WEEK 28 2008
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Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Years Ago, this
Ago, This Week, 2005
This Week, 2006
|A Year Ago,
This Week, 2007
- haircut day. More than about time...
I had a couple of minutes to kill, so I wandered over to the
camera/computer section in Walmart. They've now got a Plexiglass cover
over the camera display case - you can no longer pick them up without a
clerk opening things up for you. They were always cabled, with alarms,
to the display case, I suppose that was no longer enough to prevent
'shrinkage' or vandalism. They had some camera external battery packs
on another display, rechargeable, and they were now also locked up. I
was looking for a rechargeable 9V system to hack up for my fathers WiFi webcam,
but since most didn't have their output listed on the front - voltage
and current - I couldn't really see if they'd be suitable without tracking down a clerk.
I have a smog notice on the Probe, but I stupidly left it with the
rest of my mail down in Ventura. Except for the bills that I brought
all the way back up to mail. So I can't get that task done
this weekend. Bah.
Oddly my cell phone was dead when I checked it in late afternoon. I'm
not sure why - the bluetooth was off, I'd charged it and it
was 100% (or very nearly) the night before. I suspect ActiveSync, that
piece of junk, leaves processes running even after you think you've
Mostly I spent the day reading: Book
#31 was To
Ride a Rathorn, by P.C. Hodgell. It was a sequel to a couple
of other books that I recall enjoying, Godstalk and Dark of the Moon,
some years ago. Fantasy, and while well enough written it didn't really
this time. I see that there is a third book that I don't think I've
Friday 11 July
- hot and humid, windy. Feeling a little tired. Had lunch with friends,
did some bills, had the oil changed in the Explorer.
On that last: I generally like the guys over a Quiklube, but lately
I've started getting the feeling that they think they are doing me a favor. I
pay good money - more than I would at a chain like Jiffylube - and
while I don't expect anybody to touch their forehead and call me "Squire" I don't
really care for snippy, surly and short when I take my vehicle in for
I logged onto the Los
Angeles County Library website and renewed those books I'd
checked out and carted up to Groveland, Cayucos and Martinez without
Then I read Book
The Wrong Track, by Steve Hockensmith. It's in the Holmes On the Range
series. The plot has a couple of cowboys - brothers - who try to
imitate (the sincerest form of flattery) Sherlock Holmes in the
American West. This time they are working for the despised SPRR
company, with banditry, mayhem and murder surrounding them. Recommended.
Thursday 10 July
- a days work, then a quick check on the boat, a shower, and
back on the road up to Lancaster.
The new season of Burn Notice
started at 10:00pm, but I was too tired to stay up and watch it. Also
it didn't seem quite as good as last season. I'll have it on the TIVO,
soI'll review it later.
Book #29 was
Sailing Primer, by Frommer and Weinmann. Short, and
not very good.
Wednesday 9 July 2008
- nice shirtsleeve weather.
I finished Book #28,
Blue Dot*, by Carl Sagan. It's a bit of a mixed up book -
Sagan himself is unable to decide on where to come down with respect to
several subjects he covers in the book - manned space flight vs robotic
for example - though it's not clear that he realizes it. He makes the
statistically likely case that a presence in space is needed to avert
asteroidal and cometary threat in the medium to long term, yet realizes
that an asteroidal deflection ability is a two edged threat. A least a
couple of the three "doomsday scenario's" that he mentions are probably
bogus: nuclear winter and the 'greenhouse effect', I admit that the
third - the CFC threat to the ozone hole - I haven't really looked
into. If it's like the sloppy science of the AGW people, likely it's
bogus as well.
I think that with the CFC issue that the planetary science community
had a big bite of the apple - the apple of power and importance, and
the thrill of hobnobbing with big time politicians - and it went to
their (and Sagan's) head. Too bad. With AGW they've gone even further,
and I think it will eventually blow up in their faces.
Tuesday 8 July 2008
- up early and drove down to Saticoy. Mid-morning, after looking in
my knotted line to help get into the channel with, I finally
remembered - it was stolen, on the last day of work before my vacation,
probably by some
skateboarding kids when I wasn't paying enough attention. Bah. I bought
more at the hardware store, during my lunch break.
Listening to Sagan's Pale Blue Dot, most of the way down yesterday. I
had forgotten what a pompous bore he could be, mixed with some fairly
interesting speculation. There was the usual harangue of the robot
people, bitching about manned space flight, and then the international
cooperation above all stuff.
Monday 7 July 2008
- finished a temporary repair job on the front steps, left most of the
wood to season. I measured twice, cut once, and still got the tread
width wrong. Oh well.
Back on the road, down to Lancaster. 108F was the highest temperature
seen, down near
the H-198. Mostly in the lower three digits. Moderate traffic. Got in
just before dark, mowed the (front) lawn, watered a couple of dry
spots, unloaded the vehicle, hit the sack.
Sunday 6 July 2008
- another warm day. Not a lot going on.
My other sister came up from
Fremont, and the sister from Reno stopped by in the afternoon, before
heading back up the mountain.
My brother in law managed to get the wireless web camera working. He
was sitting there, reading up on the CCNA test, and it occurred to me: "Hey, here is someone who's
forgotten more about networking than I've ever known, maybe he should
In other news I started some work on the front stairs, which have a
termite problem, but being unable to purchase any seasoned wood am
just going to do a temporary repair with a new step and some doublers
until my next visit. I had to purchase green timber - at least they
were honest about that and have dropped the facade of "kiln-dried" -
and will stack it to dry for a few weeks in the sun.
It always made me
wonder, did they really think that people believed that they had huge
kilns heated by some artificial energy source to dry wood? I can
recall water squirting
out when I was nailing up a batch of that stuff. This stuff is damp and
heavy, if used now it would dry and shrink, and then either tear out
the nails and screws or split. Anyway, a month in the dry
will do it good, though it needs to be carefully stacked, with air gaps
weights to keep it from warping.
The local Ace Hardware has pretty much stopped selling lumber. There
were a few two-by-fours, some four-by-fours, and a bit of plywood.
Nothing like a two-by-twelve or two-by-ten. And they would no longer
cut to size if they did. Hmm. A big hardware chain moves in and your
response is to reduce
stock and service, now there's a strategy for success.
Book #27 was Devices
and Desires, by K.J. Parker. It was the first in The Engineer Trilogy.
Having finished the two sequels beforehand the plot wasn't particularly
a surprise, though the details were interesting. I think that it's
unlikely that as creative and flexible an individual as Ziani Vaatzes
would arise and succeed in the rule bound city of Mezentia, and his
escape was pretty well glossed over. A good read, still.
Back on the road to