sailing the NorSea


WEEK 24 2013

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Saturday 15 June 2013
Saturday - Out doing yard sales with friends. Kind of fun, and it was beautiful weather for it.  I picked up a couple of small things, but am proud to say that I passed on the old laptop sitting there. I really have enough computers to last me for a while.

My friends had an attic fan they'd picked up at a yard sale a few months ago, and gave it to me, which is nice. I'll wire it up in the garage this weekend some time and see how it works. I'm concerned that it may be too powerful.

After a late lunch we all went to our respective homes and napped. I actually wasn't feeling too good when I laid down and felt worse when I woke up - a really nasty headache. Bah.

cherry tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes. Stuff is starting to ripen!

Friday 14 June 2013
Friday - K seems to be enjoying his HD tablet. Every time I've seen him it's been in his hands, which delights me too! I was afraid that he wouldn't care for it. Apparently he can clone all the apps he bought for his droid phone to it, which pleases him.

The HD+ and HD are now on sale to the general public, through Sunday (Fathers Day) so I let Tim know, in case he still wants to get one. I tried the Netflix streaming and it seems to work pretty well. Amazon will let you download rentals to an iPad or PC, but not, I think, to a Droid (except for their own Kindle tablet).

Working on the app. I took the day to sort of grind through a lot of the warnings and problems, though there is still a problem somewhere - after 15 or 20 turns the app will crash. Probably a memory leak of some kind. I've been kind of casual about things, just relying on ARC to clean up after me, but there are obviously limits to what automated garbage collection can do. There are various tools to look at the app when running, and I'll get into those when I have to.

I finally checked in with the bank about a HARP refinance. The rate is much better than I have now, but not as good as it would have been a few months ago, but I got busy and suspected some sort of scam. When, after talking to my friend IA, I decided it was legit I went ahead and made an appointment for today and went in and listened to their spiel. I hashed out their offer with my friend T afterwards: I can take the offer, save $250 a month, but it would extend the mortgage by 10 years (net loss); or I can take the offer and add $150 to the base payment, pocket $100, and still pay things off in the 20 years or so that my current loan would end it. So, a win, really.

After the horrific experience of 2010 in buying a house I'm kind of reluctant to have anything to do with banks & home loans ever again, but I guess this is pretty painless. My terms to the loan officer will be that I want to hear from them once, when I go in to sign. Not weeks and months of dealing with their stupidity.


Riely wants attention
I have to be careful where I step when working in the yard - Riley likes
to lay down directly behind me, and wait for a tummy rub!

Thursday 13 June 2013

Thursday - It's pretty dark in the living room area now, with the skylights blocked. I had no idea they added as much light as they did, even with the blinds closed. This time of year the sun is nearly directly overhead - I actually get a bit of morning sun through my north-facing window in the morning - so the light they gave was already rather indirect. I'll stick out the dimness for a while longer, then decide whether to leave them in. I put reflective foil on the main windows last year (below the skylights), and it seemed to have helped a bit with the temperatures, though I don't really have the data to say for sure. But I'm more likely to open the blinds now, being more comfortable from both a light and privacy standpoint, with the film applied.

The summer solstice is June 21st, only about a week away, then the sun will start to decline in the sky and I'll be getting more direct sun on the windows again.

What I suspect I really need is an attic fan, but it's such a pain to install that I haven't gotten around to it.

Went for a 5 mile walk in lieu of working on the trellis. I really needed the walk, though it was about 90F out.

Working on the app.

So, the sound issue turned out to be an Xcode problem. I had imported the audio *.aif files into the project. I could see them there, I could play them there from the Xcode environment, I could even print their properties and see that they were where they were supposed to be, but the run time executable couldn't find them!

The solution was easy - delete them and reimport them, and see if they show up in the "bundle". This time they did, and stuff started working. Which meant I had to unwind all the various contortions and convolutions I had put into the code, thinking it was something on my end, or a C to Objective-C issue, etc, etc. Sheesh.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Wednesday  - I went over to Home Depot, and after mooning over the beautiful 18V battery tools, bought the cheapest 120V jigsaw they had. Somewhere I have a good one - no sense in spending a lot of money on a second copy of a tool I use only two or three times a year. My brother replied that he didn't think it was in Martinez - maybe I brought it down to the boat. I don't think so, but maybe.

