fin
keels aren't good in that ocean), or, perhaps, something worse.
We'll have to keep our fingers crossed.
Wednesday 9 June
- Down to Ventura. I was going to work at one place all day,
but ended up
doing only a half day at the clients (OK, 3 hours), and spending some
time with the boss and a co-worker working on other stuff, until
8:00pm. So it goes.
was cool and nice down at the boat. Earplugs too keep the noise out.
People just talking on the balconies sound like they are five feet
put the swamp cooler on a timer. I'm a little concerned about no
central air backup, but that will just have to wait until I get around
to it. I have a cat sitter to check on things anyway.
Tuesday 8 June
- If I was President I'd have the Olympia restored and use her as a
Presidential Yacht. It'd be so cool... Probably I wouldn't use her to
Monday 7 June
- spent some time painting on my friends pirate ship. It was getting a
bit weathered, so we varnished the paint job on the hull (which is
plywood painted to look like weathered planks) and redid the flat black
areas with new flat black paint. We still need to update the dark red
trim, and I'm going to see if I can permanently reinforce the railings,
which continually fall apart. People, quite naturally, want to hold
onto them for getting in and out of the boat, and when it's moving, and
they just aren't strong enough.
Sunday 6 June_2010
- doing various things about the house. Keeping cool...
Book #38 was
Encounters: Adventures of a Renegade Naturalist,
by Daniel Botkin. This is a book of essays, primarily biographical, of
Botkin. Interesting stuff, often funny,. Botkin isn't afraid to point
out the foibles and stupidity of people in his own profession, and
particularly the 'experts' lack of knowledge about even basic things
(How many leaves on a tree? how many salmon does a sea lion eat in a
was a gift, a year or two ago, and I've been pecking away at it. I
finally decided to finish it, rather than work on that consarned ACCESS
2000 database :-p
Botkin has a blog, or at least a page on the Internet, entitled Adventures of a Renegade
Naturalist. Looks like he is a (lukewarm) Global Warming type.