pirate edself with corona captain ed
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WEEK 26 2004

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Saturday 26 June 2004

Saturday - overheard at Fry's Computers the other day:

Him: (in a pontificating voice)...no, no, these days everyone's caught up, the technology is pretty level...
Her: Panasonic?
Him: ...well, maybe not them...

I wonder what product they were talking about? Guess I'll never know.

Stupid San Franscisco Giants. They cost me another quarter tonight, losing in the tenth after coming back from a 6-2 deficit. Of course Oakland had to bring in that ringer, Dotel, to do it.

Went down to the boat. I needed to check on the battery and charger. The battery was in the locker, and the lock on that was frozen. So I had someone from the marina come down and cut it off, no problem. In the meantime I dragged the carpet out of the boat, hosed it down, and cleaned the cabin sole and bilges for a bit. I couldn't use all the water I needed to clean it, because the pump is electric and needs a battery to power it. Conclusion, after messing with the multimeter for a while: that battery is shot and the charger doesn't work. So, off to the marine hardware place, where they didn't have what I wanted, but were happy to talk to me about different kinds of batteries for a good forty minutes.

My father hired a guy to come and take away all the junk I'd cleaned out of the downstairs room - it's been a while, decades maybe, since it was last cleaned out. "Roberto" said that for $120 he'd take everything but electronics. Teevee's, radios, computers - they all cost extra as they are considered hazardous waste or something. We looked at the teevee - it was big and stuck out of the pile - and he wanted $35, just for it. We couldn't see paying that much and said no. When I returned from the boat he had taken everything, the old computer parts, the old radio's, even the old 8-track (I said it had been a while!). Everything but that old teevee. I think it was a matter of pride, he couldn't take it after asking to be paid to take it.

Heck, I'd have paid him the thirty five to take all that stuff. Oh well. The picture below is about half of the final pile of junk. I did save the ladder, however, and the 240-Z fender parts belonging to my brother.

Friday 25 June 2004

Friday - working on the downstairs, cleaning up. Lot's of junk to be moved, and then some cleaning, and then some painting. It took a while, but looks a lot better.

There was a fire across the way, in the hills above Martinez. We took a bunch of pictures, I'll post some tomorrow. Firefighting helicopters, and at least one news chopper. We could watch from the front porch, and also on teevee at the same time. Strange.

Right now it is about time for 'Monk'...

They are on a stakeout and Adrian keeps shining a flashlight into the chief detectives face, whenever that worthy speaks.

"Stop shining that light in my face. You don't need to see me to hear me. You know it's me."
[the light goes out]
"He needs to see you."

Thursday 24 June  2004

Thursday - we watched "The Last Samurai" this evening. Not too bad - I am not a big Tom Cruise fan, his holier-than-thou smirk gets a bit old after a while but this movie was OK. Unlikely, but OK.

I took a picture of the moon with Dad's new camera, about 1/1000 second at F5. It didn't come out too bad (with some minor postprocessing it'd probably be great!):

Wednesday 23 June 2004

Wednesday - an interesting article over at "marginal revolution" about whether there is a "housing bubble" in California. They look at the disparity between what it costs to rent (rents stable or going down a bit) and what it costs to buy (increasing by 30% last year), and conclude - I think - yes.

Will the floor fall out? I doubt it, there are a lot of people looking for homes in California. But maybe we'll see a plateau for a few years, or a small drop.

I've been cleaning the boat, since I can't actually sail it right now. Hands and knees on the deck, which is white but oxidised. And the sides of the hull, which are also a bit oxidised, but not so bad. Clean she looks good - ready to fly out into the bay...

We watched "The Bounty" with Mel Gibson as Christian Fletcher and Anthony Hopkins as Captain Bligh. It was...uninpressive. It wasn't made from the old Nordoff & Hall book, and there was little new in the movie. I thought, for a while, that Hopkin's might make Bligh - a superb seaman and a terrible leader - come to life, but that didn't happen. The root cause of Bligh's harsh attitude is implied to be a sort of sexual jealousy. Various polynesian lasses run about topless, about the only good...er...points...in the movie.

Tuesday 22 June 2004
Tuesday - I've been trying to get insurance for the boat. It's turned into a big deal - surveys and inspections, vast amounts of money. Basically it's an unregulated industry, much like the automotive insurance environment of many years ago. Standards are non-existent, surveyors and companies charge what they will. One company won't insure me at all, another will do it for $500/year without an inspection, a third might ensure me for $125/year if I pass an "in water" survey, a fourth wants $250/year and an out-of-water inspection. I called a surveyer to ask what they look for - their items to look for list is proprietary. "Structural stuff" was his answer.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not big on goverment in general, but this is ludicrous. It can be done, there are many thousands of sailboats, powerboats, watercraft of all sorts on San Franciso Bay right now - but I could probably get four quotes in an hour for my car, and it's taken me fortyeight hours to get two 'sorta' quotes for the boat.

Monday 21 June 2004

Monday - my sister has a fairly serious break - looks like she'll be in the hospital for a while longer. Amusing story, my niece was very helpful, bringing a little pillow out for my sister and being very solicitious - until the paramedics arrived. Them she remembers from her own visits to the hospital: so she ran inside the house, peered through the window whispering "bad men-go away!".

SpaceShipOne had a successful flight - a bit late, but I caught it on teevee. A new era has possibley started. NASA, I fear, is still stuck in the past. There is a chance for it, if management has the vision, but I just don't know. I wish them well, however it turns out...

Sunday 20 June 2004

Sunday - Father's day. It's good to be up here at my dad's place. The weather is good, and we had a little barbecue, with my brother Bob and sister Virginia. We played a bit with my father's new camera, the Olympus 760UZ. It's pretty amazing. The picture of the hornet below was taken with the macro feature, though the camera is really noticeable for it's 10X zoom feature.

A bit of bad news though, apparently my other sister had a rock roll down an enbankment and break her leg. Hopefully it won't be too serious.

Tomorrow SpaceShipOne is supposed to fly. Good luck to the pilot Melville and the ship!

Picture of the Week

A hornet finds my steak

Photo Notes: This is a guest at the barbecue, uninvited but wishing only a small portion. My command of the 'macro' function is limited, but the camera overcame much of my incompetence.

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