Sailing Hummingbird feeder
Travels and Images

WEEK 31 2005

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

Picture of the Week


Lancaster Weather NOAA
Lancaster WeatherUnderground

Three Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Two Years Ago, this week, 2003

A Year Ago, This Week, 2004

Weekly Picture Archive

Saturday 6 August 2005

Saturday - taking it easy, letting jobs run during the morning and evenings, but suspending them in the afternoons when the house becomes too hot for the CPU's. The high humidity has been affecting the swamp cooler - above 20% it does not cool well, and the afternoons have lately been warm and humid.

Indeed, I was inside the house, working on something, when I started hearing the pat-pat-pat of rain. I went outside and discovered that it was, indeed, starting to rain - and shortly we had thunder and lightning.

I blame the neighbors.

I mean, if it hadn't been for their wedding reception it probably would have been clear and sunny:

summer thunderstorm rains
The rain begins,

limo in the rain
then the limousine arrives,

bride in the rain
and the bride makes a dash for it!

Fortunately it was just a passing storm, and it cleared up nicely and sky and ground were dry with an hour or two. Not being invited to the wedding, I went out to dinner at a friends' house. When I returned at 10:00 the reception was starting to wind down, and was quiet by 12:00. Cool.

My understanding is that the neighbors' son was in the military, and that he and his wife had a quick JP wedding before he shipped out overseas last year, but that now he had served out his hitch the couple  had a chance for a full ceremony and reception, with family and friends. Good Luck to them both!

Friday 5 August 2005

Friday - working away on various things. Some supersonic aeroelastic runs didn't come out as well as I had hoped, so I modified the model to more closely approximate the test conditions, i.e. an octagonal wind tunnel, the Langley 16 Foot Transonic Tunnel.  And at first the runs were going unstable immediately, but my friend Tim decided to modify the boundary conditions, which helped a lot, and now we have stuff in the pipeline.

The thing is, the model still isn't very accurate. In order to get accurate non-interference flow conditions in the test sections the personnel at Langley added 'slots' along the test section walls, ventilating it. They apparently went through about 29 different iterations of slot design over the years, and I really don't know what iteration was used for the original tests, done back in the 1960's. There is a 136MB pdf file, that may or may not have more details, but I'm not sure that it will help much. And even on DSL it would take forever to download.

The trick with CFD modeling is to be as accurate as necessary, but no more than that. Generally aeroelastic simulations don't need to be quite as accurate as calculations for lift or drag, but each calculation essentially has to be repeated hundreds or thousands of times. In this sort of work one is  looking at the models response as time progresses, and the interval between calculated responses might only be a few hundredths of a second - so you don't want too detailed a model or you will die of old age waiting for a result.

Friday Cat Blogging: my cat Phoebe is a pig, but a clever one. I found him stealing food out of the automated feeder! Now his weight problems have an explanation...

Phoebe the thief, caught in the act
Thief, thief! I've re-installed the tamper guard you can just see sitting behind the feeder.

Friday was also a marathon of new shows on the SciFi channel. There was Firefly, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica. ( Yes, yes, I know: Firefly was on before. But it's new to me, sorta... )

I finally got to see a Firefly episode this season. And it was ... ta daa ... the only episode I'd seen before, 'The Train Job'. You know, I had the same experience with the old Dragnet series as well: every time I tried to watch a rerun it would be the same episode, about some runaway kid. I grew to hate that kid.

Battlestar Galactica was a bit of a letdown though. Lot's of plot development, in rather slow ways. Oh well. I might also say that I've found the ground combat scenarios badly done. In this episode, for example, a group of resistance fighters get the drop on the good guys. They are heavily armed with automatic rifles and scoped hunting rifles and have the advantage of surprise. And fail to hit anyone. Sheesh.

Stargate SG-1 was fun in sort of a spot the supporting actor episode. There was  Wallace Shawn, ('Vizzini' from 'The Princess Bride'),playing a duped suitor to the lovely thief/con woman Claudia Black ('Officer Aeryn Sun' from Farscape), and  also the gorgeous  Lexa Doig ('Rommie' from the series, Andromeda) as the new SG doctor  - I guess they killed off the old doctor a season back. I liked the small talk one of the characters makes during a mexican standoff with some giant deadly aliens:

"Do you follow the NFL? You look like a Raiders fan."

If you've ever seen a Oakland Raiders fan, duded up in the stands,  then the line makes perfect sense ;-)

The picture of Lexa Doig at IMDB does not do her justice, by the way. She must have really annoyed someone to get that particular picture put up. Ugh.

