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Sunday 30 June 2002

Sunday.  Still not feeling 100%, but went with some friends to the "Blue Koi" in Palmdale - a new and very nice Chinese/japanese buffet. A little pricey at $12.00 a head for a lunch buffet, but the food was excellent

Afterwards we went searching for fiberglass panels for a friends pool cover. The wind here in Lancaster, plus the heat, is very hard on them, and the panels we put up three of four years ago had cracked and failed in various ways. They had a warranty, but Home Base has gone out of business. We couldn't find any of the exact type that we had installed, but did find some "SunTuf" corrugated panels that might work as well. Also picked up a new little air conditioner unit for a good price, and a couple of other items.

Xerox was interesting last week. First they announce in the morning, "Gee, we made a little 2.4 Billion dollar mistake". Then, later in the day, "Gee, did we say 2.4 billion? Silly us, we meant 6.8 billion..."

Monday 1 July 2002

Monday - all day long. After looking at the data at work we have decided that we need to retrench and redo a couple of things. Well, so it goes I guess. Frustrating though. I also discovered that I needed to call someone and touch base on an inquiry that I though we'd handled - just a misinterpretation on my part, really.

I also had Phoebe into the vet. He is still having intestinal troubles. The vet thinks it might be some form of dehydration, so we're going to try bottle water and pumpkin pie filling, and smaller meals. He doesn't seem in any form of distress, but it isn't normal for such a young healthy cat. Besides, I hate picking the stuff up...

Tuesday 2 July 2002

Tuesday - just another work day, for the most part. We discovered a bug in the graPhigs pick routine - it always picks the same element, irrespective of the depth test. It may be a HLHSR thing, but it's hard to say. I'm sure it worked when I wrote the code, ten or twelve years ago! OpenGL has triumphed over graPhigs since then, and we have various efforts under way to convert all the pre/post-processing to OpenGl anyway.

I received an amusing email from a friend. It tracks the last ten thousand unindicted CEO's in the US as they go on a rampage in the southwest. I won't quote it here, but you may want to look for CEOnista's on line...

It's not that I am anti-capitalistic you understand, I like money and wish I had more of it. But there is clearly a serious problem here and it's not clear that much is being done about it. Personal responsibility does not exists; the CEO's point fingers at the CFO's, the SEC points at the accounting industry, and the president blathers on. Of course, in the government, no one took responsibility for the September 11 thing either, the heads of the FBI and CIA are still drawing their paychecks... The buck stops nowhere.

Wednesday 3 July 2002

When I traveled to England last year one of my favorite stops was Bath . It turns out that it is also one of my sister's favorite spots as well, and she has rented a little place just across from the old Roman Baths. It's a fascinating place, and I am really tempted to hop on a plane and visit...

It occurs to me that if you visit all four of the government sites above, Carnivore will probably track you down. I'm joking here (I think), but there are legitimate concerns about modern surveillance techniques. There is a lot going on in the world of personal and public privacy, a good site to visit for information is the the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Thursday 4 July 2002

The nation is 226 years old today - happy birthday to us all here! I'm feeling a bit under the weather, again, and so is the cat. Phoebe needs an X-ray I think.

Since it's the Fourth of July I though a few pictures from the family albums might be in order.

This is my grandfather. This picture was taken in the 1950's where he is a captain in the United States Coast Guard. He served in WWI, WWII, and Korea. He went from Bosun 1st class to a Captain, being what is called a 'mustang' in the service. He enlisted the day WWI was declared, and was sent to OCS and commissioned an ensign, his first ship being the 'Radnor'. By the second world war he was captaining the U.S.S. Hunter Liggett.

This is my father, at work, as he termed it, in WWII. I suspect no-one is shooting at him in this picture! I am joking only a bit - he was nominated for the bronze star after rescuing a downed PBM pilot off the beach at Tinian, while under fire. This picture was taken some time after the Okinawa invasion and was sent to the home town paper.

This is my 'Uncle Bud', George Patrick McKeever. This is taken on Ralston Street in San Francisco, after his reserve unit (SEABEE) was called up for Korea. He was at Attu in WWII as well.

This is my sister Virginia, the picture taken in 1976, apparently. She is a sergeant here. She served in Germany, working with helicopters, at Swaibisch Hall. Front lines if the Soviet tank divisions had ever rolled in...

My brother Robert, with the mighty U.S.S. George Washington in the background. She was the first ballistic missile submarine - being converted from an attack sub during construction. Submariners serve long tours at sea - months underwater - and it's a dangerous and difficult business, even in peacetime.

Friday 5 July 2002

Friday - well, the 4th has come and gone and we are all still here.

There was a shooting at LAX, but it's unclear as to what the motive was. It's been suggested that if it was a terrorist act that it qualifies as a 'hate crime'.  Duhh. ( Not that I care for the idea of hate crime statutes anyway, it's too close to thought police for me. If I kill a clown because I want his shoes, say, I get a certain penalty. If I kill him because I hate clowns I get another more severe penalty? Ludicrous. The crime is the murder, and the premeditation, not the reason for the premeditated murder. )

Europe and Israel have learned to deal with the idea of terrorism - like lightning, it happens but life goes on, and they did it without turning into police states. Well, anymore than they already were.

The fireworks we decided to watch on tv - it's just not worth braving the traffic sometimes. The neighbors put on quite a show anyway - the dog didn't care for the noise at all  :-(  No grass fires reported.

My Dad and I worked on getting the old air conditioner ( a Western Auto unit at least 25 years old ) out of the wall. We discovered that it does NOT have a slide out type of internal mechanism, and that it is thoroughly stuccoed on the outside and sheetrocked on the inside. So, we decided to take it apart, bit by bit, from the inside, leaving the shell in the wall - and then slide the new energy efficient unit into the shell. Wire cutters, hack saws, chisels, wrenches, sockets and crowbars - all came into play. Almost everything is out now, except one baffle and the hot side of the heat exchanger coils...

We then watched baseball - the Oakland A's pulled it out in the bottom of the 9th, again! Amazing.

Saturday 6 July 2002

Saturday  - well, my sister came up. Fortunate, since Dad and I had just about had it with that old air conditioner! I have a bum hand, and it's my stronger hand, the right. Dad has bad legs and emphysema, and the last baffle had us stuck - Western Auto built those things to last!. But my sister went to work with a variety of tools and managed to get the last bits out. The new AC fits into the hole very nicely, and is very quiet. It also "goes to eleven" in terms of energy efficiency. ( If you aren't a Spinal Tap fan you probably won't get that reference...)

It's the first AC unit I've ever seen with a remote.

We also had a nice barbecue, steaks, potato salad, and such like.

My friend emailed about the cat, Phoebe. Apparently he vomited all over the place, so the vet is keeping him over the weekend. Since the internals were a bit plugged, so we're going to try another diet.

A true friend will take your sick cat to the vet, and discuss at length the quantity and quality of what's coming out both ends...

Picture of the Week
silouette of shuttle and carrier

Photo Notes:  This is the space shuttle Discovery aboard the 747 carrier aircraft, taken on the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center taxiway. One of the cool perk's of working out here is seeing things like this occasionally. The sun is low in this shot because it's early morning - the airspeed in only a few hundred knots for the combo, and it's a long way to Florida. Inside the 747 all the seats have been taken out, except for a few rows at the very front. The large square plates on the horizontal tails aid in keeping the vehicle straight - the orbiter blankets a lot of the vertical tail.

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