Travels and Images
WEEK 28 2004
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Picture of the Week
Saturday 10 July
Saturday - it was just about the hottest
day of the year so far. So naturally I was out working on some bum
lawn sprinklers. A friend is on vacation, and left someone else house
sitting for her. I just passed by and noticed that her front lawn was dying. So I spent a few hours working on it, trying to save some of it. We'll see, I guess. Bad time to be on vacation.
I splurged and bought a NetDisk Attached Storage Device from Ximeta. It's an external drive, to be used for backups and such, and sits on the LAN without needing a computer to host it.
I'm guessing it has some sort of embedded Linux inside, but it doesn't
actually say that. It can also be used as a standard external hard
drive with an included USB cable, or directly attached to your
computers RJ-45 ethernet port. When I'm a little less hot and tired
I'll give it a shot. Tomorrow, maybe.
Over at Voyage to Arcturus
Jay Manifold mentions [ Friday, July 02, 2004 post] seeing Saturn for
the first time through a 6" diameter Criterion RV-6 Dynascope, in the
mid 1970's. That's about the time I first saw Saturn myself, but
I had a much older and smaller 4" Dynascope; but following one of Jay's
linked pages found this picture. Yup, that's it. Black bakelite tube, newtonian primary and a 24.5mm ( 1" ) eyepiece holder, partial equatorial mount.
It was late evening, I think, and I was in the eastern side yard of the
house, and the planet was nearly vertical overhead. The finder scope
was missing, but I had become adept at point the scope by sighting
along the tube (there's a trick to it, avoiding a parallax style of error). I didn't know it was Saturn, and decided that the
kitchen light was reflecting off something in the scope and going
inside turned that light off (it was an old style glass fixture,
looking like an upside down cake made of frosted pinkish yellow glass, so it was
possible). When I went back outside I had to wait for my eyes to adapt
to the darkness and then realigned the scope - and it was still there.
After a little bit of focusing - what a thrill when I realized what it was! Small but perfect.
I had a lot of fun with that scope. It was used, and I recall that the eyepiece tube interior diameter was
a bit on the small side - the eyepieces wouldn't all fit - so my father
took it down to a local machine shop where someone ground it out. Eventually I adapted an old 24 hour
mechanical time to act as a drive, clamped to the polar axis, and it
worked remarkably well. The tube and legs eventually gave out, and were
destroyed by moisture in the garage when I went away to college, but I
recall seeing the mirror assembly tucked away in a corner of my fathers
basement a few years back. I'll have to check and see it it's still
I've had a couple of scopes since, but have never put in the hours observing as I did with that first reflector.
Friday 9 July 2004
Friday - the Belmont Club has an article on railguns, the DDX, and the future of the U.S. Navy. Very interesting. But will they have enough rum to drink?
Thursday 8 July 2004
- looks like my new contract has come through, that's good. It's
overcast and windy here - and not nearly as fun as it is at the coast.
Oh well, life goes on.
Wednesday 7 July 2004
Wednesday - had to go back and earn a living. Sigh. On returning to Lancaster I found that Jay Manifold of the blog Journey to Arcturus had posted a comment I'd sent him on photovoltaics in California [look for 8:36 pm, blogspot doesn't do real URL's I guess]. Wow! Now I'm famous and everything...
I took the State Highway 166 back. The State Highway 46 is indeed straighter, but is a longer route, I think, and not nearly as interesting.
Tuesday 6 July 2004
Tuesday - the day's go by quickly. I try
to get in a walk on the beach every day. We are located just above some
tide pools full of standard ( 5 armed ) and mutant ( zillion armed )
marooned starfish hunting the marooned sand crabs at low tide. A life
and death ballet in slow motion - well, the starfish are slow, the
crabs are pretty zippy.
It's fun to watch life pass by from up on the bluff. Walkers, joggers,
boarders, kayakers, sailors, lovers, retired couples, wet and sandy
skinned children, ecstatic water dogs, seals, dolphins, pelicans...for
a few moments they each grace us with their presence, and then like the
sea, there is a change to something different yet similar...
For the weekend we ate in, to avoid the crowds, but have gone out for
seafood, steaks, and Chinese. A visit to Leon's Bookstore in San Luis
Obispo was in order, as was a touristy walk along the waterfront in
Morro Bay. I'd offered to buy the boy a pound of saltwater taffy and
there were so many selections that he was unable to choose without an
adult's moral support.
Saturday we'd yard-saled (?) in Cayucos, talking to the sellers. One
family was moving out of town, happy to get out of the eternal sea
mists. Another had been there just a year and thought it close to
heaven on earth, and had traded a 3000 sq. foot modern house in the San
Joaquin Valley for an old 1000 sq. foot cabin. Another seller (a
college professor from Cal Poly SLO) was clearing house of everything
that wasn't needed in a 53 foot boat, preparatory to cruising to Mexico.
Monday 5 July 2004
Monday - of course, there are official
fireworks in the towns of Cayucos and Morro Bay, but the real deal is
the illegal stuff on the beach. It's insane down there, fantastic
fireworks. In fact, it's sort of scary - a lot of these people have no
idea of safety at all, shooting rockets over peoples heads, trying to
relight hangfires, letting children set off mortars...
Ah, but isn't that what it's all about, freedom? Even freedom to be a dangerous horse's ass?
Well, these two pictures are of the beach looking north. The first from the cabin, the second down on the beach.
This was supposed to be the beach to the south. But I dunno...
Sunday 4 July 2004
Sunday - Happy Birthday United States of America.
The Cayucos parade continues to grow in popularity, I think. Days
before people are already "reserving" space along the street by placing
lawn and beach chairs along the sides of the main drag. It says
something of the low rate of crime that the chairs are still there,
unmolested, on the morning of the fourth!
Last year we too placed chairs early, but left a couple of feet
between the chairs and the road's limit lines - resulting in people plopping themselves down in front of us!
This year the chairs were positioned such that their front feet just
touched the limit line on the side of Highway 1 - so the latecomers and
slackers had to stand behind us!
Lileks writes that his town's parade had only 2 American flags in it. Hah! Our beach town rocks! Flags everywhere! Too many to post - but here's a sample:
The Highway Patrol leads off, probably
to remind people to stay behind the lines for safety,
closely followed by the Marine Honor Guard with an
Heck, this old ambulance has as many as Lileks whole town!
That Uncle Sam, he's a big 'un, and he has a lot of supporters here!
Go Pack 235
Some entries are patriotic,but lower budget, than others...
It was a toss up, whether to post the horse or the belly dancers...
Photo Notes: This
is a shot across the ocean, towards Morro Rock and the town of Morro
Bay, from our (rented, alas) beach house in Cayucos. The colors are
fairly true here, ranging from bright "disneycolor" in the sunlight to
sullen grays in the fog.
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