Anyway, I used the saw to cut out a little joist from a 1x6 piece of pine. It looks pretty good. I painted it with my trim green, then painted the uprights tan. I used long lag screws to attach them to the vegetable bed. When I was done I realized the posts should have been green as well. Bah. I guess I can consider it a primer coat. I was going to duplicate the setup at the other end of the little tomato bed, with a difference in that the new pieces are exposed to the high winds, away from the house, hence the  lag screws. Now I'm wondering if I want to go through all the work of ripping grooves, inserting mortise and tendon ends, lath work, and all the rest. If I just need an end to put some little 2x2's on, to support a sunscreen, I have enough. Maybe I'll try it and see if it looks OK.

I had a taste of my first home grown tomato of the year, a little cherry tomato, yay!

The other household improvement was the insertion of some foil covered foam insulation in the skylights over the dining room. I keep the blinds closed in summer, because of the heat, so by putting the foam in, reflective side out, I gain a bit of cooling, and it looks much the same inside.

Then it was time for lunch, with friends. I gave K the new Nook Tablet, and he has already done more with his than I have done with mine...

My friend C wasn't able to join us, ill. I stopped by Albertson's and bought some Italian Ice's and dropped them off at her house. They are soothing when you are ill. She texted later that the kids agreed they were delicious, so I'm not sure that they'll last too long....

Tuesday  11 June 2013
Tuesday - I cut a couple of 2x3's as posts, to make an end trellis for putting an awning over the tomato bed. I also added some stakes and tomato cage stuff, and am trying to get things a bit better organized there. I don't think they are getting enough water, last year the east side plants did the best.

If this works I'll add one to the south side tomato bed, which is going great right now.

Worked on the App in the afternoon, rearranging things into a more standard format. I then played with Garage Band, recording some audio prompts. It was taking a long time, then I realized I could record all the prompts, one after another, and just split the audio track up, and export the individual bits at individual aiff files. After that it was ... not so good. Using the same libraries and commands that worked before I'm not getting any sound out. Hmmm.

Well, I'll look at it tomorrow, probably just a misplaced comma or something. I am using a NSARRAY to store the file names in, as text objects, which I then convert to a path NSURL, with the color index being the position of the audio prompt in the array (as well as a text prompt array). Maybe something is going on there, though there is no error message. It's been a while since I messed around with the sound stuff.

We finally got a submission from the  Contractor, and it looks OK, with some minor issues. So that's good.

Monday  10 June 2012
Monday - I spent the morning doing various chores for work. Rather to my surprise Mobile Office isn't on the GIS laptop, so I couldn't differentially correct the data I took last week. Bah.

In the early afternoon it was time to clean things up in the back yard - it's gotten pretty cluttered, and tomorrow is garbage pickup, so it's a good chance to get things done. I also cut some 2x3's to help build a trellis to cover to the tomatoes, but once again couldn't find my saber saw. I emailed my brother to see if I left it in Martinez. I could buy a new 120V model, cheaply; but am tempted to get a battery powered unit, which would be considerably more expensive. But, as my old Makita's batteries are shot, maybe now is the time to buy both a new battery powered drill and saw? It's probably not time to spend more than I need to.

I'd turned off the sprinklers the night before, so by mid afternoon I was able to move the limp tomato branches a bit, and tie them up in a more vertical orientation, rather than their current sprawled out state. It'll take a few repeats to get them right again.

Sunday 9 June 2012
Sunday - It's warmed up again, it was 105F yesterday, not quite so hot today. Maybe 100F or so. I tried putting a bag of ice in the swamp cooler yesterday, and it made a slight difference, about two degrees, for a few minutes. Sort of disappointing, actually. The humidity was high, above 20%, but I was still getting almost 30 degrees cooling out of the swamp cooler, which is pretty remarkable.

I finally had a chance to look at my tomato plants, and they are looking kind of pitiful. I need to check their irrigation system, and maybe put up a sunscreen. I actually have shade cloth, and a grommet making kit, I just need a trellis or frame to hang the shade cloth from.

I went by Home Depot and loaded up a cart with 10' lengths of pressure treated lumber, for putting the pavers in the side yard. Then I had to hunt down the help, to get it cut to length - only to be told that their saw was broken! I wish I'd known this before manhandling heavy balks of timber from over my head :-( So, I left the timber, but picked up some slump stone blocks to put around the sprinkler manifold in the front rose garden. Now that I have them there I don't really like the look. I think that I'll build a little wooden seat or something instead, maybe with a 'distressed' paint job look.

Picture of the Week
Old Carquinez Straits bridges 
Photo Notes: Old Carquinez Straits bridges (ca. 2003).

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