sailing the NorSea


WEEK 25 2015

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Oxnard  Weather Underground
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Lancaster Weather Underground
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Martinez WeatherUnderground
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Saturday 20 June 2015
Saturday - Very hot. It's difficult to compare with the past week exactly, because the W.U. KWJF site is down (and the widget above off by over 4 hours now), but probably about 103-105F. One nearby site claims 112F, but it always ran high by several degrees...

Fortunately it's very, very, dry, with no afternoon thunderstorms, and the swamp cooler is working extremely well.

It was still 'thumping', so I found some thicker oil in the garage (Zoom brand) and re-lubricated it, and that helped a bit. Time for new bearings I guess. After the beach holiday, probably.

I spent several hours working on front yard sprinkler heads. So were just old, but a couple had been run over, and another, on the west wall lawn, had a tree root wrapped around it. I also worked on the front rose bed a bit, but by 11:30am I was completely beat.

In the afternoon I worked on the app, making some more changes to the layered Gimp XCF versions of the prompts. S needs to clean up my mediocre artwork again, but with the layered files she should be able to turn stuff around quickly.

Amazon Prime to the rescue.

Suzy has darted out the back door twice in the last week. It's not birds, butterfly's or lizards that she's after - but my tall fescue. She makes a beeline for the lawn and starts chowing down on the grass. Seeing this I'd ordered some cat grass seed early in the week, and it has arrived. I'll plant a couple of flower pots full. And I'll give some seeds to S, I noticed her big male was eating the withered dry brown grass from last year in her pot on the window sill. I was going to reorder from last years vendor, but noticed that they were charging $4 for 0.8oz, and another Amazon vendor had 1.0 lb for $5, so I went with that :-)

My low-flow shower-head that I ordered also arrived, and screwed right onto the existing fitting, so that should help with the water consumption. Now if I could only get that $15 scale filter on the swamp cooler line to stop leaking things would be in reasonable shape. I guess I'll buy another, swap out the brass end fitting, and save the new one for next year. I just have to remember not to throw the used one out before I remove the fitting.

Lastly I'd ordered the (too tight) replacement belts for my Hoover Upright. I'll try something someone online suggested - heating one with a hair dryer before putting it on, to allow some stretch. I'll have to borrow a hair dryer from someone though...

Friday 19 June 2015
Friday - Hot again. I could see the tree moving in the wind when I woke up, and it stayed mildly breezy all day, but still really warm. The Lancaster page (KWJF) for the Weather Underground site is now broken too...

I had mowed the back earlier in the week, in order to find the sprinkler heads; so I mowed, edged, and weed-whacked the front in the morning. I have a few iffy sprinkler heads there as well, so I'll work on them tomorrow morning.

S sent me some of her her candidate artwork, so I messed around with it for a bit. I was going to use GIMP and Photoshop on the old XP machine, but it wouldn't boot. I'm near or past the end of the trial period for Win7 on the Mac Mini Bootcamp, so I didn't want to use that. Despite my best efforts I couldn't get GIMP to install on the MacBook, but discovered it will run directly from the DMG! "Okeley Dokeley then", sez I, "I can make that work". And I did.

Something else came up, and I realized that I no longer had a word processor. I had an old version of MS Office on the old Win7 partition on the MacBook, but that's gone now. I can't get Bootcamp running under Yosemite, I think bits of the old Parallels VM stuff are still around. Someday I'll wipe down to bare metal and reinstall, after we ship the app, and then I can put my legal version of Win7 back on.

After some futzing around I was able to install Libre Office under Yosemite, which is good enough for now, so that's a step forward.

By 8pm I was tuckered out. Dinner was reheated rice and buffalo style chicken breasts, with some Blue Cheese dressing to cut the burn.

At about 9:00 I happened to check the web, and discovered there was a bright Space Station overpass at 9:20, so I went out and watched that. It was a good one, bright and all the way from the NW to directly overhead and down to the SE. There was a bit of a new moon, and some stars out (the Big Dipper was directly overhead).

Suzy hanging out in the office
Suzy napping while I work. Note that she got into the empty box for the external drive I bought
for use with Time Machine, and spread the contents around - and in particular that she is
napping on the crinkly plastic wrap!

Thursday 18 June 2015

Thursday - Another 100F day. It's supposed to stay that way, and get hotter, for the next week. I had to give my tomatoes an emergency drink of water - they and the pepper were pretty wilted.

I noticed that Weather Underground is having problems, the clock in the little badges above is off by three hours recently. The Weather Channel's neglect of their purchased competitor gets more obvious all the time.

I did get out at 9am and do a long walk, 6.4 miles. While it was hot and I drank all my water (a liter), I wasn't too sore afterwards.

I forgot my ear-buds, sigh. I've put them in the little fanny pack now, so they should be available whenever I go. The other day I'd a 1973 stream on, because I wanted to hear Badfinger's 'Baby Blue'. Oddly, though a lot of other top 40 stuff from my junior year in high school played, that didn't.

