WEEK 25 2008
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Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
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- keeping pretty busy, despite the heat. It's not the predicted 111F,
thankfully, but it's three digits - hot enough. In the afternoon we had
some 'vertical development', i.e. clouds, and that cooled down it a
my idea of keeping tabs on the temperature inside the house to heart, I
tried hooking up a webcam to the Linux computer. It was a Creative Labs
Webcam Pro NX usb unit - and it works fine. I plugged it in, downloaded
Camorama to take
pictures and to view the video and it is good to go. You do need to set
up a directory for it to save pictures in, under preferences, otherwise
you get an error message. I haven't actually set it up to upload yet,
as I don't actually have a thermometer for inside the house for it to
view, but it works fine so far.
Why not Windows you say? No particular reason, I was just curious about whether it would work.
The down side of the webcam idea is that it means I have to leave a PC running, 24/7, to use it.
I am, supposedly, getting
ready for next weeks work, then vacation. So I spent some time cleaning
and picking things up about the house and yard. I was going to do more
preparation in the evening.
Instead I hung out with some
friends. They were visiting here in Lancaster with their children and
stopped by, so we went over to the park and watched the little boy
familiarize himself with the slides there. Tentative at first on even
the little slide - 3 feet high - by the end of the evening he was going
head first down the 'big slide' which is an enclosed tube a good eight
or ten feet high. We had to bodily pick him up and carry him away from
the playground when it was time to go...
Friday 20 June
- man, 88F when I rolled into Lancaster about 10:30 last night. The
cat's were happy to see me and the swamp cooler seemed to have the
temperature under control. I'm not sure how hot it gets inside, in late
afternoon - I need some sort of recording thermometer. Maybe even one
of those fancy one's like my father has. I'd like to be able to check
temperature remotely, as well. Judging by Fridays performance, on a
105F exterior temperature day the swamp cooler will keep it about 83F
inside, if it's on full blast. Normally I leave it on half power, so
Saw the doc, I'll live. In
fact I'm ridiculously healthy. Blood pressure and resting heart rate
excellent, blood panels clear. I got a Tetanus shot, to help keep me
that way (and it hurt). I get a Hepatitis vaccine booster shot in a couple of weeks, then I'm done with the doc for a while.
Edged and weed whacked the
lawn out front. It was beastly hot and I was dripping wet by the time
it was done. The change in watering time seems to have helped with some
of the dry spots out front, and I fixed a sprinkler head that had come
off. I need to trim back the roses, feed them, and also plant some
flowers in the little flower bed out front, and, annoyingly, weed the
front flower garden again.
need to put mesh over the peach tree - the birds have been at the
fruit. They've already polished off the mulberries from that volunteer
tree that I didn't cut down this spring. I see that I have a bunch of
apples as well, yay!
The paint on the patio cover is looking a
bit faded, I need to redo that. Also to do a bit of yard trimming out
back as well, I do neglect it shamefully.
Had lunch with the cat sitter, and a friend, took care of a few other
chores. Tried to make sure that I was on board with all the times and
places and people relating to my vacation, that starts after work next
Mt. Wilson from Strawberry Peak
Thursday 19 June
- a hot day, all day. In the 80's, probably about 90F down where I was
working. But up in the AV it's really hot, 100F and above. They are
predicting 111F in the next couple of days.
stay down in Ventura, but I've a doctor appointment and chores up
north. Also I want to change out those cooler pads. I'll be gone a lot
over the week of the Fourth, so I want that cooler to be in tip
Wednesday 18 June 2008
- I mentioned not having read volume #1 in the Engineer Trilogy, Devices and Desires. Then I recalled that I had an (unused) Ventura County Library card. After checking online it turned out that the Ray D. Prueter Library
in Port Hueneme had a copy on the shelves, and that I had to drive by
that library to get to the work site. So a quick stop on the way home
and now I have some nice beach reading for the vacation week coming up.
I have a limited card - only two books at a time can be checked out on it, so I also checked out Book #25, Medieval Bridges, by Martin Cook.
Yes, I read it already, in a day, since it was only 56 pages (with
pictures!). Enjoyable. There were little maps of all the known bridges
of Roman Britain, and of those of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries
respectively. You can see the growth and concentration of them over
time at what would later become the great centers and ports - London,
The terminology: cutwaters, starlings, voussiors and corbels is wonderful.
I also picked up as used books The Cruising Life, $1.50; Sailing Small, $2.00, Knockdown, $1.00; and 100 Desert Flowers in Natural Colors, $0.50..
Zac Sunderland has set off on his round-the-world cruise. Sounds like he is settling in. Good luck to him.
Tuesday 17 June 2008
- a nice day, down near the beach.
Lot's of seabirds in the wetlands
area, ducks, seagulls, pelicans, and - I don't really know their names
for sure - egrets and/or cormorants. At least two different kinds of
It was brisk out on the ocean - whitecaps everywhere. At
lunch we had free parking on the beach, in Port Hueneme on a county access road, where
we watched busloads of kids arrive and race down to the waves, south of
the pier. Some adults brought those large beach umbrella's - hah. We saw at
least one of those turned inside out by the onshore wind.
I took the 9,000th video/picture today - bought the chainman a
milkshake in celebration. At 10,000 the counter rolls over and we start
from 0001 again, I think.
Megan McArdle writes on the opportunity cost of gardening to make food.
This ties into my back of the envelope analysis of solar power to run
my swamp cooler, last week. Unless you really need/want to, (it's fun to tinker) it doesn't really pay.
Entertaining quote about that:
"And lots of people,
through some sort of tragic congenital failure, actually enjoy
There is an aside on tomato's as well. My friend, who usually buys me
some tomato seedlings, didn't, this year. She claimed it was because I
was absent and too busy to take care of them, but admitted to being
slightly irritated that my neglected plants did better than her
Maybe I should go out and get some seedlings?
Monday 16 June 2008
- back to work. A beautiful day, down near the ocean, 70F and just a
light breeze. Unfortunately there were three of us working today - me,
my chain man, and somebody named Murphy...
This is another for the 'found CD' theme, though technically it is a
I think there is a teevee show by that name.
Sunday_15 June 2008
- Did my quarterly taxes, changed kitty litter & water feeders
& food feeders. Cleaned out a desk drawer that had become
impossible to open, and just as hard to close. Watered the dry spots on
the lawn, set the sprinkler to 'daily' for the front lawns, 10 minutes
at 5 am. Generally took care of various chores and tasks.
I tried to get my fathers Panasonic BL-131a wireless web cam working,
without any luck. I can get it to run in wired (ethernet) mode, even
access it over the Internet, but I am getting zero connectivity via
that 802.11b/g connection. Zero signal strength. I called my Dad and
gave him the bad news - I'd hoped to set it up as a present for
father's day, but it wasn't to be. If he can find the receipt then it
has a one year parts and labor warranty and we can get it
or exchanged. At least it works through the firewall and with the DNS
redirector that Panasonic thoughtfully supplies, gratis. Though I do
need to write down the passwords for that account :-(
One negative thing about the web cam (besides not working) is that it
needs ac power. Or at least ac power for its transformer, which in turn
supplies 9V to the unit. I wonder if we could put a bunch of 9V
rechargeable in parallel and run the unit off them. It'd probably run
for only a limited time, given the power draw from camera and the wifi
adapter, but it might be fun.