sailing the NorSea


WEEK 23 2011

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

Saturday 11 June 2011
Saturday - futzing around in the yard mostly.

Looked at new swamp coolers - mine is just about to fall apart. Home Depot has a sale on, $90 off on a 5000CFM unit, which brings it down to about $500. However I may have a line on a used but-in-good-shape unit, so I'll hold off on the purchase for now.

Books this year:

#1 Lords of the Sea
#2 Kris Longknife #1: Mutineer
#3 Kris Longknife #2: Deserter
#4 Kris Longknife #3: Defiant
#5 Kris Longknife #4: Resolute
#6 Kris Longknife #5: Audacious
#7 Kris Longknife #6: Intrepid
#8 Kris Longknife #7: Undaunted
#9 Little Women
#10 Good Wives
#11 Empress of Eternity
#12 Quarter Share
#13 Up Jim River
#14 Betrayer of Worlds
#15 The Bounty*
#16 Half Share
#17 A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden
#18 The Wreck of the River of Stars
#19 Citadel: Troy Rising II
#20 Live Free or Die
#21 Surface Detail
#22 How the Irish Saved Civilization
#23 The Name of the Wind
#24 The Wise Man's Fear
#25 A Galaxy Unknown
#26 Valor at Vauzlee
#27 The Clockwork Universe
#28 The Clones of Mawcett
#29 The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet
#30 Trader Vyx
#31 Origins of Life
#32 Milor!
#33 Castle Vroman
#34 Outies
#35 Origins
#36 Resurrection and Awakening
#37 Triton
#38 Frontline
#39 Fracture
#40 Fragments
#41 Into My Father's Wake
#42 Heaven, Hell, and Salt Water
#43 Blood Maidens
#44 Dust
#45 Saturn Alia
#46 A Lion on Tharthee
#47 The Warriors Apprentice
#48 The Vor Game
#49 Brothers In Arms
#50 Mirror Dance
#51 Cetaganda
#52 Memory
#53 Finder
#54 Storm Passage: Alone Around Cape Horn
#55 Barryar
#56 Komarr
#57 A Civil Campaign
#58 Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas
#59 Altered Carbon
#60 Broken Angels
#61 was True Spirit: The True Story of a
16-Year-Old Who Sailed Solo, Nonstop and Unassisted Around the World

Friday 10 June 2011
Friday - My uncle James McKeever passed away today. Jim was my mother's twin brother, the last of her brothers. An industrial accident got Bud in the 1980's, cancer got Ray a few years ago. Jim was in his mid 80's and fell off a ladder cleaning his rain gutters. The broken ribs didn't get him, but after a couple of weeks the pneumonia contracted in the hospital did.

My sister Virginia was there in the room, the only family member present at the time. She said it was a quiet passing, the family had turned off the machines and disconnected all the tubes earlier, after it was finally clear there would be no recovery or coming back to consciousness.

Rest in Peace.

Abby Sutherland was one of two teenage girls that were going for the youngest singlehanded solo around-the-world-nonstop record, the other being the Australian Jessica Watson, at almost the same time. Indeed, their voyages overlapped. Jessica started earlier and finished earlier. Abby started midway through Jessica's voyage and was dismasted in the Indian ocean after Jessica had finished.

In a way it was pointless, as the agency that at one time had controlled the record no longer wanted to do age based records. Like Guiness they had discovered the dark side to it, and didn't want any part of unprepared youngster's getting hurt or killed. Understandable, but what Abby and Jessica did was to use the last published requirements, even though the agency had disavowed them. And, after thousands of miles and months of effort both girl's got more out of the experience than a line in a book somewhere.

So Book #61 was True Spirit, by Jessica Watson. I enjoyed it a bit more than Abby Sunderland's book - no second author for one thing, which led it a bit more spark, and it had a number of blog entries she'd made, and then back stories behind the entry. Neither was author like Slocum or Chichester, but the books were fun and uplifting reads.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Thursday - an eHamony video, in which Debbie states that she really, really, likes

 Book #60 was Broken Angels, by Richard K. Morgan. It was a sequel, of sorts, to Altered Carbon, but takes place decades afterward. The protagonist was a detective in the last book, but in this he was a mercenary in a colonial war light years away from Earth.

The central idea of the series is the ability to download one's self into a "stack", a small chip about the size of a pencil eraser that most people have in their upper spine. If you die you can be downloaded into another body or a virtual reality. So there is death, real death, and the VR realms.. The rich can be re-embodied almost forever, the less fortunate only occasionally (unless they have a particularly valuable skill or ability), and the poor...possibly never.

I didn't care for this book much. Too violent, too nihilistic. Even the unwrapping of some of the mystery about the "Martians" didn't really salvage things for me. Ah well, it was just a library book. There are a couple more sequels, but I'll just wait for them to show up at the library. No rush.