Thursday 4 August  2005

Thursday - out riding the bike this morning I startled a couple of rabbits. They started hopping along - but parallel to my own path. After twenty or thirty feet in which I stayed level with them, they apparently got worried and started squeaking! Weirdest sound I have heard in a while. They sounded somewhat like my cat Phoebe when he's hungry. After a bit they made a right angle turn and disappeared into the brush.

The taco, left over from yesterdays lunch,  I had for lunch today. Tasty.

It's warm out, 101F officially, probably hotter here in town. I had to turn on the central air - my evaporative cooler couldn't keep the house cool enough to suit the computers, that is, below 80F indoors. I was running a couple of CFD jobs and started getting overheat warnings. Too bad - the central A/C is always a hit on the electric bill.

Eugene Volokh, a lawyer over at the Volokh Conspiracy asked for what he called "doughboy" jokes from readers. They came through for him, big time.

A sampling:

and my personal favorite:
Lot's more over there, if you've the stomach.

Wednesday 3 August 2005

Wednesday - went to Tom's #26, a restaurant here, for a take out burrito and taco at lunch time. It was enormous. I ate only half, and had the other half for dinner later.

The removal of the gap-filler from the shuttle went very well. I imagine everyone is breathing a big sigh of relief at NASA.

Finally finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Sure enough, they killed off  Harry, Hermione, Ron, Cho, Snape, Hagrid, ...

Heh. I ain't saying. You'll just have to read it yourself.

[update] Hmmm. I feel creative now...

Tuesday 2 August 2005

Tuesday - working away on stuff. Not a lot to say.

Found this CD in the middle of a dirt road, Ojitos Negros, Los Pumas del Norte. Cats of the North?

Found Cd, Ojitos Negros
Too scratched to be listenable.

Monday 1 August 2005

Monday - last Friday night I was over at some friends, and then went for a late walk with some other friends. Since there was essentially no chance that I'd get to see Firefly or Battlestar Galactica I set the VCR and recorded................the Shopping Channel.

What the HE double hockey sticks?

According to the internet that particular BSG was the Best. Episode. This. Season. Or. Maybe. Ever.

I need to get some working software for that old $50 TIVO. Now that I've seen my Dad's work I'm ready to go. I've a good friend with a  Series 1,  I'll get it from him.

Sunday 31 July 2005

Sunday - finished rereading Rabble in Arms. A good book - full of history and amusing asides. Cap Huff, of course, has many great lines - a roguish Falstaff.

At the beginning of the book Huff talks a man into joining the army by convincing him that he - a local black cook might be mistaken for being British, and:

"Cap'n Huff said that was the nice thing about a war; there ain't any regular work to do - only wear a uniform and walk around a lot, and camp out."

And shortly afterwards Cap 'talks' a war profiteer into donating some 'presents' for the war effort:

"So, Theodore Lyman made you a lot of presents, did he?" Nason said. "That's something new for Theodore."

Cap stared up at the cloudless sky. "Looks little like rain, don't it?"

"What kind of presents did he give you?" Nathan persisted.

Cap closed his eyes, held up a huge hand and ticked off items on his outspread fingers: "Ten gallons rum, twenty pounds powder, five frypans, ten pounds glass beads, one gross awls, three dozen picket knives, one hundred fish hooks, thirty papers needs, ten gallons rum."

"You counted the rum once before," Nason said.

Cap sighed at Nason's obtuseness. "Yes. He gave it to me twice - the second time because I kind of hinted. That makes twenty altogether."

"Now look here," Nason protested, "I want you to be careful. We're liable to get into trouble if you let people give you things this way. What in God's name did you want to take that horse for?"

"Stevie," Cap said earnestly, "there's nothin' like a horse for trading purposes. You give me a horse, and I'll guarantee to swap it for anything in reason. If there ain't nothin' to swap it for, I can eat it. Yes, and for every man that's got into trouble over borrowing a horse, there's a thousand good men have died for lack of one."

Emphasis mine - Cap was a great one for borrowing.

All that aside, the book has also a very dark side. It portrays much of the war effort as being wrecked and betrayed by greed, indifference, incompetence, stupidity, jealousy, ambition and all the rest of man's venality. And yet, we won.

Picture of the Week
Old highway 193, northwest of Coalinga

Photo Notes: Old Highway 198, northwest of Coalinga.

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