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Sunday 7 July 2002

Sunday.  Not much going on, to tell the truth. Mowed the back lawn. went down to the waterfront with my Dad and the dog - quite a breeze there. You could see some sailboats down the Carquinez Straits a mile or two, not heeled at all. Probably the bluffs were shielding them from the winds. Knowing where and when to predict this sort of stuff  is what sailors call 'local knowledge', and it will often give local sailors an edge over the visitors in a boat race.

The weathermen keep telling us that it'll be very hot, real soon now. We'll see, I guess.  Glad the AC is going OK at Dads.

Monday 8 July 2002

Monday - lots of driving. The car ran well, no weird odometer oddities like on the way up.  

Apparently there is a piece of grit in the mechanism, or perhaps a broken detent on the 10,000 or 5,000 counter on the odometer, As I rolled over 235,000 on the way up there was a weird noise and the odometer stopped working. It also make a large 'click' every second or two, all the way up to Fresno, where it made a particularly large noise and fixed itself . This happened last year, at the 225,000 mark, and I guess it may happen again at the 245,000 mile turnover. Last time it fixed itself in a couple of miles, not the hundred or so between Fresno and Bakersfield. It also manifested itself as a surge in the speedometer needle of a few miles per hour, which transferred into the cruise control. It could make you seasick, if it continued long enough.

Anyway, when I got in Riley was delighted to see me. Purring, licking, wanting to be picked up. Phoebe was nowhere to be seen and poor Riley was in a loneliness panic after a couple of days home alone. It's why I agreed to a second cat, really. After letting me check for a little bloated body around the house, my friend called to say that the vets wanted to keep Phoebe for observation for a couple of days more. I was pretty sure that was the case, but you worry sometimes...

I was trying to get into town early enough to go to hand therapy, but no luck there. It feels rather stiff after a week without real work.

Tuesday 9 July 2002

Tuesday - man it's hard to get up sometimes. Even harder to go to work. Still, I survived another day. Received an email from my sister with a few pictures of her cute little kitten, Roxy. Received two emails from old friends, I need to reply to those as well,  when I get a chance here. Claire actually has a couple of web sites she has created, one for knitting, and the other for Mills College Alum's:

I still have a quilt Claire made mumbley-mumbley years ago. Fantastically warm.

Riley is still alone. I called the vet today, and they said that Phoebe had thrown up again overnight, 'just a little'. He's on a diet of pureed rabbit and peas, so I think it's understandable, but they want to keep him just a little longer.

It's amazingly hot here today. My car started to heat up on the way home. No wonder. At 3 pm local time, it was 112 degrees Fahrenheit, about 44.4 Celsius, according to the official government page at NOAA . That's at the local airport. In town it's probably a few degrees hotter from the heat island effect . I haven't turned on the central air here at the house - the PC happens to sit directly beneath the swamp cooler, which works very well in this dry climate. I can hear my neighbor's (standard refrigeration unit) run constantly - ouch.

Wednesday 10 July 2002

When I went to the Lancaster Pet Clinic I had a little talk with the veterinarian. Phoebe is now on a special diet, which means Riley is as well I guess. Blood tests and X-rays came up negative - apparently he has trouble digesting and passing the dry foods I had been giving him. We'll have to wait and see. He seems happy to be home again.

It's not as hot as yesterday, barely 109 Fahrenheit. I may need Claire's quilt if these frigid conditions continue.

Solving Newton's Second Law, or What I Do for a Living

Newton's 2nd law states that:  

or Force=Mass*Acceleration

For an aircraft, F can be divided into three parts, Aeroelastic ' A', Structural 'K', and Damping 'C' forces, so:
    A + K + C = Ma

So, in a very simple sense, the aeroelastician's job is to determine the components A, K, C, and M, and to solve for 'a', the acceleration of the vehicle. It's harder than it sounds, we don't do it quite that way, and the roots of the discipline go back to the first world war at least.

Thursday 11 July 2002

The cat seems OK so far. Let's hope it continues.

My friend S would be the 'scrounger' if ever placed in a prison camp. You know, James Garne r in The Great Escape . As of yesterday, for about $110, two largish swamp coolers, complete with an extra (large) motor. Amazing. Particularly as the weather has been a trifle warmish, 105F  today. You've got to be quick in the desert....

What, you don't understand english temperature units? No problem. Learn the 'C' programming language - the second problem, after 'hello.c', is always a temperature conversion program, I think. I could tell you, but you know the saying: "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." (Or falls out of the boat and drowns. Or perhaps wipes out an endangered species. It's hard to find a good platitude these days...)

Friday 12 July 2002

Friday - not a bad day. We seem to have tracked down a bug that was annoying us - we hope.

I found an interesting web page, about a guy's Bicycle Ride across the USA . Remarkable. But he talks about meeting a lot of bikers, going the other way, a score of them. I'd like to do that - but I don't know where I'd get five weeks off. Also I'd have to get a bike. I ran across his page while looking up bootable network cards, PXE stuff, all that.

Saturday 13 July 2002

Saturday  - it was hot again (105), but I mowed the lawns, front and back. Then I just sat and tried to cool off for a while.

I have been trying to fix someone's hard drive. Apparently it caught a virus of some sort last year, and it's fouled up the master boot record and partitions. I tried to use FDISK /MBR and it can't repartition because the partition name is gibberish and you have to input that name to proceed. My antivirus doesn't do DOS. Even FIPS , under LINUX can't proceed, because the partition is so hosed that it isn't a recognizable type. I think it's beyond me. I need to remember to throw out all the floppies I used - whatever it was, I don't want my good PC catching it!

There is an article on slashdot relating to that. Historically viruses have been targeted at Windows , with the 'internet worm' being an exception. Apparently Linux (unix) viruses are on the rise, and may actually exceed Windows viruses by the end of the year...


Last Month's Link's

 Babylon 5
, 2 June
Edwards Air Force Base , 6 June
Bridge across the Straits of Messina , 7 june
Golden Gate Bridge , 7 june
Sony support pages , 8 june
OpenBSD , 9 june
Masai have offered to help , 9 June
partial lunar eclipse , 9 June
Moliere's Bourgeois Gentleman , 9 June
MPI or PVM , 13 June
VIA motherboard , 14 June
flesh eating bacteria , 14 June
DMV , 15 june
Murata Japanese Restaurant , 20 june
Listerine , 20 June
Lysol , 20 June
"vermin of the skies" , 20 June
lovelorn forest ranger , 20 June
"Just for the Fun of It" , 23 June
Lilo & Stitch , 23 June
S&P 500 , 24 June
Science News , 24 June
"The Sum of All Fears" , 27 June
The Hunt for Red October , 27 June
 "Patriot Games ", 27 June
"Clear and Present Danger" , 27 June

Picture of the Week
Pete Knight mural on wells fargo building

Photo Notes:   William 'Pete' Knight was a test pilot out at Nasa Dryden, one of many that flew the famous X-15.  Lancaster has what they call the 'Aerospace Hall of Fame' with busts, medallions, and murals like the one above, on the local Wells Fargo bank downtown. He went on to become the mayor of Palmdale, then a state senator from the Antelope Valley area.

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