Somewhere I read that the song had a brief resurgence in popularity after being the soundtrack to a 'Breaking Bad' episode. I've never watched that show, so I wouldn't know.

Then app stuff until early evening.

I see that the OPM got hacked. Probably by the Chinese. And, like the NSA and Snowden or Sibelius and Obamacare, no one will voluntarily resign or be fired. Welcome to the world of governmental near-absolute authority without responsibility...

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Wednesday - Hot, about the same as yesterday.


Not much else to say about that, except  "Yeah man, but it's a dry heat!".

I reset the lawn sprinklers, so they cycle twice: at just after 1am and 3am, for a five minutes each, rather than one longer run at 5am. And only every third day. Supposedly it's more efficient if you do it when it's cool to avoid evaporation, and a little bit at a time, so it can soak in. I also spent a bunch of time fixing and uncovering sprinkler heads in the backyard. There's more work to be done there, even before Xeriscaping, but it got too darn hot by late morning.

I really need to finish my Xeriscaping plan and send it off. One thing I noticed last weekend, while out visiting yard sales, was the sheer number of people doing it up here in the desert. Lots and lots. And funds are limited.

I also drained the swamp cooler and oiled the squirrel cage fan bearings and tried to fix the scale filter leak, but there is still an audible thumping and a leak, though it's better.

I think the "bearing oil" is too thin, it seems like 10W or so, I'd prefer something more viscous I think. I just replaced those bearings, though maybe the replaced bearings were the ones in the new swamp cooler, now that I think about it.

I also ordered a couple of low-flow shower heads from Amazon, which might help too.

Working on the app, the switch thing is pretty much under control now, including the manual touches and the focus frame following a moved image. Oddly enough, VoiceOver, the original iOS assistive technology, turns off all the switch stuff when enabled. I was thinking WTH: someone can have vision problems and mobility issues after all. But there is a separate option to read assistive labels under the switches stuff in the Settings, so it's OK I guess.

S sent me some updated graphics stuff for the app, so that good. It actually looks like pretty spiffy stuff.

I'm about ready to start creating a final version again - I think it was late February when Version.2 was more or less finalized (sans switches, sans retina graphics), then rejected as too complicated.

For some reason I've accumulated a whole bunch of fruit:
  1. a half dozen apples,
  2. three pears,
  3. six bananas,
  4. a cantaloupe,
  5. a watermelon,
  6. a pound of blueberries,
  7. a bunch of grapes,
  8. a pound of cherries,
  9. twenty peaches off my tree.

Some of it is going bad, I can't eat it fast enough...

Tuesday 16  June 2015
Tuesday - Hot again, 101F.

I took a walk in the morning, just 3 miles, but the first since I got sick a couple of weeks ago. My legs were starting to cramp up from lack of exercise. I did it in the morning before it became very hot, just 90F or so...

Another thing I did yesterday was bills, including quarterly taxes. The taxes took several days hours minutes to do. It's midyear and stuff is starting to show up - car insurance, boat insurance, stuff like that. Bah.

I did talk to Tim at length about some upcoming work. Inspection stuff that will probably start in mid-July in Saticoy, and go for 8 weeks or so.

Other than that I fooled around with NSNotification stuff for most of the afternoon. I thought I was going crazy until I realized that there were two completely different ways to register as an observer for notifications with "addobserver:" that do NOT play well with each other. Apple, Apple, Apple...

Time to add more rusty nails to that sock.

Monday 15 June 2015
Monday - Hot again, about 100F. But dry, the swamp cooler is working well, though it needs to be on high to keep the house below 80F inside.

S came by in the morning and we netted the peach tree. We did it her way, winding it like a bandage around the lower outer branches. The upper branches aren't bearing much fruit this year (we pruned the heck out of it up there in late winter) and she said birds are too stupid (or paranoid) to fly down through the open center to get at the fruit.

In return I helped her load up a bunch of stuff from Costco, since R was off at work. A lot of it is for the 4th of July vacation, now only a couple of weeks away.

Still working with the switches. A little bug, that I originally thought was my problem, is probably an iOS issue. Not a big deal, but it took some debugging (all day) to figure it out. The focus frame, which now works fine, emulates a physical touch, so I thought I'd try an actual physical touch while it's running. And then the image moves, but the focus frame doesn't. But in debugging I printed out the frame's coordinates, which show it as moved...

I tried turning off the touch for the elements, but then the Bluetooth switches didn't work. I tried bringing a transparent UIView to the front to just block physical touches, but that then blocks the switches as well.

I think the Bluetooth focus cursor is displayed on the 'presentation' layer, in front of everything else (including the transparent UIView that I used 'bringToFront' on). It's the final composition step, and usually developer's don't have to worry about it, but in the case of UIAcessibilityElements...

Ah well.

Sunday 14 June 2015
Sunday - Another hot day.

I made a morning run with S to pick up some groceries. Mostly veggies, I'm still living off stuff from the party a couple of weeks ago. I did need some more chicken.

Picture of the Week

tehachapi train

A really long train almost stopped in old Tehachapi.

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