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Picture of the Week

Sunday 9 June 2002

Sunday. Clear, rather cool. Replaced a lot of sprinkler heads, put some new line in the weedeater to clear around some others. Went out and looked at about ten assorted water bombers at Fox field.
 It seems that some of the Masai have offered to help after hearing about the September 11 attack. They have offered 14 cows as a gift, and to 'take out' Osama should they find him in the bush . Good for them!  They also see it clearly as a job to be done carefully - similarly one of the defining characteristics of modern military in this country is to treat war making as a job, and as a skill to be mastered, rather than some heroic fantasy role.

There is a partial lunar eclipse tomorrow, just before sunset local time. Should be interesting.

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I have discovered that I have been blogging without even knowing it. I feel like Moliere's Bourgeois Gentleman who spoke prose without knowing it. Not sure that I can continue doing something with such an ugly name. Blog. Short for weblog I guess.
Monday 10 June 2002
Monday it was warm in the office.  My group was the first into a new building and we got to pick which corner of cubicleville we wanted.  We picked the southwest corner because it has a niche just the size of our group and was bright and well lit. It turns out that the AC controller is on the east wall of the building, and that we are on the end of the supply... So, just a bit toasty.

Work proceeds apace. We are on schedule, some of the people we are supposed to interface with aren't. Learned a new dirty word recently: heritage .

If an engineer uses a part without a complete analysis, because it's been used safely in the past, that's using a heritage part, or ' heritage engineering'. And it tends to bite you on the... hindermost part, if you catch my drift. In a drive for saving money this is known to happen, and it's a tricky issue. NASA's budget is limited - it's about one percent of the US budget or so. To save the taxpayer money, and the projects time, the is a wish to use proven ( often heritage ) or Common Off The S helf,  COTS items. But if there is a failure due to stressing these parts in some new and unusual way it can set a project back months or even years.

Tuesday 11 June 2002

 Tuesday - some strategically placed fans and some mods to the AC vents by a friend should do the trick for cooling the office. I hope. I didn't go in myself, had to smog the car and go to the surgeons, and it all took longer than I thought it would. Tomorrow the PT.

Wednesday 12 June 2002

Wednesday - a long day. Sent off an email to Langley asking for the data promised a month ago, there is a telecon and status report coming up - may as well go through the motions.

The cast and splint are off the hand, and the tender pink flesh is exposed. Quite honestly it looks pretty gross! The finger does not bend at all. A bit alarming. The PT was fairly straightforward, some measurements and a hot bath of the hand, and basic exercises (picking up checkers!) and a massage of the hand. There were quite a few people in, and many have much worse looking injuries.

Worked in the evening on the bike for the girl with CP. Basically just training wheels that can be removed later. No welding or millwork needed! Still, a several hour job, but one that makes me feel better. Delivered it and took my evening walk - the nights have been balmy lately. Crescent moon and stars...

A long day!

Thursday 13 June 2002

The telecon went well. Basically we have all the structural data we require, it's aerodynamic model that's not up to date. But we are proceeding. Langley says "next week" on that - we'll see. Talked to a guy over at the rocket site about parallel processing. He's a networks type and needs some basic template style app's using MPI or PVM to get people interested in using a cluster. Interesting.

The PT proceeds. The therapist picked off all the scabs and dead skin - it didn't really hurt, but now the little pink scar is exposed and it's a bit tender. I won't get nearly the sympathy without all the adornments! They also added hot and cold hand baths and a "cones" exercise. The guy next to me was missing a finger tip. Ouch.

I asked if I could cheat on the cones exercise, and the director of therapy, Gary, said "Only yourself" and smiled. Point taken.

About seventeen people showed up for dinner. Wow. Too busy to talk to some of them. Visited with my brother after dinner, trying to arrange plans for the coming weekend, among other things; then my evening walk with a friend. Actually I heard the end of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" book # 3 as well - those poor Baudelaire children!

Another looong day!

Friday 14 June 2002

Friday was another partial day because of a PT session. Work is nearly at a frantic pace for some reason. A visiting professor stopped by. He mentioned that his college had a 1024 node cluster up and running. Wow. Another professor send in results for the cfd benchmark using a P4@2.53Ghz, and also an AMD Athlon at about 2.0Ghz. The P4 performs as expected, the Athlon is terrible. We suspect a lousy VIA motherboard there.

PT again. Nothing too new there. No finger movement yet, but the therapist said about a month more of this, with about 80% recovery in two months, a 100% in a year. I sure hope so, because, to quote a friends child "it bites" being one handed. The guy next to me had a truly gross hand this time - flesh eating bacteria !!

Packing, cleaning, trying to smog my car online (blank screen there and it's due Sunday!), prepping the cat's for my absence. Food, water, and kitty litter while I'm gone. Someone is going to be around, but it's best to unload the more onerous chores.

Also I had the radiator replaced in the Probe. This entailed me scrounging various rides about town by my friends and relatives - between the hand and the car I am racking up quite a karma debt!

Saturday 15 June 2002

Saturday  -  slept in at my Dad's. We started very late Friday, after 4:30 p.m. and didn't get in until around 11:00. My brother Mike did a lot of the driving as I was very tired and slept for quite a while in the car. Traffic was decent, nothing much to report there. The car ran very well!

The reason the DMV didn't show a page for registration renewal is that my firewall was up and it used some sort of option disabled by the privacy setting in ZoneAlarm. Par for the course, for the California Department of Motor Vehicles. By temporarily disabling the privacy option I was able to pay my "car tax" on line.

I have been saying for some years that the whole organization should be abolished lock, stock, and barrel - it's a start thay we can bypass the staff at the local offices now. Every dealing with the DMV is like touching the tar baby - you never walk away happy, with the peace of mind and money you walked in the door with. Oh well.

I see most of my links for the last week aren't there for some reason. The on-line and local pages sometimes get mixed up, and what I think I did doesn't actually make it to the WWW. If that makes sense... I'll redo it later.

Picture of the Week
smoke from fire

Photo Notes:  There was a big fire in the San Angeles mountain range just to the south west of Lancaster last week. At one point the visibility was under a mile on the freeway - the overpasses are nicely spaced a mile apart, making it easy to judge. I took this when I got home - note the faint sun shining through!

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