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Travels and Images

WEEK 26 2006

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Saturday 1 July 2006

Saturday - spent the night in Oxnard with friends. D mentioned my boat purchase to his boss, a small boat sailor himself, who apparently looked wistful and said:

"Nice boat. You can go anywhere in a boat like that."

While I will be out of town myself for the Fourth of July I told my friends that they could have my place at the boatyard barbecue - which is apparently quite a spread. The boatyard is about 100 feet from where the Oxnard fireworks are set off and is thus a fabulous place to watch from!

Obligations in Lancaster meant I had to blast out of Oxnard by noon. From 70F to 109F in Santa Clarita, in the space of 30 miles or so. Lancaster wasn't too bad - only 103F.

Friday 30 June 2006

Friday - well, I'm the proud owner of a Norsea 27. It needs a bit of work (remember the low price) but nothing I can't do, or have done. The general comment, from people who know boats, is to pause and then say "Nice boat. You can go anywhere in a boat like that."

There was some fairly severe corrosion of the propellor shaft fitting - apparently Oxnard is a fairly "hot" marina, so that fitting needs replacing, which means re-aligning the motor, shaft and prop as well. The engine is nearly new - only about ten hours on the Yanmar 20. Sails are OK, not spanking new. I'm considering a bottom job as well. The brightwork needs re-varnishing.

My fathers' dog Peg: she knows exactly where the "sun spot" will be in the morning, and has no hesitation about laying on the furniture to take advantage of the same:


Thursday 29 June  2006

Thursday - spent all day in a FRR (Flight Readiness Review). Not a lot I can say about that (proprietary stuff).

Via Iowahawk and the 'caged pulchritude' of Polk County Jail  "it's finally time to select the official Hawkeye Hoosegow Honey of the Year." My take: Michelle seems to be enjoying herself, Carmen would be a really scary cellmate, and poor Megan looks about to cry.

Well, I'm going to go down and try to buy the boat tomorrow - wish me luck. Or not. They kept dropping the price - how could I resist?

This means actually visiting a branch of my credit union. I've done every other bit of business for the last ten years or so, from my initial application to buying a car two years ago, via the phone and email. But now I need some cashiers' checks. I'm sure I could do that by mail as well, but the deal is set to close tomorrow.

They say you can't cheat an honest man. So what does my expectation of disaster say about me?

Wednesday 28 June 2006

Wednesday - a nicer day. We had cumulus, and even some rain about 5:00, in about 95F temperatures and sun, which was weird. But there was sun peeking through all day, so that was good. As long as there is some sun I'm happy.

Darn near ran over a jack rabbit the size of a small dog on the way home. It was easily the size of some of the coyotes around here.

Over at A Voyage to Arcturus Jay Manifold has an lyrical tribute to the Missouri countryside and weather.

"Dozens of lightning bugs flashing in the trees to the southeast, with Antares and the rest of Scorpius glimmering just above. Arcturus high in the south, nearly at the zenith -- twilight still visible in the northwest at 10 PM -- a sudden, swift meteor flashes through the Summer Triangle from south to north between Aquila and Cygnus."

I saw this photo a week or so ago at "The Stupid Shall be Punished", a submariners' blog, and thought I'd post it. It's from Operation Valiant Shield. If you click the image below it links to a huge picture with lots of detail. One thing I noticed is that there is no-one on deck. Five thousand men (and women?) per carrier and there are only two or three visible per ship! Maybe they were ordered below for the photo-op? I note also that the carrier in the middle isn't kicking up much wake - they don't have a lot of speed on. That's the USS Ronald Reagan in the foreground, CVN-76;  the USS Kitty Hawk in the center: CV-63 (not a nuke); and in the background we have CVN-72, the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Three carriers in operation Valiant Shield
Operation Valiant Shield

You are probably wondering about the cylindrical white things on the side of the ship in the foreground ship. Having read all twenty of the Patrick O'brien novels I can authoritatively explain them. Before going into battle a captain will have his men roll up their hammocks and line the rails with them, to protect from grapeshot and musket fire...

Tuesday 27 June 2006

Tuesday - there was supposed to be a rocket launch out of Vandenberg, sometime between 7:00 and 9:00 pm this evening. They can be quite spectacularly visible, if it's twilight. I think I've posted a pic before. Unfortunately it was overcast this evening, still overcast.

There were hints of blue sky to the south, so that's something. Maybe some clearing by Thursday.

Walking down a hallway I noticed something - a plot of the debris from poor Columbia - pinned to the wall. And then, this evening, on Yahoo News this:
shuttle odds headline

It's a bit misleading - we've lost two shuttles out of about a hundred, so the odds should be about 1-in-50. But, as the article points out, we've kept improving the Shuttle, so it's hard to say what the real odds are. And there are a lot of astronauts and would-be astronauts willing to take the risk.

 Monday 26 June 2006

Monday - grey and gloomy. I don't know where this stuff is coming from - it's very high, 20,000 feet, horizon to horizon. And hot, too. Yuck. We normally say "it's a dry heat", and laugh, around here. Not this June.

I was going to try to get some more numbers by Friday, for the designer, but realized late today that there is a big FRR (Flight Readiness Review) on Thursday, and an IAD's class Wednesday. And Lisa Porter, the AA for Aeronautics is showing up at Dryden Thursday, so people will be hustling about.

He may not get those numbers, but I think he's going on vacation for the week of the 4th, so that's OK.

Sunday 25 June 2006

Sunday - a miserable, hot, gloomy day. Grey and overcast - I hate that. I could never live in Seattle.

I didn't do much, some chores, so there isn't a lot to say. Watched a bit of TV. There was an interesting book promotion thing on CSPAN, for "Washington's Spies", that the author gave. Sounds interesting. Watched a bit of Dr. Who, the new series. I hear that the female co-star is quite a hit, Billie somebody or other. I don't get it - she seems rather blowzy and overstated to me. Oh well.

Picture of the Week
Norsea 27 sailboat

Photo Notes: The Norsea, hauled out for surveying, in Oxnard. The day had just a bit of marine layer overcast (as you can see in the picture) and was a nice 65F, forty degrees cooler than Lancaster!

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