WEEK 31 2018
Tue- Wed- Thur-
Picture of the Week
Years Ago, This Week, 2003
Years Ago, this week, 2004
Years Ago, this week, 2005
Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Years Ago, This Week, 2009
Years Ago, This Week, 2010
Years Ago This Week,
Years Ago This Week,
Years Ago This Week 2014
Three Years Ago This Week, 2015
Two Years Ago
This Week, 2016
Year Ago This Week, 2017
Saturday - Hot. Weather Underground has
an ad-jacker running, so about half of the time I get re-directed to a
"Congratulations Amazon User: You have won $1000!!" When this happens
I kill the browser and wipe the cookies and such. Annoying.
Very smokey in the morning, becoming a bit thicker in the afternoon.
Oddly CalFire doesn't show anything local - the nearest fire is up in the
Central Valley near Bakersfield, ninety miles or so. My neighbor mentioned
that he saw on a satellite image that the smoke was traveling down from the
Yosemite area, along the west slope of the Sierra Nevada's, so it might be
R was supposed to drop off his old Mercedes Super Diesel to park on the
property out in back, but there was some sort of issue with the tow truck
and it's been rescheduled for tomorrow.
Received an email from a friend, M. Brown, that they'd finally bought a
house up in Washington state, in Everett. It looks nice, and cool...
Fiddling around a bit with the image stuff. I can't find the batch
editor plug-in that I used before - guess it got whacked during a system
upgrade, and I really really don't want to learn Python for one piddly
Friday 3 August 2018
We have a bit of smoke from forest fires in the air, but nothing too
bad. My brother texted me from Carson City that it looks like a medium
fog, and reeks. These are apparently the California fires near
The foot swelling hasn't really gone down much, so no work on the house,
just app stuff. I don't know that I will be able to work in the field down
in Ventura next week, things kind of ache when I do much more than walk
across the room. I don't want to exacerbate things - I have things to do
I decided, since I have the extra ram and an SSD and a 2nd monitor, to try
the Xcode debugger. Remarkable, it's actually usable. Before it
was so slow that it was easier to put print statements in, rather than use
The result is that the big memory leak seems to be associated with the
on-the-fly generation of gray-scale images from the color cards. I did
this because I didn't want to hand generate 140 nearly identical images and
have them bloat the size of the app download. Unfortunately these are
C routines, or Foundation Objective-C methods that are wrappers for C, and
there are issues. As far as I can tell I am doing everything
correctly, releasing the C and relying on ARC to release the O-C
stuff. But a lot of people have been complaining for years
that the UIImage and CIImage and related methods have leaks, and Apple has
Likely, if I devoted weeks to it I might find a subtle error and a
work around, but I think I'll just use GIMP in batch mode, generate the 140
images and copy them into the app resources and pass the whole issue by.
Budd asleep on the couch.
Thursday 2 August
Thursday - Hot
The foot is a bit puffy and bruised, but doesn't hurt much. No doctor
visit required. No big walk in the morning. By evening it fit
(uncomfortably) into a sandal again.
I decided not to spend the morning on my feet, despite having the solar
frames for the french doors to finish. The humidity is down and except for
the master bedroom and office (admittedly the rooms I spend the most time
in) the a/c can keep up.
I am hoping the swamp cooler's bearings don't freeze solid before I get well
enough to replace them. They are getting pretty "thumpy" now.
I checked my electric meter on Monday afternoon and again today, at the same
time. I see 20909-20871=38Kw-hr. Over three days that comes to
12.67KWHr/day. This comes to 392 Kw-hr/month, which is well below the
467Kw-hr Tier One maximum power usage. My neighbor kindly let me see his
paper bill so I have the rates now, and they are:
[ $0.03(base) + $0.08338(delivery) + $0.08549(generation) ]* 1.045(state
tax) = [19.887]*1.045 = $0.208/Kw-hr. This is pretty much highway
There is also a minuscule state fee or tax that I haven't included.
If my usage doesn't decline that means $82 for the month.
And, BTW, "priming the pump" for billing didn't work - I now officially have
an even bigger credit on my SCE login page, by the $50 I paid
them. At a guess I haven't gotten a real bill this year,
the first two that I paid may well have been left over from the year before
or the Stillmeadow house.
Instead of wasting the morning on poor carpentry I spent much of the day
working on the app. I decided to look for the memory leak, and
surprisingly enough, found it. Or at least know where it is - it's a
chunk of code that does image processing, which is really C code and not
Objective-C (thanks a bunch Apple). C, of course, is purely manual
memory management - a 1970's era language. So I just need to grind through
that bit and I can fix the 4 or 5MB per hand leak.
I feel even better about the RAM and SSD purchases earlier in the year - the
debugger is quite zippy, rather than the agony it was before. And the
two monitors mean I can watch the code and debugger in one window and run
the simulator in the other, a huge improvement!
I discovered, by accident, that there is a new Flavia de Luce book out,
published this January. And it's available through the Los Angeles
County Library (Libby) as a free 14-day-loan ebook from Amazon. I
download it and so far it seems move in the vein of the earlier books,
rather than the depressing later volumes. Yay.
