Sailing Hummingbird feeder
Travels and Images

WEEK 2 2005

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week

Picture of the Week


Lancaster Weather NOAA
Lancaster WeatherUnderground

A Year Ago, This Week Two Years Ago, this week

Weekly Picture Archive

Saturday 15 January 2005

Saturday - warm(ish) and sunny. Football playoff's on teevee - bills paid - life is good.

Just before Christmas a friend 'loaned' me a couple of books. One was Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players,  in which the author/reported actually gets sucked into the sport. The other was  The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary, about one of the big contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary, who submits his manuscripts by mail and who is later discovered to be incarcerated in an insane asylum.

I say 'loaned' because they were actually library books, due back to the library in a couple of days, and I was too busy to read more than a chapter of each before hitting the road. Some people are just. plain. mean. and. sadistic.

The audio book on this latest trip up north was Bill Bryson's Neither Here Nor There, about a long trip through europe, replicating the author's first trip back in the 1970's. It's not a great or deep book, but it's fun to listen to, and it is a bit reassuring to hear that someone who travels extensively for a living has many of the same fears and experiences that the less traveled of us have.

Since Bryson's book was only four tapes long I borrowed the Joseph Ellis book on tape, Founding Brothers, from my dads library. The introduction and the description of the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton took up most of the drive back down the state on Thursday.

Here is a true color image of Titan's surface. The rocks are just a few inches in size, and may be ice, and there are signs of erosion under and about them, suggesting fluid flow of some sort. Not water - it is minus180 Fahrenheit or so on the surface, but perhaps some sort of hydrocarbon fluid.

approximate true color image of titans surface
Titan in true color.

Friday 14 January 2005

Friday - the Huygen's probe has landed successfully on Titan, and send back data, including pictures:

A view of the surface of Titan
The surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

I wrote, about this time last year, that we were living in an era of wonders. They still continue.

Thursday 13 January  2005

Thursday - the Mars rover Opportunity has apparently found a meteor, on Mars. Heh. I suppose, given that they are easy to find in places like Antarctica where geological processes are slow that we might have expected to find one on a planet where the erosive forces are even weaker.

meteorite on mars
A meteor, sitting in the sand dunes, on Mars. apparently dislikes linking to anything outside of their own site, but here is a NASA/JPL link.

Wednesday 12 January 2005

Wednesday - back on the road, from Reno to Martinez again. Once again, dry and safe roads. One thing I noted is that the I-80 is now three lanes (or more) wide from Auburn to the junction with the I-680 southwest of Fairfield. Greater Sacramento extends quite a ways now.

By a careful watch I was able to see where the Nut Tree Resort at the Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville used to be. The city has grown up and around the airport. I remember visiting as a kid and being very impressed by it (we were farm kids, essentially). Pilots I know have spoken of flying into it for a "Hundred Dollar Hamburger",  many years ago.

Tuesday 11 January 2005
Tuesday - not a lot to say. Went to some presentations, had lunch and dinner with friends. Afterwards Tim headed back to the airport and San Diego.

Monday 10 January 2005

Monday - my friend Tim and I gave the paper. It was well received. Tim did an excellent job and we had a surprisingly large audience - for some reason the room filled up just before we spoke. I hadn't originally thought it to be all that exciting a paper, but it was on real hardware - the F-18 AAW, and perhaps that had a certain cache amidst all the theory and equations...

We met some friends from OSU, and one gave an excellent talk just a bit before ours. Tim whispered to me "He's not looking at his notes!", which was true, and impressed us mightily.

It seems they don't have much snow here in Reno and are out of practice, hence the poorly plowed roads. This has been a 100-year snowfall - according to the Reno news it is 90 years since the last comparable storm.

The Reno Hilton has improved in the last year. Way back when it was the MGM Grand, and was depressingly dingy and rundown. Now I think it's fairly decent. New carpets, new paint, new elevator doors - the old doors had the MGM lion done in relief on them and managed to stay on through the Bally's ownership and the early days of Hilton's.

Sunday 9 January 2005

Sunday - up to Reno, for the 43rd AIAA conference next week. A break in the weather meant that for a midday drive there were dry(ish) roads and only a few flurries of snow on the I-80 near Donner Summit. Reno itself seems to have received a couple of feet of snow, and had some rather poor snow plowing and clearing.

You can access the internet in your room - $6 for two hours, or more for 24 hours. It's sort of a WebTV application through the teevee.

The room is an excellent large and clean room on a non-smoking floor.

Picture of the Week
The I80 on the way to Reno

Photo Notes: The I-80 east, on the way to Reno. Clear roadways. The only problem was the two or three times someone cut me off and splashed mud and salt onto the windshield, obscuring things for a moment or two.

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week