New Zealand:
“At the end of the day, it is the death of an iconic Kiwi,” said Josie Spillare of the Cure Kids charity, for whom Shrek made regular money-raising appearances. “He just happens to be a sheep.”

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Wednesday  - My tomatoes are starting to look better. It's been rather cool, and often overcast, and they've been pretty much just sitting there. But with a few days of warm weather and sun they are starting to take off. I'm also cutting back the watering to every other day - you can over water them easily, but I wanted to make sure they rooted and survived the transplant.

I did get a new greenwaste container, so that's done.

Book #59 was Altered Carbon, by Richard K Morgan. Sort of a noir-ish violent, high-tech future detective story. Decent writing, decent tech, I've started on the sequel, Broken Angels.

I've watched the first half dozen episodes of Veronica Mars via Netflix and the Roku. Decent enough, not quite Buffy but fun and usually quick dialog. The high school angst thing doesn't do much for me, but I do enjoy watching her turn tables on her various opponents. Kristen Bell is a bit of a chameleon, and it's fun watching her be the daughter, bad girl, sweet southern thing, whatever it takes to solve the mystery...

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Tuesday - The dump people came and took the stuff, early. Probably a bit after 6:00am. I really should have asked them to take more. It's like magic, you put it out on the curb and the next morning...poof...gone. No messing about with the trailer and waiting in line at the landfill. They were also supposed to replace the greenwaste container, as they managed to break a wheel off it last week. We'll see. I also asked about a recycle bin, but all they have are the huge 65 gallon bins, and my side yard is full enough.

Did I post about this before? is a site that uses volunteers to transcribe older logs from ships of the British navy, in order to create a database of weather in the oceanic basins. Kind of neat. Scans of a logbook for a ship are made available, the volunteers then re-enter that data into a digital database. To help avoid error each entry is entered by at least two different volunteers. This project focuses mostly on the WWI British Navy, but there are a number of other fleets, the East India Company from 1780s to the 1830s is mentioned. The logbooks will generally have date, position, wind, temperature, seas, clouds, perhaps even barometric pressure, but are not readable by computer.

Currently the weather for the past is mostly confined to the land surface measurements, only 25% of the worlds surface. Less, in fact, if you throw out Antarctica and the wastes of Siberia and Northern Canada. So this is an effort, multiple efforts actually, to flesh out the history of the weather.

Very neat. You can, when the project is finished, come up with a visualization tool of the last couple centuries of weather (see the video). It'd be wonderful to see the cyclones and weather systems of, say, 1858, sweep across one's screen. And what patterns could you see with, say, global coverage of 10 complete solar cycles of 22 years, rather than the existing partial coverage? And, given data from research expeditions and commercial fisheries, what might you find out about the little known polar regions?

Monday 6 June 2011

Monday - I called up Waste Management, and arranged to have them pick up the old water heater and two old file cabinets from the curb tomorrow. I'm trying to clean up the garage and side yard, and that'll be a start. As I was putting stuff out I was wishing that I'd arranged for more stuff to be picked up...

Book #58 was Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas, by Abigail Sunderland and Lynn Vincent. Abby was famous for trying - and failing - to be the youngest woman ever to sail around the world non-stop. She had a fast boat, an Open 40, but various mechanical and electrical problems meant that she had to put into port after sailing from San Diego, First Cabo San Lucas, then Cape Town. This essentially squelched the chance of being the youngest single hander to sail non-stop (since the new start point had to become that port, and one has to sail around and return there), but she continued on. In the middle of the Indian Ocean she was capsized by a rogue wave and lost her mast. She set off her emergency locater beacons and was rescued without too much fuss.

There was a lot of media controversy at the time, about whether she was qualified, whether her boat was good enough, whether there was too much pressure to "go", whether her parents were trying to make money off a daughter with a stunt. My feeling at the time was that it was a legitimate effort, a good boat, and that she was a good sailor, reading the book just further hardens that opinion.

Sunday 5 June 2011

Sunday - I didn't get a lot done, pretty much cleaned and stuff. I did go out to Apollo Park with a friend, where her kids fed the ducks and played on the swings for a couple of hours. Their Dad is out of town for a few days visiting a grandmother who broke her hip, and everybody just needed out for a few hours. We brought hot dogs and watermelon, and a good time was had by all.

Cats are funny. Riley came up to me and laid a paw on my leg, while I was sitting with my morning coffee. This means that he wants (1) more food, or (2) outdoors (it was a cool and blustery morning so the patio door was closed). So I got up to find out which he wanted.

Turns out that there is another option: (3) jumping onto the sofa and curling up in the warm spot so recently vacated, purring.

Book #57 was A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMasters Bujold.

Picture of the Week
bow of ship
Photo Notes: A moored ship, Richmond Ca., ca. 2001.

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