Wednesday 1 August
Wednesday - Hot. Hard to believe it is
I installed the screening and molding on the 3x5 window frame, then screwed
that to the east side of the house. This took all morning, and as
usual, despite my best efforts my measurements on various things were
off. Oh well. I did notice, while sitting and re hydrating that
my radial arm saw table top has a significant "bow" to it, an eighth or
3/16" across a two foot span. That can't help things. ( A good
workman, as they say, always blames his tools ;-| )
While tacking it to the house one of the ladder legs collapsed a gopher hole
and down we all went. Fortunately I was only 3' up on the ladder, and
I managed not to smash the frame, but I strained my left foot pretty
well. By evening it was bruised and puffy, but I iced it and it
doesn't particularly hurt.
Cooling notes: On these days with high's in the low 100's we are seeing
night time temperatures of just below 80F. If I turn off the a/c in
the early am hours the house will essentially be at 75F and then the
temperature will slowly creep up during the morning to about 80F by
lunch. If I turn on the swamp cooler after breakfast it does almost
exactly the same thing - there is no point in turning the a/c on until then.
After lunch I went into town, bummed a haircut off S, and dropped off a
bunch of 4th of July books at the Quartz Hill library. There were a
bunch of carpentry and shop books that I never actually opened, among the
fiction. I had about $10 in fines, including some from earlier in the year.
I had a couple of other errands that I didn't do - my foot was
swelling out of the sandals by then, and just wanted to go home and put the
Later afternoon I did a bit of work in the office, but was kind of tired.
Dinner was the left-over chicken from Saturday's lunch.
Slept on the couch. The master bedroom is the warmest room in the house,
Tuesday - Hot.
I installed the window screen for the garage window. This took longer
than it should have, I had to clean the window inside and out, and remove
some nails in the old frame. I discovered that the window is only
single pane, and that the seals are essentially missing - it's held in by
good intentions for the most part. I'll have to figure a way to get
that fixed - I have a few bits of the old and extremely brittle seals.
In the mean time I put up the new solar screening. It darkens things
considerably, but this faces due south and in a few weeks will be getting
sun all day long. Which is probably why the old seals failed.
This took forever, so I didn't get to the next, eastern, window. That
still needs screening and screen molding applied, but it was noon and 100F
Slept on the couch, much to the cat's entertainment.
I researched on how to read my electricity meter (since SCE apparently
won't). It looks like I am using between 8 and 10KwHr per day.
Tier 1 consumption has a max of 427 KwHr, at about 19 cents per kilowatt
hour, so I think I'll come in below that.
Monday - Hot. And supposed to stay hot
all week, with daytime humidity in the teens, and night-time humidity near
50%. I slept on the couch, under the cool draft from the swamp cooler and it
felt nice. I had to close the register closest to the master bedroom,
the air is coming out rather warmer than it should, I suspect a leak and
some en-trained warm air from the attic. One more thing to look into.
Put some paint on the new window screen frames. Went outside and
cleaned off the over-spray on the next window to get a frame, that slop left
from the previous owner. I tried soap and water, cleanser, then
acetone, and finally actual paint stripper. The stripper worked pretty
well. I also sanded the frame on that window and gave it a coat of
primer. I'll have to go back and clean the previous two windows as well, and
the window for tomorrow.
While I was outside and it was reasonably cool (say 90F) I started filling
in the holes from the Chihuahua's. Bah.
I was going to replace the cooler bearings, but didn't get to it before it
Pretty wiped out, but working on the app in the afternoon. Having
trouble with Google Drive downloads and printing. It was working last
Brilliant red Mars in the evening. My neighbor says it was opposition
and that Griffith Observatory has stayed open on this Monday with 50
telescopes out for people to look through.
Sunday - Hot.
Did some shopping in the morning, and some weekend chores around the house.
Since it was so blamed hot I didn't do much outside.
Earlier in the week I did my usual once-a-year search for images of my
father's first ship, the PG-86 USS Action, a Flower Class Corvette.
And I hit pay dirt - here
is an image of her in Canadian service as K-277 HMCS Comfrey, heading
out from Halifax, probably in 1942 sometime. She never actually served
in the Canadian navy, being immediately transferred to the US.
This picture isn't dated, but
the gentleman responsible, one H.B. Jefferson, made a journal with
notes of traffic.
Apparently he was the wartime censor in Halifax. and had a hobby of taking
detailed records and images of ships going in and out of Halifax, on his own
time. Very strange, apparently not part of his official duties.
Lucky for me I guess, but generally that sort of thing during a war will get
you serious jail time.
Caveats: It is listed as HMS Comfrey, and she's clearly an early
model (mast forward of the bridge) flower class corvette, also I can see a
"277" on her side, but I can't tell if that's a "K" in front of the hull
number, and the stack doesn't look quite right, too tall and narrow.
In addition Comfrey was also launched in July from Collingswood Shipyards,
and that is clearly snow on the ground. She entered into US service in
November of 1942, so perhaps it took until October or November to finish her
"fitting out" before the trip down to New York, New York.